Monday, 27 February 2012

Android Community

Android Community

Huawei MediaPad 10FHD hands-on

Posted: 27 Feb 2012 09:56 AM PST

Rumblings of a 10-inch version of Huawei’s surprisingly solid MediaPad have been going on for quite some time, but at Mobile World Congress 2012, it’s official. The MediaPad 10FHD is only the company’s second tablet (not counting derivatives like the T-Mobile Springboard) but already it’s looking pretty impressive. The 10.1-inch slate runs Android 4.0 along with Huawei’s other new hardware, and it uses their custom-made quad core system architecture. Perhaps most impressively, it’s skipped right past the 720p standard and uses a full 1920×1200 10.1-inch LCD screen.

No half-measures here: Huawei will be selling WiFi-only  and 3G/LTE versions of the MediaPad 10FHD. It’s also using the metal chassis first seen on the 7-inch MediaPad, with plastic cutouts for wireless communication doubling as grips on either side. Even with a metal shell, the tablet is surprisingly light, making for an impressive combination of fit, finish and ergonomics. Huawei seems to be taking its charge to break into the high-end segment to heart, and the engineering shows. The one downside to the hardware is the “private connector” – Huawei says it’s to keep anyone from stealing you data, but all we hear is “for the love of God, don’t lose your data cable”.

The software appears to be nearly stock Ice Cream Sandwich, with Google apps and the Android Market in tow. A full range of GPS, motion, acceleration and compass sensors is packed in. We don’t know when the MediaPad 10FHD will be available or where, but it could take a while – the software on display wasn’t quite ready for prime time. For more Huawei hardware (and others, of course) keep it glued to our MWC 2012 portal.

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Asus Padfone headed for release in April with headset/stylus: we go hands-on

Posted: 27 Feb 2012 09:25 AM PST

Easily one of the most-anticipated Android devices over the last year has been the Asus Padfone. First just a concept and eventually a developed product, Asus has finally pulled the wraps off if its shiny new form factor and the hardware that will release in just a couple of months. If you’ve been following the Padfone, you know it’s an Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone that docks to become a full-fledged Android tablet. Asus had two new surprises at its launch event: one, the Padfone will be released in April, and two, they’re not done defying conventions: they’ve added a Galaxy Note-style stylus that doubles as a Bluetooth headset. You read that right.

For hardware, the smartphone portion gets the popular 1.5ghz dual-core Snapdragon S4 and a full gigabyte of memory. The phone’s screen is a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display with a qHD resolution, and it packs in 16GB of storage plus an 8MP camera and an HSPA/LTE radio. Of course, the phone is only half the story. Slide it into the tablet dock and the MicroUSB port connects for charging (5 times the battery life!) and the HDMI dock displays your information on the ten-inch 1280×800 tablet screen.

The transition from phone to tablet takes advantage of Ice Cream Sandwich’s dual nature, instantly shifting the user interface as needed. The demonstrations of this were seamless: watching a video on the phone continued on the pad with only a slight pause. Obviously the tablet isn’t an ideal device for answering calls – that’s where the new stylus/headset comes in. It automatically actives if you get a call in tablet mode. Unfortunately the stylus was presented in an eyes-only capacity, and Asus didn’t say if it was included or would need to be bought separately.

The phone is surprisingly light, while the tablet (docked) is surprisingly heavy – chock it up to a big battery and heavier-than-expected docking components. That said, both pieces feel like quality electronics, with textured plastic and metal accents. Asus is mum on where it will release the Padfone and which carriers (if any) will offer it. They also weren’t talking about a price -a considerable omission when high-end phones alone are pushing the $700 USD mark. Even so, we can’t wait to try it out in a more official capacity – April can’t get here soon enough.

Kep an eye on our Mobile World Congress portal for all the breaking news on Android smartphones, tablets and everything in between.

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Asus Transformer Pad Infinity 700 LTE hands-on

Posted: 27 Feb 2012 08:55 AM PST

The new Transformer Pad 300 isn’t the only mobile broadband tablet that Asus has up its sleeve. They’re also planning an LTE version of the Transformer Prime 700 that we saw at CES last month – and boy, is it a looker.  That “Infinity” branding isn’t just to make a pretty name: it adds a 1920×1200 screen to the Transformer Prime base – a resolution that was previously reserved for 17-inch laptops and 24-inch desktop monitors. In addition to the standard Tegra 3 quad-core model, Asus is also preparing a dual-core version running Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 1.4Ghz processor.

Unfortunately, you’ve gtot a decision to make if the Infinity 700 is in your future: quad-core performance or wireless connectivity? The WiFi-only model gets the Tegra 3 processor, while the LTE version gets the slightly slower Snapdragon – Nvidia’s platform is currently incompatible with LTE wireless connections. That said, the Snapdragon S4 is still mighty impressive, and if you can live without bleeding-edge hardware (or access to the Tegra Zone) the LTE version might be right up your alley.

Hardware looks almost identical to the Transformer Prime, with the notable addition of a plastic cutout on the top to allow for better wireless transfers. (The original’s all-metal design was a bit of a hindrance there.) You still get the ultra-slim profile, 8MP camera, keyboard dock with extended ports and 6 hours of extra battery and of course, Ice Cream Sandwich. Aside from the extended resolution and LTE/processor swap, it’s very much the machine you know and love – it even keeps the champagne/amethyst color scheme and spiral spun accents, and it’ll come in 16 and 32GB variants.

Asus didn’t say when the Transformer Pad Infinity 700 would be hitting the market, or where, or how much it would cost when it does. Considering the small footprint of LTE networks in Europe, Asus is probably looking at Asia or – a happy thought – America as their primary markets, at least for the mobile broadband version. Check back with our Mobile World Congress portal for all the latest news and hands-on coverage.

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Asus Transformer Pad 300 LTE official: hands-on

Posted: 27 Feb 2012 08:27 AM PST

Drooling over the Transformer Prime, but can’t bear to be without mobile data? Asus feels your pain, and they’ve got a new model to fit your wireless needs. The Asus Transformer Pad 300 (note the new branding!) was revealed at Mobile World Congress today, and Android Community was on-hand to get the skinny. The biggest news is that the 300 series will have both 3G and LTE mobile data, a first for Asus in any market – and a good sign that eventually the Transformer Pad 300 will make its way to the US.

As far as specifications ho, the Transformer Pad 300 is a dead ringer for the Transformer Prime: 10-inch, 1280×800 LCD screen, quad-core Tegra 3 processor with 1GB of RAM, and up to 32GB of storage. As a member of the Transformer line it naturally gets a keyboard dock, boosting the 10-hour battery life to a full 15. That killer 8MP camera remains, and it looks like Asus has learned their lesson with the metal construction of the Transformer Prime, and the 300 has a plastic back (that still manages to feel pretty good).  Asus has indicated that the 300 will replace the original Transformer in its lineup, and launch with Ice Cream Sandwich.

The Transformer Pad 300 will come in three colors: red (which looks kind of like ruby to me) blue and silver. Keyboard docks will be sold in matching colors, of course. Asus was sparing when it came to pricing, availability or network partners (or if we’d see a WiFi-only version) but you can expect those details to come in the next few weeks. In the meantime, keep checking the MWC 2012 portal – there’s plenty more Asus tablet news in the pipeline.

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HTC says One V headed to Metro PCS, Virgin Mobile and US Cellular

Posted: 27 Feb 2012 08:04 AM PST

HTC’s new One line has gotten a lot of us Android fans excited, and in America we’re doubly excited to see a European launch event confirm US releases. The flagship HTC One X will be headed for AT&T (with a reduced Qualcomm dual-core processor) and the HTC One S is on its way to T-Mobile. But what of the One V, the smaller, cheaper phone that revives HTC’s Legend design? According to PhoneScoop, it’s headed for the land of the free as well: low-cost and prepaid carriers Metro PCS, Virgin Mobile and U.S. Cellular have already begun the initial steps towards adding the phone, said an HTC representative.

The remark was quick and off-the-cuff, so it probably shouldn’t be considered a verification at this point. That said, it’s easy to see why US carriers would want a piece of the V: its relatively small screen and size combine with a (presumably) smaller price tag to make for a compelling Android smartphone that keeps the excellent unibody design of its big brothers. Assuming all three carriers added the ONe V in the next three months, it would also probably be their first Android 4.0 phone. This doesn’t preclude the One V from coming to larger carriers as well – we just haven’t heard anything from AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile.

The HTC One V may be at the low end of the company’s current line-up, but that doesn’t mean it’s any sort of slouch. A 3.7-inch LCD screen uses an 800×480 resolution, and you’ll want every pixel to see Ice Cream Sandwich and Sense 4.0 . The rear camera is just 5MP, but it uses HTC’s new F/2.0 lens ,which promises to take great stills regardless. Don’t forget about a unibody aluminum design with a MicroSD card slot, which the other two One phones are missing. If there’s a downside to the One V, it’s a pokey single-core 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM, though a non-removable 1500mAh battery would also qualify.

Keep an eye on the Mobile World Congress portal for more breaking news.

Asus rebrands tablet line to ‘Transformer Pad’ and adds LTE

Posted: 27 Feb 2012 07:43 AM PST

“Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime” – a bit of a mouthful, isn’t it? Asus would seem to agree, since they’re finally breaking their line of Android tablets away from the “Eee” branding that started the netbook craze way back in 2007. Now new members of the docking tablet family will simply be known as “Transformer Pad”, plus a distinctive model number afterwards. That leaves the Transformer Prime as the last Asus tablet to be saddled with the Eee brand. Other tablet lines in Asus’ hardware armada will be known by other names, like the Padfone or the smaller MeMO tablets.

That’s not all: Asus announced that its tablets are finally going truly mobile and will break out of their WiFi-only shell soon. That was pretty much a given with the Padfone design, which combines an Android smartphone with a tablet dock, but it looks like they aren’t stopping there. Members of the Transformer Pad line will be getting wireless data as well, and what’s more, they’ll be getting LTE. That implies (but doesn’t guarantee) that they’ll be heading to the United States, which currently has the largest LTE networks in the world.

Asus brought the whole family to Mobile World Congress, including new Transformers and the Padfone. It’s all coming to light today, since it’s the first official day of the conference (HTC, Samsung, LG and Huawei jumped the gun with their own pre-show events).  We’ll be bringing you the latest news on all of Asus’ developments, so keep an eye on the MWC 2012 portal to check it out.

Android growth continues: 450,000 apps, 850,000 activations daily

Posted: 27 Feb 2012 07:20 AM PST

As previously indicated, Google’s Android booth at Mobile World Congress is pretty amazing. But it’s not all slides and pins: the company took the opportunity to interrupt full-grown tech journalists embracing their inner child for long enough to drop the latest numbers detailing Android’s meteoric rise. First up, Android has now passed an average of 850,000 new phone and tablet activations every day – and that’s just the number that Google keeps track of through its own apps and servers. It’s a growth of over two hundred and fifty percent since MWC 2011 a year ago. Anyone want to start taking bets on how soon it will reach a million?

Second is the number of available apps: 450,000 in the Android Market alone, with more than a billion app downloads a month. While that doesn’t quite beat the iOS app store, it’s closing in, and analysts predict that it will pass Apple some time in the first half of this year. And really, once you load up 100,000 apps on your 32GB SD card, how many more do you need? Some would disagree – you only need to glance at the comments in our latest Temple Run article to see how iOS disparity is affecting perception. Also, shame on you, commenters – you text your mother with those fingers?

As far as devices go, more than 800 phones and tablets running Android have been produced since the good ol’ G1 way back in 2008. (At least 650 are made by Samsung.) The total number of Android devices sold around the world have reached more than 300 million – almost enough for ever man, woman and child in the United States to have one. If you happen to be at Mobile World Congress, make sure and stop by Google’s Android playground – you won’t be disappointed.

ZTE adds seven new Android phones and two tablets to line up

Posted: 27 Feb 2012 06:52 AM PST

The quad-core Era isn’t the only thing that ZTE revealed in its Mobile World Congress press event. While details (and photos) are hard to come by, company representatives detailed no less than nine new Android devices heading to the market over the next year, with a 7-2 split between smartphones and tablets. Thankfully they’ve broken down the releases into markets, so there’s no confusion as to who gets what – at least for now, most of these phones are headed to the market in the second or third quarter, so naturally nothing is set in stone.

First up is the Mimosa X (above), which you may have heard about before. This one is powered by a Tegra 2 processor and Nvidia’s new Icera HSPA+ modem, making it relatively novel among Android smartphones. The Mimosa X gets a 4.3-inch screen with a qHD resolution, 1GB of RAM and a 5 megapixel camera. This one should debut in Europe and the US in Q2. It’s joined by the ZTE PF112 (code name) with a larger 4.5-inch 720p display, Android 4.0 and the new Miflavor interface over Ice Cream Sandwich.

From there is gets fuzzy. Two LTE phones should be coming to the American market: the ZTE N91 and PF200. Very little is known about these phones, except that they run ICS and have NFC capability. Four properly named phones will get European debuts: the Skate Acqua, Kis, Blade II and the aforementioned Mimosa X. The only one to get a proper debrief is the Blade II, which will be a 1Ghz upgrade to the original Blade.

Rounding out the presentation were two tablets, the ZTE PF 100 (10-inches) and the ZTE T98 (7-inches). Both will use Nvidia Tegra 3 processors and the Miflavor Ice Cream Sandwich skin, with the smaller of the two due in the first half of the year and the larger due in the latter half. It’ll be hard for ZTE to outshine fellow Chinese OEM Huawei, who’s introduced their own quad-core processor in addition to smartphone and tablet hardware here at Mobile World Congress.

ZTE Era joins the quad-core race with Tegra 3

Posted: 27 Feb 2012 06:23 AM PST

Quad-core smartphones certainly seem to be the recurring theme at Mobile World Congress this year. ZTE, usually known as a more conservative, budget OEM, just revealed their first quad-core device running Nvidia’s new 4-Plus-1 Tegra 3 processor. The Era is ZTE’s new flagship, though as far as hard specs are concerned it runs a little behind the pack with a 4.3-inch 960×540 display – if you care about those things, of course. It should be quite the looker, though: a 7.8mm-thin profile puts it squarely in RAZR territory.

Though the short glimpse we saw of the Era in ZTE’s press conference looked like a pretty stock Android phone, ZTE appears to be emulating the big boys in software as well: all its new phones will run the Miflavor (what?) interface over Android. At least it’s Ice Cream Sandwich underneath. There’s still a lot of work to be done on this element – the company says that its hardware is running Gingerbread now, but will get Ice Cream Sandwich by the time it’s released.

And they’ve got quite a while. ZTE isn’t planning on releasing the Era until the third quarter of this year – which, in terms of the mobile market, might at well be an era away. This being the case, the rest of the hardware specifications are still being ironed out. The only thing other than the processor and screen that the company has committed to is an LTE radio. Hopefully by the time the Era sees a worldwide release, Nvidia will have gotten over that compatibility problem. ZTE’s got a lot more to show here at Mobile World Congress, so stay tuned.

Samsung shows off yet another screen size with Galaxy S WiFi 4.2

Posted: 27 Feb 2012 05:49 AM PST

I’ll just come out and say it: Samsung, you have a problem. The first step towards healing is admitting that you have too many screen sizes. 3.2, 3.5, 3.7, 4.0, 4.3, 4.5, 4.65, 5.0, 5.3, 7.0, 7.7, 8.9 and 10.1-inch screens are currently on offer – and that’s just in your Android line of smartphones, tablets and media players. What’s that? I missed one? Oh, right – you just announced the Galaxy S WiFi 4.2 at Mobile World Congress. We want to help you, Samsung – why won’t you let us help you?

The Galaxy S Wifi 4.2 is the first entry into Samsung’s third generation of Android-based PMPs, fitting neatly in between the Galaxy Player 4.0 and 5.0. There’s some coniderable improvements upon the deisgn, starting with the screen: while the resolution remains 800×480, it’s now an IPS LCD, making for considerably better color reproduction and viewing angles. The rear-facing camera leaves a lot to be desired at 2.0 megapixels, but it gets a VGA counterpart on the front.

Under the hood is a 1.0Ghz processor (no word on how many cores) with 512MB of RAM, and it’s running Gingerbread (sigh) with Samsung’s TouchWiz as a topping. Storage options are 8GB and 16GB, plus an open MicroSD card slot. All in all it’s a small step for the Player-class devices, though there is at least one big improvement over the previous generation: this one gets skinny at 8.9mm, putting it in the same general size class as the Galaxy S II. There’s no word on pricing or availability just yet, but expect it to compete with the relevant iPod models. We’ll be on-hand at Mobile World Congress all week to see if Samsung has any other surprises.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 official: we go eyes-on

Posted: 27 Feb 2012 05:30 AM PST

Long live pen-based input! That seems to be Samsung’s new watchword, as they’re expanding the Note series from the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note to a new 10.1-inch model, based around their primary Galaxy Tab line. It’s a familiar device if you’ve ever held a Galaxy Tab 10.1, even more so if you happen to have seen the German G-Tab 10.1N, as the new series of tablets copies its speaker-forward design. Specification wise, it gets an upgraded 1.4 dual-core Exynos processor and a new “8 Pi” S-pen works in conjunction with a Wacom digitizer and Samsung touch apps. Storage gets a new, larger 64GB option – otherwise, the tablet is identical to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 2.

The biggest changes to the user experience come from a series of software apps running on the Ice Cream Sandwich-TouchWiz OS. In addition to the pen-based input, Samsung is pushing its “Live Panels” series of widgets, calling the experience a Multi-Screen interface. There’s a heavy emphasis on notation, with magazine, diary, flash card and sketchbook apps. But it’s more than just simple input: built-in handwriting and pattern recognition can convert your words to electronic text, even for standard mathematical functions. Simple shapes can be vectorized using Samsung’s proprietary software.

And it isn’t just Samsung who’s invited to the party. The Galaxy Note 10.1 includes Adobe’s Photoshop Touch and Adobe Ideas, a pair of apps that normally cost $10 each. They both take advantage of the digitizer and stylus to sense pressure, speed and stroke, not unlike the desktop version of Photoshop working with a Wacom digital pad. Other Samsung pen-enabled apps include Slice It! and Comic Book as well as Catch Notes, Touchnote, and Hello Crayon.

Samsung hasn’t said when the larger Galaxy Note will become available, or for how much. Since they wouldn’t let us handle the device ourselves, we’ve got to assume that there’s a good bit of software engineering left to do. Obviously it’ll warrant a premium over the standard Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 model, but since that is (and this is being generous) a light refresh at best, there’s no way to know how much that will cost when it comes to market, either. Considering the added pen-based functionality and the new Samsung processor, the Galaxy Note 10.1 can now be considered Samsung’s flagship tablet. We’ve been keeping an eye open around MWC 2012 for that rumored 11.6-inch tablet, but so far, it hasn’t appeared.

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LG rumored to manufacture next Nexus device

Posted: 26 Feb 2012 07:38 PM PST

Well this is certainly a change of pace, isn’t it? We’ve seen Google choose two manufacturers to produce products for their ‘Nexus’ line thus far: HTC and Samsung. Now, the latest rumor suggests LG could be next in line for the job. For those of you that don’t know, the ‘Nexus’ line of devices are updated to the latest version of Android before all others, and have Google on their side for superb technical support. Samsung has had the last two Nexus devices, so why has Google decided to mix it up?

If anything, you’d think Motorola would be next in line; especially since Google finally closed out the company’s buyout. LG hasn’t really made quite the footprint HTC or Samsung have left in the Android timeline yet, so it’s hard to fathom. However, the LG Spectrum was quite an eye-opener when it came to build quality and an amazingly pixel-rich display. They’re definitely on the right track, and if they continue to improve their line of devices in a way that catches the public’s eye, anything is possible.

Yet, the Galaxy S III is just around the corner, and HTC just dropped the One X – a phone to rule them all. Stealing the thunder from either of these companies will be difficult. But in the end, Google will be the sole deciding factor on the matter. Sure, they have their best interests in mind, but they also let us know they want us to view the ‘Nexus’ line as lead by Google, and not a “preferred” manufacture. We’ll find out eventually, but since the Samsung Galaxy Nexus was released only a couple months ago, it should be some time before another Nexus phone should hit the market. Now, a Nexus tablet is a different story altogether.

AT&T HTC One X confirmed, will sport Qualcomm dual-core

Posted: 26 Feb 2012 07:07 PM PST

We had known that there would be an international edition of the HTC One X, and now the AT&T variant for the US has emerged too. However, you’ll notice it won’t sport an NVIDIA quad-core Tegra 3; this was entirely due to 4G LTE incompatibility. Instead, it will come equipped with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 4 dual-core processor. And we know from a test TI composed a few days ago, four cores are not always better than two. Their OMAP 5 was tearing through anything they threw at it, so it will be nice to test some benchmarks of our own during a future review.

Another change, rather an upgrade, is the addition of AT&T’s 4G LTE connectivity. And for those wondering, the international version will still support T-Mobile’s HSPA+ 42mbps network. AT&T’s HTC One X will come with 32GB internal storage, have a 4.7″ 720p Super LCD2 display, and an 8MP rear-facing camera. It will also ship with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) shaped by HTC Sense 4.0.

HTC earlier described they would start a new “hero device” strategy when it comes to releasing new devices. For 2012, the HTC One X fills these shoes perfectly. They’ve incorporated the best of the best in this device; from Beats Audio integration to a new polycarbonate casing – HTC fans have something their going to be able to brag about for quite a while. Those of you interested should be sure to take a look at our hands-on, as we are at MWC right now!

HTC One series gets official promo videos

Posted: 26 Feb 2012 02:55 PM PST

So, the HTC One series is a big deal if you’re HTC, or an HTC fan. And just in case you haven’t had enough of them and their Mobile World Congress debut so far, HTC has posted quick commercials for the One X, One S and One V to YouTube. It’s some pretty sedate stuff – if you’re drooling already, the videos will call for a little more salivation, but if you’re not convinced they won’t change your mind. There’s a definite focus on each phone’s camera, but the videos help isolate exactly where HTC thinks its three new pillars fit into the mobile landscape.

First up is the flagship: the HTC One X. This monster 4.7-inch phone is HTC’s first dalliance with the Nvidia Tegra 3 platform, and thus is faster than almost anything out there – that isn’t already using a quad-core chip. (Everybody at MWC seems to have at least one running around). Ice Cream Sandwich and HTC Sense 4.0 have a solid foundation, and the unibody aluminum design don’t hurt either -though a non-removable battery is a bit of a bummer. The camera on the One X is a full 8 megapixels with a 2.0 aperture – HTC says it’s the best they’ve got. AT&T will get the One X, but their flavor has a standard dual-core processor from Qualcomm.

The HTC One S is the middle child, the workhorse of the line. It’s also the thinnest phone that HTC’s ever made at 7.9mm, tapering out to a little more on both sides. The screen is a smaller qHD 4.3-incher, but it gets the added advantage of AMOLED for brighter colors and vivid blacks. The processor is downgraded to a Qualcomm chip, but it’s still pretty speedy at two cores of 1.5Ghz. The camera on the HTC One S is still 8MP, but it’s a slightly inferior sensor. It still enjoys the same unibody design, and the One S makes it look good, along with ICS and Sense 4.0.

Last, but by no means least, is the HC One V. The budget option of the line, the One V recalls the HTC Legend in its unibody construction. The 3.7-inch screen is down to just 800×480, but that’s pretty reasonable for the size. Despite being a “budget” phone, the One V gets ICS, Sense 4.0 and Beats audio like its larger siblings, though it’ll have to make due with a 1Ghz processor, 512MB of RAM and just 4GB of on-board storage. HTC calls the One V’s camera “Best in class” for low light, though it’s only got a 5MP camera.

Still haven’t had enough? then check out our hands-on coverage of the One X and One S, and keep an eye on the Mobile World Congress portal for even more news.

HTC One X Hands-On

Posted: 26 Feb 2012 01:52 PM PST

We’ve gotten our first glimpse and hands-on experience with the HTC One X here at MWC 2012 and with its 4.7-inch 720p HD Super LCD2 display, brand new stylish chassis, and no less than the NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor with 4-PLUS-1 cores under the hood, this is certainly the hero to beat. This line of devices under the HTC One flag are amongst the first in a very long time from this manufacturer to be working with a non-Qualcomm chip, though as you’ll find in the AT&T release of this device – that’s not always true. This device runs with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, HTC’s own Sense 4.0 over the top, and the whole package is difficult not to be wholly impressed by.

This device comes with a polycarbonate casing rather than the metal HTC has for so long been known for, this lowering the weight of the device down to 4.58 ounces while the whole device is just 9.29 mm thin. The sides of the device have somewhat of a gloss finish, the back is both soft-touch and matte for an easy gripping experience, and everything, even the speaker grille, has been given a special dose of attention. As opposed to the Sensation which used a separate grille section altogether, this device has been given micro-drilled perforations for a much more cohesive design.

The glass panel across the front is entirely flat save for the edges which give the impression that the device has a lovely curved shape in addition to its already overall form-fitting chassis. The back of the device has several pogopins that work with docking station we’ll also get to try out in the near future aside a small pop-out microSIM tray accessible by pin. This device has 32GB of onboard storage and, like the rest of the HTC One line, has an additional 25GB of cloud storage via DropBox free for two years. Inside you’ll find an 1800 mAh battery that is not accessible nor replaceable, this decision made by HTC to reduce the size of the device in the end.

The HTC One X’s 8 megapixel camera will give you full 1080p video capture coupled with the most advanced sensor ever installed on an HTC smartphone. This device also features its own image processing chip which HTC has named the HTC Image Chip. This chip is able to do all the processing work on the RAW frame before it is converted and loaded to your built-in gallery. While it doesn’t appear that there’s any way to access the RAW images at the moment, the rest of the specifications on this camera setup alone more than make up for it. There’s a Backside-Illuminated (BSI) sensor for low-light performance, a single LED flash with 5 auto levels activated depending on the amount of light the built-in light sensor detects, and a full f2.0 lens.

The lens on the back-facing camera is one that HTC says delivers 44-percent more light to the CMOS than any other regular smartphones f2.4, this making faster regular photos or better shots in mediocre lighting a reality. Shooting photos consists of 0.7 seconds to load up plus a 0.2 second autofocus lock. According to HTC this autofocus lock is faster than a blink of an eye which clocks in at an ever so slightly larger 0.3 seconds.

As for Sense there’s more than a few surprises and welcome additions to this device and the rest of the HTC One line, starting with an overall cleaner and simpler set of modifications via Sense over Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Where in the past we saw giant animations and widgets that were unmistakably HTC’s own, Sense 4.0′s widgets are pared back, animations are pushed back significantly, and the whole experience is butter smooth.

This device has such essentials for 2012 as an NVIDA Tegra 3 4-PLUS-1 processor, HSPA+ connectivity, WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, and NFC for the first time ever on an HTC device. The HTC One X works with a microUSB port which supports MHL-HDMI output, and HTC is also presenting a MediaLink HD wireless HDMI dongle this season that you’ll certainly want to check out with the HTC One line: a brand new MediaLink HD wireless HDMI dongle. This dongle connects to your TV’s projector input and is able to mirror content from your HTC One S to the television with just a three finger swipe up on the device’s display. HTC’s Watch video rental app and player allows you to mirror video to the television while you use the devices’ display independently. Check your social networks while you watch the big screen!

We’ll be running with a full hands-on and unboxing once review units are ready to ship – for now it’s easy to say that this is HTC greatest effort yet. HTC is going “all in” with both the software and the hardware in the whole HTC One line, a welcome change from last year’s torrent of devices from the manufacturer whose new strategy is, indeed, a Hero line for 2012. Have a look at the rest of our hands-on and announcement posts in our HTC portal as well as our MWC 2012 portal for further information – and get ready for a 2012 full of quad-core, Ice Cream Sandwich, and HTC One goodness!

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HTC One S headed to T-Mobile, we go hands on

Posted: 26 Feb 2012 01:46 PM PST

Moments ago HTC announced the brand new 4.3″ qHD AMOLED packing HTC One S smartphone and now they’ve revealed it will be headed to T-Mobile as their first “One” phone. With no changes to the OS we have Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and that beautiful Sense UI 4.0 on board. The One X may be the new flagship device but the HTC One S is probably the best overall package and value, especially for those that don’t want a larger screen. Read on below for our full first impressions.

The T-Mobile HTC One S is the perfect smartphone in regards to screen size, design, build quality, performance, and last but not least — the OS. As we mentioned earlier in the announcement post, the One S comes with a 4.3″ qHD AMOLED display but it isn’t HD. Rocking a 960 x 540 resolution. Under the hood is Qualcomm’s new 1.5 GHz dual-core S4 chip. The one they claim can almost match the quad-cor Tegra 3. HTC’s new “Studio” design division is really impressing me with the simple new designs. It’s like the beautiful Nexus One but bigger, and better.

In terms of build quality this is a top-notch smartphone. No cheap plastic here as HTC’s wrapped this in a conditioned and strengthened aluminum. HTC has readied two versions, they each have sturdy metal and are creak-free. One black model with a so-called “Ceramic Metal” finish and another with a grey “Graded Anodization” finish. Holding the T-Mobile One S in your hand it just oozes quality. We can scratch the surface with our fingernail but HTC ensures us that is only our fingernail wearing down, not the phones casing. HTC has gone back to their roots and this phone is awesome. I’m liking the small curve in the pack particularly. It gives the phone a very comfortable grip.

It’s worth noting that with Sense UI 4.0 on ICS HTC has really taken a more simple and easy approach. while it is still deeply integrated into the user interface and they’ve made tons of changes — Sense 4.0 feels more natural and like it’s laying over the top rather than changing every aspect of Android. It is very smooth and exceptionally fluid so far, I’m quite impressed. Many love Sense devices but I know there is a wide group of users that want and love vanilla Android. With HTC’s latest creation that line will continue to blur as they’ve really made a great, fluid, and stable experience.

The new SLCD2 has excellent colors and viewing angles. Even though we only have qHD 960 x 540 the screen looks great. HTC’s new SLCD 2 is one of their best screens yet and they are telling us we’ll be amazed once we try this phone outside in direct sunlight. Next up is the camera. HTC is particularly proud of the cameras on these new phones. With a BSI (backside-illuminator) f2.0 lens for 44-percent more light than the typical f2.4 lens other smartphone cameras might make do with. Stating we can take pictures in just 0.7 seconds.

We have plenty of video coming soon so stay tuned for the full rundown.

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HTC One V Announced — Ice Cream Sandwich, Beats Audio on a budget

Posted: 26 Feb 2012 12:42 PM PST

As we continue with the HTC launch event here at Mobile World Congress we have the low-end of the three new Android smartphones being announced as a part of their “fewer but better” devices strategy. This is the HTC One V, previously rumored as the HTC Primo, and it brings all those specs we’ve come to love along with the latest Android OS all for a great price. Again meeting the demands to be considered a “One” smartphone the One V wont disappoint but read on below to find out more.

HTC has just announced the One V and it being a budget phone they’ve scaled back a few of those specs that we’ve seen with the One S and the flagship One X but we still have an awesome screen, Beats Audio, the HTC Imagechip processor to enhance camera capabilities and more. The HTC One V comes with a 3.7″ SLCD2 480 x 800 display, 1.0 GHz single-core processor, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. All HTC One devices will come standard with 25GB of DropBox cloud storage too. We do still have a great camera but it has been lowered to 5 megapixels and no front camera sadly. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and Sense UI 4.0 are on board to keep things simple, smooth, fast, and beautiful.

As far as the hardware the One V looks sharp. According to HTC the dimensions are 120.3 x 59.7 x 9.24 mm making this another thin device being just 9.2mm thick. With HTC announcing this 1.0 GHz device with only 512 MB of RAM I’m instantly wondering when and if they’ll update other similar spec’d phones to Ice Cream Sandwich — but that is doubtful.

On stage HTC has said the new SLCD2 is the best screen they’ve had yet when dealing with direct sunlight, and is also on the 4.7″ HTC One X only with an HD resolution. To complete the budget friendly, Beats powered One V we have a built-on (non removable) 1,500 mAh battery. We will continue to check out everything HTC has to offer, including some new accessories for the HTC One line of smartphones and have plenty of hands-on pictures and video coming soon so stay tuned for more.


HTC One S announced with 1.5 GHz dual-core, ICS, and just 7.9mm thin

Posted: 26 Feb 2012 12:41 PM PST

Live in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress HTC has just taken the full wraps off of their first onslaught of Android devices for 2012. We have all the details and the HTC One S, previously rumored as the HTC Ville, is a looker that is for sure. With a similar size as the HTC Sensation the One S looks impressive. Not only that but it will be joining the Sensation on T-Mobile too. The new naming scheme “One” will ensure this is a quality phone and meet that top-tier requirement spec. Read on below for full details of this impressive phone.

With the HTC One S you wont get the biggest screen or the fastest available processor, but you will have an amazing overall device in a sleek and sexy svelte design. Don’t be concerned though because this is still a high end phone, just not the absolute top end. With the One S, HTC has opted for a beautiful 4.3″ qHD screen with a 960 x 540 Super AMOLED display. Being powered by a Qualcomm S3 1.5 GHz dual-core processor. Other than those select few internals everything else is on-par with their flagship device, the One X.

Equipped with the same three key points to be considered for the “One” line we have Beats Audio integration, the same and equally impressive 8 megapixel camera on the rear we saw on the One X (built-in imagechip and all), VGA front facing camera for chat, and also a smooth and beautiful OS — that being HTC Sense UI on top of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Being slightly lower in screen and processor specs does however make for a thin device and the One S comes in at a super sleek 7.9mm thin (8.7 at bump). Again even though we have Android 4.0 HTC has included three (not four) capacitive touch buttons under the display.

One key factor with the One S is the design and feel. Wrapped in an aluminum uni-body with a first of its kind MAO finish (Micro Arc Oxidation) that is a revolutionary method to produce hard and corrosion resistant coatings on metal. The MAO procedure turns metals like the aluminum design into a strong, yet soft to the touch finish. Making the entire device more than scratch resistant — it’s almost scratch “proof”. Not to mention remaining extremely comfortable to handle.

To round things off the HTC One S comes with 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and again the battery is not removable and sits at 1,650 mAh. I’m not a fan of this built-in approach many are taking as of late, but it helps for an overall better, more sleek design. We will be getting plenty of hands-on with the HTC One S so stay tuned right here at Android Community and our MWC 2012 Portal.


HTC One X Revealed and Detailed

Posted: 26 Feb 2012 12:41 PM PST

The folks at HTC this week are revealing a whole new line of devices under the single hero flag HTC One, the top of this tier being held by the HTC One X. This device works with an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core 1.5GHz processor with NVIDIA’s newly re-named 4-PLUS-1 technology in the mix. This device has a 4.7-inch Super LCD2 720 x 1280 pixel resolution display covered with a pane of Gorilla Glass, the entire unit weighs in at just 4.58 ounces, and the thickness of the device is just 9.29 mm.

The HTC One X also runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, has the newest version of HTC’s own custom user interface HTC Sense 4.0, and theres a total of 32GB of space onboard. In addition to this, just like the rest of this first wave of HTC One devices, this HTC device comes with a free 2-year 25GB cloud storage space addition to your DropBox account – that being the basic length of your carrier’s 2-year contract, of course. The HTC One X also has 1GB of RAM built-in.

There’s a built-in lithium polymer battery at 1800 mAh which, with the extra fifth core in the NVIDIA Tegra 3, you’ll be able to utilize for such a long time you wont be able to comprehend it. This device has an 8 megapixel camera on the back with a 2.0 aperture (the best on any HTC smartphone thus far) and digital auto focus, also able to take 1080p photos. Even though the HTC Titan is the HTC device with the most amount of megapixels at the moment with 16, this HTC One X has the best sensor on any HTC device.

The camera also has an HTC ImageChip, this being an extra bit of silicon that works specifically for the camera itself and allows you to take photos in just 0.7 seconds. The back-facing camera has a single LED flash bulb with five different stages of flash, each of them using the light sensor built in to your camera to decide how dim or bright to make the flash fire in any given situation. The front-facing camera is capable of taking 720p videos and has a 1.3 megapixel rating.

This device is made of a scratch resistant polycarbonate across the back, and again Gorilla Glass across the front, and will be coming in white or black. The HTC One X is set for a release date just 60 days after it’s announced (

For the rest of our HTC news from this week be sure to hit up our [HTC portal], and remember to stay tuned to our [MWC 2012 portal] for Mobile World Congress news all week long!

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HTC One Three Pillars of Quality revealed and detailed

Posted: 26 Feb 2012 12:32 PM PST

This week at Mobile World Congress 2012 HTC has revealed its hero strategy for 2012 as HTC One, a line of premium smartphones with a set of three pillars each that qualify them as a part of their top-tier line. The first of these three tiers is an amazing camera experience – the camera you get with your smartphone is the one camera you need for your life. The second is an amazing multimedia experience, with a great screen and a wonderful audio experience with Beats Audio. The third pillar in the HTC One line is an amazing design and overall experience.

This line of devices features a whole new look at Sense for Ice Cream Sandwich, runs Android 4.0 on each of the first set of devices launched, and is encapsulated in a naming scheme that always starts with HTC One. That means that no matter what part of the world you’re in, the HTC One X will always be the HTC One X, be it on a carrier in the UK, Italy, or the USA. Because HTC wants to come in strong with this line and regain their top tier status as an Android device manufacturer, each device in the “One” line is being positioned as the one and only device you will need for everything in your daily life.

1. An Amazing Camera Experience

With each of the HTC One devices you’ll see coming out over the next year, HTC will not only be promising you a superior experience in the basic combination of high quality sensor, shutter speed, and lens, but also in their HTC ImageChip which is essentially a whole extra bit of silicon dedicated to to camera alone. The camera on any HTC One device is designed to not just be good, but good enough to replace any point-and-shoot that you’d otherwise be carrying aside from your smartphone.

2. An Amazing Multimedia Experience

Each of HTC One series of devices will in one set of ways or another provide you with a superior display and audio quality. This means each device having a display that’s better than anything in HTC’s past as well as Beats Audio integrated for an excellent headphones experience. Beats Audio with HTC One devices also means you’ll be getting Beats earbuds in the package as well.

3. An Amazing Design and Overall Experience

The first set of HTC One devices is made mostly of a new polycarbonate back and Gorilla Glass on the front, each device designed to not only fit in your hand comfortably, but to look and feel stylish as well. These devices are uniquely designed to both feel good and look good while bringing you an intensely personal experience for your everyday communication needs.

An Integrated Approach

The team at HTC has presented a line of devices which allows the consumer to know what they mean when they say “hero.” The HTC One line will keep its name wherever it’s sold on earth, be it a carrier in Madrid or a carrier in the USA, and we must assume that the same amount of success that other manufacturers have attained with such approaches (or similar branding approaches) will be attained. We certainly hope so, anyway – HTC it’s time to wow the world!

This information is just a taste of what we’ve seen here at Mobile World Congress for HTC, have a peek at our [HTC portal] as well as our giant [MWC 2012 portal] to keep up with the greatness that is HTC One!

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