It was back in late October when AT&T released their first two LTE 4G phones, the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket and the HTC Vivid. The HTC Vivid features a 4.5-inch qHD (960 x 540) Super LCD display, 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 1GB RAM, 8MP rear camera with 1080p recording, 1.3MP front camera, 16GB internal memory, expandable memory to an additional 32GB with microSD card, 1620mAh battery, DLNA, Bluetooth, Android 2.3.4. It’s a little thick and heavy coming in at 11.2mm and 176 grams respectively. It’s available in both black and white for $199.99. How does it compare to the Skyrocket? We will do a full review, but for now, checkout my initial hands on video.
With the abundance of Lapdocks for smartphones, the Motorola Atrix 4G for example, it’s not hard to use your phone as your main device for work and business related affairs. QP Optoelectronics looks to add their hat to the ring with LightPad; a folio-style peripheral combines a keyboard with an 11-inch rear projection screen at a resolution of 854 x 480 resolution through the built in pico projector. This is only for the first generation model as, future models will have a 1280 x 720 resolution.
This built in projector will also flip to create a 60-inch display and will cooperate with any smartphone that has an MHL or HDMI port. This makes it quite useful for business folk who may have to give a presentation or two and don’t want to lug around an extra laptop. While we aren’t able to play with this hands on yet, it debuts at CES 2012, we have a video that will demo some of it’s features. Check it out after the break, and let us know, is this something that would be useful to you?
‘Tis the season for giving and it appears that Google knows this and is doing it in style. Google is giving their employees customized versions of the Galaxy Nexus as a Christmas gift. The device has been outfitted with customized back covers toting various Google+ and Android icons. The back, as seen by Google’s Edu Pereda, a software engineer, is shown below.
Both Google’s London and Zurich offices are confirmed as giving out these devices to employees but they are required to line up and claim their gifts. As you can see from the photo below, the lines are fairly long.
There isn’t confirmation on if anyone at the U.S. offices has received their upgraded treat yet, but you can bet that they will be sometime here shortly. I do have to say that it would be neat to have the customized back on the phone. I have no idea if there is any other customization’s to the software or hardware. All I know is, employee’s at Google are receiving a really amazing phone for a really amazing price.
A week ago we noticed the LTE version of the Galaxy Tab 7.7 pop up in Verizon’s inventory system and now we are seeing the device pass through the FCC. According to the FCC report this new tablet should be pretty much the same as the Wi-Fi version except for the addition of the 4G LTE and CDMA bands. The tab sports a 1280 x 800 Super AMOLED display with 1080p HD playback, dual-core 1.4GHz processor, 3MP camera and runs Android 3.2 Honeycomb. » Read the rest
Today’s a great day if you use GetJar Gold. The company has announced a collaborative effort with developer 10tons Ltd. where gamers can get the full version of Joining Hands for free. In case you’re not familiar this is a puzzle-based game. The creatures in game are called Peablins, little forest creatures who wish to make the world a brighter place by joining hands with everyone. You’ll get to see the sweet graphics highlighting the fantasy world of Whispering Woods across no less than 100 levels. If you have GetJar Gold, definitely give the game a shot if you have some time to spare– you won’t regret it.
Huawei and Cricket just released the Mercury just in time for the Holidays. This one has some pretty decent specs for $249.99.
Full specs include:
- 1.4Ghz Processor
- 4″ (854 x 480) Touchscreen
- Email application for both consumer and business email
- 8.0 MP AF HD rear camera/camcorder
- VGA Front Camera
- 2GB Internal Memory
- Real Web Browsing at 3G speeds
- Wi-Fi Capable
- Stereo Bluetooth
- Mobile Hotspot (i.e. Tethering); supports up to 5 devices
- Support for Google Mobile™ Services – Gmail™, Google Maps™ with 3D maps and free turn-by-turn navigation, Google Earth™, Movie Studio, YouTube, access to more than 300,000 apps, millions of eBooks, thousands of movies to rent from Android Market
This isn’t half bad considering you can get unlimited talk and long distance, caller ID, voicemail, call waiting, 3-way calling, call forwarding, unlimited text, picture and video messaging, 3G mobile data and email for $55 per month.
Full press release after the break:
When it comes to patents in the mobile world, I’m not sure who isn’t suing who, nor can I barely keep up with who is suing who. Now we need to throw British Telecom (BT) into the mix as they are going after Google for patent infringement.
BT is alleging that some of Google products and services infringe upon one or more of six of its patents. Android is considered one of those services and specifically as it relates to search, music, maps, and location-based advertising. For example, BT is stating that Google Music and Android violated U.S. Patent No. 6,151,309. This patent is “directed to systems and methods for accessing content in a mobile environment where network constraints vary across networks”.
BT filed for an injunction in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware this past Thursday. The damages are unspecified, but could be tripled if it’s found that Google’s alleged infringement was willful and deliberate.
Florian Mueller of Foss Patents is also saying that if Google is forced to pay royalties with this suit or from any of the other suits, they could pass the cost on to device makers. In other words, they would change their “free” Android licensing model.
I have stated numerous times that these patent suits only stifle innovation and create unnecessary costs to the consumer. The system needs a serious overhaul.
We were happy that Google released the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Nexus S, but it looks like there might be a few bugs that need to be ironed out. Apparently some people aren’t able to send or receive MMS messages. Others are reporting that the Google+ instant update doesn’t work. These should be minor and easily fixed. How about you guys? Are you experiencing any of these bugs or anything else?
In other exciting news, there are some very lucky individuals in Canada and the US. Those who were fortunate enough to have pre-ordered the quad-core Transformer Prime will have an early Christmas gift thanks to Tiger Direct and Amazon. The above image shows that Tiger Direct Canada is starting to ship the Transformer Prime to customers who pre-ordered. Further proof below shows they might be able to play with their shiny new toy by this Wednesday, December 21.
We’re also hearing that Amazon is contacting customers who pre-ordered letting them know they expect to ship as early as next week.
What we can’t say is how many of these pre-orders will be filled. Our guess is it won’t be many and don’t expect to see much supply in the retail channels. This is going to be the same situation as the original Transformer release. Most people probably won’t get their hands on one until February. I hope I’m wrong. For those of you who actually get filled, congratulations, and please let us know in the comments.
US Cellular is (finally) set to update the original Galaxy Tab to Android 2.3 from Android 2.2. Yes it’s not Honeycomb or especially that delectable Ice Cream Sandwich, but hey anything is better than Froyo, right? In addition to the standard Gingerbread 2.3.5 features, owners can find among the following updates/improvements on the tablet:
- VPN support
- Google security patches – DigiNotar certificate revocation; Libpng security update
- Remove auto accept of Bluetooth paring for Handsfree Profile (HFP). This vulnerability allows a nearby third-party to auto connect to Bluetooth HFP and potentially access contact data on the mobile device.
These are no doubt welcome fixes and updates. One thing owners should note– you would think this is an OTA update, but it’s not. You’ll have to download the software on a windows-based computer and connect your device via USB in order to apply the update. Be sure to back everything up thoroughly before starting the update. The good news is that Sammy has a pretty comprehensive and thorough guide that will direct you throughout the setup process and make updating simple & painless. Hit the link below for full details, the changelog and instructions on how to apply the update to your device.