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1 year ago

T-Mobile LG Optimus L9 hands-on

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Entry level is the name of the game for the LG Optimus L9 on T-Mobile. We knew that, of course, from T-Mobile and LG's positioning of the Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone, as well as from the specs on paper. Let's recap:

  • Android 4.0 (ICS)
  • Dimensions: 5.19 x 2.69 x 0.36
  • Weight: 4.41 oz
  • 4.5-inch qHD Corning Gorilla Glass 2 Display (540 x 960)
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB built-in storage
  • MicroSD storage expansion (up to 32GB)
  • 1GHz dual-core processor
  • 5-megapixel camera w/ LED flash
  • 0.3-megapixel VGA front-facing camera
  • 2,150mAh Battery
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n/a

Nothing the spec-conscious crowd will write home about, no? But here's the thing: It's a surprisingly solid entry-level device. You can't quite appreciate just how light it is until you grab it. 

In the hand, though, the L9's a ridiculously light device. It's decidedly plastic, but it's a soft plastic. (Kind of like a dry heat, I suppose.) The user interface seemed quick enough, though the device is loaded down in T-Mobile and LG applications. This is a buy-and-drive device, designed to be used out of the box, for folks who don't want to do a whole lot of customization.

The good news is that it's got a removable battery and microSD card. The power plant is respectable, but the four gigabytes of built-in storage most certainly isn't.

We've got a bevy of pics and video after the break.

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1 year ago

LG Nexus design shown off in two new pictures

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The LG Nexus (LG-E960) just keeps showing up in leaked images, this time over on the XDA forums. These new images give us a much better look at both the back and front of the device. The back plate, now seen in proper lighting, looks very similar to what we've just seen today on Sprint's model of the LG Optimus G over at CTIA MobileCON, and is much more understated than it seemed before. The front of the device continues to look reminiscent of the current Galaxy Nexus, but with a chrome-like bezel and different speaker grille at the top. The home screen and buttons all look as they should for a Nexus device -- stock and on-screen.

As far as specs go, the poster gives the following list:

  • CPU: quad core ARMv7 1.5GHz
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Memory: 8GB (no SD slot)
  • GPU: Adreno 320
  • Android version: JellyBeanMR1
  • Kernel 3.4.0
  • Screen: 768x1184 (320 dpi)
  • Camera: 8 MP

This is all lining up with the previous leaks, including the anemic 8GB of internal, non expandable memory. The seemingly odd vertical resolution of 1184px can be explained by the on-screen buttons taking up some room, while the horizontal resolution of 768px fits previous leaks. With those resolution numbers and the reported DPI, we're looking at a device with about a 4.7-inch display.

The poster also points out that the phone seems to only support HSPA+ data access, not LTE, which fits with what we've found in the FCC filings. To clarify on previous posts, if this device were to be on sale with the same bands tested and confirmed by the FCC filing, it will work on both AT&T's and T-Mobile's HSPA+ networks.

Things just keep falling into place for the next Nexus device. We've got one more picture for you after the break.

Source: XDA Forums; Thanks, Mike!

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1 year ago

Hands-on with the Sprint LG Optimus G

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The Sprint Optimus G in a nutshell: It's an LG Optimus G. On Sprint.

That's really about it. Sprint's iteration of LG's newest flagship is pretty much what we saw in the international version. It's got the same 4.7-inch WXGA IPS display (that's a lot of letters for "good"), same Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 pro quad-core processor. Same 13-megapixel camera that sticks out ever so slightly. Same cool "crystal reflection design" under the don't-call-it-glass backing.

And, yes, same non-removable battery, and no microSD card. (You do have 32 GB of on-board storage, with a good chunk of that already used by the operating system.)

Otherwise, no real surprises here. LG's customizations are all intact. Sprint's apps are all tucked away in SprintZone, the way we like them.

Now all we need is some availability and pricing information. (Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.)

We've got a few more pics and video after the break. Be sure to stick around and see more from CTIA MobileCON over the next couple of days. 

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1 year ago

Hands-on with the Sprint LG Mach

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Sliders have always held a special place in many a heart -- and that includes Sprint, which today unveiled the surprisingly slim LG Mach at the CTIA MobileCON event in San Diego.

The Mach's got a 4-inch, WVGA display. And it proves that such a "low" resolution by today's standards can still work on a mass-market device, provided the screen's no bigger than that. It's easy to forget in this age of 5-inch, HiDPI devices.

Android 4.0.4 is on board, and we'd expect a Jelly Bean update at some point, though nobody's saying much of anything at this point. LG's new UI -- is there, so you get a whiff of what's on the higher-end Optimus G, without all the muss and fuss of ridiculously awesome hardware (and the cost that goes with it). Sprint's also living up to its promise to not muck up the phone with too many preloaded apps, smartly tucking them away in the SprintZone app. Sprint ID's on board as well;  you can choose to use it, or not.

But the keyboard's the real star here, right? LG's crammed a decent enough slider into a surprisingly thin form factor, with the whole kit and kaboodle measuring in at just less than a half-inch. The keys are decent enough, with a little bit of click to them and some nice backlighting to guide your way.

Also of note is that the Mach's got a removable 1700 mAh battery, so you can swap out a dead one on the go. It's also got a microSD card slot, which helps explains the rather anemic 8 GB of on-board storage. (And about 3 GB of that is taken up by the OS.)

No word on pricing or availability. But this'll be on the lower end of things.

We've got more hands-on photos and video after the break.

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1 year ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has SwiftKey prediction built-in

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One of the Galaxy Note 2's best features may be one of its most hidden

A funny thing about SwiftKey. We've questioned, in the past, its strategy of forgoing deals with manufacturers to be preloaded onto devices (like Swype chose to do) and instead relying on Google Play downloads. It seems it's survived that strategy just fine, consistently remaining in the top 5 paid Android applications as well as spending its share of time in the top spot. 

But we've also seen it branch out a little bit. SwiftKey's prediction engine has appeared on BlackBerry, of all places. And now, we've learned, it's on the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. And that phone should sell a few more units than BlackBerry, no?

Samsung didn't respond to a request for comment. SwiftKey had no comment. (That's in line with the BlackBerry implementation of SwiftKey. Neither the keyboard company nor the struggling RIM would 'fess up, either.)

More: Read our Galaxy Note 2 review

Sure enough, in the keyboard settings on the Note 2, you can find options for "Predictive text." There's an overall on/off switch for personalization. And under that you see the familiar "Learn from ..." options. Sign in to Facebook, Gmail and Twitter, and SwiftKey (erm, the Galaxy Note 2) can learn from what you type. 

There's also a conspicuous link to the privacy policy -- which is really good to see, given that this is snooping on your messages. But we've also been using SwiftKey with its personalization for more than a year, and we've really got no worry here.

The short version is that this is a good thing for Samsung. And it's a good thing for SwiftKey. And, untimately, it's a good thing for you.

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1 year ago

LG's Nexus 4 - here's what we know so far [Updated]

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First came the HTC-built Nexus One in early 2010. Then it was Samsung's turn with the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus in the years that followed. And in recent days it's become pretty clear that Google’s 2012 Nexus partner is LG, with the upcoming fourth-generation Nexus phone being based on the Korean manufacturer’s Optimus G.

Photos have leaked showing a curved design with a glass back, and reported specs include a beastly 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 CPU, a 4.7-inch IPS display and, as ever, a "pure Google" vanilla Android experience. And there's been plenty of discussion and speculation over on the Android Central forums. But there are a lot of rumors circulating as to the exact nature of LG and Google's upcoming high-end smartphone, and it's not always easy to separate out the facts.

So just what do we know about the upcoming 2012 Nexus phone? We’ve collected all the most reliable leaked information into one handy report, which you can check out after the break.

Update, Oct. 15: This article has been updated with the latest information on the LG Nexus that's come to light in recent days.

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1 year ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 gets official for T-Mobile

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Sprint had their turn this morning, now T-Mobile has an announcement of their own for MobileCON. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will be landing on T-Mo, as expected, though they're just as vague with pricing and release dates. Both white and grey options will be available, in any case. Last night T-Mobile also announced the LG Optimus L9, and who knows what else they'll unveil before the end of the show. The Galaxy Note 2 is shaping up to be a hugely popular device, and based on our experience, it's worth all of the hype. Here's a quick overview.

  • Processor: 1.6 GHz quad-core processor
  • Display: 5.5” HD Super AMOLED (1,280 x 720)
  • OS: Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
  • Camera: Main(Rear): 8 Megapixel Auto Focus Camera with LED Flash, BSI; Sub(Front): 1.9 Megapixel VT Camera, BSI; Best Photo, Best Faces, Low light shot
  • GPS: A-GPS; Glonass
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth v 4.0 (Apt-X Codec support) LE; USB 2.0 Host; WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 & 5 GHz), Wi-Fi HT40; Wi-Fi Direct; mHL; NFC
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, RGB Light, Digital Compass, Proximity, Gyro, Barometer
  • Memory: 16/32/64GB User memory + 2GB (RAM); microSD (up to 64GB)
  • Dimensions: 80.5 x 151.1 x 9.4 mm, 180 g
  • Battery: Standard battery, Li-ion 3,100mAh

Keep an eye out for the Galaxy Note 2 on T-Mobile shelves "in the coming weeks". T-Mobile customers, are you pumped?

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1 year ago

LG announces Optimus G and Mach for Sprint

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The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 isn't the only thing announced for Sprint today. LG has announced the Optimus G and the Mach as the latest LTE-enabled additions to Sprint's line-up. Sprint also snuck in a tri-mode USB modem into the announcement, if you're into that kind of thing. We're already been pretty up-close-andpersonal with the Optimus G, but what's this Mach device? Surely not the Optimus Mach from awhile back, right? Nope, though it's still in the mid-range and pales in comparison to the Motorola Photon Q as far as sliders on Sprint go. Here are the broad strokes.

  • Full QWERTY slide out keyboard
  • Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 1.2GHz dual-core processor
  • 4” WVGA touch screen
  • Super thin design - only .48”
  • 3G/4G LTE Mobile Hotspot capability supporting up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices simultaneously
  • Dual Cameras: 5-megapixel rear-facing with flash and video capture and 0.3 megapixel VGA front-facing camera

As you might expect, pricing and launch dates are still hazy for either one of these, but it's probably safe to assume that we'll be getting them before the holidays. Any takers?

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1 year ago

Rogers launches Motorola RAZR HD LTE

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Following an announcement last month, the Motorola RAZR HD LTE hit Rogers store shelves across Canada today for $99 on a three-year contract. It's an awful lot like the Droid RAZR HD that announced for Verizon last month, except this one is made for GSM networks. The main selling points for the Motorola RAZR HD are its 4.7-inch display, its strong battery life with LTE usage, and the triggered response software system, SmartActions. 

The Motorola RAZR HD LTE isn't showing up in the Rogers online store just yet, but feel free to call up your closest brick-and-mortar location to see what's up. There's also a bunch of information on Motorola Canada's site about detailed specs. Canadians, are you guys interested? Personally, I'm having a hard time imagining signing a three-year contract for any phone with WIND and Mobilicity in the picture. Any Americans interested in importing the RAZR HD LTE to use on A&T? Verizon customers, are you itching to pick up your version?

Source: @Motorola_CA

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1 year ago

Motorola Atrix 2 bestowed with Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade

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Motorola Atrix 2 owners can now emerge from Gingerbread now that AT&T has begun rolling out the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade. We had an inkling that the update was on the way, so no huge surprise, but welcome nontheless. The update includes Motorola's new quick-launch lock screen, along with the usual ICS features, like Face Unlock, tabbed browsing, a data usage monitor and a few other odds and ends. 

Earlier this week, Motorola also started rolling out ICS for their Droid XYBOARD tablets, but there are still a few more devices on the timeline that we're waiting for. For those that aren't getting an update reasonably soon, Motorola has a pretty sweet upgrade incentive in place

With all of these ICS updates, it's starting to actually feel like Google owns Motorola. Hopefully it won't take long before Motorola sets the standard for software update timeliness, but for the time being, which manufacturer have you been most pleased with on that front? Which manufacturers take way too long for their ICS updates? Should manufacturers even be bothering with Jelly Bean in the picture? Is Google rolling out these new features too quickly, or do manufacturers and carriers just need to hurry and catch up? 

Source: AT&T

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