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4 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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4 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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4 years ago

HTC Droid Incredible 2 ROM leaked, extracted and available [from the forums]

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Droid Incredible 2

The Droid Incredible 2 ROM images have been leaked, and all the goodies have been extracted and are available in the Android Central forums.  A few interesting tidbits from the leaked files:

  • Sense 2.1 with landscape previews
  • DLNA
  • VZW_Golf game
  • No Bing
  • CityID, and all other standard VzW apps are included
  • Wifi_Router app
  • Skype_mobile.1.6.0.7.live.apk
  • Blockbuster app
  • No Netflix

The extracted system checks in at a whopping 282 MB, but luckily the boot animation (the picture above is a part of that), wallpapers, and ringtones have also been pulled and are available as separate downloads.  Hit the links to grab them, and check the source links for the ROM images and system files. [AndroidSpin (images), Android Central forums (extracted version)]

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4 years ago

Sprint Epic 4G sees Gingerbread -- CyanogenMod style

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CM7 Epic 4g -- home  CM7 Epic 4g -- about

Sprint Epic 4G developer Dameon87 has built a working alpha of CyanogenMod 7 for the popular Samsung slider, and it's off to a good start.  The bug list is surprisingly short:

  • Sensors may be slow, but can be fixed via a shell command
  • GPS is not working
  • Cameras are not working
  • Hardware acceleration is not working
  • Bluetooth only works for music

Other things like network data, WiFi, calling, and the Market seem to be working fine.  This looks to be a great way to get Gingerbread on your Epic 4G, and long before any hope of an official release.  If you're feeling adventurous, hit the source links and give it a try. [XDA-Developers via Android Central forums] Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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4 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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4 years ago

ACE ROM for the Sprint Epic 4G

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ACE ROM for the Epic 4G

Again and again we see Android modders and hackers take a good thing and make it better -- this time around it's the Sprint Epic 4G. We're not surprised by the amount of love the Samsung Galaxy S phones get from Android developers.  They have great hardware, but often the software leaves a bit to be desired, so they are just begging for the custom ROM treatment.  Android Central forums adviser Paul627g has done just that with the leaked, then official, then removed EB13 Froyo build for the Epic 4G.  With tricks like a deodexed system, bloat removed, and full ext4 compliance this one looks like a real treat, and the fellas seem to have fixed any random issues that were present in the official version.  And we're a sucker for the custom wallpapers by Android Central forums member scodoublet (check out some of his other wallpapers here.  They're fantastic.)

To top things off there's also a huge list of mods, tweaks, a kernel, and other add-ons to be used with the ACE ROM.  If you're rocking the Epic and have went down the path of root, you really need to have a look.  [Android Central forums] Thanks for the heads-up Casey!

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4 years ago

HTC Evo Shift 4G now supported by ClockworkMod recovery and Rom Manager

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Evo Shift 4G

If you've rooted your HTC Evo Shift 4G, you now have the option of using ClockworkMod recovery, as well as it's simple front-end Rom Manager.  With the release of version 3.0.1.4, ClockworkMod recovery now fully supports all the Shift 4G's partitions, and even backs up your WiMax keys. 

Getting it all set up is pretty easy -- first you'll need to root your Shift 4G, then hit the Android Market and install Rom Manager.  When you open the Rom Manager app, you will be prompted to update/install the latest ClockworkMod recovery for your device.  That's it, you're now set up and ready to run a backup and flash custom ROMs and hacks to your Shift 4G, and have an easy restore path using the backup you've made.  All without tethering your phone to a computer.  [Android Central forums]

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4 years ago

Battery cover mod turns mild-mannered EVO Shift 4G into security card

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EVO Shift 4G with RFID

We're more than fond of seeing a little DIY smartphone hackery, and Android Central Forums member jhoove09 brings us a cool little project. Back when he used a Palm Pre (hi, PreCentral!), he'd grown tired of forgetting his security card at home, and so he hacked it into the phone's Touchstone cover. And now that he's moved onto, shall we say, greener pastures, it was time to do the same to his new HTC EVO Shift 4G.

It's a pretty cool little project. And with NFC slowly gaining in popularity, something like this -- minus acetone and super glue -- might well become more common with our phones. Check out the full story at the source link. [Android Central Forums]

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4 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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4 years ago

ROMTools for your LG Optimus S (and variants) [from the forums]

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ROMTools

Man, I love these little Optimus One phones.  When you put Android on great entry-level hardware and price it accordingly, a couple things happen.  They get pretty damn popular, and developers start to take notice.  Both are very good things.  Optimus developer mmmark111 brings us new goodies -- ROMTools.  ROMTools is a program you run from your computer and it handles a whole slew of hacking needs for your Optimus One phone.  Have a look:

  • Flash ROM
  • Flash Recovery
  • Wipe dalvik-cache
  • Mount /system r/w
  • Push ROM to SD card
  • Push framework-res.apk
  • Push bootanimation.zip
  • Reboot
  • Reboot into Recovery

If you hate trying to remember commands and file locations, you'll love it.  It's really easy to use -- I've even got my wife flashing her own boot animations.  I'll make a hacker out of her yet, especially with tools like this one.  Thanks a lot, mmmark111, for making and sharing it! [Android Central forums]

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4 years ago

Gingerbread (Android 2.3.2) leaked for the Galaxy S i9000

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Galaxy S Gingerbread leak

Gingerbread (the Android 2.3.2 version) has been leaked for the Samsung Galaxy S i9000.  Users at XDA Developers are saying that it includes Touchwiz 4, and download mode is still available.  It also looks like Samsung is now using the ext4 file system, which should bring performance boosts much like the ones on the Nexus S.

Remember, this is a beta build -- at best.  I wouldn't recommend anyone run and flash it, but in the hands of developers it's like 24 karat gold -- possibly leading to things like CyanogenMod 7 for Samsung Galaxy S phones.  What this means for US customers who are tied to a carrier for upgrades is unknown, but at least Samsung has Gingerbread in the works.  Check the source link for download locations.  [XDA-Developers] Thanks everyone who sent this in!

Update: Supercurio, of Voodoo fame, has had a look and verifies that this does not enable the ext4 file system.  His word is good as gold when it comes to the Galaxy S -- blame excited users and bloggers for the mix-up.

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4 years ago

CyanogenMod 7 test release for the Samsung Vibrant

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Samsung Vibrant CM7

Yes, you read that right -- The Samsung Vibrant now has its very own CyanogenMod 7 (official) test release.  It's clearly labeled as a TEST RELEASE, so don't expect miracles just yet, but finding and fighting bugs is half the fun of fooling with custom ROMs for many of us anyway.  You can find all the details and download information at the source link.

Let's be serious here for a minute.  You're probably never going to see an official Gingerbread build for the Vibrant from Samsung.  Yes, I think I was wrong.  That hardly ever happens.  CyanogenMod 7 looks to be the best, and logical choice for the Vibrant at this time, and it's something to at least keep an eye on.  If you do decide to take the plunge, you'll find help and support in the Vibrant forums here at Android Central.  [CyanogenMod forum] Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Honeycomb boot animation on Droid X

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4 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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4 years ago

The LG Optimus S Control Center makes things easy [From the forums]

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LG Optimus S Control Center

If you're rocking an LG Optimus S on Sprint, you MUST check out the LG Optimus S Control Center from Android Central Forums member drewwalton19216801.  Behind the long name is an easy-to-use Windows application that does a little bit of everything you need to hack your Optimus S, without fiddling with the prompt or trying to remember cryptic commands. 

Using what the developer has dubbed "Android Automation Technology" (AAT) the current version will root your phone, unroot your phone, and install your choice of recovery kernels.  There's also the magic of "No Stupid Stuff" -- which prevents the application from doing things it shouldn't -- like trying to swap recovery kernels without being rooted or trying to unroot when you shouldn't. 

This looks like an awesome beginning for a tool that will do it all.  Some of the features planned for a future release are things like removing/restoring Sprint ID, Switching launchers, and possibly even switching ROMs and kernels.  Very nice work Drew, you've made a great little phone even better.  Go check it out in the Android Central forums!

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