This Month in Android Announcements

September has been a fairly big month for Android announcements, with a number of phone and tablet makers taking the stage to announce new products. From the unveiling of a new line of Kindle Fires to Google and Motorola’s Droids, in this article we’ll take a look at some of the new gear.

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Motorola

At an event early in the month, Motorola announced an update to it’s flagship phone in the form of the Droid RAZR HD. The Razr HD features a 4.7-inch “HD” display and runs Ice Cream Sandwich, also boasting a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and LTE. The phone will start with Ice Cream Sandwich but an update to Jelly Bean should be available in the future. It’s coming “before the holidays”.

Motorola also announced the Droid RAZR Maxx HD, a souped up version of the RAZR HD that features a larger battery (and little else).

The Droid RAZR Maxx HD

The Droid RAZR Maxx HD

Motorola also announced the Droid RAZR M, an Android 4.0 phone that has only a $99 price tag. It features a 960 x 540 display on a 4.3-inch display with 8GB of internal storage, an 8-megapixel camera with 1080p video capture and should be available now.

Then just this week, Motorola reiterated on the Droid RAZR M design with the RAZR i, a similarly spec’ed phone which only differentiates by using an Intel Medfield Atom processor clocked at 2GHz. One focus of the RAZR i is its camera speed, with the app launching in under a second and the device capable of capturing 8MP photos at 10fps.

Amazon

Amazon took to the stage to announce a series of new Kindle Fires, building on the success of the tablet it originally launched last year to significant critical acclaim.

The new 7-inch Kindle Fire features twice the RAM of its predecessor and a 40% faster processor, plus longer battery life. More notable, however, is the lower price tag, undercutting the Nexus 7′s $199 cost by $40.

The new Kindle Fire

The new Kindle Fire

Amazon also announced a new line of Kindle Fire HDs, both in a 7-inch and an 8.9-inch size. The former takes the old $199 price point while the 8.9-inch model sells for $100 more ($499 for a model with AT&T 4G LTE). The new models feature significantly better displays  — 1920 x 1200 on the 8.9-inch model — front facing cameras, HDMI output and more. Amazon’s bumped up the processor too to a chip that it claims tops the Tegra 3. Both models are available in a variety of capacity, with and without 4G LTE from AT&T in the United States.

HTC

HTC kicked off the month with a bit of an unusual announcement, the HTC One SC for the Chinese market. The phone sports a somewhat unique design to the other members of the One family, although pretty generic with its internals — the phone runs on a 1GHz dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM and a 5-megapixel camera.

HTC's One SC for China

HTC’s One SC for China

LG

After announcing its Optimus G for the Korean market last month, LG confirmed that the device will come to the US in November. The Optimus G’s main selling points are its quad-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, a 4.7″ True HD IPS display, 2GB of RAM, LTE, NFC, a 2100mAh battery and a 13MP camera all in an 8.45mm body.

The LG Optimus G in black and white

The LG Optimus G in black and white

Samsung/Apple

Apple this month also announced their latest smartphone, the iPhone 5, which will naturally compete with all these newly announced as well as currently available phones. The device features a larger 4-inch screen with a 2x faster processor, a new design and more.

More interesting to some Android users will be how Samsung, who didn’t announce any new phones, responded to the threat. In a meaningful, intelligent and not at all offensive (yeah, I was laughing as I wrote that) way, Samsung published a new commercial downplaying the iPhone 5′s new features and mocking yet another demographic of potential customers.

Conclusion

September has been a fairly big month for Android announcements, especially for the 7-inch tablet market where the Amazon family of Kindles is beginning to play a big part. We may not see a lot of new announcements in the remaining portion of 2012 as phone makers begin to prepare for the holiday season, but once Christmas and New Year come around we can have CES and Mobile World Congress to look forward to in the opening months of 2013.


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