We have to be up-front about our hands-on time with the newly announced Dell Streak 7… it was brief. We found ourselves with just a few minutes of time to spare between the T-Mobile event and Verizon’s upcoming event though, so we managed to check out Dell’s latest tablet offering. In a nutshell, it was a whole lot like, well, the Dell Streak. Hit the jump for our preliminary thoughts. More →
Big Red officially kicked off CES with its keynote address earlier this morning, and now, Big Red it taking the stage for a solo press conference to pimp its new network, hardware, and solutions. You know your friends at BGR are in the house and ready to relay all the pertinent information to you by way of the live blog. Grab some popcorn, an orange soda, and hit the jump. Kickoff is just minutes away! More →
Following the crazy storm of tech news that rained down from Vegas yesterday, it’s hard to believe that today is actually the official start of the 2011 Consumer Electronics show. But today is the day, and things are set to pick up right where they left off last night. Verizon Wireless CEO Ivan Seidenberg has been called on to deliver the first big keynote today, and the focus will be LTE 4G. AT&T set the ber pretty high yesterday, but Big Red still has the jump with LTE already having been deployed in several markets. So what’s in store for today? 4G modems? 4G smartphones? 4G tablets? 4G iPhones? Ok, we probably won’t see any iPhones, but hit the jump to follow the action in our live-blog. More →
Last night, LG threw a laser-packed bash to welcome the addition of the Optimus Black and Optimus 2X to their stable of Android-powered handsets. While both devices were on display, the Optimus 2X was clearly the star of the show. Featuring an nVidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor running at 1GHz per core, the Optimus 2X is an incredibly powerful handset that, along with this year’s other Tegra-powered phones, will help to set a new standard for smartphone performance. The graphics on this thing were stunning, the screen is gorgeous, and the phone absolutely flies along. The handsets on display were running Froyo, but all of the display material noted that Gingerbread is all but a foregone conclusion as soon as it hits the streets. LG had 3 of these things hooked up to what looked like 42″ displays via the included HDMI output, and the gaming and graphics performance on the big screen was pretty incredible. No frame-rate issues, full HD display, and more. Really cool stuff.
The Optimus Black, on the other hand, is all about aesthetics. It was super responsive to be sure, but its 1GHz OMAP3630 processor paled in comparison to the Tegra. That said, it’s not as if the Optimus Black didn’t have its virtues. The device is super thin, is really well manufactured and designed, it definitely feels like more of a luxury/up-market device in hand. The Optimus Blacks were also running Froyo, but featured a new Wi-Fi direct feature that allows for long range peer-to-peer connections. The Optimus Black also has what is being touted as the “world’s first front-facing 2 megapixel camera” allowing for relatively passable shots from the forward camera, and definitely paving the way for a bit of a higher quality video chatting experience than we’ve come to expect from the mobile arena. Oh, and did we mention that LG brought lasers? Click on over to the respective galleries for more shots and some video from the event!
This afternoon, RIM welcomed us into their CES lair to get some much-anticipated hands-on time with the Playbook. We were able to spend about 15 minutes manhandling the device, and while the software on the machine is a pre-beta build and not final, we came away with some pretty good impressions — for the second time.
First things first… tthe hardware on the BlackBerry PlayBook seems to be incredibly well built. Honestly, it feels super solid, really good in the hand, and definitely has the weight and feel of an upmarket device — not too heavy though, and not too light. As far as the 7-inch screen does, well, it’s a bit too small in this writer’s personal opinion, but the PlayBook comes away feeling way superior to Samsung’s current tablet offering. All hardware controls including the volume keys and even power key seem to be manufactured well even. Hit the break for more! More →
Yesterday, pre-paid wireless provider MetroPCS dropped a few more details about their first LTE phone and launch plans. MetroPCS CEO Roger Linquist noted that the company’s first LTE device would be the Samsung Craft and that its price would be comparable to that of smartphones currently in its lineup. Currently, the most expensive device in Metro’s lineup is the BlackBerry Curve 8530, which retails for $279. Mr. Linquist also noted that netbooks and other non-smartphone devices were likely to appear on his company’s LTE network at some point in the future. MetroPCS will begin its LTE rollout in Las Vegas and the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Also of note, the CEO said his company would bolster their handset lineup to, “include a number of Android devices by the end of the year.” More →
Remember the Motorola Napoleon we hipped you to oh, maybe, 8 months ago? Well, the little bugger has started to hit the streets, prompting rumors and questions about its impending arrival on your local neighborhood carrier’s shelves. Sadly (or perhaps not-so-sadly depending on how you look at it), the Napoleon won’t be hitting the consumer channels any time soon. Moto has decided to make this one available only through exclusive government distribution channels, though the phone itself is running on Verizon’s network. No justification has been given for this rather odd move, but we can only imagine that the company was worried about cannibalizing its already spotty Q9 sales….or perhaps it has an even more impressive phone coming down the pipeline? Either way, we’re told the over zealous amongst us can probably find one of these suckers on eBay, so let us know if you decide to hunt one down.
We knew this one was coming, thanks to the official announcement from AT&T and Pantech at last week’s MWC, but it looks like the two companies have gone ahead and made this bad boy available for the world to abuse. Early reports place the Pantech Matrix Pro in stores right…about…now. You can head down and pick one up for the oh-so-reasonable price of $179.99 after $50 mail-in rebate with a 2-year contract. What does that $180 buy you? A Windows Mobile Standard-based dual slider phone with a 528mhz processor driving a 2.4″ QVGA screen, GPS and more. Sadly, there’s no Wi-Fi on this baby but AT&T seems to think that its 3G coverage should deliver all the high speed browsing power you could want. Hmmm. Overall, this looks like a solid upgrade to last year’s Pantech WM slider offering, though given the compromises made on that device, it wouldn’t be hard to top its lackluster performance. Anyone excited enough to head on down and give the Matrix Pro a try? Let us know!
According to an analyst over at Piper Jaffray, the God-like company is experiencing a bit of recession-era strife. Analyst Gene Munster has posited that the company’s iPod sales have dropped 14% as compared to the same period of time last year, with Mac computer sales down 6% in relation to last January. Sales drops are never good, but when compared with the state of the market at large, it’s no surprise that Apple hasn’t been able to continue posting positive numbers. That being said, Munster also notes that the MacBook Air was launched last February (not to mention the fact that Steve Jobs was still active as the public face of the company last year), so unless Apple has some impending product refreshes up its sleeve, we might see a similar drop next month. All told there’s nothing terribly shocking here, and certainly nothing to indicate that Apple isn’t well poised to weather the market’s downturn for the foreseeable future. Then again, proof that Apple is indeed fallible when it comes to sales numbers might make some folks question their spiritual standing in this world. We’re just sayin…
Despite the contrary wisdom of the current economic crisis, Microsoft appears to be moving ahead with plans to open a series of retail stores. The company has hired a former Wal-Mart corporate hound as their corporate VP of retail stores, which probably doesn’t bode well for anyone expecting an intimate, customer-focused retail experience ala your local neighborhood Apple store. Little has been set in stone, but the company is currently scouting out retail locations and attempting to codify its retail strategy, hoping to “improve the PC buying experience”. There’s no word on whether the stores themselves will be solely focused on PC retail, or if they’ll also allow shoppers to purchase various other Microsoft-themed products, including Zunes and XBoxs, though we can’t imagine Microsoft would pass up an opportunity to peddle their full range of wares. The time frame for opening the babies up is still unknown, but in typical Microsoft fashion, we wouldn’t expect much to happen for quite a while, giving us enough time to mentally and physically prepare for the Wal-Mart of computer buying experiences.
Hold the presses and pull out the kleenex, folks — this one is a definite tear jerker. Samsung has stepped up and made a statement regarding the status of its first promised Android handset and things aren’t looking good. According to the company’s head of marketing, Samsung is delaying the release of its Android phone until the second half of the year. The company had been expected to launch an Android-based device at the upcoming MWC, but this news has certainly put a damper on whatever excitement may have been lingering. Truth be told, this is probably a good move on Sammy’s part as there are still a TON of kinks to be worked out of Android before it’s truly ready for mass adoption. As such, it’s probably smart to sit back and wait as other companies slowly fall in line to be guinea pigs for the cause.
Ask, and ask, and ask….and ye shall receive. Mozilla has finally unleashed a functional “Milestone Release” version of its Fennec mobile Firefox browser. Available immediately for anyone with an HTC Touch Pro. The release version is limited in several ways, most notably without support for soft keyboards, automatic version updating, and plugins, but everything else should work more or less as promised. This is exciting news for anyone that has been eagerly anticipating Mozilla’s official move into the mobile space, and hopefully marks the beginning of significant product development for something that will hopefully do to Pocket Internet Explorer/Opera Mini what the desktop version of Firefox has done to its Internet Explorer equivalent, i.e. render it obsolete. Anyone interested in taking the release for a test drive should hit the Read link for access to the CAB file, though we definitely recommend making a complete backup of your handset before proceeding too eagerly.
Read (Warning: CAB file)