Android fans, can you believe how far we have come? From the humble days of Android 1.5 and its bare-bones, rudimentary operation, to where we stand today. With Superphones like the HTC Sensation, the Motorola Atrix, the Samsung Galaxy S II, and all the amazing Android tablets released or in the process of being released, 2011 really looks like the year that Android is set to gain truly widespread global adoption by hoardes of hungry tech lovers everywhere. So – what do we have in store to be most excited about? Well, I’ve got some good news, and i’ve got some great news. First off – Android is only going to continue to improve in every conceivable way. Secondarily, the aggressive product cycles that manufacturers are maintaining these days means that Android devices will always be one step ahead of that fruit company that we all know. So, without further adieu, I bring to you, today, the five most amazing Android devices I am most excited about for 2011!
Nexus 4G / Nexus 3
Anyone at all interested in mobile technology, or perhaps even Android itself, will certainly know about the upcoming, borderline legendary, Nexus 4G / Nexus 3. The reported specs on this phone originally started off as inconceivable, but with each passing day, have grown more technologically realistic. We know that it will likely be the first phone in the world to finally feature a true 720p display, courtesy of LG manufacturing an 1280×720 4.5 inch display for it. Additionally, and according to BGR sources, the next Nexus phone will feature a next-generation dual-core 1.2GHz or 1.5GHz CPU (likely an OMAP 4460 or an ultra low-power 28nm Krait-based Snapdragon); 1GB of RAM; 1080p HD video capture and playback; a 1-megapixel front-facing camera; and a rear-facing camera with an “advanced 5-megapixel sensor delivering class-leading image quality in addition to superior low-light performance.” All of this will run on Ice Cream Sandwich, aka Android 4.0.
Android 4.0 will be a huge breakthrough for Android as it will unify the competing architectures of Android 3.0/3.1 Honeycomb, and Android 2.3 Gingerbread. This will help developers, and, in turn, will integrate functionality between the many different devices running Android marvelously. Lots to look forward to here, folks.
Amazon made tablets plus quad core plus unlimited streaming of movies and other great content = very, very happy consumers. There’s been a ton of speculation about Amazon’s plans in the tech space. There’s no doubt in our mind that they’ve got something brewing. Our attempts to extract data from Amazon employees has so far proved unsuccessful. However, I worked in Public Relations before going full blown Android, and I’ve got a few sneaky tricks up my sleeve. You see, when top management tells everyone to keep silent, they do just that (mostly). So, it’s in the absence of what’s said that we can ascertain that these tablets are in fact going to become a reality. In speaking with one of the higher-ups with Amazon, they said that they “could neither confirm nor deny that we are working on producing a tablet – you will just have to wait and see.” Right. It’s looking like there’s an excellent chance that their flagship tablet – dubbed Hollywood, is set to be one of the world’s first quad core tablets, and will have performance roughly 300-500% superior to that of the current iPad and Tegra 2 powered Android tablets.
Either way – it”s a win/win for consumers. More competition, better technology, better access to great content, and most importantly – decline in iPad monoculturism!
Check out more about Amazon’s upcoming slate of slates coming your way! You can look forward to seeing these sometime in late August, early September, folks.
Panasonic ToughBook Android Tablet
I don’t know about you guys, but sometimes I drop things. Sometimes things just slip out of my hands. It’s happened to my original Motorola Droid about 100 times, and its weathered the storm of constant abuse I have provided it well, primarily due to Corning’s Gorilla glass, I presume. Either way, having a tablet that you can take camping and river rafting is a pretty cool idea. One thing is for sure – Apple will never release a tough tab. Anyway, the cool cats over at Panasonic, with their near decade of experience producing their extremely durable line of ToughBook laptops among other things, are arguably the best manufacturer in the world to be producing a ‘tough’ tablet, capable of withstanding life.
Sure, it won’t break any design records for being the thinnest, and it might not potentially be the most technically advanced – but I have a strong suspicion that this particular tablet is going to hit cult status among a huge segment of the population that have felt neglected by flimsy tech thus far. Panasonic believes the tablet will appeal to a wide variety of users including “mission critical government personnel, highly mobile field forces, SMB’s looking for a competitive edge, security conscious IT managers and bottom-line focused CFOs,” and we are inclined to agree with them. Can’t wait!
Asus Eee Pad Slider
The Eee Pad Slider features a unique hybrid form factor, with a slide out keyboard built in for rapid input on the go. The tablet itself has developed somewhat of an intense following, with people coming out of the woodwork to declare how much they love it. It’s specs are pretty standard, and it will feature a 10.1 inch inch touchscreen IPS display, with Gorilla Glass, and also comes with a built in slide out QWERTY Keyboard. It will be released with the latest build of Android Honeycomb – 3.1, and feature a dual core 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor.
The battery performance is rumored to be quite good as well, being somewhere in the 9-10 hour range. What say you, Android lover? Does this form factor appeal to you? We’ve been on this one folks. We uncovered its release dates in the UK, we had a quick hands on, and we know that it’s everything business folks are looking for in a tablet a la its innovative slide out keyboard. The form factor is what sealed the deal for me, and I know it will fit my lifestyle well. As someone who blogs and emails as much as possible every day, having the ability to pound out ideas on a physical keyboard is highly appealing. Imagine saving all that screen space! This tab is going to be perfect for mobile business professionals, and will also be great at doing presentations too. Sold!
Super Cheap Archos Tablets
Admittedly, this might come as a bit of surprise to some – but I am really excited about cheap tablets. Don’t get me wrong – I love Honeycomb, I love dual core, I love Super AMOLED Plus displays. Heck, I love it all. I also extend this benevolent love to my less technologically sophisticated Android brethren, from Archos. $99 tablets? It’s practically throw-away-able. Well, not quite, but you get my point. With price points like this, there’s nothing stopping virtually anyone in the world from getting on the tablet bandwagon. And you know you it’s only going to get cheaper from here on in. If there’s one thing Motorola’s learning now, and that Asus learned early on, it’s that you don’t overcharge people for awesome stuff. Simple, right? These tablets will be able to run almost every Android app, and all but the very latest games. Plus, they’ll play Flash and do all that other good stuff. Additionally, there’s a great chance that Cynanogen is going to get on these bad boys, much like they did with the Viewsonic and Nook tablets, and create an amazing custom ROM that increases the performance and functionality substantially. Cheap. Awesome. What’s not to love? Plus, Grandma won’t be able to tell the difference.
Anything I missed? Anything your excited about? We cover Android everyday guys, we’re super passionate – and we do it all for you! Let us know, we always love your feedback. Thanks for checking out Android Authority!