Redesigned iPad 3 with 8-megapixel camera pictured for the first time

By on February 19, 2012 at 9:05 AM.

Redesigned iPad 3 with 8-megapixel camera pictured for the first time

Purported images of Apple’s next-generation iPad have been published by Chinese language Apple Daily ahead of the new tablet’s official announcement. The slate had leaked only in bits and pieces until now, however alleged photos of an assembled iPad 3 show a device that is very much in line with earlier reports. The case is similar to the one found on the iPad 2, though it has apparently been redesigned with a more gradual taper leading from the back to the edges. Apple Daily also states that the iPad 3 features a 9.7-inch Retina Display, which was confirmed last week, and an 8-megapixel camera as had been rumored previously. Apple is reportedly planning to unveil the iPad 3 at a press conference in early March, and the tablet is also expected to feature a quad-core Apple A6 processor and embedded 4G LTE connectivity.

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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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Photos show quad-core iPad 3 processor, Wi-Fi and global LTE options

By on February 1, 2012 at 10:55 AM.

Photos show quad-core iPad 3 processor, Wi-Fi and global LTE options

A source claiming to be in possession of an iPad 3 prototype provided BGR with images containing details about Apple’s highly anticipated third-generation tablet. From the data in the photos, which contain the output from an iPad 3 using a development and debug tool called iBoot, we can infer plenty of information about the upcoming iPad 3. For starters, the model numbers are J1 and J2 (iPad3,1 and iPad3,2), and while DigiTimes reported this a few weeks ago, these two models are not different devices, just a single iPad available in two versions — one with Wi-Fi only and one with Wi-Fi and embedded GSM/CDMA/LTE for all carriers. Also included in the photos is, for the first time, confirmation of which processor Apple will be using in the iPad 3: an A6 processor with model number S5L8945X. For reference, the Apple A4 model was S5L8930X and the A5 is S5L8940X. The new processor will also apparently be a quad-core model, making the upcoming iPad 3 the fastest iOS device ever, we have been told. More screenshots are included in our gallery below.

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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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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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Leak reveals specs, images of LG Prada 3.0 smartphone

By on December 14, 2011 at 8:35 AM.

Leak reveals specs, images of LG Prada 3.0 smartphone

LG’s first Prada phone set a precedent. It won design awards even before it was officially revealed to the public and it was among the first cell phones to feature an elegant full touchscreen form factor. Its launch was eclipsed by the announcement of another full touch phone, however — the Apple iPhone — though it did go on to be a popular option in some markets. According to images and specs published Wednesday by mobile blog BestBoyz, the LG Prada and QWERTY-packing Prada 2 are about to be joined by a third addition to the sleek cell phone line: the LG Prada 3.0. Read on for more. More →

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Live from the grand opening of Apple’s Grand Central Terminal Apple Store

By on December 9, 2011 at 10:35 AM.

Live from the grand opening of Apple’s Grand Central Terminal Apple Store

We just elbowed our way through crowds, crawled on the ground under legs and ducked beneath cameras to bring you a look at the insanity that is Apple’s Grand Central Terminal Apple Store (grand) opening. The line to get in was wrapped deep inside and around the corridors of Grand Central Station, and there were hundreds of people gathered around the steps of the East Balcony entrance as well. Those who are smart enough to steer clear of the bedlam should be sure to check out our photo gallery below, and stay tuned for more pictures once if we can manage to fight our way inside.

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Image of unannounced Sony Ericsson ‘Nozomi’ Android phone leaks along with early details

By on December 8, 2011 at 1:15 AM.

Image of unannounced Sony Ericsson ‘Nozomi’ Android phone leaks along with early details

An image of an unannounced Android smartphone from Sony Ericsson code-named “Nozomi” has been published on a Chinese forum along with limited preliminary details. The smartphone reportedly features a 720p HD display and a dual-core processor, but additional specs remain a mystery. From the image, it looks like the phone features a display sized above 4 inches, and we can also see a unique lighting feature near the bottom of the device. The Nozomi is currently being tested by a carrier in Hong Kong according the forum user who posted the image, though a release could still be several months away. Earlier reports suggested that the Nozomi features a 4.3-inch 720p HD display, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread. More →

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