Saturday, June 13, 2015

Best smartphones to buy in 2015


Android, BlackBerry, iOS or Windows Phone? Find out which is best for you

Whether you're an IT admin looking to deploy devices or an end user ready to upgrade to your next flagship phone, there are plenty of handsets on the market to choose from.
All major manufacturers from Apple through to Sony and Samsung are expected to release updated versions of their respective flagship handsets this year - so stay tuned as we update the list throughout the year.
Here we count down the 10 best smartphones available to buy so far in 2015:

10) BlackBerry Passport - BlackBerry 10

Desperate times resulted in BlackBerry chancing a radical redesign. Despite the weird look, the Passport offers a beautiful 4.5in display, which you never have to turn in landscape mode thanks to its square design. It's also got mammoth endurance thanks to the 3450mAh battery pack and allows you to install Android apps.
The BlackBerry Hub remains one of the best notification aggregates on any mobile operating system - making it ideal for messaging addicts.
Key specs - 4.5in LCD display (1440 x 1440), 2.2GHz quad-core processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage + micro SD support (128GB), 13-megapixel camera, 196g
Pros - Great screen, battery life, ability to install Android apps
Cons - Big and bulky, keyboard takes a while to get used to
Price - Free from £30.50 per month or £530 SIM-free
Windows Phone devices are slowly gaining traction within businesses thanks to the inclusion of software such as Office, Skype and OneNote.
The Lumia 930 is beautifully crafted and the soft-touch polycarbonate back panel makes this the most comfortable smartphone we've tested to-date.
Performance is smooth with zero stuttering as Windows Phone has been optimised to run beautifully on mobile hardware. The major drawback is the lack of apps in the Windows Store.

Key specs - 5in AMOLED display (1920 x 1080), 2.2GHz quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, 20-megapixel camera, 167g
Pros - Great design, good camera, wireless charging included
Cons - No micro SD expansion, Windows Store is behind Android and iOS, battery sealed in
Price - Free from £26.50 or £400 SIM-free
The HTC One M9 retains the same design as its predessor, the HTC One M8, but has undergone an update, not least of all to Lollipop.
fter much criticism for its low-res images, HTC has switched the 4-megapixel UltraPixel sensor around to the front, using a (reported) Toshiba 20-megapixel sensor on the rear. This makes it one of the highest-resolution cameras around, although when shooting ‘standard’ 16:9 shots it actually crops into the sensor resulting in roughly 16-megapixel images.

Key Specs -  5in 1080x1920 Super LCD3 IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 2GHz octo-core, 3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage + micro SD card support (128GB), 20-megapixel rear camera, 4-megapixel front camera, 157g
Pros - Great design; Strong speakers; Tasteful software
Cons - Conservative screen; Inconsistent camera; Disappointing battery life
Price - From £39 per month (contract)

LG produces underrated devices with the G3 packing a superb design and numerous features.
USPs include a laser-guided 13-megapixel camera, a well-designed Android overlay and the ability to unlock the phone with a customised tapping sequence.
The LG has a beautiful 5.5in display (2560 x 1440) but we're not fans of the artificial sharpening. This can make text awkward to read on some backgrounds and is the primary reason the device isn’t higher up the list.

Key specs -  5.5in LCD display (2560 x 1440), 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor, 2 or 3GB RAM, 16/32GB internal storage, 13-megapixel camera with laser guidance, 149g
Pros - Solid performance, well-designed, great camera, removable battery
Cons - Display sharpening
Price - Free from £26.50 per month or £480 SIM-free
6) Apple iPhone 6 - iOS 8
Even the most ardent Apple fan will admit that previous iPhones were too small when it came to browsing and watching video comfortably. At 4.7ins, the iPhone 6 achieves balance between size and comfort.

As with all iPhones, build quality is superb, the 8-megapixel camera is top notch but the lack of optimal image stabilisation is a miss.
However, the battery life isn’t great - and this won’t last as long as its bigger brother. And the display isn’t full HD with Apple opting for a 1334 x 750 resolution.
Key Specs - 4.7in LED-backlit LCD display (1334 x 750), Apple A8 processor + M8 co-processor, 1GB RAM, 16/64/128GB storage, 8-megapixel rear camera, Touch ID, Apple Pay, 129g
Pros - Good size, great camera, beautiful design, feature rich iOS 8
Cons - Screen not full HD, battery life could be better (non-removable), expensive
Price - Free from £58.50 or £539 SIM-free
Many firms have tried to miniaturise their flagship handsets, but have ultimately had to sacrifice performance to keep the price down. But with the Xperia Z3 Compact, Sony has managed to squeeze all the premium features into a small 4.6in form factor.
The Z3 Compact uses the same high-end quad-core 2.5GHz Qualcomm 801 chipset you’d find in the bigger Z3 model. It’s got a 20-megapixel snapper and battery life is superb, as you’d expect from the Xperia range.

Plus the Z3 Compact retains the Waterproof rating so it can be submerged in 1.5 metres of fresh water for up to 30 minutes.
A excellent choice if you want a sub-5in smartphone.
Key specs - 4.6in LCD display (1280 x 720), 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage + micro SD support (128GB), Waterproof up to 1.5 metres, 20.7-megapixel camera, 129g
Pros - Solid performance, phenomenal battery life, robust design
Cons - Battery not replaceable, glass back will require a cover
Price - Free from £26.50 per month or £430 SIM-free

The Huawei P8 is a cracker of a phone. Not only does it look the absolute business, it’s a breeze to use. Die-hard Androidites might take umbrage with their beloved OS being ‘Appled-up’, but it’s undeniably slick.
It’s not got the best screen around and the ‘knuckle sense’ software throws the occasional wobbly. However, it makes up for it with possibly the best camera we’ve ever seen on a mid-range device.

Key Specs - 5.2in IPS display, Kirin 930 2/1.5GHz octacore CPU, 3GB RAM, 16/64GB internal storage, 13-megapixel camera, 144g
Pros - Excellent design; Spectacular camera; Very capable display
Cons - 'Knuckle Sense' sometimes interferes with touch controls; Could be a little cheaper
Price - Starting from around £359

3.Samsung Galaxy S6 - Android Lollipop 5.0 + TouchWiz overlay

The Galaxy S6 is not a cheap phone. It’s an expensive phone. But is also appears to recognise that in a market where lower-cost phones are starting to offer an experience fairly similar to much more expensive ones, something special is needed to justify an outlay of £550.
A great fingerprint scanner, construction that is leagues ahead of any previous Samsung flagship and a very reliable, high-quality camera make it a very compelling upgrade. It has none of the air of disappointment seen in some annual updates and counters almost every criticism levelled at Samsung phones bar the usual software bloat.
Key Specs - 5.1in Super AMOLED display (2,560 x 1,440), eight-core Exynos 7420 2.1GHz, 3GB RAM (no MicroSD support), 32GB/64GB/128GB on-board, non-expandable, 16-megapixel camera, heart-rate sensor, fingerprint scanner, 138g.
Pros - Superb screen; High-quality construction and feel; Efficient and powerful processor; Very good fingerprint scanner
Cons - Non-expandable memory
Price - £549

With a mammoth 5.5in display, the 6 Plus is the biggest iPhone you can buy.
Standout features include the phenomenal full HD display (1920 x 1080), which has been labelled as the best LCD screen on the market by DisplayMate.
The 8-megapixel camera introduces Focus Pixels - so autofocusing is so fast you can snap away without worrying about blurry images.

And thanks to the extra space in the chassis there’s a 2915mAh battery. This is the first iPhone where you won’t have to worry about charging the device midway through the day.
Being Apple’s first foray into the phablet market, the design is one of the surprising letdowns. The 6 Plus feels too bulky in comparison to something like the Note 4. "Bendgate" isn’t as a big a deal as has been reported - so unless you wear skinny jeans, or you're Uri Geller, there's unlikely to be a problem.
It would have placed higher if it had a more compact design because in its current form it’ll be too big for some users.
Key specs - 5.5in LCD display (1920 x 1080), 1.4GHz dual-core A8 processor + M8 co-processor, 1GB RAM, 16/64/128GB internal memory, 8-megapixel, Touch ID, Apple Pay, 172g
Pros - Best iPhone battery life to-date, Fantastic screen and camera
Cons - Too big and bulky for some, expensive, sealed in battery
Price - Free from £48.50 per month or £619 SIM-free

The latest effort from Samsung is also its best. Power users wanting the best display, battery life and performance need not look any further.
With some engineering brilliance, Samsung has packed in a 5.7in display into a slim-form factor. The Note 4 is smaller than the iPhone 6 Plus despite the Samsung device having the larger screen.

The Note also includes the S-Pen stylus for those who want to take notes, make annotations or tweak designs on the move.
Battery life is unmatched with a mammoth 3,200mAh cell and there’ll be plenty of longevity as the device has a quad-core processor and 3GB RAM.
Of course, the Note 4 isn’t perfect. Samsung’s TouchWiz overlay isn't for everyone, and it’s not got the waterproof rating of the S5. But it’s still the best you can buy at present.
Key specs - 5.7in Super AMOLED display (2560 x 1440), 2.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor (Exynos Octa-core in some regions), 3GB RAM, 32GB internal memory + micro SD card support (128GB), 16-megapixel camera, fingerprint scanner, heart rate monitor, 176g
Pros - Stunning display, smooth performance, great battery life, pen input
Cons - Software can be overwhelming, not waterproof
Price - Free from £39.50 or £650 SIM-free

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