Samsung and Google have just announced the latest in the latest entry in the Nexus line of phones at the Samsung Unpacked event in Hong Kong, handing out press kits a bit early. It's the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, powered by stock Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The Galaxy Nexus is the device we've previously heard called the Nexus Prime, a phone that's appeared in a number of leaks over the past few months.
The star of the show is Ice Cream Sandwich, of course, the new version of Android which includes such tasty features as "brand new People app with Google+ integration", as well as panoramic photo support, and "face unlock" facial recognition capability. But the hardware itself is also highly impressive -- the body of the phone is just 8.94mm thick, and the front is dominated by a massive 4.65-inch HD SuperAMOLED display running at 720p resolution. Inside there's a 1.2 GHz dual-core CPU, along with 1GB of RAM and 16 or 32GB of internal storage. Camera-wise, you've got a 5-megapixel shooter on the back, along with a front-facing camera for video calls and HSPA+ and LTE connectivity.
Needless to say, we can't wait to get our hands on this one, and we're sure most you can't, either. The Galaxy Nexus is due to arrive in November in the US, Europe and Asia, with a global rollout following later.
We've seen quite a bit of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus in the past little while but as we get settled in for the full unveiling things are starting to come together -- like the Galaxy Nexus website. When that happens, people tend to get nosy and start poking around and oh what wonders they find. Along with a good look at the front side of the device we can now get a better peek at it's back side. All will be revealed in a few hours.
We'll still never understand why Canadians put up with three-year contracts. But we're definitely feeling a $149 Motorola RAZR on the only Canadian carrier to, erm, carry it. No mention of two- or one-year pricing. Trade-offs, we suppose.
A new software update for the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc is rolling out in Europe and the Middle East, according to reports from Xperia Blog and XDA. The new software version 4.0.2.A.0.42 brings Android 2.3.4, along with a handful of bug fixes for SE's Gingerbread-powered 4.2-incher.
The update isn't yet available in the UK, but seems to now be rolling out via the Sony Ericsson PC Companion in mainland Europe, India, Pakistan and Egypt, in addition to Nordic countries, which got the update first a couple of weeks back. If you've recently received the update on your Arc, be sure to let us know in the comments.
As a lover of my couch, I didn't get too worked up with the MOTOACTV announcement. What did pique my interest, however, is the Smart Actions function that comes preloaded on the Droid RAZR. Motorola says that this nifty little feature is going to improve your battery life by 30%, which is great, since we won't be able to buy an extended battery for the device. Smart Actions will decrease processor speed, slow down data, and dim your display when the battery is approaching crisis levels.
But Smart Actions' purpose isn't solely battery related. For example, as you'll see in the video, it allows you to program a website to open when your alarm goes off. Now that's pretty cool.
A representative for Motorola said that the company hopes to include this on all future devices, but no word on whether or not it can be ported to existing Motorola smartphones.
One straps to your wrist, plays music and tracks your workout. The other does the same for almost half the price. OK, OK. So the $249 price (for the 8GB model) of the MOTOACTV is going to be a bit much for some to swallow. We get that.
But here's the thing: It actually goes one further than the iPod Nano and connects to your phone via Bluetooth. So you can see who's calling. Or what messages are coming in. All without having to dig out your phone. We know some of you have been wanting this. Right?
We're all waiting patiently for the Nexus event coming in a few hours, but Apple had a little event of its own recently, and has released the latest version of their mobile offering -- the iPhone 4S. We're all Android fans here, but we can't deny the appeal the iPhone has to many people and the impact it has on the mobile space. Plenty of smartphone geeks love the iPhone, including our good friend Rene Ritchie who cranked out one hell of a review for the iPhone 4S. You really should read it, even if you have no interest in Apple products, because it showcases the other side of the smartphone buying public. Most iPhone buyers have no interest in specs, or a long list of features, or even a change log -- they just like it to work as promised right out of the carton.
Rene does an excellent job covering the improvements, like the redesigned antenna and beefed up CPU, as well as the areas where it's still a bit behind the curve -- lack of RAM and no LTE support. And of course, he takes Siri out for some tests, as well as other new features like iCloud and AirPlay mirroring. After reading through it, I think this is surely the best iPhone yet. Even if I would have no interest in using one, I would recommend it to more than a few people I know. Let's face it -- the smartphone race has basically come down to two major players, and we should care about both of them. We can pick on Apple users tomorrow, but today let's take a minute and see what so many out there enjoy.
I was able to get my hands on a Droid RAZR and duck out long enough to get a video walk-through, and I'm really glad I did. Photos can only do this device so much justice, but when you get to hold it in your hands, you'll really be able to see what Motorola and Verizon are bragging about.
While it may not be clear in the video above, the screen and size are the real stars here. The 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display is vivid, rich, and super vibrant, and the phone itself is mind-blowingly thin and light. It's unlike any other LTE device on the market today, and is a true gamechanger in 4G technology.
Check out all of my initial impressions here, and let's all bide our time wisely until the Droid RAZR's "early November" lauch.
Here's a bit of news that a few of you aren't going to like hearing -- the Motorola Droid RAZR will ship with a locked bootloader. According to the official Motorola Mobility Twitter account:
The bootloader was locked per the carrier, in addition to meeting security, safety and regulatory guidelines.
We're not quite sure where regulatory guidelines come into play here, but we understand the carrier wants it locked as well as the safety aspect (even if we don't agree). Luckily, it looks like Verizon will be offering another phone for those of you who want to unlock and fool around with the inner workings of your Android phone's software, and we should see it in about eight hours. Android -- something for everyone.
For our friends up north: Rogers will have the exclusive on the Motorola RAZR. Said to be available in time for the holidays, no pricing was announced. But figure it'll go a bit cheaper than the $299 two-year U.S. offering, thanks to the Canadian standard three-year contract, right? Otherwise, same slim, fast phone as was just announced.
Motorola is being stingy with hands-on time but we were just lucky enough to find a representative willing to let us get our grubby paws on the new Droid RAZR. You know all the specs by heart now-- Super AMOLED display, 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, and blazing fast Verizon 4G LTE-- but until you get your hands on this device, you only know half the story.
The RAZR is one of the thinnest, lightest smartphones on the market, and I can say with confidence that it will completely shake up VZW's 4G market. It's unlike any other device on Verizon today. Compared with my HTC Thunderbolt, the RAZR is paper thin. And in my hands, I barely felt any weight. It's impossibly light.
The Kevlar back is a nice touch, and is certainly lightweight enough to justify itself. And did I mention that screen? Moto haters, you have met your match. It's gorgeous, and certainly leaps and bounds better than the previous PenTile technology they have been using. At first glance, I thought Motorola had Best Buy-esque demo units on hand, you know the ones with the sticker for the display? Thankfully they did not, but that's the first impression you'll get with the screen.
Looking for a removable battery? You're not going to find one here, though you do have a 1780mAh power supply, so it could be worse. If the RAZR's battery life lives up to what Motorola is hyping, this shouldn't be an issue. But until we can put it through its paces, it's a valid concern.
Kudos to Motorola and Verizon for working closely together to finally get 4G LTE onto a competitive device. And if the battery life lives up to the hype, we're all in for a treat. Enjoy some more photos below, with a video available after the dreaded YouTube upload.
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