Here at BGR, we constantly get emails from readers looking for help with their gadget buying decisions. While I wish we had time to address each of our readers individually, this unfortunately isn’t the case. One of the more common lines of questioning comes from readers wanting to switch from BlackBerry smartphones to the iPhone, and today I’m going to pose a solution they may find useful. To this group of readers, the idea of moving from RIM’s amazing physical keypad to a device that only offers a virtual keyboard is often the biggest hurdle. We like to think we know a thing or two about cell phones here at BGR, but of course we can’t presume to know how each of our readers might fare when moving from a physical to virtual keyboard. What we do know, however, is that there are options out there that might help make the transition as smooth as possible — and one such option is the Keyboard Buddy case from Boxwave. More →
Google made its software development kit (SDK) available for version 2.3.3 of the Android OS earlier this month, and Stanford University’s MobiSocial News uncovered a nifty feature that hasn’t gotten much coverage. The new SDK features an API for “insecure Bluetooth socket connections” on both the client and server sides. Coupled with Gingerbread’s widely publicized NFC capabilities, this will allow developers to enable a tap-to-connect feature that lets NFC-equipped Android phones forgo the Bluetooth pairing process. Similar to the functionality HP showed off with its TouchPad tablet and Pre 3 smartphone at the Think Beyond event last week, devices running Android 2.3.3 or later can be connected to each other with a simple tap that will automatically initiate data transfers. Apple is rumored to be cooking up a unique twist for the NFC functionality coming to its next-generation iPhone, so smart functionality beyond mobile payments such as tap-to-share will certainly help Android’s case in the meantime. More →
We just swung on by the Dell booth here at MWC and wanted to report back on our quick encounter with the Dell Venue — which is basically the Venue Pro with Android and without a QWERTY slider. To quickly go over the raw specs: 1GHz QSD 8250 processor, 4.1-inch AMOLED display, 512MB RAM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, 1400mAh battery, and micro-SD card slot. The device itself is a tad on the thick side — 12.9mm — but feels extremely solid in the hand. The chrome accents on the bezel, like those on the Venue Pro, are a nice touch and give the phone a little flair. The device is running Android 2.2 with Dell’s Stage UI and, much to our chagrin, Dell declined to comment on if/when the device would be updated to Android 2.3. The phone is pretty much exactly what you expect it to be. The device has pretty average specs and behaves like most other Android devices of its ilk. The lighting was terrible, but that didn’t stop us from snapping a few images for you to look over. Hit up our gallery and let us know what you think.
We know, we know — how can we possibly get excited about an upcoming Symbian smartphone from Nokia when the OS is currently sitting on death row awaiting execution? The answer, unfortunately, is that we can’t. Typical consumers likely won’t share the same sentiment, however — especially those looking for entry-level smartphones on the cheap. For the budget-conscious crowd that isn’t at all OS-conscious, we offer up your first look at the Nokia C5-04. Little is known about the upcoming c5-04, but the listing on the Bluetooth SIG site notes that it is headed to the North American market. Add to that the unmistakable presence of a T-Mobile logo on the face of the phone and it’s pretty safe to say it’s destined for T-Mobile USA. Specs are expected to be in line with the C5-03, which is anything but impressive but very affordable. More →
Not really digging the $800 price-tag set to be placed on the 3G Motorola XOOM tablet? Help may be on the way. A recent filing shows that the FCC is testing a “wireless tablet with embedded WLAN” manufactured by Motorola. Now, there’s no way to know exactly what this is… but our money is on a Wi-Fi only XOOM. The tablet in question, being referred to as the IHDP56LU1 in documentation, is only having its Bluetooth and Wi-Fi a/b/g/n chipsets tested — there was no mention of a cellular radio anywhere. Hopefully, with wireless carriers out of the picture, Moto can get a little more agressive with the pricing. More →
That BlackBerry 8520 feeling a bit outdated? Well, we might have just what you’ve been waiting for — the next generation BlackBerry Curve. Codenamed “Apollo,” the new BlackBerry Curve finally brings up the lower-mid end of the BlackBerry lineup with very reasonable (and decent) specs for what will be an aggressively priced handset line. A 480 x 360 screen joins a 5-megapixel camera, quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and a tri-band HSPA 7.2Mbps radio, and even NFC capability. Hit the break for the full run down, alright? More →
The sleuths over at unwiredview.com have found a Bluetooth SIG entry for a fairly peculiar device being called the INQ Cloud Touch. In the filing, the Cloud Touch is described as:
An Android smartphone built to make messaging faster and smarter. It’s designed around the way people naturally communicate and has Facebook built into its core. The homescreen features multiple entry points to different Facebook functions, while a dynamic widget displays a feed of status updates, albums, videos and photos.
Back in September, Bloomberg published a report indicating that INQ was working on a handset for the social networking company. The filing is fairly recent as the software version has a build date of 12/17/2010. While there is no way to be one-hundred percent sure this is a Facebook Phone, the evidence seems to point in that direction. What do you think? Anyone out there so invested in the Facebook ecosystem that this is appealing? More →
Following on the heels of a report by the Wall Street Journal, electronics maker Vizio has made its entry into the smartphone and tablet market official. In a press release, the company outlines its VIA Phone and VIA Tablet devices that are set to debut this week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Vizio’s VIA Phone will be a 1GHz device with a 4-inch “high-resolution” capacitive touchscreen, Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS, Bluetooth, micro-SD card slot, front-facing video camera, three external speakers, and an HDMI-out port. The VIA Tablet will also feature a 1GHz processor and will be paired with an 8-inch capacitive touchscreen display, Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS, Bluetooth, micro-SD card slot, front-facing video camera, three external speakers, and an HDMI-out port. Dèjá vu. Both the tablet and smartphone will have “a built-in IR blaster with universal remote control app for quick access to the entire home theater or nearly any other CE device in the home,” which sounds pretty nifty. Hit the jump to check out the full press release. More →
Here it is ladies and gentlemen, the heir apparent to the myTouch 3G throne and T-Mobile’s second HSPA+ handset, the myTouch 4G. The new device, which is manufactured by HTC, has all the trimmings of a flagship device: 1GHz processor, front and rear facing cameras, vivid touchscreen display, and, depending on whom you ask, a 4G radio. The myTouch 4G is getting the lion’s share of T-Mobile’s ad buys these days, but how does the handset perform when put to the test by your friends at BGR? Hit the jump to find out.More →
Early this morning, HP made the unlocked, unbranded, GSM, Palm Pre 2 available on its U.S. website. The webOS 2.0 device, which will retail for $449.99 contract-free, is listed as “in stock” and has a ship time of under 24-hours. Just a quick recap on the Pre 2: 1 GHz processor, 3.1-inch multi-touch display with 320 x 480 resolution, Wi-Fi b/g, Bluetooth, GPS, 16GB of on-board storage, and a 5 megapixel camera. Anyone plan on picking one up?
UPDATED: We pinged HP to see exactly which 3G bands the unlocked, GSM Pre 2 being sold in the company’s U.S. online store would support, and we’ve got our answer: “It supports 3G with 850MHz and 1900MHz.” More →
Today, via two separate press releases, Verizon announced the addition of the LG Vortex — a full-touchscreen, Android 2.2 smartphone — and the LG Cosmos — a full-QWERTY messaging phone — to its handset lineup.
The Vortex will boast a 3.2-inch touchscreen display with haptic feedback, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, 3.2 megapixel camera, micro-SD card slot (with support for up to a 32GB card), SWYPE keyboard, 3G hotspot capabilities, and Android 2.2; the Vortex will also be Binged-out. The handset will be available, starting November 18th, for $79.99 with a 2-year agreement after a $100 mail-in rebate.
The Cosmos will sport a 2.8-inch WQVGA touchscreen display, horizontal-slide-out QWERTY keypad, Bluetooth 2.1, micro-SD card slot (with support for up to a 16GB card, 1.3 megapixel camera, and the ability to fill three different home screens with widgets. The device will be available beginning on November 18th for $49.99 with a 2-year contract after a $50 mail-in rebate. More →
Following a report on Tuesday claiming Bluetooth headphone maker Wi-Gear was acquired by Apple, the company’s CEO confirmed Wednesday that the report is false. Mark Pundsack, Wi-Gear’s CEO, confirmed to Macworld that Wi-Gear and its intellectual property are currently for sale, but Apple did not buy the company. “Two words: ‘I wish!’” Pundsack wrote in an email. Wi-Gear developed and manufactured Bluetooth accessories optimized for use with Apple’s iPod and iPhone product lines. The company was recently forced to shut down its operations due to lack of funding. More →
9to5Mac is reporting that Apple recently acquired a small Bluetooth headphone company based in San Francisco around two months ago. Their source has not disclosed a purchase price, and Wi-Gear as a company is no longer operational. Wi-Gear manufactured A2DP stereo headphones under the brand name iMuffs and even a Bluetooth adapter that enabled older iPod and iPhones to get in on the action. After some snooping, 9to5Mac found that the co-founder of Wi-Gear is now an iOS Bluetooth Engineer at Apple on LinkedIn, thus giving credibility to the story. It’s said that Apple plans to create and manufacture their own brand of Bluetooth headphones, though it isn’t clear whether this would be a replacement for the wired headset that comes with Apple’s music devices, or something like a stereo Bluetooth accessory. Maybe even a new Bluetooth headset to replace their less-than-stellar first go at it?