We were on the ground in sunny Orlando all week for CTIA Wireless 2011, the largest cell phone event in North America. Check out the news, liveblogs, and hands-on reports with new phones and more.
The action started Monday night, with the show wrapping up on Thursday, March 24.
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Hands-On with the Doro PhoneEasy 615
Doro specializes in phones for older users. They've had success in the US market with the PhoneEasy 410 for Consumers Cellular. Now they have a 3G model coming: the PhoneEasy 615. Read on for our first impressions.
Hands-On with Wireless Charging Phones for Verizon
We've discovered that Verizon is quietly pushing Qi wireless charging technology, by requiring manufacturers to include the technology in their LTE phones. Read on for photos and details of the first Qi products for Verizon.
Aircell Intros Android-Based Smartphone for In-Flight Calling
Aircell today introduced a new Android-based smartphone and accompanying GoGo Biz Voice service that can be used aboard Aircell's GoGo-equipped planes. The device, called the Aircell Smartphone, has a large 3.8-inch display, Bluetooth, and headset jack. It allows GoGo Biz Voice subscribers to make phone calls from airplanes to ground-based numbers while planes are in flight. Aircell claims that its air-to-ground technology provides low latency and high quality voice calling. Aircell didn't provide too many details about the smartphone, but said that tis systems will be able to support several simultaneous voice calls to the ground in addition to internet browsing sessions. The service and device are going to launch late in 2011.
Lightsquared to Back Best Buy Connect
Lightsquared today, speaking at the CTIA Wireless event, announced that Best Buy will resell Lightsquared's LTE services under the Best Buy Connect brand, the big box retailer's MVNO. Lightsquared is using satellite spectrum and other spectrum to build out a nationwide Long Term Evolution mobile broadband network. Earlier this week, it said that Cricket will use its LTE network in regions where it doesn't provide its own coverage. Lightsquared's business plan is to sell wholesale LTE capacity to service providers. Best Buy will begin trials on LightSquared's network in the first quarter of 2012.
Hands-On with the Huawei Ascend 2
Cricket tonight showed off the Huawei Ascend 2 at a press event. We had a chance to try out this successor to the low-cost Android Ascend. Read on for our first impressions.
Hands-On: HTC Merge
HTC's Merge world phone for Verizon Wireless was on hand at CTIA. Here are our initial thoughts about HTC's world-roaming CDMA/GSM wunderfon.
Hands-On with the Samsung Sidekick 4G
We spent some time with the new Samsung Sidekick 4G for T-Mobile. It does have a Sidekick feel to it, and some interface changes that make it quite different than most Android phones. Read on to find out what we liked and what we didn't.
Hands-On: HTC EVO 3D, Samsung Nexus S 4G
At the CTIA Wireless trade show in Orlando, Sprint announced a few new devices. We go hands-on with the HTC EVO 3D and the Samsung Nexus S 4G.
HTC EVO 3D Brings Stereoscopic Powers to Sprint
Sprint and HTC today announced the EVO 3D, a follow up to the original EVO smartphone that adds 3D picture-taking and video-capturing abilities. The EVO 3D has a qHD (960 x 540) 4.3-inch display, runs Android 2.3 and has HTC's Sense user interface overlay. It has dual five megapixel cameras with autofocus and dual LED flash, as well as a 1.3 megapixel user-facing camera. The main camera can capture 3D still images, and 720p HD 3D video. It can display both types of 3D content on the handset without the need for glasses. It is powered by a 1.2GHz SnapDragon processor, and runs on both Sprint's EVDO 3G and WiMax 4G networks with support for mobile hotspot (up to eight devices). HTC has upped the size of the battery from the original EVO's 1500mAh to 1730mAh. It also has 8GB of on-board storage (expandable up to 32GB), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and HDMI. It goes on sale this summer. Pricing has not been announced.
Samsung "Unpacked" Liveblog
We're live from Samsung's "Unpacked" press conference at CTIA in Orlando. They've been teasing this one with the number "78910". Find out what it means.
CTIA Keynote Liveblog
We'll be liveblogging the keynote address this morning. Tune in at 9am for remarks from the CEOs of AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint.
LG G2x Brings Tegra Gaming Chops to T-Mobile
T-Mobile USA and LG today announced the G2x, a new Android smartphone that has a Tegra 2 dual-core 1GHz processor and will ship preloaded with games, including Tegra Zone. The G2x has a four-inch display and comes with a 8 megapixel main camera (with HD video capture), 1.3 megapixel front camera, and Qik video chatting software. It supports DLNA for media sharing, and has an HDMI out port with HDMI mirroring for sharing HD content on TVs. Other features include 8GB of built-in memory, support for microSD cards up to 32GB, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and support for T-Mobile's HSPA+ network. The G2x runs Android 2.2 and will be available later this spring.
Hands-On with the Nokia Astound
The Astound is a C7-00, make no mistake about it. It even says C7 on the front. However Nokia has been busy tweaking the software since we last played with a C7, so read on to see what think of this rare Symbian phone for T-Mobile USA.
Verizon Xperia Play Won't Have Xperia Interface
Verizon Wireless demo'd its upcoming Xperia Play gaming phone at CTIA this week, revealing that it won't come with any of Sony Ericsson's unique interface software. Rather, it will come with a plain Android 2.3 interface.
Nokia Brings C7 To T-Mobile As Astound
Nokia today announced the Astound for T-Mobile, a new name for the C7-00. The phone is largely identical to the C7-00 for the rest of the world, and will even say C7 on the phone itself, but will come with a slightly updated version of Symbian^3 that's faster, and has some pre-loaded software including Slacker radio and Swype predictive text entry, which works in both portrait and landscape modes. The phone sports an 8-megapixel main camera, 1.3-megapixel front camera with Qik for video chat, large nHD capacitive touch screen, and support for Wi-Fi calling. It will be available April 6 for $80 with two-year contract.
Optimus 3D, HD7 Come To AT&T
AT&T today announced two new high-end smartphones. The LG Thrill 4G is AT&T's version of the LG Optimus 3D announced last month. The HTC HD7S is AT&T's version of the HD7, already available from T-Mobile USA.
- The LG Thrill 4G is the first phone announced by a US carrier with a glasses-free 3D display, and a 5-megapixel 3D camera. Other features include Android 2.2, 16 GB of memory, HD video capture, dual-core 1 GHz processor and "4G" data. It will be available in "coming months."
- The HTC HD7S is a Windows Phone 7 device sporting a 1 GHz processor and a 5-megapixel camera. The large 4.3-inch display is a Sony SuperLCD, an upgrade over the screen on the HD7 version offered by T-Mobile. It will be available in the "coming weeks."
Google Nexus Comes to Sprint
Sprint today announced the Samsung Nexus S 4G, a "pure Google" Android phone with CDMA and WiMAX 4G. Like the first Nexus S, the Nexus S 4G will ship with Android 2.3 "Gingrebread." Other key features includes a 1 GHz Samsung processor plus dedicated graphics processor, 4-inch Samsung SuperAMOLED display with curved glass front, 5-megapixel main camera, VGA front-facing camera, and 16 GB of internal memory. The phone also sports NFC technology for mobile ticketing and payment services. The Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n radio supports mobile Wi-Fi hotspot for up to six devices. The Nexus S 4G will be available this "spring" for $200 with two-year agreement. An "Everything Data" plan plus $10/month "Premium Data" add-on plan are required for activation.