Android One isn't Google's most-loved product initiative, but it does proposition consumers with a deal they aren't getting anywhere this side of a Nexus: updates direct from Google and minimal bloatware. Android One has predominantly launched in Southeast Asia and a few other locations - such as Turkey - but has remained firmly out of tier-one economies to date. Today's announcement by Google, Sharp, and Y! Mobile, then, is quite interesting. Read More
While it's hardly taking the world by storm, it looks like Android TV is gaining enough of a footing that there are now high-end televisions equipped with Google's entertainment OS being discounted on a regular basis. (Of course, that might simply indicate that no one is buying them. Either way, it means low prices for us.) Today's television deal comes from Sharp, and it's a big-un: the LC-70UE30U, a 70-inch, 4K smart TV. Buydig's eBay outlet has a new model on sale for $1599.99, a solid $200 off of the price for most remaining new stock.
The LC-70UE30U includes Android TV running on a quad-core processor of unknown origin (though I'm betting it's one of Qualcomm's inexpensive SoC systems). Read More
It was inevitable. Inevitable, I tell you. With the smartphone market becoming a ridiculous battlefield of overpowered spec sheets, it was only a matter of time before someone decided to cram a 4K resolution into a phone. That someone is Japanese smartphone maker and frequent part supplier Sharp, who revealed a 5.5" screen module with a resolution of 3840 by 2160 pixels. That's a density of 806 pixels per square inch, for those of you keeping score at home. Read More
Google's lone Android TV box is getting some company, but not in the form of a more capable over-the-top box. Sharp has announced three new 4K TV series at CES 2015, and two of them have Android TV built-in. It'll cost you, though.
If you own a Sharp Aquos Crystal on Sprint, you've got an update on the way. According to Sprint, there are quite a few bug fixes as well as some new bloatware added, such as Sprint's new premium caller ID service that lets you see a caller's name as well as their phone number, and integration with Yahoo's Communications Suite.
The new update bumps the firmware version to SA300 and is still based on Android 4.4.2/KitKat. The update rolls out in batches over the course of 1-2 weeks usually, so if you don't have the update available yet, keep checking.
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The Sharp Aquos Crystal is very close to being an Android nerd's dream device. It has virtually no bezel (except on the bottom) and comes with a stock version of Android 4.4.2. It looks unlike anything else on the market in the US today, and many Sprint customers will no doubt be happy to pick one up from the carrier starting today at $239.99 off-contract. People who prefer to walk out without putting any money down can get the phone for $10 a month.
People looking to pick up the Aquos Crystal through one of the carrier's MVNOs can get a better deal. Read More
Phones produced for the Japanese market are usually so radically different than the ones we're used to that you don't really feel like you're missing anything. However, the new Sharp Aquos Crystal may pique your interest. The difference is that you might have a chance to buy this one soon. This device comes in two sizes—5-inches and 5.5-inches. Both of them have teeny tiny, miniscule bezels. Almost none of the body peeks out from the edge of the screen.
The 5-inch version is a mid-range device with 720p resolution, a Snapdragon 400, 1.5GB of RAM, and Android 4.4. The 5.5-inch device is a premium offering packing a Snapdragon 801, 2GB of RAM, Android 4.4, and steps the resolution up to 1080p. Read More
We've been taking a close look at some of Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo's 2013 offerings: LG's flagship Optimus G Pro, Panasonic's similar Eluga X, and the dual-screen NEC MEDIAS W. DoCoMo announced three other phones at the same time, all of which are at the head of their manufacturer's lineups. We've already seen Sony's Xperia Z, Xperia Tablet Z, and Huawei's Ascend D2. Fujitsu's ARROWS X F-02E matches up to both, more or less. In the more mid-range areas are Sharp's Aquos Phone EX and a new 10-inch tablet from Huawei.
Fujitsu ARROWS X F-02E
The ARROWS X F-02E (not to be confused with the earlier F-10D and F-05D models) is the latest in a smartphone family that hasn't seen much action outside of Japan. Read More
Sony has announced that it will launch its PlayStation Store next month, bringing PlayStation Mobile titles to certified devices across 9 countries.
Previously, most of these titles were restricted to Sony's own Android phones, but the company has struck a deal that will bring 30 new titles from a variety of genres to selected Fujitsu and Sharp smartphones as well. This may not be big news for stateside customers, but it's particularly significant in the Japanese market.
According to the press release, the service will start in nine countries - Japan, United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Australia - on October 3rd, with more countries to be announced in the future. Read More
I know what you're thinking: "Oh no, not another Android skin!" That was my initial thought, too; after seeing what Sharp and frog (the design firm behind this skin) have done with Feel UX, though, I actually kind of like it.
First off, I think this is far different than any other Android skin we've ever seen. It appears to be highly functional, but still maintains a level of cleanliness that even the most meticulous minimalists among us can appreciate. Enough babble, though; have a look for yourself:
While this new skin is definitely unique, it appears that it takes an almost-iPhone-esque approach and forgoes the homescreen completely. Read More