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.
Hands-on: Samsung Z review
The Samsung Z is the company’s first Tizen smartphone that will be commercially available for the public to buy. And if successful, there are feelings that it could herald a new age for Samsung. So should Google be worried that it is about to lose its biggest Android partner? And is the operating system good enough to offer a viable alternative?
Samsung has confirmed that the Samsung Z will launch in Russia first, in Q3, and will then be rolled out to other territories if they are interested. There is no official confirmation on a US or UK release, and that strategy pretty much says it all.
Having spent some time with the new phone, our opinion is very much the same as most new devices that launch with a new operating system. The experience is a good one, but the lack of app support at present will put most people off.
What’s interesting from Samsung’s point of view however, is just as Nokia did, the company has created a viable alternative to Android that is good enough and solid enough to stand up on its own.
It will allow the company to flex its muscles against Google if it needs to, but like the later versions of Symbian, we suspect that while this will give Samsung the freedom to always have a backup plan, the ability to have an advantage over other operating systems without the support of thousands of developers is now not really a viable alternative to offer your customers.
That means that while we like the Samsung Z for its simplicity and clean approach, it doesn’t really have the depth offered by the Android, iOS and Windows Phone operating systems.
For the near future, it will continue to be an also ran rather than a strong alternative, but as Facebook always says, you have to start somewhere and then continue to always move forward.
For Samsung, the Samsung Z shows that Tizen is a good starting point, but it still has a long way to go before it becomes a contender. Read the full Hands-on: Samsung Z review on Pocket Lint.
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Motorola Moto E review
There’s nothing like a £90 Motorola smartphone to make your full-price flagship seem less than essential.
The 4.3in Moto E does for sub-£100 smartphones exactly what last year’s Moto G did for sub-£150 smartphones. Namely, raising the bar, shaming under-powered budget rivals and worrying devices that cost three times as much.
It’s not perfect, but boy is the Moto E better than its just-as-cheap rivals. Unless 4G or a compact-rivalling phone cam are an absolute must, anyone on the lookout for a dirt-cheap device or second handset should be considering this smartphone.
MOTOROLA MOTO E VERDICT
If a £90 Nexus existed, it would look a lot like the Moto E. This isn’t just Android for the masses, it’s tidy, reliable, loveable Android for the masses.
No, it isn’t perfect. But considering we’re yet to meet a mobile device that is, this Moto is £90 (£80 on O2) well spent. Its main flaw is its camera, but until you get to around the £200 mark, almost every handset disappoints in this department – including Motorola’s own Moto G.
If you want 4G, the EE Kestrel comes in at just £10 more. If a HD screen is a must, the original Moto G is now selling just above the £100 mark too, if you’re lucky. Bigger screen? The 5.5in OnePlus One will do just nicely.
But if price is the be-all and end-all of your smartphone decision, forget all those other smartphones and just buy a Moto E. Read the full Motorola Moto E review on Stuff.
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Huawei Ascend P7 review
Huawei talked it up big time at the launch event for the Ascend P7, suggesting its newest phone is a premium model that’s lighter, thinner, faster, better and more exciting than the thin/light/fast/good high-end smartphones offered by the more established competition.
It’s certainly an expensive one from the budget maker, coming with an EU RRP of €449 (around £370, $625, AU$690).
Actual contract costs and a UK, US and Australia street prices are yet to be set for the P7, but that relatively high official unlocked price tag sets up Huawei for a fight with the likes of Apple, HTC, Samsung and Sony for the flagship smartphone connoisseur cash.
Huawei’s offering a 5-inch display running at the full HD resolution of 1080 x 1920, with the in-house (not-Qualcomm) 1.8GHz quad-core processor running things down in the boiler room beside the same 2GB of RAM we see in most of today’s top-drawer smartphones – and 4G LTE support for use with speedy SIMs.
Huawei’s been pretty bold with its Android customisations once again, sticking its Emotion UI on top of the Ascend P7′s Android 4.4.2 KitKat software, a system that removes the standard Android app drawer and replaces it with an iOS-style emphasis on the Home screen.
Huawei’s also trying to appropriate the word "selfie" as its own, stuffing an 8MP front-facing camera into the Ascend P7 for the ultimate in self wrinkle capture, combining this with a 13MP main sensor supplied by Sony around the back
The Huawei Ascend P7 is a solid phone across the board, but doesn’t excel beyond the competition in any particular area.
The camera’s not quite as punchy as the units in the high-end Nokias and the iPhone 5S or even Samsung’s top Galaxys, the chassis isn’t as impressive as the HTC One M8, the price not as low as the Nexus 5, the overall experience not quite as smooth as… loads of other phones.
The only real unique feature here is the class-leading 8MP front-facing "selfie" camera and its tidy custom software, which is indeed quite a bonus for people who like the look of their own faces or use their phones for serious amounts of video chatting.
As for the Ascend P7 as a whole, it’s a classic jack-of-all-trades. Nice enough, thin and light and with a bravely different take on Android that veers into iOS clone territory, but without any headline reasons to make it your next phone.
If it was £100 cheaper, had a larger battery or some other amazing key feature not found elsewhere, it’d be brilliant. As such, the Huawei Ascend P7 is simply… quite good. Read the full Huawei Ascend P7 review on TechRadar.
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Sony Xperia M2 review
The Sony Xperia M2 is a mid-range phone, the 2014 update to last year’s Xperia M. It shares its look with the much more expensive Xperia Z2, but cuts back on the flashy materials and specs in order to come in at around £200 SIM-free, or just £150 from EE.
In several respects it’s not as good as the 4G version of the Moto G, and it does feels like you’re paying a little bit for the Sony badge in this case. But if a fairly large screen is a must, the Xperia M2 is a good mid-range option.
The Sony Xperia M2 screen is disappointing but the software, the design and the camera are all decent for the price, making it a top 4G buy if you’re willing to shop around. Read the full Sony Xperia M2 review on Trusted Reviews.
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HTC Desire 610 review
This mid-range smartie packs 4G, NFC and BoomSound speakers. Is that enough to beat the competition? Find out in our HTC Desire 610 review.
HTC is launching an all-out assault on the mid-range smartphone market right now – hot on the heels of the HTC Desire 816 comes this, the HTC Desire 610.
With its 4.7-inch screen and sub-£250 price tag, it’s taking aim at the likes of the Google Nexus 5 and the OnePlus One. But how does it stack up?
HTC Desire 610: Verdict
The HTC Desire 610 is a solid all-round effort. It’s well put together, has a big screen, and is fast enough for basic tasks. There are much cheaper alternatives, though, like the Motorola Moto E and Nokia Lumia 630, so you really have to weigh up how much you need extras like a big screen, LTE and 4G. Read the full HTC Desire 610 review on T3.
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Motorola Moto E review
If you thought Motorola couldn’t make a more affordable handset than the well received Moto G, think again. The Moto E is a stripped-down model that costs just £90.
Compromises have to be made, of course. But is it still worth your money?
It might lack some features, but the only real competition at this price is from its predecessor, the Motorola Moto G.
The Moto E’s camera is a bit of a letdown, and it’s not going to be the gamer’s phone of choice. But if it’s a straight no-frills smartphone you’re after, and you’re on a tight budget, it’s definitely worth a look. Read the full Motorola Moto E review on uSwitch.
– Checkout all the Motorola E deals on OMO today!
Nokia Lumia 630 review
The Nokia Lumia 630 is one of the most affordable smartphones around right now – it costs just £90, putting it neck and neck with the Android-powered Motorola Moto E.
So what do you get for your money? Let’s take a look.
The Lumia 630 is great value for money. It has its compromises, but then for £90 you’ve got to expect that.
The Moto E is the better buy, with more apps and faster performance. But if you want a slightly bigger screen and are a fan of the Windows Phone OS, the Lumia 630 is a fantastic buy.
– Checkout all the Nokia Lumia 630 deals on OMIO today!