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Report: Nokia N9 not coming to the U.S.

Nokia will not be launching its anticipated N9 smartphone in the U.S., a new report from Engadget claims.

"After the very positive reception to the launch of the Nokia N9, the product is now being rolled out in countries around the world," Nokia reportedly wrote to Engadget. "At this time we will not be making it available in the U.S."

Nokia did not immediately respond to CNET's request for confirmation of Engadget's report.

Nokia announced the N9 in June. The device comes with a 3.9-inch AMOLED touch display and offers versions with storage of 16GB and 64GB. The smartphone comes in three colors--black, cyan, and magenta--and boasts an 8-megapixel camera with autofocus and "HD-quality video capture."… Read more

5 tips for maximizing your Android screen space

No matter how tricked-out your Android layout is, you'll always find something new you want to do that takes one click too many to reach. Just as all projects go over budget, all your favorite apps and bookmarks are sure to spill over beyond your home screen. There's no one perfect solution for everyone, but there are a few habits and tools that can help keep your digital life close at hand.

Be ruthless. Clear your device of any applications you don't use, and clear your home screen of everything you don't either use every day (… Read more

ZTE says it sold 35M handsets in the first half

ZTE may not be a recognizable brand in the U.S., but it is quickly becoming a major player in the handset arena.

The Chinese telecommunications-equipment manufacturer said today that it sold 35 million handsets in the first half of the year, representing a 30 percent increase from a year ago. Helping was its hit Blade smartphone, which debuted with the France-based carrier Orange but is now available in 50 countries and regions.

The numbers illustrate the increasing influence and power that Chinese companies have in the wireless business. ZTE earlier this year became the fifth-largest handset vendor, according to … Read more

A closer look at stock Android phones

If you've got a taste for plain old vanilla Android Froyo or Gingerbread, finding a smartphone without all of a carrier's and manufacturer's extra toppings is harder than you might imagine.

Custom interfaces that sit on top of the Android foundation cost phone makers (and sometimes carriers, who can also weigh in) time and money to develop and deploy, whereas Google gives its basic operating system away for free. An extra interface can also cause extensive headaches when it comes time to graduate a handset to the next dessert-y Android OS.

In other words, leaving a phone … Read more

Samsung Hercules to be T-Mobile Galaxy S II variant

New images emerged over the weekend that confirm the Samsung Hercules as T-Mobile's take on the Galaxy S II. While the full specifications have yet to be uncovered, a TmoNews source suggests that the Hercules has a 4.5-inch display, which would make it larger than the smarpthones that other U.S. carriers are expected to deliver this fall.

We'll have to wait until an official announcement to be certain, but at this point we're looking at a Super AMOLED Plus resolution screen, a selection of pre-loaded apps like TeleNav GPS and Netflix, and a device that … Read more

Smartphones Unlocked: Understanding processors

Welcome to Smartphones Unlocked, my new monthly column designed to explain the ins and outs of smartphones to help you better understand how they work. The world of smartphones is fast-paced and can sometimes be confusing and difficult to keep track of all the new technology in these devices, particularly if you're new to them, so if there are any topics you'd like to see covered here, please feel free to e-mail me at bonnie.cha@cnet.com.

There are a lot of things to consider when buying a smartphone--operating system, screen size, keyboard or no keyboard, camera--but … Read more

Best cell phones for shutterbugs

Digital cameras are now so ubiquitous in cell phones that's its became rather hard to find a handset without one. Indeed, the feature has come a long way since cameras entered the cell phone world, first as detachable accessories and then as integrated features. The VGA resolution was long the norm--and it still exists at the low end of the market--but that changed with the introduction of handsets like Sprint's Audiovox PM8920, which was the first 1.3-megapixel camera phone in the United States. And from that point, the technology only got better.

The problem, however, is that the more camera phones there are, the harder it is choose the best models. U.S. carriers now offer handsets with 8-megapixel resolution, a ton of features, and even high-end lenses and sensors that you'd find on a regular camera. Photo quality also can vary quite widely, which makes the buying process even more difficult. CNET, however, is here to help. Not only can you compare photo quality for yourself in our camera phone photo gallery, but also we've selected what we think are the five best camera phones right now. Granted, there are unlocked handsets with more photo prowess, but we've stuck with handsets that we've reviewed. … Read more

Samsung Conquer 4G hits Sprint August 21 for $100

After an early game of peek-a-boo, Sprint and Samsung officially announced the Samsung Conquer 4G today, the carrier's first 4G-capable Android smartphone, for less than $100.

Available starting August 21 for $99.99 with a two-year contract and after a $50 mail-in rebate, the Conquer 4G might not have the most advanced technology but still packs in a good amount of features for the price. This includes Android 2.3 Gingerbread, with the option to customize with Sprint ID (no TouchWiz installed), support for Sprint's 4G WiMax network, mobile hot-spot capabilities, and a 1GHz Snapdragon processor.

The smartphone also offers a rear-facing 3.2-megapixel camera, a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera, and a 3.5-inch, HVGA touch screen. Sprint will ship the Conquer 4G with a 2GB microSD card, though the expansion slot can accept up to 32GB.

So what do you think? Pretty good deal for the price? … Read more

Apple iPhone tops smartphone charts in 2nd quarter

In one short year, Apple has toppled Nokia and taken control of the worldwide smartphone market.

According to research firm IDC, Apple's sales of 20.3 million iPhones worldwide during the second quarter of 2011 helped the company secure 19.1 percent market share and lead all other vendors. The company's shipments grew 141.7 percent compared to the second quarter of 2010 when it sold just 8.4 million iPhones and secured 13 percent share.

Apple's growth is all the more impressive when one considers that the iPhone 4 has been on store shelves for over … Read more

A decade (or so) of BlackBerry smartphones

Research In Motion gave us more than a bit to think about this week when it debuted three new devices with the BlackBerry Bold 9900, Torch 9810, and Torch 9860. Bonnie Cha came away with mixed impressions following her hands-on time in Toronto, but of course we'll wait for our full reviews to give our firm opinions.

Though the new devices don't break new design ground, they do promise new features with BlackBerry OS 7. Whether that will be enough to rescue BlackBerry from its current doldrums remains to be seen, but in the meantime BlackBerry fans are … Read more