Page 1

The mobile phone and video gaming magazine www.phonicamagazine.co.uk

Issue 24


2

6

12

16

18

22

28

34

36

32

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK


WHAT’S INSIDE ISSUE 24  2011

6

ODE TO STEVE JOBS We take a look at the innovaons that defined a man.

MARTIN COOPER, FOUNDER OF THE MOBILE PHONE We speak to the man who took the mobile phone from fantasy to necessity.

12

Samsung Galaxy Mini Samsung Tocco Icon Samsung Galaxy Fit HTC HD 7 Samsung Ace Samsung Solid Immerse Dark Souls Driver: San Francisco Child of Eden El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron

16 18 20 22 24 26 28 32 34 36

Mobile Phones

40

PHONICA LITE IS NOW AVAILABLE IN PRINT FORMAT, AS WELL AS ONLINE. LOOK OUT OF FREE COPIES IN YOUR LOCAL AREA, OR VISIT

WWW.BLOG.PHONICAMAGAZINE.CO.UK

TO DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY NOW. PHONICA MAGAZINE UK

3


61 THE ARCHES, NORTH WOOLWICH ROAD, LONDON, E16 2AA. TEL: +442032030002 GENERAL EMAIL: info@phonicamagazine.co.uk

WWW.PHONICAMAGAZINE.CO.UK EDITOR IN CHIEF Kevin Leonce

GAMING EDITOR Sco Tierney

CONTRIBUTORS Ma Foley

CREATIVE SERVICES & DESIGN Sco Tierney www.sco-erney.com

EDITORIAL editorial@phonicamagazine.co.uk

ENQUIRIES info@phonicamagazine.co.uk

ADVERTISING adversing@phonicamagazine.co.uk BECOME A FAN OF PHONICA MAGAZINE UK ON FACEBOOK & TWITTER © Phonica Limited ISSN: 2048-0903 All material in this publicaon is covered by copyright. All rights reserved. No part of this publicaon may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system or transmied in any form electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, in whole or part without wrien permission of the publisher or the copyright owner. Please note that whilst every care has been taken to ensure that all the data in this publicaon is accurate at the me of going to print, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions, whether caused by negligence or otherwise, or for any loss, however caused, occasioned to any person by reliance on it; and hereby disclaims any liability for it. Operaons and some features are network dependent; please refer to your network provider for full details. Phonica Magazine UK is published by Phonica Limited. Registered Office: 61 The Arches, North Woolwich Road, London, E16 2AA Company No. 07629086 ISSN: 2048-0903

4

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK


ODE TO STEVE JOBS I’ve have always been a diehard PC fan. It was my comfort zone, and for many others I am sure. Coupled with Microso there was no way I would shi to anything else…prey much the same way I felt about my tradion of Nokia phone ownership. Enter Steve Jobs and what truly became the start of the Apple era. Now Jobs was no newbie to the Apple camp. Aer all he did co found the company. His me away did something not only for the mastermind but for Apple as well. To us it showed he had the ‘Midas Touch’ in creavity and innovaon. To Apple it proved without him they will amass to nothing. Steve Jobs did for Apple what Marn Cooper did for Motorola…unleash mass genius, aenon to detail and a passion to reinvent from the inside out to create ground breaking advances in technology. Under his Modern Caesarean rule the world watched as Jobs breathed life back into Apple. Not every product launched was a massive success. But at its core is the foundaon many companies are now trying to replicate or adopt…a balance between business governance, creavity and innovaon, the employee and the needs & feedback of the consumer. My PC sll plays an important part in the day to day operaons; but now so does my iPhone, iPad and soon to be MacBook Pro. Join us as we take a moment or two to acknowledge and salute Steve Jobs….and congratulate Tim Cook. Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish Enjoy reading, Your Editor in Chief

Kevin Leonce

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK

5


6

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK


iMAC G3 THE MAGIC OF THE FLAVORED ORB When I was aending school during the mid-1990s, the computer was sll a rare commodity. Unlike today when the PC is abundant as head lice and truancy, in my youth, the sight of the “school’s computer” was entrancing. It was a fresh way to learn, and more importantly, it was a new way of geng into mischief. Copy-pasng vast extracts of Encarta 95 was a me saving method of substung homework, and typing “fat ts” into the library’s search engine then running away in a fit of giggles, ensured lunchmes passed with a chuckle. But, although computers were technologically excing, as blocks of cubular gray plasc, they were just plain ugly. Fast-forward to the late 90s - past the puberty, sudden weight gain and the revelaon of inadequacy - and I’m at college, studying Art & Design. At this point, the computer in the educaon sector was relavely common place, but sll, pre-millennium’s PC was the cubic elephant in the room - a block of dreary nothingness. Enter a design studio and you’d be greeted with rays of bright watercolour, heaving cabinets of luxurious materials, waves of fresh enthusiasm: an environment designed to smulate creavity. But there, stacked awkwardly in the corner like a tax officer at Mardi Gras, was the PC - its greyness and lack of any conceivable flair, sucking the energy from the room. PHONICA MAGAZINE UK

7


Desktop publishing was growing ever rabidly at this point, with the computer connuing to revoluonize the graphic design industry thanks to the current versions of Adobe’s Photoshop and QuarkXPress competor, InDesign. As part of my course, several days a week my fellow students and I would take a CAD class. Great, an hour in a Colosseum of dirty gray cheese. 30+ computers in a room, aligned precisely in rows like a vast humming graveyard. For the first term, this was CPU hell. Aer I’d spent the week in creave nirvana - in studios of young adult flamboyance and hangover rainbows - to be ushered into a visually stagnant computer room was uerly depressing. But, the following term, everything was about to change... Monday morning, 9am, third floor, 7B, me for the room of gray. This was hardly the ideal restart of term I was hoping for. But, on opening the door, I wasn’t greeted by the usual tombstones, but rather...orbs. Strange, fluorescent, glowing orbs. Greens, pinks, oranges, blues; just wave aer wave of mysterious mulcoloured orbs! What the hell were these things? On moving a lile closer, I was even more confused. Where was the tower? Where were all the wires?

8

Where did the disc go? Why was the keyboard glowing, and why the hell was the mouse shaped like a psychedelic Jaffa Cake? The answer, of course, was the iMac G3: the computer that made compung cool.

“WHEN COMPARED ALONGSIDE THE PC, THE G3 LOOKED AS IF IT CAME FROM AN ENTIRELY ALTERNATE DIMENSION.” The G3 was a revelaon, a complete game changer. When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997 aer being unceremoniously elbowed out, the whole company was in a bit of a mess, churning out uncompeve, uninspiring electricals. When compared to the all-conquering Microso PCs, Apples were nowhere. But with the release of the iMac G3 in 1998, the world of home compung was blown apart by a piece of hardware that was not only technically astute, but also beauful. When compared alongside the PC, the G3 looked as if it came from an enrely alternate dimension, let alone another company. It

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK


had gorgeous curves of translucent acrylic whereas the PC had only lines of vercal and horizontal. Where Microso ’s entry required a monitor and a tower, Apple’s i had everything built into one compact, economic space. Where Bill Gates squawked of geeky specificaons, Jobs spoke of design, aesthec, and most importantly, beauty. For crying out loud, the G3 came in 13 different “flavors”! Classy Lime, sexy Strawberry; the now iconic Bondi Blue and Snow. What did the PC taste like? Stale yeast? From this point onwards, the computer was no longer simply just a tool: it was special.

ulmate accessory for communicang, but both Nokia and HTC have produced handsets that are equally as funconal. There’s no sleeker way of listening to your tunes of an aernoon than with an iPod, but Archos have some truly biblical personal entertainment players that, from a technical standpoint at least, can blow the pants off any of the i generaons. Even the iPad is coming under aack from various other tablets, such as the Kindle Fire and the Lenovo ThinkPad. But, Apple’s incarnaons are sll the dominant trend seers, the cool cats, all thanks to their insaable foresight, style, glamor and appeal. This all steams from the incomparable iMac G3.

“FROM THIS POINT ONWARDS, THE COMPUTER WAS NO LONGER SIMPLY JUST A TOOL: IT WAS SPECIAL.”

There may be beer products available for calling, surfing or chilling, but there are none more beauful than Apple’s, and for that alone, the iMac G3, with its ability to revoluonize an industry and sex-up a computer room, will always hold a special place in my heart.

For me, the iMac G3 epitomizes Apple’s range of current, world renowned gadgets: style – albeit gorgeous - over substance. The iPhone is the

Kudos Steve Jobs.

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK

Sco Tierney

9


THE iPHONE

10

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK


It may shock some of the regular readers to learn this, but I haven’t always been a fan of Apple. I’m not afraid to admit that up to around 2008, I was ignorant to Apple, thinking that they were just high-specificaon, expensive pieces of kit only useful for music, photo or video eding.

enjoyable to use. The interface is all but perfect, user-friendliness is at a premium, and the updates, although irregular, are so important, the main updates at least, that every one that comes through means that the iPhone feels like a newer, beer model.

However, that all changed when, in August 2008, I decided to take an iPhone 3G as my upgrade for my Sony Ericsson K850i. Since then, I’m not afraid to say that I have become an Apple convert, having bought 3 different iPhone models, as well as an iPod and a Mac Mini. Apple has quickly become an obsession for me, so much so that using a Windows-based computer, or any non-iOS mobile phone, feels strange and alien to me.

“I THINK THE MAIN REASON THAT THE IPHONE CHANGED EVERYTHING FOR ME WAS THAT IT WAS SUCH A REVOLUTIONARY PHONE.”

I think the main reason that the iPhone changed everything for me was that it was such a revoluonary phone. On its release in the summer of 2007, mobile phones were stuck in a rut where the market leader was the Nokia N95 which, although a very good phone, was ulmately flawed by poor manufacturing and being slightly ahead of its me. Sll, Nokia have arguably not made as good a phone since, including two failed successors, and in that me Apple have been growing from strength to strength. Touch-screen phones that were available in 2007 were limited to mainly PDA’s, with an excepon being the LG Prada KE850, a phone which was more concerned with being a fashion accessory than a funconing handset, and as a result didn’t rank well in the minds of consumers. That’s not to say that the iPhone 2G was flawless; it has its shortcomings, but it was so revoluonary that I am not surprised when, even now, I somemes see people using an iPhone 2G, but more oen they’re the 3G and 3GS handsets, which are over three and two years old respecvely. Also, the impact that the iPhone has had on other manufacturers is stunning, in a word. I regularly see a handset made by another manufacturer that is not all too dissimilar to the iPhone, whether that is in appearance or, more oen, in operang system. And that, in my opinion, is the main selling point of the iPhone, and is the reason that I ulmately won’t go back to another phone unl I have to: iOS is so

The iPhone has changed my life, there’s no doubt about that. Before the iPhone, I was using standard mobile phones, ones that might do the internet, but it wasn’t a service I regularly used, and social networking integraon was unheard of, handsets like the Nokia 6300, or the closest thing that I had to a smartphone, the Nokia N80, which, although a good handset, was years ahead of its me in terms of the features that it had on it in comparison with what the market actually needed. Now, the iPhone means that I am always on my phone, always on the internet, whether I like it or not. I can now check websites three or four mes a day, emails come straight to my phone instead of having to wait unl I get to a computer to read them, and social networking has become an hourly obsession. Music is now a daily occurrence thanks to the in-built iPod, and travelling has become enjoyable, unless I forget my headphones, in which case going to anywhere further than the kitchen becomes a chore. All in all, the iPhone has had a massive impact on me. I’m now very technologically adept, whereas before I had nothing more than a working knowledge, and I am now a self-confessed Apple-phile, I recently had to be without my iPhone for just over four weeks, and they were without a doubt the most difficult four weeks of my life, technologically. To Steve Jobs and Apple, thanks. You’ve changed my life!

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK

Ma Foley

11


MARTIN COOPER THE MOBILE PHONE HAS MOVED FROM A LUXURY ITEM TO A NECESSITY. FOR MANY LIKE ME IT IS THE FIRST THING WE ENSURE WE HAVE BEFORE LEAVING THE HOUSE, FOLLOWED BY EVERYTHING ELSE. BUT WHERE DID IT ALL START FROM? WE GOT A CHANCE TO SPEAK WITH MARTIN COOPER, THE FOUNDER OF THE MOBILE PHONE. 12

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK


PHONICA MAGAZINE UK: Hi Marn. I have to start by asking, where did the idea for a phone that you can carry around with you come from? And how was the reacon from the people to such an idea? I imagine it must have been one of scepcism? MARTIN COOPER: The concept of personal mobile communicaons, in contrast with the “copper cage”, the telephone wires that tethered people to their desks and homes for over a hundred years, occurred to me as a result of observing my customers at Motorola as early as the 1960’s. People are inherently mobile. People appreciate and demand freedom; the telephone wire is obviously wrong. While many people agreed with this idea, very few considered it praccal. I was told by a markeng “expert” that the total market for personal portable phones in London was only twelve thousand people. PHONICA MAGAZINE UK: I can’t imagine that you ever thought when you created that first ‘cell phone’ that we would be relying on them as much as we do now? What’s your opinion on how technology-centric the 21st century is? MARTIN COOPER: Technology is wonderful when it improves the lives of people; that observaon is usually true for the cell phone and for many other devices and services. But technology that consumes me without benefit to society and people is bad technology. Many aspects of personal computers have been in this category. Only recently have personal computers evolved to the point that they actually improve producvity. Technology for the sake of technology is reprehensible.

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK: Over here in Britain we were a lile behind in terms of mobile phones, with the first call made in 1985 by a certain Ernie Wise of Morecambe & Wise fame. Why do you think it took us so long aer the launch of your invenon to catch up? MARTIN COOPER: Actually, it took the U.S 10 years from the me the first mobile phone was demonstrated unl the first commercial service was offered in Chicago so you see, Britain was not all that behind. The delay was not in technology but rather the polical process of deciding who was going to get the radio licenses to offer cellular service to the public. Britain was a bit slower than the U.S. in establishing a truly compeve market for mobile telephones but this really provided an advantage. Britain’s operators were naonwide while those in the U.S. were splintered into many local operators. Ulmately, the U.S operators consolidated and there are four naonal companies and a number of regional companies. Compeon has driven operators around the world to offer comparable service.

“TECHNOLOGY IS WONDERFUL WHEN IT IMPROVES THE LIVES OF PEOPLE; THAT OBSERVATION IS USUALLY TRUE FOR THE CELL PHONE AND FOR MANY OTHER DEVICES AND SERVICES.”

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK: The phone that you made the first call on, which I’m led to believe was a prototype which was released 10 years later as the Motorola DynaTAC cosng nearly $4,000 ($10,000 in today’s market) was a staggering price to pay for a mobile phone then. Did you ever imagine that phones would be sold for as lile as $1 today?

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK: Mobile phones are now an everyday part of life. Many people, can’t go ten minutes without using their phones, let alone a day. What technological advances do you envision coming in the foreseeable future for the mobile phone market?

MARTIN COOPER: In 1973, when the cell phone was created, there were no sub miniature integrated circuits and the science of digital processing was in its infancy. A transistor cost about 20 cents. A modern cell phone can contain a billion transistors which would have priced it at 50 million dollars in 1973. No, we never imagined then that phones would be given away, or even be as affordable as they are today.

MARTIN COOPER: Most people sll use their mobile phones for talking and texng. Smart phones allow people to do many of the things they formerly did using computers but I would hardly call this revoluonary. But on the horizon and in trials are medical services that promise to revoluonize our health care systems. The ability to measure and monitor the physiology and health of people as they move about their daily tasks and have these

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK

13


measurements analysed by computers will result in a health care system that prevents diseases instead of waing ll these disease discomfit us and then curing them. Also, social networking is evolving from a form of entertainment into a tool of enterprise. This evoluon is going to engender a revoluon in the way we do business, a revoluon that will improve the efficiency of everything we do. This has the potenal of eliminang poverty, which I believe is the biggest problem in the world today.

“I’M PRESENTLY USING MOTOROLA’S “BIONIC” ANDROID PHONE.” PHONICA MAGAZINE UK: What phone do you currently use? Are you an all-singing, all-dancing smartphone user, or do you prefer to keep it simple? MARTIN COOPER: All of the above: I always adopt the most advanced mobile phones as soon as they hit the store shelves. But when I want a reliable and no-hassle experience, I use the Jierbug phone and service. Jierbug is a simple phone and service that provides superior voice service (and texng, too, but only if you want that capability on your phone).

14

The buon numbers are large, the other buons are single funcon and labelled, and the operator (a real, live human) knows who I am and will even populate my phone book for me. Incidentally, my wife, Arlene Harris, invented the Jierbug phone and system. Jierbug is not yet available in the U.K. but we’re working on that. I’m presently also using Motorola’s “Bionic” Android phone. It’s the first smart phone I’ve owned that equals, and in some respects surpasses, the iPhone I also have an iPad, several notebook computers, and a computer in my office, all of which are synchronised to contains the same data. PHONICA MAGAZINE UK: The most expensive phone at the moment is a limited-edion iPhone 4 which is valued at just over $ 8 million. I don’t imagine you ever thought your brainchild would become such an item? MARTIN COOPER: I could not possibly have thought of that and sll find it unbelievable. The mobile phone is a tool that has the potenal to improve one’s life. An 8 million dollar phone would have to be treated like an art work, and one that is very likely to go out of style very quickly.

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK


PHONICA MAGAZINE UK: Tell us about your company, ArrayComm? MARTIN COOPER: I formed ArrayComm in 1992, along with two partners, with the aim of creang technology that would make mobile phone service more reliable and much cheaper. The technology is somemes called “smart antennas” but we call it “Mul-antenna Signal Processing” (engineers always have a talent for making thing sound more complicated than they are). This technology makes mobile phone service much more efficient by sending the radio waves directly to each user instead of broadcasng them in all direcons as with exisng technology. Smart antennas will be part of all future mobile phone systems. PHONICA MAGAZINE UK: What do you think of Google’s purchase of Motorola Mobility for $12bn? Are you happy with such a move or does it worry you? MARTIN COOPER: The Google purchase of Motorola will be a good thing for Motorola and for the public if Google lets Motorola exercise its superior hardware skills enhanced by Google plaorm and applicaon skills. If Google tries to second guess the hardware

people, Motorola is doomed. I should point out that the other part of Motorola, Motorola Soluons, Inc., is sll an independent company and is sll powerful in its markets that include communicaons systems for public safety and such products.

“WE NEED MORE COMPETITION AND MORE CREATIVITY. THE AUTO COMPANIES DO IT, WHY NOT THE MOBILE PHONE COMPANIES?” PHONICA MAGAZINE UK: Is there anything in today’s ever-increasing mobile phone market that concerns you? MARTIN COOPER: It is distressing that the mobile phone industry is apparently unable to produce a wide range of products that are responsive to the widely varying demands of people. The product variaon in the mobile phone stores is minimal; important segments of the market are being neglected. We need more compeon and more creavity. The auto companies do it, why not the mobile phone companies?

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK

15


16

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK


SAMSUNG GALAXY MINI A MID-RANGE, REASONABLY-PRICED ‘DROID THAT’S PERFECTLY ENJOYABLE TO USE Android has been around since 2007, but has really only come into vogue in the last two years or so. Saying that, the last couple of years have been massive, mainly due to Google to be fair, but if there’s one manufacturer that is synonymous with Android more than any other, it’s Samsung. Now, as most of you know the Galaxy phones are favourites of ours; from the low-budget, low-specificaon entry level handsets, to the all-singing, all-dancing world-beaters, they all impress in different ways. And the Galaxy Fit is no different. Seen as a spiritual successor to the Galaxy Mini, reviewed in an earlier issue this econo droid is a beauty to behold. The first thing that will strike you about the Fit is the screen size: it’s quite big, for a handset of such a mid-range retail price. This handset will keep on throwing up surprises too: a 5 megapixel camera, a robust feel, Gingerbread support before long, a fairly reliable processor and a fast internet speed, and pinch-to-zoom, which is not usually seen on the low-to-mid-level Galaxy handsets.

“IT’S NOT FAULTLESS, BUT IT’S A GREAT HANDSET.” The afore-menoned camera on the Fit is very good, in comparison to the compeon, and even some higher-budget handsets. We’ve seen far too oen in the past a camera that suggests it’s going to be good with a high pixel count, but is a let-down when it comes to quality. As I briefly menoned earlier, the build quality on the Fit is surprisingly good. The baery cover is vercally grooved, offering fricon with your hand, so the handset won’t be flying from your grasp any me soon, and the rest of the phone offers the basics: eyelet, headphone jack and charging port on the top, shuer key for the camera on one side, the volume

rocker and memory card slot on the other side, and the all-too-familiar home, back and menu buons that anyone that’s seen any of the phones in the Galaxy range will recognise. The screen won’t compare to any of the high-spec phones, but in comparison to phones of a similar type and budget, it more than holds its own with a high level of responsiveness, albeit with a fairly disappoinng resoluon. Operang system wise, Froyo is as enjoyable to use on the Fit as it is on any other Galaxy handset, with ease-of-use at a high, and up to seven home screens for all the apps you want to download from Android Marketplace. Noficaons appear at the top in the Noficaon Bar, which is where any missed calls, texts, updates and so on appear, as well as easy access to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, amongst others. The menu is the same side-to-side scroller, and the menu buon underneath the screen will allow you to edit the locaons of the apps, and delete freely. Storage-wise, 160 megabytes of internal memory is not the greatest, but you soon forget this as the Fit supports up to a 32 gigabyte memory card. The phone runs as fast as expected, and the internet is refreshingly fast. Most of the internet opons are accessed by the menu buon, leaving very lile to cluer up the screen whilst browsing, in fact, only the address bar and bookmark opon are le on the screen, and these disappear with me. The only let-down regarding the internet browsing here is the lack of Flash support. All in all, what Samsung have produced with the Fit is a handset that’s enjoyable to use, and runs Android smoothly. It’s not faultless, but it’s a great handset that people that those from all walks of like will love and snap up in an instant! Ma Foley

RATING: 74%

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK

17


SAMSUNG TOCCO ICON THE NEXT IN A LIST OF BEST-SELLING TOCCO HANDSETS THAT DOESN’T DISAPPOINT! Let’s start with a brief Tocco history: the Samsung S5620 Star II, more commonly known as the Tocco Icon, is the successor to the best-selling Tocco Lite (S5230), which is an off-shoot of the classic F480 Tocco. Sll with me? Now neither the Lite nor the Icon have beer specificaons than the F480, but both the Lite and the F480 were well-received. The only queson is whether the Icon will be as well received. The Icon has a familiar look and feel to it, for anyone who’s used either of the previous Tocco incarnaons, with the 3-inch touchscreen and the three buons underneath (Call, End Call, Home) similar to the earlier handsets, with the rest of the phone prey much the same, physically. The camera is a 3 megapixel, which is as expected, and most of the specificaons are lile out of the ordinary. However, one thing that did surprise me about this phone is that it has Wi-Fi, which, though unusual in a phone of this price, is surely a sign of the mes, and how the mobile phone industry is progressing.

“THE DISPLAY HOLDS UP FAIRLY WELL UNDER SCRUTINY, WITH THE RESOLUTION NOT GREAT.” The touchscreen is quite different to the one found on the Tocco Lite, which should be music to most people’s ears, given that although the Lite was a best-selling handset, the touchscreen was much maligned. That, however, has all changed, given that the Icon’s screen is a capacive one rather than the resisve on the Lite, making it much more responsive

18

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK


and fluid to use. The display holds up fairly well under scruny, with the resoluon not great, but given the price, it’s what you would think. TouchWiz is the operang system being used on the Icon, which is an interface that can be found either on its own, as in the case of the Jet and the F480, or in conjuncon with Bada (the Wave, Wave II,) Windows Mobile (Omnia, Omnia II) or Android (the majority of the Galaxy range of handsets.) Here the interface is very user-friendly, with widgets aplenty, up to ten home screens and multasking works very well.

“THE MAIN DOWNFALL OF THE ICON IS THE INTERNET, WHICH IS DISAPPOINTING DESPITE THE INCLUSION OF WI-FI, AS THE PHONE LACKS 3G.” Camera-wise, the Icon leaves a lile to be desired, in terms of a lack of both autofocus and, more importantly, flash. However, if you can ignore these two issues, the camera is actually fairly good quality, and there’s some Facebook integraon,

making uploading photos stress-free. The music player is reassuringly good; with a high sound quality level that more than makes up for the slightly poor volume. The main downfall of the Icon is the internet, which is disappoinng despite the inclusion of Wi-Fi, as the phone lacks 3G, meaning that when you’re outside of a Wi-Fi area you’ll have to rely on 2G connecvity, which is unpleasant to say the least. The browser itself is hit and miss. Somemes it will be nice to use, and otherwise it will crash and be generally very slow. Overall, the Icon is a fairly decent phone, but with a few glaring omissions. The camera has an average amount of pixels, and is fairly good quality, but lacks flash. The phone has Wi-Fi, so internet is quite fast in wireless areas, but the browser is limited, and crashes quite oen. The touchscreen is above-average, which is nice, and moves on from the disappointment of the Tocco Lite screen, and the social network integraon performs well and is surely an indicator of who the handset’s target market is. All of the above being said, we must remember that this is a low-budget mobile phone; at the me of wring, the handset retails for under £100, and for that sort of price range, the handset is up there with the best. Ma Foley

RATING: 68%

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK

19


SAMSUNG GALAXY FIT A MID-RANGE, REASONABLY-PRICED ‘DROID THAT’S PERFECTLY ENJOYABLE TO USE Android has been around since 2007, but has really only come into vogue in the last two years or so. Saying that, the last couple of years have been massive, mainly due to Google to be fair, but if there’s one manufacturer that is synonymous with Android more than any other, it’s Samsung. Now, as most of you know the Galaxy phones are favourites of ours; from the low-budget, low-specificaon entry level handsets, to the all-singing, all-dancing world-beaters, they all impress in different ways. And the Galaxy Fit is no different. Seen as a spiritual successor to the Galaxy Mini, reviewed in an earlier issue this econo droid is a beauty to behold. The first thing that will strike you about the Fit is the screen size: it’s quite big, for a handset of such a midrange retail price. This handset will keep on throwing up surprises too: a 5 megapixel camera, a robust feel, Gingerbread support before long, a fairly reliable processor and a fast internet speed, and pinch-to-zoom, which is not usually seen on the low-to-mid-level Galaxy handsets. The afore-menoned camera on the Fit is very good, in comparison to the compeon, and even some higher-budget handsets. We’ve seen far too oen in the past a camera that suggests it’s going to be good with a high pixel count, but is a let-down when it comes to quality. As I briefly menoned earlier, the build quality on the Fit is surprisingly good. The baery cover is vercally grooved, offering fricon with your hand, so the handset won’t be flying from your grasp any me soon, and the rest of the phone offers the basics: eyelet, headphone jack and charging port on the top, shuer key for the camera on one side, the volume rocker and memory card slot on the other side, and the all-too-familiar home, back and menu buons that anyone that’s seen any of the phones in the Galaxy range will recognise.

20

The screen won’t compare to any of the high-spec phones, but in comparison to phones of a similar type and budget, it more than holds its own with a high level of responsiveness, albeit with a fairly disappoinng resoluon. Operang system wise, Froyo is as enjoyable to use on the Fit as it is on any other Galaxy handset, with ease-of-use at a high, and up to seven home screens for all the apps you want to download from Android Marketplace. Noficaons appear at the top in the Noficaon Bar, which is where any missed calls, texts, updates and so on appear, as well as easy access to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, amongst others. The menu is the same side-to-side scroller, and the menu buon underneath the screen will allow you to edit the locaons of the apps, and delete freely.

“ALL IN ALL, WHAT SAMSUNG HAVE PRODUCED WITH THE FIT IS A HANDSET THAT’S ENJOYABLE TO USE, AND RUNS ANDROID SMOOTHLY. “ Storage-wise, 160 megabytes of internal memory is not the greatest, but you soon forget this as the Fit supports up to a 32 gigabyte memory card. The phone runs as fast as expected, and the internet is refreshingly fast. Most of the internet opons are accessed by the menu buon, leaving very lile to cluer up the screen whilst browsing, in fact, only the address bar and bookmark opon are le on the screen, and these disappear with me. The only let-down regarding the internet browsing here is the lack of Flash support. All in all, what Samsung have produced with the Fit is a handset that’s enjoyable to use, and runs Android smoothly. It’s not faultless, but it’s a great handset that people that those from all walks of like will love and snap up in an instant! Ma Foley

RATING: 74%

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK


PHONICA MAGAZINE UK

21


HTC HD7 WINDOWS POWERED SMARTPHONE INNOVATION? The first thing that you noce about the HTC HD7 is the size of the screen: it’s huge! Measuring at a whopping 4.3 inches, it’s certainly striking. Windows Phone 7 is one of my disappointments that I have with this phone. I don’t find it enjoyable to use, and the home screen strikes me as cluered. Now this is not a fault of HTC; far from it. HTC have been making decent phones for a long me now, but Windows Phone 7 is an operang system that, in my opinion, needs either reworking or at least a huge update. That’s down to Microso though. Enough said about the operang system, the phone is, as I said, very big, but not too big, and is sll usable despite its size. Despite the screen size, HTC have sll found space for the usual Windows Phone buons (Back, Start and Search, for those of you that don’t know) as well as the volume rocker and shuer buon on one side, and the power buon, which is also a lock buon as usual, on the top. Somewhat

22

strangely, the headphone jack and charging port are on the boom, and the rear of the phone is populated by the camera lens, flash and speaker, all of which are encased in a rather helpful kickstand, which is useful for watching films and such. The HD7 was far too unresponsive for my liking. As it’s a top-of-the-range handset, I expected an interface that did exactly as I wanted, when I wanted; what the HD7 delivered was a user interface which feels clunky, and certainly doesn’t run as fast as you’d expect from a handset with a 1 GHz SnapDragon processor and 576 MB of RAM. Another issue with the HD7 was the screen: it simply wasn’t bright enough. Given the colossal size of the screen, you’d expect the clarity and quality of the screen to be spot on, and it isn’t, and don’t even think about using the phone in sunlight, as the sun visibility is average at best. That’s not to say that the HD7 is an awful phone. Far from it, in fact, the HD7 is sll a good handset, and one of the redeeming features is the social media integraon, especially Facebook, which sits snugly in

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK


THE HD7 IS NOT A BAD PHONE, BUT IT IS BY NO MEANS WITHOUT ITS FLAWS. ALL IN ALL, A FAIRLY DECENT PHONE. your phone book (People on the HD7) and shows all your contacts from all of the synchronised accounts, whether they be phone numbers, Facebook contacts, emails, and so on, and any updates will be seen in the What’s New page. Messaging is as expected, and threaded messaging is found, which a useful inclusion is always.

“THE HD7 WAS FAR TOO UNRESPONSIVE FOR MY LIKING. AS IT’S A TOP-OF-THERANGE HANDSET, I EXPECTED AN INTERFACE THAT DID EXACTLY AS I WANTED.” The HD7’s camera is slightly above average, such is the nature of the 5 megapixel camera on board. The interface is nice enough to use, with virtual buons appearing on screen to switch from sll to video camera, to zoom in and to access the sengs, with all

shuer processes unsurprisingly being handled by the dedicated shuer buon. Music is beer than expected on the HD7, mainly due to the Zune branding, which includes a history of recently played songs, and video watching is enjoyable, especially given the kick-stand, whilst the sound quality on both is very good, meaning that you can hear every lyric of the song, every explosion of the film, in perfect clarity. In conclusion, the HD7 is not a bad phone, but it is by no means without its flaws. The operang system is quesonable, especially in user-friendliness and response me, and the screen is just too dull for my liking. There are posives too though; the screen is 4.3 inches, which is absolutely huge, and social media integraon is very good, whilst the camera performs well, and music and video playback are at a premium. All in all, a fairly decent phone. Ma Foley

RATING: 64%

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK

23


24

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK


SAMSUNG ACE THE ACE STANDS UP TO HEAVY SCRUTINY When I first heard that Samsung were releasing a phone called the Ace, I, along with quite a few other people (I imagine), groaned at the awful pun, thinking that Samsung had bien off more than they could chew with a name suggesng supremacy and a phone that was bound to be mid-range at best. Thankfully, I was wrong.

as I’d expect, and full customisaon, with the Ace being no different. Samsung have opted for side-to-side scrolling, as opposed to vercal, and this is a choice that I applaud, given that vercal scrolling on an Android handset looks quesonable at best. Musically, the Ace is impressive, offering a high quality playback and a very good loudspeaker, as well as YouTube integraon, and the video playback is slightly beer than average.

Now whilst the Ace isn’t as fast as the iPhone, nor is the camera as impressive as the Incredible S, or the internet as good as the Galaxy S II, this is all fine because this isn’t the market that Samsung are aiming for with this phone, and to compare it to these market leaders would be unfair. For the purposes of this review, its main compeon is the LG Opmus One and the previously-reviewed Samsung Galaxy Mini which, all being said, are both inferior to the Ace.

Given the mid-range price of the handset, the Ace’s camera is very impressive, packing 5 megapixels, as well as an LED flash and face and smile detecon, and the video capabilies are standard. Android’s impressive web browser is obviously found on the Ace, and the sparse interface that I’ve spoken of before is sll there, with very lile actually on-screen when you’re using the browser, and most funcons found with a quick tap of the all-too-familiar Android Menu buon, which is found at the boom of the screen, albeit a virtual buon, as well as another virtual buon performing the Back funcon, and the physical Home buon. The only thing that the browser lacks is Flash support.

First of all, the Ace is a very fast phone. The 800 Megahertz (MHz) processor means that applicaons run as smooth as can be, and the phone can easily handle many applicaons side-by-side, with very lile slow-down experienced. Email accounts and phone funcons are as excellent as expected from an Android handset, and the quick contacts feature, offering quick and easy access to various different funcons on a contact, is an impressive inclusion, though we’ve seen it before.

“ANDROID MARKET IS A FANTASTIC INCLUSION TO ANY HANDSET, AND THE ACE IS NO DIFFERENT.” This handset came with Froyo pre-installed, with an update available, and regular readers will know that I am fond of Android, and Froyo in parcular, as I find it very easy to use, the interface to be as user-friendly

Android Market is a fantasc inclusion to any handset, and the Ace is no different, with its minimalist appearance pleasing on the eye and easy to use, and a vast number of applicaons available, both paid and free, from games to organisers, QR readers to news aggregators, there is without a doubt an applicaon available for most of your Android needs. In conclusion, I really like the Ace, I think it’s a very good handset for the price, and has a very good camera, browser and music player. While its failings include an average video player, a limited storage capacity and no Flash support for the internet this is a very good handset for the price. And if you’re looking for a ‘droid that cks most of the boxes of the higher-specificaon phones, but doesn’t match the price range, then I’d suggest the Ace hands-down. Ma Foley

RATING: 82%

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK

25


SAMSUNG SOLID IMMERSE SAMSUNG RESIST WATER AND DUST, WHILST OFFERING A FAIRLY GOOD ALL-ROUND HANDSET. I won’t be surprised if I find out that many of you never heard of the Samsung Solid Immerse. It’s a low profile phone, and definitely isn’t on the radar of those of you that are aer an all-singing, all-dancing smart phone that can replace your computer. However, there are some people out there who aren’t aer such a phone, and prefer a rugged feel to their handset. Whilst this brings back memories of being able to throw your Nokia 3210 at the wall and having it sll work, there have been very few phones available that are so robust…unl the Solid Immerse.

“DUST ISN’T GOING TO BE AN ISSUE, WITH NOWHERE FOR THE DUST TO GET, AND THE WATER RESISTANCE IS THERE, BUT ONLY UP TO A METRE.” Specificaon-wise, the Immerse is nothing to get overly excited about. It’s a splendid candybar stunner boasng a 2 megapixel camera, Bluetooth, 3G and will hold up to a 16 gigabyte memory card, as well as limited social network support. The first thing that will strike you about the phone, however, is the appearance. Though the candybar look is nothing new, the phone is bigger than average, with easy to see buons, and generally feels chunky. Whilst this is usually a drawback to a phone, here it makes it easier to hold and feels tough. The side buons – volume on one side, camera on the other – are easy to locate, and the charging port (which also doubles as micro-USB connecvity) is covered by a dust-resistant plasc cover which, though slightly difficult to open,

26

means that nothing will get into the charging port. Samsung definitely understand their target market with this handset. Even the back cover has a latch to open it, which will only open with a key, coin or fingernail, so there’s no danger of it opening in your pocket. As this isn’t a smartphone, the menu is the old, original, basic 12 icons, organised in 4 rows of 3, and the slowdown for funcons is next to zero – by this I mean that when you ask the phone to do something, it does it straight away, as the funconality is limited. There is a Shortcut menu on the home screen, similar to that seen on for example the Samsung Monte Slider, which includes the limited access to both Facebook and Twier, but it’s doubul that this would be used by the market that Samsung are aiming for with this phone. The Immerse does handle calls well, and the text messaging is as expected, and the internet is perfectly usable, whilst the camera surprises by being quite good, with some interesng features on it (beauty, smile and panorama modes) but the queson is, is the phone really dust and water-resistant as Samsung claim? Dust isn’t going to be an issue, with nowhere for the dust to get, and the water resistance is there, but only up to a metre, which is more than enough so long as you don’t accidentally go swimming with your phone. In conclusion, the Samsung Solid Immerse isn’t going to be for everyone. It’s aimed at quite a niche market of phone users, but manages to do everyday funconality well, with a couple of surprises thrown in for good measure – apps for example, albeit no store of course – but it’s main qualies, the dust and water-resistance, the Immerse does very well, and will do anyone in need of a rugged phone very well indeed. Ma Foley

RATING: 74%

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK


PHONICA MAGAZINE UK

27


EDITOR’S CHOICE AWARD

DARK SOULS PUBLISHER: NAMCO BANDAI GAMES DEVELOPER: FROM SOFTWARE FORMAT: PS3, XBOX 360 GENRE: ADVENTURE RPG

PLEASURE OR PAIN? AGGGGGGGGGGAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! Excuse me, I was just leng out some pent-up rage, through the form of a down on my knees, fists to the sky scream. You see, I’ve been playing Dark Soul’s for the past few hours, and in that me, I’ve died, on average, once every 7 minutes. In the current climate of jocular, peasy, guide you by the hand gaming, Dark Souls is something of a twisted oddity. This is hardcore gaming in the most gut wrenching sense, where failure is more abundant than success. But, is that really a good thing? Dark Souls has been universally praised for being a properly fierce experience, but does unbeatable difficulty really quanfy praise? Dark Souls takes place in an open world of dank sewers, crumbling castles, depraved dungeons and flaming underground caverns. This is a realm of fantasy that has been violently dunked in paint

28

stripper, and held under unl its limbs go limp. There’s no gloss, no warm fuzzy glow, just horizon aer grim horizon of dilapidated, weary, depressed landscape. Even the plot has been striped to its naked bones, with you the player le to make it up as you go along, following the occasional pointer as you undertake your epic adventure into the unknown.

“IT’S DEATH AT EVERY CORNER, KICK IN THE BALLS GAMING.” How you tackle Dark Souls, at least from a start point, is up to you. At the start of the game, you can build your character from one of 10 different classes, such as a Warrior, Bandit, Cleric of Hunter, and then add a few extra abilies and characteriscs. Once you’re happy with your creaon, you’re unceremoniously dropped into a prison cell surrounded by the undead, and le to fend for yourself. As you work your way through the opening secon there is the occasional

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK


hint inscribed onto the floor, but mostly you’re on your tod. The game drops you off, tells you where to go, and, survival perming, will pick you up in around 60 hours. Ta ta! Freaks will kill you, falls will break your legs, bosses will trample you, arrows will pierce your skull and inescapable boulders will pancake you without any conceivable warning...umpteen mes. Yep, this is a rough sum-up of Dark Souls opening 30mins. It’s death at every corner, kick in the balls gaming, with even the most basic of enemies seeing you as easy meat, giving you a right good kicking before you’ve had me to blink. And if you think this is bad, wait unl a few proper bosses start showing up...and you’ve been defeated...over 100 mes. It’s not easy, not forgiving and to be honest, it’s not nice when all you want to do is get this opening level out of the way and crack on.. But eventually, through experience, you do toughen up, and start to understand that Dark Souls doesn’t want to help you; it wants to hurt you in the most sadisc and unfair ways you care to imagine. PHONICA MAGAZINE UK

29


Even taking a break is cruel. To save your progress you have to visit bonfires. When sing in the safety haven of their warmth, you can heal, spend your collected souls (of which you’ve earned every crumb) on upgrades, new weapons and poons, and in general just take a few moments to gather yourself before the next dal wave of death comes your way once more. But, when you heal, so do your enemies. It’s quite a shock when you scrape past a horde of nases, congratulate yourself, only to find they’ve re-spawned. This issue raises a rather complex taccal conundrum: do you heal at every opportunity, or take a risk and fight on? Do you keep fighng the same baddies to boost your currency, or make a run for it? Do you keep torturing yourself, or just give up in despair?

“DARK SOULS IS A FIERCE, UNCOMPROMISING, BRUTAL, UNFLINCHING AND UTTERLY EVIL PIECE OF VIDEOGAMING.” Luckily, to help answer this quesons (and keep suicide at bay), there’s a whole network of fellow players who bear the scares of experience and are willing to share them. Via Dark Souls’ online modes, you can live your adventure with other gamers, both seeking and giving advice when needed. Just like the hints that appear during the early stages of the game, you too can leave messages for any player that happens to wander helplessly along the same path - “watch your back”, “danger around the next turn” or “OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD THIS IS HOPELESS!!”. You can also watch the moments before a player’s death to learn from their mistakes, and if you’re really heroic, come to their aid and fight by their side. This sense of camaraderie, that we’ve all in it together, almost brings a tear to the eye, and as there is no speak opon, your silent companions remain both close and distant. You can choose to kill your fellow adventurers and steal their hard-fought souls, but these despicable people are condemned by the community. Dark Souls is hard enough without infighng. Dark Souls is a fierce, uncompromising, brutal, unflinching and uerly evil piece of videogaming. It’s a game that you don’t so much as play, but survive through desperaon and gried teeth. I

30

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK


would say that if you only play games for enjoyment, don’t play Dark Souls, but then that would be a massive contradicon – who plays games if not for enjoyment? And that leads onto the final point: should Dark Souls be praised, simply for being hard?

“DARK SOULS IS A MAGNIFICENT TITLE, AND IF YOU CAN SUFFER IT, YOU’LL LOVE IT.” Of course, there’s more to Dark Souls than just an obscene difficulty level. It’s a magnificent game, that provides moments of genuine magic and pleasure. This is RPG gaming at it’s very very best, and even if you spend the vast proporon of it’s wondrous journey smashing your face against a wall of bloodied brick in despair, Dark Souls is sll an exceponal tle. But, it’s staggeringly cut-throat. It’s a slog of a game, a test of paence and will, and for even the most endurance minded of gamers, it’ll be too much to stand. So how can this be praised? How can a game that is so punishing and frankly infuriang be commended? It’s a stance that personally I find hard to accept, and although Dark Souls is a rewarding tle, it’s tough to say that it’s worth the effort. Some will strongly disagree, and say that this is a proper hardcore videogame that a so wristed industry badly needs, but can they counter that the hours they spent in death, the days they spent baling fruitlessly, the sadisc torture Dark Souls provides, was actually pleasurable? Dark Souls is Marmite – actually, it’s Marmite with broken glass and rat dropping in it. Some will love the sasfacon of beang it brings, other will find it too hard to take. But, regardless, behind the savagery, Dark Souls is a magnificent tle, and if you can suffer it, you’ll love it....now, if you’ll excuse me... AGGGGGGGGGGAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! Sco Tierney

PRESENTATION: 18/20 STORY: 17/20 CONTROLS: 17/20 GAMEPLAY: 18/20 DURABILITY: 20/20

OVERALL

90/100 PHONICA MAGAZINE UK

31


DRIVER:

SAN FRANCISCO PUBLISHER: UBISOFT DEVELOPER: UBISOFT REFLECTIONS FORMAT: PS3, XBOX 360, WII, PC GENRE: SANDBOX RACER

CROSS-MIND TRAFFIC Driving a tail-happy automobile around an openworld city is an experience that is in abundance. If you fancy causing some carnage, there’s the classic GTA IV; if you want to parade around LA in some swanky blinged-up mothers, there’s Test Drive Unlimited 2; and if you want to outrun the fuzz or put some scum behind bars, there’s a proverbial boot full of Need for Speeds, not to menons Burnouts. So, with this intercity powersliding market well and truly gridlocked, what chance is Driver: San Francisco going to stand? Well, doubt not, as this clever racer from Ubiso as a sneaky trip up its sleeve... Depending on what version of Driver: San Francisco you buy – HD consoles and PC or the Wii – you’ll find a different story, seng, interface...hey, you’ll find a completely different game! The Wii port takes place across the 70s and 80s, with Driver faithful John Tanner finding his feet as a rookie undercover officer, following the death of his partner. To be honest, we’ll push the Wii port to one side, as

32

although it’s a perfectly serviceable racer, it doesn’t include the one feature that makes the alternave versions worthwhile. For now, let’s concentrate on the big-gun versions, which take place in the present day and follow on from the events of Driv3r.

“DRIVER: SAN FRANCISCO IS A SOLID ARCADE RACER, LIFTED BEYOND ITS MEANS BY THE CLEVER SHIFT FEATURE. “ The acon starts with all-round baddie Charles Jericho trying to escape from custody, while Tanner and his partner Tobias Jones keep chase. While in pursuit, both cops are involved in an almighty car accident that leaves Tanner in a coma, and Jericho fearing the worst for his partner’s life. But, while in this comatose state, Tanner is awakened in a dream that connues from where the accident le off. While in this REM world, Tanner can “shi ” out of his body, float above the world, and then transport himself into another person (as long as they’re driving a car). With this God-like ability,

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK


Tanner begins to track the escaping Jericho around San Fran, hoping that resoluon will allow him to escape from his coma...it’s basically a cross between Life on Mars and Quantum leap. I’m guessing aer that introducon of comas and leaping, your mind is well and truly melted, so let’s look at something far less taxing: the gameplay. Aside from the shiing, Driver: San Francisco is a very arcadey game to play, featuring plenty of street races, chase missions, med runs and stunt tests, along with the ridiculous central plot. Although these lile missions are dressed-up with the shi feature – a kid needs to win a race to fund his collage term; a rookie cop wants to impress his horny partner with some excessive driving, etc. – the tasks you undertake are sll rudimentary. That said, throwing a car around that has no understanding of the laws of physics is ruddy good fun, as is challenging your buddies online to a quick race around the city. With 19 mulplayer modes to enjoy, such as a game of It and various versions of trailblazer, there’s plenty to do once the daffodil up the bum-da campaign is complete. Visually, Driver: San Francisco is chalk and cheese. The cut scenes are fantascally realisc, featuring

spookily lifelike character animaons, but in contrast to these the actual gameplay graphics are solid if unspectacular. This contrast wouldn’t normally be a major issue, but as the cut scenes blend in game footage and pre-rendered clips, the game can oen feel unbalanced. It’s a bit like watching Toy Story and Steam Boat Willy at the same me. Overall, Driver: San Francisco is a solid arcade racer, lied beyond its means by the clever shi feature. Although the acon is oen repeve, there’s sll a massive city ripe for charging around. Driver doesn’t have the excitement or speed of its Needy twin, the glamour of Test Drive or the raw pace of Burnout, but it does offer something a lile different, and for that, it has to be worth a look. Sco Tierney

PRESENTATION: 16/20 STORY: 14/20 CONTROLS: 17/20 GAMEPLAY: 15/20 DURABILITY: 15/20

OVERALL

77/100

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK

33


CHILD OF EDEN PUBLISHER: UBISOFT DEVELOPER: Q ENTERTAINMENT FORMAT: PS3, XBOX 360 GENRE: MUSICAL RAIL SHOOTER

34

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK


THROW YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR LIKE YOU JUST DON’T CARE! Rez HD is one of the most popular and iconic re-downloads on XBLA. With its mix of ecstac and vibrant visuals, pulsing, user-controlled music and fierce rail shoong, the re-release of 2001’s PS2 and Dreamcast tle is sll as startling and mesmerising today as it was all those years ago. It’s a mad game. Insane. Like gargling LSD while watching Tron projected onto a jelly. But, despite its psychedelic brashness, Rez HD is without doubt a beauful game, plucked from the always innovave mind of legendary videogame designer, Tetsuya Mizuguchi. And now we have a prequel: Child of Eden. This one’s like scuba diving in Vodka & Red Bull while watching Naonal Geographic... While tackling Child of Eden’s five stages - or as they are known in the game, Archives - your task as the player is to repel an impending virus from saturang Project Lumi: a vast computer program that when completed, will give life to a human lifeform, Eden. As fans of Rez will know, Eden’s bales with firewalls and viruses form the bases of the original tle’s gameplay, so Child of Eden is very much a telling of how the Rez universe came to pass. That said, it’s hard to focus on something as complex as a plot, when Child of Eden is in full flow.

“CHILD OF EDEN IS ONE OF THE MOST STARTLING GAMES WE HAVE EVER SEEN.” Child of Eden is a rail shooter: a style of gaming where you are guided through an environment and offered plenty to shoot at. With both Rez and Eden, you don’t so much as shoot at targets, but rather, select them. Like achieving missile lock, you have to tag the relentless waves of baddies that glide around the screen, with firing being fully automated. You do have to watch out for enemy missiles though, as these cannot be simply targeted lackadaisically. Rather, they have to be shot down manually with your secondary weapon. To be honest, this style of gameplay can leave you feeling slightly detached, as you wa your crosshair around the screen, tagging

baddies and leng the rest happen automacally. Dogfighng in a rusty Spiire will always be more fun than allocang threat warnings for a Drone, if you see my point. How you play Child of Eden depends mostly on how suscepble your are to embarrassment. If you’re a cowardly shy, then the simple handheld controller is the hassle-free choice for you. But, if you want to feel the rhythm, then you can pounce to your feet and play via either the Xbox’ 360s Kinect, of the PS3’s Move. In our experience, Sony’s Move is far more accurate, as all you have to do is point your sensory lolly at the screen, but it’s not in the same league of fun-fun-fun as the Kinect. With the Xbox version, you aim by poinng the open palm of your right hand at the target, and then flick your wrist to fire. You repeat the procedure with your le hand for the missile aack, and if you want to fire euphoria - a mass aack that wipes out everything on screen – then literally throw your hands in the air like you just don’t care! But, that’s not to say that Child of Eden is an easy game. In fact, it’s a very smart game indeed. To progress from stage to stage, you’ll need to rack-up enough points, frustrangly, through replaying. But, the dynamics of each stage will change according to your last play – number, speed and frequency of baddies being the underlining alteraons. But you know, that: to hell with the technicalies! Forget about the automated gameplay, the da controls and the illogical replaying of every level: when a game looks this beauful, who cares? Child of Eden is one of the most startling games we have ever seen, and for that alone, it has to be worth the embarrassment of dancing in front of a camera in your underpants. Sco Tierney

PRESENTATION: 20/20 STORY: 12/20 CONTROLS: 17/20 GAMEPLAY: 15/20 DURABILITY: 14/20

OVERALL

78/100

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK

35


EL SHADDAI: ASCENSION OF THE METATRON PUBLISHER: IGNITION ENTERTAINMENT DEVELOPER: IGNITION TOYKO FORMAT: PS3, XBOX 360 GENRE: ACTION

FREAKYNESS... If you tune into BBC 6 Music at 6pm on a Sunday evening, you’ll be greeted with two hours of mad, twisted, unworldly beaufully and ulmately freaky music. Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone (and the corresponding Freakier Zone on Friday nights at 12am) provide a slice of radio that you’ll hear no where else, and for the most part, wouldn’t want to hear anywhere else. This ain’t easy listening: this is an assault on the ears with a lile mind melng thrown in. If you like the idea of hearing tracks from an album involving nothing but pig snorng, peculiar Korean propaganda anthems or the soundtrack to Vincent Price sawing Arthur Lowe’s head off, then the Freak Zone is the demented hub you require. And, if like videogames with a similarly crazed yet beauful feel, we might have the perfect companion... El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron is an acon-come-plaormer set around one man’s task of defeang 7 fallen angels. Armed with nothing but a suit made of white, a pair of skinny jeans and the

36

guidance of the creepy Lucifel, Enoch travels into the realms of the angels gone bad, dealing out a flurry of righteous, divine jusce. It’s a dreamlike tale spun from religious folklore and Manga-style flamboyance, creang an experience that is both touching, magical, and just a lile bit weird. The gameplay of El Shaddai is very basic: you’ll either be pouncing around in plaormer mode, or hacking baddies to death with one of three weapons: the Arch, a batlath type blade that can be swung vigorously, as well as used to glide; the Gale, a ring that allows you to fire darts of light at your targets; and the Veil, which looks like two massive armbands with shields aached. The only way to aain these weapons is to steal them from your enemies, so choosing when and when not to take a weapon is decisive. Also, aer extensive use, your weapon will need to be purified (cleaned of evil blood), which although only takes a few seconds and a push of a buon, can be troublesome when penned-in by nases. Excelling in combat requires ming rather than frenzied buon mashing. Instead of having to learn loads of complex procedural special moves, in El

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK


Shaddai, the me taken between each buon press will result in a different combo. Hing your marks is the key as the opposion and difficulty increases, so it’s worth experimenng early on. There’s also a brief snt where you have to pilot a Tron inspired bike around an electrical metropolis. But enough of this talk of gameplay. When compared to El Shaddai’s visual flair, playing the game rather than experiencing it almost becomes irrelevant. To put it simply, El Shaddai’s graphical design is astonishing, and remarkably varied. From the early levels of glowing neon skylines, to the purple exploding mountains, the sumi waterfalls, the crystal cannons, the inverted caves and the downright da cartoony sausage men, El Shaddai is mind blowing to watch. As a game, El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron is OK at best. It’s basic by the numbers stuff, with nothing that remains memorable or worthy of comment. But, from an arsc standpoint, El Shaddai has to be one of the most beauful games ever made. Sure, it’s a lile bit weird........hey, who am I kidding; it’s nucking futs! Sco Tierney

PRESENTATION: 20/20 STORY: 15/20 CONTROLS: 17/20 GAMEPLAY: 14/20 DURABILITY: 13/20

OVERALL

79/100

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK

37


38

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK


PHONICA MAGAZINE UK

39


Size weight Frequency Screen Pixels camera resoluon memory/compability bluetooth GPRS WLAN Browser Java Messaging Radio Music downloadable games downloadable ringtones Baery talkme - mins (max) Baery standy - hours (up to) bluetooth carKit compable

Size weight Frequency Screen Pixels camera resoluon memory/compability bluetooth GPRS WLAN Browser Java Messaging Radio Music downloadable games downloadable ringtones Baery talkme - mins (max) Baery standy - hours (up to) bluetooth carKit compable

40

Nokia 7230

Nokia 6730

Nokia 5530

Nokia E75

Nokia 6210

98 x 48 x 14.8 mm 100 g Quad-band/3G 240 x 320 3.15 MP 45 MB/microSD Yes/A2DP/microUSB Yes/EDGE Class 32 No Wap/xHTML/HTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email/IM Yes

112 x 46 x 12.6 mm 83 g Quad-band/3G 240 x 320 3.15 MP 48 MB/microSD Yes/A2DP/microUSB Yes/EDGE Class 32 No Wap/xHTML/HTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email Yes

104 x 49 x 13 mm 107 g Quad-band/3G 640 x 360 3.2 MP 70 MB/microSD Yes/A2DP/microUSB Yes/EDGE Class 32/HSDPA Yes Wap/xHTML/HTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email/AMS Yes

111.8 x 50 x 14.4 mm 139 g Quad-band/3G 320 x 240 3.2 MP 50 MB/microSD Yes/A2DP/microUSB Yes/EDGE Class 32/HSDPA Yes Wap/xHTML/HTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email Yes

103 x 49 x 14.9 mm 117 g Tri-band 320 x 240 3.2 MP 120 MB/microSD Yes/A2DP/miniUSB Yes/EDGE Class 32/HSDPA No Wap/xHTML/HTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email Yes

MP3/MP4/WAV/WMA

MP3/AAC/AAC+/eAAC/WAV/WMA MP3/AAC/AAC+/eAAC/WAV/WMA

MP3/AAC/WAV/WMA

MP3/WAV/AAC/WMA

Yes MP3 300 370 Yes

Yes Poly/MP3 600 500 Yes

Yes MP3 340 264 Yes

Yes Poly/MP3/AAC 222 244 Yes

Sony Ericsson W395

Sony Ericsson C903

Sony Ericsson Aino

97 x 47 x 14.9 mm 96 g Quad-band 176 x 220 2 MP

97 x 49 x 16 mm 96 g Quad-band/3G 240 x 320 5 MP

104 x 50 x 15.5 mm 134 g Quad-band/3G 240 x 420 8.1 MP

Yes Poly/MP3/AAC 294 351 Yes

Sony Ericsson Spiro

Sony Ericsson XPERIA

92 x 48 x 16.75 mm 90 g Dual band 240 x 320 2 MP

119 x 62 x 16 mm 175 g Quad-band/3G 854 x 480 5.1 MP

Play

5 MB/Micro SD

400 MB/Micro SD

10 MB/Memory Sck Micro

130 MB/Memory Sck Micro

60 MB/microSD

Yes/A2DP/Micro USB Yes/EDGE Class 10 No WAP/HTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email/IM Yes

Yes/A2DP/microUSB Yes/EDGE Class 10/HSDPA Yes WAP/HTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email/IM Yes

Yes/A2DP/USB Yes/EDGE Class 10 No WAP/xHTML/HTML Yes SMS/MMS Yes

Yes/A2DP/USB Yes/EDGE Class 10/HSDPA No WAP/HTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email/IM Yes

Yes/A2DP/USB Yes/EDGE Class 10/HSDPA Yes WAP/xHTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email/IM Yes

MP3/MP4/AAC+/WAV

Mp3/MP4/AAC

MP3/AAC

MP3/AAC

MP3/AAC

Yes MP3 270 475 Yes

Yes MP3 505 425 Yes

Yes MP3/AAC 420 480 Yes

Yes MP3/AAC 600 400 Yes

Yes Poly/MP3 270 360 Yes

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK


Nokia E63

Nokia N97

Nokia 3720 classic

Nokia 5800 Xpress Music

Sony Ericsson Cedar

113 x 59 x 13 mm 126 g Quad-band 320 x 240 2 MP 110 MB/microSD Yes/A2DP/microUSB Yes/EDGE Class 32 Yes Wap/xHTML/HTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email/IM Yes

117.2 x 55.3 x 15.9 mm 150 g Quad-band/3G 640 x 360 5 MP 32 GB/microSD Yes/A2DP/microUSB Yes/EDGE Class 32 Wi-Fi WAP/xHTML/HTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email/IM Yes

115 x 47 x 15.3 mm 94 g Tri-band 320 x 240 2 MP 20 MB/microSD Yes/A2DP/microUSB Yes/EDGE Class 11 No WAP/xHTML/HTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email Yes

111 x 51.7 x 15.5 mm 109 g Quad-band 640 x 360 3.2 MP 81 MB/microSD Yes/A2DP/microUSB Yes/EDGE Class 32 Yes WAP/xHTML/HTML/WML Yes SMS/MMS/Email/IM Yes

111 x 49 x 15.5 mm 84 g Quad-band/3G 240 x 320 2 MP 280 MB/Micro SD Yes/A2DP/USB Yes/EDGE Class 10/HSDPA No WAP/HTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email/IM Yes

MP3/WAV/AAC/WMA

MP3/AAC/eAAC/eAAC+/WMA

MP3/MP4/eAAC+/WAV

MP3/AAc/AAC+/eAAC+/WMA

Mp3/MP4/AAC

Yes Polyphonic & MP3 660 432 Yes

Yes MP3 570 430 Yes

Yes Poly/MIDI/Real Tone/MP3 420 450 Yes

Yes Poly/MP3 528 406 Yes

Yes MP3 750 420 Yes

Sony Ericsson Yari

Sony Ericsson Naite

Sony Ericsson C901

Sony Ericsson C510

HTC Desire

100 x 48 x 15.7 mm 115 g Quad-band/3G 240 x 320 5 MP

108 x 47 x 12.6 mm 84 g Quad-band 240 x 320 2 MP

105 x 45 x 13 mm 107 g Quad-band 240 x 320 5 MP

107 x 47 x 12.5 mm 92 g Quad-band 240 x 320 3.15 MP

119 x 60 x 11.9 mm 135 g Quad-band/3G 480 x 800 5 MP

60 MB/microSD

100 MB/microSD

120 MB/Memory Sck Micro

100 MB/Memory Sck Micro

ROM:512 MB/RAM:576 MB/microSD

Yes/A2DP/USB Yes/EDGE Class 10 No WAP/xHTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email/IM Yes

Yes/A2DP/USB Yes/EDGE Class 10 No WAP/xHTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email/IM Yes

Yes/A2DP/USB Yes No WAP/xHTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email/IM Yes

Yes/A2DP/USB Yes/EDGE Class 10 No WAP/xHTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email Yes

Yes/A2DP/microUSB Yes/EDGE Class 10/HSDPA Yes HMTL Yes,via 3rd party SMS/MMS/Email(Push)/IM Yes

MP3/eAAC+/WMA

MP3/MP4/eAAC+/WMA

MP3/eAAC+/WMA

MP3/AAC/MP4

MP3/AAC/MID/M4A/WAV/WMA

Yes Poly/MP3/AAC 600 450 Yes

Yes Poly/MP3/AAC 564 380 Yes

Yes Poly/MP3 570 430 Yes

Yes Poly/MP3/Aac 420 400 Yes

Yes MP3 400 360 Yes

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK

41


Size weight Frequency Screen Pixels camera resoluon memory/compability bluetooth GPRS WLAN Browser Java Messaging Radio Music downloadable games downloadable ringtones Baery talkme - mins (max) Baery standy - hours (up to) bluetooth carKit compable

Size weight Frequency Screen Pixels camera resoluon memory/compability bluetooth GPRS WLAN Browser Java Messaging Radio Music downloadable games downloadable ringtones Baery talkme - mins (max) Baery standy - hours (up to) bluetooth carKit compable

42

Apple iPhone 3G S

Apple iPhone 3G

INQ Chat 3G

BlackBerry 8520

BlackBerry Bold 9000

11.5 x 62.1 x 12.3 mm 135 g Quad-band/3G 480 x 320 3.15 MP 16/32 GB (internal)

11.5 x 62.1 x 12.3 mm 133 g Quad-band/3G 480 x 320 2 MP 8/16 GB (internal)

114.5 x 61 x 12.8 mm 93 g Tri-band/3G 176 x 220 3.2 MP 120MB/Memory Sck Micro

109 x 60 x 13.9 mm 106 g Quad-band 320 x 240 2 MP 256 MB/MicroSD

114 x 66 x 14 mm 133 g Quad-band/3G 480 x 320 2MP 1GB/microSD

Yes/USB

Yes/A2DP/USB

Yes/A2DP/USB

Yes/A2DP/microUSB

Yes/A2DP/USB

Yes/EDGE Wi-Fi HTML (Safari) No SMS/MMS/Email No

Yes/EDGE Yes HTML (Safari) No SMS/Email No

Yes Yes Net Front Yes SMS/MMS/Email No

Yes/EDGE Class 10 Yes HTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email/IM No

Yes/EDGE Class 10 Yes HTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email/IM No

MP3/MP3 VBR/AAC/WAV

MP3/MP3 VBR/AAC/WAV

AMR/AAC/AAC+/eAAC

MP3/AAC/WMA/AAC+/MP4/WMV MP3/WMA/AAC+

Yes

Yes

-

Yes

Yes

Poly/MP3

Poly/MP3

AMR/AAC/AAC+/eAAC/MP3/WAV

Poly/MIDI/MP3

Poly/MP3

720 300 Yes

600 300 Yes

480 170 Yes

270 408 Yes

300 310 Yes

Samsung B3310

Samsung Jet

LG GD510 Pop

LG GM750

Dell Streak

91 x 54 x 17 mm 101 g Quad-band 240 x 320 2 MP 40 MB/microSD Yes/A2DP/microUSB Yes/EDGE Class 10 No WAP/xHTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email Yes

108 x 53.5 x 11.9 mm 110 g Quad-band/3G 480 x 800 5 MP 2/8 GB (internal)/microSD Yes/microUSB Yes/EDGE Class 12/HSDPA Wi-Fi WAP/Dolphin Yes

97.8 x 49.5 x 11.2 mm 87 g Quad-band 240 x 400 3.15 MP 42 MB RAM/microSD Yes/A2DP/microUSB Yes/EDGE Class 12 No WAP/xHTML/HTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email Yes

109.8 x 53.5 x 12.9 mm 120 g Quad-band 240 x 400 5 MP

152.9 x 79.1 x 10 mm 220 g Quad-band/3G 480 x 800 5 MP

128 MB RAM/256 MB ROM/microSD

16GB/512MB ROM/512MB RAM/microSD

Yes/A2DP/microUSB Yes Yes WAP/xHTML/HTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email/IM Yes

MP3/MP4

MP3/AAC/AAC+/eAAC+/WMA/AMR

MP3/MP4/WMA

MP3/MPEG4/WAV/eAAC+/WMA

Yes Poly/MP3/WAV 300 380 Yes

Yes Poly/MP3/WAV 492 422 Yes

Yes Poly/MP3 200 360 Yes

Yes Poly/MP3 380 450 Yes

Yes/A2DP/USB Yes/EDGE Class 12/HSDPA Yes HTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email No MP3/WAV/eAAC+/WMA Yes MP3 580 400 Yes

SMS/MMS/Email/Vidoe/MS Exchange

Yes

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK


BlackBerry 8300 Curve

Samsung Galaxy S

Samsung Pixon 12

Samsung S5600V Blade Samsung Genio Touch

107 x 60 x 15.5 mm 111 g Quad-band 320 x 240 2MP 64MB/microSD

122.4 x 64.2 x 9.9 119 g Quad-band/3G 480 x 800 5 MP 8GB/16GB/microSD

108 x 53 x 13.8 mm 120 g 480 x 800 pixels 240 x 320 12 MP 150 MB/microSD

102.8 x 54.8 x 12.9 mm 92 g 240 x 320 pixels 240 x 320 3.15 MP 50 MB/microSD

103 x 56.5 x 12 mm 90 g Quad-band 240 x 320 2 MP 40 MB/microSD

Yes/USB

Yes/A2DP/microUSB

Yes/A2DP/microUSB

Yes/A2DP/USB

Yes/USB

Yes/EDGE No HTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email/IM No

Yes/EDGE Class 12/HSDPA Yes HTML Yes,via 3rd party SMS/MMS/Email/IM Yes

Yes/EDGE Class 10 No WAP/xHTML/HTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email Yes

Yes/EDGE Class 12 No WAP/xHTML/HTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email Yes

Yes/EDGE Class 10 No WAP/xHTML/HTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email Yes

MP3/AAC/AAC+/eAAC+/WMA

MP3/MP4/eAAC+

MP3/MP4/WMA/eAAC+

MP3/WMA/AAC

MP3/MP4/eAAC+/WMV/WMA

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Poly/MP3

Poly/MP3

Poly/MP3

Poly/MP3/WAV

Poly/MP3/WAV

240 408 Yes

803 750 Yes

180 250 Yes

120 250 Yes

480 730 Yes

HTC Desire HD

HTC Magic

HTC Hero

Apple iPhone 4

BlackBerry Torch

123 x 68 x 11.8 mm 164 g Quad-band/3G 480 x 800 8 MP

113 x 55 x 13.7 mm 118.5 g Quad-band 320 x 480 3.15 MP

112 x 56.2 x 14.35 mm 135 g Quad-band/3G 320 x 480 5 MP

111.5 x 58.6 x 9.3 mm 137 g Quad-band/3G 640 x 960 5 MP

111 x 62 x 14.6 mm 161 g Quad-band/3G 360 x 480 5 MP

1.5 GB/Micro SD

288 MB/microSD

288 MB/microSD

16/32 GB (internal)

4GB/MicroSD

Yes/A2DP/Micro USB Yes/EDGE Class 32/HSDPA Yes HTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email/IM Yes MP3/AAC+/WAV/WMA Yes Poly/MP3/Aac 550 420 Yes

Yes/miniUSB Yes/EDGE Class 10 Wi-Fi HTML Yes,via 3rd party SMS/MMS/Email/IM No

Yes/A2DP/miniUSB Yes/EDGE Class 10 Wi-Fi HTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email/IM Yes

Yes/A2DP/USB Yes/EDGE Wi-Fi HTML (Safari) No SMS/MMS/Email No

Yes/A2DP/microUSB Yes/EDGE Class 10 Yes HTML Yes SMS/MMS/Email/IM No

MP3/MP4

MP3/AAC+/WAV/WMA 9

MP3/MP3 VBR/AAC/WAV

MP3/eAAC/WMA/WMV

Yes Poly/MP3/WAV 450 420 Yes

Yes Poly/MP3/WAV 420 750 Yes

Yes MP3 420 300 Yes

Yes MP3 330 430 Yes

PHONICA MAGAZINE UK

43


Issue 24  

Our tribute to Steve Jobs, gone but never to be forgotten. "Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish"