Devices – January 2016

nexus_6p[1]

This month we are reviewing two flagship phablets which are making waves in the market. Google has released a compelling monster of a phone, the Nexus 6P, whilst a new manufacturer, Wileyfox, is still trying to prove itself in a tough market. See how they got on below.

Wileyfox Storm

Wileyfox-StormBritish phone maker Wileyfox is the new kid on the block in the smartphone world. Its ethos seems to be to offer decent specs at affordable prices. With currently only two models on the market, the Storm is the second model from the manufacturer and is priced at £199. The well received Swift model, Wileyfox’s first plunge into the marketplace, costs £129.

The storm is a phablet device with a 5.5 inch 1080p screen (400ppi), it comes with a microSD card slot, dual-SIM capability, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor and 3GB of RAM. On paper it certainly looks impressive!

Many people won’t be familiar with the Cyanogen OS as it began its life as an open-source mod for Android several years ago. As Google’s ethos of giving customers control filtered through Android the Cyanogen platform has become an OS in its own right. However if you are a current Android user then the differences are subtle.

The problem this phone has is quite simply one word… China. At the moment, several Chinese manufacturers are managing to pump out great phones at reasonable prices. This has made the low end of the market an incredibly competitive space. Although the build quality is excellent and the specs sound great unfortunately the OS is still a little clunky and battery life is poor.

Where this phone really delivers is its screen and camera (20MP). For the price tag, they are both excellent features. Although the OS was a bit questionable generally the phone performed well and the Snapdragon processor was more than enough to power through everyday tasks. Lots of people out there will enjoy the Cyanogen platform as it allows users to customise until the cows come home and has many useful security and privacy settings included.

Wileyfox is definitely causing a stir in the market at present and the Storm is an impressive device. However, this is only the second handset Wileyfox has produced and it uses an OS which is improving all the time. I am excited to see what comes next from this company.

 

Nexus 6P

nexus_6p[1]Google’s Nexus 6P is a flagship for the tech giant. If you were wondering what the ‘P’ stands for then it’s ‘Premium’. The first thing you will notice about the phone is its size… it’s a biggie! At £449, you are getting a lot of phone for your money here.

The Nexus6P is packing a Snapdragon 810v2.1 octa-core processor 3GB RAM and is running Android Marshmallow. This combination is quite breathtaking, no matter what I threw at the phone it didn’t flinch. The screen is equally impressive at 5.7 inches and 518ppi it seems brighter and more colourful than anything I have seen in a while.

For extra security, there is a fingerprint sensor on the back of the 6P which is becoming a standard feature these days. The Marshmallow OS is great in my eyes simply for its battery saving tricks which can milk even more time out of a decent phone. I sailed comfortably past 24 hours and into most of the next day before reaching for my charger. The best bit though is to charge from 0% to 100% battery it only takes an hour and a half… this is a great time saver.

Unfortunately for the Nexus, there are other phones out there right now which simply perform better. Samsung and LG both have flagship phones which out strip the Nexus on a number of fronts. However, when it comes to the price the Nexus has bang for buck on its side.