Posts Tagged ‘smartphones’

We’d heard rumors that a new Zune was on the way, but here’s a spot of evidence that something’s actually up: Microsoft’s adding a senior mechanical engineer to help build “the next generation of portable entertainment and communication devices.” While the job listing in question is technically for Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business, which oversees Windows Phone, it’s clear that some things have changed since the Entertainment & Devices shakeup: “We are the team that shipped the Zune HD,” the post reads. It appears that there’s a new group within Microsoft called the Portable Entertainment Group which isn’t afraid to design its own hardware and includes the Zune team, though whether that hardware be Zune, phone or something more obscure still remains to be seen. (engadget)

opera mini branding Opera Mini 5.1 released for Windows Mobile devicesAfter releasing an improved version for the Android devices (the one Stefan likes so much), Opera Software is going for the, let’s face it slowly dying, Windows Mobile community. The new version of the popular mobile web browser for Microsoft’s mobile platform packs several important enhancements, including:

  • The ability to set Opera Mini as the default browser
  • Support for devices with larger and high-res screens
  • Improved page layout and font rendering
  • Support for accelerometer (for auto-rotation)
  • Advanced configuration for power users

Rest of the features remain unchanged, hence you can expect the same fast page load times and compression that will save you some cash on mobile data.

Opera Mini 5.1 is available as a free download for Windows Mobile 2003 SE, 5.x and 6.x smartphones. To download it, simply point your existing mobile browser to m.opera.com and take it from there. (intomobile)

European retailer Germanos will launch two new dual SIM Motorola phones in October: Motorola EX115 and Motorola EX128.

Both handsets are unannounced, and they’re the first dual SIM Motorola devices to be available in Europe.

Germanos Romania says that the EX128 and EX115 will be launched on October 18.

Customers can already pre-order the two phones online, here and here.

The Motorola EX128 is a touchscreen handset that will cost about €120 ($150). The Motorola EX115 has a regular display and a full QWERTY keyboard, and should cost only about €95 ($120).

According to CelularCafe, the Moto EX115 is also called EX112, and it might be available in Brazil, too, featuring GSM/GPRS, Bluetooth 2.1, 3.5mm headset jack, and a 3MP camera.

With Nokia, Pantech, and now Motorola entering the dual SIM phone market, Samsung will have some serious competition – although, for a while at least, it will still be the most important dual SIM handset maker (it has launched more than 10 models until now). (unwiredview)

DROID X leaked Android 2.2 Froyo ROM

Still aching for that Android 2.2 update to roll out to your beloved DROID X?  Well, we still don’t have any word on when the official upgrade will hit (other than “late summer”), but there is a new leaked Froyo ROM for you to load onto your rooted DROID X!  In order to install the new ROM, you’ll have to be rooted and use Koush’s bootstrapper.  As with any new ROM, some users have experienced a few issues with installation, but others are reporting that this new build is running smoothly.  If you’re interested, you can find the necessary download links and instructions righthere.  Just remember that any time you hack with you phone, you run the risk of seriously messing it up.  Be careful!

Considering no one knows exactly when the official Android 2.2 update will finally roll out (we’ve heard early September in the past), it’s good to see the DX hacking community sharing new builds of the OS for impatient users.  Just remember that Motorola has said in the past that they won’t be providing an upgrade path to the official builds if you install any leaked ROM.  Also, if you do plan on loading this leaked build of Froyo, you should probably do it as soon as possible, as the last leaked ROM had to be pulled thanks to a cease and desist letter from Moto.  If you’ve already got the new build loaded up onto your DROID X, let us know about your experience! (phonedog)

It seems more than a little odd to us that Apple hasn’t bothered to make FaceTime compatible with its own longstanding desktop video chat service, iChat, but we’ve at least supposed that it’s an inevitability with whatever upcoming Mac OS X update or software bundle that Apple deems appropriate. Now Mac4Ever, who was spot on with a pile of rumors last year, but hasn’t succeeded with its recent prediction of an iLife ’11 launch in August, is saying that Apple is prepping FaceTime both for Mac and PC. We don’t know if that means building a whole copy of iChat for Windows, or just making FaceTime compatible with some existing PC video chat service, but it would certainly improve the odds of us ever finding a legitimate use for FaceTime. (engadget)

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist — er, make that a smartphone industry analyst — to figure out that Garmin’s been underperforming in the handset game since it tied up with ASUS early last year; notable missteps have included lackluster hardware, a hopelessly delayed first model, banking fortunes on WinMo in its twilight years, and a general failure to capture the kinds of blockbuster carrier deals that can prop up your bottom line. Indeed, it wasn’t long ago that the company went public with the fact that Garmin-Asus’ financials weren’t where they needed to be, but things are getting a little more serious now: CFO Kevin Rauckman has mentioned in an interview that they’ll need to decide “within the next couple of quarters whether [they] continue to invest or whether [they] pull back.” Of course, “pull back” is probably code for “cut and run,” since there’s really no good way to half-ass your smartphone presence and still earn customer loyalty and turn a profit. Looking at Garmin’s bigger picture, it still doesn’t really need to make smartphones to survive — the PND market remains healthy, and the company has a huge presence in the marine and aviation industries — but we’re sure they’d like a piece of the cellular pie. Touch nut to crack, isn’t it, guys? (engadget)

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Our tipster has been hard at work scouring the annals of Verizon Wireless inventory. First we saw the Motorola MZ600 tablet pop up with dummy and demo units in two, then we got a look at listings for the Motorola Citrus and Motorola XT610, and now we have the Samsung Continuum making an appearance. The Continuum is another mid-range device that should class in the same range as the LG Ally. Other than that broad categorization very little is known other than a rumored release date falling sometime in October.

With all of these new inventory additions it appears Big Red is preparing for an all-out Droid assault this holiday season, and it looks like a large part of it will be low to mid-range devices to fill out a lineup that has been a bit top heavy with behemoth phones like the Droid X, Droid 2, and Samsung Fascinate leading the pack. Who knows what will pop up in their inventory next! (phandroid)

Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Android 2.1

Sony Ericsson released the XPERIA X10 all the way back in March, although we just saw the handset launch on AT&T here in the U.S. less than a month ago.  Unfortunately, the X10 is still running Android 1.6 even though version 2.2 of the Android OS is available.  Sony Ericsson has said that the X10 line of phones will be updated to Android 2.1 in September, but at least one X10 has already been spotted on video running 2.1.  The video, which is in German, shows off the live wallpapers that Eclair is known for, as well as an updated UI and new launcher button.  There’s been no official word from AT&T on when we’ll see our U.S. X10s updated to Android 2.1, but hopefully it won’t be long after Sony Ericsson releases the 2.1 upgrade.

The XPERIA X10 may be somewhat long in the tooth, but with its 1 GHz processor, 4-inch screen, and 8 megapixel camera, it’s still a rather capable handset spec-wise.  Considering AT&T’s lean Android lineup, I’d say that the carrier would be wise to push out Android 2.1 to its X10s as soon as possible.  Once they do, we’ll be able to shrink the market share of Android 1.5 and 1.6 even further into the minority. (phonedog)

The stars are really aligning for this shindig HTC has scheduled in London for next week, aren’t they? All signs point to the launch of the Android-powered Desire Z and Desire HD — international versions of theG2 and EVO, respectively — and this render pulled off of German site BestBoyZ matches up perfectly with in-the-wild shots we’ve seen of the HD before. The only sticking point, really, is that there’s a Windows Mobile 6.5 Sense UI shot inexplicably plastered on top, which makes about as much sense as… well, re-releasing the HD2 right now. Bottom line, we think the hardware part of this picture is real; software, not so much. (engadget)

Another day, another Android phone. Something new’s leaked out from the Acer camp today –  a 3.6-inch WVGA android handset that looks to be nothing but metal. Our first guess on type is aluminum – something that’s become quite the trend in the technology universe – but a bronze-colored variant suggests one of the models could actually be crafted out of that metal, as well. If the specs listed by Russian outlet Habrahabr are correct, then this won’t be a stinker.

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It’ll apparently come preloaded with Android 2.2 with a custom skin being called Acer Shell 4.0. For RAM and ROM, you can expect 512MB for each and a Qualcomm MSM7230 800MHz processor + Adreno 205 GPU to back it up. Other specs include Bluetooth 3.0 and a camera with flash (type not yet confirmed), but that’s all we can take from this leak. I’m not sure how anyone else feels about the design of this thing, but I’d call it one of Acer’s prettiest offerings yet. I’m more interested in the performance and the software, however, but those bits and pieces will squeak out as time moves on, I suppose. (phandroid)

[Cheers, Aux!]

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