Verizon has just cut the price of the Droid RAZR Maxx by a whopping $100, bringing the price of the long-lasting 4G LTE smartphone down to $199.99 with two-year contract. That's a great price for the supercharged Motorola handset. Verizon is also touting its new partnership with Facebook video app Color, which allows you to share 30-second video snippets over 4G LTE. Speaking of the Droid RAZR Maxx, it should be picking up Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich very, very shortly.
Not feeling all the black and (sometimes) white Android devices out there? Well, prepare yourself, because Verizon has announced that a blue version of the Motorola Droid RAZR is on the way. Just to be clear, the only thing changing here is the color, so you'll get the same 4.3-inch display and Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS that all the other RAZRs are rocking. The blue model officially goes on sale next week, but you might be able to find it at physical Verizon stores a little sooner than that.
We give you a first look at the upcoming Sony Xperia ion, the first Sony 4G LTE smartphone, in this episode. The Xperia ion features a 4.55-inch high definition touchscreen display, 12 megapixel camera, and a 1.5 GHz dual core processor, and brushed aluminum metal backing. It can shoot 1080p video with the rear camera, and 720p video using the camera up front. The phone will ship with Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and is also Playstation-certified, which means you can play Playstation games right on the phone, or on your TV with the dock. Hit the video for the full scoop on the Xperia ion! This video was recorded at CES 2012.
Thanks to Pocket Now, we have our first look at what is rumored to be the successor to the LG Optimus 3D, currently known as the CX2. From initial information and pictures, the new phone is not much better than the Optimus 3D, having what seems to be a higher focus on form factor rather than function. With an upgraded CPU that goes from 1.0 GHz dual core to 1.2 GHz dual core, and with 8 GB of internal storage, there is not much difference between the two phones in the hardware department.
The thickness of the device, as it stands right now, is 0.39 inches. That's considerably less than the Optimus 3D at 0.47 inches. The width of the display on the CX2 is around 4.7 inches, which matches the original specifications, although it is said that LG swapped out the original display panel for a brighter one. The last morsel of knowledge that we have right now is that the device will, by default, be running Android 2.3 Gingerbread. We can hope to find out more about this phone next month at the Mobile World Conference.
Samsung has announced that its Galaxy Note mini-tablet/super-big phone will officially be coming to AT&T in the near future. The Galaxy Note sports a 5.3-inch 800x1280 Super AMOLED Plus display, runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and even includes a fancy stylus (though, they call it an S-pen.) The device will run on AT&T's newly-launched 4G LTE network. We're still waiting on a shipping date, but hey, at least it's confirmed now!
The Amazon Kindle Fire is the first small tablet that average users can pick up and immediately use, with a simple, clear interface. Then there's the price: Android along with amazing specs for just $199. It's open enough to attract geeks, too. While the user interface occasionally gets sluggish, we're willing to have a bit of patience to get a first-rate tablet for half of what most competitors charge, thus the Kindle Fire is our first Editors' Choice for small tablets.
A solid little brick at 7.5 by 4.7 by .45 inches and 14.6 ounces, the Kindle Fire looks and feels a lot like the BlackBerry PlayBook, but the Fire is smaller in all dimensions. There are no slots or tabs; both the memory and battery are sealed in, and the only interruptions in its smooth, black form are the headphone jack, Power button, MicroUSB jack, and dual stereo speakers. There's no camera, but I've never been sold on the value of tablet cameras anyway. It uses 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi networks to get online; there's no cellular radio or Bluetooth connectivity.
Turn the Fire on and the 7-inch 1024-by-600 IPS LCD screen lights up. This display is very sharp and clear, but it's also rather reflective. Just like on the Apple iPad 2, you may have trouble reading in bright light because of the screen's sometimes mirror-like gloss. While this is par for the course with tablets, I expected more given the Kindle name. This isn't a dedicated e-reader by any means.
The new Amazon Kindle Fire is a powerful, dual-core Android tablet for only $200. It doesn't have the quarter-million apps from the Android Market, though; by default, you can only load the "thousands" of apps in Amazon's App Store.
But that's OK. If you have an Android phone around, you can use free tools to load almost any Android app onto the Kindle Fire. You don't need to hack, alter, or "root" your phone or tablet to do this, and Amazon doesn't oppose sideloading apps.
The Kindle Fire can install any app in the standard Android APK format, but I strongly suggest only installing apps you've moved over from a phone or downloaded from a major app store. You can find APKs scattered around the Internet on various sites, but don't use those, even for free apps.
Why not? Developers can't track APKs that are just floating around the Net, so they don't know their apps are being used. That discourages developers, especially small developers, from upgrading and making new apps. Peer-to-peer app piracy sites are also sinks of malware, as they have none of the safeguards you'll find on an app store.
So here's how to move any app from an Android phone running Gingerbread (Android 2.3) to a Kindle Fire. It's a lot of steps, but I'm just being very clear; they go quickly.
Motorola has ressurrected the RAZR from the dead, slapped the Droid branding on it, and has come up with a 7.1mm thin powerhouse. Appropriately called the Droid RAZR, the smartphone has a Gorilla Glass covered 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display and a body made of Kevlar, making it lightweight, water-resistant, and durable. On the inside you've got a dual-core 1.2GHz TI OMAP4430 chip, 8 megapixel camera that records 1080p video, 1 GB RAM, and 16 GB flash storage onboard (and another 16 GB on the included microSD card.) It runs on Verizon's 4G LTE network. so you know, it's fast. We'll be getting a review up soon, but in the meantime, be sure to peep our Droid RAZR unboxing gallery first!
Gallery: Motorola Droid RAZR unboxing gallery
The low-cost Android tablet space is heating up. And just in time for the holidays.
Barnes & Noble today unveiled the Nook Tablet, a beefed-up follow-up to the popular Nook Color ebook reader/tablet. The Nook Color also remains in the company's arsenal, but with a lower price. The Nook Color is available now, while the Nook Tablet is available for pre-order and ships by November 18.
Amazon, meanwhile, last month took the wraps of its first color touch-screen ereader/tablet, the Kindle Fire, which is currently on pre-order and ships by November 15.
The HTC Rezound is a 4G LTE device featuring a 4.3-inch 720p HD display, a 1.5-GHz dual-core processor, 32GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, and the latest version of HTC Sense. It also sports an 8-megapixel camera that comes with an F2.2 lens and records video in 1080p.
It will ship with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, though HTC promised to update it to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich "early next year."