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6 years ago

Chinese-made QiGi i6 Seen Running Android

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It was only last week that we told you about China-based QiGi releasing both an Android and Windows Mobile version of their i6 smartphone. Now, video has popped up on the web that shows Android running smoothly on the i6. As Android Community pointed out, the i6 has a different screen size and shape than the G1, so it will look a little different than what you are used to seeing on your G1 - Android fits different screen sizes and shapes nicely. Take a look at the video for yourself to see Android perform on the i6 and get an idea of the build quality. Is this a device you'll buy when it's available?

[Android Community]

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6 years ago

Unlocked Android Dev Phone 1 Available to Developers for $399

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Just take a gander at this G1 Android Dev Phone 1 available from Google for $399, SIM / hardware unlocked! Ain't she a beauty? As a matter of fact, it IS an unlocked G1 sold exclusively to Android developers and includes a system image that's fully compatible with Android 1.0 and accepts any SIM card - that's right, developers are not beholden to T-Mo for this baby to work.

Developers can use this phone to flash custom Android builds that work with the unlocked bootloader. Now here's an interesting tidbit - to get one, you must register as an Android developer at the Android Market site for a one-time setup fee of $25. Then, just click "Purchase" and for merely $399 (free shipping in U.S.), you will be the proud owner of an unlocked Android Dev Phone 1 with a customized rear end. It will also be ready soon to ship to 18 international markets. Who's going to get one?

[Thanks, Bla1ze! via engadget]

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6 years ago

Round Robin: Answers to Your AT&T Fuze Questions

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To wrap up Android Central's time with the AT&T Fuze for the Smartphone Round Robin, here are the answers to some of your guy's questions on this Windows Mobile powered device!

A lot of people seemed to wonder how the hardware on the Fuze held up and how big it really was. In short, it's a really solid device that's well built and shows quality in design. Meaning, I can't possibly understand why the Fuze is so darn pretty but the G1 is so...unexciting. Also, forgive its thickness guys, this thing is smaller than your average smartphone. I promise.

Read on to see the answers to your AT&T Fuze questions!

 

Also, this is an Official Round Robin Contest Post, Comment to Win a T-Mobile G1 !— More Details Here

Ryan asks How does the Fuze stack up vs. the G1 in terms of hardware? I liked what HTC did with the G1 but am curious about how they’re doing with their other products.

 

In terms of hardware, it really is no contest. The Fuze is simply the better looking device. I can try to spin it in the G1’s favor by claiming the G1 has multiple inputs but really, no one looks twice at the G1. With the Fuze, you'll get a lot of attention with the diamond faceted back and the solid build quality.

Though I had originally thought the thickness of the device would be too much to handle, this simply wasn't the case. Because of the Fuze's small overall footprint the it's really a small device any way you put it.

My biggest gripe with the Fuze hardware is the use of a resistive screen. Luckily, my G1 has a capacitive screen so us Android users are one up there!

 

devonair asks How difficult is it to disable the TouchFLO 3D?

 

Dangit. I knew I forgot something. I can’t specifically say how easy or difficult it is because I never turned it off and the device is out of my possessions now, so I can’t do it. But I’m going to go out on a limb and say if you’re halfway decent around Windows Mobile, you’d be able to figure it out. If you’re not, I’m sure the WMExperts guys would gladly assist you!

 

eagle63 asks Casey, aside from any lag issues, how do you like TouchFlo from a usability standpoint? I’m currently a WinMo user and am concerned that while it looks great, it might not be all that usable after a while. Case in point: The home screen on TouchFlo is dominated by that oversized clock, and therefore you can only see (I think) 1 upcoming appointment whereas with the standard WinMo today screen you can see your next 4 or 5 events if you want.

 

That’s a great point that I never really considered but now can't ignore since you mentioned it. The clock is a great eye-catcher but simply not efficient as your home screen. I would have much preferred a Today Screen of some sort so I could get more information and squeeze more usefulness from the Fuze’s large screen.

TouchFLO 3D works...under a few conditions. I think it’s a great way to do quick tasks like fire a SMS or launch the web browser. Other than that, I personally don’t think TouchFLO 3D is targeted for power users. I tired of it after a few days and would have probably turned it off if I stuck with the Fuze. If you're comfortable with Windows Mobile, you'll definitely be a little frustrated with lack of usefulness in TouchFLO 3D. Sure looks good though.

 

Dr. Tyrell asks Would the Fuze’s magnetic stylus work with the G1? Could be handy when I’m working outside with gloves on.

 

The magnetic stylus is probably the best stylus I’ve ever used bar none. But in the end, it’s still a stylus.

In regards to your question though, the stylus won’t work with the G1’s touchscreen because it uses a different technology to register touch input. The Fuze's touchscreen uses a resistive screen which in layman's terms means you have to physically press the screen. The G1’s touchscreen is a capactive screen which in layman’s terms means you register input via an electrical current (like your finger).  A stylus won’t generate the current that is necessary for input.

 

Ammar asks I would really like the Touch Pro. However, I heard that it gets really hot and you can’t charge it while talking on the phone. I am really going to need a next gen phone for my business. What do you guys suggest?

 

I actually didn’t notice any heat from it. Most smartphones do get a tad bit warm, but I’ve never experienced a deal breaker in that sense. Don't know where that can't talk while charging came from though, that works fine on the Fuze.

And if you want a next gen phone for your business—why I’ll suggest Android! Unless you run Exchange, which then I’ll direct you to the iPhone or Windows Mobile.

 

pinguino1 asks While you get the Bold, I have a question for Casey: 1- What hardware features from the Fuze you would like to have in the G1? 2- What functionality in WM you are missing in the G1? 3- What apps in the Fuze would be great in the G1? 4- what form factor/looks designed from the Fuze are missing in the G1?

 

  1. Hmm, I love that the Fuze didn’t have a “chin”. The flush buttons on the bottom portion slid away with the rest of the screen so there weren’t any awkward hand positions while typing.

  2. Turn by turn directions! Android needs this NOW.

  3. I can’t mention any specific apps, since I only downloaded a few. But if the apps in Android Market reach half the depth of some of the Windows Mobile apps, I would be very, very happy.

  4. I might stand alone and be mocked for my taste but I like the diamond faceted back. I think it gives the device a subtle yet flashy look.

 

pinguino1 asks Where is the forum thread for this Round Robin discussion or Why there is a not forum thread? Wasn’t this supposed to be an interactive discussion?

 

Keen observation. It was located here: Android Casey needs Help with the Fuze!

Thanksgiving threw week 2 of the Round Robin a little off schedule, so the interactive discussion became a wee bit less interactive. Sorry! We’ll do our best to keep a live discussion in the coming rounds.

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6 years ago

Round Robin: Crackberry Kevin's Final Thoughts on the T-Mobile G1

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Ending the 2nd Week of the Smartphone Round Robin, Crackberry Kevin delivers his final thoughts on the T-Mobile G1! In his initial Video Review, Crackberry Kevin sounded very excited to be using the G1. And though some of that excitement subsided, he still sees A LOT of potential in Android and is hopeful for a G2, G3, or G4 to be a real game changer.

To give a quick summary: he was initially unsure of Android's market penetration strategy, not the biggest fan of the hardware but loves the home screen experience and Android Market! I'm surprised he didn't mention the notifications system on the G1--but we at Android Central know thats the best in all of smartphones already. Go give Crackberry Kevin a piece of your mind!

Head over to Crackberry to see his Final Thoughts!

 

This is an Official Round Robin Contest Post, Comment to Win a T-Mobile G1 !— More Details Here

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6 years ago

White T-Mobile G1 Hardware Gallery

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Hey, still waiting on that white T-Mobile G1? Concerned about quality issues? Not sure what it really looks like? Android Central has got you covered! We just got a White T-Mobile G1 here at the Android Central headquarters and decided to give you guys what you want: a full on photo gallery!

From our brief time with it, the white T-Mobile G1 looks GOOD. It definitely makes the G1 stand out a lot more than the black or bronze variety and we think HTC nailed the white--it's nearly the perfect hue. Yes, we just complemented a color choice--call us Martha Stewart but we know our spectrum!

Anyway, sometimes white can look yellow or cheap but this white makes the G1 shine without being too shiny--more like polished, catch my drift?. The finish is closer to the bronze glossy than the matte black and though we're still not a big fan of the two tone backing, after seeing it in person, we'll live.

One problem though, when the home and back button are backlit during the daytime, it kind of fades the icons. Not a huge problem, just a little design quip. Other than that, we are HUGE fans of the White G1. So uh, what are you waiting for?

Take a look at the pictures of the White T-Mobile G1 after the break!

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6 years ago

Kogan Releasing First Australian Android Phone January 29th

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If you are Down Under and are anxious to get your Android groove on, you won't have to wait too much longer. Online retailer Kogan will be selling the Android-based "Agora" on January 29, 2009 and is accepting pre-orders NOW right here. There are two versions: the basic model costs $299, while the Pro version (which includes Wi-Fi, a camera and GPS) is $399.

Kogan will sell them contract-free, so some of the network-integration features found on other Android phones may not be available on the Agora.  Gmail, Calendar, YouTube, Maps and talk will be included, of course. A special "Thanks!" goes out to Bradley and Daniel!

[Lifehacker]

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6 years ago

T-Mobile G1 Price Drop in UK

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Christmas is coming early to our friends across the pond. The T-Mobile G1 Android phone is now even more affordable after a discount just in time for the holiday season. Previously, a G1 in the U.K. was £40/mo. for service with a FREE G1. The FREE part catches the eye when you consider the G1 is around $179 here in the States with a contract. Now, our U.K. friends are enjoying a price drop to £30/mo. and the G1 is STILL free. Sweet! So why the discount so soon after release? Is T-Mo not reaching their sales goals for the G1? Did Google and T-Mobile not learn from the hornets nest stirred up when a guy named Steve Jobs enraged early adopters with a slashed iPhone price so soon after release? According to T-Mobile:

“We have chosen to offer the device free with a £30 contract to make the pricing more competitive in light of recent device launches. We are well on track to achieve our sales forecasts”

 

I guess that settles it, eh? If you are in the U.K. and have been holding out, it looks like a good time to pick up a G1!

[IntoMobile]

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6 years ago

Round Robin: AT&T Fuze Review & Final Thoughts

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Having spent much time with the AT&T Fuze for the 2nd week of the Smartphone Round Robin, it’s time to wind down and give you my final thoughts!

I think above all other platforms, Android and Windows Mobile share the same market penetration strategy. They direct themselves into becoming the OS behind smartphones rather than attempting to create an end all solution. Though philosophically they might remain different, their similarities are more appropriate than say Android with the iPhone or Blackberry.

So is Windows Mobile a more mature version of Android? Or is it completely different? Is the AT&T Fuze a great device? Can the G1 learn from it?

Read on for the rest of the review!

Also, this is an Official Round Robin Contest Post, Comment to Win a T-Mobile G1 !— More Details Here

Hardware

 

I covered a bit of my thoughts on the Fuze’s hardware in my Video Review and in short: it’s a well-designed, sturdy and solid device.

But when I first came across the Fuze I was ready to mock and hate it. I saw some of the pictures and full review over at WMExperts and couldn’t get passed its thickness. Could any modern device with a great design be successful when it is so thick?

Turns out, I was wrong. The Fuze is thick, to be sure, but because of its small footprint—its width and height are significantly smaller than competing smartphones—the overall thickness isn’t as noticeable. Its overall smallness allows room for thickness because in the end—it’s still small.

The slide mechanism is solid, it’s not as violent as the G1 but also not as graceful. The keyboard is laid out in a grid with no room in between keys, using this design over the G1’s spaced-out keyboard didn’t give a noticeable difference. The static flush buttons on the front-face of the screen offer a great clickiness and familiarity—home button, back button, etc. I did miss a scrolling option, though.

The AT&T Fuze hardware begins to suffer when you reach the touch screen. Coming from a capacitive screen with the G1, it was really difficult to navigate and maneuver a resistive screen with your finger. Tiny links, scroll bars, contact searching were all difficult tasks for me—it helped when using the stylus, but come on, a stylus in 2008? In this day and age, I can’t imagine the benefit of going resistive over capacitive. Can anyone tell me what’s the benefit of resistive over capacitive?

 

Usage

I won’t lie, TouchFLO 3D is definitely nifty. I loved how intuitive the navigation was—simply slide your fingers a certain way and you can easily get from mail to messages to music. TouchFLO 3D looks great too, there probably isn’t a better looking weather app around.

But I still couldn’t manage to efficiently navigate the Fuze using TouchFLO 3D. There were times where I unknowingly opened an e-mail when I intended to move to the next pane and other times when I couldn’t open an e-mail because it just wouldn’t register my touch input. I think TouchFLO 3D is a great idea but it needs to get a better sense of finger gestures and inputs because right now, I’m not confident in my ability to efficiently navigate the phone—it’s just not accurate enough

Also, the Fuze suffers from lag issues. I don’t know how it compares with other Windows Mobile phones but comparing it with the G1, the G1 is a much, much snappier device. What’s odd is that the lag is inconsistent and unpredictable, sometimes the Fuze reacts quickly while other times it takes a couple seconds.

Combining the lag factor with its resistive touch screen makes for an occasionally frustrating experience. I would hit icons I didn’t mean to hit and didn’t know I hit until a few seconds later. On the same token, other times I pressed the icon I meant to press but didn’t realize it until a few seconds later.

My biggest gripe with the usability of the AT&T Fuze is that TouchFLO 3D and Windows Mobile offer two completely different experiences. It’s like using two different phones in one and proves to be mighty confusing for newcomers like myself.

TouchFLO 3D focuses on the pretty (if not inefficient) way of doing things—simplifying tasks and providing shallower access to the user—but making it easier at the same time. Windows Mobile is the complete opposite, disregarding the excess and focusing on allowing in-depth access to the inner workings of the smartphone. Using TouchFLO 3D and Windows Mobile together seemed to combine disparate philosophies that didn’t unify the experience. For example, I found the stylus to be utterly useless when using TouchFLO 3D but integral for the Windows Mobile side of things—I think the Fuze & Windows mobile would be better fit unifying the experience.

 

Round Robin Must Do’s

1. Use their assigned smartphone as their “main brain” and may not use any other smartphone OR music device (such as an iPod) for one full week.

I did it. It was definitely tough at first because Windows Mobile is just simply overwhelming to a newcomer but as the week was winding down, I got more and more comfortable with its idiosyncrasies (and complications)

2. Get their PIM data onto their phone. Ideally they will ‘Sync with the Cloud,” but a computer sync is ok too.

Thanks to the WMExperts forums I was able to sync my Google Info over to the Fuze OTA. I chose NuevaSync because I didn’t need to download anything onto the device and could just use ActiveSync to get everything done.

3. Get up their email on the smartphone

I got my Gmail onto the Fuze fairly easily but does anyone know why emails disappear every so often? Is this some memory issue? And how come there’s always a notification for one new email? I can’t find that e-mail for the life of me.

4. Use their smartphone to get directions at least once.

Google Maps works decent enough but obviously the appeal in having Windows Mobile is turn-by-turn directions. That is a game changer.

5. Use their smartphone with a bluetooth headset.

It’s easy enough to pair. I really wish I had a pair of Bluetooth Stereo headsets so I could see (or I guess, hear) what I’m missing with the G1

6. Install at least 2 3rd-party apps (if possible) on their smartphone.

I downloaded Skyfire to see how good of a web browser it really is (really good) and Memmaid to see how in-depth I could get with Windows Mobile (really in depth).

7. Play a game

I played Bubble Breaker and having a stylus for that makes it easier and definitely a lot more accurate. Puzzle games aplenty on Windows Mobile.

8. Browse the internet

On Opera Mobile everything rendered accurately but I just found the overall interface to be too clunky. Because the touchscreen isn’t as responsive, I found it difficult to navigate. Plus there's no alternative since the Fuze doesn't have a trackball. The page’s accuracy is on par with the G1 (albeit lower quality images) but I found myself browsing the web less and less with my time with the Fuze.

Skyfire is cool. It gives you the real web but I’m just not sure that this proxy type server/browser is the answer for the future. I would much rather be in the Chrome lite camp than this solution, especially when flash releases.

For some odd reason, I ran into a few errors when I tried to browse the web. I’m checking that off as connection errors (using a wifi network I’m not supposed to be using) more so than anything else, but it is worth mentioning.

9. Add music to their smartphone and use it as their music device.

I didn’t buy MissingSync to link the Fuze with my Mac but if I was to use Windows Mobile full time, I’ve heard nothing but good things from it. For the time being, I was completely music less.

10. Watch a video on their device.

The Youtube App is oddly buried under the Windows Directory, I’m not sure why. When I finally fired it up I was surprised at how clean the whole interface was, great design. Overall, I was impressed with the Fuze's media capabilities considering I expected pretty much nothing from it.

 

What Windows Mobile Gives

The third party application selection on Windows Mobile is great. There seems to be more programs that appear solely on Windows Mobile than any other platform. I think this is where Windows Mobile succeeds—out of the box, Windows Mobile isn’t the most usable smartphone and some of the included apps—Internet Explorer ahem—are downright throwaways—but the sheer availability of any app empowers the platform. We have cool apps on Android but most of them are fairly gimmicky and don’t allow for the power of the apps on Windows Mobile. With that said, Windows Mobile App Market anyone?

So in that sense, Windows Mobile provides users for everything. You won’t run into a lack of stereo Bluetooth or video recording or anything. As convoluted as it may be, there seems to be a way to do ANYTHING on Windows Mobile. You’ll never be offered a lame excuse at why you can’t copy and paste.

To put it bluntly: I sucked as a Windows Mobile user on the first day, was a little less sucky by the end of the week, and if I was allowed a bit more time, I probably wouldn’t suck at all. Windows Mobile has the highest learning curve of any device I’ve seen so far, but also the highest ceiling. Which I guess would make it the smartest smartphone.

 

Windows Mobile vs Android

 

I always thought the more appropriate comparison for Android would be Windows Mobile, specifically the software-software link seemed to be a no brainer to me. But I made this comparison without ever using a Windows Mobile device and to be honest, aside from their market penetration strategy, they couldn’t really be more different.

I’ll never deny the fact that Windows Mobile is probably the most powerful and feature packed smartphone on the market. People talk about Android being open but I’ve never seen such access on a user-end perspective than my short time with Windows Mobile. For better or worse, it really was like running Windows on a mobile.

But I can’t say that that specific philosophy is automatically a good thing. Seeing the iPhone’s success and the G1’s potential, I think making a cleaner user interface that’s easy to use, if not less intensive, is the way to swoon average users. Truthfully speaking, smartphones have been dumbed down in the past 2 years and made easier to use—even TouchFLO 3D is guilty of simplifying.

I think the Fuze is a good device with a couple of stipulations. I think if you’re a dedicated Windows Mobile user, you can be happy about its beautiful hardware and powerful processor—there probably isn’t a better looking phone (other than maybe the Treo Pro which we’ll get into in 2 weeks). I think if you’re new to the smartphone world, you might be able to get by just using TouchFLO 3D and the great keyboard and then slowly learn about the depth of Windows Mobile. But I think if you don’t need the access that Windows Mobile gives you, a G1 and Android would be better suited for your needs.

For me, I would never be able to handle everything that Windows Mobile throws at you because honestly, I wouldn’t know what to do with it. I guess now is as good a time as any to mention that I prefer the call quality on the G1 over that of the Fuze—it just seemed much clearer. The G1 also seemed to lock into a stronger signal as well.

 

Final Thoughts

 

Overall, my time with Windows Mobile can be summed up in a few words. Power. Access. Experience. And of course, Confusion. I won’t fault users for using Windows Mobile because as overwhelming as it is, it really is unique in what it can give you. It’s not exactly the most user friendly or intuitive platform but anyone who has ever used a Windows computer can pick it up and not feel completely out of place.

The lag issues definitely need to be addressed, if this thing was as snappy as Android, Android would have a much more difficult task in taking market share. Luckily, it’s not—and Android has a huge opportunity to take over an (almost) stagnant platform.

I’ll be honest, a lot of my gripes with Windows Mobile could have been solved over time. But time, or rather the shortness of time, is where smartphones make their name. Snappy performance is necessary in today’s market. First impressions mean a lot and if you’re stuck waiting for the lag, well, you get left behind. Windows Mobile won’t get left behind because it’s just too powerful, but boy, it sure is taking its time.

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6 years ago

Round Robin: Help Crackberry Kevin With the T-Mobile G1 & Any Questions on the AT&T Fuze?

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Crackberry Kevin is asking for your help! He knows his way around the G1 pretty well but he would love to know everyone's tips and tricks and 3rd party app recommendations. Luckily, we at Android Central got you covered because if you help out Crackberry Kevin on his forum post (which can be found here) you're automatically entered into our Smartphone Round Robin Contest! You can win a T-Mobile G1 and a boatload of goodies!

Also, my device for the past week has been the AT&T Fuze, a Windows Mobile Device, does anyone have any questions that they would like to get answered about the Fuze or Windows Mobile? Leave a line in the comments and I'll do my best to answer it!

 

This is an Official Round Robin Contest Post, Comment to Win a T-Mobile G1 !— More Details Here

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6 years ago

G1 Data Always Connected = Roaming $$$

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Some hapless soul traveling to the UK with his G1 reports a data roaming bill of $102.85 in spite of jumping into the phone settings and disabling data sync, data roaming and 3G. When pressed, the T-Mobile supervisor "revealed that the G1 always accesses the internet whether you are sending text messages or calls—even when the data roaming features are off." Scary stuff if true.

Read the whole article by Sean Fallon of Gizmodo here. Has anyone else racked up any data roaming charges while traveling abroad with a G1? If so, tell us your tale in Comments. A special thanks to James for sharing his experience!

[Photo and story courtesy of Sean Fallon @ Gizmodo]

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6 years ago

Smartphone Experts Round Robin Roundtable!

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Hey what do we have here? Early Christmas Present? Sort of. We have a special edition podcast for the Smartphone Round Robin! We're calling it the Smartphone Experts Round Robin Roundtable because Casey, Kevin, Rene, Jennifer, and Dieter met up to discuss three of the Smartphone Round Robin devices: The iPhone 3G, the Treo Pro, and the Blackberry Bold.

We don't quite have an official Android Central podcast feed yet (though we're working on that!) so we'll give you a link to our sister site The iPhone Blog's feed:

 

This is an Official Round Robin Contest Post, Comment to Win a T-Mobile G1 !— More Details Here

Visit the Widget Gallery

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6 years ago

Round Robin: Crackberry Kevin's Video Review of the T-Mobile G1

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This week in the Smartphone Round Robin, Crackberry Kevin is fighting his Blackberry addiction with the T-Mobile G1. He gives his thoughts in a first impressions video and comes away a bit more impressed than expected. To sum it up, he doesn't find the hardware sexy but he definitely thinks Android is easy to use and easy to like. He even feels a bit familiar with the G1 since it has the good ol' trackball and menu button.

Go check out his video review to see what Crackberry Kevin thinks about the T-Mobile G1!

This is an Official Round Robin Contest Post, Comment to Win a T-Mobile G1 !— More Details Here

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6 years ago

Android Booting on Nokia n810 - Seeing is Believing!

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There has been quite a bit of news lately about handset manufacturers developing smartphones running Google's Android OS, but the news ticker has been unusually quiet about enterprising individuals porting or booting up their current devices with Android. The folks over at Android Community have stumbled upon video evidence of Android booting up on a Nokia n810!

It is unknown why we haven't seen more handsets popping up with retrofitted Android, but it's nice to see Android finding it's way onto a Nokia n810. One of the nice things about Android is that, like Windows Mobile, there is no ONE device to accommodate Android and very soon we will have numerous handsets to choose from to run Android. Like the Nokia n810 featured in this video, is there more to come?

[Android Community]

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6 years ago

Qigi Smartphone Running Android or Windows Mobile 6.1

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According to Shawn Brown over at androidcommunity.com, there's another player in the Android handset market - Qigi of China. The new smartphone, called the i6, will be coming in two flavors: one will run Google Android and the other will run Windows Mobile 6.1.

It's exciting that there will be other handsets in the market to choose from for the Android OS. To read more about the specs and see loads of pictures, just pop on over to Shawn Brown's post. Anyone planning on being an i6 early adopter?

[androidcommunity.com]

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6 years ago

It's Unofficial: G1 Auto-Rotation Coming?

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Yes, the G1 screen orientation changes from portrait to landscape when you slide out the keyboard. However, the screen won't rotate automatically when turned to the side, even though an accelerometer is on board that makes this feature possible. Take a look at the YouTube video posted by nuuneoi to see that a hack is already in the works (and apparently working) to do just that - utilize the accelerometer to auto-rotate when the G1 is oriented in landscape.

This feature is claimed to be a part of the SDK and developers merely need to unlock this feature for their app. If that is the case, it begs the question why Google didn't give this unto us in the first place? Why must auto-rotation be a hack or third-party app rather than a feature applied universally to the G1?

[engadget mobile and nuuneoi]

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