Excellent low-lighting photo performance
Obviously, it's not the most mouthwatering inducing iPhone we've seen to date, but considering that it hits the mark in the categories that matter the most, the iPhone 5s proves itself as being a feared competitor in the space. Like we said, there's nothing in the specs or hardware department that would terrify its rivals, but the updated iOS 7 experience is enough to make this iPhone look and feel different from past ones.
Powerful core, Touch ID is a real step up, Excellent camera
So to say this is the best iPhone yet is relatively pointless, as of course it was going to be. But the combination of iOS 7 to freshen things up with a powerful core and great camera mean that this phone should be considered on its own considerable merits, and while the high price will continue to put many off, anyone already wedded to the iPhone bandwagon, or even if they're just on the fence, will find a lot of joy in a phone that's a lot more than an iterative update.
Pushes the major re-design another year back
For half a decade Apple made just one iPhone a year and each was at least in the running for the best phone of the season. This year is different but at one point it seemed so for the wrong reasons. For a moment there, we thought Apple may have ended up with no potential winner out of two runners in the race.
Never mind the 5c, it's an old phone in new clothes, but yes, we were that skeptical about the 5s at first.
A7 chip offers fast performance and 64-bit support
The 5s is a solid effort from Apple, but its true worth is yet to be determined. If developers come up with clever ways to take advantage of the M7 coprocessor and the 64-bit support in iOS 7, the 5s will truly shine. If not, many people might just wait it out another year.
Pros: Touch ID fingerprint sensor, A7 processor.
The iPhone 5S fulfils the pre-determined destiny of all Apple "S" devices - it's the one that's normally met by the baying crowd as "meh". . At the start of this review someone asked what we though of the iPhone 5S in two words and we replied "same as". But the more we've played with it, the more we've used it, and the more it's clear that Apple has made vast improvements here, even if we are yet to see the full realisation of those improvements.
Improved camera and flash, Wide LTE support
We kicked off this review by stating the 5s has the potential to be Apple's most game-changing iPhone since inception. Apple is clearly looking to future-proof its handset while offering developers the opportunity to take advantages of its 64-bit architecture, A7 chip and M7 Coprocessor. Right now, you won't really experience what this phone is capable of. Give it six months and we'd expect some truly groundbreaking apps to appear.
Color variety with its design, Solid build quality for a plastic phone
Even though the high-end segment seems to get all of the attention, the mid-range landscape is quickly seeing the same level of competition. In that sense, the iPhone 5c proves itself as one those trailblazers in the space thatâ??ll keep the heat turned up against the competition.
Bright and cheerful new colors, Solid value
The colorful, plastic iPhone 5c is a welcome upgrade for existing iPhone 4 and 4S owners, and a great introduction to Apple's awesome app platform at a nice price. It's the best $99 phone you'll find on Verizon Wireless, but otherwise, there's not much new to see here.
Colourful options, Smooth OS, Decent battery life
If you're paying a larger price you want a phone which looks and feels premium, and while the iPhone 5C comes with all the Apple hallmarks and tradition, it's a device that falls between two camps. If you want the best Apple has to offer and you're coming from a 4S, then go for the new 5S.
The color of magic
The Apple iPhone 5c is a very solid smartphone - we know it well because we've spent a year with its previous alter ego, the iPhone 5. Try as we might though, we didn't find any difference between the iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5 that goes beyond the exterior. Sure the battery has grown by 70 mAh, but that's not the kind of difference you can feel in real-life usage.
Glossy, smooth and feels nice in the hand
The iPhone 5C is a nice smartphone. However, we just can't see the need for it in the first place, unless it was cheaper. It's too expensive for what is effectively an iPhone 5 in a plastic shell with minor changes in hardware. There are better and cheaper Android devices on the market and those wishing to stick with iOS should pay the extra £80 for the iPhone 5S.
Excellent build quality, iOS 7 rocks
Taking everything that made the iPhone 5 great and adding in a few more bells and whistles. The iPhone 5C is not the iPhone 5S, but it's still a great little handset in its own right. Should prices come down - which they inevitably will - this handset could become very, very, popular.
Pros: Colourful, solid.
The iPhone 5C is a lovely phone that is solid in its performance and playful it its approach. The combination of the colourful exterior sits beautifully against the latest iOS 7 operating system and it's good to see Apple ditching the ode to faux leather and yellow legal paper shtick. New Apple is an embrace of a modern future. . As an upgrade to the iPhone 4S, the 5C is a perfect option, and it refreshes the iPhone 5 in a way that makes it a lot more fun than the iPhone 5 ever was.
Large screen, compact phone
Samsung didn't exactly catch us by surprise with the Galaxy S4. Pretty much all the hardware improvements like the faster processor, better camera, and 5" 1080p screen were expected. Samsung simply had to have those in the Galaxy S4 if it wanted its product to be relevant in 2013. However, it's the flawless implementation of all the features that makes the Galaxy S4 the superb smartphone that it is. Design-wise, the latest Samsung flagship is nothing special.
Stunning screen, Superfast processor, Great camera
Make no mistake - the Samsung Galaxy S4 is far, far more than a Galaxy S3 'S' - Samsung may be copying Apple according to some people, but it's not as brazen as the Cupertino brand in flogging the exact same design with a slightly uprated processor and calling it a new phone.
The Galaxy S4 is a great, great device in its own right, re-inventing what it means to own a brilliant smartphone in a number of ways.
More serious and stylish look
While the Samsung Galaxy S4's exterior might be its Achilles' heel, we can't blame Samsung for sticking with the Galaxy S brand image it spent so much resources trying to build (that phone sold over 50 million units too, so being associated with it cannot be too bad).
With the sheer number of excellent flagships to choose from, if you are looking for the best smartphone, you had it better than ever.
Stunning 5-inch Full HD screen
The Samsung Galaxy S4 might not look that different or have that one killer feature that sinks the competition, but it's a worthy successor to the Samsung Galaxy S3.
It's a true high-end powerhouse and undeniably one of the best phones on the market right now, albeit one that will relies a little too heavily on brand appeal and past successes rather than innovation and eye-catching design. Yes, it might not be the most stylish handset on the market, but nor is it a dog.
Huge display in a not so huge phone, excellent camera
The Samsung Galaxy line of smartphones is a juggernaut; like the iPhone, the next generation will sell well based simply on brand loyalty, trust and familiarity. Even so, the Samsung Galaxy S4 has a lot to offer, and though I wasn't overwhelmed with love for the Galaxy S III, the S4 is seriously tempting me. The superb camera and related features, comfortable feel in the hand, replaceable battery and software like Smart Stay and Air Gesture are hard to give up once you've used them.
A brilliant phone in almost every way
As we type this we have the SGS3 and the SGS4 on our desk. While, superficially, there's really not a lot of difference between the two, to hold, they couldn't feel more different. We really like the new, more square-feeling SGS4. At the back, we prefer the SGS3 aesthetically, although the case design of the new phone is nicer - albeit still plastic.
There are a stack more options here.
High-resolution display, Fast processor
An alternative to the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active - with such impressive characteristics and top-of-the-line hardware specs - is pretty hard to find. As of this review, the Sony Xperia Z is the only capable competitor to Samsung's tough handset as it is also water-resistant and with high-end hardware specifications.
IP57-level water resistance is nice
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is not the best smartphone in the Samsung lineup, but if you add "that I can put in water," things definitely change. It's a very good 2013 flagship aimed at people who until recently had very few options - as you can see there aren't many high-end smartphones with water resistance.
Sure not everyone needs to have an IP57 certified handset, but if it doesn't cost anything in terms of overall smartphone performance than it certainly doesn't hurt having it.
Able to handle dust, water, and all the vicissitudes
We really like the Galaxy S4 Active. It's got the kind of features that we wish the flagship smartphone has. There is a downgrade with some specifications but they don't seem like a big sacrifice. Performance is excellent and the neither display nor the camera could be described as poor. If you want durability, this is the Galaxy S4 for you but it's worth checking out the Xperia Z as an alternative.
Same great features as Galaxy S4 though the camera resolution is demoted
If you love the Samsung Galaxy S4, but work or play in harsh environments where the phone comes into contact with water and dust, then the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is for you. In order to keep the price the same as the regular GS4, Samsung dropped the camera quality down a notch, but you're still getting a very good shooter than can even photograph fishies underwater.
Wow just wow
The Samsung Galaxy s4 active is probably the phone to have right now on the market. Although pretty pricey it is literally a "Smart" phone. The phone may be a little bit bulkier than the other phones in the past, it is life proof, literally. When I purchased the phone the first thing I did was test it to see if it could last in water. I poured water straight into the sound output then played music straight after, and the sound quality was perfect.
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.
Very light and compact for the screen size
LG is taking a sizeable risk by putting stellar specs in a 5.5-incher - despite that the phone is surprisingly compact and light for such a screen size, thanks to the minimum bezel, it still feels a bit unwieldy for anything but a Shaq-sized hand, though less so than the Note II with the same screen size, for instance.
New Snapdragon 600 chipset
The LG Optimus G Pro is the most advanced phablet on the market at the moment. It's also one of the few devices with a 1080p screen that's bigger than 5". The new Snapdragon 600 chipset is still rare enough too.
The updated version of QSlide is there to make full use of the hardware - you can have up to two floating apps running alongside a full screen app, the big screen and fast quad-core Krait 300 CPU wouldn't be giving their 100% otherwise.
Screen transitions and animations are extremely smooth and fast
The LG Optimus G Pro is a very fast and capable phone, let down slightly by a poorly designed user interface and a camera that doesn't quite live up to the billing. It is, however, one of the better large screen smartphones currently available if you can live with these annoying, but not terminal, flaws. You can pick up one of these phablets for as little as $99.00 with a two-year plan from AT&T (amongst other carriers), which is less than half the cost of the Samsung Galaxy Note and Note 2.
Huge IPS full HD display, very fast CPU and GPU, very good camera
The LG Optimus G Pro has everything a super-phone should, except Samsung and Apple's glorious reputations and marketing budgets. In fact, I do wonder if this Android smartphone will get all the respect it deserves. It's LG's best Android phone to date, and we're impressed at the rapid progress they show here in both hardware and software. Yes, it could look more chic and elegant, but one could easily say the same of other Android phones.
Competition to Note II
Seriously, this is one tough competitor to Note 2. I just played with it at my friend's place. Screen is amazing. 1080 x 1920 pixels, 5.5 inches (~401 ppi pixel density). Without the stylus, it is same size as Note 2. The crapware on this is incredible. I tried the AT&T version. It has LG and AT&T crapware, and is locked, otherwise the international unlocked and AT&T versions are similar in specs. On the AT&T, out of 32 GB, around 10GB was gobbled up by stock firmware and other crap.
Processor benchmarks are up with the best
We can't say that HTC "took a sad song and made it better" by upgrading to the One X+, as the One X handset is pretty capable. HTC, however, changed the specs where it most counts, and as a result we have a handset that can go neck and neck with the seasonal Android flagships in everything but camera performance.
As we said, the HTC One X+ had the potential to be the first five star smartphone since the Samsung Galaxy S2, but unfortunately it's quite literally run out of juice before the final hurdle.
There are so many things to love about the One X+ and it really is a great smartphone. We urge you to give it a whirl in store, and while it may not have the fancy tricks of the Galaxy S3, or the cult following of the iPhone 5, it's happily rubbing shoulders with the big boys.
Stylish, solid design, Large amount of built-in storage
The HTC One X+ really is a top class high-end Android phone. It looks great, has bags of power and is rammed full of useful tweaks and features. If you're looking for a strong alternative to the Galaxy S3, then the One X+ is the phone to go for.
Superb display, lovely design, comfy in hand, very fast
A good thing just got better: with a faster processor, gobs of internal storage and a higher capacity battery, the HTC One X+ is an excellent evolutionary improvement over one of HTC's top phones, the One X. If you already own a One X that's not likely to sell you on an out of contract upgrade, but for those who are shopping for a new phone on contract, the One X+ holds up nicely against the top smartphones on AT&T. It's got a classy look, it feels great in the hand and the display is superb.
What a great phone!
The screen on this phone is amazing. I recently switched from an iPhone, and I have to say, I was very nervous about moving to a new device that didn't have a "retina" display. However, all nerves went out the window when I held this phone in my hand the first time. The screen packs more pixels per inch than the iPhone and is very true to color, offering a phenomenal viewing experience.
Glorious display, great finish and build quality
Is it substantially better than the HTC One X? While many of the key elements of the phone are the same, it's the battery that makes the biggest difference to us. It was the weakest element of the previous device and it's now a better performer. If you're a One X owner, this is the thing you should be envious of.
How does it compare to something like the Samsung Galaxy S III?
Huge new features & several useful tweaks
In the end, iOS 5 seems more about fixing a lot of niggling annoyances than offering a completely new phone. And though we'd always love more, that's fine with us. Over-the-air syncing is probably the biggest relief for most iOS device owners, but improvements to iMessage, integrated Twitter features, useful but fairly simple camera upgrades, and the addition of task management and reminders are marked improvements over past versions.
Exquisite noise cancellation & calling quality
Undeniably, the iPhone 5 is the most highly anticipated smartphone of the year rightfully so considering that this sixth-generation sees one major design overhaul! For some time now, the competition has been leaping over the iPhone 4S specs sheet, but with the introduction of the iPhone 5, Apple has seemingly addressed many of the desires and wants of iPhone owners.
Great design & Larger screen
Is the iPhone 5 the best smartphone ever? If you're an iPhone lover and won't ever leave, without question. It's got a larger screen, a superb new design and generally all the moves required to make it into a worthy evolution.
But as ever we can't get over the price of the iPhone 5, with very little reason to prove that spending all that extra cash brings a tangible benefit.
A very solid effort
The Apple iPhone 5 is a very solid effort, a purchase which few are likely to regret. However, it fails to be one of the revolutionary products its maker is known for.
We are not sure if it's due to complacency or the innovation well has simply dried up, but Apple has let competition catch up and even take the lead second year in a row.
Stunning design and build
Apple has once again blown us away with its latest iPhone, producing a phone that stands head and shoulders above the competition when it comes to industrial design. It's slimmer, lighter and better looking than before, and yet it packs in a larger screen and faster processor. The new panorama mode on the camera is also superb and the new Earpods are a nice improvement too.
Beautifully built, top performer
The iPhone 5 really is much more than a tall iPhone 4S with a new plug. The people may demand a revolution every upgrade season. But Apple may just have supplied what the people need, not what they say they want. And that's a powerful evolution on the theme of iPhone which is currently putting the competiton back on the starting blocks.
Beautiful, sophisticated design
The iPhone 5 is a significant improvement over the iPhone 4S in nearly every regard, and in those areas that didn't see an upgrade over its predecessor -- camera, storage capacity -- one could make a strong case that the iPhone 4S was already ahead of the curve. Every area, that is, except for the OS. If anything, it's the operating system here that's beginning to feel a bit dated and beginning to show its age.
Still, the iPhone 5 absolutely shines.
Its Hard To Dislike an iPhone, but
It is really hard to dislike an iPhone but this really seems to missing something. It is missing that undefinable quality that makes me want to stand for hours waiting inline to be the first one to get the awaited iPhone. I am going to keep this iPhone, but am going to be using my Galaxy S3.
Fast quad-core processor delivers great performance
If you thought Xperia Z is amazing, but could make do without the waterproof part of it, Sony's got you covered, as it introduced the Xperia ZL sibling, with an even more compact design. With its 5.18" x 2.74" x 0.38", it is shorter than the Z, and a soft-touch curved back nestles it comfortably in your palm grip. The microSIM and microSD slots are situated under a large flap at the back bottom, and the phone is graced with a dedicated shutter key, unlike the glassy, watertight Z.
Compact handset that fits the bill
The most compact FullHD five-incher is the Xperia ZL's defining feature - and the emphasis is on compact. But ... the Xperia ZL is a FullHD five-incher after all, and for Sony having two horses in the flagship race must feel good. Plus, there's always people who like to cheer for the dark horse.
1080p display is gorgeous
Should you run out and buy an Xperia ZL? In a word, no. There's nothing expressly wrong with it: I rather like the design, which feels modern, if a bit run-of-the-mill. It performs well, serves up plenty of battery life for average use cases, and even has a nice camera once you get used to its limitations (or aren't especially picky). But there are just too many great options out there, and while the Xperia ZL won't disappoint, your money will be better spent elsewhere.
Unlocked with 4G LTE, very good camera
If you're fond of Sony's smartphones and software experience, the Xperia ZL is particularly attractive as a no-contract smartphone. It's fast, the UI is clean and pleasing and the camera is very good. Here in the US, I suspect no-contract high end phones are beat out by carrier subsidized models, but for those of you who appreciate an unlocked world phone or perhaps aren't due for a subsidized upgrade, the Sony Xperia XL has its appeal (especially because you can use it on both AT&T and...
Affordable price point
Taking into account the $99.99 on-contract price attached to the HTC 8X right from the onset, it's at an attractive price point that would handedly reel in some curious bystanders. To HTC's credit, we absolutely love the direction they went with the 8X's design, as it seemingly stands out magnificently from the staple of cold industrial designs we're normally bombarded with.
Elegant, latest WP8 OS
When we reviewed earlier Windows Phone handsets, we were told the platform needed time to bed in.
It's had that and it's evolved but we can't help feeling there are still a few areas it really is left lacking. Things like the poor media support are inexcusable and these are places where Microsoft is to blame more than HTC.
We're sure it will be fixed but it takes the gloss off a new purchase when things like this don't work flawlessly.
Colorful and eye-catching design
The 8X is available on AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, so you have no excuse not to pick one up. It's a toss-up with the Lumia 920: if you love music, the 8X is for you. But if you're a shutterbug, you can't beat the 920's outstanding camera. In the end, only choose either if you don't need obscure apps, because you won't find them on Windows. But if you're willing to give the software a shot, the 8X is a solid choice.
Boasts a 1280x720-pixel HD resolution
I am going to hold my hands up and say that I used to be a massive fan of anything made by HTC. I have owned, in total, around seven different Android handsets by the Taiwanese giant, including the Hero, Desire, and Sensation XE. But whilst my love has been transferred to Samsung in more recent years, I was very keen to get my hands on the 8X and to see what HTC would do with the Windows Phone 8 operating system.
Rubbery finish is pleasant to the touch and aids grip
The HTC Windows Phone 8X is the best all-rounder of the Windows Phone 8 smartphones we've tried. It has a different and less comprehensive selection of pre-loaded apps to Nokia models, but the hardware is better than the identically priced Lumia 820.
Gorgeous design and cool colors
The HTC is unique looking, absolutely stunning and we love the color selection. It's a quality piece of hardware with an excellent HD display, Beats audio and it's plenty fast. Windows Phone 8's app selection is gaining steam and the OS is now robust enough that it's a good time to try Windows Phone. The HTC 8X's biggest problem in the US is the bargain priced yet high end Nokia Lumia 920 that sells for less and doubles storage while adding excellent free navigation.
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