More than 20 new Android smartphones launched, but why are they running Android 2.3, not Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich?
Ultrabooks Of CES: Visual Tour
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CES 2012 is packed with smartphones. They're everywhere. More than 20 were announced by companies such as LG, Motorola, Pantech, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson. Too bad they're running Android 2.3 Gingerbread and not Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest operating system from Google.
Let's look at what phones were announced.
First, from LG we have the Connect 4G for MetroPCS, the Spectrum for Verizon Wireless, and the Viper for Sprint. All will ship with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and promises of upgrades to Android 4.0 at a later time were wishy-washy at best. Of these three devices, the Spectrum and Viper are key handsets for LG. The Spectrum sports 4G LTE and a 4.5-inch true HD IPS display. It also has a Qualcomm 1.5-GHz dual-core processor, 8-megapixel main camera, and 1.3-megapixel front camera. It is a flagship phone from LG for Verizon Wireless. The Viper will be LG's first LTE 4G smartphone for Sprint.
Motorola announced the Droid 4 and RAZR MAXX, both LTE 4G phones for Verizon Wireless. The Droid 4 is the best Droid smartphone from Motorola yet in terms of hardware and design; it has a fantastic keyboard. Thanks to the user interface customizations made by Motorola, however, Android 4.0 won't be available to it for months to come. Same goes for the RAZR MAXX, a thicker, more battery-packed version of the Droid RAZR.
Samsung announced a range of devices for U.S. network operators, including the Attain 4G for MetroPCS; the Galaxy S II Blaze 4G for T-Mobile; and the Galaxy Note, Exhilarate, and Galaxy S II Skyrocket HD for AT&T. The AT&T handsets, in particular, are critical, because they all include support for AT&T's LTE 4G network. None of these phones ship with Android 4.0.
Pantech outed just one new handset, the Burst for AT&T. This little smartphone supports AT&T's LTE and brings affordability to 4G with a $50 price tag. Too bad it, too, lacks Android 4.0.
Sony Ericsson announced the Xperia S for world markets at the Xperia Ion for AT&T. The Ion is an Android phone with a 12-megapixel camera with Sony Exmor R sensor and 4.7-inch full HD display. A front camera also supports 720p capture. It also includes HDMI-out and is PlayStation certified. It includes support for AT&T's LTE's network. It ships with Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
Now, here's the kicker. Huawei, the Chinese electronics giant, also announced new smartphones, the P1 S and the P1. These phones, which are ridiculously thin at 7.1 mm, are the only two phones announced at CES that will ship with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Too bad they won't be available to U.S. buyers.
To Huawei, I say, "way to one-up the competition."
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