We review the Galaxy S4, Samsung’s new flagship Android phone. Is it the best phone around, or does the superior design of the HTC One keep that ahead? Find out in our full review.
The S4 sees Samsung looking to cement its position as the world’s leading phone manufacturer.
The device has relatively few real standout features yet put all changes together – a refined design, better screen, faster processor and a whole lot more software – and it’s clear this is a radical improvement on last year’s S III.
That became the best selling Android phone ever. What’s to stop the S4 repeating the trick?
The Alcatel OneTouch 916 Smart takes Android into BlackBerry territory, and at a very tight price point too.
With the OneTouch 916 Alcatel is targeting the band of youngsters who lapped up BlackBerry devices on budget PAYG deals just a couple of years ago. It’s a rare form factor for Android, and comes in at an ultra budget price of just £60.
You will be aware, though, that at this price you are looking at a low level of specs. And you’ll be working with a small screen, of a ‘wider than tall’ format that Android was not designed to accommodate.
The general build of the Alcatel OneTouch 916 Smart is quite good. It’s a reasonably solid, if slightly thick phone, that feels neat in the hand. It has a rubbery back that helps with grip – and that’s important if you intend to prod at its keys one-handed.
We review the Motorola RAZR HD, an Android 4.1 smartphone with 720p display.
Motorola doesn’t always hit the headlines with its handsets. They can be disappointing. But the RAZR HD shows that Motorola really does know how to do the right thing. It is a super phone.
The RAZR HD is really nicely made. The distinctive angled corners that Motorola uses widely these days as a signature design feature make an appearance, and the back also has a recognizably Motorola style block pattern finish.
The Kevlar material means the handset is tough, and it has a splash guard coating that helps it resist small amounts of water. What this handset is not, though, is waterproof. Its left side mounted USB and HDMI connectors are not protected by a cover, and nor is the top mounted headset slot.
We review the Kogan Agora, a budget Android smartphone with five-inch screen and dual-SIM support.
Kogan isn’t a name you’d normally associate with smartphones, and its aggressively priced Agora is the first to become available in the UK. Does it do enough to establish Kogan as a force to be reckoned with?
Well, Kogan has managed to cram a 5 inch screen, dual SIM support, dual core processor and a pretty neat design into a handset that it is selling for a mere £119 ($149). Really, with just those basic specifications listed many people will be reaching straight for their wallets. But as ever the devil is in the detail and it is worth looking closer to see if, even at such a seemingly bargain price, you get good value for money here.
Dual SIM support is rare enough in any handset and to see it pop up in such a low cost phone is a real treat. The software support for a two SIM setup is good and you could easily combine work and home SIMs, or save the second slot for the cheap local SIM you buy when you are travelling and don’t want to get stung on roaming costs. It’s a nice option to have.
We review the Archos GamePad, a dedicated Android gaming device. Does it offer more than the likes of OUYA or a simple Nexus 7? Read on to find out.
Android is a flexible operating system and in a way it is surprising to see it largely restricted to phones and tablets. Then again, when it does break out of the standard mold, things can go wrong.
The Archos GamePad is a case in point. Archos is a dark horse of the Android world. It has been producing tablet based devices for a very long time and its history in the portable music sector is the stuff of legend. But its GamePad might just be something Archos wishes it had never brought to market.
There is nothing wrong with the basic idea. Take an Android tablet, give it a fast processor and a great screen, and give it really good sound output. Equip it with controls that are appropriate to handheld gaming and Bob’s your uncle.
Is the HTC One the best Android phone ever, and does it offer enough to mark HTC’s revival? Find out in our full review of the new high-end Android phone.
Back in 2010 HTC was well placed to become Android’s dominant manufacturer. It had popular, big-selling ranges at all the key price points and had also been chosen by Google to make the first Nexus phone. In 2011 it released too many mediocre handsets, with muddled branding and poor marketing just at the time Samsung was making its move with the Galaxy S II, and all its momentum was lost. In 2012, despite a recognition of its mistakes, the company was still not able to a generally positive reception for its devices into sales. Now in 213 we have the HTC One. It will be HTC’s only flagship device of the year, and the handset tasked with turning around six consecutive quarters of loss.
It certainly feels like a fresh start. The One displays incredible attention to detail, as if every single feature of the phone has been thought and rethought. HTC has pulled back from the unwinnable specs race, taken its own path in industrial design, and in the process has produced the most impressive Android phone we’ve seen.
Design and build