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.
Very light and compact for the screen size
LG is taking a sizeable risk by putting stellar specs in a 5.5-incher - despite that the phone is surprisingly compact and light for such a screen size, thanks to the minimum bezel, it still feels a bit unwieldy for anything but a Shaq-sized hand, though less so than the Note II with the same screen size, for instance.
New Snapdragon 600 chipset
The LG Optimus G Pro is the most advanced phablet on the market at the moment. It's also one of the few devices with a 1080p screen that's bigger than 5". The new Snapdragon 600 chipset is still rare enough too.
The updated version of QSlide is there to make full use of the hardware - you can have up to two floating apps running alongside a full screen app, the big screen and fast quad-core Krait 300 CPU wouldn't be giving their 100% otherwise.
Screen transitions and animations are extremely smooth and fast
The LG Optimus G Pro is a very fast and capable phone, let down slightly by a poorly designed user interface and a camera that doesn't quite live up to the billing. It is, however, one of the better large screen smartphones currently available if you can live with these annoying, but not terminal, flaws. You can pick up one of these phablets for as little as $99.00 with a two-year plan from AT&T (amongst other carriers), which is less than half the cost of the Samsung Galaxy Note and Note 2.
Huge IPS full HD display, very fast CPU and GPU, very good camera
The LG Optimus G Pro has everything a super-phone should, except Samsung and Apple's glorious reputations and marketing budgets. In fact, I do wonder if this Android smartphone will get all the respect it deserves. It's LG's best Android phone to date, and we're impressed at the rapid progress they show here in both hardware and software. Yes, it could look more chic and elegant, but one could easily say the same of other Android phones.
Competition to Note II
Seriously, this is one tough competitor to Note 2. I just played with it at my friend's place. Screen is amazing. 1080 x 1920 pixels, 5.5 inches (~401 ppi pixel density). Without the stylus, it is same size as Note 2. The crapware on this is incredible. I tried the AT&T version. It has LG and AT&T crapware, and is locked, otherwise the international unlocked and AT&T versions are similar in specs. On the AT&T, out of 32 GB, around 10GB was gobbled up by stock firmware and other crap.
Fast quad-core processor delivers great performance
If you thought Xperia Z is amazing, but could make do without the waterproof part of it, Sony's got you covered, as it introduced the Xperia ZL sibling, with an even more compact design. With its 5.18" x 2.74" x 0.38", it is shorter than the Z, and a soft-touch curved back nestles it comfortably in your palm grip. The microSIM and microSD slots are situated under a large flap at the back bottom, and the phone is graced with a dedicated shutter key, unlike the glassy, watertight Z.
Compact handset that fits the bill
The most compact FullHD five-incher is the Xperia ZL's defining feature - and the emphasis is on compact. But ... the Xperia ZL is a FullHD five-incher after all, and for Sony having two horses in the flagship race must feel good. Plus, there's always people who like to cheer for the dark horse.
1080p display is gorgeous
Should you run out and buy an Xperia ZL? In a word, no. There's nothing expressly wrong with it: I rather like the design, which feels modern, if a bit run-of-the-mill. It performs well, serves up plenty of battery life for average use cases, and even has a nice camera once you get used to its limitations (or aren't especially picky). But there are just too many great options out there, and while the Xperia ZL won't disappoint, your money will be better spent elsewhere.
Unlocked with 4G LTE, very good camera
If you're fond of Sony's smartphones and software experience, the Xperia ZL is particularly attractive as a no-contract smartphone. It's fast, the UI is clean and pleasing and the camera is very good. Here in the US, I suspect no-contract high end phones are beat out by carrier subsidized models, but for those of you who appreciate an unlocked world phone or perhaps aren't due for a subsidized upgrade, the Sony Xperia XL has its appeal (especially because you can use it on both AT&T and...
Deep integrated S Pen features
Sure, there's a premium price attached to the Samsung Galaxy Note II, but there's a very good reason for that. In T-Mobile's case, they're asking a mind-blowing $369.99 for the Note II and that's with a 2-year contract ($649.99 outright), while AT&T and Sprint are selling it for $299. At one point not too long ago, the threshold seen with cream of the crop smartphones topped out at the $300 mark, but with this, it totally kicks down the door and establishes a new tally.
Enormous battery, Expandable memory
It's tricky to pull all of this together in a final summary. Do we mark the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 as a phone with a trillion bells and whistles? Or as a personal media player that makes phone calls?
As a phone, it's big, but once you get over that, if you can, it's great. As a PMP, it really does excel, and as a web communicator, it is almost second to none (though we can't fully get the taste of Flash absence out of our mouth).
Bigger and better screen
At the end of the day, the Samsung Galaxy Note II seems to have completed all it's here to do. Samsung have solidified its lead in the phablet market, while offering enough novelties to keep those already in it interested. There's also plenty of exclusive stuff too.
We guess some people will still be less than impressed by a bigger Galaxy S III with a stylus. And we're not saying that a big screen and a stylus is exactly what makes a near perfect smartphone better.
Increased screen size
Where the Galaxy S II and III were Samsung's answer to the Apple iPhone, the Note II is a step in another direction for different users those requiring something more like an old-school PDA, able to work with a stylus for reading handwriting input and for sketching. As a phone, it has the same kind of capabilities as the Galaxy S III, with slightly faster performance an added bonus to the increased screen size, at the expense of one-handed usability.
Refined and useful pen input
This is a great offering from Samsung, but as with previous Galaxy Note devices it will not suit everyone's tastes.
If you're onboard with the stylus-driven concept there's plenty of rewarding stuff here.
Is it perfect? Of course not. But, it is unquestionably the best realisation of the Galaxy Note concept we've seen so far.
Indeed, we'd go so far as to say this is how the original Galaxy Note should have been.
Oh boy Samsung does it again
I love this phone and to be honest with you I don't see myself using another phone for a very long time. This Quad-core beast can handle it all. I don't even take out my iPad anymore....I don't even feel the desire to buy the Nexus 7 at this point in time because this phone is just fun to use. This is now my personal on the go PC. I put in a 64GB microSD card into it (MicroSD slot another plus btw) and now I take all my movies and music along with me.
The Samsung Galaxy S III is a spectacular phone. A big part of what makes it spectacular is its incredible specs sheet. Yeah, although its specs can easily be rivaled by strong competitors like the HTC One X, which also has a quad-core processor and the other beloved tech goodies, the Galaxy S III manages to shine brighter, thanks to its superior user experience.
Excellent battery life
So to summarise: if you've been waiting feverishly for the new Samsung Galaxy S3, you will not be disappointed. It's fast, it's sleek and it packs the latest technology that will get your pulse racing.
The recent update has made it an even better phone, and we've been using it out of choice for the last few months - given we've got the choice of most handsets out there, that's a pretty big recommendation for any phone.
Good design and build quality
Subject to further testing, the Galaxy S3 has turned out to be an excellent smartphone. It offers a good design and build quality, despite our small niggles. Samsung has put together an impressive set of hardware resulting in silky smooth performance and extensive software features.
Fast, big display and a great camera
Is the Samsung Galaxy S III an excellent smartphone? Yes it is. Given the millions of preorders, I suspect many of you would buy this no matter what I said about the phone. That speaks of Samsung's momentum in the smartphone market and their excellent track record. Is this Samsung's best Android phone ever? Yes it is, but there is room for improvement. I'd love to see Samsung use high quality materials and cutting edge designs in their top tier phone.
Fast Qualcomm S4 processor
Nothing is sweeter that pulling a victory out of what seemed doomed to be a defeat. That's what the HTC One X on AT&T is. We expected to miss the quad-core processor of the European version and instead have found that we're glad to have ended up without it. Not that the NVIDIA Tegra 3 is a bad processor - it's not - it's just that Qualcomm's S4 is faster, cooler, and more power efficient in our tests.
Future-proof quad-core processor
It was really surprising to see HTC fall from a record-breaker to an underperforming company in just a few months. Thankfully, the firm's management has recognized the need for a change and has taken a number of timely actions in order to turn the ship around. The HTC One X is one of the first handsets produced with these new policies in mind, but after spending some time using it, we feel that there's still work ahead of HTC.
Let's not beat around the bush here: we love the HTC One X. You can see how we feel about the battery life, but it's not an insurmountable problem... it's just frustrating that you'll have to be frugal at times with your smartphone usage to get through the day. But beyond that the HTC One X is a beautiful piece of kit. It's stylishly designed, light, has a cracking screen and comes with enough future-proofing to make us believe our grandchildren may still have one.
Large screen is great for movies and games
The HTC One X is a fantastic phone, providing you can overlook its flaws. For some, the below-average call quality will most likely be a deal-breaker. For others, the One X's weak audio recording capabilities and inclusion of bloatware will be what drives them to another handset like the Nokia Lumia 900 or Apple iPhone 4S (also both on AT&T).
Fast new CPU
It's hard to go wrong with the HTC One X. It has the best of everything, and better yet: it all works well. From the gorgeous design to the striking 720p Super LCD it makes a great first impression. Use it for several days and you'll appreciate the excellent call quality, very fast data speeds and overall stability. The camera takes lovely shots and good 1080p video, the phone games admirably and it's consistently fast. Does the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S III present a serious challenge?
Most gorgeous display
There's absolutely no doubt that the One X is a masterpiece of an Android device: it obliterates pretty much all of its competitors by giving even the mighty Galaxy Nexus a run for its money. HTC's really crafted something special here, with a brilliant combination of branding, industrial design and user experience.
Design, display, power, Sense 4 and Android 4, does so much out of the box
The HTC One X is an excellent flagship phone. Fantastic design with a great screen bring premium hardware to the fore with a lighter Sense experience. The One X is more Android than previous phones, yet remains distinctly HTC.
Stunning detail with its 5-inch 1080p display
Slithering its way out of nowhere, surprisingly enough, we have to admit that HTC has a winner in the DROID DNA. Right now, it's rather difficult to stand atop of the crowd knowing that you have other venerable smartphones out there to compete against, but HTC is able to head into the crucial holiday season knowing they have a standout contender.
Seriously beefy specs
The Droid DNA is a very good phone. Its hardware performance is the definition of consistency, giving snappy load times and overall excellent performance.
Its sheer size makes it a bit of niche device, since its not easy to stuff in a pocket or manipulate with one hand. The lower-end storage size will likely have media mongerers shuffling files more often than they'd like, but it's worth it for that glorious 5-inch, 1080p screen.
No better smartphone out there right now
Overall, this device is simply magnificent. I was shocked when I first held it, and even more shocked when I slid it easily into my pocket. It felt fantastic, far better than my Rezound, and about the same as my Galaxy S3. If you buy any device in the next six months, it ought to be the HTC DROID DNA.
On paper, the HTC Droid DNA has some spectacular specs. The 1080P screen certainly is pretty, even if it doesn't improve that much on 1280 x 720, and the quad-core processor provides a huge amount of push no matter what you decide to do. I'm not wild about the ergonomics, but it's something that you can learn to live with, especially given the drawbacks inherent in any device with a 5+ inch screen.
Big, bold, and beautiful
We've criticized HTC in the past for taking what has felt like the safer route through the mobile landscape, and its decisions have seen it struggle to stand out while rivals like Samsung dominate Android device sales. The DROID DNA, though, is a return to the trail-blazing form of HTC's earlier days in Android: those times when the company had the best screens, and the fastest processors, and were legitimately "the phone to have" if you were a power user.
Comfortable to hold
I feel like HTC really knocked one out of the park with the Droid DNA. For $199 on Verizon Wireless, there is very little that can hold a candle to what this phone offers. When you compare this phone to Google's Nexus, Samsung's Galaxy S3, or Motorola's Razr line, there's not a single phone that adds up to what you get with the Droid DNA.
Top-notch camera configuration
HTC's Droid DNA is a mixed bag. On the plus side, the phone has a distinctive and solid-feeling build, a superb 1080p display and a top-notch camera configuration.
It also, however, has inconsistent and at times poor performance along with substandard call quality, underwhelming battery life and limited storage with no option for expansion. Then there's the UI and the baffling decisions with button and port configuration.
Truly Amazing Screen
All-in-all, the Droid DNA by HTC should definitely be a contendor this holiday season if youâ??re in the market for a new phone. The screen is by far one of the best (if not the best for the moment) and the LTE and quad-core processor will keep this phone from getting quickly outdated. If youâ??re okay with the large size, no expandable storage, and HTC Sense overlay, the DNA will be sure to keep you happy.
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.
Dual SIM device with two-source voice and data usage
We thought we'll be throwing up as soon as we see 480x800 WVGA resolution on a 5" screen, but in reality it is pretty usable for everyday tasks. The rest of the specs are adequate as we have a decent dual-core processor, a well-performing 8 MP camera, and the ability to add storage via the microSD card slot.
Thus if you have been longing for a huge screen phone that manages two SIM cards at once, it is not that you'll have many alternatives to the Grand DUOS anyway.
Going by the sheer screen size of the Galaxy Grand, Samsung is obviously looking to cater to a crowd that wants the most recent trend in smartphones. The catch is that it's a certain set of users that would love the extra real estate but not pay a premium price. Now, throw a dual-SIM into the mix and you end up with a target audience that will be hard-pressed to find something better than the Grand.
But... Not paying a flagship price entails compromise.
Well-performing 8-megapixels camera
On paper, one of the major drawbacks of the Grand Duos is the 480x800 WVGA resolution on a sizeable 5-inch screen, but, luckily, in reality the display is more than usable for everyday tasks. On the positive side, we should mention at least the decent dual-core processor, the pretty capable 8-megapixels camera, the dual-SIM or the the microSD card support.
Good performance, Dual SIM support with Smart dual SIM feature
There are just a few dual SIM smartphones in the Indian market with a 5-inch display and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. We reviewed the Micromax A116 Canvas HD and the Xolo A1000 dual SIM Android smartphones with a 5-inch HD display recently, but the 5-inch WVGA display at just 189 ppi pixel density in the Galaxy Grand Duos is disappointing.
Feels very comfortable to hold in your hands
The Galaxy Grand DUOS is a great device for end users with two sim cards. It is comfortable to hold in your hands and is pretty fast. Also the Nature UX interface by Samsung makes it very easy to use. We are a bit disappointed by the screen, especially the screens resolution might have been a bit higher in our opinion. This would make the icons a bit less big and the PPI a bit higher. The camera and the battery on the other hand are pretty good.
TouchWiz user interface enables much smoother navigation and seamless response
Overall the display is bright, camera has great colour reproduction, connectivity is seamless, and the touch and ecosystem are incredible. The low resolution seems to be the only real drawback of the Galaxy Grand Duos.
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