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.
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 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.
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.
Large screen, compact phone
Samsung didn't exactly catch us by surprise with the Galaxy S4. Pretty much all the hardware improvements like the faster processor, better camera, and 5" 1080p screen were expected. Samsung simply had to have those in the Galaxy S4 if it wanted its product to be relevant in 2013. However, it's the flawless implementation of all the features that makes the Galaxy S4 the superb smartphone that it is. Design-wise, the latest Samsung flagship is nothing special.
Stunning screen, Superfast processor, Great camera
Make no mistake - the Samsung Galaxy S4 is far, far more than a Galaxy S3 'S' - Samsung may be copying Apple according to some people, but it's not as brazen as the Cupertino brand in flogging the exact same design with a slightly uprated processor and calling it a new phone.
The Galaxy S4 is a great, great device in its own right, re-inventing what it means to own a brilliant smartphone in a number of ways.
More serious and stylish look
While the Samsung Galaxy S4's exterior might be its Achilles' heel, we can't blame Samsung for sticking with the Galaxy S brand image it spent so much resources trying to build (that phone sold over 50 million units too, so being associated with it cannot be too bad).
With the sheer number of excellent flagships to choose from, if you are looking for the best smartphone, you had it better than ever.
Stunning 5-inch Full HD screen
The Samsung Galaxy S4 might not look that different or have that one killer feature that sinks the competition, but it's a worthy successor to the Samsung Galaxy S3.
It's a true high-end powerhouse and undeniably one of the best phones on the market right now, albeit one that will relies a little too heavily on brand appeal and past successes rather than innovation and eye-catching design. Yes, it might not be the most stylish handset on the market, but nor is it a dog.
Huge display in a not so huge phone, excellent camera
The Samsung Galaxy line of smartphones is a juggernaut; like the iPhone, the next generation will sell well based simply on brand loyalty, trust and familiarity. Even so, the Samsung Galaxy S4 has a lot to offer, and though I wasn't overwhelmed with love for the Galaxy S III, the S4 is seriously tempting me. The superb camera and related features, comfortable feel in the hand, replaceable battery and software like Smart Stay and Air Gesture are hard to give up once you've used them.
A brilliant phone in almost every way
As we type this we have the SGS3 and the SGS4 on our desk. While, superficially, there's really not a lot of difference between the two, to hold, they couldn't feel more different. We really like the new, more square-feeling SGS4. At the back, we prefer the SGS3 aesthetically, although the case design of the new phone is nicer - albeit still plastic.
There are a stack more options here.
Stunning, rich-profile sound
HTC wanted a comeback and it brought its best with the HTC One. It is a brilliant device in virtually every aspect. Coming with a beautiful aluminum body that fits almost organically in the hand, it has a great and vivid, extremely sharp 4.7-inch screen. The stereo front speaker bring a small revolution in smartphone sound that you'll appreciate instantly when you hear it. Performance is flawless on the new Snapdragon 600 quad-core chip.
1080p video recording @ 30fps with HDR mode
So this is it - the One has brought out the best in HTC. It's sure as shooting that five different people will say that about five different HTC smartphones. And at least four of them will be right. But there're certain things that make this one the One.
Excellent build and ergonomics
The HTC One might be the most desirable phone available right now. Its metal-backed body feels fantastic in the hand, its screen is superb, performance is great and Sense 5 offers some interesting new features that you can choose to side-step if you prefer old-style Sense. The UltraPixel camera is a mite disappointing given the ballyhoo made at its launch, but it proves that HTC is one of just a few mobile companies trying something truly interesting.
Stunning design, quality aluminum alloy casing, superb full HD display
The HTC One is the company's best phone yet. You have my blessing: go ahead and buy one. It's not just fast, the display is superb and the design is elegant. Cutting edge CPUs and graphics are Android's bread and butter, much like PCs and it takes more to stand out: the HTC One has what it takes in terms of quality materials, build, design and solid software that doesn't overwhelm. Is it the perfect smartphone?
Snapdragon 600 chipset
Regardless of how well Samsung's soon-to-be-announced flagship does on the market, we'll continue to have a soft spot for the One. Last year, we were very impressed by the One X, but that wasn't enough. HTC pushed itself and made its sequel even more polished than the original. We love the phone's industrial design and the camera, while the Snapdragon 600 chipset and 1080p display aren't bad either.
High-resolution display, Fast processor
An alternative to the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active - with such impressive characteristics and top-of-the-line hardware specs - is pretty hard to find. As of this review, the Sony Xperia Z is the only capable competitor to Samsung's tough handset as it is also water-resistant and with high-end hardware specifications.
IP57-level water resistance is nice
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is not the best smartphone in the Samsung lineup, but if you add "that I can put in water," things definitely change. It's a very good 2013 flagship aimed at people who until recently had very few options - as you can see there aren't many high-end smartphones with water resistance.
Sure not everyone needs to have an IP57 certified handset, but if it doesn't cost anything in terms of overall smartphone performance than it certainly doesn't hurt having it.
Able to handle dust, water, and all the vicissitudes
We really like the Galaxy S4 Active. It's got the kind of features that we wish the flagship smartphone has. There is a downgrade with some specifications but they don't seem like a big sacrifice. Performance is excellent and the neither display nor the camera could be described as poor. If you want durability, this is the Galaxy S4 for you but it's worth checking out the Xperia Z as an alternative.
Same great features as Galaxy S4 though the camera resolution is demoted
If you love the Samsung Galaxy S4, but work or play in harsh environments where the phone comes into contact with water and dust, then the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is for you. In order to keep the price the same as the regular GS4, Samsung dropped the camera quality down a notch, but you're still getting a very good shooter than can even photograph fishies underwater.
Wow just wow
The Samsung Galaxy s4 active is probably the phone to have right now on the market. Although pretty pricey it is literally a "Smart" phone. The phone may be a little bit bulkier than the other phones in the past, it is life proof, literally. When I purchased the phone the first thing I did was test it to see if it could last in water. I poured water straight into the sound output then played music straight after, and the sound quality was perfect.
$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.
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.
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