HTC Flyer tablet hands-on

By on May 23, 2011 at 11:35 AM.

HTC Flyer tablet hands-on

HTC’s first tablet is now on sale exclusively at Best Buy, and we’ve been playing with one for the last couple days. We first saw it at MWC and then we played with Sprint’s version, the EVO View 4G, at CTIA, but you know the drill… it’s always totally different when you have one up close for an extended period of time. For all intents and purposes, the HTC Flyer really is a large HTC Sense smartphone, and that results in a good experience at some times and a not-so-good experience at others. The Flyer features the latest Sense UI that included 3D home screen effects, an improved lock screen, an updated UI and more. However, the tablet is a bit chunky and it’s kind of annoying that the rear cover isn’t symmetrical; the plastic antenna covers jut out from the smooth machined aluminum case and the end result is odd. The Flyer features capacitive Android menu buttons on both orientations which is a nice effect — they disappear and reappear along the bezel for landscape and portrait use — and battery life in our limited use seems to be pretty solid. All in all, however, the experience isn’t too different from HTC’s smartphones and we wish there were some bigger twists that might help make the Flyer more unique. We’ll have much more in our full review soon, but in the meantime, you know where to find the high-res shots.

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RadioShack quietly taking Sprint HTC EVO 3D pre-orders

By on May 17, 2011 at 2:11 PM.

RadioShack quietly taking Sprint HTC EVO 3D pre-orders

We just got off the phone with a number of RadioShack locations, and each one has confirmed that the retailer is now quietly taking pre-orders for Sprint’s HTC EVO 3D. We were told that, interested users should rush to the store as pre-order quantities are very limited. Employees did not confirm when the EVO 3D would be available for pickup, although we suspect it won’t be a very long wait. Best Buy also began taking pre-orders earlier this month, but it too neglected to reveal when the phone would become available. We went hands-on with the EVO 3D during CTIA and were impressed by its glasses-free 3D display. We also loved the solid, albeit beefy, industrial design. More →

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Sharp enters 3D smartphone market with Android powered Aquos SH-12C

By on May 12, 2011 at 10:28 PM.

Sharp enters 3D smartphone market with Android powered Aquos SH-12C

Sharp just entered the 3D smartphone market, joining both LG and HTC, with the introduction of its Android 2.3 powered Aquos SH-12C. The smartphone made its debut in Japan and comes equipped with a 1.4GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 processor, a 4.2-inch qHD glasses-free 3D display, an 8-megapixel camera capable of recording 3D video, and 512MB of RAM. The Sharp Aquos SH-12C will land on Japan’s NTT DoCoMo network on May 20th, although pricing details were not disclosed. Hit the jump for another image of the phone. More →

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BGR Interview: Sprint’s VP of Product Development, Fared Adib

By on May 11, 2011 at 10:30 AM.

BGR Interview: Sprint’s VP of Product Development, Fared Adib

We recently had a chance to speak with Sprint’s Vice President of Product Development, Fared Adib, about Sprint’s upcoming devices, product strategy, and a whole lot more. Interested in Sprint’s thoughts on unlimited versus capped or throttled data? Wondering about Sprint’s plans for product differentiation in 2011 and beyond? Curious to know if Sprint will offer RIM’s new BlackBerry Bold 9930? Hit the break for our full in-depth interview with one of the industry’s driving forces of innovation.

BGR Interview is a series of interviews and conversations with executives, influencers, tastemakers and innovators, covering the mobile and consumer electronics industries. More →

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‘PC market is in its twilight,’ says former Apple exec

By on May 10, 2011 at 9:47 PM.

‘PC market is in its twilight,’ says former Apple exec

In a “Monday Note” blog post that questioned Intel’s new 3D transistors and the company’s lack of presence in the mobile space, former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassee took some stabs at the chip maker and stated that the PC market is dying. “Now that the PC market is in its twilight, with mobile devices proliferating and stealing growth from the PC, surely Intel has to get into the race,” Gassee argued, pointing out that every time Intel launched a new low-power processor for mobile devices, ARM had a better one up its sleeves. Intel has its Atom processor, designed for mobile use, but it’s been primarily placed in Windows tablets and netbooks instead of in smartphones. “For the past four years Intel has told us we’d see x86 mobile devices Real Soon Now,” Gasse wrote. “The company developed its own mobile version of Linux, MobLin, and they made a big deal of joining forces with Nokia’s Maemo to create MeeGo. But Nokia’s new CEO, Stephen Elop, kicked Meego to the [curb], wisely decided to focus on one software platform, his ex-employer’s Windows Phone 7.” Gassee also took a moment to address rumors that Apple will ditch Intel for ARM-based processors in 2013, and argued that “there’s no roadmap for ARM chips to beat Intel in computationally intensive areas,” such as CAD, Photoshop, and FinalCut, today, but that multicore ARM chips could power mid-range Apple laptops in the future.
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Intel intros ‘Ivy Bridge’ processors with 3D transistors

By on May 5, 2011 at 9:58 PM.

Intel intros ‘Ivy Bridge’ processors with 3D transistors

Intel recently took the wraps off of its new “Ivy Bridge” platform that includes new 22nm 3D “Tri-Gate” transistors, as opposed to a traditional flat-circuit design. The new transistors will help chips run more efficiently at lower voltages, and Intel says the platform should offer up to a 37% increase in performance compared to its 32nm transistors. Ivy Bridge will make its debut in PCs and servers by the end of this year, Reuters said, although Intel also has plans to use 3D Tri-Gate transistors in mobile chips, too. More →

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Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8660 processing muscle shown on film [video]

By on May 2, 2011 at 11:59 PM.

Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8660 processing muscle shown on film [video]

Qualcomm has released a few videos promoting its next-generation dual-core Mobile Development Platform, which includes its blazing fast MSM8660 Snapdragon processor. The video shows the platform’s Adreno 220 graphics processing unit chewing through 720p HD video. Similarly, Qualcomm’s single-core QSD8255 processor bests an LG Optimus 2X, powered by a a 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, in a Flash load test. What’s so exciting about that? The MSM8660 Snapdragon chipset powers devices such as the HTC EVO 3D, headed to Sprint, and the HTC Sensation 4G for T-Mobile that will launch in the coming months. Hit the jump for two quick videos. More →

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T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide, aka HTC Doubleshot, specs leaked

By on April 29, 2011 at 8:50 PM.

T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide, aka HTC Doubleshot, specs leaked

Someone call the plumber, HTC’s got a leak. Earlier today we reported on spilled shots of the HTC Kingdom and Rider phones, and now full specs for the rumored T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide – also known as the HTC Doubleshot – have been dropped. According to Pocketnow, which analyzed the phone’s ROM, the device will run a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8660 processor and pack a 3.7-inch WGA display, an 8-megapixel camera capable of (possibly) recording 1080p 3D video, a forward-facing VGA camera for video chat, FM radio, and more. Support for 3D playback also hints that the myTouch 4G Slide could sport a 3D display, although that hasn’t been confirmed. We also assume the aforementioned camera module will likely support just 720p 3D video recording and 1080p 2D recording, which would be in-line with the capabilities of Sprint’s EVO 3D. As its name implies, the device will also support T-Mobile’s HSPA+ 4G network. There aren’t photos of the myTouch 4G Slide yet, but we’re sure someone will loosen up the faucet soon enough. More →

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Nintendo Wii 2 'Screen Stream' controllers leak

By on April 22, 2011 at 7:12 PM.

Nintendo Wii 2 'Screen Stream' controllers leak

Nintendo’s next generation Wii console — currently codenamed “Project Cafe” — could land later this year, and it may sport a new controller with a touchscreen display. A user in the NeoGaf forums has posted several images that provide additional details on Nintendo’s rumored system. According to the photos, “Screen Stream takes the 1080p image and pushes each rendered quarter to the player’s personal TV screen,” which is on the controller itself. So if you’re partaking in a four-player game, for example, you’ll be able to view your slice of the HDTV screen directly on your controller. Similarly, we imagine instances where a gamer could manage his or her character’s traits or abilities directly from the controller itself, without having to pause the game for everyone to access game menu options. IGN says the Nintendo Wii 2 will likely cost between $350 and $400, will offer 1080p output with possible support for stereoscopic 3D, and will run a newer version of AMD’s R700 GPU. Hit the jump for more images. More →

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G-Slate tablet lands on T-Mobile

By on April 20, 2011 at 10:01 AM.

G-Slate tablet lands on T-Mobile

T-Mobile’s G-Slate, the first tablet to pack a 4G radio out-of-the-box, is now available from T-Mobile. The G-Slate has an 8.9-inch 3D display, runs Android 3.0 (Honeycomb), can record 3D video, and sports a NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor clocked at 1GHz. We found the Android user interface to be a bit sluggish during our review, but we hope that T-Mobile fixes that snafu with future software updates. Android enthusiasts should still find a lot to love in the G-Slate, which is available online and in T-Mobile stores for $529.99 with a new two-year contract. More →

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T-Mobile G-Slate review

By on April 19, 2011 at 12:01 AM.

T-Mobile G-Slate review

T-Mobile introduced the world to its first Android 3.0-powered tablet at the Consumer Electronics Show this past January. Unfortunately for T-Mobile, however, the G-Slate was announced amid a flurry of similar announcements — remember, over 100 tablets were introduced at CES this year — so the LG-built tablet got a bit lost in the fray. What’s more, Motorola’s XOOM tablet was the star of the show, thus positioning the G-Slate as a second-class citizen at CES. Later this week, however, T-Mobile will finally embark on its virgin Honeycomb as it pushes the device out to market. It looks as though the launch will be a quiet one compared to the XOOM, but that doesn’t necessarily mean LG’s tablet is unworthy of some attention. I’ve spent a few days putting the device through its paces and while I must admit my expectations weren’t terribly high to begin with, T-Mobile’s tablet definitely managed to surprise me in a few areas. Does that mean you should consider stepping off one of those iPad 2 lines still forming outside retailers and consider the G-Slate instead? Read on for my full review.

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Google Maps for Android surpasses 50 million downloads

By on April 14, 2011 at 5:59 AM.

Google Maps for Android surpasses 50 million downloads

Google Maps has hit a new milestone as the first Android application to surpass the 50 million download mark. The free application has seen many revisions since its public introduction in 2008 — as part of Android 1.6 — and now includes 3D modeling with multi-touch zoom and panning, free voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation, and support for Google’s Latitude and Places products. Given that it’s available on every iteration of Android — that we can think of — we’re not surprised to learn it’s the most downloaded application ever. Congrats to the Google Maps team.  More →

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iPad 2 gets glasses-free 3D courtesy of researchers [video]

By on April 12, 2011 at 2:32 AM.

iPad 2 gets glasses-free 3D courtesy of researchers [video]

While devices like the EVO 3D and LG Thrill will bring 3D displays to U.S. smartphones in the near future, we have to say that the glasses-free 3D display technology involved with these small screens has a long way to go before the quality catches up to the hype. Multi-thousand dollar 3D TVs still aren’t terribly impressive in terms of 3D quality though, so expectations aren’t terribly high right now. While 3D gets ironed out, however, 3D-like experiences facilitated by head-tracking technology provide a nifty UI effect that will likely become more popular moving forward. We’ve seen great head-tracking 3D demos from companies like The Astonishing Tribe — now owned by RIM — and HTC’s Flyer will launch with similar UI goodies. Now, a group of researchers called the Engineering Human-Computer Interaction demonstrate head-tracking 3D effects the iPad 2. Hit the break for a video of the technology in action and feel free to let your mind wander as you imagine all the great use cases for this nifty tech. More →

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