Tag Archives: android

Rugged Casio G’zOne Commando official, coming to Verizon on April 28th for $200

27 Apr

We knew it was coming, and now it’s official: Casio’s macho G’zOne Commando is coming to Verizon on April 28th for a price of $200 on-contract. The Commando strays from a long line of durable dumbphones, and is the first ruggedized Android handset tech gadgets on Verizon’s network.

In addition to meeting 810G military specifications for water, dust, shock, vibration, salt fog, solar radiation, and temperature extremes, it runs Android 2.2 (Froyo) and has a 3.6-inch (480 x 800) display, 5 megapixel autofocus camera, microSD slot, WiFi, stereo Bluetooth, and a hotspot feature allowing it to share its 3G connection with up to five tech gadgets.

And, being built like a tank, it also bundles a handful of apps for outdoorsy types, including a compass, pedometer, star gazer, and thermometer. If you’ve never handled a rugged smartphone, you’ll get your chance Thursday when it hits Verizon retail stores.

Source from Engadget

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Recipe for a successful Android phone

26 Apr

A glance at the history of Android phones will reveal the immense wave of Android handsets in recent years. In just 2011 alone, at least 13 new Android phones were released in the U.S., and it’s not even May. With these many phones on the market, it’s no wonder that Android adoption is on the rise.

The problem with there being so many Android phones electronic gadgets, however, is that it’s difficult for any one phone to stand out. Consumers have a hard enough time deciding which handset to get in the first place; imagine if they are choosing between phones that are practically identical. Even for seasoned reviewers like me, the phones tend to blend together after a while.

However, there are the occasional shining stars that stand out from the crowd. The T-Mobile G2x, for example, won an Editors’ Choice Award recently because of its top-notch features and performance, and the Motorola Atrix 4G won our admiration at CES with its innovative laptop dock. We’ve learned that there are a few important components that go into a successful Android phone, and we’ve decided to share our views here.

Great design
We’re not suggesting that manufacturers cover up their phones in Swarovski crystals to get us to notice them, but a good design is nevertheless important; it shouldn’t feel like a cheap throwaway phone you bought at a drug store. The handset should have a nice solid feel in the hand; this is a sign that it’s made out of good-quality materials. Glass displays are always welcome, and a capacitive touch screen is an absolute must. The technology behind the display is important, too; we’re usually impressed with Super AMOLED screens, as well as IPS and qHD displays that provide bright and vibrant colors. Smartphones electronic gadgets are increasingly used for watching movies and playing games, so the more vivid the display, the better. We also tend to favor larger screens because of this, though anything bigger than 4.3 inches may prove to be too much.

If manufacturers decide to add additional components like a slide-out keyboard, those should be well-made, too. The keyboard shouldn’t be too flat or slippery, and the sliding mechanism should snap into place when open. While we’re not entirely sold on the idea that thinner is better, an overly bulky phone is not desirable, either. On the whole, we want a phone that looks and feels great in the hand while not weighing down our pockets.

Simplify, simplify
I’m not averse to manufacturers and carriers putting their own spin on Android with their own skins and overlays, but I really do prefer it when less is done to mess with the native Android interface. The stock Android experience is simply faster and cleaner. Some manufacturers do come up with acceptable skins that help differentiate the phones, like HTC’s Sense UI and Samsung’s less intrusive TouchWiz interface. But we’re often less than pleased with more intrusive overlays, like Motorola’s Motoblur and Sony Ericsson’s Timescape electronic gadgets. They tend to bog down the phone and clutter the screen. Of course, software upgrades arrive much earlier for native Android phones, too.

High-tech features
Even though Google doesn’t require Android phones to have the best hardware out there, we do think it’s important for manufacturers to incorporate the latest technology if they want a successful Android phone. Recently, that has meant faster processors and improved graphic chipsets, which are increasingly important for consumers who want to watch HD video or play processor-intensive games.

But it’s not just about speed; all the other features need to be improved, too. We definitely want the basics like GPS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi, but also the ability to have a mobile Wi-Fi hot spot. The latest phones also have multimedia-friendly features like HDMI mirroring and DLNA support.

As for the camera, an 8-megapixel camera seems to be the standard for premium handsets, but the photo quality isn’t necessarily better. It would be more prudent for companies to focus on making a better sensor and improving the software. While we’re not sure video chat is something everyone will use, a front-facing camera is a nice bonus feature to have as well.

As 4G becomes more widespread, we also feel that the most successful Android phones will be able to take advantage of a 4G network, whether it be Sprint’s WiMax, Verizon’s LTE, T-Mobile’s HSPA+, or AT&T’s HSPA+ (and possible upcoming LTE network). Of course, it would be nice if the carriers offered a reliable and fast network as well.

Battery life
The biggest complaint about powerful Android smartphones like the Atrix 4G is that the battery life isn’t so great. If you can’t last a day without having to charge it, then the phone’s many features are worthless. This is especially a concern with the aforementioned dual-core phones with 4G speeds. However, this isn’t a pipe dream–we enjoyed decent battery life with the G2x, for example. Hopefully more manufacturers will find a way to marry high-tech features with better battery life.

Price
It goes without saying that the more affordable a phone is, the more successful it’ll be. A standard price tends to be around the $200 range for a premium phone that requires a two-year contract. We’ve also seen really great phones like the HTC Evo Shift 4G electronic gadgets sell for even less than that. Anything more than that tends to require a lot more justification.

Source from CNET

Sony Ericsson slaps Walkman logo on X8, renames it W8

22 Apr

Take one Xperia X8, add a dash of color, paint a “W” on it and, voilà, you have the first Walkman phone running Android — the W8 electronic gadgets. We’re not seeing it on the US Sony Ericsson site yet, but a quick visit to the company’s German page reveals the decidedly low-end specs:

a 3-inch, 320 x 480 touchscreen, a 600MHz processor, 168MB of RAM and Android 2.1. The W8 may not recapture the luster the Walkman brand enjoyed in its TPS-L2 heyday, but at least it’ll update your Twitter status. Gallery below.

Source from Engadget

Sonos For Android Is Here, Devices Now Support Airplay

20 Apr

You’ve been waiting and now it’s here: Sonos has just announced the availability of the free Controller on the Android platform. It is compatible with almost all Android phones and tablets electronic gadgets and supports the standard Sonos feature set (music assignment, browsing, search) as well as a few interesting additions.

The app takes advantage of Android’s native speech recognition to offer voice search (“Zamfir, Master of the Pan Flute”) and it also highjacks your Android device’s volume keys to control the volume of the Sonos device.

The Sonos system now also supports Airplay but in a very roundabout way. If you have an Airport Express with Airplay support (or Apple TV, for that matter), you can transmit audio from an iPad, iPod, or iPhone electronic gadgets to that device using Airplay. You can then take the live stream from the Airplay device and send it to any Sonos device on your network. It’s obviously not ideal, but it works. You can still transmit audio from multiple devices (including iTunes libraries) around your network.

Sonos has been slowly but surely cementing their position as one of the premier whole-home audio solutions and these small but significant changes are a testament to their dedication to slow and steady improvement. The 3.4 update is available to Sonos users now and should download automatically when you launch the desktop application.

Source from CrunchGear

Motorola delays Droid Bionic launch until summer to make ‘several enhancements’

20 Apr

There’s not a lot of details on this one, but the Wall Street Journal has just confirmed with Motorola that the launch of the Droid Bionic tech gadgets will be delayed until summer, and that it might not be available for purchase until sometime in the third quarter (or late summer, in other words). As for the reason for the delay, a Motorola spokesperson would only say that the company is “incorporating several enhancements to make this an even better consumer experience,” based on feedback its received since the phone was announced way back at CES in January.

Source from Engadget

E-Noa’s Interpad Android tablet is nowhere to be found

11 Apr


It’s been almost eight months since we introduced you to Interpad’s Tegra 2 tech gadgets -packing Android tablet, and now we’re hearing rumors that the thing might never make it to market. The tablet was originally slated for a December 2010 debut, but in August the slab’s maker, E-Noa, released a statement that said the tablet was on hold until January. Well, January’s come and gone, and with a slew of Tegra 2 tablets getting ready to hit the market, it looks like the Interpad might get left behind. Aside from a lack of updates to the company’s website, its Facebook page is devoid of any information, and according to the folks over at Tablet Guys, repeated calls to E-Noa’s office have gone unanswered. Basically, the Interpad’s nowhere to be found, and with Acer’s Iconia Tab slated for an April 24th release and Motorola’s Xoom tech gadgets already making the rounds, the Interpad’s once impressive specs just don’t seem so special anymore.

 

Source from Engadget

HTC Droid Incredible 2 struts its stuff in leaked press shots?

8 Apr

If you had any doubts about HTC’s Incredible S electronic gadgets making it to our shores, they’re probably dissipating as we speak — not only has the phone obtained Verizon’s shiny red checkmark, it’s now got the robotic eye of Sauron staring at us with ferocious intensity. PocketNow obtained these pictures of the likely Droid Incredible 2 electronic gadgets without naming so much as an anonymous source, and we wouldn’t be surprised if it’s Verizon’s way of reminding us that the handset is rapidly on its way to market.

Update: Android Central got hold of some new shots of the actual phone itself, which shows off its model number ADR6350 and firmware 2.2.1. Thanks, Bla1ze.

 

sourcePocketNow

HTC EVO 3D coming to Europe, keeping the sexy name and specs

29 Mar

Earlier this year, HTC allowed its previously Verizon-exclusive brand name out to prowl the globe with the Incredible S, and now it’s doing the same with the heretofore Sprint-only EVO moniker. The EVO 3D tech gadgets, says a tweet from HTC’s French mouthpiece, are coming to the land of baguettes, stylish mustaches and stripy pullovers, though a little bit of mystery remains as to when exactly its arrival shall be. Whatever the schedule (the EVO 3D’s set for a “summer” release in the US), the rest of Europe’s unlikely to be left out, meaning a 4.3-inch superphone with a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1080p video recording in 2D and 720p in 3D, HTC’s newest Sense skin and Android’s freshest Gingerbread build, is headed out to the Old Wold. And that, fellow pilgrims, is a mighty awesome thing indeed.

 

Source from Engadget

The PlayBook polyglot

28 Mar


When Apple introduced the iPad, it had but a smattering of third-party applications, but the company stressed its own. As Apple iPhone software SVP Scott Forstall stated in the iPad introduction video, “We looked at the device and we decided: let’s redesign it all. Let’s redesign, reimagine and rebuild every single app from the ground up specifically for the iPad.”

Compare this to the strategy employed by RIM, makers of the upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook tablet tech gadgets. One year after the iPad’s debut, Apple’s head start in apps has proven a formidable advantage against the onslaught of slates announced by its competitors in the smartphone world. Some have chosen to latch onto Android and attain backwards compatibility with over 200,000 existing smartphone apps. HP, with its TouchPad as flagship, will circle its wagons of PCs, printers and phones around the webOS platform. However, the announcement this week that RIM, too, will support Android apps says much about how the company sees its position in the tablet wars.

C and C++ are the native routes to app development on RIM’s long-gestated tablet, but they certainly not the only ways. Flash / Adobe AIR and HTML5 will also be supported as will several popular game engines. Android and Java apps will be accommodated with add-on players and distributed via RIM’s App World, RIM’s app marketplace. The ability to run Android apps without the underlying Android operating system certainly helps bring a degree of cachet as well as functionality. At a discussion with an executive from a downmarket carrier at the CTIA Wireless show in Orlando last week, I asked what customers are asking for as they adopt smartphones tech gadgets. His response: “Android. Android is the brand. They want the apps.”

But support for Android could also have some potential downsides. With the BlackBerry OS platform generally taking a backseat to other smartphone platforms and a major platform shift to QNX in the works, Android support could serve as a sideshow that gives Android developers even less reason to natively support the platform. Android apps are also unlikely to exploit the PlayBook hardware and user interface, both of which have generated consumer excitement on their own merits. Contrast this with Apple’s attempt to optimize the iOS app experience to the point where it sought to block third-party development tools because of concern about cross-platform apps that might pander to the lowest common denominator.

Controlling the software platform may not be as vital to RIM as it is to Apple or others, but it’s still an important priority in which RIM is heavily investing. RIM’s challenge will be weaving the PlayBook’s hodgepodge of sources into a tapestry of engaging functionality. Apple may prioritize a consistently crafted experience but RIM is about delivering what works to encourage adoption and development. The key is ensuring that Android apps remain more or less an option of last resort, while the company can build the case for QNX apps that showcase and differentiate the PlayBook tech gadgets from competitors in the tablet space, and to help the company make a case for the same operating system to power future smartphones.

 

Source from Engadget

Google Nexus S 4G for Sprint hands-on

26 Mar

We finally got our hands on the elusive Samsung Nexus S 4G for Sprint at CTIA here today and it’s pretty much what you’d expect: a Nexus S with its GSM / HSPA radio swapped for a set of Sprint-compatible CDMA / EV-DO and WiMAX radios. While the Nexus S 4G lacks a SIM slot, it’s actually 0.3mm thicker than the Nexus S — that’s the thickness of a business card, and is meaningless for all practical purposes. These tech gadgets also feature a 4G signal indicator in the status bar, along with a 4G sub-menu in the wireless settings. Our demo unit was running Android 2.3.4 (!) — a version we have not yet come across — but we were told that neither the hardware nor the software are final at this point. So don’t be surprised if the production model receives a few tweaks before launch. Perhaps a Sprint logo?