We've live at Sprint's press conference (2 p.m. PDT/5 p.m. EDT) at CTIA at the beautiful Moscone West in San Francisco. We're expecting a whole lot of 4G trumpeting, and rumor has it we're about to get a trio of new Android phones dropped on us. Liveblog starts after the break, folks.
Samsung, and carriers U.S. Cellular and Cellular South have announced the two newest editions of the Galaxy S phones headed to market -- the Mesmerize on U.S. Cellular, and the Showcase for Cellular South. Both phones seem to have the standard 1GHz Hummingbird CPU, four inch SAMOLED screens, 5 MP cameras, and will ship running Android 2.1.
No prices have been mentioned for the Showcase as of yet, but The Samsung Mesmerize will retail for $199 after an $80 mail-in rebate (with qualifying contract of course). We also have a small piece of release news -- the Mesmerize should hit US Cellular on Oct 27, and the Showcase will be available from Cellular South "before the holidays." Looks like both of these smaller carriers will soon have a great phone in their lineup. Follow the break for both press releases.
The long wait for Google TV is nearly over, folks. Logitech today (as we type this, actually) is unveiling Logitech Revue with Google TV (that's a mouthful) in San Francisco. In a nutshell, it's a set-top box that brings the full power of the Google, the Internet and Android to your living room. And, really, that goes nowhere near doing it justice. There's an option HD camera for video conferencing.
As for interaction? Well, none of that janky Sony keyboard stuff. (OK, you can get a Mini Controller as an option). But there's also the bad boy you see above, and you will be able to control it from your Android phone.
Needless to say, we're excited about Google TV, even though the Revue's a wee bit on the pricey side at $299. But you know we're gonna buy one. [Logitech]
Verizon just announced its deployment plans for its 4G LTE network and as expected, it's a biggie. When the switch is thrown later this year, 38 metro areas will be covered. And on top of that, 62 airports will have service. The list is extensive and pretty damn exciting, unless you're not in the initial coverage areas. Smartphones and tablets will debut at CES in January (and you bet your bippy we'll be there).
Verizon's about to go into details at a press conference at CTIA, and we'll be listening in for any more details. Check out the press release and list of launch cities after the break.
Good news, folks. The long-awaited full version of Angry Birds (we've been going nuts playing the limited beta over and over) finally will drop next week, developer Rovio announced on Twitter this morning. They're working on proper multitasking, which pushed things back a tad. But that's worth waiting for, right? [Twitter]
All over the interwebs this morning there's scuttlebutt about some mysterious rootkit in the T-Mobile G2. Is the sky falling? Will this be the most locked down phone since the Motorola Droid X (which, by the way, has been "software" cracked)?
Its moto may be "quietly brilliant," but HTC has been anything but silent in the past year. It has launched flagship phones like the Nexus One, Droid Incredible, and Evo 4G here in the U.S., and the Desire has been popular abroad as well. The Taiwanese company has reported Q3 profits of $361 million, up from about half that number in Q3 of 2009. HTC has been running advertising campaigns in the U.S. to promote their flagship phones, and it appears that the money was well spent. Of course, making amazing phones along with what is probably the best manufacturer skin in Sense probably helped a bit. Click on past the link for lots of numbers and earning analysis. [The Wall Street Journal]
The Motorola Charm is the embodiment of the "smart-messaging phone." It runs Android, but make no mistake -- it's not what you would expect from your typical Android phone. It has an excellent qwerty keyboard, a small screen well designed for messaging applications (but little else), and a price point that makes sense. Hit the break to see my impressions of Android's version of the Kin.
T-Mobile this morning made the rumors official -- there be Wifi calling on them there Android phones. Specficially, on the new T-Mobile myTouch and Motorola Defy, and it'll be coming to more Android devices in the coming months. And -- surprise, surprise -- its done with that Kineto technology we wrote about a couple of weeks ago. So it's not quite the UMA of old, but it's close. Full presser after the break.
The Android Market may soon be getting a pretty big boost -- from online payment system PayPal. The Street reports that a deal is in the works and may be announced as early as Oct. 26 at PayPal's developer conference in San Francisco to bring PayPal to Android app purchases.
That would help bolster one the bigger barriers to entry to the Android Market -- having your credit card information in Google Checkout. Though it's not exactly a hassle to set up, certainly more of us are already hooked into (and familiar) with PayPal. [The Street]
I've got high hopes for Google TV. From the Wifi-plagued demo at Google IO to a more intimate demo at the Adobe Android Summit, this things got legs. But only if manufacturers don't totally overwhelm an already skeptical consumer base, like with the Sony remote seen above. Sony's baking Google TV into some of its new sets, which we should see next week. But this remote, outed during a GTV preview on ABC's "Nightline," scares the hell out of me, and I'm used to using a button or three in my daily existence. Now imagine how it's going to make your mother feel. Yeah. It'll never come out of the box.
We've got a little more hope for Logitech's set-top box. But we're going to hope and pray for a little more ease of use before launch. Check out the "Nightline" piece after the break if you want. [ABC via Engadget]
Motorola has announced the release of the Spice, a vertical slider with a 3-inch screen, running Android 2.1. No news about any U.S. carriers, but we hear it's destined for Brazil, and has the radio technology to match. While it may not be the Droid pro, the Pre Spice does bring the vertical slider form factor many of us want, and while not a screamer, it looks like it would be adequate if you really needed that sliding qwerty love.
Verizon has surprised everyone by making press materials available for the Droid Pro -- looking very different than anyone thought with its candy-bar styling and non-sliding qwerty action. Big Red doesn't have much to say about the Droid Pro so far:
DROID PRO is a new, powerful, stronger and faster solution designed to meet both business and personal needs. The first Android™-based smartphone optimized for business use, DROID PRO is also a global-ready Android smartphone, allowing customers to enjoy wireless voice service in more than 220 countries and data coverage in more than 200 countries.
What do we say? Hello, front-facing QWERTY goodness! We're still waiting on an official announcement and hopefully we'll get to see some more of this guy at CTIA this week in San Francisco. Stay tuned, folks, and in the meantime let's all play the waiting game in the Droid Pro forums.
Update: The official announcement's after the break, folks. Android 2.2, 3.1-inch touchscreen, 3G mobile hot spot, 1GHz processor, 2GB ROM (boo), 2GB microSD card, 5MP camera. Available in the fourth quarter
Top-end world phone Droids weren't the only thing Verizon told us about today, also unveiling the Motorola Citrus, an entry-level, non-Droid-branded Android handset. By the looks of it, Bing is along for the ride, as well as full-tilt Motoblur. Once again, Verizon isn't saying much yet:
Motorola CITRUS™ is powered by Android™ 2.1 and delivers an affordable, entry-level, customizable smartphone experience in a compact design that is easy on both the eyes and the earth.
This one should attract the tweens and feature phone users to Android, and looks like what we've come to expect from the bottom end of Android devices. Which isn;t completely a bad thing. While we all wait for more info, fell free to hang in the Citrus forums and discuss.
Update: The official press announcement is after the break. The short version -- no full specs, but "key features and specifications" are listed, and availability is Q4.
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