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Cameron Wright

First Thoughts: HTC One S Mini Review

This post was originally posted on Nibletz

HTC sent us their latest device for T-Mobile (announcement is coming shortly from NYC) the One S. This device is part of “the new HTC” a return to form by the Taiwanese company after a devastating 4Q 2011. After an onslaught of very similar models across the “high-end” of the Android OS market the brand was becoming diluted. Last year saw (in the US)  the launch of Thunderbolt 4G, Evo Shift 4G, Droid Incredible 2, Merge, Sensation 4G,  Evo 3D, Status, MyTouch 4G Slide, Rhyme, Hero S, Wildfire S, Amaze 4G, Evo  Design 4G, Vivid, and lastly the Rezound. 16 phones, nearly half of which were considered high-end devices.  HTC Chief Financial Officer Winston said “We simply dropped the ball on products in the fourth quarter.” Q1 2012 was a huge disappointment as TheDroidGuy reported two weeks ago.

So, how about the One is it “the one“?

Hardware

Beginning with the first touch I thought, this feels like their mid to low-end devices – SPECTACULAR.  I mean that in all sincerity.  I loved the quality and construction of both the Status AND the Radar 4G (Windows Phone 7) devices.  They were constructed out of solid pieces of aluminum.  I was baffled why two of the best devices were made of this amazing metal but not the “halo” devices like Sensation 4G, Amaze 4G, or  Evo 3D.  The screen is a 4.3″ SuperAMOLED qHD (960×540) resolution*.   It comes with Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and Sense 4.0 HTC’s custom UI overlay.  The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 CPU, 1GB DDR2, and it operates on T-Mobile’s HSPA+ (42 Mbps) network.  It also comes with Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-FI 802.11 b/g/n, and HDMI via MHL connector (not included).  The storage is non-expandable 16GB (available space is split into 2.2 GB system and 9.9 GB external partitions). HTC has teamed with Dropbox to give an additional 25 GB of “free” storage – if you don’t include data usage, that is.

The battery, which you cannot remove, is 1650 mAh.  This is much smaller than the Motorola Droid Razr 1780 mAh (another device without a removable battery).  We will see if this was a mistake or a HUGE mistake on the part of HTC.  I’ve never personally owned a HTC device without owning at least one more battery for it.

More after the break
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Reputation Of Google’s Nexus Brand Is Tarnished With Verizon’s Additions

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Nexus devices have been billed as “Pure Google” devices ever since the HTC built Nexus One was released January of 2010. The Nexus S [December 16, 2010] and Nexus S 4G [May 8, 2010].
When the Nexus One was originally announced the list of carriers who were originally going to carry the Nexus One included T-Mobile, AT&T, Vodafone, and Verizon. After months of delays Google eventually announced that the Nexus One would not be available from Verizon Wireless.
The follow-up to the Nexus One, the Nexus S (and Nexus S 4G) were available on AT&T, T-Mobile, and finally Sprint.
The Nexus One ushered in the term (as well as actually backing up the claim) “Superphone”. 1 GHz CPU, 512 RAM and ROM, AMOLED (Original screen) and was launched with Android 2.1 Eclair. Being a “Pure Google” device meant that it would be among the first devices to receive future updates to the Android Operating System.
The Nexus S was the first Android device to launch with NFC (Near Field Communication), with a 4″ Super AMOLED screen, 512 MN RAM, and 16 GB of internal storage space (1 GB dedicated to internal storage [ROM] and 15 GB “USB storage”. This was the first device to launch with Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Again this was free from carrier “bloatware” and was sold without any additional carrier overlay (Touchwiz, Sense, Motoblur, etc). This ensuring a faster upgrade path. Shortly after the launch of the Nexus S the Nexus One was updated to Android 2.3.
Google released a tablet version of the Android Operating System 3.0 Honeycomb – which was never open-sourced, but was also free from OEM overlays (at launch).  This apparently was done to help speed up updates to the work in progress which was (is) honeycomb.

Fast forward to October 18, 2011 – Google and Samsung announce their second collaboration towards the Nexus line of devices, the Galaxy Nexus.  The Galaxy Nexus brings a 4.65″ 1280 x 720 Super AMOLED HD screen, a Texas Instruments 1.2 Ghz dual-core processor, with 1 GB RAM, with either 16 or 32 GB of on board storage, along with a myriad of updates to camera software, video output options, and I’d the first Nexus device to offer 4G LTE connectivity. Seeing as there was only one carrier offering a significant LTE network at the time of the announcement it also signaled the first “Pure Google” Nexus device on the Verizon network. Fans were going nuts – THIS IS WHAT WE HAD ALL BEEN WAITINGFOR……OR WAS IT?

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HTC Rezound Unboxing and Quick Look

The HTC Rezound is launching tomorrow on Verizon’s 4G LTE network. Priced at $299 on a 2 year contract.  I have not been able to post my unboxing video (due to the rigors of testing devices).  I am going to quickly go over some of the key features that I like about the Rezound and hopefully tomorrow I will have my full review.

QUICK LOOK HARDWARE: The Rezound has a 4.3″ 720p HD display with a resolution of 720×1280 (345 pixels per inch – exceeding even the iPhone’s Retina Display). Side by side with my Thunderbolt the difference is pretty impressive, with the naked eye it is very difficult to distinguish the difference in the resolution of the Sensation 4G and the Rezound. Once I looked at the Rezound screen through a magnifying glass I was amazed. It is extremely difficult to distinguish any pixels, even when zooming in on text files.

Camera: The camera on this device is impressive. It has rather impressive low-light capabilities. I had a chance to take some test shots last night and will take some more this evening.  I also decided to take a very quick video for the 1080p video recording.

More after the break
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Breaking: Motorola Mobility Wins Injunction Against Apple In Germany

FOSS Patents is reporting that they have received what looks to be an authentic ruling from the German courts awarding Motorola Mobility an injunction against Apple in Germany.  He adds this statement in response to the leak:

Should the document that I received be a hoax, it would be an incredibly sophisticated one. It’s hard to imagine anyone with the skill to do this would incur the immense risks associated with the criminal prosecution of forgery of a court document. Also, I contacted both Apple and Motorola Mobility to verify this, and by the time of publishing this blog post, neither company responded. So they both had their opportunity to deny the authenticity of the document.

The patents involved are

  1. EP (European Patent) 0847654 (B1) on a “multiple pager status synchronization system and method”; this is the European equivalent of U.S. Patent No. 5,754,119
  2. EP (European Patent) 1010336 (B1) on a “method for performing a countdown function during a mobile-originated transfer for a packet radio system”; this is the European equivalent of U.S. Patent No. 6,359,898

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VIDEO: First look Motorola Droid RAZR HD Station demo

Here is a quick walk through of the Droid RAZR HD Station.  I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the mouse that comes with the HD Station.  It is a brilliant fresh new idea.  Check it out below.

 

Motorola and Verizon announces the Droid RAZR

Motorola and Verizon have officially announced the newest 4G LTE device the Droid RAZR.
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With a 4.3″ SAMOLED qHD display, dual core 1.2 GHz processor with 1GB RAM on board.Compatible with Webdock, offering USB and HDMI ouput.

The body of the phone is laser cut Kevlar while the screen is Gorilla Glass and inside the device is protected with new technology which protects the inner electronics from water damage.

We will bring you more in the next post – it is time for some hands on.

Features and specifications:

Motorola Droid RA
Form FactorTouch Screen
Software PlatformAndroid 2.3.5 (Gingerbread)
Size/Dimensions130.70mm (x) 68.90mm (y) 7.1mm (z)
Display4.3” 540×960 Super AMOLED Advanced
Weight127g
ProcessorDual-core 1.2GHz processor
Battery1780 mAh
Talk and Standby Time1Up to 12.5 Hours Talk Time and Up to 8.5 days Standby Time
Bands/ModesCDMA800,CDMA1900,LTE B13 700
Connectivity3.5mm, BOTA, Corporate Sync, DLNA, MML, Phone Portal

HDMI, USB 2.0HS

BluetoothStereo Bluetooth Class 2, Version 4.0 LE+EDR
Messaging/Web/AppsMMS, SMS, Email (Corporate Sync, Google Mail, Push Email, Yahoo Mail) IM (GTalk), WebKit w/ Flash
Camera8 MP, 1.3 MP P2P Video, LED
AudioAAC, AAC+, AAC+ Enhanced, AMR NB, AMR WB, MIDI, MP3, WAV, WMA v10, WMA v9
VideoCapture/Playback/Streaming, HD Video, H.263, H.264, MPEG4, WMV v9
Storage & Memory1GB RAM x 16GB ROM, 11.5GB user available internal memory, 16 GB microSD card preinstalled
WLAN802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n
Location ServicesaGPS (assisted), eCompass, sGPS (simultaneous), GLONASS
Pre-loaded ApplicationsMotoCast™, Google Mobile Services, Google Talk™

From New York City – Motorola and Verizon announce ….?

We are here at the Verizon event for what is likely the RAZR or Droid HD.  We will bring you the details as the event unfolds.   Sanjay Jha is on stage – speaking about workouts –

MotoActv – Music centric exercise device

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A lightweight personal fitness device which focuses on mixing both your music and your personal exercise information.  1.6″ Gorilla Glass screen, sweatp-roof, rain resistant, scratch resistant.  Along with the primary device the MotorolaACTV system includes several different wireless headsets which can monitor your heart rate via the pulse within your ear, alleviating the need to use a chest strap.  It integrates with a web portal to monitor your progress, exercise goals, distances, etc.

MOTOACTV will rock your fitness goals with the following features:

  • Ongoing tracking of fitness performance stats, including pace, distance, calories burned, and map of route covered, with automatic wireless syncing of workout data to MOTOACTV.com
  • 8GB or 16GB of storage for endless playlists
  • Sports a 1.6” full-color touch-screen display that is sweat-proof, rain-resistant and scratch-resistant Corning® Gorilla® Glass that auto-adjusts for indoor or outdoor lighting
  • Option to sync with the latest Android-powered smartphone to receive incoming calls and texts
  • FM radio capabilities for more song variety
  • Up to five hours of battery life for outdoor workouts, 10 hours indoors, and nearly two weeks on standby
  • Supports both Bluetooth® 4.0 and ANT+ wireless connectivity for your existing fitness sensors and your future ones
  • Size: 46mm x 46mm x 9.6 mm
  • Weight: 35 g

Availability:

Beginning today, consumers can pre-order MOTOACTV at www.motorola.com, Amazon.com, Bestbuy.com®, REI.com and SportsAuthority.com. Starting on November 6, 2011, MOTOACTV will be available for sale at Best Buy®, Eastern Mountain Sports, REI, The Sports Authority and online at Amazon.com, with other retailers following shortly.

The exclusive launch carrier will be Verizon Wireless with availability in November.

The MSRP for MOTOACTV 8G is $249 and $299 for 16G. Motorola SF700 and Motorola SF500 sports headphones are sold separately and will be $149 and $99 MSRP respectively.

Lightsquared CEO GPS interference now only affects 1/1000th%

Today in an interview on C-Span’s Communicators series, Lightsquared CEO Sanjav Ahuja stated that out of the 400 million GPS receivers on the market only about 500,000 will still be affected.  Between changes they have made in terms of spectrum use and a newly identified GPS receiver – the only devices that will be affected now are used in construction, agriculture, and for surveying. Cell phones and consumer navigation devices no longer will be affected.

Many people had felt that the solution would take upwards of ten years and cost in the high billion dollar range.  Mr Ahuja estimated that the US government has between 30,000 and 50,000 of the affected receivers and Lightsquared has proposed $50 million dollars towards retrofitting or replacing them.

During the interview he was asked if Lightsquared was being singled out by the big carriers he said that as wholesalers they are not interested in controlling what the consumer is doing.  Instead of controlling which apps people use or if VOIP will be allowed. About Lightsquared

“Ours is an absolutely open network. We encourage people to run voice Over IP. We encourage you to run video. your prices as a consumer…should drop $30, $40, $50, $70 a month. That is straight money in your pocket. So, anytime you try to do a disruption in an industry, established players are uncomfortable. But that is expected,” said Ahuja.

Currently Lightsquared has inked deals with 17 companies (including Sprint as well as Best Buy) all of whom would theoretically be national MVNOs’.  Mr Ahuja stated he could envision as many as 100 companies might sign on and by doing so the incumbents, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless, would find themselves in a position of REAL COMPETITION (emphasis mine).

If this happens to be the case – could we see AT&T gain some unexpected support from the DOJ? Could Sprint find themselves a very distant third (yet with Lightsquared in their corner)?  The FCC granted a conditional waiver to run a traditional LTE (terrestrial network) but has yet to decide whether the conditions have been met regarding GPS interference.

Source: C-Span via multichannel

 

C Spire – the rebranding of Cellular South – Personalized with Infinite Data?

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Breaking: Move over Prime – the Nexus is coming

 

IS NOT THE

 

There once was a rumor called Prime, we thought she was a Nexus but she had Wiz all over. The Nexus was still lost, and all we had was a Galaxy.

 

You want an *accurate* poem there you go…

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RIM – dropping market share, stock prices, sales figures. Everything but the Co-CEO’s

Research in downward Motion – Proving once again that they are going nowhere fast.  Research in Motion was once a massive force in the wireless industry.  The fanboys were fat cat bankers, government officials, business executives, or celebrities.  It was THE phone.  It was so well loved that it gained a drug-moniker as a nickname.  Crackberry.

Those days keep falling further and further into the rearview mirror of modern cell phones.  Today it’s either Android or iOS.  The mighty giant has fallen.  The signs of complete and utter failure on nearly all levels have been covered by our good friends over at www.bgr.com with those in the know sharing their thoughts and emails.  The two-headed monster of a CEO has made a fool of itself a number of times in the past few months.  Products have been delayed, or in the case of the Playbook, should have been delayed.

RIM stated during their earnings call that the sales of their older lower-end devices fell “short of expectation.”  Really?  Short of the expectations of whom, exactly?  Your Co-CEO’s?  Analysts?  The public?  Supposedly it is all of the above.  I certainly hope this does not come as a surprise.

When I first heard of the Playbook I was excited, honestly.  I thought that the QNX operating system looked very good, it was new thinking, pushing the very square envelope over at RIM.  It had some potential.  Then it was released with the need to connect it with Blackberry phones and without email, calendar, and the only hot feature RIM had BBM.  The dropped the ball.  Unlike our beloved OS, Blackberry users are not typically accepting of half-baked snacks.  A Blackberry needs to work out of the box.

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Boeing 787 Dreamliner – Android only

Boeing has announced that all of it’s new aircraft, the Boeing 787 ‘Dreamliner’ aircraft will come outfitted with an Android powered entertainment system.  This system is both touch and non touch based.

The bulk of the system will be run on servers running Android as well as the screens mentioned above.  These screens will be available from economy through first and business class suites.  Only two vendors have been selected (currently) to provide the servers and touchscreens for the Dreamliner, Panasonic and Thales.

Screen sizes will range from 7 inches up to 17 inches.  The smaller screen sizes will most likely end up being touch enabled and found in the more conventional seating areas (coach and business) whereas the larger screens will NOT be touch enabled.  The reason?  Distance from the screen.  Instead of touch the controls will be handled by gestures.

Boeing historically has allowed airlines to choose from a long list of providers for their entertainment systems, touch screens, and other options – but in an effort to minimize cost and production delays (of which there have been many) that option is not available with the aircraft.

Believe me, I’m scouring all of my contacts at Panasonic looking for the possibility of in-home testing of both the Android servers as well as the gesture controlled screens.

Picture and source can be found here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special: Thoughts on the decade – 9/11

This is not tech related – but rather a special post, regarding September 11th.  

It is my wish, that a decade later, we can release ourselves from the fear. Get our freedoms back.
That we can take back our travel from pointless “security measures” with invasive scans and molestation by our government in the name of “protecting us.” When we all know it’s just protecting the profit for the companies who make these devices.

Instead of intolerant behavior towards those who are different, perhaps we should try CROSS CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING. Instead of fighting EVERYTHING that you don’t know, why not try to learn something about those “other people.”

Instead of WAR AGAINST poverty, drugs, the middle class, terrorism, religious extremism, etc…
Why don’t we try something different –

The Community against, the Partnership, Humanity against (insert social need here)

Yes, it is just a simple word change, yet very few words contain as much power and negative connotation as war).

Think about humanity before yourself, at least 50% of the time, and you will find that WE can change deeply held beliefs (based in fear of the unknown) easily. It has been proven time and again in my life – when I put humanity first (over myself) hate (or very strong dislike) has disappeared. I was a borderline racist, homophobe, angry white male. Coming from arguably the most “privileged” social group in American society, I distrusted everybody else. This was NOT MY UPBRINGING but my internal struggle.
Through immersing myself in other cultures, getting to know people who were gay, bisexual, transgendered, Chinese, Indian, latino, southern (yes I hated those racist “hicks” though my thoughts were similar to those I thought I hated), socialists, elitists, ANY GROUP OR “LIFESTYLE” not MY OWN – I have spent time with.

GUESS WHAT – ALL HUMAN, ALL FEEL, LOVE HATE, FEAR, LIVE and LOVE the ONLYdifference? They weren’t me.

If you (we) stop living in fear…..then these changes can be made.

That, I believe is what September 11th should now be about. Making the world a better place. It was tragic and it changed the world forever – let’s make that change positive.

I originally posted this on Google+ – here

This weekend in observance of the anniversary of 9/11 thedroidguy is for the most part, taking a break from the daily grind of new release, rumors and other tech news. Share your 9/11 memories from 10 years ago and this weekend more here

 

Finally, An Audio Docking Station For Android

Philips Fidelio Docking Stations

Today at IFA 2011 Philips announced the first (nearly universal) audio docks for Android devices.  If you have ever taken a trip into a big box retailer, an online retailer, or gone to an electronics trade show you have seen the vast expanse of  iPRODUCTS.  This product designed to work with Apple iDEVICES blah blah blah.  For the past two years I have been waiting for a product similar to this.

Philips addresses the issue that has been holding OEMs from designing for Android – the lack of uniformity.  Android comes in all shapes and sizes and very rarely has a manufacturer maintained a design that is uniform even in their own products.  Only recently has Motorola begun to do so with the Photon, Droid 3, Atrix, etc – they should all theoretically be capable of sharing the same docks and accessories.

Philips has designed a unique connector which can be adjusted in three dimensions to offer the ability to hold your phone (or tablet) in either landscape or portrait mode. “This means you can dock and charge most Android phones and your phone will always be positioned at the centre of the speaker for the best sound experience.”

Three models were introduced.

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Fidelio for Android (AS851) – The clean lines of the curved back on the Fidelio for Android (AS851) not only looks remarkable, but also creates a more effective structure for acoustics and precisely tuned bass pipes for deep, tight bass reproduction so you’ll experience a superb crystal-clear sound. This model comes with Philips Digital sound processing for lifelike, distortion-less music and 30W RMS total output power.

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Fidelio for Android (AS351) – This slightly smaller Fidelio for Android (AS351) will give you the right sound at home and on the go. With the option to choose between battery and AC power, you can enjoy your music anywhere. This model offers Dynamic Bass Boost to preserve low tones for deep bass at any volume level and comes with 10W RMS total output power. A special shielding technology blocks mobile phone interference whilst the AUX-in at the back side of the device means you can connect almost any electronic device.

Fidelio for Android (AS111) – The third model in the range, the Fidelio for Android (AS111) comes in an elegant and compact design that looks gorgeous from every angle and fits onto every bedside table. Its 360-degree design gives a rich omni-directional sound to fill your bedroom, whilst neodymium speakers deliver a pure balanced sound so you can wake up to a great sound from your Android phone.

PRESS RELEASE

September 01, 2011

Philips Fidelio Docking Stations for Android

Philips unveils new Fidelio docking speakers for Android ecosystem

Berlin, Germany – Philips is adding to its successful series of Fidelio docking speakers with a new range for Android smartphones and tablets, which will be launched at IFA. The Fidelio docking speakers for Android™ are based on the same speaker systems as the Fidelio for Apple range, so you can be sure to enjoy a stunning sound from your Android phone or tablet but with all the functionality you need for a simple experience.
As the micro USB connector on Android smartphones are placed in different positions and orientations on each phone, Philips has developed a unique connector design that adjusts in three dimensions to hold any phone in both portrait and landscape positions. This means you can dock and charge most Android phones and your phone will always be positioned at the centre of the speaker for the best sound experience.
To immediately enjoy your music in the simplest way, Philips has developed a dedicated Fidelio app for Android, which will automatically pair your smartphone with the docking station via Bluetooth. Using Philips Songbird media player, you can discover and play all your media and sync it seamlessly with the docking speaker. Its intuitive features let you discover new artists and music styles through music and media stores, services and websites. For completely hassle-free music enjoyment, you can play your own library and media straight from the web and effortlessly sync all of it from your PC to your Android devices.
The Fidelio for Android range includes the following devices:
The clean lines of the curved back on the Fidelio for Android (AS851) not only looks remarkable, but also creates a more effective structure for acoustics and precisely tuned bass pipes for deep, tight bass reproduction so you’ll experience a superb crystal-clear sound. This model comes with Philips Digital sound processing for lifelike, distortion-less music and 30W RMS total output power.
This slightly smaller Fidelio for Android (AS351) will give you the right sound at home and on the go. With the option to choose between battery and AC power, you can enjoy your music anywhere. This model offers Dynamic Bass Boost to preserve low tones for deep bass at any volume level and comes with 10W RMS total output power. A special shielding technology blocks mobile phone interference whilst the AUX-in at the back side of the device means you can connect almost any electronic device.
The third model in the range, the Fidelio for Android (AS111) comes in an elegant and compact design that looks gorgeous from every angle and fits onto every bedside table. Its 360-degree design gives a rich omni-directional sound to fill your bedroom, whilst neodymium speakers deliver a pure balanced sound so you can wake up to a great sound from your Android phone.
Visit www.philips.com/sound for more information on Philips’ range of Fidelio docking speakers.
See the Fidelio app in the Android Market™: https://bit.ly/rsxmZZ