I think we all know Samsung took a big hit with last year’s offering The S7 although when I got to see one when all the initial problems were sorted it seemed a nice phone. Here is this year’s offering that you will have to have been away from all advertising to have missed news of it so what does it do and perhaps most of all is it worth all the hype?
It is 15x6.5x.7cm, the viewable screen is 5½ inches, the screen resolution is 1080x2200 so better than the average PC but still sharp, should you wish you can set lower resolution at 720x1480 or a higher resolution at 1440x2960 but not all Apps may like the change the default is clear and above all easy to read.
This is not just another phone, nor even another phone for the hard of hearing, I grant you that it looks like a standard smart phone and it has volume levels that would make most with good hearing jump but this unit goes one step further in that …
It is 14x7.2x1cm and most importantly for those who want to keep their hearing loss to themselves it looks perfectly normal, the standard black screen surround and the back is a matt silver colour. It weighs 180 grams and the notional imperial diagonal screen measurement is 5inches. This is the nearest thing to a standard smart phone that I have seen which is suitable for someone with substantial hearing loss.
Available on various monthly plans from Vodafone is the Moto G4 Play.
Now fully integrated into the Lenovo family of products, the Moto G4 is, as its title should indicate, the fourth generation of this popular and well respected brand of handsets. I have been looking at the Moto G4 Play version of the product which is available in a choice of white or, as in the case of my review sample kindly supplied by Vodafone, in black with a silver band encircling the body of the handset.
This is a rather fine phone, not like some that are almost too large to hold, this fits easily in the adult hand. Like other recent phones it arrived courtesy of Vodafone. As I am aware of certain black spot areas south of London these areas always get tried for phone and also 4G coverage as part of my tests on the phone and service offered by Vodafone.
It is 14.5x7x.7cm and weighs 159grams. The viewable screen is 11.4x6.4cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 5.2 inches. The edge to edge display shows 1920x1080 (portrait) resolution. This is the first phone from Vodafone that did not immediately work correctly, I was able to do the basic setup of country, then input by Wi-Fi and put in Gmail settings.
Usually it is Huawei that supplies my review samples of its handsets, but this time Vodafone provided the model.
Huawei could not be accused of settling back and resting on its laurels. The company has produced a regular stream of handsets under its main brand name of Huawei and Honor. To these brands can be added various Lite offerings such as the Huawei P10 Lite handset which is the subject matter of this next review. I have to thank Vodafone who kindly supplied my review sample.
Because of the relationship Huawei have with Android they always get the newest and latest version of Android, here the current version is 7.1.1 whereas the only other version of ‘Nougat’ I have seen is Version 7 several point releases behind.
The Huawei Nexus 6P measures 16x7.5.8CM and weights 177 grams. The viewable screen is 12.5x7cm which gives the huge notional diagonal imperial measurement of 5.7inches and this has 518 PPI. The processor is an Octa (eight) Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 offering. The speakers are front facing so it has good volume levels. This Huawei offering was also the first to offer Android 6 ‘Marshmallow’, here you are also nagged to upgrade to the latest Beta version 7.1.
While Android 7 phones are still in the minority this offering from Huawei has it. Until last year Huawei was a name I had not heard of. A huge launch brought the P9 to the world’s attention and although this was launched much later this is the latest version of the P8.
The Huawei P8 Lite measures 14.5x7.3x.8cm and weighs 147 grams. The viewable screen is 10.9x6.6cm and this gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 5.2inches. It comes with an Octa Core (eight) 64-bit Kirin processor and is 4G LTE which can support downloads up to 150mbps. The display is full HD 1080x1920, 3GB of RAM and has 16GB of internal memory with around 7GB free.
A rather nice phone that has the ability to fast charge via wireless, I did not try this, sticking to the perhaps safer micro USB connection. The word ‘Edge’ is taken literally here as the screen has no border at all, so the screen literally goes to the edge.
This arrived shortly before mid-day Friday and after charging I left it on for three days all the time doing updates getting emails etc. and use on WiFi while getting to know the phone and still had 30% left which I think is good. Once emptied I did a full recharge by mini USB to USB cable in 140 minutes. On a ‘normal’ work day for me – if I have a normal day – around 45-55% would be used while out and about.
I know the centre of London quite well but move a few miles away it might just as well be a different city so I find Google Maps invaluable and that came into use just south of the Elephant and Castle whilst I was reviewing this unit.
In a car the number of choices off this gyratory roundabout is probably as testing as that near Hammersmith, try either on foot after emerging from Elephant and Castle tube, you might find things even harder. This phone is one of Vodafone’s own range, same high quality as those it sells for other manufacturers but slightly cheaper. It is 15.5x7.6x.7cm and weighs 156 grams. The viewable screen is 12.2x6.9cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 5½ inches.
As part of its presence at CES 2017, Huawei launched its Honor 6X handset. This latest addition to the company’s popular range of handsets comes with the claim of being the world’s first smartphone to come with dual-camera functionality priced at under £250.
Available in a choice of grey, silver or the gold back plates, as is the case of my review sample, , the Honor 6X has dimensions of 150.9 x 76.2 x 8.2 mm (H x W x D) and weighs in at 162g. While the unit’s rounded corners have a degree of style, the white framing of the Smartphone’s screen will not appeal to everybody.
At the end of last year WileyFox launched two new SmartPhones, at the event it was let slip that another was soon to be launched, during terrible January weather it was launched and this is what it was all about a larger screen with higher resolution and a larger battery.
However unless you have them side by side you might struggle to tell them apart for example the screen is .2 inches larger – remember that is a diagonal measurement – the screen resolution is higher and the battery is larger. The version of Android shipped with is still six but I am told Android 7 will be downloaded onto devices by the end of ‘quarter one 2017’. The Swift 2x measures 14.6x7.2x.7cm and weights 153grams. The viewable screen is 11.4x6.
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.