One of our biggest issues with the HTC Tattoo, HTC's next Android phone, is the resistive touchscreen. We believe that capacitive touchscreens have worked so incredibly well with the Android OS that to take a step back to include resistive screens is a misstep. However, after watching the video above, our concerns regarding the resistive touchscreen have been alleviated a little bit.
The guys at phonedog have spent some time with the HTC Tattoo and from the looks of it, the resistive touchscreen seems to respond fairly well. Even HTC Sense feels very snappy considering that the Tattoo is supposed to be a low-end Android device. What's most unique is that the customizable 'tattoo' moniker really rings true here, the HTC Tattoo can be completely stripped and customized to one's liking--the entire exterior frame of the Tattoo can be replaced.
Take a look at the video and tell us what you think! From this view, the HTC Tattoo looks a lot more impressive than we originally expected.
Because we've yet to receive official word on the release date of the Motoroal CLIQ, we're left with rumors, speculation, and leaked pamphlets. Tmonews has received an image of a purported Motorola CLIQ pamphlet detailing that pre-orders for the CLIQ will start on October 19th. Though we've previously reported that the CLIQ might release in October, this new leaked pamphlet is the most convincing evidence yet.
BGR independently reports that the CLIQ will launch on November 11th. This report would fall in line with the leaked pre-order date of October 19th because it would give T-Mobile a little over 3 weeks to fulfill the pre-orders. The timeframe makes sense because T-Mobile typically gives a little over 3 weeks for pre-orders (like for the myTouch 3G).
If the CLIQ does launch in November, that'll give Orange UK nearly a month's head start on releasing the latest Android phone. And though that isn't much of a surprise given that the UK has previously received Android phones early, it makes us even more envious of UK Android Users. To have the CLIQ (or DEXT) for free and early? Yeah, we pretty much hate you guys right now.
Motorola has just released a promotional video detailing the unique functions and features of the Motorola CLIQ. Though we don't really learn anything new (we've already known the CLIQ was going to be social network heavy), it's nice to see the entire feature set fall into place.
Though the heavy social networking emphasis may not apply to all Android users, we at Android Central love that Motorola has taken Android in a completely new direction. This is where the uniqueness of Android shines best--Android can be taken in whichever direction deemed necessary, thus fulfilling whatever need a user feels fits best.
Orange UK has announced that they'll release the Motorola DEXT (what we know as the Motorola CLIQ) in early October for the low, no price of free. Though us Android users in the US have no official time frame for launch and any idea of price, Orange UK customers will be glad to know that if you sign up for a new 2-year contract with applicable plan (£34.26/month, ~$56/month), you'll receive the DEXT for free.
Aside from the fact that we have no idea why Motorola chose two different names for the same phone, if T-Mobile can maintain the same launch frame (early October) and pricing (free) for the CLIQ, we guarantee a winner of a device. Our fingers are permanently crossed.
In the mean time, can anyone explain why UK folks always get their phones for free?
T-Mobile just dropped the price of the T-Mobile G1, a device that's still near and dear to our hearts, to $129.99. If you've been following the riveting tale of price drops on the G1, it launched at $179.99 then lowered to $149.99 and is now at $129.99. T-Mobile is probably trying to move as many G1s as they can (with the CLIQ coming out) and though we appreciate the price drop, seriously, still $129.99?
If you're interested in the ARCHOS 5 Android Tablet, we've caught word that Amazon.com has started taking pre-orders for the much anticipated (or was it much expected?) Android tablet device. Though ARCHOS had originally promised that the unit would begin shipping on the 16th, Amazon currently doesn't list a ship date.
Prices for the ARCHOS 5 Android Tablet varies depending on hard drive size. From what we've seen, it's going to be $379.99 for 32GB flash memory, $329.99 for 160GB HDD, and $429.99 for 500GB HDD.
Google just announced that the Android 1.6 'Donut' SDK is available for download. Android 1.6 introduces a number of new features that'll surely help Android grow bigger, faster, and stronger--specifically Android has now added support for CDMA networks (Sprint, Verizon) and additional screen sizes and resolutions (QVGA, WVGA).
Android 1.6 'Donut' also brings Quick Search Box for Android which is basically universal search that searches locally on your phone and through the internet at the same time, new text-to-speech APIs, and the beautiful new Android Market we leaked a few weeks ago. There's also updates to the camera's interface, improvement to the camera's loading time (39% faster), and a neat battery usage indicator that details which applications are using the most power.
Google expects Android 1.6 'Donut' to hit Android users 'as early as October' so this is definitely an exciting time for all Android users. New hardware and new software, it just keeps getting better.
Early reports on the ARCHOS 5 Android Tablet have been pretty positive, it's definitely a better offering than your run-of-the-mill media tablet. Who's interested in getting one of these for themselves?
Google introduced Google Fast Flip today, a web service that fights the pain of slow loading news feeds. Because media-heavy sites often take up a lot of time to load, Google has sought to solve the problem by creating a virtual page flip for popular news feeds. With Google Fast Flip, Google is attempting to re-create the feel of flipping pages in a magazine in the web space. In their own words:
Fast Flip is a new reading experience that combines the best elements of print and online articles. Like a print magazine, Fast Flip lets you browse sequentially through bundles of recent news, headlines and popular topics, as well as feeds from individual top publishers. As the name suggests, flipping through content is very fast, so you can quickly look through a lot of pages until you find something interesting.
Google Fast Flip currently offers over 3 dozen feeds from top publishers in both web and print and it's very likely that we'll see more in the future if Fast Flip proves to be successful. We think Google has a pretty interesting take on improving quick news reading on the web and suggest you give Fast Flip a spin for yourself. Google Fast Flip is available through your Android browser at fastflip.googlelabs.com
If you're familiar with the HTC Hero (and who isn't?), you should know that the biggest selling point of the device is its custom built UI, HTC Sense. The Sense UI is absolutely beautiful, sleek and sexy, and polished. However, the one thing it wasn't was fast. In fact, most pre-release reviews complained that the lag could potentially kill all usability of the device (sounded like TouchFlo 3D to us). Yikes.
Luckily, the lag problem has been solved because the HTC Hero is receiving an official firmware update that improves on the speediness of the device. The update is demoed in the video above and every aspect of the phone feels quicker--the app drawer, opening and closing applications, sliding between home screens--the whole user experience feels much tighter.
We're assuming that the Sprint version of the HTC Hero will come pre-loaded with this new Hero firmware so future US Hero users will have nothing to worry about. But to those who are lucky enough to already own a Hero, the update should be hitting you very soon.
We don't expect any custom UI to be built on top of Android for this device, the LG GW620 will very likely rock the Android you already know and love. Truthfully speaking, we're not even expecting LG to push the GW620 too hard, LG has a deep partnership with Windows Mobile--even in its press release LG makes sure to mention that they have 13 WinMob devices on the way.
Either way, the sheer amount of Android devices on the way has to excite even the most cynical and surprise the most optimistic. What do you guys think?
We've spent some time with the Motorola CLIQ--we know how it looks,how it works,its specs,the carrier it's going to be on--the only thing we don't have confirmed is its price and launch date. We were only offered a 'before the holidays' timeline. But fear not, BGR reports that the CLIQ will be made available in mid-October (we know the graphic above shows a November launch, but it's supposedly an old slide). Still no official word on price, but we definitely wouldn't expect anything over $199 (esp. considering that 'free' image we saw earlier).
Don't worry T-Mobile users, there will be a day when your 3G Network will be the best network in the country. Yep, even though your current 3G network is in its infantile stages, T-Mobile promises that their 3G network will eventually reach 21Mbps (other 3G networks are currently trapped under the 7.2Mbps limit). The one problem? Every other carrier will have moved to 4G already. Eek.
In the short-term, you really have nothing to worry about. 3G is real, 4G is not. And for the next couple of years, it'll stay that way. It's going to take time for the other carriers to roll out their 4G (LTE) network, which would assumedly play to T-Mobile's favor. But once their 4G network is finished, it'll leave T-Mobile in the same spot it finds itself today: a generation behind, scrambling to catch up.
What do you guys think? Is T-Mobile being smart by sticking with superspeed 3G or should they plan their 4G network already?
It was an awfully big week for Smartphone Experts. In addition to coverage of the iPod and Android announcements, we also celebrated the ten year anniversary of our network, which began back in 1999 with the launch of VisorCentral. It's been a wild ride and we look forward to another ten! Let's get on to the week's news, here's what you may have missed.
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