7 Weird, Weirder, and Weirdest Android Devices of 2011: Volume 2, printer, TV Remote, Microwave, Commando, Toy robot?
The Android Army keep expanding. First the free apps have surpassed what's available for the iOS. Now the Android phones outnumber iPhones virtually for sure. New variants and new uses for the Android OS keep popping up.
Previously we have been Android OS in microwaves and refrigerators, as well as photo frames and espresso machines. We've also seen new phones and tablets in new formats. The Kyocera Echo is a dual-screen Android phone that can act as a mini-tablet, while Samsung Galaxy Beam is a smartphone with a built-in pico-projector.
Only a few months have passed, and another passel of strangest Android devices have hit the market. Here are 7 more Android devices that will amaze you.
You may wonder... What does an HP printer have to do with Android? The answer is... it has a 7-inch tablet running Android OS as its "control panel". Really, no joke. Why would a printer have a control panel running Android? I have no idea. But it is wirelessly connected to the printer. Apparently the tablet has received its Froyo (Android OS 2.2) update.
The New Toughest Android
Previously we highlighted Motorola Defy as the toughest Android. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. The new "king of the hill" on ruggedized Android phone is Casio G'zOne Commando (that's spelled properly). It is resistant to water, impact, solar radiation, dust, salt fog, and more. It even has some outdoorsy apps such as stargazing, compass, pedometer, thermometer, and so on.
(Actually, thermometer just pulls up weather data of temperature in your area)
Android... TV Remote?
Those of you thinking that the Logitech Harmony Remotes are the best in the business... Think again. This super remote lets you control your TV... and play Angry Birds... at least that's what Engadget editors wrote about this device. "It doesn't just control entertainment devices... it is one". It can even pipe movies directly through the HDMI port in the charging dock, as well as control mouse and keyboard on the TV.
New Version of Xperia Mini
Sony Ericsson has decided to finally update the Xperia Mini line. Now the phone will sport 3 inch screen, 1 GHz CPU, and still the proprietary home launcher with the shortcuts in the 4 corners. The updated version will be running Gingerbread (Android 2.3), and a proprietary display from Sony called "Bravia Engine".
The Pro version has front-facing camera and hardware keyboard. SE claims 30 percent battery life, and ability to shoot video at 720p.
Sony's... split screen tablet?
Sony is pushing the Android tablets and the S2 is really weird. It folds in half in the middle and closes into a clamshell. The two screens are 5.5 inch diagonal, and fits in your jacket pocket... barely. It will be powered by Tegra 2. It was announced with Honeycomb, but with Ice Cream Sandwich due any minute, it may get that instead.
You can use it as a mini laptop with one screen acting as keyboard, or you can hold it "book-style" when in use as eReader. Games can play split-screen.
The Transformer Tablet
ASUS Eee Pad Transformer is what Motorola Atrix should have been... a tablet with optional keyboard that turns it into a notebook computer. Or you can think of it as a notebook computer with detachable screen. Either way, it is one cool dual-core machine with 10.1 inch screen and a decent keyboard... basically a better Netbook than any netbook can aspire to be.
The list price was only $400, and it sold out in minutes. If you can find one, get it.
The Cutest Android
Hasbro, the toy maker, demonstrated a prototype based on the Nexus S phone... a set of "power armor" that turns your smartphone into a true Android that can sense its environment and move about. This "dock" has legs that allow the phone to actually move, and has internal battery to power the legs and charge up the phone. The app will use every ability the phone has, including acceleration sensors (essentially motion sensors), GPS, even the front-facing camera to navigate its surroundings. It will recognize people around it, and react accordingly. If you shake it, it will become "dizzy", and it will avoid you later. If you rub it gently it will "coo" and be happy, and react nicely when it sees you. In other words, it turns your phone into a weird pet that's both virtual... and real.
Prototype only, so no pricing or availability, but this is an amazing idea that should be implemented ASAP. Hasbro, we are waiting!
That's it for now
I hope you have enjoyed Volume 2 of Weirdest Android devices of 2011. There will be many more to come! In the meanwhile, check out some of my other hubs!
And a shoutout to the readers from Reddit. One of the redditors pointed me to the HP Printer with HP Zeen running Android. Somehow I missed that from 2010. Thanks!
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