Just because your Android hardware hasn’t been upgraded to the most recent (or, next to the most recent) version of the OS doesn’t mean you have to miss new features. Google has shipped a new version of its YouTube app that brings the preloading feature we saw arrive on ICS and above devices back in June to Gingerbread and Froyo. You’ll still have to be online to watch preloaded videos from your subscriptions or watch later list, but they precache while you’re on WiFi and plugged in so you don’t have to wait through buffering to show someone Gangnam Style at the bus stop. Otherwise, the initial Watch page has changed slightly, there are more channels in the Channel Store and you can also queue up videos to play later on any YouTube-enabled TV (Google TV, PS3 etc.) device you’ve paired with your mobile.
Sony Mobile casually dropped onto its website that in addition to the expected Xperia Ion flagship, it’s also releasing an Xperia Ion HSPA. The handset’s only readily apparent feature is its reduced modem, and in every other way looks to match its 4G-enabled brother, with a 1.5GHz dual-core CPU, 12-megapixel camera and Gingerbread. Whilst its designed to consume the same AT&T friendly frequencies, this one’s destined for a rest-of-the-world arrival to sate the lust of global Sony fans in countries where they do everything a little slower.
Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich Android-running hardware has had access to HD resolution YouTubestreams since launch (as seen above), but an update to the app that rolled out yesterday finally brings HD to some devices running Froyo or Gingerbread. The catch is that YouTube HD res won’t work on every Android 2.2 or 2.3 phone or tablet, as we’re told it is set dynamically based on screen size and resolution. Another quirk is that some devices still won’t install the updated version directly from the Market, like our Epic 4G Touch. Still, assuming you can snag the update — through official or unofficial means — if you have the pixels to spare you should see upgraded video quality from now on.
Samsung added a new star to its Galaxy universe today, with the release of the Galaxy Advance S. Powered by a 1GHz dual-core CPU, this handset boasts a four-inch, 480 x 800 Super AMOLEDdisplay, and packs up to 16GB of memory, along with 768MB of RAM. The device also supports HSPA connections at speeds of up to 14.4Mbps, and boasts a five megapixel rear-facing camera, along with a 1.3 megapixel shooter, up front. As far as software goes, the Advance S will ship with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, plus a full suite of Samsung’s apps, available via its Hubs and ChatON services. No word yet on pricing, but the Korean manufacturer plans to roll out its latest smartphone on a gradual basis, beginning with Russia next month, followed by Europe, Africa, Middle East, Southeast and Southwest Asia, Latin America and China. Notably absent from that list, of course, is the US. Find more details in the full press release after the break, as well as the gallery of press shots, below.
If you’ve tasked Sammy with stalking your progeny and your house, what’s another camera ontop of your TV? Samsung’s inTouch is just that, running a skinned version of Android 2.3, stuffed with WiFi, HDMI and a 3 megapixel camera. The combination of which enables apps like Skype, YouTube, and a web browser to be fed to your boob tube. Controlled by a QWERTY remote, it’ll be yours for $199 come March. For those interested, we’ve embedded PR after the break.
Samsung’s 2011 flagship still tantalizingly out of your wallet’s reach? Well, you might be tempted by the latest addition to the Galaxy family that’s just gone official in Korea. While the shell appears nigh-on indistinguishable from the previously announced Galaxy R, there are some notable spec differences. The M totes a four-inch Super AMOLED screen, not the Super Clear LCD found on the R, while there’s also only a single-core 1GHz processor here, not the dual-core Tegra 2 found on its older brother. The camera has also felt the pinch, shrinking from a five megapixel to a three megapixel offering. The Gingerbread handset measures in at just under 10mm thick, while still packing a TV tuner and a metallic body more similar to the Wave series than the plastic-backed Galaxy family. The M moniker places it in the high-end affordable spectrum, according to Sammy’s latest naming strategy, priced at around $500, although there’s no news on a release outside of its homeland just yet. The phone will arrive in three confusing color options; Platinum Silver [above], Blue Black and Lavender Pink. See whether the specification trade-off is worth it for a dose of Super AMOLED goodness by inspecting the source below.
Ever since the mighty Galaxy Note first popped up at IFA we’ve been curious about that S-pen and how it’ll make its way into our real-life workflow. Samsung promisedthere’d be an SDK back at its October London launch and it’s finally here, letting developers get busy adding some S-pen magic to their apps. Version 1.0 lets you add a basic canvas, a pop-up for pen settings (opacity, line color and so on) as well as erase and un/redo. Sure, ICS might natively support stylus input, but as Samsung is keen to point out — with its capacitive tip and configurable button — a simple stylus this is not. And remember: until the Note gets an ICS update, you’ll be scribbling all over that snappy Gingerbread install anyway. Tap that source link if you want to get your hands on the goods, and let the tic-tac-toe commence.
We’ve already inspected every inch of Samsung’s big bad phone-tablet hybrid, but a soupçon of extra news has trickled out from the Galaxy Note’s bombastic launch event in London yesterday. Those looking for brighter color scheme to match the striking glow of its HD Super AMOLED display are in luck, as the Galaxy Note looks set to arrive in white; the ethereal ying to its companion’s midnight blue yang. Sammy added that the Galaxy Note’s S-Pen SDK will be available to third-party developers starting December, hopefully bringing more uses for that slide-out stick. And that’s despite the latest Android OS offering native stylus support — the Galaxy Note remains a Gingerbread affair. The current smartphone king was unable to confirm if the UK would be getting the white model on the November 3rd launch day, or ever. Similarly, we’re still waiting on Samsung to put S-Pen to paper on pricing and any possible US launch details.
Remember the display on your first mobile phone? If you’ve been chatting on the go for as long as we have, it was probably barely big enough to fit a complete telephone number — let alone a contact name or text message. And your first smartphone? Even displaying scaled-down, WAP versions of web pages was asking a lot. Now, those mobile devices we couldn’t live without have screens that are much, much larger. Sometimes, though, we secretly wish they were even bigger still.
Samsung’s new GT-N7000 Galaxy Note is the handset those dreams are made of — if you happen to share that dream about obnoxiously large smartphones, that is. It’s as thin as a Galaxy S II, lightning fast and its 5.3-inch HD Super AMOLED display is as gorgeous as it is enormous; the 1280 x 800 pixels you once could only get with a full-size laptop (or in the Galaxy Tab 10.1) can now slide comfortably into your front pocket. Its jumbo display makes it the perfect candidate for a notepad replacement and, with the included S Pen stylus, you’ll have no problem jotting notes on the fly, marking up screenshots or signing documents electronically. But, is that massive display too much of a good thing? You’ll need to jump past the break to find out.
What big, wireless brother wants, big, wireless brother gets. With its pay-as-you-go subsidiary already packing this particular piece of mobile kit, ’twas only a matter of time before Sprint got its hands on the Transform Ultra. Officially announced for the third place carrier today, Sammy’s Droid Charge with a QWERTY twist packs the usual array of mid-range specs. The 3.5-incher runs Android 2.3 atop a single-core 1GHz processor, with a VGA front facing / 3 megapixel rear camera, 512MB RAM, 2GB of storage and 1500mAh battery in tow. It’s no next gen, 4G beastie, but sometimes you just need a workhorse to get things done. Pricing and availability have yet to be released, although we’re sure that bit of crucial info’s right around the corner. Official presser awaits you after the break.
What else is there to say? Whether in its original, exotic exterior, its lightly changed but rather more accessible AT&T-flavored model, or the decidedly Epic Sprint version, the Samsung Galaxy S II has never failed to impress us. In fact, we called that first release “the best Android smartphone yet” and still, nearly six months later, it sits mighty close to the top of the pile — if not squarely at the peak, waving its flag proudly whilst taunting the others below.
Here today we’re looking at the last of the Three Musketeers: the T-Mobile version. This marks the final US release of the Galaxy S II, unveiled in late-August. At that announcement event the device was curiously locked up in Lucite, but now it’s right here in our hands. While we didn’t really want to set down this 16GB, 1.5GHz, 42Mbps HSPA+ wunderphone, we gently laid it aside just long enough to write this very review. Join us as we see what sets this latest and final revision apart.
Now that we know how the iPhone 4S stacks up against the iPhone 4, let’s take a look at how Apple’s latest smartphone compares to its mightiest competitors on the other major platforms — Android and Windows Phone. In Google’s camp we chose the superlative Samsung Galaxy S II models (focusing on the announced US variants) along with the Motorola Droid Bionic for its qHD and LTE chops. We then picked the upcoming HTC Titan to bat for Microsoft’s team. RIM’s not included here since it’s still stuck in the junior leagues. We left out the intriguing Nokia N9 because it’s a niche player. Check out the fancy table after the break — the results are pretty clear cut!
Leggi il resto di questa voce
Giving you a new opportunity to tell your favorite carrier exactly where it can stick that nasty two-year agreement, the unlocked Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray has made its official debut in the United States. In partnership with NewEgg, the handset carries an MSRP of $425 (although it currently sells for $380), where shoppers may choose between gold, black, white and pink varieties. As carrier compatibility goes, the phone features quad-band GSM support, along with 3G capability over the 2100 / 1900 / 850MHz airwaves, which makes it best suited for AT&T in the US, or Bell, Rogers and Telus up north. The Xperia Ray packs an MSM8255 SoC — which features a 1GHz CPU and an Adreno 205 GPU — along with a 3.3-inch FWVGA display and Android 2.3. Of particular note, it also sports an 8.1 megapixel lens with an Exmor Rsensor that’s well-suited for low-light situations, along with an LED flash and the ability to record video at 720p. So, if you’re mad as hell at two-year ordeals, here’s a reason to not take it anymore. Howard Beale would be so very proud.
So how does HTC’s Amaze 4G stack up to its European counterpart, the Sensation XE? Pretty well actually. The 4.3-inch qHD smartphone also features Qualcomm’s 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon CPU, but bumps the RAM from 768MB to 1GB. It’s also HTC’s first NFC toting device and joins T-Mobile’s Galaxy S II as the other 42Mbps HSPA+ -capable handset on Magenta’s network. More noteworthy is its trick eight megapixel shooter, which features the same backside-illuminated sensor, f2.2 wide-angle optics and 1080p video recording capability as the myTouch 4G Slide. Similarly, the Amaze 4G hangs on to quite a bit of that phone’s camera software, including a new composite mode that automagically creates one stellar image out of five less than fabulous snapshots. We also liked the addition of two physical camera buttons, one for stills and the other for video. First impressions of the Sense-laden, Gingerbread smartphone? It’s very much like a Sensation on steroids, with a definite T-Mobile flavor. Take a look at our gallery and hit the break for our hands-on video from Mobilize 2011.
Europe may be enjoying the Sensation XE, but today at Mobilize, T-Mobile’s announced that it’s getting the exclusive on HTC’s Amaze 4G ($259.99 on a two-year contract), while also confirming the hardware whispers we’ve heard. With its 4.3-inch qHD screen and 1.5GHz dual-core CPU, it’s one of the first smartphones able to connect to T-Mobile’s upgraded 4G (HSPA+ 42Mbps) network and is the first HTC phone featuring an NFC chip — something we didn’t gather from those early spy-shots, but the manufacturer promised a while ago.
Pushing its photography credentials, the Amaze 4G’s eight megapixel shooter can record 1080p video, with a dedicated camera button (and even a direct-to-camcorder button) to make the most of the handset’s promised “zero shutter lag.” Its also got that backlit sensor found in its sibling, the myTouch 4G Slide, so we’re expecting admirable low-light performance, too. On the software side, it’s running Android 2.3.4, coated in the inevitable Sense veneer and supporting the likes of HTC Watch and T-Mobile TV. Will it be enough to steal the network’s king of Android crown away from the Galaxy S II when it ships October 12th?
We’re here at HTC’s swank New York City press event where the mood lighting and floral centerpieces are as unabashedly girly as the Rhyme, its newest handset for lady folk. We just spent a few minutes wrapping our hands around the device, exploring the ports (not that there are many) and poking around the latest version of Sense (v3.5). Do you like purple? Are you a person of style? Sure you are. So what are you waiting for? Meet us after the break where we’ll run down our first impressions and see what this thing has to offer beside that cute design.