Google Officially announces the Nexus One along with smartphone Webstore

As you probably already know the Google / Nexus One announcement is currently underway in Mountain View and so far nothing terribly exciting has emerged. Thanks to all the leaks and reviews we already knew what the HTC Nexus One specs and frankly after the HTC HD2 and can’t figure out what the hype is all about. It looks worst, has a smaller screen, one LED flash (there are 2 on the HD2) but has an AMOLED screen (sucks when used outdoors compared to TFT) and 64MB ram more the HD2. The main difference between the 2 products is that one runs Android 2.1 and the other Windows Mobile 6.5 with Sense UI. It’s up to you to decide which is better for you. 
Google is doing a phenomenal job with the OS developement right now and the new voice to text functionality is a step in the right direction (now all text fields are voice enabled, just speak and to will fill up the field with text!). The Nexus One is AFAIC the best Android smartphone on the market but all the hype was just ridiculous. Everything you see on it can be done on the Motorola Droid. What I’m most interested in is what all the other OEMs think about this.

UPDATE: Looks like they are also announcing a samrtphone webstore where you can by Android devices unlocked or locked to a carrier. At first only the Nexus One will be available ( $180 on T-Mobile and On Verizon this Spring!) but Google plans to add more devices are carriers in the near futur.

Head over to the official Nexus One website here

Source: Google

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 coming to Canada in Q2 exclusively on Rogers

Canada’s Rogers just announced that they will launch the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 in Q2:

Toronto , January 5, 2010 – Canadians will be among the first in the world to experience open and integrated social media, communication and entertainment with the launch of the Sony Ericsson Xperia ™ X10 phone, which will make its North American debut first in Canada , exclusively from Rogers . The Xperia ™ X10 is expected to be available in the second quarter 2010.

“At Rogers , we have built our legacy on innovation, bringing the most exciting and exclusive handsets first to customers in Canada ,” said John Boynton , Executive Vice President, Marketing, Rogers Communications. “We are thrilled to be the exclusive Canadian carrier to offer this phenomenal mobile entertainment device.”

“Building on our entertainment heritage, the Xperia ™ X10 underpins our commitment to an open and multi-platform strategy that maximizes choice for the consumer and delivers the best possible entertainment experience,” said Andrea Gaal, General Manager, Sony Ericsson Canada . “This handset makes communications more fun and more playful while multiplying and enriching opportunities to connect.”

You can read the rest of the PR here. US and wolrdwide launch should be announced later this week.

Source: SMR PR

HTC Nexus One to be launched in France in Q1 for €199

Here’s the first, and probably not the last, HTC Nexus One news post of the day. According to French paper Le Point ; the Nexus One will be launch in france in Q1 2010 on SFR (Vivendi/Vodafone) for less that €200 (which means €199..) with a 2-year contract:

Les Français désireux de se procurer le Nexus One pourront passer leur commande en ligne. Prix indicatif du téléphone nu, hors abonnement : autour de 450 euros, frais de port compris. Pour le téléphone assorti d’un forfait, il faudra attendre plusieurs semaines.
D’après nos informations SFR sera le premier opérateur à proposer le produit sur le marché français. Avant la fin du 1er trimestre, SFR proposera le Nexus One à moins de 200 euros, dans le cadre d’un engagement de 24 mois et d’un forfait mensuel (avec surf illimité) fixé autour de 50 euros.

The French who want to get the Nexus One can place their orders online. Average phone naked off subscription: around 450 euros, including postage. For the phone with a package, it will take several weeks.
According to our information, SFR is the first operator to offer the product on the French market. Before the end of Q1, Vodafone will offer the Nexus One to less than 200 euros, as part of a commitment of 24 months and a monthly plan (with unlimited surfing) set around 50 euros.

Here’s their own blurry video of the device in action:


Nokia Image Exchange Touch pre-beta released

The pre-beta version of Nokia‘s Image Exchange Touch application has been released today (for S60). This application lets you vrowse through your images and share them all over the web:

Nokia Image Exchange is an experimental imaging service to make browsing and sharing images fun and easy. It aims to provide a seamless integration of a mobile image gallery application and a corresponding web-service. Nokia Image Exchange explores the possibilities of the mobile phone when it is enabled with always-on data connection and utilizes existing contact information as a basis for social networking.

A non-Touch version (S60) and a S40 version are also available here

Source: Nokia

HTC Nexus One Review

The boys at Engadget jumped the gun a decided to post their HTC Nexus One a couple of hours before the official announcement tomorrow. Let’s say that they weren’t really impressed, should come as no surprise especially after all the stupid hype surrounding this device. The hardware is nearly identical to the HTC HD2 (but with a smaller screen, a bit more RAM) in a less sexy shell, nnd as with all AMOLED screens it’s nearly impossible to use outdoors. Android 2.1 doesn’t seem to bring any new features compared to 2.0.X on the Motorola Droid other than the new homescreen we’ve seen before and there’s still no multi-touch support in the browser, keyboard, photo album etc. I suggest you head over there to check it all out.

Browser Speed test (Motorola Droid vs iPhone 3GS vs HTC Nexus One):

UI Walkthrough:

Voice To Text:

Here’s Josh’s conclusion with which I totally agree:

Never mind the Nexus One itself for a moment — there’s a bigger picture here, and it might spell a fundamental change for the direction of Android as a platform. Whereas Google had originally positioned itself as a sort of patron saint for Android — sending it off into the cold world to be nourished and advanced in a totally transparent way by the widely-supported Open Handset Alliance — it has instead taken a deeply active role and has elected to maintain some semblance of secrecy as it moves from pastry-themed version to version. In general, that approach isn’t necessarily a bad thing for device variety, functionality, and availability, but the way Android’s evolution in particular has gone down certainly seems like a bait-and-switch from an outsider’s view. Take Motorola and Verizon, for example: what had seemed like a deep, tight partnership literally just weeks ago with the announcement of Eclair and the selection of the Droid / Milestone as 2.0′s launch platform has taken a distant back seat just as quickly as it rose to the top. In a word, Google is plunging head-first into the dangerous game Microsoft has adamantly sought to avoid all these years on WinMo: competing head-to-head with its valued (well, supposedly valued) partners. Whether Android risks losing support over manufacturers and carriers being treated like pieces of meat remains to be seen, but realistically, Motorola (which has very publicly gone all-in with Mountain View over the past year) and others are likely to grin and bear it as long as the platform pays the bills — no matter how awkward competing with the company that writes your kernel and huge swaths of your shell might be.

Industry politics aside, though, the Nexus One is at its core just another Android smartphone. It’s a particularly good one, don’t get us wrong — certainly up there with the best of its breed — but it’s not in any way the Earth-shattering, paradigm-skewing device the media and community cheerleaders have built it up to be. It’s a good Android phone, but not the last word — in fact, if we had to choose between this phone or the Droid right now, we would lean towards the latter. Of course, if Google’s goal is to spread Android more wide than deep, maybe this is precisely the right phone at the right time: class-leading processor, vibrant display, sexy shell, and just a sprinkling of geekiness that only Google could pull off this effortlessly.

Then again, we suspect Motorola, Samsung, Verizon, and countless other partners might disagree.

The hype was unnecessary even if the Nexus One is the best Android phone out.

Source: Engadget

Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Hybrid: Laptop + Multi-Touch Tablet all in One

This came out of no where and looks mighty interesting. Lenovo’s upcoming IdeaPad laptop just leaked before its official announcement at CES. The IdeaPad U1 Hybrid is a CULV Intel Core 2 Duo powered laptop running Windows 7 premium and also a 11.6 inch multi-touch tablet power by a Qualcomm SnapDragon Chipset running Lenovo’s Skylight Linux distro with a 16GB SSD. As you can see in the pictures, when the screen is attached to the chassis the device is a standard laptop but you can also detach the screen to use it as a tablet. Rumored released date is June for a price of $999 with 4GB of RAM, 2x USB 2.0 ports, eSATA, VGA, HDMI, 4-in-1 memory card reader and 1.3-Megapixel camera. Interestingly if Windows Mobile 7wasn’t so late this thing wouldn’t feature the Linux distro and you’ll probably have a better seamless experience (check out Mary Jo Foley’s post here & here).

Source: LaptopMag via Engadget

HTC HD2 HardSPL finally available

HTC HD2 users rejoice, after the SSPL here comes the HSPL. The release notes:

Release Notes:

DarkForces Team HardSPL by bepe and Cotulla

Please read carefully before installing!

1) To install this HSPL there must be SPL 1.42.0000 on your device.
Otherwise the installation will fail!
To check your SPL version, hold the Volume Down button and do a reset.
It is possible to downgrade to this SPL, by just flashing to an Official ROM
with this SPL version.

2) Features
- Disabled CID Check, so you can flash any official ROM without using a Gold Card.
- Security Level = 0, so you can use all the boot loader commands (for developers).
- This HSPL will not get overwritten when flashing a full NBH with SPL via RUU.
- No NBH signatures check, so you can flash unsigned ROM images.

3) Warranty Issues
Be warned, Installing HSPL may void your warranty.
If you need to send your device to a Repair Centre,
make sure that you uninstall HSPL!

4) Uninstallation
Only way to remove the HSPL is to flash an original SPL from SD card.
- Take any “RUU_signed.nbh” from a ship ROM and copy it to SD card.
- Rename it to “leoimg.nbh”
- Reset the device while pressing the volume down button.

5) Disclaimer
This product is free to use, but at your own risk. We take no
responsibility for any conflict, fault, or damage caused by
this unlocking procedure. No warranties of any kind are given.
We have tested our product on several devices and have not
found any problems with it.

I don’t recommended doing this so don’t blame me or MobileTechWorld if you brick your HD2 and remember that it will void your warranty.

Grab it here

Source: XDA