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.
It's a looker - compact and stylish
The Sony Xperia M is a phone with good looks, streamlined user interface that we actually like, and a powerful chip for its class. Not a bad combination, is it? It has its downsides - we wish the screen was a bit better, but our biggest complaint right now is price. The handset sells for prices of between $200 and $250 off contract, and that is a bit steeper than weÃ¢Â?Â?d like for such a device.
Offers a relatively big and sharp screen
The Sony Xperia M has a lot going for it - attractive design, compact size and good build, and a reasonably powerful chipset for the class. The uninspiring screen and subpar camera will hold it back, but with a dual-SIM option it should still be able to do well in emerging markets where WP8 handsets like the Lumia 520 are on the rise since they beat the low-end Androids in terms of specs.
Quality build, Available in four colors
Sony's 4-inch Samurai proved to be a little hot-head that fits in every pocket due to its compact size in the test. We particularly liked the quality build and the strong graphics unit considering it is an entry-level phone. The Xperia M also scores with its phone qualities. The message LED is a nifty and useful feature that has been implemented well in the design.
On the other side, the middling screen is at the top of the list.
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.
Good picture quality
When Samsung slapped the slogan "Enjoy the New Mobile Essentials" on the Galaxy Ace 3, it meant it. The phone is a very mild upgrade over its predecessor the Ace 2, and only the LTE version offers more internal memory and a faster 4G radio, which will likely come at a heftier price.
The price will ultimately be what determines the Ace 3 success, as, besides the Samsung branding and newest Android version, it doesn't offer much differentiation in the sea of humble midrangers.
Inconsistent performance, Unimaginative design
Motorola's "exceptionally powerful, exceptionally priced" Moto G has also shaken things up in the mid-range market and in its wake, made phones like the Galaxy Ace 3, less relevant. The Ace 4 will have to offer more for less, and right now, the Ace 3 doesn't offer enough, but asks for too much.
4G connectivity, Expandable storage, Samsung stylings
The Galaxy Ace 3 has an adequate set of specs for the price, but neither its screen, software or performance match the Motorola Moto G's, which costs half as much. Unlike the Moto G though, the Ace 3 does offer 4G and expandable storage -- the only reasons to go for this phone over Motorola's.
System performance is good enough for all the latest games and apps
The 4-inch Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R is relatively cheap and has no Achilles' heel. Its dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8930 SoC allows the Android smartphone to turn out decent performance with which it can run all the latest Apps and games fluidly. The nice interface and high-quality workmanship and build quality are further plus points alongside the above-average bright display.
Good all-around value for the money
If you don't mind the sketchy call quality, Nokia has hit the nail on the head with its most affordable Windows Phone handset to date. It runs the newest version of Microsoft's mobile OS, has a zippy processor, expandable storage, and produces decent pictures and video.
Least expensive handset in the Lumia line-up
If you're looking for a cheap smartphone, you may have just found it. The Nokia Lumia 520 doesn't tick all the boxes on our features wishlist, but it capably handles those that are most important. Windows Phone 8 is a beautiful operating system, but it still lacks apps. If you can get past this and don't mind sacrificing some performance and connectivity, the Lumia 520 is a strong budget buy.
Build, design, price
The Nokia Lumia 520 is a great little smartphone. It delivers what Nokia is known for, with good design and build quality, despite the affordable price point. A few hardware shortcuts have been made, knocking out the flash, front camera and NFC, for example, which the slightly more expensive Lumia 620 offers.
But at this price there's little to criticise.
A better camera and more software features than you might expect for its price tag
Though it lacks 4G LTE support, the AU$179 Nokia Lumia 520 still gives you quite a bit for your money. Pricing is absolutely this phone's primary value proposition, but the essentials all seem to work, the hardware is sturdy and the camera is better than average.
This is a good buy for someone seeking a wallet-friendly smartphone off-contract.
User-friendlier interface with plenty of settings
In the rugged market, the Torque is more than capable of enduring the hazards of a busy adventurer's life or surviving on a construction site. The tools offered by enduring battery life, push-to-talk, and optimized calling make this a phone fit for someone who puts their device through hell. While the performance isn't up to par of more nimble competitors, it more than makes the grade in its class.
Sturdy, durable design
Despite being a mid-range Android device running an OS that is well over a year old, the Kyocera Torque is an amazingly advanced device. It is well designed, and passed our torture tests with flying colors. The Smart Sonic Receiver technology is nothing short of amazing, and we are still a bit in awe of the lack of a speaker. Call quality, battery life and OS performance are all very good.
Loud, clear speakers, Mostly stock Android OS
Bear Gryllis adventures aside, the Kyocera Torque would be a good fit for anyone who works outdoors in noisy environments and tends to be rough on their phones. This would be an ideal work phone for a construction worker, and it costs nothing after a mail-in rebate and two-year agreement.
Kyocera may not be a name normally associated with quality Android handsets, but the manufacturer has found a nice niche with the Torque that's worthy of a look for Sprint customers.
Nice solid design
Overall, the Kyocera Torque is an amazing mid-range device, especially since most rugged smartphones don't come with nearly as many great features. It is very well designed, brings the Smart Sonic Receiver technology for great call quality to the US, and has good battery life and performance. On the other hand, the fact that Direct Connect cannot be used while LTE is turned on can be a bit of a drawback, but, overall this is a very good durable and feature-packed phone.
Notably good build quality, and is water, dust, vibration and shock proof
If you're looking for a Direct Connect or rugged phone, the Torque is on the short list of choices. If Sprint is your carrier, there's really no other device to consider for PTT. At $99 on-contract or $349 subsidy-free, it's not a bad deal either.
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