Let's get it started! The Third Annual Smartphone Round Robin officially begins NOW! For the first week we're taking a look at Windows Phone and seeing how it compares to our very own Android. From an Android standpoint, there's definitely a lot to learn from Windows Phone, from having multiple form factors to developing apps for different versions and screen resolutions to HTC and more, there's just so many similarities.
After the jump, you'll see my hands-on video with Windows Phone with a whole lot of help from WMExpert's Phil Nickinson. We've also got great comparison pictures that showcase both platforms' flagship devices. The two Windows Phone devices we used, the AT&T Tilt 2 and HTC HD 2, are amazing pieces of hardware, how do you guys think the software will hold up?
Why, hello again Motorola Zeppelin. We've seen the back of you already, and now we finally get to see your front face. Not too shabby in our opinion, the contours of the Zeppelin, or XT800 as it's called in China, liken in to a rock or pebble--there's something very natural about it. The same good stuff we reported might be even better than imagined--the Zeppelin is rumored to have a 3.7 inch 854x480 touchscreen with GSM & CDMA, 3G, Wi-Fi, HDMI port and 5 megapixel camera rocking the internals (we had originally pegged the screen at 3.1 inch 480x320).
Surprisingly, there's another Motorola Android device headed to China as well, the MT710. Details are slim on that device but you can see what looks like a front-facing camera and a 5-megapixel back-facing camera on the MT710. There's also what could be a TV-logo (?) next to the front facing camera. Or they can all just be ordinary sensors, but that's no fun, right? Check out the rectangluar beast after the jump!
No new news on when either device will be available so we're going to assume the original Q1 2010 timeframe is still in play. They're looking to be China releases in the beginning with a more global reach to follow (not sure if that global reach extends stateside, but we're hoping!).
Oh yes. Leave it to the great minds in the Android dev community to already gain root access to the Nook. Meaning it's been hacked and ready to be unleashed. We're going to see some very cool usage of the Nook very, very soon. But you know what would be cooler? If people could actually buy the Nook, the Android-powered e-reader, in stores.
The current root process is not for the faint of heart, you have to pry open the casing, pull out the microSD card, and then tinker with said microSD card via computer. In time, we expect a much more fluid method to come about. However, the implications of rooting the Nook are huge--the Nook comes with an always-free AT&T 3G connection (granted, it's for e-books), if anyone can utilize that connection under root, well, it'd be poetic considering AT&T has yet to even acknowledge Android.
Surely, AT&T has a way in limiting the 3G data for the Nook but knowing the genius of the dev community, we're sure to see some amazing but unofficial stuff from the Nook. The guys at nookdevs are pretty hopeful that they can get the Nook to do whatever a rooted Android phone can do. We believe them. Now if we can only buy one..
Previously rumored for release on February 10th, it looks like the highly anticipated Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 could beat that launch date by nearly a month. Play.com is pegging the release date of the Xperia X10 for January 18th 2010. Play.com is a UK-based retailer so it's still unclear when (or if ever) the Xperia X10 will hit the States. Only our friends across the pond are guaranteed to enjoy.
However, for those interested in getting one of these puppies, it'll run you nearly $863. Even though the Xperia X10 packs Snapdragon and a 8 megapixel camera it's still insanely priced but hey, when you buy unlocked phones you have to deal with ridiculousness. On the bright side, your good money buys you a great color option, 'Sensuous Black'.
Not that there's any doubt what the Nexus One looks like, but there's a nice fat gallery of the phone over at Engadget, and it's very much running on T-Mobile, and it's very much running Android 2.1. New appears to be a grid icon at the bottom of the home screen, which likely is just new UI candy for the drawer. Engadget also notes a quick-start link that points to a currently dead page at google.com/phone/support. Check out their entire gallery. [Engadget]
And ... Lookie what's slipped through the FCC. The ol' Nexus One. There's been a big of a tiff over exactly what U.S. 3G bands are on board, but T-Mobile is definitely there at 1700MHz. Still up for debate is whether AT&T's 850MHz and 1900MHz are supported for 3G, though it does look good for EDGE. But that would take some wind out of the "one phone to rule them all" argument.
Otherwise, the standard WiFi b/g, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and MicroSD slots are there, and we learn that the FCC model number is PB99100.
Stay tuned, folks. Undoubtedly there's more to come.
Welcome back, to the land of sunshine and smartphone renders. Today we have another look at the HTC "Legend," which we first saw in that massive HTC leak a week ago. Now we have a much better render to go along with it, courtesy of ai.rs. And here are the specs, to refresh:
3.2-inch HVGA AMOLED capacitive touchscreen.
5-megapixel camera with autofocus, LED flash.
512MB flash, 256MB RAM.
Qualcomm Snapdragon processor at 600MHz.
Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR.
3.5mm headphone jack.
MicroUSB for charging/sunc.
People II/Footprints II.
A few things of note here. One: AMOLED screen. Yum. Another: The trackball's given way to an optical mouse, which means no moving parts to break down. The Snapdragon processor is only at 600MHz, compared to the full 1GHz we're seeing elsewhere. But if it can keep up, then we can overlook the underclocking.
One giant question regarding the almighty Nexus One/Google phone is which carrier -- if any -- will be selling the darn thing. The prospect of the phone being sold sans carrier is alluring, if it's available in both CDMA and GSM flavors, and with 3G support for all. That's fairly simple on the CDMA side. But on GSM -- and we're talking AT&T and T-Mobile here -- there are radio frequency problems at work. AT&T uses the 850MHz and 1900MHz frequencies for 3G (and it's been switching everything to 850MHz of late), while T-Mobile is the only U.S. carrier to use 1700MHz. And that basically defeats one of the main reasons we love being able to swap SIM cards.
Now, back to how the Nexus One may be sold. Say carriers aren't involved. For as often as we wish they'd keep their cotton-pickin' hands off hardware, you can't deny their advertising power. To wit: The recent war between Verizon and AT&T, and Verizon's Droid ads. HTC, as a manufacturer, has recently begun advertising. But other than that, all the PR money comes from the carriers. T-Mobile has Whoopi and Jessie and Phil (and don't forget Catherine). And Sprint has done more than its fair share of advertising in the past couple years.
So, if Google goes it alone, with no carrier support, it would have to break into the advertising game. And despite its worldwide domination in the online advertising world, it's never done its own advertising before. (It was a big deal when Google even mentioned the Droid on the otherwise Spartan Google.com home page.)
Now there's word that T-Mobile's in play. And there's also whispering that Verizon passed on the Nexus One. [both via All Things D] Remember that there's long been talk that Verizon passed up the iPhone. If the Nexus One turns out to be a hit, that could be a gaffe that's at least in the same ballpark.
But we're getting ahead of ourselves here. All we know right now is that a lot of Google employees have a new phone. We don't know whether it's in mass production, what it ultimately will be called (Nexus One's like a code name, and Google phone and Opus One us totally unofficial), and when it might see the light of day.
But you can bet that as soon as we know, you will, too.
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Last is Other Gadgets & Cross Platform. This is an excellent forum for you to compare Android to other devices such as the Palm Pre, iPhone, and BlackBerry. Let us know how the switch is working for you!
Thank you Twitter. Or more specifically, thank you Cory O'Brien's Twitter for snapping a picture of the Nexus One aka Google Phone and posting it for all to see. The Nexus One (doesn't exactly roll off the tongue) looks exactly like the HTC Passion/Dragon we saw months ago, which gives credence to the idea that the Google Phone is simply a re-branded HTC Passion/Dragon.
Interestingly enough however is that the 4 Android hardware buttons are in a different order from what we previously saw in HTC-built Android devices. The one above goes 'Back, Menu, Home, Search' while the one that originally popped up went 'Home, Menu, Back, Search'. Other HTC devices are ordered like the latter, so it's a noteworthy switch. Delving deeper, the menu button carries the same look as the Motorola Droid, unlike HTC devices which have simply said 'menu'.
The details don't particularly have to stay consistent with HTC's previous efforts, given it's supposed to be a Google branded phone and not a HTC branded one, but it's definitely something worth pointing out. Either way, the design of the Nexus One basically hinges on the quality of the screen, if it's amazing the look is amazing, if it's not, well let's not go down that route yet. What do you guys think?
What, thought we'd go the rest of the night without more Google phone rumors? Nahhhh. The Wall Street Journal — Apple's Google's PR company — says the fabled phone, now in the hands of a good number of Google employees, will be dubbed Nexus One and sold unlocked sometime next year. HTC again is said to be the manufacturer. Other than that, not a lot of meat there. You may now go about your Saturday evening. [WSJ (pay site) via Phonescoop]
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