Author Archives: Steve Litchfield

About Steve Litchfield

Steve Litchfield has been a freelance writer, blogger and videographer, specialising in PDAs, smartphones and mobile imaging for the last 20 years. For Android Beat, he handles mainly device reviews, in conjunction with his hands-on video assessments for The Phones Show. Steve is married, with one daughter, and lives in the UK. As far away from the rat race as possible!

Samsung Galaxy S8+ Review: A Flawed Slice of the Future

Samsung Galaxy S8+ Review: A Flawed Slice of the Future

“You get what you pay for” is one of the oldest adages in the English language. Either in the context of something ultra-cheap, or – here – of something super-expensive, with the new Samsung Galaxy S8+ coming in at £779 inc VAT in the UK and similar top end prices across the world. Yet, after spending a week with the S8+ I am forced to admit that you do get an awful lot for your money. Whether you enjoy using all the tech depends, as usual, on how much you like Samsung – its sometimes quirky designs, its software, its ecosystem – and, in this case, how much you’re prepared to experiment with new ways of unlocking your phone.

LG G6 Review: The Perfect Component Compromise?

LG G6 Review: The Perfect Component Compromise?

After a torrid year living down the interesting but horribly flawed G5, LG has seemingly come good with this, the G6 – it does seem as though the even numbered in the ‘G’ range are always the ones to go for. True, there’s nothing spectacular here, but then that’s kind of the point, this is LG doubling down on just doing everything well rather than striking down a new blind alley… again. Notable here in our G6 review is a 2:1 screen with smaller top and bottom bezels, but elsewhere it’s a set of intelligent compromises to try and create a smartphone that’s all things to all men. And on the whole LG has succeeded.

Huawei P10 Review: The P9 ‘Fashion Update’ with a Twist All of Its Own

Huawei P10 Review: The P9 ‘Fashion Update’ with a Twist All of Its Own

A year on (from the P9) and a subtle shift in emphasis for the latest Huawei consumer flagship – the company has gone all out for the most profitable sector of the market, traditionally dominated by Apple with the iPhone. Here we have front-mounted fingerprint sensor and home control, rounded aluminium unibody that’s almost indistinguishable from the iPhone 6S, plus a raft of cosmetic options – and a suitably iPhone-like bump up in price by over £100. Which is not to say that the P10, reviewed here, isn’t a great little smartphone – it is. It’s just perhaps not the one you should actually choose.

The Marshall London is brought (almost) up to date

The Marshall London is brought (almost) up to date

I’ve been a huge fan of the Marshall London smartphone in the last couple of years. The richest front facing stereo speakers on any phone in the world still, in 2017, by quite a margin. (And yes, I’ve used the ZTE Axon 7.) Stereo microphones that can record the loudest band. A grippy and durable outer skin that has never needed a case. Twin headphone jacks with independent volume controls. A high end DAC for powerful headphone output. A replaceable battery, the list goes on. I reviewed the Marshall London here 18 months ago. And, after an eternity, it’s been updated.

How to Stop Apps From Being Killed Automatically in Android Marshmallow and Nougat

How to Stop Apps From Being Killed Automatically in Android Marshmallow and Nougat

A slightly dramatic headline, admittedly, but accurate. You see, Android 6.0 and above uses new systems from Google to help extend battery life: ‘Doze’, which restricts what apps can do in the background when a phone is stationary and unused, and ‘App Standby’, which does much the same thing but is based on how long it is since you last used a particular application. In either case, certain applications can be accidentally affected – but here’s how to keep them chugging along.

Honor 6X Review: Impressive and Stylish at a Bargain Price

Honor 6X Review: Impressive and Stylish at a Bargain Price

Huawei has been fine tuning its digital native (for which read teenagers and twenty somethings) smartphones for a couple of years now and, with the Honor 6X, has (almost) perfected the delicate balance between technology and value for money. The 6X has (almost, again) no weaknesses, at least in this relatively budget segment of the market. If you want a decent (if not top end) smartphone, don’t want to pay top dollar and don’t mind your Android experience to be slightly tweaked from Google’s Nexus and Pixel ambitions, then the Honor 6X is an easy recommendation.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 18K Review: A Slippery Slice of the Future

Xiaomi Mi Mix 18K Review: A Slippery Slice of the Future

Smartphones have been getting closer to this Star Trek-like form factor for years. Just as the original Samsung Galaxy Nexus appalled us all with a giant 4.7” screen in 2011, a vision of the future from Google, the Xiaomi Mi Mix here with a screen that almost touches the edges on three sides, with a 6.4” display in a form factor smaller than any previous sub-6” phablets, is a clear indication of where things are going. And we know where they’ll end up – we saw it on TV, on Star Trek Next Generation 20 years ago…

Top 5 Bitcoin Apps for Android

Top 5 Bitcoin Apps for Android

Bitcoin is a phenomenon of the digital age, a currency without borders or regulation, a form of money that is totally anonymous – and, as a result, it has been taking off slowly but surely over the last five years, especially among geeks and tech-enthusiasts. If you have an Android smartphone then there are applications, widgets and utilities which can help you manage your bitcoin stash, send funds and keep a close eye on what the market is doing. Here’s my Top 5.

Best Android Smartphones 2016: The Top 10 Android Phones You Can Buy Right Now

Best Android Smartphones 2016: The Top 10 Android Phones You Can Buy Right Now

Six months on from our last Top 10, here’s the Christmas 2016 list, with mainly new content – as you’d expect in a busy smartphone world. And, in terms of variety and value, we’ve never had it so good in the Android world, even if all but one of the top of the line phones are still as eye-wateringly expensive as ever…

Google Pixel XL Review: Premium Android Phone, Premium Price

Google Pixel XL Review: Premium Android Phone, Premium Price

Time to answer a few questions. Yes, this is Google’s headline Android phone for the year. Yes, it goes under the Pixel brand rather than Nexus. Yes, Google’s marketing department has gone into overdrive trying to create a genuine consumer phone that can more obviously match the Apple iPhone 7 Plus. And yes, as a result it’s arguably at least £200 too expensive here in the UK. And similarly across the world. But is the super speedy and phenomenally well put together Google Pixel XL worth the branding premium?