The Amazon smartphone is one of those on-again, off-again devices when it comes to information about its mere existence. Last month the device was supposedly coming to market for free and then that rumor was shot down only a couple days later. We are now learning the device has surfaced again in a manner consistent with the previously reported Alphabet Projects, although the names of the projects have been changed. The top model, said to include a 3D user interface, has apparently changed from being “Project B” to now being named “Smith.” In addition to this top-tier model, Amazon is supposedly working on a cheaper smartphone as well.
While there has been plenty of information and images of the rumored Nexus 5 trickling out, a successor to last year’s Nexus 10 hasn’t received the same treatment. A few weeks ago, Twitter’s favorite leaker @evleaks confirmed legitimacy when it showed up on a system file in the United Kingdom. So leave it to him to shed some more light on the refreshed device. Earlier today he tweeted out an image (above) that defines clearly who will be manufacturing the device. Also, he said that we are “getting closer…” which he probably means to an announcement. ASUS will be teaming up with Google yet again to create this year’s edition of the Nexus 10.
Google is moving away from Samsung manufacturing the 10-inch tablet. The Korean manufacturer has been releasing a huge amount of tablets and can even be credited, to an extent, with Android’s overthrowing of the iPad in sales for Q2 of 2013. At this time it is unknown what the specifications will be for the ASUS-made Nexus 10.
The Nexus 5 should be announced later this month, but that hasn’t stopped manufacturers from offering cases for the upcoming device. Probably built on dimensions given by phone manufacturer’s specs beforehand, or possibly even guesswork. One of the manufacturers, SPIGEN, has posted a Nexus 5 “slim fit” case on Amazon and set October 31st as the release date. This coincides with what we have been hearing. Not only that, reviewers had a little fun with it.
Some of the comments are legitimate, saying the case doesn’t fit their test Nexus 5 because it is too loose, but some are intentionally sarcastic, like “This fits very well around my vapor edition Nexus 5, as snug as a bug in a rug. a word of caution, the case adds weight to the phone, the phone weighs exactly 0.0 pounds with out the case, the case adds a few ounces to that 0.0 pounds.” Head to the source link for more sarcastic goodness.
Yesterday, Android 4.3 test firmware for the Samsung Galaxy S 4 managed to leak, and today we have 4.3 test software for the Galaxy Note II. Posted on the XDA forums, firmware N7100XXUEMI6 is still extremely premature, as Samsung just began testing it a week ago. With 4.3, the Note II gets core UI elements to look more like Galaxy S4/Note 3′s interface, including the tabbed settings. In addition, Samsung Knox and Wallet are present in 4.3.
There are probably going to be a few bugs being so early, so if you’re planning on trying it, download at your own risk. Head to the source link for instructions.
source: XDA Forum
Earlier today we reported on some new specs that were discovered for the Nexus 5, including the camera having optical image stabilization (OIS). We initially thought that addition by itself would go a long way in addressing the shortcomings historically found in Nexus devices. Google appears to be stepping things up even more though as it appears the device will be equipped with a MEMS camera. MEMS technology, or microelectromechanical systems, is coming to market thanks to a company called DigitalOptics. A MEMS camera has three important benefits compared to current technology:
- focus operations take place much faster, with some claiming the improvement is as much as 7 times what current cameras are capable of;
- the camera is capable of capturing several images virtually at the same time, allowing for “refocusing” on different areas of the image at a later time;
- less power use will help the camera not consume so much battery life;
- fewer moving parts and lack of contact between the parts should result in longer life.
Since Samsung confirmed a Galaxy Note 3 with a curved display for this month, we can’t be too far off. Samsung Sinjonggyun representatives told reporters that it would be “released next week.” Expect it to very expensive and to be very limited.
Earlier in the week it was revealed that LG will not sit back and watch Samsung take center stage because they will unveil their own smartphone with a curved display. ZDNet in Korea found out it will be called the LG Z. The Z series will most likely be used for these type of phones moving forward. They are also reporting that it will have a 6-inch display, which contradicts the report we heard earlier in the week indicating that LG was going to mass produce 4.5-inch flexible displays. No word on when LG will officially announce the Z just yet, but one as to wonder why they would go with “Z” since it’s already being used by Sony?
sources: DDaily / ZDNet Korea
Samsung is known to take some time to prepare their latest version of Android before releasing a very stable version to the public. While the HTC One Developer Edition already has Android 4.3, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is expected to receive the software sometime later this month or next month. SamMobile’s insider has you covered. They have received Android 4.3 test software for the Galaxy S4, which seems pretty stable at this point.
SamMobile actually says that the test software runs faster and is more lag free than 4.2.2. Samsung Knox and Wallet are present in this software, as well as a new Reading Mode and an improved keyboard. If you’re interested and want to try out the test software, head to the source link for instructions on how to download, at your own risk.
@Evleaks recently tweeted (you guessed it) another leak!
This time, we have images suggesting that Target will be offering a T-Mobile tie-up later this year, featuring “brightspot.”
This includes a $50 deal with unlimited talk/text, and 1GB of 4G data. The picture also shows a SIM kit, which can activate any unlocked compatible GSM phone, activate compatible Apple iPhone 4 and 4S, and includes both standard and microSIM.
This picture shows the Galaxy S III with the deal, but other devices are expected to come with brightspot, including the LG Optimus F3, LG Optimus F6, and the Lumia 521.
An official announcement has yet to come, but the news may come very soon considering the leaked information.
Wireless charging has been getting more and more attention as of late, and yesterday we showed you that remote wireless charging was even possible. Today, we have news that Qualcomm has joined the Power Matters Alliance and has plans to develop the standard for hybrid wireless charging.
This news comes only a month after Qualcomm joined the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC). Qualcomm will reportedly take on a “senior leadership role” at the Power Matters Alliance, and will work on ways for PMA devices (PowerMat) to receive wireless power using both low-frequency induction and high-frequency resonance.
If they are successful, more devices will be compatible with a wider range of wireless charging docks/stations/mats.
It’s all good news for consumers, who will have many more options on the market very soon.
T-Mobile has issued a new directive to their employees informing them the company is putting an end to Classic plans at national retailers. Earlier this year T-Mobile commenced their Uncarrier strategy to start moving to unsubsidized devices and Simple Choice plans for service. Buyers who were interested in T-Mobile but wanted a traditional, subsidized device for a set contract period could avoid the new Uncarrier philosophy by purchasing their device through a national retailer like Best Buy. It is not clear what T-Mobile may provide to the national retailers as a replacement, unless they are just going to expand the Uncarrier and Simple Choice options beyond their own web site or other T-Mobile owned channels.
According to the internal document, the deadline for the transition is November 1, 2013. Starting September 30th, retailers are to start the process of returning their postpaid inventory to T-Mobile. Locations selling T-Mobile devices will continue to handle device exchanges during the month of October and all “buyer’s remorse” returns are to be done at national retailer locations.
You may recall that T-Mobile is scheduled to unveil Phase III of their Uncarrier strategy in late October. Others believe T-Mobile may target family plans and tablets as part of Phase III. With this latest move, it may be possible T-Mobile is planning to roll some new options for their major partners into the next phase as well.