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.
Great camera with 1080p video recording at 60 fps
The LG G2 is an outstanding smartphone almost every way you look at it. The screen is beautiful, albeit a bit off in terms of color temperature, while the camera is simply outstanding - definitely among the very best out there. Under the hood, the Snapdragon 800 processor is doing exactly what you'd expect it to do - making sure that everything operates perfectly smoothly with no hiccups or delays.
Amazing colors, viewing angles, great brightness and contrast
The LG G2 is not just the company's next flagship. It is LG's hope of getting their best shape back after quite a few uninspiring attempts. And this time around, the stakes are higher than ever as the competition out there is in its top form too.
The first thing LG got right is the timing, staying put well after Samsung and HTC unveiled their flagships. This allowed LG to offer the best chipset from Qualcomm, essentially coming up with a 2014 flagship in 2013.
Stunning 5.2-inch edge-to-edge display
The LG G2 is an impressive return to smartphone prominence for the South Korean company but one which still falls slightly short. It is a worthy rival to the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One but thanks to plastic build, peculiar button placement and less than gripping camera is unlikely to worry its more illustrious competition too much.
Large and lovely full HD IPS display, great camera
The LG G2 is assuredly the company's best Android phone yet. We were bullish on the also very good Optimus G Pro, but the G2 is all that and more in a more mainstream size. The display is top notch, performance is fast and fluid, the camera is excellent and the rear buttons actually work nicely. We'd love to see a more interesting and attractive casing that didn't turn murky with fingerprints so quickly, but the phone is nonetheless solidly built and curved nicely to fit in the hand.
Pros: Visually appealing, feels great as a phone.
The G2 is easily a competitor for every other high-end smartphone out there. The "weird" button layout works for us, and it's paired with some smart touch functions that are well thought out. The phone looks and feels great, and just works as a smartphone should. There are some minor things about the G2 we don't like, but our overwhelming sense is that this phone does what we want and it does it well, with style and smoothness.
Good-looking and high-quality exterior
With the Xperia Z1, Sony has finally become truly competitive. The Japanese company has been experiencing great difficulties during the last few years, but after a relatively lengthy transition, it's finally caught up with the big players of the wireless industry.
Handsome looking brute
The Sony Xperia Z1 marks the second rebirth of the company's premium take on what a smartphone should be like. The Xperia Z was a great foundation and laid the groundwork for the company to expand with the Z1. Yes, the naming scheme doesn't really make sense, but nowadays manufacturers are very frivolous with the names of their products. But we digress.
The company has matured its OmniBalance design philosophy by ever so seductively continuing to use aluminum and glass.
Xperia Z gets tuned but puts on weight
Sony has upgraded its fantastic Xperia Z. The Xperia Z1 feels nicer but is unfortunately bigger and heavier. It's a powerhouse with an all-round impressive specification. Easily one of the best Android handsets around but the high price tag taints this slightly.
Pros: Plenty of decent software refinements, battery life with Stamina mode.
There's a lot to love about the Sony Xperia Z1. It's a valiant effort, but not infallible. We like the the design overall, it's a smart-looking device that exhibits plenty of quality and there's stacks of power under the hood of that 5-inch HD display.
Beautiful tempered-glass design, fairly good battery life
The Sony Xperia Z1 is one of the better smartphones to debut in the later half of the year. While its raw performance is similar to the LG G2, the Z1 stands out with the use of better materials, water-proofing capabilities and most importantly, an impressive camera.
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.
Vast and quality screen with pen/pencil input
Sony's first phablet leans farthest to the tablet side of that made-up word than any competitor out there. If you aren't worried about pocketability or one-handed operation, you won't be disappointed by the rest. The Xperia Z Ultra is an engineering marvel, with very thin and premium waterproof design, which is the only thing saving it from being called unwieldy.
Dust- and waterproof like its brothers
The Sony Xperia Z Ultra is a nicely made device but doesn't represent good value for money. The phablet is extremely unwieldy and doesn't have a great camera. Sony would have been better off making this a 7in tablet rather than a 6.4in phone. Our recommended phablet remains the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
Get ready to really like this phone! Size, weight, and overall sleekness is about as good as it gets. You will be amazed how light this phone is. It's also thinner than a Gs4 and iPhone 5! Glass on the front and back and it's WATERPROOF! The software Ui is very useful and I haven't found anything stock that I can't uninstall completely. The battery life is on part with an iPhone or a Gs4.
Pros: Great display, Snapdragon 800 processor.
The Sony Xperia Z Ultra is a lovely thing, but as a dedicated phone - if you like to lift a phone to your ear as you should - then it's just too big to be practical. We can't help but see it as more of miniature tablet. You'll know in yourself whether you're one of those people who want a larger-than-life phone experience or not, but the Ultra really pushes the limits to what we'd call a phone. For us it brings too many compromises when it comes to practical use.
Great display, Waterproof is cool, Good battery life
It looks great, it feels good in the hand - but it may just be too impossibly big to make phone calls in comfort and without embarrassment. This is a highly capable phone with lots going for it from strong battery life to decent Sony apps, a gorgeous screen to excellent styling.
But you do need it to make phone calls, don't you? This is a phone that's worth trying in your hand(s) before you plump for it.
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.
Handles 3D games flawlessly, Great call quality
There is no such thing as a perfect smartphone, and the Sony Xperia SP won't be the one to break that rule. However, looking at its pros and cons after testing it extensively, we can confidently conclude that its a mid-range smartphone worthy of attention. It is a capable multimedia device suitable for those who want the benefits associated with high-end devices ??
Lower price, Impressive specs
Although not blessed with the looks or specs of the Xperia Z, the Sony Xperia SP is a phone that still deserves a raised eyebrow of appreciation thanks to the combination of spec list and likely price.
The body is smooth and feels quality in the hand, and while the screen is slightly dwarfed by the larger chassis, there's no doubt this is a phone that could fly off the shelves if enough people get fed up with the notion of spending loads of money each month on a handset.
Beautiful and well-built
Sony is doing the right thing by offering a midrange smartphone hot on the heels of their two flagships. Last year, HTC had a similar thing going on with the One X and the One S but failed to capitalize on the width they had through those two excellent devices. We're yet to see whether or not Sony will do better but if you're looking for a capable smartphone in the 300 euro range, the Xperia SP should be high on your short list.
Excellent range of connectivity options
The Xperia SP is a very likeable mid-range phone. It's reasonably powerful for the price, has a stellar line up of features and looks pretty fly too. However, Sony needs to iron out a few quirks in its software, and the phone's battery life isn't quite as impressive as specs would suggest.
An impressive mid-range Android smartphone
The Sony Xperia SP has the spec and price of a mid-range Android smartphone, but when you actually get the device in your hands and start using it any ideas of it being mediocre go out of the window. It really is a class act, so if you're looking for a good phone to browse the web, perform tasks quickly and take decent photos with at a price that won't break the bank, then you really should consider the Xperia SP.
Nice design, frame feels solid in the hand
The Sony Xperia SP is a good mid-range phone. There's power and flexibility on board and there's the performance to back it up, aside from a few minor quirks.
The design of the handset is good too with the metal frame giving the SP a nice solid feel. We're not sold on the flashing bar however, it just seems a little too much at times, especially when you're lying awake at night, watching it illuminate your bedroom.
The camera performance isn't great.
Great design, able to change colors of LED alerts
The Xperia SP could have been a great smartphone with its solid build and great design. However, the poor display and camera performance lets the phone down. Retailing at S$598 in Singapore, the handset seems aggressively priced, especially against the HTC One SV (which has a street price of around S$500 but lower specs). The smartphone will also make its way to other parts of Asia, though Sony has yet to release further information.
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