While the Optimus LTE’s already made its way to South Korea, Japan and the US (in the guise of the Spectrum and the Nitro HD), LG’s decided to give this dual-core handset a new name ahead of its Hong Kong launch at the end of this month. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Optimus True HD LTE. Alas, the “true HD” part here doesn’t actually mean the phone’s getting 1080p resolution on a 4.5-inch panel (which would be 490ppi; yet Toshiba’s actually done it!); but we were told that ’tis really just a dig at Samsung’s HD Super AMOLED technology — you know, the magic behind that 4.65-inch screen on the Galaxy Nexus and the Galaxy S II HD LTE.
Simply put, LG doesn’t think that 1,280 x 720 on PenTile counts as HD due to the lower number of sub-pixels; and while it’s at it, the company also criticized AMOLED’s over-expressed colors and higher power consumption in “normal user environment” — for the latter, LG showed that its AH-IPS has a more consistent power consumption across varying levels of overall whiteness. You can see the relevant slides after the break.
Just a few weeks after the LG Optimus 3D got placed in the hot seat at our European offices, we’re ready to give its American counterpart its fair share of warmth. Better known in the states as the Thrill 4G, this AT&T device is the latest smartphone to follow in the footsteps of the HTC EVO 3D by tossing an extra dimension into the mix. As it so happens, two rear cameras and some fancy special effects are just enough to change a person’s judgement of the device in a split-second.
We get it. Few people want to spend their hard-earned cash on a gimmick. But like any other phone with a defining feature, there’s more to this glasses-free 3D handset than meets the eye (pun intended). And after peering under the hood and seeing what the Thrill is capable of, there’s a possibility this phone can hold its own against the competition in the same price range ($100 on AT&T). How does it differ from its European counterpart? Does the phone’s 3D match up against Sprint’s contribution? And how does this handset perform apart from that extra D? Join us as we dig through all three dimensions to get to the root of the Thrill 4G.
Have you heard of Evolio? Neither have we, but it might be time we all start paying attention to this Romanian start-up if its grandiose claims of tech stardom prove true. Heralding it as the “most powerful Android tablet” — and the one ring to rule them all — the Neura is a 1GHz dual core Tegra 2 processor-packing, 9.7-inch full HD displaying, Flash-capable slab of Eastern European engineering. Since its been (self-)declared king of the little green robot OS hill, the company’s aiming this market entry squarely at Apple’s iPad 2 — hoping its powers of 1080p and expandable memory can best that category titan. Unfortunately, the company’s proud boast only covers its hardware specs, leaving Froyo to underpower what could be a truly premium experience. A September update to Honeycomb is loosely mentioned, but with 3.2 already rolling out to Xooms, this baby’s starting to look dated. If owning an exotic tablet strikes your cooler-than-thou fancy, get your credit card set to import mode on July 25th. Informational video and its excellent Romanian-electro intro after the break.
The long wait is finally over! Joining the likes of HTC EVO 3D and Sharp SH-12C is LG’s very own Optimus 3D aka Thrill 4G for AT&T, which we first got our hands on back in February and again in March. The specs for this Android 2.2 device (yeah, we know) have remained untouched since we last checked: here we have a 4.3-inch glassessless 3D LCD with 800 x 480 resolution, a 1GHz dual core TI OMAP4430 processor, 512MB of speedy dual channel RAM, a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, and a couple of 5 megapixel cameras on the back that can capture 3D 1080p video at 24fps, or 3D 720p at 30fps. Other tidbits include 14.4Mbps HSPA+ connection, an HDMI-out port, and a removable 1500mAh battery, all inside a 5.93 ounce package. Alas, no date’s been mentioned for the phone’s US launch, but the lucky Europeans will get to pick up this phone first, followed by the rest of the world “over the next several weeks.” Stay tuned while we keep our eyes peeled open for further news.
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.
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.
A hotly anticipated smartphone with a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a “Super” 4.3-inch screen, and a manufacturer-skinned version of Android 2.3 — we must be talking about the Samsung Galaxy S II, right? Not on this occasion, squire. Today we’re taking a gander at HTC’s Sensation, a handset that’s just begun shipping in Europe under a short-term Vodafone exclusive and which should be making its way to T-Mobile in the USA early next month. By beating its stablemate the EVO 3D and Moto’s Droid X2 to the market, the Sensation becomes the world’s first 4.3-inch smartphone with qHD resolution, while also serving as the debut phone for HTC’s Watch movie streaming service and Sense 3.0 UI customizations. That leaves us with an abundance of newness to review, so what are we waiting for?
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?
The US already knows when Samsung will launch its updated Galaxy Tab models and for how much, but that picture hasn’t been quite as lucid over in Europe. Amazon.de is doing its best to dissipate the mists of unknowing by listing the 16GB Galaxy Tab 8.9 at a price of €606.50 ($852), whether you’re buying the version with a black or white back. That sounds a relatively steep price, but it’s not clear whether we’re talking about the WiFi-only or 3G-equipped model. Notably, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 option is also listed alongside its 8.9-inch brethren, but there’s no price attached to it yet. All we can really say for now is that the wheels are in motion and these Honeycomb tablets look to be on their way to the Euro market at about the same time as they’ll hit the American one. Égalité!
As you’ll no doubt be aware, Qualcomm currently enjoys a stranglehold on processing hardware inside Windows Phone handsets. Its Snapdragon chip stars in both Microsoft’s original and updated chassis spec for the platform, but its hegemony may soon be coming to an end. STMicroelectronics (the ST in ST-Ericsson) boss Carlo Bozotti is cited by Forbes as saying that Nokia will use ST-Ericsson hardware to power at least some of its Windows Phones. The dual-core U8500, a long-time Nokia favorite, is touted as the first such system-on-chip to appear, with its successors helping to populate Nokia’s expansive WP lineup in 2012. The only intel we’ve had so far on Nokia’s initial handsets for the new OS revolved around Qualcomm-based devices, so even if ST-Ericsson is indeed going to infiltrate the Windows Phone ecosystem, it doesn’t look likely to be among the very first Nokias out of the gate.
The processor on the new Samsung Galaxy S II is pretty powerful in its standard form, it is a dual core 1.2GHz processor, but that wasn’t fast enough for the guys over at the XDA Developers who decided to see what speed they could get out of it.
They managed to overclock the Samsung Galaxy S II processot to 1.504GHz, and it achieved a benchmark score in quadrant of over 4,000 have a look at the video of it in action below.
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.
Samsung seems to be killing time until it finally ships the Galaxy S II by making promo videos for its dual-core superphone. The latest in a series of ads for the S II spends a few precious seconds reminding us just how excellently thin it is, and gives us a particular usage scenario where that slim profile truly becomes practical. We won’t spoil that for you, though we should play spoiler in noting the barely readable small print above — “Thickness of the device may differ by country or carrier.” So remember, just because you and your pen pal from across the world are both buying a product with an excruciatingly specific title like Samsung Galaxy S II doesn’t mean you’ll both get the same thing. All that said, the 8.49mm-thick version of the device is ready to wow you on video just past the break. We’ve thrown a couple of Samsung’s earlier commercials in there as well, just to complete the set.
The world’s love affair with tablets may have been bubbling along under the surface for a while, but it really got started in earnest during CES 2010. Back in those wild days, you could see 15-inch jumbo screens, TV tuners, and even hybrid pseudo-laptops stalking the tablet area of your favorite trade show. ASUS was there too, of course, though it still believed in the upstart smartbook category — a modernized take on the netbook that relied on an ARM CPU and a mobile OS to extract more battery life out of a lighter, thinner device — and was busy showing off a seductively slim prototype of just such a machine. Alas, nothing came of that Neo concept, most likely because it was relying on Android 1.6 and a Tegra 2 system-on-chip that was then still months away from hitting the market.
With one of the original 5-inch Streak’s chief downsides being that it was considered too small to be a proper tablet, Dell did the sage thing this January and introduced a 7-inch variant in the Streak 7. The newer slate is outfitted with a nice Tegra 2 dual-core chip, 16GB of storage, a 5 megapixel rear- and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, a WVGA (800 x 480) display, and now the eminently reasonable UK price of £299 ($487). Alas, where Dell fell short with its Streak family expansion was in installing Android 2.2 on the 7, which hasn’t changed during its trip over the Altantic, and in offering pretty poor battery life — which might actually be a bit better here since Brits are receiving the WiFi-only model. Then again, if we’re having to praise a device for improving itself by omitting a valuable feature like 3G, perhaps that tells you all you need to know about its viability. At least the Streak 7 is priced correctly and Dell does promise a Honeycomb update is in the offing. You can order yours at Dell’s UK outlet linked below or jump past the break to familiarize yourself with the company’s press release.
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.