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My friend has had this tablet for a while now and I can decide whether I like it or whether I don't. It's everything you expect from a tablet PC...but yet lacks a cutting edge to make it justifiably the same price bracket as an iPad.
First the good....it has a really nice big display, ideal for watching videos and films on. It's lightweight...unlike some other tablets out there...and is nice and thin as well. The display is bright and vivid. It has a front and rear facing camera (though I'm not sure why it needs a rear-facing camera). It is running Android 3.0 Honeycomb with promise to be updatable to at least Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich if not 4.1 Jellybean. It packs a 1Ghz processor and comes in 16, 32 and 64Gb versions. The lack of 3G in this model isn't necessarily a problem if you only plan on using this at home, or, as I do, tether the internet from your mobile phone to share the internet connection.
If this tablet had been a mid-range price then I would have said that it's excellent for the money you're paying. But it's in the same leagues as the iPad...and whilst there are some benefits to this tablet, it also loses out against the iPad in a number of ways.
Firstly, the finish. The iPad has a lovely quality finish...you can really feel that when you hold one. This compares to the tabs plasticy finish...which isn't terrible, just not as good as the iPad. Also, if you put it next to a retina display, there is noticeable difference. The tabs screen is laggy in places, nowhere near as smooth as the iPad display. Also the iPad seems to have a little bit better battery life than the tab.
But on the flipside, there are things the tab can do that the iPad can't. Browsing websites with flash videos in them is probably a big one....and having more freedom to be able to download files and move them around the filesystem like a PC, something which the iPad is incapable of doing.
The last and killing point is that a new wave of more powerful, better priced Android tablets is on the horizon. The Nexus 7 tablets are selling out before they've even hit the shelves and look to be bringing high power tablets to a much more affordable price. I would only really recommend the Samsung Tab 10.1 if you need the large display and you have an affinity for Samsung products, otherwise there may be better alternatives.
I've never been the biggest fan of Sony Ericsson phones...and I could never really pinpoint exactly why. But since Sony broke away from Ericsson and revamped the models, they seem to be more appealing. This new one is definitely a contender for any Samsung or HTC Android phone.
The first thing to note is how it feels. Having a back with a metallic finish always adds that feeling of quality compared to the plastic that backs most Samsung phones. It's a good size physically which is most taken up by the display. The back is also slightly curved so it sits nicely in the hand.
After powering this on for the first time, the first thing I noticed was the screen quality. The image is really crisp; there are no pixels to be seen. As default, the screen is not cluttered with as many different widgets as you can humanly fit into it! The phone is running Android 2.3 Gingerbread as standard and will be updateable to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in due time. It has all the functionality you would expect from an Android phone.
This phone has micro USB connectivity, mini HMDI to be able to connect to a TV, the standard 3.5mm earphone jack and a dedicated camera button (which annoyed so many iPhone users for so long being without!) it also has Near Field Communcication (NFC) built in, the upcoming technology allowing you to make instant payments/information transfers.
This phone packs an 8MP camera and this may be one of the best features. It has built in flash and the image provided is superb. There are also a variety of functions, such as panoramic photos, multi-angle and 3D panoramic! It also captures video to 1080p quality. So if you're the sort of person that likes to keep memories, this definitely lives up to the requirement!
A few small things to note. The back, home and menu keys are on a see-through strip at the base of the screen. It functions well...but personally I don't see the point of it being seethrough! I personally think it takes away from the look of the phone. Also, the battery seems like it might be a bit tame. It's to be expected that smart phones should be charged every day or so because of the increasing power they have. but with minor use, the battery seemed to drain quite quickly.
But this phone certainly proves to be high end with all the functions you expect....GPS, Wifi, email, web browsing.
I think that anyone looking to purchase a quality smart phone with photo/video taking high on the agenda of uses for it should give this serious consideration over Samsung phones/iPhone. I suggest it might just be about on par with the new HTC One X.
This is the fourth car that I've had the pleasure of driving in my short(ish) time on the road and it certainly hasn't disappointed. It's certainly not going to win any prizes for looks....nor performance....but I have found it to be extremely steady and reliable.
The biggest things I have noticed about this car over other small cars I have driven is that it handles well. It has power steering (which I was very thankful for!) and is nicely responsive. It also has some get-up-and-go if you leave it in the lower gears to accelerate. The engine is fairly quiet. The dashboard is easy to understand and effective. It has plenty of little cubby holes to be able to store things. I have found it to be a very relaxing ride. The mileage is reasonable...I am getting roughly 50MPG which is more thirsty than some of the cars I've had but is still good.
So there are some down sides. You miss out on all the "frills"...no sun roof, the air conditioning is whatever temperature air is blowing, the back windows only pop open instead of winding down. But for the price this car is likely to be, you don't expect anything too fancy.
The boot is of a nice size, the fuses are in a nice easy place to be able to change. Under the bonnet is also easy to deal with...I'm nowhere near a car enthusiast but I can easily identify what is located under there.
So far, I have had to put this through 3 MOTs and it has sailed through every time...a change of bulbs here and there....which is very good for a car that is 12 years old! This was probably the biggest factor when I decided to buy this car...I'm not fussy, I just wanted something that would get me from A to B and be cheap to maintain...and this car certainly fits the bill.
So go out and surprise everyone...don't buy a BMW or an Audi....get a Daewoo Lanos! I guarantee your wallet will thank you for it ;)
It's strange how times change. There was a time where the best mobile phone manufacturer was undoubtedly Nokia. The phones they producted were good quality and reliable. And that's what people wanted.
But then the SmartPhone revolution came. Mobile phones nowadays are more like personal PCs that just a phone. And Nokia have fallen well behind in this market. The N8-00 is a perfect example of this...it highlights exactly what Nokia good at and shows exactly where they have gone so wrong.
So we'll start with the good points. Nokia have always made good quality models from a physical point of view and this is no exception. It has a lovely aluminium finish and is a nice shape to hold. When you hold it, it feels like a quality phone. The battery life is very good. The screen resolution is quite good. Unfortunately, this is about as far as it goes.
So the main downfall is the OS. The whole user interface is annoying and doesn't work properly. Spending 5 minutes with this phone, I got extremely annoyed by trying to hold down slide bars on the side of the screen to scroll down; on any Android or iOS device, you just swipe up or down the center of the screen which is much easier! Also, you have to double touch the menu items to get them to open...which seems pointless. The desktop widgets also leave a lot to be desired....initially there are loads of them squidged into a small space...and people may not know how to remove some of them.
Another big part of smart phone technology now is the ability to be able to download apps. iOS and Android have their own AppStore/Android MarketPlace respectively which are fairly similar and work well. Nokia has Ovi. Not only does that not work, but it is mostly more expensive than it's competitors. And people generally aren't developing for Ovi...so be prepared to be jealous when everyone else has really nice apps and you can't get them for your N8-00.
Nokia has now lost a lot of market share and I can understand why. I went from Nokia to my iPhone and I probably won't ever look back. Even if an iPhone is out of someones budget, there are so many good quality Android devices coming out from manufacturers such as ZTE and Huawei now that are really well priced that Nokia are just fighting a losing battle. They still make really good simple candybar phones, but as far as smartphones go, and in this case the N8-00, you should look elsewhere before considering this one.
I was intrigued the first time that I played Heavy Rain...it was billed as being more of an "Interactive Movie" than a video game...and this unique slant definitely makes for an interesting form of entertainment.
The story line follows 4 characters, each with their own individual story to tell. The game is set where a spate of murders are occurring and the police are trying to piece together the connections as they fast run out of leads. As it goes on, you are able to make decisions that will affect the outcome of the story. The world is pretty much entirely interactive; on-screen instructions appear as you get close to objects so you can explore as much or as little of the world around you as you wish. The actions are also intuitive to the on-screen action...if you want to open a door then you move the analogue stick down and move it around.
This is definitely an interesting concept...and I'm hoping that move "Interactive Movies" will be made. I have only played this once through so far, so I haven't explored how different decisions would affect the outcome. I have played a PC game before that was slightly like this, where it had multiple different endings and, even though the game was good, I never bothered to go back through to try and find the other endings.
That having been said, this is still a really interesting game and well worth getting.
At last a real contender for the iPhone crown seems to have landed. The HTC One X has been so beautifully put together....elegent in style and a superpower in performance.
There were several things I noticed just by picking the phone up. First of all, it's nice and light. Even though the glass finish on the iPhone is nice, it does make it that much heavier so it was nice to have a light phone in my hand. Secondly is that, despite being big, it doesn't feel too big. It sits nicely in the hand and the finish is pleasing to the touch.
Next thing was the display. The quality of the display is up there with the retina display on the iphone. Images look pinsharp and there seems to be no lag when dragging about the screen. The 4 cores work well to make everything this phone does seem effortless. There are a variety of apps pre-installed as you would expect with the Android OS. This is running Android 4.0 Ice-Cream Sandwich, and comes with email, Google search, Youtube, Twitter...everything you need really to get you started.
And on this occasion, it seems like HTC's Sense software is a help more than a hinderance. Small changes have been made...and it seems to compliment the OS now rather than being annoying.
The 8MP is as good as you would expect, but the OS throws in extra features...like being able to add effects. It also has digital zoom. The video recording is also of high quality.
And it does make calls and texts as well. The messages now seem to follow the same format as the iphone....being able to easily view previous messages much like Instant Messaging, which makes for much easier reading.
The sound quality is extremely good for listening to music...especially with the Beats Audio headphones. It also has all the other high tec gizmos...like GPS, Bluetooth. The big display makes for great web browsing...and the inclusion of the Google Chrome browser now for Android means not only is the web surfing experience pleasant (which it wasn't so much with the old browser), but everything can be synced across from your PCs Google Chrome too!
As always...it has a downside. And this time, it's battery life. With light use, you might drag a day and a half out of it....but moderate use is going to see you charging this AT LEAST once a day! As nice as the power is to have a sharp, quick user experience, you will be having to think about getting it back on charge every day.
I could go on...but half the fun is discovering all the things this phone can do.
And the best part probably is....you can get this cheaper than the iPhone 4S!
Don't look anywhere else until you've checked this out!
In my opinion, this is the last really good phone that Nokia made. Of course, that is a comparison to how it was at the time...it's been left behind now...but the N95 could still really have something to offer someone that wants a phone with buttons and good functionality.
So what can this phone still offer? Well it has a 5MP camera...which cannot be sniffed at. The picture quality is good though sometimes a bit slow to take a picture. It also has a good digital zoom and focus, and flash. The front camera is also useful if you like the idea of video calls.
This phone has good connectivity...GPS, bluetooth, Wi-Fi....some of the reasons that I got one back in the day. But they're all functions that haven't been outdated. It will bluetooth a picture or connect to a wireless hotspot as well as anything else will! It also has a nice OS...ironically similar to the 5800 (which I've reviewed and slated for having a poor UI)...but the difference is that the icons look nicer and because you have to navigate with the keys, it isn't frustrating to get through the menus! It has a music player, a web browser...and with the Ovi Store downloadable, you can even add a few more apps. Not seeming so much of a relic now, is it?
One of the thing I found a bit pointless were the music keys. If you slide from the top down, you get the media keys (basically play/pause, skip forward and back)...which I never really used...I didn't use the music player much in landscape mode.
One of the other features which was new in this phone (and also strange because it wasn't mentioned in the features until someone stumbled upon it) is the accelerometer. The screen can auto-rotate like most modern day smartphones...and there are also a few apps that can take advantage of this.
It has a 3.5mm headphone jack so you don't have to worry about getting a stupid adapter like quite alot of previous Nokia phones. The charger is the small classic Nokia type. The battery life is good...especially compared to phones nowadays...I could go for about 4-5 days without needing a charge. And I think this phone looks nice...it has a cool look to it.
It really wouldn't spring to mind as peoples first choice when looking for phones....but this oldy surprisingly competes with modern day phones...having similar functionality in quite a few ways, with the bonus of a better battery life. I think that fans of the phone with buttons would definitely enjoy this phone.
...That was honestly the first thing I thought when I felt the Nokia 5800. Other mobile phone companies had gone with nice shiny plastic, or even metallic finishes. But for some reason, Nokia opted towards this...and it just feels rubbish! And then we get down to the actual workings of the phone itself. Now I'm trying to write this review with a little bit of hindsight because this was Nokia's flagship product at one point...so now it's actually even worse compared to more modern phones than this review will probably let on!
The second thing I noted was the UI. My instant reaction was "Wow....it looks like a child has done this!" With Android just then coming into it's own, this interface left me feeling like Nokia had thrown this together quickly and that was the best they could do in a short space of time! The menu layout was typical of Nokia's symbian OS but just left alot to be desired. Swiping up and down menus on other phones is a really nice touch. But you can't do that with the 5800. There is a frustrating scroll bar down the side which is counter-intuitive and is difficult to always press the right place for it to sense you want to scroll. You have to double tap everything...as if this is Windows and you need to double click everything to get anything to happen.
So what does the 5800 have going for it? Well...it is still a Smartphone and has the features you'd expect...GPS, Wi-Fi, a 5MP camera, some office applications, a music player...but that's about it. It manages those things adequately but I think that other phones are far superior in all of those categories. The battery life as well isn't amazing.
Being Nokia's flagship product a few years ago, this phone didn't really reach up to the heights expected of it then. But now, I wouldn't even really consider it for my personal phone. If you want something cheap with a touchscreen...this is an option, but the likes of ZTE and Huawei are now making afordable touchscreen phones and I would look at those first.
I have been a happy iPhone 4 customer now for the last couple of years...and there have been many phones claiming to be "iPhone Killers"...but I have always looked at the contenders and thought "Hmmm....it's just not as good as my iPhone!"
But then I was shown the Samsung Galaxy Note...and I think I have finally found a phone that I would consider replacing my iPhone with.
To start with, this phone is nowhere near going to be ideal for some people. It has a 5.3" screen so it's a really BIG mobile phone! You either need big pockets or a small suitcase to carry it about in! But if that isn't a concern for you,
the beautiful Super HD AMOLED screen is really worth having. THe display is beautiful and crisp. Having such a big display with such good features that Android has makes web-browsing a really good experience on the Note.
The look...is like the Galaxy S 2 but expanded! Everything is sharp and works really quickly. The 1.4Ghz Dual Core processor makes loading of apps look effortless.
And it doesn't stop there....the camera is a beautiful 8MP..capable of HD photo and video. The autofocus is really quick (as I found out when trying to scan QR 2D barcodes with the Note and the iPhone...the Note did it in seconds...the iPhone took about 30 seconds!) It also has a 2MP front facing camera...which is pretty good as they're usually at best 1.3MP.
The battery life seems reasonable....roughly one charge a day...which is understandable as the display is so big and bright...and the power of the processor has to be accounted for. It comes with Android 2.3.6 but can be upgraded to the new Android 4.0.
The feature that Samsung have pushed in this phone is to use it for artistic reasons. They promote things like handwritten memos and the ability to custom draw on photos. This is something that I have never really thought about doing on my iPhone...and to be honest doesn't bother me with the Note...but some may find this a nice feature.
The speakers are also really good and give a nice sounding noise. I think this phone is best though for web browsing and texting...it might be slightly embarrassing to keep pulling this out to make phone calls....you will look like you have something stuck to the side of your head!
It comes with 16Gb internal memory (which is down to about 11Gb after the OS has taken it's space). It takes micro SD cards so this is expandable by upto another 32Gb.
Overall, this phone has really started to make me take notice of the Samsung phones that are now being released. Android has developed into a place where it is a serious iOS contender, and with this phone, it really enhances all the features that it can offer. If you were looking at an iPhone before, this has certainly got to be looked at first!
I have been enjoying all of the Transformers films so far...and they are a must-have in the films that I have to have on Blu-Ray.
This film follows on from the last ones. It revolves around the moon; that an alien ship crashlanded on the dark side of the moon containing something that could have changed the course of the war between the Autobots and Deceptacons. Earth discovered this and hence launched space exploration...with the famous "landing on the moon" being a cover up to actually explore and try to find ship that had crashed. It then involves the usual battle in the modern day of Autobots and Deceptacons fighting it out for the "thing" that was aboard that ship.
This is again another fantastic graphical masterpiece. As so much of this is CGI, Blu-Ray really does it the justice it deserves. I even sometimes forget that they are computer graphics on screen. Other times, I sit there and forget about the plot and just marvel at the quality.....watching the perfect reflections, textures and fluid movements. It's a film that DVD just wouldn't do justice to! I think that if you want a cinematic experience at home, all you need is a blu-ray player, a decent TV and this film! It's the sort of film I could watch again and again...and I will be looking forward to the next one coming out!
I felt bad that I advised my girlfriend to get this phone....at the time, she wanted an affordable smartphone with a touch screen and this was available....4 months later she got an iPhone 3G because this was so bad!
The phone itself probably isn't that bad...the camera is as good a quality as you'd expect from a 5MP camera, the finish is nice and it's a decent size...has a good battery life etc.
But the software on the phone really lets it down. It seems really sluggish and annoying. It has rotating cube-like home screen that have annoying widgets. The menu has 4 side-scrollable lines of Apps which can be annoying to remember what is where and also makes it easy to open apps you don't want open. The onscreen keyboard is 0-9 keypad like you find on normal candybar phones....and the predictive text can be disastrous as a result! Again, the hardware seems good...like camera takes nice photos...the bluetooth and Wi-Fi seem quick and to work without problems. But that seems to about all this phone does well. And one very big drawback in this modern age is that there is no scope to download new apps....which doesn't help as otherwise you are left with a pretty basic phone!
LG have done as they always have done.....they led into the mobile phone market with an innovative new technology in the form of the touchscreen phone....and all the competitors have done the same and produced much better products! I would say that if anyone was considering getting an LG Arena, they need to look around again because there are hundreds of better options...regardless of your budget!
HTC did well with this phone....releasing a phone that was functional and affordable. The phone comes with Google Android 1.6 installed but is now updatable to Android 2.2. I think that it is probably best to fully update this phone....it has added some good functionality, like being able to install apps to SD card, as the Wildfire has quite limited internal memory.
I think the functions of this phone can best be described as "adequate". It doesn't excel but that doesn't mean it's a bad phone. The camera takes pictures....and not ones that will come out as a blurry mess. The GPS works...and the internet connection is average speed. The HTC Sense (HTC's included overlay-software that they bundle on top of Android) can either be a good or a bad thing...it depends how you feel about having weather and clock widgets etc. Being an Android phone means there are a particularly good selection of apps...as long as you aren't planning to do any serious gaming with this then you'll be fine. It manages playing music quite well and has a nice feel (and I think this phone particularly looks best in red).
From my observations, this phone doesn't have an amazing battery life...but that might be because the friend I know who has it didn't really follow charging patterns like you should (letting it almost run out and then fully recharging) so this may have affected that single unit. Also, the performance can sometimes be a bit sluggish....especially if you never turn the phone off/kill apps in the background, or if you let the internal memory get too full (hence the advice to immediately update to Android 2.2 so you can keep the phone memory free for performance).
Apart from that, I would say this is a good quality phone. If you are wanting something slightly better than "cheap and cheerful"....something with a little bit more functionality than just being able to phone and text, I would say this is a really nice phone to get that won't break the bank. But if you have a higher budget, I would certainly say that some better Android phones have now come out...by manufacturers like ZTE and Samsung..and even HTC themselves (the Wildfire S for example!)
Sonic burst back onto our screens for the Xbox 360 and PS3 with this 3D adventure involving everyone's favourite blue hedgehog. I was excited to get this as I had played Sonic Adventure and was hopeful for more of the same...but alas this game was quite a let down. The game play was a bit samey and a little bit too high octane! I kept repeatedly getting stuck on one level where Sonic is hurtling towards the end of the level at terrific speed and you can't actually control him to stop him...just to make him move out of the way of things. I think I will always be a Sonic purist....the best games there have been have been in 2D format.
There was quite alot of wandering round and talking to people in this game...and I spent alot of time accidentally jumping in wrong directions and killing myself! I hope that this game will encourage new players to the Sonic the Hedgehog saga to want to play the other games...but I think this is certainly one of the poorer games that SEGA have produced starring the cool blue Sonic. The only up side at the moment is that this game has been out for a while so it should be relatively cheap to purchase....but I would suggest it only if you are rather bored and REALLY want to play a game with Sonic in that you may not have played before.
After enjoying the "free-running" nature of Assassins Creed, I saw this game and thought that gameplay of a similar nature would be fun. Unfortunately, I was rather disappointed by Mirrors Edge.
You play as Faith, a girl who lives in a big city and is part of the free-running movement. In this first-person game, you have to control her to run across the rooftops and across buildings to do various things. It's mostly about the running...there's occasional punching and attacking of guards...but most of the action takes place running across the side of billboards and dropping down heights without breaking your body in two. I guess that the physics of this are pretty realistic...the concept of the game is down to timing and making sure to undertake actions with correct timing and keeping fluid motions. Unfortunately, I don't think that this alone is enough to make up a worthwhile game style... it needs something more to push it higher. I quickly lost interest with the plot and didn't actually finish this game.
It's a strange situation really....I can't think of any game similar to this really...but I don't feel that this game is as good as it could be. It feels like it is lacking something; like the gameplay has only been half completed and there should be something additional to make it feel whole. It would be interesting to see if EA will release any games of a similar nature to this...with a more involving plot and something else to supplement the game play. But if not, it means that Mirrors Edge has been a relatively failed attempt to bring a different style of gaming to the "popular" market.
I've played a few Simpsons games and I can say that this is by far the best. It's like Grand Theft Auto but a fun and non-violent version! The game uses the actual voices from the shows and has a nice selection of maps to tear around.
It's fun to find your favourite places from the shows....like the Kwik E Mart, the nuclear power plant and the escalator to nowhere! The gameplay is simplistic enough....just jumping, bashing things, driving about and crashing into things! The comments made by the characters really add to the gameplay...especially when playing as Homer! It's quite a lengthy game as well...with a variety of missions so you won't easily get bored. It was also a bit of a challenge as well! But if you can't be bothered to do the missions, it really is just as fun to cruise about, find some different novelty cars to drive in and explore familiar Springfield surroundings. You can be cheeky and "borrow" anyone's vehicle and do as you like....just be wary not to destroy it to the point at which it catches on fire and explodes!
The missions are various....from simple races to having to drive to places and pick things up, a few ram-raid missions and searching for items. I would say that anyone who loves the Simpsons and has a PS2 should definitely give this a go.