Motorola seems to be readying its forthcoming Xoom tablet to take on the dominant device on the market, Apple's iPad. But on Sunday, a pre-order page on Best Buy's Web site showed a staggering $1,199.99 price tag for the Xoom.
That's about $400-$500 more than the rumored price for the 32 GB tablet, and much more than a $729 iPad with similar specs.
Unveiled early last month at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the Xoom is the first tablet to run on Google's tablet-optimized platform, Android 3.0 "Honeycomb." PCMag analyst Tim Gideon said the Motorola Xoom is "perhaps, the first tablet truly armed to take on the mighty iPad."
It's not a comparison that has happened by accident. Motorola has pitted itself against Apple in ads for the Xoom. In Motorola's one minute Super Bowl ad titled "Empower the People," a young guy commutes to work surrounded by fellow travelers who are all dressed in white jumpsuits, plugged in via Apple's familiar white earbuds. The man uses his Xoom to create an animation for his office crush, who is inspired to remove her earbuds and presumbly join the real world.
Sonos' stable of wireless music offerings allow listeners to have a stereo system that encompasses every room in their home, and to control the whole system simply and wirelessly. Sonos makes a hardware remote control for the system and apps for iOS devices, and today the company announced that Sonos owners can now also use their Android devices to control their music.
The Sonos Controller for Android is a free app that can access and play all the music available through the Sonos universe, which includes everything from computer-based media libraries to services like Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio, Pandora, and Napster.
We had some screenshots and short videos in the past, but last week Google did the first in-depth presentation of their latest version of the Android system: Honeycomb. This hour long video shows enthusiasts everything that Honeycomb can do. Unlike previous versions of Android that were optimized for smartphones (and were simply stretched to tablet sizes,) Honeycomb was made for tablets. You'll see a better visual interface, and acceleration technologies for 2D and 3D. After the OS itself, they show off some devices in action, including the Motorola Xoom. Check it out if you're thinking of getting an iPad alternative.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY becamse very real last night, as it was highlighted in a very cool Super Bowl XLV commercial that featured the Google Android robot getting a back-alley body modification to add thumbs to his arms so that he could get his game on. This Xperia PLAY is the world's first PlayStation certified smartphone, and we're looking forward to February 13th, when all the details will be revealed. Check out the commercial after the jump.
The Galaxy S 4G is very similar to the existing Samsung Vibrant, a popular Android phone. It has the same 1-GHz Cortex-A8 processor, runs Android 2.2 on a similar 4-inch Super AMOLED screen, and has the same 5-megapixel camera. But it also has a front-facing 1-megapixel camera for video chat, that 4G modem, and a larger 1650 mAh battery, all of which the Vibrant lacks. Also, where the Vibrant comes pre-loaded with the movie "Avatar," this phone will come with "Inception."
Multiple leaks from Verizon point to a $800 Minimum Advertised Price for the Xoom, the upcoming tablet from Motorola. The Xoom is the highly anticipated Android device that'll be running Honeycomb, the latest version of Android. This likely means it will be unsubsidized, available without contract, since the same sheet points to a much lower $250 price for the HTC Thunderbolt. Still, this is quite a high price for a tablet, especially when compared with the market leader right now, the iPad, so it's a bit of a surprise. The price will likely go down over time, and deals might be announced (like lower prices with data plan subscription,) but the high cost may impact the Xoom's success.
Read More | Android Central
If you're planning to get a new smartphone on Sprint, you should probably do so in the next couple of weeks. After Jan. 30, data plans for smartphones activated on the carrier will go up in price by $10 a month, the company announced today.
Called "Premium Data," the mandatory charge is added to the Sprint's existing unlimited $70 Everything Data plan, pumping it up to $80 a month. Sprint says the increase is to address its users' "growing appetite for a richer mobile experience." The charge affects only smartphones activated Jan. 30 or later—existing customers will not experience the increase until they upgrade.
We've been hearing about Android 3.0 Honeycomb for a while now, the build of Android that would be designed with tablets in mind. Now, Google shows off it's latest version during CES, and it does appear that the UI has been redesigned in some major ways--it now fits especially well on the larger screen. Google posted a video showcasing some of the new design, which looks very different from what we've grown used to in the Android world.
According to a new study by Forrester Research, the US sale of tablets, whether it's the iPad, Android or others, will more than double in 2011. The trend will keep going up, until more than one third of Americans own one by 2015. Their previous figures were much more conservative, and the outlook is likely to change again in the future. Still, this is probably closer to reality, as the iPad showed us that people really do want tablets, as long as the software and hardware are well executed. While the iPad will dominate at least for the foreseeable future, most device makers have already jumped on the bandwagon (you'll see proof of this at CES this week.) By 2015, the yearly amount of units sold should reach 44 millions.
Read More | Forrester
Fresh out of CES 2011, Samsung has announced their new SH100 point and shoot camera. What's so special about this one? Well, the main advantage here is the built-in Wi-Fi with DLNA support. This allows you to send images and videos to friends and web services (Facebook, YouTube, Picasa, Photobucket) directly from the camera itself without having to sync to a computer first. Speaking of syncing, the SH100 can also use it's Wi-Fi signal to wirelessly and automatically sync to a computer on the same network, eliminating the need for a cable. The DLNA let's you wirelessly display images and videos to a television right from the camera as well.
Even better, if you have a Samsung Galaxy S Android smartphone, you can use that device as a remote control for the camera. It will act as a remote viewfinder with shutter control at the very least. It's got a 14.2 megapixel sensor and 4.7-23.5mm lens which is nothing to write home about, but hey, for all this thing can do it's priced at just $200. That must mean we should be seeing more of this type of stuff just built-in to cameras this year (we hope!)