Sony Xperia Z5: This One has it All

Sony has remained a small player in the smartphone market when compared to giants like Samsung and Apple. The recent Xperia phone, the Sony Xperia Z5, is the culmination of 18 months of incremental improvement for Sony’s series of Xperia devices. The phablet is likely to be released on February 7th all over the US. However, as the Z2, Z3 and Z3+ are barely any different from one another, the Xperia Z5 represents a significant step forward.

Sony Xperia Z5: This One has it All
Sony Xperia Z5: This One has it All

Sony’s Xperia Z5 flagship is stuffed with plenty of top tech features that is expected from a high-end smartphone. It incorporates a full HD display, tons of power and a great 23 MP camera. Mix in the list that it sports a waterproof design and you will get yourself the phone of the year. Really?

Well no. Though the smartphone landscape has changed drastically in the past few years with Samsung really shaking up the market with its Galaxy series, especially the Galaxy S6 Edge. In contrast, Sony is doing little to wow consumers in its flagship refreshes. The Xperia Z5 is the successor of Xperia Z3 which has an identical display and similar design. This doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with the new Sony phone. It looks perfectly fine as it has got a solid lineup of specifications.

Design

Even a passing glance is enough to notice the phone is from the same family as the Z3 and Z2. It keeps the glass front and back with a metal edge. It displays minor changes like the rear panel is frosted. The metal edge is flat giving the phone a blocky look and feel. At 7.3mm thick, the touch is chubbier than some of its rivals. The 5.2-inch screen has the same full HD resolution giving it a similar pixel density as that of the Z3. The display looks perfectly crisp.

Software and Processor

The smartphone comes with Android 5.1 Lollipop on board. The only reason why Sony takes so long to update its Android phones is that it heavily customizes the Android interface. There are a number of pre-loaded apps that clutter things up, but you can easily uninstall most of them. The Z5 engine is a Qualcomm 810 octa-core chip with 3GB of RAM backing it up.

Camera

Sony Xperia Z5: This One has it All
Sony Xperia Z5: This One has it All

Sony has provided Z5’s camera with a load of tweaks to improve it over the Z3. The front camera delivers a whopping 23MP for crystal clear shots. The resulting photographs are huge, clocking in at 5,520×4,140 pixels. The extra resolution delivers flexibility to digital zooming into a scene without losing too much detail. You can also take advantage of a variety of various shots like panorama and others with the augmented reality feature.

Conclusion

Sony Xperia Z5 is an amazing phone with great performance. Its camera takes some perfect clicks. Though a decent phone, it still lacks the real wow factor. As it stands, the Xperia Z5 is a solid all around device that arrives too close to the last generation of flagships to be worth buying.

LG V10: A Truly Amazing Smartphone

LG V10
LG V10: A Truly Amazing Smartphone

There is something with the LG smartphones, they are either great or just average. So what about the latest LG smartphone, the LG V10? Well, it is a unique smartphone that offers two screens and two front facing cameras. It provides different features from the rest of the android phones. You are surely going to fall in love with them.

Design and Display

First, the display is huge – it’s absolutely massive at 5.7-inch. This size comes from clever thinking. The back material is rubberized to offer a good grip when in hand. When you pick up the smartphone, it feels that it has been exclusively designed to fit you. The lock button also contains a fingerprint scanner that resembles the one in the Nexus 5X.

Performance and specifications

When it comes to performance, there has been no lag found. It is powerful enough, sporting Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 808 processor. With plenty of power, the smartphone also has 4GB of RAM that helps the phone run smoothly. The inbuilt storage of 64GB is expandable up to 200GB. The main screen resolution is 1440×2560, achieving 515ppi which is more than a decent panel. While using it, you will realize that the screen is absolutely brilliant.

One of the best things about LG is it has never copied Apple or Samsung. The ideas of the company are always unique and its smartphones are worth having. You will definitely have mixed emotions while working with the second screen because you will like the way it has customizations and presents various options.

Camera

Another added advantage of the smartphone is that it offers two front facing cameras. The idea behind the thought is you can opt either for a wide-angle selfie or a close-up selfie. Both of them are 5MP so the idea of having two front cameras seems to be redundant. The better solution would have been one camera with a larger sensor – say 8MP, and the wide angle lens would just crop photos if needed.

In terms of a rear camera, it is capable of taking some of the best shots. The auto option works well in strong light but the pictures are a blur in low light. The LG V10 also supports RAW shooting that offers a lot of flexibility with the images. It will impress you with the detailing and crystal clear appearance.

Verdict

LG has introduced a smartphone that likely won’t be loved by all. But switching from an iPhone to this smartphone feels like a step up. A fabulous camera with plenty of options in the bucket will be a massive hit amongst those who love camera oriented smartphones. Add the amazing audio quality that the smartphone can pump up through a good pair of earphones, and you have a great multi-media device. But in all, the phone is absolutely amazing. The best thing about LG is they love surprising consumers.

Huawei Mate 8. Is This Phablet Worth Your Attention?

Huawei Mate 8

Huawei introduced its 6-inch Mate 8 at the 2016 CES conference and also confirmed that it will be soon available in other countries worldwide. However, Mate 8 certainly isn’t as powerful as Samsung’s galaxy Note 5 but is comparatively less expensive. It is certainly a large screen phone but for the right price. However, there are certain pros and cons of the phablet.

Pros:

  • Long-lasting battery.
  • Latest Android version, Android 6.0.
  • Completely metal-built smartphone.
  • Loud speaker audio
  • Fingerprint scanner

Cons:

  • The huge size doesn’t fit comfortably in hand
  • Dull screen
  • Low screen resolution

Display

If you are hot on big phones, the Mate 8’s 6-inch screen gives the room you need to run wild. When you first hold the phablet in our hand the screen seems bright and wonderful until you stream video and view high-resolution videos. The 1920*1080 pixel resolution is dimmer and hazier than other phones of the same class when it comes to the brightness level.

When compared with an ultra-sharp display like the resolution on Nexus’ 6P, higher resolution graphics look less detailed because of fewer pixels present on the Mate-8.0. It is much lower than you typically observe on a large screen smartphone. Most of the time, Huawei Mate 8 won’t impede your viewing pleasure, but the smartphone was expected to climb to the next rung on the resolution ladder to well match other phones.

Battery

Surprisingly, it owns a monster battery that lasts an average of 15.6 hours. While you email, chat, text, click pictures or shoot videos, the battery is reserved for multiple tasks throughout the day. This may be due to dimmer screen or low resolution.

Camera

Shots are picture perfect. The 16MP rear camera and 5MP front camera shot clear pictures in most lighting settings, indoors and outdoors. They can’t be considered flawless but decent pictures are clicked and this feature is an impressive one. Selfie shots are also pretty good as the Beauty Mode captures amazing shots. Those with a more natural vibe can switch to the usual camera whenever required.

Verdict

Without local pricing, it is very difficult to conclude if the Mate 8 is worth your money. All things being equal, especially when compared to the Nexus 6P, except for the screen size and resolution, Nexus 6P is the audience pick as it is easy to hold.

Still, Mate 8 is a phone at an (assumedly) affordable price and is worth seeing in the mix. Let’s hope Huawei can keep costs low to give large screen phablet fans another cheaper option to consider.

Microsoft Lumia 550: Is It Really Worth a Buy?

Lumia-550.0

The Lumia range of smartphones goes up to high end phones like the Lumia 950, however it’s the lower end segment that finds buyers owing to its great performance with basic hardware.

Microsoft Lumia 550 certainly belongs to the lower end, but comes with 4G and Windows 10, keeping up with the current trend and expectations of the mobile world. However, with just these 2 factors backing it up, it might feel overpriced at $139.

Well, let’s have a look at its features:

Screen

The Microsoft Lumia 550 comes with a 4.7-inch 720 x 1280 screen with a pixel density of 315 pixels per inch. For a budget phone, it’s fairly large and high-resolution making it pretty crisp and clear. It comes with Gorilla Glass 3 protection as well.

Design

In terms of design, it’s just like any other Lumia phone with a plastic shell. There are also no colors available apart from plain black or white. It’s also not slim or light at 9.9mm thick and 141.9g, but the build quality is solid. The cover is removable and so is the 2,100 mAh battery.

Processing Power

There’s a 1.1GHz quad-core Snapdragon 210 processor and 1GB of RAM that powers the Microsoft Lumia 550 which is certainly nothing impressive.

Camera

You get what you pay for, and the camera quality proves it well. There’s a 5MP snapper on the back with an LED flash. At the front it has a 2MP camera which is more than adequate for selfies.

Features

The best feature of the model is Windows 10 Mobile, which makes it the first plug-and-play Windows 10 mobile out of the box. It comes with a better version of Cortana, a new browser, and plenty of other features.

In addition to this, you have the presence of 4G on such a cheap handset, ensuring that you access the fastest network available from your carrier.

There’s just 8GB of internal memory, but it has an expandable memory support of up to 200GB.

Microsoft Lumia 550 Specification:

  • Dimensions: 136.1 x 67.8 x 9.9mm
  • Weight: 141.9g
  • Screen size: 4.7” (720 x 1280)
  • Screen Resolution: 720 x 1280 display
  • Pixels Per Inch (PPI): 315
  • Processor: Quad-core Snapdragon 210
  • RAM: 1GB
  • On-board Memory: 8GB
  • Camera: 5MP (rear), 2-megapixel (front-facing)
  • Operating system: Windows 10
  • Ultrafast / 3G / 4G LTE: Yes/ Yes/ Yes
  • Bluetooth / NFC: Yes/ No
  • Battery capacity: 2100mAh
  • Color Options: Black, White
  • Launch Date: December 2015, TBC
  • Price: Around $139 TBC

Although it lacks a lot of features like NFC and fingerprint scanner, for the price tag it has, and Windows 10 loaded, it’s an affordable buy.

See Also: http://gadgets.ndtv.com/microsoft-lumia-550-3017

OnePlus X: Great Outside, Ok Inside

one plus x

OnePlus One has previously proved to be a royal champion amongst its peers. On the contrary, OnePlus Two did not do that well in the market. But the look and feel of the OnePlus X might help the company make its way into the pocket of people outside its little mobile bubble of influence.

Most importantly, it is one of-a-kind in the list of reasonable smartphones. OnePlus X tries to tick all the boxes regarding the aspects that include being affordable with good performance.

Display

The remarkable thing about the handset is the way it looks. If you are considering the feel, it is one of the top reasons why most people are opting for the handset. The cell phone is specifically crafted to appeal to everyone’s personal taste. It has followed the Xperia design approach and has the waxed bubble app display of the iPhone 6 making the phone look absolutely perfect. Despite all the premium features the phone sports a 5-inche screen which is incredibly refreshing. It is held comfortably and easily fits in the pocket.

Software and Performance

The smartphone runs OnePlus’ Oxygen OS 2.1.2 on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. For those unaware of the OnePlus tweaks to Android, Oxygen OS has a stock-like ROM but provides plenty of customization options. These further include off-screen gestures where patterns can be drawn to launch the camera quickly or control music. The cell phone also supports double tap to wake.

The phone is usually sold because of its high performance and this phone was specifically built to appeal to different sensibilities and seek raw power. OnePlus X isn’t a sluggish phone as it sports a quad-core 32-bit Snapdragon 801 CPU, which is the last widely acclaimed processor before the era of problematic 64-bit chipsets and other overheating issues.

Specifications

  • Processor: Snapdragon 801
  • Screen size: 5-inch 1920×1080 AMOLED
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 16GB Internal and up to 128GB expandable memory
  • Camera: 13MP Rear and 8MP front
  • Battery: 2525mAh
  • Weight: 4.86 ounces

Should you go for it?

The phone is quite interesting while considering factors such as display, processor, and operating system. There are no noticeable lags to be found. The only problem is it cuts out a lot of hardware that might be useful. Customers will dislike that it doesn’t have fingerprint a sensor that helps quickly lock the screen.

Despite all this, the smartphone is average and looks good for the price. OnePlus X isn’t a miracle phone but is very compelling.

Unboxing Intex Cloud Zest

intex cloud zest

 

Intex has recently expanded its offerings by introducing another cloud range smartphone, the Intex Cloud Zest. Though there hasn’t been any official announcement regarding the launch of the handset.

The major highlight of the phone is its large 4000mAh battery that is capable of delivering up to 15 hours of talk time and 500 hours of standby time. This particular smartphone has to survive cut throat competition as it has to compete against various Android smartphones in the same price range and a gigantic battery that includes the Lava Iris Fuel F1 and Micromax Canvas Juice 3.

Also, the dual sim handset runs Android 5.1 Lollipop out of the box and supports 2G on one SIM and 3G on another. Intex Cloud Zest comes with a 5-inch HD IPS display and the phone is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core Spreadtrum processor coupled with 1GB RAM.

Intex Cloud Zest reviews are average when compared to its predecessor, the Intex Cloud M6. The smartphone sports an inbuilt storage of 8GB that is expandable up to 32GB with the help of a microSD card. Decent pictures can be clicked during the nighttime with the 5MP rear camera having an LED flash while there is a 2MP front camera onboard that clicks noisy selfies. On the connectivity front, the smartphone offers 3G, GPRS, Wi-Fi, Micro-USB and Bluetooth options.

Last month Intex had launched the AQUA Air which is a little pricier than this one and now it is planning to introduce the new phone with more specifications and features.

Gionee Marathon M5: A Big Battery Phone

GioneeMarathon

Battery life wasn’t an issue in the previous era, but ever since we have become touchscreen slaves, it has been a major concern. The most obvious way to get more battery life is to increase the battery size and that is exactly what Gionee has done in its next smartphone – Gionee Marathon M5.

Look and feel

The smartphone features a combination of plastic and metal that feels sturdy and durable. Gionee has somehow trimmed the thickness down to 8.6mm. However, the larger battery has resulted in a heavier phone weighing 211g.

The 5.5-inch display has disappointing low HD resolution since the pixel density is poor and images aren’t as sharp as expected. Sometimes, the colors get oversaturated and jarring. Sadly, there isn’t an option of calibrating the screen as well.

Features and Specifications

The Gionee Marathon M5 uses a quad-core MediaTek MT6735 SoC processor, incorporated with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage. You can also enjoy support for Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, FM Radio, GPS and USB. On the software front, the phone runs the Amigo 3.1 UI that is a version of Android Lollipop 5.1. Because the interface is single layered, all the apps are spread randomly on multiple screens.

Performance

The overall performance is above average and no lags are being noticed during usage. The smartphone handles demanding games surprisingly well and the call quality is also satisfactory. If you keenly look at the benchmarks, the numbers aren’t good when you compare other phones in the same price segment. The volume level is sufficiently loud for a small room, but the silicon tips provide decent isolation from ambient noise.

Camera

The 13MP camera does a pretty good job with landscapes in daylight. The level of detail is above expectations even when zoomed and colors are crisp and clear. Pictures clicked indoors tend to be a bit noisy. Night shots exhibit noise and even the flash isn’t so powerful. The 5MP front camera lacks an autofocus feature. Video recording maxes out at 1080p, but the quality is decent in daylight.

Verdict

The Gionee marathon M5 is in a league by itself if battery life is a concern and the company has made some decent efforts in refining the device. The phone is slimmer than its predecessor having a vivid display and decent camera. But some work could have been done on the HD screen and low-light camera performance.

BLU Released Specific User Feature Smartphone

BLU Smartphone

Did you ever turn off features of your phone to save battery to get through the day? Well, BLU has introduced another smartphone to solve this issue, the BLU Energy X Plus. The company has included a 4000mAh battery which is comparatively more compact than the one found in the BLU Studio Energy that was released at the beginning of 2015.

As far as the screen is concerned, it is 5.5-inch, 720p, IPS display with MediaTek’s MT6582 processor that will surely help make the battery last for a longer duration. BLU Energy X Plus incorporates a comfortable feel and a look-good display. Even the build of the Energy X Plus is astonishing as it is a plastic body that looks like a metal one. Due to the 4000mAh battery, the smartphone weighs a little more than its peers. It supports a dual sim card slot and microSD card for expandable memory. Which is great as it comes with just 8GB of onboard storage. However, 5.27GB of storage is available out of the box.

BLU Energy X Plus has a vanilla android approach. Significantly, the icons have changed and have become themed. Additionally, themed icons are also present in settings. After installing a third-party launcher, all of this could likely be fixed. With this minimal skin, the app drawer is absent and instead all of the apps are located on the screen. Manufacturers love changing the display, but the audience comes up with mixed reviews regarding this characteristic. Unfortunately, there isn’t any 4G LTE but 4G HSPA+ is present in the BLU smartphone.

Verdict

The BLU Energy X Plus is an absolutely amazing smartphone that incorporates few great features. It is hard to find any real negatives at this price point.

Samsung Unveils Two New Galaxy Smartphones

samsung Galaxy

Samsung has recently unveiled its brand new Galaxy series smartphones, the Galaxy On5 and On7. With this release, the company has declared these two models as value for the money devices and planned to target the young consumers. Priced aggressively, the new Galaxy series smartphones pack features including Ultra Data Saving (UDS) and MixRadio.

Look and Feel

The South Korean company released these budget handsets after months of analyzing customer needs and working on the new model. Both the smartphones have identical front and back panels. Apart from the screen size, there is not any noticeable difference between the devices. The use of metal frames has given the handset a sturdy feel. The signature physical Home button is just below the screen on both the phones. The volume rocker is located on the left while the power button is on the right. When compared, Galaxy On5 is easier to hold using a single hand.

Specifications and feel

The Galaxy On5 proudly features a 5-inch HD 720x1280p TFT display that is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor coupled with 1.5GB of RAM. It sports an 8MP rear camera and 5MP front camera having decent picture quality. It holds 8GB of built-in storage that is expandable up to 128GB. Various connectivity options on the Galaxy On5 include 4G LTE, Micro-USB, 3G, Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi b/g/n. The phone weighs 149 grams and owns a 2600 mAh battery.

On the other hand, the Galaxy On7 features nearly identical specifications to Galaxy On5, except for the larger screen size, display, different processor, high-resolution camera sensor, and larger battery. Galaxy On7 sports a 5.5 inch HD TFT display and runs on a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor with 1.5GB RAM. It clicks brilliant pictures with a 13MP rear auto focus camera and a 5MP front selfie camera. Galaxy On7 is similar to the Galaxy On5 in terms of built-in expandable storage. The battery size is 3000 mAh, which is larger than On5 and measures 151.8×8.2mm, weighing 172 grams. Running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, both the handsets are skinned with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI.

Verdict

While browsing through the default apps and menu, one of the major takeaways is that there is a lot less of Samsung’s bloatware than present in other models. Both smartphones have very few pre-loaded apps but there are no Microsoft apps present. Moving towards the camera, it is quickly launched within a few seconds of touching the icon. The camera is uncluttered and switching between the cameras is quick and easy. Images taken with the Galaxy On7 were crisp while those with On5 were quite blurry when zoomed. Both the devices are facing stiff competition, but they are worth their costs.

Nexus 6P Outshines its Competitors

Nexus6Google’s Nexus 6P is finally out. The phone is decent and is an improvement of its predecessor.

Design

Nexus 6P is a large and heavy phone but thankfully, Nexus 6P is manageable. The screen size has drastically dropped from 5.96 to 5.7 inches. The handset’s dimension has reduced in both weight and thickness. This has finally allowed the new phone to sit comfortably in the hand. Through the round edges on the rear, it easily snuggles in your palm, yet it becomes tricky to reach everywhere on the screen with one hand. Surprisingly, the metal unibody has provided a premium appeal to the handset.

Display

The smartphone boasts a screen size of 5.7 which is quite shiny, with a colorful band and extremely responsive under the touch. Everything seems exceptionally sharp on the screen with the QHD resolution while colors turn vibrant with the AMOLED technology. The screen is protected with Gorilla Glass 4 that helps it survive a number of knocks, and is coated in fingerprint and smudge resistance. The screen display runs at a 1440p resolution that translates to 518 pixels per inch. Design wise, the smartphone was made of “aeronautical-grade aluminum” and has come in three colors – graphite, frost, and aluminum, giving it a premium feel.

Camera

Nexus 6P features a rear camera of 12.3MP with laser autofocus that instantly focuses on objects. In also incorporates a slow-motion mode that captures 240 frames per second and 4K video recording. With regards to the front-facing selfie camera, it sports an 8MP camera with an f/2.4 aperture and HDR+ provided for HD selfies for your Instagram account.

Specifications

Under the hood, the phablet features a Snapdragon 810 V2.1 processor with 3GB RAM which is another impressive specification in the Nexus 6P. The phone comes preinstalled with Google’s all new Android 6.0 Marshmallow, that brings along features including Doze mode, a battery saving mode called the ‘biggest breakthrough to date with regards to the battery life of smartphones’.

This is by far the best looking Nexus phone when it comes to the visual allure.