Sony Ericsson Vivaz Successor (MT15i) Previewed; Passes With Flying Colors

The Sony Ericsson Vivaz was a great phone with a decent hardware specification. What led to the failure of the phone was its operating system the Symbian S60v5 OS which is not at all optimized for touch. Now, looks like Sony Ericsson is going to launch a successor to the Vivaz with an updated hardware and a much better OS Android.

Now, Eldar Murtazin over at Mobile-Review.com has managed to get his hands on the Sony Ericsson MT15i or the Vivaz 2 or the Halon (code-name) and he has done an in-depth preview of the handset. The good news is that the successor to the Vivaz has been highly appreciated by Eldar. The handset is powered by a 1GHz MSM7230 processor along with an Adreno 205GPU and packs 512MB of RAM.

Sony_Ericsson_Vivaz_2

The back of the phone sports an 8MP camera with an Exmor R sensor which is also found on the Xperia Arc. The camera is capable of recording videos in 720p HD resolution and is aided by an LED flash as well. The front of the phone houses a bigger screen compared to the Vivaz (Eldar did not mention the size of the screen) with a higher resolution (854×480) as well. The display also sports the Bravia’ engine which helps in improving the picture quality while watching videos or browsing pictures on the device.

The Vivaz 2 will run on Android 2.3 Gingerbread with Sony’s proprietary UI on top of it. Unlike the X10, the MediaScape and TimeScape UI have been de-coupled from the OS which will aid Sony in providing timely updates for the handset. Eldar also said that even though the device is still in pre-production stage, the handset did not feel slow, lag or crash even once. Pretty commendable for a phone which is still running pre-production software.

Readers can read the whole preview of the handset here. The Sony Ericsson Arc and the Xperia Play are already garnering the general public interest and the Vivaz 2 also looks like a hot-seller. Looks like 2011 is going to turn around the fortune of Sony Ericsson, like the Droid did for Motorola in 2009.

Sony Ericsson X10 ‘Multi-Touch’ Update To Roll Out This Week In Japan

A couple of months ago, we had reported that the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 will get partial’ multi-touch support via a software update from Sony Ericsson. The company had promised to release the software update by Q1 of 2011.

Now, it looks like Sony Ericsson is going to roll out the update slowly and steadily. Starting this week, the company is going to release the multi-touch’ software update in Japan for the NTT DoCoMo branded X10’s.

Sony_Ericsson_Xperia_X10

The software update will only bring partial’ multi-touch to the X10. It will only allow users to take advantage of the pinch-to-zoom gesture. All the in-built applications on the phone like the Browser and the Maps will be updated to support this new multi-touch gesture as well. However, users won’t be able to enjoy the new multi-touch gestures offered by the new Google Maps 5.

Third party applications can also make use of this limited’ multi-touch support on the X10. But, users should expect this multi-touch gesture implementation to be erratic at best since it’s more of a hack. The X10 digitizer does not support true’ multi-touch and Sony Ericsson has got this partial’ multi-touch working by some clever driver coding.

Nevertheless, something is better than nothing and this software update will hopefully please all the X10 owners out there.

Motorola Gets Questioned About Their Locked Down Bootloader

If you can remember when the Motorola Milestone launched, which was ages ago in the technology world, it came with chip technology called “e-Fuse”. For all intents and purposes, this was a blatant attempt by Motorola to stop hackers and developers from booting custom firmware on their devices and protecting their own intellectual property, such as MotoBLUR. Some of the reasons that people purchase Android devices, is solely because they have much more open access to the hardware than they would compared to an iPhone, Windows Phone 7 or webOS device. HTC seems to understand this and provides a way for users to unlock their devices albeit forgoing their warranty. Perhaps this is why Google chose HTC as their OEM for the Nexus One and it was a big hit with the community.

Today, a user posted a question to Motorola’s YouTube account asking about dock support for the up and coming Atrix 4G. The poster was met with a response – @tdcrooks if you want to do custom roms, then buy elsewhere, we’ll continue with our strategy that is working thanks. Moments after the AndroidCentral member posted it to their forums, Motorola removed all the comments off their page and started on damage control.

They posted up a Note on their Facebook page apologizing for the comment made by one of their employees. They are also claiming that there will be a work-around for their future devices in order to allow developers to use devices “as a development platform” but still giving them the ability to “protect our users’ interests”. Keeping in mind that because Texas Instruments has eFuse embedded in a lot of their chips, Motorola does have the power to re-program the “fuse” on the fly – this means that Motorola could ship out binaries to requesting developers, which would allow them to bypass the fuse and give them lower level access to the hardware.

There are many choices out there if you’re looking for an Android handset. If you disagree with the practices of Motorola, the best option would be to vote with your wallet.

Apple Pushing Out iOS 4.3 Beta 2 To Developers

Just as you would expect with any modern smartphone sold nowadays, continued support is in very high demand, namely software support and updates. Unlike Android, iOS has very controlled hardware that it runs on and only devices sanctioned (read: designed and built) by Apple get the thumbs up for iOS. This gives Apple the great ability to control the user experience and control what features a user has access to and what they don’t.

With the update of iOS 4.3b2, developers should expect a slew of new features including the ability to create a personal hotspot on the device (for WiFi tethering) and some new API for gesture control. Apple has indicated that end-users may not be getting gesture support once 4.3 goes live and it is mainly for developers to test their applications, implement gesture support or ensure that their code does not conflict with any changes.

You can register as a developer (you’ll need to fork over $99 while doing that) to get access to this beta directly from Apple and you’ll receive access to the firmware images that support the Apple TV, iPad, iPhone 4 and 3GS as well as the 3rd and 4th generation iPod Touch. As always, the XCode and Apple SDK are available to download as well.

Most users will want to stay on the carrier supported release, since this is technically beta firmware and is aimed at developers who want to get a jump on gesture controls and any other API calls that Apple has added in.

It’s rumoured that the 3rd beta will be released within a few weeks and should be the final seed before iOS 4.3 is release sometime in February.

Motorola Cliq 2 Now Available At T-Mobile For $99.99

motorola cliq 2

Earlier this month, Motorola announced the Android powered Cliq 2 at CES 2011 in Las Vegas. Motorola Cliq 2 is the successor of Motorola’s popular Cliq smartphone. This device runs on the Android 2.2 (FroYo) operating system and it comes with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. This device is currently available for purchase, exclusively on the airwaves of T-Mobile in the US.

Motorola Cliq 2 comes with a 3.7 inch touchscreen display with 854 x 480 pixels resolution, Android 2.2 (FroYo) operating system, 1 GHz processor, MOTOBLUR, USB 2.0, ActiveSync, Bluetooth Stereo Version 2.1 + EDR, 5 megapixel camera with Digital Zoom, Auto Focus and Dual LED Flash, 3.5mm headphone jack, Stereo FM Radio, 512MB RAM, 1 GB ROM, 2 GB microSD card loaded, microSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, A-GPS, up to 7.9 hours talktime, up to 13 days stand-by time and a 1420 mAh battery.

The pre-installed Quickoffice app allows you to view and edit important documents on your smartphone. This handset comes with a price tag of $99.99 with a two years service agreement. You can also buy this handset without any contract for just $399.99. You can easily purchase this handset from the T-Mobile stores or you can even buy it online. If you are planning to buy this handset, head over to this page.

Images and Video of WP7 Powered Asus E600 Leaked

The Asus E600, the only Asus smartphone powered by Windows Phone 7, was leaked more than a month back. It had passed FCC testing back then and was to be launched soon. Today, more images and a video of the Asus E600 have leaked out.

It seems to have a stylish design and looks great. It will have a 4.0 inch capacitive touchscreen display with a WVGA resolution. It will run the Windows Phone 7 OS and will be powered by a 1 GHz processor with 512 MB RAM. It will have a 5 MP camera with LED flash and 720p video recording. No other details are out yet. It will likely be launched at the Mobile World Congress in February.

While the Asus E600 is a great device, it offers nothing that Samsung, HTC or LG offer in its Windows Phone 7 devices already. I wonder why Asus is even bothering to launch it now, it will hardly see any sales. Seriously, would you rather buy a Samsung or HTC smartphone or an Asus smartphone which is already late to launch and offers nothing more than the devices which are already available in the market.

Check out the Asus E600 images and video below:

Asus E600

via tinhte

Samsung Galaxy S 2 Coming February 13

Something big is coming. Samsung has just hinted at the launch of the successor to the very popular Samsung Galaxy S. You can check out the teaser of the next Galaxy S, or the Galaxy S 2, at Samsung Unpacked.

Mobile World Congress 2011 is set to start on February 14. Samsung will apparently launch the first preview teaser of the Galaxy S 2 on February 1 and will launch it on February 13. The launch will happen in Barcelona itself, where MWC is going to be held, just before it starts.

Launching it before MWC will help it get a good amount of media coverage, as almost any gadget launched at MWC gets drowned out by the many announcements. Samsung should also unveil a 4G LTE version of the Galaxy Tab at MWC.

The Galaxy S has sold more than 10 million units in 2010 and has been the most popular Android phone yet. The Galaxy S 2 will be much better than the Galaxy S in terms of hardware. It will likely have a Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core processor, 1 GB RAM and a 4.0 – 4.5 inch SuperAMOLED Plus display, like the Samsung Infuse 4G. It should come with Android 2.3 Gingerbread. More details should be coming on February 1. Stay tuned.

Samsung Galaxy S 2 Teaser

Samsung Clears All The Rumors Surrounding The Galaxy S Android 2.2 Update In The U.S.

Nearly a week ago, we had reported that Samsung might be intentionally holding back the Android 2.2 update for the Samsung Vibrant in the United States. Since then, another rumor popped up on the Internet that the update is not being rolled out because of a tiff between the U.S carriers and Samsung. Reportedly, that the reason behind this tiff was that Samsung wanted to charge the carriers for the Android 2.2 update, which the carriers did not agree to.

Samsung_Galaxy_S

Nevertheless, this news spread like a fire on the Internet and definitely pissed off a lot of Samsung Galaxy S owners along with giving the Korean company some extremely bad publicity. Now, Samsung have sent an email to PhoneScoop confirming that they are not going to charge the U.S carriers for the Android 2.2 update. However, the company did not provide any other information about the Android 2.2 update except for promising that they will provide more details on the update shortly’.

Thankfully, this move from Samsung will at least kill all the rumors regarding the Android 2.2 update for the Galaxy S handsets in the States floating around the Internet. Samsung has started rolling out the Android 2.2.1 update for the Galaxy S handsets in all regions of the world except for the States. So I wonder what’s stopping them from releasing the update in the United States.

Hopefully, Samsung will come out clear and tell us the reason for the delay instead of giving a diplomatic answer.

Microsoft Launches OneNote For iPhone and iPad; 30th Most Popular Free App

Looks like Microsoft is getting serious about shipping their office suite of products to , and users with the launch of the OneNote app for iPhone today.

OneNote iPhone

OneNote is a note-taking software which is part of the suite. OneNote was already available for the Windows Phone 7 platform and is now available for the iPhone too.

OneNote Top 30 Free App

The OneNote app for iPhone has quickly jumped the ranks and is now the 30th most popular free app on the App Store. The app says that is free for limited time only. The other most popular note-taking app for iPhone has been the Evernote, however, OneNote definitely seems to have the edge over it.

Both the iPhone and iPad are yet to see any significant office suites except for maybe Quick Office. Microsoft’s entry into the iOS for office space will definitely give them a wider range of mobile users who prefer to do their office related work on the go. Though there is no indication whether this will lead to an office suite for iPhone, the instant success of the OneNote app might definitely prompt Microsoft to work towards creating one.

OneNote is free for a limited period only. You can download the OneNote app for your iDevice from here.

White iPhone 4 May Come To Best Buy In February

The White had been delayed indefinitely, however several users have spotted the white iPhone 4 suggesting that the device exists and is being tested.

White iPhone 4 Best Buy

Now according to a leaked inventory screenshot sent to Mac Rumors by a source, the White will probably show up in Best Buy Stores on February 27th.  Both the White iPhone 4 16GB and 32GB models are seemingly coming to Best Buy on February 27, 2011. However, there is no indication as to who the carrier of the device will be. Earlier Engadget has also spotted the white iPhone 4 in Vodafone Germany’s inventory.

Considering that Verizon is launching the iPhone 4 on February 10, the white iPhone 4 may be available for both AT&T and Verizon networks. Though there is no way to confirm this through the listings. Considering that it took 2 years for Apple and Verizon to come up with the CDMA version of the iPhone, they might have definitely worked on doing the same for the white iPhone 4.

Unfortunately, we will only know what type of iPhone 4 will be available after February 27, so you might just have to hold off buying the iPhone from Verizon till then. If you do buy it, you might be able to return the device within 30 days, so make sure to check out on that.

Are you waiting for the white iPhone 4? Will you buy it if it only comes on AT&T or would you prefer waiting for the Verizon version? Do let me know through your comments.