T-Mobile already has the Samsung-built Sidekick 4G, but it may have another up its sleeves. Images of a new Android-powered Sharp phone have been leaked by Unwired View, and its slide-up screen form factor and small rounded keys definitely resemble a Sidekick. The device is rumored to offer a 3.2-inch display with an HVGA resolution, Wi-Fi, GSM/CDMA connectivity, and GPS, but other specs remain in the dark. Sharp has built plenty of Sidekicks before, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see it get in on the Android game and re-enter the U.S. market. We just hope it has more beefy hardware muscle to make any future offerings even more compelling than the already solid Sidekick 4G. More →
T-Mobile announced on its Twitter account that it will offer the Samsung Sidekick 4G and T-Mobile G2 for free on its website tonight from 9:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. PST. Customers will need to sign up for a new two-year T-Mobile USA contract to take advantage of the deal and, presumably because T-Mobile sales reps didn’t feel like making it a late night, this is an online-only deal. If you’re looking for one of the best keyboards on an Android phone (Sidekick 4G), or a pure vanilla Android experience (G2), and access to T-Mobile’s 4G network, this is a deal you’ll definitely want to take advantage of. More →
We’ve already seen a few images of Motorola’s unannounced DROID 3 smartphone — expected to hit Verizon Wireless in the near future — but now a few new specs have surfaced, too. According to TechnoBuffalo, the DROID 3 could launch in June and it will offer a 4-inch display with 960 x 540 qHD resolution, a dual-core processor, HDMI-out, and an 8-megapixel camera that’s presumably capable of recording HD video. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that Verizon will outfit the DROID 3 with support for its 4G LTE network, so it’s going to be more of an incremental update to a family that’s already starting to feel a bit stale. More →
Motorola has produced several iconic handsets during its storied existence. The DynaTAC, the Vader, the v60 and of course, the Motorola RAZR. What Nokia did for the candy bar-style mobile phone in the 1990’s, Motorola did for the flip phone in the early 21st century. Thin, sleek and stylish, the RAZR was initially brought to market in early 2005. The handset was light, easily fit in the pocket and packed a flat, backlit keypad that proved itself to be a formidable text messaging obstacle. The device was so popular, in fact, that just over 1-year ago we were still talking about the handset — the RAZR3 — before it was scrapped by Moto in favor of Android-based smartphones. During its four year reign of terror, where it retailed for nearly $200 on-contract, over 110 million RAZRs were sold by dozens of carriers the world over. We still have an AT&T V3 lying around BGR HQ for posterity sake, and although its utility is diminished, the handset’s mystique remains. How about it: how many of you cell phone junkies were proud RAZR owners?
BGR’s Throwback Thursday is a weekly series covering our (and your) favorite gadgets, games, and software of yesterday and yesteryear.
A patent filing from Apple has sparked rumors of a new, low-profile keyboard. Designed with perforated keys, the input device would provide its end-user with tactile feedback by forcing air through the perforations in the key-tops. According to a report by Patently Apple, the “Advanced Keyboard Feedback System” will pair the punctured keys with a pressure and proximity sensor. When a user’s finger is detected to be just above the key in question, a light stream of air will be emitted to provide pre-press feedback. “As a twist to this patent, Apple goes on to describe that flowing of air could also be implemented in a virtual keyboard, wherein each key location is merely a defined region on a solid surface, where contact with that surface region will generate a defined input signal,” reads the report. The implication there being that Apple could include this technology on touchscreen devices like the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. The problem Apple is trying to solve is delivering adequate input-feedback on low-profile keyboards while continuing to make thinner and lighter keyboards — usually, feedback is provided by the downward travel of a depressed key. Apple is known for patenting dozens of technologies that never make it on to mainstream products; it is unclear if this filing falls into that category as well. More →
Reviewers and early adopters seemed to agree that Motorola’s Webtop laptop dock for the ATRIX 4G was both very nifty and very overpriced. At the same time, we were all intrigued when Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha said back in February that all of the company’s high-end smartphones would be compatible with the quirky Webtop laptop dock beginning later this year. Last week, Jha reiterated these intentions during the company’s earnings call, noting that the Webtop dock is one way Motorola will set itself apart from other manufacturers of Android-powered smartphones. “In the Android ecosystem, there is a need for us to differentiate,” Jha said. “[With] Atrix devices with the Webtop and lap-dock we really think there is an alternative way of viewing the convergence between mobility and computing. And we will continue to focus on that.” Jha continued, “You will see multiple devices from us in the second half… and we will expand the range of our lap-dock devices so we cover a broader price point, addressing both enterprise tiers as well as more consumer tiers.” That note about covering a range of price points may be the key factor here, and we’re anxious to see how Motorola will make this accessory more accessible while still refining the experience. More →
On Tuesday, Sony took the wraps off of two new Android tablets, the S1 and the S2, but two other devices — the “Freestyle Hybrid PC” and the “Ultimate Mobile PC” — were also teased by Sony execs during its IT Mobile Meeting in Tokyo. Sony’s keeping the specs for both devices close to the vest for now, but the Freestyle Hybrid PC offers a tablet form factor with a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard that doubles as a stand. Sony’s Ultimate Mobile PC appears to be a new thin and light laptop with HDMI-out, but its screen size and other specs remain unknown. We wouldn’t be surprised to see both of these devices break cover in time for the back to school season. More →
If you’ve been patiently waiting to get your paws on the Sidekick’s sweet, sweet, keyboard, the wait is over. The T-Mobile Sidekick 4G — built by Samsung — sports a 1GHz processor, Android 2.2 (Froyo), 3-megapixel rear-facing camera, and HSPA+ radio for access to T-Mobile’s 4G network. Despite packing more heat than any other Sidekick before it, the device still maintains the same lovable form factor of the Sidekicks from yesteryear. We dug the colorful user interface and sturdy build quality during our initial hands-on, and think it will be a big hit with Sidekick fans everywhere. T-Mobile’s offering the phone for $99.99 with a new two year contract, and it’s available in matte black and magenta. More →
The brood over at PreCentral have managed to acquire a leaked copy of HP’s webOS 3.0 beta 1 software development kit (SDK). Why is this a good thing? Because contained within said SDK rests a TouchPad, webOS 3.0 emulator, of course. While emulators only provide 50% of the TouchPad story — the other half being hardware — it is useful to get a high-level overview of what user interface will look like. If you want to whet your appetite for this summers TouchPad release, hit the jump. There’s an eighteen minute video overview awaiting your scrutiny. Be sure to click through the read link as well for a host of screen grabs. More →
Finnish mobile giant Nokia has quietly made its business-centric E7 handset available to U.S. consumers. Released overseas in early February, the Symbian device packs a 4-inch, polarized, AMOLED display with a 640 x 360 pixel resolution, peta-band WCDMA radio, quad-band GSM radio, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS, 16 GB of on-board storage, 8 megapixel camera with 720p video recording and dual-LED flash, HMDI connector, and 1200 mAh battery. The E7 is available from Amazon.com for $649, or Nokia USA for $679. More →
New images of Motorola’s DROID 3 smartphone have surfaced online, courtesy of Howard Forums. The device —which will be heading to Verizon Wireless — is seen exposing its QWERTY keyboard, complete with dedicated number keys. Since the numerals are no longer piggybacking on lettered keys, Motorola was able to provide easier access to more non-alphanumeric characters — the presence of the Euro (€), Pound (£), and Yen (¥) symbols are most notable. We also can see and HDMI-out port flanking the micro USB port on the device’s side. Hit the jump to see one additional image. More →
When Apple first launched its iPhone in 2007, the odds were against it. Pundits, bloggers and even competitors found countless faults in the iPhone’s design and in Apple’s strategy. A new report from Reuters notes that one such competitor was BlackBerry maker Research In Motion. The report quotes an anonymous RIM employee as saying RIM thought the iPhone was “so badly flawed from day one,” and “users wanted great battery life, great security, great mail handling, minimal network use, and a great keyboard experience.” As it turns out, many users appear to have had different priorities. RIM wasn’t entirely wrong, of course, and the original iPhone was lacking in several key areas. While hindsight is 20-20 and the first-generation iPhone could have been better in countless ways, it was enough to propel Apple to its current position as the leader in smartphone profit share by a staggering margin. More →
Rejoice QWERTY fans! Sprint has just made HTC’s EVO Shift 4G official and the company’s 16th 4G capable device. The Shift, which will be available on January 9th for $149.99, will pack a 3.7-inch display, full QWERTY keyboard, 5 megapixel camera with 720p video recording, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth, GPS, hotspot capabilities, and Android 2.2. The price mentioned above reflects a $100 mail-in rebate and all purchasers will be subject to the $10 monthly tariff imposed on all Sprint 4G smartphone owners. Hit the jump for the full press release.
We’re hearing that pre-orders will start at Best Buy Mobile this Friday, January 7th, with Reward Zone members getting pre-order availability one day earlier: Thursday, January 6th. More →