It’s no secret that Sony Ericsson had a bit of a rocky start with its first generation of Android phones. Its 2010 Xperia models have been criticized for shipping with an outdated version of Android, as well as lacking some basic functionality like multitouch out of the box.
Fortunately, it looks like the manufacturer has fully overcome these teething problems with the release of its flagship phone for 2011, the Xperia Arc. The Arc is a device which compares well to similar offerings from other manufacturers, and brings to the table some outstanding multimedia features, including a very high-quality camera.
Read on to find out our initial thoughts after our first few days with the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, along with video footage of the device in action.
The T-Mobile Sidekick 4G is a smartphone that since its announcement has intrigued a lot of us. While Sidekicks are usually associated with the younger generation, Samsung has definitely taken that voice and attempted to change it with the customized version of Android 2.2.1 that brings new features for just about anyone.
Has Samsung done enough with the Sidekick to make appeal to the masses, or will it still only appeal to the younger generations? Let's hit the break together, and take a look at what I found throughout my time with the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G.
The GSM version of the HTC Hero is in need of a CyanogenMod maintainer, so it has been dropped by the CM team. Ciwrl sends word that while they have tried to keep the Hero on the supported device list, some memory eating bugs have cropped up and without someone to keep things up to date, they had no choice but to discontinue support for the GSM Hero.
Like its Sprint cousin, the Hero is still a pretty capable device and has probably the best profile of any phone -- Android or otherwise -- with that awesome chin. We just can't let it die without a fight. If anyone out there has the time and skills to commit to this one, contact a member of the CM team. [CyanogenMod Forum via @gu1dry]
So what happens exactly when you take the Palm Pre and load it up with a healthy dose of Android -- more specifically a Gingerbread AOSP. The folks over at PreCentral have done all the hard work for us and were even kind enough to film it. If you happen to have a Palm Pre kicking around that you want to have some fun with, then by all means -- head on over to PreCentral and take a look at k3dar's work, or just hit up the video above. Instructions and a downloadable shell script are available to help you along should you like to go on this adventure. [PreCentral]
The HTC Thunderbolt is the latest in the line of new HTC products that are less than hacker friendly, and the steps needed to root it have proven to be a thorn in the side of many, leading to the emergence of "easy root apps.. Now I still say you should read up and be familiar with what you're doing when you hack your phone, but if you still need a bit of assistance (or are just plain lazy like I am) Android Central forums adviser DroidXcon has you covered with a new option -- one that includes an un-root function should you find a need to roll back. He's written a Windows command script that does it all for you, and all that's needed is to read and say yes or no. He says it's he has ideas to streamline things (hence the alpha tag), but as-is it works just fine and will get your TBolt rooted, or un-rooted, in a jiffy. [Android Central Thunderbolt forums]
If you've gotta have the latest unofficial ROM for your new HTC ThunderBolt, you're in luck this morning. An RUU has leaked out of one of those places RUUs tend to leaked out of (don't ask, you don't wanna know), stripped down and put back together again. And the list of known features is interesting enough.
New radio, version 1.16.00.402
Fixes to SQLite
GPS Location Services
LTE/3G handoff (huzzah!)
Proximity sensor drain
Those are some fixes we'd certainly like to see. For those of you who know your way around a rooted ThunderBolt (you'll need S-off), head on over to the source link to check it out. For everyone else, let's hope that this shows up in an officially sanctioned update right quick. [Radio 1.16.00.402, how to root the ThunderBolt]
The HTC Desire S is the successor to one of HTC’s most popular European phones. The original Desire featured top specs for the time, along with a prettier, more accessible Android thanks to the HTC Sense UI. Launching just as Android’s market share was starting to explode, the phone saw massive sales throughout 2010, and gave many in Europe and Asia their first introduction to the platform.
With the Desire S, the Taiwanese manufacturer is returning to the 3.7-inch form factor with a refined and redesigned handset that offers a host of subtle improvements in several areas.
But is it a worthy successor to the HTC Desire? And can it compete with the glut of high-quality Android phones now available from other manufacturers? Read on to find out.
Since Sprint got magical in New York a while back, I've been itching to get my hands on a Kyocera Echo. Look, we know many of you scoff at the Echo, but that's not fair unless you've had a bit of time with it. I'm a gadget nut. I'm a smartphone nut. I'm an Android nut. I want to check out all the latest Android phones, but show me something unique and I'm there. The Echo -- which is available today for $199 after contract and $100 rebate -- fits that bill with its two screen setup, complete with applications that can take advantage of them. Hit the break for some video, some pictures, and some Jerry talking about the Echo.
The T-Mobile Sidekick 4G, an upcoming device from Samsung, brings both style and innovation and meshes it perfectly with an awesome Android experience. Whether you are a previous Sidekick user or just simply a T-Mobile user who is in need of a device with a physical QWERTY that will allow for excellent messaging, this device is definitely one you will want to check out.
We have spent the past few hours getting to know the device quite well, checking out all the various options, and playing with the applications, so join us after the break to take a deeper look into this device.
Hide your Droid X, hide your Evo, hide your Desire, 'cause they leaking everything up in here -- and that includes the ROM dump for the HTC Pyramid (which should be the HTC Sensation). It's leaked out in all it's Sense 3.0 glory and ROM developers are already scratching their heads and figuring out how to squeeze any of it on to earlier devices.
It's a dump from an Asian model, so it's chock full of things you'll not understand or ever want to use. We did take a few minutes and pull a bunch of new wallpapers out of it -- you can find them posted here in the forums, so give those a look for sure. Another interesting little tidbit -- the dump is full of widgets with 3D in the name. Don't read too much into this, but it's worth a mention. If you feel the need to fool around with the ROM files themselves, hit the source link. [911HTC]
Here's the thing about this leaked Gingerbread build for the Sprint EVO 4G: If you're waiting for unicorns to come flying out of it, you might come away disappointed. That's not to say we're not totally excited for the EVO 4G to get Gingerbread. We certainly are.
So we've spent a few minutes now using the leaked Android 2.3.3 build that's been packaged up by TMarton03 at XDA Developers. And, lo and behold, it looks and feels just like an EVO 4G. No, you're not getting any of the newfangled versions of Sense. That's disappointing, but not surprising, if only because the newer versions of Sense are a bit portly. As in large.
But what you're going to get is the latest (smartphone) version of Android, including a host of bugfixes, with all of HTC's excellent customizations on top.
Hit the break for video of our quick walkthrough and a spin through Quadrant, and sing out if there's anything else you want to see.
While it can never come soon enough for impatient Evo 4G users (like all of us here), Gingerbread with HTC Sense has finally leaked out. We shouldn't be surprised, as there was no way HTC would leave the phone that started it all stuck on Froyo, and they have already let us know they planned to update their current users to Gingerbread in due time. What's surprising is that it took this long to leak out.
There's nothing available (as of this writing) that you can flash -- what has leaked is the full dump of all partitions. This is exactly what ROM developers want and need, and they are already hard at work. In the meantime, if you're curious and want to dig around in the files while we wait, hit the source link and download them for yourself, and share your findings in the Evo 4G forums. [911HTC via Android Central forums; XDA-Developers] Thanks, dcmasta!
First off, only four phones are currently supported, and chances are you don't have any of them. Supported are the Xperia Play, Xperia Arc, Xperia Pro and Xperia Neo. Yeah. We don't have those yet, either. The site also notes that your phone needs to be SIM unlocked if you want to unlock the bootloader. Again, not something you see very often here in the states.
And then there's the process of actually unlocking the bootloader. Don't have the Android SDK? Well, get to downloadin', son. (Actually. if you don't already have the SDK, chances are you have no business unlocking a bootloader in the first place.) Then you'll need to do a little bit of fastboot trickery (aka copying and pasting a few commands). Again, nothing you shouldn't be able to do if you know what a bootloader is, and why you'd want to unlock it.
So for n00bs, this is not. But kudos to Sony Ericsson for making good on its promise. Hit the source link if you want to get to unlocking. And let's just hope we see more phones supported in the future. [Sony Ericsson via xperiablog.net] Thanks, Rick!
The original HTC Desire hit in spring 2010, and was part of the Android boom that saw the OS’s market share explode in just a few months. Twelve months later, HTC offers up the Desire S -- a device which it says is an evolution of the phone that gave many users their first taste of Android.
Just launched in the UK, the Desire S lies in the center ground of HTC’s European line-up for early 2011. It’s not as large (or expensive) as the Incredible S, but it’s just as fast. And it outperforms the upcoming Wildfire S, while still being easily pocketable.
We've just spent several hours getting to know the HTC Desire S, so join us after the break to learn more about it, and read our first impressions of HTC's first Gingerbread phone...
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