Don’t be fooled by the photos: this is not a Sidekick 4G ($99.99, 4 stars). Though the Sharp FX Plus (Free with 2-year contract, $349.99 without), certainly looks like T-Mobile’s classy smartphone, it’s a less ambitious device. Available exclusively through Walmart, the FX Plus is a good choice for AT&T texters looking to save a few bucks, and it’s the best keyboarded Android phone available on AT&T. Just keep in mind that it isn’t a do-everything, high-end super-smartphone.
Design, Screen, and Keyboard
The FX Plus measures 4.7 by 2.4 by .6 inches (HWD) and weighs 5.3 ounces. Made entirely of black plastic, it feels solid, though it looks somewhat generic. The 3.2-inch display is a standard 320-by-480 pixel resolution. The glass capacitive touch screen is bright and suitably responsive. There are four physical function keys below the screen which are backlit and easy to press.
The screen slides up to reveal a solid, four-row QWERTY keyboard, which looks a lot like T-Mobile’s Sidekick 4G. Unlike the Sidekick, however, the FX Plus lacks the extra fifth row of dedicated number keys. Still, the slightly raised, flat keys are easy to press, and I was able to type long messages quickly and easily. This is a very good keyboard for typing messages on.
Dell unveiled the new phone, the Venue, and the tablet, the Streak 7, at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, which draws tens of thousands of buyers and sellers from around the globe to Las Vegas.
Dell launched a smartphone late last year with Microsoft, using the US software giant’s Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system, but it opted for Google’s free Android platform for the latest device.
Dell said the new Streak 7 tablet has a seven-inch (17.8-centimeter) screen, slightly larger than the display on the first Streak the company released last year.
Dell said the Streak 7 is designed for the faster Internet speeds of US wireless carrier T-Mobile’s 4G network.
“With its dual-core processor, seven-inch multi-touch screen and dual cameras, the new Dell Streak 7 tablet takes full advantage of the unrivaled power of T-Mobile’s 4G network,” said John Thode, vice president of Dell’s Mobility Product Group.
The Streak 7, which Dell said will be available in the coming weeks, is one of dozens of touchscreen tablet computers being launched at CES as electronics manufacturers seek to match Apple’s success with its iPad.
Don’t let the name fool you: the Samsung Galaxy Prevail ($179.99) is not a high-end Samsung Galaxy S cell phone. It is, however, a wonderfully functional, inexpensive Android device for everyone who wants a budget smartphone. Just how inexpensive, you ask? Boost is charging $50 per month for unlimited talk, text, and data on Sprint’s nationwide 3G network. That price shrinks by $5 every 6 months you pay your bill on time, until you reach $35. It’s not like this is breaking news, but it’s a lot more relevant now that Boost finally has a device capable of taking full advantage of those rates. Sure, it may not have the same high-end specs as the latest and greatest Android gadgets, but it’s an excellent choice for anyone looking to get in on the Android action on the cheap. That makes it our Editors’ Choice for smartphones on Boost. It also makes the cut for our list of The Best Android Phones.
Design, Call Quality, and Pricing
The Samsung Galaxy Prevail measures 4.4 by 2.3 by .5 inches (HWD) and weighs 3.8 ounces. And while the phone is surprisingly light, it feels solid. It looks a bit like T-Mobile‘s Samsung Galaxy S 4G ($199.99, 4 stars), with curved edges and a silver border that runs along the outside of the phone’s face. The back is made of a soft-touch black plastic, which gives it a comfortable, luxurious feel in the hand. The 3.2-inch glass capacitive touch screen LCD has 320-by-480-pixel resolution, which is common on midrange Android phones. The display itself is a bit on the small side, but it was nicely bright and vibrant, and suitably responsive to touch. Typing on the on-screen keyboard felt predictably cramped, but still entirely doable. Four function keys sit below the screen on the face of the phone, and light up whenever the screen is touched.
he Prevail is a dual band EV-DO Rev. A (800/1900 MHz) device, with 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi. It connected to my WPA2-encrypted Wi-Fi network quickly and easily. Reception was average, and voice quality was good overall. Calls sounded bright and clear in the earpiece, if a bit thin. On the other end, calls made with the phone sounded fine, though voices were a touch muffled and fuzzy. The phone didn’t completely block out the sound of a passing city bus while I was making a call, but I was still able to hear my voice above it just fine. Calls were clear through an Aliph Jawbone Icon Bluetooth headset ($99, 4 stars), and voice dialing worked well. The speakerphone was also clear, but I couldn’t hear it outside on a slightly noisy city street. Battery life was good at 6 hours and 33 minutes of talk time.
LG‘s value-priced Optimus One smartphone has finally made it over to AT&T. Dubbed the Phoenix here, it lets bargain hunters step to a real Android cell phone for just $29.99 with a two year contract. At this price, the Phoenix does the job just fine. But AT&T subscribers also have the ability to get a $49.99 Apple iPhone 3GS (4.5 stars), which makes the Phoenix a bit less compelling than its siblings on Sprint and T-Mobile.
Design, Call Quality, and Apps The LG Phoenix measures 4.5 by 2.3 by 0.5 inches (HWD) and weighs just 3.2 ounces. That’s light for an Android phone, and this is the lightest Optimus variant by far. It’s made mostly of a soft touch, slate blue plastic that’s comfortable to hold. The 3.2-inch capacitive touch screen offers 320-by-480-pixel resolution; it’s bright, if not particularly smooth to the touch, but it does the job. Four backlit, plastic function buttons sit beneath the screen, and have just the right amount of give. The on-screen QWERTY keyboards are a little cramped, but LG redesigned the keyboards to have slightly larger keys. The typing experience was okay; other phones are roomier and a bit more responsive.
Motorola announced their new “Defy” smartphone today for T-Mobile. The Defy is a ruggedized smartphone with a 3.7 inch scratch-resistant screen and is shock resistant, dust-proof and water-resistant.
The specs we know are: 3.7 inch 854×480 display, 5MP camera, Android OS with Motoblur, and dual mic noise cancellation. Some important details were left out like processor type and Android version, however there is a Defy available now in Europe that has Android 2.1 and a TI OMAP 3610 chipset (800-MHz ARM Cortex-A8) which is faster than the original Droid but slower than the Droid X.
We can assume that the Defy here in the US will have these same specs, possible with a bump up to Android 2.2. The main selling point of this phone will be its durability, not processing speed. Motorola says that it will be available this holiday season.
The LG dLite is a stylish and fashionable phone for the ultrafeminine. It has a unique hidden LED matrix display, an edge-lit LED surface, a 2.0-megapixel camera, a music player, 3G support, and fantastic call quality.
Not too many phones can wow us these days, especially if it isn’t a tricked out smartphone or a multimedia touch-screen wonder. However, the LG dLite sparkled and dazzled its way into our inner adolescent heart. More closely resembling its Korean cousins than any of its American siblings, the dLite is utterly girly in every way, with blinking lights, pastel colors, and cartoonish wallpaper. Its features aren’t earth shattering by any means–there’s a 2.0-megapixel camera, a music player, threaded messaging, a social networking app, and a few other basics–but the charm and whimsy of the phone’s design won us over in the end. If we were still in our tweens, we would totally beg our parents to get us this phone. The LG dLite is available for an affordable $49.99 with a new two-year agreement with T-Mobile.
The T-Mobile MyTouch 3G has a sleek, attractive design with a gorgeous display, tactile controls, and an easy-to-use, customizable interface. Stereo Bluetooth and Outlook e-mail syncing are standard features, and call and data performance are excellent.
Sometimes, good things come to those who wait. Almost 10 months after the G1, we finally have the carrier’s second Android phone, the T-Mobile MyTouch 3G. And after giving it a shakedown, we’re happy to report that it improves on its predecessor in a number of ways. As a rebranded HTC Magic, the design is familiar, but we like the sleek profile, expansive touch screen, and user-friendly controls. We don’t miss the G1′s physical keyboard, though we recognize that some people may not agree.
Inside the phone offers everything you saw on the G1, plus a few extra goodies thanks to the Android 1.5 Cupcake update. And we can’t thank T-Mobile enough for adding Microsoft Exchange Server support. On the downside, the MyTouch has some usability quirks, the Web browser remains iffy, and some important features are missing. But when you factor in its agreeable performance and broad degree of customization, the MyTouch does much to broaden Android’s techie base. You can get it for a reasonable $199.99 with a two-year contract. Also, keep in mind that you’ll need a data plan.
The Motorola Cliq has a great design with a brilliant display and easy-to-use controls and keyboard. Its feature set is rich and functional, and Motorola made some welcome improvements and user interface tweaks.
If anyone doubts that Google’s Android has a future, then they haven’t seen T-Mobile’s Motorola Cliq MB200. With its easy-to-use design, spacious keyboard, and action-packed feature set, the Cliq combines an attractive, powerful device with the customization of the Android operating system. We won’t say it’s the “best Android phone yet”–that will be a hard call to make as more Android handsets go on sale–but it proves that Android handsets are evolving and getting better over time. Also, we’re glad to see a manufacturer other than HTC embrace the Android operating system.
Moto added its own twist to the Android OS with the new MotoBlur user interface that syncs your social media, contacts, and e-mail. Though having all your information in one place is convenient, the overall effect can be overwhelming. Its performance also could be better and the Android OS saddles the phone with a few limitations. Yet, despite those drawbacks, the Cliq offers a nice contrast to Sprint’s HTC Hero and it rates better than the T-Mobile MyTouch 3G and G1. It goes on sale at T-Mobile on November 2, 2009, for $199 with a service contract.
Video Motorola Cliq – Titanium (T-Mobile) Review :
The good: The T-Mobile MyTouch 4G features a thin and sturdy design. The Android 2.2 device supports the carrier’s HSPA+ network and offers Wi-Fi calling and mobile hot spot capabilities. The MyTouch 4G also has a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and a 5-megapixel camera.
The bad: Speakerphone volume is too low. We had numerous issues with video calls. The smartphone is a little on the heavy side.
The bottom line: Though video chat isn’t ready for prime time, there’s plenty to love about the T-Mobile MyTouch 4G, including its speed, sleek and sturdy design, and great call quality.
The T-Mobile MyTouch 4G is the latest addition to the carrier’s MyTouch series of Android phones, and it brings a slew of design and feature enhancements. With a more solid build, the Android 2.2 smartphone feels like a premium device and has the goods to back it up, with HSPA+ support, Wi-Fi calling, mobile hot spot capabilities, and a second-gen 1GHz Snapdragon processor, just to name a few. Unfortunately, one of its hallmark features, video chat, doesn’t work all that well, as we were ran into a number of issues. The good news is that there are … Expand full review
The T-Mobile MyTouch 4G is the latest addition to the carrier’s MyTouch series of Android phones, and it brings a slew of design and feature enhancements. With a more solid build, the Android 2.2 smartphone feels like a premium device and has the goods to back it up, with HSPA+ support, Wi-Fi calling, mobile hot spot capabilities, and a second-gen 1GHz Snapdragon processor, just to name a few. Unfortunately, one of its hallmark features, video chat, doesn’t work all that well, as we were ran into a number of issues. The good news is that there are plenty of other great things about the smartphone to occupy you until video chat is ironed out. The MyTouch 4G is fast, sleek, and delivers great call quality, making it a great alternative if you don’t need a keyboard or dislike the bulkiness of the T-Mobile G2. The T-Mobile MyTouch 4G will be available November 3 for $199.99 with a two-year contract.
RIM BlackBerry Bold 9780 for T-Mobile offers many of the same specs seen on the 9700 such as the 2.44 inch screen with resolution of 480×360 pixels, and a 624MHz processor. The changes include an upgrade to a 5MP camera and a doubling of RAM to 512MB, the new BlackBerry 6 OS and the companion WebKit browser, both delivering major multimedia improvements to Bold owners ready to move up to the new model.