News Update :







HTC ChaCha Gets Its First OTA Update

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Here is good news for all HTC ChaCha owners. The phone has recently received its first over-the-air update. For your info, the HTC ChaCha is known as the “Facebook” phone. This handset was introduced at this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The HTC ChaCha owners will receive a notification of FOTA update on their phone when it is made available. Simply press OK to accept the update via a data connection such as Wi-Fi or GPRS/3G. After installing the update, the new Build number after the update will be 1.18.401.1. Please backup your data first before upgrading your phone. We recommend using a free Wi-Fi hotspot or an unlimited data plan to apply this update. If not, standard data connection charges may apply. [HTC]

HTC ChaCha Facebook Hits UK Now!

HTC ChaCha has a dedicated button HTC Facebook clearly designed for maniacs Facebook. Phones4U offers free ChaCha HTC smartphone with Vodafone contract 24 months with a £ 20 per month. The one of two HTC phones centering Facebook is now available in the UK through Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U.

ChaCha HTC smartphone runs Android OS v2.3 and features a 2.6 inch touch screen with a resolution of 480 x 320, physical QWERTY keyboard, a 5MP camera with LED flash, 512 MB ROM and 512 MB of RAM.

HTC smartphone that is ChaCha and delivery is expected to begin June. But you can get for £ 300 on Pay As You Go. At Carphone Warehouse, Phone ChaCha Facebook is selling £ 230 SIM-free.
source: EliteZoom

HTC Incredible S featured in newspaper “porn” outrage

A furious “pensioner” apparently bought herself an HTC Incredible S from Carphone Warehouse, only to discover the remnants of a soldier's amateur porn collection pre-loaded on the Android phone.

We're not entirely sure we believe the story, featured in the Daily Post, as the Incredible S is hardly the sort of phone grandmas buy for themselves. But here it is anyway, as it's the weekend, and the phrase “doesn't bear thinking about” is used.

Thanks to reader Richard for the photos. We hope you were suitably outraged, Richard. We have contacted Carphone Warehouse with a request to see the pornography in question so we can draw our own conclusions.

The real outrage here, of course, is in CPW possibly being rumbled selling returned goods on to people as new. If that is indeed what happened. We're making no accusations. The entire things sounds like a lie by a bored reporter, to be honest.
source: Eurodroid

Nokia X7 Symbian Anna Smartphone Now Available For Pre-Order In The UK

Nokia's brand new Symbian Anna smartphone ‘X7‘ is now available for pre-order in the UK via Nokia UK online shop. The handset sells for 399 GBP (about $655) SIM-free, 359 GBP (about $590) on PAYG or for free with 25 GBP (about $ 41) per month on variety of operator contracts. To remind you, the X7 packs a 4.0-inch 640 x 360 AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display, a 680MHz processor, a 256MB RAM, a microSD card slot (8GB card included), an 8.0-megapixel camera, 720p HD video recording, 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth and runs on Symbian Anna OS. [Product Page]

Nokia X7 pre-orders start in the UK, shipping before the end of June

The Nokia X7 is, as of now, one of the just two upcoming smartphones that will ship with Symbian Anna on board (the other one being the E6). While we can endlessly debate whether Symbian has died already or is going to die slowly from now on, Nokia has a number of devices planned for launch and those launches are happening. And, to be honest, it's about time. There haven't been many Symbian handsets released in recent months.

The X7 is now on pre-order at Nokia's own online shop in the UK, with shipping promised before the end of June (yes, that is exactly as vague as Nokia's shipping deadlines usually are). This being Nokia, please assume that means June 30. Even so, if you pre-order now you're less than a month away from the magical moment when you'll be one of the first people in the UK (and the world!) to hold a smartphone running Symbian Anna. That's got to be worth something.

Whether or not it's worth £399 is your choice of course. That's how much Nokia is asking to give you the X7 SIM-free. You can also get it on Pay as you go for £369, or on a variety of operator contracts that start at £25 per month. In that case, the phone will be free.
source: Unwired View

HTC Android Smartphones to Gain Specialized Apps

HTC Sense customers may soon be able to download apps optimized just for their handsets.

HTC on Thursday announced it will soon launch the HTC OpenSense software development kit (SDK), which aids developers in creating apps designed specifically to interact with HTC's Sense software.

HTC Sense is the company's custom graphical user interface, built atop the Android platform. Since HTC is competing with other manufacturers like Samsung and Sony Ericsson — all three of which ship phones using the Android platform — Sense's custom interface acts to differentiate HTC phones from other devices.

Instead of having the stock Android interface, for example, the company's hardware comes with HTC's version of many common apps. On an HTC phone, Twitter is re-labled as “Peep,” for example. Menu screens also come pre-loaded with things like an HTC-branded media player, calendar and contacts apps.

“As the devices become more and more alike, manufacturers will do anything they can to differentiate themselves,” Gartner research analyst Ken Dulaney told in an interview.

The OpenSense SDK looks promising. HTC says developers can create apps which utilize the stylus pen for HTC's new Flyer tablet device, as well as the stereoscopic 3-D display. If HTC lures more developers into creating apps that interact with Sense, that means more content available specifically for HTC devices. And that gives potential customers more reasons to purchase HTC-made products.

Software developers are the lifeblood of mobile platforms. Without them, places like Apple's App Store or the Android Market would be devoid of content. It makes sense, then, for smartphone manufacturers to court developers, drawing them to a specific platform.

HTC's approach of inviting programmers to code apps for its smartphones is a stark contrast to Motorola's relationship with developers. On the same day that HTC made its dev-friendly announcement, rival manufacturer Motorola had a few less encouraging comments regarding the apps coming from the Android developer community.

At a technology conference on Thursday, Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha deflected questions on the battery life of his company's products, placing the blame on the apps rather than the hardware.

“For power consumption and CPU use, those apps are not tested,” said Jha, referring to Android's “open” policy of not vetting applications submitted to its Market. Google removes apps that violate its developer distribution agreement, but no system of evaluating an app's power efficiency exists on the Market's side. Jha went on to say that 70 percent of Motorola's device returns are because of applications affecting performance.

Whether or not Jha's comments are accurate, it's a dangerous move for a company head to pass the buck over to quality issues related to apps on the Android Market. Apps, of course, provided by the developer community.

A Motorola spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Jha took the opportunity to make a plug for Motorola's own custom graphical user interface, Motoblur. Jha said Motoblur development is advancing to the point where it can warn users how much battery a given app will use. Depending on how much power there is left on the phone, you'll then be able to decide whether or not you want to run the app.

Two companies, with two very different approaches to drawing attention towards its graphical interface, with two very different effects on developers.

On a tech blog, commenter Daniel McDermott's opinion summed up the response to Jha: “It's insane to think Moto would pass on the blame of their crappy skin on to other 3rd party devs when they can't even get their own phones right.”
source: Gadget Lab

Windows Phone 7 developer cheat sheet released

If you're a developer that's wondering why your app hasn't been approved by Microsoft for sale on the Windows Marketplace, or you think it's not doing too well, there could be a reason why. Despite the amazing functions that can be done with the app, nobody is going to enjoy using it if it doesn't look good. Design and aesthetics plays a huge role in everything we do nowadays, so why not take the effort to make your app look better?

The folks over at Nordkapp have released a Windows Phone 7 Cheat Sheet to help developers with their app design. It is based on Microsoft's Design Guideline documents so it doesn't stray too far from the source while it offers additional input that could help you out. However to you non-developer folks - you can have a look at it anyway to see what goes into the design process of developing an app for WP7. Even iOS/Android app developers might learn a thing or two from it.

Head over to the Nordkapp blog to check out the designers cheat sheet.
source: Ubergizmo

Read it Later Free now up on the Android Market

There's a new and free version of Read it Later up on the Android Market, which brings everyone's favourite news-saving app to a wider audience. The paid version has been available on Android for ages, but there's now a free option. And free is better.

If you haven't used it before, Read it Later is an offline reader. It saves the text of web pages to an online cache, letting you read them on your phone, or anywhere else, even if you're offline. A bit like a text-based Dropbox. Here it is, running in mega-low-res mode on our Vodafone SMART:

Ideal for people who still read stuff properly, instead of just aimlessly flipping between tabs doing nothing all day. Link via AC.
source: Eurodroid

Droid X Gets New Life as Motorola Milestone X for Cellular South

Just because the Droid X2 does a pretty good job of outmoding the original X doesn't mean the phone still doesn't have a bit of life left in it. We've seen the Milestone X making its rounds with the smaller local carriers around the US, but the handset (a carbon copy of the first Droid X) is now available through Cellular South. The phone might be last year's news, but it still gets priced at $199. The price does take a cute thanks to a $50 reward card rebate. Those prices include a two-year contract and data plan. If you have been wanting to get your hands on what still remains an Android staple on a regional network, head over to Cellular South now to order it up.
source: Android Phone

Nokia C7 and E73 now available from Videotron in Canada

Two Symbian-powered smartphones are now available at Videotron in Canada, the Nokia C7 and the Nokia E73.

The Nokia C7 can be yours for $89.95 on a “reduced price with a monthly service fee of $40 or more”. Alternatively, you can just buy the phone outright for $439.95.

To order yours, go here at Videotron.

The Nokia C7 has a 3.5-inch 640×360 capacitive touchscreen, a 680 MHz processor, 8 GB of internal storage space expandable via microSD, an 8-megapixel camera with 720p HD video recording, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G, GPS, and a 1200 mAh battery. The Nokia C7 runs Symbian^3.

The Nokia E73 is also available now at Videotron, for those who aren't into touchscreens and like their phones with full physical QWERTY keyboards. The E73 can be yours for $49.95 on that reduced price option (again, requiring a monthly service fee of at least $40). If you want to buy the E73 outright, you'll have to shell out $199.95.

If you're interested, order your E73 from Videotron here.

The Nokia E73 has a 2.4-inch 320×240 display, a 5 MP autofocus camera with LED flash, a secondary VGA camera for video calls, 250 MB of internal storage space expandable via microSD, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, 3G, and a 1500 mAh battery. The Nokia E73 runs Symbian S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 2.
source: Unwired View

Nokia X7 Anna Symbian OS Pre-Order in UK

Nokia X7 touchscreen smartphone has a massive 4-inch capacitive AMOLED nHD 16:9 screen format (640 x 360 pixels), an 8-megapixel camera with dual LED flash and 350 MB of internal memory expandable with microSD card (a 8GB card included, hot swappable).

Nokia X7 size is 119.7 x 62.8 x 11.9 mm and weighs 146 grams (with battery). There are orientation sensor (accelerometer), proximity sensor, ambient light detector, Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n and Bluetooth 3.0.

The next Nokia X7 with Symbian OS Anna is beginning pre-order in the UK and shipping later this month. Nokia online shop in Spain is offering a price of £ 399 SIM-free or £ 359 on Pay As You Go (PAYG), but you can get the Nokia X7 free with £ 25 per month in the range of operator contracts.
source: EliteZoom

Vodafone planning on launching its own Facebook phone

There are some people who just can't have enough of social networking services. And to address to this ever growing clientele, we are seeing a rise in phones with social networking apps built-in. Considering the potential of this market, it seems Vodafone wants to be a part of it too and are now planning to launch their own Facebook phone.

The device pictured on the left bears strong resemblance to the HTC ChaCha, which too is a portrait QWERTY handset with a Facebook button. Except in case of Vodafone's handset, it's not running on Android or any kind of smartphone operating system as far as we know. It's a simple feature phone probably aimed at the lower end of the market.

There is no other information available about this handset, including its name, manufacturer, features, price or availability but we will keep an eye out for them. One thing's for sure though, if priced well, this device does have the potential to become incredibly successful among the Facebook addicts, particularly youngsters who would greatly appreciate a device like this at a low price.


Nokia Play To gives DLNA capabilities to your Symbian phones

If you're tired of carrying around your HDMI or TV output cable with you every time you want to share content from your phone onto your friend's TVs, we have some good news for you. Nokia has just released the Nokia Play To app which gives your phones DLNA capability. This technology lets you easily share content from your phone wirelessly to other DLNA devices, and in this case it's usually the TV you want to share your files with.

All you have to do is connect to the same network as the TV, run the Play To app and start sharing media from your phone! It's that simple. Of course you'll need a Wireless home network and a DLNA capable TV for it to work - but if you didn't have those then you wouldn't be bothered with this app in the first place right? Nokia Play To is available now as a free app in the Nokia Beta Labs.
source: Ubergizmo

T-Mobile G2x Gingerbread update next week?

The Gingerbread update was rumored to arrive for the T-Mobile G2x this summer, but thanks to some tipsters, it turns out that we might be getting it earlier than expected. Android and Me has reported that according to their “ninjas” G2x owners will be seeing the update as early as the first half of next week, and in addition to the Gingerbread update, it might include fixes to problems that have been ailing some G2x users (phone lock ups, random reboots etc).

Since there's no word or official confirmation from T-Mobile, it's hard to tell if this is true or not, but I'm sure if they did it would make a lot of people happy. Now where's the Gingerbread love for the HTC G2 owners? Stay tuned and we'll keep you posted.
source: Ubergizmo

Microsoft shows off new Music + Video Hub for Windows Phone 7

As we all know by now, everybody is just waiting in anticipation for the next major update to Windows Phone 7 - Mango. Since the update isn't completed and primed for our WP7 devices yet, Microsoft isn't releasing it yet so it is doing the next best thing it can do - reveal WP7 Mango's features to us through detailed blog posts. The latest feature to get this unveiling treatment is the new Music + Video Hub.

According to the Windows Phone Blog, Mango will make WP7 handle our music and videos better, with tons of new features to improve the media viewing experience. Here is a list of what we can expect for Windows Phone 7 Mango:

A Smart DJ feature, refinements and tweaks to make it easier to find and enjoy content, the ability to browse and download podcasts straight from the phone itself - no need for Zune, improved History and New, new lockscreen options, better playback controls , more playback info, the ability to create new playlists on the phone itself - and lots more.

WP7 Mango sure is shaping up to be an update that WP7 users are right for being impatient about - it is definitely taking the operating system to a whole new level. Head over to the official Windows Phone Blog for more detailed descriptions and information on the new Music + Video Hub.
source: Ubergizmo

Microsoft to limit number of Windows Phone 7 app approvals daily per developer

In an effort to make the “new apps” section of its Windows Phone 7 Marketplace more relevant, Microsoft has announced a new policy where developers can only have a max of twenty apps approved a day. So while a developer can submit more than twenty apps for Marketplace approval daily, only twenty of them will make it into the shop at the same time. The remainder will have to wait, and the same goes for every twenty apps available from the developer.

Seeing how quickly the Windows Marketplace has been growing, the number of apps and developers currently working with the WP7 platform must be staggering and this new rule would greatly benefit them. Especially new developers who don't have a whole catalog of apps to vouch for their credibility and need to rely on the “new apps” section to be discovered.

This should also introduce more variety to the Windows Marketplace, with more apps from different developers showing up at the same time. Read up more about the change on the official Windows Phone Developer blog.

Samsung Infuse 4G Review

AT&T's Samsung Infuse 4G is described as "big. brilliant. thin". That's an accurate description which is almost surprising for marketing message. However, it does summarize fairly well what the phone is about. As a former "computer graphics guy", I sometimes say that "the display is the computer", and this is particularly true for the Infuse 4G: its big 4.5" display draws a lot of "wooo" and "ahhh", but such a large display often gets a love (mostly), or hate, reaction. For a big phone, it is also relatively light: it's lighter than the iPhone 4. So, how is it to carry the Samsung Infuse 4G around and use it in the real world? Is it as good as AT&T says it is? I tried it for a couple of weeks, and in this review I'll tell you about its greatness and its pitfalls.

We all use smartphones in different ways, so it's important that I tell you where I come from: I check my email (a lot!) with Microsoft Exchange, and I reply only moderately because a virtual keyboard is not as productive as a physical one. I browse the web several times a day to check on news sites, but I rarely watch movies or play music. I don't call much - maybe 10mn a day. On the "apps" side, I have a couple of social networks, but I rarely play games – even Angry Birds. This usage pattern will affect battery life and the perception of what features are useful.

Technical Highlights

Display: 4.5x800×480

Soc: Samsung 1.2GHz "Hummingbird"

GSM: 850x900x1800x1900 MHz

UMTS: 850x1900x2100 MHz (3.5G HSPA+)

OS: Android 2.2

RAM: 512MB

User Storage: 13GB (internal), 2GB (external)

Camera: 8 Megapixel + 1.3 Megapixel

Sensors: G-sensor, Compass, Proximity sensor, Light sensor

GPS: yes

Local networks: WIFI + Bluetooth

Battery: 1750mAh

Industrial Design

The industrial design of the Samsung Infuse 4G is clean and simple. The front looks nice, although the "AT&T" and "Samsung" logos are probably too invasive in my opinion. The backside of the phone would be a much better place for that.

The USB cable won't get in the way if you use the Infuse 4G while charging

The USB connector is conveniently located at the bottom of the phone, which ensures that you can use it relatively comfortably, even while charging. A 3.5mm audio jack plug is present at the top of the phone. This is a classic location that works.

There are few buttons on the side (volume control and power), which is a good thing because it avoids accidental clicks. I personally find the Power button to be a little too recessed and I find myself searching for it sometimes… I use it dozens of time a day.

The back side has a texture that provides additional "grip", which is great, but it also feels like plastic, well, because it is made of plastic. On the other hand, the frame all around the phone is made of metal, which makes the phone's structure very rigid. Samsung has chosen to use a mix of very light and very strong materials to keep the weight down.When holding the Samsung Infuse 4G, it immediately feels lighter, even when compared to much smaller phones, like the iPhone 4.

Display (beautiful)

The display is great, especially for entertainment and gaming

The 4.5" display looks very nice and is easy on the eyes. One of the reasons why I like larger screens is because I type faster on them (bigger virtual keyboard keys). This is critically important for those who text/email a lot. Emails and web pages are also very readable, even when using the smallest font. Actually, I think that Samsung could use an even smaller font in the Email app. The typography in this phone isn't as nice as it is on Windows Phone 7, but I hope that typography will continue to improve for all smartphones. As usual, keep in mind that Samsung's OLED displays have colors that tend to “pop”, but are not accurate. Fortunately, most people like over-saturated colors, but if you care about color accuracy, LCD or IPS-LCD would be better.

In direct sunlight, OLED displays can be hard to read, and with the Samsung Infuse 4G, the problem is compounded with the fact that the user interface is mostly dark, which makes things even harder to see on a bright day. If you want things to be more legible in direct sunlight, I recommend using a bright background whenever possible.

The Infuse 4G, next to an iPhone 4. Note that the moire effect only appears on a photo

Software As most manufacturers do, Samsung tweaks Android (here, version 2.2) to fit their own taste. some additions are really useful, while others just make things "different". Here are a few things that I found useful:

The power control is so popular that Samsung has integrated it

The integrated power control: Android ships with a Power Control widget that lets you turn things on and off. It's very useful to optimize the battery life. Samsung has such a widget built into the status screen of your phone (that's where all the alerts go). You can see it by swiping down from the top of the screen.

Unlike the Droid Charge, Samsung's power controls in the Infuse 4G lack the "Mobile Data" toggle. I think that this is a great loss for those who care about battery life because mobile data is one of the big power drain in a smartphone. Also, it would be really nice if the user interface was "consistent" from one Samsung phone to another…

Start typing as soon as you are in the contact app

The integrated contact search box: by default, many Android phones require you to tap the Search button if you want to find a contact by typing a name. Samsung knows that for power-users, that's one tap too many, so it has integrated the search box directly in the contact screen.

Most people don't know that email search is not a standard feature for all Android phones out there

Email search: Many Android phones don't have an email search... that's annoying when you're looking for that email buried among the 200 others you received yesterday. Samsung's email app has a search!

Users want to be in control of their apps

Task manager: Android is notoriously bad at letting the average user know which apps are on/off, and closing running apps can be daunting for novice users. Samsung has a task manager that shows running apps and lets you shut them down with ease. It even shows how much processor resources each apps consume. That's great, and I wish that this was a stock "Android feature".

And yes, I know : android (2.2+?) is supposed to take care of moving apps, or shutting them down. But on the ground, what I'm seeing is that having a ton of apps in the background can still affect performance. There's no question that users want to be in control of their apps, whether Google agrees or not.

Basics Dialing: calling someone is super-easy with Android. Whether it is by dialing a number with the virtual numeric pad, using a contact or a shortcut (my favorite), calling someone is fast. There are no problems there and I even wonder if I should cover this part in future Android reviews (tell me in the comments).

Wireless network: Although it gets plenty of sarcastic comments, often for good reasons, the AT&T coverage has been getting better overtime, at least in the area of San Francisco where we are located (Potrero Hill). We were connected to the HSPA+ network according to the "H+" icon on the phone and with 3x5 bars, we got 1.4Mbps of download and 0.96Mbps of upload speed (using app, 136ms latency). On a less busy day, and a few yards away, we got much better speeds (3Mbps+ download) shown in the image above. Check our Verizon LTE review to compare.

Call Audio Quality: The call audio quality was average. For example, the Nexus S and many other recent smartphones did fare better in that area. However, in the grand scheme of things, the Samsung Infuse 4G was usable, even if the Nexus S remains ahead (by far) in terms of call audio quality.

The Samsung keyboard is simple and (visual) clutter free

Virtual Keyboard(s): The Samsung Infuse 4G has a (Samsung) keyboard that is clear and clean. I personally like this one better than other keyboards that display the “alternative” characters on the upper-right of each key. The stock Android keyboard is available for those who like it.

Swype often leads to less typos and faster typing

Swype is a third option. If you're unfamiliar with Swype, it's a keyboard that lets you glide your finger from one letter to the next without ever lifting it. Staying on the display surface reduces the rate of error, and the end result is often a faster typing rate. The only downside to Swype is that sometimes my finger obstructs my view of part of the keyboard. Check it out.

Copy/Paste is not consistent from app to app. Android 2.3 should help with this

Copy/Paste (inconsistent): in the Samsung Infuse 4G, you will only find a partial support for Copy/Paste. I know, you may think that this functionality should work everywhere by now, but it's not the case (!). With the Infuse 4G, you can copy paste text from a web page, but not from an email (in read mode). Copy/Paste doesn't work consistently from one app the other, and in the case of email, it's a bit annoying, I think. I also could not copy/paste text from CNN mobile (the site), while it worked fine on this site.

Web Browsing (very good): Like with most Android 2.2 phones, the web browsing on the Samsung Infuse 4G is very good. Websites render properly, and you can zoom in and out at will. I haven't found a website that is totally unusable because the browser doesn't know how to interpret the code.

This is a flash site that runs with all its original features

Adobe Flash support: By now, Flash for Android is well supported on Android 2.2+ so I wasn't expecting any issues, nor have I found any – if I use it within reason. Don't forget that most of the Flash-powered web has been built for computers, not smartphones. Many Flash applications require more raw power or memory than a mobile device can provide.

Flash HD video is a good example: at the moment, most Android devices won't be able to play 720p via Flash. Some casual games might work, but I think that the main advantage is that Flash on Android will let you access many promotional or small business sites built with Flash — something that the iPhone doesn't offer out of the box.

Work Exchange support has been very decent on Android for some time now

Exchange: The Samsung Infuse 4G can sync with Exchange (contacts, calendar and emails) without any issues. Overall, I found that the calendar and contacts apps worked well. The email is not always synchronized when I open the Email app, even if I get notifications of incoming emails. This might be an "optimization" to save battery life, but I'd like to have emails already downloaded and ready to be read as soon as I open the app. The BlackBerry was great for that.

GMail: Most email services support POP and IMAP, and setting things those up is usually very easy: just enter your email and password and you should be good to go. If you are hosting your email on your own domain, you may have to enter the server address and so on, but most people who own a domain would know how to do that.

Google Docs: using Google docs is an option since Google made some fixes to make it work on mobile devices some time ago. Keep in mind that Google Docs could consume considerably more battery as it is saving your modifications to Google's servers almost in real-time. There's a Google Docs app that might be more network efficient.

Microsoft Office Documents: To open and edit office documents, there's a version of QuickOffice that comes pre-installed in the Infuse 4G, ready to be activated. With it, I have been able to open Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents – and edit them. It's not that I particularly look forward to editing a word document on a touchscreen phone, but it's nice to have the option if I *need* to.

Play (good)

In terms of gaming performance, it's "average" - there are much faster gaming phones out there

Games: With the Infuse 4G, polygonal 3D games run "OK", but relative to the best phones out there, it's on the "average" side. It's not bad, but don't expect to get the latest eye-candy. Most casual, 2D-ish (angry birds, and the likes) games should run very well on it.

Music: music playback has pretty much been solved problem for a while now. On Android, there are many services that offer music sales, rent or purchase. It's really up to you to choose which one you want, and if you already have a big collection, you can copy it locally, but also to a cloud service like Amazon Cloud Player or Google's Music Beta.

A Youtube HQ Trailer of Transformers 3

Videos: whether it is from a local file, or from a high-quality streaming service, videos that are displayed at the proper resolution will look great. Thanks to the large OLED display, the blacks are truly black, and the colors are well saturated. The only thing that stands in between you and video entertainment is "where" you will find the content: Android doesn't have a great video store yet, but that's coming… The best way to enjoy video on the go, is to have files stored locally, but on Android, this is not as easy as it should be yet. If you download or convert videos yourself, then things should be straightforward, as long as you use the proper video format.

Speaker Quality: Because it is placed in the back, the loud speaker does not convey the sound directly towards the user. Instead, it will bounce around in the environment to eventually arrive to the user's ears. Relative to its size, the speaker works "OK", but other phones do have a better speaker audio: the Atrix, the Optimus 2X, or even the iPhone 4. The Samsung Infuse does have a sufficient volume, but I think that the sound has a bit too much "echo" for my taste. I would probably prefer to use headphones to watch a movie, or a music clip. For phone conversations, it should be OK.

Photos and Video (very good)

The Samsung Infuse 4G camera app is interesting. It has many options, but only the most popular options are presented as icons. I like the fact that you can choose to leave the options visible on the left at all times. It takes a little bit of screen space, but it's very handy. When using the camera, pressing the Power button will lock every button in the phone so that you can't exit the camera app by accident. Unfortunately, the shutter button also becomes inactive, which kind of defeats the purpose… This maybe more useful in "camcorder" mode, when you want to make sure that the camera keeps recording.

A photo shot with the Samsung Infuse 4G

Photo capture: with a relatively good lighting environment (broad daylight to early evening), the Samsung Infuse 4G snaps very good photos. That's typical for recent smartphones as sensor technology and image processing software have made tremendous progress in just a few years. The Infuse 4G also has a macro mode, but it would be great if the switch from “normal” to “macro” was automated. (check additional samples in our Flickr account)

In a low-light situation (restaurant, parties) things are a bit more difficult. The problem is not really the sensor, it's the auto-focus. The software is having a hard time deciding when the image is in focus or not. This may result in slightly blurry photos, but when shrunk for web use, they are mostly good enough. However, this is something that Samsung will need to improve upon, as the competition does better. Sony Ericsson and its Exmor sensor can snap sharp and clear low-light photos.

Video capture: the video recording pretty has the same optical qualities and flaws seen in photo capture. The good news is that DVD or HD (720p) resolution, the framerate of the video stayed at a solid 30FPS. This is not always the case, and in the past, I've often recommended phone users to stick with 640×480. Things are getting better, and although 640×480 if often good enough to share on social networks, it's nice to have the option to snap a higher definition video.

Photo gallery: The photo gallery separates images and videos in several categories: camera, online albums, (email) downloads and local videos. You can probably add more sections by creating directories yourself on the SD card. Overall, things are fast and fluid, so browsing images should not be a problem. I did not have time to fill the phone with hundreds of pictures, but that would be an interesting test.

Data Sync

Media files: it is easy to connect over USB and browse/copy user files just like you would on a regular USB drive/key. If you don't have a lot of files to move around, this is actually much easier to deal with than Apple's iTunes, which is very strict and sometimes really annoying.

Want to copy some photos? Connect the phone in "disk mode" and copy your .jpg files just like you would with any disk. If you have a lot of media files that constantly change, it's a bit more complicated as this is a typical case where a data management application like iTunes is helpful.

The thing is: people who tend to have large collections of media files are probably savvy enough to figure things out. Secondly, iTunes is not an option out of the box, but some 3rd party apps will help you sync with it...

You also have the option to upload your content to an online storage (and streaming) service like Amazon Cloud Music. It works well, but you need to have an active Internet connection, which can deplete your battery faster. Winamp can also be used to manage large quantities of music files.

In the end, you'll have to poke around and see what works for you, but I think that the large majority of users will do just fine with copying their media files manually over USB. I actually like it.

Contacts, Emails: out of the box, Android is built for synchronizing everything over the Internet. However, some vendors add utilities to synchronize contacts and media files. Samsung is not one of them.

Desktop email sync is not an out-of-the box option (you might be able to find an app for that). Even Microsoft does not provide an Outlook email synchronization software with its Windows Phone 7, so in this smartphone world, you're clearly better off with an online service.

Internet Sharing

The Hotspot is great, but it's often not as fast as a USB modem. It depletes the battery too

Hotspot: As it is the case with most Android 2.2 phones, it possible to share the wireless data Internet connection by creating a Mobile Hotspot. There is no app or icon to do so, but going to settings>wireless and network>Mobile AP gets you to the right screen to enable the hotspot and assign a password. From there, it's very easy to connect. In my opinion, this is the easiest way to share your data connection with another WIFI device. Note that this will deplete the battery much faster than normal usage, so be mindful of this.

USB Modem: It is also possible to use the Samsung Infuse 4G as a USB modem. To do so, you need a cable, and you may have to install drivers on your PC. This would obviously not work on tablets, and operating system for which the drivers aren't available. Often, Mac and Linux computers are left out.

System Performance (good)

When talking about the performance of a consumer electronics device, I always try to separate the "measured" and "perceived" performance. Measured metrics are obtained by running synthetic (not always life-like) benchmarks to stress *specific* parts of the system.

On the other hand, "perceived" performance is the user's observation of performance. Although they should correlate, I would always place perceived performance as being the most important. After all, why care if you can't tell?

"Measured Performance"

BrowserMark and SunSpider are two tests that measure the speed of Javascript, a key component for interactivity in websites. To be clear, this does not measure "how fast" pages are loading. Instead this look at how fast scripting code can execute. Javascript is used in modern websites for user interface or even complete applications/games.

The Samsung Infuse 4G is average to above-average in those tests. While it doesn't mean that web browsing is going to be significantly slower in general, Javascript speed shows how fast the central processor is.

CPU Benchmark: This test tries to measure the number-crunching capabilities of the phone. It explains why Javascript performance is relatively low: the Droid Charge main processor is by far the slowest at this particular test.

This is yet another processing power test, and it confirms that the Infuse 4G is slightly above-average, when compared to other smartphones that we have recently reviewed.

GUIMark 2 (Flash): This test measures the Adobe Flash performance. Flash is a widely used multimedia platform and you can find it virtually everywhere as advertisement, video or other forms of interactive web page module.

Whether or not Adobe Flash is useful, is just a matter of performance. The Samsung Infuse did provide a positive surprise: it is the fastest "Flash" single-core smartphone that we've tried. I bet that there's a mix of CPU speed and software improvements, but the good news is that it is one of the better Flash-compatible phones.

NeoCore Graphics Benchmark: NeoCore is an old polygonal 3D graphics test, but most Android games are still using relatively old graphics techniques, so it is still relevant - hopefully not for long.

The graphics performance of the Samsung Infuse 4G is very much in line with other Android phones that I've tried. If anything, polygonal 3D performance has not changed a whole lot since the Nexus S was released in December. On the hand, phones equipped with NVIDIA's Tegra 2 SoC have dominated those benchmarks for some time.

"Perceived Performance"

The Samsung Infuse 4G did fairly well in the synthetic performance tests, and in the real world, it mostly feels comfortable to use. But it is also a phone with which I had occasional "stall" or "freeze" issues (for a second or two) while doing seemingly simple tasks like checking emails, or navigating the user interface. It also happens more frequently than on other phones, like the Droid Incredible 2 or the Nexus S. I suspect that this might be a "software thing" that may be fixed in a future update, but I never hold my breath on those.

That did not prevent me from enjoying the phone during the test, but if you can't stand waiting on your phone, this might be a small issue that you should know about.

Battery Life (good)

The battery life is in the higher range

With my particular usage pattern, the Samsung Infuse 4G managed to last for a couple of days, which is in the higher range for modern smartphones. In practical terms, I can use it for a day, and not charge it that night, but on the following night, I would charge it or it would run out of battery on sometime on the day after.

Depending on your own use, this could be much less if you use the display a lot (it's the #1 power-user, and if you do CPU-intensive tasks such as web browsing and games).

Conclusion (good, big)

"Display size" is really the name of the game here

The Samsung Infuse 4G is a good phone. I really liked the comfort and image-quality of its huge display, and the good battery life. The industrial design is clean, and the phone is even lighter than smaller phones like the iPhone 4. All those qualities are big advantages for most Android users in search for a comfortably big display.

On the downside, I think that, at times, the responsiveness of the phone did get to me. I'm used to more responsive phones, and to be honest, I'm not really sure how other people would react to it. It's probably best to try it for yourself in a store, but keep in mind that in-store phones don't have many apps installed, so they to represent the “best case” scenario.

In the end, it's likely that prospect users will be mainly attracted by the display size which is the truly unique feature of this phone. If not, there are a lot of choices on the market, notably the Nexus S, or the Droid Incredible 2.

Don't miss these reviews

Android Smartphone Reviews: Nexus S Review, Droid Incredible 2 Review, Droid Charge Review, LG Optimus 2X Review, HTC EVO Shift 4G Review, EVO 4G Review, Epic 4G Review, Droid X Review, Droid 2 Review

Android Tablet Reviews: Galaxy Tab 10.1 Review, Motorola Xoom Review, Dell Streak 7 Review

Apple: iPhone 4 Review, iPad Review, iPad 2 Review, MacBook Air Review, Macook Pro Review

BlackBerry: BlackBerry Torch Review, Blackberry 9700 Review

Windows Phone 7: HTC HD7 Review, Samsung Focus Review, HTC Surround Review
source: Ubergizmo

Motorola blames bad Android apps for 70% of smartphone returns

In a recent statement made by Motorola Mobility's CEO, Sanjay Jha, he said that 70% of smartphones that are returned to the company has been due to apps that have affected device performance. Apparently customers who have been unsatisfied with Android apps return their devices to pick up devices from alternative manufacturers instead.

While it is true that Google doesn't control the quality of apps that make it to the Android Market, and only removes those that have been reported to cause problems (i.e. malware). And it is also true that bad apps can lead to a bad user experience, hence their decision to return handsets for alternatives - but if the same apps can be downloaded onto pretty much any other Android device, how can he come to the conclusion that returns of Motorola devices are based on bad apps? Especially when he claims that people see Motorola's phones as trustworthy and high quality.

While the company hasn't announced any definite figures for the amount of Atrix phones sold so far, Sanjay Jha did mention that sales weren't as great as they had hoped. The company has also mentioned shipping out 250,000 Xoom tablets but hasn't revealed how many of them actually made it to the hands of customers.

Is Sanjay Jha trying to put the blame for high return rates on the Android app ecosystem? Any previous Motorola owners who have returned their phones care to chime in with your reason for returning their products?
source: Ubergizmo

Today's Mobile News in Brief (June 1, 2011)

Friday, June 3, 2011

As reported here on Cell Phones Etc. and across the Web, here's your daily brief on what happened in the world of mobile phones this Wednesday, June 1st, 2011.

10 Ways To Make Sure Cell Phone Radiation Doesn't Fry Your Brain

The World Health Organization just re-labeled cell phones as “carcinogenic hazards,” meaning that they post a significant cancer risk to humans. What can you do about it, besides curbing your hour-long late night chats? We've put together a list of ways you can reduce exposure and your risk of frying your brain in the process.

Business Insider

With Possible Nokia Deal, Microsoft Could Try To Become The Next Apple

The Internet erupted following our report covering industry insider Eldar Murtazin's claim that Microsoft has struck a deal to purchase Nokia's cell phone business for $19 billion. Murtazin has a long track record of solid Nokia scoops, and he was the first person to report that the Finnish phone maker would adopt Microsoft's Windows Phone platform for its smartphones starting later this year. Apple spent decades trying to become the next Microsoft. Now, from atop a mountain of mobile devices, Apple may finally be able to sit and watch while Microsoft tries to become the next Apple.


DEMO: Microsoft Previews Windows 8 User Interface – Windows Phone Metro UI To Hit Tablets & PCs

Microsoft demonstrated the next generation of Windows, internally code-named “Windows 8″, for the first time. Windows 8 is a reimagining of Windows, from the chip to the interface. A Windows 8-based PC is really a new kind of device, one that scales from touch-only small screens through to large screens, with or without a keyboard and mouse. The demo showed some of the ways Microsoft reimagined the interface for a new generation of touch-centric hardware but for Windows Phone users, it's nothing new at all since it mimics Windows Phone's Metro UI and (live) tile Start screen.


Rogers Investing $80 Million To Bring 4G HSPA+ Network To The Maritimes

The Maritimes is getting some love today from Rogers. They announced that they'll be investing $80 million over the next 2 years to bring their 4G HSPA+ network to the area (the peak download speeds could reach up to 21Mbps). Rogers says this will bring the latest Android, BlackBerry, iPhone and tablets to the area and will cover 1 million people in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI.


Nokia Play To Adds DLNA Streaming To Waning Symbian (video)

Still rockin' a Symbian phone from Nokia? Don't let Android and WP7 owners hog all the media streaming fun. Nokia Play To brings DLNA's push features to Symbian^3, albeit in beta form. Hit up the source link, install the app, and you'll imbue your handset with the surprisingly rare ability to beam videos, photos, and music to any DLNA-capable receiving device jacked into your TV — heck, it could be your TV. Check out the video after the break if you want to see it in action before you click download.

source: Cell Phones Ca

T-Mobile Will Launch Samsung Gravity SMART Next Month

T-Mobile is ready to release the Samsung Gravity SMART in June 2011. This budget smartphone is designed for folks looking forward to own a smartphone with a great messaging experience. The Android 2.2-powered smartphone comes with T-Mobile's Group Text, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and Swype. The Gravity SMART features an 800MHz processor, a 3-megapixel camera with LED flash, digital zoom and camcorder for photos and videos, a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen, a microSD card slot, WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS. The Samsung Gravity SMART will cost $29.99 or $69.99 (depending on the color of your choice) after $50 rebate and a 2-year contract. [Ubergizmo]

Samsung Galaxy S II Now Available For Pre-Order At Vodafone Australia

Vodafone Australia has begun taking pre-orders for Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S II Android smartphone on their network. If you pre-order it before June 9th, you'll receive an exclusive bonus consisting of a genuine Samsung leather case and a $50 bill credit. As a quick reminder, the Galaxy S II offers a 4.3-inch WVGA Super AMOLED plus touchscreen display, a 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core processor, an 8.0-megapixel camera at the back, a 1GB RAM, a 16GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot, GPS, 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth and runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS. Pre-order yours now! [Product Page]

T-Mobile Samsung Exhibit 4G

T-Mobile has officially confirmed the availability of the Samsung Exhibit 4G. Powered by the Google Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS, the smartphone features a 1GHz processor, a rear 3-megapixel camera and a front-facing VGA camera for video chatting purposes. The Samsung Exhibit 4G also supports T-Mobile's 4G HSPA+ network (21Mbps download speeds). Unfortunately, there is no official info on pricing at this moment. Word has it that the Samsung Exhibit 4G will retail for less than $100 after a $50 mail-in rebate and a 2-year contract. We will keep you posted. [T-Mobile]

Samsung Galaxy S II coming soon from Maxis

Good news for Android fans, as Maxis is said to be announcing the brand new Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone very soon. This news was confirmed by Maxis itself. However, a specific launch date was not mentioned by Maxis.

Meanwhile, Samsung Singapore has confirmed that the smartphone will be available there sometime in June with a retail price of RM 2440 (SGD 998). We believe that is also another indication on when the new Samsung Galaxy S II is going to arrive here and most importantly, how much it is going to cost, which hopefully won't be that far off.

The Galaxy S II had a marvellous launch in South Korea where it hit 1 million units' sales during its launch week, and has over 3 million pre-orders from carriers worldwide.

HTC Wildfire S now available in Malaysia through Maxis for RM1,099

It seemed that Maxis has started selling the new HTC Wildfire S smartphone starting on the 31st of May, at a very affordable price of RM 1,099. This makes the Wildfire S the cheapest Gingerbread smartphone on our shores.

The screen size of the Wildfire S is identical with the original Wildfire at 3.2-inches but the screen resolution has been improved to a better 320x480 pixels, double the outgoing model. Of course, let's not expect fancy Super LCD or Super AMOLED screen technology as this is a budget entry Android smartphone. However, good news is that the screen is strengthened with Gorilla Glass.

Powering the Wildfire S is a 600MHz Qualcomm processor with 512MB of RAM and 512 of internal storage. The device has a MicroSD expansion that can support up to 32GB of storage. Imaging comes in the form of a 5MP rear camera with LED flash but regrettably there's no HD video recording support.

Other than that, you get the whole gamut of features that are standard in any contemporary smartphone including Bluetooth 3.0, 7.2Mbps HSDPA (HSUPA at 384Kbps) and GPS. At 1230mAh, the Wildfire's battery capacity is smaller than what we would like, but that will have to do for now.

The HTC Wildfire S will be available in 'Bloom Pink', 'Silver White' and 'Dark Gray' at all HTC authorized resellers or from Maxis.

Samsung Galaxy Within on Sprint

Samsung clearly loves confusing the smartphone crowd, where there are still some people around who do grope for clues as they get their feet wet in this relatively new market (compared to something as mature as say, the desktop computer). Well, the Korean consumer electronics giant has just introduced new variants of the Galaxy S II for distribution within the good ol' US of A, with trademarks attached to monikers like Attain, Function and Within. Chances are pretty good those will probably be assigned to AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, respectively.

In fact, an anonymous Sprint insider (were there ever any official insider source who did not want to remain anonymous?) claimed that the Samsung Galaxy Within might arrive on Sprint at the end of next month onwards, with no other details offered. It would be interesting to see just how the Galaxy Within will fare when it arrives at the market, although we are quite sure that its display will blow most folks away with the sheer image quality.
source: Ubergizmo

Motorola Cliq 2 receives official 1.1.30 software update

Are you an owner of the Motorola Cliq 2 from T-Mobile? Well, we play the role of being the herald of good news with your precious handset receiving the official 1.1.30 software update from Motorola, where it is cited to include “several improvements to device performance and the addition of new security features”.

Amongst the new improvements would be better Exchange security features, where you get device and SD memory card encryption capabilities, not to mention the inclusion of proxy and VPN Support to allow Wi-Fi users to access external corporate networks, rounded off by a new password management utility.

You will find your Cliq 2 experience a smoother one as well thanks to the improved loading speed of widgets and wallpapers, a better battery life, alongside updated Audio Postcard, AppPack, and Wi-Fi Calling applications.

You can head on here to check out the official list of improvements, so what are you waiting for? Just make sure you perform a backup beforehand, as you can never tell when Murphy might strike.
source: Ubergizmo

Motorola XPRT gets 2.3.3 update before being released officially

While Google's Android 3.1 Honeycomb is rumored to be delayed in its release simply because Google has some unfinished business with the operating system update, hoping to polish it up all the more before it is worthy of public consumption, we have word that the Motorola XPRT (which has yet to be released on Sprint) will be getting the Android 2.3.3 update. Perfect for folks who have been eyeing that handset, since you will get a better operating system right out of the box, alongside Motorola's very own Motoblur user interface skin for a more comfortable user experience instead of stock Android.

The reason behind this? We ourselves are not very sure, but perhaps it has something to do with the Motorola Droid Pro receiving a similar update at the same time. What do you think? Bear in mind that this is a rare occurrence, and it does not happen every other day.
source: Ubergizmo

T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide arrives at the FCC

There is nothing quite like seeing a device hit the FCC and gaining approval from said regulatory body – after all, it means that said device is ready to rock and roll in the market if all goes well! We have heard that T-Mobile will be introducing new smartphone devices earlier this morning, and are pleased to report that the FCC has just received the Android-powered HTC Doubleshot, also known by its model number HTC PG59100. Just in case those two do not ring a bell, how does T-Mobile's myTouch 4G Slide sound to you?

Having passed through the FCC with support for T-Mobile's AWS bands, there are not further details on its specifications apart from existing rumors that point towards a 3.7″ display at 480 x 800 resolution, a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 768MB RAM, an 8-megapixel camera, a VGA front-facing camera, and a 14.4 HSPA+ radio to let you connect at unimaginable speeds to the Internet.
source: Ubergizmo

HTC EVO 3D available June 24 at RadioShack

The HTC EVO 3D has been available for pre-order for quite some time now, without a confirmed release date, but judging from a RadioShack flyer discovered by the folks at Phandroid, June 24 seems to be the magical date the phone goes on sale. The dual-core phone that packs a glasses-free 3D display will be available for pre-order from the ‘Shack until June 21, a few days before it is released. While it's not the June 4 release date we had hoped for (the one-year anniversary of the original HTC EVO 4G), it is only 20 days away.

A few more weeks until we find out whether glasses-free 3D on a phone is a gimmick or a necessity. Anybody picking up the HTC EVO 3D when it hits the shelves? Don't forget that RadioShack is letting you trade in your current EVO 4G to save a $100 off the new 3D phone.
source: Ubergizmo

HTC Sensation doesn't offer a unibody design after all?

The HTC Sensation, which was promised to boast the company's unique unibody design might not have it after all. The first live photos and videos that surfaced clearly show that the back panel of the Sensation is removable, rather than being firmly attached to the frame surrounding the front.

The official HTC Sensation page claims that the device is features the famous HTC unibody design, but as it turns out, it might be just a cheap marketing trick. Of course there's an outside shot that SlashGear have just gotten a review unit with unfinished design, but we wouldn't count on that.

To be extra sure, we wrote an email to HTC asking for an official statement about the discrepancy between the official photos and the actual unboxings of the Sensation, but as of this moment we don't have an answer. Of course we'll let you know once we hear back from HTC.
source: GSM Arena

HTC opens up HTC Sense to developers, via HTCdev

here's some hot news just in from the Uplinq 2011 mobile conference, where HTC has announced plans to allow external developers to create mobile applications that are “more deeply integrated” within HTC phones and tablets.

There will be a specific “OpenSense” development kit released soon, allowing Android developers to use HTC's application creation systems to build apps using HTC's own code and APIs. Read all about it over at

It's not launched as yet, and the site looks a little rushed and “bare bones,” but future aspiring HTC Sense developers can register to be informed when it all goes live.
source: Eurodroid

Sony Ericsson announces 20+ games for the Xperia Play

Just like the Nintendo 3DS, one of the things that prevented the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play from having a fantastic launch was due to its lack of titles designed for the device right from the get-go. But now, with E3 just around the corner, things are about to change. Sony Ericsson has announced over 20+ new games that will be arriving soon, exclusively for the Xperia Play. Many of the games will be available as playable demos at E3, so if you're keen to try them out, head over to the Xperia Play booth at E3 next week.

The games will be launched in the coming months, and more details concerning them will be available closer to their launch dates. Hit the break to check out the new games coming to the handset:

New Android Games Exclusive on Xperia™ PLAY:

Minecraft™ by Mojang
Battlefield Bad Company 2 by Electronic Arts
Tom Clancy's Rainbow 6 Shadow Vanguard by Gameloft
Desert Winds by Southend Interactive
Ruined by Bigpoint
Icebreaker™ by NaturalMotion
Sleepy Jack by SilverTree Media
Cracking Sands by Polarbit
Armageddon Squadron 2 by Polarbit
An unnamed fighting game from Khaeon Gamestudio

New Games coming soon on Xperia™ PLAY:

Pocket Legends by Spacetime Studios
Star Legends: The Black Star Chronicles by Spacetime Studios
Eternal Legacy by Gameloft
Guns 'n'Glory 2 by HandyGames
Dungeon Hunter 2 by Gameloft
Pocket RPG by Crescent Moon Games
D.A.R.K. developed by Gamelab
Samurai II: Vengeance by MADFINGER Games
Vendetta Online by Guild Software
Order & Chaos - Gameloft
Happy Vikings by Handy Games
A Ball Game by Trendy Entertainment
Lumines by Connect2Media
source: Ubergizmo

Take Janus, the Second world Smartphone to be powered by a 1.5GHz Dual Core CPU

Ho, look at that! Just a few weeks after Pantech Dual Core 1.5GHZ IM-A760S/IM-A770K/IM-A780L, KT announced yesterday another one of these raw power monster with the KM-S200 or TAKE Janus.

Here as well the TAKE Janus comes with the very same Qualcomm 1.5GHz Dual Core Snapdragon CPU, 1GB of RAM, comes with 16GB of internal memory, a 1.3Mpix Front facing Camera and 8Mpix rear Camera with AF and flash, a 4.3" qHD screen (960×540), HSUPA/GSM, SRS WOWHD, 1080p Video Recording, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, DMB and Android 2.3.3 in just 128.5x65x9.8mm for 131g!
source: Akihabara News

T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide photos surface, no 3D screen in sight

The HTC-made T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide has show up in a couple of out-of-focus shots. Some specs were confirmed, but others were refuted – most notably the 3D screen rumor is apparently false.

The T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide initially leaked through an XML as the HTC Doubleshot and there was even a camera sample from Picasa. Later we found out that “Doubleshot” was the codename for T-Mobile USA’s myTouch 4G Slide.

The new photos confirm that this droid is running Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread with HTC Sense 3.0. The screen is reportedly nothing special and not 3D as initial rumors suggested. Neither is the 8MP camera on the back of the myTouch 4G Slide (so, Doubleshot didn’t refer to two cameras).

Anyway, the device supposedly runs much faster than the myTouch 4G (1GHz Scorpion) and was as smooth as the Sensation, which seems to confirm the 1.2GHz dual-core CPU on the myTouch 4G.

The phone has a metal back cover and the slide-out QWERTY keyboard was comparable to that of the T-Mobile G2. The screen has WVGA resolution, though there’s still no info on its size.

The leaked T-Mobile USA roadmap pegs the myTouch 4G Slide for a 6 July launch but we haven’t seen confirmation of that yet. The roadmap did prove accurate for a couple of other T-Mobile phones though.


HTC EVO 3D spotted at the FCC

We all know that the HTC EVO 3D will soon be making its way into our hands on June 24, thanks to a RadioShack flyer, and now we've got even more confirmation that the phone is on its way. The 3D-capable Android phone from HTC was recently spotted making its way through the offices of the FCC with a mark of approval. And from the filing we receive confirmation about what we already knew about the phone - CDMA, EVDO, WiMAX, Bluetooth, and WiFi radios, a Qualcomm processor, and a glasses-free 3D display for you to watch Green Hornet 3D in.

The good thing is, we won't have to wait too long until June 24th. Who's rushing out to pick up one of these bad boys in a few weeks?
source: Ubergizmo

Motorola CEO blames Android Market for performance issues

Ever wondered why your Andriod smartphone isn't working as well as it should be? Well, Motorola's CEO, Dr. Sanjay Jha, thinks it's because of the open Android Market.

He says that because the Android Market is open, anyone can upload almost any type of applications. Users then download these applications that may have the potential of bringing down the performance or battery life of their devices. He also said that 70% of the phones that are returned are because of issues caused by applications.

Jha claims that the solution lies in MOTOBLUR, Motorola's proprietary software layer that runs on top of their Android phones. Motorola is using BLUR to collect data on the applications that people use on their phones and the way they affect the performance of their devices. Thanks to this information, they will soon be able to issue warnings if an applications, say, is going to have a dramatic effect on the phone's battery life.

Now all that is fine but we must say we aren't particularly big fans of MOTOBLUR. And for all we know BLUR itself could be one of the reason for many of the performance issues. Perhaps Motorola should fine tune their own application before passing the blame around.


Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc and PLAY 2.3.3 update now live on Vodafone

If you own one of the above Sony Ericsson Android phones and bought them through the Vodafone network, there's some fun to be had today – the network has launched the Android 2.3.3 update for both of the lovely telephones.

As we've previously mentioned, this update brings a few bug fixes and integration of Sony Ericsson's new Facebook tools and interface. Here's Vodafone's take on what's new:

A new maintenance release for the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc is now available to our customers. This is an Android platform update to 2.3.3 and introduces a number of fixes and improvements, including:

Improved voice quality

Device stability improvements

Improvements to email setup and performance with exchange accounts

Security fixes and improvements

How will I get the latest software?

You can do this manually by connecting your handset to your computer via USB and opening the Sony Ericsson Update Service application. You will be prompted that an update is available and should follow the onscreen instructions.

Checking the software version:

To check which version of the software you have on your handset you need to dial *#*#7378423#*#* -> Service info ->Software info?.

The new software version will show as 3.0.1.A.0.145

The always pleasing to see Xperia Arc, now marginally even better. The announcement regarding the Xperia PLAY is here. Updates will be done via Sony Ericsson's desktop PC tool.
source: Eurodroid

Is Nokia Making a Tablet? Sounds Like It!

While every major electronics company have already ridden the tablet bandwagon, we have yet to hear whether or not Nokia would develop their very own tablet computer.

In a conference at D9, Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop gave this somewhat cryptic response to a question about tablets: “I'm not going to announce a tablet here today. But as a high-level point, there's a connected digital experience will increasingly define what consumers are looking for. It's important for us to play across that space. We have to address that whole space.”

If Nokia will not make a tablet, he simply would have said no or, as CrunchGear puts it, “right now we're focused on the mobile sector.” Do you think Nokia will be making a tablet device? Leave us a response!

LG Optimus Black landing in Australia this month (via Optus, Vodafone)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A few months after it launched the Optimus 2X in Australia, LG is now ready to release the Optimus Black there, too.

Unlike the 2X, the Optimus Black doesn't have a dual-core processor - just a single core 1GHz one. However, it's still a smartphone that mustn't be overlooked, especially if we're thinking about its super-bright 4 inch WVGA Nova display.

Gizmodo Australia has it that the Optimus Black will be available via Vodafone and Optus this month, on a variety of plans. Starting July, Telstra should also offer the handset.
Unwired View

HTC Wildfire S now available at Bell in Canada

As expected, the HTC Wildfire S has now become available from Bell in Canada. This is the cheapest Android smartphone to come out of the Taiwanese manufacturer for 2011, and is obviously meant to be the successor to the original Wildfire. Moreover, it fixes all the glaring issues its predecessor had (such as the screen's resolution) and, as such, has become a great little device for those not interested in phones with gigantic screens.

Bell will give you an HTC Wildfire S if you agree to part with $29.95 and sign a new three-year contract. As is usually the case in Canada, there are two-year and one-year contract options, but the device's price then becomes so expensive that you're probably better off buying it full price if you don't like the idea of committing to a three-year contract.

The Wildfire S is no exception. Bell offers it for $199.95 with a two-year contract, $224.95 with a one-year contract, and, just as we heard it would, $249.95 with no contract whatsoever. So, again as is usually the case in Canada, your best options are either shelling out the entire amount and getting it sans contract, or signing that three-year and enjoying the benefits of getting the phone cheaper. It's your choice, and once you've decided, head on over to Bell and make the necessary arrangements.
Unwired View

Qualcomm Keynote @ Uplinq 2011

Paul Jacobs, the CEO of Qualcomm on stage during the Uplinq Keynote

And that's only the beginning. Qualcomm estimates that data usage will grow by up to 12X by 2015. The future will be dominated by both HSPA+ and LTE networks it seems. Both networks are powered by Qualcomm technologies.

Yet, Qualcomm reminds the Uplinq attendees that feature phones ("non smartphones") will still represent 500M units in 2015. Although they are not sexy this segment still represents a huge opportunity in the industry. Paul Jacobs calls developers to cease their "moment" and build apps that can reach "hundreds of millions".

CAA, Creative Artists Agency: CAA has announced the creation (with Qualcomm) of a "creative mobile lab". The goal of this new entity is to create much better entertainment applications and will cover video games, music and movies. CML calls developer to join its rank - although the incentive for developers wasn't really clear during the keynote.

Qualcomm strengths: Paul Jacobs did not miss the opportunity to remind the audience of the strengths of Qualcomm: breadth of OS and hardware solutions, high integration, and tight control of hardware and software and developer tools.

SnapDragon: Qualcomm realizes that performance is critical to both its developers and customers. Paul Jacobs referred a few times to "multi-core" competitors, which is basically NVIDIA and TI, for shipping products. He emphasizes that SnapDragon chips do better on a performance-per-watt basis, although he didn't say against which competitor, or if it was against all of them. This is typically something that end-users need to look at one a case-by-case basis by reading reviews. There are cases where the competition does very well, and others where Qualcomm has an advantage.

Sony Ericsson came on stage to talk about its smartphones (powered by SnapDragon). They reminded the audience of their "feature phones" past, and their (difficult) evolution into the smartphone market. Sony Ericsson's ARC is probably their best product - but Sony Ericsson has launched 4 smartphones recently. The future is unsurprising: more products are coming online. Sony Ericsson concludes with its XPERIA "game phone". The "time has finally come" (for gaming phones) says Sony Ericsson. "There is no compromise". It maybe so, but we will have to see how the market responds to the XPERIA Play. That said, it's fair to recognize that at least, Sony Ericsson has tried to create something new with the XPERIA Play.

Adreno GPU: Paul Jacobs was very keen to remind the audience about their Adreno graphics processor (GPU) performance. I take it as a direct reference to the "NVIDIA threat", and to be fair, even NVIDIA fans have to recognize that Adreno does a very good job, although they will be quick to point out that Tegra 3 is just around the corner. There is no doubt that both companies will compete for some time in that arena.

3D content: of course, there's no escaping from the 3D push of the entire industry. We've been shown games, demos and movies that show stereo 3D in all its glory. Yet, this is something that end-users mostly don't "desire" yet. The glasses-less devices might change this, but the overall opinion of most people that we talk to is : I don't want to wear glasses.

Web/HTML5: on-stage, Qualcomm was talking about its web performance and claims that it loads pages 21% faster and handle HTML4 faster than competing platforms. Qualcomm also said that it is leading the JSGame benchmark (from Facebook) by 2X, but didn't mention against which competitor. Of course, polygonal 3D also works in web apps, with WebGL.

Peer to Peer /AllJoyn: pronounced "all join", AllJoyn is a peer-to-peer API that can use any underlying network protocol like WIFI, Bluetooth and others. To the developer, AllJoyn simply hides the technicalities of low-level protocols and allows them to focus on game content. Think of it as a "DirectX" for peer-to-peer.

Augmented Reality: Qualcomm's Augmented Reality (AR) software development kit (SDK) is coming to iOS - for free. Qualsomm has been a big believer of AR for a long time. There was a nice demo in which upon looking at DVD boxes thought a smartphone camera, the movie trailer would be played on the box via AR. The main challenge of AR, in my personal opinion, is the lack of an efficient (real-time) visual recognition engine, along with a complete database that should power it. This is going to be a multi-year (or decade) effort. When it works, AR can be refined and improved for years to come, and it will need a steady supply of processing power - this is a big stake for Qualcomm and others.

Dreamworks was talking about how "AR" was going to simplify DVD pre-sales, but what they were showing was really a QR-code (2D barcode)... I don't see how it related to AR, and frankly Asian countries had that a decade ago. Another "AR" application was the ability to take pictures on top of which the movie characters were added. Again, not really "AR-ish" for me.

Qualcomm presents AR as "our digital 6th sense", and Paul Jacobs himself says that AR will be our primary means to interact with our environment. If you project yourself far enough in the future, it may be so, but this is not a near-future (5 years) thing - I really hope I'm wrong. Qualcomm dream about a future with more "sensors" and more network activity. "We will be linked to everything around us" they say.

Attendees take: Uplinq attendees were asked to vote about which field has the largest opportunity, and the winner is "healthcare".

Wrap-up: to conlude, Paul Jacobs reminds developers in the room that Qualcomm is there to help them with tools, SDKs, APIs etc... and that this is a "new era" for computing. He also reminds them that everyone wins when customers are happy. "We've got your back" he says.

Samsung SHV-E110S is an Android Gingerbread smartphone on its way to SK Telecom in Korea

Samsung is hard at work on yet another Android-powered smartphone, the SHV-E110S. This is a device that will show up soon in South Korea, Samsung's home country, and will probably be launched by SK Telecom, one of the major carriers there.

Samsung Hub has discovered that the SHV-E110S is currently being subjected to operator tests. What we know so far about this device is that it will have a Qualcomm processor, a WVGA (800×480) touchscreen, a camera, Bluetooth, GPS, external memory support (via microSD probably), and it will run Android 2.3 Gingerbread when it launches.
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