The HTC ChaCha
Remember how last year we wrote about all this talk of Facebook actually making dedicated Facebook phones? Well, contrary to Facebook’s denial of such things last year it looks like there are gonna be some special Facebook-focused phones coming later this year to AT&T thanks to HTC.
Today at MWC HTC took the wraps off of these two new phones– the ChaCha (pic above) and the Salsa (pic below), two Android powered phones with as you’d expect, a heavy emphasis on Facebook.
The Facebook loving HTC Salsa
The Salsa looks a lot like any other HTC phone with a sleek 3.4 inch all touchscreen design, while the ChaCha looks more “BlackBerry-ish” with its full physical QWERTY keyboard underneath its smaller 2.6 inch touchscreen. Both phones also feature a dedicated Facebook button on the bottom of their respective designs for one-touch Facebook sharing. One tap of that button and you can instantly share whatever you’re doing– what song your listening to, what restaurant you just “checked-in at” or what website you just looked at– with all your Facebook friends.
Specs wise both are pretty similar: Both have a 5-megapixel back camera with auto focus and LED flash and a VGA front-facing camera for video chat, Android with HTC Sense (including new widgets for Facebook chatting from the homescreen), 600 MHZ processors (not gonna be EVO or ThunderBolt fast, but should be more than enough for constantly updating your Facebook all day. And this lower processor speed should allow for much better battery life so you can stay connected even longer), and a 480 x 320 resolution screen (again not as powerful as HTC’s other Android phones, but more than enough for the target goal of Facebooking 24/7).
The question is though, can this succeed where the Microsoft KIN phones failed? I mean, if the price is similar to what AT&T is charging for an iPhone, BlackBerry, Inspire 4G or Atrix 4G wouldn’t you just want to go with the much more powerful phone and use the very good iOS, BlackBerry or Android Facebook apps that millions are currently using today? Personally, unless there is some special data plan (this is where I think the KIN really failed– smartphone price for a phone that clearly wasn’t a smartphone) that makes monthly data cheaper on these phones compared to those “normal” AT&T smartphones I’d go with a normal smartphone and just use a Facebook app.
But that’s just me– what would you do? Do you want a specific “Facebook phone” or are you more than happy with a more powerful phone and a Facebook app? Let us know in the comments.
On T-Mobile and anxious to make T-Mobile’s latest and greatest 4G phone, the Samsung Galaxy S 4G, your own? Checking each day to see if it will be the day that T-Mobile was talking about when they said this beast was coming in February? Well, you can relax now as T-Mobile and Samsung have today come out from MWC 2011 with some very exciting news for you: the Samsung Galaxy S 4G will be coming very soon to T-Mobile, February 23rd to be exact (9 days from now), for an excellent price of $149.99 with new 2 year contract and data plan.
For those who don’t know, the Galaxy S 4G is T-Mobile’s 3rd 4G phone, and packs a whole bunch of awesome specs including:
- 4 inch Super AMOLED screen— Read: an amazing screen
- Access to T-Mobile latest and fastest 4G speeds– up to a blazing 21 Mbps– really, really fast internet that should be rolled out all across T-Mobile’s network as the year goes on. This is the first T-Mobile phone capable of this.
- Front camera with T-Mobile Video Chat powered by Qik and 5 megapixel back camera
- 1 GHZ Samsung Hummingbird processor— like the Vibrant and other Galaxy S phones. Basically, everything on here should run really fast
- Android 2.2– with access to T-Mobile TV for watching live TV (another first for T-Mobile here).
- 16 GB of built-in storage on an included microSD card— With Inception pre-installed so you can watch an awesome movie right out of the box on that awesome screen.
Yeah, it’s impressive and at $149.99 we gotta say, it’s a pretty sick deal.
For more info on the Galaxy S 4G, see T-Mobile’s site here.
Now this is the type of competition we want to see. This week was a pretty tough week for AT&T, what with Verizon ending AT&T’s exclusive on the iPhone and all– a move that we’re sure led to some people bailing on AT&T for Verizon (exact numbers no ones saying yet). So if you’re AT&T, how do you say thank you to those that were loyal and stayed with you? Give them free stuff of course! Yes, this weekend AT&T began giving out 1,000 (yes, one thousand) free Rollover minutes to its subscribers, meaning if you had for example, a plan with the lowest 450 minutes per month, you now will have an extra 1,000 in the “bank” in the event you overuse that allotment in a month. Very nice indeed.
Now how to do you take advantage of this awesome gift? Simple, text “Yes” (without apostrophes) to 11113020. That’s it. Within 4 weeks or so your account should now have an extra 1,000 available Rollover minutes for you to use (even better, these are Rollover minutes and will keep on carrying over from month to month until they’re all used up). The deal runs from now until March 31st, and yes this isn’t just for iPhone users, we also tested this on an AT&T BlackBerry and it worked just the same.
So there you have it. A nice little weekend gift from AT&T, enjoy!
Wow MWC is off to a crazy start. Today, as promised, Sony Ericsson took the full wraps off the Xperia Play/PlayStation Phone, and wow is it looking better and better. Just as Wirefly leaked last week, Verizon will be the lucky carrier to get this awesome phone in “early Spring” (they just don’t give up at all do they? First it was 4 4G phones at CES, next the iPhone 4 and now this? And it’s only February!).
As for specs? Wirefly looked again to be 100% on the mark, with the official word being that this beast will come with:
- 4 inch high-resolution screen– This fits in with all the other rumors we’ve heard about the phone, and with a resolution of 854×480 expect games to look really awesome on here.
- Android 2.3 Gingerbread out of the box– Yes, this will be running the latest and greatest of Android for phones which is definitely something to get excited about because it’s the best version of Android for phones ever released (faster, updated Google Apps, support for game controllers *cough* *cough*)
- 1 GHZ processor with 512 MB of RAM– To make sure all those PlayStation games run smoothly.
- GPS and WiFi– With support for WiFi N networks and the ability to use the phone as a portable WiFi hotspot.
- 5 megapixel back camera with flash and HD video recording with second front camera for video chat– Just like the iPhone 4, Nexus S, Samsung Epic 4G etc.
- 8 GB microSD card included in the box
Oh, and the phone will also ship with one “legendary” PlayStation One game (title not yet announced), with an additional 50 games available at launch (including Guitar Hero, Assassin’s Creed, and Dead Space to name a few) from a whole bunch of publishers (with some current smartphone games already out there getting special extra levels on the Xperia Play).
Still no price and exact release date– but wow is this turning into some awesome year for anyone on Verizon. New video of the Xperia Play in action after the break.
Well this must’ve been incredibly awkward. Usually when Apple releases a new iPhone the lines start for days and run around blocks of streets and floors of malls. Apparently that was not the case yesterday for the Verizon iPhone, one of the most anticipated phones seemingly ever.
The video you see above is one of the scenes from Apple and Verizon stores yesterday all across the US– lots of anticipation for crazy long lines, few to zero people actually showing up. The above YouTube video (via ojezap) was taken yesterday from outside the Apple Store at the Mall of America in Minnesota, and here’s a shot CNET got of the Apple Store in NYC– both right around the time when doors were supposed to open at 7 AM.
Oh, and here’s the scene at the same NYC Apple Store in the middle of the day (read: hours after the doors opened) last year when the original iPhone 4 launched (Pic via CNET).
Yes, that long group of people almost at the street is the line!
Of course this could just be because of the freezing and otherwise really bad weather seemingly all across the country (compared to last summer’s launch weather when it was a little hot but otherwise clear and sunny) and people have decided to wise-up and have the phone shipped right to them instead (which with pre-orders for the device selling out we’re sure a ton of people did). Regardless, yesterday must’ve been some kind of let down for all those people who woke up early to try to beat these “lines.” (On the bright side though, we’re sure they had no trouble finding a salesperson to help them!)
File this under MAJOR RUMOR. One of the bigger cell phone stores on the web, Wirefly.com, has today published some very interesting details about the Xperia Play— which some of you may know as the PlayStation Phone. And if this is true (which we are inclined to really believe it might be considering that these guys are one of the top sellers of phones online and would therefore have access to this type of info), boy would it answer a whole bunch of questions about this highly anticipated phone. In a comparison post with the Verizon iPhone 4, Wirefly revealed a whole bunch of never before seen details on the Xperia Play including some truly impressive specs such as:
- 4 inch high-resolution screen— This fits in with all the other rumors we’ve heard about the phone, and with a resolution of 854×480 expect games to look really awesome on here.
- Android 2.3 Gingerbread out of the box— Yes, this will be running the latest and greatest of Android for phones which is definitely something to get excited about because it’s the best version of Android for phones ever released (faster, updated Google Apps, support for game controllers *cough* *cough*)
- 1 GHZ processor with 512 MB of RAM— To make sure all those PlayStation games run smoothly.
- GPS and WiFi— With support for WiFi N networks and the ability to use the phone as a portable WiFi hotspot.
- 5 megapixel back camera with flash and HD video recording with second front camera for video chat— Just like the iPhone 4, Nexus S, Samsung Epic 4G etc.
- 8 GB of built-in memory with support for more via microSD card slot
Yeah, if true then it’s pretty solid indeed. Of course, many details such as price, release date and if it will be 3G only or support Verizon’s new 4G LTE network all have yet be revealed, but that hopefully will come on Sunday when Sony holds their MWC press conference. As always, we’ll have it all broken down for you right here, but assuming the above is true and that this is coming to Verizon, what will it be: iPhone 4 or PlayStation Phone?
Sprint’s said their event tonight would be a first for the wireless industry, and boy was it. Tonight Sprint and Kyocera introduced a pretty incredible looking phone, the Echo. And why is this incredible you ask? For one, it’s the first smartphone with DUAL 3.5 inch screens— that’s TWO screens the size of the iPhones screen in one phone! Yeah, wow is right.
Even more remarkable is what you can do with these two screens. Featuring a revolutionary Pivot-Hinge there are 4 different ways to view and use the Echo: Single-screen mode— Just one 3.5 inch screen visible with the second one hidden behind it using the Echo’s Pivot Hinge (see below for pic); Optimized mode– using specially optimized apps such as updated versions of Email, Browser, Messaging and VueQue (an optimized version of YouTube that lets you play the video on one screen while browsing and queuing and loading up other videos on the bottom to play right when your current video ends) apps you can use both screens when open to their fullest advantage such as having two browser windows open one on top of the other or having a text or email open on the top screen and the keyboard on the bottom (meaning you have a keyboard that’s the size of an iPod touch or iPhone screen!); Simul-task mode— Having one of those above apps open on the top screen and a second one on the bottom (as in having a text message open on top and a GameCast from ESPN or a YouTube video in the VueQue app on the bottom. This is ultimate multi-tasking.); and a Tablet mode— having any Android app take up the entire 4.7 inches available when both screens are open side by side (basically, this turns the Echo’s two screens into a giant 4.7 inch phone. This is also what will happen when both screens are open and your running any app not optimized for the Echo’s dual screen). You can even go into a sort-of “laptop mode” where you tilt the top screen up as if it were a laptop. Yeah, this is pretty sick.
Other specs on the phone include:
- 1 GHZ Snapdragon processor— Those two screens need some serious power right?
- Android 2.2— With full access to the over 100,000 apps in the Android Market (though apps need to be specially designed to take use of both screens. Sprint and Kyocera will make available the code for developers to make their own Echo optimized apps).
- 1 GB of memory built-in with additional 8 GB included on microSD card
- 5 megapixel camera with flash and 720p HD video recording
- 3G, GPS and WiFi— With the ability to use this as a WiFi hotspot for up to 5 devices. Yes, sadly there is no 4G in here.
Even without 4G we must say the Echo still looks pretty sick and we’re sure it will definitely interest those who want something extremely different and cool and don’t necessarily need the fastest network. Sprint said we can expect the Echo sometime this Spring for $199 with new 2 year contract and that it will ship with an additional backup battery and backup battery charger (though don’t worry, Sprint also said that the Echo’s battery is “on par” with that of other top smartphones today, so think of this as a way to make sure you get through the day).
We’ll have more on the Echo coming up (including a first look of this sick new phone), so stay tuned. In the meantime, for more on the Echo see Sprint’s site here.
PlayStation Phone fans it’s finally almost here. Moments ago during Super Bowl XLV, Sony Ericsson (Sony’s phone division) let loose an all new ad touting none other than the PlayStation Phone itself, now called the Xperia Play. Not much was shown off in the ad specs wise– but the biggest needed thing we needed to see was, and that is official shots of this bad boy running PlayStation games in some awesome press shots of the phone itself (one of which you can see above, and it does look AWESOME!). Full info on this beast should be coming in about a week when Sony has their big Mobile World Congress keynote (also known as MWC– a big cell phone conference in Barcelona where a whole bunch of awesome new cell phones are announced for the coming year)– and you can bet we’ll have it all covered for you here once more info come out.
See the ad and another shot of the homescreen (which starts off really freakishly) again after the break.
If you haven’t noticed recently, there’s a little battle going on between the big 4 US wireless carriers– AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint– and that is the race to 4G. All four carriers have begun launching their own respective 4G networks and are deploying them across the US as we speak. Now obviously if you’re looking for a new phone today and are planning to buy it at its cheaper (also known as subsidized) price, the one you get with a 2 year contract, you’re gonna wanna get one that takes full advantage of these 4G networks.
For the past couple of weeks we’ve had a chance to take a look at the T-Mobile G2 by HTC, T-Mobile’s first 4G phone. So, what do we think? Read on for our full teen review!