All posts by Rahul Shah

Dell Streak Is Ready To Hit The Stores

According to the Carphone Warehouse in UK, the tablet cum phone, Dell Streak will hit the stores in UK by 4th of June. The Dell Streak has a gigantic 5inch capacitive screen with WVGA resolution. The phones weighs around 220gms and is 10mm thick.  dell-streak

The Dell Streak will have Android 1.6 at the time of release and will be upgraded to Android 2.2 by the end of 2010. The Dell Streak has nearly the same hardware; just like in any other high-end Android phone currently in the market.

Dell Streak has 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 2.1 and will have flash support in future. It has a 5MP camera with LED flash. A HDMI port is also present. The internal memory is of 16GB and is expandable up to 32GB (microSD). The RAM is a weak point in it with 256MB.

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The Dell Streak will have a price tag of £429 without contract in UK and £25 a month on a free contract. Dell Streak will be eventually launched in other countries soon.

(Source)

Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro Is Now Shipping To Select Markets

Sony Ericsson has announced that their QWERTY keypad equipped Symbian handset, Vivaz Pro is now started to ship in select markets worldwide. Sony Ericsson at their product blog said, that there might be a slight difference in shipping, depending on the market.  vivaz_pro_1

The Vivaz Pro has a 5MP camera with HD(720P) recording at 24fps with continuous auto-focus and LED flash. It also has ARM Cortex A8 CPU overclocked to 720Mhz and PowerVR SGX graphics. Sony Ericsson has also confirmed that Vivaz Pro will support up to 32GB of external memory (microSD). The Vivaz Pro will also sport a powerful Li-Po 1200mAh battery. Vivaz Pro will sport the Symbian S60 v5 OS which will find few takers.

Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro is the first handset from Sony Ericsson with full QWERTY keypad. The Vivaz Pro will have the Human Curvature design as in Xperia X10 and Vivaz. Sony Ericsson Vivaz pro will be available in black and white colors.

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Nokia N8 Is 180% Faster Than N97

In the past couple of months, the smartphone OS market has been a hot topic. In that hot topic, Android has been the center of attraction, while the OS which is the most widely used in the world; Symbian was lost in the crowd. There is no doubt in the fact that the Symbian S60 v5 for touchscreen smartphones is the slowest of all and this is the reason for its criticism.

The arrival of Symbian^3 with N8 is destined to change things forever for Symbian. The Nokia N8 in a benchmark test against N97 showed its power. The N8 is 180% faster than the N97 and 54% faster than Omnia HD. In the FPC bench 3D test the result was 60fps and it never fell below it.

Omnia HD vs N97

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These results are very good sign for Symbian because its future depends on Symbian^3. Let us see whether it will be strong enough to compete with the power house Android.

These test were done by FinestFones.com.

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Nexus One Gets An Official Upgrade To Android 2.2 (Froyo)

Just a couple of days ago at the Google I/O, Android 2.2 a.k.a. Froyo was officially released. According to reports, within the span of just two days, Google’s Nexus One got the official upgrade to Android 2.2. Yes, this is very quick indeed. Nexus One is Google’s phone, that is why it got the advantage of the quick upgrade to Froyo. android 2.2 on nexus one

The news of the upgrade was reported on TechCrunch, when an official there recieved the update on his Nexus One. Until now only few people have reported about the Android 2.2 update on their Nexus One.

So, all the Nexus One users check for the update because maybe Android 2.2 is just knocking at your door.

Note: We still cannot confirm this because only few people have reported about the Android 2.2 update.

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Image Source TechCrunch

Android 3.0 a.k.a. Gingerbread To Release in Q4 2010

We still have few days left for the official release of Android 2.2 a.k.a. Froyo, but the release date of the future Android OS, Gingerbread is already disclosed. The Android 3.0 (Gingerbread) is scheduled to release in Q4 2010.  android-gingerbread

Google has just introduced their latest WebM media format. In the WebM documentation, is the first mention of Android 3.0 release date.

“When will other Google products support WebM and VP8?

WebM support in Android is expected in the Gingerbread release (currently planned for Q4, 2010). We expect many other Google products to adopt WebM and VP8 as they prioritize it with their other product requirements. Keep an eye on the WebM blog for announcements.”

So, we still have to get our hands on the Android 2.2 a.k.a. Froyo and the future Android OS is already in the Menu. Let us wait for Android 2.2 and let the Gingerbread to be baked meantime.

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Image Source Engadget

Your Phone’s Battery Should Last A Day, says Larry Page

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We don’t have any doubt in the fact that some Android phones have trouble with their battery performance. Many users have complained about the battery of their phone, which drains quickly.

At Google’s annual partner forum, Google Zeitgeist, a question was asked to the co-founder of Google, Larry Page, that whether he is looking forward to solve the battery issues in Android phones. To which Larry Page replied, that the battery is pretty good in the Android phones and he is pretty happy with it.

Larry Page, taking this topic into detail also said, “I have noticed there are a few people who have phones where there is software running in the background that just sort of exhausts the battery quickly. If you are not getting a day, there is something wrong.”

Google CEO Eric Schmidt also replied to the topic, “The primary consumer of the battery life on these phones is the transmit/receive circuit. So tuning that and obviously figuring out a way to not use too much of that extends your battery life”

So, the applications (which runs continuously in background) of Android are to be blamed for the poor battery performance, according to Larry Page. Note that all Android developers and users.

(Source)

Sony Ericsson Releases A Minor Update For X10

Sony Ericsson has released a minor update for Xperia X10. Unfortunately, it is not the update which fixes the battery issue, but it is supposed to release by the end of this month.Sony-Ericsson-Xperia-X10

However, this minor update has reportedly improved performance, especially in Timescape and Mediascape. The update is R1FB001 and baseband version 1.0.21. For now, the update is only available for phones running the Nordic and American firmware.

For the rest of the world it is not available yet. I tried in India and found no new updates. I will give an update on this within sometime. It is good to see Sony Ericsson taking seriously their Xperia X10 users.

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LG To Bring The First Windows Phone 7

We have seen many leaked pictures of devices running Windows Phone 7, but none had a brand name written on it. Finally, a leaked picture of a LG phone appears with Windows Phone 7 running on it. The picture was posted on Flickr by a French Microsoft employee. The model name is LG Panther.lg-wp7_2

The pictures shows the three hardware button, which seems like back, Start and search from left to right, respectively. In terms of hardware, the phone is expected to have a WVGA or more resolution capacitive screen. The camera is expected to be 5MP or more with HD video recording capabilities. It will also have a sliding QWERTY keyboard. The processor is expected to have a clock speed of 1GHZ or more.

The specification is not official, it is only assumptions. However, the homescreen looks extremely good. I don’t think it will take much long to get an official confirmation of this phone.

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Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Hands-On Review

Finally, the Xperia X10 gets reviewed on Techie Buzz. It took quite a while to explore X10 but, now here is the hands-on review of the X10.

Introduction

The Xperia X10 is the first Android device from Sony Ericsson. The Xperia X10 sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 1GHz processor and 384MB RAM. It also has an 8MP camera with a LED light and records video in   WVGA resolution at 28fps (720P HD recording will be available with the firmware update in Q4). The 4 inch wide TFT screen is a masterpiece; I will talk about it later. It has a 3.5mm slot, micro USB port and a microSD card support which is expandable up to 16GB. It runs on Android 1.6 OS, which is outdated but the Sony Ericsson customization is worth it. Now, that is enough of the introduction, let us move straight to the review.

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Build Quality and Screen

The size of the Xperia X10 is huge (considering its dimensions) 119 x 63 x 13 mm, but at the same time it is slim and feels excellent at your palm. Surprisingly, a huge phone like X10 weighs only 135gm thanks to the plastic body. The plastic body doesn’t make the X10 look cheap at all. The X10 does look beautiful and is definitely an eye catcher.

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The TFT display of Xperia X10 deserves five out of five. It couldn’t have been better. The brightness is excellent with outstanding color display. The limited 65k color spoils the party due to the Android 1.6 OS limitation. The 16 million color hardware support is useless until Q4, when the update to Android 2.1 starts making full use of the hardware. The sunlight legibility is excellent; you won’t have any problem viewing under direct sunlight. The response of the screen is also good, though it is not as good as the Apple devices. Sony Ericsson has confirmed that X10 won’t get multi-touch in the future because of the hardware limitation. This was very disappointing from Sony Ericsson. However, multi-touch is required only during game play, because hardly anyone uses pinch zooming to zoom.

User Interface (UI)

Sony Ericsson took a very long time launching the Xperia X10 and the excuse given by them was that they are working hard to make the UXP top notch and user friendly. So, we expected the UI of X10 to be one of the best, and as expected, it definitely is one of the best. Sony Ericsson has completely customized the Android OS and given us a completely different UI. The blue colored theme looks excellent. Animations are there while opening and closing the proprietary Timescape UI and Mediascape application. Overall the UI is smooth in operation and it has few bugs.

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Timescape

The Timescape UI is an application but, you can set it as the default homescreen, hence we call it UI. If you set it as default home screen then you have to sacrifice the widgets inhabited three home screens. The Timescape is the perfect integration for your social networking, regular calls and messaging. All your Facebook, Twitter, SMS, Email, Call alerts are at one place. Each of them can be viewed in single tab sorted by time or individually under their respective tab. You don’t need to open the messaging or Facebook application separately to see the updates when you are using Timescape.

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Still there is a limitation in it because you can’t reply to any updates from Timescape; it opens the respective application if you click on them. For example if you want to reply to a SMS, it will open the Messaging to reply. Sony Ericsson said that they will make the Timescape and Mediascape even smarter and richer with the update of Q4. Hopefully, these missing features will be added by then.

Mediascape

Mediascape is an application where all your media contents are present. All your Music, Videos and Pictures are sorted in their respective tabs. Under the Music tab all your music files are sorted in recently played, recently added and favorites. You can also activate the online music store if it is present at your region. The online music store will display the latest music under the music tab only. One problem is there in the Music tab; you can’t create a playlist on the phone. You have to create one in a PC using the MediaGo application and then upload it to the phone. I don’t miss it much because I use the Favorite tab to mark my favorite songs. The Pictures and Video tabs are both sorted by recently taken and viewed while you can always see the detailed view. Online web albums like Picasa and Facebook can be added, and your uploaded pictures will also be displayed.

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Camera and Audio Quality

The 8 MP camera on the X10 is the best amongst all the Android devices. It has excellent sharpness and colors in the pictures with features like Face detection, Touch capture and multiple auto focus which make it perfect. The LED light is not very bright, but it is not bad and something is always better than nothing. The video recording is very good and the maximum resolution is currently WVGA which will be upgraded to HD later.

The audio quality on the X10 is great, and it is easily one of the best. The loudness is just right, and you won’t need it any louder unless you are deaf. The bass is good. Again, there is no equalizer, but you will hardly miss it because of the balanced audio quality.

Web Browser, GPS, Android Market and Keyboard

The web browser on the X10 lacks flash for now. The HTML browser works pretty well. Unfortunately there is no double tap zooming, you have to use the on-screen zoom buttons to zoom. The text re-flows to fit the screen when zoomed. Multiple windows can be opened by pressing the windows button. Overall, the web browser, just like any other Android browser is flawless. For watching videos, the YouTube application does the trick for now.

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The GPS receiver works pretty well, it locks in the location within 3 minutes inside a building (the floor below the terrace) and you can always turn on the aGPS for quick locking. The only Navigation application which comes pre-installed is Wisepilot, which is limited to a 30 day trail. The Google Maps application has voice search and features like Street View; if Street Views is available in your area then it is a must to use it. The Street View shows the real images of a particular location. Google is working on free voice guided navigation, which is available in USA and UK. It will hopefully be available worldwide sooner than later.

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The Android Market is growing day by day. We already know that the number of applications on Android has crossed the 50000 mark and it is likely to go even further. The Market has three options in the homepage; Applications, Games and Just In. You will get further sub options under the Applications and Games options. Everything is well organized. The 500MB allocated memory for installing applications seems to be just enough as I installed around 80 applications including few heavy games and still have 260MB free.

The standard keyboard worked pretty well but it took quite a long time to get used to it. I had many typing errors earlier, I think Sony Ericsson will have to work a bit on it. But, if you don’t like the standard keyboard, then you can always switch to the other keyboards available in the Android market.

Connectivity and Battery

Xperia X10 has quad band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, three localized versions – each with tri-band 3G, 7.2Mbps HSDPA and 2Mbps HSUPA. The Wi-Fi b/g works pretty well. There has been news regarding a problem with the Wi-Fi connectivity, the Wi-Fi gets disconnected when the GSM network completely goes down. I tested this and it turned out to be true but that is not a big problem because no one is going to live with his X10 inside a cave. Bluetooth 2.1 is present with A2DP and file transfer. The file transfer speed is excellent (around 190KBps with phones like E72, W995 and Satio).

The battery is an interesting topic in the X10. The 1500mAh Li-Po BST 41 is a beast. But the users reported for quick discharge of the battery in the early stages. During the first week of usage, I noticed that the battery went down from 100% to 60% during a period of 10 hrs when it was lying idle at night. The solution was better management and full discharging and then recharging the battery 4-5 times. Now, the battery gives good backup, it handles one full day after heavy usage.

Conclusion

Xperia X10 is the first Android phone from Sony Ericsson and it is a very good attempt. Top notch UI with excellent screen display, great camera and audio quality makes it a complete all rounder. However, the lack of multi touch is a negative, as some users would like to have it on their device. The outdated Android 1.6 is also a drawback because many Android 2.1 handsets are available in the market, and you also have to wait till Q4 for the Android 2.1 update. The X10 gets a tough competition from HTC Desire which has three advantages over X10, multi touch, Android 2.1 and 576MB RAM. Xperia X10 does have a unique integration of social networking and call logs by Timescape and the UI which is completely different from the rest of the Android family and is perfect. Sony Ericsson also has promised for future updates for the X10, which means it is assured to get updated to the latest Android versions. So, it is not something which will disappear in the crowd and it is worth buying.

HTC announces Wildfire, a mini version of Desire

Today, HTC announced a mid-range Android device, Wildfire. The HTC Wildfire will have the Sense UI and a new app-sharing widget which supports Twitter, texts and mails. The HTC Wildfire will have Android 2.1 at the time of release in Q3 this year.

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The HTC Wildfire will have a 3.2 inch QVGA capacitive touchscreen with multiple touch sensors. It also has a   5MP camera with auto focus and LED flash. Bluetooth 2.1, GPS, Wi-Fi and a 3.5mm jack will also be present. It will have Qualcomm MSM7225 528MHz processor, 512MB ROM and 384MB RAM. A 1300mAh Li-ion battery will come bundled.

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HTC Wildfire will be available in four different colors and is expected to cost 300EURO.

(Source)

Image source Gizmodo & GSMarena