Android Phones, Info and Apps

TAG | 1GHz

We’ve seen the power of the Tegra 2 platform in many tablets but until now no one has integrated it into a mobile phone. There were rumors that the second Android phone – Nexus S will be running on Tegra 2, but they came out to be wrong. However, another phone will keep a Tegra 2 chip inside its body – LG Optimus 2X (which was formerly known as LG Star). At first it will be present only on the Korean market in January next year and after that followed by the Asia and European markets.

The specifications of LG Optimus X2 are quite impressive and if it wasn’t the small screen, everyone could think that these are the specs of a netbook. As already mentioned, the core of the handset is 1GHz Tegra 2 processor, supported by 4-inch WVGA screen, 8GB internal memory (which can be expanded via the microSD card slot with up to additional 32GB), 8MP rear camera and a 1.3MP front-facing one for video calling, HDMI mirroring, 1080p MPEG-4/H.264 video playback and recording and 1500mAh battery. At first the device will be offered with Android 2.2 FroYo as its OS but later on LG promise that you’ll be able to upgrade it to the just announced Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

All these specification look really fantastic and I’m sure that LG Optimus X2 will mark the start of a new era in the mobile phones’ life. Having a 1GHz 2-core processor in your pocket is really amazing. I remember the time 10 years ago when I had my first Pentium PC running at 400MHz – it was so big and noisy and now my mobile phone is times faster and smaller. All that’s left is to wait for the final price and head to the stores as soon as the LG Optimus X2 is released.

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We’ve seen many Android smartphones with different hardware specifications – processors, display kind and/or size, RAM, ROM, hardware keyboard and so on. But all the phones have one and the same form factors – either a chocolate bar or a slider with hardware keyboard underneath. The Korean manufacturer Samsung has decided to break the ice and bring us back in time when the clamshell factor was trendy, introducing their newest Android device – W899, targeted at the Asian market.

W899 has a stylish rectangular form, similar to an ordinary chocolate bar and at first glance you will think that this is the form factor of the handset – but you are wrong. The most interesting and never seen before thing in W899 is that it has two 3.3-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen displays. One of them is positioned like the ordinary display of a clam-shell handset and the second one is placed on the back side of the lid. So you will have a display at your disposal when the phone is opened and when it is closed. It’s an interesting concept but whether it will be success or not – the sells will show. The rest features of W899 include multitouch support, Android 2.2 FroYo OS, 5MP rear camera and a VGA front-facing one for video calling, 1GHz processor, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth and only 512MB internal memory.

It’s not clear yet if Samsung will release W899 to the rest of the world, but if they do, it will surely be part of the Galaxy family. As for the Asian market – still no info about price and availability.

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During the last several months there were numerous rumors, leaked pictures, speculations about the manufacturer and the specifications of the new Google phone – Nexus S. Yesterday during the presentation of Android 2.3 Gingerbread, Google showed and made official their new handset as well – Nexus S, manufactured by Samsung. The choice of the manufacturer is not a surprise taking into account the big success of Samsung Galaxy handset family and the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Working together, Google and Samsung has managed to create the best Android smartphone on the market so far, being the only one running the latest version of Android – 2.3 a.k.a. Gingerbread. The shape of the device is nice and sleek with curved edges and unique slightly curved display for best user experience. At the bottom part of Nexus S one could find the common Android key, this time in the form of touch-sensitive buttons – Home, Menu, Back and Search. Behind the cover you could find a 1GHz processor, 4-inch WVGA Super AMOLED display, connectivity for GSM/EDGE networks, gyroscope sensor for gaming, a 5MP back camera and a VGA front-facing one both with autofocus, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support, 16GB internal memory and a 1500mAh battery. The device also is the first one to feature a NFC (Near Field Communications) chip that will enable you to pay bills and other upcoming features via your mobile phone.

The device comes preloaded with all the Google services like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Maps, Google Search, Voice Actions, Google Voice and the YouTube application. Google Nexus S will be available for purchase in online stores and on the shelves starting from December 16, but the price is yet unknown.

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For quite some time Dell Streak was the only serious and attractive device in the middle segment between the mobile phones and internet tablets. Acer has just announced their new Android based … device. It is expected to be available in April 2011 and will have a 4.8-inch display, running at 1024×480 pixels resolution. An interesting thing is that the device still doesn’t have model name.

But the screen is not the only impressive thing in that sweet “little” boy. It hides many good things inside – 1GHz Snapdragon processor (it could have been a double core as in the newly announced tablets, but it’s still good), HSDPA support, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n networks support, Bluetooth 3.0, HDMI output, 8MP back camera with LED flash, capable of recording 720p video (it could have been 1080p as it is rumored for the rest upcoming handsets for 2011), a whole 2MP front facing camera for video calls, six-axis gyroscope and accelerometer package, together with all the standard sensors.

The phone itself looks pretty amazing, having a full metal body with wavy patterns and LED edge lighting really make it look classy and stylish. It seems that Asus have decided to jump into the deep waters with this handset – it really looks amazing outside and inside, but it all depends on the price tag and the handsets that the rest of manufacturers will present.

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It seems that the famous notebook (and recently handset) manufacturer has decided to step into the Android device market, introducing two new tablets – a 10-inch one and a 7-inch, together with a mobile phone/tablet, having a 4.8-inch display.

But let’s first begin with the big boy – a 10-inch tablet that is expected to be released in April, featuring “full Android tablet experience” whatever it means. But we all hope that Acer will integrate Android 2.3 Gingerbread into it. The tablet will have a 1GHz dual core processor, 1280×800 pixels resolution, Flash 10.1 support (so at least Android 2.2 installed), HDMI output and a 4MP camera. The body is just 13.3mm thick and is made of aluminum. Sounds pretty good and if combined with a pleasant price, this tablet will definitely be the favorite toy for many people.

But what if you are not into those big 10-inch tablets and would like something smaller, that you can put into your bigger pocket or in your ladies handbag? Acer have prepared something for you, too. They will release a 7-inch tablet as well, expected to hit the markets again in April. It will have again a double-core Qualcomm processor, but this time running at 1.2GHz frequency, Flash 10.1 support, resolution of 1280×800 pixels again (pretty nice resolution for a 7-incher), Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity (let’s hope it won’t be locked to certain carriers), 5MP rear camera and “HD” front-facing one for video calls and last but not least – DLNA support. It is supposed that the 7-incher will be running on Android 2.2 FroYo.

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It seems that Archos love Android, because they don’t stop producing new and new devices running on Android OS. Yesterday they’ve just released their 4.3-inches Android powered internet tablet Archos 43 and today they surprise us with another more-like-tablet device – Archos 70. With its 7-inch display it looks more like a tablet, compared to Archos 43, letting you browse the web or watch videos more comfortably and easily.

Among the rest features of Archos 70 are whole 8GB internal memory (pretty enough for some videos, your favourite audio tracks and photos), 1GHz processor (it could have been Tegra 2, but it is still good enough),  802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi support,  as already mentioned – 7-inch display running at resolution of 800×480 pixels, 3D graphic acceleration, USB connectivity, TV output and last but not least – UpnP and Samba support for streaming video content. This sounds pretty cool as you can stream your videos to a projector, which supports these protocols and enjoy them on even bigger screen.

All of this sounds very good, but there is one big drawback – it doesn’t support Android Market. However, if you still want to get some applications, you can do it via AppsLib Store. If you want to buy Archos 70, you can do it for 279.99$, but if you could wait a bit, Archos said that they will release a 250GB model really soon for 350$.

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There are numerous rumors around the web about an upcoming mobile phone coming from Sony Ericsson, simply called Playstation Phone. Some say it is not real and Sony are not planning to release such device, others claim that it is real. Some pictures have hit the web space these days, which show us how the future handset would look like and… reveals that it will be running on Android OS. Pretty good thing that will surely increase the popularity of Android as a gaming platform – something for which it was criticized.

The Playstation phone will most likely have these specifications:

  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • A custom Sony marketplace for video games for devices like this one
  • 1GHz Qualcomm MSM 8655 processor – probably most of us have expected something more from a gaming device
  • 512MB RAM
  • 1GB ROM
  • microSD card slot
  • Display between 3.7 and 4.1-inches but for a gaming handset, the bigger is always better

It is supposed that the new Sony marketplace will show up together with the release of Android Gingerbread.  The device itself is expected to hit the markets in 2011, but this is all which is known, as the device is yet in an early, buggy prototype version. So, gamers, get ready for the always-with-you game platform that will keep you busy for a long time.

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Oct/10

26

Huawei presents 2 new Androids

The not-so-famous manufacturer of mobile phones Huawei has presented 2 new mobile phones, running Android. Many of their devices are sold around the world rebranded by different mobile carriers. Usually their devices are ranged in the low or mid-low segment, but these new handsets break the trend.

The first of the two – Ideos X6 looks very similar to Motorola Droid X. It features a large 4.1-inch WVGA display running at resolution of 800x480px, made by Toshiba, a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 2GB ROM, 512MB RAM, HSPA+ data connectivity, a HDMI output, 5MP camera capable of recording 720p HD video and last but not least – the usual sensors and connectivity hardware like WiFi, GPS, FM radio and orientation sensors. All this will be under the control of Android 2.2 FroYo OS.

The other device – Ideos X5 is targeted in the middle class handsets. It is also running Android 2.2 and has HSPA+ connectivity,  5MP camera, and all the sensors and connectivity abilities. A difference between X5 and X6 is that X5 has a bit smaller display – 3.8 inches, but it is still quite big, having in mind that HTC Desire has a 3.7-inch one.

Both devices will run the stock version of Android, without any makeover with skins like Motoblur or HTC Sense. The handsets are expected to show on the shelves in the first quarter of the next year in Hong Kong, but still no word if they will be available to the rest of the world.

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Have you ever wanted to be able to design your own Android handset, putting into it the hardware features that you want and will use, removing the unnecessary or unwanted ones? Well, I have some good news for you – now you are able to fully customize and choose the parts that you want in your mobile phone.

A small startup called Synapse is experimenting with this idea, letting you individually customize your handset the way you want it. Some of the features are mandatory and you can’t change them:

  • Android 2.2 (Froyo) OS
  • 1GHz processor
  • 4-inch Super Amoled display
  • microSD card slot for memory cards up to 32GB

But with these nice features I doubt anyone would like to change them, especially this big nice Super Amoler display. Then, for the rest of the device’s features, you can choose from:

  • Radio (3G or 4G, including LTE and WiMAX)
  • Bluetooth
  • Camera (including: front and back-facing camera options, up to 12MP and whether or not to include flash)
  • Mini-HDMI
  • Physical or capacitive buttons
  • Body color (black or white)
  • Working memory
  • Built-in memory
  • Mobile television built-in

The default setup will cost you only 299EUR which is very good price for a handset with such capabilities. The rest is up to you – the more you put into it, the higher the price will go.

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Everyone knows the old myTouch 3G and its specifications, putting it in the mid class. So hearing that a new device with the same name will come up, being announced as the new T-Mobile’s flagman sounds a bit strange and surprising to everyone. But if the leaked specifications are true, the new myTouch may be really worth it.

The sheet confirms the already known specifications – 3.8-inch WVGA display, front-facing camera for video calling, 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 processor and support of Quad-band GMS networks and Dual-band UMTS/HSPA+. Other interesting features include the last-week announced Wi-Fi calling and preinstalled applications like Monopoly, Rock Band, Asphalt 5, Google voice search, Google Maps, Youtube, Picasa.  MyTouch will be able to capture, share and broadcast 720p HD video and pre-installed Swype for faster and easier text input.

But the most interesting and unexpected feature that will be available on myTouch is the T-Mobile TV. There is not much information about this service on the net, but the leaked sheet tells us that myTouch users will be able to watch live TV as well as on-demand video, watch for free ABC News Now, Fox Sports, PBS Kids, Disney, and Univision, family holiday movie favorites (it’s not clear if this will be free or paid service) and even more. Let’s wait for myTouch to hit the markets and see what is this T-Mobile TV all about.

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