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2 years ago

Intel CES Keynote Liveblog

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We're live at CES in Las Vegas for tonight's Intel keynote. On the Android side of things we'll be looking for more Medfield goodness, as well as more details of the chip giant's wider mobile strategy. We're covering things live from the event, so join us after the break for full coverage, starting at 4.30pm PST (7.30pm EST).

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2 years ago

Hands-on with the Motorola Defy Mini

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CES isn't only a venue for the biggest and baddest technology, but also for affordable and accessible products as well, as we learned today at Motorola's booth. Introducing the Motorola Defy Mini, a shrunken version of big M's popular Defy smartphone. It's not going to blow anybody away specs-wise: inside we've got a 600 MHz single-core processor, 512 MB RAM, a 3MP rear camera, and a VGA front-facer, all underneath a 3.2-inch Gorilla Glass-coated VGA display. Those modest specs are all powered by a 1650 mAh battery, which will pack plenty of juice for days and days worth of standby time.

The Defy Mini certainly won't be running Ice Cream Sandwich anytime soon, but for those looking for a pocketable, entry level Gingerbread smartphone, Motorola has your solution. This one will only be available in China, Latin America, and Europe beginning next month, though keep an eye out for something similar to hit the States sometime down the line. Hit the break for some hands-on shots and video.

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2 years ago

Intel show off their reference device, highly optimized version of Android

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We've already seen the Intel Medfield reference device with our hands on earlier today, but during the Intel Keynote they took it out on stage to show it off to the world. 

The device itself is pretty fully loaded. NFC, HDMI, and an 8-megapixel camera that can take 10 high resolution pictures a second. The design also supports upto a 16-megapixel camera. While running Gingerbread, it's clear that this is a highly optimized version of Gingerbread, that performs amazingly well on the device. 

The 1080p video playback was shown alongside an HTC device in a time lapse video, which illustrated how the Intel device outlasted the HTC one by hour in terms of battery life. The claim is that 1080p video playback is offered without sacrificing battery life. 

In browsing and Javascript, the device was shown against a competitor product and the results were impressive. The Intel Medfield offered a significantly better experience than the competitor phone and because of the optimizations, existing Android Market applications will work without needing a re-compile. 

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2 years ago

Intel and Motorola enter into 'multi-year agreement', Intel-powered Moto devices coming in 2012

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We're live at Intel's CES keynote, where Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha has just announced that Moto's entered into a "multi-year agreement" with Intel to bring x86-powered mobile devices to market. Jha adds that Motorola will have devices in carrier validation this summer, with product launches shortly thereafter.

That, of course, means we can expect more Intel-powered Motorola/Android smartphones and tablets towards the back end of 2012, as the chip inceases its mobile presence. Join us after the jump for the full press release from Motorola.

More: Intel CES Keynote Liveblog

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2 years ago

Sony Walkman Z-series coming to U.S. and Europe in February

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Following its Japanese launch late last year, the Sony Walkman Z-series is due to arrive in Europe and the U.S. from next month. The NVIDIA Tegra 2-powered personal media player comes in 8, 16 and 32GB flavors, and supports HDMI, DLNA and Wifi connectivity. Besides that, you get all the benefits of Android 2.3 Gingerbread on a 4.3-inch screen, albeit without cellular connectivity or any cameras.

According to the Sony Store pre-order page, U.S. prices will range from $249.99 for the 8GB model up to $329.99 for the 32GB version. We've got the full presser from Sony after the break.

Source: Sony; More: Sony Store

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2 years ago

Hands-on with the Motorola Motoluxe

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Motorola continues to iterate with every new device, and the Motorola Motoluxe is no exception. It's got a 4-inch display and is rocking Android 2.3 (lame, but not surprising), has the usual Motorola UI improvements and sports an 8MP camera with autofocus and flash.

Picking it up, you'll be struck by the weight -- or lack thereof -- and the cool little quick-launch apps widget that's planted on the homescreen. (There's a similar widget for your favorite contacts.)

And save for a VGA front-facing camera and 1400 mAh battery, that's about it. Not to say that it's a bad phone -- it's a solid mid-level device, which is what Motorola was aiming for. This is definitely one you folks in Greater China, Europe and Latin America will want to check out when it's released in February.

We've got a full hands-on after the break.

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2 years ago

Hands-on with the Polaroid SC1630 Android camera

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No longer can you complain about Android devices not having proper cameras. Polaroid has taken care of that with the SC1630. It's a proper-looking digital camera with an honest to goodness 3x optical zoom, 16MP sensor and Android user interface. The short version is that it's a digital camera with an Android back end. 

The slightly longer version is that you've got a digital camera with an Android 2.x.x back end and a 3.2-inch display. It's got a monster amount of storage -- the unit we played with had about 54GB on board. There's no doubt that you're using Android -- Polaroid hasn't done much to skin it. It's got full access to the Android Market, so you can get in a game of Angry birds before worrying about aperatures. And, yes, it's got Wifi for all the photo sharing you can muster, and cell versions certainly are possible.

It's also got a bevy of camera features, including various scene modes, face detection and a number of sharing options. That, obviously, is where the Android back end comes into play. You get to the camera side of the equation with a little button on top of the device. The lens extends in a couple seconds, and then you hit the giant red shutter to get down to business.

Speaking of getting down to business, we've got our full hands-on after the break. Check 'er out.

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2 years ago

Tunein Radio app now compatible with Ford SYNC; control over 50,000 stations with voice commands

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Just as we saw yesterday with the NPR Android app, the Tunein Radio app joins the growing list of applications that are compatible with Ford SYNC AppLink.  The TuneIn application allows people listen to more than 50,000 AM, FM, HD and Internet radio stations as well as more than 1 million on-demand programs.  All hands-free via Ford SYNC AppLink.  This is the future, folks.  No word on exactly when the Android app will be updated, but the iTunes app should go live soon, and we expect the Android app to follow shortly.  Hit the break for the full press release.

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2 years ago

Hands-on with the Intel Android reference phone

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One of the more exciting pieces of mobile news for 2012 -- Intel's introduction into the Android ecosystem -- is also one of the more difficult ones to show you. Well, that's not entirely true; we got a nice look at Intel's CES booth with the new Medfield reference phone. And we got ourselves a pretty cool look at some of the early graphics capabilities.

But that's just it. We've seen great graphics before. We've seen smooth graphics before. We've seen mobile graphics that have made our heads spin. That graphics are going to become smoother and faster and more realistic every year is a given.

So when you watch our early hands-on with the Intel platform, keep in mind that we're still a little ways away from actual phones hitting actual hands. Don't worry a whole lot about the look of the device. You're not going to see the Intel Droid RAZR III XL in stores anytime soon. But the bottom line is that Intel's ready to power smartphones and tablets, apps are ready to work out of the box, and we've now got a whole new world of horsepower to explore. Will Intel be the battery life saviour we're all desperately wanting? Dunno yet. But one way or another, with Intel now in the mobile game, it's going to be an exciting year.  See the video after the break

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2 years ago

Samsung washing machine pings your phone when load is done

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One of the more interesting things to come out of Samsung's CES 2012 press conference was a quick glimpse at this Android app which would connect to one of their smart washing machines and notify you when your load was done. Details were skimpy, but I got the impression that you would be able to a bunch of other tasks on the washing machine remotely with the app. 

The running theme for big electronics manufacturers like Samsung has been tying up all of their various businesses into one another, and though there are some really obvious synergies between, say, TVs and tablets, utilities like this washing machine Android app are much more unexpected and interesting. LG's thinking very much the same thing; during their press conference, LG showed a fridge which could shunt your grocery list to your phone.

My big worry is that these manufacturers will close themselves off so that unless you're an all-LG house or an all-Samsung house, you won't be able to enjoy a fully-connected home. A washing machine is a big purchase, so if you buy it for this Android utility, then you're more or less locked-in to buying Samsung phones for the indefinite future, right?

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