So many Smartphones have hit the market this year. Having too much choice can make us more indecisive than ever. This leads many of us to stay loyal to our current brand and just go for an upgrade when we want a change, it’s simpler and we still have something brand new. But what if it’s time for a bigger change? A different brand may be waiting with the smartphone that suits your every needs.
We are going to explore some of the latest and greatest smartphones out now so you can have a think about making that big exciting change.
Apple iPhone 5S
The Apple iPhone 5S is available from us at 16GB, 32GB or 64GB, in gold, grey or silver.
Usually Apple isn’t into making big changes to it’s smartphones, but this year we were in for quite a treat. Apple introduced Touch ID – a new fingerprint identity sensor. All you have to do is put your finger on the Home button, and just like that, your iPhone unlocks. Your fingerprint can also approve purchases from iTunes or the App Store, offering a safer and securer way to use your iPhone – and it’s pretty fancy, right?
What else? The iPhone 5S features all-new A7 and M7 chips. The new 64-bit A7 chip delivers up to 2x faster CPU and graphics performance. And the new M7 motion co-processor handles specific tasks to make iPhone 5s even more power efficient.
The iPhone 5S features a new iSight camera too. The sensor is 15% larger and the aperture is wider than before too. You’ll experience true tone flash, burst mode and slo-mo video. Bascially the new 8-megapixel iSight camera packs in so much great technology, it’s even easier to get a great shot.The iPhone 5S supports more networks than ever before so you’ll receive ultra-fast wireless. That’s fast downloads speeds in even more places around the world. This is one of the best features – nothing is more frustrating than slow wireless. Finally the iPhone 5S uses iOS 7. Although some iPhone 5 and 4S users have had a moan, as an iPhone user myself, I think iOS 7 makes iPhone use, sleeker and smoother. And users of the iPhone 5S are in for a bigger treat, iOS 7 was designed to complement the iPhone 5s beautifully. This means iOS 7 takes full advantage of the advanced technologies built into iPhone — including the 64-bit A7 chip and Touch ID. And it introduces great new features like smarter multitasking, AirDrop and Control Centre.
Apple iPhone 5C
Next up of course, the iPhone 5C. The iPhone 5C incorporates many of the 5S features – iOS 7, the 8MP iSight camera and the ultra fast wireless internet. But the iPhone 5C does not have the new A7 chip but uses the A6 chip (the same chip is used in the iPhone 5). But the iPhone 5C does let you get colourful! Available from us in White, Yellow, Blue, Pink or Green, it’s nice to finally see Apple bring a little colour to their smartphones.
Samsung Galaxy S4
But how does this all compare? Let’s take a look at the Samsung Galaxy S4.
The S4 is encased in a special polycarbonate body, making this the lightest and most sophisticated Galaxy yet. The S4 is an attractive smartphone but based on design, the Apple iPhone 5S does offer a more premium look, but you’ll have to carry the weight of that bonus. When comparing the display screens, the iPhone 5S and 5C screens start to look extremely average as the S4s large display offers a big wow factor.
What about nifty features? We know the iPhone 5S offers the new Touch ID. But can the S4 offer? Well, the S4 packs along a very useful IR blaster that turns the phone into a universal remote. How amazingly useful when you’ve lost the TV remote, JUST USE YOUR PHONE. The Samsung Galaxy S4 seems to walk all over the iPhone 5S and 5S 8 Mega Pixel Camera too, offering a 13 Mega Pixel Rear Camera. Not only that but the S4 has loads of camera features such as Dual Shot , Drama Shot, Sound & Shot, 360 Photo, Animated Photo, Eraser, Night, Best Photo, Best Face, Beauty Face, HDR (High Dynamic Range), Panorama, and Sports mode.
But if you’re not one to use your smartphone for photos, you shouldn’t let the camera quality sway you. Having more modes and pixels is only useful if you’re actually going to use it, or know how to.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 incorporates way more features than the iPhones, such as it’s S translator. You can say or text what you need translated into your new Samsung GALAXY S4 and it’ll read or text back the translation. Making the S4 a very handy companion while traveling abroad, allowing you to easily communicate with locals, discover exotic foreign dishes, and explore hidden hangouts around the world. But once again, this is only useful if you need to break down language barriers, if you don’t like to travel or have the time, this feature may be of no use to you.
The Samsung GALAXY S4 is designed with the well-connected, multi-tasker in mind. You can call a friend, answer the phone, preview emails and control videos without even touching the phone. When you connect your Samsung GALAXY S4 to your home entertainment system, it can suggest TV programs based on what you like. It can even access your personal HomeSync system from all devices and remotely share with friends and family – very impressive.
The Samsung GALAXY S4 also understands how important your health is. It can help you achieve your fitness goals by monitoring your fitness levels during workouts and throughout the day. It also cares for your general health with sensors that automatically adjust the display and volume – depending on how you are using the phone – to ensure the optimal experience.
The S4 offers some seriously amazing features, but if your phone use goes as far as calls, emails, texts and internet browsing the S4 isn’t for you. It’s for those who would like their phone to be a life companion.
Sony Xperia Z Ultra
Next up, we take a look at what Sony has to offer this year. Possibly my favourite Smartphone yet, the Sony Xperia Z Ultra has well, an ultra lot to offer.
Firstly, the Sony Xperia Z Ultra features the world’s largest Full HD smartphone display and is the world’s slimmest Full HD smartphone. The Sony Xperia Z Ultra Z may sound delicate, but it’s far from it. The Z Ultra is the only waterproof full HD smartphone. Not only is this toughie waterproof, but it’s also dust resistant and with tough tempered glass coated with an anti-shatter film, this Android smartphone is like the Mohammed Ali of smartphones.
The Sony Xperia Z Ultra features an 8MP Camera, as do the iPhone 5S and 5C. However, thanks to it’s Superior Auto feature, it’s now super easy to capture an amazing shot (even if you have absolutely no idea what your doing). In Superior Auto mode, the camera combines Scene Recognition with high quality and high performance image processing technology (HDR and noise reduction) to automatically shoot with the optimal settings. And your Android device is automatically optimised for 36 different scenes, so you always get the best shot. You can see why this is my favourite.
Lets get to the seriously impressive processor. Sony have matched their latest software with the all new, super powerful Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 800 processor.
This advanced Quad-core processor is 75% faster than S4 Pro and gives you maximum power and speed with outstanding battery time – so you can run multiple apps simultaneously, surf the web with little loading time, and stream videos without a break. The Snapdragon 800 processor is asynchronous, which means each core is powered independently. So you get the precise amount of power when you need it, without wasting power when you don’t. Extremely fancy.
Overall the greatest part about the Sony Xperia Z Ultra is that it gives you all the posh features you want in a smartphone while being seriously durable and it does all the hard work for you.
Next, let’s see what Blackberry has to offer. Introducing the Blackberry Z30. Using Blackberry Natural Sound Technology you can collaborate like you’re in the same room thanks to the intense clarity. You can chat face to face too thanks to the BBM video feature, combined with the Natural Sound Technology your conversations are more realistic than ever.
The Blackberry Z30 uses 10 OS that gets to know you and how you use your phone. The BlackBerry® Priority Hub curates a view of your most important messages so you can focus on what matters. You’ll even see all the attachments you’ve sent and received in one place.
You can type faster and more accurately too, on a touchscreen keyboard that learns how you write. The BlackBerry® Keyboard provides an effortless typing experience with personalized next-word suggestions, which you can simply flick into your messages.
You can keep work and your personal life separate with BlackBerry® Balance™ technology. It keeps your information secure by creating two profiles, one for work and another for personal use. Seamlessly transition from one to the other, while keeping your work life secure and your private life, private. We really like that the Z30 is clearly made for humans, allowing us to keep our lives balanced and making the effort to get to know us, so we have a better mobile experience.
The Z30 has a feature for the iPhone 5S and 5C to compete with. You can stay tuned in with the optimised BlackBerry® Paratek Antenna technology. This technology allows you to get strong connectivity and fast data transfers, even in areas with weak coverage. It dynamically tunes itself to its environment, helping you stay connected in more places.
Nokia Lumia 1020
Time for Nokia. The Nokia Lumia 1020 is the only smartphone with a 41 megapixel camera sensor, Full HD video and Nokia Rich Recording for incredible audio capture. The Lumia 1020 allows you to capture high resolution photos, zoom into details and reframe them as new images. Adjust focus, white balance and exposure with easy, intuitive controls.
The Lumia 1020, powered by Windows Phone 8, comes with MS Office and all the unique Lumia features like Nokia Music and free voice-guided navigation.
So it’s basically a great smartphone that doubles as an amazing camera. We recommend the Lumia 1020 to those who enjoy photography and want a multi-functional premium quality device.
HTC One Mini
Finally to HTC. We take a look at the HTC One mini. The HTC One Mini boasts the award-winning features of the larger HTCs while sporting a slimmer more compact look, designed for easy single-hand operation. The HTC One mini looks sleek too, constructed from polished metal alloy. Its durable construction is shaped to seamlessly conform to your grip and provide on-the-go convenience for your busy life.
It may be a little phone but it incorporates some BIG features. Dual frontal stereo speakers and built-in amps enhance everything so you’ll experience louder, fuller, richer sound for a more immersive experience.
The HTC One mini features Blink feed. You can enjoy a home screen that updates automatically with over 1,400 content partners.* News, sport, blogs, posts and more display on your home screen constantly. You can customise your very own HTC BlinkFeed™ and start connecting to the content that matters most.
You can even create a living, breathing photo gallery and show off your memories like never before. Your HTC One mini selects the highlights of an event and crafts a stunning 30-second show. No additional software or editing skills needed. Choose your music theme for additional effect, and release your life movie for everyone to enjoy. It seems the only thing small about the HTC One mini is its size.
We’re starting to conclude that to get that personal experience, the HTC, Blackberry or Samsung is the way forward. If it’s a premium look and easy use you’re after, Apple may be the brand for you. Finally the Sony Xperia range is built for the realistic human, offering high quality protection and the smartphone experience.
And the awards go to…
Best for Photography: The Nokia Lumia 1020
Most Durable: Sony Xperia Z Ultra
Most Premium looking: iPhone 5S
Most Features: Samsung Galaxy S4
Most Convenience: HTC One mini
Most Personable: Blackberry Z30
By Price…Contract free
1) HTC One mini – £359.99
2) Blackberry Z30 – £449.99
3) iPhone 5C 16GB – £509.99
4) Nokia Lumia 1020 & Apple 5S 16GB – £579.99
5) Sony Xperia Z Ultra – £599.99