Kazam Tornado 348 review

Thin when you're winning

Kazam Tornado 348 review
Does this slim smartphone have any weight behind it?

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Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

Kazam Tornado 348 review

Like the Sony Xperia Z3...but smaller

Lay the Kazam Tornado 348 face down next to the white variant of the Xperia Z3 Compact and the two phones look almost identical in terms of design. It's there that the similarities end – the Z3 Compact is smaller, with a 4.6-inch 720p display and thicker, with an 8.6mm chassis. It's also almost twice the price.

The higher price does bring with it several additional features, not least the IP68 waterproofing and 20MP rear-facing camera capable of shooting 4K video.

Although the Xperia Z3 Compact runs Android, it's been skinned by Sony and comes with the Japanese company's first-party apps like MoviesUnlimited and – crucially for gamers – PS4 remote play.

Comparing the two means the Kazam Tornado 348 comes off worse, but given the price difference it's to be expected. The Tornado is, in my mind, the Diet Coke version of the Xperia handset, keeping much of the design and essentials but losing virtually all the features.

If your budget allows, the Xperia Z3 Compact offers a better choice in terms of future proofing but if all you want is an attractive handset to handle the basics, you'll be fine with the Tornado.

Google Nexus 5

Kazam Tornado 348 review

Five alive

At first glance, the Nexus 5 appears similar to the Kazam Tornado 348 in terms of presentation and specifications: a 4.5-inch screen, 8MP rear-facing camera, 16GB of ROM space, no microSD expansion, 2,300mAh battery and an untarnished version of Android all for £299.

But when you dig a bit deeper, it becomes clear just how impressive this phone is even though it's been around since October 2013. The 4.5-inch screen is 1080p resolution, the 8MP camera has OIS, the Snapdragon 800 processor runs at 2.26GHz and the new Lollipop OS. It's also got 4G capability.

To be fair, it's bigger, bulkier and more expensive than the Kazam Tornado 348 and the display doesn't have the brightness or black levels that Kazam's phone does with the AMOLED coating.

But even though it's over a year old, this still remains one of the best budget handsets in the sub-5-inch screen arena on the market.

Nokia Lumia 830

Kazam Tornado 348 review

Bulky...but with a good camera

The Nokia Lumia 830 isn't exactly a budget phone, but it's not a top-tier contender either. The colourful 5-inch device is priced around £300 SIM free and comprises a 5-inch 720p display, 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 CPU and a 10MP PureView camera with Carl Zeiss lens.

Obviously, being a Lumia, it's going to be a little different in your hand than the svelt Kazam Tornado 348. The Lumia 830 measures 139.4 x 70.7 x 8.5mm with a plastic removable back that lets you swap in different colours and weighs in at 150g.

It's also a Windows Phone handset as well so you're not going to be getting the Android experience and, by extension, some of the rarer apps.

As with many of the Lumia phones, the strength here is in the camera and media capabilities. There's a microSD slot for expandable storage and plenty of software options for taking the best pictures. It outperforms the Kazam Tornado in this arena, but for general ease-of-use, the British brand still has the upper hand. The Lumia 830 is a little sluggish when it comes to performance and the bulky design won't appeal to everyone.

OnePlus One

Kazam Tornado 348 review

The best value for money smartphone out there?

The OnePlus One is pretty much the standard-bearer for affordable Android smartphones. At roughly the same price as the Kazam Tornado 348 (£269) the OnePlus offers amazing specs: a 5.5-inch 1080p screen, 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, 3,100mAh battery and 13MP rear-facing camera.

In terms of value for money, it's pretty much unbeatable. The main reason for choosing the Kazam Tornado 348 over this Chinese wonder is that, at 5.5-inches it can be a little bulky for those with smaller hands. Of course, media looks fantastic – but that's beside the point.

Aside from the sizing issue (the OnePlus is 8.9mm thin and weighs 162g), I'd side with the OnePlus One over the Kazam Tornado 348. That's not because the Kazam is that bad, just that the OnePlus is that good.