Category: Hands-on
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Oppo R7 performance benchmarks

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As you probably noticed we got the chance to spend to quality time with the newly announced Oppo R7. We already gave you live shots, camera samples and our first hand impressions of the company’s latest flagship.

Now we also have a few benchmark tests to try and see what kind of performance the Snapdragon 615 chipset delivers. This might be Qualcomm’s mid-range offering, but the R7 has some great aspirations so it’s important that the company got the most of it. The smartphone will launch on Android 4.4 KitKat, which is what also powers powers our test unit, so we do expect a small boost later down the road when the Lollipop update arrives. Read more »

Oppo R1x hands-on

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We had been following closely the developments around the Oppo R1x, which was announced all the way back in January as R1C, bound for the Chinese market. The X replaced the C for the global version and the smartphone was on the roadmap for a release in April, though it still remains hard to find in online stores.

We managed to get our hands on a review unit only a couple of days ago and we’ll be doing our typical routine over the following weeks. However, a quick hands-on report was in order, which you can read here. Read more »

Sony SBH70 water resistant stereo Bluetooth headset flash review

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The Sony SBH70 is an IP57-certified Bluetooth headset that uses a tried behind-the-neck form factor with in-ear headphones with vented acoustical design (think the Apple EarPods). It is super light (50g) and extremely flexible and overall, a joy to carry and use.

The headset is compatible with Android and iOS and I went through this review using it connected to an Apple iPhone 6. As far as I know there are no features exclusive to Sony smartphones to speak of.
That doesn’t mean to say the Sony SBH70 is lacking in features, just on the contrary. Join me as I explore it in detail. Read more »

Microsoft Lumia 640 hands-on

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Windows Phone has found its niche in the lower end of the market, so now it’s Microsoft’s job to translate that into demand for the more advanced offerings. The Microsoft Lumia 640 tries to coax users with its modest model number, but behind that is a capable mid-ranger.

The early 6-series led their similarly-priced Android counterparts with better screens, cameras and chipsets. Market pressure has brought Androids up to par, but now the Lumia 640 makes a bid to regain the lead. Read more »

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua hands-on

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Well, it’s definitely a Sony and it has four in its name and it’s not a severely-overdue huge disappointment. You guessed it, it’s the Xperia M4 Aqua and its Sony’s latest mid-range offer. The Japanese tech giant really deserves points for this one, as it does look to be quite a premium device with a budget-friendly price tag. But, let’s not be hasty and go by impressions alone.

We first caught a glimpse of the M4 Aqua at MWC 2015 in Barcelona and it left us with quite a pleasant impression. The reality of Sony’s current situation is kind of odd. In the absence of a proper flagship device, given the disappointment of the Z4, new mid-rangers are left with the hard burden of filling the void. There has been talk of an upcoming Xperia P2 with a formidable specs sheet, but for now it is up to the M4 Aqua to keep users happy. Read more »

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet LTE hands-on

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Sony is in a very peculiar position in its high-end Xperia Z-lineup with a modestly updated Xperia Z4 model announced for its local Japanese market, which will apparently be sold globally as the Xperia Z3+. This leaves a new flagship to be expected later this year, with a designation that will likely cause some more confusion.

Meanwhile, it is the 10.1-inch Xperia Z4 Tablet that is left to defend the Z4 badge in markets outside of Japan. It should come as no surprise then that we were very excited when a review unit arrived at our door. Read more »

Evutec Karbon SI case for iPhone 6 review

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The Karbon SI is the toughest case for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus by Evutec. The cover is the rugged sibling to the Evutec Karbon S I reviewed back in February.

Evutec makes smartphone and tablet cases using advanced composite materials. The philosophy of the California-based company is to bring high tech and ecology together into into its products. Read more »

LG AKA hands-on

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LG AKA is an extraordinary smartphone and in a good way. Its key feature is the front mask, which allows the AKA to use its signature feature – the eyes. At first we thought about Tamagotchi, but the AKA isn’t a pet you need to look after. Each of the four AKAs has different personality, but they have one purpose only – to notify you about missed events in a cool way.

Outside the notifying eyes and front mask, the AKA is no different than the LG G2 mini. It’s a well-build phone with the iconic rear control deck and the premium laser-assisted auto-focus LG’s proud of. The rest is rather unimpressive – a 5″ 720p display and a dated Snapdragon 400 chip with 1.5GB of RAM. Read more »

Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML hands-on

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We got in our office one of the more interesting phones this year, the Asus Zenfone 2. It caused quite a stir all the way back in January, when it was announced at CES, mostly because it was advertised to pack a powerful processor, 4GB of RAM and a 5.5-inch display, all for $200.

That later turned out not to be the case, and the Zenfone 2 ended up being a range of smartphones, instead of a single device. Read more »

Samsung Wireless Charging Pad hands-on

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Samsung launched a brand new Qi wireless charging pad alongside Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge. The flagship smartphones support Qi and PMA wireless charging out of the box.

Available in dark blue or white, Samsung’s wireless charging pad is a handsome thing too look at in the flesh. Read more »

Pong Sleek Case for iPhone 6 review

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The Pong Sleek Case is a thin snap-on protective cover for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The case is designed for users who worry about the radiation which their smartphone emits.

Based in Encinitas, California, Pong debuted its first radiation-absorbing case alongside iPhone 4 in 2010. The company’s innovative tech has been developed by a team of PhD scientists from Harvard, MIT, and University of Manchester among others. Read more »

Meizu m1 note hands-on

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We were very impressed with the Meizu MX4 and even more impressed with its bigger counterpart the Meizu MX4 Pro but to cover all interested users, the China-based maker has a cheaper phablet in the face of the Meizu m1 note.

It cuts a few of the more premium hardware characteristics but the looks and feel are every bit as good. The screen is a 5.5″ IPS unit of a lower 1080p resolution (compared to the 1536p of the MX4 Pro) but is every bit as bright and colorful. Read more »

Vivo Xshot hands-on

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Vivo is one of those small Chinese manufacturers that rarely make headlines, but when they do, it’s usually big. The company definitely deserves credit, as it is generally quite open to experimentation and has always employed a premium quality approach to their tech.

This, of course, has its down-sides, but the good news is that most every phone that bears the Vivo brand is quite distinctive in some way. The Xplay and Xplay 3S were very early adopters of cutting-edge hardware at the time of their releases and the Vivo X5 Max was the bearer of the title – “word’s thinnest smartphone”, that is before Gionee came along. Read more »

Archos 50 Diamond hands-on

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You may be excused for not being familiar with Archos but the French phone maker has made itself relevant in the markets it operates on with tablets that offer great hardware at very low price points. The company makes more than tablets though – there are also a lot of phones, and the Archos 50 Diamond is their best.

The 50 Diamond is a minimalist smartphone with clean design and a flamboyant lime paint job. It offers a balanced set of abilities that will ensure a reasonable price point and more than reasonable performance. Read more »

Sony Xperia E4 hands-on

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The Xperia E4 is Sony’s latest entry in the low-end market. The budget smartphone boats a very economic price tag of about EUR 130, but it does come with a twist. The Japanese tech giant has definitely achieved a lot with the E4, considering budget restrictions, but, naturally, a lot of corners have been cut to keep the cost down.

The phone is crafted entirely out of plastic and is available in two classic colors – black and white. While the material is definitely not premium, Sony has done a relay nice job with the finish and phone feels comfy and quite nice to the touch.

Design-wise there are some rough edges, and I mean that quite literally. The E4 comes with a removable back cover which surrounds the whole back side of the phone and makes for a quite bulky appearance. Still, it lacks a replaceable battery. Read more »