Samsung and T-Mobile are getting into the holiday spirit with the launch of a snow-white Galaxy S II. The device is expected to hit stores sometime before the holidays kick into full gear, giving T-Mobile a Samsung exclusive to promote. More budget-friendly options are emerging for Android users, with MetroPCS’s first HTC phone and the $20 Express for Sprint. But don’t think that smartphones are the only devices for Android. A new flash USB drive called Cotton Candy is taking the Android platform to the next level, enabling you to add Android OS capabilities to PCs.
White Samsung Galaxy S II
Samsung’s gearing up to launch a white Galaxy S II in time for the holidays, teaming up with T-Mobile for a carrier exclusive (for now, as far as we know). But this isn’t the first time T-Mobile customers have had alternatives to the Henry Ford take on smartphone colors. HTC was the first to offer a white Android handset with the early generation devices like the myTouch, which came in a maroon color as well. This marks another point of expansion for Samsung’s Galaxy devices, which seem to take on every variation possible for the manufacturer’s flagship smartphone. You probably already know the specs, but here’s a quick run down: running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the Galaxy S II has a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen, a dual-core processor and is among the slimmest smartphones on the market, coming in at 8.49mm at its thinnest point.
HTC Wildfire S
A first for MetroPCS, the HTC Wildfire S is now available for customers. It’s MetroPCS’s first Android handset from HTC, and broadens the lineup of smartphones from the wireless service provider. Pre-loaded with HTC Sense, the Wildfire S is customizable, with quick access to a variety of multimedia content. The Wildfire S runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and a 3.2-inch HVGA touchscreen. There’s a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, and a 600MHz processor. The perk is MetroPCS’s affordable plans that don’t require a contract, making the Wildfire S available for just $179.
Sprint’s also expanding its Android options around affordability, launching the Huawei Express for only $20. The Express runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread and has a rather tiny screen at 2.6-inch with just 320×240 pixel resolution. The smaller display makes room for a full QWERTY keyboard though, and the Express also features 512MB of RAM, a 1,600 mAh battery, a microSD chip supporting 32GB of storage and a 3.2-megapixel camera. Unlike the HTC Wildfire S from MetroPCS, you’ll need a new two-year contract with Sprint to benefit from the Express’ low price tag.
FXI Cotton Candy
Android’s open OS has already been applied to a range of smartphones and tablets, and even robots and a handful of other connected devices. FXI is hoping to extend Android’s unique capabilities with an Android-powered USB flash drive named Cotton Candy. The drive looks like any other, but packs a few features you’ll find on most smartphones, including a dual-core 1.2GHz Samsung Exynos processor, and its own ARM GUP for 1080p video playback. Supporting Wi-Fi, HDMI, Bluetooth and microSD cards, Cotton Candy has several options for connectivity as well. Plug this flash drive into a PC or a Mac, and you’ll get a separate pop-up for its Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS. From here, you can add some Android functions to your computer, including apps and games. Expect Cotton Candy to hit stores some time in the second half of 2012.
And while we’re on the subject, it may be worth noting that HTC is rumored to be developing a new hybrid netbook/tablet that combines both Chrome OS and Android, in what could be some sort of dual-boot environment. It looks like there’s a growing curiosity around extending Android’s capabilities far beyond the smartphone.