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TELUS to Launch New Trade-In Program, LG announces L-style Android Phones & Twitter's App Get Updates

Friday, February 24, 2012

TELUS to Launch New Trade-In Program, LG announces L-style Android Phones & Twitter's App Get Updates
TELUS to Launch New Trade-In Program

Most carriers in Canada have some sort of device recycling program in place. The latest was Fido with FidoTRADE, basically mimicking what Best Buy and Future Shop have in their stores. Now TELUS is rolling out their initiative called the TELUS "Trade-In Program". TELUS has partnered with eRecyclingCorps and the premise is similar - new or existing customers can take an old, unwanted, handset or accessory and depending on its condition you'll get a certain dollar amount.


LG announces L-style Android Phones Ahead of MWC

LG on Tuesday announced three more Android smartphones ahead of next week's Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain. The "L-style" series will feature the Optimus L3 (3.2-inch), L5 (4-inch) and L7 (4.3-inch), three smartphones for design-conscious consumers. "Design is consistently the top or second most important factor for customers when choosing a mobile phone," president and CEO of LG Mobile Dr. Jong-seok Park said.


Twitter's Android and iOS App Get Updates

The official Twitter app has just received an update on iOS and Android, bringing new features to both platforms, plus an “optimized” Ice Cream Sandwich experience as seen above. The app is also currently available on Amazon's Appstore for the Kindle Fire now, and the company says it will pop up in the Barnes & Noble Nook Store February 23rd.


Everything You Need to Know About Wireless Spectrum

Spectrum is going to be a hot issue in the upcoming year. Freeing up spectrum is a major part of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) National Broadband Plan, and last week Congress passed a law allowing TV stations to auction their spectrum to the highest bidding wireless broadband companies.


Get fit with your Nokia N9

Get fit with your Nokia N9
Been thinking for a long, long time about losing weight, but never really got around to do something about it? Well, if you so happen to have picked up a Nokia N9 recently, here is a tip – you might want to download the free Sports Tracker app to make sure you have concrete information on the details of your performance whenever you break a sweat on purpose, in addition to the Heart Rate Monitor that records how your body is responding to your workout, process that information, and present it to you in a legible and easily understandable manner. You can use it to record different physical activities such as running, walking, cycling, hiking, rowing, and even for rounds of golf.The Heart Rate Monitor for your Nokia N9 will retail at €69.90 a pop, so you might want to pick this puppy up as part of your new training regime. Now the tricky part would be to ensure you have the discipline in seeing your routine through.

HTC One X (Edge / Endeavor) press photo leaked

HTC One X (Edge / Endeavor) press photo leaked
There are quite a few quad-core Android smartphones that are waiting to be officially unveiled at MWC 2012 in a few days from now, and one of them is the HTC One X, previously known as HTC Endeavor and HTC Edge.

The first press shot of the One X has seemingly appeared on the web today, showing a device that resembles what we've previously seen as the Edge. However, there are now only three software keys on the front of the handset, and not four. Which makes sense, since the One X will run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich from day one.

Like LG's Optimus 4X HD (officially announced earlier today), the HTC One X should feature a 4.7 inch HD display, and an Nvidia Tegra 3 chip. We will bring more details on the HTC One X - hopefully including a launch date and a price point - this Sunday, after HTC's press event at MWC.

Quad-core LG Optimus 4X HD with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich announced

Quad-core LG Optimus 4X HD with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich announced
LG keeps on announcing new handsets this week, and today the company has introduced what will be its flagship Android smartphone this year: the LG Optimus 4X HD (previously known as LG X3).

The Optimus 4X HD is the official successor to the Optimus 2X, announced in early 2011 as the world's first dual-core smartphone. The new handset comes with a 1.5GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, 4.7 inch True IPS display with 1280 x 720 pixels, 8MP rear camera with backside illumination sensor, 1.3MP front-facing camera, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of on-board memory, and a 2,150 mAh battery.

More details about the Optimus 4X HD, including pricing and availability, will be unveiled at MWC in Barcelona in a few days.

All in all, LG will have at least six new Android smartphones on display at MWC 2012: Optimus 4X HD, Optimus 3D Max, Optimus Vu, Optimus L7, Optimus L5, and Optimus L3.

8 ZTE smartphones announced for MWC 2012: Android, quad-core, Windows Phone on the menu

8 ZTE smartphones announced for MWC 2012: Android, quad-core, Windows Phone on the menu
ZTE has unveiled that it's going to announce no less than eight new smartphones at MWC 2012 next week, running either Android, or Windows Phone.

We've already seen the ZTE PF200, ZTE N910, and ZTE Mimosa X (pictured below), which will all run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. But the Chinese company has something even more exciting to show us - "a major new quad-core flagship handset". There are no details about this new quad-core device, but it most likely runs Android 4.0, too.

It remains to be seen ho many Windows Phone devices ZTE will showcase. Until now, the company has launched only one - the affordable ZTE Tania.

"The new devices from ZTE will demonstrate how ZTE is without doubt among an elite group of handset providers as next generation telecommunications networks roll out globally. ZTE returns at least ten percent of its revenues back into R&D to ensure that it sustains its position as a true market innovator - and we're counting down to being able to showcase this to the world's mobile industry next week," declared Mr. He Shiyou, Executive Vice President and Head of the Terminals Division at ZTE.

ZTE wants to "become a top three handset provider by 2015." And while that's not impossible, it's very, very unlikely. But, hey, weirder things have happened.

Nova Launcher Officially Out Of Beta – Comes To The Android Market In Free and Paid Version

Nova Launcher Officially Out Of Beta – Comes To The Android Market In Free and Paid Version
After 15 betas, the popular Ice Cream Sandwich homescreen replacement, Nova Launcher, has successfully made its way to version 1.0 and is now officially available to everyone in the Android Market. Highly customizable with a focus on performance, Nova Launcher provides users with that stock Android 4.0 feel, while giving them all the extra features they crave in a launcher replacement.  The free version of Nova Launcher includes all the standard features you should need.

Nova Launcher
  • Custom Grid – Configure the rows and columns to fit all your app and widget needs.
  • Scrollable Dock – Keep all your favorite apps on the dock, with up to 7 icons per page and up to 3 pages.
  • Scroll Effects – Enjoy eye candy when scrolling your desktop and drawer. Effects include Cube and Cardstack and more for Prime users.
  • Infinite Scroll – Never be far from your favorite page, loop through your desktop continuously.
  • Folder Icons – You can chose a background, preview style or even replace the whole icon.
  • Backup/Restore – Export your settings and layout before a wipe to quickly get back up and running.
  • Custom Icons – Change the icons of app shortcuts on your desktop to images from ADW Icon packs or from your Gallery

Samsung Rugby Smart goes official for AT&T

Samsung Rugby Smart goes official for AT&T
Samsung's Android lineup in the United States just got a serious dash of toughness with the addition of the Rugby Smart for AT&T Wireless.

The handset is built up to mil-std 810f military spec standards. It is dust proof, shock resistant, and can be be submerged in 1m of water for 30 minutes. Extreme temperatures are also handled by the device.

The phone specs include a 3.7" WVGA Super AMOLED display, 4GB of built-in memory, and 5MP snapper, capable of shooting 720p videos. Full connectivity suite is present sans LTE. The OS on tap is Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Strangely, the CPU and amount of RAM are not available at the moment.

The Samsung Rugby Smart measures come at 122.4 x 65.9 x 12.19mm, while its weight tips the scale at the highly acceptable for a rugged device, 119 grams. Its battery has 1650mAh capacity.

The handset will be available exclusively for AT&T on March 4 for $99.99 with a two-year contract. The carrier has released a handy video, which showcases some the talents of the Samsung Rugby Smart. See it below.

We are already itching to find out how tough it is in our hands, so expect some live impressions from the Samsung Rugby Smart in the nearest future.


AT&T's Samsung Rugby Smart SGH-i847 officially announced, will be launched on March 4 for $99.99

AT&T's Samsung Rugby Smart SGH-i847 officially announced, will be launched on March 4 for $99.99
The Samsung Rugby Smart SGH-i847 has been finally announced by AT&T, which today unveiled more details about the smartphone, as well as its launch date and price.

The Rugby Smart is far from being the prettiest handset around, but if you're in need of a rugged device you'll probably not mind that. The new Rugby is dustproof, shockproof, and waterproof (it can be submerged in up to 1m of water for half an hour).

Running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the handset features a 3.7 inch WVGA Super AMOLED display, 4G (HSPA+, not LTE), Wi-Fi, GPS, 5MP rear camera with 720p video recording, 1.3MP front-facing camera, 4GB of internal memory, and MicroSD card support. The Rugby Smart measures 122.4mm x 65.9mm x 12.19 mm, and is powered by a 1650 mAh battery.

LG Optimus 4X HD, 3D Max, and Vu get handled on video, Optimus L7 stars in photo shoot

LG Optimus 4X HD, 3D Max, and Vu get handled on video, Optimus L7 stars in photo shoot
Looks like LG won't have any surprises in store for its MWC press conference this Sunday. The Korean company has already announced a myriad of devices, and now we even get videos of three of them, and a fourth has starred in a comprehensive photo shoot.

The LG Optimus 4X HD, undoubtedly LG's flagship smartphone for the coming months, has been officially unveiled earlier today. And if you were wondering just what LG's skinned version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich looks like, have a look at this video (unless you know Italian, in which case listening will make sense too):

The video comes courtesy of The Italian website has also scored some hands-on time with the upcoming LG Optimus 3D Max, the sequel to the original Optimus 3D.

And, in case you like bigger devices, here's a video showcasing the LG Optimus Vu, the first real competitor to Samsung's Galaxy Note:

Samsung Rugby Smart to arrive at AT&T

Samsung Rugby Smart to arrive at AT&T
If you feel that you tend to break your gadgets all too easily not because of your butterfingers syndrome, but mainly because of the poorly constructed device, then I would say that it is worth taking a closer look at the Samsung Rugby Smart. Why so, you ask? For starters, this particular handset was constructed and complied to military standard 810F – which translates to its rather hardy structure which enables it to withstand dust, extreme temperatures, as well as go “swimming” for up to half an hour – as long as it does not submerge for more than a meter deep. What else does this little smartphone that could do? For starters, you have a 3.7″ WVGA Super AMOLED display, a 5-megapixel camera at the back that does High Definition video recording, a 1.3-megapixel camera located in front, a microSD memory card slot that further expands on its 4GB of internal memory, HSPA+ connectivity and a 1,650mAh battery – all running on Android 2.3 Gingberbread. There are still no concrete plans for Samsung to deliver Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for this device, so we will just have to sit back and wait.

Just when will the Samsung Rugby Smart arrive? It will hit AT&T this coming March 4th for $99.99 a pop – but of course, you will need to agree to a two-year contract beforehand.

Samsung Galaxy S II Bobbi Brown Limited Edition

Samsung Galaxy S II Bobbi Brown Limited Edition
Samsung today introduced the Galaxy S II Bobbi Brown Limited Edition. Available only 2,012 units, the smartphone comes equipped with an original Bobbi Brown makeup palette, a makeup service coupon and a special beauty box. The company will launch the Samsung Galaxy S II Bobbi Brown Limited Edition from February 24 to March 9, 2012. [SammyHub]

ZTE Mimosa X official: ICS, Tegra 2, HSPA+ and 4.3-inch qHD display

ZTE Mimosa X official: ICS, Tegra 2, HSPA+ and 4.3-inch qHD display
And then there were three. Not 24 hours after announcing a pair of Android 4.0 handsets, ZTE is back with the Mimosa X, a 4.3-inch, HSPA+ device running Ice Cream Sandwich. Interestingly, this is the first time since NVIDIA acquired wireless chip maker Icera that we've seen a phone packing both Tegra 2 and an NVIDIA-made modem (in this case, the 21Mbps-capable Icera 450). In its press release, NVIDIA also goes so far as to say this is the first time “a premium mobile computing experience is coming to the mainstream smartphone market,” as if Tegra 3 hadn't already pushed Tegra 2 down into mid-range territory. Anyhow, marketing spin aside, this is indeed a middle-of-the-road device, with a qHD (960 x 540) display, 5-megapixel camera and 4GB of internal storage. It also supports A2DP Bluetooth and DLNA, and makes room for dual mics and a gyroscope. No word yet on how much it'll cost or even what markets it'll hit, though we do know it will go on sale sometime in Q2. Until then, something tells us we might get our first look much sooner, sometime in Barcelona next week.

LG introduces the LG-SU870 or Optimus 3D Max at MWC 2012

LG introduces the LG-SU870 or Optimus 3D Max at MWC 2012
LG Optimus 3D Max is a powerful smartphone in both 2D and 3D mode and a pleasure to view with LG's exclusive brightened display. 3G's network speed has been also improved to HSPA+ 21Mbps. LG Tag+ offers advanced NFC (Near Field Communication) capabilities designed to promote greater user convenience. One of its benefits is automatic setting changes which are possible by creating predefined tags that are customized to certain modes such as car-mode, office-mode or sleep-mode. Depending on location, the predefined tags will automatically adjust various phone settings including Wi-Fi, bluetooth, GPS and sound volume.

Additional features include:

- HD Converter to offer HD quality on a TV connected through MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link), when transforming Open GL-based 2D games and applications to 3D and viewing Google Earth;

- Range Finder to calculate the distance between the camera and the subject as well as the dimensions of an object through triangulation;

- Out-focusing Shot to enhance camera quality beyond that of other smartphones through image processing using depth information.

True 3D Entertainment Features with Improved 2D-3D Compatibility

Users can convert Google Earth, Google Maps and other road views into 3D using the enhanced 3D Converter. Furthermore, 3D photos and videos captured by the Optimus 3D Max can also be viewed in a single-screen mode in 2D, using the 3D Hot Key mounted on the side of the phone to easily toggle between 2D and 3D. LG also plans to continue expanding video contents, applications and games optimized for the 3D Converter available from the 3D Zone at LG SmartWorld.

True Excellence in Design with Slimmer and Lighter Body

The LG Optimus 3D Max's premium design comes from LG's commitment to fine details. LG focused on trimming details on the design of the Optimus 3D Max by keeping only the essentials and eliminating everything else. Measuring only 9.6 mm thin and weighing 148 grams, the lean body with metallic and rounded edges incorporates the best 3D features in addition to desirable 2D features. The Optimus 3D Max includes unique 3D-style cubicle icons which users can customize with their own photos through the Icon Customizer.

The Optimus 3D Max will first launch in Korea in March and will gradually roll out in other markets starting in Europe. The device will receive an upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich from Android 2.3 Gingerbread shortly after the launch.

Key Specifications:

Chipset: 1.2GHz Dual-Core processor (OMAP4430)

Display: 4.3-inch 3D WVGA Display with Corning? Gorilla? Glass 2

Memory: 8GB Internal Storage, 1GB Internal Memory

Camera: 5MP Dual-lens

OS: Android 2.3 Gingerbread

Battery: 1,520 mAh

Others: HSPA+ 21Mbps, HDMI connection 2D/3D TV/monitor up to 1080p via MHL, DNLA for wireless connection with TV/PC (3D video also supported), NFC Full Support, LG Tag+

Sony Xperia NX launches in Japan

Sony Xperia NX launches in Japan
The only Japanese that I can read comes courtesy of Google Translate, and from what I can tell in this translated document, NTT DoCoMo will be offering the Sony Experia NX in Japan from today onwards. This device sports a 4.3″ LCD display that does High Definition video playback, and will rely on what they call a “Floating Prism” transparent material in order to have it stand out from the rest of the crowd in terms of design. Just to recap, the Xperia NX is actually the Japanese version of the Xperia S, and did folks who place their pre-orders last week start to receive them in front of your doorsteps already? We do know that the Sony Xperia NX is going to be quite the performer, considering how the Xperia S fared in its benchmark tests. Expect to see this puppy arrive on Western shores sometime from the beginning of next month onwards. No idea on how much it will cost though, but mid-range should not be the category this falls under.  [Press Release]

CyanogenMod9 nightly builds for Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, Nexus S 4G and Motorola Xoom

CyanogenMod9 nightly builds for Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, Nexus S 4G and Motorola Xoom
So we heard that the HP TouchPad would be getting nightly builds of CyanogenMod 9, and all owners of the now defunct HP TouchPad need not be so smug as to be on the receiving end of this “privilege” – as it is now revealed that nightly builds of CyanogenMod 9 for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, Nexus S 4G and Motorola Xoom will be made available, giving you your fair share of flashing and testing when you get back home and indulge in your hobby. Obviously, these nightly builds will feature incremental and sometimes unimportant updates, but if you are a sucker for seeing the pieces of a puzzle come together slowly but surely, then it is your cup of tea. Just out of curiosity – as an end user, just how often do you see yourself downloading the nightly updates, will it be on a daily basis, or will you only do so when there is something major released?

LG Optimus Vu Android Smartphone

Sunday, February 19, 2012

LG Optimus Vu Android Smartphone
LG Korea has unveiled the new LG Optimus Vu, which is a combination of a smartphone and a tablet. Measuring 139.6mm x 90.4mm x 8.5mm, this LTE smartphone is powered by the Google Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS (upgradeable to Android 4.0 ICS). The LG Optimus Vu is equipped with a 5-inch (1024 x 768) IPS display with a 4:3 aspect ratio, a fast 1.5GHz dual-core processor, a 32GB of internal memory, a 1GB of RAM, an 8MP rear-facing camera, a 1.3MP front-facing camera for video calls, a 2,080mAh battery and a “Rubberdium” pen. Other specs include a QuickClip hotkey, Polaris Office, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA and HDMI. LG Korea will release the Optimus Vu next month via LG U+ and SK Telecom. Too bad, there is no info on pricing at this time. [LG Korea]

LG Optimus Vu officially unveiled

LG Optimus Vu officially unveiled
Were you stoked by the Samsung Galaxy Note? Well, LG hits one back with their Optimus Vu, which is a 5″ smartphone that could fool some of us into thinking that this is a mini tablet to boot. Boasting LTE and IPS display technology, the LG Optimus Vu delivers a generous screen size that would definitely be pleasing to your eyes – could 5″ be the new 4.3″? We do know that the LG Optimus Vu is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, sporting 32GB of internal memory, and to make sure that it does not run out of juice so soon after you have left your home, it is packed with a large 2,080 mAh battery.

The 5″ display comes with a bright 4:3 aspect ratio that has been specially optimized for portable viewing, letting your eyes grasp more visuals at a glance, not to mention note taking being a snap. As for its IPS display, every color is realized in its natural state, delivering the best viewing experience even under bright sunlight. As for cameras, the status quo remains – it has an 8-megapixel shooter at the back with an LED flash, while the front holds a 1.3-megapixel camera. Connectivity options include HDMI and DLNA, and although it launches with Android 2.3 Gingerbread right out of the box, it will be updated to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in due time. No idea on when the Optimus Vu would arrive Stateside, but we do hope to dig up more information on it at MWC later this month. [Press Release]

Condor Dual SIM Android Smartphone

Condor Dual SIM Android Smartphone
Here we have another dual SIM Android smartphone from Chinavasion, the Condor. The handset offers a 3.5-inch 800 x 480 capacitive multi-touch display, a 680MHz processor, a 256MB RAM, a 458MB of internal memory, a microSD card slot (up to 16GB), dual GSM SIM card slots, a 0.3MP front-facing camera, a 3MP rear-facing camera, WiFi, Bluetooth, a 3.5mm headset jack, a 1600mAh battery and runs on Android 2.3 OS. The Condor can be yours for just $159.94 fully unlocked. [Product Page]

Samsung Epic 4G Touch leaked official Android 4.0 ROM now working

Samsung Epic 4G Touch leaked official Android 4.0 ROM now working

Samsung has not been the best at updating Sprint devices, but things are turning around this year. Samsung is currently working hard at updating the Epic 4G Touch to Android 4.0. An official ROM was leaked yesterday, but it had problems with booting, past the kernel screen.

As expected, we are not going to conform and let things be. Developer Shabbypenguin messed around with the coding and managed to make the ROM work. This ROM is version FB09 [ 4.0.3], and it comes pre-rooted, so no need to move anything else around.

It is also important to note that this is not a pre-release version, so it is not perfect. WiFi, 3G and 4G are working, but there seem to be issues with MMS and the keyboard constantly force closing. You might or might now want to use this as a daily driver, but it is cool to get an idea of what Samsung's official ICS update will be like.

For details, check out Shabbypenguin's post. He also provided some cool videos with ste-by-step guides for installing the ROM, as well as a brief review. As always, be careful, do your research, and if something happens to your phone, no one else takes responsibility, but the owner.

LG officially announces the Optimus Vu

LG officially announces the Optimus Vu
We've seen this one before in a teaser video and then photographed alongside its arch nemesis, the Galaxy Note. But LG has now officially launched the Optimus Vu in Korea and it comes with everything we have heard so far.

For starters, you get a 5-inch IPS display with a 1024 x 768 resolution, which gives it an aspect ratio of 4:3. The display has a pixel density of 256 PPI, which is just short of Galaxy Note's 285 PPI.

Due to the 4:3 aspect ratio, the Optimus (90.4mm) Vu is wider than the Galaxy Note (83mm), which will make it even more difficult to handle. It is marginally thinner (8.5mm) than the Note (9.7mm) but that's not going to matter much when you hold it in your hand.

Other than that the Optimus Vu has a dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8660 processor with Adreno 220 GPU, 32GB internal memory, 8 megapixel rear camera with auto-focus and LED flash, 1.3 megapixel front camera, LTE, HDMI, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct and T-DMB and a 2,080 mAh battery. The phone will launch with Android 2.3 Gingerbread but will soon be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich.

The Optimus Vu will be available on SK Telecom and LG+ carriers in South Korea in early March. Pricing details are as yet unavailable.


HTC Sensation gets Android 4.0 port from HTC Endeavor

HTC Sensation gets Android 4.0 port from HTC Endeavor

HTC Sensation owners are patiently waiting for their turn to receive an Android 4.0 update. But many of you have probably resorted to rooting and installing custom ROMs. If that is the case, we have good news for you. HTC’s Ice Cream Sandwich ports have started coming. And today’s turn goes to the HTC Sensation, coming from the unannounced HTC Endeavor (recently known as the HTC One X).

There are some Android 4.0 ROMs available for the HTC Sensation, but many of you may prefer using software coming from another HTC device. The port comes with the newest iteration of HTC Sense (4.0), and is surprisingly functional for being released so early.

It could even be used as a daily driver for many of you, but the port is not completely functional. Working features include mobile network connectivity, data, sms, WiFi, HWA, sound and GPS. But if you need to be able to use bluetooth, camera and video playback (Youtube included), you will be left out of luck. The team is still working on those, though. It might be worth waiting if you are not ready to flash this bad boy.

And for the usual disclaimer; please remember that rooting and installing custom ROMs may void your warranty, and there is a risk of “bricking” your device. Do make your research and reading before going through with this, as the responsibility will fall solely under your hands.

With that out of the way, head over to RootsWiki if you want to check out this port. What do you guys say? Are you going for this one?

Digital Innovations Universal Speaker Dock for Android Review

Digital Innovations Universal Speaker Dock for Android Review
When Julie, The Gadgeteer, asked if I would like to review Digital Innovations' speaker dock for Android smartphones, I jumped on the chance. I had just been asking myself if there was a speaker dock out there for Android Smartphones. I know there are plenty of them available for iPhones and iPods, but I had never seen any for the Android phones.

When I received the box for the Universal Speaker Dock for Android, I was thinking “WOW, this thing is huge!” After opening the box however, I realized most of it was just the packaging and that the speaker dock was actually fairly small in size. It measures 12.5″ x 4.2″ x 5″, which is conveniently compact.

What's included in the package:
  • Speaker Dock for Android
  • Remote control
  • Universal AC adapter
  • Quick Start Guide
Here is a back side view of the speaker dock. This is where the the AC adapter plugs in as well.

This dock looks nice sitting on a bedroom nightstand or sitting in any other location you'd choose to enjoy it. I can see it being a fixture on your kitchen counter to enjoy music while you cook, or in your living room near where you sit and relax. I chose the nightstand because I have been using it as my alarm clock. I can wake up to music and it has been working perfectly for that purpose.

To be able to utilize the dock, you have to download a free app from the marketplace called SONR Labs. This app has to be started before you hook your phone into the dock to be able to utilize the buttons on the dock, as well as for use of the remote control (which is included). This process was fairly effortless.

Hooking up your Android phone to the unit is quite easy also. There are two connections to hook up; the microUSB connection and the 3.5mm audio connector. When I first tried to hook up my phone, I was a little concerned with the length of the cables. I started reading the instructions again and noticed that the cables actually pull out of the unit to a length of around 8″, which made hooking up my phone a lot easier. I did find that pushing the 3.5mm audio connector cords back INTO the unit was quite troublesome. The diameter of the wire was a bit cumbersome. With a little determination however, they can be pushed back inside.

After hooking up the phone, you can either set the phone in the dock in landscape or portrait mode. I have been using landscape mode and setting my phone in the Desk Cradle so I can have a clock displayed on my phone. I turned the music player on for the phone, selected a song and started playing around with the controls on the dock. There are 6 buttons on top of the dock: Volume Up & Down, Play/Pause and Skip/Back, and a power button.

I have a Samsung Fascinate, and the only buttons I could get to work on the dock were the Volume Up & Down and the Power button. I am not sure if it is a compatibility issue or whether the app is still in beta, but the other buttons would not work. Needless to say, I just had the music player set to random, and I was ok with at least being able to change the volume with the unit. The included remote control is a nice feature because it has the same buttons. The buttons have some feedback to them when they are depressed. Of course I had the same problem with the remote (limited functionality of the buttons). I could only get the Volume buttons to work. I also tested a Droid X smartphone on the dock; after downloading the app and setting it up, all the buttons seemed to work, although I did have to depress the Skip/Back buttons at least two to three times to get them to work. The Play/Pause button worked great on this phone, so I am going to assume that the reason my phone did not work as well is because the app is still in beta.

The sound quality of this speaker dock is very impressive. The unit boasts “6 watts of crisp, clear treble, delivered by two high-quality speakers” and “10 watts of punchy, booming bass delivered by a sub-woofer”. I will admit that this unit does a great job at recreating the vocals of the songs that are loaded on your phone. You can even stream music to your phone and play it back through the speaker dock, using Pandora or whatever app you use to stream music.

I was able to turn the volume up close to the highest level that the smartphone offers and could feel a little bit of the bass being pumped out by some of my hip-hop songs that I played. I am no aficionado when it comes to music or how speakers are supposed to deliver high quality sounds, but I am fairly certain that most consumers would be happy using this speaker dock. I would definitely recommend this speaker dock for anyone looking for a nice way to play music on their Android smartphones.

Nokia Lumia 800 Entertainment Bundle

Nokia Lumia 800 Entertainment Bundle
The Nokia Lumia 800 Entertainment Bundle has been scheduled to go on sale on February 26th, 2012 in the US market. The bundle comprises of a Lumia 800 smartphone, a Luna Bluetooth headset, a Purity HD Stereo Headset by monster, and a Play 360 degree wireless speaker. Available in black or magenta, the Nokia Lumia 800 Entertainment Bundle retails for $899.


Sony Ericsson


Windows Phone


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