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Microsoft Lumia 640 XL

Phablet for the biz fleet with easy typing: Microsoft Lumia 640 XL

Review One of my surprising reviews last year was Nokia’s huge, budget phablet, the Lumia 1320. It's fairly similar to the most recent Lumia 640 XL. Microsoft Lumia 640 XL Microsoft's Lumia 640 XL: available in 3G and 4G versions The previous Lumia 1320 was hard to find in the retail catalogues and even Nokia didn’t seem to care for …
BlackBerry Leap

BlackBerry Leap: Touching biz users with a budget(ish) device

Review The Leap is the first full-touch device BlackBerry has released in 18 months, and only the third to be released in developed markets. It’s also the cheapest, with the BlackBerry UK store listing it at £199 including VAT. BlackBerry Leap Fleeting gesture: BlackBerry Leap So at first glance, the Leap promises to be a 2015 …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Apr 2015
Microsoft Lumia 640 Windows Phone

Life after Nokia: Microsoft Lumia 640 budget WinPho blower

Review Is the Nokia Microsoft Lumia 640 an Office subscription with a free phone, or a phone with a free Office subscription? Either way, it's likely to be the biggest mobile device for Microsoft since the days of Zune and Kin – and the company is getting more aggressive with its marketing. Microsoft Lumia 640 Windows Phone Office …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Apr 2015
Motorola Moto G 4G

Motorola's 5-incher finds the G-spot: Moto G 4G budget Android smartie

Review Back in December 2013, I hailed the first generation Motorola Moto G as the best affordable smartphone on the market. If you want a reasonably compact 4.5-inch device, then, arguably, it still is the best, thanks to a midlife facelift that added a microSD slot and 4G reception. Motorola Moto G 4G Motorola Moto G 4G A larger, …
Alun Taylor, 13 Apr 2015
Samsung Galaxy S6

Steely wonder? It's blind to 4G and needs armour: Samsung Galaxy S6

Review I’ve found life is so much easier if one sticks to three simple rules. Never drive a Volvo car, never buy a Samsung phone, and always grind your own coffee. However, I might have to rethink one of those – and it isn’t the coffee. Samsung Galaxy S6 Samsung's Galaxy S6 flagship handset Samsung can’t do anything without a …
HTC One M9 Android smartphone

HTC One M9 Android smartphone: Like a M8 with a squinty eye

Review In a world of generic smartphones where even Apple and Samsung seem to be converging on the same design, HTC has designed phones that are pretty distinctive – the HTC One is one of the very few brands you can recognise from across a room. HTC One M9 Android smartphone Standing out from the crowd, HTC's One M9 HTC has also …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Mar 2015
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge: A side swipe at smartphone design

Review Edge. Get used to the word. From here on in, if the scuttlebut is to be believed, several flagship Samsung devices will be available with an Edge variant.  An Edgy version of the Galaxy S6 has already been confirmed.  A what? In simple terms with a bit of extra screen that curves around the right hand edge of the device. …
Alun Taylor, 3 Mar 2015
Yotaphone 2 dual-display Android smartphone

Russian revolution: YotaPhone 2 double-screen JANUS MOBE

Review The more touchscreen smartphones find homes, the more the world is cluttered with uniform, conformist devices. No matter who designs them or who makes them, they all look pretty much the same. Interesting decorative design can be found in abundance but true innovation is a rare bird. Yotaphone 2 dual-display Android smartphone …
Alun Taylor, 10 Feb 2015
HTC Desire Eye Android smartphone

HTC Desire Eye: The Android superior selfie shooter

Review Why has HTC’s flagship M8 One not been more popular? It’s visually arresting, critically highly regarded, has a great display, and is very well made. It should sell more strongly than it does. Of course there are some negatives. The 4MP large-pixel camera is a bit of a strange fish, some regard the ostentatious speakers as ugly …
Alun Taylor, 12 Jan 2015
BlackBerry Classic QWERTY key smartphone

QWERTY-tastic BlackBerry Classic actually a classic

Review BlackBerry has looked into the abyss and seen ... a vintage BlackBerry staring back. Two years on from a catastrophic “modernisation”, BlackBerry has finally made a modern BlackBerry that people who used and liked a classic QWERTY keyboard BlackBerry will feel right at home with. Which accounts for the name. Natch. BlackBerry …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 Dec 2014
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

Little big phone: Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, a toothsome hand-fulla Android

Review This has been a year of pain for Android phone makers, and Sony has suffered as much in this over-saturated market as anyone. But manufacturers' pain is your gain. Sony's overlooked Z3 Compact is, for you if not Sony, the happy result. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Sony's Xperia Z3 Compact: the flagship for smaller pockets It’s a …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Dec 2014
Amazon Fire Phone

What's MISSING on Amazon Fire Phone... and why it WON'T set the world alight

Review Having a headline piece of consumer tech crash and burn in the US market is every company's nightmare – and that's exactly what happened to Amazon’s Fire Phone, whose price has just PLUNGED from $449 to $199 Stateside. Amazon Fire Phone top and bottom bezels. Pic: Alun Taylor Hefty bezels: Amazon's Fire Phone is pretty pricey …
Alun Taylor, 26 Nov 2014
Motorola Moto X Android smartphone

PHONDLESLAB-ULOUS: Motorola Moto X Android phablet

Review So, you want a Nexus 6. And why not? It’s a cracking bit of kit. But to my mind it’s a bit big and a bit expensive. And as for personalisation, forget it. Perhaps then Motorola can tempt you with the 6’s smaller, cheaper and altogether more modifiable little brother, the new Moto X? Motorola Moto X Android smartphone Not such a …
Alun Taylor, 18 Nov 2014
Nexus 6

LARGE, ROUND and FEELS SO GOOD in your hand: Yes! It's a Nexus 6

Review We've been running the new Google-mungous big Nexus 6 smartphone and Android 5.0 through our hands-on real-world testing – and here are the results. Nexus 6 The Nexus range is Google's attempt to show the world exactly what an Android phone should be. As we've seen with past models, that usually means a stripped-down handset …
Iain Thomson, 12 Nov 2014
Samsung Galaxy Alpha

This is why we CAN have nice things: Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Review It must sting Samsung that the criticism most often levelled at the manufacturer is that its flagship Galaxy S devices feel cheap and plasticky. And for once the criticism is not just coming from Apple fans. Samsung Galaxy Alpha Samsung's Galaxy Alpha: looks like all the others in the range at first glance The Galaxy S3, S4 …
Alun Taylor, 29 Oct 2014

Lumia 830: Microsoft hopes to seduce with slim 'affordable' model

The Lumia 830, which is already available in the UK, is another midrange Lumia (from Microsoft, but it retains the Nokia brand) fighting for your attention. It squeaks in at under £300 SIM-free (it's £279 on PAYG at EE) or is free on contracts at around £25/month. I must admit, before the device arrived, the omens weren't good …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Oct 2014
Sony Xperia Z3 Android smartphone

Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?

Review The decisions that must be going on at Sony’s mobile R&D division are certainly intriguing, if not baffling. Six months after it was launched, the Xperia Z2 has been replaced by the Z3 and barely nine months after it was launched, the Z1 Compact has been replaced by the Z3 Compact (there wasn’t a Z2 Compact, so don’t panic). …
Alun Taylor, 20 Oct 2014
BlackBerry Passport

Vulture takes BlackBerry's Passport through customs

Review Absent for almost a year, BlackBerry has returned to the fray with the striking Passport, an updated OS and Blend – a secure desktop companion for the phone. BlackBerry Passport Daring to be different: BlackBerry's Passport There are two distinguishing features in this device: first, its display is square and very wide. …
Nokia Lumia 735 Windows Phone

Nokia Lumia 735: Ignore the selfie hype, it's a grown-up phone

Review Occasionally a phonemaker hits one out of the park, getting almost everything right, and bringing it together in one satisfying package. Motorola did that with the Moto G, and Microsoft's (formerly Nokia) phones division has done the same with its Lumia 730 and 735 models. Nokia Lumia 735 Windows Phone A glimpse of perfection? …
Apple iPhone 4s, 5s, 6 and 6 Plus

Apple iPhone 6 Plus: GORGEOUS FAT pixel density - but it's WASTED

Review + Vid Samsung doesn’t invent anything: it just "copies Apple." Even judges say so. The only explanation for the new iPhone 6 Plus, then, is that Samsung copied it early. Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Fatboy Slim: Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus side by side As the South Koreans have been quick to point out, Cupertino’s 5.5-inch …
Apple iPhone 6

Apple iPhone 6: Looking good, slim. AW... your battery died

Review When Apple released the first commercially available multi-touch phone in 2007, it had to decide how big it should be. And it got it right first time. Yet this year’s new models – the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus – both break that mould. The iPhone 6 Plus, which we review tomorrow, makes a feature of its bigness; but the …
Adam Banks, 22 Sep 2014
Microsoft LUMIA NOKIA 530

Nokia Lumia 530: A Windows Phone... for under £50

Review How much new smartphone will £50 buy you? Quite a bit, it turns out. The Lumia 530 is available this week from £39.95 for SIM-free upgrades (though it's £82.52 SIM-free) and will feature on the high street for just a little more, with no strings attached. Microsoft LUMIA NOKIA 530 As it turns out, the Lumia 530 is a very …
OnePlus One Android smartphone

Cut price Android on steroids: OnePlus One – should we look gift horse in the gob?

Review The idea behind the OnePlus One is very simple: source the best components you need for a top-spec Android phone, one that’s just as good as a branded Tier One Android flagship, and sell it direct at the fraction of the price. OnePlus One Android smartphone OnePlus One Android smartphone Chuck out the overhead of a multi- …
Nokia Lumia 930

PICS: Nokia Lumia 930 – We reveal its ONE unique selling point

Review The Lumia 930 is the first upmarket phone in eight months from Nokia's former mobile phone division – now owned by Microsoft. The "Microkia" offering is a solid but quite unspectacular upgrade for Windows Phone users. However, there's nothing really new here. If you're looking for a phone with something distinctive, a bit of a …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Jul 2014
LG G3 Android smartphone

LG drops G3 quad HD Android mobe with FRIGGIN' LASER camera

Review LG is releasing its new G3 smartphone today. It’s a large device made slim and comfortable by clever design, and is distinguished by a mind-boggling screen, and a superb camera. It’s let down only by hardware buttons, which can be a challenge to locate with accuracy, and the software execution, which hasn’t really tamed Android …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Jun 2014

Huawei Ascend P7: We review the PANORAMIC SELFIE smartphone

Review Last year Huawei crept into the No 3 spot for smartphone sales worldwide without anyone really noticing. At least not here, where Chinese giant is known (if it’s known for anything) for its networking equipment. But with the Ascend P7, it raises its game in two ways. It’s Huawei’s first 4G phone, and it's by far the most …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Jun 2014
Geeksphone Revolution Android/Firefox OS Smartphone

Doubletalk: Geeksphone Revolution dual-OS smartphone

Review Open-source enthusiasts have hailed Mozilla’s Firefox smartphone operating system as a liberation from the power and intrusiveness of Google, Apple and Microsoft, who each demand your soul in return for getting the most out of their mobile OSes. The open-source crowd may have a point, though a larger number of commentators are …
Alun Taylor, 5 Jun 2014

A budget phablet, what a curious thing: Reg puts claws to the Lumia 1320

Review My bit of London is phablet city... or phondleslab city, if you prefer. But it isn't the media luvvies* or the bankers or the barristers who live here who carry the phablets, it's the people who work for them. The 4G-LTE-supported smartphone-cum-tablets are wielded by the nannies and cleaners, for whom it might be their only …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 May 2014
Nokia Lumia 630

Hello Moto... It's the Nokia Lumia 630

Review Nokia’s cheap-as-chips Windows Phone the Lumia 520 finally gave it a hit after years of decline, and the new 630 is itching to take the baton. The timing and the price of the Lumia 520 were spot on. BlackBerry had failed to update its BB7 phones for almost two years, and had nothing new to offer the budget segment of the market …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 May 2014
No flash and a fixed battery

Motorola Moto E: Brill budget blower with one bothersome blunder

Review Motorola couldn't have asked for more from the affordable Moto G. It bumped the company’s UK smartphone market share from next to nothing to 6 per cent all by itself. For the first time in more than a decade, it gave European stores a Motorola device people actually wanted. Motorola Moto E budget Android smartphone Motorola's …
Alun Taylor, 19 May 2014

Sony Xperia Z2: 4K vid, great audio, waterproof ... Oh, and you can make a phone call

Review What do you want in a smartphone? A premium build quality? A high-resolution display that looks the business whether you’re watching a movie or reading a book? Maybe it’s a decent camera so you can ditch your compact snapper. As phones become better at doing all these things, manufacturers struggle to make their products stand …
David Phelan, 23 Apr 2014
Oppo N1 CyanogenMod Edition

A premium smartie lump: Oppo N1 CyanogenMod Edition

Review While most Chinese smartphone OEMs started life making cheap tat and then slowly began moving upmarket, Oppo has taken a slightly different tack. Its devices have been fairly high-end from the get-go and the N1, initially released running Android 4.2 back in September 2013, made quite a splash. Oppo N1 CyanogenMod Edition Oppo …
Alun Taylor, 22 Apr 2014
Samsung Galaxy S5

Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style

Review Samsung is the world’s dominant mobile phone manufacturer – but does that mean it’s the best? Its latest release is the Galaxy S5, a mainstream phone designed to sell in huge numbers. It’s big, with a 5.1-inch screen, measuring up at 142 x 73 x 8mm, so it won’t suit smaller mitts. Samsung Galaxy S5 Samsung's Galaxy S5: eye- …
David Phelan, 11 Apr 2014
HTC One M8 camera tricks

HTC One M8: Reg man takes spin in Alfa Romeo of smartphone world

Review If phone companies were car manufacturers, HTC would be Alfa Romeo to Samsung's BMW. Customers look at the HTC One, see how it matches the Galaxy spec for spec, how it's that little bit more interesting and significantly nicer as a physical object... and then buy the Samsung anyway. HTC One M8 The road less travelled? HTC's One …
Simon Rockman, 1 Apr 2014
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

Little pink handjob: Sony's Xperia Z1 Compact

Review For the last 18 or so months, if you'd wanted a high-end Android smartphone you’ve had to make do with something a bit on the large size. The HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4, LG G Flex, Nokia 925, Sony Xperia Z1 all have one thing in common: they are big old Hectors compared to Apple’s iPhone 5S. Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Sony Xperia …
Alun Taylor, 28 Mar 2014
Motorola Moto X

X-rated Android antics: Motorola's Moto X puts boot in chunky brother

Review When the Moto X was launched in the US back in August, it was a pretty big deal. Why? Because it was the first handset wholly conceived by Motorola under Google's stewardship, it was assembled in the States itself rather than the Far East, it was available with a dizzying number of personalisation options thanks to the Moto …
Alun Taylor, 4 Mar 2014
LG G2

Baby's got the bends: LG's D958 G Flex Android smartie

Review Ask any consumer technology pundit and they will tell you the future of communications gadgets is all about physical flexibility and wearability. With its new G Flex tablette, LG has embraced the former and produced a device with a flexible screen and a flexible battery. It's a handset that trumpets its form just as loudly as …
Alun Taylor, 7 Feb 2014
Motorola Moto G

Best budget Android smartphone there is? Must be the Moto G

Review Regular readers of my phone reviews for El Reg will be well aware that I like cheap devices. On these very pages I have sung the praises of handsets such as Huawei’s Ascend G310 and ZTE’s Skate – aka the Orange Monte Carlo – after being impressed by the quality they offered for the money demanded. Motorola Moto G Moto G: …
Alun Taylor, 2 Dec 2013
Sony Xperia Z1

Getting it right on the second attempt: Sony Xperia Z1

Review The Xperia Z has had a surprisingly short stint as the top dog of Sony’s smartphone range and has now been unceremoniously ousted by the Xperia Z1. Sony Xperia Z1 Sony’s Xperia Z1: getting it right, second time around? But the new Z1 isn’t just a cosmetic warm-over. It has a more powerful processor, a much improved screen, a …
Alun Taylor, 18 Nov 2013
LG G2

LG’s G2: The phondleslab that wants you to TOUCH ITS BEHIND

Review For all the variation in screen size and the occasional BlackBerry with a keyboard, the design of modern smartphones is remarkably similar: an oblong lump with some sort of button arrangement below the screen and the power and volume controls scattered around the edge. LG G2 LG’s G2: not large in the hand But no longer. With …
Alun Taylor, 14 Nov 2013
Nexus 5

Google's Nexus 5: Best smartphone bang for your buck. There, we said it

Review Google's successor to the Nexus 4 is out and it's the first handset to carry the Android 4.4 operating system, aka KitKat. If you want to get hold of one you'll have to wait however – the Google Play store has sold out for the next few weeks, and even if you did order one at launch it may not be shipped out until November 8. So …
Iain Thomson, 6 Nov 2013

Z30: The classiest BlackBerry mobe ever ... and possibly the last

Review It can't be very helpful for a manufacturer to launch a new phone amid speculation that the device could be its last. With $1bn written off on its little-loved predecessor the Z10, and the future of BlackBerry so uncertain, the new Z30 has been given a very low-key launch. And yet it turns out to be a very attractive phone …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Oct 2013