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3 years ago

Best Android Phones June 2011

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Android Central's Top 10 Android Phones Report ranks the popularity of the best Android Phones over the past 30 days as determined by our proprietary algorithm which compiles data from across the AC community and beyond (Lloyd invented the system and gave it his blessing).

So check out the list below to learn more about what's popular in the Android Universe!

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3 years ago

LG Thrill 4G 3D app development session and SDK from AT&T

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AT&T is sponsoring a LG Thrill 4G 3D application development session featuring Henry Nho, 3D Tech lead at LG Electronics.  The hour long webcast will be 10AM to 11AM Pacific Time on June 23, and it's free to those who pre-register.  The session itinerary is as follows:

  • Introduction to the LG Thrill 4G device
  • The basics of developing Real 3D applications for the LG Thrill 4G
  • How to get your Real 3D app or game to market

If you're interested in creating any type of stereoscopic 3D Android applications (music player with 3D visualizations, please) you won't want to miss this one.  Have a look at the source link to get all the pertinent info.

In addition, and this would probably make for good preparation for the above mentioned webcast, the LG Real3D SDK is also available for download.  The SDK will give you access to the Real3D API, provide a few demos, and a emulator that you can test on your computer using red/cyan 3D glasses.  Be sure to install this and play around with it if you're interested in attending the webcast, or just want to check it out.

Source: AT&T developer pages Webcast; SDK. Thanks, Mike!

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3 years ago

Gingerbread 2.3.3 leaked for the Samsung Galaxy S 4G

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A very nice phone that doesn't get near enough spotlight, the Samsung Galaxy S 4G (check out our hands-on) has a new Gingerbread leak floating around.  The 2.3.3 build has been rooted, and it looks like the battery life got even better -- one user reports about 50 percent better battery life after updating, rooting, and removing pre-installed applications.  If you're inclined, you can find all the instruction and download links at the source link. 

Remember, there's always a risk involved if you jump into this sort of thing.  For many, the rewards outweigh that risk.  Be sure you're informed and pay attention to the instructions.

Source: XDA-Developers

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3 years ago

LG officially launches Optimus 3D

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We've known it was coming for a while, we've even had some hands-on with one of our own (yes, I owe you guys a great review), and today LG launched the Optimus 3D, the world's first "Tri-Dual" architecture smartphone.  Tri-Dual can be translated into dual core CPU, dual channel RAM, and a dual-channel board configuration.  Take that and translate it into English and it means that data can be transferred internally faster, and more of it at once.  Without spoiling my promised review, I'll tell you it's fast.  It's the future of smartphones, and I can't wait to see it go mainstream and get even better.  Add in other niceties like DLNA, HDMI out, and a 4.3 inch display and there's a lot to like here.

One more thing -- 3D.  By a scant seven days LG beat HTC to the punch to release the first 3D Android phone.  It's stereoscopic (no glasses) and pictures and video can be captured in 3D as well.  Like the EVO 3D, you don't have to use it so all is good.  It's coming to Europe first, and should be available in 60 or so more markets in a few weeks.  We'll see it in the states as the LG Thrill 4G on AT&T.  You can read the full press release after the break.

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3 years ago

Sprint revises EVO 3D video capture specs to 720p

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There's been a bit of question about the video capture specifications for the HTC EVO 3D.  Sprint's spec sheet said that 1080p video capture was supported in 2D. But like some of the other early reviewers, we don't have that option in the camera settings.  We reached out to Sprint, and this is what they had to say:

Our apologies, but there was a typo in the spec sheet for EVO 3D. The correct feature should read: capture video up to 720p and playback up to 1080p on both 2D and 3D.

It's not the end of the world, and good 720p video capture is much better than jittery 1080p video by a country mile.  For most, the 1080p decoding was the important bit, and that part was correct.  Will this affect your decision to purchase the EVO 3D, or is it one spec you can overlook, considering the awesomesauce of all the others? 

More: Ask Phil about the EVO 3D 

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3 years ago

Sprint HTC EVO 3D initial review

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Watch our hands-on with the EVO 3D!

If there ever was a phone that could supplant the venerable HTC EVO 4G as Sprint's best-selling Android device, the new EVO 3D could well be it. Spend just a few minutes with the device, and that much is clear. You're going to want this smartphone.

"But Phil," you say. "It's got all that 3D stuff, and I don't care about 3D stuff."

Know what? That's fine. You don't have to use it. We're well into our review of the EVO 3D, and it's time for some initial thoughts. Find 'em after the break.

EVO 3D SpecsEVO 3D ForumsEVO 3D Accessories

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3 years ago

Droid Bionic cases on the shelf at Meijer

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A tipster just sent us a few pictures of Motorola Droid Bionic cases sitting pretty on the shelves at Meijer.  According to our friend, these just got stocked today.  While this doesn't mean anything about a release (see the HTC Thunderbolt ), they sure look lonely sitting there empty.  Maybe Meijer knows something we don't, or maybe it's all wishful thinking.  Either way, nobody makes or stocks accessories for things that won't show up eventually.  We just have to be patient.  There's another pic after the break, check it out.

Thanks, John Trojan!

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3 years ago

HTC Evo 3D review roundup

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Read our HTC EVO 3D review


With the release of the HTC EVO 3D just a few days away, we're finally starting to see some reviews pop up. (Don't worry, ours is coming. You've got our permission to read others in the meantime.)

The EVO 3D's shaping up to be one of the hottest phones of the year, no doubt. Following up on last year's blockbuster EVO 4G, the sequel continues the trend of large screens, fast processors and brings along some of HTC's stellar customizations.

Consider the specs:

  • 4.3-inch 3D qHD capacitive 960 x 540 px display
  • 1.2 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor
  • 4GB of internal memory
  • 8GB microSD card pre-installed (expandable up to 32GB)
  • 1730 mAh battery
  • 1GB RAM
  • Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
  • Dual 5 MP rear cameras
  • 1.3 MP front-facing camera
  • 2D video recording at 1080p
  • 3D video recording at 720p

That's nothing to be trifled with. But probably the biggest question about the EVO 3D we're asked is "Is it a good 2D phone?" If the latest reviews and our own hands-on with the EVO 3D back at CTIA are any indication, Sprint and HTC likely have another winner our their hands.

More: HTC EVO 3D Forums

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3 years ago

Sprint ID teases the Samsung Chief, LG Q, LG Optimus B and Motorola Sunfire

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Wanna have a little fun poking your nose around where it doesn't belong? Tucked deep inside the Sprint ID app is a not-so-secret menu for downloading the Sprint Employee Pack for Sprint ID. And before you download the pack, you're asked which phone you have. And there are a few interesting names in that list. Namely:

  • LG Optimus B
  • LG Q
  • Samsung Chief
  • Motorola Sunfire

Those four listings, unlike the Samsung Epic 2.2/2.3 you see in the picture above, don't have images with them. Just the Sprint logo. So what are they?

The LG Optimus B, it stands to reasons, could be the Optimus Black. The Motorola Sunfire is believed to be the recently announced Photon 4G. And the Samsung Chief could be the mid-level "Conquer" everybody's geeking out over today. As for the LG Q? Your guess is as good as ours. The upcoming LG Optimus Slider, perhaps?

Any Sprint employees wanna chime in and clear things up?

Thanks, anon!

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3 years ago

Dell Venue review

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Close your eyes and imagine this: you're a tech giant that has made billions of dollars on desktop and laptop computers. You were once one of the largest tech companies in America, and today you still maintain a large PC market share. But the times, they are a changin', and you realize in order to stay relevant, you'll have to play the smartphone game. But with competitors who have already giants in the industry, how can you compete?

I'd imagine this is what Dell must feel like at this moment. CEO and founder Michael Dell has pledged his allegiance time and time again to Android, promising that the company will commit whole heartedly to the platform. Yet as of today, the company has only two Android-powered smartphones on the market. How can it compete with the giants that are HTC, Motorola, and Samsung, who together have released scores of handsets since Android's debut?

Dell's answer appears to be the Venue, its first pocketable Android-powered smartphone. Sure, the Streak was released last year, but it was identity confused, falling somewhere in the purgatory between smartphone and tablet. The Venue is 100 percent smartphone, and Dell appears to have given it its all. But is it enough? And with a $99 price tag on a two-year AT&T contact, finally available nearly four months after its initial release, is it too little too late?  Here, we'll look at what the Venue is, what it should be, and what it means for Dell's future in the Android playing field.

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3 years ago

Samsung Fascinate receives minor software update

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It looks like owners of the Fascinate will start seeing a minor update pushed out to their devices soon.  The update seems to be rather small and the only two changes listed are:

  • Improved incoming call connectivity
  • Improvements to how OTA's are delivered to the device.

Several members in our forums apparently already have the update, so if you haven't received it yet, you should.  In the mean time, you can look at the official change log after the break. 

Source: Verizon; via Android Central Forums Thanks, Cort! 

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3 years ago

Swype 3.0 beta is Honeycomb optimized, improves predictive text and layout

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Update 2: It's back, folks! Get to downloading.

Swype has announced the latest beta (version 3.0 for those keeping score at home) and one of the big changes that come along with it is a special WXGA version designed for Honeycomb tablets, which features a movable and resizeable keyboard layout. 

Other changes include the way word correction is handled when you stop swyping and revert to tapping out the letters -- you can now mix and match and still keep word autocorrect and prediction intact.  The pop-up for word choice when multiple guesses are presented gets an improvement, too, now an easier to read horizontal bar is presented versus that annoying dialog that used to jump up.  To top it all off, it looks like the predictive text engine itself has seen a big overhaul, and should work much better.

We know that Swype isn't for everyone, especially when it comes to using it on a tablet.  That's fine -- different choices are one of the main strengths of the Android platform, and Swype certainly is a different choice.  For the huge numbers of you who love Swype, keep an eye on the source link (currently down for maintenance) and give it a whirl.  Also, check out a short demo video showing it in action, after the break.

Update:  If you've been refreshing the beta download page at Swype, you've probably seen the latest update on the status of this.  If not, here's the latest from Swype:

BETA DELAYED BECAUSE:

a) We forgot to buy vowels

b) Our beta build server crashed

c) Upper management kept accelerating the beta schedule

d) All of above !#@$!&

No word on when to expect it, we'll tell you as soon as we hear something.

 

Source: Swype via MobileCrunch

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3 years ago

HTC Merge review

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The White Whale of Android smartphones finally emerges on a handful of regional carriers

There's something quite satifying about the HTC Merge on US Cellular. Maybe it's the sleek design. Maybe it's the excellent slider keyboard. Or maybe it's because it's our White Whale.

The HTC Merge (codenamed Lexikon) first made an appearance as a dual CDMA/GSM World Phone in early September 2010 when the FCC outed it, pictures and all. At the time, it was clearly branded for Verizon. And it was the Verizon version that we got an exclusive look at it just a month later. At that time, the Merge still had not been announced by Verizon.

And so days went by and turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. Still no word on the Merge. Meanwhile, the Motorola Droid 2 (another horizontal slider released that fall) had already been revamped and gained a GSM radio, so it, too, would work outside the United States. Whether that's the reason the Verizon held back the Merge, we may never know. But on February 25, 2011 -- nearly five months after its inital FCC showing -- HTC announced that the Merge would be coming to "multiple carriers" in the spring.

It first saw release on Alltel and Cellular South. And, this June, on US Cellular. One thing those carriers have in common? They all piggyback on Verizon's network. That's not a coincidence. (And you actually can buy a Merge at a third-party retailer and actually use it on Verizon.)

And so we finally have the HTC Merge. This is its story.

HTC Merge Specs | HTC Merge ForumsHTC Merge Accessories

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3 years ago

Motorola Photon specs

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PRODUCTIVITY:

  • 3G/4G Handset – The latest arrival to America’s favorite 4G network
  • 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA®Tegra™2 Processor for quick downloads and app performance
  • 4.3” qHD touchscreen for cinematic viewing with kickstand
  • Built with Android 2.3, Gingerbread operating system
  • International GSM capabilities

Enterprise Security

  • 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot capability for up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices (additional fee required)
  • Corporate (MS Exchange ActiveSync) and personal (POP & IMAP) email access
  • Messaging – personal and business email, Google TalkTM instant message and text
  • messaging
  • Sprint ID offering an innovative way to personalize an Android smartphone with
  • apps, widgets, ringtones and more all in a single download
  • GPS navigation enabled

ENTERTAINMENT:

  • Dual cameras – 8 megapixel HD video capture camera and VGA front-facing camera
  • 720P HD Video capture and the ability to output HD video (1080P) via HDMI
  • Android Market™ for access to more than 200,000 applications, widgets and games available for download to customize the experience
  • HD Multimedia Dock* and Car Dock* for a truly unique handset experience
  • 16GB of on board memory, support for up to 32GB SD Card, for a total of up to 48GB
  • Ability to utilize the webtop application while connected to a Motorola accessory dock to open, view, edit and send Microsoft Office documents using cloud-based web apps through the full Mozilla Firefox browser
  • Bluetooth® 2.1
  • Wi-Fi® b/g/n

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Dimensions: 2.6 inches x 5.0 inches x 0.5 inches (66.9mm x 126.9mm x 12.2mm)
  • Weight: 5.6 oz (158 grams)
  • Display: 4.3-inch qHD 540x960
  • Memory: 16GB eMMC ROM/1GB DDR2 RAM
  • Battery Specifications: 1700 mAh Lithium-ion battery
  • Talktime: CDMA: up to 10 hours; WDCDMA: up to 9.1 hours; GSM up to 10.4 hours
  • *Accessory docks sold separately

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S 4G and Galaxy Tab 10.1 now supported by ROM Manager

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It looks like you won't have to wait long for developers to get geared up for Samsung's latest beauties -- the Galaxy S 4G on T-Mobile and Galaxy Tab 10.1 (the I/O edition only for now) have both been given official support by ROM Manager.  We all know that once you make it easy to flash custom zip files to a device, people will start building those flashable zip files.  I was told to expect the retail version soon, along with a root method.

Of course, you do need to be rooted and aware of all the risks involved.  Once you're comfortable, and when your version is ready, you can download ROM Manager from the Market.  We've got the link after the break.

Source: @clockworkmod

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