Huawei's S7 Android tablet - slotting neatly in-between the Dell Streak and the Apple iPad - has been previewed briefly ahead of its launch in the UK later this month, and we have to say the coverage leaves us in two minds about the 7-inch slate. For a start, the capacitive touchscreen we've seen before was replaced by a resistive panel in the preproduction units tested (as by Zol.com.cn) and Onliner.by aren't too keen on how the custom UI has been left more appropriate for either screen size or touch-technology.
Video demo after the cut
We'll have to be honest, despite seeing the Huawei S7 launch at Computex we never really expected it to arrive in western markets. Happily it looks like our doubts were unfounded; UK retailer Expansys have the S7 - which runs Android 2.1 on a 7-inch display and packs both WiFi and 3G - up for preorder, with delivery expected in around eight days time.
We're big fans of portable 3G hotspots here at SlashGear, and Huawei's new E585 follows in the footprints of the Sprint Overdrive by adding a compact display to the pocket-sized WiFi router. Headed to UK network Three in early July 2010, the E585 can share a 3G connection with up to five WiFi clients - such as your iPad, for instance - with the monochrome OLED display showing network and battery status together with how much mobile data has been used.
If there's one thing Carrypad's Steve Paine knows, it's tablets, and so when he suggests the Huawei S7 "might just be tablet of the show" at Computex, we sit up and listen. First spotted back in May, the S7 has a Streak-like form factor but squeezes in a 7-inch WVGA capacitive touchscreen, Android 2.1 and all the Google apps, together with voice call functionality.
As we said about Aigo's E500 Android MID earlier this week, the reason the Huawei SmaKit S7 has us so intrigued is because Huawei themselves have already brought Android-based devices to market. The metal-bodied SmaKit S7 runs Android 2.1 Eclair and, while its exact processor is unknown, is capable of smooth 720p HD video playback according to zol.com.cn.
Video demo after the cut
After speculation that HTC were considering picking up Palm, the company has apparently decided against a deal after realising "there just weren't enough synergies to take the deal forward." That's what a source "with direct knowledge of the matter" is saying, with the implication being that only Lenovo are now left holding clandestine negotiations.
Android devices with 2.8-inch QVGA displays haven't exactly been flooding the market, but if you're holding out for an ultra-compact handset running Android 2.1 Eclair then just such a thing may be almost upon us. Freshly leaked to the::unwired, the Vodafone 845 has dualband UMTS/HSPA, WiFi b/g and Bluetooth 2.1, along with a 3.2-megapixel camera, but measures a sub-Tattoo 100 x 55 x 13 mm.
The 845 hardware is apparently the handiwork of Huawei, with the phone being otherwise known as the Joy. It won't be the first time we've seen a Huawei Android device attempt to take a bite out of the entry-level market; the company are responsible for the T-Mobile Pulse, a budget Android smartphone though with a 3.5-inch touchscreen rather than the Vodafone 845's compact panel.
Having heard talk late last week that HTC were considering picking up Palm, the big news this morning is that - despite protestations to the contrary by the company's executives - they're apparently looking for potential buyers. Bloomberg has heard from three sources that Palm have quietly engaged Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Qatalyst Partners to handle the possible sale; both HTC and Lenovo "have looked at the company and may make offers" those sources maintain.
It's turning into a day of low-cost Android, it seems, with the T-Mobile Pulse arriving on pre-pay and contract for UK users. The Pulse - made by Huawei - is available from today priced at £176.16 ($282) as a pay-as-you-go device with no contract, or free with an 18-month agreement costing £27.50 ($44) or more.