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CNET Tech Review
Lytro! Camera! Action!This week on the CNET Tech Review: Android 4.0 comes to Samsung's Galaxy Nexus; make sure Siri keeps your data to herself; and focus problems are a thing of the past thanks to the Lytro camera.
-This week on the CNET Tech Review, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is coming some time. Motorola does stuff the Razr brand. How to make sure Siri isn't being too helpful? And a new digital camera unlike any you've seen before. It's all coming up right now. Hi everyone, I'm Molly Wood and welcome to the CNET Tech Review where we collect our hottest videos of the week and tell you what's good and what's bad in the world of tech plus offer our own unique tech wisdom in the form of the bottom line. Let's start things off with the good. The good news is that after a short one week delay, Samsung and Google have announced the long awaited Galaxy Nexus. It's the latest pure android phone featuring android 4.0 ice cream sandwich. The other good news, it looks pretty good. Here's the sneak peek courtesy of our friends from CNET Asia. -Samsung has just announced the Galaxy Nexus smartphone together with Google in Hong Kong. This new Android smartphone is the first to feature the latest Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. Its hardware features include a dual core 1.2 gigahertz processor, 1 gigabyte RAM, and near field communications technology. Another highlight is the huge 4.65-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. The new Android 4.0 OS brought many new features. Here, you see a unified menu screen that puts all your apps and widgets in the same place. The camera app is now capable of panoramic images. Just use the guide and the phone will stitch the shots for you. Here's a demo of the camera's speed. This is a big improvement over previous Nexus phones and I'm sure you don't miss shots because of shutter lag. Buttons are all software based in the Ice Cream Sandwich, so they are very few physical keys on the Galaxy Nexus. Just power and volume controls. On the back is a 5-megapixel camera and a textured back cover made from a material Samsung calls Hyper Skin. We still don't know how much the Galaxy Nexus will cost, but we do know it will be available before the end of the year. -Me personally, I would have like the former release date, some pricing info, and maybe a pre-ordered site, but I guess you can't always get what you want. The nexus maybe the latest and greatest in smartophones, but there was a time when the Motorola Razr was the hot phone to have and although that was ages ago in cellphone years, some of you who still prefer a flip phone might still be carrying with, but if the time has come to upgrade, the new Droid Razr maybe just what you're looking for. -Hey, everyone. I'm Bonnie Cha, senior editor at CNET.com and we're here in New York at a very special event where they have unveiled the Motorola Droid Razr. Yes, that's right. The Razr is back but in a smartphone form. And as the previous Razrs, it's very, very thin. It's 7.1 mm thick, so as you can see really thin here but a very nice feeling phone. On back, you've got a Kevlar fiber backing, so that's very nice and rugged. It's also water-repellent inside and out. So if you happen to spill some coffee or splash some water, it should be alright. On front here, you've got a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Advanced qHD touchscreen; really, really gorgeous, very sharp and bright, you know, better than previous Motorola phones which has just qHD displays, so very exciting there. On bottom, you've got the usual Android buttons: the Menu, Home, Back and Search. On top, you've got an HDMI port as well as a micro-USB port and a 3.5-mm headphone jack. On back, there is an 8-megapixel camera and it can do 1080p HD video. So even though this phone is very thin, it's still very feature-packed and powerful. It's got a dual-core 1.2 gigahertz processor as well as 4G LTE capabilities. Software-wise, it's running Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread. A couple of things that Motorola added is MotoCast so you'll be able to stream content from your PC to your phone such as videos and music and photos. It's also got an application called Smart Actions which will help you automatically do some tasks or optimize battery life. Speaking of battery life, it has a 1780 mA lithium-ion battery and they are saying that rated talk time is gonna be 12.5 hours. So you know, that was one of my concerns about a phone this size, is what would happen to battery life, but they're saying it's gonna be around 12.5, so we'll have to see once we get it in whether that's true or not. I'll admit when I first heard rumors of a Droid Razr, I wasn't sure what to think about it. But now that I have it in hand and have been able to play with it, it's really fast and gorgeous. I'm really excited about it and hopefully it'll work out in performance testing and everything else. The Motorola Droid Razr will be available for pre-orders from Verizon Wireless starting October 27th and the cost will be $299.99, so it is a little bit pricey. It'll be available in stores in November but they don't have a specific date. Also available in November is the new Moto Active which they also announced today. It's the fitness and music device that also has a heart rate monitor and can hold about 4000 songs and also can sync with your phone like the Droid Razr which has an app preloaded on here so you can check out your workouts and also receive text messages and see incoming calls. I'm Bonnie Cha and this has been your First Look at the Motorola Droid Razr for Verizon Wireless. -Okay, I admit, I'm the only person or two really wanted this Razr to be a flip phone also, but still I can't get over to have Finiti. Now, to all of you iPhone 4S users out there take note, Siri might be cheating on you. It turns out that Siri can be used even if your phone is locked with pass code. Now, whether you prefer to call this a feature or a security flaw, it's up to you, but either way, Sharon Vaknin is here to show how to shut Siri down. -Hey everyone, I'm Sharon Vaknin for CNET, and today we found a pretty bad security flaw in Siri on the iPhone 4S. If you're phone ever gets in the wrong hands, anyone can activate Siri even if your phone is locked with a pass code. All you have to do is long press the home button and Siri pops right up. From there, they can do a number of things like send a text, ask for your friend's phone numbers, or find out what your address is. Siri will even display events on your calendar, check it out. What's Chris Parker's address? -Here's Chris Parker's address. -Kind of freaky, right? It's only when you try to do something like access and app that Siri ask for you pass code. Give me directions to Chris Parker's address. -Sharon, I can't get maps and directions while your phone is locked. You will need to unlock it first. -Thankfully though, there is a fix for this. Head to settings, general, pass code lock, enter your pass code and switch Siri to off where it says allow access to Sir when lock with pass code. Now, your phone is actually protected. Of course, by doing this, you lose the ability to quickly complete task with Siri when your phone is locked, but the choice between security and convenience is up to you. For more how to and security tips, visit how.cnet.com and fell free to send me any questions on Twitter or my Facebook page. For CNET, I'm Sharon Vaknin and I'll see you on the interwebs. Granted voice commands have been accessible from the locked screen for years, but since Siri can do so much more, she is exposing a lot more of your information to tampering plus it would have been nice that Apple had told us this was turned by default or better. Yet, if they had turned it off by default. In the past, we've shown you how you can create your own ring tones using iTunes, but with the introduction of text tunes in iOS 5, Brian Tong figured it was worth revisiting the process and who am I to stand in his way? -Brian Tong here with CNET.com and one of the new features in iOS 5 allows you to use your custom ring tones as custom text tones because there's plenty of you that have reached for your phone when it was someone else who received a text message. Loser. So we're gonna show you how to do it and if you've seen our ring tones video, the process is almost exactly the same but let's refresh your memory. So first off, let's start in iTunes and find a song like this one that I wanna turn into a ring tone or text tone. Right-click on the song and select Get Info. A window will appear with track information and you wanna select the Options tab and look for the start time and stop time settings. Click on the boxes next to those settings for now. Now I know where I want my custom tone to start, so I'm entering a start time and a stop time. There's 40 seconds max duration for iTunes custom tones and if you wanna use sound effects or sound bites from your favorite movie, just make sure you have an audio file that's playable in iTunes. Once you've set the time, press OK then go to Advanced on the main menu bar and select Create AAC Version. iTunes will create the shorter version of your song below the original file. You'll see the duration time and you wanna drag and drop that version onto your desktop to make a copy. Now there's a little housekeeping we need to take care of first. If the option to create AAC version is not available in iTunes, go to your preferences and in the General tab, find the section that says "When You Enter a CD," click on the Import settings and then select Import Using AAC Encoder. The option should now appear in the menu bar. You also wanna go back to the original audio file in iTunes and then check off the Start and Stop Time so that it plays normally from now on. Okay, back to our custom audio file on the desktop. We're going to change the extension name on the file from M4A to M4R. You'll be asked to confirm the changes and will use M4R. Now for Windows users, you'll need to go to your Control Panel then choose Appearance and Personalization, select the Folder Options and in the View tab, make sure you've unchecked the box to hide extensions for known file types. That will allow you to see and change the file type. Okay, we're almost there, but before you bring your ring tone back into iTunes, you have to delete the custom version that we initially created and if you don't do this, iTunes will not accept the ring tone. So, this is an important, crucial step. Once you've done that, drag and drop the renamed M4R file into the Source column of iTunes and the word Library should highlight. It will copy the file into iTunes. Check out the ring tone section and voila, you have a new ring tone. Plug in your phone into your computer. Make sure you set it up to sync the ring tones in the appropriate section and your custom tones will be synced to your phone. Now the final step is to take your iOS device, go into your settings, then Sounds. Now we already know about ring tones, so this time let's go to your text tones and you'll be able to choose your default sound of choice from the ones you've created and if you want even more customization, you can go into your contacts and set specific ring tones and text tones for your friends. I'm Brian Tong with your How To for Custom Ring Tones and Text Tones for iOS 5. There's no reason for you to pay money when you can do it this way. Hey, Shevaki just texted me. Use it wisely. -Please, I beg of you, don't get too carried away with your text tunes. We just learned a few weeks ago that some you are texting over 40 times a day. I need here Katy Perry song and no Bieber or if you would like to take a moment to get your phone to vibrate, I'll give the chance to do that during this break. We'll be back with more tech review right after this. Welcome back to the CNET Tech Review, our weekly video digest of all things good and bad we've here at CNET TV, continuing in the good. The Ultrabooks are coming. Intel announced support for this new category of ultra thin intel powered laptops that would compete with MacBook Airs and they are starting to appear. Lenovo's new IdeaPad is possibly the best looking of the bunch. Let's have a look. -I'm Dan Ackerman and we are here taking a look at the Lenovo IdeaPad U300s. Now this is another one of the new laptops in the subcategory known as the Ultrabook that's an Intel-invented term that refers to laptops that are very thin, very light, still pretty powerful, good battery life, kinda like a Windows version of the MacBook Air. I've seen a couple of them that are the same price as the MacBook Air. Some of them are significantly less expensive. This model right here comes in 2 different configurations. The one that matches up with the entry-level MacBook Air has a 128-gig solid state hard drive, a Core i5 CPU from Intel. If you go with that setup, the Lenovo U300s is actually $100 cheaper than the MacBook Air. And you know what, this is probably one of the nicer-looking Windows laptops we've ever seen so that actually seems like a pretty good deal especially if you think that this includes things like an HDMI output, USB 3.0, things you're not gonna get on the MacBook Air. This exact model sitting right in front of us, however, is the more expensive version. This has a big 256-gig SSD drive and a Core i7 CPU, very powerful, very enviable stuff. That actually works out to be $1599, the exact same as the 13-inch MacBook Air that has a bigger hard drive and that faster CPU. If they're exactly the same price, I don't know. I still might be tempted to go with the MacBook Air just 'cause it's such a great all-together system and the design and the touchpad and the keyboard, everything works fantastically on that. Now, on this model, much like we see with a lot of other Lenovos, keyboard is excellent. It's got a nice big touchpad. The keys have that Lenovo IdeaPad thing where they curve out just a tiny bit at the bottom. I find that helpful with some of my sloppy typing. I kind of catch the bottom edge of the key where normally on a perfectly squared off key, I'd miss it. One knot that we've got is the 13-inch screen. Native resolution is 1366 x 768. That's perfectly normal for a 13-inch laptop, but when you get up to this price range, you kinda want something a little bit-- a little bit nicer, maybe a 16 x 9. Even the MacBook Air is a 1440 x 900, slight difference there because that's a 16 x 10 versus 16 x 9. Design on this, however, is really great. It's super thin, super light. When you close it, it kinda looks almost like a book from the side. It's got the little lids kind of stick out a tiny bit. The body stem from a single piece of aluminum and as you can see, there are no vents on the bottom. It actually uses some very subtle vents here on the side and they claim that the keyboard actually acts as a venting system itself letting heat out through the keys, although we certainly didn't suffer any hot finger while typing on it. This Ultrabook concept is still unproven but if we see more systems that costs the same or hopefully less than a MacBook Air and that look and work as nicely as this one, I think there's a lot of lengths there. And going into next year or the year after that, hopefully we'll see a lot more super-thin systems like that that will even become the basic standard for laptops of all sizes. I'm Dan Ackerman and that is the Lenovo IdeaPad U300s. -I admit I was skeptical of this fleet of MacBook Air killers, but it looks like Intel could into something after all. Also, I like that burnt amber color, but now, let's turn our attention to less promising devices in the bad. A fleet of MacBook Air killers might be possible, but the fleet of would be iPad killers is pretty much a syncing proposition and none are syncing faster than this fusion garage thing. -I love new and innovative tech. Well, at least, I'm supposed to love doing innovative tech, right? We're all supposed to love new and innovative things, but the truth is we only love new and innovative when it's actually well executed. Hi, I'm Eric Franklin and, today, we're taking our first-look at the Fusion Garage Grid10 Tablet. The Grid10 has a unique UI, but okay, I won't bury the lead, it's not well executed. First off, there's no home or back button (virtual or otherwise). Instead, you have to use two-finger swipes for those commands. Swiping to the left takes you back and swiping down from the top takes you home. Now, I'd rather have actual or virtual buttons do these. Well, this way works fine too as long as the tablet is laid down on a surface trying to swipe with two fingers while holding the tablet makes your finger crampy in experience though. Also, the Grid10's angular, pointy corners make it uncomfortable to hold and we have the bruises in our palms to prove it. Okay, we don't have bruises, but those corners really do dig into the palms. This brings us to the way the Grid10 handles navigation to apps. Apps are grouped into different clusters and the clusters are, by default, expanded and spread across the screen. It seems to be Fusion Garage's solution for having to flip through pages of apps like on a typical tablet and works a lot like the way folders do on an iPAD. Luckily, you can edit the grid, so that the clusters are closer together making them easier to find. Once they're all expanded, however, it becomes difficult to find the cluster and, therefore, the app you need quickly. There's a little mini map on the corner to help, but the fact that there's a map to help you navigate the interface leaves even more credence to the idea that the interface needed more work before released. Features-wise, the left side of the tablet holds a headphone jack, a 40-pin connector for power and connecting to a PC, a microSD card slot, and holes for the speakers. On the opposite edge are more speaker holes, a Micro-SIM slot (unusable in our Wi-Fi version), and a power button with a white LED light. The front side includes a low-quality 1.2-megapixel camera. Performance-wise, navigating and launching apps seems more sluggish than on other tablets. Also, the screen doesn't rotate to align when in an upside down horizontal position which is kinda weird and the screen has a low brightness and darkens severely when viewed from the right side. Though innovative, the Grid10 is severely held back by its user interface. This overly complex, inefficient UI, with its ridiculously unnecessary two-finger swipe navigation is clunky to use, performs sluggishly, and feels unfinished. There is potential here, but not enough to warrant a recommendation. Once again, I'm Eric Franklin and this has been the first look at the Fusion Garage Grid10. -So, that's not shooting to the top of any holiday list. Sometimes, multitouch is just a little too multi. Sorry, guys. Actually, let's give them a break and move right along to this week's bottom line. If the Fusion Garage Grid10 was trying to be innovative, the Lytro camera really is innovative. I've been excited about this light-field camera since it was announced back in June and I'm even more excited now that Lytro has shown some working prototypes. -Hey guys, Brian Tong here with CNET TV and we have a first look at the Lytro camera. This is the first ever light-field camera. Now, you see this design. It's really unique. It's not a traditional camera because this camera does not do traditional thing. So, when you talk about you standard digital cameras, you know, you focused on the one angle, one specific amount of light focused on a subject, but here this captures everything. A light field sensor captures all the light information in the picture. So, what I'm gonna do here is kind of show you an example. We're gonna take this camera right here now and we're gonna just go up really close. The beauty of this, you do not need a focus. I know it doesn't sound like it could happen, but you don't need to focus, I just snap it instantly and I have this dinosaur right here in the forefront. Now, some of the specs inside of this camera, it includes an 8 x optical zoom and up to constant aperture really unheard of in any kind of camera at this size and what you can once you have the pictures in here is you'll plug it into your computer, your PC or Mac. The software that comes included allows you to manipulate the picture. So, now matter what I take right now after the fact, I'll be able to choose what I wanna focus on. Something like I said really crazy, amazing stuff. Now, if you look at the form factor, there's not too many bunch. There's really not many bunch at all. You have standard power button. You also have your shutter button. It's an instant shutter, and you have here up on the top you kind of slide back and forth, you have a zoom. What also makes this product unique is that this glass screen on the back, this is a touchscreen that allows you to interact with the pictures just like you interact with it on your computer. So, you can swipe left to right to see some of the previous you've taken and then what's a beautify of this is in the camera, the software is all there, which enables you to pick a focal point and then it focuses it on the camera, just some really amazing stuff where again you don't need to focus when you take your pictures. So, the big is when are these gonna be available. You can jump on a lytro.com's website. There are few models out there, the graphite and the aqua blue color. They will be going for 8 gigs at $399 and then if you talk about the red hot model that's gonna be a 16 gig model for 499, but they will be starting to shift early some time in 2012, but overall, this is just some really killer technology, first time we've ever seen it, bring in it to you in your living. I'm Brian Tong for CNET TV with the first look at the Lytro Camera. -The bottom line this week. Now, every side is your good side. It's not often that a technology appears that's actually all new, exciting, and pretty affordable as for that lipstick case design. Hey, if that's what it takes to accommodate mega ray optics, I am fine with it. I ordered mine in blue. Alright, that's gonna do it for this time, but come back next week for an all new CNET Tech Review. Until then, there are tons great videos available every day at cnettv.com. I'll see you next time and thank you for watching.