Mobile Phone Reviews

Sony Xperia E3

Sony Xperia E3 Review

Sony has come out with its cheapest LTE smartphone, something that is affordable to the most part of the market, and has the same quality and design that is so Sony – the recent releases of Z3 and Z3 Compact are followed on as design predecessors. The latest Android KitKat is present under the hood, and the Sony Xperia E3 has been rolled out in the standard Sony colors.

With the greater than expected improvement from its predecessor, the Sony Xperia E, Sony decided to give the latest release in the range a skip by one series to emphasize the improvement that has been made in the E3. And the Sony Xperia E3 is pretty good on the promise of a better battery life, something Sony has been promoting mainly for the Sony Xperia E3. With the 2,300mAh battery and the STAMINA mode options present, the battery will surely be a standout from the competition, especially with Sony claiming that the E3 can last two whole days where competition from the same category of smartphones barely runs through one day.

The Qualcomm 400 chipset promises an average performance, though that is what the price tag offers, and nothing below. The cameras too, with the main snapper being 5MP and the front facer being a VGA one, provide value for money. The memory available internally is at 4GB, though as an added favor, Sony has provided an expansion slot into the mix.

The add-on being the classy design, the exclusive software and enhancements curtesy Sony in addition to the LTE radio will of course stave off some of the competition mounting pressure due to the 720p display. Sony has the standard add-ons like the What’s New panel, Walkman, TrackID, Movies, Xperia Themes as some of the included apps on the otherwise stock Android.

Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Samsung Galaxy Alpha Review

Samsung has realized that a competitor was required to be present in the market around the same time as the launch of the iPhone 6, with competing features, to stop its customers from moving over to iPhone, as well as to attract iPhone users towards itself. With the Samsung Alpha, Samsung has come out with a premium smartphone, which has brought aluminum back in the design game for Samsung, optimized for easy usage while being portable at the same time. Samsung Alpha is powered by the Exynos chipset instead of the standard Snapdragon chipset being used more widely, though the Exynos has been tailor made to use the power to give the best performance possible.

The size that Samsung has come out with is 4.7 inches, which is also the one being targeted by the iPhone 6 and the successor to the Xperia Z1 Compact, and this is a good news. The camera is also a 12MP snapper going for 16:9 size and 2160p picture quality.

The overall design has us hoping that Samsung makes a similar design revamp on all the future releases and not just to limit the modifications to the Alpha only.

The additional power in terms of the octacore processor, and the fingerprint scanner coming into play yet again with integration towards PayPal also implemented are both pluses for the Alpha. However, the 1,860mAh battery may be one of the key elements that may be used against the Alpha, though the Exynos chipset used requires lesser energy levels, going for only 20nm as compared to the 28nm Snapdragon, and this, coupled with the Cortex-A7 will be more efficient in power consumption and we may feel that it may still be suitable to power up the Alpha. Another surprise is the plastic back panel in the aluminum styled smartphone, which combine to reduce the overall look of the Alpha, however the weight of the Alpha is still very less as compared to the competition, and at the same time is lesser in thickness too. The metallic sides of the Alpha make it look a bit premium.

QMobile Noir Z6

QMobile Noir Z6 Review

Qmobile, just after the release of its latest flagship device Qmobile Noir Z5 is all set to make a mark again with its latest smartphone which claims to be the world’s slimmest smartphone – Qmobile Z6. There was a time when Nokia was dominating the mobile market in Pakistan, but at the present time, Qmobile is gaining a major portion of mobile market shares in Pakistan. This is mainly because the company has successfully managed to launch smartphones with appealing looks and decent price tags that has attracted the masses. Moreover, Qmobile is also spending quite greatly on its marketing campaigns which is apparent from its latest Qmobile Z6 ad as well where top model and actress Sonam Kapoor can be seen flaunting the newly launched smartphone from Qmobile.

The phone is only 5.5 mm thick, defeating everything else presently on the market, but the slim design is not its only selling point. It comes with a 5 inch (1920 x 1080 pixels) full HD Super AMOLED touch screen display from Japan Display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. On top of that, this slimmest smartphone is powered by a 1.7 GHz Octa-core MediaTek MT6592 processor and runs on Android 4.2.2 with Amigo 2.0 UI. Let’s see what’s more this new smartphone has to offer us.

Xiaomi Mi 4

Xiaomi Mi 4 Review

Xiaomi has come out all guns blazing and has already lined up a successor to the widely popular Mi 3 as the latest Mi 4. Just like the other new entrants in the market like Oppo and Meizu, Xiaomi was also greeted a bit skeptically at first, but since the vast acceptance and popularity of the Xiaomi Mi 3, the Mi 4 was very widely anticipated.

The Xiaomi Mi 3 came out with a neat and clean design, classy package of hardware and a super quality unibody built, the easy on the pocket price tag, as well as a very good and highly responsive UI.

The Xiaomi Mi 4 has a similar designing as the Xiaomi Mi 3, including a 1080p display 5 inches in size and with IPS capabilities, though the glossy plastic back which is replaceable of course, is a twist, while we would call the addition of a metallic frame as a classy enhancement. The back covers come in various colors, designs and textures, thus offering more variety to the users, while the metallic frame adds a premium feeling from the Mi 4.

Xiaomi has packed the Mi 4 with the latest Qualcomm chipset, the Snapdragon 801, taking over from the Snapdragon 800, while also raising the RAM from 2 to 3GB, and adding Adreno 330 to the mix. The LTE, 4K recording and an 8MP front facer mean that Xiaomi has covered all the bases, and the MIUI v 5 that is in place on the Mi 4 means user experience will be good if not great. The MIUI can be upgraded to the MIUI v6, which is currently under testing and will be available soon.

The absence of the Gorilla Glass was a surprise, though we half expected the absence of expandable memory from the unibody smartphone. Still, we will have to go through our pace to check out the Xiaomi Mi 4 completely.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini Review

Samsung is a big name in the world of Android smartphones, in fact, it has been the most dominant player on the Android smartphone market and right after the release of Galaxy S II, this giant has established itself as an inexorable boss that in no way is ready to share its share of success with others. Rather, all the other mobile companies had been left fighting over the leftovers so that they could survive in the Android world.

But, now since the market landscape in the early 2014, we witnessed the first sign that indicated this unbalanced status quo is coming to an end. This is mainly because some of the competitors are gaining momentum by offering consistently strong smartphones. So, we will have to wait to see whether this year really is the end for Samsung’s Android supremacy.

For the past 4 years, Samsung was successful enough in managing to sell more and more of its flagship devices and this year too, it is expecting to do the same. Although, it does has some very fierce competition now, but it is expected that Samsung follows its footprint in providing a do it all device with all the features you could imagine packed into a single device. The Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini is this year’s entry. Though, it is smaller but not actually that much cheaper. It is a mini version of the Samsung Galaxy S5 that lets you get most of the Galaxy S5 experience in a more pocket friendly package.

The Galaxy S5 Mini essentially is a Galaxy S5 packed in a smaller body with 4.5 inch display that looks like the S5 and also retains most of the S5’s flagship features, however, it does make some compromises. One of the most prominent one is the absence of S5 impressive camera long with the full HD screen.

So, let’s see whether or not the company succeeded in providing the great value to your money or not as there are better value phone also available.

Huawei Ascend P7

Huawei Ascend P7 Review

Huawei has released the sequel of the ultra-slim Huawei Ascend P6 in the shape of the Huawei Ascend P7. The P6 was instrumental in cementing the position of Huawei as a market leader in smartphones, and very stylish and classy ones at that. The Ascend P7 has taken it one step further, with a 5 inch display providing 1080p resolution, an improved chipset and camera along with numerous other enhancements to its predecessor.

While initially Huawei targeted the slimness of the Ascend P6 as its key feature, the smartphone had the distinctly classy design with the faux metal back which became very popular among users. While the Huawei Ascend P7 does not target the same slimness factor, standing at 7.1 mm, the device has modified its designing a bit with the back being glass covered this time around – and we must say, we are simply amazed with the double-texture.

With the front and back covered with Gorilla Glass 3, the smartphone features the similar metallic frame. And we can certainly appreciate the Gorilla Glass 3 on the front to protect the display which we can easily see as an improvement from that on the Ascend P6, especially given the upgraded pixel density.

The device has also upped its game regarding cameras, and the front facer has a BSI sensor, is 8MP, and the front facer features modes as well, like panorama for selfies and enhancements for face. The main camera is Sony, 13MP, and has 1080p capture abilities for videos. The chipset has been upgraded, and is based on Cortex A-9, and provides LTE support too. Though we had heard about some overheating issues, in some sets of Ascend P6, Huawei claims they are all resolved this time around, and the OS has been upgraded to Android 4.4.2 KitKat assisted by the latest Emotion UI.

Motorola Moto E

Motorola Moto E Review

The Motorola Moto E is aimed at cashing in the success of the Moto G that successfully united mid-range spec with a surprisingly low price tag and then continued to sell by the truck-load. The Motorola Moto E is a somewhat smaller, a bit cheaper alternative to the Moto G which is the highest-selling phone Motorola has ever made. It is not set to replace the Moto G because it is an entry level handset with a truly bargain bucket price, whereas the Moto G is a mid-range phone rather Moto E is meant to bring its bargain rate charms to a whole new audience who don't want, or can't afford, to spend upwards of $130 on a phone.

The strategy which the Motorola Moto E released with is pretty much same as that of Moto G except that it is an entry level phone. In the high-end section, Moto X Android smartphone proved the world that heavy specs are not the surety of a phone is great and will be successful.

In the meantime, it’s Moto G on the other end of the spectrum that showed in a spanking era for the proud company with its hard-to-beat price. Following up to that success is Moto E that further continues the trend by diving even more deeper in the competitive entry level smartphones segment of the market. Although, it’s not rather as market-shaping a device as the Moto G, but it definitely is another bargain. With an even more cheaper price tag of $130 off-contract price, do you think that Moto E can permanently make extinct those feature phones?

OnePlus One

OnePlus One Review

The OnePlus Tech has entered the market among much hype, with their marketing team having done an excellent job of creating an extreme level of anticipation and pull among consumers. With the newcomer making first a splash due to similarities with the Oppo 7 range, and then after claiming to have a Nexus like feel, with lesser price, the newbie has already seen its fair share of headlines.

And with the 3GB of RAM, coupled with a 5MP front facer and 13MP main snapper also providing UHD recording, and coming in at a very low cost for a 64GB version, the best hardware on offer, a large display which is hi-res, a classy chipset, a DCI 4K video enabled snapper, deep reserves in the battery, and with CyanogenMod 11s, the next generation in hyper-performing Android, the OnePlus sure feels like fulfilling its end of the bargain, though you will have to struggle to get your hands on one of these babies.

Still, with all things going its way, there still are some drawbacks with the device, starting with the obvious shortfall and distribution issue. Additionally there is no FM, which was a surprise, since nowadays it is part of the standard package. Additionally, the bulk of the OnePlus One is a concern, with sturdiness kept in mind rather than slimness and weight.

Still, once you do manage to get your hands on the device, it is a pleasurable experience. The OnePlus One is pretty easy on the pocket without looking like it, and the interface is also pretty streamlined and similar to the Nexus one. The large screen pushes the bezels right to the edge of the sides, taking the screen from end to end, and the UHD display will get you hooked from the get go.

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