CTIA 2010: Live Report

PhoneArena is happy to say "Hi!" from Las Vegas for yet another year! We are here to cover all that might be of interest for you, our readers. As last time, we expect carriers and manufacturers to surprise us with a great deal of new stuff, including phones and networking solutions. We, of course, will be focusing on the phones, so don't forget to check back with us for the latest news on the newly-announced models directly from the show. As always, we'll present you our live coverage with many pictures and videos of the interesting things that just have to be seen in action. Enjoy it!

Here is what you will find on the following pages, click on the name to check it out:

Page 6: HTC

Page 2: Samsung

Page 3: LG

Page 4: Motorola

Page 5: Kyocera

Page 7: Palm

Page 8: Software
Page 9: Wrap-Up

Samsung Galaxy S - Specifications

Samsung has been holding Unpacked events to commemorate the launch of either high-end devices or the ones they think will sell well. For the first time, such event was held here in the US. Unfortunately, the device unveiled will not be sold in the US, at least not before the summer when a US version is expected. Samsung Galaxy S is the company’s latest and greatest addition to their line of Android based phones.

What really impressed us was the huge 4” Super AMOLED display. The Wave was the first phone to feature such display. Compared to regular displays, the Super AMOLED is supposedly 20% brighter, reflects 80% less direct sunlight and saves 20% battery life. Its quality is really spectacular – super contrast, colors and very large viewing angle.

The Galaxy S design is very simplistic and if not for the Samsung logo and the two touch-sensitive keys, we would have guessed it is the next iPhone. The profile is very slim for such huge device – only 9.9mm thickness.

The phone is powered by a 1 GHz Cortex application processor. In the most parts, the UI is very responsive, but we noticed some lag when opening several apps. This most probably is due to the early prototype status of the devices showcased here. Our expectation is to see one very well performing device once it is released.

Android 2.1 is the hype now and of course this is what Galaxy S comes with it. New with the Galaxy S is the Daily Brief feature, which combines the information from several widgets on one page. The phones here at the show only allowed this feature to be used with AccuWeather, Yahoo Finance, AP Mobile News and the Scheduler. Clicking on any of those from the Daily Brief would bring up that app in full screen.

If you happen to have DLNA certified TV, you’ll be able to watch the HD videos you took with the Galaxy S without  the need to use cables. Talking about HD video, the phone records 720p video with up to 30 fps, in addition to the HD video playback (DivX, Xvid and MKV are some of the supported format).

If 16 GB of internal memory are something that you can easily fill up, microSD memory slot is at your disposal. The Galaxy S is also the second device after the Wave to feature Bluetoth 3.0.

What it really comes down to is choice. Being able to choose between several different devices is what really counts. Gone are the days when there was one clear cut winner and one obvious choice. Samsung Galaxy S is really great in our opinion, but make sure you check out all other alternatives as well.

Stay tuned for our preview of the Galaxy S!

LG Remarq LN240 - Specifications

Two of LG's latest text messaging devices are in-bound to mark an offensive on the entry-level front where there seems to be no end. The LG Remarq LN240 is their response to the eco-friendly Samsung Reclaim which is a portrait sliding QWERTY handset aimed at the text messaging crowd. Constructed out of mostly recycled plastic, the handset is accompanied with a light weight feel that oozes with that cheap feel due to the plastic casing. Although it has a solid sliding mechanism, the overall construction feels somewhat less durable – but then again, its focus is solely on being a green-friendly device. The square shaped handset is rather bulky in its closed form and presents an issue when placing it in a  pocket. Its rectangular sized buttons used for the QWERTY are also rather small and closely packed to one another – which essentially limited us from speed typing at a consistent rate. On the software side, it's the typical Sprint experience that we've all been accustomed to using – so there's nothing really new to point out with it.

LG Cosmos VN250 - Specifications

Jumping over to Verizon's side, the LG Cosmos VN250 finally brings the Korean based manufacturer's presence into the entry-level segment of Big Red's lineup. Expected to go up against the Samsung Intensity, the Cosmos eerily looks similar to the LG Rumor 2 for Sprint – it's almost an exact replica except that it's not enabled for 3G; meaning there's no additional data plan required. The landscape sliding QWERTY phone utilizes the same design found on the Rumor 2. When it comes to text messaging, its versatile landscape QWERTY does the job with its tactile and spacious feel. When fully closed, the numeric keypad was quite usable and large enough to press on without any issues. Looking closely at it, the Cosmos doesn't feel as polished or well constructed than the Rumor 2, but it easily plays to the same strengths seen on its rival in the Samsung Intensity.

Motorola i1 - Specifications

Push-to-talk is chirping its way soon to an Android smartphone near you with the Motorola i1 as Sprint is on the heels of getting this device. Looking quite similar to the recent Motorola CLIQ XT over on T-Mobile, the Motorola i1 clearly has some polished edges that make it stand out more with its high quality workmanship. Overall the size and shape remains to be intact with the CLIQ XT, but it manages to clearly set it apart with its rubberized side cushions and quality construction that won't make you worry about its durability down the road. Instead of featuring a touchpad for an alternative navigational tool, the i1 relies on using a circular directional pad that does give it that gem like look when it glows for notifications. Although it still may not truly embody the epitome of a true rugged phone that aims to withstand some punishing blows, it exudes a sense of elegance that will appeal to many people.

As it was confirmed earlier, the Motorola i1 is MOTOBLUR-less and is powered by Android 1.5 – still makes you wonder why its lacking behind some of the current offerings. Despite that shortcoming, we were treated to a couple of new thing right out of the bat – it offers three different input options and the choice of which web browser to use. If it does play to the Motorola CLIQ XT's strengths, its on-screen keyboards should be no different – you have the option to use Swype, XT9 keypad, and the stock Android keyboard. When it comes to surfing a web site, you'll have your choice of going with either the stock Android browser or Opera Mini that's sure to provide an equally impressive experience. Although it was not a production unit, we did notice that it was a bit slow launching applications and that the screen wasn't as responsive as we would've like. Luckily, we're confident that these minor things will be ironed out shortly to really Android into the push-to-talk realm.

All in all, there's a lot to like about the Motorola i1 which also features a 3.1” HVGA touchscreen with support for 262k colors, Wi-Fi, and 5-megapixel camera with LED flash. Not to mention it will also offer push-to-talk right out of the box, the Motorola i1 is clearly looking to make Motorola's presence on Sprint's lineup something to talk about.

Kyocera Zio M6000 - Specifications

Kyocera has rarely dived into the smartphone realm, but this time around, they intend to make a substantial entrance with their Android-powered Kyocera Zio M6000. No, this isn't the typical Kyocera handset we see grace the lineup of many prepaid wireless providers. Instead, this Android 1.6 smartphone dives straight to the heart of the competition around the mid-range segment with its 3.5” WVGA touchscreen, 3.2-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Flaunting some decent specs, we had some mixed feelings surrounding its build quality. Just holding the device in our hand, we noticed the plastic nature of the handset – although it does look a bit more streamlined than other comparable phones that sport a rather respectable 3.5” touchscreen. When you think about it more, the Zio's detailed display stands out more than anything else considering that it'll be marketed as a lower-end smart phone. Right now however, there is no info on which carrier will end up siding with the smartphone.

Naturally, the Android 1.6 device still needs some work as there are some performance issues that we noticed. Scrolling through a web page still felt laborious while there was a decent amount of lag encountered just attempting to navigate on the device. Still, we hope the 600 MHz processor inside will be able to deliver smooth performance once the hardware and software are final. After all, it's Kyocera's first crack at the Android platform and it needs to be as polished as possible.

Ultimately, the Kyocera Zio M6000 is a huge leap for the company – which is of course known more for its low- to mid-range handsets. Even though the Zio clearly jumps right into the thick of battle, you can still sense those design elements that attempt to exemplify it as a premium handset. Unfortunately, its choice of materials and workmanship isn't of highest quality. Nonetheless, the Kyocera Zio emphasizes itself as a quality product that will be attached with an inexpensive price tag – which is where it'll undoubtedly make its appeal.

HTC EVO 4G - Specifications

Evolutionary steps are hard to come by nowadays as we've come to that fork in the road where it looks like we've witnessed the pinnacle of 3G's grace in our mobile phones. Always continuing its legacy in being a dominant figure in the smartphone market, HTC is once again in the hunt of reigning supreme amongst the feverish onslaught of smartphone makers intent on taking a piece of the overall pie. In the last one year, we've witnessed HTC's transformation into the innovative company it is now – at the same time, they've done their part in making the mobile experience refreshing thanks partly to their magnificent mix of smartphones. Today, they've teamed up with Sprint in announcing yet their latest accomplishment, the HTC EVO 4G. Evolutionary? Yes! Similar to the events that lead up to 3G's connectivity of choice here in the US, the 4G smoking HTC EVO 4G is taking things to the next level where no device has truly attempted to go.

From a quick glance, the HTC EVO 4G looks considerably similar in terms of design with the HTC HD2. There's no doubt that the HD2 is considered the king in the Windows Mobile space, but the EVO is about to supplant itself into the same category in the Android front. We might've thought that the HTC Nexus One clicked it up a notch in terms of the Android handsets that are concerned, but the HTC EVO 4G blows everything about Android that we know and love right out of the water. Gazing upon its massive 4.3” LCD touchscreen, it doesn't surprise us that it's always accompanied with a gasp on anyone's face as they lay their eyes to the gorgeous display. Although it is not AMOLED, colors jump out with refreshing tones that are easily complimented with its slick detail in reading out text (thanks to the 480x800 resolution) – the bright display equally plays to its responsive feel when navigating. Similar to the HTC HD2 with its gigantic touchscreen, it still looks extremely streamlined and doesn't add any thickness to its frame – so it doesn't affect the way you feel it in a pocket. There's that nice soft touch feel when you hold it as its industrial design is made more evident with the piano black covering of the smartphone. Surprisingly, its weight is deceiving as the light weight phone doesn't put a strain in the hand as you casually hold it. The circular sized touch sensitive buttons below the touchscreen aptly add a hint of quality refinements to the handset as they are differentiated with their subtle raised borders. Other highlights include a front facing 1.3 megapixel camera, 8-megapixel camera with flash, 720p video capture, 1GB ROM, 512MB RAM, HDMI output, and of course its 4G/3G connectivity.

Under all the impressive hardware specs, the HTC EVO 4G is running Android 2.1 with the Sense UI tacked on top of it. Even though the HTC Desire might've taken most of its glory first, the EVO 4G clearly lives up to the expectations as navigating on the device was smooth and responsive – not to mention a beautiful experience thanks to the high resolution screen. When you double click the home button or use the pinch out gesture at the home screen, the phone will automatically display all 7 home screens simultaneously so you'll have visibility to everything as opposed to swiping to each portion. One application that was demoed at the event was Qik which essentially uses either the rear or front-facing camera to stream videos – something that's easily accomplished with 4G connectivity. The HDMI port plays to some interesting features that one can accomplish with the smartphone. You can output an HD video from the HTC EVO 4G and be able to watch it on a television display or something else – specifically, the phone acts as the controls while just the video is displayed on a screen. Unfortunately, it wasn't clearly specified if the feature would work specifically with the web browser – like being able to use the handset and view a web page on a big LCD/plasma television. One thing worth noting is the fact that the phone is enabled for multi-touch and has support for Flash Lite 4.0 – easily cementing its eclectic mix of in-depth features. Still, its media rich aspects clearly set itself apart from a lot of smartphones currently available – plus it's extremely rare to see a front facing camera on a US bound device. Finally, there's no doubt how being the first 4G enabled device in the US market will make it even more appealing – it literally has opened the gate for a new revolution.

Setting the precedence in the smartphone market is something that we see HTC accomplish time after time – we've seen how they've steadily continued to be a big innovator in that segment. The HTC EVO 4G undoubtedly will usher in a new era as we commence on jumping into the next generation data networks. Although there is no specified pricing or exact release yet to be confirmed, its marriage with Sprint may bode well for the number three wireless carrier that's looking to find something to really call its own. With an expected timeline for a worldwide summer release, the HTC EVO 4G is knocking around the corner as we all look forward to its arrival.

It really makes us wonder how great devices can have a hard time trying to establish themselves on the market sometimes. This is exactly what happened to Palm's stable of webOS smartphones. It is widely known now that the Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus, which are already offered by Verizon Wireless, will (hopefully) launch soon with AT&T. While the handsets did not become truly popular, probably thanks to Verizon's "great for mom" ads - who knows, AT&T's Luke Wilson might come up with some better ideas of how to make them more appealing to the general public.

Anyways, the AT&T versions of the Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus themselves do not differ from the Verizon versions, except for their network support. So, we pretty much know what to expect - webOS (good), streamlined designs (good), not very rich App Catalog (bad). Prices will be $149.99 for the Palm Pre Plus and $49.99 for the Pixi Plus.

Palm Pixi Plus - Specifications

Palm Pre Plus - Specifications


We've managed to get a first hand look at the Opera Mini web browser that's been in development for the iPhone. Surprisingly, we were impressed at its performance during our hands-on demonstration at CTIA 2010. The biggest thing that stood out was how quickly our web site loaded on the device – which was obviously running on EDGE speeds as opposed to 3G. Scrolling through a web page looked extremely sensitive – meaning that the slightest movement or flick would make the site scroll in the specific direction very quickly. Text is automatically fitted to the width of the screen to allow easier reading; although the zoomed out view just make text garbled looking. There are also some other enhancements to make it stand out over some other apps like the automatic syncing of your settings and ability to search for a specific word within a page; something that's not offered on mobile Safari. Additionally, you've got all your common features like copying text and opening up multiple web pages – all are saved when you exit out of the app. Besides that, its overall impressive performance goes to show how useful the web browser can be on the smartphone. Opera has been in the game of providing the best web browser experience on mobile handsets, but their latest efforts with their iPhone app still showcases their ability in continuing to be a leader in this market. As much as everyone wishes to try out this app right now, we'll have to wait until it clears Apple's approval process before anyone can check it out.

CTIA WIRELESS 2010 is now history and the only thing that's left for us is to summarize the interesting things, which we saw at the event. To be honest, this year's CTIA did not offer us so much excitement and everything pretty much ended on day one. We expected to see more from Verizon - most importantly the announcement of the HTC Incredible or a release date for the Google Nexus One. Alas, Big Red was pretty quiet and only said that its LTE network will cover about 1/3 of the U.S. in 2010. It also officially confirmed that the first LTE devices will show up during the second half of 2011.

The floor was rocked by Sprint, which showcased the HTC EVO 4G - the first phone that will make use of the WiMAX network of the carrier. The network itself should also spread from coast to coast in 2010. We suspected that this will happen (we even expected more than one 4G phone), but did not believe that the device will be so hot. The combination of a 4.3-inch screen, 1GHz Snapdragon chipset, 8-megapixel camera, Android 2.1 and HTC Sense interface is definitely something impressive. More about the star of the CTIE WIRELESS 2010 show can be found in our Hands-on with the device, or in our article that gathers all the available information about the HTC EVO 4G as of now.

The other very, very interesting device also uses Android 2.1 and has a massive display - the Samsung Galaxy S, which got "unpacked". This smartphone will have extraordinary multimedia capabilities including DivX HD video playback and support for Xvid, FLAC and MKV. Besides, its 5MP camera will be able to shoot 720p clips.

There were some other Android phones that also got announced, which, while not as impressive as the above-mentioned ones, are also interesting in their own ways. The Motorola i1 will use the iDEN network of Sprint and will sport resistance for rain, shock, vibration and water sprays. This won't be your typical Android phone, as you see. The Dell Aero on the other hand will be offered by AT&T, which says that this will be the lightest phone with this platform. Cricket will get the Kyocera Zio M6000, which has some pretty decent specs like a 3.5-inch WVGA screen, 3.2MP camera, 600MHz processor and should cost less than $220 without a contract.

So this summarizes the interesting things that managed to grip our attention at CTIA WIRELESS 2010. As you might guess, we are quite eager to get our hands on these devices as soon as possible (but this time, for longer) so that we can write some previews, reviews, whatever may be and, of course, share our thoughts with you.

You can use the links below in order to enjoy our thorough coverage of the CTIA WIRELESS 2010 event and kind of relive the great stuff that happened.

Page6: HTC

Page2: Samsung

Page3: LG

Page4: Motorola

Page5: Kyocera

Page7: Palm



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