December Gadget Reviews Roundup
2014 is finally here and before we bid our final farewell to 2013 let’s take a quick look at all the gadget reviews we’ve done last month. This includes the LG G Pad 8.3, ASUS Transformer Book T100, Nokia Lumia 1520, and the Apple iPad mini 2.
The LG G Pad 8.3 is probably among the best Android tablets you an get around these days, right up there with the Nexus 7 2013. We can definitely say that the G Pad 8.3 is a great comeback in the tablet market for LG Mobile. It’s got the right mix of everything — beauty, performance and price competitiveness.
The Acer Liquid Z3 could have and would have been an amazing phone if it was released probably a year ago. It offers a great balance of things from the vibrant display, good camera and solid build quality, along with the inclusion of a free flip cover.
With the One Touch Idol Mini, Alcatel proves that affordable smartphones don’t have to be devices made of ugly pieces of plastic. Sadly though, the AOTIM is a good example of style over substance as it failed to deliver a satisfactory performance, making a tough pick for specs-oriented crowd.
The T100 provides a beautiful balance of work and play, hardware and software. This isn’t meant to be the reinvention of the netbook or a reimagination of the tablet – it’s basically an evolution of both. If you’re the one who’s considering getting a tablet that can get work done, that comes with Windows 8.1 OS, Microsoft Office, a set of powerful internals, great battery life, and an attractive price tag, then the Asus Transformer Book T100 is one of the best buys out there right now.
The Omega HD 2X offers a large screen size, beautiful display protected by Dragontrail glass, a healthy 32GB of internal storage with microSD support, quad-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, dual-SIM support, decent battery life, thin profile, and a well-built body. Based on the pros mentioned, the Cherry Mobile Omega HD 2X is a good choice if you’re looking for a phone that sits on top of the Cosmos line but still won’t break the bank.
The Asha 502 offers a good balance of everything such as its predecessor, only with a few improvements. It’s still on 2G though and the battery capacity was lowered down quite a bit, but no major effects are noticeable. The rest of the story is just about a recycled Asha 501.
O+ has a really good contender with the Imagine. It’s a pretty solid smartphone with a unique design and premium materials, packaged with a very good set of hardware. The lack of key features like LTE, NFC and microSD card is somewhat excusable at its price range but we were really hoping they could lower the price just a little bit more. In any case, we believe the Imagine with definitely change the image of O+ as a handset-maker.
The Zinken is both gorgeous and purposeful. The maker addressed most of the caveats that users faced when using a headphone; from the build quality down to the versatility that the TurnCable brings to the table. Sadly, because the nature of the headphone’s sound output, it’s not a good all-around performer. If you’re in to club music, then the Zinken should be a viable option.
The Elife E6 features a really good build and design, good battery life and one of the most amazing displays we’ve ever seen on a smartphone. The cameras are great when shooting stills but falls behind when it comes to video recording. As for performance, it feels average probably because of the MediaTek CPU or its heavily skinned UI. The real disadvantage here is the high price tag which would turn most heads away.
No doubt that the Lumia 1520 is the best and most exciting Lumia phone Nokia has ever built. It’s got all the hardware, design and multimedia capabilities that consumers are looking for when picking a new phone. The remaining weakness though is the Windows Phone ecosystem. However, it is slowly catching up and this is evident with the release of more popular and download-worthy apps in the WP Store.
The Dell Venue 8 Pro has a lot of promise and potential. It can be a netbook or laptop replacement, although you might need an external mouse or keyboard every once and a while. It’s a companion device and a capable productivity tool. It’s like having a laptop right in your jacket pocket with very long battery life.
The Superion Odyssey is a strong offering for those who are looking for budget Android tablet that comes with data connectivity and full phone and text functionality. Although very much inspired by the iPad mini, the design cues turned out to be a great feature for the Odyssey. It’s a double-edge sword though as some might perceive it as just “second-rate, trying hard, copy cat.” On the bright side, the Odyssey is slim, well-built, performs well, and packs a good display which is essential for a tablet.
The iPad Mini with Retina display is essentially the same iPad Mini we used to know and love. It’s just faster and better. The improvements are exactly where we wanted them. Our only complaint is that Apple priced it way higher than we expected (almost 20-25% from the previous version) putting it in the same price range as the bigger iPads.