Sure, Mobile World Congress kicks off in just under a week, but that doesn’t mean all the big boys are going to hold off on their product announcements. Take Samsung, for example, which today announced the S5620 Monte. Running the propriatary TouchWiz 2.0 Plus UI, the Monte features one-touch access to popular social media sites like Facebook and MySpace while supporting services such as Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and Google Sync. Physically speaking we find a 3″ WQVGA capacitive touchscreen display, 3.2 megapixel camera, 200MB of internal memory expandable via microSD and chips for A-GPS, Wi-Fi and 3.6Mbps UMTS/HSDPA. Right now it doens’t look like the Monte is North America bound simply because it lacks the proper 3G bands, but one never knows. Pricing and availability have yet to be announced. More →
Well, well, well, look what we have here: an actual HTC Legend. For those that don’t pay particularly close attention to the world of Android, the Legend can best be thought of (though by no means officially) as the successor to the Hero. A device that many of you might remember left us wanting more. Featuring a new design approach which includes an aluminum body as well as a gigantic HTC logo on the rear (HTC is typically conservative when it comes to branding), the Legend also features goodies like an optical trackpad, AMOLED display and LED flash. Our one qualm? We really miss that funky green antenna cover as seen in the initial renders of the device. Anyway, hit the jump to check out the rear of the Legend. We think it may remind you of a very popular phone that came out in mid-2007. More →
It might have legal issues galore thanks to Chandra Rathakrishnan’s legendary row with Michael Arrington, but the internet tablet formerly known as the CrunchPad has finally entered into production and should begin shipping later this month. To retail for $499 USD, the JooJoo features a 12.1″ multi-touch capacitive display with native resolution of 1366 x 768, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g, 4GB SSD, front-facing camera, accelerometer, support for Flash (HD Flash will be all systems go when 10.1 comes out of beta) as well as a bunch of givens like integrated speakers, a 3.5mm headphone jack and USB port. Also announced today is Fusion Garage’s intent to open an app web store in which JooJoo owners will be able to grab whatever developers can make using some proprietary “but standards driven” APIs. Rathakrishnan et al are rather confident that their device will be able to take on competitors such as the HP Slate and Apple iPad, even going so far as to say of the later that the JooJoo is bigger, fully supports Flash (the real internet) and will beat its major competitors to the market, but one has to wonder what it’s all for in a day and age where most people are brand-conscious to the point where they’ll often turn away from something far better. We guess you have to start somewhere. More →
With Apple tablet rumors mounting and anticipation causing its market share to rise, it looks like there is still more innovation to be uncovered. Apple filed a patent application called “Keystroke Tactility Arrangement on a Smooth Touch Surface” which entails a dynamic surface that changes depending on how a user interacts with it. In order to keep a smooth surface while pointing and swiping, like on the iPhone, and getting some ridges or bumps on the surface for typing, the surface of the screen would have to physically change depending on use. So, when you’re just pointing on the screen, there are no bumps — type on the screen and bumps appear.
Another patent application called “Multipoint Touch Surface Controller” will allow greater flexibility with multi-touch systems. The patent says:
While virtually all commercially available touch screen based systems available today provide single point detection only and have limited resolution and speed, other products available today are able to detect multiple touch points. Unfortunately, these products only work on opaque surfaces because of the circuitry that must be placed behind the electrode structure.
Apparently, removing the limitations of an opaque surface would allow for better speed and accuracy, as well as the ability to detect more contact points on the screen. So, with better multi-touch technology and possibly a surface that reacts to how you use it, future Apple products, like a tablet, could see a huge leap forward with regards to how we interact with touch screen devices today. More →
We try and steer clear of Apple tablet rumors as best as we can, but the latest is too good to pass up, especially considering that it flies straight in the face of a rumor we ran with nearly one month ago. According to Oppenheimer analyst Yair Reiner, Apple is almost ready to give its Chinese manufacturing partners the green light to begin mass production of the oft-rumored tablet that is believed to feature a 10.1″ Multi-Touch capacitive display. If all goes well, Reiner believes that the tablet will be available as early as March provided Apple is able to stockpile enough units in order to minimize any potential shortages. So how many units are we talking? Based on an average retail price of $1,000, Reiner predicts Apple could sell as many as 1.5 million tablets in the first quarter. As for content, it’s believed Apple is aggressively going after publishers by offering them the same 30/70 revenue sharing deal as currently exists within Apple’s iTunes App Store. To give you an idea of how attractive the offer will be, Amazon is believed to ask publishers to evenly split revenue on non-exclusive content to its Kindle More →
Haven’t had your fill of Android handsets yet? Neither have we. T-Mobile just hit us up with a Samsung Behold II and here are some first impressions:
Physically the unit feels pretty good to hold, albeit a little cheap. The weight is good, but the choice of a glossy plastic makes it feel a little chintzy to us. The back cover has a certain depth to it and it’s pretty darn cool, but we can see it scratching really easily if you’re not careful. As far as the front of the device, the buttons are surprisingly pretty easy to press despite their intimidating layout, and the 5-way navigational circle is also pretty friendly. Now for what we don’t like…
Samsung needs to learn that it isn’t 1999 anymore, and re-skinning most of Android’s decent but not great UI elements isn’t a good idea. We literally feel like we’re in downtown Seoul when the display is on — neon blues, neon orange, neon yellow — all on a black background which really doesn’t make for the most appetizing phone interface. Additionally, you can no longer press the Menu key to unlock the display once you turn it on, you’re forced to press a dedicated unlock / lock key on the side of the phone. Awk. Ward. While the paper specs on the phone (capacitive screen, 5 megapixel camera, AWS 3G, etc.) are definitely competitive, at first glance, the user experience seems to be way too involved for the average user. It’s not friendly by any means and the price point of $199 seems borderline laughable with other devices available at this time. On and off T-Mobile.
HTC was nice enough to hook us up with an HD2 unit a couple of days ago, and we just have to get this out of the way… Wow. This is really Windows Mobile? From the gorgeous 4.3″ capacitive touch display to HTC’s Sense UI, it’s really an amazing handset. The display and HTC’s UI compliment Windows Mobile 6.5’s icon set and honestly, it’s almost usable. Almost. The only thing off the bat we’re not feeling is the viciously sharp bezel around the camera lens. It scratched our desk. We’ll report back with a detailed overview in a bit, but in the meantime, check out some photos after the break!
Remember when The Wall Street Journal said that Dell was working on an Android MID? Well it turns out that it was bang on as today images and a video of a prototype device known as the Streak emerged by way of everyone’s favorite Vietnamese mobile site. Running Android 2.0, the Streak boasts 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, a 5″ WVGA multitouch capacitive display, 5 megapixel camera with dual-LED flash, Bluetooth, microSD and a 1300 mAh battery. Looking through all of the pictures, we couldn’t help notice what looks to be the spitting image of a front-facing camera for checking ones hair video calling, but then again it could just be the worst ambient light sensor ever. Enough talk. Hit the jump for a ton of pics and a video, because the Streak cries out to be seen.
Everyone here at BGR HQ is pretty grumpy this morning as a string of late night press releases issued by Samsung got us too worked up to sleep. Celebrating the sixth Samsung Mobile Solutions Forum in Taipei, Samsung gave a show of force that highlights exactly why the company is a worldwide chipset and components leader for mobile devices. To kick things off, two new 1GHz processors with 512KB L2 cache were announced. Not only do they consume significantly less power versus other processors on the market, but they are also capable of graphically intense 3D gaming and support 1080p output at 30fps using the HDMI 1.3 standard. Couple these with the OneDRAM memory chipset that clocks in at 166MHz and transfers data at speeds of up to 1.3GBps and a 512MB PRAM chip, and you have the potential for one seriously powerful mobile gaming platform.
So now we have the beginnings of the next generation in unstoppable high end handsets, but what else do they need? A screen and a camera, of course. Samsung’s new display technology integrates all of the controls for capacitive touchscreens into the display driver itself. Then with regards to cameras, Samsung combined a 5 megapixel CMOS image sensor with an image signal processor on a single chip, thus creating a system-on-chip (SoC) camera module that is capable of recording 1080p video at 30fps. Those of you who did not already kill your computers from excessive drooling will be pleased to note that all this tech isn’t too far away from the hands of consumers — most of these components are already under limited production and should enter into mass production effective Q1 2010. We can hardly wait.
While word of the Toshiba TG01 heading to the US isn’t expected any time soon, we may have another Snapdragon-powered WinMo handset headed our way in the not-too-distant future. Sure, we’ve had the specs for a while and we recently got to enjoy some live pics, but there’s nothing like seeing the HTC Leo strut it’s multi-touch stuff on camera to get those juices flowing. Mmmm, a little 4.3-inch WVGA capacitive touchscreen action is just what the doctor ordered. Hit the jump for a quick video of this sexy, albeit mammoth Windows Phone showing off for the camera and get ready for what will undoubtedly be a hefty price tag once the Leo gets official.
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Nokia’s first touchscreen offering to sport a capacitive display has received a mixed welcome from tech enthusiasts. On the one hand, it has a capacitive touchscreen. Yay. On the other hand, it’s a bit thick around the mid-section and, well, some consider it to be ugly as sin. We find ourselves somewhere in the middle — yes, it’s a bit thick and a bit ugly but it’s also a step forward in some respects and it could be a sweet little phone at the right price. The rub: the price is wrong. While Nokia’s pricing always varies from region to region, the X6 32GB was announced at €450 ($640ish USD). In the UK, it’s currently listed for pre-order by Expansys at a whopping £529.99 ($867ish USD) bundled with Comes With Music. Yes, that price is absolutely insane. The good news however, is that Expansys also has a second version of the X6 listed with 16GB of internal storage and no CWM for £344.99 ($565ish USD) — launching in February. That price is still a bit lofty but Nokia handsets are always priced better outside of the UK. In short, there’s hope for those of you interested in the X6 but uninterested in the bloat added by Comes With Music.
Earlier this week we reported some rumored details of the upcoming HTC Leo and today it looks like things are now getting flushed out a bit. Actually, it looks like the Leo may turn out the be the HTC Firestone we first saw back in January. While all this is still in the rumor phase of course, we can’t help but get a little giddy each and every time we see mention of Qualcomm’s 1GHz beast of a processor.So behold — the kind of, maybe, sort of, possible specs for the HTC Leo/Firestone:
- Quad-band GSM/EDGE connectivity
- Dual-band HSDPA connectivity (900/2100 MHz)
- 4.3-inch WVGA (480 x 800) capacitive touchscreen display
- Windows Mobile 6.5
- Qualcomm 1GHz MSM 8250 Snapdragon processor
- GPS, A-GPS
- Light & proximity sensors
- 3.5mm headset jack
- 5 megapixel auto-focus camera with dual LED flash
- 512MB flash memory, 320MB RAM
- MicroSD card support
- 1230 mAh battery
- 121 x 67 x 11 millimeters
Mmmm, Windows Mobile 6.5 with a giant capacitive WVGA touchscreen and a Snapdragon processor. Yeah, we want it.
It looks as if we no longer have to wait on LG to complete a slow and painful unveiling of its brand new Black Label series phone — if this is the real deal, of course. A very convincing promotional video popped up on YouTube that, if genuine, not only gives us our first shots of the device but also details the majority of its specs. As expected, the BL40 appears to be a very formidable phone with features that include a 4-inch 345×800 capacitive touchscreen display (note the very unusual 21:9 aspect ratio) under scratch resistant glass, 5 megapixel camera with Schneider-Kreuznach lens, 7.2Mbps UMTS/HSDPA connectivity, Wi-Fi, aGPS and the what appears to be a suped up S Class UI. While we feel it necessary to again stress that this video is in no way official yet and could certainly be a farce, we would love nothing more than to see this puppy materialize. Hit the jump to check out the video.