During our hands-on with the new HTC devices, there was one phone sitting on the table, staring at us the whole time. And staring at some of us harder than others. And that phone was none other than the HTC Merge. And being the good employee that I am -- that and the fact that I've already crawled all over the thing many moons ago -- it was time to give up the Merge to the man himself, Dieter Bohn. Namaste.
Ahhhhh. So apparently the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9-incher that we took a look at this morning was the European one an early prototype. The real U.S. version is just as sexy, and maybe even more so, even though they wouldn't let us turn it on. It's mostly the same hardware, except for the back cover. The textured grille has been swapped out for a matte finish, and it's noticeable easier to hang onto, which is good. But otherwise, we're pretty much looking at the same thing. More pictures of the 8.9- and 10.1-inch Galaxy Tabs are after the break.
For all intents and purposes, it's an HTC Flyer, same as we saw unveiled a month ago at Mobile World Congress. The advantage here, of course, is that you're not beholden to a carrier for a two year contract. On the other hand, you have to rely on having a Wifi signal, but for many of us that's not a problem.
Still no word on when it'll be available, other than "this spring," and they're not budging on how much they'll be selling it for. So stay tuned.
Best Buy will have the exclusive launch of the WiFi only model of the 7-inch HTC Flyer tablet, coming sometime this Spring. While some of us may enjoy the connectivity that a 3G or 4G Android tablet brings, the fact remains that most of us would prefer a WiFi only version, free of monthly payments and carrier contracts. We saw Samsung buck the trend and announce WiFi only versions of their 8.9 and 10.1 inch Galaxy Tab models, and it appears that HTC is going to do the same tonight at Pepcom's Mobile Focus on the floor at CTIA.
Earlier this week we heard about the acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T, which was shortly followed by a Q & A from T-Mobile. We appreciate T-Mobile providing so much information, as many customers are left wondering what will happen to them, and more importantly their devices and service. Some of these new answers address things such as:
Your rates for your current plan will not be affected.
Forums are a great place to express concerns and have questions answered
Great time to join T-Mobile, they are continuing to expand their own network while working through the acquisition
The LG Optimus 3D is coming to AT&T, bringing what may once again be the nation's largest carrier its first 3D Android smartphone. The Thrill, for all intents and purposes, is just as we saw it a month ago at Mobile World Congress. You've got the 4.3-inch stereoscopic touchscreen, a special section on the phone for the 3D apps, and it's all powered by that a dual-core TI OMAP 4 processor.
More 3D-enabled apps, including Let's Golf, are in the works. Take a gander at more pics and hands-on video, after the break, and do keep in mind that the software's not yet final.
If you own an HTC Thunderbolt, and rooting is not your thing, but you still want to be able to change the look of your device beyond the options already available, you will be happy to know that more HTC skins have shown up. The process for downloading these skins is pretty simple, and in only a couple of minutes you should be all set and have the ability to change them on the go. The instructions are quite simple:
While this doesn't allow complete control of the theme of the device, and there isn't much you can do to customize beyond what the theme brings, it certainly adds more options for those of us who wish to avoid rooting and flashing custom ROM's and themes. [XDA via Android Central Forums]
OK, all you boys and girls out there itching to get your hands on a T-Mobile Sidekick 4G. You can't have it yet, we got our fat little fingers on it for you. And for those of you unfamiliar with the Sidekick experience (that'd be yours truly), it's an ... interesting experience.
The flip-up screen has a nice spring to it, and the keyboard is just shy of being excellent. What's not excellent is that the usual Android buttons are at the four corners (three, actually) of the device, meaning you're doing to be doing some reaching to get back to the home screens.
The software is an interesting mix of Android -- there's much that familiar -- and Sidekick special sauce. We're going to need some more time with the software to get a grip on it, but it's not the worst thing in the world. When it comes to pricing, we're looking at $99 - $149.99 depending on your data plan chosen and fussing with mail-in-rebates. Jump on past the break for some images of the Sidekick 4G
Running a dual core Tegra 2 processor clocked at 1GHz, the device feels snappy as it powers its way through Android 2.2 (froyo). Other key specs include:
4-inch capacitive touchscreen
8 MP rear camera / 1.3 MP front-facing camera
Video recording at 1080p
8GB internal memory
Assuming you're on T-Mobile (or is it going to be AT&T now?!) and you're looking for a dual core Android phone, this is one you'll want to check out. I'm pretty terrible this hands-on (blame my Android newb status), so if you're looking for a more in-depth look be sure to click over to the previous hands-on Phil did up. If the craziness slows down, I'm sure he'll hit up up the G2x for another closer look.
We've always been under the impression that the "Evo" moniker was hung only on phones destined for Sprint, so we were a bit surprised to see the HTC Evo 3D listed at HTC's website with GSM radio bands. Everything else is the same, we just see an addition of HSPA/WCDMA: Europe/Asia: 900/AWS/2100 MHz, and Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz frequencies listed for the new 4.3-inch 3D monster.
Coincidence? Error? Or is it really going to be available with a quad-band GSM radio? We're reaching out to HTC for an answer. [HTC] Thanks for the tip wongtonsoup!
Update: We reached out to HTC directly -- this is just a mistake, and will soon be corrected. No GSM Evo 3D after all.
Maybe it's because deep down we are nostalgic for resistive touchscreens of old, but we have to admit we're seriously geeking out over HTC Scribe, the technology that allows you to use an honest-to-god writing implement with the HTC View 4G - see our hands-on here.
If you're not familiar, here's how it works: HTC is selling a capacitive stylus that talks to the View 4G over Bluetooth and lets you take notes directly on the screen. On the View itself, they've replaced the standard search button with a context-aware Stylus button. When you're in a context where you can't write on the screen, the button is red and serves as a shortcut to stylus-aware apps. When you can use the stylus, it turns green and it's writing time, baby.
More impressions and photos and video after the break!
Following up our video look at the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 tablet, we checked out its big brother the full-sized Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. The 10.1 was first announced back at Mobile World Congress (see Phil's hands-on), but the 10.1 announced today is destined for US soils and is a little nicer in that it's much thinner. People working at the booth told us this re-engineering move was made to make its thickness more competitive with the Apple iPad 2.
Samsung only had the UK engineering prototypes on hand for us to play with, but we did get a good look at the North American version behind it's glass box, including a few seconds worth of comparison to the iPad 2. Check out the video above for a closer look!
HTC's 4G Sprint Tablet brings clever UI to tide you over before the Honeycomb update
We just got back from our time with HTC taking a look at their latest tablet - the HTC View 4G for Sprint - something we've seen in an unbranded-version before as the HTC Flyer. The HTC View 4G is a 7" tablet at 1024x600 resolution, weighing in at 14.88 ounces with 32g of internal memory, 16g of RAM, and a microSD slot if you'd like to add more. On the rear we have a 5 megapixel shooter with 720p HD video capabilities and the front sports a 1.3 megapixel camera. The whole thing is powered by a beefy 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and, of course, it's capable of running on Sprint's 4G WiMAX network. Its rocking Android 2.3 but will get an update to Honeycomb at some point in the future.
The HTC View 4G includes the latest version of Sense - the main differences from what we've seen before is primarily eyecandy: when you rotate homescreens they fly out and look closely at the gallery after the break - they show you a little gear on the flip-time clock. Cute. More utilitarian is the new lockscreen mechanism: you can drag the circle over one of 4 icons to launch directly into that app. We're also fond of their app-dock on the bottom, which you can configure with your favorite apps with some simple drag-and-drop.
The real story - to us anyway - is that the View includes HTC Scribe technology, which lets you use a special capacitive stylus for taking notes and sketching on the screen. Check out our first impressions of HTC Scribe here. In the meantime, you've got two things to wait for while you look at the images after the break: our pending video and an actual release-date and price - all we know so far is "Summer."
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