HTC One Mini release rumoured for July

The HTC One has been a big hit for the Taiwanese manufacturer, selling over five million units since launch and finally putting it back on the path to success after a long period of uncertainty. It is unsurprising, then, that news of an HTC One Mini release has emerged in recent weeks. HTC is looking [...]

HTC One Mini release rumoured for July

Apple iPhone 5S price & release date

As the year draws on there is an inevitably significant amount of debate and discussion surrounding the arrival of Apple’s next flagship handset. From the iPhone 5S price to the release date and the specs, so much speculation and conjecture is circulating that finding reliable facts can be difficult. So will what the new iPhone [...]

Apple iPhone 5S price & release date

Having fun on the Galaxy S4 mini features

Samsung recently pulled back the curtains on the Galaxy S4 Mini, jumping the gun slightly and deciding to debut it earlier than its original launch date. The S4 Mini features many of the same high-end capabilities as its costlier rivals, which means it is a great smartphone for everyday productivity and entertaining fun. To help [...]

Having fun on the Galaxy S4 mini features

BlackBerry London smartphone nearing official announcement

BlackBerry London smartphone
The BlackBerry London smartphone might be one of the worst-kept secrets in the mobile industry at the moment. It has been cropping up in spy shots and leaks of all kinds for many months, with developers already having been given prototypes to play with earlier in the year.

Also known as the L-Series, the BlackBerry London smartphone is set to be announced at the end of January 2013, assuming no more delays are imposed on it by manufacturer RIM. It will be running the BB10 operating system, which is arguably the feature that is setting more tongues wagging than the actual hardware of the device.

 

Hardware

The BlackBerry London smartphone will reportedly feature a touchscreen display measuring around the four-inch mark, with no physical QWERTY keypad in sight. This means most interactions will be handled via the screen, which might be a bit of a change for people familiar with older BlackBerry devices like the Bold and Curve.

While RIM is keeping quiet about the final specifications of the London, it is safe to assume that it will have a multi-core processor on board along with at least 1GB of RAM and plenty of internal storage space.

Connectivity will come in the form of 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and of course NFC. UK users will be hoping to see 4G LTE compatibility, although at the moment this could be little more than wishful thinking.

 

BB10 Software

There are a number of key BB10 features to talk about and indeed RIM has been keen to reveal plenty of details about its upcoming operating system ahead of the London’s official arrival.

First, the interface has been overhauled to cope with the new touchscreen display. The lock screen is now just as functional as those you will find on high-end Android phones, which means you get to see notifications here as well as being able to launch the camera app direct.

The home screen is made up of multiple active frames, which are similar to widgets in that they provide you with real-time information updates from a variety of apps without requiring that you launch individual programs to gain this type of access.

A total of eight active frames can be used, also acting as a type of multitasking. Meanwhile, apps and other short cuts can be found by swiping to the left and right, with up to 16 icons fitting on a single page.

BB10 features an interface that will feel intuitive if you are familiar with other touchscreen smartphones, but adds its own twists on an established formula to good effect.

Although RIM has evolved BB10 to fit in with its modern competitors, it is also keen to keep loyal fans happy with excellent messaging features. The BlackBerry hub on the London will act as the multifunctional home for all of your social networking, e-mail and instant messaging interactions, combining accounts into one place.

This is something you can achieve on other smartphones, but few companies have attempted to integrate it so thoroughly with the operating system.

 

Will the BlackBerry London smartphone succeed?

It will be interesting to see how the BlackBerry London smartphone performs when it is released in early 2013. It will be landing alongside another BB10 handset that is equipped with a QWERTY keypad like past generations of the BlackBerry range, so fans will be forced to choose which path they wish to take.

For the latest BlackBerry deals visit mobiles.co.uk

BlackBerry London smartphone nearing official announcement

What was the best smartphone of 2012?

As the year draws to a close, now is the perfect time to reflect on the smartphones that have succeeded in wowing consumers over the past 12 months. Here are the top 10 releases from this year, each of which offers something special. There can be only one chart topper, but which is the best smartphone of 2012?

 

10th –  Sony Xperia U

Budget smartphones used to be cheap and nasty, but the Xperia U proved that you can get decent performance and solid design without having to raid your savings account. With a 1GHz dual-core processor and a 3.5-inch screen, the Xperia U is powerful enough to run Android 4.0 while still being suitably priced to appeal to pay-as-you-go customers. With removable base caps and a transparent LED strip, Sony’s best budget smartphone of 2012 lights up to match the most dominant colour on the screen.

Sony Xperia U - best budget smartphone 2012

9th – Orange San Diego

2012 has been a good year for budget smartphones, since the Orange San Diego introduced consumers to the idea that an Intel-powered device could be a good alternative to ARM-based competitors.

A 1.6-GHz single-core chip, high-resolution 4-inch display and impressive 1GB allocation of RAM help to elevate the San Diego above many other budget-price smartphones. Meanwhile, an 8-megapixel camera with full HD 1080p video capture makes it the equal of many more expensive devices.

 

8th – Motorola RAZR i

More Intel processor goodness is found in the Motorola RAZR i, which also has the distinction of featuring a beautiful edge-to-edge touchscreen display and a big enough battery to help it outlast other devices. This phone is effectively the equal of the Orange San Diego, but with a 4.3-inch display it manages to outdo it in one key area.

Best smartphones of 2012 - RAZR i

 

7th – Sony Xperia T

Sony’s flagship Xperia devices have always been very attractive and this is certainly true of the Xperia T.

This model also happens to be suitably powerful thanks to its 1.5-GHz dual-core processor. It packs a 4.55-inch display with a HD resolution of 1280×720, so it is just as capable as some of the phones higher up the rankings.

In addition, its 13-megapixel camera is the best around at the moment, combining a high resolution with plenty of great software features. The only thing holding it back is its lack of a quad-core processor.

Get the Sony Xperia T from Mobiles.co.uk
 

6th – Google Nexus 4

Consumers would be lucky to actually get hold of a Nexus 4 because Google’s aggressive pricing strategy for its new flagship phone has led to product shortages.

On the plus side, if you do get one you can enjoy a quad-core powerhouse contained in a slender chassis, with manufacturer LG really outdoing itself in terms of overall quality. In addition, you get unfettered access to Android with no manufacturer gewgaws included.

 

5th – Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Samsung only decided to categorise the Galaxy Note range as a smartphone this year, which has helped it to earn a place on this list.

No other phone can match its 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display for size, while the inclusion of the S-Pen stylus is another unique touch that helps to differentiate it from rivals. Because it is so large and expensive it will not be ideal for everyone, but tech-heads will really love what it offers.

 

Best smartphone of 2012. Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

 

4th – Apple iPhone 5

Apple’s sixth iPhone introduces a larger 5-inch display that retains the pixel density of its predecessors.

The result is a widescreen experience with more icons on the home-screen and better media playback. An updated processor and tweaked software, combined with one of the slimmest shells ever seen, allow the iPhone 5 to remain a dominant force.

 

3rd – Nokia Lumia 920 / 820

Rocking the latest Windows Phone 8 OS, the latest Lumia 820 and 920 double team, offer something a little different. The bright colours from their durable polycarbonate shells are durable and provide a break from the bland, black-and-chrome norm.

With wireless charging, NFC, and the ability to use your phone when wearing gloves, both of these Lumia’s are welcome additions to take on the might of Apple and Android.

The latest Nokia Lumia 820 deals 

2nd – HTC One X

HTC came very close to taking the top spot because the One X is worthy of being crowned as the best smartphone of 2012. It is only the presence of the slightly superior Galaxy S3 that is holding it back.

You get a quad-core CPU, large 4.7-inch HD screen and a beautifully sleek handset wrapping all of this up in a neat package.

 

1st – Samsung Galaxy S3

Best smartphone of 2012Which is the best smartphone of 2012? There could be no other answer than the Samsung Galaxy S3. Its 4.8-inch 720p Super AMOLED display, quad-core processor and thin, light design are all very appealing on paper, but the excellent levels of functionality and sheer smoothness of the user experience help it rise above its peers.

So there’s a round-up of our favourites. What do you think? Did your handset make our best smartphone of 2012 list? All the latest products available from mobiles.co.uk.

What was the best smartphone of 2012?

Prevent phone water damage – How to dry an Apple iPhone 5

wet Apple iPhone

Our latest blog was written by Amelia Hunter of teqno-logical.com

Some smartphones like Motorola’s Defy and Defy+ or Sony’s super-resistant Xperia Go are not afraid of water. Those good old Nokia phones are also not afraid of anything in the world, even time. But if you’re a lucky owner of an Apple iPhone, you already know that water isn’t its the best friend, and letting it get wet isn’t the smartest thing you can do.

However, sometimes incidents happen, and not really waterproof devices that don’t have any protective cases, too, fall into water or down the toilet.

So what should you do if you’re a victim of phone water damage? Actually, there is no guaranteed way to make it work after it has taken a shower, but you shouldn’t give up anyway – if you follow the steps below and do everything quickly, the chances are high that you’ll be able to revive it.

  1. Take the iPhone out as soon as possible – don’t let it spend too much time in water.
  2. DO NOT try to switch it on, no matter what. It will only make the things worse. Also, DO NOT try to plug it into a charger for the same reason – even if it was possible to save it, after its contact with electricity you can just throw it away and buy a new one.
  3. Take out the SIM card, but be very careful not to shake the iPhone too much, or the displaced water can harm the phone even more. Try to wipe the SIM card with a towel.
  4. Some people advise using vacuum cleaners to draw the residual moisture, but even if it works with devices that have removable batteries, it won’t work with the iPhone, unfortunately. So don’t waste your time on it. Neither should you use a hair drier – it’s completely senseless.
  5. When the SIM card is removed, put your iPhone in a huge bag of silica gel if you have one (which is not likely…) for at least two or three days – silica gel absorbs moisture better than anything else.
  6. If you don’t have any silica gel at hand, you can try using uncooked rise instead – it can also draw out the moisture. Just fill a big bowl with rice and bury your phone in it, again for two-three days.
  7. After those two to three days, when your phone is most likely completely dry, you can put the SIM card back and try to turn it on. If you’re lucky enough, your iPhone will be working again. If no… well, at least you’ll know you did everything you could.
  8. One more thing:it is usually useless to take a drowned iPhone to the shop you bought it from, since the technicians there will know it was soaked (there are special “Liquid Submersion indicators” on the iPhone – they turn pink when water touches them), and it’s a non-warranty case. However, you can still need the help of the guys from the service center to do a factory reset to make the phone work better.For the latest Apple iPhone 5 deals and, visit the Mobiles.co.uk Apple shop

Prevent phone water damage – How to dry an Apple iPhone 5

Apple iPhone 4S 16Gb – Unlimited Calls, Unlimited Texts, 1Gb Data – £26pm @ mobiles.co.uk

Whilst I know the iPhone 5 has been released, unlimited calls and texts with 1Gb of data for £26 per month (24 month contract) sounds pretty good with any phone, and even better with a (superseded) iPhone.

Apple iPhone 4S 16Gb – Unlimited Calls, Unlimited Texts, 1Gb Data – £26pm @ mobiles.co.uk

LG Nexus 4 with Android 4.2 features

LG Nexus 4 - Android 4.2 features

The LG Nexus 4 was announced on October 29, created to come and update Google’s famous Nexus line. The previous Nexus phone, which was made by Samsung, wasn’t the coolest device on the market in terms of hardware, though it came with the latest version of Google’s Android OS. Now the Nexus 4 manufactured by LG is running the new Android 4.2 OS, which offers a lot of amazing improvements. But what else can this phone boast of? And is it really worth buying? We’ll try to find it out now.

 

LG Nexus 4 hardware

LG has tried to arm it new Nexus 4 with the best features of the famous Optimus line, yet keeping its price as low as possible. That’s how we got a huge 4.7-inch device offering a resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels (320ppi pixel density – not bad, hm?), protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 2 and weighing only 139 grams (4.90 oz).
Inside the phone you will find a quad-core processor clocked at 1.5 GHz, together with 2GB of RAM, similar to the LG Optimus G. Well, you can call it a powerful CPU of course – they say it’s almost as good as that of the Samsung Galaxy S3. We are not sure the 2100mAh battery is enough to power these energy-consuming processor and touchscreen, but it’s still said to provide at least 15.3 hours of talk time, which is not bad, of course, if it’s true. The cameras are usual 8MP and 1.3MP ones – almost all modern smartphones have such cameras now.

Another advantage of the Nexus 4 is the wireless charging technology: the phone uses the Qi wireless standard, so finding a charger for it won’t be a big problem, but Google has still announced the Wireless Charging Orb – a really cool and stylish accessory that is expected to be fully compatible with the Nexus 4.

All of the specs mentioned above seem to be rather attractive, but the LG Nexus 4 has two big shortcomings, too. First, it comes in two versions only featuring 8 and 16GB of internal memory and NO support for microSD cards, so you can forget about storing huge amounts of data on your phone. For many users it’s a very big problem. Second, LG and Google haven’t added LTE support to the phone: they said LTE wasn’t quite “consumer-ready,” whatever it means; but perhaps they did it just to cut down the price of the Nexus 4. This will be a problem for those who’re used to LTE, but people from areas with no LTE coverage won’t care at all.

 

Android 4.2 and its new features

Most versions of Google’s Android OS have special “sweet” codenames coming in alphabetical order: Cupcake, Donut, Éclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, and Jelly Bean. Developing the Jelly Bean experience with further smoothening to the UI, Android 4.2 has a lot to offer.

First of all, it now supports multiple user accounts (though it’s available in tablets only – yet), each coming with its own homescreen, apps and widgets. Gesture typing, which has long been available thanks to the popular Swype app, is now built in the system, available for both smartphones and tablets. It’s also possible to place widgets on the lock screen and access quick settings (including display brightness, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and battery life) even faster than before – via the notifications area. Google Now has become smarter, too.

If you love taking photos, you’ll probably like the new camera mode in Android 4.2 called Photo Sphere. It’s a good improvement to the usual panorama mode, allowing tilting the phone not only left and right, but up and down, too, so you can get even bigger and cooler panoramic images.

So many features that were earlier made available via different apps are now implemented in the OS itself, so you won’t have to use any third-party apps any longer, which is of course very nice. Plus, Android 4.2 is promised to perform better and lack the lags of the previous versions, which also sounds very attractive.

 

LG Nexus 4 price and availability

The LG Nexus 4 is expected to be launched on November 13 in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, US, Canada and Australia, while other countries will get it a bit later, by the end of November. The 8GB model will be sold for £239 at the Google Play Store.

 

So is the LG Nexus 4 worth buying?

Well, what do we have here? The LG Nexus 4 is quite an attractive smartphone with good hardware and software. It does have a couple of shortcomings, of course, like the lack of LTE and microSD card slot, but the low price fully compensates for this.

If you like to store much info in your phone and use the super-fast LTE networks, perhaps the LG Nexus 4 is not for you. For all the others it’s an almost perfect smartphone for a rather affordable price.

LG Nexus 4 with Android 4.2 features

Apple iPad Mini and 4th Gen. iPad announced

Apple iPad Mini

Announced in California, an unveiling of the first Apple iPad Mini was shown to the world. The reduced size tablet is Apple’s smallest to date and was built to offer a portable experience. With a 7.9 inch display and prices starting at £269, will the iPad Mini make a massive impact on the tablet market?

 

Apple iPad Mini Features

The key feature of the Apple iPad Mini is it’s reduced size. The smaller 7.9 inch display breaks the tradition of 9.7 inch iPads to offer a device you can hold in one hand. Even though the iPad Mini is smaller, the resolution of 768 x 1024 pixels is identical to the iPad 2 release and ensures that apps still look pristine and in shape on the new screen. Maintaining the traditional aspect ratio of 4:3, the wider format makes the iPad Mini a great e-reader over its Android rivals.

Apple has reworked the whole iPad design to maximise portability. Compared to previous releases, the Apple iPad Mini is 23% thinner and 53% lighter making it great for travelling. The portability truly comes to life when Apple’s latest release still offers an impressive 10 hour battery life, meaning you can read, watch and play for longer when on the move.

The Apple iPad Mini utilises an A5 chip; a 1 GHz dual core processor that featured in 2011’s iPad 2 release. This strength processor will comfortably load many of the top titles from the App Store smoothly. The Mini also packs the latest big features from Apple including iOS 6 features. It’s even integrated with Siri, so you can stay clued up on the sports scores and more when you speak to Apple’s personal assistant.

4th generation Apple iPad with Retina Display

 

iPad with Retina Display

An unexpected surprise to the iPad Mini announcement was the release of an additional full sized 4th generation iPad. What’s new compared to the 3rd generation release of March time? The latest iPad upgrades the processor within to a high performing A6X chip. The latest chip offers twice the speed and twice the graphics performance over the A5X found in the March iPad release. This boost is great news for app lovers who use their iPad for intense gaming as their titles launch instantly and run smoother.

As with the iPhone 5, FaceTime on the iPad with Retina Display can take place in 720p High Definition; all the better to make those video calls special. As with the iPad release in March, the latest iPad still offers 1080p through its main camera and 5 megapixel photos.

The 4th generation iPad release also sees an upgrade to the Lightning connector port. Being 80% smaller than the obsolete 30 pin cable, the Lightning connector is faster at transferring and is reversible to ensure you can’t plug in the wire the wrong way.

 

New Apple products coming soon

Both products are released in the UK from the 2nd November. Going on pre-order from the 26th October, stock will surely be tight as Apple fans snap up the perfect Christmas gift. For the latest news on Apple iPad stock, sign up to our tablet mailing list to be in the know of when Mobiles.co.uk will be ranging.

Apple iPad Mini and 4th Gen. iPad announced

Why should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Note 2?

Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Simon from best-mobile-contracts.co.uk outlines some of the features that make the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 a unique device that will appeal to all sorts of creative individuals.

Some people are not quite sure if the Galaxy Note 2 is supposed to be a phone or a tablet. In terms of size it certainly falls into a grey area between the two. Its 5.5 inch screen makes it much larger than some of the largest Android phones available today, yet it is much smaller than the sort of devices that come to mind when the word “tablet” is mentioned. Samsung are quite clear though that the Note 2 is a phone, not a tablet.

If the Galaxy Note 2 were merely a Samsung Galaxy S3 with a larger screen then there would perhaps be little demand for it, but the Note 2 is much more than just an oversized phone. So what makes the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 so special? Unlike most touchscreen phones on the market today the Note 2 comes with a stylus known as the S Pen. Rather than its larger screen size, it is this stylus that distinguishes the Note 2 and makes it a truly unique device.

The S Pen is ergonomic and has a rubber tip, so using it will feel just as natural as using a real pen or pencil. Just like a real pen, the S Pen makes it much easier to write or draw and many apps come included with the Galaxy Note 2 to help you with these tasks. The Note 2 supports handwriting recognition, so you can use the S Pen to write just like a normal pen. This is certainly much easier than trying to type with an on-screen keyboard and is a great way to quickly jot down notes or ideas.

 

Apps for the Galaxy Note 2

S Memo is an app that has been designed specifically for this purpose. S Memo allows you to take down notes using handwriting recognition, which can be automatically transformed into digital text if you so desire, and you can also augment these memos with images and sound clips. While S Memo was available on the original Note, the Note 2 adds a new Easy Clip feature. This allows you to take irregular shaped screenshots which can be pasted into your memos, or shared via email and social networks. Using Easy Clip, you simply draw with the S Pen around the portion of the screen you wish to copy and then select what you wish to do with it.

S Memo is ideal for jotting down ideas, writing minutes or taking notes during a lecture. But the Note 2 does not restrict you to taking down notes with S Memo – you can also add notes to images and videos. Load a video that you have transferred from a computer, downloaded, or recorded on the Note’s camera, and you can draw directly onto to it to add comments, funny moustaches or other annotations.

Along with the many apps included on the Note 2 there are many more apps available from Google Play which have been designed specifically for use with the Note 2 and its S Pen. Many of these revolve around artistic endeavours such as drawing and animation, and make the Note 2 an ideal device for artistic individuals.

The Note 2 comes with S Planner which can help you to organise your week, and it is a great device for catching up on your emails thanks to Wi-Fi and 3G connections. Air View is a new feature that has been added to the Note 2 which allows you to use the S Pen to get a quick preview of messages in your inbox without touching the screen. Simply hold the S Pen over the desired message and you can get a quick glance of its contents without loading in its entirety.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2

So why buy a Samsung Galaxy Note 2?

The Galaxy Note 2 is not just a larger smartphone. While Samsung classifies it as a phone it has much of the functionality you would expect from a tablet, and the S Pen allows it to offer a unique set of apps to help you unleash your creative side. As well as being ideal for artistic individuals the use of handwriting recognition and an ergonomic stylus makes the Note 2 a great device for quickly jotting down ideas while you sit in a café or wait for a train. The unique features of the Note 2 may appeal to some people more than others, but anyone who plays around with the phone for just a short while will start to feel more creative within a matter of minutes.

Order your Samsung Galaxy Note 2 today from Mobiles.co.uk.

Why should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Note 2?