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Posts Tagged ‘Gigabytes’

Now is the worst time ever to buy an Android phone

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Android phones have never been as impressive as they are today. They have never been as responsive, as slim or as powerful. Their displays have never been more vivid or more stunning. Their data speeds have never been as fast. Competition is now hotter than ever before in the smartphone market and consumers are reaping the benefits. At its core, each and every new smartphone that launches is an engineering feat that simply could not have existed a few short years ago. And yet as amazing as the current crop of smartphones might be, there has probably never been a worse time in Android’s brief but storied history for savvy users to buy a smartphone.

A quick glance through the smartphone catalogs of each of the four major wireless carriers in the United States reveals a terrific array of Android handsets. There is certainly no shortage of gigahertz or gigabytes, and spec sheets in general have become laundry lists of cutting-edge technology. More importantly, of course, this new breed of Google-powered phones offers performance that is far more responsive and fluid than previous generations of handsets. But as impressive as these devices are, right now is a horrible time to buy any of them.

Things are about to get a whole lot better.

For tech savvy smartphone users, committing to a two-year contract is brutal. Mobile technology moves so fast that smartphones can seem outdated just months after they launch. While this trend is bound to continue, the degree to which new generations of Android phones outdo their predecessors will always ebb and flow. Handsets have been improving at a somewhat modest pace for the past year or so, but the next crop of smartphones to hit store shelves will represent a huge leap forward rather than a few short steps.

Two leading smartphone makers, Samsung and HTC, are on the verge of launching next-generation devices that will put today’s high-end handsets to shame. HTC has already unveiled its new One-series phones, and the two high-end models it showed off at Mobile World Congress are game-changers, plain and simple.

The HTC One X is the Taiwan-based company’s flagship smartphone for the first half of 2012, and it features a 1.5GHz quad-core Tegra 3 processor, a 4.6-inch 1,280 x 720-pixel Super LCD 2 display, an 8-megapixel rear camera, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for 720p video chats, 1GB of RAM, 32 GB of internal storage, embedded 4G LTE and Sense 4.0 on top of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. All that technology, mind you, is squeezed into a gorgeous 9.27-millimeter-thick unibody polycarbonate case. The U.S. version of this handset will feature a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor and 16GB of internal storage, but the impact of this “downgrade” on the user experience is negligible — the phone is still lightning fast and beyond smooth.

HTC’s One S is a mid-range smartphone, though the term “mid-range” is used very loosely in this case. The device sports a 4.3-inch qHD AMOLED display, a dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, an amazing 8-megapixel camera, 16GB of internal storage, Sense 4.0 and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, all packed within an even more slender 7.9-millimeter case made of Micro-Arc Oxidized aluminum.

While Samsung hasn’t yet unveiled its next-generation flagship smartphone, a series of exclusive BGR reports paint a fairly comprehensive picture of the Galaxy S III. To start things off, we can expect the most stunning display ever to be used on a smartphone. This high-definition, 1080p-resolution, 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display will be to smartphones what Apple’s new Retina Display is to tablets. Toss in a 1.5GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos processor, an 8-megapixel rear camera, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, 4G LTE, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and a sleek ceramic case, and you’ve got one of the most remarkable mobile devices the world has ever seen.

In short, there probably hasn’t been a worse time than right now to buy a new Android phone and get locked in to a new two-year contract.

These next-generation Android phones will set a new precedent, and handsets that launch for the subsequent six to nine months will be playing catch-up. The chips within these new smartphones are faster, smaller and they consume power far more efficiently than the silicon that came before them. And while I haven’t yet had the opportunity to test the upcoming Galaxy S III, I have handled the One X and One S, and I can confidently say that they offer an end-to-end experience that is significantly better than what we see on the market today. The cameras alone, which are powered by a dedicated chip and are capable of capturing a RAW 8-megapixel image and returning to a ready state in just 0.7 seconds, are worth the wait.

These new smartphones will be slimmer, sleeker and more capable than anything on the market today, and they will still tout better battery life and more impressive performance. With HTC’s handsets ready to begin launching next month on AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, and the Galaxy S III set to be unveiled in April or May, Android fans would be wise to sit tight for now.

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AT&T amends data throttling policy: 5GB for LTE smartphones, 3GB for non-LTE

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

AT&T on Thursday announced a revision to its smartphone data throttling policy, which impacts users who have chosen to retain the unlimited smartphone data plan AT&T discontinued some time ago. AT&T’s policy had been ambiguous until now, with the carrier stating simply that the top 5% of smartphone users would experience slowed data speeds until a new billing period began. It was unclear how much data a subscriber had to use in order to approach the top 5%, however, and a number of reports claimed users were being throttled after using 2GB of data or even less. Now, AT&T is clarifying that it will only begin throttling smartphone users with 4G LTE devices after 5GB of data has been used in a single billing period, and subscribers with non-LTE devices will be throttled after 3GB of usage. It has also been reported that AT&T increased the speeds experienced by users while their data speeds are being throttled, but a company spokesperson declined to comment. AT&T’s full statement follows below.

With mobile data usage continuing to skyrocket and the availability of spectrum scarce, AT&T, like other wireless companies, manages its network in the most fair way possible so that we can provide the best possible mobile broadband experience for all our customers.

How we’re managing the network only affects a small minority of the heaviest smartphone data users still on unlimited plans. Put another way, this does not impact more than 95 percent of our smartphone customers.

Our unlimited plan customers have told us they want more clarity around how the program works and what they can expect. Here’s what customers need to know:

  • Customers with a 3G or 4G smartphone – who also still have our unlimited data plan – will see speeds reduced if they use 3GB (gigabytes) of data or more in a billing cycle. Speeds will return to normal at the start of the next billing cycle. For context, less than 5 percent of smartphone customers use more than 3GB per month.
  • For customers with a 4G LTE smartphone – who also still have our unlimited data plan – data speeds will be reduced if usage is 5GB (gigabytes) or more in a billing cycle. Speeds will return to normal at the start of the next billing cycle.

Customers will get a text message from us before experiencing a change in speed.

Even with reduced data speeds, these customers will still be able to email and surf the web, and continue to use an unlimited amount of data each month.

Not impacted by this program, launched last year, are customers on our tiered data plans.

The reason reduced speeds only apply to unlimited smartphone customers is because their data usage is significantly higher than those on tiered plans. For example, in January, the top 5 percent of our unlimited data plan customers used an average of over 50 percent more data than the top 5 percent of customers on tiered plans.

Because spectrum is limited and data usage continues to soar, we manage our network this way to be as fair as possible and so we can provide the best possible mobile broadband experience to everyone.

We encourage all of our customers to use Wi-Fi whenever possible – especially when watching video, which is the most data-intensive activity.

That’s because data activity over Wi-Fi does not count against the threshold for unlimited customers that triggers reduced data speeds or against customers’ tiered data plans. Customers can find out more at www.att.com/datainfo

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Samsung Galaxy Note Notepad hands-on at CES: it’s like a Note, but analog

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

What if Samsung made a Galaxy Note, but instead of throwing a dual-core processor, a few megabytes (or gigabytes, whatever) of RAM, and random pieces of silicon between the front and rear covers, it included an undetermined amount of paper? What it we lived in a world where that type of activity was not only okay, but encouraged? What if the Note is actually the Notepad in a parallel universe? What if the aforesaid parallel universe is reality in Las Vegas, Nevada? Think about it.

Samsung Galaxy Note Notepad hands-on at CES: it’s like a Note, but analog originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 15 Jan 2012 05:19:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hands On With $3,000 Worth Of Flash Drive [Flash Drives]

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

PSA: AT&T DSL and U-Verse landline internet caps begin tomorrow, if you can see this website

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Tomorrow is May 2nd, 2011, and you know what that means — tomorrow is the day that AT&T will impose data caps on DSL and U-Verse Internet, and begin tallying up overage fees. At least, that was the plan on March 18th — when the company formally announced 150GB DSL and 250GB U-Verse caps — but even if you’re a paying customer who chows down several hundred gigabytes in a month, you may not have to worry about paying extra right away. AT&T specified that folks like yourself will have access to an online tool to self-police your usage before the company even begins to calculate the cost of your formerly all-you-can-eat bandwidth buffet, and as you can see in the picture above, the tool isn’t quite ready for public consumption across the entire country. Scoot on over to our source link, enter your AT&T ID, and if you see the same, perhaps you won’t have to cancel your 700-hour Star Trek marathon quite yet.

PSA: AT&T DSL and U-Verse landline internet caps begin tomorrow, if you can see this website originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 01 May 2011 13:16:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nokia’s E7 hitting store shelves in ‘select markets’ starting this week

Monday, February 7th, 2011

In a short press release today, Nokia announced that its business-centric E7 handset would begin arriving in stores in “select markets” starting this week. The full-QWERTY, horizontal slide and tilt device boasts a 4-inch ClearBlack display, peta-band WCDMA radio, quad-band GSM radio, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS, 16 GB of internal storage, an 8 megapixel camera with 720p video recording and dual-LED flash, HDMI connector, and 1200 mAh battery. The device, which was officially announced back in September of this year, should retail for around €495. Hit the jump for the full press release.

All-in-one business smartphone, the Nokia E7, arrives in stores

Espoo, Finland – The highly anticipated Nokia E7 will begin arriving in stores in select markets this week, with broader availability building up quickly in several markets.

With its tilting 4 inch ClearBlack display, full qwerty keyboard and a fast access to a wide variety of apps directly on the homescreen, the Nokia E7 is the key to having a successful day in or out of the office. Importantly, the device supports business applications from leading enterprise technology partners including Microsoft and IBM.

Key features of the Nokia E7
– Easy access to private and business email
- Create, edit and share office documents and view PDF files with Adobe Reader
- Fast, secure intranet access with the built-in VPN
- High-resolution photos and HD video with the 8 megapixel camera and dual LED flash
- HDMI connectivity to project files, videos and images onto large screens
- 16 gigabytes of on-board flash memory
- USB-On-The-Go, enabling easy file sharing by connecting a USB stick to the smartphone

For business users, Nokia E7 provides direct, secure and real-time access to email, calendar, contacts, tasks and the corporate directory through Microsoft Exchange servers, as well as Office Communicator Mobile, developed by Microsoft for Nokia smartphones, which brings presence and corporate instant messaging.

Additionally, a wide range of entertainment and social services available on the Nokia E7 make it the perfect off-duty companion, and the Ovi Store offers a wealth of apps such as Bloomberg, Angry Birds and Sports Tracker.

The new arrival offers drive or walk navigation in 80 countries. The latest commercial version of Ovi Maps, available immediately via Ovi Store or Ovi Suite, adds visibility to subways, trams and trains, real-time traffic, safety alerts, visibility to parking and petrol stations, speed limit warnings, and improved search and location sharing capabilities.

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Google’s Cr-48 netbook now surfing on AT&T’s GSM network (after a gentle hack)

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

Oh, sure — Google’s being all-too-kind by handing out a few free megabytes of Verizon data with each of its Cr-48 netbooks, but if you’re both lucky enough to have one and more inclined to use that dust-collecting AT&T SIM of yours, there’s hardly a better day for you to pay attention to a hack. After noticing that a recent update to Chrome OS added GSM support for Qualcomm’s Gobi 3G chip, Hexxeh dug in a little to see what it’d take to get the Cr-48 operational with a data SIM from Ma Bell. Turns out there’s shockingly little needed from you; simply flip the Developer switch beneath the battery and follow the shell commands listed in the source link. It should be noted that there’s no data counter here, so watch those gigabytes if you’re working with a data cap. There, we solved your Saturday. You’re welcome.

Google’s Cr-48 netbook now surfing on AT&T’s GSM network (after a gentle hack) originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 05 Feb 2011 13:58:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Best Buy offering free mobile hotspots with iPad purchase

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

Planning to pay Verizon an extra $130 for an iPad + MiFi 2200 bundle? Hold on a sec, because Best Buy’s planning to give away hotspots free of charge when you purchase Apple’s tablet. This advertisement, obtained by 9to5 Mac, does mention that you’ll need to shackle yourself to a carrier for two years to qualify — unlike Verizon’s original arrangement — but in exchange you get a free Verizon FiveSpot, AT&T MiFi, or perhaps most excitingly, a WiMax-capable Sprint Overdrive. Fine print in the lower-right hand corner suggests that the promo will begin immediately and run through January 2nd. What better way to spend your leftover Hanukkah gelt than on gigabytes of wireless data?

Best Buy offering free mobile hotspots with iPad purchase originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 19 Dec 2010 23:02:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Toshiba introduces 32nm DDR NAND with 133Mbps speeds, or MT/s if you prefer

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

It doesn’t quite have the efficiency and capacity of this 25nm process, and it’s not half as speedy as that planned 400Mbps, but Toshiba is moving up in the world with today’s reveal of 32nm, 133Mbps toggle-mode DDR NAND. The new flash memory chips will go head to head with the similar 30nm toggle-mode NAND used in Samsung’s 512GB SSD and the 166Mbps ONFi 2.1 chips that power Crucial’s RealSSD C300 drive; each of the tiny black chips can store up to 32 gigabytes. Shame there’s no word on when we’ll see these speeding our PCs and iPods, nor any mention of price. PR after the break.

Continue reading Toshiba introduces 32nm DDR NAND with 133Mbps speeds, or MT/s if you prefer

Toshiba introduces 32nm DDR NAND with 133Mbps speeds, or MT/s if you prefer originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 12 Aug 2010 06:20:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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ASUS ARES cries havoc, lets slip the GPUs of war: a review roundup of the world’s fastest graphics card

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

When you name your graphics card after the God of War, you’d better hope it brings some heat, but judging by early reviews, that’s just what ASUS has done. The three slot monstrosity above is the ARES, a $1200 limited edition, fully custom board, sporting twin Radeon HD 5870 GPUs, four gigabytes of GDDR5 memory and practically enough raw copper to smelt a sword. We’re not joking: the thing weighs nearly five pounds and requires a 750 watt power supply with three power connectors (two 8-pin, one 6-pin) to even run. Of course, you’re getting a graphical behemoth for that kind of price, steamrolling every other GPU on the planet — paired with even a 3.8GHz Core i7-930 CPU in 3DMark Vantage (on Extreme settings), Overclock 3D racked up a fairly ludicrous 15,000 score, and the card ripped past 25,000 with a Core i7-980X and a second ARES in CrossFire. The card was less impressive in actual gameplay, merely spanking the (much cheaper) Radeon 5970 and GeForce GTX 480 by a modest amount, and several reviewers complained it was fairly loud… but as the old adage goes, nobody needs a Ferrari to drive the speed limit, but we’ll all drool over them anyhow. Bring on the liquid nitrogen, folks.

Read – Legit Reviews
Read – Overclock3D
Read – Guru3D
Read – PC Perspective
Read – TechPowerUp

ASUS ARES cries havoc, lets slip the GPUs of war: a review roundup of the world’s fastest graphics card originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 08 Jul 2010 03:09:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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ASUS makes EeePC 1015P and 1015PE official, endows them with 13.5 hours of battery life

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

It’s hard to differentiate yourself in the netbook world nowadays — pretty much every manufacturer is trudging along the same Pine Trail, with the same one, maybe two, gigabytes of RAM and 160GB to 320GB in storage. So ASUS, the original gangster of this sector, is aiming to wow consumers with a scintillating 13.5 hours of autonomous use courtesy of its 6-cell 63Wh battery pack. The EeePC 1015P and 1015PE differ only in aesthetics, with both sporting 10.1-inch 1024 x 600 screens and Atom N450 processors. No, that’s not going to break any performance records, but if that longevity number proves true, we suspect there’ll be plenty of eager buyers out there. Price and availability haven’t yet been revealed, but ASUS doesn’t usually keep us waiting so look out for these in the very near future.

ASUS makes EeePC 1015P and 1015PE official, endows them with 13.5 hours of battery life originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 16 May 2010 15:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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