Category: Hands-on
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Sony Xperia ZL arrives at HQ, we take it for a spin

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Sony Xperia ZL has landed at our office. It’s the not-so-tough Xperia Z sibling, powered by the same hardware platform and running on identical Android version with the same custom UI (launcher).

The Xperia ZL may not be water or dust-proof, but offers a few extra goodies over the Z model – a hardware camera key, an infrared port, а smaller footprint and a much better grip, thanks to the textured rear panel. Read more »

Sony Xperia E stops by our office, we put it in front of the camera

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The Sony Xperia E is the single-SIM variant and second member of the Xperia E family, after the Xperia E dual.

The Xperia E is virtually identical to the E dual, save for the lacking second SIM slot and the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean which replaces 4.0 ICS. Read more »

HTC First for AT&T brought its Facebook tricks to the office, here’s the hands-on

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The freshly announced HTC First made its way to our office. The AT&T exclusive smartphone, as its name mildly suggests, is the first to come with the Facebook Home Android launcher out of the box.

The HTC First is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset with two Krait CPU cores, clocked at 1.4GHz. Read more »

Entry-level Lumia 520 dropped by for a video shoot, we obliged

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The Nokia Lumia 520 is the Finn’s entry-level Windows Phone designed to win over those on a budget.

It features Nokia’s exclusive apps (like Here Drive, App Highlights, Nokia Music, etc.), costs around $180 sans contract and is equipped with a 4″ WVGA (480 x 800) IPS display, 8 gigs of internal storage with the option of a microSD expansion and not least of all a 5 MP snapper. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 comes in our office, makes the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note II feel small

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Samsung is at the forefront of Android phablets and its latest gadget is for people who want a bigger, more affordable Galaxy Note. The Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 just went official and we had a chance to handle one for a couple of minutes.

Unlike the Note, the Galaxy Mega does not have an S Pen but it does have the S4’s Air View so you can still perform some of the same things as you can with the S Pen. That’s not the only thing the Mega has borrowed from the S4 either. Read more »

Nokia Lumia 720 comes for a visit, thinks it’s better than its older siblings

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The Nokia Lumia 720 came back for some more face time after our brief encounter at the MWC. The phone is similar to the Lumia 820 and it actually offers better specs in a few categories. For one, its screen can detect your fingers even through gloves. The curved Gorilla Glass 2 and ClearBlack tech make the 4.3” WVGA screen very good if not quite as nice as the 820’s AMOLED display.

There’s more too – the Lumia 720 is 9mm thick, the thinnest Lumia yet but it has a 2,000mAh battery, larger than the one in the the thicker and heavier 820. Also, the F/1.9 aperture on the camera is the brightest we’ve seen on a mobile phone yet. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy S4 S View Cover review

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The list of official Samsung Galaxy S4 accessories is impressive, but the one that got the most people interested, is the S View Cover.

Basically, the S View Cover is an upgraded version of the Flip Cover, which has a neat cut-out window that allows you to take a quick peek at your Galaxy S4 screen to see what’s new or to just check out the time. Sounds good on paper, but is it worth the $70 price tag? Follow us to find out. Read more »

How to take better shots with your Sony Xperia Z? Use Burst mode!

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Through the last couple of days we received numerous tips that Sony’s Xperia Z Burst Mode takes pictures with better quality than the ones snapped when using the default Normal or Superior Auto setups.

We decided to look into that and gave the Burst Mode a proper try. The results came out quite surprising (or not, if you have read those threads discussing the issue) – the Burst mode shots are quite different from those produced in Normal and Superior Auto mode. It’s obvious that the post processing applied to the different camera modes is quite different, but surprisingly, we like the Burst mode output better. Read more »

Check out the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 hands-on video while we cook up the review

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 leaked so many times prior to its announcement late last month, that it’s almost yesterday’s news.

Nevertheless, we’ve been busy putting it through our gauntlet of testing, and will give you a quick look at what’s in store for you from Samsung’s latest tablet offering.

The Note 8.0 is set to compete directly with Apple’s iPad mini, and is spec’d competitively enough to do just that. It offers a (you guessed it) 8-inch screen of 800 x 1280 pixels resolution, which results in 189 ppi. It has a quad-core 1.6GHz Exynos 4412 processor, 2 GB of RAM, and either 16 or 32 GB of internal storage. Read more »

Here goes the Samsung Galaxy S4 hands-on video

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We’ve been enjoying the company of the Samsung Galaxy S4 for a while now and we finally managed to convince it to pose for a quick video for our camera.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is a really impressive device that manages to top just about every smartphone in the world where it counts. Compared to the HTC One it features a larger 1080p Super AMOLED display, a higher-res 13 MP camera of great quality, expandable storage, bigger battery, a higher-clocked Snapdragon 600 CPU (or the Exynos 5 Octa with 4 Cortex-A15 cores inside) and manages to pull it off in an body that’s actually smaller. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy S4: shot from every angle by our camera

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The Samsung Galaxy S 4 curtains are now officially open and this means its time to see the company’s 2013 flagship from up close.

Naturally, our cameras are aimed directly at the Galaxy S 4 and all of its 5″ Super AMOLED HD glory. We urge you to go past the break and take a look at all our Galaxy S 4 live photos gathered in one place for your convenience. Read more »

The HTC One stretches out in the comfort of our test lab

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We’ve finally got the HTC One here at HQ. The preview is already up after our brief run-in with it on its unveiling in New York but we’re still eager to play with it and get down to ultrapixel level, if you know what I mean.

There’s much to like about the One. It’s HTC pulling all the stops and putting it all on the line against competition from Samsung, LG and Sony among others. Read more »

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm expansion out now

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The second installment in the StarCraft II saga is out today. The Heart of the Swarm expansion pack brings new units and a whole new campaign with 20 missions. The story this time focuses on the Zerg and Sarah Kerrigan, turned into human once again.

The game is out today on PC and Mac worldwide and you can get it pretty much everywhere – brick and mortar or online. A collector’s edition is also available, you can see it unboxed below. Read more »

LG Optimus G Pro flaunts its expansive screen and new features in our office

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The LG Optimus G Pro is the current king of phablets – other phablets couldn’t put up much of a fight against the 5.5” 1080p screen or the Snapdragon 600 chipset. The phablet market exploded after the first Galaxy Note came around and quickly went from niche to millions of units and LG has engineered the Optimus G Pro to be the best in that field.

The screen is pretty amazing – it has excellent viewing angles (better than the Optimus G screen) and great colors. Read more »

We put the LG Optimus G Pro display head-to-head with the Super AMOLED on the Galaxy S III

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Whilst here at LG’s booth on the MWC 2013 floor we had enough time to check out the LG Optimus G Pro from every angle.

So, the screen junkies that we are, we decided to get out the Galaxy S III and put its Super AMOLED 720p screen next to the True HD-IPS+ 1080p LCD of the G Pro. Read more »