Devices – December 2014

Nexus-6

This week we look at two very different devices. The Nexus range has been under a lot of pressure from the likes of Samsung and Apple, can this phablet compete with the bigger boys? Acer are also taking a shot at the lower end of the market with their new device, can they carve out a niche for themselves in a mobile world? Find out below

Nexus 6

Nexus-6After holding an iPhone 6 Plus I thought that its 5.5 inch screen was probably the upper limit in terms of size before smartphones started to look and feel ridiculous… I was wrong! The Nexus 6 from Google comes with a supersized six inch screen and surprisingly it isn’t too cumbersome to use. I could do most tasks with one hand and those of you that are well endowed in the hand department will probably find this device quite comfortable.

This is the first smartphone to run Android 5.0 Lollipop OS and between the enhanced platform and the great looking Amoled screen this was a pleasure to navigate. The device contains the latest Snapdragon processor and 3GB of RAM, I was also surprised to see it lasted all day with moderate use thanks to its Qi-chargeable battery.

When comparing the price (£499) and the spec against each other it is clear that you are getting a lot for your money with the Nexus 6. Other flagship devices have pushed well passed the £600 mark in some cases. Its curved back makes it sit nicely in the hand although I experienced a fair amount of trouble trying to get it out of my jeans pocket, so if you are a skinny jeans fan I would stay clear.

For – Great screen, 13MP camera, Battery life, value

Against – Some may find too big, pricier than previous models

 

Acer Liquid Jade

Acer-liquid-jade[1]Known primarily for laptops, tablets and other IT gadgets Acer is now making its move at the budget/ mid range smartphone market. The Liquid Jade will set you back £229 which puts it slightly above a lot of budget models out there but straight up against a fiercely competitive mid range which is dominated by Sony, Samsung and Motorola.

In hand it is super thin (7.5mm), almost worryingly so, and has an adequate five inch screen. It is also incredibly light (110g) which is a nice change if you have been carrying around a beefy phablet previously. Design wise it’s not going to get anyone talking but it is functional and feels solid enough, even if it is a little plasticky.

The screen has been one of the major compromises with the Jade and it does show at times. Small compromises like the screen has enabled Acer to deliver some great features, the CPU power-saver is my personal favourite. When the handset is idle the phone goes into a “super hibernate” mode and you can actually squeeze days of life out of it while it isn’t in use.

This is one of those devices that isn’t going to win any awards but for the price you get a very solid, well rounded phone. The camera is 13MP and blows the pants off anything in this price bracket, it also comes with a dual-SIM slot which some business users may find particularly useful too. Running Android KitKat some users may find the OS a bit bloated and sluggish but it didn’t give me too much trouble overall.

For – Price, Dual-SIM, Battery saving mode

Against – Screen quality, Slow/ old OS, cheap looking