Google unveiled the Nexus 7 tablet at Google I/O 2012 (watch the keynote here,) making it the very first device to launch with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Many were waiting for Google to compete directly in the tablet space, and the 7-inch Nexus 7 is the answer. The specs show that it's a powerhouse, and the sales have been off the charts, resulting in the 16 GB Nexus 7 being sold out briefly (it's back now.) Still, many consumers have the iPad on their mind when thinking about tablets, regardless of how hard companies like Amazon and Google are pushing their alternatives. Does the Nexus 7 have a place in the marketplace, meeting needs that other tablets can't? Join us in our full review as we explore Google's first tablet.
You can currently pick up an unlocked Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone from Google Play for just $349, which is a savings of about $350 off the standard price. This is the current flagship Nexus device, and was the first phone to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is rolling out to the device over the next couple of weeks. You get a 4.65" 1280 x 720 Super AMOLED display, dual-core 1.2GHz TI OMAP 4460 processor, 1 GB RAM, 16 GB storage, NFC, and it supports 4G speeds. We're certain that this one won't last long, so if you are looking to get a great, contract-free deal on a fantastic Android smartphone, look no further.
Read More | LogicBuy
Normally we wouldn’t trust leaks that come out of Asia since you have to take them with a grain of salt due to the fact that there are so many realistic fakes out there, but on occassion, there are some newsworthy items. Such is the case for the Samsung Galaxy S III, which was spotted on Vietnamese site Tinhte.
Currently, the smartphone goes by the mundane name of GT-I9300. However, if Samsung plans on sticking to its current naming scheme it’ll be called the Galaxy S III, and it should be fantastic. According to Tinhte, the phone boasts a 4.6-inch display with 720 x 1184 resolution. The phone is powered by a quad-core 1.4 GHz processor running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich smoothly. The phone features 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of built-in storage that's expandable using the micro SD slot. For those that are addicted to Instagram, you’ll be able to shoot away using the 8 megapixel camera, and the phone is also equipped with NFC.
Since this is a prototype, expect the external look of the phone may change slightly. We’re assuming that Samsung will drop the tacky plastic rim around the handset, for example. Samsung has gone on the record by neither denying nor claiming the GT-I9300 as the next Galaxy S III, only stating “We will be able to tell you more at the 2012 Samsung Mobile Unpacked.” So we’ll just have to wait and see. Until that time, enjoy the video of the leak above.
Read More | Tinhte
Acer has announced that its Liquid Glow smartphone will be running Google's Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich right out of the gate. The phone features a 5 megapixel camera, a 3.7-inch display, and NFC capabilities, allowing users to exchange data with other NFC-enabled phones. The Liquid Glow will be available in the summer, and is the first of Acer's smartphones to hit the market.
Be it Verizon's fault or Google's, owners of the recently released Galaxy Nexus smartphone can't tap into the device's built-in Near Field Communication feature for use with Google Wallet. It's just not going to happen.
Not going to happen, that is, unless you perform a few lengthy customizations on your smartphone. A crafty workaround has been found that allows Galaxy Nexus owners to use Google Wallet just like all of their friends that own Sprint's Nexus S 4G smartphones. But the hack comes with a few catches: Namely, you're going to hack off both Verizon and Google if you try it.
How's that? Well, the process for enabling Google Wallet on your Galaxy Nexus demands that you unlock the device's bootloader and root the smartphone. And once you've done that, there goes your warranty through Verizon should your smartphone encounter any errors (or catastrophic free-falls) in your future.
And that's just the first half. Google's own terms of service prohibit using Google Wallet, "on a mobile device or Android operating system that has been modified or customized in any way." There's no indication as to what could happen to you or your account should you proceed with the hack for your Galaxy Nexus.
This is a huge deal. Ice Cream Sandwich is the biggest upgrade to Google's Android OS since Android 2.2 hit in May 2010, and possibly the most important update ever. From what I've seen so far in a day with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone, Android users should be demanding their share of Ice Cream—and it should absolutely make a difference in your phone purchases.
Google lent me an international developer unit of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the first ICS phone. This isn't the LTE device that Verizon Wireless will be selling in the U.S., but it's roughly the same size and shape with very similar capabilities, so it's a good way to judge what ICS will be like when it hits the USA.
Yesterday RIM announced two new smartphones based on the BlackBerry 7 operating system—the BlackBerry Bold 9790 and the BlackBerry Curve 9380. The 9380 is the first device in the Curve lineup to include a touch screen.
The BlackBerry Bold 9790 features a 2.4-inch capacitive touch screen, along with the signature BlackBerry physical QWERTY keyboard. It is powered by a 1GHz processor, and includes 8GB of onboard memory, along with a microSD card slot that supports up to 32 GB of additional storage.
The BlackBerry Curve 9380, on the other hand, will drop the physical in favor of a 3.2-inch capacitive touch screen. It comes equipped with a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash and video recording capabilities. There are also a number of social networking apps preinstalled, including BlackBerry Messenger, Facebook, and Twitter.
Sprint has announced that its Nexus S 4G smartphone will now be $49.99 after rebate, the highlight of the company's Google Wallet launch.
Customers can visit Sprint.com and order the Nexus S 4G for $49.99 with a new two-year contract or upgrade, Sprint said in a press release, after a $50 American Express gift certificate. However, on the Web site Sprint is currently charging new customers $29.99 for the Nexus 4G, and makes no mention of the gift card.
It can be a bit difficult to tell how often a phone like the Nexus S is offered for free; Best Buy has offered the phone for free after rebate on two occasions, most recently in August. Last December, it launched at $199, or $599 unlocked.
We havn't reviewed the Sprint version of the Nexus S 4G, although it uses the same body as T-Mobile's version, which debuted last December. At 4.9 by 2.5 by 0.4 inches and 4.5 ounces, the Nexus S is a black slab phone that's noticeably smaller than the recent round of devices with 4.3-inch displays. The Nexus looks elegant because it uses more rounded corners and a black bezel, rather than cheaper-looking chromed plastic.
Look, we're as excited about the rapid adoption and potential of mobile NFC payments as anyone, Google, but can we ease up on the sales pitch a bit? If you sign up for Google Wallet, you get asked if you have a Nexus S, and a Citi MasterCard. If you say no, then you get a message saying that you should "consider" acquiring both. Since the Nexus S 4G is a Sprint device, that would mean that I would need to cancel my AT&T contract (or, I guess, have two contracts going) and also apply for a new credit card.
Now that Google Wallet has been announced (Google wallet video breakdown,) lets break down how you'll use this stuff. First, Google has a number of partners on board. Companies like Subway, Macy's, Toys 'R Us, Citibank, MasterCard, Walgreens, First Data, and Sprint. The nice thing about MasterCard is that the partnership means that Google Wallet is instantly compatible with all those PayPass NFC systems that you see in a bunch of places. Google Wallet trials are now live in San Francisco and New York City, and should be available nationwide sometime in the next few months.
As far as devices go, the Nexus S 4G is the only phone that will work out of the gate. However, other phone without NFC built-in can likely just use an NFC sticker, making them compatible as well. One pain here is that you must have a Citi MasterCard alongside a Nexus S 4G right now if you don't want anything else getting in the way. If you don't have a Citi MasterCard, and don't feel like applying for one, then you can set up a Google Prepaid Card, which you then have to fund from your other cards. Kind of a pain for now, but these are the necessary steps that need to be taken in order for us to get to the future, right?
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