Maybe it's because deep down we are nostalgic for resistive touchscreens of old, but we have to admit we're seriously geeking out over HTC Scribe, the technology that allows you to use an honest-to-god writing implement with the HTC View 4G - see our hands-on here.
If you're not familiar, here's how it works: HTC is selling a capacitive stylus that talks to the View 4G over Bluetooth and lets you take notes directly on the screen. On the View itself, they've replaced the standard search button with a context-aware Stylus button. When you're in a context where you can't write on the screen, the button is red and serves as a shortcut to stylus-aware apps. When you can use the stylus, it turns green and it's writing time, baby.
More impressions and photos and video after the break!
Following up our video look at the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 tablet, we checked out its big brother the full-sized Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. The 10.1 was first announced back at Mobile World Congress (see Phil's hands-on), but the 10.1 announced today is destined for US soils and is a little nicer in that it's much thinner. People working at the booth told us this re-engineering move was made to make its thickness more competitive with the Apple iPad 2.
Samsung only had the UK engineering prototypes on hand for us to play with, but we did get a good look at the North American version behind it's glass box, including a few seconds worth of comparison to the iPad 2. Check out the video above for a closer look!
HTC's 4G Sprint Tablet brings clever UI to tide you over before the Honeycomb update
We just got back from our time with HTC taking a look at their latest tablet - the HTC View 4G for Sprint - something we've seen in an unbranded-version before as the HTC Flyer. The HTC View 4G is a 7" tablet at 1024x600 resolution, weighing in at 14.88 ounces with 32g of internal memory, 16g of RAM, and a microSD slot if you'd like to add more. On the rear we have a 5 megapixel shooter with 720p HD video capabilities and the front sports a 1.3 megapixel camera. The whole thing is powered by a beefy 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and, of course, it's capable of running on Sprint's 4G WiMAX network. Its rocking Android 2.3 but will get an update to Honeycomb at some point in the future.
The HTC View 4G includes the latest version of Sense - the main differences from what we've seen before is primarily eyecandy: when you rotate homescreens they fly out and look closely at the gallery after the break - they show you a little gear on the flip-time clock. Cute. More utilitarian is the new lockscreen mechanism: you can drag the circle over one of 4 icons to launch directly into that app. We're also fond of their app-dock on the bottom, which you can configure with your favorite apps with some simple drag-and-drop.
The real story - to us anyway - is that the View includes HTC Scribe technology, which lets you use a special capacitive stylus for taking notes and sketching on the screen. Check out our first impressions of HTC Scribe here. In the meantime, you've got two things to wait for while you look at the images after the break: our pending video and an actual release-date and price - all we know so far is "Summer."
The venerable EVO gets a boost with a higher-resolution screen and 3D recording and playback
How do you follow up one of the most popular, most successful, biggest and fastest phones of 2010? In the case of the recently announced Sprint HTC EVO 3D, you give it a higher resolution screen, 3D recording and playback capability, and you open up a whole new world of user generated content. Oh, and you make it even faster and more powerful.
That's the EVO 3D in a nutshell. It's based off the wildly popular EVO 4G. But it's gained a qHD (960x540) touchscreen in the same 4.3-inch space. And it's sporting the first dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, at 1.2GHz. Worried about battery life? It's got a 1730mAh power source -- the largest stock battery we've seen.
In the hand, it very much feels like an EVO 4G. It's lost the kickstand, but we can live with that. The battery cover has a nice texture to it, and you don't feel like the phone's going to go flying out of your hand, an important safety measure as it's still pretty sizable (it's actually a tad longer than the EVO 4G) and weighs six ounces. It's gained a physical camera button. We've been fans of them for a while now, and the EVO 3D's is about the best we've seen. It's round and textured, and you're not going to be hunting for it. Next to the camera button you have a toggle switch for the 2D/3D camera. In 2D mode, video shoots at 1080p. In 3D, it's at 720p resolution.
The 3D content plays back as smooth as you'd expect. And while 3D's still kind of gimmicky, it's also not the worst thing in the world. And if you never watch 3D content, you'll likely have a perfectly fine experience with the EVO 4G.
Anyhoo, you're definitely going to want to give it a shot when it's released later this year. In the meantime, hit up our hands-on pics after the break.
Opera Mini, a browser many of us have grown to know and love has just updated to Opera Mini 6, bringing many enhancements. While there are many browser options available for Android, not all of them are as clean and smooth as Opera is. This update has enhanced the smoothness of the scrolling, added true pinch to zoom, and they have also optimized it for use on tablets. If you are already an Opera Mini user, be sure to update, and if you have not yet experienced it, be sure to download. [Opera]
Arguably one of the most annoying parts of owning a smart phone is having to plug it in to charge it, and then unplug it to use it, and then plug it back in to charge it again. This is especially true if you use the device a lot, and the charging port of your device is located in an inconvenient place, which many of them have started to move to. LG Mobile has announced a new wireless charging system that they plan to use, which will allow users to place their device on the charging slab, and charge there device without needing to plug it in.
The battery doors will have special coils built in and contacts on it as well that will allow the charging to take place, and the mat will have multiple colored LED's that will help easily determine where in the charging phase the units are. Hit the break for more information about this new wireless charging solution from LG Mobile.
Contained in Sprint's press materials for the new HTC EVO 3D and HTC EVO View 4G is the news that both of these devices will ship with the Blockbuster On-Demand app. The pre-loaded app will allow users to buy and rent 2D and 3D movies on-the-go, with prices ranging from $1.99-$3.99 for rentals to $5.99+ for purchases. If you're still clinging to physical media for your entertainment needs, the Blockbuster On-Demand app will also allow you to rent and purchase movies and TV shows from Blockbuster stores across the country.
Sprint boasts that the EVO 3D will be the first 3D handset to ship with the software. The press release section on Blockbuster On-Demand can be found after the jump.
HTC and Sprint have just gone official with HTC EVO 3D. Although we already got an early look at the complete details and specs, HTC has taken the time to outline them all for us in their fact sheet for the device. A quick run down is as follows:
1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core processor
4.3-inch 3D QHD capacitive display (960 x 540)
Standard removable 1730 mAh Lithium-ion battery
Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and the latest version of HTC Sense
3.5mm stereo headset jack
Built-in Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n
4GB Internal memory/1GB RAM
Expandable memory: 8GB microSD card included; supports up to 32GB
Dual 5 megapixel cameras to capture 3D video and images and a 1.3MP front-facing camera
Jump on past the break for the full press release and spec sheet to go along with it. The HTC EVO 3D will hit store shelves this summer, at this time no pricing details were given.
As expected, Sprint has announced the HTC Evo View 4G tablet at their CTIA 2011 event held this afternoon. The 7-inch tablet sports a 1024x600 display, and weighs in at 420 grams. This is Sprint's version of the HTC Flyer, and also includes HTC Scribe technology using a special pen as an input device. The specs:
1.5 GHz Qualcomm CPU
1 GB RAM, 32 GB Internal memory
Micro SDcard slot
5 MP read HD camera, 1.3 MP front facing camera
4G WiMax connectivity
802.11 b/g/n Wifi
Available sometime this summer, but no word on pricing. We're excited about this one, watch for some hands-on time later. Sprint's press release is after the break.
If you are a T-Mobile user, and are waiting for the expansion of their 4G network, and happen to live in Las Vegas, New York, or Orlando good things are coming your way. T-Mobile has announced that they are turning on their 42Mbps network in these three specific areas first, closely followed by more locations as well.
“As T-Mobile continues the aggressive expansion of America’s Largest 4G Network, we’re doubling our maximum speed in more than two dozen markets, starting with three important cities today,” said Neville Ray, chief technology officer, T-Mobile USA. "We will continue to build on our 4G network advantage this year, providing customers with an industry-leading mobile data experience.”
While unfortunately this doesn't help everyone, it is certainly a big step in the right direction for those with T-Mobile, and by mid-year T-Mobile is expecting to have 4G speeds in 25 markets, which would cover over 140 million people. [BusinessWire]
Out of the fat and into the fryer -- it's time for Sprint's press event at CTIA. New handsets are a given, so let's just jump right into it. Liveblog's after the break, and the whole thing gets started at 12:30 p.m. EST.
As you may have guessed it from my post earlier today, I'm here at CTIA 2011 with Phil and Dieter, and as there isn't much in the way of BlackBerry stuff at the show (we're all waiting for our PlayBook tablet and some new phones) I'm helping out here with some posts (apologies in advance for my android-newbness).
In this video we start off with that live at CTIA feel with an on-stage presentation by the LG Girl of the T-Mobile G-Slate. Key specs on this baby include:
T-Mobile HSPA+ data, plus Wifi
Display: 8.9-inch 3D-capable multi-touch display
Operating System: Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)
Processor: Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core
Rear-facing stereoscopic video recorder at 1080p
5MP camera with LED flash
720p video playback, 1080p output via HDMI
32GB of internal memory
I pick up the G-Slate at 3m51s into the video (a little tricky with one hand on the camera). It definitely feels a tad on the heavy side, but I guess that's to be expected when you're cramming in the features, like 3D video recording. The T-Mobile G-Slate will cost $529.99 after $100 mail-in-rebate and the standard 2-year contract but also a data plan.
Following up the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 announcement and our hands-on Galaxy Tab 8.9 photos, we fired up the video camera to spend a few minutes of 1 on 1 time with the new mid-sized tablet. We were so quick getting to Samsung's CTIA booth after the press conference ended that we even caught the show floor unveiling of the devices (skip to 1m26s if you want to get right to the hands-on review part of the show). Geektastic good times!
Samsung's aim with the Galaxy Tab 8.9 is to hit that sweet spot of portability and a big screen, and at only 470grams in weight it definitely feels light in the hand given it's rather sizable footprint. Unfortunately neither Phil or I were wearing coats to test if it would fit into our pockets. We'll let you know on that once we give it a go. Enjoy the show, and be sure to check out more of our Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 first impressions here.
If you are a parent on the Sprint network, the appeal to get an Android device just got even higher, as today Sprint has announced that they will be adding parental locks to all Android devices. Location Labs has created an application for Sprint that will become available in Q3, and carry a $2 monthly charge, but the protection it will provide is priceless. Some of the features of the application are:
Lock the driver’s cell phone screen and redirect calls to voice mail.
Block text-message alerts and auto-respond to the message sender that the driver is currently unavailable.
Allow access to three key contacts and three mobile applications, such as GPS navigation.
Give parents and business administrators Web portal access to configure Drive First for their teens’ or employees’ mobile devices.
Definitely a step in the right direction, and a huge help from the carrier in an attempt to completely stop use of cell phones while in the car without a bluetooth headset. [Sprint]
Samsung's bringing a tablet for every lifestyle, and the latest in the Galaxy Tab line is the aptly named 8.9-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9. And as it should be, it's thin, surprisingly light, and it's running Android 3.0 Honeycomb out of the box.
It's noticeably easier to hold than the hefty Motorola Xoom, but that's tempered a bit by the slick back. It may be a textured surface, but it's slippery and you're definitely going to want a case.
We have a feeling we were treated to an early build of Samsung's new Live View skin atop Honeycomb, as there was some definite lag. But Live View itself isn't offensive, if you don't mind your menus being colorful, as Samsung is prone to do.
A bright spot, however, is the price. At $469 for the 16GB version and $569 for the 32GB version -- and these are the unsubsidized, no-contract Wifi-only ones -- we're finally seeing competitive price points.
More pics are after the break, if you're into that sort of thing.
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