Nicole Lee

Casio G’zOne Ravine 2 takes a swim and keeps on ringing

Casio G'zOne Ravine 2

Verizon Wireless)

Verizon Wireless and Casio are at it once again with yet another rugged phone release, and this time it’s the Casio G’zOne Ravine 2.

The successor to the G’zOne Ravine from last year, it has many of the same features that are designed for outdoor enthusiasts and field workers, like the ability to withstand immersion, water, shock and dust, vibration, salt fog, humidity, solar radiation, altitude, and low and high temperatures. It also comes equipped with Casio’s G’zGear suite of apps, which includes an earth compass, a walking counter, an astro calendar, and more.

What sets the G’zOne Ravine 2 apart, however, is that it’s also a global-ready device that can be used abroad. That presumably means it has a CDMA/GSM chipset that lets you use SIM cards while you’re abroad.

Other features of the phone include push-to-talk capability, an Opera Mini browser, VZ Navigator, Bluetooth, up to 32GB microSD card support, a 3.2-megapixel camera, a 1.38-inch external display, and more.

The Casio G’zOne Ravine 2 will be available online on Verizon’s Web site starting November 17 and in stores starting November 23 for $149.99 after a $50 mail-in rebat… [Read more]

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Sound ID Six headset works with EarPrint app for better sound

Sound ID Six

Sound ID)

Sound ID’s latest Bluetooth headset is called the Six, and it promises to be the company’s most advanced headset yet.

Sound ID stands out in the field of Bluetooth headset makers because the company was founded by an ear doctor from Stanford University, and the headsets are therefore designed with strong knowledge of the human ear. Sound ID headsets have usually prized comfort and audio clarity because of this.

The Six headset is also highly stylized with a new contemporary design. Notable features include background noise management, improved voice recognition due to a VoiceMenu system, an ActiveConnect feature that can connect to two A2DP devices simultaneously, and a Smart Touch Surface that lets you access a variety of controls (volume, voice mail, voice dial, and so on) simply by tapping the headset. You also get a Pass Thru Mode that amplifies surrounding noise when you’re not in a call, so that you can listen to your environment with your headset still in your ear.

The headset also works in concert with a new EarPrint 3.0 smarphone app for iPhones, BlackBerrys, and Android handsets. The app lets you access the voice command menu, a text-to-speech feature for Android devices, a Find Me option to locate a missing headset, a Personal Sound setting to customize listening preferences, and other options.

The Sound ID Six… [Read more]

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Amazon Wireless selling Droid Razr for $111.11

Amazon is turning the Droid Razr up to 11.

It’s no secret that Verizon Wireless is having a little fun with the Motorola Droid Razr’s launch date by releasing it exactly on 11:11 a.m. local time on November 11, 2011 (That’s 11/11/11. Get it?). But Amazon Wireless, a specialized Amazon store dedicated to all things mobile, is taking it a step further by pricing the phone not at $299.99, but at $111.11 instead.

That’s quite the price drop, and we’re not sure if it’s a one-day-only deal. In any case, if you’ve been wanting to buy one, you should jump on this opportunity before it disappears.

The Motorola Droid Razr is said to be the world’s thinnest smartphone and is the first Razr handset Motorola has released in years. It packs in a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, support for Verizon’s 4G LTE network, a 8-megapixel rear camera, a 1.3-megapixel front camera, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and several innovative Motorola applications like Webtop that turns the phone into a portable PC, and Smart Actions, an app that lets you automate tasks for battery conservation and more.

[Read more]

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Skinny smartphones

Thin is in, baby.

Or at least that’s what many phone makers would have you believe. Ever since the release of the Motorola Razr in late 2004, the trend of the superskinny phone has taken the country by storm. Fashionable, sexy, and easily portable, slim phones are still popular today. Here are a few smartphones that manage to pack in plenty of features in a thin and light package.

Motorola Droid Razr
Motorola returns to its Razr roots with the Droid Razr, which packs in a 1.2GHz dual-core processor along with 4G/LTE speeds inside a stunningly skinny 0.28-inch shell. It’s not all the way skinny, however, as it has a slight bump at the top. Read the full review.

Samsung Galaxy S II (unlocked)
The original Samsung Galaxy S II that was released in the global market is actually the thinnest out of all the Galaxy S II phones we’ve seen so far. It’s only 0.3 inch thick, while the others–the Galaxy S II for AT&T, … [Read more]

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Dialed In #198: Too many Verizon superphones!

Is there such thing as too much of a good thing? Verizon comes out swinging with superphones galore, we take a look at the next generation of Windows Phone handsets, and we have a good old-fashioned rant against a very very weird phone. All that and more on today’s Dialed In.

Dialed In 198: Too many Verizon superphones!

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A glut of Verizon superphones
Verizon and HTC announced the HTC Rezound last … [Read more]

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U.S. Cellular debuts entry-level Samsung Repp plus trade-in program

Samsung Repp

U.S. Cellular)

U.S. Cellular has announced the Samsung Repp, an entry-level Android smartphone that ships with Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

The Repp has a 3.2-inch HVGA LCD screen, a 3-megapixel camera, an 800MHz processor, and a 2GB microSD card that’s preinstalled. It can be expanded to 32GB if you want more storage. It’ll be free with a new two-year agreement.

U.S. Cellular is also introducing a new trade-in program for used phones and tablets. If you want to upgrade to the Repp, for example, you can trade existing handsets for a check. U.S. Cellular even accepts devices from other carriers and will pay up to $150 per device.

Additionally, select phones in U.S. Cellular’s lineup are free without activation fees from now through November 20.

[Read more]

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Verizon to double data amounts for 4G smartphones

To tie in with the carrier’s impending Droid Razr launch on 11:11 a.m. on 11/11/11–aka Friday–Verizon Wireless will launch a promotion that doubles the amount of monthly data allotment for 4G smartphone owners.

Starting Tuesday, any customer who has a Verizon 4G smartphone will be eligible to get double the data for the same price. For example, someone who subscribes to the 2GB for $30 plan will receive 4GB instead. For $50 you can get 10GB instead of 5GB, and for $80 you can get 20GB instead of 10GB per month. Existing customers will have to request the change via customer service or through their My Verizon accounts, while new customers can request this when they sign up.

The doubling of data promotion is only for a limited time, so Verizon customers should get on this quickly. We’re not sure if the monthly data allotment will return to normal once the promotion is over.

Verizon is also catering to those who want a smaller data plan. You can opt for a 300MB data plan for any phone for $20 a month.

[Read more]

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Motorola Droid Razr review: Superskinny powerhouse

The Motorola Droid Razr has a large footprint but a skinny profile.

Bonnie Cha/CNET)

The Motorola Droid Razr is a marriage of Razr beauty and Droid brawn.

Like the original Razr, the superslim and ultralight Droid Razr has an undeniable wow factor the second you pick it up. It also has a wonderfully vivid 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Advanced display, and is remarkably durable with its scratch-resistant, water-resistant, and Kevlar-coated exterior. The Droid Razr has impressive specs, like a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor, support for Verizon’s blazing fast 4G/LTE network, an 8-megapixel rear camera, a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera, Webtop functionality, and more.

But, the phone isn’t perfect. Its large footprint and squared edges might scare off those with smaller hands, and the battery is sadly not removable. Picture quality was also not quite as smooth and vibrant as we wanted. However, we think the Droid Razr more than makes up for these deficiencies with its remarkable speed, power, and good looks. Its $299.99 price is very steep, yes, but for those who covet cutting-edge smartphone tech in a slender package, this top-of-the-line phone might be worth it. That is, until the next hot Android comes along (read: the … [Read more]

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LG Doubleplay review: A solution waiting for a problem

The LG Doubleplay's quirky design just doesn't sit well with us.

Josh Miller)

We’ll admit it: The LG Doubleplay’s bizarre design just doesn’t work for us.

But if you disregard the design, the LG Doubleplay is actually a remarkably solid Android smartphone. It ships with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and has plenty of great features like Wi-Fi calling, mobile hot-spot capability, and support for T-Mobile’s 4G/HSPA+ network. We’re also mostly impressed with the 1GHz Qualcomm Scorpion processor, and LG’s Android overlay does not offend us.

Yet, we can’t help but be put off by the subdisplay set right smack dab in the middle of the keyboard. We understand the multitasking reasoning behind it, but we don’t think it’s necessary–it feels like a solution waiting for a problem. The dual displays might even be a big contributor to the rather lackluster battery life. If you’re willing to suspend your prejudices, you’re welcome to take a chance with the LG Doubleplay for $99.99 after a new two-year service agreement with T-Mobile, but excuse us if we don’t share your enthusiasm.

The goodThe LG Doubleplay has a vibrant and sharp display, a 1GHz Qualcomm Scorpion processor, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, DLNA support, Wi-Fi calling, mobile hot-spot support, full WebKit browser with Adobe Flash, support for T-Mobile’s 4G/HSPA+ network, a 5-megapixel camera with 720p HD vide… [Read more]

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Jawbone Up aims to get you healthier

Jawbone Up wristband with the Up iPhone app


Jawbone, a company known mostly for Bluetooth audio accessories like the Jawbone Era and the Jambox, is venturing into the health and fitness industry with a new product called the Jawbone Up.

First revealed at TEDGlobal, it’s essentially a tiny wristband that works in conjunction with the Jawbone Up iPhone app to track your movements, sleep patterns, and eating habits to help you make healthier lifestyle choices. Jawbone breaks that into three categories: Measure, Engage, and Act.

Similar to other movement-tracking fitness gadgets like the Fitbit, the Jawbone Up has a motion accelerator to sense movement. Jawbone calls this one the MotionX engine, and the wristband is designed to be worn all day long. The Up is durable and water-resistant, so you can wear it in the shower as well. Jawbone claims that the Up has up to 10 days of battery life.

Jawbone Up wristbands in multiple color… [Read more]

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