We review the new Sony Xperia S, the dual-core Android phone with HD 720p display. Can it match the best of the year’s new Android devices? Read on to find out.
Having ditched Ericsson, Sony is now forging ahead with a new range of Xperia handsets.
And while the Xperia S was undoubtedly designed when Ericsson was still in the frame, the specs and general demeanor signify that Sony has some serious plans for its Android phones.
The Xperia S has a very distinctive look, mostly because of the clear strip towards the bottom into which are embedded symbols for Home, Back and Menu functions.
Inside issue 9 of Android Magazine we take a look at the apps and custom skins installed by each manufacturer. Just what is it that makes your phone unique?
The brand new issue of Android Magazine has gone on sale. In issue 9 we take a look at the secrets of the superphones, discovering the apps and hidden features that each manufacturer adds to their phones to make them stand out from the crowd.
Also inside issue 9:
Android in the cloud Stream, share and store your data online
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro is an Android phone with full Qwerty keyboard. Is this the best option for the business user or text addict? Find out in our full hands-on review.
The very first Android smartphone, the T-Mobile G1, had a full slide-out Qwerty keyboard among its key features. Since then devices with this form factor have become relatively scarce as Android manufacturers have embraced the large-screened slab, and if a keyboard has been needed they have tended to opt for the BlackBerry-style thumbboard instead.
So the Xperia Pro is most welcome. It joins the largely consumer focussed Xperia range, and even though its own styling is quite friendly it brings a touch of business functionality to the Android world.
There are two consequences to the inclusion of a slide-out keyboard. One is that typing does – or at least should – become a lot easier; the other that the phone becomes noticeably thicker.
In the new issue of Android Magazine we take a look at Ice Cream Sandwich, road test satnav apps, put Honeycomb tablets head to head, and present tutorials on setting up and using your Android phone.
Issue 5 of Android Magazine is now on sale. This month it features a full look at Ice Cream Sandwich – Android 4.0 – and all the stunning new features you will be excited to be getting on your handset soon, or those you will be experiencing with the new Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
We also road test a series of satnav apps, and discover whether the free Google Maps Navigation is good enough, or whether you should pay for a GPS app.
Also this month:
The Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman phone is a music-centric Android phone that brings back the classic Walkman brand of the Eighties. Is it the best music phone around? Read on for our full review.
Sony Ericsson recently announced it would be shifting all of its attentions to smartphones next year. When this happens we’d expect more handsets like the Live to be the result.
A couple of years ago this would have been a staple of the company’s feature phone line-up: it’s an unabashedly mainstream product; compact, inexpensive and tied-in to a very famous consumer brand. It is probably best seen as a feature phone now, only it happens to run Android, and comes with all the goodness associated with that as an added bonus.
The Live with Walkman is an appealing handset. We would never describe a phone as cute, but this device would be worthy of such a description. It is compact, is very curvy, and has a smooth rubberised back. It fits in the hand rather like a pebble, and with the screen being on the smallish size at 3.2” your thumb will easily reach across to all the on-screen controls.
You wouldn’t be reading this right now if you weren’t a fan of the Android OS. But what do you know about its history? Read on to find out how Android became the behemoth it is today.
Cast your mind back to July 2005, anything memorable happen that month? Well, it was the month in which Google acquired Android to its portfolio. During this time, Google had been buying several small start-up businesses, the majority of which never saw the light of day, but Android turned out to be somewhat of a rarity, a small business with a future. Co-founded by Andy Rubin, who is now the Google Senior Vice President of Mobile, Android was nothing more than a speck within the mobile industry, a small time company who made software for mobile phones, nothing special and nothing out of the ordinary.
For the first couple of years after Google’s acquisition, nothing much happened in the world of Android, as far as we know, they just kept doing what they were doing, making solid and reliable software. But then comes a certain Mr Jobs, who unveils the, at the time, hotly anticipated, iPhone. Thanks to the wonderful world of technology sites, there was several rumours flying about regarding whether Google would bring out a rival phone to the iPhone, a gPhone anyone?, but it didn’t come to fruition and instead Android soon hit the headlines for something entirely different. On the 5th of November, 2007, Google finally admitted they had been looking into developing their own phone, but that they had also fully developed an entire open-source OS to rival that of Microsoft and the rest. No prizes for guessing the name of this so called open-source OS.Android 4.0 in all its glory
So how did Android become the face, and name, of Google’s developed OS? Well, Apple and Microsoft’s success at the time was staggering, and to try become a rival by themselves, Google probably wouldn’t have stood a chance. Instead it was a major force in creating the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), something which is still running today, along with HTC, Samsung and several other big players in the industry. From that point on, the Android OS was to become a permanent feature in Google’s armory. After several glimpses of the OS in the next few weeks, developers started to get an idea of what could be achieved through the new OS, and in February 2008, Qualcomm, and a few other companies, announced they would be manufacturing chipsets for a very basic, and original version of the OS, Android was very much alive.