Android phones Stories April 6, 2016

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Huawei today announced two new flagship smartphones for several countries outside the US, namely the P9 and P9 Plus. The two phones, while obviously pulling a lot design-wise from Huawei’s previous Nexus 6P, are definitely attractive offerings from the up-and-coming Chinese manufacturer. And with it comes a definitely flagship-level spec sheet including 64-bit Kirin processors, a powerful set of cameras (including a Leica dual-camera set up), and a respectable price point.

Read on for the complete rundown on the phones’ specifications, and don’t forget to let us know which of the two phones you would prefer in the poll below…

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Android phones Stories December 20, 2015

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If you’re looking to shop for the Google lovers in your life, time is running out if you want to receive items by Christmas. Thankfully, the Google Store is offering free overnight shipping until December 22nd, and Amazon Prime members of course have the option to go with free 2-day shipping on a huge number of items. We’ve compiled a list of the best of the best products from the gift guides that we’ve put together over the last months or so, and all of these items — should you order them within a day or two of this publishing — should make it to your doorstep in time for Christmas…

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Android phones Stories November 28, 2011

U.S. carrier AT&T today announced that it will be exclusively carrying the Nitro HD smartphone from LG beginning this coming Sunday, December 4. It files as their first Android device with a native 720p display and their third 4G LTE handset (the other two being the Vivid from HTC and the Galaxy S II Skyrocket from Samsung). LG scheduled an ‘exclusive launch event’ for this coming Thursday and the Nitro HD is expected to take center stage at the event.

The 4.5-inch Nitro HD packs in a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, supports GSM HSPA+ and 4G LTE radio technologies, and has an eight megapixel back camera, HD content streaming via DLNA and more. Senior vice president Jeff Bradley said Nitro HD “is the one that does [a true HD experience on Anroid phones] right”, boasting its True HD AH-IPS capabilities.

AH-IPS is an acronym for  Advanced High-Performance In-Plane Switching, a proprietary LG technology for a 1280-by-720 pixel resolution phone display with 500 nit display luminance that allows for clear viewing in direct sunlight. Additionally, RGB stripe pixels “deliver incredibly accurate true-to-life color rendering”.

AT&T recently took its 4G LTE network to fifteen new markets and plans on reaching 70 million Americans with 4G LTE by the end of this year. The Nitro HD will be available from the carrier’s retail and online stores for $249.99 after a two-year service contract. Full release after the break.

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Android phones Stories October 18, 2011

We’re but a day away from Google’s and Samsung’s major Hong Kong event meant to serve as a launchpad for the Nexus Prime, the first handset to feature Android 4.0 nicknamed Ice Cream Sandwich. Guardian reports that the handset is “expected to be released in the UK within the next four weeks, in time for Christmas”, without naming a source for their claim. Meanwhile, Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo wrote on Twitter that the Nexus Prime will land in Japan around November, boasting about it being “among the fastest” devices on the market.

An unlocked version of the phone is already showing up at third-party resellers, priced at about $750. The features allegedly include a powerful 1.2GHz dual-core processor, native 720p display, eight-megapixel camera on the back with 1080p video capture, support for NFC and more.

Google pushed back the Nexus Prime launch originally scheduled for Monday last week out of respect for Steve Jobs. Coincidentally, the new October 19 date collides with a celebration of Steve Jobs’ life due tomorrow in the outdoor amphitheater of Apple’s Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino. Apple will even close its brick-and-mortar stores for an hour so employees can watch the ceremony.

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Samsung today announced in a blog post that its free instant messaging service named ChatON is rolling out worldwide. The service will first arrive to Samsung’s Bada-driven devices, Android smartphones and selected feature phones starting this month, via Android Market and Samsung Apps stores. They will release the app on other platforms “by the end of 2011”. The company wrote:

ChatON provides users with a simple way to keep in touch with friends and family anywhere in the world, regardless of device platform. It enables users to communicate in multiple ways, allowing multimedia content and animated messages, as well as more conventional instant messages, to be shared with friends and family.

As we told you, the ChatON service has been conceived as a proprietary messaging service for multiple mobile platforms. Similar to the BlackBerry Messenger and Apple’s iMessage – both of which support free instant messaging over a mobile IP connection – ChatON too supports text, images, group chat and video clips. Unlike rival IM platforms, ChatON also does hand-written notes, animated messages and social features allowing users to give their buddies so-called “Interaction Rank”. In addition, Samsung will be taking ChatON to competing platforms like Research In Motion’s Blackberry OS and Apple’s iOS, guaranteeing mass market appeal and cross-platform messaging.

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Android phones Stories October 17, 2011

Samsung’s Galaxy-branded smartphones are poised to become the fastest-selling alternative to the Apple’s iPhone family of devices. The latest Galaxy S II had gotten off to a great start, shipping three million units in the first 55 days of availability and five million units in 85 days. It shipped a total of ten million units in the first five months on the marketplace, beating the company-imposed end-of-2011 target by a significant margin. Today, Samsung announced (via Cellular-news.com) that the Galaxy S and Galaxy SII smartphones have achieved a combined total of 30 million global sales. The publication quoted president and head of Samsung’s mobile communications business JK Shin:

Since its launch only five months ago, Galaxy SII has seen tremendous sales success and garnered enthusiastic reviews from consumers and mobile industry watchers across the globe. This is in addition to the continued sales momentum behind Galaxy S, which we launched at Mobile World Congress 2010 as continues to be a run-away success with consumers

It is important to remember that these aren’t your bargain basement Androids, but really nice high-end devices comparable to Apple’s iPhone with their advanced features, the pleasing and slim design and price points. Considering the aforementioned 10 million Galaxy S II milestone was made public September 25, after which the handset hit the U.S. shores, it’s safe to assume that the Galaxy S and Galaxy S II shipped roughly 15 million units each to this date. In addition to positively impacting Samsung’s bottom line (even though they no longer detail sales of phones and tablets in quarterly earnings reports), the Android patent protection Samsung signed with Microsoft could bring the Windows maker a cool $300 million in licensing revenues on the combined sales of 30 million Galaxy S and S II phones.

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Android phones Stories October 11, 2011

As 9to5Google reported this summer, Apple and Google are battling it out in several categories in Gadget Awards 2011, an annual gadget awards ceremony organized by British monthly Tomorrow’s Technology Today, better known as T3. The smartphone category pitted Apple’s iPhone 4, HTC’s Incredible S and Sensation, Motorola’s laptop-killing Atrix, Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Arc and Samsung’s Galaxy S II against each other. Samsung’s phone, which shipped ten million units in five months, has beatten Apple’s sixteen months old iPhone 4 and took home the prestigious Phone of the Year 2011 award. Per the official Gadget Awards web site, Britons this year voted Samsung’s phone as their #1 choice, the first time in three years that neither Apple nor HTC had won the award:

Samsung smashed it into the roof of the net with its top-of-the-range Android blower. A gorgeous looking phone with slick operation, the S II also features the best camera on any smartphone to date, great integration with Samsung’s TVs and other kit and a screen that matches the iPhone 4’s, without aping it, thanks to the unfathomable power of Super AMOLED.

Samsung should launch the Galaxy Prime (alternatively named the Nexus Prime) soon, perhaps November 3. Nexus Prime will be the first Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich device built in partnership with Google. It should boast the original Android experience (meaning no skins). Hardware-wise, the device is expected to sport a big, native 720p display, an eight-megapixel camera that captures full HD video, a speedy dual-core 1.5GHz processor and other treats. The phone should have already debuted, but Samsung and Google decided to delay the launch out of respect for Steve Jobs.

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Android phones Stories September 29, 2011

You’d be right to argue that most smartphones double as digital cameras these days, but Panasonic’s upcoming Android handsets is in an entirely different league when it comes to snapping photos on the go. Their four-inch Gingerbread device dubbed the Lumix Phone 101P has a high-resolution camera with a 13.2-megapixel CMOS Lumix sensor with Mobile Venus Engine and water-proof body.

Lumix is Panasonic’s brand of digital cameras, ranging from pocket point-and-shoot models to digital SLRs. Other specs include a QHD display with a 960-by-540 pixel resolution, a 1GHz OMAP4430 dual-core chip from Texas Instruments, e-wallet features and digital TV tuner. The Lumix Phone 101P should launch on SoftBank’s network in Japan in November.

via TechCrunch

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Android phones Stories September 27, 2011

A Localytics study issued today helps understand why Verizon Wireless recently sided with Samsung in the ongoing Apple vs. Samsung legal saga. Per Localytics’ data, 4G is one of Android’s key differentiators: More than one in three Android phones in the United States take advantage of fourth-generation cellular networks. In the third quarter of this year, some 36.6 percent of Android handsets in the United States were 4G-ready, a notable increase over the 22.6 percent in the first quarter of 2011.

This number is increasing rapidly – since the beginning of the year, the percentage of Android devices that are 4G-capable has grown by over 50 percent, culminating at a full third of the Android ecosystem. It will be interesting to see whether the iPhone 5 supports any type of 4G network. The drawbacks – bulkier antenna and a much shorter battery life – may outweigh the benefits in speed. Regardless, with the growth in 4G-capable handsets Android has seen, it appears that smartphone users are buying into the value of speed. We’ll see how this continues. 

The nation’s most popular 4G handsets in the third quarter were the HTC Thunderbolt (Verizon), the HTC Evo 4G (Sprint), the Samsung Epic 4G (Sprint), the Samsung Droid Charge (Verizon), the myTouch 4G (T-Mobile USA) and the Motorola Atrix (AT&T). A few caveats and the full list of most popular 4G devices in the country right below the fold…

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Android phones Stories September 22, 2011

It is no secret that HTC is doubling down on software. One example: Recently, their chairwoman Cher Wang contemplated an operating system of their own. HTC also has Sense, an Android user interface skin, and the company has expanded into a cloud-based delivery service for music, television shows and Hollywood entertainment on the go. The latest addition to their arsenal includes cloud-storage service Dropbox, which teamed up with the Taiwanese handset maker to offer folks with select HTC smartphones a bonus three gigabytes of free storage. This is on top of the two gigabytes free storage Dropbox has always had in store for new sign-ups, resulting in five gigabytes of free storage for HTC handset owners. Plus, convincing five friends to sign up for a Dropbox account raises the free limit to a maximum of ten gigabytes of free cloud storage.

Given Dropbox’s popularity, many people will no doubt take advantage of this promotion. Using Dropbox, users can effortlessly sync their files across desktop and mobile devices, regardless of the platform. The service takes care of file system differences between the platforms, resolving conflicts and keeping platform-specific file meta data intact. This promotion is valid from October, Pocket-lint reports. It requires a new HTC handset with the Sense 3.5 software or later, which currently includes only the Rhyme and Sensation XE smartphones.

As of April 2011, more than 25 million people saved a cool 200 million files daily on Dropbox. Eagle-eyed readers could observe that computer maker Hewlett-Packard used to bundle its PlayBook tablet with a 50GB of free cloud storage on Box.net, until they shuttered webOS.

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Android phones Stories September 21, 2011

HTC at a New York presser yesterday introduced the Rhyme smartphone, a Verizon network exclusive in the United States and coming next month to Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. This Android phone sports a 3.7-inch WVGA display and a five-megapixel camera with auto focus, power LED flash, face detection, action burst scene, panoramic mode and other image-taking features. The Rhyme being the ladies’ phone means one thing – accessories. These include a docking station, sports armband, headphone, Bluetooth headset and car speaker. The high point? The HTC Charm, a tiny pager-like accessory designed to alerts you of incoming calls or messages. Check it out in a promo video above and notice the luxury Apple-like packaging.

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Android phones Stories September 14, 2011

By all accounts, Samsung’s Galaxy S smartphone family has risen to become the most serious challenger to Apple’s iPhone. Sales are picking up and Samsung now has the momentum to ship some ten million Galaxy S II units by the end of this year. This came from the mouth of Andy Tu, Samsung Taiwan’s president of mobile communications unit. Tu told DigiTimes, an Asian trade publication:

Global sales of the Galaxy S II are expected to top six million units by the end of September 2011 and 10 million units by the end of the year.

Considering the Galaxy S II hasn’t yet hit the U.S. with full force, ten million units is a pretty impressive number. That Samsung is aiming for four million units in the holiday quarter is especially telling in the face of sales blockade imposed in some countries as a result of Apple’s patent and design complaints.

Samsung sold three million Galaxy S II pre-orders worldwide early May and about 120,000 units in the first few days of availability in South Korea. It took the company 85 days to ship five million units in late July. Strong phone sales are seen as a boon to Samsung’s declining television and semiconductor operations which are blamed on a 26 percent drop in the June quarter profits.

Samsung today launched the Galaxy R in Taiwan, basically a rehashed Galaxy S version running Nvidia’s Tegra 2 chip instead of Samsung’s own speedy Exynos 4210 processor. The device is coming to North & Eastern Europe, South East & West Asia, Middle East Asia and China soon.

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Android phones Stories September 13, 2011

If a third-generation Nexus phone (dubbed Nexus Prime) even remotely resembles the above concept render, we’re sold. The awesome image arrived courtesy of designer Federico Ciccarese who is also credited with the iPhone Air mockup. As you may recall, rumored Nexus Prime specs include a 4.65-inch Super AMOLED HD display with a native 720p pixel resolution and possibly Texas Instrument’s OMAP4460 processor. The phone is allegedly to be manufactured by Samsung. Two more gorgeous renders included after the break.

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Android phones Stories September 12, 2011

Anandtech has published some interesting findings based on their extensive Samsung Galaxy S II review. It’s the first smartphone to use the graphics processing unit based on the Mali-400 core from ARM Holdings, a fables chip maker from the UK. In fact, Samsung has engineered and manufactured its own system-on-a-chip solution for the handset.

They call it the Exynos 4210 and it combines a dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU core and the aforementioned Mali-400 GPU sporting four cores. The resulting performance, says Anandtech, is comparable to Texas Instruments OMAP 4 chip that incorporates Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR SGX540 GPU core. However, the quad-core 1.2GHz Exynos 4210 probably won’t hold a candle to iPhone 5, which will likely carry the same dual-core processor-GPU combo as the iPad 2’s 1GHz A5 chip:

Samsung implemented a 4-core version of the Mali-400 in the 4210 and its resulting performance is staggering as you can see above. Although it’s still not as fast as the PowerVR SGX 543MP2 found in the iPad 2, it’s anywhere from 1.7 – 4x faster than anything that’s shipping in a smartphone today.

Interestingly, and per the GL Benchmark seen in the above image, the Exynos 4210 is more than twice as fast compared to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 that runs Nvidia’s Tegra 2 chi. It’s also nearly four times speedier than iPhone 4’s 800 MHz A4 chip which has the PowerVT SGX535 GPU core. However, the 4210 falls short in the triangle throughput department.

The publication this this could be a big disadvantage over the iPad 2’s A5 processor that clocks nine times the graphics performance of the original iPad’s A4 chip. Triangle throughput is important in graphics-intensive games and will become key in “future games that may scale along that vector rather than simply increasing pixel shader complexity”. The video of Anandtech’s Samsung Galaxy S II review is right after the break.

Cross-posted on 9to5Mac.com.

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Android phones Stories August 24, 2011

Samsung is introducing seven new monikers to their smartphone branding so people can “simply identify the device designed to deliver the perfect experience for them”

The Inquirer reports that Samsung confirmed they will be adding four new smartphone sub-categories to the venerable Galaxy family of smartphones and tablets at the IFA 2011 show in Germany, nine days from today. Expanding on the successful Galaxy S series, the company will roll out new models that will be distinguished with the following suffixes: “R” for Royal/Refined, “W” for Wonder, “M” for Magical and “Y” for Young. As for the Galaxy S, the “S” stands for Super Smart, the South Korean company explained.

In addition, each model may be offered in three flavors, which will be denoted by adding “Pro”, “Plus” and “LTE” to their brand names. What are those about? Well, “Pro” means a physical QWERTY keyboard, “Plus” is for upgraded devices and “LTE”, as the name tells, means the device supports the fourth-generation Long-Term Evolution radio technology. Go past the fold for a quick list of the upcoming new phones.

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Android phones Stories August 22, 2011

In the battle for mobile supremacy, Apple and Google are winning as competitors continue to lose ground, finding it increasingly difficult to compete with the strong iOS and Android ecosystems (can you say ‘duopoly’?), per latest survey from the NPD Group. The results came by tracking U.S. consumers aged 18+ who reported purchasing a mobile phone and exclude corporate purchases. In the June quarter, iOS grabbed 29 percent of the U.S. smartphone share versus Google’s 52 percent share. Both tech behemoths have grown their platform share at the expense of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion.

Cross-posted on 9to5Mac.com

RIM’s been on a serious decline amid poor sales and delays related to their QNX-based superphones. Their BlackBerry OS software share fell to just eleven percent in the U.S. Meanwhile, Hewlett-Packard’s webOS is in a state of limbo as the world’s leading computer maker announced intentions to exit the hardware business. Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile grabbed five percent of the market each.

The emerging prepaid market is the next battelground for iOS and Android. Google, however, has the first mover advantage here… expand full story

Android phones Stories August 18, 2011

Telefonino.net today leaked (via BGR) a bunch of upcoming Samsung devices. The mega-leak includes seven Android-driven phones and two tablets and three phones powered by Samsung’s own Bada operating system. Heck, the company is even working on their inaugural Windows Phone ‘Mango’ handset.

Starting off with tablets, the P6200 looks like the original Galaxy Tab successor. This seven-inch Honeycomb slate boasts a 1024-by-600 pixel Super AMOLED display plus front and back cameras for capturing video and conducting video calls. It will come in both WiFi-only and 3G HSDPA version.

As for the phones, Samsung appears to be going all out on the hardware front. Take the I9220, for example. This Gingerbreak phone runs a 1.4GHz processor, has an eight-megapixel camera and packs in a spacious, juicy 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display sporting a 1280-by-720 pixel resolution display, meaning it can render HD 720p video natively, without rescaling.

Then there is the I9210, another Gingerbread phone with a slightly larger 4.5-inch SuperAMOLED display, 4G connectivity and an eight-megapixel camera with LED flash. The sickest of them all has to be the I9250 superphone. Probably your next handset, it rocks a monstrous 4.65-inch SuperAMOLED display with native 720p resolution (1280-by-720 pixels), the obligatory five megapixel camera (what, no eight-megapixels?) and Android Ice Cream, the latest and greatest version of Android due for release in the fourth quarter of 2011. But wait, that’s not all – six more phones after the break. expand full story

Android phones Stories August 15, 2011

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According to this partial close up leaked by TmoNews, HTC’s upcoming smartphone will pack in a gorgeous 4.3-inch qHD display and run a dual-core 1.5GHz processor with 1GB of RAM. Back and front cameras sport eight and two megapixels, respectively. The exterior design calls for a myTouch-like enclosure, but don’t let this fool you – this one’s gonna be a completely new phone allegedly branded under the HTC Ruby moniker.

Other perks include dedicated buttons to quickly take snaps and capture video and Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity. The Ruby should arrive “later this year” via T-Mobile, the publication reports. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the device comes with Android Ice Cream Sandwich which is slated to debut on select phones in the fourth quarter of this year.

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Android phones Stories July 29, 2011

HTC reported second-quarter earnings today and just briefly glancing at numbers was enough to realize why they’re the #2 smartphone vendor in the US. Per their statement, HTC grew its revenues by 104 percent from the year-ago quarter and shipped 12.1 million phones during the June quarter. The company reported revenues of  NT$12.4 billion, or approximately $4.3 billion, a 19 percent sequential increase. Net income for the quarter topped NT$17.52, more than double from NT$60.96 billion in the year-ago quarter (and an 18 percent sequential jump).

The 12.1 million phones shipped include devices powered by Microsoft’s and Google’s software and amount to a 25 percent and 24 percent sequential and annual jump in terms of units, respectively. Looking at the third quarter, HTC is modeling for a 10 percent quarterly increase and a 90 percent annual jump based on shipments of an estimated 13.5 million phones.

New phone shipped in the quarter include the HTC Sensation, EVO 3D, Wildfire S, ChaCha, Salsa and Flyer. The average selling price dropped from $359 in the previous quarter down to $349 because they brought new inexpensive handsets to the market. Much of HTC’s growth came from Europe, Asia and the United States, where Nielsen ranks them as the second-largest smartphone maker. The achievement is even more impressive taking into account that Apple is now the world’s leading smartphone maker and controls two-thirds of total operating profits in the handset business.

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Android phones Stories July 28, 2011

Motorola Mobility reported June quarter earnings today, nearly hitting Wall Street estimates with the reported GAAP net loss of $56 million, 19 cents a share. Revenues for the quarter topped $3.3 billion and non-GAAP earnings were nine cents a share. One of the noteworthy highlights includes shipments of 400,000 Xoom tablets, although the company wouldn’t divulge actual sell-through numbers. Xoom shipments amount to some 2.65% June tablet market share, per Strategy Analytics’s cumulative figures.The company also shipped eleven million mobile devices in total, including 4.4 million Android smartphones. Analyst Tomi Ahonen wrote on Twitter that Android shipments amount to an eight percent market share, making Motorola “8th biggest smartphone maker and 5th biggest Android”.

Xoom aren’t bad at all, actually a bit higher than the 300,000 units investors were expecting. Furthermore, the Xoom, Motorola’s inaugural Honeycomb tablet, arrived to market with little or no support from third-party developers plus devices from rivals ensued soon thereafter. Motorola benefited from an expanded distribution of the Atrix 4G smartphone and Motorola Xoom tablets in Latin America, China, Korea and Europe. They also rolled out four new smartphones in China. Moving forward, the company previously pledged to launch ten new devices in 2011 with Sprint, including Motorola Photon 4G which launches this weekend. Other tidbits right below…

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Research firm Nielsen chimed in today with a survey that puts Apple as the leading handset maker in the United States whilst Android is portrayed as the top mobile operating system in the country. Those findings follow a recent analysis which had Apple overtaking Nokia to become the world’s leading smartphone vendor in July, also corroborated  by IDC figures. According to Nielsen’s June data, Google’s Android remains the nation’s top phone platform with a 39 percent of the country’s consumer smartphone market. Apple’s iOS follows with 28 percent and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion continues to bleed share, down to 20 percent in the second quarter of 2011. Windows Mobile and Windows Phone combined grabbed nine percent, webOS and Palm OS were barely a blip with two percent, as was Nokia’s dying Symbian OS.

Apple on the other hand is the top smartphone maker in the United States that controls 28 percent of the market (excluding iPods and iPads). That’s partly “because Apple is the only company manufacturing smartphones with the iOS operating system”, Nielsen argues. HTC shares second spot with Research In Motion with a fourteen percent share of Android devices and six percent of Windows Phones for a total of 20 percent share of the whole market, same as the BlackBerry maker. HTC is also the nation’s leading Android and Windows Phone vendor with 14 percent and six percent share, respectively. No wonder Apple is suing HTC and seeking to ban import of their phones into the US…

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Android phones Stories July 27, 2011

Korean news agency, Yonhap News, reported on Wednesday (via Boy Genius Report) that Samsung shipped five million units of its top-of-the-line Galaxy S II smartphone, a successor to the wildly successful Galaxy S phone. Samsung achieved the milestone in 85 days, which means an average sales rate of nearly 60,000 units a day. The previous milestone had Samsung sell three million units in 55 days, amounting to some 55,000 units a day, so sales of the latest smartphone from the Galaxy S series are steadily accelerating. The device reached the milestone 40 days earlier than its predecessor, the Galaxy S, which shipped five million units in 125 days, and is the top-selling phones in ten European countries, including the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Samsung is the world’s second-largest mobile phone maker, but it could soon overtake Apple and become #1. The company launched the Galaxy S II in South Korea on April 29 and the device went on to grab a surprising 56 percent smartphone market share in the country as of last month. The handset later rolled out in Japan and some European countries and is due to hit the US shores next month. Meamwhile, Engadget uncovered an FCC filing revealing CDMA and WiMAX radios for the US version of the handset. Paired with a recent leak of AT&T’s flagship slider phone purported to be the Galaxy S II, Samsung could be looking to bring its handset to AT&T’s 3G GSM network, Verizon Wireless’s 3G CDMA network and Sprint’s WiMAX.

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Motorola’s Xoom will get the promised 4G LTE modem upgrade in September, per corporate communication from Verizon Wireless sent to registered users, published by the Droid Life blog. The free of charge update promises a tenfold increase in network speeds, available to more than 110 million people in select markets where the carrier rolled out its 4G LTE network, with “coverage expanding every day”. The email notice reads:

Be on the lookout at the end of summer for an email with information about how to upgrade your Motorola XOOM to speeds up to 10X faster than 3G. In the meantime, learn more about what you can do to prepare for the 4G LTE upgrade to your Motorola XOOM by backing up data, encrypting, or resetting your Motorola Xoom tablet.

On a somewhat related note, T-Mobile and Sony Ericsson also began rolling out Gingerbread updates to the Xperia X10 and G2x

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Android phones Stories July 18, 2011

BOGO, an acronym for “Buy-One-Get-One”, is a marketing tactics some (perhaps iOS fans) are adamant helped boost daily Android activations to over 550,000 handsets. The strategy is again at play at Verizon Wireless, the nation’s leading carrier which put Google’s platform on the map with the original Droid. And now, less than two weeks since the Droid 3’s arrival on the Verizon Wireless network, the carrier is offering the device in a hard-to-resist BOGO deal, reports The Phone Arena. You can take advantage of the offer at Verizon’s web site.

The reason? We’ve heard that there is another 4-inch slider coming to Verizon, but with some LTE’s in the very near future.

The carrier is also taking sign-ups for the Droid Bionic, a Motorola LTE phone which could launch August 4. The Gingerbread-powered Droid 3 features a four-inch qHD display, a slide-out full QWERTY keyboard, a back camera that can record 1080p clips, all thanks to a dual-core 1GHz OMAP processor from Texas Instruments. It costs $200 after a two-year service agreement or $460 contract-free. Would-be buyers should remember that Verizon no longer offers unlimited data plans.

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Android phones Stories July 15, 2011

LG this morning announced two new phones engineered around Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The LG Optimus Pro (LG-C660) and Optimus Net (LG-P690) smartphones – both rolling out in 30 markets this summer beginning in Europe – feature a 1500mAh battery – “the largest in their class”, says LG – and an 800MHz processor. The phones are clearly aimed at the social generation. The Optimus Pro hasa QWERTY keyboard that will appeal to fast typists, a 2.8-inch touch display and dedicated hardware hotkeys for email and scheduler. The device will be available in white, titan and black.

The Optimus Net, available in black and white, sports a bigger 3.2-inch 320-by-480 pixel resolution display and LG Social+, the company’s own widget that acts as a hub to popular social networks. It lets you read your friends’ social media feeds, update Facebook and Twitter status, share photos across multiple social media accounts and more. LG wrote another application, SmartShare, that enables the phone to share media with other DLNA-compliant devices.

The North American version will include a QWERTY keyboard and in Brazil, China, Asia and the CIS region, the Optimus Net will be dual SIM-compatible. Also, some European carriers will get a version of the device with an NFC chip for mobile payments. More images and full release after the break.

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Android phones Stories June 28, 2011

An image leaked yesterday by The Pop Herald suggests a possible successor to the Motorola Droid Pro, which Sprint marketed as the XPRT. In a nod at business users, the yet-to-be-named device packs in a physical QWERTY keyboard, in addition to both capacitive touchscreen and buttons, a possible Sprint 4G WiMax network connectivity and Android 2.3 Gingerbread out of the box:

According to the tipster, the next QWERTY Motorola smartphone is curvier compared to the Motorola XPRT. The tipster added that the physical QWERTY keyboard of the unannounced phone was slightly modified, now with a “smile pattern,” compared to XPRT’s “ruler pattern.”

Considering that Sprint began offering the business-centric XPRT on June 5 of this year, full six months following its November 18, 2010 debut on the Verizon network, here’s to hoping we won’t have to wait that long for this handset.

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Android phones Stories June 27, 2011

Our European readers will be delighted to learn that HTC’s Evo 3D “will be broadly available in Europe from July”. We reviewed the handset on the Sprint network in the US and walked away pretty impressed with its glasses-free 3D display and 3D cameras which, however, compromise battery life, among other things. You may also like the big camera shutter button, a 4.3-inch display with a 540-by-960 pixel resolution and two five megapixel cameras with auto focus on the back for snapping 3D shots. The device is powered by a decent 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon chip and runs the latest Android 2.3 Gibgerbread release for smartphones. Full release below.

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Android phones Stories June 15, 2011

This is my next reports HTC has changed its mind and will bring Android 2.3 Gingerbread to the Desire after all. HTC’s UK office posted on their Facebook page two hours ago:

Contrary to what we said earlier, we are going to bring Gingerbread to HTC Desire

Just a day ago, HTC argued via Facebook that the Desire wouldn’t be getting Gingerbread because they “can’t shovel Sense on it as well” due to constrained RAM. Interesting how they fixed that limitation just 24 hours later. HTC also announced last month it would unlock all of its phones’ bootloaders.

HTC London Meetup in April of 2011: You know, Apple fans aren’t the only ones lining up for product launches

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Android phones Stories June 14, 2011

T-Mobile’s G2 with Google, a successor to the wildly popular G1, an inaugural Android smartphone, has been discontinued after short eight months on the market. TmoNews spotted a change in T-Mobile’s inventory system which lists the device as “discontinued” – that is, no longer available for replenishment – since June 6. Released in October of 2010, the G2 featured stock Android experience, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and HSPA+ modem enabling T-Mobile USA to market the phone as 4G-capable.

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Android phones Stories June 13, 2011

With an IDC-estimated 10.8 million units shipped during the first quarter of this year, Samsung files as the world’s fourth-largest smartphone vendor, behind Nokia, Apple and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion. However, the rising popularity of Samsung’s feature phones and dumb handsets powered by their own operating system called Bada has helped the Korean phone maker capture the #2 slot in terms of all handset units shipped globally.

Samsung was outdone only by Nokia in the first quarter. According to IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, Samsung shipped 70 million handset units during the first quarter of this year versus the 108.5 million Nokia phones. With 18.7 million iPhones Apple came in fourth, behind LG Electronics which shipped 24.5 million handsets. That was last quarter…

The global handset landscape is going to alter rapidly by the June quarter’s end, predicts Japanese research firm Nomura. Their analyst was quoted as saying that “Nokia looks set to relinquish its smartphone crown (in unit terms) to Samsung and Apple”. This means, their analyst argues, that Nokia will be #3, with Samsung and Apple taking the #1 and #2 slots, respectively. Mind you, Nokia has been the world’s top handset maker since 1996…

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Android phones Stories June 9, 2011

At a Sprint press conference which took place half an hour ago, Motorola pledged to launch more than ten new wireless gizmos this year, including the flagship Motorola Photon 3G and Motorola Triumph smartphones. The Photon 4G files as Motorola’s first 4G device and the Triumph is their first Virgin Mobile USA device.

The Photon 4G, pictured above and available this summer, sports a dual-core 1GHz Tegra 2 chip from Nvidia, a 4.3-inch qHD display, dual cameras and a kickstand. The device runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, features international GSM capabilities and has the Motorola webtop application that lets you access desktop-class applications while hooked up with a Motorola accessory dock. Go past the break for the Triumph info and official specs.

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Android phones Stories June 6, 2011

Motorola’s upcoming handsets are leaking all over the web. The latest? How about three guided tour videos showing off the various features of the upcoming Droid 3 smartphone? The Droid brand has done very well reviving Motorola’s ailing phone business while putting Android on the map and Motorola Mobility recently refreshed the brand with the Droid X2 launch on the Verizon Network. With the third incarnation of the smartphone that started the Android craze Motorola is hoping to woe consumers with more oomph, a continuation of the strategy which has served them well thus far. Check out two more Droid 3 videos below the fold…

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Android phones Stories May 18, 2011

Just as Verizon Wireless announced Thursday launch of Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play handset in the US, the New Zealand branch of the big red carrier tweeted Monday that the entire shipment headed to that country had been stolen.

Regret to advise the Xperia Play launch will be delayed. Major security breach. The shipment of phones has been stolen.

Turned out that was just a clumsy marketing gimmick that had cleverly exploited the whole Sony-versus-hackers brouhaha in an effort to drum up publicity ahead of the Xperia Play launch in New Zealand. To make the whole thing appear realistic, the carrier even released security footage, allegedly from the Vodafone store, seen above. They were “investigating” the theft, per this tweet:

Our fraud team are investigating the stolen Xperia Play phones and have released footage of the break-in. Can you help?

Needless to say, it opened a can of whoop ass… expand full story

The Droid saga continues as Motorola Mobility issues a press release announcing the Droid X2 launch on the Verizon Wireless network next Thursday, May 26, 2011. The Droid X2 is “double the power, double the does”, Motorola wrote. The phone looks nearly identical from the outside to its predecessor, sporting a large 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen display.

The innards have been improved with an eight-megapixel camera with HD video capture, a dual-core 1GHz processor. It will come with Android 2.2 pre-installed, to be updated to Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The handset will retail for $199.99 after a new two-year service agreement. The carrier will be accepting pre-orders beginning tomorrow, May 19, 2011. Catch the full press release below the fold.

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So how do you stand out in the crowded Android space? I know – let’s put a bunch of cats in a television commercial, Sprint’s marketing people must have said when pitching creative concepts for the Nexus S 4G campaign to their bosses. The resulting advert is cutesy and a bit mischievous, but not bad at all. Plus, you gotta love the closing line:

It’s the first phone that’s Google to the core with Sprint’s lightning fast 4G speed. It’s powerful enough to do just about anything, including filling the internet with more cats.

The cats theme runs throughout the campaign and on the Nexus S mini-site.

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Android phones Stories May 17, 2011

Television maker Vizio wasn’t kidding when they announced Android smartphones and tablets at CES 2011 in January. According to Wireless Goodness,  their first Android-powered smartphone has received a blessing from the Federal Communications Commission. The device carries the VPHN1044G label, but they plan to sell it under the more user-friendly Vizio Phone moniker.

It’s a four-inch (854-by-480 pixels) Android superphone that comes with your regular perks, including a 1GHz processor, HDMI video output, microSD cards support and more. The FCC filing reveals support for the 850 and 1900 MHz bands, suggesting a launch on AT&T’s 3G network in the US.

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Android phones Stories May 13, 2011

Even though Samsung’s Galaxy S II packs in an impressive 1.2GHz dual-core processor, for some folks that simply isn’t enough oomph. No problem, the most popular Android phone can be easily overclocked to a whooping 1.5 GHz, as shown in the above video by coolbho3000 over at the XDA Developers Forum. Just how fast is 1.5GHz compared to 1.2GHz, you ask.

Well, the Quadrant benchmark shows up to sixty frames per second, which is a rather notable performance jump over the factory 1.2GHz clock frequency setting. The posted notes you will need appropriate Windows USB drivers and the latest version of the odin3 tool to deband the handset. REad on…

From there, in just a few simple steps you can bump up the clock frequency to 1.5GHz. Proceed by downloading the overclocked kernel (a tar file) and reboot the phone into download mode using adb reboot download. Flash the kernel using odin3 by placing the tar file in the PDA section and pressing Start, after which the phone will reboot automatically. Finally, use SuperOneClick to root your phone if you haven’t already, fire up SetCPU and enjoy the 1.504GHz heaven.

According to PocketNow, Samsung is gearing up for the US release of AT&T-compatible Google Nexus S. The pearly white model is labeled with the model number GT-I9020A instead of SGH-Ixx7, indicating that the handset will be sold directly through the carrier. The publication nevertheless noted:

It’s still unclear if this will be available directly from AT&T — like the Sprint Nexus S 4G — or strictly from third party retailers, as is the case with the T-Mobile-flavored Nexus.

A version of the Nexus S designed to work with AT&T’s 3G network was first uncloaked this January in an FCC certification document. The Android-driven handset supports AT&T’s 850/1900MHz WCDMA bands, in addition to Bluetooth, single-band 802.11 b/g/n WiFi. It also supports the 13.56MHz band required for the RFID functionality.

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