A new report suggests Samsung may be prepping a follow-up to last year’s Galaxy Tab 2 models to launch later this year. While we’ve already heard (and seen) a hefty amount of the upcoming Galaxy Note 8.0, rumors of successors to the company’s cheaper Tab line have been few and far between.
The Korean company is reportedly gearing up to release several tablet models, including the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 and the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0. The more robust 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab 3 is also slated to arrive later this year with LTE. There’s no word on a release date, though we’re bound to hear some news at MWC next month.
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.
source: Droid Life
Still waiting on that Jelly Bean update for your Xperia T? If you’re the adventurous type, Sony has released an alpha build of Jelly Bean for the T for you to play with, flashable via Sony’s own flashing tool for unlocked Xperias. There’s a few issues with this build, though; no WiFi, no Bluetooth, no mobile data, and no Google apps, and you won’t be able to update to the official firmware once it’s released. It’s basically the build for a fancy MP3 player at this point. The UI also hasn’t been updated to reflect the newer versions that will likely be the same as on the Xperia Z. So unless you’re an adventurous developer, you may want to wait for this build to get touched up a bit on XDA before flashing. But if you just can’t wait, hit the source below to get the download link.
source: Sony Mobile
Blitz Brigade is going to be Gameloft’s newest addition to its already massive library of games. Blitz Brigade features team based gameplay, big guns, explosions, and blood. The teaser trailer Gameloft released doesn’t have any actual gameplay footage, but there’s obviously quite a bit of Team Fortress 2 inspiration in this title. Unfortunately, no release date yet, but this is probably that other FPS we saw listed on Gameloft’s 2013 roadmap. Fingers crossed it doesn’t take too much longer to hit the Play Store. Hit the break to watch the trailer.
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.
A couple days ago we reported on some pictures of the forthcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 in use. More pictures of the new device, slated to be officially announced at Mobile World Congress next month, surfaced yesterday. One of the pics shows the device next to the Samsung Galaxy Note II which helps gauge the difference in size. The Galaxy Note 8.0 will give Samsung an S Pen capable device in each of the major size groups – smartphone, 8-inch tablet, and 10-inch tablet. Hit the break for another shot of the Galaxy Note 8.0.
Hyundai will be releasing a pretty cheap Android tablet that shows more than a little inspiration from Samsung. It’s got the same Exynos 4412 quad-core chip as the Galaxy S III, as well as a design that would easily be mistaken for the upcoming Galaxy Note 8.0. It also packs 1 GB of RAM, a Mali-400 GPU, and a 1280 x 800 resolution 7-inch screen, all while running on Android 4.0.4. Best of all, it will supposedly be priced under $200. Not bad at all. If Samsung really wants to undercut Google’s Nexus 7, looks like they’re going to have a bit of competition.
source: Pocket Now
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.
source: Juniper Research
Last year when I reviewed the HTC One X, I said it was the best Android phone hands down. Of course that was a day before the unveiling of the Galaxy S III. Still by the time the year came to a close, I still picked it as the phone of the year, and it was the build quality that put it over the top for me. Late last year HTC released the One X+, which is essentially the same phone with a spec bump. It wasn’t meant for current One X owners to run out and buy one, but it was a needed release since Samsung and LG were releasing quad-core devices with LTE in the U.S. The world of smartphones is moving ever so rapidly, which means that flagship phones can’t last one year without some kind of mid-year spec bump. That’s exactly what the One X+ is, so hit the break to find out if HTC did enough to keep the momentum going.
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.
In a world where games are so complex, sometimes it’s nice to go a little old school when things were very simple. Tunneler is the perfect example. This remake was created by ilikedroid and is a rendition of the popular DOS game from the 90’s. I have to be honest, I never played Tunneler back in the 90’s, and it’s not because I am too young, that’s for sure. With that said, I think it’s a lot of fun to play so don’t feel like you have to be familiar with it. It’s not going to blow you away with spectacular graphics or gameplay, but in an strange way, that’s what makes the game appealing. It’s old school baby!!
If you’re an aspiring Android developer you will want to check out Droid World. The free-to-attend Android developer event at Apps World North America on February 7-8 in San Francisco is all set to feature various leading Android developers, authors, evangelists and operators divulging their expertise on all things Android.
Sponsored by Barnes & Noble, the Android developer conference runs on both days of Apps World and will be of interest to anyone building apps on the Android OS.
Highlights of the day one track will include expert opinion from James Steele, author of The Android Developer’s Cookbook on how to create the optimal Android experience, and Tom Chavez, NOOK Developer Evangelist for track sponsors Barnes & Noble on how to quickly monetise on the NOOK bookstore.