I think we're all a bit curt with T-Mobile for announcing the Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G, but not actually having it here at CES 2012 for us to play with, but they did have something substantial to show off in Vegas. Bobsled Messaging is a new free SMS messaging application which allows you to read and send texts from just about any web-enabled device.
The Android app propogates text messages across multiple screens, including phone, tablet, and web, while packaging everything in a familiar threaded interface. The web console is particularly cool in that you can send out group messages with minimal fuss.
Samsung announced a new smartphone app here at CES 2012 which will help you handle your laundry by communicating wirelessly to a Wi-Fi-enabled washing machine and dryer. I got a closer look, and am still hugely impressed. At first, the idea seemed a little hoaky, but then I looked back on how many times I've forgotten that I had put anything in the wash, and how much a tailored mobile notification system would help out.
Here's how it works: the washer and dryer each have their own I.P. address, which your phone can tunnel to no matter where you are. Using the app, you can remotely start up any cycle, which then gives you a timer on how long until it's done. You can also remotely pause a cycle if need be, and use a variety of notification types to let you know when it's done.
Photo Voyages of Trey Ratcliff, the "official" application of the popular travel photography blog Stuck in Customs is now compatible with Google TV. The app consists of hundreds of Ratcliff's images (and they are spectacular images indeed) as an endless slideshow to view on your screen. With Google TV support, that big screen in your living room can become a piece of art while you're not watching cartoons the news. Another interesting aside, a note in the market says an update that allows setting any of the images as your wallpaper is coming "very soon". The app will cost you $2.99 and requires Android 2.1 or higher. Hit the break for the download link.
Sprint has posted that the HTC EVO 3D version 2.17.651.5 update should start rolling out today. It's a minor maintenance release that addresses the following:
Updated Peep client (to align with Twitter)
Battery life improvements
The OTA should start rolling out to devices today, but you can manually force the update check by tapping Menu > Settings > System updates > HTC software update > Check now from your homescreen. If you get this one, be sure to talk about it in the forums so others know what to expect!
For you HTC fans, there's a lot here that's familiar. The Titan's a mix of soft-touch plastic and metal, with those little design flares that HTC does oh so well. It feels like an HTC phone. The screen is big -- the screen is 4.7-inches of Super LCD glass -- and it looks quite nice. But the Galaxy Nexus beats it with its 720x1280 Super AMOLED HD display. It's less about the screen type than it is the pixels. The 720p screen just trumps it, hands down.
Microsoft has continue to work well with its manufacturing partners in terms of optimizing the devices. The Titan II is 1.5 GHz single-core device, but the UI is fast as fast can be. That doesn't mean you won't run into bottlenecks though. Despite having a 16MP camera on board, you'll have to make do with 720p video recording, and not 1080p like you'll find on most Android devices now. That's not a huge strike -- it's more of a limiting factor when using a single-core processor.
It really is that camera that had us impressed, especially when compared to the lackluster shooter on the Galaxy Nexus. From Day 1 of Windows Phone, Microsoft's done cameras right. You go from a cold start to shutter action quickly than just about anything else out there (the new Xperia S could give it a run for its money), and the quality of pictures and video on the Titan II is quite good.
Day two of the week long tech extravaganza that is CES 2012 is over, and here's a recap of all the big news. While things will slow down a little bit in Las Vegas, we're not leaving until we see everything there is to see. Check the list to see if you missed anything, and be sure to stop in again to get the rest of the news.
Verizon announced the LG Spectrum here at CES, and we took some time to try it out. It's got a nice 4.5-inch 720p display, a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor, and it's running Android 2.3. It feels a lot like Nitro HD, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's not particularly new. The only real difference aside from running on Verizon instead of AT&T is that the Spectrum bumps up the RAM to 1 GB from 768 MB.
LG was heavily pushing Verizon's streaming sports service, so you could catch live games on the go. They also emphasized their particular IPS display technology, which aims to cram in more pixels than the standard pentile layout, reduce battery drain, and ultimately improve sharpness and reduce eye strain. They've also added some mild software updates to the LG Spectrum's Android experience, namely being able to to drag and drop categories of apps from the full app screen to the home screen as a folder. Besides that, you'll recognize most of the other customizations - go ahead and take a look for yourself.
The Samsung Galaxy Note and the HTC Titan. Two great phones with great names. The Galaxy Note has emerged on AT&T this week at CES in Las Vegas, and we took our pal Dan from WPCentral to the Samsung booth to show him what a really big phone is like.
Sure, his HTC Titan's got an awesome name, and the 4.7-inch Titan is nothing to sneeze at. But damned if it didn't look downright diminutive next to the Galaxy Note. And then there's the Galaxy Note's Super AMOLED HD display. Even Dan had to admit it's beautiful.
An early Sprint LTE landing page listed the Sprint Galaxy Nexus as having 16GB of internal storage, compared to the 32GB offered by the Verizion version. Sprint got in touch with us today, however, to confirm that its version of the Galaxy Nexus will ship with a full 32GB, just like Verizon's. So that's that.
We got to play with the Sprint Galaxy Nexus at a CES gathering last night. Check out our hands-on coverage for more info (spoiler alert: it's a Galaxy Nexus, on Sprint).
After CES, the next big event in the smartphone and tablet world is Mobile World Congress, which runs during the last week of February in Barcelona. Today Sony Ericsson began sending out invites for its MWC 2012 press conference. The invite says that SE will reveal more about its Xperia "portfolio and strategy" at its press conference, suggesting that we'll likely see more of its 2012 line-up. We'll be there, of course, bringing you full coverage of whatever's on show.
In related news, a Tweet from Orange UK's Conor Maples confirms that the network will carry Sony's new flagship phone the Xperia S. Rival networks O2 and Three have already declared their intention to offer the device, as we reported yesterday.
Tonight while walking around ShowStoppers here in Las Vegas, I couldn't help but to notice something out of the corner of my eye -- a desktop phone running Android on it! Naturally I had to go and check it out to see what it was all about, and the things I saw were pretty impressive. Running on a 7-inch capacative touch-screen with an 800x395 resolution the ESI 250 runs a custom skin on top of Android 2.2. Now before you go ahead and complain about it running 2.2, let's remember that it is a desktop phone meant for business users who will not be taking it off their desk.
The custom skin offers a rather stock experience, and ESI has wrote a custom market for the users to be able to purchase and download applications from. On the right hand side of the device you will notice three physical buttons, one to take you to the home screen, one to take you back, and one to access the menu. Some rather popular titles will be made available for the ESI 250, such as Evernote, Stickynotes, Sodoku and more. The device will be launching in Q2 at the $300 price point, so if you are a business user who wants to get more out of their devices be sure to be on the look out for this. Hit the break for some more images and a video tour.
With the first official day of CES 2012 now behind us, it's time to take a look back at what all got announced. If you happened to miss out on anything, hit the links below and get caught up. There is plenty more to come starting tomorrow so read on and when you're done -- come back and we'll do it all again.
So here's the thing about the Sprint Galaxy Nexus: It's a Galaxy Nexus. On Sprint. We can only show you the front of it here, because that's all we were allowed to take pictures of. And it looks just lke the front of the Galaxy Nexus. In fact, we're not even going to tell you whether the blurry one is the Sprint Galaxy Nexus, or the GSM Galaxy Nexus. Doesn't matter here.
While we weren't allowed to take a picture of the back of the Sprint Galaxy Nexus, nobody's stopping us from telling you about it. It looks like the back of a Galaxy Nexus, with a Sprint logo. But the fact that we weren't allowed to record it in digital form makes us think that could possibly change. Anyway, there you go.
A few more less-than-ideally-lit shots after the break.
Not a whole lot to say about the LG Viper from our brief time with it at Sprint's little get-together at the Tao nightclub in Las Vegas. You're looking at a mid-level device with a stock Gingerbread UI, LTE data and Sprint ID thrown in for good measure. It's got one of LG's excellent Nova displays though, so that's a pretty big point in its favor.
We'll get more quality time in with the Viper when we're done bouncing our heads to the beat here at Tao. In the meantime, enjoy.
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