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MORE THAN 100 MOBILE DEVICES TRIED AND TESTED

THE TOP SMARTPHONE


PHONE AND TAB
TABLET
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UTH

DECEMBER 2014
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iPAD AIR 2
+ MINI 3
ARE THEY WORTH
THE
TH
H E UPGRADE?

WIN

NEW
D
N
A
R
B
A
735
A
I
M
U
L
A
NOKI

GOOGLE
NEXUS 6
GOOGLES FINEST IS
BIGGER THAN EVER

AMAZON
FIRE PHONE
MEET THE WORLDS
FIRST 3D PHONE

XPERIA Z3

+ Z3 COMPACT
WERE IMPRESSED
December 2014

WHAT MOBILE AWARDS 2014 RESULTS:


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11 December
EDITORIAL
Email: editorial@whatmobile.net
Telephone: 020 7324 3502
Reporter: Saqib Shah
Email: saqib.shah@whatmobile.net
Telephone: 020 3122 068
Reporter: Callum Tennent
Email: callum.tennent@whatmobile.net
Telephone: 020 3122 868
Editorial Director: Ian White
ART/PRODUCTION
Art Editor: Andy Hemming
Email: andyh@mobilenewscwp.co.uk
Sub-editor: Andy Williams
ADVERTISING
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Kimberley Glover
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Raise a glass to
a vintage year
The votes are in and
the victors have
cracked open
their bottles
of champagne.
Well done to all
the winners of this
years What Mobile
Awards, and huge
thanks to more than
94,000 people who cast
their votes and made their
choices.
As with all awards, there will be disagreement and controversy.
Not everyone can be a winner and we all have our favourite brands,
services and gadgets. But even the lowest-spec and cheapest mobile
is still a marvel of technology.
Consider that in 1998 colour screen phones did not even exist, and if
you wanted to take a sele in all its 256k VGA resolution, you had to
screw in a camera attachment from Siemens or Ericsson (remember
those?). Full HTML web browsing on a mobile? The stuff of spaceage science, even if you could get an analogue data connection.
Now we take 4G pocket-size super-computer performance for
granted. So congratulations to all companies producing mobile tech
and services at all levels of price and performance.
Youre all winners to us.

The What Mobile team

CONTENTS

INSIDE
06

36

10

26

54

WIN

06 First Look: iPad range


Apple polishes its market-leading line of tablets

08 First Look: Nexus range


Google bigs up its supersized Android phone

10 Competition
Win a fantastic new Nokia Lumia 735

12 Global
A top smartphone to slay Asia... from Philips

34 Nokia Lumia 735


A contender steps up to take on the Moto G

36 What Mobile Awards 2014


We reveal the years best gadgets and services

50 Apps and games


Rounding up another month of top downloads

54 Mobile gaming
All the best new PlayStation and Nintendo titles

14 Patents
Forget smartwatches, smart blings the thing

18 Accessories
Phone cases that pack a few special surprises

26 Sony Xperia Z3/Z3 Compact


Sonys best just got a whole load better

30 Amazon Fire Phone


The online retailer stokes up the phone market

4 www.whatmobile.net

58 Buyers guide
Over 100 devices rated
in our comprehensive guide

60 Phone reviews
89 Tablet reviews

LOOKING FORWARD TO USING


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FIRST LOOK

Face time with the


latest iPad range
Hot on the heels of Apples annual iPhone
frenzy comes the launch of its tweaked iPad
tablets. The specs have been updated but will
it be enough to convince you to part with your
cash if you already own an iPad?
pples round of products for 2014 comes to an close with
the launch of its latest tablets. Expectation is always
high with Apples iPad range, so whats new with the
progenitor of the personal tablet to keep us interested?
The most eye-catching claim is that the iPad Air 2 is the worlds
thinnest tablet, or so said Apples senior vice president of global
marketing Phil Schiller when he revealed its details. The claim certainly
seems to hold weight the iPad Air 2 is said to be 6.1mm deep. Thats
18% thinner than the rst iPad Air (well take Phils word for it).
The reduction in size hasnt hampered the devices capability though.
Its got Apples latest A8 processor inside it, paired with an M8 coprocessor. Schiller says its 12 times more powerful than the original
iPad, which is something of a meaningless metric, but it suggests how
much Apple believes the technology has advanced.

RETINAS ON THE RETINA


At a glance, the display seems to be exactly the same as the original
iPad Air. Its 9.7 inches diagonally with a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536
pixels for a pixel-per-inch count of 264. Schiller referred to it as a new
Retina display though, so perhaps theres some other factors at play
that Apple hasnt fully disclosed.
The camera is certainly improved, with a rear-facing 8-megapixel
iSight shooter (f/2.4 aperture), which should come pretty close to the
performance of the iPhone 5s. It can also shoot 1080p-resolution video,
take burst shots, and has a panorama mode just like the outstanding
cameras on Apples smartphone range.
The front-facing camera is better, too. At 1.2MP and f/2.2 aperture,
Apple is calling it FaceTime HD. Again, that doesnt reveal much, but
a better camera is always nice, particularly when FaceTime is so popular
on iPads due to it running over wi-.
The home button has been updated in keeping with the

PRICE
iPad Air 2
Price: 399, 479 and 559 (wi-
only); 100 extra for 4G
Storage: 16GB, 64GB, 128GB

6 www.whatmobile.net

iPad Mini 3
Price: 319, 399, 479 (wi-
only); 100 extra for 4G
Storage: 16GB, 64GB, 128GB

Thinnest iPad yet,


at 6.1mm
Retina display
gets an upgrade
g

FIRST LOOK

iPad Mini has three


storage options

iPhone 5s/6/6 Plus, meaning it now has Touch


ID ngerprint scanning. Apple Pay is also
enabled, were told, although the iPad Air 2 does
not have NFC capability.
This seems rather odd, as the main purpose of
Apple Pay is touch-free payment, so we suppose
this just means it has Apples PayPal-style
payment set-up included.
Apple has opted to standardise the design style of its new iPad with
that of the iPhone this time around, meaning the iPad Air 2 will be
available in silver, space-grey and gold. You can also buy it in the same
three storage sizes: 16GB, 64GB and 128GB, priced at 399, 479 and
559 respectively. If you want 4G capability on yours then youll have to
tag on 100 to those wi- only prices.
Pre-orders were available from mid-October, with shipping due
soon after.

There is a growing backlash against the


new iPad Mini, with some commentators
advising people to stick with the older Mini

ANOTHER DIMENSION
The iPad Air 2 may have been the main talking point at the launch
event, but fans of compact tablets will be glad to hear Apple also
unveiled a new iPad Mini.

With tablet sales slowing and a superior phablet-sized iPhone 6


Plus launched, this squeezed iOS slate may have mixed fortunes
in the market.
There is already a growing backlash against the new compact Apple
tablet, with some commentators advising people to stick with the older,
2nd-gen iPad Mini instead.
Thats hardly surprising as the iPad Mini 3 is virtually identical to its
predecessor. If you already own an iPad Mini 2, the only major difference
youll nd here is the Touch ID ngerprint sensor on the home button.
Apple hasnt even given its new compact a processor upgrade,
reserving that for the iPad Air 2, which packs an A8X chipset.
Still, the iPad Mini 3 looks great and will no doubt perform well. If
youre in the market for a new tablet, heres what youll get. The iPad
Mini 3 comes with a 7.9-inch display and is a svelte 7.5mm thin. It
boasts a 1,536 x 2,048-pixel quad-HD display, a 5MP rear camera and a
1.2MP front-facing FaceTime HD snapper.
Apple has introduced the same storage upgrade that it did on the
iPhone 6. You can now get a whopping 128GB of internal space.
If you dont need all that storage, 16GB and 64GB models are
also available.
While Apple hasnt revealed the battery power of the device, it claims
it can last up to 10 hours of surng the web on wi-, watching video
or listening to music and up to nine hours of surng the web using
cellular data network.
Thats exactly what it said about the iPad Mini 2.

PAY PACKET

iOS8 Apples latest OS comes pre-installed

Finally, it also packs iOS 8 out of the box and comes preloaded with
Apple Pay (but no NFC capability). An attractive new version in gold is
also available.
The iPad Mini 3 starts from 319 for the 16GB wi--only model. The
wi- plus cellular version starts from 419. The other wi- models cost
399 and 479 for the 64GB and 128GB models respectively.
For wi- and cellular data you can expect to pay more: 419, 499 and
579 for the 16GB, 64GB and 128GB versions.

www.whatmobile.net 7

FIRST LOOK

Six of the best for Nexus


n a bid to steal Apples thunder, Google has unveiled a broad
range of new additions to its Nexus line of devices. The
announcement came a day before the latest iPad launch.
Among the new products unveiled, which included the Nexus 9 tablet
from HTC and an Android-based Nexus TV set-top box, was the newest
smartphone from Google: the Nexus 6.
Manufactured by Motorola, the Nexus 6 is one of the largest phablets
available. Measuring a huge 5.9 inches, the device makes it immediately
clear that Googles aim is to outdo its rivals the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus and
the 5.7-inch Samsung Galaxy Note 4 for size and specs.
The device is also almost an inch bigger than its predecessor, the midrange Nexus 5.

PRICE PREMIUM
The other big change is its price. Google has decided to transform the Nexus
range into a premium line of high-end products.
The Nexus 6 phablet will cost $649 (approximately 400) when it hits the
Play Store, predicted to be in November.
Comparatively, the Nexus 5 costs just 299 at present.
Fortunately, Google decided to warrant that price tag with some
outstanding specs. Motorola, the manufacturer behind the Nexus 6, has
pretty much delivered its Moto X smartphone in a large Nexus 6 body,
albeit with its own logo on the back of the handset, too.
The specs on the Nexus 6 include a stunning 1,440 x 2,560-pixel quad
HD display (493 pixels per inch), a 2.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 805

8 www.whatmobile.net

processor, an Adreno 420 GPU, 3GB of RAM and 16GB/32GB worth of


storage. The rear-camera on the device will be a standard 13 megapixels
and the front-facing shooter will be 2MP.
Teaming up with Motorola also brings optimised battery power to the
handset. The Nexus 6 packs a 3,220mAh battery, which Google claims can
last up to six hours from a 15-minute charge. It boasts a full day of power.

TASTY LOLLIPOP
The phablet will also be the rst handset to come with the latest version of
Googles operating system: Android Lollipop.
Google revealed the upgrade earlier this year at its I/O conference, in which
it claimed it brings a more unifying experience to Android smartphones and
tablets through its new Material design. You can check out all the details in
our in-depth look at Android Lollipop over at whatmobile.net.
Aside from its impressive specs, the Google Nexus 6 also supports
wireless charging and a new battery-saving mode, thanks to Android
Lollipop. Design-wise, however, we cant say were its biggest fans.
Its extremely large, which may appeal to some users, but at 184g its
bulkier than both the Galaxy Note 4 (176g) and iPhone 6 Plus (172g). The
overwhelmingly large rear-facing camera and overbearing Nexus logo on
the back of the phone are eyesores. Not to mention the lack of any bright,
eye-catching colour schemes. Alas, you cant have everything and well
settle for a pure Android experience over design.
As mentioned, the device was set to be available for pre-order in
November, directly from the Google Play store.

COMPETITION

WIKN
5
3
7
A
I
IA LUM

A NO

The Nokia Lumia 735 is one of our favourite Windows


Phone devices ever, and were giving you the
chance to win one.
With its 5-megapixel front-facing lens, its a handset
built for seles and Skype, and it boasts Nokias
quirky design ourishes throughout, making it an
endearing device.
Our reviewer even called it a genuine rival to
the Moto G, so theres solid performance to be
had from behind the colourful, interchangeable
polycarbonate case, too.
For your chance to win a Nokia Lumia 735, simply
answer the following question:

Which of these devices was Nokias rst-ever Lumia


smartphone?
A) Nokia Lumia 720
B) Nokia Lumia 800
C) Nokia Lumia 920
Email your entry, name and address (one only) to:
competitions@whatmobile.net
The winner will be contacted via email the
following month.

Sweating the small stuff: 1. The promoter of this competition is Clark White Publishing Ltd.
2. The competition is open to all UK residents aged 18 years or over, excluding employees of What
Mobile, all participating companies, its agents or families and any company associated with this
competition. 3. By entering, all entrants will be deemed to have accepted these rules. 4. All entry
instructions form a part of the terms and conditions. 5. Closing date: 2 December 2014. 6. Only
one entry per email/IP address will be accepted. 7. The correct winning entry will be selected
randomly by the administrator of the What Mobile Facebook page. The winner, who must be a UK
resident, will be sent a Nokia Lumia 735. 8. No cash alternative or other device will be offered.
9. No correspondence will be entered into except that the name of the winner will be available
upon written request.

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INTERNATIONAL ROUND-UP

Around the world


Heres our round-up of the best new devices released outside the UK. Highlights include a new agship phablet from Philips
the rst device from the rm to come with a qHD resolution and a big-battery beast from Motorola in the US. Meanwhile, retail
innovation is still running rampant in Asia as Indian manufacturer Xolo unveils the cheapest smartphone to carry a ngerprint
scanner. Not to be left behind, LG graces its domestic market of South Korea with its rst smartphoneto come packing the
companys own Nuclun processor.

Philips I966 Aurora


If you thought Philips wasnt big on smartphones,
think again. The arrival of the Philips I966 Aurora
in China proves it can manufacture agships to
compete with the likes of Samsung and Sony.
The smartphone is the rst from the rm to
sport a quad HD resolution thats 2,560 x 1,440
pixels on a large 5.5-inch display, to be precise.
That equals a stunning 534 pixels per inch, a big
draw for visual purists; currently only a handful of
devices carry qHD displays, including the LG G3
and Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
Unlike with the Philips W6618, which came with
a massive 5,300mAh battery, the I966 Aurora isnt
reliant on one big selling point. In fact, its specs
combine to make it an all-round quality device.
Inside the smartphone you will nd a 2.5GHz
Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM,
32GB of storage and a more proportionate
3,000mAh battery.
Philips made the wise move of collaborating
with Sony on a robust 20.7-megapixel camera.

Xolo Q2100
Indian smartphone manufacturer Xolo wants to teach the big guns like
Samsung and Apple a thing or two about so-called premium features. The
company has introduced a ngerprint sensor a feature usually reserved for
high-end handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Apple iPhone 6 to its
new mid-range smartphone: the Q2100.
The Android handsets specs are a mixed bag. It comes with a 5.5-inch
HD display made of sturdy Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Inside the device is
a rather average 1.3GHz MediaTek chipset, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage
and a 2,800mAh battery. The camera continues the standard specs, with 8
megapixels on the rear and 2MP on the front. All that for just INR 13,499 (135).
Still, the big deal here is the ngerprint sensor, which brings an added layer
of security and protection to a mid-range phone. With the recent launch of
the slightly cheaper Android One range in India, it will be interesting to see
whether other manufacturers including Googles partners Micromax and
Karbonn roll out the feature on future affordable devices. If so, the Xolo Q2100
could be heralded as a trend setter.

12 www.whatmobile.net

The Dutch manufacturer also has its ear to the


ground when it comes to industry trends, as the
front-facing snapper boasts 8MP and, dare we
say it, could be referred to as a sele camera. Its
also more powerful than the front shooters found
on similar sele-centric devices, such as the Sony
Xperia C3 and Nokia Lumia 735.
Overall, it seems Philips hasnt put a foot wrong.
But, wait a second the device doesnt run
Android? Surely theres no way it could bypass
Googles popular operating system, you cry.
Philips has done exactly that.
The rm has partnered with the Chinese retail
behemoth Alibaba to carry its in-house YunOS,
which is a forked but incompatible version of
Android with cloud-based features.
Alibaba created YunOS to challenge Androids
dominant position in the Chinese market, hinting
that the Philips I966 Aurora may only be released
in China. The phablet is currently available for
3,699 Yuan (371).

INTERNATIONAL ROUND-UP

Verizon Droid Turbo


Motorola has been extremely busy manufacturing agship devices for other
rms of late. Hot off the launch of the Google Nexus 6, it has teamed up with US
network operator Verizon for the Droid Turbo.
Although its not quite as large as Googles new 6-inch Nexus (see page 8),
the Droid Turbo still boasts a 5.2-inch quad HD AMOLED display. Rounding out
the smartphone are a series of solid specs across the board, including a 2.7GHz
Snapdragon 805 quad-core processor like we saw on the new Samsung Galaxy
Note 4, an Adreno 420 GPU, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.
The smartphonehas a sleek Kevlar back and is available in red and black. As
weve come to expect from Motorola, the Droid Turbo also offers unbeatable
battery power. The new smartphone packs a gargantuan 3,900mAh battery,
which Verizon boasts can last up to 48 hours on a full charge. Its a beast of a
device that is unfortunately set to remain in the US. It is available on contract
from Verizon from $200 (125) for the 32GB model and $250 (156) for 64GB.

LG G3 Screen
Following the launch of the LG G3 Stylus in August, LG has revealed another
variant of its agship phablet. At 5.9 inches, this particular device is even larger
than the original G3 but suffers from a similar downgrade as was applied to the
G3 Stylus. Consequently, the LG G3 Screen doesnt come with a qHD display;
instead, its simply Full HD.
The main talking point for the smartphone is its LG-developed Nuclun
SoC chipset, which features an octa-core processor based on ARMs
big.LITTLE core management technology. Rumours surrounding the South
Korean manufacturers chipset suggest it cant handle a qHD display and will
be discontinued in future.
LG has wisely retained the 13-megapixel rear-facing camera with laser autofocus, as well as the 2.1MP front lens. It also comes with a similar 2GB of RAM,
32GB of storage, Android KitKat 4.4 and a 3,000mAh battery.
Its a good strategy to launch the large smartphone in the phablet-craving
Asian market, especially since the LG G3 is already a best-seller in South Korea.
The G3 Screen is also available in LGs home country for 803,000 won (472).

www.whatmobile.net 13

FUTUROLOGY

PATENTLY OBVIOUS
Bendy screens got even smarter this month with two intriguing innovations; the forward-looking tech predicted in sci- fave
Minority Report draws a step closer; and forget smartwatches smart rings may soon be bringing smart bling to your paws

A dis
display
dis
that gives commands by bending Apple
Weve seen our fair share of exible display technology in Patently Obvious
over the past months, and Apple has been as consistent a contributor as
any. Wed previously presumed that this technology would be aimed at
producing a more practical device: it could be malleable to the shape of
your pocket, or even rollable like a sheet of paper.
What we didnt expect was a device that could use exibility as an
input method but thats exactly what this Apple patent appears to offer.
The patent suggests various system tasks could be triggered via the
manipulating of this exible display.
The company even uses the term digital periodical, meaning it could
be used specically in conjunction with literature and advertising. Perhaps
folding the display in from the sides would mimic the turning of pages of a
newspaper, both in form and function.

Wearable
Wea
W
We
ea
GoPro contender
Microsoft
Micr
M
Mi
ic
cr

A Minority
Report Glove
M
Samsung
Sa
Sa
am
m

Such is the rampant success of the GoPro wearable camera that were amazed
we havent seen more rivals. The idea is so simple that any company could
give it a go: a highly portable, highly accessorisable camera that is capable of
capturing great video with very little interaction from the user.
Spotting room in the market, Microsoft has decided to try its hand. This
patent outlines in clear detail a sort of wearable camera. Roughly the size
and shape of an oblong credit card, the shooter is equipped for attaching it
to clothing.
Its designed so that the smaller part of the clip contains the lens of the
camera, meaning you could wear it with the bulk of the device hidden behind
your chosen item of clothing.
Its certainly more subtle than Google Glass, well give Microsoft that, and its
plausible that it could be used in many scenarios.
Specications of the camera arent listed, but it is said to be waterproof.

For a one-off, turnof-the-millennium,


Tom Cruise sci-
blockbuster, its
pretty impressive that
the movie Minority
Report has left such
a legacy. The lms
moral and ethical
message may have
been long forgotten,
but ask anyone which
bits they remember
and they will surely
say, Those cool
gloves that Tom Cruise uses to wave at a computer screen.
It may have taken more than 12 years, but someone has nally decided to
make the sci- dream a reality at least if this patent can be taken as writ.
Samsung has clearly labelled it Wearable devices worn on all ngers.
The accompanying graphic shows sensors located on each of the
ngertips of the wearer, meaning that a glove is probably the most likely
housing for these motion sensing units.
Exactly what it would be used to control is unknown, but theres really
no limit.
A television is the most obvious answer, but theres no reason why it
couldnt cooperate with a Samsung-made smartphone or tablet either.

14 www.whatmobile.net

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FUTUROLOGY

Flexible,
FFle
lex
exi
solar-charged e-ink display cases Samsung
Solar
arr char
charging
ch
har
is something that really should be exploited more in mobile
tech, if you ask us. If you want a case with a solar battery integrated right
now, then you could always head over to our accessories section on page
18 and check out the SnowLizard Slxtreme. Alternatively, you could wait for
Samsung to provide a solution.
This patent is for a smartphone case with two unique distinctions: it
features both a exible e-ink display on the inside and solar panels on the
outside. It would encase your phone in a book sleeve style, meaning that
when closed, your device could charge, and when opened you could use the
display on the inside as a secondary input for your phone.
The patent shows it manifesting as a numerical keypad. Being e-ink, it
would consume less energy than an LED display, and would be innitely
exible with the current technology available. We dont know when, if ever,
Samsung would manufacture such an accessory, but its certainly one of the
more plausible creations to grace these pages.

Bone-conducting
earphones On
One
B
Bo
on
o
n
O
ne
n
e very, very smart ring
Apple
Microsoft
A
App
pp
Micr
M
Mi
ic
cr
Apple has really sunk some resources into improving its earphones of late.
We saw the rst redesign of the companys signature white EarPods with the
release of the iPhone 5s, followed by the acquisition of Beats Audio one of the
biggest audio accessory manufacturers on the planet.
Now it seems Apple could be about to improve its in-ear headphones yet
again, as this patent details the application of bone-conducting technology to
them. When the bone conduction sensors combine with a microphone array
placed down the earphones cables, it can distinguish speech from ambient
noise, making hands-free calls with them much clearer.
Of course, the noise-cancellation could also be applied to when the wearer is
listening to music, as weve seen companies like Bose do for many a year. We
wouldnt expect Apples bundled earphones to be anywhere near that level of
quality, but every little helps.

16 www.whatmobile.net

If theres one piece of wearable


tech we could get behind, its a
connected ring. If glasses may
be a bit too in your face, a ring
is about as subtle as you can
get something thats extremely
important to the average tech user.
Microsofts patent for such a
device is extremely promising. The
primary purpose behind it seems
to be to act as a wireless mouse. It
could be used to control anything
with a screen interface, from
smartphone to tablet to smart TV.
The ring is packed with sensors,
meaning it could interpret all
sorts of actions and gestures. This
would enable a whole variety
of conventional computing
interactions including clicking, scrolling and dragging.
It can also harvest energy, which is probably the most dramatic synonym
for wireless charging that weve ever heard. It could automatically detect
nearby NFC-enabled devices and literally scavenge power from them.
As well as the ability to sense nearby devices, it could also have a suite of
more tness-oriented sensors. These would measure heart rate, temperature,
blood pressure and other such physical readings. All in all, if this ring ever sees
the light of day, it could be a genuine game changer in the wearable market.

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GADGETS, GIFTS AND ACCESSORIES

Multipurpose cases
From k
F
keyboards
b
d tto pepper sprays... and
d JJamie
i Oli
Olivers
ffavourite
it phone
h
accessory

01
0
1

01 /
The Data Dave
34

02

iPhone wallet cases are a dime a dozen, but even


our cynical hearts were melted by this fantastic
handmade effort. With each one uniquely crafted
by popular Etsy trader Robbie Matsumoto aka
RobbieMoto, you can t the entire contents of your
wallet, as well as your smartphone, into this leather
case with a unique wraparound design.

02 /
Typo2
62
Love the physical keyboard found on classic
BlackBerry handsets, but hate just about
everything else about them? Well, youre
in luck Typo2 gives you that retro, tactile
keyboard feel with the added bonus of being
attached to your iPhone. An iPhone 6 version is
currently in the works.
18

TOUCH BRIGHTER

Liquid E3
8QLTXHIURQW/('DVK
IRUDPD]LQJVHOHV
13 MP

4.7

4CORES

Get in touch with the new Liquid E3 at acer.com and


All pictures are intended to show the product for marketing purposes and do not
show any technical feature of the product. Acer and the Acer logo are registered
trademarks of Acer, Inc. Other trademarks and trade names are those of their
respective owners. Images are for reference only. SAR: 0.29W/kg

GADGETS, GIFTS AND ACCESSORIES

03 /
Snow Lizard SLXtreme

05

94
Something of a jack of all trades, the main
attraction of the SLXtreme is that it features
a built-in solar battery. This means that, in
theory, if you live somewhere sunny enough,
your iPhone would never need a charge. Wishful
thinking perhaps, but its still a great feature
to have. It also waterproofs your phone and is
totally shock and drop-proof.

04 /
Speck CandyShell
Amped
45
Portable speakers designed for smartphones
can be good fun, but all too often they simply
dont provide enough sound and drain the
battery. The Speck CandyShell Amped provides
a clever workaround for this, acting as a natural
speaker via some clever ergonomics and design.
Its structure can double the volume of your
smartphone, with none of the usual battery drain.

05 /
Opena

03

25
Its Jamie Olivers favourite gadget, what more
do you want to know? Oh, go on then, well
elaborate, although truth be told theres not
much to it. Its simply an iPhone case with a
bottle opener attached. An elegant solution to
a common problem. Its retractable, too, so it
doesnt permanently stick out.

04

20 www.whatmobile.net

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GADGETS, GIFTS AND ACCESSORIES

06 /
TaskLab TaskOne G3
63
One for the survivalists out there, the TaskOne
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This handy accessory features a range of
stainless steel tools on a case that offers
durability through its part-aluminium design.
The set of miniature tools include a knife, saw
blade, pliers, wrenches, a screwdriver and a
bottle opener, among others. Although the GPS
on your smartphone should be enough to get
you out of a sticky situation in the wild, its nice
to have some extra tools attached to your phone
case for your camping trip.

06

08

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Spraytect pepper
spray phone case
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Although UK cities are hardly as crime-stricken
as the streets of Gotham, some of our more
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this phone case from Spraytect. The pepper
spray case offers an altogether different form
of protection, allowing users to easily ward
off attackers with its detachable pepper spray
cartridge. Or you can choose to leave it on
the back and use it while attached to your
smartphone. The case comes in both pink and
blue but is currently only available for the
iPhone 4 and 4s.

07

08 /
BulletTrain Safe Wallet
40
Most smartphone cases are quite bulky creations
that often do nothing more than protect your
device. That might be all you want, but if youre
after something extra, then the Safe Wallet may
be the case for you. Its ip-open back cover
allows users to place up to ve credit cards or 15
standard-size business cards inside it. You can
choose to ll the wallet space with other items,
such as coins or keys, too.

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REVIEWS

Sub-ve inch phones are back in fashion this month


with the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, Amazon Fire
Phone and Nokia Lumia 735 offering three great
options or grab the bigger Z3 for more of a handful

The Sony Xperia Z3 handset feels like


everything the Z2 should have been

26 / Sony Xperia Z3
+ Z3 Compact
30 / Amazon
Fire Phone
34 / Nokia Lumia 735

How we review

Editors choice

To show you where a device


succeeds or fails, we grade
each device in ve key areas.

Design

Performance

Features

First we fully test the speed


and power of each device.

What kind of unique features


and add-ons does it have?

Usability

Final verdict

Next we nd out how well the


device functions in daily use.

A rating out of ve, balancing


cost versus performance

Then we rate the style and


quality of the overall design.

24 Questions? Head to our online forum at forum.whatmobile.net

Only the very best devices


will win our What Mobile
Editors Choice award.

EDITORS CHOICE

+++++

BEYOND
STYLE.
COMPACT, BEAUTIFUL & FAST.
COMPA

REVIEW

Sony Xperia Z3
and Z3 Compact
Sony is releasing its second agship handset in the space of six months, and its brought its little
brother along with it and what a difference half a year of tweaking has made
Price: Z3 549; Z3 Compact 429Reviewer: Callum Tennent

EEDITORS CHOICE

+++++
Powerful 2.5GHz
chip inside

4.2-inch screen
with 423ppi

Dual speakers for


better
err ssound
ound

MicroSD port takes


cards up to 128GB

5.2-inch screen
with 319ppi

Fully waterproof
casing on both

26 www.whatmobile.net

REVIEW

SPEC SHEET Z3
OS Android 4.4 Kit Kat
Processor 2.5GHz quad-core
Screen 5.2 inches
Resolution 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
Memory 3GB RAM
Storage 16GB
Micro SD compatible? Yes, up to 128GB
Camera 20.7MP rear-facing,
2.2MP front-facing
Video 4K
Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 146 x 72 x 7.3mm
Weight 152g
Battery 3,100mAh

AT A GLANCE
Speed
60

55

15
5

10

30

45

15
60

60

40

Battery

60
4
45

50

Camera

4
45

4
45

15
5

35

15
5

20

25

30

4.5

t was just six months ago that Sony


unveiled its brand new top-end
smartphone, the Xperia Z2. Though
brand new is not strictly accurate; the
Z1 was such a fantastic handset for its
time that the Z2 didnt really feel like
much of an advance.
Half a year on and were sat with the Z3 in
our hands and were relieved. This handset
feels like everything the Z2 should have been.
It almost feels like an apology from Sony, but a
sincere one. And who could stay mad at Sony
when its offered up such a superb device?
That said, if you already own an Xperia Z2,
then there arent a great number of reasons for
you to upgrade, but seeing as its predecessor
the Xperia Z1s release was still only a year
ago, thats something we can look beyond.
One thing we werent delivered by Sony
alongside the Xperia Z2 was a Z2 Compact.
The Z1 Compact is one of our favourite
Android handsets, and one of few Androids to
rival the iPhones design and performance.
Here, though, we have something most
unusual: a smaller smartphone with the same
power of its larger sibling. The Z3 Compact is
nearly identical to the Z3 in every sense, with
its size being the only real dening factor.

SCREENS

Camera The usual camera features from


the Xperia Z1 and Z2 are found on the Z3

Battery Sony has squeezed a staggering


two weeks of life from the 2,600mAh battery

At 5.2 inches and 4.6 inches respectively, the


Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact should satisfy just
about any smartphone user. The Z3s display is
1080p Full HD, while the Z3 Compact is scaled
back to 720p HD. The pixels-per-inch counts
may differ greatly between the two 423ppi
for the Z3 versus 319ppi for the Z3 Compact
but you will detect very little difference when
comparing them side by side. As a general
rule, youll be hard pushed to notice much
difference over the 300ppi mark.
That said, what with the effort Sony
has made to make the Z3 Compact a real
powerhouse, it is a shame that it didnt blow
us away with a Full HD 1080p display. Even
so, the only discernible difference between
the screens on the two handsets appears to
be brightness levels the Z3 is a little brighter
when cranked up all the way, but that only
serves to highlight its own excellent display
rather than diminish that of the Z3 Compact.

PERFORMANCE
Behind those displays youll nd the same
processor in both handsets: a Qualcomm
Snapdragon 801 clocked at 2.5GHz. Thats
extremely powerful. When placed inside a

SPEC SHEET
Z3 COMPACT
OS Android 4.4 Kit Kat
Processor 2.5GHz quad-core
Screen 4.6 inches
Resolution 1,280 x 720 pixels
Memory 2GB RAM
Storage 16GB
Micro SD compatible? Yes, up to 128GB
Camera 20.7MP rear-facing,
2.2MP front-facing
Video 4K
Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 127 x 64.9 x 8.6mm
Weight 129g
Battery 2,600mAh

AT A GLANCE
Speed
60

55

15
5

10

30

45

15
60

60

40

Battery

60
4
45

50

Camera

4
45

35

4
45

15
5

15
5

20

25

30

4.5

www.whatmobile.net 27

REVIEW

compact device, its like nothing weve ever


seen before.
Needless to say, both devices absolutely y,
regardless of what strenuous activities you put
them through. Any game on the Google Play
store is able to run buttery smooth, and dayto-day use is a pleasure.
Thats despite the large amount of bloatware
youll nd installed by default. Its unfortunate
that Sony has decided to bog down its
otherwise perfectly appealing user interface
with a ton of its own-brand apps, the majority
of which youll never use.
Theres a Sony-branded app for every type of
media, and wed be very surprised if anybody
actually used them as their rst port of call.
Theyre brash and take up a great deal of your
home screens, but the plus side is that they
can be removed.
Its worth noting, though, that despite
boasting a huge 3GB of RAM, the Xperia Z3
doesnt show any noticeable enhancement in
day-to-day performance because of it.

APPS & SOFTWARE


The user interface and navigation is pleasant,
but its not as breathtakingly uid as the HTC
One M8.
There is one Sony-exclusive app that is a real
draw for the Z3 range, though. If you own a
PlayStation 4, you can actually play games on
your mobile device.
PS4 Remote Play streams the game currently
running on your home console to the Z3 or

Both devices look great. The Z3 Compact


deserves particular praise for how great it
feels to hold and operate
Z3 Compact smartphone via wi-. You can
then clip the phone onto your DualShock 4
controller via an accessory, and then play to
your hearts content all without needing to
use a TV.
That is extremely cool, theres no two ways
about it.
And this feature may be enough to sway
you if youre a PlayStation gamer weighing up
which smartphone to buy next.

DESIGN
Another much-appreciated feature is that both
devices are fully waterproof. Just like on the
Z2, there are sturdy covers hiding all the ports,
meaning you can use them in the bath with
wanton abandon.
It does once again come at the cost of neither
device having a removable battery, but there
is at least a microSD card slot for boosting
storage with cards up to 128GB in size.
Were perfectly ne with the lack of a
removable back, though, as it means Sony
has once again created a wonderful-looking
pair of handsets.
The style is unmistakably Sony, with a few
tweaks here and there to distinguish the two
phones from their predecessors.

The all-glass rear panel is still a feature, but


the sides of the Z3 are smooth, rounded metal
rather than the at, mirrored edges found on
the Z2.
The Z3 Compact, meanwhile, features
extremely grippy translucent plastic edges.
The Z3 feels cooler to the touch, which adds to
the overall premium feel of the device, whereas
the Z3 Compact feels much more secure in
your hand.
Both devices look great, even if Sonys styling
could probably do with a bit of a revamp.
The Z3 Compact deserves particular praise
for how great it feels to hold. Its so rare
to have an Android device that both feels
expensive, can be comfortably operated
single-handedly, and also performs so well.
Put simply, its the same feeling as the one you
get when using an iPhone, and that is a rare
achievement indeed.
Both phones are also blessed with twin frontfacing speakers.
They may not quite rival the exquisitely rich,
booming sound of those found on the HTC One
M8, but its still a rather large step up from
most other Android handsets - certainly better
than anything with a single speaker set into
the bottom of the device.

Camera The camera remains unchanged from the Xperia Z1 but its still a worthy snapper

28 www.whatmobile.net

REVIEW

CAMERAS
Sonys signature camera makes a return,
urn,
too, with the exact same lens and software
tware
featuring on both handsets.
Its a remarkable snapper, no doubt, but it is
n every
the same one that has been present on
Sony agship since the Z1.
Its 20.7 megapixels is impressive, but
ut its
beginning to show its age a little. It can
an
occasionally be slow to open, produces
es
images that are a little noisy in mixed
lighting conditions, and is not as good
d
a camera as those seen on the LG G3
and iPhone 6, released after the Z2.
Its still great, as is Sonys
accompanying editing suite. It
just seems a shame that Sony
has not improved it further. It can
certainly take some outstanding
shots if youre willing to tinker with
the settings, but as a point-and-shoot,, it has
fallen behind the competition.
Using the camera is where you might rst
meet one of the more noticeable aws of
the Xperia Z3. If you try to use the 4K video
recording feature for too long (over three
minutes), the app will close down to
prevent overheating.
Theres no workaround the phone will
simply issue a series of warnings as its
temperature rises until it eventually closes the
app to prevent a total meltdown.
Your progress will be saved, but the fact that
not only is it an issue, but that its a known
issue is very sloppy. Why would Sony not
attempt to x a fatal aw that it was obviously
aware of?

When left untouched, both


devices can last close to a
fortnight on a single charge. That
is outrageous. Of course, youll
probably be wanting to use them, in
which
w
case theyll last you the entire
working day with even the heaviest
wo
usage.
Standard use will likely yield a
usa
whole
whol two days of life.
The feeling
feelin of security knowing that no
matter what
wha you do, you neednt worry about
your phone dying, is almost indescribable. To
be able to boast the best battery life in class
is a real victory
for Sony, and a much-needed
vi
one to help the device stand out from the
crowd. As for the Z3 Compact, its just another
feather in iits already plush cap.
Phone clips into a
DualShock 4 controller

CONCLUSION
CONCL

If thats one of the main negatives for the


Z3 range, though, its not a patch on its
biggest positive. The Z3 and Z3 Compact have,
without a doubt, the best battery life weve
ever encountered.

None of th
the above will be especially
impressive if youre an Xperia Z2 owner, and
thats fair enough.
e
Weve written before about Sonys
unorthodox product cycle, and we hope that
with these two handsets it gets back to a more
conventional release schedule. If you havent
upgraded this year, though, or have been
waiting for a true successor to the Xperia Z1
Compact, then these two devices are seriously
worthy of your attention.
In the case of the Z3 Compact, wed go
further and say its the denitive small-sized
Android smartphone on the market.
The fact that Sony has packed it with
all of the bits that make the Z3 so good is
a testament to just what is possible in a
compact handset.

Z3

Z3 COMPACT

+ Supreme design
+ As powerful as current technology allows
+ Neat additional features

+ Most powerful compact Android device ever


+ All the features of its larger sibling
+ Insane battery life

No new camera goodies


Sonys UI wouldnt miss a refresh, either
If you own a Z2, its not a huge leap forward

Display could be better, if were being picky


Same older camera as the full-sized Z3
Sony bloatware is a nuisance

The Z3 is a fairly hot


general. Playing
phone in general
games for ve minutes or
using apps while plugged in to charge will
cause a rise in temperature that is obvious to
the touch.
Luckily it doesnt seem to have any negative
effects (in the short-term at least), but its a
little disconcerting. The Z3 Compact doesnt
suffer quite as much from overheating.

BATTERY LIFE

VERDICT
With the Xperia Z3 range, Sony has
delivered what we all hoped wed see
on the Xperia Z2, and then some. Its
better late than never though, as the Z3
is a serious contender for best Android
phone of the year. Z2 owners dont have
much of an incentive to upgrade, though.
Then theres the Z3 Compact, which
is indisputably the best mini Android
on the market. We cant really slight
it for anything, and no other compact
smartphone comes close to matching it.

OVERALL
PERFORMANCE

OVERALL

USABILITY

PERFORMANCE

DESIGN

FEATURES

DESIGN

FEATURES

USABILITY

www.whatmobile.net 29

REVIEW

Amazon Fire Phone


Amazons debut smartphone with 3D-style visuals packs some unique features for an Android device
Price: from 400 Reviewer: Saqib Shah
ollowing its launch in the US
earlier this year, the Amazon Fire
Phone has now made its way to
these shores. The device forms part of
Amazons expansive electronics strategy,
as it now manufactures everything from
tablets to set-top TV boxes.
In the US, the Fire Phones reception was
underwhelming to say the least, and Amazon
recently cut its price on contract a sign that
perhaps sales of the premium device werent
as high as it was expecting.
But now that it has graced us Brits with its
presence, we shall put its lacklustre backstory
behind us and judge the Fire Phone on its
merits. Amazon has promised plenty of unique
features, including 3D-style visuals and new
tilt controls. The biggest obstacle, however,
will be converting the Android and iOS
masses to Amazons retail-centric software
environment, which is integral to the device.

4.7-inch 720p
HD screen

DESIGN
Amazon has conservatively stuck to all-black
for the Fire Phone. At least the outer edges of
the handset contain a continuous rubberised
frame, which should mean it can take a tumble
or two.
A minimal aesthetic is seen across the
device. Although the front houses the ve
cameras that enable its 3D depth imaging and
face-tracking functions, they are so small as to
be hardly noticeable.
Additionally, there is a small rectangular
speaker on the top bezel and a rectangular
home button at the bottom. The glass back
of the handset makes it look glossier than the
front. It also houses the rear camera and LED

USABILITY

Rubberised frame
adds protection

SPEC SHEET
OS Android KitKat 4.4
Processor 2.2GHz quad-core
Screen 4.7-inches
Resolution 1,280 x 720 pixels
Memory 2GB
Storage 32GB
microSD compatible? Yes, up to 64GB

30 www.whatmobile.net

ash and the rather prominent Amazon logo.


Although its 4.7-inch display means the
Amazon Fire is the same size as an iPhone
6, its a bulkier device and weighs a lot more
than Apples counterpart (160g compared to
129g). Its shape and curved corners bring it
closer in design to the affordable Nokia Lumia
630. However, its build denitely looks more
premium than the Lumia.
In terms of physical control buttons,
where we felt Amazon went wrong was
the addition of a camera button next to the
volume controls. We arent doubting its
functionality, the problem lies with usability
and human error.
Its resemblance and close proximity mean
we kept pressing the camera button when we
wanted to lower the volume.
It could be an initial stumbling block for
other users too, but you can condition yourself
to overcome it over time.
Users of bright, customisable handsets such
as the Motorola Moto G or Nokia Lumia range
might yearn for replaceable back covers when
making the jump to the Fire. The panel cannot
be removed, meaning the device does not
contain a removable battery.
Purely in terms of looks, we like the minimal
design of the Fire Phone. It reminds us that
keeping things simple is often the best option.

As its a completely new device, the Amazon


Fire phone will require a bit of getting used to
for Android, iOS and Windows users looking
to switch. Make no mistake, underneath its
forked user interface beats an Android heart,
but signicant changes have been made.

AT A GLANCE
Camera 13MP front-facing,
2.1MP rear-facing
Video 1080p
Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 139.2 x 66.5 x 8.9mm
Weight 160g
Battery 2,400mAh

speed
60

55

15
5

10

30

45

15
60

60

40

Battery

60
4
45

50

Camera

4
45

35

4
45

15
5

15
5

20

25

30

REVIEW

3D imaging Five cameras on the front of the phone read your face and then add 3D visuals to a limited number of apps, maps and games

Firstly, new users need to keep in mind


that you will require an Amazon account to
be able to purchase everything from apps to
music, lms and books. The Fire Phone offers
access to the entirety of Amazons retail
hub, including services such as Kindle, the
Appstore, Amazon Prime and Instant Video. Its
a wealth of media and entertainment, but its
inaccessible without an account.
Luckily, setting up an Amazon account is a
quick and simple process. However, Amazon
Prime membership which includes access to
the Amazon Instant Video streaming service
and the Kindle lending library comes at a
price. If youre after the full package, it will
cost you 79 per year.
If you purchase the Fire Phone before the end
of the year, though, you will receive a years
membership to Amazon Prime for free via the
handsets exclusive UK operator O2.
Aside from purchases, the other factor that
may be a hindrance at rst is the phones
controls. We would advise you to accustom

yourself with them before getting started.


There is a visual guide that begins at setup and can also be accessed later from the
menu screen, which is an invaluable tool.
It will teach you about the tilt controls and
various gesture functions. Weve detailed these
controls below.

SOFTWARE
The feature that Amazon has touted the most
on the Fire Phone is its dynamic perspective.
Even the box has those words draped across it.
Without bogging you down with the intricate
details behind the new tech, it basically works
by using ve cameras on the front of the phone
to track the users face, then creating 3D
images that adapt to your gaze.
Tilt the phone in any direction and you
will be able to see more of a dynamic image.
Although, its only available on select items at
present (ie, the Maps app, Amazons app icons,
dynamic wallpapers and a select amount
of games mostly developed in-house by

Having spent a couple of weeks with the


handset, we still nd ourselves staring at its
magic visuals with childlike wonder

Amazon), it really does look impressive. Having


spent a couple of weeks with the handset, we
still nd ourselves staring at its magic visuals
with childlike wonder.
The Maps app, which takes advantage of the
dynamic perspective feature,is a useful tool. It
builds upon Nokias Here maps app by using
the Fire Phones impressive visuals to add
3D icons to signicant locations on the map.
Again, tilting the device brings the dynamic
images to the fore. As Windows Phone users
will no doubt be aware, Here maps is as good
as its rivals from Google and Apple.
The forked Android user interface on the Fire
Phone sees Amazon giving Googles operating
system a slick redesign. The main difference is
the app carousel located on the home screen.
This is a large slider lled with icons of your
most recently used apps, along with additional
information about them for example, if you
recently read a book on Kindle, it will be
displayed here alongside recommendations for
similar books.

TILT CONTROL
In terms of navigation, Amazon has employed
a mix of tilt and touch controls. Tilting the
phone slightly brings up information, such as
battery life, network and connectivity. A sharp

www.whatmobile.net 31

REVIEW

quick tilt to the right brings up an additional


text-only toolbar, which contains all the main
features of the phone. Doing this while inside
certain apps will lead to the toolbar displaying
relevant in-app actions.
Tilting sharply to the left will bring up an
information screen that sometimes displays
the weather, although it often displays nothing.
Tilting the Fire Phone back and forward
while in the web browser will also allow for
page scrolling.
The Amazon Fire Phone has no physical
controls except for its home, volume and
camera buttons. To go back, you must swipe
up from the bottom of the screen. Again, this is
easy to become accustomed to.
With all its software and control

modications, there is no doubt that the Fire


Phone will give users that are bored with
Androids stock operating system plenty to
sink their teeth into.

FEATURES
Although the Amazon Fire Phone is crammed
full of unique features, it slips up in some
crucial areas.
Its foremost unique feature is Firey an
intelligent scanner that uses the handsets
camera. Firey can bring a wealth of
information to your ngertips; Amazon claims
it can be used to scan everything from product
barcodes allowing you to conveniently
purchase the same products from Amazon.com
to artwork and movies.

Tilt
T controls add
ssomething new

Scanner identies
barcodes, music and ilms

Stores Everything is geared to encourage


you to access content via Amazon services

Home, vo
volume
olum and
camera
buttons
a bu

Software The user interface makes enough


changes to Android to make life interesting

32 www.whatmobile.net

REVIEW

a difference, so well refrain from


complaining about a lack of Full
HD or qHD as is found on larger
handsets such as theSamsung
Galaxy Note 4 or LG G3.

CAMERA

Amazon Prime Access lms and TV on Amazons entertainment hub via the HD display

Firey uses its audio recognition software


to verify the latter, along with musictoo, in a
manner akin to music recognition app Shazam.
It sounds like an amazing resource. The only
problem is that Firey doesnt always work.
We found that it was faultless when it came
to scanning barcodes, as it quickly recognised
everything from food items to DVDs, bringing
up the correct Amazon.com listing for each
item. The same couldnt be said of audio
scanning. We repeatedly tried to use Firey to
scan lm audio, but it could never decipher
what we were watching.
For users who arent as retail oriented as
Amazon expects its buyers to be, its exactly
these kind of informative functions they would
predominantly turn to Firey for. We can only
hope Amazon smooths out the rough edges
with future updates as it no doubt has the
potential to be a great tool.
Anyone who has used an Amazon Kindle
Fire tablet will be familiar with the Mayday
feature, which makes an appearance here too.
Mayday offers Amazon Fire Phone users tech
support via video link, which you can only
hope you wont require too much of while
using the device.
Another downside for the handset in terms
of software is the lack of Google Play store

access. Amazon has shunned Googles


superior app store in favour of its own Amazon
Appstore, which carries just a fraction of the
apps in Googles outlet.
You will, though, have access to all the
exclusive Amazon Fire Phone apps, which take
advantage of its dynamic perspective function.
At present, thats not much consolation as
they only amount toa handful.
Amazon Games Studios own line-up of
in-house games such as Sabers Edge and the
upcoming Til Mornings Light are particularly
appealing. The former performs well on the
device, as do most games and apps.
Access to Amazon Prime should help soothe
your apps withdrawal. How much you enjoy
Amazons multimedia service on the Fire
Phone will boil down to whether you enjoy
watching lms and TV shows on a small 5-inch
screen. Personally, we think tablets are more
suited to watching TV shows and featurelength lms. But you might nd the feature
handy on a bus or train.

SCREEN
If you do decide to take advantage of the
service, it looks good enough on the Fire
Phones 720p HD screen. The small size means
a higher resolution wouldnt make much of

Finally, the area where Amazon really


needs to up its game is the rearfacing camera.
While it has proven that it knows
how to create innovative camera
technology via its multiple frontfacing dynamic perspective cameras,
it skipped town when it came to
creating a solid rear snapper.
You get a standard 13-megapixel lens
you wont nd anything less powerful on the
back of a agship phone these days but very
few imaging functions.
Users will be able to use HDR, panorama and
lenticular modes. The latter is the only unique
function here; it allows you to create a moving
collage of several images using the devices
tilt controls.
Simply put, the Amazon Fire Phone has
nowhere near the number of functions offered
by other high-end devices, such as the new
Sony Xperia Z3 (see page 26).

CONCLUSION
When we rst learnt of the Amazon Fire
Phone, the hype centred on its status as the
e-retailers rst smartphone, as well as its
dynamic 3D perspective.
Although, we initially thought the latter
might just be a gimmick, it has turned out to
be the feature we love the most. Many of its
other aspects, from design to user interface,
suffer small hiccups that add up to signicant
usability aws.
The Fire Phone has a lot of potential, which
is why were hoping a second version will be
made. With a bit of work, this could become a
device that incinerates its foes, blessed as it
is with unique features and a desirable forked
Android interface.

VERDICT
Despite offering plenty of unique features, the
Amazon Fire Phone lacks the apps and general
usability of its rivals. Not to mention the fact that
both Android and iOS users would have to get used
to Amazons retail-focused ecosystem.

+ Unique tilt controls


+ Outstanding 3D visuals
+ Years free access to Amazon Prime
No Google Play app store
Some usability hiccups
So-so camera

OVERALL

PERFORMANCE

DESIGN

USABILITY

FEATURES

www.whatmobile.net 33

REVIEW

Nokia Lumia 735


Microsofts bright new Lumia is an infectiously fun handset thats more than just a sele phone
Price: from 160 Reviewer: Saqib Shah
he Nokia Lumia 735 marks the end
of an era. Following its buyout at
the hands of Microsoft earlier this
year, the Finnish manufacturer now nds
its mobile division drawing to an end. The
Lumia 735 is one of the last handsets to
carry the legendary Nokia mobile branding.
Fortunately, Microsoft has already placed a rm
grasp on the Lumia brand, which will soon be
known as Microsoft Lumia. Aside from its agship
Lumia 930, most of Microsofts releases this year
have been budget phones like the 530 and 630 a
strategy that appears to have worked.
Meanwhile, the company has also been
improving its Windows Phone operating system
with ongoing updates. The latest, version, 8.1, adds
a digital assistant in the shape of Cortana.
Microsofts newest phone and Nokias last is
the Lumia 735. A sele phone with a best-in-class
5-megapixel front-facing camera, the Lumia 735
also offers specs to match the excellent Motorola
Moto G. If this truly is the nal handset to bear the
Nokia brand, then its a tting send-off.

DESIGN
The Lumia 735 is larger than its budget
predecessors, the 530 and 630. Its 4.7-inch HD
screen is the same size as that of the Apple iPhone
6. It packs plenty of information into the Windows
Live Tile user interface.
Elsewhere, Nokia has kept things simple. As
weve come to expect from the bright Lumia range,
users get a colourful back cover, which can be
easily popped off and replaced; at present there are
orange, green, white and black options available.
The handset has two port holes for the miniUSB charger and headphones, and two physical
control buttons a large volume control and a

4.7-inch 720p
HD dis
display
disp
p

smaller power button.


Despite
D it large
l
black
bl k bezels,
b l the
th Lumia
L i 735 ts
t
perfectly in the hand. The plastic back cover might
not be to everyones taste, especially those used
to premium devices such as the HTC One M8
or iPhone 6, but we like its bright aesthetic. The
phones rigidity is another area in which it deviates
from its budget Lumia counterparts.
Despite its larger size, the Lumia 735 is slimmer
than the 630 and weighs the same. Its also more
svelte than its nearest rival, the new Motorola Moto
G, which is a major victory for Microsoft.

PERFORMANCE
Were big fans of high-resolution displays.
Thankfully, the Lumia 735 has made the jump
to HD, matching the display on the Moto G for
resolution. The step up to 720p, combined with

SPEC SHEET
OS Windows Phone 8.1
Processor 1.2GHz quad-core
Screen 4.7 inches
Resolution 1,280 x 720 pixels
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 8GB
Micro SD compatible? Yes

34 www.whatmobile.net

Swappable backs
in four colours

th llarger screen,
the
enhances the device in every major aspect.
Scrolling through image-heavy apps such as
Facebook benets from the clearer display, and
now you can watch HD videos on your entry-level
Windows Phone device, too. It also brings added
sharpness to games.
The 1.2GHz quad-core processor inside is the
same as you will nd in the new Moto G. Still,
we found the user interface was not as smooth
as Motorolas second-gen stunner. Thats not to
say its slow most apps run reasonably well.
The same goes for web browsing using Internet
Explorer (theres no Chrome here, but even fans of
Googles browser will be hard pressed to nd any
major faults with Microsofts browser).
In terms of gaming, we tried out the powerful

AT A GLANCE
Camera 6.7MP rear-facing,
5MP front-facing
Video 1080p
Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 134.7 x 68.5 x 8.9mm
Weight 134g
Battery 2,200mAh

speed
60

55

15
5

10

30

45

15
60

60

40

Battery

60
4
45

50

Camera

4
45

35

4
45

15
5

30

15
5

20

25

3.5

3.5

REVIEW

new racing title, Asphalt Overdrive, and found it


performed relatively well on the device, with very
little lag and average loading times. The same
went for a less demanding game, Jetpack Joyride,
which is nonetheless fast-paced. It ran well and,
as expected, didnt have anywhere near the long
loading times of Asphalt Overdrive.
Aside from the HD display, another new feature
that makes its presence felt is 4G LTE connectivity.
You can browse apps, play games and upload
seles at fast mobile broadband speeds. Its a
feature thats sorely missed on the new Moto G.
In the same way that HD has been rolled out
on entry-level devices, the same should go for
4G, which has already appeared on even cheaper
handsets such as the Alcatel Pop S3 and EE Kestrel
proving that it can be delivered on a budget.

FEATURES
Seles are the Lumia 735s main selling point. Its
5-megapixel front camera is arguably the best in
its class. Not only does it deliver clear images that
can be saved in a high-quality format, it can also
be accessed from the home screen via the Lumia
Sele app. And the emphasis here is on having fun.
Thats evident in the editing tools, which allow
you to add comical effects to your self-portraits,
such as enhancing and enlarging eyes, making
faces slimmer and making teeth whiter. These
tools are enough to bring a smile to the face of
even the most cynical sele hater. You can also add
a range of lters to images, a feature that should
be familiar to Instagram fans. Although theres no
wide-angle front lens like the one on the pricier
Huawei Ascend P7, the Lumia sele camera is still
an infectiously fun tool.
As is usually the case with making affordable
handsets, cutbacks need to be found somewhere.
Here, they come in the form of the plastic build and
downgraded rear camera. The latter has a poor 6.7
megapixels, less than the 8MP on the Moto G. This
affects image quality, although the rear camera
does offer more settings, including a range of
capture modes night, sports, pro and the ability
to modify brightness, sensitivity and shutter speed.
Images can also be edited using a lens blur option
and customised with a set of lters.

Seles Editing features let you add effects

Cortana The new voice assistant works well

SOFTWARE

We asked Cortana a range of questions, ranging


from trivia to queries about the weeks weather,
as well as local enquiries about restaurants and
cinema listings. Overall, the digital assistant came
up trumps. It had no problem understanding our
questions and delivered its ndings promptly.
Users can also employ Cortana to write texts, make
calls and calendar entries. Its a brilliant tool that
Windows Phone users should make the most of.

The arrival of Windows Phone 8.1 is a genuine


upgrade to the struggling operating system. It
allows for extra customisation options for the
Live Tile user interface, photo collections by date,
location and activity, a word ow keyboard with
shape writing in the vein of Swiftkey, and an allnew notications centre, which can be accessed by
swiping down from the top of the screen.
Most notable is the arrival of Cortana, Microsofts
digital voice assistant feature, which follows
Apples Siri on the iPhone 4s. We were expecting
something special from Microsoft and it has
delivered. Despite being in beta mode in the UK,
we found Cortana to be fast, user friendly and
reliable. Its incredibly easy to set up. Initially
Cortana will ask you a few questions in multiple
answer format. Once youve made your selections,
youre good to go, and thereafter every time you
open Cortana it will display a range of information
and news stories tailored to you.

CONCLUSION
Despite a useful update, the usual criticism lack
of apps still applies to Windows Phone. This, and
the below-par rear camera were the only major
drawbacks we could nd with the Lumia 735.
The Motorola Moto Gs Android user interface
still has the upper hand over Windows Phone,
especially with the impending release of the latest
version of Googles software, Android Lollipop. But
in most other areas Microsoft has caught up, and
the addition of 4G on the 735 even surpasses it.

VERDICT
Microsoft has produced a genuine rival to the
bestselling Motorola Moto G in the form of the Lumia
735. With the introduction of an HD display and
4G LTE, this is much more than just another sele
phone. But if seles are what youre after, the Lumia
735 offers plenty of fun ways to snap images of you
and your friends with its 5-megapixel front camera.

+ Front-facing lens is best in class


+ Specs to match the new Moto G
+ Good build on a budget
Poor rear-facing camera
Windows Phone lacks apps

OVERALL
PERFORMANCE

DESIGN

USABILITY

FEATURES

www.whatmobile.net 35

Ninety-four thousand: that was the number of votes we received


for the What Mobile Awards 2014, almost double our highestever tally. The votes were placed by you, the reader. You
voted on everything from the best handset of the year to the
top accessory retailer, and were very glad you did. Choosing
between them is not a task we envied, such was the strength
of competition this year. Picking our Editors Choice alone was
stress enough, so we extend our thanks to you. Now, lets get on
with proceedings. Here are your best picks of 2014...

WHAT MOBILE AWARDS 2014

Smartphone
Samsung Galaxy S5
2

1
3

Another year, another outstanding handset from Samsung. The


South Korean giant is the biggest smartphone manufacturer
in the world, and its easy to see why. When it comes to the
companys agship model, expectation always runs high, and
the Galaxy S5 just about delivered. Time has been kind to the
Galaxy S5; it was initially met with a touch of disappointment
that it wasnt even more exciting. It has aged well though, and
weve grown fonder of the device. Its display is still the best on
the market, bar none and its waterproof. With Android 5.0
Lollipop set to arrive on the S5, the industrys favourite handset is
going to get even better.

Runner-up
iPhone 5s
Wherever Samsung treads,
the old enemy is never far
away. This year, the pride of
Apple was beaten by just half
a percent of the vote, which
should tell you everything you
need to know about both of
these devices. And, with the
iPhone 6 fresh on the shelves,
you can now pick up the
iPhone 5s cheaper than ever.

www.whatmobile.net 37

WHAT MOBILE AWARDS 2014

Camera phone
Sony Xperia Z2
Sonys camera is so good
that other smartphone
manufacturers pay a fee to
use it in their own phones.
Naturally, when Sony pairs it
up with its own proprietary
software and photo suite, the
result is something special. A
hefty 20.7-megapixel sensor,
8x digital zoom, HDR, 4K video
capture and even the ability
to shoot underwater, all add
up to make the Xperia Z2
a stand-out snapper. If the
many pre-shot options arent
enough for you, then the
comprehensive editing suite
post-shot will get your photos
ne-tuned to perfection.
The raw processing power
of the Xperia Z2 goes a long
way to keeping the whole
thing running smoothly and
responsively, too.

Runner-up
Samsung Galaxy K Zoom

1
2

38 www.whatmobile.net

The Samsung Galaxy K Zoom is just as much a digital camera as


it is a smartphone, and its looks make that perfectly clear. Its 10x
optical zoom is an industry best, and the 20.7-megapixel sensor
behind it makes it a true two-in-one device.

WHAT MOBILE AWARDS 2014

Value phone
Nokia Lumia 630
If Nokias status as creator of the most advanced mobile handsets has slipped, its
reinvented itself brilliantly as a maker of the best value phones. The Lumia 630 is the
epitome of this, with Nokias signature fun look and whizzy performance available for
under 100. Whats truly amazing about that price is that its a phone anyone would feel
comfortable using, from technophobe to spec snob. The Lumia 630 is a clear winner.

Runner-up
Acer Liquid Z5
Acer did a fantastic job with the Liquid Z5, not
just for keeping the price under 95, but also for
trying something new with a budget device. It
knows what is required of it, and then goes one
step beyond.

Specialist phone
ToughShield R500+
Alas, some of us are a bit clumsy and require a tougher smartphone. Thank
heavens, then, that ToughShield has us covered. The R500+ is a step up from its
predecessor, the R500. It can just about square up to other mid-range Android
handsets but, lets face it, were celebrating its sturdy build, not its specs. The
R500+ can take a fair few drops and is water and dust-proof to boot.

Runner-up
BWC Stealth
The larger BWC Stealth doesnt quite live up
to its namesake, and couldnt defeat the
more compact ToughShield R500+. But its
a bulky beast of a phone that can withstand
a beating,

www.whatmobile.net 39

WHAT MOBILE AWARDS 2014

Tablet
Google Nexus 7
The iPad name is near
synonymous with tablet.
Chances are your
grandmother would call any
tablet an iPad if you showed
it to her. Its the product that
started a tech revolution, and
theres never been a better
version than the iPad Air. Its
slimmer than ever, lighter
than ever and more powerful
than ever. Quite simply, its
everything weve come to
expect from Apple, and we
couldnt be happier. Until the
back end of this year, there
wasnt an Android tablet that
could compete in the design
and performance stakes, and
theres still nothing that can
match it for sheer popularity.

40 www.whatmobile.net

Runner-up
Samsung Galaxy
Note Pro 12.2
We absolutely loved the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2. And were
delighted that you, the reader, agreed so strongly with us. We
may sometimes mock Samsung for its enormous portfolio of
devices, but the Note Pro 12.2 deserves to sit at the top table.
Its got a huge display, tons of power and even a stylus that
youll actually want to use.

WHAT MOBILE AWARDS 2014

Value tablet
Google Nexus 7
There are two types of people in this world: those who love Googles Nexus range
and those who havent tried it yet. Theres a reason why the Nexus has won over
some of the most passionate tech fans, and they were clearly in full voice for our
awards voting. The Nexus 7 offers the truest Android experience envisaged by
Google, and the result is one of the most responsive, highly customisable Android
tablets going. The sub-200 price is the cherry on top.

Runner-up
Amazon
Fire HDX
A narrow margin for second
place, Amazon has done very
well for a company with little
manufacturing experience. The
HDX is a wonderful renement.

Manufacturer
Samsung
We alluded to Samsungs extensive product range earlier, and it would seem
were not the only ones who have noticed. Samsung has a remarkable knack for
turning out a huge number of devices each year, while never allowing standards
to drop. No matter what you want, from bargain beginners phone to deluxe
tablet, you can count on Samsung to deliver.

Runner-up
Apple
For its biggest rival, Apple is really the
ideological opposite of Samsung. It might
not make many devices, but you know that
the ones it does will be of unrivalled design
and build quality.

www.whatmobile.net 41

WHAT MOBILE AWARDS 2014

Network

MVNO

EE

Virgin Media

If ever there was an award that you, the consumer, was best
placed to judge, its choosing the best network. Youve all had
real, rst-hand experience with these service providers and
declared EE to be the pick of the bunch. It was an incredibly
close-run race across the board, but EEs industry-leading 4G
roll-out and excellent perks package set it apart.

Virgin Media is the biggest mobile virtual network operator in


the UK. It offers quad-play, meaning customers can get all four
key services through one bill (television, mobile, landline and
broadband). It was the worlds rst MVNO, it offers free calls to
0800 and 0845 numbers and insurance is offered to all existing
mobile customers. Its easy to see why Virgin Media is so popular.

1
2

Online retailer

While high-street retailers face tough challenges, as evidenced


by the collapse of Phones 4u, online retail continues to thrive.
Retail innovation from the likes of Mobile Phones Direct is
encouraging an increasing number of you to forego the high
street in favour of online shopping. Offering a large library
populated with the newest smartphones, its no wonder Mobile
Phones Direct is the winner in a tough category.

Mobile Fun
With every new smartphone purchase comes the option to
buy accessories. The humble mobile accessory now stretches
beyond the simple smartphone case to encompass speakers, incar kits, remotes and additional handset parts. All of the above
and so much more are offered in Mobile Funs exhaustive
inventory. Not to mention specic accessories for every
smartphone brand imaginable. No wonder its your fave.

42 www.whatmobile.net

Accessory retailer

Mobile Phones Direct

1
3

WHAT MOBILE AWARDS 2014

Fitness wearable
Garmin Vivot
1
2

In what might be the upset of the 2014 awards, you voted for
the Garmin Vivot as this years best tness wearable. It may
not get as much coverage as other more recognised names
in the eld, but Garmin has managed to offer up a cracking
little product. It tracks everything youd need, from sleep to
steps to calories, but its biggest draw is something you probably
wouldnt even appreciate until you owned it: it has a screen.
Every other gadget in this category lacked the basic capability
to function as a timepiece, and when many such devices offer
the same tracking functionality, the simple ability to show the
time helped set the Vivot apart.

Runner-up
Fitbit Flex
We loved the Fitbit Flex for its
app, as much as the device
ce
itself. You spend most of
your time with a wearable
checking data on your
phone, and Fitbits effort
in that department
is second to none. It
doesnt hurt that the Flex
looks rather nice, too.

www.whatmobile.net 43

WHAT MOBILE AWARDS 2014

Accessories
Tech21
Tech21 isnt content providing
you with an outer shell for your
gadget. Its products dont just
look the part, and they dont
simply offer you a false sense
of security by putting a brittle
plastic case around your
phone. Tech21 has invested
serious money and time into
impactology research. This
takes premium materials
and techniques from around
the world to create some
of the most rugged, most
reliable protective gadget
gear imaginable. Apple even
stocks Tech21s products in its
stores it would seem that not
only has it met Apples lofty
standards, but those of you,
the reader, as well.

Runner-up
Otterbox

1
2

44 www.whatmobile.net

Otterbox offers an
unparalleled range of
monstrously rugged cases.
You wont nd bigger, tougher,
heftier gear anywhere
else. Full waterproong is
commonplace, and theres
no drop, scratch or shock its
cases cant take. Full-body
protection for iPhones, while
still allowing access to the
TouchID home button, is
also useful.

WHAT MOBILE AWARDS 2014

High-street retailer
Carphone Warehouse

Runner-up
Go Mobile

If youve owned a phone, youve almost certainly set foot inside a Carphone Warehouse. Seeing
as youre reading What Mobile, we can safely assume you do own one. Which means youre
surely familiar with Carphone Warehouse and what it is that has kept it the UKs biggest and best
high-street retailer for more than 10 years. Its now a major force in Europe, too, and theres more
than 1,700 stores across the continent. Following its recent merger with electronics force Dixons,
Carphone Warehouse is only headed in one direction.

1
Go Mobile has seen an
unusual rise. It rst started
as a high-street chain in the
late 90s, which was then sold
following the huge success of
its online presence. In 2006,
it used its online capital to
re-establish itself on the high
street. The companys stores
are now franchised, meaning
you know youre in for the
highest level of customer
service and assistance
whenever you set foot inside.

www.whatmobile.net 45

WHAT MOBILE AWARDS 2014

Service and repair


Geek Squad
For a small American tech
help rm to grow to the point
where Carphone Warehouse
decides to take it on as its
own personal team of experts,
it must be doing something
right. You can get help on
anything mobile from the
Geek Squad team 24/7
online, or even in a number of
Carphone Warehouse stores
up and down the country.
Insurance, tech support and
repairs are all a part of the
service offered they can
even use remote access
to diagnose your device
from afar.

Runner-up
PhoneRepairs4u
PhoneRepairs4u offers the
simplest approach possible to
device repairs. Get a quote
online in black and white,
then drop your phone off at a
store for same-day or whileyou-wait collection. You can
even use its courier service,
so you dont have to leave
your desk.

Recycling service
Envirofone
Narrowly pipped to the post last year by 2014s runner-up,
Envirofone has fought its way to the top of the heap. The service
has a ve-star rating on quality control site Trustpilot, based on
almost 10,000 reviews. Envirofone takes the recycling part of
its business seriously, with 98% of all components received being
fully reused.

Runner-up
Mazuma
Mazumas grip on the number one spot in the What Mobile
Awards has slipped, if only slightly. It was an incredibly closerun race between Mazuma and Envirofone, with only 200 votes
separating the pair. But the people have spoken. Mazuma
still offers an extremely competitive price on a huge number
of handsets.

46 www.whatmobile.net

WHAT MOBILE AWARDS 2014

Insurance provider
Insurance2go
Completely digital, Insurance2go provides everything you
need to know online and in plain English. Select your phone,
choose your cover and see the price. Chances are itll be a
good price, too, with many plans on the most popular handsets
being cheaper than its rivals. Upon signing up, your cover starts
immediately, too, with no waiting period.

Runner-up
Gadget Cover
Gadget Cover offers a unique approach to phone insurance
by actually offering a more traditional service. You can get a
no-claims bonus, you have unlimited claims, and it even extends
to breakage when used by friends and family. Youre covered
abroad, your data is backed up to a secure cloud service and
theyll cover your accessories too.

Customer Support
O2
EE may have nipped it to
best network, but it seems
O2 is better at dealing with
customer enquiries. From
simple FAQs on its website that
help you deal with smaller
issues, to online live chats with
a customer representative for
those problems that require
more hands-on assistance,
O2 has all the support bases
covered. Additionally, its My
O2 smartphone app delivers
top-notch customer service on
the go. If all else fails, you can
simply phone its call centres
for quick and easy support.

Runner-up
EE
Not to be completely
overshadowed, EE also offers
a comprehensive support
service. The UKs leading
network provides assistance
for new and older customers,
along with a smartphone
support app, trending topics
on its website and helpful
video guides.

www.whatmobile.net 47

WHAT MOBILE AWARDS 2014

Readers choice
Sony Xperia Z2

We chose the HTC One M8 as the editors choice it was a


tough decision as there are so many great Android handsets
to choose from these days. But were not surprised so many
of you are very fond of the Xperia Z2. Sony has had a hard
time upgrading its Xperia range over the years. Why? Because
Xperia handsets are always so damn good. The Xperia Z2 is no
exception. Everything from its premium build you can spot
the Xperias unique design a mile off to its colourful Android
themes and superior 20.7-megapixel rear camera, make the
Z2 one of the best Android handsets money can buy. Not only
does the Xperia Z2 offer fast performance courtesy of its 2.3GHz
quad-core processor, it also packs a stunning camera that
combines power with a plethora of unique features.

48 www.whatmobile.net

WHAT MOBILE AWARDS 2014

Editors choice
HTC One M8
In a year when so many upstarts rattled the industry, and old
stalwarts updated their agships with aplomb, one manufacturer
delivered that little bit more especially on the design front.
The HTC One M8s name might have bafed us, but it delivered
when it came to its premium build. The agships metal unibody
design was better than any other smartphone weve tested this
year. Is it any wonder that both Apple and Samsung have aped
its design on their own recent releases? HTC might not have
delivered the best camera weve seen, but its sleek aesthetic
could not be beat. Add to that HTCs unique features, including
the useful BlinkFeed social aggregation tool, and you have an
Android device that not only looks great, but also performs
exceptionally well.

www.whatmobile.net 49

APPS AND GAMES

Sele-awareness
Forget FaceTime, Facetune is the pick of this months apps especially if youre sensitive about spots
Reviewers: Saqib Shah and Callum Tennent for full reviews, check out WhatMobile.net

Facetune
1.99 (iOS), 60p (Android)
Love taking and sharing seles, but are incredibly
insecure about how awful you look? Probably
not, because those two things rarely go hand
in hand. But, just in case that does apply to
you, Facetune is here to help. Its an incredibly
powerful and extensive photo editor designed
especially for seles and portrait shots. Even out
your complexion, remove blemishes and moles,
whiten teeth, reshape your facial structure,
enhance features its got everything you need
to fool people on the internet into thinking youre
good looking.

Sorted Food

Sing2Learn

EndlessJabber

Free (iOS)

Free (iOS, Android)

Free (Android)

Sorted Food has been described as the


culinary equivalent of Spotify or Instagram
(as if Instagram doesnt have enough food
photography on it already). Its packed with
more than 700 video guides, along with
countless recipes. Each of these recipes is
explained in a clear, lighthearted tone, and
contributing your own kitchen creation is
highly encouraged as is engagement with
others in the community.

Learning a language is a matter of repetition.


Repeat a phrase enough times and hopefully it
sticks. The same can be said of songs it doesnt
matter if we like them or not, well remember them
for good if we hear them enough times. Sing2Learn
has combined the two to create an effective
language learning platform. Languages featured
include Spanish, French, Korean Japanese, Russian,
Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino, Malay, Portuguese,
Punjabi and Hindi.

EndlessJabber lets you send and receive


SMS messages from your PC. Its that simple.
Not just PCs, mind you, but tablets, laptops,
or any device that has a web browser. Install
the app on your phone, download the Firefox
or Chrome browser extension and youre up
and running. It also offers a better search
function for your inbox, the ability to archive
your messages, and even analytics of your
texting habits.

50 www.whatmobile.net

APPS AND GAMES

Agenday

Tictail

Turbo Launcher EX

Free (Android, iOS)

Free (iOS)

Free (Android)

Many calendars claim to be smart, but Agenday


is really very smart indeed. Far more than a
simple unication app for peoples various
apps and organisers, Agenday is tailored to
the business market. Aside from the merging
of calendars and the like, it also allows the
scheduling of meetings within the app along
with relevant weather details, presentation tips
and LinkedIn information.

Tictail is a shopping start-up in a similar vein


to Etsy, in that it encourages simple retail from
independent sellers who deal directly with the
customer. The vibe isnt quite as homely here
though, as there are a lot of extremely high-quality,
expensive goods on offer. Not everything has to be
handmade or reworked vintage, either, as bigger
brands can retail through the service. You can also
set up your own store.

Theres a lot of launchers out there on the Google


Play store, some good, some bad. This falls into
the former category. Turbo Launcher EX doesnt
try to reinvent the wheel youre simply offered
a nicely stylised, hugely streamlined experience
that is still unmistakably Android. Animations are
customisable, theres shortcuts galore and you can
choose from numerous styles and themes. And yes,
it does look a little bit like iOS. No shame in that.

Morning Kit

GIF Keyboard

Comedy Central

Free (Android)

Free (iOS)

Free (Android, iOS)

Morning Kit is a one-stop application to start


your day with. You can set multiple alarms and
weather forecasts, draw random inspirational
quotes, see Google News headlines, view memos
just about everything youd want to take on
board rst thing in the morning without having
to hop between apps. The information visualises
in the form of tiles, which can be moved around
and tailored to your needs. Theres plenty of
themes to choose from, too.

One of the most eagerly anticipated inclusions


in iOS 8 was the addition of customisable
keyboards. GIF Keyboard surely represents the
pinnacle of this welcome development. It does
what it says on the tin, and its amazing. It grants
you access to Giphy, the internets largest GIF
database, and allows you to search the hundreds of
thousands of GIFs in its library. Once youve found
one you like, you can send it with a single tap in the
Messaging app.

Recently revamped for mobile, the Comedy


Central app is as generous as you could hope
for from a TV network. Youre not just restricted
to short clips you can watch full episodes of
some of the most popular shows the channel
has to offer, including The Daily Show,
@Midnight and South Park. Theres also a
whole catalogue of stand-up specials, as
well as episodes of classic shows such as
Chappelles Show.

www.whatmobile.net 51

APPS AND GAMES

Red letter month


A touching First World War title based on historic letters stands out among the latest crop of games
Reviewers: Saqib Shah and Callum Tennent for full reviews, check out WhatMobile.net

Valiant Hearts:
The Great War
2.99 (iOS)
Inspired by letters written during the First
World War, Valiant Hearts is a puzzle adventure
game originally released for PC and consoles.
Its 2D graphics are similar to Child of Light
and its narrative brings a multi-dimensional
format hitherto unseen in mobile gaming.
Players work their way through the stories of
ve characters, each representing an individual
from a different allied nation touched by the
sceptre of The Great War. Despite its comic
ourishes, the emotional pay-off is nothing
short of epic.

FIFA Ultimate Team


Free (Android, iOS, Windows Phone)
The ofcial king of football titles made its
multi-platform arrival last month. Its presence
on smartphones comes in the form of FIFA
Ultimate Team. Despite the irritating presence
of in-app purchases, it is still a must-have
for football sim fans. Not only does the game
allow players to take to the pitch for a regular,
old-fashioned kickabout, but this version also
lets you test out your managerial skills in the
quick simulation mode. With 10,000 real-world
players on hand, this really is your chance to
build your dream team.

52 www.whatmobile.net

APPS AND GAMES

Angry Birds Stella

Dragon Quest

Free (Android, iOS)

1.49 (Android, iOS)

Dont be fooled by the presence of the leading lady of the Angry Birds series,
this new addition to the blockbuster franchise is business as usual for the
games maker, Rovio. The gameplay is the same: ing colourful birds at
structures inhabited by greedy green pigs to destroy them. That concept has
already drawn endless hours of mobile gaming from addicted players, and
Angry Birds Stella will surely continue that tradition. Aside from its supposedly
feminine redesign (which basically means theres more pink), Angry Birds
Stella offers little new to excite experienced players, though.

As promised, Square Enix is rolling out its entire back catalogue of Dragon
Quest games on Android and iOS. Last month, we featured the larger and
pricier Dragon Quest IV; this time were going all the way to the start of
the franchise. The original Dragon Quest will be a delight for fans of classic
JRPGs. With its now retro graphics intact and immediately recognisable
artwork, courtesy of Dragon Ball artist Akira Toriyama, this is a solid port
of a legendary title. Whats more, its a fraction of the price of its follow-ups
and is a standalone game, meaning no annoying in-app purchases.

Terraria

Interstellar

2.99 (Android, iOS)

Free (Android)

Another PC game that makes the shift to mobile platforms, Terraria is


a sandbox title in the vein of Minecraft. The games scope, however,
is arguably wider despite what its retro pixel art might lead you to
believe. The aim is to explore different worlds from oating islands in
the sky to dark underworlds and ght off villainous enemies. Players
must craft weapons, armour and potions to progress and must build
upon their chosen environment using an array of building blocks.

Christopher Nolans space drama Interstellar hits cinemas this month


and the accompanying mobile game isnt your typical movie tie-in.
Interstellar for Android and iOS focuses entirely on the intergalactic side
of things. The game allows players to create and explore user-generated
solar systems and black holes. That means you can create your very own
galaxy for other players to navigate, or simply take to the stars to visit solar
systems created by others.

www.whatmobile.net 53

MOBILE GAMING

Nintendo 3DS
The legendary Pac-Man makes a welcome return but results on the 3DS could have been better
Reviewer: Callum Tennent for full reviews, check out WhatMobile.net

Pac-Man and the Ghostly


Adventures 2
25
Pac-Man, that greedy yellow character that consumes
everything in his wake, has had a hard time making the
transition to contemporary consoles. Although no-one can
deny the originals legendary arcade status, most younger
gamers are oblivious to the titles 80s origins.
A reboot was in order and thats what the original Pac-Man
and the Ghostly Adventures aimed to deliver with mixed
results. Based on the animated TV show of the same name, the
game saw the iconic character receive both a 3D makeover
and a gameplay redesign that incorporated a more popular
platformer dynamic.
The aim of the latest game is to navigate its rather simple
levels while eating the usual array of ghosts and pellets, in
order to work your way to the nal stage, against the big bad
enemy Betrayus.
Its aimed at younger players, so we will forgive its simplicity.
There are better platformers around, though they dont offer a
Pac-o-pedia with vital info about the world of Pac-Man.

Skylanders: Trap Team


49
Heres a rather old-fashioned addition to the Skylanders
series, which had a promising start on the 3DS, but has
since felt like its just going through the motions.
If you havent played the Skylanders games, this is how
it works: players get two physical Skylanders gures with
each purchase of the title, which they must scan using
the NFC-enabled Portal of Power device that imports
the characters into the game. Characters belong to eight
categories: earth, air, water, re, magic, life, tech and
undead. Skylanders: Trap Team sees the game embracing
Pokmon-style elements.
One of the best features is its compatibility with the 3DS
StreetPass function. If you StreetPass someone with a
copy of Trap Team, you can try out one of their characters
on one level. Its a fun way to play with other Skylanders,
which may convince you to purchase them in the future.
Overall, Skylanders is a limited 3D platformer that can
only really be expanded by buying additional gurines.
And it doesnt have the breadth of the previous games.

54 www.whatmobile.net

MOBILE GAMING

Super Smash Bros


33
One of Nintendos top-tier exclusives, the new Super Smash Bros, has made
its debut on Nintendos handheld rather than the struggling Wii U console.
The chaotic beat-em-up brings with it plenty of upgrades in terms of
single-player action, improved online gaming and tons of multiplayer
options all this while retaining that core cast of iconic Nintendo
characters and adding some exciting new faces to boot.
The new version boasts upgraded graphics and 15 new playable
characters, most notably in the form of Mega Man and Pac-Man.
In terms of its single-player experience, there are several modes to choose
from, including Classic, All-Star and Stadium. The Classic mode sees players
taking on various battles all the way through to the nal stage. All-Star
will please Nintendo acolytes by offering a period battle through the ages,
which sees players ght iconic characters from the 80s (Mario) all the way
to the present (Shulk from Xenoblade Chronicles). Finally, Stadium mode
offers its own set of mini-games, including the new Target Blast, which
requires you to launch bombs of varying strength at different targets.
Although, the plentiful single player modes warrant more attention

than in the past, Super Smash Bros allure lies in its multiplayer battles. This
is where you and a bunch of friends can smash the hell out of each other in
big, chaotic face-offs.
The 3DS also received an exclusive Smash Run multiplayer mode in this
regard, which lets players run through a dungeon populated with enemies,
collecting items and power-ups. At the end of the timed race, players must
battle one another using the items they managed to pick up.
Online play is also back and offers a more solid multiplayer experience.
Again, it is split into modes allowing for casual or hardcore, achievementbased gaming. The casual aspect throws you into a random game that
doesnt track your stats making it a convenient mode to hone your skills
before trying the other options. If youre an experienced player, you can go
straight to the stats-based mode, which pits you against an opponent and
rewards you based on victories. This is certainly the more immersive option
but be warned, youll have to put up with occasional connection problem
that may affect your battles outcome. Additionally, the four-player online
mode is crippled by lag.

www.whatmobile.net 55

MOBILE GAMING

PlayStation Vita
Another cult cla
classic
ass
ssiic nds its way onto the Vita and its big,
big fat pixels remain a joy
j to behold
Reviewer: Saqib Shah for full reviews, check out WhatMobile.net

Minecraft: Pocket Edition


20
Minecraft: Pocket Edition is Minecraft, but in your pocket (if
you happen to have very large, PS Vita-shaped pockets). If you
need to be told any more than that, then you either live on the
moon or, more likely, were born prior to 1985.
For the rare few uninitiated, Minecraft is the breakout hit
of a generation. It is a franchise comparable with the
marketability and scale of Angry Birds and the historical
importance of The Sims.
There are more than 17 million players across a multitude
of platforms. Every 24 hours, 7,000 people purchase a copy.
Minecraft is a cult and its nally on Vita.
Its a pure sandbox game, wherein you must create pixelated
shelter and weaponry to survive. The only limit is your
imagination. Its like virtual Lego, only there are little green
monsters trying to kill you.
Whats more, if youve already purchased the PlayStation 3
version via digital download, this edition is free. Not bad and
you can even share saved game les between the two.

Samurai Warriors 4
20
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, and if
you like the smell of the Dynasty Warriors franchise, then
you should be equally intoxicated by Samurai Warriors 4.
The premise is simple: take the addictive, over-the-top
hack n slash gameplay of the Dynasty Warriors games and
plant it in Bushido-era Japan, rather than feudal China. The
result is largely as youd expect you take a semi-historical
Japanese warrior and use his ludicrously large blade to cut
down countless faceless goons.
The story mode has been revamped, and theres now a
roster of 55 playable characters.
The format translates well to handheld. If you havent
picked up a Dynasty Warriors title in a while, then nows
the perfect time to wet your blade once more.

56 www.whatmobile.net

MOBILE GAMING

Freedom Wars
23
The Vita may be struggling as a platform in the UK, much to
the chagrin of its loyal users, but in Japan its still in ne form.
Freedom Wars is the latest title to capitalise on the hugely
dedicated market there. Selling a staggering 300,000 copies in its
opening fortnight, and remaining number one on the video game
charts (for all platforms) for the duration. its safe to say Freedom
Wars is Japans latest big IP.
Its easy to see why, too the game bears more than a passing
resemblance to the ludicrously successful Monster Hunter series.
You take a big sword, or an even bigger gun, and use it to slay
enormous enemies. The difference here is that the game is set in
the distant future, where Japans 47 prefectures have been split
into criminal states known as Panopticons.

Jet Car Stunts


TBC
Originally a smash hit on iOS, developer Grip Games decided not
just to port Jet Car Stunts to Vita, but to build it for the system
from the ground up. The game is still the same addictive arcade
adrenaline rush it always was, though.
The concept is pretty simple: take your titular jet car around
the track as fast as you can, performing stunts as you go. As jet
cars are in fact half plane and half jet, ight is involved, with all
the associated loop-the-loops and barrel rolls.
It plays as much like a platformer as it does a racer, as courses
are made of oating stretches of road and giant hoops that you
have to navigate. Youll fall off the edge, or even miss the track
completely. A lot. And should you crash into a piece of track,
your jet car explodes into an assortment of components in the
most satisfying manner. Its a perfect pick-up-and-play timewaster for when youre on the go.

Run Like Hell


4
Another game ported from iOS, Run Like Hell is a conventional
title that will be very familiar to some. Its an endless runner,
meaning your goal is to guide your 2D character from the left side
of the screen to the right, dodging obstacles and collecting items
as you whizz along.
It would all be fairly standard fare if it werent for one key
addition: simultaneous multiplayer. This turns the whole game
on its head, as you race to the nish line against three other
real players. You get power-ups to throw at one another to keep
things interesting, resulting in some hilariously manic gameplay.
Obstacles come in the form of scalable walls, pitfalls and even
angry natives chucking rocks at your scampering explorer. Its
nothing too new, but its a fantastic execution of a popular genre.

www.whatmobile.net 57

BUYERS GUIDE

59

Phone reviews

Buying a new device can be a difficult


decision. Our comprehensive buyers
guide is here to help you.

89

Tablet reviews

BUYERS GUIDE

Acer Liquid E2

Acer Liquid Z3

Alcatel One Touch Pop S3

Reviewed: January 2014, price: 189.99


http://www.acer.co.uk

Reviewed: December 2013, price: 99


http://www.acer.co.uk

Reviewed: September 2014, price: 80


www.alcatelonetouch.com/uk

Stacked up against recent entries in the


budget market, the Acer Liquid E2 is simply
outdated. Its a functional Android handset
but the clunky, thick design makes it feel
like youre holding a toy and the software
doesnt have any standout features. Acer
will have to seriously raise its game if its to
be a contender in the phone market.

While the Z3s tiny size has immediate


benefits, youll soon tire of cramping your
thumbs on too small a screen. Everywhere
else its simply an underwhelming phone,
even with the sub-100 price tag. Even
with the customisation options for different
audiences, wed recommend opting for
a normal-sized phone over this fidgety
gadget.

The Alcatel One Touch POP S3 has its


merits, especially taking into account
the sub-100 price of the device. The
problem here is that by making room for
4G capability Alcatel has been forced to
make cutbacks in crucial areas. However,
if you are simply after the option to access
faster web browsing and app speeds on the
go, then the POP S3 offers you that at the
cheapest price possible.

OS Android 4.2 Jelly Bean


Processor Quad-core 1.2
GHz
Screen 4.5 inches
Resolution 540 x 960 pixels
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 4GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 8 MP rear-facing,
2MP front-facing

OS Android v4.2 Jelly Bean


Processor Dual-core 1GHz
Screen 3.5 inches
Resolution 320 x 480 pixels
Memory 512MB RAM
Storage 4GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 3 MP rear-facing
Video Yes
Connectivity 3G

OS Android 4.3 Jelly Bean


Processor 1.2GHz quad-core
Screen 4 inches
Resolution 480 x 800 pixels
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 4GB
Micro SD compatible? Yes
Camera 5MP rear-facing,
VGA front-facing
Video 1080p

Video 1080p
Connectivity 3G
Dimensions 131 x 68 x
9.9mm
Weight 140g
Battery 2000 mAh

Dimensions 109 x 60 x
10.4mm
Weight 120g
Battery Li-Ion 1500 mAh

Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 123 x 64.4 x
9.9mm
Weight 130g
Battery 2,000mAh

VERDICT: A dated, bulky phone saved by its

VERDICT: Its far too small to be used for

VERDICT: Cheap, sure, but its poor quality

reasonable price.

most apps and is uncomfortable to hold.

renders its 4G capability near pointless.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++
+

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+
+++++
+

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++
+

+++++ +++++ +++++


www.whatmobile.net 59

BUYERS GUIDE

EDITORS CHOICE

EDITORS CHOICE

+++++

+++++

Alcatel One Touch Idol X+

Apple iPhone 5c

Apple iPhone 5s

Reviewed: June 2014, price: TBC


www.alcatelonetouch.com/uk

Reviewed: December 2013, price: 469


(16GB) 549 (32GB)

Reviewed: December 2013, price: 549


(16GB) 629 (32GB) 709 (64GB)

We usually greet lesser-known brands with


open arms, but never has one disappointed
as much as Alcatel with its One Touch
Idol X+. Despite decent specs, its the
handsets flaws that hog the limelight. Its
outperformed by other handsets in its price
bracket in just about every respect. Its
hard to envisage anyone patient enough to
waste their time with it.

If you need a splash of colour in your life


and youre already a massive fan of the
iOS operating system, then the iPhone 5c
is much the same as the previous iPhone
5. Theres a slightly upgraded front-facing
camera and 4G will work on any UK
network, but other than that youre getting
the exact same thing. The iPhone 5c is
simply around for those of you who love
great design without breaking the bank.

With fingerprint identity, 64-bit A7 64-bit


chip delivers up to twice the perfomance of
the iPhone 4 and 5c, many people will opt to
pay the extra 80 or so over the 5c. Theyll
also get an improved camera with 15 per
cent larger sensor and improved low-light
capabilies. The True Tone flash incorporates
two flashes each matched to different
light temperatures so flesh tones are more
natural with flash pictures.

OS Android 4.2 Jelly Bean


Processor Octa-core 2GHz
Screen 5 inches
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Memory 2GB RAM
Storage 16GB or 32GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 13 MP rear-facing, 2
MP front-facing
Video 1080p

OS iOS 7
Processor Dual-core 1.3GHz
Screen 4 inches
Resolution 640 x 1136 pixels
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 16/32GB
MicroSD Compatible? No
Camera 8 MP rear-facing,
1.2 MP front-facing
Video 1080

OS iOS 7
Processor Dual-core 1.3GHz
ARM V8
Screen 4 inches
Resolution 1136 x 640 pixels
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 16GB, 32GB or 64GB
MicroSD Compatible? No
Camera 8 MP rear-facing,
1.2 MP front-facing

Connectivity 3G
Dimensions 140.4 x 69.1 x
7.9mm
Weight 130g
Battery 2,500mAh

Connectivity 4G
Size 12.4 x 59.2 x 9 mm
Weight 132g
Battery 1,510 mAh

Video 1080p
Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 123.8 x 58.6 x
7.6mm
Weight 112g
Battery 1,560 mAh

VERDICT: With such great competition the

VERDICT: Its the most colourful iPhone to

VERDICT: The gold standard in user-friendly

One Touch Idol X+ simply looks irrelevant.

date, but its identical to the iPhone 5.

smartphones, with a ton of power to boot.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++
+

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

+++++ +++++
60 www.whatmobile.net

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

+++++

BUYERS GUIDE

EDITORS CHOICE

EDITORS CHOICE

+++++

+++++

Apple iPhone 6

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Archos 50 Oxygen

Reviewed: November 2014, price: 539

Reviewed: November 2014, price: 619

Reviewed: March 2014, price: 300


archos.com

Calling it the best iPhone ever almost


seems a little redundant. Of course its
better - its more powerful, has a better
camera, and NFC could soon become a
huge deal. Were not quite as keen on the
aesthetics of it versus older iPhone designs,
but its still got a wonderful premium build
and a beautifully sharp display. The option
for greatly expanded storage sizes shouldnt
be undervalued, either.

Its the iPhone 6, but bigger. Thats the


only difference, and it comes with all of
the ups and downs that you would expect
from a phablet. Youll either love or hate the
larger screen which, whilst still beautiful, is
slightly less sharp than its little brothers.
Similarly it might be tough for smaller
hands to hold. But then you do get to see
more things on screen at once. Its still a
remarkable phone though, make no mistake.

With its large, high-definition screen and


powerful hardware, the Archos 50 Oxygen
is a solid mid-priced smartphone. Its great
for movies with its five-inch screen and can
run demanding games without crashing.
16GB of storage is rather generous too.
Theres nothing unique here, but for 300
its worth a look.

OS iOS8
Processor Apple A8 1.4GHz
Screen 4.7 inches
Resolution 1334 x 750 pixels
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 16GB/64GB/128GB
Micro SD compatible? No
Camera 8 MP iSight rearfacing, 1.2 MP front-facing
Video 1080p

OS iOS8
Processor Apple A8 1.4GHz
Screen 5.5 inches
Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 16GB/64GB/128GB
Micro SD compatible? No
Camera 8 MP iSight rearfacing, 1.2 MP front-facing
Video 1080p

OS Android 4.2 Jelly Bean


Processor Quad-core 1.5GHz
Screen 5 inches
Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 16GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 13 MP rear-facing,
5.3 MP front-facing
Dimensions 143 x 70.5 x

Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 138.1 x 67 x
6.9 mm
Weight 129g
Battery 1,810 mAh

Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 158.1 x 77.8 x
7.1 mm
Weight 172g
Battery 1,810 mAh

VERDICT: Bigger and better than ever, just

VERDICT: A bigger iPhone 6 - its really that

as youd expect. The definitive iPhone.

simple. Prefer it or not, its great regardless.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

9.9mm
Connectivity 3G
Weight 130g
Battery 2,300 mAh

VERDICT: A solid entry, but a lack of standout features sees it blend into the pack.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

+++++ +++++
www.whatmobile.net 61

BUYERS GUIDE

Archos 50 Helium

Asus PadFone 2

BlackBerry Passport

Reviewed: July 2014, price: 199


archos.com

Reviewed: November 2013, price: 500


www.asus.com/uk

Reviewed: November 2014, price: 530


uk.blackberry.com

If the Moto G and Moto E are the gold


standard of entry-level and low-cost
smartphones, then the 50 Helium is
certainly worthy of silver. Its got a nice big
screen as well as invaluable 4G capability.
It wont set the world alight, but its a
standout in a market awash with cheap,
limited handsets.

The PadFone 2 offers two devices for


around the price of one but you wont be
able to use the tablet independently of
the phone. An ideal situation in which to
use the PadFone 2 is if you want to use
the same data allowance for both devices,
and not shell out for a more expensive
3G-enabled tablet. This could almost be
perfect if it had a better screen.

A premium device by anyones standards


- if you can look past the thoroughly odd
design. Undeniably BlackBerrys most
advanced device ever, its still clearly
angled towards the business crowd with
a focus on productivity. The same old
BlackBerry problems persist though, with
an inferior OS and app store. Its just too
impractical and limited for personal use.

OS Android 4.3 Jelly Bean


Processor 1.2GHz quad-core
Screen 5 inches
Resolution 1280 x 720 pixels
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 8GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 8MP
Video 1080p
Connectivity 4G LTE

OS Android v4.0 Ice Cream


Sandwich
Processor 1.5GHz quad-core
Screen 720 x 1280 pixels,
4.7 inches
Memory 2GB RAM
Storage 16, 32 or 64GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 13 MP rear-facing,
1.3 MP front-facing

OS BlackBerry 10.3
Processor 2.2GHz quad-core
Screen 4.5 inches
Resolution 1,440 x 1,440
pixels
Memory 3GB RAM
Storage 32GB
Micro SD compatible? Yes,
up to 128GB
Camera 13MP rear-facing,

Dimensions 145 x 71.5 x


8.95mm
Weight 160g
Battery 2,000mAh

VERDICT: A capable alternative to the


market-leading Moto G.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+
+++++
+++++
+++++

Video 1080p
Connectivity 3G
Dimensions 137.9 x 68.9
x 9mm
Weight 135g
Battery 2,140 mAh

VERDICT: An almost perfect two-for-one


device if only it had a better screen.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

2MP front-facing
Video 1080p
Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 128 x 90.3 x
9.3mm
Weight 194g
Battery 3,450mAh

VERDICT: Premium build and top specs are


betrayed by off-putting, strange design.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+
+++++
+
+++++

+++++ +++++ +++++


62 www.whatmobile.net

BUYERS GUIDE

BlackBerry Q5

BlackBerry Z30

BWC Stealth V2

Reviewed: September 2013, price: 329.99


uk.blackberry.com

Reviewed: June 2014, price: 500


uk.blackberry.com

Reviewed: August 2014, price: 300


www.bwcdevices.com

Despite 200 being knocked off the price


of the Blackberry Q10, you dont really feel
that this is a bargain device. If youre in
need of a QWERTY device then Q5 may be
one to consider. When compared against
its competition this is woefully overpriced,
especially considering a similar Nokia
ASHA device will set back only 47. The
build quality on the Q5 also leaves much to
be desired, with a creaking plastic.

Perhaps if BlackBerry had focused on its


efforts on making a phone like this five
years ago we would be looking at a very
different picture now. As it stands, a barren
app store, odd features and a monster
price tag may kill what could have been
a competitive device. Its still surprisingly
easy on the eyes though, and its display
doesnt look too bad either.

With good specs available at low prices


theres never been a better time to pick up
a rugged smartphone (if thats what you
need). The Stealth V2 lives up to both the
rugged and smart tags, with surprisingly
capable insides. It also passed all of our
stress tests, with countless drops, bashes
and drownings failing to leave so much as
a mark.

OS BlackBerry 10
Processor 1.2GHz dual-core
Screen 3.1 inches
Resolution 720 x 720 pixels
Memory 2GB RAM
Storage 8GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 5MP rear-facing,
2MP front-facing
Video 1080p

OS BlackBerry 10
Processor 1.7GHz dual-core
Screen 5 inches
Resolution 1280 x 720 pixels
Memory 2GB RAM
Storage 16GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 8MP rear-racing, 2MP
front-facing
Video 1080p

OS Android 4.2 Jelly Bean


Processor 1.2GHz quad-core
Screen 4 inches
Resolution 854 x 480 pixels
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 1GB
Micro SD compatible? Yes
Camera 8MP rear-facing,
1.3MP front-facing
Video 720p

Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 120 x 66 x
10.8mm
Weight 120g
Battery 2,180 mAh

Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 140.7 x 72 x 9.4
Weight 170g
Battery 2,880 mAh

VERDICT: The Q5 is a device for Blackberry

VERDICT: Possibly the best BlackBerry yet,

QWERTY fanatics who cant afford the Q10.

but thats not saying an awful lot.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+
+++++
+
+++++

Connectivity 3G
Dimensions 133 x 69 x 20mm
Weight 230g
Battery 2,800mAh

VERDICT: As smart and tough as it promises.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+
+++++
+++++
+

+++++ +++++ +++++


www.whatmobile.net 63

BUYERS GUIDE

CAT B100

CAT B15

Doro Liberto 810

Reviewed: March 2014, price: 380


www.catphones.com

Reviewed: June 2013, price: 299


www.catphones.com

Reviewed: April 2014, price: 145


www.doro.co.uk

The CAT B100 withstands harsh conditions


and jarring blows with a tough outer
shell that absorbs the impact of falls, and
impressive waterproofing. Beyond that, the
phone lacks features games and apps - but
chances are thats not why youre buying
this phone. If you need a rugged handset
to take adventuring, though, its more than
tough enough.

While it will never be a mass market phone,


the B15 most certainly has a place in the
market for anyone who wants a device they
can rely on, whatever the environment;
aimed at builders and construction workers,
this phone stood up to our strength and
durability tests and has decent specs to
boot. Its let downs include a cumbersome
size and a weak camera and video
capabilities.

The Liberto 810 has a comfortable design


and a user interface thats ideal for firsttime smartphone users and impaired
customers. From there, things start to slip.
The screen is buried into the handset,
making it hard to accurately press smaller
buttons, the camera software has some
strange issues and we ran into a few bugs.
Its a starting point for Doro, but its hard to
recommend it.

OS Nucleus 2.1
Processor 1GHz dual-core
Screen 2.2 inches
Resolution 240 x 320 pixels
Memory 512MB RAM
Storage 50MB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 3 MP rear-facing,
QVGA front-facing
Video QVGA

OS Android 4.1 Jelly Bean


Processor 1GHz dual-core
Screen 4 inches
Resolution 480 x 800 pixels
Memory 512MB RAM
Storage 4GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 5 MP rear-facing,
QVGA front-facing
Video 720p

OS Android 4.1 Jelly Bean


Processor 1GHz
Screen 3.9 inches
Resolution 480 x 800 pixels
Memory 512MB RAM
Storage 500MB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 5 MP
Video 480p
Connectivity 3G

Connectivity 3G
Dimensions 122.94 x 55.88
x 7.6mm
Weight 136g
Battery 1,150 mAh

Connectivity 3G
Size 125 x 69.5 x 14.95mm
Weight 170g
Battery 2,000 mAh

Dimensions 126 x 66 x
12.5mm
Weight 132g
Battery 1,500 mAh

VERDICT: Tough enough to take into a

VERDICT: A rugged phone for those who

VERDICT: Seniors may be demanding a

warzone, if a little light on actual function.

need to rely on it in any environment.

tailored smartphone, but this isnt it.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++
+

+++++ +++++ +++++


64 www.whatmobile.net

BUYERS GUIDE

Doro PhoneEasy 506

Doro PhoneEasy 622

EE Kestrel

Reviewed: July 2013, price: 45


www.doro.co.uk

Reviewed: October 2013, price: 110


www.doro.co.uk

Reviewed: September 2014, price: 99


www.doro.co.uk

Not a phone for tech-addicts, the Doro


PhoneEasy 506 is great for vulnerable or
elderly people who need a foolproof device
and may need reliable means to summon
help or simply keep in touch. It features
loud and clear ring tones and volume, call
assistance SOS button and stays charged
for three weeks or more. It wont win any
beauty contests, however, and has no data
connectivity or basic camera.

The Doro PhoneEasy 622 could easily be


considered a museum piece if you have the
slightest understanding of modern mobile
technologies. That said if youre a complete
novice or want a back-up phone, then this
could be the ideal device. Battery life is
exemplary and ring volume is a lot louder
than youll see on modern smartphones, but
the design looks dated and the camera is
only capable of a two megapixel resolution.

The EE Kestrel is the best entry-level 4G


handset on the market and this is in no
small part due to Huawei. The manufacturer
has built a solid handset that consumers
will use beyond its 4G-LTE capability.
Although, its weak resolution is a major
flaw, it has plenty of other positive
attributes including a smooth UI, the ability
to handle a vast range of games and decent
web and app browsing speeds.

OS Doro OS
Processor N/A
Screen 1.8 inches
Resolution 128 x 160 pixels
Memory N/A
Storage N/A
MicroSD Compatible? No
Camera No
Video N/A
Connectivity 3G

OS Doro OS
Processor N/A
Screen 2.4 inches
Resolution 320 x 240 pixels
Memory N/A
Storage N/A
MicroSD Compatible? No
Camera 2MP rear-facing
Video 3gp
Connectivity 3G

OS Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean)


Processor 1.2GHz quad-core
Screen 4.5 inches
Resolution 540 x 960 pixels
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 8GB
Micro SD compatible? Yes
Camera 5MP rear-facing,
1MP front-facing
Video 1080p

Dimensions 125.5 x 51 x
15.5 mm
Weight 81g
Battery 800mAh

Dimensions 102 x 52 x 19 mm
Weight 104g
Battery 800mAh

Connectivity 4G, 3G
Dimensions 131 x 65.3 x
7.85mm
Weight 145g
Battery 2,000mAh

VERDICT: An affordable phone for

VERDICT: The PhoneEasy 622 has a lot to

VERDICT: A reliable handset that boasts

vulnerable or elderly people to call for help.

offer for technophobes, but not for all of us.

good usability, if underwhelming specs.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++
+

+++++ +++++ +++++


www.whatmobile.net 65

BUYERS GUIDE

Google Nexus 4

HTC Desire 500

HTC Desire 601

Reviewed: February 2013, price: 239


www.google.com/nexus/4/

Reviewed: January 2014, price: 199.99


www.htc.com/uk

Reviewed: March 2014, price: 244


www.htc.com/uk

It looks a bit dull and devoid of personality,


plus storage is limited to 4GB... but thats
hardly the point. The Nexus 4 is a tight bit of
kit designed to show off Googles latest version
of Android. With a terric quad-core 1.5Ghz
processor and 2GB of RAM - there is nothing
out there that will stump this smartphone. The
lack of 4G is a disappointment, but the phone
is an absolute steal at just 239. One of the best
Android handsets available.

The HTC Desire 500 is a respectable budget


offering from the Taiwanese manufacturer
but its been undercut by cheaper phones
with better specifications. Youll struggle
with limited storage space but it earns
points for a unique design.

4G at an affordable price is the Desire 601s


big claim (if you regard 240 as affordable).
Thats not enough of a reason alone to buy
it, though. 4G is currently not worth the
premium, nor the price hike over a similarly
specced 3G handset. The trademark HTC
Beats audio still sounds great though, and
its on-board photo editor is handy - if you
can put up with the low-resolution screen.

OS Android 4.2 Jelly Bean


Processor 1.5Ghz quad-core
Screen 4.7 inch
Resolution 720 x 1280 pixels
Memory 2GB RAM
Storage 4GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 5 MP rear-facing,
1.3MP front-facing
Video 1080p

OS Android 4.1 Jelly Bean


Processor 1.2GHz quad-core
Screen 4.3 inches
Resolution 480 x 800 pixels
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 4GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 8 MP rear-facing,
1.6 MP front-facing
Video 720

OS Android 4.2 Jelly Bean


Processor 1.4GHz dual-core
Screen 4.5 inches
Resolution 540 x 960 pixels
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 8GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 5 MP rear-facing,
0.3 MP front-facing
Video 1080p

Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 107 x 61 x 12mm
Weight 100g
Battery 2,100 mAh

Dimensions 131.8 x 66.9 x


9.9mm
Weight 123g
Battery 1,800 mAh

Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 134.5 x 66.7
x 9.88mm
Weight 130g
Battery 2,100 mAH

VERDICT: Dull and devoid of personality, but

VERDICT: A solid phone with a price tag on

VERDICT: A decent phone, but the extra

high powered and super, super cheap.

the wrong side of that of the Moto G.

100 is not justified by 4G capability alone.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+
+++++
+

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

+++++ +++++ +++++


66 www.whatmobile.net

BUYERS GUIDE

EDITORS CHOICE

+++++

HTC Desire 816

HTC One M8

HTC One Max

Reviewed: October 2014, price: 300


www.htc.com/uk

Reviewed: May 2014, price: 530


www.htc.com/uk

Reviewed: January 2014, price: 599


www.htc.com/uk

In a market lacking a viable midrange


phablet the HTC Desire 816 stands out. It
might have its flaws, but for the price you
can certainly look past them. If you cant,
then a midrange device probably isnt for
you. For the rest of us, theres no better
option for getting your hands on a jumbo
screen on the cheap.

The HTC One M8 is, in all probability, the


best smartphone ever made. It both looks
and performs better than almost everything
else out there. Features like Blinkfeed and
knock-to-wake are a joy to use. If Apple,
Sony and Samsung werent paying attention
before, they certainly are now.

The HTC One Max piggybacks the


reputation of the HTC One, although
nothing much has improved. The highquality display is present but HTC has
failed to add processing power and the
fingerprint sensor implementation is very
disappointing.

OS Android 4.4 KitKat


Processor 1.6GHz quad-core
Screen 5.5 inches
Resolution 1280 x 720 pixels
Memory 1.5GB RAM
Storage 8GB
Micro SD compatible? Yes
Camera 13MP rear-facing,
5MP front-facing
Video 1080p

OS Android 4.4 KitKat


Processor 2.3GHz quad-core
Screen 5 inches
Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels
Memory 2GB RAM
Storage 16GB or 32GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 4 MP UltraPixel rearfacing, 5 MP front-facing
Video 1080p

OS Android 4.3 Jelly Bean


Processor 1.7GHz quad-core
Screen 5.9 inches
Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels
Memory 2GB
Storage 16GB or 32GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 4 MP UlatraPixel
rear-facing, 2.1 MP frontfacing

Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 156.6 x 78.7 x
7.9mm
Weight 165g
Battery 2,600mAh

Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 146.36 x 70.6 x
9.35 mm
Weight 160g
Battery 2,600 mAH

Video 1080p
Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 164.5 x 82.5 x
10.3mm
Weight 217g
Battery 3,300mAh

VERDICT: A triumphant, large addition to a

VERDICT: If you can afford it, buy it. Theres

VERDICT: The HTC Ones design is still a

fantastic 2014 product line for HTC.

no better Android handset on the market.

standout but theres nothing new here.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

+++++ +++++ +++++


www.whatmobile.net 67

BUYERS GUIDE

HTC One Mini

HTC One Mini 2

HTC Windows 8S

Reviewed: October 2013, price: 300


www.htc.com/uk

Reviewed: August 2014, price: 360


www.htc.com/uk

Reviewed: February 2013, price: 239


www.htc.com/uk

The lite version of HTCs flagship phone


proves to be a big deal, with a high quality
camera, great audio, fast processing speeds
and a unique, refreshing take on Android
4.2. Its only let down by its lack of internal
memory and short battery life.

Your opinion of the One Mini 2 will come


down to what you mostly use your phone
for. If you dont put too much strain on its
struggling processor then you should be
fine. Its got a magnificent pair of cameras,
and that trademark HTC metal unibody
build cant be beat. Day-to-day users will
be more than satisfied - hardcore techheads should stick with the One M8.

The odd thing about this phone is that we


actually rate it higher than its big brother,
the 8X. It is a bit lighter, has a nicer body
and fits much easier in the hand. It still
has enough grunt under the hood to get all
the same tasks done (although has a lower
res screen), and its 160 quid cheaper. It
doesnt have a front facing camera (so
no proper Skype-ing) and the App store
remains limited...

OS Android OS 4.2. Jelly Bean


Processor 1.4 GHz dual-core
Screen 4.3 inches
Resolution 720 x 1280 pixels
Memory 1 GB RAM
Storage 16GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 4 MP UltraPixel rearfacing, 1.6 MP front-facing
Video 1080p

OS Android 4.4 KitKat


Processor 1.2GHz quad-core
Screen 4.5 inches
Resolution 720 x 1,280 pixels
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 16GB
Micro SD compatible? Yes
Camera 13 MP rear-facing,
5MP front-facing
Video 1080p

OS Windows Phone 8
Processor 1GHz dual-core
Screen 4 inches
Resolution 480 x 800 pixels
Memory 512MB RAM
Storage 4GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Cameras 5 MP rear-facing
Video 720p
Connectivity 3G

Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 132 x 63.2 x 9.3
mm
Weight 122 g
Battery 1,800 mAh

Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 137.4 x 64 x
10.6mm
Weight 137g
Battery 2,110mAh

Dimensions 120.5 x 63 x
10.3 mm
Weight 113 g
Battery 1,700mAh

VERDICT: A worthwhile alternative to the

VERDICT: Powered to match its stature, but

VERDICT: The Windows Phone 8S may well

bigger model.

still a very polished, attractive device.

be better than the 8X flagship model.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

+++++ +++++ +++++


68 www.whatmobile.net

BUYERS GUIDE

Huawei Ascend G510

Huawei Ascend P2

Huawei Ascend P6

Reviewed: June 2013, price: 130


www.huaweidevice.co.uk

Reviewed: September 2013, price: 340


www.huaweidevice.co.uk

Reviewed: October 2013, price: 309.95


www.huaweidevice.co.uk

A somewhat sludgier Samsung Galaxy S2


for half the price and with a bigger screen,
the Ascend G510 was the phone of 2011.
More than enough for those who dont have
to have the latest thing, the Ascend will
handle your casual web browsing, the odd
game and photos well. It can feel a little
slow however and doesnt look like much;
there are also cheaper phones out there
which do much the same.

Huawei has delivered a reasonably cheap


device given youre receiving blazing fast
4G speeds when web browsing. Theres
no microSD card slot and the processor
had a little trouble whilst gaming and
opening apps, but the camera optics were
outstanding. The P2 is capable of recording
video at a resolution of 1080p. For a phone
of this price, that is incredibly impressive.
All-in-all a great budget - mid-range device.

It suffers from poor software


implementation and a slow-charging
battery, but at least the P6 looks the part,
with a slim design that makes it more
attractive than many of its rivals. Elsewhere
this is a capable mid-to-high-tier handset
for anyone looking.

OS Android 4.1 Jelly Bean


Processor 1.2GHz dual-core
Screen 4.5-inch
Resolution 480 x 854 pixels
Memory 512MB RAM
Storage 4GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 5 MP rear-facing,
VGA front-facing
Video 720p

OS Android 4.2 Jelly Bean


Processor 1.5 GHz quadcore
Screen 4.7 inches
Resolution 720 x 1280 pixels
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 16GB
MicroSD Compatible? No
Camera 13 MP rear-facing,
1.3 MP front-facing

OS Android 4.2 Jelly Bean


Processor 1.5 GHz quadcore
Screen 4.7 inches
Resolution 720 x 1280 pixels
Memory 2GB RAM
Storage 8GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 8 MP rear-facing, 5
MP front-facing

Connectivity 3G
Dimensions 134 x 67 x
9.9 mm
Weight 150g
Battery 1,750mAh

VERDICT: A large budget smartphone which


can run slow and doesnt look like much.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

Video 1080p
Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 136.2 x 66.7 x
8.4mm
Weight 122g
Battery 2,420 mAh

VERDICT: The price speaks for itself, giving


you one of the cheapest 4G devices today.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

Video 1080p
Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 132.7 x 65.5 x
6.2 mm
Weight 120g
Battery 2,000 mAh

VERDICT: It trips up on software and battery


but the slim look is appealing.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

+++++ +++++ +++++


www.whatmobile.net 69

BUYERS GUIDE

Huawei Ascend P7

Huawei Ascend Y300

Kazam Thunder Q4.5

Reviewed: July 2014, price: 3695


www.huaweidevice.co.uk

Reviewed: September 2013, price: 119


www.huaweidevice.co.uk

Reviewed: April 2014, price: TBC


www.kazam.mobi

The Ascend P7 feels like a missed


opportunity. Huawei should have put their
full weight into creating a top-level flagship
handset. However, its underpowered
processor is its only real flaw. It looks
premium, and its front-facing camera is
the best on the market. Its price could be a
sticking point, but its by no means a bad
device.

The Y300 isnt going to blow you away


when looking at the spec sheet, but if
youre considering dipping your toes into
the smartphone world it could be the
perfect purchase. At less than 70 on payas-you-go youre getting a pretty fast and
fluid device, which should be able to cope
with most of the things you throw at it. The
feature set is very basic and the cameras
low-light performance is dismal though.

The Thunder Q4.5 is a sure case of style


over substance, but in the lower-cost
end of the market youd usually be lucky
to get either. While the phone lacks
standout features it wont let you down
when it comes to everyday smartphone
functionality. If youre in the market and
want to try something new, you could
certainly do an awful lot worse.

OS Android 4.4 KitKat


Processor 1.8GHz quad-core
Screen 5 inches
Resolution 1980 x 1020 pixels
Memory 2GB RAM
Storage 16GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 13MP rear-facing,
8MP front-facing
Video 1080p

OS Android 4.1 Jelly Bean


Processor 1 GHz dual-core
Screen 4.0 inches
Resolution 480 x 800 pixels
Memory 512MB RAM
Storage 4GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 5 MP rear-facing,
VGA front-facing
Video 480p

OS Android 4.2 Jelly Bean


Processor 1.3GHz quad-core
Screen 4.5 inches
Resolution 854 x 480 pixels
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 1.74GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 8 MP rear-facing, 2
MP front-facing
Video 720p

Connectivity 4G LTE
Dimensions 139.8 x 68.8 x
6.5mm
Weight 124g
Battery 2,500mAh

VERDICT: Its not quite a market-leading


flagship, but at least it looks the part.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+
+++++
+++++

Connectivity 3G
Dimensions 124.5 x 63.8 x
11.2 mm
Weight 130g
Battery 1,730 mAh

VERDICT: If youre dipping your toes into


the smartphone world, this could be perfect.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

Connectivity 3G
Dimensions 136 x 64.6 x
8.9 mm
Weight 137g
Battery 1,800 mAh

VERDICT: It may be flawed, but at this price


point youd be hard pushed to beat it.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+
+++++
+
+++++
+
+++++

+++++ +++++ +++++


70 www.whatmobile.net

BUYERS GUIDE

LG G2

LG G3

LG G Flex

Reviewed: November 2013, price: 500


www.lg.com/uk

Reviewed: August 2014, price: 499


www.lg.com/uk

Reviewed: April 2014, price: 570


www.lg.com/uk

Despite its impressive performance,


long-lasting battery and excellent screen,
the G2 doesnt quite hold up next to its
competition. It doesnt lag behind in
any one area, but it doesnt truly excel
anywhere else either. It wont give you any
hassle aside from its heating issues but this
isnt a best-in-class phone, and thats what
a flagship from a company like this really
should be.

Only minor detractions stop the LG G3


from being the perfect smartphone. That
said, theres no such thing as the perfect
smartphone just yet, so the G3 is still a
wonderful piece of kit. It has outstanding
features, hardware, and form to boot. The
best display around, a monstrous processor
and a variety of little touches all make the
G3 is a special smartphone.

The curved display may add very little, but


with a state-of-the-art spec sheet and a
fantastic display, the LG G Flex nails the
basics of a high-end smartphone. However
the 570 price and so-so camera make
it difficult to recommend - at least when
compared to its cheaper, better rivals. The
Flex just isnt the innovation LG believe it
to be.

OS Android 4.2 Jelly Bean


Processor 2.2GHz quad-core
Screen 5.2 inches
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Memory 2GB RAM
Storage 16GB or 32GB
MicroSD Compatible? No
Camera 13MP rear-facing,
2.1MP front-facing
Video 1080p

OS Android 4.4 (KitKat)


Processor 2.5GHz quad-core
Screen 5.5 inches Resolution
1440 x 2560 pixels
Memory 2GB RAM
Storage 16GB or 32GB
Micro SD compatible? Yes
Camera 13MP rear-facing,
2.1MP front-facing
Video 2160p

OS Android 4.2 Jelly Bean


Processor 2.2GHz quad-core
Screen 6 inches
Resolution 1280 x 720 pixels
Memory 2GB RAM
Storage 32GB
MicroSD Compatible? No
Camera 13 MP rear-facing, 2.1
MP front-facing
Video 1080p

Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 138.5 x 70.9 x
8.9 mm
Weight 143g
Battery 3,000 mAh

Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 146.3 x 74.6 x
8.9mm
Weight 149g
Battery 3,000mAh

Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 160.5 x 81.6 x
7.9 mm
Weight 177g
Battery 3,500 mAh

VERDICT: The G2 is a powerhouse with a

VERDICT: Want the best? The G3 is

VERDICT: A powerful phone held back by a

great screen and impressive battery life.

absolutely deserving of your consideration.

steep price for an unnecessary gimmick.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

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PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

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+
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+

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
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www.whatmobile.net 71

BUYERS GUIDE

Motorola Moto E

Motorola Moto G

Motorola Moto G (2014)

Reviewed: July 2014, price: 90


www.motorola.co.uk

Reviewed: January 2014, price: 135


www.motorola.co.uk

Reviewed: November 2014, price: 150


www.motorola.co.uk

Despite a lack of features and some gaming


constraints due to its processor, the Moto E
works well for most tasks. Its OS interface
is as smooth as you will find on any highend device and it only lags behind those
same handsets very slightly when it comes
to aspps and web browsing. Its so smooth
and usable that even more experiences
Android users should consider it.

The Moto G is a budget smartphone done


right. It makes smart and sensible sacrifices
to slash its price to a point that puts its
rivals to shame. For people who dont
demand the highest specs and best camera
from a phone, the Moto Gs easy-to-use
system and fast speeds make it an ideal
choice.

Its an updated version of the Moto G nothing more, nothing less. The lack of 4G
is extremely disappointing, and a processor
upgrade would have been nice. Still, a
bigger screen, a better camera and microSD
compatibility is extremely welcome.
When it comes to affordable phones that
can actually perform, the Moto G is still
untouchable.

OS Android 4.4 KitKat


Processor 1.2GHz dual-core
Screen 4.3 inches
Resolution 540 x 960 pixels
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 4GB storage
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 5MP rear-facing
Video 854 x 480 pixels
Connectivity 3G

OS Android 4.3 Jelly Bean


Processor 1.2GHz quad-core
Screen 4.5 inches
Resolution 720 x 1280 pixels
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 8GB/16GB
MicroSD Compatible? No
Camera 5MP rear-facing,
1.3MP front-facing
Video 720p

OSAndroid 4.4 KitKat


Processor1.2GHz quad-core
Screen5 inches
Resolution1280 x 720 pixels
Memory1GB RAM
Storage8GB/16GB
Micro SD compatible?Yes,
up to 32GB
Camera8MP rear-facing,
2MP front-facing

Dimensions 124.8 x 64.8 x


12.3mm
Weight 142g
Battery 1,980mAh

Connectivity 3G
Dimensions 129.9 x 65.9 x
11.6mm
Weight 143g
Battery 2,070 mAh

Video720p
Connectivity3G
Dimensions141.5 x 70.7 x
11mm
Weight149g
Battery2,070mAh

VERDICT: Unrivalled at its price, the Moto E

VERDICT: The best option for customers on

VERDICT: A solid improvement on the best,

is near faultless. A joy to use.

a budget.

but no 4G gives it a limited shelf life.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

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+
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PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

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+
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PERFORMANCE
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DESIGN

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72 www.whatmobile.net

BUYERS GUIDE

Motorola Moto X

Motorola RAZR HD

Nokia Asha 205

Reviewed: March 2014, price: 380


www.motorola.co.uk

Reviewed: April 2013, price: 399


www.motorola.co.uk

Reviewed: April 2013, price: 65


www.nokia.com

The Moto X is a rock-solid handset with


unique, helpful features. This is the best
place to experience Google Now, making
voice operation genuinely useful. MIx in a
sleek design, great camera and long battery
life and the 380 price tag is justified. If
you can afford the extra 150 then it makes
for a sterling upper-mid tier upgrade to the
Motorola Moto G.

Starting to show signs of its Google


led revival, the Motorola Razr HD has a
stunning industrial design and 4G support,
but is a victim of its delayed UK release (it
came out in the US in September) meaning
its specs are out of date, its screen is low
resolution and its camera is poor. It doesnt
help that Motorola have priced it so high
- otherwise this would be an excellent midrange phone.

An interesting enough device that blurs


the lines between a feature phone and a
low end smartphone, the Asha 205 is let
down by its very small on board memory
and lack of connectivity options. It
remains functional for a low end device,
but definitely should not be considered a
full blown replacement for a smartphone.
Probably destined for third world and
budget users.

OS Android 4.4 KitKat


Processor 1.7GHz dual-core
Screen 4.7 inches
Resolution 720 x 1280 pixels
Memory 2GB RAM
Storage 16GB/32GB
MicroSD Compatible? No
Camera 10MP rear-facing,
2MP front-facing
Video 1080p

OS Android 4.1 Jelly Bean


Processor 1.5GHz dual-core
Screen 4.7 inches
Resolution 720 x 1280 pixels
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 16GB
MicroSD Compatible? No
Camera 8MP rear-facing,
1.3MP front-facing
Video 1080p

OS Nokia Series 40
Processor N/A
Screen 2.4 inches
Resolution 320 x 240 pixels
Memory 16MB RAM
Storage 10MB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 2MP rear-facing
Video VGA
Connectivity 3G

Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 129.3 x 65.3
x 10.4mm
Weight 130g
Battery 2,200 mAh

Connectivity 3G
Dimensions 131.9 x 67.9 x 8.4
mm, 146g
Weight 146g
Battery 2,530 mAh

Dimensions 116 x 61 x 14mm


Weight 105g
Battery 1,020 mAh

VERDICT: For those looking to step up from

VERDICT: A lovely design, but the internals

VERDICT: A pretty basic, functional feature

the budget tier: your search is over.

are six months out of date.

phone with a few extra goodies.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

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PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

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FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

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www.whatmobile.net 73

BUYERS GUIDE

Nokia Asha 302

Nokia Asha 311

Nokia Asha 503

Reviewed:November 2012, price: 95


www.nokia.com

Reviewed: November 2012, price: 110


www.nokia.com

Reviewed: February 2014, price: 70


www.nokia.com

While the Nokia Asha 302 wont win any


awards for originality or features, its great
build quality, battery life and usability
make it ideal for social networking. If youre
looking for a decent feature-phone for
easy all-day typing, the Asha 302 could be
right for you. And while you can pick up a
good smartphone for around this price, the
handy QWERTY keyboard is ideal if youre
frequently typing texts and emails.

The Asha 311 is a high-quality featurephone which packs style, usability and
a decent screen. But you can buy a
much better smartphone for less. With
the excellent Huawei Ascend G300 and
Vodafone Smart 2 available for less, the
Asha 311 struggles slightly, as while it is
a good feature-phone it is crippled by an
unrealistically high price tag. Make sure
to consider your needs before buying.

Nokias Asha 503 is a brilliantly tiny


handset that stays usable despite the
smaller screen. If you want a dirt-cheap
phone then you might be better off with a
sub-50 handset and its design is a little
spiky. But anyone looking for a phone to
keep them busy for five minutes on a bus
will find plenty to love here.

OS Nokia Series 40
Processor 1GHz single-core
Screen 2.4 inches
Resolution 240 x 320 pixels
Memory 128MB RAM
Storage 100MB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 3.2MP rear-facing
Video 480p
Connectivity 3G

OS Nokia Series 40
Processor 1GHz single-core
Screen 2.4 inches
Resolution 240 x 320 pixels
Memory 128MB
Storage 140MB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 3.2MP rear-facing
Video 480p
Connectivity 3G

OS Nokia Asha platform 1.2


Processor N/A
Screen 3 inches
Resolution 240 x 320 pixels
Memory 128MB RAM
Storage 4GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 5 MP rear-facing
Video QVGA
Connectivity 3G

Dimensions 117 x 56 x 14mm


Weight 99g
Battery 1,430 mAh

Dimensions 106 x 52 x 13mm


Weight 95g
Battery 1,110 mAh

Dimensions 102.6 x 60.6 x


12.7mm
Weight 110.2g
Battery 1,200 mAh

VERDICT: Great QWERTY usability and an

VERDICT: A satisfying feature-phone but

VERDICT: A good entry into the budget

impressive battery life at a decent price.

the high price is a little bit unrealistic.

market that offers more than the basics.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

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PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

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PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
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DESIGN

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74 www.whatmobile.net

BUYERS GUIDE

Nokia Lumia 520

Nokia Lumia 625

Nokia Lumia 630

Reviewed: June 2013, price: 99.95


www.nokia.com

Reviewed: October 2013, price: 180


www.nokia.com

Reviewed: August 2014, price: 110


www.nokia.com

A good budget offering from Nokia which


is let down by its struggles to handle the
tasks required of it. Cheaper than the 620
which nevertheless had less performance
issues. The 520 packs a good camera and
battery life, however there are both cheaper
phones which perform better and more
expensive phones which dont.

The sizeable 4.7-inch screen saves the 625


from its disappointingly short battery life
and lack of HD viewing. Its plagued further
by the Lumia ranges other issues like a
limited app store, but fights back with a
decent camera. As a result it stands as a
viable budget-range phone.

The Lumia 630 offers many positives.


Its bright, smooth interface is eyecatching and capable, and it can perform
most tasks well. It even beats its rival,
the Moto E, in terms of apps browsing,
gaming and photography. It is let down
by some shortcomings though, such as a
narrow selection of apps and unnecessary
bloatware.

OS Windows Phone 8
Processor 1GHz dual-core
Screen 4 inches
Resolution 800 x 480
Memory 512MB RAM
Storage 8GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Cameras 5 MP
Video 720p
Connectivity 3G

OS Windows Phone 8
Processor 1.2GHz dual-core
Screen 4.7 inches
Resolution 480 x 800 pixels
Memory 512 MB RAM
Storage 8GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 5 MP rear-facing,
VGA front-facing
Video 1080p

OS Windows Phone 8
Processor 1.2GHz quad-core
Screen 4.5 inches
Resolution 480 x 854 pixels
Memory 512MB RAM
Storage 8GB
Micro SD compatible? Yes,
up to 128GB
Camera 5MP rear-facing
Video 720p

Dimensions 119.9 x 64 x
9.9mm
Weight 124g
Battery 1,430mAh

VERDICT: A good camera, battery and price


but the phone can struggle with tasks.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

Connectivity 4G-LTE
Dimensions 133.3 x 72.3 x
9.2 mm
Weight 159g
Battery 2,000mAh

VERDICT: A decent budget smartphone with


its fair share of shortcomings.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

Connectivity 3G
Dimensions 129.5 x 66.7 x
9.2mm
Weight 134g
Battery 1,830mAh

VERDICT: Looks good and performs well


enough to beat out some of its budget rivals

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

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+
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+

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www.whatmobile.net 75

BUYERS GUIDE

Nokia Lumia 720

Nokia Lumia 820

Nokia Lumia 920

Reviewed: July 2013, price: 299


www.nokia.com

Reviewed: March 2013, price: 380


www.nokia.com

Reviewed: January 2013, price: 36p/m


www.nokia.com

A fairly solid mid-tier offering which


suffered some setbacks at start up, the 720
features a Carl Zeiss lens and a slightly
better looking screen and performing
processor. Aside from this, the Lumia 720
isnt wonderfully different from its lower
priced siblings and showed signs of wear
and tear after a week, although its camera
lives up to the Lumia name. Microsofts app
store is still fairly limited, however.

The 920s pragmatic little brother, the 820


runs the same processor and RAM. It lacks
some of the high end photography options
but still takes good quality pictures and
also runs Windows Phone 8. It has the full
complement of Nokia apps like Music and
Maps (although the Windows Store still
struggles for quality in the app department).
Battery can be disappointing, however, and
some apps only work with WP8 devices.

A fantastic looking phone with a great


interface, grunt under the hood and the
best camera phone in the business. A bit
heavy and bulky, but outstanding design
- a real eye catcher. Like all WP8 devices,
the app store is a problem, but this
deserves to do well.

OS Windows Phone 8
Processor 1GHz dual-core
Screen 4.3 inches
Resolution 480 x 800 pixels
Memory 512MB RAM
Storage 8GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Cameras 6.7MP front-facing,
1.3MP front-facing
Video 720p

OS Windows Phone 8
Processor 1.5GHz dual-core
Screen 4.3 inches
Resolution 800 x 480 pixels
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 8GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera: 8.0MP rear-facing,
VGA front-facing
Video: 1080p

OS: Windows Phone 8.0


Processor: 1.5GHz dual-core
Screen: 4.5 inches
Resolution: 1280 x 768
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 32GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 8.7MP rear-facing,
1.3MP front-facing
Video: 1080p

Connectivity 3G
Dimensions 127.9 x 67.5 x
9mm
Weight 128g
Battery 2,000mAh

Connectivity 3G
Dimensions 123.8 x 68.5
x 9.9mm
Weight: 160g
Battery: 1,650 mAh

Connectivity 4G
Dimensions: 130 x 70.8 x
10.7mm
Weight: 185g
Battery: 2,000 mAh

VERDICT: A fairly solid mid-tier device but

VERDICT: Arguably superior to the 920, a

VERDICT: An fantastic device technically, its

not too different from lower priced siblings.

few niggles hold it back from greatness.

success relies on Microsofts app store.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

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+++++
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PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

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PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

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76 www.whatmobile.net

BUYERS GUIDE

Nokia Lumia 925

Nokia Lumia 930

Nokia Lumia 1020

Reviewed: August 2013, price: 479


www.nokia.com

Reviewed: September 2014, price: 420


www.nokia.com

Reviewed: November 2013, price: 639.99


www.nokia.com

With the Lumia 925 Nokia havent set


out to reinvent the wheel, theyve just
built on their past achievements to put
together a brilliant phone. A gorgeous
slimmed-down design, high performance
camera and responsive user interface
all set this handset apart from the rest
of the Lumia range and make it a top
level device in the high-end smartphone
market. One of the best out there.

The plus side for those looking for


something different is that Windows
Phone has come along enough now that
its mere presence on a handset isnt
enough to relegate it completely. The
Lumia 930 is the flagship that the range
has been crying out for for far too long
now, and if you dont mind having a
relatively restricted ecosystem then you
should have very few issues with it.

The Lumia 1020 is an ideal smartphone for


those of you who dont care about apps
and its perfect if you love to take great
pictures. It might not be the slimmest
device you can get your hands on but the
1020s powerful camera is well worth the
extra bulk.

OS Windows Phone 8
Processor 1.5GHz dual-core
Screen 4.5 inches
Resolution: 1280 x 760
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 16GB/32GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 8MP rear-facing,
1.3MP front-facing
Video: 1080p

OS Windows Phone 8.1


Processor 2.2GHz quad-core
Screen 5 inches
Resolution 1920 x 1080
pixels
Memory 2GB RAM
Storage 32GB
Micro SD compatible? No
Camera 20MP rear-facing,
1.2MP front-facing

OS Windows Phone 8
Processor 1.5GHz dual-core
Screen 4.5 inches
Resolution: 1280 x 760
Memory 2GB RAM
Storage 32GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 41MP rear-facing,
1.2MP front-facing
Video: 1080p

Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 129 x 70.6 x
8.5 mm
Weight: 139g
Battery 2,000 mAh

Video 1080p
Connectivity 4G LTE
Dimensions 137 x 71 x
9.8mm
Weight 167g
Battery 2,420mAh

Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 130.4 x 71.4 x
10.4 mm
Weight: 158g
Battery 2,000 mAh battery

VERDICT: A fantastic camera, slick design

VERDICT: The closest to rivalling Android

VERDICT: A top smartphone with an

and great user interface make this top dog.

and iOS that Windows Phone has ever come.

astounding camera one of the best.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++
+

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+
+++++
+

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

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+
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www.whatmobile.net 77

BUYERS GUIDE

Nokia Lumia 1320

Nokia Lumia 1520

Prestigio MultiPhone 5430

Reviewed: April 2014, price: 280


www.nokia.com

Reviewed: February 2014, price: 550


www.nokia.com

Reviewed: November 2013, price: 190


www.prestigio.com

The Lumia 925 and 1020 were large


enough, and the lack of software taking
advantage of the big display, unlike with
the Samsung Galaxy Note, means those
extra inches just leave you looking faintly
ridiculous when answering a call. Youre
better off spending your money on an
Android phablet or Googles Nexus 5.

Although the Nokia Lumia 1520 weighs


in at a whopping 550 (SIM-free), it could
cost you considerably more to purchase
a standalone camera, camcorder, satnav,
tablet and a laptop computer that can run
Microsoft Office.

The Prestigio MultiPhone 5430 is a bland


piece of kit that lacks any real highlights,
but is undoubtedly a capable and efficient
smartphone. Perhaps its best feature is
that it gets the core experience right, if not
groundbreakingly so. The very basics of
what you expect from a smartphone in 2013
are here but there isnt much else.

OS Windows Phone 8
Processor 1.7GHz dual-core
Screen 6 inches
Resolution 1280 x 720 pixels
Memory 1GB
Storage 8GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 5MP rear-facing, VGA
front-facing
Video 1080p

OS Windows Phone 8
Processor 2.2GHz quad-core
Screen 6 inches
Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels
Memory 2GB RAM
Storage 32GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 20MP rear-facing,
1.2MP front-facing
Video 1080p

OS Android 4.0 Ice Cream


Sandwich
Processor Intel Atom 1.2GHz
Screen 4.3 inches
Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 4GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 8MP rear-facing,
0.3MP front-facing

Connectivity 4G-LTE
Dimensions 164.2 x 85.9 x
9.8mm
Weight 220g
Battery 3,400 mAh

Connectivity 4G-LTE
Dimensions 162.8 x 85.4 x
8.7mm
Weight 209g
Battery 3,200 mAh

Video 1080p
Connectivity 3G
Dimensions 126 x 64.7 x
10mm
Weight 140g
Battery 2,000 mAh

VERDICT: A good phone, but the Nexus 5

VERDICT: A great all-in-one device that

VERDICT: Perfectly ordinary but its

simply undercuts the competition too well.

mashes the best of Nokia together.

positioned as an everyday smartphone.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

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+++++
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PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
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78 www.whatmobile.net

BUYERS GUIDE

Prestigio 4500 DUO

Samsung Ativ S

Samsung Galaxy Ace 2

Reviewed: June 2013, price: 179


www.prestigio.com

Reviewed: March 2013, price: 439.99


www.samsung.com/uk

Reviewed: October 2012, price: 240


www.samsung.com/uk

The Prestigio fails to dazzle, offering


nothing fresh, but it is a user friendly, well
featured and well priced device that ticks
all the right boxes for a smartphone. It
offers a smooth Android experience in a
classic design with a competitive price tag
and could go up against the likes of Huawei
or HTCs budget brands. A solid offering
from a lesser known brand.

Possibly the best looking Windows Phone


8 physically with a good display, and a
very usable Windows Phone 8 device, the
software is lazy, with a poor selection of
apps and what apps there are, can appear
less than appealing. However, the user
interface is easy to use and the processor
can handle whatever is required of it. The
phone looks and feels good - its just a pity
theres not much to look at, app-wise.

In a year where Samsung crafted one of


the worlds best smartphones with the
Galaxy S III, it has also created a fantastic
mid-level device with its affordably-priced
Galaxy Ace 2. Offering a stunning screen,
great usability and a strong set of features
it packs all that the average smartphone
buyer will need. And while its a shame that
the latest version of Android isnt installed,
you still get unbeatable value or money.

OS Android 2.3 Gingerbread


Processor 1.2GHz dual-core
Screen 3.5 inches
Resolution 480 x 800 pixels
Memory 512MB RAM
Storage 4GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 5MP rear-facing,
VGA front-facing
Video 480p

OS Windows Phone 8
Processor 1.5GHz dual-core
Screen 4.8-inch
Resolution 720 x 1280
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 16GB/32GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Cameras 8.0MP rear-facing,
1.9MP front-facing
Video 1080p

OS Android 2.3 Gingerbread


Processor 800MHz dual-core
Screen 3.8-inch
Resolution 480 x 800 pixels
Memory 768MB RAM
Storage 4GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 5MP rear-facing,
0.3MP front-facing
Video 720p HD

Connectivity 3G
Dimensions 117 x 59 x 11mm
Weight 120g
Battery 1,850 mAh

Connectivity 3G
Dimensions 137 x 70.5 x
8.7 mm
Weight 135g
Battery 2,300 mAh

Connectivity 3G
Dimensions 118 x 62 x 11mm
Weight 119g
Battery 1,500 mAh

VERDICT: Nothing new but this is a user

VERDICT: Great WP8 hardware, but the lack

VERDICT: In terms of sheer bang for your

friendly, well priced well featured device.

of apps means Nokia and HTC still rule.

buck, this great phone is one of the best.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

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www.whatmobile.net 79

BUYERS GUIDE

Samsung Galaxy Ace 3

Samsung Galaxy K Zoom

Samsung Galaxy Mega

Reviewed: March 2014, price: 180


www.samsung.com/uk

Reviewed: October 2014, price: 400


www.samsung.com/uk

Reviewed: October 2013, price: 440


www.samsung.com/uk

The Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 is a good


handset thats been made irrelevant by
cheaper competition. Whilst it packs a
vibrant display and solid specs, similar
phones sit well below the 180 benchmark
set here. Samsung will have to rethink its
pricing. If it werent for the Moto Gs release
this would be an emphatic recommendation
- unfortunately Samsung will have to settle
for the silver medal.

We can see what Samsung set out to


achieve with the Galaxy K zoom, and
creating a solid Android smartphone with
an optical zoom is no small feat. However,
it looks like a dated digital camera at best
- newer devices are much more compact.
If youre after a smartphone with a solid
snapper, wed advise you to seek out the LG
G3 or Sony Xperia Z2 instead.

With a 6.3-inch screen, the Galaxy Mega


falls into phablet territory, but that doesnt
change the fact that said screen is
hypnotically vibrant. As such, its a great
video player and has room for a sizeable
battery. Its resolution, however, is a minor
issue and it doesnt have enough internal
storage to meet our needs. It will stick out
like a sore thumb but you might just fall in
love with it.

OS Android 4.2 Jelly Bean


Processor 1.2GHz dual-core
Screen 4 inches
Resolution 480 x 800 pixels
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 8GB/16GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 5MP rear-facing,
VGA front-facing
Video 720p

OS Android 4.4 (KitKat)


Processor Hexa-core: 1.3GHz
quad-core + 1.7GHz dual-core
Screen 4.8 inches
Resolution 1,280 x 720 pixels
Memory 2GB RAM
Storage 8GB
Micro SD compatible? Yes
Camera 20.7MP rear-facing,
2MP front

OS Android 4.2 Jelly Bean


Processor 1.7GHz quad-core
Screen 6.3 inches
Resolution 720 x 1280 pixels
Memory 2GB RAM
Storage 8GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 8 MP rear-facing, 1.9
MP front-facing
Video 1080p

Connectivity 4G LTE
Dimensions 121.2 x 62.7
x 9.8mm
Weight 115g
Battery 1,500 mAh

Video 1080p
Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 137.5 x 70.8 x
16.6mm
Weight 200g
Battery 2,430mAh

Connectivity 4G LTE
Dimensions 167.6 x 88 x
8 mm
Weight 199g
Battery 3,200 mAh

VERDICT: Premium build quality and visuals

VERDICT: A decent smartphone and an

VERDICT: For better or worse its all about

at a good price - just not a great one.

excellent camera in a hideous body.

the big, vibrant screen with this handset.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

+++++ +++++ +++++


80 www.whatmobile.net

BUYERS GUIDE

Samsung Galaxy Mini 2

Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Reviewed: August 2012, price: 150


www.samsung.com/uk

Reviewed: December 2012, price: 409


www.samsung.com/uk

Reviewed: December 2013, price: 649


www.samsung.com/uk

With its eye-catching design, decent


performance and comfortable usability, the
Galaxy Mini 2 is well worth a look for firsttime smartphone buyers on a budget. There
are some incredibly high-quality rivals on
the market, though, from brands such as
HTC and Huawei, among others. So you
might want to shop around and check out
the competition before handing over your
cash, as there are great deals to be had.

The size of Samsungs Galaxy Note range


is a hate it or love it prospect - is it too
big to be a phone, or too small to be a
tablet? Does a stylus have any place on
a smartphone? Either way, it is a brilliant
piece of technology, with a whopping great
16 hours of talk time. Its only main flaws are
a dull screen and a poor camera - otherwise
it comes down to personal preference.
Definitely one to try out in store.

The Note 3 steps over the competition with


its large, engulfing display and great battery
life. But its the stylus thats the star of
the show here, with great integration that
makes it an ideal Note-keeping device. This
makes it ideal for business people on the
move, although theyll have to make sure
they keep an eye on the easy-to-lose pen at
all times.

OS Android 2.3 Gingerbread


Processor 800 MHz
Cortex-A5
Screen 3.27 inches
Resolution 320 x 480 pixels
Memory 512MB RAM
Storage 4GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 3.15MP rear-facing
Video 480p

OS Android 4.1 Jelly Bean


Processor 1.6GHz quad-core
Screen 5.5 inches
Resolution 720 x 1280 pixels
Memory 2GB RAM
Storage 16/32/64GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 8MP rear-facing,
1.9MP front-facing
Video 1080p

OS Android 4.3 Jelly Bean


Processor 2.3GHz quad-core
Screen 5.7 inches
Resolution1080 x 1920 pixels
Memory 3GB RAM
Storage 16/32/64GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 13 MP front-facing,
2MP rear-facing
Video 4K

Connectivity 3G
Dimensions 109 x 59 x
12mm
Weight 105g
Battery 1,300 mAh

Connectivity 3G
Dimensions 151 x 81 x 9 mm
Weight 183g
Battery 1,300 mAh

Dimensions 151.2 x 79.2 x


8.3 mm
Weight 168g
Battery 3,200 mAh

VERDICT: A good entry-level handset, but

VERDICT: The king of the big screen phone/

VERDICT: A fantastic portable business

there are plenty of better deals to be found.

tablets, youll either love it or hate it.

device with helpful, unique features.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

+++++ +++++ +++++


www.whatmobile.net 81

BUYERS GUIDE

EDITORS CHOICE

EDITORS CHOICE

+++++

+++++

Samsung Galaxy S2

Samsung Galaxy S3

Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini

330 SIM-free
www.samsung.com/uk

Reviewed: July 2012, price: 485


www.samsung.com/uk

Reviewed: January 2013, price: 300


www.samsung.com/uk

The Galaxy S II is one of Samsungs top-end


smartphones and was your Phone of the
Year 2011, according to reader votes for the
What Mobile Awards. It offers blisteringly
fast performance, a decent camera, strong
battery life and a great screen. Alongside
the newer Galaxy S III, its the biggest
threat Apple has seen since the iPhone
launched, and with good reason. Few
phones offer such a good user experience.

Matching up to the mighty Galaxy S II was


always going to be a tall order, but with
the release of the Galaxy S III Samsung has
clearly surpassed expectations. With its
stunning design, amazing usability, highpowered performance and cutting-edge
features, it measures up to the best of the
competition and sets a new benchmark for
its rivals. If youre looking for one of the
best smartphones you can buy, this is it.

Something of a misnomer, this is no relation


to its bigger brother, the S III,despite the
design similarities. The Mini is little more
than a shrunk down Galaxy S II. If users
want a budget Galaxy, they are better off
pursuring that (former) flagship on a budget
plan - this is extortionately expensive for
what you get.

OS Android 2.3 Gingerbread


Processor 1.2GHz ARM
Cortex-A9
Screen 4.3-inch+
Resolution 480 x 800 pixels
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 16/32GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 8MP rear-facing,
2MP front-facing

OS Android 4.0 Ice Cream


Sandwich
Processor 1.4GHz ARM
Cortex-A9
Screen 4.8 inches
Resolution 720 x 1280 pixels
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 16/32/64GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 8MP rear-facing,

OS Android 4.1 Jelly Bean


Processor 1GHz dual-core
Screen 4 inches
Resolution 480 x 800 pixels
Memory 1GHz RAM
Storage 8/16GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 5MP rear-facing,
0.3MP front-facing
Video 720p

Video 1080p
Connectivity 3G
Dimensions 125 x 66 x 9mm
Weight 116g
Battery 1,650 mAh

1.9MP front-facing
Video 1080p
Connectivity 4G LTE
Size 137 x 71 x 9mm
Weight 133g
Battery 2,100 mAh

Connectivity 3G
Dimensions: 121.6 x 63 x
9.9 mm
Weight 111.5g
Battery 1,500 mAh

VERDICT: An award-winning Android phone

VERDICT: A masterpiece of design and

VERDICT: A cheeky move by Samsung to

that effortlessly impresses across the board.

usability. This is the benchmark to beat.

pass this off as a premium device. Its not.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

+++++ +++++ +++++


82 www.whatmobile.net

BUYERS GUIDE

EDITORS CHOICE

+++++

Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active Samsung Galaxy S5

Reviewed: July 2012, price: 550


www.samsung.com/uk

Reviewed: November 2013, price: 400


www.samsung.com/uk

Reviewed: June 2014, price: 530


www.samsung.com/uk

An impressive hardware offering with


intriguing new software and camera
features but these need to be perfected
and integrated into the device as a whole
before the S4 can really be called a knock
out. While the phones processor seemed
to struggle with games and the design
is pretty similar to the S3, this is a solid
offering from Samsung in the flagship race.

The Active S4 is ideal for people looking


for a more protected smartphone, although
it does make some sacrifices. Its design is
too rugged for mainstream appeal and its
display and camera arent great. But its a
great hybrid for an underwater camera and
is perfect for adventurous lifestyles.

The thing about Galaxy handsets is that


their flaws are often matters of personal
opinion. If you dont mind the samey
design, plasticky build and irksome user
interface, then the Galaxy S5 could be
the best smartphone going. Its insanely
powerful, has a blinding display and is even
waterproof. If you care about substance
over style then the Galaxy S5 is as good as
it gets.

OS Android 4.2 Jelly Bean


CPU 1.6 GHz quad-core
Screen 5 inches
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Memory 512MB RAM
Storage 16/32/64GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Cameras 13MP front-facing,
2MP front-facing
Video 1080p

OS Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean


Processor 1.9 GHz quad-core
Screen 5 inches
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Memory 2GB RAM
Storage 16GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 8MP rear-facing, 2MP
front-facing
Video 1080p

OS Android 4.4 KitKat


Processor 2.5GHz quad-core
Screen 5.1 inches
Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels
Memory 2GB RAM
Storage 16/32GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 16MP rear-facing,
2MP front-facing
Video 1080p

Connectivity 4G LTE
Dimensions 136.6 x 69.8 x
7.9 mm
Weight 130g
Battery 2,600 mAh

Connectivity 4G LTE
Dimensions 139.7 x 71.3 x
9.1 mm
Weight 151g
Battery 2,600 mAh

Connectivity 4G LTE
Dimensions 142 mm x 72.5
mm x 8.1 mm
Weight 145g
Battery 2,800mAh

VERDICT: An impressive offering with

VERDICT: It may not be quite as good as its

VERDICT: Behind a cheap-looking build lies

interesting but not integrated new software.

big brother, but it certainly has its purpose.

the beastliest smartphone around.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+
+++++
+

+++++ +++++ +++++


www.whatmobile.net 83

BUYERS GUIDE

Sony Xperia Go

Sony Xperia L

Sony Xperia J

Reviewed: October 2012, price: 200


www.sonymobile.com

Reviewed: August 2013, price: 249


www.sonymobile.com

Reviewed: February 2013, price: 149


www.sonymobile.com

When weve tested semi-rugged phones


before, theyve often put function firmly
over form. But Sonys Xperia Go blends
style and resilience to create a tough device
thats also great to look at. Its waterproof,
dust-resistant design keeps it protected
against the elements and its a fast and
pleasingly usable device. And while the old
Android 2.3 OS is a disappointment, this is
still a good phone for busy outdoor use.

This device includes some higher end


specs for a low cost handset as well as a
snappy camera, a high quality screen and
impressive battery life. However, the odd
design choices are a distraction and the
screen does suffer from lag issues. Lower
cost devices like the Nokia 620 offer more
at a cheaper price. Access to the Google
Play store potentially gives it an edge over
the 620, if thats what youre after.

The Xperia J is expensive for what you get


- no small feat considering it costs 149.
This is a severely stripped down version of
its big brothers, the Xperia P, T and S. Its
performance is poor, the camera and screen
is poor. Youd do much better buying last
gens flagship phones on a contract, rather
than buying this weak cut price performer.
Avoid.

OS Android 2.3 Gingerbread


Screen 3.5-inch TFT
Resolution 320 x 480 pixels
Input Capacitive touchscreen
Processor 1GHz dual-core
Memory 512MB
Storage 8GB internal,
MicroSD up to 32GB
Camera 5MP rear-facing
Flash LED

Dimensions 128.7x 65 x
9.7mm, 137g
Display 4.3 inch, TFT
capacitive touchscreen,
480x854 pixels, 228 ppi
OS Android 4.1
CPU Qualcomm MSM8230
Snapdragon
dual core 1GHz
GPU Adreno 305

Dimensions 120.5 x 63 x
10.28 mm
OS Windows Phone 8
Screen 4.0-inch S-LCD
Resolution 480x800
Processor Qualcomm
Snapdragon S4 1GHz dualcore
GPU Adreno 305
RAM 512MB

Video 720p HD at 30fps


Wireless 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi,
Bluetooth 3.0
Ports 3.5mm audio jack,
Micro USB 2.0
Standby time 520 hours
Talk time 6 hours
Size 111 x 60 x 10mm
Weight 110g

Memory 1GB RAM


Storage 8GB, microSD up
to 32GB
Wireless Wi-Fi 802.11
a/b/g/n
Camera 8MP, autofocus,
LED ash
Battery Up to 9 hours (3G) accurate

Storage 4GB expandable via


microSD
Cameras 5MP rear, LED ash
/ 720p HD video
Wireless Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
3.1, a-GPS and GLONASS
Ports Micro USB, 3.5mm
audio
Battery life 1,700mAh

VERDICT: If you need a stylish and tough

VERDICT: Not a bad choice for gamers on a

VERDICT: A bit of a rip off for a low spec,

phone for outdoor use, theres a lot to like.

budget, but for others there are better handsets.

poor performing phone.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

+++++ +++++ +++++


84 www.whatmobile.net

BUYERS GUIDE

Sony Xperia SP

Sony Xperia T3

Sony Xperia Z

Reviewed: July 2013, price: 290


www.sonymobile.com

Reviewed: July 2013, price: 290


www.sonymobile.com

Reviewed: April 2013, price: 499


www.sonymobile.com

The Xperia SP has an excellent high


definition screen, a fairly solid battery life
and an interesting notification system
involving a panel at the bottom of the
phone which lights up with customisable
colours when you get a message. However
the phones not as powerful as last years
flagships, is slightly bulky and there are
rival phones to be had for less money,
particularly if youre not fussed about 4G.

If it werent for the existence of the Sony


Xperia T2 Ultra, released less than nine
months prior, the T3 would be a solid
recommendation. Its a highly satisfactory
smartphone with a premium build - but
without anybody who would really need to
buy it.

Sonys smartphone is a powerhouse in


every way, let down only by some unusual
design decisions. Water, dust and shock
resistant, its giant screen size will come
down to personal preference, as will its
unusual design. Otherwise it has all of
Sonys bells and whistles, including some
clever use of NFC with NFCs stereos, TVs
and laptops.

OS Android 4.1
Screen 4.6inch / 720x1280
pixels
Input Capacitive touchscreen
Camera 8MP, VGA front
Video Record / Playback
Audio Music player / Stereo
Bluetooth / 3.5mm jack
Memory 8GB expandable via
micro SD card

OS Android 4.4 Kit Kat


Processor 1.4GHz quad-core
Screen 5.3 inches
Resolution 1,280 x 720 pixels
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 8GB
Micro SD compatible? Yes
Camera 8MP rear-facing, 1.1MP
front-facing
Video 720p

Dimensions 139 x 71 x 7.9 mm


and 146g
OS Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean).
Screen 5 inch, Capacitive
touchscreen,1080 x 1920
Processor Qualcomm Krait
quad-core 1.5 GHz
RAM 2GB RAM
Storage 16GB, microSD (to
32GB)

Battery 2370mAh

Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 150.7 x 77 x 7mm
Weight 148g
Battery 2,500mAh

Cameras Main 13.1 MP,


4128x3096 pixels, autofocus,
LED ash. Front - 2.2 MP,
1080p@30fps
Wireless Wi-Fi 802.11,
Bluetooth 4.0, NFC enabled
Ports MicroUSB v2.0, MicroSD,
3.5mm audio jack.
Battery Li-Ion 2330 mAh battery

VERDICT: If 4G LTE isnt for you, the Xperia

VERDICT: A solid effort makes it a viable

VERDICT: A powerhouse phone, let down

SP isnt quite the bargain it first seems.

mid-range phablet choice.

only by some design niggles.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+
+++++
+++++
+

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

+++++ +++++ +++++


www.whatmobile.net 85

BUYERS GUIDE

EDITORS CHOICE

+++++

Sony Xperia Z1

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

Sony Xperia Z2

Reviewed: December 2013, price: 475


www.sonymobile.com

Reviewed: March 2014, price: 449


www.sonymobile.com

Reviewed: July 14, price: 579


www.sonymobile.com

Its a little on the large side, but Sonys


latest handset is rock solid, with powerful
hardware and a unique design. Fans of
the company will be right at home with
the software that stores movies, music
and games youve bought across other
platforms. Add in a great camera and
youve got a phone that stops just short of
best in class.

If you hate giant displays and dont


have the patience for Apples iOS and its
restrictive App Store, the Sony Xperia Z1
Compact your only choice, and a great one
at that. Sony have done well to make a
phone with the power to rival the mighty
iPhone in an equally small package. In-built
Sony-branded apps such as Walkman and
PlayStation is an inherent plus, too. Fingers
crossed for a KitKat 4.4 upgrade soon.

The Z2 matches its rivals power and


usability. A lack of design innovation and
similar specs might deter Z1 owners from
upgrading, though, and the large size
might not appeal to fans of smaller devices.
That said, superior imagin and a powerful
processor and CPU means it excels in the
right places.

OS Android 4.2 Jelly Bean


Processor Snapdragon 800
quad-core 2.2GHz
Screen 1080 x 1920 pixels,
5 inches
Memory 2GB RAM
Storage 16GB expandable
up to 64GB via micro SD
Camera 20.7 MP rear-facing,
2 MP front-facing

OS Android 4.3
Processor Qualcomm
Snapdragon 800
Screen 4.3-inch HD
Triluminos
Resolution 720 x 1,280
pixels
Memory 2GB
Storage 16GB, expandable
to 64GB

OS Android 4.4 KitKat


Processor 2.3GHz quad-core
Screen 5.2 inches
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Memory 3GB RAM
Storage 16GB
MicroSD Compatible? Yes
Camera 20.7MP rear-facing,
2.2MP front-facing
Video 720p

Video 1080p
Wireless Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
4.0
Ports micro SD, microUSB
Battery 3000 mAh
Dimensions 144 x 74 x
8.5mm
Weight 170g

Camera 20.7MP Exmor RS


Video 720p
Connectivity Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G,
Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
Dimensions 127 x 64.9 x
9.5mm
Weight 137g
Battery 2,300 mAh

Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 146.8 x 73.3 x
8.2mm
Weight 163g
Battery 3,200mAh

VERDICT: Software makes it great for Sony

VERDICT: The most powerful, best looking

VERDICT: An immaculate smartphone, if

fans, hardware makes it good for the rest

compact Android available. Simple.

only a small step up from its predecessor.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+
+++++

+++++ +++++ +++++


86 www.whatmobile.net

BUYERS GUIDE

Sony Xperia Z Ultra

Vodafone Smart 3

Vodafone Smart Mini

Reviewed: December 2013, price: 559


www.sonymobile.com

Reviewed: August 2013, price: 90


www.vodafone.co.uk

Reviewed: September 2013, price: 50


www.vodafone.co.uk

Sonys phablet is a powerful and sleek


piece of kit. The vivid, full HD display is
the perfect place to watch movies and
play games thanks to its gigantic size
and incredible clarity. The camera leaves
something to be desired, and its impossible
to use with just one hand, but this is a fine
choice for phablet fans looking for a new
purchase.

While the Vodafone Smart 3 manages


to offer a good 5-megapixel camera and
Android Jelly Bean at a bargain price of
just 90, its slow processor, appalling
screen and poor build quality mean that
that its unlikely to be a first choice even
for budget handset shoppers. The screen is
too reflective to use in direct sunlight and
the low spec processor means the device is
sluggish at the best of times.

The Smart Mini is almost as cheap as chips,


and it shows. Whilst its not a bad device,
its not a particularly good one either. The
size is great and for the price you couldnt
go wrong but you could also spend an
extra tenner and get a whole lot more. The
performance was very sluggish and the
screen had dismal quality, but the battery
just kept on lasting, going several days on a
single charge a rarity these days.

OS Android 4.2, upgradeable


to Android 4.3
Processor 2.2GHz
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
Screen 1080 x 1920 pixels,
6.4 inches
Memory 2GB
Storage 16GB
Camera 8 MP rear-facing, 2
MP front-facing

Dimensions 123.2 x 64.4 x


10.9 mm
Weight 136g
Screen TFT capacitive
touchscreen
Processor 1 GHz Cortex-A9
RAM 512MB
Storage 4GB, expandable up
to 32GB
Cameras 5 MP, autofocus,

Dimensions 115 x 62.3 x


12.2mm
Weight 118
OS Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean
Screen 3.5-inch TFT
capacitive touchscreen, 320 x
480 pixels, 165 ppi
Processor 1 GHz
RAM 512MB
Storage 4GB, micro SD slot

Video 1080p@30fps
Wireless Bluetooth 4.0,
wi-, NFC
Ports MicroSD, Micro-USB
Dimensions 179.4 x 92.2 x
6.5 mm
Weight 212g
Battery 3050 mAh

VERDICT: A powerful handset thats great


for viewing but poor for photo shooting.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+
+++++
+++++
+

LED ash
Video Yes
Wireless Wi-Fi 802.11
a/b/g/n, dual-band,
Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
Ports USB 2.0, MicroSD,
3.5mm audio jack
Battery life Li-Ion 1700 mAh,
9h (3G) accurate

VERDICT: The price doesnt alleviate issues


of low screen quality and processing speed.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

Camera 2MP, 1600 x 1200


pixels
Video VGA @ 30 fps
Audio MP3, WMA,
Battery 300h standby, 7h
talktime (3G)

VERDICT: Extremely cheap which shows


through the sluggish performance.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

+++++ +++++ +++++


www.whatmobile.net 87

BUYERS GUIDE

Yezz Andy A5

ZTE Blade III

ZTE Blade V

Reviewed: June 2014, price: 207


www.sayyezz.com

Reviewed: May 2013, price: 69.99


www.ztedevices.co.uk

Reviewed: February 2014, price: 99.99


www.ztedevices.co.uk

Camera phone fans on a tight budget should


denitely seek out the Andy A5 for its
affordable price and high-quality camera. If
taking photos is not that important to you
then youll probably have seen the uninspired
design and bland features a million times
before.

Its hard to argue with a smartphone that


can compete with its betters, yet can be
purchased for a fraction of the cost. Yes
there are flaws and cutbacks to meet the
price point, but this is an excellent entry
level device for smartphone newbies and
pragmatic users who dont need the latest
and greatest.

A fantastic price makes the ZTE Blade V


easy to recommend for first-time buyers.
Anyone hoping to get the most out of a
smartphones apps and snaps should look
elsewhere, but if you dont want to worry
about a phone for the kids being broken or
stolen, then this is your guy.

OS Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)


Processor Quad-core 1.2GHz
Screen 5 inches
Resolution 540 x 960 pixels
Memory 512MB RAM
Camera 13MP rear-facing,
2MP front-facing
Connectivity 3G, wi-
Dimensions 144.1 x 73.5 x
8.6mm

Dimensions 123 x 63.5 x


10mm, 130g
OS Android 4.0 Ice Cream
Sandwich
Screen TFT capacitive
touchscreen, 256K colors,
480 x 800 pixels, 4.0 inches
(233 PPI)
Processor Qualcomm single
core 1GHz

OS Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)


Processor Snapdragon S4
Play
Screen 480 x 800, 4 inches
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 4GB
Camera 5 MP
Video Yes
Wireless Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
Ports microUSB, microSD

Weight 106g
Battery 2,000mAh

VERDICT: A great camera, but the rest


struggles against more bullish counterparts.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+
+++++

RAM 512MB
Storage 4GB internal,
expandable to 32GB via
MicroSD
Camera 5MP
Wireless Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1.
Ports Micro USB, MicroSD,
3.5mm audio jack.
Battery life 1600mAh

Dimensions 126 x 64 x 10.9


mm
Weight 130g
Battery Li-Ion 1800 mAh

VERDICT: A real surprise package -

VERDICT: A great prices makes this

excellent for the money.

worthwhile for first-time buyers.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

+++++ +++++ +++++


88 www.whatmobile.net

BUYERS GUIDE

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 Acer Aspire P3

Advent Vega Tegra Note 7

Reviewed: May 2013, price: 229/259


www.amazon.co.uk

Reviewed: October 2013, price: 550


www.amazon.co.uk

Reviewed: April 2014, price: 140


www.nvidia.co.uk

A good looking e-reader with tablet


capabilities, limited by Amazons annoying
operating system and app eco-system, and
an annoyingly slow browser. This device
will doubtless be a commercial success,
with its branding and ease of use, but for
the more serious user there are much better
tablets out there.

The P3 suffers from an identity crisis in


trying to be both a tablet and a laptop.
Its thick build makes it an uncomfortable,
bulky slate while the specs fail to live up
to some of its rivals. Still, its about as
powerful as the current Windows 8 tablets
get and available at a great price for this
kind of device.

Its a contender, alright. Aside from some


clunky desing issues, the Advent Vega
Tegra Note 7 is a powerful and punchy
little machine. If youre after a compact and
affordable tablet its speed sets it aside from
its rivals as a device thats great for gaming,
customising images and browsing the web.

Dimensions 240 x 164 x


8.8 mm
OS Customized Android 4.0
Screen 8.9 inch IPS LCD
capacitive touchscreen
Resolution 1920 x 1200,
254 ppi
Processor TI OMAP 4470
dual-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A9
GPU PowerVR SGX544

Processor Intel Core


i5-3339Y processor (1.5 GHz,
2.0 GHz with TurboBoost, 3
MB cache)
Operating System
Windows 8
Memory 4GB DDR3
Storage 120 GB SSD
Graphics Intel HD Graphics
4000

OS Android Jelly Bean 4.3


Processor Nvidia Tegra 4
Screen 7 inches
Resolution 1,280 x 800 pixels
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 16GB
Connectivity Wi-, Bluetooth
4.0
Dimensions 119 x 199 x
9.6mm

RAM 1 GB RAM
Storage 16 GB/32 GB
Cameras front facing
1.3MP with 720p video
Wireless 802.11 a/b/g/n,
dual-band
Ports USB 2.0, 3.5mm audio
jacks, Bluetooth A2DP
Battery life 10 hours
(accurate)

Screen Size 11.6


Screen Resolution
1366x768
Dimensions 295 x 190 x
10 mm
Weight 790g

Weight 320g
Battery 8 hours

VERDICT: A solid, functional tablet which is

VERDICT: Too thick to be a tablet but

VERDICT: Its speed sets it apart from its

limited by its Amazon associations.

available at a good price.

competition. A cheap and capable device.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

+++++ +++++ +++++


www.whatmobile.net 89

BUYERS GUIDE

EDITORS CHOICE

+++++

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX

Apple iPad Mini

Apple iPad 3

Reviewed: January 2014, price: 199-329


www.amazon.co.uk/kindle

Reviewed: December 2012, price: 269


www.apple.com/uk

Reviewed: April 2012, price: 399


www.apple.com/uk

The Kindle Fire HDX is around 100 more


than the Fire but the improved screen and
processor justifies the extra cost. The real
human Help feature will be a boon to tablet
newbies; experienced users will regard it as
a gimmick. The HDX is a top-rate device
but if youre not a regular Amazon customer
youre better off with a Nexus.

The iPad Mini represents Apple playing it


safe, which is to say:, disappointing. This
is little more than an iPad 2, with all its
limitations - a low res screen and weak
processor power - shrunk down to an odd
7.9-inch size. It is also overpriced, the
Google Nexus 7 offers superior performance
for 100 less. Despite its luxurious design,
you really are paying for little more than 4G
support, and Apples App Store. Average.

The new iPad boasts the highest-resolution


display of any tablet, as well as an improved
5MP camera and better connectivity. Not
to mention a high-powered new processor
which makes it the most powerful iPad ever,
too. Though some may resist the upgrade
path, the unrivalled Retina display is a
subtle but deeply appealing feature which
will become more and more desirable. The
new iPad is by far the best tablet around

OS Amazon customised
Android OS, v4.1.2
PROCESSOR Snapdragon 800
2.2GHz quad-core
SCREEN 1902 x 1200 pixels,
7 inches
MEMORY 2GB RAM
STORAGE 16GB, 32GB, 64GB
versions available
CAMERA 8MP front-facing

OS iOS 6.0.1
Screen 7.9-inch LED-backlit
IPS LCD
Resolution 768 x 1024 pixels
at 162 pixels per inch
Input Capacitive touchscreen
CPU Apple A5 1GHz dual core
GPU PowerVR SGX543MP2
Memory 512MB
Storage 16/32/64GB

OS iOS 5
Screen 9.7-inch TFT
Resolution 1536 x 2048
pixels
Input Capacitive touchscreen
Processor 1GHz Cortex-A9
Memory 1GB
Storage 16/32/64GB
Camera 5MP rear-facing,
0.3MP front-facing

VIDEO 720HD
WIRELESS Wi- (optional
Vodafone 4G version)
PORTS microUSB
DIMENSIONS 131.8 x 66.9
x 9.9 mm
WEIGHT 302g

Camera 5MP rear facing,


1.2MP front facing
Video 1920x1080 (1080P HD)
at 30fps. Video stabilised
Wireless Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n,
dual-band, Bluetooth 4.0
Ports 3.5mm audio jack,
Apple Lightning port (USB 2.0)
Size 200 x 134.7 x 7.2mm
Weight 308g

Flash No
Video 1080p HD
Wireless 802.11a/b/g/n
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
Ports 3.5mm audio jack,
proprietary Apple connector
Standby time 720 hours
Use time 9 hours
Size 241 x 186 x 9mm
Weight 662g

VERDICT: A significant update to the Fire

VERDICT: Little more than a shrunken iPad

VERDICT: Theres simply no contest - the

and ideal for Amazon users.

2 with 4G. Disappointing.

new iPad is the best tablet in the world.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

+++++ +++++ +++++


90 www.whatmobile.net

BUYERS GUIDE

EDITORS CHOICE

+++++

Apple iPad 4

Archos 79 Platinum

Archos 101 XS 2

Reviewed: January 2013, price: 399


www.apple.com/uk

Reviewed: April 2014, price: 150


www.archos.com

Reviewed: February 2014, price: 250


www.archos.com

A rather cheeky move by Apple to release


the iPad 4 (or iPad with Retina Display)
just months after the iPad 3. All it really
adds is a new processor (the iPhone 5s
A6X) and Apples new lightning connector.
However, this means it remains as the best
tablet money can buy - and Apples App
Store and its 300,000 dedicated tablet apps
only make the proposition more enticing.

With so many budget tablets to choose


from the Archos 79 Platinum has no
features or unique selling points to attract
the consumer in a saturated market. Its
hardware is woefully underpowered, its
features are bog standard and it is at least
10 too expensive. Its attractive looks are
not enough to redeem it. The bottom line is
that it should have never been conceived.

A couple of years ago, the 101 XS would


have has us singing Archos praises, but by
todays standards its processing power and
screen quality fall short. It might, though,
find a home with users limited to spending
250 on a 10-inch tablet

OS iOS 6.0.1,
Screen 9.7 inch LED
Resolution 1536 x 2048 pixels
at 264 ppi pixel density
CPU Apple A6X, Dual-core
GPU PowerVR SGX554MP4,
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 16/32/64 GB storage
Camera 5MP rear facing,
1.2MP front facing

OS Android 4.2 Jelly Bean


Processor Quad-core A9
1.6GHz
Screen 7.85 inches
Resolution 1,024 x 768 pixels
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 8GB
Camera 2MP rear-facing
Connectivity Wi-, Bluetooth
Dimensions 201 x 137 x 8mm

OS Android 4.2.2
SCREEN 10.1-inch/1,280 x
800 pixels
CAMERA 2MP rear, 2MP front
VIDEO Record/playback
AUDIO Music player/3.5mm
jack
MEMORY 16GB expandable
via microSD
DIMENSIONS 273 x 169 x

Video 1080P HD at 30fps


Wireless Wi-Fi 802.11
a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
Cellular 4G, 3G, 2G
Ports Lightning Connector
(USB2.0) and 3.5mm audio
jack,
Dimensions 241.2 x 185.7 x
9.4 mm
Weight 662 g

VERDICT: The best tablet money can buy.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

Weight 366g
Battery Lithium Polymer

10.1mm (tablet),
273 x 169 x 5mm (keyboard)
WEIGHT 636g (tablet), 200g
(keyboard)

VERDICT: There is no reason you ever

VERDICT: A great price is let down by a

would, or should, buy it. Avoid, avoid, avoid.

poor screen and cheap build.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+
+++++
+++++

+++++ +++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

+++++
www.whatmobile.net 91

BUYERS GUIDE

EDITORS CHOICE

EDITORS CHOICE

+++++

Asus Transformer
Pad TF701T
Reviewed: February 2014, price: 429
www.asus.com
The Asus Transformer Pad TF701T packs a
beautiful screen and the keyboard dock is
well thought out. But dated software and
the threat of a Google Nexus 10 sequel
make this a niche device. Do you really
need a keyboard? The iPad mini begs to
differ.
OS Android 4.3 (via an overthe-air update)
SCREEN 10.1-inch/2,560 x
1,600 pixels
INPUT Capacitive touchscreen
CAMERA 5MP rear, 1.2MP
front
VIDEO Record/playback
AUDIO Music player/3.5mm
jack

MEMORY 32/64GB
BATTERY Tablet 31Wh, dock
16Wh

+++++

Google Nexus 7

Google Nexus 10

Reviewed: September 2012, price: 159


www.google.co.uk/nexus

Reviewed: February 2013, price: 319


www.google.co.uk/nexus

Googles Nexus 7 is a high-quality media


consumption device built for gaming,
watching videos, browsing the internet
and catching up on TV shows that youve
missed. What it isnt is an Apple iPad, but
at this price it doesnt need to be. Google
has picked what it wanted to do and done
it very well - and all at a great price. This
excellent device is sure to take tablets to a
whole new audience of consumers.

Finally, the Android tablet everyones been


waiting for - except Apple. This is a tablet
that can go head to head with the best in
the Apple iPad stable - it has a powerful
processor, a Retina Display quality screen,
the latest version of Android. Along with
the Nexus 7, this is the best tablet Android
users can buy. The only flaws are an
uninspired body, and a dearth of tablet
specific apps.

OS Android 4.1 Jelly Bean


Screen 7-inch LED-backlit
IPS LCD
Resolution 800 x 1280 pixels
Input Capacitive touchscreen
Processor 1.3GHz Cortex-A9
Memory 1GB
Storage 8GB/16GB internal
Camera 1.2MP front-facing
Flash No

OS Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)


Dimensions 263.9 x 177.6 x
8.9 mm, 603g
Screen 10-inches, Gorilla
Glass 2,
Resolution 2560 x 1600p
Input Super PLS TFT capacitive
touch-screen
CPU Exynos 5, Dual-core ARM
Cortex-A15

Video 720p HD
Wireless 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 4.0
Ports 3.5mm audio jack,
Micro USB 2.0
Battery 10 hours use,
300 hours standby
Size 199 x 120 x 10mm
Weight 340g

RAM 2 GB
Cameras 5 MP (main), 1.9
MP (front)
Wireless Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
NFC Android Beam
Storage 16 GB/32 GB
Connectivity Micro
USB, Micro HDMI, 3.5mm
headphone jack
Battery 9000 mAh

VERDICT: It packs fast hardware but cant

VERDICT: A fantastic device that delivers all

VERDICT: The best Android tablet available,

compete with the iPad Air or Nexus range

youd want from a tablet, at a great price.

slips behind the iPad 4 only due to apps.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

+++++ +++++ +++++


92 www.whatmobile.net

BUYERS GUIDE

HP Slate 7

Lenovo ThinkPad 8

Lenovo Miix 2

Reviewed: October 2013, price: 125


www.hp.com

Reviewed: September 2014, price: 424


www.lenovo.com

Reviewed: July 2014, price: 255


www.microsoft.com/surface

The steel frame makes the Slate 7 an


impressive sight and its audio uses Beats
technology to great effect. The fantastic
price will help it to undercut some of its
rivals, though the slow processor and low
quality camera keep it from besting them
elsewhere.

If you just want a device for general tasks


then you can find better alternatives within
Lenovos Yoga range of Android slates, and
elsewhere. If youre a fan of Windows and in
search of a bulkier device that offers plenty
of productivity tools, then the ThinkPad is
an (almost) viable option.

With solid performance across the board,


frequently usable built-in apps and compact
size the Miix 2 is a small but surprisingly
versatile slate. Despite the limitations that
come with the Windows OS, it performs
general tasks well and, for the price, wont
let you down. With 3G capability you can
even connect to the internet on the move.
Overall, it offers plenty of pleasant surprises
to combat the weaknesses of its OS.

OS Android 4.1 Jelly Bean


Processor Dual-core 1.6
GHz Cortex-A9
Screen 600 x 1024 pixels,
7.0 inches
Memory 1 GB RAM
Storage 8 GB expandable to
32GB via SD card
Camera 3.15 MP pixel rear
facing, VGA front facing

OS Windows 8.1
Processor 2.4GHz quad-core
Screen 8.3 inches
Resolution 1,200 x 1,920
pixels
Memory 2GB RAM
Storage 32GB
Micro SD compatible? Yes
Camera 8MP rear-facing,
2.2MP front-facing

OS Windows 8.1
Processor 1.3GHz quad-core
Screen 8 inches
Resolution 1280 x 800 pixels
Memory 2GB
Storage 32GB
MicroSD compatible? Yes
Camera 5MP rear-facing, 2MP
front-facing
Video 1080p

Video 720p
Dimensions 197.1 x 116.1 x
10.7 mm
Weight 372 g
Battery non-removable, 5h
media time

Video 1080p
Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 8.83 x 5.2 x
0.35 inches
Weight 439g

Connectivity 3G
Dimensions 8.3 x 215.6 x
131mm
Weight 350g
Battery 4,730mAh

VERDICT: Great audio and build, but corners

VERDICT: Even with so few Windows tablets

VERDICT: A small but substantial Windows

have been cut to keep costs down.

available the ThinkPad still fails to stand out.

offering that still trails its Android rivals.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+
+++++
+++++

+++++ +++++ +++++


www.whatmobile.net 93

BUYERS GUIDE

Microsoft Surface 2 Pro

Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Nokia Lumia 2520

Reviewed: February 2014, price: 720


www.microsoft.com/surface

Reviewed: November 2014, price: 640


www.microsoft.com/surface

Reviewed: February 2014, price: 399


www.nokia.com

We cant fault Microsofts ambition for


the powerful Surface Pro 2 to become
your all-in-one portable work and play
device. Its got a great display and solid
hardware but a lack of dedicated apps,
software compromises and stiff - cheapercompetition make it a tough sell.

From software to hardware and even design


the Surface Pro 3 is a wonderful piece of kit.
Its refreshing to come across a tablet with
grander ideals than the norm, challenging
us to rethink the notion of the medium. For
most people this could genuinely replace
their laptop. Its just a shame, and an almost
inexcusable mistake, that the keyboard
which is so integral to its function is sold as
an expensive extra.

The Windows-run Lumia 2520 is a decent


first effort from Nokia - and its certainly
one of the more attractive and solid pieces
of tablet hardware on the market. It has a
few issues with the weight and a lackluster
camera but overall we have no trouble
recommending this to Windows 8.1 and
Lumia fans.

OS Windows 8.1
Screen 10.6
inches/1,920x1,080 pixels
Input Capacitive touchscreen
Camera 720p-resolution front
and rear
Video Record/playback
Audio Music player/3.5mm
jack
Memory

OS Windows 8.1
Processor 1.5GHz Intel core
i3/2.9GHz Intel core i5/3.7GHz
Intel core i7
Screen 12 inches
Resolution 2,160 x 1,440
pixels
Memory 4GB/8GB RAM
Storage
64GB/128GB/256GB/512GB

OS Windows 8.1
Screen 10.1 inches, 1,920 x
1,080 pixels, 218PPI
Processor Qualcomm
Snapdragon 800
Memory 2GB
Camera 6.7MP with Carl
Zeiss lens
Audio Music player/3.5mm
jack

64GB/128GB/256GB/512GB,
expandable
Battery 48Wh

Micro SD compatible? Yes,


up to 128GB
Camera 5MP rear-facing, 5MP
front-facing
Video 1080p
Connectivity Wi- only
Dimensions 292.1mm x
201.4mm x 9.1mm
Weight 800g
Battery 42Wh

Dimensions 168 x 267 x


8.9mm, 615g
Battery 8120 mAh

VERDICT: Price holds back what is an

VERDICT: The first tablet with enough

VERDICT: A rock solid first effort from Nokia

otherwise excellent work/play hybrid.

function to conceivably replace a laptop.

in this market with powerful specs.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+
+++++
+

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

+++++ +++++ +++++


94 www.whatmobile.net

BUYERS GUIDE

EDITORS CHOICE

EDITORS CHOICE

+++++

+++++

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids Samsung Galaxy Tab S

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

Reviewed: February 2014, price: 250


www.nokia.com

Reviewed: October 2014, price: 319


www.samsung.com/uk

Reviewed: May 2014, price: 649


www.samsung.com/uk

The Tab 3 Kids is surprisingly robust, with


a solid camera, great battery, fantastic
educational apps and software to suit kids.
But the premium design doesnt feel like it
was meant to be enjoyed by young users
and wed suggest going with a company
that specialises in the market rather than
one thats testing it out.

While the Tab S may not be a radical


departure from other Android tablets, it
encompasses everything that is great
about a top-notch Samsung product. Its
enough to rebuild the Korean giants brand
image, and proof that the company can
still surprise us with a fantastic all-round
product.

One of the biggest displays ever seen


on a tablet - at no detriment to quality.
Combine that with solid design and a super
powerful processor to run loads of unique
applications and the NotePRO 12.2 is
arguably the best tablet on the market. Its
certainly the best Android slate, although
its definitely priced as such.

OS Android 4.1
Processor Dual-core 1.2GHz
Screen 600 x 1,024 pixels,
7 inches
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 8GB/16GB,
expandable up to 64GB
Camera 3.15MP (back), 1.3MP
(front)
Video 720p@30fps

OS Android 4.4 Kit Kat


Processor 2.3GHz quad-core
Screen 8.4 inches
Resolution 2,560 x 1,600 pixels
Memory 3GB RAM
Storage 16GB, 32GB
Micro SD compatible? Yes
Camera 8MP rear-facing,
2.1MP front-facing
Video 1080p

OS Android 4.4 KitKat


Processor Octa-core (1.9GHz
+ 1.3GHz quad)
Screen 12.2 inches
Resolution 2,560 x 1,600
pixels
Memory 3GB RAM
Storage 32GB/64GB
Camera 8MP rear/2MP
front-facing

Wireless WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0


Ports micro-USB, microSD
Dimensions 188 x 111.1 x
9.9mm
Weight 306g
Battery Li-Ion 4,000 mAh

VERDICT: A little too premium for the


market its aimed at.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

+++++

Connectivity 4G
Dimensions 125.6 x 212.8 x
6.6mm
Weight 294g
Battery 4,900mAh

VERDICT: Simply put, its the best Android


tablet on the market.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+
+++++
+++++
+++++

Video 1,080p Full HD


Connectivity Wi- only
Dimensions 295.6 x 204 x
7.95mm
Weight 750g
Battery 9,500mAh

VERDICT: Big, beautiful, functional and


priced to match. Androids finest.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+
+++++
+
+++++
+
+++++

+++++ +++++
www.whatmobile.net 95

BUYERS GUIDE

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet

Tesco Hudl

Toshiba Excite Pure

Reviewed: June 2014, price: 399


www.sony.co.uk

Reviewed: March 2014, price: 119


www.tesco.com/direct/hudl

Reviewed: February 2014, price: 250


www.toshiba.co.uk

If looks could kill, Sony murdered the


competition. Add to that a powerful processor
and decent screen size and you have a great
new addition to the high-end tablet market.
Innovative features like dust and water
resistance are impressive too, and manage to
make up the expensive price tag.

No awards for specs or design, but we can


recommend the Hudl as a family-oriented
tablet. It lets you store pictures, browse
the web and watch movies: It may not be
groundbreaking, but its simplicity is its
greatest strength. That, and its incredible
119 price. Those looking for anything more
complicated should head elsewhere.

The Toshiba Excite Pures 250 price is


attractive but its display is far too faded.
It means apps and the like dont look very
good. It might appeal to families looking for
a cheap way to keep the kids entertained
but little else. Even so, the slow processor
and useless apps force us to recommend
you look elsewhere.

OS Android OS v4.4.2 (KitKat)


Screen 10.1 inches
Processor Quad-core 2.3 GHz
Memory 3GB
Storage 16GB, microSD up
to 64GB
Camera 8.1MP rear, 2.2MP
front
Battery 6,000mAh
Network Wi- connectivity,

OS Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)


Processor Quad-core A9
Screen 7 inches
Resolution 1,440 x 900
pixels
Memory 1GB RAM
Storage 16GB
Connectivity Wi-Fi,
Bluetooth 4.0
Dimensions 128.8 x 192.8

OS Android v4.2 (Jelly Bean)


Processor Nvidia Tegra 3
Memory 1GB
Storage 16GB
Screen 1280 x 800 pixels, 10.1
inches
Video HD
Audio Stereo
Dimensions 261.6 x 177.8 x
10.2mm

4G LTE

x 9.85 mm
Weight 370g
Battery 9 hours

VERDICT: A good all-round tablet, with looks

VERDICT: Cheap as cheap can be, with

VERDICT: Its got a cheap price tag but the

that set it apart from the rest of the agships.

specs to match. It keeps things simple.

poor display and tech shows why.

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
USABILITY
DESIGN

+++++
+++++
+++++
+++++

+++++ +++++ +++++


96 www.whatmobile.net

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NEXT ISSUE ON SALE 11 DECEMBER


g
Samsun te 4
o
N
Galaxy
Motorola
M
Moto X 2014

Christmas gift guide

+ all the latest


devices, reviews,
apps and games

free portable wireless


charger and speaker
with the Nokia Lumia 930*

from just

19.99
a month

Choose your plan and order at

www.buymobiles.net/nokia930
Order up to 9pm weekdays for free next-day delivery!

Call 033 3006 9868


Open Mon to Fri 9am - 5:30pm. Sat 10am - 2pm
*Subject to availability and acceptance on contract. Charger and speaker redeemed from Nokia. Full contract and delivery terms apply.
199 upfront charge. Free phone from 30.99 a month. Prices accurate at press.