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Xiaomi Mi6 – The 2017 Return of the Chinese Underdog?

We give a review of the latest phone from Beijing – How much phone do you get for half the price of the Samsung S8 and latest iPhone.

 

History

Chinese smartphone manufacturers are fighting a war of attrition against their global rivals. Sony, Apple and Samsung have commendable consumer trust. Yet, Chinese phone brands, due to their patchy beginnings selling multi-sim knock-off Android devices on eBay, have had to battle their way into the hearts and minds of the global smartphone market elite. OnePlus, ZTE and Huawei are miles ahead. Yet, another premium provider, Xiaomi, has stumbled in recent years. The company which stole Apple’s head of mobile design and Google’s head of research, has deep pockets and an even deeper pool of talent.

Last year saw Xiaomi release the Mi5 – the flagship – superphone. Yet, those talents acquired from rivals have left. Hugo Barra, from Google, has left to go and head VR at Facebook. Furthermore, Chinese state inspections have resulted in fines for Xiaomi for misrepresenting their products and low quality feedback from Chinese consumers.

This has hurt the brand and the company. However, the big issue is the lack of hardware. The company failed to get Mi6 ready by the January deadline for Mobile World Congress. They stayed away because they had nothing to show. However, the failure to dominate in China will hurt its chances worldwide. The lack of flagship dominance is a major problem and one that could cause a long-term decline in the company’s future plans. So is the Mi6 going to reinvigorate the demand for the brand or will it be another failure to chalk up to poor decisions.

The Xiaomi Mi6

Our heads were turned at Compare and Recycle by the P9, but Xiaomi may have found the formula to attract more buy in from Western markets. They are an already popular brand for deal hunters in the UK and with it’s specifications and price, we can see why. Let’s find out more!

Specifications

Xiaomi phones run on Android, but like many of the manufacturers they put their own flavour on the system with the MIUI system which deserves thorough scrutiny but the system itself looks like it has some advantages over stock Android.

  • High performance Snapdragon 835 processer found in the Samsung S8 and Sony Xperia XZ Premium, 6 GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB storage.
  • 5.15 screen size at 1080 x 1920 pixel
  • 3550maH battery with Quick charge compatible USB-C connection
  • Dual 12 MP cameras on the back
  • 8 MP camera on the front

Impressive headline specifications. Let’s jump into detail.

 

Camera

The camera and software is lauded as just as impressive as the Samsung S8, with the S8 performing only slightly better in low light, but the portrait mode is what sets it apart from the competition. First introduced with the P9, Xiaomi were keen to promote the Portrait Mode that is sure to be the delight of many a selfie-enthusiast.

The end result is a focus on the subject and blurring the rest of the image. The example pictures look great but we can’t help but feel it’s going to need some great conditions to pull off pictures that look as amazing as the ones supplied by Xiaomi.

Luckily, Ben Sin at Forbes has done a brilliant analysis of the picture quality between the two phones, and as some of the pictures below show, the Mi6 holds up against what is considered the best phone on the market.

There’s no denying the quality of the cameras on the Mi6, so we shall see when we finally get our hands on one whether the camera really stacks up compared to the S8 and iPhone as suggested.

Aesthetics

The phone itself is a very familiar size with a 5.15″ screen with curved edges around all the corners, the glass screen covering the home button.

The ceramic version with gold detailing looks as beautiful as it sounds, but be prepared to pay the premium for the design.

Extras

In addition to the great specifications and great aesthetics, it comes splash resistant, which should keep it alive in the rain, but not fully water resistant like the competitors. The phone has done away with the 3.5mm headphone jack which will immediately put off some customers. But the inclusion of USB-C to 3.5mm jack converters should keep people happy before the crossover is made to fully bluetooth headphones.

The earpiece itself can be used as a speaker to give the front plate two speakers in stereo, a feature not effectively used since the HTC M series.

The screen goes down to 1nit and has 4096 brightness levels, and a night mode that goes down to 1nit will be less strain on the eyes.

How much is the Xiaomi Mi 6?

There is no official UK release date for the Mi 6 because it will not officially be sold here, but instead sold through Chinese importers such as Gearbest or Geekbuying, just at a slightly inflated price. The current prices on Gearbest are as follows (correct as of 25/04/2017).

A steep price, but if the performance holds up as well as the Samsung S8, this could turn out to be a steal.

What are the problems with buying Xiaomi?

Before you buy the Xiaomi Mi6 be aware it does not support the 800MHz (Band 20) 4G band in the UK (though it does support 2100MHz and 2600MHz). This means if you are on O2, GiffGaff, Sky Mobile or another network that uses only 800MHz for 4G, you will not be able to receive 4G connectivity.

So if you are on EE, Three or Vodafone, or any of the mobile networks associated with these companies, you will be able to get the fast 4G mobile internet.

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Where to Pre-order Samsung Galaxy S8 Online Now

You may have seen the Unboxing Event, you may have heard the rumours, you may have been lucky enough to see one in person at some selected stores pre release. Now you want to pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S8, but you also want to keep the price down as much as possible.

Luckily we have compiled a list of the top places to pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S8, along with all the details of what you can expect in their contracts, we’ve given you the price you pay upfront, the monthly cost (what you use will be added to this on a monthly basis), and the (minimum) total cost over the course of the contract. We’ve picked out the best deals based on value. Take a look and click through the images to visit the websites.

 

Our Pick – EE Samsung Deal from Carphone Warehouse £35 a month

This is the best deal that we could find, despite the high upfront cost, you will get to benefit from all the advantages of being on the EE network with BT Sport free for 3 months, superfast 4G, and agreement with the London Underground, so if you’re a city dweller, then this is a clear favorite. Carphone Warehouse are also giving away a Samsung Speaker worth £99 to those that pre-order the Samsung S8.

  • You pay £219 up front
  • 24 month contract
  • 7GB Data
  • Unlimited Minutes
  • Unlimited Texts

The total cost over the course of the contract is one of the lowest we could find, so if you don’t mind spending a little more to buy the handset, this is a really, really great deal.

Most Data – Vodafone Samsung Deal from Carphone Warehouse £42 a month – OFFER ENDS TUESDAY 11/04/2017

Some of us need data, whether it’s because of lack of WiFi at home, or the need to tether whilst out and about, we understand that high data packages are a valuable asset for some people. This deal from Vodafone comes with a whopping 24gb data for the most rigorous of data usage, downloading high definition movies and using it for tethering will be no problem for anyone with this deal.

  • You pay £100 up front
  • 24 month contract
  • 24GB Data
  • Unlimited Minutes
  • Unlimited Texts

Coming from Carphone Warehouse this pre-order also comes with the £99 Samsung Bluetooth speaker.

 

Cheapest Deal – 3 Samsung Deal from BuyMobiles £40 a month

If you are desperate to get your hands on the new Samsung Galaxy S8, but are finding it hard to justify, we have just the deal for you, it has £0 upfront payment for the device, and the lowest total cost. The downside is that the allowances are extremely low. But if you spend the majority of your time with great WiFi around you, then the low allowances shouldn’t be that much of a bother with the advent of messaging apps.

  • You pay nothing up front
  • 24 month contract
  • 500MB Data
  • 300 Minutes
  • Unlimited Texts

COMPETITION

If it doesn’t look like you are going to pre-order a Samsung S8 (or even if you are) we are GIVING AWAY a brand new Samsung S8 on release! Come join us over on Facebook to be in with a shot!

 

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Samsung S8 Specification, Release Date, Unboxing Event and Where to Pre-Order

The Samsung Galaxy S8 could go down in history as the worst kept secret in mobile handset launches! There is only very little we don’t know about Samsung’s latest flagship, and with the launch, we expect few surprises. Tease yourself a bit before it gets officially unpacked and read the latest news and rumours about the 2017 Samsung Galaxy S8 UK release date, price, features and specifications.

 

The details have been leaked piece by piece over the past few months. We think we know everything there is to know about the Samsung S8, and we will tell you everything we know as well. However, today (the 29 of March) Samsung is holding their live event (the link to the live stream at the bottom of this page). More quickly you can find it on our Facebook page and Twitter.

The Unpacked event is going to be held in New York and London on Wednesday the 29th of March and in Korea on the 30th of March. If you are lucky enough to have access to an invitation code, you can download the Unpacked App from the Google Play store. But we will be sharing the event and providing commentary on the event that starts at 4pm GMT.

We have covered all the leaks in one of our previous articles, including the much anticipated Bixby personal assistant which has all but been confirmed by the Korean brand, but there have been additional leaks and information since we last shared the article such as the full palette of colours that the new Samsung will be available in. Courtesy of ever-leaking Evan Blass @evleaks on Twitter.

 

Whether the Samsung Galaxy S8 will be a success remains to be seen, Samsung have had to deal with a fair bit of criticism since the Note 7 fiasco and brand confidence is lower than it has ever been. This time it has a lot more to prove and the expectations are going to be set higher than they have ever been before.

Release Date

The release date hasn’t officially been confirmed, but it is rumoured to be on pre-order from April 10th and potentially going to land in stores on April 21st.

Where to watch

The event is going to be live streamed on the Samsung website and you will be able to find it there.

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

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.

GCSE Pod

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 gcsepod.com 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

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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Ultimate Samsung Galaxy S8 Competition Guide

To celebrate the release of Samsung’s next flagship, we are giving away a brand new Samsung Galaxy S8!
Below we give you advice on how to ensure your entry and an opportunity to win the prize.

 

 

We are giving away Samsung Galaxy S8!

The 29th of March is officially announced to be the date when the world will see the Samsung Galaxy S8. Long time awaited, teased with so many leaks floating online we decided to spread the joy of upcoming release and give away the next generation smartphone completely for free.

You’ll access a wide range of incredible upgrades, including access to the newest version of Snapdragon 835, sleek edge-to-edge design, water and dust resistant technology, improved battery life, and even a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. And yes, the camera is new and improved too, allowing you to take sharp photos even in low-light settings, meaning your selfies will look stunning. Isn’t this fantastic?

Connect with us on Facebook

That’s right, ahead of the official launch date, we are giving you the opportunity to become the owner of the latest tech upgrade from Samsung and be the one for whom Galaxy S8 will be pre-ordered. All you have to do to enter is go to our Facebook page, give us your like, share the competition post with your friends and comment the competition post telling us how much your old phone is worth according to compareandrecycle.co.uk.

The competition will be launched on our Facebook page this Friday the 17th of March. You can find the terms and conditions of this competition here.

Tell us how much your ‘oldie’ is worth

We are keen on latest technology innovations and upgrades by leading industry companies, but we also care about the environment and e-waste management. Therefore one of qualifications to register your entry for this competition is to check how much cash you can get recycling your phone with us. Besides winning a stunning premium flagship, you can place your order on our website and get extra cash, what a catch, right?

And finally “Good luck!”

Ready to make your friends jealous? We bet you are! Head over to our Facebook page, have a read through our hottest industry updates, stay tuned and don’t miss the competition. It’s worth it! In the meantime you can check out our Samsung Galaxy S8 rumour roundup as well. Good luck!

 

 

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Mobile World Congress – Roundup

Wow! This year was a busy one and without a Galaxy Phone or iPhone presentation, it left room for some of the other manufacturers to get some hotdogging and grandstanding into the conference.

BlackBerry Mercury

Last year BlackBerry awarded its handset manufacturing license to TCL, the company that makes Alcatel phones, signalling an introduction of a new BlackBerry handset. In the following months at CES, the company showed off their new model with a full keyboard and fingerprint sensor.

BlackBerry KEYone

At the 2017 Mobile World Congress, manufacturing company TLC showcased the BlackBerry Mercury as well as unveiling the KEYone with some quite impressive specifications

The KEYone is going to launch with a 4.5-inch 1080p display, combining physical keyboard and touch screen capabilities.

The keyboard responds to “smart gestures” and can be programmed with up to 52 shortcuts. In practicality whether the smart gesture is just a long press of the button or not, who knows, but this could hit the right boxes for anyone that misses the feel of a tiny physical keyboard.

It is going to run Android 7.1 so it does pull into question whether it will be as business friendly as the old ones.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium

The new Sony flagship range was announced at this year’s MWC with four new handsets getting released. The Xperia XZ Premium as well as the Xperia XZs, Xperia XA1 Ultra and Xperia XA1.

Is this too many phones? Samsung and Apple have scaled back the concurrent releases so we shall see.

The XZ Premium has a 4K HDR, 5.5in display, an ultra slow-mo mode that lets you record at an impressive 960fps, “Predictive Capture” that takes up to four photos a second before you even click the shutter button, all powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor.

Elsewhere, the nano-SIM Premium has a fingerprint sensor, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, IP65/68 water resistance, USB Type C connectivity and a headphone jack an impressive set of specification from the third most popular phone manufacturer in the UK.

Sony Xperia XZs and XA1

Sony also announced smaller versions of the phone with a 5.2inch full 1080p GD screen, 4GB ram and USB type C connection alongside a 5inch XA1 and 6inch ZA1 Ultra.

Motorola

Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus

No more cheap plastic on the latest instalments by Motorola, they have gone for a premium feel handset whilst keeping the low cost that fans of the brand will be accustomed to.

Both of the handsets will run Android 7.0 with the introduction of Google Assistant, giving you Pixel-matching features from a sub-£200 handset – the G5 will retail for £169, a very strong selling point in a day when the top range of phones are costing upwards of £700.

The specifications aren’t all that bad either, the G5 has a 5-inch, full HD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 chipset, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage with an expandable microSD card slot. The rear-facing 13MP camera has a f/2.0 aperture and autofocus; on the front is a 5MP wide-angle f/2.2.

The G5 Plus has a 5.2-inch screen, 2.0GHz Snapdragon 625 octa-core chip, 2GB or 4GB of RAM, 32GB of 64GB of internal storage and a microSD slot. The main camera is 12MP with an f/1.7 aperture. The front-facing camera is the same as the G5’s, getting you a lot of bang-for-your-buck at £259.

Huawei

Huawei P10 and P10 Plus

We have covered the Huawei in some depth before as the latest innovation to come out of the Eastern brand, this time they have up with GoPro, Leica, and Pantone for its P10 and the P10 Plus phones, and they will be released alongside a new range of smartwatches to get the most out of the mobiles social features.

The camera is still going to be one of the main selling points of the P10, as the collaboration with Leica has been to develop a dual lens front camera.

Samsung

Samsung Gear VR with controller

The Samsung Gear VR with Controller powered by Oculus, is Samsungs first foray into a dedicated VR headset.

They introduced a new controller that looks a little smaller than the HTC version but with the same various buttons and controllers.

Samsung’s Creative Lab

Known as C-Lab, the innovations coming out the Samsung lab are exciting and are pushing the accessibility and usefulness of VR in an every day setting and these were worth shouting about;

– Relúmĭno, a visual aid app that works with Gear VR for near blind and visually impaired people which should help them to read books and watch TV
– Monitorless, a device that looks like a regular pair of sunglasses but acts as a remote-control VR/AR solution letting consumers use smartphones and PCs without a monitor
– VuildUs, a home interior and furnishing app that lets users see what new furniture would look like in a room
– traVRer, 360-degree video aiming to give a realistic virtual travel experience before and after real-life journeys.

Samsung Galaxy S8?

At the end of Samsung’s Mobile World Congress presentation, the firm dropped a teaser trailer for its next handset, expected to be called the Samsung Galaxy S8.

While no official details about the handset have been announced, we do have a list of current leaks on the website and we now know at least one handset will launch at the Unpacked event in New York on the 28th March and that Samsung’s event will take place at the Lincoln Center from 4pm GMT.

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Who is Bixby? We Say Hello to the Personal Assistant by Samsung

With Samsung about to be release their latest mobile phone, we take a deeper dive into ‘Bixby’, the personal assistant coming out with all new Galaxy phones!

We’ve heard a lot about voice assistants but none have really started to change the day to day lives of the every-man. But despite this they are being offered with increasing regularity in smart home appliances, alarm clocks and smartphones.

Each tech giant seems to have their own application, Apple has Siri, Amazon has Alexa, Google launched Google Assistant and Cortana introduced by Microsoft. With the Samsung Galaxy S8 release later this month, the AI family will have another member – Bixby (that’s the name buzzing around at the moment) – Samsung’s own voice assistant.

Bixby was developed after Samsung acquired Viv last year – an artificial intelligence company founded by the makers of Apple’s Siri. Viv’s technology enabled Samsung to debut its own voice assistant and bring its next flagships to a new level of smartphone experience.

What Bixby must offer

If rumours are to be believed, Bixby is expected to really fulfil its promise for the use on mobile. Bixby will recognise your voice and will let you do everything. Would it be Samsung home appliances and third-party applications control or payment processing with your voice commands and object recognition.

Galaxy S8 prototypes featured a button located on the side edge of the flagship that is rumoured to be used to activate Bixby’s functionality. We might assume there will be several options to choose Bixby’s activation mode and button on the side is just one of them.

Bixby will arrive with system-wide functionality. To be exact, this will enable users to require more sophisticated search from Bixby. For example, you’d want to have a look at specific picture, just ask Bixby and it will dig into Gallery app and present it to you in a few seconds.

Just like Google Assistant Bixby will offer context based answers and actions as well as it will provide visual search using Galaxy S8 camera. To keep similar design, Samsung will update native apps with a new user interface.

Moreover, third-party app integrations will be available with Bixby. This was announced by Samsung’s CTO Injong Rhee to the Korea Herald in November last year. Specifically, an open AI platform will bring a complete change allowing smartphone users to browse online stores, order Uber with simple voice commands leaving separate apps in the past.

With all those leaks and rumours floating around Samsung Galaxy S8 and its AI, we might see how Bixby will win the virtual assistance race with its advanced functionalities. But all we are left with is just waiting for the official release of Samsung’s next flagship and admire new technologies in all its glory.

Come join us on Facebook for more Samsung S8 news

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All The Samsung Galaxy S8 Leaks Roundup

With the release of the new teaser video from Samsung, it is now confirmed that Samsung are going to announce their new flagship phone on the 28th March.

But in the months leading up to a new phone announcement, there are a plethora of leaks as more and more people are shown the product, whether to create third party peripherals or coming from the factories themselves, they always make their way to the Internet.

So is what we know, and what we think we know about the new Samsung Galaxy S8:

Two sizes

Samsung look to be keeping with tradition by releasing two sizes of the phone, the regular S8 appears to be released with a 5.8-inch screen, and the “S8 Plus” (speculated name) will have a 6.2-inch display.

 

Corners are round

If you look at the two images, above it appears that Samsung are putting all their eggs in the curved basket. Every leaked image that has hit the Internet the corners have been curved.

It has been repeatedly stated that curved edges give greater durability on impact so it’s no surprise that many of the phone manufacturers are moving towards this similar shape.

 

Snapdragon 835

Whilst anything with Snapdragon 821 would be quite underwhelming, it’s all but confirmed that the S8 will be launching with the newest version of Snapdragon 835, which, by the looks of it, is going to be mightily impressive.

Removal of the home button

To make the screen as impressive as possible, the physical home button has been removed and instead replaced with a virtual home button in the screen itself.

The home button also had an additional function of being the fingerprint sensor to unlock the phone, so you may be asking if there’s any news where this is going to be?

Fingerprint sensor on the back

According to some of the leaked images, the fingerprint sensor has been moved to the back of the phone next to the camera lens. To us here at Compare and Recycle, this feels like a strange place to move it, but we will see in practice how effective it is.

We like to unlock our phones from our desk with a single finger, so this could turn to be a controversial move and is lightyears behind the patent that is currently doing the rounds of having the sensor on the whole screen.

 

AI Bixby

The battle of the virtual assistants is really starting to hot up. The co-founder of Siri has also set up an additional virtual assistant known as Viv. Samsung acquired Viv Labs in October as they have seen the benefit of having personal assistants within the handset.

The project of integration is only known as Bixby, we are digging up more information as we speak so expect a blog post of what we know soon.

Iris Scanner

Again looking at next generation technology, there are claims based on the current leaks that the new Samsung will have an iris scanner for unlocking the phone. This could justify moving the fingerprint sensor to the back of the handset.

Headphone Jack and USB-C

Back to the leaked images, it is clear that Samsung have no plans to drop the headphone jack and the charge port looks to be the USB-C variety, so hopefully this will support fast charging and other next generation USB options.

That’s everything that we think we know about the Samsung based on the most reliable leak sources. But see for yourself on some of the leak video roundups below.

 

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SONY XPERIA XZ Premium – The never-ending story?

Sony has long desired to break into the mainstream, in terms of market share, in the mobile handset marketplace. The company was in a prime position in the noughties to help dominate the market, but a series of blundering and cumbersome handsets and a mistaken merger with Erickson created a massive mobile failure within the Sony empire. It is a company that has changed consumer behaviour with wide screen TVs, Walkman’s, PlayStations and more. Yet, the mobile phone has been a battle for Sony. Have they overcome this war of attrition with the new Sony Xperia XZ Premium?

Design

It is similar to the XZ and X1 ranges and has remained pretty stagnant. Yet, there is a reason behind this lack of design flair. The design team are taking the Porsche approach. They are utilising a singular characteristically-driven design policy. This means all Sony devices will look somewhat characteristically-similar. This to help people learn to notice the Sony ‘design’ – the OmniBalance design. It is already called the Sony handset design. Nokia’s own failed Lumia range was controversially slated for copying the Sony design principle.

However, there is a variance therein to the OmniBalance design. The use of tempered glass, improved waterproofing and brushed metal has helped to give the device a more premium feel. The device, in hand, does feel light but there is hidden substance when gripping the handset. The Corning Gorilla Glass display offers a more seamless display space. The display is a 5.5” screen with 4K resolution at 806ppi with Dolby Vision HDR on-board – this is similar to the LG G6 Plus setup.

Camera, software and other specs

The camera is a new Carl Zeiss Exmoor RS lens and sensor with improved scanning, data transfer and balance all powered through the 19-megapixel resolution device. The handset has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with 4Gb of RAM with 64Gb of storage with a super-powerful 3,230mAh battery with Adaptive Charging (Sony’s fast-charge alternative).

The software side sees the Sony Xperia XZ Premium loaded with the latest Nougat Android OS. The usual Sony bloatware includes PlayStation linking apps and Sony’s brilliant battery software which can help provide 26 hours battery life on a full charge. However, the Amazon/Sony collaboration over 4K means there is a special Amazon app that allows users to access the latest 4K entertainment.

The handset is a premium device. The technology and hardware do play an integral part as does the premium software. However, there is a sense that the Sony device is trying too hard to succeed. There isn’t a sense of passion, like one gets with HTC, LG or even Apple. Sony has created a brilliant device that is passionless. This is a problem for design and handset aficionados. The lack of buzz with the device hinders its social impact. This is a popular retort – even Gartner argued likewise. What is needed is a device that merges the technologically ingenious with the passionate opulence of ingenuity. Alas, in this case, Sony has failed to offer the right balance.

UK-based smartphone users will be able to unlock the full potential of latest Sony Xperia XZ Premium later this spring. According to the Clove Technology, UK online store, the price tag for the handset is £537,50 (ex VAT), although Sony didn’t specify pricing and exact release date during recently concluded Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona.

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Huawei – A new mobile Eastern promise?

Huawei has been building up public support as a premium brand over the course of the last half decade. They have created devices that have changed the debate. Their design format has helped to change the design debate around mobile phones. The issue is Chinese consumer items have very low positive public sentiment. People buy cheap Chinese goods because they’re cheap, in fact. This has impacted high-value Chinese brands. Huawei is countering this public conception by building innovative and game-changing devices that make even Apple and Samsung sit up and start to take the Huawei threat seriously.

At Mobile World Congress this week, in Barcelona, Huawei unveiled the new P10 and P10 Plus flagships. The premium P10 Plus is the most audacious handset ever announced by Huawei. The 5.5” display with an array of powerful components for a radically low price is a carefully created balance to help nurture new consumer interest. The P10 Plus is a wondrous device to behold. The glass coating screen and brushed metal rear casing is a joy to handle. The device is not too heavy whilst retaining a sense of quality with its curved rear helping to make it balance more evenly in-hand.

The new Huawei P10 comes with impressive changes

The handset is unlike the P9. The finger print reader has been relocated to the front of the device. The new Corning’s Gorilla Glass is the strongest tempered glass ever used in a mobile device. There is a legacy drawback – unlike HTC and other manufacturers – the fingerprint sensor is not a ‘home’ style button. This can cause new users some disquiet when trying to return to the home screen. However, Huawei has a series of proprietary gestures that can help move around quite easily – once learned.

The display is a beautifully vibrant Quad HQ screen with display ratio of 2560 x 1440. This means it is one of the most impressive ultra-high definition displays available. The only drawback is that the display could be crisper still if they’d have opted for an AMOLED screen as opposed to an LCD organic display. The device comes with dual-cameras with the main camera using Leica Summarit lenses with 20-megapixel sensors. The basic details are as such: A Kirin 960 octo-core processor with 4 or 6GB of RAM available and a 3,750mAh battery which is SuperCharge compliant meaning half a battery charge can be accomplished within 30 minutes of charge time.

The Huawei P10 Plus is a tour de force in both design and technological endeavour. The device brings together the historic evolution of the P-range with an innovative streak with better technology and software to help get the very best out of a handset that costs half the amount of the alternative iPhone 7 Plus. Huawei has a long way to go in order to build up a more progressive brand loyalty and following. However, devices like the P10 and P10 Plus are massive steps in the right direction towards dethroning Samsung and Apple as bastions of mobile innovation and technological genius. Both models are expected to be available in the UK late March – April , although the price tags haven’t been confirmed yet.

 

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