4 years ago

LG Optimus 3D review


Begun, the 3D war has.  And whether you're a fan, or a skeptic, there are going to be two high-end phones you can't ignore this summer that have embraced 3D technology.  First out of the gate (but just barely) is the LG Optimus 3D.  It's a specs powerhouse, LG is promoting it as the world's first "Tri-dual" architecture smartphone with its dual-core OMAP 4 CPU, dual-channel RAM, and dual-channel board configuration.  It's a beast, no matter what criteria you use to measure beastliness. 

There's more to user experience than specifications though.  LG has went all out with a newly revamped UI on top of Android, as well as applications to support the 3D tech in the Optimus 3D.  We've kicked the Optimus 3D around for a while, and put it through the paces, so have a look after the break and see how the sum of the parts works as a whole before it hits AT&T later this summer as the Thrill 4G.

Read more and comment

4 years ago

Rogers lowers pricing for the LG Optimus Pad


We're guessing someone at Rogers corporate offices woke up from their money-filled dreams and realized that if you want to sell tablets, they need to be somewhat reasonably priced if you're also going to be taking on a new 3-year contract as well as handing over $300 or more in cold, hard cash.

With this realization came a price drop for the LG Optimus Pad which was previously set at $449 and is now sitting at $254 with a 3-year contract while the outright cost, no-contract drops to $549 from $699. Still pretty hefty but hey, it's still less then a Motorola Xoom. That has to count for something, right?

Source: Rogers; via: MobileSyrup

Read more and comment

4 years ago

Huawei Glory will bring high-end Android to Cricket for $300


Are you ready for a high-end Android phone, on a prepaid unlimited $45 plan, checking in at under $300?  Cricket Wireless thinks you are, and will be offering the Huawei Glory to foot the bill.  Checking in with a 1.4 GHz CPU, a 4-inch 854x480 screen, an 8MP camera and Gingerbread (Android 2.3.3), the Glory looks like it's filling the promises we heard last year about high-end, low cost components that will push Android into as many hands as possible.

According to Sasha Segan (PCMag), Huawei has edited a few things away from stock, but the Glory doesn't have a heavy manufacturer skin.  It does have a huge 1900 mAh battery and a very bright LCD screen.  To sweeten the whole pot, Huawei also says the Glory will be updated to Ice Cream Sandwich when it's available.

Will great phones on pre-paid carriers (see the Motorola Triumph on Virgin Mobile) become commonplace?  I certainly hope so.

Source: PCMag. Thanks, Ilya!

Read more and comment

4 years ago

Samsung brings the Series 5 Chromebook to Europe


Samsung announced today that the Series 5 Chromebook will be available in parts of Europe starting June 24.  Folks in the UK, Spain, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands will be able to get their hands on the worlds first retail Chromebook for €399 for the Wifi model (£349 in the UK) and €449 for the 3G model (£399 in the UK).  Over the coming months the rest of Europe will see these become available as well. 

If you're not familiar with the specs, have a look here.  The concept  is simple -- hardware that runs everything through the Chrome browser.  It's a throwback to the days of terminal/server computing, but done with the modern cloud.  We had a good look at the new Chromebooks at Google I/O, and I have to admit -- they have me intrigued.  They are pricey, but look beautiful and will give the masses a chance to try Google's Chrome OS on hardware designed for it.  We should be getting a couple of our own here shortly, and we'll give them a work over.  In the meantime, the Chromebook forums are open for business.  Hit the break to see the full press release.

Read more and comment

4 years ago

Google Goggles gets an update, now knows Russian


Having been previewed last week as an upcoming feature to Google Goggles, the Goggles team has now made the Russian optical character recognition (OCR) and translation update available for all. What that breaks down to for end-users is that Google Goggles now has the ability to read Russian (Cyrillic) as well, translate it into any of 40 other available languages all by simply snapping a pic of the text needing translated and letting Goggles scan it.

In addition to the OCR update, if you have search history enabled -- you can now get a map view of previous search results that shows you exactly where you used Google Goggles and what, exactly it was that you searched for. As noted by Google, the search list often gets long and this new "view" allows you to quickly find the info rather then needing to scroll through a long list.

Finally, Google has added the ability to copy information from searches to your clipboard. For example, if you capture a number or contact info via Google Goggles -- that info, when scanned can now be copied to your directly to your address book. The update is live now in the Android Market, download link can be found past the break.

What a country!

Source: Google Mobile Blog

Read more and comment

4 years ago

Motorola takes to Twitter to address concerns over SD card support on U.S. Xooms


If you're a Xoom owner here in the United States, you probably felt more than a pang of jealousy this morning when Motorola announced that the Android 3.1 update would begin rolling out to European Xooms, bringing along with it SD card support. Motorola has taken to Twitter to quell your rage, responding to one disgruntled owner who called the company out on the American Xoom’s unusable SD card slot.

@Motorola: @portareaf Google is refining the SD card solution for U.S.-based Motorola XOOM devices & we'll share timing info as soon it’s available.

While Moto’s response gives us no definitive time frame, it does imply that SD card support is more of a matter of “when” than “if”. Sit back and relax, we have the whole summer ahead to wait.

Source: @Motorola

Read more and comment

4 years ago

Verizon's new data plans broken down in complete detail


Having a hard time wrapping your head around the upcoming changes to Verizon's smartphone data plans? We just got all the dirty details dropped in our laps. Charts, e-mails, the whole kit and kaboodle, folks.

Let's start with what you see above. That's the official chart from the official training document (which you can see in full after the break.) As previously rumored, smartphone plans will start at 2GB for $30 a month, with $10 per gigabyte if you go over. There also are 5GB/$50 and 10GB for $80 plans. Unlimited plans are dead. These rates apply to 3G smartphones and 4G LTE smartphones.

Mobile hotspot access will cost $20 a month for 2GB of data.

Other points to note (many of which are detailed in an internal e-mail we've posted after the break):

  • If you have Verizon's $29.99 unlimited data plan, you'll be able to keep it after July 7.
  • You'll also be able to keep the $29.99 unlimited plan when you upgrade to a new phone. (No word on if there's a pricing difference or when that policy could change.)
  • If you add a line to an existing account, you'll not be able to chose the $29.99 unlimited data plan.
  • If you're a new customer between now and July 7, you'll still be able to choose the $29.99 plan.

So if you're in the market for a Verizon phone and want to get in on the current unlimited plans before the major changes take effect, you've got two weeks, folks.

Now continue past the break to see the full documents and e-mail.

Thanks, Eric!

Read more and comment

4 years ago

Android 101: Connecting to a Wifi Network

4 years ago

Android Quick App: GMail Label Notifier



For someone who uses labels so extensively in Gmail, I'm not quite sure how I lasted this long without this app. I was one of those compulsive manual refreshers, spamming my refresh button when I was out and knew a label was expecting mail. It seems those days are now behind me, thanks to GMail Label Notifier.

GMail Label Notifier is just what the title suggests, a notification for all your labels that aren't your Inbox. Once you've installed, setup is beyond simple. Open the app, select your Google account or add another Google account, and you'll be taken to a menu that shows you all your labels. From here, you select the labels you want to be notified about (one at a time), and customize your settings for each label.

This is especially cool because you can set certain labels to blink the LED while others don't, for example. Similar options exist for vibrating the phone and playing a notification sound. Every label can have a different sound/vibration pattern/LED color, if you so desire it, so you can really make these notifications your own.

My favorite part is that you can pick a color for each label's Gmail envelope. The list is pretty long, so I actually managed to have each label's envelope color be the same as the label color online.

For everything to work smoothly, you've got to make sure the labels you want to be notified about are set up to sync (Gmail settings > Labels > Choose your label), but that doesn't take any time or effort to get working, either. Once you've got all your labels set up to sync and have set everything up in GMail Label Notifier, it's just a matter of time until you start seeing notifications.

GMail Label Notifier also comes with customizable 1x1 widgets that display an unread counter. You can customize the envelope's color as well as label with these, if you prefer a widget to a notification.

The one difference between this and Gmail's native Inbox notifications is that Gmail's notifications show you the subject and sender, whereas GMail Label Notifier only shows you the unread count of your label. It's not a huge deal and it doesn't really sully the experience, but if Hubris was to ever change that in the future, I wouldn't mind at all.

GMail Label Notifier is pretty inexpensive, costing around 81 cents. So if you're dependent on Gmail's labels, I'd snap this app up right away. It's wonderful peace of mind, knowing your phone will let you know about new emails without chronic refreshing, plus, setup is so easy you can totally make the 15-minute refund window if you don't like it.

More pictures, as well as the download links, are after the break.

Read more and comment

4 years ago

Sprint EVO 3D getting pre-launch update to fix calendar bug


It's not the strangest thing in the world to see an unreleased phone get a pre-launch update -- think way back to the Motorola Droid X -- and the Sprint EVO 3D is the latest to do so. Software version 1.13.651.7 will bring a fix for "Calendar entries in certain formats force close while editing." Important, indeed.

Oh, and look at that. Our review unit's already got the update. It's a sizable 26.59MB and installed with nary a problem. More in the link below, if you're interested.

More: EVO 3D forums; Thanks, anon!


Read more and comment

4 years ago

Pre-ordered EVO 3Ds arriving today


Got a few excited e-mails in the overnight stating that preordered Sprint EVO 3Ds were shipping and will be arriving today. Can't beat that, can you?

As for the rest of the U.S., the dual-core, 3D-capable, Android 2.3.3, Sense 3.0 smartphone will be available on Thursday Friday for $199 on contract.

More: EVO 3D forums

Read more and comment

4 years ago

Android 3.1 rolling out on European Motorola Xooms


The latest version of Android for tablets has begun rolling out to Motorola Xoom owners outside of the US, according to a post on Motorola Europe's Facebook page. The new version of Honeycomb for the Xoom brings SD card support, UI refinements and hardware acceleration in the browser, amongst other things.

Moto says the updates will be gradually pushed to Xooms in Europe over the "next several weeks, until the roll-out is complete", so some may have to wait longer than others for the OTA. If you're a European Xoom owner who has already received this latest update, be sure to let us know in the comments.

Source: Motorola Europe on Facebook

Read more and comment

4 years ago

Best Buy Music Cloud hopes to draw cross platform users


Best Buy this morning officially rolled out its Music Cloud service available on Android, iOS and BlackBerry devices. It aims to make storing your music simple, allowing access on all these devices from just a single upload.

The basic "lite" package allows web streaming, along with 30 seconds of each song from your mobile device, but for $3.99 a month you can upgrade to the premium package which will give you all of your music on the go (no limit announced yet) along with thousands of web radio stations.

For just shy of $50 / year the Best Buy Music Cloud appears to fall in line with other services, especially if there is no upload cap. Be sure to check it out, and let us know how it compares to the others, like Amazon Cloud Player and Google Music for you.

Source: Best Buy Music Cloud

Read more and comment

4 years ago

Sony Ericsson announces Xperia Ray and Xperia Active



Sony Ericsson has announced two new Android smartphones this morning -- the aluminum-framed Xperia Ray, and the ruggedized Xperia Active.

The Ray is a 3.3-inch phone running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, powered by a 1GHz CPU -- presumably the same second-gen Snapdragon used in recent Xperia phones. Like the Xperia Arc and Xperia Neo, the Ray also comes equipped with Sony's Mobile Bravia Engine and Exmor R technology powering its 8.1MP rear camera. Other notables inlcude the addition of a front-facing camera, and of course the custom Sony Ericsson software that we've seen on the Arc and other devices.

The Xperia Active is smaller still, measuring just 3 inches diagonally. It too runs Gingerbread, and sports a 1GHz CPU. Sony Ericsson is pitching the phone towards more active smartphone users, including a dust and water-resistant screen, as well as features like "wet finger tracking", so the phone's touchscreen is usable with wet hands. On top of that there's bundled software for monitoring your heart rate and general fitness levels, if you're into that sort of thing. And you also get a 5-megapixel camera with 720p recording capability, though no Exmor R this time around.

Both devices are due for release in "selected markets" sometime in the third quarter of the year. Join us after the jump for videos of both phones, along with the full press release.

Read more and comment

4 years ago

How Verizon will ease you into its new tiered data plans


July 7, 2011. A day that will live in infamy. OK, maybe not. But it's looking like it'll be the day that Verizon changes its data plans to a tiered structure, and there are plenty of rumors, half-truths and whatever else going on out there. Let's add one more to the pile, shall we?

What you see above is part of Verizon's training for the new plans. A couple of things to note: Nowhere will you find the words "tiered data." And don't expect to hear them when you walk into a store, either. What you will hear about is customizing a data plan for your usage needs. And that makes sense, doesn't it? Do you mainly surf the web? Check e-mail? Stream music and video? Or are you a heavy photo uploader? If you're reading this blog, chances are the answer to all those questions is "Yes." Your friendly neighborhood Verizon rep will crunch some numbers (they have an online data calculator to do that piece of fourth-grade math), and match you up to a plan that fits you best. What has people up in arms is the pricing structure. News flash, folks: Verizon ain't cheap.

Something else you're likely to hear about then is Wifi -- it's all over the suggested responses on Page 3 -- and how you should use it whenever possible. Doesn't really make sense, does it? Verizon wants your money (as any good company should). And if the rumored pricing structure is true (and those rumors are still far from official), you might end up paying more for a lower data cap. So why the push for Wifi? Remember that data's not free. Each MB costs Verizon something, too. And Verizon's (relatively excellent) LTE network didn't come cheap. You hear the word "billion" used a lot in conjunction with a 4G rollout. And carriers are feeling a crunch for spectrum -- the frequencies and such that the data's actually transmitted on. Their answer to that? You'll use Wifi more. (Sit though a CTIA keynote and you'll know exactly what we're talking about.) And so when you're talking to a Verizon rep about these new plans, you'll be urged to connect to Wifi whenever possible. And that's not exactly the worst idea in the world. A good Wifi signal can still be better than a bad LTE signal. And, more important, it's much easier on your battery life.

Anyhoo: Ease on past the break and check out the training material. There's not a whole lot of actual news there -- though the $30 for 2GB of data appears to be confirmed, as well as the death of unlimited plans. RIP.

Read more and comment

Show More Headlines