Thursday, December 16, 2010

LG Optimus 2X

With a dual core 1GHz processor and a big 4" display, the LG Optimus 2X may just have rewritten the rules..


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Moto's $10,000 tablet runs Android 3.0

While we're still waiting for the first phone to come out with Android 2.3 (the Samsung Nexus S), Google have gone one step further with a look at Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" running on a Motorola tablet device.. which a Google VP jokingly said would cost $10,000 (although this is probably an accurate price tag for an engineering sample like this).

Android 3.0 is built with tablets in mind, a big plus point to anyone who has felt a bit disappointed by the Samsung Galaxy Tab which is just like a scaled up smartphone.

Obviously, all this is going to appear sometime next year.. and hopefully it will give some serious competition to Apple's highly-polished tablet offering, whatever that is called.

[Via]

Monday, December 6, 2010

Video: Samsung Nexus S

At last, the Samsung Nexus S (or is it the Google Nexus S) is official. Few surprises here.. basically a tweaked version of the Galaxy S running Android 2.3, but that's no bad thing. And if you live in the US and UK you might be able to get your hands on one by Christmas.


Sony Ericsson Playstation phone revealed.. sort of.

The "Zeus" is allegedly Sony Ericsson's dedicated gaming phone, although it has been dubbed the "Playstation phone", this is in fact an android slider that substitutes gaming controls where you might expect to see a keyboard.

The announcement is expected this week.. but it's too late to get this in the shops by Christmas which would have been ideal.

The Zeus will certainly give a boost to Sony Ericsson, in our view they have failed to impress this year and their flagship Xperia X10 device is not a patch on the HTC Desire (although the X10 Mini is an intriguing device).

[Via]

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Samsung Nexus S / Android 2.3 spy shots

The Google Nexus One (built by HTC) wasn't exactly a success as a consumer phone, but since it became a "developers only" handset it has established a significant niche with those who want a pure Android handset unsullied by manufacturer and carrier cruft and who want the latest versions of the OS.

It's a bit of a surprise to see that there will (apparently) be a follow-up, but these spy shots of the Samsung Nexus S show a fairly large device running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). It seems that Google might be trying to go upmarket from where they were, and this is probably a good idea.

Rumoured specs include a 4" 800 x 480 pixel screen, possibly a dual core processor with 512MB RAM, one or two gigabytes of internal memory and HD video capture, so basically a step up in size from its predecessor.

More details and spy shots are available at XDA Developers.

[Via]

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Video: LG Optimus One

A look at the surprisingly successful LG Optimus One:


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sony Ericsson Xperia X12 leaks

We've never rated the Xperia X10 much.. it's a decent enough effort, but it simply isn't competitive against the HTC Desire due to its hardware and software limitations. So, the leaked Sony Ericsson X12 looks significantly better with Android 2.3 "Gingerbread", a bigger 4.2" display and a speedy Qualcomm MSM7230 processor.

There have been several leaked photos along with some fairly detailed specifications, we guess that the X12 will be announced very soon for market introduction sometime in the first half of 2011. But will they be able to compete effectively with HTC, Motorola and Samsung when it comes to high-end Android phones?

Via [1], [2], [3]

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Worst product review ever?

Is this the worst product review ever? PDA-247s look at the bargain £180 Next Android tablet is scathing, pointing out a shocking lack of quality in a device that appears to be an utter waste of money. It turns out that some of the software is Chinese, which presumably got through because nobody at all checked.

The conclusion sums it all up:

I give up. I simply cannot be bothered to write anything else about what has to be the worst product I have ever had the misfortune to review. It is simply terrible on every level and gets nowhere near its budget price of £180 as far as value is concerned. It can’t get near because it not only doesn’t work very well, it barely works at all. It is a sub-standard, low rent, cheap piece of nonsense which should not be sold by such a well known company.

[Via]

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Xperia X10 line to get Android 2.1... finally.

Sony Ericsson have announced that the Xperia X10 line (including the Mini and Mini Pro) are finally getting an OS update from Android 1.6.. but only to Android 2.1!

Of course, everybody else is waiting for Android 2.2 or has it already, version 2.1 is already obsolete as far as many people are concerned. So all Sony Ericsson are doing is replacing an obsolete version of Android with a slightly less obsolete one.

The Xperia X10 is a pretty decent handset, but there's really no reason to choose it over the similarly specified and much more up-to-date HTC Desire or a number of other rivals. Sony Ericsson's commitment to Android looks pretty half-hearted.. in fact their entire strategy during 2010 looks like they are not really trying. Will they survive 2011?

[Via]

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Google: Android was "best deal ever"

Believe it or not.. Android wasn't always a Google property, but it was something they acquired in 2005, three years before the first Android handset (the T-Mobile G1) came to market.

Google VP David Lawee recently called Google's Android purchase as Google's "best deal ever".. which is high praise when you consider how many companies Google has bought (for example YouTube and dozens of others).

Apple may have popularised the idea of offering a complete package of hardware and software services, but Android is arguably more useful as so many people use Google services already. Microsoft has realised this too with Windows Phone 7, and is attempting to copy Apple and Android while adding its own distinctiveness.. in other words, all these big players understand that integrated mobile platforms are going to be big business. And what will that business look like in another 5 years time?

[Via]

Monday, October 18, 2010

Video: HTC Gratia

The HTC Legend is a great looking phone, but really expensive for what it is. Perhaps this new Gratia (Grai-shya? How the heck do you pronounce it anyway?) is going to be a bit cheaper.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Video: Motorola BRAVO

Exclusive to AT&T in the US, the BRAVO is a bit less powerful than the DROID on Verizon, but it's still a pretty capable Android phone.

Video: Motorola SPICE

Perhaps it's a bit cheeky to compare this with the BlackBerry Torch.. but it does most of the same things and is likely to be a lot cheaper!

Video: Motorola FLIPSIDE

Bound for AT&T in the US, the FLIPSIDE is an evolution of the familiar "Morrison" line. It makes a useful choice for AT&T customers and marks continuing progress by Motorola in the US market.

Video: Motorola DROID PRO

It's a DROID inside.. but not on the surface where it looks like a mutant BlackBerry. Cleverly it supports both CDMA/EVDO and GSM/UMTS networks at the same time, a useful thing for Verizon customers (who get this phone exclusively)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

BBC: Google Android apps found to be sharing data

One nice thing about the Android market is that applications have to say exactly what they want access to. But how many people actually read this? Why do some applications need access to things that make no sense?

A team of scientists looked at 30 popular Android apps and came back with some worrying conclusions according the this BBC report.

In particular, applications are not clear about the data they are gathering or exactly what it is being used for, and the "simplistic" warnings that happen on installation are criticised.

[Via]

Monday, September 27, 2010

Video: HTC Desire running Desire HD ROM

I'm not really into tinkering with the internals of my Android phone too much, as there's always a risk that it will get bricked and I do use it for stuff. Still, hats off to these folks (video below) who have ported the ROM from the Desire HD into the original Desire.. and now it boots up in just 3 seconds! Sure, not everything works.. but wouldn't it be nice if HTC (and other manufacturers) could do the same thing?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Video: HTC Desire Z (2)

 This is HTC's video exploring the new Desire Z and its features. Looks good!

Video: HTC Desire Z

You might recognise the HTC Desire Z as the T-Mobile G2, or perhaps from its apparent codename of HTC Vision. A but like the Desire HD, this is really just HTC stretching the Desire sub-brand to other high-end devices.

Like the G2, this has HSPA+ support and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard running on top of Android 2.2, and it competes strongly with the Motorola Milestone 2.

Video: HTC Desire HD

Well, it's finally official.. the HTC Desire HD is the Android equivalent of the HTC HD2. The screen has been increased to 4.3", the processor and RAM has been upgraded and the HD supports HSPA+.. but don't expect it to replace the original Desire any time soon because it's a substantially bigger and more expensive device.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Video: LG Optimus Series

LG haven't made much of a dent in the Android market.. the LG Optimus series is an attempt to gain some much-needed market share. As far as we're concerned, they're just run-of-the-mill black slabby things that are unlikely to excite consumers.. still, here's a video explaining why LG are doing it.

Flash FAIL threatens Android

One of the key selling points of Android 2.2 is the inclusion of a full version of Adobe Flash Player.

Unfortunately, the implementation of Flash on Android is TOO full, and Adobe have managed to make the platform vulnerable to the latest zero day security threat, according to PC World magazine.

Adobe Flash and Adobe Acrobat Reader are two completely miserable failures when it comes to security. Although Flash is not quite as bad as Acrobat Reader, it is still a sign of remarkable FAIL to be able to be so rubbish.

Although Flash does add functionality, does it come at too high a price? And is Steve Jobs right to keep Flash off the iPhone platform after all?

[Via]

Monday, September 13, 2010

Video: T-Mobile G2

A video about the upcoming G2 that also seeks to clarify that there's more than one handset with the G2 name..

Thursday, September 9, 2010

T-Mobile G2.. no, it's *another* G2.

Confusingly, there are two phones with the name T-Mobile G2, one is the T-Mobile G2 Touch which is a version of the HTC Hero launced last year. This new one is just called the T-Mobile G2 and is T-Mobile's version of a new upcoming phone codenamed HTC Vision, initially heading for T-Mobile USA.

This is a QWERTY slider running Android 2.2 on an 800 MHz Snapdragon MSM7230 processor (allegedly faster than the 1GHz CPU found in rivals). There's a 3.7" display on the front, a 5 megapixel camera with HD video recording capabilities on the back and a very nice looking keyboard, but the G2's key selling proposition is the inclusion of HSPA+ data.

HSPA+ gives a theoretical maximum download speed of up to 21 Mbps, but real world figure will be two-thirds of that or much less. And of course you'll need access to an HSPA+ network, which is still being rolled out by T-Mobile USA.

T-Mobile are pushing HSPA+ as a 4G technology, it is just an enhancement to 3.5G technologies and is probably best described at a 3.75G technology.. 4G isn't here yet and for most customers it won't be for some time.

The G2 should be available to T-Mobile USA customers sometime this month, but we would expect to see it available worldwide under the HTC name by the end of this year.

Via [1] [2]

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dell Streak - streak of what, exactly?

In my view Dell make some nice hardware, but they have just about the worst customer service in the world and are probably best given a very wide berth. So, it was probably predictable that the Dell Streak should end up as a disaster, according to this report.

Firstly.. the darned thing shipped with Android 1.6 which is frankly a relic, and the promised upgrade to Android 2.1 (not 2.2 mind you) is turning into a disaster. The upgrade is buggy, users are losing data and applications are malfunctioning.. and the O2 and Dell forums have a growing list of complaints.

Is it any surprise when a company with zero experience of smartphones and a reputation for terrible customer service ends up with what looks suspiciously like a disaster on its hands? Fortunately there are plenty of other manufacturers to choose from.. so perhaps Dell should be given a very wide berth.

[Via]

Friday, September 3, 2010

Samsung I5510 spy shots

If you want a Android QWERTY slider phone, then your choice is probably going to be a Motorola or a Motorola. However, the folks at allaboutphones.nl spotted the Samsung I5510 at the Vodafone booth at the IFA show, and from the pictures and brief description they give, we can see that this is a pretty nifty looking Android 2.2 device.

The I5510 appears to have WiFi, 3G data, a 5 megapixel camera and Bluetooth, which is pretty normal. The display looks a little on the small side so it could be a WQVGA device. No other details are available at the moment, we suspect that Samsung will announce something officially quite soon.

[Via]

Video: Toshiba Folio 100

The Toshiba Folio 100 is pretty much an Android equivalent of the iPad, with a non-3G version due in October and a 3G version due early next year. It's about a third less than the iPad too, and the Toshiba name on it should indicate that it will be reasonably high quality.

It's actually a bit heavier than the iPad, although there are plenty of docking options available. The rival Samsung Galaxy Tab has similar capabilities but a much smaller (but same resolution) display.

Video: Samsung Galaxy Tab

More details about the Samsung Galaxy Tab. The big mystery is the price - it will be more expensive than most simple tablets because it supports 3G data as well as WiFi.. bear in mind that the Dell Streak retails at about €600, although that's an over-priced and under-specified device in our opinion, the Galaxy Tab looks much better.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Video: Motorola DEFY

An unexpected announcement from Moto yesterday was the Motorola DEFY, which is basically a rugged Milestone-style handset with the same display, but with an 800 MHz processor (halfway between the original Milestone and Milestone 2) and for some reason Android 2.1 rather than 2.2. Off the top of our heads, it is about the only tough touchscreen smartphone that we can think of, and if you've ever dropped and broken one of these expensive gadgets then this could be for you.

Samsung Galaxy Tab is official

All sorts of manufacturers are putting together Android tablets at the moment, but one of the most anticipated is the Samsung Galaxy Tab - and finally this device has gone official.

The main feature is the 7 inch 1024 x 600 pixel touchscreen display, but under the hood is a 1GHz processor and 512MB of memory with Android 2.2 running plus some software enhancements from Samsung called "Hubs" for social networking, entertainment and so on.

It supports WiFi including 802.11n and the usual protocols, and also standard European 2G and 3G networks, which means that you can use it anywhere.. and presumably make phone calls, presumably you would want to use a Bluetooth headset though (and the Galaxy Tab supports Bluetooth 3.0 while we're at it).

When it comes to size, the Samsung Galaxy Tab is about half the size and weight of the Apple iPad, but then the iPad has a much bigger screen.

On the back is a 3 megapixel camera plus a 1.3 megapixel camera on the front for video calling. The Tab comes with either 16GB or 32GB of memory internally, and there's also a microSD slot which can take an additional 32GB of memory.

In Europe, Vodafone will be carrying it although no pricing has been specified, and we guess that other carriers will have it too. More information is available from the Samsung Galaxy Tab site.

Via [1], [2]

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Video: Motorola Milestone 2

More about the new Motorola Milestone 2..

Motorola Milestone 2

No surprises.. just a welcome relief that the Motorola Milestone 2 is actually coming to Europe during Q4. It's a straight port of the DROID 2 with a 1 GHz processor, more internal storage, Android 2.2, HD video recording, data tethering and a much less awful keyboard. Best guess is that this will set you back about €500 or so at launch.

The Milestone 2 also includes the MOTOBLUR social networking / bookmarking / whatever which frankly we can live without, but many users of other Motorola handset say that it works well.

Moto have more information about the phone here.


[Via]

Hannspree tablet hits 10 inches

Is ten inches enough? Is it really better that the seven inches that the iPad has? Hannspree seem to think so, with this very powerful (and unnamed) tablet device pitched to sell at at €400 and coming with a 1024 x 600 pixel display and a 1GHz processor and Tegra 2 graphics chipset.

This is a strictly WiFi only device, which is just as well as the thing weighs 800 grams and is basically massive.

Android 2.2 is included plus a decent set of speakers and of course the large screen and powerful graphics card, so it certainly looks impressive.

Tablets are probably going to be massively popular by Christmas, and this Hannspree gizmo is certainly very competitive.. assuming that they have the resources to market it.

[Via]

LG E720 spy shots

LG has never been a particularly strong player in the smartphone market, but in the past 12 months or so they have made more of an effort to muscle in on the Windows and Android markets.

The spy shots of the LG E720 show a fairly inexpensive handset with a 3.2" WQVGA touchscreen, 5 megapixel camera, WiFi, GPS and Android 2.2.

Cynics may comment that the E720 looks rather like one of those fake Chinese iPhone handsets that comes out of Shenzhen rather than anything that will set the pulse racing (at least the LG GT540 looks fresh in LG's range).

There's no word on price or availability, but we don't imagine that this will be very expensive.

[Via]

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sony Ericsson A8i heading for China Mobile

China Mobile uses the unusual TD-SCDMA network, but it has a massive subscriber base which means that it is worth manufacturers making handsets specifically for this market.

Running a variation of Android called OMS, the Sony Ericsson A8i has a 3.5" 854 x 480 pixel display, a 5 megapixel camera and all the usual stuff you'd expect such as WiFi and GPS.

It looks very much like the white version of the XPERIA X10 but with a smaller screen, and its certainly an attractive European-style handset that should appeals to better off customers.

Why is China Mobile so important? Well, it has over 500 million subscribers and is the single largest mobile phone network in the work. Those are big numbers.. and unlike Vodafone who are number 2 in the world, the China Mobile business is one single market which give significant economies of scale.

Nokia too are competing with the Nokia X5 TD-SCDMA which is a very conventional Symbian smartphone. We know which one we would choose!

Via [1] [2]

Monday, August 30, 2010

Motorola QUENCH XT5

The original QUENCH was launched by Moto last year, but this (as yet) unannounced update takes the existing "Morrison" platform device and adds Android 2.1 and a trackball to the existing design. It didn't make much market impact though, and was mostly restricted to North American markets.

The QUENCH XT5 is pitched to compete against the Nokia X6 and HTC Wildfire in the market. It sports a 3.2" 480 x 320 pixel display, a 5 megapixel camera with flash, FM radio, HSDPA 900 / 1900 / 2100 support, WiFi and GPS. Talktime on 3G is quoted as over hours with 22 days standby time, and the whole package weighs 114 grams.

Pricing will probably be around $350 - $400 retail in the US, €250 - €300 in Europe. There's no exact word on the date yet, but we think that the official announcement of this handset it likely to be very soon.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fennec Alpha hits Android

Fennec is the mobile version of Firefox, and it's now available in Alpha for several Android devices. Quite a lot more sophisticated than the standard Android browser, Fennec has been hotly anticipated as it offers a better user interface and the possibility of using Firefox addons.

Don't go looking on the Android Market for it yet - you will need to download and install it a different way. The instructions are right here It certainly seems to work on our test Milestone, except that it is rather slow and can't handle embedded YouTube videos.. so it definitely isn't ready for everyday use yet.

Via [1], [2]

Samsung Galaxy Tab teaser

The Samsung Galaxy Tab is Samsung's answer to the iPad, sporting a 7" display and Android 2.2. Samsung have released a teaser trailer (see below) to whet our appetites before the launch next week. Looks great, hopefully it will be cheaper than the iPad too. You can see the teaser at the Samsung Galaxy Tab site or click below.


Via [1], [2]

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Nokia N9 to compete with high-end Android devices

Outside the Android camp, Nokia is currently preparing its first MeeGo handset - the Nokia N9. Nokia have been sidelined over recent months with the impressive growth of Android devices, but MeeGo is the descendant of Nokia's open source Maemo OS which was a broadly similar attempt to build a powerful mobile operating system.

According to Softpedia, the N9 will pack a 1GHz processor, have a 4" WVGA display, 512MB of RAM and all the other usual high-end features.

What we really like? The keyboard! There's not exactly a wealth of QWERTY equipped Android devices.. and the keyboard on the popular DROID / Milestone is sucky to say the least. The N9 looks very good though, reminding us a bit of the highly usable keyboard on the Nokia 9210.

So yes, this is an Android blog and the N9 isn't an Android phone.. well, not yet. We imagine that it won't be long until some enterprising person hacks the handset to run Android, just as they did with the N900.. see the video below for more.

Via [1], [2], [3]

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Xperia X10 Mini is phone of the year.. apparently.

Apparently voted "phone of the year" for 2010-2011 at the European EISA awards is the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini.

No, we're not sure why either. It's alright, but really we think that the screen is too small to be really practical. Oh well.

Via

HTC Desire HD spotted on Amazon

It really can't be long before HTC formally announce the HTC Desire HD when Amazon (accidentally) listed it for £415 in the UK..

Via

Thursday, August 12, 2010

"Complete Guide to Maximizing Your Android Phone’s Battery Life"

How-To Geek has a great article on how to maximize the battery life on your Android phone.

If you're struggling with battery time, then you really need to read this to understand exactly what might be sucking the life out of your precious battery.

In particular, the issue of background applications running when you don't want them is a serious issue. Unwanted apps not only drain the battery, but they can also slow your phone down and use memory. Very few applications have a proper "Exit" function, so these can build up over time. It's baffling why Android doesn't come with a decent Task Manager - How-To Geek recommends Advanced Task Cleaner, I personally recommend Task Manager by Rhythm Software although there are a huge number to choose from in the Android Market.

Via

BBC: Vodafone backs down on Desire fiasco

Another good argument for going SIM-free was the decision of Vodafone in the UK to push out an update to customers that - instead of being the expected Froyo update - in fact filled the phone in unremovable Vodafone-branded applications.

User reactions were understandably very negative, after all if the phone didn't come with this crap on when it was bought.. what right does the carrier have to install it later? Now the BBC are reporting that Vodafone have backed down on the update and will offer it as an optional download at a later date.

The whole OS update issue looks like a storm brewing. Customers very much want Android 2.2, but some manufacturers and networks are dragging their feet over the issue. Maybe there was a point to the Google Nexus One after all, as that was the first to get the update.. but will it run Android 3?

Via [1], [2]

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

BBC: Virus writers hit Google Android phones

You know when a platform is beginning to be successful when the bad guys start writing viruses for it, and the mainstream media take notice.

According to this report, Kaspersky Labs discovered the malware which is said to be the first malicious application for the Android platform (really?). The malicious application spreads via SMS and seems to be hitting Russian Android users in particular.

There are perhaps a couple of good things to do to keep safe - firstly, most Android users should stick the the official Android Market for applications.. but even then you should be careful when installing applications and look at the reviews and see EXACTLY what the application is asking to have access to.

Via

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Video: Motorola DROID 2

A video guide to the Motorola DROID 2


Via

Motorola DROID 2 packs Froyo, 1GHz CPU and better keyboard

Not exactly a secret we guess, but here it is..the Motorola DROID 2 fixes most of the things that annoyed us with the original DROID / MILESTONE handset.

This is a CDMA phone for the Verizon network in the US, but we would be very surprised if we didn't see an announcement for the "MILESTONE 2" very shortly as well.

The DROID 2 improves on the original version by ramping up the processor speed to 1GHz, it now runs Android 2.2 (Froyo) and has a much better keyboard. The camera remains the same at 5 megapixels plus a dual LED flash. Internal memory is 8GB plus an 8GB microSD card in the standard sales package, and the DROID 2 comes with the 3.7" 854 x 480 pixel Gorilla Glass coated display that made the original one so nice to use.

Android 2.2 includes better Flash support than on previous versions, and it is also reportedly much quicker than 2.1. Combine this with a processor running at almost twice the speed then this should make it a very nice handset indeed.

The DROID 2 should be available to pre-order from tomorrow (11th August) from Verizon Wireless for delivery sometime during Q3.. and there will even be an "R2-D2" themed version available online from next month. Yes, this is probably the DROID you are looking for.

Monday, August 9, 2010

HTC Desire HD / HTC Ace caught on video

Not much to see, except that it exists.. definitely one to look out for!

Friday, August 6, 2010

HTC Desire HD and Desire Z (HTC Vision) on the horizon

We think that the HTC Desire rocks, and it's definitely one of the best Android devices on the market. It makes sense that HTC would want to follow on this success, and apparently they are looking at the HTC Desire HD and HTC Desire Z (or perhaps HTC Vision or HTC Desire Vision) to carry on from the original Desire. There's also an upcoming variant of the Desire that uses an SLCD display instead of OLED, partly down to manufacturing difficulties with OLED displays.


Our response.. well it's "game on!" Goodness only knows what HTC have in their plans for an "HD" version of what is already an HD device.. most likely something very, very Desire-able indeed!


Via

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Android handsets up 886% in a year

According to a widely reported analysis from Canalys, shipments of Android phones were up 886% between Q2 2009 and Q2 2010, as sales of smartphones surge.

Canalys says that the number one platform for smartphones was Symbian with 27.1m shipments in the quarter, followed by RIM's BlackBerry OS at 11.2m, Android at 10.7m and Apple's iPhone at 8.4m. All vendors reported about a 40%-60% increase in shipments except Microsoft that slipped 10.2% in a rapidly growing market.

Of course, Android shipments are shared between several different manufacturers, where RIM and Apple devices only come from RIM and Apple, and the bulk of Symbian handsets will be Nokia. But who knows where this growth will end up? Don't expect RIM to relinquish that #2 place easily though, as at least three new handsets are likely to be announced by them in the very near future (perhaps even today!)

Via [1], [2]

Is there a Gorilla in your smartphone?

Who knew that glass could be so interesting.. if you own a Motorola Android phone, or certain LG, Samsung or Sonim phones then your handset probably has Gorilla Glass. This is one of those inventions that didn't really have a market when it was invented, but right know there's a huge demand for lightweight but tough glass that works well with LCD screen.

Gorilla Glass was original invented in 1962, and is the result of a painstaking research program and is very carefully made - the whole story is quite interesting and you can read more about it here. If you want to find out if your device has Gorilla Glass, then the manufacturer Corning has a list here. It's obviously quite tough because you can find it in ultra-rugged handsets like the Sonim XP2 Spirit.. although there's some debate as to how difficult it is to scratch over at the Motorola forums.

My best advice is that even if you find that your phone has Gorilla Glass, you still want to get yourself a nice case for it because your Android phone is not indestructible.

Via [1], [2]

Android 2.2 "Froyo" - who gets what when

It's hard to keep track of just which Android devices may (or may not) get an upgrade to Android 2.2 (Froyo) and when.

The best resource we can find for this is JR Raphael's "Android 2.2 upgrade list" over at ComputerWorld which is kept up-to-date with latest developments.

The headlines are that the Google Nexus One was the first to have the new OS, and in the US the HTC EVO 4G and Motorola DROID start with the rollout this week. In Europe the HTC Desire rollout should start in a few weeks time, but the situation with the Motorola MILESTONE is a bit unclear, although O2 Germany say they will be pushing 2.2 out to Milestone customers in September. There's no news on the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 though.

Definite a good page to keep bookmarked if you want to keep track of the Froyo release schedule!

Via

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Modu makes Android

Modu's mini handset and clever jackets didn't really make much of an impact, slowly sneaking onto the market and without the wide range of accessories that we were hoping for (you can buy one here). But the concept of a modular phone was interesting and certainly a radical and new idea.

It's a surprise therefore to see an Android phone from Modu, but here it is.. or at least a prototype. As it stands, it's a tiny Android touchscreen phone competing against the Sony Ericsson X10 Mini which we guess gives it a certain appeal.



Via

Monday, July 26, 2010

Android share up 3% in UK

GfK reports that Android's share of the UK contract (post-pay) market grew 3% in Q1 2010 to reach 13.2%.

Sales of "Advanced Operating System" handsets (smartphones to you and I) accounted for a whopping 66.7% of contract sales in Q2, with latest figures indicating a 73.5% market share. Remember though that a lot of these smartphones are going to be Nokia S60 handsets, where the users may not even realise that they can download apps at all.

Although market share is still quite low, the growth of Android seems to have an unstoppable momentum in the UK market.

Via

Friday, July 23, 2010

$35 Android tablet rumoured for India

File this one under "rumours", because frankly we don't think that it is possible.. but AndroidOS.in  is covering a story about an alleged $35 Android tablet for the Indian market, with a 5" display, WiFi, 2GB internal memory and a USB port for $35.. what is even more unbelievable is the claim that it could go even lower.

Frankly, we don't think that this is possible.. even in large volumes. Things like 5" touchscreens are fairly pricey, and high demand for them would possibly even drive prices up due to component and raw material shortages. Even Nokia can only manage something like the Nokia C1-00 for that price. Anyway, good luck to them, we say..

Via

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sharp Lynx.: Android tablet plus QWERTY keyboard

Yesterday we looked at some upcoming Android tablets and said that we'd love to see one with a QWERTY keyboard. Well.. here's one, the Sharp Lynx which pretty much does everything that we want.

Before you get too excited, the Lynx is heading for NTT DOCOMO is Japan only. We can see no real reason why it couldn't be tweaked a bit for Europe though, and really we would very much like to see it over here.

The specs are very nice indeed - a 960 x 480 pixel screen, trackball, GPS, WiFi and a 5.3 megapixel camera (an odd number we guess). At 148 x 84 x 18mm and 230 grams it's certainly easier to carry around than a laptop, but a lot more convenient than a smartphone.

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Droid 2 dummy gives the game away

Do you want a Motorola DROID 2 for just $29.99? Well you can.. as long at you don't mind it being this dummy phone.

There have been a few leaks about the DROID 2 lately, but the dummy probably gives the best idea of what it different. The main change is a much larger and better looking keyboard, otherwise the changes are quite subtle. We do notice that the DROID 2 still has a 5 megapixel camera on the back though.

What's inside is more interesting.. we can only speculate about the internals, but Motorola really need to put a 1GHz processor and more RAM into the DROID 2 to make it truly competitive. And we also imagine that this means that the MILESTONE 2 is just around the corner too..

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Digital Trends roundup of Android Tablets

Android lends itself pretty well to the tablet format we think, and Digital Trends have this roundup of upcoming and rumoured tablet devices.

Although the Dell Streak is available now, we think that it's just an oversized smartphone.. and frankly we're not big fans of Dell's laughable approximation of customer service. Some of these other device are much more like the iPad, some are much more fanciful.

One criticism of these designs is that they are all very "me too". We'd love to see a subnotebook format Android device with a decent keyboard!

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

LogMeIn Ignition for Android

Ever wanted to control your desktop PC from your phone? Now you can with LogMeIn Ignition for Android, available from the Android Market for $29.99. We can't vouch for how well it works, but one immediate downside will be that you have to leave your PC logged in all the time. Apparently this is a popular app for the iPhone too, whatever that is.



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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Video: LG Optimus Range

LG intend to put out 10 new Android devices before the end of the year, including an Android tablet. Many of these will be branded as "Optimus" devices. No, it's not a Transformers movie...




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Friday, July 9, 2010

Comscore reports Android on the march

comScore has reported a significant boost in the percentage share that Android has in the US smartphone market, up from 9.0% in February 2010 to 13.0% in May (up 4%).

RIM is still top of the pile in the US smartphone market, with 41.7% (down 0.4%), followed by Apple at 24.0% (down 1.0%) and Microsoft just ahead of Android at 13.2% (down 1.9%).  Palm comes in at just 4.8% (down 0.6%) although their recent acquisition by HP may make WebOS something of a wildcard.

Apple's decline is probably due in part to anticipation over the the iPhone 4 which was launched last month, so we would expect to see the next round of comScore figures to show a big jump for Apple.

Android is clearly doing well, but it has a lot of work to do if it wants to grab even the number two position from Apple. A lot also depends on whether Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7 platform is a success or disaster, and that's something we will only really know in six months time or more.

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Video: Motorola CHARM

The Moto FLIPOUT.. without a FLIP.

Monday, July 5, 2010

HTC Vision Rumours

A blurry screenshot of something nice.. the HTC Vision is said to be an Android phone with a practical looking slide-out QWERTY keyboard, a 1GHz processor, Android 2.1 and a 3.7" display.

At the moment HTC have nothing that competes directly against the Motorola Milestone or DROID which has a pretty miserable keyboard and a slower processor. Think of this as a Desire with a decent keyboard.. and I certainly know I want one at any rate..

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Friday, July 2, 2010

Symbian-Guru.com defects to Android

Symbian-Guru.com has been one of the best blogs for the Symbian platform for some time, but a shock announcement that the blog has closed has certainly caused ripples in the Symbian community.. not least because editor Ricky Cadden has deserted Symbian altogether for Android.

AndroidSmartPhone.com tries to steer clear of fanboyism.. there are actually plenty of nice phones out there running something other than Android. So we have to say that we're sad to see Symbian-Guru.com but not surprised.

Personally, I believe that Nokia never made the best of Symbian despite having a lot of strengths compared to other OSes. Yes, Nokia have the N900 which runs Maemo - and Android-class OS - but put the N900 and a high-end Android device next to each other and Android certainly wins. The N900 is the first and last Maemo phone from Nokia, future high-end devices will run the untested Moblin OS.

Perhaps it is time for Nokia to swallow its pride and offer an Android handset alongside their Symbian and Maemo/Moblin ones. Would it sell? You betcha..

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Motorola CHARM

GSMArena has the scoop on another upcoming Moto, the Motorola CHARM.

Looks familiar.. well, yeah.. because it's basically the Motorola FLIPOUT without the flip, making it a BlackBerry-style messaging device.

Now, although we're very happy to see Moto pushing Android so hard with some excellent devices, the CHARM is really just another version of the "Morrison" platform used of the CLIQ, BACKFLIP and other Motorola devices. Perhaps it's time for something different.. like a clamshell?

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Motorola DROID X

The Motorola DROID X was pretty widely leaked before yesterday's official announcement from Verizon and Motorola,  so all we were waiting for really were some details.

The monster 4.3" display is the most obvious thing, but this Android 2.1 phone also has a 1GHz processor, an 8 megapixel camera, HD video capture  and an HDMI output for playback.

There's no keyboard though, and an annoying-looking bump on the back where the camera is housed means that it won't sit flat on a table. Hopefully Moto will have a docking station solution in the works, although obviously that's going to cost more.

If you want one of these then you have to live in the US and be on Verizon to use it. There's no word on a GSM version though, and in some ways it competes with the Milestone XT720, so the situation is unclear.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Adobe Flash Player 10.1 Arrives for Android

Good news and bad news: Adobe Flash Player 10.1 Arrives for Android.. but whether or you see it as good or bad news depends largely on your point of view.

Available only for Android 2.2 devices (and there aren't exactly many of those about), Flash 10.1 will be available through the Android Market for download. Now, Android users can experience full Flash multimedia while opening up their Android handset to a terrifying number of security flaws that Adobe products come with.

Still, it might annoy those people who have shelled out for a new iPhone 4, which isn't a bad thing..

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Monday, June 21, 2010

DroidX teaser trailer

How cool is this? Well, very cool we think.. but you have to be in the US to get one.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Video: Samsung Galaxy 3 & Galaxy Apollo

Video: Sony Ericsson Xperia X8

Sony Ericsson Xperia X8

A more compact version of the X10 with a lower spec and lower price tag, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 is pitched to sell at less than €200, but it still comes with all the Android essentials.

We have mixed feelings about the X10.. it's a nice enough device but it is hard to beat the HTC Desire which we think beats it in every category. The X8 has less serious competition though.. it looks pretty too :)

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Complex.com - The Top 15 Android Phones Available Now

Complex has a useful guide as to what it sees as the Top 15 Android Phones available now.. in the US that is.

In fact, they might we be all the Android phones available in the US, but at least it goes to show that you get a real choice of different gadget to play with.

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Samsung Galaxy 3 I5800 and Galaxy 5 I5500

A pair of fairly low cost Android phones from Samsung, the Galaxy 3 I5800 and Galaxy 5 I5500 are likely to cost less than €250 or thereabouts in our estimate.

The Galaxy 3 is actually the higher spec device with a WQVGA screen, the 5 is a but smaller with a plain QVGA display. The camera is nothing to get excited about, but there's the usual collection of 3.5G, WiFi and GPS that will make the pair of them useful.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Samsung Galaxy Apollo

Thanks to GSMArena for the heads up on the forthcoming Samsung Galaxy Apollo GT-I5801, an Android phone with a 3.2" touchscreen, FM radio and 3 megapixel camera on the back. Other rumoured specs include 802.11n WiFi and a 3.5mm audio socket.

Not much is known for sure, other than the Galaxy Apollo I5801 is coming, and probably coming quite soon, and presumably it will sit in the range very closely to the I5700 Galaxy Portal (or Galaxy Spica)

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Video: Motorola Milestone XT720

A brief video overview of the new XT720, announced on the same day as the iPhone 4!

Motorola Milestone XT720 coming soon

Cheekily announced on the same day that we're expecting to hear about the 4th-gen iPhone, the Motorola Milestone XT720 is the European version of the Korean MOTOROI.

Building on the familiar "Sholes" platform, the XT720 is a keyboardless tablet with a 3.7" display 854 x 480 pixel, 8 megapixel camera with Xenon flash, an HDMI interface to enable it to be connected to an HD TV and Android 2.1. There's also an FM radio (which rumour has it is also installed but not enabled in the original Milestone), plus of course all the multimedia goodies that you'd expect.

Moto haven't said what kind of processor it has, but the MOTOROI has a similar 600MHz CPU to the Milestone which is fast enough for most apps, but you can tell the difference when put up against the HTC Desire.

Motorola have more information and a spec sheet here. They also have a video of their upcoming TV campaign:



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Sunday, June 6, 2010

7 Ways to Find Amazing New Android Apps

If you get as frustrated as we do with the Android Market, then help is at hand according to this excellent article from Mashable entitled 7 Ways to Find Amazing New Android Apps.

Indeed, the biggest problem with the Android application library is not that there are too few apps, but there are just a mass of them and the official Market is not very well organised! So, we think that this guide will certainly help.

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Samsung Galaxy Tab

Samsung leaked information about a forthcoming Android tablet today, the Samsung Galaxy Tab which is much more of an iPad-style device than the Dell Streak.

Sources say that the Galaxy Tab has an 8" display or similar, but there's not really too much that can be determined from the limited pictures available.

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Video: Motorola FLIPOUT

Another variant of the Motorola "Morrison" platform, the Motorola FLIPOUT has a rotating keyboard and an almost square design. Will it sell? Not sure, but Moto probably think that it is worth a shot.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Motorola Droid Shadow found in gym

If you work for a big mobile phone manufacturer and are given a prototype to field test, it's vitally important not to leave it in a bar .. or in this case, the gym.

Yes, some poor soul left a prototype of what appears to be the Motorola Droid Shadow, a Motorola Sholes-based handset (like the orignal Droid and Milestone) with a large 4.3" display, 8 megapixel camera and built in Android 2.2.

This particular handset is going to Verizon in the US, but if the pattern with the Droid and Milestone is repeated then hopefully there will be a GSM version pretty soon too.

The rumour is that the Droid Shadow uses Motoblur, something that hasn't been available on Sholes devices before, which should be pretty cool.

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