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.
The Droid 3 is upon us! Well, it is if you live in China and don’t mind calling it the Milestone 3. A new XT883 model has just been made official by Motorola during China Telecom’s CDMA Summit, touting the tagline “the third Milestone” and a new five-row slideout QWERTY keyboard. The salient specs include a 4-inch touchscreen with qHD (540 x 960) resolution, a dual-core processor capable of driving 1080p video recording, an 8 megapixel rear camera with LED flash, up to 32GB of built-in storage, and of course, Android 2.3 as the shipping OS. A pretty compelling package, we think you’ll agree. It’s coming to China this summer, though Moto could still be crafty enough to squeeze the US launch in before actual units start shipping to Yao Ming’s homeland. Because, well, who’s ever heard of a Milestone coming before a Droid?
A little shindig held by Orange in the UK has unearthed a T-Mobile-branded LG device that we’ve never seen before. It features a display of moderate size and resolution, which slides up to reveal a split QWERTY keyboard and yet another color display. The hidden visualizer is apparently used as an app-launching shortcut repository, though other details remain frustratingly light. Kineto Wireless were the company to bring this unannounced LG handset to the party, along with a bunch of others intended for the US market, and the rep on hand dropped the name Flip II to the Pocket-lint sleuths. There’s also the possibility that what we’re eyeing is the LG Maxx Q, which has popped up on a recently leaked T-Mo USA roadmap, though that Android 1.6 wallpaper could mean that this is just an aged prototype that never saw the light of retail day. Which would be a darn shame, if you ask us. Give the source link a bash for more pictures.
Verizon and Motorola have kept a tighter lid on the Droid 3 than many recent smartphones we’ve seen, but a nice big leak just sprang from the bottom of the pot — startup gadget blog PhonePads obtained three tutorial videos of the five-row QWERTY slider strutting its stuff. While there’s no discussion of any dual-core silicon, there is indeed an 8 megapixel camera on board, which is apparently capable of 1080p HD video recordings. Other changes include what seem to be a pair of volume keys on the right edge (instead of the usual rocker), the apparent lack of a dedicated camera button, and both micro-USB and mini-HDMI on the left edge in the Droid X2 configuration. You’ll apparently still get your Swype virtual keyboard, but it’s hard to say what version of Android the handset will include — Verizon clearly states “Software Shown Not Final” on every single video. Find more footage after the break.
We’ve just gotten to grips with Sony Ericsson’s new compact smartphones, the Xperia Mini and its keyboard-equipped sibling the Xperia Mini Pro, and have a gallery of shots for you below. Hit them up now and we’ll have hands-on impressions and video coming shortly.
The Xperia Mini has wonderful size when it comes to width and height, but we have to ask: why so thick? The Mini Pro is only slightly thicker despite having a fully-fledged slideout keyboard, so it would have been nice if the keyboard-less Mini was more svelte. Sony Ericsson is clearly going after the pocket- and handbag-conscious demographic here, who might not be all that receptive to the Mini’s girth. SE also made some bold claims about the finger-friendliness of the Mini Pro’s keyboard, which we were told were backed by usability tests against rival phones. Those trials were isolated to devices “in its size class” (of which there aren’t many), but our first response was still very positive, at least once we turned on auto-correct. This will be a matter of personal preference, but we found ourselves enjoying not having to take care of every little slip of the finger. Anyway, settings adjusted appropriately, we bashed away on the Mini Pro rather speedily and would rate it right up there with the BlackBerry Bold 9700 in terms of our typing rapidity. Browser rendering has its flaws, there’s a stuttery quality to zooming in and out of a page, but at least it’s done quickly and Flash playback seems to work without a hitch.
T-Mobile demos new Sidekick opening mechanism, promises mobile hotspot and tethering support (Video)
So what do you think of the first touchscreen Sidekick? A desperate attempt to keep an archaic brand alive with unrelated hardware or a modern retelling of a successful retail story? Either way, T-Mobile’s keeping the popular name alive, albeit with an Android 2.2 foundation and Samsung-built guts. The new slider mechanism, which replaces the popular 180-degree swivel that was the hallmark of Sidekick devices, has now been treated to a neat video demo, where it’s assured upwards thrust gives us cause to be cautiously optimistic. Phone Scoop has also received confirmation that Android’s built-in mobile hotspot and USB tethering functions will be supported on the new device, along with MicroSD memory expansion — 1GB of storage on board will be supplemented with a 2GB card in the box — WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS. Video follows after the break.