On the same day that Microsoft launched Windows Phone 8 and detailed a hardware lineup, Google decided to announce new hardware along with a new version Android.
Google leaves it up to many third party smartphone manufacturers to develop devices to run Android. Once in a while, however, the search engine likes to inject its own cream into the crop with devices branded Nexus. The next smartphone featuring vanilla Android is the Nexus 4 and it’s a collaboration between Google and LG this time. Here are the hard specs: 4.7-inch WXGA True HD IPS Plus display (1280 x 768 resolution, 320ppi) with Corning Gorilla Glass 2 protection; Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor; 2GB RAM; 8 megapixel rear camera with 1080p video recording and 1.3 megapixel front camera; 2,100mAh battery promising 15.3 hours talk time and 390 hours of standby; 8GB and 16GB storage capacities; WiFi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth; supports NFC and wireless charging; ports include Micro USB, SlimPort HDMI, and 3.5mm headphone jack; it’s 9.1mm thin and weighs 139g; and it supports 3G (WCDMA) and HSPA+ networks. The Nexus 4 comes loaded with the latest version of Android (Jelly Bean 4.2) and it releases November 13 at $299 (8GB) and $349 (16GB); it will be sold as an unlocked device at those prices in the Google Play store. Buy the 16GB model from T-Mobile with a new two-year contract and you can get it for a more affordable $199. On launch day it will be available in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Spain and Australia and it’ll start to roll out to Europe, Central/South Americas, Asia, CIS and the Middle East beginning in late November.
Google is already in the tablet game with the Nexus 7, and today they’ve decided to up their game with an even larger slate to directly compete with Apple’s iPad. A collaboration with Samsung, the Nexus 10 packs–you guessed it–a 10.055-inch WQXGA display with an incredible 2560 x 1600 resolution (300 ppi) and Corning Gorilla Glass 2 coat of protection. Other specs include: dual-core Cortex A15-based 1.7GHz Samsung Exynos 5250 processor; Mali T604 GPU; 2GB RAM; 5 megapixel rear camera and 1.9 megapixel front camera; front-facing stereo speakers; 9000 mAh battery promising 9 hours of continuous video playback and 500 hours of standby; 16GB and 32GB storage capacities; WiFi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth; supports NFC; ports include Micro USB, Magnetic Pogo pin charger, Micro HDMI, and 3.5mm headphone jack; and it’s 8.9mm thin and weighs 603g. The Nexus 10 too comes preinstalled with Jelly Bean 4.2 and it releases November 13 at $399 (8GB) and $499 (16GB); these slates are WiFi-only.
Google’s original Nexus 7 slate is seeing an update. The 8GB model is no longer offered; in its place are 16GB ($199) and 32GB ($249) flavors. Available today are those WiFi-only models, and come November 13 a 32GB model with WiFi and HSPA+ data (with AT&T and T-Mobile in the US) will sell for $299.
In addition to announcing a new smartphone and tablet, Google injected new life into Android with the latest version of Jelly Bean 4.2. Photo Sphere allows you to take pictures in every direction and stitch them together for immersive panoramic images; Gesture Typing brings Swype-like interaction to the virtual keyboard; support for multiple user accounts gives your friends and family their own personal spaces on a single device (this feature is limited to tablets only running v4.2); Daydream allows you to personalize your screensaver with photos and news; and Google Now and Google Search have been updated with more cards and an enhanced interface, respectively. For more, click the source link below. (Update: The Google Search app for iOS has been updated with improved voice search that rivals Siri. Download here, video demo after the break.)
And just like that, Google has their very own lineup of Android-powered Nexus devices in three different sizes. Get a closer look at the Nexus 4 phone and Nexus 10 tablet in the galleries embedded above; after the break there’s video.
The next wave of Google TV products is upon us. In a blog post the search giant announced that they’re building on their partnership with Sony and expanding their TV-centric software to new companies. In 2012, Google TV will run on TV sets made by LG, Samsung, and Vizio, as well as a new generation of Sony devices. Marvell and MediaTek are also working closely with Google to provide chips to power GTV hardware. Though more information will be made available next week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, LG celebrated the news early in a press release. Here’s their plan: “LG Smart TV with Google TV combines the familiarity of Google’s Android OS with the convenience and comfort of LG’s 3D and Smart TV technologies, offering consumers a new and attractive home entertainment option.” They’ve announced that they will ship two “series” of TVs in 2012 that will come loaded with GTV, and they will take advantage of a new voice and gestured based remote control they branded the “Magic Remote QWERTY.”
Stick right here for the lastest on Google TV’s expansion. For a peak into the future, hop after the break to watch Google’s CES preview video that highlights upgraded search functionality and Android Market app selections for Google TV.
Update (1/15): LG and Vizio announced new TVs with Google TV baked in, and Sony (also on cue) unveiled their next generation of Google TV products including a new Blu-ray player and a network streaming device. Pricing and release dates for all of these GTV-infused products haven’t been made final. When they are I’ll go more into detail about the individual hardware units.
In early January at CES 2011 Motorola and T-Mobile took their respective stages to announce the upcoming Honeycomb-powered tablets. While Moto’s Xoom was almost fully fleshed out (exact release date and price are still up in the air), T-Mobile did not provide any details surrounding LG’s G-Slate besides saying it will be the “first 4G Android 3.0 powered tablet.” Well I happy to report that since then both the carrier and the manufacturer of the mysterious tablet have come out with hard specs and a release window. Lets get to it. The G-Slate (otherwise known as the LG Optimus Pad across the pond) packs a 8.9-inch (1280×768 WXGA) multitouch display and runs on a 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor. Other specs include 32GB of internal memory, built-in WiFi, gyroscope, accelerometer, and adaptive lighting, and Adobe Flash support. But don’t let me bore you to death; the G-Slate features something the other Honeycomb launch tablets don’t have–2 cameras at the rear for stereoscopic 3D video recording. Working together the two rear-facing camera can capture 1080p HD content that can be viewed on the slate itself (the display is in fact 3D-capable, limited to 720p HD, however) and 3D video (in 1080p resolution) can be pumped out to an external 3D-capable HDTV through HDMI output. One of the rear cameras doubles as a 5 megapixel camera for standard photo capture (with flash) and there’s a third 2 megapixel front-facing camera for video chat. It’s important (and rather unfortunate) to note that pesky glasses are required to view 3D content on the slate’s display. Oh well–but it still remains a differentiating factor when it comes to making a purchasing decision between this, the Xoom, and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1.
The G-Slate will release this spring (likely in March) exclusively on T-Mobile’s network in the States, and as mentioned before it will take advantage of T Mo’s “4G” HSPA+ speeds. To end things on an even brighter note, the slate’s expected to ship as a Google Experience device, meaning it will come preloaded with a fresh version of Honeycomb, free of any LG and T-Mobile bloatware. Cheers to that! Pics below, video and PR after the break.
Hint: It’s not an Inception/Toy Story mashup, although it might seem like it. Find the answer after the break.
Motorola and T-Mobile were downright giddy to announce their upcoming tablet devices at CES 2011. That’s because they are excited to bring Honeycomb, Google’s latest iteration of Android built entirely for tablets, to salivating consumers. Since I already detailed Honeycomb, I think it’d be best to simply jump into specs talk. Let’s start with the Motorola Xoom since there’s far more information about this product out there. The Xoom features a 10.1 inch (1280×800) screen and packs NVIDIA’s latest Tegra 2 1GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of DDR2 RAM. There’s a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera with dual LED flash and a 2 megapixel front-facing camera; support for 720p video recording and 1080p video playback; 32GB of onboard storage that’s expandable with SD card support; 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth; and ports include HDMI out, micro USB 2.0, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. There’s also a built-in gyroscope, barometer, e-compass, accelerometer and adaptive lighting. It will ship with 3G support and eventually gain 4G LTE support on Verizon’s network. As far as battery life is concerned, Moto’s only saying that it supports up to 10 hours of video playback. Note that the Xoom does not pack physical buttons. With Honeycomb, Google no longer requires hardware manufacturers to include buttons along the rim of their devices. What used to be buttons are now illuminated icons that can be made visible on the device in landscape or portrait modes. Motorola says they’ll ship the sexy Xoom tablet as a 3G/Wi-Fi-enabled device in Q1 2011 (we’re in that quarter now, so soon!) and they promise these devices will be upgradeable 4G LTE in Q2. Also in Q2 Moto will introduce an all-out 4G LTE/Wi-Fi- enabled Xoom. According to recent reports, a strictly WiFi-enabled version will also debut in the Spring. The Xoom looks like it’s going to be a hot item when it ships; a speedy Tegra 2 processor and the tablet-optimized Honeycomb OS marriage will surely make for an enjoyable mobile experience.
An honorable mention goes to the T-Mobile G-Slate because it is just one of the few tablets announced at CES 2011 that promises to run Honeycomb when it releases. T-Mobile has partnered with LG to make the hardware. Aside for it being the “first 4G Android 3.0 powered tablet” from T-Mobile, we know nothing else about it really. At the press event T-Mobile and LG execs held up the mystery tablet, and it look like standard fare–a black slate. We’ll have to wait for a more detailed announcement in the coming weeks.
Look in the gallery below for close-ups of the Motorola Xoom, and hop after the break to read some PR and watch a couple introductory product videos.
Just one week ago three Windows Phone 7 powered devices hit the U.S. market–the Samsung Focus and HTC Surround found a home in AT&T and the HTC HD7 teamed with T-Mobile. Today the LG Quantum rounds out the AT&T trifecta of WP7 launch devices. Nothing crazy here: 3.5 inch display, 1GHz processor, full slide-out horizontal QWERTY keyboard, 5 megapixel camera with auto-focus, flash, 16GB of built-in storage, and 720p HD video recording, and DLNA streaming support. Plus 10 free apps will be waiting for you to download; they’re available through the LG app store within the Windows Phone Marketplace. All this for $199.99 on a new two-year contract. Shipping today. Full PR after the break.
Windows Phone 7: 10 devices, 4 launch hardware partners, 60 mobile carriers in over 30 countries worldwide; coming 10/21 in Europe & Asia, early November in U.S.
Today Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took the stage in New York City to reveal the final details surrounding the launch of Windows Phone 7. Microsoft first unveiled their new cell phone operating system in February at Mobile World Congress; next they spotlighted developer support at MIX’10; and most recently they detailed Xbox Live integration. All there was left to do is reveal launch harware and mobile operator partners and device release dates and pricing. And that’s exactly what went down today in NYC.
Let’s start with the Windows Phone 7 launch hardware partners and the actual devices you might potentially pick up come this holiday season. Samsung, LG, HTC, and Dell are collectively bringing ten new devices that will run WP7. The Samsung Focus (codenamed Cetus) features a 4-inch (480×800) Super AMOLED display, 1GHz processor, 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, and 8GB of onboard storage with microSD expansion up to 32GB. It’s the thinnest WP7 launch device measuring at 9.9mm (or .3 inches) thin. It will launch exclusively with AT&T in the U.S. The Samsung Omnia 7 features the same 4-inch (480×800) Super AMOLED display, 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, and 8GB of onboard storage. It will launch with Orange (France and UK), SFR (France), Movistar (Spain), and Deutsch Telekom on November 8. The LG Quantum (or Optimus 7Q outside the U.S.) features a 3.5 inch (480×800) display, 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, 8GB of onboard storage, a slideout QWERTY keyboard, and it comes preloaded with PlayTo, an app that allows users to wirelessly stream content to DLNA-enabled devices. It will launch exclusively with AT&T in the U.S. and with Telstra in Australia. The LG Optimus 7 features a 3.8 inch (480×800) LCD display, 1GHz processor, 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, and 16GB of onboard storage. It will launch with Telus (Canada), América Móvil (Mexico), Movistar (Spain), Vodafone (Germany, Italy, Spain and UK), and SingTel (Singapore).
HTC is launching five WP7-powered devices. The HTC HD7 features a 4.3 inch (480×800) display (it’s the WP7 launch device with the largest display), 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 576MB of RAM, 5 megapixel autofocus camera with dual LED flash (supports HD 720p video recording), 16GB of onboard memory, built-in kickstand, and it comes preloaded with Netflix, Slacker, T-Mobile Family Room (a note-taking sharing app), and a T-Mobile TV entertainment app. It will launch exclusively with T-Mobile in the U.S. in mid-November and with O2 (UK, Germany, Ireland), Movistar (Spain), SingTel (Singapore), Telstra (Australia), and Bouygues Telecom (France) on October 21. The HTC 7 Surround features a 3.8 inch (480×800) display, 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 576MB of RAM, 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash (supports HD 720p video recording), built-in kickstand, and 8GB of onboard storage. What makes this device standout from all the others is the slideout speaker that features Dolby Mobile and SRS Surround Sound technologies. It will launch exclusively with AT&T in the U.S. and with Telus in Canada. The HTC 7 Pro will be the first WP7 CDMA device and will launch exclusively with Sprint in the first half of 2011. It features a 3.6 inch (400×800) display, 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 576MB of RAM, 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash (supports HD 720p video recording), 16GB of onboard storage, and a slideout QWERTY keyboard. Update: The 7 Pro will arrive in Europe “early next year.” The HTC 7 Mozart and HTC 7 Trophy are two WP7 handsets that will not (initially, at least) not make it to the U.S. market. They both feature a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 576MB of RAM, 8GB of built-in storage, and HD 720p video recording. Here’s where they differ. The Mozart features a sleek aluminum unibody construction with a 3.7-inch (480×800) display and 8 megapixel camera with a Xenon flash. The Trophy, on the other hand, features a slightly larger 3.8 inch (480×800) display and a slightly lesser 5 megapixel camera with LED flash. The Mozart with launch with Orange (France and UK), Deutsche Telekom (Germany), Telstra (Australia) and the Trophy will launch with Vodafone (Australia, Germany, Spain and UK) and SFR (France).
And finally there’s the Dell Venue Pro. It features a 4.1-inch (480×800) AMOLED display, 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 5 megapixel camera with flash, and a portrait-designed QWERTY keyboard. It will launch exclusively with T-Mobile in the U.S.
And that’s a wrap on the hardware discussion. As you can see, all ten WP7 devices are very similar in terms of internals: the 1GHz processor, the 5 megapixel camera, the 8GB-16GB internal storage, 3.5 inch to 4.3 displays, and the handful of slideout QWERTY keyboard-equipped models. Through the end of the year, WP7 devices will be exclusive to AT&T and T-Mobile; this leaves a wide gap in the CDMA (Verizon/Sprint) playing field. By the time Q1 of 2011 rolls around, Microsoft better have deals finalized with the other mobile carriers if they truly want to compete in the competitive smartphone market. Also, hardware partners will eventually have to up their game with better and differentiating specifications and designs if they want to stay relevant. HTC is doing a fine job so far with the 7 Surround speaker design the HD7′s large 4.3 inch display. But for now, the WP7 starting lineup is quite impressive. The stars are certainly aligning for a successful launch.
In addition to revealing hardware and mobile carrier partners, Microsoft also shared some information regarding software developments. Though they weren’t specific about the exact number of launch apps for Windows Marketplace, they did show off bunch of promising apps. They include Twitter, eBay, Fandango, Netflix, Slacker, IMDb, and games such as Tetris, The Sims 3, Monopoly, Need for Speed: Undercover, and The Harvest. AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega was on hand to show off the AT&T U-verse app. The app will be preloaded on all AT&T WP7 devices and will allow users to download and watch TV shows on the go. If you are already a U-verse subscriber at home, accessing and downloading content off the app is free. You will have the ability to manage your DVR recordings, access TV guide listings and an On Demand library. If you are not a subscriber, AT&T will offer a $9.99/month plan to watch TV on the go when WP7 launches wide in November. (Keep in mind, “live” TV is not available; you are simply downloading content to watch now or later.) In related news, AT&T has confirmed that Xbox 360 owners will have the ability to use their console as a U-verse receiver starting October 15. New subscribers can order a $99 Xbox installation kit and a technician will load the software onto the console for you; current subscribers will be forced to pay an extra $55 on top of the $99 installation kit to make the switch from set-top box to Xbox. And here’s one last software tidbit: Microsoft promises a free software update bringing copy-and-paste functionality to all WP7 devices will be pushed out in “early 2011.” Update: In a statement Microsoft confirms that public beta software will be available for Mac users to sync “select content” with their WP7 device later this year. Look after the break for the first two WP7 commercials!
Apple, Google, RIM…it’s on.
LG travelled back in time to bring us the LG Serie 1 Classic television, their latest creation that radiates a retro design. Yup, it packs good ‘ol CRT technology (that’s cathode ray tubefor you younglings) with a traditional 4:3 aspect ratio in a 14 inch diagonal screen. It even comes complete with rabbit-ear antennae, knobs for channel surfing and volume, and chrome legs! LG pulled out all the stops–you have the option to switch between full color, black & white and sepia tone modes. Due to obvious technical reasons the Serie 1 does include a modern digital tuner, composite video ports, and a wireless remote. It’s available for purchase in Korea for about $215 in black and red renditions. Additional images below.
I have some bitter news for you. Remember those delectable images and videos of the awesomely unique looking LG BL40 phone? Well apparently that design was scrapped in favor of what you see above (left) because certain “focus groups” did not like the style of the original BL40 (right). Though it has been released in Europe/Asia, LG has no plans of letting it loose in the States. Gizmodo has the latest info on the new and no longer desired LG Chocolate Touch:
The LG Chocolate Touch is the latest iteration of the Chocolate line, and brings with it some new music features: FM radio, dedicated key for favorites, Dolby Mobile sound enhancements, and an unexpected and downright weird “Join the Band” feature. Join the Band features a virtual drum kit and scrolling 88-key keyboard so you can tap along with your music. Of course, it also offers Twitter, Facebook and MySpace integration, a 3.2MP camera and one-touch uploading. It’s not a super exciting phone like the BL40, but at least it’s odd enough to be sort of interesting.
The LG Chocolate Touch (VX8575) is available today on Verizon Wireless for $80 after a $50 mail-in rebate.
We’ve already seen the BL-40 (or the New Chocolate) in pictures, videos, and even groped with a hands-on. Now it’s time for its younger brother to flex its muscles. Enter the BL20 (also dubbed the New Chocolate); it features a slide-out keypad with “hidden touch navigation keys,” a convenient widget hotkey,” and a 5-megapixel camera with flash. Check out the BL20 in all its Chocolate-y glory in the over-dramaticized video above.
Mobiles.co.uk goes hands on with the LG BL-40. Check out the new LG Chocolate and its slick user interface in the video above.
Russian tech bloggers over at Mobile@Mail.ru have given the LG BL40 some hands on treatment we have all been waiting for. This cell phone looks delectable. See for yourself in the gallery below.
Here are the first official press shots of the new LG Chocolate cell phone (BL40). This is no tease. LG’s latest Black Label device and will soon find a home on a network (Verizon, please!). Although there is no word on official price or release date yet, at least now we have some scrumptious images to glaze over. From the looks of it, the new Chocolate will continue the path to success that its former brethren have reached.
Update: LG has released the first advertisement of the BL40. Granted, it is a commercial for the Japanese market, but it still shows off some of the phones features and the sleek user interface in action. There’s dual screen UI, panoramic entertainment, and look, there’s even copy and paste. Sweet.
LG is teasing the latest iteration of its Chocolate handset. The LG Chocolate series of phones is LG’s most popular and best-selling handset to date. Officially, LG has only unveiled shadowy images the “second generation LG Chocolate.” More information will sprout between now and its supposed August release. Engadget was told: “The new LG Chocolate will be a disruptive force in conventional mobile screens in an effort to maximize usability while inheriting the original minimalist-inspired style and iconic design of its predecessor.” Sounds delicious to me.
Update: Engadget has received word of some specifications from the usually reliable source Tweakers.net: “[The LG Chocolate] will become the first of its kind with a 21:9 aspect ratio display. We’re also told that the model number will be BL-40, the screen resolution will be pegged at 800 x 345, the display itself will be over 3-inches diagonally, the inbuilt camera will be 5 megapixels, and HSDPA will be included.” Check out some additional (and official) images after the break. (Click here for more…)