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April 19, 2013

Tracfone adding four entry-level LG Androids

Coming to Tracfone, clockwise, from top left: Optimus Dynamic, Optimus Extreme, Optimus Quest, Optimus Ultimate.

April 16, 2013


Verizon Wireless is reaching back into cellphone history for its next foray into prepaid, dusting off last year’s LG Optimus L3 and renaming it the Optimus Zone (model number: LGVS410PP). A new name alone won’t improve the specs on this strictly-entry-level device, however, with the Gingerbread-powered (you read that right) slate offering up a 3.2-inch QVGA display, 800MHz processor, 3.15-megapixel camera, and not much else. Look for the revived Zone to sell for just north of free by the end of the month.

April 14, 2013


Like many people, I was intrigued by the recent edict from a Seattle bar banning the not-yet-for-sale, action-cam-equipped Google Glass wearable computer, citing privacy concerns. However, while this article originally intended to highlight other potential locations and situations where Glass will be frowned upon, after speaking with a few colleagues, it became clear that the video- and photo-capturing headset will be unwelcome in many more venues than it is allowed. And that spells trouble for Glass adoption, especially as some folks are hoping to rely on Glass — eventually — as their primary pair of spectacles.

When nearly anyone has the capability to very discreetly begin capturing footage of his/her surroundings, concerns are bound to pile up. It’s not just bars which have privacy issues to consider — nearly any other establishment that caters to patrons has a responsibility to make sure its customers are not videotaping each other. In other words, the entire service industry is going to end up banning Glass and products like it; expect No Recording signs to begin cropping up all over the country.

But it’s not just retail and service locations that will be affected, as corporate America is also rightfully sensitive about cameras at the workplace. How’s this for irony: it’s almost certain that Google itself will ban the majority of employees from using Glass at work, due to the many sensitive projects in development at any given time.

Airports? Can’t really see Glass welcome at establishments touting such tight security. Colleges, high schools, etc? Almost certain bans, but for a different reason — instant access to information makes cheating beyond trivial. Will you be able to play pro sports with Glass? Compete in grandmaster chess tournaments? Drive a car? Fly a plane? Pilot a boat?

These are questions that nearly every business, organization, and venue are going to have to answer for themselves, both in America and worldwide, and much sooner than they’d probably prefer to. Progress is coming soon, though, and this time the leap is forward enough to have major societal implications.

[Image courtesy of ZDNet]

April 11, 2013


At an otherwise ho-hum Mobile World Congress 2013, LG tried to shake up the mid-range market a bit with the modestly-priced, but 4G-enabled, Optimus F Series. Composed of the F5 and F7 at first, with the F3 added later on (and tipped for its own launch on Sprint), the F-series basically pairs the style and affordability of the L-series (now in its second generation), with an LTE-enabled chipset, and calls it a day.

We’ve learned that Boost Mobile will be adding the highest-end model, the F7, to its LTE lineup in short order. It will be the carrier’s third LTE-capable device, following the HTC One SV and Boost/ZTE Force. Featuring a 4.7-inch, 720p display, 1.5GHz dual core processor, and eight-megapixel camera, the F7 (Boost codename: LG FX1) should prove a popular addition to the prepaid carrier’s handset portfolio.

April 8, 2013


The HTC One is a gorgeous phone — even without the Lumia-esque colors, it’s still one one of the most attractive handsets on the market. It should really be no surprise, then, that HTC plans to expand the current color palette of, um, two, to encompass a brighter range of hues. This is the red version of that device — you may remember HTC accidentally posted a similar render when the One was first announced.

We would expect a slew of differently-colored Ones to hit the market as a way to keep the phone fresh; check out this post for some possible color schemes, although a two-tone design seems unlikely. For the best looking One, you’ll still need to shell out for some Colorware action.

April 3, 2013


It should come as little surprise to industry observers that Facebook plans to unveil both a rich, skinned version of its Android app at a press event tomorrow, along with the first hardware to run that experience out of the box. The phone, by HTC, is appropriately named “First”—appropriate because of its status as the première phone to undergo Facebookification and its similarity to the name of HTC’s newest flagship, the One. More screenshots follow: expand full story

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