Over the last couple of weeks, there has been quite the uproar over the HTC Thunderbolt, Verizon's first LTE phone. Most of the talk has been centered around the shipping date, with a rumoured release that slid from February 14th to the 24th to the 28th, then on to March 4th and 10th. After all this anticipation and disappointment, we may finally have a clue as to what is keeping this beast in its pen.
If you began drooling from the very first murmurs of a "Pure Google" tablet running Android 3.0 'Honeycomb', to the buzz at CES, through the anticipation building up to launch: your day has arrived and you likely now have a Motorola XOOM in your hands. Congratulations. Of course that would be the $800 Verizon Motorola XOOM that's in your hands. But what about that $600 Wi-Fi-only XOOM? Not only is it not in anyone's hands, but there has yet to be a confirmed release date either.
Well, another day, another HTC Thunderbolt rumor. Today's addition to the Thunder-rumor-dome is a little different, but don't worry - it's still pretty upsetting. A new Best Buy Ad has shown up with an advertised price of $299 for Verizon's debut 4G handset. Yuck. The Android Police team already thought $249 was a little steep, but $300 for a phone based on a platform that's been around more than 4 months worldwide?
The good folks over at iFixit gave the Motorola XOOM a teardown this morning, and aside from the ridiculous 57 screws holding it together, it has been deemed pretty tinker-friendly, scoring an 8/10 on the repairability meter.
One interesting piece of information did emerge during the XOOM's disrobing, though - in regard to its much-touched LTE upgradeability. The teardown's author noted that the XOOM ships with a dummy mini-PCI board, presumably holding the 4G LTE radio's slot.
It's launch day for the XOOM, and already the major news outlets have had a chance to spend a few days with the much anticipated device. Not only does the XOOM bring a new standard in high-end to the masses (a la Tegra 2), but it's also the first device to ship with Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) on board. It's also really the second major Android tablet to launch (the Galaxy Tab being the first), and the first to match the 10" form factor of the iPad.
This one's for you, developers: XDA user adub007 just posted a full Motorola XOOM system dump. What new and unprecedented goodies does it contain? That remains to be seen... feel free to download the 112MB (183MB when unpacked) file and start digging for yourself.
That's right - unlike almost all other Motorola devices in recent memory, the XOOM will ship with an unlocked (or at least "unlockable/relockable") bootloader. That means modders will be free to create custom ROMs and kernels for the tablet - not as surprising as it would be were the XOOM not a flagship Google device, but still very reassuring.
OK, so unboxings aren't exactly the most exciting videos on the web, but when they involve a certain tablet called the "Motorola XOOM," they're definitely worth a look. Such is Wirefly's latest creation:
Items of note:
- Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) - boot times seem really fast
- 10.1-inch 16:10 display - larger than an iPad
- 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor
- 32GB of internal storage
- 2MP front camera
- 5MP rear camera capable of recording 720p HD video
Interestingly, the video mentions a slot for a 4G SIM card, which is odd since Verizon and Motorola say the XOOM will require a
hardware software upgrade to connect to LTE.
Verizon's latest press release confirms rumors that the Motorola XOOM will cost $599 with a 2-year contract and $799 without (though we already knew the latter price thanks to Verizon's website) when it launches this Thursday.
Data contracts will start at $20/month for 1GB of data, with Verizon confirming once again that the XOOM will be upgradeable to 4G LTE in Q2 of 2011 at no extra charge.
Read more about it in the official press release:
The most anticipated Verizon phone of the month, the HTC Thunderbolt, just got its first official commercial, complete with lightning, thunderbolt (no kidding), and a guy on the hunt for HTC's newcomer who ran away straight from the Ocean's 11 set. Two things are for sure - rooftops are definitely cooler than barns, and lightning is always a good idea.
Oh, and you know what else would be a good idea?