A few months ago, I reviewed the Droid X2 and came away unimpressed. Performance was mediocre despite the powerful dual core Tegra 2 CPU, and more importantly, the PenTile display used by Motorola was a step up on paper and a huge step back in practice. Fast forward a few months and I've landed a Motorola Photon 4G (slightly behind schedule thanks to a few logistics issues, but better late than never!) I'm happy to report that despite seeming like it's almost the same device inside, it's quite a different beast this time around.
The DROID BIONIC has probably been the single most anticipated Android smartphone in the US. Since its unveiling at CES, subsequent total re-design, and sort-of-delayed release, it has been a long and winding road for Motorola's newest flagship handset. Verizon's massive marketing arm hasn't failed to promote this thing, either - walk into any Verizon store and you'll see employees garbed in BIONIC t-shirts, armed with BIONIC accessory display boxes and a tailor-made marketing spiel, ready to meet you with more LTE and dual-core madness than you can shake a stick at.
We can't say that we didn't see this coming, but VZW finally announced the Droid Bionic this morning. As expected, the newest 4G LTE Droid will be available on September 8th for $299. All of the hardware rumors have now been confirmed, as well:
- 4.3-inch qHD display
- 1GHz dual-core processor
- 1GB RAM
- 8MP rear shooter, front facing camera
- 16GB built-in storage, 16GB SD card
- MotoPrint app to print via Wi-Fi-enabled printers
- HDMI Out (mirror mode)
- Android 2.3.4
There are also a few accessories set to be available with the launch of the device, including the Lapdock for $299, the HD Docking Station for $99, and the Webtop Adapter for $29.
I am going to be honest - I am not a fan of phone cases myself. However, knowing my wife's affinity for miraculously sending her phones flying into the back yard from our 2nd story balcony or stomping on them with her shoes after they hit the asphalt (though her previous phone, the Palm Pre, didn't live to tell its story after drowning in our dog's water bowl), I set out on a mission to find the best protective case for her new and shiny EVO 3D.
Today, Motorola announced its newest handset geared towards corporate types: the Pro+. This is yet another offering to fill the Blackberry-style void in the Android world, as it not only offers the same familiar form factor, but advanced security features akin to that of RIM's handsets -- like remote wipe, full data encryption, and password expiration.
The Pro+ packs a 1GHz processor, 512 MB RAM, and Android 2.3 under its 3.1-inch 480x640 Gorilla Glass display and full QWERTY keyboard, along with a 5MP rear shooter and 1600mAh battery.
A few weeks ago, we heard a rumor that Motorola was working on a beefier version of the super rugged Defy, simple called the Defy+. Those rumors were realized today, as Moto official announced this new incarnation to the Defy line, complete with a faster processor and an upgraded shell.
The Defy+ will rock a 1GHz processor "that runs 25% faster" than the current Defy, Android 2.3.x, a 5MP rear shooter, 2GB built-in storage, and a 1700mAh battery underneath its 3.7 inch shell.
Samsung's original Galaxy S was undoubtedly a great success for the company. One could say it was their first serious smartphone, and its core was widely dispersed around the globe, appearing as the i9000 in Europe and Asia, and - perhaps more familiarly - the AT&T Captivate, Sprint Epic 4G, T-Mobile Vibrant, and Verizon Fascinate in the USA. While we have yet to see firm plans for a repeat of this four-pronged attack with the successor to the Galaxy S, the Galaxy S II i9100 (aka the Samsung "It's Over 9000!") is already widely available throughout the rest of the world and is making waves while at it.
Stay tuned - this is a multi-part "Deal Alert," everyone. First on our list: the HTC Thunderbolt. If you open a new Verizon account (sorry, additional lines and renewals aren't eligible) today, you can pick up an HTC Thunderbolt from Wirefly for just $100. Not shabby. The Thunderbolt was Verizon's debut 4G LTE device, and it has enjoyed substantial popularity since launch. It's also probably the best 4G handset on Verizon presently, though its battery life and lack of a Gingerbread update have put off many owners.
Update 2: Apparently, there were Moto reps spewing false information at the Sprint event today, because both Android Central and Droid-Life have received word that the Photon 4G will not ship with an unlocked bootloader. The statement that Motorola released was still rather cryptic, however:
Motorola has recognized the passion around this topic in our communities. As we’ve previously communicated, it is our intention to include the unlockable/relockable bootloader in software releases starting in late 2011, where operator and channel partners will allow it. However, this feature is not included in the software found on PHOTON 4G.
The Casio G'zOne Commando is a phone that knows what it is and what it isn't. It is not, for example, Casio's answer to the Galaxy S II or the EVO 3D - it simply doesn't have that much power under its rough, tough hood. But that rough, tough hood is precisely what makes the Commando stand out from the rest of the Android smartphone crowd - unlike your average piece of plastic, it is ready to take on the challenges of an outdoorsman's life (including but not limited to being submerged in water, thrown onto cement, or given the inevitable drop kick from time to time).