Samsung to refresh tablet lineup with new 7-, 8-, and 10.1-inch models?

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Jan 232013
 
Samsung

Without even mentioning its usual “industry sources,” a new report by Digitimes today indicates that Samsung will refresh its tablet lineup this year. It expects new models ranging in size from 7-inches to 10-inches but provides little more. The one detail it reveals is potential pricing.

The 7-inch model could sell for as low as between US$149 and US$199. Next up will be an 8-inch model but it’s unclear if this none other than the Galaxy Note 8.0 or a different device without Samsung’s S Pen technology. Priced between US$249 and US$299, it looks to be aimed at the Apple iPad mini. At the top end would be a new 10.1-inch model for which no pricing is given. All would presumably be Android tablets but the report makes no mention of any operating systems.

The smallest and largest model are set to launch in the first half of the year in a bid to have them in the market before Apple is expected to refresh its own tablet lineup.

No mention was made of the rumoured 13.3-inch tablet with an optional QWERTY keyboard dock (think of a tablet along the lines of the ASUS Transformer).

Samsung is apparently looking to ship 40 million tablets in 2013, up significantly from the estimated 15 million it shipped in 2012.

Read more: Digitimes

Rumour: HTC M7 to launch ahead of MWC 2013

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Jan 232013
 
HTC

An interesting rumour today suggests that HTC may not wait until MWC 2013 to launch the HTC M7. Instead, it will host its own event on February 19th to unveil what is likely to be its next flagship device. The event could be held in London, a location that HTC has used in the past.

Most rumours now agree that the HTC M7 will come with a 1.7GHz quad-core processor, Google Android Jelly Bean with HTC Sense 5.0, a 4.7-inch Full HD (1920×1080) display, and a 13MP camera (possibly with a Sony IMX135 Exmor RS sensor). As for how it will look there are two conflicting rumours (the first and the second). We may know in less than a month which was correct.

A separate tweet from @evleaks indicates that the HTC M7 is headed to three major U.S. carriers: AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. Only T-Mobile which already offers the DROID DNA, has yet to reveal its plans for the device.

Read more: @flapic [via Twitter] and @evleaks [via Twitter]

True PureView Windows Phone Nokia EOS smartphone in the works?

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Jan 232013
 
Nokia

When Nokia first announced plans to bring PureView to Windows Phone, most expected Nokia to unveil a device that would sport a camera similar to the 41MP one on the Nokia 808 PureView. Instead, the Nokia Lumia 920 was announced with Nokia PureView technology but with an 8MP sensor. It has gone on to impress many with the quality of the pictures it takes despite the different sensor. But now comes word that Nokia may finally release a “true PureView Windows Phone” with the 41MP sensor in tow.

According to The Verge, Nokia is working on a smartphone codenamed EOS. Aside from the upgraded sensor, it will also drop the polycarbonate body in favour of an aluminium one. Nokia is also looking to update the look of its devices for 2013 and the EOS will also sport a new look with squared edges.

The Nokia EOS looks to be a new high-end Lumia model in a product refresh that will also include the Nokia Catwalk, a replacement for the Lumia 920, and a new mid-range device. A Nokia Windows RT tablet is also in the cards. AT&T looks set to be among the carriers to offer the Nokia EOS when it launches.

Read more: The Verge

Rumour: Motorola X Phone launch date and pricing revealed

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Jan 222013
 
Motorola Mobility

On the heels of rumours that the mysterious Motorola X Phone would be announced at Google I/O, new details have emerged about availability and pricing. Many of these align with those of the previous report including that it will be a multi-carrier device and that it will not be a Nexus device.

The Motorola X is set to go on sale on July 8th (U.S. only?) through all carriers (likely the big four). Verizon will offer it for US$299 with a contract. Pricing for the other carriers was not revealed but will likely fall in line with Verizon’s pricing. There is no indication of what the Motorola X will cost without a contract.

Verizon will allow users to unlock the bootloader for US$15 per month. This restriction will not be in place for devices bought through Google Play as they will be unlocked.

Despite not being a Nexus device, it will come with stock Android but some bloatware will be added. Fortunately, it will be possible to remove unwanted apps when the device is unlocked.

Droid-Life describes the details provided by its source as a “wild rumor” so take it all with a grain of salt for now. The original forum thread is no longer available but the source is described as someone “who has long been a source of Motorola information.”

Read more: Droid-Life

Next-generation Samsung Galaxy S smartphone codenamed Altius?

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Jan 222013
 
Samsung

We may not yet know the name of Samsung’s next Galaxy S smartphone (although most expect it to be the Galaxy S IV) but we may now have its latest codename. SamMobile reports today that Samsung has changed the codename from “Project J” to “Altius(J)” before adding a few details about the device itself.

The official name of the smartphone may not have been finalized yet. The number 4 is considered unlucky in many Asian countries including Korea. As a result, we could see the device launch under a slightly different name. Samsung apparently went as far as using model number GT-I9500 rather than GT-I9400 to avoid any potential bad luck.

As for new details about the device, the Samsung Galaxy S Altius will support wireless charging but not out of the box. Instead, Samsung will sell a separate wireless charging kit consisting of a separate dock and back cover. The report adds that it will use a slightly larger 2,600mAh battery than the Galaxy S III. The smartphone will be available in black or white (with additional colours likely to follow later if current models are any indication).

The report adds that Samsung is now planning to ship the Altius starting in calendar week 16 (the week of April 14th). It expects Unpacked events to take place either at MWC or sometime in March (although it does not mention the March 4th date again).

Read more: SamMobile

Rumour: Samsung Galaxy S IV to be announced on March 4th

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Jan 212013
 

A screenshot obtained by SamMobile may have just revealed that Samsung will hold its next Samsung Mobile Unpacked event on March 4th, 2013. The leaked invitation indicates that the event will take place in Pyeongchang, Korea and that the topic will be none other than the Samsung Galaxy S IV.

Rumoured Samsung Galaxy S IV event

If accurate, it’s likely that Samsung would hold additional launch events in other countries as well.

Unfortunately, a closer look at the invitation suggests that this is no more than a fake. Would Samsung really the slogan “You think it was the Galaxy” to introduce its next flagship device? The incomplete sentence with the word “unpacked” not even being capitalized is an additional sign that the screenshot is not legitimate.

While it is possible that Samsung could unveil the Samsung Galaxy S IV at MWC 2013, a specific event for the smartphone is more likely. And if past rumours are any indication, it could happen anytime between now and May 2013.

Read more: SamMobile

Rumour: Google to launch upgraded Nexus 10 tablet at MWC 2013

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Jan 212013
 

Google Nexus 10You can now add another device to the list of rumoured announcements expected at MWC 2103 next month. According to Bright Side of News, Google will unveil an updated version of the Google Nexus 10 tablet.

With its 10.1-inch WQXGA (2560×1600) display, the original Google Nexus 10 has a reputation for pushing its 1.7GHz dual-core Cortex-A15 Samsung Exynos 5250 with Mali-T604 GPU to the limit leading to performance lag. To address this shortcoming, Google and Samsung are reportedly going to bump it up to a multi-core processor paired to a new 8-core Mali-T678 GPU. A prototype seen at CES 2013 allegedly ran significantly faster with the performance difference between the two being described as “night and day.”

Other specifications of the revised tablet are not expected to change. Even the form factor will remain the same despite the fact that both Google and Samsung admit that it lacks some “wow factor.” That will apparently be worked on for the next version.

Despite the rumoured announcement at MWC 2013, the tablet may not be available until the fall for either the same price as the current model or slightly more.

Read more: Bright Side of News

Rumour: Apple to launch 4.8-inch iPhone model in June

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Jan 212013
 
Apple

The rumours continue to suggest that Apple will abandon its long-held strategy of releasing a single new iPhone model later this year. A new report by the China Times suggests that Apple will release not one but three different models later this year (if I read the Google translation correctly). Alongside the Apple iPhone 5S, we could see a new iPhone handset codenamed “iPhone Math” as well as a third model that would follow somewhat later.

Details are slim on the “iPhone Math” but it will reportedly sport a 4.8-inch display to allow Apple to take on other devices in the phablet space. It should also have an 8MP camera with lenses from Largan Precision. It should launch alongside the iPhone 5S this summer.

Component shipments are set to start in March with production to follow in late April to prepare for the launch. Foxconn looks set to the key manufacturer for both devices.

A third iPhone model, this one sporting a 12MP camera, would follow in the latter part of the year in time for the holiday season.

The report makes no specific mention of a cheaper iPhone model although past rumours have hinted that it would have a larger display. Could the “iPhone Math” be that cheaper model?

Confused? You’re not the only one. For now, take all these rumours with a pinch or two of salt.

Read more: China Times (in Chinese) [Google translation] (Source: AppleInsider)

BlackBerry Z10 pricing revealed along with more BB10 information?

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Jan 212013
 
RIM BlackBerry

With a little over a week to go before Research In Motion launched BlackBerry 10, BGR has landed new details about the pricing of the BlackBerry Z10 all-touch device. If accurate, it appears that RIM and its U.S. carrier partners will offer it for US$149 or below with a two-year contract. That could translate to about the same here in Canada but likely with a three-year contract.

BGR has also obtained from a “close source” about 100 screenshots of the BlackBerry 10 operating system in full detail. It’s a comprehensive overview that covers everything from device setup including an introduction to its gestures, the BlackBerry Hub and built-in apps, and the Siri-like voice assistant. Here is just three of them:

RIM BlackBerry 10 screenshot
Click for a larger version

RIM BlackBerry 10 screenshot
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RIM BlackBerry 10 screenshot
Click for a larger version

Will RIM have anything left to announce next week with all these leaks?

Read more: BGR

Another HTC M7 render or a fake?

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Jan 202013
 

A new alleged image of the oft-rumoured HTC M7 has surfaced, bringing with it a bit of mystery and controversy. The image first surfaced on Twitter courtesy of @cypis_. It looks quite different from another image leaked just days ago. Is either one real? If one is, which one?

Rumoured HTC M7

HTCSource claims that two “trusted sources” have confirmed to it that this render is an accurate depiction. For his part, the usually reliable @LlabTooFeR (also known as @Football4PDA) indicates that it’s a fake. To throw a bit more confusion into all this, PocketNow suggests that the render “is not an official HTC render” but is still an accurate representation of the front of the device. The back though is not accurate at all.

Parking aside the fake or real debate for a moment, this latest render shows a device that borrows a few design cues from the Windows Phone 8X and, for whatever reason, sports a realigned button arrangement with the Home button on the right. It also appears to show the new HTC Sense 5.0 icons.

HTC is expected to unveil the HTC M7 at MWC 2013. If nothing else, all the rumours should be settled then.

Read more: @cypis_, @LlabTooFeR and PocketNow

Rumour: Motorola X Phone to be unveiled at Google I/O

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Jan 192013
 
Motorola Mobility

Rumours about the Motorola X Phone have resurfaced. We first heard about this mysterious device last December. There was little information but there was the promise of a “sophisticated” smartphone (whatever that means) and a focus on improving the camera and photo software as well as new materials and shapes. New rumours now suggest that the Motorola X Phone could be unveiled as early as Google I/O 2013 (May 15th-17th) and provide a few alleged details about it.

Citing “hidden friends in high places within the industry,” DroidForums reports that the Motorola X Phone will sport a 5-inch edge-to-edge display (like the Motorola RAZR M?). If so, it could be roughly the same size as the Samsung Galaxy S III despite having a larger display. Unlike many Motorola devices that have ended up at Verizon as DROID models, the X Phone will be available from multiple carriers under its own new “hyper-competitive brand.”

As such, the Motorola X Phone will not be a Nexus device. It will run Google Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie (which is also expected at Google I/O) but will also feature a Motorola interface that “both compliments & enhances the Android experience, and is intended to be Nexus-like.” Additional software add-ons are also expected to enhance the Android experience (much as Samsung has done with recent devices like the Galaxy S III and Note II).

DroidForums do warn that there is not only no secondary corroboration for this report yet but that the source is also “not the most solid.” So, take it all with a grain of salt (or more) until further details surface.

Should the Motorola X Phone be announced at Google I/O, it may have to share the stage with the rumoured Google Nexus 5 and Nexus 7.7 from LG.

Read more: DroidForums (Source: AndroidinCanada)

Did the Samsung Galaxy S IV just get benchmarked?

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Jan 182013
 

Whether the Samsung Galaxy S IV is announced at MWC 2013 or somewhat later, it’s likely that Samsung is now wrapping up the development cycle for its next flagship smartphone. The expectation is that it will bear model number GT-I9500 as its predecessors (the number 4 is considered unlucky in many Asian countries including Korea although a GT-I9400 has also been spotted), the Galaxy S, Galaxy S II, and Galaxy S III, bore model numbers GT-I9000, GT-I9100 and GT-I9300 respectively. If the model number is correct, the Samsung Galaxy S IV has just made an appearance on the AnTuTu benchmarking site.

Samsung Galaxy S IV AnTuTu benchmarks?

In fact, both the international version above as well as the Korean variant, the SHV-E300S, appear to have been spotted:

AnTuTu benchmarks for Korean Samsung Galaxy S IV variant

The results appear to confirm earlier rumours that the the Galaxy S IV will feature an Exynos 5 Octa processor and the latest version of Android Jelly Bean (at this time as 4.2.2 appears to be in the works). Past rumours add that it will also come with 5-inch FHD AMOLED display, 2GB RAM, a 13MP rear camera and a 2MP front camera.

Read more: SamMobile

Verizon getting ready for BlackBerry Z10 launch?

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Jan 182013
 

If you need more evidence that Verizon will be among the U.S. carriers to launch new BlackBerry 10 devices, a screenshot by the usually reliable @evleaks will be welcome.

Verizon BlackBerry Z10 screenshot

The screenshot lends further credibility to the rumours that RIM’s first all-touch BlackBerry 10 device will be called the BlackBerry Z10, will sport LTE and be available in both black and white.

RIM will unveil its BlackBerry 10 devices on January 30th at a series of worldwide events, including Toronto and New York.

Read more: @evleaks

Rumour: Samsung to launch Galaxy Fonblet 5.8 in Europe

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Jan 182013
 
Samsung

Samsung has definitely caught the big display bug. According to a SamMobile source, its latest phablet will be the Samsung Galaxy Fonblet 5.8. Based on the Samsung Galaxy Player 5.8 media player, and as the name implies, sporting a 5.8-inch display, it will add the necessary connectivity options to turn it into a full-fledged handset.

The report adds that the Samsung Galaxy Fonblet 5.8 (GT-I9152) will also come with dual-SIM support and will run Google Android Jelly Bean (either 4.1.2 or 4.2.1).

Samsung is planning to launch the Galaxy Fonblet 5.8 in Europe. There is no word on North American availability at this point. It remains to be seen if Samsung will unveil it at next month’s MWC 2013.

The Galaxy Fonblet 5.8 may not be the largest tablet that Samsung is working on as there are rumours of a 6.3-inch Galaxy Note III floating about. But it does have the oddest name.

Read more: SamMobile

LG Optimus G Pro images and specifications leaked?

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Jan 182013
 

Rumours of a successor to the LG Optimus G successor have been floating around almost as long as the LG flagship has been available. Recent rumours suggested that this follow-up device, the LG Optimus G2, might only launch in the fall with the latest version of Android (expected to be Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie). Rumours also pointed to another device, the LG GK, with a 5.5-inch FHD display set to be announced at MWC.

A leaked slide obtained by Engadget paints a slightly different picture. It reveals a device called the Optimus G Pro:

Rumoured LG Optimus G Pro specifications
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The rumoured LG Optimus G specifications are:

  • Processor: 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064
  • Operating system: Google Android Jelly Bean
  • Cellular connectivity: LTE
  • Display: 5-inch Full HD (1920×1080)
  • Input: Touchscreen
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Storage: 32GB onboard
  • Rear-facing camera: 13MP
  • Front-facing camera: 2.4MP
  • Battery: 3,000mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 139 × 70 × 10.1 millimeters / 160 grams

The LG Optimus G Pro is headed to Japan’s NTT DoCoMo with One-Seg and NOTTV functionality in tow. Plans for availability in other regions is not clear at this time. It also remains to be seen if LG will announce it at MWC 2013 (perhaps alongside the LG GK). Pricing has also not been revealed.

Read more: Engadget