Apple

8 Great Hidden Features in iOS 7

Posted on Updated on


Ios7

If you’ve upgraded to iOS 7 on your iPhone or iPad, you’re probably familiar with a whole collection of new features. But some of the best additions in the software update are hiding beneath the surface and take a little time to uncover.

We’ve been digging deep into Apple’s new mobile operating system, discovering some surprises along the way. From night mode in Apple Maps to a faster way to close apps, here’s a few useful features that you can find — as long as you know where to look:

1. Clock Icon

Clock

Go ahead and look at your clock app icon. Take a closer look. It’s an actual clock with a working second hand. A nice little touch from Apple.

2. Text Timestamps

If you slide text messages to the left, you can see the timestamp for all of them — not just the most recent.

3. The Level

Level

By opening up the Compass app and swiping your finger across it, a new digital “level” feature is revealed. You’ll never have a crooked painting on the wall again.

4. Night Mode for Maps

If you’re driving late at night, the glow of your iPhone screen can be nearly blinding as you try to use the Apple Maps app. Now, the platform displays a darker interface at certain times. This is less distracting and easier on the eyes when navigating at night.

5. Closing Multiple Apps

You can close multiple apps at once! Here’s how: double click the home button to reveal open webpages and platforms. You can then swipe up to three apps at the same time by using three fingers and dragging them upwards.

6. Siri Controls Settings

Siri

You can use Siri to set alarms and reminders on previous iOS versions, but now you can lean on her to navigate settings too. For example, by saying “Open Settings,” Siri will open the Settings folder. By asking Siri to “Turn Off Wi-Fi,” she’ll gladly oblige without you having to lift a finger. You can also tell her to make calls and play voicemail messages too.

7. Block Calls

If you’re getting harassing calls, you can now put a stop to it. Visit Settings > Phone > Blocked to add numbers you want to restrict.

8. Apps Near Me

NearMe

The Apple App Store has a new “Near Me” feature, which shows apps that are popular near your current location. So if you live in New York City, it will highlight handy apps such as NYC Subway KICKMap and Way2ride taxi, which lets you pay for cab rides via the app.

Find any other not-so-obvious features? Let us know in the comments below.

Read more at http://mashable.com/2013/10/02/ios-7-hidden-features/

8 More Hidden iOS 7 Features

Posted on Updated on


Ios73

Apple’s iOS 7 hit the iPhone and iPad last month and packed the new release with not only a brand new design, but lots of new gestures, feature and capabilities. We’ve already discussed some of our favorite things in iOS 7, as well as some of our gripes and along the way have managed to learn a new trick or two.

Thanks to your feedback — and some additional sleuthing — we’ve got even more hidden iOS 7 features that you might not have run across.

Some of these features are nice to have, and others — like some of the keyboard shortcuts — really make iOS 7 a more productive experience.

1. Controlling Control Center

control-center-controls

Control Center is awesome. In fact, it’s far and away one of our favorite iOS 7 features. The problem is, it can be easy to accidentally pull up Control Center if you are furiously scrolling through a list in an app or in certain games.

Fortunately, Apple has made it easy to disable Control Center inside of apps.

Do do this, just go to Settings > Control Center and then toggle “Access Within Apps” on or off. If you toggle it off, you can’t pull Control Center up inside of apps, but can still access it on the home screen.

2. Auto Focus With Shutter Button (iPhone 5S Only)

auto-focus-ios7

The new iPhone 5S has a lot of slick features, including the ability to activate auto-focus without touching the screen. Just briefly press the volume up button and the familiar auto-focus square will appear.

Sadly, this only works on the iPhone 5S (at least as far as our tests go), but it’s one of those tricks that makes the iPhone that much more like a regular point and shoot camera.

3. Burst Mode for Photo Buttons (All Devices)

One photo feature that isn’t limited to the iPhone 5S is the ability to take consecutive shots by hitting the volume up or down button in the camera app. Press and hold and prepare to fill your camera with dozens of consecutive shots.

To be clear, this isn’t the same feature as Burst Mode on the iPhone 5S — that feature not only takes more snaps, iOS 7 gives you a neat way to select what shots you want to keep. Still, this is great for anyone who wants to take lots of photos at once.

4. Access .com by Long-Pressing “.” Key

ios7-keyboard-ip5

My personal biggest gripe with iOS 7 was the death of the “.com” button inside Safari. I love the new omnibar for search and URL entry (or return to the omnibar if we’re being historically accurate), but I hate not having access to .com.

It turns out, you CAN access that button! Simply press and hold the “.” key and a .com, .net., .us and .edu selection pops up. How great is that!

Macworld goes into even more depth of secrets of the iOS 7 keyboard, and I thank them for this tip!

5. Quick Apostrophe on iPad Keyboard

ios7-ipad-kb

Speaking of keyboard tips, in iOS 7 on the iPad, you can quickly access the apostrophe key by pressing and holding the comma button. It’s much easier to use the correct form of “it’s” when typing.

OK, our bad. This one isn’t actually new to iOS 7. It was just new to me. Still, enjoy!

6. Peek in Messages and Mail

ios-7-peek-back

This is a hidden feature you’ve probably stumbled upon. As we’ve discussed, iOS 7 is considerably more gesture-driven than previous versions of iOS. One of the cool features Apple has enabled is the ability to swipe forward and backwards in its messaging apps.

If you’re on an email message in the mail app or viewing a conversation in iMessage, you can slightly swipe to your right to reveal a peek at the message list below.

BlackBerry 10 fans might notice that this is similar to the way the peek and flow gestures works on the Z10,

7. Create New Events On Date or Times in iMessage

ios7-event

One of my favorite features in OS X is the smart way you can create appointments or calendar entries based on text inside an email or on a web page. Now, more of that functionality is in iOS 7.

Inside iMessages, typing something such as “Dinner with Dan at 7 on Thursday” will underline “7 on Thursday.” Tap the underline text and you can create a calendar event with that subject.

8. Look at Most Visited Areas

ios7-locations

This one might cross the creepy line, but we think it’s pretty slick. You can view a map of your most recently visited areas by going to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services (scroll all the way down to see System Services) > Frequent Locations

When this is on, you can view your location history on a map. You can also opt to use frequent locations to improve Apple Maps. This is neat because iOS 7 will learn your location patterns and offer better predictive ideas of how long it will take to get to your next appointment.

Got Any More Hidden Features or Tips? Let Us Know

Even after almost a month with iOS 7, we’re still discovering new and fun tricks and hidden extras. Have we missed one of your favorite new features? Let us know in the comments.

Read more at http://mashable.com/2013/10/10/8-more-hidden-ios-7-features/

iPhone 5s Tips and Tricks

Posted on


iPhone 5s Tips and Tricks

Photography

Camera in Control Center

Access your camera quickly by swiping up from any screen — including the Lock screen — and tapping the Camera icon.

Panorama

You can easily shoot panorama photos from left to right or right to left. Just tap the arrow to switch the direction.

Burst mode

Capture multiple shots of the action — for as long as you hold down the button — by snapping 10 photos per second. And real-time analysis suggests the best photos of the bunch.

Photo filters

Apply one of eight live photo filters to any picture. Just choose a filter to see the effect before you take the shot, or apply it later.

Mapped pictures

View the locations of your pictures on a map by tapping the location heading under Years, Collections, or Moments.

Working with Text

Format text in Mail

Double-tap any word to bring up the options menu, tap the arrow, and select the B I U option to bold, italicize, or underline your text.

Define a word

In apps like Safari and Mail, you can define a word by double-tapping it to bring up the options menu, and then tap Define.

Swipe Gestures

Delete a message in Mail

Simply swipe from right to left on messages in your inbox to quickly delete them.

Go back in Mail

To go back, swipe left to right from the edge of your screen.

Spotlight search

To open Spotlight search, swipe down from anywhere on the Home screen — such as the middle. Then type in what you’re looking for to quickly find it on your device.

FaceTime

Messages

View timestamps of your messages by touching and dragging message bubbles to the left.

Weather

View all your locations by pinching to see a collapsed view. To reorder locations, simply drag them where you want. Swipe from right to left on a location to delete it.

FaceTime audio

Now you can make audio-only FaceTime calls. On your contact’s card, tap the phone icon in the FaceTime section.

Maps

Get there with Quick Route

When Maps drops a pin on a location, you can get turn-by-turn directions to that location almost instantly. Just tap the Quick Route button next to the location’s name.

See up close with Flyover

Tap the 3D icon to switch to Flyover view and explore select cities from the air. You can zoom, pan, and rotate around landmarks.

Tilt and rotate your view

As you’re looking at a map, use two fingers to tilt or rotate the view. Maps keeps the names of the streets and places where they belong. So everything’s easy to read, and you won’t get lost.

Share a pin

In Maps, drop a pin on a location you want to share. Then tap the pin and select Share. Now you can share the location via AirDrop, Messages, Mail, Twitter, or Facebook.

Siri

Tell Siri who’s who

Tell Siri about your relationships, such as “Natalia is my wife” or “Rick is my dad.” Then you can say “Text my wife” or “Call Dad” and Siri knows who you mean.

Set your locations

Enter your home and work addresses in Contacts. That way, Siri can remind you to do things when you leave or arrive at either place.

Change the way Siri pronounces a name

If Siri mispronounces a name, simply say “that’s not how you pronounce that.” Siri will ask you for the correct pronunciation, then say the name back to you three different ways so you can choose the one you like.

Calendar

New views in Calendar

View your calendar by list, day, or month. Switch to landscape view to see a full five days.

Swipe gestures

Tap the month name in the left corner to change to Month or Year view. In Day view, you can swipe the week bar at the top to jump to days in the next or previous week.

Search for specific events

Tap the search icon for a list view of every event in your calendar.

Music

Create playlists

In the Music app, tap Playlists, then tap Add Playlist and give it a name. Now tap any song or video to add it to the playlist. You can add individual songs, entire albums, or all songs by an artist.

Create radio stations

To create a station in iTunes Radio, tap the + button under My Stations and search for an artist, genre, or song. Or choose from over 250 genre-focused or DJ-curated stations.

Edit radio stations

Adding and deleting stations is easy. Tap Edit and select the + button to add a new station. To remove a station, swipe left on the station name and tap Delete. Or remove multiple stations at once by tapping Edit and the – button next to each station.

Buy songs from iTunes Radio

Tap Buy on a song that’s currently playing or one in your History or Wish List, and it downloads instantly from iTunes to your library.

Musical landscape

While browsing your music collection, switching to landscape view displays a mosaic of your album covers. Swipe to scroll, pinch to zoom in and out, and tap to play.

Mail

Insert a photo or video

When you’re composing an email, touch and hold in the message to see the “Select, Select All” menu. Tap the arrow and select “Insert Photo or Video.” Now you can choose a photo or video to attach from your Camera Roll, albums, or shared streams.

Keep your inbox clean

You can delete or move messages in batches. From your inbox, tap Edit, select the messages you want to organize, then tap Trash or Move.

Get back to your draft

Touch and hold the Compose button to switch to your list of saved message drafts.

Safari

Single sign-in

Sign in once under Settings, and you can tweet or update your Facebook status directly from Safari, Photos, Camera, and Maps. Or ask Siri to do it for you.

Manage open Safari pages

Drag and drop to rearrange your tabs. To close tabs, tap the X or just swipe them off the screen.

Create web clips

Quickly visit your favorite websites by creating web clips for them on your Home screen. Visit the site and tap the Share button. Then select “Add to Home Screen.”

AirPlay and Wireless

Broadcast live with AirPlay

When connected to a Wi‑Fi network, you can use AirPlay Mirroring to share exactly what’s on your iPhone with your HDTV connected to an Apple TV. Just access Control Center by swiping up, tap AirPlay, and select your TV.

Print wirelessly from iPhone

AirPrint makes it easy to print email and web pages from your iPhone to your AirPrint-enabled printer. To print an email, tap the Reply icon and select Print. To print a web page, tap the Share button and select Print. You can also print photos, documents, and more.

Accessibility

View more accessibility tips and tricks

Have text read back to you

iPhone can read text out loud in apps like Mail, Safari, Messages, and iBooks. Just turn on Speak Selection in Settings > General > Accessibility. Then go to the app, highlight the text you want to hear, and tap Speak.

Control font size

Adjust fonts to your preferred reading size in all apps that support Dynamic Type. Simply turn on Larger Type in Settings > General > Accessibility. Then choose your desired font size.

Get flashing alerts

Your iPhone can give you a visual alert for incoming calls and texts. Just go to Settings > General > Accessibility and turn on LED Flash for Alerts.

Let your iPhone do the typing

Dictation lets you talk where you would type. Tap the microphone button on the bottom row of the keyboard, say what you want to write, and your iPhone converts your words into text.

View closed captions

To turn on the captions in closed-captioned movies and TV shows, just go to Settings > General > Accessibility. You can even customize captions by size, font type, and color.

Merge left and right audio

Play left- and right-channel audio in both ears to accommodate hearing loss on either side. Just go to Settings > General > Accessibility and turn on Mono Audio.

Settings

Enable emoji characters

Access all sorts of smileys, animals, shapes, and other peculiarities from the emoji-enabled keyboard. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Add New Keyboard and select Emoji. Now when you type, just tap the globe button and choose the emoji that fits the mood.

Keyboard tips

Go to Settings > General > Keyboard to turn on or off features like Auto-Capitalization, Auto-Correction, and more.

Do Not Disturb

In Settings, turn on Do Not Disturb to silence sounds from incoming calls and notifications. You can allow calls from your favorites, specific contacts, or contact groups. Enable Do Not Disturb manually or schedule a recurring time.

Compass

Access a level or an inclinometer by swiping left in Compass.

Find My iPhone

If you’ve lost your iPhone, Find My iPhone can help you locate it. Go to Settings > iCloud and turn on the Find My iPhone feature.

Read more at http://www.apple.com/iphone-5s/tips/

Apple’s iPhone 6: What we know so far

Posted on Updated on


Price slashed!
By Naina Khedekar /  12 Feb 2014 , 16:15

The dust on the Apple’s latest iPhones had barely settled when we started hearing about the next-gen version, supposedly called the iPhone 6.  As the year 2014 flagged off, the rumours started getting stronger about the various features we can expect. From iOS 8 and Healthbook to newer battery technology and iWatch compatibility, the rumour mill has been working overtime churning out tidbits about Apple’s next generation iPhone. Needless to say, we are pretty excited to see what the iPhone 6 brings to the table. Let’s take a quick look at what we know so far.

Larger display
The rumours around the alleged iPhone 6 kick started with analysts predicting a 4.8-inch display for the next-gen Apple device, backed by revelations from component suppliers. After reportedly testing sizes starting at 4 inches and going up to a massive 6 inches, Apple is believed to have zeroed on a 4.8-inch display size. It should be noted that Apple has been loyal to the 3.5-inch display since the first iPhone was launched way back in 2007. We saw a slightly larger display of 4 inches in the iPhone 5. If Apple opts for 4.8-inch display, it will be the largest display thus far.

What new features will we see in iPhone 6?

To sport a 4.8-inch display?

Sapphire crystal display protection
A recent report revealed that Apple’s sapphire crystal manufacturing unit in Arizona could go live as soon as next month. It is highly speculated that February kick-off is a hint that the next-gen iPhone will have a sapphire crystal display, followed by other iDevices. Sapphire displays would mean more durable iPhones that have a longer shelf life. Apple has also applied for a patent for off-screen gestures using pressure sensitivity, where too a sapphire crystal display makes most sense. Late last year, there were reports that GT Advanced Technologies had inked a deal with Apple for sapphire crystal.

iOS 8
iOS 8 is expected to debut with the iPhone 6 and word is Apple is betting big on health and fitness tracking features, and will come integrated with the Healthbook app. Reports also claim that iOS 8 wouldn’t be much different from iOS7 in terms of the UI and only has minor changes. This may not surprise many, as Apple redesigned iOS greatly for version 7.0.

Fix for white screen of death coming soon

iOS 8 to integrate fitness features

Heathbook and iWatch
The fitness-focussed iOS 8 is rumoured to include a dedicated app called Healthbook as a one-stop solution for all things fitness related. The app is said to be visually similar to Passbook and could work in tandem with the rumoured iWatch. In fact, the iWatch is cited as the reason for a sudden interest in health tracking apps within Apple. The Healthbook app could reportedly monitor users’ vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, hydration levels, and also glucose levels.  The iWatch could reportedly collect data gathered by the Healthbook app from the various sensors in the iPhone. This is probably the reason why Apple has integrated the M7 motion co-processor in the A7 chipset. There is also the possibility of integrating iWatch with Apple Maps for location tracking and navigation.

Two iPhones and a summer launch
Apple is likely to launch two new versions of the iPhone in 2014, with both allegedly sporting 4.8-inch displays. So, it could launch a successor to the iPhone 5s, and a slightly “cheaper” successor to the iPhone 5c. Both models are believed to come with metal casings and the plastic exterior used in iPhone 5c won’t be returning. Rumours also claim summer 2014 launch for the iPhones. However, it is quite unlikely, since that is usually reserved for Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference.

Boxes with Apple's iPhone 5s are seen in this photo. AFP

Apple to build two iPhone models again? AFP

8MP camera with improved OIS
Supply chain chatter suggests that Apple’s next-generation iPhone will not feature the previously rumoured 13-megapixel or 16-megapixel camera. Instead, the company will rope in an 8MP snapper, just like the iPhone 5s, but with some functional improvements including in the optical image stabilization (OIS) module.

Interchangeable camera lens
Apple has got patents for interchangeable mobile camera lenses. The patent is touted to result into an official accessory from Apple, perhaps a case. The patent mentions a camera add-on that connects using a physical locking mechanism like a DSLR lens, as well as a magnetic component for quicker attachment.

iPen stylus
Apple reportedly has more than 200 patents for stylus. The iPen patent allows determining the orientation of the stylus through a sensor which is fitted in the stylus as well as the slate.

That’s what we have heard about the iPhone, but Apple is also working on the iWatch, which is said to feature innovative battery charging methods namely. Could some of these make their way to the iPhone? We surely hope so, but for now we have only speculation to go by. As we get closer to the announcement date later this year, we will get a better idea of what Apple has planned for the next-gen iPhone, whatever it is called.

Read more at http://tech.firstpost.com/news-analysis/iphone-6-know-far-217562.html

Leaked: Is this what the iPhone 6 looks like?

Posted on Updated on


Is this the iPhone 6?
By tech2 News Staff /  13 Feb 2014 , 09:56

It’s just February and the dust has barely settled on the iPhone 5s and 5c launch, but it’s already time for news of the iPhone 6 to emerge. It looks like we’ve received what could be the first sneak peek into what the new iPhone will look like.

The leak could be considered the real deal as it comes from none other than prolific Apple tipster Sonny Dickson. He had earlier tweeted component pictures – including fingerprint sensor – of the iPhone 5c and the iPad mini with Retina display. The new pictures of the alleged iPhone 6 show a sleek grey casing that appears to be similar to the iPod touch.

View image on Twitter

The leaked device also appears to have a larger flash than what we’ve seen in the iPhone 5s. However, one can’t be sure if the device is the next-generation iPhone or iPod. The Verge, however, reports that the pictures originated from tweets by someone called @mornray886.

View image on Twitter

The anonymous tipster has tweeted full images of the alleged iPhone 6 parts. A glance at these photos and one can clearly see a larger display without any bezel on the side. In fact, the bezel on the upper and lower side of the display also seems to have narrowed.

Rumours of the iPhone 6 started surfacing late last year, not too long after the last variants of iPhones were launched. One consistent rumour has been its large screen, possibly 4.8-inch. It is also believed that Apple will employ a Sapphire crystal display, manufactured at its Arizona plant. The device will run on the rumoured iOS 8 and work in tandem with the alleged iWatch.

Here’s everything we know about the iPhone 6, so far.

Read more at http://tech.firstpost.com/news-analysis/leaked-is-this-what-the-iphone-6-looks-like-218167.html

Number 6: iPhone 5S

Posted on Updated on


Buying Guide, Top mobile phones compared: what phone is best for you?

iPhone 5S

6. iPhone 5S

Did you see this one coming? The iPhone 5S behind five other Android phones in our rankings? Some think it should be higher, some think lower – it depends on your level of Apple love.

Never has a company polarised opinion in the smartphone world like Apple – and with the iPhone 5S, so many are quick to decry it while others know it to be the smartphone they’ve been waiting for.

And let’s make no bones about it: this is a stunning phone, with a gorgeous two-tone finish, a high-res screen with good colour reproduction, a 64-bit chip and that all-powerful TouchID sensor that lets you unlock your phone with a simple fingerprint.

The iOS 7 update is one that we sorely, sorely needed and does bring a lot more power and control – as shown by the impressive and pervasive Control Center.

We really like TouchID, the processor might be a little useless now but definitely brings a touch more zip to things, and the M7 chip for fitness apps will be very exciting in weeks and months to come as app developers get their paws on it.

The main problem we have with this phone, spec list aside, is the fact the iPhone 5S is STILL very expensive… we’re not sure how such sky high prices can be charged when equivalent smartphones are available on the market, plus it still has a small screen compared.

Quick verdict

Let’s not beat around the bush here: the iPhone 5S is still one of the great smartphones in the world thanks to a great package of technology, design and UI intuition.

iOS 7 is the update we’ve needed for a while, and does a lot to help keep Apple current at the sharp end of the market – but we still can’t wait to see what the iPhone 6 will bring, as essentially this is still the same phone as the iPhone 5 but with a better engine under the hood.

Page 7 of 13

First | <Prev | Next> | Last

Read more at http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/20-best-mobile-phones-in-the-world-today-645440/7#articleContent

20 best mobile phones in the world today

Posted on Updated on


Buying Guide, Top mobile phones compared: what phone is best for you?

20 best mobile phones in the world today

What’s the best mobile phone? Our verdict on the best smartphone/best phones – constantly updated

We’ve all got at least one mobile phone each, right? We’ve probably got about three or four nowadays, and that counts giving your old Nokia 3310 to your Mum a few years ago.

But while you used to be able to just bank on the new Nokia or always get the next Sony Ericsson because it had a half-decent camera, there are now so many great options out there from loads of manufacturers.

The trouble is, how do you decide which is the best one for you?

Well, this is where we make it easy. Because here we have our continually updated comparison of the top 20 best smartphones currently adorning phone emporiums up and down the UK.

The last update saw the HTC One maintain its place at the top of the charts, holding off multiple challenges from Nokia, Samsung, LG and Sony (namely the Galaxy S4) – showing the smartphone market still has a fair few players.

But the HTC One is nearly a year old. That’s an age in smartphone terms, and Apple’s in there too, doubling down by bringing out a phone at the same price (the iPhone 5C) and pulling no punches with the supercharged iPhone 5S, so where have both landed in our top 20?

But it’s by no means a ‘can Apple topple HTC’ kind of race – as HTC has created a cheaper version of the One (the HTC One Mini, of course), LG’s gone all out with the aptly named LG G2, and even Sony is continually pushing the smartphone envelope with the all new small-yet-powerful Sony Xperia Z1 Compact – so who knows who will be number one these days?

And now Google is playing fast and loose with consumers’ wallets, thanks to offering the ultra-cheap Nexus 5 and the even ultra-cheaper Moto G – could those be the phones for you?

If that still doesn’t help, well, there’s always our extensive mobile phone reviews pages as well – or check out our personally crafted smartphone buyer’s guide:

And when you’ve decided which new phone to buy (and checked out the best mobile phone deal), why not cash in your old one with our phone recycling price comparison service?

Here are our rankings for the best mobile phones around, currently available in the UK.

20. Samsung Galaxy S3

Galaxy S3

With the Samsung Galaxy S4 (and friends) now launched, the S3 has predictably fallen down the rankings thanks to there being a better phone to recommend.

But don’t worry: the S3 is still a strong phone: it’s got loads of features we want and more, and raised the bar once again in terms of what consumers should be expecting in terms of battery life, processor speed and media management.

Would we recommend you buy one if you’re hankering for a spot of Samsung? Yes, but only if you’re trying to save money, as the S4 is a much better version of this phone indeed.

Price isn’t the only reason the Samsung Galaxy S3 is worthy of consideration though. Smart Stay, Super AMOLED HD screen, up to 128GB storage, Music Hub, removable battery, quick camera; for the price, this phone still delivers in ways that many others on the market can’t.

Quick verdict

If you’re after a decent slab of Samsung tech, the Galaxy S3 is an OK choice. It’s getting on a bit, hence the slip down the rankings.

Samsung faced an almost impossible task in trying to create a worthy sequel to the Galaxy S2, and while this is an older model, it’s still worth a look.

19. Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Galaxy Note 2

Many (including us, we admit) were not convinced when the original Samsung Galaxy Note launched. Who on earth would want something so big to make their calls and surf the internet, even with a glorified stylus? Cue awkward silence.

Millions of you, it would appear. The Galaxy Note sold by the bucketload, so how do you follow that up? With something better, of course – the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, which has shifted 20 million units worldwide, and now is the elder statesman thanks to the new Galaxy Note 3 appearing.

Still a strong and eye-catching device, the Galaxy Note 2 is well-connected, and thanks to that increased screen size (up to an eye-bulging 5.5-inches), is, among many things, a quality media player.

Samsung has achieved something special here, because it has made the Galaxy Note 2 bigger than the original, but pulls it off so that you don’t notice it too much and anyway, it’s the features that make it so amazing.

Air View, Multi-window, a dock that can turn it into a fully-fledged computer – it’s all here, people..

Quick verdict

As a phone, it’s big, but once you get over that, if you can, it’s great. As a PMP, it really does excel, but there are better options on the market (Note 3 and Sony Xperia Z Ultra, for instance).

Ultimately, there’s no getting away from the fact that the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is a niche device. But it does almost everything it sets out to do perfectly, with grace, class and maximum functionality.

With a lower price, it’s still powerful enough to last for at least a year or two, so we have no qualms recommending it as a viable option for your next phone.

18. Samsung Galaxy S4 Active

Galaxy S4 Active

Want the Samsung Galaxy S4 but are too worried about dropping it in the bath or flinging it into a sand dune? Well, you can either not do either of those things, or buy the Samsung Galaxy S4.

With a powerful IP67 water and dust proof case the Active is far more hardy than a lot of the top end devices currently on the market.

The only other handset which can match the rugged credentials of the S4 Active is the Sony Xperia Z, (and Z1 successor, of course) although those being covered in glass front and back makes them feel far more fragile.

While the 5-inch display may not sport the Super AMOLED technology of the S4, the full HD resolution still makes for an excellent visual experience which is only really bettered by its namesake, the LG G2 and the HTC One.

Quick verdict

If you’re in the market for a super powerful smartphone which you can take on extreme activities, swimming and in the bath then sure the Galaxy S4 Active is the best around, although that’s a pretty limited market.

And hey, chuck it in a bucket of water and your mates will be seriously impressed (honest).

We’ve only got this phone so far down on the list as we don’t think huge amounts of users will be desperate to add the heft to an S4 to make it a bit more life proof, and that isn’t going to be something most people will worry about.

But if you want the security of a phone that can withstand a few knocks but doesn’t scrimp on the specs or usability, then you could do a lot worse than checking out the S4 Active.

17. Nokia Lumia 925

Lumia 925

What’s better than a top Windows Phone 7 handset? A Windows Phone 8 one, and we’ve got no qualms about telling you this is one the best high-end Windows Phones out there.

Simplicity is the key here, the Lumia 925 does the basics well, from contact integration and calling, to web browsing and messaging. The camera is market-leading, and offers excellent performance from low-light to jumpy videos.

The 8.7MP PureView camera on the back of the Lumia 925 is actually one of the best we’ve used, and for anyone looking to get a top end cameraphone: you need to seriously consider this Nokia, although a glut of handsets (Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, HTC One, LG G2 and iPhone 5S) have all stepped up their game significantly to offer strong camera experiences too.

The 4.5-inch display is also a good’un, crisp and clear it makes watching movies, surfing the web or Facebook stalking an enjoyable experience, thanks to the PureMotion HD technology on offer.

And you can even use it with gloves on… what more could you want? You’re right: hologram messages. But they don’t exist yet.

Quick verdict

The Nokia Lumia 925 is a worthy ambassador for Windows Phone 8 and probably a strong part of the reason Microsoft decided to acquire the Finnish handset division.

It’s not got the clout to take on the likes of the HTC One and Galaxy S4 just yet, but it’s still a great choice if you’re not sold on Android or iOS but don’t want to give up a powerful phone.

16. iPhone 5C

iPhoen 5C

What’s this? A new iPhone not making it into the top five? Wait… not even the top ten?

Well, you can’t really blame us. This isn’t a new iPhone – it’s last year’s device in brand new package with more colours to choose from.

There are more LTE bands to choose from too, which is important to UK buyers as it means it can give superfast speeds from all the networks.

It’s still a really rather good phone, with the Retina display still giving market-leading colour reproduction, a strong camera and the best App Store around.

Quick verdict

We’ll be honest: this is the place the iPhone 5 would have occupied since it’s been usurped by the iPhone 5S.

This is, in our eyes, essentially the same phone with a new skin. There will be loads of people looking to buy it simply because the iPhone now comes in pink or green, and to those we say: look at the Lumia range. Nokia’s been doing the same thing for years and at a much, much cheaper price point.

The iPhone 5C is the same as a every phone from Apple: too expensive for what it is, but if you’re desperate for such a device from the Cupertino brand then this is still a strong handset to plump for.

Page 1 of 13

Next> | Last

Read more at http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/20-best-mobile-phones-in-the-world-today-645440