Do you wish your XOOM was an ASUS Transformer - but leather? Motorola's got a new keyboard / leather folio case out for the XOOM, and it's on sale for a pretty reasonable $85. Spiffy. It's unknown if the keyboard is connecting via Bluetooth, but that seems like the most obvious way to go about doing this, as there's no mention of any sort of charging functionality, so we assume it's all done sans wires.
Well, after some rumors that the HTC Merge might never arrive, it seems the mysterious but often-seen slider device will be coming stateside sooner rather than later. An official HTC press release for the company's first Android CDMA world-phone popped up only minutes ago:
The HTC Merge™ Smartphone Brings Android™ and HTC Sense™ to HTC's First CDMA Android World Phone
BELLEVUE, Wash., Feb. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- HTC Corp., a global designer of smartphones, today announced that the new HTC Merge smartphone will be made available through multiple North American carriers beginning in spring 2011.
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.
In what is the most carefully-worded way of saying "we don't know" I've seen in a while, Asus's UK marketing manager John Swatton has told Pocket-lint that the company's new Android tablets will be shipping with Honeycomb "if Honeycomb is available." The reason for the uncertainty? Swanson seems to be suggesting that Motorola's XOOM has been given special treatment by Google, while Honeycomb remains unavailable to most, if not all, other tablet manufacturers.
The poster lists this unnamed device as having an Adreno 205 GPU, 384MB RAM, and a "7230 CPU". No clock speed is listed, but it's safe to assume that "7230" refers to the Qualcomm MSM7230 processor which recently made an appearance in HTC's Desire Z/G2 running at 800MHz, though it is also capable of running at up to 1GHz.
Looks like we might finally start seeing the candybar form factor a little more often [or maybe not, given the specs --Aaron], as Acer has unveiled the BlackBerry-esque beTouch E210. The E210 packs a four row QWERTY keyboard and 2.6" touchscreen into a 115 x 62.5 x 11.5mm chassis. It also includes an optical trackpad for more precise navigation needs.
The newest beTouch will be running Android 2.2 on a ST Ericsson 416MHz chip, and packs 256MB RAM and a 512MB ROM.
We haven't heard much about the HTC Knight (or EVO Shift 4G, as it may be called) lately, but HTCPedia Shop recently came into possession of some photos of the device - albeit wearing some aesthetically questionable cases.
The phone itself, though, actually looks very slick. Clearly, design points were taken from the EVO 4G, which in my opinion remains the best-looking Android device on the market. As has been previously reported, the Shift 4G will be graced with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, HTC Sense, what appears to be a 3.7" screen, and Sprint's fabulous (if you live in an area with coverage) 4G - as can be seen by the WiMax logo in the pictures.
Even though it's only the third largest network in the United States, Sprint has a habit of cranking out some pretty nice Android devices. With the legacy of the EVO and Epic to live up to, the rumored HTC Knight is going to have to be something pretty special to be considered a true flagship. But will it really be the flagship we're all hoping for? Boy Genius Report got a tip today which adds further confusion to the matter.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: stock Android is the way to go. I hate it when manufacturers add custom UIs, bloatware, and unnecessary lag to our beloved Android operating system, so, naturally, I was overjoyed to hear that the T-Mobile G2 would ship with a stock build of Android. Early reviewers seem to agree with this, and overall, they seem to think highly of the device. Let's take a look at some of those reviews that have been posted so far.
BoyGeniusReport just got a nice clear photo of the HTC Merge, a device we may or may not have seen pass through the FCC with a red keyboard, better known as the dual-mode QWERTY slider for Verizon. The phone appears to be running Sense, and is now rocking a rather svelte brushed-metal style keyboard - one with a markedly different layout to the G2.
There's also the whole Bing thing.