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May 2012 Volume 5

mobileweeklymagazine.com

HTC One X Revealed

full review inside...

Samsung Galaxy S III exclusive news

Nokia Lumia 900 first thoughts


HTC One X Review

photo credit: engadget.com

“It’s been a difficult year for HTC.” After several successful quarters, things have started looking less rosy in recent months with the company facing stiff competition and suffering from apparent brand dilution -- the results of launching too many handsets with forgettable names, making too many compromises for the carriers, continuing to rely on Sense, and lacking an iconic flagship to take on Samsung’s mighty Galaxy S II. We knew something important was coming for Mobile World Congress after HTC timidly revealed the Titan II at CES -- after all, the company has a long history of innovation.

Hardware

HTC went back to the drawing board. While many of its products from 2011 blended together in an amorphous, Sensation-esque blur, the company’s drawn a line in the sand -this is its flagship and it’s a beauty. The phone Page 2

is housed in a polycarbonate unibody that’s matte on the back and glossy at the sides. This polycarbonate material means the body shouldn’t interfere with the phone’s signal, while incidental scratches will reveal yet more brilliant white. Some considered contours along the body of the phone mean that despite its 8.9mm (0.35 inch) profile -- and a 4.7-inch display -- it always felt safe in our grasp. Although its size may be borderline for some people’s palms, it’s nowhere near as monstrous as the Galaxy Note. Compared to the likes of the Rezound and Sensation, it’s also around 30 grams (1.1 ounces) lighter -presumably due to the new materials being put to use on HTC’s great white hope. Touring the body, the device is refreshingly unencumbered by complications -- the earpiece speaker is even integrated into the polycarbonate shell. Mobile Weekly


The staple volume rocker is a white bar on the right side, while the micro-SIM tray is now hewn into the unibody (you’ll need a metal pin to access it at the top of the back). On the left edge there’s the MHL-capable micro-USB port, while the headphone socket and power button are both found on the top. Again, HTC’s placement of this key, which also wakes the screen, makes less sense than if it was placed along the right edge, but the buttons are solid and responsive, coated in the same polycarbonate white as the unit -- no easilychipped silver paint. The camera noticeably protrudes from the center of the phone, accented by a metallic circle -- this is a phone that’s proud of its camera and we’ve dedicated a section to this below. There’s also a five-pin connector along the right side, ready for those inevitable docks and in-car holsters.

The speaker grill, made from 84 individuallydrilled holes, belts out plenty of noise. If you’re looking to use it to broadcast your music, you’ll want to have the device face down -- a built-in Sense feature does exactly that when you flip the device over during calls. It still suffers from the same lack of bass found in most phones, although the One X is one of HTC’s first devices to bring Beats Audio enhancements across all apps, removing one of our complaints with the tie-up. If you’re looking for more detail on this Beats Audio offering, check the write-up we gave it in our Sensation XE review.

photo credit: bgr.com

Samsung Galaxy S III

You remember that Galaxy S II? A phone so good they launched it, well, a whole load of times. But after seeing phablet cousins and LTE variants, the true handset sequel is finally here. The Galaxy S III is moments away from being outed in front of journalists and Sammy’s business partners in London, but in advance of the big reveal we were given a few hours to acquaint ourselves with the new star away from the crush of the show floor.And what did we make of it? In short, Samsung’s tried to bring its Galaxy S series in line with (and in some ways, further ahead of) what its team-up with Google accomplished. It’s added some new Mobile Weekly

quad-core Exynos processing juice, a 4.8-inch, HD Super AMOLED screen and a handful of Galaxy S III-only features in an earnest bid to maintain its place at the top of the Android pile.

Hardware

At first blush, we were a little disappointed that Samsung didn’t intend to push the design envelope with its new flagship. That’s not to say we were repulsed: it just looks a lot like an amalgam of all the Galaxy phones we’ve seen in the last year. It flies closer to the Galaxy Nexus than the Galaxy S II, with a shape and contour all too similar to Google’s first Android 4.0 handset. (continued on page 4) Page 3


HTC One X Review

photo credit: engadget.com

“It’s been a difficult year for HTC.” After several successful quarters, things have started looking less rosy in recent months with the company facing stiff competition and suffering from apparent brand dilution -- the results of launching too many handsets with forgettable names, making too many compromises for the carriers, continuing to rely on Sense, and lacking an iconic flagship to take on Samsung’s mighty Galaxy S II. We knew something important was coming for Mobile World Congress after HTC timidly revealed the Titan II at CES -- after all, the company has a long history of innovation.

Hardware

HTC went back to the drawing board. While many of its products from 2011 blended together in an amorphous, Sensation-esque blur, the company’s drawn a line in the sand -this is its flagship and it’s a beauty. The phone Page 2

is housed in a polycarbonate unibody that’s matte on the back and glossy at the sides. This polycarbonate material means the body shouldn’t interfere with the phone’s signal, while incidental scratches will reveal yet more brilliant white. Some considered contours along the body of the phone mean that despite its 8.9mm (0.35 inch) profile -- and a 4.7-inch display -- it always felt safe in our grasp. Although its size may be borderline for some people’s palms, it’s nowhere near as monstrous as the Galaxy Note. Compared to the likes of the Rezound and Sensation, it’s also around 30 grams (1.1 ounces) lighter -presumably due to the new materials being put to use on HTC’s great white hope. Touring the body, the device is refreshingly unencumbered by complications -- the earpiece speaker is even integrated into the polycarbonate shell. Mobile Weekly


The staple volume rocker is a white bar on the right side, while the micro-SIM tray is now hewn into the unibody (you’ll need a metal pin to access it at the top of the back). On the left edge there’s the MHL-capable micro-USB port, while the headphone socket and power button are both found on the top. Again, HTC’s placement of this key, which also wakes the screen, makes less sense than if it was placed along the right edge, but the buttons are solid and responsive, coated in the same polycarbonate white as the unit -- no easilychipped silver paint. The camera noticeably protrudes from the center of the phone, accented by a metallic circle -- this is a phone that’s proud of its camera and we’ve dedicated a section to this below. There’s also a five-pin connector along the right side, ready for those inevitable docks and in-car holsters.

The speaker grill, made from 84 individuallydrilled holes, belts out plenty of noise. If you’re looking to use it to broadcast your music, you’ll want to have the device face down -- a built-in Sense feature does exactly that when you flip the device over during calls. It still suffers from the same lack of bass found in most phones, although the One X is one of HTC’s first devices to bring Beats Audio enhancements across all apps, removing one of our complaints with the tie-up. If you’re looking for more detail on this Beats Audio offering, check the write-up we gave it in our Sensation XE review.

photo credit: bgr.com

Samsung Galaxy S III

You remember that Galaxy S II? A phone so good they launched it, well, a whole load of times. But after seeing phablet cousins and LTE variants, the true handset sequel is finally here. The Galaxy S III is moments away from being outed in front of journalists and Sammy’s business partners in London, but in advance of the big reveal we were given a few hours to acquaint ourselves with the new star away from the crush of the show floor.And what did we make of it? In short, Samsung’s tried to bring its Galaxy S series in line with (and in some ways, further ahead of) what its team-up with Google accomplished. It’s added some new Mobile Weekly

quad-core Exynos processing juice, a 4.8-inch, HD Super AMOLED screen and a handful of Galaxy S III-only features in an earnest bid to maintain its place at the top of the Android pile.

Hardware

At first blush, we were a little disappointed that Samsung didn’t intend to push the design envelope with its new flagship. That’s not to say we were repulsed: it just looks a lot like an amalgam of all the Galaxy phones we’ve seen in the last year. It flies closer to the Galaxy Nexus than the Galaxy S II, with a shape and contour all too similar to Google’s first Android 4.0 handset. (continued on page 4) Page 3


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Page 4

photo credit: engadget.com

(continued from page 3) The screen is a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display. The bad news? The lack of a “Plus” in that name means it’s PenTile, which means that pixelation is still visible despite the 306 ppi density, due to the sharing of sub-pixels. The good news is that the resolution is still really good, and should suffice for all but the most eagle-eyed -although if you’re still not sure you can check out our own microscopic comparisons right here. It’s also nice to see that the panel is cocooned in Gorilla Glass 2, besting its relative’s fortified face, and it also offered great viewing angles. The Galaxy S III’s beating heart is Samsung’s new 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos processor, aided by a fresh GPU that is supposedly 65 percent faster than the companion Mali 400 graphics chip on the Galaxy S II. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to give GTA III a blast, nor run our typical benchmark apps, but in any case the model we played with was not final hardware. That said, we were able to grab a quick SunSpider browser performance score of just under 1,500ms, putting the phone below HTC’s white polycarbonate wonder -- but lower is better, by the way. Whizzing around the native apps and web browser was as pleasant as we expected, pinch-to-zoom pinged into action, while multimedia playback was effortless, irrespective of the software additions that Samsung has thrown into the mix (more on those in a second).

Nokia Lumia 900

Long-awaited, heralded, longed for, lusted after, overdue, deal breaker, savior, second coming, dead-on arrival, revelation, last gasp, comeback, hail mary pass, flagship... finally! If that string of descriptors hasn’t already tipped you off, Nokia’s Windows Phone messiah has arrived stateside to either silence critics or give’ em fodder for further nay-saying. Ensconced in a polycarbonate frame that’s similar to the N9, the Lumia 900 on AT&T’s LTE network is widely understood to be Espoo’s first true stab at building a presence for a mobile brand that’s ubiquitous everywhere but here. For the time being, though, it appears that Nokia’s going all in, ready to see its folie à deux with Microsoft through to the end. Indeed, with an irresistible on-contract price of $99, it would seem both parties are counting on this to be the mass market magic bullet they’ve sorely needed. So, can the Lumia 900, a single-core 1.4GHz handset hampered by a so-so 800 x 480 display, prove this tech alliance wasn’t ill-struck after all? Can an attractive industrial design and simplified UI triumph over seemingly modest specs? Will Nokia end up retreating to its overseas kingdom? Abandon those fanboy caps all ye who tag along, as we put this Finnish smartphone under the hot lights.


Mobile Weekly