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March 22, 2013 by Dean Quinn
Well, that was quite a week wasn’t it? A millionaire whose real name is Gideon stretched our pennies even further whilst subsidising mortgages for his peers, and former En-ger-lund wunderkind ‘lil Mickey Owen finally hung up his boots. But that’s really not all that important because a load of equally eventful stuff happened in the hectic world of mobile tech that is cooler than the other side of a pillow. Just in case you missed any of it by virtue of having a life, we’ve packaged everything up for you in nice manageable portions right here on this very page. Sitting comfortably? Right, we shall begin…
The Windows Phone 7 users who were a bit miffed at not being able to upgrade to Windows Phone 8 had cause to get even miffed-erer recently after Steve Balmer’s lot put the roll-out of the Windows 7.8 update on ice. The software patch was designed to placate those lumbered with WP7 devices by shoving a few WP8 features their way, almost but not quite making up for the fact that they’d have to buy a new device if they want a taste of Windows Phone 8. That all went awry though as it was discovered that the update was riddled with bugs causing things such as excessive data munching by those ever-so-pretty Live Tiles, along with poor battery performance. Microsoft halted the update’s distribution for a bit whilst it got things sorted, but everything is a-ok now and the software patch will shortly be winging its way to WP7 users everywhere. Probably.
One upon a time, in a dusty, USB cable strewn office of a major mobile phone retailer somewhere in the north of England, an editorial meeting was taking place. “I think, that people buying phones will want to know how they are going to get on with them in day to day situations,” honked a voice from behind a pile of discarded Nokia N-Gages. “Maybe we could do a feature where one of us uses a device different from those we’re familiar with for a set time and then report back – people will like that and it’ll give them some actual useful information rather than just lists of features and specs.” We forget whose voice that was but that feature became One Month With. Click here to read March’s installment in which an ostensible phone reviewer kicks about with Android Jelly Bean until it’s time to rip another page off the Cliff Richard calendar which inexplicably hangs at P4u Towers.
Now, you might well have heard that a smartphone by the name of the Samsung Galaxy S4 launched but seven days back, and that many, many people got very excited about it. One of the reasons that so many got whipped up into a frenzy about the 2013 Samsung flagship was that it was loudly trumpeted that it would feature a mahoosive eight-core processor, which indeed it does. Unless you live in the UK or that America, in which case your Galaxy S4 will come with a quad-core chip instead. Of course, when this came to light it caused a bit of a stink, but not to worry dear phone fans, because the quad-core variant is actually a bit faster, clocked at 1.9GHz, and has been included because it supports more bands of the 4G spectrum. And as we all know that 4G is going to blow up big style this summer, it seems like Samsung has called this one right.
Whispers had been afoot about a mysterious ‘X Phone’ for a while now, although details other than it’s being produced by Motorola – with the hand of Google up its innards, controlling it like some kind of macabre tech puppet – have been sketchy. The latest murmurs to emerge seem to suggest that we’ve all been barking up the wrong tree and the ‘X Phone’ will in fact be a series of devices, much in the same way that Jack The Ripper was most likely a series of men, all called Jack (we’re keeping with the macabre theme, let it go). Whether this all turns out to be bunkum remains to be seen, but it does tie in with speculation suggesting that Motorola is to morph into ‘Google Hardware’, giving the Android creator a device maker all of its own. We’ll watch this one with interest.
As we couldn’t be at the unveiling of the Galaxy S4 in New York last week for a variety of reasons (your electronic tag being the main one – Ed), our friends at Samsung kindly invited us to their UK headquarters to get touchy feely with the new device. Although there wasn’t much time to be had with the thing, it still managed to, in the main, justify all the hoopla that surrounded it. As it wouldn’t be fair to cast judgement after just a few fleeting moments in its company, we’ll hold off until we get to do a ‘proper’ review. For now though, feast your eyes on our lovely hands-on video and be sure to keep checking back here where we’ll have a full fat extended version for you soon.
And that, as nobody ever says, is a wrap. All the happenings that have caused the news-o-meter to go off the scale here at Phones 4u have been dutifully dispatched for another week and we’re all off to enjoy some downtime in a variety of ways, namely schelpping around East London watching a load of ‘cooler than thou’ bands, preparing our own bands for an upcoming tour and world domination, and whatever it is that the video lads and that editor of ours get up to in their spare time (not together, obviously). When that’s over though, we’ll be back next Friday teatime to do this all over again. Hope you can join us.
Android Ice Cream Sandwich
Android Jelly Bean
HTC One X
Samsung Galaxy Note
Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S III
Tips 'n' Tricks
Windows Phone 7
Windows Phone 8
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