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3 years ago

HTC Thunderbolt Hands-On and Speed Test; Updated with video

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HTC Thunderbolt

Now that the HTC Thunderbolt is officially available and in stores (though we suggest calling ahead - a few stores in some cities are already sold out), we naturally had to pick up the latest  big-screened Android phone and start putting it through its paces. The Thunderbolt's specs, if you don't recall, include the now-nearly-standard 4.3" WVGA screen and 1GHz Snapdragon processor, an 8mp camera with 720p HD video on the back with a VGA camera on the front, and finally a capacious 32g microSD card.

Oh yeah, one more spec: Verizon's wicked-fast 4G LTE network.

So far in our testing in Miami that network is pulling down a very solid 3 megabits per second and uploading so fast that the Speedtest.net app can't really even provide accurate numbers. The device itself also shows remarkably little lag or stutter - even while Android is dutifully pulling down a very large number of apps and profile information we haven't experienced any notable delay.

Hardware-wise, we're a little tempted to say HTC phoned this one in. It's solid and hefty, no doubt, but a little uninspired and definitely a descendant of the EVO 4G. However, there are a lot of nice little touches throughout - including a soft-touch paint that's a pleasure to hold and a large kickstand that cleverly sits atop the Thunderbolt's large rear-speaker. Not so clever: the microUSB charging port sits on the side of the phone that's on your desk when the kickstand is out, so you literally can't charge the Thunderbolt while it's resting on the kickstand.

We'll have much much more on the Thunderbolt very soon. In the meantime check out some photos after the break. Update: Video after the break!

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3 years ago

Motorola Atrix 4G review

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Atrix 4G

The Motorola Atrix 4G is the latest high-end Android phone on AT&T's HSPA+ network, bringing a dual-core Tegra 2 powerhouse and Moto's unique WebTop experience along for the ride.  Since its announcement at CES in January, people have been excited to see what Motorola can bring to the table, and I was just as excited to have some time with the Atrix and the laptop dock.

That's not to say the experience was perfect -- they never are.  I'll share what I learned during my time with the Atrix, and hopefully it will give you a fair idea of what to expect with this one.  Join me after the break.

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3 years ago

Motorola Cliq 2 Review

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In 2009 Motorola launched the Cliq -- an entry-level slider -- debuting Motorola’s social networking centric Motoblur user interface. Unfortunately, the original Cliq was plagued by complaints of a poorly designed keyboard, cheap plastic build quality, slow processor, and a less than polished Motoblur UI.

A couple years have now gone by. Does the Motorola Cliq 2 make up for these shortcomings? Check out our full review after the break.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the Atrix 4G and laptop dock

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Motorola Atrix 4G

 

The Atrix 4G is the hot new dual-core smartphone from Motorola and AT&T, you know, that one with the cool docks.  Both the phone itself and the technology behind the Webtop docking stations are something we're all interested in, and we're going to give it a thorough look over and try to tell you as much as we can about the Atrix 4G "ecosystem" (see what I did there) after we have used it for a week or so. 

We're expecting big things from the Atrix.  It has the hardware to put it at the top of the Android heap (for now) with it's dual-core Tegra 2 chipset and 1 GB of RAM.  But first impressions are telling, always good to share, and after the break.

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3 years ago

HTC Inspire 4G review

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The U.S. gets it first taste of the new HTC Sense
and AT&T's 4G network

HTC Inspire 4G

The HTC Inspire 4G is AT&T's first foray into 4G data, and the carrier picked a very nice package for the debut.  The Inspire is beautifully constructed with high-grade materials, and it shows the world that the Captivate wasn't just a fluke -- AT&T is seeing the light and getting on board with Android in a big way.

But like everything else, it's not perfect.  Hit the break and see my impressions of the HTC Inspire 4G after using it for a week, and decide if you like what you're seeing.

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3 years ago

Samsung Indulge hands-on

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Samsung Indulge

The Samsung Indulge is the first LTE Android phone, running on metroPCS' dual CDMA/LTE network.  It also checks in at a very affordable $399 price point -- and that's on a no-contract metroPCS plan.  With that in mind, we're going to have a good long look at this one, because it's attractive in a way some other new phones aren't.

It's no powerhouse, but it's also no slouch.  Here's the short list of specs:

  • Android 2.2.1
  • 1 GHz Hummingbird CPU
  • 3.5 inch TFT display, at 320 x 480
  • 3.2 MP camera that captures 480p video
  • RAM: 384 MB (unverified).  At boot, there is 295 MB available for the user.  Since a portion of RAM is set aside for other services, my calculations place it at 384 total.
  • Horizontal sliding 4 row QWERTY

The software is pure Samsung.  It's Touchwiz, and basically the same Touchwiz we're all used to.  We'll be sure to look for the minor differences while we use the Indulge and wrap all that up at the end.  For now though, the first thing I did was fire up the camera so you could see my first impressions of this one, check it out after the break.

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3 years ago

HTC Wildfire S hands-on [MWC]

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HTC Wildfire S

Think back to our original HTC Wildfire review. Nice little -- very little -- mid-level Android phone, plagued by a low-resolution screen.

No more. With the announcement of the HTC Wildfire S, you basically have the same phone with its 3.2-inch screen, 600MHz processor and 512MB of ROM/RAM and slap newer software and a better screen onto it. You now have a 320x480 screen resolution -- the bare minimum for any size screen.

Otherwise, it's a nice little entry level smartphone. Check out our hands-on video and pics after the break.

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3 years ago

HTC Flyer Android tablet first look [video]

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HTC Flyer Android tablet

For anyone lamenting the fact that most of the Android tablets announced recently look alike (ahem, yours truly), HTC has brought something different to the game with the Flyer.

The form factor is familiar -- a 7-inch diagonal touchscreen -- but that's about it. First there's the aluminum unibody shell -- a single piece of metal that keeps things strong and light, about the same as a paperback book.

The HTC Sense user interface has been ramped up even more and looks beautiful an extremely fluid, thanks to a 1.5 GHz processor. It has 3D-like effects and really sucks you into the device. Movies played with ease, and the UI animations were as good as we've ever seen from HTC.

It's not running Honeycomb, and that's interesting. All of the Honeycomb tablets we've seen thus far are running what appears to be a stock UI. The Flyer with Sense, of course, is all HTC. Will it get a Honeycomb version at some point? Just have to see.

The Scribe pen stylus wasn't quite as gimmicky as we might have first though. It feels just a bit odd to be talking about a stylus in 2011, but HTC's obviously put a lot of thought into it.

Check out our first look video and pics after the break.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S 4G hands-on (Hint: It's a T-Mobile Vibrant with HSPA+)

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Samsung Galaxy 4G

Got a few minutes with Samsung Vibrant 4G -- erm, the Samsung Galaxy S 4G -- and guess what. It's the T-Mobile Vibrant all over again, with a new battery cover, a new 4G radio to take advantage of those sweet HSPA+ speeds, a bigger (1650 mAh) battery, Inception instead of Avatar and ... That's about it.

Otherwise? Same phone, for all intents and purposes. And that's not a bad thing,

More pics and video are after the break.

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3 years ago

LG Optimus Pad hands-on [updated with video]

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LG Optimus Pad

In the realm of Android Honeycomb tablets -- and it's not like there are all that many out there yet -- things pretty much have, well, looked the same. But the LG Optimus pad brings a bit of differentiation to the burgeoning tablet market.

Start with its size -- 8.9 inches, not the 7 of the original Galaxy Tab or the 10.1 inches of the Motorola Xoom or the new Galaxy Tab 10-inch. And we're very much on the fence about the size. LG claims its the perfect compromise, and maybe it is. But to us it felt like an oversized Galaxy Tab, so far as the basic size goes. A little bit unwieldy, but the screen size is still darn nice. The 1280x768 resolution is plenty adequate.

And then there's that whole 3D thing LG's pushing. And pushing, and pushing. And the Optimus Pad, just like its Optimus 3D smartphone cousin, as on the 3D train as well, with a pair of 5-megapixel camera on the back and a 2MP shooter up front.

It's plenty fast, thanks to an Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, and we didn't see much lag at all in Honeycomb or the apps, which is nice for a pre-production unit.

Hands-on video and more pics are after the break.

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3 years ago

LG Optimus 3D hands-on

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LG Optimus 3D

We all knew it was coming -- LG was going all-in with 3D screen technology, and they've done it with the Optimus 3D. And, surprisingly, it's not horrible.

The phone itself is fairly unremarkable -- your basic black slab. It's got a 4.3-inch touchscreen powered by a 1GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4 processor, and flipping through Android 2.2 (it'll get a Gingerbread update at some point, LG says) was plenty fast.

But 3D is what this phone is all about. And not just playing 3D videos, which was pretty cool, but recording them as well. The Optimus 2D has not one but two 5MP cameras on the rear for stereoscopic recording. And you can even see what you're recording in 3D in real time on the touchscreen display.

So how's the 3D look? It's ... different. Your eyes will have to adjust to it some, but it's not the worst thing in the world, and some content looks better than other. Battery life, we're told, is boosted by the dual-core processor. But you know how those things go -- you'll need to use it to see.

There's a handful of 3D-capable games on board, and the phone has a dedicated hardware button that takes you to a special 3D gallery, from which you access all your 3D content, including 3D content on YouTube.

You're going to have to see this to believe it, truly. We're not completely sold on the idea of 3D content, but LG certainly is.

More pics and video are after the break.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy S II

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Samsung Galaxy S II

Behold, the Samsung Galaxy S II. The original Galaxy S ushered in a new era of power and screen technology in a form factor that was so light you had to heft it to believe it, and the sequel continues that trend.

The Galaxy S II steps things up with a 4.3-inch screen at 480x800 with the new Super AMOLED Plus technology, a dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, either 16GB or 32GB of storage (plus microSD up to 32GB), Wifi b/g/n, USB 2.0, a 1650mAh battery, aGPS, an 8MP rear camera and 2MP front camera (and 1080p recording), and the new Touchwiz 4.0 atop Android 2.3.

And it's all done in an impossibly light form factor. The Galaxy S II, while slightly larger than its predecessor at 125.3mm tall and 66.1mm wide, is thinner -- yes, thinner -- at 8.49mm. The iPhone 4, by comparison, is 9.3mm thick. And the Galaxy S II weighs just 116 grams.

Touchwiz has been bumped to Version 4.0. It's still full of bright colors -- which look even better on the Super AMOLED Plus screen -- and it highlights four major hubs -- Readers, Game, Music, Social.

The camera app has been reworked for the better, and the widgets now look and feel a little more processional.

We're going to be spending a good amount of time with this beast this week at Mobile World Congress. Check out our initial hands-on after the break.

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3 years ago

Sprint Kyocera Echo first impressions

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Sprint Kyocera Echo

Woe is the smartphone carrier and manufacturer that tries something new, apparently. That much was apparent from the comments before, during and after Sprint's unveiling of the Kyocera Echo dual-screen smartphone at a special event in the Edison Ballroom in New York City. You folks out there certainly made your feelings known.

But we've actually had some time with the Echo. And it's certainly not as far to one end of the spectrum as you might believe. After the break, we get into our initial impressions of the Sprint Kyocera Echo and its crazy two-screen self. Read on!

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3 years ago

HTC Droid Incredible Case Review: Otterbox Defender

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 Otterbox Defender for Droid Incredible

The OtterBox Defender is one of the toughest cases you can buy for your precious Droid Incredible. The case comes in four separate parts, two of which snap together to directly encase the phone. This is made of hard plastic and the front-facing one has a thin, clear plastic screen that covers the entire face of the phone. There is a tiny cutout around the optical joystick, which you can see in the picture above. 

Around this hard inner shell goes a thick rubbery layer that also servers to provide both protection and access to the various ports on the phone. Both the micro USB port and the headphone jack on top are given ample space when needed. The case also comes with a holster complete with a clip on the back for latching it onto your belt or nearly anything else. The clip felt very strong and durable during the time I used it. A great feature of the holster is that it is designed in such a way that you can have the screen facing inward for maximum protection of have it exposed for all to see. This is a feature not found on most holsters and is a definite plus for those who make constant use of holsters.

The overall build quality was top notch and what you would expect from someone like OtterBox. The device feels great in the hand if you are used to large cases and the buttons didn't require too much effort to press. The one big issue I had was that the clear screen has a very small opening for the optical joystick and was very uncomfortable to use. Anyone that uses that optical joystick on a regular basis may want to look for something with an open face. That being said, the OtterBox Defender is overall a great case for anyone looking for maximum protection for their DInc. You can buy it right now from the Android Central Store for $47.95

Check out more pictures past the break.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the HTC Inspire 4G

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HTC Inspire 4G

The HTC Inspire 4G won't be available on AT&T until Feb. 13. But we've got one in our hot little hands, and it's time to put the phone through its paces. For all intents and purposes, this is a Desire HD for us here in the United States. And that's a good thing. Even better: It'll be just a mere $99 on contract.

It's got a 4.3-inch TFT LCD display, a 1GHz processor, the latest version of the HTC Sense user interface, an 8MP camera with dual flashes -- and the auspicious fortune of being AT&T's first "4G" device. We'll deal with the whole data thing later. For now, check out the quick hands-on video after the break.

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