Archive for February, 2011

HTC ChaCha and Salsa release dates leak online

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

The age of the Facebook phones are here and it should be no shock to many as Facebook looks to expand beyond the traditional bounds of social media as it looks to become more relevant in everyday life.

Two of the devices which will feature the heaviest Facebook integration since sliced bread is the HTC ChaCha and Salsa. Both devices were officially announced and demoed at HTC’s keynote address at Mobile World Congress last week and among other features carry dedicated Facebook buttons. The phone also pulls phone numbers from Facebook’s phonebook app and there is a newsfeed which lists the latest information and such right on the homescreen.

HTC and Facebook have been clear to differentiate and stress that the ChaCha and Salsa are not Facebook branded phones but rather sport big integrations with the social network giant’s website and features.

According to Expansys, the device is scheduled to arrive on June the 17th, unfortunately, there is no list of a price as of yet and HTC has gone on to confirm that both devices will be arriving in the second quarter of the 2011 year.

Both phones will run Google Android 2.4 as the underlining OS while HTC and Facebook have worked to provide an overlay to the underlining OS that will feature tight integration with Facebook’s services and features. The Salsa is equipped with HTC Sense as well as a 3.4 inch display while the ChaCha hosts a 2.6 inch screen with a full QWERTY keyboard and also sports HTC’s Sense UI as well.

Look for more info to pop up as we get closer to an official release date and pricing of this device. We do expect it to fall within a reasonable price though as the device is marketed at a younger demographic than the Incredible S or the Desire HD.

Source: Expansys

HTC Incredible S available for pro-order on O2 and Vodafone

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

It’s a little over a week since the Incredible S from HTC was announced at Mobile World Congress. But HTC is used to getting devices to the market in a timely and organized matter, so we’re none too surprised that the phone is now popping up on pre-order pages for Vodafone and O2.

The Incredible S, which is scheduled to ship March 3rd, will be available on a £25.00 per month and not only does this device become free on contract, but for that monthly plan you also receive a 300 minute allowance per month as well as unlimited texts and 500MB of data. That price is good on both carriers.

The HTC Incredible S features a 4-inch Super LCD display along with an 8 megapixel camera with dual-LED flash as well as a front facing camera which sports 1.3 megapixels and is specifically designed for video conferencing. The rear facing camera also shoots midrange HD content at 720p. All this data can be held on microSD cards of up to 32GB in capacity thanks to a storage slot, and all this content can be intern wirelessly streamed to an HD TV that supports DNLA.

Even though the device will arrive with Froyo, HTC has promised that Gingerbread will be making it to the device thanks to a software update, but the company has not elaborated as to when to expect such a software upgrade.

It is also said that cheaper deals will be announced next month when the device official launches, so we’re guessing that a phone could ultimately be purchased sans a contract with no 2 year agreement plan.


Motorola Xoom Street Egg ad released

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Motorola has not been experiencing the best of press in the last days leading up to the official launch of the Motorola Xoom tablet. Thanks to news leaked earlier this week that the device will not be supporting Flash at launch, though we should add this has nothing to do with Motorola but rather Adobe, to the extremely high price point that puts it way above the price range of its direct competitor, the Apple iPad to the lack of 4G at launch. However, those still interested in the tablet might want to take into account that Motorola has lightened the load some with the information that the tablet will not feature the infamous bootloader lockers and encryptions that are attached to its phones, which should make customizing the tablet pretty easy.

That aside, the company has gone ahead and released a new trailer for the device which is set to hit store shelves in the United States this Thursday (February 24th, 2011) and the trailer is a bit scary, albeit interesting.

In the video a man is walking down a boardwalk when his eyes spots a Motorola Xoom tablet hovering in the air. He holds it and all of a sudden a futuristic space capsule encapsulates him while he is still using the device. The commercial then ends with the release date, name and service provider of the Xoom tablet.

While the add is quite original, we’re hoping that Motorola decides to do something about the price point of the Xoom as whoever buys it will surely be in a capsule. Hopefully, if a Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n version comes to market, we could see some major price drops that would bring it in line with the iPad. But seeing no official date is announced for such a launch as yet, we would not keep our fingers crossed.

Source: YouTube

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play up for preorder on Vodafone and Orange UK

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play has been announced and detailed way before its official unveiling last week at Mobile World Congress. However, said phone became official and it was announced that Orange UK as well as Vodafone would be putting the device on their shelves in due season. That has now become true as the XPERIA Play is up for preorder on both networks and should eventually hit all the major UK carriers.

The Android powered device is set to hit both carries for no money up front if prospective buyers are willing to sign their lives away to a 2 year contract of £30.00/month. Orange is set to bundle the device with 500 anytime minutes and unlimited text as well as 500GB of data while Vodofone has decided not to be as aggressive and is handing over only 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data.

When the device launches on the 28th of March, it is expected that there will be a lot of cheaper deals available that will include a wide variety of service providers as well as phone retailers and price points.

The Sony XPERIA Play will pack Android 2.3 Gingerbread and will sport a 1GHz processor as well as a 4 inch screen. The device is not is listed as just a regular cellphone but rather one that is geared towards gaming. The device will be launch with 30 game titles featuring publishers such as Activision, EA and others with many more titles to come on board in the coming months. Better yet, the games will also work on Sony’s Next Generation PlayStation Portable which is set to be released sometime in the holiday season of this year and will ditch the UMD drive for solid state storage.


Blackberry Monaco (Storm 3) specifications

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Blackberry is planning on a major release of the third generation to its Storm line, codenamed the BlackBerry Monaco. The device was previously leaked in the company’s 2011 Blackberry Smartphone Roadmap which among others detailed new QWERTY and touchscreen phones to be released between this and next year.

The device looks like it will be receiving another Verizon/Vodofone branding and will feature Blackberry OS 6.1. Dimensions are sleek and thin with 11.5mm of thickness and 120 x 62 for height and width. The processor is a Qualcomm 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor (not dual core) and there is a CDMA, EV-DO Rev A as well as quad band EDGE and single band UMTS.

The display is 3.7 inches with a resolution rated at 800 x 480 pixels and a 15.9 aspect ratio with 253 dots per inch. The camera is 5 megapixels and supports LED flash, image stabilization and 7220p video shooting. Unfortunately, there is no front facing camera for those interested in video conferencing from a mobile device.

The navigation buttons are capacitive as well as the touchscreen and you get an optical navigation module as well as one convenience key. Memory on the inside is listed at 4GB while the RAM is 768MB. You can expand internal storage to 32GB via a microSD card. Connectivity includes Bluetooth, NFC and Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n as well as microUSB. As for sensors, you’ll have proximity, magnetometer and accelerometers.

While there is no official word about the device’s existence from Research in Motion (Blackberry’s parent company) at the moment, the device is expected to become official at the company’s Blackberry World event scheduled for May. We’ll keep you updated with any news that surfaces between now and then, so stay tuned.

Source: CrackBerry

Motorola Xoom getting Flash after launch

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Motorola is nearing the launch of their Xoom tablet; the device is supposed to hit U.S retailers later this week and as some late news is being spread, it could be that early adopters are in for a rude awakening.

According to a Verizon webpage that details specs on the device such as Honeycomb, HD widescreen display, 10.1 inch screen and 1GHz dual-core processors, Adobe Flash, which currently resides on Android 2.2 and 2.3 will not be coming to the Xoom tablet at launch. Rather, early adopters will have to wait till “Spring 2011” for the update to arrive. Need we remind you what happens when companies make promises like this? As great a force as Android is, its main problems are the fact that many manufacturers refuse to push out updates on time. Samsung has been promising 2.2 Froyo for its Galaxy S owners since last year and just now are the updates trickling to phones.

Motorola has a bad history of not updating on time as well and this could mean that instead of the update coming Spring 2011 as planned, it could be pushed back to summer or God forbid fall. With Flash being one of the biggest selling points of the Xoom tablet, it is hard to see why Motorola would decide to keep such a crucial piece of software off the device until after launch when Apple has long been condemned for not including Flash in the iPad and Motorola has used that as one of the biggest pitches for its Xoom tablet.

We’ll just have to wait and see if this is going to be a trend among tablet manufacturers or if we’re dealing with a lone case here. At any rate, be aware that your favorite flash games won’t be Xoom compatible, at least not for the near future.

Source: Verizon

Samsung Galaxy S II May Feature Tegra 2 Processor in Some Regions

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Samsung announced their next generation of smartphones at Mobile World Congress last Sunday. Even though the Samsung Galaxy S II feature some of the most advanced features found in mobile phones to date, one thing was clear, the Korean manufacturer was sticking with in house components for the majority of its manufacturing process, from the Super AMOLED Plus screen to the ARM variant of its dual-core Hummingbird processor, all were in house.

Samsung had originally claimed that the processor behind the second generation Galaxy S devices. However, the PR team from said company soon retracted the statement saying that Samsung’s own Exynos processor would be doing the magic under the hood.

Now it seems that that may not be entirely true as AnandTech has released documents that show a Galaxy S device benchmark test with none other than a GT-i9103 Tegra 2 processor under the hood. More importantly, Samsung’s own specification sheet says that the dual-core Exynos processor “may not be applicable in some regions.” This could mean one of two things: NVIDIA might not be able to meet the demand with its in house chips and instead opt for NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 chipset for noncritical markets.

A classic example is Samsung’s choice to replace their Super AMOLED technology with Super Clear LCD screens for its devices heading to Russia. It did so with its less feature rich phones as well when it opted for Texas Instruments OMAP4 processor instead of using their own Hummingbird processor.

At any rate, opting for NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 processor instead of their own processor should not affect the devices performance as both chipsets are made from the ARM architecture and NVIDIA’s tech currently powers Xoom from Motorola and the Optimus 3D from NVIDIA as well as LG’s Optimus Pad tablet.

Source:  AnandTech

02 exclusively stocking Xperia Play white edition

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Shortly after outing the Xperia’s Play April 1st release date O2 announced that it will be stocking the Xperia Play white edition exclusively. The UK cellular network did so via it’s Twitter page where the following tweet was posted: “Great news: not only will we be selling Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, we’ll have an exclusive white version!” Along with the tweet, a few press shots of the white Xperia Play were shown which seems to be making it to the market ahead of the Apple iPhone 4 white edition.

Except for the new paint job, the rest of specs will remain the same including Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a slide out PlayStation control and a 4-inch touchscreen. The device features a rear facing 5 megapixel cameras with the ability to capture HD content and a front facing camera for video calls and self-portraits over Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n or 3G, HSDPA. There is support for microSD cards of up to 32GB which should be more than enough room for all your old and ancient PS1 and PS2 games.

The Xperia Play is Sony Ericsson’s attempt to rival Apple in their dominance of the mobile gaming sector. Apple currently has the largest majority of cellphone games for any software platform on the mobile sphere and Android has been really lacking in that department. Thanks to close collaboration between Sony and Google however, many PlayStation titles will be making their way to Android and if we’re to believe Sony, games will not only run on the Xperia Play, but any device that is capable of the hardware requirements. Furthermore, Sony will have a dedicated application store where it will be able to deliver these titles to end users. The Xperia Play will be launching with over 30 titles initially with hundreds more to follow in the coming months.

Source: Twitter

HTC Wildfire S Coming to UK

Friday, February 18th, 2011

With all the talk of dual core smartphones and Android Gingerbread and “Ice Cream’ looming in the distance, one might forget that there is still 2011 and we’ve just gotten Gingerbread from Google. The Wildfire S from HTC which debuted at Mobile World Congress this week is an Android smartphone that is designed for those who want a smartphone but not looking for something as powerful as an Evo or Galaxy S II. So performance junkies beware, the following specs might disappoint.

At the core of the device is a 600MHz processor single core processor. Yes we know the popularity of the dual-core CPU’s is on the rise and quad-core is right around the corner, but HTC has decided to stick with yesteryear’s specs. The display is double that of its predecessor but still short of the WVGA displays we’re seeing slowly becoming the de facto for smartphones these days. On the other hand, there is a reasonable good 5MP camera that sports autofocus and LED flash. GPS and Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n are included as the latest Bluetooth 3.0 spec and 3G connectivity.

In case you’re wondering, the answer is no, HTC is not aiming this device at the male market. Even though the name would suggest something wild and awesome, it is geared at the female market. That doesn’t mean that you might not like the device for a midrange choice. But we’re sure there will be more than a few customers who find the HTC Wildfire S appealing.

The device drops in Europe as well as Asia in the second quarter of this year. We don’t have specifics on a suggested price as of yet, but off a contract, we speculate we could see somewhere south of £350.

Source: HTC

HTC Desire S coming to Vodafone UK

Friday, February 18th, 2011

HTC shot back at all its competitors with a strong showing at Mobile World Congress this week. The Taiwanese cellphone manufacturer who shot to fame in the mobile world with such devices as the Droid Incredible, Nexus One, Touch Pro2, Desire, Evo and Evo Shift made a clear path for its 2011 mobile phone lineup.

One of those phones is the HTC Desire S which is sporting Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The handset will have a similar design to it’s Windows Phone 7 counterpart called the HTC Mozart. It features a sleek aluminum shell that houses a 3.7 inch display that posts 480 x 800 pixels in a WVGA glass. The optical trackpad is gone but it will feature a revamped version of HTC’s Sense UI including a host of new apps such as a personalized “Mirror” app, perfect for the ladies looking to apply the mascara away from a real mirror.

On the back of the device is a 5 megapixel camera that boasts LED flash and is capable of doing 720p HD video shooting. Video conferencing junkies need not worry as a 1.3 megapixel front facing camera will satisfy all your needs. As we said before, Android Gingerbread (2.3) is stock and a 1GHz Snapdragon processor does the honors as well as GPS, HSDPA and Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n with a 1450mAh battery for juice.

The handset will arrive in the Q2 of 2011 for an undetermined price. Three has also confirmed that they will be stocking the phone as well. We’ll keep you posted as we get updates, but based on demos we’ve seen, this could be a solid competitor to Samsung’s newly announced Samsung Galaxy S II smartphones and though it is missing the dual core action, we’re sure 1GHz will be able to more than able to power this device.

Source:  Vodafone