The Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro (not to be confused with last year's X10 Mini Pro) is now available from the manufacturer's official store in the UK. The pint-size, Gingerbread-powered QWERTY slider will set you back £239.99 on its own, but it's also available for free on contracts from Orange, T-Mobile UK and Vodafone starting at a little over £20 per month.
It's a reasonably-specced phone too, with a 1GHz second-generation Snapdragon inside, along with 512MB of RAM and 720p recording capabilities. Considering the shortage of decent Android sliders in Europe right now, this one may be worth a look if you're a fan of clicky buttons.
HTC Sensation users in Europe are reporting that the long-awaited Android 2.3.4 update for the device is now being pushed out over the air. There's no changelog available from HTC just yet, but being Android 2.3.4, the update should add video calling capability through Google Talk and the front-facing camera. If we had to hazard a guess, we'd say that a sprinkling of bug fixes and performance improvements may have been sneaked in there too.
It's also worth mentioning that this update is for unbranded Sensations only for the moment, so if yours was bought through a carrier, you'll have to wait a little longer while they approve it.
Unbranded Sensation owners, be sure to hit the comments and let us know how your update went.
The first photos of a phone running Ice Cream Sandwich have been leaked out, and we get to see a little bit of the UI running on a Samsung Nexus S (T-Mobile USA). Visually, things look a bit different, with a less AMOLED-friendly blue color scheme and a revamped launcher and app drawer. A little back story goes along with this from the fellow who leaked it out -- expect a native panorama mode for the camera (finally), and an all-new look to the GMail app. The OS will now have Google Shopper integrated, and NFC-enabled devices will be able to utilize those features, and after it launches on the next Nexus device, it's expected to roll out for the Nexus S.
If these shots are legit, and all things point to them being so, things are still in the early stages. We also don't get to see anything incriminating or confidential, so there's a lot of blacked out space in the pictures. This is to be expected, as we're not supposed to be seeing these just yet.It's not a lot to go on, but just seeing it on a device is exciting enough. Jump past the break to see the rest of the pics.
And the really big thing we don't yet see is how all this ties the phone and tablet OSes together. Stay tuned, folks.
So HTC and Beats Entertainment (aka Beats by Dre) have hopped into bed together. It's a $300 million "marriage," as HTC CEO Peter Chou and music mogul and Beats chairman Jimmy Iovine officially announced Thursday night ... and again Friday morning. If you joined us for the liveblog of the conference call and Q&A, you know that we didn't learn a whole lot more than we already knew the night before.
We did learn, however, that it was Beats who approached HTC, back in March. And that despite Beats' business doubling, according to Iovine, the $300 million buy-in (HTC now owns 51 percent of the company) remained unchanged.
Perhaps the phone you see above is what kicked it all off. That's the HTC Surround, which was one of the first Windows Phone 7 devices. We've never considered HTC devices to have the best speaker quality; that crown goes to Motorola. But the Surround (see my initial hands-on from the Windows Phone 7 launch event) sought to change that with its crazy slide-out speaker. Gimmicky, to be sure. But it also sounded a slide shade better than anything else HTC had on the market, for sure. Try one. You'll be surprised. Anyhoo, that speaker's built with Dolby Mobile and SRS WOW HD. (As have a couple Android phones since, but not as well.) And I still don't know what that means, 'cept it sounds better than most of the smartphones I have.
And that's where Beats comes in. You can argue all day about the sound quality -- and you will argue all day about the sound quality. But it's got name recognition and a bit of the ol' sex factor. And that's important. Or maybe it means better earbuds and/or gaudy headphones. Know what? Just about anything would be better than what you get now. So long as they're subsidized in the cost of the phone, we're all for it.
One way or another, this deal is a big one for HTC, and an even bigger one for Beats, as Iovine underscored as he repeated several times how Beats "had to get to the phone." We know you wanted new hardware. We know you want Ice Cream Sandwich. Those things are coming, and coming pretty soon, we reckon. In the meantime, ponder what kind of audio miracle we might soon see -- Chou said Beats-impregnated devices are coming this fall.
Leave your condolences for the overhyped, oversized, overpriced, underappreciated, underpowered, took-too-long-to-get-to-market Android phablet (that's that weird size between phone and tablet) in the comments below. Or don't.
The fellas over the the German site BestBoyZ have got their hands on an upcoming LG phone dubbed the Optimus Sol (E730). We don't know a whole lot about this one just yet, but it should hit Vodaphone in Europe eventually, and come in two colors -- black or silver. On the specs side, it's running Android 2.3.3 on a 1GHz CPU, with LG's very own 3.8 inch AMOLED display. Top it all off with LG's Optimus UI (we've seen that in action on the Optimus Black and the Optimus 3D) on top of Gingerbread, and you have what looks to be a very nice piece of gear. After the break you can watch a video hands-on with the LG Optimus Sol -- it's in German but you'll get the gist of it by watching. Also hit the source link for a couple more pics.
Samsung has been leading the global charge to put an Android phone into everyone's hands, and if we're to believe some specs listed by Mobili Linija, an online retail shop from Lithuania, we have a slew of new models with some great specs coming. They have listed details for seven new phones and two new tablets, with the words dual-core and Super AMOLED thrown around liberally. Hit the break to see the list, and a bit 'o commentary.
The Samsung Galaxy S was one of the hottest phones of 2010, and the Samsung Galaxy S II has proven to be even more popular, and now there appears to be a Samsung Galaxy S Plus. This device is a bit odd, as it doesn't really change much from the Samsung Galaxy S except for a few things, and doesn't live up to what the Samsung Galaxy S II is, so where exactly does it fit in. The device has a 1.4GHz, a 400 MHz increase over the original, but it's still a single-core proc. The battery has been upgraded to a 1650mAh, and it launches with Android 2.3.3 with Touchwiz 3.0 on top. The device appears to be a Vodafone UK exclusive, and will be launching free on contract with a monthly commitment of £30 per month.
Have a hankering for the HTC Merge? (We know you do.) And having a hankering for it on Celluar South? The little Android slider most of you will never get to have has hit the regional carrier. It's running $99 with a two-year contract. Sure, it's not the latest and greatest. But the 3.8-inch display is nicely done, and the keyboard is killer. That and you can show it to all your friends on Verizon and watch them slowly slink away, head bowed in disappointment. And who can put a price on that?
British networks O2, Orange, Three and Vodafone are now listing the sleek white version of Samsung's Galaxy S II on their "coming soon" pages, with a September release planned across all four networks. This fits with Samsung's plans for of the SIM-free white Galaxy S II, which is due to begin shipping from Sep. 1. T-Mobile UK is the only major network not yet listing the white version, but given its connections to Orange, we'd expect TMo to carry it alongside the currently-stocked black version.
So what's the verdict, would-be Galaxy S II owners? Buy the black model now, or wait a month, save a few more pennies and opt for the white version?
Before you get too excited, that's not Android 4.0 or anything crazy like that, it's software version 4.0.A.2.368 got Sony Ericsson's 2011 Xperia phones that's now being pushed out to European Xperia Arcs. This follows a slightly premature announcement on Sony Ericsson's support site last week. To grab the update, plug your Arc in and fire up the PC Companion software, or head to Settings -> About phone -> Software update on the phone itself.
Highlights in this new firmware version include --
xLoud – boosts your music when played through the speaker
Stereo recording – shoot video with high-quality stereo sound
Digital home – enjoy entertainment content stored in your phone on DLNA certified media devices
New themes and Landscape mode for your home screen
If you've got this new software on your Arc, be sure to hit the comments and let us know how the update went.
A new Samsung phone has passed through the FCC today, and based on the radios approved it looks to be headed to AT&T -- possibly as the Galaxy S II Attain, or whatever name they have picked out for this one. Like most FCC documents, all the juicy details are under a confidentiality agreement, but we know for sure this one runs on the 850 and 1900 frequencies, is GSM/GRPS/EGDE/WCDMA/HSPA compatible, and packs a 1500 mAh battery. Then there's the label location diagram, and this one sure looks like the Galaxy S II we all know and love.
Why all the confusion? Well we have seen more than one new Samsung destined for AT&T in the near future -- in a qwerty and non-qwerty version. Safe money says this will be one of them. Or maybe it won't. We do know it's the i927, and someone is now allowed to sell it in the United States. The rest is anyone's guess.
Seriously, folks. You don't hype a "major news announcement" for that stuff. You send a press release.
That said, All ThingsD is reporting that the big news is a $300 million collaboration with Beats Audio. As in Beats by Dre, and the same Beats Audio you'll find in a smattering of HP products -- including the HP TouchPad. The collaboration will be exclusive to HTC smartphones.
Now, that's nothing to turn your nose up at -- there's definitely a market for a proper Android MP3 player. (So long as it's priced right.) But with all the patent nonsense floating around and the world still waiting for its first Honeycomb tablet from HTC, the timing for a "major news announcement" sure came at an interesting juncture.
Fresh from this week's Sprint PlayBook, we get word that the Motorola Titanium (read our mini-review) -- which has only been out a few weeks now -- is set to get an update starting next Monday. Here's what's coming in the update:
Bugfix so you can dial a number from the a meeting entry in the Exchange Calendar
And that's it. Pretty minor, unless you desperately need to call someone from a meeting in the Exchange Calendar. But kudos to Sprint for pushing it out in a timely fashion.
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