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New Android tablets from Amazon, Huawei plus smartphones from Motorola and Sony

by Kristen Nicole

Huawei MediaPadThe Android tablet market could use some help right now, and the rumor mill will have your hopes running high for some summer relief. For months now, rumors of an Amazon Android tablet has been fueling speculation, with DigiTimes constantly fanning the flames. Writing of a possible launch this August, the Asian tech publication also indicates that an upcoming Amazon Android tablet will have a Quanta processor and Wintek touch panel.

Things are still sketchy for Amazon’s tablet plans, but Huawei is solid, with the unveiling of its latest 7-inch Android 3.2 tablet. Called MediaPad, Huawei’s tablet will come with a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, supporting 1080p HD video playback. With a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera and a 5-megapixel camera in the back, the MediaPad will also have HD video recording. While this isn’t Huawei’s first Android tablet, it will be the first to run Android 3.2 Honeycomb, an optimized version of Android 3.1 for 7-inch displays.

Ice Cream Sandwich gains support, Motorola & Sony launching lifestyle phones

Motorola Droid BionicWhile the tablet market struggles to get a hold on Android’s OS, Google looks to rectify some larger fragmentation issues with the upcoming tablet/smartphone OS, Ice Cream Sandwich. This summer could welcome some new devices for the cross-platform OS, including one from Google itself. The Google Nexus 4G will be loaded with an LTE radio, 1GB of RAM, 1080p HD video capture, and an integrated NFC chip. With 3D capabilities, a super-slim design and Open GL head tracking, the Nexus 4G is an aspiring competitor to the iPhone. An upcoming tablet also rumored to run on Ice Cream Sandwich is the next version of Asus’ Transformer. With a quad core processor from NVIDIA’s third-generation Tegra processor Kal-El, the Transformer 2 could be a speedy, multi-tasking powerhouse.

Motorola also has big plans for the summer, with a general launch time for Motorola’s Droid Bionic finally being revealed. Having received an overhaul since first being introduced at CES 2011, the Droid Bionic’s expected to be a Verizon-specific version of its popular Atrix 4G for AT&T. Anticipated updates include a redesigned Android skin and a faster processor, with aims to compete head-to-head with the iPhone’s Verizon line-up. Sony, on the other hand, is hedging its bets with two new Xperia phones designed for very different users. The Active is a rugged handset, ready for those with an active lifestyle. The Ray is full of media perks, with LifeSound headphones and LiveDock integration.