Author Archive: Ian McGurren

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By August 20, 2010 Read More →

The Android 3+ buzz is Honeycomb?

honeycomb Rumours are rife that Google’s post-Gingerbread Android form will go by the name of Honeycomb with Tech Radar claiming conformation from "multiple sources", and so far Google has not issued a stinging rebuke.  While it’s not clear if this will be any more than an incremental update as opposed to the generational leaps of Eclair and Gingerbread, it certainly will be an excuse for a whole swarm of bee-related puns.  I, for one, couldn’t bee happier.


Posted by: Ian

Posted in: Phones
By August 19, 2010 Read More →

Windows Phone 7’s Xbox Connection – Over 60 games at launch

xblwp7 While many industry pundits are not expecting Windows Phone 7 to achieve the success of iOS, Android or indeed its Windows Mobile forebear, Microsoft still boasts one thing only one other phone manufacturer can boast – a console division.  It seem while Sony’s gaming tie in with any phones is still in the rumour stages, Gates’ guys have unleashed the full weight of the Xbox name to push WP7 into the public consciousness.  Over 60 games have been announced, some from the excellent Xbox Live library including Castlevania, De Blob and Hexic and others from full retail titles such as Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell and Halo.  While the quality of the games is still unknown, their pedigree can’t be faulted and could prove to be the trump card MS can hold over Apple and Google with the general public.

See the games here on the dedicated Microsoft site, and watch some of them in action here.


Posted by: Ian

Posted in: News
By August 18, 2010 Read More →

Double your fun – Qualcomm to release 1.5GHz dual-core chips

qualcomm-logoThe power behind many of today’s smarter smartphones, Qualcomm, has today announced its forthcoming MSM8672 dual core 1.5GHz chips will begin shipping in Q4 with the Qualcomm’s Mark Frankel expecting some aggressive manufacturers to have the chips in its devices possibly before Christmas.  The chip is Qualcomm’s second dual core following on from its 1.2GHz MSM8660 already released and is widely expected to be the grunt behind many of next year’s high-end smartphones and tablets.  Interestingly it appears that tablets will benefit greatly from the improved HD handing of the chip, now 1080p capable with HDMI, but how it fares against the ever-growing Tecra chipsets is yet to be seen.  What we do know though is 2011 is likely to be the year of the tablets and dual-core superphones.  Can’t wait.


Posted by: Ian

Posted in: News
By August 18, 2010 Read More →

More tablet madness – now a Wii Tablet?

udraw Not one for being short of peripherals that will clog up bootsales for some years to come, Nintendo’s Wii has gained another oddball implement in a Wacom-style drawing tablet. Coming from THQ, so it’s not a first party add-on, it’s part of a package called uDraw Studio, which features the uDraw Studio software – the art part of the deal and very Mario Paint, Dood’s Big Adventure – a platform adventure controlled by stylus, and family shouting match favourite Pictionary – using the Wii as a pen-and-paper simulator but with 3D board. The device works by having a Wii Remote sat in the tablet itself, so it’s yet to be seen whether this can be put to alternative uses by the hacking community as a bluetooth tablet.

No firm release date as yet but certainly uDraw Studio would be plenty of fun for kids come the Christmas season.


Posted by: Ian

Posted in: News
By August 17, 2010 Read More →

Here Come The Tablets – MSI Slatebook gets official

msi_wind_pad_100_2 MSI have today officially announced two tablets at Computex 2010 in Taipei. Both come strapped with 1024×600 10" multitouch displays as is becoming a standard but here the two devices part ways.  Somewhat unfortunately sounding like an anti-flatulence product, The Wind Pad 100 adheres closer to the netbook-in-a-box model with the de-rigueur Atom 1.6GHz processor, 2GB RAM and a 32GB SSD.  Running Windows 7 Ultimate, it also sports 2 USB ports, 3G mobile data, a webcam for social interactivity and a HDMI output for HD video playback (although it’s not know what, if any HD acceleration the 100 has).  The 110 by contrast is an Android 2.1 tablet powered by Nvidia’s dual core Tegra 250, promising HD video playback and a healthy speed.  The 110 has only the 1 USB port but apparently still has the webcam and HDMI out, so will be quite happy pushing out 720p video to your HDTV.  Additionally, the 110 has swappable back plates (including an um, interesting wood grain effect) for the fashion conscious or just clumsy.

The Wind Pad 100 and 110 are expected by the end of the year with retail pricing around $599 and $499 respectively.

Posted in: News
By August 16, 2010 Read More →

Dell reveal low-end Blaze Android handset

117456-dellblaze Seemingly named by the creators of TV’s Gladiators, Dell’s phones are sounding increasingly ‘extreme’ with Streak, Thunder, Lightning and now Blaze!!  Ok it doesn’t have the exclamation marks a name like Blaze so richly deserves but we can see it does have a small screen (likely 320×240), a surface that is a fingerprint magnet and allegedly Android 1.5!

Whether this is just in pre-production models is unclear but any smartphone with an OS over 15 months and nearly 4 revisions old would be hampered from the beginning.  Even the lowest of low end phones come with at least Donut 1.6 and many applications are beginning to require this or higher.  Alternatively it could even be an ultra-budget handset, somewhat negating the Neolithic OS.  We’ll have to wait though, as there’s no firm release date at present.


Posted by: Ian

Posted in: News
By August 16, 2010 Read More →

Motorola Milestone XT720 Review

XT720-main The introduction of the original Milestone brought about Motorola’s resurrection in the mobile world, and now they’re back with their second Milestone, the XT720, to market here in Europe. Ever since that first iteration, Motorola have stuck with Android and to great success so far. It was a pretty large and imposing phone with its sharp edges and lines, and the XT720 is no different. It’s still large and imposing though Motorola have made some changes – the most noteworthy being that they’ve ditched that sliding qwerty in favour of a slimmer slate design, and adding a stand-out camera.

On paper, this really is a Milestone for Motorola as it’s the first Android phone that truly takes image snapping seriously with its proper xenon flash. It may look all well and good on paper, but is the second Milestone in Motorola’s comeback significant enough to cement their place back in the industry?

There’s only one way to find out!

Posted in: Reviews
By August 15, 2010 Read More →

Archos 3cam Vision unboxing video

archos3camv_intro Archos have a long history of producing portable media players. In the past these have been chunky devices with built-in hard drives and large touch-screen displays aimed at those that want to take their video library on the go.

A while ago Archos started to expand their offering though and are now offering Internet Tablets, Netbooks and also Media Players with both their own linux based operating systems and, more recently, Android OS.

This latest product that we have on review from Archos is the 3cam Vision. It’s a small portable media player with a 3″ touchscreen display capable of playing a variety of both audio and video formats. The 3cam vision also has a slightly more unusual trick up its sleeve in that it has a built-in digital camera capable of recording video and still images.

The 3cam also has an FM radio as well as an FM transmitter which allows you to use it in-car for example and listen to your media through your car HiFi.

As always, we’re taking our time over the review and will have it live on site for you soon. For now you can see the Acrhos 3cam Vision in more detail in the unboxing video below.

Posted in: Videos/Unboxings
By August 15, 2010 Read More →

Sony developing PSPhone with Google?

psp-mockupengadget-lanscaoe Although the rumours have abated in the past year or so, whispers of a gaming handset have never been too far from Sony, and now it appears that they may be gaining more substance.  Tech site Engadget has reported from "a trusted source" that the Japanese giant may well still be quietly beavering away at a mobile gaming device and furthermore this may be in collaboration with Google using the Android 3.0 Gingerbread.

Certainly the use of Android makes sense as the most flexible and popular open source mobile OS, and devices such as the Galaxy S have proved that given powerful hardware, Android can handle high speed 3D (such as in Asphalt 5) and even PS1 games.  With current high end Android devices already packing superior media and 3D handling capabilities than the ageing PSP, any new Sony device would have to pack some pretty special hardware. The rumoured device is said to be armed with a 3.7"-4.1" screen, 1GHz Snapdragon, a 5MP camera and a slide out game board, much like that of the PSP Go but with "a long touch pad".  Beyond this however, any additional capabilities or hardware (such as 3D acceleration) are not known.

Could this be a job for the Tecra platform? We will have to wait and see.


Posted by: Ian

Posted in: Rumours
By August 14, 2010 Read More →

#NokiaBox arrives with second message

IMG_1449Earlier this week I mentioned that I’d received a message from Nokia in the London Evening Standard. The message simply read “Big things come in small packages”.

This morning a courier arrived with another package for me, this time a small box from Nokia. When I say small I really mean tiny! Read on to see what was in the box and what my second message says…


Posted in: News