While the Galaxy S 5 was the procedural next step in the S line, many folk thought that the phone was somewhat lackluster in terms of being an upgrade over last year’s model. Rumors had the device running at least a 2k display and a metal body. As rumors continued to surface, it was suggested that Samsung would be readying a new line of premium phones that would later be named the Galaxy F line. However, the announcement for the Galaxy S 5 came and went without mention of the Galaxy F series. However new rumors continued to arise that Samsung was readying a Galaxy S 5 Prime and as we continue along, we’re seeing more and more rumors pop up.
Xiaomi has officially announced a new television, the MI TV 2, after releasing its first smart TV last fall. This one proves to be a bit bigger (49 inches), and a really nice new feature — a 4K display — for only CN¥3,999 (equivalent to $640).
Android is built into the TV (MIUI TV skin) and side loading for other TV apps is simple. The 4K panel has 3D capabilities with a 6.2mm aluminum bezel. The processor is a quad-core MediaTek MStar 6A918 chip (clocked at 1.45 GHz), 2GB RAM, 8GB internal storage and a microSD slot that can support up to 64GB.
There was some word that Asus was working on a gaming device, and now it looks like it’s a definite thing. The image above appeared on Bluetooth SIG’s website, with a description for the “Asus Game Box.” The description says that the above wireless controller is for an “Android system for gaming markets.” It runs on USB 3.0 and will pack a 430mAh rechargeable battery for 12 hours of gameplay.
Previously leaked benchmarks described a Tegra 4 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage running Android 4.3. There’s still a lot more information to uncover, but this is a start.
If you were a bit uneasy regarding the HTC M8 being available on your carrier, this may allow you to take a breath. The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) certified an HTC device with the design model number “0P6BXXX, HTC6525LVW.” It is not confirmed that this is the HTC M8; however, it is very likely so. Under the software version number, Verizon is joined by AT&T and T-Mobile as the carriers. Unfortunately, Sprint is nowhere to be found. But, you may recall that @evleaks was tipped that all four of the United States’ big carriers would be getting the HTC M8 by the end of Q1 2014. So if this is indeed the real deal, it looks like everyone will be getting HTC’s upcoming flagship device.
Sony’s new Smartwear products include a bunch of really neat devices— included are the SmartBand and the wireless SBH80 Bluetooth headset. They even released some information regarding the SmartWatch 2.
The all-new SmartBand is a bracelet (seen above) that keeps track of the user’s activities throughout the day. Not only is it comfortable, but you can also wear it in the water, and the battery lasts up to five days. You can toggle music using the button on the bracelet, and a companion application called LifeLog lets you look at all of the data being collected by the SmartBand.
The SBH80 Bluetooth headset features NFC, HD voice, and aptX. It surely makes a great companion for exercising or multitasking throughout your day.
As for the SmartWatch 2, there were some minor updates to the device, and more apps are now available, bringing the total to around 300 globally and 250 in the U.S.
Be sure to check out our complete CES coverage.
We’re seeing tons of new products at CES today, and that will continue throughout the next few days— LG isn’t coming short, either.
The company is launching its Lifeband Touch fitness tracker (seen above) which tracks calorie output, steps walked, as well as many other fitness statistics. The device is water-resistant as well. It connects via Bluetooth 4.0 and an LG application to both Android and iOS phones, letting users see phone notifications, check exercise goals, and play music from a smartwatch.
A release date is still unknown, but expect a formal announcement relatively soon.
Be sure to check out our complete CES coverage.
Vizio has announced two new devices that put an interesting spin on Bluetooth speakers. The Portable Smart Audio devices have Android-powered displays built in. There are 4.7-inch and 7-inch models. The whole purpose is to get rid of the interruptions from a smartphone to control speakers. You can control the Smart Audio speakers from a screen that is already there. In case you were wondering, Android 4.4 KitKat is powering these 1200×800 displays and it is stock Android. Support for 802.11n WiFi is inside. Both models are scheduled to arrive in the second half of 2014.
Nexus devices are great. They get software updates directly from Google very soon after the new versions of Android are made available. The downside of that is that newer versions of Android aren’t always bug-free. We’ve seen Google push out minor updates to Android 4.4 right after release to fix a small number of bugs, but it looks like there are still a handful of issues surrounding Android’s Bluetooth stack that was introduced in 4.2 to replace the older, less-functional stack in prior versions of Android.
Sony’s SmartWatch wasn’t all that revolutionary, but it certainly was a huge step in the right direction. We’re a while away from getting the perfect smartwatch, but it looks like we won’t have to wait all that long before taking another step forward.
FCC documents show that Sony is currently testing a “BT Wrist Notifier,” known as SWR10. There aren’t any details besides the fact that the device will use both NFC and Bluetooth.
It won’t be long before an announcement— CES, anyone?
ASUS makes some of the best keyboard docking stations around, which is pretty clear looking at the success of their Transformer tablets. Their next move is to introduce a Bluetooth keyboard that’s mostly universal for all Android tablets, and they’re calling it the TransKeyboard.
Not only does this keyboard have a fancy name, but it comes with an incredibly unique folding cover. The cover bends and contorts to create a stand for any device, and it’s pretty firmly held in place thanks to some magnets in the folds. It supposedly fits any device up to 10 inches, which should include just about every Android phone and tablet on the market right now. It’s tough to explain, but the video ASUS uploaded to their YouTube channel late last night gives a great demonstration of the device. It’s also completely wireless and comes with a rechargeable battery that fortunately uses a standard MicroUSB plug.
Aside from the minute-long promo video, there’s no word on a release date or pricing. Hopefully ASUS will fill us in soon. In the meantime, check out the video below to see it in action.