we reviewed the LG Optimus 3D, and the dual-core 3D-recording smartphone is finally showing up in stores. After the Optimus 3D got the official green flag last week, UK retailer Carphone Warehouse has confirmed that it is taking pre-orders for shipments expected from June 27, and ahead of an in-store release on July 7 2011. The Optimus 3D is priced at £499.95 ($808) SIM-free, or from free with a new, two-year agreement. Your money gets you a glasses-free 4.3-inch 3D display, capable of showing 3D images without you needing to wear ridiculous specs, along with a twin 5-megapixel camera on the back for shooting photos and video in the third dimension. On the downside is the fact that, even as the number of Gingerbread smartphones proliferates, LG is still launching the Optimus 3D with Android 2.2. Still, your options for 3D cellphones in the UK are limited, and with the HTC EVO 3D - reviewed this weekend over at SlashGear - not expected in Europe for a while yet, the LG may be your best bet for the moment.
Author: Chris Davies
Huawei has taken the wraps off of its MediaPad tablet, the first 7-inch slate to run Android 3.2 Honeycomb. According to Huawei, Android 3.2 basically fettles Honeycomb to suit the 7-inch slate, which also comes with HSPA+ 14.4Mbps connectivity, WiFi b/g/n, an IPS capacitive touchscreen display and HDMI Full HD 1080p output. Inside there's Qualcomm's 1.2GHz dual-core processor - presumably the same chip as inside the HTC Sensation - along with an unspecified amount of RAM, 8GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot. There's also Bluetooth, GPS and twin cameras: 5-megapixels on the back, with autofocus and HD video recording, and 1.3-megapixels upfront, for video calls. At 11.98mm thick and 390g it's reasonably compact, and Huawei reckons the battery is good for up to 6hrs runtime. Facebook, Twitter, Let's Golf and Documents To Go will be preloaded, and Flash Player 10.3 supported. No word on pricing at this stage, and Huawei apparently has no plans for a WiFi-only model. US availability is tipped for Q3 2011. [via Engadget]
AndyPad bargain Android tablet has been further detailed, and it looks set to be a better deal than previously expected. Tipped at "under £200" ($324) by UK company AndyPad, in fact the 7-inch slate will be just £129 ($209). That gets you a 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor, WiFi connectivity and Android 2.3 Gingerbread (rather than Honeycomb). It'll come preloaded with Facebook, Twitter and various games and other apps, along with 1080p HD output through a standard HDMI port. Other connectivity includes microUSB and a microSD card slot. Launch is expected in 75 days, according to the company, which puts it about two and a half months out. [gallery]
Navizon has released a new version for Android devices, and now users can earn cash rewards for logging WiFi access points and cell towers. The new app - a free download from the Android Market - supports friend groups for Latitude-style tracking, as well as a record of where you've travelled. There's also live mapping, and the ability to set alerts when you move into a specific location - handy if you need to remind yourself to buy something when you're near the relevant shop. Support for the people-finder tool Navimote is also baked in. Still, it's probably the cash reward scheme that most users will be interested in, as Navizon attempts to boost its database by crowd-sourcing new information. You get 15 points for each new cell tower and 3 points for each new WiFi base station you log (or 2 points for a known cell tower and 1 point for a known WiFi station), all done automatically, and when you reach 10,000 points you can swap it for $15 in cash (via PayPal). [youtube DiHeA3KtF8Q] [via Twitter]
S1 and S2 - being seen in video form for the first time. In front of them is a tiny train, for Sony has followed in the Rube Goldberg footsteps of Honda and others, and created an oddly slow-paced teaser full of shadows and clunking. Neither of the tablets get much in the way of a demo. There's the regular Android Honeycomb homescreen, as you can see above, and some endearing shots of both models telling us "I love you." "To Be Continued" the video suggests, and so hopefully future episodes will make everything a little clearer. Otherwise it's business as usual: Tegra 2 confirmed, dual-displays on the S2 and what looks to be a roughly September launch. [youtube HmZD6bM0jcI] [Thanks Carl!]
NXP Semiconductors has announced that it will be supplying Sony Ericsson with NFC hardware "for inclusion in its Android-based smartphones." Specifically, it's the "NXP PN65 NFC solution" which is basically a combination of the NFC radio chip itself, the embedded secure element, and the company's software. That will allow Sony Ericsson phones - with the right SIM - to use the new mobile payments systems, such as planned in the UK for launch later this year. Interestingly, it's also the same NFC chip as inside the Samsung Nexus S. Back at the launch of the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc, the company told us that it was considering NFC but that the chips were too bulky to make it inside the slimline Arc. Since then it has released the XPERIA Play, a larger handset but still missing NFC. No word on when, exactly, the first Sony Ericsson NFC handsets will show up, but NXP seems to expect its shipments to rocket in the second half of 2011. Press Release:
Sony Ericsson selects NXP’s NFC Solution for its Android-based Smartphones NFC enables mobile entertainment experiences Eindhoven, Netherlands, June 16, 2011 – Today NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) announced that its world leading near field communication (NFC) technology has been selected by Sony Ericsson for inclusion in its Android-based smartphones. Sony Ericsson, a leading, global mobile handset manufacturer focused on communications and entertainment, will use NFC to further enhance its consumers’ mobile experiences, creating a portfolio of smartphones that enable mobile transactions. Using simple touch gestures, consumers will be able to make purchases or connect to a point of sale (POS) terminal, ticketing terminal or location-based promotional tag simply and securely with their NFC-enabled smartphones. NXP provides complete embedded, secure NFC solutions and recently announced that its NFC software is open source on the Android platform and enables the Google Wallet application. Sony Ericsson intends to use the NXP PN65 NFC solution in their Android-based smartphones, which includes the NFC radio controller, the embedded secure element and NFC software. The embedded secure element enables NFC to be used for mobile transactions. Building on NXP’s extensive background in secure identification, the PN65 uses advanced cryptography to offer the highest level of security for transactions, with the technology already being extensively used in contactless banking cards, e-passports, e-ID cards and secure access systems. “Building on Sony Ericsson’s leadership in Android and mobile gaming, the integration of near field communication into our Android-based Xperia™ portfolio is another step in delivering the most entertaining smartphones,” said Jan Uddenfeldt, Chief Technology Officer at Sony Ericsson. “NFC offers our consumers the ability to broaden their communication experience beyond the phone, and we are poised to drive the development of new, exciting and creative entertainment experiences.” “This latest move from Sony Ericsson is another proof point of the strong momentum and potential of NFC,” said Rick Clemmer, president and CEO, NXP Semiconductors. “Based on continued strong customer endorsements we have the opportunity to increase the sales of our NFC products 2-4 times as a percentage of total NXP revenue in the second half of 2011 from the approximately one percent it represents today. NFC offers a game-changing opportunity for mobile phone manufacturers to provide creative and innovative smartphones to their customers.” NFC is a market proven technology co-invented by NXP in 2002. In 2004 NXP co-founded the NFC Forum to lead the collaboration with all industry stakeholders and help standardize the technology. NFC technology evolved from a combination of contactless identification (RFID) and interconnection technologies. Ranked as the number one contactless IC vendor by ABI Research for three years in a row, NXP is the global leader in NFC solutions, field proven in over 150 NFC trials and landmark commercial deployments worldwide.
flip-flopping on the upgrade yesterday, HTC has confirmed that it will be axing some apps in order to whittle Gingerbread down to suit the Desire's 512MB of ROM. "To resolve Desire's memory issue and enable the upgrade to Gingerbread, we will cut select apps from the release" HTC has revealed on its Facebook page. The exact nature of the apps that will be missing is unknown, as is whether they'll be from HTC's own Sense line-up or software Google normally distributes with Gingerbread itself. "Look for status updates starting next week" HTC promises, "we apologize for any confusion." HTC announced earlier this week that it had deleted the Desire's Gingerbread update from the roadmap, after software engineers discovered they were unable to fit both the OS and Sense into a ROM that offered "the HTC Sense experience you've come to expect." The news met with an unsurprising amount of vitriol from owners, with threats that they would boycott HTC's future devices and accusations that it was a marketing move rather than an engineering one. We're checking with HTC now to see if they can tell us either which apps are on the firing line or at least whether they're from Sense or core Android. Update: HTC UK tells us that it has no word on which apps will be kept and which will go at this stage. [via SlashGear]
HTC Flyer Desktop Dock has shown up for pre-order at Best Buy, with availability expected in 1-2 weeks. Supporting the 7-inch Flyer in portrait orientation, the dock errs on the simple side when it comes to connectivity. On the back there's apparently a single USB connector that will work with either an AC adapter to charge the Flyer, a USB sync cable to hook it up to your PC or Mac, or an MHL HDMI adapter to output the tablet's display to a TV or projector. Unfortunately you don't get a native HDMI port, which seems something of a missed opportunity, and there's no mention of even a 3.5mm audio output for using the dock as a media player station. In fact, your $49.99 basically gets you a more straightforward way to prop up your Flyer and recharge it, and HTC doesn't even include a USB cable or AC adapter from the sound of things. The seemingly illuminated button ring on the back is something of a mystery, but we're guessing it's a charge indicator. [via Pocketables]
we saw Blake Griffin fondling yesterday - hasn't been spotted itself, but the Walmart price card has been caught on camera by a This is my next tipster. According to that card, the Vizio will be $349 and have a front-facing camera, GPS, VIA Plus for intercompatibility with the company's TVs and other products, and access to the Android Market. We recently saw the slate cross through the FCC complete with AT&T 3G support, though there's no mention of wireless connectivity on this Walmart model. Vizio announced the "VIA Tablet" back at CES in January, alongside a similarly Android-powered VIA Phone, and promised a summer release. What's unclear is whether Vizio has added Honeycomb to the tablet in the meantime, or if it will launch running a smartphone version of Android.
HTC Desire. The company has announced that, despite its engineers working on the upgrade "for the past few months," memory concerns will see it scrapped. Previously, carriers had told Desire owners they could likely expect the Gingerbread update at the end of April or early May. Unfortunately, it seems HTC couldn't get both Android 2.3 and Sense to play nicely together in what memory the Desire had to offer:
"Our engineering teams have been working hard for the past few months to find a way to bring Gingerbread to the HTC Desire without compromising the HTC Sense experience you’ve come to expect from our phones. However, we’re sorry to announce that we’ve been forced to accept there isn’t enough memory to allow us both to bring Gingerbread and keep the HTC Sense experience on the HTC Desire. We’re sincerely sorry for the disappointment that this news may bring to some of you." HTCUnsurprisingly, the news isn't going down well among Desire owners, many of whom are still inside their original agreement from when they first bought the handset. Of course, they could head over to xda-developers where there are several unofficial ROMs to be had, bringing the smartphone up to speed with Gingerbread. [Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]