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Computer Weekly's Gadget Guide on smartphones gives you a round up of all the latest smartphone news, previews, and reviews from Inspect-a-Gadget.
If you're researching the wide range of smartphones in the market head over to our guide for the low-down on the devices you just can't live your life without.
This is a guest blog by Clare McDonald.
It's been a busy month for Nokia. The firm has announced its latest 4G smartphone - the Lumia 625. The device was unveiled just a week after its new "camera phone" the Lumia 1020, and will aim to offer users superfast 4G at an affordable price.
Running Windows Phone 8 and featuring the new Nokia Lumia Amber update, the 625 is designed for users who want a simple smartphone experience, with the added bonus of a 4.7inch LCD screen. The screen will also feature Sunlight Readability Enhancement for those rare days of sunshine or to prevent glare from office lighting. As for the price, it was announced that the new addition to the Lumia family will be in the range of £200 before tax and other monetary additions, which definitely positions it as an "affordable" smartphone.
The Nokia Lumia 625 will offer many of the features that the 1020 is set to have, including the Nokia Smart Camera app, which will allow you to take a picture at around 35 less megapixels than the 1020. This mid-range handset also has 4G, but has a great focus on speed and ease of use.
· Height: 133.25mm
· Width: 72.25 mm
· Depth: 9.15 mm
· Weight: 159 grams
· Display: 4.7 inch WVGA (800x480) resolution
· Camera: 5 megapixel camera with autofocus LED flash, and a VGA front facing camera
· Processor: 1.2GHz Dual Core Snapdragon S4
· Memory: 8GB with ability to use 64GB SD card
With its 4.7-inch sharp display and fast internet access on Internet Explorer 10, this device might appeal to those wanting to spend their daily commute catching up on Game of Thrones or answering e-mails. The 625 will also boast the latest HERE Maps, HERE Drive and HERE Transit apps to direct lost travellers towards their destination. To top it all off, the use of Windows Phone 8 allows Lumia 625 users 7GB of SkyDrive storage for instant access to files from any location or device.
Those wanting to get their hands on this smartphone will have to wait for an official release date, but it is expected to be on sale in the UK later this year, and will be available in five different colours, complimented by the Windows Phone 8 'Live Tile' effect.
Upon release in the UK, the Nokia Lumia 625 will be available from Vodaphone, O2, EE, Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U.
Nokia has divulged details about their new smartphone release, the Lumia 1020.
The future of the Finnish firm has been furiously debated, and it hasn't been looking good for the mobile giants, with shares falling after poor sales. But there may be hope on the horizon in the form of their new smartphone-turned-camera, which has been built with the social media generation in mind.
A handful of Microsofties have expressed their excitement about the 1020, and since it's a Windows Phone, that doesn't come as a surprise. The phone will boast the Windows Phone 8 operating system, and as well as coming equipped with MS Office will also feature Lumia extras such as Nokia Music, an app that gives you the ability to stream live music to your phone when out and about.
Nokia claims the camera allows you to take photos "like a pro".
The 41 megapixel camera allows you to take photos that can then be cropped and framed accordingly. You'll soon snap through 7GB of cloud memory, but the device also comes with 32GB of internal memory.
The camera is also said to feature funky sliders which allow you to adjust the focus, shutter speed and white balance of a picture before taking it, meaning no need for filters before sharing images with clients and friends.
This 158g Lumia also has HD video recording with distortion-free sound feature, so you can capture the seminar you attended, or that special moment you never want to forget. Alongside the camera with Xenon flash, the 1020 also has a 4.5-inch ClearBlack AMOLED display with now standard touch screen technology.
Throw in a dual core processor, 4G, NFC and wireless charging and Nokia's new flagship device may become a serious threat to market.
Nokia has decided to hedge its bets by developing a top of the range camera, but whether this will be enough to boost Nokia's declining sales still remains to be seen, but there's no doubt that this piece of kit will be a must-have for creative types who love to share their lives. With people's disappointment in the iPhone 5 maybe the new Lumia 1020 will provide a phone that people can really sink their teeth in to.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 is available for pre-order in the UK through Clove and various mobile operators, although price has yet to be decided.
Huawei launched a few devices at CES in Las Vegas this week, while none of them were confirmed with regions, dates or prices, two smartphones, which are expected to ship to China and then worldwide, caught my eye.
The Ascend Mate - giant phablet with the "worlds largest screen"
Again, a growing trend at CES this week has been a huge leap in screen size, be that in tablets, phones, monitors or TVs. Huawei's Ascend Mate is a monster. Huuuuge, at 6.1-inches of HD 1280 x 720 LCD touchscreen compared the 5.5-inch screen of the Samsung Galaxy Note.
But tell me something, when tablets are generally growing to ridiculous sizes, but also shrinking to 7-inches, and smartphones are growing to 6.1-inches, where will the line eventually be in the phablet space? In six months time, what will be a phone and what will distinguish a tablet?
I found the Android device surprisingly light in the hand. The rows upon rows of Android apps sitting on the screen could get very messy or be a joy to organise for someone as OCD as me.
The Ascent W1 - Huwaei's first Windows 8 device
This entry-level Windows 8 device looks much simpler than a Nokia Lumia 920 or a HTC 8X. It still has the insanely bright colouring of the other Windows 8 devices, however it doesn't feel as superior as the other devices did when I first held them.
It's light enough, but still feels a bit chunky, like the Lumia. I found the back panel in the bright blue to look not very appealing in plastic, which made it look like a child's toy.
The device was fairly responsive, with easy scroll feature, but not as light to the touch as the Lumia and HTC models. It also comes with the standard additional features of Windows 8, such as kids corner and this model also features NFC.
As I said, no pricing or availability announced as yet.
"We have a very exciting update to share with you today - we are announcing Yahoo! Smart Phones, Smart Fun! As of today, Yahoo is moving off of blackberries as our corporate phones and on to smartphones in 22 countries*. A few weeks ago, we said that we would look into smartphone penetration rates globally and take those rates into account when deciding on corporate phones. Ideally, we'd like our employees to have devices similar to our users, so we can think and work as the majority of our users do."
With many photography apps integrated into the device, it is very easy to select Photosynth to take a 360 degree panoramic image, add little bits of video or eliminate people from your snaps.
Nokia has ramped up its navigation technology by describing it as a 'fully-fledge personal navigation device.' It has the capabilities to use the navigation technology offline, as well as functionalities which assess your daily commute for any traffic and adjusts the time you need to leave the house. Additionally Nokia transport works in a similar way and also provides indoor maps to help you make your way around train and bus stations.
The advanced mapping technology, City Lens, is the navigation's showstopper. City Lens is an augmented reality app which overlaps information about restaurants, cafes and shops onto the surrounding area once you point the camera at a building or street. You can then easily select a restaurant's website or seamlessly ring to book a table.
Diary of an outcast: Apple's Special iPad 2 Event
I will start with my favourite post, the infamous Apple event. I had been invited to Apple events before but somehow started getting missed off the list. I hate Apple so it was no surprise that they didn't want me there. Safe to say that after this post not only was I missed off the list but Computer Weekly never received an invite from Apple ever again.
iPhone Vs N97
This was the first big video project that me and David (video editor) put together. At the time I was so happy that I'd got the N97 I decided to make a video pitting it against the iPhone while mocking Apple's advertising campaign. Little did I know that the N97 would prove to be the worst purchase I've ever made in my life.
HTC Desire HD Review
David (who stars in this video) and I wanted to do something different and create a cool video review. This is what we came up with.
Sadly once we started recording David (and the department he worked for) were made redundant. It didn't effect the video but it wasn't a happy time for us. Having cleared out his desk he set up at home the next day to finish it. This was our last hurrah and the last video I made. Very proud of it.
What is the best mobile OS around?
At this point, no one wanted to be in any of my videos. The company was starting to cut back on them and so I tried to play four roles with four outfits and a moustache before I got told that what I was doing wasn't a productive use of my time. Honestly, how could they say that?
This video used to have a voting element that has since been removed because we couldn't afford to pay for the server the flash sat on.
The most ambitious video we ever tried.
Video: The future of business cards, I'm not taking the Poken
There was a girl I was desperate to go out with at my work. I needed to do a video to have a reason to talk to her but the only thing I'd been sent was a Poken. No phones or cool gadgets. Somehow I persuaded her to help me make this video. We're still together :)
Video review of the wiimote like Gyration Air Mouse
This video is pretty much when I realised that I can be funny. What people don't realise is that filming didn't take long but discussions between David and I on what was funny took forever.
He would stand there saying "That's not funny" every time I cracked a joke or did something stupid. Or one of my favourite lines of his was "You might think that's funny, but it isn't".
Video: Palm Pre vs the iPhone - The big debate
I had 2 weeks before Christmas to do a video armed with my wit and a white wig that was left over from a very bad 'Back to the future' spoof I'd made where I played the Doc. That video was so bad that the company we producd it for sent us a letter saying that if the video ever saw the light of day, they'd sue my a** off.
David went on holiday with a week left of editing/filming to do so I didn't have anyone to tell me that what I was saying wasn't funny and some of the editing is a bit off. It's still a good video but we felt it was rushed.
Video: I heart iPad - Dating website matches man to iPad
What do you do when you get your hands on an iPad before the UK release? Write a review. Then what? Make a video about having a special relationship with it. Yep, not sure why.
The HTC and Google story: A love affair and a tragedy
Lord knows what compelled me to write this. Had I taken more time to craft it, I think it could've been great but when I read it now I feel it's rushed. Still good, where the idea came from I'll never know.
Video: Flip Mino HD review
This video took 84 takes. For no reason at all I couldn't stop laughing during recording. We got in trouble because it was meant to take a couple of hours but took almost two weeks.
Video: Zeemote review - Is this the future of mobile gaming?
I did this video because Zeemote said that they'd give me a free phone if I reviewed it. So...
GeeklyWeekly Sexy Halloween Special
Wow, how bad is this video? It doesn't even have anything to do with gadgets!!