Samsung has officially announced a new entry-level Android phone, going by the moniker of Samsung Galaxy Pocket, that is destined to hit UK shores. As the name suggests, this Android phone is pocket-sized and will have a tiny pocket-money price to match.
As we dip in and out of recession and even find ourselves faced with a double-dip recession, there can never be enough affordable options, even if that means forsaking a large portion of technology in the process. Therefore, we feel that Samsung deserves a huge thumbs up for adding a very affordable option to their Android portfolio.
Simon Stanford, Vice President of UK and Ireland Telecommunications and Networks division said in the official press release:
‘With the Samsung Galaxy Pocket, we are building on the features we know our customers enjoy and get the most out of. This new device adds further breadth to the choice of smartphones we currently offer and provides a smartphone experience for even more customers at an affordable price.’
Samsung Pocket Specs
Samsung Galaxy Pocket is just 100 grams in weight and has a small, but perfectly formed 2.8-inch QVGA screen. Unfortunately, its single-core processor does not even reach 1 GHz and is instead a paltry 832 MHz. There is no front-facing camera and only a 2 MP rear snapper. Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) is what you get on this cut-price smartphone, and a Li-Ion 1200 mAh battery powers what little is going on. There is 3 GB of ROM and a microSD slot to give you up to an extra 32 GB of memory for all of your apps and media content.
This seems to be an ideal phone for a youngster or anybody that is not that bothered about being up-to-date with the latest technology. If, on the other hand, you are after a fast, powerful Android experience, this is probably not the phone for you.
Release Date and Price
Samsung Galaxy Pocket will be available in the UK later in 2012, although specific details are not as yet available. Though there is also a lack of pricing info, it’s likely to be as cheap as chips.
Samsung Galaxy Pocket
|Display||2.8-inch QVGA touchscreen|
|Resolution||240 x 320 pixels|
|CPU||832 MHz single-core processor|
|Platform||Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)|
|Memory||3 GB ROM, (microSD up to 32 GB)|
|Connections||GPRS, EDGE, WLAN, Bluetooth, micro USB|
|Battery||Li-Ion 1200 mAh|
If you’re after a perfect Android alarm clock that requires minimal effort but provides maximum effect and is rather beautiful too, look no further. Android developer Softbork has developed an Alarm clock that fits the bill exactly.
But don’t take our word for it, download and try it for yourself. There’s a free version and a paid ad-free version that costs a tiny £0.68. If your idea of a wake-up call, however, is to solve tricky mathematical problems to dismiss your alarm, or you like endless menu choices to fiddle through, with complex set-up instructions, you best look elsewhere.
Perfect Alarm is simplicity itself, with intuitive, fool-proof menu settings that even your poor Aunt Hilda, who unfortunately seems to have lost her marbles, can set without any issues. No need for fancy and unnecessary trimmings, such as voice control. Who needs the weather report or stock exchange read out to them when they wake up anyhow? Not Perfect Alarm, this little gem is gimmick-free and works perfectly every time, even after rebooting your smartphone. In fact, Perfect Alarm is also designed to withstand task-killing apps.
Perfect Alarm is the closest to a real alarm clock you’ll get in virtual form. To set the time you wish your alarm to wake you, you simply move the clock’s red hand with your finger. Time can be set in either AM/PM or 24-hour format, and you can see at a glance the exact time you’ve set the alarm for, as this is displayed just above the clock as you move the hand.
Don’t worry about being late for work by accidentally disabling your alarm as you rouse yourself from sleep; to disable or snooze you must long-press, and hopefully, this is not a skill that can be done whilst half asleep. You can choose to be woken by any tune you wish, and there are 3 options for fade-in, where the alarm will gently rise in volume, of either 30 seconds, 1 minute, or 5 minutes. More like a gentle caress than an industrial hammer drill to the brain.
If you can’t get to sleep in the first place there’s always the option of counting the sheep that cascade down the screen like moon dust. There are 9 different alarm clock designs to choose from, it’s just a shame that the backgrounds aren’t changeable too, as there are some really enchanting ones.
To reset or disable your alarm simply tap the cheeky little rooster on your notification bar to gain instant access to Perfect Alarm’s menu.
Check out the official Perfect Alarm video below:
Amongst eight new ZTE Android/Windows mobile devices announced at Mobile World Congress 2012, ZTE Era is the star of ZTE’s Android smartphone show. ZTE’s flagship device, promises to be a little healthy competition for other big players this year. It also happens to be the Chinese OEM‘s most high-end phone to date, and did I forget to say that it is dangerously sexy!
ZTE has high ambitions and is looking toward becoming one of the top three handset providers by 2015. If their 2012 releases are anything to go by they are definitely on their way. At present they are heading away from entry-level, aiming towards mid to high end, something the specs below seem to prove has already happened.
‘In 2012, ZTE products will be building up from the low-middle end of the market into the middle-high end, with the ZTE Era being the best example of that development.’ said Mr. He Shiyou, Executive Vice President and Head of the Terminals Division at ZTE.
ZTE Era has a 4.3-inch QHD touchscreen with 960 x 540-pixel resolution. It runs Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and has a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor. Although exact battery specs aren’t known as of yet, Tegra 3 4-PLUS-1 quad-core architecture has a fifth battery-saver core that should ensure a good few hours of usage before recharge.
There is also 8 GB of storage that can be expanded by another 32 GB via microSD, an 8 MP rear-facing camera, a VGA front-facing snapper, and 1080p HD video. There’s also DNLA, HDMI-out (via MHL adaptor), and Dolby Sound to add to the mix, which ensures a great media experience. ZTE has also added a brand new user interface, in the form of Mifavor, which will include a new set of widgets, an improved file manager, improved camera options, editable home screens, and a music hub.
Check out ZTE’s new user interface, Mifavor, below:
Release Date and Price
ZTE Era is due for release in China and Europe around Q3 2012. Expect the price to be a little higher than previous ZTE phones, but it should still be a little more budget-friendly than like-for-like devices. As soon as specific dates and prices are revealed we will endeavor to let you know.
|Display||4.3 inch TFT QHD capacitive touchscreen|
|Resolution||540 x 960 pixels|
|CPU||1.3 GHz quad-core, Nvidia Tegra 3 chipset|
|Platform||Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)|
|Memory||8 GB storage, 1 GB RAM (microSD up to 32 GB)|
|Camera||8 MP, LED flash, autofocus|
|Connections||GPRS, EDGE, WLAN, Bluetooth, micro USB|
Part 2 of ‘The Worlds Weirdest Android Devices’ has a few more Android oddities to show you…
Umeox Appollo Solar Powered Android Phone
For the greener amongst you, it’s nice to know that there’s an Android smartphone that will keep your conscience clear. For anybody off in ‘the middle of nowhere, where the last thing you’re liable to see is a power socket, it’s reassuring to know that there’s an Android to fill your needs.
Umeox Appollo is powered by solar, so as long as there’s sunlight you’ll have a working Android phone. Requires just 2.5 hours of sunlight to charge its built-in solar panel, but if the battery runs out completely it’s going to take a blistering 17 hours of sunbathing to get Umeox Appollo back to 100%.
As with companies such as Huawei, Umeox is an established Chinese manufacturer that’s been providing phones to be re-branded. Umax Appollo was set, in February 2011, for release in China. It was debatable whether it would surface in the USA or Europe, and it’s seeming likely that we won’t be seeing it after all, if we do, however, it will probably sport a different moniker.
We all know that caffeine is the preferred drug of choice. Coffee bars are springing up on every high street in the UK as fast as your local breweries are ringing ‘last orders’ for the very last time. Appresso is a coffee addicts paradise, making sure that you’re perfect cuppa is always within reach, even when the Coffee shops have shut for the night… and it’s controlled by Android.
This perfect coffee lovers partner knows exactly what your favorite espresso is. Dock your Android device and as it charges it communicates with Appresso and delivers your drink while at the same time playing your fave tracks if you wish. Or music can be played from a QR code on the coffee cup.
We expect to see this design, by In-oh Yoo and Bong-yup Song, on behalf of Meta trend Institute, to be hitting the UK in the near future. We predict that this concept will soon find its way onto the high street too, whether Appresso or a similar design. It turns espresso drinking into a whole new interactive experience.
Samsung Galaxy Concept Flexi Phone
If you’ve heard of the Origami mobile phone, you’ll have a pretty good idea of where this concept Samsung Android phone is heading. For those of you who haven’t heard of the Origami mobile phone, it’s basically a phone that’s made of cardboard and folds flat when not in use. Solves the issue of ever-decreasing storage.
The Samsung concept Flexi phone, if it ever reaches production, is set to solve more than just one problem. Besides being a space saver, and possibly slim enough to fit within the folds of an oversized wallet, this Android phone would also be the only answer you’d need concerning stands and holders. If you bend it in half it becomes a bedside alarm clock, photo frame or mini TV, fold at both sides and it will sit neatly on your car dashboard, making GPS more accessible.
Samsung has developed a futuristic, fully flexible graphene AMOLED display, which they showcased at CES 2011, that would make this astonishing Android phone a real possibility in the very near future. Full marks go to Haeseong Jee and Haeyon You who designed this beautiful idea for Samsung Talent Program, at Hongik University. This is one prediction we would like to put our money on. In 20 years from now, we imagine that flexible mobile phones will be the only mobile phones in the shops.
Besides the never-ending conveyor belt of smarter and smarter Android phones that appear with consistent regularity, making it nigh on impossible to own the very latest in Android technology, there’s a lesser-known group of Android phones and gadgets you probably haven’t heard of or even imagined.
This particular breed of Android belongs in the ‘weird and wonderful category. Oddities. Sometimes a one-off. A few are still a concept not yet developed, a seed in the mind of eccentric techno wizards. Most will likely never set foot on UK soil. But here’s to wishful thinking.
Below Heavenly Android takes a look at the wackiest Android handsets and gadgets in existence… or not!
Samsung W899 is probably the world’s first Android flip-phone (clamshell) touting two screens. Although Kyocera Echo is taking the credit for being the world’s first dual-screen Android phone, technically Samsung beat Kyocera to it in 2010 with this Android phone that was only available in China.
An Android touchscreen graced the front of the phone, flip it open and you found a second Android touchscreen. Whether your phone was open or closed Android was always at your fingertips.
Kyocera Echo, while not the weirdest of the bunch – but rather the world’s only dual-screen smartphone – deserves a place in this list nevertheless. A dual-screen is nothing new of course. We are all familiar with Nintendo DS, and we’re also aware of Sony Tablet P dual-screen Android tablet and its hefty price tag of £589.00. Whether dual screens are your thing is a matter of taste but there’s no doubt that they have their advantages.
Kyocera Echo has its own unique set of optimized apps that you can use simultaneously and you can also open two separate browsers at the same time, useful for research and comparison purposes. Gaming will also take on a new dimension, once dual-core is in the mix.
Two 3.5-inch WVGA screens combine to give you 4.7 inches of usability. The rest of the specs are rather run-of-the-mill and include a 5 MP rear camera, but no front snapper, microSD up to 32 GB, Flash 10.1, a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor…
Released on the sprint in the USA on 17th April 2011, it was hoped that we would also see it released here in the UK. As yet we are still waiting and hoping.
Hasbro Nexus Robot
Hasbro collaborated with Google and created one of the most adorable robot/Android devices to date. Developed for use with Nexus S, this curiosity is a part robot, part Android. Once Nexus S is docked, the Android brain fuses with the strange but cute robotic frames, creating a robot with its own individual personality.
These cheeky little critters waddle around on ski-like feet and respond to the environment surrounding them, and the information they already have stored. A combination of sensors, camera, and touchscreen gives the robot its eyes and ears to the world.
They respond to stimuli such as shaking and tickling with virtual emotions and even recognize people already captured on the Nexus camera and know whether they are friends or enemies.
The days of suffering for Android users are numbered. Until now, unless you were the owner of an Apple product, where accessories are abundant, there were few accessories to consider for your Android smartphone. Thankfully, over the past few months, fun and useful Android gadgets/accessories have begun to emerge into this fast-growing market. Universal Android docking speakers however have been hard to source. Philips Fidelio has a range of Android docking speakers, but until now, this was your only option.
Now there is a new universal Android docking speaker to broaden your choice. IDAPT announced a truly universal Bluetooth stereo docking speaker at CES 2012, which if it delivers what it promises, is about to solve an issue for many households. IDAPT S1 docking speaker is as the title of our post states, truly universal. Thanks to IDAPT’s patented interchangeable tip system, no matter if your smart device is Android, Blackberry, or Apple, a smartphone or tablet, and supports Bluetooth, this docking speaker will work for you. A truly innovative concept!
Designed in a retro fashion, IDAPT S1 features a clock with alarm, FM radio tuner, and Bluetooth 2.0 audio. Although specs are a little scanty, with no info concerning speaker watts, IDAPT S1 promises to fill a room full of rich audio, and get the party started!
You can charge two devices simultaneously, whether it’s an iPhone and HTC Sensation XE, or a Blackberry Playbook and a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. an LCD display on the top of the docking speaker allows you to easily manage and control IDAPT S1’s functions, and an additional LCD display located on the front allows access to basic functions.
Here at Heavenly Android, we’re very excited about this product that comes from a company that specializes in mobile technology solutions, such as quality universal chargers like IDAPT i4, which allows multiple devices to be charged at one time. IDAPT S1 will certainly save much-needed money, serving most devices within a family with both charging and music facilities.
UK Price & Release Date:
There are no specifics regarding the UK price and release date although we will be sure to give you the info the minute we have the details. Due for release in the USA around February with an expected price tag of $150 USD which converts to a very reasonable £96 GBP give or take a little vat.
Take a look at the cool video below:
- Full range loudspeakers
- Stereo 2.0 sound
- Bluetooth 2.0 audio
- Band: 2.4 GHz / Response Bandwidth: 20-20000 Hz
- Dual universal docking charger with IDAPT interchangeable tips
- Built-in USB charging port
- Stereo class D audio power amplifier
- Auxiliary input to connect an additional audio source
- Compatibility includes Apple iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, MacBook, Blackberry Playbook, Blackberry smartphones and mobile phones, Android smartphones as well as many cell phones, smartphones, tablets, laptops, and netbooks.
As anticipated, CES 2012 was awash with Android gizmos and gadgetry. The floor was a sea of Android tablets touting Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and quad-core processors, not to mention mountains of high spec Android phones. Not only was there news of smartphones and tablets to expect in 2012 however, but there was also a whole bunch of other nifty Android devices to look forward to, including smart cameras and smartwatches.
As 2011 ended we were already well aware that 2012 would be the year of the camera phone; we say camera phone as the very essence of these devices is the camera and the phone seems almost secondary. About time too. Although smartphone cameras have been continually improving, there has still been a need to have a secondary dedicated camera. Up until now!
The first camera phone on the horizon at the end of last year was Panasonic Lumix 101P. We still have a while to wait before this one is released in the UK (Easter maybe?), but it’s safe to say that its specs are impressive throughout.
Announced at CES was Sony’s first solo venture into Android (without their usual partner ‘Ericsson’), Sony Xperia S. As smartphones go, this one certainly packs a punch in the camera stakes, boasting a fantastic 12 MP beastie.
CES, however, unveiled a new Android phenomenon, the Android Smart Camera. Kodak’s Polaroid SC1630 smart camera was unveiled at CES 2012.
Similarly, last year saw a few smartwatches making their way onto the Android market, including the rather impressive and bringing i’mWatch. Since then Android smartwatches seem to be the new buzzword in a useful fashion, and Sony Ericsson announced their own at CES. Are they all they’re cracked up to be? We’ll just have to see.
Kodak Polaroid SC1630 Android Camera Phone
Whether Polaroid SC1630 is a dual Android smart camera/smartphone remains to be seen. The confusion seems to surround this Kodak product that was announced at CES. The main consensus seems to veer towards it being purely a smart camera at this point, with the advantage of Android and Android apps. We’re sure, even if it is the case that there’s no phone on this smart camera, we’re sure the added benefit of Android (think Netflix, Angry Birds, etc) will more than suffice the avid photographer… just don’t forget your smartphone.
Smart Camera Specs
Whether Polaroid SC1630 is a camera phone or simply a camera, it’s exciting to see a little healthy competition emerging on the smart camera front, in the form of Kodak’s Polaroid SC1630. As well as packing a hugely impressive – for those of you where every pixel counts – 16 MP CCD sensor, it’s also one of the only phones to have optical zoom onboard its camera. 3x optical zoom on a 36-108 mm lens to be precise.
It isn’t hard to see where the confusion arises from, as Polaroid SC1630 looks like any other smartphone, albeit with one hell of snapper on the rear, and has a 3.2-inch capacitive home screen and notification bar. In other words, other than the lack of a phone, it’s used in just the same way as an Android phone.
Upload all of your photos to Facebook etc with just the click of a button. There is a microSD memory card slot, up to 32 GB, to store your treasured pics too.
Weirdly, there seems to be no 3G support on Polaroid SC1630, but rather an EDGE, and video recording may be limited to only 720p. There is, however, full WiFi connectivity which allows you to download Android apps from over 40,000 in Google Android Market.
It’s also seeming unlikely that Polaroid SC1630 will come armed with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).
It is expected that Polaroid SC1630 will be released sometime in 2012, although exact dates and prices are as yet unknown. We’re sure there will be plenty of keen snappers salivating at this news! Take a look at the YouTube video below courtesy of AndroidCentral.
Christmas is racing towards us, there is nowhere to hide, it’s definitely going to happen whether you’re ready or not! If like the majority of the UK, Europe, and America, you’re suffering cash flow issues due to the economic climate, with prices rising for almost every essential living expense and little or no money to cover the costs, it’s essential you make the correct choices when present buying.
There is bound to be a list long enough to circle Earth numerous times requesting Android smartphones/tablets this Christmas. If your cherished family member will be lucky to be receiving such a device from yours truly, we implore you to do your homework meticulously before you make an expensive purchase that may end up a complete turkey.
At this seasonal time of year, almost every advert on TV, every newspaper, or magazine, is saturated with must-buy bargains at unbelievable knock-down prices. It’s human nature to begin to salivate at such offers and make a mad dash to the high street to snap up this mega bargain or to enter your card details online before the item is sold out, and all before you have time to think clearly. Stop. Take a breather, have a cuppa, a cold shower if you have to, but do not buy on impulse.
Once you’ve stopped perspiring and your heart rate has steadied, take the time to analyze the offer and maybe acquire a second opinion. Is the item in question what you think it is? Did you read the details correctly or did your eager grey matter make its own assumptions?
Xmas Turkey Example
Heavenly Android is not proud and does not feel at all clever to admit that we almost went through the exact scenario described above just this weekend. As we were happily chilling in front of the TV, an advert flashed before our eyes. We could not believe what we were seeing and were almost hyperventilated as we prepared to jump in our car and exceed the speed limit in our attempt to capture the prize.
The source of our excitement was the Archos G9 80 tablet, slashed to half price in HMV, from £249.99 to £129.99. Wow, what an amazing find! We had only recently written about the tablet in question, and we had to have it. Or so we thought.
We decided to investigate further before we committed ourselves. We discovered that in our eagerness our brains had deceived us. We, in fact, weren’t looking at the tablet we thought we were. It was a completely different model; an older, flawed model, namely Archos 101 Internet Tablet. Before you ask, no, we were not even remotely tipsy at this point. We realize they don’t even slightly resemble each other!
End of Line
If we had gone with our initial impulse and snapped up the offer at HMV (which incidentally has expired), we would have been sorely disappointed. Instead of the brand spanking new Archos G9 80, with its impressive specs, we would have ended up with a clearance, end of line item, that will soon be no more use than a chocolate teapot.
Archos 101 Internet Tablet has many faults: It runs Android 2.2 (Froyo) and is unlikely to enjoy an update. Tablets are optimally for running 3.1 ( Honeycomb). Google Android Market does not come as standard on this device. Slow CPU. Is glitchy and freezes whilst watching videos. Rumored not to support Flash. In short, a shadow of the item we thought we were seeing. Archos seems to be rather confusing with its range of tablets, just as plenty of other technology companies’ goods are confusing also. It pays to do your research, take time to decide which specifications you need in the item, which you can live without, and most importantly, don’t compromise just to save a few quid.
In short, check and triple-check what you’re buying, especially when you’ve spied a deal you can’t resist. Expect, as the old chestnut goes, to get what you pay for. Where technology is concerned it is likely that a sale item is outdated and possibly soon to be unsupported. In the case of Android tablets, you …
On the First Day of Xmas HTC sent Froyo 2.2 Update for Wildfire
So your Frozen Yoghurt treatment has been applied to your HTC Wildfire. Far from dampening the fire, we are all hoping that this update fuels Wildfire. But what do we do now? Most things look almost the same; are you trying to figure out what has changed and where? This is why I will be examining the ingredients that make the delicious Frozen Yoghurt that is now installed.
On the Second Day of Xmas HTC sent App to SD for Wildfire
One of the first things that I wanted straight away was to implement the app to the sd ability my phone had now acquired, enabling my internal phone memory to be freed up a little as apps were moved to a memory card. I chose to download the fantastic App 2 SD application from Google Market.
Once this has been installed onto your phone it is simply a case of opening the app, after it has compiled a list of your apps that can be moved to sd you are good to go. Simply look under the ‘phone tab’ for the app that you wish to move and tap this app; you will then be given the choice to move to an sd card. Very simple and intuitive, you can manage your apps completely from here, choosing to move apps back across to phone memory, and uninstall or clear data. If you wish to move all compatible apps to sd (note; not all apps are compatible to move to sd at present) just press the menu and choose ‘Move all apps’.Choosing to use App 2 SD is also useful as it can be set to monitor apps so that when they are installed and can be moved to SD, a notification appears. A very easy way of seeing at a glance which apps can be moved.
On the Third Day of Christmas HTC didn’t send Live Wallpapers
As many of you have been anticipating live wallpapers once you have the Froyo 2.2 update on your Wildfire I have to be the bearer of bad news I’m afraid. Live wallpapers are not supported on HTC Wildfire and probably never will due to Wildfire’s CPU processor (528 MHz). It is just not powerful enough to support this feature in a way that works well.
It seems that the final decision here (to disable live wallpapers) was made by HTC, and in a sense understandably so as it is a huge drain on battery life. Of course, when there is something you cannot do there will always be a workaround and this is true in this case. There is lots of advice on the web on ways to do this, some of which are covered on xda-developers website. I would love to hear from anyone who has managed to get live wallpapers working on their HTC Wildfire; until then I will manage without.
On the Fourth Day of Christmas HTC sent Lots of Lovely Widgets
A nice advantage you get with Froyo 2.2 installed on your Wildfire is a much wider choice of lovely widgets, which incidentally iPhone users don’t have the pleasure of using. Of course, your choice of compatible apps available from Google Market will increase tenfold.
To check out your new widgets for yourself:
Go to the + sign next to Phone at the bottom of your home screen;
- Tap – Widget
- Tap – Get more HTC widgets
- Press – menu
- Tap – Update
- Tap – (widget of choice)
- Tap – Download
- From home screen repeat step 1 and step 2, and then repeat step 6
- Tap – Select (only needed if there are a few versions of the chosen widget)
- Install on the chosen home screen.
Scroll through until you find the widget of choice such as Sand Timer and install. I always wanted the sand timer widget while I was waiting for the Froyo 2.2 update as my partner had already got it on his Desire and it was just so damn handy when timing food etc. There is also a mad as a hatter Fake Call widget available as from Dec …