This is just hilarious. Remember when Verizon Wireless stated rather unequivocally that its Galaxy Nexus suffered from a “signal strength issue” and that a fix was coming? Worry not, dear readers, because the company now claims that it’s identified the issue: apparently, there’s really no problem at all. According to Big Red, the Galaxy Nexus doesn’t suffer from poor reception, but simply reports its reception poorly. To resolve these ‘perception’ issues, the carrier states that it will deliver a software update that “will adjust the signal strength indicator to more closely match other Verizon Wireless devices.” So, whether or not there really is a problem with the Galaxy Nexus (LTE), one thing is for certain — very soon, its owners will have more bars to look at. Huzzah, indeed?
Chinese mobile customers face a similar dilemma as their American counterparts: they have to choose either China Unicom’s WCDMA network, China Telecom’s CDMA2000 network or China Mobile’s more obscure TD-SCDMA offering. Needless to say, this can be a real headache for phone fanatics stuck on a carrier that doesn’t support their desired devices, unless they don’t mind surfing the web on 2G radio (if compatible at all). Luckily, nowadays Motorola tends to take good care of all potential Chinese customers whenever it rolls out a new Android phone, including the Droid RAZR (aka XT910, pictured right) in this case. Read on to find out what these two new phones are about.
This isn’t the iPhone 5. No matter how badly you wanted something slim, sleek and wedge-shaped, this isn’t it. If you went ahead and got your hopes up ahead of Apple’s “Let’s Talk iPhone” event, hopefully you’ve gotten over the pangs of discontent by now, because this device pictured front and center is the iPhone 4S. It’s a new spin on an old phone that will shock none, but give it half a chance, and it will still impress.
The iPhone 4S comes with a faster processor, a better camera, a smarter virtual assistant and twice the storage of its predecessor — if you don’t mind paying for it. Like the iPhone 3GS did before to the 3G, the 4S bumps the iPhone 4 down to second-class status, leaving those Apple fans who must have the best aspiring to own its decidedly familiar exterior. Apple says this is the most amazing iPhone ever. Is it? Yes, of course it is, but read on to see whether it’s really worth an upgrade.
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.
While the world waits to find out what the fifth-generation iPhone looks like, TechCrunch reports an anonymous app developer has pulled information from their registration logs confirming the existence of a new device that’s rocking both CDMA and GSM radios. That conclusion is based on registrations that came from the same device that show mobile network codes and mobile country codes from both AT&T and Verizon. This is hardly shocking however, since the Verizon iPhone 4 already has a dual mode chipset from Qualcomm with the GSM side turned off, and we’d heard back in January that Apple was planning to go the one-size-fits-all route this time around. Who this does matter for however, could be world travelers that will find keeping their device connected between countries and networks much easier with a world iPhone, whenever the new phone is revealed later this year. The bad news is still the same however, as this probably also means there’s no plans for speedy LTE access — pencil in a pithy explanation from Steve about why it’s not necessary here.
RIM's BlackBerry Torch 9850 goes official for Sprint and US Cellular (update: Bold 9930 for Sprint, too!)
What’s a BlackBerry launch without a bit of love for RIM’s CDMA partners? Infinite sadness, that’s what. While the outfit (understandably) couldn’t showcase the BlackBerry Torch 9850 at its London launch event this morning, the CDMA sibling to the Torch 9860 is making its official debut in the US of A. Destined for US Cellular and Sprint here in the States, the 9850 (shown right) will ship with a 3.7-inch WVGA (800 x 480) touchpanel, BlackBerry 7 OS, a “waterfall” screen design that tickles the edges ever-so-slightly, and not one inkling of a physical keyboard. As with the 9860 — which is destined for AT&T, Rogers, Telus and Bell — you’ll get a five megapixel “zero-shutter lag” camera, 720p movie mode, inbuilt GPS and a 1.2GHz processor. There’s no mention yet of a price or release for the SIM-less duo, but you can bet that we’ll keep you posted as we hear more.
Update: Sprint’s just pushed out a full presser of its own (embedded after the break), which also confirms that the Bold 9930 — shown above on the left — will also be making its way onto The Now Network. We’re told to expect “fall” availability for both BB 7 OS phones, but specific pricing isn’t expected until that already-ambiguous time frame draws nearer. As for the 9930, it’s boasting an all-too-familiar design, with a 10.5mm-thick chassis, 2.8-inch capacitive touchpanel, the “widest QWERTY keyboard available on a BlackBerry smartphone” and a trackpad to boot. Moreover, NFC support is thrown in, as is a magnetometer for AR apps.
Update 2: A trusted source just informed us that the Torch 9850 will soon go for $199 on contract (and after rebate) at US Cellular, or $549 with no strings attached.
Too often, “expected summer launches” translate into “the very last day possible,” so we were happy to learn that Sprint’s latest collaboration with Motorola, the Photon 4G, will be available July 31st for the usual $200 on contract. To say the upcoming Android device will come loaded is an understatement: it’ll ship with Gingerbread, a Tegra 2 dual-core 1GHz CPU, one full GB of RAM, a 4.3-inch qHD display, dual cameras (8 megapixel rear, VGA front) and 16GB of internal memory. Not surprisingly, Sprint’s also integrating its signature Sprint ID feature into the user interface. While the device will be available to the general public on July 31st, Premier Customers will have the golden opportunity to get it online three days earlier. If you were perched on the fence about the HTC EVO 3D, this may be the only Sprint phone that’s ready to push you in either direction. Full PR following the break.
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?
Verizon is seriously diversifying its portfolio today with the official in-store launch of four new smartphones. Three of them roll up in Android gear, though they all have major selling points beyond Google’s software. LG’s Revolution is the sole LTE-capable handset of the bunch, bringing with it a 4.3-inch screen and pre-installed Netflix for $250. The Droid X2 undercuts it on price, at $200, but doubles the core count with its Tegra 2 processor and ramps up resolution to qHD (960 x 540). Gaming aficionados can spend the same amount on the Xperia Play from Sony Ericsson, which offers a slideout gamepad and unique PlayStation Certified status. Bringing up the rear is HTC’s well-traveled Trophy, a 3.8-inch Windows Phone that accepts it’s a little late to the party and therefore slices $50 off its asking price, with a $150 levy before the obligatory two-year contract. What say you — buy, try, or keep waiting?
It took ‘em long enough, but it seems as if The Now Network has managed to snap up Motorola’s Droid Pro… just seven months after Verizon Wireless did so. For whatever reason, Sprint’s dubbing its version the XPRT, with the same 3.1-inch HVGA touchpanel, full QWERTY keyboard, 1GHz CPU and Android 2.2 loaded. It’ll go for $129.99 on a two-year contract starting June 5th, but giving that the Pro hit the bargain bin long ago, we’re having a hard time believing anyone will pony up for Sprint’s iteration. Moving right along, the Titanium gets off on the wrong foot by shipping with Android 2.1, and while it’s hailed as the first iDEN device to combine Nextel Direct Connect and Eclair, the G’zOne Commando has somehow managed to show its brawn while stepping up to v2.2. For those interested nonetheless, there’s a 3.1-inch touchscreen and a chassis that’s built to MIL-SPEC 810G for dust, shock, vibration, low pressure, solar radiation, high temperature and low temperature. She’s unpriced for the moment, but the full release can be found just after the break.
We finally got our hands on the elusive Samsung Nexus S 4G for Sprint at CTIA here today and it’s pretty much what you’d expect: a Nexus S with its GSM / HSPA radio swapped for a set of Sprint-compatible CDMA / EV-DO and WiMAX radios. While the Nexus S 4G lacks a SIM slot, it’s actually 0.3mm thicker than the Nexus S — that’s the thickness of a business card, and is meaningless for all practical purposes. The phone also features a 4G signal indicator in the status bar, along with a 4G sub-menu in the wireless settings. Our demo unit was running Android 2.3.4 (!) — a version we have not yet come across — but we were told that neither the hardware nor the software are final at this point. So don’t be surprised if the production model receives a few tweaks before launch. Perhaps a Sprint logo? Enjoy the gallery below, and hop past the break for our hands-on video.