While I still think the Samsung Galaxy Note as a product is stupid, a lot of people seem to gravitate towards a bigger screen regardless of the fact that it’s impossible to use with one hand, and, well, you look crazy talking into a book. But, the Samsung (005930) Galaxy Note II is a nice upgrade to the original, completely putting aside my opinions on the product in general. It features an even larger display, yet the phone isn’t as wide thanks to a new 16:9 aspect ratio where the screen is taller and narrower, and the new design identity closely mirrors the Galaxy S III.More →
There’s nothing like some friendly competition to get the mobile wars going. Whether we love it or hate it, “phablets” — devices that are larger than most smartphones and smaller than tablets — are here to stay. Samsung’s (005930) 10 million-strong Galaxy Note and upcoming Note II are proof enough that people want and are willing to accept smartphones with oversized displays. LG (06657011) has officially joined the ‘phablet’ fray with its own stylus-packing, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich-powered Intuition on Verizon (VZ). Unlike most run-of-the-mill 16:9 aspect ratio smartphones with 720p HD displays, the Intuition stands on its own legs with a radical 5.0-inch 4:3 aspect ratio display that makes it wider than any smartphone I’ve ever held. Read on for my first-impressions of Verizon’s new 4G LTE-equipped phablet.More →
So… I like Android. I use just about every Android smartphone on and off, but my main phone is an iPhone 4S. One major complaint I have with Android is that the phones are just too big… seriously. First it was 4 inches, then 4.3 inches, then 4.5 inches, then 4.6 inches, then 4.7 inches, then 4.8 inches, then 5 inches, then 5.3 inches, then 5.5 inches — ugh. More →
We’ve already taken a look at the dynamic duo Motorola unveiled during its press conference on Wednesday, but Motorola unveiled a third smartphone during the event that certainly warrants a closer look. The DROID RAZR M is an affordable smartphone that packs the kick of a much pricier handset. Beneath the remarkably sharp 4.3-inch edge-to-edge display lies a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor, 8GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel rear camera, a 3-megapixel front-facing camera and Android 4.0, though Motorola has promised an update to Jelly Bean in the near future. The phone is a little bulky and the build isn’t the strongest you’ll come across, but it’s pretty amazing that Motorola managed to stuff this gorgeous 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display into a phone with about the same footprint as the iPhone 4S. Motorola’s DROID RAZR M will be available for preorder beginning Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. EDT, and it will launch on September 13th for $99.99 with a 2-year Verizon Wireless (VZ) contract.
Fresh out of Nokia’s (NOK) Windows Phone 8 press conference earlier on Wednesday, we got to see the latest and greatest Motorola will loose upon the market ahead of the holidays this year. The stars of the show — the Motorola DROID RAZR HD and DROID RAZR MAXX HD — are both big steps forward for Motorola fans. Beyond all those capital letters lie two phones that push Android handsets forward in several ways, and although the materials and overall design might not be as exciting as some rival smartphones, Android fans on Verizon Wireless will have two very tempting options this holiday season.More →
Nokia’s (NOK) press conference on Wednesday definitely had its ups and downs, and investors weren’t convinced that Nokia’s new Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 smartphones will fare well against Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 5, which is expected to launch on September 21st following next week’s announcement, shares of Nokia stock were trading down more than 13% during Nokia’s presentation. We spent some time with Nokia’s new smartphones on Wednesday morning, however, and they really are a breath of fresh air in many ways.More →
Back in May, we told you about a new home screen replacement app, Chameleon for Android, that aimed to make the home screen on Android tablets gorgeous. At the time, the app was seeking funding through the crowd-funding website Kickstarter. After a few hiccups that required the company to restart the project, Chameleon was able to raise more than $66,000 when funding wrapped up in early July. The project is now in an early beta stage and the company was kind enough to let us give it a whirl.More →
Intel’s chips have been at the center of the digital universe for an eternity in tech-years. Post-PC era or no post-pc era, millions upon millions of personal computers powered by Intel chips continue to their way into homes and businesses around the world. Intel fell behind some of its chief rivals and missed a huge opportunity as smartphones went from niche enterprise devices to the handset of choice for hundreds of millions of users, but the company is taking steps to aggressively attack the space in the near future. At the same time, however, Intel isn’t losing sight of the market that propelled its meteoric rise, and on Tuesday Intel showcased a few of the devices that will carry its partners into the next era of personal computing.More →
One phone. One name. 22 capital letters. Verizon Wireless announced launch details for its first One-series HTC phone on Monday morning, and the upcoming HTC DROID INCREDIBLE 4G LTE arrived at our offices shortly thereafter. Verizon’s version of the HTC One S — which just so happens to be my favorite Android smartphone at the moment — features a number of key changes compared to the original model. For one thing, it includes 4G LTE connectivity for use on Verizon Wireless’s lightning-fast 4G network. For another, it’s pretty ugly.More →
Google’s entrance into the sub-$200 tablet space wasn’t exactly unexpected, but I think we can all say that the Nexus 7 is pleasantly surprising. At $199, it features a 7-inch 1280 x 800-pixel display, a quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and a variety of sensors. It’s also built very well at first hold. One immediate problem, however, is that the bezel around the sides is so tiny when held in portrait orientation that I keep accidentally hitting the display with my thumb. I’m not sure if you’re supposed to use the Nexus 7in landscape all of the time, because the bezel on the top and bottom are much, much thicker. But! I do like the device overall, and it feels good to hold and use.
Google has effectively ended the debate over which mobile browser Android fans should use on their smartphones and tablets — the answer is Chrome. And it’s not even close, either: the Android version of Chrome, re-released Wednesday on Google Play after having shed its beta label, chews up and spits out other mobile browsers. Why? Hit the jump for the answer. More →
One of the downsides of being an Android user is having to scrounge around for a mobile browser alternative since the Android default browser is so woefully lacking. I use MoboTap’s Dolphin browser on my Android device because it provides a nifty swipe-based approach to bringing up menus and bookmarks, it has a lot of terrific add-ons such as the “Browse Faster” extension that lets you close apps on your device, and it does tab-based browsing better than most other mobile browsers I’ve tried. The downside, though, is that Dolphin can be slow and is very prone to crashing. Mozilla’s newest version of Firefox for Android released Tuesday offers some significant improvements over Dolphin and the default Android browser but still has some areas that can be improved. Hit the jump for more. More →
Microsoft’s mystery event is finally over and considering the flurry of leaks that piled up ahead of this evening’s press conference, we can’t say were entirely surprised by the announcement of the company’s first own-brand tablet. BGR was on hand reporting live as Microsoft took the wraps off the Surface tablet, a 9.3 millimeter-thick magnesium slate intended to set the stage for Windows 8 and Windows RT. We managed to fight our way through the crowd for a quick hands-on look, and Microsoft’s new tablet shows some serious promise. Hit the jump for more and be sure to check out our hands-on photo gallery linked below.More →