Google’s awesome Chrome speed test video! Enjoy

06/05/2010

Equipment used:

– Computer: MacBook Pro laptop with Windows installed
– Monitor – 24″ Asus: We had to replace the standard fluorescent backlight with very large tungsten fixtures to funnel in more light to capture the screen. In addition, we flipped the monitor 180 degrees to eliminate a shadow from the driver board and set the system preferences on the computer to rotate 180 degrees. No special software was used in this process.
– 15Mbps Internet connection.
– Camera: Phantom v640 High Speed Camera at 1920 x 1080, films up to 2700 fps

Microsoft Kin reviews are out… too bad!

06/05/2010

You’ve probably noticed on the ‘webz today that the floodgates known as “the Kin review embargo” have opened, spewing forth impressions, opinions, analysis, and reviews for the masses to bathe in.

There is a general trend emerging, too. Something along the lines of “What have Microsoft done?”

I’ve rounded up some of the highlights thus far, for your reading pleasure:

Engadget:

…we ran into frustrating timeouts and stalls that made us want to throw the phone across the room. Overall, it’s just a deeply, deeply frustrating and inconsistent experience… If you’re going to shell out this kind of money each month, it would be foolish to even consider these devices given the much, much better options out there.

Laptop:

Unfortunately, you can’t really do much other than read your feed and post updates. For example, in the Twitter “app” you can’t see your @replies in a separate field or search. And you can’t send direct messages or retweet. Seriously.

MobileBurn:

…its user interface has bogged me down a bit; the experience is a bit too much to handle at once.

The only positive reviews I could find came from Slashgear:

First, from Michael Gartenberg:

I spent the better part of today working through the devices and I mostly like what I saw.

and then from his “Gen upload” son, Chaim:

Loop is great – making the home screen of your phone your complete social network and news feed. Spot, the ever-present dot on the bottom of your screen, allows you to share everything to anyone – through MMS, Email, or Facebook/Twitter/Myspace.

Both the Slashgear reviews seem to contradict the other reviews on most points. Diff’rent strokes, I guess.

There is one seemingly universally liked feature, however: the online syncing software dubbed “The Studio”. Sadly, the software isn’t enough to save these doomed handsets.

Some of the biggest complaints stem from the inflated price. Verizon are basically charging smartphone prices for a featurephone experience.

The reviews all seem to point to a list of common faults, including:

  • The UI – unintuitive, busy, practically useless
  • The camera – poor light metering and a flash that blows the subject out
  • The storage – 4GB on the Kin One? No SD expansion? Isn’t this 2010?
  • No chat – the social angle apparently doesn’t involve instant communication anymore
  • No apps, no games, no fun, and no calendar to see what fun your missing out on

Faults are much easier to overlook when you’re not being charged a premium, but at this price, there are much better options out there.

If you find any glowing reviews, or particularly entertaining scathing ones, please post them in the comments.

While you’re there, what are your thoughts on the devices?

Visa wants to turn your iPhone into a credit card.

06/05/2010

This morning, Visa and DeviceFidelity Inc., issued a joint press release annoucing that they’d built — and received Apple’s much-coveted blessing in the form of accessory certification — an iPhone case that acts as a tap-to-pay Visa credit card.

Oddly, the press release has since been pulled from almost all of the sites it was published on, though we’re not sure why. Details in the release indicate that it might not have been intended for release until tomorrow, so it was presumably just a scheduling mistake. We’ve got the full text of the release below.

Just as we’d originally envisioned, the Visa case connects with an application on the handset to allow it to be password-protected. Password protection or not, you’ll still want to watch this thing like a hawk.

Market trials of the iPhone case should begin some time this summer, though it’s not clear just how limited they’ll be. If it’s not open to anyone who asks, we’ll let you know as soon as we hear any ways to wiggle into the trial.

Visa Inc. and DeviceFidelity, Inc. are working to allow Apple iPhone(TM) users to make payments by simply waving their iPhone in front of a contactless payment terminal. The new technology, developed by DeviceFidelity and certified by Apple, combines a protective iPhone case with a secure memory card that hosts Visa’s contactless payment application, called Visa payWave. The technology will work for both iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G devices.

iPhone users will be able to make Visa mobile payments in retail stores, at fast food restaurants, in taxis, during sporting events (such as at baseball games), and also make purchases at vending machines that have contactless payment terminals. Thousands of merchants throughout the U.S. have already upgraded their payment terminals to allow consumers to make Visa mobile payments. The technology will also work with a majority of smart phones that have a slot for a memory card. By simply inserting the card into the memory slot on their phone, mobile users can transform their existing mobile phones into a Visa payment device. Visa has already rolled out a similar technology in Malaysia and Japan, where consumers can make mobile payments in stores and restaurants.

The mobile payment application can be password protected and utilizes advanced security technology to uniquely identify each contactless transaction.. In addition, all Visa mobile payments are backed by Visa’s global processing network and analyzed for potential fraud in real-time. If a mobile device is lost or stolen, account holders should contact their issuer, as they would if their card was lost or stolen. The issuer can immediately deactivate the account. Market trials of the payment-enabled iPhone are scheduled to start this summer.

SATELLITE FEEDS:
Wednesday, May 5th, 2010 Thursday, May 6th, 2010
1:00 PM – 1:15 PM ET 1:00 PM – 1:15 PM ET
AMC 3 AMC 3
C-Band C-Band
Transponder 3 Transponder 3
Downlink Freq. 3760 Horizontal Downlink Freq. 3760 Horizontal

NEWS: Use Your iPhone to make Visa payments

FORMAT: B-roll and Soundbites

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: Video, contact information and more available at: http://multivu.prnewswire.com/broadcast/43490/press.html

SOUNDBITES:
* Dave Wentker, Head of Mobile Contactless Payments at Visa Inc
* Amitaabh Malhotra, COO of DeviceFidelity.
* Kevin Scott, Father of three

B-ROLL INCLUDES:
* Chip and Memory Slot on iPhone
* Visa-iPhone Transactions
* Stadium shots
* Family broll
* Various Store Exteriors

VIDEO PROVIDED BY: Visa and DeviceFidelity

Contact: FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL: MultiVu Media Relations, 1-800-653-5313 EXT. 3

SOURCE Visa and DeviceFidelity

More picutures of the new Blackberry Flip?!?

05/05/2010

There must be a crack surplus at BlackBerry HQ, because they really seem to have lost it with these new designs. The old half-and-half BlackBerrys have something special about them, something fundamentally strong. You know it’s a good phone because it’s refined. This flip phone (the 9670) and that slider we saw a while back, however, present a slightly less promising picture.

It’s probably not final hardware, but the general size and shape are clear… gah! Looks like a kid’s version of a flip phone I had back in 2003. Sure, the new BlackBerry OS is going to be good fun, but if it’s launching on this hardware, they’re going to find it a tough sell among the “people with eyes” market.

How to turn an iPad into a skateboard?!

05/05/2010

New iPad Test – Will It Shred? from FUEL TV on Vimeo.

Yesterday’s microwave iPad experiment left a lot of you feeling empty and maybe a bit sick that someone would waste at least $500 when there are starving kids in the world that desperately could use a Happy Meal. Like all they did was put the iPad in the microwave and turn it one. That’s a truly waste, a stunt designed to get a bit of Internet attention.

Well, today’s video is so much better. An iPad is put to good use. The two fellows in the video truly want to know if the iPad is Shred-able. That’s a legitamet question in my book. And so they set out to create a rideable iPad. You’re going to wanna see this.

[Fuel TV via Recombu via Gizmodo]

Hands-on with the T-Mobile MyTouch 3G Slide

04/05/2010

In a perfect world, every phone would be like the T-Mobile MyTouch Slide. It’s small, it’s light, it has a keyboard, and it’s easy enough for almost everyone to use even if it’s running one of the most powerful mobile OSes out there. Built by HTC to T-Mobile’s specifications, the MyTouch Slide with full QWERTY keyboard is, in actuallity, one of the best feature phones I’ve seen in a long time.

The second in T-Mobile’s MyTouch line, the Slide adds a keyboard and a unique user interface to the mix. Instead of My Faves, the phone allows you to create “cards” for each of your favorite contacts. From these cards you can dial them, read all their messages, and text them instantly. This, in short, “pops out” your favorite contacts with a single click.

The Slide comes in three colors and runs HTC’s sense UI with a few special T-Mo tweaks. It is, in short, a T-Mobile phone and if you’re looking for something to for texting, music, and emailing, this may be the successor to the Sidekick you’ve been looking for.

Pricing and availability will be announced later.

T-Mobile USA is announcing a new addition to its exclusive line of Android-powered T-Mobile myTouch 3G smartphones – the T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide. Anticipated to be available in June, the new myTouch 3G Slide combines a roomy slide-out QWERTY keyboard with an incredibly crisp, high-performance touch screen powered by the latest Android software (Android 2.1). Designed to help families stay connected to those they care about most throughout their busy days, the myTouch 3G Slide offers several new, exclusive features, including:

Faves Gallery: Life is hectic so it’s easy to miss opportunities to connect with loved ones so Faves Gallery presents up to 20 of your favorite people and all of their communication – calls, texts, email, instant messaging, social networking updates – in a dedicated application accessible through a soft button and an easy-to-use widget complete with photos, contact information and one-touch ability to respond. All of your Faves get special status on your myTouch 3G Slide; anytime they communicate with you or update their social network you get a notification in the notification pane. Even if you’re not using your phone, a custom green light lets you know you’ve got a communication waiting from one of your Faves. And you can respond right from the Faves Gallery, without launching mail or social apps, so you connect more quickly and more often with the important people in your life.

myModes: myModes helps you draw the line between work and home by creating different themes with home screen apps, widgets and wallpapers to empower people in the different roles they play daily. You can program myModes to switch at a designated time, by location, or manually with the option to create and store up to 10 customize modes. myModes removes clutter and makes you more efficient both at work and at home. Want to forget about work on the weekend? No need to hide your “work phone” or switch to another device; just put away your work tools, like e-mail and your calendar by switching modes, and bring forward all the things you love to do on Saturday.

Genius Button: With the Genius Button, you press one button, talk, and it delivers. The Genius Button is an easy-to-access button on the front of the new T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide (powered by Nuance’s Dragon Dictation solution) allowing the use of voice commands to control the phone and it’s features including making calls, compose and send texts and emails, search the web or your surroundings. The Genius Button will also read text messages aloud.

With the Android 2.1 software, the myTouch 3G Slide offers a rich mobile Web experience and access to thousands of applications on Android Market from games to location-based social networks to on-the-go shopping and more. Like the original myTouch, the new Slide was designed to facilitate personalization. A 5-pane home screen, with the option to increase to 7-panes, offers plenty of real-estate for your favorite widgets, applications and themes.

Designed by HTC exclusively for T-Mobile, the myTouch 3G Slide features a 3.4-inch HVGA touch-screen display with virtual keyboard as well as a roomy, slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Less than 15mm thick, the elegant design slides easily into your pocket proving that Android brains don’t have to come in a sci-fi box. The myTouch 3G Slide also features a 5-megapixel camera, a music player with a pre-installed 8 GB microSD memory card, and enhanced video capabilities to make it easy for users to record and share pictures and videos, whether via e-mail, MMS or one-click upload to sites such as YouTube™ and Picasa™.

Samsung (Bada-Powered) Wave to Launch in North and South America?

04/05/2010

Samsung may be a little crazy to create their own OS when Android is free, powerful, and popular, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not at least a little curious about what the new OS may bring.

On that note, you may be interested to hear that the first of Samsung’s Bada-powered phones — the Samsung Wave 8500 — may be making its way over from Europe to come visit your hometown*.

Unwired Review have noticed that the Bluetooth SIG (the body that oversees Bluetooth standards and licensing) has recently approved the Samsung GT-S8500R and the GT-S8500M, mentioning that both should be available in North America. Further to this, the GT-S8500L is listed as being headed to South America.

Of course, this isn’t concrete evidence, but it seems likely.

To refresh your memory, the Wave has a 3.3″ 800 x 480 AMOLED screen, a 5.1MP camera capable of 720p video, and the now-standard WiFi, A-GPS, and (as stated earlier) Bluetooth.

It is worth noting that the phone’s operating frequencies will limit it to AT&T or T-mobile.

If you’re hungry for more, Unwired View also have a hands-on video of the phone in action.

*if said hometown is somewhere in North or South America

Blackberry Slider? New spy pictures

04/05/2010

Ok, we’re all used to the blurry, shaky spy shots that usually accompany phone leaks, but these photos take ugly to a new level. I mean really, what setting on what camera could mangle a photo so thoroughly?

But enough of that, you aren’t here to listen to me rabbit on about photo quality. You want to know about the phone, don’t you?

So, if peer deep enough through the fog of filth, you can see what looks to be a BlackBerry slider. If you peer even deeper, you may notice that it seems to be running BlackBerry OS 6.0.

BBLeaks sourced the photos, and claim that this is the BlackBerry 9800, which will be the first device to launch with BB OS 6.0. They have one other (even lower quality) photo, too, if you’re interested.

It’s early days yet, so no concrete time-frame beyond “Summer” is known. But I’m sure all you Berry-heads out there know that we’ll update you on any more info the very moment it arises.

Kins arriving May 6th. Prices look good!

04/05/2010

Just a quick PSA: you’ll be able to satisfy your Kin-starved teen brood in just a little over a week. The Kin brothers (or sisters (or cousins)) will be hitting Verizon’s virtual shelves on the 6th and they’ll be in stores on the 13th. Of May. The prices be $50 for the egg-like One and a Benjamin for the larger (and awesomer) Two… assuming you’re going in for a two year contract and are willing to wait for a $100 mail-in rebate.

iPad 3G ripped apart by Gizmodo

01/05/2010

We’ve seen its communications board before, but now the entire iPad 3G has been torn open and had its parts analyzed. Here’s what makes it different from a Wi-Fi-only iPad according to the guys at iFixit:

* The immediate visible difference is the inclusion of a black plastic RF window on top of the iPad for better antenna reception.

* The black RF window significantly changes the opening procedure. You cannot start separating the display using the notches on the top (à la Wi-Fi version), since that will undoubtedly break the RF window. You have to start from the right side and gingerly proceed to the top and bottom of the iPad.

* There are actually FIVE antennas in this iPad: Two antennas handle the cell reception — one is in the RF window on top, the other attaches to the LCD frame. A single GPS antenna is also housed in the RF window on top. Just like the iPad Wi-Fi, there are two antennas that handle Wi-Fi / Bluetooth connectivity, one in the Apple logo and another to the left of the dock connector.

* You heard that right, folks: Apple looks to be using the entire LCD frame as an antenna!

* Who would’ve thought: Apple uses the same 3G baseband processor in both the iPhone 3GS and the iPad 3G.

* The baseband processor in question is the Infineon 337S3754 PMB 8878 X-Gold IC. It was actually white-labeled on the production unit, but with enough sleuthing we were able to confirm its true identity.

* The iPad 3G has a Broadcom BCM4750UBG Single-Chip AGPS Solution, whereas the iPhone 3GS uses an Infineon Hammerhead II package. Big win for Broadcom!

* Apple did not change any major suppliers between manufacturing the pre-production unit they provided the FCC and their final production run.

You can check see more gadget gore porn pictures and part details over at iFixit, but those are the basic highlights. [iFixit]

Check out Gizmodo