Another year is in the books, but before we shut the door on 2010 and sign off for the holidays, we wrap up some of the latest cell phone news and reviews. Plus, we give you a preview of what to expect from CES 2011. From LTE handsets to dual-core Android phones, it's shaping up to be a very busy show, and we'll be there to report on all the action, so be sure to tune in on Friday, January 7 at 2 p.m., PT for special broadcast of Dialed In live from Las Vegas. Finally, we … Read more
Editors' note: If you've already read "Battle Royale: Five smartphones face off", "Battle Royale 2: Smartphones face off, screen to screen", or "Battle Royale 3: The Final Conflict" (which, you know, didn't really pan out given the article you're currently reading), 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 (still!!) isn't up yet, but hopefully by Round 5 it will be.
I've now tested 12 different smartphone displays, including the two new ones presented today. Android and iPhone fans remain as passionate as ever about seemingly every aspect of their favorite phones, but now a new fighter enters the tournament. Today we test our first Windows Phone 7...um, phone. (I still have an aversion to the OS name.)
Once again, using DisplayMate Multimedia Edition for Mobile Displays, I put each phone through a battery of tests.
As 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 other things.
Real-world: We conducted real-world anecdotal testing using photos and 3D games.
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 approach, 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 has posted a more technically focused evaluation of the iPhone 4 screens that's worth checking out.
The bottom line… Read more
HTC is looking to expand its R&D efforts on wireless research through a new office opening in North Carolina next year.
The smartphone maker said today it plans to lease a new R&D office in Durham, N.C., during the first quarter of 2011.
The site will kick off with a staff of around 45 people who'll conduct research into multiple areas of wireless technology, according to HTC, which plans to expand the facility further during the new year and beyond.
Despite reports of a slow start, Microsoft said on Tuesday that it has sold more than 1.5 million Windows Phone 7 devices in the first six weeks, but it's important to note that the number reflects the number of units sold to mobile operators and retailers and not necessarily direct to consumers.
When asked if the sales numbers met company expectations, Achim Berg, vice president of business and marketing for Windows Phone, said that "sales are ramping well" and that the numbers are "in line" with company expectations.
He said that to juxtapose these … Read more
Welcome to The 411, my column answering all your questions about cell phones and cell phone accessories. I receive plenty of questions about these subjects via e-mail, so I figured many of you might have similar queries, too. Occasionally I solicit answers from readers if I'm stumped. Send your questions and comments to me at email@example.com. If you prefer to remain anonymous, let me know in the e-mail.
In lieu of the usual Q&A format this week, we're offering a few quick tips on cell phone gifting. I realize it's probably too late for some of you to go out there and buy holiday gifts, but for the last-minute shopper who plans to give a mobile-related gift, here are a few quick tips.
Don't forget the carrier -- It's easy to get enticed by shiny phones and forget that not all phones are supported by all carriers. If coverage is important to you, make sure the carrier of your choice has good signal in the recipient's home or office. Also realize that if you're getting a new phone, there are often two-year contracts that need to be signed, and if you're getting a smartphone, data plans are often required as well.
Of course, you can get past these issues if you're willing to fork out extra for a non-contract device. Sometimes this means getting an unlocked phone if you're on a GSM carrier, or you can also choose to get a prepaid plan if you want something a little cheaper. Definitely check out our cell phone buying tips for more detailed information on how to choose a carrier.… Read more
Today, Microsoft released an update to its Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac beta software that brings some performance enhancements and new features.
The software, which allows Mac users to sync music, video, podcasts, and photos from iTunes and iPhoto with their Windows Phone 7 device, now offers a new setup experience, as well as the ability to sync purchased music from your smartphone. The browsing function also now supports manual import from device, delete from device, and preview.
Current users of the Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac will automatically receive the update as it's rolled out. Meanwhile, … Read more
CES 2010 was a lightweight show when it came to cell phones and smartphones. That's often the case with CES, as mobile devices have to share the stage with bigger products like 3D televisions and futuristic robots. That's set to change at CES 2011 of course, but we wanted to take some time and take a look back at the phones of CES 2010.
Anyone can now be an Android app designer.
Google's App Inventor, which was previously available to people only on request, is now free for anyone who wants to create their own Android smartphone apps. Part of the Google Labs playground, App Inventor offers you a programming environment to create those apps but doesn't require that you have any programming skills.
By following online tutorials and visually building an app step by step, early adopters of App Inventor have already been able to create some clever programs, according to a Google blog, including vocabulary apps for kids, a bus … Read more
Over the past couple of days, there have been numerous reports and some confusion over whether shipments of the Dell Venue Pro have been delayed till January 6 (original estimated ship date was December 9).
We contacted Dell to try to get to the bottom of the situation and was directed to check out the Dell community blog where it is providing updates on the status of Windows Phone 7 device.
In the blog, Dell's chief blogger Lionel Menchaca admitted that it "recently experienced a slight delay in shipment times," which would affect the shipping date for … Read more
Imagine the many ways smartphones have integrated into most people's daily lives: talking, texting, e-mailing, video watching, game playing, researching, shopping, and so on.
Now imagine the possible ways in which having an iPhone or an Android on hand might make a soldier's life in combat easier. Lt. Gen. Michael Vane, director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center, said the military is testing the deployment of smartphones to soldiers in the field, the Army Times reports.
"One of the options potentially is to make it a piece of equipment in a soldier's clothing bag," Vane said.
Army-issued smartphones are already in the schoolhouse and garrison, in the hands of some students at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., Fort Lee, Va., and at Fort Sill, Okla., under an Army program called Connecting Soldiers to Digital Applications, the paper reports. CSDA's next step, already underway at Fort Bliss, Texas, is testing for the war zone.
With smartphones, soldiers could communicate with one another in multiple ways, watch airplane drone video live in the field, quickly go through maps, and share intelligence reports, just to name a few possible uses. … Read more