If we're to listen to complaints about Wear OS, the one thing everybody agrees on is that OEMs should try new things. That's why it's interesting to see that LG's announcement of the Watch W7 instantly became the most criticized smartwatch of 2018 — possibly ever. It had an old chipset, a small-ish battery, and hands that obscured the screen. The watch was mocked so relentlessly, we had our doubts that it would ever come out.
But does it really deserve so much hate? There are certainly some compromises and problems, but when you start to consider that the W7 also comes with solutions for some of the common complaints about smartwatches, it might have some potential. I've been using the Watch W7 for a little while and I think there's actually a lot to like about this thing.
Quite a while ago, we wrote about an upcoming hands-free (and eyes-free) interface code-named KITT. The interface - intended for use in the car or in other places where looking at your phone isn't wise - would be stripped down, displaying a black screen and large iconography, and would have the ability to read notifications aloud, among other things. More recently, an icon for an app called Google Hands-Free showed up in a promotional gif posted to Google's Google+ page, hinting that the service was still under development.
Today, it looks like another clue toward Google's Hands-Free interface has surfaced - this time, it's in the actual Google Search app.
Around midday yesterday, I received my review kit for the Transformer Prime, complete with dock, wireless gamepad, and HDMI cable - meaning I'm well equipped to take a deep dive into the hottest new tablet to hit stores. But to be completely honest, an in-depth review on a product this brand-spanking-new requires more hands-on time than can be had in two days. The full review will be up on Friday, but in the interim, enjoy the initial impressions and gadget porn below.
1.3GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 Processor with 12-core GPU
32GB or 64GB internal storage with microSD card slot
8MP F2.4 rear shooter with continuous flash for video recording, 1.2MP front camera (1080p camcorder!)
586g (1.29 lbs.)
12 hour battery life playing 720p video, 18 hours with keyboard dock
Metallic spun finish
Two available colors: Amethyst Gray and Champagne Gold (show below, respectively)
Android 3.2.1 - will be updated to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) as soon as possible after release
$499 for 32GB model, $599 for 64GB, and $149 for the dock
North American availability is expected to begin the week of 12/19 - this is straight from Asus's mouth in the Prime details that were sent to us (and again confirmed a few hours ago), contrary to the other "official" date of December 8 that we heard earlier today.
The Samsung Galaxy S II (SGSII) has been one of the most highly anticipated devices in recent memory - perhaps second only to the annual new iPhone. There are two very good reasons for this: first, the original Galaxy S devices were hailed as some of the best on the market. Second - and more importantly - from its start as an on-paper proof, to its run on the trade show circuit, through its international release, the Galaxy S II been hailed as one of (if not the) best phone on the market.
Unfortunately for those of us in the States, we've had to wait quite a bit longer than our European counterparts to get our mitts on the hottest piece of Android kit ever to hit the market.
Today we're going hands-on with Dell's latest Android smartphone: the Venue. I apologize for my voice being even more nasally than usual - I've been a bit under the weather.
To put it briefly, the Venue is actually a pretty good phone - it's just a little... old, at this point. Still, it has made me a believer that Dell, a computer manufacturer, can make a good piece of smartphone hardware (and actually some pretty decent custom software as well, ala Stage UI.) It's also about as close to stock Android as you can get without buying a Nexus S, so that's a plus.
While Verizon has temporarily pushed back the release date of the DROID Charge after a 24-hour 4G LTE network outage yesterday, I did manage to get my hands on a review unit this afternoon.
The first thing I noticed was how sleek and futuristic this phone looks - it is just plain cool, in a way that no HTC or Motorola device even comes close to. The boot animation is probably the best on any DROID to date. It's shaped like it was designed to thwart radar detection - and it's pretty light to boot, a perception that is reinforced by the Charge's faux-carbon fiber battery cover.
We were all very excited to hear about the Google Docs for Android announcement this morning, and even more so when we learned it came with a special surprise feature: the ability to upload photos of physical documents from your Android phone and have them transcribed by Google Docs into editable text.
So, the first thing I was curious about, naturally, is just how well this new feature works in the real world. As you may have guessed from the title, not very. Let me show you the photos I tasked Google Docs for Android with transcribing.
Document 1: Printed handout:
Document 1 results:
OF CONSTITUTIONAL ANALYSIS ON DEFAMATÍON PUBLIC OFFICIALS GENERAL PURPOSE PUBLIC FIGURES LIMITED PUBLIC FIGURES WHERE MATTER OF PUBLIC CONCERN LIMITED PUBLIC FIGURE WHERE NOT MATTER OF PUBLIC CONCERN PRIVATE PERSONS WHERE MATTER OF PUBLIC CONCERN PRIVATE PERSONS WHERE NOT MATTER OF PUBLIC CONCERN ACTUAL MALICE.
The GO Dev Team, the people who brought you the popular apps GO SMS, GO Weather, and GO Launcher, are at it again, bringing you a contacts manager and dialer that is, quite frankly, stunning, both in functionality and aesthetics. It dropped into the market not 12 hours ago and is already getting very popular as well as garnering great reviews. Let's take a closer look, shall we?
The first thing you'll notice upon installing it is that there are actually two parts to the application that will be called by your device separately: The dialer and the contacts manager.
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.
Friday morning I received a surprise visit from UPS - and fortunately it wasn't the sort of surprise visit that requires me to then take a 20 lb. package over to my neighbor's place because the guy was too lazy to read the street number.
A somewhat hefty box, with a seemingly random sender name on it from Louisville, KY had been shipped overnight to my humble abode. I immediately knew it was a CR-48 laptop. Or a bomb. I signed up for the CR-48 Pilot Program moments after it was unveiled, but I certainly didn't expect to actually get a device - and definitely not so quickly.