Retail HTC HD2 ROMs already leaked

HTC HD2 horizon
This is the sign that everybody has been waiting for. Once a device’s retail ROM finds its way on the net you can bet that it only a matter of days/weeks before we see the phone available in retail stores and operators.
The HTC HD2 ROMs are now avaible on XDA-Devs here

Source: XDA-Devs via WMPoweruser

New HTC Droid Eris pictures


Some new shots of HTC‘s Verizon Android phone the HTC Droid Eris have been uncovered today. As I previously said, the Droid Eris is the Verizon version of the the HTC Hero and their second Google Android device (the first beeing the Motorola Droid).HTC’s CEO Peter Chou confirmed that it will be launched in early November (November 6th). The rumored price is $99 on a 2 year contract.

Source: PhoneArena

Nokia N900 Previewed and Loved

N900 preview
PhoneArena just posted their preview of Nokia’s Maemo 5 smartphone the glorious N900. They found the device to be really impressive, like the majority of those who got  a chance to handle the phone. Especially the browsing experience:

Now, this is what the Nokia N900 is all about. The device is equipped with own Maemo browser based the Mozilla technology and sports full Adobe Flash 9.4 support.
Web pages get visualized just like they do on normal computer screens and are automatically downsized to fit the display. When this happens, you will typically need to zoom in to be able to read the text more easily. This can be done by double-tapping the screen or making a circular motion clockwise, with a counter-clockwise gesture assigned to the zoom out function. This reminds of the HTC Touch, because you make the same motions to do the same things when browsing pictures only. The Flash support is smashing – all Flash elements get properly visualized without a hitch, even the video players on websites like Viddler.com and Vimeo.com, games on Facebook (say Mafia Wars), our own 360-degree views and we must say the latter are heavy indeed. We are most impressed, so fingers crossed the retail N900 will perform just as well and why not even better. Well done, Nokia! We wish all smartphones had such a browser…

If only it had a capacitive touchscreen..the circle motion to zoom in/out is nice, but not really as intuitive as pinching.

We are truly impressed by both the Nokia N900 and Maemo 5, so we just cannot wait to get a hold of a final unit. With its great functionality, the latest internet tablet of the manufacturer does stand a chance of winning over many people and we can confidently say theinternet browser is the best of its kind we have ever seen on a mobile device. Using the operating system, even on a prototype, is enjoyable and the multimedia functionality of the tablet is more than enough to please even the most exacting people. Don’t forget the Nokia N900 allows normal calls over cellular networks, which makes the device look even more appealing.

If Nokia continues to release new devices running Maemo (including normal cell phones), the operating system has the potential to gain smashing popularity, provided enough third-party applications roll out. We completely agree with what a fellow cell phone reporter said at Nokia World 2009 – “Maemo 5 iswhat Symbian should have been”. Can the tablet fully replace a normal cell phone? Well, we will tell you that when we´ve had the chance to review a retail unit of the Nokia N900.

Also check out Spotify running on the N900 here

Source: PhoneArena

HTC’s CEO: We could make the HD2 an Android phone, but I have to take care of Windows Mobile

HTC HD2 You
In an interview conducted with Forbes, HTC’s CEO Peter Chou said that even-though Windows Mobile wasn’t really the hottest thing in town right now they are sticking with Microsoft and that their won’t be an Android version of the HD2 for now:

HTC may be updating its brand, but it’s sticking by its longtime partner, Microsoft ( MSFT – news – people ). Though other handset makers such as Motorola have dropped Microsoft’s Windows Mobile operating system in favor of Android, Chou says HTC has no plans to follow. That doesn’t mean he’s not frustrated with the software. “Windows Mobile innovation has been a little slow and interest in Windows Mobile phones has been declining,” he admits.

HTC’s solution is the HD2, a wafer-thin handset that combines a 4.3-inch touchscreen with a high-end processor for snappy downloads and fast Web browsing. The phone, which was unveiled earlier this month, runs the latest version of Windows Mobile (6.5) as well as some flashy HTC software. “We’re working hard on these kinds of products to get excitement about Windows Mobile back,” says Chou.

Gadget fans have been clamoring for an Android version of the HD2, but Chou hints that the handset will stay as is. “Technically, we could make the HD2 an Android phone, but I have to take care of Windows Mobile,” says Chou.

Peter Chou also confirms the arrival of the HTC Droid Eris on Verizon:

The company will introduce an Android phone on Verizon later this year, Chou confirmed. He says the handset, which will likely debut in the first week of November,is a sign of HTC’s growing rapport with Verizon, the largest U.S. wireless operator. “We’ve worked with Verizon for several years, but this is the first time we’ve been elevated to the role of core supplier,” he says. “We are very excited about that opportunity.”

Source: Forbes thanks for the tip Paul

How the Motorola Droid came to be…Microsoft got the stiff arm

Droid eye
A couple of days ago I speculated that the Motorola Droid was originally a Windows Mobile 7 device before becoming an Android phone. Today I’m going to lay down some of the facts we know thanks to an article posted by the NYtimes a couple of hours ago which sort of confirms what I was thinking:

He wanted to simplify product development to standardize on one or two core systems. It came down to a Microsoft Windows mobile operating system and Android. When Microsoft said that a crucial release of its mobile operating system would be delayed, Mr. Jha gave Microsoft the stiff arm and bet on Android.

Sanjay Jha was actually the first person in the world to publicaly talk about the Windows Mobile 7 delay and mention Windows Mobile 6.5 during a conference call exactly one year ago on November 29 2008:

“Windows Mobile 6 has not delivered the experience that I think Apple has been able to deliver, but as you look at the plan that is Windows Mobile 7 and even 6.5, I think there are significant new added features which will help the platform,” Jha said. “We have now targeted new teams which are focused – in California and Seattle – to deliver experiences. That is where we have to differentiate.”

Motorola was expecting to release a phone based on Windows Mobile 6.5 in the second half of 2009, and an Android-based device for the 2009 holiday season.

NyTimes:

At the same time, Mr. Jha had to pick which microprocessors and radio chips would be at the core of its new line. This forced him to choose between chips made by the division he had run at Qualcomm and a custom design Motorola had been developing with Texas Instruments.

“This was very hard for me,” Mr. Jha said. “I was very strongly associated with the Qualcomm chip.” He spurned his former employer.

Motorola Software Engineers were already working on the TI OMAP3430 for Windows Mobile 7 in 2007/2008 as seen in the following LinkedIn profiles:

“Responsible for the integration of BCM4325 wlan chip on Caesar Platform (OMAP3430) on WM7 as a native host driver.” Source (WM7 has been recently edited to WM)

“Windows Mobile 7 integration on TI chipset platform.” Source

There’s couple more similar LinkedIn profiles but they have since been edited to erase any mention of WM7 (after they were discovered a few weeks ago I guess).

Seeing that Windows Mobile 7 was really late & that WM6.5 wasn’t all that hot, Android was obviously the only way to go for Motorola in regards to marketing and hype (technically nothing was stopping them from releasing it as a WM6.5 phone, same as what HTC is doing with the HD2).

NYtimes:

“Sanjay said ‘Burn the ships and focus on Android,’ ” Mr. Arshad recalled. That meant rearranging the existing, tightly packed interior to accommodate the larger chips needed to connect to Verizon’s network.

This is how what was probably meant to be one of the first WM7 device is now the most powerful Android phone in the market. The latest news from Motorola is that they are still waiting for WM7….Microsoft is the only one to blame IMO.

Source: NYTimes

Lengthy HTC HD2 Review


The German boys at Areamobile just posted their lengthy review of the HTC HD2. There’s a really huge picture gallery that you should make sure to check out. Unfortunately the website is horrible to navigate (and slow as hell for me in IE & FireFox). But if you have some time use Google Translate to read the whole thing. Here’s their conclusion:

Conclusion

With the sales launch of HD2 iPhone losing its dominant position in the mobile market. Technically, the HTC smartphone, in all respects preferable to use at least comes close to the cult phone. Only the small battery could prove a major weakness of the HD2 – but that will only show the detailed testing.

The remains unmatched advantage of Apple is the perfect software ecosystem that was created by the company during the past two years. Download and buy music and programs from iTunes and App Store are simply unbeatable. But if one sees the gigantic high-end mobile phone from HTC besides the iPhone, then it is suddenly aware of the many drawbacks of compulsory binding to the PC’s iTunes software, the rudimentary Bluetooth support, the rigid arrangement of the user interface, the camera without flash that is not replaceable battery – but especially the high price and the adhesion contract with a network operator. It has been approvingly accepted with the knowledge, the best phone in the world in your hand and hold. But the competition is the development deficit made up. The HTC HD2 marks the beginning of a new generation of high-end smartphones, the Apple phone can suddenly look very old. The user can rejoice, because he is finally faced with a choice between different smart phones and operating systems, even if he has high standards.

Hit the link here

Source: AreaMobile