smartphones

HTC Sensation to be Pyramid’s street name after UK debut on April 12?

The HTC Pyramid will reportedly launch in the UK as the HTC Sensation, making its debut at the HTC press event in London next Tuesday, April 12. That's according to Pocket-lint's unnamed source, who has supposedly confirmed the UK arrival of the Sensation "in the coming months" though not any of the specifications nor which carriers may be offering it. Previous rumors have indicated that the Pyramid/Sensation will be one of HTC's first dual-core smartphones for the European market. The company unveiled the HTC EVO 3D at CTIA 2011 last month, with a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm processor, but the handset is a CDMA device and will arrive on Sprint in the US initially (although European availability has also been promised). Otherwise, the Pyramid/Sensation is tipped to have a large 4.3-inch display running at qHD resolution, 768MB of RAM and WiFi b/g/n, all wrapped up in a unibody-style chassis. Twin cameras and Sense round things out. We'll know for sure next week, when we head off to HTC's press launch. Take a peek at all of our awesome hands-on and update action on the HTC Sensation if you dare - loveliness awaits!

Android ousts iPhone as most popular smartphone system in UK says latest survey

It's not just in the US where Android devices are out-selling Apple's iPhone. New research by Intelligent Environments, a digital banking provider, suggests that Android handsets in the UK are more popular than the iPhone, with 28-percent of the people they surveyed having a device running Google's OS. That's compared to 26-percent with an iPhone, and 14-percent with a BlackBerry. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, given Google is currently keeping its more advanced mapping features to itself, navigation and route planning is the most common application Android UK device owners take advantage of. It's worth bearing in mind that the iPhone is just one device, of course, versus multiple OEMs offering handsets running Android. Still, unlike in the US, in the UK the iPhone is currently offered across all of the major carriers, rather than being limited to one network.

Samsung Galaxy S Plus i9001 with overclocked CPU in pipeline [Update: Confirmed!]

Samsung may have the Galaxy S II on the way to keep its flagship spot occupied, but according to the latest rumors there'll also be a replacement to the original single-core Galaxy S as well. Connected insider Eldar Murtazin has heard that Samsung is readying the Galaxy S i9001, an overclocked version of the original device. The Galaxy S i9001's single-core chip will apparently be running at 1.4GHz, rather than the 1GHz it originally offered. That, Murtazin suggests, will make the i9001 Samsung's rival to the HTC Pyramid, though we're expecting the HTC handset to be dual-core. Exact release dates are unknown, and of course none of this is official. Still, we wouldn't be surprised if Samsung milked the Galaxy S series' success a little longer, just as it has done with the recent 4G version. Update: Samsung Russia has confirmed the Galaxy S Plus i9001, with a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, TouchWiz 3.0, 8GB of internal memory, HD video recording, a 1.4GHz processor and HD video recording/playback. It will arrive in Russia at the end of April, priced at 23,990 rubles ($844). [Thanks Kunal!]

Sony Ericsson confirms XPERIA Play delays in UK

The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play has encountered shipping delays and may miss its April 1 UK release at some retailers and on some carriers, the company has confirmed. Sony Ericsson has blamed "a freight issue" for the delay, which prompted Vodafone to contact pre-order customers and warn them their handsets wouldn't be arriving tomorrow as promised. According to our sources, the delay is "days rather than weeks" but will still mean XPERIA Play availability is tight. Sony Ericsson says some retailers will indeed have stock tomorrow, but there's no word on which. O2 has already delayed its own launch of the handset, having identified firmware bugs, though we're told that's a completely separate issue from the shipping problem. Sony Ericsson Statement:
We can confirm that the Xperia™ PLAY handsets are still planned to launch in the UK for 1st April, as originally communicated. However, as of today, we have experienced a freight issue that may impact the number of Xperia™ PLAYs arriving at some retail outlets. This said, consumers can purchase Xperia™ PLAY as of April 1st at a number of stores across the UK.
Vodafone UK Statement:
Sony Ericsson has advised us that it will not be able to supply the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play and Arc devices to meet their original launch date of 1 April. Unfortunately, this means there will be a small delay before pre-order customers receive their orders and the device is made available for sale in our shops. We're working closely with Sony Ericsson to ensure our customers' phones are delivered as soon as possible and we will contact people directly with specific timescales when we know more. We appreciate this is disappointing and are doing our very best to resolve this as quickly as possible.

Dell plans Stage sync update for Streak, Streak 7 and PCs

Right now, Dell's Stage software is a vaguely useful UI and app suite for the company's Streak and Streak 7 Android tablets, along with Dell's notebooks and desktops. In the future, however, it will be a multi-platform synchronization tool, automatically transferring content between the smartphones and PCs. Talking to Android Community at a Streak 7 pre-briefing, Dell revealed that the Stage roadmap includes intelligent sync functionality which will automatically move new photos, videos and other content from your smartphone to your PC when you enter the home network. Remote access tools and streaming are also envisaged. Those without Dell computers won't be left out in the cold, however. Dell is planning to release a version of Stage for other PCs, though it will be functionally limited in comparison to the original. Still, enough to wirelessly sync. Unfortunately, Dell's Windows Phone range won't get included into the syncing fold, at least not initially. The company told us it was looking at the possibility, but right now Microsoft's limitations on OS modification mean it's not allowed.

Sony Ericsson unlocking bootloader for some 2011 Android phones

Sony Ericsson has announced that it will be taking a more flexible approach to unlocking the bootloader on its Android smartphones, though the functionality won't be available until later in the year. According to Karl-Johan Dahlström, Senior Program Architect at Sony Ericsson, certain models of the company's 2011 range - including the XPERIA Play, Arc, Pro and Neo - will offer an open-bootloader option for flashing third-party firmware. Only SIM-unlocked versions of the handsets will be eligible for the official bootloader unlock, which Sony Ericsson says is because its carrier and other partners are cautious about files and apps being pulled from the secure storage of the devices they offer. Certain markets and configurations of handset will also be ineligible. Basically, Dahlström says, if you can connect your phone to the Fastboot tool in the Android SDK, you'll be able to unlock it. The original X10 will not be eligible. The company also cautions about the potential impact on owners' warranties, with the possibility of a "handling fee" should Sony Ericsson repair your device after it has been flashed with unofficial firmware. Still, this is good news for the Android community, which has grown used to being able to use its ROM of choice on its preferred device. More news about the functionality in the spring.

European launch for HTC EVO 3D confirmed says HTC France

HTC France has confirmed that the HTC EVO 3D will get a launch outside of the US, with the GSM version of the glasses-free 3D smartphone apparently keeping the same name for its European debut. According to the tweet, no launch date for the dual-core handset has been confirmed. Still, we're legitimately excited about the EVO 3D, and not particularly because of the autostereoscopic 3D capabilities. Instead it's the 1.2GHz dual-core processor and qHD resolution display that have us keen, both making their debut on HTC devices. Of course, that's not to say that the ability to shoot 3D photos with the EVO 3D's dual 5-megapixel camera array isn't interesting, it's just that we still need a little convincing about 3D photography. More on the HTC EVO 3D in our hands-on report here. HTC EVO 3D hands-on: [vms 34dada217712d76f3d51] [via Smartdroid.de]

O2 Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play delayed after firmware bugs found

UK carrier O2 has confirmed that the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play will be delayed, after having "found some bugs in the software that, if they’re not fixed, means customers won’t have a great experience." According to Stuart Hibberd, head of O2's testing team, by the time Sony Ericsson has tweaked the firmware, the gaming smartphone will have missed its previously announced April 1 launch date. What's unclear is whether the same bugs will impact other carriers offering the XPERIA Play. O2 doesn't specify what, exactly, the issues are, but it does claim they're general flaws in the XPERIA Play's firmware rather than something to do with a particular build for the O2 network. For more on the XPERIA Play, check out our hands-on from CTIA 2011 last week. [Thanks Toby!]

Mobiado CPT002 Aston Martin concept promises transparent touchscreen

Car designers are used to being able to come up with outlandish ideas that will never quite work, so why shouldn't they do the same with smartphones? The Mobiado CPT002 Aston Martin concept phone takes a sheet of solid sapphire crystal, layers on a transparent capacitive touchscreen, and then brackets it with platinum side bars containing the battery, electronics and SIM card. At least, that's what the design brief says; actually manufacturing all this would, we fear, be a little outside the realms of what's feasible. Still, the Android-based concept looks fantastic, and would have plenty of integration with your Aston Martin (you do have an Aston, don't you?). As well as working as the key, the CPT002 would automatically hook up to your car's display, showing FourSquare-powered points-of-interest, parking and your friends, while cameras embedded in the car will share photos to Twitter and Facebook. Should you accidentally crash, the phone will record stats from the airbag and other sensors. Mobiado say the whole exercise is designed to "push the boundaries of invention"; as long as they're paying for the car, we won't argue with them. [gallery] [via GSMArena] Press Release:
MOBIADO CPT002 ASTON MARTIN CONCEPT PHONE: DESIGN IN MOBILITY Basel, Switzerland – March 24th, 2011: The CPT002 exemplifies what a concept phone can be, combining existing technology and software with state-of-the-art advances in electronics to create a realistic vision of luxury mobile phones. The CTP002 will present this futuristic image at BaselWorld, the world watch and jewelry show in Switzerland (Hall 2.1, Booth A22). The CPT002 is the key to your Aston Martin vehicle, automatically unlocking the doors as you approach, however this is just the beginning as the phone also connects directly to the car display while remaining in your pocket. The CPT002 software combines with the vehicle GPS providing a new level of social network experience:  FourSquare will show your current location as well as the location of your friends and nearby venues all integrated on a GPS map of the Aston Martin car display, to help you plan your night and organize parking locations.  Cameras integrated into the vehicle can be set to periodically update FaceBook and Twitter with pictures, video, and information of passing cities/landmarks during road trips, or can update your social sites in real time with your progress during race track days.  At the time of an accident, the vehicle Airbag will receive accelerometer information from the CPT002 in the driver’s pocket. These readings will give the car information of the driver’s acceleration movement from within the car seat, allowing for more responsive control over safety deployments such as airbag sequence, timing, and seatbelt stiffening. Mobiado is consistently guided by a philosophy of doing things differently, and this principle has now given rise to the CPT002 Aston Martin Concept Phone. Staying on the cutting edge of design required the freedom to push the limits of what a luxury phone can be. The heart of the CPT002 is the solid sapphire crystal, see-through capacitive touch screen. The sides of the CPT are crafted from platinum; they incorporate the battery, electronics, and SIM card allowing for the screen of the phone to be transparent giving the phone a simple modern look while maintaining a luxurious appearance. The purpose of a concept is to push the boundaries of invention, allowing concept ideas to be identified for future production designs. Mobiado’s passion for the avant-garde is an essential element of its DNA and history, and the driving force of its R&D strategy.

Sony Ericsson confirms Gingerbread for XPERIA X10

Sony Ericsson's decision earlier this year to freeze OS updates for the XPERIA X10 met with no small amount of disgust from owners of the smartphone, and their complaints were certainly vocal. Now, however, Sony Ericsson has backtracked and changed its mind, announcing that Android 2.3 Gingerbread will now be headed to the X10 at end Q2/early Q3 this year. Sony Ericsson describe the decision as a response to consumer feedback and a side-effect of developing Gingerbread for the 2011 model range. There are a few things to consider, however. The update will be for generic handsets, not carrier-modified versions, and there's no guarantee that the latter will ever get Gingerbread. The XPERIA X10 mini and mini pro won't be getting Gingerbread, and Sony Ericsson says this really will be the final update for the X10 - it'll see no subsequent updates after 2.3. There'll also be some limitations compared to the XPERIA Arc and other 2011 handsets:
  • The current plan is that the XperiaTM X10 will get the Android standard Camera user interface and therefore features like e.g. face recognition, smile shutter etc will be lost.
  • Moxier is replaced by the gingerbread native EAS functionality.
  • Mediascape is being replaced by the media experience widgets and music player included in our new 2011 products.
  • DRM keys for protected content on your phone will be lost in the upgrade process.
  • The Sony Ericsson Backup and Restore client is not supported in the Gingerbread version and will therefore be lost.
  • Support for bi-directional languages will be reduced compared to the latest version of the 2.1 version of the XperiaTM X10.
Still, we have to give Sony Ericsson credit for changing its mind on a decision that left a lot of people furious about being early-adopters of the company's handsets. [via Clove]