Feeds

Seven snazzy smartphones for seven sorts of shoppers

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

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

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
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
NVIDIA claims first 64-bit ARMv8 SoC for Androids
Mile-High 'Denver' Tegra K1 successor said to rival PC performance
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.