Tag Archive | "ces2011"

The Most Exciting Thing I Saw at CES: The Motorola Atrix’s Webtop Experience

atrixAt this years CES, Motorola announced a number of devices. We saw their Xoom tablet that they’d been teasing prior to CES; we saw their latest Droid phone, the Bionic. But the coolest thing I saw from all of CES this year (not just from Motorola) was their upcoming Atrix smartphone.

Chippy briefly wrote about the Atrix from the show floor, but it’s presence on our site was otherwise lost in the avalanche of news happening during those days. Now that the dust has settled, I can safely say that the Atrix represents something that I’m very excited about. Chippy called it “phone as a CPU inch and I think that’s a great analogy for it.

Motorola is calling the Atrix “the most powerful smartphone in the world inch, and it had better be as it aims to act as a companion device while you’re on the go, then dock on your desk at home for a desktop computing experience.

This idea isn’t new; those familiar with the ultra mobile PC category know about the advantages as an ultra portable device that’s also their desktop. Palm actually tried (well, tried to try) something similar with cellular devices back when they announced their Foleo, but it was widely criticized and eventually canceled. It seems, however, that we’re just starting to reach the point where the smartphone platform has become powerful enough to make this a reality. The Motorola Atrix is just one step in a longer path of truly ubiquitous personal computing, but we’re on our way soon and the experience will hopefully improve from this point on.

So before we talk too much what the Atrix represents, let’s look at the device itself. Here’s the official specs, straight from Motorola:

  • Android 2.2
  • 4 inch capacitive touchscreen @960×540
  • NVIDIA Tegra 2 AP20H Dual Core CPU @ 1GHz
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 5MP auto-focus rear camera with dual-LED flash (capable of 720p recording)
  • 0.3MP front facing camera
  • 4G HSUPD speeds

A powerful phone no doubt, but also a low-powered computer. Stick it in the laptop dock to get a full keyboard, full screen, and desktop computing environment, complete with a fully functional Firefox browser (not the mobile version, this is legit Linux Firefox). There’s also an HD dock which can hook the phone up to any HDMI monitor or TV, and give you three USB ports for keyboard/mouse/etc. as well as audio output:

atrix laptop dock

atrix hd dock

For more on the Atrix experience, have a look at Engadget’s video:

As you can see, the desktop experience certainly isn’t the fastest in the world, but beyond the device itself, the Atrix is representing an exciting push for ubiquitous personal computing, from one device,  in the main stream and I cannot wait to find out where it leads us.

There’s obviously performance and battery life concerns with this sort of solution, but given the right speed and battery longevity, could this sort of phone-as-a-CPU computing paradigm work for you? Would it improve or stifle your work flow? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Samsung Announces First 4G LTE Phone for Verizon

lteSamsung was one of the partners today at Verizon’s CES conference, and in addition to an upgraded version of the Galaxy Tab, they also announced a smartphone for Verizon’s 4G LTE network. Oddly though, the press release issued by Samsung is simply calling the phone “The Samsung 4G LTE Smartphone inch. I’m presuming it’ll come under the Galaxy S brand at some point down the road, but for the time being it’s name is somewhat perplexing.

Samsung started with the AMOLED screen, then they went to Super AMOLED, and now they are touting the “Super AMOLED Plus inch display on this phone. What’s next, the “Super AMOLED Plus Ultra Mega inch display? Anyway here’s what we know so far about Samsung’s 4G LTE Phone:

  • Android 2.2
  • 4.3 inch capacitive Super AMOLED Plus touchscreen @ 800×480
  • 1GHz CPU (likely Samsung’s Cortex A8 based “Hummingbird inch)
  • 8MP rear camera with LED flash
  • 1.3MP front facing camera

We’re still waiting for more details (especially a catchier name!) so stay tuned!

Source: Samsung Press Release

Samsung Announces 4G LTE Samsung Galaxy Tab with Faster CPU, Higher Resolution Camera; WiFi-Only Galaxy Tab Also on the Way

lte galaxy tab2Today at Verizon’s CES conference, JK Shin, the president of Samsung, whipped a 4G equipped Galaxy Tab out of his coat pocket. This slightly upgraded version of the Samsung Galaxy tab has a faster CPU and better rear camera.

The Cortex A8 CPU has been slightly increased from 1GHz to 1.2GHz. The rear camera has been bumped up from 3.2MP to 5MP. Samsung also says that the device will have pre-loaded LTE specific applications. Aside from this, it’s the same device as the original Galaxy Tab. I’m interested to know how the battery life will differ between the 3G and 4G version. You can find the specs of the original Galaxy Tab at our tracking page in the device database.

Chippy’s been relying on his Galaxy Tab quite heavily during CES and I bet he wishes he had the upgraded version right now!

I feel like Verizon will end up with some angry customers on it’s hands after original Galaxy Tab holiday sales. I can only hope such customers will find out about the upgraded version so that they can return the original and get the latest one.

Samsung is also giving availability information for the launch of the WiFi-only Galaxy Tab in the US. They say that it’ll be available in the first quater of 2011. Note that the WiFi only version shares the same specs as the original.

Source: Samsung Press Release (4G Galaxy Tab) & Samsung Press Release (WiFi-only Galaxy Tab)

Live Blog — Verizon’s CES Conference

verizonThis is the first year that Verizon has an official presence at CES and they’ve blown the top off with a big conference. Stay tuned for a live blog, we’re looking forward to seeing upcoming 4G/LTE devices from Verizon.

4:16 – Promo video… major players represented, Ericsson, Samsung, Motorola, etc.

4:17 – Talking about rural carriers… using LTE to bring broadband to places which don’t have in-ground infrastructure.

4:21 – Tony Milone on stage. Talking about launch of LTE… smooth rollout, etc. Explaining why Verizon went with LTE over WiMAX (time-to-market over longterm performance).

4:22 – Tony is claiming that 1/3 of the US population is covered in LTE coverage from Verizon. 12Mbps and 30ms ping is seen commonly for LTE users, according to him.

4:25 – Not surprisingly… talking about expanding LTE to cover more of the US. Now to the good stuff “devices and applications… that’s what this show is all about”.

4:26 – Devices are rolling onto the stage. 10 devices in total, a few of them familiar… Droid Bionic, Motorola Xoom tablet, and some LTE hotspots. “All devices available by midyear”. 4 smartphones, 2 tablets, 2 mobile hotspots, 2 notebooks.

4:27 – “It’s not about the devices themselves” … I think some of us would beg to differ!

4:30 – Dr. Jong-Seok Park from LG on stage. Introducing the “LG Revolution” smartphone. “Faster, richer, multimedia experience”. Not a lot of detail on that one. Next up…

4:33 – Interesting… CEO of Skype, Tony Bates now on stage (love the accent). Video calling through Skype coming to Verizon. Short video demo showing on screen behind Bates. Looks like Verizon didn’t want to wait for Google to come up with a video chatting solution. Bates is promising “deeply integrated” Skype into Verizon devices with front and rear cameras. “One touch video calling”. Says that Skype IDs will be integrated into device’s phone book.

4:37 Peter Chao, CEO of HTC now on stage. Announcing HTC’s “Thunderbolt” 4G smartphone for Verizon. He’s pulled the device out of his pocket. Looks a bit like the HTC G2. Claims that he’s been using it as his personal device and that it’s “blazing fast”. 4.3″ “Super LCD” screen. WiFi hotspot functionality to share 4G connection.

4:39 EA (Electronic Arts) VP, Travis Boatman on stage. Talking about gaming on mobile devices. Showing off portfolio: Tetris, Need for Speed, Monopoly, etcetera. Now showing off Rock Band Mobile. “Leveage speed and mobility of 4G to create a band…”. Jam with friends in real time over 4G.  Video reel now playing: “4 ways to play”, “20 songs”. Drums, Bass, Guitar, Microphone, all being played on 4 difference devices.

4:44 Samsung bringing 3 devices to Verizon’s service. JK Shin, president of Samsung now on stage. 4G smartphone, 4G Galaxy Tab (!), 4G mobile hotspot. He’s pulling devices out of pockets, doesn’t know which one they are in! Crowd is laughing along with him. I think I might have heard him say 1.2GHz CPU in 4G Galaxy Tab.

Smartphone details: 4.3″ Super AMOLED+ display, 8MP cam, HD recording, 1.3MP front cam.

4:46 HP and Compaq netbooks with integrated 4G. New 4G MiFi from Novatel will be launching. Motorola Droid Bionic and Xoom tablet – 10.1″ Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) adobe flash, etc. (all the classic bullet points). “Look for all these devices in the first half of the year with some devices coming as early as March.”

Audience Q&A:

Q (from tnkgrl!): Asking about battery lfie with 4G and global roaming devices.
A: Spent a lot of time working with partners to achieve battery life that customers expect. With regard to roaming… devices will be able to roam overseas utilizing 3G networks, 4G networks, etc.

Q: What’s the pricing models for 4G?
A: We are not announcing any pricing models today. Not announcing pricing on devices or rate plans.

Q: Asking about devices being locked to network, bringing up the inteooperability clause when Verizon bought parts of the specutrum their using for 4G.
A: “We will comply with the open access requirements”

Q: Will there be data caps on smartphone plans?
A: As we come to market, we’ll have pricing that you’re used to now. We are looking at different models. The type of structure we have in place now for smartphones is the type we’ll have in place for the forseeable future, caps may be in place at some time.

Q: Are all the phones you showed off today running Android? (me: I guess this question was about Verizon and WP7)
A: Yes.

Q: Can you give an opinion about net neutrality on 4G LTE?
A: In terms of NN, we’ve been very specific about the terms of the network and our resposibilities. We think that for innovation, for the benefit of the customers, that an unfettered development environment is the right thing to have. We think that the free market system works very well and that we don’t need a lot of heavy intervention. With that said: we’ll have open dialog with the folks in Washington. We think that how we got here — with the free market system — is what we need going forward.

Q: Plans for tethering?
A: Some of the devices will have mobile hotspots, but not prepared to comment on tethering at this point.

And that’s a wrap, thanks for tuning in. Stick to the front page for more CES info and more details about these devices as we find them!

Motorola Announces First 4G Phone for Verizon, the Droid Bionic – 1GHz Dual-Core CPU, 720p Recording and Editing, “qHD” Display and More

Image 1Motorola is stepping up it’s game with a powerful new Droid phone, the Droid Bionic. This is Motorola’s first 4G phone that will take advantage of Verizon’s LTE 4G service. This powerful new Droid sports a dual-core 1GHz CPU and Motorola claims that it’ll be able to record and edit 720p HD video directly on the phone. Looks like Motorola is also going to be providing some sort of integrated videoconferencing functionality to take advantage of the phone’s front and rear cameras, though there isn’t a lot of detail about this yet. I hope we don’t see proprietary videoconferencing solutions from several different OEMs… Google should really  create a universal system for this, but they’ve yet to do so. The Droid Bionic has a “qHD” display (960×540) that levels the playing field with the iPhone 4’s “retina” display (960×640) [note that the resolution difference is due to Android’s 16:9 screen ratio, while Apple prefers 4:3].

We’ve got the full specs for the Droid Bionic straight from Motorola:

  • Android 2.2
  • 4.3” capacitive touchscreen @ 960×540
  • nVidia Tegra 2 AP20H Dual-Core CPU @ 1GHz
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 14GB of integrated memory
  • MicroSD slot with support for additional 32GB of memory
  • 4G / 3G – LTE band 13 / EVDO
  • WiFi b/g/n + Bluetooth 2.1
  • HDMI out (likely mini-HDMI, but it’s unclear)
  • 8MP rear camera with dual LED flash and autofocus, 720p recording at 30 FPS
  • 0.3MP fixed-focus front facing camera

Pricing and availability has yet to be announced, but we’ll let you know when we hear something (possibly at Verizon’s CES conference later today).

Image 2Image 3 Image 5Image 4

Google Release Android 3.0 Video

Google have just released a video demonstrating Android 3.0 on the Android Developers Youtube page however it appears to have been accidental as the video has just been pulled. Fortunately Engadget managed to get another copy of the video and It shows a version of Android that is like nothing we have seen before.


It’s been rumoured for sometime that Honeycomb is a special version of Android dedicated for the tablet form factor and the video confirms this declaring Android 3.0 is “Built Entirely for Tablet inch.

The video shows massive changes including a totally new user interface and home screen, a new Android keyboard and tablet versions of some of the Android apps we have come to know and love, including Gmail, Youtube, GTalk with video chat and a whole lot more.

It also appears that Android 3.0 has a touchscreen based navigation built in to the user interface at the bottom of the screen which could indicate that physical home, back, menu and search buttons are no longer a requirement for Google branded Android devices.

I expect Android 3.0 will become official very soon.

Update: The video is now live on Youtube again and is embedded below.

Source: Engadget

Viliv Press Images Show off X7 and X10 Android Slates, We’ve Got Full Specs and Availability Info

Viliv has lifted the embargo on some press renders of their upcoming Android tablets, the X7 and X10. We’ve seen quality built products from Viliv in the past so we’re quite excited to get out hands on the their first attempts at the Android slate space.

This isn’t Viliv’s first foray with Android however; they’ve previously shown the P3 Prime, but it was primarily built as an MP3 device, and never saw an international release.

Chippy’s on the show floor at CES 2011 this year so expect to see some hands-on with the X7 and X10 in the near future!

While we wait, let’s have a look at the specs of these devices. You can find detailed specs, links, and more on our tracking pages for the X7 and X10, but we’ll summarize below:

  • Both with Android 2.2 (Viliv promises an upgrade to Honeycomb in the future)
  • 7 inch (X7) or 10.2 inch (X10) capacitive touchscreen @ 1024×600
  • ARM Cortex A8 CPU @ 1GHz
  • 512MB of RAM
  • Power VR SGX 540 GPU
  • 3G (HSPA, EVDO, or WiMAX)
  • Capable of 1080p playback (claims Viliv)
  • HDMI out
  • WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth
  • Front and Rear camera (1.3MP and 3MP, respectively)
  • Micro-USB and MicroSD slot
  • 8/16/32GB internal storage options available

Viliv claims that both slates will have the longest battery life of any Android device in their size-class. Viliv also tells us that the X7 will be released worldwide in March and the X10 in April.

For now, we’ll whet your appetite with these high-res shots (click for full size):

x10_andriod tabletMan reading a book on his vacation, outdoorsx7_andriod tablet_1 (1)

x7_andriod tablet

LG Gets Official with the Optimus Black


Today at CES LG have gone official with their latest Android smartphone. It sports a 4-inch NOVA display which LG claim is “the brightest, clearest and most readable inch mobile screen available, promising to be extremely bright while at the same time being more power efficient than both LCD and AMOLED mobile screens.

If the name doesn’t give it away, the phone has a black finish and LG also claims it’s the worlds slimmest mobile phone at an impressive 9.2 mm, which is 0.1 mm thinner than Apple’s iPhone 4. It will be interesting to see if it can still claim to be the worlds slimmest phone by the end of CES.

The Optimus Black seems very similar to the LG Optimus 2X that was announced late last year, however the LG press release gives no indication on what processor is at the heart of this phone leaving me feeling sceptical on whether this device is Tegra 2 powered like the Optimus 2X.

LG say this is also the worlds first ‘WiFi-Direct’ phone which is a very interesting technology that allows direct data transfers between enabled devices.

The Optimus Black will launch with Android 2.2 preinstalled however LG plan on updating the device to Gingerbread which they claim will also provide higher quality video calling through it’s 2 megapixel front facing camera.

This appears to be a very promising phone and I look forward to a hands on when it launches globally in the first half of 2011.

Source: LG

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