Tuesday, 8 November 2011

HTC Edge may be the first quad-core smartphone to market

Color us skeptical on this one, but rumors are coming down the pipeline about an HTC phone called the Edge. It's supposedly going to be the first Tegra 3-powered smartphone. According to Pocketnow, the device will supposedly offer a quad-core 1.5GHz CPU, 4.7-inch 720p HD display, 1GB of RAM, an 8MP rear camera with f/2.2 lens and Beats Audio. Curiously, no LTE capability was mentioned specifically, though 21Mbps HSPA+ appears to be good to go, and there's a slight possibility of Sense 4.0 being included -- which given its proposed launch window of late Q1 / early Q2 2012, wouldn't be a huge surprise. We'd love to start seeing more quad-core goodness headed our way, so we're definitely keeping our fingers crossed to see a lot more of the above show up at CES and MWC.

Mozilla seeks to infiltrate Android with Boot to Gecko, a new mobile OS for geekos

Mozilla seeks to infiltrate Android with Boot to Gecko, a new mobile OS for geekos

Remember those rumblings about Mozilla and its very own mobile OS known as Boot to Gecko? We now have further details to share, and unlike most operating systems -- which demand their own hardware -- this one is aiming to shack up with Android smartphones. Given the existing complexity of altering many of these devices, Mozilla's Boot to Gecko will likely find favor among geeks alone, but the project itself has much greater ambitions. First and foremost, the OS will be designed with web apps in mind, yet with functionality and device integration that's on par with native applications. The true boon here is the potential for other operating systems to integrate Mozilla's technologies into their own browsers, thus allowing true cross-platform application development and the possibility of bolstering platforms that struggle for developer interest. Right now, much of the project exists only in the minds of a few tenacious developers, but the group hopes to unveil a public demo early next year. As if this weren't wild enough, while Mozilla has no intention of creating its own Boot to Gecko device, the group has expressed a willingness to work with OEMs that share its dream of a web-based future. Go ahead and count us in. 

Friday, 4 November 2011

Samsung Focus S hands-on

Samsung Focus S
The Focus S is just a few short days away from hitting shelves, so Samsung invited us over to get acquainted with the company's AT&T-bound Mango device. If you're not already familiar with the specs, under the hood is a 1.4GHz CPU that pushes all those delicious Metro-themed pixels to a 4.3-inchSuper AMOLED Plus display. Right above the screen is a 1.3-megapixel shooter and around back you'll find an 8MP cam also capable of capturing 720p video. It's all put together in an amazingly light, 8.55mm thin package that is (for better or worse) distinctively Samsung. While the all plastic construction doesn't exactly make it the most robust handset on the planet, it's not cheap feeling either. The lack of heft in the hand was somewhat shocking, especially given its size. In fact, the Focus S is lighter than its smaller and more budget-friendly sibling the Focus Flash. Thankfully, Sammy continued its recent trend of using textured, matte-finished backplates that sport a more premium feel than the glossy plastic of devices past.

As you'd expect, Windows Phone 7.5 hums along beautifully, even if the Snapdragon inside is only single core. Then again, we didn't have a chance to load it up with a slew of apps and countless accounts. The star though, is clearly the screen. Even at only 480 x 800 the Super AMOLED Plus panel is gorgeous. It's not quite as sharp as the iPhone 4's, but it's plenty bright, pleasantly contrasty and puts our aging Droid X to shame. We're also big fans of the dedicated camera button -- a feature we think all phones should have. No matter where you are in the OS, press it down and up pops the WP7 camera app. The dual-stage button easily lets you focus and snap shots, but you can always tap to focus too. And the camera is speedy -- not quite as fast as the Galaxy Nexus, but there's definitely less of a lag between shots than there is with the iPhone and just about every other Android phone out there. You can get your own greasy mitts on one starting November 6th for $199 with a two-year contract. But, while you wait, check out the gallery for a sneak peak at the device.