Acer revealed at its New York press conference that AT&T and T-Mobile have been talking to it about bringing the Acer Liquid Metal, which we first heard about back in September, to their Android portfolios. It is already strutting its Froyo in Europe, but the evaluation and approval process for new handsets in the US is more protracted. If both carriers agree with Acer on the terms for bringing the Acer Liquid Metal this side of the pond, we are looking at a device powered by the same fast second generation Snapdragon chipset that is in the T-Mobile G2 and a 3.6″ WVGA capacitive touchscreen. Designwise it boasts chrome accents, and brushed metal battery cover in one of the two handset’s colors – silver or brown. It also has a 5MP camera with LED flash, capable of HD video, DLNA connectivity and Dolby Surround sound, plus a tricky LED status display on top of the phone.
Acer will most probably have on it its own take of the Android user interface, called Breeze UI, that we examined during our review of the Acer Stream. It is a novel idea, and the Acer Liquid Metal will also include the Social Jogger application, which “”aggregates your Facebook and Twitter feeds, allowing you to surf through the updates with the trackwheel, receive updates directly through the dedicated widget on the homescreen, and comment or share directly from the user-friendly interface.” Sounds good, and knowing that it already passed the FCC testing procedures on AT&T bands, it shouldn’t be long before we see it officially in the US. Below is a nice video preview of the Acer Liquid Metal in action on one of the French carriers.
On Saturday, Sony Ericsson announced it has just started the beginning of the Android 2.1 upgrade for the Sony Ericsson Xperia X8. Some owners of the mid-range device will find the upgrade on their unit today, while others will have to wait for the gradual spreading out of the upgrade to every country and carrier where the phone is sold. The joint venture did not elaborate on a time frame as to when the upgrade will be completed. It was also announced that some models of the flagship Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 were also receiving Android 2.1 on Saturday.
The version of Android 2.1 that the Xperia X8 is getting is the same as the one that the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini and mini pro received, which means there is no support for the HD 720p video capture that was installed with the Android 2.1 upgrade for the full-sized Sony Ericsson Xperia X10. What today’s upgrade does offer owners of the Xperia X8, is a new version of both the manufacturer’s Mediascape and Timescape applications
Sony Ericsson left no word on whether or not any of the Xperia models would get upgraded to Android 2.2. Based on the requirements necessary for a handset to run Android 2.2, only the full-sized Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 would be eligible to receive Froyo in the future.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 has started to receive upgrades for Android 2.1
Last week a tweet leaked word about a mysterious handset called the Samsung GT-i9200. With similar model numbers to the Samsung Nexus S (GT-i9020) and the Samsung Galaxy 2 (GT-i9100), the hope was that this would be a high-end model. While nothing has changed to kill off that dream, references in the firmware to a Hummingbird processor and an 800 x 480 display brought forth the notion that the mystery phone has a lineage that goes back to the Galaxy 2 line.
Pako7, a member of the Xda-developers forum, dug into the firmware and extracted some images including a large number of icons, screens of a camera interface and the virtual keyboard. If some of the icons look familiar, it is because they were on the screen of a phone photographed on a questionable product information sheet. The handset in the picture is allegedly an undisclosed Samsung flagship model for the first half of 2011. Many of you called this a photoshopped fake as the phone looks suspiciously like the Apple iPhone 4, right down to the spot where the two antennas meet. Hopefully some more information will develop that will give us a better idea about the Samsung GT-i9200.
The phone on the Product Information sheet at left contains some of the same icons found on the images taken from the Samsung GT-i9200’s firmware
In business for just a few weeks, the word in Tokyo is already out about Bar Android. Open only on Monday’s from 7:30 pm to 11:30pm, it has quickly become the place for Japanese Android users to go to unwind-at least for one day a week. Located in the Shibuya district of Tokyo, the bar can be patronized by anyone, even if you use a handset powered by a different platform.
Drinks and snacks are available for 500 Yen apiece (approximately $5.95 USD) and the menu includes little Gingerbread men. Not surprisingly, the person who came up with the idea is an Android user.
The Bar Android tells prospective customers not to worry about battery consumption since the club offers power supplies for patron’s phones. The club also has it’s own Facebook page (in Japanese, of course) and a Twitter account.
If you should find yourself in Tokyo and would like to visit, the Bar Android is located at 2F Udagawa-cho 37-14, Shibuya, Japan, 150-0042.
We don’t even want to admit how many hours we’ve logged playing Angry Birds. When it wasn’t available for Android, we nearly bought iPod Touches, just so we could get in on it. But the truly random phenomenon continues, as Rovio has announced a special Christmas edition coming in December.
Pictures of the supposed Christmas edition have been surfacing, and Twitter users barraged Rovio for confirmation. They have now confirmed that the version will be available, and that it will be for both iOS and Android. It will reportedly be available as of December 11th, and price is yet unknown.
Is it just us, or do you suspect that your favorite Holiday gift will only cost a few dollars? That sounds great to us. Try not to forget about your family while you’re crushing Santa’s favorite pigs.
Android users unhappy with the virtual QWERTY keyboard on their handset have plenty of possible replacements to choose from in the Android Market. One of the most highly reviewed virtual keyboard apps is SwiftKey. The app doesn’t use any gimmicks like expanding and shrinking keys like ThickButtons, or allows you to swipe letters on the keyboard (Swype), but is simply a well-designed traditional keyboard.
If you are bi-lingual, SwiftKey can handle two languages at once and can recognize which one you are using at the moment. Another option allows you to have the program scan your text messages to learn certain words that you use often.
With Black Friday upon us, and to celebrate 500,000 downloads of the app, SwiftKey is available in the Android Market for $1.99, a 50% discount from the usual price for the app, for Friday only. If you want to test it out before buying, there is also a trial version available.
There is a lot of talk that December 9 is the date when the Sony Ericsson Playstation Phone is going to be officially announced. Now, thanks to an unconfirmed source, a few more details are available, including the rumoured price of the handset and some more info on its gaming options.
According to this leak, the screen of the Playstation Phone is described as “mind-blowing” and on par with the retina display seen on the iPhone 4. That said, it uses a little bit of Sony Ericsson’s own Bravia technology that is present on some of its phones available on the Japanese market. It’s yet unknown whether existing Playstation games will be ported to the phone or it will have its own line-up, but its games are supposed to be priced in the same range as other mobile games. The tipster who leaked the news says that “[this is the] the best gaming [I've] ever had on a mobile device” and confirmed that it will use the patented Z-System gaming platform.
As this handset is not even announced, it is still unknown when it is going to be available, but the rumour is that Sony Ericsson is aiming for February 2011 release. The price of the Playstation Phone is expected to be around the $500 mark off-contract and this phone is most probably coming to either AT&T or T-Mobile (or both) in the US (see the no SIM message on the leaked photo of the Playstation Phone).
What do you guys think? Is someone talking up the Sony Ericsson Playstation Phone or we’re about to see something of a revolution in the smartphone industry? Tell us now.
The browser on the Nokia N8 has been pitted against the competition, and the results come to show you’d be better off with Opera Mobile and Opera Mini on your Symbian^3 handset. That’s at least until Nokia issues the firmware update with the new Symbian browser, which is rumored to appear in January.
Below are the page loading results in a table form with two numbers – the first one is how long did it take for the page to load in usable form, i.e. with readable content, while the ads and other elements continue to load. The second number is how long did it take for the pages to load completely. The competition has been the Android 2.2 browser, as found in the blazing fast HTC Desire HD, Safari, Opera Mobile with the Turbo mode on and off, as well as Opera Mini.
Not looking pretty, but it seems that if you download the free Opera Mobile (which has a new Symbian iteration) for 90% of the websites out there, and use Opera Mini for the rest, you can make do pretty well until the Symbian^3 update hits. On the bright side, Opera’s browsers compress the pages, so your data consumption is slashed significantly while using them.
The new Android tablets from Creative won’t compete with the iPad or Galaxy Tab on performance. But they will offer some tempting low-cost alternatives. The ZiiO tablet from Creative has been available in Europe since earlier this month, and has now made an appearance at the FCC. Although there’s been no official U.S. announcement, we can probably expect them in early 2011.
The 7-inch model was the one to reach the FCC. It takes advantage of Creative’s own products, featuring a ZiiLABS ZMS-08 processor, which will keep costs low. It also features a resistive touchscreen. If you’re still reading after hearing “resistive touchscreen,” you should know that it also includes a colossal 5000mAh battery, so we should see some long usage times.
Creative’s 7-inch model retails in the U.K. for the equivalent of $315 (8GB) and $347 (16GB). At these rates, the ZiiO might be perfect for someone who wants Android 2.1 (2.2 is on the way), basic Internet browsing, above-average video, and no carrier contract.
The HTC Droid Incredible was once the hottest Android smartphone on the globe. With its 3.7 inch AMOLED screen (later changed to Sony’s Super LCD display due to a shortage of material needed by Samsung to produce the AMOLED display) a 1GHz processor and an 8MP camera on the back, the handset quickly became Verizon’s flagship device until the Motorola DROID X replaced it.
Still, there are many who still feel that despite the larger screen on the latter device, the HTC model is a superior phone. Unfortunately though, time has done its usual “thing” and the HTC Droid Incredible has been surpassed by a number of new Android devices. Perhaps that is why Dell.com will actually pay you $25 to take the phone from it for free.
From now until Monday, sign a new 2 year activation through Dell’s web site and you will get the HTC Droid Incredible for free. Delivery and activation will also be on the house and Dell will give you a $25 gift card to lighten their inventory of the phone. Imagine getting paid to take a phone like the HTC Droid Incredible off of Dell’s hands. The phone now comes out of the box with Android 2.2 and Adobe Flash Player 10.1 under the hood. We wonder how anyone looking to switch to Verizon could pass up what appears to be a great deal.
Take the HTC Droid Incredible off our Dell’s hands for free at get paid $25 for doing so