Expansys blog
  • Expansys
  • Expansys

Decisions decisions... Samsung S5.. Apple iPhone 5s.. HTC One (M8)

With such a great range of high end smartphones on the market at this precise moment of time, consumers are utterly overwhelmed with high-end tech, it is near impossible to compare the top-end phones. The three heavyweight tech offerings I am looking at in this article are the Samsung Galaxy S5, the HTC One M8 and the iPhone 5s.

I could put a comparison chart here to help show the differences between the phones in terms of technicalities but the key differences are boiling down to the phones individual personalities and ability to hold their own with their unique operating systems and apps.

Operating system – So the old Android vs Apple iOS raises its head here, but there is also a battle of the Android skins. HTC with its Sense 6 and Samsung’s TouchWiz, both offering two bespoke skins for the Android framework, and both offering a unique way to interact with your phone.

The sleek interface of iOS 7 makes using the iPhone simple, but it is more restrictive in what you can do with it. Apple's iOS is best if you’re a smartphone novice, but the HTC One M8 offers you the ability to essentially make your own magazine on the home screen of your phone. Things such as news, social networks and photos can be updated to show you new content whenever you want right there on your home screen.

 

Cameras - Smartphones are looking to ever more colourful ways to make-up for the lack of a large physical lens on their phones. Dedicated camera lenses are built to let in as much light as possible so that every minute detail is captured, The Samsung S5′s 16 megapixel camera features the highest megapixel count and offers the largest images in terms of pixels. The HTC One (M8) camera has the UltraPixel system as seen on their previous model, but it also adds a second lens so you can choose what to focus on, The Samsung S5 also has a focus blur feature allowing you to choose what is and what isn’t in focus after the picture has been taken! The iPhone 5s uses larger pixels at 1.5 microns. This allows for the capture of more light, it also allows you to film in 120fps which is great for cool slo-mo effect videos.

 

Battery life – One area where the iPhone 5s struggles on is battery life. It simply doesn’t live up to either the HTC One (M8) or Galaxy S5, delivering 11 hours of call time on a full charge. The Samsung’s 2800mAh battery will give you 12 hours of HD video watching ability and the HTC One (M8) will last in standby at 100% for 2 weeks according to HTC, very handy for people that do not use their phones as heavily as others.

Design – Smartphone manufacturers are creating larger handsets in this day and age, The Galaxy S5 and HTC One (M8), as expected, have increased screen size, to meet the demands of consumers who predominately use their screen space to browse the web or watch HD video.

The iPhone 5s with its 4-inch screen is much easier to use with one hand admittedly, which can be useful when carrying anything else. The iPhone 5s looks the best out of the three phones, with its smooth metallic finish and flat glass screen providing a defined sophisticated look. The HTC One (M8) features a full brushed aluminium case on its rear and has more of a rock and roll look, with the S5 really letting the side down featuring a huge amount of plastic, since the parts that look metal are plastic. The iPhone 5s and the Galaxy S5 both have fingerprint readers, which is very James Bond, but not all that secure in all honesty, as they can be cracked by people eventually. The HTC (M8) features great sound with its built in BoomSound stereo speakers that users might find handy if they’re stuck without headphones and want to hear some music whilst out and about. A key feature to the S5's belt is that it has brilliant resistance to water and dust, so that you can use the phone in any weather without a second thought.

 

Final Thought - Modern day smartphones such as these I have written about, really don't vary too much from each other. With technology moving exponentially forwards at pace, we are all to aware of the limits of each phone when they get released. 4k video recording & heart rate monitors aside it's the practical features of these phones that hold the most weight; battery life and connectivity are key. The 4G network will hopefully be nationwide soon and batteries will hopefully be solar energised or wind up rechargeable, until then I feel that swiss-army-knife, Inspector-Gadget smartphones will add ever more utensils… who’s got a bottle opener?!

 

Expansys #BeFirst

 

  • Expansys
  • Expansys

We are the champions my friend!!

We just came highly commended within the Mobile Choice Accessories Awards 2014!!

Over 2,000 votes were cast across 12 categories. The Samsung Galaxy Gear which was awarded Best Wearable Accessory. Most Innovative Device went to the Otterbox Preserver a waterproof device case.

Categories were split into three; Winners, Highly Commended and Runners-up. The survey follows in the success of the Mobile Choice Awards last year which received more than 21,000 votes!

 

Congratulations to all the winners and a big thank you to everyone who took part.

 

Expansys - #BeFirst

 

  • Expansys
  • Expansys

Gadget Show 2014

So the Expansys team headed on up to Birmingham yesterday to check out the annual Gadget Show Live at the Birmingham NEC. 

We were kept entertained by a wide range of gadgety goodness ranging from a spider robot courtesy of combat creatures through to flappy birds on a 15ft screen! 

The Sony Xperia Z2 made an appearance via a tank full of water with a diver in! 

Drones took center stage at the show this year with various displays from a wide range of manufacturers, Parrot had the best display by far, boasting an aerial acrobatics drone show to dubstep!

The Onewheel electronic skateboard was a marvel to witeness, we did'nt get to try it ourselves but it looked fun! a whopping price tag put us of it a bit though.

All in all the Gadget Show features stuff that most retail shops wouln't have all in one location and it's worth checking out if you get the chance : )

Expansys - Be First 

 

 

 

  • Jordan Searle
  • Jordan Searle
  • Marketing Whizz

Motorola Moto X .. A Digital Friend

With the recent release of ‘Her’ the technology romance film that see’s Joaquin Phoenix link up with his computer, many people may be wondering if it will ever become a reality for us with our smartphones?

Fear not because with the Motorola Moto X you can recreate a little bit of the film, feel free to whisper sweet nothings to your smartphone all day long and it can interact with your requests, well actually don’t whisper as it may not hear you.

The Moto X, even in standby mode with the screen blank, is keeping an ear out for your every word, It won’t react to everything you say like a real life partner, but if you mutter the words.. “Okay, Google Now” the phone springs into action and makes the magic ‘bong’ noise that shows you it recognises you want a chat. It can’t, unlike Apples Siri, handle accompanying questions, so you have to start the whole process again by speaking the phrase and asking a whole new question. It’s a great little feature that allows you to save voice memos and interact with the Moto X on an almost human level...(almost).

her

This is a sleek and well proportioned phone with a 720x1280 display that fills the whole of the front of the device, it has an easy to hold curved back, complete with a dimpled circular Moto logo and comes equipped with a 10 megapixel camera. The performance of the phone is good with a full day bettery life that handles all the talking interactivity with ease.

Pick the phone up and with a double flick of the wrist the phone wakes up, launches the camera and is ready to shoot, perfect to take a romantic tech selfie on your own… better still you could even set up an online dating profile whilst your at it!?

The Moto X is available now from Expansys.

  • Expansys
  • Expansys

Samsung announces Unpacked 5; could it be the Galaxy S5?

We have barely started 2014, but the Galaxy S5 is already the talk of the town, with rumours populating blogs all over the interwebs. However, we have had very few details about what Samsung’s future top-end device might be packing; even if the leaked specs seem to check out, the release date remained a mystery. Not anymore.


 It’s through the medium of Twitter that the news broke: the Galaxy S5 will officially be announced on 24th February. Samsung confirmed a special event which will take place at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona; the fair which runs from 24th to 27th February now holds even more intrigue and interest.


Samsung Unpacked Galaxy S5

Despite the invitation not explicitly mentioning the Galaxy S5, it left little to the imagination with regards to the subject of the event. So as the first day of MWC comes to a close, Samsung will be lifting the curtains on it’s latest flagship, with the show starting at 20h.


Having originally thought that Samsung might hold a dedicated event, as was the case with it’s two previous generations of smartphones, the company has decided to come full circle; as with the Galaxy S II, the Galaxy S5 will make its debut at the MWC.


As a reminder, in terms of tech specs, we are expecting a 64bit, octo-core Snapdragon 805/Exynos 6, coupled with 3GB of RAM. For the screen, the Galaxy S5 should measure 5.25 inches, with QHD resolution, which means 2560 x 1440 pixels. The camera on the back should be a 16 megapixel snapper and two different sizes of storage are on offer; 32 and 64GB. All of this running smoothly with Android 4.4 KitKat.


Even if the event goes as we think, the official release date of the Galaxy S5 remains a mystery, but based on the release dates of previous generations of the south-Koreans Galaxy S series, we can safely assume that we will have the latest high-end smartphone by the end of April.


We will of course be at MWC to give you the scoop on the Galaxy S5, and a first hands-on experience!

 

  • Dominic Kearns
  • Dominic Kearns

Top 5 Smartphones Under £200

In 2014 you can get a lot of smartphone for under £200. Here are 5 of the best from Expansys.

 

Motorola Moto G

With prices starting at only £139.99 the Motorola Moto G is a game-changer. It wasn’t long ago that quad-core processors and eye-popping full-HD displays were reserved only for the elite flagship devices; today they’re found in the staggeringly low priced Moto G. 

 

The Moto G runs with pure Android KitKat (4.4), giving you a break from all the unused bloatware other smartphones have pre-installed. Adreno 305 graphics, a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor and 1 GB of RAM provides all the power the Moto G needs and then some. The 4.5-inch 329ppi screen (iPhone 5 is 326ppi) sets a new benchmark for displays in this price range while the sturdy build quality is exceptional. 

 

Choose between 8GB or 16GB models and if that isn’t enough storage Google have thrown in 50GB of their cloud storage (very useful considering there is no microSD slot). It doesn’t support 4G but neither does the competition under £200 (the closest one being the Nokia Lumia 625 at £219.99). Colourful Moto Shells and handy Expansys wallet cases allow you to customise your Moto G.

Samsung ATIV S

When first launched the Samsung ATIV S was a flagship Windows Phone 8 device, subsequent price cuts now make it a compelling smartphone. For £179.99 (a £65 price cut!) you get an 8MP camera, 4.8-inch HD AMOLED display and 16GB of storage (microSD expandable to 32GB). A 1.5GHz dual-core processor coupled with 1GB of RAM keep the OS ticking smoothly while a large 2,300mAh battery (removable) easily lasts a day. At just 135g and 8.7mm thin the ATIV S also has superb metallic design and build (atypical from other Samsung hardware).

Acer Liquid E2 Duo

The Acer Liquid E2 Duo is a budget friendly Android smartphone that carries an ace up its sleeve; you can switch between two SIM cards. This is great for when you travel abroad as you can use a local SIM card and avoid costly roaming charges. It also means you can juggle between business and personal SIM cards.

 

Running Jelly Bean and powered by a quad-core 1.2GHz processor the Liquid E2 Duo is no slouch. It has 1GB of RAM and 4 GB of on board memory (microSD expandable up to 32 GB), plus it comes with a free universal Power Bank worth £9.99 to keep it charged on-the-go. This makes the E2 a bargain for the price but don’t take just our word for it, over 40 positive reviews can’t be wrong! 

HTC 8X

The brightest of the bunch, the HTC 8X is a Windows Phone 8 smartphone with a splash of colour.  A Snapdragon S4 dual-core CPU makes the OS buttery smooth while music sounds great through the 3.5mm audio jack thanks to Beats Audio amplifying. The display is a Full HD 4.3-inch beauty, churning out a retina busting 342ppi. The 8X feels as good as it looks too because of the soft tactile material and ergonomically curved back.

Sony Xperia M

Available in white or black the Sony Xperia M punches above its feather weight size (115g). NFC, HDR imaging and a customisable notification light are all features of the M. Design details from the Xperia Z flagship are visible on the M such as the precision crafted aluminium buttons and iconic power crown (inspired by the dial on wrist watches). 

 

Check out the full range of  smartphones under £200 from Expansys here.

  • Ken Lo
  • Ken Lo
  • Technology Writer, giffgaff

Top 5 Things to Consider About Apps On Your Next Smartphone

Smartphone applications have transformed the way we live our lives in the UK. From the way we communicate to the way we navigate, from the way we shop to the way we entertain ourselves, apps have become intertwined in many of our daily activities.

According to Google, the average Brit now has 29 apps installed on their smartphone. Some of the most popular apps have even become household names: apps such as Instagram, Hailo, RunKeeper and WhatsApp now enjoy widespread brand recognition.

With apps becoming more central to our lives, it’s important to consider them when buying your next smartphone. In particular, application compatibility can make a huge difference to your smartphone experience. In this guide, we’ll cover five important app considerations when choosing your next smartphone. More...

  • Dominic Kearns
  • Dominic Kearns

Xperia Z Ultra with FREE SmartWatch 2

Buy an Xperia Z Ultra from Expansys and you’ll receive a free SmartWatch 2 worth £159.99. It’s the perfect companion to the world’s slimmest Full HD phone (6.4mm) as you can control your phablet from your wrist. 

 

 

Rather than fetching for your 6.4-inch Z Ultra nestled in your bag, a quick glance at your SmartWatch 2 shows you the information you need. Technically the third smart watch made by Sony (1, 2 and who could forget this glamorous iteration?), highlights of the gadget includes:

 

  • Compatible with any smartphone/tablet Android 4.0 or later
  • Dust and water resistant; (IP57 rating, 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter)
  • Up to 4 days battery life (96 hours)
  • NFC enabled/connects via Bluetooth
  • 1.6-inch transreflective touch display (readable in sunlight)
  • Tonnes of apps to download from, the Google Play store
  • Email notifications

The iconic Xperia power button that sits proudly on the Xperia Z, Z1 and Z Ultra was inspired by the crown on watches (the part that winds the clock) so it fits well on the SmartWatch 2. The 24mm straps are changeable so you can adapit it to fit your style. Sony offer colourful yellow and pink silicon straps or more sophisticated brown and black leather.
  • The Xperia Z Ultra is available from Expansys with 0% finance (£48.60/month).
  • Dominic Kearns
  • Dominic Kearns

FREE Cover with the Nokia Lumia 625

The Nokia Lumia 625 is perfect for those looking for a smartphone on a budget and its now even more value for money with Nokia offering a free cover worth £17.99. It boasts a big 4.7-inch display, its 4G enabled and it has Nokia’s superb offline turn-by-turn navigation. Follow the 5 steps below to make your claim.

1. Buy a Nokia Lumia 625 from Expansys

 

2. Register for the offer (click here)

 

Sign up for a Nokia account or sign in with your existing Nokia account to register for the offer. Register between 11th September and 31st December 2013.

 

3. Claim your free cover

Once you’ve created or signed into your Nokia account, please fill the form in with your name, contact details, address, preferred colour of shell and IMEI number. The IMEI can be found on the side of the box your phone comes in.

 

4. Nokia will verify your information

 

When you register your purchase, Nokia automatically verify the information you provided

5. Your free Cover will be sent to you

Sit back and enjoy using your new Lumia 625, your free gift will be sent within 28 days.

For full terms and conditions click here.

 

  • Ken Lo
  • Ken Lo
  • Technology Writer, giffgaff

Saving Money On Your Smartphone & How to Become a Mobile Adventurer

Whenever someone mentions buying a new mobile phone, the first thing that often comes to mind is expensive contracts and lengthy periods locked into the same contract. By avoiding a few common pitfalls and making smarter decisions about your next mobile phone, you can become a mighty mobile adventurer rather than an annoying sidekick. Get your smartphone at the right price and it’ll be a great investment that saves you money across all parts of your daily life.

In this article, we take a look at five ways to save money and to get the most out of your mobile phone. More...