LG’s flagship Android device gets photographed; 4-inch screen, Tegra 2, 1080p

By on November 16, 2010 at 8:04 AM.

LG’s flagship Android device gets photographed; 4-inch screen, Tegra 2, 1080p

Well what do we have here? According to the gang over at Engadget, you are looking at none-other than the LG “Star”; LG’s upcoming, flagship, Android handset. What makes this DROID Incredible look-alike a flagship device you ask? Purportedly, the unreleased set will sport a dual-core, Tegra 2 processor along with a 4-inch screen, 8 megapixel rear-facing camera with flash and full 1080p video-recording, front-facing camera of an unknown pixel-count, microSD card slot, and 1500 mAh battery.

Now, we know what you’re thinking: “I hope LG doesn’t muck-up this handset with UI enhancements.” You’ll be happy to know that Engadget’s source mentions that the version of Android that runs on this bad boy is “nearly untouched.” Joy.

The device is pegged for release in early 2012 2011 in unknown regions on unknown carriers, but seeing as how LG has yet to make a big splash in the U.S. smartphone market… we’d say this would be a great way to start! More →

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Motorola DROID Pro first impressions

By on November 15, 2010 at 12:15 PM.

Motorola DROID Pro first impressions

Verizon Wireless shot us over a Motorola DROID Pro handset this weekend and after spending some time with it, here are our first impressions of the little bugger. For starters, the device looks better in person than it does in the press / online photos. It is a little awkward at first, being a vertically-oriented display as opposed to a horizontally-positioned screen on a traditional BlackBerry, but after you pick up the phone and start using it, you realize this is the only way the phone could work. As far as the screen goes, it’s probably our biggest disappointment — the resolution. We realize it’s not a huge screen but 480×320 pixels in a world of 960×640 and 800×480 isn’t doing the DROID Pro any favors. The display is also not terribly vivid or crisp, and it reduces the powerful impact the DROID Pro has. Besides the display, though, the Motorola DROID Pro continues to impress us. Not because it’s the greatest Android handset released, but because of the purpose it serves. We joked with someone that this is the RIM Antichrist on Verizon, and it is. It’s a direct assault on RIM, and as BlackBerry-loving individuals, we actually love this phone. The keyboard is almost identical to BlackBerry Bold keyboards, right down to the placement of each key (besides the ALT and Shift keys, which are swapped) and keys’ shape. The keyboard is pretty easy to type on, though the keys are a little bit firmer than we would have liked. Hopefully that changes a tad with continued use.

We love the weight of the device and the entire experience of using a candy bar Android phone with a QWERTY keyboard. We even like how there is a programmable application key (in BlackBerry terms a right convenience key) on the right side. Something we can’t move past, though? The ear speaker. Talking on the phone with the DROID Pro is probably the worst of any handset we can remember. The ear speaker crackles, is distorted, and it sounds like there is some weird noise cancellation going on. Sometimes, audio doesn’t even come through. We have to believe this is an issue with our specific unit — we can’t imagine they are all like this, though we did confirm with someone else in possession of a DROID Pro that they have noticed some weird ear speakers issues as well. We’ll let you know in our review how it turns out as Verizon is swapping our unit with a different handset. Check out the photos in our gallery below, including some shots with a BlackBerry Bold 9780 — it’s on!

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Sprint, Clearwire to enter arbitration over out-of-network Evo, Epic handsets

By on November 11, 2010 at 10:22 AM.

Sprint, Clearwire to enter arbitration over out-of-network Evo, Epic handsets

FierceWireless is reporting that U.S. wireless carrier Sprint and its WiMAX-network partner Clearwire have entered arbitration over the monthly rate the latter company charges for WiMAX enabled smartphones on its network. Currently, around 810,000 Epic and Evo handset owners use their device in areas where Clearwire’s service is unavailable. Despite this fact, the WiMAX network provider continues to charge Sprint a monthly fee for the devices existence.

According to the report, Sprint filed for arbitration on October 29th of this year to resolve the dispute. As most Sprint, WiMAX-enable handset owners know, the wireless company charges a $10 monthly premium for its 4G handsets whether the service is available or not; there is no information available that indicates the $10 tariff could be reduced or dropped if the arbitration were to favor Sprint. Allegedly, Sprint pays Clearwire $4.46 per 4G-handset user.

“If we are unable to reach a satisfactory resolution of these issues, we end up agreeing to an amount less than what we expected, or the arbitration process is not resolved in our favor, we could end up receiving substantially less in future wholesale revenues than we expect or for which we have planned,” said Clearwire.

“We do have an agreement between the parties,” added Clearwire Chief Commercial Officer Mike Sievert. “What we have right now is a difference in the interpretation of it.”

The news comes on the heels of a dismal Q3 earnings call where the company announced a 15% reduction in work-force to help “raise short-term funding.”

It will be interesting to see how this one pans out and how, if at all, it affects the monthly charge Sprint passes on to its 4G handset owners.

[Via PhoneScoop] More →

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Nokia E7 to begin shipping in December?

By on November 8, 2010 at 6:59 PM.

Nokia E7 to begin shipping in December?

Like the idea of the Nokia N8 but need a physical keyboard? You’re in luck, as it looks like the Finnish company’s E7 handset might be right around the corner. Via a tweet responding to a user question, Nokia has seemingly outed its E7 handset for a December 2010 release. The aforementioned tweet reads:

E7 is scheduled to ship starting from Dec10. Exact availability varies country-by-country. Check your local nokia.com site

For those that need a quick refresher, the E7 is a full-QWERTY horizontal-sliding device with a 4-inch AMOLED, polarized screen and packs a peta-band WCDMA radio, quad-band GSM radio, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS, 16 GB of mass storage, 8 megapixel camera with 720p video recording and dual-LED flash, HMDI connector, and 1200 mAh battery. Any takers? More →

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Nexus One getting Android 2.3 OTA this week?

By on November 8, 2010 at 8:09 AM.

Nexus One getting Android 2.3 OTA this week?

Alright, we don’t want to get everyone all riled up on a Monday morning, but this next bit of speculative news is pretty exciting. Recently, a gentlemen by the name of Alvaro Fuentes Vasquez let go a pretty exciting tweet. The 160 character quip, which was written in Español, roughly translates as:

Prepare your Nexus One (Developer version) for Android OTA update 2.3 (Gingerbread) for the next few days :-D

A quick look at Mr. Vasquez’s LinkedIn profile reveals the following position:

Leadership team and usability at Open Handset Aliance (sic) | Google Andoid (sic)

Assuming that “Aliance” means Alliance, and “Andoid” means Android, this is pretty big news. The Open Handset Alliance is “a group of 78 technology and mobile companies who have come together to accelerate innovation in mobile and offer consumers a richer, less expensive, and better mobile experience,” explains the group’s homepage. “Together we have developed Android, the first complete, open, and free mobile platform.”

Will we see Android 2.3 drop in the “next few days”? Man, we hope so. More →

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Samsung announcing new hardware November 8

By on October 25, 2010 at 11:56 AM.

Samsung announcing new hardware November 8

Got a thing for Samsung and Android? Samsung has just sent out a media blast announcing that they will be unveiling “a new Android device.” The invitation not-so-cryptically has TouchWiz icons and a stock-ticker image… our guess would be we’re going to see the Continuum Galaxy S handset with the second, AMOLED, “ticker” display. Any other conspiracy theories?

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T-Mobile announces LG Optimus T, affordable Android 2.2 device

By on October 6, 2010 at 9:41 PM.

T-Mobile announces LG Optimus T, affordable Android 2.2 device

Today, T-Mobile announced the addition of the LG Optimus T to its Android handset lineup. The Optimus T is being billed as an affordable, easy-to-use Android device for the masses. The press release is pretty light on specs, but we do find out that the device has a 3.2 megapixel camera, capacitive touchscreen display, and will run stock Android 2.2. The device is also a “with Google” production. The Optimus will come with a 2 GB micro-SD card and can be expanded to up to a 32 GB card. The handset will be available in burgundy or titanium and will launch in time for the holiday season. The full press release is after the break. More →

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Verizon launches rough and rugged CASIO G'zOne Ravine

By on October 4, 2010 at 5:59 PM.

Verizon launches rough and rugged CASIO G'zOne Ravine

The CASIO G’zOne Ravine may not be the ideal handset for most, but arguably, everyone knows someone who could benefit from owning a device like this. You know the person we’re talking about. That person who is always emailing you, or sending you Facebook messages, because they’ve dropped their phone in a puddle, pond, or pudding. Yeah, that person. Today, Verizon Wireless announced the CASIO G’zOne Ravine handset, a rough and rugged flip phone that is built to withstand water, dust, shock, vibration, humidity, altitude, salt fog, solar radiation, and high and low temperatures. The device, which carries the MIL-STD-810G certification, also packs a 3.2 megapixel camera with LED flash and a noise-canceling microphone. The Ravine comes with several “lifestyle features”; in-case that clumsy friend you know also happens to also love granola, the outdoors, and Subarus. The lifestyle features include a compass, walking counter, thermometer, tides, sunrise and sunset times, astro calendar, and star gazer. Groovy man. The hippie-compliant device will retail for $149.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate and new 2-year agreement. More →

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T-Mobile G2 hands on

By on October 2, 2010 at 9:34 AM.

T-Mobile G2 hands on

T-Mobile just hooked us up with a brand new T-Mobile G2, and we of course wanted to share some first impressions and photos with you. When you pick up the phone for the first time, it feels a bit heavy, but it’s a quality feeling of heavy and not something that you’re really going to care much about. The screen looks great, and being a Super LCD, it’s a little better than a normal LCD and a little worse in some ways than a Super AMOLED display. At 3.7″ we feel it’s the perfect size for maximum usability. Let’s flip to the keyboard… interesting. The hinge mechanism is pretty cool, basically it just springs into action and reveals a pretty spacious QWERTY keyboard. It’s clicky enough, and reminds us a little of the Touch Pro2, for better or worse. The device runs a 800MHz Snapdragon CPU, and while the clock speed is slower than the 1GHz and soon-to-launch 1.2GHz chips powering Android handsets, T-Mobile tells us that the chip is the first off of the new Snapdragon chip line up and it should be able to go head to head with the higher clocked devices. From our limited time using the device, we’d agree but we will follow up on that in our expansive review. For now, hit the gallery for all the sexy photos, and make sure you drop whatever questions you may have in the comments so we can try and answer them in our review!

Click on over to our T-Mobile G2 hands on gallery!

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Sprint announces rough, rugged Motorola ES400S enterprise handheld

By on September 29, 2010 at 1:15 PM.

Sprint announces rough, rugged Motorola ES400S enterprise handheld

Today, Sprint announced the availability of the ES400S, a rough, rugged, Windows Mobile 6.5 smartphone from Motorola. The availability of the handset marks the first time that a branded and stocked Motorola enterprise device has been sold through a wireless carrier. Certified for MIL-STD 810G, a 4-foot drop, and IP42 sealing specifications, the ES400S will be available at the end of October to qualifying business customers for $499.99. The ES400S sports a biometric fingerprint reader, VoIP capabilities, Wi-Fi a/b/g, GPS, 3-inch touchscreen display, EV-DO Rev. A, HSPA/GSM for travel, and 256 MB RAM. This thing looks like it could take a licking and keep on ticking, no? More →

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Facebook working on their own phone?

By on September 19, 2010 at 4:01 PM.

Facebook working on their own phone?

TechCrunch broke the news and Business Insider is also reporting that Facebook is working on their own mobile handset. The first report claimed that Facebook’s Joe Hewitt and Eric Tseng (previous Facebook iPhone app developer and previous Senior Product Manager for Android at Google) are heading up the project. When Business Insider chimed in, however, the scope of the project seemed to make more sense than Facebook creating a mobile OS from scratch — they’re rumored to be using Android as the base layer and heavily customizing the UI, applications, and experience. Before you get too excited, it’s being reported the project won’t be ready until late 2011, and even better, Facebook PR has chimed in saying that they are “not building a phone.” If this does pan out to be true, is a Facebook-heavy Android-based handset something that would interest you? More →

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Motorola DROID 2 unboxing / impressions

By on August 13, 2010 at 4:30 PM.

Motorola DROID 2 unboxing / impressions

The original Motorola DROID practically saved Motorola’s wireless division (though we suppose you could argue Verizon deserves the same amount of credit, if not more). Following up on their superstar handset is the Motorola DROID 2 — couple refinements here, couple changes there. It’s nothing breathtaking, more like another option in the getting-very-crowded Android section on Verizon Wireless. Here are some first thoughts and our unboxing gallery follows:

  • The handset unfortunately feels a little bit cheaper than the original. It creaks along the sides a bit, and we’re not in love with the design identity of the phone. It’s almost like Motorola went backwards when trying to make the device have a bit more mass-market appeal with the chrome, blue color scheme, and now more rounded design — feels like their vision wasn’t carried all the way through.
  • The keyboard is slightly more pronounced now (the middle of each key is domed), but we have to say, it’s not the update we hoped it would be. Comparing it to the old, flat keyboard, we’re not sure what we’d pick. You can feel each key more on the new keyboard, but we’re not sure if that let’s you type any faster.
  • The screen is solid — seems identical to the original DROID.
  • Android 2.2 doesn’t really feel like Android 2.2 since it’s been BLUR’d and MOTO’d. We’d have loved this to be a stock Android 2.2 handset. This is basically a DROID X in a different form factor.
  • All in all seems solid, and a great product refresh, though we do wish that Motorola would have pushed the bar a tad bit higher.

Click on over to our Motorola DROID 2 unboxing gallery!

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