Sony Xperia Z Announced; Comes With 5 Inch 1080p Display, 13 MP Camera

As expected, Sony finally released the much-awaited Xperia Z smartphone at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2013 in Las Vegas. This handset comes with some powerful specs including a 5 inch Full HD 1080p display, 1.5 GHz quad-core processor, 13 megapixel fast-capture camera and much more. Sony Xperia Z is a water and dust resistant smartphone with a durable glass display. It also features Exmor RS for mobile, the world’s first image sensor with HDR (High Dynamic Range) video for smartphones.

Kuni Suzuki, President and CEO, at Sony Mobile Communications, said,
“With Xperia Z, we are bringing over half a century of innovation in TV, imaging, music, film and gaming to create a superphone experience that truly stands out. With great specifications, Sony’s media applications and One-touch functions, Xperia Z is well positioned for leadership in the smartphone market. By putting smartphones at the heart of our strategy, Sony is enabling people to create, enjoy and share content and experiences like never before.”

Sony Xperia Z features a 5 inch full HD TFT Reality display, sporting a resolution of 1920 × 1080 pixels, 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor, Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) Operating System, 13 megapixel Fast Capture camera with Exmor RS for mobile, HDR video, Superior Auto and Noise Reduction, Full HD (1080p) video recording and playback, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video calls and so on.

It also comes with a 3.5 mm audio jack, FM radio with RDS, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 4G LTE Connectivity, 16 GB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, 2 GB RAM, Google Play Store, GPS with A-GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, DLNA Certified, HDMI support, Micro USB, NFC (Near Field Communication), Wi-Fi Hotspot functionality and a 2330 mAh battery.

This handset comes with an unique Battery Stamina Mode that can improve the standby time by four times by automatically shutting down battery-draining apps whenever the screen is off and starting them up again when the screen is back on. Sony Xperia Z will launch globally during the Q1 of 2013. The price of this handset is still a mystery.

Alcatel One Touch Idol And Idol Ultra Smartphones Announced

Alcatel is popularly know for manufacturing cheap and entry-level smartphones. Today, the company surprised everyone with the launch of Alcatel One Touch Idol and One Touch Idol Ultra smartphones at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2013 in Las Vegas. The Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra is touted to be the world’s thinnest smartphone with just 6.45 millimeters thickness. This device breaks current market records of Vivo X1 which measures 6.55 mm thick.

Alain Lejeune, Head of Research and Development for Alcatel One Touch, said,
“The One Touch Idol device series represents a breakthrough in technology. We’ve pushed the barriers on design, resulting in devices that offer the perfect balance between ultra-slim form factor, large display, outstanding performance, and rich user experience, while keeping the devices affordably priced to consumers.”

Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra features a 4.7-inch HD AMOLED display, sporting a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) OS, 8 megapixel rear-facing camera with full HD (1080p) video recording, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, 1 GB RAM and much more.

On the other hand, Alcatel One Touch Idol is touted to be the lightest smartphone in its category. It comes with a 4.7 inch IPS display, 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, 2 megapixel front facing camera, 3G Connectivity, 32 GB expandable memory and so on.

Alcatel One Touch Idol and Idol Ultra will go on sale starting this month in China. Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra comes with a price tag of 2,799 RMB (approx. $450). The price of One Touch Idol will be announced soon. These smartphones are not expected to arrive in the European and American markets anytime soon.

Samsung Rolling Out Android 4.1.2 Update For Galaxy S Advance

Last year, Samsung announced the mid-range Galaxy S Advance smartphone. It comes with a 4 inch Super AMOLED display, 1 GHz dual-core processor, 5 megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash, 8 GB internal memory, 768 MB RAM, Bluetooth 3.0 and more. Sadly, this handset was shipped with the ageing Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System.

Back in October, Samsung Bulgaria announced that Galaxy S Advance won’t get the Android 4.0 update. Instead, the company will directly roll out the Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) update to this device. As promised, Samsung has finally started rolling out the Jelly Bean update for the Galaxy S Advance users. Currently this update is available only for the folks living in Russia.

samsung galaxy s advance

The latest update bumps the Galaxy S Advance from Android 2.3.4 to Android 4.1.2. It brings the new Samsung TouchWiz Nature UI along with the usual Jelly Bean enhancements, including the smart keyboard, improved voice search, enhanced notifications, improved S Voice, Google Now, new Photo Effect Filters, improved voice and data connectivity and much more.

The latest update can be easily downloaded via Over-The-Air (OTA). You can also manually connect the Galaxy S Advance to your computer and update the device using Samsung’s KIES software. Samsung S Advance users in other countries might have to wait untill March to get this update.

Android 4.0+ Now On 39% Of Devices Out There; Gingerbread Still Rules At 47%

It is a known fact that OS updates is one of Android’s key weakness. While Google has been trying its best to improve the situation with the help of Platform Development Kit (PDK), the Nexuses devices and other such measures, the harsh truth remains the same – Android 2.3 Gingerbread – an update to Android that was released at the end of 2010 is still the most used version of Android out there.

In the latest Android platform distribution chart from Google ending on January 3, 2013, Android 2.3 Gingerbread still remains the largest version of Android, with a share of 47.4%. The good news is that compared to the last time, the adoption rate of Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean combined have seen a huge jump. Android 4.0 and Android 4.1/4.2 together are now running on more than 39% of Android devices out there. Individually, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is running on a measly 1.2% devices, while 4.1 is on 9% devices.

The huge jump in the Android 4.0/4.1/4.2 adoption rate is probably because of millions of people getting their hands on an Android tablet or handset as a gift during the holiday season.

Samsung Galaxy Note To Get Android 4.1 And Premium Suite Update

Samsung Galaxy Note is the Korean mobile phone manufacturer’s first phone/tablet hybrid device. It was not only the hottest selling device of 2011, but also created a new category of Android phablets. Samsung managed to sell more than 10 million units of this device in less than 8 months of its launch.

Similar to the Galaxy S II, the Galaxy Note was shipped with the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System. As promised, the manufacturer has also rolled out the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) update for this device. Now, Samsung will soon surprise the Galaxy Note owners with the new Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) update.

samsung galaxy note

The latest update will bring the usual Jelly Bean goodies along with the Galaxy Note premium suite. Yes, you head it right! This update will bring the multi-window (full-screen multitasking), pop-up video/browser/note apps, photo note/photo frame, easy clip, paper artist, new S Planner and email app. Galaxy note will be the company’s third device after Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III to feature the much useful multi-window multitasking.

Samsung has not yet announced the any release date for this update. However, the company has already updated their product page with the upcoming features. It might be an indication that the much awaited Jelly Bean update is already on its way. We will let you know as soon as the update starts rolling out. Stay tuned!

Sony Provides A Timeframe For The Jelly Bean Update For Its Xperia Devices

Sony today provided Xperia owners an update on its Jelly Bean roll-out plans. First in line to get the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update from Sony will be the Xperia T, Xperia TX and the Xperia V sometime in February or March.

The Xperia P, J and go are next in line and will get the update by the end of March. In the following weeks, the Xperia S, SL, Ion and acro S will get the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update.

Sony also confirmed that it will not be bringing Jelly Bean to its budget-oriented handsets including Xperia U, miro, tipo and Sola.

By the time Sony will start rolling out Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to the Xperia T and other devices, Samsung and HTC would have already rolled out Android 4.2 to the Galaxy S3, Note 2 and the One X.

I am not sure what Sony is doing here, but if it takes you more than 7-8 months to roll-out an Android OS update for your devices, something is definitely wrong.

Sony has been supporting the Android community a lot recently by providing them with binary/blobs, free devices and more. This has made them a favorite among the Android community. However, until and unless Sony does something about its ridiculously slow Android updates roll-out times, the company will have a hard time surviving in the mobile industry with fierce competition.

Verizon Galaxy S III Gets The Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Update

Samsung Galaxy S III was originally launched with the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System. The manufacturer has already rolled out the much-awaited Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) update for the unlocked variant of this device across the globe. However, the owners of the carrier locked Galaxy S III are still waiting for their respective carrier to approve and roll out this update.

Luckily, T-Mobile and Sprint customers were the first ones in the US to get this update. On the other hand, Verizon failed to roll out the update on time. Now, the disappointed Verizon subscribers has a reason to cheer. The big red carrier has finally rolled out the Android 4.1 update for the Galaxy S III.

The latest update is numbered JRO03L.I535VRBLK3 and it bumps the Galaxy S III to Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) OS. This update brings smart keyboard, improved S Voice, Google Now, improved voice search, enhanced notifications, new Photo Effect Filters, improved voice and data connectivity and much more. Check out the complete changelog after the break.


  • Global Support

Device is enabled for Global Roaming. Now take advantage of voice and data services in over 205 countries worldwide.

  • Isis Mobile Wallet

Device now includes support for the Isis Mobile Wallet; Shop, pay, and save with your phone using the Isis Mobile Wallet. The Isis Mobile Wallet holds virtual versions of most things your existing wallet does such as payment cards, loyalty cards and coupons. Just tap your phone to pay at any Isis Ready merchant.

  • Improved connectivity and reliability when syncing Google and POP-3 e-mail accounts.
  • Enhancements made to improve accuracy of predictive text.
  • Automatic Set Up option has been enabled when setting up a Road Runner email account.
  • Improved accuracy and runs reliability of Weather application.
  • Visual Voicemail has been updated to ensure proper delivery of notifications.
  • Fixed resets that were sometimes seen when trying to connect to a VPN client.
  • Support for opening attachments in .ics format.
  • Now supports Software Upgrade Assistant; installs and runs automatically when plugged in to your computer’s USB port.
  • Missed Call Log has been updated to ensure accuracy.
  • Enhancements have been made to ensure the reliability of Back Up Assistant Plus.
  • Improvements made to automatically reconnect to known previously used Wi-Fi sources hot spots.
  • Verizon Accessories Application has been added as a preload.

This update can be easily downloaded via OTA (Over-The-Air). You should make sure that your device has at least 50% or more battery. It is advised to backup all your data before updating this device. You will be automatically notified once the update is available for your device. If you have not yet received the update, then just go to Settings > About Device > System updates and check for the update. To learn more, head over to this page.

Samsung Galaxy Camera Goes On Sale At Verizon For $549.99

Back in August, Samsung unveiled the company’s first Android powered digital camera, the Samsung Galaxy Camera. This device runs on the Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) Operating System. Samsung has already launched this device in most of the European and Asian markets. The 3G variant of device is also available for the AT&T subscribers in the US. If you were looking for the 4G variant of Galaxy Camera, then we have good news for you.

Earlier this week, Verizon announced the availability of Galaxy Camera for its subscribers. Today, the big red wireless carrier has finally released the Samsung Galaxy Camera with 4G LTE in the US. This device will be available in the regular white as well as the Verizon’s exclusive Cobalt Black color.

Samsung Galaxy Camera features a large 4.8 inch HD SLCD display, 1.4 GHz quad-core processor, 16-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, 21x zoom lens, Full HD (1080p) video recording and playback, GPS with A-GPS, HDMI, 8 GB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, Google Play Store, Samsung Hub, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 3G/4G Connectivity and a 1650mAh battery.

AT&T is selling the HSPA+ version for $499.99, however you will need to shell out $549.99 for getting the 4G LTE version from Verizon Wireless. You will also need to subscribe to the Share Everything plan at $5 per month. If you are planning to buy this device, then just head over to this page.

HTC Butterfly Announced; Comes With 5 Inch Display, Android 4.1 OS

Back in October, HTC announced the J Butterfly smartphone in Japan. It is the company’s first device which comes with a large 5 inch 1080p display. Last month, HTC launched Droid DNA in the US, which was noting but the Verizon’s variant of HTC J Butterfly. HTC was already rumored to launch the international variant of this device with a slightly different name. Today, the Taiwanese mobile phone manufacturer finally dropped the letter J and unveiled the HTC Butterfly smartphone for the rest of the world.

There are no major changes in the specs of this device. It comes with the usual 5 inch Super LCD 3 display, sporting a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, Corning Gorilla Glass 2, 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm S4 Pro processor, Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) Operating System, 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, 2 megapixel front-facing camera and more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, Google Play Store, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n, 3G Connectivity, NFC (Near Field Communication), HDMI-out, Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA and 2020 mAh battery.

This handset will be first available in China from mid-December. HTC Butterfly is also a dust-proof and waterproof smartphone. This handset will be available in white, black and red colors. The company has not yet announced the availability of this device in other markets. HTC Butterfly comes with a price-tag of 4799 Chinese yuan (approx. $770). Check out the video advertisement, after the break.

Sony Unveils The Android 4.1 Powered Xperia E Smartphone

Sony recently unveiled the Android powered Xperia E smartphone. It is the company’s first device to ship with the Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) Operating System. Sony Xperia E will be available in both single-SIM and dual-SIM variants. This handset features noise cancellation that filters out background noise and allows you to have clear conversations in any environment.

Calum MacDougall, Director Xperia Marketing at Sony Mobile Communications, said,
“Consumers looking to take their first steps into the world of Xperia smartphones would be well advised to look at Xperia E or Xperia E dual. They are perfect for those seeking affordable access to the quality and functionality more traditionally associated with high-end Android smartphones.”

Sony Xperia E features a 3.5 inch HVGA display, sporting a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels, 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM7227A processor, Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) OS, 3.2 megapixel autofocus camera, VGA front-facing camera for video calls, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 3G connectivity and so on.

Other features include a 3.5 mm audio jack, FM radio with RDS, GPS with A-GPS, Bluetooth technology, DLNA Certified, Micro USB, USB 2.0, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, 512 MB RAM, Google Play Store, up to 6 hrs 30 min of talk-time, up to 530 hrs of stand-by time and a 1500 mAh battery.

The single-SIM variant will be available in black, white and pink colors, while the dual-SIM variant will come in black and gold colors. This handset will go on sale from Q1 of 2013. Sony has not yet announced the price of this device, but the price is expected to be around $200.