HTC Will NOT Be Locking Bootloaders On Their Devices From Now

HTC’s smartphone sales and profits have risen up sharply, with the growth of Android. Last year, HTC Android phones were among the most popular ones among the consumers as well as developers. Developers used to buy a HTC based Android phones, since it was easy to get root access and flash custom ROMs on their phones.

However, since the beginning of this year HTC changed their agenda and started shipping Android phones with encrypted boot loader. This meant that rooting and flashing custom ROMs on HTC phones became nearly impossible. The company received a lot criticism on their move of encrypting the boot loaders on their handset.

Many people who had previously thought of buying the HTC Sensation went ahead and got the Samsung Galaxy S II, just because the SGS II does not have a locked down boot loader.

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A few days ago HTC said that they are reviewing their policy on locked down boot loaders. Today, HTC’s CEO Peter Chou announced that HTC has listened to its customer feedback, and they will no longer be locking down boot loaders on their devices.

This definitely is music to my ears, and as well as every developer out there. This move from HTC clearly proves that ignoring the developer community can lead to negative PR and lot of criticism (Psst Motorola).

However, HTC has not mentioned anything whether their current devices with locked boot loaders like the Sensation, Incredible S will be unlocked or not.

First Sony Ericsson, then Samsung and LG and now HTC all have realized that they are adversely going to affect the sales of their handsets by locking down its boot loader. Now, only if Motorola could realize this!

Xperia Play And Droid X2 Now Available At Verizon

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play is the world’s first PlayStation certified smartphone. This handset was announced at the Mobile World congress (MWC) 2011 in Barcelona and it runs on the latest Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System. On the other hand, Motorola Droid X2 is the successor of the popular Motorola Droid smartphone. This handset runs on the old Android 2.2 (Froyo) Operating System. Both the handsets are currently available for purchase exclusively on the airwaves of Verizon in the US.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play:

xperia play

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play features a 4 inch capacitive multi-touch display with 480 x 854 pixels resolution, 1 GHz Scorpion ARMv7 processor, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS, slide-out gaming keypad, 5 megapixel camera with auto-focus and flash, 400 MB internal memory, microSD card slot, 8 GB microSD card included, up to 32 GB expandable memory, 3.5 mm audio jack, Bluetooth stereo (A2DP), USB 2.0, Wi-Fi Connectivity, Gesture gaming, Motion gaming, aGPS, Micro USB, up to 8 hrs 25 min talk-time, up to 425 hrs standby time and a 1500 mAh battery.

Motorola Droid X2:

motorola droid x2

Motorola Droid X2 features a 4.3 inch qHD display with 960 × 540 pixels resolution, 1GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, Android 2.2 (Froyo) OS, MotoBLUR UI, 8 megapixel camera with dual-LED flash, full HD (1080p) video recording and playback, 512MB RAM, 8 GB internal memory, mini-HDMI port, GPS with A-GPS, Wi-Fi b/g/n, eCompass, 3.5mm audio jack, Android Market and more.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play will ship with 7 games Asphalt 6, Madden NFL 11, Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior, The Sims, Star Battalion, Crash Bandicoot and Tetris. This handset is available for $199.99 with a 2 years service agreement. You can also purchase Xperia Play from Amazon for just $99.99. Motorola Droid X2 can be easily purchased from Verizon for $199.99 with a 2 years contract. Which phone are you planning to buy? Let us know your views in the comments below.

Motorola Droid X Android 2.3 Gingerbread Update Imminent

After a couple of leaks, Motorola and Verizon have finally gone ahead and finalized a Droid X Gingerbread build for official release. At the moment, Motorola is doing a soak test, and the update will be out once the testing is complete.

It looks like the testing will be over anytime soon, as Verizon has already updated the Droid X page on their website with the Gingerbread update details. According to the Verizon’s site, the Droid X Gingerbread update will bring new features like a Download Manager, an all-new Multi-touch keyboard, improved text selection and copy and paste.

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The update will also update the color scheme of the Moto Blur UI with new colors, widgets and icons.   The auto-focus of the camera while taking pictures in low light conditions, and the ActiveSync performance has also been improved. The general system performance and responsiveness has also been improved noticeably. Droid X users can head over to this link for the full change-log.

Verizon and Motorola will start rolling out the update anytime now. The update weighs in at a whopping 112MB, and will wipe your X clean of all data.

Motorola Droid X2 Announced; Runs On Android 2.2 Froyo!

After numerous leaks and mysterious appearances, Motorola and Verizon have finally gone ahead and announced the Motorola Droid X2.

The Droid X2 is the successor to the popular Motorola Droid X. Like its predecessor, the X2 will sport a 4.3-inch anti-reflective and scratch resistant screen, with qHD (960×540) resolution.

motorola_droid_x2

The handset will be powered by a 1GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset, and pack 512MB of RAM along with 8GB of internal memory. The back of the phone sports an 8MP camera with dual-LED flash, which is capable of recording videos in 1080p HD resolution. Sadly, there is no front-facing camera for video calls.

Other key features of the Droid X2 include mini-HDMI port, GPS with A-GPS, Wi-Fi b/g/n, eCompass and a 3.5mm audio jack. Shockingly, the X2 runs on the now outdated Android 2.2 (Froyo) with MotoBLUR UI on top of it. Motorola states that they will release the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the device soon.

Announcing a high-end device with Froyo right now is simply unacceptable, especially when it has been six months since Gingerbread’s code went public.

The Droid X2 will be available online at VerizonWireless.com beginning from May 19, and will hit the retail stores on May 26. The handset will set users back by $199.9, on a two-year contract.

Motorola Droid 3 Benchmarked; To Sport a Five Row QWERTY Keyboard

The original Motorola Droid and the Verizon’s Droid campaign way back in 2009 was one of the major reasons of Android’s monumental growth.

Original Droid was and still remains one of the most popular and successful Android phone. People had huge expectations from the Motorola Droid 2. Sadly, the Droid 2 was just another Android with a 1GHz CPU and a slide-out keyboard.

Original Droid owners and lovers expect that the Droid 3 from Motorola will be a radical overhaul from the Droid 2.

Motorola _Droid_3

Now, a leaked benchmark of the upcoming Droid 3 has popped up on the Internet. The benchmark suggests that the Droid 3 will pack in a qHD (960×640) screen, and will be powered by a dual-core 1GHZ OMAP processor. The GPU inside the Droid 3 will be the PowerVR SGX540, same as the one found in the Galaxy S, albeit with a higher clock speed.

A few days ago, a picture of the Droid 3 also leaked on the Internet. The picture suggests that the Droid 3 will have a bigger screen that the Droid 2, and a five-row slide-out QWERTY keyboard.

Personally, I am a bit disappointed with the Droid 3 specs. The original Droid had a killer hardware which was pretty much unheard of that time. Sadly, the Droid 3 will again have specs which other high-end Droids will sport. I still hope that the Droid 3 has a special feature, which makes it stand out from other high-end Android handsets.

Via Droid Life

HTC Sensation To Ship With An Encrypted Boot Loader

Back in 2010, HTC’s Android handsets were very modding friendly, and that was one of the main reasons for their popularity. HTC’s handsets were among the first to get a new mod or ROM ports. This was all because HTC did not lock or encrypt their handsets boot loader.

Sadly, it looks like this year the company has taken a different approach towards unlocked boot loader on their handsets. All the phones HTC have released this year including the Desire S, and the Incredible S have a locked boot loader. Many developers and modders criticized HTC for this, and expected that the company won’t be so strict with its next super-phone the HTC Sensation.

HTC_Sensation

Sadly, the folks over at AndroidPolice are reporting that the Sensation will ship with a signed boot loader as well. Unless the developers get extremely lucky, like in the case of the HTC Thunderbolt, there is a very tough chance of unlocking the boot loader.

This news has already caused many developers and HTC handsets users to change their mind about the Sensation. The Samsung Galaxy S II is no less than the Sensation in the specs department, and many people are looking towards it as a viable alternative.

It is really sad to see HTC shipping their phones with an encrypted boot loader. Motorola is already being criticized by a lot of people for shipping their phones with locked boot loaders. Companies need to realize that shipping their phones with a locked boot loader is going to adversely affect the handsets sales.

Motorola and HTC should learn a lesson or two from Samsung, LG and Sony Ericsson on supporting the modding community.

Motorola Droid X^2 Complete Specs Emerge

Recently, we posted the first press shots of the Motorola’s upcoming smartphone, Droid X^2. This handset is the successor of the Motorola’s popular Droid X smartphone. This handset looks quite similar to the original Droid X smartphone, but it comes with some amazing specs, compared to its predecessor. The guys at Pocket Now recently shared the leaked specs of this handset. It comes with a large 4.3 inch touchscreen display, 1 GHz dual-core processor, 8 megapixel camera and more.

This device was earlier called as the Droid X2, but the branding reveals that, the phone will be called as Droid X^2 (X-squared). This handset currently runs on the old Android 2.2 (Froyo) operating system, but the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update is expected to arrive soon after its launch. Check out the complete specs, after the break.

motorola droid x2

Motorola Droid X^2 Specifications:

  • 4.3 inch qHD display
  • 540 x 960 pixels resolution
  • 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 Dual Core Processor
  • Android 2.2 (Froyo) OS
  • 8 megapixel camera
  • Dual LED flash
  • HD (720p) video recording
  • Full HD (1080p) video playback
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 8 GB internal memory
  • MicroSD card slot
  • 32 GB expandable memory
  • HDMI port
  • A-GPS
  • Android Market
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • USB 2.0
  • Proximity Sensor
  • Ambient Light Sensor

This handset is expected to be announced during next week or might be early-June. Motorola Droid X^2 will be exclusively available on the airwaves of Verizon Wireless in the US. This handset will be available for $199.99 with a two-years service agreement.

Sprint Unveils The Motorola Titanium Rugged Android Smartphone

motorola titaniumSprint recently announced another Android powered smartphone, the Motorola Titanium. This handset runs on the old Android 2.1 (Eclair) Operating System. We are still not sure, if the handset will get the Android Froyo or Gingerbread update. It comes with a 3.1 inch touchscreen display, 5 megapixel camera, 32 GB expandable memory and more.

Motorola Titanium is the successor of the popular Motorola i1 smartphone. This handset allows you to access more than 150,000 apps from the Android Market. Motorola Titanium is designed to meet Military Specification 810G for dust, shock, vibration, low pressure, solar radiation, high temperature and low temperature.

We are pleased to extend our portfolio of products directed at business-users with these two powerful and versatile Android devices,said Paget L. Alves, president Sprint Business. Motorola XPRT delivers the security features enterprise customers demand without scrimping on the latest in technology, while Motorola Titanium is a rugged Android smartphone with Nextel Direct Connect’s sub-second Push-to-Talk.

Motorola Titanium comes with a 3.1 inch HVGA TFT touchscreen display with 320 x 480 pixels resolution, Android 2.1 (Eclair) OS, full QWERTY keyboard, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, 5 megapixel camera with camcorder, 4x zoom and flash, microSD slot, 2 GB memory card included, 32 GB expandable memory, Integrated GPS, Corporate email, Quickoffice, Android Market, up to 275 minutes talk-time and a 1820 mAh Lithium-ion battery. This handset measures 62.2mm x 119.7mm x 13.5mm and weighs 147.2 grams.

Motorola Titanium comes with support for Nextel Direct Connect Services including Direct Connect, Group Connect, International Direct Connect, DirectSendSM, Group Messaging and NextMail. The price and release date of this handset is not announced yet. Stay tuned for more updates.

Sprint Unveils The Motorola XPRT For Business Users

motorola xprt
Sprint recently announced the Android powered Motorola XPRT smartphone. This handset is specially designed for business users. Motorola XPRT runs on the Android 2.2 (Froyo) Operating System and it comes with a 3.1 inch touchscreen display, 5 megapixel camera, 32 GB expandable memory and more. The Motorola XPRT is the Sprint’s version of the popular Motorola Droid Pro smartphone. Check out the complete specs, after the break.

Motorola XPRT and Motorola Titanium blend feature-packed consumer experiences with an optimal set of productivity and security tools,said Jeff Miller, corporate vice president of sales, Motorola Mobility. We are pleased to partner with Sprint to deliver each of these unique business-ready devices to their continuously growing enterprise customer base.

Motorola XPRT features a 3.1 inch HVGA touchscreen display with 320 x 480 pixels resolution, 1 GHz processor, Android 2.2 (Froyo) OS, full QWERTY keyboard, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, Wi-Fi b/g/n, 5 megapixel camera with camcorder and dual LED flash, 3G Mobile Hotspot capability, Quickoffice and more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, 2GB ROM, 512MB RAM, Adobe Flash 10 Player, microSD card slot, 2 GB memory card included, 32 GB expandable memory, Android Market, Integrated GPS, Device encryption, multi-headed VPN, EAS security policy support, including device and SD card wipe, up to 9 hours talk-time and a 1860 mAh Lithium-ion battery. This handset measures 60.9mm x 120.4mm x 12.95mm and weighs 145 grams.

Motorola XPRT is the first Android smartphone from Sprint to deliver enterprise-class security, personal productivity enhancements and international roaming. This handset comes with a price tag of $129.99 with a new two-year service agreement. Motorola XPRT will be available for purchase from Sunday, June 5th.

Motorola Atrix Now Available At Orange UK

motorola atrix

Earlier this year, Motorola announced the powerful Motorola Atrix smartphone at the CES 2011 in Las Vegas. This handset currently runs on the Android 2.2 (Froyo) Operating System, but it will be later updated to the latest Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS. Motorola Atrix was expected to launch before the end of Q1 2011 in the UK, but it got delayed due to some unknown reasons.

The powerful Motorola Atrix is finally available in the UK, exclusively on the airwaves of Orange UK. This handset will also be available on the T-Mobile UK’s network, but it will take at least a month. If you can’t wait for a month, then you can go ahead and purchase this amazing smartphone from Orange UK for free on contract.

Motorola Atrix features a 4 inch touchscreen display with 540 x 960 pixels resolution, 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 dual core processor, Android 2.2 (Froyo) OS, Gorilla Glass display, MOTOBLUR UI, 3G Connectivity, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, 5 megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash, HD (720p) video recording, VGA front-facing camera for video calls and more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm audio jack, Biometric fingerprint reader, 1 GB RAM, 16 GB internal memory, microSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, microUSB 2.0, A-GPS, HDMI port, up to 400 hours stand-by time, up to 8 hours 50 mins talk-time and a 1930 mAh battery.

You can get the powerful Motorola Atrix smartphone for free with a 24 months contract and a £35 per month plan, which includes 600 minutes, 750 MB data allowance, unlimited texts, 50 MMS and unlimited Wi-Fi per month. To learn more, just head over to this page.