LG and Sprint announced two new CDMA phones here at CES: the Lotus Elite and Rumor Touch. They also announced an Android phone, the GT540.
The GT540 isn't intended for the US, at least not yet, but it's interesting nonetheless, as a glimpse of how LG applies its interface ideas to Android.
AD article continues below...
The GT540 isn't a very high-end device, it's very lightweight, which lends it a slight cheap feel. It's sleek and stylish, though, with a unique shape and nifty pattern on the back that changes in the light. You can tell this isn't a very high-end phone from the resistive touch screen and 3-megapixel camera. It does have wi-fi, though.
On the interface side, LG has expanded the number of Android home screens to seven, and put four icons across the bottom. Three are shortcuts to common things like phone and contacts. The fourth brings up the app menu. Otherwise the UI is very much stock Android.
The camera app is one area LG has put a lot of effort, and it's very welcome. The app has a great interface with handy buttons down the side of the viewfinder, and a pretty rotating dial interface for the more advanced settings. One of the more advanced features of the camera is face recognition.
Here's a video tour of the GT540:
LG Lotus Elite
The Lotus Elite takes the popular Lotus design and adds a relatively huge touch screen on the outside. In fact, both the inner and outer screens are 2.4-inches and QVGA resolution. Only the outer one is touch, though (and it's resistive.)
The other features of the Lotus are very similar. The keyboard is slightly larger and there are some new shortcut keys, but the touch screen is the only real upgrade. Sprint's OneClick interface carries over, which is nice.
In terms of quality, it feels nice. It's very solid and the keys are all easy to feel and press. The keyboard and touch screen both work well.
The touch screen has a rotating cube interface, where you swipe left and right to switch between various screens like contacts, messages, speed dial, photos and videos. From the center "home" screen, there's an option at the bottom to access the screens from a list-style menu, and you can also turn off ones you don't use, so you can get to others faster.
One quirk of the Lotus Elite's design is that the camera is built into the hinge and rotates with the top half of the phone. With the phone open, the camera faces you, so to take a photo of something else, the phone needs to be closed, using the touch screen to control the camera.
The Lotus Elite goes on sale January 10.
Here's a video tour of the Lotus Elite:
LG Rumor Touch
The big upgrade with the Rumor Touch, naturally, is a large touch-screen. It replaces the smaller screen and numeric keypad of the Rumor 2. It's a resistive screen, and that's apparent. It was a little finicky in our brief time with it. Still, such a large screen on a device like this is quite nice.
The keyboard is better than ever. Many higher-end phones here at CES don't have keyboards nearly as enjoyable to use. Other keys feel good, and the overall build quality is good. It is a bit lightweight and plastic-feeling, so it feels a tad cheap, but that's purely an aesthetic issue.
The main menu of the Rumor Touch is a lot like the Instinct series. It's just one big list that's completely customizable to be your own personal main menu. From there you can reach the standard phone main menu.
One unique feature added by LG is the "Hello" screen. This unique screen offers four pages where you can arrange little photo thumbnails of your favorite contacts. You can put all of your family on one screen, then swipe down to a screen of friends' faces, then put work contacts on a third screen. Within each screen, you arrange people however you like, down to the pixel, so you could arrange your family in a family tree, for example.
In terms of other specs, the Rumor does add EVDO 3G data, a very welcome addition to the Rumor series. Remaining specs and features are largely unchanged.
Look for the Rumor Touch later this quarter.
Here's a video tour of the Rumor Touch:
ZTE's Next-Gen Projector Also Works as Tablet
Feb 21, 2016
ZTE today announced the S Pro Plus smart projector, its third-generation Android/projector combination device. The S Pro Plus has an 8.4-inch, 2560 by 1600 display that runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
Motorola Offering Free Projector Mod with Moto Z2 Force Purchase
Jul 25, 2017
Motorola today said consumers who purchase the new Moto Z2 Force at any time between now and September 10 will receive a free projector Moto Mod. Consumers can buy the Z2 Force via any channel, such as a wireless carrier, electronics store, or Motorola.com.
Google Pay Lets People Use their Phone as Ticket On Las Vegas Monorail
Mar 19, 2018
Google today said its Google Pay app can now serve as a transit ticket on the Las Vegas monorail system. People visiting Las Vegas will be able to use Google Pay to purchase their monorail ticket online and add it to the app.
Palm Comes Back from the Dead With Pint-Sized Verizon Exclusive
Palm, a California company that purchased the rights to the Palm brand from TCL, today launched a new device it calls an ultra-mobile product that "syncs with your smartphone to keep you connected but not consumed." The idea is to allow people to access their vital apps when needed, but keep them from staring at their screen all day — particularly when they are out and about. The device is tiny and features an aluminum chassis with Gorilla Glass panels front and back.
Google Reveals When Nexus Phones Will Cease Receiving Android Updates
Jun 22, 2016
Google revised its Nexus support page and provided more information on how long Nexus-branded phones will receive future software updates. Google says Nexus devices will get Android version updates (Lollipop, Marshmallow, etc.) for at least two years from when the device became available on the Google Store.