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Review of the HTC One SV

Cricket-HTC-One-SVLTE is spreading like wildfire across the global market. Taiwanese phone manufacturer HTC rolled out an affordable package in the form of the HTC One SV so consumers can enjoy the LTE goodness without having to burn a big hole in their pockets.

As the name suggests, consumers can expect the features of the HTC One S blending with the features of the HTC One V. The new phone, is a good mix of the old and the new with a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor inside and a 4.3-inch display.

Design

The HTC One SV is a very good looking phone with curvy edges and a metal detail that hugs the body. The back cover of the phone is crafted from high quality plastic with a soft-feel finish while the face of the One SV is made of Corning Gorilla Glass.

The size is very friendly to the pocket. It measures 128 x 66.9 x 9.2 millimeters. It weighs 122 grams.

The small 4.3-inch WVGA display might be the weakest detail of its offering. It only has a 217 pixel per inch but the screen still reproduces good colors and good contrast.

User interface

The users will be welcomed by the happy couple of Android ICS and the HTC Sense. If you have seen the HTC One smartphone series, the OS will feel quite familiar. The lock screen is functional so users can just slide the ring to unlock the unit or you can place the shortcuts inside the ring to unlock it and launch the app. You can setup as much as seven homescreens with preloaded widgets.

The Sense UI will never disappoint you when it comes to customizing your homescreens, apps, widgets, and scenes.

Verdict

The HTC One SV presents a good combo of nice looks, rich features, and good enough performance. You might not like it for the screen resolution but it is still among the most affordable phones for those who want to enjoy LTE technology.


Review of the Lumia 920 by Nokia

Nokia released the brighter, bigger and faster Lumia 920 that is set on a collision course with the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy S3 by Samsung.

Build

The unibody design of the Nokia Lumia 920 makes it feel luxurious and solid when held. Some may not like the bulk of the phone plus its monstrous 185g weight. In comparison, the iPhone 5 tips the scale at 112g.

Lumia 920The curved architecture of the Lumia 920 gives enough space for the speakers. Your pocket might be tight with is 130.3 x 70.8 x 10.7mm dimension but if you can bare with it, this phone comes with several benefits. The buttons are well-spaced and the speakers fitted nicely at the bottom.

Features

The Lumia 920 depends on Windows Phone 8 OS that makes the iOS 6 look boring. The screen has the cool flashing tiles with the home screen customizable to the taste of the user. The big 4.5-inch screen with a 1280 x 768 resolution makes the images captured by the 8MP camera very impressive.

Performance

The Lumia 920 is the fastest phone of the Nokia Lumia lineup. The screen is very responsive. The interface is also hassle-free in terms of starting the menus and integration of your old phonebook. The available apps like the SkyDrive and the Nokia Drive are brilliant but we are pretty sure the availability of apps somehow makes buyers think twice before buying this phone.

The battery of the Lumia 920 may be disappointing with the juice running out after a day of moderate use.

Verdict

If there will be one major turn off with the Nokia Lumia 920, it will be the chunkiness. Consider the Windows Phone 8 system and its easy to use design should convince anyone that it is worth every dime of your hard-earned money.


Review: Curve 9320 by BlackBerry

If you are familiar with the company behind BlackBerry, RIM or Research In Motion, is very busy for quite a while in trying to develop their latest operating system. This version will be the BlackBerry 10 and is said, at least according to them, to pull the brand back in contention.

Our mobile phone on spotlight here, the Curver 9320, may not have the BB10 but it embodies what got the brand back into the mobile arean: a sleek QWERTY messenger that has a very good design and straight up functionality.

The BlackBerry Curve 9320 will be RIM’s frontliner. It will try to keep the brand out there as it waits for the release of its BB10 siblings. Let us look at some features of this phone:

  • Tri-band 3G and Quad-band GSM
  • 5.76Mbps HSUPA and 7.2 Mbps HSDPA
  • 2.4-inch TFT display with 65K colors
  • QWERTY keyboard
  • 806MHz processor
  • 512MB of RAM and 512MB of ROM
  • fixed-focus 3MP camera
  • BlackBerry OS 7.1
  • Excellent audio quality
  • Smart dialing
  • Document editor

The Curve 9320 is positioned below the Curve 9360 tat was released at the start of 2012. The display of the phone is far from being impressive and might not be enough to attract new buyers. The fixed-focus camera is also a step back since it goes from 5MP to jut 3MP.

We are pretty sure though that the Curve 9320 will still get its sales numbers from diehard fans of the brand. This small group of consumers go for the brands reasonable performance and a familiar interface. Another selling point is the phone’s tag price.

Before you hurry out and grab this phone, we ought to give you its primary disadvantages. The Curve 9320′s case is easily greased up which affects good grip. It also requires an account with the BlackBerry Internet Service in order to enjoy the full functionality of the phone. The camera is a disappointment too, aside from the downgrade it also cannot shoot high definition videos.


Spotlight: Sony Xperia P

sony-xperia-pThe Sony Xperia P sports an aluminum body and a WhiteMagic screen that makes it among the most advanced in its midrange segment of mobile phones. The display of the Xperia P has a qHD resolution and covers a good four inches.

The Xperia P makes use of the WhiteMagic technology that pushes the brightness up a notch as it uses an extra subpixel in white beyond the usual setup of RGB. It has done that without compromising battery consumption while keeping the color rendering at its best using a specialized software.

Hardware

The Sony Xperia P has a dual core 1Ghz processor. Its performance is noteworthy but you cannot compare it with how the Xperia S does the job. This becomes obvious when you navigate between home screens. It can be a little jerky but the browser and apps run smoothly. Buyers will get 16GB of non-expandable storage and a gig of RAM.

The Xperia S display is the best with a 342ppi pixel density. It is even better than the iPhone 4Swith 326ppi. The Xperia P is not lagging much behind with a 27ppi display with 540×960 pixel configuration. The colors are crisp and bright but is not as detailed with how you see things using the top of the line Xperia S.

The camera of the device is a very capable 8-megapixel. It does well with the details but struggles a bit with oversaturation.

Software

The Xperia P runs on Android 2.3. This is not the latest but the Gingerbread is not that bad. You can still multi-task. You can practically have widgets and app for any task that you want to do and can customize it as much as you want to.

Expect a lot of bloatware to come with the phone.

Verdict

You get the value for your money when you get the Sony Xperia P. It is not the best of its kind but packs features that can help you achieve what you want to do with your phone.


Review: Sony Xperia S

The Sony Xperia S has a lot to offer beyond the new logo. The LCD display at 4.3 inches outguns its previous versions with a crisp and bright resolution of 1280 x 720. It can sit comfortably with the throng of Sony tablets, TVs and computers to complete your media ecosystem.

Hardware

The first thing you will notice with the Xperia S aside from its nice scree is the LED lit bar which seems to divide the cellphone into two parts. Some might not like it but it is actually cool with the navigation buttons etched on it. It comes with a price though, although the lit plastic bar looks good, it makes the phone look longer.

The design is nothing that would swoon gadget lovers plus using plastic meeting plastic design lines might not be a good idea. The phone has seams everywhere – rear cover, around the screen, port covers, and the plastic bar in front. The gaps is a problem in the long run as dust will get stuck in them which makes the device to appear cheap. The battery of this smart phone cannot be removed plus you cannot use a microSD to expand the 16 or 3 GB storage available. There can also be mishits when you try to press the navigation buttons at the start plus they can be quite unresponsive. Virtual buttons might have been better.

On the plus side, the LCD screen with a pixel density renders images smoothly and with excellent stability.

The camera has a resolution of 12MP and is a lot better than the older Xperias. You also have better controls for the ISO, Focus, Exposure Metering, and preset or manual white balance. You can shoot faster, better, and capture great images.

Software

The Xperia S runs on Android 2.3.7 and one thing defines this, old. The skin which is atop the OS also looks very familiar so are the pre-loaded applications. There are bloatware but there are also good stuff like the music app and the good integration with the SmartWatch.

Conclusion

Sony Xperia S is a good device after the Ericsson era. The good points like the display, battery life, speaker, and processor are promises of more things to come as Sony improves on their technology. The the non-expandable storage and its build quality might be issues might complicate your decision process though.


Review of the HTC Sensation XE running with Beats Audio

HTC-Sensation-XE-with-Beats-Audio-SpecificationsHTC has been branching out so their smartphones can reach the other segments of the market which they think are underserved, like phones specifically designed for females or smartphones optimized for a great audio experience. HTC recently launched the HTC Sensation XE with Beats by Dr. Dre. This version is an upgrade with minor bump up in terms of color scheme, chipset, and beefier battery.

Hardware

The HTC Sensation XE screams it is the the Beat Audio version with the red accents used for its design. The phone looks informal and cool with the red Beats Audio logo, red buttons, and camera ring. The brains of the phone is a third gen dual core chipset called Qualcomm Snapdragon that is a bit faster at 1.5G Hz.

Its 4.3-inch LCD screen with a resolution of 540X960 is bright enough even when you are outdoors. This phone has an 8 megapixel camera which is the same as the one found on its older sibling. The interface for the camera is also very easy to use and clean. It may not have the panorama function but makes up with a host of nice effects.

Software

Let us focus on the Beats Audio which is after all the reason for the release of this version. According to the manufacturer the collaboration with Beats by Dr Dre aims to give consumers a better experience when they listen to music using their phones. In short, they want us to hear real music as the artists wanted us to hear their beats, harmonies, and melodies.

Our impression is that the Beats Audio is really about lifting or depressing some frequencies to alter the experience or how the music will sound. Use the Beats headphones and you will definitely hear a better quality of music. So Beats Audio boils down to setting the Equalizer.

Conclusion

The HTC Sensation XE is a good phone no doubt but we cannot say that it is better or any less that the original release. There are minor tweaks plus the Beats Audio tips the scale to a marketing gimmick since you can achieve what it wants to achieve (or even do better) with third party apps which come a lot cheaper.


Review of Samsung Conquer 4G

The 4G after the name of the Samsung Conquer have added value and cost to this smart phone. The 4 tag means it is compatible to the next generation networks. The specs of the Samsung Conquer 4G is above average and its price is inexpensive for its range but not cheap.

At 116 grams, the Samsung Conquer 4G is very light and this is attributed to the plastic build, lack of a keyboard, and the smaller screen at 3.5 inch. It comes small at 116x0x12 mm. The back comes with some texture which avoids fingerprints and also gives some friction when you place it in your pocket.

At the side of the phone, you will find the volume rocker on the left side, camera key on the right, and headphone port on the top. At the bottom of the Conquer 4G are the mic and the micro USB port for charging.

In front, you have the 1.3 MP camera, the standard Android nav buttons just below the screen. The Conquer also comes with a 3.2 MP camera that can be at par or better with the Nokia N8′s performance. The camera comes with more settings that most brands in the market.

The Conquer 4G comes standard with a vanilla appearance and by default with the Gingerbread/ Android 2.3.4 . The service provider might put in some customization and some ringtones, wallpapers, widgets, and apps.
The battery life is pegged at six hours.

The Conquer 4G by Samsung is not a high end phone but it makes most of the components that it has.


Blackberry 8830 World Edition: A Review

The Blackberry 8830 World Edition is the perfect phone for people who travel a lot. You get a quality phone that is up to the standards that you would expect from Blackberry which you can use anywhere in the world. This phone is pretty much the standard Blackberry design so you should know what to expect.

Blackberry 8830 World EditionThe Blackberry 8830 World Edition look pretty much the same as any other Blackberry; however the metallic silver body does give it a bit of a more upscale look. It includes all of the features that people have come to expect from a Blackberry, the trackball and the QWERTY keyboard. This makes navigating through the menus a breeze. The size is also perfect since it is small enough that you can easily put it into the pocket on your shirt.

Like all Blackberry’s the thing that the 8830 does best is handle email. You can set up an account very easily using the built in wizard. It was easy to type on the 8830 as the keys are nice size and they are well spaced. You can view most file types fairly easily whether they are Word, Excel or PDF. Blackberry Messenger is also included with the phone. The biggest downside is that there is no GPS like there is on other models. One of the best features that we found on the 8830 was that the battery life was outstanding. Far better than any other smart phone that we have tried.

There is a feature for voice dialing on the 8830 which works quite well, better than on most phones. It had little trouble with any of the names that I tried to dial. Using Bluetooth with a wireless headset worked well for hands free calling. However one area that was a little bit disappointing was that you can’t use Bluetooth stereo headsets with the 8830.


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First Look: XPERIA Arc from Sony Ericsson

Sony Ericsson is stepping on it after a long while being out of the race as it releases the XPERIA Arc. This issue makes use of the Android OS and tries to get a chunk of the high-end segment of the market. The Arc follows the success of the XPERIA X10 which somehow repaired the image of the company.

The market will be kinder to the Xperia Arc as we already know that they can produce top notch gadgets but they have to improve on the delivery of updates.

The Xperia Arc has the following features:

  • 125 x 63.0 x 8/7 to 10mm in Dimension
  • Weight: 117 grams
  • Display 16M color 4.2” capacitive touch screen with 854×480 pixels
  • Brain: 1GHz Qualcom MSM8255 Snapdragon platform
  • OS: Android 2.3
  • Camera: 8 MP with LED flash, touch focus, and face detection
  • WiFI, Bluetooth
  • Proximity sensor, Bravia engine, accelerometer, multitouch input

As seen on the features list above, the XPERIA Arc makes up for the lack of RAM and multitouch input of its older sibling the X10. It also gives you a bigger screen that has a better image quality because of the Bravia technology. This powerful monster also has a micro HDMI port to add to its connectivity answers

Design

In terms of the design lines, the X10 will look like an ancient when placed side by side the slimmer and sleeker Arc. Sony Ericsson has done it well with the glossier plastics and gradient design for the back plate.

Display

The most interesting part of the screen will be the use of the Sony Bravia technology which increases the contrast and sharpness of what you see. The screen of the Arc can be considered as among the best in the market today.

User Interface

You will get the Gingerbread or Android 2.3 with the XPERIA Arc. They axed the Mediascape which had issues with sending out updates.

Overall, the SE EXPERIA Arc has strong potentials but the overcrowded high end market will still be very crowded.


Cell Phones as a Status Symbol

Cell phones were originally introduced into the market as a necessity for the business class. A mobile phone with all its wonderful services, allowing people with busy lives to schedule and reschedule meetings at a moment’s notice seemed like the most useful invention in ages, and while it targeted the masses, few outside the businessmen actually ventured into buying one for personal use. However, slowly, the appeal of the cell phone trickled in to other sections of society as well and a change was seen in the form of all working professionals, and not just the business men, buying a mobile phone each. As the many benefits and advantages of being constantly contactable grew and the necessity of being able to reach people at a moment’s notice magnified, the need for more and more people to invest in a handset for themselves increased.

The changing times in the last decade can be best examined with the coming in of the Cell Phone Phenomenon which has indeed taken on gigantic proportions, transforming from a utility good to a luxury good and now, to a status symbol. To be without a mobile phone in this day and age might as well be the same as committing social suicide, given the importance that is attached with these gadgets. From housewives to college students, senior citizens to children as young as 9 and 10, cell phones have become a necessity as well as a status symbol. Flaunting the latest cell-phone models has become the easiest and most effective way of informing other people about your class, wealth, style and stature.

The far-reaching influence of cell phones as the ultimate accessory to have can be seen with the example of media advertising. All advertisements portraying “cool”, “trendy” and “stylish” people make use of expensive and attractive cell phones to indicate these attributes to the audiences. And since the media has a significant effect on the mindsets of the people, the masses have invariably picked up the understanding that having a phone that can be showed-off is just as important as dressing well.

Teenagers and even pre-teens insist on having their own phones and not just any phone will do. Parents are inevitably forced to buy the latest, most in-style, and thus invariably expensive model to appease their children. A cell phone no longer serves the simple function of allowing you to contact other people even when you are on the move. It is now a style statement and a status symbol, and keeping in tune with these transformations, the phone must be worthy of being “taken out” in public and flaunted in front of one’s peers.

The advance of cell phones as a must have accessory can also be understood in the terms of the variety of accessories and cell phone-related paraphernalia that is available in the market. From hanging key chains to bodysuits to phone accessories, stickers and holsters, cell phones have a vast range of associated gear that is used to enhance the appeal of the handset.