Though we're sure all you Sprint HTC Hero users would really appreciate an Android 2.0 software update right about now, it looks like HTC isn't ready to deliver Eclair to you just yet. Instead, Sprint is ramping up a 'maintenance release' that'll presumably fix well-known bugs and software issues with the HTC Hero. You should receive the update in the next few weeks. [sprint]
BGR is whispering that the Sprint HTC Hero is now available for $99 with new 2-year contract at Best Buy. We'll be looking to see if this report is true but it makes sense considering the DROID Eris, Verizon's version of the HTC Hero, is offered at that price point. $99 is a fantastic deal for such a great Android device--HTC Sense is lovely to use, Sprint rate plans are affordable, and Android 2.0 should come eventually.
We've seen the Android Dev Phone 1 for quite some time now and it was essentially a T-Mobile G1/HTC Dream with some snazzy graphics on the battery cover. Now, the Android Dev Phone 2 is essentially the myTouch 3G/HTC Magic/Google Ion with the cute Android Robot peering out on the battery cover.
The Android Dev Phone 2 is available for $399 and comes unlocked for use with any GSM carrier. Developers should note that the ADP2 comes with Android 1.6 and not Android 2.0 which can be qualified as a strange move since Android 2.0 is already live and running. We're not sure if developers will find a reason to switch over to the ADP2 but the ADP2 does offer 512MB ROM vs the 256MB ROM of the ADP1.
In any case, since there's not much difference in the dev phones (and it's a device that's entirely familiar), it's definitely more fun to wonder what the Android Dev Phone 3 will be. Perhaps the Motorola Milestone?
We're not going to lie, the Vega Android Tablet by ICD actually looks like something we'd want to use. The Vega Android Tablet comes in 7-inch, 11-inch, and 15-inch versions that could find a use in any home since ICD (Innovative Converged Devices) promises to make it a low-cost device that may even find carrier subsidies. The specs for the Vega Android Tablet are:
Resistive touch-screen display
1366x768 screen (for the 15.6-inch model)
512 DDR RAM / 512 NAND Flash storage
MicroSD, USB 2.0
Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth
Battery Life ~4 hours
The Vega Android Tablet is supposed to make its way to users in the first half of 2010. More details are expected at CES so we'll definitely keep an eye on this. Hit the jump to see more product shots of the Vega Android Tablet!
Check that out. A Palm Treo 650 running our favorite OS, Android. Yes, that's a 5-year old device with just a 312 MHz Processor and 32MB of RAM running a desktop-class OS. Yes, it takes a while to boot up and looks a little weird. But isn't that just awesome? Obviously, we don't recommend using a Palm Treo 650 running Android as your daily driver but hey, if you got one, why not try it, right?
We'll always have a soft spot for Palm Treos, if only for their trail blazing ways. Though we obviously focus on Android first at Android Central, we're happy to see Palm succeed with the Pre and now the Pixi. But there was once a time when we wondered if Palm should scrap their OS and just use Android instead. Looks like we weren't the only ones wondering!
Sony Ericsson UK has a pre-registration site for the XPERIA X10 that states the expected launch date for the device as February 10th. Obviously that's in no way, shape, or form the exact date but it does give us a barometer to control our expectations. The XPERIA X10 is the device we are looking most forward to in the new year and we're hopeful that it can challenge the Motorola DROID as the best Android handset available.
Remember: 1GHz Snapdragon Processor, 4-inch touchscreen, 8.1 megapixel camera and that beautiful 'Rachael' UI. Just lovely stuff.
The much anticipated Dell Android Smartphone is officially official and it's headed to China & Brazil. The Dell Mini 3i, as it's known, looks like a cross between an iPhone and a Palm Pre with touches of the myTouch 3G. The Dell Mini 3i will launch on China Mobile in China without 3G and Claro in Brazil with 3G. Obviously, the biggest head scratcher is why is a big time US company not releasing their first big time phone in the US and we honestly have no idea. Maybe Dell figures the competition is too stiff in the States and would rather try and sell a gazillion units in foreign countries for the time being?
And though the Dell Mini 3i was announced, the official specs and pricing are still under wraps. The China version will run China Mobile's Ophone OS on top of Android and arrive in November. The Brazil version will reach customers by the end of the year but it's unclear if it will have any custom UI on it. In any case, even with so many unknowns we're still confident a reputable company like Dell will deliver a quality handset, even if it is their first foray into the smartphone market. Dell keenly reminds us that we should definitely expect more Dell smartphones in the future.
The Dell Mini 3i has already been unboxed in China and you can take a closer look at the phone after the jump!
Though the Android 2.0 'Eclair' SDK has been available for quite some time and the Motorola DROID runs Android 2.0 perfectly, the Android 2.0 source code has been kept under wraps for some particular reason (underhand deal with Motorola & Verizon?). This meant that all phone manufacturers outside of Motorola could only tinker with Android 1.6. Luckily, that has all changed.
Meanwhile: Got Droid? Make something Awesome with it (note the Capital A). Take a picture in the dark and make it all arty with Photoshop mobile. Shoot a video and put it on YouTube. Type out a short story on the physical keyboard. Whatever, as long as it's capital A Awesome and you make it with Android (yeah, non-Droid owners can play too).
Send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org before Nov 25th. We'll pick out favorite and send the winner:
Engadget just unboxed the Behold II and came away noting that the device is heavy, thin enough, and the buttons are enjoyable to click. The screen is gorgeous (of course) but not any more gorgeous than the DROID's screen. Overall the hardware is great and packs some good build quality but the software might need some work. They note that Touchwiz seems to slow down Android a bit but will need further testing to see it in action. Remember, the Behold II will launch with Android 1.5.
Hit the jump to see some photos and video of the Behold II in action!
We definitely need to brush up our Spanish but we're pretty sure the video is saying that the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 is an amazingly wonderful device that is going to compete head on with the Motorola DROID as the best Android device available in the very near future. Okay, maybe not. Though we don't understand what's being said in the hands-on video above, we get a good feel of the 'Rachael' UI in the XPERIA X10. You'll get to see the much ballyhooed Timescape and Mediascape features in action.
The video is definitely worth a look, even if you don't understand Spanish, if only to see where the future of Android is headed. Remember, the XPERIA X10 packs a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, 4 inch touchscreen, and 8.1 megapixel camera.
One of the biggest reasons we use Youtube for our videos here at Android Central (other than its ubiquity) is that Youtube videos play on Android phones (and other mobile devices). It's as simple as that. Without Flash support, a lot of videos on other services are simply lost on mobile devices. Luckily, Vimeo (known for its higher quality content and quality) is looking to change that. Vimeo has announced that they are lending support to Android (and the iPhone) and that their videos will soon play on your Android phone.
If you head to vimeo.com on your Android phone, you'll be re-directed to an updated mobile site that allows for easy viewing of videos in Vimeo's Staff Picks and HD channels. Eventually, support for all Plus Members will be available. We're excited to see Vimeo join the mobile fray, maybe we'll even see an Android application down the line?
One of the cooler applications on the iPhone, Bump, has found its way to Android. If you've never heard of Bump before, it's okay for now, but the potential of the application and the all-around cool factor is definitely worth remembering. Bump allows you to share contact information and photos between two phones just by 'bumping' (tapping) them together. It's an uber-quick way to exchange phone numbers and pretty much genius in its execution, you'll definitely wonder how come it doesn't come stock on all phones after you use it.
All you have to do is fire up the app and you'll be 'bumping' in no time. As Bump grows in popularity, it'll become even more useful because people you bump into at coffee shops, meetings, conferences, etc. can just 'bump' you their information just as easily. The best thing is that the Android 'Bump' works with the iPhone 'Bump'--Bump is cross-platform. Go download it in Android Market and get to bumping!
It seems like the same cycle happens for every notable gadget release: blurry photos emerge, less blurry photos emerge, pre-release reviews come out, unboxing videos pop up, post-release images and videos are widely available, and then finally, said notable gadget gets disassembled. The Motorola DROID is in that last stage of the cycle yet even disassembled and torn apart, still manages to look good.
The guys at phonewreck commented that the DROID was pretty difficult to take apart which we like to think speaks to the DROID's high craftsmanship and quality build. They also mentioned that the DROID's sliding keyboard has the simplest sliding mechanism they've ever seen. Just wanted to point that out. In any case, feel free to hit the link to see how they disassembled the Motorola DROID!
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