It’s unusual for recent SmartPhone launches to be made without review product being available, on one such recent launch I was told ‘next week’ and it has still not arrived, and here in the case of the Honor 20 it was nearly six weeks but it was launched just after a rant by Donald Trump against this phones parent company, still it has now arrived to receive tests over a very short two week timeframe.
Most phones that arrive come with a Getting Started guide, not so here.
The Mi8 Lite is a mid-range smartphone in the portfolio of Xiaomi Corporation, a fast growing Chinese company that, despite becoming China’s largest smartphone company in 2014. is hardly known in this country.
When looking for a bargain handset, you might like to consider an Alcatel unit.
As you might surmise from its title, the Alcatel 1x is an enhanced version of the on this site Adopting the familiar candy bar appearance, this Alcatel 1x smartphone is available in either Pebble Blue or, as in the case of my review unit, Pebble Black. According to the information supplied to me, this particular smartphone is currently available from Carphone Warehouse SIM-free listed at the bargain level price of £99.99. With dimensions of 148.4 x 68.8 x 8.
So while you may see less of a single brand due to a disagreement with Mr Trump, others may benefit and one such brand is Samsung. Here I am looking at the latest offering from Samsung the Galaxy S10, so what does it have to offer.
It is 15.5x7.5x.8cm and weights 177 grams. The notional diagonal imperial screen measurement is 6.4 inches. The screen resolution is FHD+ 2280x1080 but can be cranked up to 3040x1440 if your eye sight is better than mine using an option in Display. There is the front facing camera towards the right edge near the top of the screen, with the other normal things like clock, Wi-Fi, battery state and 4G indicator to its left.
At the start of April a review of a sibling unit to this one can be found on Gadgetspeak. So here what is quite a similar product on the face of it, however there are surprises like a fingerprint reader that is normally invisible on the screen.
It is 15.5x6.5x.8cm and weighs 159 grams. The viewable screen has the optional diagonal imperial measurement of 6.4inches. Unlike some recent phones that have no edges here there is approximately .3cm on all sides. The display is still over 90% of the screen and ideal for those Apps that require touches near the edge. The top has a central notch on the screen, which drops down into the display in a teardrop by up to .5cm. The back is shiny and moves from Blue to Purple from top to bottom.
Adding to its range of smartphones, Sony has released its Xperia L3 model. As is often the case, my review sample of the smartphone handset has been provided by Vodafone for the purpose of this review.
In familiar fashion the front of the handset is dominated by the unit’s display 5.7 inch screen delivering a 75.6% screen-to-body ratio. The Sony Xperia L3 is fitted with an IPs LCD capacitive touch screen that is capable of displaying 16M colours. With a resolution of 720 x 1440 pixels at 18:9 ratio, the screen has a ppi density of ~282. Providing protection for the screen, in the case of accidents, is a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
Samsung is one of the largest brands and certainly one of the companies that bring new things to the market. Here a slim sleek and powerful offering that will do everything you want and never look out of place even in a boardroom.
While I am aware that the Samsung range is rolling out ‘V10’ of some of its offerings a while after the launch is often a good time to invest or buy as any slight problems at the time of launch will have been sorted and indeed the amount needed to purchase could be a little less. It is 16x7.5x.7cm and it weighs 201grams. The screen resolution is 2960x1440. There are four colours available mine was Ocean Blue. The viewable screen is 14.5x7.
Another new phone company to the UK, freak UK weather and a taxi drivers protest caused gridlock in the part of London where the launch was due to take place so my first contact was when their latest offering the RX17 Pro arrived on my desk. So all I know is what I discovered during my testing as well as what is shown on the OPPO website.
The Oppo RX17 measures 15.5x7.4x.8cm and weighs 183grams. Going around the outside has the on/off button on the right side, the base has USB ‘C’ socket for charging as well as the SIM’s entry point, the USB socket can also be used for the supplied headset to listen to music. Also in this very congested area is a pin hole microphone as well as the speaker. The left side has the volume up and down buttons. The top is clear.
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.
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.
Certainly the biggest TV to have invaded my lounge, unlike most others that allow me to slide my own TV back on the unit this needs to be towards the back of the unit because of the width of the screen and the size of the stand.
The Cello QLED 55inch 4K TV measures 124x70.5x.6cm and the stand it sits on is 76cm wide at the front and 24cm from back to front, it is the shape of a ‘C’ this raises the unit by 7cm from what it sits on. It can of course be wall mounted. However as the fitment is the only place I can put any TV the width of the ‘C’ is vital for me.