CES and Macworld
There was a lot going on at CES this week, though not too many big announcements as far as new cell phones go. Well, except if you’re on T-Mobile, in which case there were some pretty huge announcements.
Some of the big things T-Mobile shared this week included the unveiling of a new $70 a month 4G unlimited plan that doesn’t need you to sign up for a 2 year contract but requires you to pay more for your phone upfront (so instead of Galaxy S III for $279 with a 2 year contract and $90 a month unlimited internet/texting/calling plan, its $549 with a $70 a month unlimited plan that you could stop whenever you want. This type of plan actually saves you more money over the course of a 2 year contract, but we’ll get into this more another time), and plans to cover over 100 million people with their new 4G LTE network by the end of 2013. Of course for many of you T-Mobile fans, the biggest news of the week is this: T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere said in an interview with Reuters that T-Mobile will begin selling the iPhone sometime in the next 3-4 months.
For those who don’t know, in December T-Mobile and Apple announced that Apple products would be available on T-Mobile’s network in 2013. Of course, that announcement was pretty vague didn’t go into much more detail than that. We still don’t know exactly which Apple products would be available (we assume the current iPhone 4, 4S and 5 as well as iPad 4 and iPad Mini but again, those are just our guesses and it could also be something new), how much they would cost, if they would have support for T-Mobile’s new 4G LTE network, and when they would be available. This statement by the CEO of T-Mobile finally gives us at last little more much-needed clarity.
Mark your calendars T-Mobile readers, you’re official T-Mobile iPhone should be here by the summer.
The biggest tech show of the year is about to go down and we’re here in Las Vegas, Nevada to bring you everything you’re gonna need to know about it. Many of the biggest companies in technology will be here– Samsung, LG, AT&T, Verizon, Lenovo, Sony, Intel, AMD, Beats Electronics, HTC, HP to name a few– and the list just goes on and on. CES is the place where we get our first look at what’s coming out this year, from phones, tablets, cameras, computers and more. CES is also the place where we get to get a sneak peek at some of the awesome things these companies are working on for the future, like the next generation of the TV called 4K TV (these TV’s offer four times the amount of pixels as a regular 1080p HDTV. In other words, everything you watch will look even more incredible).
As always we’ll be bringing you everything you’re gonna want and need to know from Las Vegas. It’s gonna be a heck of a week, so stay tuned!
Though T-Mobile would get out of the 4G phone mad rush going on? Think again. Motorola and T-Mobile have teamed up at CES to announce the successor to their first Android phone together with the 4G Motorola Cliq 2. The original Cliq has been around since September 2009– and if we’ve seen anything over the last two days it’s how quick phones become old– so obviously it was bound for a major upgrade. Thankfully for those who loved the first Cliq’s full QWERTY keyboard and design, it’s still here with a new and improved 2011 spin. More >
Happy belated New Years! After a crazy 2010 (particularly for gadgets– see iPad, Kinect and EVO if you want some proof!) 2011 is finally here. Along with the new year comes the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which showcases a lot of the new tech we’ll see this year.
So what can we expect? A whole lot of tablets and phones to start, including a ton of 4G phones (as we’re already starting to see BEFORE the show even officially kicks off) and we’re sure some other awesome stuff as well such as new PCs, and hopefully some TVs that finally ditch the 3D glasses.
So stay tuned– CES kicks off tomorrow, January 6th (officially tonight with the big Microsoft keynote at around 9:30 PM EST) and runs through the 9th. And while we unfortunately couldn’t make it down to Vegas this year in person, we’ll be following from afar and making sure to keep you updated with all the awesome things you’re going to want and need to know.
(Oh, and for all those wondering about Apple– like pretty much every year Apple won’t be at CES, but don’t worry, word is that they got an announcement of their own planned for later this month/early next month with rumors strongly pointing to an iPad 2 with cameras for video chat and a Verizon iPhone…).
Yes, 2011 is shaping up to be an awesome year in tech, and we can’t wait.
It’s been awhile since Sprint last released a 4G phone– almost 5 months since their last one, the Samsung Epic 4G. Obviously with 4G getting even more popular (and competitive) thanks to Verizon and T-Mobile’s new 4G networks, we expect 2011 to be a huge year for 4G phones– and Sprint of course looks to continue its lead in 4G phones, announcing their 3rd 4G phone, the HTC EVO Shift 4G.
This phone is pretty much a mix of the wildly popular EVO 4G and Epic 4G, taking pieces from both and putting it in a nice, simple design. Specs include:
- A full slide out QWERTY keyboard (like the Epic)
- Android 2.2 with HTC Sense– Like the EVO, with all the usual assortment of standard Android apps like the Android Market, Gmail, Google Maps and YouTube as well as Sprint apps like Sprint Mobile TV all pre-loaded.
- 3.6 inch touchscreen– A step down in size from the EVO’s massive 4.3 inch and Epic’s 4 inch screen, but this does keep the same resolution of 800 x 480 so everything will still look just as sharp, clear and amazing as on those beasts.
- 800 MHZ processor– To keep things running smoothly. Again, not as fast as the EVO and Epic’s respective 1 GHZ processors, but should be more than enough for browsing the web, watching some YouTube, texting and playing Angry Birds.
- 5 megapixel camera with flash and HD video recording– Like on the Epic, though for some reason there’s no front camera for video chat. You’d think (and expect) that since it’s a 4G phone and takes so much from the EVO and Epic that it would have this too…
- microSD card slot– With a 2 GB card included in the box (upgradeable to 32 GB).
- And of course, 3G, 4G, WiFi and GPS
At $149.99 it’s the cheapest 4G phone at launch yet, though that $50 here does seem to be a big difference in what you’re getting when compared to the $200 EVO or even the $249 Epic– with both offering much more bang for the buck in their bigger screens, front cameras and faster processors. And with places like Amazon offering both of those phones for only $99.99 on 2 new year contract (see here for Epic and here for EVO. UPDATE: as commenter kweenb points out, when upgrading from a current Sprint contract, Amazon charges $179.99 for the EVO and $199.99 for the Epic– why we don’t know. The $99.99 price we saw is when buying either of the phones as a new Sprint customer. And if you are looking for an EVO, you may also want to check out Radio Shack, whose offering on upgrade an EVO for the same $149.99 as the EVO Shift 4G), we’d recommend you look there before going for this (that, or wait a couple of weeks to see if Sprint drops the price on this closer to that level).
The HTC EVO Shift 4G launches this Sunday, January 9th, for $149.99 on a new 2 year contract with Sprint data plan and additional $1o a month 4G “premium data” add-on (still required for all 4G Sprint phones). Full specs and more info can be found at Sprint’s site here.
Is this the amazing HTC Thunderbolt 4G for Verizon?
HTC was the first to 4G phones for Sprint and T-Mobile (first two for T-Mobile actually with the myTouch 4G and G2), and by all accounts they look to be the first to jump on the Verizon 4G train. They’ve already gotten preview pages up on their site and ads beginning to appear across the internet (which is where the name Thunderbolt 4G was found. You can see the link for yourself here, with the proof being in the URL for page). And boy, like the EVO 4G for Sprint, HTC is rumored to have gone all out here on the specs. Not only is there that amazing Verizon 4G LTE awesomeness, but the Thunderbolt (also known as Incredible HD) is rumored to pack an 8 megapixel camera with dual flash (which seems to be confirmed from ads we’ve seen on the web featuring this “masked” phone from HTC’s 4G page in one of their classic “YOU” ads. See a pic of what we mean after the break), kickstand, 4.3 inch screen, Android 2.3 (which we’re pulling for. Some rumors say that it will launch with the older 2.2, but with 2.3 out since the Nexus S, we gotta hope HTC puts it on this beast from the start), and a front camera for video chat (all just like the EVO– just with this front camera RUMORed to possibly be an insane 5 megapixels! If this 5 megapixel piece is true and not just some dream rumor, then were talking about HD video chat!).
Throw in additional rumors of an even more powerful dual core 1.2 GHZ Snapdragon processor (meaning the most amazing mobile processor to date– think full computer power brought down into your phone. Not only will things be running incredibly fast, but games and graphics will also look ridiculous!), and we’re looking at possibly one of the greatest phones in 2011, no matter what else comes out!
The HTC preview site lists January 6th (which just so happens to be the first day of CES– 4 days away!) as the day all will be revealed– and you can bet that whatever happens, we’ll be all over it.
A couple more pix of the Thunderbolt 4G (via Droid-Life) and the pics of the ads for video chat and the 8 megapixel camera after the break.
While working on our CES coverage, we had a chance to talk with Matt Howard, founder of a software company called ZoomSafer, which is designed to prevent the urge to text and use your phone while driving.
We all know as new drivers how we shouldn’t text and drive, as it not only impairs our ability to drive properly and puts us and our car at risk, but it also puts everyone else on the road around you at risk. No text, email or Facebook update is important enough to risk your life for.
So what is ZoomSafer and how do they get rid of this urge (which we all admittedly have at times)? ZoomSafer is an app for your BlackBerry or Windows Mobile phone (the Windows Mobile app is currently in beta, with other platforms like Android also in the works) that runs in the background on your phone, and by using GPS, senses when your driving (when it senses your GPS is going over 15 MPH) and automatically blocks incoming texts and other updates from coming up on screen and distracting you while you drive. The texts are all still there, and once you stop driving you can reply back to them as you please, but ZoomSafer prevents it from flashing all over your screen and thereby becoming a distraction.
It will also lock out your keypad to help fight the urge to send that quick text back, and will also even send out an auto-reply for you saying your driving right now and can’t text/email back. If you really need to check to see if you got a new text, ZoomSafer can read you your texts (albeit in a very computerized voice) and even let you record replies to send back. Now you can still make and receive calls, but they will need to be over a Bluetooth or other hands free device. You are the one who turns ZoomSafer off once you reach your destination, and if you are a passenger in a car and want to use your friend’s phone, you can still exit the app and use the phone and text, IM, email whoever you want (and yes, if you’re a driver and want to ignore ZoomSafer, by all means you could).
We know this seems harsh, but considering how many teen deaths are caused from distracted driving (some studies say this is the leading cause of teen deaths) and how using your phone while driving is illegal in 21 states already, we feel this is a very important PSA to mention. The app itself is free to download, though it will cost either a $2.99 monthly subscription or $25 one time fee to use, something we don’t find too bad at all considering what it could help save.
You can learn more about ZoomSafer at their site here. Video of what ZoomSafer is and how it works after the break.
The Lenovo U1 Hybrid, in laptop mode
The Slate PC by Microsoft wasn’t the only touchscreen computer shown off at CES (not by a long shot), and while at CES, Lenovo announced two really cool touchscreen PC’s of their own– the S10-3t netbook, and the U1 which, is… well you’ll see–think of it as a regular laptop mixed with a tablet. Read on for all the info.
Have you seen James Cameron’s Avatar? If you were impressed by the usage of 3D by Cameron to immerse you in the world of Pandora, then you will be amazed by sports and TV in 3D. One of the big themes last week at CES was 3DTV’s in the home and coming this June DirecTV will begin broadcasting a few channels in 3D and one of the big headlines here, is that sports will also be in 3D. Fox Sports and ESPN are already on board to begin showing some games in 3D this summer, though if sports ain’t your thing, don’t worry a number of other broadcasting companies will join them including:
- and CBS
To go along with 3DTV there will be also be Blu-ray players that can play Blu-ray in 3D! The first Blu-ray player that can play 3D was announced from Sony last and is called the BDP-S770 (this is in addition to Sony updating the PS3 to 3D)
And finally, to go along with 3DTV a bunch of new TVs have been announced that can handle 3D. One in particular is the Sony Barvia LX900 which will come in sizes ranging from 40 – 60 inches, and will be able to broadcast 3D in full 1080P HD.
Now, you’re probably thinking, out of all the 3D movies I have seen, I’ve always had to wear glasses, do I have to wear them in my own house? The answer is for now, yes. There are glasses that will come along with the TVs that will allow you to see the television broadcast in 3D, though there are a lot of companies working on 3D without the annoying glass.
Yesterday at Palm’s CES keynote, CEO Jon Rubinstein announced what we’ve been waiting for since the Pre first hit one year ago– availability on carriers other than Sprint, like Verizon. Sprint’s exclusives on both the Pre and Pixi have finally run up, so Palm plans to bring some updated version of both devices to Verizon by the end of the month (January 25th!).
But that’s not all. They talked a lot on the future of webOS, something that’s good for all devices (be it Pre, Pixi or the Plus versions). Read on for exciting details on both the new phones and the new software.