The BlackBerry Porsche Design P’9981 is a high-end smartphone, the product of collaborative effort between Research In Motion and Porsche. In the UK, an exclusive version available at the world-renowned
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 belongs to the second generation of the Samsung Galaxy Tab series, and brings together all of Samsung’s knowledge on incorporating everything you could possibly want
With the release of HTC’s newest creation, the HTC One V, on the horizon, it is worth looking back at its popular predecessor, the HTC Desire S. A stylish, slim
With the release of HTC’s newest creation, the HTC One V, on the horizon, it is worth looking back at its popular predecessor, the HTC Desire S. A stylish, slim and sophisticated phone, the HTC Desire S is still a prominent competitor in the ever-changing market of smartphones.
The phone is comprised of a large screen framed by touch sensitive buttons for navigation to the homepage, a back button and a search button that can be used on almost all of the applications. Above the screen is a speaker for phone calls and a notification light, which alerts you to any messages or emails etc. The back is cased in black matte plastic, which gives the phone an air of quality, compared to the cheap look shiny plastic can give a phone. The whole phone feels small and smooth in your hands, and is a practical size.
When you first acquire the phone, it may be difficult at first to get used to the set up, especially if you are converting from a very different model. There are a few different setting to go through when it is first turned on, such as transferring contacts from your old phone and syncing your email with the phone, but once that is all done you can get straight onto using and personalising the phone to your taste. The design leaves a lot of room for alteration, from the background to the style of the clock on your homepage (if you want a clock on your homepage), to the arrangement of your apps.
With it’s 3.7 inch touch screen, the HTC Desire S runs a wide range of apps brilliantly, giving a clear and coherent picture whatever you are looking at, whether you are simply browsing the internet, playing one of the many games available on the android market or taking a photo. The 5-mega-pixel camera, with auto focus and a LED flash provides great quality photos and the 720p HD video recorder gives just as good results. There are many apps available for use on this phone, many of which can be downloaded for free. You are able to download games, books, movies and apps to do anything from shopping, editing your photos to checking the news. Browsing the Internet is great to do with this phone, with pages loading fast. The Desire S is quoted as being able to reach peak download speeds of up to 14.4 Mbps, and this value is surpassed if you are connected to Wi-Fi. Zooming in and out is easy to do and your most visited websites and history are recorded on the phone, giving you easy access to them. There is also the option to turn your phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot if you wish to do so, which means other devices, such as your laptop can use your phones 3G connection.
Like all smartphones, the battery of the HTC Desire S does not last long and really, with regular use, needs to be charged every day. Of course, this is to be expected when the phone is powering a large, bright screen, and the battery life has definitely been improved upon since the original HTC Desire with the installation of a 1450 mAh battery. Also, there are steps you can take to preserve the battery, such as turning off Wi-Fi connectivity and data roaming, stopping apps updating in the background and even reducing the screens brightness if you want to.
First launched in March of 2011, this phone may now be behind the times slightly, making it a less obvious choice if you are upgrading your mobile, but so far it has stood the test of time and has the advantage of being cheaper than the more recent models. It shows that HTC can consistently produce great phones, and suggests their latest release will continue to improve upon previous models and set the bar for quality android phones.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 belongs to the second generation of the Samsung Galaxy Tab series, and brings together all of Samsung’s knowledge on incorporating everything you could possibly want into a slim and compact device. In fact, the only real disadvantage is the exorbitant price.
The first thing you notice is that the Galaxy Tab 7.7 is incredibly slim at 7.9mm, much thinner than its competitors. Next us the 7.7-inch Super AMOLED Plus touchscreen, which offers 196 pixels per inch and delivers vibrant and high resolution images, whatever programme you are running.
Although it does not offer the same pixel density as the iPad’s retina display, it is bright, colourful, and responsive to the users touch, and overall, it is an impressive screen. It presents the deepest black and most vivid colours of any Samsung tablet screens so far; the screen quality is only rivalled by the Galaxy S 2 and Galaxy Note smartphones, which use the same AMOLED technology.
The high level brightness means that is fares better than other devices in bright sunlight, although the problem is not completely resolved .It provides a really superb experience of all activities, and the size of the screen means that Internet pages can often be viewed without zooming in, although zooming in and out is a fluid and easy action to complete.
The slim body has probably led to the camera being only 3.15 mega pixel, which is quite low quality. This has helped to save space on the body of the tablet, and still manages to give clear pictures, although the same cannot be said for the camera on the front, which tends to give quite a grainy picture when video calling etc.
This tablet is only running Android 3.2, not the latest Android platform, Ice Cream Sandwich, which is likely to put it at a disadvantage when compared to other tablets being released. Despite this, it still allows you access to features such as tabbed web browsing and apps from Google Play, and Samsung has given the Honeycomb interface a makeover, installing tiled icons and widgets. It is overlaid with TouchWiz user interface with custom apps like Media Hub, Social Hub and Samsung’s Android app store.
There is also a permanent app dock that can be accessed from any screen without returning to the homepage, and a floating note app that lets you take notes in the middle of anything. Both of these features make navigation quick and easy.
Samsung have included a 1.4GHz processor in the tablet, meaning that, even with lots of apps running at the same time, you can complete them all at a fast rate. There is also no slowdown on graphically demanding games and all apps launch rapidly. The touchscreen is very sensitive and responsive, which makes using the Galaxy Tab 7.7 a smooth and enjoyable experience.
Samsung claims that the 5100 mAh battery gives 12.5 hours of use, and so far it seems this is not an overestimation. Samsung have made quite a substantial improvement on battery compared to other tablet makers, and used moderately, it can last up to two days. When the tablet is likely to be running videos and games etc. this is quite an impressive feat.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 is small, lightweight, looks and feels well designed and has a good battery life. It is well worth considering this Tablet, if you can afford it, as it comes in at a hefty $700.
• 7.7-inch touchscreen with 196 ppi
• 3.15 mega-pixel camera
• 5100 mAh battery
• GPS, Bluetooth and 1GB memory
• Android 3.2 (Honeycomb OS) and Samsungs TouchWiz
Regretably the Galaxy 7.7 has been banned in some countries thanks to legal action by apple.
The BlackBerry Porsche Design P’9981 is a high-end smartphone, the product of collaborative effort between Research In Motion and Porsche. In the UK, an exclusive version available at the world-renowned Harrods department store in London. The UK launch price is £1,275, and in the US it is $2000. So, what is it that makes this phone so expensive, and is it worth the extortionate price tag?
• 115 x 67 x 11.3 mm
• 155 g
• QWERTY Keyboard
• 8 GB internal storage, 768 MB RAM
• 1230 mAh, providing 5 h 30 min of talk time
• 1.2 GHz
• 5 MP camera with autofocus, LED flash, geo-tagging, face detection and image stabilization
• 720p video
• BlackBerry OS 7.0
• 2.8 inch touchscreen with 286 pixels per inch
• HSDPA 14.4Mbps, HSUPA 5.76Mbp
It seems that with this phone, you are, in a sense, paying for the price tag; the software and hardware included are pretty much identical to that of the BlackBerry Bold 9900. Really, it is your own knowledge and others recognition that your mobile is so expensive that constitutes the appeal of this BlackBerry Porsche device. Other models sharing this market include the Nokia Oro, Tag Hauer Link Phone and the Motorola Aura, and the thing they all have in common is that they are designed to be a limited edition, flashy phone, something to show off and be proud of owning.
Keeping to the distinctive BlackBerry design of a relatively small touchscreen and a QWERTY keyboard, the Porsche Design P’9981 is made from matte aluminium, with a polished edge. The body is mainly comprised of sharp edges and straight lines so it cuts a striking figure and has a distinctive silhouette.
The exclusive version available in Harrods is made from titanium and carbon fibre, the first of its kind. This gives it a more shiny appearance than the standard version of phone, although the aluminium casing is also pretty stunning. Despite the materials used to make the phone, the manufacturers have still managed to keep it reasonably light at 155g, with dimensions of 115x67x11.3mm.
It’s not the slimmest or the smallest model out there but that is not the main selling point of this phone, and it is not a ‘brick’ phone in any case. The base of the keyboard on this model is made from plastic and is backlit, with each individual key made from metal and the navigation buttons made from glass. It can be quite difficult to use the keyboard at times, as the buttons are quite stiff and don’t really spring back into place as you may expect.
After a while you do get use to using it and will find you make less mistakes when typing. The phone also comes with a removable leather back panel surrounding the camera, offering protection and a good surface to grip the phone with. As you would expect given the origins of this phone, it is very attractive and luxurious, and looks good from all angles. Also, luckily given the price, it feels well constructed and solid, and although it is unlikely to ever be exposed to harsh treatment, it feels as though it would be able to withstand some.
The screen is a 2.8in LCD panel with a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels. This is quite a high pixel density and means that, despite a smallish screen, the display is still great, clear and as sharp as you would want it to be with good viewing angles. It shows colours and blacks well, with good contrast and vibrancy. Again, the phone isn’t being marketed on its amazing screen, so don’t expect the quality of the display to be up there with Apple and Samsung models; it is good, but not that good.
The software is the standard to be expected from Research In Motion, with the Porsche Design P’9981 running the BlackBerry 7.0 Platform. It has been well documented that, compared to the other Platforms out there, BlackBerry’s falls down in many aspects. It is only a minor update from the previous and will feel familiar to people who have had a Blackberry before, and it utilises a productive interface, but for some it will seem confusing. It is quite a limited platform and cannot stand against competition in terms of the apps it offers. The Porsche Design team have improved the UI with custom fonts, icons, wallpapers and ringtones, so this does offer an improvement on the BlackBerry Bold 9900 in some ways, although this influence doesn’t run deep or change any of the important infrastructure of the phone.
Powering the phone is a 1.2 GHz processor with 768 MB of RAM, which is enough to ensure the phone will operate smoothly in all situations. It is powerful and deals with tasks quickly and efficiently, including graphically demanding apps and running multiple programmes at once. The storage is enough to allow you to take photos and download music and apps etc. comfortably.
The results achieved from the 5-mega-pixel camera are very similar to the ones that can be achieved from the Bold 9900’s camera. Despite all the extra functions boasted by some smartphone cameras, BlackBerry’s are generally pretty standard and the photos are nothing extraordinary. The camera does not fare well when taking close up shots, as it is unable to use macro and it doesn’t have autofocus. You are also unable to adjust the saturation, exposure or ISO. Any photos you take will be pretty average. It becomes increasingly clear as you use the phone that the concentration when designing the phone has been on style over substance. On the other hand, it is capable of shooting 720p video, a good quality that should please most.
One advantage of the Porsche Design P’9981 being so similar to the Bold 9900 is that it keeps all the good points from that phone, such as great reception and wonderful call quality. There has been some worry about interference from the metal body, but the bottom has been made plastic to allow the antenna to work. The software and hardware are just as good as the original, so there is no reason for complaints here, although people did expect more of an update and a more significant improvement.
Initial sales of the BlackBerry Porsche Design P’9981 started out rapidly, but with the launch of new, much more affordable quad-core and dual-core Android devices such as the HTC One X and HTC One S, sales have not been stable for RIM since the beginning of the New Year. It really cannot rival models like this in terms of specs, but if you have the money to blow and like a stylish phone, this phone was made with you in mind.
The following video from crackberry.com offers a good overview of this phone: