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Samsung Android phone ships in Europe

Nov 16, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 19 views

Samsung announced an Android-powered “Galaxy Spica I5700” smartphone, targeting Europe. In other Android news, Dell confirmed Brazilian and Chinese carriers for its Dell Mini 3, Google released a second-generation developers phone, and ZiiLabs is prepping an Android platform, say reports.

Stories about a Samsung i5700 phone emerged last month when it was rumored that the company was readying a "Galaxy Lite I5700" for release in Europe and Russia. Now officially announced by Samsung as the Samsung Galaxy Spica (pictured at right, and below left), the phone appears to be a scaled-down version of the Samsung I7500 "Galaxy" Android phone, which was introduced in Europe a few months back by Telefonica's O2 network.

According to a story by Michelle Maisto in our sister publication eWEEK today, the Galaxy Spica is equipped with an 800MHZ application processor and 180MB internal memory, and it supports MicroSD cards up to 32GB. Measuring 4.5 by 2.2 by 0.5 inches, the Galaxy Spica offers a 3.2-inch touchscreen with 480 x 320 resolution, and is said to be compatible with HSDPA 3.6Mbps (900/2100) and EDGE/GPRS (850/900/1800/1900) networks, says the story.

The Galaxy Spica provides a 3-megapixel camera with autofocus, as well as GPS, Bluetooth 2.1, and WiFi connectivity, says the story. Other features are said to include a 3.5mm headphone jack, a 1500mAh battery, and both USB 2.0 and MicroUSB ports. Pictured at left, the phone is claimed to be the first Android phone to support the DivX movie format, and is touted as being equipped with version 2.0 of Samsung's Digital Natural Sound Engine, for better sound quality.

The phone runs Android 1.5, and supports "the full suite of Google services," including Google Search, Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, and Google Talk, says Samsung. The phone is also said to offer links to social network sites including Facebook and MySpace.

The Samsung Galaxy Spica is now available in Europe and CIS (former Soviet Union countries), and will be expanded to the MEA region, says the company, which did not reveal carriers or pricing.

Is Samsung prepping a 4.5-inch Android phone?

In other Samsung Android news, eWEEK is reporting that T-Mobile will ship the Samsung Behold II starting this Wednesday, Nov. 18. While the AMOLED-equipped phone has received some positive reviews, several have faulted T-Mobile for charging so much for the phone. eWEEK's Maisto quotes Avi Greengart, an analyst with Current Analysis, as saying, "I believe it is poorly priced — $229 for a touchscreen phone with a 2GB card is $129 too much, compared to its competition at other carriers."

Meanwhile, Phones Online is reporting that Samsung is readying a new Android model with a massive, 4.5-inch touchscreen. The "crystal cell phone" is also said to include sensor buttons, an 8-megapixel camera, as well as the obligatory Bluetooth, aGPS, and WiFi. No carriers, pricing, or even a code-name were offered for the mystery phone, but Phones Online did release an photo of the alleged phone, at right.

The final item on the busy Samsung beat comes from a variety of sources including MobileBurn. Apparently, Samsung is denying a DigiTimes report that claimed that Samsung was dropping Symbian in favor of its upcoming "Bada" phone stack. The DigiTimes story appears to be similar in content to a Telecoms Korea story we reported on in our Bada report last week, which quoted Seoul-based brokerage firm HMC Investment Securities as projecting that Samsung plans to discard the Symbian OS starting in 2011.

The Telecoms Korea report also estimated that among the 40 different smartphone models that Samsung will ship next year, Windows phones will represent only about half, down from 90 percent in 2008, and will further drop to 20 percent of Samsung smartphone models in 2012.

According to the MobileBurn story, Samsung released a statement indicating that it "supports various existing open operating systems including Symbian, Linux, Android, and Windows Mobile." The company also vowed to "continue our 'multi-OS' strategy." Hmmm — doesn't sound like a full-throated endorsement of Symbian, but we get the message.

Dell sends Mini 3 phone to China, Brazil

After confirming last month that a version of the Mini 3i, which had previously been tipped as heading for China, was heading for the U.S. market next year. (The phone will be offered by AT&T, according to reports.) Dell has now formally announced the release of the phone on China Mobile, as well as Brazil's Claro networks. The Mini 3, as it is now called, is pictured at right in a previous shot from Cloned In China.

As previously indicated, Dell will distribute the Mini 3 via China Mobile, which is said to be the largest wireless provider in the world, with more than 500 million customers. The China Mobile version of the phone will offer the Android-based, China-localized oPhone operating system, says the company. Dell also announced it was releasing the phone in Brazil with Claro, a carrier owned by America Movil that serves more than 42 million customers in Brazil.

According to a third Michelle Maisto story in eWEEK, the Dell Mini 3 features a 3.5-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, a 3-megapixel camera, a microSD slot, a miniUSB port and a 950mAh battery. WiFi and 3G connectivity do not appear to be included on the China Mobile model, said the story, although Dell's release noted that the Claro phone would be running on a 3G network. Availability is anticipated in late November for China Mobile and at year's end for Claro, says Dell.

Stated Joao Cox, president for Claro, "As a leading innovation company in Brazil, Claro is proud of being the first wireless carrier in the world offering the 3G version of Dell's smart phone."

Google tips ADP2, and ZiiLabs preps Android design

According to Phandroid Google has released a second version of its Android Developer Phone (ADP), available to registered Android developers. Whereas the original ADP1 was based on the HTC G1, the ADP2 is the "Google Ion" phone which is based on HTC's second-gen, touchsceen-only design found in the HTC Magic (Vodafone) and MyTouch 3G (T-Mobile), says the story. The unlocked phone costs $400 and runs on Android 1.6, says the story.

According to several reports, Google has denied a rumor that ran in The Street last month that Google would offer its own branded, unlocked commercial Android phone this fall. The site apparently confused the developer-focused ADP2 with a potential commercial product.

And as we put to rest old Android rumors, new ones are always there to take their place. According to Android and Me, Creative Labs subsidiary ZiiLabs will soon unveil its own Android smartphone design based on one of its ARM-based ZMSxx system-on-chips (SoCs).

In July, ZiiLabs began shipping a portable media player (PMP) called the Zii Egg StemCell Computer, based on its homegrown, dual ARM9-core "ZMS-05" SoC and "Plaszma" Linux distribution. Last week, the company announced a ZMS-08 SoC with a 1GHz Cortex-A8 core and OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics, which will likely run inside the upcoming smartphone platform, says the story. ZiiLabs will unveil the new Android phone platform at the Zii Summit 2009, to be held in China the first week of December.


The Samsung Galaxy Spica is now available in Europe and CIS (Russia, etc.), and will be expanded to the MEA region, says the company. The eWEEK story on the Spica may be found here. The eWEEK story on the Behold II launch should be here.

The Phones Online story about the new 4.5-inch display Samsung Android phone may be found here. The MobileBurn story on Samsung's denial of ditching Symbian should be here.

The eWEEK story on Dell's planned launch of the Mini 3 in China and Brazil may be found here.

The Phandroid story on the Google ADP2 should be here.

The Android and Me story on the ZiiLabs Android platform should be here.

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