Smartphones - 17/09/2018


Xiaomi Redmi Note Global Version

The Xiaomi produces the best-selling flagship and budget phones on the market and the Redmi Note 5 belongs to the budget category. Body made of aluminium, this phone can easily slip out of your hands and be covered in fingerprints so it will be wise to get a cover for it.

Equipped 12MP + 5MP rear and a 13MP front camera. The Redmi Note 5 is able to deliver high quality photos, even in a low light conditions.

The Redmi Note 5 makes use of Qualcomm's Snapdragon 636 octa-core processor which has a clock speed of up to 1.8GHz and 4GB of RAM. This will give you more than enough processing power to play games, multi-task and handle large apps. You won't be disappointed especially if you are the type who subjects his phone to heavy usage.

You get 64GB of Internal storage just from owning the the Redmi Note 5 which is expandable up to 128GB via microSD card. That gives you enough space for your HD videos, photos and music.

A screen size of 5.99 inches makes the Xiaomi Redmi 5 belong to the phablet class. A resolution of 1080x2160 display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4 makes it resistant to wear and scratches.

Battery Capacity is a massive 4000mAH with fast-charging capabilites. This is really impressive since you can go for a long time without a charge and quickly get it up to enough battery power if it gets low by fast-charge.

The phone is preinstalled with Android 7 Nougat with Xiaomi MIUI 9 running on top of it giving you a seamless user experience. Both upgradeable to their latest versions.

With that said, the Xiaomi Redmi 5 is a budget phone with an aesthetic design and solid performance. This is a smartphone that you can use for everyday activities and recommend to others.

2. iPHONE 6

iPhone 6

The iPhone 6 was Apple's flagship phone in 2014. A successor to the iPhone 5. The iPhone was redesigned to have a better build, better hardware and software capabilities.

It is understandable why it one was one of the best devices back then. Even now, it is still quite a popular choice amongst a lot of people.

The iPhone has a curvy all round, completely different from its predecessors. Body make of aluminium with plastic stripes. An aluminium body usually means being slippery in the hands or attracting a lot of fingerprints on the device make sure to get a cover for it. The iPhone 6 also boasts of being one of the thinnest phones in the world at approximately 6.9mm in thickness.

The iPhone has a dual-core A8 processor and 2GB RAM which gives enough processing speed for day to day activities. The phone is preinstalled with IOS 8 which can be upgraded to IOS 11.

Where the iPhone 6 excels is it camera quality when compared to other phones in the same price bracket. Whiles smartphones are coming out bigger megapixels the iPhone 6 has an 8MP for its rear camera and a 1.2MP for its front camera. It is able to take pictures at a much faster rate and provide better quality photos even in low-light environments. The front camera is also impressive which helps capture good photos in low light.

Even though the iPhone 6 is an improvement. It seems the battery capacity has not really received much of an upgrade. The battery capacity is only about 1810mAH just enough to take you throughout the day when under light usage but under heavy usage the battery drains really fast especially if playing games, downloading and intensive browsing. If you are person who puts his or her phone under a lot of punishment then the battery will be a problem.

The iPhone 6 lacks an impressive display. A display size of 4.7 inches and an unimpressive screen resolution of 750x1334 at 326 PPI (Pixels per Inch). A lot of smartphones on the market will be able to provide you with a better resolution, Pixels per Inch (PPI) and brightness.

For those who are Apple die-hard fans and cannot afford the iPhone 7, 8, and X the iPhone 6 it’s a great substitute for them. It is still a beautiful phone with decent performance. For those who love taking photos especially selfies its camera performance is still top notch able to deliver high quality images.


3. LG V20

LG V20

Life’s good when you have LG V20. An upgraded version of its predecessor the V10. LG V20 comes with better hardware, software, camera, design and a whole of other features.

The LG V20 is metal all round except for the front which is mostly glass. The edges are curved and a fingerprint scanner is located at the back of the phone. The design is really simple and the build quality is solid so even dropping it accidentally won't cause a lot of damage to it.

The V20 comes with a 5.7 inch 1440x2560 Quad HD panel display at 513 PPI with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection. The display delivers immersive gaming, video playback with brilliant colours and deep contrast ratio. It uses quantum technology for enhanced image quality. This enhanced display makes outdoor use not a problem especially on bright days. It also has a second screen at the top where you can access your contacts, shortcuts and notifications.

The phone has some really impressive processing power and hardware. A quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 with 4 GB RAM is enough to power through playing demanding games and heavy usage. The storage capacity is 64 GB which can be expanded up to 2 TB via microSD Card. The storage is more than enough to put your pictures, videos and music on it. Its software is a preinstalled Android 7.0 Nougat which LG has heavily customised. The rear cameras is a 16MP and a 5MP Standard-Angle Lens and the front is a 5 MP wide-angle lens.

The battery capacity is 3200mAH and also removable which such a refreshing feature is due to the fact that most phones have built-in batteries. It is enough to get you throughout the day and the phone also has some quick charging capabilities giving you hours of battery time when charged for about 10 minutes. This phone really provides you with the really great features and performance for such a price.


4. MOTO E5

Moto E5

The Moto E5 is a budget android smartphone that was launched in April 2018. The Moto E5 has a compact design and it’s made of plastic. The corners are rounded with a fingerprint scanner at the back of the phone which is embedded in the Moto logo. It uses a microUSB cable instead of a USB type C.

The display is a 5.7 inch LCD screen with a 720x1440 screen resolution at 262 PPI with very thin bezels. THe screen is nothing to be impressed since other phones do provide higher resolutions at similar price.

On the hardware side, the Moto E5 runs on a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 and 2 GB which is not that impressive and will lag if it comes under heavy usage. It’s storage is about 16 GB which is disappointing but on the brighter side can expanded up to 128 GB via microSD card. Now to the Moto E5’s software, it runs on Android 8.0 Oreo. It has no bloatware and the only additions are useful widgets that Moto has added.

Somewhat bulging out the back of the phone is the Moto E5 main 13 MP f/2.0 camera and at its front is a 5 MP camera for taking selfies. The picture quality taken by the cameras are not impressive which is understandable for such a device of low price.

Where the Moto E5 really shines is its long battery life. The reason is its massive 4000mAh battery that can last you a really long time on a single charge.

Overall, the Moto E5 is a really a decent and affordable phone even though it has some compromises especially the microUSB cable. If you really are on a tight budget and you don’t mind then this phone is a great choice.



Samsung Galaxy J7 Neo

The Samsung Galaxy J-series is a spin-off from the Galaxy S-series which are the company's flagship phones. The J-series is a mix of high-tier and budget smartphones.

The Samsung Galaxy J7 has a plastic body and has a 5.5 inch Super AMOLED touch screen display with 1280x720 resolution. For those familiar with Super AMOLED displays, you know that such displays deliver brilliant image resolution with exceptional contrast ratio.

That said, the Samsung Galaxy J7 Neo runs a 1.6GHz Octa-Core Exynos 7 processor with 2 GB of RAM. Just powerful enough for running applications, flipping through menus and normal day to day usage. The internal storage is just 16GB, luckily it can be expanded up to 256 GB by adding a microSD card.

For the cameras, the rear-facing one is a 13 MP f/1.9 lens which allows for bright images even in low light. The front is a 5 MP camera for taking selfies.

The Samsung Galaxy J7 Neo comes preinstalled with Android 7.0 Nougat meaning more personalized settings and better user experience. Battery life is just enough to take you throughout the day since its battery capacity is about 3200mAh.

The device could have been better especially its internal storage though it won't be a problem because it is expandable by microSD card. Overall, this is a decent phone not too cheap not too expensive.



Motorola Moto Z

World’s thinnest phone yet, the Moto Z is a powerful phone made of a stainless steel frame. At a thickness of 5.19mm it makes sense why the Moto Z doesn't have a 3.5mm headphone jack. Luckily, the phone comes with a Type-C headphone adapter which you can plug your earphones into.

For such a thin phone the Moto Z doesn’t disappoint when it comes to processing power. Octa-core Snapdragon 820 clock at 1.8GHz and 4 GB of RAM is more than enough to play games, run multiple applications and demanding tasks. This phone will actually perform well under heavy usage.

The Moto Z has an internal storage of 32GB which can be expanded up to 512 GB by adding a microSD card.

There is fingerprint scanner normally found at the back can be found on the front of the phone. The reason is that the back is where the MotoMods connect. MotoMods are used to customize the Motorola Moto Z in several different ways. You can read more about it here.

Next, is the Moto Z’s display. It has 5.5 inch AMOLED display with a 1440x2560 resolution at 535 PPI (Pixels per Inch) which is impressive in today’s standards. The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4 which is resistant to scratch and wear.

That said, the Moto Z runs on a nearly stock Android version 7.0 Nougat which is almost devoid of bloatware.

The battery life of the Moto Z is the only unimpressive thing about it. The battery capacity is 2600mAH which is just not enough for its powerful hardware and display. However, the TurboCharger provided with the Moto Z provides fast-charging capabilities to the phone.

Apart from its battery the Moto Z bring more to the table for such a budget price. Even more so with it MotoMods which allows the phone to be customized in different ways.


7. ZTE NUBIA Z17 Lite

Zte Nubia Z17 Lite

The ZTE Nubia Z17 Lite is a very powerful device which can be compared to other flagship models. From its design to its processing power this device is really worth it.

Elegant looking and comes in four different colours: blue, black, white and red. The phone is really well-made and made of matte. The matte body makes it susceptible to fingerprint marks..

A case for the phone will be a good idea, if you don’t want it slipping out of your hands or getting fingerprints on it. The fingerprint scanner is also located at the back of the phone.

The bezel-less display is really impressive. I mean an edge-to-edge bezel-less display with a resolution of 1080x1920 with a pixel density of 403PPI is really impressive. Even better, is its IPS LCD 5.5 inch display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 2.5D. The display is good enough to be seen on bright days.

The Nubia Z17 Lite runs on a 1.8 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 653 and a massive 6GB RAM. This provides enough processing power to accomplish the most daunting of tasks a phone has to accomplish.

Its massive storage space of 64 GB is a huge plus for the phone which is understandable for it non-expandable storage.

Next is the Nubia Z17 lite’s camera. Equipped with two 13 MP rear–facing f/2.2 Sony camera and a 16MP front-spacing f/2.0 camera. There is no doubt the phone will be able to take beautiful photos and selfies. The video recording is also done in 4K resolution enough to be cast on large screens.

The ZTE Nubia Z17 is preinstalled with Android 7.0 Nougat which has Nubia User Interface 5.0 running on top of it. The Nubia UI 5.0 provides a better user experience than its predecessors.

The Nubia Z17 3200mAh provides enough power to accomplish day-to-day activities which is not bad. The fast-charging capabilities of the phone is also a nice feature since a few minutes of charging with give you enough juice for the rest of the day.

Overall, this phone gives you value for your money especially if you are on a tight budget. It is a great phone that can be compared to other flagship phones without spending so much.



Huaweo Honor 7A

Simple yet beautiful the Honor 7A is the successor of Honor 6A. Huawei Honor is a smartphone made purposefully for those are on a budget.

The phone has an all plastic build with the rear being a matte finish and the outer having a shiny plastic look. At the back is a fingerprint sensor. The phone doesn’t have a USB-C port which was disappointing.

The Honor 7A has a huge screen of 5.7 inches. It has a resolution of 720x1440 with is not that impressive with a pixel density of 282PPI. There are better phones with screens at the same price or even lower.

The Huawei Honor 7A runs on a low-end 1.4GHz Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 and 3GB RAM which is just enough for light usage but under heavy usage the phone will definitely slow down.

The good thing about the phone is it internal storage of 32 GB that can be expanded up to 256 GB by a microSD card which is very nice. This gives you enough space to store your photos, videos and music on this device.

Next, the phone runs on the Android 8.0 Oreo software and on top of it has Huawei’s EMUI 8.0.

The Honor 7A really shines when it comes to taking pictures. The rear camera is a single lens 13 MP which takes decent shots in good lighting but struggles in low light conditions – the flash counters this. The front is an 8 MP selfie camera which also takes decent photos.

That said, the Honor 7A has a non-removable 3000mAh battery without fast-charging capabilities. On the bright side, the power-efficient processor and low PPI won’t drain the battery as much as other models. You will be able to get a full day of usage even under heavy usage.

This phone is for those who are on a really tight budget since it costs very little.



Blu Vivo 5

A decent budget smartphone manufactured by BLU – a Miami based company.

The Vivo 5 has a metal body with rounded curves making it very smooth and slippery. A cover for the phone will solve its slippery problem. One thing about this phone is that it looks like a large version of iPhone 5s. It also has a type C port. The only downside is the absence of a fingerprint scanner.

The phone is powered by a 1.3GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6753 processor and 3 GB of RAM. MediaTek processors are very energy efficient and provide reliable performance. Multitasking and running games won’t be a problem for the phone.

The phone has an internal storage of 32 GB which can expanded to 64 GB by microSD card.

The display is 5.5 inch 720x1280 HD AMOLED display which is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Good protection from scratches and wear. Next, the phone has a 13 MP camera is adequate enough to take decent pictures.

Overall, the Vivo 5 is a simple phone with a decent design and performance. Definitely worth it if you want an affordable phone.



Cubot X18 PLus

Beautiful and bezel-less. The Cubot X18 Plus offers great specs at an affordable price. The best thing about the phone is its 18:9 aspect ratio which can be found in Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8.

The Cubot X18 Plus has a 5.7 inch HD IPS LCD display with a resolution of 720x1440. Like I said above its aspect ratio is 18:9 at 282 PPI. The display provides enough brightness use on sunny days to not be a problem. The display is not protected by Gorilla so getting a screen protector is a good idea.

For performance the Cubot X18 runs on a 1.5GHz MTK6570T octa-core processor and comes with 4 GB of RAM. This provides more than enough processing power for games, multitasking and running apps. The Internal storage is 64 GB which can be expanded by a microSD card of up to 128 GB which is not bad. More than enough space to keep your videos, music and games on.

The phone is also preinstalled with Android Stock Version 8.0 Oreo without the bloatware unlike the other phones.

It has three cameras, two rear cameras at the back and a front one. The Rear Cameras and 20MP and 2MP and the front is 13 MP. Just like with other budget phones the image quality is nothing to get excited about. Just good enough to take decent photos in good lighting but in low light quality becomes poor.

The battery capacity is really impressive about 4000mAh which is more than enough to take you throughout the whole day and is removable. The only downside is that the phone doesn’t support quick charging.

That said, the Cubot X18 Plus is decent budget phone with decent performance that won’t disappoint especially if you are looking for a cheap phone.


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