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.
Great camera with 1080p video recording at 60 fps
The LG G2 is an outstanding smartphone almost every way you look at it. The screen is beautiful, albeit a bit off in terms of color temperature, while the camera is simply outstanding - definitely among the very best out there. Under the hood, the Snapdragon 800 processor is doing exactly what you'd expect it to do - making sure that everything operates perfectly smoothly with no hiccups or delays.
Amazing colors, viewing angles, great brightness and contrast
The LG G2 is a flagship like any other - a great combination of the latest tech, Android OS and a full bag of proprietary software goodies. What makes the difference in the G2 is that it isn't like some of its predecessors - late, irrelevant, and boring. It's a breath of fresh air for the company and we hope it brings some of the LG's glorious days back. Both LG and the G2 deserve it this time.
Stunning 5.2-inch edge-to-edge display
The LG G2 is an impressive return to smartphone prominence for the South Korean company but one which still falls slightly short. It is a worthy rival to the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One but thanks to plastic build, peculiar button placement and less than gripping camera is unlikely to worry its more illustrious competition too much.
Large and lovely full HD IPS display, great camera
The LG G2 is assuredly the company's best Android phone yet. We were bullish on the also very good Optimus G Pro, but the G2 is all that and more in a more mainstream size. The display is top notch, performance is fast and fluid, the camera is excellent and the rear buttons actually work nicely. We'd love to see a more interesting and attractive casing that didn't turn murky with fingerprints so quickly, but the phone is nonetheless solidly built and curved nicely to fit in the hand.
Visually appealing, feels great as a phone
The G2 is easily a competitor for every other high-end smartphone out there. The "weird" button layout works for us, and it's paired with some smart touch functions that are well thought out. The phone looks and feels great, and just works as a smartphone should.
Fast and snappy performance, software tweaks don't get in the way
The LG G2 sports not only a unique design that stands out amongst its competitors, it also packs snappy hardware. If you want a similarly specced handset with a more premium feel, however, you may be better off looking at handsets from Sony instead.
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.
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.
Good build quality using Kevlar construction
Coming in at $199.99 with a 2-year contract, the DROID Ultra has a lot to offer, especially if you are looking for a device running as close to stock Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean as possible, while still offering some extra "Motorola perks" such as the Active Display, Touchless Controls, and Motorola Assist. Since the DROID Ultra has a Kevlar body, it should hold-up better than other plastic-polymer based phones, though keep in mind that the glossy back will always look smudged with fingerprints.
Very light and thin, Excellent battery life
If you're a Verizon customer looking for a new Android smartphone, the Droid Ultra isn't a bad choice. However, it's going to be hard to choose between this device and the Moto X when it finally becomes available for Verizon. With incredibly similar specs and a mild difference in display size, it's really going to come down to design preference. If you're on the fence, we suggest you wait until you make the decision to sign a two-year commitment.
Great new user-centric features like active notifications and always-listening voice command software
It's funny that the Moto X overshadows Verizon and Motorola's latest Droid for 2013. They share quite a bit of DNA including processing architecture, Moto's wonderful Touchless Control and Active Notifications, AMOLED 720p display technology and a 10MP rear camera with RGBC sensor. But the Moto X wins us over with its overarching focus on usability.
Higher capacity 3500mAh battery, Excellent call quality
Coming in at $300 with a 2-year Verizon contract, the Motorola DROID MAXX is the most expensive of the three DROID models. It combines all the features of the DROID Ultra, but increases the battery to 3500mAh, doubles the internal memory to 32GB, and looks higher end with the soft-touch woven backing.
A competent Galaxy Nexus replacement, with some quirks
In summary, I'm sticking with my title -- this phone may have some issues here and there, and it may not be the fastest/biggest/most beautiful/polished specimen out there this late summer and fall, but in my opinion it's the first suitable contender to supersede the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and betters that phone in a number of key areas. I have a great deal of confidence in Motorola at this time -- both in their tie to Google, and their strong affiliation with VZW.
Amazing battery life
The Motorola Razr Maxx has great stamina so you won't be anxious if you forgot to charge it overnight. It goes for days. The casing is thicker than last year's Razr but not uncomfortably so, thanks to clever design and Motorola's curved corners design language. The high-resolution display continues to dazzle, and the phone's connectivity with a mini HDMI socket are helpful extras. It may not have a quad-core processor but this phone rarely dawdles.
$100 on-contract price, Slightly thinner & lighter design
Somehow in the back of our minds, we can't help but think about why it took so long for the Lumia 928 to arrive - even more when it's essentially a remodeled Lumia 920, which AT&T customers have been presented with since the fall of 2012. Granted, it's nice that it's finally here and complements Big Red's existing Windows Phone lineup, especially when it's flaunting a tantalizing price point of $99.99 with a 2-year contract, but it just seems, you know, late to the game.
Smooth performance, Sharp camera
The Nokia Lumia 928 is a very solid Windows Phone 8 device that performs well in everyday use, has a slick display and a sharp camera, and benefits from Verizon's great 4G LTE network. It's not, however, a standout handset in any real notable regard, nor does it offer much of a leap over the Lumia 920 model that it shares many features and innards with.
Camera's lowlight performance is expectedly impressive
There are plenty of alternatives to the Nokia Lumia 928 out there. Curiously, the bulk of them are made by Nokia - a fact, which proves yet again that Microsoft Windows Phone is already all but synonymous with the products of the Finnish company. As a member of the aforementioned group, the Nokia Lumia 928 will further help the cause of its manufacturer, while also fulfilling the Big Red's need of a Windows Phone flagship.
Bright, colorful and outdoor viewable display, very good camera
If you're looking for the top Windows Phone on Verizon Wireless, the Nokia Lumia 928 is it, despite the relatively low contract price. It has a bright and colorful display, an excellent camera and Nokia's usual excellent call quality. Though we're not so enamored with the gloss finish and limited color selection since Nokia has spoiled us with their lovely unibody matte polycarbonate designs and wild colors, the Lumia 928 is a nice enough looking phone and it's nearly an ounce lighter than...
Updated, more attractive build, Incredible low-light photos
The Lumia 928 may be a very minor update to the Lumia 920, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The Lumia 920 was a great phone, and one that left subscribers to other carriers feeling envious of AT&T. For Verizon customers, the Lumia 928 is the perfect solution to that jealousy. It takes everything that was desirable about the Lumia 920, tweaks the design for the better, and throws a Xenon flash in the mix to ensure that it remains the king of low-light smartphone camera shooting.
Nice size for compact smartphone lovers
With a 2-year contract price of $99.99, the Motorola DROID Mini is the most affordable of the new DROIDs, and still has the same X8 processor, software, and features that its larger siblings have. The DROID Mini is truly designed for someone that wants a smaller and more-compact smartphone. Even though the display is 4.3", which is small by today's standards, there is no way a larger display would fit, without making the device larger as well.
The Best Mid-Range Smartphone on the Market
I upgraded from a Droid RAZR that I owned for 2 years and I have no regrets. In fact, I am blown away by how smooth and responsive is the new Droid Mini, in addition to the display quality. Even though it is not a 1080 display, at 4.3 inches, the 720 resolution of the TFT LCD display on the Droid Mini gives it 342 pixels per inch (ppi). It has more ppi than its bigger brothers (the MAXX and Ultra) and even the iPhone 5! What this mean is that the display is very detailed and sharp.
Physical QWERTY keyboard, Easy to hold and carry around
The LG Enact is an average Android smartphone for an on-contract price of $20, as it does everything OK, but doesn't exceed at anything. The main feature is the physical QWERTY keyboard, making it ideal for teens, or anyone that doesn't like to use an on-screen keyboard. But the lower resolution screen, slower processor, and mediocre call quality doesn't scream "buy me" - unless you find the pricing the most attractive feature.
Excel at battery life, call quality, and data strength
Sequels are rarely better than the original when it comes to entertainment, but they are always better in technology. The nature of advancement and upgrades dictates that improvement is a given, so no one should be surprised that the LG Lucid 2 is a noticeable step up from its predecessor. What might catch some people off guard is that this is a step up from many midrange devices currently on the market.
Free with contract, Pleasing size
Since the LG Lucid 2 is currently available for free with a 2-year Verizon contract, there is a lot to like about the device. It is small and lightweight, making it easy to carry around, the 4.3" qHD display is a nice size with clear text and images, the user interface is well laid-out and easy to use, not to mention the device has good call quality and a larger capacity battery.
You won't get a top-tier display or camera, but it's a good value
Overall, the Lucid 2 is a fantastic deal -- it's a great bang for the buck device at a great price. Sure, neither the screen nor the camera is top-tier, but you aren't paying a high-end price as well. I can't think of a better budget device on the market.
Manageable size, sharp display, removable battery
If you're in the market for an Android smartphone on Verizon but don't want to spend much money for the phone itself, the LG Lucid 2 is easy to recommend. That doesn't mean the Lucid 2 lacks solid competition if you're open to other platforms: from the older iPhone 4, to the relatively new Nokia Lumia 822 running Windows Phone 8 for $50 or less.
Extremely responsive with the dual-core processor
So in closing is the Lucid a device we'd recommend to someone who is considering the iPhone 5, Galaxy S III (or S4) or any other high end device? Nope! Nor does the device deserve any such sort of recommendation. What we will say is for a teenager or a first time smartphone buyer the Lucid 2 for free is a pretty good option, and something worth taking a look at in a store near you.
Powerful processor, Good rear camera
If you have eyes, it is obvious that the LG Lucid 2 is not the most glamorous phone available on Verizon. But with a price of free ($200 cheaper than many competitors), it's not a bad choice for those on a budget. If you can spend an extra $50, we do like the Motorola Droid Razr M a lot, and it is similarly sized, but there isn't much to dislike about the Lucid 2. She could use a prettier chassis, a little more memory, and a higher resolution screen, but all-in-all, we like what we see.
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