Android Powered Gadgets Announced at CES 
Android Apps

Android Powered Gadgets Announced at CES 

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.

IDAPT – A Truly Universal Docking Speaker

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Looking for Android Tablets for Xmas 2011 - Just Don't Buy a Turkey!
Android Apps

Looking for Android Tablets for Xmas 2011 – Just Don’t Buy a Turkey!

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.

Conclusion

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 …

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