While we're not expecting to see the Sony Xperia S until early March, we're gradually seeing more and more details on the device trickling out. British retailer Clove has received a copy of the Whitepaper for the Xperia S and within its 18 pages we get a pretty detailed look into its specs.
The 720p display is protected by a "shatter proof sheet on scratch resistant glass." Disappointingly the on-board storage is listed as "1 to 1.5GB" although at least we do get microSD card support expanding this. Taking a look at the rear 12mp camera, we see it sports a 16x digital zoom, a f/2.4 aperture and the 3D sweep panorama mode previously found on the Xperia Arc S.
Delving into the software, anyone who's ever used an Xperia device will be right at home. The Timescape application is still there, along with an "infinite button" which acts as a smart filter within Timescape.
We've already seen mention of support for GLONASS, but we also see that USB tethering and WiFi hotspot functionalities come built in.
If you're liking the look of the Xperia S, hit the source link to take a look at the whitepaper in its entirity.
Casio and Verizon are continuing to roll out software updates for the G'zOne Commando, following the rugged phone's Android 2.3 Gingerbread update late last year. The latest software for the Commando brings it up to version C771M100, and adds free push-to-talk capability, along with the usual sprinkling of bug fixes. The new software is also apparently built on a newer build of Gingerbread than the last version, and includes the "latest Google security patch."
G'zOne Commando owners can find a full list of changes over at the source link, along with update instructions. The update is marked as "coming soon", so we'd expect to see it rolling out over-the-air in the weeks ahead. If you've received your update already, be sure to shout out in the comments.
Japanese mobile network KDDI says it'll stop using push notification ads on its Android handsets, following some recent online controversy. Late last month it emerged that KDDI was using an updated version of its "AU One Market" application to send ads via push notification to some of its customers. We're not the biggest fans of push notification ads, and we're even less impressed when ads are delivered by a carrier-mandated app with no clear way of opting out.
It seems many KDDI customers felt the same way, and after a wave of negative press over the past week, the carrier today announced that it'll cease pushing ad messages out to its handsets. KDDI reportedly said it was using the ads to deliver messages about its own services, rather than selling ad space to outside organizations. We're not sure that makes it any better, but at least KDDI customers will be free from the scourge of push notification ads from now on.
Galaxy S III unveiling due at Samsung event in first half of year
We've heard the rumors, and gone over the possibility in an editorial, but now we have it straight from the horse's mouth -- the Samsung Galaxy S III will not be making its debut at Mobile World Congress. In a statement released today, the Korean manufacturer clarified its plans for next month's show, saying --
"Samsung is looking forward to introducing and demonstrating exciting new mobile products at Mobile World Congress 2012.
"The successor to the Galaxy S2 smartphone will be unveiled at a separate Samsung-hosted event in the first half of the year, closer to commercial availability of the product.
"Samsung stays committed to providing the best possible mobile experiences for customers around the world."
So that's that -- no Galaxy S III at MWC.That doesn't change the fact that there'll still be a ton of new Android devices on the show floor, though. HTC, LG and Sony Ericsson will surely be out in force at MWC, and we'll also have those "exciting new mobile products" from Samsung to look forward to. As for the Galaxy S III, it's now on track to appear by end of June, and we're just fine with that.
In-app billing is a bit of a touchy subject. Nobody begrudges developers that try to make a few dollars, but billing for extra content as a per-app basis just isn't very popular among users. Some don't like the fact that purchases are tied to a particular phone, and we can certainly understand that. Wiping your phone or buying a new one and losing all your game content is no fun. For others, the only acceptable way to monetize applications is to charge a flat fee up front. We won't even comment on paid applications that offer in-app purchases as well, but they're out there.
On the good side, it's a way to offer a basic application for free, which everyone likes to see. On the bad side, it can get expensive in addition to the above. Tonight we're asking you guys. Vote in the poll and let us know!
NTT Docomo has announced their new partnership with Walt Disney Japan to create the Disney Mobile on Docomo brand. Docomo is an official corporate sponsor at Disneyland Tokyo and DisneySea Tokyo, and "special customer benefits" also will be offered from this spring at both locations for subscribers with the new phones. Yes, they also announced to Android phones under the new brand -- the F-08D (that's the pink model you see above) and the P-05D (in black). The F-08D packs a 1.2 GHz dual-core OMAP 4430 CPU with a 4.3-inch 720p LCD running Android 2.3, and the P-05D runs atop the same OMAP 4430 CPU clocked at 1 GHz under a 4.3-inch qHD Organic EL display running Gingerbread. Both models have the standard options we're used to like GPS and Wifi, and come with a complete list of features and services including notables like Wifi tethering and mobile wallet through Osaifu-Keitai. Running a customized version of Android, both phones will include movie services, original live wallpapers and other exclusive Disney content, puzzle and music game applications for children and family-entertainment.
The F-08D arrives Feb. 17 in "shiny pink" or "shiny white", followed by the P-05D in white and black in March. Docomo has been a long-time supporter of Android, and these two look like devices that will do well in the Japan market. Unfortunately for most of us, we'll never get our hands on either here in the Americas or Europe. We also can;t forget the issue that NTT Docomo is currently having with Android and data traffic, but that doesn't seem to have stopped new Android phones from appearing on their network.
The news coming out of Research In Motion just keeps on flowing. We're just over a week into the reign of new CEO Thorsten Heins, and the latest is this new image of the BlackBerry London secured by our cousins over at Crackberry. For those that aren't familiar with the going's on over in the BlackBerry camp, BB10 is the next generation QNX based OS that is supposed to herald a whole new era for the platform. The BlackBerry London is thought to be the first BB10 smartphone.
The first leaked images of the London were vastly different to this. With its angled corners, and the kind of brushed metal finish found on the ultra-expensive Porsche Design P'9981, that sure did look different. Different to anything RIM had ever put out, and definitely different to anything in the Android war chest.
Crackberry Kevin thinks the London looks like a trimmed down version of a Blackberry Playbook. As a Playbook owner, I definitely see a resemblance. It's a little disappointing though if this is what the finished hardware will look like. Android does have an awful lot of black slabs, just as BlackBerry have an awful lot of QWERTY devices
We already know that the 4G LTE version of the Samsung Galaxy Note will be headed to TELUS and Rogers next month, but now we have confirmation that it's landing on Bell Mobility Canada too. The 5.3-inch monster phone, already released internationally and coming to AT&T in the U.S. in February, appears alongside a "coming soon" message on the carrier's official website.
In case anyone's keeping score, Bell's Galaxy Note is the same four-buttoned version that's coming to other Canadian networks, as opposed to the three-buttoned international version. This version is also rumored to sport a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon chip instead of the 1.4GHz Exynos CPU in the international Note.
If you're after more Galaxy Note goodness, you can check out our first impressions of the North American version, or our full review of the international model.
There's a Market update available for ROM Manager, and it brings a new feature that many have been wanting -- automatic installation of ClockworkMod Touch Recovery. ROM Manager itself is still free (you can buy the premium version for more features), but if you want to use it to flash CWM Touch, it's going to cost you. The price is $1.99, and it's available as an in-app purchase from the ROM Manager app, billed through the Android Market, PayPal, or via e-mail with a redeem code.
ClockworkMod Touch is still available for free, though. If your phone is supported you can download and install it manually through fastboot from the ClockworkMod website. What you're paying for is the convenience of having ROM Manager do it for you, or for not having to configure and install the Android SDK and set up fastboot. As some of you know, sorting out fastboot and drivers for your computer can be a pain, so here is your way around it once again.
Anyone who hacks at their Android phone needs a custom recovery. Besides having an easy way to flash modifications and new ROM's, a custom recovery gives us something that is indispensable -- a way to create a restore point for our phone or tablet and go back to it at any time. While there's a lot of good to be said for the "old style" that forces you to read every option and select carefully, there's no denying the allure of a touch-based version for many folks. If you're one of them, now you have an easy way to get it on your device. Koush is currently adding more builds for more phones, so if your's isn't listed just keep checking. Happy flashing!
Yesterday Samsung took the wraps off the Galaxy S Advance, a new mid-range device that fits somewhere between the Galaxy S and Galaxy S II in terms of hardware muscle. Now British network Three is the first to confirm that it'll be carrying the phone, though no firm release date is on offer just yet. For its part, Samsung has indicated that the Galaxy S Advance will be coming to Russia in February, with Europe and other territories following later in the year.
Head on over to yesterday's announcement post for more Galaxy S Advance details. Three has also published a sneak peek video of the Galaxy S Advance, which you'll find embedded after the break.
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