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4 years ago

Hands-on with the Entourage Edge

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Here's a very brief look at a non-working Entourage Edge. So, we can't really comment about how the e-ink display (that's the one of the left) works in conjunction with the Android-powered LED side of the brain on the right. But we can tell you that this thing is large. You're not going to be packing this thing in a pocket for some easy reading. But the clamshell hinge was strong, and the buttons large. So it has that going for it, which is nice. Couple more shots after the break.

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4 years ago

Hands-On With Spring Design Alex Android-Powered Dual Screen E-Reader

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Watch out Nook, you have a real competitor for that Android-powered, Dual-screen E-Book Reader space. We spent a little time with the Spring Design Alex E-Reader at CES and came away pretty impressed. Unlike the Nook (un-rooted, of course), Android is front and center with this puppy, you can easily set up your e-mail, browse web pages via the browser and even search a million free Google Books all under the Android OS. Take a look at the pictures, it's unmistakably Android.

The hardware was surprisingly nice as well. It was thin and light yet not cheap feeling at all. Definitely thinner than the Nook but not as polished as the Kindle. The E-ink screen performed well (page transitions are a bit choppy, expectedly) and the color touchscreen was very responsive. Basically, the Spring Design Alex is full featured enough to be thought of as a E-Reader and Android phone mash-up.

Unfortunately, reports are showing that the Spring Design Alex will cost $399, shipping February 22nd. That's significantly more expensive than the Nook, $140 to be specific. Though we still remain positive about this device, more so than the Nook, the price dampens our excitement just a little bit.

Hit the jump to see another shot of the Spring Design Alex E-Reader!

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4 years ago

Hands-On With China-Only Motorola XT800 & MT710 Android Phones

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The Droid, Cliq, & Backflip aren't the only Motorola Android devices around. There's also the XT800 and MT710. Confused? Yeah, it's okay. We've seen these China-only devices previously but have heard very little since. At CES, we actually got a brief hands-on with both devices and came away pretty impressed. Surprisingly, these devices are extremely well built--definitely better build quality than the Cliq and perhaps even better than the just announced Backflip.

The MT710 (pictured above) runs China's custom Ophone UI which skins Android into big pressable buttons--it's hardly recognizable as Android. The shape is a little odd, resembling more of a book than anything else. Specifically, one side is covered in the ridged orange metal while the other is the smooth stainless steel/chrome-type finish. It comes with a stylus (which means a resistive touchscreen), supposedly because it's easier to write Chinese characters with. You can find the specs of the MT710 here.

The XT800 is actually a very impressive device. The hardware is round where the Droid is square. It's very light in the hand and the back has a snakeskin-esque backing. It's a Dual-Sim device, packs HDMI, and runs Android 2.0.1. The pictures don't fully capture how well-built this device is. We would absolutely love if the XT800 made its way to the States.

We have no idea if we'll ever see these devices in the US but we're hopeful. Regardless, we're just glad that Motorola is making devices for Android now.

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4 years ago

European Nexus One Will Have Multitouch ?

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This is getting quite ridiculous Google. Word on the street is that the European Nexus One will have multitouch--yes the feature that we have begged and begged for since Android launched to no avail. The Nexus One on Germany's Heise has already been shown off with the wonderful pinch to zoom and gestures and we can probably assume Vodafone's Nexus One will have the same.

Remember that the Motorola Milestone (the Droid outside of the US) also has multitouch so basically it's only US Google Experience Android phones that come without it. But their foreign counterparts have it. So why no multitouch on US Google Experience Android devices? We really have no clue. Multitouch makes looking at maps and web browsing so, so much better.

[via engadget]

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4 years ago

The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Has A Mini Me Version Codenamed Robyn ?

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We really have no idea how to take this. The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 has a mini-me version codenamed Robyn that's seriously tiny. Just look at the thing! It's so tiny that we almost think it's a joke, in fact, we're certain it has to be a joke. Can it really be that small and run Android!?

Given that the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 is looking to be a Canadian exclusive (for now) we wonder if the Xperia X10 mini me or 'Robyn' can sneak through the US back door, heck, we're sure no one would notice. But who would want such a tiny smartphone? Is this even practical? Forgive us but we're just stunned by the size of the thing. The 'Robyn' is purported to come with your usual slew of connectivity options--3G, Wi-Fi, etc, 3.5mm headphone jack and a 5 megapixel camera. It looks to run the same UI as the Xperia X10. It'll also come in four different colors seen after the break!

So, um, who's interested in the Sony Ericsson 'Robyn'?

[se-blog]

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4 years ago

Round Robin Podcast Extra, CES-style!

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Since the entire SPE team was here at CES in Las Vegas, it made perfect sense to take some time away from ogling gadgets and chatting up our friends in the blogosphere to record a podcast. We talk up what we've seen so far, including the Nexus One and Motorola Backflip; we also chatted a bit about what we're hoping to see at Palm's event today.

As you might have guessed, the show was recorded and hosted by our pal Mickey Papillon of TCPJ. Give it a listen!

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the Motorola Backflip

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Let's be perfectly clear here: When I first saw the leaked images of the Motorola Backflip, I didn't know what to make of it and wrote it off as gimmicky. OK, a keyboard that contorts and kind of wraps itself around a phone is gimmicky. But once you see it in action -- along with Android 2.1 and Motoblur --  it works, and it's actually functional.

For one, Moto's positioning the Backflip as an ultimate social networking phone. There's an honest-to-goodness front-facing camera on the keyboard, so that you can easily take a self-portrait and upload it to Facebook. For another: You can fold the keyboard down and use it as as a stand. And when you do that, it automatically does into alarm clock mode. Really, it makes more sense than it sounds.

We're fully expecting the Backflip on AT&T in the very near future. Check out the video after the break.

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the Xperia X10

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One of the most anticipated Android phones -- of last year -- has been the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10. In all honesty, it should be available by now. But we continue to wait. Anyhoo ... what you have here is a solid phone. It feels great in the hand, the way you expect an Xperia device to feel. It's running Android 1.6 (Donut) here, but SE said it would be on the upgrade path after launch.

The user interface looks like something out of Avatar. There's a whole lotta blue going on. It's not unbearable, it just kind of wears on you after a bit. And despite being powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, transitions weren't as quick as we'd expect them to be -- something we've had to deal with before on Xperia devices. It's almost as is the lofty UI goals can't be met by the hardware, and that's really saying something when you're talking about Snapdragon. Perhaps it's just a coding issue, but it's one that was apparent here.

But any lag aside, the Timescape UI completely skinned Android. Sure, there's an app launcher, but it definitely doesn't have the same feel as stock Android. Not a bad thing, just different.

Timescape's "Infinite" button was interesting, too. Say you're looking at a contact, and you choose to see that contacts Facebook updates. Hit the Infinite button, and you really will see ALL of the updates. Search for an artist in the music app and hit the button. You'll see ALL the hits on YouTube.

But all this is kind of moot until we actually see the Xperia X10 made available for purchase. In the meantime, check out the pics after the break. (Update: Hands-on video added)

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4 years ago

Flip Releases FlipShare App for Android

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Flip, the simple, easy-to-use video recording device, just released an app for Android but it's not what you think it is. They're making FlipShare, which is basically Flip's personal video sharing software, available to our Android devices. Basically, from what we understand, the idea is to record video with your Flip, post it to FlipShare, and then be able to view them through the FlipShare App on your Android phone. Hm, isn't Youtube good enough for mobile viewing? In Flip's words:

  • View favorite FlipShare videos and photos
  • Access their personal Flip Channels
  • Watch Flip Channels from friends and family
  • Share videos by email or on Facebook

Don't get us wrong, we love our Flip Video Cameras but we're a bit unsure of the practically of this FlipShare app. If Flip had put out a video recording app that was able to outpace the current stock solution on Android, now that would interest us. This? Not so much.

What do you guys think? Are we not giving it a fair shake?

[flip via androidguys]

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4 years ago

Nexus One Gets A Teardown, Looks Good Inside Too

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You know the drill: highly anticipated device gets released, highly anticipated device gets a teardown. It happens to everyone. The Nexus One just received the teardown honor and the guys at iFixit found it rather easy to do, which is definitely surprising for such a thin phone. According to them:

"Once we took the fancy wrapper off the phone, the Nexus One revealed itself to be very similar to other smartphones, albeit with stronger hardware. It's thoughtful internal design did impress us, as did its ease of disassembly."

The Nexus One revealed a Samsung OLED display, Qualcomm 1GHz Snapdragon Processor, and 802.11n Wi-Fi chip. That pretty much translates to power after power after power. We don't actually recommend you to teardown your own Nexus One but it's good to know that it was thoughtfully constructed, right? Right??

[ifixit

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