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In Depth - January's best mobile phones

Posted on 17 January 2014

We've picked out our favourite phones of the moment. But what makes them stand out from the rest? Here's our in depth look at the top features of January's best smartphones.

Motorola Moto X

Motorola Moto X

After months of glaring enviously over at America, the UK is finally getting its hands on Motorola’s latest flagship, the Moto X. It’s the first truly hands free phone, meaning you can send a text, set an alarm or get directions even if you’re driving, as you can speak to wake it up and give it commands.

At the heart of this ‘always listening’ technology is Motorola’s unique processor. It has a core dedicated to listening to you and another that looks for context (where you are, what time of day it is, what your last question was etc.) so you get the best answers extremely quickly. There’s also a 1.7GHz dual core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor that’s optimised for Android so the whole phone’s really fast. Finally, there are four cores running the graphics for smooth gaming.

Get a first look at Moto X video on our YouTube channel.

Sony Xperia™ Z1 Compact

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

Sony’s new smartphone has all the power you need to enjoy your favourite games, apps and HD movies but is small enough to use one handed.

It has the same 2.26GHz quad core Snapdragon 800 processor and 20.7MP Exmor RS for mobile image sensor as the Xperia™ Z1. But the Z1 Compact is smaller, so only has a 4.3” screen with a 720p HD resolution. Although image quality actually seems a little better. And because the screen size and resolution have dropped, you get a longer battery life. That’s really impressive when you consider the battery capacity has fallen by a quarter to 2,300mAh.

Take a sneak peak at the Xperia™ Z1 Compact on YouTube.

Nokia Lumia 1520

Nokia 1520

Are you looking for a phone, tablet and camera all in one device? Then Nokia’s first phablet is ideal. It’s got a 6” 1080p screen that’s great for movies, games and even working on. It also packs in a massive battery that could give you up to four days of life between charges with average use. And thanks to Nokia’s sleek design, the phone doesn’t feel too big.

But its standout feature is the 20MP PureView camera on the back. It doesn’t just take high resolution photos though. The Nokia Camera app lets you tweak every camera setting so keen photographers can get the perfect shot. It also has a great auto mode for effortless, high quality snaps.

Find out more about the Lumia 1520 with our EyeOpener on YouTube.

HTC Desire 500

HTC Desire 500

HTC’s midrange smartphone was a real surprise to us. It looks great with its stylish and smooth design. Your music will sound amazing thanks to the Beats Audio software, which helps give your tunes deep bass and natural highs. And you’ll be able to easily keep up to date with news, sport and your social networks with BlinkFeed, HTC’s innovative homescreen that we first saw on the HTC One.

Everything you do on the phone, from playing games to opening the dialler, works quickly and smoothly thanks to a 1.2GHz quad core Snapdragon 200 processor. It’s not the fastest phone in the world, but it’s quicker than you’d think and has enough power for easy everyday use.

For the latest rumours and tech gossip, head over to our Launchpad