smartphones

UK launch for Samsung Galaxy S II inked in as May 1

Samsung has confirmed that the Galaxy S II will arrive in the UK on May 1, going on sale across "all major networks." Announced back at MWC 2011 in February, the dual-core Galaxy S II GT-I9100 will have a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, run Android 2.3 Gingerbread and offer WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth 3.0. There's also a sizable Super AMOLED Plus display, the latest iteration of Samsung's screen technology. On the back is a 1080p HD video capable 8-megapixel camera, with clips able to be squirted via WiFi over Samsung's AllShare technology. No word on pricing at this stage, at least not officially, though we've seen at least one UK retailer offer pre-orders on the Galaxy S II for £528 including VAT. We'd expect to see the handset offered free with new agreements via carrier subsidies, however. Press Release:
SAMSUNG ANNOUNCES UK AVAILABILITY OF THE GALAXY S II Samsung's most powerful smartphone yet set to hit UK shores on 1st May 11th April 2011, London, UK – Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., today announces that its slimmest and lightest smartphone yet, the Samsung Galaxy S II (Model: GT-I9100), will be available in UK shops on 1st May 2011. The Galaxy S II is the first handset to offer Samsung's Super AMOLED Plus screen technology, the largest, brightest and most colourful screen available in Samsung's portfolio of devices. Super slim (8.49mm) and lightweight (116g) Samsung's Galaxy S II runs on Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and is super-fast thanks to its dual-core 1.2GHz processor. The device's exceptionally bright screen makes it perfect for watching movies and TV or playing games and looking at apps, with its ground-breaking 'organic' LED technology, Super AMOLED Plus also saving energy so you can enjoy watching content without affecting the battery life. The Galaxy S II is built for multi-tasking, its dual-core processor makes switching between applications and loading web pages such as Google, Yahoo and YouTube quick, whilst superior 3D hardware means games and videos can be loaded and played with ease. What's more, there's immediate access to content and services such as catch up TV and movie downloads, thanks to super-fast connectivity and WiFi, with speeds up to 21Mbps which provides increased download speeds, and Bluetooth 3.0+HS which reduces data transfer times significantly. Simon Stanford, Managing Director, Mobile, Samsung UK and Ireland said: "From the moment it was revealed at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona there has been a huge buzz about the Galaxy S II, so we're pleased to announce that it will be available for UK customers to buy from 1st May. Our slimmest, lightest, fastest smartphone is our first device to offer of Super AMOLED Plus screen technology, alongside the most advanced technical specifications including the latest Android OS and a dual core processor. We're confident it's a great package for anyone wanting a superior smartphone experience." The Galaxy S II also features an 8 megapixel camera with 1080p HD recording and playback, Samsung's patented AllShare technology so you can share pictures, movies, and music with other devices and Samsung's new Kies Air which lets people manage their smartphone contents from their PC via local WiFi connections. A new 'Live Panel' feature on the Galaxy S II allows aggregation of live web, social networking and application contents to a single customisable home-screen, whilst it's possible to place all the important parts of your life onto three adjacent home screens which you can switch between simply by pressing and holding on the screen. As with all the Samsung Galaxy family, the Galaxy S II features Samsung Hubs, providing a huge range of entertainment content, advanced mobile games and the ability to manage social networking accounts. The Samsung Galaxy S II will be available in the UK across all major networks and retailers.

Samsung Nexus S 4G clears FCC

Spring has sprung and a ton of smartphones have made their way through FCC testing, including the Samsung Nexus S 4G. Listed as model SPH-D720, the Nexus S 4G has been cleared for WiMax channels, pointing towards a Sprint release. Sprint has already hinted of a Spring release, but other that that, mums the word. Originally, we reported that Best Buy was going to launch it April 6th. But as of this writing, that hadn't happened, probably waiting to clear the FCC before launching a full court press. There's plenty of time left in Spring, however, so no need to panic yet.

Most Students suffer from Smartphone Withdrawl Study Finds

According to a recent study, students who have had their smartphones taken away from them for even a few hours will begin to suffer from withdrawal symptoms that may rival those of smokers or even drug addicts. The study, which focused on young people aged 17-23 in ten countries around the world found that 79 per cent of students who volunteered for a complete media blackout from cellphones, computers and the internet, social networks and even television experienced reactions ranging from distress to confusion and isolation. Students were allowed to use the phone, read, and even have one on one conversations, but found it difficult initially due to feelings of withdrawal.

IOIO for Android detailed: Project samples from USB breakout board [Video]

We mentioned SparkFun's brilliant new IOIO for Android earlier this week, a USB I/O breakout board for Android smartphones which turns your handset into a super-Arduino of sorts. Now the brains behind the board, Ytai, has spilled the beans on the project, including some sample code and a handful of ideas that you can use IOIO to create. For instance, there's the Retroid, a smart alarm clock which can be told to make different ringing patterns and show various LEDs depending on incoming calls, messages and other events on the handset. Or the Visual Charger, a huge multi-segment LED power indicator which gives an at-a-glance idea of what percentage the smartphone's battery is at. [youtube 8sAvXCfEj3s] We prefer the Wall Printer, though, which uses seven Sharpie-style market pens hooked up to servos for an old-school printer effect controlled by an Android phone. Definitely worth considering if you're into Android and electronics; you can pre-order the IOIO for Android here, for $49.95. [youtube aYUMYyXBaF0] [via Twitter]

HTC hosting London Pyramid Party… and you’re invited!

HTC's last meet-up gave Android fans a chance for an early play with the Desire HD and Desire Z, and it went so well the company is planning another gathering next week. Open to all - as long as you're able to get to London - the HTC get-together is straight after the company's mysterious press event next Tuesday, April 12. That's when we're expecting to see the HTC Sensation - aka the HTC Pyramid - make its official debut; HTC even teases that with a mention of the event being "a sensory experience". If so, it'll be a chance to get hands-on with the new dual-core Android smartphone well in advance of it arriving in stores. There's everything we know and expect from the Pyramid in our rumor roundup to whet your appetite, and more information at HTC's Facebook page. Let us know if you'll be headed over in the comments!
London, we thought it was high time we had another get-together. We had so much fun with you all last time. We hope all of you can drop by, chill-out and have a chat with us. We will have food and drink, and we'll also have an exclusive set by a pioneering UK DJ. But most excitingly, we have some exciting news to share with you! It is guaranteed to be a sensory experience. Make sure your friends don’t miss out – bring them along with you. If you are planning on attending, please RSVP by clicking “I’m attending” at the top of this page. Just remember that it’s an event for people over 18 and it’s on a first come first served basis. PS. For those of you that aren't in London – never fear – we have plans to come see you soon. We’ll let you know details closer to the time. Click here and read Terms and Conditions: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=207389835957172

Android courts Enterprise with remote-tracking, encryption & more

Google has announced a renewed focus on enterprise use of Android devices, with a range of new features centered around security and collaborative working. Available to all Google Apps for Business and Google Apps for Education customers, the functionality includes remote tracking and locking support via the My Devices dashboard. It's now possible to locating a lost Android 2.2+ handset on a map, ring the device, and reset its PIN or password remotely. There's also a new "Encrypt Data on Device" feature, which will now include requiring encrypted storage on Android 3.0 tablets. Finally, there's a new Google Apps Lookup feature which promises to make locating enterprise business details more straightforward. More information on the changes here.

T-Mobile G2x finally gets release date and pricing

T-Mobile USA has confirmed an April 20 release for the LG G2x, the carriers' version of the LG Optimus 2X. Priced at $199.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate, the G2x will require a new, two-year agreement (and likely a mandatory data plan). Your money gets you a 1GHz Tegra 2 processor, NVIDIA's Tegra Zone preloaded, and an 8-megapixel camera on the back. There's also HDMI connectivity and a sizable 4.3-inch WVGA touchscreen. The G2x arrives in-store on the same day as the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G, in fact, but unlike the messaging-centric phone will also be available from April 15 online via the carrier's online store. More details in our hands-on with the smartphone.

T-Mobile confirms Sidekick 4G release date

T-Mobile USA has confirmed that the Sidekick 4G will arrive on its network come April 20. The news comes as little surprise, however, since RadioShack already announced the launch date back at the end of last month. Still, we won't argue with official confirmation, and we know plenty of would-be Sidekick buyers who will likely feel the same way. The original series of devices built up a strong following, though it remains to be seen how many of them will follow the reskinned Android UI and familiar aesthetic over to the new-generation platform. Pricing for the messaging-centric handset will be from $99.99 with a new, two-year agreement including an unlimited data plan. For more on the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G check out our full hands-on.

SparkFun IOIO for Android makes Arduino-style hacks simple

If you're familiar with the Arduino then SparkFun's new IOIO for Android should get you really excited. A straightforward way to get I/O from an Android 1.5+ device's USB connection, the IOIO board uses a simple Java API to hook into your app and then allows you to link external sensors, inputs and other controls with your own software and the capabilities of the Android device itself. Among the connectivity choices are Digital Input/Output, PWM, Analog Input, I2C, SPI and UARTcontrol. SparkFun have tested it with the T-Mobile G1, Google Nexus One and Nexus S, and Motorola's Droid X (along with an unspecified tablet) but it should play nicely with other Android devices too. The firmware is all open-source and no modifications are necessary to the handset itself, so you shouldn't impact your warranty. It's available for pre-order now, priced at $49.95. [via Twitter]

INQ Cloud Touch Facebook phone on sale now

INQ's Cloud Touch Facebook phone has gone on sale in the UK, offering easier access to the social network on top of an Android base. Priced at £299.95 ($489) SIM-free or free on an £18 ($29) per month contract, the INQ Cloud Touch has a 3.5-inch 480 x 320 touchscreen, 3G, a 5-megapixel camera and runs Android 2.2 Froyo. There's also GPS, an FM radio, WiFi and 512MB of internal storage, which can be added to via microSD card; a 4GB card is bundled in the box. Inside is an 800MHz Qualcomm MSM7227 processor, not exactly the fastest around but certainly helping keep the price down. The Cloud Touch promises to be one of several Facebook phones due this year, with HTC bringing the ChaCha and Salsa out sometime in Q2 2011. No word on whether they'll match the INQ's pricing, however.