smartphones

HTC Sensation 4G pre-interest page goes live

HTC may not be publicly confirming the rumored June 8 release of the HTC Sensation 4G on T-Mobile USA, but it has thrown up a sign-up page for those wanting more information. The tri-tone smartphone has a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, HSPA+ connectivity and a 4.3-inch qHD display. There's also an 8-megapixel camera on the back with autofocus and a dual-LED flash. HTC has reworked the camera app to minimize start-up lag, so that there's less chance of missing impromptu shots. Meanwhile the Sensation will debut HTC Sense 3.0, the latest version of the company's interface, complete with a new homescreen launcher. We've more on the HTC Sensation in our hands-on report from the launch of the European version, identical bar the radios. Meanwhile for all the specs, check out HTC's product page. [Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

Samsung Galaxy S II: Extreme Unboxing! [Video]

The things we here at Android Community will do to get our hands on the latest gadgets! Samsung invited me to crank the traditional unboxing process up to 11 last week, taking to a 300bhp Subaru Impreza rally car to talk about the company's new flagship Galaxy S II Android smartphone in the most unusual of situations.

June 8 HTC Sensation 4G launch on T-Mobile tipped by advert

The HTC Sensation release date may have been prematurely released by a Google AdWords result and - perhaps a little more tenuously - a screenshot of the HTC Sense 3.0 widgets the company itself has used. TmoNews spotted that the top ad result suggested "HTC Sensation 4G - On 6/8 - Complete w/ HTC Watch & HTC Sense" which certainly implies a June 8 2011 release. Meanwhile, the T-Mobile Sensation 4G press shot shows the HTC weather widget for June 8 too. On its own that probably wouldn't be enough to tip it, but HTC wouldn't be the first manufacturer to theme a press shot to go along with a launch date. The Sensation 4G has a 4.3-inch qHD display, WiFi b/g/n, 8-megapixel main camera and 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. More on the HTC Sensation in our hands-on with the European version from earlier this month.

UK launch for Samsung Galaxy S II pulled forward to April 27 [Updated]

Last we heard, the Samsung Galaxy S II would be arriving on UK shores come May 1. Looks like retailer Phones4u managed to get the Samsung ships to speed up a little, as the company has just announced that it will have a scant three day exclusivity on the Galaxy S II from April 27. The handset will be priced from free on new, £35 per month agreements, or alternatively offered as a pre-pay device for £499. Your money gets you a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, Super AMOLED Plus WVGA display, twin cameras - 8-megapixels on the back and 2-megapixels up front - and the usual bevy of WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS. We gave the Galaxy S II a good going-over in our hands-on back in March, so head over there to see all the juicy details. Given the smartphone follows the wildly-successful Galaxy S, we - and Samsung - have high expectations for it. Update: Carphone Warehouse has begun accepting preregistrations for the same price, but no word on release dates.

Vodafone HTC Wildfire S hands-on [Video]

The HTC Wildfire S is not exactly unfamiliar to us - we fondled its compact curves back at MWC 2011 - but we won't pass up an opportunity to have a second play. Vodafone offered us some hands-on time with one of its special edition versions; the carrier will offer not only the general white Wildfire S, but a grey model and a purple model. Our initial positive impressions of the Wildfire S remain. The handset feels far more high-quality than its plasticky predecessor, with the chassis and design more like that of the Desire S. The UI may not be Sense 3.0 as on the HTC Sensation but v2.1 is at least smooth-running and as consistent as we're used to. The 600MHz processor feels equally capable, and the HVGA display is bright and crisp. We can see the Wildfire S being a particular success among those looking for a super-compact device that can easily drop into a pocket or purse when it arrives on the market this coming summer. Update: It's worth remembering that this is non-final software, and we can probably expect an even slicker experience when the ROM is polished. [vms 045e91288b430794814c] [gallery]

Samsung 2GHz dual-core Smartphone incoming; Exynos to take on Snapdragon

Samsung's Galaxy S II may have gone through an overclock before it even launched, taking the dual-core CPU to 1.2GHz (and handily matching the HTC Sensation) but apparently the company has even higher ambitions for mobile processors in the coming months. According to Korea's Maeli Business Newspaper, Samsung is planning a 2GHz dual-core smartphone "by next year". "We are planning to release a 2Ghz dual core CPU-equipped smartphone by next year," an unnamed Samsung exec told the newspaper. "This product will have the data processing capacities of a regular PC" he continued. Although the exact nature of the processor is unknown, it's believed to slot into Samsung's Exynos branding. Samsung is also expected to begin offering the Exynos chips to other manufacturers, taking on Qualcomm's Snapdragon in the process. [via Engadget]

Vodafone UK releases Samsung Galaxy S Gingerbread update

Vodafone UK has begun to push out the update for the Samsung Galaxy S, updating the smartphone to Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Vodafone looks to be the first UK carrier to offer the update. The first signs of Gingerbread for the Galaxy S were spotted over the weekend, with the new firmware being flagged up in several Nordic countries. According to Vodafone's change-list, the handset will get a "simpler and slicker" UI, the new Gingerbread keyboard, boosted power and camera management, and the ability to lock it into 2G mode. To install the new firmware, you'll need to hook your Galaxy S up to a PC running Samsung KIES. Let us know how you get on in the comments! Press Release:
NEWS: Update for the Samsung Galaxy S A new maintenance release for the Samsung Galaxy S is now available for Vodafone customers. This is an Android platform update to 2.3 Gingerbread which introduces a number of fixes and improvements which include; Ul Enhancements (simpler and slicker) New Android Keyboard, with easy copy/paste feature Improved Power Management Multiple Camera Management (front and back) The ability to switch the device to GSM (2G) only mode has been restored in this update. How will you get the latest software? This can be done manually by connecting your handset to your computer via USB and opening the Samsung KIES application. You will be prompted that an update is available and should then follow the onscreen instructions. Checking the software version To check which version of the software you have on your handset you need to dial *#1234# The new software version will show as i9000BUJV4

Gingerbread for Samsung Galaxy S goes live

Samsung has begun pushing out the Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread update for the Samsung Galaxy S, with multiple European users of xda-developers reporting that the new ROM went live overnight. The update is available through Samsung Kies, the company's PC software tool. A Gingerbread build for the Galaxy S was leaked back in February, but until now the freshest European firmware has been Android 2.2 Froyo. US versions of the Galaxy S are still languishing on Eclair in some cases. It's early days for feedback on the new ROM, but users are hoping for snappier performance more akin to the Samsung-made Nexus S. Let us know if you spot the update rolling out to your country in the comments. [via AgeMobile - thanks droider!]

Samsung Galaxy Tab wireless TV streaming [Hands on]

Samsung has a new feature for their Galaxy Tabs coming out which will add wireless TV streaming. Chris Davies over at Slashgear got a look at it during IFA 2011. Originally announced back in February, the new feature enables users of the Samsung D7000 or D8000 HDTVs to stream wirelessly to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1 out of the box. It's very similar to Samsung's AllShare DNLA client, but it works the other way, with the HDTV transcoding the signal and sending it wirelessly to the Galaxy Tab.

HTC Sensation Live: Hands-On [Video]

We've grown used to HTC rolling out solid, compelling Android smartphones, but the HTC Sensation threatens to take things to another level. A slick unibody design that's both narrower and thinner than the HTC Desire HD yet still manages to accommodate a 4.3-inch qHD display and 1.2GHz dual-core processor, the Sensation promises both speed and usability in spades. Read on for the Android Community first-impressions. HTC's metal stylings have grown increasingly refined over the past few years, and the Sensation is no different. Smooth edges nestling neatly into the hand, the slightly concave touchscreen is easy to use and responsive, and indeed the whole Gingerbread OS whips along nicely. There are no shortage of bells & whistles to the UI, either, with various new 3D effects as you slide between homescreen panes, an updated weather app with richer animations, and menus that generally open and transition with zero lag. The core apps have had a sprinkle of magic dust too, so you get the option of body-text previews in the HTC Mail app (either 2, 3 or 5 lines along with the sender and subject) and a Video Trimming function to pare down 1080p HD stereo clips recorded with the 8-megapixel camera. The display is bright and vivid, with the S-LCD screen technology being color-saturated and crisp. That - along with the 16:9 aspect ratio - makes it ideal for watching movies, and of course there's HTC Watch to satisfy that. The new rental/purchase store will offer either carrier billing or credit card payments, depending on your choice of operator, and supports 3G/WiFi trailer previews, optimized downloads of full content (over WiFi only) that start playing within 10s thanks to some smart buffering, and the ability to access content rented or purchased on up to five HTC devices. Unfortunately, you can't watch the same content on your PC or Mac, thanks to DRM limitations, which leaves you reliant on the HDMI connectivity for putting clips on a bigger display. HTC won't be bundling the HDMI dongle in the box with the Sensation, at least initially, but it will be offering two versions: one powered by the Sensation itself, and another with a separate USB port for powering it and recharging the phone. A dock is also in the works, and the HDMI offers not only video playback but general screen mirroring, useful for browsing on your HDTV or even using a remote log-in app and taking charge of your PC desktop from afar. Unfortunately there's no OnLive gaming, nor the HTC Video Chat app shown on the Flyer at MWC 2011. The former may eventually make an appearance, when HTC has ironed out licensing issues in all territories, but the latter is still being held up by cautious carriers and HTC has no timescale for its release. Still, Skype and other generic video calling apps will be able to use the Sensation's front-facing camera. While the HTC Sensation will break with tradition and see a global launch - in the US with T-Mobile as the HSPA+ toting HTC Sensation 4G, in Europe with, initially, exclusivity to Vodafone, and on unspecified Asian carriers - there won't be a single SKU with 3G/4G bands for all territories. Instead, somewhat annoyingly, there will be different models for each. HTC tells us it's a compromise to help keep the Sensation slim, as is the combination microUSB/HDMI port and absence of a physical camera shortcut. Nonetheless, we can't help but come away impressed by the HTC Sensation. As a device to take on the Motorola ATRIX 4G or Samsung Galaxy S II it's everything we hoped it would be from the pre-announce rumors, and the combination of slick design, optimized software and HTC's useful online suite of services (including remote access, sync and tracking) add up to a compelling package at the top end of Android devices. [vms a2b4e80506f582af3676] [gallery]