Gadget Review

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Gadget Review

 

iPhone 4:

There's been a lot of hype over the new iPhone 4, some good, some bad and some just downright crazy.  It's just another mobile phone, right?

Well, no, actually it's more.  Packed with mouth-watering features and a brand new operating system, the iPhone 4 represents a big technological leap.

An Apple gadget launch is always a major event and the iPhone 4 release was no exception. From the outset, the iPhone 4 looks different, with a new, industrial design – glass and stainless steel have replaced the plastic of the previous models.

An ultra-high definition display gives incredibly clear pictures, even in bright sunlight and from extreme viewing angles. Add in two cameras, a VGA one on the front and a 5-megapixel camera on the back and you’ll be able to produce some stunning pictures.

A new operating system, iOS4, offers great options. One that’s definitely interesting is the multi-task facility – with this, you can run email, talk on the phone and listen to background music all at the same time.

Enhanced email facilities mean that now you can have a unified inbox and threaded messaging. Another new free app is iBooks, which takes advantage of the high definition display. Unlike several other e-book applications, you can adjust brightness, text size or font to your liking.

All this and an iPhone 4 game centre too! Simply go to the game centre, pick the game you want to play and the centre will set up your opponent automatically. There are leader boards so you can see what the competition is up to as well.

 

Blackberry Pearl 3G:

The Blackberry Pearl 3G smartphone has many features to rival the new iPhone 4. With the new “SureType” technology, the device is smart enough to learn frequently used words and make typing simple.

Like the iPhone 4, the Blackberry Pearl 3G can also multi-task, enabling you to take incoming calls as you work on other applications. The Blackberry Messenger service informs you when your message has been delivered – and read.

The Blackberry’s optical trackpad is similar to those on laptop computers. Simply slide your finger over the trackpad to move across the on-screen menus and icons and then press to select the item.

A built in digital camera enables you to take pictures, record video and share them with your friends; also, listen to your favourite music or watch video – even in landscape mode – everywhere you go.

At 93 gm, measuring 108 mm x 50 mm and just 13.3 mm thick, the Blackberry Pearl 3G fits snugly into anyone’s pocket.

 

Sony Vaio P Series:

The Sony Vaio P series, a mini laptop computer, is arguably one of the most unique looking gadgets around.

It comes in eye-catching colours including neon green and hot pink, but most people will probably prefer the black and white version. The small keypad takes some getting used to, considering the size of the unit, but Sony have also included a pointing stick in the middle of the keyboard, with left and right mouse buttons below the keys.

As an alternative to the keypad, the Vaio also has an optical touchpad on the right of the screen, with left and right buttons on the left. The idea is that you hold the device in both hands by the screen, letting the keypad dangle underneath. A bit cumbersome, but it actually does work – at least for quickly accessing info on the run.

 

Tom Tom 750 Live:

Many smartphones these days including GPS navigation systems – why go in for a stand-alone navigation device?

For one, the Tom Tom 750 Live has many benefits not available to smartphone navigation applications. It provides up-to-the-minute traffic conditions and calculates route times based on real average speeds, rather than the posted speed limits.

The unit is designed to be dashboard mounted and measures just 127 mm x 85 mm, with a depth of 24 mm. Screen size is a reasonable 4.3 in, but at 480 x 272, the screen display is not earth-shattering.

The handy “Eco Route” finder  enables you plot the best route to your destination based on the least fuel usage.

 

Motorola Android 2.1 Milestone:

Although the iPhone4 has grabbed the media spotlight, the Motorola Android 2.1 Milestone is well worth your consideration.

The super-slim smartphone – just 10.9 mm thick – boasts an 8-megapixel camera with Xenon flash that has features expected on a high-end stand-alone camera such as face recognition, red-eye reduction, multi-shot and anti-shake software.

The smartphone has a 480 x 854-display screen, not as clear as the iPhone but still perfectly adequate. It also features video recording capability. The device comes with an HDMI cable and has built in MOTONAV navigation system as a standard feature.

 

Nokia N8:

Nokia’s smartphone has many of the functions of the competition; while some features work superbly, others leave a little to be desired.

On the positive side, the Nokia N8 has one of the largest sensors – an amazing 12-megapixel – for its camera mounted on the back of the device. Add in the Xenon flash unit and the camera capabilities of the N8 are stunning.

The front-facing camera can take HD video and the N8 comes complete with an HDMI interface. Add Dolby Digital surround sound and the N8 offers an exhilarating video-watching experience.

However, the operating software – Nokia’s Symbian – seems to let the show down. The typography has small and boxy, rather dated text; some aspects of the software are just not as user friendly as you would expect from a modern smartphone.

 

 

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