Blog Archives

DROID3 packs qHD display and TI dual-core tip benchmarks

Details of Motorola’s upcoming DROID3 smartphone have been leaked, courtesy of some premature benchmarking of what’s assumed to be a prototype device. According to the stats at Nenamark, spotted by Blog of Mobile, the Verizon Android smartphone will have a qHD 960 x 540 display, just like the Motorola ATRIX, as well as use Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR SGX 540 GPU.

That clears up one lingering question about the DROID3, namely which chipset it would use. Unlike the ATRIX, which is based on NVIDIA’s Tegra 2, it seems Motorola has used the 1GHz Texas Instruments OMAP4430, an alternative dual-core processor.

OS is Gingerbread, at least at time of testing, and the phone scored 45.7 (though, since we’re guessing the firmware isn’t final at this stage, that should probably be taken with a pinch of salt). Other expected specs include a 4-inch display and a front-facing camera for video calls; still unclear is when, exactly, Motorola and Verizon will announce the new QWERTY slider.

[via DROID-Life; via Android Community]

Atrix 4G Lapdock accessory drops to $299 starting May 1

Atrix 4G Lapdock Pricing

If you’ve been eyeing the Motoroala Atrix 4G and its slick little Lapdock but didn’t exactly feel all warm and fuzzy at the $399 a la carte price tag, things are looking up. According to this screen shot we just received, the Lapdock will drop to $299 on May 1, and the total cost of the Atrix with Lapdock falls to a more palatable $399. Someone feeling a little Transformer heat, perhaps?

Motorola Atrix 4G update imminent, and it’s coming soon, too

Motorola Atrix 4G update

It’s hardly been a secret that Motorola’s been testing an update for the Atrix 4G on AT&T — we’ve been going over the changelog — and now it looks like it could officially be pushed out tomorrow, April 29. Need a reminder of what’s in the 4.1.8.3 update? Here ’tis:

  • Data Speed Increased speed at which data can travel on the network.
  • Data Connection Improvements to prevent interruptions to data connection.Screen Improvements to prevent screen from freezing.
  • Email Improved ability for users to receive email notifications so you know when you have a new message. Also, improvements were made so that you are now able to use the same email login to access both MOTOBLUR™ and YouTube.
  • Skype Improvements to call audio function so it is easier for the person you called to hear you. Please note this application is not pre-loaded on the phone, but is available for download from the Android Market.
  • Wi-Fi Increased functionality by enabling Yahoo Email to be sent over a Wi-Fi connection.
  • Display Improved International Roaming Warning Message by simplifying user notification so that it only appears on the screen when you move to a new network.
  • Happenings Widget Improved Happenings Widget to ensure that you receive the latest updates across the social networks you are connected to such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter.
  • Calling Improvements were made to incoming and outgoing call functionality to ensure a more seamless experience.

So be on the lookout starting tomorrow, and sing out if you get it.

Droid Bionic by Motorola coming with a new form factor

If you are a big fan of Android smartphones and followed along at CES this year, you may have noted the Motorola Droid Bionic that surfaced at the show. The smartphone had the same common style that we see on all smartphones on the market today, and that really isn’t a bad thing at all. Most smartphones have the familiar bar style with a touchscreen. Motorola announced not too long ago that the Droid Bionic was being delayed for unspecified changes to be made to the device.

Motorola offered us no official hints at what changes would be made to the device. It only said that the changes to be made were based on feedback received on the smartphone after the show. The device in the photo here is the Bionic that surfaced back at CES. Apparently, the Bionic is still coming, and it will get a new form factor as part of the enhancements being made. There aren’t too many form factors that are popular with smartphone users today.

Apparently, the prediction is that the Bionic will take the same form factor that has surfaced recently with leaked images of the Targa from Motorola. The Targa is the same basic shape as the original Bionic with a different profile having a bulge at the top near the camera and getting thinner below. The Bionic page was updated from CES with this tidbit, “Based on compelling feedback since the show, we are incorporating several enhancements to make this an even better consumer experience. This includes expanded features, functionality and an improved form factor. Motorola Mobility and Verizon Wireless are very excited about bringing the ‘new’ DROID BIONIC to market.”

[via Android Community]

Motorola XOOM WiFi only version coming to Sprint May 8?

Motorola Xoom

You all remember that Sprint branded Motorola Xoom right? Of course you do — back then, we had no idea of when it would be showing up on Sprint for people to purchase but now, that’s a slightly different story if the info seen in this image is any sort of accurate. May 8, is the expected release date for the WiFi only Motorola Xoom on Sprint but again that $599 price tag is lingering. With other tablets such as the HTC Flyer and the ASUS EeePad Transformer now or soon to be on the scene, is anyone still going to be picking up a Xoom from Sprint?

Motorola Droid 3, Known As Solana, Gets Bluetooth Certification


The Solana, which is suspected to be the working name of the Motorola Droid 3, is entering the early stages prior to release.  The Motorola XT86 was approved for Bluetooth certification, and it’s believed that this phone will be the Motorola Droid 3.

The Droid 3 is expected to have a different keyboard and slimmer body.  The screen will running about 4 inches, and it’s expected to have a dual-core TI-OMAP4 processor.  It’s going to be rocking Froyo, and has been approved for Bluetooth 2.1.

Android 3.0 and hardware acceleration

Xoom UI

Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) provides full 2D hardware acceleration in applications, andRomain Guy explains the ins and outs of enabling it in your app at the Android Developers Blog.  Mr. Guy is a software engineer for Google’s Android project, and is heavily involved in the graphics rendering code for both Gingerbread and Honeycomb, and seeing him take the time to further application development for Android is great.  He’s also one hell of a photographer, and some of his work has been used as the stock backgrounds on Android phones.

Developers should check out the source link for all the details, but we’ll keep it a little more end-user friendly here.  Hardware acceleration has been around for a while in Android for things like OpenGL games, but now normally coded apps can use and benefit from it as well.  On the Motorola Xoom, all the stock applications already use accelerated 2D graphics, and third party apps can take advantage of it with a single line added to theAndroidManifest.xml file in the source code.  If the app is using the standard set of drawables, all operations will then use the GPU when drawing them on-screen.

There are some other things to consider if you’ve written custom drawing code, which is why hardware acceleration is disabled by default.  Mr. Guy takes the time to explain what you need to do as well as what operations are supported if you need to go this route.  Looks like we’re going to be seeing some awesome third party apps coming up for tablets running Honeycomb.  [Android Developers Blog]

Motorola Atrix coming to T-Mobile UK in June

Atrix on T-Mobile UK

T-Mobile UK will begin carrying the Motorola Atrix from June, according to a recent update to the carrier’s “coming soon” page. Previously the Atrix has only been available on T-Mobile’s sister carrier Orange. In 2010 Orange and T-Mobile merged to form Everything Everywhere, and now subscribers to one carrier are able to freely roam on the other’s network.

Other phones due to arrive on T-Mobile UK include the LG Optimus Black and Samsung Galaxy Ace this month, and the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play and HTC Desire S in April. [T-Mobile UK]

 

iPhone takes top spot in US smartphone satisfaction stats

J.D. Power has released its latest batch of mobile phone rankings, and Apple grabs first place among smartphones ahead of HTC and Motorola. Interestingly, the researchers found that those who use social networking services – such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn – on their handsets were more satisfied overall; given how much regular checking can suck down juice, it’s useful that, among smartphone owners, battery longevity scores only 8-percent in overall satisfaction.

 

Apple scored 795 out of 1,000, maintaining their pole position from last year’s satisfaction survey, while HTC and Motorola have switched positions, with 763 and 762 respectively. That’s a dip for all three from last year, where Apple scored 800, HTC scored 781 and Motorola scored 791, suggesting that smartphone buyers are generally getting tougher to please.

As for regular cellphones, Sanyo leads the field with strong scores for physical design, battery and operation, with LG and Samsung following in second and third places. J.D. Power found

Press Release:

J.D. Power and Associates Reports:
Social Media Use Drives Higher Satisfaction among Owners of
Smartphones and Traditional Mobile Phones

Apple Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Smartphone Manufacturers,
While Sanyo Ranks Highest among Traditional Mobile Phone Manufacturers

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 17 March 2011 — Overall satisfaction with smartphones and traditional mobile phones is considerably higher among owners who use their devices for social media activity, compared with satisfaction among owners who do not access social media platforms on their phones, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction StudySM—Volume 1 and the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Wireless Traditional Mobile Phone Satisfaction StudySM—Volume 1, both released today.

Among smartphone owners who use their device to access social media sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, satisfaction averages 783 on a 1,000-point scale—nearly 22 points higher than among those smartphone owners who do not often use social media sites on their device. Currently, more than one-half of smartphone owners report having used their device to access social media sites via the mobile Web or mobile applications. While rates of mobile social media site usage are not nearly as high among owners of traditional mobile phones (9%, on average), satisfaction among traditional handset owners who use their device for social media is notably higher than that of traditional handset owners who don’t access social media (754 vs. 696).

“It’s not unexpected that smartphone owners access social media sites from their device more frequently than traditional mobile phone owners due to features such as larger screens and QWERTY keyboards,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates. “However, these findings demonstrate that equipping devices with powerful features and service is key to creating positive customer experiences with wireless devices.”

The study finds that wireless users who engage in mobile social media activity on their mobile device also tend to use it more often for calls, texts and data; are more likely to purchase additional wireless services in the future; and are also more likely to provide positive recommendations for their handset brand and service provider, compared with users who don’t use social media on their device.

“It’s clear that the gap in satisfaction between customers who use social media applications on their device and those who don’t is driven by several factors, but the critical ingredient is whether the user has a positive experience with the wireless device itself,” said Parsons. “Providing features that facilitate social networking activity and make it easy for users to communicate and share information between various social media sites may be an effective way for service providers to further engage customers and increase loyalty.”

These two studies measure customer satisfaction with traditional wireless handsets and smartphones among owners who have used their current mobile phone for less than two years, by examining several key factors. In order of importance, the key factors of overall satisfaction with traditional wireless handsets are: operation (30%); physical design (30%); features (20%); and battery function (20%). For smartphones, the key factors are: ease of operation (26%); operating system (24%); physical design (23%); features (19%); and battery function (8%).

For a fifth consecutive time, Apple ranks highest among manufacturers of smartphones in customer satisfaction with a score of 795 and performs particularly well in ease of operation, operating system, features and physical design. Motorola (763) and HTC (762) follow Apple in the smartphone rankings.

Sanyo ranks highest in overall wireless customer satisfaction with traditional handsets with a score of 715. Sanyo performs well in three factors: physical design, battery functionality and operation. LG (711) and Samsung (703) follow Sanyo in the traditional handset rankings.

The studies also find the following key wireless handset usage patterns:

The average price of a traditional wireless mobile phone continues to decline and averages $73 in 2011, compared with an average of $81 at the beginning of 2009. The decline is primarily due to discounts provided by handset providers and wireless service carriers to incentivize sales. Currently, 46 percent of owners report having received a free mobile phone when subscribing to a wireless service, which is a historical high.
Mobile applications continue to enhance the smartphone user experience. Two-thirds of owners say they have downloaded games and social networking applications to their device. More than one-half (54%) say they have downloaded travel software, such as maps and weather applications, while 53 percent indicate having downloaded entertainment-oriented applications. This indicates that smartphone owners are continuing to integrate their device usage into both their business and personal lives.
Ownership tenure impacts overall satisfaction with the device experience. Those who report owning their device less than one year are significantly more likely to be more satisfied than those who have owned their wireless phone for a longer period of time (773 vs. 728). Newer devices tend to offer more features, services and better quality than older phones.
The 2011 U.S. Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study—Volume 1 and the 2011 U.S. Wireless Traditional Mobile Phone Satisfaction Study—Volume 1 are based on experiences reported by 7,275 smartphone owners and 11,347 traditional mobile phone owners. The studies were fielded between July and December 2010.

 

MOTOROLA XOOM WIFI PRICED IN UK

We already know that European retailer Carphone Warehouse has clinched the exclusive on the Motorola XOOM 3G, but it seems PC World has snatched up the WiFi-only version of the Android 3.0 Honeycomb slate. The retailer is advertising pre-orders for the XOOM WiFi, priced at £449.99 ($734).

However, it doesn’t seem that you can actually pre-order the slate yet, and there’s no sign of a release date. Carphone Warehouse has previously suggested the UK XOOM 3G will arrive in April 2011, but that’s not to say the WiFi-only version will drop at exactly the same time.

[via Coolsmartphone]

%d bloggers like this: