One would imagine that installing an official firmware update from a manufacturer shouldn’t pose any risks, right? On the contrary, Vodafone believes the opposite seeing that they issued a statement saying that installing a recent firmware update for the Samsung Galaxy S could void your warranty. It’s rather difficult to fathom why a carrier would be so against installing an official update which has been approved by the manufacturer, but its seems that the case is so in this situation.
Although it’s no Android 2.2, Samsung recently released an update for the high powered Android smartphone that essentially packs bug fixes which improve the overall performance of the handset. Vodafone said in their official forum, “any firmware that hasn’t been released by us does invalidate the warranty directly with Vodafone.” It’s a bit strange to say the least, but thankfully, your warranty with Samsung will still be intact. Now the only reason why Vodafone is making such a rash statement is due partly to the reason that the update has not been approved yet by the carrier, but once the process is complete, we’d imagine that they’ll give the thumbs up for it – in the mean time, you’ll incur the consequences if you choose to install it.
There is no denying the success of the HTC EVO 4G: Sprint cannot keep the unit in stock and two and a half months after launch supply simply cannot even come close to keeping up with demand. No doubt eager to capitalize on the momentum Samsung is throwing their name in the hat with the Epic 4G, a Galaxy S phone. Unlike the Galaxy S variants found on the other three major carriers the Epic 4G offers not only a 4″ Super AMOLED display but also a full QWERTY keyboard. As the name implies the Epic is capable of running on Sprint’s WiMax network, but also supports 3G over EVDO Rev. A and has Wi-Fi capabilities as well. It has a rear-facing 5 megapixel autofocus camera with flash, complimented by a VGA shooter up front for self-portraits and video chat.
Where the EVO 4G is a heavy slab of industrial design, the Epic is actually rather light. The two don’t differ much in size, but the Epic is noticeably lighter in the hand, almost to a fault. Like the HTC Diamond and Touch Pro, you expect the keyboard touting edition to be heavier, bulkier. Instead the Epic feels almost like a toy. Still, the Epic has some advantages over the EVO. Despite being smaller the display is undeniably better thanks to the Super AMOLED technology. Like we’ve seen with the other Galaxy S phones it is bright and crisp and vibrant. Second, the phone has six-axis motion sensing which will make it a better gaming device than the EVO. Samsung’s Media Hub is a one stop shop to rent videos, though the service has not launched yet so we are unable to try it out at this time. It will be available by the 31st, which is when the Epic 4G goes on sale at your local retailer.
Of course what most people will choose the Epic 4G for is the physical keyboard. While it does add bulk to the phone, to some is an absolute necessity and is worth the $50 premium over the HTC EVO 4G. In our early usage we’ve been accurate with it, but not as quick as we’d like. We’d the keys are large and well-spaced, but our initial impression is that we’d like some texture to the keys. They offer good tactile feedback though, and plenty of space to work with. Stay tuned for our full review of the Samsung Epic 4G, coming soon!
There have been some purists out there that have been clamoring to see Samsung’s TouchWiz interface on the Samsung Galaxy S be replaced or offered with the stock Android experience. Although some find it appealing and useful, others of course see it as rather tasteless to their eyes – but thankfully, someone out there was listening to pleas of many. Hackers quickly got started in getting the stock Android 2.1 experience ready for the high-flying Android handset, and although it’s still relatively in the early stages, it’s turning out to be promising nonetheless. One of the bigger bugs that need to be flattened out is the camera application – especially when its not in tip top functioning form right now. Slowly and gradually, we’ll probably see a fully functional and hopefully satisfying experience that Samsung Galaxy S owners can rightfully be content with. Now the only thing to one-up this whole project, which is of course another big one on its own, is to bring the stock Android 2.2 experience to this device. Any takers?
via the gadgets
When the Nexus One was no longer being offered through Google’s online store, it pretty much signaled the end to this favorite Android phone for everyone – forcing those interested in it to look elsewhere. However, Google decided to bring back the phone for one last time to Android developers for their opportunity to scope this highly prized handset. From the looks of it now, the demand for this developer friendly phone is pretty high since the initial stock of inventory quickly depleted in the course of a couple of weeks. Now we’re once again presented with the realization that the Nexus One is sold out, but luckily, it has been placed on back-order by HTC – so there are still some units coming down the road. At this point though, there is no indication as to the time frame of when we can expect to see inventory to come back – especially when there is a worldwide shortage of AMOLED panels.
source: Android Developers Blog
What are the third largest manufacturer of cell phones and an underdog in the mobile chipset business to do, so they can both stand out from the crowd? Well, make something contemporary together, of course. That’s especially if you are 3rd largest mainly due to the constant churn of feature phones, or if you have been trying hard to spark interest in someone in your system-on-a-chip (SoC) for smartphones and tablets. LG announced that it will have Nvidia’s Tegra 2 chipset powering its high-end spectrum of the Optimus line.
The LG Optimus GT540 we reviewed some months ago was a decent Android smartphone, but nowhere near high-end. LG, however, is planning no less than 10 other smart touchscreen devices in the line by year’s end, and one of those will be an Android-running Optimus tablet. For the tablet, LG said yesterday that it will be focusing on productivity like multimedia and document editing, even coding, rather than only on content consumption.
As for the phones, five of them will apparently be running Windows Phone 7, which leaves four for Android, if we count the tablet. Two of those we already heard will be called Optimus One and Chic, and another one should be a Snapdragon-powered Optimus Q with a slide-out keyboard. So this kind of leaves a total of one unannounced high-end handset to be powered by the Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset, if we don’t count the tablet, which will almost certainly be Tegra-based, since Nvidia already demoed a tablet with the SoC.
Looks like our predictions that Nvidia is the best positioned underdog to enter the smartphone chipset battle, and fight with the dual-core Snapdragon and OMAP4 or Hummingbird, is holding water for now. No wonder – the Tegra 2 chipset has a dual-core CPU based on the latest Cortex-A9 ARM architecture and, of course, the powerful GPU should come standard considering who is behind Tegra 2. The only concern with the SoC on last read was battery life not up to par with the dual-core Snapdragons and TI’s OMAP4, but that remains to be confirmed in real life. The Tegra 2 chipset has its potential also recognized by Motorola, which will be having its own tablet with the platform by the end of the year running Gingerbread, so exciting tablety times ahead.
source: WSJ via Engadget
We saw a few pictures and video of the upcoming Android-based Dell Thunder the other day, and now it has received a hands-on preview of two early prototypes dated from April this year. The main design take from the physical exam is that the handset stays with the same classy chromed sides, soft-touch plastic and curved front glass we saw before, and liked.
The prototypes were having the 4.1” screen space occupied by regular LCD screens, one with 480×800 resolution and the other with something in the realms of 768×1280 pixels, which, if materialized in a production phone, will be more than the iPhone 4’s Retina Display in pixel density. Our napkin calculations came up with 364ppi density, while the iPhone 4 has 326ppi. Take those densities with a grain of salt, though, we don’t know what the production units will ship with. The screen was rumored to be OLED all along, and these on the prototypes look vanilla LCDs, but who knows, it might be exactly DELL stunning the world in that regard. Hope is what keeps us ticking.
Other than the screen, the rest of the rumored specs are confirmed from the prototypes – 1GHz Snapdragon chipset and 8MP camera with LED flash, no front-facing cam for now. The previewers found one of the prototypes to be of AWS frequency, which means T-Mobile might be getting the Thunder besides the originally cited AT&T. They also shot a wild guess that it might appear on Verizon or Sprint due to a software they found on one of the devices, called Qualcomm CDMA Programming. We wouldn’t be so sure about it based on that nugget, as the name of the company branch is Qualcomm CDMA Technologies, and Snapdragon is Qualcomm’s creation, so it might be just its general utility software for tweaking both GSM and CDMA basebands in its Snapdragon phones.
Nevertheless, on the software front things are not getting clearer based on the two units – one had Android 2.1, the other 1.6, but considering the rumors that the Thunder will ship with a Hulu app and Flash 10.1, the handset will probably be outed with Froyo onboard. There was no DELL overlay on top of the stock Android, so we will have to wait for the real deal to have a glimpse of the promised custom “Stage” UI.
The rumored HTC Desire HD handset has now appeared everywhere, but in an official announcement by its maker. We had the specs leak (4.3” screen and 8MP camera), the bootleg picture, and now the phone was spotted on an Amazon UK website.
The page has since been pulled down, but we can judge from the listed £415 (about $650) price that the high-end specs are spot on. Could this be nothing else but the GSM version of the EVO 4G? We can only guess, but it’s for a fact that we will have another great phone in the already stellar fall crop to choose from.
source: ElectricPig via MobileCrunch