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.More →
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.
In addition to spending some time with the new Motorola DROID 4, we just went Inside The Actor’s Studio with
Ed Zander’s old the new RAZR. The Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX is similar to the DROID RAZR but offers a larger battery for up to 21 hours of usage on a single charge. Despite the larger battery, however, the device still feels super thin. We didn’t notice a hint of lag while flying through menus, but we did notice that there was some sluggishness inside the web browser while loading websites. The DROID RAZR MAXX also comes equipped with 32GB of on-board storage, which should be plenty for storing movies, music and photos. Unfortunately it still runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) but we hope, and suspect, that Motorola has plans to upgrade the phone to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). The RAZR MAXX will cost $299 with a new two-year contract when it makes its debut on Verizon Wireless. Photo’s are all in the gallery, minus James Lipton.
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.
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.
If there was one phone on the market that could be considered the perfect starting point for Sprint’s 4G LTE smartphone lineup, it would be the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. We reviewed the international version of Samsung’s Android 4.0 smartphone this past November, and it was easily our favorite Android phone at that time. Despite the fact that a number of great looking smartphones have been unveiled at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, the Galaxy Nexus likely still ranks at the top of our list. Sprint’s version of this handset is identical to the Verizon Wireless version of the phone in terms of hardware, but there is one distinction that will likely make a number of Sprint customers happy: Google Wallet support. Beyond that, you’re looking at the same great pure Google phone that has been wooing Android fans since its announcement. Pricing and availability details haven’t been made available beyond confirmation of a launch in the first half, but check out our hands-on photos in the gallery below while we all wait for more details.
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.
When a product emerges that is created by a team of ex-Apple employees — including one responsible in part for leading the hardware teams behind the iPod and iPhone — that product sells out almost immediately. The latest device to fit the bill isn’t a new smartphone or even a tablet; no, this time around it’s actually a thermostat. As odd as that sounds, the Nest thermostat is exciting in many, many ways. For starters, the amount of thought that went into just the hardware alone is, well, Apple-like. It’s miles ahead of any comparable product in terms of look, form and function. It’s sleek yet is based on a classic and familiar Honeywell T87 round thermostat, and it is packed to the brim with technology including, among other things, a vivid color LCD display and Wi-Fi support. More →
We’ve been playing with a Samsung Galaxy Nexus for the last day, and after shuffling between a Motorola DROID RAZR, an HTC Vivid and an HTC Rezound, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is a welcome change in many ways. It’s obviously the Google reference handset for Ice Cream Sandwich, and in almost all cases, it is the best Android handset we’ve seen far as hardware and software go. Android 4.0 is the most cohesive release from Google yet, and while it’s not that straight forward out of the box, you do eventually get the feeling that this phone has a distinct personality as opposed to many other Android phones, which often seem to blend together. Be sure to check out our hands-on photos in the gallery below, and hit the break for more thoughts.More →
AT&T announced a handful of new Android smartphones during the most recent CTIA show in San Diego, and the Samsung Captivate Glide BGR scooped back in July was among them. Samsung kept the phone close to the chest until recently, and we finally had a chance to meet up and check it out. The phone is very similar to the Galaxy S II, but it sports a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a different processor. The Captivate Glide, an Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) smartphone, is equipped with a vivid and crisp 4-inch Super AMOLED display with an 800 x 480-pixel resolution, an 8-megapixel camera capable of recording 1080p HD video, 1GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, and a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor clocked at 1.2GHz. It also supports AT&T’s 21Mbps HSPA+ network. We really enjoyed the keyboard and it didn’t seem to add too much bulk or heft to the phone. AT&T has yet to announce a price or release date. We should be bringing you a review shortly, but in the meantime be sure to check out our full gallery below.
AT&T originally announced the Samsung DoubleTime during CTIA in early October, and we just had a chance to finally check it out. The DoubleTime isn’t a high-end handset, but it is unique in its own right. It’s a clamshell form factor device with a 3.2-inch 480 x 320-pixel touchscreen on the outside, but when you open the DoubleTime there’s a second display and a full QWERTY keyboard. The device surely won’t be for everyone, but it might attract teenagers looking for a solid text-messaging phone that still packs in a smartphone operating system. It’s equipped with an 800MHz Qualcomm processor, 260MB of on-board storage and a 2GB microSD card with support for 32GB cards. The phone runs the last-generation Android 2.2 (Froyo) operating system, which seems a bit odd to us. AT&T has yet to announce a release date or a price, but we wouldn’t be surprised if this landed at a very affordable price point in time for the holidays. Be sure to check out the full gallery below.
We just received our HTC Rezound review unit, and although we spent a few moments with the device at HTC’s announcement in New York City, we have some more thoughts on the 4G LTE smartphone after using it for the morning. For starters, while the phone isn’t nearly as thin as other 4G LTE devices like the Motorola DROID RAZR or Samsung Galaxy Nexus, it’s a completely different animal than the HTC Thunderbolt. It fits nicely in your hand, and it feels good to use and hold. The 4.3-inch 720p HD display is absolutely beautiful. In fact, it’s probably the best display on any mobile device we’ve ever seen besides the iPhone’s Retina Display. It’s so good that there are elements in HTC’s Sense interface that aren’t high quality enough for the display, but we’ll touch on that more in our review. The included Beats headphones are decent and offer very good audio reproduction, and the HTC Rezound has taken everything we’ve thrown at it and powered through without a hiccup — this device is fast. We have hands-on photos in the gallery below, so make sure to check those out while we work on our full review.
Google’s latest social networking effort follows a long line of failed attempts to break into a space owned by the likes of Facebook, Twitter and (somehow) Myspace, and Google seems to finally have a hit on its hands with Google+. The service amassed more than 10 million users within two weeks of launching as an invitation-only beta, and it now reportedly has more than 40 million users following a public launch. As Facebook approaches 1 billion users, however, Google has quite a bit of ground to make up. The Internet giant apparently isn’t afraid to get dirty in its quest for social network dominance, and a new report revealed that Google recently set up shop at colleges in Israel in an attempt to lure new users to Google+. Read on for more. More →