Category: Phones

WileyFox Swift 2, Swift 2 Plus Review

Posted by – December 28, 2016

The WileyFox Swift 2 and Swift 2 Plus are new “budget” smartphones with premium design and features. Not true budget, as they’re not around £100 anymore, but still budget in that the Swift 2 has an RRP of £159, (and was on offer for £120 for Black Friday), and the Swift 2 Plus has an RRP of £189, (and was on offer for £149 for Black Friday).


Both smartphones feature a metal build, with fingerprint sensor, improved speaker, and improved processor over the original Swift.

Swift 2 / 2 Plus Shared Features:
– 5inch, 720p screen
– Fingerprint sensor
– 8mp selfie camera
– 2700mAh battery (non-removable)
– DualSIM (2x SIM or 1x SIM and 1 MicroSD)
– Octa-core 1.4GHz
– Fast charging
– Gorilla Glass 3
– Weight 158g

Swift 2 features:
– 13mp f/2.? camera
– 2GB ram / 16GB storage

Swift 2 Plus features:
– 16mp f/2.0 camera
– 3GB ram / 32GB storage

You can watch an unboxing video here:


Performance tests:

Swift 2 Geekbench 4: CPU: 639 single-core, 1994 multi-core
Swift 2 Plus Geekbench 4.0.3: CPU: 634 single-core, 2002 multi-core

Swift 2 Basemark X Score: 15822 (Medium)

Swift 2 Antutu Benchmark: 46189, 3D: 7935, UX: 18863, CPU: 14648, Ram: 4743
Spark X Antutu Benchmark: 31676, 3D: 3268, UX: 12243, CPU: 11703, Ram: 4462

The performance of the phone is reasonably good, and the phone feels responsive in use, with better benchmark results than the Spark X. The Swift 2 Plus memory and storage is generous, however, if you’ve got a functioning phone like the Samsung Galaxy S5, which can be picked up for less than £100 second hand, then you already have a phone with better performance (and a better camera). I’d also seriously consider the Moto G3 (3rd Gen) if you can get it with 2GB/16GB, as it’s also waterproof.

WileyFox Swift 2 Plus Sample Photos:

Images are quite bright and colourful, but show noise in the corners of the frame, and noise from the 16mp sensor on the Swift 2 Plus affects image detail. The camera app has a limited number of modes, with only “Hyperlapse” and “Panorama” available. Although if you bring up the settings you can adjust exposure compensation, white balance, and switch between a number of different “scenes” including: HDR, ChromaFlash, OptiZoom, Action, Backlight, Beach, Candlelight, Fireworks, Flowers, Landscape, Night, Night portrait, Party, Portrait, Snow, Sports, Steady photo, Sunset, Theatre, Mono, Sepia, Negative, Solarize, Aqua, Emboss, Sketch, and Neon.

WileyFox Swift 2 Sample Photos:

If you’re hoping that the image quality from the Swift 2, with a 13mp sensor would be better, then unfortunately, you’re likely to be disappointed. Noise is visible in all images (when viewed at 100%), even when taken at the lowest ISO speeds, and even when taken on bright sunny days. There are other image quality artefacts that degrade image quality as well.

If you want a fingerprint sensor, metal build quality, and NFC, then the Swift 2 and 2 Plus are very good. It’s just a shame that the camera performance isn’t particularly good.


WileyFox Swift 2 Pros: (Both)
Metal body
Fingerprint sensor
NFC built-in
Fast charging
Gorilla Glass 3

WileyFox Swift 2 Plus Pros:
Generous 3GB/32GB ram/storage

WileyFox Swift 2 Cons: (Both)
Low-res (720p) screen
Non-removable battery
Unconvincing camera performance

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S (Retro Views)

Posted by – November 30, 2016

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S, and Arc before it, were both considered “ultra-slim” smartphones when introduced in 2011. A short 5 years later and look how far we’ve come… It looks particularly thin when photographed at an angle like this:

Xperia ArcPhoto: ePHOTOzine

The Arc S was considered a premium smartphone at the time, and was described as having a “huge” 4.2inch screen, as well as being described as “Very thin and lightweight” – at 8.7mm thick it was considered one of the slimmest. Yet even budget smartphones these days are this thin. The Arc S features a curved rear

Check out it’s specifications, and compare them to a new ultra-slim smartphone, the Moto Z:

Sony Xperia Arc S (LT18i) Moto Z
4.2inch screen (scratch resistant) 5.5inch screen (Gorilla Glass 4)
480×854 resolution QuadHD (1440×2560) resolution
8.7mm thin 5.2mm thin
1.4GHz (1-core) 2.15GHz (Quad-core, 2@2.15GHz, 2@1.6GHz)
512MB ram 4GB ram
320MB storage 32GB storage
1500mAh (removable) 2600mAh (non-removable)
8mp camera, f/2.4 13mp camera, f/1.8, with OIS
720p (30fps) video 4K (30fps) video
Android 2.3.4 (v4 available) Android 6 (v7 due soon)
£299 (RRP) £499 (RRP)

Does anyone else wonder if the “ultra-slim” Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S would survive a modern day toughness / bend test by JerryRigEverything? He tests a phones strength by checking how scratch resistant the screen is, how scratch resistant the back, camera lens, LEDs, and other buttons are. He also tests how resistant to burning the screen is – when did people start setting their screens on fire?

Inspired by JerryRigEverything:

WileyFox Swift 2, 2 Plus Vs Moto G (3rd Gen) Vs G4

Posted by – November 7, 2016

WileyFox Swift 2 Top

WileyFox has just introduced the second version(s) of the WileyFox Swift, the aptly named WileyFox Swift 2. But rather than just introduce one new smartphone, WileyFox are introducing the Swift 2 and Swift 2 Plus.

This now means the new WileyFox phone range consists of the budget Spark / Spark+ / Spark X range, and the slightly less budget Swift / Swift 2 / Swift 2 Plus range.

WileyFox Swift 2 Bottom

Considering the introduction of the new WileyFox Swift 2 and the price it is introduced at, as well as the naming system used “2” and “2 Plus” we can quite confidently assume that WileyFox sees some of the main competition as the Moto G range of smartphones, with the new Swift 2 competing with the Moto G3*, G4, and G4 Plus. (*aka Moto G 3rd Gen)

Swift 2

Swift 2 Plus

Moto G3

Moto G4 (Plus)


5inch, 720p

5inch, 720p

5inch, 720p

5.5inch, 1080p





1/16GB (2/16GB Plus)



16mp f/2

13mp f/2

13mp (16mp f/2 on Plus)















No (Yes on Plus)

















Octa 1.4GHz

Octa 1.4GHz

Quad 1.4GHz

Octa 1.5GHz

Fast Charge




No (Yes on Plus)











Gorilla Glass










Confusing Moto range: The fact that Moto will sell you a 1/8gb G3 or a 1/16gb G4 is disappointing, and the lower memory options cause confusion and disappointment for users. Some of the Moto G3 / G4 phones are dual-sim and some aren’t – again this causes confusion for buyers. The Moto G3 / 3rd Gen phone is the only smartphone in this range that is also waterproof.

The original WileyFox Swift offered you better than normal specifications at a budget price, but they also came with budget build quality (plastic body) and not much extra (apart from a removable battery). The introduction of the WileyFox Swift 2 introduces a more premium metal build quality and premium features such as NFC and fingerprint sensors, whilst keeping a relatively budget price. Unfortunately it also loses the removable battery.

Wileyfox Swift 2 Colours

WileyFox Swift 2 / 2 Plus Camera details:

2: *13mp 3.68mm, f/2 (EXIF) Samsung 3L8 ISOCELL, 1/3.06inch, 1.12um pixel size, PDAF
2 Plus: **16mp 3.4mm, f/2 (f/1.85 in EXIF) Samsung 3P3 ISOCELL, 1/3.1inch, 1.0um pixel size, PDAF

The Samsung ISOCELL sensors are designed to capture more light in each pixel, as well as reduce “cross-talk” which should result in slightly improved noise performance.

The sensors are still small, with small pixel sizes, and it’s still very rare for budget smartphones to feature optical image stabilisation. Even some premium smartphones such as the Xperia XZ and Google Pixel / XL use electronic image stabilisation rather than optical.

We’ll add more information when we have it.

WileyFox Spark X Quick Review

Posted by – October 22, 2016

WileyFox Spark X

WileyFox Spark X

The WileyFox Spark X is the “top of the range” budget phone from WileyFox. Priced at £139 – just £10 more than the RRP as the original WileyFox Swift, it now has a larger 5.5inch screen, bigger battery, and updated selfie camera.

WileyFox Spark X

WileyFox Spark X

AnTuTu Benchmark gives it a score of: 31,676, (3D: 3268, UX: 12243, CPU: 11703, RAM: 4462) so gaming is not going to be a strong point. (As a comparison the Samsung Galaxy S5 scored 60,380, and the new Sony Xperia XZ scored: 136,989)

WileyFox Spark X

WileyFox Spark X – Dual sim slots, and a MicroSD slot.

WileyFox Spark X

WileyFox Spark X

WileyFox Spark X

WileyFox Spark X – Speaker grill is copper / orange

WileyFox Spark X

WileyFox Spark X – 13mp camera on the back

WileyFox Spark X

WileyFox Spark X

WileyFox Spark X

WileyFox Spark X – Removable back and removable battery

The phone doesn’t really feel like a budget smartphone, but ever since the Moto G, and subsequent models the quality of budget smartphones has improved massively.

The phone is solid, and has a number of stylish touches, such as a coppery chrome surround, a copper speaker grill at the front, as well as a copper fox logo on the back, there’s also a copper surround around the camera lens on the back.

(Compared to the current Moto G, the Moto G4, the Moto G4 is around £160, has a FullHD 5.5inch screen, 8-core processor, 16GB, a 13mp, f/2.0 camera, is waterproof and scores an Antutu Benchmark score of: 46,614 – Source)

WileyFox Spark X

WileyFox Spark X – 3000mAh battery

The screen looks good, and the screen is bright, and it’s not really obvious that the screen is a 1280×720 resolution.  The phone comes with a pre-fitted protective film, although it’s quite thin, so not going to protect it from drops.

In use, the phone is responsive, and does a good job with all the things I’ve used it for. Youtube, Facebook, etc.

The default keyboard is reasonable, but doesn’t have the numbers on a separate line, which is a shame, as a 5.5inch screen is easily big enough to accommodate this. Personally I use SwiftKey, and switch on the number row.

WileyFox Spark X

WileyFox Spark X – Rear speaker grill

The phone has a decent speaker.

Lets go over the main specifications compared to the WileyFox Swift, with the Spark X on the left, and the Swift on the right:

WileyFox Spark X WileyFox Swift
13mp f/2.8 main camera (Samsung, 4mm)
8mp selfie camera
5.5inch screen 1280×720 (IPS, 2.5d Dragontrail glass)
1.3GHz Quadcore (Mediatek 6735, 64-bit)
Removable 3000mAh battery
154.35 x 78.6 x 8.75mm (thinner)
162.9g (with battery)
13mp f/2.5 main camera, Samsung BSI CMOS, Dual-flash
5mp selfie camera
5inch screen, 1280×720 (Gorilla Glass 3)
1.2GHz Quadcore (Snapdragon 410, 64-bit)
Removable 2500mAh battery
141.15mm x 71mm x 9.37mm
Available in black or white
Same: FullHD video recording (rear and front camera)
Same: 2GB / 16GB built in
Same: MicroSD slot
Same: Dual SIM slots

Sat-nav using Google Maps works reasonably well (not perfect, but good enough), the speaker is loud enough. Call quality is reasonably good.

WileyFox Spark X

WileyFox Spark X – Close up of camera, top headphone socket

Camera – When recording video (FullHD, 30fps) you can take FullHD resolution photos at the same time. The camera app has auto, steady photo, night, HDR shooting modes. Panoramic as well.

WileyFox Spark X Aston Martin Photo

WileyFox Spark X Aston Martin Photo

Unboxing video:

WileyFox Spark, Spark+ and Spark X

Posted by – September 27, 2016

Wileyfox Spark Range

WileyFox, known for high value, good specification smartphones in the UK, such as the highly popular WileyFox Swift, has recently introduced three new budget smartphones, starting with the:

WileyFox Spark – £89 Budget (lower spec than Swift)
8mp rear, 8mp front cameras
1GB ram, 8gb memory (going to be slow and fill up quickly)
5inch HD (1280×720) screen
1.3GHz quad-core
Dual sim, MicroSD slot
Cyanogen 13 (Android 6)
2200mAh battery (removable)
143 x 70.4 x 8.65mm
134.5g weight

If you have the choice between the Swift and the Spark, the Swift would be a better choice, as the 8GB leaves a very small amount of memory for use.

WileyFox Spark + – £119 Budget (V similar spec to Swift)
13mp rear, 8mp front cameras
2GB ram, 16gb memory
5inch HD (1280×720) screen
1.3GHz quad-core
Dual sim, MicroSD slot
Cyanogen 13 (Android 6)
2200mAh battery (removable)
143 x 70.4 x 8.65mm
134.5g weight

Improved “Selfie” camera, faster processor, lower rating battery, thinner.

WileyFox Spark X – £129 Budget with large screen (Similar spec to Swift)
13mp rear, 8mp front cameras
2GB ram, 16gb memory
5.5inch HD (1280×720) screen
1.3GHz quad-core
Dual sim, MicroSD slot
Cyanogen 13 (Android 6)
3000mAh battery (removable)
154.35 x 78.6 x 8.75mm
162.9g weight

Features a larger screen, and bigger battery.



Lenovo K5 Vs WileyFox Swift Vs Moto G3

Posted by – May 24, 2016

So, there’s a new value smartphone on the market, replacing the entry level Moto G (the original Moto G was £129, and since then every new Moto G has been better, but also pushed up the price, particularly if you want 2GB/16GB, which pushes the price up to £160-£170), so Lenovo, owners of Moto, have now released a new “entry level” smartphone, the Lenovo K5, priced at around £129.

Lets see how it compares to some of the other entry level smartphones… We’ve recently been impressed by the WileyFox Swift, particularly when it’s been on offer for £99 instead of the usual £129. Perhaps the Lenovo K5 will also be be offered for bargain prices. Anyway, lets see how they compare, and we’ll also compare it to the Moto G3, which is available for around £129 – if you opt for the 1GB/8GB version…

Lenovo K5 (*Vibe K5) WileyFox Swift 4G Moto G (3rd Gen), WP
13mp camera
LED flash
5mp selfie camera
FullHD video
5inch screen (HD)
1.4GHz Octacore CPU (Cortex-A53)
2GB / 16GB built-in
MicroSD slot
Dual SIM (Optional)
Removable 2750mAh battery
142mm x 71mm x 8mm
Available in white, black etc
13mp f/2.5 camera, Samsung BSI
Dual LED flash
5mp selfie camera
FullHD video recording
5inch screen, HD, Gorilla Glass 3
1.2GHz Quadcore (Snapdragon 410, 64-bit)
2GB / 16GB built in
MicroSD slot
Dual SIM slots
Removable 2500mAh battery
141.15mm x 71mm x 9.37mm
Available in black or white
13mp f/2.0 camera
Dual LED flash
5mp selfie camera
FullHD video
5inch screen, HD, Gorilla Glass 3
1.4GHz Quadcore CPU (Snapdragon 410)
1GB / 8GB built in (or 2GB/16GB)
Single SIM slot
2470 mAh battery
142.1mm x 72.4mm x 11.6mm
Available in multiple colours

We’ve also compared the WileyFox Swift 4G with the BLU Life Mark 4G as well if you want another option.

BLU Life Mark 4G Vs WileyFox Swift 4G

Posted by – May 9, 2016

You might be thinking about the WileyFox Swift, or the BLU Life Mark 4G, as both phones feature a 5inch screen, and good specifications for the price (both on offer for around £99 on Amazon UK). Lets have a look at how they compare:

We recently had a look at the WileyFox Swift, and have been impressed by the smartphone, considering the price and features available, and the BLU Life Mark 4G could be a competitor.

WileyFox Swift 4G
13mp main camera, f/2.5, Samsung BSI CMOS
Dual LED flash
5mp selfie camera
FullHD video recording (rear and front camera)
5inch screen, 1280×720 (Corning Gorilla Glass 3)
1.2GHz Quadcore (Snapdragon 410, 64-bit)
2GB / 16GB built in
MicroSD slot
Dual SIM slots
Removable 2500mAh battery
141.15mm x 71mm x 9.37mm
Available in black or white

Bundled with USB cable, screen protector, battery, and very little else.
BLU Life Mark 4G
13mp f/2.0 aperture main camera
LED-flash (single)
5mp selfie camera
FullHD video
5inch screen, 1280×720
1.3GHz Quadcore (MediaTek 6735)
2GB / 16GB built in
MicroSD slot
Dual SIM slot
2300mAh battery (Removable)
142.4mm x 72mm x 9.5mm
Grey, White or Gold
Fingerprint sensor
Bundled with case, screen protector, USB, battery, charger, ear buds.

Looking at the specifications of both phones, they are quite closely matched in a number of ways, and the BLU Life Mark also offers a Fingerprint sensor for additional security, however the battery life is likely to be quite poor due to the lower battery rating. The Blue Life Mark is also larger and heavier, and it’s not clear what kind of protection is built in to the screen, with the WileyFox Swift offering Gorilla Glass 3.

WileyFox Swift Quick Review

Posted by – March 9, 2016

WileyFox Swift Back

The WileyFox Swift is made by a UK company, WileyFox, who currently sell two models, the Swift is the entry level model, priced at around £130 (Cashback offer between 1st March – 25th March 2016), with the higher spec model, the Storm, priced at around £200. The Swift runs Cyanogen OS (currently 12.1.1), a user developed version of Android (currently 5.1.1).

WileyFox Swift Camera View

The WileyFox Swift, as a “budget” Android smartphone is competing with a number of other models, but offers an impressive range of features and specifications, considering the price point.

WileyFox Swift Key Features:

  • 13mp main camera, Samsung BSI CMOS sensor, Dual-flash
  • 5mp selfie camera
  • FullHD video recording (rear and front camera)
  • 5inch screen, 1280×720 (Corning Gorilla Glass 3)
  • 1.2GHz Quadcore (Snapdragon 410, 64-bit)
  • 2GB / 16GB built in
  • MicroSD slot
  • Dual SIM slots
  • Removable 2500mAh battery
  • 141.15mm x 71mm x 9.37mm
  • Available in black or white

WileyFox Swift

Alternatives include the following:

  • Moto G (3rd Gen): 5inch, 13mp f/2.0 cam, 1GB/8GB, 1.4ghz quadcore, 2470mAh, 155g, 11.6mm, £130
  • WileyFox Swift: 5inch, 13mp f/2.5 cam, 2GB/16GB, 1.2ghz quadcore, 2500mAh, 135g, 9.3mm, £130
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime: 5inch, 8mp f/2.2 cam, 8GB, 1.2ghz quadcore, 2600mAh, 156g, 8.6mm,£130
  • Lenovo K5: 5inch, 13mp cam, 2GB/16GB, 1.4ghz quadcore, 2750mAh, 142g, 8mm, £130
  • BLU Life Mark 4G: 5inch, 13mp f/2.0 cam, 2GB/16GB, 1.3ghz quadcore, 2300mAh, 150g, 9.5mm, £105
  • Huawei P8 lite: 5inch, 13mp f/2.0 cam, 2GB/16GB, 1.2ghz octacore, 2200mAh, 131g, 7.7mm, £139

To get the Moto G (3rd Gen) to match the memory provided with the Swift as standard you have to go for the £159 version, and other smartphones at this price point often compromise on other features, including a lower resolution camera, or a lower amount of storage space.

WileyFox-Swift Screen

The screen features a 720×1280 resolution, and the brightness can be adjusted easily. It’s quite bright on default settings, and seemed to be set so that it didn’t automatically adjust itself depending on the surrounding conditions (which was frustrating at first), and this was quickly resolved by finding the right settings.

The WileyFox Swift is reasonably quick and responsive, and the GPS and Sat-Nav features work well in real time, making it a suitable alternative to a dedicated SatNav device. Some budget smartphones, such as the Honor Holly (a £90 Android smartphone) can struggle, and seem a little slower in comparison. The Swift does not seem to have any problems playing back videos smoothly.

Battery life should last a day in theory, although it will also depend on how you use the phone, and we found that listening to music on the train with earbuds seems to drain the battery very quickly. Perhaps due to the phone regularly losing mobile phone signal going through tunnels. You could get a spare battery as the phone battery can be removed and replaced, or you could take a USB charger with you, and there are plenty of portable chargers available for not much money.

WileyFox-Swift Camera

The camera – it’s quite good, with a 13mp sensor, and f/2.5 aperture, and it’s certainly reasonable, although with no optical image stabilisation, and not an especially fast aperture compared to some smartphones, low-light photography can be tricky. I’d prefer it if the camera increased the ISO speed, with additional noise, rather than having a blurry photo (and low noise). (The Honor Holly is good at increasing the ISO speed, giving you a sharp but noisy image, and features an 8mp f/2.0 camera). The camera does feature twin LEDs, which can help with close subjects in low light.

I was unimpressed by the built in camera app and have switched to using Google’s photo app. There are a good range of options and shooting modes using this app, including photo sphere, panorama, lens blur, camera and video, as well as HDR.

Overall – For the price it’s very difficult to find an Android smartphone with a better specification, without compromising on something. The simple fact is, that at this price, you get a highly capable Android smartphone with a decent screen, relatively stylish looks, a good enough camera, and 2GB/16GB memory, which means you can get a good number of apps and music on without the smartphone feeling slow. For the more advanced user, or for someone who uses the camera a lot, in a variety of situations, the slow-ish aperture and poor low-light performance will most likely have you looking at other smartphones pretty quickly.

Pros: Price, specification, design, 2GB/16GB built in, reasonable 13mp camera, 5inch screen, fairly quick, good GPS performance with Satnav, light and slim.

Cons: As a UK only mobile phone, the availability of spare parts, accessories, or repair by 3rd parties may be more difficult compared to a main brand that is sold Worldwide. Camera and battery life could be better, but are fairly reasonable considering the price. Generic looks on the screen side.

Waterproof Tough Android Smart Phones

Posted by – March 8, 2016

If you’re looking for a tough, rugged, waterproof, or water-resistant smartphone, then there’s a reasonable choice of Android phones, here’s a list of them, including some key details, as well as links to reviews:

Sony Xperia Z5, 5.2″ screen, IP65/68, about £400, Reviews: ePHOTOzine.
Sony Xperia Z5 Compact, 4.6″ screen, IP65/68, about £320, Reviews: theVerge.
Sony Xperia Z5 Premium, 5.5″ 4K screen, IP65/68, about £550, Reviews: CNET.
Sony Xpera Z3+ (AKA Z4), 5.2″ screen, about £300, Reviews: PhoneArena.
Sony Xpera M5, 5″ screen, between £300-£360, Reviews: AndroidPit.
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua, 5″ screen, about £155, Reviews: CNET.
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3, 4.5″ screen, budget-ish, IP67, £150, User reviews: GSMArena.
Moto G (3rd Gen), 5″, 13mp, 1m WP, IPX7, from £130, Reviews: ePHOTOzine.

US: Samsung Galaxy S6 Active
US: Samsung Galaxy S5 Active and Sport
US: Huawei Honor 3, 4.7″, budget, IP57.

Nb. IP ratings, first digit dust protection ie: IP6 = Totally dust protected, second digit water protection, eg: IP68 = Protected against prolonged submersion in water. More details here.

HTC Desire EYE, 5.2″ fullHD screen, 13mp, (f/2.2 22mm front, f/2.0 28mm rear), 1m wp, Reviews: TrustedReviews.
Samsung Galaxy S5, 5.1″ fullHD screen, 16mp camera, dust and wp, Reviews: ePHOTOzine.
Sony Xperia Z3, 5.2″ fullHD screen, 20.7mp camera, IP65/68 (dust and wp), Reviews: Engadget.
Sony Xperia Z3 compact, 4.6″ 1280x720p screen, 20.7mp camera, IP65/68 (dust and wp), Reviews: KYM.
Sony Xperia Z2, 5.2″ fullHD screen, 20.7mp camera, IP55, IP58 (dust and wp), Reviews: Engadget.
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, 4.3″ 720p screen, 20.7mp camera, f/2.0 lens, IP55/58 (dust and wp), Reviews: GSMArena.
Sony Xpera M2 Aqua, 4.8″ (960×540) screen, 8mp camera, IP65/68 (dust and 1.5m wp), Reviews: Wired.
Cat S50 (4G), 4.7″ (720p) screen, 8mp camera, dust (IP67),  drop and 1m wp, Reviews: Clove.
Cat B15Q, 4″ screen, 5mp camera, dust (IP67), drop, and wp, Reviews: CNET.

Sony Xperia Z1, 5″ fullHD screen, 20.7mp camera, £270, Reviews: ExpertReviews.
Sony Xperia Z Ultra, 6.4″ fullHD screen, 8mp camera, IP55/58 (dust and wp), £199-239, Reviews: Pocket-Lint.
Sony Xperia Z, 5″ fullHD screen, 13mp camera, Reviews: ePHOTOzine.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, 5″ fullHD screen, 8mp camera, Reviews: PCAdvisor.
Cat B15 (discontinued), 4″ screen, Reviews: TrustedReviews.

Available in the UK 2012:
Motorola DEFY, 2010, 3.7″, 512mb, 800mhz, 5mp, 2.1-2.2 S/H: ~£75, Reviews: TrustedReviews
Motorola DEFY Plus / +, 2011, 3.7″, 512mb, 1ghz, 5mp, 2.3, ~£195, Reviews: ExpertReviews
Motorola DEFY Mini, 2012, 3.2″ low res, 512mb, 600mhz, 3mp, 2.3, ~£79, Reviews: CNET
Sony Xperia Go, 2012, 3.5″ low res, 512mb/8gb, DC 1ghz, 5mp, 2.3-4.0, ~£150, Reviews: RegHardware
Sony Xperia Acro S, 2012, 4.3″ high res, 1gb/16gb, DC 1.5ghz, 12mp, 4.0, ~£270, Reviews: GSMArena
Sony Xperia Active, 2011, 3″ low res, 512mb, 1ghz, 5mp, 2.3, ~£150, Reviews: Pocket-Lint
JCB Pro Smart, 2012, 3.2″ low res, 256mb, 800mhz, 5mp, ~£279, Reviews: ExpertReviews

Not currently available in the UK:
Motorola DEFY XT, 2012, 3.7″, 512mb, 1ghz, 2.3
Samsung Rugby Smart (i847), 2012, Reviews: Engadget
Casio G’zOne, Japan and US only.

Note: wp = waterproof, fullHD = 1920×1080, hi-res = 720p (1280×720), low-res = 320×480, if not stated, then “standard” resolution: 800×480

The Huawei Ascend G300 (u8815) Phone Quick Review

Posted by – December 28, 2013

The Huawei Ascend G300 (model number u8815)

The phone has an impressive specific for the price, available for 99 ish pounds online (or much less second hand) without the need of top up. You can even get 30 pounds off if you search hotukdeals or moneysavingexpert making it better than last years San Francisco, and many would say the San Francisco 2.


  • 1ghz CPU
  • 4inch screen WVGA capacitove touchscreen, corning gorilla glass
  • 10.5mm thin
  • Android 2.3.6, upgradable to ICS 4 (officially)
  • 5mp camera with flash (LED)
  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth
  • GPS (agps)
  • Proximity light sensor

iPlayer works ! Yay

Huawei Ascend g300

It looks a lot like one of the early iPhones with rounded corners and the same or similar tiny bit of Silver and black. Although the corners are white plastic and while it takes away from the simple design it should provide additional protection if dropped. Even the position of the on / off, lock button, is in the same place as the iPhone lock button.

The home, back and menu buttons are flush with the screen and glow a bright white. And look good, With the whole overall look and design of the phone giving it all much more premium feel that the 99 pounds would suggest possible. Although the silver on the back of the phone does scratch easily.

The stock install comes with a few Vodafone apps pre-installed but these aren’t excessive and thankfully the theme is left alone without horrible branded colours and wallpaper *cough* San Francisco.

It includes a 5mp AF camera with single LED “flash” light. Outdoors in good light the camera can take decent photos.

Theme Park works well although it can take a while to become smooth.

WordPress doesn’t seem totally happy in Android. Making editing and formatting a little difficult.