A couple of weeks ago at CES 2011, Sony Ericsson announced its latest Android handset - the sleek and sexy Gingerbread-running Xperia Arc. They've also invited the press, Android Police included, to attend a media breakfast where we ended up spending over an hour of quality time with the new device, documented in great detail here. If you have questions about the Arc, I highly recommend you dive into the above post, as it contains a plethora of useful bits and pieces, all wrapped in a convenient package.
Though the Arc was promised to land in consumers' hands sometime in Q1 2011 and no review units have been sent out just yet, the writers from an Italian blog HDBlog.it managed to get their hands on both the Misty Silver and Midnight Blue models and give the hardware and the interface a very thorough walkthrough.
During CES 2011 Sony Ericsson's newest smartphone, the Xperia arc, was sighted running Android version "2.4".
A few weeks ago there were rumours that Honeycomb, Google's next iteration of the Android platform, would actually be Android 2.4 and not Android 3.0. Although it was later confirmed that Honeycomb will indeed be Android 3.0, rumours suggested that an incremental update to Android was being readied. The About section of the Xperia arc, displayed below, appeared to confirm that there was indeed a version 2.4.
However, yesterday a post appeared on the Sony Ericsson Product Blog confirming that the version numbers "higher" than 2.3 appearing in the display of the Xperia arc phones was merely a "misconfiguration" and "nothing to get too excited about".
Are you concerned that not enough of your gadgets are running Android? Well then, we have some good news for you: Nox Audio has decided to show off their latest set of "revolutionary" headphones, the Admiral Touch. In addition to everything you would expect from a set of wireless headphones (including a retractable mic), they have one particularly interesting feature: they're running Android 2.1 on a 2.4" LCD screen attached to the right cup, powered by an ARM11 processor with 256 MB of RAM.
Right now, the screen is only capable of changing the headphones' modes, but with a microSD card slot, USB cord (it uses an eight-pin port as opposed to the standard USB, however), and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, we're sure to see some interesting hacks in the future.
I've been roaming the booths of CES for 3 days now, and I think I've seen almost everything even remotely related to Android that was worth seeing. One company, Recon Instruments, has been on my mind since the beginning, however, and I'm really glad I finally made it to their booth today.
Their current product, called Transcend, is a full snow goggles solution incorporating a little color LCD screen in the bottom right corner. This screen is small but it gets magnified optically to show a whole array of information, such as your current speed, temperature, altitude, time, vertical odometer, and the trail map overlaid on top of Google Maps (among other things).
It's officially the 3rd day of CES, and I finally made it over to the giant Sharp booth pavilion, where I was able to get a hands-on demo of the first and only 3D Android handset, which is currently only sold in Japan. Don't worry though - it's coming to the U.S. and possibly other locations this year. Perhaps you've heard of it - meet Sharp Galapagos 003SH, which is capable of not only showing 3D menus, pictures, and videos, but allows you to snap some as well. In addition, it supports 3D-enabled games, one of which I was able to demo.
While Toshiba's original attempts at an Android tablet running on the Tegra chip didn't exactly go down a storm, they seem keen to continue with Android devices, and brought a new tablet with them to CES. Artem got a video demo from one of their reps, and as you can see there are some attractive features to note.
Like the Motorola XOOM, the nameless Toshiba tablet (henceforth "Anon") has a 10.1" WXGA (1280x800) screen, which was unsurprisingly nice and crisp. It also sports the convenience of full-size USB and HDMI ports, along with a full SD card slot allowing for storage expansion up to 64 GB.
Opera Software's Jeremy Forrester spent some time showing off Opera's latest browser, which was designed specifically for tablets. The browser was shown running on Samsung's Galaxy Tab.
The browser is not completely finished, but you can get a good idea of how it performs in the video above. It works nicely with Adobe Flash and should provide a familiar experience to those who are have used Opera's previous mobile browsers. More info will be made available by Opera come MWC in February.
ASUS turned a few heads with their recent device unveilings, with one of the more intriguing ones being their Eee Pad MeMO. Unlike almost every other tablet device here at CES, the MeMO is not using a Tegra II processor but will instead be powered by the latest Snapdragon. The MSM8260 is the first dual core processor we've seen from Qualcomm, and we were eager to put the 1.2 GHz chip through its paces. Unfortunately, the MeMO crashed during the 3D rendering section of the Quadrant benchmark. Prior to this, the Neocore benchmark had gone into some kind of endless loop, so our attempts at empirical measurement of the device's capabilities were frustrated.
At the RCA booth today we got a quick glimpseat something they're working on. It's a 42" full HD TV, that runs Android 2.2 at the same time. The OS can be controlled from the TV's remote or with what looked strikingly similar to the Brando Rii Bluetooth keyboard. The UI is a custom media-centric launcher which allows you to view images and videos on the large screen. Around the back we found a USB port which indicates that you should be able to play external media from your own storage devices.
As you can see in the notecard, the Android TV supposedly has access to the Android Market.