Sony, today, released a new budget-oriented Xperia handset – the Xperia L. The Xperia L packs in a bunch for a budget handset, and sports a 4.3-inch FWVGA display.
Internally, the handset packs in a dual-core 1GHz Snapdragon S4 (MSM8230), 8GB of internal memory, a microSD card slot and a 1700mAh battery. The usual bunch of connectivity features like Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC and sensors are also present.
Sony has laid key emphasis on the Xperia L’s imaging department by including an 8MP Exmor R sensor at its back aided by an LED flash. It also packs in HDR stills and video – a first for budget Android handsets. The company has also included its signature Power Key as seen on the Xperia Z.
On the software side, Sony has blessed the Xperia L with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and its own OEM skin – that is pretty light and includes its beautiful Media suite of applications. The Xperia L will hit the markets sometime in Q2 of this year at an unknown price in three colors — White, Black and Red.
Earlier today when Samsung announced the Galaxy S4, it did not mention anything about the inbuilt SwiftKey like keyboard. Rumors had suggested that Samsung has got the SwiftKey keyboard inbuilt on its latest Galaxy S flagship, but the lack of any word from Samsung on this matter left a doubt on everyone’s mind.
SwiftKey has now gone ahead and made the news official with a press release. This is the first time that SwiftKey will come integrated in a smartphone. In the words of SwiftKey’s CTO, “Samsung has chosen SwiftKey’s innovative keyboard technology to be at the heart of its flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4. This is fantastic progress for our vision of bringing the best touchscreen typing experience to as many people as possible.”
However, the company does state that while Samsung does use SwiftKey’s prediction engine, the keyboard has been customized by Samsung and is not exactly the same version of the keyboard that is available on the Play Store.
The Galaxy S4 comes with a plethora of software features, which the company intends to bring to the Galaxy S3 as well. Samsung’s VP of Product Planning, Nick DiCarlo, has stated in an interview with PCMag that the Korean giant will bring “anything that we can do that’s not dependent on hardware like infrared, we’ll definitely bring to all the flagship devices.”
This means that not only will Samsung be bringing some of the Galaxy S4 software features to the Galaxy S3, but to the Note 2 as well. It is not yet confirmed as to what all features Samsung will be bringing to its previous flagship phone, but don’t expect the new Air View, IR Blaster or other hardware dependent feature to make the cut. The enhanced Camera features and eye-tracking functionalities are the top contender that will may make it to the Galaxy S3 and Note 2.
Samsung should, hopefully, bring these features to the Galaxy S3 when it rolls out the Android 4.2.2 update for the handset sometime in the next few months.
Motorola has announced two new budget-oriented RAZRs for Brazil – the RAZR D1 and the RAZR D3. The D1 is caters to the low-end with its 3.5-inch WVGA (800*480) display, 1GB of RAM, 1GHz processor, 4GB of internal storage and a 1785mAh battery.
The RAZR D2 sports a bigger 4-inch screen, and a beefier 1.2GHz dual-core processor along with a 2000mAh battery. The designs of both the handset are similar to Motorola’s RAZR M handset. The handsets will be running on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean when released. The Google effect is slowly but steadily making its presence felt in Motorola products, and the RAZR D1/D3 continues that trend with “a guaranteed update to the next Android version”.
Motorola is known to launch handsets specifically tailored for Brazil and the Argentina market, so the RAZR D1 and D3 should not come as a surprise. The D1 will be available in single SIM and dual-SIM variants for R$549 ($280), while the D3 will be available after in “several weeks” for about R$799 ($410).
The Galaxy S4 event is just a few hours away from now, and the leaks are flowing in left, right and center. A bunch of high quality phones of the Chinese variant of the Galaxy S4, that had leaked earlier, have surfaced on a Chinese forum. While it is not yet confirmed whether this is the final design of the Galaxy S4 or just a prototype, the specs of the handset are all but confirmed.
Readers can find more high resolution pictures of the Galaxy S4 over at it168. A few videos of the Galaxy S4 have also leaked online demonstrating its new Smart Pause feature that automatically stops the video from playing when the user is not looking at the screen, and the floating touch feature that is similar to the Air View feature on the Galaxy Note 2, but it works without the S-Pen. Another video shows off the new lock screen on the handset, and the last video gives us a demo of the browsing experience on the handset.
The specs of the Galaxy S4 are all but confirmed at this point, which includes a 4.99-inch Full HD (1920*1080), 2GB of RAM, an Octa-Core Exynos 5 SoC with ARM big.LITTLE technology, 16/32GB of storage space, a microSD card slot, and a removable 2600mAh battery.
Today, HTC has announced a developer edition of for its upcoming flagship handset, the One. The developer edition of the One will only be available in the United States and will come with an unlocked SIM and bootloader.
The developer edition of the One sports the same specs as the normal One, including a 4.7-inch S-LCD3 display with 1080p display, 2GB of RAM, a Qualcomm 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 SoC, 2GB of RAM, BoomSound, an UltraPixel camera, a metal unibody construction, 64GB of storage space and the usual bunch of connectivity features and sensors including Wi-Fi b/g/n/ac and an IR blaster.
HTC will only be making the developer edition of the One in limited quantities in the United States for a price of $649. You will need a valid US zip-code to even order the device from HTC.
By releasing a developer edition of the One, HTC has followed on the footsteps of Samsung and Motorola. A developer edition also strongly suggests that HTC will be locking down the bootloader on the U.S carrier variants of the One and it may not be unlockable using its web-based bootloader unlocking tool.
HTC needs to realize that developers and enthusiasts are rarely interested in purchasing a developer edition of any handset for development purposes. Also, if they do not provide allow bootloader unlocking on the U.S carrier variants of the One, they will be literally shooting themselves in the foot.
The HTC One is not even widely available and the latest version of Sense UI used on the handset has already been ported to the previous HTC handset – the DROID DNA. A developer over at XDA forums has worked hard to bring the latest Sense UI to the current Verizon flagship of the Taiwanese maker.
Below is a video of the latest Sense UI in action on the DROID DNA -:
The whole ROM based on Sense 5 UI is still a bit buggy though with a few basic features not working properly. One of the new Sense 5 feature, Zoe, is also not working but it should not be long before the developer fixes the issue. However, the new BlinkFeed homescreen works flawlessly and can be customized according to your liking as well.
HTC has already confirmed that it will be bringing the latest Sense UI to some of its older devices including the DROID DNA. However, knowing HTC, the company is going to take its own sweet time to bring the new UI to DNA and will not be implementing certain features that make use of the new hardware on the One, including Zoe.
A couple of days ago, a few pictures of what was allegedly the Chinese variant of the Galaxy S4 made its way on the Internet. Today, a video of the same Chinese variant of the SGS4 has surfaced online on a Chinese forum giving us a sneak peek of what the Galaxy S4 might look like and its TouchWIZ UI.
While it is not confirmed whether this is the final variant of the Galaxy S4, the device in question does sport a design language similar to the Galaxy S3. The video also confirms that the Galaxy S4 will be having a microSD card slot along with a beefy 2600mAh removable battery.
The latest version of TouchWIZ UI does not seem to look that different from the current nature inspired version found on the Galaxy S3 and Note 2, but does have a new white color scheme. The white color of the UI may suggest that Samsung is using a different form of OLED technology or maybe even an SLCD, since AMOLED displays are not that battery efficient while displaying white elements on screen.
It might very well be possible that the above device in question is one of the prototypes of the Galaxy S4, and the final device may look completely different.
Just a couple of days are left before Samsung unveils the Galaxy S IV to the whole world. The company’s PR team has been stepping up the hype machine for the handset by releasing the second part of the teaser video yesterday, and by tweeting a picture of the Galaxy S IV that gives a subtle hint of its design.
The not-so-useful second teaser video can be seen below, and does not provide any information about the Galaxy S IV or even a glimpse of it.
It is not yet certain whether the handset above is that of the Galaxy S4 itself, or its just a teaser image from Samsung since there is no earpiece grill in the above photo. Also, the edges of the phone look similar to the Galaxy S3, so I doubt that the above picture is of a Galaxy S4.
With only a couple of days left for the Galaxy S4 to be unveiled, the hype around the handset is reaching its peak. Rumors and leaks suggest that the Galaxy S4 will pack in a 4.99-inch Full HD resolution OLED display of new technology, an octa-core Exynos 5 SoC, 2GB of RAM and a 13MP camera.
It is raining Jelly Beans! If the Jelly Bean update for the AT&T One XL, the original RAZR MAXX and RAZR MAXX HD was not enough, Sony has started rolling out the update for its mid-range Xperia handset, the Xperia J.
The Xperia J sports a single-core Cortex-A5 processor from Qualcomm, an Adreno 200 GPU and 512MB of RAM. While the specs are nothing to boast about, Sony thinks they are enough to run Jelly Bean in all its Project Butter goodness on the handset. Other Jelly Bean goodness like Google Now, enhanced notification bar and speech-to-text are also present, along with improved stability and performance.
The update is slowly being rolled out by Sony all over the world, so might take some time before it becomes available in your region. You can update the handset either via OTA or by using Sony’s PC Companion application on your desktop.
It is quite ironic that Sony is rolling out the Jelly Bean update first for its mid-range to lower-end handsets, and not for its previous year first-half flagship handset, the Xperia S/SL. This update schedule will definitely not go down with current Xperia S owners, and potential Xperia Z buyers.