The Motorola XOOM: Ever since it was first teased at D: Dive Into Mobile, the Android community hasn't been able to take its eyes off the tablet's dual-core processor, gorgeous 10.1-inch display, and - last but certainly not least - Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) operating system.
Well now the device has officially gone on sale, and I've been testing falling in love with a review unit for the last few days. Typically, I end up hating devices that I adore at first blush, but the XOOM is an entirely different story - the device is far from perfect (where are the tablet apps?), but I have yet to find anything truly upsetting about it.
It's launch day for the XOOM, and already the major news outlets have had a chance to spend a few days with the much anticipated device. Not only does the XOOM bring a new standard in high-end to the masses (a la Tegra 2), but it's also the first device to ship with Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) on board. It's also really the second major Android tablet to launch (the Galaxy Tab being the first), and the first to match the 10" form factor of the iPad.
OK, so unboxings aren't exactly the most exciting videos on the web, but when they involve a certain tablet called the "Motorola XOOM," they're definitely worth a look. Such is Wirefly's latest creation:
Items of note:
Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) - boot times seem really fast
10.1-inch 16:10 display - larger than an iPad
1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor
32GB of internal storage
2MP front camera
5MP rear camera capable of recording 720p HD video
Interestingly, the video mentions a slot for a 4G SIM card, which is odd since Verizon and Motorola say the XOOM will require a hardware software upgrade to connect to LTE.
About this time last week, I first started playing with our Inspire 4G review unit. And at first blush, I admittedly found myself enamored with this phone. Unfortunately, it was a love that started to splinter as the days went on, and the more I used it, the more I noticed just how unfinished some parts of this phone can feel. Overall, the Inspire is a good phone with the potential to be great, and I'll talk about what's holding it back (software, connectivity) further on in the review.
One of the few tech blogs who managed to get their hands on Motorola's upcoming AT&T flagship - the Atrix 4G - is, of course, Engadget. The reviewer, unsurprisingly, is the infamous cool geek and editor-in-chief Joshua Topolsky, who, from my experience reading Engadget's reviews, does a good overall job but fails to go into those details that matter to most Android users. The Atrix 4G review is exactly what I had expected, and I'm going to summarize it and save you 20 minutes reading it.
Last week our friends at WireFly unboxed the HTC Thunderbolt, but spent little time actually using the device. They left us with a few tantalizing tidbits though, saying "this phone cranks," and promising a full video review, as well as head-to-head comparisons with the iPhone 4 and the EVO 4G. Yesterday, the last of the three videos went up - let's take a look.
Yesterday afternoon I unboxed an HTC Inspire 4G, the first Sense UI-equipped smartphone I've used. And let me say right now: I'm impressed. The interface has very little lag, is quite nice to look at, and very informative on the Inspire's large 4.3" LCD display. Anyway, I'll just direct you to my video hands-on:
Our full review of the Inspire 4G will be making its way to you next week, so be on the lookout.
Let's face it: Dell's new Streak 7 isn't exactly the hottest member of the CES Android tablet litter. In fact, the seven-inch tablet's mediocre screen and disappointing performance became painfully visible, even in the short period of time we spent with it at CES.
Well now the early reviews are in - and frankly, they don't give Dell's latest entry into the world of Android much hope, despite its low price tag ($199 on contract) and dual-core Tegra 2 processor.
Honeycomb is one of the biggest updates in Android history, so naturally, I jumped at the chance to try it out via the newly released Android 3.0 "preview SDK." What I found certainly wasn't disappointing - though it's important to remember that this is just a preview, meaning that not everything is in working order (for example, the emulator is so slow it made me want to tear my hair out at times, not to mention the frequent force close messages).
XDA user x2kjosh got curious about what exactly his phone was doing at any given time, as I'm sure we all have at some point. Your GPS icon randomly showing up in the task bar is a perfect example: What the hell is it doing there? What app is getting my location? Obviously tired of all the questions, Josh wrote a handy little app called Task Identifier.
The idea of it is simple: Notify the user whenever an app is loaded into memory.