Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fresh Out the Labs : Back2School Edition

Last week was definitely a busy one for the mobile industry. It started with Nokia showing off their new Windows 8 Phones, then Motorola and Verizon announced the new Droid Razr lineup and finally, Amazon revealed their new family of e-readers and tablets.


Nokia Lumia 920

Nokia's yearly product presentation, Nokia World, was held September 4th in Helsinki. This year's edition was special because Nokia was showcasing their first Windows 8 phones, even if Samsung kind of beat them to it with their own devices during the Samsung Unpacked 2012 event last week. The Nokia 920 and 820 are just like the Nexus phones from Google in the way that the hardware and software manufacturers worked together to create a product that works flawlessly. Nokia used to be the biggest cellphone vendor since 1998 but when smartphones started to become more popular, they had troubles keeping up with the competition so they partnered up with Microsoft. That was a great move because Microsoft had the power and resources to develop a mobile platform that would be able to compete with Android and Apple's iOS. So the Nokia Lumia 920 is Windows 8 flagship device and it is also the first Windows Phone with a 4.5 inches HD screen with a resolution of 1280x768 pixel which Nokia calls the fastest LCD screen. It sports a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, LTE connectivity, NFC, an 8 mega-pixel PureView camera and a 1.3 mega-pixel front-facing camera. All of this is powered by a 2000 mAh battery. It's little brother, the Lumia 820,  is like a toned down version of it. It has a smaller screen, a smaller battery, less on-board storage but it also has an port for an SD card, which the 920 does not have. It also lacks the PureView camera which is one of the strong point of the 920. The Windows Phone operating system is now up to par with it's competitors so the mobile market now has 3 strong players.

Motorola and Verizon

Motorola Droid Razr HD

Last Wednesday, Motorola and Verizon Wireless held a press conference to announce their three lastest handsets : the Motorola Droid Razr HD, the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD and the Droid Razr M. The Razr HD has a stunning 4.7 inches HD screen, a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor,1 GB of RAM, a 8 mega-pixel camera, a 1.3 mega-pixel front-facing camera, NFC, support for SD cards, LTE support and a 2530 mAh battery, which way more that we are used to. The difference with the Razr Max HD is that the Maxx has a 3300 mAh battery, probably the longest-lasting cellphone battery ever made. The last phone they announced last week was the Droid Razr M, essentially the same phone but with a smaller, not HD screen and a smaller battery. All of the Droid Razr are supposed to get JellyBean sometime in the fall.


The new Kindle Family

Amazon's presentation was widely expected by the Android fan-boys like me. They unveiled 4 new devices and each of them is pretty amazing. The first one is the Amazon Kindle PaperWhite which takes it's name from the fact that it looks way more like paper than any e-ready available on the market. It has to do with the screen they used to build it. Amazon is selling this new e-reader for a small price and that will be the key to their success. The next device they announced is the Kindle Fire HD, an upgrade from the Kindle Fire released last year. The new version sports a 7 inches hd screen with a resolution of 1200x800 pixel, 1 GB of RAM, a 1.3 mega-pixel front-facing camera and a micro HDMI port for video output. It runs on Android but it is a customized version of Android, meaning that it will have restrictions that other Android tablets do not have. For example, you will not be able to purchase and download content from Google Play which for me is a total deal-breaker. Amazon also released a 8.9 inches version of it with a full HD resolution, but is is mostly the same device with a slightly bigger screen. I do not plan to buy an e-reader any time soon because you cannot do anything with it but read, especially compared to a real Android tablet.


Next Wednesday, Apple will be releasing the next iPhone. As you can expect, I will be providing a detailed coverage of what will happen during the event. I am eager to see what Apple has in it's bag for us and what features will be added to the next iCellPhone.



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