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Alun Taylor

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Sony Xperia Go rugged Android smartphone

Sony Xperia Go waterproof Android phone review

The arrival of the Nexus 7 has given me cause to reconsider my next phone purchase. Do I need a 4.6in superphone now I have a 7in Tegra 3 tablet? Surely a small, rugged handset with good battery life, a decent dual-core CPU and plenty of storage for apps would make more sense. An outright purchase price of around £200 would be …
Alun Taylor, 30 Jul 2012
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean review

Only eight months have passed since I took a shufti at Ice Cream Sandwich, back then it was the new version 4.0 of the Android operating system for mobile devices. A few days ago, my Asus Google Nexus 7 tablet landed on the doormat. It's preinstalled with Jelly Bean, the ICS replacement and lends itself to poking with the …
Alun Taylor, 24 Jul 2012
LG Optimus 4X HD quad-core Android smartphone

LG Optimus 4X HD quad-core Android phone review

I was never much of a fan of LG’s Android phones, they struck me as rather ordinary and frequently hampered by an unhealthy obsession with 3D. But suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere South Korea’s other phone maker has delivered an absolute blinder. Between you and me, this may prove to be the best Android handset of 2012. LG …
Alun Taylor, 19 Jul 2012
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1

Review Judging by the lawsuits flying around, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 has been the only Android tablet to seriously worry Apple. Quite why is a mystery, because it has sold in nothing like the numbers of the iPad. Will the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 prove more of a threat by being cheaper rather than better? Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 Take …
Alun Taylor, 16 Jul 2012
Panasonic Eluga DL1 waterproof Android smartphone

Panasonic Eluga DL1 waterproof Android

Review Over the course of the last decade Panasonic all but vanished from the European consumer mobile phone market but it’s back with a bang with the Eluga - an acronym of ‘elegant user-oriented gateway’. Or at least back with a loud thump - the bang is really the Eluga Power, a 5in 720p Qualcomm Krait-powered beast due later this …
Alun Taylor, 06 Jul 2012
Orange San Diego Intel CPU Android smartphone

Orange San Diego Intel-based Android phone

Review If you own a smartphone then you are almost certainly using an ARM CPU. That’s good for ARM and its licensees but bad for Intel, as it wants a piece of the vast mobile chip market. Cue the San Diego, a retail version of Intel’s own Gigabyte-built smartphone reference platform built around a hyper-threading 1.6GHz Z2460 Atom …
Alun Taylor, 04 Jul 2012
Sony SmartWatch Xperia Android phone accessory

Sony SmartWatch Android remote

Review Sony has tried this remote phone manager and viewer malarkey before with its LiveView that first appeared almost two years ago. The idea was sound but the execution was somewhat undermined by the fact it just didn’t work. Evidently, Sony thinks it’s time for another crack at this concept with the SmartWatch Sony SmartWatch …
Alun Taylor, 27 Jun 2012
FolderSync Android app icon

FolderSync

Android App of the Week When Microsoft recently offered users 25GB of free SkyDrive storage it highlighted the lack of a good Android app to take advantage of it. Enter FolderSync, which lets you synchronise your Android folders with SkyDrive and just about every other cloud storage supplier. FolderSync supports most of the popular commercial cloud …
Alun Taylor, 26 Jun 2012
Huawei Ascend G300 Android smartphone

Huawei Ascend G300 budget Android

Review As an example of how much the budget smartphone has come on over the last 12 months you need look no further than Huawei's G300, which at £100 pre-paid is Vodafone’s latest entry-level Android smartphone. Huawei Ascend G300 Android smartphone Cost conscious: Huawei's Ascend G300 What do you get for your 100 spondulicks? A 480 …
Alun Taylor, 25 Jun 2012
Sony Xperia P Android smartphone

Sony Xperia P mid-range Android

Review Little brother to the Xperia S, the Xperia P is the second Sony Ericsson handset to arrive in the UK. The company's flagship S model prompted a slightly lukewarm response when launched but the Xperia S sets its sights lower as a mid-range handset on a par with the Samsung Galaxy S Advance and HTC One V. Sony Xperia P Android …
Alun Taylor, 20 Jun 2012
Songkick Concerts Android app icon

Songkick Concerts

Android App of the Week I’ve been waiting for Songkick to land on the deck of the USS Android ever since it was released for iOS a year ago. Now it has and it’s every bit as good as I was hoping for. Simplicity itself to use, once installed Songkick scans your music library as well as your Last.fm, Pandora and Spotify feeds and then creates a …
Alun Taylor, 19 Jun 2012
Samsung Galaxy S Advance

Samsung Galaxy S Advance mid-range Android

Review Things sometimes change fast. Take the HMS Lord Nelson, a fine battleship when laid down in 1905 but almost instantly rendered obsolete by HMS Dreadnought, laid down just a few months later. Or take HTC’s One V. A 3.7in single-core LCD Android phone now up against a dual-core 4in OLED-screen device for the same contract price of …
Alun Taylor, 14 Jun 2012
Asus Transformer Pad

Asus Transformer Pad TF300

Review It’s no secret that I like the Asus Transformer Prime a lot. Still, £500 is a lot for a tablet even if it does go like the clappers, is made of aluminium and has a cracking keyboard dock with a built-in extra battery. Asus Transformer Pad Can you tell Pad from Prime at a glance? No Asus has now addressed that issue by …
Alun Taylor, 13 Jun 2012
Volkswagen Up

Volkswagen Up!

Review They say good things come in small packages, and at only 3.5m long Volkswagen’s new city car is certainly small. To put that into context it is 28.5cm shorter than the unloved Fox it replaces and only 53.5cm longer than the original Mini. Volkswagen Up VW's done a good job with the styling There’s no denying VW has done a …
Alun Taylor, 12 Jun 2012
Eufa Euro 2012 app icon

UEFA Euro 2012

Android App of the Week Assuming you haven’t been on another planet for the last few months you'll be aware that soccer's 2012 European Championships kicked off in Warsaw on Friday. Sixteen teams, 31 matches and, I predict, the usual post-mortem in regards to England’s woeful performance. Not that I can gloat if England does crash out at the first …
Alun Taylor, 12 Jun 2012
Pocket Android app icon

Pocket

Android App of the Week Read It Later was one of the better Android apps for archiving web content to read at a later date and it has just been given a full makeover, a new name and a welcome price reduction. It'll now cost you absolutely nothing. The principle behind Pocket couldn’t be simpler: if you find something you like on the web just open the …
Alun Taylor, 29 May 2012
Vauxhall Ampera

Vauxhall Ampera hybrid e-car

First Look Only the most ardent electric-vehicle advocate would argue that the current state of battery technology and absence of recharging infrastructure isn’t an impediment to the widespread adoption of the e-car. On paper, the new Vauxhall Ampera – the European version of the Chevrolet Volt – has the perfect answer to this problem: it …
Alun Taylor, 29 May 2012
HTC One V Android smartphone

HTC One V Android smartphone

Review In the beginning was the Hero and then came the Legend, and now the Legend has sired the One V. Yes, the V is the runt of the One litter but its forebears had a solid following and, as a one-time Hero owner, I’m hoping the bloodline is in good health. HTC One V Android smartphone Another one: HTC's One V With the One V, HTC’s …
Alun Taylor, 25 May 2012
Novatel MiFi 2352

Ten... Mi-Fi HSPA 3G wireless mini-routers

Product Roundup Reg Hardware Mobile Broadband Week If you want cellular data connectivity when you're out and about you can cough up for a laptop or tablet with a Sim card slot, but they are hardly cheap. Or you can tether your phone if your telco lets you. Another alternative is a portable router. These can be bought with data contracts …
Alun Taylor, 23 May 2012
Evernote Android app icon

Evernote

Android App of the Week As a long-time user of Catch Notes it was going to take something quite impressive to get me to jump ship to arch-rival Evernote but a recent update and integration with the latest versions of HTC's Sense have persuaded me to do so. The upgrade has brought a new Ice Cream Sandwich-esque design to the app. There’s still an awful …
Alun Taylor, 22 May 2012
White Space networking

UK mobile broadband carriers compared

Product Roundup Reg Hardware Mobile Broadband Week Two years ago, I plugged a selection of 3G dongles into my laptop at various locations to see what the coverage and speed offered by the major mobile networks was like. You can see the results here, but with HSPA being introduced at ever higher upload and download speeds, it's time to …
Alun Taylor, 21 May 2012
IMDb Android app icon

IMDb

Android App of the Week If you're a fan of the movies then this app should be right up your aisle. Not only can IMDb tell you just about everything you could ever wish to know about just about every film ever made, but it has all the information you need to plan your movie-going night out too. Film opening dates, show times, the location and contact …
Alun Taylor, 15 May 2012
Hyundai Veloster

Hyundai Veloster coupé

Review Tradition dictates that cars look the same from the left as the right. Not Hyundai’s new hatchback coupé, though. It has a rear door on the passenger's side but not on the driver’s. Clever idea or gimmick? More to the point, will it lure buyers away from the the obvious alternatives, the VW Scirocco and Vauxhall Astra GTC? From …
Alun Taylor, 14 May 2012
National Rail Enquiries Android app icon

National Rail Enquiries

Android App of the Week I should use local trains more often, but there are several reasons why I don’t. One is I’ve no idea where most of my local stations are, let alone the ones dotted further afield around Manchester. Secondly, I can’t be bothered picking up timetables. The new National Rail Enquiries app solves both these problems and could herald …
Alun Taylor, 08 May 2012
Android app Textagram icon

Textgram

Android App of the Week Textgram is another app designed to differentiate your digital self from the masses, in this case by letting you send graphically enhanced missives as MMS messages, or as pictures to your social network. Maybe it’s the use of 'gram' in the name, but Textgram has already racked up between 100,000 and 500,000 downloads since its …
Alun Taylor, 01 May 2012
Google Currents Android app icon

Google Currents

Android App of the Week When Google’s Currents news and magazine reader was released late last year, I thought it one of the most visually attractive apps ever to come out of Mountain View. Looks aside, though, there was a lot wrong with it, not least the time it took to sync. A recent update claims to have fixed that and added a host of new features …
Alun Taylor, 24 Apr 2012
Navigon 20 Easy satnav

Ten... Satnavs to suit all budgets

Product Round-up The squeeze is on for satnav makers stuck between the rock of smartphone navigation apps and the hard place of the built-in systems that are finding their way into ever cheaper showroom models. Of course, there are still a heck of a lot of cars on the road that don’t have built-in navigation and while using your phone is fine …
Alun Taylor, 21 Apr 2012
HTC One S Android smartphone

HTC One S Android smartphone

Review Playing Tonto to the One X’s Lone Ranger in HTC’s new model line-up is the One S. I’ll get to Silver, the One V, when it arrives in a few weeks. For now though, we can see if HTC’s much vaunted One series makes sense from a technical, as well as a marketing perspective. HTC One S Android smartphone Tonto's talker: HTC's One S …
Alun Taylor, 19 Apr 2012
Instagram Android app icon

Instagram

Android App of the Week At last, the much vaunted iPhone picture blogging app has arrived on Android and, judging by the one million downloads it saw on the day of release, it’s been eagerly awaited. For the uninitiated, Instagram is a Twitter-like affair but with a picture taking the place of the 140 characters. You take a snap, jazz it up with some …
Alun Taylor, 17 Apr 2012
TED Android app icon

TED

Android App of the Week TED - or Technology, Entertainment and Design - is a series of conferences run by a private not-for-profit organisation called the Sapling Foundation. In its own words, it was formed to disseminate "ideas worth spreading". So what we have here then is a collection of 1200-odd - with more being added each week - video lectures …
Alun Taylor, 10 Apr 2012
Renualt Twizy

Renault Twizy budget e-car

First Look Some vehicles are more suited to certain geographical locales than others. Case in point: Renault's new two-seater electric runabout may not make much sense in central Manchester on a cold, dark, drizzly December evening. On the other hand, on a sunny afternoon on a Mediterranean island it could be right at home. Lucky, then, …
Alun Taylor, 10 Apr 2012
HTC One X quad-core Android smartphone

HTC One X Android smartphone

Review HTC messed up in 2011 by releasing too many similar handsets. There was nothing actually wrong with phones likes the Sensation, Sensation XL, Sensation XE or Incredible S but equally none of them had me itching to upgrade my Desire HD ahead of schedule. HTC One X quad-core Android smartphone The X factor: HTC's One X Now HTC …
Alun Taylor, 06 Apr 2012
Runtastic Push Up Android app icon

Runtastic Push Up

Android App of the Week Those of you with six-packs, biceps of iron and a physique from a eugenicist’s wet dream can stop reading now. For the rest of us, who have been planning to “get fit” next week, next month or next year, Runtastic’s Push Up app may be just what’s needed to whet our blunted purpose. The idea behind this app - like all the best …
Alun Taylor, 03 Apr 2012
Samsung YP-G70CW Galaxy S WiFi 5.0

Samsung Galaxy S WiFi 5.0 Android media player

Review I reviewed Samsung’s first Android media player just over a year ago and frankly thought it was awful. I'm sure I wasn't alone. Undaunted, Samsung tried again with a new device packing a larger screen, faster CPU and bigger battery but only costing £40 more. Samsung YP-G70CW Galaxy S WiFi 5.0 Second listen: Samsung's Galaxy S …
Alun Taylor, 03 Apr 2012
Toshiba AT200 16GB 10.1in Android tablet

Toshiba AT200 Excite

Review At only 7.7mm thick, Toshiba boasts that its new tablet is the slimmest yet and it’s a claim I can’t argue with either. Dubbed the Excite in the US and the rather less exciting AT200 elsewhere, Tosh's slim slab is 0.9mm thinner than the previous title holder, the Samsung Galaxy 10.1. While the Apple iPad 2 seems positively …
Alun Taylor, 02 Apr 2012
Dijit Android app icon

Dijit

Android App of the Week It’s two-for-one this week as I take a look at the Dijit remote control app and Griffin Technologies' Beacon accessory, which connects to your phone over Bluetooth and then operates your home entertainment kit. Dijit Android app screenshot   Dijit Android app screenshot Devices get basic layouts, such as this one for a Sky+ box …
Alun Taylor, 27 Mar 2012
N7Player Android app icon

N7Player

Android App of the Week It’s not often that I come across an application that displaces a default choice on my phone within minutes of me downloading it, but the N7Player music player is just one such. I think it’s brilliant. Before I go on, let me make one thing clear: I’m an obsessive about album cover art. I go to great, some would say unhealthy …
Alun Taylor, 20 Mar 2012
Viewsonic Viewpad 10e Android tablet

Viewsonic Viewpad 10e tablet

Review ‘Budget tablet’ is a phrase that tends to crop up in reviews that only ever reach one conclusion: the product is pretty awful. But the new Viewsonic Viewpad 10e may be the exception that proves the rule, because this £200 Argos-exclusive ain’t half bad. Viewsonic Viewpad 10e Android tablet Viewsonic's Viewpad 10e adopts the …
Alun Taylor, 15 Mar 2012
Panasonic CF-53 Toughbook rugged laptop

Panasonic CF-53 Toughbook 14in rugged laptop

Review Skinny Ultrabooks may be getting all the press at the moment but what it you want a laptop that will withstand the knocks, drops and tribulations of use on the road and in the great outdoors rather than the board-room? Panasonic’s semi-rugged CF-53 Toughbook may be just the ticket. Panasonic CF-53 Toughbook rugged laptop Ready …
Alun Taylor, 13 Mar 2012
TuneIn Pro Android app icon

TuneIn Radio Pro

Android App of the Week I stumbled across TuneIn while reviewing the Archos 35 Home Connect - it’s preinstalled as that device’s main radio portal - and since that chance encounter it has ended up on all my Android devices. TuneIn allegedly offers over 50,000 internet radio stations and 1.2m on-demand programmes. I’m not about to count them to see if …
Alun Taylor, 13 Mar 2012
Gadgets for cars

Ten... in-car gadgets and accessories

Car Week Reg Hardware Car Week With so much tech being built into the even the most mundane of motors, writing round-ups of car gadgets isn’t as easy as it used to be. For this list, the brief was even more exacting: only include kit that if you were given one for Christmas it wouldn’t be on eBay come Boxing Day. There’s a lot here to …
Alun Taylor, 10 Mar 2012
Geneva Motor Show visitor

Ten... stars of the Geneva Motor Show

Car Week Reg Hardware Car Week The annual automotive get-together on the shores of Lake Geneva is arguably now the premier annual European car show. With auto makers having a better time of the current economic situation than many other manufacturing concerns, there was a definite feeling of optimism about the halls of the 82nd Geneva …
Alun Taylor, 09 Mar 2012
Renault Megane 265 Trophy

Renault Mégane 265 Trophy 2.0 turbo

Review Reg Hardware Car Week Lap times around the fearsome 13 mile Nürburgring have become a touchstone for performance road cars in recent years. Renault’s new Mégane 265 Trophy has been hustled around in 8m 08s, which is the current lap record for a front-wheel drive car. Renault Megane 265 Trophy Not a subtle car To put that …
Alun Taylor, 08 Mar 2012
Vauxhall Ampera E-Rev e-car

Ten... e-cars and hybrids

Car Week Reg Hardware Car Week What started out as a dribble in 2011 is becoming a deluge in 2012 as e-cars in the form of pure electrics, range extenders and plug-in hybrids capabilities start to become ever more common. Until we see a major breakthrough in battery tech, the day will belong to the plug-in hybrids and REs, but that’s …
Alun Taylor, 07 Mar 2012
Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4 diesel electric hybrid

Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4

First look Reg Hardware Car Week Car company PRs are always a chirpy bunch, but with a practised eye you can tell when they think they are really on to something. That's currently the case with the folk from Peugeot, who are like a dog with two tails to wag when talking about the new 3008 HYbrid4, the world’s first diesel electric …
Alun Taylor, 06 Mar 2012
iOnRoad Augmented Driving app icon

iOnRoad Augmented Driving

Android App of the Week Reg Hardware Car Week Possibly the most - only? - useful augmented reality app I’ve come across, iOnRoad Augmented Driving uses your phone to provide a selection of handy driving advisories and warnings not unlike those provided by the latest Ford Focus. The app uses your phone’s rear camera to scan traffic in front of you. …
Alun Taylor, 06 Mar 2012
Toyota Prius plug-in

Future car tech

Car Week Reg Hardware Car Week You are probably expecting me to start this feature with a hymn of praise to the electric car, but I’m not. The Nissan Leaf has been on sale for the best part of 12 months and all the e-cars on the horizon, from the Renault Zoe to the Tesla Model S, are simply variations on the theme. The electric car is …
Alun Taylor, 05 Mar 2012
Lenovo ThinkPad Android Tablet

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet

Review Reg Hardware Mobile Week Lenovo currently fields three Android tablets. The IdeaPad A1 and K1 are aimed at the general consumer while the third model carries the revered ThinkPad moniker and with it expectations of brick outhouse build quality, business-user friendliness and no-nonsense styling. Lenovo ThinkPad Android …
Alun Taylor, 02 Mar 2012
Sprinkle Android game icon

Ten... top Android games

App of the Week Special Reg Hardware Mobile Week Traditionally, if you wanted your phone or media player to double up as a gaming platform, you bought an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. But the last 12 months have seen a veritable revolution in the number and quality of games available for Android. Some of the games here had me giggling like a fool, …
Alun Taylor, 28 Feb 2012
AppAware Android app icon

AppAware

Android App of the Week Developed mobile ecosystems are all well and good but a marketplace with over a third of a million apps raises one significant problem – how to discover new and worthwhile stuff. AppAware – which underwent a complete redesign late last year – aims to make finding essential and interesting apps more of a pleasure by providing …
Alun Taylor, 21 Feb 2012