Color variety, Simplified Android experience
Sporting an outstanding outright price of $179 for the base model, it's something many people believe to be mind-boggling. Just when we thought $349 for the Nexus 5 was pretty darn good, but this obviously takes the cake. It's unlocked, there's variety with its color casings, and the Android experience is also easy to understand, so it's hard not to like it. All told, Motorola is defining what it means to be an entry-level player.
Great value, Decent screen, Slick interface, Android 4.4 incoming
Motorola is back folks, it's official. It may not be the return we would have predicted - there's no flagship phone stuffed full of the latest tech - but arguably what the now Google-owned firm has done is even better.
The Moto G is a top notch, low cost smartphone and we wholeheartedly recommend this as the best budget mobile currently on the market.
A Google phone for the masses. At long last. Nothing like the enigmatic Nexus, drip-fed through the Play Store, attractively priced but hard-to-get.
OK, go ahead and call the Moto G the poor man's Nexus. Just don't call it cheap. For what it has to offer, this phone is beyond cheap - but doesn't look it. And definitely doesn't act like one, for the most part. Bottom line, it's the Nexus 7 of smartphones - perhaps even better.
Good still photos, Cool design, Nice call quality
The Desire 500 is a pretty good shot at the booming lower midrange market for HTC, fusing together an entry-level screen and processor, which, however, do their jobs fine, with some more upscale features like a good 8 MP camera and an eye-catching, youthful design lines.
Here To Charm
You may not be able to tell going by the financial reports alone, but HTC has produced plenty of fine hardware in 2013. The company has consistently delivered well-built stylish smartphones with lots of character and the HTC Desire 500 is no exception.
The handset looks fresh and up-to-date, and delivers handsomely for the price. The plastic build makes the phone light and more affordable, placing it right where the company could really use a boost - the lower midrange market.
Nice, classy design, Bright and clear screen
The HTC Desire 500 is a very good phone that's perfect for light, relatively undemanding users who don't want to put up with the very cheapest phones around. But enthusiasts looking for a good deal are better off looking at the Nexus 5, which offers a lot more for not that much more money.
A great mid-range smartphone with impressive specs and performance
The HTC Desire 500 is a great-looking device, with tons of unique software and solid mid-range smartphone specs on board. It's hard to find any real weaknesses with the phone, including its reasonable £199 price tag. To sum up, it's simply a very good mid-range Android smartphone.
Bright display, Sturdy build
Who's going to buy the HTC Desire 500? Well, we're not entirely sure. If you love the software on the HTC One, but don't have wide enough pockets then it could be for you. But, if you're solely focused on price, the Motorola Moto G is a clean Android and cheaper, while for around £80 more you can get a Nexus 5 with an amazing spec sheet and 4 times the internal storage, plus LTE.
Attractive design, Affordable price, Decent screen
The HTC Desire 500 looks cool, has a decent lineup of specs and at only £199 SIM-free, won't force you to empty your bank account to buy it. If you're after a decent all-round phone that stands out from the other budget Android blowers, it's a good choice to go for.
Nice design, Quad-core processor, Competent camera
For the most part, the HTC Desire 500 performs well, squeezing the best out of its mid-range components and looking good while it does it. The WVGA screen will put off buyers looking for the better resolution, which seems to be a staple of other mid-range phones.
Bright display, Price, Good main camera
We used our Desire 500 review unit over the last couple of days. The smartphone is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 quad-core SoC and supports the common wireless standards WLAN, Bluetooth, GPS and even NFC. Contrary to many HTC devices you can expand the internal storage (4 GB) and also replace the battery. A display resolution of 800x480 pixels is not up to date anymore and cannot compete with the HTC One Mini, for instance.
Handles 3D games flawlessly, Great call quality
There is no such thing as a perfect smartphone, and the Sony Xperia SP won't be the one to break that rule. However, looking at its pros and cons after testing it extensively, we can confidently conclude that its a mid-range smartphone worthy of attention. It is a capable multimedia device suitable for those who want the benefits associated with high-end devices ??
Lower price, Impressive specs
Although not blessed with the looks or specs of the Xperia Z, the Sony Xperia SP is a phone that still deserves a raised eyebrow of appreciation thanks to the combination of spec list and likely price.
The body is smooth and feels quality in the hand, and while the screen is slightly dwarfed by the larger chassis, there's no doubt this is a phone that could fly off the shelves if enough people get fed up with the notion of spending loads of money each month on a handset.
Beautiful and well-built
Sony is doing the right thing by offering a midrange smartphone hot on the heels of their two flagships. Last year, HTC had a similar thing going on with the One X and the One S but failed to capitalize on the width they had through those two excellent devices. We're yet to see whether or not Sony will do better but if you're looking for a capable smartphone in the 300 euro range, the Xperia SP should be high on your short list.
Excellent range of connectivity options
The Xperia SP is a very likeable mid-range phone. It's reasonably powerful for the price, has a stellar line up of features and looks pretty fly too. However, Sony needs to iron out a few quirks in its software, and the phone's battery life isn't quite as impressive as specs would suggest.
An impressive mid-range Android smartphone
The Sony Xperia SP has the spec and price of a mid-range Android smartphone, but when you actually get the device in your hands and start using it any ideas of it being mediocre go out of the window. It really is a class act, so if you're looking for a good phone to browse the web, perform tasks quickly and take decent photos with at a price that won't break the bank, then you really should consider the Xperia SP.
Nice design, frame feels solid in the hand
The Sony Xperia SP is a good mid-range phone. There's power and flexibility on board and there's the performance to back it up, aside from a few minor quirks.
The design of the handset is good too with the metal frame giving the SP a nice solid feel. We're not sold on the flashing bar however, it just seems a little too much at times, especially when you're lying awake at night, watching it illuminate your bedroom.
The camera performance isn't great.
Great design, able to change colors of LED alerts
The Xperia SP could have been a great smartphone with its solid build and great design. However, the poor display and camera performance lets the phone down. Retailing at S$598 in Singapore, the handset seems aggressively priced, especially against the HTC One SV (which has a street price of around S$500 but lower specs). The smartphone will also make its way to other parts of Asia, though Sony has yet to release further information.
Svelte metallic design, Pentaband radio
With its combination of curved lines and sharp metal edges, the slimmest phone out there is undoubtedly one of the most elegant designs we've seen, too, and not only in the Android world.
The Ascend P6 gets almost all major smartphone details right except for the mediocre camera, which has some issues both with pictures and video. For about 400 (USD or EUR), we can't complain if something is lacking on a midranger, especially in such a thin and light package.
Stylish, powerful enough for most uses
We like the P6. It's got good looks, runs well and it feels well built. Yes, there are some really minor niggles, like that daft headphone cover/pin, among some more major issues such as the limited battery life - but we still rather like the phone when it's in full swing.
Incredibly thin, Highly customisable homescreens
If you want a ridiculously slim phone to slide into your pocket and don't mind that its specs are more typical of last year's kit, the Ascend P6 is one to consider. Its overheating is a concern though, as are the small issues with construction and software. Let's hope Huawei sorts them out before it goes on sale.
Clearly arranged operating system
Overall, the Ascend P6 lags behind the current first league of smartphones in a few points. Nevertheless, it is an impressive phone but not only because of its very slim build and good workmanship. Users who do not need LTE or a Full HD screen and can accept a lower performance will get a good smartphone for just under 450 Euros (~$599), which is more located in the midrange than the premium range.
Great design, Super thin form factor
The Ascend P6 combines a good set of hardware in a very sexy design and super thin form factor that very few other handsets have achieved. Huawei has certainly done a lot of effort in order to give the P6 the title of worldÃ¢Â? Â? thinnest and the attention to detail is very evident.
It's a looker - compact and stylish
The Sony Xperia M is a phone with good looks, streamlined user interface that we actually like, and a powerful chip for its class. Not a bad combination, is it? It has its downsides - we wish the screen was a bit better, but our biggest complaint right now is price. The handset sells for prices of between $200 and $250 off contract, and that is a bit steeper than weÃ¢Â?Â?d like for such a device.
Offers a relatively big and sharp screen
Sony has had some very strong contenders at the entry level: the Xperia U was the cheapest dual-core you can get for a long time and the M is its spiritual successor. Most phones in this price range have Cortex-A5/A7 chipsets and can't shoot 720p video.
The Sony Xperia M has a lot going for it - attractive design, compact size and good build, and a reasonably powerful chipset for the class.
cheap Android phone is okay, but there are better budget phones
Well built and designed, and with great battery life, we can't be too harsh on the Xperia M. Performance an connectivity is good enough, but these days for this price we want better from the display and camera. Not a bad phone, but there are better rivals on the market.
Quality build, Available in four colors
Sony's 4-inch Samurai proved to be a little hot-head that fits in every pocket due to its compact size in the test. We particularly liked the quality build and the strong graphics unit considering it is an entry-level phone. The Xperia M also scores with its phone qualities. The message LED is a nifty and useful feature that has been implemented well in the design.
On the other side, the middling screen is at the top of the list.
Likeable design, Great screen quality
Nokia has covered pretty much all price points with its Lumias, with the 520 and 620 being even cheaper, but if you plan on going that way, keep in mind that you are going to get what you're paying for. We also don't encourage you to purchase the Lumia 820, because it simply lacks the finesse of the 720. Yes, it has a slightly better processor and a bit more RAM, but specs don't really matter much when real-life performance speaks otherwise.
Slick OS, Good camera, Attractive design
We really like the Nokia Lumia 720, it's a great all round smartphone and while it doesn't do enough for us to love it, we would seriously recommend it.
It falls into a difficult place in the market with strong competition from the Samsung Galaxy S3 mini and HTC One S, but both of those handsets are getting on a bit and the Lumia 720 has the vitality of youth in its favour.
Widest aperture on a phone yet
The Nokia Lumia 720 may be some of the best work we've seen from the Finns recently - not a pricy best-of-the-best flagship, but an affordable, well-built phone that packs more than enough features to get users interested. It has its nagging flaws, but as an overall package it's hard to beat.
Higher-end features without a massive display
In some ways, the Lumia 720 is everything we've asked for from Nokia. It's slickly designed and has superlative battery life, the camera out-performs rivals in the same price bracket, and the screen - though lower resolution than we like - is a nice compromise of size, outdoor usability, and general clarity.
Beautiful 720p display, Slim and light
All in all, the Huawei Ascend P2 is an okay mid-range Android smartphone. It is far from being the ultimate device of this class, but it gets the job done and it doesn't have any major drawbacks, save for the inexplicable lack of a microSD card slot. The pretty, 4.7-inch display tops the list of things we like about it, followed by the slim profile and lightweight body, so if these are the features you value the most, then the Ascend P2 won't disappoint.
Decent screen, Great camera, Super fast 4G
The Huawei Ascend P2 is a solid mid- to high-end smartphone with some decent features and a pleasing array of specs.
It doesn't quite have the build quality of the iPhone 5 or HTC One, nor does it have the same snappiness as the excellent Galaxy S3, and the Emotion UI may not be every Android fan's cup of tea.
First phone to support LTE CAT4
The Huawei Ascend P2 is a phone that will live or die by its pricing. It's set to sell for 399Euro, but exactly what thatÃ¢Â? Â? ll translate to in the UK is up for debate. The Huawei Ascend P2 a solid, well-made phone with solid specs, providing everything most people need without the arguable diminishing returns some of 2013's "mobile innovations" come with.
Decent style, solid battery life
Small, light, pleasant to look at and packed with a decent screen and powerful processor. On the surface, the Huawei looks like the perfect purchase for many. The truth, however, is that it doesn't quite meet the spec with its performance. There's more lag here than we'd expect, and the phone never feels all that nippy.
Even so, it remains a good choice in the mid to high-mid market.
Fast and responsive
Huawei is good at delivering strong, affordable handsets with good design and great screens. This is no exception and will be a great mid-range phone though the smartphone stakes are high now with powerful and punchy phones being released from every manufacturer.
The exceptionally nippy modem is a key standout, but may not be enough to set it apart when network speeds won't routinely reach the maximum levels possible here. Still, it feels good and has a strong 13MP camera.
Slimline design, good specs, decent camera
The Huawei Ascend P2 is a competent handset that sits neatly in the upper mid-range of the smartphone hierarchy. While there are a few glints of creativity, for the most part it is an unassuming device for people who want an Android phone that isn't too flashy and will do what they want without gimmicks. At just £299 SIM-free, it's a definite contender.
A bright and uniformly illuminated display
Huawei presents a good smartphone in the mid-range with the Ascend G700. It has a very good price versus performance ratio. Furthermore, the display is really good and comes with a higher resolution than its direct competitor the Acer Liquid E2 Duo. Moreover, both the RAM and the flash memory have twice the size of the competitor. Then it does not hurt so much even if the memory is somewhat slower.
The Samsung Galaxy S III is a spectacular phone. A big part of what makes it spectacular is its incredible specs sheet. Yeah, although its specs can easily be rivaled by strong competitors like the HTC One X, which also has a quad-core processor and the other beloved tech goodies, the Galaxy S III manages to shine brighter, thanks to its superior user experience.
Excellent battery life
So to summarise: if you've been waiting feverishly for the new Samsung Galaxy S3, you will not be disappointed. It's fast, it's sleek and it packs the latest technology that will get your pulse racing.
The recent update has made it an even better phone, and we've been using it out of choice for the last few months - given we've got the choice of most handsets out there, that's a pretty big recommendation for any phone.
Good design and build quality
Subject to further testing, the Galaxy S3 has turned out to be an excellent smartphone. It offers a good design and build quality, despite our small niggles. Samsung has put together an impressive set of hardware resulting in silky smooth performance and extensive software features.
Fast, big display and a great camera
Is the Samsung Galaxy S III an excellent smartphone? Yes it is. Given the millions of preorders, I suspect many of you would buy this no matter what I said about the phone. That speaks of Samsung's momentum in the smartphone market and their excellent track record. Is this Samsung's best Android phone ever? Yes it is, but there is room for improvement. I'd love to see Samsung use high quality materials and cutting edge designs in their top tier phone.
Appealing design, Vivid 4.3 in display
With all its downsides, we can see the case for the Desire 300. HTC has priced this well. If you can live with the slight lag and appreciate the design and in-hand feel, it is not a bad deal at its very affordable starting full retail price of around $200 (180 euro in Europe).
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