The T-Mobile G2X, which is basically a rebranded LG Optimus 2X, is the dual-core handset which should take the crown as the most powerful one on the carrier, but the wait for it is much more bearable when you have an official release date. Just like rumors suggested, the G2X will hit stores on April 20th, but if you want to place your order even earlier, you’ll be able to order online starting from April 15th.
It will put you down $199.99after a $50 mail-in rebate if you choose to sign a two-year contract, which will possibly usher you into AT&T-Mobile times. In return you get the full dual-core power of NVIDIA’s Tegra 2, which crushed the Quadrant benchmark app scoring in the 2400s. Add to that full HD video recording, one of the speediest browsing experiences (4G-capable, Flash included) and the openness of Android and you have an appealing package. But if you’re still in doubt about the raw power of the G2X, don’t forget to see our head-on collision between the LG Optimus 2X and the Apple iPhone 4!
The HTC EVO 3D has quite a buzz in the U.S. as the handset awaits its launch this summer by Sprint. With a 4.3 inch qHD screen and a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8660 processor under the hood, the EVO 3D will be powered by Android 2.3. A dual-lens 5MP camera captures 2D video in HD 1080p and 3D video in 720p.
HTC figured that it should be more than just the U.S. getting all of the goodies, so the EVO 3D will hit the European smartphone market keeping the same name and the same specs. This news comes from a tweet sent out from HTC France, which says that the French will be getting the handset in the future, so we would have to say that the story does has a ring of truth to it. However, we do remain in the dark as far as a European launch date is concerned.
CTIA is officially over, but we’re left with not only the memories of sunny Orlando, but also a handful of cell phones and tablets, which will dominate the mobile landscape throughout the next year. Sprint was the company that turned all eyes with a couple of announcements, but in terms of novelty, we were divided between them and Sammy’s amazingly slim cleavers tablets. To make things even more interesting T-Mobile and AT&T joined the pack with a couple of additions to their lineups. Without further ado, here are the top of the crop gadgets we saw…
Opera kept the latest version of its Opera Mobile browser for one of the biggest events in the industry – CTIA Wireless 2011. But does it bring any substantial new features? We took some time to figure out what’s changed in the latest 11th version of the browser and used one of the most powerful devices around – the LG Optimus 2X and the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab to test its Flash performance and improved speeds.
The first thing you notice when you fire up the browser is the slight polish of the interface including the removal of the Opera title bar freeing up space. But you’ll also see the iconic huge red “O” which will take you to the settings menu. And in terms of settings, Opera is one of the richest browsers out there most notably with its Opera Turbo mode, compressing webpages by up to 80% – now that’s what we call a real speed boost! One welcome addition to settings is the share button allowing you to share pages to your social networks of choice in just two taps. Nicely done!
Pinch-to-zoom is also present and works flawlessly. When you go for an up-close look it also wraps the text around the page for your reading comfort. Opera claims that scrolling, panning and zooming have all improved, and while we didn’t go for a direct test, we could indeed notice their unflawed performance. Adobe Flash is also supported and it worked just fine, but don’t expect wonders – heavy banners or videos will slow down your browsing significantly.
In its tablet version, Opera Mobile 11 is even more convenient with the menu bar located in the upper part of the screen, unlike the bottom menu stripe on phones. You also get quick access via a pop-up to your tabs – an elegant solution, we should admit. Support for platforms includes Android, Symbian, Windows Phone 7, MeeGo and Maemo, so if you have one of these on your device why don’t you check out our quick hands-on video and grab the browser from the Android Market – it’s a free download after all.
Opera Mini is not nearly as powerful as the Opera Mobile browser, but its latest 6th version brings a lot of exciting features to a great many platforms. We went for a quick hands-on on two Android-based devices, but the browser supports other platforms as J2ME, BlackBerries and Symbian as well.
First thing you should know about the browser is that unlike its Opera Mobile sibling, it doesn’t store its core engine locally, but rather on Opera’s servers, which is why the size of the browser is much smaller. While this has some advantages and allows it to run on lower-end handsets, with Opera Mini you don’t get support for Adobe Flash. If you can overlook this, you’ll be happy to see that it adds support for pinch-to-zoom gestures as well as quick sharing to the most popular social networks out there.
Just as with Opera Mobile, the Mini automatically recognizes the type of your device (phone/tablet)on the Android Market and downloads a proper version. The main difference is in the looks – the tablet optimized version has a conveniently located menu bar on top, not the bottom, and a simple yet effective implementation of tabbed browsing via a small pop-up. It’s key advantage lies in its traffic-savvy nature – you can customize your browsing experience through the Opera Turbo mode, which compresses web pages and saves you precious bytes and bits. Check out the video below to see it in action!
They’re made in China. But so is your clothing and pretty much everything around you, so why not give these ZTE-made devices the benefit of doubt? At least, you should be able to save a buck, with the ZTE Style S and an upcoming LTE tablet, expected to land on a U.S. carrier sometime around the second half of 2011.
The ZTE Style S, also known as the ZTE Skate, is an Android 2.3 Gingerbread handset running on a modest Qualcomm MSM7227 chipset. The screen is 4.3 inches in size with a rather standard resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. In the photographic department, the Style S offers a 5MP camera on the back and a VGA front-facing shooter.
But even more exciting is word about the V11 4G LTE-capable tablet with a 10-inch screen sporting a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. Don’t mistake the reason for our excitement – it’s the low price we are looking forward to, not the ground-breaking specs. Actually, the slate is expected with a 1.2GHz CPU and a 5-megapixel camera on the back, while the front holds a 1.3MP shooter. Nothing impressive if you add its hunger for energy – it will last only 5.5 hours! We have no further details, but we’re sure to hear more about these as their launch approaches, so stay tuned.
We managed to score a Quadrant synthetic benchmark test with the T-Mobile G2x, the first dual-core phone on T-Mobile, at the CTIA 2011 wireless industry trade show.
The handset is powered by a 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 chipset, which promises way faster performance than single core handsets, especially visible while loading pages and browsing (check our comparison here). The T-Mobile G2x is sporting NVIDIA’s Tegra Zone app, which is a hub for news, apps and games that are tailored to the mobile Tegra chipset, so it is important to measure the dual-core might.
We got 2100+, which is very good, but on the low end of what we’ve been achieving on the G2x’s inspiration – the LG Optimus 2X, which is basically the same phone. With the Optimus 2X we consistently scored around 2500, and even managed to eke out 2777 once. Bear in mind that the T-Mobile G2x we tested is probably not a finalized unit, and, what’s more, we ran the test just once. Not to mention Quadrant should be optimized further to measure multicore chipsets performance.
So far it seems that the dual-core chipsets can be arranged in this way – OMAP4>Tegra 2>Snapdragon in terms of performance, at least according to the benchmarks, but we will have to wait until all units hit retail to make some more in-depth tests.
The Kyocera Echo might be the first dual-screen mass-marketed handset out there, but the thing that attracted us to visit Kyocera’s booth wasn’t the Echo, in fact, it was none other than a dancing Android mascot in full regalia! Call it the Android boogie dance or something, but the mascot was surely strutting its stuff in getting people to come over.
When you’ve got those narrow legs moving and kicking it up, you’re bound to get some kind of recognition from the many bystanders all around. However, it would’ve been something more if it were able to move its itty bitty arms to match it rhythmic leg movements. Check out the Android boogie dance for yourself below!
Last month, we got the opportunity of first checking out the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play at MWC, but now at CTIA 2011, we’re getting a chance to see some of the games that will grace the gaming centric handset.
Using a Verizon branded XPERIA Play at Sony Ericsson’s CTIA booth, we booted up a few games to see exactly the kind of gaming experience it’ll provide. For those familiar playing titles from the original Sony PlayStation console, you can expect to see visuals that closely remind us of the once prevalent console on the XPERIA Play. Unlike finding graphics rivaling those found with modern console, some games for the XPERIA Play are rather blocky in nature – which is most evident with the football players in Madden NFL 2011.
Granted that titles like Asphalt 6 and Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior might come close to producing PlayStation 2 like graphics, Crash Bandicoot is one title that’s a perfect port of the original PlayStation game from long ago. For the most part, games run at a moderate rate, but it doesn’t quite have the silky smooth look to exhibit a responsive experience. Come to think about it more, there are some gaming titles in the Android Market that easily compare to the games for the XPERIA Play.
Kyocera Echo prides itself for being one of the innovative phones on Sprint, thanks to its dual-display arrangement, and rightfully so. It might not be the sexiest phone out there, but having two 3.5” screens at your disposal comes at a price.
Dual-display doesn’t mean it’s dual-core, though. The Kyocera Echo is powered by a 1GHz QSD8650 Snapdragon chipset, the same one that is in the HTC EVO 4G, which is getting a bit tired, compared to the dual-core silicon of late. It is precisely this arrangement we wanted to test, since it seemed perfectly adequate to light up two mid-sized screens at once, despite its age.
We did a quick Quadrant test on the Kyocera Echo, and the 810 score we got was below the 900+ ones of the stock Samsung Galaxy S, for example, but about the norm for a first-gen Snapdragon chipset, so the only thing we are worried about now is the battery life in everyday usage. We’ll know pretty soon, it is supposed to launch April 17th on Sprint for $199.99.