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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Google’s Nexus One: New Details and the Price revealed!

The Nexus One, also known as the Google Phone, has been causing a stir this month after details began to emerge about the project. Earlier today, we learned that the phone will likely be revealed on January 5 at a Google press conference.

Information on the phone’s already starting to leak through the Google gates, though. Screenshots obtained by gadget blog Gizmodo reveal one of the most important details about the device: its price.

The screenshots seem to be the future landing pages for the Google phone. It will apparently go live soon at and be the sole portal for purchasing your very own Nexus One. And while we cannot verify the accuracy of these screenshots, the information presented makes sense.

Here are some of the key details you should know:

- Price: $530 USD ($593 AUD) unsubsidized and unlocked, $180 USD subsidized on the T-Mobile network with a 2 year contract.

- Rate Plan: $79.99 USD per month on T-Mobile, which includes unlimited texting/MMS and web data, along with 500 minutes. This seems to be the only plan available, even if you’re already on another plan with T-Mobile

- Purchasing: You can buy up to five Nexus One phones per Google account.

- Cancellation: If you cancel within 120 days, you have to pay the subsidy difference ($350 USD) or return the phone to Google.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Google Confirms Android Media Event -- Hello, Nexus One?

It may be the moment the tech world's been waiting for: Google has just officially announced plans for an Android-related media event to be held next Tuesday, January 5, at its Mountain View campus.

If recent online chatter is to be believed, the event could have something to do with the Nexus One -- the highly anticipated HTC-built handset seemingly under development by Google.

Google's invitation doesn't divulge many specifics about what's in store. The document, titled "Please join us for an Android press gathering," simply states the following:

"With the launch of the first Android-powered device just over a year ago, we've seen how a powerful, open platform can spur mobile product innovation. And this is just the beginning of what's possible."

Google and the Nexus One Connection

Google previously revealed that it was testing a "mobile lab" device that utilized the Android platform. Company employees were given the devices in early December, a Google blog posting confirmed. That news came amid a bevy of leaked images, videos, and details from people claiming they'd gotten their hands on the so-called "Google Phone" and that it was, among other things, "like an iPhone on beautifying steroids."

The standard flurry of rumors -- you know, the "this-or-that killer" kind of fare -- soon followed. Early (unofficial) reports had suggested the device would be unlocked and not tied to any specific carrier, leading some bloggers to speculate that the Nexus One would forever alter the mobile communications market. Other data, including the testing report filed with the FCC for the device, suggested the phone might work only with T-Mobile's data network within the U.S.

The T-Mobile Tie

The notion of a T-Mobile tie was reinforced with yet another purported leak published Tuesday morning. Mobile tech blog TmoNews released a document said to be from T-Mobile's internal system. It says:

"Google, with support from T-Mobile, is scheduled to launch a new Android device in early January. The Google Android phone will be sold solely by Google via the Web. Support for this device, including troubleshooting and exchanges, will be managed by Google and HTC. T-Mobile will offer service support, including billing, coverage, features, and rate plans."

So what's it all mean? Is the Nexus One almost here? Will it be an everything-imaginable-under-the-sun killer? Will it revolutionize our lives in ways we can't even fathom?

The answers, it appears, may finally be upon us. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Google Nexus one specs revealed!

We have heard a lot recently about the Google Nexus One (N1) which has been rumoured to be launching soon. Finally we have the official specs to go along with what looks to be a fantastic phone.

The Nexus One will be a tri-band phone (900/1700/2100 MHz) UTMS and quad-band GSM which allows it to work on the T-Mobile network in the US. Features include a 3.7 inch WVGA AMOLED touchscreen that according to one person who had a look at the phone said it was the best looking screen they had seen.

The Nexus One will run Android 2.1 and be capable of transferring data at 7.2Mbps where networks support this. The processor inside the phone will be a Qualcomm Snapdragon running at a snappy 1GHz.

The phone will have four illuminated soft keys primarily for Back, Menu, Home and Search. A tri-colour LED will be used in the device for notifications and charge status. Haptic feedback is to be included in the phone.

Other features are the fairly standard A-GPS, Accelerometer, Light sensor and a proximity sensor along with a compass, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3.5mm headphone jack and active noise cancellation. The camera is 5 megapixels and will be capable of using the A-GPS for geotagging shots.

An LED flash can be used for lighting close subjects and the phone will have 2x digital zoom. For memory the phone will have 512MB RAM and 512MB of flash memory and will include a 4GB MicroSD card with 32GB cards being supported.

It looks set to be a very interesting phone. It will be interesting to see what pricing plans it will be made available on and how much it will cost.

A rumoured date early in January 2010 has been touted for the launch date. We’ll find out officially soon if this is the case.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Google 'Nexus one' caught on video and some new pics!

Animated wallpaper

Back and pouch

With battery cover removed



Thickness compare to the G1

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New Google Nexus one pics

The updated OS features new 3D elements to the app tray, as well as an extended amount of homescreens.

Additionally, there's now a new grid icon at the bottom of the homescreen, which when pressed brings up a webOS card-style preview of all homescreen pages.

.. and google goggles, of course

Sunday, December 13, 2009

wow - Google actually ARE releasing a phone! - the Nexus one

The rumors are over and the sources have confirmed, the Google Phone that has been talked about for some time now is going to be released with the name Nexus One. Apprently the phone will be developed by HTC for Google.

The Nexus One will come with the Google Android OS 2.1, and, unlike the other Android phones on the market, the user experience was ENTIRELY designed by Google. The phone will be unlocked, available for purchase through Google online and you’ll have to provide cellular service of your own.

Now the rumors are swirling as to when the phone will be launched, but there is speculation that it will be available in January 2010.

Update! Some minor specs according to other reports:

– Qualcomm Snapdragon 1 GHz ARM CPU
– High resolution OLED display
– Around $500 USD
– GSM with possibility of UMTS (3G) on AT&T and T-Mobile
– Voice-to-text dictate feature
– Capacitive touch screen & on-screen keyboard

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Could this be the HTC Dragon?

Could this be the HTC Dragon? The Dragon is believed to be the Android equivalent of the Touch HD2 (same hardware mostly and just Android instead of Windows Mobile).

Here are the specs for the Touch HD2 for you to drool over:

Qualcomm MSM 8250, 1GHz

Memory / Internal Storage
ROM: 512 MB / RAM: 320 MB / HD: 207.13MB

Display Module
4.3-inch 480×800 WVGA resolution / 65K-color / Sensitive touch screen (Capacitive) / Keep support Multi-Touch capability for WM7 Chassis

Internal antenna
Quad-band (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) / HSDPA / 3GPP Release 5 compliant
Up to 7.2Mbps / HSUPA / 3GPP release 6 compliant / UE category 5, up to 2 Mbps peak rate / EGPRS Functionality / EGPRS class B / Multi-slot class 12 (10 Operator dependent) / PBCCH

Standalone GPS
Internal GPS antenna

Motion G-sensor / Proximity sensor / Ambient Light Sensor / FM Radio

Digital Camera
Main camera: 5 MP Color CMOS with auto focus / 2x LED flash

Volume up and down control / Send Key / End Key (Power Key) / Windows Key / Home Key / (Cinema mode Key, TBD) / Back Key / Reset

Notification by sound, vibration, LEDs or status shown on the display
One dual colors (Green and Amber) LED in the left / lens for PDA event, battery and charging / status

Built-in microphone / Receiver / Loud speaker with hands-free support

Connectivity & Interface
Bluetooth / Version 2.1 compliant with EDR / Wi-Fi / IEEE 802.11 b/g compliant / Micro-USB: / USB 2.0 High-Speed client / 3.5 mm stereo audio jack with mic / 1.8/3V USIM/SIM card slot / microSD card slot with SDHC support

Battery / Removable and chargeable battery, 1,230 mAh / AC adaptor / AC input: 100 ~ 240V AC, 50/60 Hz / DC output: 5V and 1A

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

HTC sets its Hero free!

In a turnabout move HTC sidesteps all four Australian mobile carriers to launch its Android-powered Hero and Tattoo smartphones unlocked and for outright sale.

In an unexpected and possibly last-minute twist, HTC has sidestepped all carriers and all networks and will offer its new Hero and Tattoo smartphones for outright sale, unlocked, through mass market retailer Harvey Norman.

Earlier information indicated that Optus or one of its network-sharing partners would have the exclusive on both Android-powered handsets, but in what appears to have been a relatively last-minute change, HTC has gone direct to the market.

This is the first time the Taiwanese smartphone supremo has taken the retail-only path, with all of its previous smartphones offered through at least one carrier.

“We just wanted to get these handsets out there” Anthony Petts, HTC’s ANZ Director of Sales and Marketing told APC. Petts said that carrier deals are still under discussion.

“Further distribution channels will be announced in due course. We’re continuing to discuss (the Hero and Tattoo) with operators, but there’s nothing that I can say the the moment.”

Customers will be able to buy the Hero from Harvey Norman for $799 “by the end of November or early December”, with the more consumer-oriented Tattoo available “a few weeks after that” for $599.

The handsets can then be used with the customer’s desired network – either for the best network coverage or the carrier which offers the best deal.

However, given that the Hero covers only 2100MHz and 900MHz as 3G HSDPA bands, this rules out Telstra’s Next G network.

Customers of 3 can use the Hero and Tattoo on 3’s primary but limited-coverage 2100GHz network while customers of Optus and Vodafone can tap into both carriers’ primary 2100MHz and regional 900MHz networks.

HTC Hero launched in Australia

HTC Hero launched in Australia $799 RRP unlocked, no carrier plans? Sold by Harvey Norman?
.. Stay tuned for details.

Google adds free turn-by-turn navigation, car dock UI to Android 2.0

Google has unveiled Maps Navigation (beta, of course), an extremely upgraded version of its current Maps software that'll be free and, from what we understand, available by default on all Android 2.0 devices.

All the usual Maps features are present, including the ability to search by name of business and have it suggest the closest matches, both semantically and geographically, and traffic data. We're also now looking at turn-by-turn navigation, female robotic voice and all, and integration with satellite and street view, the latter of which will be able to show you what lane you need to be in when exiting the highway, for example.

Instead of just searching nearby, it'll also now search along the route for when you're looking for upcoming gas stations or fast food joints that won't take you too far off your beaten path. Select addresses can be added to the Android home screen as their own icons, and given the limits of living in the cloud, trips and their respective visual feeds will be cached just in case you hit dead spots along the way.

Still no multitouch, but as VP of Engineering Vic Gundotra noted at a press conference, there's nothing stopping a company like HTC from adding that feature à la Sense UI.

In addition to demonstrating the basic navigational functions, Gundotra also showcased a new user interface that appears when the device hooked up into a car dock, one that is intended for use "at an arm's length away."

Essentially, it means much larger iconography and a convenient "voice search" option front and center. We later got confirmation from a Google product manager that car dock detection was definitively a hardware-based feature, which we take to mean Android devices currently on the market won't necessarily have the same convenience.

If Android 2.0 takes off how Google (and Verizon!) hope it does, companies like TomTom and Garmin are going to seriously need to worry about their bottom line.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

HTC Hero & Tattoo Australian release announced!

The aptly-named HTC Hero and it's little brother the Tattoo will make their Australian début next week on Optus' dual-band 3G network.

The kick-off, to be held on Wednesday afternoon (18th, November 2009) at swanky Sydney waterside eatery Doltone House, will see the Hero replace the Magic as HTC’s flagship Android phone.

The Hero is quite late arriving to the Australian market, could it be because it is to be loaded with the newfangled Android 2.0 OS?

.. Only 3 sleeps till we find out!

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Android 2.0 Platform Highlights

New User Features

Contacts and accounts
  • Multiple accounts can be added to a device for email and contact synchronization, including Exchange accounts. (Handset manufacturers can choose whether to include Exchange support in their devices.)
  • Developers can create sync adapters that provide synchronization with additional data sources.
  • Quick Contact for Android provides instant access to a contact's information and communication modes. For example, a user can tap a contact photo and select to call, SMS, or email the person. Other applications such as Email, Messaging, and Calendar can also reveal the Quick Contact widget when you touch a contact photo or status icon.

  • Exchange support.
  • Combined inbox to browse email from multiple accounts in one page.

  • Search functionality for all saved SMS and MMS messages.
  • Auto delete the oldest messages in a conversation when a defined limit is reached.

  • Built-in flash support
  • Digital zoom
  • Scene mode
  • White balance
  • Color effect
  • Macro focus

Android virtual keyboard
  • An improved keyboard layout to makes it easier to hit the correct characters and improve typing speed.
  • The framework's multi-touch support ensures that key presses aren't missed while typing rapidly with two fingers.
  • A smarter dictionary learns from word usage and automatically includes contact names as suggestions.

New Platform Technologies

Media Framework

Revamped graphics architecture for improved performance that enables better hardware acceleration.

  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • New BT profiles: Object Push Profile (OPP) and Phone Book Access Profile (PBAP)

New Framework APIs
  • Android 2.0 includes several new developer APIs.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Motorola Calgary pics

Not too many details on this device available yet, but here's what we know so far:

There’s three touch-sensitive Android keys on the display, an optical joystick which we’ve been told performs really well, a workable QWERTY keyboard, and it sounds decent as a phone.

The Motorola Calgary also features a 3 megapixel camera, 3.5mm headset jack, GPS, digital magnetometer, Wi-Fi, microSD card slot, and spring-assisted slider.

No hard release date at this stage.

Mystery HTC Android phone pics

Images of an unidentified HTC phone have been posted online, prompting speculation this could be the rumoured HTC Dragon.

The Dragon or "Zoom 2" is thought to be the Android counterpart to the recently announced high-end HD2 Windows Phone from HTC, although this device's design details don't look as slick as the HD2.

The leak, from a "ninja" source of, reveals nothing about specs, but has stepped in with news of a Snapdragon processor, multi-touch display, 5MP camera, Wi-Fi and GPS on an Android 2.0 handset.

More details as they come to hand :)

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