Almost a full year ago, Google offered up its vision of what a mobile phone experience should be. We’re not talking about just the phone itself, funny enough, but also how consumers purchase devices, choose their carriers and sign up for service. Jump to today, and Google’s back at it again, except there’s one (well, not just one) very big difference — instead of being sold directly by Google online, the Nexus S is available at physical stores, letting consumers and potential customers see and feel the device before they buy it. The Samsung manufactured Google Nexus S packs a heck of a lot of features into a small figure, and it runs Google’s latest Android OS, Gingerbread. Does Google’s implementation of hardware and software make for the best Android phone available on the market today? Is it the perfect phone for you? Hit the break to find out what we think!More →
We just said adéu to our friendly FedEx delivery person and ripped into our care package sent by Google. On first glance, the Google Cr-48 Chrome laptop looks very similar to Apple’s black MacBook. The screen is 12.1-inches, the entire computer is done up in a soft-touch rubberized finish, and — while it’s a bit thick (we’re used to using a MacBook Air) — we have had some fun typing on the well thought out (and well spaced) keyboard. Here are our first impressions:
- We can’t get over how instant this thing is — it boots and wakes from sleep literally in one second max!
- The soft-touch rubber finish, which at first didn’t sound very appealing, works really well on this super stealth, never-being-released notebook.
- This is more of a preference, but we’d take a glossy display over the matte one on here any day… although the matte finished does fit into the anti-gloss vibe of the machine.
- We can’t begin to explain how great of a feeling it is to have Verizon cellular support built in and how simple and easy the set up process is. Activating our 100MB/mo free account was extremely simple. One or two more steps than signing up for AT&T’s prepaid iPad plans — very solid.
- Switching between open windows (think Spaces on a Mac with less jazz) is incredibly quick.
- It’s so hard to get used to the fact that everything is browser-based, but it all has seemed to work very well for us so far.
- Guest accounts rock!
- All of our Google Chrome extensions and bookmarks were transferred over instantly for us — super cool.
- The speed of the machine, in general, is obviously slower than we’d like and for a 12-inch (read: large) computer. But again, this isn’t meant to be released to the general public.
- We had some wonkiness with the upper part of the LCD screen when we first turned it on, but we’re thinking that might have been due to the extreme temperatures this poor sucker had to endure on its journey to us this morning.
- The trackpad hates us. It’s incredibly annoying and difficult to use. First off, it feels cheap, and second, unless you are scrolling with two fingers, don’t even try and have more than one finger at a time on here.
We’re cranking away and exploring Google’s first Chrome OS laptop and we will be sure to report back with more findings over the next couple days. In the meantime, hit up our hands-on gallery while we go make some insanely hot hot-chocolate!
The gang over at PreCentral.net have done some tinkering with a Palm Pre 2 running webOS 2.0 and have managed to gain access to the mobile operating systems on-screen keyboard. While the performance of the keyboard was described as “a little buggy,” it does give us hope that HP is working on a full-touchscreen device that was designed for the company’s latest mobile OS iteration. If you’re interested to see what the keyboard looks like in action, hit the jump… a video is waiting for you. More →
Motorola is up to bat with their most competitive corporate device in years — they’re aiming squarely at the fine boys and girls at RIM — and coupled with the latest Android OS and the nation’s largest voice and data network, they mean business. Does that mean they have come up with the best business-focused handset on Verizon Wireless? How on earth will you be able to choose between a Motorola DROID Pro, a BlackBerry, or another Android handset? Hit the break to find out our thoughts!More →
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!
Sony thinks their Google TV-enabled Internet TV product is the future of home television. We covered the announcement and played with the product a little bit at the press event, but there isn’t anything like getting up close and personal with something in your own environment. Your TV, your sofa, your own install and set up. Read on for our thoughts on Sony’s Internet TV Blu-ray player, and whether or not we think the future is here! More →
We just had some hands-on time with the HTC 7 Pro; which is due to hit Sprint sometime in the first half of 2011. The device sports a full QWERTY keyboard, 1 GHz processor, 5 megapixel camera with LED flash — complete with horizontal sliding mechanism — and a 3.6-inch display. Sadly, the unit wasn’t functioning, so we took a handful of images for you to have a look at.
Earlier this month, we saw a leaked document that indicated T-Mobile would be getting a handset known as the “Motorola Begonia.” Now, Engadget is reporting some additional details on the device. According to the site’s tipster, the Begonia will be an Android 2.2 device — complete with BLUR UI — that is Motorola’s refresh of the first Cliq; possibly to be called the Cliq 2. The device is also said to have an “interesting” keyboard design; as it appears to be “one solid piece” without any spacing between the keys (maybe like the DROID/DROID2?). The Begonia will also support 3G hotspot creation, and… wait for it… Wi-Fi calling (formally known as UMA). We’re bullish on the Android 2.2, Wi-Fi calling, and hotspot support, but a little bearish on the inclusion of BLUR. Thoughts? More →
Hi there HTC Android fans, we have another present for you! We’ve just been sent in a handful of images of a new, unseen HTC handset that is destined for Verizon Wireless. This sleek, all-black, full-QWERTY Android 2.2 handset has all the makings of a flagship handset, including a 5 megapixel camera, micro-SD card slot, and SIM card for global roaming capabilities. The device has the model name ADR6325 and looks like it will be keeping the DROID 2 World Edition company in Verizon’s lineup. Kind of like we said back in August. What are you waiting for?! You know the other twelve images are beckoning you.
Today, Nokia announced that the ever-efficient Swype keyboard will be coming to Symbian S60 5th edition devices. The software keyboard, which is currently being launched as a limited beta, supports the N97, N97 mini, X6, 5800, and 5230 Nokia handsets. As Nokia explains: “Swype and Nokia have been hard at work to deliver a limited beta release to Nokia S60 5th edition device owners. Your feedback will be valuable to us in the coming weeks, and we are especially interested in how well Swype interfaces with the many types of applications you use every day.” If you are interested in getting Swype on your S60 device, hit the jump to see a quick video followed by the download link. More →
The Samsung EPIC 4G is Sprint’s second 3G/4G dual-mode Android handset. The full-QWERTY slider device is a member of Samsung’s Galaxy S line of phones, and packs the standard set of equipment expected of a high-end smartphone, 1 GHz Hummingbird processor, 4-inch Super AMOLED display, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 5 megapixel camera with 720p video recording… you know, all the good stuff.
As some of you have been kind enough to point out, we have yet to publish our full review of Sprint’s Samsung EPIC 4G. We’ll admit, we have been a little delinquent in getting around to testing the device, but we’re on the case now. We recently opened up our shiny new EPIC, and have been tinkering with it very diligently in order to put together some first impressions for you. Hit the jump and let’s get started. More →
If you’re a keyboard lover and can’t kick that feature-phone addiction, there is a new handset on the block as of today. Samsung’s A927 Flight II sports a 3″ touch screen, sliding keyboard, and HTML browser. It is also full compatible with AT&T’s mobile TV service, featured a 2 megapxel camera, Bluetooth, aGPS, and support for up to 16GB of microSD storage. It’s available today from RadioShack stores, and most likely will be hitting AT&T store shelves in the coming week or so. More →
Well we knew it was coming, and now it is here. Today, Verizon Wireless made the Samsung Intensity II — a QWERTY-slider messaging phone — official. The device has a full horizontal slide-out QWERTY keyboard with external numeric keypad, 2.2-inch QVGA (240 x 320 pixels) screen, 1.3-megapixel infrared camera with night vision, Bluetooth, and micro-SD card slot (with support for up to a 32 GB card). The device will be available from Big Red for $49.99 on-contract (after a $50 mail-in rebate) in the next few weeks. We’ve got the official release all linked up for you. More →