LG may announce a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) phone during Mobile World Congress next month. Pocketnow recently leaked an image and details on the X3, which also reportedly offers a large 4.7-inch 1280 x 720-pixel resolution display, an 8-megapixel camera, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video chat, NFC, a huge 2,000 mAh battery and possible support for HSPA 21Mbps or 4G LTE networks. The X3 will no doubt have stiff competition at the show; Samsung is also expected to announce its quad-core powered Galaxy S III smartphone. BGR will be reporting live from Mobile World Congress, so we’ll be sure to bring you all the details if and when the X3 makes an appearance. More →
The BlackBerry Curve 9370 and the LG Spectrum are now available from Verizon Wireless. The LG Spectrum was unveiled during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week. It runs Android Gingerbread, has a sharp 4.5-inch True HD IPS display, a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, an 8-megapixel camera capable of recording 1080p video and support for Verizon’s 4G LTE network. The Spectrum is priced at $199.99 with a new two-year Verizon contract. Also joining Verizon’s smartphone lineup on Thursday is RIM’s BlackBerry Curve 9370. The Curve 9370 is the slimmest Curve ever and offers GPS and Wi-Fi support, a 5-megapixel cameras and runs RIM’s BlackBerry 7 operating system. The new Curve is priced at $99.99 with a new two-year contract after a $50 mail-in rebate.
We just swung by the Motorola booth to check out the Motorola DROID 4, a handset that had been the subject of a half-dozen rumors before the show. The DROID 4 packs a solid 5-row keyboard that was really easy to type on but it’s also very thin and measures just 0.5-inches thick. The smartphone comes equipped by a sharp 4-inch qHD display, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, support for Verizon’s 4G LTE network, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, an 8-megapixel camera, and the ability to record 1080p video. We think this is the most exciting step for the keyboard-toting DROID family, although we’re more partial to the DROID RAZR MAXX for its thinner design and longer battery life. Verizon promises to upgrade the DROID 4 to Ice Cream Sandwich, but the handset will launch with Android 2.3.5 when it makes its debut. We checked out the black model but Verizon also has white and purple models ready to go. The DROID 4 will cost $199.99 with a new two-year contract when it launches sometime soon.
Motorola recently posted a message in its XOOM owners forums alerting customers that the company is working on a confidential project for the XOOM. Any owner of the Wi-Fi-only “Google Experience Device” version of the XOOM can choose to participate. What remains unknown, however, is what the “confidential project” exactly is. We doubt Motorola would spend too much time adding new features or making too many tweaks to the tablet now that a new model has launched, so we think it’s more likely that the company is working on a test version of Ice Cream Sandwich. Motorola confirmed that in October that it plans to issue an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update to the XOOM, RAZR and DROID BIONIC. The full letter from Motorola follows after the break. More →
Nexus S owners may notice that the new Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update, which began rolling out on Friday, isn’t properly installing after the download finishes. As it turns out, Google has “paused” the update in some areas while it monitors feedback from the initial population of Nexus S ICS users, which has thus far suggested there are bugs Google needs to address before it begins the mass rollout again. As such, many Nexus S owners could experience installation failures. Google’s Paul Wilcox explained the situation recently in Google’s support forums:
If you received an update notification a little while ago but the update isn’t currently available for your phone, this is likely the result of Google pausing the update in your area while we monitor feedback. The Android 4.0 update is continuing to roll out around the world so your phone will receive another update notification when it’s available again in your region.
Google typically moves relatively quickly to get its Nexus devices running the latest Android operating system, so we wouldn’t be surprised if the update begins to roll out again in the near future. More →
Google chairman Eric Schmidt may have let slip a Google-branded tablet that will launch in the first half of 2012. In the “next six months we plan to market a tablet of the highest quality,” Schmidt reportedly said during an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. Schmidt’s quote could mean many things. First, that Google has plans to develop, market and sell its own tablet (possibly in partnership with Motorola) within the next six months. Or second, and perhaps more likely, Schmidt’s statement could mean that Google is planning to begin pumping up the marketing around Ice Cream Sandwich and improving the experience that Google offers on Android tablets. Currently, Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) tablets leave much to be desired when it comes to the end-user’s overall experience, and sales have been lackluster at best according to numerous reports. More →
Costco may offer Verizon Wireless’s Samsung Galaxy Nexus beginning on Thursday, December 15th, according to a leaked photo. Verizon has yet to announce an official launch date, but we’ve heard plenty of reports that the Galaxy Nexus is already arriving in retail stores, so the leaked image could mean that we’ll hear pricing and launch details from the carrier any day now. Costco’s advertisement, obtained by Engadget, says the device will cost $289.99 with a new two-year contract. That’s certainly not a budget-friendly price, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see the phone pop up at third-party retailers for far less than that. The Galaxy Nexus is the first Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) smartphone and it packs a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a 5-megapixel camera, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video chats, 16GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC and a 1,750 mAh battery into a slim profile. The highly anticipated handset is certainly worthy of the excitement, too — we called the international version of the Galaxy Nexus our “favorite Android device in the world” in our recent review. More →
Verizon may allow its customers to pre-order its highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the world’s first Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich-powered smartphone, on Tuesday, November 29th. Computerworld has reportedly confirmed with a seemingly reliable unnamed source that customers will be able to order the device on Tuesday, and that it will land on store shelves and in customer hands on December 8th — a date that corroborates with earlier rumors. The phone is expected to cost $199.99 with a new two-year contract, though it is unclear whether or not that price is part of a limited-time promotion. Verizon Wireless declined to comment when contacted by BGR. More →
If you thought, like us, that Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich operating system would still support Adobe’s mobile Flash Player, think again. It turns out the application wasn’t included on the Galaxy Nexus, the first Android 4.0 phone, and it is not available for download, either. Since Ice Cream Sandwich had been announced months before Adobe decided to pull the trigger on mobile Flash Player, some suspected that Flash support might still be included. Google commented and said that “Flash hasn’t been released for ICS yet so far as we know, Adobe will support Flash for ICS.” Adobe announced recently that it will cease development of its mobile Flash Player product, however, so it seems more likely that Adobe will work to bring AIR and HTML5-based solutions to Ice Cream Sandwich rather than Flash Player.
UPDATE: Adobe issued the following statement on the matter: “Adobe will release one more version of the Flash Player for mobile browsing, which will provide support for Android 4.0 — expected to be released before the end of this year.” More →
HTC recently confirmed that a number of its handsets will receive an update to Google’s latest Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) operating system. The company said that it will upgrade the Vivid, Sensation, Sensation XL and Sensation XE in “early 2012.” It will also push Android 4.0 to the Rezound, EVO 3D, EVO Design 4G and Amaze 4G through “close integration with [HTC's] carrier partners.” We expect that the rollout will vary by carrier, however, so it is unlikely that each of the aforementioned phones will receive the update at the same time. Here’s the full statement from HTC:
HTC knows how excited our fans are to get their hands on Google’s latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, so we’re thrilled today to announce the first wave of HTC phones that will receive upgrades: We can confirm the brand new HTC Vivid is upgradeable to Ice Cream Sandwich. In addition, Ice Cream Sandwich is coming in early 2012 to a variety of devices including the HTC Sensation, HTC Sensation XL and HTC Sensation XE, as well as the HTC Rezound, HTC EVO 3D, HTC EVO Design 4G and HTC Amaze 4G through close integration with our carrier partners. We’re continuing to assess our product portfolio, so stay tuned for more updates on device upgrades, timing and other details about HTC and Ice Cream Sandwich.
Microsoft’s head of Windows Phone Andy Lees recently said he was flattered by parts of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich that appear to mimic features of Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango). “It’s always flattering when someone starts copying you ,” Lees told CNETAsia. Perhaps one of the most noticeable similarities is Android’s new ‘People’ feature, which provides a snapshot of any contact’s social network status — it is nearly identical to what Windows Phone 7.5 offers with “People Hub.” Read on for more. More →
During the AsiaD conference in Hong Kong, ASUS CEO Jonney Shih took the wraps off of one of the first tablets to utilize NVIDIA’s new quad-core Tegra 3 processor. The Transformer Prime, which is just 8.3mm thick, is equipped with a 10-inch display, an SD card slot, a mini-HDMI port and support for up to 14.5 hours of battery life, Engadget said. It can also be docked to a full QWERTY keyboard, just like the original Eee Pad Transformer tablet. Details on the Transformer Prime are still slim and it is not clear if the tablet will ship with Android Honeycomb or Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Shih said Ice Cream Sandwich tablets should be on the market by the end of the year, and given the company’s plans to officially announce the tablet on November 9th, we’re keeping our fingers crossed this launches as one of the first Android 4.0 tablets. Shih did not discuss pricing, markets or a potential release date. More →
Samsung specifically designed the Galaxy Nexus to avoid patent lawsuits from Apple, Samsung’s mobile chief Shin Jong-kyun told Yonhap News Agency Wednesday. “We will see if it will be 100 percent free” from patent infringement lawsuits, he explained, noting that the current ongoing patent war with Apple is in its fledgling stages. “I think it is just a start and [the battle] will last for a considerable time,” Shin explained. “I don’t think there is much gain. What we are losing is the pride in our brand. We will avoid everything we can and take patents very seriously.” Samsung originally said it had postponed its San Diego press conference, during which it was supposed to launch the Galaxy Nexus alongside Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich, due to Steve Jobs’ recent passing. However, one report suggested the true reason the phone was delayed was due to last-minute tweaks needed to avoid patent lawsuits from Apple. Shin’s comments don’t suggest Samsung was lying about the event cancelation, but they do confirm that patents were a focus for the company as it built the device. Samsung and Apple are currently locked in legal battles around the globe with lawsuits filed in France, Japan, the United States, Australia and the Netherlands, among other countries. More →