Tag: Phone

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).

Features:

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)
– NFC
– Octa-core 1.4GHz
– Fast charging
– USB-C
– 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-sim-slots

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)

Screen

5inch, 720p

5inch, 720p

5inch, 720p

5.5inch, 1080p

Ram

2/16GB

3/32GB

2/16GB

1/16GB (2/16GB Plus)

Camera

13mp

16mp f/2

13mp f/2

13mp (16mp f/2 on Plus)

Selfie

8mp

8mp

5mp

5mp

Battery

2700

2700

2470

3000

Fingerprint

Yes

Yes

No

No (Yes on Plus)

MicroSD

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

DualSIM

Yes

Yes

Option

Option

NFC

Yes

Yes

No

No

CPU

Octa 1.4GHz

Octa 1.4GHz

Quad 1.4GHz

Octa 1.5GHz

Fast Charge

Yes

Yes

No

No (Yes on Plus)

Body

Metal

Metal

Plastic

Plastic

USB

USB-C

USB-C

MicroUSB

MicroUSB

Gorilla Glass

3

3

3

3

Weight

158g

158g

155g

155g

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)
Black
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
135g
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:

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.

Features

  • 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.

HTC One Mini Screen and Sample Photos (Phones)

Posted by – August 26, 2013

HTC One Mini Homescreen

The HTC One Mini is the latest smartphone from HTC, with a smaller 4.3inch screen, it’s a great size phone, the screen is great, and the phone is fast, responsive and feels great. It’s got the same 4 megapixel sensor as the HTC One, and the bright f/2.0 lens, but the Mini doesn’t feature optical image stabilisation, whereas the HTC One does. It should still provide great low light images, but won’t be as good as those with optical image stabilisation, like the HTC One, Nokia Lumia 925 and Lumia 1020.

HTC One Mini

It’s got a dual core processor, 1GB memory, 4.3 inch 720p screen, 1.6mp front camera, Android 4.2.2, HTC Sense 5.0, plus stereo beats audio. Its got 16GB of built in memory, however you can’t upgrade this as there is no microSD slot, although they do give you loads of Dropbox storage for free if you set it up on the phone.

HTC One Mini Porsche Sample Photo

The camera takes some decent photos, although at only 4 megapixels, detail isn’t as good as you as other higher resolution camera phones. However for the most part 4 megapixels should be plenty for sharing on Facebook and other social network sites.

HTC One Mini Porsche Sample Photo

HTC One Screen… (Phones)

Posted by – March 28, 2013

HTC One

HTC One

The HTC One, has a simply stunning screen. It has a 4.7 inch, Full HD 1080p, 468 PPI (pixels per inch) screen. It looks great. Click the images to view super high res (18mp) photos of the phone’s screen.

HTC One

HTC One

Nokia PureView 808 Sample Photos

Posted by – May 26, 2012

Nokia PureView 808 WhiteePHOTOzine has published sample photos from the new 41 megapixel Nokia PureView 808 – Nokia’s flagship cameraphone, it features a Carl Zeiss f/2.4 equivalent to 26mm when taking 16:9 photos or 28mm when shooting 4:3 aspect photos. The phone features a 4inch touch screen, 16GB of memory, HDMI out, ISO50 to ISO1600, and lossless zoom, for example you can use 3x zoom when in the 5 megapixel mode, or 4x zoom when recording full HD videos. AllAboutSymbian has published their first impressions, including comment on where it fits in with regards to Symbian and the transition from Symbian to Windows by Nokia.

App Reviews: Dell Streak

Posted by – August 22, 2010

Having used the Streak for a while now I wanted to review of some of the more interesting applications it uses.

First up, Google Earth.  A couple of technical details. This requires Android 2.0 or better, and I had to find the .APK file online and install it manually as it seems to be available for Nexus One only in the UK Android Market. Quite why Google are dithering with this I don’t know, but it’s easy enough to find anyway. I always found it odd that this was out for iPhone pretty quick but was difficult to obtain for Google’s own mobile OS. The beauty of Android is that tinkering is allowed and easy. Beats the hell out of Apple’s NONE SHALL PASS approach. When installing from a non-market source you will need to enable external application installs in the applications settings menu.

It opens pretty quickly, under five seconds. When it loads you see the familiar splash screen followed by the blue marble hanging in space. This is the first time I have run Google Earth on any Android device, and only the second mobile device after iPhone 3G. The animation and frame rate is smooth and does not lag at all. GPS allows you locate yourself and zooming is about as smooth and sharp as your data connection will allow. Strangely my 3G is far faster than my home WiFi so it’s pretty laggy when zooming in on my home broadband. Obviously that’s not Google’s fault. I just have a rubbish router.

Video demo:

Forgive me for searching ‘London’ when I was already there – duh. You can see it is pretty slick. You’ll notice I accidentally pressed a couple of photos. That isn’t n issue, I’m just holding a camera whilst using it so I slipped up. You can see that pinch, double tap etc all work very well.There doesn’t seem to be any way to mess with it,  import GPS tracks, KML files etc, but all the usual layers are available so you can, for example, view geotagged Panoramio photos.

Google Earth works very well, and it is crying out for users to do things with it now. Let’s see what happens eh?