HTC Flyer Review

When I first heard off the HTC Flyer (also know as the HTC View 4G on Sprint) in Barcelona during Mobile World Congress I wasn’t really sure what to think about the product. HTC didn’t allow the press to handle it and the device’s specification left me puzzled about it competitiveness compared to all the more powerful Android Honeycomb tablets all over the show floor.

With Honeycomb tablets being all the rage this year it was definitely surprising to see HTC launching a relatively small Gingerbread tablet powered by a single core CPU with the main differentiator being its n6trig active digitizer and Stylus. I admit, the Flyer didn’t look good on paper. I quickly dismissed this as a dead on Arrival product that only saw the light of the day because HTC was willing to use nVidia’s Tegra 2 SoC and decided to stick with Qualcomm which ultimately resulted in the company only being able to use Gingerbread instead of honeycomb (Android 3.X is only now being made “compatible” with SoC’s other than the Tegra 2).

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HTC Desire Android 2.3 Gingerbread update finally coming

Contrary to what was announced by HTC yesterday the long promised gingerbread update for the HTC Desire is indeed in the works. the company has rectified yesterday statement without giving anymore details. Technically there’s no reason for it not to be released given that Gingerbread / Android 2.3 is already available on the Google Nexus One which is essentially a Google Branded HTC Desire.

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Microsoft releases Android to Windows Phone API mapping tool for developers

Microsoft has just announced the Android to Windows Phone API mapping tool for Android developers who wish to leverage their coding skills and port their applications to Windows Phone 7. The company did something similar a few months ago with the release of the iPhone to Windows Phone API mapping tool and has now added Android 2.3 / Gingerbread in the mix.

We’ve added Android to the Windows Phone API mapping tool to help developers find their way around the Windows Phone platform. Think of the API mapping tool as being like a translation dictionary. For example, let’s say that you’re planning a vacation to France. Since you don’t speak the language, you’ll bring a pocket travel dictionary. Having this tool will surely help you get an idea about what you are ordering from a restaurant menu, but you’ll have no idea what the actual recipe is — nor will you be able to have a conversion in French with the server! But it’s a great learning tool to make the first steps.

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Samsung Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab Gingerbread Android 2.3 roll out starting this month

Following last month’s false start Samsung is now officially announcing that the Android 2.3 Gingerbread roll out for the Samsung Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab is going to debut this month in the UK and other Nordic countries then quickly followed by other European countries. Samsung isn’t well known for painless updates but one can admit that at the very least the company isn’t forgetting it’s millions of Android users.

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HTC Desire HD and HTC Incredible S Gingerbread updates pushed OTA

HTC has just started the OTA push of the Gingerbread /Android 2.3 updates for the HTC Desire HD and HTC Incredible S smartphones. Both devices will obviously retain the Sense UI but will finally features all the enhancements found in Gingerbread which was first introduced in January. So if you have a Deisre HD or Incredible S be prepared to be notified in the coming hours or days.

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Google Talk Video Chat for Android announced

Google has officially unveiled the new Google Talk video chat feature for Android yesterday. This will work over 3G/4G and WiFi and be available in Android 2.3.4 (you can already get this version for the Google Nexus S here). Suffice to say that we most probably won’t see this kind of feature in Windows Phones until the next version of the OS (Windows Phone 8 ) because front facing camera’s are still not part of the minimum requirements of Chassis specs (but I wouldn’t be surprised if OEMs where allowed to put now in the coming months). Video demonstration of the Google Talk Video Chat after the break:

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Samsung Galaxy S II reviews: The best Android smartphone ever ?

The first Samsung Galaxy S II reviews just popped-up today courtesy of Samsung UK who seems to have handled review samples to UK editors this week. The verdict seems to be really positive especially Vlad’s review. According to Engadget’s editor the Galaxy S II is simply the best Android smartphone ever created.

The handset’s biggest sell point is obviously its 4.3″ Super AMOLED Plus display which I hand the opportunity to check out in Barcelona in February during the MWC11. Gone is the annoying PenTile Matrix subpixel arrangements which is no replace by a normal RGB matrix. This essentially means that the WVGA Super AMOLED Plus screen has 1,152,000 sub-pixels compared to 768,000 if it was a regular Super AMOLED panel (see my Super AMOLED vs Super AMOLED Plus hands on comparison here).  Interestingly Samsung is also allowing the user to tweak the screen’s color saturation via a setting called “Background Effect”.This is definitely a good thing given that AMOLED panels are highly color saturated most of the time.

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Samsung Galaxy S Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread roll out suspended by Google

Why is this not surprising ? Well, because something similar happened with the Galaxy S Android 2.2 Froyo roll out last year. Google has apparently suspended the Gingerbread roll out for the Galaxy S that started last week-end because of problems with the ROM and I personally hope the Samsung changes a couple of things in there before pushing it out again.

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Official Samsung Galaxy S Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread update starts rolling out

Samsung has started to gradually roll-out the official Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread update for the Samsung Galaxy S this past weekend via the Kies desktop software. So far only European users are being notified to update when plugin-in their phones but nothing’s stopping you from doing it manually by downloading the full package to your PC and flashing it via ODIN. This new XWJVB version seems to be really similar to the leaked XWJVK (they do have the same basedband).

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T-Mobile HTC Sensation 4G announced in the US

Hot on the heels of the European announcement comes the US bound version of the device which is headed to T-Mobile as the HTC Sensation 4G. So hat’s the difference ? Most probably nothing at all. T-Mobile’s 4G means HSPA + and given that the European HTC Sensation also support’s this then we are essentially looking at the same piece of hardware. Anyway, Full press release after the break:

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Official HTC Sensation presentation videos

No need to wait for the official announcement because here are several short videos of the new Sense UI found on the HTC Sensation and the handset’s hardware. You will notice that the weather animation now looks like the one found on the Windows Phone 7 version of the application and that most of everything else looks like the Sense found on the HTC EVO 3D and HTC Flyer. Hit the break to check out all the official videos:

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HTC Sensation aka HTC Pyramid to be announced later today

Qualcomm and Vodafone have apparently jumped the gun and already spilled the beans about HTC’s upcoming announcement. The HTC Sensation also known as the HTC Pyramid is going to be today’s headliner at HTC’s Lodon press event. As previously discussed the Sensation will essentially feature the same hardware as the HTC EVO 3D but without the 3 screen and 3D cameras. So you will have a Quaocmm MSM8260 with Adreno 220 GPU, QHD (960 x 540) 4.3″ SLCD screen. More info to come later today so stay tuned.

 

HTC Pyramid to named the HTC Sensation

According to sources close to HTC the soon to be announced HTC Pyramid will be official named the HTC Sensation once it hits retail later this year. HTC is holding an event on April 12th in London but the content to be unveiled is yet to be known. Will it be mainly Android handsets (like the Pyramid and HTC EVO 3D) or will we also hear about HTC’s upcoming HTC Prime and HT Ignite Windows Phone 7 devices?

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New HTC Pyramid pictures

A couple of live and out-focus pictures of the upcoming HTC Pyramid have just leaked today. The device is essentially the HTC EVO 3D but without the parallax barrier on the QHD screen that allows glasses free 3D viewing and the two 5Mpix camera on the back found on the EVO 3D. Instead the HTC Pyramid will feature a single 8Mpix camera on the back and a front facing VGA camera on the front. The device will be powered by Qualcomm’s MSM8260 SoC and it’s Adreno 220 GPU. I personally think that this device is a better solution that the EVO 3D (which is also launching in Europe later this year) especially if you are like me and find 3D to be relatively useless. More picture after the break:

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HTC EVO 3D coming to Europe / France

The mighty HTC EVO 3D is apparently coming to France (and probably other European countries) according to the company’s french twitter account. As you already know the original HTC EVO 4G was a US only device that never saw the light of the day in any other country so it was assumed that the same was going to happen with the EVO 3D and that the European version of it would probably be the 3D-less HTC Pyramid which sports the same MSM8X60 dual-core SoC. The European version will also sport the same HTC EVO 3D name.

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Official Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread Samsung Galaxy S ROM leaked ?

What appears to be the official Gingerbread Android 2.3.3 ROM I9000XXJVK for the Samsung Galaxy S line of phones has just leaked today. Samsung is supposedly going to officially push it through it’s KIES software in the coming days but if you don’t want to wait until then just head over here and grab the file to flash your device. Do this at your own risk and don’t forget to back-up your device.

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Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Android 2.3 Gingerbread update announced

Still wondering if Sony Ericsson is really serious about being a big player in the Android ecosytem? Well, today’s announcement that the Xperia X10 will get a new lease of life this summer via an Android 2.3 Gingerbread update further proves that the company is firmly behind Google mobile OS and Windows Phone 7 is definitely something of the past for the company. As you probably already know, SE isn’t known for its execution or product support but things seem to be moving in the right direction ever since the announcement of the PlayStation Suite and certified games system and the company’s new roaster of Android devices announced at MWC last which includes the Xperia Play gaming phone (hands on video here) and sleek looking Xperia Arc (my hands on video here).

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HTC EVO 3D hardware specifications

HTC has just officially announced and unveiled their highest end and most powerful product ever: the HTC EVO 3D. The only handset comparable to it is the LG Optimus 3D which has essentially the same features but is differentiated by the chipset and SoC used to power the device. Contrary to the Optimus 3D which uses a TI OMAP4 4430 the HTC EVO 3D is using Qualcomm’s latest dual-core Cortex A8 SoC the MSM8660 and its Adreno 220 GPU which I showed you in action here. It has a similar 4.3inch qHD 960×540 glasses free 3D display (parallax barrier) has 2 5Mpix cameras on the back for shooting 720P 3D video, a 1.3Mpix front facing cam and HDMI out via the micron USB connector for 1080P (2D) and 720P (3D). In terms of hardware this device is a real beast. The device will be running Android 2.3 Gingerbread at first with the latest version of HTC Sense on top.

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HTC EVO 3D & HTC EVO View specifications partially leaked

CTIA is shaping up to be big for Sprint who is apparently scheduled to unveiled its new line up of WiMax enabled Android devices on March 22. The first one is going to be the HTC EVO 3D which seems to be the CDMA/WiMAX version of the long rumored HTC Pyramid. The EVO 3D will be powered by an MSM8660 SoC and its Adreno 220 GPU which you can see in action in my MWC video here. It will also pack 1GB of RAM, 4GB of ROM and and glasses free auto-stereoscopic 4.3 qHD 960 x 450 3D display , similar to the one found on the LG Optimus 3D which I showed you here. It will also have a 1730Mha battery, 1080P hdmi output for regular 2D content and 720P 3D output, a 5mpix camera & 1.3 Mpix front facing one.

As I said before; Windows Phone 7 doesn’t necessarily need more powerful hardware right now but when you look at the specifications above (and most other high-end Android devices to be released soon) and factor in the fact that Microsoft is being sluggish with the OS updates I personally  think that most people are not going to buy an WP7 handset in the coming months. Now if Microsoft was more reactive then things would be different but only 2 updates a year? That’s not going to cut it.

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