Photo on Brighton beach with LG G3
Summer is the perfect time of year to make the most of your smartphone. With that in mind, we decided to grab some mates and take some of our favourite new release smartphones on a road trip to Brighton to try out all their innovative new features. Check out our videos to see how we put each of the phones through its paces.

Woman using Sony Xperia Z3Listening to music in the park on smartphones

Water resistance

Last year, Sony became the first major manufacturer to make their phone water resistant. And whether you’re mildly butterfingered or you’ve got a really wild summer planned, then you’re in luck, because most of the manufacturers have followed suit.

Background defocus

Ever wondered how photographers create those great looking photos with blurred backgrounds? Background defocus creates the blurred background effect by defocusing a particular part of the photograph. The great news is, most smartphones now have the feature built in, and it’s really easy to use, bringing some professional photography magic to your summer snaps.

Screen glare

Many of today’s mobile phones are big enough to read books on. But because of their reflective screens, you can sometimes get really bad screen glare, which makes reading quite difficult in bright sunshine. We put all four phones to the test on the beach.


The Oxford English Dictionary last year voted the word ‘Selfie’ the word of the year. And there’s no wonder. We’re all at it, taking millions of selfies every single day, and summertime will be no exception. Phone manufacturers have really bought in to the craze, and some of the phones we tested even have special new selfie modes.

Speaker volume

If you’re headed to the park this summer and want to listen to some tunes, you don’t necessarily want to be carting round a big set of speakers. The Xperia Z2 and HTC One (M8) have stereo speakers built in, the LG G3 has a one watt mono speaker while the Galaxy S5 has a simple mono speaker. In our tests for volume and sound quality, which one came out on top?


After a full day out testing phones, our last test was battery power. This was an easy test to conduct, as we did exactly the same things with each phone all day, so it was just a simple matter of reading how much battery was left.

The verdict

So what were our final thoughts on how these top four phones performed?