Pantech hasn't been going after the bigger manufacturers in the "superphone" category, at least outside of its home turf of South Korea. Until today, that is - at its CES press conference, AT&T announced the Pantech Discover, a flagship-class device that meets and in some cases beats the best that Samsung, HTC and Motorola have to offer. In addition to somewhat typical high-end specs like a 4.8-inch 720p screen, 1.5Ghz dual-core processor and 16GB of on-board memory, the Discover boasts a best-in-class camera (at least on paper) of 12.6 megapixels. And that's not even the most surprising statistic: the Discover will retail for just $49.99 on-contract.
|Jeremiah Rice||Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.|
If you can remember who made the last "world's thinnest" smartphone, congratulations: you're a bigger newshound than I. Low-key manufacturer Alcatel is the latest to claim the title, however short-lived, with its One Touch Idol Ultra model. The 4.7-inch phone measures just 6.45 millimeters on its side. The company also introduced the more chunky One Touch Idol and the 5-inch quad-core One Touch Scribe HD.
The Idol Ultra is pretty similar in features to other high-end Android phones, with an HD (presumably 720p) AMOLED screen, a 1.2Ghz dual-core processor of indiscriminate origin, 1GB of RAM, and an 8MP rear camera. On-board storage isn't mentioned, but there's no SD card slot.
NVIDIA's jaw-dropping Tegra 4 and Project Shield demos showed off a lot of impressive hardware, but any gamer will tell you: it's all about the games themselves. To that end, they've revealed a few of the games currently in development and set to take advantage of both the Tegra 4 and Shield's console-style controls. We've already seen Madfinger's Dead Trigger 2, but on the shiny new Shield website, there are brief glimpses of other titles.
Blood Sword: Sword of Ruin
First up is Blood Sword: Sword of Ruin. This is the first time we've seen the game, but based on the screenshot, it seems to be a Devil May Cry-type fantasy hack-and-slash action title. This one should make good use of the controller.
If you've been following PC gaming, you know that Valve has big plans for its Steam platform. NVIDIA wants to leverage the new "Big Picture" mode (a TV user interface, designed to make a gaming PC work more like a game console) with the brand-spanking new Project
Thor Shield mobile gaming device. At the CES press conference, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang showed off the Shield Hardware streaming live PC games from a local machine running a high-end GTX 680 graphics card.
The interface allows for launching both individual games and Steam itself, in a solution that doesn't look like it was built around Steam specifically.
The folks at eBay must love the Nexus 7 as much as we do, because it's been on their Daily Deals page several times now. Today you get another chance to pick up the larger 32GB model of everyone's favorite 7-inch tablet: the Daily Deal is selling it for $228, with free shipping. That's $22 off the retail price, and considerably more if you live in a US state where eBay doesn't have to charge taxes. You'll have to place the tablet in your cart before seeing the reduced price.
Free shipping is a nice bonus, though you can use those savings for overnight service if you just can't wait.
If you want to use Sprint's network without signing a contract, there are a lot of options out there, including its subsidiary Boost Mobile, the American MVNO Virgin, and hybrid provider Republic Wireless, among others. Sprint hopes that there are at least some prepaid customers left out there, because starting on January 25th, it will be offering its service in contract-free flavors.
Update: Sprint confirmed the new service to Fierce Wireless and provided some additional details. There will be no limits on data or bandwidth throttling, and LTE service will in fact be enabled on the Galaxy Victory.
There are only two smartphones that will be available at the beginning of Sprint As You Go: LG's somewhat misnamed Optimus Elite, and the Samsung Victory, conspicuously absent of the "4G LTE" branding that's present on Sprint's current Galaxy model.
If you've got fond memories of spending Saturday morning watching the antics of Peter Perfect, Penelope Pitstop, and Dick Dastardly (themselves based on The Great Race from 1965), then you should check out Steampunk Racing 3D. While it doesn't have the same abundance of personality as the Hanna Barbara classic, it's definitely got the cartoonish exaggeration down pat. In this full polygonal racer, you're tasked with navigating your steam-powered contraption through an Industrial Revolution setting while dealing with other racers, with varying degrees of prejudice.
The game takes the typical kart racer approach: various speed boosters and power-ups can be found throughout the tracks, which you can hold in three slots as you go.
Don't say we don't love you, United Kingdom readers. Those of you rocking an HTC One X on the O2 network should check your settings menu, if you haven't gotten the update already. HTC representatives have taken to Twitter to announce the arrival of Android 4.1 to the former flagship handheld, and users on the company forums have confirmed the upgrade to software version 220.127.116.11. It looks like a nationwide rollout this
morning afternoon, so warm up that wireless connection if you want some Sense-flavored Jelly Bean.
Unfortunately, neither HTC nor O2 have graced us with a changelog, so we've only got users' word for the changes at the moment.
If you're a dedicated Cricket customer looking for something new and shiny (without breaking the bank), hang on to that Christmas bonus for a little while longer. The prepaid carrier announced today that the HTC One SV, itself only just debuting in the UK, will be available on January 16th. The mid-range ICS phone will run $349.99 on Cricket's non-subsidized 3G and LTE plans.
To refresh your memory, the One SV appropriately sits between the One S and One V models. From the S it takes a 4.3-inch LCD screen, dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, and 1GB of RAM. A resolution of 800x480, a mere 8GB of MicroSD-expandable memory, and a 5-megapixel camera keep it firmly out of the high end.
Good news, ROM enthusiasts: the Android Open Kang Project has released the much-anticipated first build of 4.2. Bad news: it's a completely new ROM, built from the ground up. That means that it won't be quite as feature-packed as you remembered, and device support is limited to the more popular Nexus models, at least for now. You'll also need to install a recovery that's compatible with 4.2 ROMs (the latest ClockworkMod and TWRP should do the trick) and do a full data wipe of your previous ROM. Warm up Titanium Backup.
For the MR1 release, only the Galaxy Nexus (Verizon and GSM flavors), Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 builds are available.