Thursday, December 23, 2010

Giz Explains: How 3D Works [Video]

Giz Explains: How 3D Works [Video]

Giz Explains: How 3D Works It seems like 3D is everywhere. Movies, living rooms. Even real life is 3D! But how does it all work?

Most 3D operates on a single basic principle—tricking our dumb, binocular brain into interpreting a 2D image into one with depth. The most basic way to do this is stereoscopy, which is essentially showing a slightly different image to each eye, which the brain mashes together into a 3D image.

3D that requires four eyes

It's easiest to do stereoscopic images with glasses or other dorky eyewear to change how you see stuff—hence there are a lot of variations in 3D glasses tech.


Anaglyph
An anaglyph image is the old-school, cheap 3D we all know and have mild nostalgic attachments to: An image has two different color layers, one for each eye, with slightly different perspectives. When we look at them through those awesome plastic glasses (usually with red and blue lenses) that block one layer in each eye, our easily tricked brain takes the resulting separate image from each eye and mashes them together to make a 3D scene in our head.

Giz Explains: How 3D Works
Polarized glasses
Polarized 3D glasses are the more modern choice for 3D for the masses—you've worn them if you've caught Avatar or Tron: Legacy or any other big-budget movie in 3D, since the big advantage they offer over anaglyph 3D is full-on color. They work kind of the same way as the red/blue glasses—two synced projectors throw images with slightly different perspectives up simultaneously, but at different polarizations. The polarized glasses only allow a single corresponding polarized image into each eye, and the brain does the hard work again, combining two separate images into a single 3D one. While it's mostly used in theaters now, it could be coming to living rooms in the next couple of years.

Giz Explains: How 3D Works
Active shutter glasses
If you buy a 3DTV from any of the majors—Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, etc.—or have played a PC game in 3D with Nvidia's 3D Vision tech—you're using active shutter glasses. They actually block vision alternately in each eye, synced with the refresh rate on the display. The glasses rapidly darken each lens while the display alternately shows images with a slightly different perspective (this is called alternate frame sequencing). It's essentially the "show different stuff to each eye" principle taken to its logically absurd conclusion—literally blocking the sight of the unwanted eye. Yes, these complicated goggles usually run over $100 and are heavier than the dorkiest dorky dork glasses, but they're the best 3D technology at home for the moment, and will be for at least the next couple of years.

Giz Explains: How 3D Works
Pulfrich Effect
The Pulfrich effect is a brain bug where side-to-side motion is interpreted to have some depth when there's a slight sync lag between your eyes. A set of glasses with a dark lens over one eye will make this happen, so when something moves from left to right, it'll look like it's moving back or forward—you know, in 3D. It's been used for the Super Bowl and Married with Children, since the glasses are so cheap.


ChromaDepth
ChromaDepth is perhaps the fanciest glasses tech, using micro-prisms and whatnot (hello red and blue all over again), but all it essentially does is slightly shift the way colors are perceived in each eye, so they see different things and boom, 3D. The major limitation of the tech is that if you change the color of an object, you also change how its depth is perceived, since it's all based on color. (Check out the video above, done in ChromaDepth, to see what I mean.)

No glasses required

Giz Explains: How 3D Works
Parallax barrier
A parallax barrier is one of the more popular ways for swinging 3D without glasses. It's what's behind the Nintendo 3DS's 3D magic, along with old school Sharp 3DTVs (Sharp's making the 3DS's screens), and the back of Fuji's 3D camera. It actually works a lot like polarized glasses, it just moves where the obstruction magic happens to the front of the TV. Instead of having glasses filter the image for each eye, the screen's parallax barrier—think of it is a very finely grated fence with precisely angled holes—directs different light into each eye, and your brain turns the mixed signals into a 3D image. The bad part? With a normal parallax barrier, the screen is permanently in 3D mode and you don't have exactly have a wide viewing angle. Sharp's trick for 3D in its LCD displays is fancier—there's a second LCD that creates the parallax barrier with a polarized grid of lines, which is nice because you can turn it off and go back to regular 3D viewing.

Giz Explains: How 3D Works
Integral Imaging
Integral Imaging is a form of parallax actually. You've got a bunch of supertiny micro-images that you actually peep through an array of spherical convex lenses, one per micro-image. All these micro-images come together when you look at them to form a 3D image.


Another form of parallax is continuous-motion parallax. Here, HoloVizio's system dumps pixels in favor of voxels, which can project multiple light beams in multiple directions simultaneously.

Something you still wanna know? Send any questions about 3D, double Ds or croissan'wiches to tips@gizmodo.com, with "Giz Explains" in the subject line.

Gizmodo 3D! We're excited about the potential of entertainment in Three Ds, so this week, we're looking at everything good, bad and absurd about the current state of 3D.

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Lenovo LePad and U1 Hybrid early hands-on

Lenovo LePad and U1 Hybrid early hands-on

Believe it or not, it's been almost a year since we caught a look at Lenovo's IdeaPad U1 Hybrid, and while we've heard numerous times that the device and a new tablet part -- the LePad -- were still kicking, we've got some rock solid evidence this time around. Okay, we got some of the best evidence out there -- pictures and early impressions of the China-bound 10.1-inch LePad tablet and its U1 dock / shell. Now, we don't want to get your hopes up too much -- we didn't get to spend all that much time with either of the units and they were in very early form, but that didn't stop us from playing around with both of them and taking some notes. Interested? We thought so. Hit the break for a short rundown and don't forget to peruse the gallery below on your way.

Continue reading Lenovo LePad and U1 Hybrid early hands-on

Lenovo LePad and U1 Hybrid early hands-on originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 23 Dec 2010 12:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rollei goes 3D with Power Flex 3D point-and-shoot, Designline 3D photo frame

Rollei goes 3D with Power Flex 3D point-and-shoot, Designline 3D photo frame

There may still be some camera makers resisting the 3D trend, but that's getting to be an increasingly dwindling lot -- the latest to jump into the game is Rollei, the 90-year old German manufacturer, which has just announced its new Power Flex 3D point-and-shoot and accompanying Designline 3D photo frame. As you can see above, the camera looks fairly unremarkable expect for that second lens, and the specs are also pretty much in line with some similar 3D point-and-shoots, including 720p video recording, 5 megapixel still images, and a 2.8-inch LCD 'round back that promises to let you see your images in something resembling 3D without the need for 3D glasses. The photo frame also apparently uses the same sort of no-glasses 3D, but thankfully packs a larger 7-inch screen -- check it out after the break. Still no word on a release over here, but both the camera and photo frame will be available in Europe next month for €300 (or just under $400) apiece.

Continue reading Rollei goes 3D with Power Flex 3D point-and-shoot, Designline 3D photo frame

Rollei goes 3D with Power Flex 3D point-and-shoot, Designline 3D photo frame originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 23 Dec 2010 12:59:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Instagram App Heading to Android [Android Apps]

Instagram App Heading to Android [Android Apps]

Instagram App Heading to AndroidiPhone users' new favorite photo filter app Instagram is heading Android-way, according to their co-founder. Androiders, start sourcing old typewriters, chipped teacups and cute animals to retro-fit. Plus some friends to share them with. [TechCrunch via Androinica via Lifehacker]

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HTC Incredible HD teased for January 6th reveal?

HTC Incredible HD teased for January 6th reveal?

See that? No, not all the ambiguous 4G talk, we mean the veiled phone. If we had to guess we'd say that we're looking at a January 6th reveal of the HTC Incredible HD / Mecha -- a device rumored to be headed to Verizon's new LTE network. Unfortunately, we don't know who 2mymob.com is (the domain carrying the tease) or how it's affiliated with HTC. So don't go entering your mobile phone number into the field where you can sign up for notifications. The site seems to be linked with Yahoo! marketing and by entering your number you're consenting to receive "further complimentary marketing text messages by SMS to your mobile phone," according to the terms and conditions. Don't do it. We'll let you know the very minute the Incredible HD is launched, which, by the looks of things will happen at CES in Las Vegas.

Update: The site is indeed official -- it's the "Mobile Version" linked directly from the HTC.com website.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

HTC Incredible HD teased for January 6th reveal? originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 23 Dec 2010 01:52:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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iPad 2 features a thinner bezel, flat back, and chunky wide-range speaker?

iPad 2 features a thinner bezel, flat back, and chunky wide-range speaker?

Nothing says truthiness quite like anonymous Chinese sources telling next generation iPad secrets to a Japanese blog lacking any notable successes on the professional rumor mongering circuit. Nevertheless, the Apple rumor sites have jumped all over the story like a Bay Area cop on prototype thief. So here's the dirt, which certainly seems plausible in its specificity: a 3-mm reduction in bezel width, same 9.7-inch display size, and flattening of the back allowing it to rest wobble-free on a desktop. Mac Otakara also explains that there's a "wide-range speaker" covered with "metal mesh" (that's their render above) occupying the cut-out we saw at the bottom of those supposed next-generation iPad cases. The overall unit is said to measure 239 x 186 mm compared to the current iPad's 242.8 x 189.7 mm footprint. Suspiciously, the site was unable to reliably confirm the existence of front of rear facing cameras but does claim that the new iPads will begin shipping from factories in January -- timing that aligns nicely with previous rumors. After the break you'll find another purported iPad 2 case with yet another render of the speaker grill design.

Continue reading iPad 2 features a thinner bezel, flat back, and chunky wide-range speaker?

iPad 2 features a thinner bezel, flat back, and chunky wide-range speaker? originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 23 Dec 2010 03:04:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink AppleInsider  |  sourceMac Otakara, Alibaba  | Email this | Comments

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Ambarella's Cortex A9-based iOne is the smartphone processor of your dreams... but it's for your camera

Ambarella's Cortex A9-based iOne is the smartphone processor of your dreams... but it's for your camera

You may not have heard of Ambarella factoring into the smartphone processor race alongside Qualcomm, TI, and Samsung, and there's a good reason for that: they don't do smartphone processors. Rather, these guys are in the business of making video and photographic processing chips, and their latest -- the iOne -- is a doozy. Starting with a dual-core Cortex-A9 at 1GHz, the iOne adds in an extra ARM11 core at 533MHz dedicated to handling camera functions and ensuring ready times of under one second. It's capable of real-time encode and decode of H.264 1080p video content at 30fps and includes a GPU that can run OpenGL ES 2.0 for what we can only assume would be the wildest camera UI you've ever seen. What kind of beastly point-and-shoot is this, anyway? Well, Ambarella envisions cameras running Android before too long, and when you think about it, the hardware difference between a smartphone and a digital camera is getting smaller by the day -- so it would make sense that this iOne sounds so much like something we'd like to have powering our handsets. We can dream, can't we? Follow the break for the press release.

Continue reading Ambarella's Cortex A9-based iOne is the smartphone processor of your dreams... but it's for your camera

Ambarella's Cortex A9-based iOne is the smartphone processor of your dreams... but it's for your camera originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 23 Dec 2010 03:45:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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LG Optimus 2X dual-core Android phone hits Europe in January

LG Optimus 2X dual-core Android phone hits Europe in January

We already knew that it was coming to its home country of Korea in January. Now we know that LG's Tegra 2 Optimus 2X will bring its 4-inch display and 1080p video recording capability to the Android loving shores of Europe in the first month of 2011. The detail was hidden in a rather mundane press release touting the inclusion of 25 audio files (including 15 custom ringtones) from famed film composer Ennio Morricone, a man most recognizable for scoring those Sergio Leone "Spaghetti Westerns." While we're not sure how this oddball partnership materialized, we do know that there are two kinds of people in this world. Those with loaded guns, and those who dig. You dig? So we're not going to push it.

Continue reading LG Optimus 2X dual-core Android phone hits Europe in January

LG Optimus 2X dual-core Android phone hits Europe in January originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 23 Dec 2010 05:58:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Google's Honeycomb Android tablet release slated for March?

Google's Honeycomb Android tablet release slated for March?

The only official timeframe we have for an Android 3.0 Honeycomb release is sometime "next year." A little too vague for our liking and for a seemingly infinite list of manufacturers chomping at the bit to release their fully sanctioned Android tablets onto the world. Now DigiTimes narrows things down a bit with an off-the-cuff comment about MSI preparing to sell its Tegra 2-based tablets in April or May "after Google releases Android 3.0 in March." Of course, a March release seems almost definite what with Acer hoping to ship its tablets with Honeycomb in April as well. Hopefully we'll get this confirmed at CES in early January.

Google's Honeycomb Android tablet release slated for March? originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 23 Dec 2010 06:39:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Pioneer's 3D Blu-ray compatible, Netflix streaming player triumvirate now shipping

Pioneer's 3D Blu-ray compatible, Netflix streaming player triumvirate now shipping

After debuting quietly at CEDIA Pioneer's 2010 line of Blu-ray players is finally available for purchase, including the low end BDP-430 and its two Elite cousins, the BDP-41FD and BDP-43FD. Other than the obvious addition of Blu-ray 3D compatibility, key upgrades from 2009 include WiFi readiness with optional dongle, streaming from YouTube (after a firmware update), Netflix and Pandora, an expanded continue mode to make sure you start The Twilight Saga: Eclipse right where you left it and the return of Pioneer's iControlAV remote app for iOS devices. Starting price? $299 for the BDP-430, $399 for the BDP-41FD and its home automation-friendly RS-232 port, while $499 is required to bring home the "armored chassis" of the BDP-43FD

Continue reading Pioneer's 3D Blu-ray compatible, Netflix streaming player triumvirate now shipping

Filed under:

Pioneer's 3D Blu-ray compatible, Netflix streaming player triumvirate now shipping originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 23 Dec 2010 09:13:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Iain Sinclair Poco Pro: little camcorder, big expectations

Iain Sinclair Poco Pro: little camcorder, big expectations

The Poco Pro from Iain Sinclair, manufacturers of fine tiny things, is said to be "the world's thinnest" 1080p HD pocket camcorder. Poco's specs tout dimensions of 54 x 85.6 x 5mm, much smaller than JVC's Picsio, Samsung's HMX-E10, and even Toshiba's Camileo, but we are definitely wary of image quality on a sensor as small as this one. We're not entirely sure we get the purpose of its optional WiFi capabilities, either -- the site claims they're for "wireless data transmission," but we don't know if that's to a PC or some sort of service. If you're dying to find out, you can reserve a Poco of your own for £100, or about $155, but be patient, this little guy won't hit the market until June.

Iain Sinclair Poco Pro: little camcorder, big expectations originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 23 Dec 2010 09:40:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Kinect rumored to have PC support in waiting

Kinect rumored to have PC support in waiting

There's been no shortage whatsoever of PC control schemes using Kinect, but up until now, every bit of it has been without Microsoft's official blessing. Of course, the company eventually caved to the massive amount of hacking going on and confessed that it didn't have any hard feelings for those giving it a whirl, but is it really fixing to take things one step further with bona fide PC support? That's the talk emanating from South Korea, where game developer GamePrix has reported that at least one of its titles (Divine Soul, if you must know) is "scheduled to support Kinect." Continuing on about the game, the company's Jason Lim was quoted as saying that "Kinect will soon be available as a new PC controller," but naturally, we've our doubts. For starters, why wouldn't Microsoft be working with a more major developer if honest-to-goodness PC-Kinect interactions were planned? Secondly, there's a definite possibility that GamePrix could really be referring to unofficial support, which would make everything seem a lot more sensible. Either way, we'll definitely be keeping an ear to the ground for more, and with GDC under three months away, we ought to know the truth sooner rather than later.

[Thanks, Rashad]

Kinect rumored to have PC support in waiting originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 22 Dec 2010 17:56:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Best 3DTVs [3D]

The Best 3DTVs [3D]

The Best 3DTVsSomething you might not know: 3DTVs tend to be the best performing HDTVs period, 'cause the set has to scream to deliver awesome images to each eyeball separately. Well, these are the best 3DTVs around, as recommended by Televisioninfo.com.

Panasonic TC-P50VT25

The Best 3DTVs
Product Name: Panasonic TC-P50VT25, Screen Size: 50 inches, Resolution: 1920 x 1080, Refresh Rate: 96 Hz, Price: ~$1700.00



Panasonic has offered the best 3D since the technology started appearing on HDTVs, and they still do today. The TC-P50VT25 is their second generation 3D HDTV and it's currently the best 3D HDTV on the market. The 3D effect holds up well, even in areas of high contrast or fast motion. Panasonic also has their active shutter glasses technology down pat: we didn't notice any flickering at all.

Samsung UN46C8000

The Best 3DTVs
Product Name: Samsung UN46C8000, Screen Size: 46 inches, Resolution: 1920 x 1080, Refresh Rate: 240 Hz, Price: $1900



The Samsung UN46C8000 is a beautifully designed TV with great 3D. Its effect holds up pretty well under most conditions, and the active shutter glasses didn't flicker. On top of the good 3D performance, this is a really solid TV, with excellent picture quality and an expansive array of online features.

Sony XBR-52HX909

The Best 3DTVs
Product Name: Sony XBR-52HX909, Screen Size: 52 inches, Resolution: 1920 x 1080, Refresh Rate: 240 Hz, Price: ~$3,600



The Sony XBR-52HX909's 3D effect is a bit inconsistent, but when it's working it's amazing. The 3D effect for background and mid-range objects is great, and the TV really only has a problem with things in the immediate foreground and the cliché "popping out of the screen" effect. The best part: even without 3D, this is a great TV. The XBR-52HX909 has great picture quality and Sony's incredible line-up of online content.

Panasonic TC-P50VT20

The Best 3DTVs
Product Name: Panasonic TC-P50VT20, Screen Size: 50 inches, Resolution: 1920 x 1080, Refresh Rate: 96 Hz, Price: ~$1700.00



The Panasonic TC-P50VT20 might be a first generation 3D HDTV, but it's still one of the best we've seen. The 3D effect holds up in all the problem spots, like areas of high contrast or fine details. Since the TV has been on shelves since early this year, it's also one of the less expensive 3D options out there.

Samsung UN55C7000

The Best 3DTVs
Product Name: Samsung UN55C7000, Screen Size: 55 inches, Resolution: 1920 x 1080, Refresh Rate: 120 Hz, Price: ~$2000



The Samsung UN55C7000 is another good-looking Samsung that sports 3D emulation. Its 3D effect holds up well under most conditions, but it did break down a bit in areas of high contrast. While it's not a perfect 3D experience, it is significantly better than most models. On top of it all, the UN55C7000 has a great picture and an expansive suite of online content.

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Stream iTunes From Your Computer to Apple TV With the New Remote App [IPhone Apps]

Stream iTunes From Your Computer to Apple TV With the New Remote App [IPhone Apps]

Stream iTunes From Your Computer to Apple TV With the New Remote AppThe iOS remote app just got updated! One great feature is letting you take content from iTunes, on your computer, and streaming it to your Apple TV over AirPlay. Also, controlling iTunes Movies/TV directly on your Mac. [iTunes]

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Oh Look, Here's Samsung's 4G LTE Android Phone for Verizon [Leak]

Oh Look, Here's Samsung's 4G LTE Android Phone for Verizon [Leak]

Oh Look, Here's Samsung's 4G LTE Android Phone for VerizonLooks like Verizon'll have plenty of Android phones running around on 4G LTE soon enough. Here's a first look at Samsung's, running Froyo and TouchWiz (but according to our tipster, not Bing!). Aaaand a front-facing camera, Verizon's first.

By last count, that means we can likely expect to see LTE Android phones from HTC, Samsung and Motorola, possibly all announced at CES in just a couple of weeks. We can't wait after seeing what Verizon's LTE can do, but we can only wonder what the battery life is gonna be like on these things. [Thanks tipster!]

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Set Up VoIP Calling on Android 2.3 Gingerbread [Video]

Set Up VoIP Calling on Android 2.3 Gingerbread [Video]

SIP voice-over-internet calling is one of the quiet new features of Android 2.3 a.k.a. "Gingerbread". Without any third-party apps, you can set up any SIP-compatible phone service to make calls over your data network. This video shows the steps, and now we're intrigued as to whether a free SIP client, like the SIPGate we used in our Google Voice setup, works in Android as well. We'll try it out, but have you already given it a go? Tell us in the comments. [via Android and Me]

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Sony buys back Toshiba's Cell plant for 50 billion yen, makes a killing and plans a CMOS fab

Sony buys back Toshiba's Cell plant for 50 billion yen, makes a killing and plans a CMOS fab

Looks like Toshiba's Cell processor ambitions didn't quite pan out -- Japanese news sources are reporting that the company's selling its Nagasaki manufacturing plant back to Sony for 50 billion yen, or roughly $597 million in US money. Considering that Toshiba originally purchased the semiconductor facility for 100 90 billion yen (then $835 million) back in 2008, it seems like Sony's making out like a bandit here -- and it may have just found the perfect place to build more CMOS chips for its high-end camera lineup, too. Sony reportedly told the Nikkei Business Daily that it may repurpose the facility to produce HD image sensors for cameras and smartphones. What will happen to the chip that launched 40 million PS3s and a graphics co-processor or two? With any luck, we'll find out at CES 2011 quite soon.

Sony buys back Tos! hiba's C ell plant for 50 billion yen, makes a killing and plans a CMOS fab originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 22 Dec 2010 14:44:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Andriasang, Reuters  |  sourceNHK, Nikkei Shimbun  | Email this | Comments

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Acer's Android tablet (and its gyroscope) previewed on video

Acer's Android tablet (and its gyroscope) previewed on video

While Acer wasn't willing to let us power on its forthcoming Android tablets at its press event last month, it looks like the company just doesn't have the same kind of control over its partners or employees. Three videos of what appears to be Acer's 10-inch Android tablet have popped up on YouTube, and not only is the slate powered on, but the footage provides a pretty clear look at some of Acer's custom Android apps. The entire UI looks like it's still in a beta stage and the video itself looks like it is some sort of internal test demo -- don't forget Acer is planning to ship these with Honeycomb in April -- but the company seems to be messing around with gyroscope-based page turns and some unique zoom gestures within the photo / e-reader application. We're assuming the tablet is running Froyo as there's a quick peek at the homescreen and app drawer in the first video, but other than that we're really at a loss for details here. Hit the break for the trio of videos and to see it all for yourself. Oh, and Acer, if you send us one, we promise to go easier on the screen (see 0:12 of video three) than this lady... just sayin'!

Continue reading Acer's Android tablet (and its gyroscope) previewed on video

Acer's Android tablet (and its gyroscope) previewed on video originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 22 Dec 2010 16:06:00 EDT. Please see ! our terms for use of feeds.

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Here's HTC's 4G LTE Phone for Verizon [Incredible Hd]

Here's HTC's 4G LTE Phone for Verizon [Incredible Hd]

Here's HTC's 4G LTE Phone for VerizonWell, this is more interesting than that whole cache of shots that were sprayed all over the internet yesterday: A close up of what's—presumably—the Incredible HD, clearly showing Four Gees of El Tee Eze for Verizon. [Thanks tipster!]

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