Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus Vs Snapdragon 855 vs Huawei HiSilicon Kirin 980 Comparison

Qualcomm has announced a refresh to their Snapdragon 855 SoC in the form of the Snapdragon 855+. It has been a while since Qualcomm launched a mid-life product refresh of a flagship system on a chip. The last instance was the Snapdragon 821, though last year there were some limited higher bin variants of the … Read more

8.1 Megapixel Casio Exilim Keitai W63CA Clamshell Phone

With more and more phones concentrating on the camera aspect of the phone it may come as no surprise that Casio has decided to get involved in all this cam-phone malarkey. Casio will be releasing in Japan a new EXILIM powered mobile phone featuring an 8.1 camera with a 9 Point auto-focus and a wide … Read more

LG announce the new Black Label phone – The LG Secret (LG-KF750)

lg_secret As previously mentioned today saw the announcement of the new Black Series LG Phone – the LG Secret. I made the rather crap guess the name would be LG Black. Never mind.

The phone is quite high end being just 11.8mm thick while managing to pack in a 5mp 120fps QVGA video camera and DivX-certified recording and playback.

The phone itself is made from High-grade carbon fibre and tempered glass materials. Swish.

The screen is fully touch screen and has an accelerometer motion sensor, and auto luminance control.

The phone comes packaged with Mp3 player, fm radio, a reader for Word, Excel and Powerpoint and is loaded with a specialised Google Package that with a dedicated interface for Google services such as GMail, Google Maps, YouTube and Blogger.

Overall this sounds like one feature packed device especially considering its physical proportions of 102.8 x 50.8 x 11.8mm. The few images we have seen also make it sound like a very good looking phone, and the combination of carbon fibre and tempered glass probably means it will look even better in person.

Edit: LG Secret Video added from You Tube

More information from the press release after the jump.

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New LG Black Label Series phone gets named and previewed this Thursday.

lg-blacklabel-2 This Thursday(24th April) will see the launch of the new LG phone that is yet to be named. Part of the Black Label series pf phone that we have been seeing recently this phone will be the successor of the LG Chocolate and LG Shine, so maybe it will be called the LG Black. The phone will be one of the slimmest 5mp camera phones available and has been made from Carbon Fibre and tempered glass.

LG have been busy releasing a lot of phones recently including the very popular KU990 (Viewty), the new multimedia based phone KF700, and the Mid range phone the KF600 which we have a review of to post later on today.

A couple more pictures of the new LG phone follow. Sorry for the black background on the pictures I did not have time to edit them in Photoshop.

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LG Viewty KU990 Phone Review

lg-viewty-ku990-289-75 Recently I was asked to review the LG Viewty KU990 which I happily accepted. Over the past few days I have been using it as my main phone in order to find all the good and bad features about it as possible. I had previously used the phone for a few minutes and was quite impressed with it so I was looking forward to trying it out.

Initial thoughts

First of all I have heard a lot of people moan about the phones name. I don’t really see what is wrong with it, ok it probably isn’t the greatest name in the world but lets compare it to the other phone I use, the MDA Vario II (TyTn, SPV M3100 etc etc), that is defiantly no better plus it have about 4 other pseudonyms. Nokia has N95, E65, N73, 7373, Nokia 8800 Sirocco Edition, etc while they may be useful names for people in the know, if I told my girlfriend I just got a new N810 she would look at me blankly and tell me to shut up. I’m no marketing expert but I assume LG want people to easily remember and identify the phone, and Viewty is a lot easier to remember than KU990.

When the phone arrived I was surprised how small the packaging was, it is supplied in a nice matt black box with all the accessories compartmentalised into smaller black boxes. The phone itself is very good looking with an all black body and silver edges. It is clear that LG are marketing this phone towards the style conscious, and I would go go so far to say it is one of the better looking phones in the market today.

5897-KU9902

The Viewty is rather large at 103.5mm tall, 54mm wide and 14.8mm thick but it is actually lighter than the smaller proportioned LG Shine at 112g and 119g respectively. However it is large for a reason, the phone comes with a 3.0 inch touch screen which occupies the majority of the front of the phone. It manages to display 262 thousand colours at 240 x 400 pixels. The large screen is obviously one of the main selling points of the phone with the majority the functions accessible via the touch screen interface.

On using the touch screen you will notice the phone provides vibration feedback, or haptic feedback as it is more formally known. Haptic technology refers to technology that provides feedback using the sense of touch. While it seems insignificant I really like haptic feedback, it basically replicates the push button feedback you receive from physical buttons and in doing so it improves the usability of the device.

The other feature that is noticeable when using the Viewty is that sweeping the finger across the screen is heavily used for navigation around the phone. Basically you use your finger to sweep through lists like text messages or emails. It took a little getting used to but it is quite intuitive so you should be sweeping through your emails in no time.

200x150_1 On the back side of the phone you have an impressive 5-megapixel camera, though this is not protected by a lens cover. The camera uses a xenon flash which should help provide decent photos in the darkest situations. There is also a weird little rocker on the side of the lens. At first I thought it was just for zoom, but after reading another review I found that it is used for in-call volume, and scrolling through menus as well.

On the right hand side of the phone there is a dedicated unlock key, which also acts as one of the camera keys. There is also the main camera key and a switch to switch between the various camera modes.

Performance

Call Quality.

While I found the call quality fine on my end there did seem to be some distortion and muffling on the other end, I tested the phone with an LG shine and a MDA Vario II. I personally didn’t think it was bad enough to hold against the phone but my girlfriend did complain a little. The loudspeaker is excellent, you can clearly hear people and I would say the loudspeaker quality was better than average. I did not try the video calling, I still find video calling rather gimmicky and to be honest I am not that interested in seeing the callers face as I speak to them.

Messaging / Interface

lg-ku990 I have a tendency to text more than I phone, so I was expecting this area to be the biggest let down of the phone. There are 3 main interface options when texting. There is the usual T9 keypad, handwriting recognition and an onscreen keyboard.

As with most phones I have tried with handwriting recognition it is pretty poor. Most likely due to the fact my writing is appalling but it was basically unusable for myself, it would recognise the odd word but the majority would be completely wrong.

While I expected the onscreen keyboard to be too small to use I was quite impressed, it recognised the majority of keys I pressed and I was able to text reasonably fast on it. Unfortunately after a while I did find that I was hitting the wrong key a little too often for my liking and I resorted to the T9.

The T9 text input was perfectly fine, with the haptic feedback it was just as easy as typing on a real phone pad.

Camera

The camera on the phone was good, the pictures were clear and a xenon flash is infinitely better than an LED flash. The only minor problem I had was the response time between pressing the button to take the picture and the phone actually taking the picture was not as fast as I would like. The camera should provide a more than adequate substitute to a dedicated camera if needed.

The phone also has the ability to record video up to 120fps. 120fps is defiantly a bit of a gimmick but it is quite fun to record things in slow motion.

Email – Web

viewty I normally use exchange for my email but was forced into setting up Pop3 for email on the phone. If you have a ISP provided email address than you need to make sure you have a proper SMTP server to be able to send emails. I was impressed with the email though; it was quite fast thanks to the HSDPA (3.5G) and was easy to read through thanks to the scrolling system.

Web browsing was also good thanks to the HSDPA and the nice large screen. The browser was superb; you view full size WebPages and sweep around using your finger.

There is no Wi-Fi on the phone, though this is not a huge issue for me as I rarely use it. I am on Web and Walk so I always connect via HSDPA.

I also found the modem function to be excellent. Once you install the LG software you need to select which service provider you use and click connect. That’s about all you have to do. In comparison I found connecting with my MDA Vario much more of a chore.

Music

The phone only comes with 90Mb of internal memory but it is upgradable via MicroSD. To listen to the music you must use the earphone adapter provided with the phone, this adapter also acts as the hands free microphone and radio aerial.

The music player was easy to use and the sound quality of the provided earphones was adequate. I did not have any higher quality earphones to hand as my V-Modas broke so I am unable to give a more accurate opinion on the sound quality provided from the phone.

I did not test the radio extensively but I managed to pick up radio 1 with little effort and it was quite clear.

I did find on 2 occasions the music randomly stopped playing, and the phone informed me that the files were corrupt. To amend this I had to remove the MicroSD card and insert it again which is quite frustrating as it required me to remove the back plate and battery first.

I would also have liked the phone to come with a proper 3.5mm headset socket built into it to negate the need of the hand free adaptor. Unfortunately this is a common problem with many phones.

Battery

LG quotes talk time battery life at 355 minutes using GSM only and 233 minutes using 3G only, and standby time at 434 hours using GSM and 454 hours using 3G. I didn’t really pay that much attention to it but I have charged it twice in about 4 days and I have used it quite a bit. Heavy browsing or music use will obviously require more battery charged.

Other points.

The phone managed to synch with my outlook very easily which is handy as I use exchange to manage most of my life.

The stylus is stupid, it looks like mascara. If LG want to include a stylus why didn’t they let it slide inside the phone?

The touch screen does get a bit mucky, but at the end of the day it is a touch screen what else do you expect.

Good Points Bad Points
Great looking phone Touch Screen get mucky
Best touch screen I have used No Camera Lens
Good camera / Flash No Wi Fi
HSDPA / Good Browser and Email Stupid looking stylus

Conclusion

I am a geek so I typically chose function over form and go for Symbian/WM based phones. However this phone has impressed me, it does all the functions I require out of a phone and it does them well. It is also a very good looking phone so will keep even the most style conscious person happy.

The camera is not as great as a standalone camera but it is very good for a phone camera and should satisfy most people.

While the phone is probably not the best phone in the world for my requirements it is good enough for me to retire my MDA Vario II and use the Viewty as my full time phone until I find an adequate replacement.

Phone Specification from LG after the jump.

The LG Viewty is available from Vodafone on pay monthly plans from £20

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HTC’s Touch Cruise with GPS Announced

The 3rd Addition to the Touch lineup from HTC is the Touch Cruise. Shockingly the Touch means the device will incorporate the TouchFLO interface, and the Cruise indicates it is GPS enabled. This phone will include HSDPA, WiFi, Bluetooth, a 3 megapixel camera, microSD expansion, and a 2.8-inch touch-screen lying on top of a Windows … Read more

Early look at Google’s Android.

android-phone-history

So the first images and videos of the Software Development Kit(SDK) for Googles new Android OS have been released.

From the looks of it is appears quite impressive so far. Especially if you consider it was only announced a few days ago.

After the jump we have some Images and Videos, though you should note these are all on a hardware reference model so you wont be buying an Android based phone anytime soon.

Some of the our of box support includes:

  • Touchscreen
  • 3G
  • Webkit-based browser
  • Threaded text messaging
  • MPEG-4, h.264, MP3, and AAC file formats
  • Accelerated 3D graphics

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No Google Phone: Instead Google announce Open Handset Alliance.

google-phone-conceptOk so it does not look like Google are going to directly compete with Apple's iPhone but they are collaborating with 34 Phone related companies to produce an open source operating system for mobiles. The collaboration is called the Open Handset Alliance and they will be developing Android™ a complete mobile phone software stack.

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T-Mobile UK Make browsing even cheaper

Following on from o2's recently announced "unlimited" plans (which confused us so much we didn't run the story), T-Mobile have reduced the price of their already excellent Web'n'Walk plans. The Web’n’walk Plus package (3GB monthly allowance) has been reduced from £29 to £20 a month, whilst the Web’n’walk Max (10Gb allowance and VoIP ability) from £44 to only £35 a month. Sure, it's only available to those on 24 month contracts but, let's be honest, T-Mobile are royally whooping almost every other network on data allowance and value-for-money right now.

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Samsung G800 with 5-Mpx camera officially unveiled

Today Samsung Electronics has unveiled a 5-megapixel handset G800. In addition to 5-megapixel camera with 3x optical zoom and xenon flash it features 3G support and HSDPA technology. The camera functions include face recognition, panoramic and macro modes, new graphical user’s interface draws the G800 closer to digital still cameras. Samsung G800 is expected to hit the stores (starting from Europe) in November 2007. Pictures follow.

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