As we continue to test the iPhone 4, we're doing our best to track the handset's signal strength, particularly in light of the ongoing issues with the antenna. Though we've also noticed that we occasionally lose bars when we hold the iPhone 4 on its lower left side, the number of bars isn't the most accurate indicator of a cell phone's reception. For more details, we turned to the iPhone's Field Test indicator, but that option doesn't seem to be available on the iPhone 4.
Industry groups naturally tend to protect their own, and after playing with San Francisco for several years the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) is now taking its ball and going home.
On Tuesday, the association said in a statement that it would no longer hold its autumn trade show in San Francisco after this year's event in October. CTIA, which represents the wireless industry in the United States, is not happy that the city's Board of Supervisors recently voted to require cell phone manufacturers (PDF) to display the specific absorption rate (SAR) for each handset sold.
"Rather than inform, the ordinance will potentially mislead consumers with point of sale requirements suggesting that some phones are 'safer' than others based on radio frequency emissions," the statement said. "In fact, all phones sold legally in the U.S. must comply with the Federal Communications Commission's safety standards for RF emissions. According to the FCC, all such compliant phones are safe phones as measured by these standards."
Though the CTIA is correct that a lower SAR phone isn't necessarily safer, it's ironic that in the process of accusing San Francisco of oversimplifying the issue, the CTIA is doing the exact same thing. Yes, all phones sold in the United States must conform to FCC standards (a SAR of 1.6 watts per kilogram or lower), but there is still no scientific consensus that cell phone radio frequency is or is not harmful. That's a fact CTIA should face, whether it likes it or not. … Read more
Over the past few days, Samsung has unveiled the identities of a couple of Galaxy S phones heading to the U.S., including the Samsung Captivate for AT&T and the Samsung Vibrant for T-Mobile. But it seems as if Samsung has plenty of Android love to spread around as it announces three additional models for Sprint, Verizon, and U.S. Cellular. Though the Galaxy S handsets share many core features, they all have unique designs and carrier-specific services, so here's a quick rundown of each one.
Samsung Epic 4G for Sprint: As you might have guessed from the name, the Epic is a 4G network-capable phone--the second one for Sprint after the HTC Evo 4G--and it has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a 4-inch Super AMOLED capacitive touch screen. According to Samsung, its Super AMOLED display has a higher contrast, wider viewing angles, faster response time, and lets it create a thinner phone than a traditional LCD does. We've seen the Super AMOLED screen on the Samsung Wave, and we can say that most of the benefits are true.
Armed with such a display, 4G, and Samsung's 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor, multimedia will, once again, play a central role on the Epic, much like it did on the Evo 4G. However, Samsung will make it even easier to get and watch TV shows and movies on the phone by including a video store. Samsung has not revealed where the content will come from, but according to the company, it includes "some of the biggest names in entertainment."
The phone's other goodies include a 5-megapixel camera with HD video capture, a front-facing VGA camera for video calls, and the capability to act as a mobile hot spot for up to five devices. Samsung will ship the Epic running Android version 2.1 and its TouchWiz interface; however, if you're concerned about another Behold II situation, don't worry: the Epic will get the Android 2.2 Froyo update. According to Sprint, it plans to announce pricing and release date in the coming months, but you can sign up for updates via its Web site. If you're an Android developer, Samsung has a 4G Developer Guide available now for anyone who wants to create apps for the Epic. … Read more
We typically think of prepaid phones from AT&T's GoPhone lineup as rather basic and lacking in features, but the LG Prime is certainly not either of those.
The Prime sports a sizable 3-inch touch-screen display (400x240 pixels); a 2-megapixel camera; and mobile e-mail. It won't have 3G, but you will be able to purchase and download songs from AT&T Mobile Music. You also get a microSD card, a 2-megapixel camera, and quad-band GSM. The LG Prime is available now for $99.99 without any contracts.
It may be a member of the Open Handset Alliance, but LG hasn't done much with Android here in the United States. To date, the company has only released one such device, the Ally, on Verizon's network. Though it was among the first phones released with Android 2.1 it was quickly lost in the shuffle with the EVO 4G and Droid X stealing the spotlight.
Editors' note: This post was last updated June 25 at 7:30 a.m. PDT.
Like puzzles? Then you should head over to a new teaser site posted by T-Mobile, and try to guess the name of a new handset that's coming to the carrier in just a couple of days. The page shows portions of a pictogram puzzle, and a countdown to the official announcement. Though the bottom portion of the puzzle is mostly covered up (for now), the top line is pretty easy to figure out. We won't take the fun out of it for you, … Read more
It seems that antenna issues are not the only problems surfacing with the new iPhone 4, or at least that's what one of our readers has experienced. Al, a Buzz Out Loud listener, wrote in to report that his Jabra Stone and Kensington A2DP headset would not connect to his new iPhone 4, whereas his wife's Motorola mono Bluetooth headset worked with it fine. We were intrigued by this development, and decided to test it with the headsets we had in the office.
Apple released its much-awaited iOS 4 update Monday for the iPhone 3G and 3GS, as well as the second and third generations of the iPod Touch. However, not all iOS 4 features have rolled out for all devices, and first-generation versions of both the iPhone and the iPod Touch won't get the update at all. Here is a chart breaking down what you do or don't get with iOS 4, depending on which device you have.iPhone 3G iPhone 3GS iPod Touch second generation iPod Touch third generation Multitasking No Yes No Yes Home screen folders Yes Yes … Read more
We've always thought there must be people at Samsung who randomly pick a word from the dictionary to name the company's phones. Now we think they must have run out of words.
That's because one of the latest Samsung phones for T-Mobile, announced Wednesday, is called--we kid you not--the Samsung :). Thankfully, Samsung "Smiley" is an acceptable substitute, because otherwise we would have a hard time trying to order the darn thing over the phone ("You know...The Samsung colon with the right bracket?"). What's next, the Samsung :-p ?
The Smiley is, as … Read more
Even though the official launch date for the Apple iPhone 4 will be this Thursday, June 24, some people have already received their phones either via preorder or because they are members of the preferred press. Of course, this means reviews and first-hand photos and videos of the new iPhone 4 have already been posted. Here are a few we've spotted today; please let us know of any others! Of course, stay tuned for CNET's definitive iPhone 4 review in the next few days.