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4 years ago

Sprint prepares 2013 Inaugural site for the estimated 700k attendees


image of the US Capitol inaugural platform via

Sprint is beefing up things on the National Mall to prepare for the 2013 Presidential Inauguration. When you inject an extra million or so people into an already congested city like Washington, DC, cell service tends to suffer. Cram seven or eight hundred thousand of those people onto the National Mall and it just won't work without massive planning and equipment.

That (the planning and equipment) is exactly was Sprint is in the process of doing right now on the Mall. They are deploying COWs (Cell sites On Wheels) in places like the Air and Space Museum (fitting, I think) and Installing in-building repeaters at the Capital Hilton, the Washington Marriott Wardman Park, and The Mayflower Renaissance to help carry the voice and data load. 

They've been at work since April of last year, and have boosted voice capacity by 25-percent and data capacity by 37-percent for the National Mall area already. This should go a long way towards making sure DC public safety officials can do their job, as well as making sure everyone can post pictures of the event online.

Things get a little crazy here in DC for the Presidential Inauguration. It' great to see Sprint has a bit of foresight and is doing what they can to make it as pleasant as possible. Hit the break to see their full press release.

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4 years ago

Archos 101 Titanium hands-on (updated with official announcement)


Archos brought a slew of tablets to its CES booth this year, and we managed to get our hands on the lot of them. Here's the 101 Titanium, a distant cousin of the 101XS that we reviewed earlier this year. This iteration is part of Archos' Elements line, and therefore receives some of the goodies associated with the brand, such as a much-improved build quality and finish. This thing is solid, much more so than the 101XS, though fails to match the ultra-premium look and feel of the 97 Titanium with its Retina-quality display. 

Archos was tight lipped on details about these tablets, but based on what else we've seen from Archos here at CES, we should go ahead and count on a minor boost in terms of both processing power and internal storage, just like what happened on the 97 Platinum and the FamilyPad2. Jelly Bean is onboard here, an improvement from the 101XS, and I was pretty pleased with the responsiveness and speed of the tablet. 

To my naked eye, the 10.1-inch display isn't any better than the 101XS, so we can go ahead and guess that this, too, packs a 1280 x 800 resolution. However, I didn't notice that blue, washed-out hue that bugged me so much about the 101XS, so that's more than welcome news.

Archos isn't spilling the beans on pricing or availability, but I'd gladly pay a bit more for this device than the 101XS based on how solid and well-built it appears. This is a premium tablet, and proves once again that the French manufacturer is playing for keeps.

A hands-on gallery and video follow the break.

UPDATE: This morning, Archos formally introduced the new additions to its Titanium line, including the 101 Titanium. Our suspicions were confirmed, as the 101 will feature a 1.6 GHz dual-core CPU, quad-core graphics, and an impoved IPS display. The full press release has been added after the break.

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4 years ago

Fitbit recruiting private beta testers for Android sync, Galaxy S3 and Note 2 owners only need apply


With the launch of their latest personal fitness product a few days ago, Fitbit also brought news that syncing with Android devices was finally on the horizon. As such, they're now recruiting for willing volunteers for a private beta test. Initially, only Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 owners need apply, and only users of the Fitbit One and the Fitbit Zip.

They're also looking for people who will put the application seriously through its paces. Participants need to be able to donate 1-3 hours of time per week to update the developers with issues. Additionally, the key word is private, and all participants will be asked to sign an NDA that they won't share any information outside of the programme. If this sounds like your thing, hit the source link below and send in your application. The beta test will run between Jan. 13 and Jan. 25. 

Source: Fitbit

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4 years ago

Corning Gorilla Glass 3 - a CES first look


When it comes to chemically-hardened glass, we smartphone types are definitely fans. When it comes to making our glass-fronted smartphones more durable, Corning has always been at the forefront, and their latest revelation in the form of Gorilla Glass 3 will prove to be even more of a protective force between our LCDs and the harsh world we live in.

We dropped in on Corning to check out its new Gorilla Glass 3, and in its demonstrations it lived up to the pre-show announcement hype. Gorilla Glass 3 is tougher in all forms when compared to its competition and even its predecessor in the form of Gorilla Glass 2. It can withstand greater impact force, is harder to scratch, and can stand up to forces that are capable of denting equally-thick steel. It's tough stuff, folks.

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4 years ago

Samsung unveils the Galaxy S2 Plus, minor spec bump over the original


Samsung has today introduced another new Android smartphone to add to its portfolio, and you'd be right in thinking it looks an awful lot like the Galaxy S2. That's because it does, and this new device is the Galaxy S2 Plus. The most notable improvement is the software. 

Running Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with Samsung's latest Touchwiz Nature UX, the rest of the specs are either a minor bump from the Galaxy S2 or pretty much the same. The Plus houses a 4.3 inch WVGA Super-AMOLED Plus display, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8MP and 2MP rear and front facing cameras respectively. On board storage is just 8GB, but is expandable by microSD card which Samsung says is supported upto 64GB.

Otherwise, that's about all she wrote. Looking through the specs there appears to be an NFC version and a non NFC version, and the camera has a pretty nice sounding zero lag shutter speed. No word as yet on price or availability, and you'll find the full press release after the break.

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4 years ago

See all the bendy displays and octacores you can handle in Samsung's second CES 2013 keynote


There is no dearth of news about Samsung's announcements today, but we know plenty of you guys will want to see it for yourselves. Samsung knows it, too, and has posted the full one-hour+ speech on Youtube for easy viewing. Join Dr. Woo for 60 minutes and get all the bendy screen and 8-core CPU talk you can handle. 

Via; Samsung

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4 years ago

Archos 97 Platinum and 80 Platinum hands on



One of the things I was most excited to see at this year's CES was Archos' 97 Titanium, the 9.7-inch Android tablet introduced by Archos late last year. Its stunning Retina-quality 2048 x 1536 display is one of the best on any Android tablet, and its nearly-identical-to-the-iPad design will almost certainly grab the eyes of consumers and lawyers alike. Much to my surprise, what I found was a new line of Archos tablets, the Platinum series, one step above the still-fresh Titanium. ​On hand here in Las Vegas were both the 97 Platinum and its smaller sibling the 80 Platinum. 

These devices are nearly identical to the 97 Titanium HD and the 80 Carbon respectively aside from a minor boost in specs-- both processors have been bumped to a quad-core 1.2 GHz chip, up from their previous dual-core brains ( a trend we saw on most of what Archos brought to CES this year). Aside from that, other specs remain the same, including the front and rear 2 MP cameras, the nearly-vanilla Jelly Bean experience and the ultra-premium design.

The true stars here, though, are the displays, especially the 97's (above)-- it's easily the best display I've ever seen on an Android tablet, and can rival the iPad in terms of both pixel density and saturation. The 80's 8-inch 1024 x 768 panel (left) falls short of Retina territory but looks fantastic nonetheless, and feels splendid in the hand.

Buzzing through the UI was fast and breezy, and seeing a company opt for a pure Android experience never gets old. We weren't able to run any benchmarks on the devices in our short time with them, but we expect to see quality results and performance-- after a string of disappointments, Archos is finally in it to win it. 

As you'll see in the shots below, the comparisons to the iPad are not exaggerated-- these devices look and feel strikingly similar to Apple's tablet, so stay tuned for the inevitable uproar and legal action when Archos brings the line to the states in March. Expect a $329 pricetag on the 97 Platinum, and a $199 pricetag on the 80. Photos of the 97 as well as the 80 (easily differentiated by the screen's orientation-- the 97 is horizontal, the 80 vertical), along with comparisons and a video, follow the break.

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4 years ago

Archos GamePad hands on


Fresh off the heels of NVIDIA's huge Project Shield announcement, Archos is proving that it was here first, debuting its GamePad for the first time stateside nearly five months after its announcement. The Archos GamePad adds hardware controls, including traditional gaming buttons and joysticks, to a 7-inch Android tablet. Though the GamePad isn't the highest-spec'd device in the world with a conservative 1024 x 600 IPS resolution and 1 GB of RAM, it does boast a 1.6 GHz dual-core processor, quad-core graphics, and a recent addition of Jelly Bean to ensure smooth and lag-free gameplay.

And that's exactly what I saw-- the demo I played was plenty fast and fluid, and the hardware buttons, which can be custom-tailored to specific games, added a whole new level of enjoyment to the game. I'm no gamer by any means, so for me, the buttons make gaming much more accessible than it is on a traditional Android device. In the same breath, I might have overlooked some quirks in the game due to ignorance, so hardcore gamers should definitely take the GamePad for a spin before diving in. 

Archos tells us to expect the GamePad stateside in the coming weeks sporting a pricetag of around $170. We'll prep our thumbs for some more in-depth gaming then-- for now, enjoy the hands-on photos and video after the break.

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4 years ago

Pebble smartwatch officially shipping from Jan. 23 to Kickstarter backers


The Pebble smartwatch is one of the all time Kickstarter success stories. It smashed its $100,000 target, and went on to break the $10million mark by the time all was said and done. Since the closure of the Kickstarter campaign, there have been delays, leaving many wondering when, or even if, the device they'd thrown some of their hard earned at may appear.  The good news is, the waiting is almost at an end. The Pebble is complete, they are being manufactured, and the official word is that they will begin shipping to Kickstarter backers from Jan. 23. 

The Pebble smartwatch is an interesting product. Connecting to your Android smartphone, it allows any number of notifications and interactions from your wrist, leaving your phone in your pocket. Coupled with a backlit electronic paper display, visible even in bright sunlight, and a battery life of around 7 days, the Pebble could well take off where other Smartwatches haven't. 

Since the early prototypes, a couple of extra hardware features have been squeezed in. There's now a magnetometer inside to offer compass like functionality, and an ambient light sensor. Re-charging the Pebble is taken care of via magnetic contacts. 

One notable absentee from the launch of the Pebble though is Runkeeper support. The simple message is that it just isn't ready, and they're working with Runkeeper to make it happen. The estimate so far we're given is March. 

Better yet, Pebble says they will be shipping out the smartwatches to people in the order they entered the Kickstarter campaign. So, if you're backer number 1, you'll be first in line when it comes to shipping. Manufacturing has reached around 15,000 units per week, so the initial batch of Kickstarter orders will take 6-8 weeks to complete. After that, they'll move onto website pre-orders. 

The CEO of Pebble has completed a full demo of the smartwatch in a briefing session at CES, which is embedded for you to check out after the break. Be warned though, the colors are off, and everyone looks somewhat like a smurf. 

Source: Pebble

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4 years ago

Facebook Pages Manager now available in the U.S. and UK


The Facebook Pages Manager application for Android launched initially last week. Sort of. While the app was no doubts in the Google Play Store, it wasn't actually available in a number of countries around the world, including the U.S. and the UK. As of today, the app is showing an update in the Play Store, but still remains on Version 1.0, but is now available in the U.S Play Store and in the UK too. 

Facebook Pages Manager does exactly what it says on the box. In much the same way the Facebook application enables users to manage their personal profiles, Pages Manager does the same for page admins. Looking through the Play Store comments though, there does seem to be an issue with the notifications -- reports suggest that you simply can't just turn them off permanently. In any case, if this is something you've been waiting on, grab yourselves a copy from the Play Store link above. 

Thanks droid4g32!

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4 years ago

Archos FamilyPad 2 hands on


Well that was quick. Just a few months after Archos introduced their behemoth, family-sized FamilyPad to the UK, the company is here in Las Vegas showing off their follow-up, the FamilyPad 2. Archos was tight-lipped on specs and specifics, but recent rumors suggest the FamilyPad 2 will feature a minor processor bump with a 1.6 GHz Cortex A9-- up from the original's 1 GHz A8. The other major improvement is in onboard storage-- look for 16GB here rather than eight. Based on what we saw today, it looks like the FamilyPad 2 will ship with Jelly Bean, a welcome addition.

Aside from the minor bumps, the rest of the specs look to be the same, including 1 GB of RAM and that behemoth 13.3-inch IPS display. It's a beauty, despite its relatively low 1280 x 800 resolution. As you can see in the video below, handling this thing takes some flexibility, as the sheer size and weight make one-handed operation downright impossible. Make no mistake about it: this thing is a beast, and puts on no airs about being portable or lightweight.

The upside of its huge size is its multimedia capabilities-- watching videos, movies, and streaming content will look gorgeous, and the FamilyTab 2 is large enough for multi-person viewing. As you can see, Archos had it on a nice stand, which in your home would make the FamilyTab 2 a nice small television replacement.

Performance wise, everything seems up to snuff, though we would have loved to test out some games, which this tablet will certainly be ideal for. With Jelly Bean onboard and a more-than-capable processor, I wasn't able to find any lag or serious problems with the basic UI, though we'll reserve judgment until we get one in our home.

As always, we'll keep our eyes peeled for a proper spec sheet, release and pricing information. More photos and a hands-on video can be found after the break.

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the ZTE Grand S LTE


ZTE just made its latest flagship Grand S LTE official here at CES 2013, and we've got our hands on it. This is definitely the top of the line model for ZTE right now, joining in on the 1080P display game. As for the specs, they're all top of the line as well. We're looking at a 5-inch 1080x1920 display, a 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage (SDcard expandable,) 13MP / 2MP cameras, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and support for both DLNA streaming and MHL displays. This thing certainly checks all the boxes.

The external hardware is pretty high quality, with a nice unibody plastic construction that covers the entire back all the way up to the screen bezels. The 13MP camera is set in a piano black finished area that's slightly raised from the rest of the back plate. At just 6.9mm thick the Grand S LTE feels paper thin, but the curves around the sides make it still comfortable to hold. There are capacitive buttons -- back, home, menu -- on the bottom bezel, but they don't seem to light up very brightly. The display is quite nice, but it's really hard to judge in terrible trade show lighting conditions.

The one potential complaint after spending some time with it is that some of the devices were very glossy, which may turn some people away. Thankfully some of the other colors had more of a matte finish to them. Speaking of colors, ZTE has gone all-out with the selection here. From our count, there's light pink, dark pink (nearly red,) mint green, light grey, bright yellow, black and white colors of the Grand S LTE available.

Stick around after the break for a quick run-through of the software, as well as many pictures and hands-on video of the device from the show floor.

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4 years ago

Hands-on with Acer's £99, 7-inch B1 tablet


Google's Nexus 7 excited the budget tablet space, forcing other manufacturers to compete on features on price. And it's telling that this year's CES has been relatively devoid of new Android tablets. One of the few exceptions is Acer, which announced its new Iconia B1 tablet this week. U.S. pricing has yet to be announced, but in the UK it'll sell for £99, a full £60 less than the cheapest Nexus 7.

When designing a tablet at this price point, there are some corners that need to be cut. The B1 is a plasticky device with a fairly low-quality 1024x600 LCD display, and a rather odd beveled pattern around the back. It's not a premium product, but something designed to offer a basic Android experience at the lowest possible price point. Its size and weight is roughly comparable to that of the Nexus 7.

Inside is a Mediatek 1.2GHz dual-core CPU and 512MB of RAM, which copes with running Jelly Bean fairly well considering it's far from bleeding edge hardware, although we noticed some lag and stuttering during our time with a CES demo unit. There's 8GB of internal storage available out of the box, expandable through the tablet's microSD slot.

The Acer Iconia B1 is set to become available from late January. U.S. pricing has yet to be revealed, but in the eurozone it's expected to retail for under €130.

We've got more photos after the break.

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4 years ago

Eyes-on with official Galaxy Camera accessories


Shortly after the official Galaxy Camera announcement in August we got our first look at some "prototype" Galaxy Camera accessories at Samsung's IFA booth. At the time, the manufacturer was clear that not everything behind the display case would see the light of day; these were just concept designs created to show what could be possible with Samsung's smart camera.

Fast forward to CES 2013, where Samsung had its full range of real, finalized Galaxy Camera accessories on show. Some of the more fanciful stuff has disappeared, giving way to -- amongst other things -- a couple of standardized leather case designs, including a "premium pouch" with a shoulder strap. Also on display on the show floor were official battery packs, charging stands and screen protectors, as well as AllShare Cast dongle for wirelessly connecting the camera to a TV. Finally, there was a redesigned wrist strap on show in each of the four Galaxy Camera color options.

Unfortunately there was very little info on when and where these accessories will go on sale; Samsung reps on the show floor offered a rather vague release window of H1 2013. So while you wait, you can check out more photos of Samsung's Galaxy Camera accessories after the break.

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4 years ago

Three UK pushing out Android 4.1.2 update to Samsung Galaxy S3


The update train for the Samsung Galaxy S3 continues to roll, and next up to push out Android 4.1.2 to the S3 is Three UK. Some users are reporting that they received the update this past Sunday, but Three has officially confirmed that they are indeed pushing out 4.1.2. 

With the update also comes Samsung's 'premium suite' that includes a range of new Touchwiz features, including multi-window. Three says that the update is available to download now via Kies, but an OTA is also rolling out. If you've managed to snag it for yourselves, be sure to share your experiences with us in the comments below or head on into our Samsung Galaxy S3 forums. 

Source: Three UK

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