Headlines

4 years ago

Droid Incredible 2 review

29

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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4 years ago

HTC ThunderBolt Review

43

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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4 years ago

Kyocera Echo review

14

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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4 years ago

Motorola Titanium joins Sprint with iDEN Nextel Direct Connect capability

10

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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4 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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4 years ago

HTC Desire HD mini review (Three network)

16

 

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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4 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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4 years ago

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

21

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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4 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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4 years ago

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc review

27

 

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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4 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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4 years ago

Casio G'zOne Commando ROM ripped apart in the forums

3

Casio Commando G'zOne

We've seen a few bits and pieces of the Casio Commando G'zOne floating around, but now you can get the whole thing, or any of the fun parts, in one handy place.  The full system dump is available, complete with the fancy lock screen and new launcher with the awesome shortcut button.  All you dev-types can grab it and have a blast with the system -- it doesn't need de-odexed :)

To make it simple for everyone else, we pulled out all the Commando zone outdoorsy apps and widgets, as well as the wallpapers (both live and static) and any new ringtones or notification tones that were included.  They are listed separately to save you from having to download the full 220 MB file.  You can find everything, as well as discuss how we're going to port that launcher and lock screen to other phones in the forums.

Source: Android Central forums

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4 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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4 years ago

Verizon Droid charge initial review

26

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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4 years ago

HTC Doubleshot and Flyer ROMs leak, so does Gingerbread for the T-Mobile G2

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What a night for Android hackers and HTC fans.  The fellows at 911sniper have a feast of leaks for us all to monkey around with.  First off, there's a leaked version of a Gingerbread OTA for the T-Mobile G2.  There's nothing new in there, but it is a full dump of all the partitions, and plenty of stuff to base a custom Gingerbread ROM off of.  You can check out more here in the G2 Hacking forums

If Gingerbread for the G2 isn't your cup of tea, how about a leaked Gingerbread ROM for the rumored (and I guess now verified) HTC Doubleshot, AKA the MyTouch 4G Slide?  Yep.  Got that one too.  And as a special bonus I pulled out the Sense 3.0 weather animations so you don't have to download the whopping 701 MB worth of system files to see them.  You'll find out more about it here in the Android Hacking forums.  Worth noting here is the build prop makes reference to OpenSense SDK version 3.0 as well as a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU, 768 MB of RAM, Bluetooth 3.0 and dual cameras -- 8 MP rear and VGA front.

And if that isn't enough for you (MORE MORE!) there's a HTC Flyer leaked RUU in the wild now as well.  We couldn't get that one downloaded because the link kept timing out, but I'm sure mirrors will appear, and someone will have a peek and see what's inside.  If you feel like giving it a shot, download links are at the source, and any of our resident HTC hackers will be able to help you pull out any goodies to play with.

Source: 911Sniper (G2 leak, HTC Doubleshot, HTC Flyer)

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