Mobile Devices – April

With several major launches happening at Mobile World Congress this year it seems only fair we give you a good run down of couple of our favourites. Samsung decided MWC was the perfect launch pad for the Galaxy S5, find out if it lived up to the hype below. HTC are currently struggling in the smartphone market but they are hoping their mid range phablet, the Desire 816, can put them back on track.

Samsung Galaxy S5S5

Samsung had some ground to make up after their last effort with the S4. The phone got absolutely slammed for being crammed with gimmicks like gesture control and eye scrolling technology. Samsung have held their hands up and said they have concentrated on what users want this time around.

Have Samsung reinvented the smartphone? No, but it is a significant improvement on the last attempt. The device is well designed, solid, and comes with a better camera, brighter screen and a faster processor.

Design wise, although solid, it is fairly uninspiring but does have a nice dimple affect on the back which makes it sit nicely in the hand. Samsung also claim that the device is waterproof, to a depth of one metre for thirty minutes, and dustproof. Users should note that the removable cover is neigh on impossible to get back on which makes me nervous about the waterproof claim should I decide to show off and rinse it under a tap.

The screen is still sharp as ever but it is pretty much the same as the previous version which many have been disappointed with as we come to expect vast improvements between models. Luckily for Samsung it is still absolutely fantastic and one of the best screens out there.

The finger print scanner is a welcome addition but feels a little like ‘me too’ after Apple nailed the technology last year on the iphone 5S last year. The camera is utterly superb which packs 16MP and the device processes images like lightening.

It feels like Samsung have played it safe with the S5 but the interesting thing about Samsung isn’t coming from the device side right now. Samsung has been gradually building momentum around its KNOX enterprise offering which is targeting the very space where Blackberry has been so dominant for so long. KNOX is essentially an app store for business users which brings in a host of features such as mobile device management, VPN as well as consolidated billing.

816HTC Desire 816

If there is one thing HTC do well it is making devices feel quality in the hand. Like it has been made with precision and care and not on some production line in the far east. So when I heard the desire 816 was going to have a glossy finish I started to get nervous, but I can assure you it still feels great!

It’s packing a 5.5 inch screen and feels somewhat humungous in the hands, if that’s not your thing then you will only find the device cumbersome. It runs Sense 5.5 and comes with 1.6 GHz quad core Snapdragon processor with 1.5 GB RAM which keeps the handset running smoothly.

The 1280 x 720 screen is rich but is really only comparable in the mid market. The Desire only comes with 8Mb of storage but the good news is it comes with an expandable microSD slot.

In all the Desire is a great little device for those that don’t want to fork out for the more expensive HTC models. Sense 6 is expected to be launched later this year but one concern will be the impact the new platform has on the performance of the device.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine