Otterbox has always been one of my favorite cases, regardless of which device I am using at the time, and when I get a new device it is usually one of the first things I purchase. When I got my Droid 2, it was no different, I headed right to the Android Central store and picked up an Otterbox Commuter for the Droid 2 to ensure that my device was safe.
The standard Otterbox packaging has the case, a screen cleaner, and a screen protector. I ripped it open, and put it right on, because I had a couple of concerns of how it would fit, and affect the feel of the device as a whole. After installing the case initially I knew it would take a little bit of getting used to, with the added size and the different feel.
The Droid 2, even with the slide-out keyboard, maintains a rather slim profile, which was one of the main appeals of the device to me. Though I enjoyed the slim profile of the device, protection is always more important for me, and I am more then willing to sacrifice a little bit of size in order to add protection. While I try to be careful with the device, no one is perfect, and having a 4 year old at home who likes to play with everything, it is essential.
The case fits very snug to the device, which helps optimize the amount of protection. There are cutouts for the headphone jack and USB port of the device, and the volume rocker is raised making it easy to use. The 2 piece design allows for the device to slide easily, and not get in the way. One thing that made me nervous was if the top half of the case would affect use of the top keyboard row when the device is slid open, but luckily that was not the case.
The commuter series from Otterbox has always been the one that has felt the best, with the hard plastic, and gel combination, allowing for optimal grip and protection. The inside of the case is a thin gel, which is wrapped with a hard plastic, and the back has a brushed metal look to it. The front piece is just a single solid plastic piece, which is designed well, and even follows the curve at the bottom of the screen very well.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Playmissed its planned Apr. 1 launch date on O2 UK because of software issues found during testing, but now it seems these bugs have been successfully squished and the phone is almost ready to launch on O2's network. Posting on the carrier's official blog, Stuart Hibbard, O2's head of testing, said the arrival of fixed firmware from Sony Ericsson is an "important milestone" and that the Xperia Play is now "nearly ready for release".
No specific release date has been announced, but O2's product page for the Xperia Play has a link where prospective customers can sign up for updates on the phone's availability. [O2 Blog, Xperia Play on O2]
The HTC Sensation may be launching first on Vodafone UK next month, but that's not stopping other British carriers from getting in on the action once the month-long exclusivity deal is up. Today the four other major networks have confirmed that they'll be carrying the Sensation, though not all have committed to any particular release window.
T-Mobile and Orange will be next in line to get HTC's new flagship device, with both networks planning a June release. Three expects to launch the phone "this summer", while O2 has confirmed it'll be carrying the Sensation, but offers no further information. [@TMobileOfficial, @conrofromorange, @O2, Three Media Center]
First off, only four phones are currently supported, and chances are you don't have any of them. Supported are the Xperia Play, Xperia Arc, Xperia Pro and Xperia Neo. Yeah. We don't have those yet, either. The site also notes that your phone needs to be SIM unlocked if you want to unlock the bootloader. Again, not something you see very often here in the states.
And then there's the process of actually unlocking the bootloader. Don't have the Android SDK? Well, get to downloadin', son. (Actually. if you don't already have the SDK, chances are you have no business unlocking a bootloader in the first place.) Then you'll need to do a little bit of fastboot trickery (aka copying and pasting a few commands). Again, nothing you shouldn't be able to do if you know what a bootloader is, and why you'd want to unlock it.
So for n00bs, this is not. But kudos to Sony Ericsson for making good on its promise. Hit the source link if you want to get to unlocking. And let's just hope we see more phones supported in the future. [Sony Ericsson via xperiablog.net] Thanks, Rick!
HTC has released video footage of yesterday's HTC Sensation launch event in London. Hosted by Florian Seiche, President of HTC Europe and Philip Blair, VP of Products and Services, the presentation offers a reflection on HTC's current European line-up, as well as a showcase of the Sensation's main features.
The video is available in two flavors -- a 13-minute "highlights" reel which we've embedded above, and a full 23-minute version which you can find after the jump. [HTC on YouTube]
Best Buy has gone ahead and put up its pre-order page for the WiMax-enabled Sprint Nexus S 4G. The phone will run you $199.99 on new or upgrade two-year contract. We still only have the ever-vague "coming soon" as a launch date, but shipping dates are showing as early as April 14. They aren't yet offering off-contract pricing but hopefully that option will be available once the phone launches. Also worth noting is that you can pick up the original Nexus S on T-Mobile for $99.99 with new or upgrade 2-year contract. [Best Buy] Thanks to DeadlyBatman for the tip!
Can you taste the Droid Incredible 2 just yet? Cause it's getting ever so close. Nick1020 in the Android Central Forums slipped in a few pics of marketing materials that are being unwrapped today. Still no word on when the phone will actually be released -- or even announced -- but it's definitely getting closer.
We're starting to see homescreen and launcher replacements settle into a groove. Nice UIs, smooth transitions, and the Regina launcher fits nicely in that space. It's the same basic principle: You have five home screens on which to flip around and place apps, widgets, shortcuts, folders, etc.
The main homescreen features a slick flip clock (hello, HTC!) and weather widget. The bad news is that the weather widget might not include your town (yes, really) and to add it manually you need to know some sort of region code. Which I don't know. And I'm not going to bother looking up. And it gets a little worse -- to use the weather feature at all, you have to install the Regina Weather and Regina Weather Server apps in addition to the launcher. And then I still have to look up my region code? No, thanks.
But the launcher and homescreens (they're called workspaces here) are pretty nice. And you have secret workspaces that you can password protect and access from the corners of the home screens. That's not all that intuitive, as you'll see me scratch my head in the video after the break.
Transitions are smooth, if a tad slow for our taste, and look sophisticated enough. The launcher only scrolls horizontally -- we'd love to have the option to go vertical. Removing items from the home screen (or uninstalling them altogether) is helped along with some handy graphical reminders.
Check out our video of the Regina launcher and find downlinks after the break.
First T-Mobile, then AT&T, and now Sprint's rolling out the ability to charge Android Market purchases to your Sprint bill. Simple as that. Our pal Steve sent us the screen shot you see above, and "Bill my Sprint account" is listed plain as day.
And Steve's not alone. We've got the memo that's been making the rounds after the break, and it look like carrier billing should be up for everyone in the next couple of days. So if you've been longing to charge your Android apps to your Sprint account, join us in a hearty "Huzzah!" Thanks, Steve and Mek!
Sony Ericsson has announced the launch of its very own Android Market channel in a post on its official product blog. The manufacturer is among the first to launch its own Market channel, which will offer exclusive first-party apps for Sony Ericsson phone owners, as well as a selection of "recommended" third-party offerings. Sony Ericsson expects the updated Market app, with the new channel, to begin rolling out to its handsets from today.
What this also means is that the "My Apps" link in the Market app on Sony Ericsson phones will soon be replaced with a link to the manufacturer's channel, though "My Apps" will still be available by pressing the menu button. Predictably, though, the comments area under this latest post is now full of irate Xperia owners complaining about the loss of the "My Apps" link.
However, Sony Ericsson isn't alone in adding its own channel to the Market in this way. The Market app on our HTC Desire S review unit has a similar "HTC Recommends" section where the "My Apps" link would usually be, so it looks like this is something we could see more manufacturers doing in the months ahead. [Sony Ericsson Product Blog]
This morning T-Mobile announced a new $79.99 all inclusive plan that covers unlimited calling, texting and data. As data speeds get faster, we've seen some of the wireless carriers attempting to abandon unlimited plans, so this is a good thing, right? There is one big caveat to this new "unlimited" plan, however: consumers exceeding 2GB of data will see their data rates slowed down until their new billing cycle starts. That's where that big asterisk in the headline comes in. According to T-Mobile's internal stats, customers on average only use 1GB of data per month. These stats are factoring in all users, but what about the power users that stream video/audio or download large amounts of files that is easier to do over their HSPA+ network?
It's a good thing that they won't be absurd overage fees, but how slow will speeds get if you exceed 2GB? It's going to have to be trial and error for the time being. It looks like we'll be seeing more of Dan Hesse criticizing these kind of plans for appearing unlimited when in fact they're not. Full press release after the break.
The Samsung Galaxy S II has become one of the most anticipated devices after its announcement at Mobile World Congress. The big question on everyone's mind though has been when will it come to market? Samsung has updated its Facebook page this morning to announce that it will be released in April, then gradually rolled out to other parts of the world. It will be interesting to see where it launches first, since the only news we have heard puts the UK release date at May 1st.
Nevertheless, it looks like the follow-up to the wildly popular Galaxy S is going to hit soon. Samsung will update their Facebook page with any news regarding release dates for various regions, and you can bet we'll have it as soon as their announced. [Facebook]
Been looking for the latest Gingerbread system image for the Nexus One? Sure you have. And HTC's just posted it up on its developer site for everyone to have. No, this isn't new -- it's just the official system image for GRI40. And if you have a Nexus One, you likely already have it anyway. But if you're the developer type, or just like to have backups laying around, hit up the download link to check it out. [HTC Developer Center]
It's said that the update might be pushed out silently -- you could get it an not even know it. We'll believe that when we don't see it.
If you don't feel like waiting for the update, you can update manually. (We've got instructions after the break.)
And if you do update (manually or over the air), the old 2.3.340 SBF file will still work, just in case you need to roll back.
So, that's that. We're halfway expecting Verizon to let us know if this thing's for real -- they've been really good about announcing updates the past few months. Anyone actually seeing this over the air yet? If you wanna give it a go the manual way, head on past the break. [Droid X Forums via P3Droid and Android Central Forums]
We'd love to tell you all about this Google Maps v5.3.1 update but -- Google never included a changelog for us this time around. Judging by the e-mails we've received since the update started to roll out, we're not the only ones curious as to what, exactly was changed. While we don't have the answers to that, please feel free to drop some comments for us and let us know if you've spotted any changes within this update. Download is after the break for everyone. Thanks, everyone who sent this in!
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