Motorola Droid 4 released; Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 announced

by Kristen Nicole

Motorola may have hit a rough patch, but it’s emerging with new devices and possibly the guidance of its new parent company, Google. The Droid 4 is one of Motorola’s latest devices to hit the market, wowing with its medium size, full QWERTY keyboard, 4G support and stellar battery life. But while Motorola’s playing catchup, Samsung forges ahead with plans to release a Galaxy Tab 2, ready with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. HTC’s ramping up its ICS efforts as well, with plans for an early access preview of Android 4.0 on its Sensation line of smartphones.

Motorola Droid 4

Motorola’s hit several strong points with the latest Droid 4, including a sleek slide-out QWERTY keyboard that will convert any BlackBerry user. At $199 with a two-year contract, this new smartphone features a 4-inch, 960x540 LCD panel. The five-row rubber keypad is one of the best, with a well-spaced layout and backlit keys. The Droid 4 comes with support for Verizon’s 4G LTE network. The battery life is also notable, though the battery itself isn’t removable. The biggest downside for the Droid 4 at this time is its lack of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2

Samsung’s slipped a few details about its latest tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0). It’s the ICS successor to the original Galaxy Tab model, which has faced several obstacles in gaining an ICS upgrade. The 7-inch 1024x600 PLS LCD display is accompanied by a 1GHz dual-core processer and 1GB of RAM. The Galaxy Tab 2 will also come with Wi-Fi and a 3-megapixel rear-facing camera. While there’s several perks to the Galaxy Tab 2, there’s also some signs that this is an entry-level device compared to Samsung’s other well-fitted tablets. The main camera, for example, is fixed-focus and lacks an LED flash. The VGA resolution is also not as popular as the 1.2-megapixel or above we’re accustomed to seeing, and at 10.5mm thick, it’s also not the thinnest in the market.

HTC ICS previews for Sensation and Sensation XE

Hoping to regain some lost market share with an Ice Cream Sandwich front-runner, HTC is putting out an early access preview of its Android 4.0 upgrades on the Sensation line. The HTC Sensation and Sensation XE, both in Europe, will gain early access to ICS, combined with HTC’s proprietary Sense interface, suggesting there will be some important changes to HTC’s skin in this build. The news comes ahead of Mobile World Congress, which kicks off Feb. 26. HTC is expected to roll out a handful of new Android handsets, amidst rumors of an upcoming music streaming service.