Omio News Blog

Category Archives: Mobile Phone Handset News

Mobile Phone Review Roundup: Sony Xperia Z2

Omio is rounding up all the Sony Xperia Z2 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.

 

Stuff

Sony Xperia Z2 review

Smartphones are all about compromises. Squeezing a hi-res screen, compact-level camera and huge battery into something the size of a Kit-Kat isn’t easy. Usually, something has to give.

Unless, it seems, you’re Sony. The Xperia Z2 makes almost zero compromises – on screen, sound, camera or battery life. So it’s perfect, right? Well, it’s close. It turns out this 5.2in slab of metal and glass won’t even compromise its stunning design for something as important as the size and shape of human hands.

The Z2 oozes quality, then. It just isn’t always the most practical choice.

sony-xperia-z2-review-homescreen

SONY XPERIA Z2 VERDICT

So, while it might not be for the Reddit-obsessed, constantly connected, live-to-social-network geek, it’s ideal for the person for whom quality is the only measure that counts. If you have the time and inclination to show this Sony some love, it will return it in spades.  

One thing’s for certain – if Sony can stay true to its ‘better not bigger’ tagline, the rumoured Sony Z2 Compact is going to be one seriously impressive smartphone. Read the full Sony Xperia Z2 review on Stuff.

– Check out all the Sony Xperia Z2 deals on OMIO today!

 

TechRadar

Sony Xperia Z2 review

So here I am, it’s a little over 12 months since the Xperia Z hit selves and I’m checking out the third iteration of the Japanese firm’s flagship series, the Sony Xperia Z2.

While the timing may be a little odd, you’ve almost got to look past the Xperia Z1 completely, the Xperia Z2 is a flagship smartphone in its own right and it heralds the next generation for Sony.

It builds on its predecessors with an improved screen, increased power under the hood and a slightly more compact chassis.

There’s no question that the Xperia Z2 will be going head to head with the Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 and Nokia Lumia 930 this year – and with that in mind it’s got its work cut out.

Sony’s had some trouble getting the Xperia Z2 into stores, missing its original early April release and thus giving an upper hand to the HTC and Samsung, although units are trickling through.

XperiaZ2-HandsOn-14-900-100

Verdict

The main issue I have with the Sony Xperia Z2 is there’s nothing to really get excited about. It’s a great all rounder, but there’s no curve ball to keep things interesting.

When I’ve forked out top dollar for the next generation of smartphone I want to be able to stride into the pub and blow my mates away with some amazing features.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 has its amazing screen, heart monitor and fingerprint scanner while the HTC One M8 has a superb design and the Duo Camera setup. Yet the Xperia Z2 has no headlining feature which makes it stand out.

Its premium design nudges it ahead of the Galaxy S5, while its highly capable camera beats the One M8 hands down. If you’re looking for an all round top performer (4K video issues aside) the Xperia Z2 is a great jack of all trades. Just don’t expect it to do anything out of the ordinary. Read the full Sony Xperia Z2 review on TechRadar.

– Check out all the Sony Xperia Z2 deals on OMIO today!

 

Trusted Reviews

Sony Xperia Z2 review

The Sony Xperia Z2 is Sony’s top Android phone for 2014. It is the company’s alternative to phones like the Galaxy S5, the HTC One M8 and the iPhone 5S.

It has a lot to prove, especially as its predecessor the Xperia Z1 was only released six months earlier. This new model is not a huge upgrade, and we have some issues with the design and hardware. However, a strong screen, good camera and great battery life make it a solid choice for those on top-end contracts, or with deep pockets.

sony-xperia-z2-2

Verdict

The Xperia Z2 is a great phone in most respects. It has a very good camera and outlasts the competition without compromising the experience. However, it is a bit awkward to use at times and gets hotter than the other top phones when under strain. Read the full Sony Xperia Z2 review on Trusted Reviews.

– Check out all the Sony Xperia Z2 deals on OMIO today!

Three: 4G network going live, start of March

Numerical mobile phone network Three has demoed to it us its 4G network at an in-house meeting, where we asked the PR Manager (consumer) at 3, do you have a particular date in mind for the 4G network to go live?

This is off the back of its last official message, which states “customers with a compatible device able to access 4G at no extra cost by the end of Q1 2014″.

Ali Lubbock, responded -

“It is live

“At the moment, it is done by a special SIM”

“Which won’t be the case, later”

“This is only, so we can control it”

“I have one of those SIMs; if I walk outside, I get a 4G signal”

“It is up and running, and I can use it”

“We are in the progress of finalising, and then migrating all the customers over”

“They will not have to go into a shop to change the contract”

“They will just get a software/network upgrade on their phone”

“And when they are in a 4G area, it will just work”

“If I was going to be safe, in those initial cities, it will be up and running, by the start of March”

Those initial places are quoted to be London, Reading, Birmingham and Manchester; stay tuned for more on the briefing – including a video demo of 4G in action, on Three.

Sony Xperia Z1 replacement pictures leak, set for Mobile World Congress 2014

Formerly Sony Ericsson, now Sony Mobile, has allegedly seen photos appear online of its rumoured 2014 flagship mobile phone.

Sony D6503 - 1

This could be the successor to the Sony Xperia Z1, which sports a 20.7-megapixel camera.

Our lead, and end images, are of the supposedly named Sony D6503, according to its source.

That was a user in the popular handset modding forum, XDA-DEVELOPERS, as reported by Xperia Blog.

The title notes it has a thinner bezel, around the display, than the current Sony Xperia Z1.

That suggests, with the overall form factor remaining the same, a larger screen has been used in the mobile.

This is a stated to be 5.2-inches; a slight update to the FHD 5-inch variant, found in both the Xperia Z and Z1.

Other minor changes are mentioned to be around the speakers, USB and lanyard placement.

The former, appears to be just three holes, while the charging port is on the left and latter, is on the same side.

Apart from those, it’s business as usual, although its poster has promised screen shots of the user interface, which is bound to have seen some changes, knowing how Sony likes to tinker.

Omio believes this could be unveiled at MWC, at the end of February, along with a number of its competitors’ products; stay tuned for more.

Sony D6503 - 2
– Check out all the Sony mobile deals on OMIO today!

Motorola: we are in active conversations with our partners, about the 32GB Moto X

Google owned company Motorola has spoken to us about a second top-tier Moto X mobile phone, with increased storage.

Omio put to Mark Notton, Head of European Product Management Google Android Devices at Motorola Mobility – will the 32GB version be coming to the UK, in light of the fact that only the 16GB will be available at launch.

He replied -”We are launching with the 16GB”

“I wouldn’t rule out 32, but we don’t have any immediate plans to deliver that”

Later, James Soames, Marketing Director, of Motorola, said:

“We are in active conversations with our partners, about 32GB”

“The idea is, with Google services, so intrinsically built into this device, and other services, not just from Google – people are using cloud services, more and more”

“Paying a premium, to get more local storage, isn’t so important”

It is unusual Motorola didn’t launch the 32GB at the same time as the 16GB, as both the 8GB and double that amount were available, from the get go, with the Moto G.

We believe this might come as an exclusive to a retail partner, in the same way as Phones 4u will exclusively stock the white version.

Motorola: there’s nothing stopping us including quad-core processors in the X8 mobile computing platform

Google owned company Motorola sat down with Omio at its recent Motorola Moto X mobile phone launch in the UK, where we asked about possible expansions to its X8 mobile computing platform.

We asked if the X8 platform could be expanded to a quad-core CPU? This is away from the dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, which it is currently using.

Mark Notton, Head of European Product Management Google Android Devices at Motorola Mobility, replied:

“There is nothing stopping us doing that”

“The architecture of this particular device (Moto X) is around 2+4+2 (2 AP, 2 GPU, 1 contextual and 1 natural language)”

“There is nothing stopping us using the same philosophy, and having more AP (application processor)”

This is in light of the move for Motorola to release its Moto X in the UK, with a dual-core 1.7GHz processor – running a flagship device.

That is when its budget Moto G mobile phone ships with a quad-core 1.2GHz CPU, which is said to boot applications faster than the Samsung Galaxy S4, among other devices.

It carries a SIM free cost of £159 for the 16GB model, while the same storage capacity on the Moto X is priced at £380.

That is a large cost discrepancy, for a device that is essentially slower than the Moto G, but almost costs two and a half times its price – with a slightly larger, slightly better screen.

Motorola Moto X (UK version): hands-on pictures

Motorola’s premium Moto X mobile phone has just been launched in the UK, where it will be available on the 1st of February, with deals starting from £25 a month (phone free) or SIM free – at £380.

Omio attended its launch event, where we captured these hands-on photos, with a video walkthrough – given by the Head of European Product Management, Google Android Devices, at Motorola Mobility.

This is for a device that has a similar look to the budget quad-core Moto G, only with unique features and at a higher price point.

The states-side version can be customised in more than 2,000 different ways, during ordering, where there’s a possibility this is coming to the UK – adding to the black, and Phones 4u exclusive white, models.

Omio - Motorola Moto X - hands-on walkthrough pictures (0)

Our pictures start with a look at the edge-to-edge 4.7-inch 1,280 x 720 AMOLED display, head-on, with its active display and 316ppi.

That is larger than the 4.5-inch Moto G’s version, which was only an IPS LCD screen.

The active display is essentially, the lock screen for the phone, but it is always active, with only a few pixels alit – saving on battery life.

When it detects light, outside of a pocket, or when it is not facing down, the screen active.

It pulses, quietly, showing the time and any notifications – gently, fading in and out.

All of which saves constantly checking the phone, by powering on a lock screen, just to check messages and their ilk. That is said to be between 30 and 60 times a day, according to Motorola.

Omio - Motorola Moto X - hands-on walkthrough pictures (3)

This pic shows the curved rear (designed to fit more comfortably in the hand), along with its overall dimensions.

It is 5.7mm at its thinnest, moving to 10.4mm at its thickest part (centre), along with being 129.4mm tall and 65.3mm wide – with a weight of 135g.

Omio - Motorola Moto X - hands-on walkthrough pictures (1)

On the rear is a 10-megapixel camera, launched by just two twists of the wrist (even when locked) – that is all geared up for you to never miss that perfect, picture moment.

Gone are the days of unlocking a phone, entering a passcode, finding the camera app, launching the camera app, focussing and taking the shot – where that moment, has passed.

Touching anywhere on the screen captures the pic, where holding it down, takes rapid shots and without launching a separate app.

This is with a camera that is based on Clear Pixel technology, with a RGBC sensor that is noted to collect up to 75 per cent more light, than traditional sensors.

That is handy for taking pics in dark places, at night, or just on rainy days.

Its app user interface is simple and is easy to use, matching the Moto G; swiping up and down, zooms in and out; to the right, the gallery and left, settings.

Omio - Motorola Moto X - hands-on walkthrough pictures (5)

The unique selling point for the Moto X is its touchless controls, where the mobile is always listening for your command.

That is, even in standby mode, with it working in conjunction with Google, Motorola’s parent company.

This operates via Google Now, where saying the trigger command ‘OK, Google Now’ awakes the device – ready to act upon the next sentence.

There doesn’t need to be any physical interaction with the Moto X, as tasks are solely actioned via voice. This is everything from searching the Internet, finding out if you need an umbrella today, calling someone, or navigating to a certain place: the list is endless.

This is all thanks to Motorola’s X8 mobile computing platform, which is made up of eight processors – with each part playing their own role, saving on battery life.

That is a dual-core 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 CPU, a quad-core Adreno 320 graphics processing unit, a natural language CPU and a contextual computing processor.

The last two are at the heart of the touchless, voice activated controls, while the very last one is at the centre of the aforementioned active display.

Omio - Motorola Moto X - hands-on walkthrough pictures (6)

The X8 setup is supported by 2GB of RAM, with 16GB of storage capacity.

It also comes with 50GB of free Google Drive cloud storage, adding to the 15GB already in place, for a total of 65GB.

Omio - Motorola Moto X - hands-on walkthrough pictures (9)

Omio - Motorola Moto X - hands-on walkthrough pictures (22)

This shot is the Android KitKat Easter egg screen, ending with the about screen showing that it is the Moto X.

Omio - Motorola Moto X - hands-on walkthrough pictures (21)Omio - Motorola Moto X - hands-on walkthrough pictures (20)

Omio - Motorola Moto X - hands-on walkthrough pictures (7)

Above, is the default home screen, followed by all the pre-installed apps on our demo model, ending with the settings’ menu, showing access to the touchless controls.

Omio - Motorola Moto X - hands-on walkthrough pictures (10)Omio - Motorola Moto X - hands-on walkthrough pictures (11)

Omio - Motorola Moto X - hands-on walkthrough pictures (12)Omio - Motorola Moto X - hands-on walkthrough pictures (13)

There are a few notable app inclusions from Moto, on top of the default Android ones.

Those are the likes of Motorola Migrate, for the automatic transfer of your old phones’ contents to the X.

There is also Moto Assist, which runs a predefined set of rules that alter the behaviour of the handset, such as in meetings, driving or at night.

Another useful tool is Motorola Connect, where you can use your desktop Chrome browser to send and received text messages, via the phone.

Omio - Motorola Moto X - hands-on walkthrough pictures (8)

Omio - Motorola Moto X - hands-on walkthrough pictures (15)

Lastly, is Omio running from the Web browser and the Moto X on the left and Moto G, on the right – and the rear of the white and black X models, plus its new power pack accessory, in the middle.

Omio - Motorola Moto X - hands-on walkthrough pictures (16)

Omio - Motorola Moto X - hands-on walkthrough pictures (17)

Omio Mobile Phone News Weekly Newsletter – 16th December – 20th December 2013

The week began with Omio, reporting that Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1 OS leaked, where Apple’s iOS 7.1 is to have a built-in car feature. Sony’s Xperia Z1 and Sony Xperia Z Ultra saw Android 4.3, rolled out. Samsung’s Galaxy Core Advance was announced, with 4.7-inch screen and dedicated hardware buttons. The Samsung Galaxy S5 is launching MWC 2014, with QHD screen and Iris scanner, and Windows Phone 8.1 is to have notification centre and Microsoft’s own Siri.

Earlier on in the week, Nokia cancels Android plans and Illusionist tablet, where Nokia Camera app came to all Lumia mobile phones. Microsoft’s Windows Phone Store now has 200,000 apps, and Samsung Smartphone GamePad for mobiles, is coming to the UK. The EE network is to allow 4G roaming, for American travellers.

Midweek, the LG G Flex ‘flexible’ mobile phone came to 4G EE. Samsung’s Galaxy S4 in pink, came exclusively to Phones 4u, and Windows Phone 8.1 screen shot leaked, showing lock screen notifications. Amazon’s mobile phone is arriving before end of June, 2014.

Towards the end of the week, HTC One gold version drops £2,750 price tag – where it became available for £29 a month. Sky Go became available for Windows Phone 8, and mobile phones can now be used during take-off and landing, on flights in the UK. Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 are to get KitKat, in January. A Samsung AMOLED 10.5-inch tablet is being announced at CES, and the Nokia ‘Moneypenny’ mobile phone is to be called Nokia Lumia 630/635

At the end of the week, Motorola’s Moto G Android KitKat rolled out – in the USA only; UK, still on track for January. The Nokia Lumia 1020 and Nokia Lumia 925 ‘Lumia Black’ update rolled out, and the HTC One mini is to get Android 4.3 and HTC Sense 5.5, in the UK. BlackBerry’s is switching to Apple iPhone maker, and Samsung releasing four new tablets – Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1, Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 and Galaxy Tab 3 Lite.

——————————————————————————————————————————

The biggest story of the week came from Nokia, where it has reportedly scrapped its supposedly named Nokia Lumia 2020 Windows RT tablet, along with its plans for using the Android OS.

——————————————————————————————————————————

The next most significant piece was when Samsung saw more info leaked about its purportedly named Samsung Galaxy S5, including display resolution, features and its announcement date.

——————————————————————————————————————————

The third largest news item came from British Airways, in removing the restrictions of no electronic device powered on, at the start, and end of flights.

——————————————————————————————————————————

The following most significant story was Microsoft seeing some more details appear online, of its rumoured Windows Phone 8.1 mobile operating system  – following on from the news of the on-screen touch button article.

——————————————————————————————————————————

The fifth biggest piece was when 4G EE network and umbrella company, revealed that UK consumers will be able to try out the LG G Flex, flexible, handset in select stores – from the 20th of December, ahead of its release, next year.

——————————————————————————————————————————

The next most significant news came from Apple seeing aspects of its next mobile device operating system appear online, said to enhance its existing products.

——————————————————————————————————————————

The seventh largest story was Samsung having another source confirm that its two lead, flagship, Samsung mobile phones are getting the latest Android 4.4 KitKat operating system – next month.

——————————————————————————————————————————

The following most significant item came from Amazon seeing some details outed about the supposed Amazon handset, including arrival date and parts.

——————————————————————————————————————————

The penultimate piece of news was when Nokia supposedly saw details emerge of a new phone, in its actual product name and number: the Nokia Lumia 630/635.

——————————————————————————————————————————

Lastly, 4G EE mobile phone network has unveiled it is allowing USA network AT&T customers to use its UK network, with 4G mobile broadband speeds.

——————————————————————————————————————————

Next Apple iPhones to have curved screens

Cupertino based iDevice maker Apple is said to be featuring a curve display in upcoming iPhones, possibly with similar technology to the one seen in the LG G Flex and Samsung Galaxy Round.

Apple is thought to be developing designs, based on the larger than currently seen (4-inch) screens, with the aforementioned curved glass.

This is along with enhanced sensors, beyond what is already used by the company.

Those are noted to be able to detect different levels of pressure, said to distinguish between heavy and light touches.

Two iPhones are thought to be planned for the second half of next year, possibly mimicking this year’s twin releases – in the Apple iPhone 5s and Apple iPhone 5c.

Both of the upcoming phones are to feature a display that curves downwards, at the edges.

These are mentioned to have 4.7 and 5.5-inch screens, with the latter encroaching on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the phablet category of devices.

This info comes from a person familiar with the plans, but didn’t want to be identified – as the details aren’t public, reports Bloomberg.

The title adds that the plans are still in development, where the company would probably release the mobiles, in the third quarter of 2013.

Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE-A Snapdragon 800 coming to the UK

South Korean electronics giant Samsung is bringing its updated Samsung Galaxy S4 closer to our shores, with it touching down in Germany.

겔포

Samsung has listed the new I9506 version on its German website, where it has a quad-core 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor.

The UK shipping model has a quad-core 1.9GHz Snapdragon 600 CPU, where the updated one would put it on par with current devices from HTC and Sony.

Omio reached out to Samsung, to see if it will make it to Blighty – where we have received the following response:

“Samsung UK will confirm whether there are plans to bring the Snapdragon 800 processor to the Galaxy S4 in due course”.

That isn’t a definitive no, where we expect the company is either gauging responses from the networks, or perhaps looking to see if it can stock it, and make decent sales.

The updated model also boasts what it calls LTE+, with downloading speeds of 150Mbps

Samsung’s I9505 UK model can only muster 100Mbps, where this new one could be supported on the EE 300Mbps network rolling out this year in London (followed by elsewhere).

That network did actually stock the 4G version of the Samsung Galaxy S3, where it could be a likely contender for the newer device, judging by past performance and its upcoming network.

Via: SamMobile

Sony Xperia Z1: review roundup

Omio is rounding up all the mobile phone reviews of the Sony Xperia Z1 20.7-megapixel camera phone, 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’s twice-yearly flagship cycle has given birth to the Sony Xperia Z1, a super-charged refresh of the Sony Xperia Z offering a super-sized 5-inch HD screen.

The Xperia Z isn’t exactly that old, yet Sony has already seen fit to tweak the design and bump the specs. The Z1 looks to have it all at first glance, but it’s launching into a different market – one where the big Android players have their strongest handsets to date. Things have changed fairly dramatically since the original Xperia Z’s inception: Samsung has fleshed out its Galaxy S4 portfolio and the HTC One’s design is breaking hearts everywhere.

Just as with the original Xperia Z, Sony is looking to steal the show once again with the Z1. But can it? It’s a tough market. Once you peel the Sony Xperia Z1 away from its impressive spec sheet, is this the hottest Android handset out there right now?

Verdict

There’s a lot to love about the Sony Xperia Z1. It’s a valiant effort, but not infallible. We like the the design overall, it’s a smart-looking device that exhibits plenty of quality and there’s stacks of power under the hood of that 5-inch HD display.

It’s the power that really shows off, as the Z1 skips through anything you can throw at it, but there are niggles: the display isn’t the best in class, it gets too hot when you push it in the processor stakes, and all the efforts in the camera department don’t seem to really bring huge gains.

It’s saved by a user experience that’s well refined and a battery life that’s surprisingly good given the specs. But, as we’ve found, the Sony Xperia Z1 isn’t the out-and-out winner in this class based on all its fancy specs.

In short: the original Z is bettered here, but in the fast-paced landscape of mobile phones it’s not the best of the best. The physical size is chunky – a little bit too much for our liking, and we think others will feel the same; either go for one-handed comfortable use or super-sized Galaxy Note size – and the presence of lots of capable competitors out there means the Z1, despite all its positives, doesn’t shine as brightly as its spec sheet would suggest. Read the full Sony Xperia Z1 review on Pocket Lint.

 

Trusted Reviews

Previously going by the codename Honami, the Sony Xperia Z1 is the follow up to the waterproof Sony Xperia Z smartphone launched last year.

Hoping to provide some stiff competition for the iPhone 5S, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One, Sony is ramping up the camera credentials of the Xperia Z1 by adding a 20.7-megapixel camera sensor. Sony also announced the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth supported QX10 and QX100 lens accessories to turn give the Z1 even greater snapping prowess.

Verdict

The Sony Xperia Z1 is powerful smartphone with an improved camera and elegant design to make it one of the best 5-inch smartphones to currently buy. Read the full Sony Xperia Z1 review on Trusted Reviews.

 

T3

This has been a great year for classy, cutting-edge mobiles. It began with the Sony Xperia Z. Since then, we’ve seen the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, HTC One Mini, BlackBerry Q10, Nokia Lumia 925 and Nokia Lumia 1020, and now the iPhones 5s and iPhone 5c. How DO you choose? Well, there’s one more premium handset in the mix, the Sony Xperia Z1.

Sony Xperia Z1: Verdict

There’s a lot to this phone, and its high-end credentials are not in doubt. It looks good, feels great in your hand and the Sony speciality of waterproofness remains a key, if gimmicky, feature.

The camera is good, though Nokia’s Lumia 1020 will give it a hard run. And though this phone is too big to suit every hand, if the size isn’t a problem this is a very powerful, fast, highly enjoyable handset. Read the full Sony Xperia Z1 review on T3.

– Check out all the Sony Xperia Z1 deals on OMIO today!