Vizio’s 8-inch Gingerbread tablet hits shelves, doubles as a sub-$300 remote

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Posted on 10 August 2011 by AndroidArena

Vizios-8-inch-Gingerbread-tablet-hits-shelves-doubles-as-a-sub-300-remoteVizio’s 8-inch tablet hit shelves in various retailers including Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, Costco, and Amazon, for a pretty affordable price of $299. The Gingerbread tablet features a heavily customized version of Google’s platform, but it also doubles as a universal remote control. Basically, controlling your home entertainment happens via a built-in infra-red blaster, but the tablet also sports 3 speakers with SRS True Media sound, so it’s quite capable as a remote control, but heck – you’d expect that for a $300 RC.

Going back in time, we can notice that Vizio’s tablet has stripped a big chunk of its initially projected price – first it was spotted costing $399 for pre-orders, while in June we heard rumors about the slate getting a $349 price. It seems that competition has pushed that boundary even lower, which is more than welcome news for buyers.

So what do you get for your money? The chip powering the tablet is clocked at 1GHz and works along with 512MB of RAM. The 8-inch capacitive touchscreen screen has a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels. The Vizio slate also features a front facing VGA camera, which rounds up the spec sheet.

Despite featuring Gingerbread, which is not specifically optimized for tablets, the Vizio 8 incher has seen some heavy customization with Vizio’s VIA Plus interface and it does support the Android Market, which turns it into a fully functional tablet. Connectivity is well covered with GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, microHDMI and microUSB, while the 2GB of internal storage are expandable through a microSD card. With the promise of a solid 10hrs “of normal use,” this seems like a legitimate alternative to mainstream tablets for those on a tight budget. Not convinced? Feel free to check out the video demo below to get a better idea about the tablet and don’t hesitate to share your opinions about this super-sized remote/tablet in the comments below.

source: Vizio via Costco

Tablets

Motorola DROID BIONIC: what we know so far

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Posted on 10 August 2011 by AndroidArena

Motorola-DROID-BIONIC-what-we-know-so-farAh, the Motorola DROID BIONIC – easily our best candidate for most delayed device in recent history. From January 5th when it was unveiled at CES all the way until August it has become more and more mysterious.

Let’s start with some history – Motorola announced and showcased the phone eight months ago. With the passing of time rumors started appearing that it will be delayed. Motorola silently confirmed this, saying that it will release the phone with improved specifications (and design) – a different device, which we knew under the codename Targa.

Details remained a secret and with so much mystery we could hardly be certain about anything when it comes to the Bionic. Up until recently that is, when what looks like the final Droid Bionic hit the FCC as Motorola XT875

Read the full article at PhoneArena

Phones

T-Mobile says that at the ballpark, you can’t tell the players without an Android tablet

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Posted on 10 August 2011 by AndroidArena

T-Mobile-says-that-at-the-ballpark-you-cant-tell-the-players-without-an-Android-tabletEverybody sing along. Take me out to the ballgame, take me out with the crowd. Rent me a Samsung Galaxy Tab…what?!! Yes, T-Mobile is changing the fan experience at L.A. Angel home games by offering to rent you either the T-Mobile G-Slate (made by LG) or the Samsung Galaxy Tab for $10. The tablet has an optimized program installed, replacing the old paper program that you use to keep score. Renters get free magazine content from Zinio and those that rent the G-Slate get access to T-Mobile TV. Tablets can be rented at the T-Mobile store at Angels Stadium.

Angels chairman Dennis Kuhl says he sees plenty of possibilities to bring technology to the fans and that the club is just starting to see what they can do with the tablet rentals. In a statement, T-Mobile Southern California VP Darrin Silveria said that the carrier is always happy to bring unique offerings to T-Mobile customers. Of course, T-Mobile benefits from sales of the tablets that come from a fan’s experience trying it out at a game. Special apps are pre-loaded such as a radar gun to measure how fast a pitcher is throwing the ball. Out of town games can be streamed from ESPN and of course, the lifeblood of any baseball fan-statistics-can be found, updated during the game.

Other teams in various sports have used mobile apps to educate fans. For example, the Portland Timber soccer club joined with app developer Meridian on an app for both iOS and Android that shows you your seat and even gives you the words to team chants. Meridian is expected to soon announce a deal to provide apps for  the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars’ EverBank field. At Safeco Field in Seattle, Nintendo DS rentals are available for fans to try out the Nintendo Fan Network, but also can be used as a distraction between pitches.

Recently the L.A. Times did a video as part of a written piece on the tablet rentals at Angel games. You can check it out below. And while using a tablet at a baseball game can come in handy for figuring out up to date batting averages and era figures, perhaps the best use of the device is as a shield when a foul ball is screaming toward your face.

source: LATimes via AllThingsD

Tablets

Samsung Admire is now official; coming to a MetroPCS store near you

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Posted on 10 August 2011 by AndroidArena

Samsung-Admire-is-now-official-coming-to-a-MetroPCS-store-near-youThe first time when we heard about the Samsung Admire was when it posed for the camera last month and revealed itself in a set of leaked spy shots. Today, however, the smartphone has stepped out of the shadows and has been officially announced by MetroPCS.

As it is above all a mid-range device aimed at budget-conscious customers, the Samsung Admire does not pack much of a hardware punch. It is powered by a run-of-the-mill 800MHz processor, which makes it a decent entry-level smartphone. Some of the other goodies that the device has to offer include a 3.5-inch HVGA display, 3.2-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and Android 2.3 Gingerbread to satisfy all your app cravings.

It has not been officially announced how much the Samsung Admire will cost, but if the rumors are to be believed, MetroPCS will be offering the smartphone for $150. What we do know for sure, however, is that the Admire will go hand in hand with the carrier’s no-annual-contract rate plans, which start at $40 per month.

source: MetroPCS via PRNewswire

Phones

Samsung Galaxy S II gets an LTE version codenamed Celox, spotted in Korea

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Posted on 10 August 2011 by AndroidArena

Samsung-Galaxy-S-II-gets-an-LTE-version-codenamed-Celox-spotted-in-KoreaThe Samsung Galaxy S II has been selling like hot cakes – 5 million units flew off the shelves in the first three months after its launch, but imagine what sales would have looked like if the S II featured 4G LTE connectivity. Well, the Samsung Celox might make this a reality, as the device was spotted in South Korea and looks like a bigger yet similar version of the S II stuffed with 4G LTE radios. The devil is in the details and digging deeper in those you’d find out that LTE on the Celox is only supported in the 800MHz range, which pin-points Europe with its 800MHz 4G network as the possible final destination. Sadly, in the US carriers like AT&T and Verizon only support (or will support) LTE in the 700MHz range, so this device probably won’t land stateside.

samsung-galaxy-s-ii-lte-1The Celox surfaced in South Korea and its spec sheet lists a Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8060 chip, a 4.5-inch Super AMOLED Plus screen with WVGA resolution and 16 gigs of internal memory. On the software side, the Celox features Android Gingerbread, backed up by a 1750mAh battery, which is actually more than the 1650mAh on the S II.

The camera in the Celox seems to match the one of the S II with its 8 megapixels of resolution, while up front the phone sports a 2-megapixel shooter. Actually, design-wise the phone somewhat reminds us the Galaxy R, which had the same home button in its pre-release version. The Celox doesn’t yet have a release date or a price tag, but it seems that the upcoming iPhone will get some serious competition over in the Old Continent.

source: IT Long (translated) via SammyHub

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Phones

Leaked image reveals the names of three devices bound for Sprint

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Posted on 10 August 2011 by AndroidArena

Leaked-image-reveals-the-names-of-three-devices-bound-for-SprintOh, you gotta love those tipsters for all the leaks that they kindly share with the World. Sure, the spicy rumors that they bring to the table are anything but guaranteed to be true, but they can surely spark the imagination of pretty much every smartphone enthusiast out there.

Today, we came across a leak revealing the alleged names of three devices, all of which are said to be destined for Sprint. Starting with the most interesting among the bunch, the Samsung Epic 4G Touch is what Sprint’s version of the almost iconic Galaxy S II smartphone will be known like, according to the rumor. That, of course, lines up well with other insider tips that we’ve stumbled upon, so the leak that we are dealing with today might be onto something after all.

The leaked image revealing the names of the three upcoming devices

The leaked image revealing the names of the three upcoming devices

The second smartphone that we are getting familiar with today is known as the HTC EVO Design 4G, which is the name suggested for the upcoming HTC Kingdom. Now, we are witnessing somewhat of a paradox forming here as the Kingdom might also hit the market as the HTC Hero 4G, yet this monicker has not been officially confirmed either. What is said about the HTC Kingdom is that it will pack a 4-inch qHD display, 1.2GHz Qualcomm chipset, 5-megapixel camera and, of course, a WiMAX radio.

Last but not least, the Motorola Admiral is rumored to be another Sprint-bound cellphone, and by the lack of the 4G designation in its name we are assuming that it will not be sitting anywhere near the carrier’s top-tier smartphones. Sadly, the leak remains silent and does not reveal any further details about the device.

Bear in mind that all there is to back up the alleged names of these three devices is the black and white image you see here, so it would probably be wise if you file this under “rumors” for now. Chances are, however, that if the leak is on the right track, we will be hearing more news about these phones pretty soon.

source: Engadget

Phones

Motorola to give away 96 Motorola PHOTON 4G units in new contest

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Posted on 10 August 2011 by AndroidArena

Motorola-to-give-away-96-Motorola-PHOTON-4G-units-in-new-contestThe Motorola PHOTON 4G is a high-end Android phone for Sprint customers. For those who don’t have an upgrade to spare, or just cannot afford to make a switch, Motorola might be able to bail you out. A new contest that the manufacturer is calling the Lightning Hour, will run from now through August 31st and gives players one hour to enter every day. At least one handset will be given away daily, but according to the information from Motorola, 96 units of the red hot PHOTON 4G will be awarded, valued at $549.99 each. Other prizes include $100 in Live Nation Concert Cash (480 will be given out), Motorola Roadster speakers (48 will be given away, valued at $99.99 each), and both the Motorola H17txt Bluetooth Headset and Motorola Oasis Bluetooth Headset (72 of each will be awarded  as a prize, valued at $99.99 and $79.99 respectively).

Announcements about the contest will be made from Motorola’s Twitter page (@Motorola) and Facebook page (Facebook.com/Motorola). Keep checking in and who knows? You might find yourself winning one of Sprint’s hot new Android Gingerbread powered Motorola phones.

source: Motorola via AndroidGuys

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Phones

12 week smartphone sales numbers have surprises from around the globe

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Posted on 10 August 2011 by AndroidArena

12-week-smartphone-sales-numbers-have-surprises-from-around-the-globeMarket research firm Kantar Worldpanel has released its newest numbers for the mobile phone sales for the past 12 weeks. The numbers include data from 7 areas around the world including: USA, Australia, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain, and France. Some of the numbers aren’t so surprising, like the fact that Symbian has taken a dive worldwide, or that Android is selling like gangbusters. Some of the numbers are pretty shocking though. Two of the most surprising leaps in sales came from Germany and France. In Germany, Windows Phone 7 is starting to make a run pulling in 7.1% of the sales for the 12 weeks ending July 12, 2011. In France, Bada is making an even more impressive run pushing up to 9.6% of sales.

Overall, smartphones are booming, as we all knew. In Great Britain alone, 67% of all mobile phone sales were smartphones. And, smartphones made up at least 50% of all mobile phone sales in the USA, Australia, Great Britain and Germany. Kantar says that Italy, Spain and France are expected to cross that threshold sometime within the next quarter.

Android is leading the way with over 50% of sales across the 7 regions for the time frame, with iOS coming in second at 25%. Not surprisingly, Symbian was the big loss leader across most regions, except for the US where it never really had much market share to begin. Instead, the US had BlackBerry losing a huge chunk of its share, although BlackBerry held relatively steady in other areas.

source: Kantar Worldpanel via WMPU

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Android OS

YouTube for Android updated

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Posted on 09 August 2011 by AndroidArena

YouTube-for-Android-updatedsnap20110809-001920Google has always had a somewhat idiosyncratic way of numbering its software versions. Sometimes, big software changes get a big number increase, like the jump from Android Gingerbread (2.3) to Honeycomb (3.0/3.1). However, sometimes big number changes fly by (Chrome’s newest stable release is version 13, and the Chrome browser isn’t even 2 years old yet.) But, with the newest version of YouTube for Android, Google is taking a different path: a minor version number bump (from 2.1.6 to 2.2.14), and brings a couple of very nice features.

Along with the requisite bug fixes, the new version of YouTube will allow you to edit the title, description and privacy of your uploaded videos, and create, edit, and delete playlists on the go. It seems amazing that before now, these features weren’t around, because they seem somewhat basic, but now that they are here, we’re pretty sure you’ll find uses for them. Obviously, if you don’t take many videos, the added upload description, title, and privacy features won’t mean much, but just about everyone should find some good uses for making playlists on the fly. YouTube gets somewhere around 48 hours of new video every minute, so there’s always plenty to queue up and watch.

As always, YouTube is available for free in the Android Market.
Install YouTube (Android Market Link)

Software

LG Prada K2 appears in 10 second video

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Posted on 09 August 2011 by AndroidArena

LG-Prada-K2-appears-in-10-second-videoA short 10 second video shows off the new LG Prada K2, a high-end device that is related to the first capacitive touchscreen handset, the LG Prada. The new device has some mighty fine high-end specs such as a second generation 4.3 inch NOVA display with 1,000 nits to keep the screen well-lit. Android 2.3 is running the show while a dual-core processor of undetermined speed is under the hood. A rear and front-facing camera come in at 8MP and 1.3MP respectively while a 21Mbps HSPA+ radio is aboard.

Like the LG Prada and the LG Prada II, it is expected that the LG Prada K2 will not be available in the States. The device will be thin, coming in at less than 9mm thin. It will be a stylish device, as you would expect from any item with the Prada name on it. While the first 2 versions of the LG Prada offered a touchscreen and some decent features, both models were handicapped by not being a smartphone. With the LG Prada K2, not only is the hardware much improved, but with Android Gingerbread on board, so is the software.

source: Pocketnow via AndroidCentral

LG Prada K2 from Evan Blass on Vimeo.

Phones

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