Lenovo Vibe Shot Camera Quality

Compared to Samsung Galaxy S6

The Lenovo Vibe Shot was launched during MWC back in March 2015. It wasn’t until October 2015 that the phone actually became available. I recently purchased the device and wanted to give a brief comparison on it’s camera quality.

Since the Vibe Shot is being marketed as a camera-centric smartphone (rather than a camera-phone such as a Lumia 1020 or Galaxy K zoom) the camera quality is likely one of the main deciding factors for selecting the device over the competition. The Vibe Shot is actually an upper mid-range device with very common specs for 2015:

  • Snapdragon 615
  • 3GB Ram, 32GB Memory, SD card support
  • 5″, 1080p display
  • 3000 mAh battery
  • metal frame with Gorilla Glass 3 front and back covers
  • 16 Mpx main camera in 16:9 format with OIS
  • 8 Mpx front facing camera

However, since Lenovo is marketing the device primarily for it’s camera I decided to test it against one of the best in the in the industry, the Samsung Galaxy S6.

The below samples were taken within seconds from each other in full automatic mode.

Samsung_2

Samsung Galaxy S6

Lenovo_2

Lenovo Vibe Shot

The colours of the S6 come out punchier but the Vibe Shot produces true-to-live colours. The white balance on the Vibe Shot is much more accurate whereas the S6 favours a blueish white balance. Overall there isn’t much difference when looking at the photos in full size.

Only when looking at a 100% crop of the image can you see that the S6 images retain more detail than the Lenovo Vibe Shot.

Samsung_2_100percent

Samsung Galaxy S6

Lenovo_2_100percent

Lenovo Vibe Shot

Overall the images from the Lenovo Vibe Shot are very good and only upon closer inspection does the Galaxy S6 pull ahead. But in most viewing scenarios which will be either on the phone screen itself or shared on Social Media there is hardly any difference to be noticed.

Given that the Lenovo Vibe Shot is over 120 Euros cheaper than the Galaxy S6 this is quite a remarkable camera performance. Add to that the premium design and build quality, 3GB Ram and overall performance, you have yourself a pretty good buy.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Here are some more photos taken with the Lenovo Vibe Shot

Vote now! We need an Android phone with physical QWERTY keyboard!

The Android world seems to have all the niches covered. From high-end phones in glass, metal, wood, to low-budget phone in all shapes and sizes. But why is there no Android phone with a physical QWERTY keyboard? That’s an obvious niche that no one seems to have covered.

Granted, most people wouldn’t be faster on a physical QWERTY than on a virtual one and yes, the screen will inevitably be smaller and less comfortable to view. But there is a reason why people are still buying Blackberry’s and it’s not only because of loyalty to the company or the perceived security or enterprise mobility advantage. For me there is just something really enjoyable about typing on a real keyboard rather than swyping or tapping on a screen only.

So why hasn’t any manufacturer gotten this niche covered? I hope rumors are true and Blackberry is indeed building a phone with Android OS.

Let me know if you agree that the Android world is in need of a physical QWERTY phone by voting below.

P!

Ultimate Screen-to-Body Ratio Comparison (post IFA 2014)

Visit the updated report for mid 2016


IFA 2014 is over and the iPhone 6 has officially been released. Hence it’s time to update the Ultimate Screen-to-Body Ratio Comparison.

There has been quite some move at the top of the table with 3 new phones occupying the top 3 spots. Moreover the top 3 are the first to break the 78% mark. This is especially an achievement for the Sharp Aquos Crystal being only a 5″ phone. To reach a ratio of 78.5% is much more of an achievement for a smaller screen compared to the 6″ phablets.

Both versions of the iPhone 6 can be found in the middle of the pack with 67.9% for the 5.5″ and 65.7 for the 4.7″ iPhone 6.

As always I appreciate any comments, suggestions and corrections. Please comment below.

Rank Name Screen Size (inch) Resolution (hor) Resolution (ver) Width Height Ratio (screen to size) PPI
1 Sharp Aquos Crystal 5 720 1280 67 131 78.52% 294
2 Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro 6 1440 2560 81.3 156 78.25% 490
3 Huawei Ascend Mate 7 6 1080 1920 81 157 78.04% 367
4 Alcatel One Touch Hero 6 1080 1920 80.6 158.5 77.69% 367
5 LG G3 5.5 1440 2560 74.6 146.3 76.41% 534
6 LG G2 5.2 1080 1920 70.9 138.5 75.91% 424
7 LG G Flex 6 720 1280 81.6 160.5 75.78% 245
8 Alcatel One Touch Hero 2 6 1080 1920 81.6 160.5 75.78% 367
9 Sony Xperia ZL 5 1080 1920 69.3 131.6 75.57% 441
10 Huawei Ascend Mate 2 6.1 720 1280 84.7 161 75.22% 241
11 Samsung Galaxy Note 3 5.7 1080 1920 79.2 151.2 74.80% 386
12 Samsung Galaxy Note 4 5.7 1440 2560 78.6 153.5 74.24% 515
13 LG G Pro 2 5.9 1080 1920 81.9 157.9 74.21% 373
14 Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 6.3 720 1280 88 167.6 74.19% 233
15 Lenovo Vibe Z2 5.5 720 1280 76.4 148.5 73.50% 267
16 Huawei Ascend Mate 6.1 720 1280 85.7 163.5 73.21% 241
17 Motorola Moto X (2014) 5.2 1080 1920 72.4 140.8 73.12% 424
18 LG Optimus G Pro 5.5 1080 1920 76.1 150.2 72.96% 401
19 Oppo Find 7 5.5 1440 2560 75 152.6 72.86% 534
20 ZTE Nubia Z5S 5 1080 1920 68.8 137.7 72.75% 441
21 Alcatel One Touch Idol X 5 1080 1920 67.5 140.4 72.72% 441
22 Lenovo Vibe Z 5.5 1080 1920 77 149 72.69% 401
23 Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo 5.5 720 1280 77.4 148.4 72.60% 267
24 Google Nexus 5 5 1080 1920 69.17 137.84 72.28% 441
25 Samsung Galaxy S4 5 1080 1920 69.8 136.6 72.28% 441
26 Xiaomi Mi 4 5 1080 1920 68.5 139.2 72.28% 441
27 LG G Pro Lite 5.5 540 960 76.9 150.2 72.20% 200
28 Motorola Moto X 4.7 720 1280 65.3 129.3 72.12% 312
29 Huawei Honor 3X 5.5 720 1280 77.4 149.5 72.07% 267
30 ZTE nubia Z7 5.5 1440 2560 75.7 153.2 71.91% 534
31 OnePlus One 5.5 1080 1920 75.9 152.9 71.86% 401
32 Sony Xperia T2 Ultra 6 720 1280 83.8 165.2 71.69% 245
33 Lenovo Vibe X2 5 1080 1920 68.6 140.2 71.66% 441
34 Huawei Ascend P7 5 1080 1920 68.8 139.8 71.65% 441
35 Meizu MX3 5.1 1080 1800 72 139 71.65% 418
36 Samsung ATIV SE 5 1080 1920 69.9 137.7 71.60% 441
37 ZTE Nubia X6 6.44 1080 1920 89 179.5 71.57% 342
38 Micromax Canvas XL 6 540 960 84.2 165 71.43% 184
39 Nokia Lumia 1520 6 1080 1920 85.4 162.8 71.38% 367
40 LG Optimus L9 II 4.7 720 1280 66.5 128.4 71.32% 312
41 LG G2 mini 4.7 540 960 66 129.6 71.19% 234
42 Acer Liquid Jade 5 720 1280 69 140.5 71.09% 294
43 Sony Xperia Z3 5.2 1080 1920 72 146 70.91% 424
44 Nokia Lumia 930 5 1080 1920 71 137 70.85% 441
45 Huawei Honor 6 5 1080 1920 69.7 139.6 70.83% 441
46 Sony Xperia Z3 Compact 4.6 720 1280 64.9 127 70.77% 319
47 HTC One max 5.9 1080 1920 82.5 164.5 70.71% 373
48 Oppo Find 5 5 1080 1920 68.8 141.8 70.64% 441
49 Asus Zenfone 6 6 720 1280 84.3 166.9 70.54% 245
50 Motorola Droid Ultra 5 720 1280 71.2 137.5 70.40% 294
51 Nokia Lumia 1320 6 720 1280 85.9 164.2 70.36% 245
52 Huawei Ascend G7 5.5 720 1280 77.3 153.5 70.28% 267
53 Samsung Galaxy Alpha 4.7 720 1280 65.5 132.4 70.22% 312
54 Huawei Ascend P6 4.7 720 1280 65.5 132.65 70.09% 312
55 Nokia Lumia 830 5 720 1280 70.7 139.4 69.93% 294
56 Sony Xperia Z 5 1080 1920 71 139 69.83% 441
57 Samsung Galaxy S5 5.1 1080 1920 72.5 142 69.65% 432
58 Acer Liquid S2 6 1080 1920 86 166 69.52% 367
59 Sony Xperia Z2 5.2 1080 1920 73.3 146.8 69.28% 424
60 Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 5.8 540 960 82.4 162.6 69.22% 190
61 Samsung Galaxy S4 Active 5 1080 1920 71.3 139.7 69.19% 441
62 Motorola Moto G (2014) 5 720 1280 70.7 141.5 68.89% 294
63 Xiaomi Redmi Note 5.5 720 1280 78.7 154 68.81% 267
64 Samsung Galaxy Note 2 5.5 720 1280 80.5 151 68.60% 267
65 Oppo R1 5 720 1280 70.4 142.7 68.60% 294
66 Motorola Droid Mini 4.3 720 1280 61.3 121.25 68.58% 342
67 HTC Desire 516 5 540 960 72 140 68.37% 220
68 ZTE Grand S Pro 5 720 1280 71 142 68.36% 294
69 Motorola RAZR i 4.3 540 960 60.9 122.5 68.33% 256
70 Sony Xperia Z Ultra 6.4 1080 1920 92.2 179.4 68.27% 344
71 Lenovo K900 5.5 1080 1920 78 157 68.10% 401
72 Blackberry Z30 5 720 1280 72 140.7 68.03% 294
73 Apple iPhone 6 Plus 5.5 1080 1920 77.7 158 67.93% 401
74 Sony Xperia C3 5.5 720 1280 78.7 156.2 67.84% 267
75 LG Optimus F7 4.7 720 1280 68.2 131.7 67.80% 312
76 HTC Butterfly S 5 1080 1920 70.5 144.5 67.65% 441
77 Blackberry Z3 5 540 960 72.8 140 67.62% 220
78 HTC Desire 816 5.5 720 1280 78.8 156.6 67.58% 267
79 Lenovo S930 6 720 1280 86.5 170 67.49% 245
80 Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 5.2 720 1280 75.3 146.8 67.44% 282
81 LG Optimus 4X HD 4.7 720 1280 68 133 67.33% 312
82 Samsung Galaxy S5 Active 5.1 1080 1920 73.4 145.3 67.23% 432
83 HTC Desire 820 5.5 720 1280 78.7 157.7 67.19% 267
84 Huawei Ascend P2 4.7 720 1280 66.7 136.2 67.03% 312
85 LG Optimus G 4.7 768 1280 69 132 66.86% 323
86 Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini 4.3 540 960 61.3 124.6 66.74% 256
87 Sony Xperia T3 5.3 720 1280 77 150.7 66.73% 277
88 HTC One M8 5 1080 1920 70.6 146.4 66.68% 441
89 HTC One E8 5 1080 1920 70.7 146.4 66.59% 441
90 HTC One E8 5 1080 1920 70.7 146.4 66.59% 441
91 Sony Xperia SP 4.6 720 1280 67.1 130.6 66.57% 319
92 Huawei Ascend G700 5 720 1280 72.8 142.5 66.43% 294
93 Google nexus 4 4.7 768 1280 68.7 133.9 66.20% 323
94 Samsung Galaxy Nexus 4.7 720 1280 67.94 135.5 66.15% 312
95 Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra 4.7 720 1280 68.5 134.4 66.15% 312
96 Nokia Lumia 730/735 4.7 720 1280 68.5 134.7 66.00% 312
97 LG Vu 3 5.2 960 1280 85.6 132.1 65.92% 326
98 Amazon Fire Phone 4.7 720 1280 66 140 65.91% 312
99 Samsung Galaxy S3 4.8 720 1280 70.6 136.6 65.86% 306
100 HTC Desire 700 5 540 960 72 145.5 65.79% 220
101 Oppo N1 5.8 1080 1920 82.6 170.7 65.77% 380
102 Sony Xperia C 5 540 960 74.15 141.5 65.69% 220
103 Apple iPhone 6 4.7 750 1334 67.1 138.2 65.67% 326
104 Samsung Ativ S 4.8 720 1280 70.5 137.2 65.67% 306
105 BLU Life Play S 4.7 720 1280 67.5 137.5 65.61% 312
106 Xiaomi Mi 2 4.3 720 1280 62 126 65.25% 342
107 Samsung Galaxy K zoom 4.8 720 1280 70.8 137.5 65.24% 306
108 Motorola Moto G 4.5 720 1280 65.9 129.9 65.21% 326
109 Huawei Ascend G6 4.5 540 960 65.3 131.2 65.16% 245
110 Huawei Ascend P7 mini 4.5 540 960 65.3 131.2 65.16% 245
111 Xiaomi Mi 3 5 1080 1920 73.6 144 65.03% 441
112 BLU Life Pro 5 720 1280 72.1 147 65.03% 294
113 HTC One 4.7 1080 1920 68.2 137.4 64.99% 469
114 HTC One X / X+ 4.7 720 1280 69.9 134.36 64.84% 312
115 Samsung Galaxy Core Advance 4.7 180 800 70.5 133.3 64.80% 124
116 Lenovo Vibe X 5 1080 1920 74 144 64.68% 441
117 Nokia Lumia 630 4.5 480 854 66.7 129.5 64.63% 218
118 Sony Xperia Z1 5 1080 1920 73.9 144.4 64.58% 441
119 Samsung Galaxy Express 2 4.5 540 960 65.8 132.4 64.08% 245
120 Sony Xperia M2 4.8 540 960 71.1 139.7 63.95% 229
121 Asus ZenFone 5 5 720 1280 72.8 148.2 63.88% 294
122 Samsung Galaxy Note 5.3 800 1280 83 147 63.47% 292
123 Nokia Lumia 625 4.7 480 800 72.2 133.2 63.32% 202
124 Sony Xperia ZR 4.5 720 1280 67.4 131 63.23% 326
125 Motorola Moto E 4.3 540 960 64.8 124.8 63.03% 256
126 Sony Xperia M2 Aqua 4.8 540 960 72 140 63.01% 229
127 LG Optimus L7 II 4.3 480 800 66.6 121.5 62.99% 220
128 Nokia XL 5 480 800 77.7 141.4 62.73% 190
129 Jolla Smartphone 4.5 540 960 68 131 62.67% 245
130 Lenovo S820 4.7 720 1280 69.7 139.5 62.63% 312
131 HTC One mini 2 4.5 720 1280 65 137.4 62.51% 326
132 HTC Desire 510 4.7 480 854 69.8 139.9 62.36% 208
133 Sony Xperia SL 4.3 720 1280 64 128 62.22% 342
134 HTC Desire 310 4.5 480 654 68 132.4 62.01% 190
135 Sony Xperia Z1 Compact 4.3 720 1280 64.9 127 61.84% 342
136 HTC Desire 600 4.5 540 960 67 134.8 61.81% 245
137 Samsung Galaxy S2 4.3 480 800 66.1 125.3 61.54% 220
138 Nokia X2 4.3 480 800 68.3 121.7 61.32% 220
139 Nokia Lumia 925 4.5 768 1280 70.6 129 61.30% 337
140 HTC One Mini 4.3 720 1280 63.2 132 61.10% 342
141 Apple iPhone 5/5S 4 640 1136 58.6 123.8 60.80% 326
142 Nokia X 4 480 800 63 115.5 60.62% 237
143 Nokia Lumia 920 4.5 768 1280 70.8 130.3 60.51% 337
144 HTC Desire 610 4.7 540 960 70.5 143.1 60.36% 234
145 LG Optimus L5 II 4 480 800 62.2 117.5 60.35% 237
146 Nokia Lumia 820 4.3 480 800 68.5 123.8 60.11% 220
147 Nokia Lumia 1020 4.5 768 1280 71.4 130.4 59.96% 337
148 Sony Xperia E1 4 480 800 62.4 118 59.90% 237
149 HTC Desire V 4 480 800 62.3 118.5 59.75% 237
150 HTC Desire X 4 480 800 62.3 118.5 59.75% 237
151 HTC Desire 501 4.3 480 800 66.7 128.5 59.47% 220
152 Nokia Lumia 530 4 480 854 62.3 119.7 59.15% 245
153 Nokia Lumia 720 4.3 480 800 67.5 127.9 59.04% 220
154 Sony Xperia E3 4.5 480 854 69.4 137.1 58.67% 218
155 HTC Windows Phone 8X 4.3 720 1280 66.2 132.3 58.20% 342
156 Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 4 480 800 62.7 121.2 58.04% 237
157 Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 4 480 800 62.9 121.4 57.76% 237
158 Asus Zenfone 4 4 480 800 61.4 124.4 57.75% 237
159 Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini 4 480 800 63 121.5 57.62% 237
160 Nokia Lumia 520 4 480 800 64 119.9 57.48% 237
161 Nokia Lumia 525 4 480 800 64 119.9 57.48% 237
162 Sony Xperia M 4 480 854 62 124 57.37% 245
163 Blackberry Z10 4.2 768 1280 65.6 130 57.02% 361
164 Huawei Ascend W2 4.3 480 800 67 134 56.78% 220
165 Nokia Lumia 620 3.8 480 800 61.1 115.4 56.46% 249
166 Huawei Ascend W1 4 480 800 63.5 124.5 55.79% 237
167 Samsung Galaxy Young 2 3.5 320 480 59.9 109.8 51.35% 171
168 Iphone 4/4S 3.5 640 960 58.6 115.2 50.02% 343
169 Samsung Galaxy Fame 3.5 320 480 61.6 113.2 48.43% 171
170 Apple iPhone 3G/3GS 3.5 320 480 62.1 115.5 47.08% 171
171 Nokia Asha 503 3 240 320 60.6 102.6 39.90% 141
172 Blackberry Q5 3.1 720 720 66 120 33.45% 355
173 Blackberry Q10 3.1 720 720 66.8 119.6 33.16% 355

Huawei Honor 6 Speed Comparison

I wanted to compare the performance of the Huawei Honor 6 with some of the fastest devices on the market.
The HH6 is currently one of the highest scoring phone on AnTuTu with a score of 36,540 (http://wp.me/p1at8R-8x), scoring higher than the Samsung Galaxy S5 or HTC One M8.
But I wanted to compare it’s performance in real life. I really like the “virtual obstacle course” that Phonebuff is using and tried to emulate the same on the Honor 6.
I couldn’t replicate exactly the same as Netflix isn’t available in my country and the Paypal App is always logged out when opening it. But it gives you some impression.

The results:
The Huawei Honor 6 is slightly slower in real life performance compared to the Galaxy S5 or the Iphone 5S. So benchmark scores aren’t everything. Nevertheless if you put into perspective that the phone costs less than half of the competition this being 3 seconds behind is quite an achievement:

  1. Iphone 5S: 01:48.90 (minutes)
  2. Galaxy S5: 01:53.02
  3. Huawei Honor 6: 01:56.66

Check out Phonebuff’s video here: http://youtu.be/LwvFKCnI_NY?list=UUhYU73igK5wQhWAXPh3X8PA

Huawei Honor 6 / more first impressions

By now I had 2 days with Huawei’s new flagship, the Honor 6. Well, non-technically speaking Huawei’s actual flagship phone is supposed to be the Ascend P7 which was launched with much fanfare just a few months go. But for those of us who look beyond the marketing one will see that the real star of Huawei’s lineup is clearly the Honor 6

This article is not a comprehensive review and no science has been applied in compiling it. These are purely my very subjective views and impression of using the phone. However if you want me to cover a particular aspect of the phone please leave a comment and I will do my best to cover it in another post.

Foreword

The first thing I did with the device was to unlock the boot loader and root it. Then I removed as many of Huawei’s pre-installed apps that are Chinese as possible. This included the App Center, various Chinese messaging clients and even Huawei’s keyboard. Then I installed the Google Play services and all of my mandatory software. The entire process worked flawlessly.

Look & Feel

One things that very important to me with a phone is the in-hand feel. Is it weighty enough, well-balanced when resting one hand and am I just simply holding the device and swiping with my thumb. The Huawei Honor 6 (HH6) is a bit of a mixed bag in that regard.

The Good:

  • The phone is very slim without feeling fragile.
  • It’s a very light phone that can go almost unnoticed in your pocket.
  • The bezels have been kept reasonably slim. It’s not as impressive as on the LG G2 or G3 but compared to most other phones on the market the screen-to-size ratio is very good, with the screen making up 71% of the front of the device. (You can find my comprehensive screen-to-body size ranking here). That puts it ahead of the Xperia Z2 or Galaxy S5. But even though I have to point out that Huawei is cheating in their marketing material. If you compare the size of the bezels on either side of the screen on their own website with the real phone, they are more than double the size in real life. I am adding an image for comparison at the end of this article.
  • The chassis has zero flex and there are no squeaks or rattling noises.
  • The power button and volume rocker have a good pressure point and the surface of the buttons is slightly rough, making it easier to locate.
  • The design is very minimalistic and clean. Huawei has gone as far as dropping any manufacturer branding from the phone. All you see is a sliver “honor” printed on the back of the device and very small grey on black device ID information at the back of the bottom next to the loudspeaker. This is the most clean device I have ever seen, with even less writing on it than an iPhone. It’s kind of weird to see Huawei dropping their name from the device while at the same time saying that the company needs to improve their branding and awareness in Western markets. Maybe Huawei figured that the brand name and arguably ugly logo are more of a deterrent than a value add.
  • The camera module and flash looks very classy, though almost looks like an exact copy of the iPhone. If you would show the upper 3rd of the device to anyone, most would say that this is an iPhone

The Not So Good:

  • The device sounds somewhat hollow when knocking on the screen. The rear feels more dense but the hollow sound makes the glass front feel more like plastic
  • The glass panel is not 100% flush with the outer frame. There is a very small but noticeable ridge that makes swiping across the device not as enjoyable. The rim is more noticeable and a bit sharper on the rear than the front which could be to some precision issues in manufacturing. On  a positive note, I ordered a front and rear screen protector for the phone (real 9H glass for the front, and film for the back) and the height of the protector should compensate for the small recess and maybe even be beneficial with a protector fitted.
  • The small ridge between glass panel and frame will surely be covered with dust and other small dirt particles and should be difficult to clean.
  • The front and back being entirely made of glass there is no issue with the materials. The black bottom part also feels good. However I don’t like the greyish-silver rest of the frame which is rather a very slippery and glossy plastic. It would have looked much better in a matte version.

Screen

Being a 5″, 1080p screen the HH6 sports 441ppi which is plenty sharp for any normal person’s eyes. I am using the screen with auto-brightness settings at 50% brightness and it’s plenty bright and plenty colourful for me. I am not a geek for color accuracy and vivid vs natural color tones don’t really bother me, as long as the screen is bright and sharp. And on those accounts the HH6 delivers.

Performance

This guy is a beast. I have reported on the AnTuTu benchmarks scores on a previous article (see here). And in real life usage the phone is as snappy as they come. I just find that the transition speed of Huawei’s Emotion UI isn’t fast enough. While this isn’t lag or performance issues with the device, it’s just the designed user experience of the skin. I hope that Huawei will improve the transition speed in future updates.

Software

Huawei has bundled the device with some interesting software. The full version of Swype comes pre-installed and called “Swype for Huawei”.

Huawei bundles their phones with a number of permission and power management applications. The Permission Manager allows you to individually set each Apps permission to access and modify contacts, SMS/MMS, call log, calendar, location info, phone ID, contacts, call log entries, camera, make calls, record audio, mobile data, WLAN and Bluetooth. This is a great feature that frankly any phone should be bundled with to ensure that you can take control of your device.

The Startup Manager allows you to control which Apps can run after startup of the device.

The Protected App Manager controls which Apps can continue to run when the screen is turned off.

A Phone Manager is a suite of features from a virus scanner, memory cleanup tool, storage cleaner and more handy features.

I will post some more impressions as time goes by. And if you want to know any specifics of the device just comment below and I will try to cover it in another post.

 

As mentioned in the article here is a comparison of the real bezels of the device versus the bezels displayed on Huawei’s website Vmall.com.

marketing material bezel of Huawei Honor 6real bezel of Huawei Honor 6

 

Yesterday’s Top End or Todays Mid-tier?

Times have never been better for smartphone buyers. An abundance of smartphones to suit (almost) any budget. From entry level phones of up to $100 to the lower mid-tier of around $200 to the higher mid-tier (around $300) to the top tier of above $400. All manufacturers have various models to span all budget ranges. Some examples of the ranges and type of phones for a better understanding:

Entry-level up to $100 Motorola Moto E, Nokia X, Lumia 520, Samsung Galaxy Pocket, LG L40
Mid-tier (lower) $150 – $200 Motorola Moto G, Lumia 630, LG Optimus L9, Xperia M
Mid-tier (higher) $200 – $350 LG G2 Mini, Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, HTC One Mini
Top-Tier $450 and above iPhone 5S, Galaxy S5, LG G3, Xperia Z2, HTC One M8

One question though any buyer of a phone should ask themselves is if you should buy this years’ top offering in the respective tier or rather last years model who’s price has reduced to move into a lower tier bracket.

I want to illustrate this based on the current higher mid-tier range which consists primarily of the mini versions of the various flag-ships:

  • LG G2 Mini
  • HTC One Mini 2
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini

These phones cost around $300 to $350. Phones in this category have ambitions of being stylish and reflecting at least some of the design and functional elements of their top-tier relatives.

For the same amount of money you could also buy the flag-ships of 2013, such as:

  • LG Optimus G
  • Sony Xperia ZL
  • Huawei Ascend P6

Reasons why you should consider last year’s flag-ships are:

  • 720p HD screens (even 1080p for the Xperia ZL and 768p for the Optimus G)
  • Quad Core processors that will easily cope with Android 4.4
  • 2GB Ram
  • 4.7″ screens
  • Upgraded to 4.4 Kitkat (or confirmed to get upgraded)
  • Real premium elements in each of the phones
    • Sony: 5″ full-HD display
    • LG: fully Gorilla Glass covered
    • Huawei: slimmest smartphone on the market

In comparison there isn’t really anything that speaks in favor of the mid-tier phones other than that you are buying a phone which is earlier in it’s product lifecycle.

So what are your thoughts and recommendations?

Ultimate Screen-to-Body Ratio Comparison (updated)

Please visit the updated post for mid 2016


All major manufacturers but Apple have now released their 2014 flagships so it’s about time to update the ultimate screen-to-body comparison table.
LG continues to be the best at maximising the surface area of a phone. The LG G3 has made it to 2nd position only behind the Alcatel One Touch Hero. Bearing in mind that the Hero is more of a niche device not available globally the G3 really is the global leader. Another 4 LG phones made it into the Top 10. Well done LG!

Let me know if I missed out any phones.

P!

Model Screen Size (inch) Resolution (horizontal) Resolution (vertical) Body size (width) Body size (height) Ratio (screen to body) PPI
Alcatel One Touch Hero 6 1080 1920 80.6 158.5 77.7% 367
LG G3 5.5 1440 2560 74.6 146.3 76.4% 534
LG G2 5.2 1080 1920 70.9 138.5 75.9% 424
LG G Flex 6 720 1280 81.6 160.5 75.8% 245
Huawei Ascend Mate 2 6.1 720 1280 84.7 161 75.2% 241
Sony Xperia ZL 5 1080 1920 69.8 131.6 75.0% 441
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 5.7 1080 1920 79.2 151.2 74.8% 386
LG G Pro 2 5.9 1080 1920 81.9 157.9 74.2% 373
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 6.3 720 1280 88 167.6 74.2% 233
Huawei Ascend Mate 6.1 720 1280 85.7 163.5 73.2% 241
LG Optimus G Pro 5.5 1080 1920 76.1 150.2 73.0% 401
Oppo Find 7 5.5 1440 2560 75 152.6 72.9% 534
ZTE Nubia Z5S 5 1080 1920 68.8 137.7 72.7% 441
Alcatel One Touch Idol X 5 1080 1920 67.5 140.4 72.7% 441
Lenovo Vibe Z 5.5 1080 1920 77 149 72.7% 401
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo 5.5 720 1280 77.4 148.4 72.6% 267
Google Nexus 5 5 1080 1920 69.17 137.8 72.3% 441
Samsung Galaxy S4 5 1080 1920 69.8 136.6 72.3% 441
LG G Pro Lite 5.5 540 960 76.9 150.2 72.2% 200
Motorola Moto X 4.7 720 1280 65.3 129.3 72.1% 312
Huawei Honor 3X 5.5 720 1280 77.4 149.5 72.1% 267
OnePlus One 5.5 1080 1920 75.9 152.9 71.9% 401
Huawei Ascend P7 5 1080 1920 68.8 139.8 71.7% 441
Meizu MX3 5.1 1080 1800 72 139 71.6% 418
Samsung ATIV SE 5 1080 1920 69.9 137.7 71.6% 441
ZTE Nubia X6 6.44 1080 1920 89 179.5 71.6% 342
Micromax Canvas XL 6 540 960 84.2 165 71.4% 184
Nokia Lumia 1520 6 1080 1920 85.4 162.8 71.4% 367
LG Optimus L9 II 4.7 720 1280 66.5 128.4 71.3% 312
LG G2 mini 4.7 540 960 66 129.6 71.2% 234
Acer Liquid Jade 5 720 1280 69 140.5 71.1% 294
Nokia Lumia 930 / Icon 5 1080 1920 71 137 70.9% 441
HTC One max 5.9 1080 1920 82.5 164.5 70.7% 373
Oppo Find 5 5 1080 1920 68.8 141.8 70.6% 441
Motorola Droid Ultra 5 720 1280 71.2 137.5 70.4% 294
Nokia Lumia 1320 6 720 1280 85.9 164.2 70.4% 245
Huawei Ascend P6 4.7 720 1280 65.5 132.65 70.1% 312
Sony Xperia Z 5 1080 1920 71 139 69.8% 441
Samsung Galaxy S5 5.1 1080 1920 72.5 142 69.6% 432
Acer Liquid S2 6 1080 1920 86 166 69.5% 367
Sony Xperia Z2 5.2 1080 1920 73.3 146.8 69.3% 424
Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 5.8 540 960 82.4 162.6 69.2% 190
Samsung Galaxy S4 Active 5 1080 1920 71.3 139.7 69.2% 441
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 5.5 720 1280 80.5 151 68.6% 267
Oppo R1 5 720 1280 70.4 142.7 68.6% 294
Motorola Droid Mini 4.3 720 1280 61.3 121.25 68.6% 342
Motorola RAZR i 4.3 540 960 60.9 122.5 68.3% 256
Sony Xperia Z Ultra 6.4 1080 1920 92.2 179.4 68.3% 344
Lenovo K900 5.5 1080 1920 78 157 68.1% 401
Blackberry Z30 5 720 1280 72 140.7 68.0% 294
LG Optimus F7 4.7 720 1280 68.2 131.7 67.8% 312
HTC Butterfly S 5 1080 1920 70.5 144.5 67.7% 441
Blackberry Z3 5 540 960 72.8 140 67.6% 220
HTC Desire 816 5.5 720 1280 78.8 156.6 67.6% 267
Lenovo S930 6 720 1280 86.5 170 67.5% 245
Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 5.2 720 1280 75.3 146.8 67.4% 282
LG Optimus 4X HD 4.7 720 1280 68 133 67.3% 312
Samsung Galaxy S5 Active 5.1 1080 1920 73.4 145.3 67.2% 432
Huawei Ascend P2 4.7 720 1280 66.7 136.2 67.0% 312
LG Optimus G 4.7 768 1280 69 132 66.9% 323
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini 4.3 540 960 61.3 124.6 66.7% 256
Sony Xperia T3 5.3 720 1280 77 150.7 66.7% 277
HTC One M8 5 1080 1920 70.6 146.4 66.7% 441
HTC One E8 5 1080 1920 70.7 146.4 66.6% 441
Sony Xperia SP 4.6 720 1280 67.1 130.6 66.6% 319
Huawei Ascend G700 5 720 1280 72.8 142.5 66.4% 294
Google nexus 4 4.7 768 1280 68.7 133.9 66.2% 323
Samsung Galaxy Nexus 4.7 720 1280 67.94 135.5 66.2% 312
Alcatel One touch Idol Ultra 4.7 720 1280 68.5 134.4 66.1% 312
LG Vu 3 5.2 960 1280 85.6 132.1 65.9% 326
Samsung Galaxy S3 4.8 720 1280 70.6 136.6 65.9% 306
HTC Desire 700 5 540 960 72 145.5 65.8% 220
Oppo N1 5.8 1080 1920 82.6 170.7 65.8% 380
Sony Xperia C 5 540 960 74.15 141.5 65.7% 220
Samsung Ativ S 4.8 720 1280 70.5 137.2 65.7% 306
BLU Life Play S 4.7 720 1280 67.5 137.5 65.6% 312
Xiaomi Mi-2 4.3 720 1280 62 126 65.2% 342
Samsung Galaxy K zoom 4.8 720 1280 70.8 137.5 65.2% 306
Motorola Moto G 4.5 720 1280 65.9 129.9 65.2% 326
Huawei Ascend G6 4.5 540 960 65.3 131.2 65.2% 245
Xiaomi Mi-3 5 1080 1920 73.6 144 65.0% 441
BLU Life Pro 5 720 1280 72.1 147 65.0% 294
HTC One 4.7 1080 1920 68.2 137.4 65.0% 469
HTC One X / X+ 4.7 720 1280 69.9 134.36 64.8% 312
Samsung Galaxy Core Advance 4.7 180 800 70.5 133.3 64.8% 124
Lenovo Vibe X 5 1080 1920 74 144 64.7% 441
Nokia Lumia 630 4.5 480 854 66.7 129.5 64.6% 218
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact 5 1080 1920 73.9 144.4 64.6% 441
Samsung Galaxy Express 2 4.5 540 960 65.8 132.4 64.1% 245
Sony Xperia M2 4.8 540 960 71.1 139.7 63.9% 229
Asus ZenFone 5 5 720 1280 72.8 148.2 63.9% 294
Samsung Galaxy Note 5.3 800 1280 83 147 63.5% 292
Nokia Lumia 625 4.7 480 800 72.2 133.2 63.3% 202
Sony Xperia ZR 4.5 720 1280 67.4 131 63.2% 326
Motorola Moto E 4.3 540 960 64.8 124.8 63.0% 256
LG Optimus L7 II 4.3 480 800 66.6 121.5 63.0% 220
Nokia XL 5 480 800 77.7 141.4 62.7% 190
Jolla Smartphone 4.5 540 960 68 131 62.7% 245
Lenovo S820 4.7 720 1280 69.7 139.5 62.6% 312
HTC One mini 2 4.5 720 1280 65 137.4 62.5% 326
Sony Xperia SL 4.3 720 1280 64 128 62.2% 342
HTC Desire 310 4.5 480 654 68 132.4 62.0% 190
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact 4.3 720 1280 64.9 127 61.8% 342
HTC Desire 600 4.5 540 960 67 134.8 61.8% 245
Samsung Galaxy S2 4.3 480 800 66.1 125.3 61.5% 220
Nokia Lumia 925 4.5 768 1280 70.6 129 61.3% 337
HTC One Mini 4.3 720 1280 63.2 132 61.1% 342
Apple iPhone 5/5S 4 640 1136 58.6 123.8 60.8% 326
Nokia X 4 480 800 63 115.5 60.6% 237
Nokia Lumia 920 4.5 768 1280 70.8 130.3 60.5% 337
HTC Desire 610 4.7 540 960 70.5 143.1 60.4% 234
LG Optimus L5 II 4 480 800 62.2 117.5 60.4% 237
Nokia Lumia 820 4.3 480 800 68.5 123.8 60.1% 220
Nokia Lumia 1020 4.5 768 1280 71.4 130.4 60.0% 337
Sony Xperia E1 4 480 800 62.4 118 59.9% 237
HTC Desire V 4 480 800 62.3 118.5 59.7% 237
HTC Desire X 4 480 800 62.3 118.5 59.7% 237
HTC Desire 501 4.3 480 800 66.7 128.5 59.5% 220
Nokia Lumia 720 4.3 480 800 67.5 127.9 59.0% 220
HTC Windows Phone 8X 4.3 720 1280 66.2 132.3 58.2% 342
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 4 480 800 62.7 121.2 58.0% 237
Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini 4 480 800 63 121.5 57.6% 237
Nokia Lumia 520 4 480 800 64 119.9 57.5% 237
Nokia Lumia 525 4 480 800 64 119.9 57.5% 237
Sony Xperia M 4 480 854 62 124 57.4% 245
Blackberry Z10 4.2 768 1280 65.6 130 57.0% 361
Huawei Ascend W2 4.3 480 800 67 134 56.8% 220
Nokia Lumia 620 3.8 480 800 61.1 115.4 56.5% 249
Huawei Ascend W1 4 480 800 63.5 124.5 55.8% 237
Iphone 4/4S 3.5 640 960 58.6 115.2 50.0% 343
Samsung Galaxy Fame 3.5 320 480 61.6 113.2 48.4% 171
Apple iPhone 3G/3GS 3.5 320 480 62.1 115.5 47.1% 171
Nokia Asha 503 3 240 320 60.6 102.6 39.9% 141
Blackberry Q5 3.1 720 720 66 120 33.5% 355
Blackberry Q10 3.1 720 720 66.8 119.6 33.2% 355