HTC announced two new smartphones at Mobile World Congress on Tuesday that are equipped with dedicated Facebook buttons. The HTC Chacha and HTC Salsa are each Android-based smartphones that are the cell phone maker’s first offerings to feature its new enhanced Facebook experience. To the chagrin of countless Facebook addicts across the country, however, HTC made no mention of U.S. carrier partners when it announced the devices this morning. Fortunately, AT&T has reportedly confirmed that it will carry two Facebook phones from HTC, though it did not say specifically that they would be the Chacha and Salsa. The carrier did confirm that they will feature similar capabilities along with the same context-aware Facebook buttons, however. “In the U.S., AT&T and HTC are exclusively bringing this unique user experience to the market later this year,” an AT&T spokesperson told Mobilized. “It goes without saying this is part of our commitment to have the industry’s best Android portfolio this year.” More →
No one was surprised when Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and pals discussed the future of Windows Phone 7 multitasking during Monday’s keynote at Mobile World Congress — the company has covered its forthcoming multitasking solution for third-party apps on several occasions in the past. As we all know, it will work much like Apple’s solution. Apps will remain in a frozen state when sent to the background and will be able, in some instances, to utilize background APIs for functions such as music streaming. For the first time, however, Microsoft gave an extensive demonstration of a preliminary implementation of its solution during MWC. The demo shows off state-saving and simple task-switching, background music streaming, and it also shows Windows Phone 7′s upcoming task manager UI, which bears a striking resemblance to the “cards” UI seen on HP’s webOS. Hit the break for a video of Microsoft’s demo. More →
On our second spin through the Samsung booth, we noticed something we — in our excitement to see the Galaxy S II and Tab 10.1 — missed yesterday: two Wi-Fi only Galaxy S devices. Dubbed the Galaxy S 4.0 and 5.0, Samsung has set it sights on a popular smaller tablet-alternative, Apple’s iPod touch. Let’s go over the specs… More →
We’re here at Mobile World Congress awaiting Mr. Eric Schmidt to begin his keynote. Last year, Schmidt gave his talk to boisterous crowd, with some users even tossing a few boos in his direction. Everyone looks polite enough this year, and the Google front-man is due out shortly. Hit the jump to hear exactly what Mr. Schmidt has to say. Enoy!
At its Mobile World Congress press conference on Tuesday, Deutsche Telekom mentioned that it will soon begin deploying Near Field Communications (NFC) enabled mobile devices in multiple markets. The deployment starts this year and will ramp up until 2012 when most of Deutsche Telekom’s markets will be included. Phone Scoop is reporting that during the press conference, Deutsche Telekom execs handed out a slide deck featuring Apple and referred to them being included in the 2011 launch — seemingly confirming, or at least fueling the fire, that the next iPhone will include NFC capability. Apple and Samsung were listed as being NFC-compatible in the second quarter, with RIM and LG having devices in the third quarter of 2011. But hey, you already knew that about RIM, didn’t you?
Cell phone maker Research In Motion has yet to reveal pricing or specific release dates for the first two versions of it’s initial tablet offering, but that apparently won’t stop the company from confirming a third and a fourth version of the device. RIM on Monday revealed plans to release an LTE-compatible BlackBerry PlayBook as well as a 3G model that will work with HSPA+ networks. “The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is already being widely recognized for its superior performance, rich web experience, enterprise readiness and deep support for web standards and open development tools,” RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said in a statement. “We are now building on the BlackBerry PlayBook’s many advantages with support for additional 4G networks that will allow enhanced business opportunities for carriers and developers and unparalleled mobile experiences for users.” Information surrounding these newly-announced variants of the PlayBook jibes with a report from last month stating RIM would build an LTE version of its tablet for Verizon Wireless and a 3G version of the PlayBook for AT&T’s HSPA+ network. RIM has not confirmed that Verizon Wireless and AT&T would be carrier partners for the device, however, stating only that the LTE and HSPA+ versions of the PlayBook will launch in the second half of 2011. More →
Yes, it’s just and eyes-on. HTC employees were the only ones allowed to handle and demo the newly minted, 7-inch Android tablet, so we couldn’t develop as much of an opinion about the device as we would have liked. For its inaugural tablet, the Taiwanese OEM decided to buck the dual-core craze and stick with a single-core, 1.5GHz chip. Watching HTC buzz around on the device seemed to indicate that the tablet’s engine is more than capable of keeping up with your demands. A differentiating factor for the Flyer is the fact that it ships with a stylus. We were shown a demo where tapping on the screen with the stylus immediately took a screen shot, from there you can use the pen to draw, annotate, and doodle on the captured image. We’re sure HTC will build more functionality into the stylus before launch and it was kind of fun to see a tablet go back to its roots. The device will be shipping in Q2 of 2011 globally. We’re off to get more goodies from MWC, hit the gallery up and let us know what you think!
After HTC CEO, Peter Chou, wrapped up his keynote address, we had some time to handle the first trio of devices announced this morning — the Desire S, Wildfire S, and Incredible S. All three devices are updates to previous models and have very, very minor form-factor changes. The Desire S is the same attractive handset we’ve seen in Europe. Unibody aluminum design, rounded edges, and Nexus One-like look. This model benefits from an updated processor (1GHz), Android 2.3, and a front-facing camera.
The Wildfire S is Android 2.3 in a tiny package. When you pick the device up you really can’t believe just how light it actually is. Again, this is an update of an already existing product so the form-factor has not changed. HTC has tweaked its Sense interface a bit to better suit the smaller screen. It has a 600MHz processor and should appeal to those moving to their first Android device as it has the form and weight of a simple feature phone.
The Incredible S is a bit puzzling (as is HTC’s decision to use the “S” moniker like Samsung). Spec wise, the Incredible S is almost identical to the Desire S, but, for some unknown reason, it will ship with Android 2.2, not 2.3. HTC is promising to update the device to Gingerbread after the handset launch in Q2 of 2011. The device has the same form — including the raised battery cover — as the Incredible available from Verizon Wireless. The S does, however, sport a 4-inch display (which we like better, but that’s just our preference).
Check out the gallery and let us know what you think.
One of the announcements made by HTC this morning revolved around two devices, the Chacha and Salsa, that have a dedicated Facebook button. We would have loved to get our mitts on the device and test just how functional having a hardware shortcut to The Book is, but, unfortunately, the two devices were encased in glass and inaccessible to the masses — which usually means the software is barely functional. The two devices are set to hit Europe and Asia — sorry U.S. Facebook lovers — in Q2 of this year. Hit up our gallery to have a look at the two handsets for yourself.
HTC has announced another pair of handsets at Mobile World Congress today, the candybar-style Chacha and the full-touchscreen Salsa. The specifications on the two devices are nearly identical: 600MHz processor, 512MB or ROM and RAM, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.0, 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, a dedicated Facebook button, and Android 2.3.3. They do, however, have there differences Chacha features a full-QWERTY keyboard with a 2.6-inch TFT display and a 1,250mAh battery. The Salsa has a 3.4-inch touchscreen display and 1,520mAh battery. Both sets will be available in Q2 of 2011 in Europe and Asia. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
Today at Mobile World Congress, HTC announced the new, 7-inch, Flyer tablet; the company’s first foray into the tablet market place. The device’s specs are interesting — as the company has opted to forgo the dual-core processor route, instead using a single-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm chip along with a smaller 4,000mAh battery. The Flyer will also bring 1GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, micro-SD card slot, HDMI-out, DLNA support, and Android 2.4 into the 7-inch tablet arena. The device will be available globally, at an unknown price point, in Q2 of 2011. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
Early this morning at Mobile World Congress, HTC announced six new and updated mobile devices that will be coming to market in the next few months. Three of the six devices are the Incredible S, Desire S, and Wildfire S.
The HTC Desire S has a complete aluminum design paired with 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 3.7-SLCD screen. The Desire S also packs a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, Bluetooth 2.0, Wi-Fi b/g/n, 768MB of RAM, and 1450mAh battery. Oh yeah, and Android 2.3.
The Wildfire S is HTC’s lower-end Android set and will sport a 600MHz Qualcomm processor, 3.2-inch TFT display, 512MB ROM, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.0, 1230mAh battery, and Android 2.3.
The Incredible S’ spec sheet is as follows: 1GHz Qualcomm processor, 768MB of RAM, 4-inch SLCD WVGA display, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.0, 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, 1.3 megapixel front facing camera and Android 2.2.
All three devices will be will be available in Europe and Asia in Q2 of 2011 and ship with HTC’s Sense UI. Hit the jump to check out the full press release and a few more images.
UPDATE: HTC’s initial press release indicated that the Wildfire S and Desire S would ship with Android 2.4; that is not the case. The Desire and Wildfire will ship with Android 2.3.3 and the Incredible S will ship with 2.2 (to be updated to 2.3 in the near future). More →
Samsung unveiled its new Wave 578 smartphone at Mobile World Congress on Monday, and the entry-level handset is the latest to feature the cell phone maker’s proprietary Bada mobile operating system. Beyond building smartphones that run Google’s Android OS and Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 platform, Samsung also maintains its own operating system called “Bada.” While Samsung has not given Bada much of a presence here in the U.S., devices carrying the OS have been quite popular in other markets. The Wave 578 looks to build on that success by including an NFC chip in the device alongside a 3.2-inch WQVGA touchscreen display, a 3.2-megapixel rear camera, a secondary front-facing camera for video chat, HSPA, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and push notification support. “With the Samsung Wave 578 handset, we will provide the latest innovation in mobile industry running on bada platform,” Samsung president J. K. Shin said in a statement. “The enhanced connectivity, design and social experiences enabled by this handset, represent Samsung’s commitment to democratizing the smart phone market and providing users around the world with access to rich experiences and content.” The Samsung Wave 578 will begin rolling out in May in Europe and other markets, and it is not expected to launch in the U.S. Hit the break for Samsung’s full press release and Wave 578 specs. More →