While at the Google booth earlier today, ASUS was kind enough to let us take a look at the upcoming Transformer Pad Infinity (basically, a beefed up TF Prime), albeit a version we had not yet seen.
The TF700KG is likely going to be a Europe-only device (unless it were to be picked up by a major carrier here in the US), as it has a 4G LTE SIM slot on it, and runs on a Qualcomm S4 MSM8960 dual-core processor. The Infinity also has a 1920x1200 IPS display, significantly higher than the resolution of the Prime. However, one of the biggest changes many people noted that would be coming to the new-and-improved Transformer was the antenna window.
Out of all the fun things going on today at the big Android booth Google set up at MWC, one cute little guy stood out from the pack. Want a custom-made Galaxy Nexus battery door while you ogle suspicious-looking jelly beans and scarf down free ice cream sandwiches and delicious smoothies? No problem - just walk up to a conveniently located tablet, order up a design, and watch it make one for you live with utmost precision of a true Android. You know you want this bad boy cooking you breakfast every morning:
Sure, they're sparkly and possibly girly, but how cool is this?
When I first heard about the ASUS Padfone, I thought the idea was a bit laughable. When I tried in person today, my opinion changed substantially. ASUS definitely seems to have done this right - particularly considering it's still a prerelease piece of hardware. My primary concern was in how seamless the transition from phone to tablet would be, and how much the phone's hardware design would suffer because of the docking mechanism.
Addressing the first concern, the transition is quite smooth. Just snap in the Padfone, and the dock lights up and goes to Android 4.0's tablet interface in a matter of seconds.
Earlier today we got a chance to play with Samsung's Galaxy Beam (though photo opportunities were limited by lighting), and I have to say - for a projector phone, it's not bad.
The 1GHz dual-core processor hums along through Gingerbread (I know, I know - but an ICS update is surely in the works) nicely, and the 4" WVGA display gets the job done. While it's no flagship device, for such a niche piece of hardware, Samsung has done a pretty decent job here. The yellow banding highlight is a nice, unique touch, and holding the Beam is little different than using almost any flagship Android phone from 2010 or 2011.
We're not exactly sure why, but LG has developed a gigantic new device called the Optimus Vu. And while the growing market for "mega-phones" seems to be getting more and more crowded every day, we have to say, LG's takes the cake for ridiculousness. The Vu's 5-inch display may not be absurdly large, but it is absurdly shaped. A 4:3 1024x768 (think CRT, Windows 98, etc.) display on the device makes it ridiculously wide, and also very oddly proportioned. I tend to think this is yet another device that will end up with 3rd-party app compatibility issues due to its unique resolution - something Kyocera Echo owners can probably...
We're at the Samsung booth at MWC this afternoon, and first on our list were Samsung's newest Tabs - the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, and the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0. The devices are actually fairly similar - same processor, same cameras, microSD card slot, and 3G SIM card slot. Both are also running Android 4.0, which is pretty standard fare for tablets these days. They even share very similar, very plasticky rear covers.
In fact, on paper, both of these devices are actually very boring. But there's a key piece of information Samsung hasn't announced about these devices: pricing.
We descended upon the Huawei booth just a short while ago here in Barcelona, and there we found a whole gaggle of Huawei's new flagship device: the Ascend D Quad. I'm calling it the DQ for short - because who doesn't like Blizzards? Anyway, we know the DQ is packing Huawei's first in-house processor, the K3V2.
Basically, what you need to know is this: it's a Huawei device, so it will probably be priced pretty aggressively compared to other quad-core devices. Of course, the fact that it's a Huawei also means a US launch on any of the big four isn't super likely at launch - but you never know.
Panasonic's new smartphone, the Eluga (like the whale, minus the B), is actually a pretty decent looking device. On paper, and in person. Its dual-core TI OMAP4430 processor is a proven piece of kit in phones like the DROID RAZR, and it's 4.3" qHD display isn't bad looking at all. With 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, it actually sounds like it might even be good. Yeah, the thing is, it's not. At all. Just watch the hands-on video, and you'll see why:
Yes, they were all that slow. No, there isn't anything wrong with the video. The performance is so bad that the phone is pretty much unusable in its current state.
When we heard about rumors of Samsung releasing a 10.1-inch version of the popular Galaxy Note smartphone, we were understandably a bit skeptical. I mean, the idea makes sense - a larger Note would mean more area to use that advanced pressure-sensitive stylus. But given that Samsung has yet to announce a Galaxy Tab 10.1 successor, it seemed a bit odd. But now, the Note 10.1 is obviously for-real, and we spent a little time with it today.
First things first: the stylus works as advertised. While a bit laggier to actually display the results of the pen's input than its smaller sibling, the Note 10.1's stylus performed admirably, as you can see below (I'm super creative).
Last night we got some hands-on time with HTC's new family of smartphones - the One series. While we didn't get a hands-on video with the One X (largely due to a dead battery), we did spend a fair amount of time with the One S, which shares most of its hardware with its larger sibling.
The main difference between the two lies in the displays. The One S packs a 4.3" SAMOLED qHD display (540x960), while the One X has HTC's new 4.7" S-LCD2 HD screen (1280x720). Both share the same Qualcomm S4 dual-core processor, clocked at 1.5GHz (the international version of the One X will have a quad-core Tegra 3, but not in the US).