Category: Hands-on
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Lenovo A7000 Preview

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The Lenovo A7000 is one of company’s budget smartphones, slotted between the A6000 Plus and the new K3 Note. But while we will be taking a look at the latter in a future post, it’s time to take a closer look at the A7000.

Despite its budget positioning, the A7000 does come with a good set of features, including a 5.5-inch HD display, 64-bit octa-core processor on a MediaTek chipset, 2GB RAM, 8 megapixel camera, LTE, dual SIM support and a 2900mAh battery. It’s also the world’s first phone to have Dolby Atmos-certified audio. Read more »

HTC One E9+ performance benchmarks

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We have the HTC One E9+ over at the office for our usual routine. As you probably know, that’s the company’s 5.5-inch QHD offering, the largest member of the 2015 One lineup.

Unlike the One M9, which is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, the rest of this year’s Ones, including the E9+, rely on the Mediatek MT6795 chipset. As it’s our first encounter with the SoC we were eager to test it out, and ran a few benchmarks, with the results coming after the break. Read more »

HTC One M9+ preview

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The HTC One M9+ is the estranged big brother of the One M9 that grew up in Asia and learned a few new tricks. It is literally bigger, thanks to its 5.2-inch Quad HD display, has a fingerprint sensor, a MediaTek helio X10 processor, and even brings back the Duo Camera sensor from the M8.

The M9+ is only available in select Asian markets where the standard M9 isn’t available, and will be coming to certain parts of Europe later this year. If you were thinking of picking this up over the standard M9 or just stuck with this one option in your region, read on to find out more. Read more »

Benchmarking Asus ZenFone 2 ZE551ML with Intel Atom Z3580 SoC and 4GB of RAM

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We got our hands on a retail unit of the range-topping version of Asus ZenFone 2 with 4GB of RAM, so we decided to put it through our set of benchmark tests. The smartphone packs a beefier chipset, which aims to compete with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 family.

Asus ZenFone 2 with 4GB of RAM packs an Intel Atom Z3580 SoC with 2.3 GHz quad-core CPU, coupled with PowerVR G6430 GPU. For comparison, Asus ZenFone 2 with 2GB of RAM features Intel Atom Z3560 with 1.8GHz quad-core CPU. Read more »

Hands-on with Huawei P8 lite for the US market

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We managed to spend quality time with the freshly announced Huawei P8 lite for the US market. The smartphone is already available to order in the United States directly from Huawei’s online store.

Huawei P8 lite features the same design language as the company’s P8 flagship. Read more »

LG Watch Urbane hands-on

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LG has definitely left its mark on the fairly new and still maturing smart wearable niche. The Korean tech giant is now on its third generation smartwatch and the whole wearable concept is really starting to take shape.

The LG Watch Urbane is a beautifully crafted gadget with a more sophisticated, even business-like demeanor. A single glance is enough to see that the Watch Urbane isn’t a fitness tracker and is definitely not sporty in any way. On the contrary, it looks like a watch you would want to couple with a good suit and wear to corporate meetings, a more grown-up and serious toy, if you may. Read more »

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 »