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.
Great stereo speakers, Very good display panel
The HTC One mini sets a great example for how a more compact, cheaper version of an annual flagship should be done. HTC kept the same stellar and recognizable design the One has, and didn't leave out any of the unique features like the best phone speakers or the UltraPixel camera.
Amazing build quality and design, brilliant camera
HTC told us that it took a "no compromise" approach to developing the HTC One Mini. Looking at the device, holding it in your hand, and flicking around the UX illustrates this point profoundly. Everything that set the One apart from the crowd is here - imaging technology, quality build materials, UX design and functionality.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Laggy performance Too big and heavy
There is definitely a market for the Ascend Mate, but we don't belong to it. If you are someone who doesn't mind using two hands to hold a phone, someone who carries their handset in a bag anyway, then it could be the phone for you. You'll be rewarded with amazing battery life if you decided to choose a Mate.
Bigger screen, a faster processor and - quite possibly - a lower price
However, we remain unconvinced by the Huawei Ascend Mate. It has a big, huge, massive screen. But isn't it too big? We've leaped over many screen size hurdles over the past four years, but when you need to start wearing surfer shorts to accommodate a new phone, isn't that something else? Perhaps we'll learn to love the Huawei Ascend Mate in time, but for now we'll stick to our Samsung Galaxy Note 2s.
Lags when performing processor-intensive tasks
If extended battery life and a huge screen for web browsing is all your after, then the Huawei Ascend Mate will see you right. However, those after an immersive gaming experience might find the processor lets things down a little. Waiting for Samsung's Galaxy Mega 6.3 might be a better option.
Sensibly priced, big screen is very useful and the quality is good
So with everything considered, the price, the brilliance of the phone in general, we have to say the Mate has earned our respect. We liked it from the moment we took it out of the box, and it just kept impressing us. This is one of Huawei's finest, and we hope it does more like this.
Very bend and torsion resistant
In the end, there are only two areas where the Huawei smartphone is not so impressive. Those would be the completely average image quality of the integrated cameras and the occasional soft background noise that we heard when phoning a landline, regardless of where we were standing. Altogether, the Ascend Mate imparts a really good attitude and is a looker with definitely more to offer than just a large display.
Display offers a comparable image quality
I am personally a big fan of phablets so I was really excited to discover the Huawei Ascend Mate when it was unveiled at CES 2013.
The product design quality is similar to my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 except for the lack of stylus, additionally, the display offers a comparable image quality. I am a little concerned with the fact that the device is slightly too wide for my hand, there is a tipping point where the user experience might stop to be agreeable with this type of form factor.
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