Svelte metallic design, Pentaband radio
With its combination of curved lines and sharp metal edges, the slimmest phone out there is undoubtedly one of the most elegant designs we've seen, too, and not only in the Android world.
The Ascend P6 gets almost all major smartphone details right except for the mediocre camera, which has some issues both with pictures and video. For about 400 (USD or EUR), we can't complain if something is lacking on a midranger, especially in such a thin and light package.
Stylish, powerful enough for most uses
We like the P6. It's got good looks, runs well and it feels well built. Yes, there are some really minor niggles, like that daft headphone cover/pin, among some more major issues such as the limited battery life - but we still rather like the phone when it's in full swing.
Incredibly thin, Highly customisable homescreens
If you want a ridiculously slim phone to slide into your pocket and don't mind that its specs are more typical of last year's kit, the Ascend P6 is one to consider. Its overheating is a concern though, as are the small issues with construction and software. Let's hope Huawei sorts them out before it goes on sale.
Clearly arranged operating system
Overall, the Ascend P6 lags behind the current first league of smartphones in a few points. Nevertheless, it is an impressive phone but not only because of its very slim build and good workmanship. Users who do not need LTE or a Full HD screen and can accept a lower performance will get a good smartphone for just under 450 Euros (~$599), which is more located in the midrange than the premium range.
Great design, Super thin form factor
The Ascend P6 combines a good set of hardware in a very sexy design and super thin form factor that very few other handsets have achieved. Huawei has certainly done a lot of effort in order to give the P6 the title of worldÃ¢Â? Â? thinnest and the attention to detail is very evident.
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.
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).
Resistant to dust and water damage
Let's be serious, people. The Sony Xperia acro S may not be the best smartphone out there, but it is the ultimate water-resistant Android handset that money can buy outside of Japan. Sure, we cannot deny that it is a bit bulky and its capacitive keys are kind of tricky to use, but its flaws are greatly outnumbered by its advantages, such as the catchy design, high-resolution display, capable camera, and rich multimedia feature set.
Good camera, Great array of multimedia apps
Sony certainly hit its stride in 2012, hitting on a solid and unique looking design ID for its smartphone products. The Acro S falls in line with the rest of the family in this regard, but fails to really stand out from the pack, too.
Having a rugged option is good, but there are trade-offs in size and weight to make, and if you don't feel like you're at risk of destroying your phone, then you'd be better off choosing an Xperia S, or something from Samsung or HTC instead.
Very solid smartphone
In conclusion, the Sony Xperia acro S is a very solid smartphone. It didn't manage to beat non-water-resistant smartphones at their own game (which is too much to ask of any such smartphone, realistically speaking), but it does the task it was created to do quite splendidly. Here's hoping that Sony will take good care of it and issue an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update in a timely manner.
Great outdoor phone
This phone finally looked promising combining a rugged design with solid performance. Its specifications are exactly what I wanted: a good processor, a lot of ram, decent battery runtime, microSD slot and even Ant+ support (for heart rate monitors etc.).
I especially like the feeling that everything is well thought through, for instance the charging dock, to preserve the water protection of the USB port.
Homogeneous screen illumination
Sony's Xperia Acro S wants to merge completely different areas. On the one hand, it is to be a multimedia device with all modern features and on the other, it has to fulfill the requirements of an outdoor sport device. The question remains whether an athlete wants to do sports with an almost 150 gram (~0.33 pounds), 4.3-inch smartphone. Looking at things separately, it meets all the requirements because the installed hardware is more than adequate and passed all executed performance tests.
Water-proof and dust-proof
The Sony Xperia Acro S separates itself from the pack by offering features that other flagship handset can only dream of water-proof and dust-proof. It's the perfect handset to bring to the beach or on a trek to the rapids of Cagayan de Oro, probably even for surfing.
Phenomenal price point
Specs-wise, the Google Nexus 4 is an impressive smartphone. Sure, it may not be the best in any particular category, but it's a very well-balanced package with an incredibly powerful processor and a gorgeous IPS screen. When it comes to its design, we do appreciate some of the delicacies of its premium exterior elements, but it doesn't really come off as something totally invigorating to cause us to drool over it.
Beautiful, elegant design, Excellent screen
Giving a handset on TechRadar a full five star rating is almost impossible. You could have the best phone in the world that can solve famine, pick the kids up from school and decipher Mandarin Chinese in a millisecond.
But it's not just about specs - value plays a huge part to play. A five star rating is reserved for a phone that we would say you should go out and buy pronto. Right now. Immediately.
The Nexus 4 comes SO close to that, it's unreal.
Performance and features of a high-end smartphone for half the price
As long as the storage capacities suffice, the Nexus 4 is the definition of a bargain. You quite simply get the performance and features of a high-end smartphone for half the price you would expect to pay. Unless you're set on an iPhone, the Nexus 4 is an unbeatable deal.
Budget friendly Android smartphone
If you're looking for a budget friendly Android smartphone with high end features, the Google Nexus 4 certainly is it. It's fast, has an excellent IPS display and is sold unlocked for use with any GSM carrier. The only drawback in the US? No LTE 4G. The Nexus 4's other problem is availability; it's been out of stock since introduction.
Good call quality
If you are looking at purchasing a high-end Android smartphone from Verizon, your choices are currently the Samsung Galaxy S III or the Motorola DROID RAZR HD (and RAZR MAXX HD), as they offer large 720p HD displays, and are using the 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor for fast performance.
The Galaxy S III may look more stylish and "flashy", though its plastic construction does have a cheap feeling to it and doesn't hold up well to abuse.
Strong call quality
The Droid Razr HD is a very good phone. The screen and overall design is very handsome. Its dual-core processor is capable, and it only sips battery power. It's a long lasting, reliable device that still has more than enough power to get the job done.
Being exclusive to Verizon is no handicap either, since the company's 4G LTE service is far-reaching and fast.
There's nothing wrong with the device, except for a mediocre camera. It's just that competition is so stiff.
So, all in all, the Motorola DROID RAZR HD's biggest problem isn't that it's not a solid device. Just the opposite it's an excellent performer that is only bound to get better when the updates start coming in (and when you have Google's word for it, you know they will come in). However, on current merit, it's hard to recommend it over the established players in the game.
Good performance for a dual-core handset
On paper the Razr HD may not look all that tempting given its fairly modest spec. However, in the flesh it's an attractive looking phone that feels more robust than the likes of the Samsung S3. It's got surprisingly good performance for a dual core phone too, along with excellent battery life.
Looks awesome and gives the premium feel you want from a smartphone
The Motorola Razr HD offers superb build quality and battery life along with a nice screen and great battery life. However, its £400 asking price means that it's probably worth spending the extra for a rival flagship smartphone or saving some money by opting for the Google Nexus 4.
Durable and refined smartphone
However, I've talked to many that refuse to touch this phone solely because of those buttons. However, if you can get past that, I would definitely recommend this over the Galaxy S3. Both are certainly great phones, but the Droid RAZR HD feels more refined and professional. At least go try it out at your local Verizon store!
Lovely looking, great screen, decent battery life
So there you have it, we have more faith in Motorola's products than Google CFOs do. While you could argue that the Razr HD isn't a "wow" device, you can't really argue that it's bad, because it isn't. And honestly, we really like its design and feel. It might not be one of the new generation of giaganto-phones that are all the rage now, but it will suit that audience who want smaller devices, with plenty of scope.
Excellent signal strength
The Motorola Droid RAZR HD is, simply put, an excellently built and designed smartphone. It's a pleasure to use, and a solid choice for anyone looking for a good high-end device today.
In fact, the only thing that I could see significantly improving the user experience would be to add more memory and more battery power... which is exactly what the RAZR MAXX HD does. Motorola has a clear hit on its hands here, and for a whole bunch of very good reasons.
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.
Good screen quality
Chances are thatthe HTC Desire X is a phone that you won't regret getting. Its maker has managed to deliver a reasonably priced smartphone that looks good enough to make you want to show it off in public. Besides, the handset runs as smoothly as a contemporary Android device should and its front is graced by a screen of above average quality. Yet be aware of the fact that the HTC Desire X has its flaws.
The HTC Desire X is a decent mid-range phone which offers up a smartphone experience you've come to expect from handsets which cost around Â£200.
It's doesn't offer anything particularly thrilling, nor does it having any major flaws and while the design is welcoming and the UI intuitive, we can't help but feel HTC hasn't pushed the Desire X to its full potential.
Decent app performance
HTC has done a good job of equipping its Desire X mid-range fighter. Its dual-core chipset gives you a smooth ride around the UI and garnished it with decent app performance, while the build quality and display are among the better in this price range. More importantly, the smartphone has just one major weakness, which can break the deal for you.
Neat, slim design
The HTC Desire X lops off some features to squeeze its slim body into a lower-mid range pigeonhole. Most of these aren't too critical. It uses a cut-down version of HTC Sense, has no user-facing camera and the main camera isn't too hot. But it gets the basics down well. The screen is surprisingly good given its unimpressive specs, the dual-core processor makes sure it's nippy and it's generally a pleasure to use.
What a great phone
This phone is fantastic. comes packaged beautifully. it's easy to use, the display is crystal clear and the camera is outstanding for a cell phone. I have found call quality and battery life to be great. I'm getting used to the operating system- I was used to an apple type system, but, the HTC system is pretty easy to use. if you're looking for a nice looking phone that has a lot of convenient apps, but, don't want to spend too much money, but this phone.
4-inch Super LCD screen looks sharp
The HTC Desire X can be seen as an attempt by HTC to pull down some of the higher end features from its top-end One series into a more affordable package. As a consequence of this, it seems like a very strong proposition in the mid-market smartphone arena.
Designed like the more expensive One X
It really is impressive how much of the One X DNA has trickled down to the cheaper Desire X. The Super LCD screen is especially welcome in this price category, and those choosing the Desire X have security in the knowledge that they have the best version of HTC's Sense UI available at this time. In most areas, the Desire X holds its own hardware-wise, though its 1GB of storage is stingy.
Fast camera with dedicated shutter key
The Sony Xperia T doesn't offer groundbreaking features compared to the other flagships out there, but it is a pretty compelling package nonetheless. The sturdy arched design will appeal to many, and the 13MP camera will let you capture those impromptu moments on the fly because of the dedicated shutter key. There are no major gripes with the handset either it is zippy, with expandable storage and easy to access card slots.
Quick capture on camera
The Sony Xperia T is a very, very good phone. Everything about it is slick and well-executed and the performance is certainly what we expect from a £400 device.
However, the Sony Xperia S was a very, very good phone. When a new model comes out, we look for it to improve upon the previous one and unfortunately, hand on heart; this doesn't improve on the last generation of smartphones as much as it should.
Feels sturdier and more solid
While we've looked at devices which are much better than the Xperia T on paper, we can't forget to factor in build quality and design. The Xperia T feels sturdier and more solid than both the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S III (with the glaring exception of the poorly-designed microSD/SIM card cover), and the curved back panel not only makes holding the Xperia T a more pleasurable experience, but also separates it from a design template that currently dominates the market.
Shatter-proof and scratch-resistant glass
The Sony Xperia T is a solid effort from Sony - it has a decent screen and camera but lacks the excitement we expected from a 'Bond Phone'. Our sample didn't even include the Bond wallpaper used in the phone's marketing. In short the handset doesn't seem very alluring when compared with its competition. We're not saying the Skyfall's awful and it is cheaper than other brands' flagship phones. But for sheer value the Nexus 4 now out-does the lot at £239.
13MP rear camera
In most Android handset bouts, the Galaxy S3 would come out on top as the superior smartphone you can't argue with Popup Play and Smart Stay for next-gen giddiness. And then there's incredible battery life. But for some gadgeteers the plasticky build stops them dropping £'500+ on the Samsung. If that's you, and you want a big HD screen with Sony's camera and entertainment expertise, plus features to feed your Facebook addiction in a slick package, the Xperia T is an excellent bet.
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