Earlier this week I broke down some of the elements it takes to create an outstanding cell phone screen. Coincidentally, this week is also SID 2011, a conference in LA devoted entirely to display technology. Toshiba's LCD panel pictured above is one gem on exhibit. It boasts a 720x1,280-pixel HD resolution on its 4-inch screen, which gives it a pixel ratio of 367 pixels per inch (ppi). The iPhone 4's Retina Display is the current king, boasting 367ppi on a significantly smaller 3.5-inch screen with a 960x640-pixel resolution, but if this Toshiba-made effort makes it to … Read more
Google officially launched its Google Voice integration for Sprint on May 6, giving Sprint customers the option of getting Google Voice calling features on their Sprint phones with only minimal setup.
Although my personal experience has so far been smooth, others have reported frustrations, including being thrown into account limbo after a Sprint customer service representative accidentally disabled a Google account after changing a plan.
I interviewed Vincent Paquet, senior product manager for Google Voice, over the phone today to talk about Google's challenges during this first month of partnership, including kinks, customer service, and the finer details of … Read more
While Pantech has a relatively modest presence in the U.S., it has a number of impressive handsets in Korea. One such offering is the Vega Racer, which claims to be the world's first 1.5GHz dual-core smartphone. That's certainly a lot of power in a tiny device--it uses Qualcomm's MSM8660 Snapdragon chip, 1GB of RAM, and an Adreno 220 GPU. It's also not a petite handset, looming large with a 4.3-inch LCD. Other features include an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 1.3-megapixel front camera.
We're still in the dark regarding pricing, availability, … Read more
The BlackBerry "Monza" is listed for July 27, and looks to be the first all-touch BlackBerry to make it to T-Mobile. Anticipated specs include a 3.7-inch touch display, a 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor, a 5-megapixel camera with 720p video, and apparently BlackBerry OS 7 (though this might be OS 6.1). It is expected to be less than $200 with contract.
The Monaco is then followed … Read more
T-Mobile is the latest carrier to have its product lineup leaked and, to no one's surprise, it's full of Android phones and tablets.
Customers coming up for renewal between now and the end of 2011 will have plenty of Android-powered options to choose from, as it looks like the wireless provider will be rolling out nearly a dozen new phones and tablets from a variety of manufacturers starting next month.
We can stop with the leaks now, as Verizon Wireless officially introduced the Motorola Droid X2 today.
The Droid X2 will be available online starting May 19 and in stores on May 26 for $199.99 with a two-year contract, replacing the aging Motorola Droid X. As the successor to the Droid X, the X2 ups the ante with a 4.3-inch, scratch-resistant qHD touch screen and Nvidia's Tegra 2 dual-core processor--Verizon's first.
The Android 2.2 device (upgradable to Android 2.3 Gingerbread) also has an 8-megapixel camera with continuous auto focus, and Motorola says the camera … Read more
Google released an update to its Google Search app for iPhone today, claiming that the new and improved app is up to 20 percent more responsive than the previous version.
Interestingly, Google has decided that one of its signature features slows down performance and might erode accuracy. Just Talk uses the iPhone's accelerometer to activate voice search when you lift the phone to your ear, and was quite the stir when it first debuted. It's now turned off by default, though you can enable it in the settings and you can still manually launch a voice search by pressing the microphone button in the app.
In addition, Google has jiggered the search results to make them more finger-friendly. Fonts are larger, and you no longer have to precisely tap a link to open the page; you can just hit just the target area. It looks like the concept of "fat fingered" selection has sunk in.
Google Search is free, and it's available in the App Store for devices running iOS 3.0 and above.… Read more
Editors' note: This article was updated September 13, 2011.
A while ago, I explored what it takes to build a killer smartphone screen--for starters, a highly technical blend of factors like brightness, screen resolution, and color reproduction.
While you probably shouldn't choose your next phone for the screen specs alone, the difference between a good display and a great one might help narrow down your choice between two otherwise excellent handsets.
Already available in markets around the world, the highly anticipated Sony Ericsson Xperia Play is finally hitting the States, courtesy of Verizon Wireless, starting on May 26 for $199.99 with a two-year contract (requires voice and data plan). Preorders will begin on May 19 through the carrier's Web site.
Introduced back in February at Mobile World Congress, the Xperia Play will come preloaded with seven games: Madden NFL 11, Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior, Asphalt 6: Adrenalin, The Sims 3, Star Battalion, Crash Bandicoot, and Tetris. Customers can expand on that selection using the onboard V Cast Apps store, … Read more
(Editors' note: This is a primer for people who are unfamiliar with screen technology. If you're already well-versed, you might be more interested in my colleague Eric Franklin's screen tests, like this one between the iPhone 4, Morotola Droid X, HTC Incredible, and the Samsung Epic 4G.)
I don't know anyone who doesn't want their smartphone screen crystal clear, with saturated colors leaping off the display. But unless you're a screen tech buff, it isn't always easy knowing the difference between premium screens with fancy names like LCD Plus, Super AMOLED Plus, and Retina … Read more