Sony Unveils The Xperia AX For Japanese Market

Sony has announced its latest addition to the Xperia line-up, the Xperia AX. The handset is meant only for the Japanese market, and is similar to the recently announced Xperia V.

The Xperia AX sports a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, an Adreno 225 GPU, 1GB of RAM, a 4.3-inch HD Reality Display with 720p resolution powered by Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2, a 13MP camera at its back and the usual connectivity features such as GPS with A-GPS, NFC and Wi-Fi etc.

Since the Xperia AX is targeted towards the Japanese market, it comes with some Japan-specific features such as infrared port data exchange, mobile wallet, and mobile TV among others. The AX looks exactly like the Xperia V and even has the IP57 certification as the former.

The handset will sadly launch with Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich on-board with Sony’s new Media applications such as Walkman, Album, Movies and more. Sony did not specifiy as to when the handset will be available in Japan, but it should ideally be around the same time as the Xperia V hits the shelves in Europe.

Motorola Cancels ICS Update For Atrix 4G, Photon 4G And Electrify

Back in February, Motorola released a list of devices that it would be upgrading to Ice Cream Sandwich along with the expected timeframe of the update. As time passed by, Motorola failed to meet its expected timeframe, and until now has only managed update a handful of its handsets to Ice Cream Sandwich – the DROID RAZR/RAZR MAXX, DROID 4 and recently, the Atrix 2.

The ICS update for the DROID Bionic, which was at one point of time Motorola’s flagship Android handset, has slipped into Q4, which has rightfully angered all Bionic owners.

Today, Motorola updated its Ice Cream Sandwich roll-out chart to make some sad changes. The company has decided not to update the original Atrix 4G, the Sprint Photon 4G and the Electrify to Ice Cream Sandwich. All these handsets are more than capable of running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich smoothly, with their dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM.

The Atrix 4G and the Photon 4G are very similar to each other, and were at one point the company’s flagship handsets for their respective carriers. Not upgrading the Android OS version of its previous generation flagship handsets even once clearly shows how incompetent Motorola is. The Atrix 4G launched with Android 2.2 on-board, even though it was released well after Android 2.3 Gingerbread hit AOSP. The company then took its own sweet time to roll-out the Gingerbread update for the handset, and has since then only released some minor software updates for the device.

Google may have purchased Motorola for its patents, but the company will definitely be mending ways how Motorola conducts its business.

Via – Motorola Forums

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

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.

Google Navigation Comes To Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar And Other Countries

Google and Apple have a history of launching their new services only in the United States first, and then slowly expanding it to other regions of the world. Sadly, some of the most brilliant services from these companies like the free turn-by-turn map navigation from Google and iTunes Match from Apple are not available in most of the third world countries.

Google, thankfully, has showed some love to third world countries, and recently enabled free turn-by-turn navigation and live traffic information in India. Today, Google has shown some of its navigation love to Android users in Lebanon, Egypt, Qatar, Algeria, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The bad news? The free service will only be available to Android devices running Android 4.0 ICS or higher.

Hopefully, Google will expand its free navigation services to more countries in the world, and will also work on bringing Play Books, Play Music and Play Movies to some third world countries.

AT&T Announces The Mid-Range ICS Droid – LG Escape

Last night, LG and AT&T announced a new budget oriented 4G LTE capable handset, the LG Escape. The handset packs a 4.3-inch LCD with IPS technology and qHD (960×640) resolution.

Internally, the Escape is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, which in all probability is the Qualcomm S4 Krait SoC. Other specs include a 5MP snapper at the back capable of recording 1080p HD videos, 1GB of RAM, NFC, 4GB of on-board storage, a microSD card slot, 1.3MP front-facing camera, Bluetooth 4.0 and a beefy 2150mAh battery.

“LG Escape allows users to capture and share whatever life sends their way with its powerful dual-core processor, true-to-life screen and smart camera features,” said James Fishler, senior vice president of marketing and go-to-market operations, LG Electronics USA. “And on AT&T’s expansive network consumers can get the best possible experience with Escape by using its LTE capabilities to the fullest.”

Thankfully, the LG Escape will be running on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich when released. The handset will be available from September 16th on all AT&T retail stores for only $50 on a two-year contract.

Samsung Captivate Glide Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Update Now Live!

AT&T Samsung Captivate Glide owners, if any, here is some good news for you. Samsung has started rolling out the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for the slide-out keyboard packing handset.

The bad news? The update will only be made available via Samsung’s KIES software so Captivate Glide owners need to use a Windows or Mac based PC to get the update. There will be no OTA roll-out of the update so Captivate Glide owners need to use KIES if they want to get ICS on their handset.

The Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Captivate Glide will bring with it a bunch of improvements including an updated UI, an improved keyboard, face unlock, inbuilt data monitoring tool and more.

At this moment it is unknown whether Samsung will update the Captivate Glide to Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean or not. Until Samsung confirms anything, Captivate Glide owners should probably consider the ICS update the last major Android update for their handset.

Via – AT&T

Android 4.0 ICS Now On 20.9% Devices; Jelly Bean At 1.2%

Earlier today, Google updated its Android platform distribution chart to reflect the latest share of the different Android versions out there. According to the data collected by Google ending on September 4th, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is now running on 20.9% of all Android devices out there.

The latest version of Android, Jelly Bean, runs only on a disappointingly low 1.2% of Android devices. Unsurprisingly, Android 2.3 Gingerbread still dominates with a whopping 57.9% share. Considering that most of the low-end Android handsets are not capable of running Ice Cream Sandwich and will be stuck on Gingerbread, there is still sometime before ICS or Jelly Bean becomes the most used Android version out there.

Even then, Ice Cream Sandwich has shown a very impressive growth jumping from around its 16% market share to 20.9%. With the Jelly Bean update for the Galaxy S3 and the One X around the corner, Jelly Bean market share should jump quite a bit by this month’s end. With more than 480 million Android devices out there, we must not forget that even the relatively small 1.9% Jelly Bean user base is quite big.

Hopefully, Ice Cream Sandwich will be able to attain the majority market share by the end of this year or before Google announces the next version of Android.

Via – Android Developers

Motorola Unveils The DROID RAZR M — 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4, 4.3-inch SAMOLED, ICS For $99

Along with the DROID RAZR HD and DROID RAZR HD MAXX, Motorola also unveiled a mid-range RAZR branded phone for Verizon’s network, the DROID RAZR M. The RAZR M sports a much smaller 4.3-inch qHD (960×640) Super-AMOLED display with almost no bezel. It is still not confirmed whether this is the same bezel less phone about which Bloomberg reported last week.

Apart from the screen, the RAZR M packs in the same internals as its bigger brothers, a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, Adreno 225 GPU, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal memory, a microSD card slot, NFC, support for Verizon’s 4G LTE network, an 8MP snapper with LED flash, a front-facing camera and the other usual features.

Sadly, the RAZR M will launch with Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich on-board and not Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean. Motorola has, however, promised that all the three handsets it has announced today will get Jelly Bean before the year end.

The RAZR M goes on pre-order from today, and will hit the retail stores on September 13th next week for $99 with a two-year contract from Verizon.

Samsung Galaxy R Ice Cream Sandwich Update Available Via KIES

After rolling out Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich updates for all its top-tier devices, Samsung has turned its attention to its mid-range and forgotten devices. Starting from last week, Samsung has started rolling out the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Galaxy R.

Yes, Samsung did launch a handset named Galaxy R in certain markets of the world. The R looked similar to the Galaxy S2, but packed in a slightly smaller 4.2-inch SLCD screen, a Tegra 2 processor and 1GB of RAM. As of now, the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Galaxy R is being rolled out in Korea, but should soon be available in other regions including India.

The Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Galaxy R will bring with it performance and stability improvements, updated UI, Face Unlock, better speech recognition, inbuilt data monitoring tool, usability improvements, updated Google apps and much more.

The Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Galaxy R is not available via OTA. Instead, users will need to make use of Samsung’s KIES software to install the ICS update on their handset.