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6 years ago

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


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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6 years ago

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



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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6 years ago

European Nexus One Will Have Multitouch ?


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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6 years ago

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



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'?


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6 years ago

Round Robin Podcast Extra, CES-style!


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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6 years ago

Hands-on with the Motorola Backflip


Motorola Backflip

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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6 years ago

Hands-on with the Xperia X10


 Sony Ericsson Xperia X10

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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6 years ago

Flip Releases FlipShare App for Android



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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6 years ago

Nexus One Gets A Teardown, Looks Good Inside Too



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??


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6 years ago

Motorola Droid & Cliq Getting Android 2.1, Droid to Get Flash 10


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 One so 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?

[via @palmsolo]

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6 years ago

Motorola Backflip Is Official, Probably Headed to AT&T


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.

Motorola didn't reveal which carrier it's going to land on but educated guesses point to AT&T since AT&T announced today that they'll be carrying a Motorola Android device with a unique form factor. Backward facing and folding keyboard counts as unique, right?

Oh, we almost forgot. The Backflip will run Android 2.1.

So what do you guys think? Who's going to buy the Backflip on AT&T?

[motorola via @palmsolo]

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6 years ago

Vodafone expects Nexus One 'in a few weeks'


 Nexus One


Not satisified with Google's "coming soon" label, Vodafone UK has said it will start selling the Nexus One "in a few short weeks."

"No detail on pricing and precise timing has yet been made, but that will come in a few weeks."

Coming up after that is France, Germany and Spain. The N1 also will be sold directly through Google, as it is in the U.S., as well. [via Yahoo]

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6 years ago

Lenovo announces 'Lephone' for China



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]

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6 years ago

AT&T Will Launch Five Android Phones In The First Half of 2010



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

The AT&T Dell Android phone is purportedly the Dell Mini 3i we've seen launch in China and Brazil. The other devices are unknown at the moment but we'll definitely be keeping a watchful eye on this.

Android is now on all big 4 carriers in the US. Congratulations are definitely in order!

[at&t, at&t]

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6 years ago

Chevy Volt getting Android counterpart


Chevy Volt Android appWhen 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.

There's a demo available now for the Motorola Droid at This isn't quite Jetsons flying car stuff, but it's definitely getting closer.

Via AutoBlog

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