With recent reports stating that the successor to the HTC One, the M8, will not be arriving until early to mid March, many loyal HTC fans are a little let down to say the least. This morning does bring a little hope into their lives though as a newly leaked photo of the M8 has surfaced online and it is quite interesting.
If true, the HTC M8 (or HTC One 2) will feature a similar form factor with an alloy chassis that made its predecessor one of the best Android-based smartphones ever released. What is extremely interesting however, is that the M8 appears to feature dual rear cameras as well as dual LED flashes. The image was leaked by Twitter user @htcfamily_ru, and appears to be legit. If real, this debunks rumors that suggested the M8 would feature a fingerprint scanner and rear buttons similar to the LG G Pro. Also noteworthy is the absence of any Beats Audio logo, which means that the partnership is truly over between Beats by Dre and HTC.
As more smartphones, tablets and mobile devices enter the workplace, employees and decision makers must work to embrace methods to ensure security doesn't actively interfere with usability. Just five percent of companies use biometric authentication currently, but that is expected to increase up to 30 percent by 2016, according to the Gartner research group.
Complex passwords are sometimes required for mobile devices, though Gartner believes interface activity, voice recognition, face topography and iris structure, for example, will prove to be more secure.
"Mobile users staunchly resist authentication methods that were tolerable on PCs and are still needed to secure access on mobile devices," said Ant Allan, Gartner Research VP, in a statement. "Security leaders must manage users' expectations and take into account the user experience without compromising security."
Many casual consumers are only beginning to understand mobile security issues, though companies embracing 'bring your own device' (BYOD) remain confused on how to best protect devices. As biometric authentication solutions advance, there is great potential of significantly more secure products for companies to choose from - and that will only advance in the future.
With the 2014 Mobile World Congress almost here, handset companies are beginning to release details on some of the phones we will see at the event. Today LG began promoting its G Pro 2 in hopes to drum up some hype about the upcoming phablet. Information posted on the company's Korean website states that the G Pro 2 will feature a 13-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization and full HD video capture capabilities.
LG says that the new form of optical image stabilization will also feature a software counterpart that will further improve the performance of the device, and will ensure a blur-free image even in dark environments where image blur is a big issue. Furthermore the new rear camera will feature the ability to capture full HD video in slow motion mode, as Ultra HD video capture. Additional features include a 20-shot burst mode that will aid in capturing the perfect action shot.
Rumors have been swirling about a red Nexus 5 for months now, and today those rumors came true. This afternoon, Google and LG announced that they have officially released a red version of the Nexus 5 through the Google Play Store. The Nexus 5 is of course the flagship phone for Android and is equipped with Android 4.4, a 5-inch 1080p IPS display, and a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor.
"The Nexus line has always been about doing things differently and consumers who share this philosophy have been our most loyal fans," said Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. "We're carrying this thinking over to the red Nexus 5, which we think will catch the eye of consumers who want to make an even bolder statement."
The red Nexus 5 will be available on Google Play™ starting this month in the United States, Canada, U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan and Korea with wider availability across Europe by the end of the month. Customers will also be able to purchase a red Nexus 5 in retail stores in select markets. The red Nexus 5 retails for $349 for the 16GB version and $399 for the 32GB version on the Google Play Store.
LG will unveil its new G Pro 2 smartphone later this month at Mobile World Congress, but between now and then, we're getting some more details on LG's soon-to-be great smartphone. The G Pro 2 will feature something called "OIS Plus" which is Optical Image Stabilization, but on steroids.
The G2's camera was quite impressive, but the new G Pro 2 will feature the new OIS Plus, adding onto the already great rear snapper. The G Pro 2 will see the addition of a new 20-shot burst mode, which combines all of the shots taken into a single photo for new effects. Better yet, the G Pro 2 will have 1.4 x slow motion video, and will shoot 4K video (3840x2160).
Mobile World Congress kicks off on Monday, 24th February in Barcelona, Spain, but it looks like Samsung is finally starting to tease its upcoming flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5.
Samsung has sent out some press invites, which has plenty of 5's on it. Samsung is calling the event Unpacked 5, which should give us a big tease as to what to expect. What else would Samsung be unveiling that has a 5 on it, and is as important as its upcoming sure-fire hit of a smartphone? We will find out in just a few weeks time!
Those who were excited to see HTC launch its successor to the HTC One at the 2014 Mobile World Congress are in for some disappointment today. A new report our from @evleaks, a very reliable source when it comes to smartphone information, has informed us that HTC will not be launching the M8 (aka HTC One 2) at MWC 2014.
On Twitter, @evleaks said "Starting to look like a late Match, NYC launch for HTC M8." which means that we should still see the HTC One's successor arrive next month, and in a grander fashion than would be possible at MWC 2014 which is held in Barcelona. Rumors speculate that the HTC M8 will feature a 5-inch 1080p screen, and will be powered by a quad-core 2.26GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800. 3GB of RAM could be possible as well, and HTC will most definitely drop the Beats Audio hype this time around.
Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry ended 2013 with a whimper, as the company captured just 0.5 percent of U.S. Q4 smartphone sales, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners indicated. Prior to the success of the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy line of smartphones, BlackBerry had the most identifiable - and well supported - line of handset manufacturers, though struggled to convert regular users.
The U.S. government recently ordered 80,000 BlackBerry smartphones, seemingly giving the Canadian company a temporary lifeline. However, the company will continue to work on its enterprise-grade software and won't focus as much on developing new smartphones, as the company has struggled to keep up with Apple, Samsung, and other smartphone makers.
During Q4, BlackBerry sold 1.9 million smartphones throughout the world, obviously trailing Apple with its 51 million units sold.
Word has came in this morning about yet another incident where someone was severely burned due to a faulty battery in a mobile device. The smartphone in question this time is one of Apple's new iPhone 5C models, and the victim of the fire is a 14 year old girl from Kennebunk, Maine. The girl is said to have suffered second degree burns to her hands after the phone burst into flames in her pocket.
The 14-year-old girl had sat down just before her first-period French class Friday morning when she and her friends sitting nearby heard a pop from the Apple iPhone 5C she had been given by her mother two months earlier.
"Immediately, smoke starts billowing from around the student," said Jeff Rodman, principal of the Middle School of the Kennebunks. "She knew right away something was wrong and, in a panic, knew her pants were on fire caused by the cellphone," reports the Morning Sentinel.
After a few long months of waiting, Sprint customers who own the HTC One will be quite happy to hear that the company has just released the Android 4.4.2 KitKat update. In fact, I got the notification on my HTC One about 15 minutes ago to download the 535MB package.
The update took me about 8 minutes total to download and install over Wi-Fi, but it appears that not all HTC One owners are receiving the update notification. Most users will need to manually check for updates in their phone's system update menu. My HTC One feels much faster despite being quite speeding on 4.3 and 4.2., and with this update, Sprint becomes the first carrier to release KitKat to the HTC One in the US.
AT&T is responding to increased pressure from rivals by unveiling a new family subscription plan with major benefits to generate interest from consumers.
Of note, an AT&T subscription with four subscribers will cost $160 per month and include unlimited voice, unlimited text, and 10GB of shared data. The plan begins at $130 per month for two smartphones in the family, and each additional line costs $15.
The new AT&T plan officially launches on Sunday. The company recently added 566,000 paid subscribers during Q4 2013.
There is increased competition in the U.S. wireless subscription market, as AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint fight for subscribers. AT&T is the No. 2 wireless carrier in the U.S., but has suffered against No. 1 Verizon and No. 4 T-Mobile - and each company has made purchase incentives available to customers.
AT&T, the No. 2 wireless carrier in the United States trailing behind Verizon Wireless, added 566,000 contract customers during Q4. Almost 440,000 of the new subscribers were new tablet users, as the carrier continues to try and battle against rivals in an increasing effort to poach customers from one another.
T-Mobile is the No. 4 wireless carrier in the United States, and has continually increased efforts to steal subscribers away from rivals. T-Mobile is currently running a promotion for subscribers of other carriers to write so-called "breakup" letters to their current provider. T-Mobile added 869,000 postpaid subscribers during Q4, as the company was able to add at least 2 million subscribers throughout the entire year of 2013.
AT&T offered up to $450 in account credit to subscribers leaving behind T-Mobile - and will pay $250 for device trade-ins. Meanwhile, T-Mobile said it would pay early-termination fees for any new subscriber leaving behind AT&T, Verizon Wireless, or Sprint.
For the first time in years, consumers looking to purchase new smartphones and switch carriers have a variety of different options available.
BlackBerry is preparing to launch some new smartphones at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month, smartphones that are being manufactured with its new partner, Foxconn.
The Foxconn-produced BlackBerry smartphones will debut at MWC 2014, but we don't know what to expect. The struggling Canadian handset maker is going through rough times, but signed a new deal with Foxconn to produce devices aimed at emerging markets. The first Foxconn-produced smartphone will feature a touchscreen, but we should expect other models with physical keyboards, too.
An Android-based smartphone was the last thing anyone thought they would ever see from Nokia, especially with its handset division recently being purchased by Microsoft, but all indications point to a Nokia Android phone being in existence. Dubbed "Project Normandy," the smartphone's release seems imminent if the increasing rate of leaks is any indication.
This morning we spotted the Nokia RM-980, Project Normandy's model number, in Rightware's online benchmark results, and while the numbers leave much to be desired, the fact stands that and Android-based Nokia smartphone is in existence. In the results, the RM-980 falls below the now dated HTC Incredible S, and just above the HTC OneX which all but confirms the low-end specs that leaked recently from @evleaks.
The infamous leakster says that Project Normandy will feature a very low-end 4-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 480x800 and will be powered by a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor clocked in at 1GHz. Just 512MB of RAM will be packed in along side 4GB of storage and a 5-megapixel generic imaging sensor. The leak did mention a 1500mAh battery as well as Android 4.4 KitKat, so at least it has that going for it. The more info that comes in on Project Normandy, the more I begin to believe rumors that this is actually the next-generation of the Asha line of feature phones. With MWC 2014 not far away, I am sure we will have a definitive answer on Project Normandy soon.
Mobile World Congress 2014 is but weeks away, where we should be greeted with a selection of new smartphones - an event where LG should unveil its new flagship device.
The company quietly confirmed the name of its new smartphone, the G Pro 2, and that it would be officially unveiled in February. Well, it just so happens that MWC 2014 takes place in February, so what better time to unveil it? The G Pro 2 should continue what the G Pro started, with an impressive list of specifications, and a decently large screen.
We should expect somewhere in the vicinity of a 6-inch 1080p display, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 processor, 3GB of RAM, LTE-Advanced capabilities, and Android 4.4 KitKat.
It looks like HTC will reboot its line of Desire smartphones to combat the mid-range handset market, something that is quite lucrative. It will help the struggling Taiwanese company in more ways than one, as it seems to not be able to tackle the high-end market.
HTC's new Desire smartphones will be the answer to the iPhone 5C: where the new Desire's will feature a plastic casing, and will arrive in a multitude of different, bright colors. One of the big advantages it'll have over the iPhone 5C is in the hardware department. The new Desire smartphones should arrive with a Mediatek 8-core processor, which should be quite the selling point to consumers.
There are only two colors available in the Nexus 5: black and white, but this is all set to change. There were rumors floating around over the weekend of a red Nexus 5, but there's no confirmation on this just yet.
Things started heating up when @artyomstar posted a picture on Twitter, which should have tongues wagging. We should hopefully have some concrete info from Google soon, I'd say.
The Google Android mobile operating system ended 2013 by boosting its market share in key markets spread across the world, according to research group Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. In the United State,s Android held a slim lead against iOS, 50.6 percent compared to 43.9 percent held by iOS, in what should be a fun market share battle for 2014.
Through Q4 2013, Android dominated iOS in Europe, picking up 68.6 percent market share compared to the iPhone's 18.4 percent. The Microsoft Windows Phone OS collected 10.3 percent - and the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany and Spain remain the most lucrative European markets. Android easily dominated iOS in China, picking up 78.6 percent of the market compared to just 19 percent for iOS.
Moving forward, Android can continue to expand in emerging markets - where Apple and its higher-price devices tend to struggle - while also increasing marketing efforts in the United States, Western Europe, and select mature markets.
Sales of Microsoft's Surface line of slates are beginning to increase, where back in Microsoft's first quarter of FY2014, it sold $400 million worth. Compared to second quarter FY2014, where it sold $893 million worth - a nice increase in sales.
Microsoft didn't unveil how many units it sold, but even with the increased sales, the company is still at a $39 million loss on the Surface line. Amy Hood, Microsoft's Chief Financial Officer, said: "With Surface, demand continued to grow, benefiting from improved execution at retail and favorable reviews of the new Surface devices. Sequentially, both units and revenue more than doubled this quarter, with customers recognizing Surface's differentiated value proposition as one device for everything in their life. We feel good about the progress we have made over the past couple of quarters, and are enthusiastic about the overall opportunity ahead with Surface".
For the time it took smartphone displays to shift from 720p to 1080p - around 18 months - Qualcomm has now stated that it shouldn't be long before 4K smartphones are the norm.
Qualcomm's Vice President of Marketing, Tim McDonough, spoke with TrustedReviews and said: "I think 4K is one of the primary things you are seeing from us. 4K is pretty cool because it means that not only can you do 4K video, but once you can push that number of pixels and the chip has the ability to do 4K video, anything that is multimedia related - think about gaming - that gets better too".
McDonough teased that it shouldn't be long before we have full 4K smartphones, not just SoCs that are capable of driving 4K. Qualcomm's Snapdragon 805 is capable of driving Ultra HD, as well as shooting 4K video and playing it back. He adds: "It has already sampled and we said the first half of 2014 [for devices to launch]".
Late last year, Pete Lau, former VP of Oppo announced the formation of a new company aimed at disrupting the current smartphone arena. He named the company OnePlus and set out to build the highest quality smartphone in the world. With just over a month in the books, OnePlus has just released a statement that says its first phone will make it to market by June of this year.
OnePlus has officially named its first foray into the smartphone world, the OnePlus One, and says that it will be "Built using only the best components and 2014 flagship specs, both inside and out." While I am sure that statement made HTC take notice, I am quite excited myself to see what this phone may include both hardware and software wise. As far as aesthetics, the OnePlus said the folowing about the phone: "Industrial design wise, we're confident our phone is more attractive than just about any other on the market."
While no official specs have been released, we expect the phone to feature a screen size greater than 5-inches with a resolution of 1080p or 1440p. Ram should be in the 2-4GB range while the processor is most likely Qualcomm's flagship chip. Storage would be set between 64GB and 128GB, with expansion via microSD card built-in. We do know that CyanogenMod will be serving up the Android-based operating system for the device, and believe it to be Android 4.3 or 4.4.