Many people had a good laugh when Samsung (005930) unveiled the Galaxy Note last year and made a big deal out of the device’s Palm Pilot-like stylus. But once the Galaxy Note became a hit, people stopped snickering and began to take the stylus seriously as an accessory once again. Apple (AAPL) is apparently considering hopping on the stylus bandwagon, as HotHardware reports that the company has filed a patent for a pen accessory it describes as an “active stylus” that “can either act as a drive electrode to create an electric field between the drive electrode and the sense lines of a mutual capacitive touch sensor panel, or as a sense electrode for sensing capacitively coupled signals from one or more stimulated drive rows and columns of the touch sensor panel or both.” More →
For Samsung, the stylus isn’t just a cute throwback to the glory days of the Palm Pilot — it’s also the wave of the future. The popular electronics manufacturer has filed for a patent for a new stylus that includes a clip that serves as a headset and can be used to make calls without an earpiece. SlashGear says that Samsung refers to the headset communication tech used in the device as “NFC” even it’s more than likely a variation of Bluetooth technology. Engadget writes that the technology for the device is well within the bounds of reality, meaning Samsung may very well pull the trigger on actually producing the “pen headset” (smart pen? penblet?) in the future. Samsung is betting big on a retro stylus revival as the electronic pen is featured prominently in its Galaxy Note series. More →
Samsung on Monday took the wraps off another new addition to its Android tablet lineup, the Galaxy Note 10.1. Like the supersized “phablet” it joins in the Galaxy Note family, the Note 10.1 includes Samsung’s S Pen stylus for drawing, note-taking, highlighting and much more. Sadly, this still isn’t the high-definition slate we’ve been waiting for so it looks like Samsung is shooting to launch its Retina-like tablet later this year. The 10-inch Galaxy Note runs Samsung’s TouchWiz UI atop Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and includes a 1.4GHz dual-core processor along with the same cameras found in the original Galaxy Tab 10.1. In fact, the Note 10.1 essentially seems like a redesigned Galaxy Tab 10.1 with an S Pen and a new processor, which is peculiar since the Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) is pretty much a Galaxy Tab 10.1 as well. Announced alongside the Galaxy Note 10.1 is the Galaxy S WiFi 4.2, a Wi-Fi-only device aimed at gaming. Samsung’s press releases follow below. More →
The most massive Android phone Samsung has ever built is now available in AT&T stores across the country for $299.99 with a new two-year service agreement, or $649.99 contract-free. Positioned somewhere between a tablet and a smartphone, the Galaxy Note features a 5.3-inch 1,280 x 800-pixel Super AMOLED display, a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, an 8-megapixel camera, embedded 4G LTE connectivity and Samsung’s “S Pen” stylus. And did we mention it’s huge? BGR’s full review of the Galaxy Note will be published later this week, but AT&T subscribers looking for the biggest dose of Android money can buy should look no further. More →
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.
The wait is over — Sprint’s brand new EVO 3D Android smartphone and EVO View 4G tablet are now available to all customers. The EVO 3D, which offers a glasses-free 4.3-inch 3D display, 4G WiMAX connectivity, a 1.2GHz processor, and the ability to record 1080p video, is available for $199.99 with a new two-year Sprint contract. We ran our review earlier this month and called it our “favorite Sprint phone, hands down.” The EVO View 4G, which we also recently reviewed, is powered by a 1.5GHz processor, has a 7-inch display, 4G WiMAX connectivity, and runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread. It’s available for $400 with the Scribe pen for a limited time. Hit the jump for the full press release from Sprint. More →
Sprint took the wraps off of its EVO View 4G tablet during CTIA 2011 in March — the device is nearly identical to the HTC Flyer, save for its support for Sprint’s 4G WiMAX network. As an Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) tablet, the View 4G is a bit less versatile than Honeycomb products from Asus, LG, Motorola, and Samsung, but it does offer HTC’s custom Sense user interface catered to tablets, and support for HTC Scribe stylus input. I thought the Flyer was lacking in a few areas when I reviewed it, but has time with Sprint’s 4G version changed my mind? Read on to find out!
Editor’s note: We’re running this review ahead of schedule thanks to a broken embargo (WSJ). Photos and gallery will be up shortly! ^ze
Sprint’s HTC EVO View 4G could land on June 24th — the same day the EVO 3D is set to make its debut — according to an advertisement obtained by Engadget. The 7-inch tablet is nearly identical to the HTC Flyer we recently reviewed, save for its 4G WiMAX radio. It packs a 1.5GHz processor, HTC’s Sense user interface, a 1.3-megapixel forward facing camera, 32GB of storage, 3G/4G hotspot capabilities, a 5-megapixel rear camera, and a 4,000 mAh battery in a sturdy aluminum uni-body package. If you want to push the tablet’s capabilities a bit further and take advantage of the View 4G’s HTC Scribe feature, which allows you to take notes on the display, you’ll need to drop an additional $80 for a special stylus. Sprint has yet to reveal pricing for the EVO View 4G, but the Wi-Fi-only Flyer goes for $499.99 without a contract, so we expect to see it priced somewhere below that when purchased with a contract. More →
HTC’s a company that normally is first in the industry. Not so with the HTC Flyer. It’s HTC’s first Android tablet, but plenty of others, including Asus, LG, Motorola, Samsung, beat it to the market. The HTC Flyer just landed exclusively in Best Buy stores on May 22nd for $499. Sure, it’s packed with HTC’s Sense UI, a 1.5GHz processor, and can be purchased with a stylus accessory that allows you to use the Flyer as a notebook, but can it hold its own against more powerful Android Honeycomb tablets? I spent the last few days with HTC’s 7-inch tablet, and the full review is after the break.
HTC’s first tablet is now on sale exclusively at Best Buy, and we’ve been playing with one for the last couple days. We first saw it at MWC and then we played with Sprint’s version, the EVO View 4G, at CTIA, but you know the drill… it’s always totally different when you have one up close for an extended period of time. For all intents and purposes, the HTC Flyer really is a large HTC Sense smartphone, and that results in a good experience at some times and a not-so-good experience at others. The Flyer features the latest Sense UI that included 3D home screen effects, an improved lock screen, an updated UI and more. However, the tablet is a bit chunky and it’s kind of annoying that the rear cover isn’t symmetrical; the plastic antenna covers jut out from the smooth machined aluminum case and the end result is odd. The Flyer features capacitive Android menu buttons on both orientations which is a nice effect — they disappear and reappear along the bezel for landscape and portrait use — and battery life in our limited use seems to be pretty solid. All in all, however, the experience isn’t too different from HTC’s smartphones and we wish there were some bigger twists that might help make the Flyer more unique. We’ll have much more in our full review soon, but in the meantime, you know where to find the high-res shots.
Here’s a head-scratcher. We’re hearing rumors that Sprint’s HTC EVO View 4G tablet will not, repeat not, ship with the snazzy HTC Scribe stylus. A report from Engadget on Friday indicated that the HTC Flyer tablet — the EVO View 4G’s generic sibling — will include HTC’s digital pen unless the device is purchased from Best Buy. Our own source, however, has indicated that Sprint’s training materials list the EVO View 4G’s Scribe stylus as being “sold separately.” The pen is one of the EVO View 4G’s differentiating features and, if the exclusion turns out to be true, would be a major disappointment. What do you think? Does this change your EVO View 4G tablet purchasing plans?
Planning on picking up an Android tablet in the next month or two? If you are, we definitely have a video that you’re going to want to watch. Because whether those plans include HTC’s Flyer tablet or not, the 7-inch device makes an extremely strong case for itself in this official video. The six minute spot posted by HTC focuses on some key differentiators of the Flyer; the Scribe pen and Sense user experience. The clip shows, in great detail, just what you can do with this 21st century stylus and how the Sense experience can help aid everyday tasks. The video is waiting for you after the break. Have a look and let us know what you think. More →
Once thought to be a gadget unicorn, the elusive sub-$100 is ready to make a splash at… Walgreens? In an interesting turn of events, it looks like Walgreens is indeed the first U.S. retailer to make a $99.99 Android tablet widely available. Built by personal navigation device (PND) maker Maylong, the M-150 is a 7-inch tablet with 256MB of RAM, microSD support and Wi-Fi connectivity. Of course sacrifices had to be made in order to reach the magic $99.99 price point. The tablet sports an 800 x 480-pixel resistive touchscreen display, so it uses a stylus for input. It also has a 400MHz processor and the now-ancient Android 1.6 operating system on board. As a tablet for less savvy users looking mainly for a light Web browsing tool and maybe a simple eBook reader, the Maylong M-150 could be just what the doctor ordered. Hit the jump for more specs and a link to order up this mysterious budget slate, which is only available online.
[Via The Digital Reader] More →