HTC Desire 816 is an admirable mid-range smartphone
Well, what do you know: the HTC Desire 816 is an admirable mid-range smartphone, especially knowing that it can be bought for under $400 in markets where it is available. We don't find anything wrong with it given its price range, so guys, if you're on the looks for an inexpensive phablet, this here is one you should check out.
The HTC Desire 816 strikes a good value for money ratio with its solid build quality, large 720p display, and its snappy UI performance.
HTC Desire 816 review: Heart's desire
The Desire 816 is only HTC's second attempt at a phablet - a bit unusual considering the segment has been expanding rapidly. So why is HTC hesitant to enter it with both feet the way other companies have?
It couldn't have been doubt in its own abilities, HTC makes some of the best-built devices on the market. The Desire 816 was a bit of a letdown in that respect - it's a beautiful device for sure, but the plastic on the back and the side buttons cheapen the feel of the device.
Largest display in a Nokia Lumia phone so far
The Nokia Lumia 625 comes with a fairly large 4.7" display and 4G LTE on a budget, but there are a few things that hold it down. We like the smooth performance and the fun colors, but the low-res display seems out of place on today's market. Moreover, the average camera and limiting 512MB of RAM are all considerable downsides.
Free lifetime voice-guided navigation
We have no choice but to put aside the Microsoft deal, the value of stock and the aftershocks in our evaluation. Simply put, the Nokia Lumia 625 has the timing - but not the substance - of a swan song.
That said, it would be a massive injustice to burden the phone with such responsibility. The Nokia Lumia 625 is a simple package with a simple purpose - to offer a big screen experience on a budget. And it delivers on that quite alright, with the usual give or take.
Good value, Decent performance
The Nokia Lumia 625 is one of the cheapest 4G phones you can get. It's colourful, stylish and has the same Windows Phone 8 OS as other Lumia phones. However, the screen is disappointingly low in resolution. With a 720p screen this would be a corker. In its current form this is a cheap 4G smartphone that's not quite the finished article.
Pros: Good value for money, Nokia gives you a great Windows Phone experience.
With each Nokia Lumia device we examine we find a lot to love. Nokia's design is solid throughout much of the Lumia range, the specifications see Windows Phone 8 ticking along without complaint and the Finnish company is certainly bringing improvements to the platform - including more all-important third-party apps. But as the Lumia 625 represents Windows Phone's foray into larger screen displays, it feels as though it's missed a trick; it's just an odd compromise.
Bargain price, Colourful, changeable shells
It's easy to be impressed with the Nokia Lumia 625 thanks to its colourful, replaceable shells, stellar performance and great build quality. The qualms with Windows Phone 8 are still lingering, though this could easily be sorted with a few high profile app release.
We can even forgive the middling, low-res screen just because the device is priced at the low-end of the market.
Improved Sense user interface
The HTC One S is simply a fine smartphone. It shows that HTC still knows how to build devices that elicit feelings of lust and desire, and it shows further that the company realizes that its Sense interface has seen better days and needs to get back to the basics. And the basics are what the One S does best. Call audio? Check. Web browser? Check. Camera? Check. Aesthetic appeal? Double check.
Very good call quality
The HTC One S might be the middle child in the new One lineup, but it can't realistically be called mid-range just because the screen is qHD instead of HD. Upper mid-range would be a good fit, if you are a categorization nazi. We loved the compact and sturdy design with a very light and premium feel. In fact, the One S feels higher-end in the hand with its sexy slim metal body, toned by the anodized coating, than the flagship One X, made of fancy plastic.
Beautiful slim but strong design
The HTC One S is a really difficult phone to judge. On the one hand its plasma-etched and super-slim design, fast processor, decent screen and good camera all add up to make this a major improvement over top phones of last year and certainly competitive with many current handsets. But, on the other hand, that plasma finish may not be as tough as first thought, it only packs 16GB of storage and the AMOLED screen is far from perfect.
The HTC One S is one of the top Android phones. The HTC One X has a bigger, higher-resolution display and LTE connectivity (not much use in the UK for now). Hopefully the call quality issues I experienced with my test HTC One S are an isolated incident. The lack of a storage expansion port is a shame, but other than that the HTC One S is a winner.
Stunning design, lovely display
The HTC One S is one of our top picks among Android smartphones. Not only is it one of the few to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, we also like the evolution of HTC Sense. The gorgeous, elegant and durable anodized aluminum unibody casing, impossibly thin profile and attention to detail are hard to beat among Android phones and the Super AMOLED display is super colorful and sharp.
Dual-core Snapdragon S4
Sporting a thinner and lighter design, the One S doesn't deserve to be hidden in the shadow of its pricier brother. With the latest dual-core Snapdragon S4 and noticeable improvements to HTC's Sense UI, as well as Android 4.0 and a potent camera, this phone is likely to play a large part of the manufacturer's renewed efforts after a shaky 2011.
Impressively fast processor
The I8730 Galaxy Express is a very solid offering from Samsung. It shows that Samsung can perfectly target competition-free market segments with great precision. Rather than throw in everything but the kitchen sink alongside the fast processor, they've given the Galaxy Express a good screen, a robust 2000 mAh battery and the trendy LTE connectivity. Carriers with budding LTE networks would love going after the Galaxy Express and Samsung will happily oblige.
Enough performance for almost all tasks
The Samsung Galaxy Express offers a lot of what we like to see in a smartphone: A brilliant display, great battery life and high application and gaming performance. Many of its competitors can't keep up with the Galaxy Express, although some are ahead in terms of build quality and screen resolution.
There are still just a few LTE-enabled devices out there, letting the Galaxy Express stand out even more.
Compact and lightweight
Getting your hands on an HTC One V is going to cost you about $370 off-contract, which is definitely a reasonable price considering what you get in exchange. The smartphone has style and character that few devices in its price category can match, and we are pretty happy with it for the most part.
Bright, responsive screen
An all-round impressive handset, the HTC One V is a smartphone that has filtered down a selection of previously used specs to a new budget-friendly price tag, packaging it in an impressive and desirable shell in the process. Although those looking for a selection of groundbreaking specs might instead plump for the handset's HTC One X sibling or an iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy S2 or Motorola Razr, for a possible first smartphone or a transition phone on the way to the big hitters, users could do...
Massive 4.3-inch screen and 1080p video recording
The HTC One V is a handsome smartphone - there are people on our team who think it's the best looking of the One series. And it's not really all that underpowered. It's just that the pressure of dual-cores may be too much to handle. But then, nothing beats a metal unibody if you want to look cool under pressure.
With a design that's as cute as a button, a great screen, adequate performance and a cracking Android 4.0 OS, the HTC One V is a really exciting mid-range handset. Sure it would be nice if the camera and processor were both a little bit better but overall we've completely fallen for the combination of features on offer here. If you don't have money to burn or want one of the current crop of enormous smartphones, the HTC One V should be top of your shopping list.
Superb build quality
The One V is the third and final piece of HTC's game plan: a stylish, petite, entry-level model that will hopefully draw in anyone looking for a new phone running Android's latest. Indeed, it's a capable phone on par with several once high-end single-core devices from last year. Even better, this one is cheaper and arrives with Android 4.0, in all its multitasking, adjustable widget glory.
Smartphone for the budget conscious
The One V may look small in size, but it has everything you will need in an Android smartphone an impressive display, a decent camera, a good music player and ICS. For RM 999, we think it would be the most affordable and feature packed ICS smartphone in the market for now.
We have to say, at $49.99 with a 2-year contract, the Samsung Focus 2 isn't that bad of a smartphone even more when this is a brand spanking new device we're talking about! Strengthening its value, we love that it sports an adorable design, equipped with 4G LTE connectivity, and offers that casual Windows Phone experience like everything else before it.
Fast performance, Solid camera
The Samsung Focus 2 is an excellent Windows Phone released at the worst possible time. Yes, the elephant in the room is that Windows Phone 8 is just around the corner, and like all devices running the Mango OS, the Focus 2 can't be upgraded.
It doesn't help that thanks to aggressive pricing the Nokia Lumia 900 can now be found in the same budget $50 price range as the Focus 2.
Well-balanced and cleverly priced device
The Samsung Focus 2 will not sell by the millions. It is not designed to do so. What Samsung have done with the I667 instead, is to create a well-balanced and cleverly priced device to keep the competition on its toes. Unsurprisingly, it is a task well executed.
Super AMOLED display
It's not the best Windows Phone device out there but it will keep you happy. That being said, it's a risk to buy a new Windows Phone device now since it won't be updated to the newest version of the OS, coming this fall. Weigh your options before making this call.
Very tidy device
The Samsung Focus 2 is a very tidy device, and currently the cheapest phone on AT&T to combine LTE and Windows Phone 7. Anyone who purchases it won't be disappointed, especially those who require long battery life. That said, if a great camera or a big, high-res screen are in your list of must-haves, look elsewhere.
4.7 inch display
The HTC Titan is possibly one of the most exciting Windows Phone 7 handsets yet, and raises the bar for the platform once more. With its 1.5GHz processor, 4.7 inch display, and fancy new camera, the Titan shows off HTC's prowess as one of the worlds leading smartphone manufacturers.
Solid industrial design
Collectively, second-generation Windows Phones are in limited supply as of right now, but thankfully the HTC Titan is here to get things rolling for the fledging mobile platform. Showcasing its larger than life presence, thanks to its unbelievably large display, the Titan is definitely a captivating handset on its own, but more importantly, it stands above most Windows Phones we've been checking out of late.
Battery goes a long way
The HTC Titan puts us in mind of a young posh boy who arrives at school on the new day of term wearing a suit and brogues. You know his parents have dressed him well, but there's a reason why he's no longer at his fancy school and is mixing with the rest of the kids. And that's because he's just not as bright as he wanted to be. That sounds harsh but we feel there's so much more that the HTC Titan could have been.
I'd been waiting for a smaller format 3G connected Pocket PC for a long time, and the TyTN lived up to my expectations. It's neat, tidy, well designed and pocketable. The keyboard works well and it is nice to see the scroll wheel return.I would have liked a hold button as it is easy to accidentally hit some of the side mounted buttons. A bit more memory either built in or on a supplied card would have been nice too. And the stylus is poor too.
Huge and lovely display
The HTC Titan and the Nokia Lumia 800 (not yet available in the US), are our two top picks for second generation high end Windows Phones. While the Lumia is extremely ergonomic and attractive in that Euro-chic way, the HTC speaks to those who want the biggest display along with a high quality metal casing. The Lumia 800 is the Alfa Romeo sports car to the HTC Titan's Escalade sensibility. It's big, it's posh and has all the creature comforts.
One of the top WP7 smartphones
As for whether or not this impresses as a Windows Phone 7 device, it is one of the top WP7 smartphones on the market and goes as far making Android and iOS dull by comparison. We love the social aspects, we love the interactive feel of the device, and how everything is brought to life by the OS, oh and that screen. Big really can be beautiful.
The Desire 700 dual sim has a good mix of features and tries to position itself as a low cost alternative of the One flagship,
The Desire 700 dual sim has a good mix of features and tries to position itself as a low cost alternative of the One flagship, which is a good way to start. What the Desire 700 dual sim has in its favor is a 5" display of qHD resolution, two SIM card slots, bits of the One's styling, complete with the stereo speakers and the HTC Sense 5 skin.
Unfortunately, the good news end here.
Video recording fails to impress
Maybe the current price is kept up by low supply, as Sony is said to be pushing back the Xperia V launch on some markets to make Jelly Bean available. The result is a weird situation where the Xperia V costs a good 100 euro more than the Xperia T. This seems way off and perhaps it will get corrected faster than it's usual for a newly-released device.
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