Is this the Samsung Galaxy S III?

By on March 21, 2012 at 8:25 AM.

Is this the Samsung Galaxy S III?

Samsung’s highly anticipated next-generation flagship smartphone has reportedly been pictured. Dutch mobile blog GSM Helpdesk on Wednesday published what it claims to be an official press photo of the Samsung Galaxy S III, obtained from an unnamed source. The site also reasserts a wide range of specs exclusively reported by BGR over the past few months, including a full HD Super AMOLED display, Android 4.0 with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI and a 1.5GHz quad-core processor. The device pictured is in line with previously leaked renders, though we can now see that Samsung appears to have opted for capacitive hardware buttons in place of the on-screen navigation buttons seen in other Android 4.0 builds. A potential date for Samsung’s announcement has been reaffirmed as well; the weather in London and the Unpacked Event calendar entry pictured on the home screen point to a May 22nd press conference in London. More →

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First new iPad photo samples show vastly improved camera

By on March 14, 2012 at 4:25 PM.

First new iPad photo samples show vastly improved camera

It’s doubtful that anyone will ever find a way to avoid looking ridiculous while capturing images with a 9.7-inch tablet in public, but those unafraid of how they are viewed by peers will be pleased to know that Apple has delivered on its promised of a much improved camera in the new iPad. The camera on Apple’s previous-generation iPad 2 was subpar at best, and now Vietnamese blog Tinhte.vn — the site that posted an unboxing video featuring Apple’s new iPad on Tuesday — has published the first set of photographs captured with the new iPad’s 5-megapixel camera to its forum. The images aren’t terribly impressive compared to dedicated digital cameras or even to class-leading camera phones like the iPhone 4S or Carl Zeiss-equipped Nokia handsets. The new iPad camera is clearly a step in the right direction compared to the awful optics on the iPad 2, however. A few more images follow below, along with a link to the full set. More →

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Apple unveils iPhoto for iPad, available today for $4.99

By on March 7, 2012 at 2:15 PM.

Apple unveils iPhoto for iPad, available today for $4.99

Toward the end of Apple’s iPad event in San Francisco, the Cupertino-based company announced iPhoto for iPad. Along with Garage Band and iMovie, Apple has now brought its entire iLife suite of programs to its popular tablet. “With the introduction of iPhoto, we’ve brought the entire suite of iLife apps to iOS and users are going to love it,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Whether brushing an effect onto a photo, shooting a movie trailer or jamming with friends to record a song, iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand let you make amazing creations on iPad and iPhone.” The application relies heavily on gestures and features smart browsing, auto-enhancing, professional-quality effects, brushes, photo beaming between devices, photo journals and multi-touch editing. iPhoto for iPad supports images up to 19-megapixels and allows users to share images via Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, email and more. The app will be available today in the App Store for $4.99. Read on for Apple’s press release. More →

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MWC

Acer CloudMobile hands-on

By on February 28, 2012 at 6:25 PM.

Acer CloudMobile hands-on

You would think that, given the impressive specs of its new CloudMobile smartphone, Acer would want to place this thing front and center at Mobile World Congress. Think again. For some reason, the company decided to hide its new flagship model within the Google booth. Location aside, the handset’s specs are nothing to scoff at. A 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon chip powers this monster, which sports a 4.3-inch 1,280 x 800-pixel HD screen with a truly incredible range viewing angles, and a really well-engineered tooled metal exterior. The CloudMobile software itself is heavily guarded at the moment, and Acer wouldn’t give us so much as a peek at any screens related to its upcoming cloud service, but company reps assured us that we would be “impressed” when launch time comes around. Let’s hope the software lives up to the promise of the hardware. In the meantime, be sure to check out our hands-on photos, which are linked below.

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Samsung Galaxy Mini 2, Galaxy Ace 2 and Galaxy S WiFi 4.2 hands-on

By on February 28, 2012 at 4:35 PM.

Samsung Galaxy Mini 2, Galaxy Ace 2 and Galaxy S WiFi 4.2 hands-on

These three new devices announced by Samsung at Mobile World Congress are each intended to occupy different spaces in the mobile market. The Galaxy Mini 2 is a diminutive little smartphone with pretty unimpressive specs, but it is aimed at the entry-level crowd where it may fare well. The 3.27-inch small handset sports a single-core 800mhz processor, Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread with TouchWiz, a 3.2 megapixel camera and a positively terrible HVGA display. It feels odd to use the word “terrible” when describing a Samsung display, but Samsung cut some corners to keep this phone’s cost down and the display was definitely one of them. Performance in use was lackluster as well, but then again, if you’re in the market for a phone like the Mini 2 you’re probably not very concerned with the latest and greatest. Hit the jump for more.

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Hands on with Samsung’s Galaxy S Blaze 4G for T-Mobile

By on February 28, 2012 at 3:05 PM.

Hands on with Samsung’s Galaxy S Blaze 4G for T-Mobile

Samsung has a number of new devices on hand at this year’s Mobile World Congress, and one of them was the Galaxy S Blaze 4G set to launch on T-Mobile later this year. We got a chance to check out the Blaze 4G, and we left relatively unimpressed. To be fair, the Blaze is a lightning-fast smartphone on par with a number of recent additions to Samsung’s Galaxy line, but it’s hard to get excited over a phone that is only a modest upgrade compared to T-Mobile’s current Galaxy S II. The Blaze 4G features a 1.5Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon chip, a 4-inch Super AMOLED screen, a 5-megapixel camera and Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread. It’s certainly a solid phone but with HTC’s One S heading to T-Mobile in April and Samsung’s full-HD Galaxy S III on the way as well, T-Mobile subscribers looking for the latest and greatest may want to sit tight and wait another month or so. The Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G launches in March for $149.99 on contract, and our hands-on photos of the handset follow below.

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Hands-on with the ZTE Era, Orbit and PF112

By on February 27, 2012 at 4:40 PM.

Hands-on with the ZTE Era, Orbit and PF112

ZTE doesn’t have a strong presence here in the U.S., but the vendor revealed several smartphones at this year’s Mobile World Congress trade show that will be big sellers in a number of markets. The Era, Orbit and PF112 are among the new ZTE phones that will launch this year, and we spent some time with each of them on Monday. The Era and the PF112 both run Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, while the Orbit is a Windows Phone. The Era is a quad-core Tegra 3-powered beast with a 4.3-inch screen and high-end specs that rival any device launched here at the show. The PF112 sports an even larger 4.5-inch screen, tri-band HSPA+ and an 8-megapixel shooter. The Orbit is the company’s low-end Windows Phone model, with a 4-inch display, a 1GHz processor and 4GB of on-board storage. In use, the Windows Phone-powered Orbit was definitely impressive for an entry-level smartphone, exhibiting the smooth user experience we’ve come to expect from handsets powered by Microsoft’s mobile platform. The Android phones weren’t operational, so we can’t comment on their performance. We can definitely still admire their sleek designs though, so check out our hands-on gallery for photos of each of these new ZTE phones.

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Hands on with Sony’s Xperia P (again) and Xperia U

By on February 27, 2012 at 1:40 PM.

Hands on with Sony’s Xperia P (again) and Xperia U

We were only able to spend a few minutes with Sony’s new Xperia P smartphone as we rushed from Sony’s press conference to HTC’s press conference on Sunday, and we didn’t get any time at all with the Xperia U. Thanks to a slightly lighter event scheduled on Monday, we were able to make it over to Sony’s booth and spend some quality time with its new smartphones. These are the first smartphones that will be launched by the new Sony Mobile Communications unit that picks up where Sony Ericsson left off, and to be frank, we’re a bit concerned. This pair of Android phones is well-made and we like what Sony has done to its UI atop Android 4.0, but we’re still seeing some things that concern us. Check out our hands-on photos in the gallery linked below, and then hit the break for our initial impressions of the Xperia P and Xperia U smartphones.

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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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CES

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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CES

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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