Remember LG’s ridiculous Optimus Vu, the 5″ phablet with a 4:3 1024 x 768 display? Or its international variant, which was one of the few devices to call itself a phone and carry a Tegra 3 processor? Or Verizon’s variant, dubbed Intuition, which could only muster a review score of 4.4 from The Verge? Or the Vu II, which took the original device and bumped the internal hardware up to appropriate levels for a 2012 flagship?
There’s a reason nobody (except me) remembers these things. It’s because they were horrible. And yet, LG just doesn’t know when to stop. Continue reading →
For the one true episode 014 of our now adolescent podcast, Xavier and Chris make up for lost time by talking about everything important since the Lumia 1020 happened. It turns out that this includes a fair bit about the 1020 itself, but our dynamic duo (sorry Henry) also trawl through news about its baby big brother, a new family of Droids from Motorola and Verizon with the Moto X launch looming later this week and HTC’s quest for profitability with One variants both big and small. Samsung, on the other hand, go full-on with the purple and Canonical decide that a crowdfunding campaign to make an Ubuntu phone with a sapphire crystal display makes perfect sense. There’s also a new BlackBerry leak if you’re into that kind of phone and Google’s new Nexus 7 and Chromecast streaming HDMI dongle thing.
Following on from our triumphant trip to The Gadget Show Live last week, Xavier and Chris leave Henry in the dark ages for the fifth episode of our podcast. Sticking mostly to topic for the first time ever, we talk about everything from Facebook’s attempt to take control of Android with Home and the HTC First, Nokia’s Verizon-bound Lumia 928, our experiences in the review period of the Microsoft Surface RT, the complimentary content that comes with Sony’s new $699 4K media player and, the biggest news of the year, Sergey Brin’s bright pink Batman Tesla. We also branch out into culture talk with our favourite new media and Chris gets philosophical…somewhere.
At a press event in San Francisco today, Google has unveiled the Chromebook Pixel, the latest addition to the expanding line of Chrome OS-based laptops. As one of the company’s first ventures into hardware, the Pixel represents a change of direction with Google’s strategy, and the hardware inside shows that Google is pitching it towards a higher end of the market than existing ‘disposable’ models from the likes of Samsung, Acer, Lenovo and HP.
The Chromebook Pixel has a 1.8GHz Intel Core i5 processor and 32GB of solid state storage coupled with 1TB of additional Google Drive storage free for 3 years, usually costing $49.99 per month. A 720p HD webcam sits above the market-leading 239ppi 12.85″ 2560 x 1700 touch display and, with its £1,049 ($1,299) price tag, the machine is being pitched as the world’s first premium Chromebook, and the company will be shipping it next week via Google Play and through retail partners, with a $1,499 model with twice the internal storage and support for Verizon’s LTE network set to hit US stores in April.
Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 launch event was headlined by the appearance of Jessica Alba, but otherwise very little unknown information surfaced about the operating system or the devices it would appear upon. One smidgen of news that did emerge, however, was that a Samsung device, depicted by a lonely silhouette and named the Ativ Odyssey, was in the pipeline for a December release on Verizon in the US. Of course December came and went without a release, but CES gave Samsung the opportunity to show the 4″ Windows Phone 8 device to the world. Now, a press release has stated that the phone will be available sooner rather than later, with stores set to receive the Ativ Odyssey and Valentine’s Day editions of the Nokia Lumia 822 and Motorola Droid Razr M tomorrow (January 24th).
The Odyssey joins the Lumia 822 and HTC 8X in Verizon’s lineup of LTE Windows Phones, and its microSD slot and 2100mAh battery should win it some fans, although the 800 x 480 screen resolution and 5MP camera show that it is pitched towards the lower end of the market. As with almost all other Windows Phone 8 devices, the package comes powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chip accompanied by 1GB of RAM, and it will be available for $49.99 with a new 2 year contract, while whispers of a European launch remain unconfirmed but not impossible.
In what is supposedly the day’s main event, Motorola and Verizon have a big announcement planned. We expect to see the Droid Razr HD tonight, but Motorola’s stream page promises a few surprises. If you want to see things happen, tune in below at 2PM EDT/6PM GMT/7PM BST/8PM CEST or whatever time it will be for you. Can the Google subsidiary live up to their showstopping promises?