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31Mar/11Off

You Should Be More Careful With Your Verizon Devices From Now On; Exchange Program to Get Stricter Than Ever [Rumor]

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Verizon looks to be cracking down on subscribers who expect to exchange cosmetically-damaged phones for replacements that are in better shape. Long story short: if your device breaks – even due to a manufacturer defect within the hardware or software – you’ll have to pay a premium if the device has blatant cosmetic flaws.

Blemish on the back cover? You’ve gotta pay. Scratch on the display or dust beneath the camera lens? Yup, that’ll be cause for money out of your pockets too. Sit down while you read this next bit: those damages may cost you $300 per incident. Other notable changes have been made, as well. For one, you can no longer take your device into a Verizon store for an on-the-spot exchange – all of that will be taken care of via today’s standard premium shipping methods.

And overnight service is no longer free as you’ll soon have to pay $13 to get your device to Verizon in a jiffy. Optionally, you can pay $7 for 2-day service. That sucks because they’re reportedly reducing the return window from 10 days to 5 – economy shipping is free but takes 5 days to make it to Verizon. Choosing the standard service instead of overnight might be trouble for you in that regard. (You can still get free overnight service if you pay monthly for Verizon’s total equipment coverage program. [GadgetU via AP]


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31Mar/11Off

Qualcomm’s 1.5GHz 8660 Dual-Core Processor Tops All in Benchmarks

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You can say whatever you want about Qualcomm’s speed in getting their newer chipsets inside of devices, but they do come to market with technology comparable to their competitors. Such is the case with the MSM8660 – the same chipset inside of the HTC EVO 3D and the supposed HTC Pyramid

The EVO 3D’s chipset is clocked at 1.2GHz and we didn’t really have enough time with it to run benchmarks on it. Qualcomm seems to be able to clock the thing to 1.5Ghz, though. We’re not too surprised considering they have a single-core chipset inside the HTC Flyer running at those speeds, but our mind was blown after seeing the effects of this overclock.

In a test where the performance of Quake 3 is tested, the chipset outpaces the likes of NVIDIA’s Tegra 2, Samsung’s Hummingbird, and Texas Instruments’s OMAP platform. Quadrant tests reflect much of the same (though we’re aware that many of you don’t put too much stock into Quadrant results). The above photo also shows its performancce in the GL Benchmarks test.

You should note that this chipset does not take into account real-world performance – battery life would be at an absolute premium if you were to just drop this into a smartphone in its current state. Still, it’s quite impressive and we can’t wait to see how this thing will perform inside of actual phones whenever Qualcomm’s OEM partners begin to adopt it. (To date, the fastest chipset OEMs have provided for commercially-available products is the HTC EVO 3D.) [Anandtech via IntoMobile]


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31Mar/11Off

Things We Missed, You Shouldn’t [March 31st]

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We know we missed the wrap-up yesterday but we didn’t want a repeat of Tuesday – there were so few things in the pipeline that it would have been quite embarrassing to post. Today is a lot different, though. As you can see below there are a ton of things to check out that we didn’t have a chance to get up on our front page. Be sure to take a quick stroll through everything.


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31Mar/11Off

Dell Venue Pro Receiving Windows Phone 7 Update “Copy and Paste” Starting Today

In addition to a Windows Phone 7 update, users of the Dell Venue Pro will be being sent a separate update for the handset that will provide additional enhancements and fixes. There’s no ETA on this update, but the WP7 update is indeed rolling out to users today, March 31, 2011. This update is known as “Copy and Paste” and will continue to be released in a phased fashion over the next few weeks.

This set of updates will come to you in three separate cycles. First there’s an update known as the “February Update” which you may well have already received. Without this update, you cannot update to the Copy and Paste update. Once you’ve got the first, you can start working on the second – Copy and Paste will also be sent over the air and downloaded by you essentially automatically (with notification, of course.)

What the Copy and Paste update will do, in short, is give you faster app speed and gaming load times, tweaks to the Marketplace, tweaks to Outlook, and more. The process which you must go through is thus, provided to us by Dell themselves:

Connect your Venue Pro to a machine that has the latest Zune software installed. If you want to manually check for the update, launch the Zune software, click the Phone link, then choose the View Synch Options button, and click Update on the left hand side.

When I clicked update, it notified me that I needed to update my Zune software first.

Next, I started the Phone Update process.

The whole process took about 20 – 25 minutes for me overall. The longest part was creating the backup.

Then, I got the confirmation that the update was successful.

After the update, my Venue Pro shows the OS version as 7.0.7390.0 (in the About section under Settings):

Simple, right? Apparently this update also adds speed to loading everything overall, Facebook, Twitter, Neflix load and movie playback included.


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31Mar/11Off

Google Mobile Search Adds Improved Stock Ticker Symbol Search Features

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Google’s added a cool new feature to their mobile search engine today that’ll make looking up stock information easier than it’s ever been. By simply searching for the ticker symbol of your company of choice, it’ll bring up a card showing you their performance from one day to five years. Swiping left and right will take you to different pages that’ll give you related financial news tied to that company, a market overview, and a look at your own stock portfolio if you’re signed in. Check it out on your phone now by launching the browser and searching a stock symbol. (“GOOG” is a good one to get started with.) [via Google Mobile]


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31Mar/11Off

Research Firm: Thunderbolt Outselling iPhone at 28% of Polled Verizon Wireless Stores

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This is interesting. Research firm BTIG polled 150 different Verizon Wireless stores in 22 cities and came up with the following statistic: the HTC Thunderbolt is outselling Apple’s iPhone 4 at 28% of the locations polled. (And we’re sure they own a lot more stores than 150.)

We can’t put too much stock into their findings, though, as there are many other different ways to buy phones from Verizon Wireless. 61% of stores polled said that the two phones were neck and neck, while a measley 11 noted that the iPhone 4 was selling faster.

Even with the meager sample size, this is good news for Verizon. They’ve tested the waters and are seeing if there is room for high-end devices from these direct competitors on the same network. If these results are even a tiny bit indicative of what’s really going on then I’d immediately call the HTC Thunderbolt a success. [via BGR]


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31Mar/11Off

Playstation 1 Games Now in Android Market, Restricted to Sony Ericsson Xperia Play; Emulator Removed From Market

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Sony Ericsson is getting ready to unleash their Playstation-certified Android handset – the Xperia Play – and is getting the games catalog up and ready to go for when the device finally does launch. A number of PSX (Playstation 1) titles are now in the Android market but you won’t be able to do anything but look on in jealousy as most of the smartphone-toting world won’t be able to download and play them.

It shouldn’t be long before it’s launched in Europe, though, and we hear Verizon’s going to be releasing their version in the middle of April. Now excuse me while I go drool over the thought of playing Syphon Filter on my phone.[via Droid Gamers]

In directly related news, it appears Sony has gotten that PSX emulator removed from the Android market. It’s a predictable move but one I can’t really be mad at Sony for even if emulators themselves aren’t exactly illegal. The folks at PSXDroid have apparently found no ill will toward Sony because of the decision. [via Engadget]


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31Mar/11Off

Sprint’s Galaxy Tab to Be Reduced to $200 on Contract April 3rd

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We’re not surprised, but Sprint is said to be discounting their Samsung Galaxy Tab come April 3rd. It’ll get a $100 reduction to bring it down to $200 after signing a new two-year data agreement. It seems the device’s off-contract price will be getting a few dollars shaved off of itself, too, as the suggested retail price is said to be going down from $499.99 to $429.99. Good luck, Sprint, because there are a wave of WiFi-only Honeycomb tablets coming that will make most of us pass this seemingly-lucrative deal right on up. [via Engadget]


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31Mar/11Off

ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Gets 30 Minute Preview

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ASUS wasn’t terribly confident in showing their tablet off before they were able to get Honeycomb loaded onto it, but now that it’s nearing release they’ve undone the wraps on it. One Swedish outlet was able to get their hands on it and decided to play with the Transformer on camera – for nearly 30 minutes. I honestly don’t have the time to sit through 30 minutes of footage right now – especially considering it’s in Swedish – but let us know if you do and be sure to clue us in on anything you find interesting. The video rests above. [via Liliputing]


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31Mar/11Off

The PS3 Is the Best Entertainment Device

When it comes to being entertained in the living room, there are some things that practically all consumers are looking for. They want a device that’s affordable, offers a nice selection of content, and can survive the next few years without becoming obsolete.

Admittedly, there are many such devices on store shelves right now. Consumers can opt for the Apple TV, Roku’s set-top boxes, and even HDTVs that come with built-in apps. The choices are endless, and for the most part, the entertainment opportunities are, as well.

But if I were to choose a single device that can best them all and deliver the kind of entertainment that would satisfy just about any customer in the living room, it would be hard not to pick Sony’s PlayStation 3.

Now, I know that there are some out there — especially Xbox fans — that hear that and scoff. For years now, they’ve heard people say that the PlayStation 3 is the go-to platform for entertainment, and they’re sick of hearing it. But the fact is, the PlayStation 3 is offering the best entertainment options in the living room today. And as worthwhile as the Xbox 360, Apple TV, and Roku set-top boxes are, they can’t match the PlayStation 3.

Sony’s console delivers just about everything entertainment-seekers are after. It comes with a Netflix app, Hulu Plus, the ability to listen to music, and support for 3D content. It’s also a game console, which means those who want to play a video game, rather than watch a few shows, can do so. It also boasts support for online gaming for those who spend most of their time engaging in that activity.

That alone would make the PlayStation 3 a good buy for consumers. But when one considers that the device also comes with a Blu-ray drive, and its player is widely considered one of the top options on the market, it quickly becomes clear that the device’s $300 price tag is a downright bargain.

If you’re still not convinced, think of it this way: for $100, you’ll get an Apple TV that can handle all your iTunes content and let you watch Netflix. You can also rent content, and access both Flickr and Internet Radio. It lacks gaming and a Blu-ray player. The same can be said for Roku set-top boxes, which offer a host of entertainment options, but lack those extra elements.

The Xbox 360 comes close to matching the PlayStation 3. It has all the same features as its chief rival in the gaming space, as well as the same price. However, it lacks a Blu-ray drive, which as 1080p sets enter more and more homes, is jumping higher on the average consumer’s list of desired features.

As someone who has spent ample time in the living room enjoying all forms of entertainment, I simply don’t see any other device that can deliver the same value proposition as the PlayStation 3.

Are there better game consoles? Perhaps. Is accessing Netflix content easier on the Apple TV or my HDTV? Sure. But for $300, those who are looking for a single option that will satisfy all their needs simply won’t go wrong with Sony’s console.


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