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.
The HTC One E8 is the plastic-bodied cousin of the M8; a stripped down version of the flagship device that has proven popular with both customers and critics alike. It’s designed to be a cheaper handset than the M8, available online for around £330.
However, the E8 isn’t as widely available. Currently limited to parts of Asia and with rumours of it making its way to the Sprint network in the US in the near future, it’s not quite so easy to obtain in the UK unless you buy it outright.
We’ve been living with the HTC One E8 for the last month to see whether the move into a more affordable package delivers the same experience as the M8, or if this plastic-fantastic model is instead more cheap than cheerful.
There are a number of areas where the HTC One E8 fails to live up to the M8 experience. But given the reduced price that is to be expected, so it’s difficult to see the E8 as doing anything but delivering on its aims.
The speed, power and software experience is, with only a few minor exceptions, the same as the already excellent M8. In short that makes the E8 a compelling option if you’re looking for a powerful and affordable Android handset.
But the M8 this isn’t, and the plastic design does make a difference. In the world of smartphones that design difference might be diminished by using a cover, but for those who don’t, what the E8 lacks is that premium feel you get every time you touch your phone. The E8 might leave you wanting more: indeed it might leave you wanting the M8 instead. Read the full HTC One E8 review on Pocket Lint.
The Sony Xperia T3 is a large phone. With a 5.3-inch screen it has a similar size display to the 5.2-inch Xperia Z2, Sony’s flagship Android for 2014.
However, it doesn’t have a sky-high price to match. The aim of this model is to give you the scale of one of the top-end phones, while chipping away at the specs to cut down costs.
Last year, this phone’s sibling the Xperia T2 Ultra tried a similar trick, but overdid the recipe with a huge 6-inch screen, becoming the phone no one wanted to hold. But this one stays a much more normal size, making it a good deal easier to handle.
There’s one question that matters most: has it been priced right? The Sony Xperia T3 has none of the flashiness of the top Sony phones, but still costs £300 (US/AUS price TBC) SIM-free.
Not only is that twice the price of the similarly-specced 4G Motorola Moto G and a good chunk above the expected price of the reportedly 5-inch Moto G 2, it’s more than some of last year’s top phones, which are still available to buy.
Aside from being quite big, the Sony Xperia T3 is very easy to get on with. Aside from a few cut-down and missing features there are no deal-breaking issues. However, it is too expensive when you compare it to other phones at the price.
Unless you’re desperate for a big screen Sony handset and don’t have the budget to get the Xperia Z Ultra, you’re probably best off looking elsewhere. Read the full Sony Xperia T3 review on TechRadar.
The Acer Liquid E3 is a 4.7-inch Android smartphone and the latest member of the mid-range E Series. A follow-up to the underwhelming Liquid E2, the sub-£200 successor makes big improvements in the display and processor departments. Its biggest new trick is a front-facing camera with an LED flash to entice selfie-lovers. Whether that’s really enough to pull it off the shelves instead of a Moto G or an Xperia M2, we are not entirely convinced.
The Acer Liquid E3 is a good mid-range Android phone in many ways, but the sluggish performance really lets it down. Read the full Acer Liquid E3 review on Trusted Reviews.
There’s a trend, now that phones have tended to the hefty, that manufacturers follow their flagship blowers with smaller versions that will suit smaller hands. When they launch them the makers say, actually always say, that they have not cut any corners with their new, diddier device.
But usually they have. So is Samsung’s story any different with its new Galaxy S5 Mini?
This is a well-designed, powerfully specced phone that will suit all sizes of hands from the smallest to the most sausage-fingered – though the latter will need to type carefully.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 mini succeeds because it’s a more widely usable size than the bigger S5, and because it cuts few corners in the shrinking process. To include a fingerprint sensor, infra-red blaster and heart rate monitor on a phone that you can splash without ruining are significant achievements. And the size and software mean that it’s very pleasing to use. Read the full Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini review on T3.