The best phones and tablets available in my opinion – late 2012

With the recent Windows Phone 8 launch and the new Nexus 4 announcement recently, I thought I would do a list of the best phones in my opinion. Usually, I’m not a big fan of Android but this has changed recently…

Smartphones

  1. HTC Windows Phone 8X (Windows Phone 8)
  2. Nokia Lumia 920 (Windows Phone 8)
  3. Google/LG Nexus 4 (Android 4.2)
  4. Apple iPhone 5 (iOS 6)
  5. Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE (Android 4.X)

I’m a big Microsoft fan and I am really integrated into their ecosystem, so WP8 devices are at the top of the list. The Lumia 920 hasn’t yet been reviewed (though it does support LTE in the UK, unlike the 8X) so it may be better than the 8X, but the 8X seems the best at the moment. After those phones, the Android powered Nexus 4 is next. Yes, really. I usually find Android really fragmented and that it does not work well with Microsoft services such as Outlook.com and SkyDrive (though the pretty rubbish Hotmail app and recently released SkyDrive apps can be used), but the Nexus 4 looks great aside from the fact that there is no LTE. I think that is basically unacceptable in late 2012, but I suppose it won’t make a different here in the UK because LTE is pretty rare – you have to be on EE, have a compatible phone and also pay a lot of money. It is certainly not as widespread as in the USA. Next up in the iPhone 5, mainly because of the impressive hardware (though a bigger screen that isn’t just taller would be nice). I find it to be very light, the camera to be awesome and the selection of apps unbeaten, but iOS is just so stale and boring, rubbish compared to Windows Phone and Android 4.2. Maybe the recent changes in iOS management (mainly a head person being sacked) means it will get better. It’s just a question of whether my ageing iPhone 4 will see the hopefull revamp. Last on my list is the GS3 LTE because, mainly, I love the hardware (the big screen is lovely – Apple, take note!) and it is one of the few phones supporting LTE on EE in the UK, alongside the Lumia 920 and a handful of other phones. What I don’t like is the fragmentation and the many OEM customizations – it will be forever before it gets Android 4.2, and I like stock Android thanks a lot. Other phones are not of interest to me at all.

Large tablets

  1. Microsoft Surface RT (Windows RT)
  2. Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro (Windows 8)
  3. iPad (4th generation, iOS 6)
  4. Google/Samsung Nexus 10 (Android 4.2)

Not as much to say here. I love the Surface because of the awesome hardware (I wish the screen res. was higher though) and the even more awesome Windows RT software, especially with Microsoft Office 2013 preinstalled. If you’re going to get one make sure you get a Touch Cover as it’s pretty useless without it. After that is the Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro, because I think it’s the best PC replacement available. Next is the iPad 4th generation, the version just announced at the recent Apple event. I don’t really like iOS, and the only reason the iPad is really on here is because of the best and large amount of tablet optimized apps – sure, Android has loads, but many are not optimized for a large, ~10 inch screen. Finally, the Nexus 10. The screen looks amazing (a higher dpi than the iPad!!) but it needs more apps to beat the iPad. Another awesome feature of this tablet is multiple users – though Windows 8 and Windows RT handles multiple users better, this is still a welcome feature.

Smaller tablets

  1. Amazon Kindle Fire HD
  2. Google Nexus 7
  3. iPad mini

I’m quite integrated into Amazon’s ecosystem, so I think the Fire HD is the best 7 inch tablet for me. Next up is the Nexus 7 – the hardware seems great and the app selection is decent. The final one is the iPad mini. The good points of this tablet is the sheer amount of apps available – all iPad optimized apps – and the build quality. Bad points include an unreasonably high price, a low screen resolution (it’s significantly lower than the Fire and the Nexus, even though these tablets are nearly an inch smaller) and the fact that iOS is so very stale.

So those are my favourite phones, tablets and smaller tablets. If I could have all of them, I would. :)

What are your favourite devices at the moment?

The Nexus 4 – a cheap, awesome Android phone that unfortunately lacks LTE

My favourite phone at the moment.

CHERUB: People’s Republic – review

Today I am reviewing a book that isn’t Doctor Who-related. I know! It’s crazy! But I’ve just read this amazing book, and I had to share my thoughts.

Anyway, here’s the basic information:

  • Title: CHERUB: People’s Republic
  • Author: Robert Muchamore
  • Release date: August 2011
  • Part of a book series?: Yes, it’s the first book of three in CHERUB series 2
  • RRP: £12.99 (UK)
  • Pages: 407 (it’s the longest CHERUB book yet!)
  • Overall rating: 10/10

So those are some of the basic facts. Now on to the actual review:

The book is a lot like any of the books in the original CHERUB series (see here), but there are two main differences:

  1. The 3 books make one, long story. In CHERUB series one, each book was a different mission (and essentially a different story)
  2. The main characters are different. A few minor-ish characters are back, but James Adams (the main character in series 1) and his friends are all grown up and, therefore, no longer part of CHERUB. It’s really quite weird with them gone…

People’s Republic is quite very exciting, with a few shocks are surprises, and I never wanted to put it down. unfortunately, I had to, but I still finished it in a few short days. :-D I could go into more detail, but I don’t want to spoil anything. So you’ll have to buy the book to find out about Ryan, Ning and Ethan. Sorry. :-(

Basically, this is an amazing book and though the old characters have gone, I can’t wait for CHERUB: Guardian Angel (the next book in series 2).

CHERUB: People's Republic cover

The cover!

Some amazing blogs out there on the web

Some amazing blogs:

Those are just a few…

King Of Anything – Sara Bareilles

Gallifrey - my dogs name (it really is)

In case you haven’t yet noticed, I like sharing music. A lot. In previous posts you will have found This is Gallifrey: Our Childhood, out home, I Am The Doctor, Westminster Bridge and more. Most, if not all of them, have been Doctor Who music. Well, today you’re in for a treat. The music isn’t Doctor Who. It wasn’t composed by Murray Gold. And it’s good. You can watch it below:

What do you think? Like it, or hate it? Why?

Intense Chocolate Oreo Loaf Cake

Ooh that sounds nice, doesn’t it? Chocolate, Oreo, cake… everything is good! And it’s intense! How wonderful! Ok, enough of the praises.

The recipe basically is Oreos and chocolate. It is suitable for vegetarians, so enjoy!

Intense Chocolate Oreo Loaf Cake I’m trying to get into the habit of baking once a week – I find it hugely relaxing and love getting the boys involved. So when I spied Sarah’s Forever Nigella Blogging Event had a Seduced By Chocolate theme over on Maison Cupcake it got me in an inventive mood. I’ve been asking around for people’s fave Nigella recipes, and my book group friend Kath recommended one with a certain Nigella-esque glint in her eye, so I couldn’t resist giving it a go. … Read More

via Feeding boys and a firefighter

What search engine do you use?

Image representing Bing as depicted in CrunchBase

Bing

There are quite a few search engines out there. Google, Bing, Yahoo! and more. But which do you use?

Each website offers its own features. With Bing, there is a new image every day (with info hotspots) and great web and image search. It also has unique features such as Visual Search, and the ability to connect with Facebook

Google is perhaps the most well-known of all the search engines. Although it does have cool features like instant search, it can be pretty basic. The background image is plain white (but the logo does change on special days) unless you log into a free Google account, for instance.

Out of all the search websites, I like Bing best. Which do you like? You can write in the comments or do the poll below: