Two of Sony Ericsson's more interesting devices have just made their way onto Three UK at subsidized prices. The Xperia Arc S and SE Live with Walkman are now available for free on any of Three's standard 24-month contracts.
The Arc S, SE's new flagship device, can be yours for £28 per month, while the Live with Walkman is offered for a more frugal £18 per month. With its shiny new 1.4 GHz CPU, the Arc S gives a modest boost from the original Arc's 1 GHz chip, and boasts new functionality like 3D panoramic recording. The SE Live with Walkman, which represents the manufacturer's current budget offering, is offered free on contracts of £18 or more per month.
We'll have a review of the Arc S appearing in the next week or so, so keep wathcing. In the meantime you can check out our first impressions of the Arc S and Live with Walkman from last month's Xperia Party.
It is always nice to see the minimum advertised price leak out for a device so we know about where we could expect it to be on contract pricing. The folks at Engadget received a tip about MAP pricing on the HTC Rezound (aka the HTC Vigor) and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus device and both of them show as $299. Interesting note about it is that the pricing is effective as of November 10, 2011, which is just shy of a month away from the upcoming announcement. What is that we hear? Excitement in the air?
The Motorola Atrix 2 should be hitting AT&T store shelves Sunday Oct. 16, but in at least one location they are already sitting pretty and ready for fondling. A reader sent these pics in, saying that the manager of his local AT&T store has already put them out "by mistake". He goes on to tell us two pretty interesting things -- the H+ icon in the status bar has been replaced with a "4G" logo, and the screen on the new models is good enough that he doesn't think it's a pentile matrix display. While the network icon is pretty lulzworthy, the news about an improved screen is good to hear. Maybe this is a worthy refresh after all? hit the break for another pic, and check out our hands-on.
If you're eyeing the Motorola Atrix 2 (releasing on Oct. 16), or the Samsung Stratosphere (released Oct. 13), and are a member at Costco, you may want to hold off until next week, when both are available at the warehouse giant. A lot of little perks come with buying a phone from Costco, the best of which is their generous return policy, and whatever news comes on Oct. 19 from Hong Kong from the Ice Cream Sandwich event may just make you want to take advantage of it. Costco isn't firm on the exact dates in this memo, and we don't know exactly how much you'll save buying it from them versus the carriers storefront, but a little patience may just pay off.
This happens a lot, folks, so let's explain it again: A website that sells phones -- a third-party retailer, if you will -- knows just as well as you or I that the Galaxy Nexus (aka the Nexus Prime, aka the Samsung GT-i9250) is going to be announced next week. So it takes a leaked picture and slaps it up on its site, and gets us all to write about it. It's an SEO play. Oh, and that $749 asking price and $949 retail price? We'd be shocked if that's really what an unlocked Galaxy Nexus costs.
In fact, we're not even going to list the website that's listed the Galaxy Nexus. The Galaxy Nexus is coming. It'll be announced Wednesday in Hong Kong. (That's Tuesday evening in the States.) We'd wait until then before plopping down any money.
But in the meantime, you can visit our Galaxy Nexus forums, which we absolutlely have had live long before the phone is announced in hopes that you'll click on it and give us better SEO. But then again, we're not selling it to you for $749.
You'd think by now people would have learned to stop comparing other smartphones, spec-by-spec, to the iPhone. It's apples and oranges. But that hasn't stopped the latest unsourced rumor from BGR, which claims to have the lowdown on the upcoing Motorola Droid RAZR, which we fully expect to see unveiled on Tuesday in New York.
So what are the specs? Let's break it down:
4.3-inch display. OK.
1.2 GHz dual-core processor. Par for the course these days, right?
1GB of RAM, which BGR (as well as anyone else who can count) notes is twice as much as the iPhone. And so what? The iPhone also multitasks very differently than Android phones. The OS runs differently. It's less graphically intensive. It's not like the iPhone is slow because it only has 512MB of RAM. And, as we find ourselves repeating a lot lately, what exactly does "faster" mean? Faster at doing what?
No, the only thing rumored here we're really interested in is the claim that it's thinner than the iPhone 4/4S -- and that it's an LTE device. We've seen Samsung slim up the 4G Wimax-enabled Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch, and we're also expecting to soon see thinner (and hopefully lighter) Xoom tablets.
Here's what we want from any manufacturer of an LTE device: Thinner and lighter, with better battery life. "Faster" is always going to come. Moore's Law and all, right?
Anyhoo, we'll be there Tuesday to find out. Stay tuned.
As part of its ongoing sale, O2 UK is now offering the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play on Pay As You Go for £149.99, just under a third of the price that the Play launched at back in May. That's an insanely low price for a phone with a 4-inch display, a 1GHz Snapdragon and 512MB of RAM, along with all the gaming benefits of the dedicated gamepad and PlayStation suite support. If you take O2 up on this offer, you'll be able to choose between the Xperia Play in the original black, as well as the O2-exclusive white.
Of course, as it's a carrier-branded, SIM-locked phone, you'll also have to wait a little longer for updates, and rooting the device is a little more complex than on an unbranded, SIM-free Xperia Play. Nevertheless, the £150 price point makes this almost a no-brainer for anyone on O2 looking for a gaming-centric Android. Check out our review for more on the Xperia Play, or hit up the source link if you've got £150 burning a hole in your pocket.
Microsoft and Quanta Computer have signed (what we presume is a giant stack of legal papers) an agreement that protects and licenses Quanta by providing "broad coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio for Quanta’s tablets, smartphones and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome Platform". The full details of the agreement haven't been disclosed, and likely never will be, but it's another deal where Microsoft will earn money on the back of software using the Linux kernel.
Quanta Computer probably isn't a name you recognize, but there's a good chance you're using some of their products. They build hardware to spec for other companies -- including the Amazon Kindle Fire. This, and the addition of Chrome OS to the mix makes this a dangerous precedent. Microsoft has long considered open source software, and the Linux kernel in particular, a thorn in their side and have used creative ways to try to stop the distribution of products using the technology. Let's have a look at the history a bit after the break.
As is the tradition with each new version of Android, a new dessert-themed statue has appeared outside Building 44 on Google's Mountain View campus. This time it's an Android-shaped Ice Cream Sandwich, that's joined other tasty treats on Google's lawn, in a photo uploaded by Google software engineer Michael Soland.
Not long now, folks. We'll very likely have more Ice Cream Sandwich goodness in the next week at the rescheduled Samsung Unpacked event, along with a shiny new Nexus device, too.
According to the New York Times, Google executives have claimed that they will be opening a Google Music MP3 store in the coming weeks. Likely to be connected to the current Google Music Beta offering, the service would compete with Apple and Amazon to allow users to purchase and store music files in the cloud. (Cue the lawsuits in 3, 2...). While Google officially declined to comment to the Times, as did any of the Music labels, the idea makes perfect sense. We know Google wanted to get content agreements for music, and after publicly criticizing the music industry Google decided to follow the route taken by Amazon and offer users storage for their own files. In addition, the songs that are offered for free on the existing service certainly aren't royalty-free, so some arrangements have to be already standing. If the rumor is true, this may be something we hear about on Oct. 19 at the Ice Cream Sandwich event. We'll keep you posted if anything further develops.