The Best Android UI’s Around

6. Sony UI

Sony's UI looks dated.
Sony’s UI looks dated.

Sony’s UI for its devices is quite heavy and does slow down the devices. The UI is quite heavy but doesn’t really bring that many options which are actually helpful or can help you make the device reflect your personality(themes)

5. LG UI

LG's UI has a flattened look to it but tries to do  simple things in multiple ways.
LG’s UI has a flattened look to it but tries to do simple things in multiple ways.

LG’s UI has a flattened look to it keeping it in line with Android Lollipop but does come with numerous options to do similar things, eg: There are quite a few ways to multi-task: Slide aside, Dual window and the stock app switcher. Add in LG’s own boring voice assistant. However, it does provide some cool options like Knock on and a resizable keyboard and floating window notifications.

4. Samsung TouchWiz UI

Samsung's Touchwiz has long been hated for slowing devices down but Samsung claims it has addressed these issues with the new version found on the Galaxy S6
Samsung’s Touchwiz has long been hated for slowing devices down but Samsung claims it has addressed these issues with the new version found on the Galaxy S6.

Samsung’s Touchwiz has long been hated for slowing devices down but Samsung claims it has addressed these issues with the new version found on the Galaxy S6. The problems usually stem from Samsung stuffing the devices full of unnecessary features and excessive bloat.

3. HTC Sense UI

HTC's Sense UI is probably the best skinned version of Android around.
HTC’s Sense UI is the best skinned version of Android made by a major OEM.

HTC’s Sense UI is the best Android skin by any OEM making Android devices today. Fast and intuitive, it enhances the look and feel of Stock Android and also provides good customization options including themes and BlinkFeed.

2. Stock Android


Stock bare bones Android is extremely quick as it is and gets the latest updates first. However, it contains all the available Google apps and relies almost entirely on Google Now which can get annoying. Also you need either a Nexus or an Android device to get your hands on the latest builds.

1. CyanogenMod OS

CyanogenMod is basically a turbocharged version of stock Android.
CyanogenMod is basically a turbocharged version of stock Android.

CyanogenMod is a custom ROM that runs on millions of devices around the world. It is basically a turbocharged version of Stock Android with the user being allowed to choose what apps he/she wants to use.

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4 of the Most Anticipated Phones to Look Forward to This Summer

Both CES and MWC have passed us and we saw a whole new generation of Smartphone at the two shows. We take a look at 4 of the best smartphones from those shows that we’re hoping will hit the stores next month.

Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge both sport QHD 5.1 AMOLED displays. The S6 Edge's display is curved on both sides.
The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge both sport QHD 5.1 AMOLED displays. The S6 Edge’s display is curved on both sides.
Galaxy_S6_edge_Gold_Platinum_Art_Photo
Both versions of Samsung’s newest flagship feature Samsung’s homegrown Exynos 7420 (14nm architecture) processor which is mated with 3 GB of RAM. There are 3 storage options available – 32, 64 & 128 GB. The devices also support wireless charging.

HTC One M9

The new HTC One M9 combines the design elements of both the M7 and the M8.
The new HTC One M9 combines the design elements of both the M7 and the M8. The display is still 1080p and sticks to the 5 inch size to accommodate the BoomSound Speakers. Under the hood lies the Snapdragon 810 processor and 3 GB of RAM.
The HTC One M9 uses a 20 MP camera which is protected by sapphire glass. The front camera is the UltraPixel unit found on the back of the previous generations of the One.
The HTC One M9 uses a 20 MP camera which is protected by sapphire glass. The front camera is the UltraPixel unit found on the back of the previous generations of the One.

LG GFlex 2

The New LG GFlex 2 is the first device to feature the Snapdragon 810 processor. This new powerhouse is supported by either 2GB RAM and 16 GB ROM or 3 GB RAM and 32 GB ROM.
The New LG GFlex 2 is the first device to feature the Snapdragon 810 processor. This new powerhouse is supported by either 2GB RAM and 16 GB ROM or 3 GB RAM and 32 GB ROM.
The P-OLED flexible display is now 5.5 inches and has a resolution of 1920 X 1080 and is protected by chemically strengthened glass.
The P-OLED flexible display is now 5.5 inches and has a resolution of 1920 X 1080 and is protected by a custom chemically strengthened version of Gorilla Glass 3.

Asus Zenfone 2

The new Zenfone 2 is the first phone to feature 4 GB of RAM. This is combined with an Intel Atom Z3580 running at 2.3 Ghz.
The new Zenfone 2 is the first phone to feature 4 GB of RAM. This is combined with an Intel Atom Z3580 running at 2.3 Ghz.
The Zenfone 2 features a 5.5 inch Full HD display. The power and volume buttons are on the back. The primary camera is a 13 MP unit.
The Zenfone 2 features a 5.5 inch Full HD display. The power and volume buttons are on the back. The primary camera is a 13 MP unit.

@DennisA_James

Content Editor @ProdNote

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All You Need to Know about Samsung’s New Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

Galaxy-S6-Vs-S6-Edge
Samsung’s new powerhouses – The Samsung Galaxy S6(L) and the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge(R)

The Samsung Galaxy S6 and S Edge were launched on the first of this month at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The sixth generation of Samsung’s top end offering every spring is an almost total departure from what we have seen from Samsung in the past few years.

Galaxy_S6_Blue_Topaz_Art_Photo
The S6 and the S6 Edge feature an aluminum frame sandwiched between two layers of Gorilla Glass 4

Gone is the extremely glossy plastic and chrome and in comes a glass and aluminium structure that looks absolutely beautiful. All those of you who complained about Samsung devices feeling and looking cheap(ala the band-aid like back of the Galaxy S5) should just take a look at these two lookers.

Galaxy_S6_edge_Gold_Platinum_Art_Photo
The S6 Edge features a unique triple sided display

The S6 looks quite cool and the 5.1 QHD Super AMOLED display really is absolutely beautiful but it is the S6 Edge that really does take your breath away. With its tripled sided display, it is a totally different animal when compare to any smartphone around. Even the Galaxy Note Edge looks like a wannabe when compared to this new kid on the block.

Exynos-7-14-nm-finfet
Samsung has ditched Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 in favor of a home-grown Exynos 7420 which is faster and more energy efficent.

Under the hood, Samsung has ditched the Snapdragon 810 in favor of the home grown Exynos 7420 which Samsung claims is more powerful than the 810 and a lot more energy efficient thanks to its 14nm construction. Add in 3 GB DDR4 RAM and a slimmed down version of TouchWhiz running atop Android Lollipop 5.0 and you have a phone that will be one of the fastest devices on the market when it lands at the shops in April.

Both cameras have a f/1.9 aperture for better low-life performance
Both cameras sport a f/1.9 aperture for better low-life performance

Samsung has kept the 16MP sensor found on the Galaxy Note 4 but the aperture has been changed to f/1.9 for better low-light photography. This aperture is also found in the front facing 5MP camera.

The new fingerprint sensor is a touch based sensor (like the one found on the iPhone 6) which works faster and is now even more easy to use than before and is even more accurate. Wireless charging is now built in and supports both major standards.

The non-removable back panel means no access to the battery
The non-removable back panel means no access to the battery

However, not everything is brilliant. Samsung faithful will bemoan the loss of replaceable battery and SD-Card expansion, something seen in Samsung devices for quite a lot of time. That new glass sandwich construction may prove to be big durability problem as well.

@DennisA_James

Content Editor @ProdNote

The Very Best Point-and-Shoot Killers Around

Smartphone camera have come a long way from where they started out oh so many years ago. Today, the shooters fitted to the back of your daily drivers have sent what was once a staple in almost every place, the point and shoot cameras, to the retirement home.

Today we look at the five shooters who are currently ruling the roost in the smartphone market.

5. Samsung Galaxy Note 4

SM-N910_Charcoal Black
Samsung Galaxy Note 4

The 16 MP main camera is the best camera that has graced the back of a Samsung device till date. If you’re a fan of vibrant, larger than life colors, then this is the camera for you. Images shot are sharp, full of detail, and even low-light photography is quite nice thanks to Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). Videos shot are also quite brilliant and the ability to shoot in 4K is as always a welcome addition.

4. iPhone 6 Plus

iPhone 6 Plus
iPhone 6 Plus

Yes, the one with the much hated bump. The iPhone 6 Plus totes an 8 MP iSight camera with OIS (the reason for the bump) which, combined with software tweaks, makes this one of the best cameras around. Shoots are highly detailed and low-light photography is also very good. Ultra-slow-mo video (120fps at 720p) is also present here.

3. Sony Xperia Z3

Sony Xperia Z3
Sony Xperia Z3

The best camera on any Android device till date. Sony has been using the 20.1 MP sensor for a while now and they’ve tweaked to perform at its absolute best here. Shots taken in daylight are full of detail with true-to-life colors. Low-light shots are also quite impressive despite the fact that the Z3 lacks OIS. Videos are also quite brilliant thanks to Sony’s excellent software stabilization and the ability to record in 4K is brilliant. The ability to take photos and videos and videos underwater is a party trick that really takes the Z3 to a whole different level of cool.

2. Nokia Lumia 930

Nokia Lumia 930
Nokia Lumia 930

Nokia’s photography prowess has really shone through with the Lumia line of Windows devices. With the 930, Nokia once again made the smartphone optics department its stomping ground. The 20MP camera with OIS is a brilliant shooter in any lighting condition. Pictures are sharp and extremely detailed with vivid colors. Low-light shots are also extremely good. Video capture is top-notch.

1. Nokia Lumia 1020

Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia Lumia 1020

Zoom Reinvented. With these words, Nokia changed the way modern smartphones were viewed , especially when taking photographs. That 41 MP camera is a behemoth and can easily give DSLRs a run for their money. This is a phone that’s built for one thing: taking brilliant photos.

@DennisA_James

Content Editor @ProdNote

The Nexus Story: Is the new Nexus 6 really worth the price it commands?

HTC Nexus One
HTC Nexus One

The Nexus line of devices when they first started out with the Nexus One by HTC was directed at the developer crowd. However, lawsuits and a rather humongous price tag of $529 saw it getting shelved in a rather small period of time.

Samsung Nexus S
Samsung Nexus S

However, less than a year later, Google teamed up with Samsung to bring the Nexus S to life. It featured a larger screen(4.3 inches versus 3.7), and the other specs matched the flagships around the mobile world, it was the first device where we saw Google really concentrating on Android as a UI.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Samsung Galaxy Nexus

The next device in the line-up was the Galaxy Nexus, another collaboration with Samsung, saw the arrival of Android 4.0 ICS, which saw Android really change its look to something we see today. Also the screen size increased once again, from 4.3 inches to 4.65 inches.

LG Nexus 4
LG Nexus 4

The arrival of Jellybean saw the arrival of the Nexus 4 from LG. Borrowing heavily on the Optimus G it featured another increase in screen size, a glass sandwich construction and the appropriate specs. It was however built to be an affordable hi-end smartphone. This saw the Nexus line change its spots, bringing the average Joe to the Nexus family thanks to the aggressive pricing of the Nexus 4.

LG Nexus 5
LG Nexus 5

The Nexus 5 continued in the same vein as its predecessor, bringing power-packed specs in a larger frame along with a larger and better display at a price that made its rivals quiver in fear and also brought about the rise of an upstart (the OnePlus One.)

Motorola Nexus 6
Motorola Nexus 6

However, all that changed with the arrival of the super-sized Nexus 6, made with the help of a former Google company, Motorola. Based on Motorola’s 2014 version of the Moto X, the new Nexus bad boy was a far cry from the previous two generations. Instead of leveling with the crowd, it steamrolled past them as it went for the jugular of its rivals from Cupertino, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Boasting a huge 5.96 inch Quad HD display, a top of the line Snapdragon 805 with 4 Krait 450 CPU’s steaming about at 2.7 GHz aided by the Adreno 420 GPU and 3 gigs of RAM, the behemoth was a brick through the window of Apple’s hallowed grounds. It was Google telling them in the most unsubtle of ways that anything you can do, we can do better.

And those of you cribbing about the price should remember that the cheapest of the iPhone 6 family is still a few grand more expensive than the 64 GB version of Mountain View’s behemoth. Comparing the two is like comparing chalk and cheese. The  more you look at them, the more you wonder, if the fruity thing really is worth that much more.

We’ll leave that for you to figure out.

@DennisA_James

Content Editor

@ProdNote