Really nothing more than a sign-up page here, but that Bell is pimping the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has more than a few Canadians excited, if our inbox is any indication. We've got absolutely no word of when we should expect said device, but we've got a sneaking suspicion it'll be sooner rather than later.
Source: Bell; thanks to everyone who sent this in!
So in the UK, we know that the Galaxy Nexus is definitely coming this week, but so far exact details on pricing in particular have been somewhat scarce. Three UK, one of the first to announce they would be carrying the device, have today finally lifted the lid on how much of your hard earned cash you'll need to part with to get one. The good news is, not too much.
The Nexus can be yours for free on a new, two year, £34 per month contract. The even better news is that for a further £3 per month, Three will provide you will all you can eat data. Earliest delivery dates are currently showing up as this Friday 18 November. Hit the source link to head over to the pre-order page.
Samsung's got a lot going for them these days. They're shipping mad numbers of devices, making phones for different price points and consumers, and shoot, they even got build the coveted Galaxy Nexus.
The phone in question right now is the Conquer 4G, a not-quite-midrange, not-quite-high-end phone that's out on Sprint. I find it (personally) a little hard to classify because some of the hardware screams budget phone and some of it doesn't.
So where does it stand in the heiarchy of smartphones? Is it far outside the über-friends club of "superphones," relegated to eating lunch in the bathroom? Or is it second string on the JV basketball team, still fairly strong, but lacking in a few departments? We aim to cover all that (and more), so join us after the break for the full Conquer 4G review.
It's small, relatively thin, and incredibly light. It's got 4G (for when you're in a service area), and it's also running a near-vanilla version of Android.
The screen isn't as sharp as some of the higher-end displays. It's also carrying a single-core 1GHz processor, so the bleeding edge won't be impressed. Cameras leave a bit to be desired.
Yet another phone built to appeal to the smartphone shopper on a budget, the Conquer 4G does most of what it's tasked to do well. It's not priced competitively, though, as there's far better phones available at the same price.
The second of Verizon's year-end smarpthone troika -- the HTC Rezound -- is officially available today. It'll run you $299 with a two-year contract. And for all that scratch, you get a 4.3-inch phone with a new 720p display -- as in 720 pixels packed into the short axis -- along with Android 2.3 and Sense 3.5. It's sporting a 1.5GHz processor to push those pixels, and an 8MP camera full of HTC's newfound photographic goodness. It's also got Beats Audio (and comes with a snazzy pair of earbuds), if you're into that sort of thing.
Sony Ericsson has released some gorgeous devices this year, not least of which is the compact but powerful Xperia Ray, a highly capable device with a super-vibrant Bravia Engine-powered display. It's also got the latest version of Gingerbread, along with Sony's best-in-class 8.1MP Exmor-R camera setup. Like we said in our review, the Ray is the most fully-featured 3.3-inch device available (and it's getting ICS, too!)
We're giving away an Xperia Ray courtesy of Sony Ericsson, and if you want to get your hands on it, all you need to do is head over to the forums and post in the contest thread -- check the end of this post for the link. Before you do, though, bear in mind that the Ray we're giving away is the international model, so we're limiting entries to readers outside of North America. Our Xperia Ray should work on any European or African GSM carrier, and most Asian networks too. If in doubt, find your network on this list and make sure it shows 900, 2100 or both under "Frequency".
So, if you're outside of North America and want to get your hands on our Xperia Ray, head over to the forums and post in the contest thread! The deadline for entries is 1700 GMT this Friday, Nov. 18 (that's noon EST for those of you in North America who can't actually enter.) Good luck!
The cat's out of the bag, thanks to Barnes & Noble's letters to the ITC about their dispute with Microsoft. Rather than roll over and pay Microsoft what they demand like some big names in Android have done, B&N is fighting tooth and nail against the Redmond Devil Microsoft. It's fairly long, and apt to make your eyes bleed if you're not a lawyer, but you can see the full scope of the letter and attachments (which actually name the patents and quickly dismiss their validity) at the source link. Carry on past the break to read our layman's version.
Remember when the Atrix 4G was released just over eight months ago? Do you remember what car you were driving, or how your hair looked? How old were your kids? Sad but true, eight months is the new eight years in the smartphone industry, and that measly old Atrix already has a successor. Whereas the Atrix 4G was a major step for AT&T in terms of both Android and network strength, the Atrix 2 is less of a trailblazer. And this type of incremental update seems like the business model that Motorola is building for itself (see Droid X/X2, Droid line). But for the consumer, how can you tell when an incremental update is enough to fork over more money? And in the Atrix 2's case, is an incremental update enough to compete with some heavy hitters during this holiday season, perhaps the most exciting time for Android since its birth in 2008? Let's see.
Super fast and powerful processor. Beautiful, clear display. AT&T's HSPA 21+ speeds are respectable if you're in good coverage.
Cheap build quality. Specs don't match other recent releases. Webtop software is abysmal.
The Atrix 2 isn't the biggest or best smartphone on the market, but for $99 on contract, the sacrificies Motorola made are justifiable and can be overlooked.
The CEO of Notion Ink, Rohan Shravan, is at it again with news about the Ice Cream Sandwich source code release, saying it will be released November 17. While it's tempting to just toss this aside as another rumor in the ICS/Galaxy Nexus craze of late, Mr. Shravan has a track record that shows he's usually right. Last year, he did the same thing with the Gingerbread release, accurately predicting more than could be a good guess, and just last month he told everyone about the OMAP chipset and Ice Cream Sandwich using them as a reference platform. When he talks, it's always worth listening, and the Nov. 17 date has already been thrown out there as the European release. If we see source code on the 17th, the 18th is going to be a very fun day for a lot of us.
It's fun to say Android is fragmented on the Internet. All the cool kids and blogs do it, they even make fancy misleading charts about it. While there's more than one side to the argument -- choice versus fragmentation -- only the most rabid fanboy would say that it doesn't exist. I tend to think the whole issue is living with the choice you make. If you want the "Android" experience, buy a Nexus phone. If you prefer the experience an OEM offers, buy one of their phones. Both are the right choice. But there's an underlying issue that gets forgotten when we talk about updates and versions -- security patches.
The diversity of Android gives us a chance to have this user experience regardless of the platform version it's built from. That doesn't make the want for the new software any less, but it a fair trade for most people. Ice Cream Sandwich looks a whole helluva lot like TouchWiz 4. Security issues are another matter entirely. HTC had a recent issue about user privacy, have a read if you aren't familiar (be sure to read HTC's response as well). They caused it. They quickly pushed out a patch to at least one carrier to address it. All security issues need to be addressed this way. If HTC, or, Samsung, or LG, or Motorola -- whomever -- builds the OS and sells it to the carrier, they need to follow up with security patches in a timely manner -- either by updating their base to the latest Android version and building their OS with it, or patching the issue themselves with the current code base. Users deserve the benefit that patches to the bootloader, or browser, or whatever, much faster than companies and carriers get them rolled out. Yes, that responsibility is shared by the carrier as well. While they aren't the people responsible for updating the code and building the operating system, they are the people that accept your money for the device. Carriers and OEMs need to work together to keep the phone secure for the life of the product, even if they don't work to keep the software version current.
On the enterprise side of things (something that OEMs are starting to take more seriously), this becomes critical. Companies simply can't sit back and ignore the fact they aren't getting security patches, because their money is on the line. Documents, contacts, and communications need to be secure as possible, and when cracks in the armor are found, the patches need to come quickly. They don't, and this is a problem.
I know that making sure your phone isn't susceptible to the latest bootloader hack isn't near as glamorous as getting Ice Cream Sandwich, or even Gingerbread. These few words can't make that happen. But I think we need to be pointing out the right issues -- not having a phone that is secure for the life of its contract is one of them.
The Samsung Skyrocket is the AT&T LTE version of the Galaxy S II. Built with slightly different hardware, and at a bit bigger size, and (the best part for many) the addition of an AT&T LTE radio for their blossoming LTE 4G network. When a package from Dallas arrived, I know it could only be one thing, and we've got one of these beauties to put through the wringer and see what we think of it.
Jump past the break for a quick hands-on look, some first impressions, a smattering of pictures and some specs of one of AT&T's first LTE smartphones.
With LG having announced the Optimus LTEfor the Korean market not long ago, and then having a variation the device arrive on Bell Mobility in Canada the question of whteher or not it would see any US carrier launches arose. While we won't take a simple image as fact -- clearly the idea of the Android 2.3 powered device making its way to AT&T has been bounced around and if and it arrives it will comes as the LG Nitro HD.
If it does land there, you'll be looking at a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, an 1830 mAh battery as well as an 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, and a 1.3MP shooter up front. A full 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, and a 16GB microSD card. And let's not forget that "True HD IPS" display and of course support for AT&T's LTE as well as their 21Mbs HSDPA network.
Black Friday looks to be full of free Android phones at Best Buy, including the Samsung Stratosphere in white. While a store offering "free" phones after you sign a two-year contract is nothing new, this years selection at Best Buy looks like some great hardware if you're not the kind who has to have the latest new and shiny Android phone. Sprint customers can get a EVO Shift 4G free with their contract, Verizon customers can choose from a Droid Incredible 2 or a Samsung Stratosphere (both in white or black), and AT&T subscribers can choose from a Thrill 4G, an Atrix 2, or (if your a masochist) the BlackBerry Torch 9810.
Of course free is never really free, and if you're signing up for a new two year agreement you're certainly spending quite the chunk of cash. But phones like these might prove to be a better choice that some of the entry-level Android handsets, and that white Stratosphere looks hawt.
The Univerisity of Notre Dame Sprint ID pack is now available for download on a handful of the carrier's Android devices. Sprint ID packs are customized themes for your smartphone that feature widgets and customized social media links and can be downloaded through the Sprint ID link on your enabled device. The Notre Dame ID pack comes preloaded with university web cams, dining hall menus, a lab locator, news, calendars, and of course sports updates. Hit the source link for Sprint's presser.
If you've picked up a shiny new Motorola Droid RAZR today -- be sure to read our full review -- and can't wait to get it rooted, well, you don't have to wait to get it rooted. Wicked over at Droidforums has dropped in a handy tool to do the deed. It's Windows-only for now, and we've yet to see a custom recovery or SBF file. So if you bork things up, there's no way back just yet.
Source: DroidForums; thanks to everyone who sent this in!
And here we have the Motorola Droid RAZR splayed across a table for all to see, courtesy of those crazy cracker-openers, iFixit. No real surprises inside -- it's got smartphone parts. But you get a great look at the uber-thin non-removable battery -- complete with a "remove battery" tab. Go figure.
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