According to the reports coming in, the recently released Motorola Droid 2 might have serious signal reception issues. In its review, Engadget noted that each of the review units suffered from “endlessly fluctuating bar counts”. MobileCrunch also noticed similar problems in its review units.
It seems that modern smartphones are becoming increasingly adept at doing everything other than making phone calls. Earlier on, Apple was heavily criticized for the iPhone 4 deathgrip, which turned out to be a hardware issue. However, the problem with Droid 2 might be different. The signal drops appear to be random and not related in anyway to the grip. This suggests that a software fix might be able to address the issue.
If you have a Motorola Droid 2, don’t forget to chime in and let us know about your experience.
In an attempt to mount pressure on Research in Motion – the Canadian manufacturer of Blackberry devices, the Indian government has issued a deadline of August 31 for coming up with a satisfactory response. Earlier today, the Indian government met with telecom operators to discuss the issues surrounding Blackberry’s security policy. While Airtel and Vodafone – the largest Blackberry service providers in India, skipped the meeting, RIM Vice President Robert E Crow separately met with the Home Minister P. Chidambaram.
The Indian government has been demanding access to encrypted messages sent using Blackberry devices for quite some time. It had made similar demands back in 2008. However, India has now been joined by several countries including Indonesia, UAE and Germany, in its demands.
RIM has already agreed to provide the Saudi government access to servers hosted in Saudi Arabia. If it now agrees to India’s demands, it will probably receive similar demands from numerous other countries. However, if it doesn’t comply, the government might disable messaging support in Blackberry devices across the country. RIM is undoubtedly in a tough position. However, it’s hard to imagine that it will be willing to risk loosing more than 1 million Blackberry users in a rapidly growing market.
After teasing us for the past few hours, Sony Ericsson has revealed that the Xperia X10 will be available in the US through AT&T from August 15. The Xperia X10 is Sony Ericssson’s flagship Android device, which runs on a 1 GHz snapdragon processor and sports a 4 inch TFT screen.
The good news is that the X10 will be available for a lot less than other Android handsets with similar hardware configuration. The catch is that you will have to do with the horribly outdated Android 1.6 operating system. Sony Ericsson has promised to deliver Android 2.1 in Q3-Q4. However, even then, the X10 will be outdated as HTC and Motorola have already begun rolling out Android 2.2 (Froyo).
Other features in the Xperia X10 include custom Timescape (social networking) and Mediascape (multimedia) apps, 8.1 megapixel camera and 2 GB in-box memory card (expandable up to 32 GB). Support for 720p HD video recording will be introduced with the Android 2.1 update.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 will be available from AT&T for $149.99 with a 2 year contract. However, if you pick it up from a Sony Style store, you will get it for $129.99. Even better, a week later, the handset will be available on Amazon.com for $49.99.
An Italian website has leaked a 90 second video of the upcoming HTC Desire HD, which also goes by the name HTC Ace. The Ace will sport a unibody aluminum design with a 4.3-inch WVGA widescreen display, and run on Android 2.2 (Froyo). Under the hood, the Ace will house a meaty 1GHz Qualcomm processor.
When it comes to appearance, the Ace bears a closer resemblance to the HD2 than the Desire. It also packs a 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash that is capable of capturing HD (720p) video. Unfortunately, HTC has decided to continue with its annoying practice of placing the 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom of the handset.
The HTC Desire HD is still probably a few months away. We will have to wait to learn more about it. However, it is already shaping up to be another impressive Android handset from the Taiwanese manufacturer.
Verizon has said precious little about Motorola Droid 2 – the highly anticipated successor to the smartphone that is widely credited for kick starting the Android revolution. However, the steady supply of leaks and rumors has ensured that we already know a fair amount about it.
A North Carolina Best Buy store was careless enough to put dummy units of the new Droid on display. As you can see from the snap procured by Engadget, the Droid 2 will be available for $199.99 with a two year contract and for $599.99 without. There is nothing shocking about the pricing, but it’s always nice to have some confirmation.
Last week we reported that Sony Ericsson had begun rolling out a firmware update to the Xperia X10. The new firmware – R2BA026, introduced further performance improvements and made the entire user interface more responsive. However, according to reports coming in from multiple users, the new firmware also introduces a particularly annoying bug.
As demonstrated in the video embedded below, whenever your network signal drops to zero and then bounces back, the Wi-Fi gets automatically disabled. What makes this blunder even more unforgivable is the fact that the very same bug was also present in R1FA016 and was fixed later on. It definitely seems that Sony Ericsson needs better regression testers. If haven’t yet updated to the latest firmware, you might want to hold on till Sony Ericsson squashes this maddening bug through another software update.
Update: It seems that the R2BA026 update also suffers from fluctuating in-call volumes. According to reports on XDA, if you change the call volume during a call, the volume gets automatically reset to 50% after the call.
Earlier this week, LG officially announced three new handsets aimed primarily at the youth. These stylish handsets will kick off the new Wink series, which aims to offer touchscreen mobiles phones at a reasonable price.
LG Wink, Wink Style and Wink 3G
The three handsets are -LG T300 Wink, T310 Wink style and T320 Wink 3G. The T300 Wink, which is the cheapest of the lot, sports a 2.4” screen and includes all the standard features including 3.5 mm headphone jack, FM radio, macroSD slot (up to 4GB), and handwriting recognition. Multimedia is not the Wink’s strongest aspect, but the 1.3 megapixel camera with autofocus and the media player (MP3, eAAC+, WAV, MP3, eAAC+, WAV) covers all the basics.
The Wink Style features a 2.8 inch display and will be available in multiple attractive color combinations. It also comes with a slightly better camera (2 MP).
The T320 Wink 3G supports HSDPA, besides packing in some extra goodies including accelerometer and expandable memory up to 16 GB. The Wink Style T310 and the Wink 3G T320 will be available with and without Wi-Fi.
Interestingly enough LG has decided to continue using its Cookie brand name in Europe. So Wink, Wink style and Wink 3G will be known as Cookie, the Cookie Style, and the Cookie 3G in Europe.
Facebook might have had an Android app since last year, but I (and most people I know) never really bothered using it. The half-baked official app lacked many of the basic features, insisted on opening the browser for pretty much anything and everything, and was simply too frustrating. Last week, when it was revealed that Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, was also using Android, many of us hoped that the official Facebook app for Android would finally get a much needed overhaul. The good news is that the new Facebook app has arrived and it is indeed a major improvement.
The updated Facebook app boasts of multiple new features. The most obvious changes, which are visible from the home-screen itself are:
Support for Events: This new section allows you to view your upcoming events, learn more about each of them and even RSVP.
Support for Friend Request Notification: The home screen now includes a new Requests button, which enables you to monitor and accept/reject all friend requests from the Facebook app itself.
Photo Reel: The bottom half of the screen has a nifty little photo-reel (see screenshot above), which pulls in the latest pictures and videos from your Facebook activity stream. The app should also be able to playback Facebook videos (H.264).
Improved Navigation: You get single click access to all the basic features including status updates, friend search, notifications and more. Even more importantly, you don’t need to open your browser to do any of these tasks.
The Facebook app is not complete by any means. There are still plenty of missing features including Chat and Reshare. Nevertheless, it’s a huge improvement over its predecessor. There are still some annoyances. For example, it still insists on using the browser for responding to notifications. Let’s hope that this update is just the beginning and Facebook will continue to regularly update its app for one of the fastest growing mobile platforms.
Let the “iPad Killer” hype begin. According to multiple unconfirmed reports, Samsung is all set to unveil the Galaxy S tablet, whose existence was confirmed back in June.
Very little concrete information is available about the Samsung Tab, other than that it will run on Android 2.2 and will feature a 7 inch screen. PCWorld expects it to be powered by a 1.2 GHz A8 processor, with a Super AMOLED screen, 16 GB of internal storage and 32 GB MicroSD expansion.
There is a good possibility that the tablet will be officially announced on August 11. Samsung has already invited members of the tech press to celebrate “a new dimension of Wonder with new products and announcements” in an event scheduled to be held on August 11.
In related news, the other highly anticipated tablet – Notion Ink’s Adam, is also making steady progress. The Adam, which is expected to arrive by October, has already passed the HALT (Highly Accelerated Life Test) test and Notion Ink is preparing to revamp its brand identity.
Xperia X10 Mini and Mini Pro – the diminutive beauties from Sony Ericsson, have finally been rooted. The root procedure is fairly simple, but not automated. The Xperia X10 Mini root utilizes the Exploid method, which was also used to root the Droid X. An alternate procedure to root the X10 Mini is also available. However, this method doesn’t appear to be as universal as the aforementioned Exploid technique.
Now that all of the X10s have been rooted to gain superuser privilege, the next step is to unlock the boot loader (full root). Developers are already very close to cracking open the Xperia X10 and porting Cyanogen. Hopefully, its smaller siblings will also get the same treatment. Head over to xda-developers for the root instructions and guidance. Although the entire process is straight forward, you can theoretically end up with a bricked phone if you are not cautious. Also keep in mind that this might (and probably will) void your warranty.