Feeds

Seven snazzy smartphones for seven sorts of shoppers

How to pick the high-end handset that’s right for you

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Product Round-up The main drawback of folk thinking you know more than the average person in the street about digital kit is the inevitable stream of requests from friends, relatives and people you’ve slept with to suggest the ideal new phone for them come upgrade time.

It’s not that I mind helping but I do tire of the inevitable “...but so-and-so’s handset does this or that and what you recommended doesn’t” remarks that come after the event.

smartphones

As if I have nothing better to do than list the good and bad points of every handset, operating system and app market under the sun.

Frankly, life is too short. Here then is my potted seven-part guide to what to look for in a new mobile presented in the hope no one will ever, ever ask me this question again. Or at least until the iPhone 6 comes out.

In choosing my devices, I made no effort to include every popular operating system. The fact they all get a look-in was purely good fortune.

I should make it clear: this round-up only concerns itself with top-end devices, so my suggestions are not absolute. When it comes to battery life, a fifteen-quid Nokia 100 will beat the pants of anything listed here and it costs £224 less than my choice in the best-value category.

Battery life

Power to all my friends

It doesn’t matter how big the screen, how good the camera or how lightning fast the chipset: if your phone drains its battery faster than a 1973 Motorola DynaTAC, it is going to prove as much use as a blancmange crowbar. Having lived with an HTC Desire HD with its puny 1250mAh battery, I speak from experience.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Not bad for your batt ... Samsung Galaxy Note II

There are ways around this of course. Most obviously you can do what I did and invest in a rechargeable battery pack which not only will keep your handset juiced up when you are out and about but will also let you charge other gadgets.

The simplest answer, though, is to buy a phone with a bloody big battery. And they don’t come bigger than the one fitted to the Motorola Razr Maxx HD, which has a 3300mAh fixed beneath its kevlar back panel. Sadly, for reasons best known to Motorola, the Maxx HD is a US-only exclusive for Verizon and a UK release it looking less and less likely.

Samsung Galaxy Note II

The Note II’s big battery is removable too

The next best choice is the Samsung Galaxy Note II, which has a 3100mAh removable battery. If that’s still not enough, you can buy third-party batteries from the likes of Mugen for the Note II with capacities as high as 6400mAh, though these come with replacement back covers that do nothing for the Note’s looks, weight or drag coefficient.

Even with the standard battery the Note II will see you through more than two full days of intense use. When I tested it I got eight solid hours of HD video playback from a full charge which isn’t shabby at all. I know a Note II user with a Mugen battery who only charges his phone once every five days.

Motorola Razr Maxx HD

Battery master, but alas Motorola won’t bring the 3300mAh Razr Maxx HD to the UK

You should also consider the power demands of 4G/LTE if battery life is important to you. The upside of 4G is, of course, that you will get much faster data speeds - when you can get a signal at least - but the downside is a reduction of between 20 and 25 per cent in battery life.

Boost IT visibility and business value

Next page: Messaging

More from The Register

next story
Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax
Without representation, too. Time for a Boston (Lincs) Macbook Party?
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple ran off to IBM
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Apple gets patent for WRIST-PUTER: iTime for a smartwatch
It does everything a smartwatch should do ... but Apple owns it
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.