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.
Great stereo speakers, Very good display panel
The HTC One mini sets a great example for how a more compact, cheaper version of an annual flagship should be done. HTC kept the same stellar and recognizable design the One has, and didn't leave out any of the unique features like the best phone speakers or the UltraPixel camera.
Premium aluminum unibody
The HTC One mini is one of the very few phones trying to fill the gap of compact high-end phones. And it comes within walking distance of being
super mini, but it doesn't really go the whole way.
Let's start off with what we like. The build of the phone is amazing, easily rivaling current flagships (heck, it even beats quite a few). The screen is beautiful and the BoomSound speakers around it are well appreciated too.
the HTC One, just smaller [updated]
HTC told us that it took a ‘no compromise’ approach to developing the HTC One Mini. Looking at the device, holding it in your hand, and flicking around the UX illustrates this point profoundly. Everything that set the One apart from the crowd is here – imaging technology, quality build materials, UX design and functionality.
Large display is ideal for games and videos, Outstanding metallic design
For those who don't feel like the HTC One max is the right choice for them, we have a few alternatives to recommend. One if them is the 5.7-inch Samsung Galaxy Note 3, which is definitely more capable in the hardware department with its Snapdragon 800 SoC and 3GB of RAM. An option that impresses with both performance and design is the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, which is, on top of it all, resistant to dust and water damage.
Larger screen, Longer battery, MicroSD slot
We won't pull any punches. The HTC One Max doesn't come close to hitting the heights of the HTC One.
It's a phone that's designed to serve a very singular purpose - give those that liked the look of the One a phone with a bigger screen, and almost nothing else.
Biometrics are going to be big in phones, but not implemented in this way.
Solid Phablet, excellent battery life
So in the end, the HTC One Max is a solid device that has more than enough to keep you happy, but it may have a hard time luring you into the store in the first place. Unless HTC delivers a prompt upgrade that makes the fingerprint scanner a real game-changer, it will probably have to cut the One Max's price a bit to keep the phablet relevant.
Decent battery life, Great 1080p display, Fantastic audio quality
The One Max isn't much of an upgrade over the One and its features don't warrant the excessive volume or weight. Its screen, speakers and battery life are saving graces, however, and give it some credibility as a media player.
Pros: Great display, good looks from that One design.
The phablet category of devices is an odd one. The home of giant phones that haven't quite reached tablet sizes, and the HTC One max finds itself nestled into this awkward pack. For those looking for a big smartphone experience, then that's what the HTC One max delivers: it's the HTC One experience, but on a larger scale. There are some notable benefits: the display is lovely, the microSD card convenient, the BoomSound speakers excellent and the user interface nicely refined.
Customizable design, Snappy performance
Kudos to Motorola for bringing this smartphone to all four major wireless carriers in the country, including good old US Cellular as well. That's something to say about the handset's intentions, as it lives up to prestigious honor of being recognized as a flagship. It's the perfect strategy for it, especially if Motorola really wants to be taken seriously by its rivals again.
Pros: Motorola's hardware is brilliant, Android remains solid.
The Moto X is smart. It's aware. It's packed with features. It's powerful enough and it's got the right amount of Android - without too much bloat or gimmick. We really like the Moto X. It's not the flashiest smartphone out there, so we wouldn't recommend it to gadget geeks who want the latest and greatest on the market.
Comfortable design, Moto Maker customization is phenomenal
We really like the Moto X. It's a lean, almost pure Google Android experience, with a few nice extras and amazing Google Now support. We were incredibly annoyed by the bug we encountered with Moto Assist and don't recommend you touch the app, but outside of that, it's still a great phone. Hopefully, Motorola fixes more bugs before its launch in late August and early September.
Good still photos, Cool design, Nice call quality
The Desire 500 is a pretty good shot at the booming lower midrange market for HTC, fusing together an entry-level screen and processor, which, however, do their jobs fine, with some more upscale features like a good 8 MP camera and an eye-catching, youthful design lines.
Here To Charm
You may not be able to tell going by the financial reports alone, but HTC has produced plenty of fine hardware in 2013. The company has consistently delivered well-built stylish smartphones with lots of character and the HTC Desire 500 is no exception.
The handset looks fresh and up-to-date, and delivers handsomely for the price. The plastic build makes the phone light and more affordable, placing it right where the company could really use a boost - the lower midrange market.
Nice, classy design, Bright and clear screen
The HTC Desire 500 is a very good phone that's perfect for light, relatively undemanding users who don't want to put up with the very cheapest phones around. But enthusiasts looking for a good deal are better off looking at the Nexus 5, which offers a lot more for not that much more money.
A great mid-range smartphone with impressive specs and performance
The HTC Desire 500 is a great-looking device, with tons of unique software and solid mid-range smartphone specs on board. It's hard to find any real weaknesses with the phone, including its reasonable £199 price tag. To sum up, it's simply a very good mid-range Android smartphone.
Bright display, Sturdy build
Who's going to buy the HTC Desire 500? Well, we're not entirely sure. If you love the software on the HTC One, but don't have wide enough pockets then it could be for you. But, if you're solely focused on price, the Motorola Moto G is a clean Android and cheaper, while for around £80 more you can get a Nexus 5 with an amazing spec sheet and 4 times the internal storage, plus LTE.
Attractive design, Affordable price, Decent screen
The HTC Desire 500 looks cool, has a decent lineup of specs and at only £199 SIM-free, won't force you to empty your bank account to buy it. If you're after a decent all-round phone that stands out from the other budget Android blowers, it's a good choice to go for.
Nice design, Quad-core processor, Competent camera
For the most part, the HTC Desire 500 performs well, squeezing the best out of its mid-range components and looking good while it does it. The WVGA screen will put off buyers looking for the better resolution, which seems to be a staple of other mid-range phones.
Bright display, Price, Good main camera
We used our Desire 500 review unit over the last couple of days. The smartphone is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 quad-core SoC and supports the common wireless standards WLAN, Bluetooth, GPS and even NFC. Contrary to many HTC devices you can expand the internal storage (4 GB) and also replace the battery. A display resolution of 800x480 pixels is not up to date anymore and cannot compete with the HTC One Mini, for instance.
Svelte metallic design, Pentaband radio
With its combination of curved lines and sharp metal edges, the slimmest phone out there is undoubtedly one of the most elegant designs we've seen, too, and not only in the Android world.
The Ascend P6 gets almost all major smartphone details right except for the mediocre camera, which has some issues both with pictures and video. For about 400 (USD or EUR), we can't complain if something is lacking on a midranger, especially in such a thin and light package.
Stylish, powerful enough for most uses
We like the P6. It's got good looks, runs well and it feels well built. Yes, there are some really minor niggles, like that daft headphone cover/pin, among some more major issues such as the limited battery life - but we still rather like the phone when it's in full swing.
Incredibly thin, Highly customisable homescreens
If you want a ridiculously slim phone to slide into your pocket and don't mind that its specs are more typical of last year's kit, the Ascend P6 is one to consider. Its overheating is a concern though, as are the small issues with construction and software. Let's hope Huawei sorts them out before it goes on sale.
Clearly arranged operating system
Overall, the Ascend P6 lags behind the current first league of smartphones in a few points. Nevertheless, it is an impressive phone but not only because of its very slim build and good workmanship. Users who do not need LTE or a Full HD screen and can accept a lower performance will get a good smartphone for just under 450 Euros (~$599), which is more located in the midrange than the premium range.
Great design, Super thin form factor
The Ascend P6 combines a good set of hardware in a very sexy design and super thin form factor that very few other handsets have achieved. Huawei has certainly done a lot of effort in order to give the P6 the title of worldÃ¢Â? Â? thinnest and the attention to detail is very evident.
Huge long-lasting 3200mAh battery
Most puzzlingly, the HTC Butterfly S is available now, at a time when the very similar HTC One is also on sale. Our guess is that HTC just targets a different markets with the Butterfly S. Otherwise, the handset is just as expensive as the HTC One - it's clearly HTC's other flagship.
Would we recommend it? We don't think the Butterfly S is everyone's cup of tea, but those who crave maximum battery life and a great display, won't be disappointed.
Powerful performance, good low-light camera, brilliant screen
The HTC Butterfly S packs better specifications compared with the HTC One, but doesn't have the great industrial build. If you're the type that prefers the fastest hardware, then the Butterfly S is the one for you. Otherwise, stick to the better-looking flagship One.
Good value-for-money for a convergence device
Oh, and if you have to have a convergence phone/camera device with optical zoom for whatever daily reason - well, nothing can rival the chubby S4 Zoom then, and Samsung has priced it pretty well to boot, just slightly above its S4 Mini blood brother, throwing in the whole camera part for cheap.
Battery life is decent
It's almost impossible to score the Galaxy S4 Zoom. It is such a niche product. £400 buys you either not much phone or a lot of camera. Actually, it buys you both. But whether that makes it a good deal depends on your needs: do you want a superzoom camera that can make calls and send and receive emails? If so this is the phone/camera for you. Otherwise, look elsewhere.
Pros: Responsive camera, physical controls make for ease of camera use.
READ:. As a phone the S4 Zoom has us equally as charmed as the S4 Mini - it's snappy, great to use, has plenty enough power and is a decent size. As a camera the S4 Zoom performs like a reasonable 16MP, 10x optical zoom compact camera too. Married together and the potential of both sides opens up: there's no need to switch between two products so no waste of precious bag or pocket space, while using apps, snapping shots and sharing on the go are just a few finger taps away.
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?
Beautiful 720p display, Slim and light
All in all, the Huawei Ascend P2 is an okay mid-range Android smartphone. It is far from being the ultimate device of this class, but it gets the job done and it doesn't have any major drawbacks, save for the inexplicable lack of a microSD card slot. The pretty, 4.7-inch display tops the list of things we like about it, followed by the slim profile and lightweight body, so if these are the features you value the most, then the Ascend P2 won't disappoint.
Decent screen, Great camera, Super fast 4G
The Huawei Ascend P2 is a solid mid- to high-end smartphone with some decent features and a pleasing array of specs.
It doesn't quite have the build quality of the iPhone 5 or HTC One, nor does it have the same snappiness as the excellent Galaxy S3, and the Emotion UI may not be every Android fan's cup of tea.
First phone to support LTE CAT4
The Huawei Ascend P2 is a phone that will live or die by its pricing. It's set to sell for 399Euro, but exactly what thatÃ¢Â? Â? ll translate to in the UK is up for debate. The Huawei Ascend P2 a solid, well-made phone with solid specs, providing everything most people need without the arguable diminishing returns some of 2013's "mobile innovations" come with.
Decent style, solid battery life
Small, light, pleasant to look at and packed with a decent screen and powerful processor. On the surface, the Huawei looks like the perfect purchase for many. The truth, however, is that it doesn't quite meet the spec with its performance. There's more lag here than we'd expect, and the phone never feels all that nippy.
Even so, it remains a good choice in the mid to high-mid market.
Fast and responsive
Huawei is good at delivering strong, affordable handsets with good design and great screens. This is no exception and will be a great mid-range phone though the smartphone stakes are high now with powerful and punchy phones being released from every manufacturer.
The exceptionally nippy modem is a key standout, but may not be enough to set it apart when network speeds won't routinely reach the maximum levels possible here. Still, it feels good and has a strong 13MP camera.
Slimline design, good specs, decent camera
The Huawei Ascend P2 is a competent handset that sits neatly in the upper mid-range of the smartphone hierarchy. While there are a few glints of creativity, for the most part it is an unassuming device for people who want an Android phone that isn't too flashy and will do what they want without gimmicks. At just £299 SIM-free, it's a definite contender.
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