Android super smartphones: Too much of a good thing?

commentary If I'm a Droid Bionic owner, I have to be pretty peeved.

The Bionic was supposed to be positioned as Verizon Wireless' flagship 4G LTE smartphone--the first with a dual-core processor--when it launched in early September. But its reign barely lasted a month, and following several recent announcements, it may not even rank as the third-best Android phone in Verizon's lineup by November.

The speed in which new Android devices are hitting the market speaks to the strength of Google's mobile platform. But it also leads to a lot of headaches for consumers who can be … Read more

The 404 928: Where Jill feeds us an ice cream sandwich (podcast)

CBS MoneyWatch's Jill Schlesinger helps us understand why Wall Street is disappointed with Apple's fourth-quarter results despite year-over-year growth across its iPhone, iPad, and Mac properties.

We return the favor by telling Jill why she should care about Google's Android Ice Cream Sandwich updates, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and why babies under 2 years old shouldn't live in front of digital screens.

Also, stay tuned after the break for news about Sony PlayStation Vita launch delays, and Jeff chimes in with a surprising pitch for the future of portable gaming. Heads up, Sony and Nintendo!… Read more

Galaxy Nexus has been Apple-proofed, Samsung says

The Apple-Samsung patent war rages on, but Samsung apparently believes its new Galaxy Nexus will zoom above the fray.

According to South Korea's Yonhap News Agency, Samsung mobile president Shin Jong-kyun told reporters that his company's latest smartphone was designed around the patents Apple has cited in lawsuits against the company's other smartphones, including the Galaxy S and Galaxy S II. However, Jong-kyun acknowledged, according to Yonhap, that he's not sure "if (the Galaxy Nexus) will be 100 percent free" from the slings and arrows of Apple's legal arm.… Read more

Unlock Android 4.0 with your face?

The PlayStation Vita won't be out for the holidays, Apple stores are closing during a memorial for Steve Jobs, and Android's Ice Cream Sandwich version comes with several new camera features.

Links from Wednesday's episode of Loaded:

Google shows off Ice Cream Sandwich Apple closing stores during Jobs memorial Google adds secure search option No Vita for the holidays New bird coming to Angry Birds Subscribe:  iTunes (MP3)iTunes (320x180)iTunes (HD)RSS (MP3)RSS (320x180)RSS HD

Google and Samsung electrify Android (video)

An hour-long event in Hong Kong yesterday revealed a brave new world for Android smartphones.

Yesterday's launch of the Samsung Nexus smartphone and new details about Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich has the tech community buzzing. Executives from both companies detailed the most cohesive strategy yet for the smartphone platform, which you can fully watch in the embedded video above.… Read more

Samsung Galaxy Nexus first impressions: Ice Cream Sandwich makes it sparkle

It's been a wild day in Android land. Earlier this morning, Motorola and Verizon pulled back the curtain on the sleek, gorgeous, and positively anorexic Motorola Droid Razr, only to have the spotlight stolen by the double-whammy of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Google's Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS. (Compare the specs here.)

The phone is bound for the U.S. and parts of Asia and Europe, starting in November.

Now, Samsung spent most of the day tripping over its own leaks with regards to the looks and specs of the phone, but that didn't dampen our admiration any. It's a phone that any carrier would be proud to offer, from the HD screen and 1.2GHz dual-core processor to the 1080p HD video capture and playback, to the barometer and NFC chip embedded within.

We'll know more when we get our hands on the device in due time, both in Hong Kong with CNET Asia and here in our San Francisco headquarters. For now, here's what we think.… Read more

Ice Cream Sandwich adds tons of new features

After Samsung launched its Galaxy Nexus at the flashy Android event across the Pacific in Hong Kong, Google execs took the stage to announce Ice Cream Sandwich, the next version of the mobile operating system.

Also, called Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich is clearly designed to unify the Android experience. And as Matias Duarte, Google's senior director of Android user experience said, it's also built on three design principles: "enchant me, simplify my life, and make me awesome."

Here's an almost-complete list of Ice Cream Sandwich. We'll explore these in more detail over … Read more

Samsung Galaxy family album

Tonight, Samsung and Google introduced the newest member of the Galaxy line of Android devices, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

As the first smartphone to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the Galaxy Nexus will offer such new platform features as a fresh "magazine-style" user interface with a new font style called Roboto; an enhanced notification bar; more camera and video tools, including panorama mode and time lapse support; and visual voice mail. In addition, the handset itself boasts a 4.65-inch Super AMOLED HD touch screen and packs a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and HSPA+ and LTE support. … Read more

Motorola Droid Razr vs. Samsung Galaxy Nexus (chart)

Today's definitely a big day in Android land, with not one but two big phone announcements. First, Motorola announced the Droid Razr, which packs plenty of power in a very slim package.

Later, Samsung released news of the Galaxy Nexus, which sets the standard for Android phones with the brand-new Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. We know many Android fans out there want to know the facts about both these handsets, so we created a quick and dirty spec sheet comparison. Of course, we're still discovering details about the Galaxy Nexus as we write this, so we'll be sure to fill in any missing information once we find out. Let us know in our comments section if you spot anything missing.… Read more

Google, Samsung unveil Ice Cream Sandwich-powered Galaxy Nexus

Samsung Electronics and Google took the wraps off the Galaxy Nexus, the latest Android handset to carry the flagship smartphone moniker.

The smartphone, unveiled at a Samsung event in Hong Kong today, marks the debut of the latest version of Android, known as Ice Cream Sandwich (each iteration of Android is named after a dessert).

For Samsung, the introduction of another flagship Google phone underscores its growing influence as an Android vendor. While the company was slow to shift away from basic phones and move into the smartphone game, it has more than made up for lost time with the … Read more