Friday, 25 February 2011

The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10

The Xperia X10 is Sony Ericsson’s first foray into the Android phone market and wow, what a way to kick things off! The X10’s specially-skinned Android software runs smoothly on the 1Ghz Snapdragon processor, and looks great on the phones huge 4 inch screen. A screen that looks a LOT bigger than it really is – looking especially massive next to the iPhone screen I’ve been more accustomed to.
The rest of the phone looks the part too. A shiny, black, angular affair. With the majority of the X10’s footprint given to the massive screen, the phone has a very minimalist look too. The only buttons present on the front of the phone are ‘menu’, ‘home’ and ‘back’ – although my one gripe is that the functions of buttons, apart from the back button, are not clearly delineated. Perhaps Sony Ericsson should rethink their icon design?
The rest of the X10 is pretty button free – with only camera and volume buttons on the side and on/off-come-lock button on the top. The top of the phone also features the standard 3.5mm headphone jack and a micro-usb port hidden under a typical dust cover. Other than that, the phone is clutter free… The X10 features a curved, supposedly more ergonomic  back – which also houses the camera lens and flash, which I admit does feel comfortable in the palm of your hand.
Enough about the looks, what about the software? I hear you ask…
Well the downside to the Xperia X10 is that it comes with Android 1.6 installed – not the most up-to-date version of Android I admit, but Sony Ericsson have already stated that they will be rolling out 2.1 updates later this year. The plus side is the addition of the new Timescape overlay – this adds numerous features to the Android experience, the biggest of which is Sony Ericsson’s new ‘Splines’ system. Essentially a stack of tiles (or ’splines’ as Sony Ericsson have dubbed them), with each spline representing an activity or action – be it a Twitter or Facebook update, a text message received, or a photo taken. You can set your homescreen to display the splines and scroll through them at your leisure – you can also just display splines for a certain function e.g. only show Twitter updates.
The spline feature is a pretty good idea let down only by two things – one, if you have a very active Twitter feed, viewing it via splines can make it impossible to keep up to date; and two (and this is my biggest qualm), each spline uses a really lo-res image, making what is a really a cutting edge design of phone look rather… low-tech. But hey, if you don’t like the spline feature you can always stick with a more traditional Android homescreen, even if it has had a little of Sony Ericsson’s sheen put on it.
But this is a phone right? So what about your typical phone features?
Well the phonebook is a mixed bag. Sony Ericsson have added a little of their own flair to the menu system, and it feels a lot like Apple’s contact menu, with the ability to scroll through your list of friends, or use the alphabet down the right hand side of the phone to get to the right name. But here’s where it gets tricky. You see Sony Ericsson have decided that your contacts page should be more about text messaging and their Facebook status rather than actually CALLING them! With my fat fingers I had trouble hitting the small area given over to my contacts phone number to make a call.
So I made some calls, what did I find? Well for starters the sound volume was ridiculously low, I mean really low. So low in fact that I had to mute the TV to hear a call indoors, and out in traffic I felt totally deaf! And, as you would when a call is quiet, I pushed the phone closer to my ear to hear – OW! The sleek angular design of the Xperia X10 becomes the first major downside to the phone when it stabs you in the ear!
As for texting… Wow, just wow. The X10’s on-screen keyboard is terrible. Whilst it works on the same principal as the on-screen keyboard on the iPhone, I found huge issues with getting the keys at the edge of the screen to register at all in portrait mode, and they were only slightly more responsive in landscape mode. The second major downside to the X10 methinks!
So how does the rest of the phone stack-up?
The Xperia X10 connects easily to any PC or Mac, I freely shared content via bluetooth from my Mac, and by the USB cable from my bluetooth-less PC with zero hassles – to both the micro SD card and the phones internal memory, meaning I could easily transfer files and photos to and from the phone. Speaking of which…
The camera on the X10 is a remarkable 8 mega-pixels and the results are stunning, especially when I’m more used to the iPhone’s terrible 3mp camera. I tested the camera out both indoors and outdoors and I was genuinely amazed at how good the final photos were – even when I set the camera to automatic. Check out these completely untouched (I have merely re-sized them to 50%, no other editing whatsoever) photos for proof:
The built-in Android browser is one of the best browsers I’ve used on a mobile device of this size, especially the auto-reflow of text on websites, meaning the text always fills the screen no matter how zoomed in or out you are. I will admit there are some faults, although with a few tweaks – namely making it easier to click on links without having to zoom in it could be THE best browser available on a phone (though I think it has more to do with the Android software rather than being exclusive to the X10). There’s also a huge variety of browsers available on the Android marketplace if you prefer something different.
So what about apps?
First up, a word of warning: the Xperia X10 doesn’t come with a built-in task manager, meaning you could end up with one hell of a sluggish phone with all those apps running in the background. The first thing you should when getting the X10 is download the Advanced Task Killer app from the Android marketplace!
Besides the Moxier suite, Google Talk, Facebook and Youtube, the Xperia X10 doesn’t really come with any decent apps built-in, so like all good Android users I hit the marketplace to find the all important killer apps. Besides the aforementioned ATK, another necessity for me was a Twitter app – yes the phone has a built in Twitter facility in the ’splines’ feature, but I wanted a pure Twitter app, and Twidroid provided the answer. Another essential app for a comic geek like me is a comic viewer, of which I found ACV (Android Comic Viewer) to be the best – I loaded comics (legal comics mind you) onto the SD card and I was ready to go. The app isn’t as good at displaying comics as those on the iPhone, but at least I could access some less ‘legitimate’ content such as back issues of Ritz videostore magazine… And you don’t get that in the Comixology app do you!
As for games, sadly this was the third major let down of the Xperia X10. I downloaded a number of games in the hopes of whiling away the hours with my head buried in a good game. Just one hitch, a LOT of the games that I downloaded required multi-touch, which the X10 doesn’t support. I tried a few emulators too… Again no multi-touch, no play :( Hopefully Sony Ericsson can update the X10 for multi-touch support when it pushes out the Android 2.1 upgrade… We’ll have to wait and see.
Whilst the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 has it’s problems – lack of multi-touch, poor call quality, unresponsive on-screen keyboard – it is still an excellent mobile device. If you can forgive it’s flaws, there’s a lot to like about the X10. Whilst I wasn’t particularly enamoured of the splines feature, a LOT of the people I showed the X10 to thought it was a brilliant addition to the phone. But hey, I might be biased. As a long time iPhone user I have yet to find any device that can replace it, although the Xperia X10 does come close, especially when Sony Ericsson roll out the Android 2.1 upgrade…

Friday, 11 February 2011

The HTC Desire HD

HTC Desire HD belongs to HTC’s popular Desire range and available in black and brown outfits. Users are allowed to experience 2G as well as 3G network through this device. This nicely loaded gizmo is backed by superb features, long-lasting battery backup, and Android OS, v2.2 (Froyo) with Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255 1 GHz processor, CPU. HTC Desire HD has now been released on O2 deals.

Awesomely Designed

HTC Desire HD has been awesomely designed with stylish casing, which is 12.3cm tall by 6.8cm wide by 1.18cm deep and 164 grams is the total weight with included battery. Have you ever seen 4.3 inches screen in a mobile phone? If not, be ready to experience super sized LCD capacitive touch screen on HTC Desire HD that is magnificently equipped with 480 x 800 pixels resolution and 16 Million colors. What is more, multi-touch input method, accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate, proximity sensor for auto turn-off, and HTC Sense™ User Interface facilities are also welcomed by this gizmo.

Bunch of Stunning Features
  • 8 MP astounding camera has been packed in HTC Desire HD that will be a great help to click special occasions as beautiful pictures and videos footages. With this amazing camera, you can also expect to get auto focus and dual-LED flash settings as well as Face Detection, Pinch to Zoom and Photo Geo Tagging.
  • Users can acquire high-speed internet connectivity on HTC Desire HD as it has compatibility of WLAN Wi-Fi and 3G HSDPA/HSUPA, GPRS & EDGE technologies.
  • More than this, Bluetooth and USB techniques will be ideal options to update the existing collection of the users. HTML browser will also be a notable service of this device.
  • Aside all these, this wonderful smart phone carries A-GPS navigation system with Digital compass, Dedicated search key and Map Support to let the users feel safe while being on the move.
  • HTC Desire HD is empowered by Google search, Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Talk and Picasa integration. Also, Adobe Flash 10.1 version is adding its worth to some level.
  • As well as MP3, AAC+, WAV, WMA9, DivX, Xvid, MP4, H.263/H.264 and WMV9 audio/video tracks can be played on this striking mobile phone. While Stereo FM radio with RDS and few arousing games are also among entertainment options of this mind-blowing handset. And you will be pleased to see 1.5 GB; 768 MB RAM, up to 32GB external support, 8GB card included, 3.5 mm audio jack and Dolby Mobile and SRS sound enhancement.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The iPhone 4

Apple iPhone 4 Review iPhone 4 package is simple, similar to iPods and many other phones on the market. The phone comes with white headphones, Apple traditional, what’s up handsfree wired with data cable (the iPhone has a special connector, do not expect a mini-or micro-USB) and an outlet adapter USB output, connect the same cable that you called before.
Overall, having regard to the contents of the package Spartan and that the phone uses its own connector for charging and data transfer, you should buy compatible car charger if you need, or some other data cables, in case want to take one in the office or to another computer.
Apple iPhone 4 Review
iPhone 4 construction
The phone is very well done. It have well-defined forms, much less rounding than iPhone 3G and feels solid in your hand. I like the side volume buttons, so big, round and well separated and are on this model. Gently press them by hand, but are more rare accidental presses. Above them is a manual switch, again very well defined, which enables and disables the phone’s sound effects (ringtone sites and other warnings, including the camera shutter sound).
On the right side of the phone is the micro SIM slot. Warning, it’s a micro SIM, a card lower than the one you have now (normal SIM card). When you buy an iPhone, make sure you have passed the first mobile operator and you asked a micro, otherwise you can not make phone calls. To enter the microSIM is really need a clip or something equally thin. Cap that protects the microsite can only be removed with something long and thin as a paper clip.
The only button on the front of the phone is the Home button. That was the iPhone since the first generation, so it remains.
The glass is continued until the side where the phone is very good edge with aluminum tape on the side. Do not see the connections, do not feel the finger, there is no area to pressure to “squeak”. It’s well made. However, it’s glass. If you dropped it’s a great chance to break. Rear glass is absolutely useless in terms of use (and even the appearance, where he could be replaced with something else), but doubles your chance to break somewhere. Normally you will fly with a pouch, complete or not, silicone or leather, so the rear glass is really unnecessary.
As size is very close to a HTC Desire, even has the same thickness. The camera phone is better placed in the corner, so you can take right hand without covering the lens.
iPhone 4 hardware and performance
The screen is superb. Any font, any shape, any detail is how finely drawn and displayed on the screen perfectly. Is a significant technology innovation and is superior to any other phone on the market.
The difference with the iPhone 3G is huge. Placed side by side, the iPhone 3G screen seems to be much lower than iPgone 4 screen. If this aspect of screen quality is great importance to you, then you can make the step from 4 3GS no regrets, the gain is significant. Moreover, the screen is seamlessly integrated into the phone and did not feel that is 2 millimeters below the glass cabinet.
Otherwise performance and daily use phone menus is not something that can be easily measured and expressed. It moves well, I never thought that would delay or transitions from one display to another screen, but the speed of scrolling and transition of the software are limited. I would have liked to move faster from one screen to another and quickly display different animations and different options on the On / Off switch. I am sure that the phone could do everything much faster, but unfortunately these animations was Apple’s programmers frozen in stone. Perhaps Steve Jobs would say that is part of the Apple experience, but these are nice animations and transitions in the early days of pressing a button, but not anymore after this the test period.
True speed of the phone can be seen in several applications. Zoom in photos is made immediately through multitouch, phone filming and editing of 720p and make movies with iMovie, there are many complex games as graphics and mathematics and all running smoothly.
Multitouch is very good and I do not expect anything else from Apple.
WiFi signal is strong enough to ensure a smooth your data under normal conditions.
The battery life is more than other smartphones. Of course, this is due to the operating system architecture and limitations imposed by Apple, so I do not know if it’s something to praise. If you’re a fan of Apple and you can overcome these limitations, the battery will thank you generously.
iPhone 4 interface
Apple iPhone 4 ReviewiPhone 4 comes, as is customary, with a lot of foreign languages available for selection, while other phones only include 3-4.
I felt the lack of physical Back button, such as the Android Market. In all programs installed and all the native interface of the phone through many menus, often with 3-4 pages deep. To return to the previous page you must click the back button usually found in the upper left corner of the screen. I do not like that. It’s basically the farthest place to push for a user who keeps the device in his right hand, plus you fly with your hand to press the screen. Then, after you hit him 3-4 times and get the first page of the application you must click the Home button (the physical, the bottom of the phone) to exit the menu and that to return to the main screen of the phone. I found this inefficient.
As an example, to activate your WiFi go into Settings, click on Wifi and open the page of the menu where the chicken WiFi On a new touch. If you want to choose a particular network, there are other presses. To exit, push button on the screen and then back home. You want to enable Bluetooth? You go into Settings, enter the General in the Bluetooth, you activate, press the Back button a couple times and then Home.
That would be the first frustration. The second is the lack of a real multitasking. Whatever one says, no matter how improved multitasking IOS 4 that the notification system, Android is not comparable. Notifications for various programs appear as messages in the middle of your screen, “You were disconnected from Yahoo Messenger. Press OK and go to the next. By comparison, the Android open notification window and see at a glance all the warnings that you send your phone. You go where you want, ignore those that do not interest you, quickly check the status of a transfer or a program. That means effective, especially on a small device like a mobile phone, and I do not I could adapt to the iPhone.
There is not a real multitasking. For me “real” multitasking … ALT + TAB. Leave a program, go to another, go back to find him first and just as I left, everything quickly and easily.  The Android software can run simultaneously navigation, Twitter, Yahoo, and somewhere in the background a WordPress blog to check new comments. Move quickly between them just by holding the Home button and selecting an icon from the list used last June. On the iPhone I could not do that.
Apple iPhone 4 Review
AppSTORE and Software
AppStore is a huge store and Android Market software is far behind in this chapter. Everything is available directly from the phone, you should not connect the PC to copy and install software. Just create an account if you have not already.
Credit card required? Yes. Even if you plan to install only freeware, you can not reach them until you show that you have a credit card.
The store is gigantic, is divided into categories, they are grouped by Top Paid, Top Free, and others. These lists are generated according to the country where you are.
Email software can be used to connect to the net a lot of online services. We quickly set up my Gmail account and I had problems, and the whole interface is easy to use.
The music player (iPod module) is considered very good, very easy to use music management and I don’t needed something to test it.
The calendar is a normal one, allowing views and contacts, week and month.
Photos software is simple and effective. Images are available in the form of roll film, an idea borrowed from Sense HTC interface. Quickly navigate from one to another is easy zoom, rotate when turning the screen.
Utilities software provides you with a watch, a compass, calculator and voice recording.
iPhone 4 conclusions
Good parts:
- great screen.
- more software available in the AppStore.
- allows a form of multitasking.
- fast and efficient.
Bad parts:
- front and rear glass
- connecting to iTunes and AppStore require a credit card, a potential problem for peoples without one.
If you want a smartphone to do all, but without the power-user and without complex requirements, iPhone 4 may be a good choice. If you are like me and are interested in maximum efficiency and freedom to do what you want with a phone that you gave a lot of money, then go on Android phones.

The Samsung S5560

Samsung S5560
The Samsung S5560 is a brilliant touch screen phone which provides multitude of attributes that can aid its user professionally and also has high quality multimedia aspects for entertaining him/her. This phone is slender and trendy and due to its touch screen ability can compete with many high priced smart phones.
Some of its features are:
  • Samsung S5560 has a 3-inch broad TFT resistive touch screen. It can portray up to 256K colours with high resolution – 240 by 400 pixels. Its physical dimensions are 108*52*13.2 mm and it weighs just about 95 grams which makes it a very light and pocketable phone. It has a GSM quad band coverage which can be used anywhere around the globe.
  • Samsung S5560 has an installed accelerometer which can be used to tilt the viewing to landscape or portrait by tilting the phone. It has a Li-Ion battery which can guarantee up to 9.5 hours of talktime and 620 hours of standby time when fully charged.
  • The most exciting attribute of this touch screen handset is its 5 megapixels camera (2592X1944 pixels) with LED flash, autofocus, smile and blink detection and image stabilizing features. The multimedia player can play popular audio and video formats and also has FM radio (RDS aided) which can be used to play local and national channels.
  • It has Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP and USB 2.0 for high speed data transfers between computer/phone and also for connecting wireless stereo headsets. Also high speed net surfing can be done through EDGE, GPRS and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g on XHTML, WAP and HTML compatible browsers.
  • The Samsung S5560 runs on Samsung Touchwiz interface operating system and has an on-board storage memory of 78 MB. Memory can be expanded up to 16 GB through Micro SD memory cards. It also contains other features like calendar, alarm clock, office document viewer for viewing PDF, Word, Excel and PowerPoint files etc. which make it an able professional tool.