Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Android Community

Android Community


Google’s Mobile World Congress keynote: breakdown

Posted: 28 Feb 2012 11:19 AM PST

Mobile World Congress isn’t all about new phones and tablet,s and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt demonstrated why with his hour-long keynote presentation hosted by the GSMA. Most of if was expended in showing off Google altruistic intentions for getting both technology and connections into developing markets, and Android’s a big part of that. In addition to articles here on Android Community on Android penetrating into the featurephone category, lowering entry prices to $70 or less, and Chrome’s safety as a browser, we’d like you to check out even more ocverage on our sister site, SlashGear.

First of all, Google doesn’t have a problem with “forked” versions of Android, or more accurately, Android devices that intentionally don’t have access to the Android Market. That said, they hope that demand from consumers will lead OEMs and other partners to choose the Android Market over other alternatives. Oh, and Schmidt says that Google doesn’t sue – unlike some other folks. Google also briefly considered a completely closed currency, then coined “Google Bucks“, to rival other third-party currencies like BitCoin. But in the end, they chose to abandon the project when faced with strict regulatory laws for alternative currencies in many countries.

Speaking on Android as an operating system, Google’s Hugo Barra spoke about how Android and Chrome are becoming more and more connected, specifically in their ability to sync personal data across networks. Chrome (the desktop browser, mobile browser and integrated x86-based operating system) got a lot of love. And speaking more abstractly on the nature of new internet legislation like SOPA, ACTA and PIPA, Schmidt gave some fatherly advice to the first world and developing nations: “Do not give up Internet freedom. You will regret it.” On connected devices in particular and their pervasive nature, Schmidt reminded Android users that they’re in control – including the off button.

After two full days in Barcelona, most of the new hardware and gadgets have been revealed already. There’s still plenty of hidden gems to check out on the show floor, and the Android Community team will be there to find as much of it as we can before heading back to the states. To see the good stuff, keep an eye on our Mobile World Congress portal.


Google’s MWC app panders to the obsessive pin collector

Posted: 28 Feb 2012 10:38 AM PST

“See a pin and pick it up, and all day long, you’ll have a pin.” This bit of nonsensical wisdom from a famous author seems to have inspired Google’s Mobile World Congress efforts, as they’re releasing a second series of collectible Android pins at their amazing Mobile World Congress booth. If you’re attending the conference and you’re a proud pin-head, you might want to download Google’s official MWC app. In addition to Android information and general guidance for the Fira de Barcelona conference center, it’s got a checklist of all the new pins you can collect – and how many you’ve already collected.

Can you say “gotta catch ‘em all”? For an international megacorp, Google (or more accurately its Android development team) sure know how to have a good time. The promotional goodies at the booth, including themed Android statues, more vinyl collectibles, and ice cream sandwiches shaped like everyone’s favorite OS mascot, Google’s booth is a downright playground. If you should find yourself there, be sure and ask the staff to hand over any pins that they might have on their person. You know, politely.

The new set of Android pins has a whopping 86 collectible entries, with themes ranging from superheroes to Marilyn Monroe. If that’s not enough variety for you, you can head over to the Google+ page and design your own. Select entries will be featured by Google at the end of Mobile World Congress. For those in Barcelona right now, make tracks to the Android Market – the MWC app is a free download. And don’t forget to check in to our MWC 2012 portal for some more sedate fun.


Sony Tablet P headed to AT&T on March 4th

Posted: 28 Feb 2012 10:19 AM PST

We’ve been bemoaning the lack of availability of the Sony Tablet P, a unique clamshell Android tablet, ever since it launched in Japan and failed to materialize here in the US. It looks like the long wait is finally over: the Sony Tablet P will come to AT&T on Sunday, March 4th, four months after it hit the market elsewhere. The tablet will cost $399.99 – not bad, but of course you’ll also need to sign up for a new two-year contract or renew your current one. Unlike most of the new tablets headed to MWC, the Tablet P will only get access to HSPA+ “4G”, not the new LTE network.

Just to refresh your memory, the Tablet P uses a pair of 5.5-inch LCD screens joined by a hinge, which can operate independently or combine to make a segmented “full screen” Honeycomb interface. Each one uses a resolution of 1024×480, combining to make 1024×960, a nearly square aspect ratio. Inside is a dual-core Tegra 2 processor and 1GB of RAM powering the interface, with just 4GB of storage augmented by an open MicroSD card slot. When it launches on Sunday the Tablet P will be running Android 3.2 Honeycomb with Sony’s software additions, including support for officially ported PlayStation games.

The Tablet P is undeniably unique in the Android hardware world, cramming a 10-inch screen into a device that’s (arguably) pocketable. While the unusual form factor isn’t for everyone, we’ve been dying to see it launch in the US ever since we got out hands on it way back in August. There’s no word from Sony on a WiFi version for those who don’t want to be saddled with an AT&T contract, and the carrier hasn’t said how much it will cost without one. There’s also no word on when AT&T’s Tablet P will get Ice Cream Sandwich, though Sony has already promised an upgrade for international models.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Tablet P
    Manufactuer : Sony
    Carrier : NA
    Announced Date : April 26, 2011
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As : Sony Tablet S2
Display
  • Screen Size : 5.5 Inch
  • Resolution : 1024x480
  • Screen Type : TFT
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : NA
  • Width : NA
  • Depth : NA
  • Weight : NA
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Polymer
  • Battery Capacity : 3080 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 3.1.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • MP3
    Video Playback:
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
Hardware
    CPU : Tegra 2
    CPU Clock Speed : Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : NA
    Internal Storage : NA
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 0.3 MP
    Camera Features:
  • 720p Video Recording
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • GSM
    GSM Band:
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1800
  • 1900
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Location Features:
  • GPS
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :


Eric Schmidt: $70 Android Smartphones coming soon

Posted: 28 Feb 2012 10:05 AM PST

Pricing of smartphones has always been an issue, especially over the past year with 4G LTE and quad-core processors becoming the standard. While talking on stage here at MWC Schmidt was asked about Android on feature phones and simply said “buy a smartphone.” Then continued on and talked about smartphone prices and what we can expect in the future with Android.

When asked when will smartphones cost less his answer was simple — next year. This years $400 phone will be $100 next year. Although that is an obvious answer and only a joke he did have a more serious comment that shortly followed.

While speaking he claimed phones will reach the $70 dollar price point next year for smartphones running on the Android platform. And not on contract but as an actual price point. This will be achievable in the next couple of months and possibly next year. With all the OEM’s and developers working together to make better and faster phones, while working on making products cheaper, and more efficient.

Citing many of the OEM’s here at MWC that have been working hard to release more than just powerhouse smartphones. Not everyone wants or needs the fastest phone available and Google and their OEM’s know that. While phones on contract can obviously be cheap and in many cases free, expect the prices to drop for feature phone like devices running on the Android platform.

A $70 dollar Android smartphone that isn’t slow and outdated sounds nice right? Sound off in the comments below.


Eric Schmidt: Android will match feature phone prices next year

Posted: 28 Feb 2012 10:02 AM PST

At Google’s keynote at Mobile World Congress, a member of the press asked the Chairman when Android would be coming to low-cost feature phones. Schmidt immediately answered with, “Why not buy a smartphone?” Schmidt wasn’t being crass, he was pointing out that Android keeps reaching into the lower end, in price if not in power. “Last year’s $400 phone is next year’s $100 phone,” said Schmidt, stating that he hopes and expects Android to enter lower and lower markets as it progresses.

A device needs a basic phone (connection), basic screen and basic browser in order to open up web access to its user, all of which rely on at least a decently powerful processor. Schmidt said that Google’s OEMs were working on sending Android phones into the $100-150 territory, with the eventual goal of reaching the $70 price point. All these figures are for phones sold independently of carriers, with no contracts and an unlocked connection to mobile networks.

Not that that’s necessary:  Schmidt dedicated quite a bit of time to mesh networks, small networks between devices with or without a central connection to the Internet. With local wireless LAN and emerging technology like NFC and Android Beam, combined with electronic access made possible by alternative power, smartphone and tablet technology can change the way that people in isolated locations communicate with each other. Google is focusing on emerging markets in every facet of its Android strategy – not the least of which is getting it to run on cheaper and cheaper hardware.

Schmidt says that Android phones priced competitively with standard phones are coming within the next two years. With networks and end-user devices advancing at a break-neck pace, it’s hard to argue with him. While super devices get the press, it’s the low end of mobile tech that’s breaking down barriers for emerging markets – and Android is a huge and driving part of that.


Google’s Eric Schmidt claims Chrome is “by far the safest”, even on mobile

Posted: 28 Feb 2012 09:52 AM PST

Here at Mobile World Congress as soon as Google’s Schmidt took the stage he started in on the shots. Talking about Android being a “real mobile operating system” and insisted that Google’s Chrome was by far the safest browsing experience hands down — For Android and on desktops. More details below as the show continues.

Referring to some of the competition in terms of mobile operating systems and browsers both he was quick to point out how Android was best — and I’d have to agree. Instantly talking about Chrome and how others have talked down on it in the past, especially regarding security and the workarounds to Apple’s Safari Browser. Regarding Chrome Schmidth had this to say:

"If you care about security, you should use Chrome, because it's by far the safest" Schmidt said, referring to recent controversy about the security of the browser.

Shortly after that quick jab or two they switched to Chrome for Android and discussed the launch then shared a preview. We’ve already reviewed Chrome For Android and it wasn’t anything new.. While nothing new was shown yet they did announce that it has launched in an additional 20 countries starting today. Chrome is the safest browser for both mobile and PC said Google — and I’d have to agree.

Stay tuned for more.


Qualcomm shows off Snapdragon S4′s 3D capabilities

Posted: 28 Feb 2012 08:29 AM PST

With all the talk of quad-core this and Tegra 3 that, you might have forgotten that Qualcomm still makes the lion’s share of Android SOC’s out there. Their new Snapdragon S4 dual-core platform is nothing to scoff at, especially since most manufacturers clock it at 1.5Ghz. The company is eager to demonstrate its 3D prowess at Mobile World Congress, both in polygonal and practical. For a demonstration of the S4 MSM8960 they showed off a glasses-free 3D Android machine running at a full 1920×1200 – which has become a lot more relevant, since at least two Asus models will use the S4 processor with that resolution.

To call it impressive is an understatement. Keep in mind that the a 3D display needs to output two images at a time to simulate a three-dimensional image – that’s a total size of 4.6 megapixels, in video and software, running without a hitch. The S4 powers the new LG Optimus 3D Max/Cube, so its dimensional powers should be on display sooner rather than later. The second demonstration that Qualcomm showed off was their Krait quad-core machine, running a separate video on each core and displaying them all at the same time. Check it out:

Of course, there’s still no solid timeline on when the Krait architecture will make it into mobile machines. Given that Qualcomm is showing off the chip on its own developer hardware, it’s not likely to hit within the next 3-4 months, possibly longer. On the upside, Qualcomm is much more entrenched than Nvidia – Tegra 3 platforms don’t currently support LTE connections. Expect to see some more final hardware and presentations at CTIA, coming in May.


LG Optimus 4X HD coming to the UK in June

Posted: 28 Feb 2012 07:32 AM PST

Drooling over LG’s latest Android flagship? You’re not alone. UK retailer Clove likes their gadgets too, but apparently they’ve got some inside information: they say the LG Optimus 4X HD will hit their shelves in an unlocked version by June. The price is currently listed at £380 before value-added tax. That’s just over $600 US, and fairly typical for a UK superphone. All this is subject to change – Clove and other retailers have a history of guessing at release dates, which are prone to unexpected delays in any case. Unfortunately, they also say that the new LG Optimus 3D Max isn’t coming along for the ride.

In case you haven’t heard, The Optimus 4X HD is at the very top of LG’s Mobile World Congress lineup. The Ice Cream Sandwich phone runs on Nvidia’s new 5-Plus-One Tegra 3 platform, with a massive 4.7-inch 720p screen to sweeten the deal. Other features include 1GB of RAM, an 8 megapixel rear camera, a slim 8.9mm profile, DLNA and HDMI-via-MHL. Storage is a full 16GB and the battery is huge for a standard smartphone at 2150mAh – the better to power that IPS display.

For the time being the UK is the only market confirmed to receive the phone, with an HSPA+ configuration since there’s no LTE presence on the British Isles. But as LG’s new flagship, you can be t it will be showing up in other markets soon - particularly LG’s base of South Korea. With multiple models of the Optimus LTE showing up on United States and Canadian carriers, it’s likely to make the journey to North America as well, though that could take many months and see the phone in entirely different configurations.

For a better look at the Optimus 4X HD, check out our hands-on form Mobile World Congress.


Official: Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 hits Verizon on March 1st

Posted: 28 Feb 2012 06:38 AM PST

We heard a quick rumor about it yesterday, but now we can lay it to rest: Verizon is getting the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 on Thursday, March 1st. It’s the first version of Samsung’s Super AMOLED tablet to go on sale in the United States, and as a consolation prize for waiting nearly six months after it was announced, it’s packing 4G LTE to boot. Naturally it runs Honeycomb (no word on a timeframe for an Ice Cream Sandwich) and Verizon gets the smaller 16GB version. The tablet starts a $499.99 on a two-year contract, or a whopping $699.99 without.

If you need a refresher: the Galaxy Tab 7.7 packs a 7.7-inch (natch) Super AMOLED display, the largest that Samsung’s made to date. At 1280×800, it’s significantly more dense than the original Galaxy Tab, the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus and the new Galaxy Tab 2, all of which use a 1024×600 LCD screen. The rest of the hardware’s no slouch, with a 1.4Ghz dual-core Exynos processor, 1GB or RAM, 16GB of storage space (with a MicroSD card slot to boot) and a pair of cameras: 3.2 megapixels and 720p recording on the back, 2 megapixels on the front. The whole package is just 7.8 millimeters thin.

Honeycomb comes standard with Samsung’s love-it-or-hate-it TouchWiz interface, plus a few extra software goodies like QuickOffice Pro HD. You can bet there’ll be a bevvy of Verizon pack-in apps, as well. The $499.99 asking price is pretty high when compared to other 7-inch tablets in WiFi only – Samsung and Verizon are hoping that top-of-the-line specs (faster than any current Samsung tablet, in any case) will help drive sales of the more portable Galaxy Tab 7.7.

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Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Galaxy Tab 7.7
    Manufactuer : Samsung
    Carrier : NA
    Announced Date : September 01, 2011
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 7.70 Inch
  • Resolution : 1280x800
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED Plus
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 7.74 Inch
  • Width : 5.24 Inch
  • Depth : 0.31 Inch
  • Weight : 335 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Polymer
  • Battery Capacity : 5100 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 3.2.x
Hardware
    CPU :
    CPU Clock Speed : 1400 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1024 MB
    Internal Storage : 65.536 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 3 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • GSM
    GSM Band:
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1800
  • 1900
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :


Fujitsu Tegra 3 13.1 megapixel prototype hands-on

Posted: 28 Feb 2012 05:52 AM PST

Quad-core is the name of the game at Mobile World Congress 2012, and the standard is Nvidia’s new 4-Plus-1 Tegra 3 system on a chip. While the device itself isn’t quite ready for prime time yet, Fujitsu is showing off a new Tegra 3 Ice Cream Sandwich phone with some tricks up it sleeve, namely an incredible 13.1 megapixel camera and a waterproof design. Officially designated “quad-core prototype” for the time being, expect to see something similar coming from Fujitsu sometime this year – though probably not outside of Asia, at least at first.

Looking at the Fujitsu phone, you’d be forgiven for thinking that somebody accidentally made a Galaxy Nexus with capacitive buttons. The 4.6-inch screen is impressive in person, though company representatives weren’t ready to talk about panel types or resolution. Both the hardware and software feel a little unfinished, with creaking seams and slowdown on basic Android tasks – we’re inclined to be generous here, since Fujitsu says it’s aiming for a late 2012 release. Software appears to be bone-stock Android 4.0, but expect that to change.

The innovations in Fujitsu’s concept are hard to ignore. Cramming 13.1 megapixels into a cameraphone sensor is impressive (though not as impressive as it was a few days ago) and the waterproof, dustproof chassis isn’t significantly bigger or thicker than comparable phones. Atrix fans, take notice: the proximity sensor on the Fujitsu phone doubles as a fingerprint reader for biometric security. It automatically turns the phone off when you set it on a table, which might be a good or bad thing – we haven’t decided yet.

It’ll be many moons before this device hits the market, and we’ve no idea what it’ll be called – though based on a label we saw under the table and a little intuitive guessing on Fujitsu’s current lineup, “ARROWS F12 Arc” would make a lot of sense. Keep in mind that the prototype is likely to do a lot of changing, both hardware and software, before it sees a retail release. Be sure to keep an eye on the MWC 2012 portal for more far-flung looks at upcoming devices.

IMG_4879 IMG_4881 IMG_4884 IMG_4886 IMG_4800 IMG_4801 IMG_4794 IMG_4795 IMG_4798 IMG_4784 IMG_4786


HTC One V hands-on

Posted: 28 Feb 2012 05:31 AM PST

Long live the chin. As the junior member of HTC’s new trio, the HTC One V is perhaps the least-covered of the three. But as the cheapest and therefore most accessible of the Android phones, it’s arguably the most important piece in the strategy: if HTC can win converts on the low end, it’s more likely to garner repeat business. Android Community swung by HTC’s booth at Mobile World Congress to get a better look at the budget-minded Ice Cream Sandwich phone, and while it’s obviously not the high profile machine that the One X and One V are, it’s definitely worth a look.

The One V recalls previous HTC designs more than the other two new phones, specifically the Hero and the Legend. Its curved “chin” section seems a little odd, since there’s neither physical buttons nor a trackball hanging out on it anymore. That said, the shape is pleasing, especially for making calls, which is more important than browsing or texting to much of the target audience. Despite the older shape, the One V combines a unibody aluminum design with a slim (for a budget phone) 9.24mm body.

You can’t deny that the One V is dealing with low specs – inside and out, it’s got more than a little in common with the two-year-old Nexus One. A 3.7-inch LCD screen runs at 800×480 – interesting that the lowest of HTC’s new phones still has a larger screen than you-know-what. A 1Ghz single-core processor and 512MB of RAM are enough to run Ice Cream Sandwich and Sense 4.0, though they certainly don’t fly. More impressive is the 5.0MP rear camera with HTC’s F/2.0 lens – we cant’ wait to try this one out in a more ideal setting than a show floor.

Storage is limited to just 4GB, but unlike the One V’s bigger brothers, it has an accessible MicroSD card slot. While you can swap cards, you can’t swap the battery – the 1500mAh unit is locked down tight. We don’t know how much the HTC One V will cost, but a company representative said it was headed to low-cost American providers US Cellular, Virgin America and Metro PCS “soon”. Be sure and keep an eye on our Mobile World Congress portal for more hands-on looks at the latest phones and tablets from Barcelona.

IMG_4648 IMG_4645 IMG_4646 IMG_4647 IMG_4637 IMG_4640 IMG_4642 IMG_4644 IMG_4632
Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : One V
    Manufactuer : HTC
    Carrier : NA
    Announced Date : February 26, 2012
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 3.7 Inch
  • Resolution : 480x800
  • Screen Type : NA
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 4.74 Inch
  • Width : 2.35 Inch
  • Depth : 0.36 Inch
  • Weight : 115 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 1500 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 4.0.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • AMR
  • MID
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU : Single Core
    CPU Clock Speed : 1000 Mhz
    Core : 1
    Ram : 512 MB
    Internal Storage : 4 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 5 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 720p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Proximity
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • GSM
    GSM Band:
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1800
  • 1900
    CDMA Band:
  • 850
  • 900
  • 2100
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 4.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :


Google Exec hints Android 5.0 Jelly Bean coming this fall

Posted: 28 Feb 2012 04:29 AM PST

Google hasn’t been giving us much information about Android here at Mobile World Congress, but then their keynote isn’t for a few more hours. However, a Google Exec has shared a few details and might have just put those “Summer release” rumors to rest regarding Android 5.0 Jelly Bean. Read on for more details and his quotes below.

With Android 4.0 ICS just finally starting to become available to more than a select few devices did we really expect Jelly Bean to be here by Summer? Hiroshi Lockheimer, vice president of engineering for mobile at Google made a few comments to Computer World here at Mobile World Congress and stated that a fall release is more likely.

After Android 4 comes 5, and we haven't announced the timing yet, which we're still sorting out," Lockheimer said. "There's a lot of engineering work behind it still, and there's also just the question of how to time it."

Lockheimer added, "In general, the Android release cadence is one major release a year with some maintenance releases that are substantial still."

According to his statements nothing seems to be set in stone at this point. Trying to time things right while releasing the best possible product makes timing the release quite difficult. The chances we see Android 5.0 Jelly Bean late Summer or early fall are still possible and hopefully we learn more later tonight. Stay tuned here at Android Community for all the details as Eric Schmidt takes the stage.

[via SlashGear]


FXI Cotton Candy world’s smallest PC getting ICS in March

Posted: 28 Feb 2012 03:53 AM PST

This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about FXI Tech’s Cotton Candy “world’s smallest PC” but here at Mobile World Congress we learned some exciting news about this neat little dual-core packing computer. FXI has promised that it will be receiving Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in March, they are just waiting on driver support that should be available any day now.

Inside this tiny PC we have a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 CPU, ARM Mali-400MP GPU, WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 and a micro-SD slot. On each side are the ports consisting of USB and HDMI-out for all types of use. Here at MWC they have it streaming video games via Ubuntu and others with Android 2.3 Gingerbread on board but I’m mostly excited about the fact that they’ll possibly be shipping with Android 4.0 ICS soon.

The Cotton Candy model on display here is actually what will be shipping in March and has been slightly redesigned. They’ve changed to a simple white plastic exterior (black end caps) that should further help with heat dissipation and included a micro-USB slot on the side for even more possibilities with this micro-computing solution.

As originally promised the FXI Cotton Candy should start shipping this March and is available to pre-order now for just $199.

IMG_4927 cotton_candy_2-580x406 IMG_4924 IMG_4932 IMG_4931 IMG_4930 IMG_4926


Android Community Evening Wrap-Up: February 27, 2012

Posted: 27 Feb 2012 09:33 PM PST

Since we’re live at MWC, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the massive amount of hands-on articles we’ve managed to get up today. So instead of a wrap-up, this will consist more of a ‘hands-on’ summary of devices for our second day at MWC. First up, we got to glance at the new Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. We received a few snapshots with it alongside the original 5.3″ Galaxy Note for an easy comparison. Usually you don’t see devices ship with Adobe Photoshop, but the Note 10.1 will already include Photoshop Touch and Adobe Ideas – a few apps that cost $10 each on the Android Market.


Next up, we managed to handle all three new devices from ASUS. We first got to play with the ASUS Transformer Pad 300, an LTE tablet that is much like the Transformer Prime. It’s only difference is a slightly lower resolution, and its bezel is composed of plastic instead of aluminum. We then saw the Transformer Pad Infinity 700, a tablet that looks almost identical to the Prime. Unlike the Pad 300, this one will have an even better resolution than the Prime. And finally, we were able to see the Padfone up close. It was my personal favorite, and is bound to change the mobile industry. Be sure to check out the included bluetooth headset built into the stylus in their new YouTube advertisement.

Toshiba unveiled a 7.7″ quad-core prototype tablet today as well. It was unbelievably thin, in the 8mm range even. We’re not really sure on it’s specs but can tell it will offer external storage via a microSD card slot. It’s code-named the AT270, so we’ll need to keep an eye out for more information down the road. Huawei also had a couple tablets at MWC this year as well; the MediaPad 10FHD and Ascend D smartphone. The Ascend is a quad-core device, coming in at 4.5 inches and hosting a vanilla version of Android 4.0. Unlike the Galaxy Nexus, they’ve opted for capacitive buttons instead of an expanded screen. As for the MediaPad 10FHD, it will ship with both a WiFi-only version and 3G/4G variants.

And finally, it’s worth mentioning the Orange Intel ‘Santa Clara’ phone. Unveiled by Orange, the device is definitely a prototype. The ‘Santa Clara’ comes without a manufacture and was probably produced to show off Intel’s Medfield processor clocked at 1.6GHz. Be sure to check out the hands-on clip!


Google has built a ‘firewall’ between Android and Motorola

Posted: 27 Feb 2012 08:55 PM PST

Since before Google’s deal to buy out Motorola was approved by both the US and EU, they had stated that each company would remain completely separate from on another. And had stressed that Motorola wouldn’t be ‘favored’ by Google in any way. Recently here at MWC, Google’s Andy Rubin had a few words to say on the subject, as many people have been asking why Motorola’s CEO Sanjay Jha would be replaced by Google employee Dennis Woodside.


To put it bluntly, he said “I don’t even know anything about their products, I haven’t seen anything”. And as for any favoritism between manufacturers, Rubin says there will be none. Google has “literally built a firewall” between the two companies. However, if the next Nexus smartphone ended up in Motorola’s factories, I wouldn’t be surprised.

And we should restate why Google purchased Motorola to begin with; Motorola had over 17K patents and 7.5K pending patents when the deal first commenced, and Google thought it was in their best interest to own these patents. And $12.5 billion dollars later, here we are. It wouldn’t be too disappointing to see this ‘firewall’ fall, and Google start using Motorola to promote and displese Android products the way they want. Imagine a world where each phone is treated like a Nexus device, receiving timely updates and developmental support; this is indeed farfetched, but Google manages their business well. It’s going to be interesting to see how this all plays out.

[via TheVerge]


Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 hands-on

Posted: 27 Feb 2012 07:59 PM PST

Earlier today we got an eyes-only look at Samsung’s newest member of its stylus family, the Galaxy Note 10.1. We swung by Samsung’s booth later in the day to get a closer look. The Galaxy Note 10.1 is physically similar to the new Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 (man, they’ve got to work on those names) but uses a faster processor, an active digitizer stylus and Samsung’s customized apps. As an extension of the original Galaxy Note it’s pretty compelling – much more so than the lukewarm refresh that the primary Galaxy Tab line seems to be getting.

The Note 10.1 keeps the look and ergonomics of the Galaxy Tab 10.1N, the German version of the original created to comply with Apple’s patent lawsuits. Note the forward-facing speakers to either side of the screen. It’s a little thicker and heavier than the original, likely due to the extra Wacom hardware around the screen. Speaking of Wacom: the digitizer is a new and more accurate version of the original Note’s; while you can use the larger stylus that comes with the Note 10.1 on the smartphone, you won’t get the added benefit of extra precision. Unfortunately, there’s no bay in the Galaxy Note 10.1′s body to accommodate the larger S-Pen.

The new tablet gets an upgraded 1.4Ghz dual-core Exynos processor, but otherwise keeps the specifications of the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 edition. That includes an HSPA+ radio, at least in the version that Samsung is showing off at MWC. ON the software side it’s equipped with Ice Cream Sandwich and Samsung TouchWiz, plus Adobe Photoshop Touch and Adobe Ideas – a perfect compliment to the pen-based input. Samsung’s handwriting recognition in particular seems much advanced from the Gingerbread-based Galaxy Note smartphone.

Samsung didn’t say when the Galaxy Note 10.1 would be made available, or for how much – but you can expect it to demand a premium over the other 10.-inch models. Keep a lookout at the Mobile World Congress portal this week for more hands-on looks at new hardware.

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Best Buy already taking pre-orders for HTC One X

Posted: 27 Feb 2012 07:36 PM PST

The HTC One X stole the show yesterday at Mobile World Congress, as HTC showed off their new ‘hero devices’ for 2012. All three looked extremely nice, and going back to the aluminum unibody as we saw in the HTC Legend a while back was a nice touch. As you know, HTC will launch two version of the One X, an international version, and one specially designed to take advantage of AT&T’s 4G LTE network. It seems Best Buy has already jumped to pre-orders for the device, and it’s sure to get some attention.


To pre-order your device, just walk into a Best Buy and reserve your One X for $50.00. You’ll get that back of course, unless you decide to take your name off the waiting list. This AT&T version will sport a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 4 processor instead of the NVIDIA Tegra 3. This was purely due to LTE incompatibility on the Tegra 3, or else we’d probably see it included on both versions.

The HTC One X will ship with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) skinned with HTC Sense 4.0, so depending on when it’s finally released, it may have the latest version of Android for at least a little while. Android 5.0 is quickly approaching, so we’ll see how quickly HTC will be able to update these devices to the latest. They were the most prestigious Android manufacturer for quite some time, so let’s see if they can pull it together with this new strategy and offer its customers the best experience possible.

[via DroidLife]


ViewSonic ViewPhone 4s Hands-on

Posted: 27 Feb 2012 07:19 PM PST

ViewSonic is making a surprisingly big showing at Mobile World Congress. Up to now they haven’t made much of an impact on Android, especially on the smartphone side of things. They aim to fix that with a trio of new smartphones, one of which is the rather temptingly titled ViewPhone 4S. As you might have guessed, it’s got more in common with a certain Cupertino phone than a similar name. We took a gander at ViewSonic’s MWC booth to see if it could match the goose.

The ViewPhone 4S’ screen is just 3.5 inches, but it crams in a massive 960×650 pixels – the exact dimension and resolution of the iPhone 4 and 4S. But that’s where the similarity ends – this one’s all Android, with ViewSonic’s customized customized interface (provided by SPB Shell 3D) running over Ice Cream Sandwich. The phone uses a unique two-tone layered case that’s surprisingly light, though can feel a little cheap if you’re not feeling generous. The 4S is powered by a 1Ghz single-core processor and has a 5 megapixel rear camera.

Of course, one of the primary features is a dual-SIM design, allowing the ViewPhone 4S to operate with two phone numbers and/or data connections. This is particularly useful in underdeveloped areas where coverage from single carriers is spotty. Most dual-SIM smartphones are low-cost variants of existing phones, but ViewSonic seems to be targeting the market directly with unique and relatively high-end hardware. We’ll see if that helps them gain a foothold in the market.

The ViewPhone S, along with its hardware cousins, is set for release in a vague “soon” timeframe in Europe. We’ll see if they can get the phone out before Apple sics the lawyers on them. Make sure and check the MWC 2012 portal for more hands-on looks at new phones and tablets.

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ASUS PadFone ‘Expand Your World’ advertisement hits YouTube

Posted: 27 Feb 2012 06:58 PM PST

Sometimes it’s hard to realize a good idea until you’ve seen it in action. And to be honest, I was a bit skeptical of the ‘two devices, one data plan’ idea for some time. But the ASUS PadFone seems flawless; well, it does in their advertisement so I guess there’s some bias there. Either way, be sure to check out 1:38 in the video clip when they show how the included stylus doubles as a bluetooth headset!


It’s a rather long commercial showing much of the same when it comes to actually using your device. But what they try to convey is how one device can now serve all your needs throughout the day. The PadFone apart from the tablet attachment has a 1500mAh battery, so it’s not the most impressive in that department; but when slipped into the tablet the battery life boosts up to 5X.

There’s one aspect of tablets that we don’t necessarily “need”; they don’t have to be thin. After all, that’s what many liked about the Sony Tablet S, it was easy to hold because of the included lip along to the top edge. If it performs as well as it does in the advertisement, then hopefully we will see more manufacturers take this ‘all-in-one’ approach with their devices. Also, be sure to check out our hands-on with the PadFone from today in MWC!

[via TalkAndroid]


Panasonic ELUGA Power hands-on

Posted: 27 Feb 2012 06:43 PM PST

Panasonic has been largely silent on the smartphone front for the last few years, at least outside of Japan. That changes at Mobile World Congress, where they’re showing off the Eluga smartphone - not to mention its bigger brother, the ELUGA Power. This model differs from its smaller version with a full 5-inch screen, putting it squarely in “phablet” territory. If Panasonic wants to make a splash with the new hardware, that’s certainly a way to get people’s attention.

The screen is a full 1280×720 panel, an improvement upon the 4.3-inch qHD screen on the regular Eluga. Despite the larger size, the phone is still relatively slim at 9.6mm. Inside it gets the same 1.5Ghz dual-core Snapdragon, and based on what we saw, the performance is impressive if not outstanding. Like most of the new phones here at MWC, it’s running Ice Cream Sandwich, and may need a little more time in the oven as far as software is concerned. They’ve got some time to work on it – neither phone is set to land in Europe for a few months at least.

As far as styling goes, the Eluga is a little bland. Not awful, just understated in a way that’s likely to get it overlooked next to more ergonomic competition. When comparing it with other large-screen phones like the Galaxy Note and Optimus Vu, it’s definitely a little behind the times – though in both cases, it’s got the advantage of mostly stock Ice Cream Sandwich. Currently, Panasonic has shown no intention of releasing the phone outside of Europe.

For a look at the standard Eluga taking a dunk (to show off its water-resistant capabilities) check out SlashGear’s write-up. And make sure to keep an eye on the Mobile World Congress portal this week for more breaking news.

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