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Sony Making Another Non-Competitive Android Smartphone

Several months ago Sony divorced from Ericsson and started making their own Android smartphones. Some of them were really successful – the Xperia S has really good sales, the Xperia GX is expected to be a very powerful and competitive one, plus there’ll be a couple of water- and shock-resistant phones that can also succeed. However, besides these phones Sony’s announcing and releasing a huge number of others, all armed with not that interesting features and similar design.

One of these upcoming Xperia phones is the Xperia SL leaked in the database of the Indonesian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. Its specs aren’t known yet, but we can already guess that it’s just another Android smartphone from the Xperia line, nothing special.

Perhaps you’re wondering what’s wrong with making many Xperia phones… Well, I think it’s not really easy for potential buyers to navigate through that big number of similar phones made by the same manufacturer, so there is a chance that they’ll give up and will choose an iPhone or some Samsung Galaxy phone instead.

If you remember, HTC also used to make many similar phones a couple of years ago, and last year a serious sales drop took place, since people went for Apple’s iPhones and Samsung’s Galaxy S2. Now Sony’s doing the same thing, and the chances are big that soon they’ll face the same problems – people will just stop distinguishing all those Xperia phones from one another, which will sooner or later harm the manufacturer.

As for the leaked Xperia SL, whatever features it has, it’s unlikely to be able to compete with Samsung’s Galaxy S3 or any of the iPhones. So maybe it would be better for Sony to make only a couple of good phones a year instead of making many mid-range ones? What do you think?

Categories: HTC | Sony Ericsson
 

Latest Android Handset News

HTC is continuing to expand its affordable range of Android powered smartphones with the latest rumours suggesting that a handset called the Golf is soon to join its catalogue of products.

The HTC Golf will be an entry level smartphone which is pitched to replace the HTC Explorer, which has been on the market for just a few months now.

Information leaked about the HTC Golf suggests that it will sport a 3.5 inch touchscreen display, which is a little larger than the 3.2 inch panel found on the Explorer.

It will also feature Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which is the latest iteration of Google`s mobile operating system. Powering this will be a single core processor clocked below the 1GHz mark, although you will get a 512MB allocation of RAM to help Android run smoothly.

HTC has been attempting to present a more united front in 2012 after it saw profits slip in 2011 due to its oversaturation of the market with smartphone after smartphone. The HTC Golf looks like it could be a worthy addition to the lower price bracket and could be one of the most affordable ways to experience Android 4.0.

Of course if you are already in possession of the Samsung Galaxy S2, last year`s most critically acclaimed Android smartphone, then you may be wondering when an update which brings Android 4.0 to the table will arrive.

Samsung recently confirmed that the rumours of an imminent update were true, before eventually dismissing them as incorrect. This may seem like it is toying with its fans, but closer inspection reveals that there was simply a bit of confusion within the firm itself.

The dual core power of the Samsung Galaxy S2 will be a perfect fit for the advanced capabilities of Android 4.0, so fans will be anxious to see an update arrive, particularly if they are tied into a 2 year contract.

However, the approach of the Samsung Galaxy S3, which should be launched and in stores by the middle of the year, could easily overshadow Android 4.0`s arrival on the Galaxy S2.

The Galaxy S3 has been kept under wraps by Samsung so far, although it was originally going to make its debut at the Mobile World Congress 2012 back in February.

While not much is known about the technical aspects of this handset, it is assumed that it will pack a quad core processor, a high definition display and Android 4.0 as standard.

People who have invested in the Galaxy S2 will not be too disappointed to see the Galaxy S3 arrive and trump their handset as long as Android 4.0 is available via an update. Of course those with a smaller budget to spend on Android mobile phones may be more interested in the arrival of the HTC Golf, because it is always good to see a value-oriented handset getting some high end features.

Categories: HTC
 

Christmas Technology Must Haves

While the cold weather is just starting to draw in and the dark evenings are dulling your senses, there is nothing better than curling up with your laptop or tablet and taking a look at the latest Christmas technology must-haves. You can get ideas for your own wish list or find that perfect present for a tech-loving family member, so here is an overview of what Android-oriented gadgets you might consider purchasing.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus
This Christmas the top Android smartphone on the market is going to be the Galaxy Nexus from Samsung. It is a real step up from the Galaxy S2 thanks to its large 4.65 inch Super AMOLED screen and dual core CPU which can be clocked at up to 1.5GHz to help it to pump out high definition visuals at a resolution of 1280x720. Like last year`s Nexus S the display is slightly curved in order to make it easier to use and it has a five megapixel camera capable of capturing still images as well as the obligatory ability to shoot video clips at full HD 1080p resolutions. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is the platform touted by the Galaxy Nexus and it introduces many new functions, from letting you unlock the phone using face detection to enabling voice-based web searches.

HTC Sensation XE
A real rival to the Galaxy Nexus is the HTC Sensation XE, an updated version of its Android 2.3 smartphone which now comes with Beats audio capabilities and matching headphones for an unrivalled aural experience. It retains the same 4.3 inch screen with a resolution of 960x540, which will not be the equal of the Samsung handset but comes fairly close. A 1.5GHz processor is onboard to give it even more power than the original Sensation and it retains the eight megapixel camera sensor and full 1080p HD video recording functionality of its predecessor. For audiophiles it will be a worthy choice, although its appearance means that the standard Sensation is even cheaper ahead of the Christmas rush.

Huawei Blaze
At the other end of the Android smartphone spectrum is the Huawei Blaze, a great little stocking filler that is perfect if you want to buy a pay as you go handset for someone who has not owned an advanced handset before. It has a compact 3.2 inch screen and a modest 3.2 megapixel camera, but version 2.3 of Android is onboard and it can even let you chat via video calling thanks to the front-mounted secondary snapper, so it is not completely limited by its bargain basement pricing. Huawei has even tinkered with the standard Android interface to make it feel fresh and original, although you can stick with Google`s standard theme if you so choose.

There are many Android smartphones available online from various big name retailers such as PC World and the Christmas season is always a good time to bag a bargain when shopping for technology must-haves.

Categories: HTC | Samsung
 

HTC Announces HTC Sense and the new HTC Hero

So today's highly anticipated launch revealed the HTC Hero Android phone as everyone suspected. That in itself would have been a bit of a let down since we've known and speculated about the Hero for some time. Hardware wise it's not a million miles away from previous HTC Android phones. Yes, it has a 5 megapixel camera and finally a 3.5mm stereo headset jack but that's not much to get excited about.

But the real news was the announcement of HTC Sense, a customisable UI for Android. Now that's something I can get excited about. Rather than try to explain it, I think the official press release does a pretty good job so here goes:

HTC Hero

LONDON – June 24, 2009 – HTC Corporation, a global designer of mobile phones, today debuted HTC Sense™, an intuitive and seamless experience that will be introduced across a portfolio of phones beginning with the new HTC Hero™. With its distinct design and powerful capabilities fully integrated with HTC Sense, Hero introduces a unique blend of form and function that takes Android to new heights.

HTC Sense is focused on putting people at the centre, by making your phone work in a more simple and natural way. This experience revolves around three fundamental principles that were designed by quietly observing and listening to how people live and communicate.

'HTC Hero introduces a more natural way for reaching out to people and accessing your important information, not by following the status quo of today's phones, but by following how you communicate and live your life,' said Peter Chou, Chief Executive Officer, HTC Corporation. 'HTC Sense is a distinct experience created to make HTC phones more simple for people to use, leaving them saying, "it just makes sense."'

HTC Hero
HTC Hero continues HTC's leadership in cutting-edge design that focuses on introducing a variety of distinct devices to represent your own individuality. Boasting bevelled edges and an angled bottom, the HTC Hero is contoured to fit comfortably in your hand and against your face while you’re on a call. The HTC Hero is built to last, beginning with an anti-fingerprint screen coating for improved smudge-resistance and a longer-lasting, clearer display. The white HTC Hero includes an industry-first, Teflon coating, resulting in an improved, durable white surface that is soft to the touch.

With its 3.2-inch HVGA display, the HTC Hero is optimized for Web, multimedia and other content, while maintaining a small size and weight that fits comfortably in your hand. It also boasts a broad variety of hardware features including AGPS, digital compass, gravity-sensor, 3.5mm stereo headset jack, a five mega-pixel autofocus camera and expandable MicroSD memory. HTC Hero also includes a dedicated Search button that goes beyond basic search, providing you with a more natural, contextual search experience that enables you to search through Twitter, locate people in your contact list, find emails in your inbox or search in any other area in Hero.

HTC Sense
Built on a culture of innovation and a passion to enhance people's lives, HTC shapes the mobile experience around the individual. Debuting on the HTC Hero and available on all new HTC devices moving forward, Sense delivers on three basic principles: Make it Mine, Stay Close and Discover the Unexpected.

Make It Mine
Make It Mine is about feeling your HTC phone was created for and by you. To do this, HTC encourages you to dictate and organize how you want to access the people and content in your life in a way that fits best for you. For some, this means adding glance-view widgets that push content like twitter feeds, weather and other content to the surface while others may want quick access to business-focused information like email, calendar and world-times. HTC is also introducing a new profile feature called 'Scenes' that enables you to create different customized content profiles around specific functions or times in your life.

Stay Close
Today, staying in touch with the people in your life means managing a variety of communication channels and applications ranging from phone calls, emails, texts, photos, status updates and more. HTC Sense takes a different approach by integrating these communication channels and applications into one single view, enabling you to stay closer to your important people. With HTC Sense, friends' Facebook status updates and photos, along with their Flickr photos are included alongside their text messages, emails and call history in a single view.

Discover the Unexpected
Many of the most memorable moments in your life are experienced, not explained. HTC Sense is focused on providing a variety of these simple yet innovative experiences on your HTC phone that will sometimes bring you moments of joy and delight. It can be something as basic as turning the phone over to silence a ring or as simple as improving the smart dialler for making calls quicker. HTC Sense also includes 'Perspectives', a new way for viewing your content such as email, photos, Twitter, music and more in different ways.

Availability
The HTC Hero will be available to people across Europe in July and in Asia later in the summer. A distinct North American version will be available later in 2009.

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I know that I haven't been too complimentary in the past about the look of HTC's Android phones and their chins and I also know that I really prefer to have a physical keyboard but you know what? I'd give up my G1 in a heartbeat for the Hero just to have HTC Sense.

Categories: HTC
 

HTC Hero Tipped For Orange UK Launch

Orange

There's good news for Android fans in the UK following speculation that the HTC Hero will be launched by Orange UK. Although unconfirmed, this does seem likely as back in March there was a fairly credible report that the Hero was going to be picked up by Orange France.

As yet there is no official confirmation and nothing mentioned on Orange UK's website as far as I can tell so I guess we'll just have to wait and see if this one pans out.

Source: Mobile Today

Categories: HTC | Orange
 

AT&T's Lancaster Looks Good But May Disappoint

There's no denying that AT&T has been particularly quiet about its plans for an Android phone release. Last month I speculated that the carrier may have picked up the HTC Hero but now, thanks to engadget, we have fairly credible confirmation that AT&T's first Android phone will actually be the HTC Lancaster.

HTC Lancaster

At first look it seems to be quite a nice handset, an amalgamation of the G1 and Magic and had it been around sooner I would have chosen it over my G1 – or would I? I personally prefer a physical keyboard to the a touchscreen so the Lancaster seems to have everything going for it apart from the display. I'm really impressed by the G1's 3.2 inch HVGA (320 x 480) display but the Lancaster is let down by a smaller 2.8 inch QVGA (240 x 320) display which is a bit of a disappointment.

I'm also not sure about the MSM7225 processor (which the leaked Lancaster datasheet shows incorrectly as an MSN7225). Although, like the G1's MSM7201 the 7225 is a 528 MHz ARM processor, rumour is that it lacks a GPU. I can't seem to find any details on this processor on the Qualcomm website – maybe someone can shed some light on the differences between the MSM7201 and the MSM7225?

Source: engadget

Categories: HTC | AT&T
 

Android Bigfoot - As Illusive As Sasquatch Himself

In case you hadn't noticed there's been a sudden outbreak of rumours and leaks regarding forthcoming Android phones. I've intentionally avoided getting drawn into this since spreading rumours without all the facts a) seems a bit pointless b) has a habit of biting you in the bum. This whole 'Bigfoot' saga is a case in point.

At the beginning of last week BGR broke the news of T-Mobile's purported US Android roadmap which made reference to the G1 v2 a.k.a Bigfoot. BGR followed this up a few days later with a supposed image of the G1 v2 but there was just one problem – the phone looked nothing like the Bigfoot mentioned in the leaked T-Mobile roadmap. Then on the 11th BGR again posted the same G1 v2 image this time saying that the phone was in fact being manufactured by Motorola, killing the assumption that the v2 would obviously be HTC kit.

Then things went from bad to worse that same day when Unwired View broke news of a Samsung phone called the Bigfoot. Interestingly enough this did look like the Bigfoot phone mentioned in T-Mobile's roadmap. Confusion sorted right? Wrong. Tmotoday then posted an update saying that according to a source involved in the supply chain, the G1 v2 is still being produced by HTC and is codenamed 'Bigfoot'.

So who do we believe? Is the Bigfoot the same as the G1 v2 and just what does the Bigfoot actually look like? Is it an HTC, Motorola or Samsung phone? I'm none the wiser and until I see some official confirmation, Bigfoot stays off my Android phone list.

Categories: HTC | Motorola | Samsung
 

HTC's Android Hero Surfaces Again But Do We Really Care?

Remember that nasty pink apparition called the HTC Hero which surfaced at the beginning of the year? Refresh your memory here. Well it's back again, thankfully not in bright pink, but still not much of a looker in my view.

HTC Hero

Back in January when the G1 was the only phone available, the Hero might have been something to get excited about but now well... what's so great about it? I mean how will this phone differentiate itself now that we have the HTC Magic and especially since Samsung has finally shown its hand with the I7500? Of course we won't know how this phone stacks up against the competition until we see some detailed specs but as things currently stand HTC is going to have to surprise us with something different if the Hero is going to stand any chance of being a top selling Android phone.

Source: code android

Categories: HTC
 

HTC Hero Android Phone Coming To AT&T This October?

ATT Logo

New information on HTC's Android Hero has surfaced over on xda-developers. According to the post, an employee at a wireless developer firm "just received word from the US carrier (cannot disclose who yet) that the release date for the HTC Hero (Android) is October 11th 2009."

Now I don't usually give these kinds of unsubstantiated posts too much credence but a few things got my attention. Firstly, the forum member's provider is AT&T. That, in itself, is meaningless but consider the following. Last month fairly credible news surfaced that the HTC Hero had been picked up by Orange. Now considering that Orange and AT&T are GlobalView partners, it seems logical, at least in my view, that the undisclosed carrier is in fact AT&T. Until I hear otherwise, that is my assumption and if it's true, that means AT&T subscribers may have to wait another six months before they get an Android phone.

Categories: HTC | Orange | AT&T
 

Vodafone's HTC Magic Now Available For Pre-Order

Vodafone

So Friday the 17th came and went with no sign of Vodafone's HTC Magic. Yet another deadline slips thought I this morning as I prepared to lambast them for leaving us hanging once again.

But wait, what's this email in my inbox - could it be? Yes folks, better late than never, the HTC Magic is now officially available for pre-order and, as previously reported, will be available free on plans from £30. Visit Vodafone to get yours now. (Will only be shipped 1st May.)

 

Categories: HTC | Vodafone
 
Samsung I7500
O2 Samsung I7500
HTC Magic
Vodafone HTC Magic
Google G1
T-Mobile Google G1