BB App – 3D Rollercoaster Rush Jurassic 2

The title of this app says it all, this is a rollercoaster game supposedly set in a Jurassic theme park.

The game is played using the phone’s accelerometer/motion sensor to increase or decrease the speed of the rollercoaster as it runs through the track, tilt right to increase and left to decrease speed. You can turn the motion sensor off and use the indicators on the lower left of the screen to increase and decrease your speed so you have two ways of playing the game. There are 40 tracks in the game and you unlock the next track by finishing the one before it.

After you play the track you can then race against a ghost rollercoaster that replays your last or best time. In each track there are a total of four stars that you can accumulate and at the end of the track you receive a score. After a certain number of tracks you reach a gate that can only be opened once you have accumulated the required number of stars indicated. If you haven’t, then you need to go back and play the tracks again. You accumulate points and stars by finishing the track in the quickest amount of time and providing your passengers with a thrilling ride.

The tracks have twists and turns, hills and dips; if you go over a hill too quickly and jump the track the rollercoaster might land on a right angle and you may lose either one or all your carts and therefore your passengers. If you lose all the carts then the game is over and you have to restart the track. The more passengers you keep at the end of the ride the higher the number of points you can gain as their cheers help you win those points. After you pass a gate you are then given an extra cart which not only means more passengers to cheer you on but also one more cart to lose should you not land properly on the track after a big jump.

The graphics are very good, with a decent bit of detail, although, certainly not the best I have seen in a mobile phone app. The gameplay can be somewhat tedious at first but they do up the ante by increasing the number of twists and bumps on the track and therefore increase the chances you lose passengers or the whole rollercoaster itself.  It’s very easy to maneuver using the accelerometer as its sensitivity is adequately calibrated and using the indicator instead works as well, but I found it better to use the motion sensor. Initially I didn’t think this game would be very exciting as it does start off poorly but it becomes more challenging once you pass the first gate and the bumps and twists increase. You can also invite your friends to play the game but sadly I don’t see a head to head race here which would have made this more exciting.

Overall I think 3D Rollercoaster Rush Jurassic 2 is a good game that offers quite a lot especially since it is free. The tracks aren’t too hard to master once you’ve figured out how to handle the big dips in them; but there are plenty of tracks to keep you interested for a while and racing your ghost also adds a bit of value there. I do recommend you try this game out, you won’t be sorry and you might even get addicted to it, I certainly was when the tracks got harder. Surprisingly good replay value for a free game.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro Review

December 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Reviews, Smartphones, Spotlight

Sony Ericsson’s Xperia line of smartphones has given the company a much needed boost in terms of sales. Indeed Sony Ericsson is going to concentrate solely on smartphones from mid-2012 onwards so you can expect them to put all their eggs in one basket. The Xperia Pro is a rather chunky phone if you compare it to the latest range of thin and light smartphones. It was probably the first thought that came to my head as I held the phone in my hands, the second was how heavy it was in comparison to the arc S, but it’s not like they are priced to compete against each other. Although there isn’t an Arc in the name, similar to the arc S I previously reviewed, this phone has a slight bend in the back so it appears that the phone is thinner than it actually is, but that did not detract from the chunky feel it gave me. I received the silver version to review but I have seen the black color in stores and the black does look better on this phone despite the fact that the smudges will be more apparent. Overall, apart from the Arc on the back there isn’t much to talk about in regards to the phone’s looks. It’s still a good looking phone but in today’s theme of thinning mobiles, this one has gone the other way.

The phone comes with a few manuals, a micro USB cable, 8gb microSD card, charger, a pair of earphones with a call button and built-in microphone, a 1500mAh battery and a micro HDMI cable which is something that was missing in the arc S bundle. It’s quite a rich bundle especially since most phones don’t include an HDMI cable and it came in handy while playing games. The Xperia Pro weighs in at 142g which isn’t as heavy as I thought it would be. Indeed it felt heavier than some of the lighter phones I had recently tried but you appreciate how light it is after you hold HTC’s 180g Desire Z which I tried out back when it was new. It’s thinner as well, 13.5mm compared to 14.2 but when you throw in the arc S with its 8.9mm “thin-ness”, the Xperia Pro feels chunky again. Still with 120 x 57 x 13.5 mm dimensions the Xperia Pro is a pretty decently sized phone.

On the top front of the phone you have the earpiece, front facing camera and proximity sensor. I don’t know if there is a light sensor because there is no Auto Brightness setting in the Display menu. After the 3.7 inch screen you have three buttons at the bottom for Back, Home and Menu. On the top there is a microUSB connector in the middle of the silver band that goes round the phone. At the bottom there’s a microphone, though, it looks like a lanyard so it could be both. On the left we have the 3.5mm connector for the earphones and the Power/Lock button. On the right there’s an LED indicator just above the micro HDMI connector. The micro HDMI connector is covered, probably to ensure that you don’t mistake it for the micro USB connector as they both look very similar. Below that is the volume rocker and at the far bottom of the right side is the camera button. On the back there’s the camera with flash and a second microphone for noise cancelation. Under the Sony Ericsson logo there’s the loudspeaker about the same area where the arc S had it.

The sliding mechanism is good in general but I did have some gripes about it. When using the camera or power/lock button, the phone felt a bit wobbly around the two sliding parts. The sliding mechanism feels loose in the beginning so I initially struggled with getting a good grip on the phone but you eventually get used to it. When sliding the keyboard out I heard a light scraping noise like the two sides were touching each other. While this is not exactly a major deal, it would be if it caused scratching. The QWERTY keyboard is similar to your computer’s keyboard and it has cursor keys as well. It’s also backlit so you don’t have to struggle with typing in the dark. I found that even after a week’s use I was still getting some keys wrong, but as a whole I found the keyboard easy to use and it grows on you. Holding the phone this way took a bit of getting used to; at first it felt I was on the verge of dropping the phone but soon got used to holding it this way. The sliding mechanism can also be used to unlock the phone and the screen rotates automatically, but cannot be rotated in any other direction when the slider is out.

The phone runs the 2.3.4 Gingerbread variant of the Android operating system which has a few updates such as 3D sweep panorama and T9 with swipe. It uses Sony’s Bravia engine to sharpen images and improve photo quality and it does a great job here when you see them on the phone’s screen. The Xperia Pro runs on a 1Ghz Scorpion processor with the Adreno 205 GPU so it is by no means a slouch but it is a single core processor so you should expect that to be a limiting factor. I ran SunSpider on it and got 3446.1ms which is far less than the 2607ms the Arc S managed but I guess that’s what a 400 MHz bump does to your score. It has an 8 megapixel camera at the back capable of taking pictures at 3264 x 2448 and has autofocus and a single LED flash. It’s capable of taking 720p videos @30fps as well. Unlike the Arc S this has a front facing camera and although it’s VGA it will do fine for self-portraits and video calls.

BlackBerry App of the Week: Nobex Radio

I use my MP3 player all the time, when I’m at the mall, at the gym and especially when driving. After a while I got bored of listening to the same songs over and over so I started listening to the radio. Sadly the variety of music and channels here is limited and the radio stations like to play mainstream music which is usually not my thing. That’s where the Nobex Radio app for Blackberry comes in.

Part of the slew of free apps RIM is giving away to its loyal customers, Nobex Radio is an app that streams radio stations from around the world onto your Blackberry. When you start the app you simply choose whether you want Music, Talk or Sports radio stations to listen to. I first tried the music stations where you can choose your desired genre from the 80s to R&B, Rock, Metal, Salsa, Easy listening, Bollywood and even Classical music. After choosing the genre you get a list of available radio stations from around the world. Most of the stations I found are from the US or UK, but that’s because of the genres I chose. Once you’ve chosen a station you have to wait for it to initialize and create a buffer and that depends on your reception and data speeds. You can also choose whether the audio output is automatic or specific such as from the speaker or the earphones. Once connected you can choose to stop the music at anytime, add the channel to your favorites or share it via text message, Facebook, Twitter, BBM and even email.

I found the variety of music channels quite reasonable and the sound quality was pretty good especially when connected to a decent pair of earphones or a speaker system. However, while on the move I found you need 3G in order to ensure the music doesn’t skip. At home 2G/Edge seemed adequate enough to stream from but not while in the car. The downside to all this is that constant usage drains your batteries real quick especially with 3G so I recommend investing in a car charger. The other caveat is that it uses your bandwidth so it may not be suited to users who have just opted for the Etisalat and Du social data plans. One other thing to note is that some radio stations just will not work, I could not get any stations from Boston to work but didn’t have any problem with stations in the UK.

The Nobex Radio app is an excellent app to use while in your car going from city to city or emirate to emirate where your normal radio station might be out of range. There are a large number of stations to choose from and the audio quality is pretty good however it will drain your battery and take its toll on your data plan. Overall its a useful app to have while on a trip or if you’re stuck at work or at home and don’t have a radio with you. The variety of choices means there’s bound to be a channel to suit everyone’s tastes and best of all it is free until the end of December, so grab it while you can!

Vlingo App review for BlackBerry

Virtual assistants are becoming the new “thing” in smartphones these days. With the introduction of Siri on the iPhone4S, you can only expect these assistants to become even more popular and sought after. Today we take a look at one such app for your Blackberry called Vlingo which is currently free in the Blackberry App World- one of the Thank You gifts RIM are presenting to its loyal customers after the service outage last month.

Upon using Vlingo for the first time, you find that you have to disable the convenience key (normally the camera button by default) where it then becomes assigned to Vlingo. To use Vlingo all you have to do is press and hold the side button, talk and then Vlingo processes what was said and proceeds accordingly. You can then tell Vlingo to call a number from your contact list- provided it understands the name. You can also tell it to send a text message to someone by saying “Send text message to” and the name of the person.

Other than that, Vlingo lets you search for items on the internet this way but after the initial search you have to do the rest manually. You can also tell Vlingo to open a particular application for you, such as the Blackberry Messenger or Maps but it doesn’t open all your applications. Also, I could get it to open Music but not play a particular song, artist or any song for that matter. Once you’re in an app, you pretty much have to do things yourself.

Dictating notes or a text message using Vlingo is a mixed bag. If you say what you want clearly, chances are it will get it right but I noticed it does not process accents very well. I tried Irish/Scottish, Southern American, Australian/New Zealand and various British accents and it understood less than half the words.

Vlingo can also read your messages to you, a feature you can enable in the Vlingo menu screen. You can choose between a male or female voice (default is female) but either way the voice is robotic. The annoying thing about this is that it doesn’t ask if you want it to read your messages out loud, it just does it. On the Vlingo menu screen you can see a list of examples of what Vlingo can do for you so anything beyond those examples is above your assistant’s pay grade.

To be honest I still found it silly telling my phone what to do but I was quite impressed with how far voice recognition has come and even though it still hasn’t gotten foreign names and accents right. Unfortunately Vlingo is not as integrated into the OS as I hoped for. For example, I got it to open Blackberry Messenger but not start a chat with someone. Similarly, I got it to search for something on the web but I had to manually open the link from a list of choices.

The limits to what Vlingo can and cannot do are somewhat disappointing. Either way, this is a free app until December 31st so if you can’t afford your own real life assistant or would like one that resides in your phone then go to App World and download Vlingo; just make sure you tell people what you’re doing or they’ll think you’re nuts.

OCZ ZX Series 1250W PSU Review

OCZ Technology has built a reputation for being one of the leading brands in Memory, Solid State Drives and Power Supplies in the computing world of today. Their quality products are backed by excellent customer service and attractive warranties.  In 2007 OCZ acquired PC Power and Cooling which still operates its own line of power supplies to this day. Thanks to this acquisition OCZ has been able to improve and solidify their position in the power supply market. Today we take a look at one of those power supplies. In fact this is their flagship unit, the ZX Series 1250W.

The power supply comes in a well decorated box with a handle, and believe me, you’re going to need that handle as this thing is heavy. Even out of the box the power supply itself feels heavy and that’s considered a very good thing when it comes to power supplies, it means it’s likely made of quality components. Since this is a fully modular power supply there are no cables sticking out of it. Instead these cables are included in a separate box along with the power cable, screws, user manual, Velcro cable ties and 80 plus Gold certificate. The cables are in a small bag and there are a lot of them. Each cable is labeled at each end so you know which side goes into the power supply and what plugs into your computer components. They’re also quite long so you won’t have any issues with cable management.

Specifications:

- 1250W Continuous power

- Ultra quiet 140mm ball-bearing fan

- +12VDC @ 104A Single Rail Design

- SLI™ and CrossFire™ support

- Fully modular cable management system

- 150 x 175 x 86mm (W x L x H)

- ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V

- 80-Plus Gold Certified

- 92% Efficiency (Typical Load)

-  Overvoltage/Overcurrent/Short-Circuit protection

- Active PFC

-  MTBF: 100,000 hours

- 5 year warranty backed by OCZ’s exclusive PowerSwap Warranty replacement program.

 

Connectors:

-  20+4 pin ATX

-  Dual 4+4 pin CPU

-  6 x PCIe 6+2 pin

-  12 x SATA

-  9 x Molex

-  1 x Floppy

 

The power supply can accommodate up to three graphics cards and has a single 12V rail with 104A. Of course, you can’t use all the connectors listed above, but I highly doubt you will need to. The 80 plus gold certificate means it has 92% efficiency under load which is well over the 80% required for the 80 plus certification. The power supply itself is quite nice to look at, with a black finish to prevent small scratches and dents. Overall the power supply looks and feels like it can take on the best and most power hungry components on offer today.

 

BlackBerry App Review: NavTrack Middle East

If there’s one thing that’s missing on Blackberry phones it’s navigation software. Sure we have a Maps app that works quite well, but it only provides us with directions on how to get to our destination. NavTrack MEA is an app that provides turn by turn voice navigation in a number of languages (unfortunately no Arabic) and is available in the App World for $45 with a 14 day trial. After downloading this it takes about 15 seconds for the app to load, Blackberry Maps takes less than 3. Once loaded you have 5 options to choose from, Navigate To, Social Networks, Map Me, Favorites and New Searches.

‘Social Networks’ connects you to Facebook and submit your location, Favorites contains all the previous places you have saved and New Searches is where you find places you’re looking for. Overall I found the search function pretty handy. It even found those small restaurants that you usually don’t find in Google Maps or other popular Map applications. However, it seems to be very slow in searching for places, even when using the 3G network.

‘Map Me’ shows you your location on the map, but like most other searches, this also takes time to load. Once loaded you can see your location and if you’re on the move, it shows you moving. However, once you reach the edge of the screen the map doesn’t follow you and you have to do another location search.

This brings us to a frustrating part of this app, the map. First of all, it seldom shows any street names or numbers. Secondly you can’t scroll through the map using your finger, you have to use the cursor either with your finger or the navigation pad. Once you reach the edge of the screen and want to go further, the app will have to load that part of the map for you. Other popular map software lets you go through their maps using your finger, NavTrack requires you to load each section of the map.

‘Navigate To’ provides you with turn by turn navigation, but first you have to search or use your favorites.I found the navigation instructions to be quite accurate, however, they do not quote street names, numbers or exits, so you get generic instructions. During navigation you have the choice of night or day, 2D or 3D and you can adjust the volume of the female voice telling you how to get there. If you go off route it will tell you 2 or 3 times before it stops navigating and asks if you want to recalculate your route, you can choose to be asked every time or for it to automatically recalculate.

In conclusion I found the NavTrack interface to be somewhat counter-intuitive with the lack of scrolling, and every menu option having a different interface for setting your start and destination points. The lack of street names, numbers or points of interest on the map and during navigation makes it inferior to other navigation software in that respect. The instructions are pretty accurate and in the ever changing roads of Dubai it seems to have adjusted to those roads very well. I also did not like the reliance on the internet connection, you have to load virtually everything from the maps to the turn by turn instructions and the searches.It would have been good if they had let you load the maps onto your phone and then you might be able to scroll through it properly.

This app could have been great if it had fixed all these basic issues, instead it feels rather inferior to more established maps from Google, Garmin and to some extent even RIM. It feels more of a work in progress than a finished product. As it stands, with the various quirks I have experienced, I can’t recommend this app for the asking price, but I do recommend you try this software for yourself. If you need it buy it, I am sure this app will improve over time and it is the only turn by turn navigation software available for Blackberry, but for me that isn’t a compelling reason to get this, unless it goes on sale.

Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S Review

October 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Reviews, Smartphones, Spotlight

 

Sony Ericsson was formed by Sony and Ericsson in 2001. The two giants of consumer electronics and mobile telecommunications respectively have had a bumpy ride since then. However, thanks to their new range of Android smartphones, things may be looking up for the embattled telecommunications company. Today we take a look at the Xperia arc S, an update of their flagship phone, the Xperia arc.

When I first got my hands on the arc S, I couldn’t help feel amazed at how thin it was. The phone is shaped like an arc, thin in the middle but slightly thicker at the top and bottom. Despite knowing this, it still felt much thinner than it actually was. Measuring at only 8.7mm at its thinnest point, it is only slightly thicker than Samsung’s Galaxy S2 but I doubt you could really tell that unless you measured them.

It is mostly made of plastic with a mirror finish covering the side, top and bottom but it in no way feels really cheap. I reviewed the white version and the combination of white glossy plastic on the front and back and mirror finish on the sides made the phone feel like it had class. I had the chance to play around with the black version of this phone and while I liked the shiny black, it gets covered in fingerprints almost instantly. The white version is no exception but you really don’t notice the smudges as much so the overall look of the phone isn’t compromised if you don’t wipe it down every day.

At the front, from top to bottom, you have a light sensor, proximity sensor and speaker above the screen and under it are the Back, Home and Menu buttons. On the top there’s the Power/Lock button and the micro-HDMI port. On the left there’s the 3.5mm headphone jack and on the right you have the microUSB plug, an LED indicator, a volume rocker at one end and the camera button at the other.  At the back there’s the camera and LED flash, a 2nd mic and a tiny speaker near the bottom.

The power button is round and seems rather small and can often be hard to press and find. While holding the phone I found myself accidentally touching the camera/shutter button, tucked away at the bottom right. The button itself is also small and takes a bit of getting used to because it is a two stage shutter button, one to focus, and two to click. The headphone jack can also be an issue if you have a plug that’s straight and not right angled. I found it annoying when I left the phone in my pocket and was listening to music. The bundled earphones however are right angled so they don’t have the same issue.

Overall the build quality was pretty decent, the battery cover was easy to remove and once you clicked it back into place, there weren’t any uneven edges. While holding the phone tightly you can hear creaks but they’re not too loud and I guess you have to expect these when dealing with plastic and such a thin phone.

Bundled with the phone you get a microUSB to USB cable, a charger, some manuals, earphones with call/pause button and different sized buds. You also get an 8 GB microSD card and a 1500mAh battery. The phone weighs only 117g, which is pretty light considering the iPhone4 and HTC Sensation XE weigh 140 and 151g respectively. It is however heavier than the S2 by 1 gram though when I compared the two, the Samsung felt significantly lighter. As mentioned previously, the arc S is very thin measuring in at 125 x 63 x 8.7mm compared to the S2 at 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5mm and the Sensation XE at 126.1 x 65.4 x 11.3mm.

The Xperia arc S uses the same Scorpio processor as the Xperia arc but the clock speed has been bumped from 1 GHz to 1.4. It comes with the same Adreno 205 GPU as well. This is a single core processor bear in mind, the S2 and Sensation are both dual core and so is the iPhone4S. Using SunSpider the phone managed an impressive 2607ms which is quite astounding considering the Sensation XE managed 3184 and the S2 only 3416. I ran the test four times to make sure and I can only conclude that the Xperia arc S has a more optimized browser or SunSpider doesn’t like dual core processors.

The arc S runs Gingerbread version 2.3.4 which has various updates such as 3D sweep panorama and swipe with T9. It shares the same screen as the original arc which is a 4.2 LCD with a resolution of 480×854 and a pixel density of 233ppi.  Sony’s Bravia Engine helps sharpen images and improve the overall quality of your photos when viewed on the phone’s screen. The 8 megapixel camera has image stabilization, autofocus and is capable of taking videos at 720p. I was surprised to notice the arc S does not have a front facing camera. This is something that is found even on its own Xperia Ray. I can understand if they omitted this from the original arc but the arc S could have used such an upgrade for video calls, something its competitors can do that it can’t.

HTC ChaCha Review

October 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Reviews, Smartphones, Spotlight

HTC is well known for their touchscreen phones and rather quirky names for them. Having built a decent reputation as a phone manufacturer with excellent quality control, HTC has become the rising star of the mobile industry. From rags to riches, well not really, HTC has benefited from Google’s Android operating system and their SenseUI has added some welcomed spice to the mix. Now HTC has made something different, the ChaCha.

The ChaCha’s design is rather elegant and looks strikingly similar to the HTC Hero with its brushed metal, white color and curved body. It has been a while since HTC released a phone with a “chin” and whether by coincidence or design, it works really well here. When holding the ChaCha, thanks to its curved back, the screen is tilted towards you for better viewing while the back of the phone feels ergonomically sound as you hold the phone with both hands and use your thumbs to type and touch.

The build quality is excellent and feels solid with no flexing or creaking parts. The ChaCha’s QWERTY keypad is pleasant to use- the keys are separated so they don’t feel cramped or huddled together and feel great to touch and depress thanks to their rubberized texture.  There is a learning curve to getting used to them but thanks to their design the curve is short. The space button is quite small and you may on occasion press the shift button when you want the function button under it but otherwise it is an easy phone to get used to in that regard. HTC has also included call and reject buttons which is a rare thing to find on their phones lately.

Weighing in at 124g, it’s definitely not the lightest of phones and measuring at 114.4mm x 64.6mm x 10.7mm, it’s also not the thinnest. An 800mhz Qualcomm processor powers the ChaCha and while it may seem rather underpowered with all the dual core processors in the higher end phones, for the most part the processor does not seem to have slowed the ChaCha down by any noticeable measure.

The phone has a myriad of connectivity options that equal that of a modern high end smartphone. It has Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, HSPDA, Bluetooth 3.0 as well as tethering options, VPN connectivity and the Wi-Fi hotspot feature that allows laptops and other Wi-Fi devices to use the phone’s mobile internet. Connect the phone to your computer via microUSB and use its Wi-Fi and internet connection. These are all standard options that Android readily provides to phones that have the right specifications and the HTC ChaCha may appear to be a cheap smartphone in comparison to many of the company’s other products but HTC have made sure to include every possible option available.

Underneath the screen are Android’s dedicated Home, Menu, Back and Search buttons, also capacitive. The ChaCha comes with a VGA camera on the front just above the screen to the right and a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash in the back. A tiny speaker is also included in the back next to the camera and besides the etched HTC logo at the back that is it.  On the left there’s a single volume button for both up and down and the microUSB connector, nothing on the right.  The 3.5mm earphone jack is on the top next to the power/lock button while on the bottom you have a tiny hole for the microphone.

The sim card and microSD slots are under the battery so you have to not only remove the battery cover but the battery as well to change either one. Although I have praised HTC for the build quality on this phone, they have gone overboard with the cover. It is extremely frustrating to remove to the point that you have many people complaining about it online. You have to apply a good deal of pressure to slide it out but have to be careful not apply too much pressure to not crack the touchscreen. Considering this phone is targeted towards teenagers, I don’t think it was wise of HTC to have made the cover so difficult to remove. Once you have opened it a few times you get used to it but it’s still a pain and may be a turnoff for some.

Intel series 510 120GB & 250GB SSD Review

Solid State Drives or SSDs for short are slowly becoming the preferred choice of PC performance enthusiasts with their faster access times and quiet operation. Previously, Western Digital’s Raptor series held that top spot with its 10,000rpm drives, but with companies like OCZ, Crucial and Intel releasing faster and cheaper SSDs into the market, the traditional hard disk drive may soon become a thing of the past.

Today we look at Intel’s new 510 series of SSDs, offering 120GB and 250GB versions  with SATA3 (6 Gb/s) compatibility. We will pit them against two hard drives and see how much one can expect to lose in terms of load times and overall speed.

The Nexus One is out, and reviewed!

Industry politics aside, though, the Nexus One is at its core just another Android smartphone. It’s a particularly good one, don’t get us wrong — certainly up there with the best of its breed — but it’s not in any way the Earth-shattering, paradigm-skewing device the media and community cheerleaders have built it up to be. It’s a good Android phone, but not the last word — in fact, if we had to choose between this phone or the Droid right now, we would lean towards the latter. Of course, if Google’s goal is to spread Android more wide than deep, maybe this is precisely the right phone at the right time: class-leading processor, vibrant display, sexy shell, and just a sprinkling of geekiness that only Google could pull off this effortlessly.

Then again, we suspect Motorola, Samsung, Verizon, and countless other partners might disagree.

Full review and pics @Engadget

If I had to walk in to a store today with endless funds to purchase a phone, I would have to go with the Nexus One. The main reasons I chose this phone is simply because of it’s hires display, speed, and it’s extremely attractive UI. On a 3G network, there is no reason to stray to any other device. Yes the iPhone shoots pictures and video a bit better, but if I REALLY want to shoot crisp photos I’ll do that with my real digital camera. At this point iPhone has the better gaming applications, but again the android Market is growing at a rapid pace. We’re likely to soon see some amazing stuff when developers get their hands on the Nexus One. I’m more concerned with the fact that I can actually MAKE phone calls from the Nexus One, and the fact that it makes browsing the web a truly unique and visually stimulating experience.

Currently, my main phone that I’m using is my Nexus One, and my iPhone is now my iPod. Hats off to Google and HTC on an amazing device!

Full review and pics @NexusOneBlog

In summary, it seems the Nexus One is one great phone and has the potential to rival the iPhone in many aspects but what the Nexus One lacks is the AppStore which has added a huge amount of value to the iPhone and has proven to be a great source of revenue for Apple. While the Android has a similar store, it is still in its infancy but does show a lot of promise and potential. This phone indeed has the opportunity to knock the iPhone off its high perch but from what we have gathered from the reviews, it is not all that different from the iPhone nor is it that much different to the other Android phones out there. Lots of praise has gone out to the amazing screen and the great responsiveness of the touchscreen itself and some of that has to do with the 1Ghz Snapdragon CPU which has made a rare appearance and a very welcomed one. The speakers are said to be better than the iPhone and Google have even added a noise-canceling function which will definitely come in handy when making/receiving calls but the lack of internal memory means people will have to purchase or use their own microSD cards which just adds to the overall cost of the unit. However, it also helps reduce the price of said unit and makes the notion of storage capacity an option, rather than having to arbitrarily throw a fixed amount at the consumer. Overall I think the Nexus One will do well for itself and should add more pressure Apple’s way. The iPhone may still be popular but it is getting old and showing its age with so many rival phones currently out and more on their way; you have to wonder what and how Apple will respond and if their next offering will merely be evolutionary like the 3G and 3GS or revolutionary like the original iPhone was. I suppose we do owe the iPhone some gratitude for shaking up what was a complacent phone market that rarely released anything worth noticing. The Nexus One does indeed owe Apple something, how different would it have been had the iPhone never been launched? In fact would we even have such a device without the iPhone? Only time and rumours will tell what’s in store in the months to come. We do live in interesting times don’t we (phone-wise that is!)?

Update: For all those people who hoped to be able to purchase this device directly from Google, there is some bad news. If you don’t live in the US, UK, Hong Kong or Singapore then you cannot buy the Nexus One, at least not yet. In fact just accessing the phone’s page from anywhere but those four countries will give you a dissappointing message stating the Nexus One is not available in your country. However there are ways around that but in order to receive this gem, you still need an address in one of those countries.

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Competitions
Tech Events
Sony Science Show Event

A ‘scientific’ fun Friday for children.

Tbreak Developers Conference

Meet the industry experts.

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