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Review: LG Quantum Windows Phone

I had the chance to test out the LG Quantum C900 for a week and I have to say I was impressed.

The Design:

This is one of the few Windows Phones with a full hardware keyboard (although not currently released in the UK) and feels fantastic to hold.

With a sleek rounded design and a good weight too it feels fantastic to hold and is a dream to type on and I was able to easily knock out a blog post or 2 on the go without any real hindrance over a desktop PC – something which I can’t say for any other smartphone I’ve used so far!

The phone design appears to be based on LG’s earlier Android based LG InTouch Max GW620 (aka Eve) which was my phone for over a year and was frankly was abysmal – I managed to get through 4 of them – however it seems they have really improved and fixed all the issues and this is a really great phone and a pleasure to use – particularly that it now uses the Windows Phone operating system.

The Screen:

With a 3.5″ 800×480 TFT LCD capacitive touch screen display it’s a nice responsive display, but nothing special when compared to newer phones on the market like the Nokia Lumia 800, but it’s more than acceptable and provides a nice crisp image.

The Camera:

An important part of any modern smartphone the LG Quantum includes a 5 mega-pixel AF camera with built-in flash which is a great little camera for taking quick snaps when out and about.

The Battery:

The phone boasts 4 hrs 22 minutes talk time and as with any other does drain quickly under heavy use, could be better but not unusable.

So, should I get it Dan?

It’s a great phone and I really do love its keyboard but it is getting on a bit in mobile years, it was released in October 2010 and there are now better handsets on the market for a reasonable price. However if you’re on a budget and want a sexy Windows Phone this is definitely a great option and I’d highly recommend it if you’re a fan of hardware keyboards.

Review: Nokia Lumia 800

The Nokia Lumia 800 is the first Nokia handset to use the awesome Windows Phone operating system with some impressive specs such as 16GB internal memory (a big improvement on 512MB on my android) and 512MB SDRAM it’s a big improvement on Nokia’s seen previously.

I’ve now been using the Nokia Lumia 800 for a few months of vigorous testing which any phone I own goes through on a daily basis, it’s proved to be the best one yet!

The Design:

The Nokia Lumia 800 has a smooth and sleek design with rounded sides which fit nicely in the palm.

The Nokia design team have also made some interesting, yet well thought out, design choices in button location; the power button for instance is located on the right hand side middle of the device. This position means you can very easily turn the device on with your middle finger when holding it. This small design choice has a noticeable impact on how you use the device on a day-to-day basis and makes the “pick-up-and-go” nature of modern smart phones just that little bit faster & easier – No more fiddling with a button at the top.

The phone comes with it’s own rubber case to help protect the phone from drops, with the curved poly-carbonate chassis protecting it from the heavier knocks, unfortunately this case does become somewhat slack if removed too many times.

Also the flap for the USB charger, while useful as it protects the socket may be a breakage risk depending on how you treat the phone (it’s been fine for me), this is something Nokia has removed from their Nokia Lumia 900.

The Screen:

The 3.7″ ClearBlack OLED WVGA display with strong Gorilla glass finish is simply, the best screen for a smart phone. Extremely strong and resilient to knocks and scratches and very easy to clean while still being a responsive and it’s impressively good when in bright light too.

The Camera:

The 8 MegaPixel Carl Zeiss Tessar camera is fantastic, with an awesome HD resolution (in both photo & video) it’s fantastic quality, coupled with the Windows Phone’s easy point and shoot functions you can quickly take snaps even while the phone is locked. Not to mention the quick sharing meaning you can snap, upload & share pics within in seconds. Great for social whores like myself who can’t resist sharing that I’m munching on a huge bowl of cereal.

The Battery:

The battery has had some bad press, and many I know with the Lumia do have some problems with the battery life and yes. It will eat the battery if used a lot there is simply no way around that, but things have improved somewhat with the release of updates and being aware of the features left on (bluetooth/wi-fi etc) coupled with battery saver mode I have no real problem as a heavy user, but you do need to remember to plug it in at night… and when you’re at your desk is always a good idea.

So, should I get it Dan?

If you’re looking for a great smart phone which lets you do what you need to do quickly and easily I highly recommend the Nokia Lumia 800, it’s simply a joy to use and I love it. You can pick up a Nokia Lumia 800 SIM free phone for under £450 from Argos

 

Tom’s Weekly Rant: How The iPod and iTunes Changed The World

Apple-logoApple are without doubt one of the most ingenious companies ever to grace the Earth. The iPod, launched back in 2001 is a tribute to this, and the ever changing technological environment. 10 years later, Apple sit atop of the tree of evolution, and are only seemingly getting higher.

Founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs and others, Apple Inc has climbed to the top of not just the technology tree, but also the profit tree; being the most profitable company in the world.

Whilst others would argue that they gathered a mass audience from the Apple 1 onwards, I’d disagree. It is without doubt that the iPod is the single most influential factor in the corporations path to success. As of 2010, over 297,000,000 iPods have been sold and to put that into perspective, that would mean the everyone in the United Kingdom would own 4 each!

But the question has to be asked; why is it so successful? The iPod came about in a period of time where CD’s were still popular and HDDs weren’t cheap for the sizes they came in. Apple however saw the future of storage, and realised it just wasn’t sustainable to only use CD’s as a form of mobile storage for music, thus giving rise to the tiny little white oblong with headphones. The iPod was the only device on the market that gave users the ability to store far more songs than a conventional disc, and it was portable.

Now you might be thinking, why hasn’t he mentioned iTunes? I’m about to. It’s all good and well to have hardware that looks nice, and revolutionises the way we do something, but without a GUI, it’s hard to get anywhere (Ever tried using a Zune on a Mac?). iTunes was launched in 2003, as a way for users to download music legally from a only music store. Which when you think about it, is fantastic. You have the option to download music legally, straight onto your hardware, and be listening to the song in under 5 minutes. It’s always a common belief that Apple are always 10 years or so ahead of everyone in the grand scheme of things. The introduction of the iTunes store was the first step in the move to not only online shopping, but also Cloud Computing. Jump back to 2011, and you will soon be able to stream directly from the iCloud to any iDevice, an idea first kick-started through the notion of downloading.

But what are the repercussions on the physical market? In 1991, the US had over 9,500 independent record outlets, yet by 2006, a mere 2,000 remained. Clearly not just a coincidence. However, whilst this may seem a staggering statistic, it was inevitable. Why spend quadruple (if not more) on a CD, when you only want one song? This was where iTunes saw a gap in the market, and milked it until the cows came home.

Okay, so we have a cheaper option to get music, but why not make it free? The introduction of downloading music online of course gave chase to downloading it illegally. Why spend $1 on a song, when you can download it for free, some would say. As of November 2009, the average American teenager had over 800 illegally downloaded songs on their iDevice, a massive +56% jump from 2004. The likes of Napster originally launched before iTunes became evidently more popular, being superseded by Pirate Bay and Limewire, with the ability to share MP3 files, quickly, easily and with massive breach of copyright.

Clearly, the introduction of iTunes and the iPod have had seemingly dire effects on the physical market, on the violation of copyright, and on the overall world in which we live in. But let’s not steer to far away from the benefits and the successes that the small oblong and program have brought into our lives. Without it, you’d still be going down to HMV to buy CD’s. You would be carrying around a CD player. And you most certainly wouldn’t be looking as cool as Apple would like you to.

Check out this to see what I mean: iPod 1st Generation Commerical

Be sure to follow us on Twitter at –:

@Tom_Barron
@lewymd
@GeekTechBlogUK

or alternatively, send me an email at thomasrobinbarron@gmail.com

Review: Oregon – GPS Scout

I was recently asked to review the Oregon GPS Scout Backtrack Altimeter, which while sounding complicating is a very cool little device for those who are outdoors lovers.

After reviewing the Oregon GPS scout I have found it is a great device, and as someone who can be very critical of gadgets I’m rather impressed. The GPS Scout is great quality, surprisingly easy to use and appears very functional and feature rich tool.

The Oregon GPS Scout has 4 main modes: Altimeter which displays your current Altitude; Barometer which uses advanced Baro-compression tech which can detect the differences in pressure caused by altitude and pressure caused by weather conditions making it far more accurate than most devices on the market, also very cool from a geek view!

It also has Compass and GPS modes, which can be used for backtracking to pre-saved locations useful for hiking and finding your way back to the car/campsite.

I must admit there is one niggle I have with the GPS Scout which is the unit setting where you can set both the temperature and distance. Annoyingly these are not separate settings so you can either have it as °C (Celsius) with Km OR Fahrenheit with Miles.

Generally in the UK we use °C & Miles, while not a huge problem it is a little frustrating that can’t have both in my preferred scale.

The device also features a LED light which is useful, and when camping a vital feature. I’ve also found this handy when poking about inside my PC…

This is a great little device and worth checking out if you’re the outdoor type, I am looking forward to using this the next time I get outdoorsy.

Check out the GPS Scout on the Oregon site, don’t forget to post your own thoughts in the comments!

Disclosure: This product was provided free for the purposes of this review, this review is still 100% impartial and is solely my own honest opinion of the device.

Review: PlayStation Move Sharpshooter


It’s hard to review a peripheral, well for me, because it’s really down to the person if they want to spend the money to use it with only some of the games. Things like PlayStation Move and Microsoft Kinect are different in my head because you can use them with the console, navigating the menus while also using them for games, whereas would someone by an attachment for an attachment to a console, for example a Lightsaber for Kinect and the Star Wars game (but you good just use your FX Lightsaber, wait a second that would be awesome!!!!) but here it is my review for the PlayStation Move Sharpshooter.

I have followed this since its announcement, being a huge time crisis fan and wanting the replacement for the Gcon and then waiting for a good holster for the Move controllers, and the Sharpshooter was well worth it. I’m going the review down to 3 main areas, the controller itself, working with First person shooters (for example Killzone 3) and working with on rail shooters (Time Crisis)

The Controller
The controller itself is extremely well built, with a nice weight behind it when holding it empty. The colour scheme in the US is a lot better, in my opinion, than the one the UK got. Unfortunately the main body of the gun is solid red and the holster area for the move controller is a whit, whereas the controller in the US has a full white body with an orange line on the area under the Move controller.

The buttons are well positioned for all types of games and are easily placed for quick access. One thing I didn’t see in the picture but was first to notice when I got the controller, there is a move button underneath the trigger. Now this is used in on rail shooters for cover and having it there frees your other hand to steady the gun rather than having it on top of the gun to press the move button to cover. This was a criticism of the first Move gun holster they brought out, which was just a plastic shell. The adjustable stock is a great addition as well to allow you to use it as a submachine gun firing from the hip or an assault rifle allowing for more accurate shots, and with the little touch of having a reload button under the magazine section, that’s just the icing on the cake

Even while in a fire fight and throwing the controller around to stab enemies and to get into the fight both the controller holds up well and both the move and navigation controller hold well in there compartments and are secure, and with feeling the vibrations from the controller really helps you get into the game, but how does it handle in a game?

First Person Shooters
Killzone 3 was sold as the new way to play with Move, being the first major leap for motion gaming for the PlayStation 3, and I gotta say that they pulled it off and that the sharp shooter is a great addition to it. I played the demo when it was released and tried with the Move and the dual shock controller and I preferred the controller over the Move due to it feeling to loose and not being able to really aim due to my arms becoming tired. However when I got the Sharpshooter and the Killzone release I thought they really bought their A game, this is the motion shooter to define motion shooters and with the sharp shooter it finished off the package it was astonishing. It was clear that the controller and game were designed and built together and if you have the full Move controller set, just push that little bit more for the sharp shooter, you won’t be disappointed.

Rail Shooters
Time crisis is a great game and with the addition of Razing Storm to the series, people who didn’t have the Gcon from Time Crisis 4 they were looking for a new attachment for their Move controllers. Well it is here now, with the move button (used as cover) directly under the trigger allows for quick access as well as being extremely responsive gives the time crisis fan exactly what they need, that and the digital trigger, it’s the gun the Time Crisis fan has been looking for.

This review may have sound extremely fan boyish but I will say the first time I opened it up I was smiling like a kid at Christmas and I believe that anyone who picks it up will feel the same. As Kevin Butler says “As I like to call it daddy’s little helper”.

The 3DS and me.

Being one of the first 0.5% (if THAT) of people in the world to play the 3DS is a pretty big deal, and that’s exactly what I became today.

I was invited along with my friend Ryan to attend a Nintendo 3DS pre-launch event in Bristol where Games Journalists and a few members of the public could try the 3DS a month before it hit store shelves. It was a pretty magical experience too.

Upon arriving we were ushered in a room which contained a floor which when stood on would light up, if someone else stood on it, it would also light up beneath their feet and the two people would be connected together by spectral lights on the floor.
Also in this room was a bunch of previous Nintendo handheld consoles  to show really how far handheld gaming has come since those original primitive days of the game and watch.


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Microsoft Office 2010 Review

So personally, I’m not the writing/blogging type, So here is my review of the Microsoft Office 2010 Software.

Links:
Office 2010 Suites
Office Professional 2010 60 day Trial
Microsoft Office Website

Any questions about the software? Put them in the comments below.

HTC HD 7 (WP7) Review

A Review of the HTC HD 7 (Windows Phone 7) Device

Any questions you want to ask about the device? Put them in the comments below 😀