Samsung's new superphone, the incoming Xbox and a little bit of idiocy
26th Apr 2013 | 10:00
With the S4 nearly here, is it everything we hoped for?
It's cool! It's great! It's bigger than a plate! Yep, it's the rather nifty Samsung Galaxy S4, which our very own smartphone superhero Gareth Beavis has been staring at with his X-ray eyes. It is "the most anticipated smartphone ever from the Korean brand... the most powerful and desirable device Samsung has created yet."
But is it any cop? Mr Beavis says yes. It's lots of cop. But while it's a great phone, there are some niggles: gallery loading was slow - to the point where we decided not to show people any photos at all - and it's a little short of internal storage capacity too. But the biggest issue is where the S4 has tried to innovate: "Air View, Air Gestures, Smart Scroll... all are flawed or overly complex." Nevertheless it's "a great, great device."
Fancy one? The release date has been put back a day because "Samsung wants to make it available to all of its customers at the same time", John McCann reports, and he's put together an exhaustive list of who's selling the S4 and what you should expect to pay.
The S4 isn't the only superphone to tremble beneath Gareth Beavis's unblinking gaze: he's put the HTC One through its paces too. It's "one of the best smartphones around", a "combination of innovation and sumptuous hardware" with a great camera for low-light shooting. However, it suffers from poor battery life, no expandable memory and a screen that isn't quite as good as you'd expect. It's still "the best HTC phone ever", but while it's better than the Samsung Galaxy S3, the S4 may just have raised the bar again.
If you like the idea of a quad-core Android phone but don't want to pay top whack for one, the Acer Liquid E2 may be the phone for you: the latest soldier in the Android army will go on sale in Europe in mid-May, with a price tag of around £195.
The big shows
Or maybe you should save your cash because THE XBOX 720 IS COMING! The invitations have arrived and we'll see the next Xbox on May 21. That date "marks the beginning of a new generation of games, TV and entertainment," Microsoft tells us, and the event "will give a taste of the future while also letting Microsoft share its vision for the gaming console". Which means nothing, of course, but we're still excited because THE XBOX 720 IS COMING! For a reminder of the latest leaks, check out our round-up of the latest next Xbox news.
Prefer Glass to games? GOOGLE IO IS... sorry, we'll stop shouting. The search giant's annual showcase is just around the corner, and we're expecting all kinds of goodies: a new Nexus 4 and Nexus 7, Google Now on the Google home page, the much-rumoured Babel chat system and hopefully Android 5, aka Key Lime Pie. It's the first of the summer's really big events, with E3 and Apple's WWDC happening in June.
Apple's just announced its latest financial results. It's still selling ridiculous quantities of products, but profit margins are down. Inevitably some analysts say that means Apple is "DOOOOOMED!", Gary Marshall reports. It isn't - "what we're seeing here is the tail end of a wave" where the iPhone's incredible growth is finally starting to slow. It happened with the iPod and one day it'll happen with the iPad. "What's surprising isn't that the iPhone is being squeezed," Marshall says. It's that Apple has been able to maintain such extraordinary profit margins for so long."
No smut with your Starbucks
And finally, isn't it nice to make it through a week without any politician saying stupid things about tech? Oh, hang on. Here's David Cameron. "We are promoting good, clean Wi-Fi in local cafes and elsewhere," he told The Telegraph. The reason? So that people "are not going to see things they shouldn't." We're sure that'll work. After all, blocking the Pirate Bay stopped all internet piracy, forever.