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.
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.
Premium build quality, Good battery life
If your company's IT department is invested in the BlackBerry universe, and your colleagues are mostly on BBM, the Z30 is your best bet. It folds all the security and messaging features of the BlackBerry platform you are used to, into a consumer-centric big screen phone with premium design and decent specs.
Great battery life, Unified messaging hub, Premium feel
It's sad to think that this might be BlackBerry's last release because with the Z30 it has finally, belatedly, figured out how to make a really good touch screen smartphone.
The trouble is, the Z30 is up against the Samsung Galaxy S4, the iPhone 5S, the LG G2, and even the Nokia Lumia 925. In terms of pricing and features you could make a compelling argument that every one of those devices would be a better buy right now than the BlackBerry Z30.
Against the odds
Blackberry may after all manage to stay afloat, one way or another. Its software and services are still worth a lot, so betting everything on that and giving up on actually making hardware may as well count as a happy ending of sorts - Nokia's the one to ask about that. The Z30 though stands little chance against the kind of rivals we just looked at.
Strong email, chat and social network support
The BlackBerry Z30 is a great phone for someone who wants lightning-fast access to every stream of communication under the sun. It's also a better phone than the previous BlackBerry Z10. However, it suffers from a poorly-stocked app store, a problematic camera and an OS that looks a little drab in parts.
Well-designed piece of smartphone hardware running a decent OS
There isn't the app ecosystem of the big two competitors but we can see the BlackBerry Z30 as a useful compromise of the needs of businesses that rely on BlackBerry's security model, and users who'd like something with the touchscreen power of iPhone-based handsets. This big handset deserves to win friends from anyone that can value its secure and robust features.
Unparalleled photo & video quality, Lots of manual controls
With so much versatility behind it, like its various shooting modes and useful lossless zoom, it'll be hard for consumers to not consider this handset. However, its $300 on-contract price point slows its momentum down, seeing that it's still widely viewed as a pricey thing - and that's despite the fact that the 32GB iPhone 5 is priced the same. If we had to best describe this, it's essentially a Nokia Lumia 920 with a 41-megapixel camera. Sounds pretty accurate, right?
Brings a number of new software features
Better yet, it's Nokia that has delivered one last time. It's not the fact that they may never do it again that makes the Luma 1020 special. And it's definitely not why we're heaping praise on the phone. On their way out, Nokia are looking back at a lifetime of achievement. One last view from the top.
Capable of taking phenomenal photos
The Nokia Lumia 1020 faces an uphill battle: Not only is it competing against heavyweights such as the Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5, but it is also fighting against the stigma surrounding the Windows Phone OS. The Lumia 1020 is an excellent phone with one of the best all-around cameras out there, but its AT&T exclusivity and older hardware make it a hard sell. If you're an AT&T customer who has been curious about Windows Phone, I strongly urge you to pick up the Lumia 1020.
Fantastic camera, brilliant way of handling zoom
Take the very good Nokia Lumia 920 and graft the Nokia PureView 41 megapixel camera onto the back and you've got the Nokia Lumia 1020. Even better, tweak it with second generation image stabilization, some brilliant image processing software and handy image editing tools and you've got a camera that matches or beats most point and shoots and some DSLR cameras, despite the smaller lens.
Largest display in a Nokia Lumia phone so far
The Nokia Lumia 625 comes with a fairly large 4.7" display and 4G LTE on a budget, but there are a few things that hold it down. We like the smooth performance and the fun colors, but the low-res display seems out of place on today's market. Moreover, the average camera and limiting 512MB of RAM are all considerable downsides.
Free lifetime voice-guided navigation
Yes, phones like the Lumia 625 are all about the right balance between price and equipment. The Finns are not exactly keeping it a secret - the marketing of the 625 is riding on the big screen and affordability. At a little north of £200, the Lumia 625 is targeting users who would go for the screen estate regardless of the compromise they'll need to make elsewhere.
Good value, Decent performance
The Nokia Lumia 625 is one of the cheapest 4G phones you can get. It's colourful, stylish and has the same Windows Phone 8 OS as other Lumia phones. However, the screen is disappointingly low in resolution. With a 720p screen this would be a corker. In its current form this is a cheap 4G smartphone that's not quite the finished article.
Solid design and build, it has a big display if that's what you crave
Even though the 625 is all about budget, it's a long way removed from its precursor, the Lumia 925, and the love we have for it feels proportionally distant. We love the Lumia 925, but we can't say we love the Lumia 625 so openly.
Bargain price, Colourful, changeable shells
It's easy to be impressed with the Nokia Lumia 625 thanks to its colourful, replaceable shells, stellar performance and great build quality. The qualms with Windows Phone 8 are still lingering, though this could easily be sorted with a few high profile app release.
We can even forgive the middling, low-res screen just because the device is priced at the low-end of the market.
Smooth and snappy performance
With the Lumia 925, Nokia has created a charming device. It's a good-looking, thin and light smartphone that even features an aluminim frame to give it a premium taste. But thankfully, there's more than great design that the Nokia Lumia 925 can offer you. The handset features a sizable display of above-average quality, as well as a wonderful camera that will not only take great photos, but will also let you play with some fun features courtesy of the Nokia Smart Cam app.
Premium build, Superb camera, Strong suite of native apps
The Nokia Lumia 925 is undeniably a great phone in its own right, but it's just not a big enough improvement over the Nokia Lumia 920 for there to be any reason to buy it if you own last year's model. Even if you don't, you might be better off buying the Nokia Lumia 920, since it's substantially cheaper at around £330/US$400/AU$420 SIM-free.
With dated specs the Nokia Lumia 925 is definitely a case of style over substance.
Solid, attractive build
The Nokia Lumia 925 marks a slight change in direction for the Lumia series, adopting metal rather than sticking to series-staple polycarbonate. But otherwise its Lumia through and through, with a camera that offers unusually good low light performance, a phone that runs like a dream and bodywork that both looks and feels great.
Build quality is good
The Lumia 925 stands apart from preceding Windows handsets that Nokia styled more for pre-teens, with a slightly more sophisticated metal and grey plastic look. As a piece of phone hardware it's competently put together, but ultimately is undermined by an aesthetically challenged and unintuitive software interface, while you'll be lucky to find half the apps you might need to load on it.
Extended camera functionality, useful bundled Nokia apps
We're really impressed with Nokia's 925 as it's a sleek, refined handset with an amazing display and camera. Smart Camera is a highly usable and enjoyable setup which we're sure plenty of users will have fun with. In a very real sense the Lumia 925 is the phone the Lumia 920 should have been, but better late than never, we suppose.
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.
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