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Posts Tagged ‘First Impressions’

LG Optimus L-style series hands-on

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

LG’s Optimus L-style family of (slightly more) affordable devices is here, packing a similar designer flavor to the Prada phone 3.0 alongside some reduced specifications. Three models made their debut here at MWC, from the 4.3-inch Optimus L7 to the dinkier 3.2-inch L3, with the 4-inch L5 offering a size and specification compromise right in the middle. Skip on past the break for some first impressions.

Gallery: LG Optimus L-series hands-on at MWC 2012

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LG Optimus L-style series hands-on originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 28 Feb 2012 03:14:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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LG Spectrum hands-on (video)

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

We got our first glimpse of Verizon’s latest LTE family member, the LG Spectrum, yesterday at the manufacturer’s event. At the time, however, we weren’t given an opportunity to get our own smudge marks on the glossy black device. That’s all changed now, as we’ve spent time on the showroom floor getting know this Android handset — a veritable twinner of the LG Nitro HD. So click on past the break as we parse through our first impressions.

Gallery: LG Spectrum hands-on

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LG Spectrum hands-on (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 10 Jan 2012 18:10:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Acer’s first venture into Windows Phone arrives in France as the Allegro

Sunday, October 30th, 2011
Remember the Acer W4? After seeing it at IFA 2011, it seems that it’s finally ready to make some first impressions, and its blind date is with France. Known officially as the Allegro, Acer’s inaugural Windows Phone isn’t going over the top in the spec department: it has a 3.6-inch WVGA (800 x 480) display, 1GHz single-core Qualcomm MSM8255 CPU, 8GB internal storage, 5MP rear camera with LED flash and a 1,300mAh battery. However, a unique addition to this €299 ($425) device is a feature called Fast Charge, which allows the Allegro to get juiced up to 2.5 times faster than the rest of the company’s lineup. Expect the device to land in France in mid-November with two color options — white and dark blue iceberg. Just make sure, Acer, to walk your date all the way back home from dinner.

Acer’s first venture into Windows Phone arrives in France as the Allegro originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 31 Oct 2011 00:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) first impressions

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

I have spent the past week or so playing with a Samsung Focus preloaded with the final build of Windows Phone 7.5, previously codenamed Mango. I have always appreciated what Windows Phone has to offer: a clean and intuitive user interface that works well, to put it simply. Windows Phone originally shipped lacking a few features, though. The NoDo update, for example, added copy and paste but the operating system still felt like it was lacking. Windows Phone 7.5 adopts Microsoft’s motto to “put people first,” and it does a fairly good job of that. There are hundreds of changes in Mango and in this hands-on look, I highlight a few changes that stood out to me during my time with the OS.

Groups and Chat integration

Microsoft’s focus with Windows Phone 7.5 was putting your friends and family up close. The SMS inbox now automatically integrates with Facebook Chat and Windows Live Messenger, allowing you to stay connected seamlessly. I asked Microsoft’s Windows Phone product manager Greg Sullivan if support for Google Chat and other clients, such as AIM, is in the works. He said they were not but that the groundwork is there, so if a third-party developer wants to create an app that integrates those chat clients, it can be done.

I loved the photo and social network integration when I first played with Windows Phone. It meant I could simply open up the photo app to see the latest images from my friends on Facebook. Windows Phone 7.5 takes that idea a step further and allows you to create “Groups.” This feature let me view updates that were posted by a select group of people, like my family or a subset of friends. It worked well and allowed me to quickly sort through the fluff for what I really care about.

App Connect

App Connect stood out as an especially compelling new feature in Windows Phone 7.5.  If, for example, you are planning to go to the movies and you use your Windows Phone to search for a nearby theater, the phone will automatically pull in any movie-related applications that are installed and query them for results.

I installed Flixter to test this functionality. After performing a quick search, I noticed that the movie “Killer Elite” was playing nearby. I tapped the movie name and the phone brought up showtimes and information about the show. However, swiping to the right also revealed a new “Apps” area that listed “Movies by Flixster” and other related programs. When I opened Flixter it automatically searched and found “Killer Elite,” and then provided reviews and other information.

TellMe text-to-speech

TellMe technology now lets you search the web or compose a text message using just your voice. The search option accepts voice commands, and it worked really well while I was driving in New Jersey and needed to quickly find a nearby Dunkin Donuts. In addition, the SMS voice-to-text functionality was nearly flawless. I spoke “Testing voice commands using text messages,” and it correctly typed out my message for me, allowing me to safely text my friends and family without having to divert my eyes from the road.

IE 9

Internet Explorer 9 worked very well and I love that Microsoft decided to include the search bar at the bottom of the screen instead of the top; it makes much more sense this way on a mobile device where your thumbs are always near the bottom of the display. Web sites looked great and were smooth thanks for support for hardware-accelerated graphics and a new JavaScript engine, but Windows Phone 7.5 still does not support Flash content. Of course, that’s certainly not a deal-breaker.

Windows Phone 7.5 Apps

Windows phone 7.5 enables apps to take advantage of a number of new features. Those developed for Windows Mango can be paired with App Connect for search integration, are capable of multitasking for quickly switching between apps (simply hold the back button to activate), support for double-sided and multiple Live Tiles and more.

Weather Live for example, a $1.99 Weather application that has been updated with Mango support, allows users to create multiple Live Tiles for different weather locations. I was able to easily pin weather information for New Jersey and New York to my home screen for quick at-a-glance notifications.

There are plenty of other Windows Phone 7.5 applications that take advantage of new Live Tile features. FourSquare, for example, shows the leaderboard for check-ins. I’m excited to see how other applications begin to take advantage of the advanced options.

Wrap-up

When I sat down with Microsoft’s Windows Phone product manager Greg Sullivan last week, he told me that Windows Phone 7.5 still actually has the build number “Windows Phone 7.1,” but that there were so many changes it couldn’t simply be a single iteration upgrade. I agree. Windows Phone 7.5 adds so many features that it would take pages and pages of text for me to cover them all; and each one makes the platform more user friendly and fun to use.

Microsoft and its Windows Phone partners, which now includes Nokia, have big plans for the platform moving forward. The company and its carrier partners are currently training in-store employees to use and assist customers with devices in an attempt to boost sales. We’re also expecting gorgeous new hardware from HTC, Samsung and Nokia in the coming months.

Windows Phone 7.5 is definitely a step in the right direction and I’m excited to watch the platform as it progresses even further. If you already own a Windows Phone device, Microsoft has already begun rolling Mango out to various devices.

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Hands-on with HTC’s Amaze 4G for T-Mobile (video)

Monday, September 26th, 2011

So how does HTC’s Amaze 4G stack up to its European counterpart, the Sensation XE? Pretty well actually. The 4.3-inch qHD smartphone also features Qualcomm’s 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon CPU, but bumps the RAM from 768MB to 1GB. It’s also HTC’s first NFC toting device and joins T-Mobile’s Galaxy S II as the other 42Mbps HSPA+ -capable handset on Magenta’s network. More noteworthy is its trick eight megapixel shooter, which features the same backside-illuminated sensor, f2.2 wide-angle optics and 1080p video recording capability as the myTouch 4G Slide. Similarly, the Amaze 4G hangs on to quite a bit of that phone’s camera software, including a new composite mode that automagically creates one stellar image out of five less than fabulous snapshots. We also liked the addition of two physical camera buttons, one for stills and the other for video. First impressions of the Sense-laden, Gingerbread smartphone? It’s very much like a Sensation on steroids, with a definite T-Mobile flavor. Take a look at our gallery and hit the break for our hands-on video from Mobilize 2011.

Myriam Joire contributed to this report.

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Hands-on with HTC’s Amaze 4G for T-Mobile (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 27 Sep 2011 00:37:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Windows 8 for tablets hands-on preview (video)

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Just last week, we got our paws on Samsung’s Series 7 Slate, and it’s already making its second debut. This time around, however, it’s sporting a much more mouthwatering setup. No, it’s not dawning Lady Gaga’s edible leftovers; this new look comes courtesy of Microsoft’s much teased and hotly anticipated touch-friendly OS, Windows 8. As you’ve likely already heard, the latest incarnation of the operating system is something entirely new for Redmond, and, as it turns out, the world. It’s unlike anything we’ve seen before, but that won’t stop us from making comparisons.

Like Apple’s latest attempt at a desktop OS, Windows 8 borrows largely from its mobile kin, Window Phone 7, bringing its signature live tiles to tablets and PCs, and from what we’ve seen it does so effortlessly. Before we go ruining a good thing, however, we have to point out that this isn’t everything Windows has to offer — it’s still a developers preview (and in turn, an OS under construction), and the device it’s running on hasn’t been approved as an official Windows 8 slate. Got all that? Good. Read on for our first impressions!

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Windows 8 for tablets hands-on preview (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 13 Sep 2011 12:05:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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WIMM Labs introduces tiny wearable computer platform, we go hands-on

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Tablets and smartphones might rule the present, but if you ask the folks at WIMM Labs, the future of data consumption is a one-inch by one-inch square. The Palo Alto startup just revealed its new, wearable computing platform, developed, in part, through a partnership with Foxconn, that it hopes will change the way we look at computers. Currently known as the WIMM wearable platform, this new modular device packs a full-color 160 x 160 touchscreen, WiFi and Blutetooth connectivity, an accelerometer and magnetometer, and runs on good old Android. What’s more, it’s waterproof. Basically, it’s a tiny, multifunctional computer, packed with “micro apps” that can make it anything from a smart watch to a health monitor, from a mobile payment device to an all-in-one remote. As of now, the company doesn’t have plans to market it direct to consumers, but says it has a few partnerships in the works that could bring a WIMM-powered something to market by year’s end; a developer kit will go on sale in the next few weeks for an undisclosed price. If you’re itching to ditch that tired old diamond-encrusted nano watch, check out the galleries below and hop on past the break for our first impressions, video, and full PR.

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WIMM Labs introduces tiny wearable computer platform, we go hands-on originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 02 Aug 2011 09:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sharp Aquos SH-12C 3D smartphone hands-on (video)

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Towards the end of our recent trip to Taiwan for Computex, just as the hustle and bustle was winding down and we’d settled on a bit of sightseeing, we stumbled upon a rare beast — a smartphone unicorn of sorts — the Sharp Aquos SH-12C. This 3D-capable Android handset for NTT’s Docomo network was imported from its native Japan by a Hong Kong resident who was also attending the epic trade show. Like the HTC EVO 3D, this device features twin cameras and a glasses-free stereoscopic qHD display, so we decided to combine work and play by getting some hands-on time with this mysterious phone right on the observation deck of Taipei 101. Take a look a our gallery below — complete with foggy views from the 89th floor at dusk — and hit the break for our hands-on video, first impressions and some camera samples.

Continue reading Sharp Aquos SH-12C 3D smartphone hands-on (video)

Sharp Aquos SH-12C 3D smartphone hands-on (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 20 Jun 2011 10:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nintendo Wii U controller, first hands-on!

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

We just elbowed our way through the crowds and managed to get our first hands-on time with Nintendo’s revolutionary new controller, the Wii U. As you can see in the images, it’s a rather different thing than even the company’s typically unusually styled contraptions. The dominant feature is the center-mounted 6.2-inch touchscreen, which actually looks really good. We’d expected Nintendo would cheap out to keep costs low, but that doesn’t appear to be the case, at least not in our first impressions. Join us after the break for more details.

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Nintendo Wii U controller, first hands-on! originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 07 Jun 2011 13:58:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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iTunes (in the Cloud) 10.3 beta available for download, we go hands-on

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

If you live in the US or Canada then the iTunes 10.3 beta is ready to rumble. Automatic downloads and access to your purchase history is limited to iOS 4.3.3 users on the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 (GSM only, sorry Verizon subscribers), and 3rd and 4th generation iPod touch devices. Once you meet those requirements, the iTunes in the Cloud beta promises to keep all of your newly purchased iTunes music in sync between devices while giving you the choice to download previously purchased tracks whenever you want at no additional cost. 10.3 beta also brings the Automatic Downloads feature to your apps and books, now allowing you to purchase tomes from your desktop while keeping them in sync with the iBooks app running on your iOS devices.

Naturally, we couldn’t help but test it out ourselves from both a Mac and iPhone 4, so click through for our first impressions.

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iTunes (in the Cloud) 10.3 beta available for download, we go hands-on originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 07 Jun 2011 07:55:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Verizon HTC ThunderBolt unboxing

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

We just received our Verizon HTC ThunderBolt, and we’ve dug through the very black and red packaging to pull out a 4.3″ 4G Android device — and we even photographed it. In all seriousness, the HTC ThunderBolt is one feature-packed handset, and it’s the first one to run on Verizon’s new 4G LTE network which spits down hyper-fast speeds. We already spent some hands-on time with the unit, but some more quick first impressions? We’re really digging the styling, it looks great in person. The screen is very attractive — it looks beautiful — colors are super rich, and text is very crisp. The device is reasonably thick, and pretty large, though that’s obviously due to the internals and that amazing 4.3″ display. We’ll be putting the HTC ThunderBolt through our review process ASAP, but in the meantime, make sure to check out some unboxing photos of one of the most anticipated handsets of the last few months.

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Dell Latitude E6220 hands-on

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011
Sure, the Dell Means Business event this morning was a bit of a snore, but amidst all the talk of backlit keyboards (egads!), four-times faster hard drive encryption, and cookware-inspired design, we spotted a rather attractive (perhaps even enticing) enterprise system — the Dell Latitude E6220 laptop. According to Dell, this 12-inch thin-and-light is targeting “field workers” like us, so we wasted no time getting some hands-on time with it alongside our trusty 11-inch MacBook Air. Check out the gallery below, and read on for our first impressions.

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Dell Latitude E6220 hands-on originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 08 Feb 2011 23:10:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Notion Ink Adam clears FCC, begins shipping ‘around Wednesday’

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

We don’t see it in the FCC database yet but Notion Ink’s charming Rohan Shravan just penned a post on the company’s blog with news that Adam has official clearance from the US government. That’s right, after several delays the tiny startup will finally condense its occassionally vapory molecules into a solid slab of shipping tablet starting “around Wednesday” after the hardware receives its FCC tattoo. A tablet good enough to earn a Best of CES 2011 honorable mention at an event absolutely flooded with tablets from a who’s who of consumer electronics companies. While our first impressions of the production unit were positive, we’re holding off on making a final judgement until we’ve had the chance to perform a full review. Having said that, Adam’s final NI3421A01 product code is so nerdy — 3421 are consecutive numbers in the Fibonacci series — that we’re almost tempted to place an order ourselves. Almost.

[Thanks, John]

Notion Ink Adam clears FCC, begins shipping ‘around Wednesday’ originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 15 Jan 2011 04:10:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Google Nexus S hands-on

Friday, December 10th, 2010

The nice folks in Mountain View, CA were kind enough to shoot us over a Google Nexus S, and we finally have it in our hands. Here are first impressions in addition to a boat load of photos below:

  • The Nexus S feels very solid and is extremely comfortable to hold and use in your hand. It’s the greatest Samsung Galaxy S handset to exist — we’re really loving the shape of the device including the “inverted chin” on the bottom of the phone as well as the contoured glass display. With Gingerbread’s slightly refreshed UI and Samsung’s deep, rich black levels on the display, it’s tough to tell where the screen starts at the top — the design works that well together. As far as the rear of the phone is concerned, well, it’s a high gloss black plastic — Fingerprint Productions, Inc.
  • This might be the fastest Android handset we’ve used — not necessarily because the hardware is so spectacular (it’s obviously top notch, just not mind-numbing), but because of the speed increases and optimizations Gingerbread brings paired with Google’s stock OS with no customizations — this bad boy flies.
  • Touch sensitivity and response on the display makes the phone that much more delightful to use, and again, the screen itself is sharp, vivid, and looks great.
  • The four Android keys beneath the display work well, are touch sensitive, and even light down when a key is selected in addition to giving you a mild haptic feedback buzz.
  • From our very quick speakerphone test, audio didn’t sound all that great, but audio from the ear speaker sounded fine.
  • The way the phone powers off — as rumored, it’s like an old tube TV — is so darn cool we shot a quick video of that and an ultra brief walk through.

Check back for our review of the device in the coming days, and in the meantime, peruse some visuals, why don’t you? We even brought out our Nexus One to meet its new friend. Photos and video after the break!

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Google Cr-48 Chrome laptop hands-on

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

We just said adéu to our friendly FedEx delivery person and ripped into our care package sent by Google. On first glance, the Google Cr-48 Chrome laptop looks very similar to Apple’s black MacBook. The screen is 12.1-inches, the entire computer is done up in a soft-touch rubberized finish, and — while it’s a bit thick (we’re used to using a MacBook Air) — we have had some fun typing on the well thought out (and well spaced) keyboard. Here are our first impressions:

  • We can’t get over how instant this thing is — it boots and wakes from sleep literally in one second max!
  • The soft-touch rubber finish, which at first didn’t sound very appealing, works really well on this super stealth, never-being-released notebook.
  • This is more of a preference, but we’d take a glossy display over the matte one on here any day… although the matte finished does fit into the anti-gloss vibe of the machine.
  • We can’t begin to explain how great of a feeling it is to have Verizon cellular support built in and how simple and easy the set up process is. Activating our 100MB/mo free account was extremely simple. One or two more steps than signing up for AT&T’s prepaid iPad plans — very solid.
  • Switching between open windows (think Spaces on a Mac with less jazz) is incredibly quick.
  • It’s so hard to get used to the fact that everything is browser-based, but it all has seemed to work very well for us so far.
  • Guest accounts rock!
  • All of our Google Chrome extensions and bookmarks were transferred over instantly for us — super cool.
  • The speed of the machine, in general, is obviously slower than we’d like and for a 12-inch (read: large) computer. But again, this isn’t meant to be released to the general public.
  • We had some wonkiness with the upper part of the LCD screen when we first turned it on, but we’re thinking that might have been due to the extreme temperatures this poor sucker had to endure on its journey to us this morning.
  • The trackpad hates us. It’s incredibly annoying and difficult to use. First off, it feels cheap, and second, unless you are scrolling with two fingers, don’t even try and have more than one finger at a time on here.

We’re cranking away and exploring Google’s first Chrome OS laptop and we will be sure to report back with more findings over the next couple days. In the meantime, hit up our hands-on gallery while we go make some insanely hot hot-chocolate!

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Most popular this week on BGR

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

November 15th – 21st

  1. Motorola DROID Pro first impressions
  2. Hands-on with the new Facebook messaging system
  3. Apple’s iPhone 4 in white hands-on, kind of!
  4. Verizon announces ‘Smartphones Talk Free’ promotion
  5. HTC Knight is a 4G QWERTY slider, runs Android 2.2
  6. Facebook hack disabling female user accounts en masse?
  7. Apple iPad available for $399 from TJ Maxx and Marshalls
  8. iPad 2 initial parts suppliers revealed
  9. Woz thinks Android will win; says Apple tried, failed to launch a smartphone in 2004
  10. Google CEO shows off Nexus S, reveals NFC capabilities

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T-Mobile HTC HD7 Windows Phone 7 hands on

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

T-Mobile zipped us over a brand new HTC HD7 loaded with Redmond’s brand new operating system and we have some first impressions to report back. For starters, we’re really like the design of the phone. It’s not over the top — the front of the device is more subtle than anything else. We love how HTC has used both the top and bottom parts of the phone in a unique way design-wise. There’s the same metal mesh inlayed for the ear speaker on top as there is on the bottom to complete the design vision. From a practical point of view, this unfortunately doesn’t work for me personally. I take issue with the way HTC has created these sunken-in ear speakers on their latest devices (HTC EVO, G2), and it makes the phones uncomfortable to talk on. There is a very minimalistic feeling for the front of the phone with just the three Microsoft-required hardware (in this case touch-sensitive) keys, and that’s it.

The phone feels solid, good to hold and use, though our volume rocker seems to be loose and it rattles whenever you transport the phone or pick it up. It’s a little irritating. The display on the device is top-notch as expected, and touch sensitivity is mostly on par with other competing devices.The internals of this device mostly mirror the HTC HD2 to a tee: 1GHz Qualcomm QSD8250 CPU, 576 MB of RAM and a 5-megapixel autofocus camera. It’s a tad bit disappointing, but the end result is a very speedy handset that delivers a great experience (if you’re the Windows Phone 7 type), and you can’t really complain too much about that. We have our hands on gallery all ready to go for you below!

HTC HD7

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