Touch screens may be all the rage, but for many of you, there's no substitute for clacking away on a phone with a physical keyboard attached. From the rough-and-tumble NEC Terrain, to the sleek and compact BlackBerry Q10, we've gathered some of our favorite QWERTY-touting handsets that we've encountered in recent months. Check them out below and let us know in the comments section if any of these devices pique your interest.Editors' note: This post was originally published October 26, 2011, and is updated continuously.
What's an 8-foot-tall Lego man doing on the beaches of Siesta Key Village, Florida? We don't have the answer, but it's the third one that's washed ashore in the last three years--similar occurances were reported three years ago in Brighton, England, and Zandvoort, Holland; each bearing the same cryptic messaging: "NO REAL THAN YOU ARE."
Yahoo News did the dirty work and inquired about the phenomenon to Lego's assistant brand relations manager, who vehemently denied, on record, any affiliation with the stunt, eliminating the possibility of it being a viral stunt. Who knows, maybe it was printed on a 3D imaging device by the folks at MakerBot!… Read more
Imagine sweeping your phone around a room and seeing a plethora of information about the pictures, music, and video around you. The Digimarc Discover app lets your phone read QR codes printed on products, identify tunes playing nearby, buy tickets when movies are advertised on a TV playing near you, and follow watermark links hidden in articles and product packaging.
Digital watermark purveyor Digimarc demoed the technology this spring and has now made the free app for iOS and Android available for download. The app falls somewhere between simple bar code readers and augmented-reality apps that recognize real-world objects and link information to them.
Digimarc Discover is the Swiss Army knife of real-world identification. It figures out the most appropriate identifying technologies for a given situation--QR code, watermark, audio and/or video--depending on where you are and how you've used it in the past.… Read more
They don't have the spiky, studded look of the new Lady Gaga earphones, but Audio-Technica's ATH-CKF303 in-ear and foldable ATH-FW33 on-ear Bijoue headphones do have a "jewel-cut" design and fit squarely (or is it octagonally?) in the company's FashionFidelity line.
The new models come in a variety of colors and list for $29.95 and $39.95. One suggestion for Audio-Technica: add an integrated microphone. Diamonds may be a girl's best friend but hey, she needs to make calls, too.
The specs are modest to be sure, and very similar to the original. It starts with Android 2.3 Gingerbread running behind a 3.7-inch WVGA touch screen and powered by a 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. There's a 3-megapixel rear-facing camera and a front-facing VGA camera. In addition to the usual Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth support there's also T-Mobile TV and the Samsung Media Hub.
Of course, there's also … Read more
The Motorola Atrix 2 is, on the surface, a rather incremental upgrade over the original Atrix. It has the same slab design, and since it still has a 1GHz dual-core processor and HSPA+ speeds, it's not that much faster. Yet, it does offer a number of improvements that should make Android fans happy.
It ships with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and the Motoblur interface is not as intrusive as before. The touch screen is also bigger and crisper at 4.3 inches qHD without the Pentile display. The overall phone feels nicer in the hand, and we like the … Read more
HTC is getting ready to drop its latest hit, as the company just sent out invites for an event in New York on Thursday, November 3.
The invitation doesn't provide too many clues as to what it might unveil, but Beats Audio is sure to be involved, as the company's logo is also present. In August, the Taiwanese handset manufacturer acquired a majority stake in Beats Audio and soon released the HTC Sensation XE, which integrated special audio technology and came with a pair of of custom Beats by Dr. Dre headphones.
Rumors say that the new handset … Read more
Whew! Today was an extralong episode, and we start things off speculating about the mysterious location of Grand Theft Auto V. The teaser Web site from Rockstar Games hints at a financial theme, so we're definitely thinking an American city known for its financial institutions...Washington, maybe? Or maybe it's Billings, Mont.? Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, perhaps? We'll know for sure on November 2.
Bringing up GTA inevitably devolves into a discussion on the negative effects of video game violence on children (Godwin's law, too), but luckily the ophthalmologists over at the Micro Surgical Eye Clinic in Kolkata, India, are using games for good.
This team has found that a modified version of the first-person shooting game Unreal Tournament can be used to strengthen the eyesight of teenagers suffering from amblyopia, or "lazy eye syndrome." Still no progress being made on the cure for "lazy everything else" syndrome.… Read more
Boost Mobile has cultivated a reputation for offering slick, good-looking smartphones--which is why I'm pleasantly surprised to see the ZTE Warp enter Boost's no-contract lineup.
ZTE isn't well-known in the U.S., and definitely not for higher-end devices, but the specs are promising so far. The Android 2.3 Gingerbread ZTE Warp offers up a 4.3-inch display, a 1GHz processor, and a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash.
The screen won't be the most brilliant with its 480x800-pixel resolution, but it should serve, and in theory the 5-megapixel camera could be pretty good--it all depends on the light sensor and the camera software. It'll all become clearer in a few weeks when we can get our hands on the phone.
The ZTE Warp goes public on November 2 for $249.99 without a contract. That's $20 more than Boost's Samsung Transform Ultra, which also runs Gingerbread, and has a 3-megapixel camera, a front-facing VGA camera, and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard.… Read more
Price matters to everyone to some extent. If you're a prospective vendor planning to sell a tablet that, at its cheapest, is $700, you had better offer something uniquely compelling.
Too many tablets are out there vying for consumer attention and, with limited funds, we need a compelling reason to bite. A tablet that simply does the same things other tablets do in a different package just ain't gonna cut it.