Omio News Blog

Category Archives: Mobile Phone Reviews

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.



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.



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!



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.



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.



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!

Mobile Phone Review Roundup: Samsung Galaxy S5

Omio is rounding up all the Samsung Galaxy S5 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.



Samsung Galaxy S5 review

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is likely to be one of the best selling devices of 2014. It is the successor to the incredibly successful Galaxy S4 that, despite the attempts of HTC, Sony Mobile and LG, sold by the truckload.

But the launch of the SGS5 was overshadowed by rumour and hype that made it difficult for Samsung to match expectations. Talk of a metal body and higher-resolution display weren’t to prove true, with Samsung’s big play instead being focused towards health.

But the Samsung Galaxy S5 matches if not betters its contemporaries in many areas. Is it the smartphone to take the Android crown this year, or is this just more of the same from Samsung?



The Samsung Galaxy S5 is a fantastic handset. The design could be seen as playing it safe, although the addition of waterproofing and presenting a compact and lightweight device has much merit, as does continued access to the battery.

The software updates don’t make huge changes compared to its predecessor, although things feel a little more advanced and a little less cluttered than previous Samsung handsets. This is still Samsung doing what Samsung does best, however, and as much as we’re ambivalent about the sometimes cartoony looks in some areas, we love the interlinking connectivity and the breadth of customisation and features on offer.

But the unique point really comes down to the combination of fingerprint scanner and the heart rate sensor. The wider play to promoting a healthy lifestyle is commendable, and although it ties together Samsung’s wearable and mobile devices, we’re wondering whether it will gain traction over existing systems. If nothing else, we love the at-a-glance step counter if you’re using your phone as a pedometer.

However, we just want daily things to be a little faster: we want the screen to blink on the instant we hit the standby button, we want folders to pop open slightly faster and those user interface transitions to be slightly slicker.

But all that aside, the Samsung Galaxy S5 hits all the important spec points: the camera is a great performer, the display is excellent, and hardcore games play fast and fluid thanks to the onboard power. Yes it might be a handset playing it safe, but there’s a huge amount of scope for the S5 to deliver beyond its current worth with ever-advancing apps. As it stands, with what we’ve got right now, this is still one excellent smartphone. Read the full Samsung Galaxy S5 review on Pocket Lint.

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


The Register

Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style

Samsung is the world’s dominant mobile phone manufacturer – but does that mean it’s the best? Its latest release is the Galaxy S5, a mainstream phone designed to sell in huge numbers. It’s big, with a 5.1-inch screen, measuring up at 142 x 73 x 8mm, so it won’t suit smaller mitts.


The Reg Verdict

Make no mistake, this phone is going to be very popular. It has plenty of cool innovations and decent features, from the efficient fingerprint scanner to the heartbeat monitor. And more usefully it includes improved battery life, good water resistance and a better camera. The HTC One (M8) is more glamorous, the Xperia Z2 feels more solid. But this is powerful and good-looking enough to persuade Samsung loyalists and floating voters with ease. Read the full Samsung Galaxy S5 review on The Register.

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



Samsung Galaxy S5 review

You know what you’re getting with the Samsung Galaxy S5 before you even unbox it, because this is a 2014 superphone. Big, bright screen. Oodles of power. Brilliant camera.

We’d expect every one of the big smartphone players to get those bits right on their flagships – after all, they’ve been refining these models for years. From now on it’ll be the little details that separate the best-in-class from the also-rans; those seemingly trivial aspects of everyday usability that make the difference between a phone that’s lovely to live with and one that’s merely a tool.

Galaxy smartphones are known for going big: on screens, specs, software tricks and, of course, sales. The S5 is no exception, but the small stuff can be just as exciting as the headline features, and that’s what the S5 will need to get right if it’s to become the very best.



There’s plenty to brag about with the S5 – a glorious screen, superb camera, Multi Window apps, fingerprint scanning. If the tweaked build and cleaned-up user interface are anything to go by, Samsung is taking design – inside and out – seriously.

And yet, while it does everything you expect from a 2014 flagship phone, it doesn’t quite go above and beyond to the same extent as the HTC One (M8), which is that little bit slicker, more stylish and joyful to live with.

It’s a mighty close call, though, and Samsung fans have no reason to be disappointed. The fact is, this is a smartphone that’s just millimetres from greatness. Samsung’s problem is that its competitors are closer still. Read the full Samsung Galaxy S5 review on Stuff.

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



Samsung Galaxy S5 review

The Samsung Galaxy S5 can be defined by one word: evolution.

The camera has evolved to give clearer, faster snaps. The fitness-tracking abilities of the S5 are enhanced over the Galaxy S4 by packing in a more powerful S Health app and a dedicated heart rate monitor on the rear. A fingerprint scanner adds to the most secure Galaxy phone ever made.

The battery is larger, the screen bigger and brighter, the processor quicker and the design altered.

The spec sheet certainly doesn’t let it down: a 2.5GHz quad-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, a 2800mAh (removable) battery, 16 / 32GB of memory (with up to 128GB extra through microSD), one of the world’s most vibrant screens that’s been extended to 5.1-inches and added biometrics.



The Samsung Galaxy S5 is a great phone – the problem is we’re now in a world where stunning smartphones are becoming the norm.

Samsung seems to banking on the fact it knows there will be some people out there who will buy its devices no matter what, else it would have jumped to a more premium design.

Some might think I’m overstating my disappointment in how the S5 looks, but this is a critical part of the buying cycle. You can’t rely on brand recognition and loyalty for long if competitors are making something that can cause design envy.

And there’s the divide in terms of how to deliver a verdict on the best Samsung phone ever: if you’re excited about what Samsung does, you’ll love this phone. The brand has definitely done a lot to make it more useable and deliver things you’ll actually use, such as a better, faster camera and health info.

But if you’re on the fence, or in the iPhone camp, it would be easy to decry this as a mere update to what came before, offering uninspiring design and a feature set that doesn’t mark it out well enough from the competition.

Samsung has done enough with the Galaxy S5 to still be one of the top smartphones of 2014, and I would still recommend it as a solid, if unspectacular, smartphone that ticks the boxes it needs to and very little more. it just squeaks in as a 4.5-star phone, largely due to the fact that it’s got an excellent screen, great battery and high-end specs combined with a strong camera – and that spells a decent smartphone to me.

If you’re a Samsung fan, this is the phone you should buy without question. If you’re more agnostic, there’s better out there. Read the full Samsung Galaxy S5 review on TechRadar.

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


Trusted Reviews

Samsung Galaxy S5 review

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is the most anticipated Android phone of the year. It has rivals, but no other Android has managed to summon quite as much excitement as this one.

It offers plenty of upgrades over its predecessor the Galaxy S4, including a much-improved screen, redesigned software and a slightly better camera. However, there are some parts that aren’t quite perfect too. We’re not in love with the design, the new heart rate sensor will be a bit pointless for many and the fingerprint scanner is fiddly.

If you’re willing to forgive that the phone doesn’t look or feel as expensive as you might hope, this is a great phone we’d be happy to recommend.



The Samsung Galaxy S5 fits happily into the role of Galaxy S4 successor. It’s a phone with some significant improvements over that model. It lacks the style of its nearest rivals, but it more than delivers on every other point and has a truly oustanding screen. Read the full Samsung Galaxy S5 review on Trusted Reviews.

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



Samsung Galaxy S5 review

It’s finally here, the Samsung Galaxy S5. A couple of months after its initial launch at MWC in Barcelona, Samsung’s latest contender has ditched the bloatware in a bid to take on the likes of the HTC One M8, Apple iPhone 5S and Sony Xperia Z2.

We’ve been playing with the new handset day and night for the past few days and we’ve been terrifying ourselves with the new heart-rate monitor and scanning our digits with the fingerprint scanner. We’ll be updating our review shortly with more thorough testing including how it works with the Samsung Gear 2 and Samsung Gear Fit.

As we’ve mentioned, Samsung’s latest offering is facing some stiff competition. Last year, we named the HTC One our smartphone of the year and this year HTC has produced and ever better phone, Apple’s still going strong with its iPhone 5S and who knows what 2014 could bring in the form of the rumoured iPhone 6. Plus there’s the Sony Xperia Z2 which is due to land shortly and looks set to be its best smartphone yet.  So let’s get down to it and find out if the Samsung Galaxy S5 is up to the challenge.


Samsung Galaxy S5: Verdict

We called the Samsung Galaxy S4 a thing of beauty and the S5 is even better. It feels better, looks better and does more than its predecessor.  S Health is a great addition and a genuine alternative to other fitness and health apps out there. What’s more, the camera is much improved and the interface feels cleaner and less cluttered.

Is it the best smartphone out there? We said that the S4 couldn’t match the HTC One’s gorgeous and demure styling, it remains the case with the S5 and the HTC One M8 although, Samsung is getting closer and in terms of innovation and power,  the S5 narrowly takes the crown.

As with the S4, the S5 is undoubtedly going to be a very, very popular phone and deservedly so – it’s the best Android smartphone yet. Over to you, Apple. Read the full Samsung Galaxy S5 review on T3.

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



Samsung Galaxy S5 review

Hot on the heels of the HTC One (M8) comes another top-of-the-range Android smartie, the Samsung Galaxy S5.

Despite the odd snitty review, the S4 was a runaway success, selling more than 40 million units, and helped Samsung to become the biggest mobile phone company in the world.

So there’s a lot riding on the Galaxy S5. Let’s find out how it stacks up.



The S5 is another very good Android phone. It’s not a huge leap over the S4, but in today’s mobile landscape, most successors aren’t huge improvements on their predecessors.

Samsung has stripped away the gimmickry and focussed on improving the features people actually use, and for that it should be applauded. Read the full Samsung Galaxy S5 review on uSwitch.

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

Nokia Lumia 630: hands-on pictures

Nokia has announced the entry level Nokia Lumia 630 3G mobile phone, along with the 635, 4G version.

These are the new affordable Windows Phone 8.1 devices, with a 4.5-inch screen and quad-core 1.2GHz processor.

There is also 512MB of RAM built-in; 8GB of internal storage and support for microSD cards – up to 128GB.

Onboard is a 5-megapixel camera, with the two versions being defined by a matt case (3G) and glossy removable rear (4G).

The 3G model is due out at the end of April, beginning of May, whereas the other model hits the streets, end of June, start of July.

Nokia Lumia 630 - hands-on images (1)

Nokia Lumia 630 - hands-on images (2)

Nokia Lumia 630 - hands-on images (3)

Nokia Lumia 630 - hands-on images (5)

Nokia Lumia 630 - hands-on images (6)Nokia Lumia 630 - hands-on images (7)Nokia Lumia 630 - hands-on images (8)

Nokia Lumia 630 - hands-on images (11)

Nokia Lumia 630 - hands-on images (13)Nokia Lumia 630 - hands-on images (14)

Nokia Lumia 630 - hands-on images (15)

Mobile Phone Review Roundup: HTC One (M8)

Omio is rounding up all the HTC One (M8) 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.



HTC One (M8) review

The HTC One (M8) has been officially announced, having been more comprehensively leaked than any previous smartphone device in recent years.

There’s plenty of interest and anticipation too. With Samsung and Sony launching flagship devices at Mobile World Congress 2014, HTC is looking to steal the show by announcing that its new handset is available on launch day. That’s right, you can go to the shops and buy a new HTC One right now.

The big question is whether HTC has created the best of the flagship bunch? Is this the device that will halt the downward slide at HTC and win back the fans? We’ve spent the past week digging into its every detail to find out. Drum roll please, here’s our comprehensive HTC One review.



HTC is passionate about smartphone design and you can see the consideration that has gone into the new HTC One. It’s difficult to criticise the quality of the solid build, which eclipses many other devices. It sticks very much to the concept behind the 2013 model, so if you own the older device, then you’ll love how the One has evolved in 2014.

The new phone is a large device and that may be a consideration for some. But it feels slightly easier to manage than the likes of the Sony Xperia Z2 thanks to the curve of the back that sits so nicely in the hand. The gesture controls make it easy to access too, as you don’t have to stretch for the access button.

But the new HTC One isn’t just about design. It’s also hugely powerful and a pleasure to use. It can fly though intensive tasks and the addition of the microSD card slot is a real benefit too, satisfying an old but still very important demand.

HTC has continued to push camera innovation and should be commended for committing to something that’s different, even if its success rate isn’t 100 per cent. This isn’t about pushing megapixels, it’s about unlocking new functionality which can be effective and about thinking differently. But there will be plenty who still see the advantages of having more megapixels that otherwise lack here.

Finally Sense 6.0 moves HTC’s Android skin on a step, continuing to refine the user experience, trim away unnecessary excesses and support you with native functionality that actually matters. There’s still some bloat, but sections such as Gallery are much enhanced.

Overall, the HTC One (M8) is a wonderful reinvention of the 2013 handset we liked so much. There’s innovation, refinement and new features aplenty that make it a shining example of a flagship device. The bar has been set high with what will be one tough act to follow. Read the full HTC One (M8) review on Pocket Lint.

– Check out all the HTC One (M8) deals on OMIO today!



HTC One (M8) review

The original HTC One was (and still is) a mighty fine phone. One of very few Androids that could rival the iPhone in the looks department while also doing everything else we expect of a flagship phone, it was a shoo-in for our 2013 Smartphone of the Year Award. And then, at the last minute, the LG G2 arrived and stole its thunder. And who could’ve seen that coming? We certainly didn’t.

HTC’s plan to reclaim the top spot in our smartphones Top 10 is a straightforward one: More of everything. More screen, more power, more battery, more cameras and even more metal.

More isn’t always better, but in the case of the HTC One (M8) it’s done just the trick.



Chucking more of everything at your flagship phone seems an all-too easy way to get yourself to the top, but in HTC’s defence it’s not nearly as simple as it sounds.

There’s a careful balancing act to be achieved. A bigger screen requires more power, more power requires more battery, and all of these things require more room – hard to find without messing up a design thought by many to be the most stylish ever to grace an Android handset.

But HTC has achieved just that with the One (M8), and introduced other features that might initially seem comparatively trivial but could well be the things that people use and appreciate most on a daily basis.

Within a matter of weeks we’re going to see the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z2 and possibly even the LG G3. We’ll be mighty surprised if every one of them isn’t more powerful and more pixel-packed than the M8.

But will they actually perform better, and will they be as nice to hold and to live with? That’s far less certain – but it won’t be long before we find out. Until then, enjoy your time at the top, HTC. Read the full HTC One (M8) review on Stuff.

– Check out all the HTC One (M8) deals on OMIO today!



HTC One (M8) review

I’d hate to be a phone designer these days, trying to achieve unique and exciting features in a jaw dropping package for what is essentially a screen with some extra bits and pieces surrounding it.

So it’s all the more impressive that HTC, fresh from making the best-looking phone of 2013, has managed to make the HTC One (M8), a phone crammed full of power and great features while improving the design that won it so many accolades.

The poor naming aside, the One (M8) is a phone that takes the superb DNA of last year’s device, improves it in nearly every area and then packs it full of all the latest technology…and still finds space to pack in a microSD card slot.

On top of that the chassis has been retooled to now be made of 90% metal, up from around 70% last year, and the result is a brushed aluminium design that seems compelling the second you lay eyes on it.

HTC One M8 review (37)-900-90


The HTC One (M8) is a brilliant smartphone with very few flaws. Its main strength is design, but I don’t think that’s a negative thing as many brands still seem keen to race on specs rather than attracting users when they wander into a shop to a buy something for two years (at a rather high price).

It doesn’t really skimp on specs though – even the weaker camera has some rationale behind it, rather than something to apologise for – and the audio capabilities, be it the Boomsound speakers or the music reproduction, are excellent.

You could say that, Duo Camera aside, there’s no real headline feature of the HTC One (M8), but that would do it a disservice as the brand has made a phone that really impresses at nearly every turn.

I’m not sure the sharable Zoes will take off initially, nor are the Video Highlight and Blinkfeed services up to the level where you can call them factors in purchase. But at least HTC has decoupled these apps from the main OS, so when it upgrades them you won’t be left waiting for a massive software update to change things.

If the HTC One (M8) isn’t the smartphone of 2014, I’m very, very excited to see what the competition will come up with as this handset strikes the perfect blend of design, performance and innovation without really compromising in any area. Read the full HTC One (M8) review on TechRadar.

– Check out all the HTC One (M8) deals on OMIO today!


Trusted Reviews

HTC One M8 review

The HTC One M8 is the most important phone of the year for HTC. It is the company’s top model, and takes over from the HTC One. That phone proved to be HTC’s best-selling phone ever.

After HTC made a few odd design choices in the HTC One Max, we were concerned the One M8 might be a dud. But our fears were ungrounded. This is sure to be remembered as one of the best phones of the year, and it clearly outpaces it key rival the Samsung Galaxy S5 in some respects. But not all.



HTC set a very high bar with the HTC One and the HTC One M8 continues that trend. There are one or two things about the camera that need work, but in every other department the HTC One M8 is a modern classic. Read the full HTC One M8 review on Trusted Reviews.

– Check out all the HTC One (M8) deals on OMIO today!



HTC One (M8) in-depth hands-on review

HTC has just unveiled the HTC One (M8) as its new flagship phone, competing with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Sony Xperia Z2 for the title of top-tier device of the year.

In a move that some have questioned, it’s been branded the One M8 as a way of carrying on the lineage of last year’s phone, which will now be called the HTC One (M7).

uSwitch attended a pre-briefing for the device, where we were afforded plenty of hands-on time with the phone. As well as a detailed video walkthrough, we’ve also got some juicy hands-on shots for you.

But if all that’s not enough for you, here’s a more in-depth look at the handset, where we’ll give you a better idea of exactly what HTC’s latest brings to the table.



This is another solid offering by HTC. And it’s got the added advantage of being in peoples’ hands ahead of its competitor’s 2014 flagship phones, as it’s available to buy today.

It’s also good-looking handset and puts some of its Android rivals to shame. But the star of the show is the twin-lens camera, which makes the One M8 ideal for photography enthusiasts.

In the minus column, though, we’re not sold on the name, which mass-market punters could easily confuse with it predecessor.

Time will tell if this is all seen as a game-changer, and if it is enough to capture the attention of buyers looking to switch. But we can say for certain that HTC has at least given itself a chance of bucking market trends and returning itself to the smartphone makers’ top table. Read the full HTC One (M8) in-depth hands-on review on uSwitch.

– Check out all the HTC One (M8) deals on OMIO today!

Mobile Phone Review Roundup: Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2, Nokia Lumia Icon, Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 and YotaPhone

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.



Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2 review

When it comes to Android tablets Samsung has every base covered in size terms. Or so we thought, as with the Galaxy NotePro 12.2 the company gets a little experimental, opting for a large scale 12.2-inch slate.

We’re already fans of earlier Note devices, from the smartphones through to the tablets, and their included S Pen stylus that comes in the box to offer a different way of interaction. The NotePro offers enough features at a scale to make it a plausible laptop alternative, particularly as there’s stacks of power behind the scenes.

But has the Pro 12.2 gone one step too far in terms of physical size, or is this Samsung pushing out into new territory and opening new doors? We’ve been using the Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2 for a couple of weeks to get a real feel of what it’s all about.



There’s a heap of things to like about the Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2. It’s got a great screen resolution, the integrated S Pen stylus elevates it beyond tablet to a viable laptop alternative and there’s plenty enough power under the hood to run just about anything you’d care to throw at it.

However, that 12.2-inch screen size may perplex some and it did have us scratching our head at first. But then it clicked: if you want a laptop alternative then we think Samsung’s on to something here. It’s not the crazy-big 20-inch nonsense offerings that some manufacturers have been experimenting with, nor is it the sort of tablet you’re likely to pull out on the train – but then there’s nothing stopping you. It’s more versatile than we first assumed it might be, which has only come to make sense through use.

Overall the concept of the smaller 10.1-inch version of the NotePro makes more sense to us. But the very fact that both product sizes exist puts the choice in your hands. Yes, for many the 12.2-inch version will be just too big and it’s on the cusp of taking it a step too far – and yet something about it gels and there’s a longer-lasting battery in the larger model too.

Like we said at the beginning of this review, Samsung has every base covered when it comes to tablet sizes and the 12.2-inch NotePro can be added to the viable stack. Just by reading the specs we didn’t think we would be saying that. It’s definitely large, but it will make plenty of sense to a particular audience. Assuming, that is, you’re one of those people and can get over the £649 asking price hurdle. Read the full Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2 review on Pocket Lint.

– Check out all the Samsung deals on OMIO today!



Nokia Lumia Icon review

The Nokia Lumia Icon is one of the company’s most powerful and well-equipped Windows Phone 8 handsets yet, boasting a quad-core processor, huge full HD screen and 20MP camera.

It’s exclusive to the Verizon network in the US, and Nokia has yet to confirm a UK launch, but we decided to give it the full review treatment to work out just how jealous we should be.



The Nokia Lumia Icon is probably the best Windows Phone around at the moment: it bests the Lumia 1020 in every major respect except looks and camera skills, boasts quad-core power and a fantastic screen. And it isn’t even particularly pricey.

Like any Windows Phone, it’s slightly hampered by its app selection, but if it were available in the UK we’d suggest it over any other Windows handset.

That being said, the spec is just a little bit “best of 2013″, we have little doubt the coming 2014 crop of new Windows smartphones from Nokia and elsewhere may surpass it on specs and design. And that means, in the end, that the lack of availability on this side of the pond may end up being only a fleeting loss. Read the full Nokia Lumia Icon review on Stuff..

– Check out all the Nokia deals on OMIO today!



Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 review

A charitable sort might call Samsung’s approach to tablets comprehensive, but it could just as easily be described as scattershot. The past few years have seen the launch of 7-inch, 8-inch, 10-inch, and now 12-inch devices aimed at a full range of budgets.

This focus on quantity has arguably come at the expense of quality for Samsung, with no single outstanding tablet coming from the world’s largest consumer tech company.
The company’s new Pro range shows signs of the company re-applying its considerable resources to produce something a little more special.

While the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 is expensive and a little creaky, it’s an undeniably powerful piece of kit with a much improved custom UI.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 takes many of the stylistic cues and components from that super-sized powerhouse and packages it in a decidedly more compact and versatile shell. The result is one of Samsung’s best tablets to date.

Front held-900-90


The Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 won’t be the one grabbing the headlines in the new Tab Pro range, I suspect, but it’s arguably the best of the lot.

Condensed down to this size, the WQXGA display renders everything in super-sharp detail, while the creakiness of the larger tablets is all but gone with the 8.4′s compact shell.

This may well be the best compact tablet Samsung has ever made, but at a price that exceeds the peerless iPad mini 2, that’s not quite enough to rule the roost. Read the full Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 review on TechRadar.

– Check out all the Samsung deals on OMIO today!


Trusted Reviews

YotaPhone review

The YotaPhone is a 4.3-inch Android smartphone with a difference. Up front it has an LCD display and when you turn it around it has an e-ink display a bit like the one you’d find on an eReader like the Amazon Kindle.

If you are wondering what the beneifts are of having two screens, the Russian manufacturer behind the YotaPhone believes the two-screen phone will help improve overall battery life by transferring tasks like reading and viewing notifications to the less power-consuming e-ink screen – e-ink displays only consume power when changing image.

While it’s a refreshing to see a company outside the likes of Apple, Samsung and HTC try to do something really different, it’s disappointing that the YotaPhone doesn’t deliver despite all of its innovative promise.



The YotaPhone is a clever two-screen smartphone, but it needs to get a whole lot smarter and more powerful before we’d consider buying one.Read the full YotaPhone review on Trusted Reviews.

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



YotaPhone review

The YotaPhone is the first smartphone to experiment with a technology that has been around for years, but never fully been implemented in anything other than on E-Readers and early smart watches.

Of course, it’s not the first smartphone to try and include an unconventional feature as a selling point, the Samsung Galaxy S5 includes a heart rate monitor while the Sony Xperia Z2 is completely waterproof.

Its E-Ink display is not only meant as a helpful tool but a meaningful alternative to the truth, which is that the more powerful our smartphones get, the more their batteries suffer. The question is, does it provide a good enough end product to answer both those points?

The maker has already unveiled at follow-up model – the YotaPhone 2 – at the MWC show in Barcelona, but it’s taken this long for this – the first version – to turn up on UK shores.


YotaPhone: Verdict

The fact that the Yota Phone even exists is a great thing. Smartphone manufacturers should be more adventurous, testing out new technologies and actually putting them in the hands of the public.

Of course, that doesn’t mean they’ll get it right first time, just look at the original Samsung Galaxy Gear.

In this case the original YotaPhone is a solid first step, but it’s not at the stage where we’d recommend it over a single-screen device.

Similar to the LG G Flex and the Galaxy Gear this is a device for early adopters only, if you want something that feels truly polished then we’d say hold out for the second-gen handset (YotaPhone 2), which looks significantly better in all areas. Read the full YotaPhone review on T3.

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

Mobile Phone Review Roundup: Huawei Ascend Y530, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014), Samsung Galaxy Young and Nokia Lumia 1320

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.



Huawei Ascend Y530 review

The Huawei Y530 is the latest handset from the company that’s looking to deliver that smartphone experience without breaking the bank.

Priced at £149.95 SIM-free, the Huawei Ascend Y530 is cheap for a 4.5-inch device, although it sits uncomfortably close to the £159.95 being asked for the excellent Motorola Moto G.

Can the Y530 differentiate itself enough to shine in this now hugely competitive end of the market?



The biggest problem the Huawei Ascend Y530 faces is that the competition at this price point has changed fairly dramatically in recent times. While there are a number of devices in the sub-£150 category, it’s the Motorola Moto G that has shifted expectations up a gear. That makes it difficult to see why you’d pick the Huawei or similar rivals over the Motorola, which has the edge on performance, a better display, lovely design and is only £10 more expensive than this model.

That said, Huawei’s device works well enough if you’re after something to keep you connected. The camera isn’t great and the software runs pretty slow, but it has coped with our hectic mobile lifestyle while we’ve been testing it, even if that takes a toll on the battery life.

Overall the Huawei Ascend Y530 is a typical player in the budget smartphone game, but unfortunately for this newcomer, the game has changed. Read the full Huawei Ascend Y530 review on Pocket Lint.

– Check out all the Huawei deals on OMIO today!



Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014) review

Android fans are still waiting for a tablet to take on the full-sized iPad and win.

It’s an order that’s always getting taller – developers still favour the iPad when making and optimising gorgeous tablet apps, and a skinny, near-perfect iPad Air is convincing existing Apple tab users to upgrade. So is it even possible?

Samsung thinks so, and it’s hoping to answer the question "If not iPad, then what?" with the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition.

The new Note 10.1 is in many ways much more clever than Apple’s iPad, and it’s on brains, not beauty, that Samsung’s competing. This 10in tablet comes with the S Pen, just like the superb Galaxy Note 3 phablet. And even though Samsung announced a 12in NotePro whopper at CES, the Note 10.1 is staying put in the line-up.

So what does the Note 10.1 have that the iPad Air doesn’t?



The Note 10.1 2014 can do everything you want a tablet to do – plus ten other impossible things you’re not sure you needed it to.

More clever than an iPad, with a better screen than nearly every other Android tablet and with microSD expandability, this is a lean, mean full-sized tablet from Samsung. S Pen notation, a Flipboard invasion, Multi Window – all big wins that will be copied by many a rival in the months ahead.

And in six months time, this could be a five-star tab. Improvements to the day-to-day performance are vital, and those could be implemented through firmware. A stampede of creative tablet apps onto Google Play would help a great deal, too.

Of course, it could be too late by then, as the inexorable tablet tide continues to wash dreamy Droid devices onto our shores with blink-and-you’ll-miss-it regularity, but the potential is there. In fact, we’d say this is Samsung’s best tablet yet. It’s just a shame that that’s still not quite good enough to dethrone the mighty iPad. Read the full Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014) review on Stuff.

– Check out all the Samsung deals on OMIO today!



Samsung Galaxy Young review

When it comes to the modern smartphone, there are two manufacturers that manage to stand head and shoulders above the rest. Both Apple and Samsung have managed to take the mobile market by storm with their own takes on what should be in your pocket.

Unsurprisingly Samsung is the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world with its Android smartphones covering the high end with the Galaxy S5 and the Galaxy Note 3, but also the low end with the Galaxy Fame and the Galaxy Young handsets.

With a pay as you go (PAYG) price as little as £69.99 (around $115, AU$130) and contract prices of only £7.25 per month in the UK, the Galaxy Young is pitched at the lowest end competing with the likes of the Nokia Asha 503, as well as the Lumia 520 and Huawei Ascend Y300.

This low price tag means that it’s not only being pitched at a younger audience (there was a clue in the name), it also appears to make an ideal second phone for emergencies or even as a festival phone


Final Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Young was never going to be the best handset ever brought to market, but it manages to bring a lot of features that make Samsung handsets so successful whilst coming in at a reasonable price tag.

This means that it is ideal as a first time smartphone or second phone that will cover you in emergencies, or even as backup so you don’t have to take your flagship handset away with you whilst travelling the world.

As a first foray into the smartphone market or as a cheap handset to offer kids to take to school I can think of few other phones at this price tag, although if you’re thinking about a two year contract I’d advise looking at the Nokia Lumia 520. Read the full Samsung Galaxy Young review on TechRadar.

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


Trusted Reviews

Nokia Lumia 1320 review

The Nokia Lumia 1320 is a very large Windows phone. It has a 6-inch screen, and is quite an imposing presence. The more affordable sibling of the Lumia 1520, it cuts out some of that phone’s higher-end features to sell for around £270 SIM-free, or around £21 a month on a contract.

However, its sheer girth makes it a little hard to live with, and the extra screen inches aren’t beneficial enough yet.



The Nokia Lumia 1320 is a big phone that doesn’t try to hide its oversized dimensions. However, the large screen’s benefits don’t outweigh the practical issues of a phone this size, especially one that weighs as much as 220g. Read the full Nokia Lumia 1320 review on Trusted Reviews.

– Check out all the Nokia Lumia 1320 deals on OMIO today!

Mobile Phone Review Roundup: Nokia Lumia 1320

Omio is rounding up all the mobile phone reviews over the past week, for the Nokia Lumia 1320, 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.



Nokia Lumia 1320 review

As handset manufacturers start to produce more mid-range, shrunken versions of flagship phones Nokia has spotted a lesser occupied gap in the market – the affordable phablet space. It’s here that the Nokia Lumia 1320 sets its sights, maintaining the large-scale of its 1520 brother but minus the top-end specification.

And with no sign of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Lite coming to the UK Nokia has limited competition in this category, with the likes of the Huawei Ascend Mate and Oppo N1 viable alternatives, but neither competitor offering the possibility of 4G.

Nokia looks to offer the best of both the size and value worlds to those who want a large display and 4G connectivity but don’t want to shell out for the expensive options currently out there. But by going budget does the 1320′s reduction in power result in a handset that limps along, or is it the best value prospect in the phablet space right now?



The Nokia Lumia 1320 gives users huge amounts for their money. That can be taken in a literal sense too thanks to the large 6-inch screen, although the so-so resolution will be too poor for most power users and pales compared to the top-spec Lumia 1520. The camera, too, is a big step behind the top-spec offerings from Lumia’s suite of devices. But then we knew that was going to be the case, as the 1320 is all about the balance of features for an affordable price and concessions therefore have to be made.

And as a value prospect the Lumia 1320 is great. Decent build quality, amazing battery life, and enough power to keep most people will be happy. It’s just a shame that a screen of this scale is the limited resolution that it is.

But what really sets the 1320 off is its 4G connectivity, the likes of which the limited competition can’t match at this moment in time. Add valuable Nokia apps such as Here Maps and MixRadio and the competition has a hard act to follow. For the price you pay the 1320 definitely ticks plenty of boxes. Read the full Nokia Lumia 1320 review on Pocket Lint.

– Check out all the Nokia Lumia 1320 deals on OMIO today!



Nokia Lumia 1520 review

When it comes to smartphones, size matters.

It dictates a smartphone’s ergonomics, user-friendliness and, to a degree, capabilities. And as Samsung has proved with its wildly successful phablets, lots and lots of people think bigger means better.

The 1520 is certainly big. In fact, it’s a big list of big firsts for Nokia, and for Windows Phone.

It’s the first full HD WinPhone. It’s the first WinPhone phablet, its 6in screen dwarfing even the burliest flagship Androids.

There’s more. It’s the first WinPhone to sport the excellent quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, which puts it head and shoulders above its peers in the number-crunching stakes. It also happens to pack one of those excellent PureView cameras.

On paper, then, the 1520 is everything a big-screen smartphone needs to be, plus a whole lot more besides. But with Windows Phone in the driving seat, it’s clear that size isn’t everything – it’s what you do with it that counts



The 1520 is the biggest, most powerful Windows Phone to date, and continues Nokia’s legacy of pushing the Windows Phone envelope.

While it might not have the large sensor of the Lumia 1020, its camera is still hugely impressive, producing shots that are good enough to lay your compact cam to rest.

Its huge 6in screen is superbly bright and clear, even in daylight, and Windows Phone 8 runs faster than a jetpack-wearing cheetah.

But Windows Phone 8’s app curse, coupled with a lack of imagination from Nokia to take advantage of the largest screen to hit a Windows Phone device to date, mean that the 1520 isn’t yet worthy of a five star rating.

Still, it’s a sign of great things to come. Put the 1520’s insides and screen resolution into the 1020’s successor, and you’d have the most compelling Windows Phone handset to date. Read the full Nokia Lumia 1520 review on Stuff.

– Check out all the Nokia Lumia 1320 deals on OMIO today!



Nokia Lumia 1320 review

After packing every high-spec component it could into the range-topping Nokia Lumia 1520, Nokia’s Lumia 1320 comes as a similarly impractically proportioned yet altogether more practically priced alternative.

The Lumia 1320′s recommended price of around £300 ($340, AU$450) is all very well, but I do wonder if those seeking a super-sized Windows Phone 8 experience will be willing to accept its shrunken performance.

It was impossible not to be impressed with the Lumia 1520. It felt excessive in almost every way, but there was an undeniable thrill to having the biggest and fastest components (or so it seemed) locked up in a gaudy all-in-one suit.

This was Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 champion, and it wanted you to know about it.

So where does that leave the Nokia Lumia 1320, announced at the same time as the 1520 and gradually rolled out in its wake?

It features a similarly sized 6-inch display, but with a much lower 720p resolution. It has a Snapdragon CPU, but only a dual-core model running significantly slower.

Front hold-900-100


The Nokia Lumia 1320 is positioned as budget alternative to the all-powerful Nokia Lumia 1520, but there’s a problem. The Nokia Lumia 1520 has dropped in price significantly, making the 1320 seem surplus to requirements.

Comparisons aside, it’s an extremely hefty phone that lacks Nokia’s usual design flair, with a workmanlike plastic construction that’s prone to creaking.

This middle-of-the road feeling continues with its underwhelming processor, average camera, and lack of any stand-out software that really marks the Lumia 1320 out as unique.

You’ll be getting a strong Windows Phone 8 experience here, but that can be had for less money and in a more desirable package these days. Read the full Nokia Lumia 1320 review on TechRadar.

– Check out all the Nokia Lumia 1320 deals on OMIO today!

MWC 2014: Nokia XL – hands-on pictures

Nokia has just launched a range of new phones at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona – three of which run Android.

Omio is now running hands-on photos of the 5-inch screen based version, called the Nokia XL; the other two, X and X+ sport a 4-inch display.

They all run a dual-core 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU, with 4GB of internal storage; 512MB of RAM (X), 768MB (X+ and XL) and a 3MP camera.

This model has a 5-megapixel camera, with a front-facing 2MP snapper.

That is with access to Nokia Store for apps, not Google Play, but there are a good range on offer at launch – including a 7GB OneDrive account.

It also has the familiar Fastlane UI, with live tiles on the homescreen, similar to Nokia Lumia phones.


Nokia XL - hands-on pictures (1)

Nokia XL - hands-on pictures (2)

Nokia XL - hands-on pictures (3)

Nokia XL - hands-on pictures (4)

Nokia XL - hands-on pictures (5)

Nokia XL - hands-on pictures (6)

Nokia XL - hands-on pictures (7)

Nokia XL - hands-on pictures (8)

Nokia XL - hands-on pictures (9)

Nokia XL - hands-on pictures (10)

Nokia XL - hands-on pictures (11)

Nokia XL - hands-on pictures (12)

Nokia XL - hands-on pictures (13)

Nokia XL - hands-on pictures (14)

Nokia XL - hands-on pictures (15)

Nokia XL - hands-on pictures (16)

Nokia XL - hands-on pictures (17)

MWC 2014: Huawei Ascend G6 – hands-on pictures

Huawei has just announced the Ascend G6, as its new 4G LTE mobile phone.

Omio is now running these hands-on photos of a handset that is just 7.5mm thin, with familiar curved edges to those that have used the P6.

There is a 4.5-inch qHD, 960 x 540 IPS screen built-in, where powering it is a quad-core 1.2GHz processor, with 1GB of RAM; 8GB of internal storage and support for 32GB microSD cards.

This is with an 88 degree, wide-angle 5-megapixel camera (8MP, rear), for that ultimate selfie – with a preview window, before the shot is taken.

It has the latest Emotion UI, in version2 2.0, with a secondary simple user interface – all running on Android 4.3, Jelly Bean.

Huawei Ascend G6 - hands-on pictures (1)

Huawei Ascend G6 - hands-on pictures (2)

Huawei Ascend G6 - hands-on pictures (3)

Huawei Ascend G6 - hands-on pictures (4)

Huawei Ascend G6 - hands-on pictures (5)

Huawei Ascend G6 - hands-on pictures (6)

Huawei Ascend G6 - hands-on pictures (7)

Huawei Ascend G6 - hands-on pictures (8)

Huawei Ascend G6 - hands-on pictures (9)

Huawei Ascend G6 - hands-on pictures (10)

Huawei Ascend G6 - hands-on pictures (11)

Huawei Ascend G6 - hands-on pictures (12)

Huawei Ascend G6 - hands-on pictures (13)

Huawei Ascend G6 - hands-on pictures (14)

Huawei Ascend G6 - hands-on pictures (15)

Huawei Ascend G6 - hands-on pictures (16)

Mobile Phone Review Roundup: Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, Sony Xperia Z Ultra and LG G Flex

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.



Sony Xperia Z1 Compact review

The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is one of the first smaller-displayed devices to launch in recent years that can claim flagship status. It’s something that fans have been calling for for some time: a device that’s small, but packs as powerful a punch as the larger devices.

The Xperia Z1 Compact follows many of the hardware leads of Sony’s full-size Xperia Z1. But whereas the Z1 was a device we weren’t taken with – it didn’t feel right to us because it was too large and didn’t seem to hang together well as an overall device in everyday use – can the Z1 Compact fair better in a world of giant rivals?

We’ve been using the device for some time now and are happy to say it stands its ground, and then some.



The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact defies convention by offering power in a compact form and side-stepping the race to offer the largest display. The result is one of the best Android smartphones around.

It betters the larger-scale Xperia Z1 in most areas: it’s better to use because it fits nicely into the hand, the battery life is great, it doesn’t run as hot, and the screen’s viewing angles are superb. And where it doesn’t better it drafts in the same water-proof design and top-tier power as its bigger brother handset. Most competitor devices force you to go large to get the latest hardware and power, but the Z1 Compact doesn’t.

As a result the Compact doesn’t come cheap, however, but importantly it’s more affordable than the regular Z1 that it betters, as well as most of the other top-tier Android devices. That will give it plenty of appeal, despite there being a tier of more affordable devices beneath it too.

There are just a few minor niggles that hold it back from perfection: the software feels like it could do with an update and we feel this needs to happen fast, because as 2014 progresses there will be a lot more devices landing with new features and a newer version of Android. Sony needs to update to stay ahead of the pack. We also somehow scratched the tempered glass screen.

Sony has got the Xperia Z1 Compact right: it’s packed with power, is well designed, and delivers a first class experience. We have no reservations in recommending it because it’s certainly the best Android device at this size. Read the full Sony Xperia Z1 Compact review on Pocket-Lint.

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



Sony Xperia Z Ultra review

Jack of all trades, but master of none. That’s the danger that awaits the Xperia Z Ultra – a smartphone so huge, it doubles up as a mini tablet.

Can it really fill the roll of two devices? Is it powerful enough to cope? Is its screen worth blotting out the sun when you make a phone call?

The answer to most of those questions is a slightly surprising “yes”.



The Xperia Z Ultra is a sleek, well-built super-phablet that blends together power, a premium build and a superb display to create a device that really can act as both a small tablet and smartphone.

Once you get used to its huge size (and learn to not answer calls without a headset), you’ll find that it largely offers the best of both worlds.

Its camera lets it down, though, and while we suspect that many people in the market for a device this size don’t rate the snapper as the highest priority, it’s still a flaw that can’t be ignored.

And that’s the primary reason for the Z Ultra missing out on a 5-star rating. Feel free to restore the fifth star (in your mind, rather than by hacking our website) if you couldn’t give a hoot about the camera, but still make sure you also take a peek at our Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review before taking the plunge. To our minds that’s still the phablet to beat. Read the full Sony Xperia Z Ultra review on Stuff.

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



LG G Flex review

The future of smartphones is upon us – the LG G Flex is the world’s first flexible smartphone and it can be yours right now.

While the curved display on the G Flex isn’t exactly new – just take a look at the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus – the ability for the whole chassis to flex gives us a brief glimpse into what the future holds.

The future comes at a cost however, a really big cost – at least £630 SIM-free in fact.

You can always pick up the LG G Flex on contract, but a free handset will require you to part with £37 per month for two years, giving you just 1GB of 3G data in return.

Fancy a bit of 4G action on your G Flex? Then expect to part with some cash up front as well as paying more per month. This phone is a considerably investment.

To be fair you do get a whole lot of phone for your money – a 6-inch display, quad-core processor and 13MP camera are all onboard, but that’s still a lot of cash to splash.



This biggest issue I have with the LG G Flex is the fact that it’s impossible to recommend.

A sky high price tag means the LG G Flex is immediately out of many people’s price range and while the “flexible” nature of the phone is certainly interesting, in it’s current form it’s little more than a gimmick.

Want a top of the line LG smartphone? Then buy the G2. Want a large screened handset? Then take a look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 or Nokia Lumia 1520.

All are cheaper than the LG G Flex, but none are inferior in terms of power, features or experience.

The only real USP is the slightly flexible, curved design which is innovative, but it’s just not worth the considerable outlay the G Flex’s price tag commands. Read the full LG G Flex review on TechRadar.

– Check out all the LG G Flex deals on OMIO today!