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Get ready for the Solar Eclipse: how, when and why to watch?

Friday, August 18th, 2017

Today our excitement is built around Total Solar Eclipse – a rare divine event which happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth and the moon slowly covers the sun until peak moment leaving only the ring of light burning on the edges. Doesn’t this sound fascinating?


This year the “path of totality” crosses 11 US states from west to east coast in the middle of the country on Monday the 21st of August. However, you’ll be able to see a partial solar eclipse from the UK when the Moon covers 4% of the Sun. For the best views and photos get familiar with UK Eclipse time schedule below.

We know what you’re thinking and that’s why prepared a quick rundown of tips to witness and capture the best of the partial solar eclipse.

How to watch the Solar Eclipse?

Witnessing such a rare, worth-watching event, even though it’s only partial eclipse for Britons, you will be probably eager to snap this awesomeness on your smartphone camera. However, as safety is always first, let us tell you what you need to know before staring at the Sun.

To start with, make sure you equip yourself and your loved ones with special protective glasses as looking with bare eyes can be risky and cause temporary or permanent eye sight damage. Normal sunglasses or DIY won’t be good enough because glasses need to have a special solar filter and be granted international safety standard ISO 12312-2. The list of trusted vendors can be accessed here.

Currently, 5 pairs of protective eclipse glasses with ISO standard by Education Harbour are available for £8.99.

How to capture this beauty?

Now let’s move on how to set up your phone camera to make the most of this spectacle. We won’t advise you to get a new phone with advanced camera solely for this purpose, but some of the models have decent cameras enough to make stunning pictures.

If you’re the owner of iPhone 7 Plus or Android phones such as the Google Pixel, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the One Plus 5, you have one of the best smartphone cameras available on the market. Here are few steps to get you ready:

  • Autofocus and flash: these need to be turned off because these features will spoil dark vision and ruin the shot you’ve been working hard on.
  • Lower Exposure: you need to control how much light reaches your camera lens, this can be done by minimising exposure settings. On iOS and Android, you will need to open the camera app where sun icon will appear next to focus area. Drag the sun icon down to reduce exposure. On some Android phones, Exposure Value (EV) can be found in Pro Mode settings.
  • Time-lapse feature: on iOS 8 and above you can record video at a very low frame enabling you to capture the movement of the moon. There are customised ones available to install on Android phone.
  • Attach a camera filter: to get a clear, crisp image of the Sun and protect your camera lens, NASA advises covering your camera with eclipse glasses.
  • Zoom In: you will need additional zoom capabilities as this feature is limited on smartphone cameras and using zoom lens attachment will provide 12x-18x zoom level.


  • Get a tripod: this little helper will free your hands holding your smartphone camera. You can place it on any surface or attach it to your backpack and enjoy the solar eclipse hands-free with your own eyes. Have a look at this Amazon offer .

Wrap up

We recommend you to practice with your camera settings on the moon sometime this weekend before snapping the solar eclipse. Keep fingers crossed not to have our usual cloudy skies and we are looking forward to see your advanced snaps on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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Compare and Recycle at London Tech Week

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

Here at Compare and Recycle, we like to stay up to date with the latest happenings in the tech industry. So this week we will be reporting from the London Tech Week Expo where we will be getting the low down on the latest innovations that are relevant to the mobile phone industry.

This festival of live events celebrates the best tech and innovation with guests and presenters such as Nokia, Huawei and Intel, we have more interest than ever to understand what they envision the future of the mobile market to be, what advancement they are pushing in battery power, what they are doing to ensure that some of the 2 million phones a year don’t end up in landfill. We are all stakeholders in the environmental issues surrounding the country, so as you can imagine, we’ll be sure to grill some of the exhibitors on what they’re internal ethos is towards recycling and environmental sustainability.

You can count on us to provide you with up to date news as we learn it. We can be your ears at this great expo keep up with it in real time on our Twitter and Facebook!


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Business Mobile Phone Recycling Made Easy

Monday, May 15th, 2017

We introduce our new business mobile phone recycling area on the website and describe why it should be the first place to businesses to visit when they come to decommissioning your old mobile phone handsets.

Mobile phone recycling is a shady area of the WEEE recycling initiative, although it has the logo for WEEE recycling many businesses regard the mobile phone as a sunken cost and high risk for data exploitation. Couple this with the fact that it can take quite some time to flash a whole fleet of mobile phones and what are you left with? A box of mobile phones taking up space in some store cupboard.

There are many reasons why a business should consider recycling their old mobile phones, from our discussions with businesses we have uncovered the following as primary examples;

  • Corporate Social Responsibility – Recycling makes a big part of the corporate social responsibility and some of the SME’s we speak to use mobile phone recycling as a method to meet internal targets.
  • Compliance with the WEEE directive – Realistically the responsibility falls to the retailer of the mobile phone, but out companies are regulated and compliant with the regulations so solutions can be provided for small mobile retailers that are faced with mobile phones that need to be recycled.
  • Reducing depreciation – Mobile phones are traditionally considered an expense, but for companies with a large amount of mobile phones, a certain amount of expense can be recovered from recycling and selling the mobile phones back to merchants.
  • Getting the best price for old technology – the merchants that provide a quote will be more inclined to provide a more favourable quote if they do not need to spend an extra amount on customer acquisition. Companies often offer more than the standard price listed on our main mobile phone comparison
  • Data clearing service as standard – The ISO 27001 Certification in Information Security Management is only available to companies that provide a service that complies with the protocol to securely clear the data from the old mobile phones. The data clearing goes further than a factory reset and replaces the data on a mobile phone so that it is unrecoverable and insured against it.

These are all great reasons to use a company specialising in mobile phone recycling, the barrier is often finding a service that is easy to use, that’s why we have created a system that makes the process fast and easy by using our simple search box to add phones or an upload function if you keep your inventory in a spreadsheet. Then we do the rest.

We will send the details out to our top recyclers to get a provisional quote back and a courier will then be arranged if you are happy.

We speak to businesses on a day to day basis, IT managers, resource managers and business owners themselves and this tool is becoming an invaluable way for them to recoup some capex spend..


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Using Technology for GCSE Revision – Should You Ban the Phone or Use it?

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

When asked, “what distracts you the most when revising?” there can be no dispute that the mobile phone would be one of the top responses. But can this creator of disturbance become a beacon of greater learning?

Childwise monitor reported in 2016 that 94% of 15-16 year olds have their own smart phone, with 79% downloading apps on a regular basis, there is a far greater opportunity for this little device to become a tool for more efficient learning than a threat to study.

Here at Compare and Recycle we have a few tips to help you decide whether you should ban or embrace the mobile phone during study times:

Learning Apps

There are a lot of Apps out there that claim to facilitate learning, but there are only a few that really go far and away beyond proving that people can learn anything given the correct tools. This is especially true for students looking to try and get a different perspective on a subject that might not be registering.

Khan Academy

As a non-profit educational organisation, Khan academy has a huge range of resources on the website covering most subject including all those within the GCSE curriculum. The only obstacle being that the subjects are set to the American Curriculum, which is fine for subjects that transfer over, like Maths and Science, but for some of the humanities based subjects of History, Geography and English may require further research.

The revision method used here is to challenge the learner immediately on the subject after providing short. This is great for the student that learns by doing and repeating, the short bitesize videos and podcasts work great.


There are services available in the UK that look to cater to the tech focussed teenagers by providing a useful portal for them to enhance their learning. These services are usually subscribed to on a school basis but sites like offer an individual subscription package of around £200+VAT for the parent that does want to provide a kid with UK focussed learning package.

This application provides bitesize videos and podcasts that allows the students to take in the information from all the subjects based on the actual curriculum. This application is perfect for the child that learns best by listening.

BBC Bitesize App

The British Broadcasting company has been helping teenagers with their GCSE’s (and all exams) since 1998 and this year is no different, with up to date curriculum for all 37 subjects covered by the England exam board.

With learner guides, class clips and practice exams and answers, there is a wealth of information available on the portal. The sheer volume of information available can feel a little overwhelming for the students that need the most help.

Other learning apps

For something a little less polished, but with the same information there are multiple apps that have the information out of the textbooks for revision on the move. There are free and paid varieties with the best being GCSE 2017 on iPhone and Android for straight reading.

Keeping Concentration Apps

The smart phone acts as an outlet to the entire world of communication, knowledge games and funny pictures. This can be a little distracting. But not to worry, there are ways to log off and keep motivated for learning without resorting to locking the phone away if you do want to keep to the school-provided revision books.


Forest app works on the principal that we can boost productivity by working in short doses, in that you plant a seed and for every half hour you don’t touch your phone. With this, you can create your own Forest or acquire new types of trees.

Making a request that they go up revising and come down with a forest full of trees for some reward as you know that they have resisted the urge to play on their phone. Perfect for the aspiring botanist!

There are a lot of different white noise generators if that is what works for you, there are studies to say that white noise helps block out distractions and allows for deeper concentration.

Choose the method of learning that works!

Everyone is going to have methods of revision that works better for them, the trick is finding what method works best and facilitating the revision the best way possible. Whilst locking the phone away can be a surefire method of ensuring distraction is kept away, you are also locking away access to some of the most helpful resources available.

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Boxing Day Sales – Best Mobile Deals Here!

Monday, December 19th, 2016

Boxing Day will be a major shopping event for retailers in 2016. Tens of millions of consumers, armed with vouchers and Christmas money, will descend upon the high streets of British towns and cities looking for great deals. Those looking for smartphones are no different! There will be hundreds of thousands of individuals purchasing new handsets on Boxing Day.

According to Euromonitor, Boxing Day phone sales possibly reach £258 million. This would double 2015’s expansive turnover. So, which retailers are having Boxing Day events? A lot of money is expected to change hands in December and Boxing Day is a major day for retailers. This is the day they sell their Christmas stock, so they price it appropriately so they can make money yet allowing customers to get great bargains!

This article will outline the key retailers providing Boxing Day smartphone sales extravaganzas for phone aficionados. Let’s find out where the bargains are at?


Will be offering BEATS headphones with pay monthly packages on Boxing Day week. This means a free £250 pair of headphones, for FREE! The other great deals include free £25 Apple app store or Google Play voucher with all pay monthly contracts over £ 15.50. However, there are some mega deals on Boxing Day, according to CW, with free tablets and games consoles for the first 50 purchases at stores across the UK.



Argos is always the most aggressively priced Boxing Day sales participant on the high street. So, expect great deals. According to insiders, the company is looking to offer a big Christmas Samsung event alongside a voucher and money-back deal on high end smartphone purchases. The high-street king will surprise us in 2016 as it opens its doors on Boxing Day to millions of bargain hunters!


Amazon had a great Black Friday and it is expecting an epic Christmas. Boxing Day is no different. They have started Christmas Warehouse deals and they will launch a Boxing Day event too. Furthermore, they will have deals on Huawei and LG handsets courtesy of a deal with both manufacturers and Amazon. This tie-up could see premium handsets discounted by Amazon and selling fast to bargain hungry Amazon customers.


The denizen of Middle Class respectability always provides quality Christmas deals – no free vouchers or tacky gadgets from John Lewis. However, Boxing Day 2016 will see John Lewis Electricals provide some interesting deals with key technology partners. Including £50 off the Samsung Galaxy S7 or the HTC. However, they are keeping quiet on the mega deals. So, like 2015, it’s a case of queuing up at your nearest John Lewis to grab a bargain and a free cup of coffee!

So, with so many retailers planning extravagant sales events for lucky Boxing Day patrons, you know you can find the right smartphone at the right price for your needs. The best deals, from free Beats headphones to cash back on Samsung phones, means the right deal is available to all. You just need to get out there and hit the high street running. Grab a bargain this Boxing Day!

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Apple vs Android – What does 2017 hold?

Friday, December 16th, 2016

The tribal machinations of Apple versus Android are a well-documented annual rites of passage endeavour that the technology pundits love to roll out annually – and we are no different. Apple and Android have almost messianic tribal support and therefore any comparisons of the platforms usually tend to lead to some negative scorn. However, this article will just highlight what the sector’s leading thinkers believe is in store for 2017 for our famous market dominating duo of smartphone platforms.

First off, we should highlight an inconsistency. Android is not one singular device. It is a myriad of devices and platforms from Amazon to Huawei. It is a range of budgets, specs and choices. Apple is simply the iPhone. This article will highlight, for the sake of clarity, what we expect between Apple’s iOS and Android’s OS.

Android “O”

The Google-backed operating system, usually named after a dessert or sweet, will be unleashed in August 2017, carrier dependent as always. The 2017 flavour of Android, if you forgive the pun, could be a new game-changing platform. Android Andromeda has long been talked about. Google has a problem. It created Android but it also created Chome OS – the OS that powers Chromebooks or Chromeboxes. This fragmentation is a bigger problem than the device fragmentation suffered by Android smartphones. Google is working on mashing up Chrome OS with Android. One OS along all the Google platforms. The Wall Street Journal believes 2017 will be the year of the Google mashup.

Another area of possible Android greatness is the news that Android “O” will increase the capacity for the OS to utilise GPU processes within Qualcomm and other leading processor manufacturers technologies. The implications of this news have reverberated the VR community. Virtual Reality is coming in 2017 and this means that developing capacity and broadening capacity will be a central tenet of the Android “O” ecosystem. This will be further complemented by Google’s Daydream VR technology which will act as the catalyst for improved VR output on Android technologies.

Apple’s iOS 11

The year 2017 will be a pretty busy one for Apple Inc. as it launches an array of new technologies and software. Chief among said technologies and software will be its ubiquitous device-based OS. Simply called iOS. We are now in our 10th incarnation and 2017 will see the launch of the 11th version. Apple likes to keep its cards close to its chest. Leaks are usually limited and they know how to launch a product. Therefore, we only know a little bit about what’s coming Apple’s way. We know that wireless charging and augmented reality will play a big part in the overall user experience. According to both MacRumors and MacWorld, AR will be a big part of iOS 11. Patents already illustrate the software role of iOS in redefining the user experience and to help create a more useful and responsive Siri personal assistant.

The other area, as stated above, will be the wireless charging element of battery life control that iOS manages on behalf of the device. According to Bloomberg, 2017 will be the year of wireless charging for iPhone and hence iOS software. The centrality of wireless charging is the diversity – the growing public hotspots and domestic hotspots – will see an end to long over-night charging behaviour in favour of less frequent bursts of wireless charging. This, Apple argues, will help in terms of controlling battery life from a software perspective.

What the two OS platforms will bring to the table is anyone’s guess. However, if these predictions come true, we could see an interesting 2017 in mobile smartphone OS terms.

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2017 Mobile Trends and Predictions

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Those looking to upgrade their phones in 2017 have a lot to look forward too. Analysts and technologists are hinting at some great tech next year. The next-generation smart phones will be, obviously, thinner, faster and pricier – that goes without saying – but there are other aspects that the professionals are getting excited about.

Virtual Reality Becomes Mainstream

According to Price Waterhouse Cooper, Virtual Reality will, uh, become a reality in 2017. Not through the use of awesome games or movie players but through more useful resources, albeit some would argue boring. AI will be deployed as chatbot assistants and help support agents on websites and apps. The VR connection will end the lack of humanity current bots have in order to create engaging human to artificial human intelligence collaboration.

The Rise of OLED

The deployment and usage of OLED display technologies will be a key motivator of growth and sales in 2017. According to UBI Research, the OLED technology will help create a bezel-less smartphone experience that will lead, by 2020, to foldable or rollable smart devices. Reports suggest Samsung, the technology’s chief manufacturer, is to provide Apple, its arch-rival, with tens of millions of OLED screens for Apple’s 2017 iPhone offering.

Is 2017 Finally the Year for Wireless Charging?

Grandview Research argues that the US marketplace for wireless charging will reach $2,2 Billion with the bulk of this spending on mobile charging solutions. This increase is perceived to be based on a consumer demand for less hassle around charging smart devices – which have become cornerstones in twenty first century living. The implications of this massive sea change in consumer behaviour will impact on device sales in 2017, according to researchers at Grandview Research.

Augmented Reality combines with Virtual Reality Headsets

Augmented Reality will be a massive game changer in the smartphone marketplace argues Juniper Research. The applications for AR are diverse and bold. Juniper Research believes, video games and entertainment aside, AR will play a leading role in the healthcare, search engine and social communications sectors. Juniper believes these new markets could add $6bn a year in app revenues. The AR bandwagon will complement the VR experience whilst offering enterprise with a useful and utilitarian user experience.

Like all predictions, they are guestimates based on research. Whether these predictions pan out is another outcome altogether. However, by highlighting possible avenues of change we can start to understand how smartphone manufacturers will adopt and adapt to new technologies in relation to their own device’s core offerings. Therefore, 2017 looks like an interesting year for smartphone anoraks.

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Best Horror Games for your iPhone

Friday, October 28th, 2016

With Halloween just around the corner, we highlight some of the scariest iOS horror games available now.

Getting in the mood for some cheap scares or gut wrenching horror has never been easier and with the HD displays, great memory and processing speeds for the latest iPhones, these horror games are more frightening than you might realise.

Forgotten Memories: Alternate Realities  £4.49

With several nods to classic titles like Silent Hill and Resident Evil, Forgotten Memories is a beautifully atmospheric game that follows Rose, the games protagonist, in a search for a missing child. The challenging gameplay and amazing graphics makes for a solid game for fans of true survival horror games.

The Walking Dead – 1st Episode FREE

Fans of the TV show or comics will be aware of the genius behind the TellTale studios adaptions in the form of the game. But for everyone else, this episodic point and click game is a thoroughly enjoyable mini-series that follows a group of characters during the breakout of the zombie apocalypse.

Intuitive user interface, a riveting story and some of the most personable characters make the horror of the situation more relatable.

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers – 1st Episode FREE

Our pick of the best horror adventure game on iOS goes to Gabriel Knight. This remastered edition of the original Sins of the Fathers mystery sees egotistical writer Gabe investigating a spate of voodoo murders in New Orleans, as inspiration for his new book. A creepy plot, well-crafted characters and one sublime use of colourful language add up to a sinister yet enjoyable adventure.

The School: White Day – £4.99

There are few worse places to find yourself trapped in overnight than a creepy school filled with bloody terrifying ghosts and ghouls. Sadly that’s exactly what happens in The School: White Day, a remake of a terrifying 2001 PC game that sees you running for your life from those beastly apparitions. With seven endings to see, there’s plenty of reason to play this one over and over.

Adam Wolfe – £8.99

This dark horror mystery is set firmly in a world where the supernatural, cultists and demons all run amok over the city and your task as Adam Wolfe is to hunt down your long-lost sister. It has fun, action packed set pieces, head scratching puzzles, interesting interrogation choices and a sinister and mature theme that lends itself well on the mobile screen.

Last Door: Collector’s Edition – £2.99

Very fun point and click adventure with a just right level of difficulty to keep you puzzled but not enough as to put off. The pixelated graphics are jarring at the beginning are quite quickly forgotten as more detail might have detracted from the quality and suspense of the game, but as you are sucked into the story and familiar control mechanics. Set in Victorian England, when Jeremiah Devitt receives a cryptic message from an old school friend, he knows something is wrong and sets out on his journey to investigate, “discovering things that man was not meant to know, and opening doors that should have remained closed”. As one of the cheaper options on the list, it’s worth checking out. It starts creepy and gets creepier throughout, fans of old classics like Monkey Island will LOVE this game.

Five Nights At Freddy’s – £2.29

Forget the comical and cuddly look of the characters, this game is full of jump scares and an intense difficulty that will break you a few times. But his incredibly well received game is a great concept and thoroughly enjoyable even in the sense of relief to get through the night shift.

You need to conserve power to keep you safe throughout the nightshift, checking on the mechanical toys at a kids party house. If that doesn’t scare you, it really should.

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HTC Announce New Flagship Android Handset – The HTC One X

Monday, February 27th, 2012

HTC made their name producing Windows Mobile handsets but it was their Android phones which raised their profile to be on par with top mobile manufacturers such as Samsung and Sony Ericsson. While they’ve continued to support Microsoft by releasing some excellent Windows Phone 7 devices more often than not HTC’s Android handsets have stolen the show.

Although following previous flagship devices such as the Desire and Sensation is a tall order it looks like the One X should be more than a match for its predecessors. The announcement of the first quad-core handsets means the bar has been raised for all new high-end smartphones and HTC have comfortably lived up to expectations by putting an extremely powerful 1.5GHz quad-core processor in the One X. Considering phones with a decent speed dual-core processor seem to be lightning fast the One X is bound to be astoundingly quick.

The Galaxy Nexus impressed with its large, high resolution screen but the One X’s 4.7 inch 720p screen should look even better as it uses IPS technology meaning we’ll see iPhone 4S quality colour and brightness only at a higher resolution and on a bigger screen. You’ll be wanting some 720p videos to make use of that beautiful screen and luckily there is 32GB of on-board storage ready to be filled with films and music.

While there’s no microSD card slot it’s not the end of the world as HTC have arranged for users to be given 25GB of DropBox storage for saving and sharing all your files. What makes this especially handy is the fact you can sync your DropBox across devices so you could have the same pictures and music available on both your phone, desktop pc and laptop.

The 8 megapixel camera features a burst mode for taking a series of snaps quickly and HTC are boasting that we’ll see none of the lag which plagues most camera phones. A 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera should provide good quality video calling while the back camera can record video at 1080p.

Visually the One X is certainly above average and the polycarbonate body will come in both white and grey (that’s what HTC are calling it but it looks pretty close to black to us). Like the iPhone 4 and 4S the One X takes micro SIM cards rather than the standard size to save on space and although it might be a pain getting a new SIM over time they’re certain to become the standard.

With features other manufacturers don’t have access to such as Beats Audio HTC may have produced a handset that will appeal both to those into the latest technology and those into the latest fashion. The One X looks great, has plenty of power and features a new slicker-looking version of HTC’s Sense UI, depending on what the Samsung Galaxy S III and iPhone 5 have offer this could be the phone to beat this year.

The HTC One X should be available in April although price and availability are still not yet confirmed.

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Samsung Announce Galaxy Ace 2 and Galaxy Mini 2

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

There was a brief period when some of the most well established mobile phone manufacturers appeared to have become a little insignificant when compared to the all conquering iPhone, luckily in the past 18 months manufacturers such as Samsung have released a number of top notch handsets to challenge the iPhone for supremacy.

The Samsung Galaxy S II may not be quite cutting edge any more but many consider it to still be one of the finest phones on the market, the rest of Samsung’s range has taken a number of design cues from the Galaxy S II and use the same TouchWiz interface meaning even if you can’t afford a high-end device you can still get the authentic Samsung experience.

The newly announced Galaxy Ace 2 and Galaxy Mini 2 offer two new options for those one the lookout for a new Android handset. The Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 has a good sized 3.8 inch screen running at 800×480, which should look fine since the screen isn’t too large. It also features a 5 megapixel rear camera with a flash and a front-facing VGA camera for video calling.

The Galaxy Ace 2 may only have 4GB of internal memory (though that’s still more than some high-end handsets such as the HTC Sensation) but the addition of a microSD slot means an extra 32GB can be added. The Galaxy Ace 2 only has an 800Mhz processor but it is dual-core so it shouldn’t be too slow (providing you’re not comparing it to some of the recently announced quad-core Android handsets). Other specs include 768MB of ram, Wi-Fi, GPS and an additional NFC enabled version of the phone.

The Galaxy Mini 2 has a slightly smaller 3.72 inch screen running at only 480×320 which is pretty much standard for lower-end Android handsets. the Galaxy Mini 2 has a 3 megapixel camera with no flash but has the same 4GB of internal memory as the Galaxy Ace 2. A single core 800MHz processor and 512MB of RAM make it obvious this will have much lower performance than the Galaxy Ace 2 and again there will be an NFC enabled version.

Both these phones are a couple of months away from release with April their expected arrival date. No prices have been revealed but the Galaxy Ace 2 will probably be an affordable mid-range handset while the Galaxy Mini 2 is sure to be a low-end handset with a lower price tag to match.

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