The latest and greatest from Verizon and HTC's ongoing DROID partnership marks something of a shift in strategy for the two companies. In the past, if you wanted an HTC "DROID," your options were basically limited to the Incredible brand, which has become decidedly, well, less incredible over time. And while the Incredible started out as a top-of-the-heap smartphone back in 2010, it too was quickly eclipsed by bigger, better phones.
The HTC One X was (and still is) a fantastic device thanks to its solid hardware, excellent build quality, and stunning display. But it's a little long in the tooth, partially because the newest high-end smartphones have both quad-core CPUs and LTE, and partially because in the smartphone world, anything that's 7 months old is (unfortunately) outdated.
That brings us to the HTC One X+, which is more of a mid-cycle refresh than an all-new model.
Since its announcement, many internet comments (and tech bloggers, frankly) have lambasted the 2020mAh battery inside the DROID DNA as obviously being too small. A 5", 1080p display, quad-core processor, and LTE - with a 2020mAh battery? HTC must be nuts. Well, it turns out, they actually aren't nuts and actually do know how to make a phone that doesn't die after half a day off the charging cable teat. Surprising, I know.
The DROID DNA is, without a doubt, the most exciting HTC phone to come to Verizon since the original Incredible. And I can already tell you that it doesn't disappoint - this is a serious effort from HTC, whose US handset sales have dropped sharply in the last year. It could be the phone that catapults them back into relevance.
After spending a short amount of time with it, I'm going to try and give you my first-blush reaction to this spec sheet titan.
It was only a couple of months ago that Sony introduced its new budget smartphone - the Xperia tipo - but after implementing a few spec boosts and increasing the size of the screen, they're ready for round 2, and this time they've brought the Xperia miro into the ring.
There's no doubt that the miro is still very much a budget smartphone, it's available for £150 SIM-free, but Sony has managed to make it look and feel the part thanks to a nice plastic material covering the back, and an LED which shines between the screen and capacitive touch buttons each time you turn on the display.
If you're not much a classic car nut, and you were to walk up to a stylish little 1968 Opel GT, like this one, you'd probably think "Wow, is that... Italian? It must be fast (for its age)."
Of course, you would be wrong. The Opel GT is, in fact, based on the rather pedestrian Opel Kadett - seen here. The GT was not particularly quick, expensive, or really even that rare.
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.
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.
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.
If you're a close follower of tech, you're probably familiar with the LG Intuition, or at least its European brother, the Optimus Vu. The major selling point: a 5", 1024x768 (4:3) display. Sure, the other specs are noteworthy in that they match other high-end phones, with a 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU, 1GB RAM, Android 4.0, and LTE. But that massively wide screen is undoubtedly going to be the talking point.