We can imagine that the wait’s been an excruciating one for wannabe E7 owners who’ve been restraining themselves from buying an N8 instead… but the good news is that the wait isn’t that much longer. Nokia has announced on Twitter today that the 4-inch tilting QWERTY handset — a phone Espoo has labeled the true successor to the storied Communicator series — will start shipping out on the 10th of next month, though exact availability dates and times will undoubtedly vary a bit from market to market. The company has been quick to note that today’s wild Symbian Foundation news has no effect on the existing range of Symbian^3 devices being launched as we close out the year, so the question is: who’s buying?
Continuing a fine tradition of large, high resolution prototype displays, Samsung Electronics picked today to show off its latest innovation, in the form of the world’s first 70-inch, “Ultra Definition” 240Hz 3DTV. That UD tag indicates a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels that puts your current HDTV and even larger projection 1080p 3D units to shame. The big deal in this version is the super high speed silicon Samsung has developed to drive all those pixels fast enough to support smooth motion and 3D viewing — glasses still required, of course.
Will that fancy new smartphone you’re looking at buying run a version of Android that hasn’t even been announced yet? Or that Nokia 5800 — where’s the Symbian^3 upgrade? Has the lack of commitment on a launch date for the webOS 2.0 upgrade stopped you from buying a Pre on Sprint? The balance between the relative importance of hardware and software in the smartphone industry is definitely teetering toward the software side these days for a number of reasons: screens have no need to get any bigger or higher-resolution, processors likely can’t get much faster without a significant advance in battery technology, and we’re reaching a point where we’re all going to have HD camcorders in our pockets capable of taking still shots that’ll put even higher-end point-and-shoots to shame. So when you stabilize the hardware like that — that is, you get to the point where manufacturers are iterating essentially the same large slate over and over again with marginally better specs — the spotlight starts to fix squarely on the software underneath.
That is to say, whether a phone receives “good” operating system builds (and receives them on a timely basis) really makes or breaks its retail success now more than ever before. All too often, the question isn’t whether a particular device is great, it’s whether the manufacturer and carrier have committed to upgrading it — quite often to a version of its operating system that hasn’t officially been announced. It’s a recipe for confusion and paralysis among consumers that really don’t have a great reason to be putting off their purchases — they just want a reasonable assurance that their new phones aren’t going to be regarded as “obsolete” in six or nine months. And why shouldn’t they?
Hard to say why OCZ Technology pushed out revision two of its RevoDrive so soon after the original launched, but it’s hard to complain with numbers like this. Just in time to shock the performance hound in your life with an outlandish Christmas gift comes the RevoDrive X2, and this here PCIe SSD solution has now been benchmarked to the hilt. The bottom line? It’s fast. Really fast. In fact, Hot Hardware calls it “simply one of the fastest PCI Express based SSD solutions” that they have tested, noting that it went toe-to-toe with Fusion-io’s ioXtreme while costing a good bit less. Critics over at Tweak Town echoed those thoughts, and while both teams felt the $680 asking price for a 240GB model was a touch pricey, neither felt that it wasn’t worth it if you’ve got the coin laying around. Hit the links below for more charts than you’d ever want to see as an eight grader.
Time Warner has been running trials of its Look Back service for a year or so in various markets, but it’s finally ready to bring it to the Real America. The feature lets good, honest folk go back and watch shows they’ve missed for up to three days after they’ve aired, with no need to set a DVR — it’s basically on demand content with a better name and no charge. Shows will be available to watch immediately after they’ve aired. Look for it to hit a coax cable near you very soon.
So it seems the Symbian Foundation isn’t necessarily going away, but it’s transitioning its role in a big, big way. They’re undertaking a “strategic change” that will involve the Foundation moving to a new role where it controls the product’s patent portfolio and licenses the Symbian brand and its research and development activities, but the meat of the operation — the actual platform development — will move over to Nokia beginning the end of March next year. For its part, Nokia says that it’s still “strongly committed” to the platform, it just won’t be the Foundation throwing it together. Interestingly, the Symbian Exposition is this week in Amsterdam, so we suspect we’ll be hearing a lot more about this over the next few days. Is it just us, or is Mr. Elop making his presence felt very, very quickly? For what it’s worth, the Foundation is explaining that a board meeting held just today played a big role in this decision and sudden announcement — though there was a call for media, we received notice of it just minutes before the event. Follow the break for both Symbian’s and Nokia’s press releases.
Remember the FlyWire? Time to fuhgettaboutit it. While Belkin saw fit to kill the flagship wireless HDMI product of the last decade, a number of other firms have moved forward with similar ideas — thankfully for far less cheddar in many cases. Take this guy, for instance. Best Buy’s in-house Rocketfish label has just introduced a four-port WirelessHD kit, which consists of two separate pieces that work in unison to pipe 1080p content from up to four HDMI sources (one at a time, obviously) to a single HDMI-equipped display. It’s utilizing the same 60GHz WirelessHD protocol that’s been hanging around for years, and supposedly it can operate with around 33 feet of space between boxes. There’s support for 3D video, CEC remote functionality and surround sound, and it’ll even auto-sense which HDMI socket is active and change over to that one for you. At $299.99, it’s definitely one of the cheaper ways to cut an HDMI cable from your setup, but only time will tell if artifacting is an issue. In semi-related news, Rocketfish is also debuting a set of wireless cans at $119.99, with the full details on those waiting just after the break.
Exactly as suspected, the Droid Pro will start its Verizon retail adventure tomorrow, with pre-sales at selected VZW stores and the carrier’s online outlet, to be followed by its proper shelf debut on November 18th. Price is set at $179.99 on a two-year contract, provided you’re happy to take care of a $100 mail-in rebate. Moto will be hoping business types lap this offer up, as it has equipped the Droid Pro with an unusual (outside of RIM’s realm) portrait QWERTY keyboard as well as a dual-mode CDMA/GSM wireless chip. A 3.1-inch display, 1GHz of processing power, and a 5 megapixel autofocus cam fill out the spec sheet. Jump past the break for the full press release.
For an “Open” Handset Alliance, Google has been keeping its cards rather close to its chest when it comes to the oft-discussed Gingerbread flavor of Android, specifically whether it would be another point release or could it be spicy enough to knock us up to 3.0. Now it’s looking confirmed that Gingerbread is indeed 2.3, with Alvaro Fuentes Vasquez, member of the leadership team at the Open Handset Alliance (and who shall now be known as “The Gingerbread Man”), delivering this tweet:
Prepare your Nexus One (Developer version) for Android OTA update 2.3 (Gingerbread) in the next few days 😀
That’s some good news for many N1 owners, and of course means it’s time for those who possess other Android handsets to start with the hoping and the waiting.
Can’t say we’ve ever heard of Soundfreaq, but it’s safe to say said company has our attention now. The newly introduced SFQ-01 Bluetooth audio system is easily one of the most stunning we’ve seen, and since it accepts BT commands, it’ll play nice with just about any mobile phone and / or PMP in the modern era. As for aural qualifications, you’re looking at Kevlar-reinforced balanced drivers (2.75-inch), an acoustically tuned dual-port chamber and a UQ3 spatial enhancement processor, all of which presumably combine to deliver pure nirvana straight to your ear canal. Doubly so if listening to Cobain. You’ll also find an inbuilt FM radio tuner as well as a 3.5 millimeter auxiliary input, but you won’t spot the unit itself anywhere other than Target; it’ll ship there later this month for $199.
Keen readers of the Financial Times will have been greeted this morning by a nice little bit of insider information regarding HTC’s future software plans. We already knew the phone maker was keen to play a more active role in the softer parts of the smartphone experience it offers, but two new sources have come forward with word that HTC is actively hiring new staff in preparation for setting up its very own app store. The HTCSense.com cloud service that recently launched with the Desire HD and Desire Z Android models in Europe looks like the first step toward that goal, with its HTC Hub area already acting as an app discovery assistant — it wouldn’t be terribly difficult to include an extra section in it for HTC’s own application offerings. That’s not to say that this would be an Android exclusive thing, however, as HTC already boasts a selection of ten apps on Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform and it would seem quite logical that it’d want an organized repository where it could sort through all its wares.
FLO TV may be dead as we know it, but it’s still a significant asset for Qualcomm, and it looks like the company is keeping all options on the table for what to do with it. As CEO Paul Jacobs himself laid out during a recent analysts’ conference call, that includes a possible restructuring of FLO TV’s wholesale business model, a joint venture with a third party, or a complete shutdown of the service and sale of its sure-to-be-valuable 700MHz spectrum. On that latter possibility, there’s apparently been some “strong interest” from various parties looking to use he FLO TV network or spectrum for one purpose or another, although specifics beyond that are obviously still being kept under wraps.
Still clinging on to your iPod touch in the hope that Sprint will one day launch an iPhone? Well, it’s ratherearly to make a call, but news has it that we may get the next best thing very soon. According to our buddies over at BGR, the ZTE Peel that we saw a little while back is apparently hitting Sprint on November 14th, which is merely a week from today. Sadly, no one knows yet how much this 3G router case will cost, but both BGR and our own sources have confirmed that it’ll be availble on a contract-free 1GB data plan for $29.99 per month. Meanwhile, you may consider the Apple Peel 520 that can actually turn your jailbroken iPod touch into a phone, or grab yourself an Overdrive and duct tape for some hotWiMAX Skype action.
[Thanks, Delon H.]
Update: Added gallery of product renders below and a description of the shortcut keys after the break.
You might have expected Sharp’s pebble-shaped Touch Wood concept to remain just that, a concept, but the eclectic Japanese market has found a spot in its heart to fit 15,000 units of the curvy, wood-trimmed cellphone. Built from locally sourced cypress timber, each handset will have its own unique pattern and color, while the innards will be filled with a five megapixel imager, a 3.4-inch (854 x 480) display, a MicroSDHC expansion slot, and your usual GSM and 3G wireless radios. You can get yours through NTT DoCoMo some time around February or March.
You’re probably familiar with supersonic planes like the SR-71 Blackbird pictured above, which managed to fly at over three times the speed of sound, but imagine this: NASA set aside $15 million to develop ahypersonic plane that could exit our atmosphere at speeds between Mach 5 and Mach 20. The US space agency’s not expecting to build it quite that cheaply, of course, and it’s not holding out hope for a contractor to build the entire plane just yet — the organization intends to fund some sixteen smaller science and engineering projects (ranging from “how to build a Mach 8+ engine” to “predicting hypersonic fluid dynamics”) and letting would-be government contractors pick and choose. Know how to quantify baseline turbulent aeroheating uncertainty in a hypersonic environment? You’ve got until November 23rd to get your proposal in.
Update: As some have pointed out in comments, hypersonic flight isn’t unprecedented — NASA spent eighteen years developing and testing the X-15 space plane starting in 1951, which reached Mach 6.7 using a rocket engine.
The title of Apple’s recent Back to the Mac event turned out to have multiple meanings. The first was heralding a shift of Apple’s event focus to the product that was once synonymous with the company. But it also had a more literal connotation, that traits associated both with iPad software and hardware would now be finding their way back to the Apple’s computers. But the impact of this round trip could have different implications for hardware and software.
Apple’s new MacBook Air was cited as taking on traits associated with the iPad such as thinness, flash storage, longer battery life, and instant on. The new MacBook Air also dispenses with an optical drive, but so did the previous MacBook Air, and indeed so do nearly all netbooks and quite a few other “thin and light” notebook PCs. Most would agree that the new hardware choices produce desirable traits in an ultramobile notebook.
Nobody will be too shocked to hear NVIDIA expects its next flagship GPU to be the fastest that’s ever been, but few will have guessed it’d also be one of the company’s coolest and quietest. In the first public teasing of its next-gen graphics card (which is almost certain to bear the GeForce GTX 580 name tag), NVIDIA has revealed a new vapor chamber cooling system, which reminds us of Shuttle‘s ICE CPU cooler — basically, water sealed within the chamber gets boiled by the hot elements (a copper plate in NVIDIA’s case), which forces it to transfer heat away to the bits that are being cooled by the fan, where it chills out and recycles itself back to the boiling plate. The end result, according to NVIDIA, is about seven decibels less vroom relative to the GTX 480, along with lower operational temperatures. Besides that, the company’s Tom Petersen also showed off an impressive tessellation demo and the first public display ofCall of Duty: Black Ops gameplay, which was powered by this as yet unannounced GPU. Skip past the break to see it all on video.
It takes a pretty radical hack to truly grab us, but we’re fairly confident that Matt Richardson is now one of our most favorite dudes ever. He has put together a comprehensive video detailing the setup required to build your own Arduino-powered remote shutter trigger, and while it’s certainly one of the more complicated setups out there, properly executing it can land you self-taken photos like the one above. You’ll need a laptop, a solid DSLR, an Arduino, a DIYer toolkit (you know, tiny screwdrivers and the like) and a good bit of spare time. If you’ve already checked all five from your list, head on past the break and mash play — your weekend project awaits.
Onkyo’s got a knack for dishing out new kit with a semblance of yesteryear in the design, and we’ve got to say — we dig it. The company’s latest are designed for minuscule offices, studio apartments and your everyday bedroom, with the CS-V645 DVD / CD mini system leading the way. This guy’s got an iPod / iPhone docking station on the top, a USB port on the front, built-in FM radio tuner and support for MP3, WMA, JPEG, and DivX file formats. It’ll also upscale content to 1080p over the HDMI output, and in case you were worried about getting up each time to alter the station, a remote is bundled in for good measure. The CD-only CS-445 is practically identical save for its incompatibility with DVD and the removal of its USB socket, but as with its older brother, it boasts a 40-watt amplifier and a pair of two-way loudspeakers. The CS-V645 is expected to crash in early December for $399, while the CS-445 reaches retailers this month for $329.
We’re finding it hard to hold back our enthusiasm for Dell’s Windows Phone 7 slider, but come launch day the 4.1-inch Venue Pro may be a tricky one to find — you’ll need to line up at one of only seven Microsoft retail stores on November 8th (a likely date) if this allegedly leaked document is right. If you’re willing to wait until November 15th, however, there’s also Dell itself, which will apparently double as the only place you’ll be able to go to get any support for the T-Mobile device. Neither niggle will stop us from nabbing one, however. For all we know, Lightning might not strike Windows Phone 7 twice.
What’s a major corporation to do when it’s trying to bring its stake in the smartphone world back from the dead? Why, call in the help of some vampires, naturally. Character Jeremy Gilbert from CW’s Vampire Diaries looks like he’ll be tapping away on an LG Quantum in the next episode, calling up Bing Maps and then getting an aerial view of some mysterious compound. Vampire hideout? Werewolf den? Factory where they make really great hair product? You’ll have to tune in to find out.
The first time the words “Stage UI” passed our lips, they were in relation to the Dell Thunder leak, but now we’re hearing that Dell’s custom Android user interface will actually appear alongside Android 2.2 when the update finally arrives on the five-inch Streak. We’ve just learned that’s going to happen this winter in Japan when the Streak launches on SoftBank at the very least, as both are advertised for early December there, but we expect we’ll see the updated OS even sooner in the US and Europe for obviousreasons. What’s more, an unofficial build of Froyo that leaked out for the Streak last month has since been found to have Stage UI on board. StreakSmart‘s got a video of a custom ROM running a series of Dell-specific widgets on the Streak, and sister site Good and Evo managed to trick the very same software to run on a rooted HTC EVO 4G. You can see examples of both on video after the break, but here’s the basic idea behind the UI — giant panes of contacts, apps and shortcuts that fill an entire screen each, but leave your app drawer accessible at a swipe. If you’re feeling daring, you can try the ROM for yourself at our more coverage link. Just be careful flashing that new baseband, eh?
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]
HTC HD2 owners have been trying to shoehorn Windows Phone 7 onto their hapless devices practically since day one, but it looks like a port won’t make it into the wild before the platform’s formal US launch. That doesn’t mean you should give up hope, however, because one variant seems to be at least partway done, winding its merry way from boot through the splash screen and deep into the speedy UI in a far more convincing video demo than the last one that hit our inbox. Though no apps are actually demonstrated nor so much as a basic phone call (pretty please?), multitouch pinch-to-zoom appears to work just fine, and we’ve little doubt any remaining quirks will be worked out in due time — if not nearly as soon as new HTC HD7 owners migrating from the HD2 might have liked. Video after the break.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]
It’s the weekend, kids. You know what that means? Relaxation. And what could be more relaxing than a live Engadget Podcast? Sure, we might be filled with rage against The Man and stuff like that, but it’s in a, like, totally chill way. It’s like “dude, step off, The Man. Chill out. Have a PBR.” See what we mean?Relaxation. The podcast and chat are after the break.
P.S. And don’t forget that Ustream has Android and iPhone clients as well, if you’re out and about and you can’t join in on the Flash-based fun below.
Update: It’s over! If you missed the live show, we should have the processed and edited podcast (we had a lot of swears this week) up for you tomorrow or Monday.
Verizon trials unlimited text and data cellular plans for preferred customers, starting at $70 a month
Sure, Verizon’s pushing tiered data plans in public, but it’s simultaneously expanding its unlimited offerings behind closed doors — yesterday, the wireless carrier launched a promotional plan with 450 minutes, unlimited text and unlimited data for $70 a month. Before you jump at the chance to lower your monthly bill, however, we should warn you that this is very much a limited trial: Verizon will check its computers to verify that you were sent a promotional email before letting you into the deal. Furthermore, the offer doesn’t ring up as a new plan in Verizon’s computer system, but rather an amalgam of the company’s existing $60 Talk and Text plan and its $30 unlimited data plan, with a $20 credit applied to your bill each and every month. The upside of that is that selected customers can basically add unlimited data to any Talk and Text plan they choose for an extra $10 monthly, but the downside is that it’s far too early to call the promotion a portent of things to come. See the full offer at our source link… or in your inbox, we suppose.
Indamixx — get it?! — may be a relative dark horse in the race to tablet supremacy, but those looking for something a touch outlandish can’t possibly ignore the company’s latest. The self-titled Indamixx 2 slate has just recently broke cover, with a prototype boasting Intel’s single-core 1.66GHz Atom N450 (a dual-core chip is slated to hit the finalized version), 2GB of RAM, a trio of USB 2.0 ports, a VGA output, Ethernet socket and analog audio input / output jacks. There’s no exact word on the screen size or resolution, but the kicker is the software — this guy’s loaded with Transmission 5.0, a music-centric OS that’s actually built around MeeGo.
The creators say that they chose MeeGo due to its fondness of multitouch inputs, and based on the videos we’ve seen of it running, it definitely looks like a wise choice. Moreover, those looking to use this for more traditional tasks will be thrilled to know that they still can, and considering that it’s Linux underneath, the limits are near-endless when it comes to tweaking options. For those in no position to wait for the final build, you can hit the source link in order to snag “beta hardware” for $999; we’re hoping that those who wait will be treated to far more sensible pricing, but there’s no question that we’re intrigued either way. Hop on past the break to see this bad boy get down.
It was the halcyon summer of 2009. The Hubble Space Telescope was fixed, Helio Castroneves won the Indy 500, Somali pirates were really doing their thing, and Linksys decided it was time to pull the plug on its DMA2100 and DMA2200 Media Center Extenders. Production was ceased and that was that… or so we thought. Now we’re hearing dozens of reports that those extenders mysteriously stopped working over the past few days, and indeed a thread over at The Green Button is full of hundreds rightfully disgruntled users. Thanks to a lot of investigations by members it’s been determined that the boxes are trying to dial home to an address that no longer exists. Naturally this is causing wild speculation about DRM checks and the boxes being remotely disabled, but for now there are some manual work-arounds, including configuring your router to explicitly block any traffic from the Extender or simply assign an invalid gateway. This seems to work for many, but not for all. We’ve reached out to get an official word from Cisco on what’s up here, but until we hear back feel free to post your most alluring conspiracy theories in comments below.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]
Come one, come all — we’re guessing you won’t want to miss the most comical business arrangement since the latter part of 2007, when ROK acquired a majority share of Rock. Believe it or not, iControl and uControl have somehow put their selfish ways aside to come together as one, but it’s pretty clear who’sreally in control. The merged company will forge ahead as iControl Networks, leaving u with nothing but fading memories and half a bottle of Jack. In all seriousness, this melding of minds could definitely give the home automation world a boost it’s badly in need of; fragmentation and a lack of universal compatibility (not to mention stratospheric pricing) has severely hindered adoption in the consumer universe, and we’re hoping that these guys can somehow make ZigBee, Z-Wave and your ZR1 talk to each other sans any hoop jumping. ‘Course, we wouldn’t expect any sort of quick collaboration — these two have to get on speaking terms before any magic happens, you know?
- T-Mobile myTouch 4G review
- Dell XPS 14 review
- Panasonic Lumix GF2 vs. GF1… fight!
- Chevy Volt preview: escape from DC in today’s car of tomorrow
- T-Mobile customers being mistakenly shipped Micro SIMs, just begging to get shoved into iPhones
- FTC appoints Ed Felten as agency’s first Chief Technologist
- Mac Pro Server quietly introduced as Xserve heads for the grave, starts at $3,000
- US Cyber Command achieves ‘full operational capability,’ international cyberbullies be warned
- Big cable loses 500,000 subscribers in Q3, we neglect to send flowers
- Samsung Galaxy Tab can be made to run all apps in full screen, here’s how (video)
- Apple’s dead pixel policy leaks out, up to 15 anomalies ‘acceptable’ on 22-inch and above screens?
- Skyfire being rereleased into App Store ‘in batches,’ coming to other nations in due time
It’s the only Galaxy S variant to offer 4G connectivity, but it’s also the only one that requires a $10/month data surcharge to use. That boost in cost will undoubtedly bring higher expectations, and we’re eager to hear from early adopters on how their Epic 4G experience has been. For those who skipped over the EVO 4G in order to get this, we’re keenly interested to find out if you’ve been satisfied with the decision. How’s that slide-out QWERTY keyboard treating you? Would you have changed up the UI any? Would you have added any of the quirks from those other Galaxy S versions to this guy? Speak loudly in comments below. But not too loudly. More like a stern whisper.