Days ahead of its global launch, the new HTC M7 smartphone has been spotted in new video. The UK division of HTC has placed a countdown clock on its website that indicates we have roughly six days before something happens.
Judging by the video, that something is either a new Ridley Scott directed Star Trek movie, or it is the launch of HTC's latest flagship Android smartphone. In the video the first thing you notice is an abundance of lens flairs and fleeting glimpses of what appears to be a blurry HTC M7.
We can see sleek, machined aluminum edges, and what appears to be a camera lens. One other feature that is instantly noticeable is the new phone seems to be dressed in white, something that has been very popular with rival Samsung's Galaxy S line of smartphones. I for one am very excited to see all of the new devices that will be making appearances this month as they all should hit the market around the time my upgrade becomes available.
I've said it previously, but I think we're going to see LG really crank up their quality moving into 2013 and it looks like this is happening. Today we have the unveiling of the South Korean-based company's Optimus G Pro.
LG's Optimus G Pro features a 5.5-inch display, and a curved glass design available in both black and white which LG says produces a "2.5D effect". The aforementioned 5.5-inch display ushers in 1920x1080 pixels, a quad-core processor that we should expect to arrive as Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 Pro.
We should expect a launch later this month, but LG haven't stated whether this would be locked to just South Korea or not. We should hear more later this month at Mobile World Congress.
We just can't justify spending $10,000 on a mobile phone, but there are apparently people out there that are. Vertu, a luxury phone manufacturer that used to be owned by Nokia, has just released a new model that will cost just about that. Even more interesting is the fact that the specifications aren't that great.
The front camera is a mere 1.3 megapixels and it only features 64GB of internal storage. The device is mainly aimed at the super rich who want to buy the device because of the brand and price tag rather than the actual specifications. Previous devices by Vertu have retailed for as much as $90,000.
Even still, $10,000 for a device is quite incredible. If you had the cash around to buy one, would you?
All eyes will be on Samsung in the coming weeks and months as we approach the rumored launch date for the successor to the Galaxy S III. Rumors place the device as the Galaxy S IV and say that it will be announced sometime in March with a launch in May. New rumors are saying we can expect more than just the S IV.
Samsung could also be working on a mini version of the S IV, much like they did with the S III. This would make a lot of sense as it provides brand recognition and could be offered at a lower price point than the more powerful S IV. The rumor says that this device might launch at the same time as the full-size S IV.
Another rumored device is a possible watch-like product that would be compatible with arm bands and the like. The device could be in response to Apple's rumored iWatch and sounds like it would operate somewhat like the older iPod nano did.
We'll be keeping our eyes on Samsung to see if we can track down more information on these rumored devices.
The United States Patent and Trade Office have granted Apple a new patent today. The patent describes a new "Microslot Antenna" that would integrate cellular and wireless radio antennas directly into the case materials.
The patent was filed in 2007, which is why the technical drawing below depicts a notebook instead of a phone. It depicts micron-wide antennas that would be built into the device's housing, which would be able to communicate with cellular, WiFi and Bluetooth, making it the perfect antenna for the iPhone.
This new patent sets the stage for upcoming iPhone's to have solid aluminum cases which would be thinner and use fewer components. An all-aluminum case would fit perfectly into Apple's companywide design scheme, and would look perfect next to a MacBook Air.
Broadcom just unveiled its next-generation LTE modem chip this morning. The BCM21892 is a high-end 4G LTE modem chip that is designed for use on flagship smartphones with support for LTE-Advanced and is capable of data speeds of 150Mb/s.
Carriers wishing to use the next-gen 4G modem will need to deliver 20MHz of contiguous bandwidth or Carrier Aggregation Technology. CAT allows the modem to exploit multiple chunks of bandwidth simultaneously, thus generating more bandwidth without a high MHz connection.
BCM21892 is compatible with most popular network standards in use around the world, from the TD and FD types of LTE to HSPA+, TD-SCDMA and EDGE/GSM. Built on a 28nm process and using clever algorithms, the chip is able to reduce power consumption by 25 percent compared to rival devices.
It what might be called one of the most ridiculous ads ever, Microsoft advertises the Surface Pro tablet with beatboxing in a corporate environment. Don't believe me? Take a look for yourself:
What they're obviously trying to get at is that it is a cool device that can be used in the workplace. I'm just not sure that this advertisement gets that message across as clearly as they could have.
The ad is also very similar to the first Surface ad that depicted the Surface RT and how easy it was to attach a keyboard. That advertisement hasn't worked very well--seemingly, anyway--so it's not clear why they'd attempt the same type of ad again.
Enough of my thoughts on the ad. What do you think of it? Have a strange urge to go out and buy one now? Let us know in the comments!
For users looking to charge their Nexus 4 wirelessly in style, look no further than the Nexus 4 wireless charging orb. Google has finally made this Nexus 4 accessory available on the Google Play Store for $59.99. No longer will you have to search around in the dark for that elusive cable--now you can just set your device down on the orb.
Google is quoting a lead time of less than one week for shipment, though international availability remains unknown. Either through good fortune or a good plan, the charging orb has been made available shortly after the Nexus 4's stock was replenished. You can buy the charging orb from the Google Play Store.
Could this possibly be a picture of the upcoming flagship M7 from HTC? EVLeaks certainly thinks so and they've been correct with several other device shots that they have posted up in the past. The M7 is widely expected to be announced later this month at a press conference, so it should be nearing its final form:
As you can see, the M7 is equipped with what appears to be an edge-to-edge display. Coming in at 4.7 inches, it's not the largest mobile screen we've seen, though this one features a full HD 1080p resolution. Other rumored specifications include a 1.7GHz quad-core processor and "ultrapixel" camera.
HTC has a press conference scheduled for February 19 in New York City and it is widely expected the M7 will make its public debut at that time. We'll be sure to cover the news as it happens.
For most of the US, the BlackBerry Z10 will not hit shelves until mid-March, but early adopters can get a shiny new Z10 right now from virtual operator Solavei. The catch is that you will only have to sell a minor body part to have the luxury of being the first to have the new device.
For the low low price of $999, Solavei will hook you up with a BlackBerry Z10 and an unlimited voice and data package for $49 a month. The company piggybacks on T-Mobile's GSM / Edge / UTMS / HSPA+ network. With major carriers set to begin selling the new BlackBerry Z10 next month, is having it a few weeks before your friends really worth the greatly inflated price?
Ryan Wuerch, founder and CEO of Solavei, said in a release:
"We believe in giving our members access to the latest phones and wireless capabilities. Solavei not only gives its members the opportunity to pay less for unlimited mobile service, but even the opportunity to earn income by sharing Solavei with others."
It seems to be a constant roller coaster for the company formerly known as Research in Motion (RIM). One day we see amazing sales reports on its just launched BlackBerry 10 platform, then the next we hear of yet another corporate partner leaving the relationship.
Home Depot has reportedly decided to drop BlackBerry as its internal phone, and will equip its employees with nearly 10,000 Apple iPhone's. This is yet another corporate partner that is jumping ship and ending long standing relationships with the mobile handset manufacturer.
Other defectors include the NOAA, NTSB, and Booz Allen Hamilton. Don't expect BlackBerry to close up shop just yet though as the company has said that it has roughly 1,600 companies in North America alone who are conducting trial runs with the new BlackBerry 10 devices.
We should expect to find our news here at TweakTown to be filled with more iOS-based gadgets as news of the new iPhone's begins to circulate. A Chinese media site has claimed that Apple will release both an iPhone 5S and iPhone 6 this year, with the latter being a 5-inch device. Brightwire translates the news:
- A source told Chinese mobile phone information site Laoyaoba.com that he has seen the iPhone 5S and iPhone 6 at Apple's suppliers. Both models may be released in 2013, according to the website's microblog on Thursday evening.
- The source noted that the iPhone 5S resembles the iPhone 5, and the five-inch iPhone 6 is lighter and thinner.
We've been hearing more and more reports of a "larger" iPhone, but just how much bigger should we expect? 3.5 inches is, in my opinion, too small these days compared to most Android-based smartphones being at least 4 inches now (averaging at over 4.5 inches). A 5-inch iPhone 6 would be interesting, but iOS needs to see some fundamental changes, too.
Apple shouldn't expect to just release yet another bigger iPhone and expect it to sell, as we're seeing their market share slowly evaporating, and their stock quickly disintegrating.
Microsoft is expanding the availability of the Surface RT tablet on February 14 with the release of the tablet in more European countries. The following countries will be able to procure the Surface RT February 14: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
It's important to remember that the Surface RT is ARM based and runs Windows RT as opposed to the full Windows 8. The Surface Pro is launching tomorrow, though it will not be available in the above countries starting tomorrow. It will likely come at a later time, much like the Surface RT has.
Owners of Sony's Xperia line of devices will soon be getting an update to Android 4.1. Known as Jelly Bean, the updated version of Android has started rolling out the Xperia T and Xperia V devices. The update includes redesigned media apps, camera features, and other enhancements.
In total, the updated operating system will be making its way onto 10 devices within the Xperia line of devices. The Xperia TX will have to wait until next month to get its update. For the remaining seven devices, no official plans have been confirmed, though it shouldn't be too much longer of a wait.
Some of the changes owners can expect are listed below:
- "More intuitive" versions of its Sony Media apps, Walkman, Album and Movies
- More options for personalization, including a redesigned home screen
- Better on-device search
- Improvements to the camer, such as a revised viewfinder and new auto-scene setting
- Google Now service
Device owners don't have to do anything as their devices will notify them when the update is available.
When we first heard about Ubuntu's plan to develop a mobile OS, we were stoked to say the least. The reported launch date of Q1 2014 did disappoint us though, but now we are hearing word of an official launch in October of this year.
Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical, one of the leading contributors and primary backer of the Linux based open source Ubuntu operating system, has said that developers will have early access to the new mobile OS later this month with the first official public release happening sometime in October.
Shuttleworth thinks that the Ubuntu mobile OS will allow corporate mobile phone customers to better integrate with their existing Linux based servers, and will allow streaming capabilities not yet seen in iOS, Android, BlackBerry or Windows based mobile operating systems. It would also allow users to simply plug their phone into their desk monitor and boot straight into Ubuntu, making the user's entire workstation portable.
You might remember the Wikipad, the 10-inch gaming tablet that was supposed to be the next big thing from game retailer GameStop. Sadly that deal fell through about three months ago. Now the Wikipad is making a comeback and it could be a competitor with other gaming tablets from companies like Razer.
The new device is the result of a major failure in the first design. The failures were so big that the company actually had to re-tool their manufacturing process. Something so embarrassing that Wikipad president Fraser Townley would not discuss it in a recent interview.
The new device will shed its 10-inch screen in favor of a 1280 x 800 7-inch IPS device with a Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM and Android 4.1. Reports were unclear if the device would still include the gaming pad docking station, but the company did say that a 10-inch device may once again see the light of day if the 7-inch device proves successful.
BlackBerry are in a make it or break it time right now, but early indications is that their Z10 smartphone is doing quite well, at least in Canada and the UK. President and CEO of BlackBerry, Thorsten Heins said that they've enjoyed their best first day of sales of a new BlackBerry smartphone in Canada.
No numbers were provided, but he did say it was more than 50% better than any previous BlackBerry launch in the country. BlackBerry loyalty is huge in Canada, but this is still impressive. Heins also said that sales of the new smartphone in the UK are close to three times better than previous best first week of sales records, too.
We should see some more numbers in the coming weeks, with sales in the US being the biggest part of it all.
Before Samsung announced the new pink-colored Galaxy Note II, there were four colors - grey, white, amber brown and ruby wine. The pink entry gives us a total of five colors of Samsung's 5.5-inch smartphone.
The problem? It has only been unveiled on Samsung's Taiwan website, so it might not be released anywhere else right away, or at all. It seems like perfect timing, though, as Valentine's Day is next week. So if you were looking to buy your significant other a new smartphone, you might want to put an 'IOU' in your card, and snap one of these pink Galaxy Note II's up.
Microsoft is dropping some pretty serious hints that the Surface Pro could see itself being charged via accessories in the future thanks to an upgraded accessory spine. During the Surface AMA on Reddit, Microsoft dropped hints that the extra contact point could be used to attach accessories with batteries at a future point in time.
"At launch we talked about the 'accessory spine' and hinted at future peripherals that can click in and do more," says a Surface spokesperson. "Those connectors look like can carry more current than the pogo pins, don't they?" A further post in the AMA says that an external battery accessory would "require extending the design of the accessory spine to include some way to transfer higher current between the peripheral and the main battery. Which we did..."
As you can see, it's pretty clear that Microsoft is planning accessories that would charge the Surface Pro. Whether these will take the form of a thicker keyboard with an integrated battery or simply an extra battery, only time will tell. Until then, you can rest assured that the Surface Pro will support accessories like these.
Microsoft has, however, ruled out the possibility of them releasing one of these accessories. They say that "we don't have a dock in the plans."
For an unknown reason, T-Mobile has decided to skip upgrading the Lumia 710 to the latest Windows Phone 7.8. In the United States, T-Mobile is the only carrier with the Lumia 710 device. Apparently, T-Mobile doesn't feel the upgrade to Windows Phone 7.8 provides a better experience for their customers.
At this time, the Nokia Lumia 710 will not receive the Windows Phone 7.8 software update. T-Mobile is committed to enhancing customers' experience with our devices, including providing upgrades to the latest operating systems, and T-Mobile aims to deliver software upgrades when it will provide a better experience for our customers. We'll share additional information on upgrades for the Nokia Lumia 710 when they are available.
Windows Phone 7.8 has already started rolling out to other Nokia devices, including Lumia 710's that are unlocked or on other carriers. It is possible to manually upgrade your T-Mobile Lumia 710 to the Windows Phone 7.8 operating system by using this hack posted on XDA-Dev forums, though this is at your own risk.
The rumor mill seems to be in good working order this week, and the latest gossip to float past our ears that we will most likely be seeing Samsung's next-generation Galaxy smartphone as early as March 15th. Previously we were lead to believe that the headset would not make an appearance until March 22nd.
If the rumors are true, Samsung's new flagship smartphone will arrive just around a year after its predecessor, the Galaxy S III, which is still recording massive sales figures. The Galaxy S IV will roll out to Europe and Asia in April, and will see US shelves between May and June.
The Galaxy S IV is thought to be equipped with a 4.99-inch Super AMOLED full HD display, a 1.8GHz eight-core Exynos 5 Octa processor and a 13-megapixel rear camera. The device is also expected to include 2GB of RAM, NFC, 4G LTE, a microSD slot, wireless charging capabilities and Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean.