Headlines

2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Xcover announced; IP67 certified with Gingerbread and Touchwiz

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Samsung has announced the Galaxy Xcover, yet another Galaxy phone, and this one comes IP67 certified to take some real abuse.  This one is clearly aimed at folks who are less than gentle with their electronics, but still want or need an Android smartphone.  Like we first saw with the Motorola Defy, the IP67 certification means the Xcover is dust and dirt resistant, and can be submerged in water a meter deep for up to a half hour. 

No specs have been announced for the insides, but Samsung tells us that it will be packing a scratch-resistant display, a 3.2MP camera with LED flash, 7.2Mbps HSDPA radios, and Gingerbread skinned with Touchwiz.  Set to be released in October, no word on whether or not we'll see this on stateside.

Source: Samsung Germany (Google translate)

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2 years ago

LG Optimus 3D review (European version)

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We’ve seen seen some interesting hardware from LG over the past six months. From the Optimus 2X -- the first dual-core Tegra 2 smartphone -- to the ultra-slim Optimus Black with its impressive NOVA display, the Korean manufacturer has proven it’s ready to play in the big leagues. LG recently added the crown jewel to its 2011 line-up with the release of the Optimus 3D in Europe and Asia. It’s a well-designed, hefty slab of a phone that combines a powerful dual-core CPU with some spectacular 3D trickery, thanks to its parallax barrier display and dual camera setup.

Make no mistake, this is a high-end device, and it comes with an expectedly high-end price tag (around £430 at the time of writing). When you’re dropping this much cash on a phone, you’re quite rightly going to expect not only whiz-bang features like glasses-free 3D, but also a solid smartphone experience to back it up. Read on to find out whether the LG Optimus 3D can deliver on both...

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2 years ago

Browser battle: Nexus S vs. the iPhone 4 and the new BlackBerry Bold 9900

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Our pals at CrackBerry are marveling in their first new device in, well, forever, and your old pal Bla1ze is putting them through a bit of a browser battle. Above, you see the iPhone 4, the new BlackBerry Bold 9900, and, of course, the Samsung Nexus S.

Let's be honest here: We're actually pretty happy that, after all these years, BlackBerry finally has a usable web browser. And it looks pretty quaint on that tiny little screen. But watch the video (after the break). It's pretty clear who the winner is, no?

Source: CrackBerry

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2 years ago

NVIDIA and Samsung announce the Galaxy R for Europe and Asia; 4.2 inch SLCD, Tegra 2, and Gingerbread on board

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Nvidia and Samsung have announced the Samsung Galaxy R, now available in Sweden but coming soon to more of Europe and Asia.  It's a bit of a departure from what we're used to here in the states when we hear the words Samsung Galaxy, as the R packs Tegra 2 innards, a Super Clear LCD, and Gingerbread out of the gate.  We don't yet have the full specs, but here's what has been announced:

  • Tegra 2 CPU
  • 4.19-inch WVGA Super Clear LCD touchscreen @ 800x480
  • Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) operating system
  • 720p HD video capture and 1080p Full HD playback (Divx, WMV, MP4, H.264 B/P only)
  • Built-in memory of 8GB and support for 32GB Micro SD
  • Size: 125.7 x 66.7 x 9.55 mm
  • Weight: 131 grams

Along with that Tegra 2 chip comes access to NVIDIA's experience in gaming, evident with any of the games from the Tegra Zone app.  And while many folks love Samsung's AMOLED screens, there are a lot of people who prefer a nicely done LCD.  Of course we have to wait until we get to play with a Galaxy R, but from the video above it looks like another winner.  I can totally see hours of Galaxy on Fire 2 HD in quite a few futures.  Check the video above, and the press release is after the break.

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2 years ago

Motorola Droid Bionic takes in a Mets game

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Anybody catch the Mets game Tuesday night? Were any of you at the Mets game Tuesday night? Well, Android Central reader Christopher (aka Jet300 in the forums) was one of the announced 24,619 at Citi Field in Queens (the Mets won 5-4, for those keeping score at home) and lets us know that the Motorola Droid Bionic was all over the darn place.

The ad you see above was on a wall behind some Plexiglass, advertising the stadium's own Verizon hangout (it's on Field Level, if you want to swing by). And, sure enough, there's everybody's favorite over-hyped phone, with Mr. Met, to boot.

You kids can have your blurrycam pics and your fancy FCC testing. We'll take something like this any day of the week.

Thanks, Christopher!

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2 years ago

London developer builds an Android-powered tank

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If flinging birds at pigs is starting to get a little repetitive, London web developer Tamlyn has lain the basic premise for your very own army of Android powered robot tanks.  Using an existing RC powered tank, everything but the drive assembly and power supply was removed and replaced with an Android phone and an inexpensive IOIO (pronounced yo-yo) board to control the circuitry remotely -- yes, you drive this tank via the Internet. 

Using any web browser, you can send steering commands to an Android phone running Tamlyn's home-brew application.  The signals are then sent out via the phone's USB port, interpreted by the IOIO board circuitry, and power is applied to drive the tank in the direction you told it to go.  He has the response time cut down to 30 milliseconds on Wifi, but feels that he may see issues with network latency when he tests on a 3G connection.

What I find most interesting, is Tamlyn's statement about how easy he found it to write Android apps.  This just so happens to be his first Android application, and he has this to say:

This is my first Android project but thankfully the Android SDK and documentation are outstanding. With the help of a few tutorials I went from Hello World to a simple app that accepted HTTP connections in just a few hours.

That's a far cry from some of the horror stories we hear about Android being to hard to program for, and while this application is just a simple webserver, that fact that an Android programming novice found it so easy to make says a lot.

While I don't think anyone would be able to storm the gates of evil Castle Cupertino with these tanks, it sure looks like a fun way to play with the dog.  Check the video after the break, and read the rest at the source link.

Source: Tamlyn Via: BoingBoing

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2 years ago

Bell and Virgin Mobile launch Samsung Galaxy Gio

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If you're in the market for a nice entry-level Android device, you can now go pick up the Samsung Galaxy Gio at either Virgin Mobile Canada or Bell. Priced at just $149 outright at Virgin or $249 outright at Bell (or $0 and $29.95 respectively on 3 year contracts), the Gio features an 800 MHz processor, a 3.2 inch touchscreen, 3mp camera, and runs on OS 2.3. You can also use the Gio as a wifi hotspot for up to eight devices! Sounds like a deal to me.

Source: Mobilesyrup

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2 years ago

Designer notes Take 2: T-Mobile MyTouch 4G

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Earlier we told you about Donn Koh and his former employer, the San Francisco-based One & Co, and how HTC purchased the firm after they fell in love with the design of the HTC Diamond.  Koh, as part of One & Co., helped design the HTC EVO 4G, which many feel changed the face of smartphones across the globe.  Koh and his colleagues didn't stop there, and today we're going to have the same look at the T-Mobile myTouch 4G.

Six months in the making, Koh describes how they were asked to turn T-Mobile's existing myTouch moniker into an upscale flagship name using the best components available at the time.  The goal was to evolve into a premium device, without losing the recognition consumers had with the myTouch series of phones.  It was important to keep the same feel and identity as the myTouch 3G Slide, then T-Mobile's current myTouch offering, while including changes that T-Mobile executives wanted -- like the large metal battery cover. 

Koh goes into detail about how he and his team tackled things like the signature three-element earpiece grill, as well as the physical buttons and optical trackpad.  He also talks about the goals designing the docking stations with a minimal elegance that allows the device, and it's screen, to remain the focal point.  If you're any type of design student, or just appreciate a beautiful piece of hardware and all the work that goes along with it, it's another must-read. 

Update: The blog post referenced here has been made private; image and links removed by request.

Update 2: We've re-edited this post to better reflect that Koh was a part of the team that designed the myTouch 4G, and that he was not solely responsible for it.

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2 years ago

LTE-capable Samsung Galaxy S II Celox surfaces

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Forget the fact we're still waiting for the current Samsung Galaxy S II variations to arrive in the U.S. for a second and feast your eyes on the Samsung Galaxy S II Celox that comes fully loaded with LTE. Sounds awesome, right? Not so much, you see -- the LTE-loaded in this case is for 800/1800/2600 MHz making it only capable in Europe, Asia or Australia.

In order to get it working for Verizon it would require the 700MHz band. For the most part, specs are the same as the current Samsung Galaxy S II and we're not saying this device won't show up in North America eventually but for now -- it's not showing signs of that.

Source: SammyHub; via: Unwiredview

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2 years ago

A beautiful breakdown of the HTC EVO 4G, as told by the designer

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If you had to pick one of the most influential smartphones of the past year or so, there's little doubt the HTC EVO 4G would be high up on the list, if not atop it. It was the first 4.3-inch smartphone. The first 4G smartphone. And it it brought with it that sense of style that is a trademark for HTC.

Donn Koh was a designer with San Francisco-based One & Co. from November 2008 to May 2010. This was the design firm that gained notoriety with the Windows Mobile HTC Diamond and was later purchased by the Taiwanese manufacturer. Koh was the lead designer on the EVO 4G and has done a beautiful job breaking down the design of the device, which he says took a good 12 months from start to finish.

Koh tells of the team working directly with HTC's engineers, and of the challenges faced in combining large components while keeping it relatively (and deceptively) thin. In particular, Koh said, the EVO 4G's 8MP camera component, and how its design was incorporated into future HTC phones. Writes Koh:

While it was a requirement to highlight this key feature, it shouldn’t feel unnaturally big or loud. To create this balance, I needed to find an aesthetic solution that would somewhat mask the component size, and one that would look honest and purposefully ‘camera-like.’

This led to a spherical design that partially protrudes the outer surface of the phone. It created an interesting and iconic character akin to an eyeball sitting in a socket. I liked that it had the notion of the phone as a housing for powerful, intelligent, internal components.

This is a must-read if you're at all curious about what goes into smartphone design, and it should make you appreciate that little wonder in your hand that much more.

Thanks, David!

Update: The blog post referenced here has been made private; image and links removed by request.

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