Verizon’s Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX hands-on

By on January 10, 2012 at 6:08 PM.

Verizon’s Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX hands-on

In addition to spending some time with the new Motorola DROID 4, we just went Inside The Actor’s Studio with Ed Zander’s old the new RAZR. The Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX is similar to the DROID RAZR but offers a larger battery for up to 21 hours of usage on a single charge. Despite the larger battery, however, the device still feels super thin. We didn’t notice a hint of lag while flying through menus, but we did notice that there was some sluggishness inside the web browser while loading websites. The DROID RAZR MAXX also comes equipped with 32GB of on-board storage, which should be plenty for storing movies, music and photos. Unfortunately it still runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) but we hope, and suspect, that Motorola has plans to upgrade the phone to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). The RAZR MAXX will cost $299 with a new two-year contract when it makes its debut on Verizon Wireless. Photo’s are all in the gallery, minus James Lipton.

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Nokia Lumia 900 hands-on

By on January 10, 2012 at 4:27 PM.

Nokia Lumia 900 hands-on

Leading up to the Consumer Electronics Show this year, Nokia’s first Windows Phone for AT&T was definitely one of the smartphone announcements we were anticipating most anxiously. We were fans of the Lumia 800 when we reviewed it, but when our sources let us know that a bigger handset that maintained the Lumia 800’s design aesthetic would launch soon after CES, the 800 lost its luster. In line with our exclusive report, Nokia’s brand new Lumia 900 features the same unique design and build as the Lumia 800 Nokia launched last year, but there are two key differences that make this smartphone our clear favorite. It includes compatibility with AT&T’s new 4G LTE network, and it packs a larger 4.3-inch ClearBlack AMOLED display. The larger form factor was designed with the U.S. market in mind according to Nokia, and the size of the device is ideal. The Lumia 900’s build is outstanding as well, and Windows Phone 7.5 is beyond smooth thanks to the phone’s 1.4GHz Snapdragon processor. Nokia and AT&T haven’t yet revealed pricing or a launch date, but Nokia did say it will become available in the coming months. We can’t wait to review this gorgeous smartphone but in the mean time, check out our hands-on Lumia 900 photo gallery below.

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LG Viper 4G LTE hands-on

By on January 10, 2012 at 3:10 PM.

LG Viper 4G LTE hands-on

Sprint’s version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is certainly the star of Sprint’s upcoming LTE device lineup for now, but a second 4G LTE smartphone was announced this week at the Consumer Electronics show that will offer early LTE adopters on Sprint’s network as solid second choice. Featuring a 4-inch display, a dual-core 1.2GHz processor and  Google Wallet support thanks to an NFC chip, the LG Viper 4G LTE is a well-equipped Android smartphone that will launch later this half of the year. It will have Android 2.3 Gingerbread at launch, but Sprint has promised an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich shortly after the device is released. The device has a solid build and a great look thanks to the brushed metal-look back, and at the right price it could end up being a terrific option for Sprint subscribers. We’re looking forward to getting our hands on a review unit, but in the meantime, check out a few hands-on images of the LG Viper 4G LTE in the gallery below.

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HTC Titan II hands-on

By on January 9, 2012 at 3:30 PM.

HTC Titan II hands-on

HTC and AT&T took the wraps off of their latest device during an AT&T press conference on Monday, the HTC Titan II. The device is the first 4G LTE-enabled Windows Phone to be announced at the show but it won’t be the last — Nokia CEO Stephen Elop confirmed earlier on Monday that the Finnish vendor will unveil an LTE Windows Phone as well during its press conference. The Titan II is a fantastic first LTE device for Windows Phone fans, as long as the monstrous size isn’t a turn off. The phone sports the same 4.7-inch Super LCD display as its predecessor, but the build is much different. The unibody aluminum case from the Titan has been replaced by a soft-touch plastic — we liked the aluminum case a lot more so we’re definitely sorry to see it go — and the dark black color has been replaced by a light gray. The user experience is still among the best available; like the Titan, the Titan II is unbelievably responsive and smooth. Differences of note beyond the case are the embedded LTE radio, of course, and the 16-megapixel camera. Images taken with the camera were definitely impressive on the Titan’s display and on our MacBook Air, but we didn’t have an original Titan handy to compare photo quality. Where data speed is concerned, however, there was obviously no comparison. We’ll have more for you in our full review but in the meantime, be sure to check out our hands-on gallery below.

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Verizon Galaxy Nexus hands-on

By on December 15, 2011 at 11:25 AM.

Verizon Galaxy Nexus hands-on

We finally got our hands on Verizon’s Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and… well, it’s almost identical to the HSPA+ version we reviewed last month. It’s thicker, though we actually like holding and using the Verizon unit better because the slightly thicker case makes one-hand a bit more comfortable. There’s also a small, small, (notice how we’re saying small?) lip around the display that isn’t there on the HSPA+ version, but most people probably wouldn’t even notice such a minute case difference. The problem with the display’s auto-brightness being overly aggressive doesn’t seem to be an issue on the Verizon version of the Galaxy Nexus, but everything else seems identical. We’ll chime in over the next few days with a few more thoughts, but here’s a spoiler: provided there aren’t any huge issues we discover, this is easily the best smartphone to ever hit Verizon Wireless. Ready to go hands-on? It’s all in the gallery below.

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Motorola DROID XYBOARD 10.1 hands-on

By on December 12, 2011 at 3:31 PM.

Motorola DROID XYBOARD 10.1 hands-on

Motorola DROID XYBOARD 10.1 tablet

In addition to the Motorola DROID XYBOARD 8.2, Motorola and Verizon are launching a larger tablet option today: the XYBOARD 10.1. The big difference? You guessed it — a 10.1-inch display compared to an 8.2-inch LCD panel on the XYBOARD 8.2. Both units look almost identical, though the XYBOARD 8.2 has a better rear case design that definitely adheres to the new Motorola DROID personality, complete with metal screws and more. The XYBOARD 10.1 is a bit more plain, yet you do get better speakers positioned on the back of the tablet instead of on the top, and a microUSB port on the bottom as opposed to the side. Compared to the original XOOM, the DROID XYBOARD 10.1 is 33% thinner, lighter and more or less is exactly what the first tablet should have been. Since it’s more of a direct competitor to the iPad, we’ll have to see how it holds up in our full review. In the meantime, make sure to check out some hands-on photos in the gallery below, including some comparison photos with the XYBOARD 8.2 and iPad 2.

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Motorola DROID XYBOARD 8.2 hands-on

By on December 12, 2011 at 12:24 PM.

Motorola DROID XYBOARD 8.2 hands-on

Motorola DROID XYBOARD 8.2

We just got our hands on one of Motorola’s latest tablets, the Motorola DROID XYBOARD 8.2. Besides the name, there seems to be a lot to like at first glance. For starters, Motorola has picked a near-perfect size for this tablet. At 8.2-inches, the XYBOARD seems like a perfect and portable tablet. It’s reasonably fast, though we’ve noticed some lag in the UI when browsing, or doing other tasks. One thing we’re just not understanding is the landscape orientation push. It feels unnatural to hold a tablet that has a widescreen proportion in landscape most of the time, though clearly that’s what Motorola intended with the XOOM and now XYBOARDs. There’s also the issue of the black bezel being almost too narrow to hold comfortably with two hands in portrait orientation, though because the device is so incredibly light, there really hasn’t been any fatigue yet in a little bit of usage. With the tapered edges, and the extremely thin and feather light design, this could be a huge winner at an extremely different price point. Maybe at $199 or $249, but not at $429 with a two-year agreement from Verizon, that’s just crazy talk. Stay tuned for coverage of the Motorola DROID XYBOARD 10.1 tablet and, of course, the review. In the meantime, we have a hands-on gallery ready to go.

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Nest learning thermostat hands-on and installation

By on December 6, 2011 at 12:09 PM.

Nest learning thermostat hands-on and installation

When a product emerges that is created by a team of ex-Apple employees — including one responsible in part for leading the hardware teams behind the iPod and iPhone — that product sells out almost immediately. The latest device to fit the bill isn’t a new smartphone or even a tablet; no, this time around it’s actually a thermostat. As odd as that sounds, the Nest thermostat is exciting in many, many ways. For starters, the amount of thought that went into just the hardware alone is, well, Apple-like. It’s miles ahead of any comparable product in terms of look, form and function. It’s sleek yet is based on a classic and familiar Honeywell T87 round thermostat, and it is packed to the brim with technology including, among other things, a vivid color LCD display and Wi-Fi support. More →

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LG Nitro HD hands-on

By on December 1, 2011 at 7:20 PM.

LG Nitro HD hands-on

We just dropped by an LG event in New York City to check out AT&T’s third 4G LTE phone, the LG Nitro HD. The device packs a sharp 1280 x 720-pixel HD display, which is easily one of the Nitro’s biggest draws. The display offers a noticeable difference in color clarity compared to the Samsung Galaxy S II; we took a picture of a Ducati motorcycle with both phones and while the red paint job really popped on the Galaxy S II display, the LG Nitro’s display reproduced colors much more accurately. The Nitro HD is also equipped with an 8-megapixel camera that’s capable of recording HD video and we were impressed with the pictures it captured during a few minutes with the phone. We’ll reserve our final judgement on the camera until we compare it with other devices, however. Hit the break for more and don’t forget to check out our photo gallery below.

More →

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Hands on with Spotify’s brand new app platform [video]

By on November 30, 2011 at 2:50 PM.

Hands on with Spotify’s brand new app platform [video]

Spotify’s New York City press conference just wrapped up and we spent some time checking out several of the popular music service’s new apps. There’s a new section on the left sidebar that lets you quickly access applications from LastFM, Rolling Stone, The Guardian and more. Rolling Stone and other publications will release playlists, some as frequently as each day, with bands the publications think Spotify users should take note of. The applications are seamless and are so tightly integrated with Spotify that they launch almost immediately. If you’re playing a song with tunewiki for example, simply tap the tunewiki application on the left sidebar and it immediately begins displaying song lyrics inside the software. We’re fans of Spotify here at BGR and we’re definitely looking forward to checking these features out a bit more when the app service officially goes live. Apps will be accessible to all users, whether they subscribe to Spotify’s premium services or not, and the beta should be made available today on Spotify’s website around 2:00 p.m. EST. Be sure to check out our full gallery below, and hit the break for a video from Spotify.

More →

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Samsung Galaxy Nexus hands-on

By on November 17, 2011 at 1:00 PM.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus hands-on

We’ve been playing with a Samsung Galaxy Nexus for the last day, and after shuffling between a Motorola DROID RAZR, an HTC Vivid and an HTC Rezound, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is a welcome change in many ways. It’s obviously the Google reference handset for Ice Cream Sandwich, and in almost all cases, it is the best Android handset we’ve seen far as hardware and software go. Android 4.0 is the most cohesive release from Google yet, and while it’s not that straight forward out of the box, you do eventually get the feeling that this phone has a distinct personality as opposed to many other Android phones, which often seem to blend together. Be sure to check out our hands-on photos in the gallery below, and hit the break for more thoughts.

More →

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Samsung Captivate Glide hands-on

By on November 14, 2011 at 8:01 AM.

Samsung Captivate Glide hands-on

AT&T announced a handful of new Android smartphones during the most recent CTIA show in San Diego, and the Samsung Captivate Glide BGR scooped back in July was among them. Samsung kept the phone close to the chest until recently, and we finally had a chance to meet up and check it out. The phone is very similar to the Galaxy S II, but it sports a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a different processor. The Captivate Glide, an Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) smartphone, is equipped with a vivid and crisp 4-inch Super AMOLED display with an 800 x 480-pixel resolution, an 8-megapixel camera capable of recording 1080p HD video, 1GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, and a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor clocked at 1.2GHz. It also supports AT&T’s 21Mbps HSPA+ network. We really enjoyed the keyboard and it didn’t seem to add too much bulk or heft to the phone. AT&T has yet to announce a price or release date. We should be bringing you a review shortly, but in the meantime be sure to check out our full gallery below.

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Hands on with the Samsung DoubleTime

By on November 14, 2011 at 8:00 AM.

Hands on with the Samsung DoubleTime

AT&T originally announced the Samsung DoubleTime during CTIA in early October, and we just had a chance to finally check it out. The DoubleTime isn’t a high-end handset, but it is unique in its own right. It’s a clamshell form factor device with a 3.2-inch 480 x 320-pixel touchscreen on the outside, but when you open the DoubleTime there’s a second display and a full QWERTY keyboard. The device surely won’t be for everyone, but it might attract teenagers looking for a solid text-messaging phone that still packs in a smartphone operating system. It’s equipped with an 800MHz Qualcomm processor, 260MB of on-board storage and a 2GB microSD card with support for 32GB cards. The phone runs the last-generation Android 2.2 (Froyo) operating system, which seems a bit odd to us. AT&T has yet to announce a release date or a price, but we wouldn’t be surprised if this landed at a very affordable price point in time for the holidays. Be sure to check out the full gallery below.

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