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3 years ago

Samsung Droid Charge review

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It's big, it's bright, it's fast — but is it worthy of the Droid name?

How many 4.3-inch 4G LTE smartphones does Verizon need? How many you got? Because with the launch of the Samsung Droid Charge, Big Red now has a pair of large, fast Android 2.2 smartphones.

The Droid Charge finds itself coming into existence at a weird time. It was announced at CES in early January 2011. And now, four months later, finally is coming to market. And in that time we've seen Samsung unleash the likes of the Galaxy S II which is, in a word -- sexy.

So we've got a few reservations. A few worries. One is in Verizon's LTE network and its ramifications on hardware. While it's blazing fast, it'll drain a battery faster than a blogger drains a beer. And another is in Samsung's perceived inability to update the software on its phones in a timely fashion. Whether or not that's true, well, that's another matter.

So join us after the break as we dive into the Samsung Droid Charge.

Droid Charge SpecsDroid Charge ForumsDroid Charge Accessories

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3 years ago

HTC Desire HD mini review (Three network)

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You might think it's a strange time to be considering an HTC Desire HD for your next phone. The Sensation, HTC’s next big thing, is looming on the horizon. And newer, shinier phones from a variety of manufacturers may tempt you away from a device that’s been on the market (in Europe, at least) since the back end of 2010. But despite this, the Desire HD still offers a compelling feature set and specifications that compare favorably to many newer Android smartphones.

We’ve spent the past couple of weeks getting to know the Three UK-branded version of the Desire HD, which is available for free on contracts starting at £30 per month. Join us after the jump to find out more about the device in our snack-size mini-review.

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3 years ago

Samsung Gem review

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The Samsung Gem is Samsung's latest foray into the hugely popular and lucrative entry-level Android smartphone market.  This is where Android is going to grab what's left of the market share, and any company that builds a solid performer but still keeps prices in check is going to do well.  The Gem is that solid performer.  Checking in at $29.99 (with the standard two-year agreement), or free through U.S. Cellular's Belief Project if you qualify, it really makes buying a feature or messaging phone seem like a poor decision.

Of course it doesn't offer up the level of performance that you would see from some of the high-end Android phones out there, but it's not designed to.  You'll see what I mean, after the break.

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3 years ago

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc review

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With its 2011 Xperia lineup, Sony Ericsson is looking to retain its position as one of the major players in the Android ecosystem. While last year’s (depending on your locale) Xperia X8 and X10 sold well, they were criticized by some for shipping with an outdated version of Android, as well as a variety of software issues.

The Xperia Arc is Sony Ericsson’s new flagship phone, representing the manufacturer’s next step in its quest for Android dominance. It’s a faster, sleeker, lighter device that’s running the latest version of Android out of the box (well, give or take a minor point release). And some interesting multimedia inclusions from Sony give it strong entertainment credentials.

But has Sony Ericsson done enough to compete with recent offerings from the likes of Samsung and HTC? Read on to find out, as we take a closer look at the Xperia Arc.

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3 years ago

Casio G'zOne Commando initial review

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Casio G'zOne Commando

I kind of want to throw the Casio G'zOne Commando. Or at least just drop it. Maybe kick it down the street a little. Can't decide if that's because it's rugged to the point where it's trying to pick a fight, or if it's because of the ridiculous name.

Anyhoo, it's got a 3.6-inch display at 800x480, 1GB of ROM (though we're only showing 309MB available) and 512MB of RAM, powered by an 800MHz processor running Android 2.2.1. there's a 5MP camera and all the other usual features, including a notification light.

It's got a custom UI which is for the most part unremarkable, though the main home screen has a compass on it. How useful that will be depends on how often you actually need a compass, but it's an interesting novelty.

But, really, it's the outside of the Commando that's important. There's a pretty serious rubber frame around the thing. The microUSB and 3.5mm ports are covered by rubber flaps, and the volume, power, camera and G'zGear buttons (we'll explain that last one later) are all very industrial. The screws that hold it all together are exposed for the world to see. In other words, it's very in-your-face.

The entire phone is "water resistant," and to that end there's a stick on the battery cover that instructs you how to properly reattach it to maintain a complete lack of moisture infiltration. (That's our phrase. You can borrow it, free of charge.) The battery door has a sliding lock.

In short, this thing means business, and by business we mean not the sort you do with a coat and tie.

Oh, and we just found one more reason we want to go a couple rounds in a ring with the G'zOne Commando -- It's all Bing'd up. So, yeah. There's that. Full review is forthcoming. For now, find more pics after the break.

G'zOne Commando specsG'zOne Commando forums | G'zOne Commando accessories

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3 years ago

Verizon Droid charge initial review

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The Verizon Droid Charge is off to an inauspicious start. Announced at CES in early January 2011, it was slated to go on sale today, April 28. Such is not the case, however, due to some major hiccups with Verizon's LTE network. But we've got a Droid Charge in hand, and it's time to give Verizon's second 4G-capable phone the what for.

Hardware-wise, it's the same as we saw it four months ago. You've got a 4.3-inch touchscreen at 800x480, powered by a 1GHz processor, with 512MB of RAM. We've got 2GB of on-board storage, and our review unit came with a 32MB microSD card. Nice.

Despite being a large phone -- it's a hair over 5 inches tall and is about 2.6 inches wide -- it's less than a half-inch thick and weighs just 5.04 ounces. It's big, but it feels pretty good in the hand, if a tad plastic. The Droid Charge tapers to a point down at the physical buttons -- which are blissfully large -- giving it the look of a shield.

Samsung's TouchWiz interface is on board, same as it ever was. Otherwise, you've got all the usual accompanying features. There's an 8MP rear camera with flash, front-facing 1.3MP camera, HDMI out, and so on and so forth. It's a big, light, Android phone with LTE.

The full review's coming up, folks. In the meantime, peep the pics after the break.

Droid Charge SpecsDroid Charge ForumsDroid Charge Accessories

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3 years ago

Droid Incredible 2 initial review

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Hands-on video with the Droid Incredible 2

How do you follow up the HTC Droid Incredible, one of the most successful phones of 2010? If you're Verizon, you tweak a little here, add a little there, but you don't mess with a good thing. Our initial Droid Incredible 2 review is definitely positive, and it should be given our love of its predecessor.

So here's the deal: The DInc 2 has grown from a 3.7-inch smartphone to a full 4-inch display. Gone is the trackpad/button from the bottom, but it's gained a 1.3MP front-facing camera. The rear shooter remains at 8MP. Internally, it's largely the same. Still a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. You've got 768MB or RAM (up from 512MB), and the phone seems speedy enough in our initial use. We would have liked to have seen more than 1GB of internal storage -- the original Droid Incredible had an extra 6GB on board, which was handy.

You don't get the latest version of HTC's Sense, UI, and we're OK with that. But what we're really starting to not be OK with is phones launching with Froyo. We're really far enough into the Gingerbead cycle -- the code was made public in December 2010 -- that it's time to see it on all new phones coming out. Or at last that's what consumers (OK, or at the very least phone nerds) believe.

Also gone are the awesome red accents from the original Droid Incredible. No iconic red earpiece. No red ring on the rear camera. No all-red battery and internals. It's almost as if someone was told they were having a little too much fun and they needed to tone it down a notch.

But that's cosmetic. We'll be giving the Droid Incredible 2 a thorough what-for. In the meantime, hit up a bunch of pics after the break.

Droid Incredible 2 specsDroid Incredible 2 forumsDroid Incredible 2 accessories

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3 years ago

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc initial review and hands-on redux

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 Xperia Arc

It’s no secret that Sony Ericsson had a bit of a rocky start with its first generation of Android phones. Its 2010 Xperia models have been criticized for shipping with an outdated version of Android, as well as lacking some basic functionality like multitouch out of the box.

Fortunately, it looks like the manufacturer has fully overcome these teething problems with the release of its flagship phone for 2011, the Xperia Arc. The Arc is a device which compares well to similar offerings from other manufacturers, and brings to the table some outstanding multimedia features, including a very high-quality camera.

Read on to find out our initial thoughts after our first few days with the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, along with video footage of the device in action.

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3 years ago

T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review

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The T-Mobile Sidekick 4G is a smartphone that since its announcement has intrigued a lot of us. While Sidekicks are usually associated with the younger generation, Samsung has definitely taken that voice and attempted to change it with the customized version of Android 2.2.1 that brings new features for just about anyone.

Has Samsung done enough with the Sidekick to make appeal to the masses, or will it still only appeal to the younger generations? Let's hit the break together, and take a look at what I found throughout my time with the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G.

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3 years ago

HTC Desire S review

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HTC Desire S review

The HTC Desire S is the successor to one of HTC’s most popular European phones. The original Desire featured top specs for the time, along with a prettier, more accessible Android thanks to the HTC Sense UI. Launching just as Android’s market share was starting to explode, the phone saw massive sales throughout 2010, and gave many in Europe and Asia their first introduction to the platform.

With the Desire S, the Taiwanese manufacturer is returning to the 3.7-inch form factor with a refined and redesigned handset that offers a host of subtle improvements in several areas.

But is it a worthy successor to the HTC Desire? And can it compete with the glut of high-quality Android phones now available from other manufacturers? Read on to find out.

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3 years ago

Kyocera Echo on sale now, we go hands-on again

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Kyocera Echo

Since Sprint got magical in New York a while back, I've been itching to get my hands on a Kyocera Echo. Look, we know many of you scoff at the Echo, but that's not fair unless you've had a bit of time with it.  I'm a gadget nut.  I'm a smartphone nut.  I'm an Android nut.  I want to check out all the latest Android phones, but show me something unique and I'm there.  The Echo -- which is available today for $199 after contract and $100 rebate -- fits that bill with its two screen setup, complete with applications that can take advantage of them.  Hit the break for some video, some pictures, and some Jerry talking about the Echo.

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3 years ago

T-Mobile Sidekick 4G hands-on

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Sidekick Main

The T-Mobile Sidekick 4G, an upcoming device from Samsung, brings both style and innovation and meshes it perfectly with an awesome Android experience. Whether you are a previous Sidekick user or just simply a T-Mobile user who is in need of a device with a physical QWERTY that will allow for excellent messaging, this device is definitely one you will want to check out.

We have spent the past few hours getting to know the device quite well, checking out all the various options, and playing with the applications, so join us after the break to take a deeper look into this device.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the HTC Desire S

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HTC Desire S

The original HTC Desire hit in spring 2010, and was part of the Android boom that saw the OS’s market share explode in just a few months. Twelve months later, HTC offers up the Desire S -- a device which it says is an evolution of the phone that gave many users their first taste of Android. 

Just launched in the UK, the Desire S lies in the center ground of HTC’s European line-up for early 2011. It’s not as large (or expensive) as the Incredible S, but it’s just as fast. And it outperforms the upcoming Wildfire S, while still being easily pocketable.

We've just spent several hours getting to know the HTC Desire S, so join us after the break to learn more about it, and read our first impressions of HTC's first Gingerbread phone...

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the Cricket LG Optimus C

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Cricket LG Optimus C

There's the Optimus One. And the Optimus M. And the Optimus S. And the Optimus T. And the Optimus U. And the Optimus V. And the LG Vortex on Verizon. And now, we present the LG Optimus C on Cricket, fresh off the show floor at CTIA. 

This is yet another variant of the Optimus One, which is an above-average mid-range Android smartphone. You have Android 2.2 running with a 3.2-inch touchscreen, a 3.2MP camera with a 1500mAh battery. The physical buttons are a tad different than what you'll get on the other versions, but all in all it's mostly the same experience. More pics and hands-on video are after the break.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the Wifi-only HTC Flyer, coming this spring to Best Buy

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Best Buy just dropped the news that it'll be selling an unbranded, Wifi-only HTC Flyer Android tablet sometime this spring. That's good news for those of you who are looking for some contractless tablet love. And we got ourselves a little time with the device tonight at a CTIA after-hours event.

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.

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