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Posts Tagged ‘ Hands on ’

Samsung Galaxy S5 review: first look

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Samsung Galaxy S5
Samsung has launched its latest Galaxy S5 smartphone at the Barcelona MWC trade show, boasting a smart new design and a number of new features. Surprisingly, the firm has chosen not to boost the screen resolution of the phone, sticking with 1,080 x 1,920, and has only slightly increased the size of the display, from 5in to 5.1in.

Instead, Samsung is pinning its hopes on going “back to basics” with the new handset. “We’ve decided to … focus on the features and things that matter the most to our customers – namely the camera, ability to view and download data and content quickly, and their health and wellbeing,” said Simon Stanford, of Samsung UK.

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Apple iPad Air review: first look

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Apple has launched a new version of both the iPad mini and the full-sized iPad, and, bar a couple of small surprises – and a name change – it’s pretty much business as usual for the new tablets.
The big change for the iPad 5 isn’t the screen size, or resolution, but a revamped chassis, and upgraded internals.
As predicted, the iPad Air is slimmer than the iPad 4, which it replaces in the range, measuring 7.5mm from from front to back, and in a strong echo of the iPad mini, it has narrower bezels all around for a much smaller all-round package. To bring it into line with the new iPhone 5s, the colours have changed, too, with the smart Space Grey now an option, in addition to white.
It’s certainly a more attractive design than the old iPad, but what’s most noticeable when picking it up for the first time, is how much lighter the iPad Air is than its predecessor. We took an iPad 4 into the even with us for comparison, and the difference is palpable, bringing Apple in line with lighter Android rivals such as the Sony Tablet Z. It weighs a mere 454g.
Below the screen, the home button now sports the fingerprint reader that adorns the iPhone 5s, allowing users to unlock the iPad and authenticate purchases with a dab of the finger. And, inside, Apple has boosted the power available to the new iPad, with the same 64-bit A7 CPU and  M7 motion coprocessor as the iPhone 5s.
We’ll wait until we have our review sample to report full benchmark figures, but if our experience with the iPhone 5s is anything to go by, it’ll be seriously quick. We certainly experienced no problems with the iPad Air we tried on the stand.
But what of battery life? With all that extra power and a significantly shrunken chassis, there’s a danger that battery life will have suffered. Once again , we’ll report back in full once we get  our mitts on one.

iPad Air

Apple’s full-size tablet may have a new name – the iPad Air – but it’s pretty much business as usual for the new tablet. As such, the big change for the iPad Air a dramatically revamped chassis and upgraded internals.

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Nokia Lumia 625 review: first look

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Nokia 625 -002Nokia today launched its biggest screened smartphone yet, the Nokia Lumia 625, but this is oddly no flagship device. Instead, the Lumia 625 sits between the budget, compact Lumia 620 and the mid-range Lumia 720.

That means the price is set to be very reasonable indeed – around £200 exc VAT on prepay according to Nokia, and probably around £20 per month on contract — yet both in look and feel this phone punches well above its weight.

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Sony Xperia Z Ultra review: first look

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Sony Xperia Z UltraISO 800Giant smartphones have become a common sight at press launches of late, and the latest to hit the scene is the Sony Xperia Z Ultra. We had the chance to try one out at an event in London today, and first impressions are that it’s a serious contender.

For starters, Sony reckons it’s the slimmest big smartphone on the market. We’re not going to disagree: the Ultra is just 6.5mm thick, yet despite the dimensions, there was no hint of weakness across its aluminium frame and glass rear. It’s a remarkably sturdy piece of kit, and Sony hasn’t just concentrated on making its latest Xperia feel solid – it’s comfortable to hold, too. The brushed aluminium borders aren’t quite as angular as the original Xperia Z, and don’t dig into your palm in quite the same way. Its 212g weight is high for a smartphone, but then we’d expect a little bit of extra heft for a device this big.

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Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra review: first look

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra

The Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra might be a bit of a mouthful, but it’s one of the most surprising phones we’ve seen this week at MWC.

It’s set to arrive across Europe in April or May at a price of €359, and there’s one thing about it that stands out above all else: at 6.45mm from front to back, it’s comfortably the slimmest smartphone in the world – thinner than both the iPhone 5 and the Sony Xperia Z.

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HP Slate 7 review: first look

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

HP Slate 7

The HP Slate 7 and the recently released HP Envy x2 hybrid are HP’s attempts to put the TouchPad disaster behind it.

In contrast to the £800 Windows 8-based Envy x2, this is a 7in tablet aimed squarely at the low-end of the Android tablet market. When it’s released in the US later this year, it will cost $169, and a UK release will follow shortly after. We were told by an HP representative to expect a price of around £129, which is similar to the basic Amazon Kindle Fire.

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ZTE Grand Memo review: first look

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

ZTE Grand Memo

This year at MWC in Barcelona, big phones and “phablets” have stolen all the headlines, and Chinese manufacturer ZTE is hoping to grab some of the limelight, too. Its Grand Memo is a rival to the Samsung Galaxy Note II and the Huawei Ascend Mate (announced at CES earlier this year), and in terms of size it sits right between the two, with a 5.7in screen diagonal.

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Nokia Lumia 520 review: first look

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Nokia Lumia 520

The Nokia Lumia 520 is one of two low-cost Windows Phone 8 smartphones Nokia unveiled at its MWC press conference, and it really is cheap.

It’s set to cost around £120, and yet when we took our turn with it on the Nokia stand after the news conference, we found little evidence of cost-cutting.

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Sony Xperia Tablet Z review: first look

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Sony Tablet Z

After unveiling its flagship smartphone at CES earlier in the year, Sony is using MWC as the platform to promote a new Android tablet — the Sony Xperia Tablet Z — and it’s not only a name that this new product shares with its smartphone sibling.

We’ve just been down to the Sony stand here in Barcelona, and were struck by how similar the styling is between the two devices. Just like the phone, the Xperia Tablet Z is completely flat on the front and back, and just like the phone it’s very, very slim. At a mere 6.9mm, the Tablet Z makes the iPad 4 look positively porky. It’s even slimmer than an iPhone 5.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review: first look

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

We were as surprised as everyone else at MWC when Samsung quietly announced the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 a day before the show began. So, as soon as we had the opportunity, we scuttled down to the Samsung stand to get hands-on.

If you don’t know already, the Note 8 is the Samsung’s big play in the “phablet” market. It’s an 8in tablet that can also make phone calls. It has a 1,280 x 800 resolution PLS (Plane-to-Line Switching) display, a 1.6GHz Exynos Quad 4412 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 5-megapixel rear camera and 1.3-megapixel snapper at the front, plus an absolutely enormous 4,600mAh battery. Wireless connectivity comprises 3G (not 4G), dual-band Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.
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