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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!

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?

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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!

Mobile Phone Review Roundup: HTC One E8, Sony Xperia T3, Acer Liquid E3 and Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini

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

HTC One E8 review

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.

article-title

Verdict

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.

Check out all the HTC deals at OMIO, today!

 

TechRadar

Sony Xperia T3 review

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.

Sony Xperia T3 review

Final verdict

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.

Check out all the Sony Xperia T3 deals at OMIO, today!

 

Trusted Reviews

Acer Liquid E3 review

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.

Verdict

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.

Check out all the mobile phone deals at OMIO, today!

 

T3

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini review

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?

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini review

Verdict

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.

Check out all the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini deals at OMIO, today!

Mobile Phone Review Round Up: Huawei Ascend P7, Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini and Nokia Lumia 635

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.

 

Stuff

Huawei Ascend P7 review

‘Thin’ is important. If you’re not a size zero, you are a zero, folks. It’s the sort of ideology you see in creepy movies about ballet dancers, but it could almost be the credo of the Huawei Ascend P7.

It’s one of the thinnest phones ever made, and along with having 4G as fast as 4G gets – at present – this is the Huawei Ascend P7’s calling card. Among plastic Android phones it makes a bit of a splash.

But beauty is only half the battle, so what’s the P7 got to offer if you’re not as obsessed with looks as a Vogue magazine staffer desperate to climb the greasy pole?

HUAWEI ASCEND P7 VERDICT

The Huawei Ascend P7 is something a little different from a company known more for its ultra-cheap phones. It has a high-end look and a nice, sharp, bright screen. Huawei is stepping up its game.

But look at it in direct competition with phones such as the LG G3 and Samsung Galaxy S5, or even the older/cheaper LG G2 and Nexus 5, and it doesn’t quite stack up. Performance isn’t great, the CPU seems aged right out of the gate and the quirky Huawei EmotionUI certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste.

At this price it’s certainly not a bad buy, and its camera is actually pretty good. But Huawei isn’t up there with the big boys’ flagships just yet. Read the full Huawei Ascend P7 review on Stuff.

Check out all the Huawei Ascend P7 deals on OMIO, today!

 

TechRadar

Hands on: Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini review

The Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini was quietly announced via press release at the beginning of July, and it’s now finding its way into stores around the world, so how does the pint-sized smartphone shape up?
As far as design goes there’s no mistaking this is a close relative to the Samsung Galaxy S5, with the S5 Mini sporting the familiar ribbed faux-metal band around its circumference and the dimpled polycarbonate rear linking it directly to its bigger brother.
 
It’s got the HTC One Mini 2, Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, iPhone 5C and the LG G3 Beat in its sights, as these shrunken smartphones look to do battle a couple of tiers below their flagship brethren.
SIM-free you’ll need at least £360 (about $600, AU$650) for the Galaxy S5 Mini, while on contact it can be had for free on two year deals starting at £24.99 in the UK.

When it comes to design it really is a mini version of the Galaxy S5, although there’s no annoying flap over the microUSB port at the base of the handset.

Early verdict

The Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini is a solid smartphone with an impressive range of features borrowed from the S5, and it’s a marked improvement over the Galaxy S4 Mini.

I’m a little disappointed not to see Samsung going down the Xperia Z1 Compact route and packing the S5 Mini with the same camera and power as the Galaxy S5, but I guess I can’t have everything.

If you’re taken with the Galaxy S5′s design, fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor, but simply can’t afford its lofty price tag, then the Galaxy S5 Mini looks to be a strong replacement.

Shop around a little more though and the HTC One Mini 2, iPhone 5C or OnePlus One make more some tough competition. Read the full Hands on: Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini review on TechRadar.

Check out all the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini deals on OMIO, today!

 

Trusted Reviews

Nokia Lumia 635 review

The Nokia Lumia 635 is the 4G version of the Nokia Lumia 630. Most other elements remain the same, except the 635 has a glossy body rather than a matt one. However, it’s a bit more important than that description might suggest.

This phone is part of the new 4G revolution, which is all about bringing 4G phones to people who previously might have dismissed faster mobile internet as just too expensive to consider. The Lumia 635 costs around £120 without a contract, making it pretty easy to buy outright.

Verdict

The Nokia Lumia 635 is a competent little Windows Phone 8.1 mobile with 4G. However, a few too many little niggles and cuts mean it’s not the bargain the Lumia 520 and Lumia 620 were last year. Read the full Nokia Lumia 635 review on Trusted Reviews.

Check out all the Nokia Lumia 635 deals on OMIO, today!

Mobile Phone Review Roundup: OnePlus One, Nokia Lumia 930, HTC Desire 610 and Xiaomi Mi3

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 Register

OnePlus One

The idea behind the OnePlus One is very simple: source the best components you need for a top-spec Android phone, one that’s just as good as a branded Tier One Android flagship, and sell it direct at the fraction of the price.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Reg Verdict

The problem so far has been getting hold of a OnePlus One. It has only been manufactured in limited quantities so far, with some gimmicky online competitions (one Android site called it a “trollout”) generating enormous enthusiasm, while allowing a few to get to the front of the queue. OnePlus says it’s now ready to deliver volume in 16 markets including the UK.

So, caveat emptor. We’d like to see OnePlus make a commitment to the UK market and establish a professional support operation. If you can’t wait, or don’t mind the risk, the One is a steal. Read the full OnePlus One on The Register.

Check out all the mobile phone deals on OMIO today!

 

Stuff

Nokia Lumia 930 review

The Lumia 930 couldn’t be described as skinny or small. It’s almost a centimetre thick and the 5in screen, even with a fairly narrow bezel, makes it a long, wide handset. But, despite the use of Gorilla Glass 3 and the metal-edged build, it’s not a heavy phone – and we found it sat quite comfortably in a trouser pocket.

The build quality befits the phone’s high-end status. Nokia has always enjoyed a reputation for solidly made gear and that’s certainly the case here: there’s nothing wobbly or creaky in evidence. Nor does the matte plastic back look or feel cheap – it’s a level or two above the plastic you’d find on the back of certain Korean-designed smartphones. The curved edges of the glass front panel also make for a lovely premium touch.

There are three hardware controls on the right-hand metal edge (the nano SIM tray and 3.5mm headphone socket are located on the top edge): a power button; a volume rocker; and a dedicated camera shutter button (more on that below). There’s a microUSB port on the bottom edge but, thanks to the wireless charging plate included in the Lumia 930’s box, you’ll rarely need to make use of that.

The Day-Glo orange finish of our review sample is certainly… eye-catching, and some might feel happier with one of the two more sober colour options: white or black. Oh, and orange isn’t the only wacky colour available: there’s fluorescent green too, if you’re feeling particularly brave.

NOKIA LUMIA 930 VERDICT

We liked the Lumia Icon a lot, and we like the Lumia 930 even more. It doesn’t make any drastic improvements to key elements – the screen, camera, performance are all the same – but the inclusion of a wireless charger and Windows Phone 8.1 out of the box make it a better buy. It doesn’t have as much raw power as top iOS and Android phones, nor access to their wealth of apps, but it’s the best Windows Phone yet. Read the full Nokia Lumia 930 review on Stuff.

Check out all the Nokia Lumia 930 deals on OMIO, today!

 

TechRadar

HTC Desire 610 review

While the top-of-the range HTC One M8 has sent all rivals scattering before it, HTC has also been busy building out a good-sized range of middle and lower-end smartphones using its former flagship brand, Desire. The Desire 610 sits nicely in the middle of the line-up, borrowing much from the company’s mid-range flagship, the Desire 816.

The first thing that has been borrowed from its bigger brother is its design. Unfortunately on this smaller device, the design falls flat.

The Desire 610 is a big and bulky phone especially for one with a 4.7-inch screen. It has oversized bezels all around that screen and a version of HTC BoomSound – stereo speakers – at the top and bottom of the phone.

It is quite an unsuccessful implementation of a visual language that worked reasonably well on the larger Desire 816.

The rear is made of a different material to the rest of the phone and this too has some issues. It is highly reflective and shiny and very susceptible to fingerprints and scratches. After just a few days use, it feels quite slimy and a bit unpleasant. I am constantly fighting with this phone just to keep it clean

Verdict

Competition is fierce in this part of the smartphone market and there are better options at even lower prices than the HTC Desire 610.

While it does deliver in its range of features, the Moto G betters it in almost every way with a superior screen, better battery life and equally successful software. The LG G2 Mini also offers a better overall compromise at a similar price.

The Desire 610 has some of the best build quality and arguably the best software available at this price as well as a smooth and fluid interface, but that isn’t enough in the end to make it a truly compelling device. Read the full HTC Desire 610 review on TechRadar.

Check out all the HTC Desire 610 deals on OMIO, today!

 

Trusted Reviews

Xiaomi Mi3 review

Sometimes smartphones can seem a bit boring. Every year, the same companies make the same phone but with a few tweaks, a bigger screen and a new name. Phones like the Xiaomi Mi3 are here to shake things up.

The Xiaomi Mi3 isn’t available in the UK yet aside from as an import, but Chinese companies like Xiaomi and OnePlus have a chance at changing the face of the phone market. Of course, that’s all stuff for the future.

We got out hands on one of Xiaomi’s phones right now to see whether this £200-odd wonder is really worth considering as an import alternative to something like the Nexus 5, or even Samsung Galaxy S5.

Verdict

The Xiaomi Mi3 is a bright sign of things to come from plucky Chinese phone-makers. However, there’s a bit too much work needed to make an imported Mi3 easy to use in the UK for our tastes. Read the full Xiaomi Mi3 review on Trusted Reviews.

Check out all the mobile phone deals on OMIO, today!

Mobile Phone Review Roundup: Motorola Moto E, HTC One E8 and Vodafone Smart 4 Mini

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 E review

When Motorola launched the Moto G smartphone last year, it said it wanted to offer “an affordable smartphone for people who don’t want to compromise on quality, experience or style”. It more than succeeded in that venture, and now its focus shifts to the even more budget section of the market with the Motorola Moto E.

The Moto E is less spec-savvy than its bigger brother Moto G, but it still puts on a darn good show considering its £89 asking price. By cutting back on the specification and price point has Motorola got the balance right to be the budget king once again? We’ve been living with the Moto E as our go-to phone for a couple of weeks to see whether it adds up.

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Verdict

The Moto E is a brilliant device for the price. If your budget doesn’t stretch beyond £100 then we would say – ignoring the lack of 4G connectivity – that there isn’t a competing device that offers the same overall experience, specification and design.

Despite the price point the Moto E has glimpses of premium about its build; the matte finish on the rear makes it a delight to hold and the metal buttons feel quality. Add some useful software features, a true Android experience, solid battery life, microSD slot for storage expansion, quality sound output and it’s an undeniably decent device.

On the not-so-good side of the coin the rear camera really isn’t up to much and the lack of a front-facing one feels like an oddity, plus the screen resolution is fairly low. But that’s hardly surprising given the price.

All said and done the Moto E gives plenty of bang for your buck. But it sits in a busy market, and one that’s already dominated by Motorola. That, in part, is the Moto E’s undoing, because we would still opt to spend a little more cash and buy the 4G Moto G instead. But that can’t detract from the Moto E’s successes: it’s a great phone available at a great price. Check out the full Motorola Moto E review on Pocket Lint.

Check out all the Motorola Moto E deals on OMIO today

 

TechRadar

HTC One E8 review

The HTC One E8 is the phone I never thought I’d see. Given HTC’s big push into making design the most important element of its flagship One M8 phone, why lose it?

And this theme returns when you turn the phone over: all the talk of the importance of the duo camera, with Ufocus and other assorted Ultrapixel gubbins, is gone in favour of an off-the-shelf 13MP sensor.

What gives, HTC? It’s nearly 30% cheaper? Oh. That makes sense.

Beyond that, we’re treated to the HTC One M8 spec for spec. That means a Snapdragon 801 chip inside, the same larger 2600mAh battery, a glorious Full HD 5-inch Super LCD3 screen, a microSD slot and, well, you might as well just read the spec sheet for the One M8 to get the full picture.

HTC_One_E8_review (4)-623-80

Early verdict

There’s a lot here that I’m missing from the One M8, but not as much as I thought I would. The build quality is a lot lower, but the colour of my sample and the well-packaged unibody mitigates that somewhat.

The camera, in the early tests, performs very well, but I’ve not tried it in the full range of low light and differing texture tests, so I’ll be intrigued to see how that pans out.

Essentially, this budget version of the One M8 isn’t that budget – but it does provide competition to the likes of the Nexus 5 and the OnePlus One for a high-end phone with great specs and a lower price, and it appears HTC has managed that well here. Check out the full HTC One E8 review on TechRadar.

Check out all the HTC deals on OMIO today

 

Trusted Reviews

Vodafone Smart 4 Mini review

The Vodafone Smart 4 Mini is a small, very low cost phone. If you want a mobile you won’t have to worry too much about breaking, need to buy someone their first real smartphone or just want a backup, it seems like a good option.

At £50, it is just a tenth the price of the top phones. There are obvious cuts made in almost every area of the Smart 4 Mini that mean we can’t fully recommend it, but you do get the full  Android experience for very little cash here.

vodafone-smart-4-mini-25

Verdict

The Vodafone Smart 4 Mini is a very affordable phone that’s among the very best you can buy at the price. However, its quite slow and cuts across the board mean you need more patience than you’d need with a slightly more expensive mobile. Check out the full Vodafone Smart 4 Mini review on TrustedReviews.

Check out all the Vodafone deals on OMIO today

Mobile Phone Review Roundup: Nokia Lumia 930

Omio is rounding up all the Nokia Lumia 930 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

Nokia Lumia 930 review

Since Microsoft acquired Nokia’s phone hardware business there’s been some confusion about where things go from here. Take the Lumia 930, the top-spec Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone that we’ve been reviewing for the last few days: Microsoft has left the "Nokia" name absent from all its press materials, yet the Nokia name sits proudly on the phone’s rear.

Clearly we’re in a period of transition. But what’s in a name – and does it even really matter? Only time will tell. What we’re most interested in is how the Lumia 930 embodies the evolving nature of Windows Phone 8.1. It showcases the ever-strong Lumia hardware – which is better built than plenty of top-spec Android rivals – and, perhaps ignoring the Lumia 1020′s camera prowess, represents the most compelling Windows Phone package to date.

It’s been a long time coming though. After first seeing the handset in April, the release date slipped back to mid-July in the UK; while those in the US will never see the 930 in this particular format. What with LG, Samsung and HTC having already outed their respective Android phones and with Apple supposedly due to announce a bigger, bolder iPhone in September has Nokia (or Microsoft – take your pick) got the guts to stand out – or is it a phone and operating system combination still scrabbling to keep up with the pack?

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Verdict

The Lumia 930 is as close as we’ve got to Windows Phone’s wow moment. But, in saying that, we’re still on the fence about whether it’s enough to lure new customers in.

We love the 5-inch Full HD screen, the camera good in decent light, and the solid build quality separates the device from all those plasticky competitors with removable back plates. It’s a touch on the thick size and is a large device overall, but we think the Lumia 930 gets away with it. We’re not sure about all the colour options though.

Now in version 8.1 the Windows Phone experience is also more complete than it’s ever been before. Although, in many respects, that just means it’s caught up with the competition – and if you’re a gamer then the lack of apps will still disappoint. There are still some fussy points in use too, but the lack of bloatware otherwise keeps the Lumia experience pure.

The Lumia 930 is big, bold and has touches of brilliance. As much as it wows, though, there’s still work to be done to truly set it apart from the competition. This is one that will divide the crowd, but is a device that can’t be ignored for its positives and its aspirations. Whether it can be so highly praised in two months’ time from now is another matter, but right now this is the best Windows Phone device that money can buy. Read the full Nokia Lumia 930 review on Pocket Lint.

– Check out all the Nokia Lumia 930 deals on OMIO today!

 

Reghardware

Nokia Lumia 930

The Lumia 930 is the first upmarket phone in eight months from Nokia’s former mobile phones division, which is now owned by Microsoft. It’s a solid but quite unspectacular upgrade for Windows Phone users.

However, there’s nothing really new here. If you’re looking for a phone with something distinctive, a bit of a wow factor, you may wish to wait until later in the year, when, hopefully, the buggy and crufty Windows Phone 8.1 release should be in better shape.

nokia_lumia_930_1

The Reg Verdict

As if in recognition of this, the Lumia 930 comes with a decent two-week launch offer of a dinky Bluetooth speaker, a wireless charging plate and a £20 app voucher. Even after that, every 930 sold in the UK will include a wireless charging plate.

So if you’re already in the Windows Phone world, it may be worth waiting until later in the year to see what Nokia-soft has up its sleeve. That said, the Lumia 930 isn’t a bad device by any means. It has superb build quality and its corporate-friendly features could see it sell in decent numbers. You wouldn’t grumble if you were assigned one.

But is that enough? Read the full Nokia Lumia 930 review on The Register.

– Check out all the Nokia Lumia 930 deals on OMIO today!

 

TechRadar

Nokia Lumia 930 review

Windows Phone is going on four years old now – and it’s still never had the standout phone that shows it’s a platform that can compete with the iPhone and the best Android has to offer.

The Nokia Lumia 930 looks to be just that phone, with a next-generation screen, a much-improved processor and a new version of the OS to give users more customisation than ever before.

This is still a Nokia phone, despite the buyout by Microsoft, and the heritage is plain to see with the choice of coloured plastic backs combined with the metallic trim.

But here’s the key question: does the Nokia Lumia 930 have the ability to mix it with the big boys? It’s got a higher spec sheet than ever before, the still-great camera and all of the Finnish / American toys it can pack on board, and it’s coming out of the gate for cheaper than the competition too.

On top of that you’ve got a decent accessory ecosystem around it, a strong identity and an ever-growing user base for Windows Phone.

But there’s also the other side of it: the Lumia 930 is using last year’s components and still has to battle against the fact Windows Phone is still running behind iOS and Android in both the popularity and app stakes.

It’s a tricky one – read on to see if the new Lumia could possibly be your next phone.

Nokia Lumia 930 review (11)-623-80

Verdict

The Nokia Lumia 930 is the best Windows Phone yet – you’ll probably read that across the web. But that’s like saying it’s the best seaplane: you’ll really need some elements of it from time to time, and you’ll be able to use it, but really you want something that’s able to flourish in more scenarios.

The build quality is excellent and iconic, and the camera is powerful and results in mostly great snaps. I like that 32GB is on offer as the base model, and wireless charging built in is perfect.

The price is pretty good too, and if you’re a fan of Windows Phone there is nothing better right now. But Microsoft needs to boost the UI and usability of its OS as soon as possible to make sure it keeps up with pack – and that’s the main thing that’s troubling the Nokia Lumia 930 right now. Read the full Nokia Lumia 930 review on TechRadar.

– Check out all the Nokia Lumia 930 deals on OMIO today!

 

Trusted Reviews

Nokia Lumia 930 review

The Nokia Lumia 930, also known as the Lumia Icon in the US, is a 5-inch Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone that’s the first handset to launch since Microsoft’s buyout of Nokia’s mobile division. The successor to the Lumia 925, it’s available on contracts from £30 a month, so it’s competing with the iPhone 5S and top-tier Android phones like the HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy S5 and Xperia Z2.

It’s a step up in almost every department on the 925 and with Windows Phone 8.1, the latest version of Microsoft’s slowly improving mobile operating system, it’s the closest we’ve come to a Windows phone that can compete with the best Android phones and iPhones.

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Verdict

The Nokia Lumia 930 is another very good top-end Windows Phone from Nokia, but we’d like it to last a longer and be less chunky. Read the full Nokia Lumia 930 review on TrustedReviews.

– Check out all the Nokia Lumia 930 deals on OMIO today!

 

uSwitch

Nokia Lumia 930 review

We’re just over halfway through the year, and already we’ve seen HTC’s luscious One (M8), Samsung’s stripped-back Galaxy S5, and LG’s eye-poppingly high resolution G3.

And now comes a new Nokia, the first high-end device to run Windows Phone 8.1 (bizarrely, we’ve already seen the OS on its entry-level Lumia 630 and 635 handsets).

The Lumia 930 has a new design to go with its new software. But can it mix it with the big boys of the smartphone world? Let’s have a look.

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Verdict

Windows Phone has come on leaps and bounds in recent months.

The Lumia 930 might have been bested in the specs department, but it’s a great all-rounder that’s more than capable enough for all but the most demanding of smartphone users. And it has a unique and stylish look to boot.

It’s the best Windows Phone handset around right now, and a serious contender for flagship of the year. Read the full Nokia Lumia 930 review on uSwitch

– Check out all the Nokia Lumia 930 deals on OMIO today!

Mobile Phone Review Roundup: Nokia Lumia 930 and OnePlus One

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

Nokia Lumia 930 review

Since Microsoft acquired Nokia’s phone hardware business there’s been some confusion about where things go from here. Take the Lumia 930, the top-spec Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone that we’ve been reviewing for the last few days: Microsoft has left the "Nokia" name absent from all its press materials, yet the Nokia name sits proudly on the phone’s rear.

Clearly we’re in a period of transition. But what’s in a name – and does it even really matter? Only time will tell. What we’re most interested in is how the Lumia 930 embodies the evolving nature of Windows Phone 8.1. It showcases the ever-strong Lumia hardware – which is better built than plenty of top-spec Android rivals – and, perhaps ignoring the Lumia 1020′s camera prowess, represents the most compelling Windows Phone package to date.

It’s been a long time coming though. After first seeing the handset in April, the release date slipped back to mid-July in the UK; while those in the US will never see the 930 in this particular format. What with LG, Samsung and HTC having already outed their respective Android phones and with Apple supposedly due to announce a bigger, bolder iPhone in September has Nokia (or Microsoft – take your pick) got the guts to stand out – or is it a phone and operating system combination still scrabbling to keep up with the pack?

Verdict

The Lumia 930 is as close as we’ve got to Windows Phone’s wow moment. But, in saying that, we’re still on the fence about whether it’s enough to lure new customers in.

We love the 5-inch Full HD screen, the camera good in decent light, and the solid build quality separates the device from all those plasticky competitors with removable back plates. It’s a touch on the thick size and is a large device overall, but we think the Lumia 930 gets away with it. We’re not sure about all the colour options though.

Now in version 8.1 the Windows Phone experience is also more complete than it’s ever been before. Although, in many respects, that just means it’s caught up with the competition – and if you’re a gamer then the lack of apps will still disappoint. There are still some fussy points in use too, but the lack of bloatware otherwise keeps the Lumia experience pure.

The Lumia 930 is big, bold and has touches of brilliance. As much as it wows, though, there’s still work to be done to truly set it apart from the competition. This is one that will divide the crowd, but is a device that can’t be ignored for its positives and its aspirations. Whether it can be so highly praised in two months’ time from now is another matter, but right now this is the best Windows Phone device that money can buy.

Check out all the Nokia Lumia 930 deals on OMIO today!

 

Stuff

OnePlus One review

The flagship killer. That’s how OnePlus – a fresh Chinese start-up that’s suddenly sprung out of nowhere – is pitching its debut £230 smartphone.

And boy, does it live up to that pitch.

Charging onto the smartphone scene under an ambitious ‘Never Settle’ banner, OnePlus has made a genuinely brilliant, genuinely disruptive device with a huge 5.5in screen, the best processing power currently available and kickass battery life. All for less than the price of a Nexus 5.

The sheer, almost-unbelievable value of the OnePlus One is impossible to resist. Pick up this smartphone just once and you will want to own one.

But there’s the rub: owning one right now is very tricky thanks to an invite-only ordering process. So just how far should you go to get yourself on the list?

ONEPLUS ONE VERDICT

To get one of the best smartphones on the planet, you don’t need £500 or £40 a month anymore. You just need a OnePlus One invite.

OnePlus tells us that as production ramps up, more invites will be sent out (to buyers and on forums) and a good, old-fashioned pre-order system set up. Letting gadget fans buy the device the proper way means the £230 One could well be the flagship killer that was promised. On supreme value alone, it deserves it.

If OnePlus decides to make a smaller smartphone in 2015, it might even put a few tech giants out of business. For now, the OnePlus One might be too big for some.

But it really does have ‘it’ – that combination of good design, reliable performance and value for money. The Nexus 5 has it, so does the smaller Moto G. But now the OnePlus One has surpassed both and takes its place as the king of the budget flagships. It’s perfect for early adopters, spec worshippers, tinkerers and anyone willing to take a gamble on an unknown – but utterly brilliant – gadget.

Check out all the mobile phone deals on OMIO today!

 

Trusted Reviews

Nokia Lumia 930

The Nokia Lumia 930 is the successor to the Lumia 925. It’s a high-end 5-inch screen Windows Phone, with a focus on camera technology. However, it’s not quite as camera-obsessed as the Lumia 1020, making it a slightly more accessible phone.

First Impressions

The Nokia Lumia 930 isn’t going to get camera geeks quite as excited as something like the Lumia 1020. But this seems like another Nokia success. A good-looking, part-metal design (although we’re not sure about the green), an impressive-sounding camera and the reliable Windows Phone software make this a phone to consider if you simply don’t want an Android.

We took a closer look the phone at its launch to find out if it deserves to head-up Nokia’s 2014 phone line-up

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T3

OnePlus One review

The OnePlus One has caused quite a stir. It’s a phone that offers specs you’d normally have to pay £500 for, but you get the lot for £230.

It sounds too good to be true, but is it? There are a few problems holding it back, but the OnePlus One is a cracking phone for the most part.

OnePlus One: Verdict

The OnePlus One offers an awful lot of phone for not much money. In most respects, it’s the equal to phones like the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z2. And given it costs as little as £229, it’s pretty amazing when you think about it.

However, there are a few niggles – the dodgy 4G support being the most important one. The biggest problem in reality is quite how tricky these phones are to buy. In short supply and not available on shelves in the UK, you need to put some effort in to get hold of one.

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Mobile Phone Review Roundup: Nokia Lumia 630, LG G3, LG G2 Mini and Sony Xperia E1

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

Nokia Lumia 630 review

The Nokia Lumia 630 is one of the last devices that will launch with the Nokia Lumia name now that Microsoft is at the helm. It’s also the Windows Phone attack on the affordable market, with a price tag of just £100 certain to capture attention.

As one of the first devices to arrive with Windows Phone 8.1 – a software update that addresses many of the shortcomings of Microsoft’s mobile platform – the Lumia 630 is built on solid foundations. But with rivals such as the Motorola Moto G offering plenty of budget wow in the Android camp, how does this perky Lumia handset hold up? We’ve been living with it to find out.

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Verdict

The Nokia Lumia 630 is something of a mixed bag. It’s cheap, cheerful and Nokia succeeds in delivering a bright and well built handset that’s ahead of many competitors’ plastic offerings. It also gives you the latest Windows Phone 8.1 operating system experience, as well as the latest additions from Lumia Cyan.

But we found the software experience can feel a little slow and, with our review device, a little buggy too. There are hardware compromises too, especially in the display, when pitched against rivals such as the Motorola Moto G.

Affordability is one of the things that starts to work against Nokia: with plenty of legacy devices, you could pick up a stronger Lumia device on contract that offers a better hardware experience without breaking the bank. That said, you can get the Nokia Lumia 630 from as little as £10 a month.

With Motorola dominating this market the Nokia Lumia 630 doesn’t feel quite like the budget shining star it’s designed to be. Read the full Nokia Lumia 630 review on Pocket Lint.

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Reghardware

LG G3

LG is releasing its new G3 smartphone today. It’s a large device made slim and comfortable by clever design, and is distinguished by a mind-boggling screen, and a superb camera. It’s let down only by hardware buttons, which can be a challenge to locate with accuracy, and the software execution, which hasn’t really tamed Android or added much to it.

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The Reg Verdict

The LG G3 has its share of contradictions, such as its quad HD screen and a laser focusing camera coupled with a so-so Android reskin and basic photo shooting controls. And then there’s its appealing compactness, offset by those back buttons that are a bit Marmite. Yet there’s some sensible thinking here too, as the storage expansion and removable battery are must-haves for many. All in all, LG arrives with one of the year’s best phones – as long as you can get used to the controls. Read the full LG G3 review on The Register.

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TechRadar

LG G2 Mini review

There has never been a better time to be shopping in the middle or low end of the smartphone market. Whereas a few years ago any device at this level would be very slow, have a tiny screen, a very poor camera and weak battery life, LG is once again proving with the G2 Mini that times have changed.

None of this is to say that the G2 Mini is an especially cheap smartphone, although at just over the £200 mark off contract it is hardly expensive. Motorola is doing amazing things with its Moto G and Nokia has the Lumia 630 both of which undercut the G2 Mini by a fair chunk.

Given LG’s standing as potentially the most innovative and improved manufacturer of 2013, the G2 Mini deserves a fair look despite its relatively high price compared to its peers.
LG has carried over the most unusual and unique aspects of the G2 into its lower end offering, most notably the buttons on the back. It is an unusual placement but does make sense given that they sit just where your fingers often are when holding the phone normally.

It takes a little time to get used to the buttons being on the back, but after a few days I found it quite natural to use them. I don’t particularly find they offer an improved experience over well-placed buttons on the side of a phone, but they are not a hindrance either.

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Final verdict

Ultimately it is hard to recommend the G2 Mini over something like the Motorola Moto G, which has a superior screen, similar performance and very good battery life. Only the camera on the LG device is clearly better.

This doesn’t tell the whole story though, as the G2 Mini is a very nice device to use and has a compelling overall proposition. It just lacks a few key refinements and could do with either packing a higher resolution screen or a lower price to really be a standout device. Read the full LG G2 Mini review on TechRadar.

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Trusted Reviews

Sony Xperia E1 review

The Sony Xperia E1 is a small, affordable Android phone that makes sense for people who want to steer clear of expensive contracts. Selling for around £70, it would also make a good first smartphone for younger folk.

In several respects it’s a good deal. However, the Motorola Moto E is significantly better and only £10 more expensive, and there are some added performance issues here.

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Verdict

The Sony Xperia E1 is a decent value entry-level Android phone, but hardware compromises matched with some performance and stability issues mean you can get better for under £80. Read the full Sony Xperia E1 review on Trusted Reviews.

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