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Panasonic Eluga now available unlocked in Europe, yours for £369 or €460

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Panasonic Eluga now available unlocked in Europe through Expansys, yours for £369 or €460

Wouldn’t ya know it, but Panasonic was spot on with its announcement of the Eluga smartphone’s European arrival this month. The elegant, waterproof handset is now available unlocked from Expansys, where it retails for £369 and approximately €460, with slight variations among countries. While the phone supports quadband GSM, its UMTS / HSPA connectivity is limited to the 2100MHz and 900MHz bands, which makes it less than ideal for North American use — though, if you really want one, it seems safe to peg this one in the $600 territory.

Similarly available through NTT DoCoMo as the P-04D, we first managed to get a hands-on with the Eluga at Mobile World Congress. For those in need of a quick refresh, the phone features a TI OMAP 4430 SoC with a dual-core 1GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of built-in storage, a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display, an 8 megapixel rear camera and a rather paltry 1,150mAh battery. The Eluga includes a heavily-skinned version of Android 2.3.5, although an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich has been pegged for release this summer. The phone represents Panasonic’s return to the smartphone arena, and while it’s a bit behind the curve, it’s no doubt a fine starting point.

Panasonic Eluga now available unlocked in Europe, yours for £369 or €460 originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 26 Apr 2012 04:27:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Huawei announces global availability of the Ascend P1 smartphone

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Huawei on Wednesday announced global availability of its flagship Ascend P1 smartphone. The Android 4.0-powered handset will be available in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Australia by May, in Latin America by June and in Europe for the summer, with availability in other markets to follow. “The global availability of the Ascend P1, which combines smart features and a sexy design, represents a significant milestone for Huawei Device,” said Richard Yu, Chairman of Huawei. “We are sending strong signals of our intention to transform into a consumer-facing brand and extend our market leadership globally by strengthening our range of flagship products. We are also expanding our sales and distribution channels to move beyond a focus on operators.” The Ascend P1 is equipped with a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display, a dual-core TI OMAP 4460 processor clocked at 1.5GHz and an 8-megapixel rear camera. Read on for Huawei’s press release.

Huawei Announces Global Availability of the Ascend P1 – its Flagship Dual-Core Smartphone

Beijing, China, April 18, 2012: Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, today announced that the Huawei Ascend P1 will be available in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Australia through operators and retailers by May 2012, in Latin America from June 2012 and in Europe from summer, with availability in other markets to follow.

“The global availability of the Ascend P1, which combines smart features and a sexy design, represents a significant milestone for Huawei Device. We are sending strong signals of our intention to transform into a consumer-facing brand and extend our market leadership globally by strengthening our range of flagship products. We are also expanding our sales and distribution channels to move beyond a focus on operators,” said Richard Yu, Chairman of Huawei Device.

The Ascend P1 is beauty meets brains – proof that technology and good looks can go hand-in-hand. It features a dual-core 1.5GHz TI OMAP 4460 Cortext-A9 processor and measures 7.69mm thin and 64.8 mm long, providing a very comfortable grip. With a 4.3-inch super AMOLED 960 x 540 touch screen with Corning® Gorilla® Glass, an 8-megapixel BSI rear-facing camera and Dolby Mobile 3.0 + 5.1 surround sound technology, the Ascend P1 provides a home theatre experience in the palm of your hands.

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Lenovo’s IdeaTab S2109 unveiled on YouTube, shows off 8.9mm-thick unibody shell

Monday, April 9th, 2012
Lenovo's IdeaTab S2109 unveiled on YouTube, shows off 8.9mm-thick unibody shell

About a month after we spotted the IdeaTab S2109′s FCC document, Lenovo’s quietly launched a YouTube video for its 9.7-inch (1,024 x 768 IPS LCD) slate over the weekend. Why so shy? No idea, but what we do know is that on top of the deets we obtained last time, this Android 4.0 device comes in an 8.9mm-thick, gunmetal-finish unibody shell that packs a 1.3-megapixel front camera (yet no back camera), microSD slot, micro-HDMI, micro-USB and 10 hours worth of battery juice. Alas, there’s no confirmation on the specific TI OMAP chipset used here, nor does the video indicate when or where we can get hold of this quad-SRS-speaker tablet; but at least it looks like we won’t have to deal with any UI customization from Lenovo. For now, enjoy said video clip after the break.

Continue reading Lenovo’s IdeaTab S2109 unveiled on YouTube, shows off 8.9mm-thick unibody shell

Lenovo’s IdeaTab S2109 unveiled on YouTube, shows off 8.9mm-thick unibody shell originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 09 Apr 2012 08:14:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lenovo IdeaTab S2109 teased by FCC, launching with 9.7-inch display this month?

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Lenovo’s been hard at work with various phones and tablets so far this year, and here’s yet another one that’s just popped up in FCC’s database. Dubbed the IdeaTab S2109 (or S2109A-F, to be specific), we’re told by a reliable source that ’tis an Android 4.0.3 tablet assembled by Foxconn, and it’ll come with a 9.7-inch, 4:3 IPS display (supplied by Chi Mei), a TI OMAP chip and four powerful SRS-ready speakers as featured on the beefy K2010. The above diagram suggests said slate has a microSD slot accessible from the outside, and if you take a closer look at the product label, you’ll see that the device requires a whooping 2.5A input at 5V, which means it’ll come with a 12.5W adapter — a lot more powerful than many tablets’ consumption at 10W (including the new iPad) or below. Here’s hoping that this is an indication for a faster charge time.

As for availability, we heard that this S2109 will launch at some point this month, though our shy friend didn’t specify which market it’ll debut in — the FCC document lists Germany, Canada, US, India, Russia, Turkmenistan, Mexico, Chile, Japan and China. If Ice Cream Sandwich on a 4:3 screen sounds like your cup of tea then stay tuned for more news.

Lenovo IdeaTab S2109 teased by FCC, launching with 9.7-inch display this month? originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 12 Mar 2012 12:04:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Toshiba Excite 10 LE to launch March 6th, a day before iPad 3 event

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Toshiba on Wednesday confirmed that its ultra-slim and light Android tablet, the Excite 10 LE, will be available on March 6th for $529, a day before Apple’s iPad 3 unveiling. The slate, originally called the Excite X10, was announced at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show and is equipped with a Gorilla Glass-covered 10.1-inch HD display with a dual-core TI OMAP 4430 processor clocked at 1.2GHz. The device also features 16GB of internal storage, a microSD slot, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, a 5-megapixel rear camera and Android 3.2 Honeycomb, with an upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich promised to be coming in the spring. The Excite 10 LE is also “the world’s thinnest and lightest 10-inch tablet measuring just 0.3 inches (7.7mm) thin and weighing just 1.18 pounds (535g).” Toshiba’s press release follows below.

Toshiba Brings World’s Thinnest 10-Inch Tablet to U.S. Market

World’s Thinnest and Lightest 10-inch Tablet, Excite 10 LE, Available for Purchase on March 6, Starting at $529.99

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Toshiba’s Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today announced that the Excite™ 10 LE tablet will be available for purchase from select U.S. retailers on March 6. Previously introduced as the Excite X10, the Excite 10 LE is the world’s thinnest and lightest 10-inch tablet measuring just 0.3 inches (7.7mm) thin and weighing just 1.18 pounds (535g).

“We have engineered this tablet with premium materials and components, given it elegant yet durable styling and more connectivity options than any other tablet in its class, while fitting everything into an astonishingly thin and light design.”

The Excite 10 LE tablet, powered by Android™, carries a starting price of $529.99 MSRP2 for the 16GB model and $599.99 MSRP for the 32GB model.
“Excite 10 LE embodies what a luxury tablet should be,” said Carl Pinto, vice president of product development, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., Digital Products Division. “We have engineered this tablet with premium materials and components, given it elegant yet durable styling and more connectivity options than any other tablet in its class, while fitting everything into an astonishingly thin and light design.”

A More Premium Design with All the Essentials

The thin and light Excite 10 LE features a vivid high-resolution 10.1-inch diagonal AutoBrite™ display3, delivering optimum browsing, reading and entertainment. Designed for durability and style, the device also features a high-quality magnesium alloy surface and scratch-resistant Corning® Gorilla® Glass display with an anti-smudge coating for greater resiliency.
The tablet also comes with an array of connectivity interfaces and ports on board, including micro-USB and HDMI® ports, a micro-SD slot to share content and files with other devices, plus Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® connectivity. Stereo speakers with exclusive sound enhancements by Toshiba and SRS® Labs deliver superior audio capabilities. Front and back HD cameras provide convenient photo capture, plus 1080p video recording and video chatting.

Smart Multicore Performance with Long Battery Life
Powered by the 1.2GHz Texas Instruments OMAP™ 4430 multicore mobile processor4 and dual-channel memory, the Excite 10 LE offers smooth web browsing and multitasking plus the performance for high definition video and entertainment. Extremely power efficient, the Excite 10 LE delivers up to 8 hours of battery life.

Powered by Android

The Excite 10 LE tablet features Android 3.2, Honeycomb, and will be upgraded to Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich later this Spring. Also included is a full suite of familiar Google™ Mobile Service applications, including the Android Market™, YouTube™, Gmail™, Google Maps™, Music, Videos. Additionally, the tablet comes pre-loaded with a mix of Toshiba software and third-party applications including TOSHIBA App Place, TOSHIBA Book Place, TOSHIBA Media Player, TOSHIBA File Manager as well Netflix™ and Zinio™.

Docking and Accessories

Toshiba will also offer a suite of tablet accessories for the Excite 10 LE, including a docking station, multiple cases and more.

Specifications

• Android 3.2, Honeycomb (upgradeable to Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich)
• 10.1-inch diagonal LED Backlit widescreen Corning Gorilla Glass display with IPS technology and 10-finger multi-touch support
• 1280 x 800 resolution, 16:10 aspect ratio
• Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 multicore processor; 1.2GHz with 1GB LPDDR2 RAM
• 16GB and 32GB configurations6
• 2 megapixel front-facing camera
• 5 megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash
• Micro USB, Micro HDMI ports
• Micro SD card slot
• Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n) and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
• Gyroscope, Accelerometer, GPS, eCompass and Ambient Light Sensor
• Stereo speakers with sound enhancements by Toshiba and SRS Labs
• Built-in 25 watt-hour rechargeable lithium ion battery
• 10.1″ (W) x 6.9″ (D) x 0.3″ (H)
• 1.18 pounds (535g)

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Hands on with Huawei’s Ascend D smartphones

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Huawei is making quite a splash at this year’s Mobile World Congress. The company announced one quad-core handset — the Ascend D quad, which is built on the company’s proprietary in-house processor platform — in addition to a dual-core TI OMAP-based device, the Ascend D1. We got a chance to play with both models and, especially in the case of the D quad, we left quite impressed. These things move fast. Really fast. What’s more, these handsets mark Huawei’s entry into the chip making game, and place the company in direct competition with other smartphone vendors that moonlight as chip makers, like Samsung and Apple. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the coming year. That said, the handsets themselves will be the stars of Huawei’s lineup for at least the first half of 2012. The D quad sports 8GB of on-board storage, 1 GB of RAM, Android 4.0, Huawei’s 1.2Ghz quad-core chip, a 4.5-inch display and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The Ascend D1 is externally identical to the D quad, but it will hit a much lower price point thanks largely to its 1.2Ghz dual-core chip, which replaces the D quad’s quad-core processor. Check out our hands-on shots in the gallery below.

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Notion Ink’s Adam II promises TI OMAP CPUs, Ice Cream Sandwich, broken dreams

Saturday, January 21st, 2012
Notion Ink’s teaming up with TI in order to get at its OMAP4xx silicon for the forthcoming Adam II tablet. It’ll also be jamming in the company’s Wi-Link 7.0 and Phoenix Audio gear onto the Ice Cream Sandwich-running slate. The chip was apparently chosen thanks to its modular setup, HD visuals and powerful low-energy multitasking. Novice owners will also get their hands on a modular software architecture which will let casual users develop specific applications using a drag-and-drop interface. It’s pitching that functionality at home-brewers, students and professionals who can tailor the software to meet a specific need, casually mentioning that it could be used for signal processing, 3D modeling or medical imaging. Do we hear expectations being raised to unrealistic levels again? Given our experiences with the original, we suspect the answer is: “Yes.”

Continue reading Notion Ink’s Adam II promises TI OMAP CPUs, Ice Cream Sandwich, broken dreams

Notion Ink’s Adam II promises TI OMAP CPUs, Ice Cream Sandwich, broken dreams originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 21 Jan 2012 05:06:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Le Pan rolls out a trio of Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich tablets for penny pinchers

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Ice Cream Sandwich on a budget? That’s what Le Pan is promising at CES today, with a trio of new tablets. The higher end of the two is the Le Pan III, an Android 4.0-laced slate that’s powered by a 1.5GHz, dual-core TI-OMAP 4460 processor, with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. This Bluetooth 4.0-enabled device also comes with a five-megapixel rear camera and a two-megapixel front-facing shooter, and supports 1080p video output. Joining the Le Pan II is the TC978, which features just about the same specs, save for a slightly lower octane (1GHz) processor, and the lack of a five-megapixel camera. The Le Pan II, meanwhile, ships with Android 3.2 Honeycomb rather than Ice Cream Sandwich, but can make the jump to 4.0 with a simple upgrade. The device features a 9.7-inch display at 1024 x 768 resolution and is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU, but the rest of its specs are just about identical to those of the TC978. No word yet on when the Le Pan III and TC978 will hit the market, but the Le Pan II is already available on Amazon for $300. You can grab it now at the link below, or head past the break for a spoonful of PR.

Continue reading Le Pan rolls out a trio of Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich tablets for penny pinchers

Le Pan rolls out a trio of Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich tablets for penny pinchers originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 09 Jan 2012 11:37:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Motorola DROID RAZR review

Monday, November 7th, 2011

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.

Hardware / Display / Design

The Motorola DROID RAZR features top-of-the-line specs, and it somehow stuffs it all into one of the thinnest and lightest smartphone cases on the planet. At only 7.1 millimeters thin, this isn’t only the thinnest 4G LTE device in the world, it’s one of the thinnest smartphones period. With a 1.2GHz dual-core TI OMAP processor, a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display, 1GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video capture, an LED flash, an HDMI-out port, noise cancellation capabilities, 16GB of built-in storage and a 16GB microSD card pre-installed, this phone is isn’t just competing with other Android devices, it’s crushing them.

As far as the design of the handset, the DROID RAZR looks like the perfect evolution of the DROID family with a beautiful display sandwiched in between tough Gorilla Glass and a metal chassis with Kevlar backing. The edges of the RAZR are angular yet still soft, and the phone blends high gloss finishes with a matte case-back perfectly.

On top of the phone is an HDMI-out port, a microUSB charging and data port, and a 3.5-millimeter headset jack. On the right side is a power on/off/unlock button next to a volume up/down rocker key. On the left side is a small cover that flips down to give you access to the phone’s LTE microSIM card and microSD card. Around back is the 8-megapixel camera, an LED flash and a speaker.

While the display on the DROID RAZR is a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED screen, it still isn’t perfect. It does look better to me than the displays used on the Motorola DROID BIONIC and Motorola DROID 3, but it’s still a PenTile display, and that means that it still has a grainy look no matter how high the resolution is. Colors look very good and are reasonably bright and vivid, though the screen doesn’t compare to the likes of Samsung’s Super AMOLED Plus displays. Touch sensitivity was excellent and incredibly responsive, with the device instantly reacting to every touch event, swipe and drag. On top of the display is Gorilla Glass, so in addition to the phone performing extremely well in the display department, it should be able to hold up to your use and abuse pretty well.

Now, while I love most of the hardware on the Motorola DROID RAZR, there are bound to be some negatives, right?

The smartphone is incredibly thin, but all that technology has to be stuffed in there somehow. How did Motorola fit it all, you ask? This phone incredibly thin but it’s also extremely wide. In addition to a 4.3-inch display, on the upper end of the comfortable spectrum as far as normal non-ape humans are concerned, the RAZR has a lot of empty space on both sides of the screen. That doesn’t count the phone’s actual frame either.

Without measuring, it looks like there’s almost a half inch of space on both sides of the display. This might not sound like a lot, but piled on top of an already huge screen, this makes one-handed use nearly impossible. I can’t even delete an icon off the home screen using one hand since Motorola made the delete area at the top of the display.

When going into the phone app, I can’t even dial a phone number with one hand since the dialer tab is, again, on top of the display and my thumb can’t come close to reaching it. Want to browse the Web? Well, you can’t do it one-handed because your thumb won’t be able to touch the URL entry bar. I can’t even swipe down to bring up the notification drawer using one hand to check unread messages, alerts and other information.

Software

The software running on the Motorola DROID RAZR is almost identical to the last flagship Android device from Verizon Wireless that shipped only seven weeks ago, the Motorola DROID BIONIC. One new feature that is actually very handy is Motorola’s Smart Actions app.

Smart Actions lets you specify different actions for your phone to automatically perform based on locations. I wish my iPhone had this. For instance, I don’t use Bluetooth at all when I’m at home, and I’d love it if my iPhone would turn Bluetooth off to save battery whenever I pulled into the driveway. Well, this works flawlessly on the Motorola DROID RAZR with Smart Actions. In addition to being able to set a wide range of different settings for locations, you can also base these actions on other parameters, like when the phone reaches a certain battery percentage. One of the suggested configurations is to have your display dim, turn off GPS, and turn of background syncing when your phone’s battery is at 20% or lower. Motorola says that with Smart Actions configured, you can extend your RAZR’s battery by up to 30%.

Besides Smart Actions, the DROID RAZR offers FIPS 140-2 validation for email, contacts and calendar giving the RAZR government-grade encryption for those apps in addition to voice and video conferencing. Beyond these few things, the OS and UI on the Motorola DROID RAZR are basically identical to the device before it, and the one before that.

Phone / Speakerphone

Voice calling on this phone is excellent, with calls coming through loud with good low end and clarity. Signal reception was also excellent and I almost always got 4G LTE signal in my home or around town in New York City and parts of Connecticut. Callers could hear me loud and clear.

As far as the speakerphone performance, it was sometimes hard to hear the other party in a conversation. Audio was choppy and I wish the speaker could get louder. Music playback on the speaker was hollow, tinny and distorted, but oddly, it seemed to get louder than it could during a voice call.

All in all, the DROID RAZR is a solid phone for voice calling, though the speakerphone performance fell short.

Battery

The battery on the Motorola DROID RAZR has really impressed me. After using the phone for a few days, I completely forgot about the fact that this a 4G LTE device (in terms of battery performance, not data speeds). For the first time ever, I believe that Verizon’s 4G LTE devices have finally reached the point of being powerful enough in the battery department, and thin enough, to not offer any drawbacks related to 4G compatibility.

The RAZR lasted days as far as standby time is concerned, and even with moderate use, the phone went for almost two days. While the battery isn’t removable, that’s a small price to pay for a device that’s able to run with the best of them.

Accessories

Motorola sent me a boatload of accessories for the DROID RAZR including an external battery (just plug it in and you have an external power supply), a car dock, a multimedia dock and the company’s updated Lapdock 100. The new laptop dock improves upon the original, though it still has issues. For example, Motorola has wisely allowed this new Lapdock to work with a wide variety of Motorola smartphones by having a universal connector that plugs into more than one device. Unfortunately, this design doesn’t actually let you dock the phone. Instead, you can only rest the phone in a cut out in the Lapdock.

For a phone like the RAZR with the ports on the top of the case, you can’t even rest the handset in the Lapdock, so you’re forced to leave it plugged in on the table.

The new laptop dock has two-finger scrolling, a welcome change, though its performance it still pretty terrible and it makes navigation a maddening experience. The keyboard is improved, though key layout and size isn’t optimal, either.

All in all, in my limited usage, Motorola’s webtop concept is still very much a concept and not something I’d ever consider using regularly. It’s easier to just use the phone itself than the clunky laptop-like accessory.

Conclusion

The Motorola DROID RAZR has replaced Samsung’s Galaxy S II as the best Android device I’ve ever used. It’s ridiculously fast, incredibly thin and it runs on the fastest network in the country. It is also the first 4G device to finally show the world that it doesn’t have to be as thick as a brick or have battery life that forces you to invest in 12 chargers.

With a beautiful design, an amazing display and a thin profile that’s packed to the brim with the latest and greatest specs, the Motorola DROID RAZR is absolutely worthy of being Verizon’s flagship device for the holidays. While the physical size of the device is larger than I’d have liked, and one-handed usage can be tricky if you’re not used to the crop of large display’d devices of late, there are way more positives than negatives with the DROID RAZR.

Is it a device worthy of being the new Motorola RAZR? For the most part, I’d say so.

The Motorola DROID RAZR will become available on November 11th at 11:11 a.m. for $299.99 on contract. Verizon is also offering a limited time promotion as far as 4G smartphone data plans are concerned, so a customer who signs up for the 2GB monthly plan for $30 will receive the 4GB data plan, and someone who wants something smaller will be able to add a 300MB data plan to any Verizon Wireless phone for $20 a month.

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Nokia Lumia 800 vs. Nokia N9: the tale of the tape

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011
Sure, they might look the same, but are they actually the same? Inside that smooth, shapely polycarbonate shell lies internals that are actually significantly different between these two. How different? Well, the guy on the left, the newly-unveiled Lumia 800, has a 1.4GHz Qualcomm processor paired with 512MB of RAM and 16GB of storage. The guy on the right? That’s the ill-fated N9, and it packs a 1GHz TI OMAP chip with 1GB of RAM and up to 64GB of storage. Inside the chart below lies the information you need, and the deltas you crave.

Continue reading Nokia Lumia 800 vs. Nokia N9: the tale of the tape

Nokia Lumia 800 vs. Nokia N9: the tale of the tape originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 26 Oct 2011 08:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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NTT DoCoMo confirms Galaxy Nexus will ship in November

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Samsung and Google will take the wraps off of the Galaxy Nexus at 10:00 p.m. EST during a press conference in Hong Kong, and NTT DoCoMo already revealed on Twitter that it will be one of the first carriers to offer the Android Ice Cream Sandwich-powered phone in November. BGR exclusively confirmed the Galaxy Nexus will be equipped with a 4.65-inch 1280 x 720-pixel Super AMOLED HD display, a TI OMAP 4460 dual-core Cortex A9 processor clocked at 1.2GHz, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, support for NFC and a 5-megapixel camera capable of recording 1080p HD video. The Galaxy Nexus will be a Verizon Wireless exclusive in the United States. BGR will be covering the news at it breaks this evening, so stay tuned for more.

[Via Engadget]

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Samsung Galaxy Nexus appears in Verizon system, could land November 3rd

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus, which was originally scheduled to debut during the CTIA Enterprise & Applications 2011 show this week, has reportedly made an appearance in Verizon Wireless’s internal systems. A screenshot obtained by Droid-Life reaffirms BGR’s report the phone will be equipped with support for Verizon’s 4G LTE network, but does not reveal much more on the device other than its lack of global roaming capabilities. In addition, Phandroid, says the phone might be available as early as November 3rd, although the site’s tipster refers to the phone by its code-name, ‘Nexus Prime.’ Samsung will officially announce the device in Hong Kong on October 19th, and a picture of an Ice Cream Sandwich on the official invitation confirms Google will discuss the next Android release, too. BGR exclusively released full specs for the phone, which include a 4.65-inch 1280 x 720 Super AMOLED HD display, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 5-megapixel camera capable of recording 1080p video, NFC, LTE/HSPA depending on the carrier, a 1,750 mAh battery and a TI OMAP 4460 dual-core Cortex A9 processor clocked at 1.2GHz. A screenshot of the Galaxy Nexus in Verizon’s system follows below.

 

Read [Droid-Life] Read [Phandroid]

 

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Motorola Atrix 2 hands-on at CTIA E&A 2011 (video)

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Motorola and AT&T are at it again with their Android shenanigans, this time following up the Atrix 4G with something a tad more… Atrix-y. Indeed, we’re referring to the sequel of February’s smash hit, honorably called the Motorola Atrix 2, announced at this week’s CTIA Enterprise & Applications. We had the opportunity to get some brief time with it, and it’s a fair device worthy of the family name: the 4.3-inch device feels good in the hand, and closely resembles the Photon 4G, only without the cutout corners. The sequel swaps processors, trading the 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 CPU for a TI OMAP model with the same clock speed, and offers a full gigabyte of RAM to go along with it. Fortunately, the qHD 960 x 540 display looks gorgeous without its predecessor’s Pentile clothes. Also gone? The fingerprint sensor. Oh, and don’t be fooled by the missing “4G” moniker in the title; this little ditty packs a 21Mbps HSPA+ radio, up from 14Mbps in the first version. All in all, we like what we see here — we enjoyed the brief time we had with the sequel. It seems as though Motorola learned some important lessons from the original device, but we’ll reserve total judgement until our forthcoming review. Check out the full gallery and hands-on video (complete with bonus psychedelic carpet!) below.

Myriam Joire contributed to this post.

Continue reading Motorola Atrix 2 hands-on at CTIA E&A 2011 (video)

Motorola Atrix 2 hands-on at CTIA E&A 2011 (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 12 Oct 2011 01:51:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Motorola DROID BIONIC Review

Monday, September 12th, 2011

The Motorola DROID BIONIC for Verizon Wireless combines everything you might want in a phone into a single, lust-worthy package. From 4G LTE, to a supersized 4.3-inch display and 1080p HD video capture, this phone has it all. Verizon Wireless has launched several 4G phones now, but they have all arguably been lacking due to their shortcomings in either size (thickness), weight or battery life. Is the Motorola DROID BIONIC the first phone to bring 4G to the next level on Verizon? Check out the full review after the break to find out for yourself.

Hardware / Design

The DROID BIONIC started out as a much different device when it was announced a shocking nine months ago at CES 2011. Verizon and Motorola wouldn’t reveal exactly why it took so long to launch, and why the device we have today is very different than the device announced in January, but it’s pretty obvious, at least to me.

Verizon told Motorola to go back to the drawing board and deliver a more competitive handset. Things like using a TI OMAP processor instead of an NVIDIA Tegra 2, a thinner and edgier design and different screen materials have allowed the device Motorola and Verizon released to be absolutely competitive with what’s out there, and to also be the best in several key areas. The Motorola DROID BIONIC is the first 4G LTE handset to be slim enough to not get in the way. It’s also the first 4G LTE handset I have wanted to keep using because of the combination of features the device offers.

The hardware and design of the BIONIC is robotic and edgy, yet soft enough that the phone could appeal to a variety of demographics. On front, you’ll find a slab of high quality Gorilla Glass overlaid on a 4.3-inch qHD display. The glass panel on the DROID BIONIC is the first from Motorola that I can remember that’s made of this material; it feels like a glass touchscreen should, unlike the Motorola PHOTON, ATRIX, or DROID 3. Additionally, there’s a beautiful beveled edge that gives the device a perfect contrast to the thin metallic bezel surrounding the display.

There’s a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera toward the top of the front panel, with a proximity sensor and an LED notification light and that is invisible unless in use. On the right side there’s a volume up and down button, on the left you’ll find the microUSB port and mini-HDMI out port, and on top is the power/lock/unlock key and a 3.5mm headset jack.

Around back, there’s an 8-megapixel camera with support for 1080p HD video capture an LED flash and a speaker. The rear of the device features a battery cover that engulfs the entire back of the phone in a soft-touch rubberized finish, and physically, the BIONIC is like other recent Motorola devices in terms of Style. It sports a thicker top portion, tapering down into a thinner design about a quarter of the way down.

The display and touch performance on the Motorola DROID BIONIC is possibly the best of any Android device I have used. It just goes to show how much of a difference hardware and software, working perfectly together, can make. There is no lag whatsoever. Each tap is instantly recorded. Swiping from one home screen to the next — something that performed terribly on the DROID 3 for me — flows incredibly well on the DROID BIONIC. Touch performance isn’t as good as iOS in some areas, but it’s getting so close that it doesn’t really matter anymore.

The screen itself looks exactly like Motorola’s other qHD offerings. It’s a PenTile display that will be incredibly frustrating to around 1% of the people who own it; most people don’t notice, and don’t care. The resolution is great, the display is bright and colors look good, though whites don’t appear to be perfect white due to the PenTile display.

Software

The BIONIC is the first Verizon 4G LTE smartphone to feature Google’s latest OS, Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread, and that means the DROID BIONIC provides out of the box support for video calling over 4G, 3G and Wi-Fi in Google Talk, in addition to a slew of other enhancements with the latest Gingerbread build. The BIONIC also features printing over Wi-Fi with MOTOPRINT, and a new app and service from Motorola called ZumoCast that allows you to access multimedia, documents and other files from your home or office computer for free, over 4G or 3G.

As far as Motorola’s software customizations, there isn’t very much that I haven’t seen before. Something that that feels different, though, is how well the software works on the BIONIC. It’s a different experience than any other Motorola Android device I have used. The phone doesn’t stutter and software doesn’t hang; it really seems like Motorola has finally started melding its hardware and software together almost seamlessly. And it should, as the company’s teams have been working on Android development for years, but it’s starting to show.

Phone / Battery

I have really enjoyed using the Motorola DROID BIONIC on and off as a phone since Verizon gave me a review unit last week. Calls come in very clear on Verizon’s network, dropped calls were not an issue, and people could hear me very clearly. The speaker, on the other hand… well, it’s pretty terrible for both speakerphone use and audio playback. It sounds almost muffled, reproduces audio poorly, and isn’t loud enough.

One bug I have noticed that is incredibly annoying is that when you’re on phone call, and the phone is against your ear, you can not adjust the volume of the call if the screen is off. I have tried repeatedly to get this to work and it hasn’t. If you take the phone away from your ear you can change the volume once the proximity senor triggers the display, but once you start talking again after a moment against your ear, you cannot adjust the volume.

Battery life has been excellent. Now, that’s a bit of a relative statement as this is a 4G LTE device, but it’s easily the best-performing LTE device I have used as far as the battery goes, and it actually is pretty comparable with some 3G Android phones Verizon offers. Standby time isn’t as great as I’d have liked, but as far as daily use with consistent 4G LTE service, the Motorola DROID BIONIC really delivers.

Accessories

Motorola and Verizon are positioning the DROID BIONIC as not only their most powerful and best smartphone to date, but as a device that can power and handle all of your travel and home entertainment needs. Just like the Motorola ATRIX 4G, the BIONIC can make use of Motorola’s laptop dock, which is a laptop shell that is powered completely by the BIONIC itself. There are also a several docks and adapters that allow the phone to power 1080p HD content on your home set up.

For extremely light work on the go, the laptop dock configuration isn’t necessarily a bad option, but for most users it’s too clunky and too limited to be useful — even though you’re able to use a desktop-grade version of FireFox complete with full Adobe Flash support for browsing. As far as the multimedia docks, if you typically store most of your music, TV shows and even movies on your phone, it’s a reasonably good option. And the entry-level multimedia adapter for the BIONIC is a great value at $29. Verizon is also offering a discount on the laptop dock to BIONIC customers for a limited time.

Conclusion

The Motorola DROID BIONIC is the first 4G LTE smartphone to really deliver. It’s packed to the brim with all of the latest cutting-edge specs and features, and it’s all melded together in an incredible package. In fact, this is probably my favorite smartphone Verizon has offered exclusively, ever. Android is still Android with all of its strengths and weaknesses, but Motorola has done an amazing job finally working out issues with its customizations to get them to a place where they start to add to the phone as a whole, instead of subtracting from it.

The phone satisfies technology enthusiasts, packing in a screaming dual-core processor, an 8-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video capture, 4.3-inch qHD display, built-in storage, expandability and more. It also is thin enough and it’s footprint small enough where I have no problem recommending it to friends who are in the market for a new smartphone on Verizon, especially someone looking for a 4G device. It’s one of the most expensive smartphones Verizon has offered in recent years at $299.99 with a two-year agreement, but it’s also one of the best phones the nation’s top carrier has ever carried, and in my view, it’s well worth it.

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Nokia N9 to bust loose with MeeGo on Moorestown power?

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Nokia has to do something big if it wants to crack the US smartphone market. We can agree on that, right? And believe us, Nokia wants this — nothing will make the mighty Finns (and the company’s global investors) prouder than to gain some traction in the home of Apple pie and Google desserts. So how will the company do it? With
Symbian? Oh, hell no.
By introducing another MeToo handset? Nope, with MeeGo on a rockin’ platform like the rumored N9 slider pictured above.

Nokia announced its hardware plans for Maemo 6 a long time ago. At that time, the company was clear that it would continue using TI OMAP processors. Much has changed since then, however. In addition to several key leadership changes including a new Canadian-born CEO who spent much of his time working in the US, Nokia has joined Intel to roll up Maemo 6 and Moblin into MeeGo with Nokia’s first Maemo 6 MeeGo/Harmattan handset pushed into 2011. Simultaneously, Intel has also been doing its best to show its new Moorestown platform as a powerful ARM alternative, even showing off MeeGo handsets exploiting a Lincroft SoC and Atom processor core.

So why the build-up? Well, we’ve just been tipped to a claim by
Prosessori, a respected Finnish technology magazine, that the Nokia N9 will launch with a 1.2GHz Atom processor. Better yet, it could be unveiled as soon as Mobile World Congress in February, presumably during Stephen Elop’s keynote. Do we believe it? Not entirely, but it is possible given the chain of events that have taken place. And you can bet that the first commercially available Intel smartphone with a brand new Nokia user experience would certainly grab headlines in the US and around the world. Something that should translate into high-end market share (and profits) if it’s as “exciting” as Elop claims.

[Thanks, Janne]

Nokia N9 to bust loose with MeeGo on Moorestown power? originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 20 Jan 2011 07:52:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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