There’s no stopping the Android! Not at the rate it’s going. The mobile handset is getting to be more and more like a portable computer all the time with devices like the LG Optimus 2X and the Motorola ATRIX showing up to the ball all decked out in Dual Core processors accented with Nvidia’s optimized graphics capabilities. For the hardcore Android loving mobile users, it’s going to be ‘Sophie’s choice’ when it comes down to selecting a high end smartphone this year and don’t expect it to be cheap by any means.
Here’s a quick look at what I’m waiting to see in our labs during the course of this year –

Motorola ATRIX
To get the ball rolling it’s the Motorola ATRIX which could be considered, as Motorola would have it, the world’s most powerful smartphone. Obviously it’s debatable but considering LG’s Optimus 2X is also looking pretty good in the specs department. What the ATRIX does offer is the world’s first qHD [Quarter High Definition] Gorilla glass encased display that not only makes crisp and clear but resistant to scratches and quite sturdy as well. It’ll be boxed with Froyo and will feature the company’s MOTOBLUR UI. Active noise cancellation is also part of the deal. The ATRIX will also be capable of playing 1080p video files with DivX or XviD support. Adobe Flash 10.1 is also supported, making browsing a true desktop like experience.

Possibly the most powerful of them all

Here’s another quick look at the specs –

  • 4-inch capacitive touchscreen with 24-bit color with a 540 x 960 pixel resolution
  • Dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor with a ULP GeForce GPU, Tegra 2 chipset and 1 GB RAM
  • 4G capable, 3G, Wi-Fi with DLNA compliance
  • GPS with A-GPS support and possible a newer version of the MotoNav software, digital compass
  • Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP + EDR, USB 2.0
  • 5MP AF camera with an LED flash featuring image stabilization and Geotagging, 720p + 1080p video capture (after update)
  • Stereo FM radio,
  • HDMI out
  • 3.5mm handsfree socket
  • Biometric fingerprint reader
  • MicroSD card support plus 16GB internal storage

LG Optimus 2X
Another beast to make it out of the Android laboratory is the Optimus 2X from LG who was also vying for the top slot of worlds most powerful smartphone. While it’s definitely a contender, it falls just a few millimeters short when compared to the ATRIX powerhouse. Nevertheless it could be considered a very close second. Like the ATRIX the specs include high end components that will enable the device to render full HD (1080p) content for playback and also support recording in 1080p via the NVIDIA SoC. The Optimus 2X is also equipped with a 1.3MP front facing camera for video calling and I’m sure, plenty of features and settings for it’s 8 megapixel primary shooter. It’ll be running Android 2.2 aka Froyo out of the box and will be upgradeable to 2.3 at a later date.

 Runner up

The Optimus 2X will also feature –

  • 4-inch capacitive touchscreen with 16 million colors and a 480 x 800 pixel resolution
  • Dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor with a ULP GeForce GPU, Tegra 2 chipset and
  • 3G, Wi-Fi with DLNA compliance
  • GPS with A-GPS support, digital compass
  • Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, USB 2.0
  • 8MP AF camera with an LED flash and Geotagging, 1080p @ c24fps video capture
  • HDMI out
  • 3.5mm handsfree socket
  • MicroSD card support plus 8GB internal storage

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play
Another very highly anticipated handset that we’re expecting to see this year is the Xperia Play aka the Playstation Phone. It’s been a rumor for such a long time now that when finally confirmed, portable gaming fans breathed a collective sigh of relief. Whether or not it will have an effect of Sony’s NGP (Next Gen Portable) sales is something still up in the air. I mean, why bother with that when I can have it all in one device right? The handset has been making rounds quite earnestly the last month and Sony’s gearing up the Android market and their own personal Playstation store and Suite for the gaming community to dive in and scoop up the latest portable games for the device. It’ll come preloaded with Gingerbread.

I'm game…
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Although some of the specs still seem a bit vague here’s a closer look at what the handset just might come loaded with –

  • 4-inch capacitive touchscreen with a 480 x 854 pixel resolution
  • Slide out gaming controls like the PSP Go
  • Sony mobile Bravia engine with a 1GHz processor with Adreno 205 GPU and 512MB, Qualcomm chipset
  • 3G, Wi-Fi
  • GPS with A-GPS support
  • Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, USB 2.0
  • 5MP AF camera
  • 3.5mm handsfree socket
  • MicroSD card support

Google Nexus S
This is Google’s second attempt at a mobile handset bearing their personal branding. The Nexus One, although it was considered quite a hit back in it’s time, didn’t make as much of a splash as, I’m sure, Google expected. This time around they’ve given the responsibility of developing the device up to Samsung. It’s going to feature Gingerbread out of the box, a Contour Display with a curved glass screen for optimized viewing and the surface of the handset is Oleophobic which translates to – it should be ‘finger print’ resistant to quite an extent. Like most Samsung handsets, the Nexus S will also be capable of playing DivX and XviD coded files. Flash 10.1 is also on board. 

Quite the looker, but will it deliver?

The Nexus S features –

  • a 4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen with a 480 x 800 pixel resolution and 16 million colors
  • ARM Cortex A8 1GHz processor, PowerVR SGX540 GPU, Hummingbird chipset
  • 3G, Wi-Fi with DLNA, EDGE/GPRS, Bluetooth with A2DP, USB 2.0
  • GPS with A-GPS support
  • 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, Geotagging, touch focus
  • 16GB internal memory
  • 3.5mm handsfree socket

Dell Venue
Dell’s making big waves in the mobile community and more so now with the Venue all set to be hitting shelves soon. It’s a simplistic looking candy bar styled touchscreen handset with a large display that’s encased in scratch resistant Gorilla glass. Dell has incorporated their own personal blend of customization with their Dell Stage UI sitting atop Android’s Froyo platform with Adobe Flash 10.1 support.

The brand name speaks for itself, think computer, think build, think Dell?  

The Venus also features –

  • a 4.1-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen with a 480 x 800 pixel resolution and 16 million colors
  • 1 GHz Scorpion processor, Adreno 200 GPU, Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset
  • 3G, Wi-Fi, EDGE/GPRS, Bluetooth with A2DP + EDR, USB 2.0
  • GPS with A-GPS support, Digital compass
  • 8 megapixel camera with LED flash, Geotagging, face detection
  • MicroSD card support
  • 3.5mm handsfree socket

There’s no telling when these device will make it to India although there’s already rumours rampant in the industry that the Dell Venue should be making its Indian Debut soon. The Nexus S is also hopefully on its way but let’s just hope it doesn’t simply just fly by with no more than a glimpse of a launch for the country like the previous Google device. The others on the list should also hopefully (fingers crossed) make it out sometime in the second or third quarter, we’re estimating. Sooner would be better.

What are you most anxious to see first?

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