Archive for BlackBerry

>Summer Cell Phone Buying Guide: AT&T

>Ah Big Blue. Whether that means the ocean or AT&T, you may be getting a bit of both this summer. Check out today’s buying guide to help you figure out which phone you’re going to bring to you BBQs this summer!

The Beast of the Beach: Samsung Infuse 4G

Honestly, it’s not 4G. Don’t let the name fool you. But the Samsung Infuse is still one of AT&T’s best and there’s truly not much else like it on the market. It is currently the thinnest smartphone on the market at just .35 inches (the iPhone 4 is .37 inches) and it weighs only 4.9 ounces, which is pretty shocking considering what a beast it truly is. The Infuse rocks a massive 4.5″ Super AMOLED touchscreen, giving it killer battery life and making it really easy to see in the bright sunlight. You also get a 1.2GHz processor, 8 megapixel camera with one on the front for video calls. Inside you’ll find 13GB of internal memory plus the microSD card slot. It only comes with a 2GB card in the box, but it supports up to 32GB, giving you one of the biggest amounts of storage on any smartphone. It runs Android 2.2 and is the first AT&T Android phone to let you install apps not on the Android Market, like the Amazon App Store. It’ll set you back $200, but is definitely the most bang for your buck.

Runner Up: Motorola Atrix 4G

iCan’t NOT Mention It: Apple iPhone 4

Really, you had to have known this was coming.  Like I said in yesterday’s Verizon guide, it simply is the easiest smartphone to use and it truly does have the highest number of quality apps. The Retina Display is downright gorgeous and works well in sunlight, and the camera is still the best you’ll find on any smartphone, so you can be sure your summer memories are captured properly. As far as gaming goes, only Windows Phone can match it in quality, but the iPhone just has a massive gaming library. Definitely the best if you just want a phone with a really good out-of-the-box experience. That said, while the 3Gs for $50 can seem tempting, don’t do it. The next iPhone won’t be until until September at the earliest, meaning that come September or so, your 3Gs will be completely outdated. The iPhone 4 will set you back $200 for 16GB, 32GB for $300.

Low Budget, Highly Different: Samsung Focus

If Android and iPhone isn’t your bag, you’ll dig Windows Phone 7. It features a fair amount of customization like Android, but is still a lot more controlled like iOS. Windows Phone 7 is really known for it’s radically different interface and deep integration of various services. the Zune Pass gives you unlimited music access for $15 a month, you can play some XBOX Live on your phone and rack up more achievements, and of course you get the full Office Suite. But it integrates with itself even further. For example, my Samsung Focus has music stored on it, streams podcasts through a separate app, and streams music through the Rdio app. But all of these show up in the Zune app as well. The Samsung Focus isn’t AT&T’s most expensive WP7 phone, but it is their best. For only $50, you get a beautiful 4″ AMOLED touchscreen, a 1GHz processor, and just under 7GB of internal memory. The 5 megapixel camera in it is one of the only phones to rival the iPhone 4’s camera, and the speaker on the back is almost too loud. Definitely a great price for a really good phone.

Runner Up: BlackBerry Torch

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>Summer Cell Phone Buying Guide: Sprint

Summer is upon us and many people get their upgrades or look switch things up this time of year. Be it for school, work, or play, over the next few days we’ll be helping you find the hottest handset to start the summer off right, one carrier at a time. Keep in mind, all the pricing we list is from the carriers themselves. Obviously you can shop around and find your next phone for a lot cheaper.

Best of the Best: Samsung Nexus S 4G
If you’re looking to get the absolute best phone that Sprint has to offer, you gotta grab a Samsung Nexus S 4G. For $200, you’re going to get Android 2.3 on a beautiful 4” Super AMOLED screen, 4G data, 1GHz Snapdragon processor, a 5 megapixel camera with 720p video on the back, and a VGA cam in the front for video conferencing. It comes with 16GB of internal memory in addition to a microSD card slot. You’ll get access to Google Wallet with the NFC chip (when it launches in your city), and most importantly, it is uninhibited Android. No carrier customization, no bloatware, just the real deal.

Runner Up: Samsung Epic 4G


Best for the Least: LG Optimus S
Not looking to break the bank but still want all the goodness? The LG Optimus S is a pretty solid phone for the great price of $0. It’s a little weak with just a 600MHz processor, but it runs Android 2.2 quite well. You get a basic 3 megapixel camera but without a flash. It doesn’t seem like it should be a good phone, but it will surprise you. There’s less lag than you’d expect on most apps you’d use daily like Facebook, Twitter, and texting, and it still plays Angry Birds pretty well.

Runner Up: BlackBerry Style


Best Non-Android: HTC Arrive
Not down with the Droid? The HTC Arrive is going to be worth a look. This Windows Phone 7 device has a nice 3.6” touchscreen with a slide out QWERTY keyboard. When the keyboard is out, the screen pops up a bit too for a great view while you’re tapping away. The 1GHz processor runs the latest version of WP7 very well, the 5 megapixel camera works very well, and you’ve got 16GB of memory to work with. It’ll set you back $200, but you really won’t be disappointed.


What To Look Forward To: HTC EVO 3D
We’ve talked about it before, but the HTC EVO 3D will be upon us somewhat soon. The successor to the EVO 4G will look pretty similar with it’s 4.3” screen running Android on Sprint’s 4G network, but that’s where the similarities end. The EVO’s screen is qHD on 2D, and rocks the glasses-free stereoscopic 3D, which will work great on The Green Hornet, which comes preloaded. You have a 1GHz dual-core processor to help the dual 5 megapixel cameras for 3D pictures and video taking. It’s not official, but you can expect it for $200 sometime in the near future.

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Editorial: The Only Tablet Game Worth Playing is the Waiting Game

On Friday, the iPad 2 will launch. As soon as I get my hands on one, I’ll do a quick personal review, but the professional ones are in and they are overall quite positive. I’ve been thinking about the iPad, my Nook Color, and the tablet space in general a lot lately and the conclusion I’ve drawn is this: Now is the absolute worse time to buy a tablet.

The iPad 2 will do doubt sell like crazy like the original iPad did, since it largely just added a few things that the original should have had anyway. I’ve had a few people ask me my thoughts on it and my answer remains the same from the first one: As far as the tablet market goes, it is easily the most polished and finished product, but it still lacks a lot of basic functionality that would truly make it a hard to beat product. When asked about the host of Android tablet, both past, present, and upcoming, I say this: They pack some functionality that the iPad lacks (Flash support) and gives you a lot more choice in hardware, but the user experience is nowhere near that of their Apple competitor. The final thought on tablets is this:

There are two important things to consider. The first is that the tablet space is a new thing on the consumer market. While tablet PCs have existed for many years, they all ran some version of Windows that was even less optimized for a touch interface than Windows 7 is, which is to say not very optimized at all. Tablets aren’t really necessary. They don’t hit the full capacity of a laptop to do work and browse the full web, and they don’t really offer the portability that you get with a smartphone. Like the smartphone market, you are going to see some very rapid expansion, if not at a faster pace than smartphones. While that iPad 2 looks nice now, you may find yourself getting some serious tablet-envy in a few months when a few more Android tablets, the BlackBerry PlayBook, and the HP Touchpad drop.

We’ve seen other Android tablets before fall short before, but Honeycomb will be some big competition once it reaches maturity and fixes a few weird UI issues. BlackBerry’s offering will be great for people who want a smaller screen (7 inches instead of the 9-10 inch range), and there is a big possibility that it might run Android apps. The HP Touchpad will pack WebOS, which has a much better chance of succeeding under HP’s direction than it did Palm’s. Another huge plus the Touchpad will have is something HP recently announced, that ALL computers it ships in the future will run both Windows AND a WebOS variant. This may allow for a very awesome ecosystem of having all the same functionality and information across all of your gadgets.

The other big problem I see with the tablet market as a whole right now is one that Apple got right again: Contracts. Carriers want you to get a contract with their service, ensuring that you have that tablet with them for 2 years. While smartphones get better over time too, they aren’t evolving as fast as what the tablet market will most likely do. And if the tablet space is just a fad without much staying power, you’ll be locked in regardless. If you’re going to buy a tablet and want 3G/4G connectivity, fine. But it is definitely not a good idea to get a contract along with it when you can get the same plan without.

The tablet landscape is a very new one, one that has yet to truly find its legs. While the iPad 2 might be the best there is yet, that doesn’t mean it’s a good buy quite yet. Hopefully the iPad 3 will pack a lot more PC-like functionality, and hopefully the rest of the manufacturers will realize that they’re getting their butts kicked and show us how a tablet is supposed to be done. Regardless of how it all ends, paying $500+ for something that will be much more obsolete than your laptop will in a year or two’s time might not be the best unless you have the money to burn on a new one.

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