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.
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)
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?
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??
Don't worry Droid & Cliq owners, you're not going to be left in the dark. Motorola also announced that they'll be bringing both the Motorola Droid & Motorola Cliq to Android 2.1. Which means we should be able to enjoy all the goodies that made the Nexus Oneso jaw-droppingly sexy on our Motorola Android phones. We're definitely interested in seeing Motoblur and Android 2.1 interact, but that's a discussion for another day.
But the news doesn't stop there for Droid owners. Not only will they receive Android 2.1 but Motorola has been working on Flash 10.1 integration and has optimized it for the Droid chipset, which means yes, your Droid will soon have official Flash support. On top of that, the Droid should get a second maintenance update in the near future. Score big for Droid.
Since yesterday wasn't such a good day to be a Droid owner, today is shaping up totally different! What do you guys think?
Motorola just announced the Motorola Backflip at their CES press conference. We've seen this quirky device before, remember, this isn't a slider-type device but rather the keyboard is on the outside and it flips backwards (?) when necessary--hence, the name. It comes with your usual slew of 3G, Wi-Fi, and 5-megapixel camera. Also of note, it's going to be running Motoblur.
Try not to roll your eyes at this too much, but Lenovo today announced "Lephone," which is an Android-powered touch-slab form. It's said to be just 12mm thick and very round. Also front and center is a 3.7-inch, 480x800 touchscreen. Other than that, it's devoid of buttons to the point that even Apple stands up and takes notice.
Under the hood: A 1 GHz Snapdragon processor. Also, a 3MP camera and 3G data (natch). Look for "Lephone" sometime in the next six months in China. [via phonescoop]
Hey, AT&T users, you guys are getting Android phones. AT&T finally came to their senses and is finally (!) joining the Android party. We'll forgive them for being late because we're sure AT&T users all around the nation are excited to get their hands on some Android devices, and oh will there be Android devices. In fact, AT&T promises to launch FIVE Android phones in the first half of 2010 alone. Those devices will include:
A Motorola smartphone, powered by MOTOBLUR, with a unique form factor and an AT&T exclusive
Dell’s first smartphone, based on the Android platform and an AT&T exclusive
A HTC smartphone, based on the Android platform, and an AT&T exclusive
When the Chevrolet Volt electric car because available later this year, it'll do so with an Android counterpart in tow. A Volt application for Android (and the iPhone and BlackBerry Storm) is in the works that will let you communicate with the Volt and manage how it's charging.
Connecting through the OnStar service, there's a bank of standard gauges that will show you the car's status. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. From there, you receive reminders to plug in the vehicle (how weird does that sound?), or recharging power is cut. That not smart enough for you? You can set the car to only charge during off-peak utility times. You can turn on the heat or AC remotely while it's still plugged into the grid, saving the battery.
It's not every day that you see smartphone nerdery atop some of the nation's biggest newspapers. But darting through the airport this morning, we found the Google Nexus One stripped across USA Today; as a hotbox on the Wall Street Journal, referring to Uncle Walt's review (shut up!); and as the centerpiece of the San Francisco Chronicle (natch, seeing as how the "Google Versus Apple" battle is in its backyard).
Say what you will about newspapers (and I can say plenty), but it's good to see the old establishment giving some smartphone love. How about you guys? Find the N1 in your hometown rag?
Ah, the iPhone. For better or worse, the iPhone has become the starting point for many consumers looking to buy a smartphone. In a sense, it's become the standard for everyone to measure themselves against. Because of its position at the forefront of consumer's minds and the fact that it's in everyone's pocket, that's completely fair. But because of Apple's sometimes senseless decisions in dealing with all things iPhone, it leaves the rest of us a little uneasy.
Regardless, the iPhone is undoubtedly a cultural phenomenon and has been ever since it was released in 2007. Apple kicked down the door with the original iPhone, upped the ante with the iPhone 3G, and is continuing to count each and every dollar with the iPhone 3GS. To call it anything but successful is to not give it fair credit; the momentum it continues to hold is simply amazing.
So yes, the iPhone is ridiculously successful but don't think it's all peaches, ponies, and paradise--the iPhone platform is far from perfect. There are issues and shortcomings with the iPhone. Oh yes there are. We'll take a look at everything in the full review below!
Hit the jump to see the iPhone reviewed from an Android Perspective!
Not impressed with the regular sized Nexus One? Take a look at this giant sized version. Ooh..big glass. Yeah, now that's a 'superphone' for you. Since the Nexus One won't actually be available in stores, we're wondering where this gigantic demo unit is headed. Will it join the Giant Android Robot and friends? Who knows, but if Google wants to drop it off at the Android Central HQ, we'll find somewhere to put it.
Check out the gigantic sized Nexus One in a video after the jump!
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Beautiful Widgets has made its return to the market. Improved are such things as the ability to change that clock font.
Check out our new Samsung Moment FAQ for a bunch of general information along with issues and resolutions.
The good news: Magic owners will see Android 2.1 later this year. As for Dream owners, well, you'll be getting an exciting new update that's still not anything other than Android 1.5. (OK, that's bad news, too. Sorry, we tried.)
Here's some of what Rogers had to say:
First, we will be implementing an update for the 1.5 OS to both the HTC Dream and HTC Magic in the upcoming weeks. These will offer a number of benefits for these devices, including bringing the HTC Sense experience to the HTC Magic, although the OS version will remain 1.5.
By mid-year, HTC will issue an upgrade to Android 2.1, including the highly acclaimed HTC Sense experience for the HTC Magic.
However, due to certain limitations on the HTC Dream, the software path for the HTC Dream will not be developed beyond the next Android 1.5 update. While we regret not being able to offer the same updates to both devices, by bringing this upgrade to the HTC Magic, we are delivering the best solution possible given the situation at hand.
We know that's not going to make you folks feel any better, but some update is better than no update, we guess. Complete statement after the break.
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