Looks like the floodgates have opened and pre-orders have started for the Epic 4G. All the usual suspects are offering the device, and all in their own way. As with the EVO 4G, Sprint will be requiring the Premium Data (or 4G) surcharge of $10/month. As always, to get the lowest price, you need to sign a 2-year agreement.
After today’s Dell Thunder leak, you may be excited to hear about a new Android offering from Dell: The Blaze. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any reason to be interested in the phone – the Dell Blaze is running Android 1.5 with a custom UI, and is described as an entry-level device. So, while we don’t have any actual specs yet, we can determine that the screen is fairly small, my guess would be at the very top, 3.5”, but more likely around 3.2”.
Personally, I can’t understand why Dell would choose to put Android 1.5 on this device – even Android 1.6 (which the Streak still runs) would give it much better access to the latest apps.
It looks like the Droid has a second over-the-air update headed its way. The first, which started being pushed out yesterday, was FRG01B and brought Froyo to the most popular Android around. However, a Verizon email tells us that this second update will give Droid owners the ability to download Adobe Flash 10.1, leading us to believe that it is indeed the leaked FRG22 build.
If you’re already enjoying Froyo on you Droid, keep an eye out for a second update, and let us know when it comes.
Dell’s elusive not-a-tablet-phone has broken its cover once again, this time showing up on a video exclusive over at Engadget.
The phone remains unchanged on the hardware side of things, it seems, but it’s now confirmed to be running Android 2.1. We’ll go ahead and give you a quick brush-up lesson on what the Thunder is bringing (pun very much intended):
- 4.1” WVGA AMOLED 480x800 display
- Android 2.1 with Dell’s “Stage UI” overlay
- 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor
- Removable 1400 mAh battery
- 8MP camera with LED flash and 720p video recording
- FM radio
- External SD card support
Internal storage specs for the Thunder remain unknown.
Our friend Daniel Ruby, analyst for ad firm Chitika, has released a new tool for tracking Mobile usage stats. The page is chock-full of goodies (at least, for those of us nerdy enough to dig stats). The most interesting highlights:
- The original Motorola Droid still commands nearly 30% of the Android market (29.9%)
- The HTC EVO 4G has taken second place at ~8% (7.96)
- The iPhone accounts for 57% of iOS usage; the iPod accounts for 22% and the iPad clocks in at 21%
- For all the fuss over Android fragmentation, iOS fragmentation is worse. More details on the chart below.
After Vodafone deployed an HTC Desire update last week that was full of crapware, customers responded with understandable anger. After initially standing firm on the crapware (“Vodafone 360”), Vodafone has now backed off and will remove it with the next update. The next update? Vanilla Froyo - and it’s coming in 7-10 days.
The surprising thing here is that the update will apparently be an unmolested version of Android 2.2 - something they elected not to do with their Nexus One update. The only customizations Vodafone will be making to the Froyo Desire update are to the network settings, in order to “optimise them for [their] network.” This is obviously good news for Desire owners, as it means they’ll receive the update sooner, and without any extra Vodafone “goodies.”
Congrats to Vodafone customers for standing together and staring down the huge teleco.
Earlier today, Engadget broke an exclusive regarding Sony-Ericsson’s work on an Android gaming handset that is currently “in the late stages of planning.” There have been rumblings of a PlayStation phone for quite some time, and it seems like this device may be Sony finally delivering on those long-standing rumors.
According to Engadget, the device will feature:
- 3.7-4.1” WVGA screen
- 5MP camera (may not be final)
- Slider-phone design, but instead of a QWERTY keyboard, a gamepad
- Gamepad will have:
- Touchpad for directional controls instead of joysticks
- A standard D-pad,
- Standard PSP buttons
- Shoulder buttons
- “Likely” to have a 1GHz Snapdragon Processor
- Mostly black chassis, some silver highlights (looks like a Captivate crossed with a PSP Go)
- Will run Android OS “Gingerbread”
- Phone-specific software skin
- Will have access to a new and exclusive Android Market Games section
- Game titles will include some PSX oldies, as well as newer PSP games
Mockup Created By Engadget
Engadget has speculated the device and the new Android Market Game “ecosystem” could be available as early as October.
This tool does appear to do a permanent NAND unlock, irreversibly voiding your phone’s warranty, proceed with caution.[/note]
This night keeps getting better and better. The unrevoked team just announced the release of their anticipated Unrevoked Forever tool. What does it do? While the summary provided by unrevoked is a far better explanation, I’ll keep it short and sweet: once you install unrevoked forever, your phone can flash unsigned updates, no matter what, forever. At the moment, “your phone” must be an EVO 4G or an HTC Incredible and run the specified baseband versions as shown below.
UPDATE: Customers can reserve their smartphone for purchase at www.sprint.com/epic4g beginning Friday, Aug. 13
Well, it would appear we were off a bit on our August 20th estimate. Sprint has just informed us that the Epic 4G (the first Galaxy S keyboard phone, and the first 4G keyboard phone) will be available for purchase on August 31st on the Sprint network, specs below:
- 4” Super AMOLED Capactive Touch Screen (Resolution: 480x800)
- Slide-out QWERTY Keyboard
- TouchWiz 3.0UI overlay
- 1GHz Hummingbird A8 Cortex Processor
- 512MB RAM
- 512MB ROM
- MicroSD external storage
- 5MP camera with LED flash
- Front-facing camera
- Sprint 4G Service
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
- 720P video recording
- FM radio support
- Android 2.1
- 1500mAh battery
Sprint’s official press release on the Epic 4G:
After having faked us out a couple weeks back, it seems Dell is finally ready to let its Streak tablet-phone-whatever loose stateside. You can get it $299 with a new or upgraded 2-year service agreement on AT&T, or shell out $549 to avoid the contractual shackle. Here’s a quick reminder of the specs the Streak is packing:
- 5” TFT LCD with resolution of 480x800 pixels
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- HSDPA 7.2 radio (Class 12) with GPS
- WiFi 802.11 b/g radio
- Bluetooth v2.0
- 5MP camera with dual-LED flash
- Front-facing camera
- Snapdragon 1GHz processor
- Android 1.6
- 2GB Internal Storage
- 1530mAh battery
You’ll notice I’ve taken the liberty to highlight a few of the Streak’s unique points, good and bad.