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  (Source: Engadget)
But will it vibrantly captivate the epic Android-based handset market?

By now, you most likely know all about Samsung's Galaxy S line of smartphones, including T-Mobile's VibrantAT&T's Captivate -- which saw July releases -- and Sprint's Epic 4G, set to launch August 31. The only carrier "officially" missing from the mix thus far is Verizon... until now.

Phandroid, going on some screenshots from a tipster, is reporting that Verizon's Galaxy variant, the "Fascinate," is beginning to arrive in stores, fueling speculation of a September launch. This release schedule would make sense for Verizon because the carrier has been busy the last few months launching all of its new Droid offerings. A September release would give the Fascinate more visibility in what's quickly becoming a saturated market for Android-based phones.

Specs on the Fascinate are almost identical to the Vibrant. BoyGeniusReport has obtained training documents that confirm the following:

  • 1 GHz Hummingbird processor
  • 4-inch Super AMOLED display
  • 800 x 480 resolution
  • 5 megapixel camera with LED flash
  • 720p video recording 
  • ActiveSync support for Exchange 2003, 2007, and 2010 servers.
  • 512 MB ROM
  • Either 336 MB or 384 MB RAM (weird, considering other variants have 512 MB RAM)
  • 16 GB microSD card pre-installed (with support for 32 GB)
  • 2 GB of onboard memory
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (not 3.0, like the newer Droids)

The Fascinate will be running Android 2.1 at launch. According to the training documents, Flash support will be available by "Year End 2010," which means the device will be seeing an update sometime in Q4. Who knows, by then it may be getting Android 3.0 Gingerbread -- an unlikely prospect given Samsung's previous issues rolling out Android updates.

Androinica is reporting that Best Buy Reward Zone customers can pre-order the Fascinate starting today, while regular customers will be able to pre-order on August 29.




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RE: a tepid vendor at best
By theapparition on 8/27/2010 11:18:03 AM , Rating: 1
Benchmarks are all over the place. Just like old PC benchmarks, some favor certain architectures more.

Basically, the CPU in the Ti OMAP of the Motorola Droids is more powerful and power efficient than the CPU in the Hummingbird. However, the GPU in Hummingbird uses the PowerVR 540 while the GPU in OMAP uses the PowerVR 530. The Samsung has something on the order of 3x-4x graphics performance.

Little day to day difference in performance between handsets, but the Samsung will perform better for games at the cost of battery life. Choice (in my mind) will come down to screen size and/or keyboard. If you want a physical keyboard, Droid 2. Bigger screen Droid X. Samsung falls in the middle with a 4" SAMOLED screen that looks georgous (super contrast but horribly oversaturated colors). Pick which one suits you best.

But I agree with the OP that Samsungs track record of support and updates has been horrid. Official 2.2 by end of year? That's way too unacceptable for a device that has been released for a while (these new versions are basically the same as the European versions of Galaxy S class phones).

These phones also suffer from several lag bugs, which have fixes. And TouchWiz just plain sucks. You can hardly tell the new motoblur interface over stock Android.


RE: a tepid vendor at best
By Goty on 8/27/2010 1:26:24 PM , Rating: 2
The only benchmark I know of that shows the OMAP 3640 ahead of the Hummingbird is Quadrant, which shows a bug in determining I/O scores when running on the OMAP processor, leading to artificially inflated scores. Other benchmarks that purely measure CPU performance (such as linpack for android) show a lead for Hummingbird.


RE: a tepid vendor at best
By mcnabney on 8/27/2010 5:36:10 PM , Rating: 2
Most of those tests between the chips were done a while ago and used 2.1.

Since then, numerous tests using the same equipment showed massive improvement when updating to Froyo. I don't think any site has revisited the OMAP vs Snapdragon vs Hummingbird tests with Froyo thrown in the mix. I think an obvious conclusion is that Hummingbird will edge-out the others on 2.1, but moving to 2.2 improves browser and Java performance massively - up to 6x the speed. So operating on 2.1 is an artificial handicap which makes any modern device on 2.2 superior.


RE: a tepid vendor at best
By Goty on 8/27/2010 5:56:09 PM , Rating: 3
Let me spell this out for you. The Droid X and Droid 2 increased in performance going from Eclair to Froyo, as you've now stated multiple times, so why do you think the Galaxy S (which essentially uses identical CPU hardware with some tweaks) will receive any [i]less[/i] of a performance boost?

I think the answer is that you own a Droid X or Droid 2 (or plan to buy one) and have e-penis envy. There is no logical reason to expect that one processor is going to gain much more when moving to Froyo than another considering the fact that they are running CPUs based on identical architectures.


RE: a tepid vendor at best
By deputc26 on 8/27/2010 5:35:10 PM , Rating: 2
Hummingbird and 3640 are both 45nm 1ghz Cortex A8s. The difference is with the GPU where hummingbird wins. The speed dif between android 2.1 and 2.2 is way greater than the diff between 3640 and hummingbird, if those two procs have a noticeable perf disparity in the first place which I doubt.


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