How terribly boring were the last 2 months with regards to picking yourself up a new Android handset? We've seen hundreds of exciting announcements but practically no products to actually buy - end of December and January always seem to be those kinds of months. However, things are picking up, and one of the first new devices on the market fresh out of the oven is the HTC Inspire 4G for AT&T.
Update: It's confirmed.
The earlier announcement also indicated that this highly anticipated phone would cost $200 with a two-year contract and $500 in total with the dock (if bought separately, the phone would cost $200 and the dock would cost an additional $500).
Looks like Kies Mini is the path Samsung has decided to take with the Galaxy S Froyo updates (at least in the US) - first, the Vibrant got its 2.2 fix via the Windows-only software, and now it appears that the Captivate will soon join the club. That's right: according to a recently published page on Samsung's own support site, Android 2.2 for the Captivate will roll out via Kies Mini rather than a standard OTA method.
Yesterday afternoon I unboxed an HTC Inspire 4G, the first Sense UI-equipped smartphone I've used. And let me say right now: I'm impressed. The interface has very little lag, is quite nice to look at, and very informative on the Inspire's large 4.3" LCD display. Anyway, I'll just direct you to my video hands-on:
Our full review of the Inspire 4G will be making its way to you next week, so be on the lookout.
AT&T’s announced pricing for the Motorola Atrix Laptop Dock left much of the community scratching their heads. $500 for a gutless laptop? Though the docking capability is innovative, many were put off and vocal of steering clear of the Atrix altogether. Forbes reached out to AT&T for some commenting and were delivered this message from VP Mike Woodward:
“With all the integration between the phone and the dock, you can do more on an Atrix than you can on a netbook,” Woodward explained. “Other devices that try to do this just give you ‘mirror mode.’”
I’d like to point out that the laptop dock is entirely dependent on the Atrix for function.
Well at least you're honest about it, Motorola. The company just updated its Software Upgrades page, and the news isn't good for owners of the CLIQ XT, i1, Flipout, or Charm. We already knew that the first of those four phones will eternally be stuck on Android 1.5, but what may come as a bit of a surprise is that the i1 is now in a similar situation (i.e. forever doomed to Cupcake), while neither the Flipout nor the Charm will ever see an OS version more recent than Eclair.
Of course, that's not to say you can't get Froyo on these phones - in fact, there are already a number of 2.2-based ROMs for the CLIQ XT.
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.
As I've said a few times previously here, I'm buying an Atrix 4G. I will be patiently waiting outside the Santa Monica AT&T store on that fateful February morning, Peet's coffee in hand, alternatively staring blankly into the store's glass and fiddling with my Nexus One. I'll probably be one of a few people there, but that's ok - I'm not a big fan of crowds.
But the battle only begins at the door. I will have to threaten (convincingly) to cancel my contract so that I can get a slightly earlier upgrade window than my agreement currently permits, (I'm not due for an upgrade until April) and pay an extra 50 dollars for the early upgrade fee.
If you like buying your smartphones at Costco, have I got news for you. Sounds like the king of giant ketchup dispensers will be offering the Atrix 4G as part of its relationship with AT&T, and for the same $150 on-contract figure Amazon quoted (and then quickly unquoted) yesterday.
Lifetime supply of toilet paper not included
I know I'll be getting an Atrix 4G come launch day, but I think I'll take a pass on Costco as a vendor. Unless the phone comes with a free slice of Costco pizza and a polish - then I may have to reconsider.
You could say Motorola's earnings call ended on a high note - the company's CEO, Sanjay Jha, told analysts that the Atrix 4G will be launching at the end of February, as will the 3G version of the XOOM. That doesn't quite line up with the rumors we've been hearing about a February 17th release, and Jha later added that the XOOM might even be bumped to a release in March if things don't go according to plan. Bummer.
As for the Droid Bionic and the LTE-capable version of the XOOM, Sanjay said those devices should arrive at the end of Q2.