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.
Unparalleled photo & video quality, Lots of manual controls
With so much versatility behind it, like its various shooting modes and useful lossless zoom, it'll be hard for consumers to not consider this handset. However, its $300 on-contract price point slows its momentum down, seeing that it's still widely viewed as a pricey thing - and that's despite the fact that the 32GB iPhone 5 is priced the same. If we had to best describe this, it's essentially a Nokia Lumia 920 with a 41-megapixel camera. Sounds pretty accurate, right?
Brings a number of new software features
Better yet, it's Nokia that has delivered one last time. It's not the fact that they may never do it again that makes the Luma 1020 special. And it's definitely not why we're heaping praise on the phone. On their way out, Nokia are looking back at a lifetime of achievement. One last view from the top.
Capable of taking phenomenal photos
The Nokia Lumia 1020 faces an uphill battle: Not only is it competing against heavyweights such as the Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5, but it is also fighting against the stigma surrounding the Windows Phone OS. The Lumia 1020 is an excellent phone with one of the best all-around cameras out there, but its AT&T exclusivity and older hardware make it a hard sell. If you're an AT&T customer who has been curious about Windows Phone, I strongly urge you to pick up the Lumia 1020.
Fantastic camera, brilliant way of handling zoom
Take the very good Nokia Lumia 920 and graft the Nokia PureView 41 megapixel camera onto the back and you've got the Nokia Lumia 1020. Even better, tweak it with second generation image stabilization, some brilliant image processing software and handy image editing tools and you've got a camera that matches or beats most point and shoots and some DSLR cameras, despite the smaller lens.
Large screen, compact phone
Samsung didn't exactly catch us by surprise with the Galaxy S4. Pretty much all the hardware improvements like the faster processor, better camera, and 5" 1080p screen were expected. Samsung simply had to have those in the Galaxy S4 if it wanted its product to be relevant in 2013. However, it's the flawless implementation of all the features that makes the Galaxy S4 the superb smartphone that it is. Design-wise, the latest Samsung flagship is nothing special.
Stunning screen, Superfast processor, Great camera
Make no mistake - the Samsung Galaxy S4 is far, far more than a Galaxy S3 'S' - Samsung may be copying Apple according to some people, but it's not as brazen as the Cupertino brand in flogging the exact same design with a slightly uprated processor and calling it a new phone.
The Galaxy S4 is a great, great device in its own right, re-inventing what it means to own a brilliant smartphone in a number of ways.
More serious and stylish look
While the Samsung Galaxy S4's exterior might be its Achilles' heel, we can't blame Samsung for sticking with the Galaxy S brand image it spent so much resources trying to build (that phone sold over 50 million units too, so being associated with it cannot be too bad).
With the sheer number of excellent flagships to choose from, if you are looking for the best smartphone, you had it better than ever.
Stunning 5-inch Full HD screen
The Samsung Galaxy S4 might not look that different or have that one killer feature that sinks the competition, but it's a worthy successor to the Samsung Galaxy S3.
It's a true high-end powerhouse and undeniably one of the best phones on the market right now, albeit one that will relies a little too heavily on brand appeal and past successes rather than innovation and eye-catching design. Yes, it might not be the most stylish handset on the market, but nor is it a dog.
Huge display in a not so huge phone, excellent camera
The Samsung Galaxy line of smartphones is a juggernaut; like the iPhone, the next generation will sell well based simply on brand loyalty, trust and familiarity. Even so, the Samsung Galaxy S4 has a lot to offer, and though I wasn't overwhelmed with love for the Galaxy S III, the S4 is seriously tempting me. The superb camera and related features, comfortable feel in the hand, replaceable battery and software like Smart Stay and Air Gesture are hard to give up once you've used them.
A brilliant phone in almost every way
As we type this we have the SGS3 and the SGS4 on our desk. While, superficially, there's really not a lot of difference between the two, to hold, they couldn't feel more different. We really like the new, more square-feeling SGS4. At the back, we prefer the SGS3 aesthetically, although the case design of the new phone is nicer - albeit still plastic.
There are a stack more options here.
Large 720p display that performs as well as it looks
With all Windows Phones running nearly identical software and Microsoft employing strict hardware minimums it can be challenging for manufacturers to differentiate their products. Nokia has already chosen to focus on the camera, and HTC is producing their typical top-notch hardware. Samsung's Android approach has been to include an excess of niche software customizations, but with the less open Windows Phone platform they are not able to do this.
Nice screen for a mid-range smartphone, Good battery life
If you're on Sprint and are specifically looking for a Windows Phone, the Samsung ATIV S Neo is a better option than the HTC 8XT, largely because of its higher-resolution screen and better battery life. And while it requires an extra $50 initial investment, that's a tiny portion of what you'll pay over the required two-year contract.
Good all-around value for the money
If you don't mind the sketchy call quality, Nokia has hit the nail on the head with its most affordable Windows Phone handset to date. It runs the newest version of Microsoft's mobile OS, has a zippy processor, expandable storage, and produces decent pictures and video.
Least expensive handset in the Lumia line-up
If you're looking for a cheap smartphone, you may have just found it. The Nokia Lumia 520 doesn't tick all the boxes on our features wishlist, but it capably handles those that are most important. Windows Phone 8 is a beautiful operating system, but it still lacks apps. If you can get past this and don't mind sacrificing some performance and connectivity, the Lumia 520 is a strong budget buy.
Build, design, price
The Nokia Lumia 520 is a great little smartphone. It delivers what Nokia is known for, with good design and build quality, despite the affordable price point. A few hardware shortcuts have been made, knocking out the flash, front camera and NFC, for example, which the slightly more expensive Lumia 620 offers.
But at this price there's little to criticise.
A better camera and more software features than you might expect for its price tag
Though it lacks 4G LTE support, the AU$179 Nokia Lumia 520 still gives you quite a bit for your money. Pricing is absolutely this phone's primary value proposition, but the essentials all seem to work, the hardware is sturdy and the camera is better than average.
This is a good buy for someone seeking a wallet-friendly smartphone off-contract.
Great Design, Smooth UI, Dual SIM functionality
The tipo dual is priced at around Rs 10,000. It comes with a great design, sturdy build, dual-SIM functionality, and impressive sound quality. The camera and video playback could have been better, though. Overall, the tipo dual is a good dual-SIM Android phone for the price. Those who need at least a 3.5" screen have plenty of cheaper options, including the Intex Aqua 4.0.
Feels sturdy and durable
Sony has priced the Xperia tipo dual at Rs.10,500, while the single SIM version retails for a grand less. Looking at just Tier 1 brands, the tipo dual is the best dual-SIM Android option at this price point, although we feel it's still a bit expensive. It's very similar to the HTC Explorer in terms of specs, except it's better thanks to the bigger battery, better display and ICS. If Sony drops the price and manages to place it in the 8K range, it will make a killing.
Less weight and is handy.
The Sony Xperia Tipo dual is a compact smart phone with dual sim functionality in Sony's Xperia series. It has its own fixed target audience but this phone is much better than others in this price range. Its 800 MHz processor, 3.2 megapixels camera and Android 4.0 version are its main key features that gives it edge over its competitors. Its week 512 MB RAM, small screen size and no front facing camera might be reasons for avoiding it. So, we give this phone 3 star rating.
Tiny screen, a mediocre camera
The Huawei Ascend Y100 has a tiny screen, a mediocre camera and average performance. However, it's all about the price in this instance. At £59, we can't fault the Ascend Y100 too much. If you're patient and can live with a cramped screen, then this is a fully featured Android phone for a great price.
Value for money
The Huawei Ascend Y100 has a tiny screen, a mediocre camera and average performance. However, it's all about the price in this instance. At under $100, we can't fault the Ascend Y100 too much. If you're patient and can live with a cramped screen, then this is a fully featured Android phone for a great price.
Neat looks, lightweight, decent processor
For the price, the Huawei offers a decent set of specs for a budget Android device. The screen's a little too small to be comfortable, the camera's not too exciting, but the processor puts in a decent performance, making it a good low-price introduction to the smartphone world.
Portable and has a slightly lower specification to make it more cost effective
The Motorola DEFY MINI is the smaller and younger brother in the range of the DEFY family.
Designed to do just as much, the MINI is a bit more portable and has a slightly lower specification to make it more cost effective.
Very poor camera
All in all, there's no doubt that the LG Optimus L3 is one perfectly usable handset, with no serious issues to cause problems with its operation. We do like the fact that it looks better than your average low-end affair, and it actually outperforms it due to its smooth UI and ability to play 3D games and Flash content in the browser. Unfortunately, the low-quality, low-resolution screen kind of ruins the whole experience.
Good performance from the processor
The Optimus L3 has its plus points it's got good battery life and feels quite speedy to use for such a modestly priced handset. However, it's let down badly by its poor quality and low resolution screen, which really does significantly hamper its usability. We'd recommend you spend a bit more to get an Android phone with a larger and higher resolution screen, such as the excellent Orange San Francisco II or Huawei Ascend G300.
Abysmal set of hardware
The LG L3 is cheap but doesn't really tick any other boxes. It has old software and an abysmal set of hardware with the all-important screen the worst of the lot. It's only saving grace is the good battery life but we recommend saving a few more pennies and going for the HTC One V or opting for the even cheaper Huawei Ascend G 300.
Hopefully bargain basement price
The LG Optimus L3 certainly isn't going to appeal to those of you after the biggest, brightest, most powerful phone, but if you only need the more basic tasks Android undertakes and want a good-looking phone on a budget, the L3 could well be worth a look.
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