Enigmo for Windows Phone 7 hands on review

Today’s Xbox Live game for Windows Phone 7 is nice little physics based puzzle game called Enigmo. The player’s mission is to control the different types of flowing liquids with the use of several items like slides, bumpers etc.. The faster you resolve the puzzle the more points you will win. The game is entirely rendered in 3D and is extremely smooth and snappy as you can see in the video after the break. If you like puzzle games then this one’s for you and thankfully it’s priced right at $2.99. Check it out below:

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HTC Wildfire Review

With the overabundance of Android handsets on the market today one particular device seems to be gathering polarizing opinions ever since its retail debut a couple of weeks ago. Some people hate it while others think that it is really good product. I’m going to finally weight in a share with you my thoughts about the HTC Wildfire , the company’s new low-end / entry level Android smartphone.

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HTC Wildfire Software Tour

Here’s a quick software tour I did of the HTC Wildfire handset. As you will see in the video the Wildfire’s software is totally identical to what you can find on the HTC Desire so there isn’t much to say about it. The Sense UI sitting on top of Android 2.1 is smooth and really pleasant to use but things get a bit once you start using more CPU intensive applications like the browser and many other applications. The MSM7225 chipset clocked at 528Mhz starts to show its limits and makes the Wildfire really frustrating to use especially when in the browser. Forget about gaming mainly because of the slow chipset and because the screen’s QVGA resolution renders the device incompatible with many of the applications/games available on the Android Market. Watch the full video after the break:

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HTC Wildfire Hardware tour video and picture gallery

Here’s my quick hardware tour picture gallery and video of the HTC Wildfire handset. There isn’t much to say frankly. The device is really well build and feels good in the hand, the since is also perfect for one handed navigation. The only major downside is the QVGA resolution of the screen. I must admit that I totally forgot that it had a QVGA screen before turning it on for the first time. But once it finished boot it up I was unfortunately unpleasantly greeted by the super low resolution of the screen. QVGA is kind of acceptable on a 2.8″ screen but on a Wildfire’s 3.2″ it really sticks out like a sore thumb. Add also the fact that the panel used by HTC suffers from severe ghosting when panning and scrolling graphics (I will show you this in an upcoming video). I talk more about performance in an upcoming video. Check out the gallery and video tour after the break:

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HTC Desire Review

Following the launch of the Google Nexus One in the US, many Android users, especially in Europe, were eagerly waiting for a similar device to launch worldwide. The HTC Desire was officially announced during Mobile World Congress in February alongside the HTC Legend and HTC HD Mini but wasn’t really a surprise thanks to the leaked roadmap that surfaced a few months earlier. Codenamed HTC Bravo, the Desire is essentially a Nexus One with a few hardware changes and HTC’s Sense UI sitting on top of Android 2.1. So how does it stack up against HTC’s other top of the line handset?

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HTC Desire vs HTC HD2 camera comparison

I decided to do a quick comparison of the HTC Desire’s camera versus the HTC HD2 post my findings now instead of waiting until I finish my full review later this week. Looking at the pictures above you will immediately notice that the HD2 shots (left) are darker and have a purple tint compared to the Desire shots. What’s even more interesting though is that this huge difference is only noticeable in low light outdoor scenes (and cloudy) but not in sunny / well lite shots (in this situation both devices have nearly identical quality). The dual LED flash on the HD2 is also totally unnecessary. All shots were taken with the exact same camera setup (all image properties set to default and image quality to High on the Desire and Super Fine on the HD2).  Below you find a video capture in WVGA on HTC Desire:

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Office Mobile 2010 video walkthrough


Here’s a short video walkthrough (below) of the recently released Office Mobile 2010 productivity suite for Windows Mobile 6.5 (and 6.5.3) on my HTC HD2. Nearly all the features available in there were already available in the the Beta version that was on the Marketplace a little while ago. One of the nicest thing is the ability to snap a picture directly in One note to share with you work mates etc. The only thing missing is support for the accelerometer to switch from portrait to landscape (this can be fixed with a tweaked app like BSB Tweaks).

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Bing Maps with Turn By Turn Navigation introduced on Windows Phones today

The latest version of the Bing Maps applications for Windows Phones now includes Turn-By-Turn navigation with voice guidance and a couple new tweaks and UI changes. As you will see in the short video (uploading it right now to YouTube) the navigation feature isn’t working on my HTC HD2 (this can be caused by the fact that I’m located in Europe or the services isn’t fully up and running yet) UPDATE: The Bing Maps Navigation Team is trying to figure out the problem. You will also notice that the home screen is now nearly identical to the Bing application on the iPhone. Hopefully the navigation feature will be implemented in Windows Phone 7 this Fal and work outside of the US.

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HTC Desire Software Tour video


Want to see how fast a smooth HTC’s Sense UI runs on the HTC Desire? Check out the video below that I shot today where you’ll will see that the Desire is one heck of speedy handset. as you will see the only time I saw lag was when I set a live Wallpaper (animated wallpaper), so turning it off and reverting back to a traditional one fixed the issue. HTC’s Sense UI on the Desire is basically the same as on the HTC Legend which is an update versions on the one introduced on the HTC Hero nearly one year ago.

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HTC Desire vs HTC HD2: Browser Performance video


Here’s a video a shot showing the performance of the HTC Desire vs the HTC HD2 when it comes to loading and rendering web page using the default browser on both handsets. The first thing you will notice is that both devices are nearly identical in speed when loading the web page but things are quite different once you start navigating…Pages are always render fully zoomed-out and fit perfectly in the whole screen on the HTC Desire (same as on the iPhone) unlike Opera Mobile on the HD2. The second advantage of the HTC Desire is the fact that you will never witness any checkerboard pattern once the page is fully loaded and even-though text re-flow is present it doesn’t mess up you ability to zoom into pictures like Opera does on Windows Mobile. Finally the Desire’s browser support flash (not Flash 10.1 yet AFAICS) but as I mention in the video, the quality of the videos played through the browser is sub-par so you will need to check them out in the native YouTube application to experience them in the fully glory. Check out the video below:

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Google Goggles 1.1 Text Translation feature video

The Google Goggles application for Android has just been updated to version 1.1 with a new cool feature: Text-Translation. I just did a short video demonstration of it, on the HTC Desire, that you can watch below.The feature is really easy to use; just fire up the Goggles application,, use the cropping tool to select the text that you want to capture and snap a picture. If all goes well you will be presented with the option to translate the text in your favorite language. Unfortunately it doesn’t always work, especially when you try to capture more than 2 or 3 sentences, but it’s still a pretty awesome and handy feature if you have an active data connection (yup, it obviously has to use Google’s servers to do all the work just like every other cloud based service). You can grab the application right now in the Android Market.

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HTC Desire Hardware Tour video

 

Here comes the HTC Desire Hardware Tour video. There’s obviously nothing out of the ordinary given that the Desire is just a Nexus One with an optical trackpad instead of a track ball. What surprised me though is how cheap the handset felt in the hand when compared to the HD2, probably because of the slimplastic back cover which is a total pain to take off sometimes. The Desire also weight only 135g compared to 157g for the HD2. The AMOLED display is definitely a step forward compared to the LCD especially in terms of color contrast (HTC did mess up the calibration though just like on the HD Mini) the only downside being the poor outdoors visibility. Other than the screen (and the OS) the Desire has exactly the same specification as the HTC HD2: same SnapDragon chipset, same amout of RAM (512Mb or ROM & 576 Mb of RAM).

HTC Desire vs HTC HD2 size comparison

Here are a couple of pictures comparing the size of the HTC Desire vs the HTC HD2. The Desire isn’t actually much smaller that the HD2 when you look at the specifications but in real life it definitely feels a lot better in the hand. I always though that a 4+” screen would be the sweet spot for a multimedia smartphone but after using the HD2 for more than 6 months I realised that it iss just too big to be practical (especially when used as a phone..) on the other hand 3.7″ seems to be the best compromise for good ease of use and readability/visibility IMO

The HTC Desire has arrived


Another review is coming up folks. I just received an HTC Desire from the good folks at HTC and will start playing with it for a week. Anything you want to know or see? If you have any questions about the handset just leave a comment here or on Twitter or email me directly.

HTC HD Mini Review: is it worth it?

Announced back in February at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the HTC HD Mini is the company’s latest (and probably one of the last) Windows Mobile 6.5.3 handset to hit the market. Marketed as a slimmed down version of the HTC HD2 the HD Mini’s announcement was unfortunately overshadowed by Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 unveiling one day earlier. How does it stack up against HTC’s similar priced and speced Android devices especially now that we know that not a single WM 6.X device will ever be upgradable to Windows Phone 7? Time to review the HTC HD Mini.

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HTC HD Mini camera quality and samples

Thanks to its fairly good sensor the 5 Mpix camera (w/autofocus) of the HTC HD Mini takes reasonably good pictures as you can se above (sorry I had to re-size them for bandwidth reasons). All shots were taken in Auto mode and SuperFine sharpness. Interior shots came out correct if you manually set the ISO to 100 and as you can see macro shots are just awesome. The Auto-Focus speed is the fastest I have ever experienced on mobile phone (and even real point & shoot cameras) the HD2 is a dog compared to the HD Mini (but it doesn’t have a flash). Last but not least, the HTC HD Mini doesn’t seem suffer from the infamous pink spot/hue like the HTC HD2 (will have to check it out tho..). Check out the Hardware tour and Software tour.

HTC HD Mini Hardware Tour

Here’s my brief HTC HD Mini hardware tour video a shot a couple of minutes ago. You all how it looks like next to the HTC HD2 and the nice yellow internals. From a hardware specifications standpoint the HTC HD Mini has nearly the same specs has the HTC Legend (minus the digital compass and AMOLED screen and lower capacity battery: 1300mah vs 1200mah). Check out the HD Mini vs HD2 size comparison here.

HTC HD Mini vs HTC HD2 size comparison


I just took a couple of pictures comparing the HTC HD Mini to the HTC HD2. As you can see the HD Mini is obviously smaller than the HD2 but is 0.7mm (0.03 inch) thicker. The mini feels really good in the hand as is definitely easier to use than the HD2, you can easly reach all four corners of the screen if your finger  and those who have an HD2 know that it’s a real pain to pull it out of your pocket if you are sitting…Check out the Hardware Tour video here.

Resco Photo Manager 7 hands on video: Multi-Touch support

I just did a short hands-on video of the recently released Resco Photo Manager 7 showing you the new UI and the Multi-Touch implementation on the HTC HD2 (introduced in version 7.03) . As you can seethe application is blazing fast and pinch-zooming works quite well (but I would like to have the option to disable the multi-touch rotation feature..).

I’ll post a more in-depth review in the coming days.