Holy cow. The Android version name rumor-mill has been cranking at full steam for the last couple of months, and everyone seems pretty well-convinced that Jelly Bean is the chosen title for Google's next iteration of the mobile operating system. Way back in September, The Verge suggested that a "reliable source" had told them Jelly Bean was the real McCoy. Let's talk about what we know about Google's naming strategy so far with Android, and why anything but Jelly Bean would make almost no sense.
|David Ruddock||David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.|
We trotted on over to the NVIDIA boot at MWC in Barcelona this morning, and happened upon the newest tablet offering from Toshiba, the AT270. Officially unnamed at this point, the device is packing a 7.7" SAMOLED 1280x800 display, a Tegra 3 processor, Wi-Fi, and 32GB of storage (it's unknown if this is the standard amount). It's also running Android 4.0.
Playing with the device was a fairly pleasant experience - though an attendee using the AT270 right before us managed to lock up the device on the unlock screen.
While at the Google booth earlier today, ASUS was kind enough to let us take a look at the upcoming Transformer Pad Infinity (basically, a beefed up TF Prime), albeit a version we had not yet seen.
The TF700KG is likely going to be a Europe-only device (unless it were to be picked up by a major carrier here in the US), as it has a 4G LTE SIM slot on it, and runs on a Qualcomm S4 MSM8960 dual-core processor.
When I first heard about the ASUS Padfone, I thought the idea was a bit laughable. When I tried in person today, my opinion changed substantially. ASUS definitely seems to have done this right - particularly considering it's still a prerelease piece of hardware. My primary concern was in how seamless the transition from phone to tablet would be, and how much the phone's hardware design would suffer because of the docking mechanism.
Earlier today we got a chance to play with Samsung's Galaxy Beam (though photo opportunities were limited by lighting), and I have to say - for a projector phone, it's not bad.
The 1GHz dual-core processor hums along through Gingerbread (I know, I know - but an ICS update is surely in the works) nicely, and the 4" WVGA display gets the job done. While it's no flagship device, for such a niche piece of hardware, Samsung has done a pretty decent job here.
We're not exactly sure why, but LG has developed a gigantic new device called the Optimus Vu. And while the growing market for "mega-phones" seems to be getting more and more crowded every day, we have to say, LG's takes the cake for ridiculousness. The Vu's 5-inch display may not be absurdly large, but it is absurdly shaped. A 4:3 1024x768 (think CRT, Windows 98, etc.) display on the device makes it ridiculously wide, and also very oddly proportioned.
We're at the Samsung booth at MWC this afternoon, and first on our list were Samsung's newest Tabs - the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, and the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0. The devices are actually fairly similar - same processor, same cameras, microSD card slot, and 3G SIM card slot. Both are also running Android 4.0, which is pretty standard fare for tablets these days. They even share very similar, very plasticky rear covers.
We descended upon the Huawei booth just a short while ago here in Barcelona, and there we found a whole gaggle of Huawei's new flagship device: the Ascend D Quad. I'm calling it the DQ for short - because who doesn't like Blizzards? Anyway, we know the DQ is packing Huawei's first in-house processor, the K3V2.
Basically, what you need to know is this: it's a Huawei device, so it will probably be priced pretty aggressively compared to other quad-core devices.
Panasonic's new smartphone, the Eluga (like the whale, minus the B), is actually a pretty decent looking device. On paper, and in person. Its dual-core TI OMAP4430 processor is a proven piece of kit in phones like the DROID RAZR, and it's 4.3" qHD display isn't bad looking at all. With 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, it actually sounds like it might even be good. Yeah, the thing is, it's not.
When we heard about rumors of Samsung releasing a 10.1-inch version of the popular Galaxy Note smartphone, we were understandably a bit skeptical. I mean, the idea makes sense - a larger Note would mean more area to use that advanced pressure-sensitive stylus. But given that Samsung has yet to announce a Galaxy Tab 10.1 successor, it seemed a bit odd. But now, the Note 10.1 is obviously for-real, and we spent a little time with it today.