Samsung might not be announcing the most anticipated Android handset of this year at MWC, the Galaxy S3, but the company did announce a newer and bigger brother of the Galaxy Note, the Galaxy Note 10.1.
If the Galaxy Note was a bigger version of the Galaxy S II, the Galaxy Note 10.1 is a bigger version of the Galaxy Note itself. As its name suggests, the Note 10.1 comes with a 10.1-inch WXGA screen, 1GB of RAM, a blazing fast Exynos 4210 SoC clocked at 1.4GHz, an ARM-Mali 400-MP GPU, and 16/32/64GB of internal memory. There is also a huge 7000mAh battery on the Note 10.1, which makes sure that it easily lasts a day.
The Note 10.1 also comes with a S-Pen tucked neatly in one side of the tablet, that allows users to easily jot down notes on the tablet as if its a real ‘note’book. All the same S-Pen tricks that were valid on the Galaxy Note, are applicable on the Note 10.1 as well. The Note 10.1 runs on Ice Cream Sandwich, with TouchWIZ making sure to ruin all that goodness.
Samsung did not mention anything about the pricing or the availability of the Note 10.1, but the device should hopefully be available sometime in Q2 of 2012.
Along with their ‘hero’ handset of 2012, the One X, HTC also announced the One S here at MWC in Barcelona. The handset has a unibody aluminum construction, which is toughened using microarc oxidation. The One S is also the slimmest phone ever from HTC with a waistline of a mere 7.6mm. Yeah, its not RAZR thin but it still is thin!
The handset comes with a 4.3-inch Super-AMOLED display with qHD (960×640) resolution. Internally, the One S packs in a blazing fast dual-core processor from Qualcomm (S4) clocked at 1.5GHz, an Adreno 225 GPU and 1GB of RAM.
Like the One X, the One S sports an amazing 8MP F/2.0 backside-illuminated sensor, with a blazing fast auto-focus time of a mere 0.2 seconds. The camera app on the handset also takes only 0.7 seconds to start up! All the other camera features present in the One X are also present on the One S.
The One S also runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, with Sense 4.0 on top of it. Like the One X, the One S also comes with 25GB of free Dropbox storage for 2 years, Beats audio and others! The handset will be available in most of the regions of the world within the next 2 months.
HTC’s MWC event has just started here in Barcelona, and the company has unveiled what apparently is its “hero” device for 2012, the One X. The One X is the first handset from the Taiwanese manufacturer to use the One series naming scheme. The handset comes with a 4.7-inch Super-LCD2 with 720p (1280×720) resolution. The One X is also the first phone from HTC to have a poly-carbonate unibody construction aided by a new micro drilling technique.
The One X is powered by Nvidia’s 4-Plus-1 Tegra 3 SoC, which makes it the first handset from the company ever to use a non-Qualcomm SoC. Other than the SoC, the One X comes with 1GB of RAM, and 32GB of on-board storage. At the back of the One X is an ultra-fast 8MP Back-side illuminated sensor with an aperture size of F/2.0 and a 28mm wide-angle lens, aided by an ‘smart flash’. The ‘Image Sense’ feature in the phone makes sure that users always get that perfect picture without any blur, with an ultra-fast auto-focus time of 0.2 seconds and a shutter capture time of 0.7 seconds. Another nifty feature of the One is its ability to capture photos continuously at just the press of the digital camera shutter button.
The One X runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, with the latest version of Sense (v4.0) making sure users never really get a taste of Ice Cream Sandwich. There is also Beats integration with all applications including third party apps, the ability to wirelessly sync your phone with iTunes or Windows Media Player, and best of all 25GB of free storage space on Dropbox for 2 years!
The downsides? No microSD card slot, a non-user accessible battery, and a microSIM card slot. HTC says that the One X will be available in Europe and other regions of the world “within 60 days” from today’s announcement.
Huawei has just announced its first quad-core smartphone, the Ascend D. The quad-core processor inside the phone is made by Huawei themselves, and is clocked at 1.5GHz. Huawei states that SoC has the ”lowest chip temperature” that helps in reducing the overall power consumption. The company is also dubbing the phone to be the fastest quad-core smartphone, and even compared the phone’s performance to that of the Galaxy Nexus and the Transformer Prime. This 8.9mm handset also has a 4.5-inch LCD screen with a 720p resolution, giving it a density of 330ppi.According to Huawei, the screen also performs excellently outdoors.
The quad-core on the phone is accompanied by a 16-core GPU as well, which according to Huawei is up to 2x times faster than the one on the Asus Transformer Prime and Galaxy Nexus. There is also a 1GB of 64-bit DDR3 RAM, 16GB of onboard storage and a microSD card slot.
The phone is not only about power, it comes with a decent camera and other useful features as well. The Ascend comes with a Dolby Digital 5.1 digital sound chip, and Audience earSmart voice technology which improves background noise filtration while on a call. At the back of the Ascend D is an 8MP backlit illuminated sensor, aided by an LED flash and a 1.3MP camera in the front. Like all other high-end handsets out there, the Ascend D is also capable of recording videos in Full HD (1080p) resolution.
The Ascend D comes with a 1800mAh battery, while the Ascend D XL will come with a whopping 2500mAh battery. Huawei’s proprietary power management technology also helps in improving the battery life of the handsets by up to 30%. Thankfully, the handsets will be running on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich right out of the box!
While the Huawei Ascend D is genuinely a very nice effort from Huawei, the problem is its launch date. While Huawei did not mention anything specifically, reports suggest that the handset will launch sometime in Q3/Q4 of this year which is a bit too late.
The biggest mobile tech event every year, Mobile World Congress, has not even kick-started yet, and Samsung just unveiled two of its products – the Galaxy Tab2 10.1 and the Galaxy Beam. The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is the successor to the original Galaxy Tab 10.1, and shares the same internal as it. Wonder why Samsung is calling the tablet the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 then.
Anyways, the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 has a 10.1-inch PLS TFT screen with WXFA (1280×800) resolution, 1GB of RAM, 16/32GB of internal memory, microSD card slot, a 3MP snapper at the back capable of recording videos in Full HD resolution, and a VGA camera in the front for video calling. The same old Tegra 2 processor from Nvidia clocked at 1GHz does all the chugging work inside. All the usual connectivity features like HSPA+ 21Mbps, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth, A-GPS and Glonass along with the sensors like Accelerometer and Digital Compass etc. are also present.
The only difference between the original Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is the OS. While the former is running on Honeycomb, the latter runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich ruined by Samsung’s TouchWIZ UI. The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 will hit the markets of U.K first in March, before being available globally.
None of the Android tablets from any manufacture, except for Asus to a certain extent, has been able to set the sales chart on fire. There are a number of reason behind this including an exorbitant price tag, under-equipped internal hardware, poor screens, and lack of apps among other things.
Honeycomb as a tablet OS also had quite a few issues, which thankfully Google fixed in Ice Cream Sandwich. All Android manufacturers are racing to update their tablet to Ice Cream Sandwich as soon as possible. However, it looks like Toshiba is going to take its own sweet time to update its Android tablets, the Thrive, to Ice Cream Sandwich.
Toshiba’s PR Manager, Eric Paulsen, has confirmed on Twitter that the company will be updating the 7-inch and the 10-inch variants of the Thrive to Ice Cream Sandwich sometime in…wait for it…end of Spring. This means that Thrive owners are not going to taste Ice Cream Sandwich on their tablet before June-end, which is still quite a few months away.
Good news Transformer owners! Asus has started rolling out the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the original Transformer (TF101).
Below is the official statement from Asus on Facebook -:
Asus had initially stated that it will update the Transformer to Ice Cream Sandwich in January. However, the company had to push back the update to February for some unknown reason. Last week, it looked like the company was again delaying the ICS update for the Transformer, but thankfully Asus has managed to prove us wrong.
The Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Transformer should bring in a noticeable improvement in the performance of the tablet, along with UI changes. The update is being rolled out via OTA, so a new software update notification should pop up on your Transformer sometime soon. The update is already live in the United States, and will go live in the United Kingdom from tomorrow.
With the Transformer’s ICS update rolling out, Asus is the only tablet manufacturer out there that has updated all its tablets to Ice Cream Sandwich. Motorola has only updated one variant of the XOOM to Ice Cream Sandwich, while Samsung is yet to update any of its tablets to Ice Cream Sandwich.
If you have root access on your Transformer, you can install the Ice Cream Sandwich update manually by following the instructions mentioned here.
Companies generally reveal their greatest and latest handsets at the MWC every year. However, it looks like LG thinks otherwise. The company has announced a slew of handsets in the last 4 days, and has announced another one today – the Optimus 4X HD.
The Optimus 4X HD is the successor to the Optimus 2X, the world’s first dual-core phone, and comes with a, yeah you guessed it right, Nvidia’s Tegra 3 processor. All the four cores on the Tegra 3 SoC can run as high as up to 1.5GHz. The Optimus 4X HD is also pretty slim with a thickness of 8.9mm, and comes with a massive 4.7-inch IPS display with a 720p (1280×720) resolution. The phone still has capacitive keys, and not on-screen buttons like the Galaxy Nexus. The handset also packs in 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory, and a microSD card slot.
All the usual connectivity features like SHSPA +21Mbps, GPS with A-GPS and the usual sensors are also present. At the back of the Optimus 4X is an 8MP snapper aided by an LED flash, and accompanied by a 1.3MP shooter in the front for video calling. Thankfully, LG has also packed in a massive 2150mAh batter inside the handset!
Also, the handset will be running on Ice Cream Sandwich with LG’s custom skin on top, to ruin the whole ICS experience. The company will announce more details about the Optimus 4X HD including its price and release date at MWC next week.
True to its word, Asus has released the bootloader unlock tool for the hottest Android tablet available to the consumers right now, the Transformer Prime. The Transformer Prime was the successor to the original Transformer, and is also the world’s first tablet to ship to the public with a quad-core processor.
However, owners of brand new Prime tablets were in for a rude shock when they found out that the bootloader on the device has a 128bit-AES encrypted bootloader. A locked down bootloader on an Android handsets means no custom kernels, custom ROMs etc. The locked bootloader on the Prime led to Asus receiving a lot of negative publicity and also adversely affecting the tablet’s sale. Asus then released a statement to the public stating that it will be releasing an unlocked bootloader tool for the Prime sometime in February this year.
Like with all other bootloader unlocking tools provided by other Android device manufacturers, using the ‘Unlock Device app’ from Asus will void the warranty of your Prime. And no, re-locking the bootloader when you need to take the Prime to the service center won’t make your warranty valid again.
The Bootloader unlock tool from Asus will only work on Transformer Prime (TF201) running Ice Cream Sandwich. The said tool can be downloaded from here.
Developers, let the custom ROMs and custom kernels flow!
ZTE and Nvidia have today announced a new mid-range phone from the company, named Mimosa X. The Mimosa X will be powered by Nvidia’s dual-core Tegra 2 processor, pack 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, and a microSD card slot. Most importantly, the Mimosa X will be the first Android phone to make use of Nvidia’s own modem/radio – the Icera 450 HSPA+ modem.
“The ZTE Mimosa X is exciting for a few reasons,” said Michael Rayfield, General Manager of the Mobile business at NVIDIA. “The Mimosa X marks the first time NVIDIA technology powers all the major processors in a single smartphone, and also the first time a premium mobile computing experience is coming to the mainstream smartphone market.”
The handset also packs in a 4.3-inch screen with qHD (640×960) resolution, a 5MP camera in the back, a 1.3MP camera in the front and the usual bunch of sensors (Accelerometer etc.) and connectivity features like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS with A-GPS.Since the Mimosa packs in a Tegra 2 SoC, the handset will get access to Nvidia’s Tegra Zone which contains games specially optimized for SoC. The handset will, thankfully, run on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich right out of the box.
The ZTE Mimosa X will be available sometime in Q2 of 2012 in various regions of the world.