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The Samsung Galaxy Camera heads to Verizon

clock December 7, 2012 20:57 by author Jeremy

The Samsung Galaxy line has been in and out of the spotlight for years, claiming a spot in everyone’s heads as a set of prestigious smartphones. Now, however, you’ll need to tweak that idea just a little bit due to Samsung’s latest product, the Galaxy Camera.

Unveiled even before IFA and flaunted during Photokina, the Samsung Galaxy has had our heads spinning for a few months now. It’s shaped like a camera with its zoom lens… but has just about all the features our phones would have, minus the important one: making phone calls. The rest of the goodies are still present though: 4.8-inch screen, quad-core processor, 8GB storage (with micro SD slot, of course), and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. On top of being able to connect to local WiFi networks, you’re also constantly connected to the network of your choice (AT&T’s model was released on Nov. 16, while Verizon’s model was just confirmed on Samsung’s website today).

The main feature, of course, is the fact that it’s still a camera. We’re looking at 16MP and a 21x optical zoom – just enough oomph to make those Instagram and Facebook uploads look much better than everyone else’s mobile uploads.

So if you’re with AT&T, toss us a few snapshots and some feedback; if you’re a Verizon-type-of-fellow, hold onto your seats, as this hybrid is coming soon!

Sources: Android Community, PC Mag



Samsung Galaxy Note II Out In Stores Tomorrow

clock November 28, 2012 20:55 by author Jeremy

If you live by the phrase "bigger is better" then I'm sure you've been eyeing the Samsung Galaxy Note II. This smartphone/tablet mashup has been garnering attention specifically due to its size - a hefty 5.5-inches of screen real-estate. But now, the long-awaited phone is finally coming out to Verizon stores starting tomorrow, Thursday, Nov. 29. Of course, if you had pre-ordered it, it might already be on it's way to your house! Or, alternatively, it might arrive late. Sad day indeed.

If you're new to the Galaxy Note II universe, then let's go over a few quick tidbits. Most notable for it's screen size, this smartphone is also unique for having a stylus pen. Aside from that, we're sitting on a quad-core 1.6GHz processor (most flagship phones right now are running in the 1.2 to 1.5GHz range) and 2GB of ram, so I don't think we'll be complaining from a lack of power. In the Storage department, we're provided up to 64GB of memory and a MicroSD slot - you know, in case you wanted to put entire folders of movies and music on this (and watching it on this screen wouldn't be too bad either!). There's also your usual 8MP camera on the back and a 1.9MP camera on the front. And what's powering this hefty monster? A 3,100mAh Li-Ion battery, of course - larger than most smartphone batteries.

Overall, is this phone considered worthy of your time? You tell us, but I sure think it is.

Sources: Samsung, GSMarena, phonesreview.co.uk

 

 



Google I/O 2011

clock May 11, 2011 01:11 by author Jeremy

Google's I/O event was held today, impressing the world with the fresh updates and new implementations they've got up their sleeves.

To start off, Google announced that Android 3.1 would be released to Verizon Xoom customers starting today. The update will include customizable widgets, and will allow users to have their device act as a "host" for other devices: for example, connecting a digital camera to your tablet will allow you to import all of your photos, while connecting USB devices like an XBox 360 controller will let you play specific games using the remote. By summer, Android 3.1 will be getting another update to include Google TV, which will have its own section in the Android Market as well.

Speaking of new Android versions, Google's released the official name (but not software number) of their next OS: Ice Cream Sandwich (seen above). They're hoping that this will be the universal OS applied to all devices, including your phone and tablet. While not officially stated, general word amongst fan-droids is that this should help battle fragmentation.

Also new to Android versions: Google has struck a deal with a large list of carriers and OEM's to make sure that all phones released will receive updates for a minimum period of 18 months. While this doesn't explain how often the updates will occur, it's still a start in the right direction. One of Apple's main strengths over Android phones was their stability brought through regular updates; meanwhile, Android owners struggle to get minor fixes corrected within just a few months. See the picture below for just a few of the major OEMs and carriers involved.

Google's also announced two new software services (though this first one was pretty much all but "officially" confirmed): Music Beta and instant movie streaming. Music beta will hold up to 20,000 songs in the cloud and is free (for now - very important note there). Like iTunes and many other media players, you can create playlists, see lists of recently played and play counts, and even offers "Instant Mix" (like iTunes' Genius). Also, once playlists are made, they'll be available on each Android device you own - no need for wires anymore).

Instant movie streaming will have varied pricing, starting at $1.99 for regular movies and $4.99 for HD selections. Upon renting a movie, you have 30 days to start it; once started, you have 24 hours to finish. The real question is how this will play out against other major movie streaming cmopanies such as Netflix.

Music Beta is available now for everyone to tinker with (remember, it's only free while in Beta). The movie streaming app will come with the Honeycomb 3.1 update and will hit phones "in a few weeks" (2.2 and above required, though).

The last two announcements really drove Google's point home - quite literally, too. Android at Home is one of them, which will allow your Android devices to control large appliances and devices throughout the house. This includes dishwashers, thermostats, even lamps. Google realizes that these machines won't have wifi or USB docks, so they're accepting developers to come work with them to make this a relaity. They've already started working on a few examples, such as controlling lights with your tablet.

The other announcement is one welcoming everyone to test and create for ADK, Google's new hardware design. It currently incorporates USB integration, but hopefully will include Bluetooth later. With the ADK, users will be able to control any number of products with their Android devices, assuming it gets a big enough kick-start from hardware designers and developers. At I/O, Google's example was a wooden labyrinth which was controlled by a Xoom via USB.

All in all, lots of exciting things at I/O today. Probably the most famous of these was the promised updates to phones from carriers/OEMs. We've still yet to hear what software number Ice Cream Sandwich OS will be, but we're sure it'll come out in due time. For now, we have Music Beta, instant movie streaming, and soon Google TV to hold us off.

Source/Pictures: engadget.com



HTC Thunderbolt and Kyocera Echo, Released March/April 17

clock March 16, 2011 01:16 by author Jeremy

Two phones that have been teased around the web for a while now are finally getting official release-statements: Verizon's HTC Thunderbolt and Sprint's Kyocera Echo. The former is going to be the first smartphone on Verizon's 4G LTE network, and will be available March 17 (just two more days!). Meanwhile, the latter smartphone will be out on April 17th (just two more days! ...oh, and a month on top of that).

What's so special about these two, you ask?

As mentioned previously, the Thunderbolt is the first 4G smartphone using Verizon's LTE network, which should provide faster download/upload speeds. The Thunderbolt will come with a 4.3" display, an 8-megapixel rear camera with 720p HD recording, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video chatting, and the latest 1GHz Snapdragon processor.

This, of course, should be a power-hog, so expect to charge your battery quite a bit. The Thunderbolt has already been delayed several times due to poor battery life, relating to issues around signal strength. These issues have been fixed, and there's even news circulating of an extended battery being offered by HTC, which will have roughly 2750mAh (almost double the phone's stock battery of 1400mAh). The phone-stand also comes back, just for your viewing pleasure.

Meanwhile, on Sprint's end, we'll be seeing the Kyocera Echo, a dual-screen smartphone that offers "simul-tasking". Consumers can use the two screens to simultaneously check their email, text message, browse the web, and more. During the Sprint event in February, they showed how the dual-screen phone could be used for gaming: The Sims was demo'ed with the top screen showing the game, and the bottom screen showing the control buttons. Alternatively, you could also converge both screens together (not physically, of course!) to use them as one large viewing apparatus. Nifty, indeed.

The smartphones of today just keep getting smarter, it seems.



Verizon iPhone4: Return of the Death Grip

clock February 25, 2011 23:31 by author Jeremy

It's not as epic as Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, but it's definitely causing a big ruckus nonetheless. An article from our friends ConsumerReports.org claims their testing of the Verizon iPhone 4 shows infamous "death group" issue is still at large, and is still eating your precious phone calls.

For those that missed the aptly-named "Antennagate", here's a recap" if you held your AT&T iPhone 4 a certain way, your call would drop. The claims were so frequent that Apple issued an official statement saying customers should avoid holding it that certain way; this response only gave birth to the infamous quote, "You're holding it wrong". All of this was followed with a statement by Apple claiming that it wasn't a design flaw, and that it's just a quirk that must be endured to enjoy the rest the iPhone 4 has to offer. They at least gave out free cases to those who experienced frequent dropped calls due to the antenna.

I know what you're thinking: how does placing one of the main parts of the antenna in an area where the hands/palms frequently are, not a design flaw? Your guess is as good as mine. Several websites made this point, but it fell on deaf ears. It even spawned this interesting picture, which is basically the epitome of irony/hilarity:

Fast forward to now. The Verizon iPhone 4 has just recently come out and yet the Antennagate issue continues, but now under the guise of "Antennagate 2.0" (see the creativity there?). While it's true that holding any phone a certain way can cause reception to dro, the fact that the antenna is located in a horrible place is still a little disconcerting to some people. And although the reports for the death grip are nowhere near as numerous this time around, just be wary in case you do experience it.

ConsumerReports' blog shows that the area-in-question is the bottom left corner of the Verizon iPhone 4.

Your best bet is to just get a case...or perhaps, replace your left hand with another right hand. Then your palm won't alway be in that bottom left corner! (Disclaimer: we are in no way encouraging or reinforcing people to actually get surgery done to their left hands.) Wanted to throw that last bit in there; you never know!

Source: consumerreports.org

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