Verizon’s Galaxy Nexus hitting Costco on December 15?

That elusive Samsung Galaxy Nexus is still heading to Verizon, believe it or not, and we may actually be nearing the end of our frustrating quest to get our hands on one. While we’re still waiting for an official announcement from Big Red itself, the inaugural Ice Cream Sandwich device has shown up in Costco’s internal pricing guides with a starting date of December 15th — a mere two days away. It’s priced at $290 with a two-year commitment, which is exactly the same as what we’d originally heard a month ago. Keep in mind that since Costco is an authorized retailer for Verizon, its release date may vary from the official website and corporate-owned stores; that said, we’re sure hoping we can waltz into a store somewhere — anywhere — and pick one up this Thursday.

[Thanks, Anonymous]

Verizon’s Galaxy Nexus hitting Costco on December 15? originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 13 Dec 2011 11:42:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |   | Email this | Comments

Verizon thought to be planning Netflix acquisition

Ever since YouTube started getting really popular, consumers have been enjoying streaming video, and network providers have been complaining about how much bandwidth such services use. Some have even gone so far as to demand any company offering streaming media pay for use of a network. So far such demands have fallen on deaf ears, […]

The Best Free Phone on Every Carrier

Remember when the best free phone you could get was monochrome candy bar phone? And you were thankful because that Nokia phone had Snake on it. Things are better now—you can get an actual smartphone from a carrier for free (with the usual two-year contract). But which is the best one from each carrier? Let’s jump into the bargin bin and find out. More »

First Look: Motorola’s Xoom Sequel, The Xyboard Tablet

Motorola’s Xyboard tablet is the follow-up to its Xoom tablet. Image: Jon Snyder/

Motorola is taking another shot at the tablet game with the Droid Xyboard, the company’s latest Android device to hit Verizon stores. After getting our hands on one this afternoon, we found that it’s a solid, well-performing slate that’s easy on the eyes. Too bad it has such a stupid name.

The 4G Xyboard is Motorola’s follow-up to its pricey, not terribly popular Xoom tablet, which was released in February. Available in 8.2-inch and 10.1-inch versions, the Honeycomb-powered Xyboard enters the market hot on the heels of the super-hot Kindle Fire. It’s on sale today for $430 (for the 8.2-inch) or $530 (for the 10.1-inch) with a two-year contract from Verizon, with options for 16GB or 32GB of memory on the smaller version, and up to 64GB on the larger one.

The first thing that struck me about the Xyboard is its industrial design. Rather than being perfectly rectangular in shape, the 8.2-inch slate has clipped corners, which actually makes it fit more comfortably when you hold it one-handed. The back, too, shows some stylistic creativity. A rubberized outer rim houses a power button and volume rocker, while centered in the back of the tablet is a sheet of dark gray brushed metal held in place by six visible screws. Think robot chic.

The positioning of the device’s only two buttons makes for a clean appearance, but leaves your fingers searching when it’s time to crank up the volume or send it to sleep. The 8.2-inch size, however, is a great compromise between the 7-inch ‘tweeners and 10-inch stunners. It’s small enough to wield in one hand with ease (the 0.86-pound weight helps with that too), yet large enough that watching a full-screen, HD YouTube video or a movie on Netflix is pleasant. Pair that with Verizon’s 4G speeds, and you’ve got great streaming video quality.

The overall experience is smooth, an improvement over many of the past buggy iterations of Honeycomb (perhaps the longer lead time gave Google the room to stabilize). Powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz processor with 1GB of RAM, app loading times are reasonably swift, and swiping from one screen to another on its Honeycomb interface is stutter-free.

Unlike HTC and Samsung devices, it’s not overly skinned, so you can actually experience the Android OS for what it is, rather than a bogged down, bloated mess. The Xyboard will be eligible for an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade at some point in the future, but for now, it runs Honeycomb very well.

Both the 8.2- and 10.1-inch models have a 1280 x 800 resolution display. After turning up the brightness from auto to full, the tablet’s battery life dropped from around 20 percent to around 5 percent in less than an hour, so it looks like you’ll need to be conscious of your 4G and brightness settings if you don’t want your tablet to die on you quickly.

If you’re one of those people who likes to take pictures with their tablet (read: you are a dork), the Xyboard has a 5-megapixel back-facing camera and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera on its face. The rear camera’s quality is relatively sub-par compared to what you’d get from other comparable cameras, and definitely shoddier compared to the 8-megapixel standard of most 2011 handsets. The colors are bright and close to true to life, but the overall image lacks sharpness. The camera does have some variable settings though, for white balance, color effects, and scene mode. Video quality was also just ‘meh’: a video taken indoors at the Wired offices was noticeably grainy.

Overall, the Xyboard seems like a decent tablet. The slate looks slick and feels good in your hands, and is powerful enough to provide a successful tablet experience. It’s a bit of a shame that it’s shipping with Honeycomb instead of ICS, but that’s certainly not a deal breaker. What’s a real shame, though, is that it’s available now, and not six months ago.

Look for the full review on Wired Reviews in the coming weeks.

The Xyboard features clipped corners and a more hardware focused rear design. Image: Jon Snyder/

Verizon-branded LG Spectrum steps out in leaked press shot

LG aren’t letting up on the LTE hardware. While we’ve only just shaken hands with AT&T’s Nitro HD, this Verizon-branded 4G handset packs several design cues (and specifications) from its rival network cousin. The LG Spectrum has already appeared — albeit fleetingly — in a database listing and is likely to be the successor to Big Red’s Revolution. Pocketnow reckons that the phone will rock a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, a high-definition display running at 720p and an eight megapixel shooter, although it’s hard to make out much for from these shots — aside from that protruding camera module. Regardless, life’s most certainly looking good for LG fans.

Verizon-branded LG Spectrum steps out in leaked press shot originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 12 Dec 2011 10:55:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourcePocketnow  | Email this | Comments

We Don’t Need Another Freaking Streaming Service

Verizon and Redbox are reportedly gearing up to poop out a TV and movie streaming service. Great. Because what the world needs now is yet another streaming content provider with a nonsensical pricing scheme. Please don’t no stop ugh. UGH. More »

Verizon Galaxy Nexus not landing til after Black Friday?

Verizon holiday roadmap

Initial rumors had the Verizon release of the Galaxy Nexus pegged for November 10th but, while the carrier has officially confirmed the flagship Android handset is coming, it’s refused to say when. Now several sources have told Droid Life not to expect our first taste of Ice Cream Sandwich until the week of Black Friday at the earliest. In fact, a leaked roadmap photo seems to suggest Big Red customers won’t be able to get their hands on one until after the busiest shopping day of the year, when it launches as part of Samsung’s “Holiday Portfolio.” If our disappointment was a flavor, we’d be Neapolitan — three shades of sad.

[Thanks, K]

Verizon Galaxy Nexus not landing til after Black Friday? originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 01 Nov 2011 16:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceDroid Life  | Email this | Comments

Samsung Illusion, Casio G’zOne Ravine 2 and BlackBerry Curve 9370 to hit Verizon this month?

Don’t rub your eyes. That above pic is no mirage. It’s a leaked rebate form heralding the Big Red arrival of an actual Illusion — a 3G Samsung-made one, that is. The form, sent to us by an eagle-eyed tipster, confirms that mysterious Gingerbread phone’s imminent November launch, while also outing two other equally un-hyped devices: the BlackBerry Curve 9370 and Casio G’zOne Ravine 2. No official release date could be gleaned from the info at hand, but with a redemption period ranging from the 1st of this month to the 28th, we’re fairly certain this triumvirate of mid-range phones will be making a retail debut soon. So, if you need to replace your last battle-weary, ruggedized smartphone or have a hankering for portrait QWERTYs, this fair fall month’s mobile refreshes could be just the ticket.

Samsung Illusion, Casio G’zOne Ravine 2 and BlackBerry Curve 9370 to hit Verizon this month? originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 01 Nov 2011 15:36:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |   | Email this | Comments

HTC Rezound ad pays Verizon stores an early visit, soonish launch likely

The above image isn’t a leak — it’s a dye-in-the-wool, true-blue LTE poster that a few Verizon stores have preemptively hung up. We’re pretty sure these adverts aren’t supposed to be displayed for our eyes to see since they feature the HTC Rezound, a forthcoming 4G device that hasn’t even been announced yet. Oops. Additionally, the handset — featured front and center on the ad — shows off a pair of Beats headphones dangling out of its 3.5mm jack. Are there any naysayers that still think the Rezound won’t get its official outing at HTC’s event this week? Count us amongst the believers.

HTC Rezound ad pays Verizon stores an early visit, soonish launch likely originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 31 Oct 2011 11:24:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceDroid-Life  | Email this | Comments

Poll: What’s broken (or working) for you in iOS 5?

If you haven’t updated to iOS 5 by now, let’s face it: you never will. It’s cool. We get it. Some of us are still using Netscape, too. For the rest of the iOS universe, though, iOS 5 has almost certainly been installed, and now that you’ve had a few weeks to tinker with it, we’re interested in seeing what quirks are being found. We’ve received a number of reports surrounding call connection issues (on both Verizon Wireless and AT&T), “invalid SIM” warnings, a bug that shows an inbox as being full (when it clearly isn’t) and iCloud refusing to load email altogether. Oh, and then there’s that pesky Siri pincode bypass — tsk, tsk! Toss your vote in below, and converse amongst yourselves in comments. Sharing is caring!

View Poll

Poll: What’s broken (or working) for you in iOS 5? originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 29 Oct 2011 14:11:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |   | Email this | Comments