If you’re aching for a great unlocked Android phone and the plasticky feel of the Nexus S doesn’t float your boat, Dell may very well have the cure for what ails you. Dell’s Venue Pro smartphone is, in our opinion, the most impressive Windows Phone 7 handset on the market at this point. It has a fantastically solid build, a terrific look and feel, and extremely capable guts that facilitate a silky smooth experience. Now, the Dell Venue takes everything we love about the Venue Pro, sheds some girth by eliminating the slide-out QWERTY, and swaps Windows Phone 7 for Android. Notable specs include a 4.1-inch AMOLED touchscreen display, an 8-megapixel camera, a 1GHz processor, 1GB of internal storage expandable to 33GB, 512MB of RAM, a 1400 mAh battery and the Android 2.2 Froyo OS with Dell’s Stage software. The Dell Venue is available immediately for purchase directly from Dell for $499.99 unlocked. The phone is available with either AT&T or T-Mobile 3G bands and orders begin shipping on February 18th. More →
Two weeks ago, BGR revealed several upcoming smartphones BlackBerry maker RIM had baking in the oven. Tonight, the CDMA side of the equation has been filled out following a leaked internal slide deck obtained by Crackberry.com. Joining the Bold Touch (Dakota), the next-generation Curve (Apollo), The Torch 2 and the Storm 3 (Monaco) are a swarm of CDMA handsets destined for U.S. shores. The Montana will launch in August of this year as the CDMA counterpart to the Dakota. Like the GSM Bold Touch, the Montana will feature a 1.2GHz CPU, a 5-megapixel camera and a touchscreen above its classic QWERTY keypad. The Sedona will line up with the Apollo as RIM’s entry-level CDMA device for the second half of the year, and will launch in August or September. Finally, the previously unknown Curve Touch (Malibu) appears to be a forthcoming entry-level full touchscreen device for the CDMA market. Due in late fall, the Curve Touch features the same 800GHz processor as the next-gen Curves, a 3.2-inch HVGA touchscreen display, a 5-megapixel camera with support for HD video capture, 1GB of flash memory, 512MB of RAM, microSDHC support and an updated version of the BlackBerry 6 OS. Additional slides in the deck detail upcoming tweaks to the BlackBerry 6 OS, new gaming features, new personalization options, A CDMA version of the Monaco, of course, and plenty more. Hit the break for some more key slides and then hit the read link for the rest of the deck. More →
Back at Google IO 2010, we got a sneak peak at the company’s next generation music player to be included in the Android mobile operating system. The software wowed us with its ability to stream and download music from a users home desktop and the subtle but distinguished user interface refinements. Now, thanks to the folks of at xda-developers, we’re getting another look at the software on video. The new music player utilizes the foggy, transparent background effect seen in-use by Android’s stock picture gallery, has a more intuitive layout, and utilizes a nifty little equalizer animation to denote which track is currently playing. The video is waiting for you after the break and, for the those consummate alpha-testers, the apk file is over at xda-developers (no, sadly it does not include the awesome streaming feature). Enjoy!
With all the time, effort, and, to be frank, money that HTC has invested into its Sense UI and now Sense services, it was a bit of a surprise to see the company take a hands-off approach to Windows Phone 7. The operating system’s reprieve may be, however, only temporary. In an interview with Forbes Mobilized blog, HTC’s head of user experience, Drew Bamford, noted that his company has a good working relationship with Microsoft and that it “expects to do more over time” with the Windows Phone 7 user interface.
“HTC’s goal is for the Sense experience to span all of our products,” said Mr. Bamford. “Microsoft has its own goal of consistency across Windows Phone 7 products. I think it comes down to working closely with Microsoft to do as much as we can.”
One of the beauties of WP7 is, in our opinion, the consistency that Bamford mentions. Hopefully, his company can add its own flair to the user experience without affecting the timeliness and delivery of operating system updates. More →
Samsung took some time at a developer day event in South Korea to note that it will have sold 5 million Bada-powered Wave phones when 2010 comes to an end. It also projects sales of more than 10 million Wave devices in the first half of 2011 alone. Most of the attention at the event, however, was focused on the host of features Samsung said it will introduce in version 2 of its in-house mobile operating system. Among the more notable additions making their way to Bada 2.0 are third-party multitasking support, push notification support, an updated UI that will include a “smart home-screen,” enhanced security, an integrated ad network, carrier billing support, HTML5, NFC and speech recognition. Needless to say, Bada 2.0 is set to be a huge update that could put Bada on par with most modern smartphone operating systems when it launches in the first half of 2011. Hit the break for a slide containing all of the noted enhancements we can look forward to in Bada 2.0. More →
RIM’s upcoming QNX-based OS is about to get a swift kick in the UI, as the company announced its acquisition of The Astonishing Tribe on Thursday. Also known as TAT, the team is renowned for its stunning UI work that often includes unique concepts that never manage to find their way to production devices. While TAT has done a great deal of work across several markets including automotive and consumer electronics, mobile platforms user experiences is where they shine and as any BlackBerry user will tell you, RIM needs a lot of help in that department. Well, BlackBerry fans… help has most definitely arrived because TAT is as good as it gets. We can’t wait to see what this talented team of seasoned veterans can do for the PlayBook and for RIM’s future phones. More →
Motorola is up to bat with their most competitive corporate device in years — they’re aiming squarely at the fine boys and girls at RIM — and coupled with the latest Android OS and the nation’s largest voice and data network, they mean business. Does that mean they have come up with the best business-focused handset on Verizon Wireless? How on earth will you be able to choose between a Motorola DROID Pro, a BlackBerry, or another Android handset? Hit the break to find out our thoughts!More →
Today, Verizon Wireless announced the pricing and availability of its mid-range, full-touchscreen smartphone, the Motorola Citrus. For those that need a quick refresher, the Cirtus is and Android 2.1 handset with a 3.0-inch QVGA display, Wi-Fi b/g, Bluetooth 2.0, GPS, 3 megapixel digital camera, EV-DO Rev. 0, SWYPE keyboard, and the MOTOBLUR UI. The device will be available on Big Red starting tomorrow for $49.99 with a two-year contract and $100 mail-in rebate. More →
Today, Skype announced that a beta version of its chat software, Skpe 5.0 beta, is now available for Mac users. The software has several new features, including:
• New call control bar — Hang up, mute and more from a mini Skype toolbar that sits on top of any web pages, documents or photos you’ve got open
• Search chat content to easily navigate past conversations
• Offline IM so that you can send and receive instant messages even if the recipient is offline
• Personalise contacts via user profiles
• Quickly rejoin calls if your Internet connection fails momentarily
• Floating Contacts Monitor to see your online contacts and contact groups
The updated client brings the company’s Mac offering more inline with its Windows counterpart. Hit the read link for all the info. More →
Social networking site Twitter has just rolled out a new version of their Android mobile client. The new version offers several UI enhancements, including several of the gestures and features present in the company’s iOS offering:
• Pull to Refresh: This popular feature, which was first available through our iPhone app, functions just as it sounds – when you’re at the top of your timeline, simply pull down to load new Tweets.
• Swipe to Reveal: Swipe across a Tweet to get quick access to several options, such as viewing a user’s profile, sharing a tweet, or replying.
• Quote a Tweet: Clicking the retweet icon now gives you the option to quote a Tweet. Of course, you can still retweet as you normally would.
• Hi-res avatar photos
The guys over at Notion Ink in India have revealed some user-interface updates for their upcoming Adam tablet. The tablet is expected to ship in late November 2010 and will sport a re-worked Android browser with a novel system to allow for non-intrusive tab switching. Amongst other small UI tweaks, the developers have uploaded a video of the tablet cutting through a 1080p clip like butter. The Adam tablet will come in two flavors, an LCD model and a Pixel Qi trans-reflective LCD variant; both of which rock a CPU/GPU combo of 1GHz dual-core Arm Cortex-A9 processor and Nvidia Tegra 2. Connectivity wont be a problem since the tablet is believed to feature 2 USB ports, a micro USB port, an HDMI-out port, a microSD card slot, and SIM card slot. Android aficionados will be happy to know the tablet will run Android 2.2 when released. Whilst the tech specs are more than satisfying, it remains to be seen if it can live up to buzz. Hit the read link for the latest update on the Adam. More →
We’re at T-Mobile’s intimate myTouch event right now (we’re currently snuggling up with all four colors — white, black, red and purple), and here are our first-hand impressions:
- It feels good in the hand. The device is pretty slim, has a slight Android chin at the bottom, and all in all seems to be very solidly-built.
- The screen is beautiful, sharp and bright — but not as good as an AMOLED in our opinion.
- It rocks the myTouch UI that first appeared with the myTouch Slide, though it seems a bit more refined now.
- We’re currently watching Vincent from SlashGear and Sascha from PC Magazine try to establish a video call. It was unsuccessful at first, but it seems like they’re having way too much fun now that it’s working. Never mind, Sascha is yelling at the phone now.
- Watching a demo of the phone streaming video to a TV set was pretty cool. After some quick initial buffering, movies, photos and YouTube played effortlessly on the HDTV.
We’re pretty excited for the launch of the new myTouch. It’s packed with features and it nicely compliments T-Mobile’s stock Android G2 device as a younger-focused counterpart. Hit the jump for our full gallery, ok?
For the first time since July, when an Android project manager let slip Google’s intention to launch a music store alongside Android 3.0, details surrounding the next major Android release have emerged. While these new details aren’t quite as firm, they’re sure to please Android fans waiting for some serious forward progress. First off, the OS is said to have undergone a good amount of UI retooling, which is news that will certainly be welcomed by critics of Android’s less tailored look. Unfortunately, most of the graphics-related changes mentioned in the post are relatively minor, such as a reworked notification bar, new icons, new scroll effects and more green accents. Even still, the report seems to suggest there will be more significant changes to admire when Gingerbread starts rolling out — especially within individual Google apps.
Beyond changes surrounding the GUI, Android 3.0 is also said to introduce two pretty major new functions. The first, video chat, will supposedly be added as a core element of the OS. While video chat still hasn’t gained mass appeal, it was almost a foregone conclusion that Google would implement it quickly to compete with Apple’s FaceTime. The other big news is that Google is apparently (finally) preparing to add VoIP calling to its Google Voice service. The report plays it down, but the addition of integrated VoIP calling features to Android phones would obviously be pretty major… if carriers let it through. And it will also be big news for Android tablets, which will be able to tout a polished, fully integrated voice calling solution that doesn’t rely on cellular connectivity.
Hit the break for a blurrycam shot to end all blurrycam shots that is said to depict Android 3.0 running on a Nexus One. We doubt it will instill any added confidence in the aforementioned Gingerbread details — but it’s something, we suppose. More →