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.
Today is obviously the day for popular applications to add QVGA support. As Rovio did only hours ago, Skype have added support for the increasingly-common 320x240 resolution in their application. That's good news for owners of the HTC Wildfire, Motorola Charm, Huawei IDEOS and LG Optimus T/S, who were left out in the cold until now. Skype for Android has had some nice bug fixes and improvements added, too:
Getting my hands on the Charm was no mean feat. Motorola didn’t seem keen to send out review units to anyone in a hurry, so I took it upon myself to go buy one, under the pretext of it being a gift for my girlfriend (she has a Nokia 1661 for chrissakes).
That in itself was quite a quest, as not a single store in the state of Maine seemed to have one in stock.
Not everyone needs a new phone at this time of year, especially as you probably got your last one some time around Christmas, but if you’re in the market for a decent Android phone on your college-sized budget, here’s the what you’re looking at if you’re one of the four major carriers:
Good news for the 12 people who have managed to get a Motorola Charm - Universal Androot works perfectly well. For the uninitiated, Universal Androot is exactly what it sounds like: an app that can root a whole slew of Android devices (disclaimer: it doesn't unlock /system on all of them, though). Instructions are pretty simple:
- Download the latest version of the program from this XDA post to your computer.
- Copy the file to your SD card.
Today, T-Mobile announced that the Motorola Charm is now available, and the pricing options out there in the wild are a bit confusing to say the least.
Wirefly currently has the best deal - you can get the Charm for $0 on a new T-Mobile 2-year contract priced at $59.99 a month. But, if you're a current T-Mobile customer, unless you plan on terminating your current contract, you'll have to fork over $50 and renew your agreement.
While Motorola didn’t do a great job keeping CHARM under wraps, they did manage to hide a few features of the candy bar phone until today’s official press release. Given the amount of MOTOBLUR and social-networking talk going on in the CHARM’s somewhat lengthy introduction, we’ve broken it down and provided you the juicy bits for easy digestion:
- 2.8” 320x240QVGA TFT LCD touch-capacitive display with Gorilla Glass
- Android 2.1 with the newest "enhanced" version of MOTOBLUR
- 3 Megapixel camera
- Physical QWERTY keyboard
- 2GB Removable MicroSD card included (expandable to 32GB MicroSDHC)
- WiFi B/G and N (Single-band 2.4GHz)
- Can capture 24FPS video (we assume that is with VGA 640x480)
- Secondary noise-cancellation microphone with CrystalTalk PLUS technology
- Compatible with T-Mobile HSDPA 3.6
- Support for Adobe Flash Lite
- 1170mAh Lithium-ion battery
- 3.5mm headphone jack
Additional MOTOBLUR and social networking features are described in the press release.
It seems a new Android phone is on its way to T-Mobile stores, but it might not be the superphone you’re looking for. The Motorola Charm, revealed in leaked training materials sent to Engadget, is running an enhanced version of Motoblur on top of Android 2.1.
However, what makes this phone unique is its form factor, a candybar style with a front-facing keyboard, similar to many Blackberry devices. The materials also note a variety of changes and additions to Motoblur in 2.1:
- Seven home screens
- Motoblur widgets can now be resized
- Widgets include enhanced functionality including “Like” for Facebook and “Retweet” for Twitter
- Usual Android 2.1 enhancements, such as multitouch and 3D Gallery
No technical specs were included, but given the nature of the device, you shouldn’t get your hopes up.