New service lets users try Apple’s new iPad for 30 days before buying

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

New service lets users try Apple’s new iPad for 30 days before buying

A new subscription service allows potential gadget owners to test out new devices like Apple’s new iPad tablet before committing to a purchase. YBUY, which bills itself as a try-before-you-buy online subscription service, charges users a flat monthly fee of $24.95 for access to a wide range of consumer electronics as well as home and kitchen gadgets. Users can choose one device at a time from YBUY’s catalog and trial the gadget for up to 30 days before returning it. Beginning in April, the company’s inventory will also include Apple’s new iPad. “For most consumers, when it comes to electronics or products for the home, the idea is that they want to test the product out first,” YBUY CEO Stephen Svajian said. “We can actually bring the showroom straight to your living room. Our unique alternative, that comes to you brand new or completely sanitized, allows consumers to test it out for 30 days in the comfort of your own home. This can really help you get to know the item you would like to invest in, before fully committing to make the purchase. There’s no other experience like it out there on the market.” YBUY’s press release follows below. More →

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Motorola MB865 could be Atrix 2, AT&T's first 4G LTE phone

By on August 1, 2011 at 12:45 PM.

Motorola MB865 could be Atrix 2, AT&T's first 4G LTE phone

Last week we saw the first images of a new Motorola handset largely believed to be the successor to the ATRIX 4G. Now rumors have surfaced that the phone’s model number is actually “MB865″ and that it packs a 4G LTE radio, which lends credence to the possibility of it launching as AT&T’s first 4G LTE smartphone. According to PhoneArena, which purportedly obtained a leaked internal system screenshot from AT&T, the MB865 will be field tested in a number of markets where AT&T has already confirmed it will deploy its new 4G network. The phone also said to sport an 8-megapixel camera capable of recording 1080p video and is equipped with an HD display and a dual-core processor. AT&T has confirmed that it will launch 4G LTE service in several markets this summer including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. The carrier expects its faster network to be available in a total of 15 markets by the end of this year and has already announced two devices. AT&T may hold off on launching the MB865, or what is now being called the ATRIX 2, until its LTE network is available in more areas, so it is unclear when we will see the phone become official.  More →

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U.S. Army testing smartphones and tablets for combat

By on July 18, 2011 at 5:20 PM.

U.S. Army testing smartphones and tablets for combat

The U.S. Army has started a pilot program on June 6th to test the effectiveness of equipping troops with tablets and phones in combat, CNN recently reported. The idea is to provide troops with the ability to send text messages and geotagged images that alert others about their current surroundings. Similarly, the infantry could use the devices to file regular reports and easily view maps, CNN said. So far, the troops have been testing the iPhone and phones powered by Windows Phone and Android, and soldiers have particularly liked the iPhone and Android-powered devices. In addition to smartphones, the Army is also testing the iPad and tablets from Dell and HP. The results of the tests have been so positive that the Army could begin deploying a small amount of troops equipped with smartphones later this year. “Today, we don’t have the level of encryption that we would need to take [a smartphone] overseas and fully integrate it into our mission-command systems,” said Ed Mazzanti, an Army director working on the program. “There could be some limited deployments even this year, tied to tactical radios that supply the encryption that’s needed.” More →

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AT&T shows off its LTE chops; 28Mbps in lab setting

By on May 20, 2011 at 7:42 AM.

AT&T shows off its LTE chops; 28Mbps in lab setting

AT&T’s “4G” message may be a bit convoluted when its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network begins to bear fruit. The company has already branded its HSPA network as “4G”, although the coverage and real world speeds are less than impressive — especially when compared to other HSPA+ networks, like that of T-Mobile. But that hasn’t stopped the nation’s second largest carrier from working on a second 4G network and, thankfully, this one seems to be bringing the downlink goods. Recently, blog GigaOM was treated to a tour of AT&T’s Foundry laboratory in Texas. The site reports seeing “real world speeds” of 28.87Mbps on the downlink and 10.4Mbps on the uplink. Much better than the paltry 5Mbps down and 1Mbps up being pumped out by the company’s current 4G, HSPA network. AT&T plans to launch its LTE network in several markets by the end of this year and hopefully… these speeds hold up. More →

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U.S. Cellular to launch LTE network ‘in time for holidays’

By on May 6, 2011 at 11:31 PM.

U.S. Cellular to launch LTE network ‘in time for holidays’

Regional wireless provider U.S. Cellular has officially thrown its hat into the 4G ring. “U.S. Cellular, in conjunction with its partnership with King Street Wireless, announced today that it will deliver high-speed 4G LTE services and 4G-enabled devices to more than 25 percent of its customers across two dozen markets in time for the holiday season,” declares the company’s press release. U.S. Cellular plans to have LTE-enabled devices in market “during the first phase of its 4G LTE rollout” with additional devices populating the carrier’s lineup in 2012. Milwaukee, Madison and Racine, Wisconsin; Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Davenport, Iowa; Portland and Bangor, Maine; and Greenville, North Carolina will be among the first markets to be covered by the new, high-speed network. The full press release is after the break. More →

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White iPhone 4 not thicker than black version according to Apple SVP and Consumer Reports

By on May 2, 2011 at 12:04 PM.

White iPhone 4 not thicker than black version according to Apple SVP and Consumer Reports

Following the release of Apple’s white iPhone 4 last week, preliminary reports suggested that a slightly thicker case was among the differences between the new white model and the older black iPhone 4 model. According to Apple’s SVP of Product Marketing and to Consumer Reports, however, the white model should be the same thickness as the black version. On Sunday, Apple’s Phil Schiller was quoted by Apple enthusiast blog 9to5 Mac as saying “[The white iPhone 4] is not thicker, don’t believe all the junk that you read,” in a private response to an inquiry on Twitter. Then on Monday, Consumer Reports took a set of calipers to both the white and black iPhone 4 models and found them to be the exact same thickness: 0.37 inches. Of course we’ve all seen images of a white iPhone 4 lined up next to a black model and the difference in thickness is quite apparent — we’ve even verified that one of our own white iPhone 4 models is thicker than its black counterpart. According to Schiller and these new measurements taken by Consumer Reports, however, it looks like we can chalk up the differences to Apple’s increasingly poor quality control rather than an amended design. More →

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Amazon allows Android application ‘test drives’ via virtual machine

By on March 28, 2011 at 12:29 PM.

Amazon allows Android application ‘test drives’ via virtual machine

Here’s an interesting way to add value to your mobile application store, free test drives! An overlooked feature of Amazon’s new Android app store provides users with the ability to try both free and paid applications before making their purchase. Being referred to as “Test Drive,” the company is utilizing an Android virtual machine to allow users to preview applications, in the desktop browser, before purchasing on their mobile. While a VM can’t give you the complete experience, it definitely can aid in weeding out those applications that are duds. The online retailer boasts that it has “hundreds of apps to Test Drive,” with more on the way. More →

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Apple calls foul on web browser speed test

By on March 17, 2011 at 4:09 PM.

Apple calls foul on web browser speed test

Earlier today, we told you about a study conducted by Blaze Software comparing the native browser speeds in Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. The results of over 45,000 tests were published, and the firm concluded that Android was roughly 52% faster than iOS in terms of browser performance. Not so fast, says Apple. In a statement to blog The Loop, an Apple spokesperson pointed out a perceived flaw in Blaze Software’s methodology. “Their testing is flawed because they didn’t actually test the Safari web browser on the iPhone,” wrote Apple’s spokesperson. “Instead they only tested their own proprietary app which uses an embedded web viewer that doesn’t take advantage of Safari’s web performance optimizations. Despite this fundamental testing flaw, they still only found an average of a second difference in loading web pages.” The UIWebView framework, which was used to run Blaze’s “proprietary app” in an “embedded web viewer,” does not leverage Apple’s Nitro JavaScript engine — the part of mobile Safari that Apple claims is nearly 2x faster than its predecessor. Tests that leverage the enhanced JavaScript engine would, according to Apple, have improved Safari’s performance. Blaze Software has yet to publicly comment on Apple’s rebuttal. More →

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PC World: T-Mobile’s 4G network wins smartphone speed test

By on March 14, 2011 at 8:31 PM.

PC World: T-Mobile’s 4G network wins smartphone speed test

PC World has published a report that compares the 4G data speeds of both smartphones and laptop modems. As we’ve said in the past, we realize that you’re an AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon Wireless customer because that particular carrier provides the services you want, need, and/or like in your area at a price you can afford. Nonetheless, hit the jump to see who was declared the winner! More →

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Motorola ATRIX 4G vs. LG Optimus 2X: Not all dual-cores are created equal

By on March 4, 2011 at 8:42 PM.

Motorola ATRIX 4G vs. LG Optimus 2X: Not all dual-cores are created equal

Android enthusiast blog Android and Me oversaw a benchmark battle royale on Friday. While the goal of the exercise was to pit the ATRIX 4G against the LG Optimus 2X to see which phone makes better use of its dual-core Tegra 2 processor, the overall results help emphasize something we constantly stress here on BGR: specs are only half the story. The blog arranged a benchmark battle between the ATRIX 4G and Optimus 2X along with Google’s Nexus S and Nexus One, HTC’s G2 and Motorola’s DROID, and the results are hardly what you might expect. First things first — LG’s Optimus 2X handily topped the list in six of eight tests performed, bested only by the ATRIX in the Smartbench 2011 productivity test and the Linpack test. The 800MHz-packing G2 outdid several 1GHz offerings in numerous tests, however, which may come a s surprise to many. Hit the break for a few sets of benchmark results mapped out on graphs, then hit the read link to check out the rest. More →

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Xperia Play PlayStation phone gets extensive preview; videos, benchmarks, more

By on January 7, 2011 at 8:37 AM.

Xperia Play PlayStation phone gets extensive preview; videos, benchmarks, more

Sony Ericsson might not be ready to unveil the highly anticipated Xperia Play at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, but the world is most definitely ready to see this little guy get official. Perhaps in an effort to appease the masses of anxious mobile gamers waiting impatiently to get their mits on the upcoming PlayStation-branded Gingerbread phone, Chinese enthusiast blog IT168 has issued an extensive preview of the device. And when we say extensive, we mean it. Details found within the preview include confirmation of a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, a Qualcomm Adreno 205 graphics processor, a 4-inch 854 x 480-pixel display, an 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, a 1,500 mAh battery, microSDHC support and 512 MB each of RAM and ROM. The blog also ran some benchmark tests and, well, the results were pretty impressive — the forthcoming Xperia phone scored 1,733 in Quadrant. Hit the jump for some solid Xperia porn and then hit the read link for a gigantic, poorly translated preview. More →

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RIM pits Playbook against iPad in browser showdown video

By on November 16, 2010 at 10:28 AM.

RIM pits Playbook against iPad in browser showdown video

RIM just let us know that they have put together a three minute video pitting the unreleased and unfinished Playbook tablet against Apple’s iPad. The Canadian tech giant boasts of its device’s superior web-page rendering speed, super Flash performance, a perfect score on the Acid 3 browser test with no rendering artifacts, and JavaScript fluidity. But hey, don’t listen to us break it out, check out the full video after the break and let us know what you think. Our quick feedback? It’s mighty impressive. Though we have to wonder, by the time the Playbook is released, there will most likely be an iPad 2 out, and we know Apple isn’t just going to sit still.

Read

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MacBook Air benchmarks: stock vs. built-to-order

By on November 9, 2010 at 2:10 PM.

MacBook Air benchmarks: stock vs. built-to-order

Ever since Apple announced the new MacBook Air — and we found out there was a built-to-order option which upped not only the RAM but CPU — we figured it would be worth putting it head to head with the stock model to see performance differences. We have a 13-inch MacBook Air “stock” model with a 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD drive. Our built to order MacBook Air is rocking a 2.13GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD drive. Hit the jump to check out our results. More →

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