"The Nexus 6 is one of the largest phones on the market and offers brilliant mobile entertainment. The size may not be for everyone but for phablet fans it has an impressively big screen, amazing stereo speaker sound and the latest slick Android 5.0 Lollipop software."
Our Nexus 6 LIKES Our Nexus 6 DISLIKES
The large size of the screen
No memory card slot
The smooth and improved Android 5.0 OS
The camera performance feels a little weak for such a big phone
The amazing sound and screen quality when viewing movies
The location of the back button is a stretch just a little too far
What it feels like
The first thing we noticed about the Nexus 6 was the size, shape and weight – being a big phone it was lighter than we expected and the physical design means it fits comfortably in your hand. We love big phones but due to the size it is difficult to fully operate with one hand, especially with the location of the back button being out of reach of one hand. Though personally having to use two hands isn’t a major issue for me.
On the big screen
The whopping 5.96in screen is almost 0.5in larger than that of the iPhone 6+ but the phone itself is only 1mm taller, making the front view pretty much all screen. We certainly found that big means better with the Nexus 6 with the OLED screen giving brilliant contrast and super sharp viewing quality – although you may have to get used to the colours as they appear pretty vivid at the beginning. The sound certainly matches the screen viewing quality and is clear and solid, as well as unusually loud for a phone.
A longer life
The battery life is an improvement on the Nexus 5 and I’ve managed to get up to 10 hours screen time before needing to charge it, though we would definitely like to see this improved in the future as heavy use runs the battery out in about 5 hours. Although the Nexus 6 doesn’t have a memory card slot to boost memory power, nowadays there are a number of great cloud storage options that make memory card issues a thing of the past.
Under the hood
The Nexus 6 is the first phone offering the Android 5.0 Lollipop OS and it is a definite improvement. It feels a lot less clunky and has a new smoothness to how the apps and screens transition. We like the more minimal feel, which is helped out with the triangle/circle/square soft keys. Overall a nice, smooth interface that’s definitely more enjoyable to use compared to previous Android systems.
The 13MP camera on the Nexus 6 is decent enough, but by no means the star feature of the phone. The focus sometimes feels a little delayed and the lighting meter occasionally falters meaning that the light exposure is not the best for certain photos. Having said that it can still take a decent shot but you would benefit from having a little camera know-how beforehand, or downloading one of the pro photo apps available. As with the camera, the 2MP HD video that the Nexus 6 offers doesn’t lead the pack but it gives a capable performance. We’re not huge video makers but the 4k video at 30fps that you get with the Nexus 6 certainly let us shoot some decent enough home movies.
The giffgaff verdict
Having put the Nexus 6 through its paces we’re pretty happy with the results. Despite being a big phone to hold, we love the huge screen that takes mobile viewing to the next level with both sound and visual quality. The camera, although not the best out there, was decent enough to keep us snapping happily and the latest Android software teamed with a great battery life meant we were smoothly gliding through our apps all day. Overall a very solid choice.
“Apple has launched its biggest ever phone with the iPhone 6 Plus, and we’re very glad it has. Joining the large-screen gang, it’s a sleek and sophisticated phone with a lot to offer. Not only are the screen size and new design cause to shout about, there’s a whole lot of power happening on the inside.”
Our iPhone 6 Plus LIKES
Our iPhone 6 Plus DISLIKES
Impressive screen size
Usability with one hand
Full HD quality display
What it feels like
The 6 Plus, along with the iPhone 6, is part of a new-look generation of iPhones that embraces smooth, curved edges rather than the more industrial square edges of its predecessors. We are big fans of the new design, which puts it up there as one of the most dashing phablets on the market. Although now rounded in design, the base remains home to the speaker grille, 3.5mm headphone jack, microphone hole and lightning port.
Big and bold
The screen size is what sets the iPhone 6 Plus apart from all other iPhones and it is also the marmite feature of the phone. The whopping 5.5-inch full HD screen is a magnificent jump from the iPhone 5 and 5S’s 4-inch screens, a jump we were happy to take. This dramatically larger display will be what wins the hearts of those looking for bigger-is-better phablet functionality, putting it up there with the Samsung Note 4, which has somewhat dominated the phablet market with its size. Though ironically its size may well be the deal breaker for fans of the more modest, palm-friendly designs that iPhones have long been famed for.
Thanks to its size, the iPhone 6 Plus is able to house a noticeably better battery than even it’s release twin, the iPhone 6. We were very pleasantly surprised to see that a single charge kept us going for most of the day without being preoccupied about plugging in – and owners of previous iPhone models will appreciate that that’s no mean feat. Total win.
Under the hood
Similar to the iPhone 6, the 6 Plus is a powerful beast and gives a top-notch performance from the inside. The winning partnership of the phone’s Apple A8 chip and M8 motion coprocessor lead to a strikingly fast and effective performance - though we were a little surprised to not see a bigger difference power-wise between the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. We did love using the new iOS 8 software, when teamed with the 128 GB version of the iPhone 6. Plus you’ll have no worries about running out of space for all the great new (and improved) apps you’ll want to download.
The 8 MP iSight camera is a great piece of photographic equipment and the iPhone 6 Plus is the only Apple phone to also boast optical image stabilisation. The rear camera itself protrudes slightly from the main body of the phone, though this is something that we hardly noticed, especially with a cover on the phone. This was a deliberate design choice to not compromise on camera quality and it was a good move as far as we’re concerned. The photos we took were crisp and clear and the 1080p HD video camera gave brilliant results. Taking off the HD you can record videos at up to 240fps - absolutely awesome if you want to create impressive slow motion videos.
The giffgaff verdict
The iPhone 6 Plus is not only big and bold but it’s a beautiful phone too. It’s not for everyone, as the size can be a little awkward to use due to reachability but phablet fans will definitely not be disappointed with the look, feel or performance of the iPhone 6 Plus. Smooth and seamless in both design and software usability, it’s an iPhone that’s at the top of its game.
“Samsung listens to consumer cries to develop an evolved flagship phone. Easy to use and with a sleeker design, the Galaxy S5 is screentastic to say the least. Also offering improved usability, camera performance and health features make it a phone playing ball with the big boys”
Our Samsung Galaxy S5 LIKES Our Samsung Galaxy S5 DISLIKES
Stunning vibrant screen
Unnecessary heart rate monitor
New powerful User Interface
Finger print scanner location
Fast responsive camera and camera effects
Non-solid metal design
Let’s get physical
When we first saw the Galaxy S5 the first thing we noticed was the sleeker and more rounded design, bringing it more in line with other popular smartphones on the market, such as the HTC One. The perforated pattern on the back cover adds a small touch of class and feels comfortable in the palm of your hand. However, we can’t help feel that the Galaxy S5 may have missed a trick here and didn’t go for a full metal body. Being a flagship device the build doesn’t feel as though it’s on par with the rival flagships phones such as the HTC One M8 or iPhone 6.
See your true colours
We have to say that the Galaxy S5 has a pretty impressive screen. Vibrant, clear and stunning, the 5.1-inch display sets out to impress even the most humble phone users out there, showing every colours true worth. Drawn in like a moth to a flame we were captivated by the Full HD Super AMOLED screen, which analyses your surrounding light and brings images and videos in sharp contrast so they leap out from the screen. Totally awesome.
Live long and prosper
The Ultra Power Saving Mode is just one of the nifty little extras packed into the Galaxy S5. Designed to squeeze every bit of juice from the battery, this mode is ideal for when things are getting a little critical during a demanding day. We found this to be very useful. With health apps and features becoming increasingly popular, Samsung are making it easier than ever to stay active with the improved S Health 3.0. We found it great for setting personal goals and keeping tack of those achievements, a personal favourite being trying to break our personal record using the pedometer each day. There is also a built-in heart rate monitor, which may come in useful, though we didn’t really fall in love with it as a feature. For that extra bit of security, the Galaxy S5 dons a fingerprint scanner, built in to help unlock your phone or make secure PayPal payments. It’s located on the home key and can occasionally be a bit cumbersome unlike the iPhone scanner, but it’s still a useful feature for keeping your phone and its contents safe.
A silky smooth experience
The Galaxy S5 is the first of the Samsung range to offer the new User Interface with a cleaner and flatter design that is responsive to every to swipe and tap. The Android 4.4 KitKat operating software (soon to be upgraded to Android 5.0 Lollipop) operates with ease and had us gliding through apps beautifully.
Samsung have certainly improved the camera performance on the Galaxy S5 to be able to take more vivid images and videos in full HD. Built with a 16MP camera that has increasingly fast auto-focus, the Galaxy S5 is ideal for never missing a moment on film. Even in low light we found that the camera was able to pick out colours well and bring images to life.
The giffgaff verdict
With the Galaxy S5, Samsung has delivered a phone with more power, a longer battery life and better usability. They also made a smart move by removing a lot of the gimmicks that were on the Samsung Galaxy S4. We can see that the Galaxy S5 is a direct response to what the consumers were hollering for. Although we’re yet to be fully convinced by the lack of full metal body, we’re sure that Samsung fans won’t be disappointed.