T-Mobile just announced the expansion of the company’s 4G network and unveiled the Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G. The device features a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S3 processor and will be the third smartphone to take advantage of the carrier’s 4G HSPA+ 42 network. The handset is expected to be available later this year, with additional details set to be revealed closer to its release. T-Mobile has doubled the speed of its 4G HSPA+ network in 12 additional markets, offering faster HSPA+ 42 to 184 million Americans in 175 total markets. Additionally, the company’s HSPA+ 21 network has been expanded to nine additional markets, now covering 217 markets across the country. Lastly, the carrier also announced the new IP-based Bobsled group messaging app, which allows users to communicate for free across various devices, countries, and mobile carriers. Read on for the list of new cities.
Motorola joined Intel on stage at the Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday, with the two companies announcing a major agreement. Motorola and Intel have entered into a multi-year, multi-device strategic partnership to incorporate Intel chips into Motorola’s Android tablets and smartphones. The first Intel-based smartphones will go through carrier validation this summer, with launch shortly after that. Read on for the press release. More →
Lenovo and Intel took the stage at the Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday to announce the world’s first Intel-based smartphone, the Lenovo K800. The device features a 4.5-inch HD 720p display and is heading first to China’s Unicom network during the second quarter of this year. Additionally, the K800 sports a 1.6GHz Intel processor and an 8-megapixel rear camera. Lenovo hasn’t announced when or even if the device will be available stateside.
Sony came to this year’s Consumer Electronics Show with a pair of new Xperia smartphones and while they definitely look and feel like older devices in the company’s Xperia lineup in terms of design identity, they were much smoother than older Xperia models. The dual-core 1.5GHz processor in the Xperia S clearly plays a big role in speeding up Sony’s UI, and the 4.3-inch 720p Reality Display produces deep blacks and vivid colors. The UI itself is still one of our least favorite Android interfaces though, and the handset itself feels a bit light. The Xperia S also packs dual HD video cameras — a 12-megapixel camera on the back records 1080p HD video and the front facing camera supports 720p video chats — and the handset is PlayStation certified, giving it solid gaming capabilities without the added bulk of a dedicated controller as was the case with the Xperia Play. Pricing could make or break the Xperia S, but Sony hasn’t yet announced availability details. Check out our hands-on images of the Xperia S in the gallery below.
Day 1 of the Consumer Electronics Show is drawing to a close, and a keynote featuring Intel is the perfect way to end the day. Intel is the driving force behind a seemingly endless line of devices that have helped shape the industry as we know it today, and this evening we should get a look at how Intel intends to continue driving innovation moving forward. Smartphones and tablets powered by the company’s next-generation Medfield processors will definitely be on display, and the company invested $300 million in ultrabooks so we’ll undoubtedly see a parade of slim new laptops on stage during the event as well. Will Intel have a few surprises up its sleeve? The keynote is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. Eastern / 4:30 p.m. Pacific, so hit the jump and tune in for our live coverage. More →
During the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday we swung by Sony’s booth to get an up-close look at the Sony Xperia ion, an Android smartphone soon headed to AT&T. The Xperia ion is the first 4G LTE device from Sony and it’s equipped with a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, a 4.6-inch reality display with a 720p HD resolution and Sony’s Bravia Engine, a 12-megapixel camera capable of recording 1080p HD video, a 720p front-facing camera for video chat and an HDMI-out port. We love the thin form factor and faux metal accents, which give it a more premium look and feel. The device currently runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) but will be upgraded to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) in the future. The Xperia ion is also PlayStation Certified, which means it can run gaming titles specifically approved by Sony that may not be available on other handsets. AT&T will offer the Xperia ion during the second quarter of this year but pricing still hasn’t been announced. We’re looking forward to seeing if Sony can get back in the U.S. smartphone game, and the Xperia ion certainly looks like it could be a good start.
In addition to spending some time with the new Motorola DROID 4, we just went Inside The Actor’s Studio with
Ed Zander’s old the new RAZR. The Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX is similar to the DROID RAZR but offers a larger battery for up to 21 hours of usage on a single charge. Despite the larger battery, however, the device still feels super thin. We didn’t notice a hint of lag while flying through menus, but we did notice that there was some sluggishness inside the web browser while loading websites. The DROID RAZR MAXX also comes equipped with 32GB of on-board storage, which should be plenty for storing movies, music and photos. Unfortunately it still runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) but we hope, and suspect, that Motorola has plans to upgrade the phone to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). The RAZR MAXX will cost $299 with a new two-year contract when it makes its debut on Verizon Wireless. Photo’s are all in the gallery, minus James Lipton.
We just swung by the Motorola booth to check out the Motorola DROID 4, a handset that had been the subject of a half-dozen rumors before the show. The DROID 4 packs a solid 5-row keyboard that was really easy to type on but it’s also very thin and measures just 0.5-inches thick. The smartphone comes equipped by a sharp 4-inch qHD display, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, support for Verizon’s 4G LTE network, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, an 8-megapixel camera, and the ability to record 1080p video. We think this is the most exciting step for the keyboard-toting DROID family, although we’re more partial to the DROID RAZR MAXX for its thinner design and longer battery life. Verizon promises to upgrade the DROID 4 to Ice Cream Sandwich, but the handset will launch with Android 2.3.5 when it makes its debut. We checked out the black model but Verizon also has white and purple models ready to go. The DROID 4 will cost $199.99 with a new two-year contract when it launches sometime soon.
Leading up to the Consumer Electronics Show this year, Nokia’s first Windows Phone for AT&T was definitely one of the smartphone announcements we were anticipating most anxiously. We were fans of the Lumia 800 when we reviewed it, but when our sources let us know that a bigger handset that maintained the Lumia 800’s design aesthetic would launch soon after CES, the 800 lost its luster. In line with our exclusive report, Nokia’s brand new Lumia 900 features the same unique design and build as the Lumia 800 Nokia launched last year, but there are two key differences that make this smartphone our clear favorite. It includes compatibility with AT&T’s new 4G LTE network, and it packs a larger 4.3-inch ClearBlack AMOLED display. The larger form factor was designed with the U.S. market in mind according to Nokia, and the size of the device is ideal. The Lumia 900’s build is outstanding as well, and Windows Phone 7.5 is beyond smooth thanks to the phone’s 1.4GHz Snapdragon processor. Nokia and AT&T haven’t yet revealed pricing or a launch date, but Nokia did say it will become available in the coming months. We can’t wait to review this gorgeous smartphone but in the mean time, check out our hands-on Lumia 900 photo gallery below.
Sprint’s version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is certainly the star of Sprint’s upcoming LTE device lineup for now, but a second 4G LTE smartphone was announced this week at the Consumer Electronics show that will offer early LTE adopters on Sprint’s network as solid second choice. Featuring a 4-inch display, a dual-core 1.2GHz processor and Google Wallet support thanks to an NFC chip, the LG Viper 4G LTE is a well-equipped Android smartphone that will launch later this half of the year. It will have Android 2.3 Gingerbread at launch, but Sprint has promised an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich shortly after the device is released. The device has a solid build and a great look thanks to the brushed metal-look back, and at the right price it could end up being a terrific option for Sprint subscribers. We’re looking forward to getting our hands on a review unit, but in the meantime, check out a few hands-on images of the LG Viper 4G LTE in the gallery below.
If there was one phone on the market that could be considered the perfect starting point for Sprint’s 4G LTE smartphone lineup, it would be the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. We reviewed the international version of Samsung’s Android 4.0 smartphone this past November, and it was easily our favorite Android phone at that time. Despite the fact that a number of great looking smartphones have been unveiled at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, the Galaxy Nexus likely still ranks at the top of our list. Sprint’s version of this handset is identical to the Verizon Wireless version of the phone in terms of hardware, but there is one distinction that will likely make a number of Sprint customers happy: Google Wallet support. Beyond that, you’re looking at the same great pure Google phone that has been wooing Android fans since its announcement. Pricing and availability details haven’t been made available beyond confirmation of a launch in the first half, but check out our hands-on photos in the gallery below while we all wait for more details.
Qualcomm took the stage at the Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday to highlight the company’s Snapdragon processor line. “Our latest S4 series Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets will set the bar higher,” said Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs. The S4 processor will be coming to TVs, notebooks, and smartphones later this year. Over 20 manufacturers have teamed up with Qualcomm, with over 70 device designs already in the pipeline. Lastly, Windows 8 will support both ARM and Snapdragon chipsets, with Qaulcomm working with Microsoft to deliver S4 processors featuring LTE connectivity. Read on for Qualcomm’s press release. More →
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gave his last CES keynote on Monday night and while it did mark the end of an era, things are just starting to heat up here in Las Vegas. We’ve got a big day in store that will be packed full of hands-on looks at all of the great devices unveiled during this year’s show, but Qualcomm is kicking things off on Tuesday with the opening keynote for day 1. Qualcomm subsidiary Qualcomm Atheros made several announcements Tuesday morning which included the unveiling of the Skifta Media Shifting Platform, a new wireless content streaming solution, and we’ll likely hear more about them during the keynote. What else might Qualcomm have in store for us? The keynote kicks off at 11:30 a.m. Eastern / 8:30 a.m. Pacific, so hit the break for our live coverage. More →