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All posts by John McCann

  • Nokia Lumia 720 review: leader of the pack

    Being the middle child is always difficult, so in that respect the Nokia Lumia 720 has it tough as it nestles slap bang in the centre of the Finnish firm’sWindows Phone 8 range. Arriving on the scene alongside the budget-focussed Nokia Lumia 520 atMWC 2013, the Lumia 720 provides a happy middle point in a line up which also includes the Lumia 620, 820 and 920. The Nokia Lumia 720 is available for around £300 ($460/AU$445) SIM-free, while on contract you’ll be able to pick it up for free from £22 per month over two years. This pits the Lumia 720 against the likes of the HTC One SV, Samsung Galaxy...

  • Huawei Ascend W1 review: ready for a cheap Windows Phone 8 thrill?

    After more leaks than a wicker canoe, the Huawei Ascend W1 was finally unveiled at CES 2013 as the Chinese firm’s first Windows Phone 8smartphone. Aimed at the bottom end of the market, the Ascend W1 doesn’t sport the premium polycarbonate unibody of the Nokia Lumia 920 or the sultry design of the HTC 8X, as it looks instead to rub shoulders with the Lumia 520 and various Android handsets such as the Ascend G330, Orange San Diego and ZTE Blade 3. With its rivals in mind you won’t be surprised when we tell you the Ascend W1 will set you back £119.99 on PAYG, or £13.50 per month on contract. O2 currently has...

  • Sony Xperia L hands on review: a low-end smartphone with charm

    The Sony Xperia L is the latest smartphone to slide in at the bottom end of the Japanese firm’s range, launching alongside the mid-range Xperia SP to complete a trio of handsets headlined by the Sony Xperia Z. It’s the natural replacement for the Xperia J, which launched at IFA 2012 alongside 007’s Sony Xperia T – handsets which bare a strong resemblance to the Xperia L in terms of design. There’s no exact Sony Xperia L release date for now, all we’ve been told is that it will arrive during the second quarter of the year. The price is also still a mystery but...

  • ZTE Blade 3 review: mid-range phone at a bargain price

    The ZTE Blade 3 is the latest smartphone from the Chinese firm intent on bringing customers great value for money at the bottom of the mobile market. While ZTE and its Chinese compatriot Huawei both say they’re targeting the full smartphone spectrum with recent high-end handsets such as theGrand SandAscend D2, the reality is that they are still primarily considered budget handset manufacturers. The budget ethos rings true with the ZTE Blade 3 as it will only set you back £69.99, plus a £10 top up from Virgin Mobile. One of the reasons ZTE is able to keep its costs down is...

  • Alcatel One Touch Fire hands-on review: the feature phone killer?

    The Alcatel One Touch Fire isn’t your ordinary low-end handset, oh no this one comes running the new, purely HTML 5-based Firefox OS from those web browser guys over at Mozilla. Announced alongside the ZTE Open, both handsets are destined for emerging markets including Latin America and Eastern Europe, as well as Spain, with the aim of ridding the world of feature phones. If you’re lucky enough to be residing in one of the regions that will be first to experience Firefox OS, you can expect the One Touch Fire to arrive this summer, sporting a sub-US$100 (£65/AU$100) price tag. It’s unlikely that the...

  • Huawei Ascend P2 hands-on review: possibly the world’s fastest phone

    Last year Huawei gave us the world’s slimmest and the world’s most powerful smartphones in the form of the Ascend P1 S and Ascend D Quad, and now the Huawei Ascend P2 has stolen the “world’s fastest smartphone” crown. In short, Huawei loves a good record breaker (which means it willabsolutely love TechRadar), probably due to the fact it generates additional hype around its smartphone launches. The Chinese firm is firmly setting its sights on the mid- and high-end of the mobile market as it tries to shake off the budget tag it’s developed for itself over recent years. It all started at CES 2013 when the Ascend...

  • Vertu Ti hands-on review: can money buy tech happiness?

    The Vertu Ti is the first Android smartphone from the luxury smartphone maker, although it’s certainly not for everyone. But is it for me, you ask. Honestly, probably not. Unless that is, you’ve got money coming out of your ears and regularly travel the world. For you see Vertu has a very focussed market and although it may be a small one in the grand scheme of things, it’s pretty much unrivalled in what it does. Think of the Vertu Ti as the mobile equivalent to a Mulberry handbag or Rolls Royce Phantom. Its starting price is an eye watering £6,700 (around $10,600/AU$10,300)...

  • Blackberry 10 hands on review: its time is soon

    Note: BlackBerry 10 (or BB10) is still under development and not yet a finished product, but we’ve checked out an almost-final version of the user interface, which is pretty close to perfection, according to RIM – but we’ll let you be the judge by checking out our findings below. Delayed until early 2013, the first BB10 devices should land in January – although we’re now hearing it could be as late as March and RIM is now saying it will arrive during the first quarter of the year. We saw the near-final version of BlackBerry 10 running on the new Dev...

  • HTC One SV review: The ultimate midrange smartphone?

    The HTC One SV isn’t exactly a new handset, more or a reboot of the HTC One S which launched back at MWC 2012. That said the One SV arrives sporting a new chassis and slightly differing specifications under the hood, the most of important of which is its 4Gcapabilities. Available SIM-free from around £315 the HTC One SV is pretty much the same price as the year-old One S – give or take a couple of quid – making it a rather attractive proposition while potentially killing off its sibling. Contract deals for the One SV are slightly more expensive on the UK’s only...

  • Archos 97 Titanium hands on review: aiming for the iPad’s crown

    The iPad has been a roaring success so unsurprisingly every manufacturer out there has looked to match Apple’s tablet in terms of style, functionality and most importantly popularity. The next young pretender to the iPad’s crown comes in the form of the Archos 97 Titanium and after all the legal shenanigans with Samsung we’re surprised this tablet bares so much of a resemblance to Apple’s slate. As with the smaller 80 Titanium, Archos has emblazoned the front of the 97 Titanium with its logo and a front facing camera positioned in the top corner in an attempt to give the tablet an...