ZTE Open Hands-on

Does the world need another new mobile OS? Firefox and ZTE think so

By on February 25, 2013 at 9:05 PM.

Does the world need another new mobile OS? Firefox and ZTE think so

The new ZTE (0763) Open is perhaps more significant for what it’s not than what it is. The handset does not run Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry 10 or Tizen. In a world dominated by just a few established major players, the introduction of Firefox’s new mobile OS, alongside handsets such as the Open, is pretty big news. Banking on the untapped demand in emerging markets yet to see the explosion of smartphone growth that has swept the rest of the planet, Firefox and ZTE are hoping to make headway with their own unique offering. More →

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ZTE Grand Memo Hands On

ZTE Grand Memo preview: Destined to get lost in the phablet crowd

By on February 25, 2013 at 7:05 PM.

ZTE Grand Memo preview: Destined to get lost in the phablet crowd

One thing is quite clear: Samsung’s (005930) gamble on the 5-inch handset market is catching fire. Manufacturers seem to be scrambling to concoct their very own iteration of the “phablet,” clearly attempting to capitalize on the newly forged market space created by the world’s largest Android manufacturer. Unfortunately, where Samsung led with innovation and foresight, most of these other companies seem to be playing a rather embarrassing game of catch up. Case in point is ZTE (0763). More →

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Preview
LG Optimus G Pro

LG Optimus G Pro preview: LG’s newest phablet is a serious Galaxy Note II challenger

By on February 25, 2013 at 7:30 AM.

LG Optimus G Pro preview: LG’s newest phablet is a serious Galaxy Note II challenger

Want another sexy phablet to feast your eyes on? We’re not so sure we do either, but at least LG’s (066570) Optimus G Pro packs a bit of style along with its Note-chasing aspiration. The handset packs a 1.7 Ghz quad-core chip, a 13 megapixel rear facing camera, a 2 megapixel front facing HD camera, a massive 3,140 mAh removable battery, and a laundry list of proprietary LG technologies including smartshare, Tracking Focus, and WDR recording. More →

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Preview
Sony Xperia Tablet Z

Sony Xperia Tablet Z preview: There is no reason to buy this tablet

By on February 25, 2013 at 6:45 AM.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z preview: There is no reason to buy this tablet

Sony (SNE) has largely flopped in the mobile market because it hasn’t given Android fans any reason to spend money on its smartphones or tablets. They don’t have the top-notch hardware of HTC (2498), nor do they have the stylish design that has made Samsung’s (005930) Galaxy series a hit, nor do they have an especially attractive skin that enhances Android’s usability. Sadly, this trend persists with Sony’s new Xperia Tablet Z, which actually marks a regression of the tablet form factor as a whole and would be considered subpar even by 2010 standards. More →

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Samsung’s Galaxy S II named best smartphone in the world, and Samsung is just getting started

By on March 2, 2012 at 11:35 AM.

Samsung’s Galaxy S II named best smartphone in the world, and Samsung is just getting started

This year’s Mobile World Congress is now behind us. And it was quite a show. Android phones got a bump to four cores, camera phones got a bump to 41 megapixels, and reporters and bloggers were run ragged as the wireless industry gave us a glimpse at the stars of their respective portfolios for the first half of 2012. The highlight of the show for us was definitely Microsoft taking the wraps off its Windows 8 Consumer Preview, and our favorite smartphones introduced at the show were HTC’s ultra-sleek One X and its ultra-slim One S. But Mobile World Congress isn’t all about looking forward, it’s also about looking back at some of the mobile technology that has changed our lives in recent history. With that in mind, the GSMA handed out its Global Mobile Awards for 2012 earlier this week. Read on for more. More →

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Sony: No quad-core phones until 2013

By on February 29, 2012 at 6:35 PM.

Sony: No quad-core phones until 2013

Sony has no plans to launch smartphones with more powerful quad-core processors this year, a Sony Mobile Communications executive confirmed on Wednesday. Speaking with CNET Asia, Sony Mobile product marketing manager Stephen Sneeden said he believes Sony will wait until 2013 to launch smartphones powered by quad-core processors like NVIDIA’s Tegra 3. “We’re going to join quad-core when we feel that the performance matches the battery efficiency,” Sneeden said. “Because right now we don’t feel that is there. What we are going to be doing in the second-half of the year is moving to the Cortex A15 architecture, which we feel outperforms the current quad-core architecture.” While smartphone vendors like HTC, ZTE and others were busy unveiling quad-core Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich phones at Mobile World Congress this past week, Sony took the wraps off two new dual-core Xperia smartphones that will launch with Android 2.3 Gingerbread. “You’ll see in 2013, as we’re evaluating the quad-core performance where it makes sense, where you’re not suffering in quality and the performance truly is there, and there really is something that demanding applications need,” Sneeden added. “That’s when we make the right move to quad-core.” More →

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Live from Microsoft’s Windows 8 press conference at MWC!

By on February 29, 2012 at 8:48 AM.

Live from Microsoft’s Windows 8 press conference at MWC!

Mobile World Congress has been a roller coaster ride so far this year. The week kicked off with a bang on Sunday with both Sony and HTC unveiling their latest and greatest smartphones, and the HTC One X was definitely the star of the show. Things were up and down on Monday and Tuesday however, and the show actually got pretty slow for a while there. Our time in Barcelona isn’t up just yet, however, and Microsoft chose today to unveil the latest version of its next-generation operating system, Windows 8. The technology giant released a preview version of Windows 8 last September, but we’re sure plenty has changed over the past five months. And beyond checking out all the new features Microsoft has undoubtedly baked into its new OS, we might finally get a better idea of when devices carrying the platform will finally launch. Microsoft’s Windows 8 press conference is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. Eastern / 6:00 a.m. Pacific (3:00 p.m. local time in Barcelona), so hit the break for our live coverage of the event!

UPDATE: Don’t forget to check out our full review of Microsoft’s Windows 8 Consumer Preview, which is now live! More →

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Hands on with LG’s entry-level L-Series smartphones

By on February 28, 2012 at 10:30 PM.

Hands on with LG’s entry-level L-Series smartphones

The term “entry-level” immediately reduces the appeal of smartphones in markets like the U.S. these days, as flagship phones are typically far more exciting and innovative. Still, it’s notable when a manufacturer goes to some length to differentiate an entry-level line of smartphones, and LG has done just that with its new L series. The L3, L5 and L7 are a new family of devices targeted at budget-conscious consumers that still want a solid Android experience. The L3 has a tiny 3.2-inch screen, an 800MHz processor and Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The L5 is slightly more impressive, with a 4-inch screen and Ice Cream Sandwich, and the L7 tops out the line with a 4.3-inch display, a 1Ghz processor and Android 4.0. Check out our hands-on photos of these three new wallet-friendly smartphones in the gallery linked below.

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Acer CloudMobile hands-on

By on February 28, 2012 at 6:25 PM.

Acer CloudMobile hands-on

You would think that, given the impressive specs of its new CloudMobile smartphone, Acer would want to place this thing front and center at Mobile World Congress. Think again. For some reason, the company decided to hide its new flagship model within the Google booth. Location aside, the handset’s specs are nothing to scoff at. A 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon chip powers this monster, which sports a 4.3-inch 1,280 x 800-pixel HD screen with a truly incredible range viewing angles, and a really well-engineered tooled metal exterior. The CloudMobile software itself is heavily guarded at the moment, and Acer wouldn’t give us so much as a peek at any screens related to its upcoming cloud service, but company reps assured us that we would be “impressed” when launch time comes around. Let’s hope the software lives up to the promise of the hardware. In the meantime, be sure to check out our hands-on photos, which are linked below.

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Samsung Galaxy Mini 2, Galaxy Ace 2 and Galaxy S WiFi 4.2 hands-on

By on February 28, 2012 at 4:35 PM.

Samsung Galaxy Mini 2, Galaxy Ace 2 and Galaxy S WiFi 4.2 hands-on

These three new devices announced by Samsung at Mobile World Congress are each intended to occupy different spaces in the mobile market. The Galaxy Mini 2 is a diminutive little smartphone with pretty unimpressive specs, but it is aimed at the entry-level crowd where it may fare well. The 3.27-inch small handset sports a single-core 800mhz processor, Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread with TouchWiz, a 3.2 megapixel camera and a positively terrible HVGA display. It feels odd to use the word “terrible” when describing a Samsung display, but Samsung cut some corners to keep this phone’s cost down and the display was definitely one of them. Performance in use was lackluster as well, but then again, if you’re in the market for a phone like the Mini 2 you’re probably not very concerned with the latest and greatest. Hit the jump for more.

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Hands on with Samsung’s Galaxy S Blaze 4G for T-Mobile

By on February 28, 2012 at 3:05 PM.

Hands on with Samsung’s Galaxy S Blaze 4G for T-Mobile

Samsung has a number of new devices on hand at this year’s Mobile World Congress, and one of them was the Galaxy S Blaze 4G set to launch on T-Mobile later this year. We got a chance to check out the Blaze 4G, and we left relatively unimpressed. To be fair, the Blaze is a lightning-fast smartphone on par with a number of recent additions to Samsung’s Galaxy line, but it’s hard to get excited over a phone that is only a modest upgrade compared to T-Mobile’s current Galaxy S II. The Blaze 4G features a 1.5Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon chip, a 4-inch Super AMOLED screen, a 5-megapixel camera and Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread. It’s certainly a solid phone but with HTC’s One S heading to T-Mobile in April and Samsung’s full-HD Galaxy S III on the way as well, T-Mobile subscribers looking for the latest and greatest may want to sit tight and wait another month or so. The Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G launches in March for $149.99 on contract, and our hands-on photos of the handset follow below.

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We’ll be reporting live from Microsoft’s Windows 8 press conference tomorrow morning

By on February 28, 2012 at 2:05 PM.

We’ll be reporting live from Microsoft’s Windows 8 press conference tomorrow morning

It may seem odd that Microsoft is hosting a media event at the annual Mobile World Congress trade show this year that will focus on its upcoming desktop operating system, but it couldn’t be more appropriate: Windows 8 is a complete acknowledgement from Microsoft that the future is mobile. Mobile doesn’t have to mean limited, however, and the Redmond-based technology giant’s next-generation OS is its first attempt to marry a touch-focused mobile platform with the robust desktop operating system that made the company famous. We saw the Developer Preview of Windows 8 several months ago, and now it’s finally time to see how much progress Microsoft has made since then.

Bookmark this link, which will go live shortly before the event begins tomorrow morning, and make sure to head there for our live coverage of Microsoft’s press conference! Coverage will begin just before 9:00 a.m. EST / 6:00 a.m. PST (3:00 p.m. local time in Barcelona).

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RIM reels in developers with promises of change

By on February 28, 2012 at 11:45 AM.

RIM reels in developers with promises of change

To say that the past 12 months have been a bit rocky for RIM and the Blackberry eco-system in general would be grossly understating the obvious. The once great manufacturer has seen record capitol losses and watched its market share slide at an increasing rate. One of several reasons for the slip has been a lack of developers attention for the BlackBerry platform, especially relative to competitors such as iOS and Android. The Blackberry Playbook, RIM’s attempt at entering the tablet world, has floundered for just this reason. Ignoring the myriad other concerns about the company’s current state for the current moment, the lack of apps available for the PlayBook rendered it more or less DOA. Read on for more. More →

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