Great screen, Low price, Blazing performance
Although the issues we take with the Nexus 5 are considerable, they're not enough to keep us from recommending this device.
One of the issues we have, which is the lackluster camera, might be resolved with a software fix. And even if it were a minor fix, it's not so bad that you'll never be able to take good photos with it.
What really gets us here is what we're not used to seeing, and that's a device with these kinds of specs at this price point.
Impressively spec'd smartphone at a bargain price
Last year's Nexus 4 had great-sounding specs on paper but the choice of the hardware components wasn't as flawless. The screen had poor contrast and washed-out colors, the camera wasn't up to scratch and the white paint job came well after the black version. Yet, for that price then, no other premium smartphone was even in the same conversation.
Great features at a low price with no contract commitment
The Nexus 5 isn't the best smartphone on the market. In fact, there isn't a "best phone", because folks' needs are different: some want a small phone, others want lots of software features and still others want a phablet or a pen. The Nexus 5 is undoubtedly the best smartphone you can buy for just $349 full retail. It has a great mix of features for the price including a very fast CPU, a sharp full HD IPS display and the promise of always running the latest OS.
Value for money, display, lots of power, Android KitKat brings some exciting new elements
There's a lot packed into the Nexus 5, particularly given the £299 and £339 pricepoints for 16GB and 32GB respectively. For that money, you get a display that rivals devices that cost some £200 more, and a chipset that is, in many cases, more powerful. In addition to that, you have a Nexus device, meaning it's uncluttered by bloat and first in line for Android updates.
Customizable design, Snappy performance
Kudos to Motorola for bringing this smartphone to all four major wireless carriers in the country, including good old US Cellular as well. That's something to say about the handset's intentions, as it lives up to prestigious honor of being recognized as a flagship. It's the perfect strategy for it, especially if Motorola really wants to be taken seriously by its rivals again.
Motorola's hardware is brilliant, Android remains solid
The average consumer, should they decide to gobble up the Moto X, will certainly be satisfied with all it has to offer, and even if it's not the most powerful beastie out there we've enjoyed using it this last week. It might not suit every man, woman and child, but if the customisation options are for you then that's one big box ticked.
Comfortable design, Moto Maker customization is phenomenal
We really like the Moto X. It's a lean, almost pure Google Android experience, with a few nice extras and amazing Google Now support. We were incredibly annoyed by the bug we encountered with Moto Assist and don't recommend you touch the app, but outside of that, it's still a great phone. Hopefully, Motorola fixes more bugs before its launch in late August and early September.
Amazing form factor, just feels natural to hold
It's great. It's wonderful. An all around wonderful phone. An excellent Android phone. But it isn't the radical change Motorola has hinted at, not yet at least. It's iterative; a waypoint on the path to undiscovered country, but not the promised land itself.
Smooth and snappy performance
With the Lumia 925, Nokia has created a charming device. It's a good-looking, thin and light smartphone that even features an aluminim frame to give it a premium taste. But thankfully, there's more than great design that the Nokia Lumia 925 can offer you. The handset features a sizable display of above-average quality, as well as a wonderful camera that will not only take great photos, but will also let you play with some fun features courtesy of the Nokia Smart Cam app.
Premium build, Superb camera, Strong suite of native apps
The Nokia Lumia 925 is undeniably a great phone in its own right, but it's just not a big enough improvement over the Nokia Lumia 920 for there to be any reason to buy it if you own last year's model. Even if you don't, you might be better off buying the Nokia Lumia 920, since it's substantially cheaper at around £330/US$400/AU$420 SIM-free.
With dated specs the Nokia Lumia 925 is definitely a case of style over substance.
Solid, attractive build
The Nokia Lumia 925 marks a slight change in direction for the Lumia series, adopting metal rather than sticking to series-staple polycarbonate. But otherwise its Lumia through and through, with a camera that offers unusually good low light performance, a phone that runs like a dream and bodywork that both looks and feels great.
Build quality is good
The Lumia 925 stands apart from preceding Windows handsets that Nokia styled more for pre-teens, with a slightly more sophisticated metal and grey plastic look. As a piece of phone hardware it's competently put together, but ultimately is undermined by an aesthetically challenged and unintuitive software interface, while you'll be lucky to find half the apps you might need to load on it.
Extended camera functionality, useful bundled Nokia apps
We're really impressed with Nokia's 925 as it's a sleek, refined handset with an amazing display and camera. Smart Camera is a highly usable and enjoyable setup which we're sure plenty of users will have fun with. In a very real sense the Lumia 925 is the phone the Lumia 920 should have been, but better late than never, we suppose.
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.
Fantastic styling, nice size, great screen
The Mini remains a solidly built, likeable and surprisingly capable phone. TouchWiz and the included apps are, for us, not exactly welcome these days - we'd prefer a more "Google" look, but there is so much extra functionality here with Samsung's services that we can't argue that these customisations aren't necessary.
Fits great in the hand, Nice screen
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is a little frustrating. It has the pieces to make it an affordable alternative to some of the gargantuan top-tier phones, but it falls short of the mark.
It's not, as the name suggest, simply a mini version of the Samsung Galaxy 4, but a completely different phone with wildly different specs and the only part that's the same is the plastic-fuelled design. The wait for a really good small screened Android phone continues.
Good value-for-money for a convergence device
Oh, and if you have to have a convergence phone/camera device with optical zoom for whatever daily reason - well, nothing can rival the chubby S4 Zoom then, and Samsung has priced it pretty well to boot, just slightly above its S4 Mini blood brother, throwing in the whole camera part for cheap.
Battery life is decent
It's almost impossible to score the Galaxy S4 Zoom. It is such a niche product. £400 buys you either not much phone or a lot of camera. Actually, it buys you both. But whether that makes it a good deal depends on your needs: do you want a superzoom camera that can make calls and send and receive emails? If so this is the phone/camera for you. Otherwise, look elsewhere.
Responsive camera, physical controls make for ease of camera use
As a phone the S4 Zoom has us equally as charmed as the S4 Mini - it's snappy, great to use, has plenty enough power and is a decent size. As a camera the S4 Zoom performs like a reasonable 16MP, 10x optical zoom compact camera too. Married together and the potential of both sides opens up: there's no need to switch between two products so no waste of precious bag or pocket space, while using apps, snapping shots and sharing on the go are just a few finger taps away.
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.
Extremely high pixel density screen, over 300ppi
The specs on the Xperia Z are what we expected from the rumors. It will be a 5" 1080p display, a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM, LTE, a 2330mAh battery, and the highly anticipated new 13MP Exmor RS camera sensor. As we saw in leaked images, the Exmor RS camera sensor will allow for HDR video recording, and a newly announced feature is that it will also offer a 10fps burst mode at 9MP. The phone also has NFC and a microSD card for those of you looking for that.
High power camera
There's no doubt that Sony has stepped up its game with the Xperia Z. We were pretty unimpressed with the screen quality when we first saw the handset sitting nonchalantly on the table, and if you're not using the phone straight on, then you may not think you're staring at a top-end smartphone.
But that aside, the rest of the device impressed us hugely.
Killer looks to match the wealth of skill and power
The Xperia Z is a burst of confidence and inspiration that will rally the troops and send a warning to the opposition. Another message is delivered too, loud and clear: Ericsson is no longer a haunting shadow. Sony has moved on.
Sleek, strong, waterproof design
A mixture of high-end handset supremacy and a few small niggling issues, the Sony Xperia Z takes the Japanese manufacturer so close to smartphone superstardom, only to fall at the final hurdles.
Overall, the Sony Xperia Z is a device that impresses on first use, continues to please over time and which, thanks to its high-end specs collection, will remain future proof well into your two year contract. That said, the battery concerns surrounding the device are hard to overlook.
Pleasing UI and software customizations
Sony's top smartphones get better with every generation, and the Xperia Z is a worthy contender to fight the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4. Fans of the Xperia line and Sony's software will no doubt love the phone, with the possible exception of battery life, but those who aren't loyal to the brand may find the durable metal casing and better display on the HTC One and the myriad features and replaceable battery on the Samsung Galaxy S4 more captivating.
Sony Xperia Z, I finally switched to Android
The phone is very very fast and responsive, I was impressed. I really like the widget that allow you to access to different phone configuration very quickly. Turning wifi, bluetooth and GPS OFF in just 4 clics. Every thing is faster with Android, access to configuration, killing running application, switching application ... Apple should learn something here.
The 5 inch display is just gorgeous, every things look great... photos, videos, web browsing ...
Classical design, Refined UI, Fantastic camera UI
The Sony Xperia Z is unrivalled, and it will be until the HTC One lands in March. While not perfect, it's a fantastic all round phone. Provided neither the Samsung Galaxy S4 or iPhone 5S are water and dust resistant, Sony's offering will always have a point of differentiation.
Good physical QWERTY keyboard
The BlackBerry Q10 is every inch a BlackBerry. It has the traditional BB form-factor and, more importantly - the physical QWERTY keyboard that's coveted by so many BlackBerry fans. This, however, is a device that's exclusively targeted at existing BlackBerry users, we don't think the Q10 is capable of attracting new ones.
As a niche smartphone, the BlackBerry Q10 is a pretty decent performer. It can do anything a diehard BlackBerry user would want it to do and more.
Full physical keyboard, Impressive web speeds
Without doubt the BlackBerry Q10 is the best QWERTY keyboard smartphone on the market, which is certainly a bold claim - until you consider, what other high-end smartphones are sporting a full-on keyboard these days? Exactly.
It may be the best, but it's the best of one. People will buy the Q10 for its QWERTY keyboard, it's a business tool and in that arena it excels.
Easy phone to appreciate
In terms of where the market is heading and where BlackBerry want to be, we cannot help the thought that they'd rather have the Z10, and its successors, up there with the best than keep the messenger concept on life support. On the other hand, it's QWERTY messengers that have shaped the company's identity. It's a tough one, finding the right balance between what the market wants and respect of tradition.
Provide snappy performance for touches
BlackBerry's Q10 is filled with many creative features but its ultimate success will come down to one basic question: Do you want a qwerty device? I don't think the era of the qwerty is over, since I have met users who prefer a physical keyboard. But they are in the definite minority.
Excellent hardware QWERTY keyboard, long battery life
The BlackBerry Q10 brings the traditional BlackBerry smartphone into the modern age. I suspect it's enough to make BlackBerry loyalists happy, though I doubt iPhone and Android users will flock to it (that was the BlackBerry Z10's job). It's fast, stable, and secure and it maintains enough of the UI conventions of older BlackBerry smartphones to make existing BlackBerry owners feel a bit less lost.
Design, improved camera, some nice UI features
In summary, we like the BlackBerry Q10 because it embodies those things that we love best about BlackBerry. We like the design and the keyboard experience, but beyond that communication experience, there's little that's unique and BB10 is still some way behind rival offerings.
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.
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