We've all heard it time and time again: generally speaking, people hate manufacturer skins on Android phones, i.e. Blur, Touchwiz, Sense, etc. I realize that not everyone falls into this category, but I think it's probably safe to say that the bulk of Android users do. It looks like we're not the only ones that are opposed to manufactures gumming up our beloved Android with their custom overlays - Virgin Mobile, a prepaid subsidiary of Sprint, has taken a pro-stock-Android approach to all of its devices. Have a look at what a Virgin spokesperson told PCmag via email:
You saw some of the leaked Bionic pictures earlier today, but now thanks to PhoneHK we can give you even more information about the upcoming monster of a Motorola handset. First and foremost, this thing will (at least according to this test unit) be running Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread right out of the gate:
That's a relief. If the Bionic had shipped with Froyo, Motorola might have had a user rebellion on its hands. What other goodies were revealed by the generous leaker about the Bionic?
- 4.5" qHD display
- 8MP rear camera, 1080p video recording, plus front-facing camera
- WebTop dock accessory
- Brand-new BLUR
- 1750mAh battery (that's large)
You can see some of the new BLUR in action below in various screenshots, including a translucent notification bar and 3D homescreen previews:
Not bad, Motorola, not bad.
Not much was known for a fact about the next crown jewel in the Droid line of Android phones that played a such a crucial part in the growth of the OS in the past 2 years. We had a suspicion that it would have a 4" screen, lose "the lip," and gain a dual-core CPU and a front-facing camera, all while bearing the name Droid 3, but no concrete proof of any of those.
A series of Droid 3 training videos surfaced today, well ahead of the device's release, which is rumored to be sometime this summer. The videos clearly show and confirm a larger form factor with curvier lines (4" sounds about right now), an 8MP HD camera that is capable of 1080P video recording, an updated version of MOTOBLUR (just look at that lock screen), a 5-row keyboard with a dedicated number row, and an HDMI output.
Update: It looks like the homescreen is just a generic placeholder, because it's the same one used here for the Optimus V at Best Buy. Thanks Nate!
This may not be of interest to the 7 people out there that actually like Motorola's Blur interface, but for the rest of us this is pretty good news. It looks like Motorola is prepping a new DROID-esque Android 2.2 device for Virgin Mobile USA, and it appears to be sans-Blur in the one leaked picture that Pocketnow has obtained.
With that said, it looks like the device may still be running some sort of a custom interface, judging by the three-column homescreen grid, which is not currently possible with stock Froyo's four-column launcher.
Similar to devices being offered up by competing carriers – Sprint’s Intercept, AT&T’s Backflip and Aria, T-Mobile’s entire line-up – Verizon plans to introduce a cheaper, low-end alternative to pricier Android models. Engadget reports that the the Motorola WX445 runs Android 2.1 with some type of MOTOBLUR overlay (possibly the same version used on the Droid X), and sports a screen measuring somewhere between 2.5 and 3 inches.
The phone was also described as looking very “cheap,” and has been likened to a keyboardless Palm Pre. It goes without saying that this device probably won’t be the biggest hit in Verizon’s Android line-up.
The Flipout is supposedly running Android 2.1 with Motorola’s custom MOTOBLUR interface and will be available in a choice of black, green, or pink.
The specs given by HDBlog are the same as the ones that were leaked last month, so nothing’s changed there.
- CPU: OMAP3410, 700MHZ
- Networks: WCDMA/HSPA: 850/1900 GSM/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900
- Display: 2.8” QVGA, 320 x 240
- Web: HTML, Flash with multi-touch
- Camera: 3MP
- Video: Capture/Playback/Streaming, H.263, MPG-4, WMV v9
- Internal Memory: 512MB of flash, 256MB RAM
- Memory Card: MicroSDHC up to 32GB
- WLAN: 802.11 b/g
- Bluetooth: 2.1 with EDR
- Battery: 940 mAH
- Special Features: MOTOBLUR 1.5, 3.5mm audio jack, removable/customized rear covers
The Flipout is rumored to be headed to AT&T, although a confirmation is still needed.