Tag Archive | "verizon"

Mini Review: LG 4G (LTE) USB Modem

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lg vl600 usb modemAlong with a number of other 4G devices, Verizon has launched several USB modems for their speedy 4G data network. The modem is compatible with Mac and Windows, backwards compatible with 3G, and can send text messages from its own number. Data plans will run you $50/month for a 5GB allowance or $80 for 10GB. Overages will cost you $10/GB. Before I jump into the review, I should talk about the allotted data. 5GB of data will almost certainly be enough for someone who has a primary connection at home, but needs data on the go. I’ve been using the modem pretty heavily as a mobile user over the last few weeks and have not yet racked up 5GB (thought I’m pretty close). I doubt I’ll use another gigabyte before the billing cycle ends, but even if I did, I’d only be charged an additional $10 which would mean $60 for the month, but still cheaper than the other option of $80/month for 10GB. Speaking of the $80 option, that’s what I would recommend if you plan on eliminating your home connection and rely on the USB modem as your full-time connection. If you aren’t a heavy internet user though, you could definitely get away with the 5GB plan as a dedicated connection. Also remember that 4G from Verizon is only currently active in places with significant population (major cities) for the most part, but by 2013 they plan to have 4G coverage as widespread as their current 3G coverage (thus, if you are in the market for a 3G USB modem from Verizon, you might consider getting a 4G stick just so that you’ll be compatible when your area is infused with 4G service). While the USB modem is backwards compatible with 3G, definitely check your coverage to make sure that you are in a 4G area. Now that that’s through, let’s get on with the mini review!

Hardware

photo 1 (1)The hardware itself is the LG VL600, and it’s pretty big. I’ll certainly be looking forward to the size of USB 4G modems to come down in the future, but the VL600 isn’t unwieldy. photo 3The cap is permanently attached and flips up when you need to plug the modem in. I’m fairly certain that there’s an antenna in the cap part; otherwise I’d be pretty annoyed that such a huge cap is permanently attached! Out of the box you’ll get the USB modem, a clip-holder, and (thankfully) a 2-foot USB extension cable — in case you want to elevate the position of the modem, or if you don’t have room for the rather large USB plug to go into your computer. There’s also a CD included for installing the necessary software; more on that in the Software section of this mini-review. photo 4My only critique of the hardware is that it’s quite large. The overall size isn’t that much of an issue (I’m not exactly looking for fashion in my USB modems) but the problem is how wide the area around the USB plug is. On some notebooks — MacBooks especially — the wide shape of the housing will likely block adjacent USB ports, which is annoying. Fortunately, there’s a USB extension cable included to fix this issue, but it would be great if the USB modem was small enough not to get in the way in the first place. photo 2 (1)A note before we move on: If you pop the back cover off the stick, you’ll find a SIM slot which most Verizon customers won’t be used to. Presumably you could swap other 4G SIM cards into this slot which means a bit more flexibility over having your number embedded within the device.

Performance

Verizon’s 4G speeds at the moment are phenomenal. The 4G service that comes down to this USB modem deftly surpasses my dedicated home connection from Comcast, and is faster than 80% of US connections, according to Speedtest.net: 4g speedtest While the blazing fast speeds above are certainly impressive, Verizon warns that things will change as their 4G infrastructure takes on more traffic as time goes on, but they are still promising between 5-12 Mbps download and 2-5 Mbps upload which is nothing to scoff at. The upload in this particular test wasn’t so great, but I have seen speeds upwards of 20Mbps. Aside from an issue requiring me to occasionally restart the connection (see Connectivity/Reception section below), web browsing feels like you’re on a speedy dedicated line which is very impressive considering all of that data is coming to you without wires!

HTC Thunderbolt Overview Video

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IMG_5412As promised, we’ve got a solid 30 minute video overview of the HTC Thunderbolt, Verizon’s first 4G phone. You’ll see a quick hardware tour in the beginning followed by a look at the software (Android 2.2 with HTC Sense UI) of the meaty and well built device. Have a look below:

Field Guide: Verizon’s Six Upcoming 4G Devices – 4 Smartphones, 2 Tablets – Pics, Specs, and More

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verizon 4g lte devicesWith the launch of Verizon’s first 4G (LTE) smartphone, the HTC Thunderbolt, just behind us I thought it’d be a good time to lay down an overview of Verizon’s initial 4G device lineup. If you’re planning on jumping into the 4G action, listen up: these are the devices that you’ll be seeing right down the road.

At Verizon’s CES 2011 keynote, the company announced a goal to launch 10 4G devices by mid-year (which is now being refined to “summer”). Of those 10 devices, four are smartphones and two are tablets.

Availability:

All of the devices listed in this article will be available by this summer, according to Verizon.

As for 4G coverage, Verizon is continuing to roll out coverage to more regions. Take a look at the following map to see if your area is already 4G enabled, or marked as coming in 2011 (be sure to read the map legend!)

http://network4g.verizonwireless.com/pdf/VZW_4G_LTE_Coverage_Map.pdf

We saw the launch of the first of Verizon’s four upcoming 4G phones with the HTC Thunderbolt just a few days ago:

HTC Thunderbolt

htc thunderbolt front-backThe sleek looking HTC Thunderbolt is already in the hands of consumers, and we’ve seen some incredible 4G speed tests so far – speeds that easily outperform my home broadband connection (and probably yours too!). Check out this video from GottabeMobile.com of the Thunderbolt benchmarking 24.30Mbps download and 16.60Mbps upload:

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This is no doubt very impressive, but be forewarned: Verizon does not anticipate that customers will see these speeds once the 4G waves become saturated with users. Verizon has been claiming from the beginning of their LTE campaign that users should expect 5-12Mbps download and 2-5Mbps upload.

They are getting great press thanks to the ridiculous speed that the Thunderbolt achieves and even though the speed will reduce as 4G devices become more widespread, they are going to benefit greatly because the idea that “Verizon’s 4G is fast” is going to stick around in the heads of the general public much more easily than specific figures. When customers pick up a 4G phone, even after the speeds have come down to 5-12Mbps, they’ll likely still be impressed with the speed if they are coming from 3G.

Specs:

The HTC Thunderbolt isn’t just a data speed-demon, it’s also a top-of-the-line smartphone packed with some impressive hardware:

  • Android 2.2 with HTC Sense interface (unfortunately not 2.3!)
  • Qualcomm MSM8655 Snapdragon CPU @ 1GHz (Qualcomm MDM9600 chipset with LTE support)
  • 768MB of RAM
  • 8GB of built-in memory + 32GB pre-installed Micro-SD card
  • 4.3” capacitive touchscreen @ 800×480
  • 8MP rear camera with dual-LED flash and autofocus, 1.3MP front-facing camera
  • WiFi b/g/n & Bluetooth 2.1
  • GPS, FM radio

It’s also got a sweet kickstand – a hallmark of several HTC devices:

htc thunderbolt stand

I’m disappointed that it isn’t using running Android 2.3, but it seems like almost every upcoming device has this in common with the Thunderbolt. If we’re lucky, we’ll see an update to 2.3 down the road.

What it doesn’t have in common with most other smartphones on the market today is that the front-facing camera is 1.3MP instead of 0.3MP, this should offer a nice boost in video-calling quality (especially over 4G where the bandwidth is there for higher quality video).

Reviews:

If you’re looking for some quality info about the Thunderbolt, check out these reviews:

Next Up: Motorola Droid Bionic

HTC Thunderbolt Available Tomorrow for $250, Verizon on Its Way to Goal of Launching Ten 4G Devices by Mid-year

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Just a few weeks ago, a series of strange rumors began floating around about the HTC Thunderbolt’s release date being pushed back. Oddly, a lot of people seemed to be upset about this news regarding Verizon’s first 4G phone, which is peculiar considering that neither HTC nor Verizon had yet officially announced a release date. It looks like Verizon actually wanted to quell the talk about rumored push back of release dates. @VerizonWireless tweeted the other day:

We share excitement about the HTC Thunderbolt! When there’s actual news, you’ll get it here. Until then, on to other topics.

htc thunderboltToday, however, it’s official (for real). The HTC Thunderbolt will be launching on Verizon tomorrow (the 17th) for $250. Verizon says that they aren’t taking pre-orders, though customers can start buying the device online starting at midnight EST tonight, and that stores will be operating during regular hours.

Verizon is on its way to making good on it’s promise at CES this year: that 10 LTE devices would be launched by mid-year. Though Verizon has launched other LTE devices (like mobile hotspots), the HTC Thunderbolt is the first phone to be using the carrier’s recently launched 4G data service. Still on the device-bench for a 4G release is the Droid Bionic, a Samsung 4G smartphone, the LG Revolution, and a 4G upgrade for the Xoom and an enhanced 4G version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

People have been excited for the Thunderbolt for good reason. Aside from being created by the reputable HTC and supporting Verizon’s 4G data, the specs are looking quite nice:

  • Android 2.2 with HTC Sense interface (unfortunately not 2.3!)
  • Qualcomm MSM8655 Snapdragon CPU @ 1GHz (Qualcomm MDM9600 chipset with LTE support)
  • 768MB of RAM
  • 8GB of built-in memory + 32GB pre-installed Micro-SD card
  • 4.3 inch capacitive touchscreen @ 800×480
  • 8MP rear camera with dual-LED flash and autofocus, 1.3MP front-facing camera
  • WiFi b/g/n & Bluetooth 2.1
  • GPS, FM radio

Xoom Reviews Highlight Speed, UI, Multitasking, Possible Rush to Market.

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Many of the large U.S. based computing websites got a Xoom to test under embargo recently and obviously there’s been a quick rush of content out of the door as the embargo lifts today. (List of reviews below)

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More images in our Gallery

Our Hand-on Here.

Full specs, review links and more videos here.

Of the Honeycomb tablets we saw at MWC the Xoom was clearly the best in terms of UI-feel but both Samsung and LG still have time to optimise their software before launch. Interestingly, the Xoom is looking very vanilla in terms of applications and that’s probably because this is a project that Google have been heavily involved with as the launch product for Honeycomb. Expect both the Samsung and the LG tablets to have different angles with Samsung likely to go for a heavily enhanced software package and LG using their 3D technology to make a difference.

Back to the Xoom though and it’s difficult to get a real feel from what looks like a 2-day hands-on before the ‘reviews’ were posted but there’s already unanimous agreement that the UI is good, it’s fast (we measured the fastest Sunspider/Android result ever on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 which uses the same hardware and software.)

There’s also a widespread worry about the lack of Honeycomb/Tegra2 optimised software (although the Google applications suite does look to be well designed) and obviously a question over the $799 price. That, however, is likely to drop fairly quickly as soon as market competitors launch.

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Image via Slashgear

Battery life reports are positive as are thoughts on the camera quality and software. It remains to be seen just how many will be using it as a photographic device but there’s some interesting virtual reality use-cases that shouldn’t be forgotten.

One element of the software suite that I’m interested in is the video editing software. Without even looking at it I can’t see how it can be that fast at processing 720p video for overlays and fades; processes which take huge amounts of CPU power. We must not forget that the Tegra 2 platform is still in the sub-netbook performance category. Engadget report that Movie Studio is ‘ inchgenerally sluggish. inch Laptop Magazine, however, calls it a “fairly robust editing app. inch but then goes on to talk about how the Xoom started to get “bogged down inch when previewing and editing.

Flash support is missing along with support for the Micro SD card slot but Motorola are promising a software update to enable those features.

There’s a feeling that Motorola might not have been 100% ready for the launch of the Xoom but have gone ahead and taken the risk anyway. We would expect the first firmware updates in just a few weeks an at that point it’s probably worth re-visiting updated reviews to see if some of the holes have been patched.

At $799 the Xoom is not quite worth its money in its current state and with competitors like the Iconia Tab, Galaxy Tab 10.1, LG Optimus Pad and, potentially, an iPad 2 it would pay to wait. Certainly don’t go committing to a 2-year contract today!

A list of current reviews is show below and we’ve selected some YouTube videos for the product database page. Tip us here if you see any other good reviews.

Motorola Xoom Review Roundup
Motorola Xoom Review – PC Magazine
Motorola Xoom Review – Laptop Magazine
Motorola Xoom Review – Mobile Crunch
Motorola Xoom Review – Cnet
Motorola Xoom Review – JKontheRun
Motorola Xoom Review – Android Community
Motorola Xoom Review – Engadget
Motorola Xoom Review – Slashgear

Also check the Xoom Questions List before you buy.

Questions that should be on your Motorola Xoom Checklist

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XoomThere is no doubt that the Motorola Xoom / Honeycomb combination has caused a lot of tablet buyers to hold-back on their purchases. It’s understandable because they will want to see what Android 3.0 and the dual-core processor offering really gives them in terms of value for money.

I’ve just finished adding the Xoom to the product database here and was quite impressed. The weight seems good and the additional barometer and gyroscope sensors could be useful when new applications start taking advantage of them. That’s one of the key things to think about with the Xoom though, the apps. How long will it take for applications to go, not only ‘HD’ with 10 inch screen support at 160dpi but to add fragments and support for multi-threading and the unique features of the Tegra 2 GPU?

I certainly want to get some quality time with the Xoom as soon as possible but in the meantime, I’ve scribbled a few notes down about things I DONT see mentioned in any specifications or marketing information.

  • Video codec support.  While Android 2.0 offers better streaming and media transfer capabilities, it doesn’t add much to the codec support. Of course, you can only include so much in an open-source operating system so it’s up to the manufacturer to add support in for other common formats. I don’t see any mention of WMV or DivX and the MKV container format. OGG? With an HDMI out port you’d expect multiple video codec support AND DLNA certification.
  • Audio. Wireless audio transfer over Bluetooth (A2DP) isn’t easy and isn’t high quality. How about some APT-X support in the A2DP protocol Motorola for some CD-quality wireless audio?
  • Browsing speed. Just how fast is the dual-core processor going to make it. I estimate that 2.2 was about 20% faster than 2.1. That 2.3 added little but that the dual-core CPU under Android 3.0 should add another 20% speed improvement. You’ll be looking at netbook browsing speeds. What’s the tab-limit? Is it still 8 tabs?
  • Battery life. So far we’ve seen average battery life figures coming from Tegra 2. The 2nd core WILL add to the power envelope and with Dalvik attempting to use both cores, it might impact battery life. With a weight of 730gm though I expect Motorola have at least squeezed in a 20wh battery pack. It’s going to need it. That 10 inch screen is LED backlit from what I can tell.  Would it be nice to have a single-core long-battery life mode?
  • Size. 10 inch is great for reading large amounts of text and perfect for the new generation of tablet-based magazines and newspapers. Unfortunately, 720 grams isn’t. Watch out for that if you are thinking of going handheld for any length of time.
  • USB OTG. I don’t see any mention of this so there’s no way to plug a USB keyboard and mouse in. Or a USB stick. Or that fantastic idea that Nokia use, the USB OTG TV and radio receiver.
  • Mic Array. For HQ video and audio calls (a feature of Honeycomb) I’d expect to be able to use the device without headphones. A dual-mic array can really help here.
  • HD cam – Does it have continuous auto-focus? Are there any camera features over and above what Honeycomb provides? Probably not. And what about the quality of the optics?
  • Stereo speakers? I only see one speaker port on the device.
  • FM radio / transmitter. FM radio is still the lowest-power method of receiving audio broadcasts. An FM transmitter will help get that audio to the back seats of the car for the kids to watch a video together.
  • Removable battery. One to note because it doesn’t have one, like most tablets.
  • Is the headphone port a headset port?
  • Analogue video out – Unsupported I believe.
  • Stand. Flip out stands are worth having.
  • Voice call capability? SMS, MMS capability. EU video calling?
  • Consumer IR. I still don’t understand why these don’t appear on tablets. A TV-remote app would be the ultimate in laziness.
  • Multi-track audio pass-through via HDMI. If the unit can’t handle AC3 or similar, you might not be able to play the audio. The same problem occurs on the Galaxy Tab and it is annoying!
  • Haptic feedback / vibration notifications
  • Split keyboard for two-handed use in landscape mode?
  • Tethering to phone for non-3G use?
  • Scratch resistant touchscreen?

Is there anything else you’re wondering about?

The Motorola Xoom is going to be a breakthrough device, make no mistake. Honeycomb finally stamps the ‘tablet’ seal of approval on Android and the dual-core Tegra 2 platform is going to shine. There are some nice accessories too but don’t let all the marketing fuzz distract you from your task of finding a tablet that suits YOU! Make that checklist now!

The Motorola Xoom specifications are now in the database.

More on tablet design:

Making a HIT. (Your Checklist for a Quality Handheld Internet Tablet)

Things to Consider when Designing or Buying a Tablet-Style Device

Notes on productivity issues with Tablets:

30 iPad Productivity Problems.

The iPhone Has Finally Come to Verizon, with a Catch. Why I’m Happy About the iPhone on Verizon as an AT&T Customer

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iphone verizon 4So today is the big day for people who have been predicting that Apple would launch a Verizon iPhone at every single Apple event since the original iPhone announcement in 2007. Nice work guys, your “predictions inch came true 4 years later. For those who didn’t follow any of the live blogs, the Verizon iPhone 4 will be, for the most part, aesthetically identical to the AT&T version, and is priced the same. And while it’s still just the iPhone 4, there’s actually some advantages over the AT&T version. Engadget is pointing out that the Verizon iPhone has some slightly changed notches on the steel antenna band, which points to an antenna redesign. I think this is likely because Apple surely doesn’t want a repeat of “antenna-gate inch. Also, the Verizon iPhone 4 is going to feature Verizon’s mobile-hotspot which will let you share the device’s 3G CDMA connection to up to 5 other devices over WiFi (this feature comes with a costly monthly fee, of course). If you’re interested in the iPhone 4, you can order it from Verizon on February 10th, or if you’re a “qualified inch Verizon customer, you’ll be able to pre-order it on the 3rd of February.

The Catch

One downside to the iPhone 4 on Verizon is actually one of the reasons that compelled Apple to go with AT&T in the first place. That is: Verizon’s CDMA technology doesn’t allow for simultaneous data and voice. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been on a call with someone on my iPhone 4 and also been referring to emails/attachments/websites/apps that were pertinent to the conversation. With Verizon’s iPhone, you’ll end up with a lot of “Hey did you get that super important attachment? inch, “Uh…. let me call you right back inch. Still, for those already on Verizon and who prefer it’s service to AT&T, a slightly compromised iPhone is better than no iPhone at all.

Why I’m Glad the iPhone Has Come to Verizon as an AT&T Customer

It’s about damn time that AT&T had some competition! The city in which I live must have the worst iPhone service ever. I’m lucky if I break 10kbps up and 5kbps down in some places. Thank the lord that there’s usually WiFi. With the iPhone now in Verizon’s hands, there will finally be competition for the best iPhone service, and AT&T is going to be forced to step up their game if they don’t want new cellular customers going straight to Verizon for the iPhone. After being recently called out by consumer reports as the worst carrier in the US, AT&T won’t be able to hide behind it’s claims of “Nation’s fastest 3G network inch for long. I’d much rather have Verizon’s 3G reliability than AT&T’s 3G, which is fast in well covered rural areas, but horrendously slow in densely populated places. There’s finally someone to give AT&T the kick in the pants that it’s needed for several years.

There’s also FaceTime. More people with iPhone 4’s means more people with FaceTime, the simple to use — but so far under-deployed –  video calling service that’s built right into the iPhone 4 and latest generation iPod Touch. With more people having access to the service, it will become more widespread, which is always good for users. Still, it won’t be until the carriers feel that their networks are fast enough to remove the WiFi ball and chain from FaceTime that we really see it take off. And hey, what do you know, maybe this would be a good opening move for Verizon against AT&T… I love competition!

viphone search graphAnd furthermore, I’m glad that the iPhone 4 has come to Verizon because I don’t have to listen to the same Apple rumor over and over! Four years was long enough. Now that the iPhone is on Verizon and the iPad has been released, the Apple rumor mill will have to devote it’s attention to something else. I just hope I’m not hearing about touchscreen iMacs for the next four years….

Samsung Announces First 4G LTE Phone for Verizon

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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

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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

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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

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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).

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Samsung Fascinate Gallery and Tracking Page

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IMG_3206A quick heads up. You can now check out the full specs of the Samsung Fascinate on our tracking page. On top of that, you can catch an early glimpse of the Samsung  Fascinate in our gallery while you await the upcoming full review.

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