Budget phone. The very sound of those two words, together, makes me slightly ill. In fact, it makes me almost immediately seethe with a sort of "nerd-rage." I hate the way budget phones are peddled onto the tech-illiterate by commission-motivated hucksters at "Big Four" carrier phone stores. I hate seeing people get locked into 2-year contracts because they got a "great deal" on a smartphone. "It was free!" they'll say, and that the nice sales representative (his name was Jimmy) kept them from buying "something they didn't need," because they walked in with a firm spending limit and they weren't going to budge!
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.
The Motorola Photon 4G has been anticipated for a few months now, as it's Motorola's first 4G smartphone to hit Sprint's WiMax network. Moreover, it's sleek, stylish, fast, and an all-around good device, according to the first round of reviews that we've seen. Below is a summary of those reviews, but first, a quick look over the specs:
- 4.3 Inch qHD PenTile display
- 1Ghz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor
- 1GB RAM
- 16GB on-board storage
- 8MP rear camera, VGA front cam
- Android 2.3.4
Without further ado, here are the reviews.
The original DROID blew everyone away. It saved Motorola from almost certain bankruptcy, breathed new life into Verizon's smartphone catalog, and made Android a desirable mobile operating system rather than a cheap alternative to iOS. In short, it ushered in a new age of Android devices.
A lot had changed by the time its successor, the DROID 2, launched. The latest Android handsets had larger displays, better designs, and (perhaps most importantly) less buggy custom UIs.
I'm fairly certain that I don't need to tell anyone about the impact the original DROID had on Google's mobile OS. It almost single-handedly brought Android to the masses, saved Motorola from bankruptcy, and made Verizon's then-stale smartphone line-up interesting once more.
Then there was the DROID 2. While it was by no means a bad phone, it would be difficult to argue that it carried the same significance as its predecessor - not to mention its locked bootloader and the godawful addition of Ninjablur.
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.
To say the HTC EVO 3D has a lot to live up to would be a colossal understatement. Its predecessor, the EVO 4G, ushered in a whole new smartphone era - one replete with 4.3-inch, 4G-capable Android behemoths.
And at least on paper, the new EVO is a marked improvement over the original, packing a significantly crisper display, a processor with twice the cores, and of course the much-ballyhooed stereoscopic 3D capabilities.
HTC and Sprint's EVO 3D, the first three-dimensional handset in the US, won't be available in stores for eight more days - but the early reviews have already started flooding in. And I'll tell you this: they're pretty mixed. Some reviewers, such as LaptopMag's Mark Spoonauer, wholeheartedly enjoyed the device, even going so far as to give it an Editors' Choice award. Others, however, weren't nearly as fond of the phone - Gizmodo, upfront as always, called it "only suitable for shooting yourself in the face." Ouch.
It's been a long time since my opinions on a device have been so torn. On the one hand, the Revolution is a pretty impressive piece of hardware, but on the other, there are some seriously annoying things about it (specifically some software elements - the lock screen makes me want to assault something adorable). All the handset's different aspects ultimately lead to one conclusion: MEH.
I can honestly say that this is the closest to not having an opinion I've ever come in regards to a device.
It's been quite some time since we first heard rumblings of the PlayStation phone. The concept - a high-end Android phone mashed together with familiar PlayStation controls - seemed like one that could revolutionize gaming on Android. In theory, this device could have done just that.
Unfortunately, in a world where dual core devices are becoming more and more the norm, the Xperia Play's single-core Snapdragon processor (as fast as it is) is already incompatible with some high-end games, such as those optimized for Tegra 2 devices.