Good physical keyboard
Nevertheless, folks who absolutely must have a hardware keyboard should be happy with a BlackBerry Q5. Chances are they won't be able to find a better alternative anyway, other than the pricier BlackBerry Q10. Those who don't need one, on the other hand, better look elsewhere. The HTC Windows Phone 8X and the Nokia Lumia 720, for example, are both good, compact phones that also runs a platform as fluid and responsive as BB10.
Fast web browser, HD screen
The BlackBerry Q5 is one for the aficionados who can't afford, or refuse to splash cash on the highly priced Q10, with the solid BlackBerry typing experience at the heart of everything it does.
Without knowing the price it's difficult to say how it will stand up against other handsets, but anyone who isn't a BlackBerry fan and is in the market for a reasonably priced smartphone probably won't be taken with the Q5.
Cheap BlackBerry 10 phone with keyboard is a mixed bag
It's a mixed bag when it comes to the BlackBerry Q5. It's cheaper than both the BlackBerry Q10 and Z10 and a lot of its hardware specs are better than we expected. However, build quality isn't inspiring and while BlackBerry 10 is smooth with good features, a shortage of apps remains a downfall.
Poor camera, small screen
If you're a legacy user of BlackBerry and are itching to get a slice of BlackBerry 10 without committing a huge slice of money, then the Q5 won't disappoint. If you're just in the market for an affordable and functional smartphone though, there's plenty of other options that offer more for less.
Most affordable route to BB10
All these things, the slightly sluggish performance, the generic design and a price that's not all that compelling make the BlackBerry Q5 a smartphone that's difficult to get excited about. It's not without merit, but it doesn't feel like the cheap and cheerful Curve replacement we want it to be.
Boasts a full QWERTY keyboard
With two high-end devices already out it makes sense that BlackBerry would return to its established emerging markets and make a phone that would be deemed "affordable".
What will be most interesting however is seeing just how affordable it really is, sporting many of the same specs as the Q10 many users could be in for a shock when BlackBerry does finally release pricing information.
Decent screen, Well built
The early signs are positive for the Sony Xperia L which brings a decent set of features to the bottom end of the market and although it won't be as cheap as the likes of the ZTE Blade 3, Huawei Ascend G330 and Nokia Lumia 520, it will still register as affordable for a lot of people.
Generally it copes with everything pretty well and while there is a hint of slow down every now and then that's expected from cheaper handsets.
Seriously good camera for the price
Overall, the Xperia L is a package that fits in its midrange spot nicely. It's an adequately powered smartphone and an above average cameraphone. There seems to be enough appeal there for common-sense buyers - and that's something to build on. Without a doubt, the Xperia L should be grateful to the Xperia U for the momentum and to Sony, for doing the right thing.
Impressive camera for price
The Sony Xperia L is no Xperia Z, but then it was never meant to be. What it tries to do is take as many of the great qualities from the flagship Sony phone and blend them into a cheaper, more affordable body and it does a generally decent job of it.
The 8-Megapixel camera is a slick performer and the build is surprisingly quite good even if we are not entirely convinced by the sharp bezel.
Unimpressive performance, Some software bugs
With its black, arched design and silver details, the Sony Xperia L is definitely among the better-looking budget phones. Its older version of Android and software bugs really let it down though. The Google Nexus 4 is a much better phone all round and only costs £10 more.
Nice looking display for a mid-ranger
Taking into consideration everything we've checked out with the LG Optimus F7, we have to admit that it's a very well rounded contender that's above most other mid-rangers that are out on the market. And to an extent, it can very well hold its ground against some higher-end devices, especially when it's priced to attract at $100 with a 2-year contract.
Consistent smooth performance
Oh BlackBerry! We had some serious high hopes with this smartphone, well, more with the new platform of course. In the US, it isn't going to arrive until March, where it'll be sporting that golden price of $200 with a 2-year contract. First impressions are key, right? Well, we can't say that the BlackBerry 10 is a darling of a gem with its design, which is a shame to tell you the truth, since solid industrial designs can really be the first line of defense to garner some attention.
Great web browsing
The Z10 is a decent smartphone offering up a strong range of features and a fancy new operating system that may catch the eye of the technologically adventurous.
It does pretty much everything we'd expect from a high-end device and there are no major flaws to go running to the presses about.
That said, the Z10 also lacks any killer selling points.
Well-designed, solid device with sleek design
BlackBerry is keen to shake off the old image and the Z10 couldn't have been farther away from being a phone for suits. Don't get us wrong, it can handle business tasks and even do it better than old BlackBerries. But finally users - and we mean all kinds of users - will be getting a full-time deal. And in modern smartphone terms, this is well beyond the usual nine-to-five.
Convention-defying multi-tasking centric homepage
It's still a little early to fully judge the BlackBerry Z10 as it could be the case that a few quick software updates and a flurry of new apps quickly put it strongly into contention. However, as it stands it comes up a little short.
On the hardware front BlackBerry hasn't done much wrong. The design is a little dull and the plastic back a tad cheap looking but overall it's a smart looking device that despite being a black plastic slab actually manages to stand out from the crowd.
Hardware is reasonable
The design and build quality of the Z10 just makes it seem like a cheap plastic iPhone to us. Hardware is reasonable with the screen being the stand out feature and the BlackBerry 10 software makes this the most attractive BlackBerry smartphone to date. However, given the price, the iPhone or a decent Android handset is still a preferable option.
Fast, stable, attractive smartphone that's pocket friendly
The BlackBerry Z10 is an excellent first step, and we're impressed with BlackBerry OS 10's speed, stability and breadth of features. It feels like a mature OS relative to other smartphone operating systems at first launch. The Z10 itself is an attractive piece of hardware and it feels great in the hand. For those who want a phone first and something that's small enough to operate one-handed, it has strong appeal.
I really enjoy the smartphone. The only thing I don't like about it is a tiny internal storage. You get only 1 GB for your applications and data. Of course you can extend that by inserting a sd-card. But unfortunately you cannot install your app on it, unless you root your device. The battery life is even better then I expected. Normally I charge it not often then every other day. Overall it's pretty good rigid smartphone.
Fit for outdoor use, Bright display
Overall, we can certify that the Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2 completed our tests with good results --considered as if it were a normal smartphone. The fact that it is suited for outdoor use is something like a big bonus. We definitely recommend the Xcover 2 to anyone who wants to have their smartphone with them "at work and at play", sports included. The recommended retail price is rather high, but the street price -- as usual with Samsung products -- is much lower.
Thin and light for a mid-range device
First and foremost, there's no denying that the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus is a capable and well-made mid-range smartphone. It has preserved many of the traits that made the 2-year-old Galaxy S II land in the pockets of over 40 million people worldwide, such as the slim profile, the great performance, and the high-grade camera gracing its back.
But at the same time, we can't hide our disappointment from the fact that there's nothing to justify the "Plus" in the smartphone's title.
Jelly Bean out of the box
The Galaxy S II Plus is a solid, if not spectacular, smartphone. Its dual-core chipset is good enough for the WVGA screen, while the latest version of TouchWiz adds plenty of cool tricks to the already feature-rich Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It may not be stuff from your dreams, but it's shaping to be a reasonable package that can get a lot of work done
High-contrast AMOLED screen, Smooth user interface
The bottom line is; the S2 Plus has clearly earned its purchase recommendation, even if the current price of 300 Euros (~$390) is definitely not a bargain. Consequently, the Nexus 4 remains to be the unchallenged star in the Android camp for enthusiasts who place particular importance on the latest hardware (at least in this price category).
Cheap, Great battery life, MicroSD slot
When you consider the Huawei Ascend W1 will set you back just £120 it's difficult to fault, as you're getting a pretty good deal.
The Ascend W1 comes with a strong set of features allowing you to fully use the handset as a mobile phone, internet portal, handheld gaming device and multimedia station.
It may not excel at any of these things, but that's OK.
Good looking, Colourful design, High quality screen
The Huawei Ascend W1 is a cracking little phone. It feels slicker and faster than most budget Android handsets (which are its main competition), has an eye-catching design, long battery life and good call quality. You don't get access to as many apps as you do on Android or iOS handsets, but if you can live with this then you'll find that at £110 on Pay As you Go from O2 it represents exceptionally good value for money.
All things bright and colourful
At £199, Huawei's Ascend W1 is a respectable entry into the world of budget-friendly Windows Phone 8 devices. It's stylish and solidly built with fantastic battery life and a compact-but-crisp four-inch screen, but Huawei hasn't gone the extra mile like Nokia to try and entice you in with extra apps and services. The lack of apps could be a deal-breaker for smartphone fans, although newbies are unlikely to be bothered.
Good build quality, quite fast
As a mid-price gateway to the world of Windows Phone the Huawei Ascend W1 is an efficient, fast and capable way in. But the camera isn't quite up to scratch, the screen could be a bit sharper, and it has its work cut out to distinguish itself from the small but growing range of mid-price Windows rivals such as the Nokia Lumia 620, which isn't quite as big, or as fast, but comes with a range of extra features for less cash.
Bright, high-contrast IPS screen
Huawei wants to mingle in the still new Windows Phone 8 market with its brand new Ascend W1. The manufacturer's debut is successful. The bright IPS screen is seldom seen in the 200 Euros (~$259) price range and contributes largely to the Ascend's good impression. The above-average, long battery runtime and decent equipment wrapped up in an elegant design are also compelling. The power-duo from Qualcomm is strong enough for all applications and ensures swift routine use.
Screenshots, resize tiles, customize the lockscreen
To conclude, the Huawei Ascend W1 is a strong Windows Phone offering. It has a solid construction, attractive design, great display, decent camera, and a really good battery life. The only real downside we see here is the 512MB RAM as it limits the amount of applications it can run from the Windows Phone Store.
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.
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.
Great call quality
The Sony Xperia E dual was born to be used for voice calls. It offers outstanding call quality and can handle two SIM cards simultaneously, meaning that those who own it can take advantage of two carriers' deals, thus saving some cash along the way. Besides, its performance isn't too bad, so it can be a decent entry-level handset for users on a tight budget.
Good balance between functionality and affordability
Sony Xperia E dual is an excellent offering, striking good balance between functionality and affordability. The snappy performance came as a nice surprise to us and if it wasn't for the limited storage for installing apps we'd be recommending it in a heartbeat.
Yet, even as things stand now, the Xperia E is a very competitive package that will tick the right boxes for many and would provide a lot of bang for your buck.
Feels much like a toy
The Xperia E Dual is a great phone for those looking for an entry-level Android smartphone on a budget. The build quality is excellent and the performance is decent. The dual-SIM feature offers the option to keep your professional and personal life separate. In short, if you want a market-tested brand with the features of a smartphone, the Xperia E Dual Android phone is a good choice.
Sits comfortably in the hand
The Sony Xperia E dual is a good dual-SIM smartphone for little money. One should not expect too much besides this function though. The case is undoubtedly fancy, but the stability is not ideal. The card reader allowing up to 64 GB is a useful feature considering the small internal storage provided. The integration of the dual-SIM function proves to be good in Android. An update to Google Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) is yet to be released by Sony though.
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