Ah, yes 4.3-inches of sensual haptic, multitouch glass strapped to a 1 GHz processor, 8 megapixel camera, and so much more. The Motorola DROID X is the latest and greatest Android handset to be unleashed upon the U.S. market, and it will be making its debut on America’s largest network — Verizon Wireless — on July 15th. We’ve been using, abusing, and confusing our review unit for just over a week, so lets jump right into our review. Buckle up and hit the break. More →
Vodafone subscribers, Samsung fans and mobile enthusiasts in general — we hope you’re sitting down. Behold: Exclusive live shots of a previously unheard of Samsung handset supposedly due to be announced soon by Vodafone. Details for the time being are a bit limited — we don’t even have a name for you yet (UPDATE: as a commenter points out below, this may be the Samsung Riedel l8305 that recently received Wi-Fi certification) — but our ninja managed to score some extremely solid images and a handful of specs that are definitely noteworthy. First things first: We’re apparently looking at a Samsung-built Vodafone exclusive here that is powered by Voda’s own LIMO-based OS (Linux mobile). Beyond the brushed steel case sits a nice big OLED touchscreen display complete with haptic feedback. We’re also told the handset will sport an 8 megapixel camera and it will launch alongside the upcoming “Vodafone People” service. Details in that department are scarce as well but rumor has it the service involves Voda’s acquisition of Zyb last year; active contacts, location information, status updates, various integration with other social networks like Twitter and Facebook, etc. You can get a pretty good idea of what’s in store from the images below but basically, it’s what Google should have done on Android with Jaiku. Last but not least, we’re not sure exactly when Vodafone plans to make this guy official, though we’re hearing rumors of a special event that may be held in London on September 24th. Hit the jump for more shots and if you live in Vodafone land, get ready for what really could be a game-changing handset/service combo.
A trio of Apple patent applications unearthed this morning may help shed some light on future features and functionality headed to a new crop of iPhones. Then again we all know how easy it is for patents to lead absolutely nowhere. The first and most notable of the bunch is a haptic feedback concept employing a “grid of piezoelectronic actuators” that combine to form a fully tactile touchscreen. In theory, the device could vibrate these actuators in different combinations and at different frequencies to provide a variety of tactile responses. Interesting as it may be, this isn’t the first apple patent to cover a haptic feedback solution for a touchscreen — another notable concept came in late 2007 and has yet to bear fruit. At the same time, it’s good to see that Apple recognizes the downsides of touchscreen-only devices and is working on creative solutions for the problem. From the application:
However, one of a touchscreen’s biggest advantages (i.e., the ability to utilize the same physical space for different functions) is also one of a touchscreen’s biggest disadvantages. When the user is unable to view the display (because the user is occupied with other tasks), the user can only feel the smooth hard surface of the touchscreen, regardless of the shape, size and location of the virtual buttons and/or other display elements. This makes it difficult for users to find icons, hyperlinks, textboxes or other user-selectable input elements that are being displayed, if any are even being displayed, without looking at the display.
Holy rumor avalanche. Subscribing to the buckshot method as opposed to the bullet method, TheStreet has just tossed out a whole mess of Nokia rumors to ensure that at least a one or two of them hit. Let’s start at the top… Despite a stunning lack of interest throughout the lifespan of Nokia’s internet tablet line, Nokia is apparently working on yet another IT effort. Supposedly due for release before Christmas, reported specs are confined to a 4.2-inch touchscreen display and a slide out keyboard. Well, at least it’s a safe bet. Next up is a device dubbed “project Nautilus”, due out around mid to late 2010, which features a very slim touchscreen and a sensor-driven slide out QWERTY. According to the report, an ultra-thin keypad slides out from within the device when triggered by a sensor and the keys automatically rise for easier typing. Right then, moving on. A trio of new Nokia touchscreen handsets are seemingly slated for Fall 2009 featuring VibeTonz haptic feedback technology courtesy of Immersion. Very plausible — and we reeeeally hope one of them is the Aeon, wink wink. Last but certainly not least, TheStreet reaffirms that Nokia’s netbook market entrance is a done deal and it will partner with Foxconn to make it happen. Fair enough.
Say hello to the new SCH-W740 “Haptic 8M”, the latest in Samsung’s line of high megapixel camera phone offerings. Destined for the Korean market, the touchscreen phone sports a 3.3-inch touchscreen display with 480×800 resolution, TouchWiz user interface, GPS, Bluetooth, 3.5G HSDPA, DMB tuner and an 8 megapixel camera with auto focus and face tagging. The face tagging feature allows you to make a call and send a text message directly from your captured image. Pretty sweet! Though the phone does not appear to be headed for the US market, perhaps the specifications and the face tagging feature will be wrapped up into another phone that is headed for the US — Samsung Memoir 2 anyone? The Haptic 8M will launch soon in Korea for 900,000₩ ($645).
Finally some good news for our friends from in the land of tea, top hats and posh accents: the BlackBerry Storm is out and available for purchase through retail channels. Free on all contract-based tariffs over £35 a month, the Storm is reportedly flying off the shelves of High Street shops. If you were one of the smart people who pre-ordered a Storm then there’s a good chance yours will arrive in time for you to show it off tonight at the clubs to anyone within sight. If you weren’t one of the people who had the foresight to pre-order the Storm then chalk this up as life lesson. For those of you who’ve been living under a rock for the past few months and don’t know much about the Storm then here’s the quickest synopsis on the net — it’s a 3G BlackBerry that has a 3.25″ touchscreen with SurePress, GPS, 3.2 megapixel camera with auto-focus and you’ll soon see it everywhere, m’kay?
That’s what one of our RIM ninjas are telling us! We’ve got the scoop on the BlackBerry Thunder, and contrary to most reports, we’ve been told that the unit is nowhere near being able to enter production, let alone being released. Here’s a quote: “Thunder is in no way shape or form market-ready. If Bold was any indication, Thunder won’t be ready for at least another 4-5 months.” Our source goes on to tell us that the keyboard is incredibly annoying to type on, and the screen actually shows ripples even when pressed ever-so-lightly. There is an accelerometer in here, but it goes “bonkers” when the device is moved. In its current state, the UI blinks and lags when you try to scroll, and for every key press, you have to wait half a second until you get a response. Our guy, when talking about haptic feedback, said that the screen “clicks.” We were informed there are “buttons” on each corner, so when you press the screen, you might feel one click, two clicks, or four simultaneously. We’re told these four independant buttons actually press, so you do “click” the screen. RIM implemented a touch-and-drag approach which is the only way to select on screen buttons at this point. We were also told this was the latest build of the software, and to quote him, “Most of the people who have handled it thinks it’s a joke.”