Tag Archives: googlephone

HTC Magic Android Google phone hands-on

magic_3v2

Rubbish name, but Vodafone, HTC and Google have got most of it right. The just-announced G2 (though the manufacturer is adamant that we call it the Vodafone Magic) is a sweet piece of smartphone. We´ve just come back from fondling its 3.2in HVGA capacative touchscreen (with genius text input; there´s no keyboard) and we are officially impressed. The digital compass and G-sensor enabled Street View roaming has to be seen to be believed, though we´re a bit put out that we´re back in proprietary headphone territory (no 3.5mm jack socket). Apart from that, it´s running the latest version of Android, which is smoother and smarter than the version running on the G1. Look and feel are amazing, and it will be available immediately for pre-order in black or white (depending on territory, around €99 to €199 with data plan) in Europe. Italy´s going non-exclusive with it, so we should see grey market handsets soon. More details in the next issue of Stuff, out on March 1.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention the camera – bog standard 3.2MP job with no flash; our pics didn´t look great – and the screen, which looks great streaming video from YouTube. Connectivity: HSDPA and Wi-Fi. Don´t say we never tell you anything.

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Day of the Android at MWC?

tegra

There was a dearth of Android news at MWC yesterday, but things are hotting up. First, we´ve just come from the Nvidia stand, where they´re showcasing prototypes (like the one pictured) running Tegra, an Android platform with 1080p support, multiple video capabilities and the ability to dual-boot with WinMo. No market devices yet, but this is heading for MIDs and netbooks over the coming year and Nvidia claims boosted battery life to the tune of two or three days. When pushed about the manufacturers expected to launch with the hardware, we were told, ´It´s pretty much who you´d expect.´ Secondly, we´re off to a Vodafone conference this afternoon where the operator is announcing ´a new mobile internet smartphone´… HTC is involved, too… we smell Android blood. Watch this space in a couple of hours.

WinMo 6.5 takes on Palm webOS and Android

honeycomb

Yesterday, Microsoft launched Windows Mobile 6.5 for smartphones. Bad news for the hundreds of WinMo 6.1 handsets we’ve seen, and worse news if you were already unsure whether to jump ship to webOS or Android. We got some screens sticky yesterday to bring you the verdict:

WinMo 6.5: This is great news if you feel you must stay with Microsoft’s mobile platform. Finally, you don’t need a manufacturer-created GUI skin to feel like you’ve got a modern smartphone. The HTC Touch Diamond 2 (and our clumsy fingers) might be slightly at fault for some sluggish response times and erroneous input, but closing apps still requires a fingernail stroke to a tiny button in the corner. It’s a huge improvement, but unlikely to convert those who didn’t get on with WinMo 6.1.

Android: Within two minutes of picking up the T-Mobile G1, we’d crashed the phone and destroyed part of HTC’s booth. A reboot and several apologies later, we were rolling with Google’s mobile OS and loving it. It’s slick, intuitive, extrememly communicative and crying out for better hardware. The touchscreen gestures are a little kooky, and some of the moves would take a bit of getting used to, but it works. A must for open-source fans.

Palm webOS: Palm’s new OS (and device) came to this comparison with its dukes up. And battered the competition to the floor. The interface is beautiful, the gestures are natural, there is little perceivable lag and it works. It’s eminently customisable without losing its identity (Android, you listening?) and the Palm Pre doesn’t feel like a newbie in Old Town. Palm still has to make some announcements about data plans and the PC software end of the bargain (but a little bird mentioned cloud storage to us – phew!). Winner. For now.

Future convergence: netbook and mobile

stuff_htc-g1

Convergence has become a bit of an old-fashioned term. But just because there’s barely a phone left without a camera on it doesn’t mean convergence has run its course. With smartphones more and more capable of performing the tasks we used to demand of our computers, and netbooks expected to dominate laptop sales again this year, the future of convergence looks bright. We’re expecting to see more laptops packing 3G connectivity and being sold – or even given away – on contract plans (just like mobiles). We’ve seen the Android operating system running on PCs, and how long can it be before Windows 7 is running on a smartphone? Convergence lives on. But, please, let’s find a nicer name for it.

Stuff goes to Mobile World Congress

stuffmwclogo

With CES barely behind us, it’s nearly time to pack our overnight bags again and jet off to Barcelona for this year’s GSMA Mobile World Congress from February 16 to 19. We’re boarding the good ship Nokia for this year’s trip, though our secret intention is to finger, fondle and frolic with as many Android prototypes as possible. Move aside T-Mobile G1, the floodgates are about to open… watch this blog for googlephone updates.