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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

HTC Announce New Flagship Android Handset – The HTC One X

Monday, February 27th, 2012

HTC made their name producing Windows Mobile handsets but it was their Android phones which raised their profile to be on par with top mobile manufacturers such as Samsung and Sony Ericsson. While they’ve continued to support Microsoft by releasing some excellent Windows Phone 7 devices more often than not HTC’s Android handsets have stolen the show.

Although following previous flagship devices such as the Desire and Sensation is a tall order it looks like the One X should be more than a match for its predecessors. The announcement of the first quad-core handsets means the bar has been raised for all new high-end smartphones and HTC have comfortably lived up to expectations by putting an extremely powerful 1.5GHz quad-core processor in the One X. Considering phones with a decent speed dual-core processor seem to be lightning fast the One X is bound to be astoundingly quick.

The Galaxy Nexus impressed with its large, high resolution screen but the One X’s 4.7 inch 720p screen should look even better as it uses IPS technology meaning we’ll see iPhone 4S quality colour and brightness only at a higher resolution and on a bigger screen. You’ll be wanting some 720p videos to make use of that beautiful screen and luckily there is 32GB of on-board storage ready to be filled with films and music.

While there’s no microSD card slot it’s not the end of the world as HTC have arranged for users to be given 25GB of DropBox storage for saving and sharing all your files. What makes this especially handy is the fact you can sync your DropBox across devices so you could have the same pictures and music available on both your phone, desktop pc and laptop.

The 8 megapixel camera features a burst mode for taking a series of snaps quickly and HTC are boasting that we’ll see none of the lag which plagues most camera phones. A 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera should provide good quality video calling while the back camera can record video at 1080p.

Visually the One X is certainly above average and the polycarbonate body will come in both white and grey (that’s what HTC are calling it but it looks pretty close to black to us). Like the iPhone 4 and 4S the One X takes micro SIM cards rather than the standard size to save on space and although it might be a pain getting a new SIM over time they’re certain to become the standard.

With features other manufacturers don’t have access to such as Beats Audio HTC may have produced a handset that will appeal both to those into the latest technology and those into the latest fashion. The One X looks great, has plenty of power and features a new slicker-looking version of HTC’s Sense UI, depending on what the Samsung Galaxy S III and iPhone 5 have offer this could be the phone to beat this year.

The HTC One X should be available in April although price and availability are still not yet confirmed.

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Samsung Announce Galaxy Ace 2 and Galaxy Mini 2

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

There was a brief period when some of the most well established mobile phone manufacturers appeared to have become a little insignificant when compared to the all conquering iPhone, luckily in the past 18 months manufacturers such as Samsung have released a number of top notch handsets to challenge the iPhone for supremacy.

The Samsung Galaxy S II may not be quite cutting edge any more but many consider it to still be one of the finest phones on the market, the rest of Samsung’s range has taken a number of design cues from the Galaxy S II and use the same TouchWiz interface meaning even if you can’t afford a high-end device you can still get the authentic Samsung experience.

The newly announced Galaxy Ace 2 and Galaxy Mini 2 offer two new options for those one the lookout for a new Android handset. The Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 has a good sized 3.8 inch screen running at 800×480, which should look fine since the screen isn’t too large. It also features a 5 megapixel rear camera with a flash and a front-facing VGA camera for video calling.

The Galaxy Ace 2 may only have 4GB of internal memory (though that’s still more than some high-end handsets such as the HTC Sensation) but the addition of a microSD slot means an extra 32GB can be added. The Galaxy Ace 2 only has an 800Mhz processor but it is dual-core so it shouldn’t be too slow (providing you’re not comparing it to some of the recently announced quad-core Android handsets). Other specs include 768MB of ram, Wi-Fi, GPS and an additional NFC enabled version of the phone.

The Galaxy Mini 2 has a slightly smaller 3.72 inch screen running at only 480×320 which is pretty much standard for lower-end Android handsets. the Galaxy Mini 2 has a 3 megapixel camera with no flash but has the same 4GB of internal memory as the Galaxy Ace 2. A single core 800MHz processor and 512MB of RAM make it obvious this will have much lower performance than the Galaxy Ace 2 and again there will be an NFC enabled version.

Both these phones are a couple of months away from release with April their expected arrival date. No prices have been revealed but the Galaxy Ace 2 will probably be an affordable mid-range handset while the Galaxy Mini 2 is sure to be a low-end handset with a lower price tag to match.

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Sky Go Arrives on Android

Monday, February 20th, 2012

In the early days of the rivalry between iPhone and Android it was often the iPhone which had a significant advantage when it comes to getting support from the biggest companies and getting all the latest apps. As the years have gone by the gap has closed significantly and with a number of the most popular iOS apps now available on Android it’s nice to see massive companies such as Sky are seeing the benefits in offering their support to the many millions of Android owners.

Sky Go has been available on the iPhone and iPad for a while now and although they’ve taken their time, Sky have will have made many of their customers very happy today by allowing them to watch TV on the move on their Android device. While there are no on demand services available you can now watch live TV on your mobile providing you have an appropriate Sky TV package and a decent connection.

Unfortunately it’s not all good news, for a start the number of compatible handsets is limited and there are currently no supported tablet devices. You’ll need a HTC Desire, HTC Desire S, HTC Desire HD, HTC Incredible S, HTC Sensation, Samsung Galaxy S or Samsung Galaxy S II to benefit from Sky Go and on top of that rooted devices are not supported. The range of compatible handsets should grow over time though and like most software the app is bound to greatly improve as updates are released.

If you’re a Sky customer and you have one of the supported devices then head over to the Android Market to get the official Sky Go app for free.

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Samsung Galaxy S Advance hits Europe in February

Monday, January 30th, 2012

While there’s no firm UK date yet, Samsung have confirmed that the Galaxy S Advance will arrive in Europe next month. With a 4-inch super AMOLED screen, 5-megapixel camera and Android 2.3 Gingerbread installed the Galaxy S Advance isn’t quite a Galaxy Nexus beater.

The Samsung Galaxy S Advance may have a dual-core processor but it only runs at 1Ghz although the 768MB of RAM is comparable to many high-end handsets. The Galaxy S Advance will come in both 8GB and 16GB flavours although the microSD slot will allow you up to 32GB of storage.

The Galaxy S Advance resembles the Galaxy S II in both looks and hardware specs although the overall inferiority of the Samsung s Advance should mean it will be cheaper than its bigger brother. While the Galaxy S Advance will certainly cost more than the Galaxy Ace Plus it should still come in at a price which makes it a godo choice for anyone after a mid-budget Android handset.

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T-Mobile’s New Full Monty Plan To Offer Huge Allowances

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Three’s popular ‘The One Plan’ has long been one of the best value deals on market, with high allowances for calls, texts and data at a great price few plans from other networks come close. Until now that is as T-Mobile have now revealed a rival to Three’s ‘One Plan’ with their ‘Full Monty’ deal.

The Fully Monty starts a £36 a month for a 24 month contract and includes unlimited calls to other T-Mobile customers (don’t worry, you get a comfortable 2,000 minutes to other networks), unlimited texts and unlimited data. Starting a £41 a month is an even more unlimited package with unlimited calls to all networks, unlimited texts and unlimited data.

These deals sound surprisingly cheap considering T-Mobile claim they are truly unlimited with no fair use restrictions on calls, texts or data.  Even more surprisingly some top phones are available with the deal for free such as the Samsung Galaxy S II and HTC Sensation XE although on the lower deals phones such as the iPhone 4S 16GB will cost around £99.

The first details are shown on T-Mobile’s Website although more detailed information is due to follow later in the week. Although some prefer cheaper deals at just £36 with a top handset the Full Monty certainly sounds like a deal worth getting.

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Motorola Defy+ gets even tougher with JCB Edition

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

The Motorola Defy+ is already one of the more rugged handsets on the market but the new Defy+ JCB Edition is an even tougher version designed to cope with the demands of being used in a construction environment.

The Defy+ JCB Edition is protected by JCB’s visco-elastic protective sleeve which not only provides some protection from knocks and falls but protects the screen from dust and dirt too.

Installed on the Defy+ JCB Edition is the JCB Tool Box, you get a torch app which uses the camera flash, a digital spirit level, a decibel meter and other handy tools that will come in handy both at work and around the home.

With the same specs at the standard Defy+ you get a pretty decent piece of hardware with a 1Ghz processor, a 5 megapixel camera and Android 2.3 installed. With such protection from the dangers of the workplace the Defy+ JCB Edition is one of the few higher-end handsets which won’t shatter from the tiniest fall (we’re looking at you iPhone 4) and at £259.99 it’s a good value device too.

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Pink Samsung Galaxy S II coming next month

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Although most women have no problem owning a sleek and stylish handset such as the iPhone 4S in a colour such as black or white, it seems most handsets aimed solely at women are fairly low-spec devices which rely entirely on feminine-friendly looks for their appeal.

It’s nice then to see Samsung are lining up a pink version of one of the hottest handsets on the market right now, the Galaxy S II. With a excellent 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen, a dual-core processor and a great 8 megapixel camera the Galaxy S II is a fantastic handset and to our knowledge must be the best pink coloured handset on the market.

Arriving just in time for Valentines Day on February 13th, the pink Samsung Galaxy S II might be the perfect gift for those with a few hundred pounds to spend on their loved one. Phones 4U have confirmed they will be stocking the Samsung Galaxy S II in pink.

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Sony announce Xperia S

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

The latest Xperia handset from Sony has been announced and one thing is for sure, it’ll take a while to get used to seeing just the word ‘Sony’ rather than ‘Sony Ericsson’ on new handsets from the Japanese manufacturer. Simply called the Xperia S the latest Sony handset looks like a very decent phone.

Samsung set a new benchmark with the Galaxy Nexus by including a 1280×720 resolution screen and the race is now on for other manufacturers to get 720p screens crammed into their new handsets. While the Xperia S has a smaller screen than the Galaxy Nexus it is still a comfortable 4.3 inches and the smaller size means the pixel density is even higher than the Galaxy.

Sony phones have long been known for their high-quality cameras and the Xperia S is no exception, the 12 megapixel camera features the Sony Exmor R low light sensor, this means just like some of the other recent Sony handsets the Xperia S will be able to take fantastic shots even in poorly lit locations. Sony also claim the Xperia S will be able to snap pictures with 1.5 seconds of unlocking the phone from standby mode.

Powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor the Xperia S should be fast and responsive and the 32GB of memory will give you plenty of room to store pictures, videos, music and games. Sadly the Xperia S will launch with Android 2.3 but Sony promise an update to Android 4.0 will be available later this year.

The Xperia S also features an NFC chip which will become more useful as NFC enabled devices become more common and being PlayStation Certified means you’ll be able to play some top PS1 classics on the move. O2 and Phones 4U have already revealed they will stock the Xperia S which is believed to arrive around March, with a white version being exclusive to Phones 4U.

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Nokia Lumia 900 headed to USA

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

The Nokia Lumia 800 may have only just been released but that hasn’t stopped Nokia announcing the Lumia 900, a bigger brother to the Lumia 800.

At a glance this appears to be almost the same phone, it also has an 800×480 resolution screen, the same 8 megapixel camera and the design is pretty much identical too, but put this next to the Lumia 800 and you’ll immediately notice that the Lumia 900 features a much larger 4.3-inch screen.

A North American release has been announced on AT&T but there’s currently no date set for a UK launch let alone news of which networks it may be available on. With many 4.3″ Android handsets available Windows Phone 7 could do with a few more devices with larger screens so hopefully the Lumia 900 will arrive on UK shores soon.

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Will the iPad 3 have a quad-core processor?

Monday, January 9th, 2012

While Apple have made no announcement yet it’s pretty safe to say there will be a new iPad released this year, whether it’s a major overhaul or an updated version of the iPad 2 is the only mystery.

Trusted  Apple orientated website 9to5 Mac have discovered that buried deep within the latest iOS 5.1 beta is support for not just the dual-core A5 processor found in recent iPhone and iPad models but support for quad-core processors. It seems fairly logical to assume that this means Apple are at least in the planning stages of releasing a device with a quad-core processor.

With the possibility of a major iPhone update later this year it’s widely expected that we’ll see a new iPad in the first half of the year which may be the first device to use Apple’s quad-core processor. This massive increase in processing power could open the doors to professional-quality video editing software, more advanced versions of popular image editing apps and even more detailed and complex games.

Some may question the need to keep increasing the processing power of tablets when very few apps currently utilise the computing power already available to developers, after all if the new iPad used the older dual-core A5 processor it may allow Apple to release the device at a lower cost.

An announcement from Apple is expected in the coming months and any major changes to the iPad 3 hardware could be a hint towards the changes we might see to the iPhone 5. Although the iPhone 4S was released after the death of Apple CEO Steve Jobs the iPad 3 will be Apple’s first real chance to make a clear statement about the direction they will take without the man responsible for many of their most popular and successful products.

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