Category Archives: Mobile News

All the latest Mobile News and updates. Mobile Buzz is the Mobile blog where we post news about the latest cellphone, firmware updates, mobile news, leaked mobile screenshots and more.

ASUS PadFone Infinity Packs A 5-inch 1080p Display And Snapdragon 600 SoC

Yesterday at MWC in Barcelona, ASUS announced the third generation of the Padfone, the PadFone Infinity. Like the previous Padfone(s), the PadFone Infinity is packed to the brim with features and power. Internally, the PadFone is powered by a 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 SoC, and 2GB of RAM with either 32 or 64GB of on-board storage.

ASUS has also bumped the display size on the Infinity to 5-inches and increased the resolution to 1080p (1920*1080) as well. On the connectivity and sensors side, the PadFone Infinity includes everything that is possible including GLONASS, DC-HSPA+, GPS and NFC. ASUS has used a 13MP sensor on the back of the PadFone that consists of a five-element plastic F/2.0 lens. There is also a 2MP snapper in the front for all your video calling needs. The 2400mAh battery inside the PadFone will be more than enough to get you through a day on 3G. Do keep in mind that the PadFone uses a nanoSIM instead of a microSIM. The handset will be running a near stock version of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean when it will be released.

Like always, ASUS has unveiled the PadFone with a dock – the FonePad – that complements the handset. Using the FonePad, PadFone owners can easily convert their handset into a full-blown tablet.

ASUS does not expect to release the PadFone in the United States, and will be selling the PadFone+FonePad bundle for £799 / €999, when it releases the device in Europe this April.

WSJ: Google Anxious Over Samsung’s Success With Android

The Wall Street Journal today reported that Samsung’s success with Android has created an anxiety over at Google. While Google is pleasantly happy with Samsung’s success, they are afraid that Samsung may use its position to demand ad-revenue from Google for all the money they are making for Internet giant. While Google does not directly sell Android, it makes revenue through all the ad impressions and Play services.

It might be even possible that if Samsung does not have its way, they will fork Android and ship it on their devices, something like what Amazon does.

To avoid this, Google is working closely with some of the top-level Motorola engineers to launch a true Galaxy competitor rumored the X Phone.

If Google/Motorola are able to release an Android device that has DROID RAZR MAXX class battery life with Nexus 4/HTC One like specs, and a decent camera quality, they may very well be able to put challenge Samsung’s Galaxy series. While the Nexus 4 is a huge upgrade compared to the Galaxy Nexus, it is still lacking in some departments, which the Motorola X Phone can definitely fill in.

Via – WSJ

Opera Ties Up with Airtel to Enable Instant Internet Activation in India Through Web Pass

Just a few days back, Opera had revealed that its Web Pass initiative had gotten off to an impressive start in Malaysia. Now, it is hoping to replicate the same success story in India. The Norwegian browser maker, which itself has its roots in a telecom company, has tied up with Airtel to introduce its innovative Web Pass feature to India. “Access to the web is a universal right. Partnering with market leaders such as Airtel has offered us the opportunity to help lower the barriers to access the mobile web and empower more Indian users to get online,” said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software.

Opera-Web-Pass-Airtel

Opera Web Pass offers mobile users pay-as-you-go connections that can be activated instantly from the browser itself. It offers a cheap, on-demand, and instant connection to the World Wide Web to a wide section of the populace. For many of Opera’s users, the only way to go online is through their mobile phones. You can read more about how Opera Web Pass helped increase data usage on DiGi Telecommunications networks in Malaysia in my previous article.

Some of the plans that Airtel will be offering are:
i) An hour of Facebook for Rs. 10
ii) An hour of Twitter for Rs. 10
iii) An hour of internet usage for Rs. 20
iv) 24 hour unlimited internet subscription for Rs. 60

Additionally, a weekend surfing plan will also be available for unknown amount. An Opera spokesperson was unable to confirm if the plans were for 2G or 3G or both. All of these plans are billed by the duration of validity, instead of metrics like bandwidth and speed, which will make it simpler for the novice user to understand. Topping up doesn’t require any online payment system, and all purchases made are added to the user’s mobile bill.

Latest Firefox Beta Brings Per-Tab Private Browsing And Adds Support For Older ARM v6 Devices

Mozilla today released an exciting update for Firebox Beta on the Play Store. The update brings a lot of under the hood improvements along with support for more lower-end devices.

One of the most useful features for all NSFW and porn addicts out there will be the per-tab private browsing mode. This feature will allow Firefox mobile users to open a new private tab, along with other normal tabs, instead of switching completely to private mode.

With the new beta, Firefox will also be available to some of the older ARM v6 devices with QVGA resolution and 384MB of RAM. Other important changes include H.264/AAC/MP3 hardware decoding for pre-Android 4.0 devices.

The official change-log is as follows -:

– Per-tab private browsing
– Gingerbread and Honeycomb support for H.264/AAC/MP3 hardware decoders
– Top Sites in about:home are now customizable
– System requirements have been lowered to 384MB of RAM and QVGA displays
– <canvas> now supports blend modes
– Various <audio> and <video> improvements
– getUserMedia implemented for web access to the user’s camera and microphone (with user permission)
Learn more: http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/mobile/20.0beta/releasenotes/

The beta is already live on the Play Store, and can be downloaded from here.

Samsung Galaxy Victory 4G LTE Goes On Sale At Virgin Mobile For $299.99

Samsung Galaxy Victory 4G LTE is not a new smartphone for the folks living in the US. This handset was launched last year for the Sprint subscribers. Now, Virgin Mobile has introduced this Android powered smartphone for its no-contract customers. Samsung Galaxy Victory 4G LTE is Virgin Mobile’s first LTE device. This handset is shipped with the Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) Operating System.

Mark Lederman, Director, Virgin Mobile USA, said,
“With the phones customers want, unlimited data and messaging included on all plans, and now 4G LTE capable devices, we continue to provoke customers to ask themselves why they haven’t switched from postpaid to a better deal with Virgin Mobile.”

Samsung Galaxy Victory 4G LTE features a 4 inch touchscreen display, sporting a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) OS, TouchWiz UI, 5 megapixel rear camera with auto-focus and LED flash, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video chat, 1 GB RAM, 4 GB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory and so on.

It also comes with a 3.5 mm headset jack, FM Radio with RDS, DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance), Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, 4G LTE Connectivity, GPS with A-GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, Samsung Hub, Google Play Store, NFC (Near Field Communication), Samsung Media Hub, Android Beam, 3G/4G LTE mobile hotspot capability, up to 9 hours of talk-time and a 2100 mAh battery. This handset measures 121.9 mm x 63.5 mm x 12.7 mm and weighs 138.9 grams.

Virgin Mobile subscribers can get the Samsung Galaxy Victory 4G LTE for $299.99 without any service agreement. However, you will need to subscribe to the Virgin Mobile’s No-Contract Beyond Talk unlimited data and messaging plans which start at $35 per month. This handset is currently available at Virgin Mobile’s official site and it will be available in retail outlets from next month.

ZTE Unveils The Grand Memo; Powered By Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 SoC (Update: NOT)

ZTE has surprised everyone at the Mobile World Congress by announcing the ZTE Grand Memo, a 5.7-inch competitor to Samsung’s Galaxy Note. The surprising part about the Grand Memo is that it is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 SoC running at 1.5GHz. The Snapdragon 800 SoC was initially expected to show up in devices in the second half of this year, but ZTE states that it will be launching the Grand Memo in March in China, and a month after that in Europe.

The 5.7-inch display on the Grand Memo is a disappointment though, as it has 720p resolution compared to 1080p, which is quickly becoming the norm nowadays. The 8.9mm thin phablet sports a 13MP shooter at its back, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot, LTE connectivity and a beefy 3200 mAh battery. The Grand Memo runs on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box with ZTE’s own MyFavorite UX on top of it.

ZTE plans to aggressively promote the Grand Memo and have its presence feel outside of China. However, the Chinese OEM does not intend on bringing the Grand Memo to the United States anytime soon.

UPDATE: Either ZTE lied or there was a huge confusion that led to this huge blunder. The ZTE Grand Memo does not sport Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC, and is instead powered by the S4 Pro (APQ8064) — the same SoC that powers the Nexus 4, DROID DNA and Butterfly.

Samsung To Unveil The Galaxy S IV On March 14th; Sends Out Press Invites

Samsung has confirmed that it will be unveiling the next Galaxy S handset at an event to be held in New York on March 14th. The company just sent out media invites for the event in New York. This is perhaps the first time that Samsung will be holding a Galaxy S launch event exclusively in New York. Samsung even handed out paper invites to its March 14th event at its booth in Mobile World Congress.

Rumors have suggested that Samsung will be using a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 SoC inside the Galaxy S IV, instead of its own Exynos SoC. Rumors also suggest that the Korean giant may even ditch its Super-AMOLED screen in favor of a 4.99-inch full HD So-Lux LCD. Other specs of the Galaxy S IV are rumored to include a 13MP camera, a new and hopefully less cartoonish version of TouchWIZ, microSD card slot, and a removable battery.

 

Samsung HomeSync is an Android Jelly Bean Powered Set Top Box with 1 TB Storage

Samsung is expected to launch its flagship Android smartphone in an exclusive event on March 14. However, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have anything to show off at this year’s Mobile World Congress.

Besides unveiling the Galaxy Note 8.0, the Korean giant also quietly announced something called the HomeSync. HomeSync is a media streamer, which is in many ways identical to the Apple TV. It’s essentially an Android powered set top box that hooks up to your television.

Samsung-HomeSync

The HomeSync is powered by a 1.7 GHz dual-core processor of unknown make, 1 gigs of ram, and runs Android Jelly Bean (probably Android 4.1). It provides full access to the Play store, unlike many other similar products which only support apps that are optimized for the idiot box. HomeSync supports streaming of games, audio, and video from your Galaxy device to the TV wirelessly at full HD (1080p). The biggest draw of the Samsung HomeSync is its 1 TB storage that supports up to 8 different profiles, with password protection of content, and easy sharing.

The HomeSync is slated to go on sale in April 2013; however, Samsung provided no inputs on the expected market price.

Nokia Lumia 720 And Lumia 520 Press Shots Leaked

Last year, Nokia launched three Windows Phone 8 powered smartphones — the entry-level Lumia 620, the mid-range Lumia 820 and the high-end Lumia 920. This week, the Finnish mobile phone manufacturer is expected to launch two new devices — the Lumia 520 and Lumia 720 at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2013 in Barcelona.

As the name suggest, the Lumia 520 and Lumia 720 are the successor of the last generation Lumia 510 and Lumia 710 smartphones. @evleaks, which is popularly known for tweeting the leaked press shots and specs of the upcoming smartphones is back with the leaked images of the Nokia Lumia 720 and Lumia 520. The image shown below is the press shot of Lumia 720, while the image posted below is the Lumia 520.

Nokia has codenamed the Lumia 520 and Lumia 720 as Flame and Zeal respectively. The specs of these devices are currently unknown. However, the Lumia 720 is expected to come with a 4.3 inch display, 1 GHz dual-core processor, 512 MB RAM, and 8 GB internal storage, while the Lumia 520 is expected to pack a 4 inch display, 1 GHz dual-core processor, 512 MB RAM, 5-megapixel camera, 4 GB internal storage and much more.

Both of these devices will run on the newer Windows Phone 8 Operating System. The designs of Lumia 520 and Lumia 720 are strikingly similar to what we have previously seen with the Lumia 820 and Lumia 920. We also know that these devices will be launched with a number of vibrant colors. If these rumors are true, there won’t be much surprise for Nokia fans at the Mobile World Congress 2013.

LG Optimus G Goes On Sale In Europe; Coming To India This Week

Last year, LG unveiled the powerful Optimus G smartphone. This handset was expected to launch in Europe during the Q1 of 2013. Now, the much-awaited Optimus G is finally available for purchase in most of the countries across Europe. This handset was launched with the old Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS, however, the manufacturer is shipping the device in Europe with the newer Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean) Operating System.

Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company, said,
“Since the successful initial launch of Optimus G, LG has continued to improve the smartphone to offer better usability and value for our customers. We’re excited to be bringing to Europe the improved Optimus G, our most powerful Quad-Core device optimized for 4G LTE networks.”

lg optimus g

LG Optimus G features a 4.7 inch WXGA True HD IPS PLUS display, sporting a resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels, Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean) OS, Optimus UI 3.0, 1.5 GHz quad-core processor, 13 megapixel rear-facing camera with auto-focus and LED flash, full HD (1080p) video recording and playback, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video calls, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP and much more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, Stereo FM Radio with RDS, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, 4G LTE Connectivity, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot, microUSB 2.0, MHL, GPS with A-GPS, 2 GB DDR RAM, 32 GB internal memory, NFC (Near Field Communication), Google Play Store, up to 335 hrs of stand-by time, up to 15 hrs of talk-time and a 2100 mAh battery.

Saholic, a popular online retailer has already started selling this handset in India for Rs.30,990 (approx. $570). LG has also send us an invite for an event on January 27, 2013. It seems that LG will finally launch this powerful handset in India on the same event. Stay tuned for complete updates!

Three UK Opens HTC One Preorders

Three UK

Three UK, a mobile carrier in the United Kingdom, has opened preorders for the recently announced HTC One. The device is available for £34 per month on the company’s Unlimited Internet 500 plan or for £36 per month on the company’s The One Plan. Both of these plans come with 24-month contracts. If you’d like, you can pay £479.99 for the device on a pay-as-you-go plan without a contract. As of now,  the carrier is offering both the silver and black iterations of the device for preorder and expects the phones to be delivered on the 15th of March. 

The HTC One was announced on the 19th of this month and is HTC’s new flagship smartphone. The device is powered by Android 4.1.2 and runs on a 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm CPU with 2GB of RAM. In terms of storage, you’ll have 32GB of storage to fill with apps, music and other content from the Google Play Store. The device is NFC-ready and features a giant 4.7″ 1080p display with a pixel density of 468 pixels-per-inch.

Source: Three UK via TalkAndroid

Google To Open I/O Registration On March 15th At 10AM EST

Google has announced that it will be opening registration for Google I/O 2013 on March 15th, 2013 at 10AM EST. The event was announced back in December of 2012 and will take place in San Francisco. The event will be taking place from May 15th to May 17th and will cost $900 for general admission or $300 for academic admission. Attendees will be able to purchase tickets via Google using their Google Wallet accounts. The tickets will go fast, so make sure your Wallet account is up-and-running before the 15th of next month. Google has stated that they will be posting more details about the event via its Google+ page up until the event starts.

Last year, the event took place in June at Moscone West in San Francisco. We should see Google give us more details about Google Glass as well as the Chromebook Pixel at the event. Google is also known to give out free Google gear at the event, so we wouldn’t be surprised if developers and media attending the event walk home with one or both of the devices.

Image Source: TalkAndroid
Source: 9to5Google via TalkAndroid

Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean Firmware Leaks

The folks over at SamMobile have managed to get their hands on an Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean based firmware for the Galaxy S3. Samsung is still testing Android 4.2.1 on the Galaxy S3, and the leaked firmware is nowhere near final even though it is relatively bug-free.

The Android 4.1.2 update brought with it a lot of new features to the Galaxy S3. However, it looks like the Android 4.2.1 update will only bring minor new features including voice actions for controlling the Camera, Radio, Music playback and call.

While Samsung has included all the features that Google introduced in Android 4.2.1 including Quick Settings, Lock screen widgets and Daydreams. Notably absent is the Photosphere feature from the Camera app. However, it may be possible that Samsung will add this feature in the final version of the firmware. Samsung has slightly changed the lock screen ripple effect, along with slightly tweaking the toggles in the notification bar to accommodate Quick Settings. How useful the voice commands feature that Samsung will introduce in the final build of the firmware only remains to be seen.

SamMobile states that Samsung will be releasing the Android 4.2 update for the Galaxy S3 only after it unveils the Galaxy S4. Samsung is expected to unveil the Galaxy S4 at an event to be held on March 15th.

Opera Mini and Mobile Continue Growing, Web Pass Gets off to a Good Start

OperaOpera Software has often highlighted Opera Mini as a browser that ‘connects the unconnected’. What they mean is that Opera Mini on mobile phones is often the only way a significant chunk of its users access the World Wide Web. Opera Mini is extremely popular in nations like India, Bangladesh, Brazil, Egypt, Malaysia, and Kenya, where PC penetration is low, but mobile phone penetration is extremely high. The reasons for this are obvious. Opera Mini works even on low-end phones, and is capable of rendering web pages that these phones would otherwise be unable to render. It also compresses web pages during the data transfer, thus increasing speed and reducing bandwidth consumption.

Putting two and two together, towards the end of 2012, Opera Software introduced a service called Web Pass. Web Pass offered mobile web surfers pay-as-you-go internet connections. Realizing that most people in developing nations don’t have means of online payment like Credit Cards, Opera tied up with mobile service providers to enable instant purchase that would be billed to the user’s mobile connection. Malaysia’s DiGi Telecommunications became Opera’s first partner, which allowed users to instantly purchase data packages. Pay as you go plans included cheap options like Facebook hourly pass (0.15 USD), as well as more full fledged data options like 24 hour internet packs (0.65 USD).

In this month’s State of the Mobile Web report, Opera Software zeroed in on its new Web Pass, and apprently it’s doing quite well. Some of the stats that Opera shared are:

  • Up to 52% of all Opera Web Passes in any given month were bought by returning customers.
  • By incentivizing use through a free Facebook hourly web pass for the entire month of January DiGi managed to increase the uptake of paid web passes significantly. This resulted in an average revenue increase of 56%, and a 65% increase of the average number of transactions per day, compared to the revenues before the promotion drive.
  • There has been a very low checkout-abandonment rate and an overall checkout success of more than 77% among users with sufficient funds.
    The most popular web pass is one that provides customers with time-based, unlimited access to Facebook.

Opera Software also revealed that it gained 8 million active mobile users in the month of January. The total user count of Opera’s various mobile offerings currently stands at 237 million. Opera is also doing fairly well in the smartphone segment, with a 32% of the total users of Opera Mini and Opera Mobile using smartphones to browse the web. These users constituted 32% of the new installs witnessed last month.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Cases Leaked, Suggests SII Like Design

Samsung is the undisputed champion of the Android world, and the only manufacturer that can even come close to the hype and marketing blitzkrieg of Apple. The Korean giant squashed its Android competition with the Galaxy SIII, which helped it solidify its spot as the world’s biggest smartphone manufacturer. However, it will be facing stiffer competition this year from the likes of HTC and Sony, which seem to have finally got their acts together.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is set to be unveiled in an exclusive event in New York on March 14. So far, the Korean giant has done well to keep its next flagship under the wraps. It is rumored to have a 5” full-HD (1080p) AMOLED display, with an Exynos Octa 5 (8-cores) processor powering the latest version of Android (Android 4.2 – Jelly Bean). Rumors also suggest that the US kit might ship with Samsung Exynos 5440 (quad core). However, what we don’t know is exactly how the phone looks.

Now, thanks to Mobilefun, we can get some idea about the design and size of the new Galaxy S4. Mobilefun has published snaps of a bunch of Galaxy S4 cases, which we have faithfully reproduced below for your viewing pleasure. The cases suggest a design that is more in line with the Galaxy SII than the Galaxy SIII, which was famously dubbed as ‘the phone designed by lawyers’ by AndroidPolice. The button and port placements are quite similar to its predecessor. The Galaxy S4 will feature the volume control buttons on the left, the power button on the right, the micro-USB port at the bottom, and the headphone jack at the top. The back case suggests the presence of a big camera (reportedly 13 megapixel), LED flash, and a rear speaker.

Samsung-Galaxy-S4-Case-Pictures
Pictures of Samsung Galaxy S4 Cases