ASUS and Samsung make the fastest-charging smartphones

25 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Asus ZenFone 2 and Galaxy S6 rank as fastest-charging smartphones in test.

With user-replaceable batteries now (mostly) a relic of smartphones past, a lot of companies are making a big deal about how fast their handsets can charge up. Chinese smartphone players OPPO, Huawei and Xiaomi have been taking the fight up to the likes of Samsung, LG and HTC with premium Android handsets at extremely affordable prices, and things are set to get harder with the entry of OnePlus 2. The company offered to let iPhone users test-drive one of its newest mega-screened phones, the Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, for 30 days for just $1.

When it comes to Android phones, the OnePlus 2’s predecessor, OnePlus One, comfortably set the benchmark for what an affordable handset should be while rivalling the best Android handsets available at the time. The company basically birthed the idea of a phone-tablet hybrid, and if it wasn’t for the Note series, Apple might not have even considered bumping the iPhone up to 5.5 inches. (You’re welcome, iPhone users.) With that said, Samsung continues to improve the Note series with every new version. But Tom’s Guide rounded up a few recent flagships and found that it’s actually the Asus ZenFone 2 that ranks best in the pack — depending on how you look at it, anyway. The OnePlus 2 once again promises to turn the price-to-performance ratio on its head with a device that for the most part can go toe-to-toe with the Samsung Galaxy S6 for less than half the price. It boasts all the features you would expect of a flagship smartphone, from the high-powered internals to a snappy fingerprint scanner and a sleek metal build.

For the past week I’ve tested both devices, using them non-stop to snap photos, capture videos, and do all the things you’d normally do on a smartphone. Around 30 minutes in is when the S6 catches up to and eventually eclipses the ZenFone — and Samsung has recently said that the Note 5 charges at the same clip. The first is the three-position alert slider, located on the left side, which easily allows you to switch between notification profiles — including a mode where alerts are restricted to messages and calls from your priority contacts only — all without ever needing to take the smartphone out of your pocket.

The Dual SIM card slot is handy for regular overseas travellers, but also for when you want to milk the value of two plans while keeping your minimum monthly spend low. As noted in a previous story, the company will no longer offer smartphones equipped with microSD card slots and removable batteries and instead offer devices made from svelte aluminum and glass; much to the chagrin of its most faithful of users. The sandstone-textured back cover makes a welcome return, providing quite a bit of extra grip, and this time you can swap it out for bamboo, rosewood or even a back plate made of kevlar for more durability. Battery recharge time isn’t a leading factor in choosing which smartphone is right for you, but if the inexpensive Asus device checks off other boxes, at least you know it can juice back up with the best of them. OnePlus has parted ways with custom Android software-maker Cyanogen in favour of its own Oxygen OS, but it retains some of its best features while also managing to keep things as close as possible to stock Android.

The app permission feature gives you greater control over what information apps can have access to so you can, say, deny Facebook and Instagram access to your location, contact information and call logs stored on your phone. Although the press statement says that it is a metal unibody, we noticed that the non-removable rear-cover is plastic, although the transition from metallic frame to the plastic cover is really unnoticeable.

The rivalry between Samsung and Apple is well-documented — particularly in courtrooms around the world — but has been heating up even more than usual as Samsung faces sinking profits from its smartphone business. Samsung stuck with its usual button layout: a physical Home button with a fingerprint sensor built in, two capacitive navigation buttons on either side (“back” on the right and “recent apps” on the left), a volume rocker on the upper left side, and a power button on the right.

All this performance doesn’t come at the expense of the battery, either, thanks to the sizeable 3300mAh battery on board, and which got us through a full day of use and well into the next. The outcome is a camera that can take impressive looking shots, shoot decent quality 4K video and is also a much better camera overall than last year’s effort. It would have been nice to see OnePlus take things a step further and actually enable the ability to log in to multiple user accounts using the fingerprint scanner, but the feature remains tied to the one main account.

You also won’t find NFC, which is an odd omission given OnePlus’s penchant for servicing the needs of power users and with Google’s Android Pay on the horizon. We publish hundreds of comments daily, and if a comment is rejected it is likely because it does not meet with our comment guidelines, which you can read here. The TouchWiz UI brings its own flourishes such as a redesigned settings screen, Flipboard app as part of the homescreen, its own set of widgets and so on. Granted, if you’re using turn-by-turn directions or playing a game, you’re going to use up juice much more quickly than you would leaving the phone in your bag with the display off.

I can only assume the device thought that it heard my personalized “Hey Edge” command from something on TV or radio, and that whatever it heard did a better job at sounding like me than I did. The size may be a disappointment to some, given the battery is smaller than the Note 4 and no longer removable, meaning users can’t simply replace a dead battery with a fully charged spare when needed. I’m going to skip over Touchwiz here because it’s exactly the same as what’s on the Galaxy S6: it’s lighter, it’s blue, and it comes preloaded with a suite of Microsoft apps that you can’t delete. You’ll notice in my photos that I loaded the Google Launcher on my review unit after a while because I like having Google Now permanently affixed to the left of the Home screen.

The phone is quite responsive and there were barely any instances where we were left twiddling our thumbs as we waited for the apps to startup or animations to complete. Also, Samsung’s been much better about software updates in the last year, so you should be fine with timely Android updates (if your carrier doesn’t hold you back). Normally when this happens—and I think we’ve all been there—you charge your device while you get ready for the work day, and leave the house with a half-charged battery. Both devices are equipped with the required hardware and—according to Samsung—already contain the software needed to use the mobile payment service once it’s available (users will still need to download the Samsung Pay app to enable it, rather than wait for a software update as is the case for S6 and S6 Edge owners). If Pay works as advertised, it has the potential to be one of the increasingly rare features capable of changing smartphone use through its ability to work with both standard credit and debit card terminals and NFC readers.

Samsung’s latest devices carry a steep price tag in a market that’s increasingly seeing quality Android devices hit the market at cheaper prices, and with the added benefit of no contract or monthly payments. I tried it out with Chromeo’s latest album and, like I originally described in my hands-on, it just sounds like someone finally wired the smartphone “stereo” correctly.

The curved display doesn’t offer any true advantage other than making the device easier to grip, and the Note 5’s biggest differentiator (and only feature worth nothing) is its stylus. I’m bummed it doesn’t currently work with streaming apps like Spotify and Digitally Imported, though there is some more third-party support coming soon.

Just like its siblings from the Galaxy S series, the Galaxy A8 also has an ultra-power saving mode which only gives you access to phone, messaging, internet and apps such as calculator, clock, memo and voice recorder. Tags: Samsung Galaxy A8, Samsung Galaxy A8 battery, Samsung Galaxy A8 camera, Samsung Galaxy A8 features, Samsung Galaxy A8 price India, Samsung Galaxy A8 review Oppo has been in the Indian market for over a year now, and has released a range of phones across budgets. Oppo has tried its hand at coming out with phones which have one special feature which makes them stand out – be it the rotating camera on the Oppo N1 or the Quad HD display on the Oppo Find 7. ColorOS has been seen on all Oppo devices and it does share some similarities with the Amigo UI (Gionee) and MIUI (Xiaomi) in the sense that it has no app drawer and has its own proprietary app for themes where users can submit their own designs. While the in-ear earphones look good, you will have to be careful about the adapter, as if you lose it, the only way you can listen to the audio is if you have a bluetooth headset.

The Geekbench 3 score comes to around 2596 which is slightly higher than Yu Yureka’s 2416; with AnTuTu the Yureka went ahead with 32,428 and finally with Quadrant the R5 gives 17,290 on the R5. Oppo R5 sports a 13MP rear camera with the Sony Exmor IMX214 backside illuminated sensor with an f/2.0 aperture with an LED flash unit located beside the camera. Although not a selfie-enthusiast, I quite liked the quality of the selfies produced by the Oppo R5 and with its multiple filters and beautification modes, I am sure it will be a hit with those who love taking selfies.

At Rs 21,999 you have the OnePlus One which offers superior internals – Snapdragon 801 SoC, 3GB RAM and 64GB storage, and even Xiaomi is expected to come out with the 64GB variant of the Mi 4 at Rs 23,999.

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