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Archive for the ‘Buyers Guides’ Category

Spec Ops: iPhone 6 Plus vs Nexus 6 vs OnePlus One vs Note 4

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

In this article, we’re going to consider how the biggest phablets of the year stack up. We’ll be looking at three Android smartphones – the Nexus 6, Note 4 and OnePlus One - in addition to Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus. Let’s begin!

Display

Nexus 6 Note 4 OnePlus One iPhone 6 Plus
5.96 inches 5.7 inches 5.5 inches 5.5 inches
2560 x 1440 2560 x 1440 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080
 493 ppi 515 ppi  401 ppi  401 ppi

It seems only natural to start with the defining feature of these phones: their displays. Each one comes with a display greater than 5.5 inches across the diagonal, putting them firmly in phablet (phone / tablet hybrid) territory. The One and 6 Plus are the smaller pair, while the Note 4 and Nexus 6 are closer to the tablet end of the scale. Despite their greater size, the higher resolution 1440p displays of the Note and Nexus grant them denser screens, which should make text and images appear more crisply.

Display technologies are also important; the Nexus 6 and Note 4 use AMOLED while the OnePlus One and iPhone 6 Plus are using IPS LCD displays. AMOLED is traditionally more power-efficient and has more vibrant colours, while IPS LCD tends to be more colour accurate with better viewing angles. Each display used here is high-end though, and so these differences are minimised.

Ultimately, there’s little here to differentiate these phones from each other; rather it depends what size you’re most comfortable with. We’ll get more into that with our next item – dimensions.

Winner: Tied

Dimensions, Weight and Materials

Nexus 6 Note 4 OnePlus One iPhone 6 Plus
159 x 83 x 10.1mm 154 x 79 x 8.5mm 153 x 76 x 8.9mm 158 x 78 x 7.1mm
184 grams 176 grams 162 grams 172 grams
Metal-framed plastic Metal-framed plastic Metal-framed plastic Metal

Given the differing screen sizes, we have surprisingly close results when it comes to dimensions. The Note 4 comes out barely ahead, thanks to fitting a 5.7-inch screen in dimensions close to the 5.5-inch OnePlus One. The iPhone 6 Plus is the outlier here, with a very wide and tall body for its screen size. Despite this, it pulls something back with a svelte 7.1mm thickness.

Each phone is constructed better than many of its peers and predecessors; the Note 4′s metal frame is a big improvement over the all-plastic body of the Note 3, for instance. When it comes to durability and in-hand feel, the sandstone back and metal frame of the OnePlus One give it the edge in the my eyes, with the iPhone 6 Plus’ fragile but gorgeous metal body close behind.

Winner: OnePlus One

Internals: CPU, RAM, Storage

Nexus 6 Note 4 OnePlus One iPhone 6 Plus
Snapdragon 805
quad-core 2.7GHz
Snapdragon 805
quad-core 2.7GHz
Snapdragon 801
quad-core 2.5GHz
Apple A8
dual-core 1.4GHz
3GB RAM 3GB RAM 3GB RAM 1GB RAM
32/64GB 32GB + microSD 16/64GB 16/64/128GB

When it comes to raw power, the two most recent Android phones – the Nexus 6 and Note 4 – have the edge. Their Snapdragon 805 chipsets provide an excess of CPU and GPU horsepower, just ahead of the OnePlus One’s older Snapdragon 801 chip. The iPhone 6 Plus seems outgunned here, but the Apple A8 chipset is surprisingly good for its clock speed, and offers similar performance to the 801 in many benchmarks.

Where the Apple handset really falls behind is in RAM, offering only 1GB compared to the 3GB of its rivals. This has a very noticeable effect, as you can only keep a couple of apps open at a time. Go back to an app you had open a few minutes ago, and you’ll have to launch it from scratch. Having to reload tabs in Safari every time you go back to the app gets old really fast. Conversely, these Android handsets can keep apps ready to go in the background for ages, saving your position in the app and saving you time and data.

When it comes to storage, the 6 Plus’ default 16GB loadout is quite limiting, and the jump to 64GB is expensive. The OnePlus One avoids this with a cheap jump to 64GB, while the Note 4 and Nexus 6 start with 32GB of storage onboard (and the Note 4 can add more storage cheaply with microSD).

Winners: Nexus 6 and Note 4

Battery Life

Nexus 6 Note 4 OnePlus One iPhone 6 Plus
3220 mAh 3220 mAh 3100 mAh 2915 mAh
24hr talk-time 20hr talk-time 20hr talk-time 24hr talk-time

One advantage to going with a phablet is that you can fit a giant battery inside. These phones’ batteries average over 3,000 mAh, granting the ability to talk for nearly a full day. Using the giant display reduces these figures somewhat, but with mixed usage you’re still looking at one or two full days of use between recharges. The iPhone 6 Plus is particularly impressive, with 24 hours of talk time from the smallest battery in the field.

Winner: iPhone 6 Plus

Camera

Nexus 6 Note 4 OnePlus One iPhone 6 Plus
13-megapixel
OIS, dual-LED flash
16-megapixel
OIS, LED flash
13-megapixel
dual-LED flash
8-megapixel
OIS, dual-LED flash
2160p30
1080p60
2160p30
1080p60
2160p30
1080p60
720p120
1080p60
720p240
2-megapixel 3.7-megapixel 5-megapixel 1.2-megapixel

While Android manufacturers have been chasing the spec sheets with higher megapixel counts, Apple has been focusing on image quality. The 6 Plus is their best effort yet, and takes fantastic pictures compared to other smartphones. Still, the higher megapixel counts of these Android phones do allow for better results in well-lit conditions like landscape shots. Ultimately though, the 6 Plus takes better pictures. The only disappointment is the front-facing camera, which at 1.2-megapixels is behind the competition.

When it comes to videos, it’s a little closer. Each Android phone shown here boasts 4K 30fps video recording, while the iPhone 6 Plus has excellent 240fps slow motion video at 720p. The slow motion video seems more useful than 4K, so once again the edge goes to the iPhone.

Winner: iPhone 6 Plus

Connectivity

Nexus 6 Note 4 OnePlus One iPhone 6 Plus
8-band LTE 6-band LTE 6-band LTE 12-band LTE
WiFi ac
Bluetooth 4.1
NFC
WiFi ac
Bluetooth 4.1
NFC
WiFi ac
Bluetooth 4.1
NFC
WiFi ac
Bluetooth 4.0
NFC (Apple Pay)

Connectivity is an interesting area. On the one hand, the iPhone 6 Plus has twice as many LTE bands as most of its competitors, making it much more likely you’ll find your favourite carrier is supported. Conversely, the Android phablets have a slightly later version of Bluetooth – 4.1 – which includes better coexistence with LTE signals, smarter connectivity and direct data transfers between Bluetooth accessories. The Android representatives also include NFC, which can be used for a range of purposes like transferring files, reading ads or contactless payments, while the iPhone 6 Plus only uses NFC for Apple’s own contactless payment system.

Winner: iPhone 6 Plus

Software and features

Nexus 6 Note 4 OnePlus One iPhone 6 Plus
Android 5
Stock
Android 4.4
TouchWiz
Android 4.4
CyanogenMod 11S
iOS 8.1
Stock
Water-resistant
Wireless charging
Stereo front speakers
S-Pen stylus
Removable battery
Multi-window
Fingerprint sensor
Tap-to-wake
Optional soft buttons
Touch ID
Continuity

Features are probably the hardest aspect of a phone to reduce down to a simple comparison, but at least you can see the features that each manufacturer wants to highlight (that we haven’t touched on already). Each phone has its strong points: the Nexus 6 has a strong hardware design with water resistance, wireless charging and stereo front-facing speakers, while the OnePlus One focuses more on software features like tap-to-wake and optional soft buttons. The iPhone 6 Plus’ Touch ID is the best implementation of a fingerprint sensor thus far, while Continuity allows the phone to work well with Mac computers. The Note 4 is probably the feature king though, with the S-Pen and some unique multi-tasking / multi-window features that make good use of the large screen.

When it comes to software, it’s a matter of preference. iOS 8.1 lacks the depth and customisation of Android, particularly compared to the CyanogenMod build on the OnePlus One, but does many things well and looks beautiful. iOS also boasts the larger app store, and more apps appear exclusively here than on Android. Conversely, many apps are just off-limits on iOS – you can’t get a torrent client, emulators or any content which Apple finds offensive or overly political.

Winner: Note 4

Accessories

Nexus 6 Note 4 OnePlus One iPhone 6 Plus
39 products 140 products 27 products 221 products

When it comes to accessories, Apple have enjoyed a healthy advantage almost since the first iPhone. With only a couple of models to choose from, accessory makers can be assured of a big market for each item they produce. The biggest Android models enjoy similar popularity, but the Nexus 6 and OnePlus One are not as well supported.

Winner: iPhone 6 Plus

Price

Nexus 6 Note 4 OnePlus One iPhone 6 Plus
£529 ($649) - 32GB
£569 ($699) - 64GB
£575 ($749) - 32GB £229 ($299) – 16GB
£269 ($349) - 64GB
£619 ($749) - 16GB
£699 ($849) - 64GB
£789 ($949) - 128GB

When it comes to price, the OnePlus One is the least expensive and the iPhone 6 Plus is the most. The iPhone 6 Plus also puts the highest premium on additional storage, with the next tier costing an extra £80 compared to £40 for the Nexus 6 and OnePlus One. The Note 4 has only one storage option, but does come with a microSD card slot which allows even less expensive storage upgrades.

Nexus 6 prices are based on announced US prices and previous UK conversions, including VAT, and should be reasonably accurate.

Winner: OnePlus One

Overall

Nexus 6 Note 4 OnePlus One iPhone 6 Plus
1 win 2 wins 2 wins 4 wins

As it stands, the iPhone 6 Plus seems the best phone in more categories than its peers, taking home victories in battery life, camera, connectivity and accessories. The Note 4 won in hardware and features, while the OnePlus got the nod for dimensions / materials and price. The Nexus 6 took only one win in terms of hardware, which it shared with the Note.

Ultimately though, each of these four phones is a viable choice. The Nexus 6 offers bleeding edge specifications with the latest version of stock Android; the Note 4 is the feature-king with an improved design and good hardware; the OnePlus One has a great in-hand feel and is so inexpensive; the iPhone 6 Plus has an awesome camera and battery life, and enjoys a strong app and accessory ecosystem.

I hope this breakdown has made your choice easier. Let us know which one you’d pick in the comments below, or share your questions. Thanks for checking out the article and have a good week!

Here’s why you shouldn’t buy the iPad Mini 3

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Last week Apple announced their latest tablets: the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3. Both tablets are on pre-order now for £80 more than their predecessors, but only one is worth buying. Here’s why.

The Air 2 is something of a technical triumph for Apple, incorporating a faster processor, Touch ID sensor and improved camera in a dramatically thinner frame. Apple spent the bulk of their presentation over the Air 2, and it makes sense – the tablet is a significant advancement over the original Air, and is now probably the most desirable tablet in the world.

Conversely, the iPad Mini 3 was touched upon with uncharacteristic haste. That’s because there simply aren’t any real substantive changes between the Mini 3 and the Mini 2. In fact, the list of useful changes is precisely two items long: the tablet now includes the Touch ID fingerprint sensor and is available in gold. That’s it – no thinner chassis, no upgraded processor, and no improved camera.

If you had a choice between the two tablets at the same price, then you’d pick the Mini 3 – why not? But instead, Apple are selling this tablet for an £80 premium, which makes no sense at all.

So my advice to you is this: if you want a small Apple tablet, pick up the Mini 2 while you still can, and avoid the Mini 3 unless you simply must own a tablet rendered in champagne gold. At £239 the Mini 2 is simply the far better deal.

n.b. If you have an iPhone 6 Plus, you may want to steer clear of the Mini line altogether. The increased screen size of the newer iPhone models means you’ll get much less of a boost in screen real estate when moving from an iPhone to an iPad Mini than owners of previous iPhones did. Already many 6 Plus owners are leaving their iPad Minis at home because they already feel  they have a big enough screen in their pocket.

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus: which should you choose?

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

 

Last week Apple unveiled their new iPhone… or should I say their new iPhones. For the first time, it’s possible to get a new iPhone in two different sizes: the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. While the choice is no doubt appreciated by many, for others it’s an unprecedented conundrum–which should you buy? This article seeks to answer that question.

Design

So first things first–from a design perspective, these phones are identical. Both offer an aluminium construction, with bands of plastic separating the top and bottom caps from the main body of the phone. The only difference is that the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 is bigger than the iPhone 5, and the iPhone 6 Plus is way bigger than the iPhone 5.

That means if you’re used to the size of previous iPhone, you’re going to be more comfortable with the iPhone 6. All things considered, the iPhone 6 should be the ‘default’ choice chosen by most people, and best supported by accessory makers.

Left to right: iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C

Specifications

When you look at the phones more closely, not too many more differences are apparent beyond the size of their screens and bodies. I’ve highlighted the differences in the table below:

DISPLAY 4.7-inch 1334×750 5.5-inch 1920×1080
CPU Apple A8 1.4GHz dual-core Apple A8 1.4GHz dual-core
RAM 1GB 1GB
STORAGE 16 / 64 / 128GB 16 / 64 / 128GB
NETWORK 20-band LTE 20-band LTE
WIRELESS Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi ac Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi ac
NFC Apple Pay only Apple Pay only
BATTERY 250 h standby, 14 h 3G 384 h standby, 24 h 3G
CAMERA 8MP dual-LED, 1.2MP 8MP dual-LED w/ OIS, 1.2MP
SIZE 138.1 x 67 x 6.9mm 158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1mm
WEIGHT 129g 172g
OS iOS 8 iOS 8
COST £539 £639

 

So beyond the different screens, sizes and weights, there are precisely two hardware differences. First, the iPhone 6 Plus has a larger battery, allowing it to last a little longer – particularly when the screen is off. Secondly, the camera has optical image stabilisation. The OIS works to counteract hand shake, allowing you to take less blurry photos–but it’s worth noting it’ll do nothing for capturing fast-moving subjects, like sportspeople and children.

So given these differences, there are three immediate kinds of people that might want the iPhone 6 Plus over the ‘default’ iPhone 6.

1. Fans of massive Android phones like the Note 4 or LG G3
2. Frequent iPhone photographers looking for the best hardware
3. People who need that extra boost in battery power

Tradeoffs

Of course, in these latter two cases there’s a trade-off: you’re getting a massive iPhone which weighs more and is harder to use with one hand – particularly if those hands are smaller than average.

Apple have anticipated this issue, and have made some changes to the hardware and to iOS 8 to (partially) alleviate it. Firstly, the lock button is now on the right hand side of the phone instead of the top (on both new models). They’ve also made a ‘reachability’ gesture: tap the home button twice to have the screen move down towards your fingers, allowing you to reach controls at the top of the phone more easily.

A tablet replacement

Even with these in place, you’re getting an iPhone that’s feels closer to the iPad Mini than to the original iPhone. In fact, when you compare an iPad Mini and an iPhone 6 Plus playing videos, the usable screen size is surprisingly close because the iPad Mini uses only the middle portion of its 4:3 display to show 16:9 videos.

Left to right: iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Mini

The similarities with a small tablet don’t stop there. Apple have also adopted the iPad’s split view for many landscape-mode iPhone 6 Plus apps. That means you’ll get an additional pane on the left or right, showing you more information at a glance than you’d find on the iPhone 6 or 5 version.

That makes for an iPhone 6 Plus that can replace both phone and tablet–and maybe even your laptop too. If you’re tired of carrying around multiple devices, then the 6 Plus could be ideal.

The final choice

I think, all things considered, the iPhone 6 will appeal to more people than the 6 Plus. A jump from 4 to 4.7 inches is already substantial; a further jump to 5.5 is almost too much. Of course, if you’re coming from the Android ecosystem, you may already be used to phones in that kind of region, and the 6 Plus becomes more appealing.

Otherwise, the advantages of the 6 Plus–longer battery life, a slightly better camera–are well balanced by the inherent clumsiness of using a larger phone, despite Apple’s best efforts. If you are a keen photographer, or you need a boost in battery life desperately, then the iPhone 6 Plus can make sense. For everyone else, the iPhone 6 is the better choice.

Signing off

Which iPhone are you choosing? Let me know in the comments below, or speak to us on social media. We’re @mobilefun on Twitter and Love Your Mobile on Facebook.

5 smartphones worth upgrading for

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Last month, I advised that you wait until September to pick up a new phone as so many new models were being announced. Now September has arrived, so I’m going to show you five of the most promising new smartphones. All of these phones will go on sale in the coming weeks, so if your contract is up or you’re looking to buy a new smartphone sim-free, these are the ones to look out for.

5. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

What it is: A smaller version of Sony’s flagship Z3 smartphone.

Why it’s worth it: The Z3 Compact is a calculated reaction to the trend of ever-larger flagship phones. Unlike most ‘mini’ phones, the Z3 Compact is just as powerful as its full-size brother, offering top-notch internals and an excellent camera. The body looks and feels high-end too, with a gorgeous squared off glass look that’s also waterproof. If you want a reasonably-sized phone without settling for 2012-era specifications, the Z3 Compact is a good shout.

Read more about the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact or see Xperia Z3 Compact accessories.

4. Nokia Lumia 830

What it is: Microsoft’s self-described affordable flagship Windows Phone.

Why it’s worth it: High-end Nokia Lumia phones come with great PureView cameras, beautiful bodies and the slick Windows Phone OS. The Lumia 830 is Microsoft’s attempt to bring these features down to the middle range of the market, and includes a 10-megapixel PureView OIS camera, wireless charging and a svelte premium body wrought from polycarbonate and aluminium. If you’d like an introduction or an update to the world of Windows Phone, the 830 is just the ticket.

Read more about the Nokia Lumia 830 or see Lumia 830 accessories.

3. Samsung Galaxy Alpha

What it is: Samsung’s best looking phone, designed to compete with the iPhone 6.

Why it’s worth it: Samsung have made plasticky phones for years, but that’s slowly beginning to change. The Galaxy Alpha is their first attempt at a new design language, and comes clad with a chamfered aluminium frame that measures just 6.7mm thick. It looks a little like an iPhone, and comes with specs to match the upcoming iPhone 6. That includes a 4.7-inch 720p display, 32 GB non-removable storage and a 12-megapixel camera.

Read more about the Samsung Galaxy Alpha or see Galaxy Alpha accessories.

2. iPhone 6

What it is: The next iPhone, aka the best selling phone worldwide in Q4 2014.

Why it’s worth it: The iPhone 6 is the first properly large iPhone. Two years ago Apple first made the jump to four inches, and now they’re going all the way up to 4.7… and later, 5.5 inches. That means more screen real estate, more readable text and bigger movies and games. The iPhone 6 also includes NFC for the first time – for contactless payments – and the latest and greatest Apple A8 processor.

Read more about the Apple iPhone 6 or see iPhone 6 accessories or iPhone 6 Plus accessories.

1. Motorola Moto X

The original Moto X was a critical darling, with a highly customisable and classy design and clever software features that people actually used… but it lost the spec war, and sales didn’t meet expectations because of that. Now the second-generation Moto X is here, and now it’s firing on all cylinders. The new X has a new metal frame that looks great (and it’s still fully customisable, even including wood and leather backs). It’s got those great features (voice controls and battery saving over clean Android. Maybe most importantly, it’s got leading specs as well: a 5.2-inch 1080p screen, latest Snapdragon 801 processor and good 13-megapixel camera. The Verge have already called it the best Android smartphone, and from what I’ve seen I’m inclined to agree.

Read more about the Motorola Moto X or see Moto X (second gen) accessories.

Conclusion

Of course, there are probably more than five smartphones that are worth considering. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4, which will probably sell millions of units, is a great choice for anyone that really wants a big screen or stylus support. The One M8 remains a paragon of industrial design several months after its release. The Sharp Aquous Crystal won’t see a UK release date, but does look futuristic and gorgeous. And of course, the second-generation Motorola Moto G looks set to be a big success with an incredible amount of performance and features for the price… but this is a top 5, not a top 10 or a top 20.

What do you think of the selections? Got any questions? Let me know in the comments below, or speak to us on Twitter @mobilefun!

iPad or Android tablet?

Monday, September 1st, 2014

If you’re looking to get a tablet, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is choosing an iPad or an Android tablet. While the iPad was the only real choice several years ago, nowadays both the iPad and Android tablets have evolved considerably. In this article, we’ll show you the strengths and weaknesses of each platform – as well as a few recommendations on the best iPads or Android tablets to buy. Let’s get started!

iPad: Strengths

  • Largest range of accessories and apps
  • Easy to use
  • Well designed, inside and out

So – the iPad. It’s the quintessential tablet, and its popularity is one of its greatest strengths. It means you’ll find a wide range of iPad accessories, from iPad cases and covers to chargers, screen protectors and stands. You can find accessories to fit pretty much every need and every style. With only two models – iPad Mini and iPad Air – to be released recently, an entire industry can work easily to support them.

The same popularity also makes the iPad the biggest target for app developers, allowing them to finetune their apps to suit the iPad and make the very best use of its screen and capabilities. That translates into better apps, and more of them.

Apple have always tried to make their products easy to use, and that continues with the iPad. The Apple tablet is simple in places, but that ensures that there’s little that you quickly won’t learn how to do. Even complex tasks like cloud printing are presented well, making it easy to get things set up properly.

Finally, the iPad is well designed, with powerful hardware and a stylish look. The tablet’s processor and GPU are regularly listed among the best in the business, and the battery life of the tablet is considerable too. The iPad is also good looking, with a slim metal design that feels solid and dependable in your hands. The most important strength of the iPad is its display though, which is generally pixel-dense, bright and well-calibrated. 

iPad: Weaknesses

  • Little customisation
  • More expensive

Of course, there are downsides to Apple’s approach. The simplicity they have wrought means that more advanced controls are hidden or not present at all, leaving the operating system far less customisable than its peers. Apple’s tight control of their app store also allows them to remove apps they find objectionable, particularly those on questionable moral or legal ground.

The iPad’s premium materials and hardware command a premium price, making the iPad more expensive than similarly equipped Android tablets. Additional storage is also costly, with a 32GB model costing £80 more than the 16GB option – and there’s no option to add more storage with a microSD card later.

iPad: Recommended tablets

If you’re looking to pick up an iPad, there are only two real models to choose between: the iPad Mini with Retina Display and the iPad Air. The iPad Mini has a gorgeous 7.9-inch display, while the Air moves to 10.1-inches. Both tablets are well crafted out of aluminium, and boast good battery lives in addition to their well-tuned screens. The iPad Mini is the better choice for portable use (with one hand), while the iPad Air makes a better tablet for keeping at home (with two hands).

Android: Strengths

  • Wide range of tablets to suit any need (including low price)
  • Deep customisation possible

The strength of the Android operating system for tablets is breadth and depth. In almost any attribute you can name – dimensions, speed, capabilities, camera, price - there will be tablets that hit every point on the range. Sony produce a range of powerful, waterproof tablets with good cameras. Samsung opt for slim workhorses, many with styluses built in. Amazon have a range of high-performance tablets, tied into their own ecosystem, for a low price. These are just the tip of the iceberg; with sufficient time you should be able to find an Android tablet to fit any requirements.

You also have a lot of choice with an Android tablet after you’ve purchased it. It’s possible to buy microSD cards which will extend your available storage cheaply, and there are a decent range of other tablet accessories available too. While there aren’t as many third-party accessories available as there are for the iPad, that means tablet makers like Samsung and Motorola often produce an excellent first-party range.

Customisability is another advantage with Android. It’s often possible to make deeper changes than on iOS, and there’s also the option to install a new variant of the Android operating system (like CyanogenMod) that will allow you even greater control. There are very few questions you can ask that start “Can I…” that end “No.”

The final advantage to Android is often price. Google and Amazon are well known for their low-cost tablets that still deliver an excellent experience with good hardware; their content-first strategies mean that they’re willing to sell tablets at a loss so you use their stores for apps, music, videos and books.

Android: Weaknesses

  • Some Android tablets are poorly designed inside and out
  • Less apps truly optimised for tablets

As we saw with the iPad, there’s a definite trade-off between simplicity and customisability. The average Android tablet errs towards customisability, which can be overwhelming.

There’s also a high amount of variability when it comes to the design of Android tablets, in terms of both software and hardware. Many Android tablets – including barebones Android found on the Nexus series – are well designed and look good, but there are also many tablets saddled with confusing interfaces, poor designs and underpowered hardware.

The final bugbear for Android is that of apps. You’ll find some great tablet apps, but lazily designed, stretched out mobile phone apps are still relatively common. The large range of Android devices also makes it harder for developers to optimise their apps, so you may find you’re arbitrarily unable to install apps if you aren’t using a well-known device.

Android: Recommended tablets

Google make some of the best Android tablets, which come with a clean version of Android, good hardware and an aggressive point. The most recent release, the Nexus 7, is a great choice with a sharp 7-inch display, good battery life and a simple, durable outward design.

Samsung are the biggest sellers of Android tablets, thanks to a massive range of models, a host of software additions to stock Android and slim designs. The Tab S 10.5-inch tablet is the most recent, and offers a good battery life, a bright and beautiful screen, and a slim chassis.

Sony operate at the highest end of the Android market, with top-notch screens and cameras and stylish waterproof bodies. The Xperia Z2 Tablet is a good example of their approach, with a squared-off waterproof body, good screen and relatively untouched version of Android on board.

Signing off

Thanks for checking out the article – we hope it made it easier for you to choose an Android or iOS tablet! If you have any questions or comments, then please leave them below or speak to us on Twitter @mobilefun.

Index of Buyers Guides