On Call runs every two weeks, alternating between answering reader questions and discussing hot topics in the cell phone world.
By now I'm sure that you're familiar with the arguments against the proposed AT&T-T-Mobile merger. As critics see it, the deal will put too much power in the hands of one carrier (and one GSM carrier, at that), it will reduce customer choice and innovation, and it will lead to higher prices and poorer customer service.
Those all are valid points, but I'm more worried about something that hasn't received a lot of attention. … Read more
Motorola Mobility Chief Executive Sanjay Jha said he is planning a healthy product lineup including a pair of tablets and two 4G LTE smartphones in the second half.
Among other products, the company is planning to introduce its much-delayed Droid Bionic in September, Jha told CNET in an interview. After an unveiling at the Consumer Electronics Show, the 4G LTE smartphone for Verizon Wireless was delayed for several months to work out the kinks of its 4G connection. In addition, it is planning at least one more 4G LTE smartphone this year.
Jha said he is planning on two tablets, … Read more
I've long been a fan of the well-arranged portrait keyboard. MetroPCS' Samsung Freeform III possesses one of these QWERTYs on its candy bar feature phone. It also has a 1.3-megapixel camera and a microSD card slot that takes up to 32GB external memory.
Features-wise, the Freeform III keeps it simple with text, Bluetooth, voice commands, and a music player. MetroPCS' additional apps round out the feature set on what is otherwise an unremarkable but mostly adequate phone.
Call quality was the real surprise. The phone impressed us with its robust volume and nearly pristine clarity. Even speakerphone calls … Read more
For the past few years, T-Mobile and Verizon have traded the crown for customer care. This time, Verizon has again snatched that title, according to data from J.D. Power and Associates' semiannual survey, which was released today.
Verizon Wireless tallied a score of 770 out of a 1,000 possible points, just 4 points ahead of T-Mobile, with 766. Sprint followed with a total of 752 points, and AT&T ranked just behind, with … Read more
If you're of the school of cell phone design that leans toward messaging cell phones with full QWERTY keyboards, U.S. Cellular's newest phone is meant for you.
The Samsung Character, released today, features a 2.8-inch QVGA touch screen, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, a 1.3-megapixel camera, and of course, Bluetooth support. There's also an onboard music player.
The Character runs on Samsung's custom TouchWiz Lite interface, with three home screens. It costs $39.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate, and is available in blue and gray.
It's true--after almost four years of our Wednesday podcast presence, Dialed In is moving to Thursdays at 2pm PT, starting next week. Don't worry, we'll still bring you cell phone and smartphone news and reviews of the highest caliber, just a day later than we do now. In the meantime, check out this week's show, where we rant about cell phone sequels and trilogies, marvel at the great deal that is the LG Thrill 4G, and debate whether it's fair for Android push-to-talk phones to be a generation (or more) behind.
Verizon Wireless's Android lineup grew a little stronger today when the carrier began deploying 2.3 Gingerbread to the Motorola Droid X2. The 101MB software update features a number of bug fixes and general enhancements plus improvements to existing applications. As is the case with nearly all recent Verizon updates, the addition of a new Download Manager app provides a central place to handle downloads.
Other details in the 1.3.232 update include calendar enhancements, improved copy and paste, and geotagging capability for the camera app. The home screen and user experience also get a revamp with new widgets, icons, screen transitions, and home customizable tray icons.
It will be interesting to see how this software update is received by Verizon's user base considering the carrier's concerns over Motorola's recent Gingerbread updates. Less than one month ago, for example, we heard that the carrier was shelving all 2.3 updates from Motorola over issues arising with other handsets.
Indeed, a quick look at the Motorola Support forums tells us that Droid X users have been plagued with multiple issues since they updated to 2.3 last month. … Read more
Dual-core 1GHz processors and qHD displays might be the bee's knees today, but they'll pale in comparison to tomorrow's Android phones. New benchmarks for an unannounced HTC handset have landed online that point to a very high-end smartphone headed for Verizon Wireless.
According to the NenaMark benchmark scores, the HTC ADR6425LVW, or Vigor, should offer not only a a 1,280x720-pixel-resolution display, but also a 1.5GHz processor with a Qualcomm Adreno GPU and Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread. It's not immediately obvious whether the device has a dual-core platform, but that seems logical given that … Read more
In the 10 business days from July 11 to July 22, 10 CNET personalities chose their 10 favorite Android apps as part of the 2011 CNET 100. Just like last year when we focused on iOS apps, the top Android titles ranged from practical and popular to esoteric and perhaps a little strange.
Yet, such diversity is all part of the fun when showing personal lists from 10 very different people. Some of us like to travel, others are happiest when surfing, and some prefer to spend their time massacring zombies. I certainly enjoyed seeing what excites my colleagues most, … Read more