Now that we know how the iPhone 4S stacks up against the iPhone 4, let’s take a look at how Apple’s latest smartphone compares to its mightiest competitors on the other major platforms — Android and Windows Phone. In Google’s camp we chose the superlative Samsung Galaxy S II models (focusing on the announced US variants) along with the Motorola Droid Bionic for its qHD and LTE chops. We then picked the upcoming HTC Titan to bat for Microsoft’s team. RIM’s not included here since it’s still stuck in the junior leagues. We left out the intriguing Nokia N9 because it’s a niche player. Check out the fancy table after the break — the results are pretty clear cut!
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It’s not an iPhone mini or anything, but it’s the first iPhone with Siri. And that has to count for something, right? Right? While it’s no iPhone 5 (not even close, really), the iPhone 4S is far from being “last year’s iPhone,” and the greatly enhanced camera, bolstered A5 dual-core processor and inbuilt voice command should provide plenty of reason for folks to upgrade if they’re near the end of their contract. Furthermore, having the option on Sprint — despite Apple almost announcing it as an afterthought — is bound to make folks already entrenched on the Now Network think twice about what their next phone will be come upgrade time.
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That snazzy AirPlay Mirroring feature Apple showed off at WWDC earlier this year is back for an encore, and now it’s strutting its stuff on the iPhone 4S. Previously we saw AirPlay piping an iPad 2 to the big screen by way of Apple TV, but the upcoming iOS 5 features seems to have broadened it horizons — letting Apple handsets get in on the HDTV mirroring love. AirPlay not your thing? Don’t worry, you can still score high-def mirroring action using a wired dongle. Skip on past the break for a peek at the accessory that will make your next $2,000 Halloween costume that much easier to build.
iPhone 4S officially announced: lands October 14th starting at $199 in sizes up to 64GB, coming to Sprint
What’s this? The second coming of the iPhone 4? Sure enough, Tim Cook just pulled the covers off of the hotly-anticipated iPhone 4S here in Cupertino, making 2011 the first year in the company’s current stint in the smartphone business that it chose to launch three new handsets (Verizon’s CDMA iPhone 4 included, of course). On the outside the 4S looks exactly like its predecessor, but on the inside it’s “all new.” Apple has jammed a dual-core A5 CPU inside alongside a new dual-core GPU that supposedly boosts graphics performance by up to 7x. Up front is the same 3.5-inch Retina display we’ve all come to know and love, and around back is a glass plate. Those antennae around the sides (which caused many users so much trouble) have been revamped and iOS will intelligently switch between two different sets on the fly to avoid dropping calls no matter how you hold it. Those antennae are connected to a dual-mode GSM and CDMA radio that will let Apple’s handset roam the globe while enjoying either 14.4Mbps HSPA+ or EV-DO Rev. A.
While the iPhone 4S takes the headlines with its dual antennas and upgraded processor, we also have a new white iPod touch joining the family. Pricing for the “#1 portable game player” (Apple’s words, with some numbers to back them up) still starts at $199 for the 8GB version, going up $399 for a 64GB. All will be available in black or white October 12th. There’s no hardware changes to speak of, so hopefully all those sweet iOS 5 upgrades are enough to hold you. Check out the full details in our live blog or in the press release, conveniently available after the break.
Up till now, the ranks of 3D-capable smartphones were neatly organized by territory: Japan had the Sharp Aquos SH-12C, the US had the HTC EVO 3D, and Europe had the LG Optimus 3D. Now it’s all getting a tiny bit messier (and more competitive!) with HTC’s announcement that the EVO 3D has boarded a transatlantic liner and is en route to the green shores of Europa. Available “broadly” across the old continent, this Android 2.3 handset touts a 4.3-inch display with qHD (540 x 960) resolution and an added parallax barrier layer that allows it to deliver a glasses-free 3D effect. We call it an effect because real 3D it ain’t, but at least it’ll allow you to review the three-dimensional pics you snap with the included pair of 5 megapixel autofocus cameras. There’s also a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon purring within for the performance obsessives and a generous 1730mAh battery — perhaps the biggest advantage that we can see for this phone over the similarly specced (but 3D-less) Sensation. Jump past the break for the full spec sheet and PR or hit up our review to learn just how awesome the EVO 3D’s shutter button really is.
The N9 has arrived. Functional units of Nokia’s long-awaited MeeGo smartphone have finally landed into our eager hands and we’ve got a gallery of images to provide you with below. What we can say from our first experience is that we’re in the presence of a fantastically designed device with a gorgeous AMOLED screen and some highly responsive performance. Hold tight as we’re updating our fuller impressions after the break, where you’ll soon be treated to our first hands-on video with the Nokia N9.
The Droid 3 is upon us! Well, it is if you live in China and don’t mind calling it the Milestone 3. A new XT883 model has just been made official by Motorola during China Telecom’s CDMA Summit, touting the tagline “the third Milestone” and a new five-row slideout QWERTY keyboard. The salient specs include a 4-inch touchscreen with qHD (540 x 960) resolution, a dual-core processor capable of driving 1080p video recording, an 8 megapixel rear camera with LED flash, up to 32GB of built-in storage, and of course, Android 2.3 as the shipping OS. A pretty compelling package, we think you’ll agree. It’s coming to China this summer, though Moto could still be crafty enough to squeeze the US launch in before actual units start shipping to Yao Ming’s homeland. Because, well, who’s ever heard of a Milestone coming before a Droid?
Llano laptops are like buses. You wait two years for just one to arrive and then eleven come out at once. Yep, AMD’s long-awaited hybrid CPU / GPU has finally gone official today and HP is wasting no time in introducing laptops harnessing its Accelerated Processing powers. On the consumer side, the Pavilion dv (dv4, dv6, dv7) and g (g4, g6, g7) series are both getting in on the action, with the dv models touting fancier additions like Beats Audio and CoolSense as justifications for their dearer pricing. For the more demure or business-oriented AMD fans, ProBook laptops of both b (6465b, 6465b) and s (4535s, 4435s, 4436s) varieties are also getting A-series processor options. Pricing starts out at $600 on the dv line and $450 for the g series, with both expected to ship in July, whereas the ProBook models will be a bit more punctual and arrive on June 27th, provided you have at least $519 to splash out. Ful PR after the break.
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.
Guess who’s sneakily beating the pack to the title of having the globe’s first 7-inch Honeycomb tablet… why, it’s none other than ViewSonic! The ViewPad 7x (1024 x 600 resolution) managed to leak out earlier this month, but now it’s fully official with Google’s Android 3.0.1 OS, HSPA+ connectivity, and a pair of cameras, one on the front and one on the back. A Tegra 2 dual-core processor plus an HDMI-out have also been included inside a featherweight 380g package. Ironically, ViewSonic’s neglected to provide a release date for this “world first” tablet, but we’ll be hitting up its booth here at Computex for some more hands-on time and making sure to collect that and every other salient detail about the ViewPad 7x.
Nokia has just unveiled a strange new beast of a smartphone. Internally, it’s your good old C7 — 3.5-inch AMOLED screen, 720p video recording, 8 megapixel camera, a pentaband radio, and Symbian as your zombieOS — but externally it’s taken on a lick of gold paint and a rear cover made of real leather. The price for a phone built quite so luxuriously is said to be upwards of €800 ($1,126) before taxes and subsidies and launch is expected in Q3 in select countries across Europe and Asia. Russia in particular is called out as a successful market for such “premium” phones, with Nokia’s Gabriel Speratti, General Manager for its operations in the country, explaining that:
“We have a large number of users who are looking for products with a build quality and superior materials that attest to their success and social standing. In some areas, possession of such premium products is the passport to being taken seriously.”
We have to agree, owning a phone like this will certainly have an effect on your social life, we’re just not so sure it’ll be a positive one.
Brits eager for a taste of the first 7-inch BlackBerry device have just under a month of anticipation left to go. UK retailers have today revealed the date and prices at which they’ll be selling RIM’s PlayBook: depending on how much integrated storage you want, you’ll have to pay up £400 (16GB), £480 (32GB), or £560 (64GB) for your slate, starting from June 16th. Aside from the gigabytes, you’ll be getting the gigahertz too, with a dual-core 1,000MHz TI OMAP4430 processor keeping the PlayBook’s insides warm and its outsides responsive. Availability will be widespread, with Carphone Warehouse, Phones 4u, and Best Buy UK having already announced they’ll be stocking the tablet. You can even hit up the source link now and lay down some cash to secure your pre-order.
“One OS that runs everywhere.” There you have it, folks! Google intends to meld its Honeycomb tablet wares and Gingerbread smartphone software into one delicious Ice Cream Sandwich. Maybe that’s why the “sandwich” bit is in the name, eh? Either way, it’ll be a universal OS that runs on everything from teeny tiny Android phones to 10-inch tablets and will intelligently adapt to each form factor with things like a resizable status bar. Some other fancy new additions were demonstrated during Google’s I/O 2011 keynote, including face-tracking and camera focus shifting based on voice recognition, but most of the salient details remain under lock and key for now. We’ll be sure to dig around Mountain View campus fridges in search for more clues about the next major iteration of Android.
36 OEMs, 215 carriers, 450,000 Android developers all over the world, Google wants to say “thank you!” Android has recently crossed its 100 millionth activation milestone, and is also growing at its fastest pace yet: 400,000 devices activated each and every day. There are now 200,000 Android applications in the Market, which have accumulated a total of 4.5 billion installs, at a rate which Google actually says is accelerating. These figures have all been cited as a way to illustrate Google’s mobile momentum, which is evidently not even thinking about slowing down.
It was pretty much known about since last night, but Microsoft and Skype have now obliterated any lingering doubt in the matter: the Redmond-based software giant will acquire the internet telephony company for a cool $8.5 billion in cash. Xbox and Kinect support are explicitly mentioned in the announcement of this definitive agreement, as is Windows Phone integration — both the gaming and mobile aspects being presumably key incentives for Microsoft to acquire Skype. Importantly, this purchase shouldn’t affect Skypers outside of the Microsoft ecosystem, as Steve Ballmer’s team promises to continue “to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms.” Skype was first sold for a relative bargain at $2.5b to eBay in 2005, who in turn sold most of it off to Silver Lake in 2009 at an overall valuation of $2.75b, and now Redmond is concluding proceedings by tripling those earlier prices and offering Skype a permanent home. A new Microsoft Skype Division will now be opened up to accommodate the newcomers, with current Skype CEO Tony Bates becoming president of that operation and reporting directly to Ballmer. The deal is expected to close by the end of this year and you can read Microskype’s full announcement after the break.
A VGA resolution on a 2.46-inch display equals 326ppi. Talk about pixel density! Nokia’s Symbian “Anna” update has found itself a delightful little carrier to market in the new E6. This business-centric device touts awesome battery life, with up to a month of standby time, features both a touchscreen and a portrait QWERTY keyboard, and will be targetting E71 / E72 upgraders, BlackBerry lovers and, evidently, pixel density enthusiasts. Shipping in Q2. Full press release, video, and specs can be found after the break.
1,024 total CUDA cores, 94 ROPs, and 3GB of GDDR5 RAM on board. Yup, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 is indeed a pair of GTX 580 chips spliced together, however power constraints have meant that each of those chips is running at a tamer pace that their single-card variant. The core clock speed is down to 607MHz, shaders are only doing 1.2GHz, and the memory clocks in at 3.4GHz. Still, there’s a ton of grunt under that oversized shroud and reviewers have put it to the test against AMD’s incumbent single-card performance leader, the Radeon HD 6990. Just like the GTX 590, it sports a pair of AMD’s finest GPUs and costs a wallet-eviscerating $699. Alas, after much benchmarking, testing, and staring at extremely beautiful graphics, the conclusion was that AMD retains its title. But only just. And, as Tech Report points out, the GTX 590 has a remarkably quiet cooler for a heavy duty pixel pusher of its kind. Dive into the reviews below to learn more, or check the new card out on video after the break.