BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha hands-on; meet the elusive BlackBerry Colt

By on May 3, 2012 at 11:45 AM.

BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha hands-on; meet the elusive BlackBerry Colt

BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha hands-on

RIM made an unprecedented move earlier this week when it gave away pre-production BlackBerry 10 hardware to developers, but it was a smart one. In order to develop for a brand new operating system and help grow develop support for a new platform, you need to be able to test on real hardware. Since this isn’t the phone that RIM will launch in the fall, there’s no issue letting the public see the hardware, right? Well, there’s more to the story.

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Hands on with Sprint’s HTC EVO 4G LTE

By on April 4, 2012 at 5:41 PM.

Hands on with Sprint’s HTC EVO 4G LTE

Sprint and HTC have been partners for years, but it wasn’t until the HTC EVO 4G launched in June 2010 that the companies realized their potential. HTC’s sleek, technology-packed flagship smartphone and Sprint’s unlimited data plans were a match made in heaven for smartphone power users, and the EVO 4G was the first handset to truly offer a complete package to Sprint subscribers. While Sprint’s EVO line of devices has remained popular for the carrier — Sprint has sold more than 7 million EVO-branded smartphones and tablets to date — the company has yet to recapture the magic introduced with the original EVO 4G. With the new HTC EVO 4G LTE that Sprint and HTC unveiled on Wednesday, however, Sprint hopes to do just that. Hit the break for our hands-on impressions of Sprint’s new flagship smartphone.

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Apple releases OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Developer Preview 2

By on March 16, 2012 at 4:55 PM.

Apple releases OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Developer Preview 2

Apple on Friday released OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Developer Preview 2 to OS X developers. According to TheNextWeb, the Cupertino-based company also posted an extensive list of known issues and bugs within the latest operating system. This second OS X 10.8 release comes exactly one month after Apple announced Mountain Lion, introducing developers to iMessage on Mac computers, a new Notification Center, Game Center integration, AirPlay mirroring, enhanced iCloud support and a number of redesigned apps. More →

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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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Samsung Galaxy Beam hands-on

By on February 27, 2012 at 8:45 AM.

Samsung Galaxy Beam hands-on

A projector phone? From Samsung? Sure, why not? We got a chance to spend some time with Sammy’s newly announced “Beam” addition to its ever-expanding Galaxy line, and we left with mixed emotions. On the one hand, this is a solid and well executed smartphone, but it sports a 1Ghz dual-core chip, Android 2.3, a 4-inch WVGA screen, 8GB of built-in storage, and 768MB of RAM, so the specs aren’t exactly on par with other modern handsets. On the projector end of things, we’ve got a powerful 15 lumens unit capable of displaying a 50-inch wide image on any flat surface. This is pretty cool, but we’re still not sure this is a space that needs filling. That said, if you’re in the market for a projector-equipped smartphone, this is pretty much the best game in town. Our hands-on photo gallery follows below.

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Nokia Lumia 610 hands-on

By on February 27, 2012 at 4:50 AM.

Nokia Lumia 610 hands-on

While the Pureview 808 sort of stole the show, the Lumia 610 marks a significant release as well, and something that is worth paying attention to. The decidedly downmarket Windows Phone device aims to provide the Windows Phone experience to a much wider array of folks, and we think Nokia might have a hit on their hands. The new suite of Nokia software includes a Library app, and a completely revamped Maps application. We had a chance to spend some time with the little guy, and we left generally pleased, though not overwhelmed. But, then again, we suppose that’s the goal with a 189 Euro smartphone, now isn’t it? Specs include 256 mb of RAM, a 3.7″ WVGA screen, a 5mp camera, and 8GB of onboard storage. Hit the gallery link below for some hands-on shots!

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Nokia 808 PureView hands-on

By on February 27, 2012 at 3:49 AM.

Nokia 808 PureView hands-on

Hey folks. Following Nokia’s early morning press conference here in Barcelona, we got a litttttle bit of hands-on time with the freshly dropped Pureview 808. The software isn’t quite finished yet, but we did get some time to play with the audio recording and camera apps. Really cool stuff, and we can definitely see other manufacturers forced to follow suit. The handset features the flagship 41 megapixel camera, a 4″ screen, 512 mb of RAM with 16GB of onboard storage,  a 1.3 Ghz single core chip,  and a loft 450 Euro pricetag. Expect to see this sucker in May. Hit the link below to check out the gallery!

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Sony Xperia P hands-on

By on February 26, 2012 at 1:54 PM.

Sony Xperia P hands-on

We’re here in sunny Barcelona, Spain on day 0 of the annual Mobile World Congress trade show — yes, several companies couldn’t even wait for day 1 to hold their press conferences — and Sony’s media event has just wrapped up. In case you missed it, Sony unveiled two devices at this year’s show, one of which was the sleek new Xperia P smartphone that will launch in the second quarter. The handset’s design is reminiscent of earlier Xperia handsets, but like the other members of the “Xperia NXT” family, it features a clear strip near the bottom of the phone that adds a variety of unique lighting features to the device. The phone’s 3.5-inch display leaves a bit to be desired compared to market leaders like Samsung, and colors weren’t nearly as vivid as they are on phones like the Galaxy S II or Galaxy Nexus. The Xperia P will also launch with a dual-core 1GHz processor while the competition is rolling out devices with NVIDIA’s 1.5GHz quad-core chipset, and the difference is noticeable; the Xperia P isn’t laggy per se, but moving around Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich feels a bit slow compared to some other phones. We weren’t able to spend much time with the Xperia P — or any time at all with the Xperia U — but check out a few photos in the gallery below and tune in for HTC’s press conference, which is scheduled to kick off at 2:30 p.m. EST / 11:30 a.m.

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Angry Birds Space set to launch in March [video]

By on February 17, 2012 at 4:15 PM.

Angry Birds Space set to launch in March [video]

Rovio on Friday teased the next frontier for the company’s massive Angry Birds franchise. The fourth major Birds release will be called “Angry Birds Space” and is scheduled to land on mobile devices on March 22nd. In the newest edition, users will be flinging birds on zero gravity planets with new gameplay features such as slow-motion and lightspeed destruction, according to Yahoo Games. “We think fans are really going to love it because we’ve already gotten amazing feedback on the physics of our games,” said Rovio’s GM of North America Andrew Stalbow. “They’re so accurate and easy to grasp that some teachers use Angry Birds in their lessons about projectile motion.” Rovio has confirmed that the game will have completely new birds along with some originals, who now possess various super powers. Since debuting in 2009, the franchise has been downloaded over 700 million times on iOS and Android alone. Read on for a video teaser from Rovio. More →

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OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion first impressions: This is a cougar I’d take home

By on February 16, 2012 at 2:15 PM.

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion first impressions: This is a cougar I’d take home

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion review

Apple just did something the company hasn’t done very often in recent years — it completely surprised nearly every single person with the announcement of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, the next OS for the Mac. Inching a step closer to bridging the gap between iOS and OS X, Mountain Lion brings practically all of iOS’s featured apps to desktop and laptop computers. From Messages, which I’ve been waiting for ever since iMessage was announced, to built-in iCloud support, Notification Center, Game Center, Reminders, Notes, a much-improved Safari browser, AirPlay and more, the two OSes are practically the same now in terms of system apps. This is the first developer preview of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, and the OS will only improve before it is released in the summer. If you’re itching for my thoughts, though, you’ll find them after the break. More →

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Apple’s OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: iMessage on Mac, Notification Center and more

By on February 16, 2012 at 8:51 AM.

Apple’s OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: iMessage on Mac, Notification Center and more

Details surrounding Apple’s next-generation Mac operating system were released on Thursday morning, shedding light on a number of new features set to hit Apple’s desktop operating system later this year. OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion highlights include the arrival of iMessage on Mac computers, a feature iOS users have been clamoring for since iMessage was first introduced in iOS 5. Notification Center will also arrive on OS X with Mountain Lion, bringing further iOS-like features and visual elements to the platform as the world awaits a touchscreen-ready version of Apple’s desktop platform. Other new features include Game Center integration, AirPlay mirroring, enhanced iCloud support and a number of redesigned apps. A developer preview of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion will be released on Thursday and the updated OS will become available to end users this summer. Apple’s press release follows below and a beta of Messages for OS X can be downloaded immediately. More →

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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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HTC Titan II hands-on

By on January 9, 2012 at 3:30 PM.

HTC Titan II hands-on

HTC and AT&T took the wraps off of their latest device during an AT&T press conference on Monday, the HTC Titan II. The device is the first 4G LTE-enabled Windows Phone to be announced at the show but it won’t be the last — Nokia CEO Stephen Elop confirmed earlier on Monday that the Finnish vendor will unveil an LTE Windows Phone as well during its press conference. The Titan II is a fantastic first LTE device for Windows Phone fans, as long as the monstrous size isn’t a turn off. The phone sports the same 4.7-inch Super LCD display as its predecessor, but the build is much different. The unibody aluminum case from the Titan has been replaced by a soft-touch plastic — we liked the aluminum case a lot more so we’re definitely sorry to see it go — and the dark black color has been replaced by a light gray. The user experience is still among the best available; like the Titan, the Titan II is unbelievably responsive and smooth. Differences of note beyond the case are the embedded LTE radio, of course, and the 16-megapixel camera. Images taken with the camera were definitely impressive on the Titan’s display and on our MacBook Air, but we didn’t have an original Titan handy to compare photo quality. Where data speed is concerned, however, there was obviously no comparison. We’ll have more for you in our full review but in the meantime, be sure to check out our hands-on gallery below.

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