Friday, 11 June 2010 - tech news fast! - tech news fast!

iPhone 4 vs Dell Streak poll results: Readers side with Android

Posted: 10 Jun 2010 09:43 AM PDT

Ho ho. We pitted the iPhone 4 against the Dell Streak monster Android tablet phone yesterday in our poll, to see which you sided with: the clean UI and burgeoning app ecosystem of Apple’s smartphone, or the epic size and power tinkerer skills of Dell’s first UK handheld. The results? A win for the Streak! Read on for the results breakdown.

We asked which side you feel on, and with a perhaps surprise majority, the Dell Streak cruised to victory, with 59.64 percent of the vote. The iPhone 4 meanwhile garnered 36.14 percent of the vote, meaning just over a third prefer Steve Job’s streamlined approach, while a mere 4.22 percent had a rival platform preference and voted for neither.

iPhone 4 UK price: What are you willing to pay?

If you read our Dell Streak review yesterday, you’ll know it’s a potentially divisive handset, with a huge screen, but absolutely immense potential with enough know how. The iPhone 4 meanwhile promises to keep things super simple and super slick with the addition of HD video recording and iMovie for iPhone – quite possibly one of the most powerful looking pieces of mobile software ever made, from the demo Apple showed on Monday.

Of course, we wouldn’t expect any individual Android device to catch the iPhone in sales figures any time soon, but it’s an interesting turn out for the books nonetheless, and a vote of confidence for larger, super stacked smartphones.

What do you think of the results? Can anything stop the iPhone 4 from cruising straight to the top of the pile? Are readers right to back the Dell streak? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Out TBC | £TBC | Apple and Dell

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iPhone 4 screen broken: will it be too easy to damage?

Posted: 10 Jun 2010 08:04 AM PDT

The iPhone 4 screen uses glass technology that Apple says it shares with high-speed trains and military helicopters and is “20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic”. But now pictures purporting to show a shattered iPhone 4 screen after a drop test have hit the web and people are asking whether it might be a little easier to break than Apple is letting on. Are they right to be worried or is iPhone 4 ready to cope with some rough and tumble…

The iPhone repair monkeys at iFix Your i claim they got hold of some original Apple iPhone 4 parts and have put them through some drop tests to see how well the screen handles shocks and impact. It's worth noting that they didn't do their experiment with a fully assembled iPhone 4 but rather a shell without the circuit boards nestled inside. Parts put together have a very different impact characteristics to the fully assembled phone shown in the iPhone 4 official photos.

iFix Your i says in its blog post that it dropped the iPhone 4 from a height of 3.5 feet and that on its third drop, the display shattered with a loud pop leaving the distressed looking phone you can see above. It also claims the iPhone 4 screen will be more prone to shattering because the display is not recessed or protected with a bezel like the ones present in the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS.

Taken at face value, iFix Your i's claims are quite worrying. However, most reports on test seem to have missed the comments section where the author seems to admit that it actually took around 6 drop tests for the iPhone 4 screen to shatter. If that’s true, it would mean the iPhone 4 display is pretty resilient.

Breaking the iPhone 4 screen could be a bigger issue than damaged displays in current iPhone models. The iPhone 4 screen and the Retina display are laminated together so if one is damaged you'll need to have both replaced. That would mean a new iPhone and Apple’s warranty doesn't cover that kind of damage.

How tough the iPhone 4 screen will actually be in every day life should have been one of our iPhone 4 unanswered questions. This iPhone 4 screen test is definitely flawed but we can't help but think that with glass on the front and back, the new iPhone will need just as much loving care as its predecessors. Those iPhone 4 accessories makers will do a roaring trade.

Let us know: have you had bad experiences with broken iPhone screens in the past? Do you think the iPhone 4 screen will be as tough in practice as Apple claims it is?

Out June 24 | £TBC | Apple (via PC World)

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Samsung Wave: Everything you need to know

Posted: 10 Jun 2010 07:45 AM PDT

The Samsung Wave has washed up on UK shores, complete with a dazzling Super AMOLED screen and brand new operating system, Bada. What’s special about the horsepower and new look software? Check out all our Samsung guides right here and we’ll breakdown all its USPs for you right here!

The Samsung Wave’s spec sheet reads like tech fan’s Christmas wishlist: there’s a super fast 1GHz processor, a five megapixel camera that can shoot HD video, and an ultra vivid 3.3-inch screen boasting Sammy’s latest Super AMOLED tech.

But all this high end gear would be for naught without smart, easy to use software, and the Samsung Wave has that in spades. The Samsung Wave is the first phone to run Bada, the all new operating system that’s easy to use, and easy to chat to your friends through, whether by email, instant message, or social network.

We’ve got all the details, guides and clips on the Samsung Wave you need right here – take a peep through the links to learn everything pronto, and check it out in our hands on video!

Read more about the Samsung Galaxy S and Samsung Wave
Samsung Wave: Social networking super-tips!
Samsung Wave: How to multitask with the Bada OS
Samsung Wave: How to manage all your social networks with My Account
Samsung Wave: How to keep in touch instantly, with push e-mail and IM
Samsung Wave: Chat for free with Instant Messenger
Samsung Wave: How to record video in HD
Samsung Wave: One-touch entertainment with widgets
Samsung Wave: How to stay organised with combined calendars
Samsung Wave: Tricks to accelerate your web browsing
Samsung Wave: how to squeeze the most from its Super AMOLED screen

Check out the Samsung Wave in action…

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iPhone 4 UK price: Contract or Pay As You Go?

Posted: 10 Jun 2010 07:04 AM PDT

With the iPhone 4 just days away from its UK launch, it's getting close to crunch time for anyone planning on picking one up: do you opt for a contract or do you do down the Pay As You Go path? Don't be shy – let us know what you're going to do to get your hands on Apple's next iPhone.

We now know that the iPhone 4 will be available both on contract through any of the five major UK networks, as well as on Pay As You Go through at least O2. So that's two very different options to pick from to start with.

iPhone 4 UK price: What are you willing to pay?

Which will you choose, given that Apple will almost certainly offer up a successor to the iPhone 4 this time next year? Are you willing to stick with the iPhone 4 for 18 months or even two years to get it for free, or at least a reduced price? Or would you rather keep pace with Apple's release cycle by paying the whole price up front every year via a Pay As You Go option?

Unfortunately we don't have the prices for either contracts or PAYG just yet, although regarding the latter, we'd expect the iPhone 4 price to be at least as much as O2's current price for the iPhone 3GS on its Pay & Go service: £449.

Anyway, we'd like to hear what you think. PAYG or contract? Tell us in the comments section below.

Out 24 June | £TBC | Apple

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O2 phasing out unlimited data in time for iPhone 4

Posted: 10 Jun 2010 06:40 AM PDT

O2 has just introduced a new mobile data model – and it seems the company is dropping its unlimited data plans – apparently in preparation for the launch of the iPhone 4.

From 24 June (which is iPhone 4 launch day, coincidentally), O2 will offer a trio of inclusive data bundles for new and upgrading customers. For example, if you sign up to a new 24-month smartphone contract at £25 per month, you'll get 500MB of data per month. £40 per month will get you a 750MB data allowance, while you'll need to be on a massive £60 per month tariff to get 1GB. There are no longer any unlimited data plans available.

Existing unlimited data customers sticking to their current plan will still receive the same service as they do now, at least until 1 October. They'll then be able to buy O2 Bolt Ons which include 500MB of data for £5, or 1GB for £10. Of course, these customers won't be able to use their existing SIMs in a new iPhone 4.

So, yes, if you do get your iPhone 4 through O2 you're not going to have an unlimited data plan. We asked the company if the decision was due to the arrival of Apple's new mobile, but a spokesperson referred us to the statement in the press release citing "more transparent pricing" as the cause. But it does seem like one heck of a coincidence.

O2's press release also points out that 500MB of data is 2.5 times that used by the average customer, and that the dropping of unlimited data bundles would leave 97 percent of its customers unaffected, based on current usage patterns.

Out 24 June | £varies | O2

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iPhone 4: the unanswered questions

Posted: 10 Jun 2010 06:05 AM PDT

The iPhone 4 launch was a mammoth event but Steve Jobs didn't answer all our questions about the new phone. We’ve been scratching our heads and peering at the specs sheet but still have some queries. From FaceTime to phone calls, dodgy docks to the iPod Touch, here are the most pressing iPhone 4 unanswered questions…

Will iPhone 4 be more reliable for making phone calls than the iPhone 3GS?
One of the biggest bugbears among iPhone owners has been dropped calls. Now that iPhone 4 has its aerial woven through its stainless steel casing, it should mean better signal and better overall phone performance. But until the handset gets into customers' hands and out onto UK networks we won't know how well it copes.

There's also the little matter of how O2, Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile and Three will handle all the extra data that iPhone 4 owners will be using. As we know from past experience, iPhone owners descending on one area tend to strip away signal like a swarm of smartphone-toting locusts.

What does iPhone 4 mean for the iPod Touch?

In the past, the iPod Touch has mimicked the look of the iPhone. Now it's left wearing last season's wardrobe with an inferior screen compared to the ultra-sharp iPhone 4 Retina display. We've seen plenty of iPod Touch camera chatter in the past so it’s likely we’ll see one added during the traditional iPod refresh in September. Could two cameras be on the cards to bring iPhone 4’s FaceTime to even more people? Apple’s been touting the iPod Touch for gaming more and more so slipping the Retina screen and a gyroscope into it too would make a lot of sense.

When will iPhone 4 FaceTime calls go 3G?
Steve Jobs said iPhone 4 Facetime calls will be restricted to Wi-Fi during 2010 but made it clear that Apple is talking with operators about bringing them to 3G in the near future. There's already whispers that jailbroken iPhone 4 handsets could be hacked to make 3G FaceTime calls but we may be waiting some time for an official solution.

Will iPhone 4 work with older iPhone accessories?
Cases obviously won't fit since iPhone 4 is thinner and narrower than the iPhone 3GS which is now left looking a little portly. As iPhone 4 comes packing the usual dock-connector, it should work with most docks and power accessories but compatibility issues could still crop up. iPhone 4 accessories are already flooding in though and Apple will be hoping you snap them up.

What much will iPhone 4 cost?
This is the biggest iPhone 4 query going right now but it's also the one we'll get an answer for soonest. With the iPhone 4 UK networks all lined up and ready to go, we should start to see iPhone 4 UK price details in the next week as preorders open. Make sure you head over to our iPhone 4 UK price debate to let us know how much you're willing to spend and see what other gadget fans might fork out.

Let us know: what iPhone 4 unanswered questions are bugging you? Put your iPhone 4 queries to us in the comments and we'll hunt down the answers for you.

Out June 24 | £TBC | Apple

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Samsung Wave unboxed: see the photos!

Posted: 10 Jun 2010 05:37 AM PDT

The Samsung Wave is on sale, so we thought we’d do the only decent thing and give it a full review for you. But before we do, check out the first Bada blower in our photo gallery right here. Read on and see what you get in the box!

The Samsung Wave has a lot riding on it: not so much because of its Super AMOLED screen, as lovely as it is (The Samsung Galaxy S has an even bigger one), but because it’s the first phone on the market to run Bada, Samsung’s new OS it’s betting developers will craft all sorts of apps for.

There aren’t any surprises in the box – just a USB cable, manual and reasonably made headphones – but this is the first time we’ve played with a black Samsung Wave rather than silver. It’s possibly a bit more prone to fingerprints, but it’s still a sturdy, smooth creation.

Samsung Wave: Everything you need to know. Click here!

Take a look at the Samsung Wave in our unboxing gallery right now, and sit tight for the full Samsung Wave review.

Any burning questions about Bada? Want to know how the Samsung Wave rates for movies? Anything you want to know, just jot down in the comments below, and we’ll bring you the answer in our full Samsung Wave review.

Out Now | £From free on contract | Samsung

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Sony 3D TV out this week!

Posted: 10 Jun 2010 05:29 AM PDT

Sony has announced that its first 3D TV models will go on sale this Friday, 11 June. The Sony Bravia HX803 comes in 40 and 46-inch screen sizes and totes a lot of tech besides 3D capabilities.

There will be two Sony 3D TVs available from this Friday in total (although there is still the higher end HX903 range to come): the Sony KDL-40HX803 and Sony KDL-40HX803. These are full 1080p models with local dimming edge LED backlighting, Motionflow 200Hz Pro motion enhancement tech, Freeview HD tuners, Bravia Internet Video, DLNA and four HDMIs.

All of which looks mighty impressive on paper. Of course the headlining feature of these TVs is their 3D active shutter technology, which works with special glasses to deliver 3D images.

On the 3D TV content front, Sony has launched a 3D ready Blu-ray player called the Sony BDV-E370, and it appears will be bundling a 3D copy of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs along with it (and other 3D products). You'll also be able to play 3D games on your PS3, and from July Sony's NEX-3 and NEX-5 cameras will be able to capture a high resolution panoramic shot for playback on your 3D TV in, yes, 3D! We've seen this demoed and it looks fantastic.

So it seems 3D TV is really starting to kick up a gear. We’ll be bringing you more 3D TV news as more products launch in the coming weeks and months.

Out 11 June | From £1,799 | Sony

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Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini unboxed: photos

Posted: 10 Jun 2010 05:19 AM PDT

The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini has landed in our palm at long last. The world’s littlest Android phone is about to get the full review treatment, but before it does, get a look up close at it coming out of its carton here in our unboxing gallery.

If you saw our in depth hands on with a pre production Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini last month, you’ll know we were mighty impressed with the tiny Android mobile. It may only run the older Android 1.6, but the 2.55-inch screen on the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini is delightfully responsive, and Sony Ericsson’s really made a good job skinning Google’s OS to work on such a small display. There’s no full QWERTY, sure, but for anyone happy with typing on a 0-9 display, it works just fine.

From our brief play with a review ready Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini just now, we’re not seeing any major differences from the one we tested earlier – no bad thing – but we are loving the extra colours back panels that come in the box.

Read our Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini hands on preview now

Stay tuned for our full Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini review, and take a peep at the micro mobile in our gallery right now.

Out Now | £From free on contract | Sony Ericsson

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Logitech Pro HD Webcam C910: 1080p video capture!

Posted: 10 Jun 2010 05:03 AM PDT

Logitech has unveiled a bunch of new webcams, including a top of the range model capable of capturing every inch of your mug in pristine 1080p quality. The Logitech HD Pro Webcam C910 will only record video in 1080p – it must be a little too hefty to broadcast direct over the web – but will allow you to make video calls in the slightly-less sharp 720p HD format.

The Logitech C910 webcam also captures audio in "crystal clear" stereo via twin microphones, one on each side of the lens, and can snap still photos at 10MP quality. It's expected to launch in August at around £89.99.

There are three other models in the new Logitech webcam family: the Logitech HD Webcam C510 (out August, £44.99) takes 8MP stills, can be swivelled 360 degrees and folded up for fuss-free transportation; the Logitech HD Webcam C310 (July, £34.99) and Logitech HD Webcam C270 (July, £24.99) take 5MP and 3MP stills respectively.

All these Logitech webcam models offer 720p video calling via the new Logitech Vid HD service, plus one-click upload to Facebook and YouTube and compatibility with all major video calling services (Skype, Windows Live Messenger, Gmail Voice etc.).

Out from July | From £24.99 | Logitech

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