Why do we even call them Smartphones these days? I mean, how many of us actually use them as a phone? If you had to make a list of uses for your phone, where would ‘making a phone call’ actually rank for you? Today we use our phones for much more like checking emails, apps, listening to music, sending texts, surfing the net, the list goes on!
So with all that in mind, we’ve decided to pick our favourite phones in four categories – iOS (I wonder what phone will come out on top there), Android, Windows and a completely random category, best budget phone. So take a look at what we came up with and let us know if we’re crazy or bang on the money.
BEST iOS PHONE
Not too many phones battling it out in this category right? But at least there’s more than one new Smartphone to review here with Apple launching two phones at once! So which phone will take the award for best iPhone? Drum roll please………the iPhone 6 Plus!
It had to be didn’t it? I mean, it’s bigger than the iPhone 6, isn’t that enough?
OK, here’s what’s great about it:
- A faster, more efficient A8 processor
- Even better camera and video with optical image stabilisation, perfect for taking selfies about and posting them to Instagram right?
- Superb battery life, was once Apple’s iPhone Achilles Heal
- Looks beautiful (they always do), with anodised aluminium wrapping around to the front
- The home button has a ‘Mission: Impossible’ style fingerprint reader (like the 5s), and you will soon be able to pay for stuff via Apple Pay (say what!!!)
- Updated keyboard options and functionality
- Way bigger and better 5.5 inch screen with a 1920×1080 resolution, the best in the business when it comes to colour reproduction by a long way!
- The home screen rotates when held in landscape mode
- The iOS 8 let’s you send voice and video memos that automatically deletes itself after 2 minutes (for those who can’t be bothered typing)
Here’s what’s not so great:
- A little slippery, and requires two hands for most functions
- Can’t exactly strap it to your arm and go for a run!
- It’s a little heavier than most other similar sized smart phones on the market
Verdict: Top quality phone, as you’d expect from Apple, just make sure you hold it with both hands and don’t let it slip!
BEST ANDROID PHONE
Way more phones going head to head in the Android category, such as the HTC One M8, LG G3, and Moto G 2. However, our pick for best Android Smartphone is (drum roll please)……the Samsung Galaxy S5!
- A great S Health fitness app with heart rate monitor for those trying to get in shape…it might just save your life!
- Superb display, best in the market, and a little larger than the S4 at 5.6 x 2.9 x 0.31 inches
- Brilliant sharp, faster 16-megapixel camera with real-time HDR setting
- Water resistant, withstanding a depth of one metre for 30 minutes, perfect for when you accidently drop your phone in the swimming pool
- Streamlined interface
- Fingerprint scanner on the home button, where you can make payments via PayPal
- Impressive performance with a 2.5-GHz Snapdragon 801 processor, Adreno 330 GPU and 2GB of RAM
- Ultra Power Savings Mode – dramatically increases battery life
The bad stuff:
- Can no longer use shortcuts to selected apps from the lock screen
- Ultra Power Savings Mode – takes a long time to enter and leave
- Fingerprint reader isn’t consistent
Verdict: Not too much wrong with this phone really. It may not look as gorgeous as other phones, but it gets the job done brilliantly and the camera is first-class!
BEST WINDOWS SMARTPHONE
If you haven’t given a Windows phone a test drive yet, maybe it’s time you took one for a spin, at least this one anyway. Our vote for best Windows Smartphone goes to (drum roll please)….the HTC One M8 for Windows!
- Way better battery life than Samsung Galaxy S5, about two hours better than the category average!
- Very, very affordable!
- Great looking phone with a delicious gun metal gray, aluminium rear panel
- Front facing BoomSound speakers with a killer sound, and is way louder than similar phones
- Cortana, the digital voice assistant, has a sense of humour!
- It’s 2.3-GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 CPU with 2GB of RAM makes it as powerful as most others on the market
- Not one, but two cameras on the back, enabling 3D-like photos at high quality
- It’s a touch on the heavy side
- Videos are a little jumpy with no image stabilisation
- Small app store in comparison to Apple and Android
Verdict: This phone gives both Android and iOS phones a run for their money in terms of sleek design and features, but it lacks the app market to compete on an equal footing. But if a cheap phone that runs like a dream is what you’re after, perhaps a switch to Windows might be for you.
BEST BUDGET SMARTPHONE
Here’s a phone that packs a mean punch at half the prices of the top-end Smartphones on the market. Drum roll please……the OnePlus One. Never heard of it? You soon will…
Why it’s ace:
- Same powerful Snapdragon 801 processor as the Samsung Galaxy S5 with 3GB of RAM and up to 64GMBof storage…quite the beast!
- 5 inch full HD screen, 1920 x 1080 Gorilla Glass display, the brightest in its class
- Outstanding battery life, way better than other Smartphones!
- Looks good, feels great
- Runs the CyanogenMod 11S operating system, which gives you more personalisation and security options without the need to download more apps
- Great 13-megapixel Sony camera, with 6 lenses creating crystal clear images, and can shoot super crisp 4K video
The bad bits:
- Very hard to get your hands on one! You either need to be invited by the company, or from someone who already has one. Makes life tough!
- Is a bit heavier than comparable phones such as the HTC One M8, Galaxy S5 and the LG G3
- Displays less of the colour spectrum percentage than the average Smartphone, with average colour accuracy
Verdict: Somehow the manufacturers have managed to squeeze all of the features you see in top-end Smartphones into this device at half the cost. We may have actually named it the best Android Smartphone on the market if you could actually get your hands on one!
So there you have it, our choices for the best Smartphone in each of our four categories. Did we get it right or were we way off the mark? Remember, no matter what phone you’ve got, if it’s damaged, we can probably fix it. If we can’t you don’t pay a thing.