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48 HOUR WEARABLE RU-VIEW – The Pebble Smart Watch

 

As the newest member of the Mobiles team – and with a new-found love for horology only matched by Jonny Ive – Ru Bhikha turns his hand to reviewing the latest wrist-ready gadgetry.

As the “wearables” tech market continues to grow, the consumer now has a variety of devices to choose from ranging from glasses (or Glasses), to fitness bands and watches.

With James Bond’s timepieces seeming more like reality than they do fiction, the question we have to ask is how smart do devices have to be before they begin to compromise their overall purpose.

I had the privilege of getting my hands on the Pebble Smart Watch, a watch apparently ‘made by real people, for real people‘.

Looks

If you’re not familiar with the Pebble already, the first thing you’ll notice is its iconic rectangular watch face and its Kindle like e-ink display, making the unique pebble apps easy to read, whilst at the same time giving it monster battery life compared to typical industry standard of less than a day of heavy use.

Whilst the Pebble comes in 2 styles, Plastic and steel. I was given the opportunity to test drive the O2-exclusive plastic “Cherry Red” Version. I couldn’t help but feel this only exaggerated the uber-plastic design of the watch.  I also didn’t enjoy the fact that I was being compared to a Premier League referee.

I refer you to Exhibit A:

 

Given the choice I would probably opt for the Steel version, giving the ‘smart’ aspect of this device the premium feel it probably deserves.

Functionality/Usability

Being a child of the 80’s, I constantly had to the urge to keep comparing this watch to the legendary Casio, which had physical buttons.

With the screen being so small, Pebble nailed it by leaving this ever so important feature on their device. I just wish they had a button dedicated to the backlight rather than having to shake your hand around to activate it.

The watch itself charges extremely quickly and I was fully juiced within the hour ready to go. A simple Bluetooth connection allows you to quickly install and remove apps directly from your phone using the Pebble app, with one click of a button. You can also add new watch faces and fully customise the device from here.

Like many other smartwatches you can get phone notifications, measure sleep patterns, track fitness and get travel information. You have a choice of 8 apps you can put in your “Locker”, and whilst I only got accustomed to the default and most popular apps, the opportunities are endless with it being based on an open source platform.

It does cater to a wide variety of users however, for example the outdoor enthusiasts can use it as GoPRO remote or use it as a Golf GPS device to save you shots on the course.

Price

Hats off to Pebble here. They make it a point to proudly differentiate themselves from the wearable stablemates like Samsung, Motorola and LG proving that smart can be cheap and – more importantly – simple.

The plastic model comes in at around £99 whilst you can pick up the stainless steel variant for just under £180.

Pros

Price

Both Watch and App are very simple to use

Excellent battery life

Cons

Lacking that premium feel

No dedicated light button

Marks out of 10

7/10

Would I wear it?

The look and feel weren’t quite to my taste and after 48 hours, I found myself only needing it for one thing – to tell the time. (Perhaps that’s the highest compliment that you can pay a smartwatch? Ed.)

The unit was provided for review by O2, and was returned after use.

 

Mobile Phone Review Roundup: Motorola Moto G (2014), BlackBerry Passport, Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, Sony Xperia Z3 and Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Omio is rounding up all the mobile phone reviews over the past week from the major tech titles in the UK.

This is all in order to bring you an all-inclusive and encompassing view of the opinions, from the various handset reviewers.

 

Pocket-Lint

Motorola Moto G (2014) review

Motorola announced the original Moto G in November last year and it ended up becoming one of the greatest phones of 2013 thanks to its performance, lovely design and, perhaps most importantly, a budget £135 price tag.

It was a game-changer in the smartphone arena, not only for making such devices more widely accessible but also for encouraging the introduction of other decent entry-level smartphones. When Motorola then introduced the 4G version (complete with a microSD slot) the Moto G became almost untouchable in a league of its own.

Less than a year later the company has launched the second-generation Moto G and although it comes with a bigger screen and better camera, this is one device that has its work cut out for it to live up to its predecessor. We’ve been living with the Moto G 2014 to see if bigger really is better or if it slips behind an original that might be too good to beat.

Verdict

The price was the key to the original Moto G’s success and we suspect it will be a similar story for the 2014 model too. For £150 you get a lot for your money, including a decent display, very good battery life, ample performance and an improved camera, as well as microSD storage expansion and a raw Android operating system experience with some useful extras.

However, with its new 5-inch screen the larger Moto G brings a new design that – and this is partly thanks to the metal bar speaker grilles on the front – we just don’t like as much as the original. The larger form factor feels bulkier and heavier (even though the figures suggest it’s reasonably insignificant) that make for a different experience.

The absence of 4G may also seem an oddity – especially when the interim Moto G model offered such connectivity, so we wouldn’t be surprised if yet another 5-inch Moto G appears with 4G in the near future – but when price is king that’s not such a surprise.

We might not like the 2014 Moto G quite as much as the original model from last year, but we still never felt like we were compromising on quality or experience. The choice of accessories and interchangeable backs means you can make this device into your own without it costing you an arm and a leg. And at £150 the Motorola Moto G 2014 is a steal. Read the full Motorola Moto G (2014) review on Pocket Lint.

- Check out all the Motorola Moto G (2014) deals on OMIO, today!

 

The Register

BlackBerry Passport

Absent for almost a year, BlackBerry has returned to the fray with the striking Passport, an updated OS and Blend – a secure desktop companion for the phone.

There are two distinguishing features in this device: first, its display is square and very wide. Secondly, it has a capacitive physical keyboard. The questions are: is the square form factor more than a novelty? Does the new keyboard really improve the typing experience? Is a wide heavy device comfortable in practice, and if not, is it worth it?

The Reg Verdict

BlackBerry returns with an highly unusual design that’s uncompromisingly aimed at two groups: enterprise users and those looking for powerful complementary "second phone". The Passport showcases one great innovation – a capacitive multitouch physical keyboard. While this holds great promise – and BB10 is maturing into a strong platform for business and power users – in reality, the Passport doesn’t integrate the UI and the keyboard well. Indeed, its assertive shape and bulk will repel all but the determined. Read the full BlackBerry Passport review on The Register.

- Check out all the BlackBerry Passport deals on OMIO, today!

 

TechRadar

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review

The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is the latest entrant in Sony’s rapidly expanding line of Xperia Z handsets. Though the original Xperia Z was only launched in March 2013, there have since been three main entries into Sony’s flagship line (the Xperia Z1, Xperia Z2 and the new Xperia Z3) along with tablets and the occasional compact variant.

The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is the smaller version of Sony’s latest flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z3. As has become customary with Sony’s compact variants, the Xperia Z3 Compact shares quite a bit of technology with its bigger brother, but is it more than just a shrunk down version?

With a 4.6-inch screen (compared to the Xperia Z3′s 5.2-inch) and an asking price of £429 (around US$703, AU$792) , the Xperia Z3 Compact is one of the more expensive mini variants of flagship smartphones that we’ve seen.

Verdict

There’s a lot to really like about the Xperia Z3 Compact. Though Sony seems to be putting out new Xperia Z models every six months, you get the feeling that with each iteration it is steadily improving the formula.

Sony has also avoided offering a severely cut down version of its flagship device. Where other manufacturers will cut the specifications of the mini variants, the Xperia Z3 Compact keeps a lot of the features of the bigger Z3, making the compact an excellent choice if you fancy the Z3, but are not too sure about the large size of the handset.

The integration of Sony’s services and their appeal will depend on how invested you are in the Sony ecosystem. The PlayStation 4 remote play feature probably has the biggest mainstream appeal, and I’m looking forward to testing the feature when it goes live. However, with other Android devices being able to use this feature (though after being rooted), this may dull the impact of this ‘exclusive’ feature.

Heat issues are my biggest disappointment with the Xperia Z3. I don’t mind a handset getting warm when being used from time to time, but when it starts to affect the performance of certain apps and features it spoils what usually is a very impressive experience.

However, if you are looking for a feature-packed phone that looks fantastic and performs brilliantly, then you’ll be very pleased with the Xperia Z3 Compact. Just don’t expect to shoot epic 4K movies with it. Read the full Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review on TechRadar.

- Check out all the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact deals on OMIO, today!

 

Trusted Reviews

Sony Xperia Z3 review

The Sony Xperia Z3 is the Android phone follow-up to the Xperia Z2, a phone that only launched six months ago. So, how much can you improve things in such a small space of time? Well, not by a great deal it seems. There’s a minor bump up in power, some improvements in the camera department and now it’s all wrapped up in a slimmer, lighter body. The good news is that all of the things that made the Z2 so great, like the great screen, mammoth battery life and blistering fast performance are still intact.

It’s the best Z phone yet in spite of such an iterative update and is in great company with the One M8, Galaxy S5, LG G3 and the iPhone 6. When the next Xperia phone arrives, though, we expect Sony to raise the bar more.

Verdict

This is the best Sony phone so far but for Z2 owners, it’s worth waiting out for the Xperia Z4 or whatever Sony decides to call its next Xperia flagship smartphone where hopefully we should see something more radically different.

- Check out all the Sony Xperia Z3 deals on OMIO, today!

 

uSwitch

Samsung Galaxy Alpha review

After years of pumping out plastic phones in its Galaxy S range, Samsung has made a metal handset.

But don’t get too excited. The Galaxy Alpha isn’t carved from a single piece of aluminium like the iPhone 6 or HTC One (M8). The back is still plastic. It just has a metal frame.

Still, considering it charges about the same for its phones as Apple and HTC do for their flagships, it’s progress.

But does it put enough distance between it and other Samsung smartphones? Let’s take a look.

Verdict

In many ways, the Galaxy Alpha is a triumph. It’s small yet powerful, with a great camera, and much better build quality than the S and Galaxy Note ranges.

But the screen could be better, it’s a shame you lose the waterproofing, and it certainly isn’t cheap.

We suspect Samsung is testing out the design to gauge reaction before implementing it on the Galaxy S6. It would be a welcome departure for Samsung’s flagship range. Read the full Samsung Galaxy Alpha review on uSwitch.

- Check out all the Samsung Galaxy Alpha deals on OMIO, today!

 

iPhone 6 Plus review

When it was locked in its latest round of litigation with Samsung, a leaked court document said it all. ‘Consumers want what we don’t have,’ the tech giant admitted.

The Cupertino company was of course referring to larger smartphones. ‘Phablets,’ if you will.

Fast forward six months and Apple has two new capacious phones designed to wrest back control from ailing Samsung and reassert its dominance in the smartphone space.

But while the smaller 4.7–inch iPhone 6 is aimed at the broader market, the larger iPhone 6 Plus is more intriguing.

Steve Jobs said that ‘no one’s going to buy a big phone’. He was wrong.

Phablets made up more than a quarter of all smartphones sold in the first quarter of 2014 according to analyst firm Canalys. And that number continues to grow.

So, is Apple’s super size smartphone worth ditching your Galaxy Note 3 for? Read on and we’ll reveal all.

Verdict

Apple’s first phablet can be seen as a qualified success.

Its size means there will always be some users who find it too cumbersome to use, but its bright display, superb camera and easy–on–the–eye design make it a winner overall.

If you can look past the price tag and fancy switching back to Apple now it’s finally seen the light when it comes to bigger devices, then this is the phone for you.

- Check out all the Apple iPhone 6 Plus deals on OMIO, today!

Mobile Phone Review Roundup: Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, Apple iPhone 6 Plus, Amazon Fire Phone, BlackBerry Passport and Motorola Moto G (2nd Gen)

Omio is rounding up all the mobile phone reviews over the past week from the major tech titles in the UK.

This is all in order to bring you an all-inclusive and encompassing view of the opinions, from the various handset reviewers.

 

Pocket-Lint

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review

Finding a compact phone with flagship specs is something of a rarity these days, with many manufacturers delivering smaller-screen devices in the mid-range instead. Not so the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, a device powerful enough to stand up to its larger-screen rivals.

Unlike most other Android smartphones with screens typically 5-inches or larger, the Z3 Compact fits neatly into hand and pocket thanks to its 4.6-inch panel. That will make this portable powerhouse desirable for many seeking something smaller. But is it worth your cash?

Verdict

There’s so much to like about the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact. It’s one of few devices as powerful at this size, offers great battery life, is well designed and fully packed with features. Sony’s pricing at £429 undercuts the rival Samsung Galaxy Alpha by a considerable margin, making it an even more enticing proposition.

As much as we love the Z3 Compact and almost everything it does, there are still some small niggles. It arrives just over six months after its predecessor, there’s some software overkill, the camera app doesn’t load as fast as we would like, and the screen still isn’t best in class despite doing a decent job.

We also can’t help but look at the larger Sony Xperia Z3 and its more resolute display – bigger movie playback, more gaming space, a better browsing experience also sounds enticing – but then there’s the inflated cost to consider.

But it’s that last thought; that lure to the larger screen that also highlights just how good the Z3 Compact is. Because whatever your preference, big or small, Sony is offering a choice without having to worry about sacrificing performance. Like the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, the Z3 Compact is a great – and importantly a little – flagship handset. We’re yet to see a better Android device at this size. Read the full Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review on Pocket Line.

– Check out all the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact deals on OMIO, today!

 

Reghardware

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Samsung doesn’t invent anything: it just "copies Apple." Even judges say so. The only explanation for the new iPhone 6 Plus, then, is that Samsung copied it early.

As the South Koreans have been quick to point out, Cupertino’s 5.5-inch telefondleslab appears three years after the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note first introduced the concept of a mobile phone the size of a paperback.

Widely derided by the same kind of people who thought it would look silly to take photos with an iPad — normal people, that is — the Note sold well, shifting 10 million units in a year. So, at the same time as shrinking the iPad, Apple, it seems, set about growing the iPhone.

The Reg Verdict

If you’ve been waiting for an Apple phone the size of a Samsung phone, this is it; and even if you’ve never seen the point, the bigger screen has an undeniable attraction in the flesh. Just be sure to try before you buy, because compared to any other iPhone it’s a very different machine to own.

Technically, meanwhile, the 2208×1242 to 1920×1080 scaling is so obviously suboptimal that the iPhone 6 Plus feels like a stopgap, launched to establish a class of device before the technology had been fully worked out. It doesn’t seem fanciful to wonder if, like the iPad 3, it might be rather speedily replaced. Read the full Apple iPhone 6 Plus review on The Register.

– Check out all the Apple iPhone 6 Plus deals on OMIO, today!

 

Stuff

Amazon Fire Phone review

Turning up to the party late may be fashionable, but Amazon is several years late in bringing out a phone. There are only three ways for Amazon to go with the Fire Phone given how tardy it is: go cheap, go different or go home.

At £399, the Amazon Fire Phone certainly isn’t cheap, but it is different.

In fact, in several ways the Fire Phone slips into downright weird territory. And while we’re all for devices carving out a niche, we don’t want a niche for niche’s sake, and that might be a trap that Amazon’s fallen into.

VERDICT

After endless speculation, the Fire Phone has arrived. And it’s a disappointment.

It just doesn’t make a great deal of sense for most people. Its key feature, that array of front cameras, is spectacularly pointless after the first five minutes. And while some may claim it’s a simpler and more accessible alternative to other Androids, we found it a good deal trickier to get on with. It’s not that simple, it’s not intuitive, and the alternatives it offers for Google’s app suite just aren’t as good.

There are also no real benefits to buying a cottage within this Amazon ‘walled garden’, either. Amazon is naturally desperate to get everyone to use Kindle, the Appstore and Instant Video, and that means you can already get these services on other Androids. And even iPhones.

Add to this a camera that, while competent, requires a bit of know-how to get the most out of and you have a phone that isn’t really well-tailored to the more casual buyer who might be tempted by the gigantic Fire Phone ads on amazon.co.uk.

Learn to use the Fire Phone and it’s certainly not a terrible piece of hardware. But it just doesn’t cut it at £400. Not when there are phones such as the OnePlus One, LG G3 and Moto G (2014) available for similar money or less.

Aside from earning you a free year of Amazon Prime services (if you buy one in 2014), we can’t think of a convincing reason to buy it over a cheaper ‘normal’ Android phone. Read the full Amazon Fire Phone review on Stuff.

– Check out all the Amazon Fire phone deals on OMIO, today!

 

TechRadar

BlackBerry Passport

BlackBerry’s square-shaped new flagship is here, and it’s just as weird in real life as it looks in the promotional pictures. It’s a square, boxy little device with a metallic trim and a dumpy physical keyboard attached to the bottom. Ergonomics? Screw ‘em.

And yet, dig a little deeper and there might just be something there after all. The 4.5-inch slab boasts a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor and 3GB of RAM.

There’s 32GB of storage, a microSD slot and a rear-facing 13MP camera. In other words, the Canadian company has thrown everything at this device when it comes to specs.

It’s not a cheap phone either: it’s £529 for a SIM free version ($599, around AU$680) and free on a £30 to £35 a month contract in the UK – meaning it’s up there with the iPhones, HTC and Samsung phones of the world.

Verdict

I’m confident in saying this is the best phone BlackBerry has yet produced, hands down. There’s serious processing power, copious amounts of storage, a decent camera, plenty of connectivity, useful software features and an HD screen.

What I’m also confident in saying is that there’s no way this is going to supplant a regular smartphone like the HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy Alpha or iPhone 6 as your main device. At best, it’ll be a secondary, work-focused piece of tech that’ll be relegated to a specific set of tasks.

BlackBerry has succeeded in doing something different and producing a new device that sums up everything it is as a brand. That is a brilliant thing, and to those that feel this is aimed at them (medical professionals, entrepreneurs, the email-obsessed) then it should be up there as one of the first phones you consider.

But for everyone else, this is unashamedly a productivity-centric machine that’ll let you take your work around with you. What it’s not is the market’s best new smartphone. Read the full BlackBerry Passport review on TechRadar.

– Check out all the BlackBerry Passport deals on OMIO, today!

 

Trusted Reviews

Samsung Galaxy Alpha review

The Samsung Galaxy Alpha is a 4.7-inch Android phone and more importantly the company’s first ever metal phone. It’s not all metal in the same way that the HTC One M8 or the HTC One Mini 2 are, but it’s a welcome move after a long series of plastic-only phones.

Sitting between the S5 Mini and the Galaxy S5, the Alpha costs the same as the iPhone 6 and clearly comes with ambitions to bite into some of those potential Apple sales. In its own right, this is a great ‘small’ Android phone, but we can’t help feeling disappointed that new look aside it doesn’t offer a great deal more than the larger S5.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Alpha is a beautiful-looking phone, it’s just a shame it misses out on some of the S5′s most impressive features. Read the full Samsung Galaxy Alpha review on Trusted Reviews.

– Check out all the Samsung Galaxy Alpha deals on OMIO, today!

 

uSwitch

Motorola Moto G (2nd Gen) review

Hang on, another Moto G? Yes, this is the third incarnation of Motorola’s budget handset, not to be confused with the original from last year, or the 4G model.

2014′s take brings a bigger screen, upgraded camera, and dual SIM card slots, though it keeps the same low price of £150 SIM free.

Verdict

The Moto G isn’t perfect, but for £150 it doesn’t have to be.

What you get for your money is a solid handset that does all the basics you could ask, and a few more besides.

Sure, there’s no 4G, and the camera – though fine for everyday shooting – is still a bit poor.

But when it comes to the bargain bin, the Moto G is definitely near the top of the pile. Read the full Motorola Moto G (2nd Gen) review on uSwitch.

– Check out all the Moto G (2nd Gen) deals on OMIO, today!

EE 4G now covers 75 per cent of the UK population

Formerly Everything Everywhere, now just the 4G EE mobile network has announced it is available in 18 new towns.

These are noted to be Abingdon, Ashton-In-Makerfield, Brownhills, Corringham, Faversham, Fleetwood, Formby, Hebburn, Helensburgh, Hoddesdon, Holywood, Hythe, Prestatyn, Sandhurst, Spennymoor, Tilbury, Waltham Abbey and Wombourne.

That now amounts to 281 large towns and cities, and more than 2,500 villages and small towns in the UK.

This is noted to cover 75 per cent of the population of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England.

20 of those places offer up access to double speed 4G: Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield, Southampton, Sunderland, Sutton Coldfield, Walsall, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton.

EE is also rolling out Cat 6 4G, inside greater London – by the end of the year. That will offer speeds up to 300Mbps, where coverage will be extended to inside the M25, next year.

“Our ongoing 4G roll out means that our customers have access to by far the biggest network in the country.”, said Spencer McHugh, Director of Brand at EE.

“Whether you’re at work or on the go, 4GEE lets you do so much more.  From superfast web browsing to streaming HD video, even the most disciplined people won’t be able to resist getting on their mobile!”

– Check out all the EE deals on OMIO, today!

BlackBerry Passport launches with 4.5-inch square screen and wide physical keyboard

Formerly Research In Motion, now just BlackBerry has unveiled its first phone in a year, in the BlackBerry Passport.

WP_20140918_004

It comes with a square 4.5-inch 1,440 x 1,400 screen and with a physical keyboard – where the phone is shaped like a passport.

The display is noted to be optimised for business, with its way of showing a spreadsheet in almost its entirety – with 30 per cent more screen viewable, than a 5-inch version, and with 60 characters per line

That is with a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 screen, in a forged stainless steel frame.

Its winder than usual keyboard is touch enabled, with trackpad-esque navigation and touch gestures all possible.

Powering it is a quad-core 2.2 GHZ Processor; 3 GB RAM; 32GB of internal storage; microSD card support, and a 13MP OIS based rear camera.

Its battery comes in the form of 3450 mAh power source, noted to be the largest battery for any smartphone or phablet - with up to 30 hours of mixed use.

Running the phone is the latest BlackBerry 10.3 OS, with the BlackBerry Blend remote client – allowing access to the phones’ contents, anywhere in the world, through a client. You can also reply to BBMs from the desktop, answer emails from the phone, drag and drop files and much more – on Android and Apple tablets, Windows and Mac laptops or computers, based clients.

There is also a BlackBerry Siri like Assistant, plus the Amazon Appstore is preinstalled, with access to its Android-forked apps.

BlackBerry has said the Passport is now available through the world, where its purchasable for £529 in the UK – SIM free. It is coming to Carphone Warehouse, this coming Friday.

Mobile Phone Review Roundup: Apple iPhone 6 Plus review

Omio is rounding up all the Apple iPhone 6 Plus mobile phone reviews over the past week from the major tech titles in the UK.

This is all in order to bring you an all-inclusive and encompassing view of the opinions, from the various handset reviewers.

 

Pocket-Lint

Apple iPhone 6 Plus review

You wait a year for a new iPhone and then two come along at once. A surprise to many, Apple released not only the iPhone 6 but also the iPhone 6 Plus, a monster of a phone that comes with a 5.5-inch display, higher screen resolution, a larger battery, and optical image stabilisation.

The iPhone 6 Plus could be seen as the biggest response to shifting trends in smartphones, with many top Android and Windows Phone devices lording it over the iPhone for a number of years thanks to the larger display choices.

Now the iPhone offers you choices, with the iPhone 6 Plus squaring up against the phablets. But is this an iPhone that’s just too big?

phpjapeaf

Verdict

The iPhone 6 Plus is certainly one for the power users and certainly one for those looking for a big screen experience. But with a bigger battery and a bigger display comes a device that for many will be just too big overall.

Having the benefit of using both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus over the last week we’ve kept coming back to the iPhone 6 Plus, only to return to the iPhone 6 every time. It’s as if our heart drawing us to something new and exciting, but our head is going with the more practical and more efficient, familiar, device.

Do you want a phone that slips in your pocket and is great for making calls, snapping pictures, and doing emails on the go, or are you after a device that is a smaller iPad, even better for watching movies or surfing the web on the train?

It really comes down to how you want to use your phone. If you are normally sitting down or taking a more considered moment to check something then the 6 Plus is perfect. If you are more of an on-the-go kind of person, checking emails whilst wrestling with an umbrella, we suspect that you’ll do better with the regular iPhone 6.

Where it gets even more confusing is when you start to factor in the Apple Watch and, if you own a Mac, how Continuity and Handoff will let you access key snippets of your phone without you having to get it out of your pocket. It means you can opt for the bigger size, knowing that for the most time you will probably be using another device to read messages. Oh the torture.

As for how it compares to the competition, the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Note range or the LG G3 are a very different proposition. The Note with its S Pen stylus is very good at what it does and Apple isn’t trying to tackle that approach, even if, in some way, it should be.

The iPhone 6 Plus is something different that some will say is confused and some won’t understand, but for that niche that wants to have it all Apple and all over the big screen, then the iPhone 6 Plus is there for them.

We suspect the iPhone 6 Plus will be the source of perplexity for a long time to come. Bigger really is bigger, but not always better. Read the full Apple iPhone 6 Plus review on Pocket Lint.

– Check out all the Apple iPhone 6 Plus deals on OMIO, today!

 

Stuff

Apple iPhone 6 Plus review

Until very recently, Apple would have said anything above 4 inches. Now, though, we have the 4.7in iPhone 6 and its gargantuan sibling, the 5.5in iPhone 6 Plus.

The 6 Plus is like the 6 after a massive injection of smartphone growth hormone. As well as being bigger by far, it also has a higher resolution screen, comes with a bigger battery hidden away inside and even has an improved camera.

So while bigger doesn’t always equal better, there’s every reason to suppose it will do here. Or at least that’s what Apple hopes.

Note that most of what we’ve said in our more in-depth Apple iPhone 6 review also applies to the 6 Plus, so we’ve concentrated on the differences here. For the full picture, you’ll want to give the iPhone 6 review a read too.

apple-iPhone-6-Plus-review-iOS-8-1

Verdict

The iPhone 6 Plus will undoubtedly be too big for some hands. It’s far bigger physically than any previous iPhone but also bigger than any comparable Android. The LG G3, which has the same size screen, is dwarfed by it. Even the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, with its 5.7in display, is shorter.

That said, the combination of its super-thin body and smooth metal build make it easier to hold and use than you might expect. Plus, it offers a few advantages over the iPhone 6, namely that bigger, higher-res screen and increased battery life.

Really, there’s very little wrong with it beyond its size. But it is very big. So unless you’re specifically looking for a smartphone/tablet hybrid, or have particularly large hands, you’ll be better off with the iPhone 6. Read the full Apple iPhone 6 Plus review on Stuff.

– Check out all the Apple iPhone 6 Plus deals on OMIO, today!

 

TechRadar

iPhone 6 Plus review

A 5.5-inch iPhone. It’s something which will send a shudder down the spines of a collective of die-hard Apple fans, a handset some thought we’d never see from the Cupertino-based outfit.

Yet here I am, staring down the barrel of the biggest iPhone in history – the iPhone 6 Plus.

It arrived alongside the iPhone 6 – Apple’s new flagship smartphone – which measures 4.7 inches, making it more welcoming to a wider array of palms than the supersized iPhone 6 Plus.

Many of you, especially those of an Android persuasion, may be wondering what all the fuss is about. After all the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 turned up with a 5.5-inch display over two years ago.

Take a moment to glance at the history of the iPhone though, and you’ll see why the iPhone 6 Plus is such a big deal.

Previously Apple has only dealt in two screen sizes – a 3.5-inch display graced the first five generations of iPhone, and just three have had the pleasure of a larger 4-inch display.

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Verdict

Combining premium design and Apple’s high level of finesse the iPhone 6 Plus is a highly accomplished smartphone which will hit all the right marks for anyone desperate for a big screened iPhone.

Android fans hell-bent on a phablet sized smartphone full to the brim with the latest tech and monster power are unlikely to favour the iPhone 6 Plus, which on paper doesn’t stack up in terms of raw specs.

But that won’t matter to Apple, or to those who part with a princely sum of money to own an iPhone 6 Plus.

The iPhone 6 Plus brings together excellently Apple’s tried and tested design, craftsmanship and interface into the larger form factor – providing the perfect smartphone for those who require a bigger display while also revelling in the simplicity and intuition that an Apple handset continues to bring. Read the full iPhone 6 Plus review on TechRadar.

– Check out all the Apple iPhone 6 Plus deals on OMIO, today!

 

T3

Apple iPhone 6 Plus review

The iPhone 6 Plus is the biggest iPhone Apple’s ever made, which is not a fact to trip over lightly. That midland between smartphone and tablet occupied most impressively by the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and LG G3 is a road that the Cupertino firm has shunned in the past for being clumsy to control. But not any more.
 
As the iPhone 6 Plus emerged from the Flint Center launch event as arguably the buzz handset, the way it can handle tasks differently to its smaller twin – a full-HD screen, that bigger battery and a tablet-style landscape mode – set it out as one to watch. We’ve had our hands all over it for the last couple of days, so here’s our early verdict.

xl_iphone 6 plus

Verdict
 
The iPhone 6 Plus is a big departure for Apple – a BIG departure – and one initially we weren’t onboard with, but its software stabilisers have helped us to stop worrying and learn to love the phablet. The full-HD screen (finally) is stunning, with so much display to get lost in, while the build tries its hardest to be as size-flattering as possible. The tweaks in iOS 8 are focused and shave noticeable seconds off tasks, while landscape mode is incredibly natural for typing and organising, and a design choice we wish had made it to the standard iPhone 6 just for its functionality.
 
Yet there are compromises, the biggest as ever being the price. With no 32GB storage option, any user above very light is going to be dropping 700 notes here; which is a lot for something which won’t suit everyone’s needs – and in this oversized frame that’s a meal to manhandle with only one mitt, we’re not sure the 6 Plus will. The size is definitely going to divide people, as it will come down entirely to what you want to use your device for.
 
But then it’s supposed to – the iPhone 6 is also here for more traditional usage. It seems churlish to criticise the addition of choice or, in turn, a phablet for, in fact, trying to be a phablet. The iPhone 6 Plus on those terms is a strong first entry into a market that is palpably growing and has been dominated by Google’s platform to date. Whether there are enough headline specs here to steal away Android phablet fans is questionable, but as a way of catching floating voters focused on usability, and upgrading existing users who have daydreamed about jumping to a bigger screen? Apple’s just about on the money. Read the full Apple iPhone 6 Plus review on T3.

– Check out all the Apple iPhone 6 Plus deals on OMIO, today!

Mobile Phone Review Roundup: Apple iPhone 6

Omio is rounding up all the Apple iPhone 6 mobile phone reviews over the past week from the major tech titles in the UK.

This is all in order to bring you an all-inclusive and encompassing view of the opinions, from the various handset reviewers.

 

Pocket-Lint

Apple iPhone 6 review

Apple’s flagship iPhone has been updated and upgraded bringing with it a new design, new features, and new excitement. With the rest of the year’s smartphones laid out – except the next Nexus – this is the time for the iPhone to reassert itself against competition that’s stronger than ever.

With Apple’s two-year design cycle, the iPhone 5 model was ready for a refresh, bringing not one, but two new iPhone models and seeing Apple step up in size.

But is it just a case of giving Apple your money, knowing that it’s going to be a solid offering? Or has the company lost its direction with the eighth iPhone?

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Verdict

In the iPhone 6, Apple has managed to make a phone that doesn’t necessarily bring anything new to the smartphone arena – Apple Pay aside – but at the same time makes everything work so effortlessly. All the features you will find on the iPhone 6 can be found elsewhere in the Android or Windows Phone world, but not always in such a fluid and easy-to-use way.

With iOS 8 and the new screen size, Apple has pretty much removed all excuses not to upgrade from older devices, as well as making the iPhone 6 a phone that’s difficult to ignore for those on other platforms.

Of course there is still plenty missing: you don’t get the highest resolution display around, there’s no wireless charging, replaceable battery, no waterproofing, no microSD card, no real NFC beyond Apple Pay, and no wide open operating system for all to use regardless.

But many won’t care. The app choice of Apple is outstanding, the 128GB storage quota is enough (as long as you can afford it), and do we really need NFC pairing? Add that to an incredibly polished operating system in iOS 8 and you end up with a phone that will sell truck loads for many months to come.

For iPhone 5 or 5S users looking to upgrade, the decision is a no-brainer: the iPhone 6 is superior in all aspects to previous devices sporting a better design, a better display, a better experience all around.

The build quality on the iPhone 6 is exquisite, leaving you with one really tough decision: whether to go for the iPhone 6 or the much bigger iPhone 6 Plus. Regardless of which you do opt for, this is the best iPhone yet. Read the full Apple iPhone 6 review on Pocket Lint.

– Check out all the Apple iPhone 6 deals on OMIO, today!

 

Stuff

Apple iPhone 6 review

Wave after wave of Samsungs, Sonys, LGs and HTCs have surfed on to shelves and into our hearts, each toting a bigger screen than last year’s model.

Not only that but these Androids have got bigger and better in every other way too. BIGGER cameras! FASTER processors! LONGER-lasting batteries!

Meanwhile Apple has stubbornly refused to enter the smartphone arms race, hopping from a 3.5in screen to the 4in iPhone 5 and staying there for the 5s. Until now.

Enter the iPhone 6 with its 4.7in screen, A8 brain, iOS 8, NFC and bigger battery. Finally, Apple has an iPhone to compete on specs. And industrial design. And apps. And ecosystem.

It promises to be the best iPhone ever. So let’s find out if the reality lives up to the dream.

apple-iPhone-6-review-camera-1

Verdict

In order to really judge the iPhone 6 you first have to consider what it’s not.

It’s not a mega-screened wannabe phablet. It’s not a 2K-display-packing pixel king. It’s not the most powerful phone ever, it’s not the most megapixelly phone ever, it’s not even the longest-lastingest phone ever. The best Androids still beat it on all these counts.

But that’s just specs. What it is, is the best iPhone ever.

It’s a real looker, with an amazingly slim and deeply attractive build. It feels lovely in the hand, despite the extra size. It has the best screen of any iPhone – big enough to be useful, with gorgeous colours. It’s the most powerful iPhone ever, even if in use all you’ll know is that it feels very fast. It has the best battery of any iPhone ever, lasting well into a second day. And it also packs some of Apple’s biggest software innovations in years, although we’ll have to wait for the likes of Apple Pay to make their way over here.

The iPhone 5s, for all its qualities, didn’t do enough to put Apple back on top. It just lagged too far behind its Android rivals in key areas.

But the iPhone 6, with its combination of fresh new form factor, the upcoming links to desktop via Yosemite and the promise of Apple Pay, might just do the trick. Read the full Apple iPhone 6 review on Stuff.

– Check out all the Apple iPhone 6 deals on OMIO, today!

 

TechRadar

iPhone 6 review

Despite record sales, Apple was heading for a fall. Not this year, or the next. But the brand had been trading on the same phone for four years and something big was needed to keep it current.

So with that, the iPhone 6, and its bigger brother, the iPhone 6 Plus, were born to keep Apple at the sharp end of a market that was starting to lust after powerful, big screen smartphones with clever and premium design.

The iPhone 6 certainly addresses a number of the problems Apple had developed, coming with a much larger screen (although not dramatically increasing the size of the phone) a boosted processor, better camera, improved battery and crucially: overhauled design.

This is the sixth iPhone I’ve reviewed now, and there’s a real sense that this one is really rather different.

I wrote last year that Apple was becoming more aware that the time when it could define what consumers would buy in the smartphone is ending – and with the 4.7-inch screen, it’s clearly had to admit defeat in the smaller screen market.

There will be some that will miss that screen size, maintaining that they don’t want a bigger display on their phone – but nearly all of those people won’t have spent any appreciable time with a larger device, and I believe that a good portion of you thinking you need a smaller phone will quickly come to appreciate the power a bigger handset brings without hurting quality.

iPhone 6 review (10)-580-90

Verdict

When I first picked up the iPhone 6, I thought this was going to be a hard review to write. Had Apple just changed the shape but kept the same inherent problems? Was there really enough new to make it a phone that really helped the company leap forward?

The answer is: the iPhone 6 is a brilliant phone. It’s the first time I’d even consider using an iPhone as my daily device, thanks to the larger screen, better keyboard and most importantly upgraded battery life.

However, the price is still tremendously off-putting and the screen, while perfectly fine (and sometimes impressive) in day to day use will still irritate me, knowing that I’ve not got the best experience for my money.

But that’s the only bugbear I have with the iPhone 6. It feels amazing in the hand. Apple has somehow made a phone too thin and turned it into a positive. The operating system is smarter and more intuitive than ever, and that’s without even factoring in the strong ecosystem of apps and media that Apple users get.

We’ll ignore the Trojan Horsing of the U2 album for now.

I promised I wouldn’t say the iPhone 6 is the best iPhone Apple has ever made, and thankfully I don’t have to. I used that phrase for the 5S, as there wasn’t a lot else that was worthy of a headline statement.

So while the iPhone 6 might not be the most powerful, most attractive, best at photography or best for battery life, Apple has put it all together in a way that, if you can forgive the price (and that’s a big if), offers a phone that should be at the sharp end of your consideration for your next smartphone. Read the full iPhone 6 review on TechRadar.

– Check out all the Apple iPhone 6 deals on OMIO, today!

 

T3

Apple iPhone 6 review

No single piece of consumer tech generates as much chatter as Apple’s iPhones and this year the Cupertino firm has again given us two different models to chew over. But whereas last year’s aluminium iPhone 5S and plastic iPhone 5C double-header was seen as a divide between premium and budget, this time the duo are all about size: how large do you want to go, and is bigger really better?
  
While we take on the 5.5-inch, phablet-like iPhone 6 Plus elsewhere, here we’re concentrating on Apple’s bread and butter, the iPhone 6, the obvious upgrade for Apple fans and the competition for Samsung’s new Galaxy Alpha and T3’s reigning Phone of the Year, HTC’s One M8. We’ve had our hands prodding its apps and updates for the last couple of days, so here’s our early verdict.

xl_iphone 6

iPhone 6: Verdict
 
The king is dead, long live the king: the new iPhone 6 is everything we’ve come to expect from the annual Apple smartphone upgrade – new look, retuned OS, refined camera. The difference is that this year, that new look is the most stylish in years and that OS’s functionality has been buffed within an inch of its life. The genuinely longer battery life that comes as a bonus with the bigger chassis is nicely unexpected.
 
But while the boldness this year has definitely been used up on the phone’s new silhouette and the handset tag team’s sizes, it seems at first that Apple has played it relatively safe elsewhere, tinkering underneath instead of throwing the baby out with the bath water. Yet we’ll do well to remember that so much of iOS 8 is still untapped at launch, with much potential to report back on when Apple Pay, Health, HomeKit and CarPlay are properly up and running. Even before all that, it’s already looking to be the efficiency hub that iOS 7 promised.
 
Of course, there are always niggles. The sub-full-HD display will irk some, though on a 4.7-inch screen you’ve got to go out of your way to have an issue with it. But go out of your way you may well do when you’ve had a look at how much you’ll be spending, as the Apple price premium shows no sign of slipping; we’d completely understand someone baulking at these prices.
 
Yet it’s an undeniably desirable smartphone – I’d argue back on top of the design league after the HTC One M8 trumped the iPhone 5S last year – that produces the consistent and classy experience you expect from Apple, with increasingly powerful software packed on to a scaled-up modern mobile.
 
And still grumbling it’s too small? Well, go for the iPhone 6 Plus, which has all of the pros here, with a few more chucked in for good measure, too, if your hands can handle it. Decisions, decisions… Read the full Apple iPhone 6 review on T3.

– Check out all the Apple iPhone 6 deals on OMIO, today!

Amazon Fire phone to launch exclusively with O2, deals from £33 a month

Former British Telecom mobile phone network O2 has unveiled that it will solely be selling the Amazon Fire mobile phone.

Amazon Fire phone

This will also be with a full year’s access to Amazon Prime, with its Prime Instant Video, Kindle owner’s lending library and the one-day shipping.

It has a feature called Dynamic Perspective that uses a new sensor system. This responds to the way you hold the fire, view, and move it around – thanks to the four cameras, in each corner – that display a 3D effect.

This is all on its 4.7-inch HD screen, quad-core 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor; 2GB of RAM and 32 or 64GB of storage.

There is also integration with the electronic retailers 33 million tracks, TV shows, movies, apps, games – and of course, books.

“We’re proud to be partnering with Amazon to bring Fire to the UK,” said Nina Bibby, Marketing and Consumer Director at O2.

“Both O2 and Amazon share a passion for putting customers at the heart of everything we do, whilst driving innovation to deliver outstanding experiences.”

“That is why, through this partnership, we’re so excited that O2 customers will be the first in the UK to get their hands on Fire.”

O2 has said the Amazon Fire Phone will be available from £33 a month, with a 2GB data allowance.

Apple Watch announced: Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition

Cupertino based iDevice maker Apple has taken the lid off its smartwatch, called Apple Watch – at the same event that launched the Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Its screen is a flexible Retina display, with a machine polished sapphire screen – coming in at two different sizes, 38 mm and 42 mm.

Powering it is a bespoke S1 chip, with WIFI and Bluetooth, plus it has many sensors integrated.

These are along the lines of a taptic engine, with four LED lenses that detect pulse rates, where there’s an accelerometer, and gyroscope built-in.

The watch dial can be used to zoom in and out of the screen, ideal for the likes of maps.

It is also used as a home button, plus a way to access Siri – and it works in conjunction with an iPhone, – with message and voice dictation.

Six different straps are said to be offered, noted to be leather, stainless steel, polymer and a metal mesh.

Notifications can be actioned on the screen, where its digital touch dial can be used to bring up contacts, with access to fitness apps and much more.

Apple’s Watch is due out early 2015, with a cost of $349.

Apple iPhone 6 and Apple iPhone 6 Plus announced with 4.7 and 5.5-inch screens

Cupertino based iDevice maker Apple has unveiled its new flagship mobile phones – the Apple iPhone 6 and Apple iPhone 6 Plus – with a larger screens.

image

Apple’s 4.7-inch iPhone 6 has a 1,334 x 750 resolution screen, whereas the 5.5-inch version comes with a 1,920 x 1,080 display.

The 6 is 6.8mm thin, whereas the 6 Plus comes in at 7.1mm.

Running the phones is the Apple A8, second generation, 64-bit processor and the iOS 8 operating system (arriving on supported iPhones, 18th).

That is said to be 20 per cent faster than what has come before, with 50 per cent more graphics power.

Onboard is a new M8 coprocessor, with new distance and elevation fitness tracker features.

It supports 20 different 4G LTE bands around the world, with 802.11ac WIFI – said to be three times as fast.

There is an 8-megapixel camera built-in, with a new f/2.2 aperture sensor, boasting faster autofocus – with a 43-megapixel panorama mode.

It also has a new payment method, where you can use your thumb to make payments – with Apple Pay, NFC and the TouchID sensor.

These will be available in 16, 64 and 128GB version – with pre-ordering opening on the 12th of September, where it will be around to own on the 19th