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December 27, 2012

Review Gadget : Nokia Lumia 610 Review

DNP Nokia Lumia 610 review
Lumia, Lumia, Lumia. Who would have thought, way back at Nokia World 2011, that the name would come to ring as affectionately as it does today? The first three releases in the family, the 800, 710 and, most recently, the 900, all provided such a fluid, well-rounded experience that we found it easy to overlook certain weaknesses in their spec sheets. Low-res 480 x 800 displays and single-core processors were largely forgotten in the face of a fresh aesthetic and matching OS that stood out from the smartphone crowd.
Which brings us to Lumia number four: the 610. As a budget phone currently going for free on a £15-per-month contract in the UK, it's been built on Nokia's belief that Windows Phone will run on almost anything: the merest of Snapdragon S1 processors (clocked at just 800MHz) coupled with a few crumbs of RAM (256MB). Overall, those specs make previous Lumias -- with their S2 chips, 512MB and 1.4GHz clock speeds -- look almost futuristic. The question is, can WP really come this cheap and survive intact? Read on and you'll find out.

May 01, 2012

Review Gadget : Sony Xperia S review

Sony Xperia S review
Has spring 2012 brought a rebirth to the Xperia range, or just a rebranding? On the face of it, that's an easy one. The Sony Xperia s  is the first handset we've reviewed in the post-Ericsson era and you only have to glance at its spec sheet to see that more has changed than just the logo. The 4.3-inch LCD display outguns older Xperias with a bright and contrasty 1280 x 720 resolution. This feature alone helps the device to sit more snugly on the Sony family sofa, where it can share popcorn with the tablets, PCs and TVs that Kaz & Co. want to merge into a seamless media-munching ecosystem. The Xperia S' camera pushes in that same direction, shooting 12-megapixel stills and 1080p video and then streaming its creations to other displays over HDMI and DLNA. Rounding it off, you get quirky features like NFC and a distinctive, Bravia-like physical design. But not everything here is so fresh and spring-like: other aspects of the device are still tinged with winter, as you'll discover if you read on.

Review Gadget : Pantech Element Review

You've heard of singin' in the rain (and have likely seen the movie). You may have even attempted it once or twice, but tableting in the midst of a downpour? That doesn't exactly conjure the same whimsy and spontaneous dance numbers. Yet, Pantech's making such joyous, on-the-go content consumption possible with the aptly named Element. It's yet another addition to the growing stable of LTE devicespropping up AT&T's newly expanded 4G fort. Rather than run the risk of this being seen as another garden-variety Honeycomb tablet, though, Pantech's imbued this guy with waterproofing.

Of course, that's not all this skinned Android slate's bringing to the party. With a dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8060 CPU complemented by 1GB RAM, a 1024 x 768 TFT XGA display and a healthy 6,400mAh battery, this impermeable tab stands on equal spec footing with its post-PC peers. At $299 on two-year contract, it's certainly priced to sell, but should you dish out the dollars for a middle-ground tablet from the likes of a lesser-known manufacturer? Does a limited and possibly frivolous imperviousness to water warrant your attention? Should you stash that plastic until Pantech confirms an ETA for that Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade? Find all this out and more after the break, as we force this 8-incher to brave the elements.

April 24, 2012

Review Gadget : Pantech Burst review

Pantech Burst review
Consider the high-end smartphone. While you lust after those, Pantech is on the prowl, steadily adding to and improving upon its army of budget offerings in the US. It may not be as formidable a force as the Samsungs and Motorolas of the world, but the outfit is finally beginning to leave a mark. Once a complete unknown outside of Asia, the phone manufacturer is keeping itself incredibly busy on this side of the Pacific, cranking out low-cost devices for AT&T and Verizon. Now, Pantech's focus has turned to LTE, starting with the $50 Breakout on Big Red, followed by a smartphone and tablet option on Ma Bell.

The Pantech Burst is the inaugural entry-level LTE smartphone in AT&T's lineup, debuting at $50 with a two-year commitment. Don't let that bargain-basement price turn you off, though -- this thing's got plenty of mojo to back it up, which makes the Burst a stark contrast to its Verizon counterpart. But what can we expect from a budget-friendly handset? Is Pantech finally pushing out a device that will help it earn a new level of respect from American consumers? We're bursting at the seams to answer those questions and take the device for a spin after the break. (Yes, we just went there.)

Review Gadget : AT&T Galaxy Note review

It was once said that if a phone or tablet used a stylus its hardware designers had blown it. It was also said that if the software on that device contained a task manager that coders had similarly missed the mark. The Samsung Galaxy Note on AT&T contains what many would consider a stylus and, if you hold down the Home button, you're presented with what can only be described as a task manager.

So the Galaxy Note, Samsung's massive 5.3-inch "superphone," is critically flawed then, right? No. It is, in fact, one of the best phones to hit the market since another Samsung powerhouse -- the Galaxy Nexus. It's a device with a lot to love and is the kind of phone that would make almost every Android aficionado swoon. However, with its massive 5.3-inch display and generally understated styling, it isn't for everybody. We reviewed it before in European guise, but now read on to see if AT&T's $300 LTE version of this big brute is just right for you.

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