It appears that we’re about to see more cheap and inexpensive Mediatek-powered 1080p smartphones on the horizon. We already knew that Sony was making plans on introducing some quad-core devices for a budget price— but Lenovo, Huawei and ZTE are among 20 or so manufacturers expected to launch devices with the MediaTek MT6589 quad-core chip. In case you’ve forgotten, the MT6589 is an ARM Cortex A7-based units that utilizes all the bells and whistles that can be found in competing chipsets, but at a fraction of the cost. The result is the ability to see some pretty sexy smartphones with 1080p capabilities for a low, low price– just like what we’ve seen with the world’s cheapest smartphone that was recently introduced.
Expect to see the a bigger batch of Mediatek-powered 1080p to be shipped between now and April.
You may recall that on the night of Samsung’s Unpacked event when they revealed their new Galaxy S 4 smartphone, HTC decided to try some new, more aggressive tactics in their battle for market share. It appears the fun did not stop there as some new tweets have surfaced and then disappeared, but not before folks could grab some screenshots.
Although smartwatches haven’t caught on yet, we are about to see a major push from all the major manufacturers. We already know Samsung, Google, and Apple will come out with their own smartwatch in the near future. LG is the next manufacturer to jump into the ring as a source familiar with the matter told the Korea Times. It was also revealed that they are working on something similar to Google Glass
“It is one major part of many currently non-commercialized products under development by LG Electronics,” said the source. “The company has spared no efforts to invest in products that it believes are must-haves to stay ahead technology wise in the market, whatever the situation maybe.”
Recent reports have indicated tensions could exist between Google and Samsung, but were downplayed by Google CFO and Senior Vice President Patrick Pichette as well as Samsung Mobile Chief JK Shin. Although their working relationship is probably amicable, I have to believe that there is a little uneasiness at Google. Consumers continue to buy Samsung Galaxy branded phones in droves. So much so that 40% of all Android phones sold are Samsung branded. In fact, Samsung has sold 200 million more phones than the next Android manufacturer.
On one hand, Google should be delighted in what Samsung has accomplished. Android is now a dominating mobile OS, and a big thanks has to go to Samsung for being a big part of that. On the other hand, it’s never a good idea for one entity to have such a large piece of the pie. Companies with too much power can dictate and give less choice to consumers. If Google had their choice, every manufacturer would be equally as successful, but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way in the real world.
It was last October when we first heard rumors that Google could be working on a smartwatch. At that time, a patent based on a smartwatch with a flip up display was awarded to Google. Of course many companies are awarded patents for products that never actually come to market. However, with Samsung and Apple now working on watches of their own, it certainly isn’t out of the question that Google will definitely come out with one, hopefully Nexus branded. Don’t forget, Motorola has some experience in this area with the MOTOACTV.
The Financial Times is reporting that not only is Google working on a watch, but it’s an Android unit project, not an X Lab project like Google Glass. It makes perfect sense for Android to be part of the watch since it’s more of a mobile device than Glass. Unfortunately no timeframe was mentioned, but hopefully we will see something this year.
source: Financial Times
If you are looking for a high-end Samsung Galaxy Tab device, you may not need to wait too long. The gang at SamMobile reports that Samsung is diligently working on a specialized tablet to compete against the likes of the iPad and Sony’s Xperia Z tablet. I know you’re all thinking wait a minute— Samsung’s existing tablets are already established competitors to the iPad and Xperia Z tablet, right? Well, there’s one thing that the Xperia Z and iPad has the existing Galaxy Tabs don’t: a superior display. Knowing this, Samsung will incorporate a full Super AMOLED FULL HD Display which would rival other brands’ offerings. Moreover— the displays are rumored to come in at 10.1 or 11.6-inches. Complimenting the HD display will be the new Exynos 5 chip running the show.
Considering Samsung already has its fingerprints over a certain tablet with an awesome display that is currently unrivaled by the competiton, it’s pretty safe to say that its new line of premium tablets are going to be amazing. Well— if that’s true that is…
Gameloft is one of the top developers for Android games, and this time it looks like they’re trying their hand (again) at updating the classic card game UNO on Android devices. It’s not as exciting as the explosions we’ve seen from them recently, but UNO hits a much broader audience. The new version will feature online multiplayer and cross-platform play with a side of Facebook integration, which is fairly standard for any successful casual game these days. Gameloft also apparently spent quite a bit of time getting the game polished up for mass consumption, so hopefully this one pans out better than their last attempt.
To build up some excitement, Gameloft released a short teaser demonstrating the game, but we don’t have any solid release date yet. Hit the link below to check out the video. You never know, you may become the world’s biggest UNO fan after this hits the Play Store.
Verizon has been on fire with their updates lately. We’ve seen the Droid 4 and the Galaxy Nexus receive updates just this week, and the Droid RAZR HD looks to be joining that group. It’s not a major update like the other two phones, but hey, any kind of update is better than no update at all.
This update build 9.16.6 features a security fix, camera improvements, WiFi connectivity improvements, and a handful of other handy enhancements. Both the Droid RAZR HD and RAZR MAXX HD will be getting this update as soon as Verizon starts to roll it out OTA in the next week or two. Let us know in the comments if you get your hands on the update.
Huawei definitely looks to be making some noise in 2013 by blanketing the market with high-end and budget level phones. The latest leak today is of the Huawei Ascend G700, which has fairly similar specs and a model number to the Ascend G710, which was a leaked, 5-inch budget level device. The G700 will also reportedly sport a 5-inch, 720p display, as well as 2 GB of RAM and a MediaTek quad-core processor. Best of all, it’s slated to come in at just under $300. The big difference between the G700 and G710 appears to be the design, so Huawei may release the two to really try to grab up the entry level market. There’s also the possibility that only one device may see the light of day. It’s anybody’s guess at this point.
Unfortunately, the device is only coming to Chinese shores at first, but maybe if it sells well enough, we’ll see it come to other countries? It’d be great to see more quality, budget unlocked phones in the US.
If you’ve been itching for a new game to play and happen to have a Tegra device, we’ve got a new game that’s going to consume hours of your free time for the next week or two. Ravensword: Shadowlands is a deep, engrossing RPG with a ton of features and polish. From an open 3D world to weapon and armor crafting to a lockpicking system, it’s a meticulously crafted game that is almost as if an Elder Scrolls game hit the mobile platform. And, if your phone or tablet sports a Tegra processor, you’re going to get even more graphical enhancements to make the game that much better.
The price tag is a little steep at $7, but with as many features as this game has, I’m sure your wallet can forgive you, just this once. And after spending over 300 hours in Skyrim, I think I’m definitely going to have to give this one a try. Who’s with me? Hit the break below to get your hands on the download.
Play Store Download Link
Huawei and MetroPCS announced today the addition of the Huawei Premia 4G to MetroPCS’s portfolio of 4G LTE devices. The Premia 4G is a 4-inch device equipped with a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and a 5 MP camera. The device will run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. MetroPCS will include their joyn by MetroPCS app on the devices to give customers the ability to make video calls or take advantage of WiFi calling.
MetroPCS is making the Premia 4G available for $149 with no contract. Check out more images and the full press release after the break.
LG mentioned that the Optimus G Pro would be available in North America in the 2nd quarter of this year. It looks like we are one step closer to this promise being fulfilled as an LG phone with the model E980 stopped by the FCC for a little visit. Considering the Optimus G is the E970, I think it’s a lock that AT&T will be bringing this beast to it’s network soon. As a reminder, this phone sports a 5.5-inch 1080p display along with a quad-core 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 CPU. We will let you know more as soon as we hear it.
One of the more innovative features of Sense 5 is BlinkFeed, which aggregates all of your social media and general news content into one gorgeous tiled interface. In their latest promo video, HTC highlights BlinkFeed in a pretty unique way. The video begins showing a young woman on a train alone with her HTC One. Upon using BlinkFeed, the images on her BlinkFeed come to life, reading aloud her status updates from her social networks as well as various news stories she has added to it. Check out the video after the break.
People are taking more pictures than ever thanks to the growing popularity of smartphones, but it has also gotten quite popular to add effects to your shots. There are a number of apps that will give you this ability, but XnRetro is one that keeps things simple. All effects are based on making your images appear vintage-like. I don’t know about you, but vintage effects are my favorite. It has a certain class about it.
With XnRetro, you simply open the app and either take a new picture to work with or select a picture that’s stored on your phone or tablet. From there, you can either work with the entire picture or crop it. They give you predefined shapes such as a square and rectangle that you can resize. The next step will be to add the effect, and you will see various options at the bottom. I will start from the left. The first option allows you to fine tune the brightness, contrast, and saturation. The next option lets you select from up to 20 different Retro styles to apply to your picture. You can tap on each one to see how it will affect your picture. The third option lets you choose how much vignetting you want. As you increase it, the border of your picture will become more faded.The fourth option gives you another 15 effects to apply to your photo such as bokeh, glass, leak, and light. Last but not least, is the fifth option, which lets you add a frame. There are 26 frames to choose from including a couple that resemble older instant cameras.