Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 8.9 made its retail debut in September and it is nearly identical to its larger predecessor, the Galaxy Tab 10.1. It mostly packs the same hardware but, as its name suggests, has a smaller screen. I enjoyed the original Galaxy Tab 10.1 when it launched earlier this year: it was thin, powerful and it offered a brand new tablet experience. Unfortunately, though, I couldn’t get on board with Android Honeycomb and I’ve since stopped using the tablet, and the operating system, altogether. Can the Galaxy 8.9′s smaller size and TouchWiz user interface rekindle my love for Android tablets? Read my full review to find out.
This is a tough break. Just a day after Motorola unveiled the revival of its iconic RAZR brand, and just hours after Samsung and Google took the wraps off Android 4.0 and the Galaxy Nexus, I decided to finally put my thoughts together on the Galaxy S II review unit Samsung sent me a few weeks ago. Samsung’s Galaxy S II might be the fastest-selling smartphone the vendor has ever released, but it doesn’t have a 7.1-millimeter-thin Kevlar case or a sleek curved glass screen. It doesn’t have 4G LTE speed or a qHD display, and it probably won’t be updated with Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS in the immediate future. But does that mean the millions of consumers who have purchased the device over the past few months should feel that their smartphone of choice has just been outclassed? My thoughts follow below.
The iPhone 4S is Apple’s top of the line smartphone, but is it just a small upgrade over the iPhone 4 or something entirely different? It looks the same, but does it act the same? New in the iPhone 4S is Siri, Apple’s virtual personal assistant, along with an upgraded camera, twice the speed as far as processing and downloads are concerned, and a redesigned antenna system that also supports global roaming for Verizon and Sprint users. Are these new features enough to upgrade your iPhone 4, though? What about iPhone 3GS owners or maybe even those of you who are stuck using some other smartphone you bought because the salesperson said it was just good as that iPhone your carrier didn’t offer at the time? Read on to find out.
Samsung’s fastest-selling smartphone ever has finally landed in the United States. The GALAXY S II will be sold by Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T, and Verizon is expected to offer a similar phone in the near future. Sprint’s model came to the market first under the Epic 4G Touch moniker and I have been using it nearly non-stop for the past week. The “Samsung GALAXY S II, Epic 4G Touch” has stiff competition among the ranks of Sprint’s 4G phones. Can it keep up? Read on for my full review during which, for the sake of brevity, I’ll refer to the device as simply as the Epic 4G Touch.
The United States International Trade Commission will re-investigate claims that HTC is infringing on Apple’s patents. In July, a judge ruled HTC was guilty of infringing on two of Apple’s patents that covered “a system and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data,” and “a real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data.” HTC quickly said it would appeal the decision, noting it has a strong case against Apple. HTC fired back and sued the iPhone maker for patent infringement in August when it accused Apple of infringing on three of its patents. HTC said it was disappointed in “Apple’s constant attempts at litigation instead of competing fairly in the market,” and even said it was willing to bury the hatchet in the ongoing patent battles. Apple and HTC must send in written submissions and “proposed remedial orders” related to the case by October 6th. The U.S. ITC will complete its investigation by December 6th, Bloomberg said. More →
RIM didn’t envision creating a touch device. Yet here we are in 2011 with the company abandoning it’s prior failed attempts at making a touch-only smartphone, and instead copying the competition instead of innovating. The BlackBerry Torch 9850 is a no-frills touch phone. There’s no SurePress display, thankfully — just a regular capacitive screen. The device features a 1.2GHz CPU, a 5-megapixel camera, 4GB of built-in storage, and more. Does it stand a chance at competing with the iPhone and Android devices, though? Read on for my review.
RIM’s BlackBerry Torch 9850 is the company’s third smartphone to launch with a full touchscreen form factor, following the original Storm and the Storm 2, and it’s the first to launch on Sprint. The 9850 packs brand new hardware and the new BlackBerry 7 operating system into a thin industrial design, but is it enough of an improvement over the earlier Storm devices to warrant your upgrade? Can it compete with other touchscreen smartphones? I’ve been using the Torch 9850 for the past week and my full review of the smartphone follows below.
AT&T finally got its dose of Nexus S late last month, and we suppose it is somewhat appropriate that we’re late with our hands-on since the device itself took so long to launch. The sleek smartphone was first unveiled in early December 2010, and it launched later that month on T-Mobile’s network. Then Sprint introduced its WiMAX-enabled Nexus S 4G in early May, and it went on to become one of Sprint’s most popular smartphones. As the expression goes, better late than never — and that’s certainly the case with AT&T’s Nexus S. Read on for some quick thoughts on this latest version of the Samsung-built pure Google phone, and don’t forget to check out our hands-on photo gallery.
Another BlackBerry out of RIM? We might as well consider them done and finished. Or should we? With a brand new take on BlackBerry hardware and an improved and enhanced operating system in BlackBerry 7, RIM hasn’t been sitting still. I have been using a BlackBerry 9900 for over a week, and as a reformed BlackBerry addict, I have some thoughts on this latest flagship smartphone out of Waterloo. Is this the device that’s going to save RIM? Is this the phone that’s going to make iPhone and Android users switch to a BlackBerry? Can RIM finally compete in the smartphone arena? Will it take RIM 9 months to make a BlackBerry 9900 in white? Is Will.i.am going to haunt me for eternity? Hit the break to find out. (And I sure as heck hope not on those last two.)
The Federal Communications Commission announced on Monday that it will review AT&T’s planned $1.925 billion acquisition of Qualcomm’s FLO TV lower 700MHz frequency band at the same time that it reviews the carrier’s T-Mobile USA merger. AT&T announced its intentions to buy spectrum from Qualcomm in December of last year and said it planned to deploy the spectrum as “supplemental downlink” while it built out its 4G network. That acquisition was originally expected to close during the second half of this year, but the FCC clearly has some concerns on the matter. AT&T said the FCC and Department of Justice are on schedule to approve the T-Mobile deal in March 2012, however this could be a ding to AT&T’s 4G network plans if it was relying on having the Qualcomm deal approved by now. The FCC’s statement follows below. More →
I’ve been using Apple’s mid-2011 MacBook Air for almost a week now and even though it’s physically the same unit that it replaced (for the most part) on the exterior, this is an entirely different beast. For starters, Apple’s second-generation MacBook Air improved greatly on the first model by offering up a redesigned case complete with two built-in USB ports, an SD card reader and SSD hard drives as the only available options. The older Intel Core 2 Duo processors however, severely limited the computer. It was functional enough for me to replace a Core i7 MacBook Pro, but it was slow; normal tasks would bog the system down, and the computer would heat up at the drop of a dime. All this has changed with the latest MacBook Air, however. Read on for my thoughts.
Shares of HTC’s stock closed down 3.9% at T$871 on Monday, just three days after the the U.S. International Trade Commission announced that the Taiwanese company was guilty of infringing on two of Apple’s patents. The patents were related to a “system and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data,” and a “real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data,” but the judge’s ruling is still awaiting the review of a 6-member Commission. “We are highly confident we have a strong case for the ITC appeals process and are fully prepared to defend ourselves using all means possible,” HTC’s general council Grace Lei said on Friday “We strongly believe we have alternate solutions in place for the issues raised by Apple. We look forward to resolving this case, so we can continue creating the most innovative mobile experiences for consumers.” HTC also has an ongoing patent lawsuit against Apple. The Financial Times attributed the sell-off to “investor fears that the legal battle could have wider implications for the competitive balance between Apple and Google Android-based phonemakers like HTC, Samsung, and Motorola.” More →
Former Palm CEO and current Senior Vice President and General Manager of HP’s Palm Global Business Unit Jon Rubinstein reportedly sent a memo to his team on Friday in order to address the less-than-stellar reviews the company’s new TouchPad tablet received from press and bloggers. Likening HP’s position with webOS to Apple’s position with Mac OS X year ago, Rubinstein reminds his team that despite the deficiencies mentioned in reviews, the company’s vision for webOS was recognized and reviewers as a whole see webOS’ potential. ”If you’ve seen the recent TouchPad reviews you know that the industry understands HP’s vision and sees the same potential in webOS as we do,” Rubinstein wrote in the memo. “David Pogue from the New York Times says ‘there are signs of greatness here.’ (I’ve included links to David’s review and others below.) You’ve also seen that reviewers rightly note things we need to improve about the webOS experience. The good news is that most of the issues they cite are already known to us and will be addressed in short order by over-the-air software and app catalog updates. We still have work to do to make webOS the platform we know it can be, but remember…..it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” BGR reviewed the HP TouchPad last month, and our determination was well-aligned with the consensus. Despite bogging and lackluster hardware, we saw great potential in webOS moving forward as HP attempts to gain mind share and market share in the already crowded smartphone and tablet spaces. Rubinstein’s full memo follows below.