During today's Facebook Home announcement, HTC and AT&T announced the HTC First, a new smartphone set to launch in just over a week that was built from the ground up to run Facebook Home as its main interface. Aside from being the, um, first phone to launch with Facebook Home built-in, it'll also be the first smartphone to ship with Instagram pre-installed (although the Samsung Galaxy Camera does, too, but it isn't technically a phone.) The phone itself is a beautifully simple device from a design perspective, and on the inside runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor keeping things humming along, and status updates flowing across the 4.3-inch display. It also runs on AT&T's 4G LTE network, which Ralph de la Vega made sure to pimp as the fastest LTE network in the country. You'll be able to pick up the HTC First on April 12 (hey, the same day that the iPhone 5 hits T-Mobile!) for $99.99 in the US, and you'll have a choice of four colors: black, white, sky blue, or red.
Read More | HTC First
This morning Facebook revealed a new Android-based mobile initiative called Facebook Home. Mark Zuckerberg was on hand to talk about what would happen if your phone was made to be about "people, not apps," and the result is Facebook Home.
While many assumed that Facebook would be releasing its own hardware device (despite our assurance that it wouldn't!), Home is, instead, a suite of Facebook apps that work together to put Facebook front and center across your entire Android device, making it feel like a "Facebook Phone." For example, in the Coverfeed app, it takes over both the Android homescreen and lock screen, and then provides a regular stream of updates from your friends--all without you tapping a Facebook app icon or even swiping to unlock. From the home screen you can even comment and like the updates that flow across your display.
The HTC One is set to officially launch on April 19th on both AT&T and Sprint, starting at $199.99 with two-year contract for the 32GB model. If you prefer the 64 GB variant, you'll have to go with the AT&T model…yup, the 64 GB HTC One is an AT&T exclusive. Despite an unforeseen delay, the HTC One is still set to beat the Samsung Galaxy S 4 to the market, and also comes in $50 cheaper. If you wanna get your pre-order on, you can put your money down with AT&T beginning on April 4, or on April 5th if you're going with the Sprint model.
If you were hoping to pick up a the 64 GB model of the HTC One, it looks like you'll need to grab it from AT&T. AT&T has posted a video promoting the HTC One on its official YouTube account, which clearly shows that the 64 GB model is exclusive to the carrier, while the 32 GB version is not. Since the One has no internal expansion slot for a microSD card, you are stuck with what you get, and if 32 GB is just too cramped for you, the AT&T model seems to be your only hope. That's unfortunate, as exclusive handset configurations in the smartphone market don't seem to help anyone byt the vendor who has the exclusive, consumers be damned. Check out the promo video after the break.
We got a look at the AT&T HTC 8X Windows Phone device, running Windows Phone 8, and we hit you with an unboxing of this smartphone in this episode. The 8X is HTC's flagship Windows Phone 8 device, sporting a 720p display with 1080p video recording from both the front and rear cameras. It's rare to get that high a recording resolution from a front camera, and is a nice touch that sets the 8X apart from other Windows Phone 8 devices from companies like Nokia and Samsung.
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HTC has announced it's newest flagship smartphone--the HTC One. What makes the HTC One stand out among the rest? It's got a great design aesthetic and the specs to match. The One packs a 4.7-inch LCD display (bonded to the Gorilla Glass 2 enclosure) with 1080p resolution. That's an impressive 468ppi.
The HTC One also boasts an impressive camera that ditches the megapixel game in order to focus on vastly-improved low-light capabilities instead. The result is a 4-megapixel rear camera that HTC's marketing department has renamed UltraPixels, which each capturing 300% more light than a typical 8-megapixel shooter. It's a bold move, and it's in line with what Nokia's Lumia 920 PureView camera is all about. The One also has optical image stabilization (OIS) for both the rear and front cameras. Speaking of the front camera, it's also an ultra-wide angle camera, similar to what HTC packed into the Windows Phone 8X.
Fulton Innovation, known for its advancements in wireless power, is making yet another run at wireless power in 2013. What's in store this year: Using your tablet to wirelessly charge your smartphone. Fulton showed off its "two-way technology" at CES 2013, displaying a tablet that doubles as a wireless charing pad for other devices and Qi-compatible phones. Fulton demonstrated its two-way technology's flexibility with a printed poster of aDj console that is played by tapping elements of the poster to create sounds, all powered by its two-way tablet, as instead of powering lights it powers the speakers. The circuits of the poster are implemented in conductive inks that create the wireless power coil. Lastly, Fulton showed its multi-device power mat that allows multiple Qi-compatible devices to charge on a single surface.
Read More | The Verge
If having a smartphone that has the best specs on paper is your thing, you're gonna wanna sit up and pay attention to the HTC Droid DNA smartphone. The Droid DNA will launch on November 21st on Verizon Wireless, and pre-orders start today. What makes the Droid DNA the undisputed champion of the spec race? Well, for starters, it has what is unquestionably the best display ever seen on a smartphone to date. It's a 1080p 1280 x 1080 display, packing the same number of pixels into it's 5-inch LCD panel that you'd find on your HDTV at home. That equates to 440 pixels-per-inch, blowing away Apple's 326ppi found on its iPhone Retina display.
The Droid DNA will run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean when it launches in ten days, and will be powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and 2GB RAM. Naturally, being part of Verizon's flagship Droid line, it'll be a 4G LTE smartphone. Beats Audio with HTC Sense 4+, wireless charging, and a new Super LCD 3 panel round things out here. You can pre-order your Droid DNA today while we work on getting a review unit in-house.
In our opinion, the one big factor that limited the appeal of Google Wallet was the fact that it has only been compatible with CitiBank MasterCard. Not exactly something that the masses have in their wallets. Today, that changes, as Google has announced that Wallet is now compatible with all Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover debit and credit cards. That's progress!
Also added is a remote wipe feature that allows users to disable Google Wallet remotely, blocking usage of the app with that device and clearing off card and transaction data as well.
You can now use Google Wallet to pay at over 200,000 locations across the US. You can download the new update today from Google Play.
Read More | Google Play
Sprint has officially announced that the first 15 cities to be lit up with its LTE service are now live. Unfortunately, it's a slow start, but at least it's something. If you are in select areas of Georgia, Texas, or Missouri, then you're in luck if you've also got a Sprint LTE device. The full list of cities:
Atlanta, GA; Athens, GA; Calhoun, GA; Carrollton, GA; Newnan, GA: Rome, GA; Dallas, TX; Fort Worth, TX; Granbury-Hood County, TX; Houston, TX; Huntsville, TX; San Antonio, TX; Waco, TX; Kansas City, MO-KA; St. Joseph, MO
Let us know how it's working for you!
Read More | Sprint
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