The current trend in smartphone material is to either produce devices with metal encasing like the HTC One line, or offer various finishes like the Moto X. If you decide to go for another brand or model, you are out of luck and have to resort to accessories to personalize your phone. Enter skin decals, and Slickwraps.
Android Phone Reviews
The Nokia Lumia 1020, running Windows Phone, has been the camera and video champion of the smartphone world for the best part of a year now and, in terms of imaging, the benchmark against which Android-powered devices have to match up. It does seem as if the Galaxy S5, tested here, is now getting very close to the 1020 overall. A few pros and cons for each along the way, but I’d say that the S5’s ISOCELL 1/2.6″ sensor produces video that should be more than good enough for any new users under almost any conditions.
Here’s a riddle for you. What’s larger, heavier and contains more plastic than a Samsung Galaxy S4? Answer: a Galaxy S5. Which isn’t a good start for a review, but it’s very definitely not all bad news, don’t worry, the differences are marginal and there’s plenty here to really enjoy in a high-specced gadget. Of course, whether it’s worth upgrading from the trusty Galaxy S4, reviewed here, is another matter – whether you do so is more to do with how much you’ll use the S5’s star feature, its IP67 water-proofing and dust resistance. How active are you really?
Positioned, arguably, at the opposite end of the smartphone spectrum from Samsung, with a sealed design made from metal and with idiosyncratic component choices, the HTC One won critical acclaim in 2013 (here’s our full long term review) though didn’t achieve mass market sales in the same way as its plastic-favouring Far Eastern rivals. The new ‘M8’ variant of the One keeps the HTC design fairly and squarely left field, though, as before, there’s a lot to like.
Last month at Mobile World Congress, Nokia answered the prayers of many of its loyalists and Android lovers by releasing not one but a trio of Android running handsets — the Nokia X, XL and XL+. All three handsets are aimed at the low-end market and run the open source flavour of Android, instead of the Google one. While the Nokia XL and XL+ are slated to go on sale sometime in Q2, the Nokia X is already up for sale in certain regions of the world. We take the handset out for a spin to find out how good Nokia’s first Android phone really is.
It’s no secret to anyone who follows me on Twitter that I have rarely been as vocally positive about a smartphone as the LG G2 [Read our full review here]. I have owned this device since its launch and I find myself using it daily with nay a modification. Despite my love for custom ROMs, I didn’t even root the G2 mainly because some of LG’s features have grown on me and I couldn’t live without them. Here they are.
LG and Samsung have been showing off curved AMOLED displays in prototype form for the last couple of years. However, it is only now that the technology has matured enough for it to make into mainstream products from both companies. And while Samsung’s Galaxy Round is still more of a prototype with limited availability, LG has gone ahead and released its curved smartphone — the G Flex — in almost all the major markets of the world.
I have to confess to not always agreeing with industry trends. Non-expandable storage and sealed batteries come near the top of my list here. But there’s one trend I heartily approve of – the possibility to get smaller versions of flagship phones. Except you usually don’t – you get a very watered down version that’s 30% smaller but 200% less satisfying. The exception, featured here, is the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact. While by no means perfect, at least you can’t accuse Sony on skimping on the internals….
Just when you think monoblock smartphone form factors have stabilised – if not in absolute size – along comes the Oppo N1 aiming to shake things up a little. Taller and thinner than other phablets, with an innovative swivelling camera, plus the distinction of being the first production device in the world to ship with the enormously popular Cyanogen Mod Android firmware, the N1 is a lot of smartphone for (comparatively) not that much money. But what are its pros and cons – should you take a chance on this relatively unknown manufacturer?
Motorola started selling the Moto X last year in the US and brought the flagship phone to Europe starting this month. The smartphone will debut in France, the UK and Germany for a £399 ($650) or €399 ($520), which puts the phone slightly above the Nexus 5 (£299) in price. Is the Moto X worth the hype Motorola has been giving it? Read on to find out.