Why the Galaxy S III is a great phone (but why I will not be buying one)


The dust has finally settled in London after Samsung finally unveiled its next flagship phone at the Unpacked event at Earls Court. After month upon month of hype, rumours, mocks-ups and supposed leaks, the most anticipated Android phone of all time showed its hand for the world to see. The Galaxy S III had arrived. It was inevitable really that, in some areas, the specifications weren’t quite as spectacular as many of the rumours had hyped. We were promised quad-cores, Super AMOLED plus screens, state of the art graphics processors, 2GB of RAM, dual boot OS, 12 MP cameras, ceramic finishes and many more bleeding edge features. The response from the tech world was positive for the most part but as ever there were claims that the phone was underwhelming, not a true upgrade from the Galaxy S II and that it was just plain ugly. I was fortunate enough to attend the launch in person where I got the chance to visit the demo stands showing off many of the news features as well as getting a reasonable amount of hands-on time to make some judgements for myself. I’ll come back to that later.


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Hands on with Gestures by Qualcomm for the Snapdragon S4 [Video]

Qualcomm was on hand at CTIA this year and they were showing off their new application called Gestures. This really isn’t anything totally new since Sony is introducing something similar with the Sola. I have a feeling we’re going to see a lot of this from all device manufacturers towards the end of the year. I don’t see a huge need for this except for maybe the kitchen when you’re browsing a cookbook with messy hands, so it’s nice to have the option. Qualcomm showcased this on a prototype tablet, and it’s still in the development stage. They ‘re targeting a late 2012 launch in the Google Play Store, and of course it will only be compatible with Snapdragon S4 devices.

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It’s been a great CTIA this year. In case you missed anything, checkout our full coverage here.

Hands on with the LG Optimus 4X HD at CTIA [Video]

The Optimus 4X HD was yet another device that LG unveiled at Mobile World Congress. After a few months, it decided to visit the U.S. and show off a little. It sports a Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, a 4.7-inch True HD IPS display, an 8MP rear camera, 1.3 front-facing camera, 16GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot, 2,150mAh battery, and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. No word on if this beast will ever be offered in the states, but we’re hoping.


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Hands on with the LG Optimus Vu at CTIA [Video]

LG unveiled the Optimus Vu at Mobile World Congress a few months ago. I had a chance to get my hands on it today at CTIA. This is LG’s version of the Samsung Galaxy Note. The specs include:

  • 5 inch (1024 x 768) IPS LCD display, 4:3 aspect ratio
  • 1.5GHz dual-core processor
  • 32GB internal memory
  • 2,080 mAh battery
  • 8 MP rear camera
  • 8.5mm thick
I have to admit, it’s intriguing, but it seems too big for everyday use. I’m still hoping we see this beast in the U.S. Let’s hope it’s not wishful thinking. Hit the break for our hands on.

For Seniors: Hands on with the Doro PhoneEasy 740 and Doro Experience for Android tablets

Doro has been making phones for a long time, and over the last couple of years they’ve been concentrating on the Senior crowd. They showed off their first Android phone called the PhoneEasy 740 at CTIA, and I spent a little time with it. It runs on Android 2.3, but it’s completely forked. It has a completely different design that is more geared towards those that want a smartphone, but are totally intimidated by the whole thing. The phone itself has a 3.2-inch (480 x 320) display that slides open to a numeric keypad. At first glance you would think it’s a feature phone, not a smartphone. The rest of the specs aren’t built to impress, but then again it’s more than enough to satisfy the demographic. It has 650 MHz processor, 512MB of RAM, a 5MP camera, 4GB of internal memory, Bluetooth, GPS, and WiFi.

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Hands on with the Huawei Ascend D Quad at CTIA [Video]

Huawei introduced the Ascend D Quad at Mobile World Congress a few months ago and it’s now stateside for a short visit at CTIA. We hope it will come back to the U.S. with a carrier, but no news yet.  Specs include:

  • Huawei K3V2 1.2GHz quad-core chipset and power management system
  • 4.5-inch HD Touch-Enabled screen, supporting 720p resolution at 330 PPI
  • 8MP BSI rear-facing camera and a 1.3MP front-facing camera
  • Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound with Audience earSmart™ voice technology
  • Full HD (1080p) video recording
It will be available in quarter 3 globally, and yes, we’re hopeful for the U.S. Hit the break for the quick hands on

Hands on with the HTC One V at CTIA [Video]

The HTC One V is the more mid-level device of the One Series. It has a 3.7-inch (800 x 480) display, a 1.0 GHZ processor,  1GB of RAM, and a 5MP rear camera. It still packs all the same great camera features like its older siblings, the One X and One S, and of course Sense 4.0 and Ice Cream Sandwich. It should be available in the Summer on Cricket and possibly another carrier. No pricing yet.

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Hands on with Tech21 Impactology Cases and the orange goop that makes them so tough

I have to be honest folks. I never use cases on my any of my phones or tablets. It’s not that I never drop them, I just hate the bulk so I take my chances. I do have to say that after seeing this demo with Tech21, this is the case for me. It simply is the toughest case around. I actually met with them last night at CTIA, but it was so loud that I decided to set up a private meeting this morning so I could get a proper demo. These cases are the only ones in the world that have impact fabric in them. What is that impact fabric? It’s an orange goop-like substance that’s called D3O. It’s a little bit like Play Doh, but a lot tougher. Trust me. You will see CEO Jason Roberts try to injure his finger with a mallet. Will D30 protect him?

Check out the hands on after the break.

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Hands on with iOnRoad, Turn your smartphone into a your personal driving assistant

I sat down with the folks at iOnRoad this morning at CTIA. They have a really unique app for your car, and they say it’s your personal driving assistant. When it comes to driving, safety is the most important aspect so why not use your smartphone to help you out? With iOnRoad you will get:

Mount your device and iOnRoad will recognize traffic ahead and warn of potential collisions. iOnRoad warns you of collisions with audio and visual alerts, even when running in the background!

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Hands on with Smart Online’s SmartOn Mobile Platform for creating your own Android Apps

I had a chance to sit down with Smart Online at CTIA yesterday. They have a unique online app builder for Android (and iOS) that was first introduced back in January. What seems to separate this builder as opposed to others is the fact that they are really working closely with the app creators. Many of them are marketing reps in the enterprise world that have ideas for apps, but simply can’t wait until their IDT departments get the job done. Smart Online takes input provided by many of these companies and adds features as they’re needed, which provides a constant flow of updates. In fact they’re usually adding updates at least once a month. Of course as consumers, SmartOn is also available and quite easy to use as you will see in the video after the break.

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