Tag: Android

By January 8, 2014 Read More →

Android or Windows at the flick of a switch from Asus

Android or WindowsThe new Asus Transformer Book Duet seems to be the real deal that many have promised over the years in that it can go from Windows 8 to Android literally at the flip of a switch (actually push of a button). Press the OS switch button on the Duet’s keyboard dock or tap the app on the touchscreen and it takes approximately 4 seconds to make the jump. Thanks to the Duet’s Intel Core i7 processor the Duet is plenty speedy. A list of other features show this ASUS as quite the capable 2-in-1 device.

 

A little more detail from their press release reveals:

ASUS Transformer Book Duet (TD300) delivers striking visuals on its 13.3-inch 1920 x 1080 Full HD IPS touchscreen display. This multi-touch display has a sensitivity and responsiveness that exceeds Microsoft’s requirements for Windows 8.1. For audio, it comes with ASUS SonicMaster technology for true-to-life sound through the tablet’s twin speakers.

In addition, Transformer Book Duet has a front-facing HD camera with a built-in digital mic for video chats. The tablet display has 128GB of SSD storage which can be supplemented by a 64GB Micro SD card, while the keyboard dock houses a 1TB hard disk drive. The dock is also home to USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, a LAN port, and HDMI 1.4 output with 1080p support. In terms of connectivity, ASUS Transformer Book T300 has 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 with EDR.

It looks to be a pretty incredible 2-in-1, but my problem lies in the choices of Operating Systems. Before anyone gets ahead of me I’d like to say that I love both Android and Windows 8. I own a Nexus Tablet and have been using Android since ’09 with the OG Droid. I also own a Dell XPS 12 Ultrabook running Windows 8.1, so I’m very familiar with both OSs and appreciate them both equally. I also own a Lumia smartphone running Windows Phone and this is where my problem with the operating systems comes into play. As an Android user you will probably understand this issue I have with a Windows and Android duel boot machine. 

I’m pretty much “locked” into the Windows 8 ecosystem. I use the word “locked” loosely because I’m really not locked into the ecosystem, I choose to use all the services just as I did when I was on Android. I can go back to Android in a matter of minutes without any real disruption, but why would I want to or need to? I have no real need to boot into Android. As a matter of fact, my tablet rarely gets any use beyond using Hangouts, so I just don’t have the need for a dual boot of Android and Windows. Android/Ubuntu yes, Windows/Ubuntu yes, Android/Windows no.

This issue will be further exaggerated when it comes to a dual boot smartphone running both Android/Windows (if it ever happens). To fully enjoy either OS, you really have to jump right in and get wet. Having one foot in Android and one foot in Windows is castrating the experience. Either you’re in or your out and most people are all in. Whether it’s iOS, Android or Windows Phone, consumers are tied into one ecosystem. In theory it looks interesting, but in practice it falls way short. Perhaps it’s just me. Perhaps there is a real market for Android and Windows running side by side with a press of a button or flick of a switch, but for me I’m just not seeing it right now. Android is quite capable of existing on it’s own just as Windows (Phone) is capable of doing all the lifting on it’s own.

Posted in: Laptops, News
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By December 14, 2013 Read More →

Lenovo IdeaTab A3000 Tablet mini review

lenovo a3000

With Christmas just around the corner it seems to be that Tablets are sitting quite high up on many a Christmas list and whether you’ve been naughty or nice theres lots of choice on the tablet market at the moment.

I suspect that many parents will be looking for tablets for their kids this year and with a number of budget options on offer starting at around £80 tablets are finding their way in the to the hands of much younger kids that before.

Here in the UK there have been some high-profile budget tablets over the past few months with 7″ Android tablets on offer from Tesco, Argos and now Lidl, you’d think that the supermarket chains could have had it all sewn up but as tablets are this years must-have toy, and true to form for the popular toys, these tablets are either out of stock or in very short supply.

So, carrying on with our look at some of the tablets on the market this year we have the Lenovo IdeaTab A3000. The A3000 is a budget tablet that will compete in this years tablet frenzy on the run up to Christmas. It may be budget priced but it has been on the market for a while so is the A3000 a tablet that can hold its own in the 7-inch tablet arena? We have a quick look.

Posted in: Reviews, Tablets
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By November 29, 2013 Read More →

Lenovo IdeaTab S6000 unboxing and demo

lenovo-tablet-ideatab-s6000-front-1Lenovo recently launched a new range of Android tablets, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8 and 10. But Lenovo have an existing range of Android tablets and we looked at the budget IdeaTab A3000 a while ago.

This week we got our hands on the Lenovo IdeaTab S6000. It’s the bigger brother of the A3000 and has a 10.1″ display. Both have been on the market for a while but heading in to the Xmas period, and as Android tablets are likely to feature quite high on Christmas lists this year, we thought it worthy of an unboxing and review as it promises to be one of the better options out there at the moment.

Lenovo call the S6000 an ‘Enhanced Multimedia Tablet’ and to this end the tablet has a couple of sizeable speakers on the rear for stereo audio playback. The widescreen display may not be the highest resolution but is still 1280×800 pixels and, being IPS, is of a decent quality.

You can pick up the S6000 for under £200 at the moment but there’s stiff competition out there so can it compete? We’ll have a full review soon but for now the unboxing and demo video below may help you make up your mind.

By November 25, 2013 Read More →

Samsung Announces Galaxy Grand 2

Samsung-Galaxy-Grand-2Samsung have announced their latest big screen outing, this time a follow up to the Galaxy Grand, oddly titled the Galaxy Grand 2. Whilst not packing the raw horse-power of the Note 3 or the vast screen of the Mega the Grand 2 fits in between with a more reasonable price tag and eye brow raising specs.

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. has today announced the Galaxy Grand 2, a device that offers an optimal large-screen experience on a portable, compact smartphone. The Galaxy Grand 2 provides improved HD viewing experience, enhanced performance, and many other intuitive features.

The Galaxy Grand 2 boasts a 5.25” screen with a 16:9 HD ratio, perfect for watching movies, playing games and e-reading. Multi Window takes multitasking to the next level by maximising the benefits of the large screen as well as enabling users to run one application in two windows at the same time.

The Galaxy Grand 2 delivers superior performance with a more powerful Quad Core 1.2GHz processor and long-lasting 2,600mAh battery, providing up to 10 hours of playback and 17 hours of calls. The dual-SIM capabilities mean that users can switch seamlessly between networks.

To provide a more intuitive experience, the Galaxy Grand 2 comes equipped with several smart features that continue to set the Galaxy series apart from other smartphone devices on the market, including enhanced camera features like Best Face, Best Photo and Continuous Shot, as well as:

  • Story Album: Organise pictures by timeline, and create and print albums all from the device
  • S Translator: A translation service that provides instantaneous translations at any time
  • S Travel: Provides guides and travel information for travelling
  • Sound & Shot: Record up to nine seconds of audio with photos
  • Samsung Hub: Unique content service that provides access to music, videos, games and more
  • Group Play: To listen to music , share documents or play games together
  • Samsung Link: Connects your devices providing access to photos, music, videos and documents from multiple locations

Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 will be offered in White, and Black and Pink is available in selective regions.

Galaxy Grand 2 Product Specifications:

  • Quad Core 1.2GHz Processor
  • 5.25” HD (1280×720) TFT Display
  • 1.5GB (RAM) + 8GB (Internal Memory) + microSD (up to 64GB) Memory *User memory space may be less than the total memory space due to system files. User memory may differ by region, carrier, and supporting language, and may change after software upgrade.
  • 8MP AF + LED Flash / 1.9MP (HD) Camera
  • Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean)
  • WiFi a/b/g/n, BT4.0, GPS + Glonass, USB 2.0
  • Proximity, Accelerometer, Compass, Light, Hall Sensor
  • 146.8 x 75.3 x 8.9 mm, 163g
  • 2,600mAh Battery
Posted in: News, Phones
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By November 25, 2013 Read More →

Android gaming update 25-11-13

soul-calibur-android-gameLets take a look at the recent releases in the Android gaming world:

Namco Bandai has decided to bring Soul Calibur to Android and this is one of the more popular ones out there in the fighting genre. This release is the original Soul Calibur game and comes with the full 19 character roster to play as.

Soul Calibur Features:

  • 5 Different game modes: Arcade Battle, Time Attack, Survival, Museum and Practice
  • 19 character roster!
  • All character moves faithfully recreated!
  • A new virtual game pad that has been fine-tuned specifically for fighting games.

Get it from Google Play for £4.14

Posted in: Apps & Games
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By November 22, 2013 Read More →

Nexus 5 Camera Fix

Nexus 5 Camera FixPossibly one of the most disappointing things about the otherwise-excellent Nexus 5, apart from the battery life, is the camera. Whilst it may be 8 megapixels and offer an optical image stabilizer,  the image quality still leaves much to be desired. This is a real shame when pitched against excellent cameras in the Xperia Z1, Nokia 1020 and the HTC One.

Many other reviewers are calling the Nexus 5 camera ‘terrible’ or ‘awful’ but personally I don’t think it’s quite as dire as others are making out but certainly think that it really lets the Nexus 5 down.

Nexus 5 Camera Fix

There is potentially good news for Nexus 5 owners. Thanks to one of the developers over on on the xda-developers forum, Jishnu Sir,has been working on a Nexus 5 Camera fix and has released a camera patch which is said to improve the camera quality in a number of key ways:

  • Sound Recording now in Stereo with the secondary Mic.
  • Faster Focusing for the camera.
  • Front Camera also records 720P Videos@ 20 Mb/s.
  • Front camera Audio Bitrate@ 192000 Kb/s.
  • AntiBanding default set to 50Hz
  • Focus Range Adjusted.
  • Enhanced Smooth Zoom.
  • Turned Edge Enhancement ON.

So that’s definitely good news. However, if you want to apply the Nexus 5 Camera Fix package you’ll have to have a Nexus 5 with an unlocked bootloader in order to install it. This will certainly deter many a Nexus 5 owner.

However, what it does point to, is that the Nexus 5 camera can be improved with a software patch and reveals that the camera hardware, optics, sensor etc. are actually quite good.

So there are now calls for an official update to be released for the Nexus 5 to address the issues about and, hopefully go even further with help from the manufacturers and development team.

Posted in: News, Phones
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By November 20, 2013 Read More →

HTC Desire 500 hands-on in White

htc-desire-500-white-blueBack in September of this year, HTC launched a new Android smartphone under the much-used Desire name, the HTC Desire 500.

This new phone featured much of the software improvements from the popular HTC One but in a somewhat more affordable package.

When the Desire 500 first went on sale the all-black version was the first to land and we had an early hands-on with that model. Since then two further versions have become available; White with blue-trim and white with red-trim.

These are essentially the same hardware spec but it’s surprising just how different the phone can appear from a simple colour change. We wouldn’t normally return to a device just because of a colour change but as the Desire 500 has just had an Android update and has been so popular on PAYG tariffs we thought it was worth another look.

In the video below, Gareth takes a brief break from his painting-by-numbers to have a closer look at the HTC Desire 500 in white clothing. The phone, not Gareth in white clothing…

By November 19, 2013 Read More →

Sony Xperia Z1 Review

Sony Xperia Z1 ReviewSony have have been releasing some excellent phones recently that are capable of competing with the the best in the market. The Xperia Z1 in this review has a specification sheet that has everything that one could ask for and uses all of the latest internal hardware.

Can it bring everything together to create excellent device?

To find out please read on, but not before watching the Sony Xperia Z1 unboxing and initial impressions video from Matt,if you have not already done so.

Posted in: Phones, Reviews
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By November 18, 2013 Read More →

How many are still using BBM for Android and iOS?

bbmiconAfter the initial surge of downloads of BBM, apparently hitting 10 million downloads within the first 24 hours after launch, how many are still using it almost 4 weeks later?

We’ve already seen the BBM app drop in the iTunes and Play Store charts and at the time of writing it’s well outside of the top 50. Was the initial surge something of curiosity or nostalgia among those users that used to have BlackBerry’s and have now migrated to other devices/platforms?

Many users that I know and support did indeed download and try BBM on their iPhone’s and Android smartphones but have since abandoned BBM again in favour of iMessage, Hangouts and WhatsApp, where they already have their contacts set up.

Looking at the latest download charts for the week, we can see that WhatsApp downloads, for example, are back to being ahead of BBM once again.

Personally, I was one of the 10 million to download BBM within the first 24 hours. I like the BBM interface and it works well but the fact remains that only a handful of my contacts (5) are using BBM vs a hundred or so on iMessage and Hangouts, for example. I’m sure I cant be the only person with this experience…

Not that I was expecting an answer, but I emailed BlackBerry to ask what the user retention of BBM has been. I have not yet received a response.

So what’s the consensus? Are you an iOS or Android user and are you using BBM?

By November 18, 2013 Read More →

Android gaming update 18-11-13

king-of-fighters-97-android-game-1Here is a look at what’s new in the Play store this week for your gaming needs. Quite a diverse collection with a couple that might be destined to be classics.

King of Fighters ’97 is the second time the classic fighting franchise from the beloved NeoGeo has appeared on Android. has players picking their favorite team of characters including some hidden ones and battling it out with other teams. Depending on the team you finish the game with, you’ll get a different ending each time so there is plenty of replay value in just that fact alone. While the game does feature all of the original content from the original game, there are also a few new additions as well which SNK Playmore likes to do with all their mobile releases.

Features:

  • 35 playable characters: Play as SNK’s iconic fighters such as Kyo Kusanagi and Terry Bogard, and try to master the infamous “New Face Team” or the “KOF ’97 Special Team”! The NEO GEO version’s hidden characters are now available directly on the character select screen so you can easily crush your opponent using Orochi Iori or Orochi Leona! Experience for the first time in the series the “Affinity System”, and to select the members of your team according to their affinity, and enjoy their pre-match interactions!
  • 2 modes to improve the game’s depth: KOF ’97 uses 2 differents gameplay modes: EXTRA and ADVANCED! Master the system that fits you the best and burn your rivals down!
    ADVANCED MODE: Various jumps for different ways to bring the pain to your enemy! A must if you think offense is the best defense. You can stock your Power gauges to enter in MAX mode or to unleash deadly Desperation Moves. Depending on your characters’ affinity, get extra Power gauges even after losing a round!
    EXTRA MODE: Use the Evade move wisely as you are being rushed and send your opponent flying. Fill your Power gauge to automatically enter Power Max mode for a set amount of time. As you are close to exhaustion, your health bar will turn red and blink, then you will be able to unleash your Desperation Moves to your heart’s content, as long as you are the last one standing!
  • A NEOGEO Perfect Port with added features: You have the possibility to play the game as it was intended back in the days with 4 buttons, or you can enjoy the new control scheme using the 6 buttons settings and the simplified special move with the help of the SP button!
  • Fight against your friends through Bluetooth Multiplayer mode

King of Fighters ’97 is available from Google Play for £2.49

Posted in: Apps & Games
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