Removing the back of a phone used for some to be essential in order to get access to the battery, now a lot of phones come sealed so batteries cannot be changed. This phone from Archos arrived without a back as the last reviewers cat had stolen/eaten/hidden it. But as it only performed a fashion role it is not essential; however I would not like to meet that reviewer’s cat on a dark night.
Without the cosmetic back you get more information on what button does what and how to insert SIM or Micro SD Card and the case is still sealed. It is 15.2x7.5x.7cm and weighs 186grams. The viewable screen is 12x6.8cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 5½ inches. While there are Android 7 phones out there I have yet to handle one so this Marshmallow offering is the latest Android 6 to have come my way.
Having recently told you about the larger Xperia XZ here a chance to put the smaller sibling through its paces, like the larger offering both were supplied by Vodafone and with this I got the chance to check their coverage not only in England but also Scotland.
Travelling back from Glasgow by train recently I was able to keep in touch all the way back mostly via 4G with around 15% of 3G coverage and a couple of times it was down to ‘E’ in the more remote parts of the Lake District. It is 12.7x6.4x1cm and weighs 135grams. My unit was shiny black – normally a minus point as it shows all the finger marks – but this seemed to hide most quite well apart from on the screen. The viewable screen is 10x5.
Adding to its range of smartphones, Wileyfox has introduced a new member of its Swift 2 family.
Following the launch of its Swift 2 and Swift 2 Plus smartphones a couple of months ago, Wileyfox has introduced a third member of the family with the Swift 2 X. As with the earlier offerings, Wileyfox has adopted the approach of melding together aspects of London-based design concepts with best-in-class Chinese manufacturing using tier one components and the Popular Android software supplemented with some additional tweaks.
Unlike a lot of phones that have a ‘plus’ or extra ‘enhanced’ version where the differences may only be minimal this has a big difference that you do not even need to measure it to see it’s the overall screen size which is a lot larger.
The Apple iPhone 7 Plus measures 15.6x7.8x.8cm and weighs 186grams. The viewable screen is 12.2x6.8cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 5½ inches whereas the standard iPhone 7 is 4.7inches. On the iPhone 7 Plus the screen resolution is 1080x1920 (portrait) the same as most computer screens. The left side has the two volume buttons near the top and even closer to the top is the small volume off slider button.
I never saw the first version of this mid-range SmartPhone, I was not even aware they had entry level phones in fact what I knew about this company before the launch in London I could have written on the back of a small postage stamp.
The Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus has a silver grey back and sides with a black face. It measures 14x7x.7cm and weighs 162 grams. The diagonal imperial screen measurement is 5inches. The screen resolution is 1280x720 the whole unit has a two year warranty. This can be increased by a year to three years with a £14.99 fee that includes screen replacement so if you tend to drop or regularly mistreat your phone it could be a good investment.
Vodafone has come up with a choice of special viewing options for its Smart Platinum 7 smartphone.
The Smart Platinum 7 is another member of the Vodafone family of smartphones. This particular model features stylish rounded corners. Weighing 155g and with dimensions of 154 x 75.7 x 7 mm (H x W x D), this is a 5.5-inch unit. It is black in colour with reflective front and rear faces that are less inclined to gather finger smears than many smartphones I have used over time.
Continuing with its tag line of “For The Brave”, Huawei has released the next product in its popular Honor series.
Huawei has been busy of late with various new releases featuring both Huawei and Honor For The Brave brands. Hot on the heals of the launch, held in Munich, of the Mate 9 model with its dual lens featured reviewing recently on this site, the focus switched to a new flagship offering from the Honor brand.
I think of Doro for home phones and basic mobiles for those with hearing and sight problems. While they have released a SmartPhone previously I never got to see it. This was shown at their Xmas In July event but only arrived with me in November.
The Doro 8030 Android SmartPhone measures 14.6x7x.9cm and weighs 141 grams. The viewable screen is 10x5.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial screen measurement of 4½ inches. Start-up is 51 seconds and shutdown is 14 seconds. Even though this is chunky in comparison to most standard SmartPhones it does feel solid in the hand. Going around the outside finds the charge point on the right side with a dedicated camera button towards the base of the right side.
Over the years I have looked at a good number of phones from the French company Archos. Here I think I have received their first rugged phone. This is still a normal phone in other ways but it is able to stand up the odd drop or three.
The Archos 50 Spahir measures 14.2x7.2x1cm and weighs 219grams. Rather than being the perfect oblong the corners are shaved off at perfect 45 degree angles. This is a dual SIM phone with SIM 1 being capable of 4G, SIM 2 3G but instead of two SIMs you could have a single SIM –SIM 1 - and a micro SD CARD. Going around the outside the right side has a volume rocker and below this the on/off button.
This phone has no curves and for some that maybe in vogue, but I am no fashion guru. After Apple and Samsung perhaps the best known brand is Sony and this offering is the latest one from them to come across my desk courtesy of Vodafone.
The Sony Xperia XZ measures 14.5x7.2x.8cm and weighs 159grams. Top right on the rear is the camera and just below this the LED flash. The right side has a large on/off button in silver grey. Below this in the same colour as its surround is the volume rocker and even lower a dedicated camera button. The bottom has a USB 3.1 port for charging. Towards the top of the left side is a covered slot which takes the Nano SIM and any micro SD card you use this is stated to be up to 256GB.
Adding to its range of smartphone handsets, Huawei has released the Mate 9.
Featuring a 5.9-inch full high density touch screen, this Mate 9 has a high-precision unibody, aluminium metal frame that has been finished with a soft sandblasted texture. With dimensions of 156.9 x 78.9 x 7.9mm (H x W x D) and weighing 196g (including the non-replaceable 4,000 mAh battery), the Mate 9 is available in a choice of colours including Space Grey, Moonlight Silver, Mocha Brown and Black plus the Champagne Gold of my review model.
The Doro 8030 is an easy to use smart phone tailored to meet the needs of those mature people who form the company’s traditional market but now feel that they are ready to migrate to a smart phone.
This is essentially a 4G smart phone with a 4.5 inch screen running on Android 5.1 However, Doro recognises that while technology and performance are important, ease of use and having the features needed by those whose sight and hearing are not of the best in addition to being able to call for assistance in case of an emergency are vital.
At the recent launch of two new smartphones, the Swift 2 and the Swift 2 Plus, Wileyfox let slip, either by accident or design, details of a third phone, the Swift 2 X.
Wileyfox is a little known brand that has sold over half million phones across many countries in western Europe. Design responsibility is in the UK and, like many others, is manufactured in China.Its phones are currently available over the web rather than over the counter these phones are unlocked allowing the user to have a choice of networks.
While top of the range SmartPhones are in the middle hundreds there are a few ‘more basic’ offerings often with older operating systems that are available for say £50. So what can you expect to get for well under one hundred pounds?
One such is the Obi MVI which looks a little different simply because the top is flat and the base is curved. It has – like some other phones – a skin over the Android 5.1.1 operating system their offering is called Cyanogen. It is a little different in that all the Apps are displays in groups under the initial letter so in a way you can move quicker to what you want.
There are two companies I think of who design specifically for the hard of hearing. In fact this is often the older person who not only has hearing difficulties but also sight problems, so it’s not only a phone to let you know someone’s calling but one so you can hear what they are saying.
The PowerTel M7510 is a flip phone so in your pocket it is 10x5.5x2cm and weighs only 108 grams, open it and the 10cm length becomes 19cm. The viewable screen is 5x3.5cm which those into the imperial diagonal measurement will call 2.5inches. It is capable of displaying nine lines of text. When phones like this first came out they were exactly that – phones - now they have a camera can play video and even have a sound recorder function.
Not a name I had heard of until shortly after the launch of the Huawei P9 when I found out this was a sister company, so when I received an invite to a breakfast briefing I accepted, I am not keen on rush hour travel at my age and when the venue is nowhere near a tube station even less and worse still it was held on a day when your umbrella was as much use to keep you dry as a colander.
The Honor 5C measures 14.5x7x.7cm and weights 156grams. The back is brushed aluminium and while the front is black it’s not over shiny so your fingermarks are not that pronounced. The curved edges make the phone feel comfortable in the hand. The right side has the volume rocker and on/off button. The base has the speakers and between them a mini USB for charging. The left side has entry point for SIM and micro SD card and finally the top has 3.5mm port for headphones.
A 5 inch SmartPhone from Archos called 50 Power, it looks like many other phones but your secret is that it is sold SIM free and costs somewhat less than a lot of equivalent phones; it can be either a single SIM or dual SIM phone.
This Archos Android Phone 50 Power measures 14.5x7x.7cm and it weighs 147grams. So let’s start by explaining the one or two SIMs the back is non removable so the battery cannot be replaced by the end user. Using the supplied pin type device press on the hole in the upper right side of the case to revel the SIM carrier, SIM one goes further in while you can then put SIM 2 at 90 degrees or if you prefer a Micro SD card.
It was a rainy day in London as I made my way to find out more about the latest Honor handset.
Following the launch of the Huawei Honor 5X, the next product on the cab rank is the Honor 5C handset. This particular model is available in a choice of gold, silver or grey with the latter being the colour of my review sample. This handset, aimed at the young and courageous, has a price tag of £149 on a PAYG basis via sources such as Amazon, Ebuyer, Expansys and Honor’s own online store at vMail.eu.
The P9 is an excellent camera and phone, look back and you will find two reviews of it on this site, however launched at the same time – but not immediately available - is the P9 Plus which was stated to cost £100 more so what exactly does the extra get you.
It is a little larger at 15x7.5cm and weights 20grams more. Neither of which you would probably notice unless you have the two units side by side. What you may notice is that the viewable screen has a notional diagonal imperial measurement of 5.5inches again that bit larger. Strangely there are less colour choices but quite by chance the review unit was the same colour as my own P9 with the exception of the on/off button that has a red hue around it.