Tag Archives: phone
Bad news travels fast, so by now many US phone buyers ought to know about this country’s depressing u-turn on phone unlocking. The latest policy — which makes it illegal to unlock a phone without a carrier’s permission — looks to be set in stone for at least three years, but that isn’t stopping people in high places from voicing serious reservations about it. The latest to pipe up is FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who told TechCrunch that the “ban raises competition concerns” and “innovation concerns.” Genachowski said the FCC will look at whether it “can and should enable consumers to use unlocked phones” but he also admitted he isn’t sure what kind of authority he has over the issue. It all feels a bit late in the day, frankly, especially when the FCC appears to have largely stood aside while the unlocking policy was being hammered out.
eBay is as close as it comes to a genuine Aladdin’s cave, and we’ve seen plenty of ancient rarities, prototypes, sci-fi weaponry, and the odd killer robot go under its gavel. One of the latest artifacts of interest comes from eBay’s Netherlands site, which is hosting an auction for a Windows Phone prototype slider known to her friends as Julie (or Jolie, depending on where you look in the listing) from the now defunct Sony Ericsson partnership. The phone that never was from the company that is no longer is allegedly one of only seven units made, and is touted as having an 8-megapixel shooter and 16 gigs of storage. Some digging through the XDA Developers’ forum suggests the handset’s old Windows Phone 7 ROM is basically non-functional, so don’t expect to plug in your SIM and stroll out the door with a useable device. If that doesn’t put you off, however, there’s no exorbitant entry price, and bids remain sensible, for now. Head to the listing below for more pictures and to get in on the action, but bear in mind the only shipping options are for Europe. Nothing a PM with an outrageous offer won’t rectify, surely.
Source: eBay (Netherlands)
Looking for your dream phone? Chances are, this isn’t it — but it could be the precursor to what could eventually be cradled in your pocket, especially if you are a fan of E-ink. The device seen above and in the first gallery below is one of just five prototypes of the E-ink reference phone in existence. The point? The company wants to have a tangible Android-powered (2.3.5 Gingerbread, to be exact) model to give to potential partners, so they can craft something similar down the road. We’re told that it will most likely be used on the back of color phones, much like the YotaPhone, but partners are welcome to get crazy on the front screen as well. No official timeframe for availability or seeding has been set, but it is expected to roll out in limited capacity sometime this year.
Official specs are few and far between, but what we do know is that this nameless phone is driven by a Cortex-A5 CPU of some kind. Given that this is an extremely early prototype, the E-ink device had a lot of bugs when we played with it: force closes, reboots and slow response are among the things we noticed. However, we imagine this will continue to improve with time, so by the time of seeding it may be a completely different story.
The UI reminds us of a simplistic feature phone geared toward the basic user, with six icons on the front screen including an app menu. As we’d expect, the phone is great for reading books, and it comes with the option to install applications (though it’s possible most games wouldn’t look that great). You can also shake the device to clean the text in case it ends up getting “dirty,” or misaligned.
Gallery: E-ink prototype hands-on
It’s taken the company a lot longer than I’d expected, but Adobe has finally rolled out a version of its tablet-based Photoshop Touch for even smaller screens, Photoshop Touch for phone. The most surprising aspect is that it’s a feature-identical version of the tablet software; I’m not sure we need such a complete editor on anything even as big as a Galaxy S3. But if you have a yen to composite up to 16 layers (or 3 layers at the maximum file size of 12 megapixels), you’ll be able to do so on any Android (4.0 or later) or iOS (iPhone 4S/iPod Touch 5th generation or later) device. As of now, the company has no plans to support Windows Phone.
The biggest differences between the tablet and phone versions are in the user interface — the tutorials are less interactive, more of a getting-started guide, and the app screens have been arranged slightly differently to accommodate the narrower devices.
Even if you’ve bought the $ 9.99 tablet version or are shelling out for a Creative Cloud subscription, you’ll pay another $ 4.99 for the phone version. I’m not sure why there’s such a large price disparity, since it’s undoubtedly very similar code. (So either one is very overpriced or the other is very underpriced.) You have to sign up for the free 2GB Creative Cloud plan.<... [Read more]
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Despite launching the Windows Phone Dev Center months ago, Microsoft hasn’t provided an option to run the dashboard on Windows Phone itself. The company is at last introducing some logical consistency (and recursion) by launching a Windows Phone version of its Windows Phone developer console. The app lets registered creators track downloads, crashes and feedback without turning to a computer, and a Live Tile can sometimes save the trouble of launching the app in the first place. Having the Dev Center always on hand may be increasingly necessary, based on Microsoft’s own figures — the Windows Phone Store is up to about 130,000 apps, or 10,000 more than it had in December. That’s not quite the breakneck pace of other mobile stores, but it’s quick enough to justify hitting the download link.
Source: Windows Phone Store
NVIDIA’s latest venture in the mobile world, called the 4i, was introduced last week ahead of Mobile World Congress, and fortunately the chipset maker brought the product to Barcelona embedded in a reference phone known as “Phoenix.” The 8mm-thick handset, which will find a home in the labs of manufacturers and carriers (as well as the desks of many third-party devs), sports a 5-inch 1080p display, 13MP rear-facing camera, PRISM 2, Chimera, DirectTouch and LTE (we’re told that most major bands are included for testing purposes). As it’s not geared for general consumer use, so it’s not the thinnest, sleekest or best-looking device, and the back doesn’t even seem to snap completely shut. Units are being sampled as we speak, and we should expect to see devices hit the market in nine to twelve months. Since it’s still pretty early in the process, we weren’t able to turn on the phone or benchmark the chipset; the only exception to this rule, as you’ll see in the video, was when a rep showed a gaming demo on his particular unit.
While the 4i is the smaller brother of the Tegra 4 family, it’s still expected to be quite powerful. The chip, which is designed specifically for smartphones (tablets will take advantage of Tegra 4 instead), features four 28nm Cortex-A9 r4 (beefed-up from the standard A9) cores that can be clocked up to 2.3GHz, 60 GPU cores (compared to 72 on the T4) and an integrated i500 LTE baseband modem. For additional comparison, NVIDIA showed us the two sibling boards side-by-side. Head below to check out our galleries of Phoenix and the two chipsets, as well as a brief video that shows off the graphics prowess of the 4i.
Gallery: NVIDIA Tegra 4 vs 4i
An updated, larger Galaxy Note from Samsung was inevitable. Given the undeniable popularity of mid-size tablets (see: Apple iPad mini), it’s no surprise the Korean electronics giant would want to strengthen its foothold in a category it helped create. It was just three short years ago that Samsung introduced the Galaxy Tab and now, three Notes later, it’s ready to perfect the one-handed experience. With this new Note, the company’s culled the best of what’s around its Galaxy into an 8-inch form factor, housing a 1,280 x 800 TFT display, Exynos 4 Quad with 2GB RAM (clocked at 1.6GHz), TouchWiz-skinned Android Jelly Bean 4.1.2 OS, S Pen (and suite of associated apps), as well as radios for HSPA+ and WiFi into that familiar, lightweight plastic body.
But that extra inch alone isn’t the Galaxy Note 8.0′s main attraction. Samsung’s wisely made use of the additional screen real estate to bundle two extra features. Building upon market research that indicates over 80-percent of tablet use takes place within the living room, the company’s partnered with Peel for its Smart Remote app, a visual programming guide with remote control functions baked-in that comes pre-loaded on the tab. And, in keeping with its portrait oriented design, the Note 8.0 also incorporates what the company calls “reading mode,” effectively optimizing the slate’s display for comfortable e-book use.
Gallery: Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 hands-on