Content Nav Menu 

Author Archive for Craig Froehle

Quick Look: Samsung Galaxy Nexus on Verizon Review

Galaxy NexusThe newest member of Google’s Nexus family of smartphones — the Galaxy Nexus by Samsung — has finally arrived on Verizon with 4G LTE. While Julie will be posting a full, in-depth review here soon, these are my impressions after spending a day with this latest incarnation of Android. Read More →

Verizon Motorola Droid Razr and Lapdock 100 Combo Review

Droid Razr

When Motorola burst onto the Android scene with the original Droid (a.k.a. Milestone), the company quickly ramped up to one of the more noteworthy smartphone makers. Then, over the course of a couple of years, their reputation dropped as their phones became less and less innovative, and less and less competitive against the likes of Samsung.

A bright spot was the 2011 CES, where Motorola’s booth, with the Xoom, the Atrix, and the Droid Bionic, was among the stars of the show. But, production delays for the Bionic, lackluster performance by the Xoom, and mediocre sales of the Atrix all undercut Moto’s momentum. Read More →

Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch Review

Just about a month ago, Samsung announced that its Galaxy S II family of Android phones had surpassed 10 million sales globally, a blockbuster number by any metric.

In the US, Sprint is the exclusive carrier for the Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch.  The Galaxy S II Epic, as its name suggests, is bigger than normal, with a 4.52″ screen. From here on, I’ll just refer to it as the GSII.  Let’s give it a closer look. Read More →

Motorola DROID Bionic and HD Station Dock Review

Way, way back in early January at CES 2011, Motorola’s booth largely stole the show by featuring three massively exciting new products. While the DROID Bionic, a powerful Android smartphone headed for Verizon (hence the “DROID” moniker), was one of those products, it was largely overshadowed by the Atrix (an Android smartphone for AT&T that featured an innovative dock system) and the XOOM Android tablet. Since then, both the Atrix and the XOOM came out to mixed reviews and so-so sales, but the word from Moto was that the Bionic was getting retooled before a full launch.

So now, after nearly 9 months of waiting, the DROID Bionic is finally available. It features a dual-core, 1 GHz OMAP CPU from Texas Instruments, 16GB of internal storage (for apps, photos, music, files, etc.), a 4G LTE radio (on Verizon’s blisteringly fast network), and a high-res 4.3″ screen. Full specs are available at Motorola’s website. Read More →

10 Android Apps Perfect for Preschool-Age Kids

A lot of smartphone users I know have young children like I do. While every kid is unique, one consistent theme is that the little buggers are constantly asking to play a game or watch a movie or something. And sometimes, that’s OK, such as when their only alternative activity is shrieking in a restaurant, kicking their sibling in the head, or seeing how many army men fit in their mouth.

So, I’ve tried lots of Android games & apps hoping to find ones suitable for young kids (mine are 6 and 3). Most seem to be for older children, but here are 10 apps, in no particular order, that I’ve found my kids really enjoy using and consistently ask for. As always, YCMV*. Read More →

HTC EVO View 4G Android Tablet Review

 

About 3 weeks ago, a box from Sprint arrived. Inside the box was a kitten. No, sorry…actually it was this nifty 7″ Android tablet from HTC, the EVO View 4G. After using it almost daily, and discussing it with everybody I could corner, I’m still somewhat conflicted about whether or not I’d buy one. By the end of this review, hopefully you’ll know what I mean. Read More →

Quick Review: Samsung Nexus S 4G on Sprint

Nexus S 4GI’ve spent the last month using Sprint’s Nexus S 4G Android smartphone from Samsung. As there has already been a lot written about the Nexus S 4G, this mini-review will be limited to my personal opinions about the device. The Nexus S is, summarily, a “pure Google” or “pure Android” phone, as there’s absolutely zero 3rd-party software on top of the Gingerbread (Android 2.3.4) OS. No extras from Sprint or Samsung muddy up the experience.

Physically, the most immediately striking aspect of the Nexus S 4G is its heft…or lack thereof. Maybe I’m just too used to toting around giant phones weighing 6+ ounces, but at 4.6 ounces, the Nexus S feels like it weighs nothing at all. Helping that is Samsung’s industrial design, which makes the middle of the phone, where you are most likely to feel the thickness, quite thin. The back is also rather attractive, in a minimalist sort of way. Read More →

HTC Arrive Windows Phone 7 Review

HTC Arrive

The HTC Arrive is the second landscape QWERTY slider to run Windows Phone 7 (the first was the LG Quantum), but HTC’s first try at this combination of form-factor and OS. It’s also the first CDMA Windows Phone 7 device, so this phone has a lot of “firsts” going for it. Read More →

Palm Pre: Six Months In

pre_openIn mid-June of 2009, Palm sent me a Pre, its first webOS-powered smartphone, to try out as a “Real Reviewer.”  That program, I was told, was launched to get the Palm Pre into the hands of a few people Palm could count on to use it daily for an extended period (about six months, to be specific) and talk about it in blogs, on social networking sites, mailing lists, and so forth.

Real Reviewers was meant to be different from the typical press loaner program, where phones get sent out to blogs & journalists, who spend maybe a week with them, and then send them back.  Those impressions, while helpful, might not be entirely complete; in contrast, spending months with a device can be much more revealing (for better or worse).

So, now, as my time with a loaner Pre comes to an end, here are my honest impressions of the device, Sprint’s service, and the overall user experience. Read More →