In the beginning, there was Palm. The company created the handheld/smartphone category with the original personal digital assistants in 1996. Now, following an HP acquisition about a year ago, it's emerged with a new super-tiny model, the HP Veer.
The smartphone is priced at $99 with a two-year contract in the US, with costs yet to be announced in the UK. It's so light, at 103g, and small, at 84x54x15.1mm, that it almost seems like a toy phone – something you would pass on to little Johnny Radar Jr in the back seat to keep him silent. The Veer is generally well-packaged, but unless it comes with a fantastic price point when it lands on UK shores, it's not going to be a winner for HP.
The MacBook Air that debuted last October was a mighty fine-looking piece of hardware - a newly designed unibody shell, 0.3cm at its thinnest. Trouble is, the meat inside didn't quite match up with the supreme exterior – Apple had been forced to stick with the ageing Intel Core 2 Duo processor.
The great news is that the new models don't lack for performance. Even the base models are stacked. The off-the-shelf models come with the blistering Core i5 1.6 (11-inch, £849/£999 depending on memory and SSD) or 1.7GHz (13-inch, £1,099/£1,349 depending on memory and SSD) variants. Even better is that, for an extra £100, you can upgrade to a 1.8GHz Core i7.
The Nokia X7 ought to be a flagship smartphone – it has a vast screen, it runs a revamped touchscreen OS and it looks rather nice too. It has an 8MP camera, super video playback and, at first glance, plenty of storage capacity. But we just aren't sure where Symbian Anna is headed in the long term, and that alone could make the Nokia X7 a blind alley.
And it doesn't do anything supremely well. If you are a Nokia fan and want a top quality camera you should be looking at the Nokia N8. If you want a superb physical keyboard, then the Nokia E7 is worth your attention. Great social networking integration? Go Android instead, with something such as the HTC Sensation. With those bases covered, it's tricky to see precisely where the Nokia X7 fits in.
One of the jewels in the previous-generation Android crown, the Samsung Galaxy S has recently been updated to Android 2.3.3, giving it Gingerbread features as well as improved performance and better battery life. We take another look to see what impact the updates have had.
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