Sony Ericsson Xperia Play Preview: hands on video and gameplay

Wondering what’s inside Sony Ericsson’s first PlayStation Certified handset? Just check out the full software and hardware specifications here. Now let me give you my first hands on impression of the Xperia Play after playing with it for a couple of minutes earlier this week. The build quality seemed to be relatively solid but a bit too much plasticy or my taste and the two L and R trigger button on the top of the device really felt cheap because of this. The 4 inch FWVGA (854×480) screen looks really nice thought and had good viewing angles for an LCD (I’m guessing that it’s the same as on the Sony Xperia Arc (hands-on video coming soon..) and similar to the SLCD found on HTC’s latest devices (but Sony Ericsson loves to called this Bravia something.. marketing..you know..).

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Sony Ericsson Xperia Play specifications

As you probably already know by now the much anticipated PSP Phone aka the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play was officially unveiled a few days ago in Barcelona during Mobile World Congress. But what is inside the first PlayStation Certified handset? Just hit the break to check out the exhaustive list of features and hardware specifications of the device. You can then go and check out my hands on preview and video here.

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Nokia to give away free Windows Phone 7 devices and an E7 as part of its developer program

Everything seems to be moving pretty quickly at Nokia since the Microsoft partnership was announced a week ago. The company has apparently just sent an email to all developers who are taking part of the Launchpad program and is promising to offer them a free Nokia E7 handsets and a Nokia Windows Phone 7 devices “once they are available”. Check out the full email after the break:

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Windows Phone 7 IE9 Mobile video demonstrations

Here are several videos from MWC showing Windows Phone 7′s IE9Mobile and HTML5 in action. The first one is a video of Joe Belifore demonstrating the same thing he showed on trage during the opening Keynote but with a working network connection so you will get to see the HTC 7 Trophy device streaming .mp4 video form the IMDB Panorama showcase website. But there’s catch..contrary to what Joe is claiming the video being streamed to the handset is NOT in HD. It’s in 848×480 and you can grab the file directly from here to check it out yourself. update: Just to be clear: Like I said in my Windows Phone 7 review, the current WP7 devices can playback 720P MP4 videos (similar to YouTube’s 720P content) without problem but it’s not “supported” by the OS and in the case of Joe’s demo it was was just a poorly compressed FWVGA video.

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Why Windows Phone 7 doesn’t desperately need more powerful devices this year

As you have probably already noticed I was at Mobile World Congress this week so I had the opportunity to play around with some of the latest and most powerful handsets ever created. This year was obviously dominated by Google’s Android platform which took center stage at the convention with essentially every OEMs demonstrating or unveiling products running the immensely successful OS. What does it have to do with Windows Phone 7 hardware ? Well if there’s one thing that really garbed my attention it is the fact that not a single Android device I played with was as snappy and smooth as the Samsung Omnia 7 device I had in my pocket (or any iPhone model). Yes some of the devices on display were running non finalized software and probably hardware too but this has already been the case with retail devices like the Galaxy S and Desire HD which feature more powerful hardware than all the currently released WP7 devices (you can watch my 7 minutes long Galaxy S II video here).

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Qualcomm MSM8660 and Adreno 220 GPU demo

Here’s a nice video I shot yesterday at Qualcomm’s booth showing the Adreno 220 GPU in action running an OpenGL ES 2.0 demo developed by Southend interactive (on Android). The development device that you see hooked up to the HDTV via the mini-HDMI port packs Qualcomm’s MSM8660 dual-core CPU and Adreno 220 GPU that is going to be found in HP Palm’s TouchPad (under the APQ8060 name) and apparently the HTC Pyramid aka Sensation / (note that the output displayed on the TV is WVGA content upscaled to 1080P). I had a small chat with a couple of Qualcomm guys about their future SoCs and also the Windows Phone 7. I was once again told that they were working really closely with Microsoft right now on current Adreno 200 support (HLSL/ Programmable Shader support in XNA should by coming this year) and future Chassis which are being discussed and finalized right now (that’s what I got from the hints I was given). MS apparently is also wants to support higher resolution screens so newer SoCs are going to be certified. Because the of the Adreno’s close architectural similarities with the Xbox360 Xenos GPU the company can squeeze more out of it compared on Windows Phone 7 compared to Google on Android (there’s also the fact the Microsoft has total control over the API which is Direct3D Mobile).

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HTC Flyer preview: Hardware specifications and thoughts

First off, big thumbs down to HTC who only allowed those, who were able to go to the press event, to get a closer look at the HTC Flyer yesterday and even those present at the event weren’t allowed to touch it… (I had a meeting with MS at the same time so I couldn’t be present at HTC’s announcement). So everybody else was left with 3 devices running a promo video behind a glass (see video after the break). Anyway, so what is the Flyer all about? Well, I’m still trying to figure out what went through HTC’s mind here and why they decided to make this weird Android 2.4 tablet instead of going for a Tegra 2 powered Android 3.0 Honeycomb product like every other major OEM. The company definitely seems to be in so kind of identity crisis and thinks that it’s more important for them to push out their brand name with recycled hardware (HD2-HD7, Desire HD -> Incredible S, Desire S etc..) instead of pushing the hardware forward or even updating the current device with their latest software version so that we won’t have to buy exactly the same hardware (re-branded and renamed) just to have the latest version of Android and Sense. But I then remembered something: HTC has always done this back in the Windows Mobile days. Every single WinMo phone that came out after the original HTC Touch was the same frigging hardware internally and all that changed was the TouchFlo version (their last innovative product was the HTC HD2). The same is happening now with their Android devices and this is seriously starting to piss off some people. Now when you think about it, the MSM8255 that was first introduced in the Desire HD is still one of the best SoC out there so there was no real reason to change it and personally think that what Samsung and LG are doing is just overkill given that Android doesn’t seem to take any real advantage out of the crazy processing power found in their newly announced handsets.. The main problem here is that HTC is going to market those new devices as something brand new super phones when they are in fact just recycled Desire HD’ with smaller screens.

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LG Optimus Pad preview: Hands on video

The LG Optimus Pad is planned to be the second Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet to hit the market later this year after the Motorola Xoom finally launchs at the end of this month in the US. What sets the Optimus Pad apart from its direct competition is its physical size and smaller 8.9 inch screen (15:9 aspect ratio) which was specifically designed to be easily portable with one hand. The device also packs two 5 Mpix cameras to shoot 720P 3D Stereoscopic content which can then be viewed on a 3D enabled TV through the device’s HDMI port, directly on the device screen in red/blue anaglyph mode or uploaded to YouTube’s 3D channel. Out of all of the Honeycomb tablet’s I’ve played with the LG Optimus Pad was surprisingly the snappiest and smoothest even though they were all powered by the same nVidia Tegra 2 chipset. But I’ will obviously reserve my final judgment until the final retail products are released. Check out my hands-on video after the break:

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HTC Flyer tablet announced

HTC has just introduced it’s new 7 inch Android 2.4 tablet with a pressure sensitive capacitive stylus today. The HTC Flyer definitely looks like a weird offering compared to the bunch of Tegra 2 powered Android 3.0 powerhouses that are coming out in the coming weeks. The device is powered by a single-core 1.5Ghz SoC (from Qualcomm I guess) has 1Gb of Ram, a 7inch screen with a resolution of 1024×600, 32Gb of internal storage and a new version of Sense. and will support the OnLive gaming service that HTC invested in a not long ago. I will go hands-on with it later today to see what it’s all about because so far it looks really disappointing to me. Full press release after the break:

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Asus Windows Phone 7 handsets may never see the light of the day

Contrary to Digitime’s fabricated rumors, Asus is not going to shown of or announce any Windows Phone 7 device at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Speaking to Forbes, Asus’ corporate vice president and GM or Mobile Device unit, Benson Lin, stated that the company is still undecided about its future Windows Phone 7 plans. You may remember that the Taiwanese OEM was the first manufacturer to build the Galaxy 6 which was the first WP7 prototype device ever shown and followed up with the Asus E600 developer handset. Unfortunately the lack of carrier demand and the company’s struggle with it’s Garmin Navigation division has put a stop to it’s Windows Phone plans for the time being and is now instead focus only on Android devices.

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CDMA Windows Phone 7 phones coming out in March?


As you have probably already heard, Microsoft has outlined its Windows Phone 7 update roadmap today during MWC and announced that the forthcoming NoDo update, now scheduled to be pushed out in early March, will also include support for CDMA handset. It is now safe to assume that Verizon and Sprint will finally release their Windows Phone handsets in the weeks following the update’s release.

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Windows Phone 7 Kinect companion Rally Ball game video


Here’s the promotional video of the the Windows Phone 7 Kinect companion Rally Game that was just shown during the MWC congress keynote just an hour ago. It’s still unclear how the game actually works. Is the skeleton actually mapped on the players via the camera’s viewfinder or is the whole data being processed on the Xbox and then set to the Windows Phone 7 handset via Wifi? Just hit the break to see the action:

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Multi-Tasking and IE 9 Mobile and Twitter integration, Kinect interaction coming to Windows Phone 7 in second half of 2011

That’s right folsk! Steve Ballmer has just announced during his MWC eynote that full Multi-Tasking , IE9 Mobile with full Hardware acceleration and Twitter integration are coming to Windows Phone 7 in the Second half of 2011. That’s Mango for you! Stay tuned fro more… The Office hub is also being updated Hit the break for the full feature’s description:

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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 II Preview, hardware specifications and hands on video

Let’s just start by saying that Samsung’s Unpacked Keynote was one of the most boring a useless keynote I have ever attended. Thankfully for the company the products being unveiled vast overshadowed the lackluster presentation: not a single live demo, tons and tons of useless PR talk and even more PR talk (to make things worst the whole thing start one hour late and nobody ever told the audience what was going on). But let’s forget about this and concentrated on one of the most powerful handled device ever created: The Samsung Galaxy S II. So what’s so specially about it? Well, to put it simply: the hardware hardware specifications are just insane:

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First Nokia Windows Phone 7 device coming out this year

Nokia’s Jo Harlow has just hinted at a possible 2011 release date for the first Nokia Windows Phone 7 handset during Setphen Elop’s MWC event Keynote and that a massive volume of Nokia WP7 handset should be expected in 2012. The company also officially unveiled the prototype renders that we saw just 2 days ago.

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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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Official Mobile World Congress application for Windows Phone 7 available

The official Mobile World Congress application for Windows Phone 7 has just been released in time for next weeks event in Barcelona. The application is obviously free and can be downloaded directly from the Marketplace here. Just keep in mind that it is mostly useful for those of you who are attending the event and not really something for the regular end user.

Former Microsoft Corporate Vice President appointed President of Nokia Inc (US)

It is really starting to look like Microsoft is taking over Nokia. Following today’s big announcement, the Espoo based company has also appointed Chris Weber, former Corporate Vice President at Microsoft, as the head of Nokia Inc (Nokia US if you prefer). No matter what you think about Steve Ballmer but this whole Nokia thing which started with Stephen Elop moving as CEO of the mobile giant leading to today’s partnership seems like pure genius if it all goes well in the long run. Press release after the break:

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