The hot list – May 2014

Three of the major mobile manufacturers have released spiffing new smartphones within a last month, which can only mean one thing: an entirely arbitrary mobile madness month, bringing you the best of all things bluetoothed and the telephonic top dogs

The hot list - May 2014

HTC One M8


The HTC One was one of the finest of its generation and the HTC One M8 looks to be a fitting heir to the throne. Its predecessor’s brushed metal finish has made a welcome return, covering the back and sides of the slimmer handset. The inclusion of dual lenses on its camera allow it to build up a ‘depth map’, meaning one can tweak depth of field on captured photos at a later date. Lastly its Dot View case offers an aesthetically pleasing display when the case is closed but whether it proves to be much more than a gimmick remains to be seen.


Sony Xperia Z2

Whilst the Xperia Z2 perhaps isn’t quite as drool-worthy as the iPhone 5s or the HTC One M8 – Sony is a little less profligate with the metal finishes than their rivals – don’t let this fool you. This is an impressive piece of kit. Coming with a quad-core 2.3GHz processor, it can definitely hold its own in terms of performance. But its 20.7 megapixel camera is where it truly shines: it comes with an astounding array of additional features from its own Background Defocus feature, through SteadyShot image stabilisation for its 4K video capture to an incredibly impressive night mode. All in all, a great choice for smartphone snappers.


Oppo Find 7


Oppo is the outsider in the smartphone market but it should have the big players very worried indeed – the Find 7 has to be one of the most hotly anticipated handsets out there. Its QHD 5.5 inch screen comes at a resolution of 538ppi, the highest pixel density in the world and showing up even the HTC One M8’s impressive 440ppi. Coming with a quad-core 2.5Ghz and 3GB of RAM, it is just as powerful as any other entrant. Lastly it has a pseudo-50 megapixel camera that will stitch four frames together for super hi-def photography.


Samsung Galaxy S5


News of the Samsung Galaxy S5’s arrival sparked plenty of questions of whether it would mark a similar sprint forward as the S4. In reality, the handset is more content with a jog. Its screen is tweaked for more dynamic colour but retains its predecessor’s (admittedly still mighty) 432ppi resolution. The inclusion of a heart rate sensor and a fingerprint scanner are nice additions, although perhaps not significant progress. However, the real performance enhancement is under the hood. Its 2.5Ghz quad-core drive leaves its progenitors and most of its contemporaries way back on the starting line – as evinced by the fact its opening weekend beat that of the iPhone 5s.


UP Coffee

App: iPhone

In this era of quantified self and fitness trackers, no self respecting coffee aficionado could really justify not learning more about their relationship with the wonderful bean. Coming from Jawbone, one of the darlings of the tracker boom and the makers of the UP band, Coffee UP is a free app that can either work with your UP or on its own. It logs your intake and helps map how your body metabolises caffeine levels, allowing you to tell when you’re good for one more brew or when another espresso is going to keep you turning all night. 

Josh Russell
Josh Russell

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