Consider this Microsoft’s ultimate blessing, or merely a way to guarantee household name recognition. Whatever the case, the company’s next-gen Apollo OS is not only powering HTC’s newest mobile movement, it’s also the headliner. That’s right, as clunky as it may initially seem, Windows Phone 8X is the official moniker of the OEM’s brightly hued flagship series, an alphabetical denomination that puts it on premium standing with the One X line. And thanks to the loosened spec restraints made possible by WP8, this modern-minded, unibodied beaut reps a 4.3-inch 1280 x 720 Super LCD 2 display with Gorilla Glass 2 coating, dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor buffered by 1GB RAM, 16GB of internal storage, WiFi a/b/g/n, NFC and an integrated 1,800mAh Li-ion battery. There’s also quadband radio support for GSM/GPRS/EDGE, HSPA/WCDMA (850, 900, 1900, 2100MHz) and, of course, LTE for stateside carriers.
Though the 8X may share the same boldly colored, polycarbonate construction of its live-tiled Lumia frenemies, it also stands apart with the inclusion of two HTC-specific features: Beats Audio, replete with a built-in amplifier, and ImageChip for continuous shooting. And speaking of optics, this device’s dual camera setup packs the combined punch of a 2.1-megapixel front-facer with 88-degree ultra-wide-angle lens and an 8-megapixel rear module with an f/2.0 lens accompanied by a single LED flash — both capable of 1080p video capture.
While the veil of mystery surrounding this latest tech industry collaboration may have just lifted, you’ll still have to wait a bit before it heads to retail. After all, Microsoft’s planning its own WP8 coming out party for late October — a reveal that should finally give us a full look at the smartphone UI formerly known as Metro. With a ship date set for sometime this November, the 8X will be available in four distinct colors – California Blue, Graphite Black, Flame Red and Limelight Yellow — on over 150 carriers worldwide. No word on final pricing as of yet. So, until then, sate yourself with this first taste
To everyone who rocked a Motorola RAZR in the ’00s, it’s time to get excited again. The line — or at least the name — has been reborn, and not without good reason. This is a thin device — extremely thin. The Droid RAZR by Motorola is 7.1mm thin, in fact, and holding it up next to the iPhone 4 makes Apple’s phone look downright beefy by comparison. At 127 grams, it’s also incredibly light, a fact that’s quite apparent the first time you hold thing — we were honestly a bit surprised when it was first dropped in our hands. The company has clearly come a long way from the first generation Droid.
Of course, as noted, Motorola didn’t skimp on the specs here. The RAZR’s got a TI OMAP 4430 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 1GB RAM inside, and it does zip through apps with ease. The handset is rocking Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread — or at least was during our hands-on. No word on Ice Cream Sandwich — though we’ll no doubt be hearing more about that OS at tonight’s event. The 4.3 inch qHD Super AMOLED display is quite bright, and should do wonders on those Netflix HD videos.
Also of note is the phone’s relative ruggedness, thanks to its Kevlar backing, diamond cut aluminum and Gorilla Glass, but in spite of these facts, it really doesn’t feel or particularly look like a rugged device in your hands, just a big, surprisingly light handset. It’s a slick, fast, thin phone, that certainly seems worthy of the RAZR name we’ve all know and love.
As far as secrets go, this one was not well kept. After a series of leaks that treated us to early images of the device, Motorola finally spilled the LTE beans with a teaser page reveal just yesterday. Now, we have official confirmation that the itsy bitsy 4G Spyder’s on its Big Red way.
This newest addition to Verizon’s Droid lineup boasts a Gorilla Glass coated, 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display — a first for any mobile handset — atop a dual-core 1.2GHz TI OMAP4430 processor. Although the RAZR may look like a Kevlar-wrapped, slightly warped Droid X with its 7.1mm skinny silhouette and familiar topside hump, the insides tell a different tale. Joining the list of well-heeled specs, are an 8 megapixel rear camera capable of 1080p HD video, 1GB RAM, 16GB of onboard storage with 16GB additional on the microSD card and an 1,800mAh battery. Moto’s also included Lapdock 100 and 500 Pro compatibility, converting this latest red-eyed beastie into a power user’s best friend.
To help you squeeze the most productivity out of its 21st century RAZR, Moto’s also thrown in what it’s calling SmartActions software to manage your phone’s battery life. These user-determined settings can be programmed to shut off Bluetooth when you return home or slow down the processor speed while you’re on the phone — whatever your energy needs, the company’s intent you make the most of this handset. A new personal cloud feature comes bundled with the device, dubbed MotoCast. Video, photos, documents and music can be streamed from your laptop straight to the handheld. And for the IT departments of the world, the RAZR comes business ready with Citrix Receiver, Motorola Webtop and videoconferencing abilities.
Of course, there are a slew of accessories you can pair up with that new Droid: two lapdocks, wireless keyboard options, HD docks and Bluetooth headsets. You can snatch up all the extra goods and, of course, that aluminum-accented smartphone on October 27th when Verizon begins accepting pre-orders. As for that hard street date, the network’s being coy with a global release slated for November.
Update: Motorola has also confirmed that the phone will be exclusive to Rogers in Canada, where it will simply be known as the Motorola RAZR. Still no word on an exact release date, but the phone is now available for pre-order at $150 on a three-year contract, and Motorola says it will launch “in time for the holidays.” Unfortunately, Canadians will have to make do without LTE, as Rogers’ version will only do HSPA up to 14.4Mbps.
Motorola and AT&T are at it again with their Android shenanigans, this time following up the Atrix 4G with something a tad more… Atrix-y. Indeed, we’re referring to the sequel of February’s smash hit, honorably called the Motorola Atrix 2, announced at this week’s CTIA Enterprise & Applications. We had the opportunity to get some brief time with it, and it’s a fair device worthy of the family name: the 4.3-inch device feels good in the hand, and closely resembles the Photon 4G, only without the cutout corners. The sequel swaps processors, trading the 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 CPU for a TI OMAP model with the same clock speed, and offers a full gigabyte of RAM to go along with it. Fortunately, the qHD 960 x 540 display looks gorgeous without its predecessor’s Pentile clothes. Also gone? The fingerprint sensor. Oh, and don’t be fooled by the missing “4G” moniker in the title; this little ditty packs a 21Mbps HSPA+ radio, up from 14Mbps in the first version. All in all, we like what we see here — we enjoyed the brief time we had with the sequel. It seems as though Motorola learned some important lessons from the original device, but we’ll reserve total judgement until our forthcoming review. Check out the full gallery and hands-on video (complete with bonus psychedelic carpet!) below.
The LG Optimus 3D certainly isn’t the slimmest smartphone we’ve ever seen, but it looks like the chunky handset is about to get seriously streamlined. In an interview with Pocket-Lint, LG developer Dr. Henry Noh confirmed that his company is working on a thinner version of its 4.3-inch phone, hinting that it may be ready for release by next year. Noh didn’t offer specifics on dimensions, but acknowledged that the current version, at 11.9mm (0.47 inches) thick, definitely isn’t the “sexiest phone on the street” — something he hopes to change. “Eventually, we want to make it so that having the 3D won’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be thicker,” Noh explained. “That’s going to be a differentiating factor that comes for free to the user.” Doing so, he claims, could help LG’s glasses-free 3D device distinguish itself from its 2D competitors:
“These days, all the phones look the same. They have a huge screen – 4.3-inches is normal these days – and next year they’re moving even larger. And they have a fixed number of touch buttons. They’re the same thickness. They have the same camera. And even the same OS. It’s so boring.”
Of course, it remains to be seen whether or not this strategy actually pans out, but it’s definitely something we’ll be keeping an eye on.
It’s summer, which means the usual deluge of Android handsets is upon us. The Motorola Photon 4G is Sprint’s latest specimen, and follows hot on the heels of HTC’s somewhat disappointing EVO 3D. Like its stablemate, it’s a proper superphone with a dual-core processor, large qHD display, and of course, WiMAX. Instead of trying to wow us with a gimmicky 3D camera, it differentiates itself by being Sprint’s first global phone with WiMAX, and as such supports CDMA / EV-DO for North America along with GSM / HSPA for the rest of the world. Motorola further spices things up with a dash of WebTop functionality, something it first introduced on the Atrix 4G. So, is the Photon just the smartphone flavor du jour, or does it stand out from the seasonal crowd? How does it compare to the EVO 3D and the other Android flagships? Hit the break for our full review.
The first time we saw the rumored Supersonic we were blown away. HTC and Google had just wowed us with the Nexus One, and here we were looking at something even better — a 4.3-inch phone with WiMAX wrapped in a white body. This prototype was buggy and had abysmal battery life, but it was real. Four months later it landed in our hands at Google I/O. We’re of course talking about the EVO 4G which went on to become a runaway hit for HTC and Sprint as the first ever 4G smartphone in the US. And here we are, a year later with the HTC EVO 3D, the legitimate heir to Sprint’s mobile kingdom — at least until the Motorola Photon 4G comes along. When we first played with the 3D-capable handset at CTIA we were suitably impressed, but we left with a lot of unanswered questions. How do the 1.2GHz dual core processor and qHD display affect battery life? Is 3D a compelling feature or just a gimmick? What is 2D camera performance like with the lower specced camera? Is the EVO 3D a worthy replacement for the EVO 4G? Find out in our review after the break.
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The HTC bonanza that Sprint has been cooking up for a while now has its official launch date: June 24th. That will be the day when the 4.3-inch EVO 3D and its tablet buddy, the 7-inch EVO View 4G, launch on the Now Network, both equipped with WiMAX radios and Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) as their OS. The 1.2GHz dual-core EVO 3D costs $200 on contract, with pre-orders available right now provided you buy a $50 Sprint gift card, whereas the 1.5GHz single-core EVO View 4G will set you back double that, at $400, while still requiring a two-year contract. Skip past the break for the full press release details.
Oh, we’ve also just noticed that Sprint Premier customers will be able to buy the EVO 3D online on June 21st — a three-day headstart on the competition to say thank you for being so damn premier.
If you don’t already know all about the Samsung Galaxy S II, where have you been the past two months? The successor to one of the most popular Android handsets to date carries a burden of expectation almost as sizable as its 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus screen. It promises to be thinner, lighter, and faster than the Galaxy S that preceded it, while garnishing Android 2.3.3 with a set of TouchWiz customizations that might actually enhance, rather than hinder, the user experience. As such, the Galaxy S II earns Samsung full marks for ambition, but does this slinky new smartphone live up to its interstellar hype? The answer, as always, can be found after the break.
What’s big, mostly white, and set for a Korean launch tomorrow? That’s right, the LG Optimus Big! This 4.3-inch whopper, LG’s largest handset to date, touts a 1GHz dual-core processor, a slightly skinned Android 2.2 as its OS, HDMI output, a 5 megapixel camera, and 16GB of built-in storage. That spec sheet sounds mighty close to the elder Optimus 2X that launched earlier in the year, though a couple of items have also been borrowed from the still unreleased Optimus Black. They are the NOVA display, which can crank all the way up to 700 nits of brightness, and WiFi Direct, which allows for wireless inter-device communication without the need for an intermediary WiFi access point. This big, delicious spec sandwich is hitting its home market on April 28th, but there’s sadly no word on when and where else it might show up. Just keep an eye out for it, shouldn’t be that hard to spot.
You saw the specs confirmed a little earlier today and you even got to glimpse HTC’s new Sensation in the flesh. Now it’s time to watch this 4.3-inch Android device strut its stuff on video. We’ve gotten our mitts on the Euro model and you can check out all the delicious visuals after the break.
As we mentioned in our preview of this handset, the new lock screen is perhaps the biggest (it’s certainly the most immediately apparent) change in the Sense UI that comes with the Sensation. HTC describes now describes it as “smart,” because it can both serve you with live information, like weather and those all-important stock prices, and also lets you unlock straight into an app by dragging its link into an unlocking circle. Frankly, we used the functionality so much that we almost forgot how to unlock the phone “normally.” It’s something the Inq Cloud Touch and other lower-end Android devices have previously exhibited, and a feature we really, truly appreciate.
Performance was, as you’d expect from a 1.2GHz dual-core machine, snappy all around, though we still caught some slight lag and insufficient frame rates when the Sensation was dealing with some of those yummy new 3D animations. The higher resolution (960 x 540) screen is a definite upgrade over the 800 x 480 standard that Android devices have been coalescing around and the 4.3-inch size seems like a perfect fit for it. Both the camera app and video playback in the HTC Watch app showed great speed and responsiveness to our input. Those are the things that will really harness the processing power of the Sensation.
Would you look at that, HTC’s latest worst kept secret is live on Vodafone UK’s website. So here’s the scoop: 4.3-inch qHD (540 x 960 pixel) SLCD display, 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera augmented by an 8 megapixel shooter with dual-LED flash around back, a 1.2GHZ (dual-core) processor, and 4GB of internal memory with an extra 8GB supplied on memory card. Stick around, we’ll have hands-on with the latest Android Sensation from the HTC launch event later in the day.
Earlier this year, HTC allowed its previously Verizon-exclusive brand name out to prowl the globe with the Incredible S, and now it’s doing the same with the heretofore Sprint-only EVO moniker. The EVO 3D, says a tweet from HTC’s French mouthpiece, is coming to the land of baguettes, stylish mustaches and stripy pullovers, though a little bit of mystery remains as to when exactly its arrival shall be. Whatever the schedule (the EVO 3D’s set for a “summer” release in the US), the rest of Europe’s unlikely to be left out, meaning a 4.3-inch superphone with a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1080p video recording in 2D and 720p in 3D, HTC’s newest Sense skin and Android’s freshest Gingerbread build, is headed out to the Old World. And that, fellow pilgrims, is a mighty awesome thing indeed.
Okay, so a dual-core, large-screened HTC phone isn’t quite the unique event it was this time last week, but that shouldn’t preclude the Pyramid from vying for our gadget lust. Today, a picture of its front end has made its way to GSM Arena, where a careful analysis of it side by side with a Desire HD confirms the same 4.3-inch screen size, but a likely resolution bump all the way up to qHD (or 960 x 540). A 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm chip and a 4.3-inch qHD display are the two crowning features on HTC’s EVO 3D, so this looks to be its brother for another carrier. One last note of import is the home icon you see below the blurred-out applications menu — that’s stock Android fare right there. It doesn’t necessarily mean the Pyramid will ship with stock Android, but we can dream, can’t we?
Oh, you know all about them, that much is true, but have you yet seen the HTC EVO 3D and EVO View 4G tablet? No, we hadn’t either, until this very moment when another premature information upload on Sprint’s website revealed their appearance. Two pre-registration pages exist for the as-yet unannounced products, one for the 1.2GHz dual-core EVO 3D smartphone and one for the 1.5GHz single-core EVO View 4G tablet. Both run Android and are unquestionably set to feature as Sprint’s flagship devices in their respective categories. Beyond confirming that the EVO looks like an EVO and noting that the EVO View seems to have a black case rather than the silvery one that the HTC Flyer (the product it’s based on) comes with, there’s little new here — you’ll have to wait till Sprint finally makes all this hardware official over at CTIA to learn more.