If you just can't get enough about Android -- and if you're reading this, chances are that's you -- then check out the Oct. 11 edition of Newsweek magazine. In the "Attack of the Droids" cover story, Daniel Lyons (you probably know him better as Fake Steve Jobs) writes a nice synopsis of where Android's come from, where it is and where it's going. (And the picture of Andy Rubin and a baby Android is pretty priceless.)
For you paperless types, it's available online, too. [Newsweek]
You can think of the Motorola Flipout and Motorola Flipside as companion devices for AT&T - both are aimed squarely at upgrading featurephone users into Android-land by wooing them with QWERTY keyboards and MotoBlur.
Of the two, the horizontal-sliding Flipside specs are obviously the more powerful: a 720MHz processor with 512mb of ROM, a 320x480 screen, and a touchpad that's not embarrassed to be gigantic to make moving your cursor around that much easier. We've no gripes about the keyboard or, well about the Flipside in general. It's a capable low-to-mid range MotoBlur device and if that's the thing for you or yours, we don't judge.
The Flipout, meanwhile, tries to win on charm. It's a cute little square with a colored back that comes with two colors in the box (Red and Green to you, Rose and Saffron to AT&T). The screen itself flips up rotationally to reveal a super-tall portrait keyboard with a nigh-useless 5-way dpad in the lower lefthand corner. Naturally, as this size, the Flipout's specs are on the low-end. Of most concern is the 320x240 screen which not only raises concerns with app compatibility but just plain didn't look well-thought-out to us. Android may have 320x240 in their spec, but it needs work to ...work at this size and Moto didn't even put in enough to anti-alias the text on the menus. Finally, this phone's main draw - the keyboard - feels awkward and unfriendly.
We'll leave the 'flip' puns as an exercise to the reader, instead just telling you, as usual, that you can find more photos and a demo video of both devices after the break!
"It's disappointing that after years of supporting open source, Oracle turned around to attack not just Android, but the entire open source Java community with vague software patent claims"
For the average non-legal eagles, that's about where it ends. But Nilay Patel (who is a legal eagle) over at Engadget has put up his take on it, and it makes for a hell of an interesting read. Head over to the source link and have a look. [Engadget]
Cricket has announced the Huawei Ascend, its second Android-powered device. The Huawei Ascend features almost identical specs to that of its older brother, the Kyocera Zio. The Ascend features a 3.5-inch HVGA touchscreen, a 3.2-megapixel camera and camcorder, a microSD slot, Wi-Fi capabilities and will ship with Android 2.1. The phone will launch some time around the middle of October and will retail at $149.99.
The Motorola Defy is a semi-ruggedized Android smartphone that is the latest in a long line of Oprah-giveaways. What you've got is a 3.1" touchscreen behind scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass attached to a form factor that's water and dust-resistant - down to the oversized rubber covers for the USB and headphone ports.
We dig the white-on-black looks and the exposed screws around the edges. We don't quite dig that it's sporting Android 2.1 instead of 2.2, but for a phone in this range it's not a deal-breaker. It's got a 5-megapixel camera to snap photos of your Australian adventures and DLNA to display those photos on your television. You'll access it all through the MotoBlur skin, which didn't appear to slow the device down too much, but even so - T-Mobile G2 this ain't.
More photos and a demo video (which, yes, veers a little towards the pitchy) after the break!
We high-tailed it over to the Motorola Booth and grabbed ahold of the first untethered Motorola Droid Pro we could find. First things first: the keyboard is above average. There's not a ton of movement on the keys, but they're well-ridged in a style that's more than reminiscent of the BlackBerry Bold. While typing, it's a little top-heavy by dint of that 3.1-inch, portrait HVGA screen, but it's not completely offensive by any means.
Also, and we mean this from the bottom of our hearts, it's lovely to "just start typing" on the Android home screen to initiate a search.
We're looking at the Motoblur-lite you've come to know on the Droid X. Speed-wise, it certainly kept up with our scrolling and zooming in the browser -- a virtue of the 1GHz processor, we're sure. The official word on the Droid Pro is still "Q4," but the man at Motorola suggested that November would be the month to watch.
Grab a huge helping of photos after the break along with a super quick hands-on video, then head on over to the Motorola Droid Pro Forums and let us know what you think!
Update: We wranged a Moto rep to take the Droid Pro through its paces for us, including showing off the profile switching and the Enterprise features - which include remotely wiping the SD card via the standard Exchange device management interface on the IT side. We also grabbed a quick hands-on and a couple photos of the extended battery and, well, it's not much thicker, not much heavier, and we are having a hard time understanding why it's not the default. Catch it all after the break, at the very bottom.
Take a gander at the Motorola Citrus, Verizon and Moto's plan for the aspirational, new-to-smartphones user. It has a small, almost cute form-factor that more than a few people have likened to the Palm Pre without the slide-out keyboard. We think we could do without the big old 'Backtrack' touchpad on the back, but to each his own. We also found it curious that the physical Send and End keys do little more than make and end calls, the End key doesn't even take you to the home screen.
Software-wise, as you'd expect, it's running Motoblur and (sadly) 2.1 and, yes, Bing. Performance is also as you'd expect: slightly better than the current crop of mid-level Blur phones, but not a speedster. That's ok, though, while you wait you can pat yourself on the back for buying a phone made form 25% recycled plastic.
Sprint Premier customers, if you're eligible you can order your Sanyo Zio or Samsung Transform today online. Most Android users on Sprint will qualify for the Premier customer status, and everyone is familiar with the awesome perk of yearly upgrades that comes with it. Quite often Sprint also throws a bone and gives early access to new phones as well, and this is one of those times. While everyone else has to wait for Oct. 10, you can pick up the Sanyo Zio for $99.99 (after rebate and with a contract extension) or the Samsung Transform for $149.99 after rebate and on contract starting today. While they may not match up spec wise with the Evo or Epic 4G, the price points are right and budget phones always sell. [Sprint]
Sprint, in partnership with big names like Notre Dame, Oprah and MTV, announced its Sprint ID service for Android today at the carrier's CTIA press event (see the liveblog here). Sprint ID takes the idea of HTC's scenes to the next level, giving the user an "ID Pack" for different scenarios.
But what exactly is Sprint ID? Customers can download and store up to five IDs -- filled with preloaded apps and icons -- designed to meet specific needs or interests. Once the IDs are loaded, switching between is only a click away, and applications, widgets, ringtones and other parts of your Android experience change to suit your mood. Along with the bundled applications and media, you can load any application from the market (and other sources likely) and continue to customize your phone to fit you. Sprint ID will ship with the trio of new phones announced today, but no word on backwards compatibility.
It's a great idea, and Sprint loves to let us know it was first to the table with it. Let's just hope the execution is well done, and the content is worthwhile, lest it become just another piece of bloat we'd do anything to get rid of. We're not quite sure what Sprint ID will mean for the future of UIs like HTC Sense and Samsung's Touchwiz, but it's interesting to note that the ESPN Sprint ID demo (which you can see after the break) appears emulated on an Evo 4G.
The LG Optimus S is the cheapest of the new Sprint ID phones, clocking in at a price usually reserved for blowout: $49.99 after rebate. For that price you're looking at Android 2.2, 3G mobile hotspot, a 3.2 megapixel camera, and a "I-can't-believe-it's-only-fifty-bucks" level of responsiveness on the 320x480 screen - which is to say it's passible but nowhere near Incredible.
The LG Optimus S isn't going to blow the doors off anything, but for a budget Android phone we're not complaining. Grab a few more shots of it after the break.
Sprint just dropped three new (OK, some more new than others) Android phones on us at CTIA. They are the Samsung Transform, the Sanyo Zio and LG Optimus S.
The Transform we saw through the user manual that appeared earlier this week. It'll go for $149 with $100 rebate and contract. It's a 3.5-inch HVGA touchscreen, 3.2MP camera and front-facing VGA camera. It's launching with Android 2.1, but Sprint says it'll be upgraded to Froyo later this year. The transform will be available Oct. 10.
The Zio's an oldie from the Sprint CTIA event and more recently as dummy units at Radio Shack. It'll cost just $99 on contract and $100 rebate. It sports Android 2.1 (again, an update is in the works) on a 3.5-inch WVGA touchscreen, a 3.2MP camera, 512MB of internal memory and a 2GB micro SD card. It'll be available Oct. 10.
The Optimus S looks to be a lot like the Optimus One we've seen in Asia. It'll be available Oct. 31 for just $49.99 after contract and $100 rebate. It's got a 3.2-inch touchscreen, 3.2MP camera, mobile hotspot capability and launches with Android 2.2. [Transform, Zio, Optimus S]
To continue the absolute onslaught of new Android phones, T-Mobile has announced the LG Optimus T, their latest "with Google" phone. Details are a little sparse, but it's sporting a 3.2 MP autofocus camera, comes with a two GB microSD card (expandable to 32 GB), comes in burgundy or titanium, and Froyo on board. No word on price or availability other than "this holiday season", and nothing mentioned about WiFi calling, though we've heard it will be on board. Full press release after the jump.
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.
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