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News / Events

News / Events

  1. The best hearing-aid compatible (HAC) phones in 2018

    Just because your hearing is going doesn't mean your love of technology has to. Check out our helpful guide to smart phones that support the M4/T4 standards to ensure your calls are as clear as possible.

    What does M4/T4 mean?

    The M and T system refer to how the phone communicates with your hearing aid, with the quality represented by a number (higher is better.)

    M(icrophone) means that the phone uses your hearing aid's microphone, with minimal interference from the phone's electronics.

    T(elecoil) means that the phone transmits a magnetic signal to your hearing aid. This technology is also known as T-switch, T-coil and Telephone switch. This will generally be much clearer than Microphone, as your hearing aid will play the sound directly into your ear, without any extra noise or interference picked up when using the microphone.

    Smartphones

    PhoneRating
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  2. iPhone 6 release date, news and features

    Apple has officially announced the iPhone 6 - the eighth generation of iPhone - at a special event in Cupertino.

    iPhone6-01

    As well as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Tim Cook has also treated us to the Watch.

    If you want to get a feel for the handset, head on over to our hands on iPhone 6 review, and keep an eye out for our iPhone 6 Plus and Watch early reviews.

    The competition has never been tougher for a new iPhone, with the HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy S5, LG G3 and Sony Xperia Z3 surpassing the iPhone 5S in terms of size, specs, power and performance.

    Apple needs to pull something very special out of the bag to keep itself relevant, so what does the iPhone 6 bring?

    We've got all the latest details on Apple's new iPhone right here, just for you.

    An innovative seamless design.

    The first thing you notice when you hold iPhone 6 is how great it feels in your hand. The cover glass curves down around the sides to meet the anodised aluminium enclosure in a remarkable, simplified design. There are no distinct edges. No gaps. Just a smooth, seamless bond of metal and glass that feels like one continuous surface.

    Streamlined. Inside and out.

    Designing a larger iPhone without making it feel bigger was no small task. It required challenging the idea of “big”. It called for narrowing when the natural inclination was to expand. It meant condensing powerful technologies and making chips smaller and batteries thinner, all while making them more capable. And it meant engineering our thinnest, most advanced Multi?Touch display. All of which yields a dramatically thin design.

    Everything within reach.

    By creating iPhone 6 and iOS 8 together, we optimised the software to enhance the physical design. iOS swipe gestures were designed to be more fluid across the seamless form, making it easy to navigate iPhone with one hand. With new features like Reachability, you can interact with the larger screen in different ways too. Simply double-touch the Home button and the entire screen shifts down closer to your thumb. And to easily navigate Safari or Mail, swipe left to right across the screen to go backward, or swipe right to left to go forward. With the new continuous surface of iPhone, all your gestures now feel smoother than ever.

    We also thought about how you use your iPhone every day and redesigned the buttons to make it even easier to use. Elongated volume buttons are integrated into the thinner profile, outlined to make them effortless to find by touch. And the Sleep/Wake button has a new home on the side of the device to put it comfortably within reach. The result is an experience that’s even more intuitive.

    Cut to the chase

    What is it? A major revision of the iPhone including entire design

    When is it out? iPhone 6 release date is September 19

    What will it cost? From AU$869 SIM-free

    iPhone 6 release date

    You'll want to know when you'll be able to get your sweaty mitts on the iPhone 6.

    The good news is you won't have to wait long, with the iPhone 6 release date set for September 19. (That's a Friday).

    More Detail to Buy iPhone 6: http://www.mobileciti.com.au/mobile-phones/apple-iphone/iphone-6

    Read more »
  3. iPhone - How to fix battery life on iOS 7

    How to fix battery life on iOS 7

    The Ultimate Guide For Fixing And Improving Battery Life On The iPhone 4/4S, iPhone 5/5c/5S, iPad mini/3/4/5

    You were one of the 200 million and counting who upgraded to iOS 7, but now you are experiencing the dreaded battery drain. We’ve seen reports in our forums and I too have had issues with my iPhone 5 as waited in line for the iPhone 5s. You have that helpless feeling as you watch your battery life percentage moving at a fast clip to a point where your phone is rendered all but useless. A good number of you rely on your iPhone, counting on it to make through an entire day, something you did comfortably with iOS 6. Thankfully, there are ways to fix battery life on iOS 7. If you’ve got the iPhone 5, iPhone 4s or one of the newer models (iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s), these tips are your ticket to improving battery life.

    Shut Down Background App Refresh

    New features. We love them when they are introduced, because they offer the promise of making our lives easier or more productive. That’s the goal behind intelligent updating in iOS 7. When you left an app open in previous versions of iOS, it would not have an effect on battery life. It would enter a paused state, waiting for you to return. iOS 7 offers improvements here by updating information based on your usage. So if you check your tweets each morning, it will ping Twitter to pull down the data, all in advance of your entering the app. Sounds good right? What if you use ten or twenty apps and they are all pulling data from the Internet. The unfortunate consequence of intelligent updating can be the impact on your iPhones battery. Don’t worry, we can easily fix this with a few changes in settings.

    Navigate to Settings > General > Background App Refresh.

    You can turn off this feature globally or toggle individual apps.

    Definition: Background Apps Refresh: Allow apps to refresh their content when on Wi-Fi or cellular, or use Location Services, in the background. Turning off apps may help preserve battery life.

    This is Apple’s definition and note where we’ve place emphasis.

    Turn Off Siri

    I know, you love her/him. Having a personal assistant at your disposal is great, but these are tough times. If you want that see big improvements, you cannot afford to use features that could have an impact on battery life. Every time that you use Siri, you are using your LTE (or WI-FI) connection to make a data connection. If you are in a bad coverage area, you’ll incur even a greater drain.

    Navigate to Settings > General > Siri. Toggle to off to Disable Siri.

    Turn Down Brightness

    Your retina display is beautiful. Bright, sharp, vivid and flat out awesome. It’s also the biggest offender when it comes to stealing from your all important power resources. You have a couple options that can help here:

    Navigate to Settings > Wallpapers and Brightness: Manually slide left to lower the brightness to a lower, but acceptable level. Another option is to set to Auto-Brightness. If you toggle that option to ‘On’ (green), your iPhone will naturally adjust the brightness depending upon your location. If you are in a cave, it’ll be relatively dim. It changes based on the available light.

    Change Your Wallpaper

    There are new wallpaper options in iOS 7. In addition to still images, you can also select ‘Dynamic’, which will produce slow moving graphic effects on your screen. The default is still, but to be sure, navigate to Settings > Wallpaper and Brightness. Confirm that you have selected a wallpaper from ‘Stills’.

    Slow Down The Parallax

    Billed as one of the cooler features in iOS, the Parallax feature creates motion to provide for a more animated user interface. Some have found that parallax can cause motion sickness and it can also be a contributor to depleting your battery. Apple doesn’t allow us to turn off the feature, but we can reduce it and here’s how: Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion. Toggle to ‘On’.

    Turn Off Notifications

    Ping. Buzz. Ping, ping. Notifications are great. They help keep us up to date without having to turn on our phones. Over time, enabling notifications across all of your apps can present a number of problems. First off, it can be incredibly disruptive to your work day, having to continuously look down at your iPhone. They can also be detrimental to our goal of improving battery life. I’m not saying you have to do something crazy like turning off all notifications, but at a minimum, turn off notifications where you absolutely do not need them.

    Lowest Auto-Lock Setting

    Your iPhone has a setting that puts the phone to sleep and back into lock mode. Go to Settings > General > Auto-Lock. You’ll want to check the box for ’1 minute’, which is the lowest possible setting. The best way to conserve is to manually put your iPhone to sleep using the sleep/wake button.

    Turn Off Location Services

    When you setup your iPhone, you likely enabled Location Services. it works with GPS, crowd-sourced Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower locations to determine your location. Applications use Location Services to help you find restaurants, check-in, tweet your location, tag a location to your images and more. What’s more valuable? Have a working iPhone at the end of a busy work day or being able to tweet your location? Right now, let’s turn it off. Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services. The toggle at the top will turn it off globally. If there are specific apps that you need, leave Location Services enabled and try to cut down the apps that have access to it.

    Important: If you turn off Location Services all together, you are effectively disabling Find My iPhone. If you should lose or have your iPhone stolen, you will not be able to track it. As one of our commenters suggested, unless you are in a a real battery crunch, disable on an app-by-app basis. You can toggle all of the individual apps off, but leave Find My iPhone enabled (green).

    Disable LTE

    If you have an iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c or iPhone 5s, your phone is capable of using LTE or 4G data connectivity. Speeds are going to be faster than 3G. LTE requires more power. An old-school 3G connection is more than sufficient for calls, light surfing, email, Facebook and Twitter. If you feel the need for speed, just reverse your steps. To turn off LTE, go to Settings > Cellular and toggle the switch under Disable LTE.

    Turn Off Bluetooth

    Turning off Bluetooth is an easy one. Go to Settings > Bluetooth > Toggle to ‘Off’.

    Turn Off Auto App Updates

    iOS 7 makes it easy to get updates for your apps. No longer do you have to manually update apps. The new ‘Automatic Downloads‘ has an option for ‘Updates‘. With this enabled, apps that will auto-update as they get released in the App Store. For some folks, not the worst idea, as it eases the process of updating. With each and every data connection, you’re asking your iPhone’s battery to do more heavy lifting. To turn off automatic app updates, toggle the switch to white (off).

    A Fresh Start

    When you continuously update OTA, you are effectively layering software update over software update onto your iPhone. Sometimes it is best to give your iPhone a fresh start. That does not mean restoring from a previous backup. No, it’s time to restore your iPhone as new. iOS 7 is a major update, so why not use this chance to start with the base iOS. I speak from experience that there are many positives associated with going this route. For one, it eliminates some of the cruft that has started to populate your iPhone. This will remove unwanted, older apps and any gremlins that might have an adverse effect on iOS 7?s battery life.

    Disable Find My iPhone by navigating to Settings > iCloud > Find My iPhone

    Connect your iPhone to your computer using the supplied Lightning to USB cable.

    Select your iPhone in the left hand column. Back you your iPhone either to iCloud, iTunes (or both).

    Select ‘Restore iPhone‘. Note: This will delete everything from your iPhone, effectively restoring it to its factory state.

    If you’re not willing to go that route, it’s certainly understandable. Some folks have perfected their comfort zone. You’ve got apps in folders, all your settings, photos, music and more. You can implement the suggestions above, but just remember that you do have the restore option in your back pocket.

    Monitor Your Battery Life

    I’ve put you through all of this misery by disabling and dismantling the fun from your iPhone. How can you tell if the changes you’ve made have been made in vain? If you navigate to Settings > General Usage, you’ll find some valuable information. You can see the ‘Time Since Last Full Charge‘. This provides two key stats: Usage and Standby. Take a screenshot of your before numbers, using your typical work or school day as the parameter. Start with a full charge and see how these numbers look at the end of the day. Press the power + home button to capture a screenshot. Implement your changes and watch these numbers soar.

    Tip: To keep an eagle eye on your actual battery numbers, make sure the ‘Battery Percentage’ is toggled to ‘On’. In the menu bar, you’ll see a specific number that can help you better gauge your usage.

    At the end of the day, some of the above battery tips will help more than others. However, it’s combined effect of using all of the above suggestions that should result in an appreciable effect on your battery life. The best possible practice is to restore as new and use all of the tips we have outlined. At the end of the day, you have to decide what’s most important to you. It’s easy to suggest things like turning off Location Services, but for some folks, that’s a feature they either enjoy or use with regularity. Ultimately, you have to decide what features you can do without. The sacrifices you are making will result in an increase in the overall battery life of your iPhone. Using history as our marker, the next few rounds of iOS software updates could also offer improvements.

    Read more »
  4. iPhone 5 Review

    Key specifications and comparison of the iPhone 5 and 4S

    Are you looking to buy the iPhone 5 and keen to see what features have improved from its predecessor, the iPhone 4S? Find some of the major changes below.

    Dimensions – the iPhone 5 weighs in at 112 grams, which incredibly is lighter than the iPhone 4S even though the 5 is bigger. It sits at 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm, with only the height of the phone increasing in size. Even the thickness of the iPhone 5 has reduced from its predecessor, which is an amazing feat considering its functionality improvements.

    Chip – the iPhone 5 offers Apple’s A6 chip, a step-up from the A5 chip in the 4S.

    Display – the display stretches 4 inches diagonally, 0.5 inches longer than the iPhone 4S. The resolution on the 5 is also improved, offering 1136 x 640 compared with the 4S’s 960 x 640.

    Connectivity – one of the biggest changes for the iPhone 5 is its new connector. The new 8-pin connector, nicknamed Lightning, is distinctly smaller than the old 30-pin connector and closely resembles a microUSB input. The Lightning connector doesn’t match up exactly with a microUSB input, continuing Apple’s habit of reinventing the wheel when it comes to accessories.

    Great prices on the iPhone 5 with Australia wide delivery

    If you are interested in buying the iPhone 5, then why not do it online with Australia’s favourite mobile phone store – MobileCiti. We stock the iPhone 5 at great prices, allowing you to buy online and enjoy some the features mentioned above for less.

    iPhone 5

    Read more »
  5. How is Tim Cook different to Steve Jobs?

    How is Tim Cook different to Steve Jobs?

    By Josh Lowensohn, CNET News.com on November 3rd, 2011 

    Tim Cook has been Apple's chief executive officer for little more than two months, but he's already made some distinct changes from his predecessor, a new report says.

    The Wall Street Journal has posted a profile of Cook's experience since taking on the CEO role (subscription required). The paper took a close look at a number of changes made during his tenure so far, which began in August when the company's late co-founder Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO.

    Among the key points in the article is that the company began a charity matching program in early September, which matched donations made by employees up to US$10,000 a year. The Journal notes that Jobs "was opposed to giving money away", citing an unnamed source who attended one of the company's off-site meeting in 2010.

    It's also noted that Cook communicates more than Jobs, including company-wide emails. Several of those emails have leaked out since Cook took office, including the one announcing the aforementioned charity matching program, senior promotions and details about when the company planned to hold a celebration of Jobs' life at its Cupertino headquarters.

    Finally, the piece also offers conjecture that Cook might treat Apple's US$81.6 billion cash pile differently from Jobs, who used it sparingly for acquisitions during his tenure, including recent buys like Siri and Quattro Wireless.

    Cook has been under a microscope since taking over as CEO of Apple. Despite the fact that he filled in for Jobs during his medical absences, the company had hedged its bets by stating that Jobs would, at that time, still be involved in strategic decision making.

    Cook's first public showing in the new role was at the unveiling of the iPhone 4S, a performance critics panned as bland, but was quickly overshadowed by the passing of Jobs the next day.

    Tim Cook has been Apple's chief executive officer for little more than two months, but he's already made some distinct changes from his predecessor, a new report says.

    The Wall Street Journal has posted a profile of Cook's experience since taking on the CEO role (subscription required). The paper took a close look at a number of changes made during his tenure so far, which began in August when the company's late co-founder Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO.

    Among the key points in the article is that the company began a charity matching program in early September, which matched donations made by employees up to US$10,000 a year. The Journal notes that Jobs "was opposed to giving money away", citing an unnamed source who attended one of the company's off-site meeting in 2010.

    It's also noted that Cook communicates more than Jobs, including company-wide emails. Several of those emails have leaked out since Cook took office, including the one announcing the aforementioned charity matching program, senior promotions and details about when the company planned to hold a celebration of Jobs' life at its Cupertino headquarters.

    Finally, the piece also offers conjecture that Cook might treat Apple's US$81.6 billion cash pile differently from Jobs, who used it sparingly for acquisitions during his tenure, including recent buys like Siri and Quattro Wireless.

    Cook has been under a microscope since taking over as CEO of Apple. Despite the fact that he filled in for Jobs during his medical absences, the company had hedged its bets by stating that Jobs would, at that time, still be involved in strategic decision making.

    Cook's first public showing in the new role was at the unveiling of the iPhone 4S, a performance critics panned as bland, but was quickly overshadowed by the passing of Jobs the next day.

    Read more »
  6. Best Mobile Phones for Christmas

    Christmas gift ideas - Cheap mobile phone from Mobileciti

    The 2011 Christmas season has already arrived, and it is a great time to buy a new phone for a loved one or yourself! Apple's iPhone is the dominant player in the mobile phone market, but you can also choose from a great range of Android smartphones from brands like Samsung, HTC, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and LG. Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7 platform also offers plenty to get excited about and Blackberry range for business. We round-up the best mobile phones on the market this Christmas.

    Browse our range of Christmas priced mobile phones online today!

    Read more »
  7. Apple iPhone 4S Review- New innovations, even more impressive!

    iphone4s-white

    Now’s the time to get a great deal on the Apple iPhone 4S. While Apple mobile phone’s are undoubtedly the most popular smart phones on the market, there’s a real difference between what the Apple iPhone 4S can do and offer compared to previous Apple mobile phone’s. Innovative and like nothing we’ve experienced before, the Apple iPhone 4S brings together business and play, communication and downtime and lots of fun together in one little hand held gem. Having an Apple iPhone 4S isn’t just about having an Apple mobile phone, it about living the ultimate lifestyle!

     

    How the Apple iPhone 4S has eveolved to give us more:

    Boasting all the usual features of a Smartphone at their best plus much more the Apple iPhone 4S was snapped up by Apple mobile phone enthusiasts the world over as soon as it was released. So what did they get for their enthusiasm and commitment to the Apple brand?

     

    The Basics- Key features of the Apple iPhone 4S

    -    Comes in black and white

    -    Capacity ranging from 16GB to 64GB

    -    Dual Core A5 chip

    -    Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology

    -    Assisted GPS, Digital compass, Wi-Fi

    -    3.5-inch (diagonal) widescreen Multi-Touch display

    -    960-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi

    -    8-megapixel camera

    -    Video recording, HD (1080p) up to 30 frames per second with audio

    -    Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery- Standby time: Up to 200 hours

    -    Apple Earphones with Remote and Mic

    -    Siri- the intelligent voice activated personal assistant that lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, make phone calls and more. Operates in English (US, UK and Australian), French, German

     

    What are the best bits about the Apple iPhone 4S?

    While we know the features on the Apple iPhone 4S are all great- what is it about the Apple iPhone 4S that sets it apart from the rest of the Smartphones out there?

     

    Here’s what we like the best!

     

    The revolutionary Multi-Touch interface: iOS- If you want to be able to pick up a smart phone and start using it, the Apple iPhone 4S is the phone to have. Based on the world’s most advanced computer operating system the Mac OS X, iOS performance is fast and stable. And because Apple makes both the iPhone hardware and the operating system, everything works together seamlessly and intelligently- life doesn’t get much better!

     

    The Apps, apps and more apps! While your phone will come loaded with all of the best apps and the crucial apps you need to take full advantage of the Apple iPhone 4S- the fact that there are 500,000 more apps just waiting for you to discover, download and use speaks for itself!

     

    iCloud: Simplifying life just that little bit more, iCloud is the wonderful system that allows you to forget syncing and transferring-  iCloud stores your music, photos, documents and more, and wirelessly pushes them to all your devices. It’s automatic and oh, so convenient- leaving you more time to simply enjoy whatever it is you may be doing on whatever device you’re using at the time!

     

    Dual Core A5 chip: At the end of the day, we all want a phone that is going to do what we want, when we want it to. And with it’s A5 chip the Apple iPhone 4S is quick and responsive, which makes it so easy to launch apps, browse the web, play games and do just about everything… but, best of all the A5 chip is also efficient, so battery life in never a problem!

     

    We could go on and on, but why not jump online and check out the Apple iPhone 4S for yourself. If you want to get your hands on one of these hot little pieces of “cool”, then order today as they don’t hang about in stores long!

    Read more »
  8. Apple iPad 2 review - faster, thinner and lighter

    Apple iPad 2 review: The iPad 2 is faster, thinner and lighter than its predecessor and now has dual cameras, but flaws remain

    Apple's iPad 2 tablet is finally here. A successor to the original iPad, which created a completely new category of devices and sold almost 15 million units worldwide, the iPad 2 is faster, thinner and lighter than its predecessor and now has dual cameras. If you liked the original iPad, you'll love the iPad 2, but for current iPad owners the second generation iPad isn't a necessary upgrade.

    iPad 2: Design and display

    The Apple iPad 2 is thinner and lighter than the original model. Apple says its 8.8mm width makes it 33 per cent thinner than the first iPad, and the 613g weight makes it 15 per cent lighter than its predecessor. The new size and weight makes the iPad 2 much more comfortable to hold and carry around, and it feels incredibly well constructed. The iPad 2 is now available in black and white models — three with Wi-Fi and another three with Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity. Both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi+3G models of the iPad 2 are available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions.

    The iPad 2 features the original model's same, single-button front fascia and a similar brushed metal rear, but the back is now flatter so it sits stable when placed on a desk or table. The edges of the iPad 2 curve as they meet the front edge of the device. The speaker grille on the back of the iPad 2 is larger than the original iPad's, but sound quality is similar.

    The iPad 2's screen is identical to the original model. It sports a 9.7in IPS display with a resolution of 1024x768. Though the iPad 2 screen is no slouch, and still looks good, we would have appreciated a slight upgrade here. The iPad 2 display is also very difficult to see in direct sunlight, which is an issue on a device that has been designed for portability and travel.

    iPad 2: Software and performance

    If you have used the original iPad, the iPad 2 isn't much different: it still runs Apple's iOS4 operating system, offers a familiar swipeable home screen enhanced by folders, and has a consistent Apple UI look and feel extending across all of the standard applications. The iPad 2 also benefits from a well-populated App Store, and has excellent multimedia capabilities — it is a great device for viewing photos, watching videos and listening to music.

    The biggest change from a usability perspective is speed — the iPad 2 feels much snappier when conducting even basic operations than the original model. The driving force behind this speed increase is a new Apple-designed dual-core processor called the A5, and a RAM increase from 256MB to 512MB. Apple claims the A5 processor doubles the speed of the iPad 2 and makes graphics processing up to nine times faster. During our testing, opening and closing apps, switching between running apps, sending an e-mail and using the Safari Web browser all occurred noticeably swifter than on the original iPad.

    Though the iPad 2 remains the slickest and easiest tablet to use on the market, Apple's closed platform means it doesn't offer much flexibility. There remains no easy way of storing files on the iPad 2, the intrusive notifications pop-ups are annoying and clunky, and there is no SD card reader (unless you purchase an optional dongle). There also remains no way to view Flash videos through the browser.

    iPad 2: other features

    Along with its revamped design, the Apple iPad 2 now comes with two cameras: One on the front of the tablet, the other rear-facing. The rear camera records 720p HD video, and takes still photographs, but both cameras have low specifications — the front camera is VGA, while the rear camera is just 0.7 megapixels. Unsurprisingly, both cameras take poor quality still photographs, and while video quality through the rear camera is passable, it still lacks the vibrancy and quality that you should expect from a device in this price range. The best use of both cameras Apple's FaceTime video chat application, which debuted on the iPhone 4 but even then, the front camera is grainy and lacklustre.

    The iPad 2 is capable of 1080p Full HD HDMI output, but only if you purchase an optional Apple digital AV adapter that plugs into the standard Apple dock connector, and then into a television or monitor. Incidentally, the new digital AV adapter also works with the original iPad, though it outputs in 720p rather than the 1080p the iPad 2 is capable of.

    Apple has also released a new cover for the iPad 2 called the 'Smart Cover'. Described by Steve Jobs as "not a case," the Smart Cover has a magnetic flap that clips onto the side of the iPad 2, and automatically wakes and puts the iPad 2 to sleep depending on whether it is open or closed. It also folds into a stand, and comes in 10 colours, including five in Italian leather. It is a handy accessory and the magnets are a typical example of Apple thinking outside the box, but the Smart Cover is overpriced, and doesn't protect the back of the iPad 2.

    The iPad 2 has the same impressive 10-hour battery life as the original iPad, but we were able to achieve almost 11 hours in many instances, depending on the applications we used.

    Read more »
  9. Apple iPhone 4s vs Samsung Galaxy S2 vs Galaxy Nexus vs HTC Sensation XE

    The Samsung Galaxy Nexus has been officially unveiled by Google and Samsung, just two weeks after Apple dropped its iPhone 4S - and if you're an Android fan, there's more than just that juicy new Android Ice Cream Sandwich to sink your teeth into. But with the Samsung Galaxy S2 and the HTC Sensation XE already winning Android hearts and minds in the field, which of the top bevvy of smartphones is for you? We chucked the contenders into our virtual ring for a battle of the specs.

    Design and Build

    Samsung's mobiles have lots to offer in terms of raw power and multimedia capability, but don't put a lot of emphasis on design for design's sake. We love the Galaxy S2, but of the three handsets we've played with (all except the Galaxy Nexus, so far) it lacks that premium feeling of the iPhone and the XE. The body feels plasticky and the battery case is thin to the point of flimsy, and although we've yet to try it, from the pictures and video we've seen of the Galaxy Nexus, things are much the same on the latest Google superphone. Both Sammys have lots going for them, but if rock-solid build is high on your list of priorities, you should be focussing your attention on the iPhone 4S or the Sensation XE.

    The HTC Sensation XE continues HTC's tradition of stamping its phones out of single blocks of aluminium, and the result is a hefty, industrial looking handset with some cool new red highlights to compliment the Beats By Dr. Dre branding. It's the heaviest phone on test at 151g, but the added heft makes it feel solid rather than bulky, like the difference between an expensive watch and a Casio. If slick design is high on your list of must-haves in a phone, but you're no Apple fan, the XE is a solid choice.

    If you are an Apple fan, however, or have no preconceptions either way, the iPhone 4S is also a beautifully designed mobile. Wrapped up in aluminium antenna band and with glass on its back as well as its front, it's extremely pretty while also shying away from the super-legera weights of the Samsung handsets. Our two gripes are that, on the outside, it's damn near identical to the iPhone 4 (there isn't even any 4S branding, just the word 'iPhone') diminishing your bragging rights for owning the latest Apple handset.. Second, that glass back is prone to shattering when dropped, something that isn't a problem on any of the other handsets.

    Processor

    On paper, the HTC Sensation XE has the fastest processor, bumping up from the original Sensation to a 1.5GHz dual-core chip, eliminating some of the jitteriness of its predecessor. The Galaxy S2 and the Galaxy Nexus offer 1.2GHz processors, while Apple's iPhone uses its proprietary A5 chip (as found in the iPad). In practice, however, the 4S, XE and the S2 are all beautifully smooth to use, and for everyday use you'd be hard-pressed to see a difference in performance between them. The Galaxy Nexus packs the same 1.2GHz processor speed as the S2, so we'd expect it to stack up similarly performance-wise when it's released towards the end of the year.

    Operating system

    Apple's iPhone 4S comes running iOS 5, the latest Apple operating system that adds 5GB of free cloud storage via iCloud and Siri, Apple's talkative personal assistant. Apple claim that iOS 5 is its biggest software update in its history, with over 200 new features added to the operating system, including a new and improved notifications system which gives you updates from mail, Twitter, Facebook etc. within whichever app you happen to be using at the time.

    The Galaxy Nexus will be the first Android phone to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the first Android OS release designed to work on both smartphones and tablets. New features include an upgrade to the camera software, which now offers image stabilisation, better auto-focus, face detection and a new panoramic mode as standard. As the Nexus comes with an NFC chip, it can also take advantage of Android Beam, an Ice Cream Sandwich which allows two NFC-enabled mobiles to swap contact details, favourite websites and media by moving them into contact with each other. The most radical feature is probably Face Unlock, which does away with passwords and traditional unlock screens, unlocking your phone by scanning your face with the front-facing camera.

    The HTC Sensation XE runs Android Gingerbread 2.3, but comes with HTC's own gorgeous Sense UI running over the top. Vanilla Android is pretty minimalist in its design, especially compared to Apple's iOS, so the added flare of HTC's Sense skin is a welcome addition, but like the S2, XE owners will have to wait for an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich to get their hands on all of the Galaxy Nexus' new features.

    The Samsung Galaxy S2 currently only runs the vanilla Android 2.3, but expect an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich in short order once the Galaxy Nexus arrives.

    Camera

    The Galaxy Nexus is a little disappointing in pure numbers terms, only coming with a 5MP camera to the other three handsets' 8MP snappers. It's not totally fair to judge cameras on MP rating alone (there are other factors that make a difference to image quality other than raw pixel count), but we thought we'd moved firmly into 8MP territory by now. However, Samsung is claiming an instantaneous shutter speed and an improved panorama mode, so we'll wait to get our hands on it before knocking it too hard.

    The other cameras all photograph at 8MP, as mentioned, and all four are capable of recording video at 1080p.

    Screen

    Each of these phones, bar the iPhone 4S, come with seriously expansive displays. The Galaxy Nexus leads the pack in sheer screen real estate at 4.65 inches, followed by the the Galaxy S2 and the Sensation XE, which both offer up 4.3-inchers. Bringing up the rear is the iPhone 4S, which sticks to Apple's standard issue 3.5-inch display.

    Where the 940x640 iPhone shines, however, is in its Retina Display, which is a fancy description for its screen's super-high pixel-per-inch count (PPI) count. The iPhone 4S has a higher PPI than any of the other three handsets on test, making for a sharper viewing experience.

    The Samsung Galaxy S2 has a lower resolution of 800x480. In contrast the Galaxy Nexus has a full HD resolution of 1290x720 - the highest we've seen on a smartphone, which should mean incredibly detailed pictures. In addition, both do both rock Super AMOLED displays, where colours look more vivid than on its competitors, and both handsets have large displays perfect for watching video on.

    The HTC Sensation XE offers a 960x540 Super LCD screen, which suffers from being in a comparison with three other displays that all have exceptional features. Don't get us wrong, the screen on the Sensation XE is great, it just doesn't have a standout USP like the high PPI of the Retina Display or the rich contrast of the Super AMOLED screens.

    Storage

    The Apple iPhone 4S comes in three different storage capacities; 16GB, 32GB and 64GB, and has no option to upgrade these with external storage cards. Sadly, this means that you'll be forking over extra cash for extra storage, and the iPhone 4S base model is already a pricey enough handset as it is.

    Android handsets have always been much more liberal about Micro-SD card use, so their base storage is less important. The Galaxy S2 comes in 16GB and 32GB models, with storage expandable up to another 32GB via Micro-SD, while the HTC Sensation XE comes with 1GB storage - so a Micro-SD card is a must. We don't know how much storage space the Galaxy Nexus will come packing, but again, the base will almost certainly be upgradeable through cards.

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  10. iPhone 4s vs iPhone 4

    MAKER OF SHINY TOYS Apple has announced the Iphone 4S, not the Iphone 5, so we take a look at the differences between the old and the new.

    For starters the handset doesn't look any different from its predecessor, not a single thing has changed. So no one will even know that you have the new version. Considering it's an Apple product we expected it to at least be a bit thinner. However, Apple does claim that the device is a massive 3g lighter. With no face lift or tummy tuck, it's the hardware and software where we find some upgrades.

    We'll start with the hardware and look at the processor first. This time round the Iphone 4S has been given an A5 dual-core chip. It's an upgrade from the A4 processor in the Iphone 4, which is only single-core. It's the same chip that the Ipad 2 has, which is clocked at 1GHz but it's unclear if this is the same on the Iphone 4S. Nevertheless, the fruit themed firm claims it can deliver up to twice the power and seven times faster graphics.

    The other major hardware upgrade is to the phone's camera. The 5MP camera on the Iphone 4 has been bumped up to 8MP. Apple claims it "might be the best camera ever on a phone". It also has a bigger aperture of f/2.4, the illumination sensor has been ‘improved' and there's additional face detection. When it comes to video the camera will be able to shoot in HD 1080p as opposed to HD 720p, and it will have added video stabilisation that the Iphone 4 camera doesn't have.

    Compared to the Iphone 4 the camera sounds like a decent upgrade, but compared to other smartphones it just brings the Iphone up to speed with current specifications.

    Apple has made an improvement to the Iphone's storage too. The Iphone 4S offers up to 64GB of internal storage, which is twice as much as the biggest Iphone 4. The Iphone has never had a memory card slot for expansion so this will help users who require more space, especially now that video is in HD 1080p. It will also be available in 16GB and 32GB models.

    You're probably aware of the issues surrounding the Iphone 4 antenna. Well Apple claims to have sorted this out with the Iphone 4S. It can apparently automatically switch between its two antennas for better call quality. The Iphone 4S doesn't have LTE technology but it does have upgraded HSDPA, which means better 3G speeds of 14.4Mbits/s compared to 7.2Mbits/s. This speed is possible in theory but is very unlikely to be reached at the moment and will depend on the mobile operator and your location.

    The screen is still the same as before, but we'll let Apple off on this one seeing as how the Iphone 4 has such a high quality screen already. It has 640x960 resolution which results in a lovely 326ppi.

    Moving on to software, the biggest change is the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system IOS. The Iphone 4S will come pre-loaded with IOS 5. Among other things it has an improved lock screen, a notifications centre, better Twitter integration and Imessage for instant messages.

    All of this might be an upgrade from IOS 4 but it is swings and roundabouts when you compare it in terms of the two handsets. IOS 5 will be available for the Iphone 4 two days before the Iphone 4S goes on sale. In theory the new version of the operating system will run better on the Iphone 4S's better hardware.

    Siri is a new voice control system that helps users carry out tasks on the Iphone. It can do basic things like call a contact or send a text. Furthermore you can ask Siri to arrange a meeting, set an alarm or ask a question like, "Do I need an umbrella?" Apple said "Siri understands what you say, knows what you mean and even talks back."

    It is unclear whether this feature will be exclusive to the Iphone 4S but if it is, and it works as claimed, then it will be a significant upgrade to the voice recognition software on the Iphone 4.

    Overall the Iphone 4S is not a massive upgrade from the Iphone 4. It has a better processor, an improved camera and more storage. We're disappointed that the handset has had nothing done to it to make it different from the Iphone 4 in terms of looks. IOS 5 is an upgrade, of course, but this will be available for Iphone 4 users as well.

    If you're an Iphone 4 user then we recommend you hang on for the Iphone 5 unless you're desperate for the better camera or larger storage capacity. If you have an Iphone that predates the Iphone 4 then the Iphone 4S will be a nice upgrade.

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