Ever since the original iPad was released two years ago, $500 has been viewed as a decent entry price for large tablets with 10” display, 8/16GB internal storage, no 3G/4G data and with Wi-Fi connectivity. All subsequent low-end iPad models have been priced from this starting point and some competitors have attempted to match it, although many failed. In the tablet market $500 has become a sweet spot, much like $200 for smartphones with 2-year contract.
So, it’s nice to see a high-end tablet with 10.1” display priced at just $399.99 online by Office Depot. There are a few caveats though, despite the name, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 is just a minor improvement over its predecessor. The only huge improvement is the availability of a microSD card slot and it is a bit thicker than the original Galaxy Tab 10.1, which is a letdown. It doesn’t make sense why Samsung chose to make a thicker tablet as the general tendency in the mobile industry is the exact opposite.
The new tablet gets to run Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.), whereas the predecessor is still waiting for the update. So far, it is still anyone’s guess when the original Galaxy Tab 10.1 will get the update. The tablet has bezel-mounted speakers and that’s expected to be a patent-proof design, a necessary requirement in the ongoing patent war between Samsung and Apple. It still uses the same old hardware configuration; 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 10.1” display with 1280 x 800 pixels resolution and a 3.2 Mp rear-facing camera with 1080p video recording capability.
As it stands now, Samsung is the king of Android and Nokia steals all the headlines with the best Windows Phone smartphone to date, the Lumia 900. But it doesn’t mean that Samsung is sitting idle on its Windows Phone offerings.
The Korean company is believed to be developing three new Windows Phone devices, which will hit the stores by the end of 2012; among these three handsets, two probably running Android and one being the fabled Mandel. Mandel devices are somewhat important in the Windows Phone circle because it will support LTE capabilities, which is expected to come around later this year, before Microsoft rolls out the Windows Phone 8. The Mandel SGH-i667 has been rumored to join the AT&T’s network and it features Windows Phone 7.5 Tango, WVGA display and LTE connectivity.
Tango is a minor update to the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, which can run better on low-speed CPU and 256MB of RAM. ZTE Orbit and Nokia Lumia 610 are the first handsets to run Tango. It offers improved messaging features and users now can attach multiple media files, such as images, videos, ringtones and voice notes to text messages.
With HTC and Nokia as of now taking the brunt of Windows Phone OS pie and distributing some good handsets to customers, it would be interesting to know how Samsung would start to differentiate itself from these two competitors. As an old business rule says that “newcomers should be different”. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before we see a Samsung’s Windows Phone hit the shelves.
Rumors on the upcoming Samsung Galaxy SIII are being churned out almost every day. From what we have learnt until now, it appears that the Galaxy SII’s successor is going to be one hell of a gadget with out of the world specs, something you’d have to expect from a company like Samsung. While there’s been no official confirmation on what specification details it would have, one of the rumors told us that the smartphone would be getting 3D technology.
Since last year, we have been witnessing quite a few 3D-capable phones. Unfortunately, most of them didn’t do well and it appears people are not interested in using the 3D capability too often. It could be the reason why Samsung’s R&D folks deny the Samsung Galaxy SIII a 3D technology.
Although Samsung Electronics is always exploiting new innovations in the mobile industry, unlike some of the competitors, they have no immediate plans in implementing screens with 3D capabilities in upcoming smartphones. So, if you’re one of those who are eagerly waiting for 3D video playback and capture capability on the Samsung Galaxy SIII, the news may have come as a bit of a shocker. But then, as Samsung tends to release many variation of its flagship, it is quite plausible that there might be a 3D-enabled variant of Samsung Galaxy SIII.
Like what was mentioned previously, Samsung decision to exclude 3D capabilities on this smartphone could be based on observation on 3D smartphones released previously by LG and HTC. A rumor has been floating around of late saying that the Galaxy SIII will make its debut at the end May, this year. So, it is a good idea to stall your plan to purchase a new smartphone for at least two months.
You might be wondering how AT&T could offer Nokia’s upcoming flagship for just $100 with a 2-year contract. A quick examination, however, shows us that the smartphone actually has a modest specification compared to high end handsets available in the market today.
The Lumia 900 will be driven by a 1.4 GHz single-core Qualcomm processor and 512 MB of RAM. Many top Android phones already carry dual- our quad-core processor and 1 GB of RAM. Its 3.7″ display is bigger than the iPhone 4S, but at 480 x 800 pixels resolution, the screen doesn’t look as great. Some high end Android phones uses 1280 x 720 pixels resolution and the iPhone 4S has 960 x 640 pixels resolution, despite the slightly smaller display. Lumia 900 uses Super-AMOLED technology, so the display will look roughly similar to what you see on some Samsung Galaxy handsets
The rest of the specification shows that there’s nothing groundbreaking about this phone, it has 16 GB of internal storage, Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, 1 MP front-facing camera and 8 MP rear-facing camera. It has the same height and weight as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus but a tad heavier and thicker. Compared to the iPhone 4S, the Lumia 900 also feels quite bulky.
Although having a faster hardware is a good thing, it doesn’t tell you the whole story. Memory and application management can make a huge difference on the performance level, so a single core processor and 512 MB of RAM might be just as good as quad-core processor and 1 GB of RAM found on some Android handsets.
The Instagram for Android could become your new favorite toy and it may make you consider everything you see as a potential object for your next photograph; newspaper on the lawn, dazzling red flowers in your garden or your cute cat. Everything also looks like a piece of art when you apply one of those fancy photo filters. If you find yourself scrambling to download the app now, don’t worry, you are not the only one jonesing about it. In the first 24 hours, Instagram for Android has been downloaded one million times.
Visually, the Android version of the app feels and looks like the one you find on the iPhone. There are a few things missing of course, but it doesn’t feel like that you’d miss them too much. Even so, sweet little features like the tilt-shift needs to come very soon for Android users, because it is one of the reasons why Instagram is much more than just a photo filter app. Also missing is the live feed feature.
However, all the basics features are already there. You’ll find flash control, a button to switch between rear and front camera and cropping tool. Overall, the app is an example of simplicity at its finest. Once you sign up and get going, it’s easy to be compelled to snap every mundane thing in sight. However, with Instagram you’ll find that those mundane things can turn into something artistic. You can quickly connect your new Instagram account with your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare accounts, making it possible to quickly share your photos with friends and followers.
The media has glimpsed an image purportedly the rumored Google’s Galaxy Nexus tablet. Proponents substantiate their claims by pointing out a few positive clues. The image shows a display with icons of basic Google apps and service, but none icons from third-party developers. The display is also devoid of overlay often applied by major manufacturers such as Samsung’s TouchWiz UI or HTC’s Sense UI. The user interface is reminiscent of the stock Android 4.0 we get from Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
Another important point to note is the presence of status bar and soft keys, which is identical to what we find on the Galaxy Nexus. In spite of these compelling evidences, you may easily identify unusual aspects in the leaked image.
Previous rumors reported that the upcoming Nexus tablet is a seven incher, while the one in the render seems to be closer to a 10″ device. Another niggling detail is that it still uses the old green icon of Android market instead of the newer white-blue-red one used by Google Play store. However, we may easily argue that the render was released before Google Play was launched.
On top of that, we can immediately assume that there are more similarities than differences. The render might also be pointing toward a 7.7″ prototype we see previously showcased at CES and the render might be simply a production version. While there’s still no word about specifications and details regarding the rumored and upcoming affordable slate by Google. We will quickly update you when we hear something new.
John Sculley, the former Apple CEO, praised the Samsung Galaxy Tab as the only tablet that can rival the iPad, he also hinted that once Windows 8 tablets arrive, they will shake the market quite a bit. Some tablets may be more advanced than the iPad but they still can’t keep up with Apple’s tablet as it continues to sell like hot cakes. Each major phone maker has its own version of “iPad killer” by offering features not found on Apple’s products, but it appears Cupertino’s branding and marketing campaign continue to capture consumers’ imagination – and money, of course. The former Apple’s executive reckoned that Windows 8 tablet can influence the sales rate of the iPad significantly. He pointed out that he has seen the developer versions of Windows Mobile and Windows 8 and they are really impressive. Consequently, we may eventually see the return of Nokia as a major player in the market due to its close partnership with Microsoft.
Steve Jobs asked Sculley to leave Pepsi Co. to join Apple. He led Apple for 10 years but he is best known for the controversial decision to fire Jobs. He is now running a number of investment ventures and continues to have soft spot for Apple. Sculley left Apple in 1993, so what he said isn’t exactly an insider’s opinion.
Since the first Galaxy Tab was introduced in the market, consumers have been treated with various models in all shapes and sizes. Consumers can choose what suits them best from the Tab 10.1 to the more portable Tab 7.0 Plus.
The ongoing update process for Ice Cream Sandwich has left some owners of high-end phones wondering whether they’ll finally be seeing the cold dessert on their phone.
Previous reports told us that owners of Motorola Droid RAZR and Droid RAZR Maxx will be enjoying the update shortly. And now, we finally get an announcement that an update for the Samsung Nexus S has finally arrived, which is released as IMM76D.
For a while now, there has been a few rumored update schedules for the Nexus S 4G and the official image file have been leaked recently. The file contains a few files, such as recovery.img, signed_radio.img, bootloader.img, boot.img and userdata.img. It appears, the Nexus S 4G will get the update via OTA (over-the-air). At this moment, Samsung hasn’t announced anything official with regards to the Android 4.0 update for the Nexus S 4G, but the 3G-only and GSM version of Nexus S received the new OS a couple of days ago.
Not all Nexus S 4G phones will get the Android 4.0 treatment, for example Sprint’s phones won’t get the update due to its WiMax support. Owners of Nexus S 4G can get the instruction online on how to apply the leaked image to their handsets, but if you’re interested in doing this, you should do it only at your own risk. The update will wipe the phone completely, so all important data must be backed up first.
Samsung claimed that it has shipped 40 million smartphones in the first month of 2012 and it expects to deliver 50 million more in Q2 2012. These numbers include lower-end devices as well as pre-order for its upcoming devices. Samsung Galaxy Y contributes significantly to Samsung’s sales figures. At $120 unsubsidized, the phone is still very affordable and the 832MHz processor is adequate for running many apps on Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Samsung is shipping 1.75 million units of Samsung Galaxy Y each month, a sales rate that’s on par with all variants of Samsung Galaxy S2. Since its release, 5 million units Galaxy Note have also been delivered to users, which add to the total. With these numbers, Samsung has positioned itself as the leader of the Android community, while Sony and HTC are still struggling with their Xperia and One lineups.
It was also reported that Samsung partners have received 10 million pre-orders for the Galaxy S3. Samsung hasn’t officially announced the smartphone yet, but in recent months we have seen quite a few of rendered images and other leaked information. The rumors we have seen of the phone range from ceramic body to inductive charging to full HD display. Those leaked details make the handset seems a little bizarre sometimes, but we should expect it to become a worthy successor to the Galaxy S2. Based on Samsung’s track record and what we have heard, it’s quite likely that many users would be more than happy to pre-order a Samsung’s upcoming flagship without actually seeing it.
If you’re an owner of a Sony Ericsson Xperia phone and you’re wondering where your Android 4.0 update is, then it appear you need to wait a little longer. Sony announced recently that the update will reach Xperia handset somewhere in April and some models will not seeing an upgrade until summer this year. Previously, Sony announced a roll-out that would begin in March, but it didn’t materialize. Perhaps, it has something to do with Sony dropping the long-time partnership with Ericsson. Undoubtedly, Sony had its plate full lately, so the delay is unavoidable.
The Xperia Ray, Xperia Neo V and Xperia Arc S will be the first to get the update. The first update session may last for one month. The next batch of update will arrive to Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman, Xperia Active, Xperia Mini Pro, Xperia Mini, Xperia Neo, Xperia Play and Xperia Arc, so it may take awhile before the entire range will be updated completely.
Instead of OTA update, Sony will deliver the update via Bridge for Mac and PC Companion. Because it is likely that users won’t get notifications or update requests, it looks like users need to keep on checking. Sony warned that on devices with weaker hardware, the ICS update may degrade performance noticeably, so the company offers a handy guide for this issue.
Recently, Sony published a beta update for Xperia Play and it was intended only for developers. Average users and those who are not entirely sure what they’re doing should stay away from it.