HTC One V hands-on

By on February 26, 2012 at 4:40 PM.

HTC One V hands-on

Rounding out the trio of smartphones HTC unveiled at its Mobile World Congress 2012 press conference on Sunday is the HTC One V, an entry-level smartphone that picks up where the HTC Legend left off. This will be the most affordable One-branded smartphone HTC launches in the first half of the year, and while the specs don’t hold a candle to the One X or One V, this is absolutely a phone that will go far among budget-conscious consumers in Europe and other regions where the phone will be released. Check out our hands-on photo gallery below, and hit the break for the rest of our early impressions.

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Hands on with the HTC One S

By on February 26, 2012 at 4:25 PM.

Hands on with the HTC One S

The chaos of day 0 at Mobile World Congress is finally winding down, and HTC’s action-packed press conference is now behind us. The obvious star of the show was the HTC One X, but there’s no denying that its mid-range counterpart packs a massive punch as well. We just spent some time putting the HTC One S through the paces and first things first: this smartphone is amazingly thin. At 7.9 millimeters, it’s the thinnest smartphone HTC has ever built and it really is amazing that the company managed to pack such high-end specs into a device this slim. Check out our hands-on photos in the gallery below and hit the break for the rest of our initial impressions.

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HTC One X hands-on

By on February 26, 2012 at 4:12 PM.

HTC One X hands-on

It’s finally here… the flagship smartphone we’ve all been waiting for… HTC’s One X. BGR first revealed details surrounding HTC’s high-end One X back in November, and the wait has been grueling but it’s finally behind us. This sleek smartphone is every bit as beastly as we all knew it would be, and then some. Starting with the 4.7-inch Super LCD2 display that features 720p HD resolution, this is easily one of the best screens we’ve ever seen on an HTC phone. The quad-core Tegra 3 appears to be an absolute monster, and we didn’t even come close to tripping it up during our hands-on time with the phone. Check out our photo gallery below, and hit the break for more.

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Sony Xperia P hands-on

By on February 26, 2012 at 1:54 PM.

Sony Xperia P hands-on

We’re here in sunny Barcelona, Spain on day 0 of the annual Mobile World Congress trade show — yes, several companies couldn’t even wait for day 1 to hold their press conferences — and Sony’s media event has just wrapped up. In case you missed it, Sony unveiled two devices at this year’s show, one of which was the sleek new Xperia P smartphone that will launch in the second quarter. The handset’s design is reminiscent of earlier Xperia handsets, but like the other members of the “Xperia NXT” family, it features a clear strip near the bottom of the phone that adds a variety of unique lighting features to the device. The phone’s 3.5-inch display leaves a bit to be desired compared to market leaders like Samsung, and colors weren’t nearly as vivid as they are on phones like the Galaxy S II or Galaxy Nexus. The Xperia P will also launch with a dual-core 1GHz processor while the competition is rolling out devices with NVIDIA’s 1.5GHz quad-core chipset, and the difference is noticeable; the Xperia P isn’t laggy per se, but moving around Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich feels a bit slow compared to some other phones. We weren’t able to spend much time with the Xperia P — or any time at all with the Xperia U — but check out a few photos in the gallery below and tune in for HTC’s press conference, which is scheduled to kick off at 2:30 p.m. EST / 11:30 a.m.

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LG Optimus 3D Max hands-on

By on February 26, 2012 at 11:14 AM.

LG Optimus 3D Max hands-on

We spent some time with LG’s Optimus 4X HD and Optimus Vu here at Mobile World Congress earlier on Sunday, and now we’ve got another one of LG’s new Android smartphones on hand. This time it’s the Optimus 3D Max, and there’s good news and bad news: the good news is that this new smartphone is definitely an improvement over the original Optimus 3D it replaces. The bad news is that it will launch running Android 2.3 Gingerbread while the rest of LG’s high-end lineup enjoys Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The 1.2GHz dual-core processor in the Optimus 3D Max does a good job of jumping around LG’s Optimus UI, lackluster though it may be, and the dual 3D cameras on the back of the device weigh in at 5-megapixels a piece. The 3D implementation still isn’t much more than a gimmick to us, however, and there’s no way we would opt for this handset over the much more impressive Optimus 4X HD. Those willing to make do with Android 2.3 because they love having 3D features on their smartphones may feel differently though, so check out our hands-on images in the gallery below.

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LG Optimus Vu hands-on

By on February 26, 2012 at 11:04 AM.

LG Optimus Vu hands-on

During today’s LG media preview event here at MWC, we got a chance to spend a bit of hands-on time with a few of LG’s new 2012 devices. Among the three handsets unveiled today was the Optimus Vu, which is LG’s answer to the gigantic Samsung Galaxy Note. This not-quite-tablet, not-quite-smartphone sports an impressive spec sheet, with a 5-inch XGA display sporting a 4:3 aspect ratio, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, an 8-megapixel rear camera and a massive 2,080 mAh battery. Oh, and did we mention this sexy beast is only 8.5mm thick? In use, we found the device to be surprisingly fast and responsive, and the included stylus seemed more or less functional in operation. It’s definitely not as elaborate as Samsung’s “S Pen” but it does the job, if a stylus is your thing. We’re also not huge fans of LG’s UI on top of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but at least it’s an improvement over older versions of the UI. Check the hands-on gallery below!

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Hands on with the LG Optimus 4X HD

By on February 26, 2012 at 10:52 AM.

Hands on with the LG Optimus 4X HD

LG took the wraps off a number of smartphones leading up to Mobile World Congress this past week, and now we’re finally getting some hands-on time with all of them. The LG Vu garnered most of the attention last week thanks to its Galaxy Note-like supersized stature, but the high-definition LG Optimus 4X HD definitely shouldn’t be ignored. This quad-core Tegra 3-powered Ice Cream Sandwich phone features a 4.7-inch 1280 x 720-pixel IPS display that is definitely more impressive than earlier LG screens, but it can’t quite compete with the Super AMOLED panels Samsung has been using on its recent smartphones. LG also included a new version of its Optimus UI on top of Android 4.0 and among the variety of Android skins on the market today, LG’s is definitely one of our least favorite. Navigating the UI and multitasking is lightning fast thanks to the Tegra 3 chip though, and this is easily among the most impressive smartphones LG has built to date. Check out our hands-on images in the gallery below!

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Samsung’s Galaxy Note is the most useless phone I’ve used

By on February 13, 2012 at 3:45 PM.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note is the most useless phone I’ve used

Samsung and AT&T are getting ready to launch a new smartphone, superphone, phablet or whatever else you want to call it, and I picked one up earlier today. It’s the first time I have used or even held the device personally, and I really need to share some immediate thoughts even though a full review is forthcoming. This is a phone, after using it for a few hours, that feels like it is too big to be taken seriously. That’s the end of it. I don’t care if you like large screens on mobile devices, I don’t care if you love Android, and I don’t care if you love 4G LTE — this is a device fit for use only by such a small subset of the human population that I can’t fathom how AT&T and Samsung are putting so much marketing resources behind it. Check out images of the Galaxy Note in the gallery below, and the rest of my thoughts follow after the break.

The Galaxy Note essentially has everything you’d want in a smartphone: a great dual-core processor, a solid camera, a beautiful display and good build quality, and it runs on AT&T’s new 4G LTE network that delivers incredibly fast downloads speeds. Plus the battery seems actually decent so far, which is a triumph for modern smartphones.

Throw all of that right out the window.

The phone is too big. You will look stupid talking on it, people will laugh at you, and you’ll be unhappy if you buy it. I really can’t get around this, unfortunately, because Samsung pushed things way too far this time.

You can’t use it one-handed, and I can’t even type on it easily with two hands. I’m almost offended by this product, and I love a lot of what Samsung is doing — in fact, the company’s current flagship is my favorite Android smartphone in the world. But the Galaxy Note just feels like a joke. And the worst part? Look at the display and how it’s manufactured and designed. See any resemblances to anything else?

I feel like no one else is saying this, and since I’ve not ever been one to hold back what’s on my mind I absolutely will — enough is enough. I’ve had it with incremental updates to Android smartphones every two weeks, I’ve had it with the super-sized ridiculousness, and I’ve had it with all of these marketing gimmicks. Just focus on a quality product, and you won’t have to release eight “flagship” models a year.

But you have a stylus that comes with it, so I guess that makes up for any similarities with rival devices. Kind of like those lollipops you’d get at the dentist after someone just went Mike Tyson on your tooth.

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Samsung Galaxy S Advance receives early hands-on preview

By on February 3, 2012 at 6:00 PM.

Samsung Galaxy S Advance receives early hands-on preview


The Samsung Galaxy S Advance was announced on Monday, and not even a week later the device has shown up in Vietnam and received a hands-on from Mai Nguyen. The handset reportedly features a design that is a combination of the Galaxy S II and Galaxy Nexus, complete with a curved display. The Advance’s specs fall between the Galaxy S II and original Galaxy S, however, featuring a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, a 1GHz dual-core processor, a 5-megapixel camera, 768MB of RAM and 2GB of internal storage. The handset reportedly had a “solid feel,” with a thickness of 9.7mm and a weight of 120 grams. The Galaxy S Advance is expected to be released in Vietnam at the end of February for roughly 9.5 million VND, or $450 USD before subsidies. Another image of the new phone follows below. More →

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Hands on with Cablevision’s upcoming Optimum App for Laptops

By on January 26, 2012 at 5:45 PM.

Hands on with Cablevision’s upcoming Optimum App for Laptops

Last summer, Cablevision was one of the first cable providers to release an app for watching live TV on mobile devices. The Optimum App for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch allows Optimum subscribers to watch live television when connected to their home networks. Cablevision is now testing the Optimum App for Laptops, which transforms a user’s laptop into an additional TV when connected to a home network. A beta version of the application is currently available to select customers for a limited time and we managed to put it through the paces on Thursday. Check out our hand-on photo gallery below and hit the break for some quick impressions.

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LG CES 2012 booth tour

By on January 12, 2012 at 11:05 AM.

LG CES 2012 booth tour

Samsung and Sony each brought their A-game to the Consumer Electronics Show this year when it comes to high-end HDTVs. If there was one other brand that could easily give these tech giants a run for their money though, it was LG. The South Korea-based company had a handfull of other devices to show off at CES 2012, but televisions took center stage in the firm’s booth and sets on display ranged from entry-level offerings to high-end stunners that were absolutely beautiful. Of all the TVs LG had on display at CES, our clear favorite — it’s not even close, really — was the company’s new 55-inch OLED model. The gorgeous panel on this HDTV gives Samsung’s Super OLED displays a run for their money, and we would be hard pressed to say which screen produces deeper blacks and more vivid colors. No pricing has been announced and we’re sure this set will cost a pretty penny, but it could very well find its way to BGR headquarters once it hits the market. Pictures can hardly do LG’s new OLED HDTV justice, but several photos can be found in our LG booth tour, which follows below.

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BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 hands-on

By on January 11, 2012 at 1:53 PM.

BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 hands-on

Research In Motion didn’t unveil any new devices at the Consumer Electronics Show this year, but the Waterloo, Ontario-based vendor still managed to appease fans with a preview of its first major PlayBook OS update that will finally be released some time next month. We spent a good amount of time putting the OS 2.0 through the paces and while there are still some kinks to iron out — we had apps crash on us a number of times — we absolutely walked away impressed. Check out our hands-on photos in the gallery below and hit the break for our impressions.

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Sony Xperia S hands-on

By on January 10, 2012 at 7:49 PM.

Sony Xperia S hands-on

Sony came to this year’s Consumer Electronics Show with a pair of new Xperia smartphones and while they definitely look and feel like older devices in the company’s Xperia lineup in terms of design identity, they were much smoother than older Xperia models. The dual-core 1.5GHz processor in the Xperia S clearly plays a big role in speeding up Sony’s UI, and the 4.3-inch 720p Reality Display produces deep blacks and vivid colors. The UI itself is still one of our least favorite Android interfaces though, and the handset itself feels a bit light. The Xperia S also packs dual HD video cameras — a 12-megapixel camera on the back records 1080p HD video and the front facing camera supports 720p video chats — and the handset is PlayStation certified, giving it solid gaming capabilities without the added bulk of a dedicated controller as was the case with the Xperia Play. Pricing could make or break the Xperia S, but Sony hasn’t yet announced availability details. Check out our hands-on images of the Xperia S in the gallery below.

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