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Nokia Lumia 900 in black is sporting an on-contract price of $10 to existing customers on Amazon

Even at its initial offering price of $99.99 with the 2-year contract, there’s no arguing about the value that’s found with the Windows Phone powered Nokia Lumia 900, but seeing that time has passed since its launch, it’s naturally going to see some price drops.

Well people, that’s exactly what we find over at Amazon Wireless – where it’s sporting one tantalizing price point now. Actually, the price drop is only available with the all-black version of the Nokia Lumia 900, as it’s flaunting a $9.99 on-contract price for existing customers with qualified upgrades. Conversely, if you’re a brand new customer looking to start service with the carrier, you still get it at the discount price of$39.99, which is still a pretty decent deal on its own. Honestly, it's rather strange how Amazon decided to price this one, as new customers are typically exposed to the better pricing, but hey, we're sure existing customers aren't complaining about it.

By now, the Nokia Lumia 900 has somehow managed to captivate us all, but more importantly, it shows us that Windows Phones can stand equally amongst its peers. Now that it’s priced even more competitively, we’re certain that it’ll continue to garner more adulation from consumers all around.

Nokia Lumia 900 in black is sporting an on-contract price of $10 to existing customers on Amazon
If you’re curious about the other color schemes, both the cyan and white cladded versions of the smartphone are priced at $49.99 for new customers. Heck, that still isn’t that bad of a deal, but you really can’t take your eyes off something that’s at a mere $10!
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Confirmed: the Samsung Galaxy S III is polycarbonate, not plastic

Just about every article around has been giving the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S III generally good reviews except for one downside: the casing. Everyone, including us, were convinced that the Galaxy S III was using a plastic case, but we just got word from Samsung that the phone is better than you think. There had been some confusion over the Samsung Galaxy S III casing, but the word straight from Samsung is that the case is in fact made of polycarbonate, not plastic. 

The word that we got straight from Samsung was that the Galaxy S III casing is in fact polycarbonate, but we wanted to make sure that mean the entire case, including the battery cover, and it took a bit of time for the confirmation to come back, but here it is direct from Samsung:

Polycarbonate is used on the battery cover. Polycarbonate is lightweight, solid and is already being widely used in the mobile industry. It was chosen as the best material to represent the minimal organic design of GALAXY S III. Using three layers of high quality, pure and clear polycarbonate, not only is the phone’s aesthetic elevated, but the durability and scratch resistance is maximized.
This is a pretty big deal because once you get past the flowery marketing language given by Samsung, the basic fact is that the case is polycarbonate and not plastic. 

Polycarbonate is one of those strange "premium materials" because it's not always apparent by sight and touch that it is higher quality. With glass and metal, we know automatically that we're dealing with premium materials. But, polycarbonate can look and feel just like plastic, even though it is far stronger and more durable. 

From the research we've done, polycarbonate can be as much as 300 times stronger than plastic. Unfortunately, the hardness scales and various impact resistance scales are different for plastics/polycarbonate, than things like glass or metal, so it's difficult to get measured comparisons of polycarbonate and say Gorilla Glass, aluminum, or the LiquidMetal that Apple is said to be using in the upcoming iPhone. However, we were able to get some numbers that were pretty interesting.

One material that can be measured on the same scale as polycarbonate is the Kevlar fiber that is famously used on the Motorola RAZR. Depending on the type of clear polycarbonate used in the Galaxy S III casing, it should be harder, but possibly not quite as strong as the Kevlar fiber. Clear polycarbonate can have tensile strength in the range of 10,000-10,500, flexural strength between 12,000 and 17,000, and compressive strength around 11,000; meanwhile, Kevlar fiber has a tensile strength around 12,500, flexural strength around 17,000, and compressive strength around 16,000. However, polycarbonate does rate slightly higher on the Rockwell Hardness scale at R118 compared to R115 for the Kevlar fiber, and polycarbonate is also a bit higher on IZOD impact resistance. 

Tensile strength and flexural strength are very similar, and determine how much a material can bend before developing localized deformations or breaks in the material. Compressive strength is the measure of a material's ability to withstand crushing force. It's reasonable to expect that polycarbonate won't have the compressive strength or scratch resistance of various metals that can be used in device construction, but it certainly could provide tensile/flexural strength on par with those materials. 

So, all in all it looks like the Samsung Galaxy S III will have a much stronger, durable, and scratch-resistant surface than we all expected. It may not be the strongest material available, and given that it still looks like plastic, it may not be the most visually impressive material available, but it should be better than we expected, and certainly far better than standard plastic. Of course, we know that looks play as big a part in device construction as many other factors, so it remains to be seen if the "plasticky" look of the Galaxy S III can be overcome with the added strength of the polycarbonate casing in the eyes of consumers.
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The Best QWERTY Android Phones of 2012


Droid 4 (Verizon)

November 6, 2009 — the original Droid was released, and Motorola sold over 1 million devices in the first 74 days. That number passed even the original iPhone in sales for the first 74 days. Over 2 years later, on February 10, 2012, Motorola Mobility released the Droid 4. The new smartphone is powered by Android 2.3, but is upgradeable to Android 4.0 in the near future. It is the newest QWERTY phone on the block, building on the success of the original blockbuster device, the first Droid. The new Droid 4 features a fantastic 5-row keyboard, with backlighting. For me, it’s the best keyboard on any mobile device to date, and comes packed with a great responsive tactile feel and some handy shortcuts. It didn’t take me long to develop some serious muscle memory with this device, and, after a while, I found that I didn’t even have to look at the keyboard, which really enables me to take my productivity to a whole new level.

Specs

  • Price: $200/$650
  • Display: 4.0-inch 960 x 540
  • CPU: 1.2 GHz Dual-Core
  • OS: Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread (4.0 Upgradeable)
  • Keyboard: 5-row slide-out QWERTY keyboard
  • Storage: 16 GB Internal with microSD slot
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • Battery: 1785 mAh Li Ion
  • Rear-Camera: 8 MP / 1080p Video
  • Front-Camera: 1.3 MP / 720p Video
  • 4G?: Verizon 4G LTE Capable
  • Release Date: Buy Now!
[amazon_enhanced asin="B006FXY9LC" /]
Source: Motorola

Droid Pro (Verizon and Sprint [Motorola XPRT])

The Droid Pro has been out for over a year now, and, although it didn’t take over the market, so to speak, it is a business man’s (or woman’s) delight. With a design that really embodies the look and feel of a Blackberry, it’s powered by Android, which is clearly the superior option for smartphones. Furthermore, the phone will not cost you a buck, as long as you sign up for a two year contract. Finally, this device is a Global Ready device (Verizon), meaning that you can take it with you wherever you go. And best of all, it works on two of the best carriers in America (Verizon and Sprint).

Specs

  • Price: Free/$399
  • Display: 3.1″ 480×320
  • CPU: 1GHz Snapdragon processor
  • OS: Android 2.2 (Froyo) OS with Motorola Application Platform
  • Keyboard: 4-Row “Candy Bar” Form Factor
  • Storage: 2GB Internal + 2GB microSD (Expandable to 32GB)
  • RAM: 512 MB
  • Battery: 1420 mAh
  • Rear-Camera: 5 MP / DVD-D1 Video Capture
  • Front-Camera: None
  • 4G?: No, Global Device in over 200 countries around the world!
  • Release Date: Released
[amazon_enhanced asin="B004AM5AWM" /]

Samsung Captivate Glide (AT&T)

Moving into the AT&T category, the Samsung Captivate Glide is a great 4G device that costs slightly less than its competitors. In addition, the Glide is a powerhouse, thanks to its dual-core processor, and has a great array of specs, which helped Samsung’s QWERTY phone gain its spot on our list. Needless to say, the phone sports a truly beautiful QWERTY keyboard, with 4 dedicated buttons that work with the Android OS (home, menu, back, and search). Although, at first, the battery may seem below par, the 4″ display won’t be hogging as much power, compared to the display of a Galaxy Nexus or Note.

Specs

  • Price: $149.99/$499.99
  • Display: 4″ 480 x 800
  • CPU: NVIDIA Tegra 2 1GHz Dual-Core Processor
  • OS: Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread
  • Keyboard: 4-row slide-out QWERTY keyboard (With 4 Android dedicated buttons)
  • Storage: 8 GB Internal / Up to 32GB microSD slot
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • Battery: 1650 mAh Li Ion
  • Rear-Camera: 8 MP / 720p Video (4X Zoom)
  • Front-Camera: 1.3 MP
  • 4G?: AT&T HSPA+
  • Release Date: Buy Now!
[amazon_enhanced asin="B0068PZ4IE" /]

HTC Status (AT&T)

Are you a Facebook fanatic? The HTC Status from AT&T lets you instantly share those “priceless moments”  with all your friends. With one push of a button, the HTC Status helps you stay in the center of your social circle. In addition, the HTC Status boasts a candybar form factor, 5MP Rear camera, and HTC Sense.

Specs

  • Price: FREE/$349.99
  • Display: 2.6″ 480×320
  • CPU: 800MHz MSM7227
  • OS: Android 2.3 Gingerbread (Plus HTC Sense)
  • Keyboard: 4 row candybar style qwerty keyboard
  • Storage: 512MB internal / 2GB microSD (Expandable to 32GB)
  • RAM: 512MB
  • Battery: 1250 mAh Li Ion
  • Rear-Camera: 5 MP
  • Front-Camera: VGA
  • 4G?: No
  • Release Date: Buy Now!
[amazon_enhanced asin="B00749TZQU" /]

Samsung Epic 4G (Sprint)

For those of you wondering, this phone is very similar to the Samsung Captivate Glide. However, if you are a Samsung fan, the Captivate Glide is a few specs up on the Epic 4G. Either way, this device is 4G capable, and serves as one of Sprint’s best full QWERTY Android devices. Packed with an older version of Android, the Epic 4G is built to suit power-users for just $99.99 (with a “Mail–in Rebate via Reward Card”).

Specs

  • Price: $149.99/$499.99
  • Display: 4″ Super AMOLED 480 x 800
  • CPU: 1 GHz Hummingbird
  • OS: Android 2.1
  • Keyboard: 5-Row Slide-Out QWERTY Keyboard with 4 dedicated Android buttons.
  • Storage: 1 GB internal with 16GB microSD card included.
  • RAM: 512MB
  • Battery: 1500 mAh Li Ion
  • Rear-Camera: 5 MP / 720p Video
  • Front-Camera: Yes
  • 4G?: Yes, Up to 10X Faster than 3G
  • Release Date: Buy Now!
[amazon_enhanced asin="B003ZDO2H6" /]

myTouch 4G Slide (T-Mobile)

Moving on into T-Mobile territory, the myTouch 4G Slide is going to be your best bet if you need an affordable full QWERTY device. This device packs 4G capabilities, dedicated Android buttons (in addition to the full keyboard), an above-par battery life, and a sweet camera/camcorder. For the time being, the dual-core processor is also top of the line equipment.

Specs

  • Price: $199.99/$499.99
  • Display: 3.7″ 480 x 800
  • CPU: Dual-Core 1.2GHz Snapdragon Processor
  • OS: Android 2.3.4
  • Keyboard: 4-Row Slide-Out QWERTY Keyboard.
  • Storage: 8GB microSD card included (Expandable to 32GB)
  • RAM: 768 MB RAM
  • Battery: 1520 mAh Li Ion
  • Rear-Camera: 8 MP / 1080p Video
  • Front-Camera: Yes
  • 4G?: Yes.
  • Release Date: Buy Now!
[amazon_enhanced asin="B00301F4ZW" /]

LG Optimus Slider (Virgin Mobile)

Despite the incredibly outdated screen size and resolution, the LG Optimus Slider is a good QWERTY option for Virgin Mobile customers. Most of its main specs are sub-par, but the device itself looks pretty good, and it’s a great choice for the users who don’t need quad-core processors or 1080p video capture.

Specs

  • Price: $199.99/$499.99
  • Display: 3.2″ 320 x 480
  • CPU: 800 MHz Processor
  • OS: Android 2.3
  • Keyboard: 4-Row Slide-Out QWERTY Keyboard.
  • Storage: 8GB microSD card included (Expandable to 32GB)
  • RAM: 512 MB RAM
  • Battery: 1500 mAh Li Ion
  • Rear-Camera: 3.2 MP / ? Video
  • Front-Camera: No
  • 4G?: No
  • Release Date: Buy Now!
[amazon_enhanced asin="B0060NG6M2" /]

Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro

Revealed well over a year ago, but launched only in October 2011, the Sony Ericsson Xperia pro is an attractive device that comes in three stylish color options and packs a full QWERTY keyboard, complete with a full set of arrow keys and a long space key. The Xperia pro ships with Android 2.3 but Sony promised a timely update to Ice Cream Sandwich, which you’ll be able to properly enjoy thanks to a decent 3.7-inch screen that packs a 265 ppi pixel density. Under the hood, you’ll find a 1Ghz processor and 512MB or RAM, along with a nice 8MP camera. The keyboard of the Xperia pro is well-designed, with spaced-out keys that make it almost impossible to push two keys at once. Overall, the Sony Ericsson Xperia pro is a respectable, even not cutting-edge QWERTY phone that we can recommend to all keyboard fanatics out there.
xperia pro
Specs
  • Price: $299.99
  • Display: 3.7″ 480 x 854
  • CPU: 1Ghz
  • OS: Android 2.3 (upgradeable)
  • Keyboard: 4-Row Slide-Out QWERTY Keyboard.
  • Storage: 8GB microSD card included (Expandable to 32GB)
  • RAM: 512 MB RAM
  • Battery: 1500 mAh Li Ion
  • Rear-Camera: 8 MP
  • Front-Camera: Yes
  • 4G?: No
  • Release Date: Buy Now!
[amazon_enhanced asin="B005DIPRSE" /]

So there you have it folks — these are, currently, the best QWERTY Android phones of 2012. While there aren’t any crazy 4.3, 4.5, 4.6, or even 5.3-inch QWERTY sliders yet on the market, you can be sure that a smart manufacturer will come along and deliver such devices. 2012 is the year that Android will really take off. With new entrants ZTE, Huawei, and others looking to assert their position and grab some market share from Samsung, Motorola, LG, Sony, or HTC, you can be sure that we’re going to see increased competition, in terms of the quality and diversity of the devices that come to market this year. This will translate into better quality devices, better internal hardware, and lower prices. Stay tuned, as we will be updating this article with any new information regarding the best QWERTY Android phones of 2012!
Seriously though, if you work for one of the companies mentioned above, you would be wise to build a QWERTY device with the following specs:

QWERTY Dream Phone of 2012:

  • 4.8 inch HD Super AMOLED display
  • 1280×800 Resolution
  • 4000 mAh battery
  • 1.5GHz Quad core processor
  • 2GB of RAm
  • 64GB internal memory
  • 5 row QWERTY keyboard
  • 12MP camera
  • less than 10mm thin
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Best Android Phones 2012


The year 2011 was all about “dual core” becoming the standard for high-end smartphones. And we have all witnessed what yesteryear’s superphones like the Samsung Galaxy S II, DROID RAZR MAXX, and others are capable of. The following phones are much more powerful than anything released last year, and for this upcoming generation of devices, even more.
So, what next? This year, chip-makers have come forth with quad core processors supporting mobile multitasking comparable to the performance of a desktop computer of a few years ago, powered by Tegra 3 SoC’s and TI’s OMAP equivalent. More cores equal more power and a faster smartphone; certainly they are likely to offer increased power savings and a performance increase in the range of 300-500%. And, they actually have power saving features embedded in them too.
The race for Android smartphone dominance features an incredible lineup with a fair mix of “veterans” as well as “newcomers,” including HTC, Motorola, Sony, Samsung, LG, Huawei, ZTE and Meizu. Let’s take a look at some of the devices that are already available, or will be soon.

HTC

First out of the gate is HTC, which launched the first quad-core smartphone in the market. Officially named the HTC One X, it runs on NVIDIA’s quad-core Tegra 3 processor with its 4+1 set up involving a companion core for menial tasks, and is clocked at 1.5Ghz. With 1GB of RAM at your disposal, along with 32GB of built-in memory, this mammoth device offers a 4.7″ screen with 720p HD resolution.
HTC One X Specs
  • 8MP camera unit with 28mm, f/2.2 lens with HTC Imagechip and ImageSense
  • 4.7″ screen with 1280×720 HD LCD Display
  • NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 quad core clocked @ 1.5 Ghz
  • 32GB of built-in memory
  • 1GB of RAM
  • Android 4.0 ICS with HTC Sense 4.0
  • Bluetooth 4.0
After a dismal 2011 and Q1 of 2012, HTC looked towards its One series to turn the company’s fortunes around. And it seems to be working so far. Not to say that the much-heralded flagship device has been without its issues, such as:
  • Processor overheating, glitchy screens, and malfunctioning camera app (attempted fix via an OTA software update)
  • The recently noticed issue of poor multi-tasking app management
  • Poor battery life, a problem which has become a staple HTC issue over the past year (the same OTA update seemed to reduce this problem as well)
  • The currently on-going “controversy” of an Apple lawsuit victory which has delayed the launch of the HTC One X (with AT&T) and the HTC EVO 4G (with Sprint)
I’ve been using the the HTC One X for about 2 weeks now, and I personally haven’t faced any of the issues above. Granted, I received the OTA update as soon as I started up the device so that might have been a contributing factor. The high-resolution S-LCD screen along with Android 4.0 with the thinned-down Sense 4.0 UI provides an amazing user experience and you can easily feel how much of a difference the quad-core processor makes. Of course, battery life still isn’t as good as one would hope for, but since I’ve been using HTC devices for a while, I have all the “workarounds” in place (chargers for home, office, and car). Would I rather have a better, bigger battery? Definitely. Is the current battery a decision-changer? Absolutely not.
With the Samsung Galaxy S3 shipping only within the next month or so, and with other smartphone manufacturers releasing their devices only this summer or even later in fall, HTC has taken full advantage of its head start. How it fares against the competition is yet to be seen, but I believe that the HTC One X will definitely be in the reckoning for the crown of best Android smartphone of 2012.

SAMSUNG

Completely contrary to HTC, Samsung enjoyed an amazing 2011 on its way to becoming the No. 1 Android device manufacturer in the world. They are testing possible processors like the Exynos 5250, which isn’t quad-core, but rather a dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 processor. But as we now know, Samsung decided to go ahead with its ARM Cortex-A9 based quad-core Exynos 4412 processor, clocked at 1.4Ghz.
I’ll be honest, I’m still reeling from the whirlwind rumor that preceded the official announcement of the Korean company’s latest flagship device, the Galaxy S3. Even though we now have official specifications, if someone suddenly asks me about it, I still to sift through the rumors and speculations that are still floating around in my mind, before I remember the “truth.” Below are the official specifications of the much-hyped device.
Samsung Galaxy S3 Specs
  • 1.4 Ghz quad-core Exynos 4412 processor
  • 4.8 inch 1280×720 Super AMOLED display
  • 8MP rear camera, 1.9MP rear camera
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16/32/64 GB internal storage, microSD support
With Samsung releasing the very successful Galaxy S2, Galaxy Nexus, and Galaxy Note last year, the expectation for “the Next Galaxy” were through the roof! The endless speculation and rumors did not help the matter either. So even though the specifications of the Galaxy S3 are no laughing matter, and met the expectations of the more rational minds, there seems to be an air of disappointment following the launch. “Only” 1GB RAM? What happened to the 12MP camera we all wanted? Why is Samsung still using Pentile technology? These were some of the questions that was in everybody’s thoughts.
Of course, there are a lot of qualities such as the larger and removable battery, multiple storage options, and microSD support that for many users would be a big selling point for this device against the HTC One X. As such, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is still poised to be one of the most, if not the most successful Android smartphone of 2012.  

MOTOROLA

Motorola is another manufacturer, like HTC, that has lost its dominance in the Android smartphone arena. While HTC and Samsung both have their flagship devices available or soon-to-be-available, we only have rumors about future Motorola devices. After the DROID RAZR and the DROID RAZR MAXX, rumors of a DROID RAZR HD have surfaced along with more speculation about the absolutely unstoppable and drool-worthy 3300mAh Quad core powered Motorola Atrix 3.

Motorola Atrix 3 specs
  • 4.3 inch HD display
  • 1.5 Ghz quad-core Tegra 3 processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 3300 mAH battery
Motorola DROID RAZR HD specs
  • 4.6 inch HD display
  • 1.8 Ghz dual-core ARM-Cortex A9 processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 3300 mAH
  • Android 4.0
Of course, any information we have on the above mentioned devices are just rumors at this point. With Motorola smartphones usually featured on Verizon’s 4G LTE lineup, it is reasonable to assume that the larger battery will be used. The HD display has become a standard feature on all high-end devices and therefore things should not be any different on Motorola’s flagship device.
The Google-owned company may be lying in wait to assess the competition before releasing their flagship device. It could also be letting the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S3 fight play out before jumping into the ring. Either way, for now it looks like Motorola is poised to make its case for Android supremacy in the second half of the year, and will likely take on the lesser known LG, Sony, Huawei, and ZTE devices.
Complete speculation at this point, but with rumors of Android 5.0 Jellybean floating around, what do you think are the chances of Motorola getting first dibs on the OS?
SONY
From what we’ve seen, it appears that Sony is taking the smartphone market very seriously, and is positioning themselves in 2012 to become a lot more competitive. Granted, Sony execs have mostly confirmed that their devices will not feature a quad-core processor till 2013. But with the impressive performance of the dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, this is not necessarily a bad thing.
Sony released the Xperia S this year, with both packing a dual core 1.5 Ghz Snapdragon chip, a 4.55″ 1280×720 HD display, 1 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage, and a 1750 mAh battery. Also, it packs a 12 MP camera with full HD recording and HDMI port. The biggest drawback is the fact that the device ships with Android 2.3 out of the box. Sony confirmed that an upgrade to Android 4.0 will be available in June, but somehow this “disadvantage” is enough for me to leave the Xperia S out of the running for Android “phone of the year.”
It does look like Sony might by releasing a legitimate contender for the title after all, if some rumors are to be believed. We’ve all heard about the impressive Xperia GX with its for-Japan-only tag, but it Sony might be considering an international version of the device as well, codenamed Hayabusa.
Sony LT29i Hayabusa specs
  • 4.6 inch HD screen
  • 1.5 Ghz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor
  • 13 MP rear camera
  • 2,200 mAH
If Sony is considering an international release of the Xperia GX, which has similar specs, it is safe to assume that the device will ship with Android 4.0 out of the box. With the smartphone market shaping up the way it is, Sony will really need to step up its game to avoid losing big.

MEIZU

Meizu MX with Quad Core Launching in May 2012
Meizu MX Specs
  • Exynos Quad Core @ 1.5 Ghz
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 16 GB ROM
  • 8MP Camera
  • 1600 mAh
  • 4 inch LED backlit display
Recently, Meizu CEO J Wong has confirmed that after first gen Meizu MX launched recently, its quad core version will be hitting the market soon installed with the Android Ice Cream Sandwich while it arrives in May 2012. He also confirmed in the official company forum that the second version of the Meizu MX will come with the Exynos processor. There is not so detailed information about the features it will showcase, but it will perhaps have a processor clocked at 1.5 GHz, 1/2 GB RAM, 16 Gb inbuilt memory, 8 MP or higher camera, full HD recording, HDMI port, 4+” LED display and a 1600 mAh battery.
Meizu have gained reputation in China, and their quality and powerful devices are starting to be acknowledged by the West. This means that it might not be long until they start selling them in Europe and the US, as well struggling against the iPhone.

LG

LG 4X HD Specs: 
  • NVIDIA Tegra 3 Quad-core CPU
  • A whopping 4.7 inches HD Screen (1280×720)
  • 8MP Rear Camera and 1.3MP Front
  • 16GB on a microSD card.
  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box
  • 21Mbps HSPA or LTE depending on region and carrier
  • 2000mAh battery
  • NFC
LG has received a lot of flack for slow updates, and for software that doesn’t perform at its best, all the time. That being said, they are still considered one of the top five, in terms of market share, at least. So it should come as no surprise that LG does not want to stand idly by.
While the Optimus 4X HD is impressive in its own right, it doesn’t hold a candle to the LG Optimus LTE2. Here’s why.
LG Optimus LTE2 specs
  • 1.5 Ghz NVIDIA quad-core Tegra 3 processor/dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 4.7″ True HD display (rumored)
  • 2,150 mAH
The information on the LTE2 is somewhat thin, considering its expected release later this month. We do know for sure though, that this will be the first smartphone in the world to feature 2GB RAM. Processor and display specifications are not yet available, but will should be impressive enough to provide good competition to HTC and Samsung.
Just when you thought LG was done, another leak pops up. And wow, is this one amazing! You be the judge.
LG LS970 Eclipse specs
  • 4.67″ WXGA display
  • 1.5 Ghz quad-core Krait processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 13MP rear camera
  • 2,100 mAH battery
We are aware of the incompatibility issues quad-core processors have with LTE radios, but if the these rumored specs are true, it looks like Qualcomm has found a solution. The expected release of this device is Q4 of 2012, so unless this release gets delayed, the LG Eclipse will have an undisputed claim to the throne.

HUAWEI

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Huawei is the one to watch in 2012. They’ve had quite a bit of success domestically in China, and elsewhere in Europe, and they’re hungry for more. Out of the hundreds of pieces of technology I had the privilege of experiencing, the Huawei Ascend P1 and P1S were the ones that really stood out. Remarkably thin, and built of an extremely strong composite plastic, they both featured an eye popping qHD AMOLED display, and made me want to put my Galaxy S2 back in my pocket.
Dubbed the Huawei Ascend D Quad XL, the company claims that this device is “the world’s fastest smartphone,” and all in a super tight, svelte package. What’s not to love? Perhaps the battery life. Time will tell, as with all good things, but from judging the reception the DROID RAZR MAXX has enjoyed with its industry leading 3300mAh battery, major manufacturers better wake up and notice that consumers want long battery life, and, in most cases, are willing to forgo thinness in the pursuit of more road-warrior attuned qualities.

Huawei Ascend D Quad Specs

  • 4.5″ qHD display
  • NFC
  • 16GB of onboard memory
  • 8MP camera
  • Quad-core 1.5Ghz processor
  • Android 4.0x+ Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 2200 mAh battery
Anyway, no matter the number of devices, what we are in the midst of is truly a mobile computing revolution. At the end of the day, we, the consumers, will all benefit. After all, we are going to experience a whole new world of smarter, faster and buttery smooth mobile devices.
ZTE
Huawei and ZTE are both well known in their own Chinese markets, but have failed to make an impression on the world stage. Until now.
While Huawei will be releasing the flashier Ascend D Quad, ZTE is right behind, providing a quad-core option for the budget-conscious. Let’s take a look at the specs of the ZTE Era.
ZTE Era specs
  • 4.3 inch qHD display
  • 960×540 resolution
  • 1.3 Ghz NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB internal storage, microSD support
  • 8MP rear camera
  • Android 4.0
The only disappointing features are the slightly lower display resolution and the under-clocked(?) processor. But it’s still quad-core, and these “compromises” are what is going to lead the Era boasting a very pocket-friendly price tag. Huawei and ZTE plan to ship a combined 100 million devices this year, and both will provide stiff competition to the more established HTC, Samsung, and Motorola.
The fight for Android smartphone supremacy is shaping up quite well, with the action set to heat up over the second half of the year with some truly amazing devices in the pipeline. It almost makes you wonder if HTC and Samsung rushed their flagship releases.

  • Samsung Galaxy S3 (43%, 2,686 Votes)
  • HTC One X (28%, 1,739 Votes)
  • Sony Xperia S (11%, 718 Votes)
  • Huawei Ascend D Quad (7%, 427 Votes)
  • Motorola Atrix 3 (6%, 397 Votes)
  • LG Optimus 4X HD (3%, 189 Votes)
  • Meizu MX (2%, 99 Votes)
  • Panasonic Eluga Power (0%, 28 Votes)

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Five ways to avoid Windows 8


Some people are still sure Windows 8 is going to be the cat’s meow. I’m sure Windows 8 and its Metro interface will be more like a cat’s yowl of pain. The more I look at Metro, the more I’m sure that Microsoft’s new desktop will flop as badly as the Facebook IPO.
It’s not just me. Business analysts, who couldn’t care less about technology but care a lot about what customers think, are saying things like “Windows 8 will prove to be a disappointment.”
Windows users who were already unhappy about having to learn Metro, which doesn’t work or look a thing like Vista and Windows 7’s Aero interface never mind XP’s familiar appearance, are finding out there’s more trouble ahead for them. Windows 8 will cost more at launch to upgrade to from Windows 7.DVD playback and media-center functionality will now be an extra-price option.
Oh as for Metro-friendly applications, here’s what Matthew Baxter-Reynolds, an independent software development consultant, speaker, author, and trainer and all around Windows guru who’s writing the book “Programming Windows 8 Apps with C#” had to say: “does Metro actually work? In my opinion: No.”
I don’t care if your most prized possession is an autographed copy of Bill Gates’ The Road Ahead, you have got to be wary of moving to Windows 8. So what can you do to avoid, or at least delay, the day you have to start using it?
1. Stick with Windows XP
OK, so your PC is getting a little older, but it’s still working isn’t it? According to some estimates,most PC users are still using XP. Certainly hundreds of millions of users are still using it. If it’s not broke, why fix it?
Well, there is one reason: On April 8, 2014, Microsoft says it will officially end support for XP–and Office 2003 while they’re at it. Of course, Microsoft has extended XP’s life support before. Today, they swear they wouldn’t do it again. But, if say 20% of users still have XP running in their PCs in 2014… well let’s just say I won’t be surprised if Microsoft has a change of heart.
2. Stick with Windows 7 or move to it
So, let’s say its 2012’s holiday season and all the new PCs are coming out with Windows 8, what do you do? You don’t ask, you demand, Windows 7 instead.
Yes, I’m a Linux guy, but if you really want Windows, and I know most of you do, Windows 7 SP 1 is easily the best version of Windows to date. Yes, it’s not the same as XP. There is a learning curve. On the other hand, while it’s not as safe as Linux, Windows 7 is a lot more secure than XP. There are also plenty of useful, easy to-use tools to move your XP data and applications to Windows 7.
3. Move to a Linux or Mac Desktop
Since Microsoft wants to force a radical change on you, why not really make a change and move to Linux or a Mac? The Linux desktop is great for both power users and for users who just need a computer for the basics. Specifically, I think XP users will find Linux Mint with the Cinnamon interface to be inviting. And, Ubuntu 12.04’s Unity interface is much easier to use than Metro. Heck, my 80-year old mother-in-law is a successful Ubuntu user!
Macs, of course, are Macs. They’re pricy, you’re locked into Apple’s hardware and software in ways that Steve Ballmer can only dream about, and, and, gosh they’re pretty and easy to use. Well, easy to use so long as you do exactly what Apple thinks you should be doing anyway.
4. Move to the cloud with Google’s Chrome OS.
Chrome OS hasn’t really caught on yet, but I think Google’s Chrome OS is a real alternative to Windows for many users. It’s not so much Chrome OS itself, it’s the whole concept of being able to use a Web browser and the cloud for everything you need to do and that you want to do instead of a fat client desktop operating system.
Think about what you’re doing today. Web-browsing, e-mail, IM, VoIP, maybe using Google Docs, whatever, how much of that actually requires that you use a local application? If 99% of what you’re doing on your computer can be done on the Web, what more than you really need than the Chrome Web browser, or-and there’s the point–an operating system like Chrome OS, which is just the Chrome Web browser running on a barebones Linux structure?
5. Use an iPad or Android tablet instead.
Microsoft really wants people to switch to Windows 8, and its close cousin Windows RT smartphones and tablets. I’m not holding my breath. I actually think Windows 8/Metro on Intel actually makes sense–Windows RT, which doesn’t have Active Directory support, not so much. Metro looks and works better on a tablet than it ever will on a desktop. There’s just this one little problem: People love iPads and they’re getting fonder of the Android tablets with their lower price tags. If I were a Microsoft fan, I’d worry if there’s any room left in the market for a Windows 8 tablet.
At the same time, as Microsoft is painfully aware, tablets are becoming popular as desktop replacements. As ZDNet’s own James Kendrick points out, “It is now possible to get a full day’s work from almost anywhere, without compromise,” on a tablet.
So, come the day you go to a Best Buy and all you see is Windows 8 PCs from one end of the store to the other, just remember you do have other, better, options.
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Samsung and HTC to out Tizen-based devices in the second half of the year

A number of companies are alegedly on board to come up with devices based on the new Tizen mobile OS in the second half of the year, report "PC players". Tizen is developed and supported now mainly by Intel and Samsung, which merged their MeeGo and LiMo divisions, but there are other players in the consortium, like Panasonic and NEC, as well as some of the world's top carriers, including Sprint.

Rumors are that Samsung and HTC are coming with smartphones based on Tizen in the second half, with Acer and Asus working on notebooks for emerging markets with the newfangled mobile OS. It will have a steep hill to climb against the established three Android, iOS and Windows Phone, but that will make it more fun for us to watch. Tizen was caught in the act running Android apps recently, so this might be the ace up its sleeve.
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Kill Time Productively on Your Phone



The smartphone has made killing time when you're standing in line easy, but instead of launching another bird into the sky you can turn those two-minute spurts of non-activity into productive moments. Doing so will help you rid the most annoying and tiny daily tasks in your downtime. Here are a few ideas for doing just that.
You'll find plenty of great productivity apps on smartphones, but actually using them isn't always the easiest option. After all, when you're waiting around for a plane or killing time at the DMV it's a lot easier to just boot up Facebook and screw around for a few minutes. Still, you can get a surprising amount of things done in just a couple minutes, starting with your email.

Process Your Inbox: Answer Everything You Can Respond to in Two Minutes or Less

Chances are you have a few emails you haven't responded to because they're just simple questions. It's those emails you avoid because they're just so easy, but they end up piling up as the day goes along. You can find these emails quicker by getting everything organized. The trusted trio is a great way to start, but if you want another option you can keep it even simpler by setting up specific labels in Gmail called Kill Time (and if you need help with labels we've got you covered). Throughout the day just throw in those easy to reply emails you leave sitting around and then bang them out when you're waiting around later.
However you choose to do it the purpose is the same: filter off a few emails a day into a folder where you can quickly pull them up on your phone and kill some time answering them. Photo byOlaf.

Bake Phone Tasks Into Your To-Do's

If your to-do list is anything like mine then it probably has a ton of simple, quick tasks scattered throughout it. These include things like making quick phone calls, sending emails, researching a simple topic, or even ordering some new shoes. Instead of keeping these short tasks inline with more complicated to-dos, bake in a special phone list filled with everything you can do from your phone.
If that's not possible, take those couple of minutes to sit down and prune items from your to-do list. Eliminate tasks you can't get to, reorganizing others, or whatever it takes to make your list manageable.

Brainstorm Freely with No Purpose

This is a little more abstract, but taking advantage of those moments when you're bored is a great way time for creativity (and productivity). We've seen before that being bored is actually good for creativity and it's easy to do on the go.
You can do this anyway you like, with a text editor, drawing app, or anything else. Personally, I use the iOS app Mindjet because I love mindmapping. The idea is that you just write down all the ridiculous ideas you have while you're bored with no thought for how bad they are and then return to them later to pick out the good ones.

Give Your Brain a Workout

Kill Time Productively on Your PhoneAnother option is stuff a little brain training into those moments. We know brain games don't make you smart, but some games, logic puzzles, and other exercises still benefit your brain. Crossword puzzles are thought tocombat Alzheimers and they're readily available for nearly every smart phone. If crosswords aren't your thing, nearly every digital device on the planet has Tetris available on it and Tetris is known to expand your brain.
You can also take that time to learn something new. The variety of Wikipedia apps are a great way to kill some time while still learning something. Just fire it up, select a random article, and you're on your way to learning something new instead of killing time.
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Could Froyo and Gingerbread become Android’s IE6?



A little while ago I posed the question: Is Android 5.0 Jelly Bean too much, too soon? Thereaction from the net was lively, with most people falling into one of two camps. First, those who want the latest and best, and they want it now! And those who say that, as long as the phone works, most people don’t care about the version of Android on their device. Well, now the app developers have spoken  - and perhaps they matter the most!
There are, of course, three main groups in the Android ecosystem: There is Google (and the handset manufactures), there are the consumers, and there are the app developers. Android is a great mobile OS, but where would it be without Angry Birds or a Facebook app?
A few days ago, San Francisco hosted the AnDevCon III technical conference for software developers building Android apps. There were lots of top people there from Google, Barnes & Noble, HTC and so on. And, according to InfoWorld.com, developers at the conference aren’t in a rush to see Android 5.0 Jelly Bean, but rather they are concentrating on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
The problems that Android app developers face were summed up nicely by David Mathisen, of Allegiance Software: “I want to make sure that everybody can use our app that has an Android phone.” And that is the main issue. No developer in their right mind will release an app that only works on ICS. With a little under 5% of the Android population using Android 4.0, app developers need to make sure their apps are compatible with Android 2.2 Froyo and Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Talk of Android 5.0 Jelly Bean is at best theoretical and even when Google releases the software (and the source code), it will be six months or even a year before there is a significant number of real world users.
This “fragmentation” can be a pain for app developers who need to spend extra time (and money) making sure apps work across the board. “Sometimes, you need to implement different tools to actually make the application work in different versions,” said Teresa Jimenez Arreola, of France Telecom R&D.
In considering the possible impact of Jelly Bean on the Android ecosystem, William van de Lagemaat, a “new technology” consultant, made the excellent point that the Android 2.x series could become Android’s IE 6. He is drawing a parallel with the difficulty web developers have in ensuring that web pages are viewable across the myriad of different web browsers that exist today, in particular Internet Explorer 6 has stuck around much longer that it should and has been the bane of web developer’s (and Microsoft’s) life.
If he is right then this is bad news for app developers and consumers alike. If Android 2.2 and Android 2.3 stick around for another two or even three years, and between them manage to count for anything over 25% of Android users, then everyone has a problem. App and game innovation will be limited as developers  will want to use the most popular version to increase revenues. Everything will need to remain Android 2.x compatible which will leave ICS and Jelly Bean without value add apps.

What can Google do about this?

I am tempted to say that Google already missed its chance to get this right, but I think that it can learn something from Microsoft. Windows XP was a runaway success, so successful in fact that even eights years after it was originally released you could buy a new PC with XP pre-installed on it. The reason for its longevity was Windows Vista. It was a disaster and it didn’t run well on older computers. The answer was Windows 7 which, from the get-go, was slimmer and faster, plus Microsoft released Windows 7 Starter edition which was even slimmer for netbooks and PCs will less resources.
One of the reasons that handset manufactures can’t put ICS on some devices is that a) they don’t have enough RAM, b) they don’t have enough flash memory to hold the OS. Google should be working to make an ICS Lite which fits onto older devices. Failure to do this will result in years of pain as the Android 2.x series dies a slow but lingering death.
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