Posts tagged Motorola
Two Motorola products in a row here at HWYC? Say it ain’t so! A week after throwing the Atrix 4G out for discussion, Moto’s Xoom tablet is on the docket next. As the world’s first commercialized Honeycomb tablet, it obviously launched with heightened expectations. That over-the-top Super Bowl ad didn’t help, but we digress. For those who’ve chosen the Xoom over countless others, we have to ask: are you happy with your decision? How’s the software treating you? Taken those cameras out for a spin yet? Battery life still living up to your lofty hopes? If you had the opportunity to tweak anything, what would you do? Shrink the form factor? Toss LTE in from the start? We’re hearing whispers that Motorola may end up partnering with Mazda on the Xoom-Xoom, so get your recommendations in now. Now!
Motorola didn’t say when pre-orders for the WiFi-only Xoom would be available when it finally announced the device yesterday, but some retailers have now stepped in and answered that question. You can currently pre-order the device from Amazon, Staples and Costco, with other participating retailers presumably set to follow shortly. In case you missed the news, the Xoom WiFi will run you $599 for the one and only 32GB version, and it will be available on March 27th. Staples will apparently be shipping them out on March 25th to ensure you get it on launch day (if you pre-order before March 23rd), while Costco says it will only begin shipping on April 1st — it’s throwing in a free gel case to make up for it, though.
By now you’re probably familiar with this slate, seeing as how Google’s Andy Rubin recently unveiled it on stage, but we’re willing to bet you’ve never seen the top edge — you know, the part now bearing a front-facing webcam and a conspicuous Verizon tattoo. Yes, this is Motorola’s 10-inch Honeycomb tablet, and it’s playing for Team Red just as foretold, though the tipster who obtained these images isn’t sure whether it will bear the name Stingray, Everest or even potentially “Trygon.” Spec-wise, we’re told our previous tipster was right on the money, and it’ll have a 1GHz Tegra 2 T20, a gyroscope and 32GB of storage underneath that 1280 x 800 multitouch screen, as well as 512MB of RAM and a slot for an up-to-32GB microSD card. It also sure looks like there’s a micro-USB jack, a mini-HDMI port and a 3.5mm headphone socket, as well as some contacts for a likely dock, though as always Mr. Blurrycam’s handiwork is such that we can’t quite tell. No matter — see for yourself in the gallery below.
Been wondering about what impact Motorola’s January split into two distinct entities will have on your humble consumption of consumer electronics? Well, after attending Moto’s big Christmas do in London, we seem to have uncovered one of the biggies: the Droid maker is switching to a crimson new brand identity from the start of the new year. They won’t tell us much more than that, but we can only surmise that the slight chromatic deviation will be in an effort to distinguish between the Mobility arm, which will make all the pocketable things we know and love, and the Solutions group in charge of the less glamorous business hardware. We’re sure there’ll be some reshuffling of middle management and other structural reorganizations taking place, but we’ve got the big story right here: the stationery, it is a-changing.
The Android landscape’s certainly getting crowded, isn’t it? We can still vividly remember the days when the T-Mobile G1 was the only game in town, and now here we are — just two years later — flush with options covering virtually every market segment from the ultra-high end to the ultra-low and everything in between. One niche market that’s usually underserved, though, is the beat-the-crap-out-of-your-phone market. You know who you are: you work hard, you play hard, or you’ve just got an incurable case of butterfingers — but whatever the case, you need a phone that you aren’t breaking, bricking, melting, freezing, or otherwise destroying every few weeks.
It’s not that rugged phones haven’t existed, of course. Far from it: Nextel and Motorola practically invented (and thrived off of) the concept, and options like AT&T’s Samsung Rugby and Verizon’s Casio G’zOne series have been available for some time. By and large, though, it’s been a field devoid of smartphones — and these days, that’s just not going to cut it. The kinds of people that need a phone that can take a few knocks don’t necessarily want to buy them at the expense of power or capability anymore. On that note, Motorola’s new Android-powered Defy for T-Mobile USA (and other carriers abroad) is one of the few to take a shot at elegantly combining environmental resistance with a no-compromise smartphone experience, featuring Blur atop Android 2.1 with a 5 megapixel autofocus cam, LED flash, 800MHz TI OMAP3610 core, and a 3.7-inch 854 x 480 display. In other words, on paper, it’s no slouch — but can it hang? Let’s find out.
At this point we’re completely amused that the Droid 2 Global has managed to leak out, get advertised, go on sale, and even arrive in customers’ hands without so much as a PR peep from Verizon, so we leapt at the chance to get a quick hands-on with it last night here in NYC. Nothing here you wouldn’t really expect, and we weren’t able to run any performance tests on the speedbumped 1.2GHz processor, but we were able to solve the mystery of that camera bulge: turns out the Droid 2 Global is a hair thinner than the standard Droid 2, and the bulge pops out just enough to make up the difference. It’s not dramatic, by any means — if we hadn’t been looking, we probably wouldn’t have noticed. Oh, and it’s definitely running Blur on top of Android 2.2, so you know, that’s “awesome.” Anyway, at the rate we’re going we’ll have a full review up and this thing will be discontinued before Verizon ever formally acknowledges it, so hit the gallery for a quick hands-on with The Droid That Doesn’t… Exist.
Exactly as suspected, the Droid Pro will start its Verizon retail adventure tomorrow, with pre-sales at selected VZW stores and the carrier’s online outlet, to be followed by its proper shelf debut on November 18th. Price is set at $179.99 on a two-year contract, provided you’re happy to take care of a $100 mail-in rebate. Moto will be hoping business types lap this offer up, as it has equipped the Droid Pro with an unusual (outside of RIM’s realm) portrait QWERTY keyboard as well as a dual-mode CDMA/GSM wireless chip. A 3.1-inch display, 1GHz of processing power, and a 5 megapixel autofocus cam fill out the spec sheet. Jump past the break for the full press release.
You’ve already told us (and the world, we might add) how you’d change just about every other Droid phone out there, so why not? Motorola’s Droid 2 has been in the hands of loyal can-doers for a few months now, giving the user base plenty of time to nitpick and stew about things that aren’t… quite… right. We had a few bones to pick with the handset during our August review, but as the regulars know, this space isn’t about rekindling old flames. It’s about you telling us how you’d change things if given the lead design position on this here phone. Would you have upgraded the camera? Changed the slide? Tweaked the Android build? Offered it on another carrier? Hit us with your best shot in comments below.
Motorola’s venerable MING handset revisions were just made official in three Android-toting varieties for China Unicom (model A1680 pictured above left), China Mobile (MT810, pictured center), and China Telecom (XT806, on the right). The TD-SCDMA riding MT810 ships with the Android derived OPhone 2.0 operating system and two touchscreen displays: a 3.2-inch stylus-friendly resistive touchscreen and a second transparent capacitive cover that provides a finger-friendly experience when closed. Other specs include 720 x 480 video capture, 720p video playback, and support for China’s CMMB mobile television spec. China Telecom’s XT806 is built on Android 2.1 with GPS, 720p video capture, and support for both CDMA EVDO and GSM for global wanderings. Finally, China Unicom’s A1680 packs a 3.1-inch AMOLED touchscreen, Chinese WAPI WiFi, 5 megapixel camera, GPS, and Motorola’s sixth-generation SoftStylus handwriting system.
Well this is getting good. Motorola was one of the first to take a subtle swipe at Apple’s iPhone 4 antenna dilemma with an ad saying you could hold the Droid X “any way you like,” Apple came right back with a video purportedly showing the Droid X suffering similar attenuation issues when held in the right hand, and now Moto’s responded with this cheeky ad that plays off Apple’s free iPhone case solution by saying the Droid X can make calls “without a bulky phone jacket.” Yeah, it’s pretty good — particularly because unlike most other phones, we haven’t been able to death grip the Droid X with any noticeable effect on 3G reception. (Although, truth be told, we can drop the WiFi signal by a few bars pretty easily.) Either way, we’re certainly enjoying this little slice of swagger from Moto — check a larger version after the break.