We high-tailed it over to the Motorola Booth and grabbed ahold of the first untethered Motorola Droid Pro we could find. First things first: the keyboard is above average. There's not a ton of movement on the keys, but they're well-ridged in a style that's more than reminiscent of the BlackBerry Bold. While typing, it's a little top-heavy by dint of that 3.1-inch, portrait HVGA screen, but it's not completely offensive by any means.
Also, and we mean this from the bottom of our hearts, it's lovely to "just start typing" on the Android home screen to initiate a search.
We're looking at the Motoblur-lite you've come to know on the Droid X. Speed-wise, it certainly kept up with our scrolling and zooming in the browser -- a virtue of the 1GHz processor, we're sure. The official word on the Droid Pro is still "Q4," but the man at Motorola suggested that November would be the month to watch.
Grab a huge helping of photos after the break along with a super quick hands-on video, then head on over to the Motorola Droid Pro Forums and let us know what you think!
Update: We wranged a Moto rep to take the Droid Pro through its paces for us, including showing off the profile switching and the Enterprise features - which include remotely wiping the SD card via the standard Exchange device management interface on the IT side. We also grabbed a quick hands-on and a couple photos of the extended battery and, well, it's not much thicker, not much heavier, and we are having a hard time understanding why it's not the default. Catch it all after the break, at the very bottom.
Take a gander at the Motorola Citrus, Verizon and Moto's plan for the aspirational, new-to-smartphones user. It has a small, almost cute form-factor that more than a few people have likened to the Palm Pre without the slide-out keyboard. We think we could do without the big old 'Backtrack' touchpad on the back, but to each his own. We also found it curious that the physical Send and End keys do little more than make and end calls, the End key doesn't even take you to the home screen.
Software-wise, as you'd expect, it's running Motoblur and (sadly) 2.1 and, yes, Bing. Performance is also as you'd expect: slightly better than the current crop of mid-level Blur phones, but not a speedster. That's ok, though, while you wait you can pat yourself on the back for buying a phone made form 25% recycled plastic.
Sprint Premier customers, if you're eligible you can order your Sanyo Zio or Samsung Transform today online. Most Android users on Sprint will qualify for the Premier customer status, and everyone is familiar with the awesome perk of yearly upgrades that comes with it. Quite often Sprint also throws a bone and gives early access to new phones as well, and this is one of those times. While everyone else has to wait for Oct. 10, you can pick up the Sanyo Zio for $99.99 (after rebate and with a contract extension) or the Samsung Transform for $149.99 after rebate and on contract starting today. While they may not match up spec wise with the Evo or Epic 4G, the price points are right and budget phones always sell. [Sprint]
Sprint, in partnership with big names like Notre Dame, Oprah and MTV, announced its Sprint ID service for Android today at the carrier's CTIA press event (see the liveblog here). Sprint ID takes the idea of HTC's scenes to the next level, giving the user an "ID Pack" for different scenarios.
But what exactly is Sprint ID? Customers can download and store up to five IDs -- filled with preloaded apps and icons -- designed to meet specific needs or interests. Once the IDs are loaded, switching between is only a click away, and applications, widgets, ringtones and other parts of your Android experience change to suit your mood. Along with the bundled applications and media, you can load any application from the market (and other sources likely) and continue to customize your phone to fit you. Sprint ID will ship with the trio of new phones announced today, but no word on backwards compatibility.
It's a great idea, and Sprint loves to let us know it was first to the table with it. Let's just hope the execution is well done, and the content is worthwhile, lest it become just another piece of bloat we'd do anything to get rid of. We're not quite sure what Sprint ID will mean for the future of UIs like HTC Sense and Samsung's Touchwiz, but it's interesting to note that the ESPN Sprint ID demo (which you can see after the break) appears emulated on an Evo 4G.
The LG Optimus S is the cheapest of the new Sprint ID phones, clocking in at a price usually reserved for blowout: $49.99 after rebate. For that price you're looking at Android 2.2, 3G mobile hotspot, a 3.2 megapixel camera, and a "I-can't-believe-it's-only-fifty-bucks" level of responsiveness on the 320x480 screen - which is to say it's passible but nowhere near Incredible.
The LG Optimus S isn't going to blow the doors off anything, but for a budget Android phone we're not complaining. Grab a few more shots of it after the break.
Sprint just dropped three new (OK, some more new than others) Android phones on us at CTIA. They are the Samsung Transform, the Sanyo Zio and LG Optimus S.
The Transform we saw through the user manual that appeared earlier this week. It'll go for $149 with $100 rebate and contract. It's a 3.5-inch HVGA touchscreen, 3.2MP camera and front-facing VGA camera. It's launching with Android 2.1, but Sprint says it'll be upgraded to Froyo later this year. The transform will be available Oct. 10.
The Zio's an oldie from the Sprint CTIA event and more recently as dummy units at Radio Shack. It'll cost just $99 on contract and $100 rebate. It sports Android 2.1 (again, an update is in the works) on a 3.5-inch WVGA touchscreen, a 3.2MP camera, 512MB of internal memory and a 2GB micro SD card. It'll be available Oct. 10.
The Optimus S looks to be a lot like the Optimus One we've seen in Asia. It'll be available Oct. 31 for just $49.99 after contract and $100 rebate. It's got a 3.2-inch touchscreen, 3.2MP camera, mobile hotspot capability and launches with Android 2.2. [Transform, Zio, Optimus S]
To continue the absolute onslaught of new Android phones, T-Mobile has announced the LG Optimus T, their latest "with Google" phone. Details are a little sparse, but it's sporting a 3.2 MP autofocus camera, comes with a two GB microSD card (expandable to 32 GB), comes in burgundy or titanium, and Froyo on board. No word on price or availability other than "this holiday season", and nothing mentioned about WiFi calling, though we've heard it will be on board. Full press release after the jump.
We've live at Sprint's press conference (2 p.m. PDT/5 p.m. EDT) at CTIA at the beautiful Moscone West in San Francisco. We're expecting a whole lot of 4G trumpeting, and rumor has it we're about to get a trio of new Android phones dropped on us. Liveblog starts after the break, folks.
Samsung, and carriers U.S. Cellular and Cellular South have announced the two newest editions of the Galaxy S phones headed to market -- the Mesmerize on U.S. Cellular, and the Showcase for Cellular South. Both phones seem to have the standard 1GHz Hummingbird CPU, four inch SAMOLED screens, 5 MP cameras, and will ship running Android 2.1.
No prices have been mentioned for the Showcase as of yet, but The Samsung Mesmerize will retail for $199 after an $80 mail-in rebate (with qualifying contract of course). We also have a small piece of release news -- the Mesmerize should hit US Cellular on Oct 27, and the Showcase will be available from Cellular South "before the holidays." Looks like both of these smaller carriers will soon have a great phone in their lineup. Follow the break for both press releases.
The long wait for Google TV is nearly over, folks. Logitech today (as we type this, actually) is unveiling Logitech Revue with Google TV (that's a mouthful) in San Francisco. In a nutshell, it's a set-top box that brings the full power of the Google, the Internet and Android to your living room. And, really, that goes nowhere near doing it justice. There's an option HD camera for video conferencing.
As for interaction? Well, none of that janky Sony keyboard stuff. (OK, you can get a Mini Controller as an option). But there's also the bad boy you see above, and you will be able to control it from your Android phone.
Needless to say, we're excited about Google TV, even though the Revue's a wee bit on the pricey side at $299. But you know we're gonna buy one. [Logitech]
Verizon just announced its deployment plans for its 4G LTE network and as expected, it's a biggie. When the switch is thrown later this year, 38 metro areas will be covered. And on top of that, 62 airports will have service. The list is extensive and pretty damn exciting, unless you're not in the initial coverage areas. Smartphones and tablets will debut at CES in January (and you bet your bippy we'll be there).
Verizon's about to go into details at a press conference at CTIA, and we'll be listening in for any more details. Check out the press release and list of launch cities after the break.
Good news, folks. The long-awaited full version of Angry Birds (we've been going nuts playing the limited beta over and over) finally will drop next week, developer Rovio announced on Twitter this morning. They're working on proper multitasking, which pushed things back a tad. But that's worth waiting for, right? [Twitter]
All over the interwebs this morning there's scuttlebutt about some mysterious rootkit in the T-Mobile G2. Is the sky falling? Will this be the most locked down phone since the Motorola Droid X (which, by the way, has been "software" cracked)?
Its moto may be "quietly brilliant," but HTC has been anything but silent in the past year. It has launched flagship phones like the Nexus One, Droid Incredible, and Evo 4G here in the U.S., and the Desire has been popular abroad as well. The Taiwanese company has reported Q3 profits of $361 million, up from about half that number in Q3 of 2009. HTC has been running advertising campaigns in the U.S. to promote their flagship phones, and it appears that the money was well spent. Of course, making amazing phones along with what is probably the best manufacturer skin in Sense probably helped a bit. Click on past the link for lots of numbers and earning analysis. [The Wall Street Journal]
The Motorola Charm is the embodiment of the "smart-messaging phone." It runs Android, but make no mistake -- it's not what you would expect from your typical Android phone. It has an excellent qwerty keyboard, a small screen well designed for messaging applications (but little else), and a price point that makes sense. Hit the break to see my impressions of Android's version of the Kin.
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