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.


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.

Samsung Finally Unveils The Galaxy Note 8.0

It was already rumored that, Samsung might announce an 8 inch tablet to compete with the Apple’s iPad Mini. The rumors turned out to be true. Samsung has finally unveiled the much-awaited Galaxy Note 8.0 at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2013 in Barcelona. This device runs on the Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean) Operating System. It also comes with the S-Pen, which was previously bundled with Galaxy Note 10.1. Removing S-Pen from the device will automatically launch innovative features such as Pen Detection that will suggest adapted menus.

JK Shin, President of the Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics, said,
“Back in 2010 the launch of the first Samsung Galaxy Tab with 7 inch screen opened a new chapter in the mobile industry. Now almost three years later, Samsung continues to evolve the sector that meets the demands of modern life. The Galaxy Note 8.0 breaths fresh life into the category as it delivers the perfect fusion of portability and everyday productivity – the result is a pioneering, pocket-sized solution that enhances and enriches our everyday lives, whether at work or play.”

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 features a 7 inch WXGA display, sporting a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, 1.6 GHz quad-core processor, Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean) Operating System, Samsung TouchWiz UI, 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, 1.3 megapixel front facing camera for video calls, Wi-Fi 801.11 a/b/g/n, 3G Connectivity and much more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, Music player with SoundAlive, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi Direct, Samsung Apps, Games Hub, Readers Hub, Samsung Kies, Samsung ChatON, Google Play Store, A-GPS + GLONASS, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB/ 32 GB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 64 GB expandable memory and a 4600 mAh battery.

This device measures 210.8 mm x 135.9 mm and weighs 338 grams. The Galaxy Note 8.0 comes with S Note templates and S Planner app which helps you to manage everyday tasks, including meeting notes, to-do lists and even personal diary entries. It also comes pre-loaded with content and apps, including the upgraded ChatOn, which provides easy instant messaging and group chatting in multiple formats — images, video and voice. The Galaxy Note 8.0 will go on sale from Q2 of 2013. The price of this tablet will be announced soon.

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 F5 And Optimus F7 Announced; Comes With Android 4.1, 4G LTE

Last week, LG unveiled 3 new smartphones – Optimus L3 II, Optimus L5 II and Optimus L7 II. After a couple of days, LG announced the powerful Optimus G Pro in its home country. Now, the South Korean mobile phone manufacturer went ahead and unveiled two smarphone under the new F series – the Optimus F5 and Optimus F7.

According to the manufacturer, the Optimus F Series is designed to bring a premium user experience and the speed of 4G LTE to a mass audience. Thankfully, both of these devices are packed with a powerful battery and pretty decent specs. LG Optimus F5 and Optimus F7 will be shipped with the Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean) Operating System out of the box.

Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications, said,
“LG continues to lead the industry with 4G LTE innovation and the Optimus F Series, a well-balanced an well-equipped 4G LTE smartphone for the mass market, embodies the best of our broad LTE patent portfolio and innovative UX features. With adoption of LTE expected to explode in 2013, we are sending a clear message to consumers with the Optimus F Series that LTE isn’t just for heavy content users and techies anymore. It’s for everyone.”

LG Optimus F5 Specs:

  • 4.3 inch IPS display
  • Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean) Operating System
  • 1.2 GHz Dual-Core Processor
  • 5 megapixel auto-focus camera
  • 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera
  • 8 GB internal memory
  • MicroSD card slot
  • 32 GB expandable memory
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 2,150mAh battery
  • Size: 126.0 x 64.5 x 9.3mm

LG Optimus F7 Specs:

  • 4.7 inch IPS display
  • Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean) Operating System
  • 1.5 GHz Dual-Core Processor
  • 8 megapixel auto-focus camera
  • 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera
  • 8 GB internal memory
  • MicroSD card slot
  • 32 GB expandable memory
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 2,540mAh battery
  • Size: 131.7 x 68.2 x 9.6mm

LG Optimus F5 and Optimus F7 comes with the upgraded QSlide, which allows users to open two apps at the same time, both in full screen mode. Users can change the size, position and transparency of QSlide apps according to their preferences. The worldwide rollout of the Optimus F5 will begin in the second quarter in Europe, followed by the Optimus F7 in selected markets. The price of this device is expected to be announced next week at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2013 in Barcelona. Stay tuned!

Acer Announces The Entry Level Liquid Z2 Smartphone

Next week, major mobile phone manufacturer’s will unveil their latest smartphones and tablets at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2013 in Barcelona. However, that didn’t stop manufacturer’s like HTC and LG to announce their smartphones days before the event. Acer has just became the third company to join this bandwagon.

Acer recently unveiled the entry-level Liquid Z2 smartphone. This handset runs on the Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) Opeating System and it packs some basic specs including a 3.5 inch display, 1 GHz processor and more. The in-built 5 megapixel camera launches in just 1 second and offers panoramic and multi-angle modes along with continuous shooting (up to 99 shots). This handset will be showcased next week at the MWC 2013.

Acer Liquid Z2 features a 3.5 inch HVGA touchscreen display, sporting a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels, 1 GHz single-core processor, Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) OS, Dual-SIM capabilities, Acer Breeze UI, 3 megapixel or 5 megapixel camera with auto-focus and LED flash, geo-tagging, Wi-Fi 801.11 b/g/n, 3G Connectivity and so on.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, Stereo FM radio with RDS, GPS with A-GPS, Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP, 4 GB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, 512 MB RAM, Google Play Store, A-GPS, Accelerometer and a 1300 mAh battery. This handset measures 110 x 62.5 x 12.25 mm and weighs 110g.

The Acer Liquid Z2 will go on sale in France, Belgium, Netherlands and Ukraine followed by Russia, UK and Italy in the coming days. The price of this device has not been announced yet, however the Acer Liquid Z2 is expected to carry a price-tag of less than €150. Stay tuned for our complete MWC 2013 coverage!

HTC One X Successor Specs Leak; Includes 4.7-inch 1080p Display, 13MP Camera And More!

With Mobile World Congress just a few months away, rumors and news about HTC’s One X successor have started making an appearance on the Internet. @evleaks who is known for leaking information about unreleased devices has posted on UnwiredView, some of the specs about the One X’s successor, codename M7.

The M7 will sport a 4.7-inch display but with a whopping 1080p HD resolution. The display will be better than the SLCD2 display on the One X with better viewing angles, outdoor visibility and color accuracy. Internally, the M7 will be packing in a powerful 1.7GHz quad-core processor from Qualcomm, along with 2GB of RAM.


Like the One X, HTC will be marketing the M7 with the same tagline “Amazing Camera, Authentic Sound”. On the camera side, HTC will be using a 13MP sensor with F/2.0 and capable of recording videos in 1080p full HD. The camera on the front will be a 2MP wide-angle view like on the 8X. HTC will be retaining the Beats Audio branding on the M7, and will be using a dedicated Beats amplifier as featured on the HTC 8X.

The M7 will have the One X downsides – a sealed 2300mAh battery and “only” 32GB of internal storage. Apart from all the other usual features such as GPS, LTE, the M7 is also expected to boast support for the next-generation Wi-Fi standard – 802.11 ac. Considering that 802.11ac based Wi-Fi routers are not yet a commonplace, I doubt that the inclusion of a 802.11ac Wi-Fi chip on the M7 is true.

HTC is expected to unveil the successor to the One X at MWC in Barcelona next year.

Samsung Galaxy S II Awarded The Best Smartphone Of The Year By GSMA

Today is the last day of Mobile World Congress. The last 3 days have been absolutely crazy, with insane amount of new handsets and tablets announced, including a phone with a whopping 41MP camera! This year we saw Android manufacturers competing with each other not only on specs, but on other key factors like the camera and build quality.

Last night at MWC, the GSMA body awarded some prestigious awards to the notable products and companies of last year. The Samsung Galaxy S II won the prestigious ‘Best Smartphone’ of the year, while Sammy itself was awarded the ‘Device Manufacturer of the Year award’. Considering how the Samsung Galaxy S II and Samsung itself have dominated the Android sales chart last year, this really should not come as a surprise.

“The GALAXY S II has set a new standard for smartphones, taking speed, screen and content to a whole new level,” said JK Shin, President of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics. “Building on the phenomenal success of the original Samsung GALAXY S, we are honored by this award and proud of how this device has changed the way the market and consumers experience mobile technology.”

Unsurprisingly, the ‘Best Tablet’ of the year award was bagged by none other than the…yeah you guessed it right…the Apple iPad 2. As things currently stand, the iPad 2 still has no worthy competitor, and single handedly manages to outsell all the Android tablets, combined, out there.


Canonical Shows Off Ubuntu for Android at MWC

Just last week, we reported Canonical’s announcement of Ubuntu for Android. MWC has recently showcased Ubuntu for Android at MWC, and it is impressive with some great tricks up its sleeves. Initially, it might look like a desktop remote control for your Android phone, but there are innumerable features and behind-the-scene events that will change this outlook soon.
Ubuntu for Android shows all our Android applications, contacts and calls in a Unity style application dashboard. It also lets us read and write text messages remotely, from the desktop. All this is facilitated with a custom Linux kernel, and this custom kernel will let us run Android and Ubuntu in parallel. Once we plug our computer into the dock, it will automatically switch to Ubuntu. However, the part that impressed me was where Phil from Android Central tells us that we can use this phone as a thin-client to connect to an application server and demoed it by launching MS PowerPoint from a Windows 7 server.

Mark Shuttleworth announced the plan of Ubuntu for Android, saying,

We’ll show Ubuntu neatly integrated into Android at Mobile World Congress next week. Carry just the phone, and connect it to any monitor to get a full Ubuntu desktop with all the native apps you want, running on the same device at the same time as Android. Magic. Everything important is shared across the desktop and the phone in real time.

Although the feature was showcased at MWC, it is not ready for a public release yet. The release declaration of this year-end still holds. There is a long wait before we can go ahead and use Ubuntu for Android. Until then, this hands-on review from Android Central will keep us interested.

Huawei Ascend G 300 Unveiled, Yet Another Budget Droid

Huawei has always been one of the underdogs compared to Samsung, HTC and other biggies in the smartphone arena, but it put on a really good show at MWC 2012 with the new Huawei MediaPad 10, the Huawei Ascend D Quad and its new quad core CPU.

However, it also unveiled a few more devices at MWC 2012, which were overshadowed by its other high profile releases. One of them was the Huawei Ascend G 300, a new budget Android smartphone.

Huawei Ascend G 300 Specifications

The Huawei Ascend G 300 comes with a 4 inch WVGA display with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. It is powered by a 1 GHz processor, and offers a 5 MP camera. It will run Android 2.3 Gingerbread at launch, but will be upgradeable to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. It will presumably offer 512 MB of RAM.

While the specifications are unremarkable compared to most of other phones being showcased at MWC 2012, the Huawei Ascend G300’s killer feature is expected to be its price.

Huawei will be pricing it much lower than current smartphones with similar specifications. Huawei should launch more details about its exact specs soon. For now, here’s an image of the device, courtesy Engadget.

Huawei Ascend G 300

Samsung Admits It’s Not Doing Well in Tablets; Hopes to Change That

At a recent press conference at MWC 2012, a Samsung executive has finally admitted that the company is not doing very well when it comes to the tablet market. Unlike the smartphone market, where Samsung has done exceedingly well and is now the top smartphone manufacturer in the world, its offerings have failed to catch on when it comes to tablets.

“Honestly, we’re not doing very well in the tablet market,” said Hankil Yoon, a product strategy executive for Samsung, during a media roundtable at MWC. No shit, Sherlock.

Though it is one of the top Android tablet manufacturers, it still lags miles behing the top dog – Apple – which leads the market by a huge margin. Apple has traditionally offered only one model with different capacities, but Samsung has been throwing everything it can make, in all sizes and specifications at consumers hoping that at least something would stick. Unfortunately for Samsung, nothing has.

Samsung has unveiled two more tablets at MWC this year – the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0 and 10.1) and the Galaxy Note 10.1. However, both of them have failed to impress me, and I doubt, they will be the iPad killers that Android fans want them to be.

However, now that Samsung is past the denial stage, we can hope that it at least understands the problems it faces, and will bring us a tablet which is far better than the current range of Android tablets.

In the meantime, Apple is apparently getting ready to launch the iPad 3 on March 7. Expect it to blow away the competition in terms of sales, at least in the coming quarter.