With its 2011 Xperia lineup, Sony Ericsson is looking to retain its position as one of the major players in the Android ecosystem. While last year’s (depending on your locale) Xperia X8 and X10 sold well, they were criticized by some for shipping with an outdated version of Android, as well as a variety of software issues.
The Xperia Arc is Sony Ericsson’s new flagship phone, representing the manufacturer’s next step in its quest for Android dominance. It’s a faster, sleeker, lighter device that’s running the latest version of Android out of the box (well, give or take a minor point release). And some interesting multimedia inclusions from Sony give it strong entertainment credentials.
But has Sony Ericsson done enough to compete with recent offerings from the likes of Samsung and HTC? Read on to find out, as we take a closer look at the Xperia Arc.
You guys know how it goes -- a few people get their hands on a phone a little early and we bring out the system dumps, the Samsung Droid Charge being no exception. The whole kit and kaboodle checks in at 300 MB, but we've went ahead and pulled out the wallpapers and ringtones for those of you who don't feel like fooling with the whole system.
The system itself doesn't hold any surprises -- it's TouchWiz 3, has Media Hub on board, and a new build of CityID. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.) But enterprizing types will end up pulling everything useful out of it for other custom ROMs, and that's good for everyone. You can find all the links and discuss in the Droid Charge forums while we wait for the launch to get back on track.
We've seen a few bits and pieces of the Casio Commando G'zOne floating around, but now you can get the whole thing, or any of the fun parts, in one handy place. The full system dump is available, complete with the fancy lock screen and new launcher with the awesome shortcut button. All you dev-types can grab it and have a blast with the system -- it doesn't need de-odexed :)
To make it simple for everyone else, we pulled out all the Commando zone outdoorsy apps and widgets, as well as the wallpapers (both live and static) and any new ringtones or notification tones that were included. They are listed separately to save you from having to download the full 220 MB file. You can find everything, as well as discuss how we're going to port that launcher and lock screen to other phones in the forums.
I kind of want to throw the Casio G'zOne Commando. Or at least just drop it. Maybe kick it down the street a little. Can't decide if that's because it's rugged to the point where it's trying to pick a fight, or if it's because of the ridiculous name.
Anyhoo, it's got a 3.6-inch display at 800x480, 1GB of ROM (though we're only showing 309MB available) and 512MB of RAM, powered by an 800MHz processor running Android 2.2.1. there's a 5MP camera and all the other usual features, including a notification light.
It's got a custom UI which is for the most part unremarkable, though the main home screen has a compass on it. How useful that will be depends on how often you actually need a compass, but it's an interesting novelty.
But, really, it's the outside of the Commando that's important. There's a pretty serious rubber frame around the thing. The microUSB and 3.5mm ports are covered by rubber flaps, and the volume, power, camera and G'zGear buttons (we'll explain that last one later) are all very industrial. The screws that hold it all together are exposed for the world to see. In other words, it's very in-your-face.
The entire phone is "water resistant," and to that end there's a stick on the battery cover that instructs you how to properly reattach it to maintain a complete lack of moisture infiltration. (That's our phrase. You can borrow it, free of charge.) The battery door has a sliding lock.
In short, this thing means business, and by business we mean not the sort you do with a coat and tie.
Oh, and we just found one more reason we want to go a couple rounds in a ring with the G'zOne Commando -- It's all Bing'd up. So, yeah. There's that. Full review is forthcoming. For now, find more pics after the break.
Hardware-wise, it's the same as we saw it four months ago. You've got a 4.3-inch touchscreen at 800x480, powered by a 1GHz processor, with 512MB of RAM. We've got 2GB of on-board storage, and our review unit came with a 32MB microSD card. Nice.
Despite being a large phone -- it's a hair over 5 inches tall and is about 2.6 inches wide -- it's less than a half-inch thick and weighs just 5.04 ounces. It's big, but it feels pretty good in the hand, if a tad plastic. The Droid Charge tapers to a point down at the physical buttons -- which are blissfully large -- giving it the look of a shield.
Samsung's TouchWiz interface is on board, same as it ever was. Otherwise, you've got all the usual accompanying features. There's an 8MP rear camera with flash, front-facing 1.3MP camera, HDMI out, and so on and so forth. It's a big, light, Android phone with LTE.
The full review's coming up, folks. In the meantime, peep the pics after the break.
What a night for Android hackers and HTC fans. The fellows at 911sniper have a feast of leaks for us all to monkey around with. First off, there's a leaked version of a Gingerbread OTA for the T-Mobile G2. There's nothing new in there, but it is a full dump of all the partitions, and plenty of stuff to base a custom Gingerbread ROM off of. You can check out more here in the G2 Hacking forums.
If Gingerbread for the G2 isn't your cup of tea, how about a leaked Gingerbread ROM for the rumored (and I guess now verified) HTC Doubleshot, AKA the MyTouch 4G Slide? Yep. Got that one too. And as a special bonus I pulled out the Sense 3.0 weather animations so you don't have to download the whopping 701 MB worth of system files to see them. You'll find out more about it here in the Android Hacking forums. Worth noting here is the build prop makes reference to OpenSense SDK version 3.0 as well as a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU, 768 MB of RAM, Bluetooth 3.0 and dual cameras -- 8 MP rear and VGA front.
And if that isn't enough for you (MORE MORE!) there's a HTC Flyer leaked RUU in the wild now as well. We couldn't get that one downloaded because the link kept timing out, but I'm sure mirrors will appear, and someone will have a peek and see what's inside. If you feel like giving it a shot, download links are at the source, and any of our resident HTC hackers will be able to help you pull out any goodies to play with.
OK, all you kids with your crazy rooted Samsung Epic 4Gs. If you're ready to get some semi-official leaked Gingerbread onto your phones, ACS has let loose the ED12 build that we've been talking about. It's deodexed and already rooted, if you're into that sort of thing.
This is is leaked, folks, and as such there are a few bugs to be mentioned from the stock package, including:
Wake lag present
Does not boot when plugged in and powered off, unplug to boot
Temperature sensor readings are incorrect. You may see interrupted charging due to bad battery temp readings.
Slide to unlock button sometimes 'sticks'
Has Carrier IQ (dieplz
Snag the downloads and the full instructions at the source link below, and get to flashing!
The folks at C Skills have done their magic again, this time with Gingerbread (and possibly Honeycomb) and have released GingerBreak. If you don't keep up with this sort of thing, the C Skills team are the people who brought us the rageagainstthecage exploit. Besides having a run-on sentence for a name, this is the trick that can root any device running Froyo. Since it isn't going to work on Gingerbread, the fellas have jumped ahead of the game and found one that will, and are pretty confident that it will crack Honeycomb and Froyo, too.
Now all we need is devices that aren't OEM unlockable to ship with Gingerbread so we can test it.
How do you follow up the HTC Droid Incredible, one of the most successful phones of 2010? If you're Verizon, you tweak a little here, add a little there, but you don't mess with a good thing. Our initial Droid Incredible 2 review is definitely positive, and it should be given our love of its predecessor.
So here's the deal: The DInc 2 has grown from a 3.7-inch smartphone to a full 4-inch display. Gone is the trackpad/button from the bottom, but it's gained a 1.3MP front-facing camera. The rear shooter remains at 8MP. Internally, it's largely the same. Still a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. You've got 768MB or RAM (up from 512MB), and the phone seems speedy enough in our initial use. We would have liked to have seen more than 1GB of internal storage -- the original Droid Incredible had an extra 6GB on board, which was handy.
You don't get the latest version of HTC's Sense, UI, and we're OK with that. But what we're really starting to not be OK with is phones launching with Froyo. We're really far enough into the Gingerbead cycle -- the code was made public in December 2010 -- that it's time to see it on all new phones coming out. Or at last that's what consumers (OK, or at the very least phone nerds) believe.
Also gone are the awesome red accents from the original Droid Incredible. No iconic red earpiece. No red ring on the rear camera. No all-red battery and internals. It's almost as if someone was told they were having a little too much fun and they needed to tone it down a notch.
But that's cosmetic. We'll be giving the Droid Incredible 2 a thorough what-for. In the meantime, hit up a bunch of pics after the break.
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]
Portions of this page are modifications based on work created and shared by the Android Open Source Project
and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 2.5 Attribution License. AndroidCentral is an independent site
that is not affiliated with or endorsed by Google.