Reviews of the latest smartphones, tablets and accessories

Below you can find our latest smartphone reviews. Nearly all of the devices reviewed below are also available to buy on the Clove website. We do our best to review as much of our product range as possible so that we can give customers good advice about which device is best suited to them. We welcome discussion and feedback so please feel free to leave a comment on any blog post.

We also post some reviews here on the Clove website.

YotaPhone 2 Review

Because 2 screens are better than one

YotaPhone_2 (15)How many times a day do you check your phone to see if you have a message, a missed call, an email or an upcoming appointment? 5, 10, 20 times? Probably more than that if you counted.

Whether such an act is necessary or just a force of habit, have you considered how it affects your phone’s battery life?

Send a lot of emails or text messages? Use your phone for reading ebooks?

Have you ever thought how the bright white background is draining power and that you do not really need it to be so bright, crisp or vivid?

We all want to be blown away by crisp graphics and stunning on-screen results but if the battery life is sacrificed as a result, is it worth it?

The evolution of wearable technology has begun to reduce the reliance on checking the phone itself, but for many a ‘smartwatch’ is not the solution.

The Amazon Kindle has been extremely popular for a number of reasons, however one is the length of time it can go between charges. What allows this?  If you have seen or used one, you will know that it is the screen technology.

Russian firm Yota Devices have recognised this and about 18 months ago released the YotaPhone, the worlds first dual-screen smartphone with an always-on display.

Using a rear mounted Electronic Paper Display (EPD), many of the activities you would normally complete on the front screen can be done with the EPD, with the benefit of being better on the battery life and softer on the eyes.

They now return with the YotaPhone 2, a device more worthy of being compared to the current crop of leading smartphones.

Watch the video review if you prefer, or read on for the full, detailed, written review.

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Sony SmartBand Talk 60 Second Review

Sony_SmartBand_Talk (6)It is the 2nd generation SmartBand from Sony, now with talk functionality.

How does this new version complete with 1.4″touchscreen e-ink display and IP68 rating stack up.

Find out the highs and lows in 60 seconds by watching the following video.

Nokia Lumia 830 Review

Introduction

Nokia_Lumia_830_Hands_On (1)We are now entering some interesting times with Nokia following Microsoft’s acquisition last year.  This obviously wasn’t a normal purchasing of a company, but clearly Microsoft has obtained the Lumia brand along with some other assets and the license to use the Nokia brand on their phone.    All of this doesn’t appear to stop Nokia from being in the process of releasing a new tablet.

In fact Microsoft is now starting to releasing phones which no longer carry the Nokia branding.  This shows that they don’t wish to carry on with the status quo, and want to distance themselves from it.  We are however going to look at one of the phones which came out of the Nokia/Microsoft alliance the Nokia Lumia 830.  As most of you are aware this phone has been available for a few months now, but this has given us a chance to put together a proper review having used it for some time.

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LG G Watch R 60 Second Review

Short of time and want to know what the positives and negatives are of the new LG G Watch R?

Check out the following videos which covers the highs and lows in around 1 minute for you.

Motorola Moto X 2nd Gen Review

Hi Professor X

Capture

The new Moto X, will it be the Moto G of the high-end market?

We already know that Motorola have come on leaps and bounds in the smartphone space over the last year or so. The Moto G was a massive hit; it sold by the bucket load here at Clove and the 2nd Gen Moto G has proven just as popular in recent months. That’s the lower end of the market taken care of, so what about the high-end?

The original Moto X didn’t go down all that well with consumers in the UK, it was by no means a bad device, in fact a very good one, however  it just didn’t seem to sell particularly well.

This time round Motorola have devised a phone that packs some big specs behind an even bigger screen, which still gives you a clean and smooth Android experience. Motorola also offers a couple of extra built-in apps and features that actually serve a purpose – not many phones out there can boast that. Before we get in to the review here’s the main talking points:

  • 2.5 GHz Quad-core Qualcomm MSM8974AC Snapdragon 801
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 16 GB internal memory
  • 5.2 AMOLED capacitive touch screen
  • 13 megapixel rear camera
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Wi-Fi
  • GPS
  • MicroUSB with USB host
  • 3G / 4G
  • Miracast (screen mirroring)

Check out our video review below or read on for the full written copy

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Sony SmartBand Talk Review

Sony_SmartBand_Talk (1)The Japanese firm Sony have become a bit of a pioneer in the wearables space.  First the SmartWatch, then the SmartBand along with the SmartWatch 2 and now we have the SmartWatch 3 and SmartBand Talk.

Released at a time when the tech communities are smitten with Android Wear SmartWatches, particularly those with circular faces, how does this cheaper and potentially ‘dumber’ alternative work out in day to day usage.

The SmartBand talk is a crossbreed between SmartWatch and fitness band. It looks like the latter, but has some of the features you would expect of a SmartWatch.

You may also like our 60 second review video

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LG G Watch R Review

LG_G_Watch_R (17)The battle of the SmartWatches is upon us.  It began with Sony and with the introduction of Android Wear, LG, Samsung and Motorola have all given it a shot.

They all have their positives and negatives, but for many the squarer faces of the first wearables were not acceptable.  The demand for many is for circular, more traditional watch looking devices.

Motorola stood first with the Moto 360, but LG has quickly followed with the G Watch R.

The 360 has been released, but UK availability is sparse and the G Watch R is not facing such supply issues.

In this review I tell you all the good, bad and OK bits about the G Watch R. If you prefer to sit back, watch and listen, then the video below if for you.  If you prefer to read then scroll down for the full written review.

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Motorola Moto 360 Review

Motorola_Moto_360 (18)A computer on your wrist was once something for a sci-fi movie, but no longer is this the case.

You, I and even your great uncle Pete can now wear an intelligent device on your wrist that reduces the need to interact with your smartphone.  Never has it been so possible to do so much without physically touching a computing product.

With the power of voice you can now set reminders, send text messagers, reply to emails and navigate from point A to B.

This ever capable product is referred to as the SmartWatch, and they come in various shapes, sizes and specifications; but the Motorola Moto 360 is the first to become available with a circular face and looks more like a traditional wrist watch than a black box strapped to your wrist.

The SmartWatch may still be a product for ‘geeks’ or the technically aware, but the 360 looks the part and begin the mass market adoption.

Read on to find out more, or if a video review is more your style, press, play, kick back, watch and listen.

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Nokia Lumia 530 Review

Nokia_Lumia_530 (1)When you mention the name Nokia, most people will know exactly what you are talking about and what you can expect.

Over the last few years Nokia have certainly been in a transitionary period.  If you have kept up with recent developments you will know that Nokia devices are now owned by Microsoft and are officially known as Microsoft Lumia handsets that run the WIndows Phone OS.

Somewhat underrated, the OS and the handsets still have a lot to to offer despite being overshadowed by the iPhones and Samsungs we see on shop shelves and in the press.

The Lumia 530 is an entry level or budget handset if you like and retails between £60-100 depending on where you source it.

However entry level or budget need not go against the Lumia 530, so what is the handset really like.  Read on to find out.

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Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact Review

It’s another Z3, albeit a little bit bigger.

Sony_Xperia_Z3_Tablet_Compact (3)It is another Z series from Sony, yes there have been a lot of them!  This time it is a tablet, and it’s known as the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact.

Announced at the same time as the Z3 and Z3 Compact, the Tablet Compact is a logical addition to the Sony range of mobile computing products.  It takes Z3 specs in a larger form factor, to make it a tablet rather than a smartphone, but is smaller than most tablets on the market today, making it Compact or Mini tablet, hence Z3 Tablet Compact.

What is interesting is that there is no Z3 Tablet to offer a 4th and final product to the range to cover the base of the more traditional sized tablet. The Z2 Tablet does still exist and has a good specification, so there is little need to replace this, but a Z3 Tablet would have perhaps rounded the package offing and made it a little less confusing, if you were looking for a phone and tablet combo.

When Apple clearly dominate the tablet space in numbers and demand and Samsung follow behind with more tablet choices than anyone can possibly understand; how does the Tablet Compact have any chance of standing out and being different?

Watch the following video or read on to find out.

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