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 Archos 50 Platinum is really a phone for those who need or want access to dual-SIM card functionality – a rare thing in the UK. Usually this would be business users, or those who travel a lot. Now that doesn’t sound typical of Archos, the company that made its name in media playback. Has it got the goods when it comes to smartphones? We switched to the dual-SIM world to find out.
Archos has some very specific talents, and the firm has been dealing with Google’s Android operating system for as long as almost anyone else. Its devices are often very powerful, but they tend to be set up to handle media well above all else. With the 50 Platinum, though, the company has taken a different direction.
We’re fans of the Platinum name – it’s a rather cool-sounding device. A quick glance at the specs maintains that view too: there’s a 5-inch IPS LCD screen, 8-megapixel camera, quad-core CPU and a reasonably recent version of Android. But does it all do enough as a phone to win us over?
We have genuine love for the Archos 50 Platinum. It’s a simple phone, without much customisation, but that will be a draw for many. We found that, despite its decent spec, it can feel a bit slow and unresponsive. It’s not a big deal, but this phone doesn’t feel like a high-end device, despite its processor and decent RAM allocation.
But it’s also priced incredibly well, has a nice screen and handsome styling. The dual-SIM functionality is great to have, although it could be better implemented – but it’s sure to be useful for those who travel a lot, or who have business and personal numbers they want to keep separate, but don’t want two devices for.
Just remember, the battery is easy to drain in a few short hours if the conditions are right (or wrong), and with two SIM cards to worry about, it’s almost asking the impossible to expect any company to deal with this any better than Archos has. Read the full Archos 50 Platinum review on Pocket-Lint.
Some made-up words deserve a place in the popular lexicon. I’m thinking about “friscalating” or “omnishambles”. Others, like the wholly wretched term “phablet”, most certainly do not. So from now on I’ll be calling smartphones with screens between 5 and 7 inches VLPs, or Very Large Phones. Anyone using the word phablet in my earshot will be getting a punch on the hooter.
At the moment Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 rules the VLP roost pretty much unchallenged but the competition is hotting up. Sony’s 6.4-inch Xperia Ultra and the 5.7-inch Samsung Galaxy Note 3 are due soon while Asus has the 6-inch FonePad Note up its sleeve. Doubtless all three being flagships will cost a pretty penny and that leaves space for the likes of the Huawei Mate 6.1 and the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3.
At the moment you can pick up unlocked examples of the Mega 6.3 for around £375, while the Huawei Mate seems to be generally available for around £30 less. That’s a fair bit cheaper even than the 2012 Galaxy Note 2.
The Reg Verdict
What we have here is a Very Large Phone with a slightly mid-range specification. I can see the logic behind that. Wanting a huge screen doesn’t necessarily mean that you also want a quad-core chip that can power a Boeing 777 or a screen resolution beyond the range of human visual acuity. The Mega 6.3 combines a big screen with a reasonable price, solid performance and excellent battery life so if you are after a device that will fulfil the role of both phone and tablet without demanding too much in the way of compromise in either direction the Mega 6.3 is that device, especially for 375 quid. Read the full Samsung Mega 6.3 review on The Register.
The Huawei Ascend Y300 is typical of what Huawei used to be all about before it started making higher-end phones like the Ascend P6. It’s an affordable Android phone that costs a shade over £100. But to get the same grade of phone from Samsung, you’d have to spend around £180. And if you give live with a few of its quirks, it’s one of the better budget Android phones around.
The Huawei Ascend Y300 is a solid budget phone that is good value for money. There is some lag, and the user interface is a little odd, but if you have a little patience it’s a decent buy. Read the full Huawei Ascend Y300 review on Trusted Reviews.