Some of the best Android devices get the shortest life span, and it seems as though the very popular HTC Legend is seeing its final days as well.
According to the above inventory screenshot, due to supply constraints, the HTC Legend is being discontinued from Bell’s lineup of Android phones less than 3 months after being launched as a Bell/Virgin exclusive. The device hasn’t even received its update to Android 2.2!
A lot is left up in the air with this one causing some to question its validity, but factually speaking since the introduction of AMOLED screens to the mainstream, the components have become incredibly scarce, meaning Bell may be looking for a quick exit strategy to put focus solely on the recently released Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant.
Unfortunatley, the Legend, like its predecessor the Hero, fit a certain small-handed niche in North America. Because Bell (and Telus before them) were the only carriers in North America to release the device, they became an importer’s dream down south, where neither of the phones were offered officially by a carrier.
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T-Mobile just posted up the teaser site for their first HSPA+ phone, the G2. Previous leaks of T-Mobile’s roadmap lead us to think that it will be a HTC Android device launching sometime in September. While the people at Engaget seem to think the smokey silhouette above looks like the myTouch HD that has been leaked previously, I think it better resembles another leak, the HTC Blaze. Whatever it is, it’s coming soon and should bring a hot piece of hardware to T-Mobile. While you wait, check out the G2′s teaser site and feel free to sign up for updates if you’re into that sort of thing. Otherwise, we’ll keep you posted.
|2Q10 Market Share (%)||2Q09
|2Q09 Market Share (%)|
|Research In Motion||11,228.8||3.4||7,678.9||2.7|
Nokia sold 111 million phones in the second quarter of 2010 to maintain its lead on top of the mobile phone market, at 34% market share. Based on rumours we hear in North America about Nokia’s inevitable demise, this comes as quite a shock to me, and, I’m sure, to a few of you.
RIM kept its 4th place hold on the market with 11 million handsets, and only 3.4%, but enough to keep it ahead of Apple, who sold 8.7 million iPhones last quarter for a 2.7% market share.
HTC is the big surprise here, with a 139% year-over-year increase in handsets. This is mainly due to Android’s huge proliferation in the United States, and HTC’s increased brand recognition worldwide as a favourable and reliable company.
Android, as we mentioned previously, is the number one platform in America, overtaking RIM in the last quarter. Worldwide, it still trails Symbian by a lot, and BlackBerry by a small amount, but has overtaken iOS to take third place at 10% worldwide marketshare.
Two years ago, few would have predicted that Android would become as successful and ubiquitous as it has in such a short amount of time. But here we are, two years later, and it’s a thriving brand, product, and platform.
Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 2Q10 (Thousands of Units)
|2Q10 Market Share (%)||2Q09
|2Q09 Market Share (%)|
|Research In Motion||11,228.8||18.2||7,782.2||19.0|
|Microsoft Windows Mobile||3,096.4||5.0||3,829.7||9.3|
(via Gartner Research)
Whew, that was a close one. Just when we thought HTC’s Nexus One was gone for good, Google’s Developer Blog has announced that the phone will still be available for Android Developers to purchase for $529. You will of course need to be a developer to be eligible to purchase a Nexus One so perhaps that $25 registration fee is worth it if you missed your chance to snag the phone earlier. Thanks Google, we were worried sick that we would lose the most hackable Android phone ever.
[Via Android Developers Blog]
What you are seeing here is an invite recently sent to Telus employees for a hands-on training with the forthcoming 2.1 powered HTC Desire. No word yet on a official release date, but rumor has it pinpointed for a launch around the end of July.
Expect more information on this exciting device in the coming weeks.
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YouTube today revamped their mobile website for WebKit browser-equipped devices, specifically the iPhone and devices running Google’s Android OS. The new site uses HTML5 for video viewing which allows mobile browsers to view YouTube videos without the need for flash capabilities. With the new version of YouTube’s mobile site, even the native Android YouTube application seems unnecessary and outdated, not to mention the iPhone’s app, which hasn’t seen a significant update since it’s introduction on the original iPhone. The new mobile version of YouTube also allows high quality video to stream over 3G, whereas the iPhone’s YouTube application limits this functionality to WiFi connections. The mobile site also allows users to subscribe to user’s YouTube channels from the browser, as well as like/unlike individual videos.
Check out the video of YouTube’s new mobile site in action on both the iPhone and Nexus One after the break, and feel free to give m.google.com a looksy if you have one of those newfangled iPhones or Android handsets.
With the MyTouch 3G hitting T-Mobile recently, and the Droid 2 popping up in every leaked picture around, the demand for high-end smartphones with QWERTY keyboards doesn’t seem to be abating any time soon.
In Crotia, a so-called HTC Vision prototype has been making the rounds, and it looks unlike any HTC device yet released. Gone are the smooth curves of the Desire or the flush Black Beauty of the EVO 4G. This looks, for lack of a better term, practical. And why not?
Surely, if this is production hardware, the keyboard will need to be extremely comfortable to take people away from the Droid they love, but give it some GSM love and perhaps Canadians can finally get their hands on a decent QWERTY device.
Specs are speculated to be pretty much HTC-standard now: Android 2.1 with Sense UI, 1GHZ Snapdragon processor, 512MB RAM, 5MP Camera with LED flash, 1+GB storage.
There seems to be some errant buttons on the 4-row keyboard, however, that are stupefying most observers. Some speculate it is to prompt some Sense UI commands, others think it’s going to open the Matrix. We shall see.
It’s the ultimate #win for Android users when their beloved device finally gains root access. Some are easy (Nexus One), others not so much (EVO 4G). But, eventually, they all fall.
Since the EVO and Incredible were rooted, there has been a flurry of activity on XDA-Developers, and the above phones have been added to the list. Most notably is the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, which has a buggy, finicky and slow build of Android 1.6 inside a piece of beautiful hardware. Seriously, the hardware of the X10 is my favourite phone design outside the new iPhone 4, and that’s saying a lot (sorry Legend, you’re just too puny to make the cut).
No details have been released yet regarding the X10, but there is a picture which proves the hack exists (see above).
The other nice piece of news is that the diminutive AT&T device, the HTC Aria, has also been rooted, giving users clamoring for outside app installation access the ability to do so, among other nefarious things. Check it out at XDA-Developers.
The Nexus One has had root access since before it was on the market. That is because the bootloader can be unlocked via a mere one-line code. However, unlocking the bootloader also locks your warranty (see what I did there?). But the same ingenious method used to root the EVO 4G has now been employed for the Nexus One, and though it takes a bit of practice and patience, it should work just fine eventually. Keep your eyes glued to this thread for more information.
There have been two leaked builds of Android 2.2 AKA FroYo since it was announced last month. The first came literally days after the announcement, leading to speculation that indeed it was not a final build of the OS. This was soon confirmed. Then, for weeks, we heard nothing from Google.
Last week, a new build, FRF72, was leaked into the wild, but was merely a patch to update small bugs in the initial test build.
Today, in a Nexus One support forum wherein thousands of people are protesting the long wait for the OTA update, Ry Guy, a Google employee, attempted to tame the wild herd:
Thanks for the responses!
Just wanted to give a heads up that the build floating around is not the official Froyo release. You will get an automatic notification when we OTA the build, no need to manually download it. You will still get the automatic notification if the official release is a newer version than the one you have, so don’t sweat…but I’d highly recommend waiting for our official release
We are striving hard to OTA the build to you ASAP, thanks for your patience!
Indeed, not a lot to go on in terms of a specific time and date, but it is nice to know that, despite the current build of FroYo being quite fast and stable, Google is still aiming to improve the user experience.
(via Android Police)
I am sitting, as I have done the last few days, with three phones in front of me: a BlackBerry Bold 9700, a HTC Nexus One, and a HTC Legend.
Each have their own shortfalls and virtues; each is attractive in its own way; and certainly, each appeals to a different type of consumer. To have all three is to show the current breadth of choice in the consumer smartphone market. Certainly, to understand that the HTC Legend and Nexus One run Android is to miss the point. I purchased the Nexus One using Google’s short-lived online store, off-contract, unlocked, and completely open to root, hack, customize and play with. It’s proven to be a reliable phone, surviving slip after fall after puddle, and is what I would consider the closest to a true computer replacement ever released in a cellphone.
The BlackBerry is a messager’s dream. The keyboard, after years of use, is second nature, an extension of my two very active thumbs. Without thinking, they dance along the keyboard like upon a piano, spittin’ out lyrics, if you will. It is the phone I never leave home without, since it is the one I can rely on to actually be used as a phone, as a communications device. It serves its purpose. I no longer lust after ghost apps, ones that I would find on other platforms but are, like an amputated limb, missing from the App World. Once you come to terms with the BlackBerry as a wonderfully efficient email and messaging device, and little else, it is perhaps the best one ever made.
The HTC Legend is smack in the middle of the two aforementioned devices. It is beautiful: created from one piece of brushed aluminum, to hold it in your hand is to cradle a fine jewel or piece of art. Even without turning it on, its subtle combination of design excellence and austere presentation promotes the best of industrial smartphone design. There is, to be frank, nothing wrong with the device’s design. I could quibble about how, when removing the SIM card, your phone will turn off, since one side of the battery connector is attached the the piece, on the bottom of the device, that is taken off to get to the SIM card/microSD card. But that is necessitated by the design; one look at the back side of the Legend is justification enough for this design choice. As an evolution from the attractive, though markedly cheaper-looking HTC Hero, the Legend is a step in the right direction: it promotes build quality in the face of higher production and marketing costs.
The software, compared to the Hero, is also an evolutionary step in the right direction. The jump from Android 1.5 to 2.1 is the difference, even on similar hardware, between a slow-moving steam engine and a bullet train. The whole OS infrastructure has been made more efficient. The additions of voice-recognition throughout the OS, of multi-touch within the browser, maps and gallery apps, and the improvements made to HTC’s Sense UI, are unifying ingredients that make Android feel like much more of a well-rounded package. The problems that exist in stock Android builds, even the latest 2.2 build, are taken up by Sense with panache. Copy and paste mimic Apple’s implementation (a little too much, IMO); the HTC_IME keyboard is incredible; their mail app is vastly superior to stock Android; their widgets do not hamper your interactions with the OS but improve on them. I particularly enjoy the FriendStream widget, which provides, on the homescreen, Twitter, Facebook and Flickr feeds, in a clean, intuitive way.
Overall, the phone is stable, and speedy enough to engage in some multitasking without bogging down the system. The 600MHZ processor does not strain under most conditions, since the screen resolution is lower than on most high-end Android devices. You wouldn’t know it to look, though, since the AMOLED screen is sharp, bright and quite pleasant to look at, even in sunlight. I did notice the colours wash out quite a bit in the sun, but less so than on the Nexus One.
There was some slowdown, though I expect it is app-related more than problems with the OS. When typing in a text field in the browser, there is some nasty slowdown with the keyboard. The keyboard would flake out randomly, and then Force Close, the Android equivalent of a BSOD. It usually starts right back up, but it’s a consistent problem and one I hope improves with updates.
I noticed a problem with battery life, too. As a fairly low-use phone, I expected at least a full day out of a charge. Instead, even with minimal use from the browser, camera, SMS and phone calls, the battery would expire in 4-6 hours. Not acceptable for a device aimed at the mainstream. While I’m sure I could improve the longevity by keeping the brightness to a minimum and turning off all background apps, most users will leave the settings on default, such as auto-brightness, and install an RSS reader, Facebook, Twitter, etc., all of which use background resources every one in a while.
Bell’s network, in the two cities I used the device, Toronto and Montreal, and in between on the 401, was rock solid. I found a couple dead spots on the highway, but it would usually spring right back to life within a couple minutes. The speed was always good whether I was downloading apps or uploading pictures. I will say it again: Bell’s network is definitely the fastest 3G network in Canada at the moment.
The camera takes sharp pictures with its 5MP sensor, and the LED flash is a welcome addition. HTC’s camera app is much better than the stock Android version as well, and is so beloved among enthusiasts, it has been ported over to work with rooted stock devices such as the Nexus One. Its small size is perfect to slip in an out of a pocket to take quick snaps, and the optical trackpad works wonders as a shutter click.
Speaking of its small size, I cannot convey how wonderful this phone feels in your hands. It is a pleasure to use. Without exploding with hyperbole, I don’t think I have ever been more comfortable using a phone. It is noticeably lighter and smaller than the iPhone and Nexus One, thinner than both, and despite its smaller screen size, because of the text’s sharpness, I never missed the higher resolution of the N1. There is something to be said for chemistry between a person and his or her phone; it may seem trifling, but the phone you buy is an important decision: you’re going to use it for hours a day, every day. For it to feel comfortable and inviting in your hands is essential, and something I believe people overlook when making their decision.
There are things I’ve overlooked. I will get to them in the video review. Suffice it to that, however, that for $79.99 on a 3-year term, the HTC Legend is a bargain on either Bell or Virgin Mobile. For $399 at Bell (or $350 at Virgin Mobile), you can purchase it outright, unlock it and use it on any Canadian provider, or AT&T in the US. Until the Desire arrives in its NAM 3G form, this is the most desirable Android device in Canada: sorry Milestone, Liquid E et al.