Category Archives: Mobile News

All the latest Mobile News and updates. Mobile Buzz is the Mobile blog where we post news about the latest cellphone, firmware updates, mobile news, leaked mobile screenshots and more.

Nokia E7 To Start Shipping in December

After the launch of the Nokia N8, the Nokia C7 and the Nokia C6-01, now is the time for the launch of another Symbian ^3 device – the Nokia E7. According to a Twitter update by Nokia’s official account, the Nokia E7 will start shipping from December 2010.

The Nokia E7 is one of the best Symbian devices and is the next communicator by Nokia. It is being marketed as the ultimate business smartphone and has some great hardware specs.

Nokia E7

It runs the latest Symbian ^3 OS and comes with a 4 inch touchscreen display and a sliding QWERTY keyboard.

It also has an 8 MP camera with dual LED flash and can capture 720p video. It comes with 16 GB internal storage and offers everything from 3G HSDPA to Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 3.0. It is powered by a 680 MHz processor and 256 MB RAM. It should be available for around €495 ($680).

You can check out the hands on pictures of the Nokia E7 here.

Source: Nokia

Samsung Continuum With Secondary ‘Ticker’ Display Unveiled

In a press event, Samsung and the big red Verizon have finally unveiled the Samsung Continuum. The handset sports a 3.4-inch S-AMOLED screen along with a secondary ticker’ display measuring 1.8-inches. The bottom sides of the phone feature a grip sensor which activates the ticker’. The ticker’ provides users with weather information, IM and e-mail notifications and stock market information etcetera.Samsung_Continuum

Since the Continuum is a Galaxy S series phone, the rest of the internal specifications of the handset are similar to other Galaxy S series handsets. The phone is powered by a 1GHz Hummingbird processor and packs 512MB of RAM along with a microSD card slot (expandable up to 32GB, 8 GB pre-loaded).

The Continuum also sports the usual GPS with A-GPS, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0 and a 3.5mm jack. Sadly, the handset will be running on Android 2.1 with the usual Samsung TouchWIZ UI on top of it. Samsung have also pre-loaded Swype on the phone for ultra-fast typing speed.

The phone will hit the Verizon retail stores from November 11 and will cost $199.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate with a new two-year contract.

It was originally rumored that Samsung will be unveiling a Google experience device at this press event along with the Continuum.

Opera Mobile 10.1 Beta for Android: Review and Benchmark

Android doesn’t have a dearth of browsers. But as they say, the more the merrier. Opera Software has just released Opera Mobile for Android – the more capable sibling of Opera Mini. “Android users now have a better choice when it comes to using a browser on their mobile devices,” said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. “With Opera’s new browser for Android, we give users the opportunity to access the Web, using the best tools available”.

The folks at Opera Software were kind enough to provide me a preview release in advance. I have been using Opera Mobile on a regular basis for almost a week on my Xperia X10 (Android 2.1), as well as Chinmoy’s Legend (Cyanogen 6). Here’s my in-depth review of Opera Mobile. Please keep in mind that this review was done using a pre-release build of Opera Mobile. It’s possible that there might have been some changes in the final build.

Opera-Mobile-Android

At first glance, Opera Mobile is indistinguishable from Opera Mini. However, under the hood, there are major differences. In Opera Mini, the webpages are first sent to Opera’s remote servers, where they are rendered and compressed, and then sent to your device. Opera Mini doesn’t render the webpage. Instead it simply displays the parsed output received from Opera Mini’s servers. The compression algorithm used by Opera Mini not only saves bandwidth, but also dramatically speeds up browsing on slower internet connections. On the other hand, Opera Mobile is fully capable of rendering webpages locally. This enables it to handle dynamic web content (powered by JavaScript, AJAX etc.) better than Opera Mini. However, if you wish, you still have the option of enabling compression to improve page loading speed on slower connections. In Opera Mobile, like in Opera for Desktop, this feature is called Opera Turbo.

Opera-Mobile-Settings

As mentioned above, Opera Mobile’s biggest benefit over Opera Mini is its improved rendering capabilities. For example, it supports Geolocation, border-radius and CSS3 transitions. But, how does it stack up, when compared to other popular Android browsers? I compared it with Froyo’s stock browser and Firefox Mobile 4 Beta 2 (Fennec) to get an idea.

I started off with the Acid3 Test, which puts the browser’s CSS rendering capabilities through the paces. To my surprise, I found that none of the browsers managed to pass the test. Opera was the best performer, but by a fairly small margin.

Opera-Mobile-Acid-3
Acid 3 Test: Higher is Better

Next, I used the Sputnik test to check out the JavaScript rendering abilities of Fennec, Opera Mobile and the default browser. Sputnik is a crucial benchmark that indicate how standard compliant the JavaScript engine of each browser is. Opera pretty much owned this test. In fact, it was the only mobile browser that managed to finish the test without crashing or stalling.

Opera-Mobile-Sputnik
Sputnik: Lower is Better

Finally I picked the HTML5 Test to check out how future ready these browsers are. This test suite includes 300 tests that cover a wide-range of HTML5 and other related technologies that are likely to gain prominence in the future. Opera for desktop performs quite poorly in this test. Unsurprisingly, Opera Mobile fared even worse, with Fennec almost tripling Opera’s score.

Opera-Mobile-Sputnik
HTML5 Test: Higher is Better

The other critical factor when choosing a browser is speed. Opera for desktop is currently the fastest browser in the market, with a sizeable lead over Chrome. Does the mobile counterpart live up to Opera’s reputation? I tested this too, using Sunspider artificial benchmark.

Opera-Mobile-Speed-Test
Sunspider Test: Lower is Better

I used my friend’s Samsung Galaxy S (Android 2.2 – Darky’s Raw Steel) to run the speed tests. Sadly, Opera Mobile turned out to be a dud in the speed department. Not only was it slower than Firefox and the stock browser, but it was so by a huge margin. To be honest, the results took me by surprise, as I didn’t notice any speed issues during my regular browsing sessions.

(Update: The poor benchmark scores are due to the lack of JIT support in this build. Opera Mobile’s scores should jump considerably once that is uncorked. )

Opera Mobile’s interface is amongst the best I have seen in mobile browsers. In many mobile browsers, tabs almost appear to be an afterthought. Switching between them is often clumsy and time-consuming. Not in Opera Mobile. Features such as instant history navigation (pages from the history are opened instantly) and speed dials only adds to the intuitiveness of Opera Mobile. Other features we have come to expect from Opera Mobile and Opera Mini are also present in this build. Some of the notable ones are – password manager, bookmark and speed dials synchronization, search engine bar, in-page find, saving of pages, private data cleaner, download manager and more. Today’s release also introduces Pinch-to-Zoom support to Opera’s mobile products for the first time.

Opera-Mobile-Autocomplete

Unfortunately, there are a few serious issues with Opera Mobile that might be a deal breaker for many. First of all, the installation is pretty huge. In fact, with a disk space (ROM) requirement above 22 MB, it is the largest installed app I currently have on my handset. Also, if you switch to some other app while using Opera Mobile, the browser will quit and will be restarted when you return to it. This is actually not too different from the way other browsers work, and thankfully, Opera Mobile’s loading time is quite small. In fact, it’s actually less than half of Firefox’s loading time. However, the problem is that if you press the back button before the page has been loaded, Opera fails so remember it. Finally, possibly the biggest disappointment for me is the lack of any social feature whatsoever. You can’t tweet links, share webpages on Facebook, or send links via SMS. Adding this shouldn’t be too hard for any Android app developer, and by not taking advantage of the opportunities offered by Android, Opera Software is missing out on a trick or two.

On the whole, Opera Mobile manages to impress on its very first outing. It has a lot going for it. The interface is intuitive and functional, there are plenty of unique features that make it stand out, and it has a competent rendering engine. If it can improve upon it’s JavaScript benchmark scores and become more social, it might manage to become the definitive Android web browser. Nevertheless, if the missing sharing options aren’t a deal-breaker for you, I would highly recommend checking it out.

[ Download Opera Mobile 10.1 Beta for Android | Appbrain ]

[Rumor] Nexus One About To Get the Android 2.3 Gingerbread Update Soon

According to an earlier report, Google’s next flagship Nexus Two was going to be  launched today, on 8 November.

According to  Android and Me, the Nexus Two exists and is coming soon. Samsung will reportedly unveil the Nexus Two in a press event being held on November 8.  Radio Android also picked up the same information through an anonymous tipster. The available information suggests that the new device will be called the Nexus S, and as far as hardware is concerned, will be identical to the  Samsung Galaxy S series of phones. This means that it will sport a 4-inch SAMOLED screen and will be powered by a Hummingbird processor.

That goes in line with the latest rumors of Android 2.3 Gingerbread arriving on some devices. A new rumor has surfaced that claims that Android 2.3 is coming soon to the Nexus One.

Nexus Two has been delayed and the Android 2.3  Gingerbread was supposed to arrive on the 11th of this month, so the release of Gingerbread falls into place with the only announcement on this update (by Alvaro Fuentes Vasquez). Alvaro Fuentes Vasquez, a member of the leadership team of the Open Handset Alliance has claimed the arrival in a tweet saying,

Preparen sus Nexus One (Developer version) para la actualización vía OTA de Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) para los próximos días :-D

that translates to,

Prepare your Nexus One (Developer version) for Android OTA update 2.3 (Gingerbread) in the next few days:-D

Now, everyone has his or her eyes set on this decisive Thursday. You can see the tweet that fueled this possible rumor  here.

(Source)

Motorola Droid Pro Pricing And Launch Date Announced

It was exactly a month ago that Motorola had announced the Droid Pro. However, back then the company did not mention when the phone will be launched and its pricing. Today, Verizon has made both the pricing and the launch date official. The Pro will hit the Verizon store shelves on November 18th whereas online orders start from November 9. Droid_Pro

The Droid Pro has a 3.1-inch screen with HVGA resolution. The phone is powered by a 1GHz OMAP processor and packs in 512MB of RAM. The Droid Pro sports both EVDO Rev.A and WCDMA antennas for global roaming capability. Users can find out the whole specification of the Droid Pro here.

The phone will cost $179 after a $100 mail-in rebate on a new 2-year contract from the big red.

The full unlocked version of the handset will retail for around $749.

HTC Working On Its Own App Store

HTC, the most popular Android phone maker and one of the biggest backers of Windows Phone 7 is said to be working on its own version of an online application store.

According to a report by FT, HTC is currently hiring staff in Taiwan to prepare for the launch of an online store which would sell apps and ebooks. The application store would be integrated with the Sense UI which HTC uses on Android devices and will possibly use in its Windows Phone 7 devices soon.

HTC recently launched the HTCSense.com cloud based service. HTC CEO, Peter Chou recently commented that it was no longer enough for HTC to just customize the Android UI with Sense. “It is not enough to be skin-deep. We need to go bone-deep“.

Source: FT

Dell Venue Pro Coming to Microsoft Stores on November 8, Dell Online on November 15

The Dell Venue Pro is one of the most anticipated Windows Phone 7 devices in 2010. While details of most of the other Windows Phone 7 devices have been out for quite some time, we didn’t have any solid information about the release date of the Dell Venue Pro.

It seems that the wait for the Dell Venue Pro may finally be over. Apparently, Microsoft will launch the Dell Venue Pro at its retail stores on November 8. It may also be made available on Microsoft’s website.

Dell will start selling the Venue Pro online at Dell.com on November 15. I’m eagerly awaiting the launch of the Venue Pro, are you?

You can check out the detailed specifications of the Dell Venue Pro here – Dell Venue Pro

Dell Venue Pro Launch

Dell Venue Pro

via TMONews

Firefox 4 Beta 2 for Android and Maemo Released: Faster and Sleeker

Although Mozilla is struggling to ship Firefox 4 for desktop operating systems, work on the mobile version seems to be going on at full throttle. Firefox 4 Beta 2 for Android and Maemo was released yesterday. I went hands-on with the Android version, and it’s definitely a significant improvement over past releases.

Firefox-4-Mobile-Android-Start-Page
Start Page of Firefox for Android

No, the newest Firefox for Android won’t rock your world, but it is usable, and that alone makes it a significant improvement over its predecessors. One thing that I really like about Firefox Mobile (or Fennec) is its interface. It completely does away with the need of using hardware buttons. Instead, you can perform everything you wish to by simply swiping on the screen in different directions. Of course, this breaks the standard navigation model in Android, where you are supposed to press the ‘Menu’ button to bring up the application menu and tap the ‘Back’ button to go the previously open page. Some people might hate the change, but I wish that more applications followed this philosophy. Apps designed for the touchscreen should be completely controllable via the touchscreen alone.

Firefox-4-Mobile-Android-Rendering
TechieBuzz Rendered with Firefox for Android

Mozilla has tweaked the start page, which now displays tabs opened in the previous session, and can even fetch opened tabs from your computer, if you are using Firefox Sync. Other new features in this version include an extremely handy undo option for closed tabs, which allows you to recover accidentally closed tabs, and a context menu for links and webpages. You can now share any link or webpage by long pressing and choosing the sharing option that pops up. Mozilla has also slashed Firefox’s ROM space requirements from a ginormous 40 MB to about 17 MB. It’s still a lot more than what most apps require though.

Firefox-4-Mobile-Android-Tabs
Tab Management in Firefox for Android

While Firefox impresses with its interface and functionality, it lacks polish. I loved it at first glance, but things fell apart as soon as I started using it. I found the rendering to be choppy on occasions, and the browser takes way too long to load. The innovative interface also creates problems on websites that aren’t optimised for mobile phones. If the website has horizontal scrolling, you are going to find yourself accidentally triggering various UI (user interface) aspects quite frequently. Firefox only makes matters worse by not offering a text reflow mode. And finally, the one thing that really annoyed me, was the lack of copy-paste.

Opera is the king of the hill when it comes to mobile web browsers, and Opera Mobile for Android is slated to be released in a couple of days’ time. Mozilla has the advantage of a larger fan base and powerful extensions, but that might not matter much if they don’t hurry up.

Firefox-4-Mobile-Android-Rendering
Awesomebar in Firefox for Android

Android 2.3 Gingerbread Coming November 11

Android 2.3 GingerbreadWord on the interwebz is that the next version of the Android OS – Android 2.3 Gingerbread is set to be launched soon. The new SDK for Android 2.3 will be unveiled on November 11. Soon after, it should start being available on major handsets like the Nexus One, Samsung Galaxy S, Motorola Droid X etc.

The speed with which handset makers and carriers have been rolling out updates has been abysmally slow in the past, but it is expected to improve. Samsung will finish rolling out Android 2.2 Froyo for the Galaxy S variants by the end of November, and we can probably expect Android 2.3 by January 2011.

The Gingerbread man was spotted on the Google campus exactly 2 weeks back, so the timing seems right for a new release. It also fits in perfectly with the supposed unveiling of the new Google Nexus 2 at Samsung’s event on November 8.

via IntoMobile

Orange UK Offers Xperia X10 Mini Fashion Edition

xperia x10 mini

Orange UK has announced a special edition of its popular low-end smartphone, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini. The special edition is named as “Xperia X10 Mini Fashion Edition” and it comes with free fashion covers available in white and pink. The handset is available exclusively on the airwaves of Orange UK.

This handset is specially targeted for female mobile phone users in the UK. It runs on the Android 1.6 Operating System and it will be updated to the Android 2.1 OS. The features of this handset is exactly similar to the original version. It comes with 2.55 inch touchscreen display, 600MHz processor, 5 megapixel camera and so on.

Xperia 10 Mini Fashion Edition is available for free on a 2 years contract agreement with a monthly plan of at least £20.