Posted on 16 April 2011
Its not difficult to understand how HTC posted $33.8b market capitalisation figures for the last quarter. HTC’s early Android adaption has propelled the company from a small Taiwanese manufacturer to a global player, overshadowing both Nokia and RIM with the market cap figures.
HTC’s popularity is ever increasing with both tech savvy and those new to the smartphone world, a theme they will hope to follow with the announcement of their newest flagship handset, the Sensation [product database].
Powering this new â€œmultimedia superhero inch is a 1.2Ghz dual core Qualcomm MSM8260 Snapdragon with a powerful Adreno 220 GPU, 768MB of RAM and 1GB of user accessible storage which can be expanded with the use of a microSD card. The multi touch 4.3inch S-LCD screen runs at a qHD (540×960) resolution, offering up HTC’s newest version of Sense (3.0) and Android 2.3, Gingerbread.
This new version of Sense includes customisable lock screen widgets displaying quick information on items like stocks and weather and also allows you to unlock the device by dragging an application icon into a circle, taking you straight to said application. Also on board is HTC’s Watch service, allowing downloadable movie rentals or purchases but on this occasion, unlike the Flyer, access to OnLive’s game streaming service is notably missing.
Europe is expected to see the HTC Sensation around May, with Vodafone getting a month of exclusivity in the UK. It will be released in the US as the Sensation 4G on the T-Mobile network sometime this summer.
You can track the HTC Sensation in our product database and see the press shots in the gallery.
Posted on 14 March 2011
Google’s Nexus phone program aims to combine top-end hardware and the latest Android software to create a flagship Android smartphone (and arguably, a developer phone). The first phone from the Nexus program was the Nexus One (HTC). Just recently Google has partnered with Samsung to bring the intuitively not intuitively named Nexus Two Nexus S to market. Does Google + Samsung = Success, or is the Nexus S being quickly superseded by other devices, even if they aren’t yet running the latest Android built? Step inside to find out.
All About Updates
There’s one thing we should talk about up front. Google’s Nexus phones offer updates to the very latest Android built right as it’s released regardless of the carrier or manufacturer. On pretty much every other Android phone/device, updates are pushed through the carrier or OEM. This means that if users want the latest enhancements for Android (and who doesn’t?) they have to wait for a middle-man to get around to setting everything straight before they get the update. Unfortunately promised updates have failed to come to fruition in a number of cases, leaving users without important feature updates and performance improvements. And even when promised updates do eventually come through, they aren’t always as simple as upgrading right on your phone, making updates unobtainable for those less versed in the computer world.
With the Nexus program, Google provides access to the very latest Android software. Updates always come as soon as they’re released from Google, and they install straight through the phone. This gives any of the Nexus devices an advantage over most other phones. The Nexus S is one of the only [perhaps the only] devices on the market today that comes out of the box with Android 2.3 installed. And, even then after powering it on, the phone will ask to install several incremental upgrades that have been made since the initial Android 2.3 release.
And now back to our regularly scheduled reviewing!
Let’s has a quick look at the specs of the phone and a tour around the device. As usual, you can see detailed specs, links, photos, and even compare devices with the Nexus S at it’s tracking page in our device database.
Briefly, before we get to the aforementioned, you might be interested in having a look at our Nexus S overview video:
- Android 2.3
- Cortex A8 (Hummingbird) CPU @ 1GHz
- 4 inch curved Super-AMOLED capacitive touchscreen @ 800×480 (1.67:1 aspect ratio [non-standard])
- 512MB of RAM
- 5MP rear camera (only capable of 720×480 [DVD quality] video recording) with single-LED flash
- 0.3MP front camera (640×480)
- 16GB of internal memory
- WiFi b/g/n & Bluetooth 2.1
- GPS & digital compass
- 129g (0.284 pounds)
- NFC (near-field-comm) chip, acelleomoeter, light sensor, proximity sensor, 3-axis gyro
And that’s all! Yup, it’s a pretty simple phone.
Posted on 07 December 2010
Yesterday, Google released the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) SDK. This marks the official release of the latest version of Android, which will be launched baked into the Nexus S.
While Android 2.3 does bring a few welcomed improvements to the platform, it isn’t doing any major overhauling; looks like we’ll have to wait for Android 3.0 for that.
For users, Android 2.3 has a newly tweaked notification bar which looks to have some refined icons. I still think they look rather ugly compared to the iOS status bar icons, but at least they’re evolving. There is also a slightly changed keyboard which Google says is faster and more accurate than the one found on previous versions of Android. Google is Finally adding a way to effectively select text for copy/paste actions which will function (not surprisingly) similarly to the iPhone’s implementation of the feature. Copied or not, I can’t wait to finally not be frustrated when selecting text on Android phones (besides a few phones that have custom tweaks for this issue).
Additionally built-in VoIP/SIP support for internet telephony has been included (something the Maemo devices [such as the N900] have been doing well for a long time), presumably supporting video chatting for devices being released with front-facing cameras.
YouTube has also been enhanced for in-page viewing (a la iPad) and a personalized homepage similar to what you find with the web desktop version of YouTube.
Android 2.3 feels like more of an update for developers than users. This will be good in the long run because while you might not see lots of enhancements right out of the box, but it adds tools for developers to be able to create great new features. If you’re a tech head (and I have to imagine that most of you are, if you like Android), here’s a video from Google showing off some of the improved controls and tools that they’ve added to Android 2.3 for developers: