Sony’s mid-range Xperia XA, XA Ultra and L models are about to get a refresh, and unfortunately it appears to be more of the same. The company’s design language has stagnated for what seems like an eternity, while the rest of the market has moved on with modern, cutting edge devices. Companies like LG and […]
Come comment on this article: Here’s a look at Sony’s upcoming Xperia XA2, XA2 Ultra and L2
This week HTC’s social media staff were busy working on responding to interested consumers who wanted to know what the company’s plans were for updating some of their more recent devices to Android 8.0 Oreo. Perhaps sensing it might be easier to issue a single statement instead of spending time on multiple responses, the company tweeted […]
Come comment on this article: HTC confirms Android Oreo for HTC U11, U Ultra and 10
Before a device really makes its rounds through the rumor mill, we’ll typically see some benchmarks or very early reports bearing the new name or model number. In this case, we’re getting a glimpse at the Google Pixel XL 2, which we aren’t expecting very soon. With that being said, the benchmark seems mostly plausible, even by […]
Come comment on this article: Potential Google Pixel XL 2 benchmark confirms Snapdragon 835, ultra tall screen
The HTC U Ultra is technically HTC’s first premium phone for 2017, even it’s a little disappointing on paper. It’s still high end, but we just didn’t love the price point. HTC’s had some decent sales to counteract that, though. It may not be enough to sway you away from that shiny new Galaxy S8, […]
Come comment on this article: [Video] Unboxing the HTC U Ultra
You’re no doubt familiar with JerryRigEverything, the YouTuber that puts phones through a variety of different bend tests. This time the subject is the HTC U Ultra, and the results aren’t good. If you’re looking for a phone with durability, you might not want to go with the U Ultra, according to JerryRigEverything’s tests. The […]
Come comment on this article: HTC’s U Ultra actually isn’t that durable
HTC has launched the U Ultra and U Play, two stunning phones covered in shimmering, shiny glass, and equipped with Sense Companion, the company’s first AI assistant. Here’s everything you need to know.
The post HTC wants U! Everything you need to know about the HTC U Ultra and U Play appeared first on Digital Trends.
Atomic’s Hawx Ultra 130 are not only the stiffest boot in its Hawx Ultra range, it is also the lightest ski boot the company has produced. All it took was a completely new way of thinking about ski boot design.
The post Light and agile: The Atomic Hawx Ultra 130 sheds weight without losing strength appeared first on Digital Trends.
Google’s latest Chromecast doubles the price, but quadruples the resolution for a simple and affordable way to get 4K. Add in wide HDR support, and it’s got a lot going for it.
Today, Google introduced a refresh of its Chromecast streaming device. It’s called the Chromecast Ultra. While it costs nearly double the price of the old one, the latest Chromecast supports both 4K streaming and HDR for eye-popping video streaming.
The post Google’s Chromecast Ultra is ready to serve up 4K HDR for $ 69 appeared first on Digital Trends.
Sony will be moving forward with none other than its X-series of smartphones. The latest addition being the Xperia XA Ultra, aimed at the upper mid-range category. Sony just launched a new smartphone called the Xperia XA Ultra. The handset features a 6-inch display with a Full HD resolution and is powered by MediaTek’s MT6755 processor. […]
Come comment on this article: Sony quietly adds the Xperia XA Ultra to its already existing X lineup
When you are on a budget, one of the biggest questions you must answer is which features you are willing to compromise on. Whether it’s a lower resolution display, less RAM, less capable cameras, poor build quality, or perhaps an underpowered processor, these are all things you must consider. There’s a host of budget smartphones to choose from, and most tend to compromise at least one area. Here in the United Kingdom, the Moto G (2015) is often viewed as the go-to device for people with limited budgets, but perhaps there’s an alternative, the Smart Ultra 6 that is available from Vodafone UK for just £115.
The Smart Ultra 6 has a unibody design. But, before you get your hopes up with thoughts of the HTC One M9 and its beautiful aesthetics, without being too blunt about it, the Smart Ultra 6 is fairly bland. While many unibody designs will strive for a smooth, sleek appearance without a noticeable seam along the length of the device, the Smart Ultra 6 has gone the other way.
For some reason, the designers went out of their way to put a fake seam on the Smart Ultra 6 that makes it appear as if its has a removable rear panel, except it doesn’t. It isn’t the worst thing you’ve ever seen on a smartphone, it’s just a little odd. On to the dimensions, and the Smart Ultra 6 is 154 x 77 x 8.35mm and weighs 159 grams. For a 5.5-inch handset, it’s quite pocketable, being a couple of millimeters narrower than my Samsung Galaxy Note 4. The bezels aren’t the thinnest you’ve every seen, but then again, they aren’t the biggest either with the handset having a screen-to-body ratio of 70.3%.
The silver volume and power buttons are both on the right-hand-side of the display. The power button is in the middle of the phone, which is far too low for my personal liking but that’s just my preference. The buttons themselves are responsive, easy to find, and reward each press with a satisfying clicking sound. Navigation achieved by way of the on-screen buttons, and there’s a neat blue LED light for notifications that also serves as the Home button.
There’s a speaker on the rear of the handset, along with the Vodafone logo. Up top is the 3.5mm audio socket, with a microSD card slot on the left-hand side of the phone. On the right-hand-side is the SIM slot, just above the volume buttons. As you might expect, the micro-USB port is present on the bottom end of the handset.
When I say the Smart Ultra 6 is bland and inoffensive, don’t get me wrong. The build quality is good, the handset doesn’t creak or bend, and the glass feels sturdy enough. The Smart ultra 6 isn’t a terrible looking handset either, unlike some budget devices that are around. But it is bland, albeit inoffensive. The grey metallic plastic is not unpleasant to hold, the material isn’t terribly slippy in the hand, and it serves its purpose. Thankfully, a case can definitely smarten it up and add some bling if needed. If grey isn’t your thing, the Smart Ultra 6 is also available in silver.
The Smart Ultra 6 features a 5.5-inch Full HD (1920×1080) IPS LCD display, Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor, Adreno 405, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, a 13MP rear camera, a 5MP front camera, a 3000mAh battery, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, and Bluetooth 4.0.
4G LTE (3, 7, 20)
GSM (850, 900, 1800, 1900)
The Smart Ultra 6 is nippy. The Snapdragon 615 is a mid-range processor with 8 Cortex A53 cores providing enough grunt to play the high-end games such as Asphalt 8 with acceptable frame rates. While the Smart Ultra 6 isn’t going to set new benchmark records, it will do the job, without noticeable strain. The rear of the handset doesn’t become overly hot, but it does get warm after playing Asphalt 8 for around 30mins. Although the Snapdragon 615 does its job well, it is possible to make it stutter now and again. For reference, the Smart Ultra 6 scores 2359 on Geekbench 3, and 31192 on Antutu.
Where some affordable handsets fall down when it comes to the display, here the Smart Ultra 6 carries on going. It’s 5.5-inch Full HD LCD display, with In-Plane-Switching (IPS) technology allows for impressive viewing angles and vibrant colours. I think it’s safe to say that you won’t find a better display on a similarly priced handset. Possibly the only letdown with the display is the lack of an automatic brightness option.
The speaker on the rear of the handset offers a rather middling performance. Its single driver sounds a little thin and isn’t anything to write home about, but, it is acceptable and delivers its top volume without distorting. Call quality is also at a good level, with callers able to hear you talk clearly. You won’t be scratching your ears off, but you also won’t want to be using the Smart Ultra as a portable speaker for any length of time.
While the handset is naturally locked to the Vodafone network, it is possible to unlock the Smart Ultra 6 with a minimum of fuss thanks to the unlock codes found on Ebay, which only around £4.
On to the battery and here the 3000mAh battery really helps the Smart Ultra 6 stand out. Despite having to provide the juice for a large 5.5-inch Full HD display, the battery manages to hold out for around 2 days with light usage. For normal usage, most users should manage to get through the day without having to charge. I found that by 9 PM, I had around 15% left, after the usual notifications, calls and texts, social media, checking accounts and emails, 20-30 mins gaming, and around 20 minutes of YouTube. As with pretty everything else about the Smart Ultra 6, it’s a good result. Not fantastic, not terrible, but firmly in the middle. On average I managed around 4 and a half hours of screen-on time.
Quite often we see these overbearing custom UI’s on Android handsets, whether they are cheap or expensive. Thankfully, Vodafone has refrained from putting its stamp on proceedings, leaving an almost stock Android 5.1.1 Lollipop experience. On that topic, there’s no word as yet when, or if, an update to Marshmallow is forthcoming.
While there are a few pre-installed apps present, that would appear to be the extent of Vodafone’s meddling. Even the wallpapers are stock Android, which is no bad thing. One feature that is missing, however, in common with stock Android, is the ability to see the battery percentage in the status bar. One way to get around it is by installing an app such as Circle Battery Widget from the Play Store.
Let’s get to the pre-installed apps. While the apps themselves are no blight on the handset, Vodafone has somehow decided that these apps are to be front and centre when opening the app drawer. There are seven apps pre-installed, and luckily you can uninstall 5 of them while the other two can be disabled. Other than possibly the Smart Tips and Smart Flow apps, you’ll probably find the pre-installed apps to be fairly pointless.
It would seem that almost all the mid-range budget phones are using a 13MP sensor for the rear camera, and here the Smart Ultra 6 is no different. Features such as HDR, Panorama, Smile Detection, Multi-Exposure as well as the option to add a filter to your masterpiece are present. You can choose between three modes: Manual, Automatic or Mode which gives you access to the features previously mentioned.
As to the quality of the images, that can be a bit of a mixed bag, but for the most part, the sensor copes adequately when taking pictures in good lighting. In low-light conditions, however, the sensor does struggle to give sharp, detailed results, and can look a little washed out. For a £125, the camera is more than acceptable, so long as you are okay with chucking out the odd photo here and there. You can check out the sample shots I took with the Smart Ultra 6 below.
Vodafone partnered up with ZTE to develop the Smart Ultra 6, and the result is a handset boasting an impressive array of components for a very affordable price. Yes, the design is somewhat uninspired and nondescript, but it isn’t terribly offensive, and you can always put a case on it to add a bit of excitement. No, the camera is not going to compete with the Galaxy Note 5, and yes, the Snapdragon 615 can stutter at times when you are racing through the apps. But for a handset with a Full HD display, a beefy battery, and competent cameras that usually costs just £115, it’s downright appealing.
I would say that the Smart Ultra 6 is the definitive budget smartphone in the UK at the moment. If you are on a tight budget, this is the mobile phone you should be looking at. For £115, you just can’t go wrong.
Come comment on this article: Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 review
Super Time Force is one of the more mind-bending indie games to break cover in recent years, and now the time-traveling, side-scrolling shooter is coming to the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita. As of September 1st, the game will be live in the PlayStatio…
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