Besides good call quality, a long battery life is the most important quality a cell phone can have. After all, if you have to carry around your charger for frequent power sessions, it really defeats the purpose of a "mobile" device. Fortunately, CNET tests the talk time battery life of every cell phone that we review. And for higher-end phones we also test features like the music player battery life and video time. For more on that process, check out our video of how we test phones.
After the Windows Phone 7 launch passed without so much as a mention of Project Pink, Microsoft's other new phone project started to fade into memory. Today, we can confirm: Pink's coming, and Verizon's the carrier. UPDATE: First live shots.
A tipster passed us a load of third-party marketing materials, in which a promotional plan for Pink is laid out in detail. (Campaign specifics and most graphics have to be withheld to protect the innocent, but rest assured, they're legit.) The documents don't talk about specs or software details, or more importantly why the hell Microsoft thinks this weird little pebble is a good idea, but there's plenty we can learn:
The early Pink renders leaked to us back in September? Those are exactly the same ones included in the proposal.
Of the two phones in prior leaks, only one shows up here: The Turtle vertical slider. It's a messaging phone, basically--one part Pre, and two parts Sidekick. (Or maybe three.)
Verizon is a launch partner for the device, and probably an exclusive carrier. The branding and marketing in the documents suggests a joint Microsoft/Verizon launch, but another carrier isn't completely out of the question.
The phones aren't running Windows Phone 7, unless it's hidden behind a different interface. Virtually all rumors around the Pink platform implied as much, and again, this appears to be something fundamentally different.
Social Networking! It's all over the proposal, and presumably, the phone.
It's suggested that the platform has apps of some sort. For a phone like this to share apps with Windows Phone 7 is pretty much impossible--the minimum hardware requirement for a Windows Phone looks out of reach for this little black lump--so this one's a big question mark. Is it another SDK? Or closed app development like we've seen on the Zune HD? Web apps?… Read more
Most people are happy with their feature phones , but if you're finding you've outgrown yours and need more functionality, it might be time to upgrade to a smartphone. A smartphone can offer you more advanced contact, e-mail, and calendar functions, additional productivity apps, a better Web browsing experience, and so much more. If you've been hesitant to graduate to a smartphone because it seems too technical or excessive, think again. The handsets in our gallery below are good starters, offering ease of use and the essential tools for messaging, voice calls, and productivity. Fair warning: most of … Read more
Google is giving Android users another method for searching their smartphones: finger-drawn letters.
The company has launched a new app called Gesture Search, which lets Android 2.0 users find items by drawing a letter on the screen. Draw an "A," for example, and all contacts, bookmarks, applications, and songs that begin with an "A" appear on the screen.
Neatness doesn't count. If your handwriting is sloppy, and your "A" looks like an "H," Gesture Search will bring up items that start with "A" and "H," according … Read more
New York's Skype is on the fritz today so only Bonnie's voice joins us from The Big Apple. Or maybe she's not in New York at all? It's all about the economy these days as Sprint cuts the price of an unlimited plan and Nokia and T-Mobile role out a bargain smartphone. Also in the podcast, Bonnie slams the Moto Backflip and Verizon's Palm commercials, Nicole takes us into the fascinating microcells, and we welcome back Jason Howell.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video)
Rumor … Read more
Update: This post was last updated on March 16.
We realize it's still early in the year, but we don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that Windows Phone 7 Series is one of the biggest mobile tech stories to come out of 2010. Finally, Microsoft delivered a mobile operating system that not only looks completely new and compelling, but is also functional and competitive. However, there are still a number of unanswered questions and ever since the big reveal at Mobile World Congress 2010, we've gotten a steady stream of reader e-mails about Windows Phone 7 Series.
Instead of trying to answer each one individually, we decided to compile some of the most frequently asked questions and we sent them to the Windows Phone team in hopes of getting some more specific answers for you. We've incorporated their responses below, and included some of the latest information from MIX10 and from around the Web.
We'll be updating this FAQ regularly as more details are revealed throughout the coming weeks and months. Also, keep sending in your questions and we'll do our best to get them answered for you. Now, without further ado, your Windows Phone 7 Series FAQ. … Read more
China's second largest mobile phone company will be selling Google Android phones after all, according to a report from Reuters.
China Unicom's chairman Chang Xiaobing told Reuters Wednesday, on the sidelines of a conference in Beijing, that the carrier "recognizes that Android is a mainstream system." And he told the news service that the company "will definitely use Google's Android in our mobile handsets."
Google postponed the launch of two Android-based mobile handsets in China on Unicom's network earlier this year after Google discovered a sophisticated and targeted attack on its network … Read more
Due to arrive at T-Mobile in the coming weeks, the Nuron is a 3G touch-screen smartphone that will sell for just $69.99 with a two-year contract. For that price, you're also getting free turn-by-turn, voice-guided navigation since the device ships with Ovi Maps. The app includes maps for the U.S., Canada, and Mexico and offers pedestrian mode, weather forecasts, and Lonely Planet guides, among other things. There is no monthly subscription required to get this … Read more
On March 7, AT&T will release its first Google Android smartphone, the Motorola Backflip, for $99.99 with a two-year contract and after a $100 mail-in rebate.
The Backflip made its debut at CES 2010 where it earned our Best of CES award for the cell phones and smartphones category because of its unique design, which includes a rear-facing QWERTY keyboard and a trackpad behind the display. Unfortunately, after now spending some time with the final product, this seems to be the only real highlight of the phone.
The Backflip suffers from performance issues and runs Android 1.… Read more
As much press as smartphones like the Apple iPhone and the Nexus One get, Americans by and large still prefer to use less powerful "feature phones." For example, the LG enV Touch (just a feature phone, not a smartphone) was one of the most popular phones on Verizon for a long time- our CNET review of the enV Touch consistently made our monthly Top Five list for the most pageviews from July to October in 2009. It was even No. 1 for two of those months (August and September). There was also an NPD report last year that claimed around 72 percent of new handset sales in Q2 of 2009 were feature phones, not smartphones.
On the face of it, this is understandable. Smartphones are seen as complex and might have features that many consumers don't need or want. Feature phones are typically easier to use, and are cheaper to boot. But this field is rapidly changing--feature phones aren't so simple anymore, while smartphones are focusing much more on the consumer market. More importantly, the pricing differences aren't as clear cut as you might think. The lines between the two categories are blurrier than ever, and I'm thinking a shift in the balance might be forthcoming. … Read more