Android this week: Razr beats iPhone; Acer outs HD tablet; Intel phone shows promise

android-this-week

This is the first week I can remember where a single Android phone is reportedly outselling Apple’s iPhone at one carrier. According to a research note from William Blair, that’s exactly what’s happening at Verizon stores. A check of inventory and sales indicated Motorola’s Droid Razr is topping the iPhone 4S, which is good news for Motorola and its new owner, Google.

It’s possible that Verizon’s LTE network is part of this surge for the Android-powered Razr: Without an LTE iPhone on any carrier, the Razr — and other Android phones — can deliver mobile broadband speeds topping 20 Mbps or more; as fast as wired broadband at home. The iPhone 4S holds its own against LTE on HSPA+ networks, but falls far shorter on Verizon and Sprint, where speeds generally average 1.5 Mbps with occasional 3 Mbps bursts. Razr sales could see their own burst as CNet noted this week that Android 4.0 was coming soon to the smartphone.

Android 4.0 is already included with Acer’s new slate: The company this week introduced its A700 tablet with the latest Google software. Pre-sales have begin in the U.S. and Canada at $449 for this 10.1-inch tablet boasting a 1900 x 1200 display with 178-degree viewing angles. I haven’t had the opportunity to try the A700 yet, but it looks good on paper.

Nvidia’s quad-core Tegra 3 powers the A700 which also has one gigabyte of memory and 32 GB of storage, which can be expanded with the microSD card slot. The slate is Wi-Fi only — no 3G/4G radio — but includes Bluetooth, an e-compass and GPS. Acer added Dolby Mobile 3 and 5.1-channel surround sound support and a battery life claim of 8 hours for web surfing or 10.5 hours of video watching; not bad if accurate.

This week I enjoyed reading a review of the Orange San Diego handset. Why? This device, available in Europe, is based on Intel’s smartphone reference design for Android. We’ve waited a long time for Intel to truly get in the smartphone game and the San Diego shows promise for Intel’s Medfield solution.

The Verge wrote the detailed review finding that Intel may not have surpassed ARM-based chips, but in many ways, has at least caught up. I’m not too surprised because the Medfield chip demos on Android devices I saw in January impressed me enough to say that Intel’s time may have arrived.

The San Diego shines in most performance scenarios and has good stand-by time, but software is the current downfall here; particularly in the camera application. Still, the San Diego is still worth a look as it provides a glimpse into future Android smartphones carrying the “Intel Inside” sticker.

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