Samsung Stratosphere Brief Review: Worth The Cost In 4G LTE Goodness

The Samsung Stratosphere is a little bit of the Droid Charge and the Galaxy S II handsets. It’s got a speedy 1GHz Hummingbird single-core processor, 4G LTE data speeds, a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, 5 megapixel camera with 720p HD video recording, and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera. It’s some pretty decent hardware, and right off the bat uses Android 2.3.5 on Touchwiz 4.0 (a special ROM for this device, apparently) and operates smoothly under most circumstances. The data speeds are awesome, usually clocking in at above 12MBps for download speeds (up o the 20s) and up to 10MBps upload speeds (and then some). The 5-row, slide-out QWERTY keyboard that also lights up is a lot like the Epic 4G’s that I reviewed and mostly liked, and overall gets the job done, much the like the Droid Charge, which I also reviewed several months back and shares much of the same specs.

The 5 megapixel camera is decent enough to take the kinds of photos you’d post on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+, and the video is reasonable. The front-facing camera is your usual 13 megapixel front-facing with a few grainy pixels here and there, but overall is clear.

For a mere $149.99 on a 2-year agreement, it makes getting into the 4G LTE relm pretty easy for a consumer who doesn’t want a entire 5-star, dual-core package and doesn’t want to spend the equivalent amount.

Android 4.0 rolling out to Nexus S users, GSM versions first

If you’ve patiently been waiting for the Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0 update for your GSM Nexus S, then today’s your lucky day — the update starts rolling out today, with all users receiving the update by the end of the month. As for Sprint 4G Nexus S users: the update should be coming, but at a later date (perhaps this year, we haven’t heard anything concrete on this bit of information, however). That all being said, Android 4.0 is going to operate a a smaller resolution on the Nexus S (800×480 compared to the Galaxy Nexus’ 1280×720) but it still should look impressive.

Via: Google News (Twitter), Android (Google+)

Skyrim officially is the fastest selling title on Steam — ever

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has been the basis for plenty of memes right now in the Internet and just about everyday is the 1st game played by people who use Steam. Well, it turns out that Skyrim is the fastest selling title on Steam, ever. That’s compared to Assassin’s Creed: Revelation, Modern Warfare 3, you name it, Skyrim has beaten it, fair and square.

“Skyrim is the fastest selling title in Steam’s history” said Jason Holtman, Valve’s director of business development (via IndustryGamers). “Bethesda’s commitment to and understanding of the PC as a gaming platform shows in the great review scores, spectacular launch, and continued high player numbers that Skyrim has received.”

That all being said — are you playing Skyrim? Because if you’re not, I’ll Fus Ro Dah with my level 36 Nord in your face, and you won’t like it. An example is my screenshot above.

Battlefield 3: Back To Karkand DLC Now Live

The first DLC for Battlefield 3 includes 4 new massive maps with newer, more intense visuals, and is  a overall better-tuned game, with more weapons and vehicles, and the same awesome game modes. After just playing for aroud 15 minutes, I can say I’m dazed and amazed by Back To Karkand. For those that pre-ordered the base game, the DLC is free, however for those who haven’t, it’ll cost you $15/1,200 Microsoft Points for all platforms (PC, Xbox 360, and PS3). So, who’s ready to fight on the Battlefield?

Codemasters’ New DiRT: Showdown Coming In May 2012, Takes Gamble On Rally Series

The Colin McRae Rally videogame series has always been about realism and simulation of rally racing, almost always under the watchful eye of the Codemasters. But now in their upcoming game, DiRT Showdown seems to be anything but. The only way to explain this is if you watch the video a the source link, and see just how crazy it  may turn out to be for PC, Windows, and Mac in May of 2012. Via: YouTube

The Verizon Galaxy Nexus Launches Tomorrow For $299 — Finally

It’s about that time. Verizon’s Galaxy Nexus launches with 4G LTE on the 15th of December — tomorrow, for $299.99 on a 2-year agreement. Specs include a massive 4.65-inch 720p HD Super AMOLED display, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 32GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, a 5-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video recording support and an 1,850 mAh battery with CDMA and 4G LTE connectivity (resulting in a thicker casing than the GSM version  but no matter). Best of all, the Galaxy Nexus sports the newest version of Android — 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. This is an amazingly good buy for the best Android handset on the market, so far.

Nokia Lumia 710 Official On T-Mobile: HSPA+, 3.7-inch ClearBlack Screen, January 11th For $49

I don’t know about the reader, but I’ve never heard of an attractive phone for $50 that has HSPA+ “4G” speeds up to 14.4MBps, a 3.7-inch ClearBlack display, 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 512MB RAM, 8GB of storage, 5 megapixel rear camera with single LED flash, and with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. It’s a sweet little package for Windows Phone 7.5 Mango. It’ll show up next year on the 11th of January, coupled with apps like Drive, MS Office, ESPN, T-Mobile TV and Netflix. All is good and well I suppose. Press release after the break.

Once Again, Google Extends Their Free VoIP Calling In Gmail

It seems that almost every year now, when the free VoIP service in Google’s Gmail app ends for the desktops, they just renew it for another year. See this old LM post for an example. And of course the usual requirements are the same: a microphone (if not already built-in your laptop), an internet connection and that’s all (adding a Google Voice number is optional, but I recommend it).