AT&T released its Q4 2011 earnings this morning, saying it set sales records for Android devices in the three months ending Dec. 31. (It doubled Android sales in Q3 2011, you'll recall.) While it declined to give specific Android numbers, AT&T did say that it sold 9.4 million Android and iOS smartphones, 82 percent its postpaid sales were smartphones, and it activated 7.6 million iPhones. Do the math there, more or less, and you've got a boatload of iPhones, and some Android phones. But we're not one to look broken records in the mouth, and neither is AT&T, we reckon. The company also said it sold twice as many Android devices as it did in Q4 2010.
There's a lot of Android phones out there, from a slew of manufacturers. In the US alone there's over 70 different current models to choose from, and world-wide the number swells into the hundreds. We all have our favorites, and we thought it would be fun to take a quick survey to find out which OEM is the most popular amongst us all. Take a second, fill out our poll and we'll find out! If you have more than one phone, pick your favorite. And if you pick "other", be sure to let everyone know what you're rocking in the comments.
Today, Verizon welcomes the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX to its Android smartphone stable. You can pick it up for $299 on contract. (Or a whopping $649 outright.) We're going to be doing a full Droid RAZR MAXX review, of course, but here's the gist: It's a Motorola Droid RAZR with a 3300 mAh battery. Thank you, goodnight, we'll see you in the funny papers.
And you know what? It might well be the best 4G LTE phone on Verizon thus far. Sure, we tend to say that with every release, but Verizon's 4G devices certainly have been trending up since they debuted a year ago.
Launches with Android 2.3.5, will be upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
4.3-inch Super AMOLED Advanced display
qHD resolution (540x960)
8MP rear-facing camera; 1.3MP front-facing camera
4G LTE data
3300 mAh battery for up to 21. hours' talk time, 380 hours' standby time
Motorola user interface
From our hands-on time with the Droid RAZR MAXX at CES earlier this month, it was easy to see that indeed you're really just looking at a beefed up phone. Bigger battery, with everything else the same. And the slightly increased thickness makes the phone a little nicer to hold -- it was almost too lanky in its earlier form, too thin considering how wide it is. The phone's still 8.99 mm at its thickest, which is more than respectable. And having nearly double the battery life is a must considering that it's not removable -- there's now swapping in a new one.
Anyhoo, stay tuned for our complete Droid RAZR MAXX review, and go out and get yourself one of these guys, if it's your thing.
The "official" update document for the HTC Rezound is now live on Verizon's website, which usually means an OTA update is nigh. According to the page, the Rezound should soon be seeing software Version 2.01.605.11 and baseband version 0.95.00.1118r, so unfortunately this is not the Ice Cream Sandwich ROM that was leaked a week or so ago. If anything, it looks like a maintenance release to get some bugs ironed out, which nobody should be complaining about. The changelog in handy bullet-point form:
Updated signal strength meter to 5 bar Received Signal Strength Indication (RSSI).
Screen Timeout issues while connected to Wifi have been resolved.
Resolved issue with Mobile Hotspot data stalling while multiple users are connected.
Improved audio quality during voice call.
Reduced forced closures related to the People application.
Resolved issue with Task Manager stopping Mail background service.
All very welcome fixes indeed. The Rezound is a hell of a phone as is, and knowing that HTC and Big Red aren't going to let it wither by the wayside is great news for all of us. Security patches and bug fixes are just as important as complete OS updates, so we'll take them every time.
Of course, there's no guarantee that this is coming soon, but in the past we have seen the support page for Verizon phones go live a few days before the OTA begins to push out. There's no reason not to think this will be the same situation, so if I had a Rezound and was interested in accepting a stock update, I'd be preparing for it. Jump in the Rezound forums and discuss!
Samsung, it is now rumored, will not be showing the Galaxy S III at Mobile World Congress. That's according to unconfirmed rumors from The Verge and Germany's Best Boyz. Of course, the Galaxy S III has yet to actually be announced or anything, nor has Samsung sent invites for any press event in Barcelona. But, yeah. It's entirely possible we won't see it there. Bummer, to be sure.
Anyhoo. We're still a month out from MWC. Anything can happen. (Hell, we saw a complete redesign of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in a month.) And it's not like there won't be ample opportunities for the GSIII (or whatever's next) to be announced after that. We've got CTIA in May. Google IO in June. CTIA again in October. Countless events in between. And if indeed it's true that the Galaxy S III is being pushed back to eliminate lag time between release, let's all ask ourselves this:
Are we really going to complain about an unofficial phone's unannounced announcement possibly being pushed closer to the date that it'll actually be available for purchase? It's a mad, mad world.
Android application developers work hard and don't get nearly enough appreciation. As you see mentioned just about everywhere, it's the application support that makes or breaks a mobile platform, so their job is pretty important. Luckily, we're in good shape with Android, a look at the huge number of apps in just the official Android Market will confirm. But there's more than sheer numbers. We all want applications and games that offer just the right features, at the right level of performance, and at the right price. Here's a chance for you to help.
Android application developer go6game has a short survey in the Android Central forums, and he'd like a little feedback. The questions are simple enough to answer, but I can see how the data he collects from this would help create games and apps that are not only more popular (Android app developers deserve to make a good living people), but work better and offer the features we want. The questions he's asking are easy enough, consisting of things like how you discover and recommend apps to others. Downloading apps from the Market is something every one of us does daily. I think it's a great idea, and I know plenty of us will take the time to help out.
Apps don't write themselves, and quality apps certainly take a lot of thought and hard work to bring to market. When an application developer takes the time to ask us just what we're looking for, the least we can do is tell him. Hit the link below and do your part -- better apps and games will be the result, and who doesn't want that?
Calm down, Verizon Droid RAZR owners, this one's not for you, unfortunately. Owners of the international (GSM/HSPA) Motorola RAZR XT910, however, are in luck, as an early build of Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich appears to have leaked out for Moto's flagship international phone.
The leaked build, which has surfaced over on fansite DroidRZR.com, shows firmware built just a week ago on Jan. 17, which exhibits characteristics of both Blur and stock ICS. For example, Motorola's icons are used for the dialer and people app, but other apps, like the launcher, are untouched by the manufacturer's UI layer. Naturally, since this is pre-release firmware, there's no guarantee things will stay this way when ICS eventually rolls out officially, and we'd expect the finished article to look a little more like Blur and less like stock Android.
Whatever Ice Cream Sandwich on the RAZR ends up looking like, this early leak is a tantalizing chance for RAZR owners to get an early look at the latest version of Android on their handsets. And jealous Droid RAZR owners, we're sure it won't be long before this leaked ROM is hacked apart and ported across to the Verizon version. If you're feeling adventurous, you can find download links and installation instructions over at the source link.
Looks like AT&T is wasting no time bringing its version of the Samsung Galaxy Note to market. If the latest rumors from BGR are to be believed, the carrier plans to launch Samsung's 5.3-inch phone/tablet hybrid on Feb. 18 for $299.99 on-contract.
The blog also reports that two new, unannounced devices will be making their debut the very same day -- the Samsung Rugby Smart and the AT&T Fusion. The Rugby Smart is reportedly a $99 entry-level HSPA+ phone, while the AT&T Fusion, for which no specs are offered, will apparently sell for $124.99.
All unconfirmed at this stage, of course, but we don't think anyone would be surprised to see the AT&T Galaxy Note arriving in mid-to-late February with a hefty price tag. As for the other two devices, we'll just have to wait and see what materializes over the next month.
For more on the AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note, take a look over our hands-on coverage from CES, and our full review of the international version.
The Samsung Galaxy S III (or lack of it) has the Internet ablaze once again, and this time it's based on some information industry insider Eldar Murtazin claims to know, and has hinted at in his Twitter account. According to Eldar (and nestled in with words like "flagship" and "so much better"), the next-generation Galaxy S device will feature updated hardware with a 1.5GHz or 1.6GHz quad-core processor, a 12MP camera, HD screen (we're assuming it will be part of the AMOLED family), Ice Cream Sandwich with Samsung's TouchWiz tweaks, and it gets great battery life -- yes, he says he has used it.
Eldar says we'll get a to see the Galaxy S III in February at Mobile World Congress, which would make sense. (The Galaxy S II was announced in Barcelona last year.) We'll see manufacturers' new products at a show designed for manufacturers to show us their new products. The Galaxy S III will most likely be released in the Far East and Europe before the United States, so Barcelona would be the place to see it. The specifications sound about right for the next generation of hardware, so Eldar's news seems feasable, and a natural progression that we've seen before. We'll know more soon when we head to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress.
What does concern us is once again seeing new and better handsets from Samsung, while their current models sit and wait for updates. The original Galaxy S line is (and we hate it as much as you do) a write-off by now, but there's more than a few Galaxy S II devices which are more than capable, waiting for an Ice Cream Sandwich update. Samsung's gorgeus screens and state-of-the art hardware has made many of us give them a second chance with the Galaxy S II, but another year-long saga of waiting for device updates just isn't going to fly. Hopefully, the right people at Samsung and the carriers realizes this as well.
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