The review for the best smartphone for October 2014 will cover six devices. Below will be enumerated all the positive and negative elements in each smartphone model, so that the customers can make an information based choice.
APPLE – iPhone 6 review
iPhone Key Features
Apple has finally accepted the fact that people are accustomed to the larger phones and had responded to the new 4-inch screens with iPhone 6. The screen size of 4.7 inches is the main talking point when discussing iPhone 6 and the huge 5.5 inch iPhone 6 Plus. The new smartphone has a very slim design, improved processor and great iOS 8 additions. Without any doubt iPhone 6 is a wonderful phone, but is it the premium smartphone that everyone would like to get?
iPhone 6 Design
iPhone 6 has an accomplished design, characterized with soft curves ad seamless joins between the back and the screen. In fact, it is all glass and metal with a small plastic detail on the rear for the antennas. iPhone 6 is ergonomic and elegant and seems as if done from one single piece of metal and glass, especially when the screen is turned off.
iPhone 6 offers fantastic balance and feels great when in the hand with its comfy edges. Its thickness is 6.9 mm, which makes it feel sleek and yet strong. However, some of its owners already claim that the phone is not as robust as Apple claims it to be. There have been reports of the iPhone 6 bending in the front pockets. Apple responded that they have got only 9 complaints, which is a very low percentage compared to the 10 million phones that have been sold.
iPhone 6 is also very light with its 129 g, which makes it similar in size with the HTC One which used to be one of the best phones of last year. For those users who find the iPhone screen too big, Apple has found an elegant solution. When the home button is tapped twice, the entire top of the screen scrolls down and the areas that are hard to reach get in the thumbs range. This works on every app in portrait mode too, which means that the user can easily reach the address bar or the browser.
The power button of iPhone 6 is located at the right edge, just above the nano-SIM tray, thanks to which it is easy to be accessed with the thumb or with the index finger. The smaller volume buttons are placed on the left, the 3.5mm headphone jack is placed at the bottom along with the six small speaker holes and the lightning port. In the rest of the aspects, the iPhone 6 layout is similar with the layout of the previous versions.
The area where iPhone 6 had to make a compromise with its seamless design is the one of the rear camera. In order not to make a compromise with the image quality, Apple had raised the camera from the body, yet this is also done in an elegant way. If the smartphone is with a case, this is not noticeable at all. The edges are a bit chamfered, and thus the smartphone slips into the pocket easily. The users of iPhone 6 should know that it is not water and dust resistant like Sony Xperia Z3 and Galaxy S5.
iPhone 6 Screen
Trademarked by apple, the term Retina means the screen resolution or the pixels per inch the display has and the viewing distance that the customer will typically use it from. The iPhone display of 4.7 inches has 326 ppi, which is the same as with every iPhone from iPhone 4 onwards.
The resolution of the screen is 1334 x 750 pixels is far behind the resolution of the LG G3 QHD 5.5 inch display. Yet, the screen of iPhone 6 is excellent when visual quality is in question. Its color accuracy is also fantastic, even when you tilt the screen. The peak brightness is 558 nits, which is enough for making the screen viewable in bright light. In addition to that, the screen is not reflective.
The contrast ratios are what makes iPhone 6 lack behind Samsung Galaxy S5. The LCD screen of iPhone 6 has twice as high contrast ratio as the 5S one. The light behind the dark colors is bleeding and thus the blacks look a bit high. This means that Galaxy S5 has pitch black scenes and great screen performance even in low-light conditions. Yet, the experts seem to prefer the colors on the iPhone 6 better. In other words, the higher pixel rate does not necessarily provide a better experience.
iPhone 6 Sound Quality
The sound of iPhone 6 is clearer and louder than the one of LG G3 and Galaxy S5. This makes the iPhone very good for listening to music or movies. Since the speaker grille is located at the bottom of the phone, the user should be careful not to muffle the sound accidentally with one’s hand.
iPhone 6 Performance and Features
iPhone 6 and 6 Plus work with A8 processor, which has a dual-core and is running at 1.4 GHz. The Imagination PowerVR GPU is also a quad-core, just like the previous iteration. Apple has made significant performance improvements. In fact, iPhone 6 scores 25 % higher as far as graphics are concerned and 10 % more on the CPU test compared to the 5S. Translated in English, this means that iPhone 6 is very fast.
The Apple’s fingerprint recognition feature Touch ID is quicker when unlocking the phone. The performance is quicker and very good for those who enjoy playing 3D games with extra graphical effects on the larger screen.
The co-processor which is in charge of the data captured by the iPhone 6 sensors has also been updated. The M8 co-processor has been taken care of the compass, gyroscope and accelerometer, and now it looks after a new sensor, the barometer and thus iPhone 6 can now measure altitude.
The M8 co-processor is more energy efficient than the main processor for these tasks, which saves the battery life of iPhone 6. The smartphone also has Bluetooth and AirDrop; and its Wi-Fi 802.11ac is up to three times faster than the Wi-Fi on the 5S. The iPhone also provides 4G offerings available with 20 channels supported, which means that the users can get excellent 4G coverage in all parts of this world.
iPhone 6 Storage and Pricing
All iPhones , including the new model, have no microSD card slots. Those that thing they will need extra storage for their aps, music, movies and photos will need to pay for that storage upfront. The 16GB iPhone 6 costs 649, contract-free. There is no 32GB version, yet there is 64GB for $749 and 128GB option for $849.
iPhone 6 iOS8
iOS 8 might not seem to different than iOS7, yet it offers many new features that deserve the attention. The system now has interactive notifications that let you respond to invites, texts and messages, without entering the app. It also has a Widgets Notification Centre with some app information available with no need for the user to open that app.
iOS8 also allows the user to choose one’s keyboard and the predicted words are now appearing at the top of the keyboard. In fact, it pays attention to the user’s manner pf writing and becomes more accurate in predicting words and phrases. Apple is also allowing third party apps when keyboard is concerned like SwiftKey and Swype.
iOS8 also offers audio message, bubbles with the most recent calls for easy access, a health oriented app – keeping the data related to your health and body, as well as battery monitor that can track down what is causing your iPhone 6 to need recharging so often. In this way you can see the apps that need a lot of battery and limit them.
One of the best additions to iOS is the continuity. This means that you can work from your iPhone 6 to MacBook Air and iPad. This is very useful app as you can do your work on every Apple device. Another useful app is the Apple Pay – Apple has added NFC to three of its products including iPhone 6, allowing users to pay for technology and Touch ID.
Hey Siri is the virtual helper of Apple and it could be called out. It is also integrated in Shazam and can tell you which song is playing now. In addition, iOS8 allows for family sharing, which means that the parents can create Apple IDs for their kids, including sending approval requests for the purchases made. Spotlight search is also available now. In other words, iOS8 has many new additions, which allow for better access to the hardware.
iPhone 6 Camera
The camera of iPhone 6 is just the same as the camera of the previous model iPhone 5S with an 8-megapixel and 1/3 inch sensor featuring a 1.5m pixel size. This is easy to explain, after all iPhone 5S has one of the best cameras available.
The new thing here is that Apple has added Focus Pixels, which is helping with the speedy focus. This feature has been used in the compact cameras for many years and is the same tech that is used by Galaxy S5 for quick focus. The pictures taken look less blurry, even in lower-light conditions; the noise is less and the color accuracy is better. The sunny day pictures are sharp, the night pictures could be done with the True-Tone LED flash.
iPhone 6 camera however misses something that the iPhone 6 Plus has – the optical image stabilization. This feature compensates the small movements that the hands make when taking pictures. Exposure control though is available on the camera of iPhone 6. The user has to tap the screen and then a slider will come out, allowing him or her to control the brightness of the image.
iPhone 6 Video
iPhone 6 now comes with super Slo-mo that is shot at 240FPS 720p, which makes the action scenes look even cooler than with the iPhone 5S.
iPhone 6 Time Lapse
Apple has made this very easy, one should press the time lapse button and the iPhone 6 will start taking snaps at a certain interval, creating a nice short movie. The front facing camera is 1.2-megapixel and a a f/2.2 aperture, which allows more light in. This means that Skype calls will look better even in places with low light. Apple has also added a timer and burst mode to this front camera for making the perfect selfies.
iPhone 6 Battery
This smartphone comes with a 1,810mAh non-removable battery, a bit larger than the battery on the iPhone 5S. This battery is ideal to supply the bigger, brighter screen and it manages to last several hours more than the battery of iPhone 5S before that.
A test made showed that the phone could be used for SD video for ten hours, which is an hour more than iPhone 5S and an hour less than what Galaxy 5S manages. In case of low mixed usage, the battery of iPhone 6 lasted for 35 hours, while in heavy usage it lasted for 14 hours. This means that you can rely on your iPhone 6 battery for two days if you are very careful, yet on most occasions and depending on your usage you will have 30-60 % of battery left at the end of the day.
The good thing with the iPhone 6 battery is that it charges very quickly. You can get 30 % increase of battery life by only 30 min of charge. In other words, for 2 hours you can fully charge the battery.
IPhone 6 Calls Quality
The call quality with iPhone 6 is quite good. The sound quality of the iPhone 6 calls can be improved immediately through the noise cancelling microphone at the top of the phone. It does very well in windy conditions and the voice quality carries well.
In addition, the smartphone applies Voice over LTE – a new system that uses the data connection in order to boost the voice signal. Yet, this feature needs to be supported by the provider.
iPhone 6: should I buy one?
iPhone 6 will be different for the users of iPhone 4/4S/5/5S, yet the new mode offers the best apps available and extra space. The usage with one hand is not that intuitive, yet the phone is narrow and slim.
iPhone 6 is a cheaper than the iPhone 5S and its 64GB version offers great value when compared to its predecessor. The iPhones keep their value as well, which is good if you want to sell it afterwards. The experts say that iPhone 6 is the best smartphone that Apple has produced. It looks and feels great and manages to do everything perfectly.
LENOVO VIBE Z & VIBE X
The smartphone VIBE Z guarantees speed, excellent 4G connection, and dual cameras. It is characterized by a 5.5″ 20/20 Vision Full HD display which is offered in silver or titanium. VIBE Z has a Qualcomm® Snapdragon 800 2.2GHz processor and operating system Android™ 4.3 Jelly Bean. The phone is quite slim with its 7.9 mm and weighs just 147 g. It offers a large display – 5.5″ 20/20 Vision with 1920 x 1080 resolution.
VIBE Z has front camera of 5M and rear camera of 13M. Its internal storage is 16 GB. The phone comes with Silver or Titanium casing with laser etched, fabric-feel rear cover. It features 3000 mAh embedded battery, which guarantees u to 33 hours’ talk time and 27 days’ of standby.
VIBE X smartphone is ultralight, sleek and very powerful. It offers a dual high resolution camera and 5″ 20/20 Vision 1920 x 1080 resolution display. The smartphone has Quad Core 1.5GHz processor and its operating system is Android™ 4.2 Jelly Bean. It is super-slim at 6.9 mm and weighs just 121 g.
VIBE X has front camera of 5M and rear camera of 13M. It also comes with 16 GB of internal storage. The smartphone comes with silver casing with laser etched and fabric-feel rear cover. It guarantees 12 days’ standby and 16 hours of talk time.
Samsung Galaxy S5
Samsung Galaxy S5 is quite successful on many levels. The smartphone has Android 4.4 with TouchWiz, 5.1-inch 1080p Super AMOLED screen, 16-megapixel camera and long battery life. Samsung Galaxy S5 brings several important upgrades compared to Galaxy S4. Besides that, it is a little bit cheaper than its rivals – Sony Xperia Z2, iPhone 6 and HTC One M8.
Some of the most important new additions of Samsung Galaxy S5 include the fingerprint scanner, the heart rate sensor and the waterproofing.
Samsung Galaxy S5 Design
Samsung Galaxy S5 is very different in design compared to S4. The new model has dimpled black and it is almost entirely plastic. Yet, the two sides of the phone are trimmed with metallic plastic. The sides are ribbed too, which does not add to the beauty of the design.
The feeling when holding the smartphone is unusual, as it offers soft-touch texture and pitted soft finish which looks better than the glossy plastic old mobiles of Samsung. At its launching, the users could choose from four shades, however more colors are expected soon.
Samsung Galaxy S5 is only 8.1 mm thick, with larger screen and plenty of tech inside, easy to use. Its power button is on the right side. The camera lens is sticking out of the back with 0.5 mm, allowing for more scratches.
Galaxy S5 has ultra-thin removable plastic back cover where is located a microSD memory card slot where could be placed cards up to 128GB. The phone can come with 16GB and 32GB.
Galaxy S5 Water Resistance
The water resistance feature of Galaxy S5 works in the same way as in the other water resistant phones. It has rubber seals on the plastic cover and on the USB port at the bottom. The headphone jack is coated internally and doesn’t need a flap. The water resistant is added without increase in the phone’s bulk. When the phone is charged it even sends a reminder that the flap has to be closed.
The experts however are concerned about the longevity of the waterproofing systems that are ultra-thin. The water resistance specification of Galaxy S5’s is IP67, meaning that the phone is impervious to dust and can be submerged in water for up to 30 min. This means that Galaxy S5 is rather water resistant while the Z2, for example is waterproof.
Galaxy S5 Fingerprint Scanner
The new fingerprint scanner of Samsung is quite interesting. It is similar to the iPhone scanner, though it feels like the HTC One Max scanner. With Galaxy 5S the user has to swipe a finger over the scanner. The sensor is located under the central select button, but the user has to swipe over the touchscreen bottom since there is the element under the screen that activates the scanner.
Galaxy S5 Fingerprint Scanner allows up to three fingers and man users allowed. The swipe-based mechanism requires an exact and smooth movement and if compared with the iPhone 5S TouchID sensor, this of Samsung is not that easy to use. Further to that if the scanner has not recognized the user’s fingerprint three times, then the user is asked to enter a password.
Galaxy S5 Heart Rate Sensor
The dedicated heart rate sensor is among the most conspicuous new hardware elements, adding new sensors to the LED flash area on the back of the phone. Galaxy S5 is the first phone that uses a dedicated heart rate sensor, yet it applies fairly familiar technology – it lights-up the user’s finger with a red/IR light and thus monitors the visual changes caused by the blood circulation. For all it’s worth, it seems that the heart rate sensor of Galaxy S5 is less interesting than it initially appears.
Galaxy S5 Internal Speaker
The internal speaker of Galaxy S5 is not as good as it should be. The sound comes from a single grille under the back plate and uses a limited internal area between the cover outer parts and the zone with the rubber seals. The sound is thin and bass free, not to mention that it causes a vibration in the lower part of the phone.
Galaxy S5 Screen
The display of Galaxy S5 is only 0.1 inches larger than that of the previous version and uses the same 1080p resolution, as well as the same Gorilla Glass 3 top layer and Super AMOLED panel type.
The color calibration is great and the user can choose the Galaxy S5’s screen character. The dynamic mode offers great look and makes the interface pop and look vibrant. Yet, it is not good for watching videos. The Standard, Cinema and Professional Phone modes offer less color vibrant. The Dynamic mode makes the interface look absolutely great. The users can also get an adaptive mode that changes the screen tone and sets it in line with the app that the client uses.
The screen is excellent, with superb viewing angles and a hint of color shift at certain angles. The brightness of the screen is quite impressive. In fact, the phone is not as bright at daylight as iPhone 5S, but is excellent at night.
Galaxy S5 Music and Video
Galaxy S5 is ideal for a mobile video player and has an application for that by Samsung. The formats that play well include MKV, DivX and Xvid files, yet AC3 audio is not supported.
Galaxy S5 TouchWiz and Android 4.4
Galaxy S5 runs on new version of the TouchWiz interface and Android 4.4 KitKat. This might seem complicated, as Samsung is looking towards simpler trends, yet it wants to offer a phone with more features than the others. The new version of TouchWiz is a step towards the new mode, while the phone tries to stay simple with fewer apps being installed in advance.
However, Samsung still supplies the S Planner Calendar, the barebones note-taker and the Samsung browser. Some of the available apps include ChatON, S Health, S Voice, Smart Remote.
Galaxy S5 Air View and Multi Window
Along with several extra apps, TouchWiz offers a few ways to interface with Galaxy S5. The Multi Window is a classic multi-tasking mode by Samsung. It allows for two apps to run simultaneously on the screen – for example, you can read surf the web and take down notes. Air View is also here and it allows the user to preview the photos in the gallery, the events in the S Planner calendar app, etc. There is a private mode available as well.
Galaxy S5 Hardware and Performance
When it was launched Samsung Galaxy S5 was one of the most powerful phones thanks to its Snapdragon 801 processor, the 2.5GHz quad-core model. With such a powerful process and such a screen, Galaxy S5 is a wonderful gaming phone with rich colors and large expanse.
Galaxy S5 Camera
This smartphone uses a new approach to the camera app. It comes with control buttons columns on each side of the screen, which is easily accessible. The camera requires you to use both hands when shooting a portrait to change the settings, but it is quite ok. The mode switches can be customized, there are six of them with an option to download more from the Samsung Apps store.
The camera though has limited manual control over the shutter speed, the white balance and the manual focus. The shooting modes that the user can choose from include core camera modes including selective focus and HDR, extra modes including beauty face, auto mode, shot & more option, panoramic photos, virtual tour, dual camera..
The camera hardware of Galaxy S5 has a 16-megapixel sensor and f/2.2 lens with a 31mm equivalent focal length. The new phone can get to a higher resolution without reducing the size of the sensor pixels.
Galaxy S5 is capable of producing very detailed photos. During the day the sharpness is excellent and it falls a bit at the corners. The speed improvements make Galaxy S5 very as to shoot in daylight, much similar to iPhone 5S. The phone however, struggles with the low lighting. Samsung however gas provided measures and when shooting in Auto mode, the picture stabilization is activated when the light dims to a certain level. Galaxy S5 uses a picture stabilization, which takes many photos using different settings, and merges them together to create a single image. This could be effective but is quite slow. In general, it is not difficult to take good photos with Galaxy S5. The flash of the phone is quite powerful, yet a standard single-tone, single-LED type which means that one cannot expect excellent results from it.
The video that Galaxy S5 can shoot is up to 4K resolution. If the user is shooting at 1080 p though, he can count on HDR and video stabilization.
The front-facing camera of Galaxy S5 is nothing special. It works with a 2-megapixel sensor and is a little bit noisy. In general the front camera is lacking far behind the one of HTC One M8.
Galaxy S5 Battery
The battery unit for this smartphone is 2 800 mAh, 10.78Wh brick. If the phone’s special power-saving skills are not used, then it can last for a day and a half. When there is medium brightness, the phone lasts for 11 hours when playing an SD-quality video. The power saving battery modes of Samsung Galaxy S5 are two – Ultra Power Saving and Power Saving.
Galaxy S5 Call Quality and Connectivity
Galaxy S5’s call quality is very ordinary but fine. The earpiece speaker is clear and loud, a secondary microphone is used to provide active noise cancellation.
The phone has an array of connections -4G, Wi-Fi ac, NFC and a new connectivity mode that lets the S5 use your Wi-Fi and mobile internet connections to work simultaneously to provide faster download speeds. There is also a micro USB 3.0 port, which offers faster USB port charging.
Galaxy S5 – should I buy one?
Compared to the other brand new Android phones, Galaxy S5 is the least appealing as far as looks are concerned. Experts say that HTC Sense looks and feels slightly better than TouchWiz.
The good things about the phone are that it has an excellent screen and image quality. Samsung Galaxy S5 is the rightful successor of Galaxy 4, with plenty improvements. The smartphone is not that stylish as its nearest rivals, yet it has an outstanding screen.
NOKIA LUMIA 735 / NOKIA LUMIA 830
Nokia Lumia 735
Nokia Lumia 735 is the first smartphone that has been specifically designed for making selfies and for pleasant Skype video calls. The quality is guaranteed with the 5 MP front facing camera and the used wide-angle lens.
The phone provides access to free OneDrive storage of 15 GB + for making free video calls on Skype and comes loaded with the finest Microsoft apps. Nokia Lumia 735 allows users to get more personal, with Live Tiles and an Action Center, where you can see all the notifications in one single spot.
The home screen background can be personalized, the Live Tiles is customizable. The user can get hold of the newest and most popular games and applications on Lumia 735, as Windows Phone Store offers apps for everything that one could possibly need.
Lumia 735 Design
The smartphone comes in many different colors, all fresh. The design of the smartphone is very pretty with its 4.7″ HD display in vivid colors, with resolution HD720 (1280 x 720).The phone uses super sensitive touch screen technology.
Lumia 735 Camera
The main camera sensor is 6.7 MP with LED flash type. There is also a 5 MP front facing camera with wide-angle lens.
Lumia 735 Processor
Nokia Lumia 735 comes with a Snapdragon 400 quad core processor 1.2 GHz and 1 GB of RAM.
Lumia 735 Battery
The battery capacity of Lumia 735 is 2220 mAh with wireless Qi standard built-in charging available. The maximum Wi-Fi network browsing time is 10.5 h, while the maximum video playback time amounts to 9 h.
Nokia Lumia 830
Nokia Lumia 830 has been designed for sharing your life and staying close to your friends. It is a smartphone for exceptional imaging, allowing the user to take better pictures thanks to OIS and PureView camera.
Nokia Lumia 830 further allows for easy and quick sharing in Instagram, Vine and Skype. This is the perfect phone to share the special moments in your life on one of your favorite networks, as this is the ideal phone for people that love to stay connected. In addition, with Lumia 830 you can sync your digital life with OneDrive including photos, videos and documentaries.
Since Nokia Lumia 830 is using the latest Windows Phone 8.1 software, all the weather updates, social notifications, health & fitness data are right on the screen in front of your eyes. The mass memory available is 16 GB, with access to free cloud storage of 15 GB. The maximum memory card size possible is 128 GB, with expandable memory card type MicroSD.
Lumia 830 Design
Nokia Lumia 830 is beautifully crafted, with an eye-catching design made of metal and polycarbonate, arranged in balance and harmony. The phone feels very comfortable in one’s hand. It is also easy to use, with the option to pin your favorite apps on the start screen and then use Live Folders to make the Live Tile experience even easier.
The display is 5”, with HD720 (1280 x 720) resolution. The phone uses ClearBlack, IPS LCD technology and super sensitive touch screen technology.
Lumia 830 Camera
Nokia Lumia 830 comes with 10 MP PureView camera with OIS and Zeiss optics, which means that great pictures are guaranteed. It further uses LED flash type. The smartphone further comes with 3 mic Rich Recording, allowing the making of high quality videos with excellent sound
Lumia 830 Processor
Nokia Lumia 830comes with a Snapdragon 400 quad core processor 1.2 GHz and 1 GB of RAM.
Lumia 830 Battery
The battery capacity of Lumia 830 is 2220 mAh with wireless Qi standard built-in charging available. The maximum 3G talk time allowed is 14.8 h.