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* Posts by Al Taylor

319 posts • joined 30 Mar 2007

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Insufficient Storage Available - El Reg should investigate!

Al Taylor

Had the same problem with my HTC Desire HD (1.5GB of system/app storage) - problems arose when the free space was barely larger than the size of the download packages for updating apps. Did a factory re-set to clear out the system storage partition and the kept a closer eye on the amount of data/cache files my apps were storing and the problem vanished. Not the ideal solution I grant you, but it seemed to work.

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Sony Xperia Tablet Z: Our new top Android ten-incher

Al Taylor
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Re: Specifications, please #2

Hmm...I did indeed manage to not explicitly state the screen resolution. It's 1920 x 1200.

Sorry about that!

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Al Taylor
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Re: Specifications, please

£449 for the 32GB version.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Proof the pen is mightier?

Al Taylor
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GLONASS?

Yes it does.

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Asus FonePad: You may feel a bit of a spanner

Al Taylor
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Re: Compatibility?

I've owned a Motorola Razr i for six months and have not encountered a single compatibility issue. If there are any software / app incompatibility problems with major OEM Intel Android products I've not been able to find them despite spending quite some time - in a professional capacity - looking.

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Al Taylor
Meh

Re: See?

"Seriously, that is asinine. Who would not feel like a complete prat holing that to the side of their head?"

As I said in the review, you do look a wee bit of a spanner if you use it to make a call without an earpiece or headphone, but a fully-functional smartphone and tablet combined for £180? For that level of convenience and saving I'd be prepared to look a slight prat in front of people whose opinion I count for naught and who should have better things to do with their time than watch me make a phone call.

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Al Taylor
Happy

True, but...

the next chip or SoC or GPU is always just around the corner. No matter what you buy today you'll get better for less in 12 months time.

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Al Taylor
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Re: Not Gorilla Glassed

Fair cop.

Looking back at my notes for the review I see "GG IPS LCD" written down, but I'll be stuffed if I can recall were I got that info from and I can find no confirmation for it now that I re-check. It's certainly a toughened glass of some sort, but as you say, not Gorilla Glass proper. I'll see if I can get any more details from Asus.

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Review: Sony Xperia SP

Al Taylor
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Re: Shit port placements

Headphone jack is on the top.You can just see it in the picture on page 3.

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Al Taylor
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Re: Also £300 sim free

Clove.

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Al Taylor
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Re: Looks good but why compare it against a Lumia 720?

The cheapest I've found the Nokia 720 unlocked for is £300. As for PAYG the best high street price I can find is £299 from O2 making it £50 more expensive than the SP on Orange PAYG.

I'm not sure the 820 would do that much better in comparison - it's more powerful than the 720 granted but it's more expensive than the SP (£325 unlocked) and it only has a 480 x 800 pixel, 4.3 inch screen.

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Al Taylor
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Re: But for £19.99 .....

The SP did have some bloat (WisePilot, TrackID, OfficeSuite to name but three) on it, but all could be uninstalled. I suspect a factory reset will re-install them and that the apks are probably still buried in there somewhere. Facebook you are stuck with though, the only option is to uninstall updates. It's not as bad as Xperias of years gone by which where were swamped with the stuff.

As for the app drawer, you can now order apps by name, most used, most recently installed or in a custom order

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Al Taylor
Boffin

Galaxy S4, HTC One and iPhone 5 prices start well north of £500. For smartphones I reckon £100 - £200 = low, £200 - £400 = medium and £400+ = high.That makes the SP the epitome of mid price in my book.

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Al Taylor
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Re: Cloudmobile

For the price I'd take the Acer because at the end of the day £130 is £130. But the Sony has a larger screen, is more powerful, has a bigger battery, a physical camera key and those excellent media apps. If I was buying on contract I'd certainly go for the Sony.

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Review: Samsung Galaxy S4

Al Taylor

Re: I really get tired of this bemoaning 'evolution instead of revolution'

Fair comments all but Nokia moved the game on in regards to photography with the Lumia 920's mechanically stabilized camera and HTC has done similar for sound quality with the One's forward facing loudspeakers. Granted the S4 is better than the S3 in all ways but there's no single feature that tries to redefine the genre. I don't blame Samsung for playing it safe but a wee bit more adventurousness wouldn't have gone amiss.

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Al Taylor
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Re: Windowed apps

Granted those apps you listed are supported by the Samsung multiple window system but many others including iMDb, BBC News, the official Wikipedia app, Currents, Google Drive, Glympse. K9 Mail, Skype and TuneIn Radio are not.

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Review: Asus PadFone 2 phone-tablet combo

Al Taylor
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Re: Shame UK getting an already obsolete device as 'new'

Not strictly true.

I understand from Asus that the 1080p Infinity model will be sold alongside the model reviewed here. Apparently the Infinity will cost £799 when it goes on sale. If that is true I'd still go for the standard version if it were my money. Screen resolution aide the two devices are technically very similar.

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Al Taylor
Thumb Up

Re: Camera will shoot 13MP in tablet mode

Well spotted that man!

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Ten Windows tablets

Al Taylor
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Re: Asus VivoTab Smart

The Smart was covered in the Top Ten 10" Tablet round-up

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/03/12/review_roundup_ten_ten_inch_tablets/page3.html

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Al Taylor
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Re: Iconia

For what it's worth a friend bought one last week on my recommendation (he got it for £529 from ebuyer) and he's as happy as a dog with two tails with it. He wanted something to replace his very old 13-inch Dell laptop but that would also work as a tablet for casual on-the-sofa use. Reckons the W700 does both jobs perfectly.

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Al Taylor

Re: Who is Asus? Who is HP? Who is Dell? Who is Acer?

Not covering kit from Acer, Asus, Dell and HP would have made for a rather short and incomplete product round-up.

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Al Taylor
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Re: Reg: Where did you find this writer?

Microsoft certainly had the power the price the RT Surface more aggressively and I have great difficulty in believing that it couldn't also have arranged a more aggressive price point with the various OEMs for entry level RT tablets in much the same way that Google has with it's Nexus range.

I doubt the Nexus 4, 7 or 10 would retail for what they do had it been left to LG, Asus and Samsung.

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Review: HTC One

Al Taylor

Re: Vote with your wallet... I did!

"that attempts to justify missing desirable functionality."

I wouldn't say I attempted to justify the absence of a micro SD card slot or a removable battery. I simply stated that to be the case and didn't mark the One down because of it. No review can be wholly objective and removable batteries and SD card slots are simply not deal breakers to me though the latter would be if a device only had 4 or 8MB of storage space.)

If they are to you, there are plenty of phones on the market that offer both.

There are all too obvious reasons why HTC decided to follow the route it has, none of which I suspect has anything to do with saving money. I'd be most surprised if the One's aluminium unibody is cheaper to fabricate than the S3's plastic case with its removable battery cover.

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Al Taylor
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Re: No mention in the review about 4G, LTE higher speed internet - the phone supports multi-band LTE

Hi Rob

The review device HTC supplied me with was a 3G model but below are the supported bands for 3G and 4G...

HSPA+ 850/900/1900/2100 MHz

GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

LTE: 800/1800/2600 MHz 50 Mbps UL, 100 Mbps DL

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Al Taylor
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Re: No SD card slot, no removable battery

"El Reg needs to start obsessing less about the techno-gloss of devices such as this and think a darn sight harder about value-for-money and all-round quality of offering. On which basis, the HTC One isn't any kind of 'killer' at all -- and definitely not worthy of the rave review given here."

Vulcan, value is a slippery concept in the UK when it comes to mobile phones because the majority are bought on contract. I'll grant you that compared to an 8GB Nexus 4 the One is expensive as an outright purchased. But compared to the direct competition (iP5, Lumia 920, Galaxy S3, LG 4X HD etc) it's par for the course.

As for "techno-gloss", well, the excellent screen, state of the art speakers, respectable battery life, impressively powerful yet cool-running chipset, quality camera and very good Wi-Fi reception are all core features from my point of view and not "gloss" at all.

Combine that with - in my eyes - a stylish design and very well made body and the One is worth every part of the praise I've leveled at it.

It's clear from many of the comments that a user replaceable battery and a memory card slot are desirable features for some but I have to say that I find a portable power pack and USB OTG are more satisfactory answers to the problems of extended run times and access to large media libraries.

In my opinion when it comes to value the HTC One is acceptable if not outstanding while the all-round quality of design, manufacture and presentation is very high.

Al

(another onetime Desire HD owner)

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Al Taylor
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Re: Terminaly dim...

Sorry Michael, I have to disagree

The curved back, the ridged sides, the colour scheme, the detailing, the size difference, the physical positioning of the speakers and their visual impact, the trade marking (the HTC logo below the screen). All are clear distinguishable features.

The similarities are that it's oblong and the corners are curved but I regard those as fundamental and inherent design features of the product type. Just as all five-door hatchbacks have a bonnet at the front, a hatch at the back, some doors on either side and a tyre at each corner.

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Al Taylor
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Re: Best camera on a phone?

Not the 808 but I did do some direct comparisons between shots taken with the One and the Lumia 920 and the iPhone 5 I had on loan for the 4G feature last month.

As for BlinkFeed, you can change the period between refreshing or disable the automatic refreshing altogether.

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Review: Renault Zoe electric car

Al Taylor
WTF?

Defensive?

Greg - Limited range inherent in the technology aside (which I think I devoted as much copy to as was reasonable), what failings would you have liked me to point out? If the Zoe had demonstrated any significant failings - bad handling, bad packaging, lack of refinement, shoddy build quality, a poor infotainment system - I'd have noted them with relish.

Of course the two day press event in Lisbon included suggested routes and satnav directions to charging facilities. Exactly how else would you suggest Renault ran it?

Perhaps Renault should have simply handed over the keys to a half-charged car at Lisbon airport and walked away letting me try to find my own charge point in an unfamiliar city?

A more detailed review will have to wait until UK-spec press cars become available for long term tests but I doubt that will cause me to radically change my opinion unless there is some unforeseen difference between left and right-hand drive models.

As for domestic charging times, the free British Gas 32amp/7Kw domestic charge box will juice a Zoe up in about three and a quarter hours.

Neither Nissan not Renault suggest you plug a Leaf/Zoe into a domestic 13amp mains socket though if you did I'd estimate the charge time to be between seven and eight hours.

Ben - throughout the two days the traffic (and the weather) was pretty awful though the more mountainous roads north of Lisbon and Cascais towards Sintra did allow for some spirited driving away from the urban roads and dual carriage ways in and around Lisbon itself.

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Al Taylor
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Do the charger leads on this (and others) lock when connected?

Yes.

I should have made that clear in the review.

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Al Taylor
WTF?

Confrontational?

Au contraire. I was just getting my rhetoric in first.

And I refuse to get into a debate about who is, or is not, a bell end with anyone who considers a 0-62 time of 13.5 seconds to be insufficient.

Insufficient for what exactly? Drag racing between traffic lights? Carving other drivers up? Driving like a oaf?

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Al Taylor
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Re: Charging in public areas

Two quick points on this..

You use a smart card to activate the public chargers and once activated the cable locks itself onto the socket on the car. You can only remove it when you swipe the your card to finish the charge. I'm sure you could wrench the cable off but it'd take some very serious effort - I gave it a good yank and it didn't so much as budge.

The graffiti is part of a city wide program to brighten up the interior walls of car parks etc by letting local graffiti artists paint them (Lisbon may look a bit down at heels but it is one of the most highly decorated cities I've spent time in). The examples behind the Zoes in the pic are pretty poor - the artwork on the wall opposite was more impressive.

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Review: Sony Xperia Z

Al Taylor
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Re: Get back to basics

Page 2 second para from bottom.

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Ten smartphones with tablet ambitions...

Al Taylor
Facepalm

Re: Please do you research

Quite right. I stand thoroughly corrected. TCL bought Alcatel's stake in the handset JV all the way back in 2005. Apologies for the error.

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Al Taylor

Re: Let's not forget that DELL were the first into this market

Fair enough, but the Note was the first device of this type that actually sold in significant numbers so I'd argue that it is phablet Genesis from a commercial and user angle even if the Streak was the first with the hardware specs.

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Al Taylor

Re: Where is the HTC ONE ???

Wholly arbitrary but in my book screen < 5.0" = phone, 5.0 - 6,.5" = phablet, 6.5"+ = tablet

so the HTC One and recently announced Asus FonePad didn't make the cut by dint of being too small and too big respectively.

of course that doesn't explain what the PadFone is doing here, but I make no claim top consistency.

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Al Taylor
Thumb Up

Re: Kogan Agora 5.0

If the quick fiddle I had with the Agora is anything to go by it's not that bad - certainly felt no slower than my old HTC Desire HD or the Samsung Android pmp I referenced. Of course I wouldn't want to try NOVA 3 on it...

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Review: Britain's 4G smartphones

Al Taylor
Thumb Down

Re: Random

There was no 4G at all in central Walkden (around the big new Tesco store). Picked up a signal once I got down to the East Lancs but still only talking one or two bars.

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Al Taylor
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Re: Of course the biggest issue if you have a Windows phone is that you can't receive calls....

"Windows Phone doesn't hand over from 4G to 3G properly, so the other party can't actually call you"

I didn't experience any such problems with the Lumia 920 that Nokia provided though of course I can't speak for other 4G WP8 devices.

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Al Taylor
Happy

Re: On the same page...

what's a tenth of an inch between friends?

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Review: The ultimate Chromebook challenge

Al Taylor
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Re: OK, now how easy is it to wipe the Google cr@pola off?

Page 3, last couple of paras.

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Al Taylor
Mushroom

Re: I cannot believe....

I struggle to see what the difference is between letting Google look down your dress by using a Chromebook or letting Apple or Microsoft or Amazon do the same by using an iPad/iPhone or WP8/Windows RT device or Kindle Fire. Or Google again through your Android phone or tablet.

Anyone who buys a Chromebook is more than likely already using Google's cloud services or they wouldn't have bought one. If privacy from sneaky corporate types is a priority I'd suggest using pen and paper over any sort of connected gadget.

I'm not going to dignify the argument that Apple or Microsoft or Amazon are somehow more trustworthy than Google.

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Al Taylor
Pint

iPad?

I'm duty bound to point out that the Samsung Chromebook is £170 cheaper than an iPad.

If it was my money I'd buy a Samsung Chromebook and a 16GB Nexus 7 and spend the remaining tenner on beer.

But that's just me.

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Al Taylor
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Re: A couple of things

Re. Series 3

Well, that's what Samsung is calling the thing...

http://www.samsung.com/uk/consumer/pc-peripherals/chrome-devices/chrome-devices/XE303C12-A01UK

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Review: Google Nexus 4

Al Taylor
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Re: Wot, no score?

@ bigphil9009

"Strange review this one - comes across that the review has made up his mind that he wasn't going to like it, then filtered the review through that decision."

au contraire, but I can hardly overlook poor battery life, a potentially fragile and slippery design (I've dropped my review handset several times already and had it slip off sofa armrests etc), the absence of a camera button and very limited storage options. Apart from those failings it's a cracking little device but it does have failings.

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Al Taylor
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It's always a problem with battery testing. What constitutes "average" use. To get around that I load up the same apps that I have on my own phone (the Razr i) and use the review handset for a few days in its place. With something like the Nexus 4 I also spend at least 30 mins per day gaming and the same watching video. I think the last two are reasonable, after all, why buy a large screen HD phone if you avoid doing the things many people buy a large screen HD phone to do?

As a matter of course I'm inclined to be more negative about battery life in a handset with a fixed battery simply because investing in a new battery after 12 months of run-of-the-mill degradation is not an option.

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Al Taylor
Happy

Re: Liking some of the "features"

I seem to recall I nabbed it from http://www.desktopnexus.com/ originally.

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Al Taylor
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Re: No mention of call quality

I found the call quality to be absolutely fine and every bit as clear/loud/composed as the Motorola Razr i that I use on a daily basis. And I should say that I found the call quality of the Razr very impressive from day one. It's one of the reasons I bought it after spending time with a review handset I had in for the Best Smartphones for Xmas feature.

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Review: HTC 8X Windows Phone 8 handset

Al Taylor
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It's made from Corning Gorilla Glass 2. I should have mentioned that.

Apologies

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Al Taylor
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Re: Strictly off topic

Outside the Salford City Council offices in Swinton, Salford on the Chorley Road.

https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=manchester&ll=53.511509,-2.338962&spn=0.003669,0.009645&hnear=Manchester,+United+Kingdom&gl=uk&t=m&z=17&layer=c&cbll=53.511509,-2.338962&panoid=vyDNNiSdwG7uiL1vPr00Fg&cbp=12,194.03,,0,-0.7

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