HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audio announced

HTC has announced its first Beats Audio certified handset today; the HTC Sensation XE. As the name implies the Sensation EX is essentially nothing more than a premium version of the original HTC Sensation released earlier this year. The only difference is the higher clocked MSM8X60 SoC which is now running Dual-Core CPU at 1.5ghz instead of 1.2Ghz and the Beats Audio optimization (which I willing to beat are simply software based). The Sensation XE will also ship with Beats By Dre headphones just in case you didn’t get the memo about the $300M investment that HTC made in the audio brand a few weeks ago.

The HTC Sensation XE will be available in early October in Europe and Asia-Pacific. Nothing really exciting here besides the fact that this is HTC most powerful handset to date.

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HTC Jetstream Honeycomb tablet announced: Coming to AT&T September 4th

It’s been a while since I posted about and Android product but this one deserves to be talked about because it is HTC’s first Honeycomb tablet and also the first one powered by a Qualcomm SoC instead of the Nvidia Tegra 2. The HTC Jetstream (formerly known as the HTC Pucinni) features a 10.1 WXGA screen and is powered by a Qualcomm MSM8X60 SoC cloced at 1.5ghz (dual-core CPU). It will also feature an updated version of the HTC Sense UI for tablet which was introduced on the HTC Flyer earlier this year.BEst of all; it’s launching this Sunday on AT&T Check out the full specs:

HTC Jetstream Specifications

  • LTE (700/AWS)
  • HSPA+/HSPA/UMTS (850/1900/2100 MHz)
  • EDGE/GPRS (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
  • Android 3.1 (Honeycomb)
  • HTC Sense™ UX for tablets
  • Display: 10.1” WXGA HD screen
  • Processor:  Third-generation Snapdragon 1.5GHz dual-core processor
  • Camera: Front Facing 1.3 MP, Rear facing 8 MP and Dual LED Flash
  • Battery: 7,300 mAh
  • Expandable Memory:  MicroSD up to 32 GB
  • Dimensions: 7” (l) x 9.87” (w) x 51” (d)
  • Weight: 25 ounces

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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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Google fights Android fragmentation: Partners with carriers and OEMs to guarantee updates

Google just announced  during the Google IO keynote that it has partnered with OEMs and carriers to fight fragmentation and guarantee updates. This is probably the most important news of this year’s Google IO conference (IMO). The OEMs and Carriers seen above will guarantee timely updates to the latest version of the OS for a period of 18 months after a device is released (if the device’s hardware allows it).

Update: Unfortunately, Andy Rubin, who was questioned about this matter during the post-keynote Q&A session, said that nothing is set in stone yet. It is now starting to look like this announcement was nothing more than a PR move to create some buzz. The full details of this new “update guarantee” have yet to be finalized between all the partners

Android 2.4 Ice Cream Sandwich to probably be announced next week

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 Mango buzz is about to fade out a little bit next week when Google will most probably announce the newest version of Android for smartphones code named Ice Cream Sandwich aka Android 2.4 during the Google I/O conference (May 10 – 11) . This newest version is expected to include most of the new features introduced in Android 3.0 aka Honeycomb and adapt them for the smartphone form factor (remember that Honeycomb is exclusive to tablets) and feature integration with Google’s new music streaming cloud platform.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 announced: specifications and pricing

Samsung has just unveiled the Galaxy Tab 8.9 which is simply smaller version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 announced last month at MWC. So what the big difference between the two products? Noting besides that screen size: 8.9 inch vs 10.1 inch. Everything else is essentially the same; same Tegra 2 SoC, Same 3mPix camera on the back and 2Mpix on the front etc.. The Screen has the same resolution so the Galaxy Tab 8.9 has a higher pixel density but other than that and the smaller 6000Mha battery compare to 6800Mha on the 10.1 you have the same product.

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Videos of Adobe Flash 10.2 on Android 3.0 tablets

I’m a little late on this one but it’s always good to post about interesting subjects anyway I guess. As you probably remember Adobe has announced the availability of the beta version of Flash 10.2 for Android 3.0 tablets last week so here are some hand’s video of the plugin in action on the only Honeycomb tablet currently available, the Motorola Xoom. But before watching them just keep in mind that this is still a beta release so performance will (o will not..) improve later one:

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Flash ain’t dead: Flash 10.2 Beta for Android 3.0 tablets announced

Adobe has just announced the upcoming release of Flash 10.2 Beta exclusively for Android 3.0. tablets. The package will be available in the Android Market on March 18th and contains better H.264 hardware acceleration and deeper integration with the Android browser. This is essentially a version fully optimized for NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 chipset. Check out the feature list after the break:

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Preview and hands on video

The Samsung Galaxy S II wasn’t the only device unveiled during last night event so here comes a couple of pictures and a hands-on video of the newly introduced Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (aka Galaxy Tab 2). Samsung didn’t flesh out the detailed hardware specifications but we already know that the devices has a 10.1 inch 1280×800 display, 8mpx rear camera and 2Mpx front facing camera and is powered by nVidia’s Tegra 2. This is also a bit surprising given that the Galaxy S II is powered by Samsung’s own Exynos 4210 dual-core Application Processor which is probably faster than the Tegra 2. In a sens it does confirm that nVidia SoC is the “recommended” chipset for the first batch of Android 3.0 honeycomb tablets. I’m currently running out of time here so I will updated this preview with more thoughts on this device later today. In the mean time you can check out the hands-on video and pictures after the break:

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Samsung Galaxy S 2 and Galaxy Tab 2 specifications and press shot leaked

Both devices’ hardware specifications have just leaked prior to their unveiling tomorrow night in Barcelona. The first one is the Samsung Galaxy S 2 (or Galaxy S II) pictured above which apparently packs a Dual-Core 1Ghz CPU (the clock speed sort of confirms that it’s a Orion aka Exynos 4210), a 4.3 inch Super AMOLED Plus display, Android 2.3 with what looks like an updated TouchWIZ UI. The handset will weight only 116g and be 8.49mm thin (the Galaxy S is 9.9mm).

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Motorola Xoom Super Bowl TV commercial

Here’s pretty nice Motorola Xoom commercial that aired during last nights Super Bowl and was teased last week on YouTube. You catch a glimpse of the device in simulated action (I say simulated because what you see on the fake device’s screen was composited in post) but I would highly suggest to check out the hour long Android 3.0 presentation video to really see the Xoom in all it’s glory. Video after the break:

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Motorola Xoom launching on February 24th and HTC Thunderbolt on Feb 14th

According to Best Buy’s Facebook page the hotly anticipated Android 3.0 powered Motorola Xoom tablet is going to launch on February 24th just ten days after the launch of Verzion’s HTC Thunderbolt on February 14th (just one day after AT&T’s HTC Inspire 4G). Hate it or love it but 2011 is shaping up to be Android’s year. With Microsoft’s ineptitude to update Windows Phone 7 in a timely fashion (and communicate a clear roadmap) Google is freely steamrolling on the competition.

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One hour long Android 3.0 Honeycomb presentation

Didn’t have time to watch the Android 3.0 Honeycomb event streamed live on YouTube a few hours ago? Don’t worry, Google has you covered. The company has posted the full, one hour long, presentation on YouTube so you can finally watch some really in-depth Android 3.0 action. You will see everything from the new multi-tasking capabilities to the new 3D UI framework and video calling (all running on the Motorola Xoom). Google seems to have done a tremendous job on this release and Microsoft really has to worry about them because they just don’t have anything to competitively compete with this until Windows 8 is finalized in 2012. Sit tight, grab something to drik and watch the whole thing after the break:

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LG Optimus Pad G-Slate Specifications unveiled: 3D Camera confirmed

T-Mobile US and LG have just unveiled the hardware specifications of the LG G-Slate which was first teased in Las Vegas during CES last month. Similar to the LG Optimus 3D unveiled yesterday, the LG Optimus Pad aka G-Slate will feature a 3D camera (capable of shooting 1080P 3D footage) and the same Tegra 2 Dual-Cortex A9 SoC but glasses are required to watch the 3D content on the device or on a 3D TV in 1080P via its HDMI port (the LG Optimus 3D has a glasses free 3D display). The 8.9 inch display is also a tiny bit smaller than the 10.1 display of the Motorola Xoom which is it’s main Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet competitor (full hardware spec of the Xoom here). Check out the full press release after the break:

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Motorola Xoom Superbowl TV ad takes aim at Apple’s system

Motorola is bringing the heat to the tablet market this year. The Motorola Xoom TV ad named “Goodbye 1984″ is a direct attack towards Apple’s closed system. The same can somewhat be said about Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 / Zune / Xbox 360 but given their irrelevant marketshare they are probably not worth mentioning I guess (MS also doesn’t have any Tablet / Slate answer until Windows 8). Anyway, check out the teaser after the break:

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Android event taking place on February 2nd

Google has just sent out invites for a special Android event on February 2nd to formerly introduce Android 3.0 aka Honeycomb to the press. The tablet oriented OS was first shown a couple of weeks ago during the D conference and later during CES when the Motorola Xoom was unveiled. Unfortunately the public and members of the press weren’t allowed to try it out so next weeks event will be the first time people outside of Google and its OEMs finally take a in-depth peek at Honeycomb. Sure you can already “try it out” through the SDK emulator but nothing beats using an OS on an actual device. Google will also hopefully tells us what are their plans for Android 3.0 on smartphones because as of right now the latest official word from the company is that people shouldn’t expect to see it appear on handsets before the end of the year. The next smartphone oriented version is supposedly Android 2.4 aka Ice Cream Sandwich.

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Dell plans to launch more Windows Phone 7 handsets this year alongside Android 3.0 tablets

BBC reporter Tim Weber just had a chat with Michael Dell at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier today and was told that the company will launch several Windows Phone 7 devices and that demand for the Venue Pro was exceeding their expectations:

Windows Phone 7: Michael Dell tells me demand for these phones is higher than Dell can supply, but guards “we don’t make *that* many”. Michael Dell, btw, was carrying two Dell phones, 1 Windows Ph7, 1 Android; said Dell would launch several new WinPh7 models

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Android 3.0 SDK Preview released

Google has just released a preview of the Android 3.0 SDK that can be downloaded right now for all you Android developers out there looking to build applications for the soon to be released Honeycomb tablets. Here’s what’s new in the SDK:

- An early Android 3.0 system image for use in the Android emulator
- An Android 3.0 library with non-final APIs
- A new WXGA emulator skin for an extra large Android Virtual Device
- New documentation for Android 3.0, including a complete API reference, new developer guides, and an API differences report between Android 3.0 and 2.3.

UI framework for creating great apps for larger screen devices: Developers can use a new UI components, new themes, richer widgets and notifications, drag and drop, and other new features to create rich and engaging apps for users on larger screen devices.

High-performance 2D and 3D graphics: A new property-based animation framework lets developers add great visual effects to their apps. A built-in GL renderer lets developers request hardware-acceleration of common 2D rendering operations in their apps, across the entire app or only in specific activities or views. For adding rich 3D scenes, developers take advantage of a new 3D graphics engine called Renderscript.

Support for multicore processor architectures: Android 3.0 is optimized to run on either single- or dual-core processors, so that applications run with the best possible performance.

Rich multimedia: New multimedia features such as HTTP Live streaming support, a pluggable DRM framework, and easy media file transfer through MTP/PTP, give developers new ways to bring rich content to users.

New types of connectivity: New APIs for Bluetooth A2DP and HSP let applications offer audio streaming and headset control. Support for Bluetooth insecure socket connection lets applications connect to simple devices that may not have a user interface.

Enhancements for enterprise
: New administrative policies, such as for encrypted storage and password expiration, help enterprise administrators manage devices more effectively.

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Motorola Xoom launching on February 17th

According to internal documents originating from Best Buy the much anticipated Motorola Xoom tablet, which is going to be the first Android 3.0 Honeycomb powered devices, is launching on February 17th. The first SKU is apparently packing 32GB of internal memory but there’s still no official price mentioned but it would definitely be disappointing if yesterday’s rumored $800 price turns out to be true. A full blown Slate PC like the new Asus Eee EP121 is only $300 more and has some serious power under the hood (but not so awesome battery life..). The Xoom will obviously be subsidized by carriers just like the Galaxy Tab thought so it may be best to wait a little bit to see how things settle down.

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