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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note review

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As 2011 draws to a close, we’ve started to see a convergence of Android phones and tablets. Honeycomb-powered tablets are available in more form factors than ever before, and smartphones are growing larger still, with 4.3- to 4.7-inch devices quickly becoming the norm. Combine that with the phone and tablet software lines being reunited in Ice Cream Sandwich, and you start to see a landscape in which there’s very little separating a large Android smartphone from a small Android tablet.

The Galaxy Note is a device which Samsung is positioning between the traditional smartphone and tablet spaces. You can make calls on it, but you’ve also got a beastly dual-core Exynos chip inside, along with Sammy’s bleeding-edge HD SuperAMOLED display tech. The manufacturer’s also included a capacitive, pressure-sensitive stylus, dubbed the “S Pen”, with optimizations for pen input throughout the software. But despite the wealth of high-end tech, is there room in the market (and your pocket) for a 5.3-inch smartphone? Read on to find out what we thought of the Samsung Galaxy Note.


Extremely fast smartphone with a beautiful screen, and a thin, light chassis considering the screen size. Pen input works well.


A 5.3-inch device will be too big for most. Note-taking focus could limit it to a niche market.



If you can get over (or even embrace) the Note's size, you'll find it's a powerful device with some unique functionality that you won't find on any other smartphone.

Inside this review

More info

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2 years ago

Key meets Kevlar on Droid RAZR

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Kevlar, as law enforcement and military personnnel have known for quite some time, is a hell of a thing, stopping bullets and saving lives. So what's it doing on the back of a smartphone? In the case of the Motorola Droid RAZR, it's serving as a pretty cool spec, and it looks darn good, too.

No, we're not going to shoot the RAZR. Pretty sure it'll lose that battle. And while it's not completely scratch-proof, it does stand up to a pretty decent amount of pressure.

Check out our complete unscientific video after the break.

Read our complete Droid RAZR review!

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2 years ago

Boulder Dash on Android? Oh, hell, yes!

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It's 1984 all over again, folks, and not in the scary way. The original Boulder Dash has come to the Android Market, bringing with it not one but five games (four accessible via in-app upgrades). It's got all of the classic Boulder Dash creatures and features, original retro graphics for the last three cave backs (new graphics for the first two), and ties into OpenFeint so you can compete against your friends.

Boulder Dash for Android is 99 cents for a limited time; we've got download links and demo video after the break.

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2 years ago

Google's Matias Duarte details Android's new 'Roboto' font

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At the heart of Android 4.0 is the Roboto font. More important than even hardware -- which as we all know too well iterates every few months or so -- this is the building block for Ice Cream Sandwich. And whether you're a flourishing font nerd or just have a casual interest in what goes into the best mobile operating system in the world, it'd behoove you to give Matias Duarte's excellent explanation of why Android moved from the Droid font, how they designed it, and how it's going to impact you on a daily basis. It's a fascinating look into the design evolution of Android.

Read: Hello Roboto on Google+

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2 years ago

Taptu announces three exclusive Nook Color apps -- Taptu Fashion, Taptu Food, and Taptu Lifestyle

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Nook Tablet hands-on | Nook Tablet Specs | Nook Tablet Forums

Taptu, the folks behind the popular news reader that lets you "DJ" your news, has announced three exclusive RSS feed apps for the Nook Color -- Taptu Fashion, Taptu Food, and Taptu Lifestyle.  Each comes pre-loaded with content, and have over 200,000 streams from major media publications, social media sites, websites and blogs to add into the mix and personalize each.  Taptu Fashion features content in the StreamStore from Fashionista, Jak & Jil, Nitrolicious and the Style Rookie, among others.  Taptu Food works the same way, including content from recipes and restaurant reviews to celebrity chef social media feeds with tasty content provided by sites such as Epicurious, Eater, Food Network and Saveur.  Taptu Lifestyle covers subjects such as parenting, do-it-yourself projects, travel, beauty, health and fitness, holiday entertaining and green living from popular sources like Jezebel, Parenting and Daily Candy

Taptu also allows you to sync feeds from Google Reader, and offers the inclusion of Facebook and Twitter timelines to make it a one-stop news outlet.  With support for tools like Instapaper and Read it Later, as well as dark and light themes to make for easy viewing, it's a well designed app that is worth far more than the asking price -- free.  You can find download links below, and after the break are pictures showing a bit more detail and the press release.

Download Taptu Fashion from the B&N store

Download Taptu Food from the B&N store

Download Taptu Lifestyle from the B&N store

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2 years ago

HD Widgets expanded for phones and 7-inch tablets

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The folks behind HD Widgets have expanded their sexy widget collection, and now include support for phones and 7-inch tablets.  On the phone side, support is now available for hdpi phones (like the Samsung Nexus S pictured above) and mdpi phones (like the LG Optimus One, also pictured).  Everything you love about HD Widgets for your Honeycomb tablet  still remains -- tons of customization options, colorful backgrounds, in-depth weather forecasts, and a bevy of widget sizes and configurations -- things have just been scaled for the smaller screen.  Having put them through the ringer on an assortment of devices ranging from the mundane to the exotic, the folks at Cloud.TV have done a great job.  Everything works as expected, looks great, and lets me know if I need to take an umbrella with me -- even on crazy SDK ports of Ice Cream SandwichJosh is hard at work with a worthy review of the new build, in the meantime you can grab it from the Android Market (devices running Android 2.1 and higher) for a measly $1.99 at the link after the break.

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2 years ago

Gingerbread update coming to O2-branded Xperia X10s in the next week

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Owners of SIM-free Sony Ericsson Xperia X10s have been enjoying Android 2.3 Gingerbread for the past few months, but so far the upgrade has been absent from some branded handsets, including those bought through O2 UK.

In a recent blog posting, O2's Head of Device-Customer Experience, Stuart Hibberd, let the network's customers know what's been holding things up. Specifically, it seems there were a few problems with getting the new camera app to function properly on O2 X10s, making it "virtually unusable". Hibberd says the issues have now been taken care of, though, and the update should be available from Sony Ericsson's website within the next week. Eagle eyed readers may notice that the post incorrectly refers to the upgrade from Froyo to Gingerbread -- in fact, the X10 never received Froyo, and the last official update is based on Android 2.1 Eclair.

Like the unbranded X10 Gingerbread patch, the O2 version is an optional (and irreversible) upgrade, and O2 warns that it may make your phone "work slower than you're used to".  For more information on exactly what you'll be getting if you choose to update, check out our original report from back in July.

Source: O2 Blog

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2 years ago

Amazon Appstore receives 2.0 update ahead of Kindle Fire launch

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Amazon's Appstore for Android has received an update, just in time for the Kindle Fire's release next week.

The update, which brings the app to version 2.0, is largely focused on UI improvements. The look and feel of the entire Appstore experience has shifted as the white backdrops that used to be ubiquitous have been changed to shades of gray.

More settings have been added as well as you now have the ability to enable In-App Purchases, Parental Controls and get an easier view of your gift card balance.

If you don't yet have the appstore and would like to check it out, visit Amazon's Appstore page.

You can find more screenshots after the break.

Thanks, Kyle!!!

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2 years ago

hhgregg to carry the Nook Tablet, Nook Color, Nook Simple Touch

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Check out our Nook Tablet hands-on!

Retailer hhgregg this morning announced that along with Barnres & Noble, it, too, will be carrying the Nook Tablet, BN's second generation of its Android-based e-reader. It'll be priced the same -- $249 -- and accessories will be available as well. hhgregg also will be carrying the Android-based Nook Color, which has dropped in price to $199, and Nook Simple Touch at $99.

Nook Tablet Specs | Nook Tablet Forums

Source: Press release

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2 years ago

HTC Sensation XE headed to Orange UK

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It looks like Orange UK will soon be offering the HTC Sensation XE for sale on its network, as the device has just appeared on Orange's "coming soon" page. The Sensation XE is refreshed version of the original Sensation, and sports Beats Audio support, along with a faster 1.5 GHz dual-core CPU and a larger battery.

Until now O2 has been the only British network directly selling the Sensation XE, so hopefully an Orange launch should offer consumers a bit more choice in pricing and tarrifs. Orange doesn't currently have an estimated launch date for the device, but you can check the source link for more details, or hit up our Sensation XE device page.

Source: Orange UK

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