The most important phone of the year has arrived. We not only get a new version of Android, but a new approach to hardware design, too. This isn't just any new piece of hardware; this is (hopefully) the start of a revolution in design and materials for Android phones. This Nexus 4 hardware is so good, so well-built, and made with such attention to detail, that it is the new high bar for any hardware - not just Android hardware.
Sure, it's not a Nexus 4, but not everything can be a flagship, right? If you're shopping around on T-Mobile and you want to save a bit of money, the LG Optimus L9 has arrived to give you another option. Starting at $80 (after mail-in rebate) on T-Mobile's website, or $50 via Wirefly, this mid-range device still nets you a decent 1Ghz dual-core processor, a 4.5" qHD display and a relatively beefy 2150 mAh battery.
Finally. Since Hurricane Sandy flooded out New York and canceled Google's press event, we've been trying everything we can think of to get a review unit. Late yesterday we got an email back from an awesome Googler (thanks!), and I immediately flew out the door to go rescue a Nexus 4 from New York. We got one! Mission accomplished!
In addition to the absolute mania of incoming announcements we saw from Google today, there was one interesting carrier-related development for the Nexus line – T-Mobile, the US' fourth largest carrier, announced that it would be carrying Google's LG-built Nexus 4 and ASUS-built 3G Nexus 7 as a "premier launch partner" starting this November. In fact, users can already sign up for more info at T-Mobile's website.
I panned the Note 10.1 in my review. It was subtitled "An Embarrassing, Lazy, Arrogant Money Grab" and, for my conclusion, I took a picture of it in a trashcan. I did not like it. It had erratic performance, a squishy, creaky back, and a bunch of gimmicky features that didn't work. Now, I've got a Note II!
I'm happy to report the Note II is not as crappy as its bigger brother.
As we all know by now, Google purchased Motorola in August of 2011 for a whopping $12.1 billion. Nerds rejoiced, analysts balked, and the general public didn't really notice or care. But Motorola's newest wave of handsets - the excellent Razr M and the new Razr HD/ Razr Maxx HD - aren't the result of Google ownership. They were already in the pipeline, so they're products of the old Motorola.
I'm happy to report that the analysts' skepticism was unfounded.
Interested in a mid-range LG device on T-Mobile? Wait, you don't have to answer that. Regardless of how you feel about it, the LG Optimus L9 is coming. While T-Mo originally announced the device earlier this month, the carrier has just come clean with its actual availability: October 31st. Spooky.
For those who may not be familiar with this device, it's nothing to write home about:
- 4.5" qHD display with Gorilla Glass 2
- 1GHz dual-core processor
- 1GB RAM
- 4GB storage
- 2,150mAh battery
- Android 4.0
The L9 will be available online and in-stores and will set you back $80, but that's only after a $50 mail-in-rebate.
Every once in a while, we have one of those moments in our lives when we try something for the first time, and we think to ourselves "I'm going to remember this moment - the moment when I discovered this thing." Be it food, some sort of gadget, a television show, or a musical artist, it's the kind of thing that sticks with you, at least for a while.
And when it comes to smartphones, there haven't been too many devices that really gave me that feeling.
We've already seen the RAZR M land on the nation's largest carrier. Now, Verizon is adding the other two RAZRs we knew were coming. The DROID RAZR HD and the DROID RAZR MAXX HD, apart from single-handedly breathing new life into my caps lock key, will be arriving on October 18th. The former will run you $199 on a new two-year contract. If you're looking for some extra battery life from your kevlar-coated phone, the MAXX version will sport a hefty $299 price tag.
When it comes to the newest generation of phones, "budget" is closer to "flagship" than ever before. Two months ago, I reviewed the free-on-contract Pantech Marauder and came away highly impressed. Ron, too, reviewed the $100 Motorola Razr M and said "This is what budget phones are like now? Where do I sign up?" The old budget formula of taking last-gen hardware and slapping it in a cheap chassis has given way to current-gen hardware in a better chassis - not to mention that the optimizations and polish of Android 4.0 make the experience better than ever on virtually any level of hardware.