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Posts Tagged ‘ smartphone ’

Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Apple Watch

Darien Graham-Smith and his newlywed wife may be casting admiring glances at the Apple Watch from afar, but I don’t share his enthusiasm.

We’re still at the incubation stage of the smartwatch market, but I was hoping that Apple would provide me with a definitive reason to want one of these devices strapped to my wrist. Last night’s announcement singularly failed to push my easily goaded “Buy Now” buttons. Here’s why the Apple Watch currently leaves me cold.

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Turn an old smartphone into an in-car entertainment system

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Dashboard satnav

We’ve all got an old smartphone that’s keeping a box of matches and the instruction manual for the washing machine company in a kitchen drawer. Why not put the thing to good use and turn it into an in-car satnav and entertainment system?

You can use pretty much any last-generation smartphone for this project, either Android or iPhone, although there are a couple of specialist pieces of equipment you’ll need for the perfect set-up.

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Samsung Galaxy S4: how to double your battery life

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

DSC_1191I love my Samsung Galaxy S4, but I don’t love its battery life. Samsung advertises “up to eight hours” of active use, but when I’m sitting on the tube playing a game, and my phone is constantly searching for a mobile signal that isn’t there, I swear that battery meter ticks down by 1% a minute. Having paid for a premium smartphone, I hate feeling like I have to carefully ration my use of it.

I can’t blame Samsung. You won’t do much better with a Nexus 5 or an HTC One. There seems to be an industry-wide consensus that slimness is king. Your phone might run out of juice by sundown, but while it’s spending the evening conked out in your pocket, at least it won’t ruin the line of your trousers.

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Nokia Lumia 1020 review: first impressions

Friday, September 13th, 2013

1020 in gripIt’s been available in the US for a month or so, but the Nokia Lumia 1020 has only now arrived this side of the pond. Just in case you hadn’t heard, this is Nokia’s answer to the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, and the natural successor to the 41-megapixel 808 PureView we reviewed last year. We picked up a review unit at a press event yesterday, and have spent the intervening time frantically snapping away to bring you our first impressions.

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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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Huawei Ascend P6 review: first look

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Huawei Ascend P6The Huawei Ascend P6 might not have the brand-name cachet of Samsung or Apple, but it could be a smartphone force to be reckoned with. The just-announced handset  joins the Ascend P2 as Huawei’s second flagship phone to be launched this year.

The Ascend P6 is a 4.7in phone running the latest version of Android Jelly Bean (4.2.2) and it’s a very handsome piece of kit. Visually, its design is reminiscent of the iPhone 4/4S with its starkly rectangular profile and metal band running around the perimeter.

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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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HTC One review: first look

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

htcone08

HTC hasn’t made a ground-breaking handset in a few years, but first impressions suggest the HTC One is a welcome return to form.

We’ve been hands-on with the new phone, and the One makes a superb first impression. Its body is constructed entirely from aluminium, with two diamond-cut bands that contain the aerials. The good looks are matched with excellent build quality – the 143g device feels as sturdy as anything Apple or Samsung can muster. (more…)

BlackBerry Z10 review: first look

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

BlackBerry Z10

The BlackBerry Z10, launched alongside the new BlackBerry 10 operating system, has been a hell of long time in the making. Finally, the company looks to have a smartphone to compete with the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S III.

The specifications only tell part of the story, but notably they do bring RIM’s new baby – sorry, make that BlackBerry’s new baby – level with the competition. As expected, the Z10 has a 4.2in, 1,280 x 768, 356ppi touchscreen, and a quick perusal of the rest of its vital statistics reveals few areas of significant weakness. The phone measures 130 x 65.6 x 9mm, and inside there’s a dual-core, 1.5GHz processor, with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage to back it up. The rear camera is an 8-megapixel unit capable of shooting 1080p, and the front-facing camera is 2mp capable of shooting 720p.

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Sony Xperia Z review: first look

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Sony Experia Z panorama

If you’re sick of all phones looking the same, then Sony’s Xperia Z – the first phone from Sony’s design team, as opposed to Sony Ericsson’s – is well worth a look, a feel and the occasional coo of appreciation.

The first thing you’ll notice may well be the colour, with Sony opting for a striking purple design to accompany the standard black and white. (more…)

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