Sony's previous flagship, the Xperia Z has had a surprisingly short spell as top dog because now we have the Xperia Z1 which addresses all the Z's failings. What makes the Z1 as good as it gets in Sony's (or anyone else's for that matter) smartphone universe is a more powerful quad-core processor, much improved 1080p screen, 20-megapixel camera and a waterproof glass and aluminium body that doesn't require you to faff about with a plug in the 3.5mm audio jack. Could this be the best smartphone in the world?
Samsung started this whole phablet business with the first Galaxy Note which sold surprisingly well. Its successor the Note 2 upped the stakes with a 5.5-inch screen compared to the Mk. 1's 5.3. It sold in huge quantities. The moral? Bigger is better. That's why the Galaxy Note 3 has a 5.7-inch display plus a 2.3GHz quad-core processor with 3GB of RAM. Being a Note device it naturally packs a stylus too. Samsung has also added a 13-megapixel camera into the mix to give it a pretty impressive all-round technical specification.
Unless you've been under a rock for the last six months it can't have escaped your notice that all the major British telecos now offer 4G services. Well, almost all. 3 is due to launch it's network in a few weeks. Vodafone and O2 have just done so while EE got the ball rolling last year. To date 4G has meant expense but with 3 promising that it's 4G service will cost not more than it's 3G offering prices should start to drop across the board. Timely then that Nokia has launched a decent 4G large screen phone for less than £200, unlocked and SIM-free.
If two years ago I has suggested that mobile phones would soon sport 6.4-inch screens and processors more powerful than laptops you would have laughed in my face. Hell, I'd have laughed in my face. But that is exactly what Sony's new Xperia Z Ultra is. For a phone the Ultra boasts an almost ludicrously high-end specification - 6.4-inch screen? Check. 2.2GHz quad-core CPU? Check. 1920 x 1080 display resolution? Check. Waterproof and dust resistant? Check. Cor blimey as they used to say.
Yesterday Apple announced two new iPhones. In years gone by that news would have riveted people to their seats, had crowds out in the streets chanting Steve Job's name and set the press all a-quiver. But this time around media coverage was remarkably muted as was the public reaction. Has Apple lost it's mojo? Is its kit simply no longer that exciting? Have we gotten blasé about new tech? Is Apple simply being beaten by the likes of Samsung whose Gear smartwatch pulled in the headlines last week? Should you give a monkey's about Apple's new iPhone handsets? Read on.