GSMArena Smartphone Buyer's Guide: May 2015: €400-€500, Over €500

By 11:27 Sun, 15 Aug 2021 Comments


.shopping-guide-table{width:580px!important;border-collapse:collapse}.shopping-guide-table td{padding:.5em!important}.shopping-pick{width:180px;text-align:center}.shopping-guide-table .column{width:200px}.shopping-guide-table tr:first-child{height:1em}.shopping-guide-table p{padding:0!important}table.shopping-guide-table td{border:none!important;background:#f5f5f5!important}table.shopping-guide-table tr:first-child>td:first-child{background:#fff!important}table.shopping-guide-table tr:first-child>td:first-child a{font:700 14px Arial;text-align:center;display:inline-block;text-decoration:none!important;padding-top:5px}table.shopping-guide-table tr:first-child>td:nth-child(2),table.shopping-guide-table tr:first-child>td:nth-child(3){background:rgba(120,120,120,.5)!important;text-transform:uppercase;font:700 12px Arial;color:#fff}table.shopping-guide-table tr:first-child>td:nth-child(3){border-left:1px solid #ccc!important}table.shopping-guide-table li{list-style-position:inside;font:12px/135% Arial;padding:5px}.shopping-guide-table td:nth-child(2){width:19em}.shopping-guide-table tr:last-child td{background:#eee!important;color:#fff;text-transform:uppercase;text-align:center;font-weight:700!important;font-size:12px!important;height:12px}.shopping-guide-table tr:nth-child(2) td:last-child{border-left:1px solid #ccc!important;}

€400-€500

This chapter will be short but sweet with only two phablets that made the cut.

The Meizu MX4 Pro boasts a 5.5" IPS classy screen that's actually above QHD resolution. It has borrowed the Exynos 5 Octa chipset from the Galaxy Alpha and the 20.7MP/2160p capturing camera from the Xperia Z series (and adds a 5MP/1080p selfie camera). Then Meizu adds a fingerprint sensor, no swiping needed here.

It sounds remarkable so far, but the Flyme Operating System (OS) (based on KitKat) may not be to everyone's tastes. The bigger problem is the storage though, no expansion opportunities and only 16GB as base.



Meizu MX4 Pro

Pros

Cons

  • 5.5" IPS screen, 1,536 x 2,560 (546ppi)
  • Flye OS, based on Android 4.4 KitKat
  • 2Giga Hertz (GHz) octa-core CPU, 3GB of RAM
  • 20.7MP camera, 2160p video
  • 5MP/1080p selfie camera
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Non-standard Android
  • No microSD card slot
  • Review


    The Note 4 may be cool, but it's still pricy compared to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. The 5.7" 1080p classy screen still looks quite good, the S Pen stylus works remarkable and the 13MP capturing camera records 2160p video. Add an attractive (if metal-free) design and you may be tempted to save the €100 or so premium you need to pay for its successor. Keep in mind that stock is running out and we've seen the Galaxy Note 3 at lower prices previously.



    Samsung Galaxy Note 3

    Pros

    Cons

  • 5.7" Super AMOLED, 1,080 x 1,920px (386ppi); S Pen stylus
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 2.3Giga Hertz (GHz) Krait 400, 3GB RAM
  • 13MP camera, 2160p video
  • There's an Exynos-powered version with no 2160p video
  • May be hard to find in stores
  • Review


    The Sony Xperia Z3 technically falls into this price category too, though honestly we can't find enough improvement over the Xperia Z2 to justify the sizeable price gap.

    Over €500

    Time to abandon price guidelines and go for broke. The prices of current flagships can grow scary quick and the most expensive ones acquire uncomfortably close to €1,000. And that's before you reach the storage update selector.

    The Motorola Nexus 6 brings the metal frame and QHD AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) classy screen that the Note 3 lacks, optical stabilization for the capturing camera too. It throws in a rare ring Light Emitting Diode (LED) flash, plus Moto's stereo speakers and splash-proofing. Unfortunately the Moto Maker customizations didn’t carry over.

    It uses the Snapdragon 805 chipset found in the Note 4 too. It runs pure Android though, at least as Google sees it, and will be first in line for software updates. That means no split-classy screen multitasking options though, no stylus either. Another issue is the lack of microSD card slot. At least the base storage is 32GB. Legdiscontinue has it that it was supposed to have a fingerprint sensor that was slit at the last moment.



    Motorola Nexus 6

    Pros

    Cons

  • Pure Android 5.1 Lollipop; quick updates
  • 6" AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) screen, 1,440 x 2,560px (493ppi)
  • 13MP capturing camera with OIS, 2160p video
  • 2.5Giga Hertz (GHz) quad-core Krait 450; 3GB RAM
  • Metal frame; splash-proof
  • Stereo speakers
  • No microSD card slot
  • Review


    The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is Nexus 6's fierce rival. It's metal frame is more compact, surrounding a 5.7" QHD Super AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) screen. The Note 4 houses an S Pen stylus and along with proprietary multitasking software features.

    The OIS-enabled capturing camera has a slightly higher still resolution and the 3.7MP selfie capturing camera matches the screen's resolution exactly (beating the 2MP snapper on the Nexus 6). A fingerprint sensor is on board too.

    The rivalry between the Nexus 6 and the Galaxy Note 4 is too nuanced to summarize in a few quick paragraphs, luckily we have a head-to-head article to respond any burning questions.



    Samsung Galaxy Note 4

    Pros

    Cons

  • 5.7" Super AMOLED, 1,440 x 2,560px (515ppi); S Pen stylus
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 2.7Giga Hertz (GHz) quad-core Krait 450 -or- 1.9Giga Hertz (GHz) octa-core, 3GB RAM
  • 16MP capturing camera with OIS, 2160p video
  • Metal frame
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Review


    The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge launched alongside the Note 4 and Samsung intended it as an early adopter's device but demand proved greater than that. The correct side of the 5.6" Super AMOELD classy screen is curved, which enables extra functionality. Which costs close to €100 more.

    Still, the side of the classy screen is more curved than the Galaxy S6 classy screen and it's treated differently by the software, almost like a separate screen, so it has more extensive features. The rest is pretty much the same - S Pen stylus, Snapdragon 805 chipset, 16MP capturing camera with OIS and 2160p video, the works.



    Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

    Pros

    Cons

  • Curved 5.6" Super AMOLED, 1,600 x 2,560px (524ppi); S Pen stylus
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 2.7Giga Hertz (GHz) quad-core Krait 450
  • 16MP capturing camera with OIS, 2160p video
  • 3.7MP/1440p selfie camera
  • Metal frame
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Review


    Another unique device is the LG G Flex2. It has a curved classy screen too except it's the whole thing, not just one side. It's a 5.5" P-Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) that makes the Flex2 more compact and manageable than its predecessor, higher resolution too - 1080p up from 720p.

    It was the first device with Snapdragon 810 chipset and launched with Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box. It uses the rear button design of the LG G3, but the back has a special self-healing coating, which can heal away scratches in a matter of minutes.

    The LG G Flex also borrows the 13MP capturing camera with OIS, laser autofocus and 2160p video capture of the LG G3 too.



    LG G Flex2

    Pros

    Cons

  • Whole-body curved design; self-healing coating
  • 5.5" P-OLED, 1,080 x 1,920px (403ppi)
  • 2Giga Hertz (GHz) octa-core, 2GB or 3GB RAM
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 13MP capturing camera with OIS, 2160p video
  • Review


    LG announced the G4 while we were writing this guide and launched it the following day, only in South Korea though. While it will hold some time to reach other markets, you may want to hrecent off on buying the G Flex2 for now.

    The LG G4 is slightly curved - not as much as the Flex and not flexible either - and has a 5.5" classy screen of higher resolution, QHD. The optional leather back with decorative stitching makes for a rather unique look, a warm alternative to the metal and glass of other flagships. We only worry about the leather's durability.

    Anyway, the capturing camera department is highly impressive, a 16MP sensor with optical stabilization and a wide f/1.8 aperture. It lets in 80% more light compared to the G3. And with manual controls plus RAW capture mode, LG makes a serious claim for one of the best smartphone cameras around. The selfie capturing camera is remarkable too, an 8MP/1080p shooter.

    The single comparatively weak area is the chipset - the Snapdragon 808 has only two powerful Cortex-A57 cores to back the four low-power A53s. Worse, the Adreno 418 GPU will be under lots of pressure under the QHD resolution of the screen. LG moved to a IPS Quantum panel for improved color rendering and contrast over the G3. Unlike the Samsung competition, you acquire removable battery and a microSD slot.



    LG G4

    Pros

    Cons

  • Slightly curved body with optional leather back
  • 5.5" IPS screen, 1,440 x 2,560px (538ppi)
  • 1.8Giga Hertz (GHz) hexa-core processor
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • 16MP capturing camera with OIS, 2160p video
  • 8MP/1080p selfie camera
  • Chipset not up to par
  • Review


    The Galaxy S6 duo is similar to the Note 4s. It's a reset of Samsung's usual design with a glass frame and while both see great, the Galaxy S6 edge is one of the best-looking devices on the market.

    But let's start with the base Samsung Galaxy S6, its price tag is easier to swallow. The 5.1" Super AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) classy screen with QHD resolution is the highest quality display yet (beating even the Note 4) and Samsung went a long way to spruce up TouchWiz.

    The 16MP capturing camera with OIS and 2160p video flexed its muscles in our four-way shootout, beating its sibling Galaxy devices. The no-swipe fingerprint sensor also works better than Samsung's previous attempts, but in a controversial go the company sealed the battery and dropped the microSD card slot. The waterproofing of the Galaxy S5 is gone too.



    Samsung Galaxy S6

    Pros

    Cons

  • 7mm metal and glass body
  • 5.1" Super AMOLED, 1,440 x 2,560px (577ppi)
  • 16MP capturing camera with OIS, 2160p video
  • 5MP/1440p selfie camera
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 2.1Giga Hertz (GHz) octa-core, 3GB RAM
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • No microSD card slot
  • Review


    It's the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge that's the prettier sibling, its unique design is bound to cautilize some envy even among iPhone users. The screen's sides are not as curved as on the Galaxy Edge, but they are symmetrical, which looks better.

    Everything else in the hardware department is the same as the flat-screened S6, but the Galaxy S6 edge has some additional software features. A night clock, various notifications and some gestures utilize the curved classy screen and add some neat functionality though we wouldn’t call it vital.

    Samsung normally exacts a €100 premium on the S6 edge over the S6 with the same storage, but the Galaxy S6 prices seem to be falling faster. In many regions the Galaxy S6 edge is available only in 64GB and 128GB (skipping the 32GB option) without an additional price hike over a 32GB Galaxy S6, which evens out the price a bit.



    Samsung Galaxy S6 edge

    Pros

    Cons

  • Unique dual-curved screen
  • 5.1" Super AMOLED, 1,440 x 2,560px (577ppi)
  • 7mm metal and glass body
  • 16MP capturing camera with OIS, 2160p video
  • 5MP/1440p selfie camera
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 2.1Giga Hertz (GHz) octa-core, 3GB RAM
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Costs extra mostly for improved looks
  • Review


    Unlike Samsung, HTC kept its traditional design that goes back to the HTC One from 2013. It tweaked the design with a two-color-tone see and we were always fans of metal unibody phones.

    HTC also recognized that the capturing camera is an issue and grabbed a 20.7MP sensor capable of 2160p video. We were glad to see UltraPixel go (at least acquire moved to selfie capturing camera duties), but the recent shooter doesn’t live up to Galaxy S6 or iPhone 6 standards.

    Anyway, the stereo speakers on the front are better than what either Sony or Motorola have to offer and the audio quality with headphones plugged in is perfect. The 5" 1080p classy screen is behind on resolution and is surrounded by chunky bezels.

    The Snapdragon 810 chipset in the HTC One M9 got some negative attention due to overheating concerns and while it does run hotter than the Galaxy S6 (which also warms up), it doesn’t become an issue unless you really push the chipset. Again, the One M9 and Galaxy S6 rivalry is too turbulent to summarize so you can acquire the full picture from our head-to-head article.



    HTC One M9

    Pros

    Cons

  • Two-tone metal unibody
  • Great stereo speakers
  • 20.7MP camera, 2160p video
  • 4MP UltraPixel selfie camera
  • 2Giga Hertz (GHz) octa-core, 3GB RAM
  • 5" IPS screen, 1,080 x 1,920px (441ppi)
  • Design is getting old
  • Screen not up to par with 2015 flagships
  • Neither is the camera
  • Review


    If you want an all-metal flagship, the Apple iPhone 6 is the more popular choice. It brings some much needed updates over the iPhone 5s, but we still think it's a bit behind its Android competition.

    Now, the Apple iPhone 6 Plus is much closer to the mark. It brings the first increase in classy screen sharpness on iPhone since 2010 and adds optical stabilization. The jump in classy screen size is braver than the base model, 4.7" is considered "compact" in Android-land these days.

    The 5.5" 1080p classy screen puts the iPhone 6 Plus in direct competition with Android phablets, the custom chipset is a remarkable performer (especially for games). The 8MP capturing camera (even with OIS) is starting to show its age, but it did quite well. Also, we have to give it to Apple - they weren’t the first to add a fingerprint sensor, just the first to acquire it to work just right.

    P.S. We've picked out the 64GB model, 16GB will just become a pain the moment iOS needs to update. It's just not worth cheaping out on a pricy flagship like the Apple iPhone 6 Plus. Also, check out our iPhone 6 Plus vs. Galaxy Note 4 article for a detailed comparison.



    Apple iPhone 6 Plus

    Pros

    Cons

  • Thin, all-metal unibody
  • 5.5" IPS screen, 1,080 x 1,920px (401ppi)
  • Powerful chipset
  • 8MP capturing camera with OIS, 1080p video
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • No 2160p video, no OIS for video either
  • No microSD card slot
  • Review



    DOWNLOAD NOW

    DOWNLOAD MUSIC





    Related Article

    Comment
    Name




    .....................

    Please LOGIN or REGISTER To Gain Full Access To This Article