We may refer to the proliferation of glossy black and silver matte cell phones as "sleek" or "professional." But let's face it: most phones on the market are a neutral-toned, rounded-corner flood of design sameness.
Verizon just sent us a quick note to announce that it will begin rolling out Android 2.2 to the Motorola Droid X starting tomorrow. The Froyo update will be pushed out over the air, but users can also download it manually by going to Menu > Settings > About Phone > System Updates.
With the update, you'll get such new features as Flash Player 10.1, automatic app updates, as well as improvements to the 3G Mobile Hotspot application and Google Maps, among other things.
VoIP company Fring has found yet another way to compete with Skype. Fring, which specializes in mobile VoIP-plus-chat apps, today announced FringOut, a calling service that lets you use your Fring app to place outbound calls to non-Fring users on their landline or mobile phones.
While Fring boasts calls starting at 1 cent per minute (Euros), we noticed a couple of caveats after wading through Fring's calling rates. Most FringOut calls cost significantly more than one cent per minute in any currency, and costs can spike for a number of reasons. Calls to mobile phone typically cost much more … Read more
During last week's Galaxy Tab event in Manhattan, Samsung teased the imminent availability of its Media Hub service, and now it looks like Sprint is the first carrier to roll out the video store to a Galaxy S smartphone, its Samsung Epic 4G.
In a blog post, Sprint said it began pushing out a software update in recent days, which enables Epic 4G owners to download TV shows and movies to their phones to either rent or purchase.
Movie rentals cost $2.99 to $3.99 and are available 24 hours from the time of purchase. If you want … Read more
Two months ago, Firefox debuted Firefox Home, a companion app for iPhone that syncs open browser tabs, browsing history, and passwords across the mobile phone and Web.
Today, an update to Firefox Home for iPhone adds three small but notable enhancements. First, the update tweaks the app's search bar so it now seeks out a URL that you've never visited before from the app. Previously, you had to browse sites that you've visited before from the desktop browser.
The second addition makes Firefox Home operate in 15 languages, including Chinese, Spanish, and French. The final notable change … Read more
Originally slated for a late September release, Nokia says it will now ship the Nokia N8 in October, in order to make some "final amends" to the smartphone. The company didn't elaborate on what kind of changes it was making to the device, but said it was to ensure the best user experience.
The Nokia N8 will be the first smartphone to run the revamped Symbian 3 platform. Nokia said preorders for the N8, which began in mid-August, exceeded the company's expectations. Anyone out there preorder an N8?
Meebo brings a new instant messaging entrant to BlackBerry today, in the form of a beta release of Meebo for BlackBerry (download). The Web-based IM service hopes to net more users with this app, in addition to those it picked up when Meebo released its iPhone and Android apps.
For the most part, Meebo for BlackBerry beta worked and looked as expected in our tests on a Bold 9700. The app makes use of two tabs to respectively manage your buddy list and contacts. The Menu is home to settings and tools, like logging on to one of your chat … Read more
Editors' note: If you've already read "Battle Royale: Five smartphones face off" or "Battle Royale 2: The Quickening" (OK, it wasn't actually called "The Quickening"), then you may experience some deja vu when reading this article. We've used the same tests and presented the article in the same style. Only the phones in question and the details of their performance have changed. Because of some technical difficulties on the back-end our How We Test Smartphone Displays page isn't up yet, but hopefully, by Round 4 it will be.
In the last six months I've tested 10 different smartphone displays, including the three new ones presented today. The response from both Android and iPhone fans has been interesting, if not unexpected. I assume this round will be no different. Once again, using DisplayMate Multimedia Edition for Mobile Displays, I put each phone through a battery of tests.
In our last roundup, we received some reader complaints for comparing the iPhone 4 to the original Droid and HTC Evo and not the Droid X or Droid incredible. Both of which hadn't been released at the time of last round's testing.
Well, today is a new day and with that comes the promise of a more robust evaluation (or so the saying goes). For Round 3, not only do we have the iPhone 4, but also the Motorola Droid X, the HTC Droid Incredible, and the Samsung Epic 4G. These were the most-requested phones according to the comments and e-mails from the previous round.
Like in previous roundups, we used three different types of tests to evaluate each phone:
Scientific measurements: We used the Konica Minolta CS-200 ChromaMeter to test the maximum brightness, black level, and contrast ratio of each phone and reported numbers for each of these three tests.
Test pattern screens: We used several DisplayMate Mobile test patterns to test for color-tracking errors, 24-bit color, and font legibility, among others.
Real-world: We conducted real-world anecdotal testing using 3D games, photos, and a little tool I like to call "the sun" to test the diffuse reflectance of each display.
All test screens were viewed within each phone's native gallery application. Some phones may handle pictures differently--and even improve them to some extent--outside the gallery application. That said, we believe that testing within the respective gallery applications is still a viable test, as this is where most users will view pictures on their phones.
In order to diminish potential repetition, I'll dive right into the details of how each phone performed; if you'd like to know more about our tests, you can binge on nerdy details in our "How we tested" section at the bottom of this article. Please note that this is an evaluation of each phone's screen performance and nothing else. Check out the full reviews of these phones to determine which is right for you. Also, DisplayMate will soon be posting a more technically focused evaluation of the iPhone 4 and Samsung Galaxy S (same screen as the Epic 4G) screens that I'm sure will be worth checking out.
One of the benefits of the Aliph Jawbone Icon is that if you pair it with an iPhone you can see the headset battery meter next to the iPhone's. Now BlackBerry owners have the icon as well. Just pair and connect the Jawbone Icon to your BlackBerry and you'll see the Icon's battery meter. To get this new functionality, you'll have to get it from Jawbone's MyTalk Web site under the "Mobile Apps" tab.
The Jawbone Icon comes in six designs, and you can customize it with a variety of "apps" … Read more