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HTC One M8 Mini vs Sony Xperia Z2 Compact

23rd Apr, 2014 | No Comments »

The Sony Xperia Z2 Compact and HTC One M8 Mini are both set to hit the shelves this summer. But which one is the best mini smartphone?

With the HTC One M8 finally official, all eyes are turning to HTC’s next smartphone release in the shape of the HTC One M8 Mini.

Last year’s One Mini followed just five months after the launch of its big brother, the HTC One. So can we expect a HTC One M8 Mini to hit our shelves this quarter? And if so, will it compete with all the other ‘mini’ smartphones on the market?

Here we take a look at the rumoured HTC One M8 Mini vs Sony Xperia Z2 Compact…

Sony vs HTC design

First off, it’s easy to see that both ‘mini’ smartphones will look premium. The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is set to have the same tempered glass design as its bigger brothers, which will make it look, and feel, like a top quality device.

HTC One M8 Mini vs Sony Xpeira Z2 Compact rumours: which would you prefer?

But if the rumours are true, the HTC One M8 Mini won’t disappoint either, with an aluminium shell made up of 90% premium metal making it an equally impressive-looking smartphone.

Smaller screen…smaller specs?

The one main standout selling point of the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is the fact that its specs and features have not been comprised when squeezing the smartphone down to a smaller body.

In this vein, we can assume that the Z2 Compact will be identical to the Xperia Z2, but with a slightly smaller display.  If this is the case, the device could sport a mighty quad-core 2.3GHz processor with Snapdragon 801 chipset and 3GB of RAM, making it one of the most powerful ‘mini’ smartphones around.

So will the HTC One M8 Mini be able to compete? Typically miniature versions of flagship smartphones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini or HTC One Mini, feature smaller processors, cameras and memory. But with the Z2 Compact potentially upping the ante, will we see a replica of the HTC One M8 hitting our shelves this summer?

The HTC One M8 has really wowed the crowds with its specs, boasting an 801 Snapdragon chip teamed with a quad-core 2.3GHz processor. On top of that, the device sports 2GB of RAM and a 16/32GB internal storage capability. But unless all of this is translated into the HTC One M8 Mini, it could make it difficult to compete with the Z2 Compact under the hood.

So far the HTC One M8 rumours hint that the device will have a 4.5-inch display with a quad-core 1.4GHz processor. Although this is perhaps inferior to the Z1 Compact’s specs, it would be a huge improvement on the HTC One Mini’s dual-core processor, making the device as attractive an offer as ever.

One M8 Mini vs Xperia Z2 Compact: Features

So, the HTC One M8 Mini’s specs might not be as impressive as those of the rumoured Z2 Compact, but could HTC’s mini device wow us in other areas?

BoomSound speakers vs Sony Music

One of the best features on HTC smartphones has got to be their dedicated music apps and built-in speakers. The HTC One was the first device to sport dual frontal speakers, amplifying your tunes to guarantee amazing audio quality every time.

The HTC One M8 boasts dual frontal speakers. Is this a feature that the HTC One M8 Mini will also sport?

And now, with the HTC One M8 offering speakers that make your music 25% louder than its predecessor, there’s no reason why HTC would leave them out of the One M8 Mini’s design.

But how will this compare to Sony’s range of music features on the Xperia Z2 Compact? Rumoured Xperia Z2 Compact features are yet to emerge, but if its predecessor is anything to go by then we are in for a treat as far as music is concerned.

First of all, the Z2 Compact will undoubtedly sport Sony’s Walkman app, allowing you to access all your tunes from one central app. This enables you to discover new music, as well as listen to your old time favourites both online and offline. Add this to the Xperia Z2’s new ‘What’s New?’ feature, and you could open the door to a whole new catalogue of artists and tracks which match your personal taste in music.

Megapixels vs UltraPixels

Last but not least is the One M8 Mini vs Xperia Z2 Compact camera battle.

The Xperia Z2 will no doubt boast the same 20.7MP rear-facing camera as the Z2, offering the best camera seen on a ‘mini’ smartphone to date.

At the other end of the scale, however, sits the HTC One M8 Mini, which is rumoured to sport the same 4MP lens as its predecessors. It’s not as bad as it sounds though, as HTC’s UltraPixel technology actually generates spectacular photos which can beat the likes of Apple and Samsung hands down.

Add that to a rumoured 5MP front facing camera, and the HTC One M8 Mini could be a smartphone camera to be reckoned with.

While the Xperia Z2 Compact, if the Z2 is anything to go by, will offer a range of really cool editing features, such as Background Defocus, Timeshift Video and the fun AR Effect, the mini HTC smartphone is set to feature HTC’s infamous Zoe technology.

HTC Zoe allows you to capture the moment with short bursts of video which sit in your gallery alongside your still shots. Your HTC smartphone will also gather all of your best moments by generating an automatic Highlights video compilation without you having to lift a finger, which is a nice touch.

Rumour has it that the HTC One M8 Mini might even boast the same dual camera technology as the One M8. Find out more about why the HTC One M8 has a dual camera here.

Mini phone comparison

So there we have it: a comparison of the HTC One M8 Mini vs Sony Xperia Z2 Compact. Both smartphones are rumoured to hit our shelves in May- June time this year, priced at a slice of their flagship counterparts.

But if you simply can’t wait until then, why not take a look at our HTC One M8 contracts available now!

When will we see a Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini?

16th Apr, 2014 | No Comments »

When will we see a Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini? All the rumours, release date news and spec line up...

Samsung may have only just launched its flagship Galaxy S5, but already fans are discussing the next spin off smartphone in the shape of the Galaxy S5 Mini.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini was launched just two months about its bigger brother, so can we expect the same from the S5 Mini? And what exciting new features will the S5 Mini boast?

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini vs Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

Traditionally, ‘mini’ smartphones feature severely cut back specs compared to their flagship bigger brothers such as the Galaxy S3 or S4. However, with the introduction of the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact in January this year, has the ‘mini’ market been changed for the better?

Will the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini be as powerful as the S5, like the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is?

The Xperia Z1 Compact, despite being smaller than the original Z1, features many of the same specs under the hood, including a 20.7 megapixel camera and quad-core 2.2GHz processor.  In fact, the only major contrast between the two devices is the 0.7-inch difference in size.

So, will the Samsung galaxy S5 Mini follow the Xperia Z1 Compact in the same way, revealing a top spec, premium smartphone, just in a miniature body? We know that the Samsung smartphone will have a 4.5-inch screen, so fingers crossed it will have some impressive specs to boot.

What will the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini feature?

So now we have seen the game changing Galaxy S5, what features can we expect to see transferring to the S5 Mini?

A mini fingerprint scanner?

The all singing all dancing feature we spotted on the Samsung Galaxy S5 was its fingerprint scanner built into the home button. It was the iPhone 5s that kicked off this trend, but now it seems that the world has gone crazy for a slice of this finger-scanning technology.

And whilst Apple didn’t include its Touch ID on the slightly cheaper iPhone 5c model, could Samsung stretch the boundaries by launching the world’s first ever miniature smartphone with built in fingerprint scanner?

A less than mini 16MP camera?

The Galaxy S4 Mini sported a somewhat downgraded 8 megapixel camera, whilst the S3 Mini offered just a 5 megapixel rear facing lens compared to their respective 13MP and 8MP big brothers.

So the question on everyone’s lips is whether Samsung will continue in this streak, or will it instead follow Sony’s footsteps and launch an impressive 16 megapixel camera on the S5 Mini?

Based on the Z1 Compact’s success, it would seem that fans are calling for a smaller-screened smartphone which boasts all of the same power, camera specs and features as a premium, top level smartphone. However, rumours suggest that the S5 Mini will feature just an 8MP camera, which could spell out disappointment for Samsung fans hankering for more.

A Samsung heart rate sensor?

Another focus of the Samsung Galaxy S5 is fitness and wellbeing. We saw S Health launched on the S4, but the S5 took it one step further, adding an in-built heart rate sensor into the device.

With our smartphones becoming our everyday companions that we couldn’t do without, surely the Galaxy S5 will sport the same health and fitness tracking features? In time the S5 Mini could work in conjunction with Samsung’s range of smartwatches, allowing you to access your smartphone straight from your wrist!

My Magazine

It’s almost a given that the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini will boast Android’s latest update, KitKat. However, the S5 Mini rumours we have spotted so far also suggest that the device will be centred around Samsung’s My Magazine.

Fingers crossed the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini will feature My Magazine on top of Android KitKat

Although this feature is nothing we’ve not seen before, My Magazine was previously hidden away as an app on the Galaxy S4. But we expect the S5 Mini, just like the S5, to make up part of the smartphone’s home screen, in a similar way to HTC’s BlinkFeed on the HTC One M8.

Want to learn more? Check out our take on the new features of HTC BlinkFeed on the One M8.

My Magazine is essentially a live feed of articles, social media posts and photos, customisable to each user. It’s a great feature which allows you to explore interesting news and your friends’ updates without having to launch separate apps.

Release Date

Rumour has is that the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini release date will be towards June rather than May, as we saw with the S4 Mini.

We are also expecting the miniature smartphone to come with an equally miniature price tag of around £350-£400, which is considerably smaller than the S5.

If you can’t wait for the S5 Mini, take a look at our Samsung Galaxy S5 deals.

What will the Apple iPhone 6 do to blow us away?

12th Apr, 2014 | No Comments »

Will the iPhone 6 reall blow us away this September? Here we take a look at the latest iPhone 6 rumours set to rival the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8.

Apple really shocked the world when it launched not just one, but two, iPhone devices last year in the form of the iPhone 5s and 5c.

So what do we have in store for us with this year’s Apple iPhone 6? Will it totally blow us away with a complete redesign and wealth of new features? Or will Apple take the evolution route and bring us another device that just looks like the rest?

iPhone 6 rumours

Will the iPhone 6 have a bigger screen?

Rumour has it that the next iPhone will jump up a dress size from 4-inches to a 4.7-inch display after Apple acknowledged that consumers want a bigger screen on their iPhone. According to various leaks, the iPhone 6’s screen will feature a Retina+ Sharp IGZO display with 1080p full HD resolution, making it the sharpest screen on the market.

In fact, there are even suggestions that Apple will launch an iPhablet, sporting a 5.5-inch display, alongside its usual flagship iPhone this year, in line with Samsung’s pattern of Galaxy S and Note devices. However, rumours have indicated that this device might not be ready to market until 2015.

Full metal jacket

You wouldn’t expect anything less than a full aluminium casing from the iPhone 6, in line with all previous iPhones to date. However, Apple is said to be working with a new material after patents for Liquidmetal 3D were discovered. This could see the iPhone 6 being the smoothest, sleekest iPhone yet, with an ultra trim chassis which is set to be slimmer than the iPhone 5s’ 7.6mm frame.

Touch ID on iPhone 6?

The iPhone 5s’ fingerprint scanner built into the device’s home button really blew us away last year, so it would be ludicrous if Apple decided to leave it off the iPhone 6.

Will the iPhone 6 feature Touch ID? Or will we see an iPhone without a home button?

That said, some critics have suggested that, in order to house the new iPhone’s larger screen, the home button might disappear from the device completely. So, if this rumour has any truth in it, where will it leave Touch ID on the iPhone 6?

iOS 8

One major overhaul of the iPhone 5s was Apple’s operating system, iOS 7. And we are fully expecting the iPhone 6 to launch with an even newer version of the system in the form of iOS 8.

Although there have been very few leaks regarding iOS 8, a recent meeting between Apple and The New York Times suggested that iOS 8 will feature a whole range of fitness-monitoring sensors, aimed at monitoring your level of health and well-being.

iSight Camera

Some iPhone addicts were somewhat underwhelmed when the iPhone 5s launched with the same 8 megapixel rear facing camera built in. Although we saw some new features such as a True Tone flash, burst mode and slow motion video, users were still hankering after more megapixels under their belt.

That’s why, rumour has it, the iPhone 6 will feature a 13 megapixel rear facing camera which is set to be the best iPhone camera yet.

A leaked Apple patent also suggests that the iPhone 6 will be even better than its predecessor at letting in extra light, making your photos sharper and brighter than ever.

iPhone 6 release date

Although May has been mooted as a potential iPhone 6 launch date, it’s far more likely that Apple will continue its tradition of releasing its new device in September this year.

We can expect to catch a glimpse of the new iOS 8 at Apple’s WWDC in June 2014, but Apple is sure to keep us hanging until Q3 for the brand new iPhone 6.

iPhone 6 vs Galaxy S5 vs One M8

So with Samsung, Sony and HTC launching some incredible smartphones already this year, Apple really needs to pull it out of the bag in order to keep up.

Do you think the iPhone 5s is as good as these Android smartphones? Take a look at our iPhone 5s vs Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8 comparison here!

Can the iPhone 6 compete with the Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 and Sony Xperia Z2?

So will the iPhone 6 be able to compete against the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8?

With a full metal jacket, the HTC One M8 is perhaps the closest Android equivalent to the iPhone 6. And with a dual camera, with UltraPixel technology, a 5 megapixel front facing camera lens and incredible BoomSound speakers which are undoubtedly the loudest on the market, the iPhone 6 has a lot to live up to.

Compare the iPhone 6 rumours to Samsung’s latest flagship, the Galaxy S5, and Apple’s got another tough battle on its hands. The Samsung Galaxy S5 has upped its game, offering an equally impressive fingerprint scanner built into its home button, as well as a 16 megapixel camera and heart rate sensor.

So will the iPhone 6 live up to our expectations? Or will it fall short compared to the array of incredible new Android devices already hitting the market this year?

If you’re keen to get your hands on an iPhone, check out our Apple iPhone contracts exclusive to OneStopPhoneShop!

Best Battery Saving Smartphone: Samsung Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8 vs iPhone 5s

11th Apr, 2014 | No Comments »
The battle of the best smartphones has long been a competition between the top smartphone manufacturers and with our smartphones doing everything a tablet can many apps can be power hungry making battery life a very important aspect when choosing your next smartphone.
In response to the ever increasing demand for better battery power on smartphones whilst trying to avoid huge battery packs, smartphone manufacturers have added clever battery saving apps and modes to extend the juice in your phone battery. We take a look at how these new features compare in the top three smartphones available today.
Samsung Galaxy S5 Battery Life
Standby 390 hours Talk Time 21 hours
The Ultra Power Saving Mode feature added to the Samsung Galaxy S5 promises to deliver 24 hours of juice when there is only 10% left in the battery. How does it do that? Switching to the Ultra Power Saving Mode will close down 2 of the cores in the quad-core processor as well as reduce the speed of the other two and to compensate for this slower speed the screen refresh rate is reduced too.
The first thing you will notice when you turn on this battery saving mode is the screen display which will switch to gray-scale. As the screen is an AMOLED display this gray scale mode does not hamper the ability to read the screen as the switch simply needs to light fewer pixels saving a lot of power without sacrificing clarity.
The TouchWiz UI will dumb down the phone when the Ultra Power Save Mode is switched on so all background data stops and you get a basic set of features such as Phone, text, Samsung browser and ChatOn.
HTC One M8 Battery
Standby 496 hours Talk Time 20 hours
The HTC One M8 is packing lots of impressive hardware into its beautifully designed chassis and all that requires lots of power. The battery offers up to 496 hours of standby time which is drastically reduced when using power hungry features like Wi-Fi or GPS based apps so the Extreme Power Saving Mode will kick in at 20, 10 or 5% power.
You can activate the mode manually at any time should you wish to and with this mode HTC say the phone can deliver another 16 hours of usage time from just 15% of battery power. The Extreme Power Saving Mode switches off non-essential features leaving you with access to Phone, Messages, HTC Mail, Calendar and Calculator functions only.
iPhone 5s Battery Saving Tips
Standby 250 hours Talk Time 10 hours
The iPhone 5s offers up the lowest standard battery time when compared to the other two smartphones and with no built-in battery management you may think that this makes the iPhone 5s a poor choice, but there are a number of things you can do to save battery power on the iPhone 5s.
Turning off non-essential features when you are not using them will greatly increase the life of the iPhone 5s battery so switch off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when you don’t need them. If your battery is running low on juice then switch to “Airplane Mode”this will switch off a lot of back end data updates and give you enough juice until you can get to a charger.
So as you can see from this battle of the batteries the HTC One M8 comes out on top both with the times offered up by the battery in normal mode and the further power offered by Extreme Power Saving Mode.

Best Battery Smartphones

The battle of the best smartphones has long been a competition between the top smartphone manufacturers and with our smartphones doing everything a tablet can many apps can be power hungry making battery life a very important aspect when choosing your next smartphone.

In response to the ever increasing demand for better battery power on smartphones whilst trying to avoid huge battery packs, smartphone manufacturers have added clever battery saving apps and modes to extend the juice in your phone battery. We take a look at how these new features compare in the top three smartphones available today.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Battery Life

Standby 390 hours Talk Time 21 hours

The Ultra Power Saving Mode feature added to the Samsung Galaxy S5 promises to deliver 24 hours of juice when there is only 10% left in the battery. How does it do that? Switching to the Ultra Power Saving Mode will close down 2 of the cores in the quad-core processor as well as reduce the speed of the other two and to compensate for this slower speed the screen refresh rate is reduced too.

Samsung Galaxy S5 battery

The first thing you will notice when you turn on this battery saving mode is the screen display which will switch to gray-scale. As the screen is an AMOLED display this gray scale mode does not hamper the ability to read the screen as the switch simply needs to light fewer pixels saving a lot of power without sacrificing clarity.

The TouchWiz UI will dumb down the phone when the Ultra Power Save Mode is switched on so all background data stops and you get a basic set of features such as Phone, text, Samsung browser and ChatOn.

HTC One M8 Battery

Standby 496 hours Talk Time 20 hours

The HTC One M8 is packing lots of impressive hardware into its beautifully designed chassis and all that requires lots of power. The battery offers up to 496 hours of standby time which is drastically reduced when using power hungry features like Wi-Fi or GPS based apps so the Extreme Power Saving Mode will kick in at 20, 10 or 5% power.

htc one m8 battery saving mode

You can activate the mode manually at any time should you wish to and with this mode HTC say the phone can deliver another 16 hours of usage time from just 15% of battery power. The Extreme Power Saving Mode switches off non-essential features leaving you with access to Phone, Messages, HTC Mail, Calendar and Calculator functions only.

iPhone 5s Battery Saving Tips

Standby 250 hours Talk Time 10 hours

The iPhone 5s offers up the lowest standard battery time when compared to the other two smartphones and with no built-in battery management you may think that this makes the iPhone 5s a poor choice, but there are a number of things you can do to save battery power on the iPhone 5s.

iphone 5s battery saving tips

Turning off non-essential features when you are not using them will greatly increase the life of the iPhone 5s battery so switch off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when you don’t need them. If your battery is running low on juice then switch to “Airplane Mode”this will switch off a lot of back end data updates and give you enough juice until you can get to a charger.

So as you can see from this battle of the batteries the HTC One M8 comes out on top both with the times offered up by the battery in normal mode and the further power offered by Extreme Power Saving Mode. If you want to grab a great deal on the HTC One M8 you can compare offers here.

Would the battery power and added power management features make you choose a certain handset? Will you stick to your favourite manufacturer even if there were better battery smartphones on the market? Tell us your thoughts by joining the conversation on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

Hands-on with the HTC BlinkFeed features

6th Apr, 2014 | No Comments »

The BlinkFeed features on the HTC One M8 make it one of the best smartphones on the market right now. Here's why!

The smartphone that’s on everyone’s lips already this year is the HTC One M8, thanks to its incredible dual cameras, premium metal finish and above all, its updated BlinkFeed features.

So what is HTC BlinkFeed, and how does this Sense 6 feature make the M8 such an attractive proposition?

Interested in the HTC One M8? Check out our full review!

What is HTC BlinkFeed?

HTC BlinkFeed is HTC’s own user interface which completely revamped the traditional take on Android last year. But now with the launch of the HTC One M8, BlinkFeed is back, sporting even smarter features and customisable options.

Rather than featuring the ordinary home screens made up of static app icons, HTC BlinkFeed has created a dynamic feed of news, social media feeds and photos. Much like Microsoft’s Windows Phone, BlinkFeed features live tiles which update in real-time.

HTC BlinkFeed Features

So what features make BlinkFeed on the HTC One M8 so good?

With BlinkFeed, there’s no need to open up any of your apps from your other home screens like you might do on a traditional Android smartphone; instead, everything that you need to know, or see, is right there, on one ever changing page.

Whether you are a Facebook fiend, a news addict, or even a sports fanatic, your HTC One M8 gives you ultimate control, whilst making it easier than ever to access information, fast.

With access to over ten thousand sources, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, ESPN, MTV and the Huffington Post, to name a few, the HTC One M8 eliminates the need to browse the internet in search of an interesting article, or to keep up to date with your friends’ latest goings on.

What’s more, the M8’s version of BlinkFeed gives more customisation options to the user. You can choose the specific topics you want your BlinkFeed to display; so whether it’s 19th century French art that you have a passion for, or even Manchester United football club, your BlinkFeed can be managed to suit all your hobbies and needs.

HTC BlinkFeed on Sense 6 allows you to customise the live feed to suit your lifestyle.

Sense 5 vs Sense 6

HTC’s new BlinkFeed features are part of the new Sense 6- or HTC Sixth Sense, as is has also been coined.

And although BlinkFeed was first introduced in last year’s HTC One smartphone, there are some subtle differences which make the M8’s version of the user interface even better.

For instance, when you select a particular article that has popped up on your BlinkFeed, the HTC One M8 no longer takes you to your web browser to continue reading. Instead, you can read the post straight from your home screen, with the device opening up the article in an easy to see reader mode.

Also, Sense 6’s HTC BlinkFeed allows greater customisation, as mentioned above. This not only means that you can choose the specific topics that you want to appear on your home screen, but you can go one step further by changing the colour of the tiles to suit your mood.

Making Sense 6’s BlinkFeed even better, HTC has united with numerous partners in order to make your HTC One M8 your everyday companion. For example, the M8 features a bespoke FitBit app, which allows you to track your every move, step and calorie with the aim of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Equally, HTC’s partnership with Foursquare allows users to check out their closest eateries without having to fire up the actual app. And with BlinkFeed open to app developers, we foresee a whole range of bespoke apps hitting the market, adding to the One M8’s appeal.

So there you have it: a run-down of the HTC One M8’s new BlinkFeed features. If you like the look of the HTC One M8, take a look at our best HTC deals.

 
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