Chinese smartphone and electronics maker Hisense is known for making things like smartphones, tablets, and TVs among other things. The company is at MWC 2014 and has unveiled an interesting smartphone with a massive screen.
The 6.8-inch screen definitely puts the Maxe X1 smartphone into the phablet realm. In fact, the screen is so large that Hisense ships it with an NFC enabled Bluetooth mini phone that weighs 20 grams. That mini phone can be used to answer and end calls.
It can also be used to send and receive SMS messages and can be used as a swiped bus or subway pass. The phone has full HD resolution on the big screen. It runs a Snapdragon 800 processor at 2.3 GHz. The OS is Android 4.4 KitKat with a custom UI over the top.
BlackBerry has announced a couple new smartphones that will be landing later this year. The company hasn't offered up all the details on either of the devices. The new BlackBerry smartphones are the Z3 and the Q20.
The Q20 smartphone promises the physical QWERTY keyboard that fans of the BlackBerry line known and love. The smartphone will run BlackBerry 10 for the OS and has the largest touchscreen ever used on a physical keyboard device from BlackBerry. The screen measures 3.5-inches.
The Q20 has physical end, send, and back buttons as well. The Q20 will launch in the second half of 2014 and more detail will be offered then. The other smartphone is the Z3, which is pictured here. The Z3 offers an all-touch device with a 5-inch screen.
MWC 2014 - Quickly following our hands on of the new Fonepad 7 LTE edition, Johannes took a few minutes to check out ASUS' other Fonepad being shown off at the 2014 Mobile World Congress. The Fonepad ME175CG is a 7-inch tablet featuring a 1280x800 resolution screen. An Intel Atom Z2520 dual-core processor is on hand to manage the computational duties and 1GB of RAM to keep everything running smooth.
Android 4.3 is loaded from the factory, but there is no LTE featured. 3G radios are installed alongside Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. Storage is set at 8GB but is easily extended via the built-in microSD port. Like all ASUS Fonepad's the ME175CG is capable of making phone calls as well as functioning as a normal 7-inch tablet. A 5-megapixel rear camera handles imaging duties while a 1.2-megapixel front shooter is on hand for selfies and video conferencing.
MWC 2014 - ASUS updated its Fonepad 7 tablet at Mobile World Congress 2014, providing LTE capabilities to its 7-inch slate. The new Fonepad 7 LTE features an IPS-based panel, with an LTE modem cranking along inside to give you super-fast mobile Internet.
Johannes Knapp, our man on the ground at MWC 2014, had some hands-on time with the LTE-enabled Fonepad 7. Inside of the refreshed 7-inch slate, we find the underused Intel dual-core Atom Z2560 processor (Clover Trail+). The 7-inch screen features a resolution of 1280x800, 32GB of storage, a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera and 5-megapixel rear-facing camera are also featured.
One surprise found in the new Fonepad 7 is the new Android-based UI, ZenUI. ZenUI will first appear in the PadFone Mini, PadFone and ZenFone products before it filters down to the Fonepad 7 devices. At the moment, more detailed specifications aren't available, nor is pricing information. We should hear more about that in the coming weeks.
MWC 2014 - Samsung announced its Galaxy S5 yesterday during Mobile World Congress 2014, but it didn't mention anything about the Exynos-powered version of its new flagship.
Well, the company did announce it, but very quietly. While the main Galaxy S5 will feature a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, there will also be a 2.1GHz octo-core version, based on the company's Exynos SoC. Samsung performed a similar move with its Galaxy S4, but the LTE-powered Galaxy S4 featuring the Exynos-based processor didn't really get pushed out of its South Korean market, unfortunately.
MWC 2014 - Our man on the ground at Mobile World Congress 2014, Johannes Knapp, had some hands-on time with the Samsung Galaxy S5. You can check out our hands-on time with the Galaxy S5, below.
If you didn't already know the specifications of the Galaxy S5, Samsung has used a 5.1-inch 1920x1080-pixel Super AMOLED display, quad-core 2.5GHz processor (with a 2.1GHz octo-core processor version coming soon), 2GB of RAM, an option between 16GB or 32GB of on-board storage, 16-megapixel 4K-capable rear-facing camera, a heart-rate sensor, fingerprint reader, and the choice of four colors: gold, black, white or blue.
You'll be able to purchase the Galaxy S5 in April.
Silent Circle and Geeksphone announced today that it has officially opened up pre-ordering for its Blackphone, a smartphone designed with encryption and privacy in mind. The phone retails for $629 and is claimed to be the only 100-percent secure smartphone in existence.
The Blackphone will feature a quad-core 2GHz processor of unknown origin as well as 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and full support for most LTE networks. While the BlackPhone will not outshine flagship phones from Samsung, LG, and HTC, the device is said to beat them all in security, a topic at the front of many minds after recent PRISM and Snowden events. The phone will run a flavor of Android that has been highly customized, as well as custom apps designed by Silent Circle to remotely wipe the phone from anywhere, as well as a full featured security center.
MWC 2014 - The quest for a $25 smartphone has been at the forefront of Mozilla and Canonnical's minds for sometime and now it appears that those dreams just might be coming true for Mozilla. Today Mozilla and Spreadtrum announced that they have teamed up to create a few turnkey FireFox OS powered reference design smartphones based on Spreadtrum's entry-level smartphone chipset.
Spreadtrum and Mozilla have completed several devices running Firefox OS and Spreadtrum's WCDMA and EDGE chipsets, reference designs that will allow OEMs to bring the first $25 smartphones to market. "Spreadtrum's turnkey reference design brings together this highly cost-effective chipset platform with the intuitive, easy-to-use experience and Web/HTML5 application ecosystem of Firefox OS," said the company in a release. "Firefox OS smartphones are the first devices powered completely by Web technologies to deliver the performance, personalization and price users want in a smartphone with a beautiful, intuitive and easy-to-use experience that is unmatched by other phones."
MWC 2014 is underway meaning that there is lots of news in the smartphone realm today. One of the new devices that was unveiled today at the show is the ZTE Grand Memo II LTE. As the name of the smartphone suggests, the device operates on 4G LTE networks.
The smartphone runs the Android 4.4 KitKat OS and measures 161.5 x 83 x 7.2mm. The screen is a bit 6-inch HD TFT unit that supports 16 million colors and multi touch. The rear camera of the smartphone is a 13MP unit and it uses a Sony BSI image sensor.
The rear camera also has flash and auto focus. The front camera is a 5MP unit that has fixed focus. The battery that powers the device is a 3200 mAh unit. The Grand Memo II LTE uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with 2GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage. The smartphone also has GPS with AGPS, integrated Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0.
MWC 2014 - In front of a packed house and more than 1/4 of a million live stream viewers, Samsung's CEO, JK Shin, took the stage at the company's Unpacked 5 event to unveil the long awaited successor to the unimaginably popular Galaxy S4 smartphone, the Galaxy S5. Samsung says the Galaxy S5 has been built to help enhance our daily lives, and to make every day task easier.
The Galaxy S5 is not the full redesigned smartphone everyone had asked for, but the new flagship smartphone is definitely an update from the Galaxy S4. The S5 features a larger 5.1-inch 1080p, Super AMOLED display that is on par with the Galaxy S4's image quality. The Galaxy S5 also still retains the familiar plastic frame, but does feature a waterproof IP7 rating, as well as an integrated fingerprint scanner. More details on specific hardware will be unveiled tomorrow at part 2 of the Unpacked event, but the last thing we do know about the device is that its smooth back has been replaced by a new dimpled texture which is available in several different colors.
Last year the first YotaPhone debuted. The device was the first dual screen smartphone to feature a normal LCD on one side and an electronic paper display (EPD) on the other. That LCD screen is perfect for playing games and watching videos that need full color.
On the other side, the EPD is perfect for reading in direct sunlight and saving battery power when viewing documents. At MWC 2014, the next generation YotaPhone has been unveiled and it has some nice updates from the original.
The updates include an electronic paper display that has full touch control. The electronic paper display is always-on and is very power miserly for long battery life. The new YotaPhone allows people to respond to messages, social networks, emails, and calls without having to wake up the color LCD and consume more power. The EPD is 4.7-inches and the LCD on the other side is a 5-inch AMOLED unit.
Fujitsu is showing off a cool prototype tablet at MWC 2014 that has haptic feedback tech inside. The tablet is able to allow the user to feel smooth and rough surfaces on the screen with their finger. That means if a picture has smooth and rough parts, you can actually feel them. Fujitsu is showing off a demo of this tech with an image of an alligator that lets you feel the bumps on its hide.
Another of the demos Fujitsu has is of a harp that lets the user feel the strings as they pluck them. The way the tablet is able to create the haptic feedback is by using ultrasonic vibrations. The vibrations produce a high-pressure layer of air above the screen that acts as a cushion for the finger.
When that cushion of air is there, the screen feels very smooth. By alternating the air cushion quickly, Fujitsu is able to produce the feel of a rough surface. The technology has been miniaturized to the point where it can fit inside a tablet and run off the amount of power available to mobile devices.
Nokia is one of the many companies at Mobile World Congress 2014 that are showing off new smartphones and tablets. One of the new smartphones that Nokia is showing off is the XL dual SIM device. That smartphone is part of the Nokia X series.
The smartphone runs Nokia X platform for the OS and has a 5-inch display. That screen is large, but its specs show that it is a device designed for budget shoppers. The screen has a resolution of 800 x 480, many screens of that size on smartphones are full HD. The Nokia XL does support 24-bit color, and the screen has 187ppi.
The smartphone measures 141.4mm tall x 77.7mm wide x 10.9mm thick with a weight of 190g. The Nokia XL has integrated Bluetooth 3.0 + HS. The smartphone has integrated Wi-Fi and charges via a USB port. The device operates on 2G and 3G networks.
MWC 2014 - TweakTown's reporter on the go, Johannes Knapp, is in Barcelona and getting the lowdown on all the new devices being unveiled at the 2014 Mobile World Congress. Johannes just spent some time with the new Sony Xperia Z2 smartphone, the successor to Sony's flagship Xperia Z1 that was a huge hit at MWC 2013.
The new Sony Xperia Z2 is almost identical to the Xperia Z1 ascetically, but do not let looks deceive you. The device features a new 5.2-inch full HD "True-Luminous" display, and is powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor which has been clocked to 2.3GHz. 3GB of RAM and 16GB of on-board storage is available which can be augmented by a microSD card.
The phone features the same 20.7MP seen on the Z1, but now with 4K video at 120fps this time around. The Z2 is water, dust, and shock proof as well. Wrapping things up, the Xperia Z2 runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat out of the box. Johannes is in Barcelona for the duration of the 2014 Mobile World Congress, so stay tuned for more hands-on videos of the latest devices from the show.
Broadcom introduced a new lineup of near field communication (NFC) BCM20795 controllers to provide connectivity for the mass market smartphones and wearables.
To do so, the chipmaker assured that these new controllers will reduce the total cost by 35% for OEMs by enabling antenna design for smartphones and wearable devices. It also reduces power consumption by 60% extended battery life. Along with the promise to reduce more than 60% power consumption and usage of less than 30%, the newer chip requires 35% lesser PCB area compared to its previous generations. The chips are compatible with Wireless Internet Connectivity for Embedded Devices (WICED) platforms, so it should enable majority of the lower cost smartphones and other devices for WICED.
MWC 2014 - Sony just finished unveiling its new Xperia Z2 smartphone, but add the word "Tablet" to the end of that, and you have the Japanese electronic giant's new 10-inch tablet.
The Xperia Z2 Tablet is a new 10-inch tablet which is going for thin, very thin, coming in at just 6.4mm thick, it is one of the thinnest slates on the market, even thinner than the already-thin iPad Air. We have that beautiful Live Color LED display, quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM and a 1920x1080-pixel display.
Sony have opted for an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera on the Z2 Tablet, compared to the 20.7-megapixel rear-snapper on the Z2 smartphone. Of course, most people aren't snapping photos on tablets, so the compromise feels warranted. We have waterproofing here, as well as new front-firing speakers with the new S-Fore Surround Sound setup. We also have digital noise cancelling for a special headset that is included in the box.
MWC 2014 - We knew it was coming, but Sony has just unveiled its new Xperia X2 in Barcelona, Spain, during Mobile World Congress 2014. The new Sony flagship handset features the same footprint as the Z1, but has internal upgrades which should impress.
First off, we have a new IPS display, something that Sony calls Live Color LEDs. This is a technology unique to Sony that has provided it with the widest color gamut on the market, beating out even Apple with its iPhone and iPad. We have a 1920x1080-pixel 5.2-inch display, but inside, we have a new 3200mAh battery which is impressive to hear.
As for horsepower, we have a 2.3GHz quad-core processor, 3GB of RAM, a new set of stereo speakers, the same all-glass front and back, as well as the IP58-certified waterproofing, and the same dedicated camera key. The rear-snapper on the Xperia Z2 is capable of shooting 4K video, but it also features something from Sony's Handycam line of camera: SteadyShot.
MWC 2014 - Just when you thought 6-inch smartphones were big, Huawei has gone back to the drawing board with its new, gigantic 7-inch smartphone, the MediaPad X1.
Huawei's new smartphone is still technically a smartphone at 7 inches, but it is really pushing the boundaries of a tablet here. We have small bezels on the side - just 3mm - and it is quite thin at just 7.18mm. The build quality looks great, with an all-glass front and aluminum back and sides that use an interesting nanotechnology to keep it rigid.
Inside of the MediaPad X1 we have an unknown-until-now Kirin 910 1.6GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a 1920x1080-pixel screen, 13-megapixel Sony Exmor R rear-facing camera backed up by a wide-angle 5-megapixel camera on the front. The MediaPad X1 can also charge other devices from its USB port, too. The MediaPad X1 will arrive in China, Russia, Western Europe, the Middle East, Japan and Latin America in March.
It will arrive in four colors, and a price of â‚¬399 to or $548 - which is definitely not too bad considering what you're getting with Huawei's MediaPad X1.
MWC 2014 - Lenovo just took the wraps off of three new smartphones, with one of them being the S860. The Lenovo S860 features a 5.3-inch 720p IPS display, MediaTek 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of on-board flash.
We also have dual-SIM support, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, 1.6-megapixel front-facing camera, dual front-facing speakers and arguably, it's biggest feature: a 4000mAh battery. The mammoth battery is also capable of charging other devices on-the-go, which is an interesting feature indeed. The only other smartphone on the market to feature a whopping 4000mAh battery is the Huawei Mate 2, which is a 6.1-inch behemoth.
MWC 2014 - Lenovo has just taken off the wraps of its new S850 smartphone, its new super-thin, all-glass smartphone. We have a 5-inch HD (1280x720) display, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, 5-megapixel front-facing camera, and much more.
Inside of the S850, we have a MediaTek 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of on-board flash storage, dual-SIM capabilities and Android 4.2. This isn't a high-end smartphone by any measure, without LTE support, a high resolution display or latest version of Android. The Lenovo S850 comes in two colors: white and pink.
With the price starting at $269, it will be launched in select markets in the coming months.
Apple controlled the United States smartphone market in 2013, capturing 45 percent throughout the year, according to The NPD Group. The smartphone industry as a whole jumped 21 percent for American consumers, with 121 smartphones sold to consumers and business users.
In the United States, the top smartphone brands were the following: Apple, Samsung, LG, HTC, and Motorola - and companies such as Lenovo and Huawei are reportedly interested in focusing more in the US market.
"In general, 2013 was a year of smartphone market stability for the US," said Stephen Baker, NPD VP of industry analysts, in a press statement. "Overall industry growth was similar to that of 2012, and while the major hardware brands saw their shares increase marginally, the space between Apple and Samsung and the rest of the industry expanded once again."