Certainly not ‘just another new phone’ this offering is an ‘Adventure’ offering badged Land Rover. While you could use this on your daily commute it would not be getting anywhere near what this off road offering has to offer you.
To call this an off road phone is probably the simplest thing to call it, it is packed with extra features for those who go orienteering, are geocaches and as it has GPS those who go to remote places. It is 15x7.2x1.2cm without the extra pack that magnetically attached to the back, that pack only increases the last figure the width. The front has a huge 4.8x.7cm speaker near the base that packs a good punch of volume. The viewable screen is 12x6.
Announcements regarding new products can often result in follow-up news concerning additional offerings from third parties.
Chain reactions are phenomena that can be the result of many different actions or just a single instance. In this case the chain reaction, to which I refer, was brought about by an announcement from Samsung regarding the expected arrival of a new release. As one of the leading developers and manufacturer of high-end (an often used euphemism for expensive) mobile devices, Samsung announced the forthcoming Galaxy S series family of handsets, namely the S10, S10+ and S10e models.
Having recently told you about another SmartPhone from this company, here – their latest – has landed on my desk. Anything designed by Phillipe Starck is always eye catching; an early DAB radio was his work and still sits on my bedside table in daily use.
It is 15.5x7.5x.7cm and weighs 219grams. The viewable screen is 14.7x6.8cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial screen measurement of 6.39inches. When you switch on you immediately notice the lack of a notch at the top of the screen as the front facing camera is behind the screen. Going around the outside has the volume rocker and on/off button on the right side. The base has USB ‘C’ connection. The left side has a dedicated Google button and insertion point for your Nano SIMs.
Continuing my look at various handsets, it is the turn of a Huawei offering.
Opening the latest smartphone offering from Vodafone was a little confusing. I was expecting the product to be a Huawei P smart 2019 handset which Huawei was targeted at users who were looking for a reasonably price handset, with a price tag of sub-£200, but the box containing the handset was embellished with the letters “VX” along with the Huawei logo and the year 2019.
It is not often that I review the same phone twice; however a lot has changed in this offering since my initial review last May. So it’s probably best to call this a new phone that just happens to have the same name as an earlier version.
It is 15.5x7.5x.8cm and weighs 159grams. The viewable screen has the notional diagonal imperial screen measurement of 6.21 inches. The screen display is 2340x1080 which is better than a standard PC screen. The screen is 19.5:9 and the phone is available in Black or two shades of Blue called Sapphire and Aurora, mine was the last mentioned. It comes with the latest version of Android which is 9 and has an overlay EMUI which is also version 9.
This is an Android phone produced by Google. It is not a cheap phone as the Google Pixel brand only seems to do quality offerings and it is also no surprise to me that is was one of the first to get Android 9 as its operating system.
The Pixel 3 XL from Google measures 15.6x7.6x.7cm and weighs 137grams, although it is shiny black apart from the majority of the back – a light grey – it seems to repel finger marks quite well. I note that a while colour is also available. The left side has the on/off button and then the volume rocker. The base has USB ‘C’ connection for charging and connection of an OTG device or the headphones via the USB ‘C’.
Adding to the list of available smartphones, Xiaomi offers its Mi family of devices.
Recently waves have been made in the UK marketplace by the company known as Xiaomi with launch events and shop-opening sessions.. Founded in April 2010 and listed on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in July 2018, Xiaomi has built up a reputation of being friends with its users as it developed a range of smartphones and other smart devices connected via an IoT platform. Included in the company’s range of smartphones is the enhanced Mi family of devices.
With a good looking appearance, this next handset does have some faults.
Available in a choice of Liquid Silver, Deep Green, Ash Pink or, as in the case of my review sample kindly supplied by Vodafone, Liquid Black, the Xperia XZ2 is a Sony smartphone. This product certainly reminded me of Sony’s habit of using descriptive colours when describing the company’s products.
To me anyway this is a totally new Chinese phone company, I first heard of them a few weeks ago when I received an invite at short notice to their new UK store at Westfield shopping centre, which due to conflicts I could not make, however I was sent their latest phone the Mi 8 Lite. Looking at their website sees they are far more than just a phone company as they are big – like the world’s fourth largest - in Internet, Connected Homes and Software.
On first look this looks like any of a recent breed of quality mobile phones, however it has plenty to offer. It is 15.5x7.4x.7cm; the diagonal imperial screen measurement is 6.26 inches. The screen is 1080x2280. It weights 171grams. It runs Android 8.1 (the last but one version) with a skin of MIUI which unlike certain other skins does not seem to affect performance. The processor is an Oca-core Max 2.2GHz. It comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB of Internal storage and around 50GB is available.
Early in 2018 One Plus 6 had a worldwide launch for their flagship new phone in the Olympic Park in Stratford, here a phone from OnePlus 6 with an added ‘T’ that has a lot of the features but at around half the price.
The OnePlus 6T measures 15.5x7x.7cm and weighs 186grams. The viewable screen is 14.7x6.8cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of over 6.4inches. The right side has a slider switch which goes between silent, vibrate and ring and this is far easier than swapping things in settings. Also on the right side is the on/off button with three second switch off and fourteen second switch on. The base has USB ‘C’ port for both charging and connection of an On The Go device.
With its new UK store and plenty of new products, Xiaomi has been busy of late.
What’s in a name? In the case of this next review product, the name is that of Pocophone F1. As part of Xiaomi’s product portfolio, the Pocophone’s brand of smartphones forms part of the more than 100 million smartphones shipped during 2018 by the company although what its percentage would be, I have no idea. Available in a choice of Graphite Black (my review sample), Steel Blue and Rosso Red, with dimensions of 155.5 x 75.3 x 8.
As well as offering its customers a full range of popular handsets for their communication needs, Vodafone has also developed its own range of handsets.
The latest such device to arrive, forming part of the Vodafone Smart range, is the company’s N9 handset. Adopting the standard Candy bar style of appearance, my review sample of this Smartphone combines an aluminium silver back plate with an Apple White bezel surrounding the handset’s screen. There is also a model with a black Titanium back plate. Supplied with the Vodafone N9 are a USB lead and a 2-pin charging plug plus a set of earphones for private listening sessions.
When it comes to Huawei handsets, you can never really complain that you are spoilt for choice.
Huawei offers a regular flow of new models, whether part of its flagship Mate or Honor brands, to suit a variety of taste and pockets of potential customers. The latest Huawei model to come under my gaze is the company’s Mate 20 lite offering. With dimensions of 75.3 x 158.3 x 7.6 mm (W x H x D) and weighing approximately172 g, my review sample was decked out in black with highly polished and reflective front and rear panels.
The HTC U12 Life is a smartphone with a 6 inch 18:9 screen and dual camera that sits in the middle ground between the premium products and the real budget phones.
The phone, which is available in either Moonlight Blue or Twilight Purple, is roughly 160 x75 x 8.5mm and, feeling solid in one’s hand, weighs 175g. The lower two-thirds of the back, which HTC describes as being made of acrylic glass, is covered with very narrow etched horizontal stripes which provide an attractive effect as well as enhancing grip and helping to reduce fingerprints. It has a conventional layout.
With a choice of colour schemes, this next smartphone has excellent photographic options.
Joining Huawei’s impressive family of smartphone handsets is the company’s P20 model. With dimensions of 70.8 x 149.2 x 7.65 mm (W x H x D) and weighing 165g (including the non-removable internal battery pack), the P20 handset comes in a range of different colours. Depending upon your sense of style, you could opt from a choice that includes Morpho Aurora, Pearl White, Twilight Black, Champagne Gold, Pink Gold and Midnight Blue.
Prepare yourself for a game of arrows – not the throwing kind but more the pull back the draw string and take-out-the-enemy type of weapon.
With this product Thumbs Up! has combined old and modern technology into a product that has been released under its Orb Gaming trademark. The product is entitled the Virtual Archer. Forming the main part of the Virtual Archer product is the collapsible classic bow unit.
Doro have been selling their phones in the UK for many years, not only do they do home phones but they also are the premier manufacturer for those with disabilities be that sight or hearing, now they have moved into SmartPhones that look normal but can still offer help but you no longer have a phone that looks like it’s for someone who has a disability.
The Doro 8035 smart phone measures 14.5x7x1cm and weighs 171 grams. The viewable screen is 11x6.4cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 5inches. The screen and surround is black while the sides and back are blue grey. Above the screen is the selfie camera. The normal show all, home and back controls are below the screen and do require a press to activate which will take time to adjust to for those coming from a standard SmartPhone.
The Alcatel 5 is a mid-range smartphone with a 5.7 inch 18:9 display that has a reasonable range of features and ticks most of the boxes and so will be an attractive proposition for those on a budget.
The phone which is roughly 150 x 70 x 9mm and weighs 145g has a 5.7 inch edge-to-edge 18:9 screen with 1440 x 720 resolution. Described as Metallic Black its matt black cover with horizontally etched lines provides a firm and comfortable grip while, at the same time, not showing finger marks. The top and bottom strips have a polished chrome effect. On the right hand side is the power button and the volume rocker while, on the other side is the dual SIM carrier.
HTC has just announced, at a “media pre-briefing” its latest super-budget phone. Scheduled to be available late September / early October this 6 inch 18:9 FHD+ (1080 x 2160) phone will have a retail price of £299 which places it firmly on the middle ground between the premium products and the real budget phones.
The Alcatel 3V 5099D is a 4G LTE smartphone with a 6 inch screen which is competitively priced and offers a range of features comparable to those of the premium brands.