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Mobile weekly wrap: New tablets and phones all around

For all the mobile tech-obsessed folks out there, the first weeks of September are beginning to look a like like Christmas. Nokia, Motorola, and Amazon all took to their respective stages and unveiled their newest entries into the competitive mobile marketplace. Next week, Apple will make an announcement that is anything but secret as they are likely to reveal the iPhone 5. Like any kid that finds his or her presents in the closet, we’re still excited to unwrap and hold it. That will have to wait, though, because right now we have the hottest topics in mobile technology from the week of September 2-7, 2012. 

Nokia re-enters the arena

Nokia phones used to be everywhere, recognizable by that catchy MIDI jingle. Sadly, the days of Snake being the best game on your phone are long gone. Nokia’s still here and kicking–at least that’s what it would like us to believe with the announcement of two Windows Phone 8 handsets. Its mid-range entry, the Lumia 820, brings consumers a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and 8-megapixel camera with 1080p video for a presumably affordable price. The real show stopper from Nokia comes from another number–the Lumia 920. That model comes with the promise of the PureView camera and wireless charging. Keep an eye for both phones later this year.

Amazon stokes the fire

When the Amazon press conference was announced, we presumed it would roll out a new model of the Kindle Fire. Then rumors started to grow. By the end of the day, we had news of a Kindle Fire HD with an 8.9-inch screen, an upgraded Kindle Fire with a better processor and more memory, Kindle Paperwhite with a crisper screen and sleeker size, the possibility of an Amazon smartphone, and the promise of ads on all Kindle Fire lock screen. Needless to say, Amazon had a busy day. Its sales department hopes to be just as busy when these products are ready to ship.

Motorola sharpens its lineup

While all the other big names rolled out their major innovations and upgrades, Motorola decided it liked the cut of the Razr’s jib, so they sharpened it up a bit. The Razr family tree added three branches with the HD, Maxx HD, and M models. The most monumental breakthrough with the line was, similarly to Nokia’s announcement, battery related. The Razr HD and Razr HD Maxx have seriously impressive lifespans, with the HD allowing for 16 hours of talk time and the HD Maxx rocks (roxx?) an impressive 21 hours of consecutive talk time. Hide this fact if you have chatty friends and family. 

Apps and Games of the Week

PayPal (Free, Windows Phone 7) – The world’s most recognizable online payment service has finally made its way onto the Windows Phone platform. The app comes with standard account management features and the ability to pay on the go at retailers that accept PayPal.

Anomaly Ultimate Augmented Reality (Free, iOS) – Designed to bring the graphic novel Anomaly to life, this augmented reality app also works with downloadable image markers. When you open the app and direct the camera to the book or the marker, it brings characters from the Anomaly universe to life.

Flicklist (Free, iPhone) – Can’t decide what movie to check out? Connect with Flicklist to see suggestions based on your interest or see what your friends and followers are watching. You can also create and share movie lists–it’s like High Fidelity but with films. To use this app, sign up for the beta.

Coach’s Eye ($5, iOS/Android) – Any coach knows that a great athletic career starts well before players take the field–it’s all about mastering the art of the sport. Coach’s Eye allows users to analyze technique, form, and progression to improve performance on the field.

 

Avengers Initiative ($7, iOS/Android) – Hulk Smash! Hulk also look especially ripped on Retina display. The Avengers adventures can travel with you with Avengers Initiative. It’s a brawler that features the less-than-jolly green giant and promises additional content for the other characters is to come.

Via.Me (Free, iOS/Android) – Finding the proper way to express yourself on social networks can be difficult. Let Via.Me help in finding the perfect representation of your moods in text, photo, video, or sound form. It’s a hybrid of services like Tumblr and Pinterest with the social sharing of Facebook and Twitter.

GameTrailers Originals and Reviews (Free, iOS) – GameTrailers is one of the finest sources of gaming news, reviews, and video content around. Now it can all travel with you with their iOS app. Get GameTrailers Originals with episode archives and a huge list of reviews for today’s top titles.

Giftly (Free, iPhone) – Is there a distance between you and someone special? Feel like sending them a little gift for a holiday or just because? Giftly works with local and national retailers to make it easy to purchase items for someone else so they can receive your gift upon arrival.

VS Racing 2 ($1, iOS) – While the left turn monotony of NASCAR may get old quick, top down arcade racers never seem to lose their charm. VS Racing 2 is full feature racer with a plethora of single- and multiplayer that will keep you burning rubber.

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