Nexus 10 Review

The Nexus 10: Cutting-Edge Hardware for £319

The Nexus 10 is the latest member of Google’s family of Nexus devices. Sporting the latest cutting-edge hardware from Samsung, the Nexus 10 sits alongside the LG-made Nexus 4 smartphone and the Asus-made Nexus 7 tablet. It’s a 10.1-inch tablet which was designed to compete directly with Apple’s Retina ‘iPad 4’ and Microsoft’s Surface tablet.

In general, the Nexus 10 excels on the hardware front. It has arguably the best display of any tablet computer and is backed by an impressive amount of processing power in our Nexus 10 Review.

With an amazing 2560×1600 display, and Samsung’s fastest processor to date, the Google Nexus 10 screams “high-end”. Yet, Google will sell it at a mere £319, which is significantly lower than competing devices. It is a strategy that Google has rolled out with the Nexus 7, and so far, it seems to take hold, so Google is now extending it to three Nexus products: 4, 7 and 10.

Highest Resolution Display of any Tablet Computer

 

Over the past few years, Apple’s iPad has been seen as holding the gold standard for tablet computer displays. The iPad’s display is often described as ‘Retina’: this is because it packs pixels so closely together that the eye cannot distinguish between individual ones. The pixel density on the Retina iPad is 264 pixels per inch (264ppi) with 2048×1536 pixels spread across a 9.7-inch display.

To date, most tablet computer manufacturers have struggled to match the display on the iPad – even high-end tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (1280×800 pixels, 149ppi) and the Microsoft Surface (1366×768 pixels, 148ppi) have struggled to come anywhere close to Apple’s 264ppi display.

With the Nexus 10, Google and Samsung have finally managed to produce a display that outclasses the one on the iPad. The Nexus 10 features a 10.1-inch display with a resolution of 2560×1600 pixels. This measures up as 300 pixels per inch (330ppi). This means that all of your content should be crystal-clear on the display of the Nexus 10 whether it’s a book, a movie or a webpage. The Nexus 10 is able to play full high-definition video without sacrificing any detail. As full HD videos have a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels (1080p), most tablets will need to downscale HD video before playback. This is not the case on the Nexus 10.

 

Another notable feature of the 10.1-inch display is that it has an aspect ratio of 16:10. This is much more suitable for TV shows and movies than the 4:3 display of the iPad (TV shows and movies typically have an aspect ratio of 16:9). Due to its more appropriate aspect ratio, video content on the Nexus 10 can appear to be much larger than on the iPad and it ideal for apps such as Candy Crush.

Processing Power & Internals

To put it simply, the design of the Google Nexus 10 is beautiful. The front of the tablet is made of a pristine black glass surface from edge to edge. There is a 1.9 Megapixel camera at the top, and on there are big speaker grills on the left and right side of the screen. In theory, this is the best possible location for the speakers, because the sound is projected directly towards the user.

Every side has some connectors or controls. At the bottom, there is a 6-pin dock connector. On the right, you will find the HDMI port, at the top there are the Power and Volume controls on the upper-left edge. Everything is pretty clean, and the HDMI port will ensure that the tablet can output video to all HDMI-equipped TVs. That’s not the case for MHL over USB video output.

Another notable feature of the Nexus 10 is its use of a Cortex-A15 processor. Today, almost all major mobile devices use a Cortex-A9 processor (this includes the Galaxy S3, HTC One X, Nexus 4, Galaxy Note 10.1 and Microsoft Surface). According to ARM, the newer Cortex-A15 processors should be 40% faster than an equivalent Cortex-A9 processor. This means that the Nexus 10 should perform incredibly well. Indeed, its dual-core Cortex-A15 processor will outclass most quad-core Cortex-A9 processors.

The Nexus 10 is also backed with 2GB of RAM, 16GB (or 32GB) of internal memory, GPS and GLONASS geolocation capabilities and NFC support. Tablet photographers will also enjoy the 5 megapixel camera. There is a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera for video calling on Skype and for Google Hangouts.

Google Nexus 7 Review

Nexus 7 proved to be a huge success for Google. This was important for them to make a headway in the tablet market, no doubt, still ruled by iPad. A lot of Android tablet manufacturers could not even challenge the supremacy of the iPad due to concerns around fragmentation issues which exist within the Android ecosystem. And previous versions of Android OS simply lacked the ease of use factor which iOS has always been proud of.

So how does Nexus 7 stack up to these expectations that previous Android tablets have not been able to achieve?

My iPad 2 was gathering dust by now as my fascination for iOS experience had faded away after I started using Android OS first via Samsung Galaxy SII and then Galaxy Note. I sold my iPad and when I decided to switch over to Nexus 7 (you may probably think of this as a downgrade) I did consider Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 for once, however I wanted to skip Sammy on this one as they are very slow in releasing Android OS upgrades even on their flagship devices while they keep tuning it for their proprietary TouchWiz interface compatibility and SGT 2 7.0 scores came out well below Galaxy Note while I was running some benchmark tests on my phone.

Nexus 7 is officially not available in UK yet, so by the time I planned to order via a relative in USA, it was sold out online and in stores, so I chose to order via E Bay. My shipment was delivered within 15 to 20 days, in good condition and hassle free. Luckily I did not have too many issues un-boxing Nexus 7 with the kind of videos I watched on YouTube showing how difficult it was to get the tablet out of the packaging material used by Asus.

Nexus 7 tablet measures 198.5 x 120 x 10.45mm (l x h x w) and weighs 340 gm. It surely packs a premium feel to the build quality and a rubberised back which feels like thick textured plastic but allows better grip while holding the tablet. It also does away with the worry of your tablet picking up scratches or dirt smudges on the rear section with frequent use.

Overall look of the tablet is very minimal, no physical buttons below the lower bezel with the one similar to home screen button on the iPad. There is a power button with volume rocker on the top right hand side of the tablet, and has decent bezel space.

Nexus 7 does not have a rear camera. However there is a front-facing 1.2 mp camera with light sensor which can be used for video calls/conferencing. Surprisingly the placement of 3.5 mm headphone connector is towards the lower section of the tablet and not on the top, which is slightly intrusive while using tablet in portrait mode.

Nexus 7 scores high on portability, it cannot fit in your regular day to day apparel but it is easy to carry around in a sleeve case and would probably fit well in your suit or rear pocket in your jeans.

HTC One X Leather Case Review

htc one x leather case pouch onex

We’re so excited with the demo version of the HTC One X phone. With its impressive, crystal clear screen, crisp HTC sense functionality and Android Ice Cream operating system anyone would want to keep their new phone scratch free. Having kept my HTC Desire in an HTC pouch for the last 12 months I’m keen to see how the One X leather pouch stands up given that there are now a number of One X accessories available for the phone from speakers, to docking stations and mini keyboards.

The pouch itself consists of smooth leather into which the HTC One X fits snug. To extract the phone you pull on the tabbed cord at the back of the pouch – previously I had gripes about this with my HTC pouch – the ribbon cord kept getting tangled but the new one seems more robust.

There’s a multitude of ways you can protect your phone but I still think that these HTC leather branded pouches are the smartest ways of carting around what is a £400 phone.

Recommended.

 

HTC EVO 3D

Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC launched its smartphone HTC EVO 3D, which can be used as a  3D tv without glasses.

Priced at £500, the phone features a 3D 4.3-inch display and a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core processor. It also features dual 5 megapixel cameras, which can be used to capture both conventional and 3D images and Freeview HD Boxes and  videos.

“It is the first smartphone available in the Indian market offering a superior 3D viewing experience without glasses. We are confident that it will set a benchmark for 3D tv viewing and our consumers will make best use of this offering,” HTC-India head Faisal Siddiqui said.

As 3D TV has become more sought-after in both movie theatres and family rooms (with Sky 3d TV), the ability to enjoy glasses-free 3D on a wireless phone will change the way customers interact with their devices, the company said. A range of 3d TV reviews can be found here

 

Google Nexus S Released

The Nexus S is a smartphone designed by Google and manufactured by Samsung – ideal for getting past Candy Crush Level 33! It is the first smartphone to use the Android 2.3 “Gingerbread” operating system, and the first Android device to support NFC in both hardware and software. This is the second time that Google has worked with a manufacturer to produce a phone, the first being the Nexus One and now combined with Android at HomeGoogle Nexus s phone

HTC Desire & Nexus One Speaker

XMI X-mini HTC Desire SpeakerI recently purchased an XMI X-mini HTC Desire speaker.

It’s a small  very compact unit with rounded design that comes with a small pouch.

My first impressions were that this would be potentially be a let down; another small and sleekly designed speaker that outputs a tinny baseline.

Actually the output and sound quality is quite surprising, when the speaker is unscrewed the design of it actually produces a reasonable quality baseline even at high volume.

I took it on a lad’s weekend with my HTC Desire and the overwhelming feedback was one of surprise at the good quality sound output and funky design.

The 3.5mm jack means that you can also use it with a wide range of other devices such as your PC and MP3 players.

The speaker fits perfectly in a coat pocket and is a must have for anyone with a Nexus One or HTC.

There are also a range of HTC Desire Z accessories available.

Android Froyo v2.2 on UK O2 Network

O2 have issued the Android 2.2 update for the HTC Desire again – hopefully it won’t freeze and crash phones like it did the first time round.

HTC Desire owners on O2 should check their phones to see if the over the air update is available for them. Instructions on how to check and what to do are linked to below this article.
Android 2.2 brings many benefits including improved phone battery life, faster browsing and support for HD video recording, Flash 10.1 and file sharing between other devices.
However, it’s caused problems for manufacturers and networks with many updates not running smoothly. Orange had to delay its rollout, many customers have told MobileShop they’ve still not received it; and T-Mobile had to pull the update after issuing the German version of Android 2.2.
Are you a Desire owner on O2? Let us know if you have the update using the comments box below.

Nexus One Android beats Iphone on HTML5

Nexus One vs iPhone 4 on HTML5

In a benchmark test, the Nexus One outperfomed the iPhone 4 in rendering HTML5. What’s more, HTML5 rendering on the iPhone 4 running iOS 4.1 was even worse than Flash 10.1.

The benchmark test was run by Chris Black who ran Android 2.2 on a Nexus One and iOS on the iPhone 4.1. He found that the reliability of the rendering of an animation of a bouncing ball was far better with the Nexus One than the iPhone 4. The iPhone 4, through Safari was choppy and the animation came to a halt when zooming in and out.

The Nexus One was far from perfect, however the animation kept running even when zooming in and out.

Flash 10.1 on the iPhone?

Black also ran Flash 10.1 on the Nexus One and found that he was able to achieve 57fps – close to the target of 60fps. What’s more, running Flash 10.1 consumed half of the battery life compared to when running HTML5. iPhone owners may regret choosing a smartphone that can’t reliably run simple HTML5 videos. Adobe may still have a lifeline yet.

The test was also run on an iPod Touch.

Flash Player 10.1 now on Nexus One

Like us if you own the Google Nexus One you have probably been eagerly awaiting the launch of Flash Player 10.1.

This is now available via the Android Market and can be downloaded onto your phone

The file for Flash Player 10.1.92.8,  is 4.25MB in size and once installed on the phone  should improve your Nexus One’s already rich web experience.

Android HTC Desire

Android

The HTC Desire is a beautiful piece of technology. It looks great (in copper and black colours) and feels superb in your hand. The feeling of quality is confirmed when you switch it on and the super bright screen quickly appears (no long boot times with this phone). I had a play with an iPhone 4 last week and it felt very similar to this phone, although the iPhone interface (OS4) looks a little tired compared to this phone. The Desire comes with Android 2.1 and HTC has added the “Sense” skin to it. The combination (Android plus Sense) looks great – and much nicer than Apple’s clunky looking interface.

These products are not really phones. They’re more small computers. If you only want to phone and text you should get a real smartphone such as a Blackberry. But if you want a 21st Century communication device, this phone is almost perfect. It’s only weakness is the battery life. It’s not a show-stopper since you really will get a full days use out of it unless you have way too much time on your hands, but it will need to be charged every day. I switch off my phone every evening (honestly, you can too, you’re not that important) and leave it to charge overnight.

My favourite features just have to be the Sat Nav on android Google Maps and the fact that you can just plug this phone into a PC and hey ho you have 3g dongle broadband speeds.

Another great phone from HTC.