Headlines

3 years ago

Sanyo Zio Hands On, Updated with Video

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You can call the Sanyo Zio low-end, you can call it a remarkably good phone for $99, you can call it retro what with the trackball ...just don't call it Zay-Oh or Zee-Oh. It's pronounced Zai-Oh, most Sprint reps pronounce it Zee-Oh, but we've also heard Zai-Oh on occasion. Obviously we'll be all over this very very important vowel issue in the coming days and months. 

The Zio is light (almost too light) with a nice curve around the back and a matted finish surrounding that 3.2 megapixel camera. It's sporting Sprint's ID interface - which if you didn't hear is essentially Sprint's own custom Android skin that easily switches between branded experiences of your choice - from ESPN to Disney to your own small business if they're feeling ambitious.

More photos after the break - Update: check out the quick video demo after the break, which features the Lo2yo Latino Sprint ID screen. Update 2: video fixed. Mac Haters: feel free to mock iMovie.

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3 years ago

Samsung Transform Hands On & Sprint iD Walkthrough [Video]

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The top of Sprint's three CTIA Sprint ID phones is most definitely the Samsung Transform. For us it's sort of the spiritual successor to the Samsung Moment, but don't let that association mar your feelings for the Transform.

What you've got here is a large 3.5" HVGA display attached to a horizontal slider form factor that naturally looks a bit like the Epic 4G but with a slightly squarer look. We're still not fond of Samsung's penchant for putting the microUSB port on the top of the phone, but other than that niggle the hardware is not a source of complaints from us. The slider mechanism is springy and maybe a little overfirm and the materials are simple plastics that may not ooze luxury but will hold up to wear and tear. The keyboard is similarly utilitarian: well spaced buttons, decent action, and even arrow keys to make up for the lack of a touchpad.

We aren't as offended by Sprint ID as we worried we might be - it's essentially stock Android 2.1 with the ability to switch between profiles - some of which may be corporate-sponsored, sure, but it turns out that some corporations can actually provide some useful content. The good news with Sprint ID is that you can customize up each ID as much as you like - so what it really boils down to is a system for switching between up to 5 different homescreen profiles sitting on Android 2.1. Sprint says 2.2 is coming and that they don't expect it to take as long to update as, say, HTC does because Sprint ID is so close to vanilla Android it shouldn't be hard to fix up.

The 800MHz processor gives us a laggy bit here and there, especially when trying to grab a quick snap from the 3.2 MP camera on the back. 

Video and plenty more photos after the break!

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3 years ago

LG Optimus T on T-Mobile Hands On

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The LG Optimus T is coming to T-Mobile for the holidays to provide featurephone users reason to upgrade. We have something very similar to Sprint's LG Optimus S here, though with T-Mobile you get a slightly different button layout and LG's take on the Android homescreen instead of Sprint's iD. The 3.2" HVGA capacitive screen does its job and things seem responsive enough to keep you from grinding your teeth, no doubt because it's running Android 2.2 under that thin LG skin.

We like the matted finish and color options - black and burgundy, but we wouldn't have minded if they saw fit to include a dedicated camera button for the 3.2-megapixel sensor round back. WiFi calling is definitely onboard but we couldn't get it to work on the demo unit despite hooking it up to a couple of viable WiFi networks - which is more likely a sign that our unit wasn't set up properly than a knock on T-Mo's WiFi calling feature.

More photos after the break.

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3 years ago

Android becomes top-selling mobile OS in the U.S. for the past 6 months

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Do you like huge Android sales figures and pretty graphs? Neilsen has the prefect gift for you: fresh evidence of Android's continued rise to dominance in the U.S. smartphone market. The OS is now installed on nearly one-third of new phones sold in the States and has risen to an overall market share of of 19 percent as of August. RIM's BlackBerry OS has an overall 31 percent share while Apple comes in at 28 percent with iOS. Any bets on how long it takes Android to become overall number one? Check out the overall market share graph after the break. [Neilsen]

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3 years ago

Android makes the cover of Newsweek

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 If you just can't get enough about Android -- and if you're reading this, chances are that's you -- then check out the Oct. 11 edition of Newsweek magazine. In the "Attack of the Droids" cover story, Daniel Lyons (you probably know him better as Fake Steve Jobs) writes a nice synopsis of where Android's come from, where it is and where it's going. (And the picture of Andy Rubin and a baby Android is pretty priceless.)

For you paperless types, it's available online, too. [Newsweek]

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3 years ago

Motorola Flipout and Flipside Hands On [Video]

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You can think of the Motorola Flipout and Motorola Flipside as companion devices for AT&T - both are aimed squarely at upgrading featurephone users into Android-land by wooing them with QWERTY keyboards and MotoBlur.

Of the two, the horizontal-sliding Flipside specs are obviously the more powerful: a 720MHz processor with 512mb of ROM, a 320x480 screen, and a touchpad that's not embarrassed to be gigantic to make moving your cursor around that much easier. We've no gripes about the keyboard or, well about the Flipside in general. It's a capable low-to-mid range MotoBlur device and if that's the thing for you or yours, we don't judge.

The Flipout, meanwhile, tries to win on charm. It's a cute little square with a colored back that comes with two colors in the box (Red and Green to you, Rose and Saffron to AT&T). The screen itself flips up rotationally to reveal a super-tall portrait keyboard with a nigh-useless 5-way dpad in the lower lefthand corner. Naturally, as this size, the Flipout's specs are on the low-end. Of most concern is the 320x240 screen which not only raises concerns with app compatibility but just plain didn't look well-thought-out to us. Android may have 320x240 in their spec, but it needs work to ...work at this size and Moto didn't even put in enough to anti-alias the text on the menus. Finally, this phone's main draw - the keyboard - feels awkward and unfriendly. 

We'll leave the 'flip' puns as an exercise to the reader, instead just telling you, as usual, that you can find more photos and a demo video of both devices after the break!

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3 years ago

T-Mobile Vibrant update finally pushing, Samsung says

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Low just pinged our inbox saying that the long-awaited OTA update for the Samsung Vibrant is being pushed. That's the one that briefly leaked out via Samsung Kies last week, but for the most part we've all been awaiting the GPS fix, among other things. A Samsung Galaxy S Twitter account confirms the update is on the way. Anybody get it yet?

More in the Samsung Vibrant Forums

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3 years ago

Google responds to Oracle's patent suit

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Google responded this week to Oracle's lawsuit that states the big G has infringed on a handful of Java related patents while developing Android.  It's pretty much exactly what you would expect, as Google denies any infringement, but they didn't just stop there, Google continues their line that Oracle's actions affect more than Android.

"It's disappointing that after years of supporting open source, Oracle turned around to attack not just Android, but the entire open source Java community with vague software patent claims"

For the average non-legal eagles, that's about where it ends.  But Nilay Patel (who is a legal eagle) over at Engadget has put up his take on it, and it makes for a hell of an interesting read.  Head over to the source link and have a look. [Engadget]

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3 years ago

Cricket adds another Android to the family

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Cricket has announced the Huawei Ascend, its second  Android-powered device. The Huawei Ascend features almost identical specs to that of its older brother, the Kyocera Zio. The Ascend features a 3.5-inch HVGA touchscreen, a 3.2-megapixel camera and camcorder, a microSD slot, Wi-Fi capabilities and will ship with Android 2.1. The phone will launch some time around the middle of October and will retail at $149.99.

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3 years ago

Motorola Defy Hands On [Video]

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The Motorola Defy is a semi-ruggedized Android smartphone that is the latest in a long line of Oprah-giveaways. What you've got is a 3.1" touchscreen behind scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass attached to a form factor that's water and dust-resistant - down to the oversized rubber covers for the USB and headphone ports.

We dig the white-on-black looks and the exposed screws around the edges. We don't quite dig that it's sporting Android 2.1 instead of 2.2, but for a phone in this range it's not a deal-breaker. It's got a 5-megapixel camera to snap photos of your Australian adventures and DLNA to display those photos on your television. You'll access it all through the MotoBlur skin, which didn't appear to slow the device down too much, but even so - T-Mobile G2 this ain't.

More photos and a demo video (which, yes, veers a little towards the pitchy) after the break!

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