Motorola DROID BIONIC hands-on

By on September 7, 2011 at 8:33 AM.

Motorola DROID BIONIC hands-on

We’ve spent just about a day with the Motorola DROID BIONIC for Verizon Wireless, and while that’s not long enough to put together a thorough review, we can certainly report back on our first impressions. In short, the Motorola DROID BIONIC could be the best smartphone to ever grace Verizon Wireless’ airwaves, and that includes 3G and 4G devices. The DROID BIONIC feels completely different compared to other Motorola devices — especially the Motorola DROID 3. For the first time, it feels like a cohesive handset. Our experience following a day of light usage has this phone almost rivaling stock Android devices, again, for the time ever in our view. Read on for more and don’t forget to check out our photo gallery below.

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Sonos PLAY:3 hands-on

By on August 9, 2011 at 3:36 PM.

Sonos PLAY:3 hands-on

Sonos released a new sibling in their audio lineup recently, and it’s called the PLAY:3. You can think of it as a smaller PLAY:5 (what used to be called the S5), and it is definitely up to par with the level of quality that Sonos is known for. There isn’t an actual subwoofer, rather a tweeter and a couple mid-range speakers, though the unit does offer decent bass and low-end performance. You can also create a stereo pair with two PLAY:3 units if you’d like, using one for a left channel and one for the right channel to fill your entire room with audio. The fact you can add all kinds of music services like Spotify, Pandora, Napster, Rhapsody, Rdio, Last.fm, iheartradio and many more, including your local iTunes library, is straight up mind blowing — all your music in true Sonos fashion is at your fingertips, and it just works. At $299, the PLAY:3 makes jumping into a Sonos setup relatively inexpensive, and a setup consisting of a few PLAY:3 units and PLAY:5 units can really create the perfect music listening experience in your home.

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Hands on with Verizon’s 4G LTE Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

By on July 28, 2011 at 10:35 AM.

Hands on with Verizon’s 4G LTE Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Verizon Wireless just sent us the 4G LTE-equipped version of Samsung’s flagship Android tablet, the Galaxy Tab 10.1, and we’re ready to deliver our initial impressions. First things first: this should go without saying at this point, but this puppy is ridiculously fast. Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network is unmatched when it comes speed and latency — from the user’s perspective, it’s pretty much like being connected to a Wi-Fi network. A few quick tests performed just outside New York City showed the blazing-fast speed we’ve come to expect from Verizon’s 4G network, ranging from about 12-15Mbps down and 3-5Mbps up. On the hardware side of the equation, Samsung’s LTE tablet has undergone a handful of cosmetic changes. Holding the slate in landscape orientation, the stereo speakers have been moved up the sides of the device to accommodate the power button and the volume rocker, which are now on the left side of the Tab 10.1 instead of up on top. The back of the tablet is also slightly different. It now features a gray plastic rear cover with a brushed metal effect. We like the look of the new back but unfortunately, the quality seems to be a bit lacking. Within a few minutes of removing the new Galaxy Tab 10.1 from its box, there were already a few scratches on the back case. Overall build is solid, however, just like our original limited edition 10.1 model, and it’s still remarkable that Samsung was able to make this tablet so thin. Check out our hands-on 4G LTE Galaxy Tab 10.1 photo gallery below for more photos of this sleek, speedy slate.

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Millennial: Android tops mobile OS usage for 7th straight month, iPhone still top device

By on July 15, 2011 at 6:01 AM.

Millennial: Android tops mobile OS usage for 7th straight month, iPhone still top device

Millennial issued its June Mobile Mix report Friday morning, and it paints a picture that is very similar to May. Android was once again the most popular smartphone operating system in the month of June as it ticked up one percentage point to receive 54% of all impressions served by the Millennial Media network. iOS lost a point to fall to 26% while RIM shed two points to fall to 15%. Symbian and Windows Phone each gained a point to account for 3% and 2% of the impressions served, respectively. Of note, however, Windows Phone usage was up 31% quarter-over-quarter and BlackBerry OS usage was up 29% over the same period. Apple’s iPhone was still the top device Millennial saw in June with a 16.19% share, nearly triple the BlackBerry Curve, which was the second most popular device at 5.57%. The Motorola DROID filled the No. 3 spot with 2.95%, and the Samsung Nexus S and current-model BlackBerry Bold rounded out the top-5 with 2.71% and 1.99%, respectively. Apple was also the top vendor in June, as its devices accounted for 30.76% of Millennial impressions. Samsung was the No. 2 OEM with 14.94% and RIM held the No. 3 spot with 11.76%. Additional charts outlining more key data from Millennial’s Mobile Mix report follow below. More →

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Millennial: Android maintains lead in May, Windows Phone usage nearly doubled

By on June 15, 2011 at 6:00 AM.

Millennial: Android maintains lead in May, Windows Phone usage nearly doubled

Mobile advertising firm Millenial Media on Wednesday published its Mobile Mix report for the month of May, highlighting several interesting developments in the mobile market. Using ad impressions served to each operating system as a barometer for share, Millennial can give us a good assessment of the current smartphone and connected device markets. Android was flat compared to April maintaining its 53% share of Millennial impressions, and Apple’s iOS lost one percentage point in May as it slid to 27%. The iPhone still held an overwhelming lead as the most popular single device for the 20th consecutive month, however. Apple is also Millennial’s top-ranked manufacturer, with 30.84% of all ad impressions served to iOS devices. Samsung found itself in the No. 2 spot in May with 13.59%, followed closely by RIM at 13.30%. HTC and Motorola rounded out the top-5 with 10.98% and 9.47%, respectively. While Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform is still barely a blip on the radar, impressions to the OS did nearly double month-over-month, growing 92% compared to April. Apple’s iPad was the most popular “connected device” in May, growing 29% month-over-month. Hit the break for some more key data from May’s Mobile Mix report. More →

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HTC DROID Incredible 2 hands-on

By on April 27, 2011 at 10:48 AM.

HTC DROID Incredible 2 hands-on

We have been playing with HTC’s DROID Incredible 2 for the last day or so, and here’s some quick feedback and first impressions: For starters, the 4-inch screen size, while no doubt a personal preference, really seems to be the sweet spot for most Android handsets. It’s reasonably large, yet not too big to use one-handed, as some 4.3-inch devices seem to be. The screen itself is beautiful, but there is an unusually high glare on the display that can be a bit distracting. Beneath the display lies a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, an 8-megapixel camera with support for 720p HD video capture and the Android 2.2 (Froyo) operating system. We’re really enjoying the styling and build materials of the Incredible 2; it’s a welcome update to original DROID Incredible, which was a bit plasticky. One issue with the build of the handset, however, is that front case and rear battery cover have been sandwiched together, and the seam is right in the middle around the entire outer edge of the phone. This impacts the feel of the phone when it is being held, and we’re not big fans. That’s probably the only negative thing we can find off the bat — and it’s not even a major issue, just a minor annoyance. All in all, the HTC DROID Incredible 2 seems to be a worthy upgrade over the original, but we’ll reserve final judgement for our upcoming review. In the meantime, hit the gallery below for some preliminary photos, alright?

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Hands on with Sprint’s Nexus S 4G

By on March 23, 2011 at 7:21 AM.

Hands on with Sprint’s Nexus S 4G

If you’ve seen one Nexus S, you’ve seen em’ all. That’s all that can really be said about the freshly announced Nexus S 4G from Sprint. The very same handset that was released on T-Mobile several months ago has made its way to Sprint, with the only addition being — obviously — a WiMAX radio. The device runs Gingerbread (Android 2.3.4) and has the same light-weight, compact design of the pure-Google handset we all know and love. The svelte smartphone was floating around the Pepcom media event show-floor and, thanks to the fact that the event took place on the “garden level,” it couldn’t soak up any of those sweet, sweet 4G radio waves. Regardless, we snapped a few images for you to take a peek at. Enjoy!

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Hands on with AT&T’s LG Thrill 4G [video]

By on March 22, 2011 at 4:32 PM.

Hands on with AT&T’s LG Thrill 4G [video]

We knew if we looked long enough and hard enough we would find it! In spite of the handset’s absence from both the official AT&T and LG booths at CTIA, we found the company’s latest 4G offering hanging out at a media meet and greet just moments ago. We were not allowed to really poke and prod the Thrill all that much — it was running an international version of LG’s 3D-optimized, Android operating system — but we did get to handle the device a bit and snap some stills for you to scrutinize. The 3D experience the Thrill provides, which AT&T seems very proud of, really is nice. The stereoscopic display emits a bright and clear picture in both 2D and 3D modes and the handset will be optimized for 3D gaming — we saw a short demo of a 3D golf game and were told it will ship with the YouTube 3D app. As far as the overall feel of the device is concerned: the Thrill really is extremely sturdy — if you’ve been lucky enough to fondle the Optimus 3D they are nearly identical. A little disappointing that the device will ship with Froyo (Android 2.2), but A&T assures us that it will be upgraded to Gingerbread (Android 2.3) shortly after launch. The device will hit AT&T store shelves sometime this summer when, hopefully, it will have its 4G situation worked out. Hit up the gallery below to see the device for yourself and make sure to click through the read link to see a video demo provided by an AT&T representative.

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Apple iPad 2 review

By on March 18, 2011 at 10:52 AM.

Apple iPad 2 review

There’s so much to say about Apple’s new tablet, the iPad 2, yet it really boils down to a few short and sweet sentences. It’s the latest tablet on the market, having beaten the upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook to market by a good month, and its return to store shelves (or lack thereof) comes just a few weeks after Motorola’s highly anticipated XOOM launched. It seems as though every manufacturer has tablet fever as of late, though Apple really defined this product category, and now it’s back in an even bigger way just under a year later. Read on to find out if the iPad 2 really has the chops to rock and roll with the best of them!

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Hands-on with the Motorola XOOM [video]

By on February 16, 2011 at 10:08 AM.

Hands-on with the Motorola XOOM [video]

At this year’s Mobile World Congress, Motorola gave both journalists and consumers their first opportunity to touch, feel, and experience its soon-to-be-launched tablet, the XOOM. Sure, we’ve gone hands-on with Motorola’s tasty Honeycomb tablet before, but today we got to spend a bit more time with the sleek slate. We sat down with our friends from Moto and got a chance to shoot some video, take some pictures, tap on the tablet, and ask questions. We couldn’t get the electronics manufacturer to comment on pricing, or pin them down on an exact release date, but we did get enough hands-on time to give you an idea of exactly what the XOOM is about. Hit the jump to check out the video, photo gallery, and to read our thoughts! More →

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HP TouchPad hands-on!

By on February 9, 2011 at 3:51 PM.

HP TouchPad hands-on!

In case you haven’t heard, Hewlett-Packard announced its first webOS-powered tablet today. We spent a few minutes with the new Palm-powered pad at today’s event and we have to say, we’re impressed. Design-wise, the TouchPad is definitely not unique. Yeah, we’ll just go ahead and say it — it’s a plastic iPad. Inside, however, we can’t stress how amazing webOS is on a large-form device. The HP rep we chatted with wouldn’t let us handle the device personally, but it looks relatively solid and the contoured edges look very comfortable as well. The only real disappointment we have initially where hardware is concerned is the lack of a video-out — HP’s tablet competition is going to be gunning for the big screen and the TouchPad is completely sidelined with no HDMI port. Software is where this puppy shines, however. The Palm team’s Web-based mobile operating system may have been born on smartphones, but it’s all grown up on the TouchPad tablet. Though the software definitely isn’t final, the UI is was very fluid in the demo we were given —thanks in no small part to the dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor lurking within. Check out our hands-on photo gallery below and stay tuned for our thoughts on the Veer and Pre 3 smartphones.

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HTC Inspire 4G hands-on

By on February 2, 2011 at 4:59 PM.

HTC Inspire 4G hands-on

AT&T and HTC shot us over an HTC Inspire 4G, and while we literally had to dodge falling ice and walk carefully over the frozen Arctic tundra to get to the FedEx package, it’s all warm and snuggled up now. We saw the handset officially make its way into the world at CES, but there’s nothing quite like that second encounter, right? Here are some of our thoughts on the latest Android handset to hit AT&T:

  • We really dig the styling of the Inspire 4G. It feels very current yet familiar and the unibody construction with high-grade materials, specifically aluminum, really makes it feel like a quality product.
  • Getting the device up and running isn’t confusing, it’s just a little… unconventional? To insert your SIM card and microSD card, you push off a bottom cover, but to insert the battery, you push off a side cover by the volume keys. We didn’t have much luck the first couple times with the battery cover and found it pretty difficult to take off. This is most likely a good thing in the long run, but it’s worth noting.
  • We’re a bit disappointed that the handset is as thick as it is. It’s very EVO-like, though more up to date styling-wise (like we mentioned), but we’d have loved for a thinner handset as the device is extremely large due to the big screen and it’s noticeably heavy.
  • The screen is great — no problems here. Text on HTC Sense-powered devices always looks a bit aliased to us, but besides that, we’re looking at a super sharp, vivid, bright, and colorful 4.3-inch display.
  • Our quick time with the handset proved to be very zippy, and we also love the redesigned camera UI — plus, image capture is lightning fast.
  • A small thing, but we love the H+ icon in the status bar to signify HSPA+.

All in all, you can see why we’re really enjoying the HTC Inspire 4G so far. The Inspire 4G launches February 13th for $99 with a two year agreement. We’re putting together our official review, but in the meantime, check out some photos of the device in our gallery, alright?

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Google Nexus S hands-on

By on December 10, 2010 at 12:07 PM.

Google Nexus S hands-on

The nice folks in Mountain View, CA were kind enough to shoot us over a Google Nexus S, and we finally have it in our hands. Here are first impressions in addition to a boat load of photos below:

  • The Nexus S feels very solid and is extremely comfortable to hold and use in your hand. It’s the greatest Samsung Galaxy S handset to exist — we’re really loving the shape of the device including the “inverted chin” on the bottom of the phone as well as the contoured glass display. With Gingerbread’s slightly refreshed UI and Samsung’s deep, rich black levels on the display, it’s tough to tell where the screen starts at the top — the design works that well together. As far as the rear of the phone is concerned, well, it’s a high gloss black plastic — Fingerprint Productions, Inc.
  • This might be the fastest Android handset we’ve used — not necessarily because the hardware is so spectacular (it’s obviously top notch, just not mind-numbing), but because of the speed increases and optimizations Gingerbread brings paired with Google’s stock OS with no customizations — this bad boy flies.
  • Touch sensitivity and response on the display makes the phone that much more delightful to use, and again, the screen itself is sharp, vivid, and looks great.
  • The four Android keys beneath the display work well, are touch sensitive, and even light down when a key is selected in addition to giving you a mild haptic feedback buzz.
  • From our very quick speakerphone test, audio didn’t sound all that great, but audio from the ear speaker sounded fine.
  • The way the phone powers off — as rumored, it’s like an old tube TV — is so darn cool we shot a quick video of that and an ultra brief walk through.

Check back for our review of the device in the coming days, and in the meantime, peruse some visuals, why don’t you? We even brought out our Nexus One to meet its new friend. Photos and video after the break!

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