News Update :







HTC Thunderbolt Gingerbread Update Brings New Desk Mode – Official Dock Required

Friday, October 28, 2011

Aside from the usual Gingerbread goodies, The HTC Thunderbolt over-the-air update (rolling out now) had a few other Sense goodies bundled with it as well. As you can see from the above image, once the T-Bolt is nestled comfortably in its dock, the HTC activates an all new “Desk Mode” and viola — landscape Sense. This is a great surprise for those lucky Thunderbolt owners lucky enough to grab the official HTC dock from Verizon when it debuted back in June.

Desk Mode actually displays content a little different than when in portrait mode making Sense look a little more like a tablet UI. You may have noticed the transparent Friend Stream Widget and the Clock widget is now smaller and in the upper corner instead of smack in the middle of the screen.

While the new Desk Mode is only available while the device is docked, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before some ROM developers crack the feature to work sans dock.

Nokia Lumia 800, the Windows Phone that you've been waiting for

Finally, here it is. The flagship device Nokia is counting on to bring a smile to our phone-loving faces, a sigh of relief to its shareholders, and a twinkle to the eyes of Finnish tax collectors everywhere. And, guess what? This heavily leaked handset might just live up to our high expectations.

From the outside, the Lumia 800 is very similar to the beloved N9. Dubbed the “first real Windows Phone,” this device is powered by a 1.4GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 CPU and is sculpted from the same 12.1mm (0.48-inch) thick piece of durable polycarbonate plastic, with tapered edges on the top and bottom to give it that industrial look and make it feel thinner than it really is.

If you're familiar with the N9 you'll know the basics of the story here, a polycarbonate shell that feels very nice in the hand and, perhaps more importantly, won't show scratches as clearly as painted metal or plastic exteriors. That baby blue you see? It's that same color all the way through to the core — there's no paint here to chip or scratch.

Sitting at the top of the device is Nokia's logo, just above the company's curved ClearBlack AMOLED (800 x 480) display, with a Carl Zeiss optics-enhanced lens around back. This is Gorilla Glass, so hopefully it being exposed in this way won't danger its visual purity.  The Lumia 800 also packs 16GB of internal storage, 512MB of RAM and 25GB of free SkyDrive space, and features Nokia Drive, Nokia Music and ESPN Sports Hub baked into its OS. As for that OS, it's all about a fresh beginning: those bold squares you see on the screen are, of course, the sleek live tiles of Windows Phone Mango.

Up top, doors flip open to reveal the micro-USB charger port and the SIM slot, doors that fit so well you'd barely know they're there. A 3.5mm headphone jack is up on the top as well. That's really about all there are for ports. The right side of the phone is adorned with a volume rocker and power button, and the left is completely bare — just super sleek, curved polycarbonate. There's a speaker right there on the bottom as well.

The eight megapixel camera, meanwhile, packs an f/2.2 aperture, and is designed specifically for low-light environments. It seems pretty similar to what you'll find in the N9, and according to Nokia, it's simply a shooter that works for “ordinary people, under ordinary circumstances.” You'll also find quad-band GSM support, with HSDPA download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps.

Now, for the basics: the Lumia 800 is priced at €420, or about $585. It's already up for pre-order now, and is scheduled to roll out across France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK, beginning in November. It'll make its way to Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan before the end of the year, and will hit “further markets” sometime next year.

Overall the Lumia 800 looks quite incredible — this is some impressive hardware — but will Nokia's latest flagship help drive some serious Windows Mobile market share?

LG Prada K2 leaked

Luxury handsets are dime a dozen – most of them are also priced out of reach for the average layperson, but that does not mean we are unable to afford flagship models from most handset manufacturers. I don't suppose that high on the list of many users would be the iPhone 4S, the Galaxy S2 from Samsung as well as HTC's range of high end models, but what about LG? Yes, the South Korean consumer electronics company does have its fair share of smartphones, although their foray into this market is not as detailed as its competitors. Still, this has not stopped the house of Prada from teaming up with LG, where their latest release would be the LG Prada K2.

Images of it have already leaked out online, where it is known as the LG Prada P940 above, although the final version might end up looking different since what you see above could very well just be an experimental design. Running on Android 2.3 Gingerbread right out of the box, this will be the first model among the LG Prada range to do so. We do not know just when will it roll out, but a release before the year is over is definitely on the cards.

As for other hardware specifications, you will be able to enjoy at second-generation 4.3″ NOVA display that is said to boast 1,000 nits of brightness, an 8-megapixel camera at the back, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, 16GB ROM, and a 21Mbps HSPA+ radio. How much do you think this puppy will cost?

Mobilicity Releases Nokia 500

Mobilicity has decided to launch the Nokia 500 Symbian Anna smartphone in Canada. The phone features a 1GHz processor with a 3.2-inch (640×360) touchscreen display, a 5-megapixel camera and Wi-Fi connectivity. You can also create a mobile hotspot with this smartphone. Folks in Canada are able to buy the Nokia 500 for $169.99 outright. [MobileSyrup]

Nokia Lumia 800 unboxed: we shed some light on what's inside

We managed to grab enough time with the Lumia 800's retail innards here at Nokia World, revealing some welcome extras including a flexible rubberized case for that affectionate lump of polycarbonate. The requisite data cable, power adapter and headset are all accounted for inside the packaging, which is covered in shots of this dark, not-so-mysterious phone. It's all a bit more vibrant than the packaging of its other 2011 phone, but is still coated in that unmistakable Nokia blue. We expect to get our excitable digits on a review model very - very - soon, but until then check out more shots of what we can expect to get alongside Nokia's premier Windows Phone handset.

Nokia Lumia 710 shows up at Nokia USA's website

Announced yesterday alongside the Lumia 800, the Nokia Lumia 710 might become the company's first Windows Phone Mango handset to be released in the US.

The 710 has appeared over at Nokia USA's official website as "coming soon." There are no specific details on when to expect the handset Stateside, though. However, Nokia did say that it would bring Windows Phone devices to the US in early 2012, so that's when the 710 will likely be available.

The Nokia Lumia 710 features a 3.7 inch WVGA ClearBlack display, 1.4GHz processor, Wi-Fi, GPS, Nokia Drive, 5MP camera with LED flash, 720p video recording, and 8GB of internal memory.

In Europe, the handset will cost €270 before taxes and subsidies. That's about $378 - which means the smartphone could be offered by a US carrier for under $100 on contract. Of course, we don't know what America carrier is interested to offer the Lumia 710 yet. Maybe Verizon, since it had staff present at Nokia World. We'll see.

Nokia releases new Screen Reader app

In an attempt to make smartphones more usable for the visually impaired, Nokia has announced a new Screen Reader app just for that purpose. Called Screen Reader, the app is designed to help blind people or those who have trouble reading things on their phones. Nokia Screen Reader is an app that basically converts any screen content into speech.

Screen Reader can be used to aid with texting, calling, browsing the internet, accessing call lists and contacts, and managing the calendar. In addition to helping the blind “see”, Screen Reader can also be used by people with working vision but don't have time to look at their screens i.e. joggers or drivers, who want to stay updated while focusing on something else that's more important (keeping their eyes on the road).

Nokia Screen Reader is available from the Nokia Store for free in the brand new accessibility section of the store. It will be available before the end of the year for the C5 5 MP, Nokia 700 and Nokia 701 with Symbian Belle.

Windows Phone Apollo launching mid 2012 according to Nokia's VP

With Microsoft's Windows Phone 7.5 (or Mango) update still in the process of being completely rolled out, there are talks about its successor, Apollo. Not much is known about the Apollo update yet, but if we were to take Nokia's Executive VP for Location and Commerce, Michael Halbherr's word for it, we could be seeing the Apollo update launch in the middle of 2012. He has claimed that the update will be a "very different game" to Mango, reconfirming that the Apollo update could very well be Windows Phone 8.

The features are not known at this point in time, but it looks like Halbherr is pushing Microsoft to integrate NFC into the operating system, as well as making the Windows Phone platform more friendly with Nokia's Navteq mapping platform. We're not sure if Nokia will be receiving any special treatment from Microsoft with regards to Windows Phone, but given that Nokia has pretty much put all of their eggs into the proverbial basket, we're not surprised to see Nokia so excited and gunning for Windows Phone.

Motorola DROID4 photos leaked

Fans of slideout QWERTY keyboard smartphones, it looks as though photos of the Motorola DROID4 (or better known by its codename, "Maserati") has been leaked. The device itself doesn't look too shabby and is reminiscent of Motorola's current design philosophy which seems to favor tapered edges.

In terms of specs, it is said to feature a 4" display (rumored to be Super AMOLED), an illuminated slideout QWERTY keyboard, 4G LTE connectivity, a camera that's capable of recording 1080p HD video, a front facing camera, HDMI out and will run on Android's Gingerbread 2.3.5. No word on processor, but the good folks down at DroidLife seem to think that it should at the very least run on the same 1.2GHz OMAP4430 processor that's found on the Droid RAZR. Unfortunately there is no word on pricing or release date at the moment.

Verizon Motorola Droid 4 smiles for the camera, has its specs leaked too

Rather unexpectedly, the upcoming Motorola Droid 4 for Verizon has been leaked today. Unexpected because its predecessor, the Droid 3, isn't really that old, and while we always enjoy new toys, Motorola may be pushing it by updating its phones so fast. There probably will be many unhappy Droid 3 customers who signed a two-year contract to get that only a few months before its successor arrives on the market.

That said, we don't really know yet just when the Droid 4 will become available. But it does seem to be finished, more or less, so we're guessing that it will happen soon.

Yes, what you see above is the Droid 4. Its styling borrows heavily from the recently launched Droid RAZR, and it certainly looks like that device was the one to introduce Moto's new design aesthetic.

But the pictures aren't the whole story, for some of the Droid 4′s specs have been leaked too. It will come with 4G LTE support, a 4-inch touchscreen (possibly of the Super AMOLED variety), a 5-row keyboard, a non-removable battery, 1080p HD video recording (so the camera may be an 8 MP unit), a secondary front-facing camera, and HDMI out. There's no word on the processor, but it has to be at least the dual-core 1.2 GHz one found inside the Droid RAZR.

As for pricing, expect it to be more expensive than previous keyboard-touting Droids, because of the addition of 4G LTE support (and we all know how Verizon loves to overprice its LTE devices).

Now that the ice was broken and we have the first leak about the Droid 4, expect many more to follow. And we'll be here to cover all of them for your convenience.

DROID RAZR Accessory Pricing Revealed

Wondering how much you'll need to spend on the accessories you want for the DROID RAZR alongside the cost for the phone itself? Our friends at Droid-Life have gotten their hands on price sheet for everything you can expect to see flaunting next to one of the thinnest smartphones in America. We've got the Lapdock 100 for $200, the Lapdock 500 for $300 and HDMI docks for $60 and $100. Take a look at the full breakdown in the photo above.

Nokia's Lumia 710 Windows Phone announced alongside the 800, hitting select markets by end of year

Nokia didn't only announce one Windows Phone last night. Here comes the Lumia 710. It takes advantage of the same 1.4GHz CPU found in the Lumia 800, offers a 3.7-inch ClearBlack display and comes in “stealthy black” and “crisp white,” with replaceable back covers. Look for the 710 to be priced around €270, or $375. For availability, you can expect to see the Lumia 710 hitting France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK in November and then Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan by the end of the year, with additional markets in the first part of 2012.

White Nokia N9 Smartphone

Nokia has announced the availability of the white Nokia N9. The smartphone will be available in the 64GB version and will go on sale later this year. Nokia will also release a new software update for this handset. The update offers several improvements such as music controls keys from the lock screen, closing apps by swiping them down and NFC tag reading. [Nokia Conversation]

Microsoft: Windows Phone Mango now being delivered to '100 percent' of compatible devices

We just heard last week that the Windows Phone Mango update was available on nearly every compatible device, and Microsoft has now made things completely official. In a post on the Windows Phone blog today, Microsoft confirmed that it's "now delivering Mango to 100 percent of eligible phones around the world, regardless of carrier." That feat was reached less than a month after Microsoft announced that that Mango was available on half of Windows Phones, which certainly an improvement on the pace of the earlier NoDo update. Included in this last batch is the LG Optimus 7 on Telefonica is Spain and the Samsung Omnia 7 on Deutsche Telekom. Now, about that Apollo update...

Windows Phone Mango heads for virtually all devices

It seems that the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango update is now on its way to all compatible devices – now does that mean some devices will not receive it? Yes, in the most basic of terms, those that are not compatible, meaning older models, will most probably miss out on the Mango boat. We do know that Microsoft has already started delivering Windows Phone 7.5 to the LG Optimus 7 phones on Telefonica in Spain, and the team is also on schedule to greet owners of the Samsung Omnia 7 handset over at Deutsche Telekom with a similar bounty.

Not only that, Microsoft did announce that they are “delivering Mango to 100 percent of eligible phones around the world, regardless of carrier.” To put it in a nutshell, that means everything else which is not listed as "scheduling" or "testing" on the Where's My Phone Update?.

If you are rocking to a Windows Phone smartphone, do not be surprised if you start to receive an update notification on your handset in due time. For those who have already made the firmware upgrade, how do you find the new flavor – does it suit you?

WNM Live delivers free VoIP calls for Windows Phone 7 users

Are you one who believes that Windows Phone 7 is the future of mobile operating systems? Well, if you answered in the affirmative, then might we interest you in an app that will enable you to make free VoIP calls? Known as WNM Live, this location-based social network is the first to deliver free VoIP calls to the Windows Phone 7 platform, beating out Microsoft at their own game (who owns Skype btw). SynergeTech Solutions is the company behind this app, where we will look at the list of features below.

With WNM Live, you are able to search profiles of other users based on criteria such as distance, interests, gender, or age. Feeling lonely? Look for users who are on the lookout for friendship, chat, networking, or romance, and you can also make your wallet heavier each month since you are able to send free text and picture messages to other users.

Well, what are you waiting for? Have you given WNM Live a go, and do you think it will be your brand new favorite Windows Phone 7 app?

ITG xpPhone 2 to get some Windows 8 love, starts living large in January

Let's be honest: with the size of a brick and a relatively short battery life, it's no surprise that ITG's xpPhone hasn't quite dominated the smartphone market since its launch back in November. In fact, we haven't even seen one in the wild, and we certainly wouldn't have missed it if there ever was one on the street. That said, ITG hasn't given up, as the company's just announced its second-generation Windows-powered smartphone. The reason? Well, interestingly enough, ITG prefers Windows' greater range of compatible software compared to those of mobile OSes, namely Android and iOS. Let's just leave it at that for now.

Simply dubbed the xpPhone 2, this beast of a QWERTY slider packs a 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z530 chip, along with 2GB RAM, up to 112GB of SSD storage, 4.3-inch display and compatibility with both Windows 7 and Windows 8 - obviously the latter OS will depend on its final release date. Not only has battery life been bumped up to around 18 hours of call time or 46 days on standby, but the phone's also been slimmed down to 140mm x 73mm x 17.5mm, which is a huge improvement compared to its bulky predecessor. With the touch-friendly Windows 8 on board along with a non-underclocked CPU, we have a feeling that the xpPhone 2 will at least fare much better than Fujitsu's F-07C; as for the rest, we shall see when it comes out in January next year. And no, it probably won't run Crysis.

HTC Rhyme Review

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The HTC Rhyme mixes the high-quality design expected from a company like HTC with a touch of feminine softness to create a handset that is both gorgeous to look at and a pleasure to use. Throw in a few accessories and you get a pretty complete package. But before we go too far, this isn’t the handset for everyone. HTC aimed Rhyme squarely at one group of users, and this may alienate some potential buyers. If purple is your color (it sure is mine) and you aren’t obsessed over specs like the number of cores in a processor, the Rhyme’s compact design could be for you.

The HTC Rhyme is by no means a powerhouse device. It features a 1GHz single-core CPU, though it is couple with an ample amount of RAM at 768MB. It’s 3.7-inch display gets a 480×800 resolution, it sports a 5MP rear camera with auto-focus and LED flash, and a VGA front-facing camera.

The first thing you will notice is the elegantly designed case. It features a soft touch finish with metal accents and stylish curves. The 1600 mAh battery is not removable, but the lower portion of the case gives way to provide access to a microSD card slot. A microUSB port is located under a flap on the left side of the device, while a volume rocker features on the right. The top of the phone carries a power/standby button and 3.5MM headset jack. Located near the 5MP camera capable of 720p video there is a set of three gold contacts. These are used for docking the Rhyme just by dropping it into the cradle. No need to make any USB connections for charging.

While the phone’s good looks are easily its biggest selling point, the hardware doesn’t slouch. With specs more inline with classic offering such as the HTC EVO and Droid Incredible, performance lags slightly behind the more recent big dogs. The HTC Rhyme is better labeled as an upper mid-range device. Still, there is no noticeable hardware lag and the phone is responsive and smooth with its software.

Call quality is more than adequate, as HTC has strategically placed noise-cancelling microphones throughout the device. Though its name suggest musical inclinations, the Rhyme launched without the support of recently acquired Beats Audio. Still, there are few complaints about the audio quality the device provides.

Speaking of software, HTC has once again updated their Sense UI for the Rhyme. The handset is among the first to feature Sense 3.5, and though much remains similar to previous incarnations, the changes made are noticeable.

Perhaps the biggest distinguishing factor is a revamped launcher. Each homescreen now features two static launcher buttons, one for the phone dialer and one for the applications tray. In the applications tray, apps are divided between frequently used, downloaded, and all apps. Dropping the notification bar also provides shortcuts to recently used apps as well as a quick setting menu for adjusting phone settings on the fly. The Sense browser has received a face-lift as well, but overall functions about the same as it did before.

New widgets abound, including a series of application widgets which expand to provide more information. These come as defaults on the main homescreen. Speaking of homescreens and widgets, one feature many will be happy to see included is the ability to easily rearrange, add, and delete homescreens. If you don’t need the default seven, drop it to five or four. You simply double-tap the Home softkey to access the quick view of all homescreens and long press to edit. You can also use this to quickly jump to any homescreen.

HTC has made some improvements to the camera in terms of both software and hardware. The shutter speed isn’t the fastest we have seen, but it is almost instantaneous. Combined with the camera quick launcher from the lock screen you can snap off a picture in a matter of seconds. It might not be quick enough to capture the most fleeting of moments, but it will more than do.

The camera software has plenty of features to toy around with, perhaps the most interesting being a series of effects that can be applied in real-time to photos. With an effect selected, you get a preview of just how the image will turn out. Effects also translate to the front-facing snapper.

Pictures, for the most part, were on the better side of what we have seen from smartphones lately. Still, the Rhyme did have some trouble capturing images in low-light situations. The auto-focus could have been better, but you can manually adjust focus by tapping the screen (for both still photos and video).

Video won’t blow anyone away, but the image is nice and clear, if a bit stuttery.

A major selling point of the HTC Rhyme are its included accessories. In the box come a desktop dock, notifications charm, and tangle-free headphones. The headphones are fairly average, but a nice extra. The other accessories are actually pretty neat.

The desktop dock is a very basic cradle that uses a set of gold contacts to charge the device. When in the dock a bedside-friendly screen is triggered with access to the calendar, music, and photos. If we had one complaint about the dock, it would center on removing the phone. Once the Rhyme is placed in the cradle it can be difficult to pop out without actually picking up the dock and tipping it a bit. Not a major problem, but a slight inconvenience.

What we really liked was the notifications charm. The concept is pretty darn cool. The small purple cube glows when your phone receives a call, message, or other notification (you can adjust the settings via the phone). The idea is a person could dangle the charm out of their bag and get a notification alert without having to dig out their phone. The cube is connected to a long purple cord, which connects to the Rhyme’s headset jack (which, if anything, might aid in fishing the phone out of a clutter purse). It isn’t without its downsides, though. It seemed to be a bit hit or miss with if it wanted to light up or not, and didn’t always catch all calls and messages (this could have been user error). It also would have been nice if the whole thing were wireless, connecting to your phone via Bluetooth or some other standard.

In conclusion, the Rhyme could be a great phone for a lot of people. It definitely gets its target audience, but its focus on woman will no-doubt turn many other buyers away. If you are looking for the latest and greatest hardware, you might be better off looking at a dual-core handset. If you want a combination of refined software in a well-designed and sturdy body, the Rhyme is a safe bet. If you don’t like purple, you will want to look elsewhere. UK Offers Motorola Atrix For Just 291.99 GBP SIM-Free UK is offering you the Motorola Atrix for just 291.99 GBP (about $465) SIM-Free. To refresh your memory, this high-end Android smartphone packs a 4.0-inch 540 x 960 capacitive touchscreen display, a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core processor, a 1GB RAM, a 16GB of storage, a microSD card slot (up to 32GB), a 5.0-megapixel autofocus camera with 720p HD video recording, a 2.0-megapixel front-facing camera, 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, A-GPS and runs on Android 2.2 Froyo OS. Interested? [Product Page]

Verizon (finally) confirms it will have the Galaxy Nexus

After a few leaks and false starts, Verizon has finally made its plans to offer the Galaxy Nexus "later this year" official. That's really the only detail revealed, as its price, release date and availability on other carriers are still unknown.

NTT Docomo F-12C Globetrotter Classic Special Edition Smartphone

You are lucky if you are living in Japan. NTT Docomo will launch the F-12C Globetrotter Classic Special Edition smartphone on October 28th, 2011. Available only 5,000 units, the Android-powered F-12C from Fujitsu features a 3.7-inch (800×480) display, an 8.1-megapixel CMOS camera, mobile wallet service, several pre-installed wallpapers and a Vulcan Fibre rear cover that is made out of the same material as the Trotter Classic travel case. [IT Media]

Verizon officially announces the Samsung Galaxy Nexus

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus was announced earlier this week in Hong Kong, but there were no details about which carriers will be selling the device revealed (if you don't count the hints on Samsung's Galaxy Nexus interest page) - until this evening. Verizon has issued a press release, officially confirming that the flagship Android superphone will be available on its network. And yes, the phone will support 4G LTE on Big Red.

No prices or exact date for the phone's release was given, but its specs were reiterated in the press release: 4.65″ HD Super AMOLED (1280 x 720) display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, 4G LTE connectivity, 5-megapixel rear camera, 1.3-megapixel front facing camera, NFC-capabilities, Google mobile services (Android Market, Maps etc), WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS.

No word on whether it will be a Verizon-exclusive at launch either, but stay tuned and we'll keep you posted. Who's going to purchase this phone when it goes on sale?

PowerSkin Battery Case For HTC Amaze 4G

PowerSkin has launched a new battery case for the HTC Amaze 4G. The case not only protects your smartphone from bumps and scratches, but it also offers an additional 6.8-hour of talk time. The case comes equipped with a 1,500mAh battery that has been integrated into its silicone exterior. HTC Amaze 4G owners are able to purchase the PowerSkin battery case for $69.99 a pop. [PowerSkin]

Samsung SHW-A310 Released In South Korea

Samsung is ready to release a new clamshell handset in South Korea. Known as the Samsung SHW-A310, the phone is actually a successor to the Samsung SHW-A300. The new cell phone features a 3-inch (400×240) WQVGA display, a 3MP digital camera and a Hyperskin body to give the phone extra grip and protection. Other features include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a microSD card slot, T-DMB, a front-facing VGA camera and a 1000mAh battery. The Samsung SHW-A310 will be available via SKT. [SammyHub]

Galaxy Nexus, HTC Rezound (still) bound for Verizon on November 10th, Droid RAZR bumped to October?

Three's the magic number, and the third time is the charm so, this triple confirmation of release date gossip's got us thinking an Android avalanche is on its Big Red way. We've seen November 10th bandied about as the day Google's Ice Cream Sandwich flagship Galaxy Nexus and HTC's awkwardly monikered Rezound would hit Verizon's shelves. Now, this latest leak over on Android Central appears to set that date in stone and give us potential $299 on contract pricing for both handsets. Alas, eager beavers hoping to get their hands on Motorola's just unveiled Droid RAZR are in luck, as this chart outs an earlier October 27th date for the device. These launch windows could easily slip and slide further into the end of year, so take all this talk with the usual dose of skep. At least we now have the consolation prize of knowing a vanilla Android experience is officially headed back to VZW's chunk of radio waves.

Vertu Constellation Luxury Phone

There are also mobile phones that are created and designed to attract a certain type of consumer. Apart from phones designed for the typical consumer, there are also phones that are geared for use by professionals, for the outdoors type and many others. Those with money to burn usually look for a mobile phone that not just anybody can have or afford, just for the sake of it. Luxury mobile phone brand Vertu has provided a new model for the rich to ogle at with the new Vertu Constellation.

The Vertu Constellation is a unique phone that oozes with luxury and elegance based by its looks. Most of its body is surrounded by black alligator skin bordered by precious metals for a body. And for those who don't know, Vertu is Nokia's division for its luxury cell phones. And because of this, the Vertu Constellation runs on Nokia's proprietary Symbian OS.

The Vertu Constellation comes with a3.5 inch AMOLED touchscreen coated with a luxurious sapphire crystal surface. It also comes with an 8MP camera with a twin LED flash and HSPA+, Wifi and Bluetooth support. Since it is a luxury phone, the Vertu Constellation comes at a steep price. The price may start at around 1,000 UK Pounds or around US$1,590.

Samsung Stratosphere, Motorola Droid RAZR to be first Verizon LTE phones with Micro SIMs?

Looks like Verizon's got a hardware-crush on teensy 3FF Micro SIMs. The carrier's two latest 4G handsets, Samsung's Stratosphere and Motorola's Droid RAZR, both appear to make do with the diminutive cards. Neither, however, would be the first, as that honor was bestowed upon the carrier's version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1. If you're eager to call one of these devices your own, but already sport Big Red's LTE service, then get set to bust out the scissors for a little SIM card arts and crafts.

CyberRaider Android Smartphone

Here comes another budget-friendly Android smartphone from Chinavasion, the CyberRaider. Specs-wise, the handset sports a 3.5-inch 320 x 480 multi-touch capacitive touchscreen display, a 600MHz processor, a 256MB RAM, a 512MB of internal memory, a microSD card slot (up to 16GB), a 0.3MP front-facing camera, a 1.3MP rear-facing camera, 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, a Proximity sensor, a built-in speaker, a 3.5mm headset jack, a 1400mAh battery, GSM (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz) and WCDMA (2100MHz) networks support and runs on Android 2.2 OS. The CyberRaider can be yours for just $169.65 fully unlocked. [Product Page]

Samsung Transform Ultra does the QWERTY slide for Sprint

What big, wireless brother wants, big, wireless brother gets. With its pay-as-you-go subsidiary already packing this particular piece of mobile kit, 'twas only a matter of time before Sprint got its hands on the Transform Ultra. Officially announced for the third place carrier today, Sammy's Droid Charge with a QWERTY twist packs the usual array of mid-range specs. The 3.5-incher runs Android 2.3 atop a single-core 1GHz processor, with a VGA front facing / 3 megapixel rear camera, 512MB RAM, 2GB of storage and 1500mAh battery in tow. It's no next gen, 4G beastie, but sometimes you just need a workhorse to get things done. Pricing and availability have yet to be released, although we're sure that bit of crucial info's right around the corner

Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo V available in the UK

Introduced by Sony Ericsson in August as a slightly different Xperia Neo, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo V is now available in the UK, where is selling it unlocked.

Play is asking £259.99 (about €300 or $415) for the Neo V - a good price considering the handset's features, which include a 3.7 inch scratch-resistant display with 854 x 480 pixels, Wi-Fi, DLNA, HSDPA, GPS, 5MP rear camera with 720p video recording, front-facing camera, and a 1GHz processor.

Samsung SCH-W999 clamshell Android smartphone heads to China

Sharp was the first in the market to introduce a clamshell Android handset with the Sharp Aquos 007SH, and while we're not sure if there's a raging demand for clamshell Android devices, Samsung is looking to try their hand at a clamshell Android smartphone of their own with the SCH-W999, which is the successor to last year's SCH-W899.

The device will allow the user to choose to use it as a full touch screen phone, or flip it open to use it as a regular clamshell phone. Specs of the device remain largely unknown at this point, but what is know is that it will sport two WVGA OLED displays at 800×480 resolution and will be powered by an unknown version of Android, although it's not hard to imagine there's a good chance it will run on Gingerbread 2.3.

No word on when it will be released or how much it will cost, but for those living outside of China, it looks like you're out of luck as it appears that the Samsung SCH-W999, much like its predecessor, will be targeted at the China market, although we'll have to wonder exactly how many people out there actually want a clamshell Android smartphone to begin with.

Verizon Motorola Droid 2 Global and Droid Pro Android 2.3 Gingerbread updates finally rolling out now

Today is a big day if you own either a Motorola Droid 2 Global or a Droid Pro. The updates to Android 2.3 Gingerbread for both devices are now going out, after a few false starts here and there. The update for the Droid 2 Global was supposed to happen in September, but got pushed because of some last minute issues. The update for the Droid Pro was reported as going live a couple of weeks ago, but either that was a small test rollout, or simply wishful thinking, for it's today that Verizon officially announced that these updates have started rolling out.

The updates come over-the-air, you won't need a computer to download and install. All OTA rollouts are staggered, so it may take a while before the update you need arrives on your particular device. Don't fret though, it is on the way. If you'd like to manually check for the update, or just review Verizon's instructions, go to this PDF for the Droid 2 Global and this PDF for the Droid Pro.

If you'd like to know what fixes and enhancements these updates bring, aside from the Gingerbread platform, all the necessary details can be found in this PDF for the Droid 2 Global and this PDF for the Droid Pro.

HTC Radar 4G arrives next week

Great news to those of you looking forward to the HTC Radar 4G arriving on T-Mobile's network; the carrier has just announced today on its official Facebook page that the phone will be available in stores next week. The HTC Radar 4G is one of the first few second-generation Windows Phone 7 devices, and will feature a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, a 3.8″ (800 x 480) display, Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango), HSPA+ connectivity, a 5-megapixel rear camera, a VGA front facing camera, and 512MB of RAM.

The phone will cost $99.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a 2-year contract on T-Mobile, and will go on sale next Wednesday, November 2nd. Anybody planning on picking it up this phone then? Find out more on the official T-Mobile website.

Samsung SCH-W999 Clamshell Android Smartphone

Samsung will launch the SCH-W999 clamshell Android smartphone in the Chinese market. As a successor to the Samsung SCH-W899, the new smartphone features two WVGA OLED displays with a 800×480 pixel resolution, the Google Android Gingerbread 2.3 OS, Bluetooth 3.0 and WiFi b/g/n. Too bad, there is no info on pricing at this moment. [Pocketnow]

Alibaba W800 Aliyun phone

We did mention yesterday that Alibaba is working on a Chinese iPad – not an Apple iPad that will run on the Chinese language, but rather, the Chinese version of the iPad, or a tablet of iPad epicness if you want to put it in a nicer manner. Well, the China-based company is also preparing on their second generation Aliyun-powered handset known as the W800 – which will be powered by a 1GHz processor and a Tegra 2 chipset.

Apart from that, very little else is known about the highly secretive W800, although I do admit that it does sound like some sort of Sony Ericsson Walkman device from the model number itself. The NVIDIA branding is there for all and sundry to see, and chances are the Aliyun-powered W800 will hit the market sometime before the month is over. Of course, don't expect to see it anywhere else but in China, although I would say there would be a curious few who would have imported it over to check it out.


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