Sony Rolling Out The Android 4.0 Update For Xperia U, Go And Sola

Earlier this year, Sony has unveiled a number of smartphones running on the Android Operating System. The worst part was that almost all of the devices unveiled before June was powered by the old Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS. Xperia Neo L is the company’s first device, which runs on the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS out of the box.

In this post, we’ll focus on the Sony Xperia U, Xperia Go, Xperia Sola. These mid-range devices were launched during the first half of 2012 and was powered by the Android 2.3 OS. Today, the manufacturer finally started rolling out the newer Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS for these smartphones.

The latest update brings with some usability improvements, applications multitasking, new lock/unlock features, Face Unlock, mobile data management, improved text input and spell checking, home screen folders and more. Xperia Sola will get an additional new feature called as Glove Mode. It is basically an extension of the floating touch technology that allows the owners of Xperia Sola to use the device in the cold while wearing gloves. Check out the complete features below.

Features;

  • New ways to experience your tunes, images, videos and films with Sony’s media applications – Walkman, Album and Movies.
  • Extended standby mode, increasing standby time by up to four times (depending on user-profile and data consumption).
  • Lock screen with improved functionality.
  • Resizable widgets for improved personalization.
  • Improved control of your mobile data consumption.
  • Recent Apps button for a clear overview of your applications.

The latest update will not be available via OTA (Over-The-Air). To update your Xperia U, Go and Sola smartphones, you will need manually connect your device to the computer and use the PC Companion for Windows or Sony’s Bridge software for Mac. The availability and scheduling of this software upgrade will depend on the market as well as the carrier. To learn more, head over to this page.

Sony Xperia Tipo And Xperia Tipo Dual Launched In India

Back in June, Sony unveiled the entry-level Xperia Tipo and Xperia Tipo Dual smartphones. As the name suggest, Xperia Tipo is a single SIM variant, while the Xperia Tipo Dual is a dual-SIM variant and the company’s first dual-SIM smartphone. Apart from that, there are no major difference in the specs of these devices. It comes with a 3.2 inch display, 800 MHz processor, 3.2 megapixel camera and more. These handsets run on the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System.

After waiting for nearly 3 months, Sony finally launched the Xperia Tipo and Xperia Tipo dual smartphones in India. The handsets are bundled up with pre-loaded apps such as Bollywood Hungama, Dainik Jagran, appXtra and Cricbuzz. If you are planning to buy one, then check out the complete specs below.

Kenichiro Hibi, Managing Director, Sony India said:
“With the Xperia brand, our aim has always been to innovate ahead of consumer demand. After the launch of Xperia NXT series earlier this year, we are now launching the phone that will reach out to entire India. We have expanded our Xperia range with Tipo – Sony’s first entry level price category smartphone under Xperia brand.”

Sony Xperia Tipo and Tipo Dual features a 3.2 inch touchscreen display, sporting a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels, 800 MHz Qualcomm MSM7225AA single-core processor, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System, 3.2 megapixel camera rear-facing camera with VGA video recording and playback, 3G Connectivity, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and much more.

It also comes with a 3.5 mm audio jack, FM radio with RDS, GPS with aGPS, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, USB 2.0, Google Play Store, Wi-Fi Hotspot functionality, 3 GB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, up to 30 hrs music playback time, up to 5 hrs of talk-time, up to 470 hrs of stand-by time and a 1500 mAh battery.

Sony Xperia Tipo is currently available for Rs.9,999, while the dual-SIM variant comes with a price-tag of Rs.10,499 in India. Vodafone subscribers will get 500 MB of free 3G data for three months, with the purchase of this smartphone.

LG Venice Coming To Boost Mobile On October 10 For $219.99

LG recently announced a new mid-range smartphone, the LG Venice. This handset will be exclusively available for the Boost Mobile subscribers in the US. LG Venice comes with a 4.3 inch screen, 1 GHz processor, 5 megapixel camera and so on. This handset runs on the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System.

James Fishler, senior vice president, marketing and go-to-market operations, LG Electronics USA, said,
“With high-quality features, a stylish design and the wallet-friendly no-contract plan, LG Venice definitely stands out. LG and Boost Mobile continue to release innovative devices that exceed the expectations of those who use them. Whether it’s capturing still or video memories, connecting and sharing content with friends and loved ones, or viewing media on the crystal-clear touchscreen, Life’s Good with the LG Venice.”

LG Venice features a 4.3 inch display, sporting a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, Corning’s Gorilla Glass, 1 GHz processor, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS, LG Optimus 3.0 user interface, 5 megapixel rear-facing camera with HD (720p) video recording capabilities, VGA front-facing camera for video chat, 512 MB of RAM, 4 GB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, QuickMemo and much more.

This handset allows you to access more than 675,000 apps from the Play Store. LG Venice will go on sale from October 10. This handset comes with a price tag of just $219.99 without any contract. However, you will need to subscribe to the $55 Android Monthly Unlimited plan. To get this handset, head over to this page.

LG Optimus Vu II Announced In South Korea

We already knew that LG was working on the successor of its original phablet, the LG Optimus Vu. Today, the Korean mobile phone maker finally announced its second phone/tablet hybrid device, the LG Optimus Vu II. It comes with the same 5 inch display with 4:3 aspect ratio, however the processor, RAM and battery have been upgraded in this device.

LG Optimus Vu II is the company’s second device to feature the unique QSlide Function which shows two different screens simultaneously on one display. Basically it means that you can view once apps on the first half and a second app on the another half of the screen. It also packs a stylus dubbed as “Rubberdium Pen 2.0″ that offers a finer point for more precise input.

LG Optimus Vu II features a 5 inch IPS display, sporting a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels, 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System, 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video calls and so on.

It also comes with a 3.5 mm headset jack, WiFi 802.11 a/​​b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, MHL, NFC, USB 2.0, DLNA, Wi-Fi direct, GPS with A-GPS, LTE connectivity, Google Play Store, 2 GB RAM, 400 hours of stand-by time, 500 minutes of talk-time and a 2150 mAh battery. This handset measures 132.2 x 85.6 x 9.4 mm and weighs 159 grams.

LG Optimus Vu II will be available in Black, White and Pink colors. This handset comes with a price tag of 966,900 won (approx. $865) in Korea. LG Optimus Vu II is expected to be available in major European and Asian markets in the coming weeks.

AT&T Xperia Ion Gets The Android 4.0 ICS Update

Earlier this year, Sony announced the Xperia Ion smartphone at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 in Las Vegas. This handset was shipped with the old Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System. Now, AT&T is finally rolling out the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) update for this device in the US. We’re not sure if this device will ever get the latest Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) update.

The latest update bring the usual Ice Cream Sandwich goodies along with some usability improvements, applications multitasking, new lock/unlock features, Face Recognition (Face Unlock), mobile data management, improved text input and spell checking, improved menu structure, home screen folders and much more.

According to the AT&T blog post,
“The Android 4.0 update will provide faster Mobile Hotspot and Wi-Fi speeds. Exchange Active Sync has also received several upgrades thanks to Android 4.0. Several calendar and e-mail status indication enhancements were made to help you stay organized, while passcode security enhancements for unlocking Exchange Active Sync will give you more peace of mind. Up-to-date and improved visuals have been added to the street view in Maps, and when watching a YouTube clip you will also notice improved performance when rotating between portrait and landscape views.”

Sadly, this update will not be available via OTA (Over-The-Air). To update your Xperia Ion smartphone manually, all you have to do is just connect your device to the computer and use the PC Companion for Windows or Sony’s Bridge software for Mac. It is advised to backup all your data before updating the device. You should also make sure that, the battery is fully charged before updating your phone. To download PC Companion or Bridge for Mac, head over to this page.

Pantech Vega R3 Announced; Comes With 5.3 Inch Display, S4 Pro, 13 MP Camera

Phablets are already popular, thanks to the Samsung Galaxy Note and LG Optimus Vu. Now, it seems that every other manufacturer is planning to launch their own version of the phone/tablet hybrid device. The latest manufacturer to join the bandwagon is Korea’s no.2 smartphone maker, Pantech.

Pantech recently unveiled the new Pantech Vega R3. This device features a large 5.3 inch display, 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 13 megapixel camera, 2 GB RAM and much more. It runs on the old Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System. However, the Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) update will be rolled out soon after the launch. Pantech Vega R3 comes with ‘Zero Bezel Tech’ which allows the users to hold the smartphone and operate the screen with just one hand.

Jun-woo Lee, VP of Pantech Business, said:
“Pantech has had the philosophy that smartphones must be operable with one hand. Vega R3 is the realization of that philosophy. We are confident that Vega R3 provides more user friendly features than the iPhone 5. With Vega R3 featuring the best specifications and functions to represent the Vega brand, we will solidify our position as the no. 2 manufacturer in the Korean market in the 4th quarter.”

Pantech Vega R3 comes with a 5.3 inch Natural IPS Pro LCD display, sporting a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS, 13 megapixel camera, 2 megapixel front facing camera for video calls and much more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, NFC (Near Field Communication), 2 GB RAM, 16 GB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, 4G LTE Connectivity, Bluetooth 4.0, Google Play Store, up to 360 hours of stand-by time, up to 14 hours 30 mins of talk-time and a 2,600 mAh battery.

This handset comes with Emotional Bubble Message which recognizes the emotion contained in the text message to send the appropriate facial expression in a bubble. Pantech Vega R3 will go on sale from September 25 through all 3 mobile carriers (SK Telecom, KT and LG U+) in Korea. The price of this device will be announced soon.

ASUS To Announce The Padfone 2 On October 16th

Motorola wowed the world when it announced the original Atrix back at CES 2011. The Atrix could be docked into a lapdock, to make the handset a full fledged laptop replacement. While the idea in itself is very interesting and sounds useful, it was letdown by poor execution from Motorola.

ASUS, which has redefined the tablet-cum-laptop category with its Transformer line-up of tablets, tried to take Motorola’s idea to the next level with its handset, the Padfone. The Padfone was like any other mid-range Android handset running stock Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and packed in decent specs – a 1.5GHz Qualcomm S4 processor, 1GB of RAM, 4.3-inch Super-AMOLED display and oodles of storage space.

The handset, however, could be docked into a lapdock like accessory to become a full-fledged tablet running Ice Cream Sandwich. The lapdock like accessory could then again be docked to an external keyboard from ASUS, to become a full-fledged replacement to laptops.

Sadly, the Padfone and its other accessories met the same fate as the Motorola Atrix, and got lukewarn response from the market.

However, ASUS has just announced an event for 16th October where the company will be announcing the successor of the Padfone. The event will be held simultaneously in Taipei, Taiwan and Milan, Italy. Rumors indicate that the Padfone 2 will be sporting 2GB of RAM and a quad-core processor, along with LTE support.

If ASUS manages to price the Padfone 2 right along with its accessories, the company might just be successful with the phone-tablet-laptop replacement idea this time around.

Via – Notebook Italia

Samsung Galaxy Chat Goes On Sale In India For Rs.8500

Back in July, Samsung announced the entry-level Galaxy Chat smartphone. The specs of this device is nothing extra-ordinary, however it comes with a touchscreen display and a unique form-factor similar to the previously launched Samsung Galaxy Y Pro Duos and HTC ChaCha. Samsung Galaxy Chat runs on the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS. Sadly, this device is not expected to get the Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) update and you might get stuck forever with the ICS.

Samsung Galaxy Chat comes with a dedicated Samsung ChatOn key which allows you to share text, animations and images with your friends. Samsung has not yet officially launched this device in India, however popular online retailers such as Saholic and Infibeam has already started selling this device in India. Mahesh Telecom, a popular retailer in Mumbai is also selling this affordable smartphone in India.

samsung galaxy chat

Samsung Galaxy Chat features a 3 inch QVGA touchscreen display, sporting a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels, 850 MHz processor, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS, full QWERTY keyboard, TouchWiz UI, 2 megapixel rear-facing camera, VGA front-facing camera for video calls, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 3G connectivity and more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, FM Radio with RDS, 4 GB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, Bluetooth 3.0, USB 2.0, Google Play Store, GPS with A-GPS, up to 520 hours of stand-by time, up to 15 hours of talk-time and a 1200 mAh battery.

Samsung Galaxy Chat is pre-loaded with the Samsung’s AllShare Play and S Planner app which allows you to play multimedia from other connected devices and manage your schedule respectively. This handset comes with a price-tag of Rs.8500 in India. To get this handset, head over to Saholic or Infibeam.

Verizon Galaxy Tab 10.1 Gets The Android 4.0 ICS Update

Last year, Samsung launched the Galaxy Tab 10.1 exclusively for the Verizon subscribers in the US. This device was originally shipped with the Android 3.2 (Honeycomb) Operating System. Earlier this year, Verizon has announced the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) update plans for 14 Android powered devices, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. After waiting for nearly 6 months, Verizon is finally rolling out the much awaited Android 4.0 update for Samsung’s first 10.1 inch tablet.

The latest update is numbered i905.LP11 and it brings the usual Ice Cream Sandwich goodies including the new data usage monitor, updated quick panel, pinch to zoom functionality in homescreen, direct access lock screen, redesigned gallery app with photo editor, new system font for improved readability, resizable widgets, Wi-Fi direct support and so on. Check out the complete changelog after the break.

Changelog:

* Applied Android Ice Cream (ICS) OS upgrade to 4.0.4.

  • Pinch to Zoom functionality has been added in homescreen and main menu screen.
  • Google Plus has been integrated.
  • Google Text-To-Speech Engine has been integrated in the upgrade.

* In Email search menu, search criteria by date, sender & title.
* In Email Composer, ‘undo’ and ‘redo’ options have been added.
* A quick response message may be quickly inserted into the body while composing a message.
* Initiate a ‘New Meeting Invitation’ for Exchange accounts.
* Wi-Fi Direct support by Android platform.
* Redesigned Gallery app with photo editor includes:

  • More ways to sort albums by time, location, people and tags.
  • Photo studio that allows users to crop and rotate pictures, set levels and remove red eyes.
  • Improved Picture Gallery widget lets users look at pictures directly on their home screen.

* Rich and versatile camera capabilities including:

  • Continuous focus.
  • Android 4.0 Zero shutter lag exposure.
  • Stabilized image zoom.
  • Single-motion panorama.
  • Apps can now set custom metering regions in a camera preview.

The latest update can be easily downloaded via OTA (Over-The-Air). You should make sure that your device is not rooted and has at least 50% or more battery before updating the device. If you still haven’t received the update, then just go to Home > Applications > Settings > About Device > System updates and check for the update. To learn more, head over to this page or check out this PDF file.

Motorola Announces The 2GHz Intel Inside RAZR i

A couple of weeks ago, Motorola announced the Verizon bound DROID RAZR HD and the DROID RAZR M. While the RAZR HD is a high-end flagship from Moto, the RAZR M is an impressive mid-range handset with almost no bezel. Today, at an event in London, Motorola has announced the international variant of the RAZR M, the RAZR i. Like the RAZR M, the RAZR i sports a 4.3-inch qHD resolution AMOLED display with almost edge-to-edge display. The slim body of the handset houses a 2000mAh battery, a Kevlar back, an 8MP camera, a 1.3MP front-facing camera, a dedicated camera button, NFC, 8GB internal memory, a microSD card slot and the other usual bunch of features.

The most interesting part of the RAZR i is its SoC. The handset sports a single-core 2GHz Intel Medfield processor with Hyper-Threading. Intel promises excellent Javascript performance along with more than enough battery life for its chip. The 32nm SoC also houses a powerful ISP that allows the RAZR i to take 10 shots in just under a second. The Motorola RAZR i will be running on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich when it launches in Europe and the U.K next month.