Sadly, the U.S. is often behind the times when it comes to handsets and mobile technology. Our European and Asian brethren usually get first dibs on all the cool gear, and sometimes, we won't even see it at all.
LG BL40 Chocolate
The LG BL40 Chocolate was the touch-screen Chocolate phone we all wanted to see here in the U.S. It's skinny, long, and is blessed with a stunning 4-inch display with a 21:9 wide-screen ratio, a high-definition "Real VGA" LCD, and a unique dual-screen UI.
Unfortunately, we received its lesser cousin instead, in the guise of the LG Chocolate Touch from Verizon Wireless. Will the LG BL40 ever make its way to the U.S., even via unofficial channels? We doubt it. Read review from CNET Australia.
It may come as a surprise to most U.S. consumers that HTC and Motorola are not the only makers of Android smartphones. In Europe and Asia, other manufacturers, such as LG, have gotten onboard as well.
One of LG's latest Android phones is the GT540. It runs Android 1.6, but it is a quad-band phone with dual-band UMTS and HSDPA 7.2 Mbps, which means it can theoretically run on U.S. 3G bands. It has a nice 3-inch display, plus three physical keys underneath. Read preview from CNET Australia.
The Samsung Wave came to light in February 2010 at Mobile World Congress. It is the first phone to carry Samsung's new Bada OS. It has a 3.3-inch AMOLED touch-screen display with TouchWiz 3.0, and a slim design at only 0.42 inch deep.
Other specifications include a 1Ghz processor, Wi-Fi, a music player, an accelerometer, a proximity sensor, Samsung's Dolfin browser, e-mail, a 5-megapixel camera with an LED flash, a microSD card slot, and a 3.5mm headset jack. It's also one of the first handsets to support Bluetooth 3.0, which promises faster data transfers. Read preview from CNET Australia.
Yes, this is a phone by the maker of Puma shoes, bags, and sportswear. Designed by Puma, but actually manufactured by Sagem, the Puma Phone has a 2.8-inch, 240x320-pixel resolution capacitive touch screen and a built-in solar charger on the back. The quad-band GSM device also includes Bluetooth, 3G, A-GPS, and a 3.2-megapixel camera, which is all pretty standard for a full-feature phone, but it's the user experience that makes the Puma Phone different.
From the bright red background to the bold icons to the preloaded sports functions, the Puma Phone is designed to complement your lifestyle just as much as it is meant to be a communication device. There's a host of sports features, such as a running and biking tracker that takes advantage of the GPS capabilities. There's a built-in radio, a scratching turntable, social-networking integration, and video calling.
The U8800 is the most high-end of the new Android smartphones by Chinese company Huawei. It runs Android 2.1 and supports HSPA+ networks. It also has a 3.8-inch display and the full slate of Android features.
Though it's not available via a U.S. carrier, you can actually get the Sony Ericsson Saito if you're willing to buy it unlocked. It has a nice 3.5-inch touch-screen display, and its features include a 12.1-megapixel camera, a music player, e-mail and messaging, a speakerphone, Bluetooth, PC syncing, USB mass storage, a personal organizer, assisted GPS, Wi-Fi, an FM radio, YouTube and Facebook applications, handwriting recognition, a microSD card slot, and a Symbian operating system.
The quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) world phone also supports 3G networks (UMTS/HSDPA 850/900/2100), which makes it fully functional in most markets. Read review from CNET Australia.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 is probably the breakout Android smartphone for Sony Ericsson. It looks fantastic, thanks to a beautiful display and a unique Sony Ericsson user interface called UXP (User Experience Platform). The new UXP adds a useful cascading-tiles feature called Timescape that compiles all your communications in a single space.
The X10 features a Snapdragon 1Ghz processor, an 8.1-megapixel camera with flash and video, a music and video player and recorder, Wi-Fi, GPS, PC syncing, and more. Again, you might not be able to get this via a U.S. carrier, but you can purchase it unlocked if you're willing to pay a premium for it. Read preview from CNET Australia.
The Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro was unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2010, and is essentially the same as the Vivaz, but with the addition of a QWERTY keyboard.
It's packed with the Symbian OS, a media player, Bluetooth, a personal organizer, assisted-GPS, PC syncing, integrated social-media apps, a personal organizer, messaging and e-mail, Wi-Fi, USB mass storage, a 710MHz processor, and handwriting recognition. And we're very glad to hear that Sony Ericsson ditched its irritating proprietary connections and memory cards in favor of a 3.5mm headset jack, a Micro-USB port, and a microSD card slot.
The HTC Legend is a Google Android 2.1 device and is a refinement of the GSM HTC Hero. It will be available in Europe from Vodafone starting in April and will then hit Asia in early Q2. As for when it'll hit the U.S.? Well, we really don't know if it ever will. Read preview from CNET Australia.
The Acer Liquid is Acer's first Google Android device. It has a capacitive 3.5-inch touch screen, a Snapdragon processor running at 768MHz, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a 5-megapixel camera. We had a chance to review this phone, and you can check out our full review of the Acer Liquid.
It's available now in the U.K. and will be coming to Rogers Wireless in Canada. There are currently no plans to bring it to the U.S., but you can buy it unlocked for around $400.