LAS VEGAS--Admittedly, Vizio's Android tablet is one I didn't see coming. After spending some time with it this afternoon, I'm declaring it a happy surprise. Granted, there's no pricing, and no firm ship date, but my vaporware detectors weren't ringing on this one.
Even in its fragile state as a hand-tooled engineering sample, it's clear that this 8-inch tablet has been approached thoughtfully. The capacitive touch screen is very responsive, and the custom UI running over an unidentified version of Android behaved fluidly. Unlike most Android tablets I've tested, Vizio's tablet dispenses … Read more
LAS VEGAS--We managed to get a sneak peek at the booth that LG is setting up in preparation for CES here at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and it looks like the company will be unveiling at least two new phones here in the next couple of days. One of them looks to be the LG Revolution, and it seems it's headed to a 4G network, most likely Verizon's LTE. It looks very similar to the LG Optimus 2X, which will also be at the booth. Another phone that caught our eye is the Optimus Black, which we … Read more
Although technically one of the first GPS manufacturers to market a mapping app for portables with its Garmin Mobile 10 software for PDAs and Palm, Garmin has been notably absent from the smartphone navigation app marketplace as of late (discounting the aging and ridiculously overpriced Garmin Mobile for Blackberry). Today, Garmin jumps back into the fray, challenging apps from TomTom, Magellan, and Navigon with not one, but four of its own GPS-centric apps, including the new StreetPilot navigation app for iPhone and three new GPS apps for Android devices.
The StreetPilot name hearkens back to the original Garmin StreetPilot GPS … Read more
LAS VEGAS--With increasing numbers of laws going on the books in an attempt to curb unsafe texting-while-driving habits, it's no surprise that there are a variety of devices and apps that offer hands-free messaging functionality. ZoomSafer software aims to take things a step further by automatically detecting when you start driving and then disabling e-mailing and texting on your phone. Today, the company announced availability of its app for the Android OS.
Those who install the app on their devices have the option to configure ZoomSafer in a variety of ways. It can be programmed to trigger using in- … Read more
Sprint continues to add partners to its Sprint ID theme packs for select Android smartphones (LG Optimus S, Samsung Transform, and the Sony Zio for now). ESPN is the latest, officially joining the Sprint ID gallery today. ID packs like the new offering from ESPN includes apps, widgets, wallpaper, and ringtones that gather around a main theme: sports.
The ESPN ID Pack includes the ScoreCenter app for tracking scores, ESPN video and Mobile TV, fantasy sports, and notifications, ringtones, and wallpaper representing various ESPN shows. Shortcut icons to popular ESPN Web pages will also install on the phones' home screens.… Read more
Streaming Web content to TVs is one theme we expect to see lots of at CES. In early December, we took an advance look at Snapstick, a new company that streams Web content on your TV using your mobile phone as the remote control. Today, the start-up is announcing that potential partner D-Link will begin trials that incorporate Snapstick's Web-to-TV "SplitMedia" technology.
If trials go well, D-Link and Snapstick may ink a more permanent deal. Snapstick isn't seeking to manufacture hardware itself (at least not at this stage in its life cycle), but it does hope … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Merely a formality at this point, what with all the leaks and all, Sprint officially introduced the HTC Evo Shift 4G on Tuesday along with a new MiFi 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot from Novatel Wireless.
The HTC Evo Shift 4G will be available starting January 9 for $149.99 with a two-year contract. It's the third 4G smartphone for Sprint, behind the HTC Evo 4G and Samsung Epic 4G, and offers mobile hot-spot capabilities (for up to eight devices), a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and a 3.6-inch capacitive touch screen.
The handset will ship running Android 2.2 … Read more
Let's all give a round of applause to Toshiba, who instead of giving us a prolonged tease for its Android Honeycomb tablet (ala Motorola), had the courtesy to just lay it all out there for us. CES may be in Vegas, but that doesn't mean every great product needs to go all "Showgirls" on us.
Here's the deal. Toshiba has a 10.1-inch Android Honeycomb tablet due out the first half of 2011 (price TBD, but in the iPad ballpark). The system uses an Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor, capable of 1080p video decoding, smooth Adobe Flash support, and full-resolution video output via the integrated HDMI port.
Like the iPad, the screen is glass-covered, capacitive, LED-backlit, and supports multitouch and accelerometer screen reorientation. Unlike Apple, Toshiba set the screen resolution to a 1,280x800-pixel resolution, fixed at a 16:10 aspect ratio. Users are also treated to a haptic feedback touch-screen keyboard and dual cameras--one facing you with a 2-megapixel resolution, and the other facing out with a 5-megapixel sensor.
Around the edges you get ports for HDMI, full-size USB, Mini-USB sync, and SD card expansion. Onboard storage is yet to be announced, but other specs, such as 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, stereo speakers, GPS, and digital compass, all come standard.
Another key feature worth noting: a removable battery. Granted, with all that horsepower, you'll probably need more than one battery to match the iPad's 10 hours of runtime--but it's still a feature not offered by any competitors. … Read more
More and more signs are pointing to the HTC Evo Shift 4G's imminent release. The Android-based smartphone has already received FCC approval, then there was the Radio Shack advert, and now Wal-Mart has gone ahead an published a full product page on its Web site.
The page provides numerous images (see below) and a full list of specs, though it looks like it needs a bit of editing since it notes both a 3.7-inch display and 4.3-inch screen. Based on Wal-Mart's information, the Sprint-bound Epic Shift 4G will run Android 2.2 and feature an 8-megapixel camera, WiMax, and 1GB of internal memory with an 8GB microSD card preinstalled.
Pricing and availability date were not published by Wal-Mart, but Radio Shack's ad listed the phone as being available on January 9 for $149.99.… Read more
Next week at CES T-Mobile and Motorola may unveil the successor to their 2009 handset, the Cliq.
A handful of images of the Cliq 2 made their way onto Cell Phone Signal's site yesterday. The photos show a device that looks nearly identical to its predecessor outside of a redesigned keyboard and a shinier bezel around the screen.
As you can see from the pictures, the phone will run Motorola's custom MotoBlur user interface, although the version of Android isn't certain. I would certainly hope for at least 2.2 Froyo, but wouldn't be surprised if … Read more
Wearables are largely aimed at the person who just wants to maintain a good weight, sleep enough, and maybe get in a little cardio. CNET's Brian Cooley tells you why 2014 could be the breakout year for wearable tech.