CNET Tech Review: Is this thing on?
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CNET Tech Review: Is this thing on?26:17 /
This week on the CNET Tech Review: Testing the iPhone 4 antenna flaw; rating cell carriers' data speeds; iPhone 4 versus Evo 4G; and old-school .com domain names.
^M00:00:01 >> Molly Wood: This week on the CNET Tech Review our editors hit the streets to test the iPhone 4's antenna problems and rate cell phone carrier data speeds. Plus, we'll show you how to edit YouTube videos on YouTube. We've got a Smiley cell phone that has Kent German [phonetic] frowning and the mother of all Smartphone showdowns, the iPhone 4 versus the EVO 4G. It's all coming up right now. ^M00:00:23 [ Background music ] ^M00:00:32 Hey everyone I'm Molly Wood and welcome to the CNET Tech Review; the show where we round up the hottest videos [phonetic] of the week and tell you which stuff is good, which stuff is bad and offer some tech wisdom in the form of the bottom line. Let's get started with the good. ^M00:00:43 [ Background music and sounds ] ^M00:00:45 From the first day it hit the streets the iPhone 4 has been plagued with problems most notably reception issues resulting from that external antenna design. Well, this week Kent German came to the studio to put the phone through some real-world tests. ^M00:00:59 [ Background music ] ^M00:01:04 >> Kent German: Hi, I'm Kent German, Senior Editor at CNET.com. Ever since the IPhone 4 first went on sale, we've heard a lot about problems with the [inaudible] antenna. Now, it is the first iPhone to have an antenna that goes all the way around the side. Now, we've noticed particularly that this spot right here, it's on the left side, it's a small gap between two different parts, it does have a problem when you touch that area. I've heard a lot from our users as well. Now, what we're going to do is we're going to look at two tests. We're going to look at the number of bars displayed on the screen and we're going to look at call quality and see if touching that area does affect either one. First, I'm going to look at the number of bars. So, right now without touching that area I see that we have five bars on the display so that's the full number you can get. If I move my hand and I touch that gap, I don't see a change. Now on other iPhones we have noticed that we do see a change. It seems to depend on the phone, the user, the location, a bunch of different things, but right now I'm not seeing anything. What we are going to do is after Apple issues its software update in the coming weeks we are going to see if the number of bars changes. And now we're going to look at call quality. I'm going to head outside, I'm going to call this phone and touch that area and see what happens. ^M00:02:12 [ Telephone ringing ] ^M00:02:14 >> Kent German: Hello, Kelly, how are you? >> Doing good. >> Kent German: What I'm going to do is I'm going to talk and then count to ten and in the middle of that ten I'm going to move my hand into that troubled spot and then move it away before I get to ten and we'll see what happens. I'll start now. One, two, three, eight, nine, ten. Did you hear any difference up there? >> Yeah. I sure did. You cut out after three. I think we ought to try it again. >> Kent German: Okay. I'll try once more. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. How was that? >> It was better. Still a little garbled around six and seven. >> Kent German: Okay. Well, thanks Kelly. Thanks for helping us out. So that was two tests and each time we saw that when I moved my hand to that trouble area, they did hear a cut out upstairs. Sometimes they couldn't hear me at all, sometimes I was just a little garbled. Now we will run this test again after Apple issues its software update, but for now definitely see a difference. I'm Kent German for the iPhone 4. ^M00:03:18 [ Background music ] ^M00:03:20 >> Molly Wood: Now, of course, by the time you see this show Apple may have already announced what they plan to do about some of these problems. We tape on Thursdays, but whatever happens Kent will be back with more tests to see if Apple's fixes really worked. Now, Kent wasn't the only one dropping some science this week. Bonnie Cha and Jeff Bakalar braved a serious east coast heat wave to find out which of the big four carriers have the best cell phone data speeds in New York City. ^M00:03:47 [ Background music ] ^M00:03:49 >> Jeff Bakalar: Hey, everyone, I'm Jeff Bakalar for CNET.com. We're here today with Bonnie Cha, our cell phone expert Senior Editor, and today we're talking about AT&T and the announcement they made that they've fully upgraded their 3G service here in New York City. And while it's tough to judge and measure that claim, we decided to put all the cell phone carriers up against one another starting right here at our CNET labs here in New York. So, Bonnie, how exactly are we conducting these experiments here today? >> Bonnie Cha: So, we've downloaded the speedtest.net app2 4 devices. The Nexus one for T-Mobile, the Apple iPhone 4 for AT&T, we've got it on the EVO 4G for Sprint as well as the Droid X for Verizon. We're going to conduct three tests at each location and take an average. Obviously they're a lot of variables that go into these speed tests so I'm just going to give it a try and see what we get so, shall we start? >> Jeff Bakalar: Let's do it. ^M00:04:44 [ Background music ] ^M00:04:52 Bonnie, what were the results? >> Bonnie Cha: Again I'd like to reiterate this isn't formal and scientific testing, but it looks like the test here that AT&T had the fastest upload and download speeds. Interestingly, Verizon and T-Mobile were around the same, but T-Mobile was running on edge so it's pretty interesting result. >> Jeff Bakalar: Cool. All right. We're going to brave the heat and venture outside. Our next stop, Columbus Circle. So, Bonnie, there's a lot of people here. What do you think is going to happen in our speed test? >> Bonnie Cha: Well, it should be interesting to watch, but you know, with more people I'm sure a lot of people are on their cell phones so data speeds might be slower, but we'll have to check it out. >> Jeff Bakalar: All right. Let's see what we get here at Columbus Circle. ^M00:05:31 [ Background music ] ^M00:05:37 >> Bonnie Cha: Okay. So, we averaged the three tests and T-Mobile had the fastest download speeds, which actually doesn't surprise me because I've gotten great 3G speeds with T-Mobile here in New York. Sprint came in last. >> Jeff Bakalar: That is a bummer for me because I have an EVO but all right. >> Bonnie Cha: I'm sorry, but you know, just informal testing here. >> Jeff Bakalar: Sure. >> Bonnie Cha: And Verizon and AT&T were similar as far as download speeds, but the upload speeds for AT&T were a little on the slower side, you know, they've had that issue this week. We've heard about it. So, it's apparently a software issue. So, hopefully we'll see it fixed soon. ^M00:06:10 [ Background music ] ^M00:06:11 >> Jeff Bakalar: All right. Our latest trip brings us to Times Square in New York City. Bonnie Cha, what do you think is going on here? So many people, so much traffic. What can we expect? >> Bonnie Cha: Well, yeah, a lot more people than Columbus Circle. I think that's going to put more of a strain on the networks so I'm expecting some slower data speeds here, but let's see who can handle the heat. ^M00:06:30 [ Background music ] ^M00:06:37 >> Jeff Bakalar: We're done spinning here in Times Square New York City. Bonnie Cha, we have our results. What do they say? >> Bonnie Cha: We got some mixed results this time. T-Mobile is still in first place with the fastest download and upload speeds. Sprint actually came in second so they're coming on up. Verizon came in last and AT&T third. >> Jeff Bakalar: All right, we're here at our final location for testing, Union Square. What do the results say? >> Bonnie Cha: Well, actually this is the location I was most interested in because when we posted that AT&T story, we got a few complaints from readers saying the Union Square area was the worst in reception so AT&T came in third. It wasn't the worst. Sprint was the worst. >> Jeff Bakalar: You know, I'm really upset. Everywhere we go except for Times Square Sprint performed terribly. >> Bonnie Cha: Yeah, sorry about that. >> Jeff Bakalar: It's okay. It's not your fault. It's not your network. >> Bonnie Cha: Well, you know, again, these are informal tests. A lot of variables happening. As far as first, T-Mobile still comes in first and Verizon came in second. >> Jeff Bakalar: I think, you know, we learned a lot and I think surprisingly T-Mobile having by far the best performance scores. Is there anything else that contributes to that? >> Bonnie Cha: Again, like we said it could be the number of subscribers, but you know, T-Mobile just hasn't really advertised their 3G network as much as the others so people might not be aware about how fast this network is. >> Jeff Bakalar: What else did we learn today really? I feel like regardless of where you go in Manhattan, your results are going to vary, you know, we got ups, we got downs, different locations changed. Is there anything else we could sort of conclude after all of this? >> Bonnie Cha: I mean the mixed results, you know, there's so many variables. It could be your location, the time of day, you know, so if you're looking for a carrier, talk with other people to see what their experience is and choose from there. Decide from there. >> Jeff Bakalar: Well, thank you, Bonnie Cha, our cell phone expert, Senior Editor here at CNET.com. We braved the heat, we've jumped all over Manhattan testing the various cell phone providers and their data speeds. I'm Jeff Bakalar for CNET.com as well. Thank you so much for watching. We'll see you guys soon. ^M00:08:38 [ Background music ] ^M00:08:42 >> Molly Wood: You know in this day and age of Smartphones, iPads and what have you, sometimes you just can't beat a pad of paper for your complicated computations. That is my kind of tablet. Now last week we showed you a couple of options for editing video on your iPhone 4. This week we've got a solution for editing video from any phone as long as you can post it on YouTube first. ^M00:09:02 [ Background music ] ^M00:09:12 >> Josh Lowensohn: Hi, I'm Josh Lowensohn with CNET.com, and I'm going to show you how to use YouTube's video editor to make a video out of several clips. Well, a little basic when compared to software-based video editing tools. YouTube's video editor works right in your browser and does all the hard work on Google servers meaning you can edit HD video on just about any computer as long as it has an Internet connection. The first thing you're going to want to do is head over to YouTube.com/editor. Here you'll see a list of all your uploaded YouTube videos on the left-hand side, a storyboard on the bottom, and a preview of the finished product on the right. One thing to note right up front is that you cannot actually upload videos to the editor itself. Your videos need to be on YouTube first. If you're just dumping a few clips from your digital camera, our advice is to upload them as unlisted. This sends them to YouTube, but they won't show up to people that subscribe to your YouTube channel or in the service's search engine. In case you don't recognize one of your uploaded videos, you can play it just by hitting the little arrow that shows up when you mouse over the clip. This opens up in a pop-up window. ^M00:10:13 [ Background music ] ^M00:10:15 When you've found something you like, you can simply grab it and drop it down to the storyboard or hit the little plus icon in the top-right hand corner of each clip. Once the videos are on the storyboard, you can rearrange them freely. The storyboard is also where you do all the editing. To start an edit, just mouse over any clip in your storyboard and click the scissors icon. This will open up a video in a pop-up window where you can drag and change at the beginning and end point. To get a finer level of control over these in and out points, you can click the small arrows on the top and bottom of the clips timeline. YouTube is calling these nudges since they can only change the length of the clip one way or the other by a 15th of a second. To see your changes after making a nudge or two, just hit the play button. It's worth noting YouTube currently does not let you split a clip. So, if you want to use a different part of the same clip or just repeat something again, you drag the video into the timeline multiple times and trim it down to just the parts you want. If you want to add some audio to your project, you can just pick a track from YouTube's audio swap library and the audio tab on the top left. Just like videos you can preview these before adding them to your work then drag them down into the storyboard. Keep in mind that adding an audio track to your movie will wipe out all the sound that was there before and after you've done this, there's no way to go back without starting a new project. When you've got your clips in the right place and added the music you want, you just give it one last look by hitting the play button in the preview module on the right. If everything looks good, you just give it a name, hit the publish button, and YouTube does the rest. Once the server is finished processing your new movie, it will show up in your my videos list for everyone to enjoy. I'm Josh Lowensohn and this has been a how to on using YouTube's video editor. Happy editing. ^M00:11:50 [ Background music ] ^M00:11:54 >> Molly Wood: Of course you can use the YouTube video editor for any of your videos, not just the ones you've shot on your phone. So here's your chance to spice up your cute kitten videos by adding a sexy salsa beat. Huh, salsa kitten, kitten salsa. While you ponder that, I'm going to take a break, but we'll be back with an old timey Internet history lesson right after this. ^M00:12:16 [ Background music ] ^M00:12:23 Welcome back to the CNET Tech Review. Your weekly digest of all things good and bad from CNET TV continuing on with the good. Back in 1985, the first woman won the Iditarod [phonetic], new Coke was introduced and both Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs left Apple and also the first six dot com domain names ever were registered. Here's Brian Cooley with five of them. ^M00:12:49 [ Background music ] ^M00:12:56 >> Brian Cooley: The very first dot com address was created 25 years ago, but I bet you don't know what it was. I'm Brian Cooley with a CNET top 5, the original 5 dot com domain names. Number five dec.com, September 30th, 1985. Only us OG tech types remember Digital Equipment Corporation today, but it was a heavy hitter from the 60's into the 80's. I learned programming on one of their VAC [phonetic] systems, but this isn't an ancient history course. DEC was sold to Compaq in '88, Compaq to HP in '02 and that's why dec.com points there today. Number four, mcc.com July 11th of '85. MCC stood for Microelectrics and Computer Technology Corporation. Not really. It was a hi-tech R&D consortium that went poof around the year 2000 or so. Today it's a sad parts domain. The only one of our originals that sit there in that forlorn state. Number three, think.com, May 24th of '85. By the way notice how like a month used to pass between each dot com registration back then? Things weren't quite so busy. Think.com was the hum of thinking machines an early maker of super computers based in Cambridge, Mass. The last iteration of the company was bought by Oracle in 1999. That's where think.com points today to their Think Quest Teacher/Student Learning something. Number two, bbn.com, April 24th of '85. BBN was a legend in the early Internet days doing a lot of the heavy lifting on the packet data switching that still powers the Net today transmitting the first email and they came up with the at symbol in email addresses. Today bbn.com points to a Raytheon page because, yes, they acquired the firm in 2009. Before we get to our number one oldest dot com domain a little trivia. Dot com was originally going to be dot cor for corporation, but you can imagine that might have been misunderstood because it sounds like core or core or core. We have the top five first domains here but only six were registered in all of 1985. Northrop.com [phonetic] would be in our list if the show was called top six. Microsoft.com not one of the original 100 dot com registrations, but Apple was at number 64, and sex.com was also not one of the first 100. We had more pure aspirations for the Net back then. Okay, now it's time to reveal number one, the very first dot com domain ever registered symbolix.com [phonetic] March 15th, 1985. You may not know the company, but it was a high-end computer maker that among other things lays claim to making the first computer work station that supported realtime video, digital video, and HD TV. Nineteen eighty-five. Think about that the next time you fire up Final Cut. Today Symbolix is owned by domain brokerage that maintains some kind of a blog there, but it's mostly tumbleweeds. Well, that's it for this edition of top five. I'm Brian Cooley from CNET.com registered March 5th, 1994. We'll see you next time. ^M00:16:13 [ Background music ] ^M00:16:18 >> Molly Wood: So our domain was registered in March of '94, but CNET.com didn't officially launch until June of '95? Thirteen months to make one website? The Internet was hard back then. All right let's move on to the bad. ^M00:16:31 [ Background music ] ^M00:16:35 Speaking of technology history, you heard Brian mention that the good people at BBN Technologies gave us the at sign back in 1971, but according to Wikipedia the Smiley emoticon didn't show up until 1982. Now, 28 years later Samsung has gone and ruined it forever. ^M00:16:52 [ Background music ] ^M00:16:55 >> Kent German: Hi, I'm Kent German, Senior Editor here at CNET.com for the first look at the Samsung's Smiley. Apparently there's one employee of Samsung that actually sits around and comes up with these phone names so this is the Smiley, and I'm not too happy about this name at all mainly because Samsung didn't call it S-M-I-L-E-Y, they actually use the emoticon. I think they could come up with something just a little more creative and not something that doesn't require us to use a colon and a parenthesis. So, it actually is a decent phone just not a fan of that name. It's got the same overall slider design with the keypad that's exposed by the sliding face. Display is pretty decent for this type of phone. You actually see that emoticon right there. We're really, really glad that they didn't actually print it on the side or the back of the phone. It's fine on the display because you can take that off. Below is that navigation toggle. The toggle is actually raised above the surface of the phone so that's pretty good. You have a couple of buttons here. This feels a tiny bit scrunched just a little, but we got used to it after awhile. Keypad it's fine. It does feel a little cramped. Of course, I have sort of larger hands so I find a lot of things like this cramped, but other users may not find it that way. You do find most of what you need. There's a space bar down in the middle and you guessed it there's a dedicated emoticon key so Samsung has really taken that thing to all the extremes. You'll see the camera lens and a self-portrait mirror behind on the back of the front slider so you will have to have the phone open to use it. Inside you'll find largely messaging options, you'll have Instant Messaging, you can get some Outlook email, you can get regular Pop 3, Yahoo!, HotMail, whatever it might be. As I said, it is a decent messaging phone. It's only about $19 with contract and the call quality is quite good, but I'm just not a fan of that name at all. I'm Kent German here with the Samsung Smiley for T-Mobile. ^M00:18:33 [ Background music ] ^M00:18:37 >> Molly Wood: Boy, if Kent is this upset about the Smiley, I can't wait to see how he reacts to the HTC hugs and kisses, XOXO. He's not going to like it. And now it's time for this week's bottom line. ^M00:18:49 [ Background music ] ^M00:18:52 To 4G or not to 4G that is the question and Brian Tong is here to answer it in this week's Prize Fight. ^M00:19:00 [ Background music ] ^M00:19:06 >> Brian Tong: What's up Prize Fight fans? I'm Brian Tong and this is the number one most requested prize fight that you the people have been asking for. It's an epic prize fight battle royal between the iPhone 4 and the HTC EVO 4G. Now we've given enough time for these phones to show us what they're working with in the real world so we're bringing the best. Judging this prize fight are Senior Editor Bonnie "Boom Boom" Cha and Senior Editor Kent "KG" German and Brian "Boom Shakalaka" Tong. [phonetic]. Now, we'll take all three judges' blind scores and average them out to the nearest tenth each round. The final prize fight score will be an average of all rounds using the same decimal system. This prize fight is as big as it can get. So, let's get it on. Round one is sexiness and durability. The iPhone 4 brings a whole new design with a curved bezel, but a flat back and sharper edges. Its retina display is clearer than crystal clear, but we're all questioning how durable its all-glass body really is. The EVO 4G smoothes things out with a gorgeous 4.3-inch screen and a slim figure to match. Its soft touch backside is nice, but this is still bigger phone and it might be a little too big for some people. The EVO 4G might be more durable, but the iPhone 4 still has the sex appeal. Apple takes this round with a 4.7 and the EVO 4G gets a 4. Next round is controls and user interface. The iPhone 4 brings new features like multitasking and dropping multiple apps into folders with iOS 4. Android has always had these, but the new editions don't subtract from the fact that pinching and zooming, swiping and double tapping make this the easiest and most successful mobile interface on the planet. The EVO 4G featuring HTC's Sense UI is our favorite Android interface. We have seven home screens with a pinch, custom layouts depending on how you want to use the phone and widget customization that can't be matched, but there's a learning curve with Android even if you get more control. The iPhone 4 gets a perfect 5 and the EVO 4G gets a 4.3. So, after averaging two rounds Apple takes a commanding lead sprinting seven tenths of a point ahead of HTC. The EVO 4G will have to make it up. Round three is features. Both phones are packed with 3G, Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth, but heavy hitters like these guys have to bring more to the table than that. The iPhone has finally caught up with multitasking, folders and email enhancements even if Android users think they were so last year. The apps store make this device more than a phone and it also makes this the best gaming phone we've ever seen, and we haven't even talked about face time. It's one of the iPhone 4's killer features its integration is seamless, but the EVO 4G can do that, too, without forcing you to be on Wi-Fi only. Now, if you're talking features, the EVO 4G is the most feature-packed phone on the market with its 4G connectivity. You can use the phone as a mobile hotspot and let's just throw in some kickstand action and its Android marketplace is respectable as well. Plus don't forget its Android staples like the notifications pull down, turn-by-turn GPS directions, [inaudible], its unmatched voice search, Thai restaurant, and text messages by voice, what's crackin' homey? The EVO 4G is just a beast and it takes round three with a perfect 5 and the iPhone 4 gets a 4. Next round is web browsing and multimedia. Safari on the iPhone is still considered to be the best mobile web experience even without Flash. The iPhone 4 still has the best media player on a mobile device and its iTunes integration gets you access to loads of music and video content that still looks even better on its retina display. Its five-megapixel camera with LED flash and 720p video takes excellent pictures and if you want to dabble with editing movies directly on the device, Apple's iMovie will satisfy it. The iPhone 4 is the definition of a multimedia phone. Now the HTC EVO 4G's web browser is on par with Safari with its smooth running multi-touch, flashlight support is here with full Flash coming soon. Amazon's MP3 store and Double Twist will take care of your media synching, but the lack of a video store hurts a little. The ACC Sense UI also gives us the best Android media player plus its eight-megapixel camera with LED flash and 720p video also takes great looking pics. The larger screen really allows media to shine and then you add in the kickstand and an ATMI out port, HTC has stepped up its multimedia game. Both phones have made media a focus and we're calling this round a tie at 4.7 points apiece. So after averaging out four rounds the iPhone 4 leads by just one tenth of a point; ACC has closed the gap and the final round that decides it all is call quality and performance. The iPhone 4 features its A4 processor and the phone is snappy. Call quality has improved and it's the best sounding iPhone we've heard, but it's just a hair behind the EVO 4G, but then you get to the antenna issue. In our test, audio quality completely disappeared or became garbled when we covered the magic spot, and we know it doesn't affect everyone, but this is a big deal and a $30 bumper or a software update isn't a real fix to any of us. The saving grace is that Apple's improved battery life makes up for it and we squeeze out almost eight hours of talk time over 3G and that's impressive. Now HTC's EVO 4G 1 gigahertz Snapdragon processor makes this a smooth running phone as long as you're not running too many apps. It also has some of the best call quality I've ever heard. It was crisp, clean, and clear for all three judges with no dropped calls. Running on 4G just kills this battery and you're lucky to get it through a day but running it on 3G still drains a good amount because of the screen, but like Bonnie says at least you can replace the battery. We were able to get five and a half hours of talk time over 3G, which is respectable, but one drawback is paying the additional $10 premium even if you don't have 4G coverage in your area. In the final round, the EVO 4G gets a 4.3 and the iPhone 4 gets a 3.3. So let's average out all five rounds and in a battle where the iPhone 4 led from the start, the EVO 4G clawed back to close the gap and finish with a final round blow to take this epic battle 4.5 to 4.3 and is your Prize Fight winner. Both of these phones are the cream of the crop but it was the EVO 4G's features and some of the iPhone 4's flaws that made all the difference. I'm Brian Tong, thanks for watching, and we'll catch you guys next time for another Prize Fight. ^M00:25:45 [ Background music ] ^M00:25:52 >> Molly Wood: The bottom line this week, I demand a recount or a recall. Ouch, too soon. Either way it seems like Apple just cannot catch a break and that's our show for this week everyone. Tune in next week for an all-new look at the Tech Week that was. Until then you can always find more great CNET video at CNETTV.com. See you next time and thank you for watching. ^M00:26:11 [ Background music ] ^M00:26:17