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Android Phones Challenge i-Phone
Android phones are expected to offer fierce competition in the race to control the smartphone market
Android Phones Challenge i-Phone
  • By matthew
  • April 15, 2010, 16:40
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Who can stop Apple’s i-Phones in the smartphone market? Some say that the Android phone may.

Android is a flexible software platform open to all developers and designed to deliver a personalized and customizable user experience on wireless phones. It is aimed at bringing advanced web services, e-mail, social networking, and entertainment to consumers. Android is expected to emerge as an archrival to i-Phone’s operating system.

Android is all about applications. With access to over 20,000 downloadable applications from the Android Market, most of which are free, users can personalize their phone to suit them.

Compared to many existing platforms, Android is truly open to mobile program developers. They can develop applications and freely sell or distribute them on the Android market. Consumers will be given a much greater choice of mobile applications to enhance email, texting, Web browsing, music, camera and calling capabilities. In Korea, after the launch of the i-Phone in the fall of 2009, Android phones have been advancing into the Korean market, vowing to compete fiercely with the i-Phone.

Of late, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a leading mobile phone provider, announced it has upgraded its powerful Galaxy Spica (I5700) smartphone to harness the power of the latest version of Android, Android 2.1. The smartphone now offers users a galaxy of new features and an unrivalled mobile experience.

The Galaxy Spica retains all the features inherent in the successful Galaxy Spica (I5700), such as seamless connectivity and access to Google mobile services, multimedia functionality and speedy processor performance. The upgrade will be available via PC Studio 7, Samsung’s unique in-house software upgrade program. PC Studio 7 was included in the Galaxy Spica package and can also be downloaded at the Samsung mobile Web site

The Galaxy Spica becomes a highly intuitive communications device, offering users the option to personalize no less than nine side-scrolling screens. Users can really let their imagination run wild, creating different home screens according to different personal interests or requirements. The handset now features augmented reality technology that displays real-time digital information regarding the users’ surroundings over the view-finder of the Galaxy Spica’s 3 megapixel camera. The Galaxy Spica also features Samsung widgets, a visual bookmark and PC Sync support to provide users the ability to synchronize their devices quickly.

The handset now comes with a number of enhanced multimedia features which transform it into a personal entertainment device. A media browser allows users to browse their media collection with ease. Meanwhile, the camera has been upgraded to offer enhanced picture options and viewing functionality. Improved messaging functionality means that it is now much easier to attach files to MMS and email, while improved contact management enables users to find a necessary contact very easily through the alphabetical index. The upgrade will be available from March 2010 in Germany and gradually rolled out to other European markets and the rest of the world.

Another Android phone from Samsung is the Behold II. The new model boasts corporate email synchronization, WiFi, and visual voicemail. Furthermore, its Webkit-based browser is fully integrated with Google applications so that users can check Gmail, automatically add an event to their calendar, and find directions using Google Maps. The Behold II also features a 3.2” AMOLED screen so users can view their graphics, photos and YouTube videos in amazing clarity. The model also boasts impressive multimedia, offering 16GB of expandable memory, Bluetooth 2.1, MP3 music player and a 5MP camera/camcorder with auto-focus, flash and 8x zoom, making it truly something to behold.

The Behold II is fully integrated with Google applications, meaning users can view Google Talk friends’ status, check their Gmail and synch events to a calendar. With the Behold II, users can connect to Android market quickly and easily, allowing them to download apps galore, from games, news & weather, to shopping and social.

LG Electronics has also launched its own android phone. The LG InTouch Max GW620, the first Android phone from LG, enters the world of applications. Users can personalize their android phones with a series of useful apps, ranging from news and weather apps, to games and favourite social networking apps, including Facebook and Twitter. With a slide out 5-line QWERTY keypad, just like a pocket PC, and status updates from all social networking sites in real time, users will be able to keep in touch with their friends more quickly and easily than every before.

This new phone will allow users to go straight to friends’ social networking profiles from their contact list. Real time SNS updates ensure that users stay connected even on the move. Users will be able to tag a friend’s photo and the Auto Face-Tagging program will automatically recognize the face. The Face-to-Action program means users can call, SMS, MMS or join their friends’ social networking site simply by touching their face in a picture. Meanwhile, users do not need to visit their mailbox every time to check whether they have mail or not thanks to a real-time push email alert. Users can also enjoy all the benefits of instant messaging from their mobile phone. In addition, the threaded SMS function helps them keep track of SMS texts in an easy-to-follow instant messaging format.

Meanwhile, Motorola has introduced its Motoroi powered by Android version 2.0 to Korea via SK Telecom. “We are delighted to announce Motoroi, the first Android-based phone, with SK Telecom in Korea, a key partner in one of Motorola’s most important markets,” said Sanjay Jha, co-chief executive officer of Motorola and chief executive officer of Motorola Mobile Devices. “Motoroi is a smart phone without compromise, delivering a wiser, richer web and messaging experience with the most delightful touch-interface you have experienced, all made possible through the combination of Motorola’s expertise in design, a truly differentiated Android experience, and the power of SK Telecom’s network.”

Designed to take full advantage of the power of Android 2.0, Motoroi gives people a full touch screen with a huge 3.7 inch, high-definition WVGA (480X854) display, making it easier than ever to view full page web sites, videos, games, and photos. The display uses a powerful combination of Motorola’s touch user interface (UI) and a capacitive touch sensor for smooth screen flipping and scrolling, while five main displays allow users to customize their Motoroi with various widgets with more freedom than ever before.

Motoroi also delivers fast and powerful mobile versions of Google’s most popular services. High speed web-browsing is possible at home or outdoors with Motoroi’s Wi-Fi support and Android Web Kit Browser, supporting up to eight open browser windows and giving users the greatest possible freedom in using Google’s various mobile services. These services include Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube and Google Talk. Motoroi also breaks new ground by offering an 8 megapixel camera with Xenon flash and a 720p HD camcorder.

In the meantime, Droid Eris by HTC, a smartphone giant headquartered in Taiwan, offers customers the opportunity to customize a seven-panel wide home screen with a wide variety of widgets designed to bring the most important information to the surface. Droid Eris also includes an innovative “Scenes” feature, which allows customers to create multiple home screens, each with different widgets and shortcuts, transforming the Droid Eris by HTC from a “work” phone to a “play” phone with just a touch of a finger.

The android phone also organizes interactions by person, making it possible to access text messages, e-mails, phone calls and even Flickr streams and Facebook updates from a single contact card. In addition, the unique HTC Sense experience is supported by an array of the latest mobile features. The new android phone has a 3.2 inch capacitive touch screen and trackball interface, a 5.0 megapixel auto focus camera, and an expandable memory with a pre-installed 8 GB microSD card. It also supports USB mass storage devices, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 3.5-mm headset connectivity.