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Pros

Excellent audio

Durable, eco-friendly design

Good battery life

Cons

Aged Micro-USB charging

Can’t pair with the (identical) Wonderboom 2

Our Verdict

Little has changed in the Wonderboom 3, but you get great audio, long battery life, and a durable design – what’s not to love? Well, the Micro-USB port for one, but otherwise this remains a great buy.

Best Prices Today: Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3

Ultimate Ears’ Wonderboom 2 was a wonderful bit of kit, so you can’t blame the company too much for making minimal changes to the third generation.  

The portable powerhouse looks the same, sounds the same, and even uses the same old micro-USB port. In fact all that’s new is an extra hour of battery life, slightly better Bluetooth range, and the use of more environmentally friendly materials. 

That makes the Wonderboom 3 a little harder to get excited about, especially for anyone who owns the last model. But it can’t change the fact that this is once again an excellent option for a compact, portable, waterproof Bluetooth speaker that can take a kicking and keep on ticking. 

Design & build 

Chunky, colourful design 

Waterproof – and even floats 

Eco-friendly materials 

The Wonderboom 3 looks identical to the Wonderboom 2. Really, identical – it hasn’t changed in the slightest, except for a slight refresh to the range of bright, punchy colours it comes in. 

Dominic Preston / Foundry

That’s not really a complaint though – Ultimate Ears nailed it the first time around, and this rotund little speaker is just as charming as ever. It’s compact enough to throw in a backpack without a second’s thought, light enough to lug around all day, and feels sturdy enough to survive the experience. 

The really brave can throw this into a bath or swimming pool.

It’s friendly to use too, with only a few simple buttons on the top for Bluetooth, power, and playback, and two enormous volume buttons on the side that you really can’t miss, meaning anyone at a party can grab it and figure out what to do. 

It’s as tough as before too, with an IP67 dust and water-resistance rating that means it can survive splashes and short dips. It’s even designed to float, which means the really brave can throw this into a bath or swimming pool, though I’ll admit I haven’t quite dared. 

Dominic Preston / Foundry

The only real change this year is that Ultimate Ears has tweaked the materials under the surface. It now uses a minimum of 31% post-consumer recycled plastic and is wrapped in a sustainable fabric made from 100% recycled polyester. Even the packaging is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified. 

Sound quality & features 

Powerful, well-rounded sound 

Optional ‘Outdoor Mode’ 

Stereo pairing with another Wonderboom 3 (but not 2) 

If the Wonderboom 3 looks similar to the 2, it’s sounds even more alike. Put simply, Ultimate Ears hasn’t changed this speaker’s sonics at all. 

Again though, it can get away with that because it pretty much nailed things last time around. The Wonderboom 3 delivers bright, well-rounded sound that’s tuned to suit most genres. There’s enough bass to add depth and warmth without overpowering, rounded mids, and slightly thin high-end – but it does enough to get the job done. 

Dominic Preston / Foundry

Outdoor Mode also returns, activated with a single push of a small button that’s for some reason hidden on the speaker’s underside, with a tree icon to mark it out. This pulls back on the bass and ups the treble, helping the sound to carry further in expansive outdoor spaces, and giving you a welcome second sonic option. 

Audio is only handled by Bluetooth, now improved with a range of up to 40m, and pairing is quick and simple. When we reviewed the Wonderboom 2 we lamented the lack of any physical wired option to connect, and while that’s still missing it doesn’t feel like such a problem any more – you were going to use Bluetooth anyway, right? 

Dominic Preston / Foundry

You also have the option of picking up a second Wonderboom 3 and connecting the two to double the volume or create a stereo pair. The big annoyance here is that despite the identical audio you can’t pair this with one of the older models, a needless frustration for existing owners that’s bound to cause confusion as people pick up the otherwise identical speakers and wonder why they won’t work together. 

Battery & charging 

Up to 14 hours’ battery 

Micro-USB charging 

The good news first: Ultimate Ears has added an extra hour onto the Wonderboom’s already impressive battery life, so it’ll now do 14 hours on a charge. 

That means it’ll comfortably last all night at a party, and can run for a few days of occasional use on the trot while travelling. There’s no immediate visual way to identify the current battery level though, so you’ll want to top it up every now and then if you’re not sure how much is left in the tank. 

Dominic Preston / Foundry

Now the bad news: it charges via Micro-USB, not the more modern USB-C. That’s another hangover from the Wonderboom 2, but one that at this point is absolutely unwelcome.

This is simply an unnecessary inconvenience.

None of the other tech I use day-to-day charges by Micro-USB any more, so bringing this on holiday now means an extra cable I wouldn’t have to worry about otherwise. Unless you’re using a seriously dated Android device there’s no way your phone uses the same port. This is simply an unnecessary inconvenience. 

Price & availability 

The Wonderboom 3 will set you back $99.99/£89.99, which is just under the line of what we consider a budget Bluetooth speaker. There are more affordable ones out there, but as always you get what you pay for. 

You can pick it up from Amazon of course, along with the usual retailers like Best Buy and Walmart in the US, or Currys and John Lewis in the UK. 

Dominic Preston / Foundry

Check out our full ranking of the best cheap Bluetooth speakers we’ve reviewed for more options, including affordable options like the JBL Clip 4 and EarFun Uboom. 

Verdict 

The Wonderboom 3 is an excellent portable Bluetooth speaker, but don’t let the name tempt you into an upgrade from an older model – this is a Wonderboom 2 in almost all but name. 

The move to eco-friendly materials is welcome of course, as is the extra hour of battery, but the decision to stick with Micro-USB is the closest this has to a serious flaw, giving away how dated the design really is. 

Existing Wonderboom owners will be frustrated by the news that despite using the same sonics this can’t be paired with older models, but the rest of us can enjoy a banging little Bluetooth speaker. 

Specs 

2x 40mm active drivers 

2x 46.1 x 65.2mm passive radiators 

Frequency range: 75 Hz – 20 kHz 

Outdoor boost 

Optional stereo pair (with second speaker) 

40m Bluetooth range 

Micro-USB 

14-hour battery life 

95.3x104mm 

420g 

IP67 dust and waterproof 

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What’s Behind Boom Of Christianity In China?

Christianity What’s behind Boom of Christianity in China? Theology scholars and a global network of researchers are using big data to map religion’s history in China and explain its rapid growth

Eugenio Menegon (left), a CAS associate professor of history, Daryl Ireland (right), an STH research assistant professor of mission, and Alex Mayfield (STH’21) (not pictured) are the principal investigators for the China Historical Christian Database, an effort to chart 400 years of religious history.

Over the past four decades, Christianity has grown faster in China than anywhere else in the world. Daryl Ireland, a Boston University School of Theology research assistant professor of mission, estimates that the Christian community there has grown from 1 million to 100 million. What led to that explosion, centuries after the first Christian missionaries arrived in China? The BU scholars behind the China Historical Christian Database aim to find out.

The project, which allows researchers to visualize the history of Christianity in modern China, links web-based visualization tools with a database packed with the names and locations of missionaries, churches, schools, hospitals, and publications. Hosted by BU’s Center for Global Christianity & Mission, the project launched in 2023 and version 2.0 of the database is scheduled for release in 2023. The new version will double the amount of data previously available, providing approximately four million data points—names, occupations, locations, dates, and more—spanning four centuries (1550–1950).

The database began as a relatively modest class project. Alex Mayfield (STH’21) charted early 20th-century Pentecostals in Hong Kong for a history class taught by Eugenio Menegon at the BU Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. When Mayfield mentioned his research to Ireland, the pair began thinking about how to expand the work—by several centuries and across China. Mayfield, Menegon, and Ireland are now the principal investigators for the China Historical Christian Database. 

Ireland spoke with The Brink about how the database could help scholars understand the relationships between China and the Western world.

Q

&

A with Daryl Ireland

The Brink:

What drew you to the study of Christianity in China?

Ireland: It has such a fascinating and complicated history. You can see the dynamics of Christianity and culture interacting in amazing ways. Sometimes, watching how Christianity becomes embodied in Chinese culture and society provides a mirror for reflecting on the ways in which Christianity in the United States has also shaped and been shaped by the American experience. And then I’m also fascinated that, over the last 40 years, Christianity has grown faster in China than any other place in the world. It’s gone from approximately 1 million Christians to around 100 million. This is just an incredible explosion. What set that up? That didn’t just come out of nowhere.

The Brink:

Why China and why Christianity—is there something about that convergence that’s conducive for a digital project?

Ireland: The length of history—400 years—and the strong record keeping over that time period, both in European languages and in Chinese. We have the opportunity to view this interchange between two world systems from multiple levels, and that makes it really fascinating. We’re recording everything we can, from the relationships that missionaries developed in the 16th century to Mao Zedong and his early work for the YMCA. It’s an incredibly rich body of material and gives us a really good picture of the relationship between China and the West.

The Brink:

What is the data you’re collecting and where is it coming from?

Ireland: Our objective is to map every Christian institution in China, whether it’s a church, school, hospital, publishing house, orphanage, or convent. Then we try to identify who worked inside them. We use all kinds of records and sources. One of the simple ones is a Protestant directory of Christian missionaries in China that was published annually in the 20th century. That gave us a rich source of names. Other times, we are looking through diaries, or the preface of a book written by a Chinese literati where he may thank the Christians who first introduced him to certain ideas. So, we draw on a wide variety of sources to put together social networks and spatial maps.

The Brink:

Are these sources available online or are you searching physical archives and libraries?

Ireland: Both. We have been blessed to live in an age where so much has been digitized. But we’ve also had to digitize an enormous quantity of material, working with institutions around the globe to make it more accessible for our team members. While there are three project leaders, we’ve had over 100 students work on this project, and they are located on four continents.

The Brink:

What’s the ideal source for you?

Ireland: Our dream document gives us maybe the names of people, where they were located, the years they were there, what they were doing—were they a doctor, a nurse, an evangelist?—and possibly some of the people they were connected to. Those are the five big things that we’re always searching for. We usually find about three of those five in documents, so there’s a lot of triangulation of our various data sources to build out the picture that we’re trying to make. We’ve never found the perfect document.

The Brink:

How close are you to the goal of mapping all of these entities?

Ireland: In terms of foreign missionaries, I think we are probably about 90 percent done. We’ve got a pretty good dataset of around 30,000 foreigners who were in China during that 400-year period. The much more difficult question is what about the Chinese actors that we’re looking for? We’ve never tried to claim we’re going to record every Chinese Christian. That is beyond our scope. But even locating the more visible ones, those who worked in Christian institutions, such as pastors, doctors, publishers—that’s still an unknown quantity. How well are we going to be able to piece together the Chinese story? That is the challenge we are addressing now, and it’s forcing us to get creative.

The Brink:

How do you hope people will use this data?

Ireland: We’ve imagined this to be a resource primarily for scholars, but also for students and the general public. We have tried to make the data as accessible as possible. It’s free to download and we’ve created a web interface so that if you don’t have the digital skills to write your own database queries, you can still search through the data. What people do with that varies. The general public probably uses it most often for genealogical research. Students or teachers use it in the classroom for a quick visual, like a heat map representation to show where Christianity was most prevalent in China. And scholars use it for all kinds of fascinating things. There is a team at Oxford that is trying to use the data to look at how religions have responded to climate change. They look at times of famines and droughts and watch, on our map, what happens with Christians—do they move into locations that are devastated or do they move out of them? And a team at Harvard Business School has proposed using our map to look at social networks and economic development. They’re trying to see whether economic expansion preceded religious expansion, or if economic exchanges began happening through these religious networks.

The Brink:

The study of religion doesn’t necessarily call to mind data science and big data. Why does this melding of fields make sense?

Ireland: Digital scholarship and digital tools can enhance our scholarship and our understanding of history and human life. This is a way of doing scholarship that allows us to take massive amounts of data and begin to synthesize them in some really fun and creative ways. And one of the great things about digital resources and digital scholarship is that, when done well, it empowers the user to become the author of history.

The Brink:

What comes next with this project?

Ireland: We decided to get as broad a picture as possible as quickly as possible. Now we are really choosing areas of focus. At the moment, for instance, we are trying to finish off Christian schools in China, so that’s where we’ve invested a lot of our energy. When we’re done with that, we will move to another area. At this point, we want our historical questions to begin driving what kind of data we choose to input next.

Ultimate Ears Speaker Comparison: Which Model Is Right For You?

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Written By Stan Horaczek

Updated Dec 29, 2023 7:46 PM

Back in 2013, Ultimate Ears dropped its first Bluetooth wireless speaker, the UE Boom. It was roughly the size of a tall can of Arizona iced tea and it set a high water mark for other portable Bluetooth speaker manufacturers. Thanks to its cylindrical design, it pumped out loud, clear, punchy sound in every direction for the duration of its impressive battery life. It wasn’t fully waterproof, but it was weather resistant, which made it one of, if not the, best when it comes to outdoor Bluetooth speakers. Since then, Ultimate Ears has refined and expanded its line of portable party machines. The original Boom is on its third iteration, the aptly named UE Boom 3. The Ultimate Ears speaker family now includes the pint-sized but powerful UE Wonderboom 3 and goes all the way up to the monolithic Hyperboom. 

We’ve laid hands—and ears—on the full line of Ultimate Ears products and have never been disappointed. But, when it comes to choosing the best UE speaker, comparison shopping is essential. We’ve broken down the different models and done some handy side-by-sides to help you get the Ultimate Ears speaker that fits your needs.

Ultimate Ears speaker comparison

With a variety of models in the current UE speaker lineup, it can be tricky to navigate the options. Here’s a brief overview of each model to point out the most relevant features. The list runs from smallest to largest in both size and price. 

At roughly 4 inches around, this 1-pound Ultimate Ears speaker is shaped like the loudest little grapefruit you’ve ever heard. The Wonderboom 3 is IP67 rated (waterproof and dust-resistant, making it one of our favorite shower speakers), has a dedicated bass boost mode, and promises up to 14 hours of battery life. It offers 360-degree sound coverage, and you can also pair two of them together for stereo sound. A tough, integrated loop makes it easy to attach it with a carabiner to a backpack—or a belt loop if you’re really confident in your ability to keep your pants up. And, in case it’s flung off while over or in water, it floats.

Evolved from the original UE Boom, the Boom 3 has a massive Bluetooth connectivity range up to 150 feet. It promises 15 hours of battery life and sports a pair of giant “plus” and “minus” buttons for easy volume control. Unlike the original Boom, the UE Boom 3 is totally waterproof, so it can blast “Barbie Girl” by Aqua while underwater for maximum irony. 

At roughly three pounds, the powerful UE Megaboom 3 speaker pumps more volume and burlier bass than its smaller siblings. Sadly, however, that means it probably won’t fit in your car’s cupholder or your bike’s water bottle holder as easily. It does offer up to 20 hours of battery life and it’s compatible with UE’s Power Up charging dock, so you can set it down and let it juice up when not in use.

This massive UE speaker stands more than 14-inches tall with a base that’s more than 7.5 inches around. All that body gives the UE Hyperboom enough room for features you won’t find in any other Ultimate Ears speaker, including a USB port, an optical audio in, and an auxiliary headphone jack. It’s not as waterproof as other UE speakers, so don’t throw it in the pool, but it does boast up to 24 hours of battery life and sound output that towers over the rest of the lineup in both bass levels and overall volume. If you’re looking for a loud Bluetooth speaker, this is your pal. The built-in handle also makes its substantial 13-pound heft easier to lug around.

What about the Ultimate Ears speakers Blast and Megablast?

While almost all of the Ultimate Ears speakers only connect to devices via Bluetooth (or direct cable connections in the Hyperboom’s case), the Blast and Megablast speakers also include Wi-Fi. That extra connection allow them to work with Amazon’s smart assistant, Alexa. Both the Blast and Megablast are still listed on the Ultimate Ears site, but they can be hard to find for purchase since they’re several years old. If you can get an exceptional price on a Blast or Megablast, they will still work as excellent Bluetooth speakers. Still, the Alexa integration was never that impressive and was somewhat buggy even when they were new.

What makes UE Bluetooth speakers so appealing?

Ultimate Ears has been building out its UE Bluetooth speaker line for over a decade. In that time, it streamlined and smoothed out the UE app, which adds some clever functionality to its speakers. All the current speakers except for the pint-sized Wonderboom 2 can access an equalizer function that allows listeners to tweak the overall sound performance. 

The app also facilitates pairing two speakers together for stereo sound. The Boom 3, Megaboom 3, and Hyperboom all connect interchangeably. In fact, the app allows listeners to connect up to 150 speakers simultaneously in case you want to build a wall of sound or make a really impressive TikTok. The Wonderboom 3, however, requires another unit of the same model for stereo pairing. 

Ultimate Ears speaker comparison: Design

Since the original Boom debuted, UE has made some of the best-looking Bluetooth speakers around. They spare listeners the built-in light show that companies like Sony and JBL typically include with their portable speakers. All the devices in the current lineup share the same outer layer of woven fabric and a design that centers around two oversized volume buttons. 

The Hyperboom only comes in black, but the Boom 3, Megaboom 3, and Wonderboom 3 all come in a variety of colors. If you order directly through the Ultimate Ears site, you can even customize your own Boom 3 with a system similar to Nike’s ID sneaker site. UE lets you choose the color and design on the fabric, the end caps, the spine, and the volume buttons. It will even allow for custom messages down the spine. At $179, it’s not much of a premium over the typical model price. 

Which UE Bluetooth speaker is best for you?

UE hasn’t produced a truly bad-sounding speaker yet, which makes this Ultimate Ears speaker comparison fairly simple. For its $99 price, the Wonderboom 3 is compact and easy to carry (and a perpetual inclusion in the best Bluetooth speakers under $100), but it’s not as compatible with the rest of the UE ecosystem. 

The original Boom 3 will suit the needs of most people. With 15 hours of battery life and plenty of audio oomph to fill a large room or even a typical yard, it’s a very safe bet. If you’re trying to fill a larger space, the Megaboom 3’s extra power may come in handy, just remember that it also brings a larger size and heavier weight. 

The Hyperboom provides the best sound, but it’s also massive. Don’t expect to throw it in a backpack or for it to subtly blend into your decor. Set it in your living room, and you’d half expect apes to start worshipping it like the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey. (That’s compared to other Bluetooth speakers, of course.) The Hyperboom has enough output and bass to provide an alternative for people who would otherwise consider a larger PA speaker, which might be overkill. If you have a massive space to crank tunes—or very understanding neighbors—then the Hyperboom might be the best portable Bluetooth speaker for you.  

Razer Phone Review: The Ultimate Android For Gaming

Our Verdict

The Razer Phone is the perfect smartphone… if you’re a gamer. While it doesn’t feature the sleek, bezel-less design of other flagship smartphones, no other deviceon the market can come close to matching the stunning 120Hz refresh rate. It makes a huge difference to gaming on mobile, especially when combined with stereo front-facing Dolby ATMOS-certified speakers and an app that lets you tweak the performance of games on a per-app basis. But while the display is perfect, we can’t really say the same about the camera setup. Admittedly the rear-facing dual-camera setup isn’t bad, but the quality of images captured isn’t enough to compete with the likes of the iPhone X or Google Pixel 2 XL. But hey, if you’re a dedicated gamer on the market for a new smartphone that can provide the best Android gaming experience possible, the Razer Phone is the ideal candidate – and it’s much cheaper than other flagships too!  

Following the acquisition of Nextbit, gaming brand Razer has entered the smartphone market with a handset aimed at gamers. It’s simply called the Razer Phone and offers incredible tech not found on any other smartphones on the market including a 120Hz Quad HD display capable of offering double the framerate of the likes of the iPhone X, Pixel 2 and more.

It’s a great concept, but has Razer done enough to cement its place in the smartphone market? We’ve spent some time gaming on the Razer Phone so here’s our full review. 

Razer now has a serious competitor with the announcement of the highly anticipated Asus gaming phone. Read our Asus ROG Phone hands-on review.

Price and availability

Those interested in picking up the Razer Phone can do so right now – the smartphone is available to buy from both Razer and Three UK, although at slightly different prices.

You can head to Razer and pick up the smartphone on PAYG for £699.99, or you can make a smart decision and grab one from Three UK for over £100 less at £595 – go figure. There’s also a range of Razer Phone contracts available from the network if you don’t fancy (or more likely can’t afford) going SIM-free.

The smartphone is available exclusively on the network in the UK so regardless of where you buy it, chances are that it’ll be locked to Three UK.  

Design and build

Let’s be honest, the Razer Phone won’t be winning any smartphone design awards when compared to the likes of the iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S8 or OnePlus 5T. The rather angular, blocky design that the Razer Phone employs is oddly reminiscent of the Xperia range (which is also considered rather unattractive) but with a distinctly Razer feel.

In terms of specifics, the Razer measures in at a rather thick and broad 778x8mm and weighs in at a hefty 197g, making it one of the heavier flagship smartphones currently available.

These figures are immediately noticeable when you pick the smartphone up but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It makes the phone feel sturdy and more secure in the hand. It is a fingerprint magnet though, especially on the aluminium rear!

It looks like a solid block of aluminium with nearly invisible antenna lines at the top and bottom, with the Razer logo on the back. It’s the only noticeable design feature of the smartphone, as it has been engraved and coloured, and this can be felt by running your finger over the logo.

The issue is that the logo is right where your finger rests on the rear of the smartphone, and the slightly jagged edges of the engraving constantly catch your fingers. It’s not painful, but it’s a little annoying (a thought shared by several of the Tech Advisor team).

Apart from the Razer logo and display, the only physical feature of the phone you might notice are the front-facing speakers above and below the display, which is half the reason the phone feels so tall in the hand. We’ll investigate the audio prowess later.

There are also circular volume buttons on the left of the smartphone, though these are placed further down than on other smartphones. The placement, while it looks odd initially, makes sense for gamers – they always in the way when gaming in landscape. Not with the Razer Phone!

It’s a similar story with the power button, but it’s flush on the right-side of the display so placement doesn’t matter as much. It’s still easy enough to reach to lock and unlock the smartphone without adjusting your grip though, don’t worry!

The real deal-breaker? It features a 16:9, 5.7in display. While that may sound okay, many manufacturers already employ bezel-less 18:9 displays in their smartphones. This allows for a larger display in a smaller body and for some is easier to use. The decision means that compared to bezel-less smartphones, the Razer Phone looks a little dated – on the surface, anyway.

Oh, and Razer decided to follow Apple’s example and ditched the 3.5mm headphone jack on the Razer Phone, featuring a solo USB-C port instead. Admittedly, like Apple, the Razer Phone does come with a USB-C-to-3.5mm adapter for use with existing headphones, but most users will likely need to make the switch to wireless headphones sooner or later.

So, it’s not the best-looking smartphone on the market by any means, but there’s a reason for some of the slightly odd design choices. Let’s take a look at why.

Specs and features

As should be obvious by the manufacturer, the Razer Phone was designed with one focus in mind – mobile gaming. It’s why the phone is slightly chunkier and taller than competitors – it features unique tech to make it the ultimate gaming smartphone.

Display

The most impressive feature of the Razer Phone is undoubtedly the 5.7in IPS LCD display. It offers a Quad HD (1440×2560) resolution and an eye-watering pixel density of 515ppi.

Far more important here, though, is that the display offers the highest refresh rate of any smartphone on the market – 120Hz. For comparison, most high-end smartphones available at the moment are capped at 60Hz, meaning the Razer Phone can display double the number of frames in a single second – 120fps, up from 60fps.

In the real world, this means the smartphone provides a better mobile gaming experience than anything else available at the moment. The graphics are buttery smooth – so smooth, in fact, that you’ll struggle to play games on any other smartphone once you adjust to the improved refresh rate.

Even in relatively basic games like Pokémon GO, the experience is instantly improved – the difference in performance even when compared to flagships like the Google Pixel 2 is day-and-night.

It’s not only games that get the buttery-smooth treatment either – you can head to the Settings menu and enable the 120Hz refresh rate throughout the operating system, making swiping between screens, browsing through your library of apps and surfing the web as smooth as can be. 

Backing up the 120Hz refresh rate is a Wide Colour Gamut. This provides the display with a wider breadth of colours than what’s provided on standard displays. It doesn’t only improve the general look of your favourite Android games, but makes everything – from YouTube videos to the Google Play UI – look bright, accurately represented and vibrant.

Gaming

This, of course, is the main focus of the smartphone. The combination of impressive internals, an incredible display, front-facing stereo speakers and software enhancements provide something close to the PC gaming experience on a mobile. Believe us – that’s not something we thought we’d ever say!

The 120Hz display provides up to 120fps on supported games – and although it’s an impressive feat, it’s also where the biggest issue currently is.

While there is admittedly a fast-growing list of Android games that offer support for the Razer Phone’s impressive UltraMotion display, the vast majority of popular games don’t offer support at the time of writing. You can see a full list of supported games on the Razer website here to give you an idea.

The difference between supported and unsupported games is immediately noticeable, especially in terms of how smooth supported games look on-screen. Even when accessing in-game menus or watching the same battle animations you’ve seen thousands of times before, it looks smoother and frankly better on the Razer Phone than most smartphones on the market.

It definitely makes a difference to the overall gaming experience too; rather than being something that you play for 5-10 minutes at a time, the Razer Phone’s impressive display and speaker setup keep you coming back for more – if for nothing more than to marvel at how amazing games look on the smartphone.

The experience is improved with the introduction of Game Booster, an app found exclusively on the Razer Phone. The app provides both granular control over the performance of individual games and the ability to generally favour game performance or battery life on the phone.

It’s the granular control over individual games where Game Booster really shines. Unlike with any other smartphone, you can customise not only the resolution but frame rate, anti-aliasing and even how much CPU power is dedicated to the game.

The higher you crank it, the more your battery will drain – but it’s also true of the opposite. If you regularly play a mobile game that doesn’t need flashy graphics, you can turn the performance down and use less battery life than usual. That way, you can enjoy the best games at 120fps and text-based games at 720p/30fps and help you game for longer.

It’s essentially as close to configuring a PC game’s Graphics settings on Android as you’ll get for a while, and it’s incredibly impressive.

Audio

Alongside the stunning display, you’ll find two front-facing stereo speakers. While most smartphones offer a single mono speaker or combine it with the phone earpiece to provide still poor stereo audio playback, the Razer Phone provides amazingly clear stereo audio with two dedicated directional speakers.

They aren’t random speakers either – they’ve been Dolby ATMOS tuned and you’re provided with several audio profiles (Movies, Games, etc) to enhance your audio experience depending on what you’re doing. They’re easy to select too, as the toggle is accessible from the Notification Shade on the smartphone.

The audio is powered by a THX-certified DAC, which provides impressive audio quality when listening to music via headphones. The overall audio quality is impressive for a smartphone, but the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack may put some users off. As mentioned, there’s an adapter in the box but Bluetooth headphones may just be the way forward in 2023!

Processor, memory and storage

Of course, just because a display offers the ability to display 120fps when gaming, it doesn’t mean it always will – any PC gamer will tell you that! So, how did Razer make sure its inaugural smartphone had enough oomph to power a Quad HD display at 120fps?

The Razer Phone features an octa-core Snapdragon 835 processor, the most powerful chip available right now from Qualcomm, alongside an Adreno 540 GPU and a whopping 8GB of LPDDR4 RAM – the most (and fastest) RAM in any smartphone on the market right now.

There’s also 64GB of built-in storage with the option to expand it by up to 2TB via a Class 10 microSD card slot.

This means the Razer Phone provides a decent bang for its buck, especially when you consider that lower-specc’d flagship smartphones cost £100-200 more than Razer’s option. The smartphone is incredibly responsive when opening apps, swiping between menus and scrolling through Twitter, and it’s equally as impressive in the gaming department. Even when rendering games at 120fps at 1440p, the Razer Phone barely breaks a sweat.

We’ve got some numbers to back up the impressive performance of the smartphone, which can be seen in the below chart. Though the numbers aren’t chart-topping, the real-world difference isn’t noticeable when compared to other smartphones – and thanks to the 120Hz display, apps, games and menus often look nicer just because they’re a lot smoother.

Battery life

That 120Hz display and high-end internals must have an effect on overall battery life, right? Essentially, yes, but it’s not as simple as that.

The Razer Phone features an impressive non-removable 4,000mAh battery, one of the largest of any smartphone on the market at the moment. But despite the high capacity, the display and internals draw more power than the average smartphone.

In real-world use, we’ve found the Razer Phone to last comfortably all day when using social media, replying to texts and reading emails, but when you add gaming to the mix (which, let’s be honest, is the whole point), the battery drain is more noticeable and chances are you’ll need to top it up before the end of the day.

The good news is that if it does require a top-up, the Razer Phone features Qualcomm QuickCharge 4.0+, which can charge the battery in next to no time. It’s one of the first phones we’ve seen to move beyond version 3.0.

It features Dual Charge technology and Intelligent Thermal Balancing to eliminate hot spots, provide lower thermal dissipation and an overall reduced charge time.

The down side is that this is only provided by the official Razer plug and the USB-C to USB-C cable included in the box. That means that if you use a non-branded USB-C charger to top up the smartphone, chances are you’ll be waiting for quite a while, especially with such a high-capacity battery inside.

There’s also a Game Booster app that allows granular control over the performance of the smartphone generally and when playing specific games. It allows users to change the priority from performance to battery life with a tap – we’ll go into more detail about in the Gaming section below.

Connectivity

The Razer Phone offers fairly standard connectivity options including Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2 and NFC. It also boasts 4G LTE activity for all UK-based networks. We’ve already mentioned the lack of a headphone port and the lone USB-C port.

Cameras and photography

In terms of cameras, the Razer Phone has an impressive – but not perfect – camera setup. On the rear of the device you’ll find a dual camera setup comprised of two 12Mp cameras – one standard lens with f/1.8, while the other is a telephoto lens with f/2.6. This is coupled with phase detection autofocus and a dual-LED flash that should in theory provide well-lit, perfectly focused images.

In testing we had mixed results. Take a look at the below photo of St. Pancras Hotel – while it captures decent detail and light on the whole, when you zoom in you start to notice ‘soft’ patches, especially on the hotel brickwork. Whole patches of brickwork are featureless blurs, thanks to slightly over-aggressive noise cancellation, an issue suffered by many flagship smartphones. It’s not completely lacking in detail though as you can still easily make out things like street signs and road markings pretty well.

Like other dual-camera smartphones, the Razer Phone opts for a telephoto lens to offer 2x optical zoom on-the-fly. The toggle in the camera app looks and works much like what’s offered by the iPhone 8 Plus, but the degradation in quality is more noticeable than with Apple’s offering. We found images to be more washed out and noisy than those taken with the standard lens, as can be seen with a zoomed image of St. Pancras hotel below taken directly after the above image was taken.

There’s also the option to record at up to 4K@30fps on the rear-facing camera, although the recording options are limited to 4K, 1080p and 720p, with no option to change the frame rate. We’ve recorded some 4K sample footage, which can be seen below, but we’re not too impressed – especially at how dramatically the colour changes towards the end of the video.  

On the front of the smartphone, you’ll find a rather standard 8Mp front-facing camera that provides decent quality for the likes of Skype, Snapchat and taking selfies for social media. It’s also capable of shooting up to 1080p video if required.

It’s worth noting that Razer is constantly updating the camera app to improve the quality of images and add new features, so it’s possible that our complaints could be somewhat alleviated by a future update.

Software

The Razer Phone comes with Android 7.1.1 Nougat installed, with no upgrade to Android 8.0 in sight – for now. Though it hasn’t been confirmed by Razer, we imagine that the Razer Phone (which will likely be the flagship for most of 2023) will get some Android 8.0 love at some point in order to keep it competitive, especially as other 2023 flagships are announced and released.

It’s very much stock Android, but with a few design tweaks. In addition to the plethora of Google apps, you’ll find the Razer Store. While you may think this is the place to find games, you’d be wrong (although it’d totally make sense!). Instead, it’s where you can browse from a variety of game- and Razer-related themes for your smartphone.

While the designs vary, the themes change more than your background – they’ll change the icon style and the colour scheme used throughout the operating system. Some could argue that it’s a little gimmicky, but we think it’s a nice way for users to personalise the phone without spending too much time in the Settings menu.

Specs Razer Phone: Specs

5.7in (2560×1440, 515ppi) display

Android 7.1.1 Nougat

Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835 processor

Octa-core (4×2.35 GHz Kryo & 4×1.9 GHz Kryo) CPU

Adreno 540 GPU

8GB RAM

64GB storage, up to 2TB with microSD

Fingerprint scanner

Dual rear-facing cameras: 12Mp (f/1.8, 25mm)and 12Mp (f/2.6), 2x optical zoom, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED dual-tone flash

8Mp front-facing camera (f/2.0)

802.11ac Wi-Fi

Bluetooth 4.2

A-GPS

NFC

USB 3.1, Type-C 1.0

Non-removable lithium-ion 4,000mAh battery

158.5×77.7x8mm

197g

Vivo Nex 3 Review: A Nex

Our Verdict

There’s not a lot to dislike about the Nex 3. Importers – especially in the US – are probably better off ditching the 5G and sticking to the regular 4G model, but beyond that this phone offers almost everything you might want from a 2023 flagship. The huge curved panel is beautiful, the battery is banging, and the internal specs rival just about any other phone on the market. The only real letdowns are the lack of waterproofing, an occasionally clunky operating system, and a camera that’s good but can’t quite keep up with the best out there.

The Vivo Nex 3 is the company’s first foray into 5G as part of its Nex line, and it’s going all out, with headline-grabbing specs from the display to the cameras, together with novel design choices like ditching physical buttons (almost) entirely.

With a design that’s reminiscent of Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro – announced just a week after the Nex 3 – it’d be easy to overlook Vivo’s phone, but with a notchless display and Google app support, this might have the edge on the Mate in at least some respects.

Price and availability

The Nex 3 is available to buy now, but only in China and select other Asian markets – there are no plans for any western release, so don’t hold your breath waiting for one.

Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t buy it – like most other Chinese phones, it’s  easy enough to import. You can find the Vivo Nex 3 on grey market import sites like Aliexpress and Banggood. Prices vary, but at the time of writing are typically around £700/$800 for the 4G model with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage and more like £800/$900 to jump up to 5G, which also ups the storage to 256GB.

Those prices are for the global ROM versions – essentially models shipped to Asian markets outside of China – which means it should ship with Google Play services pre-installed, just like any phone in the west. There is also a 5G model with 12GB RAM but we can only find that in a Chinese ROM, which means no Google services (or apps) out of the box. You can get around this using the same method as for the new Huawei phones, but it’s an extra bit of hassle – and risk of problems down the line – that we’d recommend avoiding if you can.

Chasing waterfalls

The first thing that’s likely to catch your eye on the Vivo Nex 3 is the curved screen, which runs almost all the way to the top and bottom bezels while wrapping most of the way round the sides – with noticeably more curve than even the Galaxy Note 10. It’s a beautiful visual, though this is undeniably hitting the limits of usability when it comes to curves.

It’s what Vivo is calling a ‘Waterfall FullView’ display, and the company claims it delivers a 99.6 percent screen-to-body ratio. I’m not quite sure how it reached that number – those top and bottom bezels, while incredibly slim, look like more than 0.4 percent of the phone to my eyes – but either way this phone offers more screen than just about any other out there.

The 6.89in panel is POLED (i.e. plastic OLED) with a glass layer on top, with a FHD+ resolution of 2256×1080 – not hitting QHD is one of the few compromises here. The panel itself comes from Samsung, and is pretty gorgeous in use, with especially bright, vivid colours. I’m used to using the OnePlus 7 Pro – which packs one of the best screens around – and the 60Hz refresh rate is really the only thing that lets the Nex 3 down in comparison. 

Palm rejection software does its best to mitigate the main annoyance of curved screens, and is probably the best I’ve ever used – I don’t think I’ve had a single accidental touch registered in almost two weeks of using the phone. The added curvature here creates another problem though: buttons. There’s just not the space for physical buttons – and besides, they’d ruin the sleek effect – so Vivo has instead built in capacitive pressure-sensitive buttons for power and volume, with haptic feedback to let you know when you’ve hit them. Sensibly there’s a ribbed section for the power button to help you find it without looking, and the volume controls sit above and below so they’re easy to activate too.

It’s tech that the company demoed in the Apex 2023 concept phone, but put into a retail phone for the first time in the Nex 3. Once you learn the spots to hit (aided by some subtle on-screen prompts) the ‘buttons’ are surprisingly easy to use, and you can customise the pressure for each individually to help avoid accidental touches. In one change from the Apex, Vivo has also thrown in a small physical power button along the top edge of the phone, for those worried about the touch buttons failing if the phone ever freezes.

It’s a much better setup than the clunky compromise in Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro, where you have to double-tap on the side of the screen to activate the on-screen volume controls, then slide up and down to change them. Vivo’s approach works even when you’re not looking, feels like a button, and covers power too – something Huawei didn’t quite dare to take off a real button.

The back of the phone looks almost as great as the front, with a reflective glass back available in two finishes: Liquid Galaxy or Glowing Night. Those are basically a silvery white and black respectively, and the former in particular picks up the light in some fairly pretty patterns.

Pixel power

Vivo has Samsung to thank for more than just that curved panel: the Korean giant also supplies the 64Mp camera sensor that’s the star of the Nex 3’s triple rear camera setup. The f/1.8 shooter follows phones from Xiaomi and Realme with the same OTT megapixel count, but remember that between pixel binning and sensor sizes there are limits to the benefits you can expect from the extra Mp.

Still, the Nex 3’s main lens is impressive, with vibrant colours and about as much detail as you’d hope for given the pixel count. Colours do run slightly on the over-saturated side unfortunately, so true-to-life isn’t quite what the Nex delivers, though its’ far from the worst in that respect. There’s a good dynamic range though, and it handles low and difficult lighting without too much loss of detail. There’s a dedicated Night mode too, which is competent but far from the best out there.

The main lens is joined by 120-degree wide-angle and 2x telephoto lenses (both 13Mp), the latter of which will let you get as far as a blurry 20x zoom with some digital help. Thanks to smaller apertures you don’t see quite the same dynamic range from either of these, but there’s minimal distortion on the wide-angle at least.

Finally, to keep the display uninterrupted Vivo has opted for a 16Mp pop-up selfie camera, which slides out in a wide apparatus that includes its own flash light – and the option to have it play a slightly annoying sound effect every time it does so. I quickly turned that off. Otherwise, it’s a solid selfie cam that highlights one of the camera apps biggest annoyances: an AI facial recognition that has a beauty mode on by default. A beauty mode that includes 13 distinct sliders and no way to turn it off except by turning off every single slider individually.

All in all, the Nex camera setup is good, but not as good as the on-paper specs might suggest – a healthy reminder that most of the best smartphone cameras right now are driven by larger sensors (and not just more pixels) and arcane algorithms. Still, this is a camera that will more than meet most people’s needs even if it’s not quite best-in-class.

Specced out

With all that fuss over the display and the camera, you’d think Vivo might have skimped on specs, but if anything it’s the opposite – the company has gone all out to keep up.

For starters there’s the new Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset, currently the most powerful on the market for Android devices. It’s joined by either 8GB or 12GB  of RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.0 storage. Between all that the phone runs seriously smoothly, and should happily keep up with demanding streaming, or the latest Android games or video rendering needs.

That carries through to our benchmark results. As you’d expect, our review model – the 8GB/256GB configuration of the Chinese ROM – holds its ground against all the biggest flagships from the second half of 2023 so far, even outperforming some on the more intense graphical tests. This is one of the most powerful phones in the world right now from a pure performance perspective, and should comfortably hold up for years to come.

The 4,500mAh battery comfortably lasts a day and just about stretches to two – the Nex 3 managed 13 hours in our battery test, beating even the 6,000mAh ROG Phone 2, though I’d say the real-world performance has been strong, but not quite as phenomenal as our artificial benchmark shows, suggesting some unusual optimisation at work. Charging is a breeze though – the 44W fast charging topped the phone up to 68% from empty in just 30 minutes, which is amongst the fastest we’ve seen so far.

There’s no wireless charging at all though, as the company hasn’t yet embraced the tech. There’s also no IP rating, though Vivo reps insist it has been tested for water and dust-resistance.

Connectivity is unsurprisingly solid, with NFC and Bluetooth 5.0, plus the aforementioned 5G if you opt for that model. There are six antennae across the phone to help improve the reliability of 5G connections, using the Sub-6GHz spectrums – the type most common in Asia and Europe, but not yet in the US, where mmWave is more readily available. That means European importers can probably expect typical 5G performance – though with the slow rollout of the service that isn’t saying much, even in a city like London – but if you’re in the US the Nex 3’s 5G model probably wouldn’t be a great choice.

The only other thing really lacking here is software. The Nex 3 ships with Android 9 – not 10 – and Vivo’s Funtouch OS is not quite as fun to use as the name would suggest. It’s not the worst, but with more bloatware than I’d like and some odd UI decisions – like moving the settings shortcuts to a swipe up from the bottom left, rather than above the notification tray – left me occasionally frustrated. Some of this may be better on the global ROM – there’ll probably be less bloatware and at least the Google stuff will come pre-installed – but even so the OS is the main thing that keeps me from feeling like I could switch over, say, the OnePlus 7 Pro.

Verdict

There’s not a lot to dislike about the Nex 3. Importers – especially in the US – are probably better off ditching the 5G and sticking to the regular 4G model, but beyond that this phone offers almost everything you might want from a 2023 flagship.

The huge curved panel is beautiful, the battery is banging, and the internal specs rival just about any other phone on the market. The only real letdowns are the lack of waterproofing, an occasionally clunky operating system, and a camera that’s good but can’t quite keep up with the best out there.

Related stories for further reading Specs Vivo Nex 3: Specs

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus

8/12GB RAM

128/256GB UFS 3.0 storage

6.89in FHD+ (2256×1080) POLED

16Mp (f/2.09) pop-up front camera

64Mp (f/1.8) rear camera with 13Mp (f/2.2) 120-degree wide-angle and 13Mp (f/2.48) x2 telephoto lenses

4G LTE/Sub-6GHz 5G

Bluetooth 5.0

GPS

Headphone jack

Capacitive buttons

4500mAh battery

44W Super FlashCharge

In-display fingerprint sensor

Android 9.0

167x76x9.4mm

218.5g

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Vs Note 4 Comparison Review

Our Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was one of the biggest smartphone (or phablet) launches of 2014. With significantly faster hardware and a fantastic Quad HD screen, and now available from just £449, you don’t need us to help you decide whether you should buy the Note 4. That said, at £289 the Note 3 is an absolute steal, and you will not be disappointed with either smartphone.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was unveiled in September and remains one of the best phablets you can buy, but how does it compare to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3? We reveal all in our Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Note 4 comparison review. Also see:  Best smartphones 2024 and Best phablets 2024. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Note 4: UK price

Bought SIM-free, the older Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is much cheaper than the Note 4. At the time of writing you could pick up a new 32GB Note 3 in white with two batteries and a free 8GB Micro-SD card from eBay for £289, although the auction site notes that the price for the Note 3 trends at around £339.

On the same site the Galaxy Note 4 commands an extra £200, although we found it SIM-free at Amazon for £449. That puts at very least a £110 price difference between Note 3 and Note 4.

Few people will buy either the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 or Note 4 outright, instead choosing a two-year tariff from one of the UK’s mobile operators. If you are looking for the cheapest deal, though, check out the best SIM-only deals 2024. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Note 4: Design and build

With both Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Note 4 featuring a 5.7in screen, there isn’t too much difference in the size and weight of these two phablets. The Note 3 measures 151.2×79.2×8.3mm and weighs 168g, while the Note 4 is 153.5×78.6×8.5mm, 176g. Both come with an S Pen, but the Note 4’s has been redesigned to work more like a real pen. Also see: Best new phones coming in 2024.  

But there are some differences between Note 3 and Note 4 in terms of design and build. For a start, whereas the Note 3 comes in Jet Black, Classic White and Blush Pink, the Note 4 also comes in Copper Gold.  

The Note 4 has the same soft-texture rear cover, but now has a premium metal frame. 

Also new to the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is a fingerprint scanner, heart-rate monitor and a UV sensor.  

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Note 4: Screen

While both phablets feature a 5.7in screen, Samsung concentrates on quality over size with its Note 4. Like the LG G3, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 features a Quad HD (2560×1440) screen. Until you see Quad HD and full-HD side by side it’s impossible to appreciate just how awesome is the difference. The Note 4’s display is significantly more impressive than the Note 3’s full-HD (1920×1080) panel, with a staggering pixel density of 515ppi against the Note 3’s 386ppi. 

It was heavily rumoured that, in common with the Samsung Galaxy Round, a version of the Note 4 would be available with a curved (or flexible) screen. In fact, we got the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Note 4: Processor, graphics and performance

When the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 was released in September 2013 it totally blew away all other contenders in terms of performance. Its 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 quad-core chip, paired with 3GB of RAM and Adreno 330 graphics, turned in an extraordinary 4057 points in Geekbench 2, 54fps in GFXBench Egypt, and 589ms in SunSpider. And that’s still fast even today. 

Things get even faster with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 – although it may not be obvious from the benchmarks, which have since been updated. However, as you can see from our comparison of all the latest smartphones we’ve tested in our article  What’s the fastest smartphone 2024, the Note 4 is incredibly fast. Its 2.7GHz Snapdragon 805 chip, 3GB of RAM and Adreno 420 graphics powered it to scores of 3272 points in Geekbench 3.0, 1367ms in SunSpider, and 27- and 11fps in GFXbench 3.0’s T-Rex and Manhattan tests respectively. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Note 4: Storage

Not a great deal has changed on the storage front, and like the Note 3 the Note 4 comes with 32GB of storage with microSD supported, here up to 128GB. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Note 4: Connectivity

One difference is the addition of Samsung’s Download Booster, first seen in the S5, which pairs 4G and Wi-Fi to offer a theoretical max download speed of 400Mb/s. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Note 4: Cameras

There have been a few tweaks in the photography department. Now fitted with a 16Mp (rather than 13Mp) rear camera and a dual- (rather than single-) LED flash, the Note 4 is capable of capturing better photos than the Note 3. Both phones are, as before, able to capture 4K UHD video at 30fps, full-HD at 60fps, and slow-motion HD at 120fps. 

The front-facing camera in the Note 4 is also improved, now a 3.7Mp monster with a f1.9 lens and a Wide Selfie mode. The Note 3 features a 2Mp front camera. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Note 4: Software

Both phones run Samsung’s latest TouchWiz interface over Android KitKat, although you can expect Samsung to upgrade each to Android Lollipop within the coming months. The Note 4 already has a Lollipop-cards-style recent apps menu, and the transparent clock/weather widget looks nice.

Multi Window isn’t new, but it lets you use two apps at once in a split-screen view. These windows can be resized, too, to allow more space for an app that requires it, for example. The Note 4 also offers the ability to view a window as a pop-up screen that can be moved around and will let you continue working in the background.

The Air Command wheel lets you access features such as Action Memo, Screen Write, Image Clip and the new Smart Select feature by pressing the small button on the side of the S Pen. By default this appears when you remove the S Pen from its holder, but if you find that annoying then you can change the settings to do something else or nothing at all.

A swipe away from the main home screen is the ‘Magazine’ BlinkFeed-style aggregator, which can be customised or removed if it’s not to your taste.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Note 4: Battery life

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is supplied with a generous 3200mAh battery, which Samsung claims offers up to 13 hours of internet usage over Wi-Fi, and about the same for video playback. In our tests battery performance was strong, lasting long enough to get us through a full day and with enough juice left over to get us into the office the next day. 

The Galaxy Note 4 has a slightly larger 3220mAh battery, and supports fast charging – from zero- to 50 percent in 30 minutes. However, it didn’t blow us away with its battery life performance, and as with the Note 3 we found only a little bit of juice would be remaining on the second day. 

One thing we do like in the Note 4 is Samsung’s Ultra Power Saving mode, which switches the screen to a greyscale interface and turns off non-essential features to squeeze out every last bit of life once the battery capacity gets critically low.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Note 4: Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was one of the biggest smartphone (or phablet) launches of 2014. With significantly faster hardware and a fantastic Quad HD screen, and now available from just £449, you don’t need us to help you decide whether you should buy the Note 4. That said, at £289 the Note 3 is an absolute steal, and you will not be disappointed with either smartphone.

Follow Marie Brewis on Twitter.

Specs Samsung Galaxy Note 3: Specs

GSM 3G/HSPA+/LTE, GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900MHz), LTE (800/850/900/1800/2100/2600MHz), HSPA+ (850/900/1900/2100MHz)

802.11a/b/g/n/ac

Bluetooth 4.0

NFC

2.3GHz Quad GHz CPU Speed

Accelerometer, Geomagnetic, Gyro

USB 2.0, USB 3.0

3.5mm Stereo Earjack

MicroSD External Memory Slot (up to 64GB)

Micro SIM

Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

32/64GB Memory

151.2×79.2×8.3mm

168g

3200mAh Standard Battery

5.7in FHD sAMOLED 16M Colour Depth, 1920×1080

S Pen

CMOS, 13 MP BSI Sensor, Auto Focus, Smart Stabilisation, LED Flash (High CRI), and Zero Shutter Lag

CMOS, 2MP BSI sensor with Smart Stabilisation, Full HD recording @30fps

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