Stunning, rich-profile sound
HTC wanted a comeback and it brought its best with the HTC One. It is a brilliant device in virtually every aspect. Coming with a beautiful aluminum body that fits almost organically in the hand, it has a great and vivid, extremely sharp 4.7-inch screen. The stereo front speaker bring a small revolution in smartphone sound that you'll appreciate instantly when you hear it. Performance is flawless on the new Snapdragon 600 quad-core chip.
1080p video recording @ 30fps with HDR mode
So this is it - the One has brought out the best in HTC. It's sure as shooting that five different people will say that about five different HTC smartphones. And at least four of them will be right. But there're certain things that make this one the One.
Excellent build and ergonomics
The HTC One might be the most desirable phone available right now. Its metal-backed body feels fantastic in the hand, its screen is superb, performance is great and Sense 5 offers some interesting new features that you can choose to side-step if you prefer old-style Sense. The UltraPixel camera is a mite disappointing given the ballyhoo made at its launch, but it proves that HTC is one of just a few mobile companies trying something truly interesting.
Stunning design, quality aluminum alloy casing, superb full HD display
The HTC One is the company's best phone yet. You have my blessing: go ahead and buy one. It's not just fast, the display is superb and the design is elegant. Cutting edge CPUs and graphics are Android's bread and butter, much like PCs and it takes more to stand out: the HTC One has what it takes in terms of quality materials, build, design and solid software that doesn't overwhelm. Is it the perfect smartphone?
Snapdragon 600 chipset
Regardless of how well Samsung's soon-to-be-announced flagship does on the market, we'll continue to have a soft spot for the One. Last year, we were very impressed by the One X, but that wasn't enough. HTC pushed itself and made its sequel even more polished than the original. We love the phone's industrial design and the camera, while the Snapdragon 600 chipset and 1080p display aren't bad either.
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.
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.
High pixel densitiy screen, over 250ppi
The LG Optimus F5 is sporting a 4.3-inch IPS display with qHD resolution (960 by 540 pixels). It is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor of undisclosed make and model, backed up by 1GB of RAM. You also get a 5-megapixel auto-focus camera, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing snapper, 8 gigs of storage and a microSD card slot. The LG Optimus F5 has a thickness of 9.3 millimeters, which is okay considering that there's a 2,150mAh battery at its back.
LTE module, high contrast, good images
The first impression is often decisive and so it was with the LG P875 Optimus F5's. Already the first hands-on was boring. Design and haptics are not particularly innovative and the hardware can be found in many devices. It features an SoC from Qualcomm with a clock rate of 1.2 GHz and 1 GB RAM. In addition, the Optimus F5 comes with the usual wireless modules including LTE, NFC, and Bluetooth. Admittedly, the smartphone performs well and achieves satisfactory results in the benchmarks.
Good call quality
If you are looking at purchasing a high-end Android smartphone from Verizon, your choices are currently the Samsung Galaxy S III or the Motorola DROID RAZR HD (and RAZR MAXX HD), as they offer large 720p HD displays, and are using the 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor for fast performance.
The Galaxy S III may look more stylish and "flashy", though its plastic construction does have a cheap feeling to it and doesn't hold up well to abuse.
Strong call quality
The Droid Razr HD is a very good phone. The screen and overall design is very handsome. Its dual-core processor is capable, and it only sips battery power. It's a long lasting, reliable device that still has more than enough power to get the job done.
Being exclusive to Verizon is no handicap either, since the company's 4G LTE service is far-reaching and fast.
There's nothing wrong with the device, except for a mediocre camera. It's just that competition is so stiff.
So, all in all, the Motorola DROID RAZR HD's biggest problem isn't that it's not a solid device. Just the opposite it's an excellent performer that is only bound to get better when the updates start coming in (and when you have Google's word for it, you know they will come in). However, on current merit, it's hard to recommend it over the established players in the game.
Good performance for a dual-core handset
On paper the Razr HD may not look all that tempting given its fairly modest spec. However, in the flesh it's an attractive looking phone that feels more robust than the likes of the Samsung S3. It's got surprisingly good performance for a dual core phone too, along with excellent battery life.
Looks awesome and gives the premium feel you want from a smartphone
The Motorola Razr HD offers superb build quality and battery life along with a nice screen and great battery life. However, its £400 asking price means that it's probably worth spending the extra for a rival flagship smartphone or saving some money by opting for the Google Nexus 4.
Durable and refined smartphone
However, I've talked to many that refuse to touch this phone solely because of those buttons. However, if you can get past that, I would definitely recommend this over the Galaxy S3. Both are certainly great phones, but the Droid RAZR HD feels more refined and professional. At least go try it out at your local Verizon store!
Lovely looking, great screen, decent battery life
So there you have it, we have more faith in Motorola's products than Google CFOs do. While you could argue that the Razr HD isn't a "wow" device, you can't really argue that it's bad, because it isn't. And honestly, we really like its design and feel. It might not be one of the new generation of giaganto-phones that are all the rage now, but it will suit that audience who want smaller devices, with plenty of scope.
Excellent signal strength
The Motorola Droid RAZR HD is, simply put, an excellently built and designed smartphone. It's a pleasure to use, and a solid choice for anyone looking for a good high-end device today.
In fact, the only thing that I could see significantly improving the user experience would be to add more memory and more battery power... which is exactly what the RAZR MAXX HD does. Motorola has a clear hit on its hands here, and for a whole bunch of very good reasons.
Great camera performance, speedy data speeds on LTE
LG's 4G smartphone is a capable enough device, but if you want the fast LTE speeds, be prepared for a phone that may not have enough battery power to last you a full day. We will have a review of the HTC One XL coming soon, but if we were talking about hardware and features alone, HTC's smartphone may be a better overall choice since it comes with ICS and a camera with lots of features.
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