Community Device Testing Lab in Edinburgh, UK

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New Devices – Nokia X, HTC Hero, Nokia Asha, Palm Pre – and goodbye to ‘Wonderboy’.

We’ve recently added a few new devices to our lab in Rutland Square.

Nokia X

Nokia’s experiments with modified Android are interesting (and possibly short-lived!) – this device runs a Nokia Browser with Opera available on the App store. We’ve named this after friend of the lab @Froots101, who seemed frankly delighted. It’s being launched primarily in India, but whenever a new or modified platform springs up it’s worth seeing if we can acquire a device to see how differently it behaves with your apps and websites.

HTC Hero

Android Gingerbread (2.3.3 – 2.3.7) still accounts for around 15% of Android versions in the wild and we’ve run CyanogenMod 7 on this handset to bring it up to Android 2.3.7, which was previously missing from our range of Android devices. We only need to locate a device to run 2.3.3 and we will have full coverage of all Android versions in use, across both tablets and handsets. This device was donated by Orde and named after David Cole (@MayfieldDigital) who originally gave it to Orde!

Nokia Asha 311

John Cooper from Nokia originally sent us a Nokia Asha 305, which we named ‘Stringer’ as with two sim card slots it seemed like the ideal burner for the Wire’s fictional drug kingpin. However, sadly we soon discovered it lacked Wifi which made testing and debugging trickier, so we’ve replaced him with the aptly named ‘Marlow’ which does have Wifi.

Palm Pre

Another donation from Orde, this time named after Det. Kate Beckett in the TV series ‘Castle’, who carries one as her mobile phone in the show. WebOS sadly isn’t used as widely nowadays, but was one of the originally promising alternatives to iOS. And somewhere, someone is accessing your site on one, while still pretending it’s 2009.

RIP, Wonderboy.

What to say about Wonderboy? The Android 2.3, ~£40 cheap tablet from eBay with the resistive touchscreen. Officially the worst user experience of any device we carried. And a build quality that would make even the folks at your local Poundstretcher cringe.

A Wondermedia product, he was so bad we elected he was actually something of a hero – we called him Wonderboy after the Tenacious D song.

But he’s stuck in a bootloop, and we can’t rescue him. No amount of reflashing firmware will do the trick. And so we will simply mount him on the wall to remind us that no matter how frustrating testing on some of our devices is, in comparison they’ll never quite stand up to Wonderboy.

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