Samsung Galaxy Portal i5700 hits UK

Samsung's i5700 Android smartphone has been known by a few different names since we first spotted it last year: the Samsung Galaxy Mini, for instance, and the Samsung Spica when it got its Korean launch.  Now, headed to T-Mobile UK, there's a new name: the Samsung Galaxy Portal i5700. The name may be different, but everything else looks the same.  That means a 3.2-inch touchscreen, HSDPA, WiFi and GPS, along with a 3.2-megapixel camera and 3.5mm headphone jack.  Samsung will apparently be preloading a Layar-based augmented reality app onto the phone. Unfortunately it also gets Android 1.5 rather than anything newer, which we're less than impressed by.  Still, it'll be something of a bargain when it arrives - first on T-Mobile UK and then on other UK networks - free with a £20 ($32) per month contract. [via Recombu]

Seven HTC Android phones tipped in user profiles

HTC's upcoming Android device portfolio has seemingly been revealed, courtesy of some overzealous publishing of handset user profiles.  The seven devices - complete with screen resolution and keyboard details - include a QWERTY-equipped version of the HTC Tattoo, the HTC Halo. Overall there are three with QWERTY keyboards and the remainder rely on touchscreen-only input.  The majority have 320 x 480 displays, though there's one device - the HTC Supersonic - with a panel running at 480 x 800.  At least one of the devices - the HTC Legend - was included in the leaked 2010 roadmap for HTC late last year. Of course, there's no release schedules linked with the different devices, so we'll just have to wait and see what HTC bring to Mobile World Congress 2010 next month.  Android Community will be there to bring back all the details! [via KnowYourCell]

    Hisense HS-E90 is latest CDMA Android smartphone

    Android continues to gather pace as more companies realise the potential of a recognized brand name and a free OS, and latest on-board is Hisense.  The manufacturer has announced that its first device, the Hisense HS-E90, will make its debut in China this month, with the possibility of US, European and Middle Eastern launches following. Specifications are tipped to include a 3.5-inch HVGA touchscreen, 5-megapixel autofocus camera, WiFi and GPS, along with Bluetooth and EVDO Rev.A connectivity.  There's also a microSD card slot and an FM radio, but we're guessing Hisense will have to do a little CDMA radio tweaking if they want to release the HS-E90 in GSM-friendly Europe. We're a little confused by Hisense's official renders, too.  The UI is non-standard for Android, which suggests that either Hisense have developed their own or used a mockup design that won't exist on the real HS-E90, and the notch in the bottom left-hand corner on the back of the smartphone looks like a stylus.  Considering Android was designed to avoid the need for a stylus, we're hoping Hisense aren't under the impression that would-be owners would love to see the toothpick's return. [via Unwired View]

    Alex Android-based dual-screen ebook reader by Spring Design

    Ebook reader apps for Android have been in the Android Market for some time now, but we've yet to see a production ebook device that uses Google's open-source platform.  That could change imminently, however, with the unveiling of the Spring Design Alex ebook reader, a dual-display slate that has a standard 6-inch E Ink panel up top and a second, 3.5-inch color LCD touchscreen underneath, while Android runs the whole show.

    LG GW620 Android smartphone gets official

    LG's first Android handset has made its official debut, in the shape of the LG GW620.  A slider device with a pull-out QWERTY keyboard and 3-inch touchscreen, LG's press information for the GW620 doesn't confirm many of the exact specifications; however, they do make clear that they will be supporting Android as well as - rather than instead of - Windows Mobile. The smartphone was previewed last week, as the LG Etna, on a Vodafone stand.  There it was confirmed to have a 5-megapixel camera, Bluetooth and USB connectivity.  LG have also seemingly done some work on the UI, though not to the extent of Motorola MOTOBLUR or HTC Sense; instead it looks as though LG's S-Class UI has been ported over to Android. No pricing details, but the LG GW620 will arrive in Q4 2009, though so far the company have only confirmed that it will ship to "select European markets".  US availability is unknown. Press Release:
    First Android Device Signals LG's Two-tier Smartphone Strategy Seoul, September 14, 2009 - LG Electronics (LG), a global leader and technology innovator in mobile communications, reinforced its aggressive strategy in smartphones by announcing the first Android mobile device which will give LG a broader and more dominant position in this expanding market. The announcement of LG’s first Android-powered smartphones comes only a week after the world’s third largest mobile phone company announced that it would be introducing three new Windows Mobile smartphones in the next few weeks. These developments underscore LG’s commitment to offering greater consumer choice in the expanding smartphone category. The new LG-GW620 features a 3-inch full touchscreen and slide out QWERTY keypad to meet the growing needs of consumers who rely on their mobile phones for more than just making calls. The LG-GW620 benefits from an operating system that was created from the ground up to take advantage of the many mobile applications and services developed by search leader Google. In anticipation of strong demand for smartphones that support social networking functions right out-of-the-box, the LG-GW620 also lives up to LG’s consumer-friendly design philosophy by making the smartphone experience more accessible for typical users. At the same time, LG’s messaging phones have traditionally been very popular with young professionals who demand a full QWERTY keypad for a fast mobile computing experience. The LG-GW620 manages to meet the needs of both types of users simultaneously. “The LG-GW620 will appeal to first-time smartphone customers by offering a new and different kind of user experience,” said Dr. Skott Ahn, President and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “Our objective is to provide a wide selection of smartphones to satisfy the diverse preferences of today’s consumers. This Android phone is just one of many smartphone models we plan to introduce worldwide in the years ahead.” In addition to the Android model, LG announced in early September that it will be introducing a minimum of 13 new smartphones over the next 16 months that utilize Microsoft’s Windows Mobile. The newest release, version 6.5, was announced just last week. The LG-GW620 will be available in the fourth quarter of this year in select European markets.

    Motorola DEXT hits Orange UK from early October

    Motorola UK have confirmed that their new Motorola DEXT - the name for the Motorola CLIQ outside of the US - will go on sale through carrier Orange from early October.  Pre-orders for the handset will begin on September 22nd, though pricing is yet to be announced. At the launch event yesterday, Motorola themselves only said that the CLIQ would arrive in the US on T-Mobile sometime in the fall during Q4 2009.  They also confirmed that the device - as the DEXT - would see a release in Latin America and mainland Europe, though failed to give release dates. The DEXT has a 3.1-inch HVGA capacitive touchscreen, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, 5-megapixel autofocus camera and 3G.  It also uses Motorola's new MOTOBLUR sync system, which you can see demonstrated in the video below. [vms 8137a16a1acd04ed9112]

    Motorola CLIQ (aka DEXT) hands-on video demo

    After being, frankly, very impressed at the announcement of Motorola's first Android smartphone yesterday, we caught up with the CLIQ (aka Motorola DEXT) afterwards for a hands-on demo.  Motorola were being coy with the handset, preferring to run through its capabilities themselves rather than allow a free-for-all in our own hands, but we did get enough of a play to ascertain that the QWERTY keyboard is tactile and well built, while the 3.1-inch HVGA capacitive touchscreen is bright, responsive and - thanks to the hard glass cover - feels great. It also seems to be quick, too, though there's no telling how close to production-status the firmware is on these demo models.  Given the CLIQ won't land on T-Mobile USA until Q4 this year, there's probably still some work to be done, but despite the fact that Motorola have used the same sort of 528MHz Qualcomm processor as can be found on HTC's recent Android handsets, we had no problems with speed or responsiveness. We're waiting for the full hands-on image gallery of the Motorola CLIQ to finish processing, and will update with that when it's ready.  For now, enjoy the video demos and check out this post for more detail on the CLIQ itself. Motorola CLIQ (aka DEXT) hands-on demo: [vms 8137a16a1acd04ed9112] Motorola CLIQ with MOTOBLUR demo: [vms 79d135ba18e051673d90]

    FCC report tips Archos A5S Android Internet Tablet

    Archos' Android-based Internet Tablet has been prematurely revealed, courtesy of the company's FCC report.  The device - which resembles their existing Archos 5 PMP, but uses Google's mobile OS - has been confirmed as the Archos A5S (7501), as well as having an untested sibling device, the A5H (7501). The Archos A5S has WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR and both an FM receiver and transmitter, together with a touchscreen and - going by the single image of the device powered on, which you can see in the gallery below - a custom UI on top of the standard Android interface.  While the FCC did not test any integrated 3G connectivity option, the (incomplete) user manual does suggest that at least one model will have it; it's been speculated that this could be the differentiating factor of the Archos A5H. There's also a microSD card slot and microUSB ports.  We're expecting the Archos Android MID to be officially announced on September 15th, hopefully with a price that puts it firmly in the "affordable companion device" category. [gallery] [via SlashGear]

    iriver developing Android rival to iPod touch?

    iriver are reportedly considering using Android as the basis for an iPod touch rival, the iriver K2, which would use a 3.5-inch touchscreen, WiFi, Bluetooth and integrated digital TV tuner.  The news comes from an Australian distributor, C.R. Kennedy, whose iriver product manager Danny Bejanoff has been discussing the Korean company's upcoming product range. While the device has not been signed off by iriver, leaving open the possibility that it could be shelved before making it to retail, the expectation is that the K2 would include an accelerometer and a web-browser.  Although it would lack the iPod touch's Apple App Store, it would presumably have access to the Android Market for third-party software. The talkative product manager also revealed that iriver is developing an ebook reader and internet tablet.  However there's no word on whether either device runs Android, nor when they might launch. [via Engadget]

    Our HTC Hero review goes live at SlashGear

    Our review of the HTC Hero is finally ready, and it's no understatement to say that this Android smartphone impressed us greatly.  Back in our unboxing video and HTC Sense demo we suggested that the Hero could be the best Android device to date, and the time we've spent with the handset has left us thinking that's certainly the case. The review is almost 4,000 words in all, and hopefully answers just about all of the questions about what improvements to Android HTC have made with their new custom UI.  There's also a video demo of how the Hero handles widgets, plus Flash video and multitouch in the smartphone's browser. We know our Android Community members will still have plenty of questions, so ask away; HTC are clawing our Hero demo unit back from us on Thursday, so there's still time to get any specific queries answered.  In the meantime, check out the full HTC Hero review here.
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