Last month, a down-spec’d version of the Galaxy S II – Galaxy Z – was announced by Three Sweden. The phone was only intended for the Sweden operator 3.
Today, Samsung has announced another variant of the Galaxy Z, aimed for the markets of Europe and Asia dubbed as the Galaxy R, which is similar to the Z.
The Galaxy R is powered by a 1GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset, and packs 8GB of internal memory. The R also sports a 4.19-inch S-LCD screen, with WVGA (800×480) resolution.
The back of the phone sports a 5MP camera with an LED flash, which is also capable of recording videos at 720p HD resolution. The phone is also capable of playing back 1080p HD videos.
Other key features of the phone include Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth v3.0+HS, microSD card slot, Wi-Fi direct, 3.5mm audio jack and a bunch of sensors. The R is powered by a 1650mAh battery, which is capable of powering the phone for nearly 550hours in 3G on standby mode.
The Galaxy R runs on the latest version of Android 2.3 Gingerbread, with Samsung’s TouchWIZ UI running on top of it. The phone is expected to hit the retail stores of Europe by mid-August. Sammy did not mention anything about the pricing of the R.
Sony Ericsson has just announced a new video service for their 2011 range of Xperia branded phones Qriocity.
This new video service will allow Xperia users to buy or rent movies and/or TV shows aired on NBC, International Television Distribution, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Home, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and Warner Bros. etc. Users will have access to all the latest TV shows and movies, along with an extensive back catalogue.
Initially, Sony will launch the service on only two handsets the Xperia Mini and the Mini Pro and in nine countries, which include Japan, U.K, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Canada and United States. Other Xperia handsets (Arc, Pro, Play, Acro, Neo) will get the service later this year via a software update.
With Qriocity, Sony Ericsson aims to compete with the big G’s Movie rental service, and HTC’s Watch service. The blog post from Sony does not mention anything about the average rental price of the TV shows and movies, and the duration you can rent them for. Ultimately, whichever service is cheaper will win.
Rovio has once again updated the all-time popular productivity-killer game Angry Birds with 15 brand new levels. All the 15 new levels have a Mine and Dine based background. The game can be downloaded from the Android Market for free.
Google has also released an update for Google Maps, which bumps up the version number to 5.8. The new version of Maps brings some welcomed features like the ability to add a picture for a place, and adding new places on-the-go for checking in.
Here is the official change-log from Google itself :
o Upload photos for a Place
o My Places as a simple way to manage the Places you’ve starred and recently viewed
o Descriptive terms for Places in search results
o Add a new Place on-the-go when checking in
Another popular Android application 360 has received a major update. 360 is one of the most popular panorama apps for Android. Instead of processing the images on the phone, the app uploads them online to a server, where they are stitched together. The application also shows the panorama images clicked by other 360 users.
The new version of the application has many behind-the-scenes improvements, which should help users in creating richer quality panoramic images, quickly. 360 can be downloaded for free from here.
Starting from today, Asus will start rolling out the Android 3.2 Honeycomb update for its most popular tablet until date the EeePad Transformer.
The Transformer is the most popular Android Honeycomb based tablet, even more popular than the Motorola XOOM. The reason behind its popularity is its IPS screen, keyboard dock, and the much affordable price compared to XOOM.
The Android 3.2 update will not bring any major changes to the tablet. It brings the usual stability and performance improvements, which is what Honeycomb needs right now. The update will also enable the microSD card slot on the Transformer, and will add a new zoom-to-fill screen option for older/incompatible apps.
Like the iPad, Android 3.2 offers an option to zoom into apps to fill the whole screen. Some of the apps may get pixelated due to this, but a partially usable app is better than a non-functional app. Other feature which Honeycomb v3.2 includes is the support for smaller screen size based tablets like 7-inches and 8.9-inches. Other notable feature is the support for Qualcomm based chipsets.
Asus has started rolling out the OTA update, and expects to complete in the next few weeks.
HTC and T-Mobile have started rolling out the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the G2. The update is being rolled via OTA starting from today. The G2 was supposed to get the Gingerbread update by the end of Q2, but T-Mobile and HTC delayed the update for some unknown reason.
Here is the official change-log from T-Mobile :
The update provides the following enhancements and improvements.
- New features:
- Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread)
- Tell HTC app
- Google Books added
- Notification bar color scheme is changed to black
- New battery indicator, phone, and web icons
- Color-coded network icon and signal indicator added. Green when connected to Google servers. Grey when not connected.
- Pressing the power key while on a call disables the proximity sensor
- Wi-Fi calling improvements
- New SMS and email notification improvements
- Improvements to sending MMS from the Gallery
Alternatively, T-Mobile G2 owners can head to any of the T-Mobile stores beginning from August 5 to get the update installed on their handset. However, they will need to make a backup of their data, since the handset will be wiped clean of all the data.
The Gingerbread update is the last Android OS update for the T-Mobile G2. The phone will not be getting any more official software updates, post this update.
The Sensation is the best smartphone HTC has to offer right now. The handset sports a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm processor, an Adreno 220 GPU and 768MB of RAM. However, one major problem with the handset is that it has a locked down boot loader.
HTC received a lot of negative criticism for the locked down boot loader on the Sensation. The Taiwanese company heard the negative feedback of its customers, and promised to unlock the boot loader on the handset sometime in August.
For the developers, August was still too far away and they somehow managed to get S-OFF and temp-root on the Sensation. The first result of an unlocked boot loader? CM7 comes to the sensational Sensation.
The CyanogenMod developers are working hard on bringing CM7 to the Sensation, and have already managed to get a partially-working build to boot on the phone. Expect the CyanogenMod developers to get a fully working build of CM7 on the Sensation, in the next few weeks.
In other CM7 related news, CM7 nightly’ users should expect the nightlies beginning from today to be based on Android 2.3.5. The small bump in the Android version does not bring any new changes, and is mainly aimed at fixing bugs and improvements related to NFC.
Via Ed Carrigan
Samsung officially confirmed that their most popular handset of all time the Galaxy S II will be hitting the U.S. sometime in August. Now, the folks over at BGR have got their hands on the leaked pictures of the Galaxy S II, which will be headed to AT&T.
The AT&T variant of the Galaxy S II will sport a four-row slide-out QWERTY keyboard. From the pictures, the screen size of the AT&T variant looks somewhere around 4+ inches. The handset will also sport the four standard capacitive keys, instead of the two capacitive and one hardware key layout found in the Galaxy S II.
In all probability, the handset will be launched with a different name than its original (Galaxy S II). The images also show that the AT&T variant of the Galaxy S II will launch with Android 2.3.4. The back of the phone will sport an 8MP camera with an LED flash.
The leaked images also suggest that Samsung has managed to keep the waistline of the Galaxy S II slim, even with the inclusion of a hardware keyboard. AT&T users should expect the Galaxy S II sometime in the coming month.
After a lot of confusion, Sony Ericsson confirmed at MWC this year that the X10 will indeed be getting the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update.
Sony Ericsson promised to start rolling out the update sometime in late Q2 or early Q3 of 2010. The company has managed to keep its word, and has started rolling out the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the X10. At the moment, the update is being rolled out for all the unlocked X10s in Italy.
The Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the X10 brings with it many new features like Wi-Fi hotspot, USB tethering, Music player with equalizer, Facebook Xperia inside, and better battery life. The usual performance and stability improvements brought about by the Android OS upgrade should also be present.
However, the update will remove certain features like the Mediascape UI. The whole Mediascape UI on the X10 will be toned down to the level found in the 2011 line-up of Xperia handsets.
X10 owners should take a backup of their data before proceeding with the update, because their phone will be wiped clean during the update. They should also not use the Sony Ericsson’s Backup & Restore application, since it won’t work on Gingerbread.
X10 owners in Italy should head over to this link to download and install the update.
UPDATE: It looks like all the region specific site of Sony Ericsson say the same thing. However, when one tries to update the handset using SEUS, it says that there is no new software update. People over at XDA forums are suggesting that the Gingerbread update should start rolling out from Friday in Europe.
The folks over at SamFirmware have managed to get their hands on the Android 2.3.4 firmware for two popular Galaxy S series phone in the United States Sprint’s Epic 4G and the T-Mobile Galaxy S 4G.
The EG22 Android 2.3.4 firmware for the Epic 4G brings an overall improvement in performance and stability of the phone. The usual lag’ associated with the Galaxy S phones are pretty much absent in this firmware. However, the GPS performance on this new firmware is wonky at best. Users reported that they were able to lock to only 2 satellites even under clear skies.
The KG4 firmware for the Galaxy S 4G also brings overall improvement in performance and stability of the phone. Sadly, both the firmware for the handsets does not include the video chat capable version of GTalk.
The sources of SamFirmware are also reporting that apparently Samsung has stopped working on firmware updates for the T-Mobile Vibrant.
The leaked firmware for the Galaxy S 4G and the Epic 4G can be downloaded from here.
Remember the software update for the Nexus S 4G, which will fix the radio issues with the phone? Well, Sprint has finally started rolling out the update to all NS 4G owners beginning from today.
The new software update for the Sprint’s Nexus S 4G aims to improve the poor 4G reception and speed, along with an increase in the Wi-Fi performance.
Here is the full official change-log for the software update with version GRJ90 from Sprint :
– Enables NFC (Near Field Communication) Secure Element in preparation to support secure transactions
– Improved WiFi connectivity, speaker phone audio quality, and 4G acquisition and throughput
– Updated signal strength display indicators
– Fixes error code 67 when making account changes
– Adds TTY support
Rumors were that this software update for the Nexus S would bump the Android version to 2.3.5. However, the change-log from Sprint and neither does the thread over at their discussion forum, mention anything about this update being Android 2.3.5.
Sprint will automatically push the update to all NS 4G handsets, and aims to complete the roll-out in the next 3 weeks.