Category Archives: Phones

Verizon Introduces New Droid Phones


Verizon on Tuesday introduced its new line of Droid phones; the Droid Ultra, the Droid Maxx and the Droid Mini.

Verizon Droid phones

The phones, in partnership with Motorola, share similar features; a screen resolution of 720p as well as a new X8 processor which Verizon says is 24% faster than last year’s model.

The Droid Ultra, according to Verizon’s Jeff Dietel, is all about being thin. At 1.78 millimeters they’re calling it the “world’s thinnest 4G LTE smartphone. The back is shiny and glossy, made of Kevlar. The phone will sell for $199 and comes in red and black.

IMG_3266

The Droid Maxx is sporting the same specs, only it packs a bigger battery, one Verizon says will last 48 hours. It will sell for $299 and comes only in black for now.

IMG_3269

For those of us with smaller hands, there’s the $99 Droid Mini. It boasts all the high end features of the other phones, but in a more compact form, with a 4.3 inch screen. It feel light and comfortable in my hand and my only wish is I could get that size with the Maxx battery power.

All the phones have a 10-mp camera which can be activated from the home screen with a flick of the wrist. Then you can use the new Droid Zap app to share your pictures with other Droid users within 300 feet. Simply swipe up with two fingers to send, and swipe down to receive.

There’s also Touchless Control which lets you make calls and give commands (such as open hotspot) hands free.

Active display shows you alerts and notofications but since it’s only lighting up a small part of the screen, Verizon says it helps to conserve battery power.

All the phones are available for pre-order now and will be available in stores on August. 20th.

Apple iPad to be sold at Verizon Wireless Stores


Here’s a confirmed story with iPhone and Verizon in the same sentence ….are we getting closer?

Verizon Wireless Offers iPad at Stores Nationwide on October 28

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. & CUPERTINO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Verizon Wireless and Apple® today announced that iPad™ will be available at over 2,000 Verizon Wireless Stores nationwide beginning Thursday, October 28. Verizon Wireless will offer three bundles, all featuring an iPad Wi-Fi model and a Verizon MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot, for a suggested retail price of $629.99 for iPad Wi-Fi 16GB + MiFi, $729.99 for iPad Wi-Fi 32GB + MiFi and $829.99 for iPad Wi-Fi 64GB + MiFi. Verizon Wireless is offering a monthly access plan to iPad customers of up to 1GB of data for just $20 a month. In addition, Verizon Wireless will also offer all three iPad Wi-Fi models on a stand-alone basis.

“This is the perfect pairing for holiday travels,” said John Stratton, chief operating officer for Verizon Wireless. “iPad together with the nation’s largest and most reliable 3G data network allows customers to easily connect on the go wherever they are.”

“We’re thrilled to be working with Verizon Wireless to get iPad into the hands of even more customers this holiday season,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s COO. “iPad allows users to connect with their apps and content in a more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before, and together with Verizon Wireless we’re offering an easy way to stay connected wherever you go.”

iPad allows users to browse the web, read and send email, enjoy and share photos, watch HD videos, listen to music, play games, read ebooks and much more, all using iPad’s revolutionary Multi-Touch™ user interface. iPad Wi-Fi models are just 0.5 inches thick and weigh just 1.5 pounds—thinner and lighter than any laptop or netbook—and deliver up to 10 hours of battery life.*

Apple’s App Store℠ offers iPad users access to the world’s largest catalog of apps with over 280,000 apps and more than 30,000 iPad specific apps in 20 categories, including games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel. With Apple’s iBookstore℠, the best way to browse, buy and read books on a mobile device, iPad users have access to more than 100,000 books from major and independent publishers.

MiFi 2200 is small enough to fit in a pocket and allows customers to create a personal Wi-Fi cloud capable of sharing the high-speed Internet connectivity of the Verizon Wireless 3G Mobile Broadband network with up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices. The MiFi 2200’s rechargeable battery provides up to four hours of active use and 40 hours of standby time on a single charge.

Customers can sign up for more information on Apple’s iPad together with Verizon Wireless’ MiFi 2200 atwww.verizonwireless.com/iPad, at any Verizon Wireless Communications Store or by calling 1-800-2 JOIN IN.

*Battery life depends on device settings, usage and other factors. Actual results vary.

Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless voice and 3G data network, serving more than 92 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 79,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork, and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple is reinventing the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced its magical iPad which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

The latest Sports Apps on World News Now


I love it when two girls get to talk sports on TV.  Maybe we don’t know as much about football as the average male sports fan, (though my years spent watching my son play High School football must count for something!) we can show you some very cool apps for watching games, checking scores and stats, and updating your fantasy league.

Here’s my World News Now segment (10-1-10) on the latest sports apps for your smart phone.

BlackBerry Torch announced for AT&T


Research in Motion showed off its BlackBerry Torch at an event in New York City Tuesday. It has both a slide-out and a touchscreen keyboard, something I’m sure will appeal to BlackBerry devotees not yet ready to part with a physical keypad.

And the touchscreen keyboard actually works, not like the one on the Storm.

The new OS6 features wi-fi sync for music, an updated BlackBerry app store that lets you pay via your AT&T phone bill, universal search, and a whole lot more.

It’s really aimed at consumers this time around; the texting crowd and those more likely to be using social networking features and geo-locating pictures.

As many analysts at the event told me, RIM has caught up to where it needs to be in the smartphone market, but it certainly didn’t break any new ground. Android and iPhone users won’t be clamoring to go buy a BlackBerry. That said, I did find it enjoyable and it’s a great step up for current BlackBerry Curve or Bold users.

The BlackBerry Torch will be available Aug. 12, and cost $199 with a two-year contract with AT&T.

Samsung Galaxy S: Reaching for the Stars


Those of you who know me know that I can text on an iPhone just well enough to keep in touch with my speed-demon texting son, but I need a real QWERTY keyboard to get the job done. Samsung announced it’s new line of Galaxy S phones at a press event in NYC Tuesday night and I think the Epic 4G might be just what these fingers need.

Samsung showed off four new versions of the Galaxy S: the Fascinate for Verizon Wireless, the Captivate for AT&T, the Vibrant for T-Mobile and the Epic 4G for Sprint.

Epic 4G

Epic 4G

The Epic is the only one with the slide-out QWERTY keyboard and it felt great in my hands. The  4-inch Super AMOLED screen was stunning, displaying sharp, crystal clear images, even up on the rooftop in the bright sun.

I also learned to type using Swype for the virtual keyboard. Instead of typing with one finger, you slide your finder across the keys, touching each letter of the word you are typing. Kind of like connect the dots. Predictive software guesses the word you’re trying to type and it did a real good job of reading my mind. If it can’t figure it out, it offers guesses for you to choose from.

The Galaxy S comes loaded with version 2.1 of the Android operating system, but will be upgradeable to version 2.2. That will allow for the later addition of Adobe Flash support.

T-Mobile’s Vibrant will be available July 21 with preorders starting  July 1st. Pricing and availability for the others wasn’t announced, but it will likely be sometime in August.

Something for everyone under the stars.

Sprint’s HTC EVO 4G: Will you pay for speed?


Since the announcement Wednesday evening of the specs/pricing for the HTC EVO 4G phone, I’ve seen no fewer than five people in the tech industry announce their intention to trade in their phones, one an iPhone, for the upcoming Android device.

Consider this Facebook post:

ONLY $199 with two-year contract… AND NYC is lit up and ready to go with FAST 4G wireless service! My Sprint contract is up and… I. Am. So. READY. For. This PHONE!

Recent figures from market research firm NPD Group show 28 percent of smart phones sold in the United States in the first quarter were Android devices, compared with 21 percent for iPhones. This week saw the release of the Garminphone for T-Mobile and the LG Ally for Verizon. Are people throwing in the towel on the iPhone and its spotty AT&T coverage and dropped calls? Or will all this reverse itself after Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference and the formal introduction of the iPhone 4G?

Sprint’s HTC EVO 4G has a large 4.3” screen, an 8MP camera with HD-capable video camcorder and a front-facing 1.3 MP camera, HDMI out capability, and will set you back $199 with a two-year contract after a $100 mail-in rebate. You’ll also pay an additional $10 per month Premium Data add-on for 4G.  The EVO 4G  can also be used as a mobile hotspot; users can connect up to eight Wi-Fi-enabled devices, but this functionality will cost you extra as well. $30 per month, according to Sprint.

Available June 4th.

Full press release below:

America’s First 4G Phone, HTC EVOTM 4G,

Debuts on June 4 Packed with Industry-Leading Features Including Access to Mobile Video Chat,

Simultaneous Voice and Data and HD Video Capture

Sprint leads the 4G revolution with the highly anticipated,

award-winning HTC EVO 4G priced at just $199.99; add mobile hotspot capability for up to eight devices for just $29.99

NEW YORK – May 12, 2010 – If you were creating your dream wireless device what would it look like? Two cameras and video chat so you can say goodnight to your children when you are away on a business trip? Simultaneous voice and data, so you can call in your take-out order while you look at their menu on the Internet? The ability to plug your phone into your HDTV, so you can let your children finish the movie they started watching in the car’s backseat when you get home? And a huge screen for watching the videos you download in seconds – not minutes – with the fastest wireless data speeds available in America today? Stop daydreaming and get ready for Sprint (NYSE: S) to make your dreams come true on June 4 when the highly anticipated HTC EVO 4G debuts.

The critics agree that HTC EVO 4G is this summer’s must-have wireless experience as it continues to win their accolades and endorsements. CNET, LAPTOP and eWeek gave HTC EVO 4G awards for Best of Show when it was announced at CTIA this spring. Engadget said, “It’s easily the best specced phone we’ve ever witnessed.”  The Financial Times cooed, “The first 4G phone in the U.S., the HTC EVO … ticks just about all the boxes for my ideal phone.”

“HTC EVO 4G is a fantastic 3G device, but when you use it in our growing 4G coverage area, it becomes a multimedia powerhouse,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO. “The EVO 4G experience is much like going from TV to HDTV. But EVO has more than just an impressive list of features – it is also fun to use with remarkable gaming, video and web-browsing capabilities.”

With the launch of HTC EVO 4G, Sprint customers will be able to enjoy capabilities they have never experienced before with a new video chat service from Qik. The two-way voice and video capability will be available as an upgrade to the preloaded Qik app on HTC EVO 4G to enable conversational, interactive, real-time sharing between mobile devices or from mobile-to-desktop.

Amazing Features, Beautiful Design

HTC EVO 4G features the latest version of the increasingly popular Android platform, Android 2.1, offering more than 35,000 apps, as well as a mind-blowing list of features, including:

  • · Simultaneous voice and data capability in 4G and Wi-Fi coverage areas, enabling Web surfing and more while the conversation continues.
  • · Offering a new way to search with pictures instead of words, Google Goggles™ works with everything from books, DVDs and barcodes to landmarks, logos, artwork and wine labels.
  • · Superfast 1GHz Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processor, ensuring a smooth and quick movement within phone menus.
  • · Two cameras – an 8.0 megapixel auto-focus camera with HD-capable video camcorder and a forward-facing 1.3 megapixel camera.
  • · Built-in mobile hotspot functionality allowing up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices to share the 3G or 4G experience on the go with a laptop, camera, music player, game unit, video player, or any other Wi-Fi enabled device.
  • · Integrated HD video capture with the ability to capture and share live video via the Qik Web site, Facebook, YouTube or Twitter™.
  • · Ability to easily watch video with the device on an HDTV via an HDMI cable (sold separately).
  • · Custom Web browser optimized for the 4.3 inch display and Sprint 4G speeds to deliver a full, no-compromise Internet experience.
  • · A handy kickstand built into the back, making it easy to watch videos on-the-go.
  • · Adobe Flash technology ensures that rich Internet content, such as embedded video and animation, are displayed the way they are meant to be seen.
  • · Pinch-to-zoom and automatic text reflowing provide easy Web page views.

HTC EVO 4G boasts the newest version of the highly acclaimed HTC Sense user experience. With HTC Sense, HTC EVO 4G users can use Friend Stream to aggregate multiple social communication channels, including Facebook and Twitter into one organized flow of updates; a “Leap” thumbnail view to easily switch between home screen “panels;” the ability to download new, interactive widgets; and a “polite” ringer, which quiets the ringing phone once lifted up.

While the performance of currently available Android applications will be enhanced by access to 4G data speeds, a Sprint 4G developer guide is available today from the Sprint ADP Web site at http://developer.sprint.com. The Sprint 4G developer guide provides details on developing for an Android 2.1 handset and how to take advantage of HTC EVO 4G’s unique hardware and software capabilities and the Sprint 4G network. The Sprint Application Developer Program has been providing tools for third-party developers since Sprint first launched the Wireless Web on its phones in 2001.

Worry-Free Pricing

HTC EVO 4G will be available in all Sprint retail channels, including Sprint.com and national retail partners, RadioShack, Best Buy and Wal-Mart. Sprint will price the award-winning device at $199.99 with a two-year service agreement and after a $100 mail-in rebate (taxes excluded) with a new line activation or eligible upgrade. Pre-registration is available now at www.sprint.com/evo.

In order to provide the best experience, HTC EVO 4G will use Sprint’s industry-leading Everything Data or Business Advantage Messaging and Data plans that include unlimited Web, texting and calling on the Sprint Network to every mobile in America with Any Mobile, AnytimeSM.  Everything Data plans start at $69.99 per month. A $10 per month Premium Data add-on will apply allowing customers to take advantage of a richer data experience than ever before.

Additionally, an optional pricing add-on will turn HTC EVO 4G into a mobile hotspot connecting up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as laptops, gaming devices and digital cameras, simultaneously at 4G speeds where available and at 3G speeds anywhere on the Sprint 3G network for just $29.99 per month – half the monthly cost of the current Mobile Broadband plan (pricing excludes surcharges and taxes).

With the Sprint Free Guarantee, customers can take advantage of HTC EVO 4G for 30 days and if not completely satisfied, may return the device within 30 days to get reimbursed for the device purchase and activation fee, get both the early termination and restocking fees waived, and receive a full refund for the monthly service plan charges.1

Blazing trails with Sprint 4G

Sprint 4G offers a faster wireless experience than any other U.S. national wireless carrier, and Sprint is the only national carrier offering wireless 4G service today in 32 markets. Sprint 4G delivers download speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G2,giving HTC EVO 4G the fastest data speeds of any U.S. wireless device available today.

As the first national wireless carrier to test, launch and market 4G technology, Sprint made history by launching 4G in Baltimore in September 2008. Today, Sprint 4G covers 41 million people and expects to have up to 120 million people covered by the end of 2010.

Sprint currently offers 4G service in 32 markets: Georgia – Atlanta, Milledgeville; Hawaii – Honolulu, Maui; Idaho – Boise; Illinois – Chicago; Maryland – Baltimore; Nevada – Las Vegas; North Carolina – Charlotte, Greensboro, (along with High Point and Winston-Salem), Raleigh (along with Cary, Chapel Hill and Durham); Oregon – Portland, Salem; Pennsylvania – Harrisburg, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Reading, York; Texas – Abilene, Amarillo, Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Killeen/Temple, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, San Antonio, Waco, Wichita Falls; Washington – Bellingham, Seattle. For more information, visit www.sprint.com/4G.

In 2010, Sprint expects to launch 4G service in multiple markets, including but not limited to, Boston, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Miami, Minneapolis, New York City, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.

Kin One and Kin Two: My take on being social


Microsoft has released two new phones with Verizon; the Kin One and Kin Two. They’re social phones, aimed squarely at the uploading, messaging, social generation.

Kin One

Kin One is a compact-sized slider, easily held in one hand. The keys are a  little small for my fingers, but I’m not the best texter in town. A 2.6 inch touch screen can be tapped, double-tapped, swiped, and is very responsive. It boasts a 5-megapixel camera that geotags each photo and video and 4 GB of storage for all your pix and music.

The Kin Two is a more traditional slider form factor, with a 3.4-inch touch screen and 8 gigabytes of storage, as well as an 8-megapixel camera.

Kin Two

Both phones have built-in Zune music players, an FM Radio and built-in connections to the things teens love to do most; Facebook and MySpace. It does have Twitter as well, though it’s not easy to use all it’s features and I’m not sure how much teens tweet, based solely on the unscientific data gathered by watching the tech habits of my son and his friends.

What it does have is the Loop, the Spot and the Studio, and that’s really what makes the phone the social animal that it is. The Loop is the continuous feed of all the social-networking updates and favorite RSS feeds, kind of like the Facebook NewsFeed.

The Spot is a green dot on the bottom of the screen that you drag items to when you want to share them. As you browse your phone, you can tap on an item; a web page or a picture, and place it in the Spot. Later on, upload it to Facebook, or even drag a contact into it so the Spot knows who to send it to. It does seem easier than opening 3 different applications.

The Studio is a big social networking site that you access on your computer. Basically, everything you do on your phone, is backed up at the Studio. Every picture, video, email, you can find it there online. Not sure where you took that picture? Tap it and a map opens up to let you know where you were. This is interesting because, on the one hand, its great if you lose your phone. Everything is backed up, not just your contacts. And we all know that no one remembers to save pictures from their mobile phones, especially teens.

I’m just not convinced teens spend that much time on their laptops. Again, using my son as an example, if he’s online, he’s on ESPN, not perusing what he has stored on his phone. And if he wants music on his phone, I think he’ll want to download it over the air, not go online to ZunePass to get it. Trust me, kids are very adept at scrolling through 2,000 previous texts to find the one they need.  Or they just don’t need it that badly. I think the Studio angle will appeal to the older generation much more than it will the “upload generation.”

Then there are the apps. There are no apps. No gaming. A great way to keep your kid from spending money on iTunes but teens do need to chill once in a while. Maybe they don’t want to be on Facebook all the time, or just want to play a quick game of Madden or Tetris before a class. Not happening here. I think for many, that might be a deal-breaker.

The Kin One will sell for $49.99 after a $100 rebate and a two-year service contract, the Kin Two will cost $99.99. Not too bad, but add a monthly $29.99 data plan onto the cost of your calling plan and that starts to get costly for a phone for a teenager. Parents may wonder if the price of being so social is worth it.

Both phones go on sale May 13.