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.
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.
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.
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.
Despite the massive hype in the Android community surrounding Motorola's super-charged Atrix 4G, there has been little word on the device's pricing or release date. Fortunately, an internal Best Buy meeting has confirmed some important information. There are some conflicting reports on the phone's release: some say it will be arriving at stores on February 13, while others claim that it will be released on that day. Either way, the device will launch at Best Buy stores before any others, though it's unknown how long that exclusivity will last.
Android Central has managed to get their hands on an internal AT&T database entry for the upcoming Motorola Atrix 4G - and it looks to be coming sooner rather than later. The image, shown below, indicates a possible launch date of March 1, which is quite a lot sooner than I think many people were expecting.
This is good news for AT&T customers (like myself), as the nation's number two carrier has until recent announcements at CES been the least Android-friendly provider in the US in terms of handset selection.
The big question on everyone's mind (well, at least ours) today is: How will the iPhone coming to Verizon next month change the smartphone landscape? At this point, it's anyone's guess, but Android's unabashed domination on the US's largest wireless carrier will certainly be challenged in the coming months. However, there are significant forces at work that won't exactly help the iPhone with its Verizon debut - namely, Verizon and Android.
At Motorola's booth today, we got a chance to play with the Atrix 4G - a dual-core HSPA+ equipped slate handset, sporting a whopping 1GB of RAM and packing a couple of notable features. Along with the laptop dock demoed in the video below, the Atrix 4G also has a media dock (called "HD dock") which allows you to connect it to a larger screen (and use the same WebTop desktop-like interface) as well as plug in a keyboard and a mouse.
The Atrix 4G may not be the only dual-core powered Android phone announced this year at CES, but it certainly seems to be the only one that claims to 'redefine the line between a phone and a laptop'. It's able to blur said line by featuring the relatively unique 'Laptop Dock' accessory, which, for all intents and purposes, will convert your Android phone into a netbook running Motorola's 'Webtop' application.
Details on the actual Webtop interface are sparse, but Motorola did spill the beans on the internals powering the Atrix 4G:
- Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core 1 GHz processor
- 1 GB RAM and 16 GB internal memory
- HSPA+ 4G compatibility with AT&T
- 4 inch qHD display
- 5 MP rear camera with LED flash
- VGA front-facing camera
- Fingerprint scanning security (located on the back of the device)
- Android 2.2 (Froyo) with MotoBlur (which looks to be refined, I might add)
- Wi-Fi b/g/n
- Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
- 1930 mAh battery for 9 hours talk time
Note the incredibly beefy battery - 1930 mAh is probably the largest mobile phone battery we've ever heard of.