Sharp Aquos: The First Android Clamshell. Also the Ugliest

One of the greatest advantages of Android is the variety – you get a huge list of phones to choose from. Android phones have been launched in almost every form factor. There are the standard candybar touchscreen phones, the sliding QWERTY smartphones, the sliding gamepad ones, the candybar QWERTY ones and many more. Until now, we didn’t have any clamshell phones running Android, but Sharp just announced the Sharp Aquos 007SH Android smartphone which comes with a clamshell form factor.

It comes with a 16 MP camera and 720p video recording, and runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread. It also has a 3.4 inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 480 x 854 pixels. It also comes with Wi-Fi support and HDMI out. It also has a 0.7 inch secondary display and has dimensions of 51.8 × 113 × 19.3 mm with a weight of 140 gms.

Sounds great?

Well, here’s the catch. First of all, it doesn’t have a QWERTY keypad, just a standard numeric one. Secondly, it is ugly. Seriously, have a look.

I don’t know what the designers were thinking, but there is no way I would ever buy anything that looked like this. I doubt anyone else will either.

It will be launching soon in Japan on Softbank Mobile.

via Impress

Samsung Galaxy S Series Gets Official CyanogenMod Support

The Samsung Galaxy S branded devices were among the most popular Android handsets last year. The Galaxy S had a powerful hardware, a brilliant screen, and most importantly a relatively easy to unlock boot loader.

Even though the phone was pretty open’, the sources released by Samsung were very poor. This severely limited the modding capabilities of the Galaxy S. Nearly all the custom ROMs for the Galaxy S were based on stock Samsung ROMs, and hardly offered any new feature except for speed improvements. Sadly, this meant no AOSP ROMs for the Galaxy S series were available until now.

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There were a few developers who were working on porting CyanogenMod 7 f0r the Galaxy S. They did release quite a few builds, but until now this port was not officially supported by the CM team. However, now CM7 for the Galaxy S handsets has been merged with the main CM mainline, which means it will be getting official support from the CM team. This is all due to the hard work of the developers atinm, codeworkx, dumdidum, unhelpful, and coolya.

Currently, CM7 for Galaxy S, Vibrant and the Captivate are in nightly’ status. I have been using the nightly for quite some time on my Galaxy S now, and I must say that the build is stable enough for daily use. There are no major bugs, except that switching between 2G and 3G mode with the data connection will put the phone in a boot loop. The nightly status also means ROM updates will come out every night.

Another major advantage is that Galaxy S owners can now easily install CM7 on their rooted Galaxy S using ROM Manager.

Verizon Announces The Xperia Play; To Ship With 7 High-Quality Games

Yesterday, Motorola and Verizon announced the Droid X2. Today, Verizon and Sony Ericsson have teamed up to announce the Xperia Play. The Xperia Play is already available in various regions of the world, and will be available in the U.S from this month’s end.

The Xperia Play sports a 4-inch TFT display with FWVGA (854×480) resolution. The handset is powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU, and an Adreno 205 GPU. The handset also packs 512MB of RAM and ROM.

Xperia_Play

The handset will run on Android 2.3.2 Gingerbread with Sony Ericsson’s proprietary UI running on top of it. The back of the phone sports a 5MP camera, while there is a VGA camera in the front for video calling. Since the Play does NOT run on Android 2.3.4, users cannot video chat using Google Talk.

The Xperia Play will be the first PlayStation Certified smartphone to be available in the U.S. Being a gamer oriented phone, the handset will ship with 7 games on-board including Asphalt 6, Madden NFL 11, Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior, The Sims, Star Battalion, Crash Bandicoot and Tetris. Users can download more than 50 high-quality games from Verizon’s VCast Apps.

The Xperia Play can already be ordered online at VerizonWireless.com, while it will hit the retail stores on May 26th. The handset will set users back by $199.99, on a two-year contract.

HTC Droid Incredible Android 2.3 Gingerbread Update Leaks

Up until now, the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update has leaked for the Desire HD, T-Mobile G2, Desire Z, Desire and the Thunderbolt, all thanks to the guy behind 911HTC.

Now, 911HTC has managed to get his hands on the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the HTC Droid Incredible. HTC did promise to release the Gingerbread update for a bunch of their handsets, including the Incredible, by the end of Q2.

HTC_Droid_Incredible

All these leaks indicate that the company is working hard on keeping it’s word. Sadly, unlike all other Gingerbread leaks for various handsets, this leak is not in a flashable state as of now. However, with so many talented developers out there I am sure its just a matter of hours, before a flashable version is out.

This leak will also help developers to port other Sense based Gingerbread ROMs to the Droid Incredible. Readers should keep in mind that this leak is not compatible with the Droid Incredible’s successor the Droid Incredible 2.

Interested developers and Droid Incredible owners can head over to this link to download the leaked Gingerbread ROM.

HTC Puccini Android Tablet Leaked

Details of the HTC Puccini, rumored to be HTC’s next Android tablet have been leaked by the 911Sniper blog. The HTC Puccini will be the next Android tablet by HTC, after the HTC Flyer which was launched recently. It will have a 10.1 inch capacitive touchscreen display and will be powered by Android 3.0.1. It will also have a dual core 1.5 GHz processor, the Qualcomm MSM8660, which is one of the most powerful mobile processors today. It will likely offer 1 GB RAM and has a display resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels.

It will offer LTE connectivity on the Cingular AT&T network in the US. Despite being powered by Android 3.0.1 Honeycomb, it will have the Sense 3.0 UI on top, just like the HTC Flyer which runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread. With the launch of the HTC Puccini, HTC will finally have a Honeycomb tablet in the market to compete with Samsung, LG and Motorola.

Not many details about the HTC Puccini are out yet, and as far as I can tell, Puccini is just its code name. We will update you on the HTC Puccini when new details come out. Here are some screenshots:

HTC Puccini

HTC Puccini

Samsung Hercules Specifications Leaked

The Samsung Infuse 4G was unveiled at CES 2011. It was an upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy S with a faster processor, larger display and a a better camera. But just when we had started checking it out, preparing to drool all over it, Samsung announced yet another device – the Samsung Galaxy S 2. It is probably the best Android smartphone on the planet right now.

But even though the Samsung Galaxy S 2 is yet to be launched in many countries, rumors suggest that Samsung is working on a successor to the Samsung Infuse 4G, with a dual core processor, double the RAM, and NFC support.

Compared to the Samsung Galaxy S 2, it will have a better display, and possibly marginally better hardware.

Samsung Hercules Specifications

It will sport a 4.5 inch 480 x 800 Super AMOLED Plus display, just like the Infuse 4G. It will be powered by Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

It will also support NFC, and will come with HSPA+ connectivity. It is rumored to have dimensions of 5.16 x 2.76 x 0.37 inches, very similar to the Infuse 4G.

It has a 16 GB internal ROM, 1 GB internal RAM. It also has a Qualcomm 1.2 GHz dual core APQ 8060 application processor, not an Exynos processor like the Galaxy S 2.

It will also sport an 8 MP camera which can capture 1080p videos. Stay tuned for more updates about the Samsung Hercules. It’s surely going to be one amazing phone, but it’s still months away from launch.

Samsung Infuse 4G

via ThisIsMyNext

Motorola Droid X2 Announced; Runs On Android 2.2 Froyo!

After numerous leaks and mysterious appearances, Motorola and Verizon have finally gone ahead and announced the Motorola Droid X2.

The Droid X2 is the successor to the popular Motorola Droid X. Like its predecessor, the X2 will sport a 4.3-inch anti-reflective and scratch resistant screen, with qHD (960×540) resolution.

motorola_droid_x2

The handset will be powered by a 1GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset, and pack 512MB of RAM along with 8GB of internal memory. The back of the phone sports an 8MP camera with dual-LED flash, which is capable of recording videos in 1080p HD resolution. Sadly, there is no front-facing camera for video calls.

Other key features of the Droid X2 include mini-HDMI port, GPS with A-GPS, Wi-Fi b/g/n, eCompass and a 3.5mm audio jack. Shockingly, the X2 runs on the now outdated Android 2.2 (Froyo) with MotoBLUR UI on top of it. Motorola states that they will release the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the device soon.

Announcing a high-end device with Froyo right now is simply unacceptable, especially when it has been six months since Gingerbread’s code went public.

The Droid X2 will be available online at VerizonWireless.com beginning from May 19, and will hit the retail stores on May 26. The handset will set users back by $199.9, on a two-year contract.

Intel Launching More than 10 New Tablets at Computex 2011

With the explosion of the many new tablet platforms in the past year, there has been one clear winner – Apple. Even Google is expected to have a winner on its hands with Android 3.0 Honeycomb. RIM and HP are trying to get some piece of the tablet market as well, with the Playbook and webOS tablets.

If there has been a clear loser since the whole tablet revolution, it has been Intel. Well, Microsoft hasn’t done very well either, but with Windows 8, it plans to enter the tablet market in full force. Whether or not it will be too late to the party is something I would like to discuss in another post.

Coming back to Intel, it has been clearly hit hard by the recent smartphone and tablet disruption. Almost all smartphones and tablets use processors designed by ARM. While Intel has a monopoly in the X86 PC processor market, it doesn’t have any significant marketshare in the tablet arena.

With the world shifting to tablets and smartphones, and PC sales declining rapidly, Intel is trying very hard to gain a foothold in the tablet segment. According to a report by WSJ, It will be showcasing more than 10 new tablets at Computex 2011, which starts May 31.

More than 35 of Intel’s chip-based tablet models are on track to be shipped through the year, according to Intel’s general manager for Asia-Pacific, Navin Shenoy. Its new tablets will be powered by the Oak Trail platform which offers better power management, coupled with faster performance. It willl likely launch Android, MeeGo and Windows based tablets.

Samsung Epic 4G Android 2.3 Gingerbread Update Leaks

It was only in the first 3 months of 2011, that the different variants of the Galaxy S in the U.S got the Android 2.2 Froyo update. Galaxy S owners in Europe got a taste of Froyo way back in October, and tasted Gingerbread recently!

Up until now it was unclear whether Samsung will update the Galaxy S series of handsets in the U.S. to Android 2.3 Gingerbread, because of the huge Froyo update controversy.

Now, it looks like Samsung indeed intends to release the Gingerbread update for the at least one Galaxy S branded handset the Sprint’s Epic 4G.

Samsung_Epic_4G

The folks over at ACS forums are reporting that an Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the Epic 4G has leaked on the Internet. The ROM has already been rooted and de-odexed and is available for Epic 4G owners to download and test. Notable features of the ROM include working Netflix app, working FM radio, and Google Talk with video works as well!

I hope Samsung will sort out the bugs and issues and release the official Gingerbread update for the Epic 4G soon. Hopefully, other Galaxy S branded handsets in the U.S. will also get the Gingerbread update.

HTC Thunderbolt Android 2.3 Gingerbread Update Leaks

In the last one week or so, the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the Desire HD, T-Mobile G2, and the Desire Z have leaked on the Internet. This is all due to only one man 911Sniper.

He also released the ROMs of un-released handsets like the HTC Doubleshot, and the Sensation, due to which many Android handsets got a taste of Sense 3.0 UI.

htc_thunderbolt

Now, 911Sniper has just released the Android 2.3 Gingerbread test build for the HTC Thunderbolt (codenamed Mecha). HTC had earlier announced that the Thunderbolt will get the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update by Q2 of 2011.

A leaked test build suggests that the company is already working on the update, and in all probability the update is in its final stages. Sadly, the leaked test build is based on Android 2.3.3, which means video calling via the front facing camera using Google Talk will be a no go!

The HTC Thunderbolt was the first 4G LTE compatible handset to hit the Verizon network. The handset packs a mammoth 4.3-inch S-LCD, and is powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor. The Thunderbolt launched with Android 2.2 Froyo on-board, with HTC’s Sense UI (v2.0) running on top of it.

The Gingerbread update for the Thunderbolt will bring with it performance improvements, usability improvements, and native SIP calling etc.

I don’t own a HTC Thunderbolt myself so as to test the leaked Gingerbread build. However, I would suggest readers to check out Droid-Life for a small preview of the Gingerbread leak.