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September 2012 Roundup
1st October 2012
September saw some major handset launches as manufacturers line up their next generation of high-end smartphones.
The Apple iPhone 5 was the biggest news this month, but although bigger and faster than its predecessor it didn't seem to be much of a departure from the past which makes us wonder if Apple is losing its edge. Largely positive reviews of the iPhone 5 were tempered with problems with the new mapping app which lead to a public apology from Apple's CEO.
Taking a completely different design philosophy from Apple is the Nokia Lumia 920, a big and quite heavy Windows 8 device with optical image stabilisation and an impressive feature set. A bit cheaper and simpler, the Nokia Lumia 820 attempts to appeal to mid-market customers who don't want an iPhone or Android device. A completely different pair of devices, the Nokia Asha 308 and 309 bring smartphone-like features to a sub-€100 feature phone.
Nokia weren't the only people showing off Windows 8 devices. The awkwardly named Windows Phone 8X by HTC pitches for the higher end of the market, the Windows Phone 8S by HTC is another mid-market device that will face fierce competition from a mass of rivals.
A big month for Motorola, with the Motorola RAZR HD following up from last's years original RAZR, with a much bigger screen in a device roughly the same size. One step down from the RAZR HD is the Motorola RAZR M (or DROID RAZR M) which is a mid-market device of roughly the same specification as the original RAZR.. only much more compact. The European version of the RAZR M will be the Intel-based Motorola RAZR i which should get a speed boost from the 2GHz Atom CPU.
A whole bunch of new Kindle Fire devices were announced earlier this month. The Kindle Fire HD is a 7" tablet heading to both the US and Europe this year. The larger Kindle Fire 8.9" is bigger, faster and more expensive and also has the option of LTE, but will be available in the US only to begin with. And the base model Kindle Fire (aka the "Kindle Fire 2") has been improved, made cheaper and will now ship to Europe as well as the US.
The ZTE Grand X IN is ZTE's flagship smartphone, and is one of a small number of new devices with an Intel processor inside.
It has been a big month for 4G with several new devices supporting LTE. In the UK, the first 4G network will be launched by EE, we look at some of the key facts that you need to know about this new technology and question whether consumers really know what 4G actually is.
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