Motorola created quite some buzz with its first “Intel inside” Android phone, the RAZR i, back in September, so it’s only natural to see the company tapping into the Chinese market with a localized variant. Dubbed the RAZR i MT788, this China Mobile device bears much similarity to its Western sibling on paper: 2GHz Intel Atom Z2480, 4.3-inch 960 x 540 AMOLED display (with Gorilla Glass), eight-megapixel camera, microSD expansion (up to 32GB) and Android Ice Cream Sandwich.
The difference? Well, the chassis is the most obvious one: instead of using the same design as the original RAZR i, the new MT788 looks identical to the MSM8625-powered dual-SIM XT788 on China Telecom. On top of that, the battery is rated at just 1,735mAh instead of the RAZR i’s 2,000mAh, and there’s just 4GB of built-in memory instead 16GB; but the front-facing camera’s bumped up from 0.3 megapixels to 1.3. There’s no price just yet, but interested buyers can pick one up in China starting in mid-December. Will the world’s largest carrier help Intel take a significant bite out of the mobile phone market? Only time will tell.
Considering the recent glut of smartphone announcements, news of yet another Galaxy S III variant shouldn’t have you tittering with glee. But for those of you tied to MetroPCS and hankering for a beastly mobile option, that 4.8-inch handset is almost ready to ship. Shown off at the carrier’s booth here at Pepcom, the designed by nature device is virtually unchanged, save for branding on the back that nods to the 4G network it runs on. Otherwise, it’s the same TouchWizzed Android ICS experience we’ve come to know and love. There’s no official word on pricing or a concrete release date — outside of a very vague end of Q4 bow. But still, if you want to take a sneak peek at this off-contract option, check out the video after the break.
LG launches Optimus G flagship smartphone: quad-core S4 Pro, LTE, 2GB RAM, ICS, 13MP camera (updated)
It’s official! Today in Seoul LG is announcing its latest flagship smartphone, the Optimus G. The 8.45mm (0.33-inch) thin handset — which has been rumored for weeks — packs Qualcomm’s Fusion 3 chipset which pairs a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC (APQ8064) with a 2G / 3G / LTE radio (MDM9615). It features 2GB of DDR RAM and a 4.7-inch 1280×768 (320ppi) True HD IPS PLUS display with Zerogap Touch (in-cell touch) technology. A sealed 2100mAh Li-polymer battery rated for 800 charge cycles powers this Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) device. The rear camera sports a 13-megapixel backside-illuminated sensor with 1.1µm pixels, an f/2.4 autofocus lens and a single LED flash — along with a more pedestrian 1.3MP shooter in front. There’s 32GB of built-in flash storage, but no microSD card slot. Other specs include WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS, NFC and MHL.
Aesthetically, the Optimus G marries LG’s Chocolate and Prada design-languages into a sleek 145g (5.11oz) unibody smartphone. The front is all glass with three capacitive buttons while the back indroduces the company’s Crystal Reflection process which gives the handset “the ability to display different patterns depending on the viewing angle and lighting”. LG’s placing a lot of emphasis on how the user experience benefits from the Optimus G’s quad-core Krait CPU and Adreno 320 GPU — something it calls “cross-tasking”. This includes capabilties like QSlide Function, Live Zooming, Dual Screen Dual Play, QuickMemo, Screen Zooming, Application Link and Icon Personalizer, plus camera funtionality such as Time Catch Shot, Cheese Shutter, Smart Shutter and Low Light Shot Noise Reduction.
When Huawei revealed its new MediaPad 7 Lite slate, it wasn’t generous with the details, but now we’ve got a few more to share with you. The final specifications are out, so we now know for sure that the ICS tab will arrive packing a 7-inch IPS display (1,024 x 600) supporting 1080p, a 1.2GHz Cortex A8 processor, 1GB RAM and 8 gigs of storage, expandable via microSD (up to the usual 32). To keep you connected, you’ve got Bluetooth 3.0, WiFi of the a/b/n varieties, or the option of sticking a SIM in it for HSPDA 3G speeds on the move. The cameras are nothing to shout about, but 3.2 megapixels on the back and 0.3 on the front will probably do for the odd Skype call or emergency picture. We can’t see how much later into August you can get, but the PR states shipping will begin then, to South Africa, China, Russia, the Philippines and Taiwan, and to Indonesia and Malaysia in September. Seven inches just not enough? Then how about its keyboard-endowed bigger brother?
The Xperia T, formerly codenamed Mint, rumor and leak victim since January, has officially broken cover. Revealing its 4.55-inch face to the crowds in Berlin, the Reality Display packs a 1,280 x 720 resolution and offers what Sony is calling the “best HD experience on a phone to date.” The company claims you can view vids in full 1080p HD quality, though we’re still waiting to receive additional clarification on this statement. (Update: Sony clarified that it was merely referring to the 1080p video recording capabilities of the phone.) The Xperia T runs on Ice Cream Sandwich, but we’re told it will be upgraded to Jelly Bean shortly after launch. It also features a 13MP fast capture camera and boasts a feature Sony is calling Sleep to Snap, which means you can go from a black screen to taking photos in an instant. What else does this new flagship offer? A one-touch function with NFC which you can use to tap to connect to other Sony devices, a 60-day premium trial of Music Unlimited and a new tier called Access which will be available in Europe for 0.99 Euros per month and will deliver full access of the service to PCs and the PS3.
The T — which will be known as the TX in select markets, and should be launching globally over the next few weeks — also sports a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8260A Snapdragon S4 CPU, pentaband UMTS / HSPA+ radios, a front-facing cam with 720p video capture, MHL connectivity, FM radio, 16GB onboard storage and an 1,850mAh battery. Dimension-wise, the T will weigh 4.9 ounces (139g) and come in at 9.35mm thick. Lastly, the new Xperia flagship will be available in black, silver and white hues (while the TX appears to come in pink as well). Pricing is still an unknown, but as we’ve seen before, it may largely depend on the market anyway. We’ll keep you posted as more details come in.
There will soon be a new Optimus L-Series smartphone on the prowl, as LG has just announced the Optimus L9 as a followup to its Optimus L3, L5 and L7 handsets. This series is viewed by LG as a budget lineup that places an emphasis on style, and the L9 will undoubtedly be the leader of the pack, as it boasts both a dual-core 1GHz CPU and a large, 4.7-inch IPS display. The phone will be outfitted with Android 4.0, 1GB of RAM, a 5-megapixel rear camera and a beefy 2,150mAh battery.
New software is also set to ship with the Optimus L9, which includes both a redesigned keyboard and a language translation app. The new keyboard is dubbed the My Style Keypad, which allows users to adjust the key placement for easier one-handed typing — like we’ve seen in Android 4.0 for the Galaxy Note — along with a separated layout for landscape view (that you can peek in the gallery below). Meanwhile, the language translation service is dubbed QTranslator, which leverages OCR to translate sentences and phrases from 44 different languages into 64 native languages. There’s no word yet on pricing or availability, though we’ll be sure to let you know the moment those final tidbits become known.
As mentioned earlier, we’ve just gotten our hands on Qualcomm’s latest development platform to see how its first quad core chipset fares. And boy, that APQ8064 really doesn’t disappoint, but it should be no surprise — we’ve already seen how the top dual core S4 chipsets already beat their quad core competitors in certain aspects, so it’s only natural for the quad core S4 Pro to annihilate them. As you can see in our chart after the break, the APQ8064-based MDP easily beat the Tegra 3-based One X and Nexus 7, as well as the Exynos 4412-based Galaxy S III. And partly thanks to the Adreno 320 graphics core, the MDP even scored an astonishing 132fps in our GLBenchmark test, while the quad core Galaxy S III with Mali-400 graphics came second with 99fps, with the remaining devices lingering around 60fps only.
Obviously, the question remains how big of a trade-off there is on battery life in exchange for those two extra cores and the more powerful graphics chip. That said, we have a feeling that Snapdragon’s Krait architecture and asynchronously clocked cores will again prove that Tegra 3′s 4-PLUS-1 design isn’t the best solution for battery efficiency — as many of you might already know. We shall see when APQ8064-based products become available later this year. For now, take a gander at our numbers and photos.
We had a pretty good idea that this little guy was going to be making an appearance at Google I/O this morning and, sure enough, it’s here. Not only is it here, it’s in our hands. Meet the Google Nexus 7, an ASUS-designed device with minimal branding and a clean version of the latest flavor of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Join us after the break for a rundown of what this $199 Fire-fighter feels like to use.
T-Mob’s variant of the Galaxy S III made its in-store debut on this very day, and we just had a chance to go hands-on with the flagship smartphone. The carrier brought the handset down to the Metropolitan Pavilion for Pepcom’s baseball-themed shindig and we just had to get our greasy paws all over its shiny Pebble Blue shell — and it is a serious fingerprint magnet. Aside from that, though, it’s hard to take issue with such a slim and marvelously engineered device. The plasticky build quality does leave something to be desired, but it’s something we’ve become accustomed with Samsung devices. We’ve also got to give it to Sammy for getting carriers, including T-Mobile, to leave well enough alone. Other than the innocuous logo on the back there are no physical differences between this version of the S III and its 4.8-inch cousins on other networks. There’s no keyboard, redesigned corners or rejiggered buttons. Truth is, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between Big Magenta’s variant and the international version.
The Xperia miro’s moved up its coming-out party a whole nine days thanks to Sony Mobile’s Facebook campaign. Loaded with ICS, the phone is outfitted with a 3.5-inch display, 5-megapixel camera, a front-facing “chat cam” and comes in shades of black, gold, pink and silver. Integrated Facebook features and customizable illuminations are also promised, but the lid hasn’t been lifted on more detailed specs. As of now, the social-minded phone is only slated for release in Europe, but look out below for some additional glamour shots or head past the break for the video unveiling.
It wouldn’t be Computex without some KIRF Apple products. And what we have today isn’t quite a MacBook Air. But it’s amazingly close. The N2-A, as it’s known in the OEM underground, is one of the most impressive MacBook Air lookalikes we’ve seen — and one of the cheapest. $74,500 will net you 500 of these lovely 13.3-inch bundles of almost-Mac goodness, which comes out to just $149 apiece. The THD (Thread Technology Co.)-made clamshell comes complete with an LED-backlit 1366 x 768 LCD, 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor, 1 gig of DDR3 RAM and 8 gigs of SSD storage. There’s also built-in 802.11b/g/n WiFi (we’re a bit devastated about the lack of 802.11ac), and the option to add a 3G dongle or Ethernet adapter via the pair of USB 2.0 ports. As you may have gathered from the image, there’s a full-size QWERTY keyboard and a familiar, yet incredibly mediocre trackpad, along with a 2-cell 4200 mAh battery (rated to 8 hours), an SD card slot, a not-so-MagSafe 110-240-volt AC adapter, a headphone out, mic in and an HDMI port.
There must be something in the water in in hardware-designer land. Small is en vogue, it seems, and to say we’ve been intrigued about this latest twist on diminutive form factors would be an understatement. So far, Android has largely (though not exclusively) kept itself firmly in the palms of our hands. But, increasingly it is popping up in places we never even thought about. For the uninitiated, that thing above — the Chinese-made MK802 — is a complete “mini PC” that’s about the size of a USB flash drive or card reader. It has a 1.5GHz Allwinner processor, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of onboard flash storage. You can get at these internals via two USB ports (which can also power the device,) and pump the result out to a display via HDMI. If that 4GB of memory isn’t enough, you can expand it via a microSD slot. All good and well, but what would you do with such a thing? Plenty is the answer. This not only makes any HDMI display a PC, it also ushers in a new type of portability. Bring your Netflix over to a friend’s house without needing your phone, or never worry about using public PCs again. All of these niche uses give the MK802, and its kind, lots of potential. But what is it like in real life? Shimmy past the break to find out.
The idea of creating a full-fledged laptop companion to a smartphone isn’t new — just ask the former Palm team — but rarely has it come across as so pretty. Clamcase’s upcoming Clambook, while it has more than a slight hint of MacBook Air about it, is really meant as a large canvas of sight and sound for an Android phone or iPhone. Although the Clambook can at least be used as a big, 16:9 ratio display for an iPhone, the emphasis is clearly on more Google-inclined users that can use an MHL port: the one cable provides audio, video, power, an Android 4.0-native keyboard and a multi-touch trackpad. More recent Motorola phone owners might get the most out of it, since Webtop’s full-size Firefox browser and windowed interface will kick in without needing one of Motorola’s proprietary docks. We’re still waiting on many basic details, like exact device support and the all-important matter of pricing, but the Clamcase should be ready for supersized Real Racing sessions by the holidays.
It’s a strange feeling, receiving such a keenly anticipated phone to review. The hubbub of launch events, hands-on previews and heated debates suddenly dies away, leaving you with one small and intensely silent cardboard box. In this instance, the packaging contained the “marble white” version of the Galaxy S III (not the more daring “pebble blue”) alongside one burning question: apart from all the hype, do this handset’s paper credentials translate into a product that is worthy of serious cash and a 24-month commitment?
Those credentials are certainly more subtle than those of other recent devices. There’s no unusual camera, stand-out display or unibody build. Instead, we get an abstract design statement about the phone being “inspired by nature” alongside a list of incremental hardware improvements such as a quad-core processor, as well as fresh additions to Samsung’s customized Android 4.0 skin. As it turns out, these specs forgo immediate swagger in favor of creating a solid workhorse of a smartphone that is intent on attracting a long-term following. Read on and you’ll discover just how it pulls that off.
Sony Xperia GX packs 13-megapixel camera and 4.6-inch HD display, joined by Xperia SX to offer LTE in Japan
Sony’s announced its first two LTE-capable phones for its Japanese customers — and there’s two of ‘em. The Xperia GX is up first, with a 720p 4.6-inch display squeezed in alongside a new 13-megapixel camera — a first for Sony’s mobile family, and presumably its new CMOS sensor. A 1.5 GHz dual-core processor ensures it should all tick along nicely, while the hardware design follows the curves of last year’s Xperia Arc, this time with a matte finish. The camera upgrade and huge screen makes a good case for this to be Sony’s new flagship device — mere months since the Xperia S debuted in Europe — and before the Xperia Ion has even had chance to launch in the US.
It’s joined by the Xperia XS, which Sony claims is the world’s lightest LTE capable handset, weighing in at just under 100g. It packs a smaller 3.7-inch screen with the same Mobile Bravia engine found on its bigger brother — and the rest of Sony’s recent handsets. It’s joined by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor (although there’s no specifics on what type just yet), a more standard 8-megapixel camera and it wouldn’t be a Japanese phone without infrared connectivity, mobile wallet and a mobile TV — they’re all built-in. Both phones will launch in black and white, and Android fans can rest easy, as they’ll both arrive with Android 4.0 installed when they hit stores in Japan this summer.
So enthused with the Galaxy S III that you want to know exactly when in the summer Americans can buy one? You can follow us, of course, but Samsung has you covered with a sign-up page that will take your vitals with promises that you’ll “get the latest on the Next Galaxy.” We wouldn’t read too much into seeing AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and others in the list of carriers to choose from, though. Samsung has run identical sign-up campaigns in the US before, and it focused the initial Galaxy S II launch on three major carriers rather than carpet bombing every network at once.
Ah, the Galaxy S III. We always knew it’d be a keystone among Android smartphones, but according to the AnTuTu benchmark suite, it’ll be the one device to rule them all. While there’s no way to verify whether this test is indeed legitimate, all Android users may currently peep the AnTuTu app, which not only shows the smartphone as having bested the mighty Transformer Prime tablet, but it also reveals the most comprehensive set of specs we’ve yet seen for the Galaxy S III — again, take this with a grain of salt. The device is said to wield a Samsung Exynos 4212 SoC with a dual-core 1.4GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM and a 4.7-inch, 720p HD display. This lines up similarly with the product listing from Amazon Germany, as the specs also reveal a 12 megapixel primary camera on the rear, along with a 2MP shooter on the front. No big surprises for the OS, which is listed as Android 4.0. Should the benchmark tests turn out to be legitimate, the HTC One X will no doubt have some very stiff competition.
It’s still only available for Ice Cream Sandwich, but those not bound by an older OS can now download a fairly significant update to Google’s Chrome for Android web browser. In addition to some added language support and broader availability, it brings with it the ability to select desktop versions of websites, save bookmarks to your home screen as a shortcut, and download files to your device, plus options to choose which apps handle certain links. As before, it remains a beta, and it’s tailored to suit both Android smartphones and tablets.
You complained, Toshiba listened. After its Thrive tablets were widely panned for their short battery life and chunky, cheap-feeling design, the outfit decided to put those models out to pasture and start anew. So bid goodbye to the Thrives, then, and say hello to the Excite 7.7, 10 and 13 (yes, 13). If you’ve been paying attention, these are the same tablets we first saw in prototype form at CES (and again at Mobile World Congress), complete with their slim builds and textured aluminum backs. Now, though we know that all three will pack NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 SoC, and ship with unskinned Ice Cream Sandwich. The 7.7, in particular, sports the same AMOLED display inside the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7, while the 13-incher steps up to 1600 x 900 resolution (as opposed to 1280 x 800). Oh, and for those of you who think you’ll miss the 10-inch Thrive’s full-sized SD slot, that feature carries over to the Excite 10 and 13. (As you can imagine, there was no room for the full-sized USB and HDMI ports on tablets this thin.)
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