The world's first 4G (subject to your definition) tablet is available now! Well, if you live on the East Coast, and assuming snow or rain or some terrible combination thereof aren't preventing you from going outside. Those of us west of the Rockies will have to wait another 2 hours before getting our Streak on, but I feel like my LA sunshine is worth it. Of course, anyone can order it online right now.
We don't want to jump to conclusions here, but it's February 2nd - the day of Google's Honeycomb- and "Android ecosystem"-related event, and the Market is currently experiencing downtime. It makes perfect sense given the rumors we've been hearing about an upcoming update to the Market, though it could, of course, be nothing more than scheduled maintenance.
Following several wild conspiracy theories, a smattering of purported leaks and rumors, and an odd semi-announcement a few weeks ago, T-Mobile and Samsung have finally revealed the full specifications of their latest smartphone, the Galaxy S 4G.
While it's not exactly revolutionary, it does pack some unique goodies - most importantly, T-Mobile claims its Samsung ST-Ericsson M5720 HPSA+ 4G modem makes it capable of theoretical peak download speeds of 21 Mbps, whereas the G2 and myTouch 4G are limited to 14.4 Mbps.
Just before tomorrow's Honeycomb event, T-Mobile is out to steal the spotlight with their G-Slate Honeycomb tablet that was announced at CES earlier this year. Back then, we had virtually no details other than the fact that it was running Android 3.0, but tonight, T-Mobile's spilling the beans:
- 8.9" HD display
- 3D capable with glasses
- Dual stereoscopic cameras for 1080p 3D video recording, as we've already figured out
- 5 megapixel camera with dual LED flash
- 2 megapixel front-facing camera
- HSPA+ capable
- Gyroscope and Accelerometer
- 32 GB internal storage
- HDMI out
- NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor
- Android 3.0 Honeycomb
What is highly disappointing about the G-Slate is the silver band that looked very much like a kickstand seems to be just a cosmetic element.
The impossible has happened: thanks to a new software update, the Xperia X10's Internet and Maps applications are finally multitouch-capable. And as if that weren't exciting enough for X10 owners, the update also introduces support for bi-directional languages (i.e. Arabic, Farsi, Thai, and Hebrew) - a nice addition, though definitely not as high up on most users' wish lists as a version of Android more recent than 2.1 (or 1.6, if you're using AT&T's edition of the device).
The official Google Maps app has been updated again, this time with a major addition to Latitude - check-ins. Just as Hotpot seemed to be a Yelp-killer, Google must now have Foursquare in its sights, because Latitude's check-ins have a few major advantages over Foursquare and its competitors.
Latitude will notify you when it recognizes your location, giving you the option to check-in wherever you are. However, you can also set up automatic check-ins for only the places you want, an incredibly convenient feature that still covers any privacy concerns.
We have some somewhat good news for Fascinate owners: a new, official, very final-looking Froyo build DL30 for the Samsung Fascinate has been leaked, and it's been released completely unmolested (short of pre-rooting it). Even the bloatware has been left intact.
Obviously, the silver lining here is that we can see that Samsung and Verizon are making progress, and this could be a sign that the update is closer to being ready to roll out.
The first of AT&T's entourage of Androids for 2011 has had its release date and pricing set in stone. The Inspire 4G, essentially an AT&T version of the Thunderbolt, will be dropping on February 13th for 99 bucks on contract or upgrade pricing. And for a double-digit price, the Inspire 4G is packing some respectable specs.
- 4.3" SLCD display
- 1GHz single-core processor
- HSPA+ connectivity (AT&T's first stab at "4G")
- 8MP Rear camera
- 768MB RAM
- Android 2.2 w/ HTC Sense 2.0 (the "new" Sense)
What remains unknown is whether or not AT&T will charge a premium fee for access to its HSPA+ "4G." Given the fact that AT&T has made explicit its plans to eventually roll out true LTE 4G in Q4 2011, it might serve their publicity machine better to keep data plan rates as they are until that time.
According to Don Kellogg from the Nielsen Company, 31% of all mobile phone users in the U.S. own some type of a smartphone. More interestingly, it appears that the race for market share in the U.S. by the leading smartphone platforms - Android, iOS and BlackBerry - is in a dead heat.
We have already learnt from analysts at Canalys that shipments of Android-based smartphones globally commanded a 32.9% share of the market, followed by devices running Nokia's Symbian OS at 30.6%, Apple's iPhone OS at 16%, and RIM's BlackBerry OS at 14.4%.
After yesterday's launch of Optimus V on Virgin Mobile USA for $150, MetroPCS, another prepaid carrier, just followed the same suit and dropped the price of its own Optimus variant, the Optimus M, from $229 to $149.
The $80 President's Day price drop consists of an instant $30 discount and a $50 mail-in rebate, valid on purchases made from February 1st (that's today as of 5 hours ago) and February 28th.