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Archive for October 2011

21
Oct

HTC Radar review


Windows Phone 7 Mango is here and that means a selection of new smartphones to choose from. The new version of the OS is aimed at users who are either upgrading from the first batch of 2010 handsets, or moving over to the platform for the first time.

The HTC Radar is a pretty risk-free handset. It has not got the massive 4.7-inch screen of the HTC Titan, nor is it as small as the iPhone 4S. The question is, does the Radar have anything to offer an increasing sophisticated mobile phone audience? We’ve been using one, so let’s take a more detailed look.

Design

The Radar is designed to replace the HTC 7 Mozart and HTC 7 Trophy. It introduces a number of new features, while at the same time offering a mid-range entry point into the wonderful world of Windows Phone 7. While the Titan will impress high-end users, those early adopters that like to show off their gleaming phone at the first chance, the Radar is going to be a subtler offering, and the design reflects that.

Measuring 120 x 61.5 x 10.8mm and weighing 137 grams it is not the thinnest phone, the fattest phone, or even the sexiest phone. It comes in white and silver, or gun metal grey, and at first glance is similar in design to the company’s HTC Desire and Desire S handsets.

The 3.8-inch Super LCD screen has a resolution of 480 x 800, and it is this that occupies the majority of the phone’s front surface. You’ll find the three standard Windows Phone 7 buttons beneath it, as you will on any Windows Phone 7 device. Read more »

21
Oct

Acer Iconia Tab A100 review


 

 

Acer’s Iconia Tab A100 has some great redeeming features in its dinky compact chassis. That said, even the cheaper price isn’t enough of an added impetus to go out and buy it.

Acer’s Iconia Tab A100: Build

Acer’s Iconia Tab A100 is one of the cheapest and dinkier tablets here, with a 7-inch screen that still does the job when watching movies or catching up with last night’s telly. An nVidia dual-core processor means the Iconia Tab is as adept as most tablets when it comes to playing games and messing around with apps. HD movies play with next to no stuttering and the built-in speakers are surprisingly loud, although they sound rather tinny on top volume.

Acer’s Iconia Tab A100: Screen

The 1024 x 600 resolution keeps images sharp, and you won’t get eye strain thanks to the comfortable brightness levels. The excellent viewing angles mean you can enjoy a movie with a fellow traveller without crushing your heads together.

Acer’s Iconia Tab A100: Features

Browsing the web is a silky smooth experience, thanks to the responsive touchscreen. Pages load almost instantly over a decent Wi-Fi connection, and Flash is supported so you can enjoy BBC iPlayer and other video streaming sites. The screen is responsive to swipe and prods, although it does gather fingerprints in seconds so make sure you keep a cloth handy.

Acer’s Iconia Tab A100: Battery

Battery life is sadly less impressive. We didn’t even get through four hours of TV before the Tab died, the worst result here. However, the light and compact body means it’s still highly portable. The 13mm body is just 405g, so you can slip it into a handbag or tiny manbag without busting its seams. We liked the curved corners and swirling pattern on the rear, a welcome break from the traditional black rectangular design.

Acer’s Iconia Tab A100: Verdict

If you need something tiny and light to carry around, and don’t mind the short battery life, the Iconia Tab is a worthy entertainment device.

Acer’s Iconia Tab A100 availability: Out now

Acer’s Iconia Tab A100 price: £259

via Acer Iconia Tab A100 review | T3.

19
Oct

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich now official, includes revamped design, enhancements galore


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Google has taken the stage in Hong Kong to make the next version of Android OS, nicknamed Ice Cream Sandwich, a thing of reality. Better known as Android 4.0, the update offers a massive redesign to the user interface and adds a plethora of new features. Some of the highlights include an NFC-enabled feature called Android Beam, offline search in Gmail, new lock screen features and a fancy unlocking method called “Face Unlock,” which uses facial recognition to ensure strangers cant use your phone without permission. Ice Cream Sandwich also includes enhancements in almost every native app within Android itself. The SDK is already available for Android 4.0, and the update itself will make its first public appearance on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, also unveiled tonight. After the break, well cover all of the nitty gritty details, along with some excellent screenshots below. So come along, why wont you?

Here’s some of the enhancements found in Ice Cream Sandwich:

  • Option to use virtual buttons in the UI, instead of taking up capacitive touch buttons
  • Widgets are in a new tab, listed in a similar list to apps
  • Folders are much easier to create, with a drag-and-drop style similar to iOS
  • A customizable launcher
  • New phone app with visual voicemail functionality that lets you speed up or slow down voicemail messages
  • Pinch-to-zoom functionality in the calendar
  • Gmail has offline search, a two-line preview, and new action bar at the bottom
  • Swipe left or right to switch between Gmail conversations
  • Integrated screenshot capture by holding power and volume down buttons
  • Improved error correction on the keyboard
  • Ability to access apps directly from lock screen (similar to HTC Sense 3.x)
  • Improved copy and paste
  • Better voice integration
  • Face Unlock, a facial recognition service
  • New tabbed web browser, allowing up to 16 tabs
  • Browser now automatically syncs your Chrome bookmarks
  • Modern “Roboto” font
  • Data Usage section in settings lets you set warnings when you reach a certain amount of use and disabling data when you go over your limit
  • Ability to kill off apps that are using data in the background
  • Camera app: zero shutter lag, time lapse settings, zoom while recording
  • Built-in photo editor
  • New gallery layout, organized by location and person
  • Refreshed people app with social network integration, status updates and hi-res images
  • Android Beam, a NFC feature that lets you exchange websites, contact info, directions, YouTube, etc.
  • Don’t like some of those preloaded carrier apps? Disable ‘em. Android Engineer Dan Morrill mentions that, among other new features, any app can be disabled, and while it will still take up space in ROM, it won’t be snatching any of your precious resources or clock cycles again if you

via Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich now official, includes revamped design, enhancements galore — Engadget.

18
Oct

Motorola Droid RAZR breaks cover


 

 

Previously known as the Motorola Spyder, new pics of the, now, Droid RAZR have been revealed on Motorolas teaser website ahead of its launch today 18 October.The phone looks to be super-thin and is rumoured to be packing a dual-core 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of RAM.If thats not getting you all hot and bothered, then theres also the possibility of an 8-megapixel camera capable of 1080p recording, as well as an HD front-facing camera. The potential specs continue to impress with a 4.3-inch 960 x 540 resolution display.It should be coming with 4G LTE on Verizon, and the kevlar backing gives it a ruffty, tuffty exterior for those of a clumsy persuasion.Even if a few of those specs turn out to be true, the new Motorola RAZR should make a bit of a splash. There is no word on a UK release at present, but well let you know if we find out any more.

via Motorola Droid RAZR breaks cover – Pocket-lint.

10
Oct

Pantech Vega LTE gets official for South Korea, dual-core 1.5GHz CPU and 4.5-inch HD display


 

 

Pantech holds no punches in its home nation, where the company’s latest handset, the Vega LTE, has just become very official. In addition to 4G support, the phone features a dual-core 1.5GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM and a 4.5-inch display with a whopping 1280 x 800 resolution. Take a moment to savor that last part. Gingerbread is at the core of this large-and-in-charge beauty, which also includes an 8 megapixel auto-focus camera that captures video at 1080p, an LED flash, a 1.3MP front-facing shooter and 16GB of built-in storage. An 1830mAh battery powers the slab, which measures just 9.35mm thin and weighs 135.5g (4.8oz). Rounding out the internals, users will benefit from A-GPS, 802.11n, NFC and terrestrial DMB — that last one is specifically for the home crowd. With specs like these, we can only hope a domestic version makes its journey across the Pacific. If you’re looking for some mental exercise, a translated PR follows the break.

via Pantech Vega LTE gets official for South Korea, dual-core 1.5GHz CPU and 4.5-inch HD display – Engadget.

7
Oct
xl

HTC Sensation XL review


The HTC Sensation XL pushes out 4.7-inches of glorious display to fill with your Android ambitions. It’s the latest flagship phone to launch from HTC, much rumoured and leaked, and now unleashed upon the world. It picks up much of what the HTC Titan set out on Windows Phone 7 and effectively gives you the Android equivalent, but with a few treats thrown in.

But does this phone bite off more than it can chew? Is it big and clever? We got the chance to spend some time with the phone prior to launch to bring you our first impressions.

Design and build

Let’s start with the design. HTC have stuck to their tried and tested approach of a machined aluminium back, with a bottom section finished in rubberised plastic to ensure plenty of reception. Like the HTC Sensation, the entire back comes away from the front, so effectively all the innards are attached to the back of that massive screen.

It feels solid in the hand. There are no plastic sections to creak as you manipulate it, there are no odd panels or coloured sections. It’s just big, clean and white. But it isn’t as attractive in design as the regular Sensation which by comparison looks more sophisticated with it’s speaker cutout and contoured screen edges.

The flat front of the screen gives you four touch controls across the bottom, home, menu, back and search. On the top you have the normal standby button and 3.5mm headphone jack, with volume controls on the side. A single Micro-USB is on the bottom edge – there is no HDMI out, as you might find on rival devices. Read more »

7
Oct
htc-sensation-xl-vs-samsung-galaxy-s-ii-0

HTC Sensation XL vs Samsung Galaxy S II


The HTC Sensation XL now makes that three flagship Android handsets from the Taiwanese mobile makers. Peter Chou and his team have also once again team up with Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine to bring Beats Audio software and headphones to an HTC smartphone and that gives this package one hell of an extra shine, but is it quite shiny enough?

Lurking in the wings, as ever, is the current King of the Androids in the shape of the Samsung Galaxy S II begging the big question for any wouldbe buyer – just which one is the better phone? So, we’ve lined up these two smartphones’ spec sheets and worked it out on paper at least. It’s the HTC Sensation XL vs Samsung Galaxy S II.

Form Factor

TIE: GALAXY S2 : 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.49mm, 117g
TIE: SENSATION XL :132.5 x 70.7 x 9.9 mm, 163g

In terms of pure measurements, it’s the first round to the Samsung Galaxy S II. As ever, it’s all about how thin and how light a mobile phone is when it comes to something that’s going to be sitting in your pocket, weighing you down and interrupting the carefully tailored lines of your clothing. The SGS2 is a touch thinner and considerably lighter. The other possible disadvantage to the Sensation XL is that it’s physically bigger on the other dimensions as well, but that has its plus points later on, as we’ll see.

However, that said, we’re going to call the round a tie because, as far physical design goes, it’ll be the machined aluminium block of the Sensation XL that has the edge over the more plastic look and feel of the Galaxy S II for aesthetics and ergonomic pleasure. To be fair to the Samsung, though, that doesn’t mean that it comes across as low rent. It’s still a nice piece of kit to own. Just not as satisfying as all-metal handsets. Read more »

7
Oct

German designer Jil Sander launches Windows Phone 7.5 smartphone


 

 

We can’t think of technology much more stylish than the live tile interface of Windows Phone. No surprise then that uber minimal German designer Jil Sander has jumped on board the good ship Windows Phone 7.5 and launched a sleek little handset built by LG.

Sander is well known for her extremely simple and minimalist, almost Kraftwerk-like approach to fashion, not dissimilar really to the Windows Phone 7 UI.

She also has a signature blue stripe which she likes to slap on her designs, which is featured here in her Windows Phone handset.

The decision to include up-to-date specs like Mango and a decent 1GHz processor is unusual for “fashion phones”; previous companies like Prada have tended to go more for looks rather than cutting edge technology.

Windows Phone is nothing without a juicy sweet display for all that live tile excitement, which the Jil Sander phone appears to have. It boasts a 3.8-inch 800 x 480 display, which whilst not quite AMOLED or IPS is decent enough.

On the back is a 5-megapixel camera with an LED flash and is capable of shooting 720p video. In the box you get a rather swish looking pouch for the handset as well as a “premium wired headset” with blue earbuds.

There is a bundled Jil Sander app included with the phone that allows you to do things like shop and locate stores as well as browse clothing collections.

The Jil Sander LG handset will go on sale in Germany, Austria, Italy, France and the UK from 7 October

via German designer Jil Sander launches Windows Phone 7.5 smartphone – Pocket-lint.

6
Oct

Steve Jobs dead: 10 Greatest Apple moments


It’s a somber day not just for Apple fans but for the entire tech world with news that Steve Jobs has died aged 56. Just two days after the iPhone 4S was announced, the innovator who brought us the Mac, the iPod and

the iPad to name a few, finally lost his long battle with illness.

To pay homage to the man who made life-changing gadgets and said, “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me”, we pick the top ten moments from under the turtleneck…

1. Jobs founds Apple – 1976

What were you doing in your early 20s? Most of it involved a beanbag, right? Not for Steve Jobs. Born in 1955, by 1976 he teamed up with his friend, handily a computer genius, Steve Wozniak and founded a new computer company, called Apple. By 1980 it had become the biggest stock market launch since Ford in the 50s.

2. What he wants, he gets – 1983

After a couple of turbulent years, Jobs was in need of a new experienced exec to become president of Apple, and so lured John Sculley, then president of PepsiCo, to his company with the immortal words: “Do you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?” After throwing in a desk tidy and use of the executive washroom, we imagine, he accepted. Read more »

6
Oct

Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, has passed away at 56


 

 

We just got some very, very sad news. Steve Jobs has passed away. As confirmed on Apple’s site, Mr. Jobs has died at the age of 56 after recently stepping down from the position of CEO and naming Tim Cook his successor. Steve has had a profound effect on the world of technology, both at Apple and through his many other endeavors. Our thoughts go out to his family.

Update: All Things D has posted a memo sent out by Tim Cook to Apple employees stating that there will be an internal celebration to honor Steve’s life soon. Those words can be found after the break, along with statements from Apple’s Board of Directors, his family, and Bill Gates.

Tim Cook:

Team,

I have some very sad news to share with all of you. Steve passed away earlier today.

Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

We are planning a celebration of Steve’s extraordinary life for Apple employees that will take place soon. If you would like to share your thoughts, memories and condolences in the interim, you can simply email rememberingsteve@apple.com.

No words can adequately express our sadness at Steve’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.

Tim

Apple Board of Directors:

We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today.

Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.

His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts.

Steve Jobs’ family today made the following statement regarding his death:

Steve died peacefully today surrounded by his family.

In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve’s illness; a website will be provided for those who wish to offer tributes and memories.

We are grateful for the support and kindness of those who share our feelings for Steve. We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief.

Bill Gates:

I’m truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs’ death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work.

Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives.

The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come.

For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.

via Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, has passed away at 56 — Engadget.

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