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Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime 2 Android smartphone. Announced Mar 2018. Features 5.5″ PLS TFT display, Exynos 7870 Octa chipset,
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Quick Overview
  • This Mobile runs on Android 7.0 (Nougat) powered with Octa-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A53.
  • This Mobile has 13 MP (f/1.9, 28mm), autofocus, LED flash and has 13 MP, f/1.9, 1080p Secondary camera
  • This Mobile has 5.5 inches, 83.4 cm2 (~73.3% screen-to-body ratio) inches display PLS TFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors.
  • This Mobile has 32 GB, 3 GB RAM of internal memory.
  • This Mobile has Non-removable Li-Ion 3300 mAh battery
  • This Mobile has Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by) sim
  • Compare prices for Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime 2 in Saudi Arabia:
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GENERAL
2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - SIM 1 & SIM 2 (dual-SIM model only)
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
4G Network LTE band 1(2100), 3(1800), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 20(800), 38(2600), 40(2300)
Sim Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
Announced 3/3/2018
Status Coming soon. Exp. release 2018, April
BODY
Dimensions 151.7 x 75 x 8 mm (5.97 x 2.95 x 0.31 in)
Weight 170 g (6.00 oz)
DISPLAY
Display Size 5.5 inches, 83.4 cm2 (~73.3% screen-to-body ratio)
MultiTouch Yes
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass (market dependent)
SOUND
AlertTypes Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
LoudSpeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
MEMORY
CardSlot microSD, up to 256 GB (dedicated slot)
Internal 32 GB, 3 GB RAM
DATA
GPRS Yes
EDGE Yes
Speed HSPA, LTE Cat4 150/50 Mbps
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Blue Tooth 4.1, A2DP, LE
USB microUSB 2.0, USB On-The-Go
CAMERA
Camera Primary 13 MP (f/1.9, 28mm), autofocus, LED flash
Camera Features Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, panorama, HDR
CameraVideo 1080p@30fps
CameraSecondary 13 MP, f/1.9, 1080p
FEATURES
OS Android 7.0 (Nougat)
CPU Octa-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A53
Sensors Fingerprint (front-mounted), accelerometer, proximity
Messaging SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
Browser HTML5
Radio FM radio
GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
Colors Black, Gold, Rose Gold
BATTERY
Battery Non-removable Li-Ion 3300 mAh battery
TalkTime Up to 21 h (3G)
MISC
IN DEPTH: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge vs LG G Flex 2

Battery, camera comparison

Smartphones have reached the point where designs are more iterative than innovative. While the look and feel changes only slightly on new models each year, manufacturers haven't done much to wow consumers beyond the traditional rectangular slab of glass, metal and plastic.

LG attempted to shake things up last year with first G Flex, a 6-inch smartphone with a curved display and slightly flexible frame, and Samsung soon followed with their own take on this concept, courtesy of the Galaxy Note Edge, a phablet-sized model featuring a display that wraps around the right side.

These Korean tech titans wasted no time announcing all-new versions of these devices for 2015, and we sat down with both in an effort to determine whether curved and flexible displays actually enhance the experience or are little more than a marketing gimmick.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge display

Screen

Although it won't hit stores until April 10 (with preorders now available in 20 countries), the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is little more than a variant of this year's Samsung Galaxy S6, featuring nearly identical specs with one notable exception: The Edge's display gently wraps around both sides of the front.

Otherwise, the Galaxy S6 Edge offers the same 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display as its less curvaceous sibling, with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 that packs in a whopping 577ppi.

The new LG G Flex 2 one-ups Samsung's latest with a 5.5-inch Full HD P-OLED display which curves slightly from top to bottom, and like its predecessor, can handle a bit of bending without breaking.

Despite the larger screen, the G Flex 2 tops out at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 with a pixel density of only 403ppi, but LG attempts to make up for this shortcoming by comparing the curved display to its high-end televisions, offering a more cinematic viewing experience in landscape mode with three modes (Standard, Vivid or Natural) to make any content look great.

LG G Flex 2 profile

Design

Weighing only 4.66 ounces (132 grams), Samsung's curved Galaxy S6 Edge offers a premium feel that's slightly less ergonomic along the edges, but the aluminum frame and 7mm thickness make the device feel lighter than the Galaxy S6.

Roughly the size of an iPhone 6, Samsung borrowed a somewhat annoying trait from Apple's latest flagship handset: The rear camera protrudes from the back ever so slightly, presumably a design compromise to keep the device slim and trim.

Instead of curving around the edges, LG's G Flex 2 bends the entire case inward vertically, and because of the larger display size, its contoured body weighs slightly more at 5.36 ounces (152 grams) with a 5.87 x 2.96 x 0.37-inch (149.1 x 75.3 x 9.4mm) frame.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge both sides

Processor and Storage

Just because it looks so nice on the outside, that's no reason to be a slouch when it comes to what's on the inside.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge obliges with an octa-core, 64-bit Exynos 7 Octa 7420 processor clocked at 2.1GHz capped off by a Mali-T760 MP8 GPU and a whopping 3GB RAM and up to 128GB of storage for good measure.

LG mostly made up for the lack of oomph on the first G Flex by slapping an octa-core, 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor into the sequel, clocked at 2.0GHz with Adreno 430 GPU and the same 3GB RAM.

Unfortunately, the built-in storage on the G Flex 2 maxes out at 32GB, but up to a totally insane 2TB of additional storage is available from an optional microSD card – a feature sadly lacking on the otherwise hardware-rich Galaxy S6 Edge.

Battery, cameras and features comparison

LG G Flex 2 back cover removed

Battery

If you love the flexibility of swapping in a new battery when the current one runs out, neither of these curvy smartphones are likely to make you smile.

It's too early to know what the battery life will be like on the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, but the 2600mAh power pack doesn't offer a whole lot of encouragement on this front.

By comparison, the G Flex 2 packs a 3000mAh battery (reduced from 3500mAh in the previous model), but before LG can boast about having more power, there's the matter of that larger 5.5-inch display to consider.

Thankfully, the fast charging capabilities of both models should have you back in action quickly – our own review of the LG G Flex 2 topped up from a complete discharge in just over an hour and a half.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge camera

Cameras

Samsung hasn't held back when it comes to the Galaxy S6 Edge camera: Rocking a 16MP, f1.9 aperture sensor with dual LED flash and optical image stabilization capable of shooting 4K video up to 3840 x 2160, the rear camera is no slouch.

By comparison, the LG G Flex 2 borrows liberally from the LG G3 to provide a 13MP sensor that otherwise checks off the same feature list above on the Galaxy S6 Edge, although the laser auto focus is one noteworthy addition.

Neither model breaks much new ground with the front camera, however: Samsung touts a "best-in-class" 5MP sensor with 120º wide angle lens, while LG's tops out a 2.1MP, which the manufacturer claims is enough to use it as a "full HD camcorder."

LG G Flex 2 in hand

Features

The remaining feature checklist is relatively the same for both handsets: Each ships with Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the gate, with the usual Bluetooth 4.1, NFC and 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac wireless on board.

Aside from curved edges, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge also offers built-in Qi and Powermat-compatible wireless charging.

LG instead opted to include a selfie-friendly "Gesture Shot" mode on the G Flex 2, which provides a three-second timer on the front-facing camera that can be activated with a gesture; tilting the camera down allows the user to review images instead.

Like the original G Flex, the sequel also features that bizarre self-healing back, which didn't do all that much to impress in our own review of the G Flex 2. More impressive is the Glance view, which offers a peek at what's happening without the need to actually turn on the device.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge connected

Galaxy Edge 6 vs G Flex 2 Verdict

This two-horse race ultimately comes down to just how curvy you want: Along the edges of the handset with the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, or on the entire smartphone with the LG G Flex 2.

LG has a slight advantage since the handset is already available from two carriers for early adopters to take home, but to be honest, the whole concept of curved displays on a smartphone still causes us to scratch our collective heads more than be impressed.

Samsung isn't likely to woo many potential Galaxy S6 buyers away from the flagship device in favor of the Galaxy S6 Edge either, but those in search of a more premium edition worthy of making friends envious will want to wait it out a bit longer – assuming you can afford it, that is.








;
IN DEPTH: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge vs LG G Flex 2

Battery, camera comparison

Smartphones have reached the point where designs are more iterative than innovative. While the look and feel changes only slightly on new models each year, manufacturers haven't done much to wow consumers beyond the traditional rectangular slab of glass, metal and plastic.

LG attempted to shake things up last year with first G Flex, a 6-inch smartphone with a curved display and slightly flexible frame, and Samsung soon followed with their own take on this concept, courtesy of the Galaxy Note Edge, a phablet-sized model featuring a display that wraps around the right side.

These Korean tech titans wasted no time announcing all-new versions of these devices for 2015, and we sat down with both in an effort to determine whether curved and flexible displays actually enhance the experience or are little more than a marketing gimmick.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge display

Screen

Although it won't hit stores until April 10 (with preorders now available in 20 countries), the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is little more than a variant of this year's Samsung Galaxy S6, featuring nearly identical specs with one notable exception: The Edge's display gently wraps around both sides of the front.

Otherwise, the Galaxy S6 Edge offers the same 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display as its less curvaceous sibling, with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 that packs in a whopping 577ppi.

The new LG G Flex 2 one-ups Samsung's latest with a 5.5-inch Full HD P-OLED display which curves slightly from top to bottom, and like its predecessor, can handle a bit of bending without breaking.

Despite the larger screen, the G Flex 2 tops out at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 with a pixel density of only 403ppi, but LG attempts to make up for this shortcoming by comparing the curved display to its high-end televisions, offering a more cinematic viewing experience in landscape mode with three modes (Standard, Vivid or Natural) to make any content look great.

LG G Flex 2 profile

Design

Weighing only 4.66 ounces (132 grams), Samsung's curved Galaxy S6 Edge offers a premium feel that's slightly less ergonomic along the edges, but the aluminum frame and 7mm thickness make the device feel lighter than the Galaxy S6.

Roughly the size of an iPhone 6, Samsung borrowed a somewhat annoying trait from Apple's latest flagship handset: The rear camera protrudes from the back ever so slightly, presumably a design compromise to keep the device slim and trim.

Instead of curving around the edges, LG's G Flex 2 bends the entire case inward vertically, and because of the larger display size, its contoured body weighs slightly more at 5.36 ounces (152 grams) with a 5.87 x 2.96 x 0.37-inch (149.1 x 75.3 x 9.4mm) frame.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge both sides

Processor and Storage

Just because it looks so nice on the outside, that's no reason to be a slouch when it comes to what's on the inside.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge obliges with an octa-core, 64-bit Exynos 7 Octa 7420 processor clocked at 2.1GHz capped off by a Mali-T760 MP8 GPU and a whopping 3GB RAM and up to 128GB of storage for good measure.

LG mostly made up for the lack of oomph on the first G Flex by slapping an octa-core, 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor into the sequel, clocked at 2.0GHz with Adreno 430 GPU and the same 3GB RAM.

Unfortunately, the built-in storage on the G Flex 2 maxes out at 32GB, but up to a totally insane 2TB of additional storage is available from an optional microSD card – a feature sadly lacking on the otherwise hardware-rich Galaxy S6 Edge.

Battery, cameras and features comparison

LG G Flex 2 back cover removed

Battery

If you love the flexibility of swapping in a new battery when the current one runs out, neither of these curvy smartphones are likely to make you smile.

It's too early to know what the battery life will be like on the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, but the 2600mAh power pack doesn't offer a whole lot of encouragement on this front.

By comparison, the G Flex 2 packs a 3000mAh battery (reduced from 3500mAh in the previous model), but before LG can boast about having more power, there's the matter of that larger 5.5-inch display to consider.

Thankfully, the fast charging capabilities of both models should have you back in action quickly – our own review of the LG G Flex 2 topped up from a complete discharge in just over an hour and a half.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge camera

Cameras

Samsung hasn't held back when it comes to the Galaxy S6 Edge camera: Rocking a 16MP, f1.9 aperture sensor with dual LED flash and optical image stabilization capable of shooting 4K video up to 3840 x 2160, the rear camera is no slouch.

By comparison, the LG G Flex 2 borrows liberally from the LG G3 to provide a 13MP sensor that otherwise checks off the same feature list above on the Galaxy S6 Edge, although the laser auto focus is one noteworthy addition.

Neither model breaks much new ground with the front camera, however: Samsung touts a "best-in-class" 5MP sensor with 120º wide angle lens, while LG's tops out a 2.1MP, which the manufacturer claims is enough to use it as a "full HD camcorder."

LG G Flex 2 in hand

Features

The remaining feature checklist is relatively the same for both handsets: Each ships with Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the gate, with the usual Bluetooth 4.1, NFC and 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac wireless on board.

Aside from curved edges, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge also offers built-in Qi and Powermat-compatible wireless charging.

LG instead opted to include a selfie-friendly "Gesture Shot" mode on the G Flex 2, which provides a three-second timer on the front-facing camera that can be activated with a gesture; tilting the camera down allows the user to review images instead.

Like the original G Flex, the sequel also features that bizarre self-healing back, which didn't do all that much to impress in our own review of the G Flex 2. More impressive is the Glance view, which offers a peek at what's happening without the need to actually turn on the device.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge connected

Galaxy Edge 6 vs G Flex 2 Verdict

This two-horse race ultimately comes down to just how curvy you want: Along the edges of the handset with the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, or on the entire smartphone with the LG G Flex 2.

LG has a slight advantage since the handset is already available from two carriers for early adopters to take home, but to be honest, the whole concept of curved displays on a smartphone still causes us to scratch our collective heads more than be impressed.

Samsung isn't likely to woo many potential Galaxy S6 buyers away from the flagship device in favor of the Galaxy S6 Edge either, but those in search of a more premium edition worthy of making friends envious will want to wait it out a bit longer – assuming you can afford it, that is.








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Review: BlackBerry Passport

Introduction and design

Update: Interested in getting your hands on the Blackberry Passport? For our US readers, you'll want to check out an AT&T Store near you. For pricing details, have a look here. Also, if you're interested in another perspective on the Blackberry Passport, Jeff Parsons went into detail on his intense love/hate relationship with the smartphone in question.

BlackBerry's square-shaped new flagship is here, and it's just as weird in real life as it looks in the promotional pictures. It's a square, boxy little device with a metallic trim and a dumpy physical keyboard attached to the bottom. Ergonomics? Screw 'em.

And yet, dig a little deeper and there might just be something there after all. The 4.5-inch slab boasts a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor and 3GB of RAM.

There's 32GB of storage, a microSD slot and a rear-facing 13MP camera. In other words, the Canadian company has thrown everything at this device when it comes to specs.

It's not a cheap phone either: it's £529 for a SIM free version ($599, around AU$680) and free on a £30 to £35 a month contract in the UK - meaning it's up there with the iPhones, HTC and Samsung phones of the world.

BlackBerry Passport review

BlackBerry's also confident the new form factor best suits those business customers that are the unabashed target of this device.

It calls them "power users" and argues that they want a device for working on. Emails, spreadsheets, reports – basically, what BlackBerry has always been known for. The 4.5-inch 1:1 screen incorporates 60 characters in a line, compared to the 40 on a regular smartphone.

Early indicators seem to show that people are responding to it well. BlackBerry says it has already taken 200,000 orders for the Passport and is in the process of developing another "unconventional" device.

The former phone heavyweight has a long way to go to recapture past glories and previous handsets like the BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 failed to impress.

BlackBerry Passport review

This seems different though, it's not a case of following the likes of the iPhone 6 or Samsung Galaxy Alpha, it's a case of genuinely trying something different. Unfortunately, it also makes some rather basic errors when doing so.

Design

The biggest talking point about the BlackBerry Passport comes from its, ahem, unconventional appearance. People will notice it, and they'll ask about it.

The design is based around the 4.5-inch square screen that, with a 1:1 aspect ratio, is unlike any other smartphone on the market.

There's no portrait or landscape mode to be had here – it's a perfect square. This begets the obvious question of why – why has BlackBerry done this? Well, it ties in to the type of customer the company is focusing its efforts on.

BlackBerry Passport review

BlackBerry is betting that you'll be using the Passport for checking spreadsheets, office documents, ebooks, presentations and full-scale websites. All of which, it says, are reproduced better on the square, 1440 x 1400 Gorilla Glass 3 screen.

It's an undeniably weird-looking phone, but BlackBerry tried to follow the crowd with the BlackBerry Z10 and it didn't work. So props to the company for attempting something a little bit different.

The second big design point is the return of the keyboard – which was always BlackBerry's calling card. It's attached to the bottom of the screen with a somewhat squat appearance – due to dropping from four rows of keys to three. This means common punctuation marks, as well as numbers, appear as on-screen keys directly above the physical buttons.

BlackBerry Passport review

Once you get past the alternative form factor, the Passport is an attractive handset. There's a stainless steel trim that runs along the edges of the phone while the back is a soft rubberised plastic that's comfortable to grip while you fire out emails from the keyboard.

You'll find three physical buttons on the right hand side, used to control volume as well as pause music or video playback. The power switch meanwhile is on top of the handset (as is the 3.5mm headphone jack) and placed slightly right-of-centre.

BlackBerry Passport review

Given the width of the phone, it's extremely difficult to hit this when you're operating it one handed. I always found it easier to slide upwards on the capacitive screen to unlock the phone instead. I'm not quite sure why BlackBerry didn't put the power switch on the side of the device.

BlackBerry Passport review

There's a heft to the 194g BlackBerry Passport; but the Canadian company has kept the chassis to a fairly standard 9.3mm thickness. And it looks smart thanks to the black and silver design and the blend of materials BlackBerry's used. It reminded me of a PDA from the mid-90s. Take from that what you will.

It's clear the design of the BlackBerry Passport is more suited to the inside jacket pocket than the one on the sides of your jeans. Also, in real life the size of the device makes it unwieldy. It measures 90.3mm wide and 128mm long and, as I said, is very difficult to use with just one hand.

BlackBerry Passport review

This is a phone meant for prolonged productivity rather than a quick bout of social media browsing. The problem with that is that for most working types, prolonged productivity is handled during the day at a desk on a laptop or desktop. We want to be able to use our phones quickly while out and about and that can often mean one-handed use, which this phone is awful for.

To assume that people will only buy this device for work is plain folly - the modern smartphone can do it all, and for the high end price being charged for this phone, I'd expect it to do so.

Key features

Keyboard

Having always looked favourably on physical keyboards – a particular favourite was the Nokia N97 – I was anxious to get going with the BlackBerry Passport's offering.

In practice, using the keyboard is a really nice experience – there's decent travel on the keys and each button is backlit so you can type away in the dark. And it's comfortable thanks to the moulded keys.

BlackBerry Passport review

But, there are some issues with it. Firstly, it's cramped – meaning that on occasion, I mis-hit a letter. Secondly, and more importantly, speed will take a hit for anyone used to bashing out texts on a touchscreen. Which, these days, is pretty much everyone.

One very cool feature is that the keyboard itself has touch functionality built into it. A swift double-tap activates a bubble-like cursor that you can use to scan your message or email although in use, this feature really is more trouble than its worth.

You can also swipe directly across the keyboard to scroll up or down websites, leaving the screen free to view. It's a small, but really good feature that adds a bit of extra usability to the keyboard.

BlackBerry Blend

The new BlackBerry Blend feature lets you effectively access your phone remotely via an encrypted Wi-Fi connection from any PC, Mac or Android tablets. All the content (messages, documents, media) stored on the Passport are accessible in real time and changes you make are reflected on the handset.

As for the security requirements, I was told that none of the data remains on the login device after you close the software down.

The principle behind it is that you can still access the Passport even if you've left it at home or the office.

It's also the method by which you can put media on the Passport and requires installation on a Windows PC before you can transfer anything. It's a bit frustrating when compared to Android's drag and drop simplicity. But, as we'll see later, chances are you won't be using the Passport for media.

BlackBerry Assistant

Joining the ranks of Siri and Cortana is the BlackBerry Assistant. Like the aforementioned digital PAs, you can use the Assistant to set reminders and prompt you with the weather as well as dictating search terms.

BlackBerry Passport review

In most cases it picked up on my question. There's a bit of a wait time as the Passport casts around for the answer though. The Assistant currently recognises commands in English, German, Spanish and Italian.

Interface and performance

Make fun of the boxy screen all you want, but BlackBerry has put some serious muscle into the Passport. It runs on a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor with a massive 3GB of RAM.

Combine that with the integrated nature of the operating system and you've got a very smooth, very quick device.

There's 32GB of native storage on board, but you can boost that up that to 128GB thanks to the microSD card nestled next to the nanoSIM slot.

BlackBerry Passport review

Connectivity-wise, you're looking at Bluetooth 4.0 LE, NFC, Wi-Fi and LTE in terms of wireless and a single physical microUSB port. BlackBerry provides a SlimPort HDMI adaptor in the box that plugs into the port and lets you hook the Passport up to a monitor or TV. That's pretty cool.

On paper, the Passport has enough under the hood to go up against some of the best smartphones out there and, while it's got a tailored audience, any user is going to appreciate the power.

Multitasking in particular works well, given the amount of RAM on offer and the tiled homescreen that shows currently running apps lets you quickly dive in and out of active programs.

BlackBerry Passport review

BlackBerry's newly updated BB10 OS is as much a USP of the Passport as it's interesting design. It's focused around BlackBerry Hub that compiles all your notifications from various email and social network accounts.

Swiping right takes you to the aforementioned open apps screen and a second right swipe takes you to the grid layout for app shortcuts.

BlackBerry Passport review

On top of BlackBerry Hub is the Priority Hub, which learns the interactions that are important to you and collects them into a single stream. You can also manually tailor this to your liking. Even a small amount of time using this feature is rewarding as I was suddenly spared the hassle of jumping between apps to check updates.

BlackBerry Passport review

A lot of the interface is navigated by swiping which is a good idea in theory but falls down in practice. Sometimes it would take two or three swipes for the Passport to acknowledge what I wanted it to do.

There's still a lot of swiping involved if you want to get anywhere anyway. A simple, physical home button like that on the iPhone 6 or Samsung Galaxy S5 would have been a really useful addition.

Apps were a massive downfall of earlier Blackberry's, but the company has remedied this to an extent by partnering with Amazon. The full Amazon Appstore (some 250,000 apps) are available to use on the Passport.

BlackBerry Passport review

There's also BlackBerry World, which is the company's own app store with curated content that, as you'd expect, caters towards the business user.

Some apps I tried, like Wikipedia or Yahoo Mail, adapt well to the 1:1 screen while others (notably gaming and media) suffer from the shift from widescreen.

As a side note, gaming is far from the Passport's strong point. There's no way of using the physical keyboard with the games and trying to tilt the device to steer/move is really hampered by the shape of the chassis.

BlackBerry Passport review

Also, it goes without saying that while some of the major apps are there, others aren't. There's no Instragram and no Snapchat. But there is Tinder, if that's your thing.

Some people might say that having Snapchat on this phone is irrelevant. It's a business phone after all.

Except, well, it's not though. If it was then the Amazon App Store wouldn't be needed. If apps weren't of interest, why bother with that at all? A phone needs to be able to turn its hand to anything - a jack of all trades and a sort of master of some, where the Passport is amazing in some respects, but costs the same as the other phones which can do so much more.

Battery and the essentials

BlackBerry is making a bold claim when it comes to the 3,450mAh battery. The company says that it will provide up to 30 hours of mixed use for a "very active user". That's in part due to the latest BlackBerry 10.3 OS which, the company says, has made significant improvement when it comes to power consumption.

BlackBerry Passport review

The company has a vested interested in being bullish about battery life as, given the target customer for the Passport, it's likely to be a chief concern. The handset charges via a microUSB port on the bottom of the phone and should take only a couple of hours to juice up completely.

BlackBerry Passport review

Unlike other prominent handsets, there isn't any kind of power saving mode that turns off the non-essential or intensive apps in order to save power. Presumably, BlackBerry is confident enough of the battery prowess of the Passport that it deems such things unnecessary.

Thankfully, it actually proved true. I was able to use the Passport pretty solidly for a couple of days at a time without needing a nightly recharge. A 90-minute video, playing with full brightness and all push notifications enabled only dropped the battery to 87% from a full charge.

BlackBerry Passport review

I was very impressed with the battery performance and would list it as one of the handset's best features.

The essentials

The essential features are, in the Passport's case, handled well. The bells and whistles are what drag the phone down a bit, but that's not what this section is about.

It's true that these elements are starting to become less important for customers who will increasingly use Skype or FaceTime rather than a phone call, or Whatsapp over a text message. But, like everyone's least favourite grandparent, we're still clinging onto that which was important back in our day.

Calling

There's plenty to talk about in the rough and tumble world of business and the Passport delivers a clear audio signal with plenty of volume to be mined. The difficulty comes with the fact that the form factor makes it quite uncomfortable to hold for long periods of time.

BlackBerry Passport review

Like some phablets (the Sony Xperia Z Ultra comes to mind) it's possible to wrap your fingers around the Passport, but not comfortably so. Thankfully, it has Bluetooth 4.0 and a 3.5mm headphone port, so you can use a hands-free device to save your strength.

The contacts app blends all the contacts from your various social networks as well as your SIM card. You're likely to see some duplication at first, although each can be linked under a single contact card.

Under each contact, you'll get not just their stored details, but also latest updates from whichever network you have them linked onto. Profile pictures from said network are already added as thumbnail images in the address book.

BlackBerry Passport review

At any time you can pull up your call history and the dial pad by clicking the phone icon in the lower left hand corner. Of course, that's easier said than done if you're holding the Passport in your right hand and trying to operate it one-handed.

Messaging and email

Both SMS messages and emails are combined in BlackBerry's Hub feature, making it particularly easy to find all your incoming mail. Swiping to the right brings up the toolbar showing which accounts are connected to the hub and indicated how many unread messages are in each account.

It's a useful way of having your business and personal email alongside your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles and save time when checking.

BlackBerry Passport review

You can delete each message or notification directly from the hub as well as shunt them off to a designated folder. If (like men and most working professionals) you receive hundreds of emails a day, the ability to quickly delete is a real blessing. There's also a search option that lets you track back through your various inbox to locate a particular message or recipient.

BlackBerry Passport review

Messaging is one area of usage where the Passport's form factor really helps. Emails (particularly because they tend to be longer) are really well displayed and the raison d'être for the screen being the way it is. Text messages are likewise very well displayed and it makes reading them much easier than on a standard display.

There's a lot more space to also view images and attachments and, of course, there's still BlackBerry Messenger there if you're still a big user.

BlackBerry Passport review

Composing on the Passport is a Marmite experience. I covered it earlier in the review when talking about the keyboard and it really comes down to the length of the message. I found that for longer emails, it was helpful to have the physical keys there.

However, my text messages are usually shorter and laced with shorthand and in these situations, the keyboard was more a hindrance than a simple on-screen offering.

Internet

The Passport comes running BlackBerry's proprietary browser which defaults to a tiled screen of previously visited sites. The address bar is located at the bottom meaning you don't have to reach up to the top of the screen if you're using the phone in one hand.

BlackBerry Passport review

There's no Google Chrome browser available because Google's apps can't be accessed from the Amazon appstore but fear not, because BlackBerry's effort does have some useful tricks. There's tabbed browsing, and the ability to bookmark, for starters as well as the ability to copy the link or share the page to a social network.

Like Amazon's Silk browser for Kindle and Safari for iOS, you can also engage a reader mode that strips away images and navigation bars, leaving you with just the content. It doesn't work on all pages, but when it does it can be very useful.

As is the option to save the page for later reading offline – a feature I don't use nearly as much as I should.

Just like with messaging, web browsing can benefit from the 1:1 aspect ratio of the 4.5-inch screen. In most cases, I found it better to load the desktop version of a website for no other reason than because I could view it all without having to scroll around.

BlackBerry Passport review

As with reading and constructing emails, browsing the web is a really solid experience on the Passport and it actually benefits from the phone being shaped the way it is.

Camera

BlackBerry has equipped the Passport with a 13MP rear-facing camera with an LED flash and a couple of extra features like panorama, burst mode and time shift. There's an LED flash as well as the option to take images at 16:9, 4.3 and the Passport's own 1:1 aspect ratio.

BlackBerry Passport review

Full HD 1080p video is supported, and you'll be able to get 720p video calling from the Passport's 2MP front-facing camera. Interacting with the camera is done via the touchscreen, as you pinch to zoom in and out and tap to set the focal point.

BlackBerry Passport review

First impressions are that the camera is solid without really offering much of a challenge to the established smartphone titans. There's built-in intelligence for suggesting the best shooting mode for the conditions you're in and the Passport also boasts HDR for capturing light and dark contrasts.

BlackBerry Passport review

Additionally, BlackBerry has built optical image stabilisation (OIS) into the Passport's camera to eliminate judders. It's a feature become adopted elsewhere (like the iPhone 6 Plus) and really helps when taking pictures quickly.

A nice touch is that you can use either the volume keys on the right hand side of the device, or the space bar on the keyboard, to take a picture. There's also BlackBerry's dedicated Pictures app for adding filters and effects to your shots after you've taken them.

BlackBerry Passport review

There's also a Story Mode that'll stitch together your pictures and videos for an on-the-fly slideshow set to music.

Have a look below at some example shots taken with the Passport's camera.

BlackBerry Passport review

BlackBerry Passport review

BlackBerry Passport review

BlackBerry Passport review

BlackBerry Passport review

Media

Media in general, doesn't really hold up on the 1:1 screen. Movies are well reproduced on the 1440 x 1400 screen, chiefly because of the massive 453 pixel density. But there's no getting away from the letterbox lines that appear on the top and bottom of the screen.

BlackBerry Passport review

You can change the picture to full-screen, but you're going to lose some of the action off each side. If you consume vast amounts of video on your phone, go someplace else.

The same is true for playing certain types of games. Although the 3GB of RAM and Snapdragon processor means that graphically intensive 3D games, like Sonic Racing, run smoothly, the effect is ruined by the aspect ratio on the screen.

BlackBerry Passport review

I mentioned this in the previous section, but the shape of the device doesn't work for gesture controlled gaming. Although more casual 2D games like Candy Crush translate better to the Passport's square screen.

Music obviously fares a little better as you've got 32GB of storage and then a microSD card to use. If you prefer streaming your music, you'll find Spotify and SoundCloud on the Amazon appstore, although Google Play Music isn't available - as you might imagine.

BlackBerry also provides some decent in-ear headphones with the Passport. Music quality veers more towards the treble than the bass. You can't use the physical keyboard to control the playback although BlackBerry has added a mute button on the right hand side between the volume rockers.

BlackBerry Passport review

There's not a whole lot more to say on the subject of media. BlackBerry doesn't want you sitting back with the latest episode of Boardwalk Empire; it wants you hard at work on the office budget. And, given how intrinsic video consumption is to our modern day smartphone usage, the square design of the Passport just doesn't work in this regard.

The competition

BlackBerry Q10

BlackBerry Passport review

Comparing the Passport with any other handset in a like-for-like test isn't easy because there's nothing quite like it around. But if a physical keyboard trumps all else for you, then BlackBerry's unassuming 2013 handset is your best bet.

We named it the best QWERTY handset on the market when we reviewed it and while that's been usurped by the Passport they're pretty much in a category all their own these days.

The Q10 is a winner in terms of price – you can get one SIM free for around the £200 mark, its specs can't hold up against the Passport.

The elder BlackBerry boasts impressive connections: 4G, NFC and even microHDMI, but the power isn't there. All the Q10 offers is 16GB of storage, an 8MP rear-facing camera and a 720p 3.1-inch display.

If cost and physical keys are the sole buying decisions you face then grab the Q10, but the Passport surpasses it in every other way.

Apple iPhone 6

BlackBerry Passport review

The main contender for any top-tier smartphone is the latest iPhone. It might not have the "business credentials" of BlackBerry's offering, but the nearly limitless apps means you can find just about any use for Cupertino's current standard bearer.

Some specifications, on paper, aren't as strong as what the Passport offers: dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM and an 8GB camera around back. But other parts of the handset, namely the choice of 128GB of storage and a 4.7-inch LED-backlit display, are far more appealing.

Apple, as ever, puts a high price on its handsets – so BlackBerry has affordability in the Passport's corner (only just), but I'm not convinced it's enough.

The BlackBerry faithful may argue that the iPhone isn't a business device and that "power professionals" need something more attuned to office needs, but unfortunately, it's irrelevant. Apple has supplanted BlackBerry as the brand to beat in the boardroom.

That being said, the Passport makes a great secondary device to an iPhone – combine the two and you're set for work and play. If you're a millionaire, of course. Or just love having two phones.

Nokia Lumia 930

BlackBerry Passport review

The colourful Lumia 930 isn't the first phone to associate with a sharp-suited business professional, but it has its benefits. Namely, the Windows Phone 8 operating system will work in beautiful harmony with any Windows PC you happen to be using at the office. Viewing and editing MS Office documents on the phone is a great experience.

Likewise, the 20MP camera that Nokia has fashioned with a PureView sensor and Carl Zeiss lens is very good indeed. There's a range of extra camera apps as well for adding in effects while the tutorials generally just take your photography to another level.

Photography might not be a key feature for business users, but it's an integral part of any smartphone and Nokia has BlackBerry beat in this category. As it does with the 5-inch OLED HD display.

However, there's no way the 2,420mAh battery can compete with the 3,450mAh slab tucked inside the Passport. It's one of BlackBerry's strongest features on this phone and will last for a lot longer than what Nokia can offer. If you want to be editing documents at all hours of the day and night, the Passport will have you sorted power-wise.

Verdict

The BlackBerry Passport is a phone that'll receive interest and dismissal in equal measure. It's a strange-looking beast that can't help but draw the eye even though most people probably won't want to use it – too enshrined are they with the 16:9 landscape touchscreen form factor.

BlackBerry Passport review

Taking into account what BlackBerry is going for it can be a very useful device. Web pages and documents look good, and for keyboard junkies, the return of physical buttons will really appeal.

There's also the fact that it's got some decent specs on board – including impressive battery life - that'll see it lasting well through a 24-month contract. But at best I feel this makes it the perfect secondary device rather than the all-encompassing primary smartphone every business user must own.

We liked

The battery life is fantastic on the Passport. I used it for a couple of weeks and found that it would easily manage up to a couple of days of fairly heavy usage and still have battery remaining.

Other phones are catching up in the battery department, the Sony Xperia Z3 for example, but BlackBerry's Passport really does throw the gauntlet down in this department.

Aspects of BlackBerry's OS have also really come forward and the BlackBerry Hub, I feel, was very useful in filtering the daily slew of emails, text messages and social media updates I get.

Other parts of the OS aren't quite as exciting – BlackBerry Assistant is good, but doesn't do anything that Siri or Google Now can't. The Hub system though is a real winner.

I'll also say that I liked the keyboard – and the fact it has touch functionality overlaid as well. Now that touchscreen keyboards are so ubiquitous and accurate, it's not as big a feature as BlackBerry tries to make out. There are problems – it's a bit cramped and can reduce speed, but I definitely felt I got used to it after a while and that sensation would only increase.

We disliked

No matter how many full-screen websites and long, convoluted emails the Passports 1:1 4.5-inch screen lovingly displays, I still can't say the form factor is a good one.

Using the Passport one-handed is practically impossible for anything other than scrolling and the placement of the buttons just doesn't make much sense.

It's heavy and awkward to carry around. Despite the best intentions of BlackBerry's representative to persuade me otherwise, this is not a device you can easily stick into your jeans pocket and carry around.

Likewise, when it comes to video and, to a certain extent, gaming, this phone is awful. No-one puts out content in 4:3 anymore, let alone 1:1, so watching anything involves squinting at the screen or blowing it up and losing the edges of the picture.

Given that content providers like Sky, Netflix and Amazon are striving to make it easier for us to access video on-the-go, it's a shame you'll never want to do it on this piece of tech.

Verdict

I'm confident in saying this is the best phone BlackBerry has yet produced, hands down. There's serious processing power, copious amounts of storage, a decent camera, plenty of connectivity, useful software features and an HD screen.

BlackBerry Passport review

What I'm also confident in saying is that there's no way this is going to supplant a regular smartphone like the HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy Alpha or iPhone 6 as your main device. At best, it'll be a secondary, work-focused piece of tech that'll be relegated to a specific set of tasks.

BlackBerry has succeeded in doing something different and producing a new device that sums up everything it is as a brand. That is a brilliant thing, and to those that feel this is aimed at them (medical professionals, entrepreneurs, the email-obsessed) then it should be up there as one of the first phones you consider.

But for everyone else, this is unashamedly a productivity-centric machine that'll let you take your work around with you. What it's not is the market's best new smartphone.








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DealsRadar: DealsRadar: Hot deals on Amazon Fire Stick, Netgear Modem, HP Stream and lots more

DealsRadar

DealsRadar is the go-to destination for all the best prices on tech and games on the internet. We update daily with links to the best deals on miscellaneous tech and games, with dedicated sections for all your favourite products!

Today we've got some great deals on a Macbook Air, Samsung Galaxy Tab 4, Cruzer Blade and lots more great tech bargains.

If you're looking for a new phone why not check out our new phone store here.

DealsRadar's Daily Deals:

Amazon Fire Stick

For a limited only, get the Amazon Fire TV Stick for as little as £7 if you sign up to be an Amazon Prime Member. Amazon Fire TV stick boasts to be the most powerful streaming stick with various apps available including Plex, Netflix and of course Amazon instant video formerly known as Lovefilm.

Netgear Modem

Grab this Netgear Dual Band Wireless modem for just £48.99 from Amazon, This modem usually sells for around £100 so buy it whilst it's cheap.

Garmin Vivofit

The Garmin Vivofit is a great little fitness tracker that has been reduced down to just £44.99 at Amazon.

Crucial SSD

Get this fantastic Crucial SSD from Amazon for just £59.99, this is a limited one day offer.

Seagate 4TB

4TB for just £89.99! Grab this from Ebuyer.

HP Stream

The HP Stream is a great little Tablet that you can grab for just £49.99 from the Microsoft Store if you use the code jj445qqej.

DealsRadar Recommended Deals:

Media Hub: Roku 2 Streaming Player - For as little as £49 from Amazon

Storage: NETGEAR RN10400-100EUS 4 Bay Network Attached Storage - Reduced down to £149.99 at Amazon

Computer: Raspberry Pi Camera Module - Just £16.75 at Amazon

Speaker: Ye!! Sound GEAR Powerful Bluetooth Speaker - For only £39.70 at Amazon

Macbook: Apple MacBook Air, Intel Core i5, 128GB Flash Storage - Down to £699 with a 3 year guarantee from John Lewis

Console: Xbox One Halo Master Chief Bundle + Ryse Game of the Year (Inc NOW TV) - Only £299.86 from shopto

Headphones: Samsung EO-IG900 Level In-Ear Headphones - Reduced down to £68.44 from £119 at Amazon

TV: Panasonic TX-39AS500B 39-inch Widescreen 1080p - Now only £269.99 at Amazon

Tablet: Connect, 7" Tablet with Windows 8.1 & Office 365 Personal - For only £69 at tesco

Tablet: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 - Buy from John Lewis for just £199.95 and claim a £50 John lewis vouchers

Soundbar: Hitachi 30W Soundbar with Bluetooth - Only £49.99 from argos

Camera: Sony Cybershot W830 20.1MP Compact Digital Camera - Reduced down to £69.99 at argos

Stereo System: Tivoli Audio Music System+ - Reduced down to £451.79 at Amazon

Headset: Sony Pulse Wireless Stereo Headset - Now only £79.26 from Amazon

Camera: Canon IXUS 300 HS Digital Camera - Down to £210.88 at Amazon

Headphones: JVC HA-FXC51-B Micro-High Definition Headphone - Only £14.22 at Amazon

Media Hub: NOW TV HD Smart TV Box - Entertainment Bundle - Only £14.99 at Currys (With 3 month entertainment pass)

Wi-Fi Extender: NETGEAR WN1000RP-100UKS Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender - Reduced down to £14.99 at Amazon

Games deals of the day

Arcania The Complete Tale PS4 Game - Only £21.99 to pre-order from 365games

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor PC - For as little as £8.99 from cdkeys

Evolve (PS4) - Only £29.86 from shopto

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes - Down to £15.75 at Amazon

Tomb Raider Definitive Edition - For as little as £16.60 from Amazon

ps4

The week's best PS4 deals:

There's no doubt that Sony's PlayStation 4 is the hottest games console on the planet now. Here are the cheapest PS4 standalone and bundle prices we've found this week:

Cheapest PS4 console: Get the PS4 console on its own at Amazon for just £319.00

DealsRadar's Top 3 PS4 bundles...

Deal 1: Get the PS4 with Lego Batman 3 &The Lego Movie for just £351.00

Deal 2: Get the PS4 with The Crew at The Hut for just £339.99

Deal 3: Get the PS4 with Dying Light at The Hut for only £349.99

xbox one

The week's best Xbox One deals:

The Xbox One has evolved into a fantastic, versatile console with loads of cool features. Here are the cheapest Xbox One standalone and bundle prices we've found this week:

Cheapest Xbox One console: Get the Xbox One on its own at eBay for just £269.99

DealsRadar's Top 3 Xbox One bundles:

Deal 1: Get the Xbox One with Forza 5 for just £329.00

Deal 2: Get the White Xbox One with Sunset Overdrive for just £279.99

Deal 3: Get the Xbox One with Halo MC Collection, Battlefield Hardline, Ori and the Blind Forest & 1 month EA Access for only £319.99

See more Xbox One deals: Best Xbox One bundles and deals

gamesmontage

Top 10 Games: best titles, cheapest prices!

The best games at the cheapest prices

We all want to play the top games, but none of us want to pay top prices, right? We'll be scanning the web on a daily basis to find the best prices on all of the top selling games on all of the top gaming platforms. So if you're going to order a new game online this week - check with DealsRadar first!

dying light

1. Dying Light

Dying Light is a first-person, action survival horror game set in a vast and dangerous open world. During the day, players traverse an expansive urban environment overrun by a vicious outbreak, scavenging the world for supplies and crafting weapons to defend against the growing infected population. At night, the hunter becomes the hunted, as the infected become aggressive and more dangerous. Most frightening are the predators which only appear after sundown. Players must use everything in their power to survive until the morning's first light.

Best PS4 price: £42.99 at Amazon | Best Xbox One price: £42.91 at Amazon | Best PC price: £21.90 at cdkeys

gta

2. Grand Theft Auto V

The biggest, most dynamic and most diverse open world ever created, Grand Theft Auto V blends storytelling and gameplay in new ways as players repeatedly jump in and out of the lives of the game's three lead characters, playing all sides of the game's interwoven story.

Best PS4 price: £40.00 at Amazon | Best Xbox One price: £41.00 at Amazon | Best PC price: £29.97 at GameStop

fifa 15

3. FIFA 15

FIFA 15 brings football to life in stunning detail so fans can experience the emotion of the sport like never before. Witness the intensity of crowds chanting and cheering like on match day, and listen to commentators guide fans through the story of the game with dynamic match presentation.

Best PS4 price: £34.00 at Amazon | Best Xbox One price: £34.99 at Amazon | Best PC price: £33.00 at Amazon

cod

4. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare envisions the powerful battlegrounds of the future, where both technology and tactic have evolved to usher in a new era of combat for the franchise. Delivering a stunning performance, Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey stars as Jonathan Irons – one of the most powerful men in the world – shaping this chilling vision of the future of war.

Best PS4 price: £23.85 at Simplygames | Best Xbox One price: £23.85 at Simplygames | Best PC price: £18.90 at cdkeys

dragonball

5. Dragon ball Xenoverse

Dragon Ball Xenoverse will bring all the frenzied battles between Goku and his most fierce enemies, such as Vegeta, Frieza, Cell and much more, with new gameplay design!

Best PS4 price: £48.85 at ShopTo | Best Xbox One price: £44.09 at Base | Best PC price: £29.99 at GAME

minecraft

6. Minecraft

Experience the Minecraft gaming phenomenon, rebuilt with new features designed for console. Create worlds limited only by your imagination. Explore, build, and conquer alone or with your friends via split-screen mode or online.

Best PS4 price: £12.99 at John Lewis | Best Xbox One price: £14.00 at John Lewis

the order

7. The Order: 1886

The Order: 1886 introduces players to a unique vision of Victorian-Era London where Man uses advanced technology to battle a powerful and ancient foe. As Galahad, a member of an elite order of Knights, join a centuries-old war against a powerful threat that will determine the course of history forever in this intense third-person action-adventure shooter, available exclusively on the PS4 system.

Best PS4 price: £43.99 at Zavvi

zomie army

8. Zombie Army Trilogy

Zombie Army Trilogy is a terrifyingly intense third person shooter set in a gruesome alternate vision of World War II. Berlin 1945. Facing defeat at the hands of the Allies, Hitler has unleashed one last unholy gamble - a legion of undead super soldiers that threatens to overwhelm the whole of Europe. Fight alone or team up to save humanity from the zombie menace in this apocalyptic shooter for 1-4 players!

Best PS4 price: £29.99 at Argos | Best Xbox One price: £29.99 at Argos

evolve

9. Evolve

The creators of Left 4 Dead, Turtle Rock Studios, bring you Evolve, the next-generation of multiplayer shooters, in which four hunters face off against a single player-controlled monster. Stalk your prey, execute your attack, and prove you are the apex predator in adrenaline-pumping 4v1 matches

Best PS4 price: £42.99 at Zavvi | Best Xbox One price: £28.85 at Simplygames | Best PC price: £22.90 at cdkeys

car cry 4

10. Far Cry 4

Built from the legendary DNA of its award-winning predecessor, Far Cry 4 delivers the most expansive and immersive Far Cry experience yet in an entirely new and massive open world, with integrated drop-in/drop-out co-op play.

Best PS4 price: £44.98 at Zavvi | Best Xbox One price: £44.86 at ShopTo | Best PC price: £21.99 at cdkeys

best cheap tvs

Best cheap TV deals of the week:

DealsRadar understands that not everyone wants to spend thousands on a new TV. Here are the best cheap TV deals we found online this week.

Cheap TV deal 1: Samsung UE32H5000 HD TV | Now £219 | Amazon

Cheap TV deal 2: LG 40UB800V Smart 4k Ultra HD 40" LED TV | £449 | Currys

Cheap TV deal 3: LG 55UB820V 55" Smart 4K TV | Now £899 | Currys

Read more: Cheap TV: 25 best TV deals for March 2015

hard drive deals

Hard drives and storage:

With smartphones recording 4K video and taking photos at 50MB a pop, it's not surprising that our laptops are running out of storage space.

Cheap Storage deal 1: Toshiba HDWC130EW3J1 3TB Stor.E Canvio | Now £74.95 | Amazon

Cheap Storage deal 2: Kingston 64GB USB 3.0 DataTraveler Mini Flash Drive | Now £15.99 | Amazon

Cheap Storage deal 3: Samsung Memory 32GB Evo MicroSDHC UHS-I Grade 1 Class 10 Memory Card with USB Adapter | Now 317.46 | Amazon

Cheap Storage deal 4: Seagate Backup Plus 8TB USB 3.0 Desktop 3.5 inch External Hard Drive | Now £199.99 | Amazon

Read more: Best Hard Drive Deals

portable power bank

Portable phone chargers:

If your smartphone or tablet is constantly running out of power at the most inconvenient times, you should think about buying a portable power bank.

Cheap Portable Charger deal 1: TeckNet® Power Bank 12000mAh Fast Portable Charger Battery Pack | Now £13.97 | Amazon

Cheap Portable Charger deal 2: EasyAcc 10000mAh Brilliant Ultra Slim Dual USB | Now £18.99 | Amazon

Cheap Portable Charger deal 3: VINSIC 20000mAh Ultra-slim Power Bank | Now £25.90 | Amazon

Cheap Portable Charger deal 4: Anker® Astro Mini 3200mAh Ultra-Compact Lipstick-Sized Portable Power Bank | Now £13.99 | Amazon

gift card

Gift cards:

Amazon gift cards | John Lewis gift cards | Currys gift cards| PC World gift cards | GAME gift cards


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UPDATED: All 38 Apple Watch designs: Every band, case and face so far

Apple Watch: watch cases and bands

Apple Watch features

This week was the Apple Watch launch day, but you can't try on the iPhone-compatible wearable yet since we're a month away from pre-orders and two weeks further from its official release date.

That's a problem for anxious early adopters who want it now. The April 24-bound smartwatch comes in a variety of colors and styles, way more than the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

In fact, there are 38 different Apple Watch choices (up from the original 34) and nine default watch faces with millions of customizations, according to Apple.

Here's every Apple Watch face, band and case announced so far, giving you extra time to decide which "iWatch" should be your watch before waiting in line.

Cases: Apple Watch vs Sport vs Watch Edition

YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zr72v7Z7m4Y

All Apple Watches boast the same rectangular design with rounded off corners, but they're divided up into three different case "collections" based on build materials.

Starting at $349 (£299) and costing as much as $17,000 (£13,500, AU$24,000), the names Watch, Watch Sport and Watch Edition, don't tell us a whole lot about those differences, so let's explain each watch case.

The regular Apple Watch

Apple Watch design and colors

Donning the "regular" Watch puts a highly polished stainless steel case on your wrist, one that comes in glossy metal colors of either space black or stainless steel.

Protecting the precious Retina display is sapphire crystal, which is the same glass that covers the Touch ID home button of newer iPhones.

Sapphire crystal is touted as the hardest transparent material on earth next to diamond. It'll stand up to dings every time your formerly-bare wrist forgets what it's like to wear a watch.

Watch Sport

Apple Watch design and colors

Sport is the the lightest of the three Apple Watch choices thanks to its anodized aluminum case that still manages to be 60% stronger than standard alloys.

It skips out of the expensive sapphire glass in favor of what Apple calls strengthened Ion-X or aluminosilicate glass. This further reduces the weight, making it fit for active lifestyles.

Sure, the iPhone-matching matte space gray and silver aluminum case appears less shiny vs the regular Watch, but Apple's 7000 Series aluminum and Ion-X glass makes it 30% lighter.

It's also the least expensive Apple Watch version at $349 (£299) for the 38mm size and 42mm for the $399 (£339) size.

Watch Edition

Apple Watch design and colors

Watch Edition will be the most expensive Apple Watch at $10,000 (£8,000) because of its 18-karat gold case. It may even be locked inside a safe within your local Apple Store.

It's been crafted by Apple's metallurgists to be twice as hard as standard gold, says the Cupertino company, and will come in two colors: yellow gold and rose gold.

Complementing those cases are color-matching bands made of leather or fluoroelastomer plastic.

Bands are the next step in deciding on the right Apple Watch.

Six different band styles, 18 colors

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch is all about personalization with six band types and 18 colors, all of which are easily interchangeable thanks a unique slide-out locking mechanism.

Yes, it's a proprietary watch strap - did you expect anything less? - but it looks to be a whole lot easier to switch out compared to the irksome hidden pins of the Moto 360.

I'm okay with that. I want the sport band at the gym and the Milanese loop for a night on the town without the hassle of digging into the watch case with a pair of tweezers.

Link bracelet

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch choices

Available with the regular Watch, the link bracelet is one of two stainless steel Apple Watch bands. This one matches the 316L stainless steel alloy of the case.

It has more than 100 components and the brushed metal links increase in width closer to the case. A custom butterfly closure folds neatly within the bracelet.

Best of all, you can add and remove links with a simple release button. No jeweler visits or special tools required for this stainless steel or space black-colored strap.

Milanese loop

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch bands

One of the classiest-looking Apple Watch bands is the Milanese loop, a stainless steel mesh strap that loops from case to clasp.

Emphasizing that woven metal design, there's hardly a clasp. Its tiny magnetic end makes the strap infinitely adjustable and tucks behind the band for a seamless look on one's wrist.

An out-of-the box option with the regular Watch, the Milanese loop is truly one of a kind in that it only comes in a stainless steel color.

Modern buckle (leather strap)

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch leather

A modern buckle adorns the bottom the first of three leather options among Apple Watches, complete with top-grain leather sourced from France.

The French tannery is said to have been established in 1803, but Apple puts a tech-savvy twist on the buckle. It's a two-piece magnetic clasp that only looks ordinary when together.

This leather option comes in black, soft pink, brown or midnight blue for the regular Watch and bright black, red or rose gray for the premium Watch Edition, all meant for the smaller 38mm watch size.

Classic buckle (leather strap)

Apple Watch design and colors

Apple Watch models

If the Apple Watch modern buckle is a normal-looking watch band with a magnetic twist, then the classic buckle is an ordinary-looking variant without one.

No tricks here. It's just a traditional and secure band that feeds through a stainless steel or an 18-karat gold loop and matches the watch case.

The classic buckle's leather is from the Netherlands and the color choices are as simple as can be: it comes in black for the regular Watch or either black or midnight blue for Watch Edition.

Leather loop

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch design

This is the leather-equivalent of the all-metal Milanese loop because it tucks magnets into the soft, quilted leather Apple Watch band.

The more pronounced pebbled texture also stands out from the subtle finishes of the modern and classic buckle. Apple says its Venezia leather sources from Italy.

Apple Watch buyers who go with the leather loop band have four colors choices: black, stone, light brown and bright blue.

Sport band

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch sport band

Despite its name, the sport band is an out-of-the-box option among all three "collections," not just the Apple Watch Sport.

The band is made of smooth fluoroelastomer, so it's resilient for all activities and fastens with a simple pin-and-tuck closure. Hopefully it's easier to buckle than the Fitbit Charge.

The sport band is available in the most colors on the Sport Watch: white, black, blue, green or pink. Regular Watch and Watch Edition buyers can choose between black or white.

Apple Watch sizes

Apple Watch sizes

Less exciting, but equally important is the choice of among Apple Watch sizes. There are two case heights: 38mm and 42mm.

This opens it up to smaller and larger wrists. The 38mm size is more compact, but having that little bit extra screen space by way of the 42mm option may go a long way.

It should be noted that a few bands appear to be exclusive to certain sizes: the modern buckle is limited to the 38mm option and leather loop the 42mm size, for example.

No right-handed and left-handed Apple Watch decisions need to be made at the Apple Store, thankfully. This smartwatch is ambidextrous because the screen can be flipped.

Apple Watch faces

Apple Watch analog watches

There are nine different default faces from Apple, according to its official website, and likely a lot more to come from third-party developers currently testing out WatchKit.

The great thing about smartwatch faces is that none of them are permanent, something we were fond of when testing out Android Wear smartwatches.

Mickey Mouse is my favorite because I never got a Mickey Mouse watch as a kid. But maybe that'll be reserved for Disneyland visits now that I'm an adult.

Analog watches like Chronograph, Color, Simple and Utility can be swapped in for a more professional look that rivals today's best smartwatch alternatives.

Customizable watch faces

Apple Watch designs

Digital watch faces all have something unique to offer. Motion adds a bit of animal-inspired movement in the background, solar lets you follow the sun's path based on your location and the time of day and astronomy lets you explore space and a rotatable 3D Earth.

Modular, the grid-like ninth watch face, really defines what Apple means when it talks about complications. Most faces can be alerted to include pressing information like stock quotes, weather reports or your next calendar event, according to the company.

Apple Watch wrap-up

Apple Watch

With two sizes for most band designs, six band types, 18 band colors and three cases with two colors each, there's a lot of choice going into this smartwatch purchase.

Apple Watch is launching with a lot of personalization, echoing a time when the Cupertino firm introduced variety among its iMac G3 computers and iPod successors.

Which case and band combination I get has ultimately been determined by the price and availability. For such a new product that's bound to be outdated in a few months to years, I'm leaning toward the cheaper Sport Edition when the Apple Watch release date rolls around.








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