The latest from Huawei's Honor brand boasts phenomenal value — but with a few familiar caveats ...
The quick take
Through a mix of solid hardware — in terms of performance as well as build quality — the Honor 7 finds its way into the fast-growing category of really-good-and-extremely-affordable Android phones. At a functional level, it does just about everything really well, and it packages that functionality in the kind of impressive metal chassis we've come to expect from Huawei. But just as Huawei is a strength for Honor, it's also a weakness. For some buyers, particularly Android purists, the company's highly customized EMUI software will be the biggest reason not to buy.
Solid build quality and easy one-handed use
Fingerprint scanner works well
Speedy, lag-free performance
Bright, punchy display and impressive speaker
Excellent value for money
Huawei's EMUI software is overbearing as ever
Many software issues from the P8 left unaddressed
Camera hit and miss in low light
5.64 in 143.2mm
2.83 in 71.9mm
0.33 in 8.5mm
5.2-inch Full HD
1920x1080 resolution (435ppi)
20.7MP, ƒ/2.0 lens
5MP front-facing camera
Octa-core Huawei Kirin 935 processor
4x2.2GHz A53e cores + 4x1.5GHz A53 cores
16GB internal storage
microSD slot (also second SIM slot)
About this review
We're publishing this review after a week using a European-spec Honor 7 (PLK-L01) in the UK. Most of the time we used our review device on Vodafone UK, in areas with decent LTE and HSPA coverage and a 64GB Samsung microSD card fitted. To test the phone's dual-SIM capabilities, we used it with an EE SIM alongside the Vodafone SIM.
Honor 7 Video Walkthrough
Familiar, Sturdy, Dependable
Honor 7 Hardware
If you know your Huawei phones, the look and feel of the Honor 7 is pretty easy to sum up. It's basically a cross between the Mate 7 — last year's Huawei "phablet" device — and the company's current high-end offering, the P8. Although Honor is its own distinct brand in the UK, the Huawei design traits are clear to see. There's a largely untouched front face, save for the usual earpiece, camera and sensors, while the back panel serves as a reminder of Huawei's high-end phones, with a curved aluminum surface and eye-catching chamfers.
Veterans of the Honor series will find a device closer to the Honor 6 than the larger (and beefier) 6 Plus. The LCD gets a modest bump up to 5.2 inches with the same 1080p resolution, while modest hardware upgrades from the Honor 6 can be found in other areas.
This is basically the offspring of a Mate 7 and a P8.
The Honor 7 runs Huawei's homegrown 64-bit Kirin 935 CPU, an octa-core chip packing four higher-clocked "A53e" cores at up to 2.2GHz and four lower-power A53 cores at 1.5GHz. If you're keeping score here, that's basically the same as the Kirin 930 powering the Huawei P8, only at higher clock speeds. And it's paired with an ARM Mali-T624 GPU and a roomy 3GB of RAM. Elsewhere, the battery capacity stays at an ample 3,100mAh, while the front and rear cameras earn upgrades to 8 and 20 megapixels respectively. (The front camera's also grown an LED flash for low-light duckfacing.)
There's an even more significant addition around the back. The Honor 7 features a touch-activated fingerprint sensor with a few neat tricks to offer. As well as biometric security — no need to unlock first, by the way, as touching the sensor will activate it even when the phone is off — you can swipe down to open the notification shade, or up to view recent apps. The notification shortcut in particular is ridiculously useful — even on a relatively small phone like the Honor 7, reaching up to the notification shade can be troublesome, and the swipe shortcut replaces this awkward finger-gymnastics with one easy gesture. We really hope everyone working on a fingerprint-scanning phone steals this feature.
The new fingerprint sensor enables a couple of ridiculously useful software shortcuts.
And like just about everything else in Huawei's EMUI, these extra functions are configurable in the menus. There's also a "smart" button on the left edge, which can be programmed to load up different apps or perform various tasks on a single, double or long press. All genuinely useful stuff, though it's easy to accidentally press the "smart" button along with the power button when picking the phone up.
The Honor 7's display matches that of the P8 on paper, and we found it to be equally bright and vibrant as well. (And, anecdotally, perhaps a bit easier to see in direct sunlight.) There doesn't seem to be anything too crazy going on with contrast enhancement, though Huawei has implemented a brightness-limiting feature that adjusts the backlight brightness depending on the brightness of the image being shown.
Despite the presence of two grills, there's just a single loudspeaker to be found, located to the left of the microUSB port. Smartphone speakers are still really hit-and-miss, but the Honor 7's impressed us, and like the P8 it offers surprising volume, bass and clarity from a relatively small cutout.
In the hand, the Honor 7 feels sturdy yet classy. The top and bottom sections are plastic to allow those all-important radio waves in and out, but the main contact points are along the metal sides and back, so this isn't especially noticeable. The same goes for the slim plastic border between screen and body — which should protect the phone from knocks and scrapes as well.
Like most Huawei phones these days, the Honor 7 nails the fundamentals.
Conventional wisdom suggests that a 5.2-inch screen is about the limit for comfortable one-handed use, and this holds true for the Honor 7. There's no in-hand slippage due to the metal body, and the combination of this screen size and the angular metal design makes the Honor 7 easy to one-hand. While it's not spectacularly thin or light, it feels solid and dependable — arguably more so than a lot of more expensive phones.
Dual-SIM connectivity is the other big trick up the Honor 7's sleeve. The SIM tray has two slots — a primary nanoSIM slot, and a secondary slot that can hold either a second nanoSIM or a microSD card. In a country like the UK, where users aren't generally hopping between two coverage areas, dual-SIM support isn't especially useful. But it is an added bonus for frequent travelers, and doubling it up with the microSD slot means it's not wasted if you're just using one network.
As for internal storage, you're limited to 16 gigabytes, which is the bare minimum of what we'd consider acceptable from any smartphone in 2015. You'll have 10GB and change left over for your own stuff, though the SD slot may alleviate some of your storage woes.
Other hardware notables? There's a top-mounted IR blaster that works with the built-in "Smart Controller" app, allowing you to control just about anything with an IR receiver. And quick charging support is included, though we're told the bundled charger won't be quick-charge compatible. While we couldn't confirm that the phone was definitely charging at higher voltages on our Motorola Turbo Charger, it seemed to reach peak capacity pretty quickly.
Honor 7 Software
The Honor 7 runs Huawei's EMUI 3.1 software atop Android 5.0. And if you've read our P8 review you'll know what to expect here — a heavily-skinned version of Android with a highly-customized look, a few pet hates, and system that feels at odds with Google's vision of the OS.
Though most of the things that were straight-up broken about the P8's initial firmware have been fixed, many visual and functional annoyances remain.
EMUI continues to be afflicted by visual and functional annoyances.
Aesthetically, there's a lot to like. The UI is built around circles, lines and rounded icons, with accent colors from your chosen wallpaper being included in Huawei's built-in apps. Everything, including app icons, is heavily themeable, and the library of themes has been expanded upon since the days of the P8, including some that now actually look pretty good.
The entire theming system still feels overbearing, though, and because not all the themes are up to date with the latest app icons, the experience is somewhat disjointed too. It's one of many areas of the software where we wish Huawei would have just left things alone.
Others include the notification system, which duplicates notifications from some apps, including Gmail, and only shows notifications on the lock screen if you're using a certain lock screen style. If you're used to the relatively light touch of Samsung, HTC or LG, these changes may well be maddening. If not, then they are what they are: Different, and not necessarily for the better. In particular, Huawei's approach to "protected apps" — apps with permission to run when the screen is off — and constant notification area nags about apps using power in the background, add unnecessary mental overhead.
When it comes to overall performance and the visual cohesiveness of Huawei's own apps, there's not much to complain about. While it might not gel with Google's vision of the OS, it's clean, sharp and undeniably iOS-influenced.
You also can't fault EMUI's expansive feature set, which is surprisingly light on cruft and surprisingly heavy on genuinely useful stuff, like programmable shortcut buttons, voice-activated wake-up functionality and a wide array of camera features. But we'd still like to see a comprehensive overhaul of Huawei's software for EMUI 4.0, and hopefully see this highly customized layout replaced with something closer to vanilla Android.
We've got a more in-depth look at EMUI 3.1 in our P8 review, so check that out for more of the good, the bad and the confusing from Huawei's take on Android.
Competent, if not spectacular
Honor 7 Camera
As smartphone hardware becomes more commoditized, imaging is one of the few areas left where traditional flagship phones have an edge. Even so, we're starting to see some impressive photographic capabilities from less expensive handsets, including Huawei's own Honor 6 Plus with its wacky dual-camera setup.
The Honor 7 opts for a traditional front and rear camera arrangement, however. There's a 20-megapixel shooter around the back, behind an f/2.0 lens with dual-tone LED flash, while the front-facer gets bumped up to 8 megapixels and is joined by a single LED of its own.
This is no Galaxy S6-beater, but it is capable across the board, and occasionally very impressive.
When you're selling a phone around the £250 price point, however, there are some trade-offs to be made. The biggest of these is the lack of optical image stabilization, which is the main reason the Honor 7 can't match the clarity of phones twice its price in low-light conditions. (And that's not unexpected, honestly.)
There is a "super night" shooting mode that combines a series of longer exposures, though this is largely useless without a tripod. We've also noticed an unfortunate tendency for the Honor 7 to miss focus in darker conditions, resulting in shots that are both blurry and grainy.
As for pics in good to moderately-lit conditions, the Honor 7 is a reliable performer across the board. Auto HDR mode dutifully kicks in to prevent washed-out skies and underexposed landscapes, keeping everything evenly lit. Overall, we have no real complaints when it comes to image quality — plenty of detail is captured thanks to the high-resolution sensor, and colors are generally accurate, if somewhat desaturated compared to the likes of the GS6 and G4.
Huawei's camera app also presents a bunch of useful features, including a dedicated light painting mode like the P8's, where longer exposures are used to create artistic light trail effects. You'll want to use a tripod with this feature though, as the lack of OIS makes it almost impossible to get steady, longer exposures with the phone in-hand.
As for the front camera, it's comparable with what you'd get from the current Android flagships, complete with beautification modes to either enhance your features, or make you look like a terrifying live waxwork version of yourself. There's also a front-facing LED for when the lights are low and fun things are happening, which, given the proximity to your face, takes a little getting used to.
So that's the Honor 7 camera experience — competent, capable, but not quite a match for the current flagships, or, we'd argue, the Honor 6 Plus's insane low-light capabilities. Everything about this phone needs to be considered in the context of its price, though, and with that in mind you're getting a pretty solid imaging setup for your money.
All that juice
Honor 7 Battery Life
By the numbers alone, a 3,100mAh battery should be able to provide more than enough juice for a phone like the Honor 7. The manufacturer claims heavy users will comfortable get more than a day (1.2 days, in fact) out of the phone's fixed battery, with lighter use getting you up to two days per charge.
One day with ease, or two at a squeeze.
And our experiences with the phone track pretty closely to that. Throughout more than a week of testing the Honor 7 never died on us before the day's end, even with extensive use on LTE, and with two SIMs inserted. On lighter days, which were mostly limited to Wifi usage indoors, we easily reached the evening with 50 percent or more remaining. In terms of screen-on time, we're looking at anywhere between 3.5 to 5 hours, depending on usage.
A word of warning on some of the battery charts displayed here: The firmware version we're using doesn't seem to display awake time and mobile network reception properly, so take both with a pinch of salt.
For all practical purposes, though, you'll simply won't need to worry about battery life if you're used to a regular nightly charging pattern. That's still not true of all high-end phones, so Huawei deserves credit where it's due.
As for charging, the Honor 7 supports quick charging — a welcome addition given the battery size — although Qualcomm's standard isn't specifically mentioned by the manufacturer. That said, Quick Charge 2.0 doesn't necessarily require a Qualcomm CPU, and as previously mentioned we've found the phone charges fast enough using a Motorola Turbo Charger.
A worthy contender?
Honor 7: The Bottom Line
The Honor 7's impressive array of hardware and highly competitive price point makes it worthy of your attention, and perhaps your money too. As usual, Huawei gets the hardware side of the equation right — the Honor 7 is a well-built, premium handset and a quick performer, camera capabilities that stand out in the mid-range space. EMUI, despite its flaws, adds genuinely useful capabilities, and has a coherent look throughout, even when themed.
The brand is different, but the hardware and software remains the same.
But we think it's time for an overhaul of Huawei's software experience. From the confusing notification and background app management system to the overbearing way in which EMUI takes over icons and status bar colors, there's plenty here to irritate Android purists. If that's you, that could be a reason not to buy.
Ultimately, as much as Honor is a distinct brand in its own right, its handsets' triumphs and foibles run in parallel with the parent company's. You're still getting a Huawei phone through-and-through, with all the benefits and annoyances that brings.
Should you buy the Honor 7? Maybe
We keep saying this over and over, and we'll have to do so again here: Huawei makes great hardware — really great hardware. But software continues to be a glaring weak point. For that reason we can't recommend the Honor 7 unreservedly, but it is worthy of your consideration if you're shopping around for a capable new mid-range handset. But the Honor 7 has tons of competition from countless rivals, and you'd be wise to take a look at the hardware-software balance from the likes of Alcatel, Motorola and ASUS before parting with your cash.
The picture above, under all the blurriness, is the Motorola Motus, Motorola's next Android phone. It definitely shares a significant resemblance to the Motorola CLIQ but comes off with more sleekness. The keyboard is very flat looking but the buttons look pretty sizable, at least there's no d-pad to throw off the symmetry. What's most interesting to us is that the Motus looks like it could have an interesting slide/flip mechanism, from our perspective it looks like the screen and the keyboard look like they're completely side-by-side with little overlap.
We're not exactly sure what 'Reverse flip keyboard' means exactly other than it's different from your typical reveal of the keyboard. The 'Rear directional touchpad' is easier to determine but still confusing in how it'll be executed, really a touchpad on the back of a phone? In any case, it looks like the Motorola Motus will join the CLIQ and extend the MOTOBLUR family! We'll definitely keep an eye on this!
It has been rumored that the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 was slated for a February 2010 release, but after seeing people's first impressions of the device, well, it looks like there's still a lot of work to be done. The Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 just got a bunch of first looks and hands on from the usual suspects and we tidied up their thoughts for your reading pleasure. Here it goes!
It's missing that spark, the emotional drippings of OMG, that say, the Droid has. The X10 is perfectly fine. It's just that everything outwardly belies the specialness of what's going on inside. The all plastic-build feels just slightly better than cheap, the shape is kind of awkward unless you have gorilla hands, the design—it all just feels, well, incredibly ordinary.
It seems that performance is very contingent upon how much content is loaded into the device and what particular thing it's trying to perform. Sometimes we'd fly through the stacks of faces, while other times we'd sit there waiting for the simplest thumbnails to load up. The good news is that we have until next year to see this thing really come together, and the word is that the software is improving and a rapid pace.
The UI is very functional and it gets the job done, but it’s not as attractive as HTC’s Sense UI. We’re not quite sure what it is about the XPERIA X10, but we’re just not feeling that “wow” we got with the Droid, for example.
Overall, it seems like everyone was ready to love the XPERIA X10, but the XPERIA X10 never gave them a reason to. The design isn't groundbreaking, the hardware wasn't amazing, and the software still needed work. To be fair, it wasn't all bad. The 8.1 megapixel camera got rave reviews from everybody, the screen is lovely, and Timescape and Mediascape (features of the Nexus UX formerly the 'Rachael' UI) were great ideas. But in the end, it just seemed as if the XPERIA X10 just simply isn't ready.
There's no official release date (and we'd much rather have Sony Ericsson spend time tweaking everything anyway) and no official carrier linked to it (Sony Ericsson says they're working with US carriers to get it subsidized), so there's still a lot of unknown with the device. We had high hopes for the XPERIA X10 and we still think that Sony Ericsson can deliver a winner of a device. It's just going to take more time than we thought.
Hit the jump to see pictures of the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10!
Sprint has decided to join the party of releasing commercials for Android devices and market the Sprint HTC Hero as a highly customizable phone with access to thousands of applications. The Sprint ad spot shows Sprint's impressive holiday phone lineup: the Palm Pre, Blackberry Tour, and HTC Hero. We love how the HTC Hero is finally getting its well deserved shine in the spotlight and hope that it'll spur more folks to go Android.
There's a new Gmail Labs feature that'll allow Gmail users to see which of their Google Talk contacts are using Google Talk on their Android devices. In short, it's awesome. The typical green/orange/red lights have been replaced with the cute Android robot icon we've loved since day one. In Google's words:
Turn on Green Robot, a new experiment in Gmail Labs, and you'll see a robot icon next to people who are currently using Android phones. In the case below, Shirley is online with Android, Nicolle R. is using regular Gmail chat, and Chris I. is currently away but also on Android. Slatka is not an angry robot — she's online with Android but currently busy.
We think it's a great little idea that can help Google Talk users differentiate between who's on-the-go and who's on their desktop. And on top of that, the more that cute green Android Robot pops up the happier we are!
Good news guys! Fring is now available on Android Market. For those unfamiliar with Fring, Fring for Android enables free VoIP calls over Fring, Skype, MSN, and Google Talk. Basically Fring allows you to use your 3G, GPRS, or Wi-Fi connection to make phone calls, no minutes necessary. On top of that, Fring even allows you to chat with your friends using the popular messaging platforms. You can now think of Fring as your one stop shop for all your messaging needs.
We suggest you try out Fring today! Download it from Android Market and VoIP away. This may very well be the future of making phone calls.
GSM contacts do not appear in fring's buddy list on the DROID
Call disconnection tone may be heard a few times when terminating a call
SIP and SkypeOut calls are not yet available on the DROID
As if it couldn't get any more interesting with a Google Phone, there's an updated report suggesting that the Google Phone may be a data only, VoIP device that does away with your usual voice plan and minutes. Take a step back and imagine that. If the Google Phone was to step away from the carrier stranglehold of minutes and simply route calls through Google Voice and use the recently acquired Gizmo5 as the onboard VoIP service, it truly would be the Google Phone. Your phone, no carrier influence, all delivered through data. It could work.
It's unclear how supportive the carriers would be of a data-only Google Phone considering it directly affects their primary business. In fact, the precedent of accepting a data-only Google Phone could make way for gigantic changes to the way the carriers do business. And we know how much the carriers love change. But AT&T has given Windows Mobile and Blackberry users data-only plans for quite some time (no data only option for iPhone), so it's not an impossible stretch.
The problem is of course, how the average consumer will see the move and if they'll buy into it. For us at Android Central the answer is simple, if Google does deliver a Google Phone, we're in for the ride. If it's data only and uses VoIP for calls, even better (we've been itching for data only devices anyway). But would it be too complicated for the average consumer? Could they get around the idea of leaving carriers behind and using VoIP for phone calls? Would it still be subsidized? Is this kind of Google Phone targeted to only the tech-savvy?
Also, if Google does release this data-only, VoIP Google Phone, it kind of, sort of sidesteps direct competition with its current Android-making partners. We're sure they'll still be unhappy about Google's power move but it's certainly a better scenario than Google releasing a 'true phone'.
In any case, there's a ton of questions regarding the potential of the Google Phone that can't be fully answered until Google officially announces the thing. But the data-only, VoIP version might be the scenario we love the most considering the novelty of it and the sweeping changes it might start in the industry.
According to our readers, an update for the Sprint HTC Hero has arrived. Unfortunately, it's not the Android 2.0 software update we've all been itching and crawling for but rather the 'maintenance release' we reported was coming a few days ago. Our readers told us to manually check for the firmware update (Settings > About Phone > System Updates > Firmware Update) but our Hero isn't showing it yet. What about yours?
The firmware update weighs in at around 3.7mb and supposedly fixes SMS and DST issues.
Here we go again. There's whispers going around that the device we've all been waiting for, since even before the existence of Android really, is coming early next year. Yep, the Google Phone, as in the hardware and design and all the little and final decisions that goes into building a phone is made by Google. According to the report, Google will sell the phone directly and through retailers, the Google phone was supposed to come this Holiday season but has been pushed back to early next year, and the phone will be produced by a major phone manufacturer but only carry Google branding.
Basically, it's purported to be Google's vision of what a phone should be and how it should fit with Android. Almost sounds too good to be true. The Google Phone will likely be produced by either LG or Samsung (more likely LG) and there'll be a huge ad push for it.
In theory, it all sounds great. Google gets to deliver a handset that is directly tied to the Android experience, kind of how Apple is the sole provider of the iPhone experience. The problem is, Google for all its talents and genius, has yet to ever prove it can handle hardware (or even design). It's a company filled first and foremost with engineers, albeit engineers with great talents and ideas, but engineers nonetheless. This is the company that leaves its product in Beta for years upon years! Why bother investing in a hardware device that HTC, Motorola, Samsung, LG, etc have proven well capable already? Hardware has never been Google's M.O.
And if Google does so happen build a wonderful Google Phone, it'll likely alienate its hardware partners. Why would I buy a Motorola DROID or Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 if I can get an official Google Phone built from the ground up for Android? How will companies feel if the Google Phone launches with 3.0 but every other Android device is stuck at 2.0? Will they continue to make Android devices? Google would be leaving the companies that backed Android from the beginning in the dust. Simply put, the existence of a Google Phone automatically makes third-party Android phones second-tier devices because Google's priority will shift to the Google Phone, all others second.
There's definitely a lot more questions, both good and bad, regarding the Google Phone but if it is true, Android is going to take off. Again. It's going to be an exciting year.
Through its analytics service, Flurry monitors usage of over 10,000 developers' applications on iPhone and Android. In total, Flurry tracks applications on approximately two out of every three unique iPhone and Android handsets in the market, including over 15,000 million user sessions per day. To estimate first week sales totals for the myTouch 3G, Droid and iPhone 3GS, Flurry detected new handsets within its system, and then made adjustments to account for varying levels of Flurry application penetration by handset.
Flurry also cross-checked their iPhone 3GS numbers with the ones Apple released to confirm and the total was similar. But no matter what the exact numbers are, the DROID has definitely re-invigorated Motorola and we expect them to close out the year strong. The DROID has been an out and out success.
We've seen the Dell 'Streak' Android MID before. It's a 5-inch Android-powered MID that packs a 800x480 capacitive touchscreen, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 5 megapixel camera with dual-LED flash and runs Android 2.0. Why is it news again? Because there are reports floating around that point the Dell Streak to AT&T in 2010. Yep, the US company that didn't release their first Android phone in the US and the carrier that has ignored Android altogether, are together for one device. Guess it kind of makes sense.
It is time, ladies and gentlemen, for the sixth annual SPB Survey. SPB Software House is looking to get a better look at your needs in the mobile applications, and they're doing so worldwide, with the survey going out in 10 languages.
And your time may be rewarded. Three winners, picked at random, will receive the following:
First place: A free smartphone of your choice from a major Internet retailer (such as Amazon or Expansys), valued up to $1,000.
Second place: $100 worth of accessories from Smartphone Experts (that's us), plus $100 worth of SPB Software.
Third place: $100 worth of SPB software.
So, really, you have no excuse for not taking the survey, which runs through 7 p.m. GMT Dec. 4, 2009. Take the survey now!
We're looking forward to the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 so much that we'll watch videos that basically re-hash the same features we've already seen over and over again (at least this one's in English!). The video above again showcases the 'Rachael' UI that makes us drool over the XPERIA X10 and it looks surprisingly speedy and very usable. Hopefully seeing the XPERIA X10 so polished already means that the February release date is more likely.
We're going to keep reporting any tidbit of information regarding the XPERIA X10 until we get our hands on it because we have supreme faith that this might be the next 'it' Android device. What do you guys think?
Update: Nope, the camera wasn't fixed because of a silent software update or because of wiping the lens clean (we wish!). The problem of autofocus was caused because of a 'rounding error bug'. To quote:
There’s a rounding-error bug in the camera driver’s autofocus routine (which uses a timestamp) that causes autofocus to behave poorly on a 24.5-day cycle. That is, it’ll work for 24.5 days, then have poor performance for 24.5 days, then work again.
The 17th is the start of a new “works correctly” cycle, so the devices will be fine for a while. A permanent fix is in the works.
Since we're on the 'good end' of it now, the patch releasing on December 11th should fix the issue entirely.
We know some of you have had issues with the DROID's autofocus--the issue being that it never focused right--but now it looks like there may be a fix to all your woes. According to one DROID user, if you simply clean the lens with a soft cloth, your Motorola DROID will begin to autofocus correctly. Apparently, there may have been some residue or oily film on the lens that caused the autofocus issues.
If you're having problems with the DROID's autofocus, we say you give it a try and let us know how it works. If your DROID can autofocus fine but still only takes cruddy pictures, stick to taking pictures on a sunny day, outside or hope for a software fix.
The Shack, or just Radio Shack if you've been out of the loop, will offer the Motorola CLIQ for $79 with new 2-year contract on Black Friday (November 26th). We kind of lambasted/ridiculed/tar and feathered T-Mobile for launching the Motorola CLIQ at $199, so $79 is a pretty amazing deal that'll hopefully stick longer than one day.
If you can gather your bearings after your Thanksgiving feast and compete with the loonies on Black Friday, we suggest you stop by The Shack to pick up the CLIQ. We absolutely love this new trend of Android devices being offered for sub-$100 prices--DROID Eris for $99, Sprint HTC Hero and Samsung Moment for $99 and now the CLIQ for $79.
We've seen a Creative Zii Android Device before in the Zii Egg but we haven't heard from them since. It looks like that's about to change because the first Zii Summit 2009 will be held in December and there'll be an announcement of the Zii Optimized Android Phone platform which will presumably be available in an official Zii Android phone. The details of the Zii Android Phone look pretty impressive:
Phone with Fully featured Android Platform
OpenGL ES 3D graphics
1080p HD video output
Accelerated video, graphic and imaging
Full integration with SurfaceFlinger
High Quality Audio
Enhanced User Interfaces
Accelerated Web Browsing
It looks like ZiiLabs has been focusing their efforts on a new chip called the ZMS-08 which is an ARM Cortex A8 processor clocked at 1GHz which is capable of all that good stuff. More details will surely come about before the Zii Summit so we'll definitely keep our eyes peeled for more ZiiLabs Android news in the future!
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