Thursday, July 18, 2013

The HTC One Mini is not (quite) a mini version of the HTC One

The HTC One is definitely one of the best smartphones currently on the market, but it is a little on the large side for some. So, following in the footsteps of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, HTC have announced the HTC One mini.

The HTC One mini really does look like its bigger sibling and retains the One's distinctive good looks, unlike the rival GS4 Mini which just looks like any other Samsung phone.

Of course, the display is smaller being a 4.3" unit rather than a 4.7" one and unsurprisingly it has a lower resolution (but still manages to be 720p). But inside, the CPU is much slower and their is less RAM and onboard storage and there's no NFC support. However the ultrapixel camera is still on the back plus the One mini supports LTE.

Compared to the Galaxy S4 Mini, the HTC One mini is bulkier and less powerful inside. On the other hand, it has a much better display and camera and more onboard storage. Overall, we'd probably go for the HTC over the Samsung.

We'll have a closer look at the HTC One mini later. In the meantime, HTC say that it will start to be available from August with a global rollout planned for September. We don't know the price, but the rival Samsung retails for about €400 and we wouldn't expect the HTC to be much more than that.

HTC One Mini
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini
Screen size
Screen resolution
1080 x 1920
720 x 1280
540 x 960
1.7GHz quad-core
1.4GHz dual-core
1.7GHz dual-core
Internal storage
32GB / 64GB
Primary camera
4 megapixels
(ultrapixel sensor)
4 megapixels
(ultrapixel sensor)
8 megapixels
Secondary camera
2.1 megapixels
1.6 megapixels
1.9 megapixels
2300 mAh
1800 mAh
1900 mAh
137 x 68 x 9.3mm
132 x 64 x 9.3mm
125 x 61 x 8.9mm
143 grams
122 grams
107 grams

Press Release: LG aligns premium smartphone behind new "G" name


G Branding for All Future LG’s Premium Phones
SEOUL, July 19, 2013 — The next flagship device from LG Electronics (LG) will be officially known as G2 and will be the first smartphone from LG to be launched as part of the company’s new “G” premium brand. Future smartphones in the same series will carry only the G name while the branding of mobile devices that have already been in-troduced will continue unchanged.

“Our vision is to make LG’s newest G devices synonymous with excellence, raising the bar even further for the ultimate in user experience,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of the LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “The new G2 will build upon the excellent reputation established by previous G Series products.”

Furthermore, LG’s premium 4:3 display smartphones will be rebranded as simply “Vu:” going forward. All of LG’s smartphones feature next generation core technologies and familiar UX with each series highlighting a different facet of the company’s product expertise.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Gadget casualties: 53% have attempted to fix their own broken gadgets

  • A third (33%) of clumsy Brits have broken smartphones or tablets
  • Most people break their gadgets by dropping them (39%), or spilling liquids on them (16%)
  • The most popular method of home gadget repair is Super Glue (38%), closely followed by sticky tape (30%) and elastic bands (18%)

London – A third (33%) of haphazard Brits have broken smartphones and tablets and, as austerity bites, over half (53%) of them have carried out emergency DIY repairs to mend their broken gadgets, according to the specialist gadget insurer Protect Your Bubble.

For DIY enthusiasts, Super Glue is by far the most popular home repair tool - almost four in ten (38%) have used the ultra-strong adhesive to mend gadgets. Just under a third of respondents (30%) elected to use sticky tape, with others have used implements such as elastic bands (18%), Blu-Tack (12%), hair ties (9%) and chewing gum (5%). Men (59%) are more likely than women (46%) to attempt a DIY gadget repair job.

So why attempt home repairs rather than simply getting them fixed? The main reason, cited by 41% of respondents, was the sky-high cost of professional repairs. Meanwhile, almost a quarter (24%) was simply prepared to put up with the damage. A further 15% decided to wait until their mobile contract was next up for renewal and they could get a brand new handset.

Men are six times more likely than women to break their phones or tablets by sitting on them, while women are four times more likely than men to damage their gadgets by using them in the bath.

As a nation, we’re coolly cavalier rather than carefully cautious when it comes to protecting our technology, despite top-of-the-range smartphones and tablets costing hundreds of pounds to replace. Of those who have broken their gadgets, a staggering 49% did so within just six months of purchase, while almost one in 10 (8%) did so when their gadgets were practically brand new.

Almost a quarter (23%) of accident-prone respondents said their phones or tablets were less than three months old when they broke them - terrible luck for smartphone owners locked into 24-month contracts and without gadget insurance. One in 10 (11%) have owned up to wrecking at least three gadgets.

Northern Ireland residents are the clumsiest when it comes to gadgets with almost half (48%) admitting to breaking smartphones or tablets, compared to only 23% in Wales.

Stephen Ebbett, director of Protect Your Bubble, comments: It’s easy to see why haphazard Brits would at least try DIY repairs with whatever adhesive implements they can lay their hands on, but I think most would tell you their amateur attempts to fix their gadgets didn’t work.

“People shouldn’t be putting up with broken, barely-working smartphones and tablets. Insure your gadgets and your policy will include cover for accidental damage, whether that’s a broken screen, speaker problem, call issue or battery malfunction, as well as liquid damage. And when a phone can’t be repaired, it will be replaced. Compare the cost of specialist insurance – £5.99 per month for an iPhone 5 – to the cost of replacing a £500 handset or tablet yourself, and it’s a no-brainer.”

About Online insurer offers comprehensive cover at fantastic prices. Its expanding product range includes low-cost insurance for gadgets, pets, bicycles travel, car hire and cosmetic damage to cars. Gadget insurance starts from as little as £1.49 per month.

Full gadget product details:

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Don't update Google Maps..

Don't update Google Maps on your Android device until you have read the reviews of the new version. Most recent review are very poor, giving it just one or two stars. The main problems are the sudden discontinuation of the popular Latitude service, a lack of zoom buttons, no Terrain view, the discontinuation of offline maps (although a horrible workaround is available), the loss of favourites and saved locations, missing Navigation options and even missing icons making it almost impossible to launch the application.

If you are a Latitude user then it's bad news as Google are terminating the service completely with minimal warning. Although the official end date is August 9th, this update removes Latitude functionality completely.

Many Google users are already smarting over the loss of Google Reader and iGoogle. Now it seems that the Maps functionality has been downgraded and Latitude terminated. What next? Perhaps it's a good time to start looking at alternatives..