The Motorola DROID RAZR is arguably the most exciting Android device to come across my desk in some time, but all the hype in the world doesn’t necessarily mean it deserves to carry the iconic RAZR name. It’s a 4G LTE device that packs in a powerful processor, high resolution display, 16GB of built-in storage, 1080p HD video capture capability and plenty more. But is this Motorola’s best phone since the original RAZR? I have spent the past few days with the Motorola DROID RAZR, so hit the break for my full review.
We just confirmed some of the specifications for the upcoming Motorola DROID device (DROID HD / DROID RAZR / Spyder) that Verizon Wireless and Motorola are rumored to be announcing next week, and they are monster. Here is what we have:
- Thinner and “faster than the iPhone 4S” according to our source
- 1GB of RAM — double the iPhone 4 and 4S
- 1.2GHz dual-core processor
- 4G LTE (thinnest LTE phone to date)
- 4.3-inch display
The teaser video for this phone appears to be a direct shot at the iPhone — faster, thinner, smarter, stronger — and with the specifications above and rumored physical attributes like a case molded from Kevlar, a Gorilla Glass display and a splash-resistant coating, it looks like we’re in for quite an event next Tuesday.
Samsung has begun sending event invitations to bloggers and members of the press for an event on August 29th where the South Korea-based vendor will unveil U.S. models of its popular Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone. The devices will be unveiled in New York City, and no other details from Samsung are available at this time. BGR exclusively reported earlier this month that Sprint’s version of the Galaxy S II would be called the Epic Touch 4G, and a purported Verizon Wireless roadmap suggested that the nation’s top carrier could release the sleek smartphone on September 9th as the Samsung Stratosphere, though other reports have suggested the Stratosphere is a different device that is not part of the Galaxy S II line. Versions are expected for both AT&T and T-Mobile as well, though details surrounding these devices have not yet been revealed. BGR reviewed the international version of the Galaxy S II back in May, and we found it to be one of our favorite Android smartphones to date at that time.
UPDATE: Due to the hurricane approaching the New York area, Samsung has pushed this event back one day to Tuesday, August 30th.
Wireless carriers around the world are digging themselves into a deeper hole by neglecting to experiment with innovative pricing models for 4G LTE services. While consumers have exhibited concern surrounding tiered data plans and bandwidth throttling, Ovum believes such models are necessary to combat the growing capacity crunch plaguing cellular service providers. This crunch, of course, is serious enough that AT&T is hoping to soon $39 billion in order to acquire T-Mobile USA and use the carrier’s precious spectrum for its 4G LTE network build-out. Smartphone and mobile broadband users are pumping more data over wireless networks than ever before, and speedier 4G LTE service only stands to exacerbate the situation. Additionally, carriers are missing the opportunity to find new ways to squeeze more revenue out of this new premium high-speed service. “We looked at the LTE pricing strategies of operators in Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the US, and were disappointed with our findings,” Ovum analyst Nicole McCormick said in a statement. “LTE provides operators with the opportunity to experiment with new and innovative pricing models, which allows them to find the best way of deriving revenues from the premium service. However, most operators have not grasped this opportunity. Instead, LTE tariffs in the regions Ovum analysed are dominated by unlimited offerings and large data buckets, which can be problematic.” Ovum’s full press release follows below. More →
Verizon Wireless has a blockbuster smartphone and tablet lineup planned ahead of the holiday shopping season this year according to a purported leaked roadmap. Published on Wednesday by IGN, the roadmap reveals numerous previously unheard of devices. While details are scarce for the time being, several highly anticipated phones are mentioned on the document as well, alongside launch dates. The following are highlights from the document along with launch dates and some available details:
- September 8th: Samsung Stratosphere (presumably Verizon’s Galaxy S II) — 4G LTE, Android 2.3 Gingerbread
- September 8th: Motorola DROID BIONIC
- September 8th: BlackBerry Curve 9370 — 4G LTE
- September 8th: 4G Motorola XOOM
- September 29th: Samsung Illusion — Android 2.3 Gingerbread
- September 29th: HTC Bliss — Android 2.3 Gingerbread
- October 5th: HTC Vigor — replaces the HTC Thunderbolt
- October 20th: LG Revolution 2 — replaces the LG Revolution
- November: Galaxy Tab P8 — 4G LTE
The document also mentions a Samsung Plato, though it says the device’s launch has been delayed until January, and it states that Verizon will launch RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook at a date to be determined. None of this is confirmed for the time being, though if accurate, Verizon Wireless subscribers can expect quite a lineup this fall straight through to the holidays. More →
The launch of Apple’s next-generation iPhone will propel global iPhone sales to 30 million units in the calendar fourth quarter of this year, BTIG Research analyst Walter Piecyk wrote on Wednesday. BTIG had previously estimated that Apple would sell 21.5 million iPhone handsets in the fourth quarter, but in light of Apple having recently reporting sales of 20.34 million units in the fiscal third quarter, the firm’s previous estimate is almost certainly low. Piecyk also believes Apple may sell more than 10 million iPhones in the U.S. alone in the fourth quarter. AT&T, he says, could sell as many as 5 million Apple phones next quarter thanks to the iPhone 5 launch and the possible continuation of a $50 legacy iPhone model. Verizon could sell as many as 4 million iPhones in the fourth quarter, making up 45% of the carrier’s smartphone sales in the quarter; Piecyk thinks Verizon’s continued success with 4G LTE-enabled Android smartphones will drive total smartphone sales to 9 million units in the quarter. Finally, the analyst sees Sprint launching the fifth-generation iPhone this fall, and he estimates sales of 1.5 million units in the fourth quarter. More →
Verizon Wireless just sent us the 4G LTE-equipped version of Samsung’s flagship Android tablet, the Galaxy Tab 10.1, and we’re ready to deliver our initial impressions. First things first: this should go without saying at this point, but this puppy is ridiculously fast. Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network is unmatched when it comes speed and latency — from the user’s perspective, it’s pretty much like being connected to a Wi-Fi network. A few quick tests performed just outside New York City showed the blazing-fast speed we’ve come to expect from Verizon’s 4G network, ranging from about 12-15Mbps down and 3-5Mbps up. On the hardware side of the equation, Samsung’s LTE tablet has undergone a handful of cosmetic changes. Holding the slate in landscape orientation, the stereo speakers have been moved up the sides of the device to accommodate the power button and the volume rocker, which are now on the left side of the Tab 10.1 instead of up on top. The back of the tablet is also slightly different. It now features a gray plastic rear cover with a brushed metal effect. We like the look of the new back but unfortunately, the quality seems to be a bit lacking. Within a few minutes of removing the new Galaxy Tab 10.1 from its box, there were already a few scratches on the back case. Overall build is solid, however, just like our original limited edition 10.1 model, and it’s still remarkable that Samsung was able to make this tablet so thin. Check out our hands-on 4G LTE Galaxy Tab 10.1 photo gallery below for more photos of this sleek, speedy slate.
Motorola will finally make a 4G LTE upgrade available to owners of its XOOM tablet beginning in September. The tablet ships with an embedded EV-DO modem for 3G connectivity on Verizon Wireless’ network out of the box, but Motorola had promised that an upgrade to 4G LTE would become available this past May. Motorola has not been clear on the cause of the delay, but the company began sending emails to XOOM owners telling them to expect the update in September. Applying the 4G LTE upgrade requires that a new modem replace the old one in the XOOM, and Motorola will need customers to ship their tablets out for up to a week in order to have the upgrade applied. The process will be free of charge for XOOM owners. More →
Verizon Wireless on Tuesday unveiled the latest addition to its connected notebook PC lineup, the HP Pavilion dm1-3010nr. The new Pavilion laptop is Verizon’s first model to feature an embedded 4G LTE modem for high-speed 4G connectivity out of the box. The 1.2-inch-thick notebook is also no slouch where specs are concerned; highlights include an 11.6-inch 1366 x 768-pixel LED display, a 1.6GHz dual-core AMD processor, 2GB of DDR3 RAM, a 320GB hard drive, a VGA webcam and Windows 7 Home Premium. The HP Pavilion dm1-3010nr goes on sale this Thursday, July 28th, for $599.99. Users will also need to choose between one of two data plans — $50 each month for 5GB, or $80 each month for 10GB. Verizon Wireless’ full press release follows below. More →
Verizon Wireless products and services have been noticeably absent from RadioShack’s wireless portfolio, but that comes to an end this fall. The nationwide retailer on Tuesday announced an agreement that will finally see it begin to offer devices from the country’s top carrier on September 15th. At the same time, The Shack announced that it will stop selling T-Mobile products and services a day earlier on September 14th. Following the company’s second-quarter earnings report, which saw net income slide 53% from the same quarter last year, RadioShack stock climbed 7% on the news. “This is a substantial win for our customers, as this relationship with the nation’s largest wireless provider will further enhance our position as a leading multi-carrier wireless retailer,” RadioShack CEO Jim Gooch said in a statement. “The addition of Verizon Wireless, in combination with our existing carrier partners, positions us to now offer the best assortment of carriers, rate plans, devices and accessories for every consumer need.” RadioShack’s full press release follows below. More →
Ahead of an official announcement expected on Tuesday, Verizon Wireless let slip a promotional video starring its upcoming flagship BlackBerry smartphone, the BlackBerry Bold 9930. First revealed exclusively here on BGR, this next-generation Bold smartphone is the handset BlackBerry fans have been clamoring for. It features a sharp 2.8-inch touchscreen above the famous full QWERTY that RIM’s phones are known for. While the Torch was the first BlackBerry device to pair a touchscreen and a full QWERTY, the keyboard was no match for the one found on RIM’s Curve and Bold smartphones. Thankfully, the 9930 sports the best of both worlds and although we’re far more interested in seeing what QNX-powered devices RIM has in the works, the Bold 9930 will certainly help tide over legions of BlackBerry fans while they await RIM’s next bushel of Berries. An official Verizon Wireless video showing off the new Bold 9930 follows below. More →
Newly appointed Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam is already making waves. While fielding questions on Verizon’s earnings call on Friday, McAdam let slip some interesting notes regarding Apple’s fifth-generation iPhone. The executive was asked by an analyst if he thought Verizon Wireless would meet earlier estimates projecting that smartphones would be in the hands of 50% of postpaid subscribers this year. “We like the gross add mix that we see coming in here. We are in the roughly 60% kind of range,” McAdam responded according to the Associated Press’ transcription. He continues, “We are probably what I would view as maybe a quarter behind what we had talked about in January, primarily because we expected an iPhone 5 refresh sometime this summer. We don’t know when the next one is going to come out. You will have to ask Apple that, but we expect that probably sometime in the fall, and I think you will see a significant jump there when we get to that point.” More →
A new page on T-Mobile USA’s website makes some fairly bold claims about the carrier’s premier Honeycomb tablet, the LG G-Slate. In comparing the sleek device to its steepest competition at AT&T and Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile says the G-Slate is “more than two times faster than the Apple iPad 2 on AT&T and Verizon, and three times faster than the Motorola XOOM on Verizon — and it’s less expensive, too!” At $399.99 with a 2-year data contract or $599.99 off contract, there is no question that the G-Slate is cheaper. Apple’s 3G iPad 2 is $729 with the same 32GB of storage and the Motorola XOOM is $599.99 on contract or $799.99 contract-free. Regarding the speed-related claims, some questions have been raised as to how T-Mobile came to those conclusions. “An independent third party conducted testing to compare T-Mobile’s G-Slate, AT&T’s iPad 2 and Verizon Wireless’ Motorola XOOM,” a T-Mobile spokesperson told BGR in an email. “The testing was conducted in two cities – New York and Seattle – across 30 locations and at least five repetitions with each device per location per market. The total sample size was 300 tests encompassing at least 70 percent of a market.” T-Mobile has once again pitted its 4G HSPA+ service against comparable networks from its two largest competitors, and according to this third-party study, the nation’s No. 4 carrier has again come out on top. BGR reviewed T-Mobile’s G-Slate tablet this past April and found that the hardware was best-in-class, though we were not impressed with Google’s initial build of Android 3.0 Honeycomb.