If the rumors turn out to be true, then we should all expect the Galaxy Gear 2 to be unveiled alongside Samsung’s Galaxy S 5. Problem is, Samsung is still determining how much they should charge on the Gear 2. With the original Gear flopping, Samsung wants to make sure they do things right the second time around. The original Gear was just far too expensive for what it was, and the sales showed. That, and coinciding with the fact that Apple is also rumored to release their own smartwatch, it puts some pressure on Samsung to competitively price their Gear follow up.
What did you guys think about the original Gear? Do you think it didn’t resonate with the consumers due to its price, or do you think the whole idea of a smartwatch is currently useless? Let us know!
In late January, word came out that Samsung and Google had reached some agreements to work on presenting a more unified user experience on Android devices. As part of that agreement, it appears Samsung is on the way to phasing out the Magazine UX it had been working on despite the recent release of new tablets equipped with Magazine. A new screenshot of the KitKat notification bar that Samsung is working on for their devices shows how the company is in fact reversing course to come closer to Google’s vision for the platform. The choice of color for the icons may seem like a simple thing, and it is, but it reveals a lot about the direction of development.
When Google released KitKat last year, one thing users noticed almost immediately were the white-only icons in the notification bar. The change to a monochrome design was significant enough that Google even had to spend some time explaining why this had occurred. The new image shows that Samsung has adopted Google’s direction in this area and extended this design cue to its own TouchWiz interface. Eldar Murtazin, @eldarmurtazin, indicates in his tweets about this change that it also means a lot for the future of the TouchWiz interface. This likely means the flat, monochrome concept may be extended throughout the user experience on Samsung devices.
source: @eldarmurtazin tweet 1, @eldarmurtazin tweet 2
Later this week we anticipate the official announcement of the LG G Pro 2, which should become one of LG’s flagship devices along with the LG G2. While some details have been leaking out about the device, like the photographer friendly features, the latest bit of information focuses more on some of the base hardware. According to some new entries in the AnTuTu Benchmark, the LG G Pro 2 will ship with a Snapdragon 800 processor running at 2.26 GHz mated to an Adreno 330 graphics chip, 3GB of RAM, and a full 1080p HD screen. No word yet on the exact size of the screen, though it is believed to be close to 6 inches putting in the large format, frequently called phablet, category of smartphone.
Well look at what we have here. A new handheld gaming device from ASUS, called the Gamebox, hit the AnTuTu benchmarks. On the surface, it would appear to be a NVIDIA Shield competitor, but it’s not all that different from the Shield. It sports a 1.9GHz quad-core Tegra 4, a GeForce ULP graphics chip, 2GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, and Android 4.3.
Remember all those licensing deals that Microsoft inked with Android manufacturers like HTC, Samsung, Acer and others? Well here’s a little update for you. Microsoft is making a whopping $2 billion from those deals annually. According to Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund, Microsoft is making an average of $5.00 per Android phone sold, and they have about 70% of the market covered with their deals between OEMs and ODMs. If you factor in 90% gross margin on these revenues, It’s estimated that Microsoft took in $1.6 billion for the 2013 fiscal year, and they are expected to bring in $1.73 billion for the 2014 fiscal year. 2015 will bring in $1.82 billion.
Last week, reports indicated that HTC would be making a high-end Nexus tablet this year, and today we are getting a little more information. According to DigiTimes, HTC will be making the Nexus 10 followup. Now last week’s report indicated that whatever HTC was working on, it would not come until the 3rd quarter. If it’s really the Nexus 10, that is a little surprising since it would be close to 2 years from the original Nexus 10 launch.
Unfortunately DigiTimes didn’t offer a timetable, but they did offer something else quite interesting in that apparently HTC was offered the original Nexus 7, but they turned it down. At that time, HTC had taken themselves out of the tablet market. The HTC Flyer (pictured above) was their last tablet.
Yep, more Samsung/Apple patent news. Judge Lucy Koh, who has been the judge over this enormous patent lawsuit since the very beginning, has denied Samsung’s motion for a retrial based on some particularly unsavory comments made by one of Apple’s lawyers. Apple tried to argue that letting Korean-based Samsung continue to “infringe patents” owned by American companies would destroy American companies’ ability to make quality products.
As we get closer to MWC 2014 and the likely release of the Sony “Sirius” device as the Sony Xperia Z2, we have some new images that reveal some of the camera functions on the new device. Perhaps of greatest interest to many, even if usefulness may be limited until the market matures, is the presence of 4K video recording. XDA member iRimas, who has the device, grabbed the screenshots showing some of the settings for 4K video and some other features.
We already saw a pretty clear image of the HTC M8 dual camera last week, but now a new image has surfaced. Unfortunately it’s from the blurrycam, but you can see a little more detail from each lens. The same leaker also offered up closer images of the new on-screen buttons, but they are again blurry, not to mention that we already posted much better images here and here. Just hit the source link if you want to see the blurry versions.
We still don’t know if the HTC M8 will be called the HTC One 2, the One+, or something entirely different. Rumors indicate it will be announced after Mobile World Congress.
HTC isn’t giving up on the compact smartphone market just yet. Over on Twitter, @evleaks posted what would be the specifications for the HTC M8 Mini. Yes, the M8 Mini. Prior to today, we have not heard anything of substance about the device; however, @evleaks has graced us with its specifications.
This Mini will have a 4.5-inch 720p display. On top of it all is Android 4.4.2 KitKat with Sense 6.0. Powering the device is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 with 1GB of RAM. Along with 16GB of internal memory is a microSD card slot. Bluetooth 4.0 support is present along with a/b/g/n/ac for WiFi. And thankfully, it will sport on-screen buttons. Interestingly, the camera specs are 13MP/5MP, presumably for the rear and front, respectively. This would be a huge bump from the camera on the HTC One.
HTC may be launching this device alongside the M8 in New York City next month.
Motorola’s picture and video sharing application originally only supported the company’s recent line of DROID-branded devices, and now a recent update changes availability options.
The update makes the application available to all Android devices running 4.0 and higher, as well as a newer user interface which looks less “Droid-looking.”
The app hasn’t really taken off as Motorola probably thought it would when it was released, but this is definitely a step towards making it more popular in the Android realm.
Hit the break for the link to the app in the Play Store.
Nokia and HTC have decided to bring an end to the long patent war that they were having for quite some time now. Both the companies have settled all pending patent litigation and signed an agreement to licence each other’s technology. HTC will be paying Nokia to license its patent portfolio and they will also collaborate for future opportunities. The details of the agreement were kept confidential and will not be released.
“We are very pleased to have reached a settlement and collaboration agreement with HTC, which is a long standing licensee for Nokia’s standards essential patents,” said Paul Melin, chief intellectual property officer at Nokia. “This agreement validates Nokia’s implementation patents and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities.”
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon series processors are known to be some of the best CPUs on the market for mobile devices, but the company isn’t known for manufacturing any other internals for phones and tablets. Qualcomm will look to change that this year.
The company plans to dominate the market for internal components for smartphones, and it’s expected that a fully-built Qualcomm phone will be unveiled by the end of the year.
The RF360, a new RF device by Qualcomm, will reside between the baseband and the antenna in new devices. Qualcomm says that it consumes less power, takes up less space and supports the rapidly proliferating number of LTE bands used throughout the world.
This device, alongside the RF Pop, a power amplifier, will make it into handsets this year and should mark a major change in mobile technology. We’ll just have to wait and see how all of this pans out and see whether OEMs embrace Qualcomm’s new RF devices or not.
Samsung was being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department because of suspicions that the company was using a special class of patents to attack rivals— the investigation will now come to a close, the the Department will continue to monitor the company in terms of patent regulation.
The news comes in the midst of a series of patent infringement complaints filed by both Apple and Samsung, with the most recent filed against Apple— Samsung won, and some older iPhone and iPad models were banned from being sold in the US.
Legal issues were determined to not require any kind of investigation, so the Justice Department has stopped looking into the matter.
Judging by how nice the design of the Ascend P6 was, it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that the device’s successor, the P7, will look just as nice, or even better.
Thankfully, in a series of leaked photos, we got a nice look at the back panel of the phone, which should be released at Mobile World Congress at the end of February.
In terms of specs, here’s what we have so far:
A 5-inch 1080p display, 2GB of RAM, a 13MP rear shooter, a 1.6GHz HiSilicon chipset.a 2,460mAH battery and Huawei’s EmotionUI 2.0 Android skin.
Hit the break for a larger photo of the device’s back panel.