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Christmas mobile

The four best phones you should buy for Christmas 2016

29 Nov 2016
Mark Headshot


amaysim's digital stuffologist

Christmas 2016 is creeping up on us at lightning speed. If you’re looking to spoil someone with some new tech or treat yourself to something flashy then a new phone might be the perfect Christmas gift.

Waking up to a shiny new mobile phone in your Chrissy stocking would be a great start to Christmas day. Apart from giving you the freedom to shop around for a new phone plan as your needs change, we’ve crunched the numbers to show that buying a phone outright for Christmas and pairing it with a SIM-only plan is actually cheaper than diving straight into a contract a 12- or 24-month contract:

With so many new phones released in 2016, what’s the best mobile phone to buy outright?

Let me run you through four of the best phones (in my humble opinion) that you should buy this Christmas.

1. iPhone 7 & iPhone 7 Plus – the people’s choice

Arguably two of, if not the most popular phones on the market, the iPhone 7 release earlier this year was highly anticipated although it wasn’t completely clear of criticism. The removal of the headphone jack created a bit of an uproar but Apple devotees haven’t let this deter them from purchase. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is still a fantastic step up from its predecessors. For the first time in iPhone history it is water resistant, welcome news for those who are a little rough with their devices or a tad clumsy.

Buy it for: The Apple devotee

Key specs:

  • Display - 4.7 inch for the iPhone 7 and 5.5 inch for the iPhone 7 Plus
  • Storage – 32GB, 128GB or 256GB
  • Camera – 12 megapixel main camera for the iPhone 7 and 12 megapixel dual cameras for the iPhone 7 Plus (one wide angle and the other telephoto), 7 megapixel front-facing camera
  • Operating system – iOS 10
  • Protective features – Splash, dust and water resistant

Head to the Apple site for more detailed iPhone 7 & iPhone 7 Plus specs.

The Apple iPhone 7 32GB starts at $1,079 and the iPhone 7 Plus 32Gb starts at $1,269. Check out Apple’s website for more information.

2. Google Pixel & Pixel XL – the newcomer shaking things up

This new release from the tech giant lives up to the hype, offering a seamless transition from your existing Apple or Android device, integration with your Gmail and Google Drive, an in-built Google Assistant activated through voice control and one of the best quality cameras to be built into any smartphone to date. While the design may not be as flashy as some others in market at the moment, the functionality speaks for itself. If you’re looking for a change from Apple or Samsung then the Google Pixel is one to watch.

Buy it for: The budding photographer in your life

Key specs:

  • Display - 5 inch for the Pixel and 5.5 inch for the Pixel XL
  • Storage – 32GB or 128GB
  • Camera – 12.3 megapixel main camera and 8 megapixel front-facing camera
  • Operating system – Android 7.1 Nougat
  • Protective features – N/A

Check out some more detailed Google Pixel specs.

The Google Pixel 32GB starts at $1,079 and the Pixel XL 32GB starts at $1,269, for more information head to the pixels website.

3. Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge – the stylish and sophisticated pick

The newbie from Samsung has some pretty great features including a high quality screen, wireless charging capabilities, and a curved front and back design making it both stylish and super functional. The camera is impressive, although a teeny step down from what the folks over at Google are bringing to the table.

Buy it for: A Fandroid looking for an upgrade

Key specs:

  • Display – 5.5 inch
  • Storage – 32GB or 64GB
  • Camera – 12 megapixel main camera and 5 megapixel front-facing camera
  • Operating system – Snapdragon 820, Exynos 8890 Octa-core
  • Protective features – Water and dust resistant

Check out the Samsung website for more detailed Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge specs.

The Samsung galaxy S7 Edge 32GB retails for $1,149 and the 64GB model retails for $1,249.

4. LG G5 – the one with the tough exterior

One of the key selling points of the LG G5 is that, unlike the majority of other smartphone released this year (or in quite a while), it has a slide-out removable battery plus an aluminium build making it quite a sturdy mobile. It’s got a wide angle lens camera for more impressive photos, a classy modular design and a tough screen that claims itself to be ‘damage resistant’ – is this the smartphone version of the indestructible Nokia 3210? Time will tell.

Buy it for: That one person always dropping their phone

Key specs:

  • Display – 5.3 inch
  • Storage – 32GB
  • Camera – 16 megapixel main camera, 8 megapixel front-facing camera
  • Operating system – Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • Protective features – Gorilla Glass 4 screen that is damage resistant

Head to the LG site for more detailed LG G5 specs.

The LG G5 retails for $1,099.

I hope this mini-guide has helped you to find the best mobile phone for you or your special someone. And don’t forget to tee your new phone up with one of our great value, no lock-in contract mobile plans – just bring your own (new phone) and your existing number, simple!

Happy festive season!



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Pixel 5

Google Pixel 5: Everything we know so far

13 Aug 2020

Fresh on the heels of the Pixel 4A being announced, the hype train for the Google Pixel 5 is now well and truly underway.

After months of speculation about whether the Pixel 5 launch would be pushed back, Google put much of this chatter to rest by providing a sneak peak of the Pixel 5 during the recent launch of the Pixel 4A.

Last years flagship device, the Pixel 4, was a phone full of potential. As we've come to expect from the Pixel series, it featured an incredibly powerful camera, however its average battery life, held it back from being a serious contender for phone of the year.

While the Pixel 4 had its flaws, it was still a really good phone overall, and it will interesting to see how this years model, stacks up against other flagship models from 2020 such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 and Apple's highly anticipated iPhone 12.

With all this said, we wouldn't count Google out from delivering something special and with such a positive early response to the Pixel 4A, perhaps 2020 will prove to be the year of the Pixel.

To help bring you up to speed on what Google has in-store with this years flagship Pixel device, here's everything we know so far about the Pixel 5.

at a glance: rumoured Google Pixel 5 features

  • Expected October release
  • 5G connectivity
  • Android 11
  • New camera features; Adjustable Flash, Motion Blur & Audio Zoom
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G

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    Expect 5G

    It's widely expected the Pixel 5 will include 5Gconnectivity.

    The feature was all but confirmed in early August with the announcement of the Pixel 4A, where Google teased two new 5G devices, the Pixel 5 and a 5G version of the Pixel 4A, both of which are set to be released during the final quarter of 2020.

    Release Date

    Since the phone’s inception back in 2016, Google has remained incredibly consistent with their release schedule for the flagship Pixel series, with all previous launches taking place in October. This trend is set to continue, after a leak surfaced from a Google affiliated website in France, claiming the Pixel 5 will be available for pre-order from October 8.

    Android 11

    This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, since a beta version of Android 11 is already available for public download, however it’s expected the Pixel 5 will be the first device to don the latest Android software straight out the box.

    Some of the expected improvements and features of Android 11 include a new media player widget, easier ways to control smart home devices using your phone, a new power button menu and refinements to the messaging system and conversation bubbles.

    Pixel 5 Render
    Image Credit: Google

    Design & Display

    Last year Google teased images of the Pixel 4 in the months leading up to its official launch. This time round, the only confirmed sighting of the Pixel 5 has been the side image (seen above) which Google teased during the launch of the Pixel 4A.

    Outside of this image, there have been a number of different leaks floating about which have helped paint a picture of what this years phone might look like.

    Like the Pixel 4, it's expected the Pixel 5 will feature an OLED panel, with a matte glass finish on the back and full HD/QHD resolution. According to Front Page Tech who gained access to an early Pixel 5 prototype, a forehead bezel on the front side of the device is also expected to remain.

    In terms of refresh rate, last year we got to enjoy a smooth 90Hz experience with the Pixel 4. However with Samsung (and others) already making the jump to 120Hz and Apple reportedly looking to do the same with the iPhone 12, it will be interesting to see if Google sees this as an important feature upgrade and whether they'll look to roll out a 120Hz refresh rate with the Pixel 5.

    A Mighty Fine Camera

    While earlier leaks suggested the Pixel 5 would include a triple-lens camera on the rear of the device, more recent leaks suggest Google will once again opt for a two camera setup on the back.

    The quality of images with the Pixel 4 were outstanding, so it's not as if this should be a concern. For some though, the added flexibility of a third, wide angle lens, would of been the cherry on top, for a camera that many consider one of the top-tier mobile phone cameras.

    With that said, Google doesn't appear to be standing still, instead opting to fine-tune the Pixel's two-camera setup by adding new features.

    Expected new features include an adjustable camera flash, a new motion blur feature and the introduction of audio zoom, which will allow you to zoom in when recording video to help you capture audio more precisely.

    Long story short, it looks like we're in for a treat with this years camera setup.

    Under The Hood

    In the past, Pixel devices have typically featured the best Qualcomm chip available, which this year would be the Snapdragon 865 Plus. With the Pixel 5, this might not be case, with an inside scoop from 9to5Google suggesting the phone may be shipped with a Snapdragon 765G processor.

    The Snapdragon 765 is more of a mid-range chip, unlike the high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 which powers the latest Samsung phones. This would suggest slightly less processing power than some of its competitors. With that said, the 765 is obviously no slouch and will still pack a solid punch in terms of performance.

    In terms of RAM, while it hasn't been a huge strength of the Pixel series in the past, there should be improvements on this front, with the Pixel 5 set to include 8GB of RAM in comparison to last years 6GB.