HTC One Super Smartphone - All You Need to Know

HTC One Super Smartphone - All You Need to Know ... HTC have upped the game with a new unibody all metal design and super fast processor, plus a gorgeous screen. Check out what this beast of a phone has to offer by watching this latest new video.

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LG Google Nexus 4 Review

LG Google Nexus 4 Review ... the most raw smartphone to hit the scene direct from Google, manufactured by LG. Check out our review of the hardware & how it works with the latest version of Google Android Jellybean.

Geekanoids Amazon Wishlist
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The Facebook Messenger Application for Android

Now, if you don’t know what Facebook is, you don’t deserve to be reading this article so click off and go and read something else. For the 750,000,000 users that do know what Facebook is, then carry on reading for an insight into the Facebook Messenger application for android.

Recently Facebook has been changing all over the place with a new layout to the homepage (including the stalker feed on the top right) and new options and things being moved about all over the shot. Now, I’ve been a little sceptical to these changes because I’ve always believed if something isn’t broken, don’t try and fix it and by moving things around, Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg have confused a lot of Facebook users. However, one thing that I have really liked about the recent Facebook changes is the way that messages and chats are handled. Messages have changed in that you can pop up on chat to someone and if they aren’t online, it sends them a Facebook Message instead of waiting until they’re online to send the chat Message. Now, with this service in place, the Facebook team felt that it was suitable to make a Facebook Messenger application to almost replace modern email completely.

To begin with, you may feel that by me saying that it will replace modern email completely is a bit of an over exaggeration, but if you think about it, nearly everybody you know has Facebook don’t they? However, do you know all of their email addresses? Probably not. I admit that Facebook is possibly for the younger generation, but that just enhances my argument Facebook messages will replace modern email. The current population of 12-20 year olds will communicate over Facebook; if they want to talk to their friends they will leave them a comment on their wall, or if they are online will chat to them that way. In addition, with all Smartphones having push notifications these days, every one with a smartphone can receive the message almost as instantly as if they were sitting at home on their Facebook page. Another thing is that with the new messaging system, if the person that you wish to contact does not have a smartphone, Facebook will text them the message that you have sent (assuming they have their number on their profile) and they can reply by simply replying to the text. One last thing that helps my argument that this form of messaging will replace email is the simple fact, everyone now has an email address that if you are in an email application, you can email and it will send them that message in their Messages; genius!

I’ve rambled on about the new messaging service for Facebook enough, let’s get down to the actual application for Android. The application is set out so simply, but so well! When you open the application you simply have your feed of recent messages with each contact which you can access by clicking on the name of the person you wish to chat or respond to; you also have a compose message button.

When you click the button to compose a message, you are brought to a screen with a very similar design to the previous, but now you have an option in the top left (signalled with the trademark facebook ‘f’ logo) to take you back to the messages screen. When choosing the recipient you wish to send the message to, you simply start typing in the name and it brings up your friends with that name. One addition I like to this is that if they aren’t online it will show a little mobile symbol next to it, signifying that it will send it to their mobile app. Also, you can choose to send the person a text message from Facebook instead of leaving a message in their inbox. Just like the new Facebook chat and Facebook messaging service, you also have the ability to start group conversations with multiple friends on Facebook. Furthermore, in this screen, you have the option to add an image by choosing one of the following options: Take Photo, Choose Photo or Image Search. Another final feature is that you can add your location to the messages that you send (bit creepy and I’ve never used it, but nice to know it’s there.)

In the options you get the ability to alter the notifications with such things as whether it vibrates, whether it makes a sound, what sound it makes, that type of thing. Other helpful information to know is that you can either refresh by pulling down and releasing, or you can hit the menu button on your phone and choose refresh. Simples.

I have found myself using this application on countless times, in fact recently I received a message from my Network asking if I was still using my mobile as I had only sent like three texts in a month. I use this application more than I use any other form of messaging service. Even though you do get a message option within the Official Facebook app, I find this just quicker; you simply open the app, click compose, type the name, type your message and boom, you send it away. Such a simple application, yet such a useful one and a genius move by Facebook if you ask me; it just needs more publicity and maybe iOS and Blackberry versions to properly excel this application into one of the highest in the market.

Written by Luke. Twitter @l_harknessYouTube Channel


HTC Magic Mobile Phone Review

Looking for an alternative to the iPhone? Well, this Google Android powered handset could be for you. Check out my review of the HTC Magic... this was a keeper for me and is my current mobile phone. With so many mobiles phones on the market, the fact that I chose to keep this one is a real accolade.

Part two of the video covers the camera, Android Market and YouTube. You can view this second part here.

Product: HTC Magic
Price: £289.99
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HTC Hero - Android Goodness - The Full Review

For my regular readers, you will have already seen my video footage of the HTC Hero. It was a fun time, to finally try and give up my iPhone for an alternative platform. For all of you who haven't seen the video footage, you will find it on my YouTube Channel or throughout this review.

To kick things off, I must say that I was very impressed with the build quality. This is a sleek mobile phone, with a distinct angle near the microphone and of the unit. People cutely refer to this as 'the chin'. The design is an acquired taste, but I think that most people will find it endearing. The size is also very nice. Although not much smaller than an iPhone, it has some nice bevels and curves, so feels a lot smaller, and dare I say it 'more mobile phone-like'. This is also down to the slightly smaller 3.2-inch (320x480) screen. However, this sort of size is ideal for general use and also looks very good for web and movie browsing too. In the box you get a handsfree kit, USB cable, wall charger, quickstart guide and the Hero itself. We were lucky enough to get sent a white unlocked version from Clove Technology. This has an ultra smooth finish with a teflon coating (the white is the only colour to have this). The special coating is meant to repel greasy fingerprints... in my tests it certainly did.


Out of the box, setting up the Hero is very simple. This handset runs on the Google Android platform. As such it is very friendly to you, if you use Google's services, such as Gmail. Luckily I do, so tapping in my account settings had me up and running with my email in about 90 seconds. To say I was impressed with the ease of this initial setup is an understatement.

How this differs from other Android based handsets is the user interface (UI). The manufacturer (HTC) have developed an overlay UI called 'Sense'. Basically, this makes everything look nicely designed, all the screens match and you get a nice funky keyboard too. They also developed their own Twitter application, so at setup stage you are also prompted for your Twitter account. You can leave this for later on, but I popped in my details and it all went swimmingly well.

With the Hero up and running, you are presented with your home screen. Swiping ones finger across the screen reveals a further six screens, so that's seven in total, that can be customised. You can put shortcuts to applications, plus a whole load of widgets. Widgets are like tiny applications, for things like the weather, clocks, music, Twitter, etc. What makes this a pretty astonishing achievement is that they all 'live update'. So, flicking you finger across to your email widget, shows you your latest emails. The speed of the Hero is pretty good. With a small amount of widgets, there is hardly any lag. If you fill up every screen with a live widget, then you will notice some slowdown. Having said that, any phone that is running loads of processes will exhibit this too.
The internet is really nice to use, with HTC tweaking the standard browser. You get great performance, support for flash (albeit not 100% of flash works, maybe 90%). Plus you get multi-touch. So you can pinch and zoom your way around the internet in style.


The camera on this baby is a 5-megapixel offering. There is no flash, but it performs pretty well without it. Very low light situations will mean you get grainy pics. In room light the camera performs great, with good detail. Outdoors it produces well exposed photos, that are very colourful too. Video is not so good, mainly due to the low resolution, but how often are you really going to use it for video? At first (and I mention this is in the video), I was not a great fan of the one-push photo taking. You don't push down halfway with the trackball to focus, then the rest of the way to take the photo, as you would expect. It is all in one action. You push, the focus then locks on and the Hero takes the photo, all in one action. The reason I did not like this at first is because of my passion for photography. It just didn't feel natural. However, now I have got used to the idea, it makes sense. You can hold the mobile more steadily, without fiddling with the buttons to much. A firm push on the trackball and the Hero does its job.

I mentioned the widgets earlier in my review. Well, there really are loads. HTC have done a wonderful job in making the Hero stand out from the crowd. The weather widgets look wonderful. The music widget also looks great and performs well too. I won't list them all here, check out the fourth part of my video coverage below to see what the Sense UI has to offer.

Should Apple be worried? With so many people going the iPhone way, I don't think that they should panic. However, they definitely need to listen up. The iPhone OS is elegant and fluid, but when you sit down and think about it, maybe it is too simple. You brush your finger across pages and pages of icons. That's it, they are just icons. To check your email, you need to touch an icon. When you have finished, you need to come back to the home screen. Then to check your Twitter, another icon... finger cramp could soon ensue. With the HTC Hero, you have all of this information on your home screens. Swipe your finger to another screen and the information for your emails, tweets, weather, bookmarks and music is instantly there.
A lot of people rightly state that the App Store is fantastic. So many free applications and games, easily accessed, easily installed. Some paid apps are pretty cool too. Whilst this is true, the 'Android Market' offers a superb collection of freebies and paid for applications already. Give it another six months and I think it will really excel. Searching, downloading and installing things is so so easy. So this argument doesn't stand.
The HTC Hero is an excellent mobile phone. It offers great build quality and design. The user interface works fine if you don't overload it. The Android platform is quite frankly superb. If you need a smartphone for your emails, internet and social networking, the Hero is highly recommended.
Price: £391
Supplied by: Clove Technology
Contact: 01202 552936