The Samsung Galaxy S4 is the latest handset from the Korean smartphone manufacturer and it’s already proving to be a huge hit with potential consumers across the globe.
However, latest figures reveal that the Galaxy S4, which is due to roll out later this month, is already bringing down the trade-in cost of its multi-million selling predecessor, the Galaxy S III.
Mobile phone site Gazelle revealed the trade-in value of the Galaxy S III has dropped nearly 25% in the last three months, and this figure looks set to decline even further when Samsung’s new flagship hits stores across the globe in the coming weeks.
As the world’s leading smartphone vendor, Samsung is currently witnessing colossal levels of hype around its latest flagship. But with the firm’s product roadmap for 2013 detailing a raft of other devices set to be unveiled this year industry experts are starting to question whether Samsung is trying to stretch itself too far, too fast.
Also included in this year’s line up are two super-sized smartphones to kick-start the company’s new range of ‘Galaxy Mega’ devices. There’s also going to be a slew of lower-end handsets including Galaxy Star, Galaxy Pocket Neo and Galaxy Win.
Once again Samsung is trying to cover all bases, launching a vast array of devices spanning various sizes and price ranges in a bid to appeal to all types of consumers. But, as the saying suggests ‘what goes up must eventually come down’ and as such, the firm might not be able to maintain this momentum forever. Analyst Haydn Shaughnessy of Forbes said Samsung’s continued success could start to cloud its judgment of the market in the long-run.
With so many handsets to its name and with even more in the pipeline the firm could soon find itself in a position where its own smartphones start to compete with one another for sales, which could essentially cause the firm to become its own biggest rival.
Right now though it doesn’t look like the company is moving from the top-spot anytime soon and even the likes of Apple are starting to look at bringing extra devices to the fore, with a rumoured mid-range iPhone expected to launch later this year.
Following the massive Apple-like launch event for the Galaxy S4 in New York last month it’s clear that Samsung has put all of its efforts into its new flagship, which is bursting with new features and innovation. To see the handset in all its glory and decide whether you think it’s got what it takes to keep the firm in poll position check out the full video review below.
Today, O2 released a new set of plans called O2 Refresh, which unties customers from the shackles of 24 month contracts and allows you to upgrade your phone at any time.
Sadly it’s not as simple as that, but is still fairly clear and concise once you have your head round it. It’s a 24-month contract, but the user chooses a phone plan separately. This idea is similar to what T-Mobile USA introduced last month and we believe this is aimed at providing greater transparency over what the user is paying for. Ultimately this is aimed at customers whose dominant buying motivator is the handset enabling them to upgrade early.
The customer will take a 24 month “Phone Plan” out at the same time as taking a 24 month “Airtime Plan” both with a separate cost, but billed for as one. This gives customers greater clarity in what they are actually paying for each month. A customer will be able to end the Phone Plan at any point in time if they decide a new phone is in order, by simply paying off the remaining months on the Phone Plan.
When a customer takes a new Phone Plan the old Airtime Plan is automatically cancelled and a new Airtime Plan started so they don’t start getting the crossover of Phone Plans and Airtime Plans expiring at different times else this may have confused some customers down the line, with Phone and Airtime plans not expiring at the same time.
There are only 3 plans a customer needs to choose from if they want one of the new O2 Refresh plans, which keeps it simple and keeps costs clear. They are;
- £12/month with 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 750MB of data
- £17/month with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB of data
- £22/month with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB of data
Not all phones are available on O2 Refresh, though O2 have said that from now each new phone that comes out will be on the Refresh plan. To begin with, the phones that are available but not limited to are the Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Galaxy Note II, Apple iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, the BlackBerry Z10 and the new HTC One and Sony Xperia Z. Phones that will be available on O2 Refresh when they become available on the market include the BlackBerry Q10 and the highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S4
The Phone Plan costs aren’t simple to get your head round, but the more you pay each month for the Airtime Plan, the cheaper the upfront costs of the phones will be, and you can decide whether your Phone Plan will be £10, £15 or £20 a month.
Let’s take the Apple iPhone 5 16GB as an example, here is a breakdown of the costs you’d be looking at should you want one on the new O2 Refresh plan.
Airtime Plan cost
Handset upfront cost
Phone Plan cost
As you can see, the more you are willing to pay each month, the less of an upfront cost you’d need to stick down, and the greater amount you’re willing to pay monthly, the lower the upfront contributions too.
“Increasingly our customers are telling us that they don’t want to be tied to the same phone for two years and, with 4G coming to O2 this summer, we want to make it easier for our customers to benefit from the latest technology,” Feilim Mackle, Sales and Service Director at Telefónica UK said.
Well, let’s see if this works out well for O2. As they only came out today, they are only available in store, but they will be coming to the online world soon. In the meantime all their other tariffs and deals are still available.
We are very pleased here at mobilife to be getting hold of a brand new BlackBerry Z10 to review which is the first in a new generation of BlackBerry devices, to see if the long-awaited BlackBerry 10 OS is really an improvement on the old operating system or just a lot of smoke and mirrors hiding a slight revamp. They say you can peek at your messages from any app, take BBM to a new level with video and Screen Share but most importantly still carries all the best features of a traditional BlackBerry. Well BBZ10, you have a lot to live up to.
Un-boxing the BlackBerry Z10 is much like the un-boxing of any phone these days, lift the cardboard box lid and the phone is displayed in all its glory. There’s not a great deal in the box but we’ve come to expect that with mobile phones these days, you’ll need to pay for any extras. All you get is the plug, a USB cable also used for connecting to the plug to charge, headphones and a small pamphlet on the phone and warranty information.
Lockscreen and Back Panel
Visually, the BlackBerry Z10 is very executive looking. The BBZ10′s button-free glass front, the large display, the chrome effect buttons and the matte black colouring makes for a very eye catching device. I wouldn’t go as far as saying the BBZ10 breaks new ground, but that still doesn’t detract from the obvious: it’s a very attractive and well built handset.
The BlackBerry Z10 has a 4.2” touch screen with ~355 ppi pixel density which gives a crystal clear quality screen with rich blacks and deep colours and was a screen we found a joy to look at. The pre-installed game Beach Buggy Blitz was a good demonstrator of the BBZ10’s screen clarity and proved that the power of the 1.5GHz dual-core processor was enough, even if it didn’t stand up to the strength on paper of such phones as the Google Nexus 4 with its 1.5GHz quad-core.
BlackBerry Z10 Homescreens
Upon first boot you’re greeted with a tutorial demonstrating how you can navigate through the phone, use the keyboard and initial setup. The tutorial also runs you through the gesture controls and shows you how swiping up from the bottom and from the left triggers different actions. The start up time isn’t great, we timed it at 60 seconds which for a phone powered with a 1.5GHz dual-core CPU and 2GB RAM didn’t impress us at all.
Once you’ve completed the setup you’re presented with a home screen very similar to Apple’s iOS. BlackBerry OS10 is probably the most impressive overhaul of an operating system in a long time, however I do feel that they have cut a few corners – these corners will become more apparent throughout our review.
Central to the BBZ10 user experience is the BlackBerry Hub. All of your emails, tweets, BBMs, Facebook messages, LinkedIn notifications and EMails go here. It is always on and always available via a simple swipe from the left of the screen. The BBZ10 came pre-installed with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube apps, however we found that YouTube was just a web view with the app taking you to the m.youtube.com page. This isn’t the end of the world and still worked well, but it wasn’t a native app and didn’t look as clean and stylish as the Android and iOS counterparts.
Running Apps Homescreen
You don’t just have the Hub, you’ve got BlackBerry’s multitasking-widget menu with live view of the application. So while you’re surfing the web you can switch into your can send a quick text and then resume your surfing. This is quickly accessed by swiping from the bottom of the screen towards the center.
BlackBerry Link replaces BlackBerry Desktop Software as the new management tool for interaction between your BlackBerry device and MAC/PC which allows you to sync music, videos, photos, documents and more between each other. We found the sync feature works really well. Once the software has been installed on your PC and set up, it locates your device as being on the same local Wi-Fi connection and asks if you want to initiate connection. Once you’ve chosen which files on your PC you want to transfer you drag them to your BBZ10 and the transfer begins, using the Wi-Fi connection to do the file transferring. Very impressive transfer speeds, of course dependent on your connection speeds. We liked how the files are then stored locally taking advantage of the 16GB storage on the device and, can be played offline. Although the BlackBerry Link software is a very useful tool and takes little to no effort to transfer data I was disappointed to learn that the phone cannot be used as a mass-storage device, something that Android owners will be very familiar with.
Close up photo taken on BBZ10
The BlackBerry Z10 comes with an 8MP camera with produced some great shots, and a full 1080p video recording capability which once again produced some really sharp and clear results both close up and long distance. The Auto-focus on the camera worked well, even in near macro style conditions.
Long distance photo taken on the BBZ10
See some sample videos we took, the first, one of mobilife’s resident cats, Pepper and the other over a golf course on a cloudy day.
The 1080p video quality works really well with a variety of lighting conditions and the auto focus did a good job at both the long distance video of a golf course and close quarters with Pepper the cat. If you were after purely a camera phone, I can’t imagine you’d plump for a BlackBerry however for those that specifically want a BlackBerry you won’t be let down with a poor quality camera.
In summary, the hardware of the phone is excellent. It is a very well built and crafted device, the build quality is fantastic. The BlackBerry Z10 has a solid feel, not flimsy at all or too heavy and is a nice size to hold and navigate one handed. The screen resolution at 768p is more than acceptable and leaves you impressed playing back videos or streaming YouTube. At 4.2” the screen is adequate and sits in line with that of a BlackBerry device, it seems only a couple of manufacturers want to push the limits of screen size to the max at the moment.
The refreshed software on the BlackBerry Z10 has gone through a radical overhaul, however we feel that BlackBerry has created too many processes for a simple step that a button could’ve done. For instance a home button instead of swiping up and we found that instead of a back button one had to swipe up to the homescreen, where are view of all running applications was present, and you chose where to jump back to. BlackBerry are ahead of the curve, we feel that many operating systems will build upon BlackBerry’s gesture control navigation and develop it further.
Overall, we here at mobilife aren’t massive fans of the BlackBerry Z10. We find the software over complicated and labourious, putting in too many steps for what should be simple processes. In the words of a longtime BlackBerry user, it’s “not user friendly, it doesn’t have an easy way to back out of a page, like no back button” and “NOT a fan!!” We find the lack of apps disappointing however that is a complaint that could be improved upon in time. We do like the camera capabilities, and the BlackBerry Link function, allowing fast data transfer from PC to phone without cables (over local Wi-Fi) to be really easy and a great addition to overall experience.
Thanks to our friends over at Phones4u for supplying the BlackBerry Z10 to us here at mobilife. we weren’t sad to see it go, I guess that sums up our overall opinion of the device, it was no great loss to say goodbye but certainly good to see where BlackBerry took their latest iteration of the OS, although it’s not quite ready to step up and go toe-to-toe against Android or iOS.
The Samsung Galaxy S IV has been a highly anticipated device almost since the Galaxy S III came out and the rumour mill has been turning at a ferocious speed with specs knocking round left, right and centre.
Today Samsung have turned up their PR efforts in building the hype up on the Samsung Unpacked event scheduled for 14th March with a short teaser video. Now it’s not exactly a secret that their new flagship device will hog all the limelight there, so expect the Unpacked event to have just one sole focus, the Samsung Galaxy S IV. Even in the short video they released today a poster in the background reads “BE READY 4 THE NEXT GALAXY”.
Be Ready 4 the Next Galaxy
In the video below, a young Jeremy Maxwell is entrusted with the Samsung Unpacked box, and has a sneak peak, but seems now he isn’t very good at keeping the contents of the box a secret, and various leaks have been let out purporting the phone to have a 4.99″ Super AMOLED screen of full 1080p resolution, as well as a 13MP camera to rival Sony’s Xperia Z and, a 1.6GHz 8-core CPU (4x Cortex-A15 and 4x Cortex-A7) which will make it not only Samsung’s most powerful phone yet, also one of the market’s most powerful devices.. I personally remember laptops having less power than this.
Still, we can only wait and see, and not for long as the Samsung Unpacked event is on the 14th March, which will be streamed live on Samsung’s YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/samsungmobile
A few weeks ago the smartphone world was introduced to the HTC One, one of the many new flagship handsets of 2013, and it’s already been crowned the best new device at this year’s Mobile World Congress event.
The accolade is a huge achievement for its creator HTC which over the past few years has fallen behind Samsung in the Android smartphone market. Samsung now sells more Android devices than any other manufacturer, and with the rumoured Galaxy S IV tipped for release in the coming months, this situation shows no sign of changing any time soon. Despite its competition, the HTC One signals new beginnings for the Taiwanese company as it looks to producing fewer, and more high quality devices to help boost the HTC brand back to the top of the smartphone pile.
Benjamin Ho, chief marketing officer for HTC, said: “We are delighted by the reactions from both consumers and the industry to the new HTC One. It is a device that has been years in the making and is one of which we are incredibly proud of.”
HTC was one of the first smartphone manufacturers to adopt both the Android and Windows Phone platforms, but has once again shown its faith in Google’s operating system with its new flagship. And according to new reports, HTC has now cancelled earlier plans to bring out a high-end Windows Phone device, rumoured to be called Zenith, later this year.
While this decision could be down to any number of reasons there’s certainly the possibility that the firm simply doesn’t want to release another high-end device and risk detracting from the attention the HTC One is currently getting.
It remains to be seen whether placing all its faith in one device will be the right move for the firm in the long-term, but HTC has certainly got off to a flying start. The HTC One is with a doubt a fantastic handset brimming with functionality and innovation, two key areas where the smartphone manufacturer can now look to improving on even further in its future releases.
To see what all the fuss is about, check out the full video of the HTC One below…
Article written by Sarah Hazelwood of Dialaphone, the home of all the latest mobile phones.
The Huawei Ascend P1 is not just another Android phone, admittedly if it is from a company that few have heard of, but with a feature list as highly spec’d as this, it warrants getting the attention it deserves. Sporting a 4.3” Super AMOLED screen with an 8MP shooter, bundled with Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich out the box all running off a 1.5GHz dual-core CPU and 1GB of RAM. This stands it in good stead as one of the best mid-range devices on the market right now.
Briefly touching on the phones main features the 8MP camera produces clear images, the Super AMOLED screen makes the colours stand out, however sunlight legibility isn’t wonderful and left us here at mobilife struggling to see what we were doing on screen. Video recording and playback was much of a similar story to the photos, very crisp and clean looking thanks to recording in full 1080p, however the screen doesn’t playback at that quality but even at a 540p resolution stood up to the test surprisingly well.
Huawei Ascend P1 camera test shot
We gave the latest game from Imangi Studios, Temple Run 2 a go to see how well it coped and it did do reasonably well. Loading times of the app were pitted against a Samsung Galaxy Note II and a Google Nexus 4. The Huawei Ascend P1 took 2.6 seconds longer to reach main menu against the Samsung and took 2.2 seconds longer than the Nexus 4 to load. Bear in mind both phones used in the test against the Huawei carry quad-core processors so were bound to perform better. Against a Sony Xperia S, which also carries a 1.5GHz dual-core loading times were the same. The game play itself was smooth and the rendering of graphics didn’t judder or feel laggy at all. This is a fairly graphic intensive game and the Huawei Ascend P1 coped with it very well. We felt the screen colours a little too rich on this game, but we put this down to the Super AMOLED screen’s richness and vibrancy of colours.
The music player on the Huawei Ascend P1 is of their own design, replacing the stock Android player but does a really good job. There are functions to search for music by song, album, artist, genre or a playlist, which can be done on the device itself and thanks to the phone’s built in Dolby Mobile 3.0 Plus sound enhancement engine it greatly boosts the sound quality across all aspects of playing music with both headphones or loudspeaker, this also makes watching YouTube videos that little bit nicer. Now that Google have their own music player which streams all your uploaded music from the cloud to the device the need for a dedicated onboard music player has diminished slightly, however Huawei have ensured that if you don’t want to use Google’s version, you’re still left with a good alternative.
The Huawei Ascend P1’s version of Android has not been customised as much other manufacturers do with their phone’s but there are some neat extras available. Facebook, Twitter and Google Chrome came preinstalled as did some of Huawei’s own such as; File Manager – to manage your files, Flashlight – which utilizes the camera’s dual-LED to create a source of light, Music+ – which replaces the standard Android music player, Riptide GP – which is a cracking water skiing game and Security Guard which allows you to store passwords, encrypt files and create a blacklist of people from contacting you. There is some a couple nifty features in the settings menu to., The one that caught my eye was Power saving mode which allows you to set three different modes of battery saving. These being Battery Saver, Balanced and Performance. You can make the choice between the pretty standard 2D launcher and Huawei’s own 3D launcher which gives you some 3D widgets. Huawei made one final tweak to the lockscreen, rather than the standard Slide to the left to unlock and slide to the right to go to camera which allows you to customise the right, up and down shortcuts to launch an activity of your choice. There is also the option for having a 3D lockscreen which looks lot more fun and user friendly.
3D Lock screen
There are apps available which skin on top of Huawei’s own custom skin, such as Apex Launcher and Action Launcher, however these don’t just replace the look and feel of the UI but the launcher sequence too, such as the way apps are found. The downside to this is that you are running another app all in the background the time which could have a toll on your battery and does drain your CPU performance a little. Since we here at mobilife like our Android vanilla feel, it is a nice way to give it that look, but we don’t like feel it is necessary since Huawei haven’t played around with the look and feel too much and given it a fairly basic UI tweak.
We feel that huawei have done a great job creating the UI skin for the Ascend P1 as it keeps it very similar to the vanilla Android look featured on Google’s Nexus devices, but adding in a few useful tweaks such as the unlock to a designated app feature or the aforementioned battery saver options. The larger a manufacturer’s UI skin is, the more the phone’s CPU is used and skins such as Samsung’s TouchWiz or HTC’s Sense UI are heavily customised which can restrict the potential power and performance of a phone.
2D Home screen
A couple of niggles, for instance the 3D home setting which does feel slightly laggy, whereas the 2D home setting is much smoother and doesn’t detract from usability at all. We passed the phone on to a complete Android novice and within 5 minutes found herself using it without a hitch and in her words found the Huawei Ascend P1 “really simple to use.” Great job Huawei, these are definitely the sort of customers you want to be targeting to increase your presence in the Android market, as newcomers to Android that get on well with a Huawei are more likely to return to the same manufacturer, as oppose to chopping and changing manufacturers like those a little more au faix with the operating system.
In summary, this phone sits really well in the mid-range category. The hardware of the Huawei Ascend P1 is excellent, you get a lot of great features built in such as the camera, excellent screen size and clarity and Huawei themselves have done a tip top job on the user interface.
Many thanks to our good friends at Phones 4u for supplying us here at mobilife with the Huawei Ascend P1 to test and create this review with. We can safely say we were gutted to give it back, such a lovely little device I wouldn’t mind carrying around at all.
This is the app we’ve been waiting on since the first iteration of Temple Run came out and we got bored of it so finally the long overdue and highly anticipated Temple Run 2 has come to our phones, in the form of an iOS, Amazon or Android app.
Temple Run 2 is from the developers Imangi Studios and follows on from the hugely successful Temple Run app which redefined mobile gaming, with over 170 million downloads. We are told we get a more exhilirating running, jumping, turning and sliding game with Temple Run 2 along with fantastic new graphics, new environments, obstacles and forms of movement coupled with a wider variety of powerups, more achievements to unlock and a much bigger demonic monkey!
The app uses different gesture controls for a truly interactive experience, where you swipe left and right to turn, swipe up to jump and down to slide, whilst you tilt the screen to the left and right to collect coins. This time there are different tokens to jump and collect, like green gems which give you a chance to carry on where you die, much like the angel wings did in the first game, but gems can’t be purchased, they are gained by jumping to collect and passing certain check points.of the free apps list.
Temple Run 2 hit the App Store for iOS 16th January and within 12 hours had reached top free apps chart. Within 24 hours the game had racked up an outstanding six million downloads and in 4 days totaled some 20 million downloads, so we can expect to see similar results now it is out on Android. Temple Run 2 came to Android Play Store 28th Jan and is just as addictive as the first version was, so download figures like Apple’s iOS version will be easily obtainable.
As you can see from the video, a lot has changed since the first one, starting with a new location but moving on to jumping up and grabbing ropes and sliding down them, climbing into underground mining carts on tracks, running on brick paths and in amongst the trees jumping over death traps, sliding under flames and concrete structures.
The game makes you feel a lot more involved, it isn’t just straight lines anymore but left and right bends, up and down slopes, sliding on ropes and in the aforementioned mining carts which gives the game a far greater depth.
Temple Run 2 is free on both Android and iOS, and has no ads to spam and ruin your gameplay. There are in-app purchases such as extra emerald gems to respawn your player if you come to an untimely death, but I do personally find that cheating as you can win and collect them anyway. The game requires Apple users to have at least an iPhone 3GS running iOS 4.2 or later, but works better on the iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S and is optimised for the Apple iPhone 5′s larger screen. On Android it simply requires your phone to run v2.1 Eclair, however of course with all graphic intensive games such as this the bigger your phone’s RAM and GPU performance, the smoother the gameplay will be. A decent screen size can be preferred for a game such as this, I suggest not going smaller than a 4.3″ screen such as a Sony Xperia S as with having to touch the screen to control “Guy Dangerous” or Scarlett Fox” you don’t want to cover half the game with your thumb!
I’ve deliberately left superlatives to a minimum to encourage you to play the game and decide yourself how to describe the game, suffice it to say I have already dedicated several hours of my life to this game in 4 days alone, and thoroughly enjoy it. One might say this game is awesomnal!
As you may have noticed at mobilife we get hooked on addictive games and we’re not going to disappoint you with this one. Super Hexagon, which is available on the Android Play store for £0.59 and the iTunes App store for £1.99. Super Hexagon is described as “a minimal action game by Terry Cavanagh”
Super Hexagon is simple yet devilishly challenging game. You’re a triangle with the goal of surviving mazes of lines and a large array of shapes that approach you with great speed. The controls are fairly easy – you touch anywhere on the left half of the screen to move in that direction, and anywhere on the right to move there. Hit the wall and you’ll meet an instant death.
The first three levels are already unlocked, and then winning each one will unlock a corresponding hyper mode. Moving up from one level to another naturally produces faster action and more complex patterns, with less room for error.
The great thing about Super Hexagon is that you can instantly restart a level after dying. The play time, which is usually measured in seconds, is a perfect fit for mobile games. I’ve spent a couple of minutes of my spare time with this game. The sense of accomplishment after managing to win a level or improving on your best times is immensely gratifying. It has got that dangerously addicting ‘one more time’ side-effect as well.
The pumping retro-ish arcade soundtrack while the screen flashes and pulsates to adds a great atmosphere to the game, check out the video below!
As mentioned this game is available on both iOS and Android. This game is designed to work perfectly with any device so I can’t recommend a certain phone, but why don’t you just pop over to our deals page and have a look at our top phones!
The International CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is a major technology-related trade show held each January in Las Vegas and was held last week. Lots of new devices and gadgets, electronic goods were showcased, but out of the pack there were two that caught my eye, the Sony Xperia Z and the Huawei Ascend Mate.
Sony Xperia Z
The Sony Xperia Z seems to have it all. This is the company’s first 5″ smartphone, but to make that really sing out it is their first 1080p screen (1080 x 1920 pixels) with a pixel density of ~441 ppi, which makes the iPhone 5′s ppi of ~326 look poor which it simply isn’t. The screen also runs the Sony Mobile Bravia engine 2 which as Sony claim boosts the screen brightness and clarity. The Xperia Z also comes with a 13MP camera, with an autofocus and 16x digital zoom. The camera also has included Sony’s Exmor RS for mobile which they again claim is the world’s first image sensor with HDR (High Dynamic Range) video for smartphones. There is just so much packed into this 1.5GHz quad-core powered phone, including running on Android Jelly Bean 4.1 with a planned upgrade to 4.2 coming soon, and a battery tweak that shuts down apps when the screen is off, and jump starts them once woken from sleep. It really is the mother of all Sony phones, and is due out in March. Vodafone have said they will be stocking it, but pricing has not yet been announced.
Huawei Ascend Mate
Also announced at The CES 2013 was something I’m a big fan of and that’s large-screened phones. Huawei unveiled the world’s largest screen on a smartphone, with the Huawei Ascend Mate. The Ascend Mate has a 6.1″ 720p screen, covered with Corning’s Gorilla Glass which at that size you’d want to protect. By way of comparison, the Samsung Galaxy Note II has a 5.5″ screen, which they consider to be a real hybrid between a phone and tablet they have coined the phablet and, the iPhone 5 only packs a 4″ screen. Like the Sony, the Huawei Ascend Mate is powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core processor and runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. This phone, like the Sony also has some clever battery trickery, but not in the way it preserves power, but by how it replenishes it. Huawei, the Chinese firm claim thanks to some proprietary intellect, the Ascend Mate has the fastest battery charge up time of any similar smartphone (the basis of which has not been defined – 1.5GHz quad-core phones or 6.1″ screened phones, of which there are none) going from empty to fully charged 30% faster than competitors. The phone is due out in February but no official release dates have been announced yet.
Personally speaking, I would prefer if manufacturers concentrated on boosting power up times through USB when connected to a PC, as most often a phone is charged overnight when it doesn’t matter how fast it charges, as long as it reaches 100% by the time we awaken.
I certainly feel these are the best to announcements that occurred at The CES 2013 last week, and I hope this has whet your appetite for the phones and will be lining up to purchase one of them. I myself am interested in the Huawei Ascend Mate thanks to its huge screen!
After a slight hiccup last week with the release of Grand theft Auto Vice City for Android, I was overjoyed today to download it and play it in the office “to review it for a blog”. GTA Vice City now celebrates its 10 year anniversary and I for one cannot believe it has been that long since I played it on my Sony PS2. What a way to commemorate the anniversary, to port it onto mobile devices running Apple’s iOS or Android operating systems.
If you have ever played Grand Theft Auto before, you will be no stranger to the way this game plays, but for those that haven’t, GTA Vice City is set in the 1980′s and this story is the rise of one man’s struggle to the top of the criminal underworld. Vice City, the back drop for this game is a vast city with an array of clubs, joints and streets to race cars in, kill men and women in and partake in the story’s missions to work your way to the top. The game for android or iOS follows the same story line as it did for the PS2 and xbox 360, with you being the character of Tommy, with the videos between gameplay being the same as originally on the PS2 and Xbox 360 versions.
The graphics of this game are exceptional. It is like playing Grand Theft Auto Vice City through your PS2 on a small-screened TV, but ultimately it is down to the screen size of your phone. Testing this on the Samsung Galaxy Note II was sublime, a perfect excuse for such a large sized screen. You may also need a phone with a fairly strong processor is needed, for the lowest spec Android phone has a 1GHz processor, but in true spirit, more power is always better.
The game features on screen controls, on the left is a joystick to move forward, back, left and right whilst there are 3 buttons on right to get in/out of car, punch/fire weapon and run. Once in vehicle several controls appear. On the left of screen you get left and right on screen buttons to steer car/bike and on the right you get buttons to change view, horn, handbrake, accelerate and brake whilst the button to get in/out a vehicle remains static.
Downloading on office wifi (painfully slow connection speed) it took over an hour to download so by the time it had completed its download of 1.39GB and I had played it for
10 mins I couldn’t refund, as Google Play only offer a 15min window and sadly that time
had already lapsed before I had even started playing. This is better than iOS that don’t offer any refund option, unless you send an email to their support team and include your full life story diatribe, which for the sake of £2.99 (£3.74 on Google Play Store) it just isn’t worth it, and honestly, it’s not a game you will want to refund as it is incredible! It is just a shame the 15 minutes on Google Play don’t start once the download is complete.
Not only do you get to drive cars, ride motorbikes, shoot guns, carry baseball bats and pick up prostitutes for good times, you get to commit untold amounts of criminal activities and relive the glory days of the 80′s! The only downside I can see to this game, is that I now have Mr. Mister’s Take These Broken Wings and The Buggles’ Video Killed the Radio Star
songs stuck in my head for the rest of the day. All radio stations from the full game are present in the mobile version, although I do feel the only station to listen to is Flash FM!
In my opinion this is a great game for those that have played Grand Theft Auto games before and want to do it again on their mobile devices, or those new to it that want to give it a go, it won’t disappoint.