To say the Galaxy S II has a lot to live up to would be a drastic understatement. Its predecessor, the Galaxy S, was one of the most popular Android phones of its day, though it certainly wasn't without its shortcomings (*cough* TouchWiz *cough*). But with an even better display, a slimmer profile, a better camera, and - gasp - a new version of Samsung's custom UI, the Galaxy S II aims to patch over its antecedent's few flaws in addition to mixing in some new magic.
When it comes to timely Android updates, Samsung's reputation has been less than spectacular, so I was fairly surprised to see that a Gingerbread rollout was taking place for select European Galaxy S owners right on schedule.
That's right, according to users on the revered XDA-Developers forum, the update began rolling out late last night (late for the US at least) via Samsung's Kies software - provided you live in Holland or Germany.
Did we mention it's coming to T-Mobile? And it'll be sporting an HSPA+ radio to take advantage of T-Mobile's 4G network. Unfortunately, it won't be available until this summer.
Earlier, Mobile Bulgaria (which, as of this writing, is down) stumbled upon a Vodafone product page for HTC's upcoming dual-core Android handset, the Sensation (aka the Pyramid).
It appears that the HTC EVO 3D, the CDMA version of which Sprint revealed to the world last week, will be coming in a GSM flavor after all - the HTC France Twitter account has confirmed that the device will be launching in Europe at some point, although the date is not confirmed. For those who can't remember their high school French, the tweet roughly translates to:
Take a look at the top tier of Android phones right now and you might notice something. They all kind of look the same. Black front fascia, large touchscreen, minimal waistline. Boring, right? Well that's just the way things are going. Alternatives to the slate way of living are becoming increasingly rare, which puts the HTC Desire Z with its hardware keyboard in an intriguing light. With its metallic accents and suave grey pallet, the Desire Z cuts a different path.
A German HTC fan blog by the name HTC Inside published a shot from Vodafone's internal inventory system last night, revealing the existence of an HTC phone by the name "Desire 2". Phandroid pointed out that this may be a European version of the upcoming and equally mysterious dual-core Pyramid, and I'd say that's not too farfetched a theory.
We'll probably find out what this thing is at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (which starts on the 14th), so the mystery shouldn't last a whole lot longer.
Samsung is well-known for its ubiquity in the feature-phone market, and it's starting to look like they'll be employing the same assault-on-all-sides approach with Android phones too. As if they aren't struggling already to keep their phones up to date, Sammy is now digging a deeper hole with today's announcement of four budget-oriented devices set to prop up the rather premium Galaxy S.
Starting from the bottom, we have the Galaxy mini, intended to be a "first smartphone" for those crazy, hip youths you keep reading about.
On the one hand, we have the Desire HD. People may call it the EVO 4G for Europe, but it really isn't. Here we have the newly unveiled HTC Gratia. People are calling it the HTC Aria for Europe, and that's exactly what it is. The hardware appears to be identical save for some new colours, which, considering people seem quite fond of the Aria in the USA, is probably a good thing.
If you live in European markets, you may be glad to hear that HTC is offering a new color for two of their phones: the HTC Desire, which will soon come in "Brilliant White", and the HTC Legend, which will soon be available in "Phantom Black."
There's no doubt that each phone looks really slick, but you've got to wonder the purpose of a black Legend: wasn't its main appeal the gorgeous metal finish?
The official German O2 Twitter account posted a tweet this weekend that the Motorola Milestone (better known as the Verizon Droid to us Yanks) will be getting Android 2.2 in mid-late September of this year. Also contained in the announcement was news that the HTC Desire will be receiving FroYo in mid-to-late August, and the Galaxy S in mid-September while the Flipout and X10 are still TBD. It’s great to see these phones receiving prompt updates to the latest OS version after the slower rollouts of some of the previous updates (We’re looking at you Eclair).