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HTC 7 Mozart

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The HTC 7 Mozart is one of the strongest Windows Phone 7 devices out there and there are quite a few things about it that make it special. If you’ve ever used a Nexus One phone, you probably enjoyed the aluminum unibody design and you will see it on this HTC once again. Another detail that should be mentioned is the 8 megapixel camera and let’s not forget about the possibility to record 720p movies directly from this smartphone. However, the fun doesn’t stop here. The HTC 7 Mozart comes with many impressive features and it is one of the better phones on today’s market.

Design

Before we go into the technical details and features that this phone offers, we should take a look at its exterior. As most Cutbot phones, this one comes with a very slick and simple design. The front panel is smooth and covered by the touch screen and only three touch sensitive buttons. The only other details noticeable here are the small HTC logo and a little gap for the speakers. When you flip the phone over, you will notice the same delicate design, but a few fine lines will give it a more powerful look. The Windows Phone and HTC logos were added here, along with the 8 megapixel camera lens and the Xenon flash. You will also notice the external speaker, which is powerful enough for listening to music or watching a movie in most situations. When you first grab the phone you will notice that the edges are curved, which offers a pretty hefty grip. The volume controls, the two-stage camera button, and the power button are all located on the margins of the phone, along with a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

Features

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This device runs on a 1 GHz Snapdragon chipset, which is more than enough considering the fact that the operating system is known for performing miracles will very few resources. Thanks to the 3.7 inch SLCD screen, you won’t have any problems with browsing or watching movies and luckily, the processor can handle both of these actions quite well and the 8 GB storage space will be enough for a few video or music files. The possibility of expanding the storage space would have been nice, but HTC decided to vote against it.

One of the most attractive features offered by the HTC 7 Mozart is the 8 megapixel autofocus camera. If you are trying to snap a great photo and you have control over the lighting conditions, you will be able to do it. However, if you plan on taking pictures during the night or even in a somewhat dark indoor environment, they won’t be as clear as you might expect. Luckily, the Xenon flash will change the situation a little bit and under the right conditions, you will obtain a more than decent result. Recording in 720p is possible, but you might notice some defects and drops in frame rate, which is unfortunate.

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Browsing the internet with the HTC 7 Mozart is really a breeze and you can easily view HTML websites in their original form and scroll through the pages without any kind of problems. The processor and the 576MB of RAM will offer you a smooth experience so everything is perfect in this department. However, you will have to use the touch screen keyboard and this is a common problem with other phones. Luckily, this isn’t the case here. The screen is large enough to offer the right key size and the phone will recognize your finger easily. Microsoft decided to offer a helping feature for those who have trouble hitting the right keys. The system will anticipate the letters that you are most likely to hit thanks to its embedded dictionary and it will make those keys a little bit larger. The only minor downside when it comes to browsing is the lack of Sliverlight and Flash support.

The name implies special abilities when it comes to music and the phone doesn’t disappoint. You might want to experiment with different headphones since you can fit anything in the 3.5mm headphone jack, but the device itself and the music player work great. The sound is always clear and the notes are very vivid no matter what type of music you are trying to listen.

There are quite a few apps you can download and install to the HTC 7 Mozart, depending on what you want to do with it. One of the most popular ones is Bing Maps, a simple, but very useful and effective application that will allow you to search for locations and calculate routes. The phone will load this application very quickl  HTC-7-Mozart_3 y and you will find what you are searching for in no time. One you head out on the road, you can use the GPS, which performs admirably in any circumstance. Office Hub is useful for those who need to view or create Excel and PowerPoint files. Like any other application from the HTC 7 Mozart, it loads rapidly and there are no noticeable problems.

Pros and Cons

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The HTC 7 Mozart is a great phone when it comes to browsing the internet and listening to music. Plus, it can offer great pictures under the right conditions and the built quality is well above the standards.

Unfortunately, you will only receive 8 GB of storage space and you will have to deal with it.

Conclusion

The HTC 7 Mozart is a very reliable and well designed phone. There are plenty of features that you will find useful and the processing unit is powerful enough for any task. You won’t have problems with browsing the internet, the camera quality is reasonable and the music player is one of the best we’ve seen in a while. This is without a doubt one of the best Windows Phone 7 devices out there, if you take a look at performance, design and price.

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BlackBerry 9780

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The Blackberry 9780 might look like your standard blackberry device, but this Smartphone brings quite a few changes to the table. The first thing you’ll notice is the new operating system, but the fact that this phone doesn’t come with a touch screen is also a big surprise. Other than that, the Blackberry 9780 brings a few features to the table, but nothing out of the ordinary. This is what most people would call a reasonably priced phone that offers a little bit of everything, without taking any risks.

Design

If you ever owned a Blackberry, you will be able to spot this one from a mile away, not because of its size, but because it follows the standard Blackberry design. You will enjoy using the QWERTY keyboard, the 2.44-inch display could have been a little bit larger, and the finishing touches make the phone look sturdy, but elegant. If you turn the phone to the side, you will see a 3.5mm headphone jack, the MicroUSB port, and the volume button. You would be safe to say that connectivity is not an issue with the 9780. On the other side of the phone, you will find two programmable buttons, which are normally used for the camera and the voice dialing function. If you want to, you can reprogram this button to fit your needs. On the top of the phone, you will find two buttons, one for putting the phone into the standby mode, and one for muting the volume. The design is completed by the BlackBerry logo on the back of the phone, along with the camera lens and the flash.

Most people who are interested in a Infinix phone will probably want to go online from time to time directly from their hand held device. You can stream videos straight from your favorite websites like YouTube and you can easily log in to your Facebook or Twitter accounts. Even with a somewhat small screen, you can still enjoy surfing the internet and you can easily fit the phone in your pocket. Writing an address into the address bar is surprisingly easy and you won’t have any other problems when navigating online. If some of your friends already own a BlackBerry, you will definitely enjoy using the BlackBerry Messenger, an application that allows text chat and the transfer of any type of files for free. If this is not your thing, you can always use any other instant messenger than you normally install on your computer since the operating system supports almost any kind of program.

Features

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The 9780 comes with a fairly normal 5 mp camera, which is not too impressive these days. Luckily, the quality of the pictures is above average and even the flash does a pretty good job. There are plenty of settings you can play around with and you will eventually find a picture mode that suits your needs. You can also record movies at 23 frames per second and a resolution of 640 x 480. This is not even close to the video quality you receive from most newly released phones out there, but if you are not buying it for the video recording quality, you will be able to get over this aspect. Plus, the resolution is decent for most home videos and if you watch them on your BlackBerry, they will be displayed on a great 480 x 320 pixel screen. The overall dimensions of the phone are: 144mm x 66mm x 15mm and 136 grams in weight, which again falls into the standard set by pervious models.

The BlackBerry 9780 has built in A-GPS, so you can use it to find your way around the city. You can pretty much use it like you would use the GPS on your car, but the only difference is that the phone will give you the instructions on the screen since it doesn’t support regular speaking software. You can download different map packs and mapping applications, depending on your personal preferences.

The app store can be accessed directly through the menu and there are plenty of applications you can download. BlackBerry doesn’t lack anything in this department and it seems that more and more people are focusing on creating innovative apps for Android.

Blackberry-9780

The 9780 comes with 512 MB of internal memory and the same amount of RAM, working with a 624 MHz processor. If you want more space, you can buy a memory card of up to 32GB. This combination works most of the time, but if you download some of the applications available in the app store, you will eventually find one that causes some delays. Other than that, the BlackBerry 6 operating system does a decent job in all departments. As usual, multitasking is possible and you won’t run into any problems when doing it.

On the downside, this new phone doesn’t offer any exciting features. The video quality is decent, the camera quality is above average, and the processing unit is on par with most phones from its price range. The BlackBerry 9780 doesn’t excel in any category, expect web surfing.

Pros and Cons

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If you don’t own a BlackBerry and you need a Smartphone that offers an above average camera and a great internet surfing experience, the BlackBerry 9780 might be the phone for you. The QWERTY keyboard is extremely easy to use, the menus are perfectly designed, and you can find anything you need in just a few seconds without knowing anything about this phone. If you want to take a few pictures, you will be surprised to see that a 5mp camera can offer top-notch quality, which is also a plus.

Conclusion
The BlackBerry 9780 is the phone for you if you are looking for a phone that offers great browsing experience and a little bit of everything else. There aren’t many departments in which this phone is the best, but you can’t stay anything wrong about it either. This is a nice looking Smartphone that will satisfy most people.

Infinix Reviews: What and when to buy a Smartphone in Kenya

This is the question that most of us are faced with every time we go to buy a new Smartphone.  Due to the increased number of smart phones in Kenya, we find ourselves stranded at that point when we have the cash in our pocket, more than one phone is in the price range of what you have, and the specs are not as bad. This is where you are left to wonder what to do, and you clearly know that whatever you chose will define you for the next one year or so. That is how critical choosing a smartphone is. It is close to selecting a life partner, only that in this case you have to stay with this partner for a year or two if you don’t do an upgrade soon.

I don’t know much about other phones as I know about the Infinix Smartphone. This is because when the Infinix landed in Kenya, I made sure that I too like everyone else had this phone. As Kenyans, we sometimes flow with the waves, and I did not want this wave to pass me by. If you are in a shop, and you want to buy a phone, let me hope that you will have gone through his article and that it will save you some few minutes of worrying about what to get and what not to get in line with the Smartphone that you will get. After you go through the points below, you will probably be less confused.

Buy Infinix phones

  • Stick to your budget – First of all, I would encourage the buyer to get to the phones that are in the range of his budget. Don’t waste your time on smart phones that you know very well you cannot be able to afford.  You may get yourself using a lot of time on what you cannot get and spend less time in what you may walk out of the stall with. I am certain that whichever stand that you take which is in the limit of your budget; you will have an Infinix Smartphone in range. Wow! This sounds really cool and exciting because as you know, so many brands of the Infinix phone are already in Kenya by now so there is no shelf that you will not find this phone. Narrow down to the specific budget that will give you the freedom to choose.  What I mean is that you need some freedom at hand, that is why you walked in the store, or you are sited somewhere with your computer shopping online.
  • Don’t ignore the specs – If by any chance you fall for the Infinix Smartphone, you are a lucky Kenyan. This is because these phones come with so many variations that give you freedom to choose what you want.  Do some checking on the specs of the phone that you may be considering buying. Remember that the decision that you make is crucial as you will have to live with the consequences before you get another replacement. A phone is not candy that you may buy every day; it’s a gadget that requires a budget. Narrow down your choices to the Infinix Smartphone that have the specs that will work for you and that you need. This will help you get a shorter list of the phones that you will have to choose from, and I will guarantee you that even in this list Infinix smartphones will feature in this list.
  • Work with your style – Look at the design and the size of the phone that you desire to have. One thing that I am sure of is that Infinix Smartphone in Kenya come in various designs and screen sizes that are a preference to most people. If you like a phone that will easily slide in your pocket, there are various Smartphone in this category to choose from.  As we know well, this is Kenya and the case of insecurity and rampant theft of mobile phone; no one wants to be a victim. A mobile phone that easily slides through the pocket and fits quite well is what most of us want. Well, if this is your dream, there is an Infinix Smartphone that will fall in this category. Personally, I love big screens, and if you are of this type, then there is a wide variety of smartphone to choose from on the shelf. At least you can watch a movie and do lots of stuff that are perfect with that kind of a screen. At this point, the only phone that you will leave on the shelf is the one whose screen is not appealing.
  • Remember the battery – Last but not least, in the range of phone that you want to choose from, make sure that you pay attention to the battery capacity. Higher is better for you at any day. Kenya power is always cutting down our expectations regarding electricity.  You definitely need a phone that has a battery capacity that will keep your phone for the longest time possible. You don’t want your cell phone to be off most of the time due to a battery that has a low capacity which cannot take you for a long period. In this Infinix will have an option for you which will not disappoint you. Even though not all Infinix Smartphone have a high battery capacity, most of them have great battery capacities that never fail the user. My take is that you pick the phone that will give you the best battery life, you cannot afford being offline all the time, yet you own a mobile phone. I think it is important if I let you know the importance of a battery in a phone. A good Smartphone with a poor battery is like a good vehicle without the fuel to propel it where it may want to go. A good mobile phone with a good battery is like a combination of a good vehicle that runs on the best fuel and can be propelled anywhere that it may want to go. Go for the one that will take you more miles.
  • The compromising point – After all this consideration on what to pick and what not to pick, the Infinix phone will definitely be in your shopping basket. The scary part of this story is when you have to compromise on one thing. The probability of you getting a phone with all the top notch details is sometimes slim. This is where you have to weigh the options in what you really need in a phone. I call this the defining moment. One that will let you walk away with one Infinix phone and leave the rest for other buyers to buy the option you settle for. Make a careful choice of what made you go to that stall purchase a phone, make a decision based on this factor. The reason as to why I strongly advocate for this is because there are so many Smartphone in Kenya that may put you in a confusion mode. This may make you go home with what you did not intend to buy. Infinix phones are also many and if at this point you are carried away by this confusion, chances of you making a wrong choice increases. Remember to take home that which you came for, and something that will not frustrate you in your quest for the search of the best phone for you.

 

Where is the problem?

Kenyans have a thing for Smartphone, and this has made most of us get in a rush of getting the best. Infinix Smartphone have managed to be on the wish list of most people in Kenya. This is because they have most of the things that we would want in a phone. That is why I am always sure that when shopping for a Smartphone, the chances of you falling for Infinix is quite high.

And even if you have fallen for the Infinix phone, you will have to choose one, in other words, you will have to pick one and leave the rest. You are the only one who can make the best decision for yourself at this point. This is because all the Smartphone are quite impressive, and if you are not careful, you may take home a phone that will not give you the satisfaction that you will need. Learn to say no to what is not for you even when buying a gadget. Have a plan of what you want and what you need; this will give a directive of what to buy. I hope that the next time you are making this decision; you will have a clear guideline on what you want and what you don’t want.

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Acer Liquid Metal

Introduction
When Acer decided to try its hand at smartphone manufacturing, its fans were thrilled. Unfortunately, two of its offerings, the beTouch E130 and Stream failed to impress. Its latest offering, the Acer Liquid Metal is a reflection of Acer’s perseverance and shows just how hard it is willing to work to establish itself in the industry. And it intends to achieve this goal by employing the strategy it knows best – manufacturing feature-packed yet affordable products. Thus, buyers can expect the Liquid Metal to be bang for the buck. But is it really?

Design
The design of the Liquid Metal won’t tickle everyone’s fancy. While its curved back makes it fit more snugly into the user’s palm, it also makes the phone rock like a canoe on choppy waters when users tap on it while it’s resting on a flat surface. The front is also very slightly curved, the reason for which is to make the image on the screen look sharper, so Acer claims. In case you’re wondering where the Liquid Metal got its name from, it is named after the stainless steel battery cover at the back, which comes in brown or silver. The rest of the phone is made out of plastic; its edges surrounded by a chrome band. The plastic is not of the best quality, but this comes as no surprise considering the handset’s price. The screen’s lustrous black coating is a nice touch; however it makes the screen a fingerprint magnet. The phone measures 63 x 115 x 13.5mm – pretty good in terms of pocketability; and weighs 135g. The 3.6’, 800 x 480 pixel capacitive touchscreen displays 16 million colours. Due to the relatively high resolution for a 3.6’ screen, images appear crisp, bright and vibrant. This also means that users will not have to squint to read small text. Other than that, the screen is pretty standard – sunlight legibility and viewing angles are average.

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Acer has chosen to employ its Breeze user interface over the Android 2.2 in the Liquid Metal. Users will either love it or hate it. If you happen to be in the latter category, you can always turn it off and activate the stock Android interface instead. Users get five homescreens which can they populate with various widgets, although placing application shortcuts on the screens is impossible. It will take a little getting used to but it is not difficult to get the hang of it. Although a little confusing initially and not as customisable as some of the other UIs like HTC Sense UI, the Breeze UI’s strength lies in its ability to confer quick access to the phone’s various features.

Features
The Liquid Metal runs Android 2.2 and features an 800MHz 3G Snapdragon chipset (the very same one used in the HTC Desire) which supports downloads up to 14.4Mbps and uploads up to 2.0Mbps. Some users have even gone as far as to claim that it’s clocked at 1.9GHz. Combined with an Adreno 205 GPU and 512MB RAM/ROM, the processor peacks a mean punch. Users can expect smooth running of applications and minimal lagging. One minor shortcoming is its tendency to heat up when running tasks with high graphic requirements.

The Liquid Metal covers the basics pretty well – in-call quality is good, and the loudspeaker is quite capable as well. When it comes to texting, the Liquid Metal gets the job done, but it is far from being a standout messaging phone. Its on-screen keyboard isn’t the most comfortable to use, but users will find it a lot less of a hassle to text in widescreen mode.

As with most smartphones, the Contacts App comes with social network integration. Nothing groundbreaking there. The Social Jogger app which allows users to switch between Facebook and Twitter, is a nice touch though.

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To access saved pictures, music and videos, Nemo Player is the place to look. It has all media under one roof. Alternatively, users can access the Android media gallery. All formats of 720p HD videos can be played on the Liquid Metal, excluding, for some reason, DivX files. The simple solution to this would be to download a player that does support DivX files from the Android Market. However, these videos don’t exactly play without a hitch; they sometimes glitch.The handset’s camera comes with a variety of settings like anti-shake mode and face-tracking mode, but when it assessing a camera, it all boils down the image quality. Unfortunately, the Liquid metal’s 5 mega-pixel autofocus camera fails to deliver. Images are noisy, colour looks very unnatural and the level of detail is disappointing. The camera’s LED flash doesn’t help matters either – it is far too weak. The camera is capable of video recording as well, in high definition (720p) no less. At 30 frames per second, videos run quite smoothly but sadly there are no positives about video quality.

The supplied headset comes with Dolby Mobile surround sound, therefore using it to listen to music promises to be an enjoyable audio experience. The Liquid Metal’s shake control is more of an afterthought than a feature thrown in to impress, mainly due to its low sensitivity. Users can switch songs and silence alarms by shaking the handset, but will find that they need to give it a few good hard shakes to get it to respond.

As with all Android 2.2 handsets, the Liquid Metal’s browser comes with flash support. And herein lies one of the Liquid Metal’s quirks – There is no pre-installed Adobe Flash Player. Users have to get it from the Android Market themselves. However, it delivers in terms of video streaming so there is no question about its performance. The browser itself is pretty good. Web browsing is a breeze as page load time is short and zooming is easy.

The Liquid Metal delivers in terms of connectivity, although there isn’t anything in particular to write home about. Standard features like Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n), Bluetooth (2.1+EDR) and A-GPS are present. Because it runs Android 2.2, the Liquid Metal can act as a portable Wi-Fi hotspot that supports connections from other devices. The phone also comes with DLNA support, which means media can be streamed via Wi-Fi to DLNA compatible devices like the Playstation 3 and Xbox360. GPS satellite lock time is approximately 4 minutes initially, which is pretty standard.

The Liquid Metal is powered by a standard 1500mAh battery which provides up to 450 hours of 2G) and 550 hours (3G) of standby time; and up to 11 hours (2G) and 8 hours (3G) of talk time.

Pros and Cons

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The Acer Liquid Metal, on paper, appears to be a good buy, as it is attractively priced and quite well-rounded. However, some of its features are sort of an acquired taste. The Breeze interface might not sit too well with users and the camera simply does not cut it in the world of cameraphones. It has everything you expect to see in a smartphone, but users who are particular about presentation and ease of use might give the Liquid Metal a miss.


Conclusion

With the Liquid Metal, users can expect hits and misses. Having said that, the Liquid Metal still appeals to those who want a decent smartphone that will not leave their wallets considerably lighter. In conclusion, Acer’s latest offering shows that Acer has to continue working hard to iron out a few problems that have plagued its handsets before it can pose a serious threat to its fellow android manufacturers.

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Samsung Galaxy Note LTE

Is it a smartphone or is it a tablet? If that’s the first question that popped into your mind when you took a first look at the Samsung Galaxy Note LTE, then you won’t be the first. Even Samsung has used this question as a tagline in its advertisements. For those of you who might still be wondering, well it’s of course a smartphone. Its mammoth 5.3 inch screen is definitely a record breaker and it’s now available on AT&T’s 4G LTE network too. Samsung has done amazingly well in recent times with its Samsung Galaxy S line of phones, but will the Samsung Galaxy Note LTE be able to continue the trend? Read on to find out.

Design

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It really doesn’t matter how big your hands are, the Samsung Galaxy Note LTE will still not be comfortable for operation using just one hand. At 5.78 x 3.27 x 0.38 inches, those with smaller hands would almost surely gasp at the sight of this phone and will probably look for a phone that fits their size. However, for those who love phones like us, then you will find that it’s fine when you use both your hands to operate the phone. To be honest, at only 0.38 inches thick, it’s actually a very thin phone. So you could still put it in your pocket without having a big bulge. Tipping the scales at 6.45 oz, you will definitely need no reminding that it’s in your pocket.

In terms of exterior design, the Samsung Galaxy Note LTE does share some similarities with its sibling in, the Samsung Galaxy S II. Its casing is made completely out of plastic, just like the Samsung Galaxy S II. Although the plastic construction might not appeal to some, but we assure that the phone feels solid in our hand. On the front, we of course have the highlight of the phone, the 5.3 inch WXGA screen. Right underneath this screen you will find the trademark Android capacitive buttons albeit this is different from the physical home button in the previous version. Also on the front, you are blessed with a 2MP front-facing camera. The buttons around the phone are well designed and we didn’t have a problem pressing them. Flip the monstrous phone and at the back is an 8MP auto-focus camera that comes with LED flash as well.

Performance

The Samsung Galaxy Note LTE has been given an upgrade from its 1.4GHz dual-core Exynos processor to a 1.5GHZ dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8660 CPU. If you are an avid phone user, then you would probably know this difference don’t count for too much. This was proven in our tests as the phone had issues when we tried love wallpapers with high graphics. However, such problems are only marginal when you use static wallpapers or when you are doing anything else for that matter.

Features

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Samsung Galaxy Note LTE does not run on the latest Android OS, Ice Cream Sandwich, so that was disappointing as we would expect that from a high end device like this one. However, an update is promised so we look forward to that. Enough of that, so it runs on Android v2.3.6 Gingerbread and on top of that we have Samsung’s very own TouchWiz user interface. The phone comes with the usual array of widgets and apps but one app that we would like to talk about is the S Memo. This app is a special notes app which lets you make full use of the S Pen that comes with the Samsung Galaxy Note LTE. You have options like brush type, thickness and color that you can change. Whenever you are tired of the S Pen, just use the QWERTY keyboard to get your stuff done. The S Pen is something to love once you master it and yes, make sure you change the settings if you are leftie.

So typing messages on the Samsung Galaxy Note LTE as you would have figured out already is without a doubt going to need both your hands. Once you have both your hands in place, you have three keyboards to choose from, that is either the stock keyboard from Android Gingerbread or Samsung’s keyboard or finally of course the Swype keyboard. They were all a breeze to use. Now moving on to the email experience, it has an optimized layout for landscape mode. We have that 2-panel layout now in its standard email app where you get to view both your inbox and email content at the same time.

Let’s talk about the highlight of this phone, the 5.3 inch Super AMOLED screen. It sports a resolution of 800 x 1280 pixels. Do the math and you will find it to give a pixel density of 285 ppi. The screen itself is great as always, it has saturated colors and the contrast was good too. We also got some really good viewing angles off this screen. All in all, it’s a great screen to have.

On the back of the Samsung Galaxy Note LTE is an 8MP camera that has one LED flash to go with it. You get a pretty good interface that works its way from one picture to the next really quickly. We liked that for sure. You can also choose from the various scenes and also turn on a nice feature called Anti-Shake. The picture quality was pretty good. We still had the same overexposure issue in brighter areas but otherwise things like color production and details were decent. Video recording is done at 1080p so we loved the quality we got. Furthermore, the capture rate of 30 fps just made things all the more sweet.Samsung-Galaxy-Note_5

The Samsung Galaxy Note LTE comes with AT&T’s 4G LTE network, so we obviously got amazing speeds both for uploads and downloads. The internet browser onboard the phone worked great, there were no problems loading any of the pages we went to and navigating through the pages with this phone was truly amazing. Throw in all the Flash content you can think of and the browser still perform beyond expectations. Of course, there’s no need to talk about the detail you get from this phone, it’s a complete package.

Samsung has clearly worked out some of the calling quality problems we had with the original Samsung Galaxy Note. The voices can be made out clearly this time which makes for a good phone call on for people on both ends. The speakerphone produced some loud sounds too. With the 2500mAh battery onboard it manages to make more than a day even with the giant screen. We were impressed.

Pros and Cons

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A 5.3 inch screen is definitely going to be a crowd winner. The Samsung Galaxy Note LTE also has a much more streamlined look. We also loved the good battery life.

The phone sadly showed some sluggish performance at times. One hand operation is impossible on this phone and we would love to see Android Ice Cream Sandwich as soon as possible.

Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy Note LTE is indeed a hybrid device that comes with a huge screen. So if you find yourself having trouble deciding between getting a smartphone or a tablet, well you can now have them both w   ith the Samsung Galaxy Note LTE.

Buy Samsung Galaxy Note 4G Android Phone, Carbon Blue (AT&T) from Amazon.com Now!

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Nokia Lumia 920 – A former King’s comeback story?

Rewind a decade, 2003-2004, what did we have for a cell phone market? A Nokia, in every hand. The fastest growing market in the world, one of the most sizeable and populous countries and the Brand Name to substitute the definition of a mobile phone, Nokia had it all, at least in this part of the world. Today, we see it as a struggling ‘Zameendar’ (Read: A broke landlord), who has lost all but the last of his lands, shaken up with thought and ready to get it all back. The only 2 questions left to be answered are: Is it too late? Are you capable enough?

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The first question can only be answered by time. For the second, Nokia just released its flagship smartphone, the Lumia 920, now into the Indian Market, albeit, with a lot at stake.

The first looks of the Nokia 920 gives a very mixed feeling. Although it is a smart looking device, it weighs a good 185 grams, almost a baby dumbbell. There is no battery access and no extendable storage slot (over the internal 32 gigs), giving it an iPhone like unibody design. It boasts of a PureView, 8 megapixel camera coupled with Carl Zeiss optics, a powerful package with actually good results. This is supplemented with a dual LED flash at the back and a 1.3 MP camera for the front. The screen is a good 4.5 inches of 768×1280 pixel resolution with PureMotion HD+ display and ClearBlack technology (Read: Showstopper). This wonderful display is protected with a Corning Gorilla Glass 2 for scratch resistance.

With Microsoft Windows 8 powering this device back with a Snapdragon Dual Core 1.5 GHz processor with 1 GB of RAM, the performance is as good as any other phone in the market. There is no significant lag (yet!) developing on the device and the multi-tasking abilities are just smooth. Why we don’t see a big problem even in the future is because this OS does not even have so many App options for you to own, that you will end up with performance issues. What all you can use the phone for though, is a different story.

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The phone does come equipped with NFC Mobile Payments feature, which is still under testing in the US and by the time we have it here in India, you’d probably be using another handset. Similarly, the phone boasts of 4G capabilities, which for us is just Mars at the moment. A very nice feature of this phone is the Maps application which is very well developed and versatile. The maps can even be downloaded to your phone for offline usage. The browsing experience is very normal considering that the new HTML5 experience to be the new normal. To power up this package, Nokia has provided a measly 2000 mAh battery which will back it up for just one day with the normal usage of about 4-5 phone calls, an hour of music or video playback, 10-15 clicks and social-mail access once an hour. But of course, you don’t need to connect your phone to a cord at the end of the day to charge it, Nokia has been good to us in providing   a wireless charging ability. The charger however, will have to be bought separately as an accessory.

To be fair, the phone is neither the best nor half bad. Placing it at upward of Rs 35,000 in the Indian market is not what would attract most consumers. But for Infinix, I hope it’s just a start of the race back to the crown.

Blackberry A10

Blackberry: Last shot of Adrenaline or Here to Stay?

When Research in Motion first launched their Blackberry handset in 2002-03 which introduced the world to Push E-mail, encrypted mobile communication and a full QWERTY keyboard, the other handset makers were happy introducing Java on cell phones. A noteworthy phone of the time was the Nokia 6600 which incorporated every feature available in the market and soon became the mark of something new. But it fell short of the Blackberry.

This was just the start. Blackberry gave the world the first TrackWheel in phones, TrackBall, Optical TrackPad, a free messaging service, push e-mail, on handset encryption and etc. Obviously, there will be phone manufacturers that will have a longer list than this but let’s understand what may have led RIM to reach these innovations.

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When the world had very happily accepted navigation buttons on the phone, which exist till date, Blackberry devices focused on something even as simple as scrolling. It didn’t end there, it was a continuing process and they reached the optical TrackPad. The gesture scrolling gained so much popularity over conventional button press scroll that it started surfacing in other manufacturer’s handsets too. Focus: Ease of use and User Experience.

The launch of push e-mail in the time of SMS and paging meant that they stayed true to their name, Research in Motion. Focus: Access and Mobility. The ever popular Blackberry Messenger or BBM changed the SMS experience permanently. Keywords: Connectivity and User Experience.

The QWERTY keyboard which has been researched to provide extreme comfort and speed in typing, which some will argue has been the most addictive thing about the phone. Keywords: User Experience.

From the above examples it was always clear that RIM focused on a lot of research, not just on improving the specs of a handset, but to connect more with their users and deliver an experience rather than a feature.

But glory was not here to stay. While Blackberry spread across the world in a rage, something was not being done right at RIM. The focus shifted on improvements rather than newer concepts, look and feel rather than user experience, OS upgrades   and compacting handsets. If we look at the first of the Blackberry A10Bold series, the BB 9000 to the sixth and latest BB 9900, all that changed was the Operating System and addition of touch screen in the 9900. Similarly for all other series like the Curve and Storm, nothing actually changed, except of course, the brand value and demand, which went into a free fall. What was RIM planning or doing at this time, is still a mystery. RIM lost most of its market to those who delivered innovation and user experience, the Apple’s iPhone and Android based phones, which came into the market when Blackberry was celebrating its presence of over 5 years.

Now let’s look at 30th January, 2013. After a dive to the ground, vanished credibility, diminishing loyalties and missed deadlines, RIM, re-christened as Blackberry, announced the first of its comeback attempt. A make or break decision, left to the public. The exact verdict of the market would not be evident until the next few months, but let us analyze if Blackberry can strike at the heart of the competition.

When blackberry began understanding its fall from the top, it had multiple options. Make BBM cross platform, enhance and promote app development for its App World, partner with OS developers for working on something new for the Blackberry, redefine the market positioning and etc. The choice that blackberry made was unconventional. They decided to rebuild a new OS from ground zero, single handed. Either they were too egoistic or overly confident about their abilities to take this up while struggling at the rock bottom. With this decision, the entire focus shifted on preparing a new experience for the users and understanding the future of the competition rather than preparing to fight with the current. While this was happening, Blackberry also concentrated on other weaknesses, especially the limited applications it had to offer through the App world. The hardware was probably the least of their worries, which is seen in the final outcome.

Based on years of efforts, the end product which was showcased a few days ago, had many a heads turning. This, however, was the bare minimum required. Anything short, would have immediately brought a consumer verdict and obviously not in their favour.

What’s interesting to observe is that Blackberry seems to be back on the same track when it was focusing on consumer experience and innovation. If you look at the Z10 as a phone instrument, the hardware is what’s best in the market and powering the competitor’s flagship phones. This is not good, what they need today is better. When we look at the OS, we have a different feeling altogether. The areas where the QNX based BB OS 10 has changed the game are not giant innovations, but leaps in user experience with the same thinking they had a decade ago.

Blackberry Q10

The ‘peek’ feature, entirely new idea, gives the user an opportunity to continue doing what they would without the anxiety of what’s the incoming buzz. Makes sense not just for business to avoid typing an e-mail which has lost context but also for personal use where you don’t need to quit your movie to read a tweet about losing weight in 5 days. The Blackberry ‘flow’ does not change anything, you still have to navigate between apps, but changes the world of navigation by removing the limit on gestures for navigation. It removed that last button found in the iPhone, which served different functions based on the activity of a click or a double click, taking away the last mechanical action left on Smartphones. The Work-Play ‘balance’ isolates your personal life from your official life with one tap. One phone, two lives. Absolutely brilliant. Offices do not need to worry about Facebook, Twitter or any information compromising access over a phone which holds company sensitive data. The user doesn’t get tied down to not using the full functionality of a handset they are forced to carry around. The Blackberry App world, now the Blackberry world, has over 70,000 applications already available for use with the BB10, with a thousand getting added every week. The list goes on with the ‘time shift’, revolutionary predictive text for messaging, BBM video call etc. Everything Blackberry needs to make a pitch the way it did in the past, is packed in this new announcement.

We will not rule out that today is a different day and has much more competition for Blackberry than it was earlier when it embarked on a journey to the top. We will though, highlight it here that the attitude and direction is back, which pushed it to the peak. What’s all the more interesting is that the Blackberry 10 OS has not been still utilized to its full potential, with a little bit of wait, we’ll see just that. A strategic market build up is what they need and are aiming for today.

The verdict:

Blackberry has forced its competition to make way for it, one small mistake from the leaders and Infinix CAN lead the race in future. A climb from here, at least temporarily, is inevitable.