Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Completely Green Phone from Sprint

the lg remarqSprint is now introducing the newest edition to there environmentally friendly line of phones. The LG Remarq is an adorable, compact, eco-friendly, sliding messaging phone that is complete with a QWERTY keyboard.

So some of the basic specs on the Remarq include the fact that it has excellent call quality and features access to social networking apps. You can easily update your Facebook or Twitter status with the phone. It does only have 22 MB of internal memory, but it has a microSD slot, so if your looking to improve its memory you can just pick yourself up an inexpensive micoSD card to beef everything up.

Another one of the drawbacks to the Remarq is its poor photo quality. Its 1.3 MP camera just doesn’t seem to get the job done. The camera is even awkwardly located which makes picture taking somewhat inconvenient.

Although the LG Remarq does not posses all the high-tech features in many of the phones today, its still a nice, easy to use, affordable messaging phone. Also, the Remarq is made from almost 100% recycled or recyclable materials. Even the packaging is recyclable, and all images and text on the box and instruction manuals are made from 100% soy ink. It received the Green Tech Approved award.

The Remarq is a perfect phone for kids or teens buying there first cell phone. It is now available through Sprint for free after a $50 mail-in-rebate. This really is a great value.

If you're looking for a touch phone from Sprint with a ton more features, read all about the HTC EVO 4G.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

The Motorola Droid X from Verizon

motorola droid xVerizon’s newest smartphone, the Motorola Droid X, can be described simply as fantastic. It is one of few phones to run Adobe Flash and has everything anyone could possibly need or want from their phone.

In terms of surface space, the Droid X is the largest phone that is currently available in the United States. It measures 5 x 2.6 x 0.4 (HWD). It’s 4.3-inch screen features 854 x 480 resolution. Below the screen are four hardware buttons.

Obviously, like most smartphones available these days, the Droid X features a touch keyboard. I personally find that touch keyboards are very difficult to get used to, but with as big as the Droid X’s screen is, this is one of the easiest touch keyboards to utilize. Your typing experience is enhanced by the Swype text-entry mode that allows you to quickly write words without even picking up your finger.

Call quality on the Droid X is excellent. Motorola designed the Droid X with three different microphones, two of which are utilized for noise cancellation. Reception is also great.

When it comes to downloading data, the Droid X uses Verizon’s EV-DO Rev A network. This means that you should be very satisfied with the downloading speed. It does cost an extra $20 a month to make your phone a Wi-Fi hotspot, but that’s expected with phones like the X.

The battery on the Droid X is pretty good. In preliminary testing, the battery has shown to have about 8 hours of continuous talk time. Due to the large screen, the X does use up a lot of battery life. It will most likely need to be charged every night, but with all of the features that the X has the battery life isn’t really a deal breaker in my opinion. There will be a 1930 mAh extended battery that will be offered as an add on accessory for an extended battery life.

The X runs on the Android 2.1 OS with Motorola’s MotoBlur extensions. There is a single interface that allows users to sign into many different accounts including: Google, Facebook, Yahoo! Mail, Microsoft Exchange, Twitter, Myspace, and various mail and photo sharing services. Blur’s inbox treats any Facebook or Myspace messages and Twitter DMs simply as regular emails. The Droid X’s 1-GHz TI OMAP 3630 processor makes the smartphone incredibly fast. It beats out every other Android phone available in performance ratings.

The Droid X works great for music purposes. It plays AAC, MP3, WMA, and WAV music files. It has 8GB of built-in memory and comes standard with a 16GB microSD card. This allows for plenty of room for media storage. There is also an FM radio. The X features an 8-megapixel camera with built-in flash. It takes really great pictures. The Droid captures 720p video at 24 frames per second. Its also fantastic for watching videos.

Overall, the Droid X is a wonderful smartphone with every feature you could ever want. The phone isn’t exactly for everyone due to the fact that it is very large, but when considering performance, the X is great. It will go on sale July 15th for $199.99 with a two year contract and $100 mail-in rebate.

Click here to check out one of the Droid X's predecessors, the HTC Droid Eris.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

iPhone’s New FarmVille App from Zynga

farmville app on the iPhoneFinally Facebook’s most popular game is coming to the iPhone. On Thursday, Zynga announced that they were launching the FarmVille app the same day that they release their next generation smartphone. This iPhone app will allow FarmVille players to now tend their farms from their phones and will even send out status updates regarding their farms.

Mark Pincus, the founder and CEO of Zynga, stated, “Mobile devices are an extension of people's daily social lives everywhere in the world and the Apple iPhone is the most innovative breakthrough in this area. We are excited to bring FarmVille to the Apple iPhone and introduce our social games to a new audience of mobile users around the world.”

FarmVille can boast over 75 million users merely a year after its release on Facebook. Zynga developed the game originally for Facebook, who signed a 5-year contract with them recently, but they also have a deal with Yahoo as well.

In case you are unsure of exactly what FarmVille is, it is a farming game in which you develop and tend to a virtual farm with the help and collaboration of your friends. Although FarmVille is the number one downloadable game according to the tally by AppData, its numbers have recently been waning. Zynga is hoping that this new app that allows users to take their virtual farms with them on their iPhone will help spark FarmVille fever once again.

Zynga picked a great time to release their new app. There’s plenty of hype about the new iPhone 4, and I’m sure that many users will be excited about the new FarmVille app. I expect that FarmVille will most definitely keep its spot as the number one game thanks to this new app on the iPhone.
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4G Phones Will Revolutionize Mobile Communication

Despite 4G infrastructure growing rapidly, many people don’t know the difference between 3G and 4G service. 3G was the technology that brought us widespread mobile internet access, currently with download rates of up to 14.0 Mbit/s while stationary. Connectivity is still available when moving, but rates are significantly reduced. 3G phones include the Apple iPhones, Nokia E96 and other models, Blackbery Bold 9000, and phones running on the Android operating system. They vary in price from around $200-300 when sold with a provider plan to over $600 when purchased separately.

4G aims to provide connectivity of 100 Mbit/s for users moving at high speeds relative to the station, and 1 Gbit/s for stationary users. It also aims to provide a data rate of at least 100 Mbit/s between any two points in the world over a flexible channel bandwidth. These rates are faster than most wired connections currently offered. They aim to accomplish this by switching to an all IP, packet switched network. There are also many other features of the 4G network that are an improvement on 3G services.

4G phones have been in development for many years by many different companies. Sprint’s EVO 4G based on the Android operating system is currently available. Sprint is offering the EVO 4G for $199 with a contract and $450 without a contract which indicates the 4G phones probably won't be significantly, if any, more expensive than 3G phones. The iPhone 4G is coming out at the end of June. Verizon Wireless 4G will be available some time in 2011.

The infrastructure required for worldwide 4G connectivity is still young. Even if you have a 4G phone, you can’t get 4G service in most states, and only a few cities in the states that offer service. However, this shouldn’t deter you from upgrading to 4G when you need a new phone, you can still get 3G service with a 4G phone. When the 4G network expands to include your area, you won’t have to make any changes to experience the network improvement.

Source: Wiki

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Monday, June 21, 2010

The New Kin Family of Phones from Verizon

kin family of phonesOn Monday, Verizon Wireless introduced their two newest Microsoft phones called the Kin One and the Kin Two. The first and most important thing to note about the Kin phones is that they are not smartphones. On first glance they may seem very smartphone-like, but they do not feature apps or games.

The Kin One and Kin Two are aimed more towards customers in their teens and twenties. They are both sliding phones that feature fantastic keyboards for easy texting. These are classified as “quick messaging” phones, and they are perfect for those who spend most of their time messaging on their phone.

The phones are both Windows phones. They are made by Sharp and run a new operating system that is very similar to the Windows Phone 7 OS that is coming out soon. The Kin phones share the heart of the Windows Phone 7’s design but are more geared towards the social networking side of things.

As I mentioned previously, the Kin phones are not smartphones. They cannot download apps or games. They are not expandable like smartphones. They are simply cool, fun, easy to use messaging phones.

The Kin phones feature the “Loop” home screen that brings any possible social networking information that you might want straight to your attention. It feeds any social networking information or messages from your friends directly to your home screen for easy viewing. You are even able to prioritize your friends and come up with a top friends list. By creating this list, all of your top friends updates will show up in a larger font than your other friends. Derek Snyder, the senior product manager at Microsoft says, “We're the only phone that actually keeps your close friends close and treats them differently.”

The Kin One and Two feature the ability to sync music with any PCs running Zune software. Snyder says that they are, “the first Windows phones to ship with Zune.” The phones have built-in FM radios, and Zune Pass owners can listen to unlimited subscription music. Both Kin phones also feature either 5- or 8- megapixel cameras with a LumiLED flash that is much brighter than the usual cameraphone flash.

One of the only criticisms of the Kin phones would be the size of their screens. The Kin One features a 320 x 240 screen, while the Kin Two features a 320 x 480 screen. These can both be a little difficult to navigate when viewing Web pages, but they aren’t horrible.

The Kin phones are great phones for anyone that likes to use them mostly for messaging purposes, and honestly, I think that they’re just awesome looking. Their unique shape, cool sliding keyboard, and amazing features make this family of phones quite appealing. The Kin One is now available from Verizon for $49.99, and the Kin Two is listed at $99.99. These are two great phones to consider from a great service provider that are at the same pricepoint as the LG EnV line.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

AT&T Feeling a Bit Overwhelmed with iPhone 4G

AT&T Feeling a Bit Overwhelmed with iPhone 4GSince Apple & AT&T announced they'd be taking orders on Tuesday, the iPhone 4G has been hot. Maybe too hot.

And if you haven't yet placed an order on one, you better get busy. Yesterday, AT&T announced that it would temporarily suspend iPhone 4G orders. The phone company is the exclusive carrier of all Apple products, something many Apple product users are not too thrilled about, and leaves many wondering if AT&T will be able to handle the new iPhone 4G. AT&T says it will begin taking orders again when inventory increases. They company released a statement on Wednesday, saying, "We are working hard to bring the iPhone 4 to as many of our customers as soon as possible."

Between Apple & AT&T, over 600,000 orders were taken for the new phone in less than 24 hours. That's more than any other Apple product.

If you tried to get online or place an order through the phone on Tuesday, with either Apple or AT&T, you probably had a hard time getting through, or at the very least, your service was slow. Many customers complained about the trouble they had, something Apple should be used to at this point. The same thing happened with previous iPhone releases.

When calling Apple, customers received a message saying that due to high call volumes, they could not answer the call and asking them to please call back. The website crashed or took forever to get anywhere.

Apple did release a statement on Wednesday, saying, "We apologize to everyone who encountered difficulties, and hope that they will try again or visit an Apple or carrier store once the iPhone 4 is in stock."

AT&T announced that its website saw over 13 million visitors, who were there to specifically check whether or not they were eligible for a phone upgrade. Any other day they usually have about one third as many. AT&T also said that their customers reported seeing the wrong information when logging into their accounts on Tuesday, but that didn't involve social security numbers, credit card info, or call log details.

But even with the issues, analysts say this is all good news for Apple. Orders have so far exceeded company expectations. And customers who can't get through are probably just going to try again, or even do what one man told the USA Today he did, hang up and go visit his local AT&T store. According to the USA Today, some customers took advantage of Apple's new Apple Store app that allows customers to buy and reserve in-store via the their iPhones and iPod Touches.

The iPhone 4 will start at $199 with a two year contract or upgrade. Its body is thinner, it has a higher-resolution display and two-way video calling. The hoopla surrounding the phone caused a rise of Apple stock of about $5.24.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

More Androids Than iPhones

More Androids Than iPhones
Research in Motion's Blackberry is the number one smartphone operating system in the country and for a while, Apple's iPhone was number two, but the data is in and there's a new kid in town. Google's Android has now seen to it that iPhone drop to number three in the first quarter.

The data, reported by NPD Group, shows that Android made up 28% of all units sold in the United States during the first quarter. Blackberry made up over a third of the market, selling 36% and the iPhone came in at only 21%. Keep in mind that these numbers are estimated based on consumer surveys. Also, they do not includes sales made to businesses and through enterprise contracts. And while iPhone's operating system is only available, on, well, the iPhone, Android is available on several different phones manufactured by Samsung, HTC, and Motorola.

Even so, there's no doubt, Android is becoming increasingly popular. NPD analyst, Ross Rubin, said that for the first time, Android software is available in all major U.S. networks, which is helping to drive sales of the devices. Verizon has been the most outspoken carrier, as they launched a huge campaign that marketed the devices last year. As a matter of fact, Verizon has been offering buy-one-get-one free smartphones, which include the Androids. T-Mobile is also a major carrier of the Android smartphones, and AT&T has begun selling them as well.

And according to Rubin, while Verizon has been helping Android sales, Android has been helping Verizon's business as well. AT&T makes up about one third or 32% of the smartphone market, but Verizon is catching up with 30% of all smartphones sold in the United States going through the company. T-Mobile and Sprint are pretty far behind with 17% and 15% of sales respectively.

iPhone remains very popular in the United States. Apple reported new activation of 900,000 iPhones in the first quarter, alone, and sales of 1.8 million iPhones to people to people who were already with AT&T. As a matter of fact, NPD suggests that iPhones would be even more popular if they weren't tied to a single carrier (AT&T).

Rubin says that if the rumored Verizon iPhone was available today, Apple would certainly sell more phones. He added, "But it's harder to say what will happen in the long term. It's difficult to know what the feature-set will look like on phones in a year. But it's clear the iPhone still has enough cachet today to pick up market share."

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Could Cell Phones Be Killing Off Bees?

cell phones killing off beesResearchers in India are concerned that cell phones might possibly be assisting in the decline of the honeybee population all across the world. Due to these concerns, researchers at the Punjab University in Chandigarh decided to investigate whether or not these claims had any basis.

Over the past years, many different countries have seen an undeniable decline in their bee populations. Now many could say that there are a variety of natural causes for this decrease such as climate change, pesticides, and viruses. Despite these possible natural causes, Indian researchers felt that cell phones might also be a plausible culprit. They decided to perform a controlled experiment to explore the possibilities of cell phone interference with the life process of the honeybees.

For the experiment, they had three separate bee hives. One hive had several cell phones placed around it, another had several fake cell phones surrounding it, and the final hive had nothing around it. The real cell phones placed around one of the three bee hives were GSM 900MHz. “The exposure given was 15 minutes twice a day during peak bee activity.”

At the end of three months, the researchers were able to observe some very interesting results. The hive that was surrounded by the real cell phones suffered a significant decline in population. The queen bee of the hive surrounded by cell phones laid less than half of the eggs that the queen bees of the hives that had the fake cell phones or nothing around them. There was also no pollen or honey to be found in the hive that had been surrounded by cell phones.

The researchers that conducted the experiment, Ved Parkash Sharma and Neelima Kumar, stated that they chose to conduct the experiment because there was a growing amount of evidence that electromagnetic fields are to blame for the decline in the bee population. They are afraid that all the radiation from cell phones might possibly be messing with bees’ ability to navigate their way back to the hive.

Certainly more experiments will need to be conducted, but I feel that this information is quite interesting. It definitely seems that cell phone radiation could possibly be killing off honeybees. Hopefully after some more research, a conclusion will be reached as to whether or not cell phones are at least partly the reason for the decrease in the bee population across the world.
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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The New HTC EVO 4G from Sprint

htc evo 4gIf you are looking for the best possible phone for Internet surfing look no further than Sprint’s new HTC EVO 4G. It is the nations very first WiMAX phone, and it features more Internet than any other phone in the United States including the HTC Droid Incredible and the iPhone 3GS.

There have been WiMAX handhelds in the U.S. before but they weren’t fully functional and capable 3G phones. The EVO comes standard as a fully operative 3G smartphone with the option of boosting it to a 4G experience. Even in 3G form though, the EVO is an incredible phone for Web users.

The EVO has a very simple design. It features a 4.3-inch screen with 800 x 480 resolution. Unfortunately, the screen is incredibly reflective making it very difficult to see anything outdoors, but it looks fantastic inside. The phone is completely reliant on its touch screen and therefore has no physical keyboard. Although it has decent touch response, it is not even close to being as simple or accurate as the iPhone’s touch screen keyboard. One feature that can be quite useful on the EVO is the kickstand that can be found on the back of the device. This can be utilized when viewing videos and such.

Although there is the 4G option with the EVO, calls cannot be made over the 4G network as of now. Unfortunately, Sprint is not exactly known for their outstanding 3G network. The call quality with the EVO is certainly not the best. The calls are loud but not exactly clear. They are more rough and harsh sounding.

The phone runs Google Android 2.1 OS with HTC’s Sense UI extensions. There are car mode options, FM radio, two different GPS options, a Twitter client, a social-networking client called Friend Streaming, Microsoft Office and PDF document readers, and Sprint’s streaming TV.

So many may ask what the difference is between using the device in 3G mode or 4G. As merely a 3G smartphone the EVO is still quite impressive, but when utilizing 4G with the EVO, there is more Internet access available with a faster response time. Almost everything that you will be streaming to the phone will not have to take any buffering time. With 4G coverage, web pages stream anywhere from 40 to 250 percent faster than when using 3G.

The problem with Sprint’s 4G network is that only a few dozen cities are covered under the network. Also when using the 4G network, battery life is not even close to being as good as when in 3G mode. The advantage is that you can easily switch back and forth between 3G and 4G. It seems best to utilize 3G most of the time and only using 4G when you need an extra boost.

As mentioned before, the EVO does wonderfully when handling the Internet. You can flip through different web pages quite quickly, zoom in on pages with a mere pinch, and select different browsers from the Android market. The phone comes standard with an 8 GB memory card which is all the memory you could possibly need.

The HTC EVO features two different cameras. On the front of the smartphone there is a basic 1.3-megapixel camera, and at the rear of the phone is an 8-megapixel camera with 720p hi-def video recording. Although they may not take the best pictures, they are much better than most camera phones.

Overall, the HTC EVO 4G is the best available phone from Sprint. It is in the same category as the HTC Incredible, Google Nexus One, and the iPhone 3GS. Although it has its issues with call quality, the phone is still the best Internet browsing phone available to date. If you like to utilize Internet on your phone, the EVO is the phone for you. It will be released by Sprint on June 4 for $199.99.

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AT&T Making Changes

AT&T Making ChangesAT&T is making some changes and it probably has something to do with Apple's impending announcement of the iPhone 4G, which is expected to come any day now. In addition to adding Wi-Fi to a struggling 3G network, the company has announced that it is increasing early termination fees from smartphone and netbook-using customers.

As of yesterday, early termination fees that were once $175 will grow to a whopping $325. The company sent an open letter to its customers last week about the fee increase. On the other hand, if you have a phone that is not a smartphone, your fees will drop from $175 to $150. If you are within an existing service agreement, the fees will not apply to you, but they will apply to new and renewed contracts.

With the new early termination plan, for every month a customer stay with AT&T, their fee will be lowered by around $10 each month (that's for smartphones and "high-end devices). The fees for basic phones will drop about $4 each month.

Despite what seems like an extreme increase in fees, AT&T's fees are still lower than Verizon's, which can run $350 on a Droid and other Smartphones. And the price of the iPhone is dropping. As a matter of fact, at Wal-Mart, you can purchase a 16GB iPhone 3GS for just $97.

Even so, AT&T will probably not be winning any new fans with the price increase. The network is already the target of thousands of complaints about dropped calls and other wireless data issues. In an effort to make some improvements, just last week, AT&T began attempts to support its 3G wireless service in New York City. The company added a free Wi-Fi hotspot to Times Square. If all goes well, you can probably expect more free Wi-Fi hotspots in cities around the world.

According to Wall Street analyst, Drake Johnstone, AT&T could lose about 40% of its iPhone customers when Apple releases the iPhone for Verizon networks, but will the increase in fees and attempts at increase in service make a difference or affect iPhone owners' migration to Verizon? Johnstone says they might, but no one can say for sure until actually happens.

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