Monthly Archives: April 2010

Droid Incredible by HTC Out Now for Verizon– Already Sold Out Online!

So the latest and arguably greatest Android phone (or perhaps even just the best overall phone) for Verizon, the Droid Incredible by HTC, is finally out. And, while not a huge surprise (yet still very impressive), it’s already sold out online! Now don’t worry if you didn’t already order or pre-order your Incredible, as you can still try your luck at your local Verizon store (and if that doesn’t work out, you can still place your orders online, though new orders aren’t expected to ship until next Tuesday 5/4). Oh, and all Droid Incredible buyers between now (including those who pre-ordered) and May 31st get a free 2 GB microSD card, bringing the built in memory up to around 10 GB (it also has 8 GB built-in).

Now for those that we’re able to get an Incredible, what you think of it (is it Verizon’s best phone yet? Better than an iPhone?), and if you didn’t yet– do you plan to? Lets us know in the comments.

And for all the details on what is the Droid Incredible and why it’s so great, see our previous post here.

Pic and info from Verizon.

Verizon Announces Samsung Reality, Teens Wait Impatiently

Boy, if you have Verizon, and you are thinking about getting a new phone, you are going to have plenty of options. Between the Kins, the HTC Droid Incredible, and the possibility of a new iPhone this summer, Verizon is certainly pandering to the teenage community. For those who want a more simple yet solid phone (that don’t necessarily need constant internet or apps), the Samsung Reality is certainly going to be a big contender and with specs like these, you can’t disagree:

  • 3-inch touch screen with TouchWiz interface. TouchWiz allows you to completely personalize your phone through special widgets. For instance, the communities widget allows you to post videos on YouTube, update your status on Facebook, and go to ESPN in a snap.
  • Horizontal slide-out keyboard
  • 3.2 megapixel camera with a slew of editing features such as: single, multi, panorama, mosaic and frame shot modes; and video capture capabilities, photo editing features, including Dynamic Canvas, which supports flash animations in pictures. Y’ know, just in case you ever need to edit entire movies on the go 🙂
  • Bluetooth technology
  • Corporate E-mail, support for Microsoft Exchange so you can e-mail on the go
  • Micro SD slot with support for 16 GB
  • Visual Voicemail, for those lazy moments when you just can’t lift your phone to hear the voicemail

The Samsung Reality is set to come out on April 22nd for a not-so-expensive $79.99 after a $50 mail in rebate and a 2 year new customer contract. However, as with many new phones coming out with Verizon, in order to get the most out of the Samsung Reality, you will have to purchase a 25 MB data plan for $9.99 (yes, on these new “feature phones”– or phones that don’t run a smartphone OS like BlackBerry, Android or iPhone– Verizon has begun adding in the requirement of a data plan in order to get the subsidized price).

So, are you going to go with the Reality? Or will you wait for the Droid Incredible or Kin to come out? Sound off in the comments.

The iPhone 4 is Real

Wow that was quick. In a span of 3 days that rumored pic of the iPhone 4, we saw has gone from rumor to apparently real deal (though until Apple confirms it, it still technically is rumor and could also be a prototype which while looking near a final version, may be subject still to some changes)– even throwing in some more info in the process. Gizmodo was able to get a hands on with this new iPhone, and while it didn’t power on (thanks to most likely a remote wipe of the device by Apple), they have confirmed that it’s indeed made by Apple. How? They cracked it open and an Apple quality machine is easy to distinguish from a Chinese knockoff.

So what else have we found it about this next generation iPhone? Actually, for a phone that didn’t even power on– a whole lot.

  • Flash for the back camera!— Something a lot of us have been waiting for, and that back camera, according to Gizmodo, has also been improved from the 3GS’s current 3 megapixel (they mention how the lens is larger than the 3GS’s, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see 5 or even 8 megapixels, particularly because this will be going head-to-head with some really enticing offerings like the upcoming HTC Droid Incredible for Verizon and the HTC EVO 4G for Sprint– both of which offer 8 megapixel cameras).

The front camera on the iPhone 4

  • Improved screen resolution— Which they were able to tell by turning on the new iPhone, and comparing it’s “Connect to iTunes” screen to that of a 3GS’s. If you notice, things looking clearer and better there, and so we wouldn’t be surprised to see things look better all around the phone. (While a beta copy of the iPhone OS 4 is available for testing, it naturally only is designed for the iPhone 3G and 3GS, which have different software).
  • New design— We saw this in the pix from the other day, but the new iPhone looks to finally be bringing some real changes to the design of iPhones. We’re obviously talking more than just making the Apple and iPhone logos more shiny, like the back of the 3GS’s upgrade from the 3G. The new bezel– or silver border around the iPhone’s screen– is now aluminum instead of the previous plastic (a welcome step up no doubt), the volume buttons are now 2 separate buttons as opposed to one (leading Gizmodo to think this is because you can use one of the buttons as a camera key in addition to the option to tap on the screen to take a pic. Again, very welcome), a second mic for noise cancellation at the top of the phone, and a Micro-SIM card slot instead of the usual SIM card slot (the microSIM as you may know, is the same type of SIM card used in the iPad WiFi+3G, this making the components in the new iPhone even smaller). Additionally, the back of the phone is now flat, and made of possibly glass or other material as opposed to the 3G and 3GS’s plastic backs. Now this means the iPhone 4 is in fact thinner than the 3GS, though it is slightly heavier (though don’t worry, it’s still mighty light). Also, the screen appears to be slightly smaller than the 3GS (though it does have that higher resolution) but there is a larger battery (which will hopefully add some much needed extra juice to help get through the day).

New iPhone 4 next to old iPhone 3GS (iPhone 4 on left, 3GS on right)

In my opinion, this really looks like the real deal, further proven by what the insides look like inside the iPhone 4. I don’t care how great you are at making knock-offs, no one is that good (and seriously, who beyond Apple has currently announced the use of a Micro-SIM instead of a traditional SIM card). This all seems to further make sense with what some of the code (tech talk for programming apps and programs) of features like iChat, which as we all unfortunately know is sadly missing from the iPhones we have today.  Apple is also rumored to have booked the same place where they announced the iPhone 3G and 3GS for early June (the Yerba Buena Center in San Fransisco), which make sense as the time to unveil yet another iPhone.

As I said before, I can’t wait for June.

Video of the iPhone 4 after the break. More info, photos and videos can be found at Gizmodo.

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Is this the Next iPhone?

Rumored shots of the iPhone HD (aka iPhone 4– this pic from Twitter user TUDream)

We know that Apple is working on a new iPhone (both history and common sense tell us that– I mean, Apple has updated the iPhone every summer since it was released, and what makes this one to be an exception to that precedent). But here is something we didn’t expect to see so soon– pix of a supposed 4th Generation iPhone (the 4th iPhone, not necessarily an iPhone that runs on 4G).

This 4th iPhone (rumored to be called the iPhone HD), if these shots are to be believed, is made out of aluminum (or some metal like material), which would make sense seeing Apple’s new love of the material (used on Macs, MacBooks, iPod Shuffles, and of course the iPad), and packs a video for iChat videocalling (YES!). Also noticeable on these pix is the location of a SIM card slot, which, while not 100% confirming (again we still don’t even know if these are even close to what the 4th iPhone looks like), seems to indicate another AT&T or maybe even a T-Mobile release as well, but less of hope for Verizon and Sprint. Engadget has gotten a few pix of the device (said to be found on the floor of a bar in San Jose of all places– and wow, if this is real, somebody is gonna learn very quickly to stop drinking on the job), and it is said to be packing a rather odd 80GB of storage (which would be great but strange, considering the flash storage found in the past iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches are in capacities like 16, 32 and 64 GB so we’d think the new iPhone would double the current 3GS’s 32 GB to say 64, but hey, we wouldn’t mind an extra 16 GB).

Also of note, Boy Genius Report has said AT&T has told employees that they can’t vacation in June. Only other times they did this? The last iPhone releases.

All I know is, I really can’t wait for June.

Verizon Announces the Droid Incredible By HTC

The first thing that came to mind when I saw this: wow.  If you’re on Verizon — between this and the KINs — you’ve got some really tough choices ahead. This phone truly is crazy, a seeming mix of the Nexus One and HTC Desire, taking pieces from both and making one sick phone. The Droid Incredible really looks to bring “the next chapter in the Droid saga” (Verizon’s words, though I completely agree). Just look at these specs:

  • 3.7 inch AMOLED touchscreen— This is a really high quality screen. Think of it like the Nexus One‘s screen– very clear and very bright.
  • Very thin design— Look at the pic above. See the Droid Incredible in the side angle? Yeah, it’s that thin.
  • 8MP camera with flash, auto–focus and video capture— Not only do you get great shots, but this can also shoot full 720p HD (yes, HD!) video.
  • 3G, GPS and WiFi
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • Android 2.1 with next generation Sense UI— As we’ve seen from MWC, this takes the Android homescreen to another level with features like “Leap” (for viewing all 7 homescreens in an Expose like way) and “Friend Stream” for viewing Facebook, Twitter and Flickr updates in one combined view.
  • 1 Ghz Snapdragon processor– To keep everything running  really fast and smooth.
  • 8GB built in memory — with the ability to add up to 16GB more through microSD. The built in 8GB  can hold about 2,000 songs.

So when can we expect this beast to arrive? Thankfully, Verizon plans to release this soon– in 2 weeks, on April 29th.

You can pre-order the Droid Incredible starting next Monday, April 19th. The Droid Incredible will cost $199.99 on new 2 year contract with data plans ($29.99 a month). So what will you choose this or the KIN?

HP Slate – the iPad Killer?

Back in January, we caught a short glimpse of the HP Slate, HP’s new tablet. Last week, Engadget uncovered some “unofficial” specs of the new tablet compared to the iPad. Later that day HP released a trailer of the Slate doing things that the iPad can’t do, including video chatting and taking pictures (that’s right, two cameras– one on the front for video chatting and one on the back for taking regular pictures), as well as:

  • 8.9 inch multi-touch screen, with stylus support— While this is a drop smaller than the iPad’s bigger 9.7 inch screen, the ability to use a stylus for writing on it is very interesting, particularly for use in school.
  • A USB slot— shown ironically through connecting an iPod cable to the Slate, which can run iTunes because…
  • The Slate runs on Windows 7 (with some custom HP Touch software thrown in as well)
  • Available with either 32 or 64 GB of  storage— Like the iPad, just you can also add even more storage via an SD card slot with room to add up to a massive 128 GB! (Though don’t run for that 128 GB yet, as it probably right now costs about as much as the whole tablet, though still awesome for future use.)
  • WiFi and optional 3G for $50 more– meaning that for $600 you get a 32 GB Slate with 3G, compared to $730 for a 32 GB iPad WiFi+3G (this is even cheaper than the 16 GB WiFi+3G which starts at $630). No word on what data plans for this will be like (if they’ll be like the iPads $15 for 250 MB a month and $30 for unlimited or like the usual $60 for a laptop data plan).
  • Output to an HDTV through some sort of dock– so you can share your photos and videos on your big HDTV.
  • A base price of $549 for 32 GB Slate and $599 for the 64 GB model (both without the optional 3G), whereas with the WiFi only 32 GB iPad starts at $600 and the 64 GB start out at $700.

Obviously, the Skype and camera features could make the HP Slate a thorn in the iPad’s side and we will see if these features will make the HP Slate more customer-friendly than the iPad (just as a note: HP hasn’t officially released a spec sheet of the Slate nor announced pricing, things– like pricing– is still very much rumor and subject to change). Check out one of the HP promo videos of the Slate, as well as the leaked iPad-Slate comparison sheet after the break.

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KIN vs. Smartphones—Which Would You Rather Buy?

So Microsoft announced the KIN today (formerly known as “Project Pink“)—their teen-focused phone with heavy emphasis on always staying connected. Of course as we know, KIN is a social phone and not a smartphone like the iPhone, Droid, or HD2. In other words—no apps.

After speaking to a few friends of mine (who aren’t as into tech), most of them really like the KIN and are really considering it for their next phone: it’s got that sleek hardware with full keyboards and multi-touch screens, 3G and WiFi, Zune for music and videos, those high powered cameras (both on the KIN 1 and KIN 2), and of course that deep connection to keep you completely connected to your Facebook, Twitter etc. Not to mention that it runs on Verizon. The lack of apps don’t seem to be an issue when seeing everything this phone does (and as one friend put it with regard to apps, “I’ve got my iPod touch for that”), with the only real concern I’m hearing– and the thing which is probably the biggest factor for this phone, is how much will the data plan and all this will cost (something we hope will be solved by Microsoft and Verizon not charging the same $30 a month that it costs to get say a BlackBerry or other smartphone plan).

Me? After seeing briefly what the KINs do, I’m definitely curious. I personally have gotten really reliant on the apps on my iPhone, and now don’t see how I can go back, no matter how awesome this all looks. It’s a tough call though, particularly if the pricing on this is more affordable (especially with the data plan) than what it costs to get a smartphone. I do though know that Microsoft has truly brought back that feeling that made the Sidekick line so great, and really brought it up to the way we live our lives today (in case you don’t know, these phones were designed by the same company that made the Sidekicks– a company called Danger, whom Microsoft bought back in 2008. The phones are even manufactured by Sharp, the same company Danger used to manufacture most of the Sidekick line).

Now we want to know—is the KIN something you want as your next phone, and if your on Verizon, will you look to that or something like a Droid to be your next phone. In other words, is a great social phone better for you than a phone with thousands of apps? Sound off in the comments.

More Signs of Microsoft Planning to Release Teen-Focused Phones Today

While we are eagerly waiting to see what exactly Microsoft wants to share tomorrow, it appears that there are more and more signs of this being something focused on us. What do I mean? Look at the page Microsoft has set up with regards to the event– or better yet, look at the pic above. Somehow I don’t think this will be an event focused on the businessman. Also, take a look at this– the Microsoft Student Twitter that’s designed for “Representing the Student Experience team at Microsoft–we’re here to make sure students around the world have good experiences with Microsoft!” Out of all of Microsoft’s many Twitter feeds (such as for Windows Phone, Zune, Xbox, Office etc.), only it and the main Microsoft (@Microsoft) seem to mention this big event. Hmm… maybe this is Microsoft looking for the attention of a certain market?

Oh, and one last thing. In the top pic, look at the green dot in the upper right. That phone looks very curiously like the supposed “Turtle” phone… In all seriousness, I know my interest has definitely been even more piqued for this tomorrow, and I can’t wait to see what it is exactly Microsoft has in store (who knows, maybe if we’re really lucky they’ll announce the Courier!).

There will be a live webcast of the event at Microsoft’s site here for those interested starting at 10 o’clock AM PDT (or 1 PM for those of us on the East Coast), and you can make sure that whatever Microsoft’s got planned, we’ll have it covered for you here.

Apple Announces iPhone OS 4– What You Need to Know

It’s here- our first look at the next version of the iPhone OS. Dubbed iPhone OS 4, Apple has once again raised the bar on what smartphone software should be. A lot was announced (spoiler: multitasking is one of them!), so without further ado, let’s get to it.

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Android 2.1 Update for the Motorola Droid Released

It’s been a long time coming for all you Droid owners out there, but Verizon and Motorola have finally begun the roll out of the long awaited (and much delayed) Android 2.1 update. A source discovered the new software when purchasing the phone from Verizon just yesterday, and so it is only a matter of time till all current Droid owners get the update as well.

Just a recap of what to expect in this update– multi-touch support in the browser and Google Maps (about time! And works really well from the brief time I tried it out. Zooming in and out was fast and smooth just like it should be), the News and Weather widgets as seen on the Nexus One, active wallpapers, as well as support for Google Goggles visual search. Unfortunately, other features like the new 3D app tray introduced in 2.1 didn’t make it over here but hey, multi-touch!

Thanks Dani!