Two and a half years ago, Sergey Brin, Larry Page and T-Mobile introduced the world to the very first phone, the G1. It was a good phone with a workmanlike design, decent keyboard, an average screen and lots of Google goodness built right into it. No one, least of all me, thought it stood much of a chance against the surging Apple iPhone.
For a solid year, the platform looked like a dud. But a funny thing happened on the way to the morgue.
Seven months later, T-Mobile unveiled the keyboard-less MyTouch 3G. As before, it was a nice looking, though slightly curvier, Android phone. It wasn't until the fall of 2009, more than a year after the G1 and Android's launch, that the platform got interesting. That was when Motorola started talking openly about the Droid. By casting aside just two letters and joining with the leading mobile carrier that didn't get the iPhone, Motorola and Google signaled their intention to make Android bolder, sexier and far more desirable.
I'm addicted to 4G, and it could happen to you, too.
By now, almost everyone has seen TV commercials advertising 4G phones. Essentially, a 4G mobile hotspot lets you work anywhere as if you were at home or in the office with a fast broadband connection. With sustained average download speeds in excess of five megabits per second, it's likely you won't be able to tell the difference.
Granted, many felt the same way about the first 3G cellular modems released several years ago. But the Web has become much more advanced since then; all that extra AJAX and HTML5 code takes more bandwidth. People are also streaming more music and video these days. As a result, 3G no longer seems like enough.
In addition, the Apple iPhone 4 and Android smartphones running OS 2.2 (commonly known as Froyo) now offer mobile hotspot capability. That means that for an extra monthly fee, you can use your phone as a 4G hotspot for up to five devices—or even eight, in the case of the HTC Thunderbolt. You no longer need to buy a separate cellular modem, which was really just one more thing to carry around, charge all the time, and worry about losing. Mobile hotspot access averages $20 per month across the major U.S. carriers. That's not chump change, but it's a long way from the $50 to $60 per month a separate USB modem normally costs.
We just got our hands on the HTC Thunderbolt, the very first 4G LTE smartphone, offered by Verizon Wireless, and we're currently testing the thing out. Our review and videos will be coming soon, but let's just say, 4G mobile hotspot on this thing is absolutely amazing. Anyhow, while we finish all that up, we figured we'd hit you with our HTC Thunderbolt unboxing gallery. We put a grip of images together to give you a look at this fantastic device.
In our tests, I got eight hours of 3G talk time with the Thunderbolt, six hours of video playback time, and only 2.5 hours of LTE streaming. So what's an Internet fan to do?
HTC and Verizon will offer a very high-capacity extended battery, the companies told me. The 2750 mAh battery is nearly twice the capacity of the Thunderbolt's built-in 1400 mAh unit. The big battery will cost $49.99 and will be available very soon, said Pat Bucci, Verizon's director of accessory products.
The new battery makes the phone about an ounce heavier than its existing 6.5 ounces, and it comes with a new back that makes the phone deeper as well, Bucci said.
"We want customers who are power users, that are going to have the hotspot on all day, to just go," he said.
Droid Life on Tuesday posted photos of the HTC Thunderbolt, which it says will be Verizon's first 4G LTE device. The site didn't have any details on specs except to note that it looks a lot like the Desire HD. The device features a kickstand and Google branding.
Verizon said it has no comment.
Our HTC HD7 giveaway ended this week, and we've confirmed the details of our winner. jazboy left the winning comment, chosen randomly (using random.org) from all eligible comments. Nice job, and congrats! We hope you enjoy doing more with less with Windows Phone 7.
We're giving away an HTC HD7 Windows Phone 7 device to one of you guys here in our "Doing More with Less" giveaway! Not too familiar with WP7? Be sure to check out our Windows Phone 7 review, and read on for the details on how to enter.
Over the past three years, we've seen smartphones shrink in size while gaining a ton of functionality. In fact, it's hard to imagine ever using the bulky QWERTY sliders that were just about as thick as the original Game Boy. With the iPhone, Android devices, thinner BlackBerrys, and now WIndows Phone 7 devices jumping into the fray, we've truly got a situation where we are able to do way more than we'd ever dreamed we could do with a mobile phone, in a device that is so small that it comfortably fits in our pocket while the manufacturers tout how thin they are. Speaking of doing more with less, did you know that the smartphone in your pocket has more technology in it than the first rocket that went to outer space?
Now we want to hear from you--hit the comments and give us some examples where you can do more with less. It can be technology-related, or not. We will be picking a random winner based on the comments received. Here are the official rules:
- How to enter: Just leave a comment on this article, focusing on "Doing More with Less". You can leave one comment per day until the giveaway’s close. Each comment must be substantially different than the previous.
- Timeframe: The contest ends on November 29th, 2010. At this time comments will be closed on this post and a winner chosen with Random.org.
- Eligibility: The contest is open to US residents only who are at least 18 years old at the time of entry.
- Prize: The one winner will receive the HTC HD7, a T-Mobile Windows Phone 7 device that's an approximate retail value of $500.
This giveaway is brought to you by the new Windows Phone 7. Learn more about Windows Phone online and see it in person at local T-Mobile stores today.
If you wanted to get your hands on an aesthetically pleasing HTC EVO 4G, but for some reason were against Best Buy, then you'll be pleased to know that the elusive white HTC EVO 4G that was once exclusive to Best Buy is now making its way into Sprint retail locations everywhere, as well as other third party stores. The price will remain the same $199 contract after $100 mail-in rebate. While the front of the phone remains black, the white back will give you that exclusive look that you crave.
We performed our Windows Phone 7 review while using an HTC Surround smartphone from AT&T. Now that we've got the overarching review of Microsoft's big comeback in the mobile operating system world out of the way, we wanted to focus on the HTC surround itself. It's an interesting one, as AT&T is going to launch with three Windows Phone 7 devices come November 8th. The Samsung Focus has that Super AMOLED display and is nice and thin, and the LG Quantum has a slider QWERTY keyboard, which makes it thicker. The HTC Surround is also a thicker slider, but rather than a keyboard, it packs in a pair of Dolby Mobile and SRS Wow "virtual surround" speakers with a kickstand. This is obviously aimed at the Windows Phone 7 customer who plans to use their device as an entertainment device for music and video, and its got 16GB of internal memory to hold that stuff. Is it worth your attention? Keep on reading for our verdict!
As we mentioned in our Windows Phone 7 review, Microsoft has given Mac users a way to sync their phones and Zune devices with their computers. Windows Phone 7 devices have no Zune client to sync with a Mac, which would have left Mac owners out in the cold. However, Microsoft is releasing the Windows Phone 7 Connector software for Mac, allowing Mac users to sync content from iTunes, iPhoto, and other areas of their Mac, directly to their Windows Phone 7 and Zune handhelds. Hey...it's better than nothing. We give you a look at how it all works in this episode.
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