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What the? Five of the Strangest Looking Smartphones…

23rd Jul, 2014 | No Comments »

What are the weirdest smartphones we've ever seen?

Design is what really turns a good phone into a great one, with handsets like the HTC One M8 and Sony Xperia Z2 standing out thanks to their incredible designs. But sometimes it can do the exact opposite, making us question a phone’s quality, with some designs looking downright weird.

The introduction of the BlackBerry Passport is one such handset, featuring a rare square design, but looks to have won people over with its specs. But what are some of the other handsets which look a bit too strange to make their way into our pockets?

Bang & Olufsen Serene

That’s right; Bang & Olufsen make smartphones, the well-known audio equipment manufacturer decided to target the market in an effort to boost sales, and their efforts culminated in the Serene.

Featuring an in-built motor to assist opening and closing of the handset, Bang & Olufsen clearly wasn’t focusing on practicality when it came down to design here. This was further proven when you realised that you needed to actually unscrew the device to access the sim-card. To top things off, the Serene’s camera was located on its side, making taking pictures a problematic task.

Whilst we actually think the look of the device isn’t all that bad, the practical use of the handset was far from serene to say the least, earning its spot on this list. Maybe Bang & Olufsen should just stick to speakers eh?

Is this smartphone really serene to use?

Aesir Copenhagen by Yves Behar

If you were planning on spending £4,500 on a smartphone you’d probably want it to look like the best phone on the market wouldn’t you? Apparently Yves Behar didn’t quite get the memo, releasing the astonishingly weird Aesir Copenhagen.

Its strange keyboard was only the beginning of its questionable design, which also packed some oversized bezels around its 2” TFT display. Many people compared the phone to a wristwatch, unfortunately, it didn’t really generate sales.

The funniest thing is, you can still pick up a gold version of the Aesir Copenhagen for a rock bottom price of £30,000, ideal if you have more money than sense.

Is the Aesir Copenhagen really worth the money?

Motorola Flipout

Are we talking about the same company who made the iconic design of the StarTAC handset, and later the Razr V3? Unfortunately, for every hit, there has to be the odd miss, and the Motorola Flipout was a horrendous miss by the big time mobile manufacturer.

Featuring a square form factor, you could actually fold out the handsets physical keyboard, and idea perfectly demonstrated by the Sidekick phone, but laboured with on the Flipout. Its 2.8” touchscreen, 512MB RAM and 3.15mp camera did help it out, but it was still dodged by plenty of customers thanks to its design.

It’s pretty safe to say that the Flipout was arguably the strangest looking Android phone ever to hit the shelves, for now of course!

What do you think of the Motorola Flipout?

Toshiba G450

We’ve no idea what Toshiba was thinking here to be honest with the G450, which looks a bit like a glorified TV remote control. Its separated keypad still has us pondering to this day about the guys behind its design’s sanity.

Its tiny display and 160MB of storage didn’t exactly make up for its strange design either, especially considering that it was launched in 2008, a year after the first iPhone. Yeah that’s right, this was released after one of the world’s most iconic smartphones, we’re gathering Toshiba thought it was onto something here, it’s just a shame that it couldn’t be further from the mark.

The only thing to take from this handset was that it actually turned out to be a good design for the Beats Pill speaker system…

Have you seen a stranger phone than the Toshiba G450?

F88 Wrist Phone

The F88 Wrist Phone was a great idea made with technology not capable of making the device all it could be. Simply put, the components were just too big to make this wearable piece of kit a success, proven by the strap based keypad and finger based speaker/microphone.

Costing £600 on its release, the F88 was heralded as the future of the mobile phone, but fastforward all these years and we still haven’t fulfilled that promise, even though it’s looking a whole lot more likely now. We applaud the thought behind the F88, but it was just too far ahead of its time, and to be honest, any phone that requires a microphone/speaker strapped around your finger is going to be considered a little bit left field to say the least.

Let’s just remember that without the F88 it’s unlikely we’d be where we’re at today with the likes of the Moto 360, every cloud eh?

Imagine having this strapped to your wrist all day...

Well there you have it, five of the strangest smartphones we’ve ever seen, do you know of any more? If so, why not let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Google+?

Five Features that make the S5 Mini the best small smartphone!

17th Jul, 2014 | No Comments »

What makes the Galaxy S5 Mini so good?

The Samsung Galaxy S5 was without a doubt one of the phones of 2014 so far, and it’s sure to be right up there come the end of the year as well. But what about its little brother, the Galaxy S5 Mini, could it be considered the best small smartphone of the year so far?

We think so, and we’re here to convince you, giving you five reasons why it’s the best small smartphone on the market right now! So, if you’re after a less bulky smartphone to slide in your pocket, take a look at why you should consider the smaller Galaxy handset.

It’s Waterproof!

It’s pretty common knowledge that water and electrical goods don’t play well with each other in most circumstances. But the S5 Mini gets on with water much better than most other small smartphones out there.

With its IP67 protection rating, the S5 Mini can last underwater for around half an hour as long as it’s no deeper than 1m. This means a drop in the sink, bathtub or god forbid the toilet does little to affect the miniature warrior, although you might want to wash it off if it does end up hitting the toilet bowl.

Granted, the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact also offers a similar protection rating, but there are few other smartphones of its size that are on par with either of these two handsets.

Is the S5 Mini being Waterproof one of the best features ever?

You may like: Thinking of grabbing the S5 Mini? See how it compares to the HTC One Mini 2 right here!

Super Samsung Display…

Packing one of the best displays in the business, the Galaxy S5 Mini really does stand head and shoulders above its similarly sized opposition. Its 4.5” Super AMOLED display boasts phenomenal colour, stunning contrast and is also incredibly sharp, despite not being as ‘mini’ as its name suggests.

Compared to the likes of the flagship iPhone 5s, the S5 Mini is actually packing a bigger screen size, making it less of a miniature handset. Of course, compared to some of the other Samsung offerings on the market, it is fairly diminutive, especially against the Samsung Galaxy Note and Mega models, which both boast screens larger than 5”.

Quality Apps!

A phone’s success on the market is dictated by many features, but one of the key areas of success for the best smartphones is its selection of apps and features. The S5 Mini definitely stands out on this front, packing many of the apps boasted by the S5 flagship handset.

Kids mode, which gives you the option of handing your phone to your little ones without fear of dodgy emails being sent to colleagues is included. As is S Health and Samsung Knox, which help track your personal health and protect your details respectively.

Compared to some other smaller smartphones on the market, the S5 Mini feels like a treasure chest full of brilliant apps. This obviously gives you plenty of more things to do on your smartphone for one, but also gives you plenty of peace of mind to boot.

Incredible Samsung Design

Boasting the same faux leather look as its bigger brother, the S5 Mini is obviously quite a looker, and it doesn’t shy away from that fact either. But it’s not all about looks; its design is also extremely user-friendly as well, making it an all-round powerhouse on the design front.

The fingerprint scanner from the S5 is included in the S5 Mini, built-into the home button, meaning access to the device can be as easy as a simple swipe of your index finger. The heart rate sensor is also included on the back, again coupled as the cameras flash, mixing efficiency with brilliant design yet again.

Simply put, the S5 Mini is arguably one of the best designed smartphones on the market altogether, let alone one of the best smaller smartphones.

Is the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini the best looking miniature phone on the market?

Super Samsung Galaxy Specs!

If there’s one thing Samsung really prides itself on, it’s the spec sheet which tends to accompany its flagship handsets. The S5 Mini is no exception here, despite not technically being a flagship handset, packing some enviable specs compared to other phones its size.

We’ve already discussed the display, but under the hood we see some healthy specs as well; with 1.5GB RAM, a quad-core processor and 8 megapixel camera standing out. It might not be quite as powerful as its flagship brethren, but it’s a great handset for its price tag.

So, has that convinced you? If so, why not take a look at some of our great Samsung deals right here?

For more news and articles, you can of course follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ as well!

Microsoft strikes again: Nokia X vs Nokia X2

1st Jul, 2014 | No Comments »

Nokia X vs X2

It doesn’t seem so long ago when Nokia was strictly handling Windows Phone handsets and nothing else. How times have changed, with Nokia unveiling three Android powered smartphones back at MWC, and now adding to that trio with the Nokia X2.

But how much of an improvement is the X2 over its predecessor, the Nokia X? Can it really be worth investing in less than six months after the original Nokia Android phone was released? Well, to find out we’ve put them side by side here in our Nokia Android comparison!

Nokia X vs X2 Design

When placed side by side, there isn’t a whole lot of difference between Nokia’s two Android handsets, with Nokia clearly sticking with the ‘isn’t broke don’t fix it’ mantra. In fact, it’s pretty easy to mistake each handset as the other, purely down to the spitting similarities between the two.

The only real distinguishable feature is the slight increase in size and weight and slightly more transluscent outer colouring, along with the introduction of a dedicated home button. Other than that, it’s all minor design improvements, including making the corners of the handset slightly smoother.

All of these changes have been welcomed by fans of the original handset, with a home button the main pet peeve of Nokia X users, with the previous handset requiring you to hold the back button to get back to the main screen. But, it’s certainly a good point to see Nokia only improving the things which need it, rather than rehashing the entire design.

Will the Nokia X2 prove a hit?

Nokia X2 Specs

This is the area where the X2 really needed to separate itself from its older sibling, which itself didn’t blow many of us away with its modestly powered specs sheet. Thankfully, we’re thrilled to say that the X2 really does outclass its predecessor here, making for improvements across the board.

The increased size of the handset has been brought on by the upsizing of the X’s 4” IPS LCD display to a 4.3” Clearblack offering from Nokia, making for better visuals and improved image contrast. This again improves on what was seen as a slightly lacklustre effort from Nokia last time out, leaving many users slightly disillusioned with the older handset’s overall display.

The meagre 4GB internal storage space has stuck around for a second go with the X2, but an SD card slot is again included, allowing expansion of up to 32GB, meaning we shouldn’t be too worried about running out of space. However, don’t be thinking the RAM’s staying the same, with Nokia doubling the 512MB effort from the X to a full 1GB on the X2, making apps faster to open and making general responsiveness better.

The improvements continue behind the scenes, with the X2 boasting a Snapdragon 200 chipset, dual-core 1.2GHz processor and a spacious 1800mAh battery, all of which show a marked improvement over the older Nokia X.

Android 4.3 JellyBean also finds its way onto the Nokia X2, with a new styled Nokia X Platform 2.0 user interface plastered on top, giving the X2 a Windows Phone looking twist. This makes for a better experience compared to the Nokia X’s 4.1.2 Android system and Nokia X platform UI for sure, offering more features as well as running smoother than ever.

What's your take on the Nokia X2?

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Nokia Camera Comparison

It’s pretty safe to say that the Nokia X didn’t feature the best camera on the market by quite a way, featuring just a 3.15 megapixel lens on the back, and no lens on the front whatsoever. This time however, Nokia has shown a decent improvement, bumping up both sides of the handset; giving us a 5 megapixel front lens and a VGA offering on the front side.

Whilst it might not sound like too much on paper, the 5 megapixel lens shows a marked improvement, and the VGA camera does manage for the odd selfie and video call. As long as you don’t expect to get professional quality snaps from the X2, you definitely won’t be left disappointed this time around.


The Nokia X was a great eye-opener for Nokia fans looking for an Android twist, but it didn’t blow anyone away with its specs. But whilst the X2 isn’t exactly a heavy hitter on paper either, it does take plenty of steps in the right direction, and makes for a great budget smartphone.

Of course, if you don’t fancy waiting for the X2 to arrive, why not take a look at our other great Nokia deals here!

What are your thoughts on the Nokia X2? Will you be investing in it? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

Hands-On with the Amazon Fire OS

27th Jun, 2014 | No Comments »

What's the big deal about Amazon's new OS?

Amazon has finally unveiled its long awaited entry into the smartphone market, featuring its very own operating system, Amazon Fire OS 3.5. But what is the Amazon Fire OS like? Was it a good idea from Amazon to include it in the handset?

To help you get a good look at the upcoming mobile system, we’ve decided to put together this hands-on review, talking you just what it’s good for, and what it can improve upon. So, if you’re thinking of grabbing yourself a new operating system, make sure you consider this surprising new software!

What is the Amazon Fire OS?

The first thing worth mentioning about the Amazon Fire OS is that it is technically an Android operating system, running with a very heavy Amazon paint job. This isn’t too dissimilar from the likes of the Nokia X, which runs an Android OS with a heavy Microsoft style input.

However, don’t think that it’s all visual changes you’ll be seeing with the Amazon OS here, with the company focusing on bringing in features to the system which haven’t been seen before. In fact, the features included on the software are arguably some of the most inventive we’ve ever seen in a smartphone, similar to the TouchID inclusion on iOS 7 or BlinkFeed feature from HTC.

What are Amazon’s best features?

As we mentioned just, the Amazon Fire OS packs some exciting features behind its display to say the least, leaving many of us smartphone lovers eager to give the handset a go. Here are just some of the best features we’ve seen from the handset so far.

3D Dynamic Perspective

Who doesn’t love 3D effects? The Amazon Fire OS is currently the only smartphone system capable of creating this 3D dynamic perspective display, mainly because of the Amazon Fire phone’s 4 corner based cameras which enable to feature to work. Even still, the effect is truly astounding, it might not have too many practical uses but it certainly is one of the coolest smartphone features we’ve ever seen.


Firefly is arguably the most practical feature on the entire handset, Firefly can identify songs, films, products, even email addresses and phone numbers by simply using the main camera on the handset. It even takes you straight to the Amazon online store if you point your smartphone at something the store happens to stock, which is a lot.

Is Firefly on Amazon a feature for you to get excited about?


Ever had a problem with your phone that you can’t figure out? We’ve all been there, stuck searching the web to try and figure out a problem. Thankfully the Amazon Fire OS’s Mayday feature can help you out by connecting you to a real life tech trouble-shooter via video. They can even guide you through your phone to rectify the problem!

How does it compete with Android and iOS?

Making a new OS is always a tough job; just ask Microsoft, that has only recently seen Windows Phone take-off as a realistic option for smartphone buyers. Amazon though, will be hoping that it doesn’t see the same time frame dictate its success.

Unfortunately, despite being powered by Google’s immensely popular Android operating system, the Amazon Fire OS doesn’t feature apps from Google or the Google Play Store. This obviously diminishes the number of apps available to the system, but still offers the majority of the most popular apps.

In terms of design, it’s simpler to use compared to Android and far more customisable than Apple’s iOS, making it a near perfect mixture of the two systems. On top of this, seeing as it’s currently only accessible on one handset, updates will be available faster than ever, something that certainly can’t be said for some Android handsets!

Will you be buying an Amazon Fire handset?


The Amazon Fire OS is a great fresh take on the mobile operating system, taking good features from many other systems currently on the market and merging them into one piece of kit. The features based on the system are top-notch, and could be seen for plenty of years to come, whilst the overall design is incredibly easy to use.

If you can hack not having a tonne of apps at your disposal from the get-go then you could be in for a real treat with the Amazon phone. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more apps come along soon enough, turning this strong opening effort from Amazon, into a real contender for the top spot on the mobile OS rankings.

Of course, if you would rather side with a more well-known operating system, you can always check out out Android and iOS smartphone deals here!

What are your thoughts on the Amazon Fire OS? Will you be looking to pick it up? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Google+

Firefly from Amazon: What is it?

20th Jun, 2014 | No Comments »

Could Firefly from Amazon be the biggest feature on the upcoming handset?

When we all saw the Amazon Fire make an appearance, we were all instantly wooed by the 3D Dynamic Perspective display, which gives the handset a feature capable of shifting units without a doubt. But could another feature actually be more capable that this at generating sales?

Firefly is this feature, and we think it could really win people over when they are considering picking up the long awaited Amazon smartphone. But what is the Firefly feature? Is it really going to be as good as we’re hoping?

Firefly, a Brief Overview

If you’ll take a look at the Amazon Fire’s design, you’ll notice an inconspicuous little button on its side. It looks a lot like the quick-access camera button you find on a number of handsets, and whilst this is still the case with the Amazon handset, you’ll quickly find that it has a more intuitive and exciting use as well.

This is Firefly of course, and it looks like it could be one of the Amazon Fire’s key selling points, especially for those with an aptitude for online shopping.

When put simply, Firefly is an identification tool that can recognise a reported 100 million different objects, ranging from books, to DVDs and CDs. Taking less than a second to get to work; the feature also links any item shown to the Amazon online store, allowing users to purchase it if they wish.

It doesn’t end with online shopping though, with the Firefly feature offering plenty more for the average smartphone user. One such feature is the ability to pull contact details off pretty much anything.

The feature can identify a phone number, email address and web address without any issue, and can then use this information to help create a contact, save it for later or use it right away. Also, the feature can also identify audio, meaning music playing in the background, or TV shows can be identified if you’re desperate to find out just what film you remember that actor from.

How does Firefly work?

Utilising the 13 megapixel lens on the back side of the phone, you simply press the Firefly button and then point the viewfinder at the item you plan on identifying. All of the hard work is managed behind the scenes in as quick a time as possible.

It goes the same for audio and information identification as well, you simply point your handset at the desired area, and the phone pulls the information you need right away. With a simple tap on the screen you add any items to your Amazon basket and even pay for them there and then.

What makes the feature even sweeter is the fact that you don’t need to have the phone unlocked to activate it. Meaning you won’t be rushing to unlock your smartphone as a song is coming to its end to identify it.

What can we expect from Firefly?

The great thing about Firefly is that Amazon isn’t tying it down in a gated community, opening up the system to third-party developers. This means we can expect more and more uses for the feature to come to light over the coming months.

Nutrition is already one area where the feature is being related to, allowing users to point at a type of food, letting the handset give you nutritional value and healthier options for that certain edible treat.

Other possible features include detailed vehicle look-ups, similar to those ‘text your reg’ services you see advertised on television, and also comparison services, which could compare prices of practically anything given due care and consideration.

What can you expect from Firefly?

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All in all, Firefly is looking like the feature which could tip the scales of success for the Amazon smartphone, rather than the 3D dynamic Perspective display. This all comes down to the usefulness of the feature.

Whilst the 3D effect is certainly cool and flashy, will you really be using it for anything but a gimmick? Firefly offers a tonne of uses and will grow as more developers work with it.

Simply put, this is a feature that we could see the likes of Apple and Android copying sooner rather than later.

Of course if you don’t fancy an Amazon smartphone, you can always check out our other smartphone deals right here!

What are your thoughts on the upcoming Amazon Firefly feature? Why not let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Google+?

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