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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Legend of nokia corporation.

*Nokia history started in 1865 when mining engineer Fredrik Idestam sets up
 his first wood pulp mill at the Tammrekoski Rapids in south western in Finland.
*A Few years later he opens a second mill on the banks of the nokianvirta river,
 which inspires him to name his company Nokia Ab in 1871,Idestam with the help of
 his close friend statesman Leo Mechelin.
*Idestam's retirement from the management of the company in 1896 allowed Mechelin
 to become the company's chairman(from 1898 until 1914)
*In 1902 Nokia added electricity generation to its business activities.
*In 1912,Arrid wickstrom founded Finnish cable works,producer of telephone,telegraph
 and electronical cable and the foundation of Nokia's cable and electronics businesses.
*Having been jointly owned since 1922,Nokia Ab,Finnish cable works
 and Finnish Rubber works officially merge in 1967.The new Nokia Corporation has five
 businesses: rubber, cable, forestry, electronics and power generation.
*In 1966, Nokia and Salora started developing the ARP standard a car-based mobile radio
 telephony system.

*In 1987, Nokia introduced one of the world's first handheld phones, the Mobira Cityman 900
 the Mobira Cityman weighed only 800 g (28 oz) with price  €4,560.

*In 1992,Nokia launched its first digital handheld GSM phone,the Nokia 1011.he model number
 refers to its launch date,10 November.

*Nokia tune was introduced as a ringtone in 1994 with the Nokia 2100 series.

*In 1999, Nokia launches the Nokia 7110, a phone capable of rudimentary web-based functions,
 including email.
Nokia 7650
Nokia 3650

*In November 2001 Nokia launches its first phone with a built-in camera, the Nokia 7650, and
 in September 2002 its first video capture phone, the Nokia 3650.

*In 2002  Nokia launches its first 3G phone (third generation),the Nokia 6650.
*Nokia manufacturing facilities located at Finland,Brazil,Romania,China,Hungary,India,Mexico,
 South Korea.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Ready for everything with dual SIM and Wi-Fi

The mobile phone packs a 3.0-inch (240 x 320 pixels) touchscreen display, along with a 1 GHz processor, and features Dual SIM Easy Swap technology, as well as a dedicated SIM manager to easily switch between SIM cards.

The specifications list of this device also includes a 2-megapixel photo snapper, 128 MB of internal memory, microSD card slot with support for up to 32GB of additional storage, and a 1110 mAh battery that can deliver up to 17 hours of talk time or up to 600 hours of standby time.

As Fonearena notes, the handset also includes 2G GPRS/EDGE, connectivity, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g, Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP, 3.5 mm audio jack, FM Radio, micro USB 2.0 and USB charging, Music Player, and the like.

The Nokia Asha 310 arrives on shelves with the Series 40 platform loaded on top, along with Nokia’s Swipe UI, while also packing features such as the Nokia Xpress Browser, built-in Facebook, Twitter and eBuddy apps, and more.

Not to mention that it sports 40 Free EA games including Tetris, Bejeweled, Need for Speed The Run and Fifa 2012, just as all other Asha smartphones do.

“Get online three times faster with Nokia Xpress Browser and stream video and browse for free with built-in Wi-Fi. No wireless network? No worries – the browser reduces the amount of data you use. Plus with our counters you'll always have the low-down on your data usage,” Nokia explains.

“Stay in the loop with instant updates from your favorite social networks: with built-in Facebook, Twitter and eBuddy, you can chat, share pictures and updates with your mates.”


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Xperia SP

  Xperia SP

Following reports of the Xperia SP and Xperia L being listed for preorders by as many as four UK retailers, a supposedly original press render of the Xperia SP, also known as C530X - 'Huashan' is now doing the rounds on Chinese sites, according to a report by the Xperia Blog.

The phone features the same design as seen in the Xperia Z but a more compact form factor. However, one can't really make out the exact size of the phone from this render. The phone sports the same aluminum round power button that we've seen in the Xperia Z. The placement of the keys on the side are different, and the phone adds another key in addition to the volume rocker and the power button. Another major difference is that that the white coloured model has a white front, and there's a small strip towards the bottom. Also, we couldn't find the presence of any protective flaps and the material used in the frame looks pretty different from that used in the Xperia Z. The home screen looks similar though.

This is not the first time that the phone's images have made an appearance online. Earlier this year, another set of images were leaked on a German forum. The render looks similar to the images except that it's white in colour.

According to earlier rumours, the Xperia SP is expected to come with Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro MSM8960T chipset with a 1.7GHz dual-core processor and Adreno 320 graphics. As per the rumours, this smartphone will sport a 4.6-inch 720p display, 8-megapixel Exmor RS camera and 8GB of internal storage. It is expected to run Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean) operating system, sporting firmware version 12.0.A.0.298 and the 3.4 kernel, as evident from previous leaks.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

Introducing the new Note 8.0, made for the thinkers, the dreamers, the movers and shakers.
Scribble a thought, sketch out a concept, organize your ideas and express your creativity wherever inspiration may strike.
It feels just right in your hand reading on the subway, giving a presentation, or enjoying a movie in bed.

Multitasking during calls made simple.
Give your mobile lifestyle a boost with
simultaneous calls and Multi Windows.
Jot down notes, look up directions, check email,
search – all the things you need to do during a
call at once,all without switching apps.
Reposition,expand to full screen, or close any
window immediately with smart buttons that
adapt to the position of the S Pen for a truly
integrated experience.

the smaller Galaxy Note tablet is meant to compete directly with the iPad mini, sporting an Exynos 4 Quad processor clocked at 1.6GHz, Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, and TouchWiz of course.

You’ll also see an 8-inch 1280×800 TFT LCD display, 2GB of RAM, and support for 3G, as well as an S-Pen stylus. However, it would appear that the 3G version doesn’t come with a 32GB option, although you can always make up for the lost storage with the expandable microSD card slot.



Samsung prides itself in the differentiation the AMOLED screen technology brings to its high-ends, and it has indeed achieved the unthinkable with the Galaxy S 4 this time around - a five-inch panel with the amazing for OLED screen 441ppi pixel density.
Not only that, but it debuts the first octo-core Exynos  5 Octa processor in the international  version, as well as a temperature and depth sensor for the first time.
With features like Floating Touch and hand gestures you can control the phone without even touching the display, while the S Health and S Translator integration add to the unique aura around the S 4 as a truly human companion.

The Galaxy S 4 design manages to both fit in with the Galaxy S family and stand on its own as a unique breed. For one, Samsung packed a bigger display (5-inches diagonal) into a package that’s actually smaller than before. The GS4 is the same width, slightly shorter, and .7mm thinner than its predecessor.

The Galaxy S 4 uses a new 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, bumped up from the 8-megapixel shooter on the Galaxy S III. It’s still centrally placed on the upper back half of the device, complete with LED flash, autofocus, and 1080p video recording. On the front, the Galaxy S 4 sports a 2-megapixel camera.

Along with an updated camera and Story Album, the Galaxy S 4 brings a handful of brand new applications to the Galaxy S family. The first, and possibly most important, is S Translator. S Translator is available in nine languages at launch, including Chinese, English U.S., English British, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean and Portuguese.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Asus Padfone Infinity

Asus Padfone Infinity is a device coming in two parts, a 5-inch, 1080p 4G LTE phone that docks into a 10.1-inch tablet with a 1080p display.
The new Padfone Infinity comes with a sleek aluminum alloy body with brushed metal finish. Under the hood, a quad-core 1.7GHz Quadlcomm Snapdragon 600 processor with Adreno 320 graphics and 2GB of RAM power the experience.
The 5-inch Padfone Infinity features a 13-megapixel rear camera with Sony BSI sensor and wide f/2.0 aperture for better low-light performance. The camera unit consists of 5-elements and features a single LED flash. On the front, there is a 2-megapixel snapper.
Designwise, you get a phone that measures 8.9mm at its thickest but goes down to 6.3mm at its slimmest point. Inside, there is a 2,400mAh non-removable battery. Good news is the Padfone Infinity launches with the latest Android 4.2 Jelly Bean right out of the box.
The Padfone Infinity Station on the other hand, the 10-inch tablet chassis, has a 1,920 x 1,200-pixel resolution and packs a 5,000mAh battery. It is powered completely by the 5-inch phone that docks in it, so it does not have a standalone processor. It does however feature a 1-megapixel front camera. The station is 10.7mm thick and weighs 530g.
The Padfone Infinity phone cum tablet combo will come in 32GB or 64GB versions with a nano-SIM card slot.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

BlackBerry Q10

When it comes to the BlackBerry Q10, you’ve got to love the fact that although we really don’t know anything about it, we already assume we know all there is to know. Despite having yet to be officially laid-bare let alone launched by BlackBerry, the Q10 wish-list of specs and features is about as comprehensive as that of any Smartphone already on the market.

All this, despite having no idea when or where the BB Q10 release date will actually come about.

Nevertheless, there’s a new feature to add to the pile today, assuming of course the latest round of leaked images prove to be authentic. This time, what we’re seeing is a rear view of the BlackBerry Q10 which seems to show a back plate made of the same textured rubber already with us on the Z10.

This differs from the Q10 that made its official though brief debut at BlackBerry’s event on January 30th, which by contrast had a more glossy plastic backing like BlackBerry Smartphones of old.

It stands to reason therefore that the change in back plate materials could have been inspired by consumer feedback regarding the BlackBerry Z10, which is already making quite a name for itself across various markets including the UK and Canada. On the other hand, it could be that these new images are as fraudulent as it gets and we won’t really know what Heins and Co. have in store for us until the BlackBerry Q10 sees its eventual launch sometime in the late spring.

Nevertheless, you have to ask yourself why exactly the Q10 has been held back for so much longer than the Z10 – does the company have even higher hopes for the QWERTY keyboard variant of the BB10 and thus won’t pen a release date until it is beyond flawless?


ZTE Blade 3

The ZTE Blade 3 is the latest smartphone from the Chinese firm intent on bringing customers great value for money at the bottom of the mobile market.
While ZTE and it's Chinese compatriot Huawei both say they're targeting the full smartphone spectrum with recent high-end handsets such as the Grand S and Ascend D2, the reality is that they are still primarily considered budget handset manufacturers.
The budget ethos rings true with the ZTE Blade 3 as it will only set you back £69.99, plus a £10 top up from Virgin Mobile.

One of the reasons ZTE is able to keep its costs down is the fact that the Blade 3 is designed and manufactured in China, with the cheap labour and parts reflected in the final price.
ZTE claims it's in talks with other mobile carriers about ranging the Blade 3, but for now only Virgin Mobile have the handset in store.

Although the price tag suggests that the Blade 3 is an entry level device it actually sits in the middle of ZTE's smartphone line up, with the high-end Grand series above and the super-budget ZTE Kis below it.
The mid-range tag becomes more apparent when you take a look at the specs with the Blade 3 sporting a 4-inch 480 x 800 display, 1GHz single-core processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage (although only 2.5GB is accessible) and a 1,600mAh battery.

It's not exactly a scintillating spec list, but considering the sub-£100 price tag you're getting a decent amount of bang for your buck.
This means the ZTE Blade 3 is going head to head with the slightly more expensive Huawei Ascend G330 and the likes of the HTC Desire C and Sony Xperia Miro, both of which will set you back around £100 more.

Indeed in terms of design there's little to choose between the Blade 3 and its Chinese counterpart the Ascend G330.
Measuring 120.5 x 63.5 x 10.85mm and weighing 133g the ZTE Blade 3 is a good size and weight with a well balanced finish reducing the risk of dropping the handset.
Unsurprisingly the Blade 3 has a noticeably plastic finish, although it's pretty sturdy and the slightly curved rubberised rear means it's easy to hold.

Up top there's a headphone jack and an easy to hit power/lock key, while down the left hand side is a volume rocker key with a microUSB port located on the base of the Blade 3.
Under the 4-inch display you'll find four touch buttons used to navigate around the Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.

The keys are typical Android fare; menu, home, back and search and all were pretty responsive to our various pokes and prods.
The display on the Blade 3 is responsive and Android looks crisp and clear, although on closer inspection it's obviously not HD quality.
You can easily peel off the rear cover of the Blade 3 giving you access to the microSD slot and removable 1,600mAh battery which should see you through the day thanks to the modest innards and screen.

View the original article here

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


ubuntu now fits your phone
introducing the superphone that's also afull pc.

Room for your content

Your phone is more immersive, the screen is less cluttered, and you flow naturally from app to app with edge magic. The phone becomes a full PC and thin client when docked. Ubuntu delivers a magical phone that is faster to run, faster to use and fits perfectly into the Ubuntu family.

Elegance, distilled

Designed to make all your phone content easier to access and your apps more immersive – every edge has a specific purpose, making all your apps, content and controls instantly accessible, without navigating back to the home screen every time. And the Ubuntu phone fits perfectly into the wider family of Ubuntu interfaces, alongside the PC and TV. It's a uniquely, beautifully converged experience.

Everything at your fingertips

Ubuntu uses simple natural swiping gestures from the edges of the screen to make it easier than ever to access your content and switch between apps. Every edge of the phone is used, letting you move faster between apps, settings and content.
Favourite apps

A short swipe from the left edge of the screen is all it takes to reveal your favourite apps. There’s room for everything you use daily, available instantly from the welcome screen or any application. Ubuntu lets you switch faster between running and favourite apps than any other phone.

Always running

Page either left or right from the home screen to see the content you use most. A full left-to-right swipe reveals a screen showing all your open apps, while a swipe from the right brings you instantly to the last app you were using. Switching between running applications has never been quicker or easier.

Going back

A swipe from the right edge takes you back to the last app you were using; another swipe takes you back to the app you used before that. It’s natural to keep many apps open at once, which is why Ubuntu was designed for multitasking. No other smartphone lets you switch between applications this quickly.

Content, not controls

Swiping up from the bottom edge of the phone reveals app controls. You can hide or reveal them instantly, which means they don’t take up room on the screen, leaving you free to focus on the stuff
that matters. Immerse yourself in your photos, web pages, music, messages and apps.

Stunning design, even on the leanest smartphones

Ubuntu provides a fast and beautiful experience, even on inexpensive hardware. It doesn’t have the overhead of a Java virtual machine, so all core applications run at full native speeds with a small memory footprint. That gives the UI a luxurious, responsive feel without the requirement of premium hardware components.

And on the high end, Ubuntu paves the way for a new category of superphones, with a full PC desktop accessible just by docking the device to a monitor and keyboard. A truly handheld PC is the future of personal computing.

System requirements for smartphones   Ubuntu smartphone           Ubuntu "superphone"
Processor architecture                            1Ghz Cortex A9                Quad-core A9 or Intel Atom
Memory                                                  512MB – 1GB                  Min 1GB
Flash storage                                          4-8GB eMMC + SD          Min 32GB eMMC + SD
Multi-touch                                            Yes                                     Yes
Desktop convergence                              No                                     Yes

The phone with the heart of a PC

High-end smartphones have a brain as powerful as ultra-light laptops. Ubuntu uniquely enables a new category of convergence device – phones that dock to become full PCs and thin clients – enabling enterprise IT departments to replace phones, thin clients and laptops with a single secure corporate device.

Operators targeting the enterprise market with LTE can now deliver a full laptop/phone solution, with Windows apps delivered over LTE from the corporate data center. And operators in emerging markets can deliver desktop applications to the converged device over LTE as a premium data service.

Easier hardware enablement

We have teams based in Taipei, Shanghai, London, Beijing and Boston to engage with your engineering and factory operations – and their sole focus is to deliver a crisp Ubuntu experience on your device.

Ubuntu has already been adapted to run on chipsets using the ARM and Intel x86 architectures relevant for mobile devices, with the core system based around a typical Android Board Support Package (BSP). So chipset vendors and hardware manufacturers do not need to invest in or maintain new hardware support packages for Ubuntu on smartphones. In short, if you already make handsets that run Android, the work needed to adopt Ubuntu will be trivial.

Mobile industry ready

With all-native core apps and no Java overhead, Ubuntu runs well on entry-level smartphones – yet it uses the same drivers as Android. So now it’s easy to bring a better experience to customers all over the world.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Hands-on review: MWC 2013: Acer Liquid Z2

Jelly BeanResponsiveFast cameraQuick mode
So the Acer Liquid Z2 is not going to set the mobile world alight, but we quite like it all the same.

It's designed primarily as a first baby step into the smartphone world and comes with some helpful features to make the transition as painless as possible.

It's a fairly dinky little thing to look at and comes with a 3.5-inch 480 x 320 display, 1GHz single-core processor, and a 3MP camera.

As a resolutely budget device, it does not feel like a premium smartphone, but it's small and light and certainly isn't horrible to look at and fondle in the hand. There are uglier phones out there that cost twice as much. That said, it is quite a fat device for something so small, but at least it's not heavy.

The great thing about this little phone is that even your mum's silly friend who dresses too young for her age and pretends not to understand the TV remote will be able to use it. It comes with an app called 'Quick Mode' which is essentially an app launcher designed for people who don't know what Android is and don't want to know.

Open it up and it gives you all of the main settings, functions and apps in one menu. Things like Bluetooth on/off, camera, browser etc. All of the things a technophobe needs to make use of a smartphone without trying, basically.

This all runs on top of a mostly vanilla-flavoured build of Android Jelly Bean 4.1, and even though it has low-end specs, it still manages to be nippy and responsive to the touch. There was no sluggishness, and the camera - which "launches in just one second" - was able to fire off snap after snap without any focus or save lag.

OK, so it's not going to win any awards but we like the Acer Liquid Z2 and look forward to putting it through its paces in a full review. We give it a tentative thumbs up for the time being and encourage you to check it out if you have a technophobic friend or relative who quakes at the thought of touching anything with silicon inside it. Just don't tell them it has silicon inside it.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hands-on review: MWC 2013: Asus Fonepad

As if the Padfone isn't strange enough a concept, what about this: a 7-inch Android 4.1 tablet that can also make calls. Meet Fonepad.

Yes, that's right - Asus now have two different but similar products called essentially the same name but in a slightly different order. Crazy times.

Check out our hands-on with the Padfone in the video below:

Unlike the Padfone, which is a smartphone with a tablet shell, the Fonepad is a device rather like the Nexus 7 (which Asus also makes for Google) but with the ability to make calls. It was leaked back in February.

Asus reckons that you won't hold it up to your ear - although you can look ridiculous if you want - but will instead use a headset or Bluetooth accessory to make calls. The concept apparently comes from research which shows that smartphone users don't make as many calls as you'd think; they use the device more for web browsing, email and apps than they ever do for voice.

The big other difference from the Nexus 7 is the processor. While the Nexus tablet uses Nvidia's Tegra 3, the Fonepad boasts the Intel Atom Z2420 introduced at CES 2013. In our limited hands on time, it became evident that the single-core processor is pretty snappy on Android; certainly there are none of the performance issues we've seen with even dual-core Atoms running Windows 8.

As the Padfone Infinity uses Qualcomm's Snapdragon 600, that makes Asus one of the most processor agnostic companies out there. Asus has plenty of solutions for Windows 8 and Windows RT as well as Android, so it's pretty platform agnostic as well.

The Fonepad does tread familiar ground with its screen, again aping the Nexus 7 with a 1,280 x 800 IPS display. It's clean and crisp and far superior to other 7-inch screens out there, some of which tend to be 1,024 x 600. The HP Slate 7 is one such device we've seen at MWC 2013.

In terms of the other spec, there's a 3MP rear-mounted camera, dual microphones, 720p video, 3G HSPA+ connectivity and a microSD slot underneath the top plastic bit on the back. That's also where the micro SIM goes.

The headphone socket is on the bottom alongside a standard micro USB port. The sleep/wake button is on the side, next to the volume up/down rocker.

The Fonepad is certainly an interesting device and price point is crucial. The Asus Fonepad price will start from $249 (£165 / AU$241) when it goes on sale in March. So it's relatively cheap and will sit above the Nexus 7 yet underneath the iPad mini in Asus' ongoing war with Apple, Samsung and Amazon for the 7-inch tablet space.

Making calls on this kind of device certainly isn't for everyone, but it's fair to say there's an increasing number of people who'd rather have a bigger screen yet don't want to carry around a tablet and a phone - those people who are also interested in a product like the Samsung Galaxy Note. The Fonepad offers an extra option.

Hands-on review: MWC 2013: Huawei Ascend G510

The Huawei Ascend G510 is promising a big screen experience at a low price point as the Chinese firm looks to tie up the bottom end of the smartphone market with an onslaught of new devices.

Playing big brother to the Ascend Y300, which shares the same design ethos, the Ascend G510 will sport a surprisingly attractive price. A Huawei spokesperson told TechRadar they expect the handset to go on sale for about £130 (around $200/AU$190).

The Huawei Ascend G510 release date is pegged for April/May this year, and we'd expect it to arrive in markets around the world.

It's an unassuming handset that sports the classic black slab look of many smartphones these days, with a sturdy plastic body hugging the glass-covered front of the handset.

The edges are slightly rounded, which enables the 134 x 67 x 9.9mm (5.3 x 2.6 x 0.4 inch) frame to sit pretty well in the palm, and the textured back cover adds a useful amount of grip so that we never feared dropping the Ascend G510.

The G510 comes in white as well as black, and the rear of the phone has a gloss finish, making it a little trickier to grip.

Something that did throw us, though, was the placement of the power/lock, which is usually found on the right side or on top of a handset.

Instead the button is located above the volume rocker on the left side of the Ascend G510, which meant we had to perform an unfamiliar finger movement to unlock the phone.

We're pretty sure it's something we'd get used to if we used the phone for a few days, but for the first few attempts it just feels weird.

That "big screen experience" that we mentioned at the start is provided by a 4.5-inch FWVGA IPS display.

It's pretty bright, Android Jelly Bean looks clear and for a handset with such a potentially low price the Ascend G510 is well equipped in this department.

As with the Y300, Huawei has stuck its premium Emotion UI overlay on, which features on the flagship Ascend P2.

This user interface does away with the app list altogether, providing you with only the home screens to manage your apps from, in a bid to make Android an easier platform for first time users.

Luckily you can easily create folders by dragging and dropping one app onto another, which means you won't have to use all nine home screens and waste time skipping between them to find what you want.

There's also a range of themes to choose from that change the icon style, wallpaper, font and colour scheme to give a look that suits you.

Adding to the personalisation options even more, Huawei has added a master widget that enables you to pop several widgets of varying sizes into one larger container - a design that reminds us slightly of Live tiles on Windows Phone 8.

Huawei has thrown a 1.2GHz dual-core processor into the Ascend G510 that doesn't have any trouble running Jelly Bean, but it doesn't have the same zip as the more powerful smartphones on the market.

When we flipped the Ascend G510 over to inspect the rear we got a bit of deja vu, since the design of the camera is very similar to the HTC One X.

So similar in fact, we couldn't help but put the two side by side for a camera design showdown. The winner? That's for you to decide.

The camera itself is a 5MP offering, plus there's a single LED flash to help you out in low light.

Launching the camera app was a quick affair, and shutter speed on the Ascend G510 was also pretty decent.

There's no HDR mode, but you can snap a panorama photo with the Ascend G510, plus you have a choice of a range of effects you can apply to your snaps.

Slightly disappointingly, the G510 is only capable of shooting VGA quality video. This lets the handset down a bit, since we're becoming used to seeing even lower end models offering up 720p recording.

Huawei has also popped a front-facing 0.3MP camera on the Ascend G510 if you fancy grabbing a mug shot or Skyping a loved one.

Another small downer is the 4GB of internal storage, of which only around 2GB is actually available to use, but there is a microSD slot that enables you to expand this, thankfully.

The Chinese firm hasn't stuck with the stock Android keyboard on the Ascend G510, instead opting to employ its own version. This is perfectly serviceable but we'd prefer a third party option such as SwiftKey if we were going to be doing some serious typing.

There's a reasonably sized 1,700mAh battery housed inside the Huawei Ascend G510, but the larger screen and bumped up processor may result in a mediocre life - we'll have to wait until our full review to see how it actually fares.

If it sticks with its attractively low price point, the Huawei Ascend G510 could be a winner at the budget end of the market, offering up a screen that's larger than most in its bracket.

The Emotion UI overlay may not be to everyone's taste, but we can see it helping those who are new to Android and to smartphones in general, and we're looking forward to getting the Ascend G510 in for a full review.

View the original article here

Hands-on review: MWC 2013: Fujitsu Stylistic S01

Good touch interfaceCaters for older peopleResponsiveWaterproof
This phone is almost certainly not for you, but it could be the life-changing device you give your elderly relative for Christmas this year.

It's an Android device designed from the ground up to give older people the opportunity to use a smartphone without being bamboozled by complex operating systems and fiddly features. It's way more than a re-skin of Android though, as we'll see.

First, the basics. This is a 4-inch handset running Ice Cream Sandwich with a 800 x 480 display, 8MP camera, 1.4GHz single-core CPU, 4GB expandable storage and it's waterproof and dust-proof too. So if you drop it in the toilet, you've got three hours to fish it out before it drowns. (Do remember to wash it though, yeah?)

The body has been designed to be easy to hold and hard to drop - the edges have a grippy feel to them.

Android has been completely redesigned, with a far more basic user interface on one scrollable vertical pane. The idea is to make it impossible to get lost in the menu structure, and to make everything easy to find. Every sub-screen has a green question mark which gives guidance on how to use that page.

This addresses the main problem that older people may encounter when buying a phone – featurephones are totally last decade but even budget Android handsets are tough to get to know if you're not technically inclined. They also tend to be small and fiddly, a nightmare for older people.

This is a great way of making a touchscreen phone easier to use, and you can still install all the same apps that you could on any other ICS smartphone.

To that end, the way the capacitive touchscreen responds to input has been completely changed. Instead of designing the phone to be as responsive as possible, Fujitsu has taken onboard the fact that older users are likely to go a bit slower. So instead of responding to the slightest touch, the capacitive screen behaves more akin to a resistive display, in that you need to actually push it to get a response.

This does not apply when scrolling through menus, which is smooth as silk like any other decent smartphone. But when making screen selections and typing phone numbers etc, you have to actually push a bit harder, and the screen gives haptic feedback to let you know you've made a selection. If you're just gliding your finger across the screen, you're given a visual cue to show you which button will be activated when you press.

When you set the phone up, you tell it how old you are and it customizes certain features accordingly. One of these funky customisations is to change the frequency range of the call so that it's easier to hear what's being said on the other end (as we age, we lose the ability to hear higher frequencies). The phone can even slow down the speech of the caller if you're talking to someone who speaks particularly quickly.

The phone also has a personal alarm built into it, which when activated can sound an audio alert as well as automatically contact up to three people to let them know you're in trouble.

In our brief test at MWC, we were really impressed. It's a great device and we can really see it having an impact on the lives of older people who need smartphone features without all the hassle of finding them. What's more, it's a good size - not too fiddly-small - and everything zips about quickly, without any lag.

This phone is going on sale through Orange in France in the summer and should be launching in the UK soon after. It's unlikely to be a huge seller, but it's definitely a device we can see being used and loved by older people who want a fully featured phone that's made specifically for them. We certainly can't wait to give one to our grandaddy and see how he gets on with it.

Hands-on review: MWC 2013: Huawei Ascend Y300

We're not quite sure why some handsets don't get a proper announcement when they are in front of the world's press, but the Huawei Ascend Y300 is another handset from the Chinese manufacturer that is quietly residing on its booth.

This handset is incredibly similar to the Ascend G330 in terms of specification, but it sports a slightly different design, battery boost, a newer version of Android and a fresh overlay.

The Ascend Y300 release date is set for April/May and while no price was available we reckon it will land around the £100 (around $150/AU$147) mark.

In terms of style, the Ascend Y300 borrows its look from its bigger brother, the Huawei Ascend G510, sporting an assuming generic smartphone design.

It's not the slimmest of handsets, at 11.2mm (0.4 inches), but the Y300 sits comfortably in the hand and its 124.5 x 63.8mm (4.9 x 2.5 inch) frame is made easier to hold thanks to the slightly curved and textured back.

Like the waterproof Ascend G350, the Ascend Y300 comes with a 4-inch WVGA IPS display, which is a little brighter than its water-resistant brother.

On screen you'll find version 4.1.1 of Android Jelly Bean and the same Emotion UI overlay that graces the flagship Ascend P2, as well as the mid-range Ascend G510.

This user interface does away with the app list altogether, providing you with only the home screens to manage your apps from, in a bid to make Android an easier platform for first time users.

Luckily you can easily create folders by dragging and dropping one app onto another, which means you won't have to use all nine home screens and waste time skipping between them to find what you want.

There's also a range of themes to choose from, which change the icon style, wallpaper, font and colour scheme to give you a look that suits you.

Adding to the personalisation options even more, Huawei has added a master widget that enables you to pop several widgets of varying sizes into one larger container - a design that reminds us slightly of the Live tiles on Windows Phone 8.

Jelly Bean runs pretty smoothly on the Ascend Y300, and we managed to navigate around and jump between apps with relative ease, although the missing app list key at the bottom of the screen did catch us out a couple of times.

There's a 1GHz dual-core processor running the show, so the Huawei Ascend Y300 has enough power to ensure that even the more taxing applications such as Google Maps didn't cause too much trouble.

Huawei seems keen to deliver a relatively decent camera experience at the bottom end of the smartphone market, with the Y300 another handset in the firm's line up to sport a 5MP rear-facing camera, plus there's a single LED flash thrown in for good measure.

The camera app is a little sluggish and the shutter takes a couple of seconds to settle the autofocus and snap a picture, meaning rapid fire photos were out of the question.

The design of the rear camera reminds us of the HTC One X, while a front-facing 0.3MP camera offers up a low quality lens for video calls and vanity checks.

Typing on the Ascend Y300 is pretty decent thanks to Huawei sticking with the stock Android keyboard, which offers up a responsive and accurate experience.

A 1,730mAh battery has been squashed inside the Ascend Y300, which should give you a decent amount of battery life, but we'll put this to the test during our in-depth review.

The Ascend G330 hasn't been around for long but the Ascend Y300 looks set to usurp it at the bottom of Huawei's smartphone range.

It offers a good array of features for a low-end smartphone and will certainly give the ZTE Blade 3 and LG Optimus L3 2 a run for their low cost money.

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Hands-on review: MWC 2013: HP Slate 7

After its aborted efforts with WebOS and the TouchPad two years ago, it appears that HP thinks now is the time to get involved with tablets. Here is the Slate 7 - a 7-inch tablet running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

And why not? After all, though we think of tablets as a market that's 'Apple plus others', it's worth remembering that it's actually in its infancy both in terms of the technology itself and the number of people globally that actually have a tablet - think how complex or widespead the PC or a mobile phone were after only a few years. And, of course, it's only been three years since the first iPad emerged.

So what about the HP Slate 7? Where does it fit in? Well the first thing to note is the price. The Slate 7 will be available in the United States in April with a starting price of $169. That's pretty cheap, although it doesn't quite match the Kindle Fire's $159 pricing.

The Kindle Fire is probably its closest competitor, not least as the Slate 7 features the same screen resolution - 1,024 x 600 as well as a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9-based processor (HP hasn't been more specific than that). The screen is the Slate 7's first issue - it isn't as polished as slightly more expensive 7-inch contenders such as the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7.

Up against those slightly more expensive models this screen looks decidedly old-school.

The Slate 7 is the industry's first tablet to offer embedded Beats Audio, while software settings are also available on the device. HP reckons it hasn't done a lot to the Slate in terms of software development, but says that this is merely its first step into Android - it will offer more differentiation in the future.

Sound quality is undoubtedly given a bit of beef by the addition, and it's a good selling point for the device. But HP must be careful that it's not over reliant on Beats to separate it from the tablet pack.

As for look and feel, it's a pleasant device in the hand, even if the large black bezel is a little off-putting (we'd expect it at this price point, though). The Slate 7 weighs in at 13 ounces (around 370g). It has front and rear-facing cameras, though the rear is 3 megapixels only. Still, it's a reason to buy the HP Slate over the original Kindle Fire, which doesn't have cameras.

The Slate 7 is quite good looking from the back and side - there's a stainless-steel frame and soft black paint in grey or striking red. As you can see, there's a microSD slot on the top of the device as well as a headphone jack and the sleep/wake button.

Charging and data transfer is via a micro USB port on the bottom of the device, where there are also two speakers as you can see.

The Slate 7 is the first offering from HP's newly formed Mobility Global Business Unit, established in September 2012 with the hiring of Alberto Torres. Torres joined HP from Nokia, where he was executive vice president and oversaw the MeeGo products and platform. Hopefully HP's new tablets will be more successful than MeeGo.

The HP Slate 7 does just enough to differentiate itself from the competition because of the cameras and Beats Audio support. But it isn't a hugely impressive tablet. While it's good enough for very basic pootling about in Android, using email and browsing the web, it's not the tablet you want if you want to watch video (get a better screen). The Nexus 7 remains our 7-inch choice.

Hands-on review: MWC 2013: Huawei Ascend G350

The Huawei Ascend G350 crept onto the scene at MWC 2013 with its big brother the Ascend P2 stealing all the limelight and getting its own press conference.

Similar in many ways to the budget Ascend G330, the Ascend G350 sees the addition of a rugged chassis and IP68 dust- and waterproofing.

Huawei is aiming the Ascend G350 at the affordable, mid to low-end of the market and expects the handset to arrive in stores in May/June.

Although it's being billed as a rugged device the Huawei Ascend G350 doesn't look overly different to the rest of the smartphone world, a change from days gone by as tough phones looked to be pumped up on steroids.

A metallic rim which runs around the edge of the front of the phone gives an air of premium quality when viewing from a distance, which is a pleasing aesthetical touch.

It's a little on the chunky side, but that's probably due to the waterproofing which has been done to protect all the vitals, and at 125.2 x 65.2 x 11.98 mm it still sits well in the hand and the plastic case feels sturdy.

We were assured by a Huawei representative that the Ascend G350 would withstand being dropped on the floor and hit hard on the desk, however they wouldn't let us test this claim at the show - boo!

Around the perimeter of the Ascend G350 the plastic case is textured providing additional grip which means you can easily keep hold of it, even under water.

It's easy to reach all the keys on the handset, with the power/lock button located on top and the volume rocker switch on the right both proving responsive.

We weren't big fans of the bronze finish on the handset which we snapped, but the G350 also comes in black and while it may not be the most exciting of colours we prefer it in this case.

The 4-inch WVGA display isn't going to blow you away and we found it was a little on the dark side even at full brightness, but we expect the Ascend G350 to be very keenly priced so this isn't a huge problem.

There's a 1GHz dual-core processor under the hood which does a decent job of running Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, with no lag during our hands on time.

It's certainly not as snappy as the more powerful handsets but you still get a decent Android experience and Huawei has only applied a light overlay meaning you still have access to all the core Jelly Bean features.

Quick settings have been added to the notification panel giving you access to toggles for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS.

Huawei has stuck with the stock Android keyboard on the Ascend G350 and thanks to the decently sized 4-inch display typing is pretty good on the responsive touchscreen, although we still prefer the SwiftKey alternative when writing lengthy emails.

There's only 2GB of available storage inside the Huawei Ascend G350 so you'll need to be careful with the apps you download and content you transfer onto the handset, as that could fill up pretty quickly.

A 1,730mAh battery is tasked with keeping you going all day, and due to the waterproof credentials of the Ascend G350 it's sealed into the handset to avoid water damage meaning you can't take it out and swap it.

Round the back there's a 5MP camera minus a flash, but Hauwei has also included a 0.3MP front facing snapper as well which means video calls are an option on the Ascend G350.

The camera app itself is pretty basic, but you do get a panorama mode and a handful of standard options such as brightness and white balance, all of which is easy to use.

Shutter speed is a little of the slow side and image quality is acceptable, but not great with a lack of clarity and strong colour.

The black version of the handset we mentioned earlier was chilling out in a bowl of water at the Huawei stand, and we were able to call the handset and witness it ring - proving its underwater abilities.

Sadly though you cannot operate the Ascend G350 underwater, so if you're in the bath you'll need to keep it above the water line if you want to play Angry Birds.

The Huawei Ascend G350 is a decent durable device with a strong feature list for a handset which will likely sport an affordable price tag.

We may not agree with some of the colour options, but we look forward to getting the G350 in for review and putting it through its paces - we may even smash it against a desk to see if it can really withstand such a brutal attack.

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Hands-on review: MWC 2013: Nokia Lumia 520

Let's get something straight first. We really like Windows Phone 8. It's not for everybody, but it's a great mobile phone OS and Nokia and Microsoft have made great strides with it.

It's also very easy to use - and that's why we think the 4-inch Nokia Lumia 520 could do rather well, as a low budget handset for those who don't want an over-complicated or over-equipped smartphone.

It isn't a slouch, with a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, but most of the other specs have been trimmed from the higher end Lumias to reach its price point - it has an estimated starting price of €139 (around £120/ US$183/ AU178).

The 5MP camera has no flash, for example, while the display is 800 x 480, the same resolution as the 620's 3.8-inch and the 720's 4.3-inch displays.

Nokia does, however, say the 520 uses the same digital camera lenses found on the flagship (and rather heavy) Nokia Lumia 920. That's hardly a big deal, but the fact Nokia said it shows that this new handset has very little in common with its top-end brethren.

You get 8MB of storage, but you can expand it thanks to a microSD slot.

It is slightly thinner than the Lumia 620, matching the Lumia 720's 9.9mm (0.39 inch) thickness, while at 124g (0.27lbs), it's a pleasant weight.

There is a small speaker on the bottom rear of the device, a headphone jack on the top and the standard microUSB on the bottom.

In terms of look and feel, the Nokia Lumia 520 feels as good in the hand as any other Lumia, thanks to the now-familiar monoblock casing. And there are also familiar controls - the sleep/wake button, camera shutter control and volume controls are on the right side of the device.

In terms of apps, you get all the standard Windows Phone stuff, including Office, plus Nokia Music for free music and Nokia's Here location apps, as you'd expect.

The handset, which comes in five colours, will launch over the coming months in Hong Kong and Vietnam, before "expanding broadly" (Nokia's words) to Europe, Asia - including China and India - Latin America and Africa.

The handset maker also says the Lumia 520 will roll out in the United States with T-Mobile.

We rather like the Lumia 520 - Nokia clearly has a market in mind for the device and has given it a price point to match. It's not a handset for those who really want a Windows Phone, but rather it's one for those who want a budget smartphone. For that type of purchaser, the cheap and cheerful nature of the 520 will surely appeal.