Meet the Droid Mini, Droid Ultra, and Droid Maxx.
The Mini, as its name makes obvious, is the smallest of the bunch sporting an edge-to-edge 4.3-inch TFT display with an HD resolution of 1280 x 720. Inside there’s a Motorola X8 Mobile Computing System (that is a 1.7GHz dual-core processor with a 400MHz quad-core GPU, natural language processor, and contextual computing processor), 2GB of RAM, 16GB of onboard storage, a 10-megapixel camera with 1080p video capture, and a 2000mAh Li–Ion battery for up to 28 hours of usage or up to 14 days of standby time.
Verizon is calling the Ultra “thinnest 4G LTE smartphone available” measuring 7.18mm thin. It rocks a 5-inch Super AMOLED display with an HD rez of 1280 x 720. It packs a Motorola X8 Mobile Computing System inside (that is a 1.7GHz dual-core processor with a 400MHz quad-core GPU, natural language processor, and contextual computing processor). 2GB of RAM and 16GB of onboard memory is standard here, too, as is a 10MP shooter with HD video capture and the 2130mAh battery (up to 28 hours usage or up to 13 days standby time).
And then there’s the Maxx. Its specs are nearly identical to the Ultra’s expect for its heftier size thanks to an extremely large battery. The non-removable 3500mAh battery promises up to 48 hours of usage (that’s two days!) or 25 days standby. Also, the Maxx has double the internal memory at 32GB. The Maxx also touts built-in wireless charging compatible with a charging pad sold separately.
All the new Droids are made with DuPont Kevlar fiber unibody design and Corning Gorilla Glass. The 4G LTE enabled phones run the latest version of Android, that is 4.2 Jelly Bean, featuring new software enhancements including Droid Command Center (an exclusive homescreen widget for users to easily access notifications for text messages, missed calls, battery level and weather), Droid Zap (a new way to share pictures with nearby Droid users), hands-free voice activation (Droid users can wake up their phones by saying “OK Google Now” and telling it what to do next), and Wireless Display (users can mirror what’s on the screen onto a Miracast-enabled HDTV).
The three Droids by Motorola are up for preorder today. After signing a two-year contract with Verizon Wireless, the Droid Mini can be yours for $99.99, available August 29. The Droid Ultra (made in black and red) and Droid Maxx both go on sale August 20 at $199.99 and $299.99, respectively. Pix in the gallery below. PR after the break.
The latest member to join the Droid smartphone family is the Droid DNA by HTC and it’s the most powerful one yet. Right off the bat you’ll notice its 5-inch, true 1080p HD super LCD 3 display (440 pixels per inch) with Corning Gorilla Glass 2 protection. It’s powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, specifically a quad-core 1.5GHz CPU that’s paired with a high-performance GPU. Android’s latest and greatest Jelly Bean operating system comes preinstalled along with HTC Sense 4+. The backside camera specs go like this: 8-megapixel f/2.0 28mm wide-angle lens, 5-level automatic flash, backside illuminated sensor (BSI), superfast autofocus, 1080p HD video capture. The 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera features f/2.0 88-degree ultra-wide angle lens and also captures full HD video. Beats Audio is on board, as is “a unique, 2.55-volt, built-in headset amplifier and dedicated amp for the external rear-speaker to help boost the audio signal to deliver crystal clear sound with less distortion, even at maximum volume.” WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, and NFC are here as well. It is 4G LTE capable. It packs a 2,020mAh battery. And as far as measurements go, the DNA is 9.73mm thick and weighs 4.86 ounces.
The Droid DNA is arguably the best and most powerful handset Verizon Wireless offers today. Well, technically it releases Wednesday, November 21st, but you can preorder it now if you like. Sign a new two-year contract and it’s yours for a reasonable $199.99. PR after the break. (Click here for more…)
Earlier this month at CES Motorola announced the successor to the RAZR-thin Droid dubbed the RAZR MAXX. What makes the MAXX better than its predecessor is its superb battery life (it can last up to 21 hours on a single charge) and beefier interal storage (32GB). As of January 26 the slightly thicker RAZR (at 8.99 mm) is available at Verizon Wireless for $299.99 with a new two-year contract. Pick up the latest 4G LTE Droid today. But don’t forget–if you’re in the market for a smartphone packing a physical QWERTY keyboard, Moto also has the Droid 4 coming out of the pipeline soon. (Click here for more…)
Microsoft is heating up the competition by introducing two new 4G LTE enhanced phones for its Windows Phone collection. The HTC Titan II and the Nokia Lumia 900 are in fact the first 4G LTE smartphones to run Microsoft’s latest Windows Phone iteration “Mango.” Let’s start with the Titan II. Besides packing the 4G chip, the new Titan features a giant 4.7-inch super LCD capacitive touchscreen and an impressive 16 megapixel camera with a wide-angle lens, autofocus, and dual LED flash. The rear camera also supports 720p HD video recording, and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing one allows for video chat. Inside you’ll also find a single-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor and a 1,730mAh battery.
Nokia’s Lumia 900 is the bigger brother to the Lumia 710, the latter of which is the first smartphone to come out of Microsoft’s strategic alliance with the Finnish handset maker. (The Lumia 710 is now available to buy on T-Mobile for $50 on contract.) The 900 sports a larger 4.3-inch (800 x 480) AMOLED ClearBlack display, a 1.4GHz single-core processor, 512MB of RAM, Carl Zeiss-branded eight megapixel camera with large aperture (F2.2) and wide angle focal length (28mm) and LED flash that supports 720p HD video capture. Around the front you’ll find a camera also boasting a large aperture (F2.4) and a wide angle lens. Inside the polycarbonate body lies a sealed 1,830mAh battery. When it becomes available, the 900 will come in two flavors: cyan and matte black.
Microsoft’s first 4G LTE Mango phones are coming exclusively to AT&T later this year. Images below, PR and video after the break.
At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Motorola announced two new Droid-branded smartphones: the Droid 4 (see above) and a newcomer to the RAZR line called the Droid RAZR MAXX (see in the gallery below). Let’s start by looking at the former’s specs. The Droid 4 packs a 4-inch qHD display with scratch and scrape resistant glass, a dual-core 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of RAM, an eight megapixel shooter with 1080p HD video capture and Mirror Mode to display images and video on an HDTV, 16GB of onboard memory, and it also features the Droid’s signature five-row QWERTY keyboard. All of this and it’s only it’s only half an inch thick. It will come preloaded with Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread and Moto says it will be upgradable to 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in time. The Droid 4 will take advantage 4G LTE speeds when it releases on Verizon Wireless “in the coming weeks.” No price announcement just yet.
The Droid RAZR MAXX, the successor to the reboot RAZR, doesn’t deviate too much from its relative. The big difference between the two is battery life. The “MAXX” refers to the smartphone’s giant 3,300 mAh battery pack which Moto promises can deliver a whopping 21 hours of battery life on a single charge. The larger battery makes the new RAZR slightly thicker measuring at 8.99 mm. Another upgrade: the MAXX comes with more internal storage, 32GB to be exact. Like the Droid 4, the MAXX will be 4G LTE super-charged on VZW’s network and pricing and availability is TBA. PR and a Droid 4 promo clip sit after the break.
The very first phone running Android 4.0 aka Ice Cream Sandwich is now available on Verizon Wireless. The 4G LTE compatible Galaxy Nexus by Samsung packs a 1.2GHz processor, a big 4.65″ HD Super AMOLED display, 5 megapixel rear-facing and 1.3 megapixel front-facing cameras, 1GB RAM, and 32GB on-board memory. Android ICS brings with it a whole slew of new features including Face Unlock, Android Beam, an enhanced Camera app, a new People app, and of course an entirely redesigned user interface. Get all the juicy details here. As of December 15 the newest Nexus was made available on VZW and can be yours for a cool $299.99 with a two-year contract. Pics below, PR and video after the break.
In October Nokia unveiled its Lumia range of Windows Phone-powered smartphones, the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710. This week T-Mobile became the official carrier of the budget-friendly Lumia 710 and announced that’ll be available next month. The 710, which features a 3.7-inch ClearBlack WVGA scratch-resistant display, a Qualcomm 1.4GHz Snapdragon processor, a 5 megapixel camera, and HSPA+ 14.4Mbps “4G” speed, is being touted by T-Mo as “the perfect first-time smartphone” at the low price of $49.99 after a two-year contract is signed. Also shipping with software like Nokia’s Drive and ESPN apps as well as T-Mobile TV and Netflix, the 710 comes to market in the US on January 11 in black and white variants.
It’s a shame Nokia isn’t promoting the fiercer Lumia 800 before its low-budget brother, let alone alongside it. In my humble opinion, Nokia is making a mistake by allowing customers to think that Windows Phones manufactured by Nokia are “cheap” or lacking competitive features. It would have been smarter to team the 800 with T-Mobile first so that the public could understand that the Finnish company is ready to battle the likes of Apple, Samsung, Motorola, and LG in the States, rather than push out an entry level smartphone for techies to scoff at. Nokia is a deserving phone maker, so here’s to hoping that they get their act together and release the Lumia 800 in the States sooner than later.
Yesterday and today Google hosted its renowned developer’s conference dubbed Google I/O 2011. Literally thousands of developers flocked to San Fransisco’s Moscone Center to find out what Google’s been cooking up on their end. This year’s event proved to be leaps and bounds more exciting than last year’s conference. Google introduced their new cloud-based music service called Music Beta; they unveiled Ice Cream Sandwich, the next version of Android that promises to bridge the gap between Gingerbread and Honeycomb; Android is going into the home automation business with Google’s impressive initiative Android@Home; Chrome OS is finally ready for the big leagues–Samsung and Acer are prepping Chromebooks for mass consumption; and Angry Birds has landed in the browser!
So much to discuss–it’s all a hop, skip and a jump after the break. (Click here for more…)
It’s time to take a closer look into the exciting and ever-expanding smartphone market. The NPD Group, a market research company, has done some number crunching for us to determine US smartphones sales for the first quarter of 2011. They break it down by smartphone manufacturer: Android-powered smartphones accounted for 50 percent of smartphone unit sales in Q1 2011 (falling 3 percent from last quarter); Apple’s iOS gained some ground jumping 9 percentage points to comprise 28 percent of smartphone sales; and RIM remains in a distant third place, dropping 3 percentage points to 14 percent for the quarter. Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD, explains Apple’s growth and Android dip (spoiler alert: it’s the Verizon iPhone’s fault): ”Apple and Verizon had a very successful launch of the iPhone 4, which allowed the iPhone to expand its market share that was previously held back by its prolonged carrier exclusivity with AT&T. While some of that growth came at the expense of Android operating system (OS), Android models still accounted for half of all smartphones sold in the quarter.” Thanks to the iPhone being available on the world’s two largest carriers, Apple (14 percent) is now the third-largest handset brand in the US behind LG (18 percent) and Samsung (23 percent).
Here are a couple fun facts for you to chew on. This quarter marks the first time a majority (54 percent) of all new mobile-phone handsets purchased by U.S. consumers were smartphones. Woohoo, yay technology! And here are the five top-selling mobile phone in the country: iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, Motorola Droid X, HTC EVO 4G, and HTC Droid Incredible. Go Apple and HTC!
Now isn’t this curious news? According to the IDC, a market research and analysis firm, smartphone manufacturers pushed out 100.9 million units during the final quarter of 2010. Compare to this number of PCs sold during that same quarter: 92.1 million. For the first time ever, smartphones outsold traditional computers. Think about that for a second. Pretty crazy, huh? Alarming, no. With innovators like Apple, RIM, and HTC churning out mobile devices left and right, we all knew this day (erm, quarter) would come when the inevitable would strike. And don’t forget–phones are steadily evolving into pocketable computers now aren’t they?
The IDC provides us with more fun facts, if you’re interested. Smartphones shipped during Q4 2010 were up 87.2 percent from the 53.9 million smartphones shipped during the Q4 2009. They say Google’s mobile OS Android “continues to gain by leaps and bounds” and they call Nokia’s Symbian the market leader, interestingly enough. They calculate the top 5 (Q4 2010) smartphone vendors to be Nokia, Apple, RIM, Samsung, and HTC. On the PC front, they name HP, Dell, Toshiba, Acer, and Apple to be the top 5 (Q4 2010) PC vendors. Computer shipments rose by a meager 2.7 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. They say Apple’s iPad managed to stifle demand and competition and thusly constrain PC shipments.
It’s a heated debate between T-Mobile G2, HTC Surround, and iPhone 4. It’s Android vs. Windows Phone 7 vs. iOS. Wager bets then mash play!
Just when you started noticing age spots on the original Droid, Motorola decided to officially unveil Droid 2. Though its large 3.7-inch multitouch display cannot out-match Droid X’s enourmous 4.1 inch screen, the Droid 2 does boast great specs. The improved slideout QWERTY smartphone runs the latest build of Android OS (that’s 2.2 aka Froyo, for those of you counting), has a 5 megapixel camera, and comes preloaded with 8GB of onboard memory and packaged with an 8GB microSD card (expandable up to 32GB). It supports Flash 10.1 for “access to the full web”, DNLA streaming, and Swype input for the on-screen keyboard. If you choose to pay an extra $20/month the device becomes a 3G mobile hotspot with support for up to 5 devices over WiFi. Droid 2 is up for preorder today and will be made available for purchase tomorrow August 12 for $199.99 with an obligatory new two-year contract on Verizon Wireless. If your current VZW contract ends by December 31, 2010 you are eligible to upgrade to Droid 2 or any other VZW smartphone for that matter.
In the official PR posted after the break, Verizon and Motorola tease a limited edition ”R2-D2 DROID 2″ inspired by the iconic Star Wars Astromech Droid. “The special version of the phone will feature exclusive Star Wars content and external hardware designed to look like the trusty Droid from the film saga.” Expect the R2-D2 Droid to release this September. It will only be available to purchase online. View the teaser page here.
[Via Engadget](Click here for more…)
Now THIS has been a long time coming. Sony Ericsson is finally releasing its first Android-powered smartphone on August 15 for $149 (with a new two-year contract) on AT&T. The Xperia X10 first made waves last summer when a breif video preview leaked onto the ‘Net. Codenamed “Rachel” the SE customized user interface evolved over the months to eventually become a skin for Android 1.6. That’s right, the X10 runs a very old version of the Android OS (version 2.2 is just starting to trickle onto handsets today). As disappointing as that sounds, it looks like the highly customized UI overlay might hide the cobwebs and make for an inviting experience. SE offically revaled the X10 back in November, but I’ll refresh your memory with a quick listing of specs. The X10 packs a 4-inch touch screen, 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 8.1 megapixel camera with LED flash (plus smile detection, face recognition, and autofocus), built-in GPS, and 8GB of on-board memory and 2GB memory card (expandable up to 32GB). The cornerstone(s) of the refined UI skin are SE’s “signature applications” Mediascape and Timescape:
*Mediascape on the Xperia X10 gathers music, photos, videos and content from your phone’s memory card and online, letting you browse, search, listen and share your media from one unified view. For example, view photos taken on the device as well as your Facebook and Picasa web albums. Or, when listening to a favorite song on your phone, press Sony Ericsson’s infinite button to access related content about the artist pulled from the phone’s memory as well as albums, songs and video content from YouTube and search results from Google.
*Timescape is a unique communication application that automatically organizes social interactions in chronological order, leaving users free to concentrate on keeping in touch on-the-go. From Facebook and Twitter updates to photos, emails and text messages, a scrolling menu offers easy viewing and organization of all communications. Additionally, tap the Timescape infinite button to bring up and view all communications from a single person in a single place.
Like I said, the X10 will be available August 15 in AT&T stores for $149.99. But if you choose to pick one up at a local Sony Style store you’ll receive an instant $20 rebate. Look after the break for the official PR and a brief video tour conducted by a Sony rep from this past year’s CES.
According to The NPD Group, a market research company, Google’s Android smartphone OS has climbed to the #1 spot for most purchased smartphone OS in the U.S. In doing so it pushes past RIM’s Blackberry OS and Apple’s iOS 4. Here’s the official standings for Q2 2010: #1- Android (33%), #2- RIM (28 %), #3- iOS4 (23%). RIM dropped 9 points since the previous quarter and has not been positioned in second place since 2007. And if you’re wondering, Android gained 5 points and Apple picked up a single point over the course of the quarter. The top 5 best-selling Android devices in the second quarter of year are Motorola Droid, HTC Droid Incredible, HTC EVO 4G, HTC Hero, and HTC Droid Eris. Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD, says that though the recently announced Blackberry 6 will ”offer features that have been popular in recently launched Android handsets,” the first crop of supported devices, namely the Blackberry Torch on AT&T, “lacks the large screen allure that has characterized the best selling Android devices at its price point.” In other words, he is blaming Android’s wild successs on the myriad of Motorola and HTC handsets that feature large screens (ie. Droid & EVO 4G). And if RIM doesn’t start to change their ways with new innovations (Blackberry 6 fails to impress at first glance), it might be a while until they reclaim their old title as the most selling OS in the hotly competitive smartphone market. And how ’bout dem U.S. carriers? #1- Verizon Wireless (33%), #2- AT&T (25%), Sprint (12%), T-Mobile (11%). Full PR is after the break.
This is an awesome sliver of news coming from the business world. NASDAQ and the Consumer Electronics Association have teamed up to announce NASDAQ OMX CEA Smartphone Index. The new index is comprised of 84 companies “that are primarily involved in the building, design and distribution of handsets, hardware, software, and mobile networks associated with the development, sale and usage of smartphones.” The smartphone industry has certainly become an important and impactful industry as of late; receiving its own index in the stock market further cements its significance thus far in the world of technology. Some of the companies in the index include Apple, Google, and Research in Motion (RIM). It was given a starting value of 250.00 on April 12; today it currently sits at 257.14.