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Apple iPhone 5s
Apple iPhone 5s

Cut through the cellphone clutter

From the busy multitasker to the camera addictwe list the phone that is perfect for your needs

Those looking for a smartphone have seldom been this spoilt for choice. In the past two months almost every leading manufacturer has launched a notable device. Here’s our attempt to sift through and figure out which device suits your needs:

For the app fanatic

Apple iPhone 5s


In terms of design, the iPhone 5s was not a huge step forward for Apple’s iconic device. It has exactly the same proportions as the iPhone 5 and looks mostly unchanged. But forget the price tag, scratch the surface, and the real strength of the iPhone 5s emerges—an A7 chip with 64-bit architecture, pretty much in the league of processors seen in computers not long ago. And unlike Android, which lacks the apps to make the most of hefty specs, Apple’s iTunes App Store comes well-stocked with apps that can push the new chip to its limits, be it high-definition games like Infinity Blade III or on-the-move video-editing apps like iMovie.

What’s more, the fingerprint scanner on the home button will ensure that no one uses your phone without permission.

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Nokia Lumia 1020


Yes, it costs more than most entry-level DSLRs (with a lens thrown in for good measure), but what makes the Lumia 1020 special is the 41.0-MP sensor that enables it to take photographs that are, if not in DSLR territory, well beyond anything that any other device can take.

There will be those who will quibble about its speed, but if photography is your passion, rather than a passing interest, then this smartphone is perhaps the best combination of a high-end phone and an excellent camera in tech town. Yes, you do need to connect your phone to your computer to share those super high-resolution shots, but now you can afford to leave your bulky DSLR or point-and shooter behind sometimes.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 3


The advertisements might have focused on how Samsung’s amazing phablet helped a girl save a toy shop, but cast the sentimentality aside, and the Galaxy Note 3 is perhaps the best device for all those who like doing a million things simultaneously. Multitasking on a phone’s screen is next to impossible, but Samsung’s phablet handles the problem with ease. Multi-windows is not a Galaxy Note exclusive any more, but no other device lets you run more than one application on the same screen and interact between them as smoothly—you can simply drag text and/or images from one file to another using the S-Pen stylus and compare documents with minimum fuss. While the big 5.7-inch full HD display might make the device too big for some hands, it certainly makes multitasking much easier.

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BlackBerry Z30


Being a BlackBerry Boy might no longer be as aspirational as it once was, but what cannot be doubted is that the BlackBerry range of devices continues to pack a punch when it comes to handling mails, social networks and messages. And the Z30 sees this feature of the BlackBerry at its best. The large 5.0-inch display means you get a bigger on-screen keyboard to type on—and the keyboards on devices running BlackBerry 10 (such as the Z30) are among the best around, thanks to their brilliant predictive text and gesture support. Also, you now get notifications about new mails and messages unobtrusively right on top on the screen, irrespective of which app you are working on. If you are the kind who swaps dozens of messages and keeps posting on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, this phone will keep you connected.

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LG Nexus 5


Love to meddle with code and apps, and want the purity of Android without any intervening layers and apps from manufacturers, along with assured OS updates for more than a year? Well, the Nexus series of phones from Google is tailor-made for you. Known for being high on performance and relatively low in price, the Nexus range is a developer and geek favourite, and its latest entrant, the Nexus 5, is no different in this regard. It will not stun people with its unique features, but its 4.95-inch full HD display, powerful quad-core processor and stacks of RAM mean that it can pretty much run anything designed for Android, without busting a hole in your wallet.

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Gionee Elife E6


It might not smash performance benchmarks, but those on a relatively tight budget wanting a phone that stands out in a crowd could definitely consider the Gionee Elife E6. The Chinese manufacturer has been trying to make its presence felt in the Indian market and with the E6 has scored squarely in the looks department. The phone’s smooth carbonate unibody build is bound to turn heads, especially if you take the white model, although that smoothness can make it slippery to handle. While not a spec monster, it can easily hold its own in that department with the competition in its price segment—it has a full HD display, a quad-core processor, 32 GB of on-board storage and a surprisingly good 13.0-MP camera.

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Lenovo P780


Phones might be getting bigger and faster, but one department in which they definitely are not improving is battery, which has taken a hammering thanks to all those high-definition graphics and large displays. The Lenovo P780 is, however, a contrary creature in this regard. Yes, it does feel heavy for its size, but this is because it packs in a massive 4,000 mAh battery, which enables you to use it quite comfortably for more than a couple of days even with normal usage and mail and social networking push notifications turned on—and we have not seen that happen since the days of Symbian. It is not a pipsqueak in the spec department either—it comes with a quad-core processor, 1 GB RAM, a 5.0-inch 720p display and an 8.0-MP camera. All of this makes it perfect for those who want to do a lot, for a lot of time.

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Mention the words “mobile gaming" and most people will start rolling out device recommendations that are well north of 30,000. This is what makes the XOLO Play so special. No, it does not have a full HD display or boasts of an outstanding camera or stunning design. What it does come loaded with, however, is an extremely powerful quad-core 1.5 GHz NVIDIA Tegra processor and a 12-core GeForce GPU. The result? A device that handles just about any high-definition gaming content that you throw at it—from the basic Temple Run to the highly detailed Shadowgun—with a surprising degree of ease (you can also get games especially designed to make the most of the powerful processor from the TegraZone app). What’s more, it is relatively compact (it has a 4.7-inch display) and is supremely pocket-friendly, both in physical and financial terms.

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