Latest Mobile News and Reviews 1The end of the year is always an exciting time in the mobile industry because manufacturers want to get out their high end handsets before the holiday season rush and retailers are vying to attract your attention with low prices. Here are some of the best mobile phones released in recent weeks which you might want to buy.

For Android fans there is really only one smartphone to put on your wish list this year. That is of course the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the first mobile to run Android 4.0 and feature a 4.65 inch Super AMOLED screen with a native 720p resolution. Its 1.2GHz dual core processor may sound a little underwhelming when compared to the 1.5GHz powerhouse found in the HTC Sensation XE or the quad core chips that are going to hit in 2012, but Google would not have chosen this handset as its flagship portal to Android 4.0 if it was not satisfied with the hardware.

Of course Apple aficionados will have been glued to the web trying to find out all of the details about the new iPhone 4S prior to its launch and now that it is here there is no reason not to upgrade. It may look almost identical to last year`s iPhone 4, but with a dual core processor, eight megapixel camera and Siri personal assistant software it is a worthy successor. In addition the iOS 5 operating system should make the process of updating the software and synchronising your data much simpler than it has been in the past.

Mobile users who want something a bit different will probably be interested in the Nokia Lumia 800. This runs Windows Phone 7.5, has a 3.7 inch AMOLED screen and a single core 1.4GHz processor onboard. It may not be quite as well endowed in the hardware department as the models from Apple and Samsung, but Windows Phone is designed to work seamlessly provided the components meet Microsoft`s minimum system requirements. An eight megapixel camera and a polycarbon unibody chassis help bring the Lumia 800 up and away from mid range rivals and although there are models like the HTC Titan which have bigger screens and Windows Phone too, this effort from Nokia is the best balance of form and functionality.

Although most mobiles could be classed as smartphones in the modern market, there are still feature phones which do a good job of catering to an audience with a specific need. The Sony Ericsson Xperia Active is one such mobile phone which launched recently. It has a relatively small touch screen display measuring three inches across and it features Sony Ericsson`s specially adapted version of Android, with an interface which makes the most out of the available space. However, its real trick is to resist dirt, dust, water and damage thanks to its rubberise rear, sturdy metal surround and strengthened glass front. For those who like to get active outdoors the Xperia Active could be an ideal companion.

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The first part of this ambitious endeavor, which also commemorates the group鈥檚 20th anniversary, chronicles its journey into eight recording studios, in Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Los Angeles; Nashville, Tenn.; Austin, Texas; New Orleans, New York and Seattle. 鈥淲e wanted to record a different song in each city that tells the story of these inspiring people in their crazy studios or the history of the music from that place and how the environment influenced the music,鈥?Grohl explained in a recent phone interview. In each city, Grohl would interview artists, or people who have had some sort of impact on that particular community, about the music history of the area. 鈥淚t was incredible to sit down with Chuck D and he got to talk about how Public Enemy began,鈥?the 45-year-old said. 鈥淚 got to sit down with Dolly Parton and she talked about growing up in a house with a dirt floor. I talked to Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth, Slash, I talked to the president. All of these people have one thing in common, which is that they were inspired to live their lives by some spark or something happened that made them feel like it was possible for them to live out their dream. That鈥檚 … cool because they all play different genres of music, or maybe they don鈥檛 play music at all, but they share that same inspiration.鈥?On the final day in each city, Grohl said that as the band finished recording their parts, he鈥檇 lock himself in his hotel room, close the blinds and read back through all of his interview notes to write each song. 鈥淚鈥檇 pick out sentences, phrases and words that told the story and I鈥檇 put them on the left side of the journal,鈥?he explained. 鈥淥n the right side, I had the outline of the song and I would kind of paste those things into the song. At the end of each episode you鈥檒l see us perform the song and see the lyrics come up and you鈥檒l recognize some of those from the interviews.鈥?To celebrate the debut of the HBO series and the forthcoming album, Foo Fighters will serve as the guest band during a week-long residency on 鈥淟ate Show With David Letterman.鈥?Grohl said the band will perform some of the new tracks and there will be multiple collaborations with the artists he interviewed along the 鈥淪onic Highways鈥?odyssey. 鈥淟etterman was the first person to get behind this project with his production company World Wide Pants,鈥?Grohl said. 鈥淲e鈥檝e always shared a special relationship with Letterman. When he had his open-heart surgery, he was gone for a while and when he came back he requested the Foo Fighters be the first band to perform for his first week back because he wanted to hear the song 鈥楨verlong.鈥?Ever since that day, we鈥檝e been in love. I don鈥檛 know how many times we鈥檝e played that show but every time we do and I stand in the Ed Sullivan Theater, I never take that for granted.鈥?The spark that ignited all of the ideas for 鈥淪onic Highways鈥?came from the band鈥檚 previous album, 2011鈥檚 鈥淲asting Light鈥?and accompanying rockumentary, 鈥淔oo Fighters: Back and Forth,鈥?that followed that recording process. Foo Fighters had decided to spice things up by doing things 鈥渢he old-fashioned鈥?way. Under the supervision of Nirvana鈥檚 鈥淣evermind鈥?producer Butch Vig, it recorded 鈥淲asting Light鈥?using only analog equipment in the garage of Grohl鈥檚 Encino home. 鈥淚t鈥檚 like a marriage,鈥?Grohl said of keeping things interesting now two decades into the band. 鈥淵ou don鈥檛 want to wind up in a dead marriage, so you have to keep it freaky.鈥?After receiving positive feedback from the first rockumentary, Grohl made his directorial debut with 鈥淪ound City,鈥?a documentary about the demise of the legendary Van Nuys recording studio, which started out as just a short film for YouTube, but exploded into a full-length feature. 鈥淚鈥檇 never done that before or ever aspired to be a director, but it was fun,鈥?he said. 鈥淚 got really into it and people in grocery stores or at the airport would come up to me, people who didn鈥檛 even know anything about recording studios, and tell me that the movie inspired them to cook or write poetry or do something that they鈥檇 always wanted to do but were afraid to do.鈥?When it came time to select the cities for 鈥淪onic Highways,鈥?Grohl said they picked mostly places that they had a strong connection with. While Grohl said the stop in New Orleans, a place he admittedly didn鈥檛 know much about, was the most educational, it was being back at his old stomping grounds in Seattle that conjured up the most emotion. 鈥淚n that episode, we go back to where I recorded the first Foo Fighters album, which was also the last place Nirvana recorded before Kurt (Cobain) died,鈥?he said. 鈥淚t was right down the street from my old house and it鈥檚 where I went to record that Foo Fighters record, but it wasn鈥檛 a band at that point. I didn鈥檛 think at that time that I was making a record, I just wanted to record something so I could feel like I was getting on with my life and continue to play music. Going back to that studio, it was a really heavy experience, but it was nice to go back in time and stand in the same vocal booth and share it with the band now that it鈥檚 20 years later.鈥?Grohl laughed at the question about if the band could have held out for a solid 12 songs in 12 cities. 鈥淚 have got to be honest,鈥?he said. 鈥淚 have never worked so … hard in my entire life. … I felt like I had the opportunity and the resources to do something special rather than just walk into the studio, make another record, hit the road and sell a bunch of T-shirts. I鈥檝e been on about three hours of sleep for the last year and a half, but I can鈥檛 wait to wake up in the morning. I鈥檝e never felt as creatively energetic as I do right now, but I鈥檓 … exhausted. … But, I鈥檓 fired up at the same time because it鈥檚 an incredible experience.鈥?Contact the writer: 714-796-3570 or
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