Motorola Droid 3 review
Few companies get a second bite at the mobile cherry. Motorola took its initially awesome RAZR phone and flogged it until it wasn’t just a dead horse but little more than neatly canned dog food. With the company’s handset business on the brink of failure, Motorola then bet everything on the Droid – a testosterone-packed Android handset that was everything the iPhone wasn’t. It paid off. Motorola now has a stable of Droid handsets in a variety of sizes, shapes and configurations that share a common clunkiness, geekiness, feature overload and the best ringtone in the Android universe.
The Droid 3 is the ultimate expression of Droid DNA. Motorola has crammed every feature it possibly can into this dual-core Gingerbread device, from an 8 megapixels camera to a five-row slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Like previous Droid devices, the Droid 3 is debuting on Verizon in America network – although without being able to take advantage of the network’s stunning 4G LTE speeds. Does the powerful Droid 3 take Motorola to another level? Or is the company making the same mistakes again, putting all of its mobile eggs into one Droid-shaped basket?
Archos G9 Tablets get officially priced
Remember the Archos G9 tablets we told you about last month? Well they didn’t come in as cheap as we originally thought, but they are still a pretty good deal.
We also thought they were only going to offer 250GB versions, but it looks like they are going to offer 8GB and 16GB versions as well, which will be a lot lighter for those that don’t need the extra storage. Archos is marketing these devices as the fastest tablets on earth with the 1.5GHz dual-core processor, but it will only be offered in the 250GB versions. According to their site the official prices are:
Archos 101 G9 – 10.1-inch screen
- 8GB – $369.99
- 16GB – $399.99
- 250GB – $469.99
Archos 80 G9 – 8-inch screen
- 8GB – $299.99
- 16GB – $329.99
- 250GB – $369.99
Product features after the break:
Android 3.2 detailed, developers get SDK – Pocket-lint
Google has detailed some of the new tricks and titbits in Android 3.2 to developers on Friday night as it prepares to roll out the new iteration of Honeycomb.
The new update, which is expected to be rolling out to Motorola Xoom customers in the next couple of weeks and then presumably to other tablets thereafter, will come with a handful of new headline features.
High on the list of new “stuff” are optimisations for a wider range of tablets, compatibility zoom for fixed-sized apps, media sync from SD card, and extended screen support API.
Optimisation for a wider range of tablets has been added to “ensure a great user experience on a wider range of tablet devices,” and presumably is to accommodate the new wrath of 7-inch tablets from the likes of Acer and Viewsonic coming out in the next couple of months.
Compatibility zoom for fixed-sized apps is a new compatibility display mode that gives users a new way to view these apps on larger devices. The mode provides a pixel-scaled alternative to the standard UI stretching, for apps that are not designed to run on larger screen sizes.
Media sync from SD card will be for devices that support a removable SD card, users can now load media files directly from the SD card to apps that use them.
More details for developers can be found over at the Android developer hub.
More Sony Ericsson Xperia Duo details leaked
The rumoured Sony Ericsson Xperia Duo has been blazing a serious trail amongst speedy Android smartphone fans. The Duo’s spec sheet reads more like a laptop than a mobile, incorporating no less than a 1.4GHz dual core processor and a whopping 1.5 GB of RAM.
The Duo will likely be Sony Ericsson’s first foray into the dual-core market, using a lot of the tech that made the Arc so good. That means a juicy 4.5-inch qHD screen, the Bravia engine found on the arc and a 12 megapixel Exmor r CMOS sensor.
Also included in the rumoured Duo package is of course Android 2.3, ensuring that Sony Ericsson’s flagship carries the latest version of Google’s OS. One more outlandish and less likely feature is the inclusion of a 2500mAh battery – perhaps the rumour mill is getting a bit carried away with itself.
So when can all this Sony Ericsson powered goodness be expected? Well according to reports, the Duo could be hitting shop shelves as early as September.
via More Sony Ericsson Xperia Duo details leaked – Pocket-lint.
Sony’s S2 tablet coming to AT&T, price and availability remain a mystery
It’s been a few months since Sony made its (tardy) entrance into the tablet market, and since then it hasn’t been sharing details so much as teasing them in whimsical, perplexing ads. Finally, the outfit’s ready to take specifics. We’re sitting at a roundtable with Sony executives, and just learned that its clamshell S2 tablet is headed to AT&T’s “4G” (read: HSPA+) network, confirming what we already suspected after peeping a tell-tale FCC report. Sony’s is quick to remind us that “S2” is just a codename, so don’t be surprised if it surfaces with a completely different moniker. Otherwise, the company didn’t get too chatty: we still don’t know how when AT&T will begin selling it nor how much it will cost on contract. Also still MIA: details on when, where, and for how much you’ll be able to nab that folded magazine-inspired S1. Check out the press release below.
via Sony’s S2 tablet coming to AT&T, price and availability remain a mystery — Engadget.
Grab the new Android Market app while its hot
You might have heard that Google was rolling out a new Android Market, complete with book and movie rentals. You also might have heard it would coming in the next few weeks. Well thanks to an anonymous source possibly with a time machine you can grab it today.Hit the download link, and install it from your SD card like any other app. Fair warning — we dont know if there will be any complications from doing this, but we havent seen any so far. Use your best judgement. Discuss it in the forums!
via Grab the new Android Market app while its hot | Android Central.
HTC Status preorder starts today, Available in stores starting July 17
AT&T already announced the HTC Status, but did not provide pricing and availability. We can tell you that preorders have already started, and the price will be $49.99 with a two-year contract. You will be able pick one up in your local AT&T starting July 17. Again, this is the first smartphone with a dedicated Facebook button on it, but don’t worry, you can still use Google+ as well.
The features are not amazing, but for $49.99 it makes a great mid-range phone. They are:
- Platform: Android™ 2.3 + HTC Sense
- Display: 2.6-inch touch screen with 480 x 320 resolution
- Network: Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 UMTS/HSDPA 850/1900
- Memory: 512 MB RAM, 512 MB ROM
- Processor: MSM7227, 800 MHz
- Battery: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery, 1250 mAh
- Camera resolution: 5 MP main camera with autofocus, VGA front-facing camera
Best Buy Mobile will also be offering an exclusive mauve edition.
via HTC Status preorder starts today, Available in stores starting July 17.
iOS 5 beta 3 already jailbroken, new features come to light
Who needs sleep, right? Rather than putting in the tried-and-true “eight hours” that your mum still insists that you get, you’re going to be doing something a bit more adventurous this evening. Something involving a “jailbreak” of your recently updated iPod touch, iPhone or iPad. Just hours after Apple pushed out iOS 5 beta 3 to its developers, the folks at iPhone Dev-Team have confirmed that a Sn0wbreeze update will support jailbreaking on that very build. Sadly, it’s still tethered for the time being, and the iPad 2 remains unsupported, but those with nerves of steel (and gobs of vacation days) can hit the source links to get started. Furthermore, we’re just starting to see what kind of wacky tricks beta 3 has up its sleeve — things like custom alerts for text messages and what appears to be a shattering of the app grid on the iPad. For more on that, hop on past the break; for more on the jailbreak, we’d encourage you to talk amongst yourselves in comments below.
via iOS 5 beta 3 already jailbroken, new features come to light — Engadget.
HTC rolling out unlocked bootloaders to select phones in August
HTC is rocking the world this Sunday evening with an announcement on its Facebook page, stating that, as promised, it’s ready to begin rolling out unlocked bootloaders to the global HTC Sensation in August, followed by the Sensation 4G on T-Mobile and the EVO 3D on Sprint. The process is two-fold: first, HTC pushes a “maintenance release” to the phones, but this won’t mean a thing until step two — releasing the actual unlocking tool — is complete in early September. This all sounds like a sure thing for the global HTC Sensation, but the major hurdle the company faces in the US is carrier approval. In order for it to push out the update, T-Mobile and Sprint first must give the final go-ahead for the Sensation 4G and EVO 3D, so nothing here is completely set in stone until then.
Fortunately, HTC doesn’t plan to stop there. According to its Facebook page, it will “continue rolling out the unlocking capability over time to other devices as part of maintenance releases and new shipments.” There was no word on which handsets will receive the capability or when we can expect to see it. Naturally, with the tight grip US carriers have on subsidized handsets, it’s possible you won’t reap the benefits despite HTC’s good intentions.
via HTC rolling out unlocked bootloaders to select phones in August — Engadget.
Motorola Droid 3 up for order, helps to usher in Verizon’s new data plans
What better way to open a new era of limited, tiered data plans than to bring it on back to the QWERTY slider that had a huge part in starting the Android revolution? That phone was the original Droid and now its grandchild, the Droid 3, is out of the nursery and up for order on Verizon’s page. Full-price is $459.99, but on-contract it’ll set you back a quite reasonable $199.99. For that you get a 1GHz, dual-core processor, 16GB of storage, 4-inch qHD display, and an eight megapixel camera around the back. To get it you’ll need one of Verizon’s new data plans, which start at $10 monthly for 75MB and go on up to $80 for 10GB. Oh, sweet unlimited data, we’re missing your soft embrace already.
via Motorola Droid 3 up for order, helps to usher in Verizon’s new data plans — Engadget.