A recent mystery shopper survey conducted by Informa Telecoms and Media found Samsung Galaxy devices were the most likely smartphones to be recommended by major British retailers. Leading the pack as the most recommended phone is the Samsung Galaxy S III despite being one of the older phones on the market now. Another popular choice was the Samsung Galaxy Note II, with Apple’s iPhone 5 drawing a few recommendations and other manufacturer’s devices seeing little action.
After seeing the leaked press image of the HTC M7 a few weeks ago, little was left to the imagination as we caught a glimpse of HTC’s next super phone in all its glory. Still, a computer render doesn’t give quite the same impression as handling the physical product, which is what we have for you today (well…sort of). A new video has surfaced of the M7’s chassis (back and front) being compared to other HTC flagship phones. Most notably, it seems to share a lot in common with the HTC Droid DNA that we love so much, albeit, packed into a smaller package to suit the M7’s 4.7-inch screen. Besides that we can see that the phone seems to have a dedicated camera button on the right edge, nestled below the volume rocker and even more intriguing, seems to have a front facing speaker, which is something of a rarity in the smartphone world, but certainly could come in useful. Check out the video below and let us know what you think of the M7.
Sony is hoping for a hit with the Xperia Z and Xperia ZL. Both certainly seem like really nice phones from what I saw at CES. Probably the most unique feature is the waterproof and dustproof aspect, but will this be enough to put a dent into Samsung’s market share?
They certainly seem to be trying to get a jump start ahead of other flagship devices that will be announced at Mobile World Congress. According to Yodobashi Camera in Japan, the release date will be February 9, and they already have working demo units for you to try out. The picture above was taken in the Kichijoji store. They didn’t tell us pricing yet, but I am sure word will drop soon. Will this be Sony’s breakout year?
Are we now seeing our first glimpse of the “Next Big Thing” on AT&T’s wireless network? It sure seems to be the case thanks to a User Agent Profile for a mysterious SGH-I337 device that has surfaced in the wild. While the upcoming global Galaxy S IV model will be likely be identified as the GT-I950X– the SGH models are generally consistent with AT&T’s Samsung Galaxy variants and often times feature some very sexy specs— so the SGH-I337 is no different. Hot off the heels of some very intriguing items we saw at a recent trade show a few weeks ago, the UAProf seems to indicate that this mysterious device will have a 1,920 x 1,080 full HD display. Of course it’s possible this SGH-I337 is possibly some other sort of other Samsung device (possibly a new Galaxy Tab?), but we’re willing to take a small gamble and guess that this is the first sighting of an American variant of Sammy’s next superphone.
Stay tuned with us as we follow this new and developing SGH-I337 saga.
Yesterday we saw an example of HTC creating some hardware to interact with their HTC Butterfly smartphone and earlier this week we reported on the DIAL project to bring easier interactivity between Android devices and smart TVs. Today we have an example of how Android developers, with the help of an Android-friendly manufacturer, are extending the ecosystem in vehicles. Pioneer makes some head units for their vehicle systems that let you control the radio using an app called Pioneer AppRadio2. stackTrase Software has taken that platform and extended it so that your Android device can be mirrored on the vehicle’s head unit using their app called ARLiberator for AppRadio. The mirroring goes beyond showing what is on the smartphone though as you can actually control the smartphone from the head unit’s touchscreen.
HTC has teamed up with Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa to release the next iteration of the stylish Japanese “Infobar” phone series. The phone runs a completely new UI known as “iida UI 2.0” (iida stands for “innovation,” “imagination,” “design” and “art”) and it certainly lives up to its name. The iida UI comes with all sorts of fancy animations, eye candy, and intuitive touch based navigation. The beautiful new skin is running atop of Android 4.1 but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the software. In fact, it looks like it could be more related to Windows Phone with a home screen that mimics Windows’ “live tiles” layout.
The phone itself sports some pretty great specs including a 1.5GHz quad-core chip from Qualcomm, 1GB of RAM, a 4.7-inch 720p display, 16GB of storage, a microSD slot, and a capacious 2,100mAh battery. As for radios, the phone will primarily rely on an LTE radio (800/1500), but also has capabilities to access CDMA2000 800/2100 and WCDMA 850/1900/2100 networks, meaning it would be a great global phone. Besides all that you get an 8 megapixel camera with HTC’s Imagesense technology, a 2.1 front facing camera, Beats Audio, and NFC! It’s all packed inside the 9.7mm-thick, 147g-heavy waterproof (IPX5 and IPX7) and dustproof (IP5X) body. Pretty cool! The phone is set to be released in Japan around mid-February. Check out some videos of the device’s new UI and some more photos after the break! Do you guys prefer this to HTC’s Sense UI?
Well, it had a good run. Unfortunately, Verizon will no longer be carrying the Galaxy Nexus LTE, even on those nice refurbished deals we’ve seen once or twice. It’s a shame to see it go, as it was Big Red’s first (and probably last) Nexus device on their network. And even with its poor battery life and mediocre camera, it was an excellent device. And if you have to be locked into a two year agreement with any device, the Nexus would be the phone you would want. Verizon may not carry it, but it’s bound to stay in the headlines for development and ports for the foreseeable future.
HTC has introduced a new piece of hardware to their ecosystem. The HTC Mini is a remote control aimed at the Chinese market for the HTC Butterfly, the Chinese market variant of the HTC DROID DNA. The device works by pairing it with an HTC Butterfly initially via NFC. Once paired, the devices can communicate wirelessly with the HTC Mini providing several remote functions.
Get ready for the most obvious statement of the year: smartphones are a big deal. Some of us want a concrete number behind that, though. Now that we’ve got all the major earnings reports for the year out of the way, we’ve got that concrete number. Over 200 million phones were shipped in Q4, and the annual total for smartphones in 2012 was 671 million. That’s a pretty huge number, and shows a 42% growth year-over-year. An interesting statistic out of that is that Samsung shipped 63 million smartphones in the last quarter, which accounts for about 30% of phones in that quarter. 1 out of every 3 phones sold over the holidays was a Samsung device. That’s something to be proud of if you’re Samsung.
Canadian shoppers for the popular LG Nexus 4 will have a new source to grab the device outside the Google Play Store. Canadian provider Fido has announced they will carry the Nexus 4 with shipments expected to start sometime in February. Fido has already setup the smartphone in their reservation system which requires interested buyers to deposit C$40 up front. A final price has not yet been announced.
In case you haven’t noticed, in the world of consumer electronics there is a continual effort going on to enable consumers to share content between their mobile devices and non-mobile devices like TVs. An example of this is Apple’s AirPlay system that gives users the ability to mirror iPad or iPhone content to their Apple TV. Apple’s solution enables some other features as well like initiating playback of remote content. Key to this is the ability to discover AirPlay capable devices. Great if you are part of the Apple ecosystem, not so great if you use other solutions or have hardware from other manufacturers. Netflix and YouTube hope to provide an alternative for non-Apple consumers and have launched DIAL with the backing of several other parties. Companies like Samsung, Sony, Hulu and the BBC are backing the effort to develop and implement the DIAL protocol.
The DROID RAZR M is one really nice phone for the money. At $49 it’s has some really nice specs including that edge to edge display. A pink version is already available in stores to celebrate Valentine’s Day so if you’re looking for a gift for that special someone, this might be a good option. Of course they really have to like the color pink because they are going to look at it for the next two years. Anyways, Verizon put out a commercial featuring it, so check it out after the break.
Intel is preparing to launch Africa’s first Android device powered by an Intel chip, to be called the Intel Yolo. It will run on their latest Lexington platform, and boasts a 1.2 GHz Atom processor, complete with Intel’s signature hyper-threading technology. Aside from that, you’ll be getting a 3.5-inch screen, 512 MB of RAM, 4 GB of internal storage, Android 4.0.4, and the increasingly rare micro-SD card slot. It’s not impressive even by last year’s standards, but it’s priced at $125, so it isn’t really aimed at competing with an HTC M7 or Galaxy S IV. It’ll make a splash in Kenya first, but inevitably end up in a few other markets as time goes on. Anybody planning on picking up a phone called the Yolo?
We have seen quite a bit of chatter about the Huawei Ascend Mate, the smartphone maker’s entry into the supersize phone market. That is not the only device that may be of interest to consumers, especially those looking for something more in line with the size of a traditional smartphone. A new render intended for press materials has surfaced showing the Huawei Ascend P2, the successor to the Ascend P1 that was recently made available to U.S. customers via Amazon.
Well, the Nexus 4 debacle continues. Google’s coveted flagship device has been out of stock on the Play Store for what feels like months, and in certain parts of the world, it actually has been months! Our friends down under haven’t been able to purchase the device since it sold out minutes after launching on that fateful day in mid-November. You would think that as soon as LG pushed out more Nexus 4’s, the Play Store would be the first to get stocked up, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. A new press release by LG says that they’ve partnered with Australian retailer Harvey Norman to begin offering the device unlocked starting February 1st of this year. That may be good or bad news depending on how desperate you are to get your hands on the device because Harvey Norman will be offering the Nexus 4 for $496, which is $100 Aussie dollars more than you’d pay if you purchased it through Google’s avenue. The phone is available for pre-order now on Harvey Norman’s website. It is really getting hard to understand Google’s and LG’s partnership and strategies as of late. I, for one, am hoping this is the last time Google partners with LG to make a Nexus. See the press release after the break if you’re looking for more details.