Color variety, Simplified Android experience
Sporting an outstanding outright price of $179 for the base model, it's something many people believe to be mind-boggling. Just when we thought $349 for the Nexus 5 was pretty darn good, but this obviously takes the cake. It's unlocked, there's variety with its color casings, and the Android experience is also easy to understand, so it's hard not to like it. All told, Motorola is defining what it means to be an entry-level player.
Great value, Decent screen, Slick interface, Android 4.4 incoming
Motorola is back folks, it's official. It may not be the return we would have predicted - there's no flagship phone stuffed full of the latest tech - but arguably what the now Google-owned firm has done is even better.
The Moto G is a top notch, low cost smartphone and we wholeheartedly recommend this as the best budget mobile currently on the market.
Jaw-dropping value, Great screen, Great performance
The Motorola Moto G is one of the best phones of the year, and the first time we've seen a phone of this calibre launch at under £200 SIM-free. That it's so much cheaper than £200 is a minor miracle. This phone deserves to sell by the bucketload.
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.
The Samsung Galaxy S III is a spectacular phone. A big part of what makes it spectacular is its incredible specs sheet. Yeah, although its specs can easily be rivaled by strong competitors like the HTC One X, which also has a quad-core processor and the other beloved tech goodies, the Galaxy S III manages to shine brighter, thanks to its superior user experience.
Excellent battery life
So to summarise: if you've been waiting feverishly for the new Samsung Galaxy S3, you will not be disappointed. It's fast, it's sleek and it packs the latest technology that will get your pulse racing.
The recent update has made it an even better phone, and we've been using it out of choice for the last few months - given we've got the choice of most handsets out there, that's a pretty big recommendation for any phone.
Good design and build quality
Subject to further testing, the Galaxy S3 has turned out to be an excellent smartphone. It offers a good design and build quality, despite our small niggles. Samsung has put together an impressive set of hardware resulting in silky smooth performance and extensive software features.
Fast, big display and a great camera
Is the Samsung Galaxy S III an excellent smartphone? Yes it is. Given the millions of preorders, I suspect many of you would buy this no matter what I said about the phone. That speaks of Samsung's momentum in the smartphone market and their excellent track record. Is this Samsung's best Android phone ever? Yes it is, but there is room for improvement. I'd love to see Samsung use high quality materials and cutting edge designs in their top tier phone.
Finally a Straight Talk smart phone that uses Verizon!
I got this as an upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy Precedent, which was also through Straight Talk. It used the Sprint network and reception was very spotty to say the least. The Proclaim is one of the first ST Androids to use Verizon's towers and it makes a world of difference! 3G is faster then ever and, so far, I haven't been in an area where I didn't get a signal. The Proclaim comes with 1 gig of internal memory and a 2 gig card that can be upgraded.
Pretty smooth TouchWiz 4.0 UI
Unfortunately, the Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus comes with almost insignificant upgrades as compared to its predecessor (a slightly larger screen, and the now very common 1GHz CPU) but we get the same design and poor HVGA resolution. Even if it is almost the same as the original Ace, the Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus does not have an attractive price tag, some may say it is even steep for what it has to offer.
Fantastic qHD display, blazing LTE speeds
If you can look past the battery life on the Motorola RAZR DROID, or opt to disable LTE, then it is a darn near perfect cap to the 2011 smartphone season - and I include the Google Galaxy Nexus in that. This phone has made me much less interested in Google's coming Ice Cream Sandwich wunderkind.
But the battery issues on "true" 4G devices are real, and there's not a Verizon LTE phone available that can make it through a day of reasonable use without a charger.
Stand-out design, materials and build quality
Overall, the Motorola DROID RAZR is indeed a device that'll tangle with the juggernauts in the industry especially when it's packing that all too sweet 4G LTE connectivity with Verizon Wireless. Sure it operates smoothly with its movements, but we're curious to see how its real-word battery handles in the long run. For the $299.99 that Big Red is asking for, it's obviously warranted considering it's everything that we find with the DROID BIONIC, but better!
Super slim yet solidly built
The Motorola Droid RAZR XT910 certainly isn't perfect with its slightly too large body, inelegant raised bezel and pentile AMOLED screen but it has so many other qualities that put it above the competition that on balance it's one we recommend. The screen is dazzling and great for watching video, which the phone excels at playing, there are some great software features and, sure, it's impressively slim too, if you like that sort of thing.
The Droid Razr Maxx greatly improves upon what was perhaps the biggest weakness of the Droid Razr: battery life. If you plan on watching a lot of video or doing some heavy duty gaming on your phone, the Razr Maxx is a good match for you. If you're looking to save money, however, you might opt for the original Razr; it costs $100 less than the Razr Maxx.
No doubt, the Motorola Droid RAZR on Verizon is one of the most unique and sexy phones we've seen. And despite its extreme thinness, it's strong with the help of a metal frame, Corning Gorilla Glass and a Kevlar back. But it's a wide phone, and I suggest that you fondle one in person unless you have large mitts. The phone might be too wide for comfort for those who have smaller to average size hands.
So has Motorola succeeded in reclaiming the prestige that once belonged to the RAZR brand? Unequivocally, yes -- the handset is just physically stunning. It's thinner than almost any phone on the market and makes no sacrifices to attain its slim physique. It's solidly constructed from premium materials like diamond-cut aluminum, Gorilla Glass and a sheet of super-slick Kevlar. Few phones out there can even be put in the same category when it comes to build quality.
Updated HTC Sense UI 3.5
If you like the plum color, then you should take a look at the HTC Rhyme, as it offers a lot, including the new HTC Sense 3.5 interface, 5MP camera, good call quality and battery life. But we can't help but think that some people will be turned-off by the plum color, and would not consider the Rhyme because of it, despite it being a good phone otherwise. Because of this, it would be nice if the Rhyme were available in a few other color choices to appeal to a broader audience.
Speaker dock is a nice addition
At its most basic level the HTC Rhyme is a nice handset. It's simple design is lovely, it has enough performance to get by, and the included speaker dock is a nice addition. However, the Charm accessory and headphones don't really add much to the package, and given you do pay a small premium for them it becomes hard to recommend this phone. It's a perfectly decent mid-range handset, but no bargain.
Sleek and stylish Android phone
The HTC Rhyme Android phone might have intended to target females, but this sleek and stylish Android phone is good enough to appeal to a broader gender base. Excellent build quality, slick software and a generous amount of included accessories -- the best being the docking station make the Rhyme an excellent smartphone for anyone, though we do wish it was a tad faster.
Hardware is beautiful
When the HTC Rhyme first arrived on the scene, Verizon's major focus seemed to be on the marketing angle rather than the meat of the phone. Widely understood to be a lady phone, the Rhyme's promise as a piece of hardware got lost amid stereotypes painting women as ditzes who need a sparkling light to find their phone underneath tubes of lipstick. Surprisingly, HTC has adamantly denied that this is a phone geared towards women.
Very good battery life
I really wanted to love the HTC Rhyme -- even though the techie in me wanted to be insulted by the idea of a phone specifically aimed at women, my heart did melt a little when I first opened up the box and saw that sleek purple exterior. The charging cradle, headphones, and call indicator dangle are great additions to the overall package, but unfortunately the phone itself failed to deliver in key areas.
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