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.
Killer price for an unlocked smartphone, Fast next-generation CPU and GPU
Google has delivered an impressive smartphone with the Nexus 5 from LG, an unlocked powerhouse with a palatable price and solid performance, and the new Android 4.4.1 KitKat update largely fixes the phone's initial camera problems.
Great screen, Low price, Blazing performance
Although the issues we take with the Nexus 5 are considerable, they're not enough to keep us from recommending this device.
One of the issues we have, which is the lackluster camera, might be resolved with a software fix. And even if it were a minor fix, it's not so bad that you'll never be able to take good photos with it.
What really gets us here is what we're not used to seeing, and that's a device with these kinds of specs at this price point.
Impressively spec'd smartphone at a bargain price
It's a year since Google made a splash with an impressively spec'd smartphone at a bargain price. The Nexus 4 wasn't a financial success perhaps but making a profit off selling hardware is rarely the first thing on Google's mind. The pure Android experience was the major selling point and getting more people into their cloud services must've been worth the investment - the Nexus price is clearly subsidized, the way Amazon subsidizes its Kindle tablets so it can make profit on selling content.
Great features at a low price with no contract commitment
The Nexus 5 isn't the best smartphone on the market. In fact, there isn't a "best phone", because folks' needs are different: some want a small phone, others want lots of software features and still others want a phablet or a pen. The Nexus 5 is undoubtedly the best smartphone you can buy for just $349 full retail. It has a great mix of features for the price including a very fast CPU, a sharp full HD IPS display and the promise of always running the latest OS.
Pros: Value for money, display.
There's a lot packed into the Nexus 5, particularly given the £299 and £339 pricepoints for 16GB and 32GB respectively. For that money, you get a display that rivals devices that cost some £200 more, and a chipset that is, in many cases, more powerful. In addition to that, you have a Nexus device, meaning it's uncluttered by bloat and first in line for Android updates.
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.
Clean, complete, and thought-out interface
Undeniably, Verizon Wireless customers are surely lucky because the Samsung Galaxy Nexus managed to make its landing this year as opposed to being delayed to next year. Who cares that the carrier missed out with a Galaxy S II model of its own, well, customers have consolation knowing that the Galaxy Nexus makes for a wonderful alternative seeing it's the first device stateside to land with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
We already knew more-or-less what we were getting with the Verizon rendition of the Galaxy Nexus, and ultimately it delivers. Yes, battery life predictably takes a hit compared to the HSPA+ when you enable LTE, and it's safe to say this version of the phone has a bit more to love than the earlier release, but neither of those are deal-breakers. This, like the other version, is a great phone.
There is, quite simply, no better Windows Phone smartphone on the market than the Nokia Lumia 800. It features wonderful hardware in terms of both design and quality, and Microsoft's operating system runs more smoothly on the Lumia than on any other Windows Phone to date. This phone is a flat out winner, and a great alternative for those that wish to rise above the flood of iPhones and Android smartphones that we wade through daily.
Solid, stylized design
And so it begins, Nokia's partnership with Microsoft has reached fruition and the first taste is in our hands. Bearing in mind how quickly Nokia got this to market, the custom Nokia Apps they pulled out of the bag and the reformatting of MeeGo hardware to fit a Windows Phone platform, we can do little but commend. The Nokia Lumia 800 sports a beautiful screen, slick design and promising OS only made more attractive by the inclusion of Nokia Maps, Drive and Music.
Although we had our doubts during initial familiarisation with the Nokia WP7 environment, the transition from the Symbian environment will be much less painful than expected for those still entranced by the Nokia brand. In less than 48 hours we went from wanting to return to our old phones to not wanting to let go of this one. After four months with the Nokia Lumia 800 we still don't want to let it go, although we have had to accept some of its negatives to make the most of its positives.
The Nokia Lumia 800 is a well built and handsome handset with a solid set of features. However, its combination of mediocre specs and mostly standard implementation of Windows Phone certainly doesn't catapult it above the competition. It's definitely one of the better Windows Phones, and the Nokia exclusives like Nokia Drive and Mix Radio have the potential to be great features, but considering the fanfare, we're a bit underwhelmed.
Comfort is quite good
As much a fashion accessory as it is a headset, Nokia's BH-800 mono Bluetooth headset puts on a good show despite its compact size. Its mediocre range and average battery life are likely both consequences of its design, while the rubber-encircled speaker insert is less so; still, comfort is quite good once the initial (and cumbersome) adaptation has been carried out, and the headset's easily-distinguished keys and good quality further contribute to a positive overall impression.
Sturdy and sleek construction, with a vivid display
The Nokia Lumia 800 is probably Nokia's best smartphone so far. It has a sturdy and sleek construction, with a vivid display, paired with refreshing software from Microsoft. If you are just upgrading to a smartphone or you have one of Nokia's Symbian devices, then the Lumia 800 is a stellar upgrade: it's fast, easy to use and it looks great.
Sturdy, elegant design
The Nokia Lumia 800 is probably Nokia's best smartphone so far. It has a sturdy and sleek construction plus a vivid display, paired with refreshing software from Microsoft. If you are just moving up to a smartphone, or if you have one of Nokia's Symbian devices, the Lumia 800 is a stellar upgrade: It's fast, it's easy to use, and it looks great.
The mid-end price point coupled with the simplistic Windows Phone OS and the unibody chassis of Nokia N9 is definitely a good buy. The Nokia Lumia 800 definitely is a great choice to include to your to -buy list.
However, the drawback will be the limited applications available for Windows Phone (for now) and the absence of mass storage. Overall, you will find it a pretty decent partner to go with, especially when it is priced at RM1650.
Excellent hardware construction
The Apple iPhone 4S may not have a brand-new design or some of the features that other top-tier smartphones do these days (such as a larger screen or 4G connectivity), but it does offer what is arguably the best smartphone experience of any device on the market now. It improves upon the massively successful iPhone 4, and takes the crown as the best smartphone you can get.
Innovative Siri personal assistant
Unless you're a diehard fan of the iPhone and have an unlimited stash of moolah lying around waiting to be used, or simply have an upgrade available, there's no denying that you'll find the iPhone 4S as the most amazing one yet. Sure we love its faster dual-core processor and improved camera, but the single best feature with the smartphone is found with Siri -it simply just works! However, not everything is peachy with the handset, which is evident by its less than gracious battery life.
Fastest, longest-lasting and easiest to use smartphone on the market
If the iPhone 4 had been already trounced by recent Android competition, there'd be more ground to make up. Yet last year's iPhone 4 remains in 2011 about the fastest, longest-lasting and easiest to use smartphone on the market. The Apple iPhone 4S simply ups the ante with a faster processor and graphics to take on dedicated consoles improved camera optics and a talking assistant that can genuinely make your life easier. There's a lot to be said for refining an already winning formula.
Yes, it's a dead ringer for the iPhone 4, but the iPhone 4S serves as a reminder that true innovation is never skin deep. With Siri, Apple has managed to make voice control not only natural but cool. The sharper and brighter camera, smooth 1080p camcorder, and zippier dual-core processor all solidify the iPhone 4S as the best phone on AT&T. iPhone 4 owners in the middle of their contracts are likely better off waiting for the iPhone 5, as iOS 5 and iCloud will extend the life of your device.
New iOS 5 features keep it competitive
The iPhone 4S is every bit a smartphone, and an excellent one at that. The range of functionality that it delivers, along with the entire ecosystem that it inhabits, still make it one of the best phones on the market. Apple has done an excellent job pushing things like the App Store and incorporating features that see wider adoption, like AirPlay, its wireless streaming system, for example.
Fantastic qHD display, blazing LTE speeds
If you can look past the battery life on the Motorola RAZR DROID, or opt to disable LTE, then it is a darn near perfect cap to the 2011 smartphone season - and I include the Google Galaxy Nexus in that. This phone has made me much less interested in Google's coming Ice Cream Sandwich wunderkind.
But the battery issues on "true" 4G devices are real, and there's not a Verizon LTE phone available that can make it through a day of reasonable use without a charger.
Stand-out design, materials and build quality
Overall, the Motorola DROID RAZR is indeed a device that'll tangle with the juggernauts in the industry especially when it's packing that all too sweet 4G LTE connectivity with Verizon Wireless. Sure it operates smoothly with its movements, but we're curious to see how its real-word battery handles in the long run. For the $299.99 that Big Red is asking for, it's obviously warranted considering it's everything that we find with the DROID BIONIC, but better!
Super slim yet solidly built
The Motorola Droid RAZR XT910 certainly isn't perfect with its slightly too large body, inelegant raised bezel and pentile AMOLED screen but it has so many other qualities that put it above the competition that on balance it's one we recommend. The screen is dazzling and great for watching video, which the phone excels at playing, there are some great software features and, sure, it's impressively slim too, if you like that sort of thing.
The Droid Razr Maxx greatly improves upon what was perhaps the biggest weakness of the Droid Razr: battery life. If you plan on watching a lot of video or doing some heavy duty gaming on your phone, the Razr Maxx is a good match for you. If you're looking to save money, however, you might opt for the original Razr; it costs $100 less than the Razr Maxx.
No doubt, the Motorola Droid RAZR on Verizon is one of the most unique and sexy phones we've seen. And despite its extreme thinness, it's strong with the help of a metal frame, Corning Gorilla Glass and a Kevlar back. But it's a wide phone, and I suggest that you fondle one in person unless you have large mitts. The phone might be too wide for comfort for those who have smaller to average size hands.
So has Motorola succeeded in reclaiming the prestige that once belonged to the RAZR brand? Unequivocally, yes -- the handset is just physically stunning. It's thinner than almost any phone on the market and makes no sacrifices to attain its slim physique. It's solidly constructed from premium materials like diamond-cut aluminum, Gorilla Glass and a sheet of super-slick Kevlar. Few phones out there can even be put in the same category when it comes to build quality.
Finally a Straight Talk smart phone that uses Verizon!
I got this as an upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy Precedent, which was also through Straight Talk. It used the Sprint network and reception was very spotty to say the least. The Proclaim is one of the first ST Androids to use Verizon's towers and it makes a world of difference! 3G is faster then ever and, so far, I haven't been in an area where I didn't get a signal. The Proclaim comes with 1 gig of internal memory and a 2 gig card that can be upgraded.
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