It looks like the mystery of the HTC Android device above is about to get solved. When we first spotted the device, it was rocking the 1GHz Snapdragon processor (that's about to re-define speed on a mobile device) and was called the HTC Dragon. Now, as more information comes about, it looks like the device above is the HTC Dragon but in CDMA form, re-named the HTC Passion. It looks like the HTC Passion is headed to Verizon to join the Droid and Droid Eris to make one heck of an Android lineup on Big Red.
Basically, the HTC Passion will become the Android equivalent to the WinMob HTC HD2 and will arrive sometime in Q4 2009 running Android 2.0. We're not sure it will come with HTC Sense but if this is all true, Verizon is about to take over the Android market with some of the most dynamic Android phones to date. Hopefully, we'll hear more about Verizon's Android plans at their October 28th event!
You didn't think Motorola and Verizon would be alone with Android 2.0 handsets, did you? HTC just confirmed that their upcoming Android phones will also be equipped with Android 2.0 'Eclair'. In fact, HTC said that they've had Android 2.0 in-house for a while now so they've definitely been able to develop phones for the much anticipated Android build.
We've seen Android 2.0 in screenshots already and it definitely builds on the Android platform and improves the overall experience. We're very excited to see how 2.0 runs on the Droid and can only imagine that HTC will continue its Android excellence once 'Eclair' is released on their handsets. What's odd is that Google has yet to release a SDK for Android 2.0 (we're still on Android 1.6) and Sprint Android phones are stuck on 1.5. We're hoping the situation will become more clear and all of us Android users will enjoy the benefits of 2.0 at the same time.
Ask anyone who or what HTC was just a few years ago and no one would know. But now they're one of the biggest smartphone makers in the world and certainly the biggest and longest supporter of Android around. And as far as HTC smartphones can reach with their countless form factors on different platforms, they still manage to spur innovation with both their designs and software and offer high-end build quality in their devices. We're happy that HTC has been a staunch supporter of Android and hopeful to see more devices come from their way.
We're even happier now that HTC has decided to step into the spotlight after so many years behind the scenes. The 'You' ad campaign is what we believe to be their first foray into mainstream consumer marketing and it works wonderfully well. Just take a look at the commercial above. To quote, 'You don't need to get a phone. You need a phone that gets you'.
And if you like what you saw, there's another commercial after the jump!
Just to get everybody up to speed with the latest Verizon Droid happenings (and there's a lot):
A print Droid advertisement (in the San Diego Union Tribune) shows the date 11.06.09 along with the usual slew of "iDon't/Droid Does"-isms. We're going to assume that's the release date which makes a lot of sense considering the Verizon Droid Event is scheduled for October 28th and that'll leave Big Red ample time to prepare for the launch of the Droid. The November 6th date also falls in line with previous reports. [phandroid]
The Motorola Droid has popped up on eBay (looks like there is 3 available) for anyone willing to spend thousands of dollars on what might possibly be the best Android phone available. Would we recommend buying them? No, especially if the Droid is launching in early November and also no because we don't want you guys to drive up the price for us! We kid. kind of.
A GSM/HSPA version of the Droid (with AT&T 3G-friendly bands) has cleared the FCC and that has a lot of people whispering it could see light as the first Android device on the Death Star network. We're thinking this is too good to be true considering Verizon has created a whole ad campaign for the Droid and to see it on a competing carrier would be disastrous--put it this way, could you ever see Verizon paying for the marketing of a phone on AT&T? Plus, AT&T has yet to officially acknowledge Android's existence. We're thinking the Droid is heading to Rogers in Canada (same 3G-bands as AT&T) and will remain exclusive to Verizon in the US. [mobilecrunch]
BGR says that the DroidDoes.com website shown in all the Droid advertisements hit 2.5 million pageviews and 170,000 opt-in e-mail addresses in about three days. Yeah, we think this Droid is going to be a success.
That's all the Droid news over the weekend, we hope you're all caught up! Still, we're sure there will be more details coming out before the official Verizon Droid Event on October 28th starts so stay tuned!
The specs aren't officially official but from what we've heard, it rocks a 4-inch 800x480 touchscreen, 1GHz processor, 8.1 megapixel camera with flash and video recording, 3.5mm headphone jack, and your usual slew of connectivity options. Not to mention, the custom UI that Sony Ericsson built gets more beautiful every time we watch it. It's expected to release early Q1 2010.
Hit the jump for more pictures of the Sony Ericsson 'Rachael' XPERIA X3!
T-Mobile just officially introduced their 'Project Dark' rate plans, Even More and Even More Plus. The new rate plans look exactly like what we saw leaked last week and though it falls just a bit short of our sky high expectations, is still a great move by Magenta. On Even More plans, you'll be able to get unlimited voice, text, and data for $99/month on a 2 year contract. On Even More Plus plans, you'll get the same unlimited voice, text, and data for $79/month without any contract.
The catch of being on the no-contract Even More Plus plans is that your future phone won't be subsidized by T-Mobile (which means the G1 will cost you $399.99 on Even More Plus as opposed to $129.99 on Even More). But even if there is a premium attached to no-contract living, the ability to get out anytime seems like a great perk and plus, it looks like you'll still be able to purchase phones over a period of time with no interest.
The Even More unlimited plan is similar to what Sprint is offering and according to T-Mobile is half the price of comparable AT&T and Verizon plans. The Even More Plus is what excites us, if T-Mobile can have the entire industry headed to no-contract wireless service, we're in.
What do you guys think of T-Mobile's Even More and Even More Plus plans?
Engadget is reporting that 'Droid' for Verizon is not going to be just one single phone but rather a series of phones. From our own sources, we've heard similar things, so we can independently corroborate their report. So after the first Droid (the phone we're all drooling over made by Motorola) gets announced and released, we'll see the Droid Eris very soon--they're saying as soon as November 6th, but we're unable to confirm.
We think that Verizon creating a brand of 'Droid' devices is a great move by Big Red. They can use their strong Verizon brand to build another strong brand name for their future devices. That brand recognition will speak volumes in the future when we'll associate Droid devices along the likes of new Blackberries and iPhones. If Google isn't going to make a Gphone, Verizon might as well create Droid. It identifies quickly with Android (and Verizon) and judging by its first iteration, will become synonymous with high quality and desirable phones.
Not to mention that the Droid name will certainly differentiate Android powered smartphones from Verizon's typical dumbphone lineup. The "iDon't come in different styles/Droid Does" ad almost writes itself. Having a series of 'Droid' phones shows just how serious Verizon is with their upcoming Android lineup, they're in it for the long haul and they're banking it on being successful. We're going to agree with them.
That there is the Motorola Zeppelin and for some reason, we're only allowed to see the back of the phone. The Motorola Zeppelin is purported to run Android, pack a 5 megapixel camera with flash, 3.1 inch 480x320 screen, HDMI output, Wi-Fi, and compatibility with both GSM and CDMA. Release is planned for Q1 2010 in China with a more global release to follow.
From the back, the Zeppelin combines round curves with a rugged, scale-ish, leather-esque backing which would contrast it with the Verizon Motorola Droid's sleek and hard lines. We'd love to see the front of the device to get a better feel for the device but we're already liking it, the camera seems like it would rock and HDMI out is a neat and unique feature to have. Motorola is doing Android good.
What do you guys think?
More pictures of the Motorola Zeppelin after the break!
Following up their first thoughts on the Verizon Droid, BGR has a full preview on this most anticipated Android phone. In short, they love it--the hardware is top-notch using great materials and execution, the screen is bright, vibrant, humongous and super responsive and Android runs fast on it. Oh yeah, the phone is loud, clear, and sounds great. Their only problem, and it's ever so slight, is that the keyboard can be a little more spaced out. In all, "you're going to love it".
We'll get our own look at the Droid soon enough but in the meantime feel free to head over to BGR to get to know Droid!
The cat, er Droid, is out of the bag. Motorola just went live with the official Droid webpage and it went into beautifully excruciating detail about this most anticipated device. The early publishing of the website is no longer available but Motorola's mistake is our gain, now we don't have to wait til October 28th to get the nitty gritty specs. According to the Droid website:
runs Android 2.0 'Eclair'
3.7-inch WVGA (480x854), 16:9 touchscreen
550 MHz processor
6 oz (169g)
2.4 x 4.6 x.5 inches (60x115.80x13.70mm)
3.5mm headphone jack
Broswer will support Flash 10 in 2010
Wi-Fi, 3G, GPS, Bluetooth, microUSB (comes with 16gb microSDHC card)
1400 mAh battery (rated at nearly 6 and a half hours of usage time)
5 megapixel camera with image stabilization, 4x zoom, dual-led Flash, and auto-focus
the color is listed as: 'Licorice w/ brown sugar accents'
Was the Droid all you imagined it to be?
Hit the jump to see more pictures and specs of the Droid!
Looks like Verizon is ramping up for some major Android releases. Along with the Droid (which we're expecting very soon), this in-the-wild photo is of the HTC Desire which clearly houses Verizon branding and runs the HTC Sense UI. We have absolutely no details to share with you but we've seen this device before in the hands of Google CEO Eric Schmidt. You can see that the button layout and trackball in Schmitty's hand match the phone in the photo above.
What could this phone be? Perhaps another take on the HTC Hero? A completely new HTC Android device? We can't wait to find out.
According to some leaked slides, it looks like Best Buy will receive the Verizon Droid on October 24th. As in this coming weekend. As in 4 days earlier than the planned Verizon Droid event. The price listed on the slides is $599.99 which is obviously off-contract pricing. Having the phone shipped to Best Buy on October 24th doesn't necessarily mean that it'll immediately be available to customers, in fact, it's downright silly to expect a phone as anticipated as the Droid to be made available before an official announcement.
And with Verizon taking the Droid so seriously, we wouldn't expect to be able to mosey down to our nearest Best Buy and snatch one off the shelves. As for enterprising Best Buy workers? Only time will tell. More pictures available at the link.
We've received news that HTC has just made the HTC Hero kernel source code public. For the average Android user, this isn't big news but for those who like to dib and dabble, tinker and mod their phones, this is magnificent news. Having the HTC Hero kernel source code available to the public releases all the inner workings of the software on the phone--every little painstaking detail. Now everyone will be able to see what HTC did to tweak Android and developers can offer the same performance enhancements in their own builds. Basically, with this, developers will be able to do a lot more and offer deeper access into their phones.
Sounds good by us. We're happy that HTC is following in line with Android's open source nature. What do you guys think?
Google is looking to get involved with music services and it's going to use the help of current web services like iLike and LaLa to do so. From what we gathered, Google Audio will allow people to search for artists, songs, etc and it'll display results in either snippets of the song or full-length versions and point users to where they can easily purchase those songs. And though that's an amazing and exciting proposition, being able to simply use the power of Google to get easy-access to purchasing songs, it's not exactly going head to head with the moneymaking heavyweight that is iTunes.
But still, a lot is unknown at this point and certain final UI details and design may change and clearer details may eventually come about. But what is sure is that Google is planning to announce this new service on October 28th (interestingly, the same day as the Droid event!) so we'll find out soon. Could Google eventually use their new service to replace the Amazon MP3 Store on Android?
What do you guys think about Google's new music service?
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