Motorola's Moto G was designed from the beginning to answer the problem of a decent smartphone at a budget friendly price, something that manufacturers like Apple and Samsung seem to care nothing about. Today a new rumor has surfaced that suggest that the Moto G is going to become cheaper than ever before for Verizon customers.
A Google+ user who works at Best Buy in their mobile center has posted an image of what appears to be a Motorola Moto G in clam shell packaging for Verizon's Unlimited Talk and Text no-contract service. While this is not all that exciting in itself, the post claims that the Moto G will retail for $99 free from a contract! With the Moto G currently retailing for $179 off-contract everywhere else, this is a substantial savings opportunity. If true, this would put Google and Motorola at the forefront of affordable high-quality smartphones.
We're right on the edge of 2013, which means in a few days time we'll be enjoying one of the biggest trade shows on Earth: the Consumer Electronics Show 2014 in Las Vegas. Before this all starts, LG has shown off a few Windows 8-based devices it will properly unveil at the event.
There's a new Tab-Book 2 line, which features a hideaway QWERTY keyboard underneath its 11.6-inch display. There's also a 27-inch all-in-one PC thatwill be unveiled, too. Two mobile devices will be unveiled, which are based on models released in the last 12 months, with the new 13-inch Ultrabook weighing in at just 980g.
This 13-inch Ultrabook will feature an Intel Haswell-based Core i5 processor, and a choice of either a 128GB or 256GB SSD. The two Tab-Book 2 devices will be thinner and lighter, too.
Despite what companies like Apple wants to believe, a new report has been released that shows that many mobile customers want a cheaper smartphone. AdDuplex, a cross promotion marketing network has just released a report that states that Nokia's Lumia 520 and 521 now dominate the Windows Phone market with a 30-percent market share.
This news comes just under a year after the Lumia 521 was released, and slightly before the Lumia 525 takes the role of flagship budget phone for Nokia. Just a few months ago, the 520/521 combo was said to account for only 23-percent of all Lumia smartphones on the market. Many industry analyst are predicting that as smartphones get more powerful, we will begin to see a shift towards mid-range and upper low-end models dominating as they will be more than powerful enough to handle most users day-to-day needs.
No. 1 PC manufacturer Lenovo will continue to battle Hewlett-Packard in the PC consumer market, and the company won't become stagnant by avoiding newer ventures. Lenovo plans to attack the smartphone market across the world in 2014, as the company has strong market presence in China.
"I'll be very clear: Our aspiration is someday to be No. 1 in the mobile space," Lenovo executives told the media. Earlier in the year, there were rumors that Lenovo wanted to purchase the BlackBerry phone unit - but the deal never materialized, and BlackBerry is no longer for sale. The smartphone market is highly saturated in the United States, but Lenovo can gain market share in the US and across Europe if done properly.
Just a few years ago, many doubted Lenovo would be able to climb the sales charts in the PC market - and the Chinese electronics maker is spending more time researching server products for the enterprise.
There were rumors of this all the way back in September, but it looks like a 12.2-inch tablet from Samsung is becoming a reality. A photo of the 12.2-inch slate was posted on a Korean forum, with some specs.
Now we have a report coming out of South Korea, stating that the new "Galaxy Note Pro" or "Galaxy Note 12" slate would launch early next year. ZDNet Korea is now reporting from an unnamed industry source that the slate will feature a massive 12.2-inch 2560x1600-pixel display, 2.4GHz processor, 3GB of RAM, a gigantic 9500mAh battery and Android 4.4 KitKat.
We should see this tablet at CES 2014 in just a couple of weeks time, where we will hopefully have some hands-on time with it.
The very first CyanogenMod-based smartphone is now available, with the Oppo N1 now on sale for $599. The Oppo N1 smartphone is capable of running either Android, or the heavily-modified CyanogenMod.
There's a limited edition CyanogenMod version which comes in a baby blue color, sporting the company's logo. The N1 is the only device on the market that comes with CyanogenMod pre-installed, but better yet - Google has cleared Oppo to have Google Play and Google apps on the N1 smartphone. This is the first step for Cyanogen Inc., who recently raised $23 million from investors.
We've heard that the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S5 would feature a 2K pixel display, but LG doesn't want to be left out of the high resolution fun, with new rumors of its upcoming flagship G3 smartphone also sporting a 2560x1440-pixel display.
The news is coming from ZDNet Korea, which reports that the G3 will feature a Quad HD display, or 2K panel. ZDNet Korea also reports that the LG G3 smartphone would feature a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and an 8-core processor, making it one of the most powerful smartphones on the market. We shouldn't expect the G3 until the second half of 2014.
ASUS will be holding a press conference at CES 2014 in just a couple of weeks time, on January 6, 2014 in Las Vegas. The Taiwanese company will be pushing another "two-in-one" device.
You can see the teaser video above, which shows the Statue of Liberty sporting a tablet, which switches colors between green and blue. A caption shows up, asking "Green or Blue? One or Two?", so we should expect a dual-boot slate running both Windows, and Android. We've seen this before with ASUS' Transformer line of slates, but what should we expect for this new device?
If there is a single definitive trend for smartphones in 2013, I would have to say that it is the "mini" version of flagship phones. Both the Galaxy S4 and HTC One both have Mini variants, and now LG is rumored to be planning a shrunken version of its flagship G2 as well.
Today a mini version of the LG G2 has surfaced in the form of a leaked benchmark result that shows the phone being branded as model number LG-D410 and running Android 4.4 KitKat. Interestingly enough the new micro G2 will feature a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, which is almost half the power of the 2.26GHz Snapdragon 800 used in the full size G2. Additionally, screen resolution on the 4-inch device will be a messily 960x540 pixels, something far from even 720p.
A new report from Digitimes is suggesting that Apple will release a 12.9-inch iPad targeted at the educational community as early as next October. While Digitimes is not always the most reliable source, the Wall Street Journal has mentioned a 12.9-inch Apple slate a few times this year as well.
The 12.9-inch iPad would be built by Quanta Computer, not Foxconn like previous models. Reports suggest the mega iPad will feature a display resolution of 2732x2048, not quite 4K, but much higher than anything previously seen on an Apple Device. Given Apple's previous endeavors into the education arena, a 12.9-inch iPad makes sense, but with previous tries to integrate iPads into schools hitting bumps in the road anything could happen.
Dish Network is reportedly considering beginning talks to acquire T-Mobile, a deal that would land Dish the #3 spot for US mobile carriers. Reuters is reporting that three sources close to the matter all say that the satellite TV company is in works now preparing a bid for big purple.
On the other hand, some sources are reporting that Sprint is looking at buying T-Mobile, which would land the company some much needed spectrum, as well as a much larger customer base. Unfortunately, Sprint would face a tough battle to purchase T-Mobile after AT&T failed to do so earlier this year after it was faced with strong FCC opposition.
Motorola has announced that it has begun rolling out Android 4.4 updates to its Motorola G smartphones that were purchased through Motorola.com or Amazon.com. This is weeks earlier than previously announced, and I am sure that a lot of Motorola Moto G owners are happy campers this morning.
"Starting today, we are rolling out Android 4.4.2 to Moto G phones bought on Motorola.com or Amazon.com in the US," wrote Punit Soni, head of product management in an official blog post. "KitKat will come to other Moto G carriers and regions soon as well." Additionally the Droid Maxx will begin receiving the KitKat update today as well.
We've been all over ROCKI for quite sometime now, but its Kickstarter has come to an end with an impressive tally: $222,197 raised. Considering the original funding goal was just $50,000, this Kickstarter is yet another success story.
If you haven't heard of ROCKI, it will "free your music - from every phone, to all speakers, for everyone." This is what makes ROCKI such a great product, especially considering it will be made available for under $50. It was only a few days ago that we heard that Spotify and Deezer support would be added, only adding to the awesomeness that is ROCKI. We should be getting a hands-on at CES, which is only a couple of weeks away!
HDMI is widespread now, but plugging in cables is so 1999, right? Well, Airtame wants to cut the cord with wireless HDMI for everyone. You can fund it right now for $89, which gives you one Airtame device.
The Copenhagen, Denmark-based creators of Airtame were asking for $160,000 on Indiegogo, reaching their funding goal pretty quickly - just 12 days. With 29 days left, they have already racked up $311,893, which is quite impressive. It looks like people want wireless HDMI, and more specifically, Airtame. The new $350,000 stretch goal will see external USB support, which would allow an external USB sound card, wireless mouse/keyboard or ethernet adapter to work.
This $350,000 funding goal should be met within the next couple of hours, so it'll be interesting to see what the added stretch goals will be once they hit $350,000.
Microsoft is still internally testing the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 upgrade, but rumored leaks indicate notification settings and a voice-based assistant app are expected.
Notification settings will be accessible when a user swipes from the top of the screen, and a long swipe pulls up a full history of notifications. Additional details regarding how the notification settings would work still haven't been leaked - and don't expect Microsoft to say anything. Meanwhile, Microsoft is reportedly working on a similar voice-featured app similar to Siri on iOS and Google Now on Android, though additional details are unavailable.
Despite the Apple iOS and Google Android mobile operating systems dominating the market, Microsoft is seeing gains with its phone OS. As Android and iOS remain relatively flat, the Windows Phone OS market share reached four percent by the end of Q3 2013, according to research company Canalys.
Microsoft did post an update for its Surface Pro 2, but the software giant has pulled the update after report of problems with installations and batteries. Some users were seeing reduced capacity, as well as incomplete charges.
The company is planning for a re-release, but this won't come until "after the holidays", but for those who have already updated, there's no word from Microsoft on whether it's easy enough to just roll back to a previous state. Of course, you can completely reset your Surface Pro 2, but who would want to do that? For those who did the update, it looks like you'll be waiting for a few weeks with a buggy device, unfortunately.
Today Samsung announced that it has opened up its HomeSync to other Android-based mobile devices from manufacturers like Sony, HTC, and LG. For those unfamiliar with HomeSync, the device is a Android TV steaming box that is able to sync content from mobile devices.
HomeSync now supports devices including HTC (One , ButterFly), Sony (Xperia Z , Xperia ZL , Xperia SP) and LG (Optimus G pro , Nexus4). Unfortunately, at $299 per box, the device is less desirable than something like Google's Chromecast that cost only $35 and works with all Android devices regardless of manufacturers.
Today LG Announced that its first curved-screen smartphone, the LG G Flex will be launching in the UK sometime in February of 2014. The G Flex has already been released in Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore, and this trip to the UK will mark the phones first entry into a non Asian market.
The phone will be available at the UK carrier EE, and while pricing is unknown at the moment, we can expect to see it retail above $500. After its UK debut, the G Flex will hit India followed by other UK markets, but unfortunately a US debut seems unlikely. Why the Korean electronic giant has chosen to keep the G Flex out of the US is still unknown, but I suspect that we will see a curved-screen smartphone from LG launch in the US sometime in 2014.
It looks like LG G2 smartphone owners will receive a late Christmas present, with Android 4.4 KitKat being rolled out in South Korea later this month, and internationally in early 2014.
It should've come sooner, considering the Nexus 5 - the smartphone that unleashed the deliciously named mobile OS from Google into the world - is built from the G2. American G2 owners might not see the KitKat update until Q2 2014, which is a disappointment. Europe should receive it next month, Canada will receive it in March.
It looks like ASUS could have a great year in 2014 with its PadFone line of devices, with a new PadFone turning up on AnTuTu's benchmark database, which was pulled down quite quick.
The PadFone X, as it was teased, featured the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC, Android 4.4 KitKat, and smashed into some benchmarks, smacking around a few of the established smartphone heavyweights. The screen resolution on the PadFone X should be 1920x1080, but we don't know what size just yet. 2GB of RAM is featured, and 16GB of on-board flash storage should make the cut.
We should see a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, backed up by a decent front-facer, but that 5-megapixel camera on the rear is most likely a placeholder for something better in the final consumer version. We should be expecting 8-megapixel cameras by default now. ASUS should unveil the PadFone X sometime in early 2014.
Our friends over at New Gadgets have been on the ground with Bungbungame, a company that took to crowdfunding through Indiegogo for its Project S smartphone.
I've never heard of the Project S smartphone until now, but wow does it pack a punch: 8-core processor, 3GB of RAM, WQHD resolution, a body made from glass and aluminum, but the best bit? Just $299. Yes, $299. We're looking at a 5.8-inch 2560x1440 screen, which is just super impressive, especially given its $299 price.
The Project S is just a prototype right now, but with a finalized design, we should expect everything you see here for $299. For shooting abilities, we have a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera, and a 2-megapixel front-facing snapper. Expandable storage is also featured, which is a nice touch these days.