Chinese multinational telecommunications equipment and systems company, ZTE, has been making a bit of noise in the Android scene as of late. Currently aimed at the low-budget crowd, ZTE has already provided Sprint a decently spec’d ZTE Fury smartphone and the ZTE Optik dual-core tablet. AT&T has also adopted the ZTE Avail for their GoPhone prepaid cellphone program and Metro PCS, Boost Mobile and Cricket have taken a liking to ZTE Android offerings as well.
Now, among plans for a mass produced Android global domination, ZTE has its sights set on the phablet market. Expected to launch by the end of 2012, we will see two stylus toting Android 5 inch-ers similar to the recently controversial Samsung Galaxy Note. Though we have seen some success with the G-Note, many users out there still debate whether the phone is just too small to be used as a true tablet or too large to function as a proper phone.
ZTE will accept the challenge to bring more Note-like devices into the Android arena in hopes that this Note-worthy market of users will have blossomed by the end of this year. So is anyone excited to hear about more of these devices hitting shelves in the future? Hit the source link below for details on the future plans of ZTE.
Samsung is quite busy with its upcoming plans next week, but that doesn’t mean it’s not quietly working behind the scenes on other devices set to be released in the near-future as well. The fine team at pocketnow reports the infamous Bluetooth SIG has recently published listing details for a Samsung SCH-I200. Of course the Bluetooth SIG doesn’t give much details for upcoming devices, however pocketnow cleverly used the model number to track down a GLBenchmark to find some interesting details for the smartphone. For starters, the SCH-I200 is currently going through testing with Verizon under the codename of “Jasper”. It will also be powered by a Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 processor clocked at 1.5GHz with a heavy heaping of Android 4.0.3 and feature a WVGA screen (as opposed to a 720P screen).
To sum everything up: this device looks like it’s one with a combination of high-end and low-end specs, similar to how it’s done with devices like the Galaxy S Blaze 4G. Perhaps Verizon wants to change the perception of what a budget phone is and introduce some quality features in devices that won’t break consumers’ wallet too much. Now that we are aware of the existence of “Jasper”, it probably won’t be too long before we see Verizon and/or Sammy come clean and reveal the device to the public.
Ah yes, the newest iteration of Samsung’s Unpacked App. Generally speaking, when Sammy unveils a new edition of Unpacked, it’s usually a big indicator for something big on the way. The new editions of the apps coincidentally seem to come before a major event too such as CES. To those of you who’ve been paying attention and haven’t been living under a rock for the past month, you’ll remember Sammy has a big London event next week, which is expected to introduced the most anticipated Android device for 2012. So right on cue, Samsung has released the newest app for all interested parties to see. However, you’ll note something significant in the app description: the appearance of the “S3″ and “galaxyS3″ monikers. The only sort of direct indication we’ve gotten previously from Sammy is the upcoming Galaxy S III known as “the Next Galaxy”. This might be the first indirect confirmation of the Galaxy S III set to be revealed next week.
Of course this “S3″ appearance could be meaningless. As you might imagine, the S3 references are for keyword searches, so it really doesn’t mean anything since Sammy knows many of you are searching for S3. Despite all that, Samsung continues to just tease the masses, doesn’t it?
If you’re interested, you can find the app available now in the Play Store for all Android 2.2+ devices. You can find the Play Store link and QR code once you hit the break.
If you have been wanting to pick up an Android 4.0 tablet at a relatively affordable price, then do I have some good news for you. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is now available at Best Buy for $249.99, which brings Ice Cream Sandwich in an easy-to-use 7″ design. The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 has a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, a microSD slot with support up to 32GB for expandable storage, and a 1024×600 resolution touchscreen. Best Buy is offering the titanium silver model that gives you a snazzy-looking device to browse the Web, play games, catch up on some reading, or video chat with friends and family. A VGA camera is included on the front for video chat duty, while a three megapixel camera is on the rear. Not exactly high specs, but then again this tablet should compete nicely with the Amazon Kindle Fire. If you are interested in picking up the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, then head over to the Best Buy website to order one with free shipping or stop by your local store.
Source: Best Buy
NFC is on of the more exciting technologies developed in recent years. We can do everything from making payments to sharing music, but now there’s yet another use for the technology: identification. Let me explain— Samsung is one of the world’s leading manufacturers that’s constantly looking for break the norm and try something new. Instead of using plastic ID keycards at its headquarters in Suwon, Sammy wants to have 40% of its employees get access to the facility by using NFC-equipped smartphones. That means to enter, employees would point their NFC-equipped device to the sensor instead of the plastic ID keycards. Very unusual, yet exciting indeed.
There are a few factors for why Sammy is trying this application of NFC out too. For starters, the development of Plastic ID cards are relatively cheap, however they are susceptible to being lost and stolen– so they’d have to be replaced immediately. While it’s ok once or twice, if the keycards are lost more frequently, the costs do add up in the end. It doesn’t help that companies such as Sammy have thousands of employees, so the costs of replacing cards grows even higher on a regular basis. However, employees are much less likely to forget, lose or drop their smartphones— meaning they’re less likely to lose their form of access to Sammy’s facility. So basically, Sammy saves a ton of money by using NFC instead of using plastic ID keycards
Sammy not only plans on using this system at its headquarters, but it also plans on implementing this at other locations later this year. With this, other companies should take notice and at the very least consider this very clever and innovative way of using NFC.
source: Unwired View
Are you a fan of the larger handsets such as the Galaxy Note? Were you hoping for a possible alternative? Call it a phablet if you like, LG is now poised to release their 5-inch, 4:3 aspect ratio Android phone next week, and this one’s going to be white in color. This GSM phone/tablet combo sports a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 8MP camera, LTE, 1024 x 768 display, and stylus. The device is currently running on Gingerbread, but an update soon after launch to 4.0 (ICS) should be available. Initially we brought our readers a hand-on of the LG Optimus Vu from the floor or this years Mobile World Congress. This video gave a better look as to what this new LG device is all about.
We couldn’t tell you if this device will even show up in the US. Although if it does, it could give the Galaxy Note a bit of competition. What are your thoughts on this new trend with the over-sized handsets? Do they appeal to you? Let us know in the comments if you could see yourself using this Optimus Vu, or the Galaxy Note. Or would it just be awkward?
We’ve been hearing about Google Drive for a long time now. For a while it seemed like an urban legend, but we have proof of its existence from a leaked screenshot and a developers video. The only question is when will it drop? The latest rumor has it for today, but we are hoping it will at least be this week. Reuters is reporting that it could drop today as well. They confirmed what we broke, and that is that it will come with 5GB. As expected, you will have an option to purchase more for a fees. What those fees are, we don’t know yet, but Reuters is hearing that they will offer up to 100GB of storage.
It’s also unclear how Google will differentiate their service from competitors like Dropbox and Box. Will they be gambling on their name or some sort of improved integration with Android? I’m hoping they will announce some sort of app data backup service so people can easily save their game progress and play where they left off on other devices. Whenever Google Drive drops, we will be sure to let you know all the details. Stay tuned.
The Samsung Galaxy S III… or should we say the “Next Galaxy”, has not even been officially announced yet (that will happen May 3rd), and Vodafone UK is already confirming it will be getting the device. It’s certainly unusual for any carrier to announce it will be carrying a handset before it even has an official name, but it’s most likely going to most carriers in the UK anyway, so why not start hyping it up?
source: vodafone uk
Earlier we reported on the Samsung GT-I9300 benchmarks that were found on GLBenchmark.com and the prevailing opinion is that this is the Samsung Galaxy S III running a quad-core Exynos 4412. Clocked at 1.4GHz, this processor comes paired with an ARM Mali-400 GPU clocked at 400MHz, which is 50% faster than the current Galaxy S II.
The Exynos 5 series chipset, which is the tablet version, comes with a Mali T-604 GPU, which supposedly has 5 times the performance of the S II. So should we be worried that the Galaxy S III will be underpowered graphically? The folks at PhoneArena decided to do a little comparison to find out for sure.
The benchmarks of the GT-I9300, which is most likely still a prototype Galaxy S III unit, were compared to those of the Snapdragon S4, Tegra 3, iPhone 4S, and the new iPad. The S III easily beat the S4, trounced the Tegra 3, just edged out the iPhone 4S, and held its own against the new iPad’s PowerVR quad-core chip. This tells us that when the final version of the Galaxy S III is released, it will most likely be top dog performance-wise… at least for a little while.
I’m a huge fan of cool Live Wallpapers as you may already know from some of my previous posts. And I’m not just saying I’m a huge fan because it’s something the iPhone can’t do, ok, well maybe :). In Android’s infancy it was difficult to run a complex or complicated Live Wallpaper on your device simply because of the hardware and software limitations. Those days have long been gone and with today’s new innovative hardware and all of our dual-core and quad-core beasts with crazy GPU’s hitting the industry, we’re in for a treat when it comes to cool complex Live Wallpapers. Speaking of “complex”, I’ll take this opportunity for a segway and introduce one of the coolest Live Wallpapers I’ve seen in the Play Store in quite some time. Developer Toxic Bakery has brought to Android Cube Complex LWP, a pretty cool live wallpaper that really isn’t all that complex at all when you think about it. And while I wouldn’t want the dev baking my wedding cake, they make one heck of a cool live wallpaper. I’ve had the pleasure of running this on my T-Mobile Galaxy S II which has a dual-core 1.5 GHz CPU by Qualcomm. Not to mention the application is well optimized for most devices so it ran pretty smooth on mine.