Windows Phone 7 is a fantastic operating system, one that has real potential. However, there is still a lot of work to be done, and Microsoft knows it.
In a comment to Neowin, a Microsoft employee divulged that Microsoft is currently working on a Facetime like application for Windows Phone 7.
Although details are scarce, a snippet of code from Microsoft.Phone.Media.Extended.dll confirms that Microsoft is indeed working towards supporting front-facing cameras. It’s unclear if the video calling app will be added to Windows Phone 7 itself, or if it is destined for Windows Phone 8. Rumors suggest that a front-facing camera might be added as a mandatory hardware requirement for Windows Phone 8.
It’s not surprising that Microsoft is working on a voice calling app for Windows Phone 7. After all, Facetime was one of the major selling points for the iPhone 4. It was one of the features that appealed to the common man.
Recently, we posted that, Acer announced the beTouch E210 QWERTY Phone, and now the company announced another touchscreen phone, the Acer Liquid Mini at the CES 2011 in Las Vegas. This handset is powered by the Android 2.2 (FroYo) operating system, which allows you to access more than 200,000 apps from the Android Market. Acer Liquid Mini is DLNA certified, which means that, you can enjoy content from your computer on your phone.
Acer Liquid Mini features a 3.2 inch HVGA touchscreen display with 480 x 320 pixels resolution, Android 2.2 (FroYo) OS, 600 MHz Qualcomm 7227 processor, HSDPA support, DLNA connectivity, Wi-Fi, 5 megapixel camera with 480p video recording, Bluetooth, GPS, stereo FM radio, 512MB RAM, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, up to 6.5 hours of talk time, up to 20 hours of stand-by time and more.
This handset will be available in 5 vibrant colors – jet silver, royal blue, piano black, lime green and light pink. It allows you to view and edit popular office files (Word, Excel, Powerpoint and PDF) and send them through your work email with support for Microsoft Exchange. Acer Liquid Mini will be available from April 11 in the UK. The price of this handset has not been announced yet.
We are seeing more and more high-end games make an appearance on Android. However, high-end games need powerful hardware, and as recently launched games like Dungeon Defenders have shown, many of the high-end Android phones (read Snapdragon phones with Adreno 200) might not have enough in them to support games with next-gen visuals. The good news is that the next generation of Android phones should solve the problem.
Dual-core processors are clearly going to be the way to go in 2011. Baring Sony Ericsson, all other popular Android handset manufacturers are expected to introduce dual-core CPU driven handsets. In fact, some like LG (Optimus 2x) and Motorola (Atrix 4G) have already made their move.
Most of the upcoming dual-core handsets as well as tablets will be powered by nVidia’s Tegra 2. NVidia clearly expects Android gaming to take off in a big way. Besides actively working with developers, nVidia is also working on its own app store. It will be launching a market called Tegra Zone for Tegra 2 enabled Android devices.
Galaxy on Fire
Tegra Zone will be an Android market dedicated to high-end games. It will be using the Android Market’s payment backend, which means that you will be able to use your Google Checkout account for payments (and carrier billing, if available). Since Tegra Zone is meant only for games, there will be no file size limit. It will also feature HD video previews, unlimited screenshots, reviews from 3rd parties and gameplay videos. The first five games to be included are Dungeon Defenders: First Wave, Monster Madness, Fruit Ninja THD, Backbreaker THD, and Galaxy on Fire.
We have already shared with you how the Sony Ericsson PlayStation phone looks, what are its specifications, and what it might be called. Now, we even have some benchmarks to judge its performance.
A Chinese technology website managed to get hold of a PS phone with pre-release firmware for half-a-day. If you can read Chinese or don’t mind Google Translate, head over here for the details.
As we already know, the PlayStation phone ships with a single core processor – a 1 GHz Snapdragon. While this might soon get outdated due to the expected onslaught of dual-core Android handsets, the good news is that Sony Ericsson has done a very good job at optimizing its custom shell.
The PlayStation phone clocked in a Quadrant score of 1,733, which is admirable for any phone with default ROM. The Adreno 205 GPU also pushed the Neocore score to 59.1fps, which is once again, excellent.
The lack of cutting-edge hardware in a gaming device is surprising. In fact, one of the videos shot by IT168 shows the PlayStation phone getting beaten by another current generation phone in Dungeon Defenders. Nevertheless, at the very least, the PlayStation phone will be able to handle all current generation games. Sony will undoubtedly tap into content partners to make some big-name games available for the PlayStation phone. These games, which targeted at the device, will be accessible through a bundled app called PlayStation Pocket.
CES is not the place where you would normally expect news about upcoming games. However, Neowin and 1Up has managed to pick up an interesting tid-bit about Portal 2.
Motion Controllers are quite the rage these days. Kinects have been flying off shelves ever since it was introduced, and Sony is trying its best cash-in with PlayStation Move. However, PC users need not feel left out. Razer has developed a motion controller targeted at PC gamers. Unlike other motion controllers, Razer’s Sixense doesn’t use ultrasonic rays or cameras. Instead it uses magnetic sensors. The Sixense, which seemed to be genuinely fun and interesting, was demoed at Quakecon ’09 and at last year’s CES.
At CES 2011, Razer is showing off Sixense once again. This time around the game being used for the demo is Portal 2. Although it’s possible that a modified version of Portal 2 was used for the demo, we are hoping that the final release version will also include support for Sixense. Valve had earlier stated that Portal 2 won’t support the PlayStation Move. But, you never know. If they do include motion control in the PC version, it might be added to the console version too.
Dell has announced the Streak 7 a 7-inch tablet heading to T-Mobile. The Dell Streak 7 sports a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor with both the cores running at 1GHz. The 7-inch WVGA display of the Streak 7 is covered with Gorilla glass.
The 7-inch tablet also features HSPA+ 4G support along with the usual Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, a 3.5mm audio jack and a microSD card slot.
The tablet has 16GB of onboard storage space. The front of the tablet sports a 1.3MP camera for video calling while the back sports a 5MP camera.
The Streak 7 runs on Android 2.2 with the Stage UI of Dell on top of it. Sadly, T-Mobile did not mention the pricing of the tablet. The Streak 7 is expected to hit the stores in the coming weeks’.
After numerous leaks, the HTC Thunderbolt has finally been unveiled by Verizon and HTC at the CES 2011. The HTC Thunderbolt features a mammoth 4.3-inch S-LCD screen with WVGA (800×480) resolution. The handset is powered by a 1GHz Qualacomm Snapdragon processor.
The back of the phone features an 8MP camera with 720p HD video recording capability. The phone also sports a front-facing camera for video calling. The handset also supports Verizon’s 4G LTE network.
Other key features of the HTC Thunderbolt include DLNA, Dolby Surround Sound, Built in kickstand, GPS with aGPS, a 3.5mm audio jack and a microSD card slot with a 32GB microSD card preloaded. The HTC Thunderbolt runs on Android 2.2 with the latest version of HTC Sense UI on top of it. HTC have also integrated Skye Mobile with video calling in their Sense UI on this phone.
Sadly, HTC did not mention the release date or pricing of the device. However, I expect the Thunderbolt to hit the shelves by Q1 of 2011.
If you are enjoying the CES 2011, there might be quite a lot of more good things coming your way. In a few hours time Skype will be holding their press conference at CES 2011.
The conference will be held at 10:30AM PST and will be an hour long. After the introduction of video calling for iPhone, it is highly anticipated that Skype will announce video calling for Android based devices too. We are all holding our breaths on that.
Huawei finally announced the much awaited Ideos X5 smartphone at the CES 2011 in Las Vegas. This handset runs on the Android 2.2 (Froyo) operating system and allows you to access more than 200,000 apps from the Android Market. Huawei Ideos X5 comes with a 3.8 inch touch screen display, 3G Connectivity, 5 megapixel camera with HD (720p) video recording and so on. According to the company, each detail of the IDEOS X5 is specifically chosen to bring consumers a smart mobile experience that is easy to enjoy.
Speaking at a press event at the International Consumer Electronics Show, Victor Xu, Chief Marketing Officer of Huawei Device, said, “We are excited to launch the next generation IDEOS: the X5 smartphone. This smartphone is a new alternative to traditional brands and competes well in terms of design and functionality. IDEOS X5 offers the latest technology at a price that’s right.”
Huawei Ideos X5 features a large 3.8 inch multiple touchscreen display with easy-to-use SWYPE input and voice recognition, 800 MHz processor, Wi-Fi, 3G Connectivity, Bluetooth, 5 mehapixel camera with HD (720p) video recording and playback, Stereo FM radio, 3.5 mm headset jack, SRS professional audio effect, Dolby Mobile, Adobe Flash 10.1, MicroSD card slot, GPS and more.
Huawei Ideos X5 will be available in Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand beginning January 2011. The company also said that, a U.S. carrier will be announced during mid-2011. The price of this handset will be announced soon.