See any trend emerging here? Yes, we agree that Google’s phones are getting hotter with each generation, but that’s not the answer we’re looking for. Here’s a hint: if you examine the above image really closely, you might also discover a progression toward larger handsets. In all seriousness, the above comparison was generated by phone-size.com, a website that’s quite useful to study the relative proportions of different smartphones. But wait, it gets even better. At the top of the webpage, you’ll also find a toolbar to plug in the size and aspect ratio of your display. Once you jump through this minor hoop, the utility produces accurate, life-size depictions of the smartphones — go ahead and hold your slab up to the screen, it really works. Before you dive in, however, be sure to hop the break: we’ve put together an entertaining look at the Xperia Mini, Titan and Streak 5 that you won’t want to miss.
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Life OK is the new youth-oriented channel that is joining the STAR India network. It replaces the network’s previous youth channel, STAR One, as of December 2011. The new identity was designed by London-based venturethree.
Life OK looks different to anything India has seen on TV before. It’s a living, breathing brand, with an icon called ‘OK’ that guides its audiences through the channel, and inspires real action, both on and off screen.
The icon takes its shape from the letters of the word ‘OK’. It lives on the TV, and glows with emotion, in reaction to the content. And its bright primary colours are refreshing and optimistic.
— Venturethree Press Release
The previous brand, STAR One, had no personality or connection to its target audience and felt very 1990s and amateurish. The new mark and brand do the opposite and take on a very youthful excitement and vibrance. Life OK adopts the right mood and feeling that a youth channel should; however, the oversimplified character feels incomplete, rushed, and a bit “slapped on” — especially in its applications, including the stiff and unrealistic animation. The galore of gradients and lens flares seem to be used as a cover-up for the simple character and the lack of refinement. The brand does, however, have what I consider a nice supporting act: the wordmark. The Hindi calligraphy-inspired, flared sans serif type is nicely done and supports the shapes and movement of the joyful character.
The brand may have formal and conceptual issues but is leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor. The character is a figure to which any youth could easily identify themselves with, which seems appropriate, but feels a bit watered down and incomplete as a brand. Overall, Life OK is a good-feeling brand that is missing that last little pop of cohesion.
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Look out, world — Microsoft just crossed another hurdle in its bid to swallow Skype whole. Earlier today, US antitrust approval was given on Microsoft’s largest (proposed) acquisition, clearing the path for all sorts of Windows / Xbox / Zune-related VoIP shenanigans. While many are still questioning the logic here, Skype continually brought around 145 million users to the table per month even while it constantly bled money. Whatever the case, it looks as if the accountants in Redmond just got FTC permission to move $8.5b from one column to the next, and with an initial investment like that, we’re hoping for a number of updated features as the attack plan unfolds.
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