Tuesday, 29 November 2016

An SSD replacement brought my HP Chromebook 14 back from the dead.

Just recently my first gen HP Chromebook 14 started crashing and rebooting randomly, and almost exactly 2 years after I received the device new, the 16GB SSD inside completely died. Unlike the new Macbook Pro, or quite a few Chromebooks, the SSD is actually replaceable. With a little Googling I found a useful blogpost on how to replace it. Instead of going the whole hog and plumping for a 128GB drive, I went for a 32GB SSD due to budget constraints and the worry that it might play up again.




Pulling the Chromebook apart was quite a delicate job, and I am not really keen on doing it on laptops, but it went OK. I even tried re-seating the display cable to fix the flickering I have been getting recently. I put it all back together but had take it apart again because the SD card reader's catch stopped working, the card would not stay in, so I had to put the springiness back into that. Also there's a screw left over...there's always one! Then it was a case of inserting the recovery SD card to restore ChromeOS. It is good to get it going again after having to use my old heavy Dell Latitude E6500 (with Kubuntu) instead for a week or so. I missed the near instant response a Chromebook has when you want to quickly jump on the net, and the hassle-free updates and ultra quick boot time. It's nice to have a little extra onboard storage space and I just hope this SSD lasts longer than 2 years as I really do not like opening this thing up! It's also good to know that the battery is also easily replaceable too.















Sunday, 11 September 2016

iPhone 7 And The Removal of The Headphone Jack.

So, yet again Apple makes an incremental update to their iPhone range with ever so slightly tweaked design, slightly faster CPU, better cameras and removal of the headphone port, supposedly allowing better quality audio, but actually a ploy to eek more money on accessories, such as their £159 AirPods, and whatever sludgy sounding overpriced crap (Apple-owned) Beats produce these days. And it still does not have wireless charging, which Apple will probably debut that on the iPhone 8, call it new and "magical" and use their own particular incompatible format.



I keep hearing the same arguments by various tech people that removing the headphone jack is no big deal because we used to have phones that had proprietary adaptors for headphones. Those people seem to forget that every device maker had proprietary connectors for charging or headphones so you ended up with a box full of all these different cables. Nowadays, all chargers are Micro USB or USB C, except Apple. We don't want to go back to the dark ages of tech! If you are stuck somewhere without a charger or headphones you can usually borrow a charger off somebody or pop into a pound store and get a micro USB lead or ear buds in an "emergency". And headphone makers will have to have work with Apple to get their Lightning and wireless headphones working with the iphone 7 (and maybe not working with non-Apple devices). I doubt the overpriced wireless AirPods will work properly with non-Apple devices either.




The use of a Lightning port to analogue adaptor cannot really improve audio quality (since analogue is still the destination) and Bluetooth headphones just aren't up to the quality of decent wired headphones. Plus the headphone jack component was pretty tiny and maybe could have been moved back to the top of the device instead. And although headphone jacks can break with abuse, they are still tougher than the awful quality of Apple Lightning cables!   


I have also heard the argument that removing the headphone jack helps with making the iPhone 7 water resistant, but other device makers seem to have no trouble making their devices water resistant without removing it. iPhone 7 users who want to use wired headphones while charging their device will have to buy an adaptor from Apple (£49) or elsewhere, and not lose it. iPhone users tech lives must be all about buying and (not) losing adaptors! 



Meanwhile, outside of the Apple Reality Distortion Field..

Of course the recently released Motorola Moto Z had  beaten Apple to it and debuted with a lack of headphone jack earlier this year, not that is a feature to boast about. Sadly Motorola are a shadow of their former self ever since Lenovo took them over. I have a 2014 Moto X, their last really great non-Lenovo device. 

The day before Apple's event, at a fairly dull, lower key, event, LG announced it's V20 phone with high quality quad DAC audio output, fast onboard modem, 4GB RAM, and fingerprint scanner. The specs are great and it's actually an innovative device compared with the iPhone 7. It brings it's 4 camera setup to the V range and keeps a removable battery, SD card slot, second screen along the top, and still has a headphone port! It's DAC includes a dedicated headphone amp too. The only thing I don't really like with LG is their skin over Android, but it is impressive to see it's the first Android device to ship with Nougat out the box. Having a massive SD card would be useful in the device for those who like to travel with lossless audio and for recording high quality UHD videos, which LG have added "Steady Record" electronic image stabilization (EIS). They have also improved the manual camera settings, including volume input levels on the HD stereo mics. It's also pretty tough device as it has a body MIL-STD 810G Military spec Transit Drop Test rating. Also, I am not sure whether it'll actually appear in the UK, since the V10 didn't. 





But it's Apple that usually get all the publicity, particularly from the mainstream newspapers (for example BBC and The Guardian) who usually fawn over the new iDevices, though with the removal of the headphone jack, that has taken centre stage in the press. Only time will tell how well the iPhone 7 goes down with the public, though of course there always seems to be a hardcore Apple fanboy following that will buy it anyway, even at the higher prices they are now here in the UK. I can only hope sanity prevails and the removal of the headphone jack really won't be a trend for future Android devices.  



Further Reading:



Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Motorola Moto G - 2nd Generation vs 3rd Generation

A few weeks back I bought my son a Motorola Moto G 3rd generation and for what is, a mid-range handset, I have been seriously impressed with it.

So when looking for a phone for my daughter I instantly looked at the Moto range. A faulty Moto E had to be returned, and finally I settled on a Moto G 2nd generation.

The Moto G range are Motorola's mid range phones sandwiched between the budget Moto E and the top end Moto X, so you don’t expect premium performance - but the Moto G are decent performers and are reasonably priced. You get serious bang-for-your-buck.

Specs

The 2nd gen was released in September 2014, less than a year later the 3rd gen was released. The 2nd gen is slightly smaller, thinner and lighter than its successor. They both feature a similar body shell, 5.0” IPS LCD screen with 294 ppi and Corning Gorilla Glass 3, 1GB RAM. The 3rd gen adds IPX7 certified - it is water resistant up to 1 meter and 30 minutes.

The 3rd gen is available in 8GB model which has 1GB RAM - which my sons is - as well as 16GB model which has 2GB RAM.


Where the two differ are marginal. The quad-core 1.2Ghz processor in the 2nd gen is upped to a beefier 1.4Ghz. The GPU has been upped slightly too. The cameras go from a 8 megapixel main with LED flash capable of 720p videos and 2 megapixel front, to a 13 megapixel main with dual LED flash capable of 1080p videos and 5 megapixel front. 


Mobile Network

My 2nd gen is a XT1068 model which has no 4G, whereas later ones did. The 3rd gen however does have 4G.

Android Version

The 2nd gen shipped with Android ‘Kit Kat’ but is upgradeable to ‘Lollipop’ and ‘Marshmallow’, whereas the 3rd gen shipped with ‘Lollipop’ and upgradeable to ‘Marshmallow’ with a possibility it will received ‘Nougat’.

Battery

Both feature built in non-removable batteries, but the 3rd gen increases capacity by about 20%.

Performance

I ran both side by side. Both are running Marshmallow and there really is a negligible difference. Apps and games ran pretty much the same, with only a second or two between them and not always in the 3rd gens favour.

Pokemon Go and Facebook - two rather heavy apps for any device ran the same on both. Opening Chrome and loading pages over WiFi there was no difference.

Cameras

The cameras on both handset are very impressive. The 8 megapixel camera on the 2nd gen produce crisp, sharp and well balanced pictures and the increased 13 megapixel on the 3rd gen do just as well.

Front cameras aren’t for much more than taking selfies or video calls. The 2 megapixel on the 2nd gen produced decent images and the upped 5 megapixel on the 3rd gen were even better.

Call and Audio Quality

Both handsets were great for calls, producing clear and very loud calls. Music playing on both were as good as you get from any phone. Personally I don’t like music blasting out from a small plastic device - couple it with a Bluetooth speaker or a pair of decent earphones and I am much happier.

Conclusion


My kids are happy with both handsets. There isn’t much difference between the two. The 3rd gen has slightly higher specs, improved camera, water resistance and a possibility of receiving Android ‘Nougat’.

Both handsets are decent performers.

Written by Simon Royal. Follow me at twitter.com/simonroyal

Monday, 8 August 2016

Motorola Moto E (First Generation): Budget But Not Basic

My daughter was looking for a new handset, and I have been very impressed with the Moto G 3rd generation I got for my son a few weeks back, so I started looking around at other Moto handsets.

Her requirements aren’t as heavy as his and she didn’t want such a large phone. I picked up a Moto E first generation. The Moto E line is Motorola’s budget range and the specs are reflected in the price.

Specs

This Moto E - XT1021 model - was released in 2014 and has a dual core 1.2Ghz Cortex A7 processor, 1GB RAM, 4.3” screen and 4GB internal storage with MicroSD slot. It has a 5mp rear camera with no flash and no front facing camera. It shipped with Android 4.4 ’KitKat’ and received 5.1 ‘Lollipop’ - but didn’t receive 6.0 ’Marshmallow’.

It does lack a gyroscope and a digital compass which can make it incompatible with some apps such as Pokemon Go.



Build

The phone seems very well built. It is an all plastic phone and the back pulls off to reveal the SIM and MicroSD slots. It has a rubbery feel and gives the whole phone a decent grip. Whilst clipped on securely the back did feel a little loose fitting.

Screen

It is a budget phone so you don’t expect premium quality when it comes to the screen. However the 4.3” screen features 540x960 px and 256ppi. It offers a bright and crisp display, that is more than good enough for you average user. Viewing angles were good and whilst direct sunlight affect viewing it was still ok to use.


The Moto E first generation next to my sons Moto G third generation


Cameras

One area where it suffers from its budget price tag is the camera. The rear camera is a 5mpx fixed focus and no flash. It produces decent pictures outside in decent light, but indoors and in poor light it didn’t produce good photos at all. The lack of auto focus also often affected the clarity of the pictures taken. It has no front facing camera, which in a world of selfies, face swapping and video calling is quite essential.

OS / Speed

This handset is running Lollipop. Being Motorola is near stock Android and this helps to keep the OS light and slick, together with the 1GB of RAM. Navigating around the phone is quick, installing apps, setting up accounts and sorting out the SD card were lag free. Apps such as Facebook, Facebook Messenger and Chrome loaded quickly.


Online

Accessing the Play Store, surfing using Chrome and watching videos on YouTube were great over wifi as well over 3G. Sites and videos loaded quickly and the experience was great.

Phone & Music

Using it as a phone was good. Call quality was superb making conversations easy, the speakerphone however lacked volume. Music and YouTube also followed suit, lacking volume and any bass. In crowded or noisy environments I would expect to find it hard to hear music.

NOTE: I should point out this handset was faulty in the speaker department. When it first arrived no sound would come out of it - a common issue. It did eventually work but this could have impacted on volume.

Battery

I haven’t used this Moto E enough to give a true account of the battery life, but its low screen and budget hardware should see the fairly decent sized 1,980 mAh built in battery. Setting up, installing and having a general look around the phone and apps didn't really impact on battery.

Conclusion

The first gen Moto E lacks the premium hardware of its bigger siblings - but that is reflected in the price. Pushing aside its poor cameras, the performance of this little handset is fantastic. Its smaller screen and stock Android gives a great experience.

They can be picked up for around £20 on the used market and for a handset running Lollipop this is an amazing bargain.

Written by Simon Royal. Follow me at twitter.com/simonroyal


Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Motorola Moto G : 3rd Generation With Marshmallow Review

When looking for a new phone for my son I was at a loss where to start. His Windows Phone had served him well, but the lack of apps were getting to him. So I asked around and the new range of Moto phones were recommended.

The Moto E is Motorola's budget Android handset and the Moto X their flagship phone. In the middle is the Moto G. After comparing specs, I decided to hunt for a Moto G and stumbled across a phone listed badly on eBay. It was marked as first generation, released in late 2013, however it was clear by the pictures it was a third generation released in mid 2015.

I won the auction and it arrived next day and I was correct - I opened the box and was presented with a third generation Moto G. It was in great condition with a few scratches on the screen - only visible when turned on.

Set Up

I went about setting it up for my son, and it gave me a good chance to check it out and give it the once over.

Specs

The specs are impressive for the price. A Quad Core 1.4Ghz processor and 1GB RAM. It has a 5.0” screen, 13 megapixel camera main camera and 5 megapixel front camera. It is also running 6.0 Marshmallow - the current latest version of Android.

Check out the full specs at GSM Arena.

Build 

It has a great feel and build quality. The back is held on tightly and once clipped is water resistant. Its textured back makes it easy to hold, giving a good feel in the hand. With its 5” screen it makes it a large phone, but it doesn’t feel bulky. 


Screen

Turning it on you are greeted with a large bright screen, which was viewable in all lights, even direct sunlight. Setting up was as easy as any other Android device. Once set up you sit looking at a near stock Android Marshmallow OS.


Cameras

Next I took a look at the cameras. The 13mpx rear camera is amazing for the price. Crystal clear pictures that snapped instantly and it features dual LED flash. There is no camera button, but pictures are snapped by pressing the screen. Even the front facing camera produced superb images at 5mpx.


Out door photos taken using the rear camera.


In door photo taken using the front camera.


Selfies taken with the front camera. Left is outdoors. Right is indoors.

Online

Using it as an internet device was great. Its large 5.0” bright screen made it a joy to use. Connected to my home wifi pages loaded very quickly and Facebook and YouTube were very quick. I briefly used it over 3G and it also performed very well.

Phone

It is a phone after all. So how did it perform as a telecommunications device. I live in quite a poor signal area, yet this Moto G had no issues holding on to signal even indoors. Outside it held on to a high speed internet connection very well.

Call quality was superb. I could hear the caller very loudly and the caller had no problems hearing me.

Music

Playing music was great. I am not a fan of playing music directly on a phone as no matter what handset you have it is still quite a horrible experience. The Moto G had decent volume and OK sound output - but please, use earphones or hook it to a decent speaker/sound system.

OS / Speed

Navigating around the phone you realise what a decent piece of kit it is. It is extremely fast, loading built in apps and the Play Store was very smooth. I then started installing a few regular apps such as Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Pokemon Go and GeekBench. As well as this it was updating built in apps and preparing the SD card. Nothing seemed to phase it.

Once finished loading apps, it was still very quick. Facebook - a usual slug of an app - loaded within seconds and refreshed just as quick. Even Pokemon Go, which can be slow, loaded quickly.

I am very pleased and surprised by how this year old mid range handset performed.

Battery

I haven’t had the chance to play with it for a full day - but heavy usage of setting it up, installing apps and giving the phone a good play didn’t impact much on the large 2470mAh battery.

Mac Connectivity

I don’t have a lot to do with Android as I own a Mac and went for an iPhone for ultimate compatibility. Windows Phone had a good app which tied in with iTunes playlists meaning syncing music was quite easy. This broke with the release of Yosemite, however a small hack got it working again.

For Android it seems hit and miss. Older Androids used to just mount as an external drive and copying to and from was easy. However some newer ones require the Android File Transfer tool which is terrible.

This Moto G uses Android File Transfer and I didn’t like it. Copying music over was slow and it would fail part way through. It took a few attempts to get everything copied over. I shall be looking in to an alternative.

It also appears that when selecting which USB connection you want you have to decide between ‘file transfer’ which does music and ‘photo transfer’ which loaded Photos on my Mac. It seems you have to do things separately. (Editors note: photos are kept in the DCIM folder)

Update To N

The Moto G 3rd generation shipped with Lollipop and received the update to Marshmallow. My sons came with Marshmallow already. Whether it will see Nougat - due for release late 2016 - is a good question. Will a mid range 2015 handset get a third update? We will have to wait and see.

Conclusion

Personally I love my iPhone and iOS - but I have had my head turned by this Moto G 3rd generation. A mid range handset that was under £200 on release and can now be purchased for about £120 new - or less on the used market - it packs a lot of quality punch for a low price range.

It is an incredible handset at an incredible price and you really do get a great quality phone that out does some high end handsets.

Written by Simon Royal. Follow me at twitter.com/simonroyal


Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Former Flagship: Motorola Moto X Second Generation with Marshmallow


After a month or so of using the Sony Xperia Z2, I have returned it, because of a dead pixel on the camera, plus really poor audio quality in calls and sub-par low-light photo quality. Also, because of the bloatware Sony decided to include, I found I was running out of internal storage space all the time. I decided to replace it with a second gen Motorola Moto X, since I have experienced the near-stock Android experience of Motorola before with the first and second gen Moto G devices. I did not really have the budget for the X's successor, the Moto X Style or a Nexus 6/5X/6P. I also went for the second gen X because it has already received Android Marshmallow when the Z2 and G3 were still yet to get it.


I found a very good condition second gen Moto X on eBay that looks practically new, other than a few barely noticeable marks on the outer edges. It's a device that was originally ordered from Moto Maker, in white with blue detailing and beautiful walnut back.  It arrived in it's original box with booklets, Sim tool, unused charger and USB cable, still in their wrapping.


Once I'd unboxed it, setting up was simple as restoring from the backup stored by my previous device. I could also have restored from a previous Motorola device, but it's been ages since I had one.


Screen

The second gen Moto X has a beautiful 5.2" AMOLED screen (as opposed to the IPS screens on the Sony Z2 and LG G3) at 1080p but it has a bigger screen to body ratio than the Sony, which had a quite a big chin and forehead. Instead of using Knock-To-Wake like LG, you can wake the X by hovering your hand near it, I never get tired of this Jedi mind trick! I also really like Moto Display that only lights up the clock and notification bubbles on the lockscreen to save power. You can also quickly peek at notifications depending on privacy settings. AMOLED does not need to light up individual pixels when displaying black images, so using a very dark or black wallpaper should also save battery life.


Build

The Moto X is slim (helped by the lack of a MicroSD slot) and feels great to hold and about the same weight as the LG G3, but also lighter than the Sony Z2. It felt a bit of a shame to enclose the beautiful water resistant body, with it's nice walnut rear, in a leather flip case, but even then, the device is slimmer than my LG G3 was with the Quick Circle cover. The SIM cover and headphone jack is at the top and the buttons are all on the right hand side.



Software

The second gen X has the latest Marshmallow OS from Google that does not include lots of duplicate apps of Google apps, and the only notable Motorola apps are it's camera, useful gallery app (I find it better for dealing with locally stored images than Google Photos). The granular control of permission in Marshmallow are a great addition to Android, it offers fine control on a per app basis as to what each app can access. Google Now Launcher is installed by default but I prefer the smaller icons and customisability and features of Nova Launcher Prime. You may also notice I have made the battery percentage appear in the battery icon, using the tweak found here. This device is the smoothest Android experience I have had since I had since my Nexus 5. There is also considerably more storage space left for apps than I had with the Sony Z2 and LG G3.

 

Camera

In the past Motorola devices have sometimes suffered from poor quality cameras, but all that changed with the second gen X, which has a superb 13MP shooter with similar specs to my LG G3. It produces great sharp images and great low light shots. Here's a very low light shot of the very last embers of a sunset.


I have found Motorola's simple Camera app is great for taking a quick photo of something, but sometimes I get better HDR shots using A Better Camera, the only problem is it tends to use way more battery than the stock camera, as it did on my LG G3 too. One thing I miss from the LG is holding down Volume Down to get straight to the camera and the Sony Z2 had a hardware Camera button. Motorola's solution uses a gesture instead, a double flick of the wrist, which takes a little practice to get right.



  You can find some other photos I have taken with the Moto X here.

I have also found audio recording quality in videos, and in calls, to be excellent and far better than that of the Sony Z2. I recorded a quick test video of a busker on the high street to try it out, at the default 1080p settings. I have yet to try the slo-mo and 2160p settings out.



Battery Life

With only a fixed 2300MaH battery, the second gen X reportedly gets mainly average battery life, but still on a par with what I got from my LG G3, which had a 3000MaH battery but had a True HD screen which impacted on battery life. Marshmallow's Doze should improve battery life over previous Android versions and I will find out how things go in the coming weeks, since I have only had this device for a short time.

Conclusion

So far I have found this to be the best Android device I have owned so far, with it's smooth near-stock Android experience with only minimal tweaks from Motorola. I love Moto Display and the beautiful screen, and that it fits better in my pocket than my LG G3 (or the Sony Z2) did even with a leather flip case on it. I also like the crystal clear sound quality, including in Skype calls. Hopefully I shall keep this device for a good long while, as long as it continues working well. The second gen Moto X is still a great device, particularly since it received marshmallow.





Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Former Flagships: From LG G3 to Sony Xperia Z2


Several months back I accidentally dropped my LG G3 and had the screen replaced, but unfortunately it now seems to be becoming glitchy, so I decided to replace the phone with something different/better.  On my limited budget, I went for a one of the G3's competitors (of the era), a Sony Xperia Z2 as it has a 20MP camera, 3GB RAM, decent size battery, shatter-proof screen and waterproof (IP58 certified) body. I found a decent secondhand one on eBay at a reasonable price. It only has a few marks on the rear glass back, the rest is in great condition, including the 5.2 inch 1080p screen.

 
First impressions when I picked it up out the box was it's feels reassuringly heavy and robust, particularly the metal sides and buttons. Booting up, the device led me through the setup wizard, including creation of a Sony account. When I had finished I realized I could have used their backup/restore tool to restore straight from my G3! The default look isn't a stock look, the icons and widgets look a bit toy-like to me, so I installed Nova and replicated a cleaner, nearer stock look, with Marshmallow icons, in the same way I did with my G3. Like the LG, the Z2 has Knock To Wake (but not Knock to screen off), it just needs to be enabled in the settings. It might take me awhile to really get used to having the buttons on the side of the phone again, especially as the Z2 has the Power button and Volume rocker in the centre of the side of the device.


The Z2 currently runs Sony's version of Lollipop 5.1.1 (my LG G3 only has 5.0.2), it feels quick and I have so far not felt any lag, likely helped by a lighter UI and 3GB RAM. My G3 used to underclock itself when it got hot so it sometimes lagged briefly. All Z2s will get Marshmallow at some point, and there's a beta currently available for some. There's quite a few extra apps I am not sure I actually need, mostly camera effects, and some can be 'uninstalled' but at least it's easier to make it look stock than with LG. For example, Sony does not skin the Quick Settings so they're not ugly like LG's. However if you do not disable these extra apps, particularly Facebook and Twitter, you will find they bloat up to huge sizes as each update adds to the original size of the app and the 16GB version quickly feels too small.


Camera

The Sony Z2 has a 20MP camera that can record video at 2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps (compared to 30FPS on my G3) and 720P@120fps. It does not have Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) which the LG G3 has. Slightly annoyingly HDR mode is buried in the stock camera settings, so it is not convenient. In fact most advanced features are only available when you set it in manual mode such as resolution and shot type. Luckily there are plenty of decent third party camera apps. Marshmallow will apparently bring the Z5 style camera interface to the Z2. I like the physical camera button, which can take you to the camera app when you hold it for 1 second, wherever you are in the OS or from the lockscreen. I do kind of miss the Quick Look case though. There's a ultra-quick burst mode setting, and you hold down the shutter button to activate it.


I'm a bit disappointed in the low light sunset shots by the Z2, as no matter which app I tried, I could not get a decent shot, as the white balance and contrast seems to be all out of whack, even when using HDR mode in other apps. I shall have to experiment further with settings and other camera apps to see if it can do better.


By default, the Sony camera app seems to use 8MP at 16:9 ratio, but I prefer to set it to Manual mode and 20MP at 4:3. I think the LG G3 has a greater dynamic range. On one very sunny day in Lincoln, I tested out the camera and found I got the best results, or at least to my tastes, using A Better Camera's HDR mode at 20MP, 4:3. The app used to suck the battery life out of my G3 but works just fine on the Z2. Here's a few examples:




You can find more photos from the same day here.

Here's another sunset shot, on a different day, that came out very well:


Battery Life


I am already noticing that I get far better battery life with the Z2 than I did with my LG G3. I used to have to charge my phone at some point in the early evening and then put on charge when I go to bed. The Z2 on the other hand seems to last me all day without that evening recharge, depending on usage. This is probably due to a combination of the larger 3200 mAh battery (the G3 one is 3000 mAh) and lower resolution screen. The G3's 1440p display might be larger, and pretty with it's tiny bezels, but it really does suck up more power.  I also actually find the Z2's display more pleasing to my eyes and easier to see in bright sunlight. The G3 does have a removable battery, unlike the Sony, but it's not as convenient and obviously requires the purchase of a spare battery. I also like that I can remove the MicroSD card from the Sony without having to shut the phone down.

Call Audio Quality

When I first tested the Z2s in a call, the caller at the other end could barely hear me, as my mic audio volume seemed to be really low. However, I found out that disabling Microphone Noise Suppression (Settings > Call Settings) solves the problem. After a reboot, it's now perfectly acceptable, though in Skype it is still a little bit low so I think I shall be using my Bluetooth headset for that.


Conclusion

Overall, despite the slightly better camera performance on the LG G3, I prefer the Sony Xperia Z2 as it doesn't lag at all, or get as hot. One time I awoke to find my LG G3 was really hot and about to shut itself down. I had to leave it off for about 20 minutes or so until it had cooled down before attempting to use it again. The Z2 also feels more durable and can apparently survive a splash or a dunking, though I'm not going to test that myself on purpose! The G3 is a great device when it's working fine, but I much prefer the Sony Z2's reliability, better battery life, and solid performance as a daily driver.