What do Which? members think of the latest smartphones?
Mobile phones – Which? members have their say
Smartphones are amazing devices that let you take photos, shoot videos, listen to music and surf the Net while on the go. They can even be used for old-school activities like making calls and sending texts. But with most phone contracts now lasting two years, picking the wrong one can leave you with plenty of time to regret your decision.
We spend four weeks testing each phone we review in our lab. And because we assess over 60 phones every year, and test new models every five weeks, we’re able to tell you the ones to choose – and the ones to avoid.
But what is it like to live with these phones? The customer views page in each review lets owners share their thoughts and experiences – the things they love, hate and wish they’d known before they’d parted with their cash. This means you can find out what it’s like to live with the phone before you decide to buy it.
To tell other people know how you feel about your mobile, find your model in the mobile phone reviews and add your own comments and rating under the ‘customer views’ tab. You could be in with a chance of winning £600 of vouchers in our monthly draw – have a look at our customer views advice page for more details.
Apple iPhone 4S – the top scoring phone in our tests
The latest version of the iPhone excelled in our lab tests. Our experts raved about the stunning camera and slick web browser though acknowledged that it wasn’t dramatically different to the iPhone 4.
Which? members were more circumspect in their praise:
One member was concerned by a software problem:
It’s good but is unreliable. My contacts randomly disappear and the update just deleted all my ‘Notes’. Honestly I am looking for a phone that has the speed of iphone and reliability of a ‘Windows Phone’.
And another noted that the iPhone 4S lacked some functions present on his old HTC Desire but concluded:
It’s a beautiful phone, both externally, and in terms of interface. Everything is wonderful, smooth, and clean looking. The interface never becomes jerky or slow, and although that sounds like a minor thing, it actually makes a huge amount of difference: Everything feels “solid” as a result.
The keyboard is FAR improved to the one I had to suffer with for two years on my HTC Desire. I’ve only had my iPhone a few days and I’m already a fast typer than I ever was with that phone. Well done, Apple!
Samsung Galaxy Note – part mobile phone, part tablet
The Samsung Galaxy Note has a huge 5.3-inch screen – but costing £600 on a pay as you go deal it may stretch your pocket in more ways than one. However feedback on the phone has been unanimously positive:
Artist loves the device and believes it to be superior to the iPhone:
This is the phone/tablet/camera/satnav/mp3 player/ereader/sketchpad/to have! It’s not perfect but it’s nearer to it than anything else I have seen.
An anonymous member describes his Note as ‘invaluable’:
It can do so much and so easily, so much that I have decided not to replace my laptop. This is not too big nor too heavy and the screen is superb. Well done Samsung!!
While another even managed to find a good deal for the phone:
I have now been using this phone since November 2011 when I purchased it from amazon.de (where it was £100 cheaper than amazon.co.uk).
If 11 out of 10 was a possible score, that’s what I would give it!
Samsung Galaxy Ace – a budget smartphone
The good value Samsung Galaxy Ace costs around £125 on a pay as you go deal. It’s a compact, easy to use phone but its features and display aren’t as good as those you’d find on top of the range devices.
65-year old granny and first time Android user Topsy10 was impressed:
It is a brilliant little phone for my purposes of mostly texting and card game playing. Clear bright screen, fast response and just a good all rounder. My daughter was so impressed she bought one after pooh-poohing touch phones then she too fell in love with it! She is never apart from it and now the teenage grandson wants one as his Blackberry no longer cuts the mustard!
However JPOptom encountered difficulties with his Ace:
When using the phone, the display screen often goes blank and therefore I am unable to access the dialler to enter my pin number for my voicemail resulting in me being charged for voicemail calls that I then cannot access.
HTC Desire HD – an Android phone with a 4.3-inch display
The Best Buy HTC Desire HD impressed in our lab tests. Our experts gave high marks to the phones features and though they were concerned that the large display would quickly drain the battery they found that talk times were actually above average.
Gunit77 is definitely a fan of the phone:
Great for photos, video, web browsing, watching films/tv, music, lots of excellent cheap/free android apps, games, free sat nav service – generally much better and cheaper than iPhone.
argatxa was surprised by the Desire HD’s toughness:
Screen is very nice and it is still pretty tough! I have dropped the phone on tarmac and concrete several times and the screen is intact. The metallic screen surrounding and back have some serious scratches out of those falls, but better than a broken screen! Definitely a recommendation.
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