Throwback Thursday: The Motorola RAZR

By on May 19, 2011 at 3:59 PM.

Throwback Thursday: The Motorola RAZR

Motorola has produced several iconic handsets during its storied existence. The DynaTAC, the Vader, the v60 and of course, the Motorola RAZR. What Nokia did for the candy bar-style mobile phone in the 1990′s, Motorola did for the flip phone in the early 21st century. Thin, sleek and stylish, the RAZR was initially brought to market in early 2005. The handset was light, easily fit in the pocket and packed a flat, backlit keypad that proved itself to be a formidable text messaging obstacle. The device was so popular, in fact, that just over 1-year ago we were still talking about the handset — the RAZR3 — before it was scrapped by Moto in favor of Android-based smartphones. During its four year reign of terror, where it retailed for nearly $200 on-contract, over 110 million RAZRs were sold by dozens of carriers the world over. We still have an AT&T V3 lying around BGR HQ for posterity sake, and although its utility is diminished, the handset’s mystique remains. How about it: how many of you cell phone junkies were proud RAZR owners?

BGR’s Throwback Thursday is a weekly series covering our (and your) favorite gadgets, games, and software of yesterday and yesteryear.

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AT&T announces full-touchscreen HTC Freestyle; quick-messaging Brew handset

By on February 8, 2011 at 3:59 PM.

AT&T announces full-touchscreen HTC Freestyle; quick-messaging Brew handset

Your friends over at AT&T have added a new, full-touchscreen, quick messaging device, based on the Brew mobile platform, to their handset lineup. Say hello to the the HTC Freestyle. The Freestyle sports a 3.2-inch touchscreen display, 3.2 megapixel camera with video recording capabilities, micro-SD card slot (support for up to a 32GB card), 3.5mm headphone jack, stereo Bluetooth, and the HTC Sense UI. The device will cost $99.99 with a signed two-year contract (after a $50 mail-in rebate). The Freestyle will be available in AT&T retail stores and online beginning February 13th. Not sure why you would pay $99 for this HTC set when you can get the Inspire — also launching February 13th – for the same price. Hit the jump to check out the full press release. More →

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HTC Sense to get music, video services and more

By on December 23, 2010 at 2:01 PM.

HTC Sense to get music, video services and more

In an interview with Forbes on Thursday, HTC’s head of User Experience Drew Bamford provided some insight into where the company’s Sense product is headed in the near future. Sense started as a UI overlay placed atop various platforms on HTC devices. While the UI aspects of the product remain a central focus, HTC will continue to expand Sense in several areas off the device. The recently launched HTCSense.com portal is one example of Sense’s departure from phones, though it remains underutilized and confined to just two devices for the time being. Bramford says several services are on their way to Sense, however, including music and video content services as well as access to newspapers, magazines and eBooks. HTC already launched an eBook service in Europe that it plans to expand to other regions in 2011. HTC also plans to launch its own video chat service akin to Apple’s FaceTime, along with several services that focus on home entertainment. These and other services will be made possible by the continued transition to faster 4G cellular data networks. “At some point, you can imagine replacing your home Internet service with your 4G phone,” Bramford said. “I think we’re on the cusp of that transformation where mobile products and living room life collide.” More →

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Skype mobile application to run on Verizon Wireless BREW feature phones

By on August 18, 2010 at 3:46 PM.

Skype mobile application to run on Verizon Wireless BREW feature phones

It looks like Skype and Verizon Wireless have inked another deal to bring the Skype mobile application to more Verizon devices. In a blog post today, Skype announced they are “expanding the Skype mobile application onto a variety of Multimedia 3G phones with an app based on the BREW platform, including the LG enV TOUCH, LG Chocolate Touch and Samsung Reality.” The post boasts: “The Skype mobile app for Verizon Wireless 3G Multimedia phones works the same way it does on the carrier’s smartphones, letting you make free calls to friends and family on Skype, great value calls to landlines and mobile phones overseas, and send IMs to people on Skype anywhere in the world.” If you’re interested in getting Skype, you can text SKYPE to 2255 or visit the Media Center on your VZW BREW device. We’ve got the full announcement all linked up for you. More →

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HTC launching "new category" of smartphone with HTC Smart

By on January 7, 2010 at 11:10 AM.

HTC launching "new category" of smartphone with HTC Smart

htc-smart

This morning HTC announced that it will be releasing a new BREW powered smartphone dubbed the HTC Smart, perhaps better known by its former name the Touch.B/Rome. The goal of the HTC Smart, and future like handsets, will not be to blow us away with specs but rather to put affordable smartphones, with HTC’s Sense UI, into as many peoples hands as possible with an affordable pricetag — this may explain why the Smart will be running BREW as opposed to the rumored Android. The Smart will be packing a 300MHz processor, 256 MB of RAM, 2.8-inch TFT-LCD touch-sensitive screen with QVGA resolution, 3G HSPA 2100 MHz, Quad-Band GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, Bluetooth 2.0, 3.5 mm stereo audio jack, and a microSD 2.0 compatible card slot. Look for the HTC Smart in Europe and Asia this spring. We’ve got the official release queued up for you after the break. More →

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China Unicom disses the iPhone, orders more Windows Mobile, Symbian phones

By on December 24, 2009 at 6:27 AM.

China Unicom disses the iPhone, orders more Windows Mobile, Symbian phones

iphone-china-unicom

China Unicom topped the 2 million subscriber mark this month and based upon its recent handset procurement, those wild and crazy China Unicom customers love Symbian and BREW, enjoy Windows Mobile, and, though they are buying the China Unicom-exclusive iPhone, they do not share the same fervor for Apple’s mobile phone as their Japanese counterparts. Speaking At the 2010 Communications Industry Technology Annual Conference in Beijing, China, Zhang Zhijiang, GM of China Unicom’s technology division, revealed that 75% of the carriers recently ordered WCDMA equipment is comprised of mobile handsets with data cards (15%) and netbooks (10%) accounting for remaining 25%. Of the procured handsets, 16% run the Symbian OS, 8% run Windows Mobile, 4% run the Apple iPhone OS and the remainder run BREW or a proprietary OS. The bulk of the order, 63%, is comprised of mid-range handsets (priced below 3,000 Yuan or $439USD) with high-end handsets accounting for a modest 37% of the procurement. The take home message from this brief statistical dump is that China Unicom customers love their cheap BREW phones and the iPhone, which even trails Windows Mobile, has a lot of catching up to do if it wants to be the King of the Hill amongst China Unicom customers.

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Qualcomm’s BREW platform lives on; coming soon to Sprint handsets near you

By on September 11, 2009 at 10:51 AM.

Qualcomm’s BREW platform lives on; coming soon to Sprint handsets near you

brew

On one end of the mobile spectrum, you have smartphone OSes that are feature packed, diverse and almost endlessly enhanceable. On the other end of the spectrum, you have dumb phone OSes that are limited in function but typically well-suited for the average consumer. Somewhere in the middle lies Qualcomm’s BREW Mobile Platform. Some may have been under the impression that BREW was going the way of the dinosaur but the truth is that it’s still managing to garner attention from manufacturers and carriers alike. Back in July, HTC reportedly let it be known that it has plans to release a BREW-powered handset some time in 2009. Now Sprint has jumped on board with this morning’s announcement that “it is planning to offer its customers additional device options by launching devices running Qualcomm’s Brew Mobile Platform™ (Brew MP).” No word yet on who might manufacture said phones, though HTC could certainly be among the companies currently working on a BREW-based Sprint handset. Whether or not the addition of BREW MP will be welcomed by Sprint subscribers remains to be seen but more options are never a bad thing, we suppose.

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HTC continues to look beyond Windows Mobile; BREW-based phone in 2009, 50% Android shipments in 2010

By on July 22, 2009 at 1:00 PM.

HTC continues to look beyond Windows Mobile; BREW-based phone in 2009, 50% Android shipments in 2010

As the world gets ready for what will hopefully be a series of page-turning events for Windows Mobile — the releases of 6.5 and then 7 — HTC is seemingly looking to move its business in a different direction. According to a report from DigiTimes, HTC seems to be pretty happy with the performance of its Android offerings to date. In fact, HTC reportedly plans to push shipments of Android-based handsets from 30 percent of total devices in 2009 to 50 percent in 2010. Perhaps a bit more shocking, DigiTimes’ source also states that HTC will launch a new handset in September or October of this year based on Qualcomm’s BREW platform:

The BMP-based handset will come with a touchsreeen, HTC’s in-house developed TouchFlo 3D technology and HTC Sense interface as found in the HTC touch-enabled smartphone lineup, and yet the device will be available as an entry-level model.

Zany. While we’re definitely curious about the potential for some BREW-based HTC kit, we’re much more interested in seeing what the future holds for HTC handsets running Google’s mobile OS. If we were betting men (and women), we’d wager most BGR readers feel the same.

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Verizon Wireless to deploy Java-based services

By on June 2, 2009 at 5:38 PM.

Verizon Wireless to deploy Java-based services

In with the new, out with the BREW — Sun Microsystems has just announced that Verizon Wireless is among several new partners to jump on the Java bandwagon. The nation’s largest carrier has long used BREW as its mobile platform of choice but times they are a’ changing. Moving forward, VZW will deploy Java Platform Micro Edition-based services and apps. From Sun’s JavaOne conference keynote highlights:

Lowell McAdam, president and CEO of Verizon Wireless, who will outline his company’s strategic decision to deploy Java Platform Micro Edition (Java ME) -based services in its network and offer Java-based services and applications to its subscribers.

While Big Red has not confirmed that Qualcomm’s BREW platform will be phased out, maintaining two separate platforms doesn’t make much sense. Crazier things have definitely happened though, especially where carriers are concerned. We’ll have to wait and see what the future has in store for BREW though we highly doubt anyone would really miss it. Verizon has yet to issue any public statement regarding its Java ME adoption.

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Motorola VE465 rugged feature phone headed to Alltel and TELUS

By on March 17, 2009 at 7:38 AM.

Motorola VE465 rugged feature phone headed to Alltel and TELUS

Here we go again. On the one hand, rumorsville is buzzing with speculation surrounding the Evoke QA4, a rather intriguing touchscreen slider reportedly headed to US Cellular, MetroPCS and/or Cricket. On the other hand, you’ve got the VE465.

  • CDMA 800/1900/1700/2100 connectivity
  • 1.9 inch TFT internal display with 176 x 220 pixels and 65k colors
  • 1.05 inch CSTN external display with 96 x 80 pixels
  • Brew OS
  • Stereo Bluetooth
  • Music player
  • Video player
  • MMS, SMS, Instant Messaging, E-mail
  • 1.3 megapixel camera
  • USB 2.0
  • MicroSD up to 4GB
  • Talk time: up to 4.5 hours, Standby time: up to 12 days
  • 1.8 x 3.9 x 0.7 inches, 3.8 ounces

We’re not sure exactly how this handset carries ruggedized devices forward but apparently Moto did something right as it has already been picked up by two known carriers, Alltel and TELUS. Release timing and pricing are still unknown but we’re hoping carrier subsidies take it down pretty low. Any of you outdoorsy types out there looking forward to snagging one?

[Via Unwired View]

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Adobe, ARM, and Qualcomm team up for Open Screen Project

By on November 17, 2008 at 12:01 AM.

Adobe, ARM, and Qualcomm team up for Open Screen Project

Adobe, ARM, and Qualcomm, among a host of several other players in the telecommunications and entertainment industry, are teaming up to develop and launch the Open Screen Project. If you aren’t familiar with the OSP, we’ll brief you on what it is and what it means for both developers and consumers. It is going to change the future of rich Internet content and media and how it will be delivered to consumers. With the OSP, users will be able to see and share videos, pictures, and other content across all devices and platforms from set-top boxes, computers,to mobile devices. The project is spearheaded by Adobe, but it will certainly be no small feat. Several big players will be joining the software giant, notably ARM, Qualcomm, Cisco, Intel, NTT DoCoMo, Verizon Wireless, and all the major mobile device manufacturers. Major content providers such as MTV Networks, BBC, and NBC Universal will also be supporting the project. For more information and a video explaining the Open Screen Project, hit the jump.

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