The selection of devices to show off in the Samsung booth at this year’s CTIA Enterprise & Applications is a bit meager when compared to previous shows, but we hunted down a pearl: the Samsung Stratosphere. The newest addition to Verizon’s LTE lineup is also by far the most unique of the bunch, simply due to its physical QWERTY slide-out keyboard. In fact, you’re apt to find a hefty number of similarities between the Stratosphere and last year’s Epic 4G, as both devices come with 4-inch Super AMOLED displays, 1GHz Hummingbird single-core CPUs and 5MP rear cameras, though the former brandishes a nicer 1.3MP front-facing cam and comes with Android 2.3.4 installed. Verizon’s little beauty is priced smugly between the Pantech Breakout and LG Revolution at a cool $150 with a two-year commitment, and will be available on October 13th. Check out our full hands-on gallery and video below.
We were there, talking you through the entire thing in our liveblog, but if you want a more personal taste of what Samsung’s CTIA Wireless 2011 keynote was like, the company’s thoughtfully put it up on YouTube for general consumption. It features the introduction of the audacious new Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1 models, both ever so slightly thinner than Apple’s iPad 2, with the latter also claiming the title of being “the thinnest and lightest large-screen tablet in the industry.” You can see it above, right alongside the Galaxy S II, which is in itself one of the skinniest smartphones you can hope to buy. Make your way past the break for the full presentation.
Remember that Google Voice integration for Sprint we mentioned recently? Today at CTIA we got to see it in action, and it promises to take us one step closer to our robot overlords — well, those of us who are Sprint customers, anyway. The most exciting feature is that the integration works with almost any Sprint number and device, and is not limited to just smartphones or the newly minted Nexus S 4G. Basically, you can pick your Sprint number or your Google Voice number to be your mobile number, and switch between them if necessary. Either way, this is the number that appears on other people’s phones when you call them, and you still benefit from all the Google Voice perks. See it for yourself in our video 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.
Regional carrier Cricket surprised at CTIA today by showing off a couple new units that aren’t out yet — but they’re in the pipeline for the second quarter, which the company points out is coming “very soon.” First up is the Huawei Ascend 2, which — you guessed it — would be the follow-on to the original Ascend that the company launched last year. The display’s still HVGA; WVGA obviously would’ve been nice, but Cricket is promising to launch it at the same sub-$150 price point as the first model and it’s got a 5 megapixel camera around back (up from 3.2 before).
Next up, the Indulge is pretty much the same midrange QWERTY Android slider that already launched on MetroPCS, albeit with one big difference: this one has no LTE compatibility (Cricket has no live LTE network, after all). As with the Ascend 2, we would’ve preferred a WVGA display — this one’s just HVGA — and the four physical buttons up front seem a bit out of style, but Cricket’s still in a position where any new Android hardware is a very good thing. Look for it to launch for under $350 — off contract, of course.
AT&T showed off a new 3D set today, the LG Thrill 4G — also known as the LG Optimus 3D — and as we’ve seen before, the 3D glasses-free display is quite fun. The final device design and Android 2.2 software were not final — so this could all change by the time it launches in the next couple months — but it will ship with 2.2 and not the Gingerbread we’re seeing so much of lately. With Sprint’s launch of the EVO 3D just a couple hours ago, we’re thinking 3D in handsets may not be a passing trend. The video samples seen during the demo — which, sadly, you’ll not be able to enjoy in all their three-dimensional glory — are a pretty convincing argument for just how impressive this tech has gotten in such a short time. Enjoy the goods.
HTC’s HD7 was certainly one of the most handsome devices to be launched back at Windows Phone 7′s retail introduction late last year — and really, when you take the HD2′s heritage as your starting point, it’s hard to go wrong. Of course, in the last year and a half, mobile display technology has advanced by leaps and bounds — and the original HD7 was using nothing more than a standard, old-school TFT LCD with less-than-perfect contrast and viewing angle specs. Well, that’s where the HD7S comes into play: the “S” in the name presumably stands for Super LCD, the newer type of display that HTC’s been using on recent 4.3-inch models like the Thunderbolt. It’s quite pretty, but otherwise, it’s the same HD7 as usual — and really, considering how nice this hardware is, that’s just alright by us. The phone also comes with the so-called “NoDo” update of Windows Phone 7 preinstalled, a fact we were able to verify with a quick look of the version number being reported in system settings. Check it out in the gallery!
Well, if you were keeping abreast of the happenings at Mobile World Congress, then Sprint’s EVO View 4G launched today at CTIA may seem pretty familiar to the HTC Flyer you saw there. These two HTC devices are essentially the same, with just a couple of minor cosmetic differences and some UI changes shown in the video that follows. We’re still not completely sure about the Scribe pen, though it certainly is an entertaining thing to play with. The Evernote app makes great use of the stylus allowing images to be scribbled on and saved, notes recorded — with voice and your text input — and of course everything can be shared. We’re not massive humans here at Engadget, and we’re happy to report that the device can still stay planted fairly comfortably in hand. A standout amenity is the ability to drop apps from the lockscreen onto a small target, and have that app open immediately rather than having to go find it once you’ve unlocked the device. All this and more is just below the fold.
We’ve just put our paws on the EVO 3D for the first time, and what struck us immediately is that it’s not as beefy, bulky, or overwhelming as the 4.3-inch display or specs might have you believe — if you’re familiar with the EVO 4G, you’ll feel right at home here (and you might even be pleasantly surprised). The screen’s stereoscopic 3D effect is about as good as what we’ve seen on the Optimus 3D in the past — very good head-on with decreasing effectiveness as you move your head to the side. The 2D / 3D switch along the side is for the camera, not the display; it seems that all management of the screen’s capabilities is managed in software alone. Check out the shots in the gallery below; now if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to go play with this monster some more!
Naturally, one of the first things you need to do when you get your hands on an EVO 3D, of course, is pit it in brutal battle with its progenitor, the original EVO 4G — a phone that was introduced at this exact same event a year ago. As we’d mentioned in our hands-on, we immediately noticed that the EVO 3D didn’t feel particularly heavy or bulky in the hand; in fact, we would’ve guessed that it was a bit lighter than the 4G. Well, turns out they’re almost exactly the same weight — holding the two one right after the other, we couldn’t detect a difference.
As for dimensions, the 4G is actually wider — the 3D’s quite a bit more manageable when you’re holding it, especially if you don’t have giant paws — and they’re right around the same thickness. Pretty amazing that HTC was able to pack this much additional heat into a phone one year after the first model without adding any bulk, isn’t it? Science!
Sprint has stopped playing coy about one of the worst-leaked devices in recent memory and has at long last made it official. The EVO View 4G is a 7-inch, 1024 x 600 Android tablet with a 1.5GHz processor, 5 megapixel rear- and 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, a WiMAX radio, and HTC’s loving application of Sense for a UI. If all this sounds familiar, it’ll be because we’re really talking about HTC’s Flyer tablet, introduced at last month’s MWC, and just like it, the EVO View will also feature the HTC Scribe capacitive stylus. The Evo View 4G will ship with 32GB of storage “this summer.” You’ll now find the full press release and spec sheet (including a healthy gigabyte of RAM and a 4000mAh battery) after the break, and some preliminary shots below. Full hands-on to come!
We reported the rumors, we spied it on the show floor at CTIA yesterday, and T-Mobile finally announced it this morning. Well here it is now in the flesh: the G2x from LG. The hardware looks pretty much identical to its sibling, the LG Optimus 2X that we reviewed recently, but instead of featuring a custom UI, the software is plain Froyo (Android 2.2.2). Another major difference is the inclusion of “4G” support, which is missing from the Optimus 2X. Tegra Zone comes pre-installed, along with the usual T-Mobile add-ons like WiFi calling. Overall, the G2x made a very strong first impression, and we’re looking forward to getting more in-depth coverage soon. Take a look at our gallery below, and hit the break for our hands-on video.
Update: It turns out the “4G” radio in the G2x is quadband (2100 / 1900 / 1700 / 850MHz) but strangely, it’s limited to 14.4Mbps downlink speeds. Apparently, this also applies to the T-Mobile G-Slate. We’re reaching out to T-Mobile to check if the G2x radio is HSPA+ or merely just HSPA.
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.
Want to know where those next 150 million Symbian devices that Nokia wants to sell are going to come from? Well, here’s a little sliver of your answer. We’ve just swung by Nokia’s swank dinner event well outside CTIA’s convention center grounds in Orlando tonight to check out the official introduction of the rumored Astound for T-Mobile. Make no mistake — this is a straight-up C7 in every sense of the word, featuring the same 3.5-inch AMOLED display, 8 megapixel camera, and 720p capture as the original announced last year atop Symbian^3 — so the only real differences are the T-Mobile branding (or should that be AT&T branding?) tastefully featured along the bottom chin and a slight platform bump to Symbian^3.1, which we’re told features “some, but not all” of the PR2.0 update’s features like portrait QWERTY support and a refreshed browser. Interestingly, the carrier will be offering WiFi calling on this one — just as it did on the E73 Mode — and you’ll be able to do unrestricted video calling over Qik thanks to the front-facing cam. Look for it to launch on April 6th for $79.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate on contract (and pre-orders start tomorrow). Follow the break for our hands-on video and Nokia’s press release.
We knew good and well that the 4G version of RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook was on track for a summertime release on Sprint, and here at CTIA 2011, the carrier has launched a newfangled product portal confirming that things are still on lock. For those in need of a refresher, this guy will boast a 1GHz dual-core CPU, Adobe Flash / HTML 5 support, “true” multitasking, rear- and front-facing HD video cameras and a price that’s still to be determined. What’s most interesting here, however, is the dearth of information about a WiFi-only version — we’re hoping that it’ll slip out a bit earlier than the WiMAX variant, but we’re intentionally keeping our expectations on the low side. No one enjoys a bursting bubble, you know?
For a while, it seemed like the 850 / 1900MHz 3G version of the Nexus S that’d work on AT&T, Bell, Telus, and Rogers would be the next one to show up, but Sprint ended up emerging as the frontrunner more recently — and now it’s official. The Nexus S 4G stays true to the T-Mobile-flavored original, offering an unfettered stock Gingerbread experience; it’s fractions of a millimeter thicker and a couple grams heavier, but the real change is inside where you’ll find both CDMA / EV-DO and WiMAX radios — hence the “4G” in the name. There’ll be a menu option for turning WiMAX on and off — good for those times when you value battery life over breakneck browsing speeds — and considering Sammy’s prior experience rolling the Epic 4G for Sprint, we’re cautiously optimistic that the Nexus S hardware will make the transition from GSM with minimum pain. The new version will be available “this spring” for $199.99; follow the break for Samsung’s full press release.
LG, you big tease! T-Mobile must be feeling a tinge of regret for hooking up with the Korean hardware manufacturer lately, as TmoNews reports both the G-Slate tablet and a new G2X smartphone (believed to be the US moniker for the Optimus 2X) won’t be coming Stateside for at least another month. Neither will be exactly late, mind you, since both feature dual-core Tegra 2 chips and the G-Slate runs Google’s freshest Honeycomb software, however a launch date of April 20th does put LG a step behind its direct competitors. Motorola has already rolled out its own Xoom and Atrix alternatives, while Samsung is making noise about its new Galaxy devices, which might well beat LG’s wares to the market. Rumor is we’ll get an official date out of T-Mobile at CTIA next week, so keep your eyes peeled for that one.