Lenovo, the world's number two computer manufacturer, has announced a duo of new Android products -- the IdeaPad S2 10 tablet and the S2 smartphone. Checking in at less than 1.5 pounds, the IdeaPad S2 10 tablet has the following specs:
The Lenovo S2 smartphone claims to be running a secure version of the Linux kernel (such things do exist) that protects personal data. We'll have to wait to see that in action, but in the meantime here's the specs:
You see stories everywhere saying how insecure and malware ridden Android is, most of which are just sensationalism and FUD. The fact is that Android is very much like Windows, where developers (and unsavory types) can write software that you install without it being poured over and approved. This means some of it will be malware -- them's the breaks and there's not much that can be done about it. Paranoid users will just not install any third party applications, savvy users will research every piece of code they install, and normal users can use a mobile security app like Kaspersky Lab's latest offering, Mobile Security Lite.
It has the malware scanning you hear so much about, but it also has some other -- possibly more important -- features baked in. SMS and call filtering are a must have for some (including yours truly) and anti-theft tools are almost a must have when we keep so much personal information on our Android phones. Kaspersky Mobile Security Lite offers both in addition to malware scanning, which makes it worth a second look. Many of us use apps that block random callers and texts, and having a solution baked in to an all-in-one security app is a great idea. Add in the ability to track your phone via GPS, and remote lock and wipe it when you find out it's not in your pocket or purse where it belongs, then make it free -- that's a recipe for success.
We're going to have a closer look at this one, and if you're looking for a mobile security solution you should as well. Find the download link and press release after the break.
Then the "Value Pack" ROM leaked out, and here we are.
It's Android 2.3.6, firmware XXJVU, built December 29, 2011. Feature-wise, it has some new goodies:
Galaxy Note Lockscreen
Galaxy S2 Photo Editor
Better camera that can snap stills while shooting video
If you're on the hacker update path, hit the links below and get your "not a value pack" ROM. If you're not the hacker type (and we wouldn't blame you) there's no telling exactly what -- if any -- update you'll be seeing.
Here's another nice look at the Sprint Epic 4G Touch in white thanks to a couple of insiders, and this one shows us the software these white beauties will be shipping with. If anyone was still holding on to the idea that we'd see a new version of the software (possibly one of the recent leaked builds, I don't think anyone expected Ice Cream Sandwich just yet), I'm the bearer of bad news. The white version ships with the same EK02 build that went out OTA last month. The good news is that the Hardware version isn't new, so at least there's not an oddball version floating around when this one lands Sunday.
There's a screenshot from the about screen minus the reflections after the break, and a handful of shots showing off how hawt the white E4GT looks. Thanks to the ninjas for sending these in, and thanks to everyone on Google+ who helped verify the numbers.
We've heard (and seen) plenty about the Sony Ericsson LT26i "Nozomi" already, but one upcoming SE device that has so far only existed as a set of leaked specifications is the MT27i "Pepper", a mid-range phone that seems to share some design cues with its big brother.
Today the first photos of the Pepper, which is being called a successor to the Xperia Neo, have emerged over on XperiaBlog. There's plenty of blurry-cam action going on, but you can still get a reasonable idea of how it's supposed to look. It's smaller than the Nozomi, but it shares the more grown-up, angular look of that phone. Spec-wise, XperiaBlog says it'll sport a 1GHz dual-core CPU, with a 3.7-inch WVGA854 display and a 5MP camera with 720p recording. If true, the camera specs are a little disappointing, representing a downgrade (in terms of numbers, at least) from the excellent 8MP Exmor R in last year's Neo.
For the full set of blurry-cam shots, head over to the source link. Sony Ericsson is promising to show off some new handsets at next week's CES, so there's every chance that we'll see more of the Pepper in the near future.
And you know what? Now that the phone's out, none of this matters. Old news.
And never mind that for all intents and purposes, we've already thoroughly reviewed the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, thanks to Alex Dobie's stellar look at the unlocked GSM version that's been available in Europe for some time and for importing to the States. While the Verizon Galaxy Nexus is new to those of us in the United States, and new in the sense that it's a 4G device with a bit of hand-holding from Verizon in the software department, we're hardly looking at an all new phone from the GSM model.
So here's where we stand: Read on for our complete Verizon Galaxy Nexus review. I haven't yet really weighed in on my thoughts about the Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich. So I'm going to forgo some of the usual spec talk (again, read Alex's GSM Galaxy Nexus review if you haven't already) and concentrate more on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus differences, and my thoughts on Android 4.0 and how it all fits together.
And with that, we present our Verizon Galaxy Nexus review.
It's a Nexus, so it's got the full weight and attention of Google behind it. I'll get upgrades before other devices. The screen is gorgeous, as is Ice Cream Sandwich.
The camera is woefully disappointing. The speakerphone is all but unusable on phone calls. There are some Ice Cream Sandwich UI hiccups.
If you have to have the latest and greatest version of Android, this is the phone to get. If you have to have a phone that's easily hackable, this is the phone to get. If you want the best overall hardware? Might want to look elsewhere.
Motorola Mobility just sent out some updated guidance on its fourth-quarter 2010 earnings, and it's not sounding great. The company's estimating $3.4 billion in sales with "modest profitability." Some 10.5 million mobile devices were sold, with 5.3 million of them being smartphones. That's still more smartphones than the 4.8 million in shipped in the third quarter.
The ominous part of Moto's update? That the Q4 results were "impacted by the increased competitive environment in the Mobile Device business and higher legal costs associated with ongoing Intellectual Property (IP) litigations." In other words, lawsuits and competition, folks. Lawsuits and competition.
Motorola also gave a non-update on its being acquired by Google, saying that "the Company continues to work closely with Google to complete the proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility as expeditiously as possible," and that they're still expecting to close in early 2012.
Motorola will announce its Q3 earnings on Jan. 26, 2012.
Count Viewsonic in for CES, this year bringing what they aim to be their first smartphone to enter the U.S. market, the Viewphone 3.
According to product manager Mike Holstein, Viewsonic is doing well enough in their tablet ventures to warrant a move into smartphone sales in the states. They're not going bleeding edge here though, instead aiming squarely at the 'value market.'
Specs on the Viewphone 3 read as a 3.5 inch display, 5MP camera, 800MHz Qualcomm processor and 512MB of RAM. It arrives running Gingerbread, and has no 4G capabilities.
The unsubsidized price reaffirms the value aspect of the phone, coming in at just $250 for use on AT&T and T-Mobile networks. Despite releasing in the US, it is the emerging markets where Viewsonic aims to make it with the Viewphone 3. It comes with a particularly popular feature in some of said markets, dual sim support.
Holstein has also come out and said that Viewsonic will be continuing in phones, with some higher end devices being announced towards the middle of the year. More importantly those will be coming with Ice Cream Sandwich.
The HTC Vivid is HTC's latest phone, built for AT&T's fledgling LTE network. There's a lot here that makes us feel right at home -- the Vivid is a combination of the best HTC had to offer for 2011 with HSPA+ and LTE radios thrown in for good measure. This makes it pretty easy for everyone involved, because there's not a lot to surprise any of us. It's a solid smartphone, with HTC's popular Sense software, and worth a close look. Let's do so, after the break.
The Vivid is a well-built device with a snappy dual-core processor. AT&T's hybrid 4G network works well, and the Vivid has the horsepower to do something with those network speeds.
HTC Sense means the phone will take longer to get any software updates. The angular design makes it a bit uncomfortable to use one-handed.
It's not the phone for everyone, but the HTC Vivid is a solid offering with the speed to make many users very happy. AT&T's use of LTE and HSPA is an excellent way to manage the handoff from high-speeds to not so high speeds, and HTC Sense offers more than the standard build of Android would.
It's already available in parts of Asia, and now we have details of when the PRADA phone by LG 3.0 will be launching in the UK, and for how much. On its official blog, online retailer Clove says it'll begin shipping the device from the week commencing Feb. 6 (that's going to be a busyweek), and if you want one, the SIM-free price is a surprisingly reasonable £429.99.
As we said said in our hands-on feature, the PRADA 3.0 is a well-designed handset with decent specs, however it's tied to a quirky monochrome UI that we think may be something of a polarizing feature. To find out more about the phone, check out our write-up, or take a look at our hands-on video after the break.
Ready for yet another Sony Ericsson "Nozomi" leak? Following on from the slew of images that worked their way onto the web in November and December, some new photos of the upcoming SE device have appeared on ITProPortal today, seemingly confirming much of what we already knew from earlier leaks.
To recap, inside the LT26i (or Nozomi, if you prefer codenames), you've apparently got a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU, the same sort that powers the HTC Sensation XE, along with 1GB of RAM. Software-wise, there's Android 2.3.7 Gingerbread, skinned with a new version of SE's Xperia UI. On the outside, there's said to be a 720p Bravia Engine display, tucked inside a chassis of similar size to the Arc S, albeit a little chunkier around the back. The rear camera is said to be an impressive 12MP Sony Exmor R sensor, a step up from the 8MP camera of the Arc and Arc S. Interestingly, ITProPortal refers to the device as the Xperia HD, rather than the Xperia Arc HD, which we've heard from other sources.
For its part, Sony Ericsson has been dropping some prettyserious hints that it'll be showing off its new hotness at CES 2012 next week. So, only a few more days and we should be able to get our hands on this and other CES-bound devices on the show floor in Las Vegas. Maybe then we'll find out what's going on with that weird transparent cut-out section along the bottom of the phone.
US Cellular is getting serious about their LTE rollout, and today they let a little more information trickle out on their official Twitter account:
4G LTE is almost here! A tablet will be available by the end of March, and our first Smartphone will be ready in April.
We've no clue exactly what the phone or tablet will be, but we're betting both are Android-powered. US Cellular's 4G LTE network will launch in cities in Wisconsin, Maine, Iowa, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas in early 2012, and the rollout will continue throughout the year. 4G for everybody may soon be a reality. For more information, hit the link below.
The accessories manufacturer that prematurely confirmed that the Samsung Galaxy Note is coming to AT&T has since retracted said leak. According to a new release from Anymode, the previous statement that it was "recently named [an] OEM vendor for many of [Samsung's] Galaxy Note accessories" was released in error and "the information was not provided by Anymode, AT&T or Samsung, nor did Anymode, AT&T or Samsung approve it."
Here's the full statement:
RETRACTION OF EARLIER CES ANNOUNCEMENT
JANUARY 6, 2012 --The January 5, 2012 CES Media Alert titled "Anymode Introduces First Accessories for Samsung Galaxy Note" contained inaccurate information pertaining to AT&T and the release of the Samsung Galaxy Note.
The information was not provided by Anymode, AT&T or Samsung , nor did Anymode, AT&T or Samsung approve it.
The issuing party apologizes for the publishing of the inaccurate information and any inconvenience it may have caused.
Interesting, indeed. Is there a rogue PR rep running the streets, spilling beans by day and fighting crime by night? Has anybody checked Wikileaks latety?
And does this retraction mean we won't see an AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note? Oh, we're pretty sure it's out there. Does that mean we won't be seeing any Anymode accessories? Confidence is high. Repeat: Confidence is high.
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