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Nokia 8.1 (Nokia X7) Android smartphone. Announced Dec 2018. Features 6.18″ IPS LCD display, Snapdragon 710 chipset,
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Quick Overview

The best price of Nokia 8.1 (Nokia X7) is 1,389.00 SAR at ae.pricena.com/en/ Store.

  • This Mobile runs on Android 9.0 (Pie); Android One powered with Octa-core (2x2.2 GHz 360 Gold & 6x1.7 GHz Kryo 360 Silver).
  • This Mobile has 12 MP, f/1.8, 1/2.55", 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS 13 MP and has 20 MP, f/2.0, 0.9µm Secondary camera
  • This Mobile has 6.18 inches, 95.3 cm2 (~81.2% screen-to-body ratio) inches display IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors.
  • This Mobile has 64 GB, 4 GB RAM - Nokia 8.1 64/128 GB, 4/6 GB RAM - Nokia X7Y of internal memory.
  • This Mobile has Non-removable Li-Ion 3500 mAh battery
  • This Mobile has Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by) sim
  • Compare prices for Nokia 8.1 (Nokia X7) in Saudi Arabia:
Lowest price for Nokia 8.1 (Nokia X7) is .00 SAR

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GENERAL
2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - SIM 1 & SIM 2 CDMA 800 & TD-SCDMA
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
4G Network LTE
Sim Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
Announced 12/11/2018
Status Available. Released 2018, December
BODY
Dimensions 154.8 x 75.8 x 8 mm (6.09 x 2.98 x 0.31 in)
Weight 180 g (6.35 oz)
DISPLAY
Display Size 6.18 inches, 95.3 cm2 (~81.2% screen-to-body ratio)
MultiTouch Yes
SOUND
AlertTypes Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
LoudSpeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes - Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
MEMORY
CardSlot microSD, up to 400 GB (uses SIM 2 slot)
Internal 64 GB, 4 GB RAM - Nokia 8.1 64/128 GB, 4/6 GB RAM - Nokia X7Y
DATA
GPRS Yes
EDGE Yes
Speed HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE-A (2CA) Cat6 300/50 Mbps
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot
Blue Tooth 5.0, A2DP, LE
NFC Yes
USB 2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector, USB On-The-Go
CAMERA
Camera Primary 12 MP, f/1.8, 1/2.55", 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS 13 MP
Camera Features Zeiss optics, dual-LED dual-tone flash, panorama, HDR
CameraVideo 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30fps (gyro-EIS)
CameraSecondary 20 MP, f/2.0, 0.9µm
FEATURES
OS Android 9.0 (Pie); Android One
CPU Octa-core (2x2.2 GHz 360 Gold & 6x1.7 GHz Kryo 360 Silver)
Sensors Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Messaging SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
Browser HTML5
Radio No
GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
Colors Blue, Silver, Steel, Copper, Iron, Steel
Others - Fast battery charging 2A/9V (18W) - MP4/H.264 player - MP3/WAV/eAAC+/FLAC player - Photo/video editor - Document viewer
BATTERY
Battery Non-removable Li-Ion 3500 mAh battery
MISC

7 days in smartphones: Dear Microsoft, please don't eat my Android phone

Your princess isn't in another smartphone

It's Friday. You're giddy with excitement. It can only mean one thing…7 days in smartphones is back again!

Forget being "social" with your so-called "friends", stay here in the dark with as we try to make you laugh. Once. It's the best we can hope for.

It's-A-Not-Me, Mario!

Nintendo is finally entering the smartphone market. We've waited years to say it and – phwoar– that felt seriously good.

The bad news is it isn't exactly as we'd anticipated, it looks like Mario and co will be taking a back seat to make way for new mobile franchises.

Link on a horse

The move comes after a partnership with developer DeNA who will have free reign over the Nintendo IPs but won't be aiming to create ports of Wii U or 3DS games.

Instead it'll be focusing on new titles – is that really such a bad thing? Well, probably - these things rarely go well.

Even though the Mario, Zelda, Pokémon, rinse and repeat formula can sometimes feel a little tiresome, Nintendo wanting to enter the world of Candy Crush doesn't necessarily fill me with glee.

That said, if anyone can do it with style and create some new engaging characters to go on the journey with, surely it's Nintendo. You hear that Iwata? My credit card is waiting and I'm ready and waiting to make micro payments now.

Microsoft wants your Android!

Windows 10 news now smartphans: Microsoft wants to bring its new operating system to your Android smartphone.

Wait, WHAT?!

Yeah, that's right, Microsoft wants to wrangle your unrestricted OS, throw up a bunch of electric fences and restrict the amount of apps you'll be able to download.

Microsoft Windows 10

OK, maybe not quite like that, but the Softies have announced plans to allow users to trial a custom ROM on the Xiamoi Mi 4 that removes all trace of the Android OS for an almost complete version of Windows 10.

It's Microsoft's attempt to steal users from the Android ecosystem and switch them over to Windows Phone, but it'll be some seriously hard work considering the reduced number of apps available on the platform.

Will anyone actually choose to make their Android run Windows Phone? Only time will tell.

Or, well, no.

One hoof forward

One hoof, two hoof, three hoof, four, repeat. Walking was becoming easier by the day as Winston's long recovery continued to drag.

"You're doing great, just a few more steps" reassured the nurse ready to catch him at the slightest sign of a stumble.

One hoof, two hoof, three hoof, four, done. Winston collapsed into the really rather long wheelchair, sweat dripping from his mane. The nurse looked at him sympathetically, stroking his fetlock, and said tenderly: "That's enough for one day... let's get you back to your bed."

Wheeled back to the side of his bed, he clambered onto the sheets and forced himself to look at the odd, faceless black brick that seemed to be staring him from the bedside table.

Over the preceding days and weeks he'd gradually been building the confidence to explore the Apple iPhone and take control of his first ever keyless smartphone. OK, the Storm didn't have any keys... except it did. The whole display was a key. It was glorious, but now it was gone.

In that time he'd learnt how to turn on the display, unlock it, take a few snaps around his hospital room and even get used to the onscreen keyboard. Apps were still a weird experience: he'd finally realised how to download them, but was bewildered by how many there were. Inside, he still missed the choice of just 11 that used to populate BlackBerry App World.

Then the day came: it was time to go home. His rehab was over. It was time to venture back out into the world, a robotic unicorn sent out to live once again.

With an NHS prescribed iPhone 6 Plus in his left hoof, a small bag of belongings in his right, it was time to flip open Apple Maps, type in Mobonia, get confused as to why it wasn't there (before finding it simply on Google Maps) and continue on his journey, but where next?

A flagship for the Shin!

Although likely not the best smartphone you've ever owned, the Samsung Galaxy S ended up being one of the major competitors to the iPhone 4.

Here are some of the highlights from the one and only JK Shin announcing it way back in March 2010. Kevin from Twitter is definitely NOT reading from an auto-cue.

YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9m4-CbvuR8

Strange press shot of the week

Sony Camera Lens

*Read in your best David Attenborough voice*

Here we see a young stubble-styled hipster out of his normal Shoreditch habitat, discovering the phenomenon of fresh berries.

This specimen, likely known as Atticus to his friends, has lost his Polaroid camera and decides to join the modern world with the Sony QX100 Lens Style Camera for smartphones and tablets.

He attaches it to a Sony Xperia Z2 to snap some blackberries and then ask all his Instagram friends what they are.

Sadly he has yet to receive a response as none of his followers could identify them through the Nashville filter.

Retro video of the week

YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1YBrVevn4w

"You know there's a sexier way to connect to the web." That was the slogan of the Siemens C35i.

It seems the company wanted to sex up its image – if that's even possible with a NSFW name like Siemens – so it employed some proper hot bods to strut around the emptiest, weirdest lit nightclub in all of Germany.

If you can discern what actually happens at the end of the video please let us know in the comments as our tiny little tech focused minds can't work it out.

Proper bits from the site

Remember the best phone you ever had? It was likely the Nokia 3310 and we went on a journey through time to bring you back the best details we could find on it – just look how pretty it is!

EE has replaced its Orange Wednesday's deal with a significantly less exciting streaming proposition. We don't know exactly what kind of films it'll include just yet but we can speculate 70% of them will include Steven Seagal.

Dyson has invested in some new technology to make your smartphone's, and your vacuum cleaner's, battery last even longer.

And finally the auto-tuned Robocop look-a-like that is Will.i.am has teamed up with the fashion brand Gucci to bring you yet another horrible "smartband".








Review: Microsoft Lumia 535

Introduction and design

If you've handled one of Nokia's vast array of Windows phones in the past few years twirling the Microsoft Lumia 535 round in your hands will feel instantly familiar.

It's a plastic shell, with rounded corners and anonymous black front. Slippy but able to take a few knocks, this screamingly orange device is yet another in a succession of absolutely unsubtle Lumia devices – and it's goshdarned cheap too at £89 (around US$135, AU$164).

But this isn't a Nokia phone. Well, for all intents and purposes it is, but no mention of the Finnish brand can be found anywhere on this bargain priced smartphone. Where the old familiar logo was, the Microsoft branding now sits proudly above the 5-inch display.

This is one of the first phones to come with the Microsoft Lumia branding, after the software giant completed its buyout of the phone maker earlier this year. While the Nokia name will live on with other products, notably the iPad mini-esque N1 tablet, Microsoft has started to completely remove it from all its phones.

Though, nothing much has really changed. With Android and iOS dominating the high-end of the market, Windows Phone 8.1 devices tend to offer decent specs in an affordable package and the Microsoft Lumia 535 is no different. For your low outlay you will get a 5-inch display with a resolution of 960 x 540, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor, 8GB of internal memory and 1GB RAM.

Microsoft Lumia 535 review

For the budget cost, those specs are definitely nothing to complain about.

In the past few months we've seen some impressive budget conscious smartphones, including the Android toting Moto G (2014) and fellow Windows Phone 8.1 devices like the Nokia Lumia 630 and 530 – so does the Microsoft logo mean that Windows Phone can now neatly compete in the low-end smartphone war?

Design

Microsoft might have slapped its logo on the front and back of the phone, this is unmistakably a Nokia Lumia.

The rear plastic shell pops off, revealing a removable 1,905 mAh battery and a space for a SIM card. Some regions will get the dual-SIM variant, but the UK at least will get the single SIM handset. There's also a microSD slot here, a necessary inclusion as the 8GB of internal storage will soon run dry when you start packing in apps.

Microsoft Lumia 535 review

The shell itself feels sturdy, but if you start to bend it the volume rocker does pop out of the shell, so… maybe don't play about with it too much or put it in your back pocket.

But even if you were to break or drop it, you could just swap the shell out for another one. Same goes if your eyes start to tire of the bright orange hue.

Microsoft Lumia 535 review

Almost as soon as I started using the Lumia 535 I knew it was going to an absolute fingerprint magnet, and it soon proved to be a correct assumption.

The plastic picks up smudges all over, oily residue sticks to it and after about an hour of use I had to wipe it clean. An hour later, another wipe down. Corning's Gorilla Glass 3, which protects the screen, is also prone to picking up grime – so be ready, this is a high maintenance device.

Microsoft Lumia 535 review

Aside from the volume rocker and standby switch, both of which are suitable clicky and responsive, the phone is free from other buttons. This is down to Windows Phone 8.1 following Android's lead and allowing the use of on-screen controls.

A 3.5mm headphone jack sits on the top, while the ubiquitous microUSB charging takes its place on the bottom.

Microsoft Lumia 535 review

For an £89 (US$135, AU$164) device, the Lumia ticks all the boxes in terms of design.

No, it doesn't possess a premium finish like the iPhone 6 or HTC One M8, but it also doesn't feel like a Fisher Price 'My First Smartphone'. It's fun, durable and well built and I've dropped it a few times with no damage, which is always a plus, especially when you're clumsy tech journalist trying to avoid the wrath of angry PRs.

Key features

Packing a 5-inch display into this low cost device is an impressive feat, even if the panel on the Lumia 535 is far from perfect.

The 540 x 960 Gorilla Glass 3 coated display has nice colour reproduction, deep blacks and a decent hit of brightness, but it lacks detail. The blocky Windows Phone icons look fine, but text is jagged. Reading a web page is a strain and photos lack vibrancy. It's a shame, but at this price I wasn't expecting much better.

Viewing angles are also poor. Tilt the phone even slightly to the side and all you'll get is a faceload of reflection. I had to jack the brightness setting all the way to high, and I left it there for the entire time I had the device, just to make sure I could read the display.

Microsoft Lumia 535 review

Auto brightness always underestimated things, turning it down too far when the lighting was less than optimal.

If you've used Windows Phone 8.1 or WP 8 before, then you'll feel at home here, as everything is exactly the same as on previous Microsoft-powered smartphones.

After swiping up from the lock-screen you reach the main display, which is made up of tiles, all varying in size and functionality.

Microsoft Lumia 535 review

Live Tiles can display info and act like widgets on Android, flipping over constantly to display handy tidbits. The Cortana (which I'll cover further down) tile for example shows a news overview, while the Facebook one flips over to display any notifications you might have waiting.

These tiles can be customised into three different sizes and you can add as many of them as you want. Pull down the top and Action Centre pops down, bringing with it some quick settings and an overview of your most recent notifications.

Action Centre is the Windows Phone 8.1 equivalent of Notification Centre on iOS and the notification pull down on Android and while it doesn't quite match the feature rich version in Google's OS or the seriously updated iOS 8 one, it's a good first attempt.

Cortana

First introduced in Windows Phone 8.1, Cortana is, just like Action Centre, an attempt from Microsoft to play catch-up with Apple and Google's already established digital assistants.

Named after the classic AI character from the Halo game series, Cortana is a really well-made feature that I've found myself using far more than I've done with Siri on the iPhone.

You can launch it either from the homescreen icon or from the search key and once it pops into life there are a few things it can do.

Microsoft Lumia 535 review

Tap the music note and it'll listen out and tell you, just like Shazam, which song is playing. It was accurate too. I tested on 10 different songs, some obscure and some obvious, and it proved very accurate, delivering results in about 20 seconds.

An overview of the latest news stories is accessible with a swipe up, while clicking the microphone icon lets you chat directly to Cortana. It works just like Siri; ask Cortana to set your alarm or call your Mum and she'll oblige.

Niftily though you can also type your request, which is great if you're in an environment where you shouldn't be having a chin wag with your phone.

It's great to see that Microsoft didn't exclude Cortana from this phone just because it's low-end. It performs just the same as it does on a high-end Lumia like the 1520, responding to my commands quickly and accurately, barely getting even a tricky to pronounce name wrong.

The location based reminders are great too…in fact, almost too good; a reminder for me to pick up beers when I got inside Tesco worked every time.

A full suite

Along with including Cortana, just about every other staple feature of Windows Phone 8.1 is here too, including OneDrive, the full Office suite and Nokia's Here Drive + maps.

Office is great for quickly pulling down documents from Office 365 or OneDrive and having a brief scan through, but I never felt an urge to do any editing on the phone.

Microsoft Lumia 535 review

This is in some part down to the keyboard, which simply takes up far too much space on the screen. Granted, it does feature some nice Swype-like flow typing tech, but the autocorrect is a pain and its accuracy is poor.

One app I really appreciate is Data Sense, which tracks all your data usage whether it's mobile or Wi-Fi. It even breaks it down app by app and you can set a limit if you only have a certain amount of data per month, either mobile or at home.

A battery saver app is equally useful, showing which apps run down your juice the quickest.

App-less performance

One constant criticism with Windows Phone has been how far it lags behind Apple, Android and to some extent Amazon when it comes to apps.

While the response of 'we now have Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and so on' will no doubt be called, for me it's still not up to scratch.

Microsoft Lumia 535 review

Take Instagram for example: while its true you can download it and scroll through snaps of Starbucks cups and droolworthy food just like any other phone, it's not the same.

The app feels so far behind its iOS and Android counterparts, there's not even video support.

I get the feeling that once a developer releases a Windows Phone app they feel the job is done and just leave it to pick up some downloads and for Microsoft to prove how many of the top apps they have. Yes, the apps are there, but it's not on the same playing field as Apple and Google.

Performance and battery life

I've always found performance on low-end Windows Phone 8 devices to be very impressive, often much better than similarly priced Android devices.

While this has changed somewhat with phones like the Moto G (2014) and Moto E, which are excellent performers, I still think Windows Phone 8.1 is the best operating system for a budget device.

Saying that, it hasn't been all smooth sailing. While general performance is fine, I've often run into slight issues that seem a bit out of place.

The Snapdragon 200 processor in the Lumia 535 makes swiping through menus and running the majority apps a mostly fluid experience, (helped by the generous 1GB of RAM), but performance on the highly graphical Asphalt 8 was a bit spotty and I had the title crash on me a number of times.

More issues come from waking the phone from sleep. Often I was left with just a black screen for a few seconds before the phone came to life, then another pesky pause when I swiped up from the lock-screen.

Opening directly to a game also resulted in a blank screen, with some leftover sound in the background.

Screen responsiveness is also not the best here, with many taps going completely unnoticed until I jabbed my finger repeatedly on the icon. Same goes for the on-screen buttons, which suffer the same shortcomings.

Battery life

Using the Microsoft Lumia 535 as my main phone for a week gave me a good idea on how the battery fares, and it's not bad.

While doing all the normal things you'd expect a smartphone addict to be doing it managed to just get through to the end of the day.

To paint the picture: I take it off the charger at about 8am, have three email accounts constantly pulling down data and I use it pretty solidly throughout the day with a mix of calls, video, browsing and a minute or two of gaming.

After work I'd have about 40% left, with it draining down to about 10% when I plugged it in at around midnight. I'd say that's pretty good going, though a daily recharge is always necessary.

That's only if you're using it for general tasks; using the Lumia 535 a bit harder and you'll see a much faster drain.

Microsoft Lumia 535 review

Hammering a graphically intensive game, GT Racing 2 for example, slurped up the battery very quickly. A 30 minute session drained 20%, while using Here Maps to navigate to a pub about 20 minutes away took another 20%.

Thankfully, I never had the phone die on me and the battery saver app I mentioned earlier is there to help if you think something is taking too much juice. That app also included a mode that conserves battery when you drop below 20%.

To eke out that extra juice it shut downs functionality that isn't especially vital, so you'll notice a slowdown in animations, your email inboxes will check for new message less frequently and overall performance will be stunted. But, if you really need your phone to last until you get to a bar to let your mates know where you are, then I'd suggest switching on the mode when your battery is starting to drop.

I found I got about an extra 45 minutes of juice with this mode turned on, so it's definitely a nice addition, but it lacks the suite of customisation features you'd see on Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy S5.

There's no crazy super battery save mode that turns everything black and white and you can't really to tailor it to your tastes aside from turning it on or off.

The essentials and camera

The essentials

I've grown accustomed to using 4G data for all my mobile browsing needs, but the lack of it on the Lumia 535 means I was back to 3G speeds.

On 3G the device performs well, with it picking up a strong signal everywhere and calls coming through with a nice, crisp tone. You'll also have to make do with 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi networks, as it's not compatible with 5GHz versions, due to only being Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n compatible. This leads to apps and web pages taking more time to download than on a device boasting the faster AC and N Wi-Fi standards.

In reality, it probably won't be noticeable unless you're putting it head to head with a device that packs the faster speeds, but it is important to note that if you use a router at home that splits the signals you'll have to connect to the 2.4 GHz version.

I was pleased to see that browsing the web was smooth, even when multiple tabs were loading image heavy sites slow down was minimal and the general messaging, phone and contacts apps are were solid performers as you'd hope from this budget-friendly OS.

Microsoft Lumia 535 review

Inputting text into the messaging app is straightforward, thanks to a fairly large keyboard that had plenty of space for my fingers and keys that were well sized. The messaging app itself is personally one of my favourite text message apps on any device, thanks to its deep integration with social networks, but since the Windows Phone 8.1 update, the majority of that functionality has been killed in favour of a simpler experience.

Still, the interface is pretty and its quick, but it lacks any sort of iMessage features (like chat, read notifications and efficient group chat), for those you'll have to switch the Skype or Facebook Messenger.

Again, the Phone dialler is also very basic. If you've come from the fantastic smart dialler in Android 4.4 then you'll know what I mean. Once you open the app you're met with a dialler, though typing in a name of your contact here will get you nowhere, it's simply for making new calls.

While the dialler on Android searches the web for matching numbers when you get a call, the Windows Phone 8.1 version is much closer to iOS, so you won't get any added information unless you've already got the person in your phonebook.

Camera

Normally, I'd sit here and mention the rear facing snapper first, leading into a nod about the front facing version. I'd do this because on 99% of smartphones out there the rear camera takes the headlines and packs more megapixels, more features and gets more use.

That's not so on the Microsoft Lumia 535, as both the front and back shooters boast 5MP sensors and many ways the front-facing one is more interesting.

Microsoft Lumia 535 review

Jumping on the selfie bandwagon, Microsoft has added a special Lumia Selfie app, which is all about getting the most from your portrait snaps. The app lets you take a shot and then add numerous filters, enlarge your eyes (why?) and even make yourself look slimmer. Though all this did was make me look rather skeletal and ill.

The 'selfie' camera also has a wider angle lens so you can cram more folks in, which is actually quite a useful addition if you want to spread the narcissism.

There's also the Lumia Camera, a separate app that lets you use both cameras, take video and alter all the settings from white balance to ISO.

Microsoft Lumia 535 review

It's nice to have these options, but with a camera of middling resolution, it's overkill. Altering the settings doesn't really leave you with better pictures, just far worse ones. I'm also a bit confused as to why there needs to be two separate camera apps. Just bundle all those selfie features into the main app and be done with it.

Snapping a shot was quick though, despite autofocus often being a little hard to pin down. Pictures themselves were about what you'd expect from a budget phone, probably Instagram-worthy if you're in good light, but nothing that'll make you want to do away with a proper point and shoot.

Contrast and detail were both severely lacking, while it always looked like my snaps were taken on a miserable day, even when there is plenty of sun out. Selfies were better, but I couldn't really notice those extra megapixels over competing devices.

Microsoft Lumia 535 review

Video was poor and limited to 480p recording at 30fps; most cheap tablets can do better than that. It stuttered and looked like I was purposely shaking the phone, which I wasn't.

Camera samples

Microsoft Lumia 535 review

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Microsoft Lumia 535 review

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Microsoft Lumia 535 review

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Microsoft Lumia 535 review

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Microsoft Lumia 535 review

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Microsoft Lumia 535 review

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Microsoft Lumia 535 review

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Verdict

Living with a Windows Phone 8.1 device is both an enjoyable and frustrating experience, whether that device is a high flying flagship or, like the Microsoft Lumia 535, a £89 (around US$135, AU$164) entry level model.

Certain things about it I really love, from the tiled interface with those tidbits of useful info flipping into view to the fantastic digital assistant Cortana.

Microsoft Lumia 535 review

We liked

I also really appreciate how Microsoft has not diluted the software experience here, even though it's a cheaper handset. You get full Office access, full Cortana support and because it packs 1GB of RAM, you won't run into games incompatibility like you would if it was only boasting 512MB.

While it's far from premium, the fun, durable and sturdy build, along with the removable back and bright colours combine to make something that is perfect as an entry level smartphone.

Having a wide-angle front facing camera makes a great amount of sense, whether it's for selfies or Skype chats. It stops everyone feeling like they have all squeezed in and ensures you don't accidentally miss someone out of the picture.

Microsoft Lumia 535 review

We disliked

Performance on the whole is good, but I did suffer frequent annoyances that refused to go away. Screen sensitivity issues plagued my time with the device and I hate nothing more than jabbing away at an icon multiple times before it responds.

Even though apps like WhatsApp and games like Minecraft are available on the Windows Store, it annoys me how developers release an app and then let it lay dormant with any updates and new features. As mentioned, the Instagram app still doesn't support video, which simply isn't good enough.

While the screen is perfectly acceptable for a phone of this price and having 5-inch display is obviously a plus point for some, I just think it stretches an already low resolution too far. I didn't enjoy reading or viewing pictures on the screen and the lack vibrancy made everything look a bit dull.

Final verdict

The Microsoft Lumia 535 has a good build, packs a large screen that, while it hasn't got the highest resolution, produces good colours and operates for the most part with ease, plus you get the full Windows Phone 8.1 experience.

But to achieve the low point, sacrifices have to be made. There's no NFC for example, no faster AC/N Wi-Fi and no 4G.

These points could be forgiven, but the screen issues I suffered with the Lumia 535 are not easy to overlook. Yes, they could (maybe) be eradicated with a simple software update, that is if the issue aren't hardware related, but only time will tell if that ever happens.

Grievances aside, there's lots to like here. The wide-angle 5MP selfie shooter captures decent pics, Cortana is a fantastic virtual assistant that is just as fully featured here as in top of the line Windows Phone 8.1 devices and the replaceable, colourful shells add a dash of fun.








Nokia could be back with a full blown Android phone

Remember Nokia? The company used to be the king of the mobile world back in an era of Nokia 3310s and Snake, but more recently the company struggled to adapt to the harsh new reality of smartphones and apps.

But it appears Nokia isn't quite down and out - as Mobile Choice UK reports that new supposed leaks suggest that the company is cooking up a new device dubbed the C1. Positioned decidedly in the mid-range category, the device is rumoured to have a 5-inch screen, full HD resolution, an Intel processor and 2GB of RAM.

So far, so ordinary. But what makes it interesting is that the new device will apparently come in versions: on that runs Windows 10 and another that runs a full version of Android.

Nokia dabbled briefly with Android ecosystem, under the then stewardship of Microsoft, when it launched the heavily forked Nokia X and Nokia XL back at MWC 2014 - but the Nokia C1 looks to be a fully fledged Android device.

Contractual wrangles

As part of the sale with Microsoft, Nokia supposedly agreed to not manufacture any new phones itself until Q4 2016 - which could be problematic, though the speculation is that Nokia could simply outsource the actual manufacturing to another company (perhaps a bit like Google does with its Nexus handsets).

Previous to this, Nokia has managed to get around this agreement by making not a phone, but a tablet. The Nokia N1 was released earlier this year and runs a customised version of Android (Nokia's Z Launcher) - and judging by the leaked images, it appears the same will be the case with the C1.










Review: UE Megaboom

The UE Boom 2 is a tour de force in the Bluetooth speaker scene. First off, it's one helluva good-looking device. Then, it keeps impressing with class-leading performance, waterproofing, and a unique set of features allowed by its free companion app.

So, the only way to make it better is to give you more of it. With the UE Megaboom, that's exactly what you get.

The UE Megaboom is nothing more than a bigger Boom 2, and that qualification alone makes it an easy recommendation off the cuff. But digging in a little deeper, this plus-sized variation sounds louder and fuller than its smaller next of kin. The larger form factor even allows for the battery life to stretch on for 20 hours, 25% longer than the Boom 2 is capable of.

With these improvements in mind, the Megaboom makes good on its $299 (£249, AU$379) price point, especially if you're in need of more power for your parties. But, on the other hand, it offers nothing different in the way of features from the Boom 2. The sole deciding factor is power. How much is that worth to you?

UE Megaboom review

Design

As you might expect, the Megaboom absolutely dwarfs the Boom 2 in size, and is on the large side for portable speakers in general. It stands just shy of nine inches, two inches taller and about an inch thicker than the UE Boom 2. Heftier dimensions aside, it still retains the compact, cylindrical charm.

Unlike most first-generation products, UE struck gold with the design of its original Boom – so much so that you can see the design here is, more or less, unchanged. You'll still find the familiar "+, -" volume buttons positioned at the front, and the power button resting in the middle of its concave top.

For the uninitiated, the Megaboom is the size of a large thermos, taking on a mix of design elements found in both the original Boom and its successor. The fabric stitching that wraps around its body has a more sparse thread count and button design that mimics the look found on the UE Boom. But, once flipped over, the port flap that helps the Megaboom in its waterproofing (IPX7) efforts has gone under the knife and looks flatter, like what you'll see on the Boom 2.

UE Megaboom review

For more about the design nuances found in the Megaboom, my review of the UE Boom goes over them in great detail. Also, check out my review of the UE Boom 2 to learn about how the Megaboom functions, including a few words on the new, awesome built-in motion control feature.

Performance

Just as it did with the design, the Megaboom measures up to the successes of the UE Boom and Boom 2, then multiplies them. This plus-sized speaker is just as easy to use, but offers measurable boosts in sound and battery performance, which help it not only stand above its smaller kin, but to reach eye-level of other, heftier competition, too.

UE Megaboom review

The Megaboom boasts a powerful sound that's filled with crispness and heady bass. Providing a full, room-filling experience has long been a strong suit of UE's cylindrical Bluetooth speakers, and the larger hardware is just as worthy of the accolade. Every genre of music that I lob at it sounds vibrant and expansive.

The 360-degree audio effect, which I found to be improved in the Boom 2 over its original, is also noticeably better here. Walking around the speaker, it's much harder than it used to be (but still possible) to find a "dead spot" in the sound delivery.

Listeners who insist that a speaker's worth relies heavily on its feature set will be pleased with the Megaboom. Like the rest of UE's lineup, this one's capabilities are nestled in its free companion app, too. It isn't a necessary component to start using the speaker, but you'd be remiss not to take advantage of its many noteworthy features.

For example, the built-in equalizer can be tweaked to your taste, and you can pair two UE speakers together. If that isn't impressive enough, you can set custom alarms for the speaker. There's really nothing like waking up to your favorite music.

Lastly, the Megaboom's owner can invite others within its range to connect and make song suggestions via the app's Block Party feature.

UE's larger speaker also pleases with the performance of its more practical features. Answering calls is a cinch, requiring a single press of the Bluetooth pairing button to pick up and another to hang up a call. Sound quality coming from the call, as well as the Megaboom's microphone pickup, leave nothing to be desired.

UE Megaboom review

Battery life, as mentioned earlier, gets a five-hour boost over its smaller UE counterparts to a total of 20 hours. This puts the Megaboom in the range of what I expect for a speaker of this size and price.

Lastly, the waterproofing measures do well in protecting the innards for up to 30 minutes while submerged. It's a little too cold as of this writing to take a dip in the pool with it, but it handled a plunge into my kitchen sink like a champ.

Final verdict

Upgrading from previous iterations of the UE Boom isn't an absolute necessity here, unless it's power that you desire more of. That said, this is a fantastic, albeit pricey, entry point for the lot of you who haven't bought into this fantastic lineup of speakers.

If you're interested in seeing what else is out there for the $299 (£249, AU$379) price point, the Harman Infinity One might be more up your alley. It may not have waterproofing or the long-lasting battery of the Megaboom, but its audio chops can run a lap around it.

Perhaps the Megaboom's greatest (and only) flaw is that it doesn't do anything different than the UE Boom 2, which is more affordable by a great margin. Sure, it can pipe the tunes louder and for longer, but I don't know too many people who would consider those reasons convincing enough to part ways with big bills over.

To this end, the Megaboom might seem like a redundancy in the UE lineup (and it sort of is), but I'll gladly take more of what has worked so well in the past. However, the Megaboom's next generation needs a killer app to make it more readily worth the investment.










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