T-Mobile Version Of Samsung Galaxy S II to Sport a 4.5-inch Screen

People in the United States have been eagerly waiting to get their hands on the hottest phone on the planet right now, the Samsung Galaxy S II. At first, it was uncertain whether the SGS2 will make it to the state-side or not. However, Samsung confirmed that the Galaxy S II is coming to the U.S in August.

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Now, pictures of the T-Mobile variant of the Samsung Galaxy S II, dubbed as the Hercules has leaked online. The folks over at TmoNews have got their hands on some quality pictures of the Hercules.

Unlike the European version of S2, the Hercules will sport a mammoth 4.5-inch Super-AMOLED screen. Other specifications of the Hercules remain the same as its European sibling. The TmoNews tipster also tipped that the handset is fast, blazing fast! He also mentioned that Netflix will be pre-installed in this phone. The handset will come with Gingerbread on-board, with Sammy’s TouchWiz 4.0 UI running on top of it.

Also, from the leaked images, it looks like the Hercules will actually be known by its original name the Galaxy S II. The handset will also be the first to support T-Mobile’s blazing fast HSPA+ 42Mbps network.

The T-Mobile Hercules/Galaxy S II will be announced sometime this month, along with other operator variants of the SGS2.

[Rant] Motorola Created Hype For a Disappointing Product – The Droid Bionic

The Motorola Droid Bionic was announced 7 months ago, at the CES 2011. At that time, the Droid Bionic was going to be the first 4G LTE phone with a dual-core processor to hit Verizon’s network. However, for some unknown reason Moto shelved the original Bionic, and announced that it will release a new version of Bionic with an improved form-factor.

Over the last few weeks, many rumors about the Droid Bionic leaked on the Internet. Some rumors stated that the handset will have a 4.5-inch screen, while other suggest that the phone will have a 1.5GHz OMAP processor. Now, thanks to Motorola’s Developer website and Droid-Life, the specs of Droid Bionic have leaked online.

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The internals of Droid Bionic are similar to the recently launched Droid 3, except that it has more RAM. The Bionic will be powered by a dual-core 1GHz OMAP 4430 processor, and pack 1GB of RAM. The most disappointing part is that the Bionic will have the same pixelated screen as found on the Droid X2 and the Droid 3.

Here are the full specs of the Bionic :

  • 1GHz OMAP dual-core 4430 processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4.3-inch qHD (960×640) screen PenTile display
  • 8MP camera with full-HD recording capability
  • mini-HDMI port
  • Front-facing camera
  • 4G LTE
  • Webtop capabilities similar to the Atrix 4G

Motorola created a lot of hype around the Droid Bionic, and if this what the final Droid Bionic packs, then I am disappointed. If Verizon’s version of Samsung Galaxy S II features 4G LTE, then I doubt anyone will buy the Droid Bionic. The screen might be of a higher resolution, but it looks pixelated, and is no Super-AMOLED (+) or IPS LCD. Motorola phones are known to come with pathetic camera’s, and the Bionic will be no different.

Basically, Moto created hype around a product which is similar to the Droid 3 minus the keyboard, with extra RAM and a 4G LTE chip. Hopefully, Motorola will be sane enough not to lock down the boot loader on the handset. If they do so, then I guess they should get ready to suffer more losses during the next quarter.

If the next generation Apple iPhone for Verizon also sports 4G LTE compatibility, then I will suggest Motorola to not even bother releasing the Bionic to the general public. Had the phone been released sometime in the first half of this year, it would have been a worthy buy. Sadly, the device is still a month away from its official release and will offer too little, when launched.

P.S. – No, I am not even going to talk about disaster that is the Moto’s BLUR UI. The Bionic will come with a new version of Blur, which has some nice improvements. This does not make the new version less suck-y than the old version, though.

Nexus S Now Available For Free On Contract At Best Buy

The folks living in the US have a great reason to cheer, since the powerful Nexus S smartphone is currently available for free on contract! You heard it right. Best Buy, a popular online retailer in the US, is currently selling the Google branded Nexus S smartphone for free. The Nexus S is available exclusively for T-Mobile and AT&T customers. On the other hand, Sprint customers can grab the 4G variant of the Nexus S.

The Google Nexus S is one of the best Android Gingerbread powered smartphone. This handset was launched earlier for $199.99, later the price of the device was reduced to just $99.99. And now, you can go ahead and get this smartphone, with out burning a hole in your pocket. However, this offer is valid only for a day. You will need to purchase this handset before 11:59pm CST on August 3.

Nexus S

Google Nexus S comes with a 4 inch WVGA SUPER AMOLED display, sporting aresolution of 800 x 480 pixels, 1 GHz application processor, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS, Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, Wi-Fi Connectivity, 5 megapixel camera with flash, VGA front Camera, HD (720p) video recording, USB 2.0, Android Market and so on.

Other features include a 3.5mm headset jack, 4G connectivity, A-GPS, Stereo Speakers, Accelerometer, Digital compass, Proximity and Light Sensor, 16 GB internal memory, 512MB RAM, NFC (Near Field Communication) Capability, 4G Mobile Hotspot capability, up to 6 hrs 40 mins of talk-time , up to 428 hrs of stand-by time and a 1500 mAh battery.

AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile customers can get the free Nexus S smartphone, either as a new phone or an upgrade purchase, with two year service agreement at all Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile specialty stores. To purchase the Nexus S or Nexus S 4G online, head over to this page at Best Buy.

HTC Desire Android 2.3 Gingerbread Update Released

After a lot of drama, HTC have finally released the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the original Desire. There is a catch though; the update will not be rolled out to the general public.

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Due to the low internal memory on the Desire, HTC had to strip down a lot of apps, features and wallpapers from the Gingerbread update. So, the company has decided against releasing the update for the general Desire users. The update is meant only for developers, and the RUU can be downloaded from HTC’s developer website.

The Gingerbread update for the Desire will bring improved copy-and-paste functionality, minor UI changes, and an improved performance and battery life.

Here is a small list of things which HTC had to strip down :

1. All customizations, including operator applications, will be removed.

2. All wallpapers, except the default wallpaper, will be removed and placed online on the HTC Developer website.

3. Several HTC applications will be removed and placed online on the HTC Developer website.

4. The official Facebook application will be removed and is downloadable on the Android Market.

Interested Desire owners can go ahead and install Gingerbread on their phone via the RUU. However, they should make a backup of all the data on their handset, since the handset will be wiped clean of all data.

Please make sure that your Desire variant is supported by the RUU, before flashing it. Otherwise, you may end up with a bricked or a partially unusable phone. Desire owners, who are running a custom ROM on their handset, I recommend you people to wait for a rooted version of the official update to be out.

At the moment, it is unknown whether HTC will release an OTA version of the Gingerbread update for the Desire or not.

Samsung Galaxy R Announced; Cheaper Variant Of Galaxy S II

Last month, a down-spec’d version of the Galaxy S II – Galaxy Z – was announced by Three Sweden. The phone was only intended for the Sweden operator 3.

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Today, Samsung has announced another variant of the Galaxy Z, aimed for the markets of Europe and Asia dubbed as the Galaxy R, which is similar to the Z.

The Galaxy R is powered by a 1GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset, and packs 8GB of internal memory. The R also sports a 4.19-inch S-LCD screen, with WVGA (800×480) resolution.

The back of the phone sports a 5MP camera with an LED flash, which is also capable of recording videos at 720p HD resolution. The phone is also capable of playing back 1080p HD videos.

Other key features of the phone include Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth v3.0+HS, microSD card slot, Wi-Fi direct, 3.5mm audio jack and a bunch of sensors. The R is powered by a 1650mAh battery, which is capable of powering the phone for nearly 550hours in 3G on standby mode.

The Galaxy R runs on the latest version of Android 2.3 Gingerbread, with Samsung’s TouchWIZ UI running on top of it. The phone is expected to hit the retail stores of Europe by mid-August. Sammy did not mention anything about the pricing of the R.

(Source)

Sprint Kyocera Echo To Get Android 2.3 Gingerbread Update On August 1

Do you still remember the Kyocera Echo smartphone? Yes, we are talking about the same phone, which runs on the Android 2.2 (Froyo) Operating System and comes with a dual-touchscreen display, 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, 5 megapixel camera with HD (720p) video recording and more. This handset is  available  exclusively for the Sprint customers in the US. According to the latest Sprint playbook, the company will soon roll out the much-awaited Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) for the Kyocera Echo smartphone. The Gingerbread update is expected to come with the Swype 3.0, Improved powered management, etc. Check out the complete changelog below.

kyocera echo

Changelog:

  • ECO mode
  • EAS enhancements
  • Swype 3.0
  • Miscellaneous security patches
  • Improved powered management
  • Improved text input
  • Minor performance improvements
  • Manage Applications Control
  • Download Manager

This update will be available via Over-The-Air (OTA). You will receive a notification, as soon as the update is available for your device. This update will be available to the Kyocera Echo smartphone, starting from August 1. To check the update manually, go to Menu > Settings > About Phone > Software Update > Check for update. If you have already received and installed the update, please let us know in the comments below.

White Samsung Galaxy S II Coming To The UK In Mid-August

Samsung Galaxy S II is the company’s most popular Android smartphone. This handset runs on the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System and comes with a 4.3 inch Super AMOLED Plus display, 1.2 GHz dual core processor, 8 megapixel camera and so on. Samsung managed to sell 3 million units of the Samsung Galaxy S II in just 55 days. This week, Samsung broke another record by selling 5 million units of this handset in less than 3 months. This is definitely a great news, but the folks living in the UK have an another reason to cheer.

white galaxy s 2

Samsung Galaxy S II is currently available only in Black. But, from the next month, a new shiny white version of the handset will be available for purchase in the UK. Thankfully, there are no changes in the specs. It will come with the same 4.3 inch Super AMOLED Plus display with 800 × 480 pixels resolution, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS, 1.2 GHz dual core processor, 8 megapixel camera with full HD (1080p) video recording and playback, HSPA+ connectivity, Bluetooth 3.0, 16 G internal memory, 32 GB expandable memory, Android Market, Social Hub Premium, Readers Hub, Game Hub, Music Hub, Kies Air and a 1650 mAh battery.

The White Samsung Galaxy S II is already up for pre-order in the UK. It comes with a price tag of £492.95 (approx. $800). This handset will release on August 15. To pre-order white Galaxy S II, head over to this page at MobileFun. If you had a choice of selecting the black or white version of the Galaxy S II, which one would you choose?

T-Mobile G2 Android 2.3 Gingerbread Update Rolling Out Now

HTC and T-Mobile have started rolling out the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the G2. The update is being rolled via OTA starting from today. The G2 was supposed to get the Gingerbread update by the end of Q2, but T-Mobile and HTC delayed the update for some unknown reason.

T_Mobile_G2

Here is the official change-log from T-Mobile :

The update provides the following enhancements and improvements.

  • New features:
    • Android   2.3.3 (Gingerbread)
    • Tell HTC app
    • Google Books added
    • Notification bar color scheme is changed to black
    • New battery indicator, phone, and web icons
    • Color-coded network icon and signal indicator added. Green when connected to Google   servers. Grey when not connected.
    • Pressing the power key while on a call disables the proximity sensor
  • Improvements:
    • Wi-Fi calling improvements
    • New SMS and email notification improvements
    • Improvements to sending MMS from the Gallery

Alternatively, T-Mobile G2 owners can head to any of the T-Mobile stores beginning from August 5 to get the update installed on their handset. However, they will need to make a backup of their data, since the handset will be wiped clean of all the data.

The Gingerbread update is the last Android OS update for the T-Mobile G2. The phone will not be getting any more official software updates, post this update.

(Source)

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc Finally Arrives In the US For $599.99

The Xperia Arc is one of the most popular Android phones manufactured by Sony Ericsson. This handset was announced and showcased at the CES 2011 in Las Vegas. The Xperia Arc is already available in most of the Euroupean and Asian markets, but the handset was not launched in the US for some unknown reasons. Now, we have a good news for the folks, who were eagerly waiting for the launch of this smartphone in the US. Sony Ericsson have finally announced the  availablity  of the Android 2.3 powered Xperia Arc in the US.

“At Sony Ericsson, we strive to bring consumers the best in mobile entertainment in superior smartphone design,” said Peter Farmer, Head of Marketing for North America, Sony Ericsson. “The Xperiaâ„¢ arc certainly delivers an entertaining smartphone experience and breathtaking design that has generated rave reviews in other markets and we’re thrilled to make it available to U.S. customers.”

xperia arc

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc features a 4.2 inch multi-touch Reality Display with 854 x 480 pixels resolution, 1 GHz Qualcomm processor, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS, Wi-Fi, 3G Connectivity, 8.1 megapixel camera with Auto focud and Face detection, HD (720p) video recording, 3D games, Media browser, Motion gaming and more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, HDMI, DLNA, 512 MB internal memory, 32 GB expandable memory, 8 GB Memory card bundled, PlayNow service, aGPS, Bluetooth, USB mass storage, Wisepilot turn-by-turn navigation and a 1500mAh battery. This handset measures 125 x 63 x 8.7 mm and weighs just 117 grams.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc comes with a price tag of $599.99 without any contract. This handset will be available for purchase from the next month. You can get this handset in Midnight Blue color from the Sony Store. On the other hand, Newegg.com, Buy.com and Amazon.com will sell this handset in both Midnight Blue and Misty Silver colors.

CyanogenMod 7 Lands on the HTC Sensation

The Sensation is the best smartphone HTC has to offer right now. The handset sports a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm processor, an Adreno 220 GPU and 768MB of RAM. However, one major problem with the handset is that it has a locked down boot loader.

sensation

HTC received a lot of negative criticism for the locked down boot loader on the Sensation. The Taiwanese company heard the negative feedback of its customers, and promised to unlock the boot loader on the handset sometime in August.

For the developers, August was still too far away and they somehow managed to get S-OFF and temp-root on the Sensation. The first result of an unlocked boot loader? CM7 comes to the sensational Sensation.

The CyanogenMod developers are working hard on bringing CM7 to the Sensation, and have already managed to get a partially-working build to boot on the phone. Expect the CyanogenMod developers to get a fully working build of CM7 on the Sensation, in the next few weeks.

In other CM7 related news, CM7 nightly’ users should expect the nightlies beginning from today to be based on Android 2.3.5. The small bump in the Android version does not bring any new changes, and is mainly aimed at fixing bugs and improvements related to NFC.

Via Ed Carrigan