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.
High build quality, Great price-to-performance ratio
The Acer Liquid Z3 won't win any beauty awards, but it feels refined and dependable - it's certainly capable of carrying its own weight if you're looking for a primary device on the cheap, though it would also make a perfect work/secondary phone, especially the dual-SIM version.
Good battery life, Dual SIM, Storage can be extended
The performance is not great, but it is sufficient for everyday use with the Google Android OS, which is available in an updated version. Price-conscious buyers, who are satisfied with the most basic of smartphone qualities, should pick this smartphone up without a second thought.
Good camera, Vibrant Display, Ergonomic build
To cut it short, the Acer Liquid Z3 could have and would have been an amazing phone if it was released probably a year ago. It offers a great balance of things from the vibrant display, the good camera & the solid build quality along with the flip cover. The big catch with that however is - for Php4,490, you can get much better options with the competition - ones that don't run on low-resolution displays & ones that are using quad-core MediaTek chips instead of the dual-core kind.
Impressively lightweight smartphone
As an independent smartphone, the Asus Padfone 2 is one impressive device that can tangle with some of the greats out there, seeing that it has that wonderful balance between raw performance and impressive hardware. Crazy to believe it, but the handset is one of the lightest smartphones in its class! Beyond that, we're glad that Asus decided to go with a different route in how the smartphone is docked with the Padfone Station.
Crisp, clear screen, Snappy performance
The Asus Padfone 2 may be a smartphone-tablet hybrid, but the star of the show is undoubtedly the smartphone element. It's powerful, well built and energy efficient, and the camera is capable of taking decent photos and videos in the right conditions.
However, that's only half the story, and the tablet part of the Asus Padfone 2 package is sadly lacking when stacked up against rival devices such as the Google Nexus 10.
Lighter and looks more stylish than its predecessor
So at the end of the day the Asus Padfone 2 will only cater for the needs of a specific group of people, but it will do so quite well. And as tablets continue to gain popularity, a combo like this will only be getting a bigger field to play in.
Unique two devices in one hybrid
The Asus Padfone 2 is a difficult device to dislike because it's interesting and innovative, but it is also a difficult to defend. The idea of it makes sense on paper and there is a very capable, well-built phone coupled with a functional, if average, tablet. The problem is that it comes at a hefty premium and only one person can use the device at a time.
If the Padfone 2 provided a perfect phone and tablet experience we might be more forgiving of the lack of microSD card slot.
Really is a good deal
The Asus Padfone 2 is an interesting and unique offering. For £599 you get both a phone and a tablet in one although this has its limitations. Good hardware and excellent battery life are the standout features while build quality is a bit of a let-down. We really like the Padfone 2 but if you're looking to a smartphone and a tablet on the cheap then we suggest Google's Nexus devices.
Good smartphone performance
The more we've lived with the Padfone 2, the more apparent it has become that for every highlight, there's a simple, regular solution. That leaves the Padfone 2 in something of a tricky situation. It's well engineered, it's almost priced right, but you walk away without a hero handset or a hero tablet. You don't get the both of best worlds, you get something in the middle: a compromise.
Compromises aren't necessarily bad, as long as you're getting what you need.
Improved design, long battery life, overall speedy performance
We love the concept of the smartphone-tablet hybrid, and we think it's great that Asus has taken our complaints of the original PadFone into consideration and improved on many aspects of it--for example, making it slimmer, lighter, faster and less unwieldy. However, the camera could have been improved even more, as it's still not on par with some of the better high-end smartphones.
Snappy performance of the quad-core MediaTek chip at a low price
The Acer Liquid E2 Duo is a controversial device. On one hand is the snappy processor, brilliant camera and the nice and up-to-date nearly stock Android 4.2. On the other is the utter lack of attention to detail and a design that is not pretty.
That is the exact problem many white box manufacturers from China face right now. Android has gotten to the point where even cheaper devices can deliver enough of an oomph to drive a smooth daily performance, but consistently fail in design.
Near-vanilla Android software
The Acer Liquid E2 is a solid but ugly Android phone. Its stand-out design point - the speaker grilles - are eye-catching, but look more like sink plugholes than speaker ports. They're a sham, too, as sound quality is nothing special. If you don't mind the looks and just want a competent, well-priced Android device, though, the E2 supplies the goods.
Cheap, Decent performance, Bold screen
With its quad-core processor and bold screen, the Acer Liquid E2 will happily tackle most of your everyday needs and won't force you to empty your bank in order to buy it. It's a decent all-round budget option, but you'll have to put up with its miserable design and meagre storage.
IPS technology with excellent viewing angle stability
At the beginning of the review we asked the question what Acer's mixture is good for. This question can be answered with two simple words: A lot! On the plus side, the Acer Liquid E2 Duo offers a bright, high-contrast IPS display with a great color display. In addition to that it has a pleasing application performance and good battery runtimes. As was already the case for its sister model, the outstanding feature is the intuitive dual-SIM integration.
Exceptional call quality, Good fit and finish
As you would expect LG has made some compromises to keep the Optimus F6 affordable, but for a mid-range device they have put together an overall nice package. The device is well-built, has a good display for its class and incorporates many of the software features from LG's higher end devices. While the camera performance wasn't great, it was acceptable for Instagram and Facebook shots, and the call quality was outstanding.
Calls routed to the speakerphone were scratchy and prone to distortion
For $49 down, the LG Optimus F6 offers T-Mobile customers a lot of value. The phone's hardware may be a bit boring, but it is well put together and all the buttons and controls function without issue. The screen is very good for this class of device, and the network performance was among the best I've seen on a T-Mobile device in recent memory. It's a shame that call quality was at best average, and that the battery didn't seem to last past dinner.
The software all works well.
Large screen, decent camera, good battery life, sensible price
The Acer Liquid S1 is quite a handful but it has an excellent HD screen and a pretty good camera too. With the latest flavour of Android and plenty of free online storage available via AcerCloud, it offers a credible alternative to the big names.
Chic design, Good workmanship, Bright display
Overall, Acer can be proud of the Liquid S1: it has a chic design, great additions to the Android system and a more than competitive price. The device is also light, comfortable to hold and features high-quality manufacturing. A second back cover costs a lot by other manufacturers, but Acer has included one in the box. The built-in speaker is not bad either and in combination with the large IPS display makes the Acer into a great pocket cinema.
Good design, Good build, Good camera
Acer really has a nice offering in the form of the Liquid S1. It has a large HD display, great build and design, good camera, dual-SIM capabilities, and very decent battery life too. It even comes with a really neat leatherette flip cover out of the box.
19 hours of 3G talk time
The Padfone is a thing of beauty. It's not for everyone but many of us do have a use-case for it. If you have a tablet yet find yourself using more things on your phone then Asus believes you'll be in its Padfone queue.
The device is certainly a looker and does have a lot to offer - the smartphone itself is superb. It does have a premium price point of 999 Euros though - $1325 or AU$1287 - and so it will be interesting to see if Asus can shift them.
Boasts fantastic specs and some truly clever design tweaks
The Asus PadFone Infinity offers some great design inflections and some fab specs. But, just like its predecessors, it'll be squeezed into a tiny niche. Not only is the premise a little awkward, but the price is downright scary. Buy a top-end tablet and a top-end phone and you may well calculate you've spent the same amount, but shouldn't it cost a little less when there are no real brains in the tablet?
Truly beautiful phone
The PadFone Infinity still needs some work if the Asus wants it to even have a chance at succeeding. The display shorting out regularly was a huge problem, the bulge in the back of the device isn't aesthetically pleasing, and perhaps the biggest turn-off for consumers is its price: it will go for 1000 Euros, or roughly $1325. People can get a smartphone and a tablet separately for much less than that, and that may be the PadFone's greatest undoing.
Solid design, bright vibrant screen
The PadFone Infinity may have gotten a hardware upgrade with its slightly faster processor and an improved camera, but it's still the same handset from before. Feel free to get this handset if you need a phone/tablet combo, but take heed that it's not the best smartphone out there.
Performs well on low light pictures
Like its predecessors, the Padfone Infinity is a compelling product, but it's difficult to say whether it will prove to be a hit. However, the idea of one data plan for two products is appealing, and the phone looks good as a standalone product. We'll bring you a full review as soon as we can get our hands on a finished product.
Light and thin, and feels solid in the hand
Alas, the tablet cannot be used without the handset, as all the technical wizardry is housed within the phone. Simply slide the phone into the slot at the back of the tablet and whatever is on the phone immediately gets transferred onto the tablet's 10.1in display. The system appears to work well - but the lack of independance could put users off as it means the devices need to be kept together all the time.
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