Headlines

3 years ago

Samsung Infuse 4G review

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It's big, it's bold, it's thin, it's fast and has one hell of a camera -- and it's caught in the middle of AT&T's '4G' propaganda

 

From the outset, the Samsung Infuse 4G on AT&T just sounded too big. Ridiculously big. Some 4.5 inches big. If you don't count the Dell Streak as a smartphone (and we don't, really), it's the biggest damn Android device that's intended to be occasionally used upside your head to make phone calls.

But we'll clue you in on a little secret: It's not too big. No, really. We've spent the last week or so with the Infuse and have found ourselves thoroughly surprised by just how usable a 4-and-a-half-inch phone can be.

That's not to say the Infuse is without its quirks. But we put it through its paces the best way we know how -- in the field, on the road, and in our hands at the Google IO developer conference.

So how'd it hold up? Read on for our complete review.

Infuse 4G SpecsInfuse 4G Forums | Infuse 4G Accessories

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3 years ago

LG Optimus 3D initial review and hands-on

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Has the whole world gone 3D? Sure looks like it's headed that way. And first out of the gate is LG with the Optimus 3D. We first saw this phone at Mobile World Congress in February, and it'll be coming to AT&T as the LG Thrill sometime this quarter.

We got our hands on an evaluation unit at Google IO, and things are pretty much right where we left off. It's got a 4.3-inch touchscreen and is powered by a TI OMAP dual-core processor, with dual-channel memory. LG trumpets it as the most powerful phone around -- more powerful than the Samsung Galaxy S II, they say. Navigating around LG's custom user interface, it feels snappy enough, even for an unfinished device. We're not worried about lag in the least. But it's 3D where this puppy really starts to shine.

So, about that 3D thing. The Optimus 3D has a pair of 5MP stereoscopic cameras on the back (with a flash, too). They work in tandem to record 3D video and take 3D pictures. And of course you need a screen to actually show them, and the Optimus 3D delivers.

It's kind of tough to really demonstrate the 3D effects without actually seeing them. Don't think of it as a holographic experience, where images leap off the screen. Rather, the screen is the focal point, and you get a neat sense of depth within the images. Gimmicky? Maybe a little. Or more than a little. But someone had to be first. And LG has done the right thing by not just giving you a screen on which to watch 3D content, but the means to create 3D content, too. And did we mention you don't need crazy 3D glasses here?

There's a dedicated "3D" button where you might normally find a camera button that takes you to a special menu (in 3D, of course). From there you have quick access to 3D games and apps, a 3D guide, YouTube 3D (you can upload your own 3D videos right to it), a 3D gallery and the 3D camera. Think of it as a three-dimensional quick launcher.

Oh, but there's more. It'll record the 3D video in 720p -- and will do 2D video in 1080p. Yowzers. And it can play back video via the HDMI port, or over DLNA.

Those are the broad strokes, people. But our early impressions are that even if you think 3D is a passing fad, the Optimus 3D is a solid smartphone, in any dimension. We've got more pics and video after the break.

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3 years ago

Galaxy S II overclocked to 1.5GHz, benchmarked, proves our point

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Anyone who's used a Samsung Galaxy S II knows the thing is fast. There's absolutely no disputing that. And when that sweet, sweet Exynos processor is overclocked to 1.5GHz, well, get ready to have your ears pinned back. And with said overclocked actually stable at 1.5GHz, you'll be cruising in the fast lane with ease. Pretty cool, eh?

All that said, we just showed you why benchmarks (and Quadrant, particularly) really isn't indicative of a phone's real performance. But a 1.5GHz overclock is a 1.5GHz overclock. Video of it in action is after the break, and the kernel (and source code) are at the source link.

Download: XDA Developers; Thanks, Scott!
See also: How to manipulate benchmarks (and why we're downplaying their importance)

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the second-gen Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini and Mini Pro

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In a time when phones seem to only be getting bigger, it's fun to see something like Sony Ericsson's Xperia Mini and Mini Pro. When we first saw these phones a year or so at Mobile World Congress, they were pretty much a novelty, tiny little things. But they grew in popularity, and just last week SE announced a refresh.

The new Mini and Mini Pro now sport 3-inch touchscreens at 320x480 resolutions, up from the 2.5-inch, 320x240 screens of old. The Mini Pro's gotten a keyboard refresh, too, and we're just fine with that.

Check out our full hands on with video and a slew of pics after the break.

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3 years ago

Droid Incredible 2 review

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Why mess with a good thing, right? Verizon struck smartphone gold a year ago with the Droid Incredible, a version of the European HTC Desire tweaked for the U.S. market. And so not a whole lot has changed with the follow-up, the Droid Incredible 2.

It actually was an interesting turn of events -- a U.S.-only phone (and one with Verizon's exclusive "Droid" branding at that) -- took its name and design back overseas and was unveiled at Mobile World Congress as the Incredible S. Needless to say, it was a welcome sight for those looking for something a little different from HTC. (Even if it is still a black slab.)

So what's new in the Incredible 2? And is it enough to warrant a purchase? Or does last year's model still have what it takes? Let's find out, after the break.

Droid Incredible 2 Specs | Droid Incredible 2 Forums | Droid Incredible 2 Accessories

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3 years ago

HTC ThunderBolt Review

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A familiar phone gets faster, thanks to Verizon's LTE network

 

It isn't very often that a smartphone has the the staying power to remain a best-seller for an entire year, and it's even more rare to see that smartphone still have a major buzz factor when it hits another carrier some 12 months after it was initially announced. That phone, of course, is the HTC EVO 4G on Sprint. And it's been revamped and revitalized as the HTC ThunderBolt -- the first 4G LTE smartphone on Verizon.

Let's just get this out of the way -- yes, the ThunderBolt is nearly a dead ringer for the Sprint EVO 4G, another HTC device. And that's a good thing. The EVO 4G was the first Wimax device, and the first Android smartphone with a 4.3-inch touchscreen, and we'd still have little problem recommending it to someone today. So it was of little surprise that the ThunderBolt caused such a commotion leading up to its announcement at CES in January 2011, and that frustration over the nearly three months it took until release crescendoed to a level never before seen.

But, indeed, the ThunderBolt ushers in a new era -- the LTE era -- and that means a whole new experience. So join us after the break as we break down the ThunderBolt and its place atop of the smartphone mountain.

ThunderBolt SpecsThunderBolt ForumsThunderBolt Accessories

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3 years ago

Kyocera Echo review

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If there ever was a phone you shouldn't buy without doing your homework, the Kyocera Echo is it.  It brings something new and different, but that doesn't always mean something new, different and good.  There's a lot of general disdain out there for the poor Echo, and it's understandable, because without trying it out it's hard to visualize just how it will fit -- or not fit -- into your lifestyle. 

The fine folks at Sprint sent us one to use and abuse, so I spent a week or so carrying it around to see exactly what I think of it.  Now it's time to put those thoughts into words, in the hopes it helps you see if the Echo just may be the phone you're looking for.  Move on past the break and have a read.

Kyocera Echo SpecsKyocera Echo Forums

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3 years ago

Motorola Titanium joins Sprint with iDEN Nextel Direct Connect capability

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If you're looking for an Android phone with a front-QWERTY keyboard and the familiar "chirp-chirp" of Nextel Direct Connect, you've just found it in the Motorola Titanium. It's got a 3.1-inch touchscreen, Android 2.1 and is military-spec'd for dust, shock, vibration, low pressure, solar radiation, high temperature and low temperature. In other words, it'll survive a week at a smartphone trade show.

Other features for the Titanium, which is the follow-up to the Motorola i1, include:

  • Support for Nextel Direct Connect Services, including Direct Connect, Group Connect®, International Direct Connect®, DirectSendSM, Group Messaging and NextMail®
  • Android Market for access to more than 150,000 applications, widgets and games available for download
  • Google mobile services such as Google Search, Gmail, Google Talk, Google Maps with Navigation, syncing with Google Calendar™ and YouTube
  • Corporate email (Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync) and personal (POP3 & IMAP) email
  • 5-megapixel camera with camcorder, 4x zoom and flash
  • Wi-Fi b/g
  • Stereo Bluetooth
  • GPS navigation
  • microSD slot, with a 2GB memory card included, supporting up to 32GB
  • 1820 mAh Lithium-ion battery

No word yet on pricing or availability.

Source: Sprint

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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

9

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

The Samsung Galaxy S 2 is already a beast -- and now it's rooted

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Look out, all you tweakers and overclockers -- there's a new kid on the block who's likely to take the throne in very short order -- the Samsung Galaxy S 2.  Right out of the box it's an awesome performer, chewing through benchmark tests like candy even with less than optimized software on board.  We're hearing from all over about how smooth and quick it is, and everyone seems pretty darn impressed.

And to make things a bit more interesting, the phone isn't locked down in any way and already has a fairly easy root method from Chainfire over at XDA.  We can't wait to see what happens with this one, as it appears we're at a whole 'nother level of performance here.  Samsung needs to hurry with that roll-out!

Source: XDA-Developers. Big Thanks to Jonathan for the image, and Chainfire for the tip!

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3 years ago

Backup and restore of your data when switching ROMs - a primer [from the forums]

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If you've rooted your Android phone, you probably have flashed a ROM or two.  Or 20.  If you haven't, you will.  That's how it works; you get sucked in and its too much fun to quit.  While Nandroid backups from a custom recovery are great for a full system restore, what about the equally important things like migrating text messages over to a new ROM?  Or all those bookmarks you've collected?  Or God forbid you lose your Angry Birds save with all gold eggs and three stars!

Android Central forums member PvilleComp has you covered.  He's laid out a very nice post that explains all the whats and hows of backing up your data, including whats safe to re-use and what isn't.  If you're new to the whole custom ROM game, or just were never sure what is safe to do and what isn't, this one is for you.  And you seasoned experts out there -- don't be shy -- you can jump on in and lend a hand if needed.  We're one big happy family.

Hit the source link below for the great tutorial.

Source: Android Central forums

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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

Droid Charge system dump and goodies available in the forums

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Droid Charge

You guys know how it goes -- a few people get their hands on a phone a little early and we bring out the system dumps, the Samsung Droid Charge being no exception.  The whole kit and kaboodle checks in at 300 MB, but we've went ahead and pulled out the wallpapers and ringtones for those of you who don't feel like fooling with the whole system. 

The system itself doesn't hold any surprises -- it's TouchWiz 3, has Media Hub on board, and a new build of CityID.  (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)  But enterprizing types will end up pulling everything useful out of it for other custom ROMs, and that's good for everyone.  You can find all the links and discuss in the Droid Charge forums while we wait for the launch to get back on track.

Source: Android Central forums

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