Excellent low-lighting photo performance
Obviously, it's not the most mouthwatering inducing iPhone we've seen to date, but considering that it hits the mark in the categories that matter the most, the iPhone 5s proves itself as being a feared competitor in the space. Like we said, there's nothing in the specs or hardware department that would terrify its rivals, but the updated iOS 7 experience is enough to make this iPhone look and feel different from past ones.
Powerful core, Touch ID is a real step up, Excellent camera
So to say this is the best iPhone yet is relatively pointless, as of course it was going to be. But the combination of iOS 7 to freshen things up with a powerful core and great camera mean that this phone should be considered on its own considerable merits, and while the high price will continue to put many off, anyone already wedded to the iPhone bandwagon, or even if they're just on the fence, will find a lot of joy in a phone that's a lot more than an iterative update.
Pushes the major re-design another year back
For half a decade Apple made just one iPhone a year and each was at least in the running for the best phone of the season. This year is different but at one point it seemed so for the wrong reasons. For a moment there, we thought Apple may have ended up with no potential winner out of two runners in the race.
Never mind the 5c, it's an old phone in new clothes, but yes, we were that skeptical about the 5s at first.
A7 chip offers fast performance and 64-bit support
The 5s is a solid effort from Apple, but its true worth is yet to be determined. If developers come up with clever ways to take advantage of the M7 coprocessor and the 64-bit support in iOS 7, the 5s will truly shine. If not, many people might just wait it out another year.
Pros: Touch ID fingerprint sensor, A7 processor.
The iPhone 5S fulfils the pre-determined destiny of all Apple "S" devices - it's the one that's normally met by the baying crowd as "meh". . At the start of this review someone asked what we though of the iPhone 5S in two words and we replied "same as". But the more we've played with it, the more we've used it, and the more it's clear that Apple has made vast improvements here, even if we are yet to see the full realisation of those improvements.
Improved camera and flash, Wide LTE support
We kicked off this review by stating the 5s has the potential to be Apple's most game-changing iPhone since inception. Apple is clearly looking to future-proof its handset while offering developers the opportunity to take advantages of its 64-bit architecture, A7 chip and M7 Coprocessor. Right now, you won't really experience what this phone is capable of. Give it six months and we'd expect some truly groundbreaking apps to appear.
Scaled down S4 design, Bright screen, Excellent camera
As for those wondering whether they should buy the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini instead of the Samsung Galaxy S3, truly that is something that you will have to decide for yourself. But the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini more than makes a case for itself, with the upgraded software, decent battery life and 4G tech more than giving the Samsung Galaxy S3 a run for its money.
Looks like its bigger brother but fits in the hand better
The Galaxy S4 mini is a great mid-range option, offering the same styling - which includes the same mediocre build quality - as its flagship counterpart, with a cheaper price tag. The cameras are good but the screen and storage are both under par. Consider the HTC One mini or the Nexus 4 as serious alternatives.
Pros: Fantastic styling, nice size.
When it comes down to it The SGS4 Mini is a terrific little phone. Solid battery performance, brilliant sound quality and a really nice form factor make it lovely to use. The lack of internal memory is a big issue though. While music and videos can be offloaded to an SD card, apps can't, and apps are starting to get really big in some cases. While we accept that gamers won't flock to this phone, we still think that the 5GB of internal storage is mean beyond words.
Huge new features & several useful tweaks
In the end, iOS 5 seems more about fixing a lot of niggling annoyances than offering a completely new phone. And though we'd always love more, that's fine with us. Over-the-air syncing is probably the biggest relief for most iOS device owners, but improvements to iMessage, integrated Twitter features, useful but fairly simple camera upgrades, and the addition of task management and reminders are marked improvements over past versions.
Exquisite noise cancellation & calling quality
Undeniably, the iPhone 5 is the most highly anticipated smartphone of the year rightfully so considering that this sixth-generation sees one major design overhaul! For some time now, the competition has been leaping over the iPhone 4S specs sheet, but with the introduction of the iPhone 5, Apple has seemingly addressed many of the desires and wants of iPhone owners.
Great design & Larger screen
Is the iPhone 5 the best smartphone ever? If you're an iPhone lover and won't ever leave, without question. It's got a larger screen, a superb new design and generally all the moves required to make it into a worthy evolution.
But as ever we can't get over the price of the iPhone 5, with very little reason to prove that spending all that extra cash brings a tangible benefit.
A very solid effort
The Apple iPhone 5 is a very solid effort, a purchase which few are likely to regret. However, it fails to be one of the revolutionary products its maker is known for.
We are not sure if it's due to complacency or the innovation well has simply dried up, but Apple has let competition catch up and even take the lead second year in a row.
Stunning design and build
Apple has once again blown us away with its latest iPhone, producing a phone that stands head and shoulders above the competition when it comes to industrial design. It's slimmer, lighter and better looking than before, and yet it packs in a larger screen and faster processor. The new panorama mode on the camera is also superb and the new Earpods are a nice improvement too.
Beautifully built, top performer
The iPhone 5 really is much more than a tall iPhone 4S with a new plug. The people may demand a revolution every upgrade season. But Apple may just have supplied what the people need, not what they say they want. And that's a powerful evolution on the theme of iPhone which is currently putting the competiton back on the starting blocks.
Beautiful, sophisticated design
The iPhone 5 is a significant improvement over the iPhone 4S in nearly every regard, and in those areas that didn't see an upgrade over its predecessor -- camera, storage capacity -- one could make a strong case that the iPhone 4S was already ahead of the curve. Every area, that is, except for the OS. If anything, it's the operating system here that's beginning to feel a bit dated and beginning to show its age.
Still, the iPhone 5 absolutely shines.
Its Hard To Dislike an iPhone, but
It is really hard to dislike an iPhone but this really seems to missing something. It is missing that undefinable quality that makes me want to stand for hours waiting inline to be the first one to get the awaited iPhone. I am going to keep this iPhone, but am going to be using my Galaxy S3.
The Nokia Asha 503 brings a more robust 5MP camera (be it fixed-focus) and 3G to a package we already liked, and that's what we can safely call a good start.
The Nokia Asha 503 brings a more robust 5MP camera (be it fixed-focus) and 3G to a package we already liked, and that's what we can safely call a good start. Emerging markets are the most likely destination as usual but, yet again, the Asha series look capable of transcending borders. The Asha 501 looked like a good first phone for you kid or a decent second phone that won't break the bank and the 503 is bringing even more value.
Display look smaller than it actually is
Nokia Asha 503 leaves a lot to be desire, it lacks performance, apps and reliability, but what it does have is affordability. The 502 really is an entry level smartphone that should only be considered if you are desperate to get your hands on a smartphone for as little money as possible - even then we'd suggest looking at the refurbished 2nd hand market first as using this phone on a day-to-day basis would drive you bananas.
Good display, Adequate performance
There was a time when cheap smartphones were slow and clunky, which made them frustrating to use, but it looks like things are now changing for the better. Of course, the LG Optimus L5 II is far from a benchmark record holder, but it offers performance that is satisfactory and very adequate for its class. Furthermore, it has a screen that is better than what you'd see on similarly priced devices - one of its best advantages over the competition.
Camera shutter can be voice activated
The LG Optimus L5 II is a neat and compact little handset, with a vibrant screen and good battery life. It has some neat features too, including its Quick Memo app and the voice activated shutter for the camera. However, we wish LG had given it a bit more grunt in the performance department, as it can feel a little bit underpowered at times.
Affordable price, Bright screen, Decent battery life
The LG Optimus L5 II is cheap, has a decent screen and pleasing battery life, making it a fair choice for recent smart phone converts. Unfortunately, it's let down by unimpressive performance, and its tiny storage will likely cause a few problems.
Bright display with good viewing angle stability
The LG Optimus L5 II meets the requirements of a mainstream smartphone: It does not really stand out in one category. Inside the pretty simple case is a SoC with a weak processor and limited memory equipment. The internal storage is just too small and the quality of the camera is tolerable at best. The touchscreen with the sticky surface attracts dirt, at least it does not affect the functionality.
Catchy and ergonomic design
HTC has made a mucho sympatico handset with the 8S, shaping it in a two-tone ergonomic bod, with very easy one-handed operation. It has skimped a bit on the camera quality, and not even included one for video chat, but the rest of the readings are solid, and there is even a microSD slot for storage expansion, which you don't see often with HTC these days.
Its direct competitor is the Nokia Lumia 820, which is capable, but more expensive and more unwieldy to handle.
Great social network integration
The HTC 8S is a good all round handset. It doesn't do a terrible job of anything but stylish looks aside it also struggles to stand out.
Pretty much every Windows Phone is great for messaging and social networks and this is no exception, while being able to expand the storage with a microSD card is always appreciated.
Equally the performance is generally pretty slick, which combined with the stylish design gives the impression of a more premium, expensive handset than it actually is.
Excellent build quality and a fresh youthful styling
The HTC Windows Phone 8S is a likeable little handset. It clearly isn't one of the platform's headliners, but it may be the right thing to help the fresh Windows Phone 8 conquer some new territory.
The 8S was meant to make the WP OS more desirable and accessible, and it seems the HTC engineers did a pretty good job of cutting the right corners. The display may not be the standard-setting stuff that we saw in the One X, but it isn't half bad either.
Expandable storage via microSD slot
The Windows Phone 8S by HTC isn't going to blow anyone's socks off with its modest specs. But its design certainly sets it apart from the pack - the range of bright, strongly contrasting colours its available in will put a smile on many a face. Running Windows Phone 8 and with a dual-core processor, its nice and fast, and the microSD slot means you can easily upgrade storage.
Solid performance and features for a reasonable price
The HTC Windows Phone 8S is the first Windows Phone 8 handset to fit into the mid-range price category. As such it's not quite the performer of the high-end Windows Phone 8 devices, but it's not so poor as to make it a bad deal. It offers solid performance and features for a reasonable price. Whether you prefer it to a similarly priced Android phone will depend on your own subjective preference of platform.
When we got our hands on the 8X, we found it to be a worthy flagship, with a good balance of specifications and design. Fortunately for the 8S, much of the design DNA has carried over, which we like. Naturally, the spec sheet differs dramatically, but only as you would expect for a phone aimed at a more mainstream section of the market. Some people might not fancy the sound of a 1GHz dual-core chip or 5-megapixel camera, and these people should indeed look elsewhere.
Affordable & Good camera
You can pick up an HTC 8X for just £180 offline. That's a fantastic price for a phone that looks and feels better than any Android device below £240. When you consider that we're talking about the Google Nexus 4 - an anomalously value-centric device - it just goes to show how great a package the HTC 8S actually is.
There are a few issues though. For starters, stability isn't as good as we'd like and certainly isn't up there with other Windows Phone 8 handsets.
Beats sounds good
The Windows Phone 8S by HTC comes in as an affordable handset for those wanting the Windows Phone experience on a budget. The quirky user experience is delivered here much as it is elsewhere but we can't help feeling, thanks to the specs of the phone, that the 8S isn't too far removed from the previous run of Windows Phone devices.
What you don't get is the additional software that Nokia is pouring into its handsets to boost the offering.
Elegant and compact design
The Samsung Galaxy S III mini is a lovely mainstream smartphone. All of a sudden, the Galaxy S III's nature-inspired design looks and feels right in your hand. The device is easy to hold and operate, while its 4-inch screen is big enough to provide a comfortable and pleasant experience for smartphone users.
We won't really recommend this one if you're a diehard geek who wants the biggest and baddest device possible, but we can certainly recommend it to pretty much everybody else.
Scaled down design, Android Jelly Bean
We really liked the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini. It ticks all the right boxes, and comes in at a very decent price. The truth of the matter is, though, that it's launching right smack bang against the Google phone, the Nexus 4.
Every time we looked at the Galaxy S3 Mini we were impressed. It beats the Nexus 4 in many areas, it has microSD support and a fantastic interface, but the Nexus has the impressive stock Android.
Android 4.1 with Samsung TouchWiz UI
At £270 on a PAYG basis, the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini is cheap enough to attract the masses, but for that price, we would certainly recommend looking beyond the alluring branding on the box and target one of the boundary-pushing, specs-impressive offers around the same print point.
This is a truly unlocked international phone, the UI can be set to any language from the long list. It's sad and understandable why Samsung won't sell it in US as it is twice as cheaper than its big brother Galaxy S III. The screen is gorgeous, the phone is very fast and responsive. The size of this baby is perfect for both men and women, unless one prefers all those "bricks" with huge screens. I love this phone!
Low resolution screen compared to original
The Samsung Galaxy S III mini is a downgraded version of the flagship Galaxy S III in both size and power. It will attempt to appeal to those who find flagship Android phones too big to handle but aren't necessarily interested in top-end specifications.
Slim profile, Samsung apps
The Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini looks like a Galaxy S3 but has been stripped of all the things that made that smartphone the T3 smartphone of the year. It doesn't look as nice as an iPhone 4, doesn't have the camera skills of Sony smartphones and has a lesser screen than the Motorola Razr i.
The real killer is that it doesn't cost that much less than a Galaxy S3 which means, once you've seen one, it's hard to accept second best...
Decent battery life and call quality
The Galaxy S3 Mini has a very similar design to the S3, but internally it uses a significantly slower processor. It still delivers a pretty slick user experience thanks to Android Jelly Bean, but the screen and camera aren't on a par with those of the S3. It also seems overpriced, especially as the vastly superior Google Nexus 4 undercuts it by around £60.
Comes with a good set of headphones, Good call quality
The HTC Desire 200 has some perks going for it, like the decent audio and call quality, packing the same set of headphones that comes with the HTC One, and sporting strong loudspeaker and clean earpiece. It also flaunts a very fast camera, but its less-than-impressive entry level specs hinder the impression from the handset's advantages.
Good call quality, Good build quality and pleasant to hold chassis
The Nokia Asha 210 goes for around $72 without a contract subsidy, so for that price you can't really ask for more than its good call quality, decent picture-taking and cool exterior. It is rather slow, though, and the dedicated messaging features and the whole Series 40 apps quality comes in rather gimmicky.
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