May 10, 2010 | by Andy Boxall
Companies like Motorola and HTC regularly steal the headlines when it comes to new Android-based mobile phones, but Google’s open-source OS has naturally made it on to plenty of other devices too; it’s just they don’t always get the same degree of attention.
Here are five phones running Android, four of which will be out soon, which may not be tech-powerhouses in the same way as the Desire or Droid are, but still deserve their moment in the spotlight:
The Garmin-Asus partnership has long been threatening to hit the big time, could the sleek A10 be the phone which finally takes them there? The look is a familiar one but with its basic spec and personal navigation focus, the A10 could prove to be popular if the price is sensible.
The phone is due out in Europe later this year and will have a 3.2″ touchscreen, a 5 megapixel camera and GPS with offline capabilities, so you’ll be able to avoid hefty data charges if using the phone abroad.
InBrics MID M1.
The super-thin M1 is still expected to launch this year, but has been delayed until at least March in its home country of Korea, with the USA and Europe scheduled to follow by the end of 2010. The last time we looked at the M1 was after its debut at CES, but since then Inbrics have said they will be using a 1GHz processor instead of the 800MHz item originally planned, plus it will be Android v2.1 onboard.
Despite its MID name, the side-sliding phone has a regular 3.7″ AMOLED screen, plus it will have Wi-Fi, GPS, a 3 megapixel camera and a microSD card slot to increase the stock 16GB of internal memory.
Pantech Sirius IM-A600S.
Pantech are hoping to bring their first smartphone to the USA later this year, but for now, the Sirius remains a Korea-only device. Powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, the phone has a 3.7″ AMOLED touchscreen, Wi-Fi, GPS and a 5 megapixel camera.
Details on which version of Android the Sirius runs haven’t been forthcoming, but if the price is right, and they change the existing horrid gold bezel, it could prove popular.
Huawei may be better known for their 3G dongles, but they have been quite vocal since Mobile World Congress about the imminent arrival of the U8800, an HSPA+ mobile phone. Also known as Evolved HSPA, this provides a faster data connection to your phone, provided you can find a network who offers it.
Besides this, the U8800 is actually a good-looking phone, with a curvy frame and touch sensitive buttons under the 3.8″ touchscreen. It’ll run Android v2.1 and will be out during Q3 this year, although prices, networks and territories have not been mentioned.
Our other examples are all expected out this year, but if you want an Android phone right now, but one that’s still out of the ordinary, then this is one you can buy if you have the meager sum of €299 sitting idle! The GeeksPhone is certainly an apt name, as the device suits developers thanks to its ‘rooted’ status out-of-the-box. The side-slider reveals a QWERTY keyboard, a 528MHz processor runs the show with 265MB RAM and 512MB ROM and the phone has 3G with HSDPA. Other features include Wi-Fi, GPS and a 3.2 megapixel camera.
The GeeksPhone has been around for a while and the company is one which embraces the openness of the Android platform, encouraging its users to experiment, tweak and share ideas. It deserves to do really well!