Between the Lumia 900, Sprint's first LTE phones, a couple of anticipated new Motorolas for Verizon, and countless other announcements, CES 2012 was an action-packed event for American phone enthusiasts of all creeds. It also helped set up anticipation for Mobile World Congress — the phone industry's biggest event — when it takes place in Barcelona late next month. Click through our StoryStream for all the new phones to come out of Vegas last week!A special thanks to Borrow Lenses, who provided us with cameras and lenses for the week!
Jan 13, 2012Read Article >
Fujitsu's going to be among the first to sell a smartphone running Nvidia's new Tegra 3 processor, and we got to take a look at the upcoming handset phone at the company's CES booth. The phone's raw power was being demoed mirroring a jet ski racing game to a TV and using a wireless controller, but — and this is a running theme with Fujitsu's phone at the moment — it wasn't even really running through the phone. Reps told us only that "this is the functionality the phone will have in five weeks" when it's released, and given its quad-core processor and 12-GPU graphics accelerator, we have no trouble believing that claim. The phone's other specs are similarly insane: a 13.1-megapixel camera, a 4.6-inch HD display, Android 4.0, and LTE connectivity. It will be unveiled for real in Barcelona in February, and though there's no word on when or if the phone will come to the US, given the company's apparent readiness to come stateside we're hoping for sooner rather than later.
Jan 12, 2012Read Article >
We came across this curio at Fujitsu's CES booth — the Fujitsu Toshiba IS12t is the only Windows Phone to have seen release in Japan, as far as we know, and was the first Mango phone to be released anywhere in the world. This isn't likely to ever see an international release, and there's not a whole lot to separate it from other Windows Phone devices in terms of software, but the hardware is pretty neat. The phone is fairly thin at 10.6mm, with a 3.7-inch display and waterproof body that comes in a stately black or a neon yellow or pink. There's also a 13.2 megapixel camera, which seemed to take shots of a CES booth as nicely as any other phone we've seen this week.
Jan 12, 2012Read Article >
A black region on the front facade houses the bright, vibrant, 640 x 480 screen. Four glass buttons are arranged below it for Send, End, Menu, and Back, with the familiar four-way navigation button in the middle. Though it's similar in concept to the optical pad used on the more plebeian BlackBerry line, Wood insists that the P'9981's is unique in its use of a camera beneath flat glass to track movement. Speaking of the glass, it runs from edge to edge, and you can see just how much it's recessed from the rest of the front surface when you view it from the side. Above the display there's one more strip of stainless steel with a laser-engraved Porsche Design logo with BlackBerry silkscreened right beneath it.
Jan 11, 2012Read Article >
What exactly can you do with a 7-inch screen on your telephone? Panasonic is showing off a couple demos — a security camera monitor, and a Lutron Home Control installation connected to a floor lamp and window blind for an oddly anachronistic example of home automation. It runs a near-stock implementation of Android 2.2 (without Google apps or the Android Market), so most existing apps should work. But with all the quirks of a $79 resistive craptablet, the KX-UT870 isn't going to do anything well.
Jan 11, 2012
We were just able to take a close-up look at three Toshiba prototypes — two tablets and a 5.1-inch phone with a 21:9 aspect ratio. The two tablets, one 7.7-inch and the other 13.3, don't present any big surprises, but they're light and thin, with rounded corners and a textured back. More exciting is the phone, which demonstrates an elongated aspect ratio that allows the large-screened device to still fit in a pocket. Unlike the tablets, the phone has a brushed-aluminum back and sharper corners.Read Article >
Although we weren't able to see much of the devices in action, we successfully (in fact, accidentally) powered on the larger tablet, and were assured that the other prototypes were functional as well. Despite that, Toshiba isn't sure these will ever hit market, but said it's interested in using the form factors for future devices.
Jan 11, 2012
One-seg TV tuning has been around for ages in Japan, but no one's been successful at bringing it Stateside. The folks at MetroPCS and Mobile Content Venture — a joint venture of 12 content providers including Fox and NBC— want to be the first with Dyle Mobile TV. Dyle relies on a two-part system to get broadcasts on your device — some kind of antenna, and a downloadable app for iOS or Android. Because there's no hardware required in-device, practically anything running iOS or Android phone is capable of receiving broadcasts, and because there's no need to be connected to the internet, you don't have to pay anything extra for all of the reruns you're watching on your way home from work.Read Article >
Dyle showed us a prototype Samsung phone with a retractable antenna at CES today, and while reception wasn't always reliable, the digital picture was bright and clear. The popularity of downloadable content has caused a lot of people to cut their cords, including many of us, but we can definitely see the appeal of having free sports and news broadcasts everywhere we go.
Jan 11, 2012
We're at Showstoppers at CES in Vegas, and we just got a first look at Lenovo's new K800 smartphone, the first in the world to run on Intel's Medfield chipset. We liked the design of the phone's hardware, though it's a little thick. It will run a heavily skinned version of Android 4.0 (though the model we saw ran Android 2.3.7), which looks similar to the skins on Lenovo's tablets. It's got a 1.6GHz Intel processor, a 4.5-inch 720p HD TFT display, an 8-megapixel camera, a WCDMA HSPA+ 21Mbps wireless radio, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, and GPS onboard. It's also got WiDi onboard, which Lenovo says "enables screen sync to a TV at 720p30." The phone felt pretty snappy, but we'll reserve real judgment for when we can spend more time with the device. It's going to launch in China in the first half of this year, and there's no word on when (or if) it will be available stateside.Read Article >
Thomas Ricker contributed to this report.
Jan 11, 2012Read Article >
Earlier today we saw Lenovo's Intel's Medfield-powered Android 4.0 tablet hanging around on the show floor, but Intel's just announced that Lenovo's also got an Atom-powered phone: the 4.5-inch Lenovo K800, coming Q2 with Android 4.0 on a 720p screen. It'll run the company's new Atom Z2460 chip, and has HSPA+ support with Intel's XMM 6260. We're hearing it might have Intel's Wireless Display technology as well. Lenovo plans to bring the Medfield phone to China during the first half of the year running Lenovo's LeOS skin. It will be the first x86 phone to be released, although there are no plans to bring it to other countries. Check out more Intel announcements in our live blog of the Intel press conference.
Jan 10, 2012
We simply can't get enough of Nokia's Lumia 900 here at CES 2012. After having a quick play with it at Digital Experience last night, we returned to Nokia's booth today for another hands-on session. Its design is unmistakably that of the N9 / Lumia 800: softly rounded sides, sternly flat top and bottom, and a single plane of glass covering the front. Nokia has moved to a 4.3-inch form factor with the Lumia 900, so it's appreciably larger than the Lumia 800, however its top and bottom bezels have been greatly reduced. That, along with the almost identical thickness to the 800, means that operation of the Lumia 900 feels natural and effortless.Read Article >
WVGA (800 x 480) resolution is a little low by modern standards in the 4-inch-plus size category, however the ClearBlack AMOLED display is attractive enough to make that a non-issue for us. We're told it's identical to the Lumia 800's in technological terms, suggesting it has a Pentile Matrix subpixel arrangement and an anti-glare polarizing filter. The device we handled was a pre-production unit and we weren't allowed to explore it too deeply, however the basic Windows Phone menu interaction was as fluid and snappy as you'll have come to expect from the OS.
Though its first four LTE market launches are still a few months away, Sprint decided to do a little advance planning by showing its first LTE-compatible devices here at CES 2012: the midrange LG Viper, the Sierra Wireless Tri-Network Hotspot, and — of course — the Galaxy Nexus.Read Article >
Finally, the Tri-Network Hotspot is awesome for one very simple reason: Sprint will be selling it with a standard 3,600mAh battery, which means that it should almost certainly last all day even with heavy LTE use. The underlying design is the same Sierra Wireless-sourced hardware that AT&T is using for its Elevate 4G, but the Tri-Network Hotspot is a good deal thicker since the Elevate comes bundled with a battery half as capacious. With mobile hotspots, physical beauty is secondary — I like Sprint's decision to throw caution to the wind and make this thing huge in exchange for all-day battery life. As the name implies, this device will work on LTE, WiMAX, and CDMA alike, so you'll be getting Sprint's fastest speeds regardless of where you are (no GSM global roaming, though).
Jan 10, 2012Read Article >
Perhaps the most interesting thing we saw at MetroPCS' booth was a mystery smartphone that reps wouldn't name, though the "Galaxy S 4G" on its back seems a dead giveaway. The phone had a retractable antenna sticking out of it, and was streaming broadcast TV over the air through Dyle's mobile TV app. It's the first phone and MetroPCS is the first carrier to offer mobile TV, which is a popular feature in other countries but hasn't caught on in the US yet. The antenna picks up broadcast TV signals — occasionally in HD, but it depends on how the particular network broadcasts — so anything you'd get with a TV tuner you'll be able to get on your phone without using up your data plan. The device worked surprisingly well, changing channels effortlessly and reporting impressive signal strength. The Dyle partnership was announced a while ago, but MetroPCS has yet to ship a phone that uses it. We're not sure when this mysterious phone will be available, or how much it will cost, but streaming TV without the data cap hit is almost as nice an idea as a contract-free cell phone.
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Along with the super-skinny Droid RAZR Maxx, Motorola has its all new Droid 4 on display at Pepcom's Digital Experience. Its .5-inch enclosure feels really sleek and solid in the hand, and the sliding mechanism seems like it'll stand up to regular use quite nicely. Design-wise, it's much improved over the Droid 3 and it feels like a higher-end device overall. The laser-cut and LED-backlit keyboard looks sleek in its cool blue hue, and keys seem to have a nice bit of travel. Like all physical keyboards, it takes a bit of getting used to, but it's a definite improvement over the Droid 3. Its 960 x 540 LCD display isn't quite as nice as the RAZR Maxx's Super AMOLED, but it'll suffice for regular use.
Jan 10, 2012
Update: We just spent some more time with Nokia's latest, and while the phone was running a test software build that prevented us from digging too deep, you can consider us very intrigued.Read Article >
From a hardware perspective, the Ion felt solid with a evenly-curved back and didn't feel especially heavy in the hand, despite (or because of?) the aluminum shell. The 4.6-inch, 720p display is nothing to sniff at, and around back there is a 12-megapixel Exmor R camera. It should be available in the Spring and be upgradeable to Android 4.0 at some point in the future — and given Sony's willingness to be forthcoming with Ice Cream Sandwich information, that upgrade promise might actually happen.Read Article >
Want to know what a Sony Ericsson phone looks like without the Ericsson? Here you go: the Xperia S, presented here today at CES 2012. Oddly, the live phone still has the old-school Sony Ericsson branding, so it's hard to say what's going on here — it's entirely possible that this prototype was made prior to the Sony-only press photos we've seen today.Read Article >
We just had a few brief seconds with the phone so far, but stay tuned for more shots and impressions and soon as we can get them. We've played a bit more with the phone (video below) and it's a very handsome device, especially with the transparent strip at the bottom, which isn't actually touch-sensitive — the labels are for the touch-sensitive soft buttons on the screen above. The transparent panel is hiding a secret, though: if you look closely you can see the mesh of the radio antenna hidden within. (Check out the macro shot in the gallery below.) The soft-touch feel of the device should keep it from slipping out of the hand, but even with the 720p Reality Display we're not entirely sure that the Xperia S can hang with the top of the line Android phones of December 2011, much less 2012. Naturally, we'll need to give it a full review before we pass further judgement.
Jan 9, 2012
Two new Android handsets will soon be destined for MetroPCS, as the company has today announced plans to offer both the Samsung Galaxy Attain 4G and LG Connect 4G. Together they serve as the latest LTE-enabled additions to the carrier's lineup. Samsung's Galaxy Attain carries a 3.5-inch display and is powered by a 1GHz processor. Both front and rear cameras are on board the Gingerbread phone, at resolutions of 1.3 and 3 megapixels, respectively. MetroPCS users on the $50 / $60 service plans will have exclusive dibs on the device, which will be priced at $200 for a limited time.Read Article >
At first glance, LG's Connect 4G fares a bit better in the spec category with its 4-inch Gorilla Glass display, dual-core 1.2GHz processor, and five-megapixel rear shooter (capable of recording 720p video). Availability is planned for sometime within the next month — although MetroPCS didn't have a price to share along with today's news.
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A recently leaked roadmap suggests that Microsoft's next Windows Phone update will be codenamed Tango. The update is expected to be designed for "products with the best prices," pushing Windows Phones devices to cheaper price points. Until Tango is ready, we'll have to enjoy 8107 and any other Windows Phone updates Microsoft has to offer in the near future.
Jan 9, 2012Read Article >
Verizon has announced the Motorola Droid RAZR Maxx, bringing extended battery life to the same 8.99mm-thin body, and a new purple version of the original Droid RAZR. The company is claiming a frankly hard-to-believe 21 hours of talk time for the Maxx, dubbing it the "longest-lasting smartphone on the block". As for the purple Droid RAZR, you'll notice from the picture below that it's actually mostly black — just like the white version. The 16GB purple Droid RAZR will be $199.99 with a two-year contract, and the Maxx will come in a 32GB variety for $299.99 on contract.
Jan 9, 2012
In the wake of AT&T's monster device announcement this morning spanning multiple Android and Windows Phone devices, we're embedded with HTC to take a first look at the Titan II. The phone bears a striking resemblance to the Titan of old as you might expect, but it's got that wild "16 Megapixels" label on back. It feels both like the old Titan and also a number of other 4-inch-plus HTCs of recent memory — the Thunderbolt comes immediately to mind — and it definitely trends toward the thick end of the spectrum. Odds are that has to do with at least three things here: the LTE radio, a big battery, and the SLCD display, which requires more girth than its AMOLED counterparts.Read Article >
So, what about the camera? The jury's still out until we can properly review the phone, but the initial impression is that you might not be getting better quality images here — just bigger ones. Of course, until phone engineers how to break the laws of physics, it's hard to get around the issues of optics and limited sensor size... but 16 is a pretty awesome number, isn't it?
Jan 9, 2012Read Article >
No surprises here, but Motorola and Verizon have just announced the 0.5-inches thick LTE Droid 4. The Droid 4 has a 4-inch, qHD display with a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of onboard memory. Additionally, the 8 megapixel camera can shoot 1080p, HD video. There is no specific availability but it should be making its way to Verizon in the coming weeks.