Tag Archive | "motorola"

Xoom Won’t See 4G Upgrade Until September, Motorola Ought to Apologize

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Motorola is definitely going to get a bad rap for this one. Remember that Xoom that Motorola claimed would be the first 4G LTE tablet, once sent in for an after-sale upgrade? Yeah well the Xoom has been out for months now with no word on when that upgrade would become available. Today Samsung has officially beaten Motorola to offering the first tablet with 4G LTE, much to the chagrin of Xoom owners.

As we mentioned just the other day, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is now officially available, making it the first 4G tablet, available with Verizon’s speedy LTE connectivity, to actually ship, you know, with a 4G radio installed.

The Xoom, which launched back in February, was purportedly going to be upgradable to 4G at some point in the near future. While the device is indeed upgradable, it seems that Verizon/Motorola’s definition of ‘near future’ isn’t quite aligned with the definition the people who bought the device.

After months with no official information about when the upgrade would actually happen, Motorola is now (right as the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is launched) sending emails to customers letting them know that the upgrade process will begin in September – nearly 7 months after the Xoom was made available.

The upgrade process, which requires that customers actually ship their devices in, will take 6 business days to complete, according to Verizon.

I really think Motorola should offer an apology to those who had to wait so long for the upgrade without and communication from Motorola as to when the upgrade would become available. Perhaps they could even offer a little something to owners of the Xoom, like credit to the Android Marketplace to buy an app or movie.

Source: Droid Life

Xoom Won’t See 4G Upgrade Until September, Motorola Ought to Apologize

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Motorola is definitely going to get a bad rap for this one. Remember that Xoom that Motorola claimed would be the first 4G LTE tablet, once sent in for an after-sale upgrade? Yeah well the Xoom has been out for months now with no word on when that upgrade would become available. Today Samsung has officially beaten Motorola to offering the first tablet with 4G LTE, much to the chagrin of Xoom owners.

As we mentioned just the other day, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is now officially available, making it the first 4G tablet, available with Verizon’s speedy LTE connectivity, to actually ship, you know, with a 4G radio installed.

The Xoom, which launched back in February, was purportedly going to be upgradable to 4G at some point in the near future. While the device is indeed upgradable, it seems that Verizon/Motorola’s definition of ‘near future’ isn’t quite aligned with the definition the people who bought the device.

After months with no official information about when the upgrade would actually happen, Motorola is now (right as the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is launched) sending emails to customers letting them know that the upgrade process will begin in September – nearly 7 months after the Xoom was made available.

The upgrade process, which requires that customers actually ship their devices in, will take 6 business days to complete, according to Verizon.

I really think Motorola should offer an apology to those who had to wait so long for the upgrade without and communication from Motorola as to when the upgrade would become available. Perhaps they could even offer a little something to owners of the Xoom, like credit to the Android Marketplace to buy an app or movie.

Source: Droid Life

AT&T Promises All Android Phones Released in 2011 to get Android 2.3 Gingerbread, Atrix Update Available Starting Today

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android version chartGood news for all Android owners: AT&T says that all Android devices that they offer that were introduced in 2011 will be upgraded to Android 2.3 gingerbread, and those updates start today beginning with AT&T’s version of the Motorola Atrix which they call the Atrix 4G.

You may be saying “What the heck, Ben, I’m not even on AT&T, this has nothing to do with me you jerk! inch Ah… but you should take a moment to realize that this is good news for anyone who uses an Android device, and I’ll tell you why.

According to Google, 80.5% of Android device’s that accessed the Android market over a 14 day period (ending July 5th) were still running Android 2.2 or below. Now that AT&T is announcing these updates for their phones, the pressure is on for other carriers to follow in their footsteps.

What we can only hope will ensue is competition between carriers to show that they have the best update record, and with this announcement, AT&T is about to be the leader in that regard. I’m doing my part by putting this news in the headlines in the hopes that Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and other carriers around the world will realize that keeping devices updated in a timely manner is really important to the people purchasing these devices (you can do your part by spreading those headlines).

Having the latest firmware on Android means access to the latest features, the latest apps, and usually the most secure version of the software.

Google announced integrated video calling in Google Talk back in May, but only approx.. 2.2% of Android users were running firmware that could even use the new feature.

So you see my point… even though this particular bit of news might not impact you directly (if you aren’t on AT&T), it is one small step on the way to ensuring all Android devices are receiving timely updates.

Currently, 18.6% of devices accessing the Android Marketplace are running Android 2.3+ (this isn’t including Honeycomb [3.0+] devices), that’s way up from the 2.2% we saw back in May. Once Android 2.3+ devices pass the 50% mark, developers are going to begin expecting the tools and features available to them with 2.3+ and hopefully we’ll quickly see new Android devices being released with 2.3+ pre-installed instead of them being released then (hopefully) updated.

Anyway… AT&T announced, in one of the one of the only press releases I’ve ever seen with a funny title (“AT&T Customers to Enjoy Gingerbread inch), that the following devices will be updates to Android 2.3:

  • HTC Inspire 4G
  • LG Phoenix
  • Motorola ATRIX 4G
  • Pantech Crossover
  • Samsung Captivate
  • Samsung Infuse 4G

It’s nice to see a company releasing a press release that involves them actually doing something for their customers rather then simply making claims that they are better than their competitors.

It isn’t clear whether or not this has anything to do with the update alliance that Google is supposedly working on; I still think Google and partners need to market their update promises intelligently to target the majority of customers who don’t read tech blogs and don’t know which companies tend to update their devices.

Today Only! Motorola Xoom 32GB WiFi-only for $399

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woot xoomThanks to the folks over at deal-a-day site, Woot.com, you have the option of picking up the first ever Honeycomb tablet, the Motorola Xoom, for $399. This is a refurbished 32GB WiFi-only unit. The 10.1 inch tablet is running Honeycomb 3.1 (the latest version).

If you don’t mind picking up a refurbished unit, you’ll be saving yourself a cool $200 off the asking price of $599 that you’ll find for a new WiFi-only Xoom direct from Motorola. This deal even beats the device new from Amazon which would run you $499.

It is my personal opinion that Honeycomb is not yet good enough for the mainstream. If you want value in a tablet today, go buy an iPad 2. The Xoom itself is a decent bit of hardware, if a bit heavy, but the software still needs time to mature. The Android Marketplace is not yet loaded with enough Honeycomb apps to make the Xoom shine as a tablet, and the Honeycomb interface is not intuitive enough for your average user.

That said, you may not be a mainstreamer, and may be willing to put up with Honeycomb’s rough edges for the sweet customizability that is Android’s hallmark. If that’s the case, we’ve had our hands all over the Xoom; if you need some questions answered, feel free to comment below. We’ve also got some Xoom related content that might aid in your potential purchase decision (also check below for specs):

Have a look at the specs:

  • Android Honeycomb 3.1
  • Dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU @ 1GHz
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 10.1 inch capacitive multitouch screen @ 1280×800
  • Micro HDMI-out
  • MicroUSB port
  • 32GB of built-in memory
  • Rear-facing 5MP camera (capable of 720p recording)
  • Front-facing 2MP camera
  • WiFi a/b/g/n & Bluetooth 2.1
  • GPS, magnetometer, proximity sensor, accelerometer, and gyroscope
  • Android Marketplace access
  • 3250 mAh battery
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Adobe Flash capable
  • 249.1 x 167.8 x 12.9 mm / 9.8 x 6.6 x 0.5 inches
  • 708 grams / 25 ounces

Don’t forget that this deal be completely gone at 1AM EST, and may sell out (likely will!) before that time comes. Best of luck!

Motorola Droid 3 Official, Available July 14th–5-row QWERTY Keyboard Excites!

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Solana_FrontHorOpen_1, 3/9/11, 9:48 AM,  8C, 3900x3300 (1147+2393), 100%, bent 6 adjuste,  1/15 s, R63.9, G48.0, B75.7 Though it showed up on the web back in March, the Droid 3 has finally received the official treatment. The phone will make it’s debut on July 14th on Verizon for $199 w/ contract or with an upgrade.

Let’s dig into the specs, shall we:

  • Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS
  • 4-inch capacitive touchscreen (Gorilla Glass) ‘qHD’ display @ 960×540
  • Sliding 5-row QWERTY keyboard
  • Dual-core CPU @ 1GHz
  • 8MP rear-camera capable of 1080p record and playback (through HDMI-out)
  • 16GB built-in memory
  • MicroSD card slot supporting up to 32GB cards
  • World Phone – WCDMA 850/1900/2100, CDMA 800/1900, GSM 850/900/1800/1900, HSDPA 10.2 Mbps (Category 9/10), CDMA EV-DO Release A, EDGE Class 12, GPRS Class 12, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps
  • WiFi b/g/n & Bluetooth 2.1
  • GPS & Magnetometer (compass)
  • 3G (HSDPA 10.2 Mbps (Category 9/10), CDMA EV-DO Release A, EDGE Class 12, GPRS Class 12, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps)
  • Micro HDMI-out
  • 1540 MAh battery
  • 184g
  • 64.1 x 123.3 x 12.9 mm

The processor is unspecified, but considering the dual-core nature and 1080p capture/output support, I think it’s safe to say that we’re looking at Nvidia’s Tegra 2 dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU.

droid 3 frontThe obvious omission here is 4G LTE which is a bit of a shame, but if you’re the internationally-traveled type, you’ll appreciate the inclusion of global bands.

I’m most excited about the phone’s 5-row QWERTY keyboard. While devices like the Nokia N900 had great keys, the keyboard had only 3 rows! With so few rows, using punctuation and symbols becomes incredibly hectic and really ruins (slows) the typing experience on what would otherwise be a great keyboard.

The Droid 3’s keyboard, on the other hand, has a dedicated number-row which will definitely reduce the amount of modifier-key usage and this will serve to increase the typing speed. I haven’t had a chance to use the keyboard just yet, but they keys are looking improved over the 4-row Motorola Droid 2 that came before it!

Motorola Droid 3 Official, Available July 14th–5-row QWERTY Keyboard Excites!

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Solana_FrontHorOpen_1, 3/9/11, 9:48 AM,  8C, 3900x3300 (1147+2393), 100%, bent 6 adjuste,  1/15 s, R63.9, G48.0, B75.7 Though it showed up on the web back in March, the Droid 3 has finally received the official treatment. The phone will make it’s debut on July 14th on Verizon for $199 w/ contract or with an upgrade.

Let’s dig into the specs, shall we:

  • Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS
  • 4-inch capacitive touchscreen (Gorilla Glass) ‘qHD’ display @ 960×540
  • Sliding 5-row QWERTY keyboard
  • Dual-core CPU @ 1GHz
  • 8MP rear-camera capable of 1080p record and playback (through HDMI-out)
  • 16GB built-in memory
  • MicroSD card slot supporting up to 32GB cards
  • World Phone – WCDMA 850/1900/2100, CDMA 800/1900, GSM 850/900/1800/1900, HSDPA 10.2 Mbps (Category 9/10), CDMA EV-DO Release A, EDGE Class 12, GPRS Class 12, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps
  • WiFi b/g/n & Bluetooth 2.1
  • GPS & Magnetometer (compass)
  • 3G (HSDPA 10.2 Mbps (Category 9/10), CDMA EV-DO Release A, EDGE Class 12, GPRS Class 12, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps)
  • Micro HDMI-out
  • 1540 MAh battery
  • 184g
  • 64.1 x 123.3 x 12.9 mm

The processor is unspecified, but considering the dual-core nature and 1080p capture/output support, I think it’s safe to say that we’re looking at Nvidia’s Tegra 2 dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU.

droid 3 frontThe obvious omission here is 4G LTE which is a bit of a shame, but if you’re the internationally-traveled type, you’ll appreciate the inclusion of global bands.

I’m most excited about the phone’s 5-row QWERTY keyboard. While devices like the Nokia N900 had great keys, the keyboard had only 3 rows! With so few rows, using punctuation and symbols becomes incredibly hectic and really ruins (slows) the typing experience on what would otherwise be a great keyboard.

The Droid 3’s keyboard, on the other hand, has a dedicated number-row which will definitely reduce the amount of modifier-key usage and this will serve to increase the typing speed. I haven’t had a chance to use the keyboard just yet, but they keys are looking improved over the 4-row Motorola Droid 2 that came before it!

Motorola Xoom Testing Notes and Benchmarks

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photoAs with the HTC Thunderbolt, I’ll be dropping my Xoom testing notes here. This isn’t a full review (though Laptop Mag has a nice thorough one if that’s what you’re looking for). These are just a few thoughts I had while using the device (and waiting and wondering when the 4G upgrade will be come available).

Notes

  • The Xoom seems to collect dust and fingerprints very well. More so than other devices I’ve used. The Xoom may lack an olephobic coating that is designs to reduce the amount of finger oils that stick to the screen. The dust attraction could be from a slight static charge building on the screen.

IMG_5402

  • Auto-correct is mostly invisible and doesn’t correct very well by default. If you go into the keyboard options, you can enable ‘show suggestions’ and increase the agressiveness of the auto-correct which improved the typing experience for me.
  • The lock button (on the back of the device) works well when the tablet is in your hands, but it’s a pain when the device is flat on a table or in your lap (which it usually is when you’re typing). People that I give the Xoom too (even those familiar with technology) usually spend at lest 20 seconds looking for the lock button, which easily marks it as being not placed in an intuitive place.

DSC_4007

  • The screen is glossy and highly reflective; a pain to use with bright overhead lights found in office and school environments.
  • The portrait keyboard is a better size than the iPad’s (ie: easily thumb-typable but the aspect ratio and weight of the devices makes it harder to use than I’d prefer. The option to float the keyboard in the middle of the screen (like the iPad will do with iOS 5) would distribute the weight more evenly and make for a better portrait typing experience. Extended portrait typing with the current keyboard layout will likely cause strain as you have to hold the weight of the device with your palms while typing with your thumbs.

photo (1)

  • Quick controls on the browser is great for maximizing screen real-estate and making navigation quick and easy. Just swipe onto the browser from the left or right of the screen and you’ve got all of your browser controls quite literally at the tip of your finger. Android Honeycomb 3.1 updated this to offer even more comprehensive controls from quick controls. Be sure to activate quick controls in your browser’s settings menu under Labs.

DSC_4010

  • The familiar four Android buttons have moved into software which is good because they change with the orientation of the device. The ‘menu’ button has been removed in favor of putting things that would otherwise be hidden by the button into the software of the application itself.
  • Keyboard input can be slow on ‘heavy’ sites like Facebook which makes typing a pain.
  • Auto-rotation on the screen is was slower than it seems it should be – doesn’t feel responsive.
  • Lack of portrait support in the Market app is annoying!

DSC_4027

Benchmarks

quadrant xoom

xoom linpack

xoom sunspider

So there you have it! If you’re interested we’ve got some other great coverage on the Xoom:

Here’s Why the Droid X2 Doesn’t Have a Camera Button

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You may recall our post about the Droid X2 announcement from the other day. I was somewhat perplexed at the fact that the Droid X [tracking page] and Droid X2 [tracking page] were nearly identical on the outside, except for the fact that the dedicated camera button had been removed. I was wondering why exactly they did this so guess what I did? I asked. Crazy, I know.

Here’s what Motorola had to say about the matter:

Design decision was based on consumer and carrier feedback. Also, when combining the display shutter button and continuous autofocus, it allowed us to deliver much faster camera performance; the DROID X2’s shot-to-shot performance is 44% faster than DROID X.

As I mentioned in the prior post, it looks like Motorola was trying to avoid any major design changes from the Droid X. ‘Consumer feedback’ was likely complaints like mine in our Droid X review that called the camera button out as being wobbly and feeling scarcely attached to the phone. If they were making more significant design changes, I think we would have seen an improved camera button, but it would seem as though removing it was the easier route in this case.

Fortunately users are actually gaining some performance from the removal of the button so it’s not a lose-lose scenario. Increasing the speed in which you can take photos by nearly 50% is nothing to scoff at. And we also now know that the Droid X2 has continuous autofocus, that’s a plus!

Here’s Why the Droid X2 Doesn’t Have a Camera Button

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You may recall our post about the Droid X2 announcement from the other day. I was somewhat perplexed at the fact that the Droid X [tracking page] and Droid X2 [tracking page] were nearly identical on the outside, except for the fact that the dedicated camera button had been removed. I was wondering why exactly they did this so guess what I did? I asked. Crazy, I know.

Here’s what Motorola had to say about the matter:

Design decision was based on consumer and carrier feedback. Also, when combining the display shutter button and continuous autofocus, it allowed us to deliver much faster camera performance; the DROID X2’s shot-to-shot performance is 44% faster than DROID X.

As I mentioned in the prior post, it looks like Motorola was trying to avoid any major design changes from the Droid X. ‘Consumer feedback’ was likely complaints like mine in our Droid X review that called the camera button out as being wobbly and feeling scarcely attached to the phone. If they were making more significant design changes, I think we would have seen an improved camera button, but it would seem as though removing it was the easier route in this case.

Fortunately users are actually gaining some performance from the removal of the button so it’s not a lose-lose scenario. Increasing the speed in which you can take photos by nearly 50% is nothing to scoff at. And we also now know that the Droid X2 has continuous autofocus, that’s a plus!

Droid X2 Official and Available Soon, Looks Just Like Predecessor With One Strange Omission–Full Specs in our Database

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droid x2 camdroid x camera buttonSo this is interesting. Motorola and Verizon officially announce the Motorola Droid X2 which seems to be a very well speced phone, but the external design appears to be identical to the original Droid X [tracking page][review] except they apparently decided to remove the dedicated camera button. Is that weird to anyone else?

Sure, I complained about the quality of the buttons in my review of the device saying “the volume rocker and lock/power buttons are top-notch in their firmness and clickability, however, the longish camera button could be used as a mini-seesaw and the four front buttons aren’t much to write home about either,” but I was asking for it to be improved, not removed!

The only reason I can think of that would have led to the removal is if Motorola was seeing a high breakage rate on the button – because they didn’t redesign the phone, the button was removed to fix the issue instead of improved. They may have also needed a tiny bit of space inside the phone that would have been saved with the removal of the button, but that seems less likely.

I’m also very surprised to find the Droid X2 lacking a front-facing camera as we don’t often see top-end phones launching without one these days (I blame the lack of redesign).

Shadow_Front_4, 4/16/10, 1:55 PM,  8C, 5088x2704 (480+2768), 100%, bent 6 adjuste,  1/20 s, R57.9, G42.0, B69.7 Anyway, the Droid X2 is here and should be available for purchase online from Verizon by the time you read this. The phone will not surprisingly run you $199 on-contract. The X2 will hit stores a bit later than its online availability; be on the lookout on May 26th for the device in your local Verizon store.

Now what you’re probably really interested in is the specs. The X2 is nearly identical to the Droid X in appearance, but the internals have been beefed up, big time. As usual, these are all official — check it:

  • Android 2.2 (with a promised 2.3 update down the road)
  • Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU/GPU @ 1GHz
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 4.3” “qHD” capacitive touchscreen display @ 960×540 (Gorilla Glass with glare reducing coating)
  • 3G EV-DO
  • 8MP rear camera with dual-LED flash (captures up to 1280×720 video)
  • Micro HDMI-out with 1080p-capable display mirroring
  • 8GB of memory onboard, 8GB MicroSD card pre-loaded

Those a the major details, but we’ve got a full page in our database dedicated to tracking detailed specs, links, and more on the Droid X2. Be sure to check it out for additional details. Oh and don’t forget to see the Droid X2 gallery. It wouldn’t hurt to look at our original Droid X gallery as well considering the circumstances….

Looks like there will be an updated version of Motorla’s Android skin included on the X2. On the original Droid X It was one of the first things I found a replacement for from the Android Market, so I really hope they make the widgets more space conscious this time around.

Droid X2 Official and Available Soon, Looks Just Like Predecessor With One Strange Omission–Full Specs in our Database

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droid x2 camdroid x camera buttonSo this is interesting. Motorola and Verizon officially announce the Motorola Droid X2 which seems to be a very well speced phone, but the external design appears to be identical to the original Droid X [tracking page][review] except they apparently decided to remove the dedicated camera button. Is that weird to anyone else?

Sure, I complained about the quality of the buttons in my review of the device saying “the volume rocker and lock/power buttons are top-notch in their firmness and clickability, however, the longish camera button could be used as a mini-seesaw and the four front buttons aren’t much to write home about either, inch but I was asking for it to be improved, not removed!

The only reason I can think of that would have led to the removal is if Motorola was seeing a high breakage rate on the button – because they didn’t redesign the phone, the button was removed to fix the issue instead of improved. They may have also needed a tiny bit of space inside the phone that would have been saved with the removal of the button, but that seems less likely.

I’m also very surprised to find the Droid X2 lacking a front-facing camera as we don’t often see top-end phones launching without one these days (I blame the lack of redesign).

Shadow_Front_4, 4/16/10, 1:55 PM,  8C, 5088x2704 (480+2768), 100%, bent 6 adjuste,  1/20 s, R57.9, G42.0, B69.7 Anyway, the Droid X2 is here and should be available for purchase online from Verizon by the time you read this. The phone will not surprisingly run you $199 on-contract. The X2 will hit stores a bit later than its online availability; be on the lookout on May 26th for the device in your local Verizon store.

Now what you’re probably really interested in is the specs. The X2 is nearly identical to the Droid X in appearance, but the internals have been beefed up, big time. As usual, these are all official — check it:

  • Android 2.2 (with a promised 2.3 update down the road)
  • Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU/GPU @ 1GHz
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 4.3 inch “qHD inch capacitive touchscreen display @ 960×540 (Gorilla Glass with glare reducing coating)
  • 3G EV-DO
  • 8MP rear camera with dual-LED flash (captures up to 1280×720 video)
  • Micro HDMI-out with 1080p-capable display mirroring
  • 8GB of memory onboard, 8GB MicroSD card pre-loaded

Those a the major details, but we’ve got a full page in our database dedicated to tracking detailed specs, links, and more on the Droid X2. Be sure to check it out for additional details. Oh and don’t forget to see the Droid X2 gallery. It wouldn’t hurt to look at our original Droid X gallery as well considering the circumstances….

Looks like there will be an updated version of Motorla’s Android skin included on the X2. On the original Droid X It was one of the first things I found a replacement for from the Android Market, so I really hope they make the widgets more space conscious this time around.

Android 3.1 Hands-on Testing: Performance, Browser Quick Controls, Flash Playback, and More [video]

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IMG_5719Our Motorola Xoom [tracking page] has finally managed to find the Android 3.1 Honeycomb update that Google pushed out the other day. We gave you a thorough overview of the 3.1 update based on the official information provided, but there’s only so much that text can say. To understand the changes sometimes you just have to experience them. Often times a lot of the little changes go largely undocumented. So to answer that call, we’ve got a hands-on video for you. Have a look:

WARNING: Please turn your volume down before 14:20. I forgot to enable airplane mode on my phone and the subsequent vibration is frighteningly loud. My apologies!

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