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March 1, 2013 by Dan Grose
Good afternoon tech fans, and happy Friday to you. It’s been a long old week that, as always, culminates in this ‘ere Pick Of The Week, and we’ve got a reet jam-packed issue for you today.
Some of you may have noticed that a little event called Mobile World Congress 2013 rumbled on throughout this week, and as such our round-up will be tinged with all the action from Barcelona. A lot’s gone on, so there’s plenty for you to be sinking your teeth into. Other than that, it’s business as usual, so let’s get to it…
It may be the proud creators of the likes of the Lumia 920, but it turns out Nokia certainly hasn’t forgotten how to make a cheap handset. The Finns unloaded a whole host of affordable devices at MWC this week, including one that almost defies belief. As well as few new additions to the Lumia family, most notably the bargain basement Lumia 520, Nokia also dropped the Nokia 105, a feature phone that will set you back just £12. As you can imagine, it doesn’t exactly come bursting with top features, and those wanting to do much other than calling or texting may be left slightly disappointed. Still, you get what you pay for, and we can bet it’ll be a typical Nokia trooper.
Speaking of troopers, CAT also released its first ever smartphone in typically hardened style. Much like a ten quid Nokia, a phone designed to be everything but bombproof is always destined to have a niche audience, yet despite this, the D13 still manages to be an impressive bit of kit. As well as being resistant to water, dust and who knows what else, the aluminium-protected handset still manages to boast a touchscreen display and 5 megapixel camera. So, if you enjoy a bit of the old rough and tumble (care to elaborate Dan? – Ed), you’ll now be able to take a picture of your activities without fear of your phone breaking. Ideal.
Although we love a new handset or a sparkly tablet, we’re a little bit intrigued by all the new operating systems being bandied about at the minute. And, as it happens, MWC was great place to catch a glimpse of the new boys in action thanks to the first Firefox OS device appearing on Monday. Whilst the handset was not much to look at, seeing the flame-coloured canidae (Noun; family of carnivorous mammals that includes dogs, wolves, jackals, and foxes – Dictionary carrying Ed) in action was a pleasant treat. This was quickly followed by some ex-Nokia chaps demoing their new Jolla Sailfish OS, quickly followed by a hands-on with Ubuntu, yet another exciting mobile platform due for release. Aren’t we spoilt? It was certainly a good week for an OS lover, that’s for sure.
Believe it or not, the mobile world actually kept turning outside of MWC 13 and the news that Google is planning its own music streaming service was a particular story of note. Although in the very early stages of planning it seems the Mountain View troupe want to get in the faces of Spotify and Rdio, meaning there could well be a tasty showdown on the cards in the near future. As such, we knocked up a little feature looking at the current mobile streaming game, and what a Google service might do to the competition. Give it a read, we get all technical and stuff.
Now it just wouldn’t be POTW without a rumour or two, would it? Of course not, so you’ll be pleased to hear that it seems the Samsung Galaxy S IV launch may be just around the corner. The Korean smartphone chaps sent out invites this week detailing an Unpacked event for 14 March, inviting guests to “Come meet the next Galaxy” (cryptic, eh?). Of course, it could be another addition in the long, confusing list of indecipherable tablet variants, but those in the know are fairly certain that it’ll be Sammy’s new flagship. And after what feels like months of speculation and half-truths, this is good news. It could just be another rumour though, so we’ve shoved all the speculation into one place so it’s easier to manage. Aren’t we nice?
Phew! Told you it was a busy one, but that just about does it for us here at the end of what has been a stress-filled seven days. Still, consider yourselves up to date with all the important goings-on. We’re off to slump into a quivering heap and contemplate where exactly the first two months of this year have gone. March has snuck up on us like a tiny, Easter-y ninja, and we definitely need some time to get to grips with it. We’ll be over it by next week though, so we’ll see you back here to do it all again. See you then, no doubt.
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