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!)
We've come to the end of another year, and as we wave goodbye to 2010, we figured it was only fitting that we share the most popular stories published on Gear Live in 2010, as determined by our readers (we've also got the top ten most read stories regardless of publish date!) These are the ten stories that were read the most, and when you consider that fact, it's pretty surprising to see what made the list. Let's kick it off with our most read story of the year:
Fring App Brings Skype Video Calling to iPhone 4 over Wi-Fi and 3G:
Sure, Skype just formally announced video calling in the Skype 3.0 iOS app, but Fring brought us Skype video calls months ago! The thing is, Skype pulled that feature from Fring with the quickness, but that didn't stop this from being the most read story we published in 2010!
Droid Life on Tuesday posted photos of the HTC Thunderbolt, which it says will be Verizon's first 4G LTE device. The site didn't have any details on specs except to note that it looks a lot like the Desire HD. The device features a kickstand and Google branding.
Verizon said it has no comment.
Samsung has apparently confirmed that they will be showcasing the very first handheld Android media device (read: not a phone) at CES in a couple of weeks. Complementing its popular Galaxy Tab tablet, the familiar looking device (likely called the Galaxy Player) will feature a front facing camera, come in 8 GB, 16 GB, and 32G models, with a WVGA screen, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a 3.2 MP camera. It will run Android 2.2 and will have a long lasting 1200mAh removable battery. The Samsung fan blog Samsung Hub has apparently confirmed the device, along with pictures that look quite similar to an iPod touch. It's clear that Android has been good for the company lately with devices like the Galaxy Tab and Galaxy S. This will bring yet another form factor to the market. There's no word yet when this new PMP will be available for sale, but those details are right around the corner.
Read More | Samsung Hub