Hard-to-beat $100 on-contract cost, Excellent still image quality
For those who are contemplating on picking this up without a contract, its $584.99 price point still seems pretty good in comparison to other phablets - though, there's no arguing that its on-contract cost absolutely gives it more bang for the buck. At the end of the day, there's plenty to like about the 1520, as it's no doubt the best Windows Phone out right now. For a long time there, Windows Phones in general just seemed underpowered in comparison to those premier Android smartphones.
Great 1080p display, Fine camera, Solid build quality
The Nokia Lumia 1520 is an absolute beast of a phone that we suspect only the large-handed and generous pocketed will be able to live with day to day.
Those who accept the challenge will find the most capable Windows Phone 8 device yet, with top-of-the-range specs that include a stunning 1080p display and a superb 20-megapixel camera.
Despite its size, however, the Lumia 1520 feels like it's missing something.
Excellent build, fantastic camera and options, beautiful screen, good battery life
If a large handset is for you, and you are keen on Windows Phone - if you're new then be prepared to get used to a slightly new way of doing things, if you're an existing user then be excited at an improved way of doing things - then the Lumia 1520 is a fantastic smartphone that sits proudly in among its phablet peers.
Large, excellent display, PureView camera performs well
Nokia's Lumia 1520 has a huge 6in display and also includes an excellent 20-megapixel PureView camera. If you can handle its gargantuan, awkward size, it combines a great screen with continually developing software, though there's still plenty of room for improvement.
Excellent low-lighting photo performance
Obviously, it's not the most mouthwatering inducing iPhone we've seen to date, but considering that it hits the mark in the categories that matter the most, the iPhone 5s proves itself as being a feared competitor in the space. Like we said, there's nothing in the specs or hardware department that would terrify its rivals, but the updated iOS 7 experience is enough to make this iPhone look and feel different from past ones.
Powerful core, Touch ID is a real step up, Excellent camera
So to say this is the best iPhone yet is relatively pointless, as of course it was going to be. But the combination of iOS 7 to freshen things up with a powerful core and great camera mean that this phone should be considered on its own considerable merits, and while the high price will continue to put many off, anyone already wedded to the iPhone bandwagon, or even if they're just on the fence, will find a lot of joy in a phone that's a lot more than an iterative update.
Pushes the major re-design another year back
As long as the cash keeps pouring in, Apple can go on and play its own game and make its own rules. Second year in a row and it looks like this may go on forever. The iPhone 5s will cruise through its term at the helm. The iPhone 6 is the next one we will be looking at to hopefully stir things up. In a good way or bad? In Apple's own way.
A7 chip offers fast performance and 64-bit support
The 5s is a solid effort from Apple, but its true worth is yet to be determined. If developers come up with clever ways to take advantage of the M7 coprocessor and the 64-bit support in iOS 7, the 5s will truly shine. If not, many people might just wait it out another year.
iOS 7 makes it a cleaner user experience, it just works
If you want a phone that just works, then the iPhone 5S is a very good place to start. Apple has made it look effortless which is no simple task, and in doing so - by making it look almost too easy - you can sometimes miss the beauty and power in your hand. It's stunning to use, there's stacks of power, it's without gimmicks and a nod to the future. It's these simple elements that make the iPhone 5S, for us, one of the best phones on the market. There's a lot to admire about that.
Improved camera and flash, Wide LTE support
We kicked off this review by stating the 5s has the potential to be Apple's most game-changing iPhone since inception. Apple is clearly looking to future-proof its handset while offering developers the opportunity to take advantages of its 64-bit architecture, A7 chip and M7 Coprocessor. Right now, you won't really experience what this phone is capable of. Give it six months and we'd expect some truly groundbreaking apps to appear.
Color variety with its design, Solid build quality for a plastic phone
Even though the high-end segment seems to get all of the attention, the mid-range landscape is quickly seeing the same level of competition. In that sense, the iPhone 5c proves itself as one those trailblazers in the space thatâ??ll keep the heat turned up against the competition.
Bright and cheerful new colors, Solid value
The colorful, plastic iPhone 5c is a welcome upgrade for existing iPhone 4 and 4S owners, and a great introduction to Apple's awesome app platform at a nice price. It's the best $99 phone you'll find on Verizon Wireless, but otherwise, there's not much new to see here.
Colourful options, Smooth OS, Decent battery life
If you're paying a larger price you want a phone which looks and feels premium, and while the iPhone 5C comes with all the Apple hallmarks and tradition, it's a device that falls between two camps. If you want the best Apple has to offer and you're coming from a 4S, then go for the new 5S.
The color of magic
The Apple iPhone 5c is a very solid smartphone - we know it well because we've spent a year with its previous alter ego, the iPhone 5. Try as we might though, we didn't find any difference between the iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5 that goes beyond the exterior. Sure the battery has grown by 70 mAh, but that's not the kind of difference you can feel in real-life usage.
Glossy, smooth and feels nice in the hand
The iPhone 5C is a nice smartphone. However, we just can't see the need for it in the first place, unless it was cheaper. It's too expensive for what is effectively an iPhone 5 in a plastic shell with minor changes in hardware. There are better and cheaper Android devices on the market and those wishing to stick with iOS should pay the extra £80 for the iPhone 5S.
Excellent build quality, iOS 7 rocks
Taking everything that made the iPhone 5 great and adding in a few more bells and whistles. The iPhone 5C is not the iPhone 5S, but it's still a great little handset in its own right. Should prices come down - which they inevitably will - this handset could become very, very, popular.
Colourful, solid, iOS 7 on board, good camera
The iPhone 5C is not a flagship product - Apple's iPhone 5S is for that - nor does it fix any of the annoying niggles you've perhaps started to feel with your current iPhone, but if you are looking to upgrade from the 4 or the 4S, want to stick with Apple, but can't justify the 5S and its price, then this colourful option is could to be perfect for you.
Despite initial reservations we love the iPhone 5C - it's colourful, joyful, capable and just works.
Large display is ideal for games and videos, Outstanding metallic design
For those who don't feel like the HTC One max is the right choice for them, we have a few alternatives to recommend. One if them is the 5.7-inch Samsung Galaxy Note 3, which is definitely more capable in the hardware department with its Snapdragon 800 SoC and 3GB of RAM. An option that impresses with both performance and design is the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, which is, on top of it all, resistant to dust and water damage.
Larger screen, Longer battery, MicroSD slot
We won't pull any punches. The HTC One Max doesn't come close to hitting the heights of the HTC One.
It's a phone that's designed to serve a very singular purpose - give those that liked the look of the One a phone with a bigger screen, and almost nothing else.
Biometrics are going to be big in phones, but not implemented in this way.
Solid Phablet, excellent battery life
So in the end, the HTC One Max is a solid device that has more than enough to keep you happy, but it may have a hard time luring you into the store in the first place. Unless HTC delivers a prompt upgrade that makes the fingerprint scanner a real game-changer, it will probably have to cut the One Max's price a bit to keep the phablet relevant.
Decent battery life, Great 1080p display, Fantastic audio quality
The One Max isn't much of an upgrade over the One and its features don't warrant the excessive volume or weight. Its screen, speakers and battery life are saving graces, however, and give it some credibility as a media player.
Huge long-lasting 3200mAh battery
Most puzzlingly, the HTC Butterfly S is available now, at a time when the very similar HTC One is also on sale. Our guess is that HTC just targets a different markets with the Butterfly S. Otherwise, the handset is just as expensive as the HTC One - it's clearly HTC's other flagship.
Would we recommend it? We don't think the Butterfly S is everyone's cup of tea, but those who crave maximum battery life and a great display, won't be disappointed.
Powerful performance, good low-light camera, brilliant screen
The HTC Butterfly S packs better specifications compared with the HTC One, but doesn't have the great industrial build. If you're the type that prefers the fastest hardware, then the Butterfly S is the one for you. Otherwise, stick to the better-looking flagship One.
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.
Catchy and ergonomic design
HTC has made a mucho sympatico handset with the 8S, shaping it in a two-tone ergonomic bod, with very easy one-handed operation. It has skimped a bit on the camera quality, and not even included one for video chat, but the rest of the readings are solid, and there is even a microSD slot for storage expansion, which you don't see often with HTC these days.
Its direct competitor is the Nokia Lumia 820, which is capable, but more expensive and more unwieldy to handle.
Great social network integration
The HTC 8S is a good all round handset. It doesn't do a terrible job of anything but stylish looks aside it also struggles to stand out.
Pretty much every Windows Phone is great for messaging and social networks and this is no exception, while being able to expand the storage with a microSD card is always appreciated.
Equally the performance is generally pretty slick, which combined with the stylish design gives the impression of a more premium, expensive handset than it actually is.
Excellent build quality and a fresh youthful styling
The HTC Windows Phone 8S is a likeable little handset. It clearly isn't one of the platform's headliners, but it may be the right thing to help the fresh Windows Phone 8 conquer some new territory.
The 8S was meant to make the WP OS more desirable and accessible, and it seems the HTC engineers did a pretty good job of cutting the right corners. The display may not be the standard-setting stuff that we saw in the One X, but it isn't half bad either.
Expandable storage via microSD slot
The Windows Phone 8S by HTC isn't going to blow anyone's socks off with its modest specs. But its design certainly sets it apart from the pack - the range of bright, strongly contrasting colours its available in will put a smile on many a face. Running Windows Phone 8 and with a dual-core processor, its nice and fast, and the microSD slot means you can easily upgrade storage.
Solid performance and features for a reasonable price
The HTC Windows Phone 8S is the first Windows Phone 8 handset to fit into the mid-range price category. As such it's not quite the performer of the high-end Windows Phone 8 devices, but it's not so poor as to make it a bad deal. It offers solid performance and features for a reasonable price. Whether you prefer it to a similarly priced Android phone will depend on your own subjective preference of platform.
When we got our hands on the 8X, we found it to be a worthy flagship, with a good balance of specifications and design. Fortunately for the 8S, much of the design DNA has carried over, which we like. Naturally, the spec sheet differs dramatically, but only as you would expect for a phone aimed at a more mainstream section of the market. Some people might not fancy the sound of a 1GHz dual-core chip or 5-megapixel camera, and these people should indeed look elsewhere.
Affordable & Good camera
You can pick up an HTC 8X for just £180 offline. That's a fantastic price for a phone that looks and feels better than any Android device below £240. When you consider that we're talking about the Google Nexus 4 - an anomalously value-centric device - it just goes to show how great a package the HTC 8S actually is.
There are a few issues though. For starters, stability isn't as good as we'd like and certainly isn't up there with other Windows Phone 8 handsets.
Beats sounds good
The Windows Phone 8S by HTC comes in as an affordable handset for those wanting the Windows Phone experience on a budget. The quirky user experience is delivered here much as it is elsewhere but we can't help feeling, thanks to the specs of the phone, that the 8S isn't too far removed from the previous run of Windows Phone devices.
What you don't get is the additional software that Nokia is pouring into its handsets to boost the offering.
Great battery life
The first gen of Intel-powered smartphones didn't exactly make a big splash but, given the low standing of their manufacturers and the limited availability, that's hardly a surprise. Back then, it was all about slapping a logo and selling it on your networks.
Things are pretty different with the Motorola RAZR i, which turned out to be a pretty stand-up droid. Motorola has done a great job of the hardware and used materials every flagship would be proud of.
Impressive edge to edge screen
The Motorola RAZR i is a great mid-range handset that offers good performance and ergonomics for its price. The inclusion of expandable memory, NFC and a hardware camera button are particular highlights.
However, aside from understandable trade offs like the non-HD screen and lack of 4G, there is one sore point which is more of a concern: its app compatibility. Its superfast Intel chip may blow away much of the competition but it also won't work with some apps.
Compact, solid build, plenty of power
There are some things that the Motorola RAZR i gets very right: the design is solid, the battery performance is impressive, and the user interface hasn't veered too far from Android's goodness, but brings a few nice additions.
But then we come back to the question about the Intel hardware. Obviously, app compatibility is a concern, especially for early adopters, and muddies the waters somewhat as you have an Android device that doesn't run all Android apps.
Great battery life, Big screen/body ratio
The Razr i is the clearest sign that Motorola is really taking on rivals in 2012. A big step up from previous Motorola smartphones and a jack-of-all-trades that manages great performance at a bargain price. Build isn't quite Apple quality but it's smart enough to satisfy Android fans who want a slim smartphone without comprimising on screen size.
Phone feels sturdy enough to stop a bullet
The previous RAZR was let down by its large bezel and slightly choppy browsing experience, and Motorola has done a superb job at addressing both issues with an impeccably built easily-pocketable handset whose 2GHz single-core Intel processor keeps up with the demands of multi-tasking.
Fast Intel processor, terrific screen, slim good looks
For what's essentially a midrange Android, the RAZR i manages to pack in a lot for the price. The screen is beautiful and the performance is reassuringly speedy. Add to that a pretty good 8 megapixel camera and better than average battery life, and you've got a very decent smartphone contender.
Very compact, Above average call quality
Although it packs a relatively big 4.3-inch display, the Motorola RAZR i is extremely compact, being actually the smallest 4.3-inch smartphone on the market, together with its RAZR M variant. The phone also manages to deliver a good overall performance, even rivaling some of the current high-end devices out there.
High pixel densitiy screen
Porsche Design P'9981 is a smartphone from BlackBerry. The phone with the futuristic QWERTY keyboard was formerly known as the BlackBerry Knight. The handset will be available from Porsche Design stores and there is speculation that the price tag will be a very Porsche-like $2,000. So what are you getting for that stack of 20 C notes? The device offers solid construction, for one thing with a forged stainless steel frame, leather back, and a sculpted QWERTY keyboard.
App selection not good enough
The BlackBerry Porsche Design P'9881 is clearly an overpriced fashion handset that does little to truly justify its Â£1275 price. However, there is a charm to its build and styling that does make it stand out from the crowd. Moreover, the keyboard is superb and there are some nice extras included in the box. Ultimately, though, it's the BlackBerry part of the partnership that lets it down.
Advanced connectivity and messaging features
Samsung S8530 is a sleek and sophisticated 3G high-end mobile handset, which has been supported by Samsungâ?? s BADA operating system and ARM Cortex A8 1GHz processor introducing new level of class performance. Samsung S8530 's every aspect has been up-graded with new and cutting edge technology like quality media player with DNSe (Digital Natural Sound Engine), 32GB memory card support, advanced connectivity and messaging features, brilliant quality camera and good battery back-up.
The 720p videos recorded by the Wave II are excellent and they play at a crisp rate too.
There is no reason why at Â£244 the Samsung Wave II S8530 shouldn't be top contender for your next mid-range smartphone. Yes, it may not have a widely accepted mobile OS and the benefits that come with it but on its own, the Wave II is a very good smartphone. If you are one of the few people out there who don't care about what OS your phone is running and want a phone with great usability and impressive features, you won't go wrong with the Wave II.
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