Nokia N9 Lookalike Caught Running Android

How do you kill a platform and a handset, even before it’s launched? You make the same handset, albeit with a subtle changes, to run a competing OS. Nokia did the same thing when it announced the N9 running MeeGo, and then at the same event previewed an identical handset running WP7, its future smartphone OS.

Now, as if all this was not enough, an image of a N9 look-alike running Android has popped up on the Internet. This image comes from the same folks who leaked the Sea Ray‘, way back in May itself. It is still not confirm whether this image is genuine or not. From the image, the N9 lookalike is running a stock Android 2.3 Gingerbread build.

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However, if true, this image clearly shows that Nokia tried all the available options (WP7, Android, and MeeGo) before deciding on WP7, as their future smartphone OS. Who knows, if Nokia and Microsoft partnership fails, the Finnish giant might consider moving to Android.

What this does mean though is that, once the N9 is available to the general public, except developers to port WP7 and Android to the handset.

Via – Engadget

Motorola Atrix 4G Bootloader Unlocked!

Motorola Atrix 4G owners, this is the day you all have been impatiently waiting for. Yesterday, we reported that Motorola might unlock the boot loader on the Atrix 4G with the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update.

However, the awesomely talented folks over at XDA have managed to beat Motorola, and have unlocked the boot loader on the Atrix 4G.

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The whole method to unlock the boot loader on the Atrix 4G can be found here. Do make a backup of your data, since the handset will be wiped clean of any data when the boot loader is unlocked. Sadly, there is a catch though. The method only works on AT&T branded and OLYFR branded version of the Atrix 4G.

Other branded version of handsets threw an error when users tried to unlock the boot loader. The phone did not brick itself, so there is no issue in trying.

The unlocked boot loader means we should start seeing custom kernels and true custom ROMs for the handset. In fact, ClockWorkMod Recovery is already available for unlocked Atrix 4G handsets. Here is the link to the appropriate thread over at XDA forums.

N.O.V.A. 2 HD Hits the Android Market; Angry Birds Seasons Summer Pignic Update Released

Gameloft, which offers some of the most popular gaming titles on the Android Market, has released a new FPS based game N.O.V.A. 2 HD.

The N.O.V.A. 2 HD is the sequel to the original N.O.V.A. game, and like the original, features breath-taking 3D graphics. The game features more than 10 different maps, and also supports multi-player gaming over Wi-Fi as well as 3G.

At the moment, the game supports only a handful of Android handsets including the HTC Desire HD, Inspire 4G, Nexus S, Samsung Galaxy S, Galaxy Tab 7, and the LG Optimus 2X. The game does not support the older generation Qualcomm chipset powered handsets including the EVO 4G and the Nexus One.

Surprisingly, the game does not support two of the hottest Android phones at the moment   – the Samsung Galaxy S II and the HTC Sensation.   The game can be downloaded from the Android Market for $6.99.

In other gaming related news, Rovio has updated Angry Birds Seasons with a new Summer Pignic’ episode. The new update brings 15 new levels, with a summer theme as backdrop. With this update, Angry Birds Seasons now has a total of 105 levels. 105 levels to kill your productivity!

The game is already available on the Android Market, and can be downloaded from here.

Motorola Atrix 4G Boot Loader To Be Unlocked With Android 2.3 Gingerbread Update?

Motorola has been heavily criticized by developers and consumers for locking down the boot loader on their devices. In its defence, Moto said that carriers also play a part in locking the boot loader on their phone, and that they will unlock boot loader on their handsets sometime in the 2nd half of this year.

Now, the folks over at BriefMobile, have somehow managed to get their hands on a test build of Android 2.3 Gingerbread for the Atrix 4G. The test build allows them to unlock the boot loader on their Atrix 4G, by simply using the fastboot oem unlockcommand.

Below is a video of the Atrix 4G boot loader being unlocked :

It is not confirmed whether the final build of the Gingerbread update for the Atrix 4G, will allow users to unlock the boot loader on their handsets.

BriefMobile does state that they have confirmed with representatives from Motorola, about the possibility of unlocking the boot loader in the final build of the Gingerbread update.

If Motorola remains true to their words, then this move will definitely please all the Atrix 4G owners out there. An unlocked boot loader would mean faster un-official Android updates, AOSP ROMs, custom kernels with Overclocking and under-volting support etc.

Samsung Galaxy S L (I9003) Android 2.3 Gingerbread Firmware Leaks

This month, a lot of firmware for different Galaxy branded handsets have leaked on the Internet, thanks to the folks over at SamFirmware.

Now, the SamFirmware guys have done it again, and managed to get their hands on a bunch of Android 2.3.3 firmware for the Samsung Galaxy S L. Apparently, one of the leaked firmware is based on Android 2.3.4, but sadly does not come with a video chat compatible version of Google Talk.

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The Samsung Galaxy S L is a toned down version of the Galaxy S, with an 4-inch S-LCD screen, an OMAP processor, PowerVR SGX530GPU, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of on-board storage. The handset is only available in select regions of the world including India and Russia. It is a pretty popular handset, and is one of the best mid-range Android handset available at the moment.

Now, Samsung Galaxy S L (I9003) owners, who flashed the firmware on their handset, are reporting an improved system performance and stability, along with a noticeable increase in battery life.

Galaxy S L owners, who are interested in flashing this ROM on their handset, should head over to this link to download the firmware.

Samsung Galaxy S II Review–SLIM, SEXY and FAST!

The Motorola Droid was the most popular Android phone in 2009. The Droid along with Verizon’s DROID campaign played a very major role in Android’s popularity. In 2010, the Samsung Galaxy S was the de-facto Android handset. The phone sold in excess of 10 million handsets within 7 months of its launch. The handset helped Android in gaining market share outside the U.S.

When Samsung announced the Galaxy S II at MWC this year, the expectations from the handset were pretty high. Everyone hoped that Samsung had solved the issues which plagued the original Galaxy S poor GPS performance and the lag issue.

The Samsung Galaxy S II has a huge task on its shoulder, meet the popularity of its original brother and also emerge the top-dog in this dual core race with HTC Sensation and LG Optimus 2X.

Read our review to find out whether the Samsung Galaxy S II lives up to the expectations or not.

Specs of Samsung Galaxy S II :

  • 4.27-inch Super-AMOLED+ screen with WVGA (800×480) resolution
  • 1.2GHz Dual-core Exynos 4210 processor
  • ARM-Mali 400 GPU
  • 1GB RAM, 16GB/32GB on-board storage
  • 8MP camera with Auto-Focus, LED Flash
  • 2MP Front Facing Camera
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0 HS, Wi-Fi Direct, HSDPA/HSUPA, USB O-T-G, MHL port, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, GPS with A-GPS, Proximity Sensor

Build Quality and Screen

Right out of the box, Galaxy S II will surprise you with its extremely light weight, slim waistline and the big screen. The handset weighs only 113gms, and is one of the slimmest Android handsets, measuring only 8.49mm.

The phone is constructed with plastic, like the original Galaxy S. However, the handset feels a hell lot better when held in hand, when compared to the original Galaxy S. Samsung also re-designed the back cover on the Galaxy S II so as to make it pleasant to hold and scratch proof. However, the back cover is extremely thin. However, I am pleased to say that the back cover won’t break so easily, even if you twist it.

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The top of the handset sports a 3.5mm audio jack, while the bottom houses the MHL or microUSB port. The microUSB port on the Galaxy S II can output videos at 1080p, when an MHL adapter is plugged in. The power button is situated on the right side, while the volume button is on the left side of the phone.

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Unlike most other Android handsets, the Samsung Galaxy S II sports only 3 buttons Menu, Home and Back, in the same order. Like its predecessor, the Menu and Back buttons are capacitive while the Home button is a physical one.

The build quality of the Galaxy S II is a HUGE improvement over the Galaxy S. The phone might not have a premium look or feel to it, but neither does it have a cheap build quality feeling.

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The handset sports a 4.27-inch Super-AMOLED+ screen with WVGA (800×480) resolution. Even though the SGS II sports a bigger screen than the Galaxy S (4-inch), it has a much sharper screen. This is because the Super-AMOLED+ screen has twice the sub-pixels, when compared to the Super-AMOLED screen on SGS.

The original Super-AMOLED screen has a PenTile Matrix display, while the Super-AMOLED+ screen has a RBG pixel arrangement. This is a major reason why the Galaxy S II has a bigger display than its predecessor. Excluding all the geeky part, the SAMOLED+ screen on the SGS II is absolutely brilliant. The contrast, viewing angles, and brightness are all top-notch. Sunlight legibility is decent as well.

Nokia Announces A Bunch Of Accessories, Including an NFC Equipped Portable Speaker

Along with the Nokia N9, Nokia also announced a bunch of news accessories, dubbed as Gears.

First and foremost, Nokia announced a new charger, the Nokia AC-16. This new charger comes in white, with a detachable micro-USB cable. This new charger will be shipping with the Nokia N9, and can also be purchased separately.

Nokia also announced a new Bluetooth Stereo headset, BH-111. Nokia quotes a stand-by time of 120 hours, and up to six hours of music playback. The BH-111 will be available in five different colors, and will start shipping this summer for €39.

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The most interesting and unique accessory which Nokia announced today is the Nokia Play 360. The Play 360 is a portable Hi-Fi speaker, and as its name suggests, pumps out music in all direction (Omni-directional, instead of one-directional).

The most interesting feature of the Play 360 is the support for NFC. Users can easily play music on the 360 by just tapping their NFC enabled phone to the speaker. The portable speaker also has a 3.5mm audio port for connecting your phone to it in a traditional way.

Google demonstrated the same piece of technology at the Google I/O this year, but said it was only a prototype. However, Nokia has gone ahead and made the prototype a reality! However, the speakers are pretty costly at €149, and will start shipping in the third quarter of this year.

Symbian Anna Update To Be Available For Download By End Of August

Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop has just announced at the recently concluded Nokia Connection event that the existing Symbian^3 based handsets will be getting the Anna update in August.

Nokia will start shipping the current bunch of Symbian^3 handsets (N8, E7, C7, C6-01) with Symbian Anna pre-installed beginning from July. Existing Symbian^3 handset owners need to wait until the end of August, to download the update for their handset. Yeah, that’s how Nokia respects its loyal users.

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Symbian Anna will be bringing some much needed changes to Symbian^3, in a bid to make it more competitive with iOS, Android and WP7. First and foremost, the update will bring a new web-browser with a much improved performance, along with support for split-screen text-input. The update will also bring a portrait QWERTY keyboard for easier typing.

Other new features include updated icons, performance improvements, new version of Ovi Maps with simpler and quicker search function, email enhancements, hardware accelerated encryption and a new version of Nokia’s social client.

Nokia is already shipping Symbian devices based on Symbian Anna including the recently launched Nokia E6 and the X7. So, I cannot possibly think of any techinical’ reason as to why they delayed the Anna update for the Nokia N8, E7, C7 and the C6-01.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Android 2.3 Gingerbread Update Coming This August

Sony Ericsson has revealed some more information about the upcoming Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the X10, via their official product blog.

The update is still under development, and the company expects to start rolling out the update from the beginning of August. Originally, the Gingerbread update for the X10 was expected to bring stock Android camera UI, which would have led to loss of features like Face recognition and smile shutter etc. However, SE heard the cries of the X10 owners, and got its developers to port the X10’s Éclair Camera UI to Gingerbread.

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The update will also bring the Facebook for Xperia functionality to the X10, which the 2011 line-up of Xperia handsets got a couple of months ago. Other new features which the X10 will get, and are already found in the 2011 range of Xperia handsets include pinch-to-overview gestures, Wi-Fi and USB tethering, Flash support, Apps to SD support, new media experience widgets and a customizable horizontal app tray.

Sadly, this confirms that the X10 won’t be getting 16 Million color display support, an unlocked boot loader and multi-touch support with the Gingerbread update.

Sony Ericsson also confirmed that the X10 Mini Pro, X10 Mini, and the X8 won’t be getting the Gingerbread update, due to the lack of RAM.

Samsung Galaxy S 4G and Epic 4G Android 2.3 Gingerbread Firmware Leaks

A few days ago an Android 2.3 Gingerbread firmware for the AT&T branded Samsung Captivate leaked on the Internet.

Today, Gingerbread firmware for two U.S. variants of the Galaxy S have leaked on the Internet. One of them is the T-Mobile Galaxy S 4G, and the other one is the Sprint’s Epic 4G. This time also, the credit for the leak goes to the folks over at SamFirmware.com.

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Galaxy S 4G owners over at XDA forums, who flashed this firmware on their phone, are reporting an improvement in performance and stability of the phone. There are also reports of huge improvement in battery life, with a little bit of tweaking like freezing all the bloat ware etc.

The Epic 4G Gingerbread leak solves most of the graphical issues which was present in the previous leaked Gingerbread firmware. There is also an improvement in performance compared to the previous leak. However, there is a lag of 2-3 seconds while rotating the phone from portrait to landscape mode or vice-versa.

Epic 4G users are also reporting an improvement in network reception, and data transfer speed. This leaked firmware also includes the latest version of Swype (v3), along with TeleNav navigation app.

Samsung Galaxy S 4G owners should head over to this link to download the leaked firmware, while Epic 4G owners need to click here.