Affordable Sony Xperia E2 (with LTE) to be released in 2014
Dec13

Affordable Sony Xperia E2 (with LTE) to be released in 2014

While Sony managed to introduce several interesting high-end smartphones this year, it also launched lower-end models, like the Xperia E (available to purchase since March). The Xperia E will seemingly have a successor. Unsurprisingly called Sony Xperia E2, this should be released in 2014. Unlike the firs Xperia E, the E2 will have LTE connectivity – at least that’s what EMSOne is claiming. We don’t know much else about the handset for now. However, since the original model is a low-end device with a 3.5 inch HVGA display, its successor will most probably also have low-end specs. Affordable LTE smartphones will become more and more popular next year, and the Xperia E2 will apparently be one of them. Since Android 4.4 KitKat doesn’t require powerful hardware, we can certainly hope that the Xperia E2 will have it on board at launch. The original Xperia E (pictured above) has a dual SIM version, so the new E2 may also come with support for two SIM cards. Via Blog of...

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Black HTC One Max unveiled in Hong Kong
Dec13

Black HTC One Max unveiled in Hong Kong

HTC announced the One Max back in October and started selling it the same month in some regions. Unlike the other One smartphones released this year, the Max comes only in silver. However, HTC Honk Kong’s official website has recently revealed a black version of the device, which appeared shortly after we saw a red One Max that’s bound to be introduced in Taiwan. While there hasn’t been any announcement regarding the global availability of the black HTC One Max, it’s probably safe to assume that it will reach at least some markets around the world in the near future. The original HTC One currently comes in no less than five color versions (silver, black, red, blue and gold), while the HTC One Mini is available in black, silver and blue. So it makes sense for the One Max to also get several color options. The One Max is HTC’s first device to enter the phablet territory, sporting a 5.9 inch Super LCD3 screen with 1920 x 1080 pixels. It is also the company’s first Android product that features a fingerprint sensor – located on the back case, just like the sensor on LG’s G2. Size and fingerprint sensor aside, the One Max isn’t too different from the original One, featuring Android Jelly Bean (upgradeable to 4.4 KitKat), BoomSound speakers, 4MP UltraPixel rear camera, quad-core 1.7GH Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB of RAM, and MicroSD card...

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Android 4.4 KitKat update for Sprint’s Moto X rolling out now
Dec12

Android 4.4 KitKat update for Sprint’s Moto X rolling out now

Sprint has become the last major US carrier to start rolling out an official Android 4.4 KitKat update for the Moto X (Verizon was the first, releasing the update in mid-November). It looks like the update has reached some handsets (over the air) today, and should be available to all Sprint Moto X owners in the next few weeks. A post on the Sprint Moto X forum informs users on what to expect from the KitKat update, including: Restyled status bar and navigation bar New full-screen mode Enhanced security Improved Phone Dialer app New version of Google Hangouts Camera focus and exposure enhancements New photo editing options in the Gallery app New “Find my phone” command added to Touchless Control Sprint is currently offering the Moto X for $99.99 on contract, or $0.00 (free) for those willing to switch from another carrier. The smartphone is available in either black, or white, and can be customized with MotoMaker. Via Android Guys, Android...

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Samsung Galaxy S4 with tri-band LTE announced by Sprint
Dec11

Samsung Galaxy S4 with tri-band LTE announced by Sprint

Sprint has just announced that it’s going to sell a version of Samsung’s Galaxy S4 which supports enhanced LTE, being compatible with the carrier’s Spark network. With Spark, the new Galaxy S4 will “support active hand-off mode” between all of Sprint’s LTE bands (800MHz, 1.9GHz and 2.5GHz), thus improving “the performance of video and other bandwidth-intensive applications while opening the way for futuristic applications.” The tri-band LTE Galaxy S4 (16GB) will be available at Sprint starting the next few weeks. The bad news is that it won’t cost $99.99 – like the regular S4 is costing right now – but $199.99 (on contract, of course). Sprint did not say if the tri-band LTE S4 will be released in the same colors as the current S4 model (black, white, purple). At the moment, Sprint Spark is available only in select markets across the US, but it will be deployed “in about 100 of America’s largest cities” by 2015. Sprint is already selling Spark-ready smartphones, all running Android: Samsung Galaxy Mega, Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, HTC One Max, and LG G2. Via Press...

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Asus Padfone Mini gets official, it’s affordable for a hybrid device
Dec11

Asus Padfone Mini gets official, it’s affordable for a hybrid device

As expected, today Asus has officially introduced the Padfone Mini, which is the smallest member of the Padfone family. The new device runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and combines a 4.3 inch smartphone (qHD display) with a 7 inch (1280 x 800) tablet dock. The smartphone features dual SIM capabilities, a quad-core 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory, MicroSD card support, 8MP rear camera with Hi-Light Mode (for shooting in dark environments), and a 1,500 mAh battery. The tablet dock comes with a 2,200 mAh battery, which can be used to charge the smartphone when needed. According to FocusTaiwan, Asus hopes to “sell 100,000 Padfone Minis in Taiwan during its nine-month life cycle.” The device will cost around $400 there. Focus Taiwan also mentions that the new Padfone will be released in the US, Europe and other Asian markets. It may be launched in China, too, as Asus is “evaluating the best timing to sell it” there. An official promo video of the Padfone Mini is embedded below: Engadget has talked to Asus CEO Jerry Shen, who said that they’re working with a “big operator” in the US to introduce a high-end Padfone there sometime in Q2 2014. That big carrier is probably Verizon or AT&T – although this hasn’t been confirmed...

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Sony Xperia Z Ultra and LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Editions officially revealed, KitKat on board
Dec11

Sony Xperia Z Ultra and LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Editions officially revealed, KitKat on board

LG and Sony have announced two new Google Play Edition Android devices: the LG G Pad 8.3 GPE and the Sony Xperia Z Ultra GPE. So, as it turned out, that LG V510 wasn’t a new Nexus, but a Google Edition G Pad. Well, now that we have the official confirmation on this, we can tell you more about it. The G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition is “the first device ever to be designated a Google Play Edition tablet.” It runs Android 4.4 KitKat and comes only in black (Indigo Black, to be precise). Its hardware characteristics haven’t been changed from the regular G Pad, so it’s got the same 8.3 inch Full HD (1920 x 1200) display, quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, and so on. The Sony Xperia Z Ultra Google Play Edition obviously also runs Android 4.4 KitKat. That aide, it’s the same waterproof Z Ultra that you may be familiar with, featuring a 6.4 inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) display and a 6.4mm thin body. The best part of all this? Both new devices are available to purchase as of now in the US – obviously only via Google Play. The G Pad 8.3 GPE costs $349 (see here), while the Xperia Z Ultra GPE can be yours for $649 (see here). For the moment, there’s no word on availability in other markets. Via LG,...

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Samsung Galaxy S4 Crystal Edition announced in Thailand. La Fleur Edition coming in 2014
Dec11

Samsung Galaxy S4 Crystal Edition announced in Thailand. La Fleur Edition coming in 2014

Samsung has officially revealed a Crystal Edition of its Galaxy S4 flagship smartphone. Currently seen only in Thailand, the S4 Crystal Edition is limited to 3500 units. It comes in white, and has a back cover that’s patterned with Swarovski crystals. The handset costs about $100 more than a regular S4, but it’s obviously the same device, specs-wise. You can check it out here at Samsung Thailand. It’s not the first time when Samsung intros Galaxy variants studded with Swarovski crystals: it did it with the S III Mini and the S II as well. Next year, Samsung will apparently also launch a Galaxy S4 La Fleur Edition. This should be joined by a Galaxy Core La Fleur, Galaxy Trend La Fleur, and Galaxy Fame Lite La Fleur (yes, we know how that sounds). All these will most probably see a limited release, likely only in Russia and other markets in the region. They might become official as soon as January or February. Via GSM Arena, Sam...

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Huawei Ascend P7 expected to be launched in April next year
Dec10

Huawei Ascend P7 expected to be launched in April next year

Huawei is apparently getting ready to introduce a high-end successor to its Ascend P6 Android smartphone. Called Huawei Ascend P7, the new handset should be manufactured with “exquisite materials”, and might be available starting April 2014. GSM Arena has received a document which sheds some light on the features of the Ascend P7 (codenamed Sophia). Reportedly, the smartphone will come with a 5 inch Full HD display, a quad-core 1.6GHz Balong 910 processor (made by HiSilicon, a company established by Huawei), 13MP rear camera, 8MP front-facing camera for the “best selfie videos”, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory, MicroSD card support, and a 2,460 mAh battery. The P7 will use Huawei’s own Emotion UI 2.0 on top of Android (unspecified version, but chances are that it’s going to be KitKat). Huawei estimates that it will sell 10 million Ascend P6 units before the end of the year, so the P7 will have big shoes to fill. Overall, the Chinese company might sell a total of 20 million smartphones this quarter. Other three new Huawei Android handsets that are going to be unveiled soon are the Ascend P6S (which looks like the P6, but comes with some upgraded features), the Mate 2 and the Honor 4. The Honor 4 might be announced next week, on December...

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LG G2 Mini with 4.7 inch display could be announced at CES 2014
Dec10

LG G2 Mini with 4.7 inch display could be announced at CES 2014

After Samsung, HTC, Sony, ZTE and others, it looks like LG is also readying a mini version of a high-end smartphone. Or, should we say, it’s LG’s turn to remake a mini? Because, you see, the South Korean company has first used this kind of name back in 2010, when it launched the GD880 Mini featurephone. This, however, wasn’t exactly a mini version of its predecessor – the LG KM900 Arena, which had a slightly tinier display (although with higher resolution). Anyway. The new mini seems to be the LG G2 Mini. According to Techblog.gr, the G2 Mini might be announced at CES 2014 (January 7 – 10). It will sport a 4.7 inch display (either HD, or Full HD), so it’s going to be significantly smaller than the original 5.2 inch G2. Other features should include 2GB of RAM and a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor. It’s not clear if the fingerprint sensor found on the back of the G2 will be also found on the G2 Mini. In any case, the new handset will hopefully run Android 4.4 KitKat at launch. There are no images to show the G2 Mini, so what you’re seeing above is just the original G2. Naturally, the G2 Mini should be cheaper than the larger G2. No other details are known at the moment, but we’ll keep you...

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New 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 mobile processor announced (for 2014’s affordable LTE smartphones)
Dec10

New 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 mobile processor announced (for 2014’s affordable LTE smartphones)

Qualcomm has officially introduced its first mobile chipset that supports 64-bit processing – which, surprisingly, isn’t from the Snapdragon 800 series. It’s the Snapdragon 410 and, of course, it comes as an upgraded Snapdragon 400 (currently used in devices like Motorola Moto G, Nokia Lumia 625, HTC One Mini or Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini). Developed using 28nm process technology, the new Snapdragon 410 comes with “4G LTE and 3G cellular connectivity for all major modes and frequency bands across the globe.” It further includes an Adreno 306 GPU, support for cameras up to 13MP, 1080p video playback, NFC, and even Dual and Triple SIM. According to Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 410 is expected to be included in commercial devices in the second half of next year. Like the 400, the new chipset is made for high-volume, affordable smartphones. “We are excited to bring 4G LTE to highly affordable smartphones at a sub $150 price point with the introduction of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor. The Snapdragon 410 chipset will also be the first of many 64-bit capable processors as Qualcomm Technologies helps lead the transition of the mobile ecosystem to 64-bit processing,” declared Jeff Lorbeck, senior vice president and chief operating officer, Qualcomm Technologies, China. Samsung is also working on a 64-bit version of its Exynos processor – this will likely be ready for commercial devices next year as well, when Nvidia and Broadcom should join the 64-bit party, too. Via Press...

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