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5 years ago

Hands-on with the Sony Ericsson Live Dock


It wasn't just phones on show at last night's Xperia Party in London. Sony Ericsson was also keen to show off the latest accessory for its 2011 Xperia smartphones -- the Live Dock. This is a brand new smartphone dock which serves not only as a charging station, but allows you to connect USB peripherals like keyboards and mice, and control your phone using good old-fashioned button-based devices.

And if you've got a HDMI-enabled Xperia, like the Arc or Arc S? Well, that's where things start to get really cool -- in that case, you can browse the web and play Angry Birds on your TV, using any standard USB wireless keyboard and mouse. Proof of this, in video form, is after the jump.

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5 years ago

Hands-on with the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray


The Xperia Ray quickly piqued our interest when it was announced a few months ago. Up to now, Sony Ericsson smartphones had invariably been constructed of plastic, and while this has its benefits, an aluminum-framed device is always going to be sturdier and feel better in the hand.

We finally got the chance to fondle the Xperia Ray at Sony Ericsson's Xperia Party in London yesterday, and found it to be a worthy mid-to-high-end offering from the manufacturer. It packs all of the premium features of the Xperia Neo, while addressing one of our biggest concerns with that phone -- its looks.

Read on to find out what we thought as we got to grips with the Xperia Ray.

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5 years ago

Sprint's Kyocera Milano available Sept. 9 for $49.99


Sprint this morning announced the Kyocera Milano, a phone we outed a week ago in the Sprint Playbook. The Milona looks to be a mid- to low-end Android smartphone, with a 3-inch display, Android 2.3, a 3.2MP camera and slide-out QWERTY keyboard. It weighs 5.6 ounces and has a 1490 mAHh battery, and 512MB of RAM and ROM.

It's also got a battery-saving "Eco Mode," and the Sprint ID custom themes.

The Kyocera Milano will be available Sept. 9 for $49.99 after two-year contract and $50 rebate.

Source: Sprint

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5 years ago

AT&T's Sony Ericsson Xperia Play available Sept. 18 for $49.99


AT&T this morning announced that its version of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play (see our hands-on) will be available Sept. 18 for a mere $49.99 with two-year contract. The Xperia Play, as you'll recall from our review, is the so-called Playstation phone, with a slide-out gamepad and Playstation-optimized games. It's rocking Android 2.3.3 with a 4-inch screen.

Games included with AT&T's Xperia Play at launch are:

  • Dungeon Defenders™ Second Wave by Trendy Entertainment
  • Asphalt™ 6 Adrenaline by Gameloft
  • Star Battalion by Gameloft
  • Madden NFL™ 11 by Electronic Arts
  • The Sims™ 3 by Electronic Arts
  • Tower Bloxx™: My City by Digital Chocolate
  • Crash Bandicoot® by SCEA/Naughty Dog/Universal

As if a $49 Xperia Play isn't a good enough deal, AT&T's also sweetening things by throwing in the DK300 Multimedida Dock (check out our review of the dock) and MC100 music cable.

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5 years ago

Hands-on with the Sony Ericsson Xperia Active


Last night we dropped in on the Sony Ericsson Summer Showcase (aka Xperia Party) in London's Mayfair district, to check out some of the manufacturer's upcoming Android phones. One of the stars of the show was the tiny Xperia Active, a small but ruggedized phone designed for outdoorsy types who don't want to worry about a little dust, dirt or water getting in the way of playing Angry Birds in the middle of a hardcore kayaking session. The Active demo units at the Xperia Party were frequently dunked in nearby glasses of water to demonstrate its water-resistant features, which includes Sony Ericsson's unique "wet finger tracking" tech, allowing touchscreen use even when there's water on the screen.

Join us after the jump for a full run-down of the Xperia Active's features, along with a hands-on video tour and a bunch more photos.

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5 years ago

Microsoft announces licensing deals with Acer, Viewsonic over Android devices


Microsoft this morning announced it has reached licensing agreements with Acer and Viewsonic over the companies' Android devices. Terms of either agreement were not announced, but Viewsonic will pay royalties to Microsoft. No royalties were mentioned in Acer's deal, which could point to some sort of reciprocal licensing.

Microsoft VP of IP and general counsel Horacio Gutierrez issued the following statement in both press releases:

“We are pleased that [Acer/Viewsonic] is taking advantage of our industrywide licensing program established to help companies address Android’s IP issues,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft. “This agreement is an example of how industry leaders can reach commercially reasonable arrangements that address intellectual property.”

This is just the latest in licensing for Microsoft, which already has reached a deal with HTC, while suing Barnes & Noble and others. Meanwhile, we haven't heard much from Microsoft and Google lately in their patent-lawsuit back-and-forth. Perhaps we're due?

Source: Microsoft (Acer, Viewsonic)

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5 years ago

Hands-on with Cricket's Samsung Vitality with Muve Music


We've spent some quality time the past few days with the Samsung Vitality from Cricket Communications, and we've come away pleasantly surprised. With the Vitality, you've got a mid-level Android smartphone that's light, thin and surprisingly quick. It's running Android 2.3.4 with the stock user interface, with an 800MHz processor pushing a 3.5-inch display at 320x480 resolution. There's a 3.2MP camera on the back. A dual-core, high-megapixel, high-end phone this is not.

But the raw specs aren't the shining features of the Vitality. Can you believe, unlimited everything for just $65?

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5 years ago

Cricket announces the Samsung Vitality with Muve Music


See our hands-on with the Samsung Vitality

Cricket Communications this morning announced the Samsung Vitality -- the first Android smartphone with deep integration of the Muve Music service. Muve itself has been around for a while -- it already has 200,000 users -- but this is the first time it's been built into an Android smartphone.

The Vitality itself is a capable mid-range Android smartphone. Specs include:

  • Android 2.3.4
  • 3.5-inch display at HVGA (320x480)
  • 800MHz processor
  • 3.2MP rear camera
  • 4GB microSD card (3GB for music storage, 1GB for user downloads)
  • 3G/Wifi data
  • Stereo Bluetooth
  • 1600mAh battery
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Dimensions: 4.6x2.4x.06 inches
  • Weight: 4.16 ounces
  • Muve Music

The Samsung Vitality will be available later this month on Cricket for $200 on contract (update: That's outright; Cricket doesn't do contracts). Unlimited data, voice and Muve Music will cost $65. (Yes, you read that right.) Full press release is after the break.

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5 years ago

Motorola Droid Bionic now available from Verizon


Read our Droid Bionic Review

And just like that -- the waiting for the Motorola Droid Bionic is now over for the most part. If you've been holding out to get your hands on one you can now head on over to the Verizon Wireless website and place your order. The buy in cost will set you back $300 with a new two-year contract ($590 without) but for that money you get a 1Ghz TI OMAP4 processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and a 8MP camera with 1080p HD video recording. Plus, it's 4G LTE equipped and comes loaded with the latest version of Motoblur -- if you're into that stuff. Grabbing one? If so -- let us know in the comments or in the Droid Bionic forums.

Source: Verizon

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5 years ago

The Android Central 100,000-follower Twitter contest


Youtube link for mobile viewing

Congrats to @mikedaub for winning!

By the time many of you read this, we'll likely have we eclipsed 100,000 followers on Twitter. While it's really not about the numbers -- we'll take quality over quantity any day of the week -- it's certainly a milestone worth noting. And worth celebrating. And you know how we celebrate around here. We give you the gifts.

That's it. Oh, and about that prize. Maybe watch the video above. Then read this.

Contest ends at 9 p.m. EDT Thursday. We'll announce a winner Thursday night, live on the Android Central Podcast. Good luck, happy tweeting, and thanks for making us the biggest and best Android community around!

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5 years ago

Costco will have the Droid Bionic for $279.99, bonus accessories included


With the Motorola Droid Bionic hitting Verizon stores for $300, it's only natural for people to be looking for a retailer offering it for less. That is where Costco comes in this time around. They will be letting the Motorola Droid Bionic go for $20 less then Verizon bringing the buy in cost to $280. They'll also be including some bonus accessories to go along with the package but right now -- what, exactly that entails hasn't been confirmed. Anyone going to be hitting up Costco instead of Verizon?

Thanks, Anon!

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5 years ago

Bionic is coming, Internal reset method [From the Forums]


Eric Schmidt not big on Ice Cream Sandwich name, HTC is suing App again and the Droid Bionic is officially official - goes without saying it has been an interesting day on the blogs. If you're looking for more news, android discussion or even some help with your Android device make sure you check in to the Android Central forums:

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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5 years ago

Eric Schmidt not big on Ice Cream Sandwich name, says it's coming Oct./Nov.


Youtube link for mobile viewing (fwd to 30:25)

The best part about Eric Schmidt's brief -- and we do mean brief ... almost in passing -- mention of Ice Cream Sandwich at the Salesforce Dreamforce 2011 keynote isn't that he says it'll be out sometime in October/November.  That's a time frame that should surprise no one, and really doesn't divulge anything, no matter how many times you parse it. Instead, it's the disdain Papa Schmidt has for the ICS nickname that's the real juicy nugget, albeit a minor real juicy nugget. Check it out in the video above. The transcript doesn't do it justice. You can hear him rolling his eyes.

We pretty much feel the same way, though. Froyo was gold for a headline writer. Gingerbread, eh, we can live with it. Ice Cream Sandwich is somebody getting back at us. Yeah, we're taking it personally.

Anyhoo, here's what Schmidt had to say:

"We have a new operating system, internally known as 'Ice Cream Sandwich' for some reason, which is being released in October-November, which everybody is very excited about."

So it's coming sometime in October or November. Maybe late October. Or maybe early October. Or maybe early November. Or maybe late November. Possibly in the middle of one month, or in the middle of the other. Parse it all you want. Dude said "October-November." And with that, we're going to have a cheeseburger.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in

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5 years ago

HTC sues Apple again, this time with patents acquired from Google


Last month HTC sued Apple for patent infringement, which was one lawsuit among many in the tech world these days. HTC has now filed another lawsuit, but this time it's directly related to patents that the Taiwanese manufacturer acquired from Google recently.

HTC received nine patents from Google last year, many of which are now being used in the courts.

Three of the patents originally belonged to Openwave and are being used in a complaint with the International Trade Commission. Four were Motorola's before and are now being used by HTC in a suit in the federal court in Delaware. All of these are being directed at one company: Apple. This is most likely due to Apple being the first to shoot.

This is just another chapter in the ongoing patent war. Get comfy, because it's going to be a lengthy dispute. Stay tuned.

Source: Bloomberg

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5 years ago

Android Wallpaper Review: Digital Hive Live Wallpaper



YouTube link for mobile viewing

I'm a huge fan of Honeycomb. I think Google developed something really cool with the TRON-like aesthetic, plus all of the bee-related imagery appeals to me. By default, I use the included hive wallpaper that's built into Honeycomb. Since I stumbled upon the Digital Hive Live Wallpaper, though, I'm not sure if I can ever go back.

Digital Hive Live Wallpaper looks just like the standard hive wallpaper, except now the hexagons hover in the air and sort of pulse up and down. If you touch one of the hexagons, it will respond to your touch and move accordingly. It's totally pointless, but a cool touch nonetheless.

On the wallpaper settings menu, you've got a number of settings to mess with and perfect your digital hive experience. The first setting is line quality, with two settings. If you're on a tablet or a high-end phone, you'll probably want to opt for the high quality. Otherwise, there's the standard quality.

Next are all of the color options. You're able to save three colors of your choosing, and then you can pick one of them to be the color source (the actual color of the shapes on the wallpaper). Choosing a color is easy as can be. All you do is pick the color spectrum you want to be in, then drag the little circle to your preferred shade.

There's also a "battery level" option for the color. If you pick this, your wallpaper will change colors depending on if your battery is full, at 50% (or less), or about to die. If you leave it alone, they'll be green, yellow, and red, respectively, but you can mess with those, too.

There's also options for motion (pulsing and whatnot), enabling touch response, and amplifying motion (which looks great on a tablet's full screen).

Performance-wise, I'd say there might be just the slightest bit of hang when moving from screen to screen, but that might just be my own paranoia about having a live wallpaper slow down my screen swiping. Overall, speed is mostly there, so I'm not sure if it's a combination of the floating shapes and the orientation moving along with each screen, but be aware.

Digital Hive Live Wallpaper goes for 99 cents in the Android Market. If you're as big a fan of the Honeycomb design as I am, it's something I'd definitely check out.

Download links and more pictures are after the break.

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