Google Nexus S Review

Category : Google

The Google Nexus S is the first Android phone to sport the latest version of Google’s mobile phone operating system, Android 2.3 Gingerbread. This latest operating system sports a whole host of tweaks and improvements such as a greatly improved interface, near field Communication (NFC – for simplified transactions, data exchange, and connections with a touch between supported devices) support, better power and battery management, and faster text editing and typing. In terms of hardware the Google Nexus S is very similar indeed to the Samsung Galaxy S. However,this is no bad thing as the Galaxy S is an award winning handset and has proved to be one of the most reliable handsets currently available.

The Nexus S has a beautiful and minimalist look to the design, with a curved screen and slight concave bow designed to make the handset easier to hold and to reduce reflections. The blackness of the display with the matched black bezel and trim looks fantastic and the tough Gorilla glass is incredibly resistant to scratches and also resists greasy fingerprint marks quite well. Although robust in feel, at just 124g the Nexus S is deceptively light and measures only 127mm x 63mm x 10.88mm.

There are two cameras on the Nexus S, a front facing camera next to the earpiece and a 5 megapixel (with autofocus and an LED flash) on the back. The display is courtesy of Samsung’s Super AMOLED technology, that shares the same specification as the Samsung Galaxy S. It measures 4 inches diagonally from corner to corner with a 480 x 800 pixel resolution. The display falls behind the iPhone 4′s 640 x 960 pixel resolution and even the 480 x 854 pixel resolution used in the latest Motorola Android phones, but compares favourably with most other smart phones. Regardless of not having the highest resolution, the Google Nexus S screen is more than usable for day to day tasks and produces vivid colour with good contrast and is particularly good for viewing video.

Performance on the Nexus S is enhanced by the 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor with its 512MB of RAM. Other improvements include a darker energy saving theme, classier styling and of course the support for Near Field Communication. This wireless communication technology is the same as used in Oyster cards and wireless bank debit and credit cards. Just swipe the phone near an NFC device and it will recognise it and record the transaction accordingly.

LG Optimus 2X Review

Category : LG

The world’s first “Tegra 2″ smartphone, the LG Optimus 2X, has finally sporting Android 2.2 (LG has said a 2.3 upgrade is coming soon) and the impressive dual-core Tegra 2 1GHz CPU with a graphics processor from Nvidia. Known as the LG Star originally, now the LG Optimus 2X has finally arrived with a revamped version of HTC Sense overlaying the Android operating system.

Appearance wise the LG Optimus 2X is nothing new, essentially a large slab of black glass – Looking much like the Incredible S and HTC HD 7 and similar to every other high end smartphone recently! The screen is the now seemingly “standard” WVGA 480 x 800 pixels size that adorns other Android devices. The inevitable comparison to the iPhone 4′s Retina display shows its not quite a sharp, but better than most and most users will not be disappointed. The screen is bright, with vibrant colours perfectly legible text even in direct sunlight. Apart from the iPhone the only other handset which has a sharper display is probably the HTC Desire S, but there is really nothing in it.

The dual-core processor offers the power under the hood to drive the incredible video capabilities of the LG Optimus 2X, with 1080 pixel video recording on an amazing eight megapixel camera (LED flash) and high resolution 1080 pixel playback available over a mini-HDMI port and DLNA media streaming. Even more amazing than the incredible video, is the pricing on this handset. Most assumed it would be a top range mobile with pricing to match, but currently the LG Optimus 2X is available free on 24 month contracts at around £25 per month – this puts the Optimus 2X as a direct competitor to the HTC Incredible S!

In addition to the enhanced video and photographic features, the Optimus 2X, being Android powered (currently Froyo 2.2) offers multiple home screens with clock and weather widgets, bookmarks, calendar, FM radio control, social feed integration (including brilliant apps such as Facebook for LG and Twitter for LG and even a MySpace for LG app?), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and everything else we have come to expect from the latest Android phones plus more.

INQ Cloud Touch Review

Category : INQ

The INQ Cloud Touch is the latest innovation from the small UK company who are responsible for much of the current mobile social experience which most mobile manufacturers are now adopting. of course nowadays there is no shortage of handsets with some sort of social integration, but INQ were the first and are now looking to innovate again with their latest take on the social mobile experience again with their “Facebook phone”.

The Cloud Touch comes in a choice of two colours, white/black and red, other reviewers have mentioned the “Starwars analogy where the curves and contrasting black and white colour schemes remind many of the “Imperial Stormtroopers”! The red colour option is not a subtle red either, its a “look at me” Ferrari red – the INQ Cloud Touch is designed to be noticed.

Although the INQ Cloud Touch has a plastic finish but feels sturdy and well made, however not quite up to the HTC Wildfire S is terms of percieved quality. It is an affordable mobile device at the end of the day which is designed to look cool and offer good functionality and features, and in this regard it offers much to recommend it.

Its larger than many more expensive rivals at 114 x 62 x 13.1mm with bold controls across the bottom of the screen, but many will, consider this a good thing and find that some of the ultra compact smartphones are simply too fiddly to use! The 3.5-inch display is generous for an affordable handset (most competitors in this price range only offer 3.2 inch devices or less). The resolution and pixel density of the 480 x 320 display could be better, but is perfectly usable and concurrent with the pricing. In a similar vein, the 600MHz Qualcomm processor is hardly state of the art either. However the same processor finds it’s way into many decent mobile devices such as the HTC Salsa and ChaCha phones that also offer Facebook functionality, and even the Samsung Galaxy Mini and Ace. So this processor may not be the latest or the fastest, but it is well proven.

basically the INQ Cloud Touch is an affordable smartphone with all the main features you would expect, but with a few compromises to keep the pricing reasonable, such as the aforementioned processor, screen size and resolution, and a rather basic 5 megapixel camera. However the ace uop the sleeve of the Cloud Touch is the Facebook functionality, possibly the most advanced Facebook integration on any mobile device seen so far. All the main Facebook features get their own dedicated widget(News, People, Events, Notifications and Places). In addition, INQ also have shortcuts for Facebook Chat, Friends, Messages, News Feed, Notifications, Photos and Profile built into the app menu and on the customisable homescreen bar. This means that you can easily access any of the Facebook mobile features directly.

HTC Incredible S Review

Category : HTC

The HTC Incredible S is the latest Android equipped mobile phone from the popular Taiwanese brand. Given the previous success of the Samsung Galaxy S and a range of forthcoming mobile phones with a 4-inch screen hitting the UK (like the LG Optimus 2X) it’s easy to see why HTC is bringing the Incredible handset to the UK (after a highly successful début in the USA).

In appearance the HTC Incredible S strangely resembles the Motorola Defy rather than other HTC models, the rugged appearance of the handset is a welcome change however, especially when compared to the more conventional slick styling of more conventional mobile phones like the Galaxy S which are slowly becoming generic despite being highly original at launch. The HTC Incredible S chassis is encased in a practical plastic that actually looks and feels like rubber. Somehow, HTC have managed to make a mobile phone that looks slim, but feels quite chunky in the hand and is easy to grip and hold.

This rugged outdoor appearance doesn’t mean the Incredible S is unattractive, far from it. The four inch stunning Super LCD screen fits well with the black exterior with the four touch sensitive Android navigation keys (Home, Menu, Back and Search). Unlike some touch sensitive keys, the HTC keys are tactile and although there is no actual click as such, there is a nice tactile buzz.

There is no physical dedicated camera key but the excellent 8 megapixel camera is easy to use and takes brilliant photographs courtesy of rather large camera sensor on the back of the handset. Strangely there is a dock connector fitted but no dock currently available (although HTC say they have one in the pipeline but no time scale is available).

The HTC Incredible S does everything pretty well and nothing too badly. It is particularly great when browsing the web or viewing videos or photographs on that amazing Super LCD screen. Movies also sound great with virtual surround sound via SRS WOW HD.
The HTC Incredible S is likely to be hugely popular in the UK. With the slick HTC Sense user interface, fantastic 8 megapixel camera, huge, high quality screen and that great feeling chassis. Particularly when you consider the HTC Incredible S retail price places it right in the mid-range market. The only downside is the large screen isn’t great in direct sunlight and some may not like the rugged appearance.

Motorola Atrix Review

Category : Motorola

The Motorola Atrix was voted number one in the T3 “Hot 100 Gadgets” of 2011, ahead of even the mighty Apple iPad, a number of Google tablets and a various state of the art laptops and consoles. The Atrix runs smooth and slick courtesy of the fast dual-core processor and is capable of doing many things at once in an effortless way that would have been unthinkable until recent technological advances. The whole reasoning of the Motorola Atrix is to challenge the distinctions between mobile phones and computers.

An Atrix, using the Lapdock accessory, allows you to use the keyboard and screen of a laptop which makes the Atrix an irresistible gadget – if you like that sort of thing! Many mobile phone manufacturers have repeatedly stated that modern smartphones are becoming as good as computers, however Motorola is the first to really put it to the test with the Atrix. The Atrix, using a variety of “docks” can convert into a media centre, notebook, SatNav or even bedside alarm clock.

The appearance of the Atrix at first glance, is reminiscent of the Motorola Defy handset, but on closer inspection the inclusion of a fingerprint reader on the top of the phone sets it apart (it also serves as the power on/off button). This reader gives the option of unlocking the phone with a fingerprint swipe as opposed to a password). You can set up the Atrix with your fingerprint by swiping your left and right index fingers over it. Once set up the phone will deny access to all other users.

The screen on the Atrix (qHD) is a unique 540×960 pixel resolution 4 inch touchscreen with a quality to rival the iPhone 4 and is sharper and clearer than competitors like the Google Nexus One, for example. This resolution and sharpnes is especially noticeable when web browsing which is effortless with the Atrix even though not quite on par with the iPhone 4′s browser. The Motorola Atrix ships with a host of accessories including a Bluetooth keyboard and remote, laptop dock, charging dock, multimedia dock and mouse.

In summary the Motorola Atrix is a powerful and responsive handset with a sleek and innovative laptop docking arrangement, excellent high resolution screen and neat Motoblur widgets. Currently running Android 2.2 Froyo operating system although Motorola have announced that an update to the latest Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread is planned to be released shortly. The only real drawback to the Atrix is that it may be a confusing concept for some with the bewildering array of accessories and options.