Had enough Samsung this morning? Well, how about a little more Samsung, then. Also on the company’s laundry list of new devices is the Wave, which was announced earlier this week. The Wave 3 is the highest end of the three new devices carrying that name, packing a zippy 1.4GHz processor, which seems to handle tasks with ease. Like most of the rest of the products introduced here at IFA, the screen is the centerpiece of the device, a brilliant 4-inch WVGA unit. Also like the rest of Samsung’s handsets, the hardware is really terrific on the Wave, glossy screen complimenting a brushed aluminum back.
The handset runs Bada 2.0, which means that we’re not likely to be seeing the thing in the US any time in the near future — Samsung has largely backed away from US support for the mobile operating system, though it promises to expand its selection of applications from third-party app developers. Also new on the software front is ChatON, a mobile messaging service which we were unfortunately unable to give a spin here in Berlin.
Samsung Wave 3 hands-on
As if showing up in two of the first four reference devices for Windows on ARM wasn’t enough of an achievement for NVIDIA’s quad-core Kal-El superchip, it decided to visit us in person here at Computex to demonstrate its splendid graphical prowess. Running Android 3.1 on a 10-inch WVGA screen, it gave us a first-hand look at the Glow Ball demo that wowed us in video form just a couple of days ago. What we saw on the dev tablet before us was no less impressive; lighting was being rendered in real time and scattering all over a multiplicity of surfaces, while the cloth simulation was, to use a terrible pun, silky smooth. NVIDIA also ran us through a sightseeing tour of the Unreal Development Kit and Lost Planet 2, noting that the PC game took only a couple of months to port over to work on the Kal-El architecture. Unfortunately, no new details were forthcoming about when Kal-El devices might be coming or what developers we should expect to see coding games and other content to exploit the platform’s evidently mighty capabilities. For now, we’ll just have to sate ourselves with the video after the break.
It wasn’t that long ago that we were jonesing for a Nexus One on Verizon. What HTC gave us instead was the Droid Incredible, with the same 1GHz Snapdragon CPU and gorgeous 3.7-inch AMOLED display — not to mention a better camera (8 megapixel vs. five), 8GB of built-in flash storage, an optical trackpad, HTC’s Sense UI on top of Eclair, and a dash of funky industrial design. The Incredible was an impressive phone with a lovely camera, marred only by questionable battery life and lack of supply, forcing HTC to build a Super LCD-equipped model to satisfy demand. Judging by the popularity of the Incredible, it came as no surprise that following HTC’s announcement at MWC, the Incredible S eventually became Verizon’s Droid Incredible 2. With a 4-inch Super LCD display, global CDMA / GSM radio, front-facing camera, updated internals (including 768 MB of RAM), trick capacitive buttons, and a Froyo-flavored serving of Sense, the Incredible 2 seems like a worthy successor to last year’s Incredible. Does it live up to our expectations or is it just another fish in the crowded sea of Android? Does it significantly improve upon the original formula or is it merely a refresh? Hit the break for our review.
If you asked us to design our ideal Android phone, it might well end up looking like LG’s Optimus Black. The handset that was once known under the codename “B” features a clean, elegant and exceedingly thin exterior, which is garnished with a 4-inch IPS display capable of generating 700 nits of brightness. There’s the usual litany of added features, too, like a 5 megapixel shooter with the ability to record 720p video, a special G-Key for motion controls, and Wi-Fi Direct for peer-to-peer file transfers. Of course, looks and headline features are just the tip of the iceberg that is user experience, so if you want to know about the mountainous whole, join us after the break for a deep dive with LG’s latest Android phone.
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.
This time last year, HTC had two Android smartphones for the mainstream: the 3.7-inch Desire, outfitted with the latest and greatest, and the 3.2-inch Legend, which was humbler in specs but offered the novelty of an aluminum unibody construction. After seeing that strategy pay off handsomely, the company’s come back in 2011 with a similar proposition. The 4-inch Incredible S is now the higher-end device, while the 3.7-inch Desire S is the smaller, aluminum-shelled handset. What’s curious this time, however, is that the Desire S has exactly the same 1GHz Snapdragon inside it, the same graphics, same WVGA resolution, and the same 768MB of RAM as the Incredible S. Throw in the fact it comes with Gingerbread preloaded and a few new tweaks to the Sense UI and you’ve got to wonder if this might not be the more, um, desirable of HTC’s new Android duo. Only one way to find out, right? Full review after the break.