Earlier this month, we reported that the HTC Triumph would be the very first Windows Phone device to go on sale in China. And, following its stint of being available for pre-order, it has now actually gone on sale, fully validating its status as the first Windows Phone to enter the Chinese market. With the Triumph, HTC has beat Nokia, LG, and ZTE to being first in the area, who all expressed interest in releasing Windows Phones in China.
Before I proceed, let me just clear up some of the confusion around the Eternity/Triumph branding. Eternity is an English codename for the device, while Triumph is a rough translation of what the device is called in Chinese. The official Chinese name for the device is HTC凯 旋X310e.
Moving on. As a rebranded Titan, the HTC Triumph has the same guts and chassis as its Western counterpart: A 4.7″ capacitive touchscreen, an 8MP LED flash camera, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, and compass sensors, a 1.5GHz Scorpion processor, and an Adreno 205 GPU.
On the software front, the phone is launching running a special version of Windows Phone 7.5 “Tango” that’s optimized for the Chinese market with specific Chinese apps — for example, the social networking integration has been re-gutted to utilize Chinese social networking solutions — and the Chinese language itself, which does look quite nice and clean on the Metro UI.
It’s quite a big day for the platform; with a rapidly-growing economy, China has quickly become a ripe emerging market with plenty of consumers who may be interested in both low and high end mobile phone offerings. We reported earlier that China has overtaken the US as the world’s largest market for iOS and Android activations.
LogMeIn has entered into a partnership with HTC for providing remote support to all future HTC Android device owners. All future HTC handsets will come pre-installed with LogMeIn Rescue so as to allow HTC customer care executives to take control over a user’s handset, and run some diagnostic tests on it so as to evaluate the cause of the problem.
“HTC is committed to providing the best and most personal customer experience in the mobile industry, from designing great products to delivering superior after-sales service and support,” said Simon Harper, VP of global customer experience at HTC. “We believe LogMeIn’s technology, team and vision are a great match for HTC and for our customers and will allow us to continue to create great experiences for our customers.”
For security reasons, HTC will deploy the LogMeIn Rescue applet on its handsets with the mobile operator’s consent and only when the user is on a call with a HTC customer care executive. This applet will give HTC customer care executives the ability to push common device and network settings and help in solving its customers problem.
These ‘future’ HTC handsets include the company’s recently announced One X, One S and the One V.
Motorola and Samsung has already announced their Android 4.0 update plans for smartphones and tablets. HTC has already started rolling out the Android 4.0 update for the Sensation and Sensation XE smartphones. However, the owners of HTC’s other popular smartphones were left in the dark. Now, HTC went ahead and released a complete list of smartphones, which will get the latest Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) update. Check out the complete list after the break.
- HTC DROID Incredible 2
- HTC Amaze 4G
- HTC Desire S
- HTC Desire HD
- HTC EVO 3D
- HTC EVO Design 4G
- HTC Incredible S
- HTC Sensation
- HTC Sensation XL
- HTC Sensation 4G
- HTC Sensation XE
- HTC Raider
- HTC Rezound
- HTC Rhyme
- HTC Thunderbolt
- HTC Vivid
HTC’s popular smartphones and tablet such as HTC Salsa, HTC Desire Z and HTC Flyer will not get the Android 4.0 update. HTC will roll out the Android 4.0 update for the HTC Sensation 4G and HTC Sensation XL in the next few weeks. It will take some time for all carriers in each country to get the update.
Darren Krape, Global Community Manager, HTC, said,
“As for timing, we’re in the early stages of rolling out Android 4.0 for the HTC Sensation and HTC Sensation XE and upgrades will be more widely available in the next few weeks. We are working closely with our carrier partners to nail down update schedules for our other smartphones and will have more to share very soon.”
The Ice Cream Sandwich code went public sometime in December, and HTC and Samsung promised that they will be updating their 2011 flagship Android handsets to the latest version of Android before Q1 of 2012 ends. Rumors have been floating around on the Internet that the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Galaxy S II will be released on 15th March. Everyone thought that Samsung might be able to beat HTC in becoming the first Android handset manufacturer to update its flagship Android handset to Ice Cream Sandwich.
However, if reports are to be believed, HTC has already started rolling out the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Sensation and Sensation XE owners in Germany and other Nordic countries. The OTA update brings Android 4.0.3 along with Sense 3.6 to the Sensation and Sensation XE handsets. Sadly, Sensation owners won’t be able to enjoy any of the visual goodness brought about by Ice Cream Sandwich, because of Sense 3.6.
It is also quite surprising to see that HTC has not announced anything about the ICS update rolling out for Sensation and Sensation XE handsets. Sensation owners can find more info about the update here. Alternatively, if you have root access and S-FF’d your Sensation, you can download and manually install the update by following these instructions.
In the race to bring the first Windows Phone device to China, it looks like we have a winner: Engadget reports that HTC has just began accepting pre-orders for the Triumph, which is essentially the HTC Titan that we have come to know and love re-branded.
Running Windows Phone 7.5 Tango, the 4.7″ behemoth will be priced sans-contract at ¥4,399, which is roughly $700 US. That’s quite expensive, and we can only hope that subsidized, contract pricing options as we have in the West are available to allow more people to purchase the device. So, how is the Triumph different from its Western counterpart? It isn’t, for the most part; one thing to note is that local social services Sina Weibo and Tencent Weixin will replace the Facebook and Twitter integration of Tango. SkyDrive is available, but it will be forced to conform to the regulations of the Great Firewall of China.
Nokia, LG, and ZTE — interestingly enough, Samsung isn’t joining the party just yet — are all poised to release handsets in China sometime this month as well. Throughout the rest of this year onwards, we’ll definitely have to keep an eye out on Windows Phone competition and traction in the Chinese market.
On top of bringing Windows Phones to China, Microsoft has also struck a deal that will bring devices to the Middle East and North Africa, through regional carrier Zain.
Of late, HTC has been in the news for all the right reasons. First the company publicly accepted its mistake of launching too many handsets and bloating Sense with every new version. Secondly, the company announced some really impressive piece of hardware at the MWC in Barcelona, including the One X and One S. Thirdly, the Sensation is the first non-nexus handset whose final Ice Cream Sandwich build has leaked online. HTC is just waiting for certification from Google before it pushes out the OTA update.
Now, adding to above list is the latest move from HTC. The company has released four new APIs for the OpenSense SDK for developers to take advantage of. These new APIs include the Beats Audio API, Lockscreen API, Mobile Device Management API and a MediaLink HD API.
The Beats Audio API will be really appreciated by developers, and allow them to integrate HTC’s Beats Audio technology in their apps. I am pretty sure this move will be appreciated by a lot of HTC handset users out there. The Lockscreen API will allow developers to enhance the already beautiful lock screen on Sense handsets with more information and integration with their apps.
The MediaLink HD API will be released soon, and will allow developers to wirelessly playback content on HDTV’s using HTC’s MediaLink service. Developers can find more info about the new APIs from HTC here.
HTC had a pretty dismal 2011. None of the product from the company managed to leave a mark on the consumers or the market, or offered anything innovative. One of the strong points of HTC phones, Sense, also felt bloated and lagged even on a dual-core handset like the HTC Sensation.
Thankfully, HTC realized its mistake and has since taken some corrective actions as well. At the recently concluded MWC, the company released three new handsets, all very different from each other, under a single brand – One. Now, HTC’s Chief Product Officer, Kouji Kodera, told in an interview to Pocket Lint that the company “added too many things” which made Sense feel bloated and “cluttered”.
Kouji even promised that Sense 4.0 changes all and will make things simpler. He also promised that Sense 4.0 strikes the perfect visual balance between Ice Cream Sandwich and Sense UI itself. It’s nice to see a company like HTC coming clean on its mistakes, unlike some other Android manufacturers (Hint: Motorola).
The company also said that users will be hearing less from the company this year, as the company aims to keep its focus on a few products only. Definitely a good move HTC!
Speaking to Pocket-Lint, HTC has confirmed that it plans to create and launch Windows Phone handsets that will run the next major OS update, ‘Apollo’, later on this year. HTC mentioned this when Pocket-Lint inquired as to whether or not we can expect a Windows Phone (or multiple of them) to eventually join the ranks of the HTC One Android lineup. Here’s what Kouji Kodera, HTC’s chief product officer had to say when asked:
“For Windows Phone we haven’t decided on the branding yet, but you will see a new range of Windows Phones from us when Microsoft release their new Apollo operating system,”
Interesting. Could this mean that HTC will not have any (or, perhaps, any flagship) Windows Phones to announce at this year’s Mobile World Congress? Should that be the case, they’ll be joining the ranks of LG, who also does not have any devices to announce; and perhaps for similar reasons. HTC’s decision to hold off on creating a “new range of Windows Phones” until Apollo is a clear indication that this update is very major. Could the hardware that the OS will run on be significantly different?
We’ll see. Leading up to the end of the year, information about the mysterious major update is sure to trickle out, little by little.
Along with the HTC One X and the One S, the Taiwanese handset manufacturer also announced a mid-range handset the One V. Being from the One series, the V shares some of the same features as its two older siblings including 25GB of free storage space on Dropbox, a 5MP camera with an aperture size of F/2.0 and with all the features found on the One X. THe handset is recording videos in 720p HD resolution, but sadly lacks a front-facing camera. There is also Beats Audio which will help improve the overall music quality of the phone.
Other than this, the One V is a pretty much mediocre handset and comes with a 3.7-inch WVGA (800×480) screen, a 1GHz single core processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of on-board storage and a microSD card slot. The phone has a little hump at its bottom, which reminds me of the HTC Legend. Like the Legend, the One S has a unibody aluminum construction. The usual bunch of sensors and connectivity options inlcuding a quad band GSM radio, GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth etc.
The One V will run on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with Sense 4.0 on top of it. While HTC did not mention the price of the handset, reports suggest that the One S will cost around $400 which certainly is a good deal.
Along with their ‘hero’ handset of 2012, the One X, HTC also announced the One S here at MWC in Barcelona. The handset has a unibody aluminum construction, which is toughened using microarc oxidation. The One S is also the slimmest phone ever from HTC with a waistline of a mere 7.6mm. Yeah, its not RAZR thin but it still is thin!
The handset comes with a 4.3-inch Super-AMOLED display with qHD (960×640) resolution. Internally, the One S packs in a blazing fast dual-core processor from Qualcomm (S4) clocked at 1.5GHz, an Adreno 225 GPU and 1GB of RAM.
Like the One X, the One S sports an amazing 8MP F/2.0 backside-illuminated sensor, with a blazing fast auto-focus time of a mere 0.2 seconds. The camera app on the handset also takes only 0.7 seconds to start up! All the other camera features present in the One X are also present on the One S.
The One S also runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, with Sense 4.0 on top of it. Like the One X, the One S also comes with 25GB of free Dropbox storage for 2 years, Beats audio and others! The handset will be available in most of the regions of the world within the next 2 months.