The Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus is the best Android tablet I have ever used - hands down. No contest, nothing else comes even close. I've used the Tab 10.1, the Toshiba Thrive, the Motorola XOOM, the ASUS Transformer, the HTC Flyer, the Acer Iconia A500, and the original Galaxy Tab. The Tab 10.1 is probably the next best thing (with TouchWiz UX), but it seems downright slow next to the Tab 7.0 Plus at times.
Seemingly out of nowhere, a new wireless brand Republic Wireless, a division of Bandwidth.com, announced earlier this month that it would revolutionize and shake up the mobile industry by introducing a Hybrid Calling plan that costs only $19 a month. This plan has indeed gone live today over at RepublicWireless.com, together with the first and only mobile device the company is offering (for now) - the LG Optimus.
The low-cost offering is made possible thanks to heavy reliance on Wi-Fi data - Republic Wireless devices are designed to prioritize Wi-Fi networks, and certain measures have been put in place to make sure you don't hog an unfair share of the mobile network (powered by Sprint).
We've been hearing information about the HTC Rezound (codenamed Vigor) for quite a while now, and HTC just officially took the wraps off of this beasty. Like most other new HTC devices, it's packed with Beats by Dre, and, similar to the Sensation XE, has those wicked red capacitive buttons. It's quite impressive in terms of hardware spec:
4.3-Inch 720p (1282*720) display
1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor
16GB built-in storage, 16GB microSD card
8P camera, 2MP front cam
Beats by Dre
4G LTE with simultaneous voice/data capabilities (like the Thunderbolt)
We've been hearing rumors of the Droid RAZR for some time now, and it's finally official. Like previously suggested, this is a super-thin, ultra-light powerhouse of a device, with some pretty impressive features tucked away under its sleek, stainless steel frame:
The Droid RAZR packs some new software features, as well, like Motorola Smart Actions, a Tasker or Locale-like automation system that can toggle radios, adjust brightness, clock speed, and more, all of which are user definable and will activate given a certain situation.
Finally it's T-Mobile's turn to take a swing at the Samsung Galaxy S II, almost six months after the rest of the world. No adjective soup for this variant; its official name is, plainly, the "T-Mobile Galaxy S II." Formerly known as the "Hercules," this is the misfit in the GSII family. In its heart pumps a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, instead of the normal Samsung Exynos. So it's not just a carbon copy of all those other GSIIs.
AT&T has just given customers a handful of devices to look forward to, announcing earlier this evening the addition of five new Android devices to their fall lineup. The new line is largely populated by Android devices aimed at budget-conscious users, but those looking for higher-end devices will have plenty of options as well.
Motorola Atrix 2
First up is the Motorola Atrix 2. Following up on the original Atrix, it's compatible with a special 'Lapdock' to increase productivity.
Early rumours indicated that the Samsung Stratosphere would be released in September, and there were even leaked press shots of the device. However, here we are in October, and Verizon has just now taken the wraps off of the Stratosphere.
Billed as the "first 4G LTE smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard," the Samsung Stratosphere packs a hefty package, including:
Android 2.3 Gingerbread
1 GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor
4-inch (800x480) WVGA Super AMOLED display
5-row slide-out QWERTY keyboard
4GB on-board memory
4GB pre-installed microSD card (up to 32GB supported)
5MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera (720p HD playback and 480p recording)
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
The Stratosphere is clearly targeted towards the business user as alongside the QWERTY keyboard, the device will also have "enhanced B2B-enabled connectivity services from Cisco, the most comprehensive mobile implementation of Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) and support for secure remote device management from Sybase Afaria." Additionally, the device will support "Samsung’s Enterprise Platform enhancements such as VPN, encryption and Mobile Device Management (MDM)." This is a powerful phone that looks to attack RIM's enterprise stronghold and take-away market share from the BlackBerry by offering support for features corporate users find essential.
With Ice Cream Sandwich on the horizon, we at AP thought it would be a good idea to give you a roundup of what Google's been cooking up in Building 44. We actually know a good deal about the future of Android; I'm talking real, solid facts. These are features Android engineers have demoed or talked about, and acquisitions Google has made related to Android technology. We even have pretty clear timelines for most of them.
While the lot of us are looking for the most modern, intense hardware we can get our hands on, there are still those who don't need all of the bells and whistles of powerhouse smartphones like the Droid Bionic or Galaxy S II. For the mid-range crowd, Verizon has just announced the LG Enlighten, a Gingerbread handset with a slide-out QWERTY.
The full specs are far from impressive, but it could be perfect for the tweener of the family, someone new to smartphones, or anyone who wants some Android goodness on a budget:
3.2-inch 320x480 display
3.2MP rear shooter
The Enlighten will be available online beginning September 22 and in stores on September 29 for $80 with a two-year agreement after a $50 mail-in-rebate.