20 May 2015 ~ 8 Comments

Top 5 value-for-money smartphones

top 5 value for money

Everyone knows about the latest and greatest superpowered smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S5, the Apple iPhone 5S and the HTC One M8. They pack in the latest technology and the most features and are really at the cutting edge of modern industrial design. However, despite the high performance, they have a price tag to match.

Not everyone can afford £1000+ on a new mobile phone and commitment to a contract of two years or more. Furthermore, anyone following technology knows that early adopters pay over the odds and sometimes even subsidise other consumers for the right to boast that they a device at the bleeding edge of tech.

Smarter customers often look for bargains instead of obsessing over the very best. By going for a phone that’s a generation or two behind the curve, you not only get a product with amazing performance but you also save a lot of money. Simply, it’s the best way to maximise the bang for your buck. And it’s pretty clear that nowadays, even a phone that came out two years ago offers a blisteringly fast user experience, the same solid build quality and more features than you’d probably ever use. If you want better value for money, you can still get amazing performance – after all, most phones today offer better tech specs than laptops and digital cameras from just a few years ago.

We now have bargain smartphones available that refuse to compromise on performance. Today we’re rounding up the top five phones that offer the best value. These handsets are all less than half the price of a new Galaxy S5 or iPhone 5S but still keep up with the latest games and apps. In our opinion, they are easily the best value for money smartphones you can currently get. Have a look for yourself!

Nokia Lumia 520

Only £79.84

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Smooth, stylish and smart, the new Lumia 520 is packed with great features it’s hard to live without. Windows Mobile has massively improved recently and on top of that, there’s no denying that Nokia, with all their experience, make stunning-looking devices.

At an incredible pricepoint of under £80, it’s hard to argue with the Lumia 520. Anything else this cheap without a contract will be sluggish and unresponsive in comparison.

It also boasts a super-sharp 4″ screen, crystal call quality and many other perks such as a physical shutter button and digital lenses.

If you don’t mind a Windows Phone device, there is absolutely nothing that comes close to the price/quality ratio of the Nokia Lumia 520.

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Lenovo A820

Only £109.22

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lenovo a820

When looking at Chinese phones like the Lenovo A820, the main selling points is just how much phone you’re getting for your money. It has 1 GB of RAM and a quad core processor but still costs just over 100 quid. If you don’t have hundreds and hundreds of pounds to spend on your mobile phone but still want all the bells and whistles of a smartphone, this is a great choice to go for.

We’ve already written a full in-depth review of the Lenovo A820 but to summarise, the highlights of this handset are the power saving features, the long-lasting removable 2000 mAh power cell, the amazing dual-SIM ports and the fact it comes with a quad core processor.

This handset is incredibly cheap for the hardware you’re getting and it offers incomparable value compared to almost any phone available on British high streets.

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Moto G

Was £159.99 Now only £149.99

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moto g

Yes, you read it right. The Moto G is a Android KitKat 4G smartphone that only costs £150! It boasts a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor, boatloads of RAM and much more besides.

The battery is great and the two cameras produce snaps of amazingly good quality. Perhaps best of all in the impressive curved 4.5″ screen coated with Gorilla Glass. The casing is even water-resistant!

LTE 4G, HD display, Quad-Core Speed Android 4.4 KitKat and all for less than £150. A bargain!

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Nexus 5

Only £260.00

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nexus 5

The Nexus 5 surely needs no introduction. Built by LG, the Google-branded Android handset comes with an 8 MP OIS camera featuring HDR+ and Photo Sphere‚ a 4.95″ Full HD IPS Display, fast 4G LTE and a 2‚300 mAh battery.

The phone has a nice matt rubberised back and feels great to hold. Compared to high end competitors like the iPhone 5S, you get a bigger, better quality screen and the Nexus is just as blisteringly fast.

The Nexus 5 is outstanding and comes at an incredible price for a well-specced product that just exudes quality.

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Was £489.00 Now only £275.79

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lg g2

If you’re willing to spend a little more, you can still get great value for your cash. The LG G2 blows away most of its competition with a 2.26Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU, 2GB RAM, 13 megapixel OIS camera and a 5.2″ full HD display.

On top of that it boasts a massive battery to keep it going all day and genuinely useful software features such as tracking zoom, Knockon and Capture PLus.

The phone is gorgeous to look at with the bezel-less screen and amazing build quality throughout. The display density is 424 ppi and the colour reproduction is clear and vivid. Overall, the LG G2 is a great handset and an utter bargain at this price.

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31 December 2013 ~ 6 Comments

Lenovo A850 first look

lenovo a850

Hot off the heels of their wildly-successful A820 and its follow-up, the A830, Lenovo just announced their latest Android smartphone a few months ago. Since then, we’ve been following the news and rumours and checking our mailroom every day for signs of the brand-new A850.

We’ve already given the in-depth review treatment to other the Lenovo A789 and the Lenovo A820, its A-series brethren, and they both scored very highly in our in-house tests.

However, the A850 looked to be really taking things to the next level. The screen size has been bumped up to a humongous 5.5″ diagonal and the new MT6582M chipset boasts a quad-core 1.3Ghz CPU. But we wouldn’t know much about the actual device until we got our hands on it.

Luckily, a mysterious looking parcel from China recently turned up at MNC HQ and we quickly made the following unboxing video of the stunning Lenovo A850. Check it out now for all the details and full specs of this phone:

Stay tuned for much more including a full benchmark test of the phone as well as our official review and, if you’re very lucky, some simple-to-follow ROM installation tutorials…

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28 October 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Lenovo to acquire HTC?

htc lenovo

The rumour mill is churning away at a frenetic pace today as rumours abound that Chinese company Lenovo are to take over big-name smart phone manufacturer HTC. Industry insiders and national newspapers in both Korea and China have been reporting that talks about the sale have been ongoing for weeks now and are nearing final stages before a deal can be agreed and completed.

HTC is a Taiwanese organisation headquartered in New Taipei City and has been a familiar name in the mobile phone market for several years now. The company is a founding member of the Android-supporting Open Handset Alliance and they were the manufacturer who produced the first ever Android mobile phone back in October 2008.

However, over the last couple of years, HTC have been having a bit of a struggle. They’ve been squeezed out of the high-end smartphone market by competitors Apple and Samsung and it’s believed that their market share has crashed from a peak of around 25% a couple of years ago to less than 10% today. In the first quarter of 2013, HTC’s profit dropped by over 100% in dire news for the company’s financial state.

Because of this, it makes sense that they might be looking for buyer despite not openly courting anyone in particular. It is thought that the struggling company’s fortunes could be turned around by the cash investments that a high-profile sale would bring.

Lenovo’s headquarters are in Beijing and they have annual revenues of almost $30 billion as well as a global workforce of around 30,000 employees. Lenovo would be the perfect choice as their fortunes are on the up and up and they have significant revenues from all branches of their electronics business.

Lenovo are best-known for their ThinkPad brand of laptops but the Chinese company is not yet well-known in Europe for its mobile phones. However, in China they are a massive brand in the world of mobile phones. In fact they have been challenging Samsung as the dominant smartphone manufacturer and and have been investing huge amounts of marketing dollars with this aim in mind. Between 2011 and 2012, they have almost tripled their market share and they are easily the second largest seller of mobile phones by volume in mainland China.

Despite this, they have yet to have much attention in the European and American markets for the mobile phone business. However, we’ve had our eye on them for some time and have already reviewed two of their handsets that are still only available in the Chinese markets.

In general, Lenovo’s Android phones seem to offer incredible value for money compared to what’s available in the UK. We feel it is only a matter of time before they expand their business to our shores and we are pretty excited to see how they will shake up the British market.

Lenovo are also no strangers to acquiring struggling brands. In the past they bought the ThinkPad range of notebooks from IBM and by all accounts have done really well with it. HTC may also be a way of getting their foot in the door for an entrance to the European smartphone market.

It would be pretty big news for Lenovo to completely buy out HTC but we’re not holding our breath yet. Even if they aren’t in talks for a complete sale, it doesn’t seem unlikely that some sort of deal or partnership might be on the cards for the future.

HTC have so far denied all rumours that they might be sold, but is still early days yet and that doesn’t mean it should be ruled out at all. Any arrangement between the two companies looks from all angles to be mutually beneficial. And HTC might only be denying the rumours now to maintain a high price.

Secretly, we’ve got our money on some sort of deal being struck between the two Asian companies within the next six months. If it does happen, we are really excited to see what the new venture will bring. And when Lenovo finally do start selling their smart phones in the UK we will, of course, be the first to bring you the latest news and reviews of what will surely be very popular Android handsets.

What you make of this rumour? Is there any substance to it at all? Or do you think nothing will come of it? Do you prefer HTC or Lenovo mobile phones? And how long you think it will be before Lenovo are selling Android smartphones over here in the UK?

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