Category Archives: Smartphones

Catch all the latest happenings from the Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Phone here. Read about new launches, price-drops, updates and more.

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LG sells 1 million Optimus G smartphones since launch

lg-optimus-g-jellybeanKorea manufacturer LG has revealed that it has sold over 1 million units of its flagship smartphone “LG Optimus G” since the launch four months ago.  Optimus G was announced in September last year along with Optimus Vu II, a phablet from the company. Thanks to all the efforts LG had put in Optimus G, the smartphone caught the fancy of the consumers and despite being released in select countries only, the smartphone has reached this milestone.

According to LG, Optimus G is currently sold in South Korea, Canada, Japan and the United States, although company plans to release it in China and several European countries this quarter.

LG also used Optimus G as the base of the Google Nexus 4 smartphone, which have further added credibility to the former and in the absence of Nexus 4 units, consumers turned to Optimus G.

According to a report in Yonhap news, LG sold a record of 7 million smartphones globally in Q3 2012 and 2.1 million of these were LTE smartphones.  LG will announce the Q4 earnings on January 30, which will give a clearer picture of Optimus G sales.

LG has been struggling in the smartphone segment for a while now, but thanks to smartphone like Optimus G, Optimus 4X HD, company is showing signs of turnaround and much will depend on company’s rumoured Optimus G successor. Reports indicate that G2 or Optimus G Pro is set to make its debut at Mobile World Congress, which is happening next month in Barcelona.

Amazon MP3 Store

Amazon start selling MP3s directly to iPhone, iPod touch users

In the bid to loosen the control of Apple on MP3 sales on its iPhone and iPod devices, Amazon has announced the launch of an HTML5-based Amazon MP3 store specifically for iPhone and iPod touch devices. The iPhone and iPod touch users will now be able to browse 22 million songs at http://www.amazon.com/mp3 using the Safari browser.

As expected, Amazon has stated that the purchases from this website will immediately reflect in Amazon’s Cloud Player iOS app, which can be used to stream or download them.

According to Amazon, this MP3 store brings the usual goodies like personalised recommendations, bestseller lists and Amazon ratings to your iPhone or iPod Touch.Amazon MP3 Store

“Since the launch of the Amazon Cloud Player app for iPhone and iPod touch, a top request from customers has been the ability to buy music from Amazon right from their devices. For the first time ever, iOS users have a way do that – now they can access Amazon’s huge catalog of music and they can buy their music once and use it everywhere,” said Steve Boom, Vice President of Amazon Music.

Why not an app like Amazon MP3 for Android?

Amazon is not bringing an app similar to Amazon MP3 to iOS because then it will have share 30 percent of its download revenue with Apple, thanks to iOS in-app purchasing guidelines. So, in order to circumvent that Amazon has started this web store.

Image Credit: The Next Web

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Nokia Lumia 920, 820 getting ‘Portico’ software update

Nokia is rolling-out a software update to the international variants of Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 smartphones. This update is said to be bringing improved Wi-Fi and messaging to these Windows Phone 8 smartphones.

The update, which is code-named “Portico,” is being released to International markets almost a month after it was made available to US consumers. However, the update is coming almost a fortnight before the previously mentioned timeline by Nokia, which said at the time of US roll-out that unlocked units will get Portico update in early-February.

The update is being released over-the-air and should reach your unlocked Lumia 920 and 820 smartphones in the coming days.

“A Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8 software update providing performance enhancements for the Nokia Lumia 820 and Nokia Lumia 920 has started rolling out over the air. Delivery will continue in a phased manner over the coming weeks and is expected to be complete by mid-March. You will receive a notification on your phone when the update is available for you to download,” Nokia stated in a forum post.

Along with Wi-Fi and messaging improvements, the update also improves the camera to fix the blurry daylight images. Among other changes, we have the new “Always On” feature in Wi-Fi settings, ability to reject calls with SMS.

HTC 8X with Windows Phone 8 was the first WP smartphone to get this update in Early December, but the camera improvements were only present in the Nokia device updates.

asus-padfone-wp-8

Asus in talks to launch Windows Phone 8 devices

asus-padfone-wp-8Asus is reportedly in talks with Microsoft to launch Windows Phone 8 devices.  There is no word on how long these talks have been going on, but Windows Phone 8 licensing deal would certainly help both the companies. Microsoft needs more manufacturers to produce Windows Phone 8 running smartphones and Asus needs to succeed in the smartphone arena. It is already a known tablet maker, thanks to Nexus 7 and Transformer tablets.

According to a report in Wall Street Journal, Asus has introduced the topic of making a Windows 8 version of its so-called Padfone to Microsoft as it seeks to expand its fledgling smartphone business.

“With our Padfone concept, the phone plus tablet, I think it makes sense for Windows 8,” Benson Lin, corporate vice president of mobile communication products, Asus said. “There is no target timeline…but we are interested in making Windows phones.”

We are not sure how a Padfone will run on Windows Phone 8 operating system, as Microsoft offers two different operating systems for phones and tablets, unlike Android, which is OS on existing Padfone. There is no way to easily switch between Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 and also keep the data synced. Unless, Microsoft plans to solve this issue somehow, we don’t see it happening.

To remind you, Windows Phone 8 devices are currently being offered by Samsung, HTC, Nokia and Huawei, if talks with Microsoft go well Asus will be the fifth smartphone maker to jump in Windows Phone arena.

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Huawei to launch Ascend W2 at MWC, likely to be thinnest Windows Phone

Huawei-W2-Windows-Phone-8Huawei is planning to launch a high-end Windows Phone 8 smartphone at the upcoming Mobile World Congress. Dubbed as Ascend W2, it will join the Ascend W1, which was announced recently concluded Consumer Electronics Show and features 4-inch WVGA display, 5MP rear camera and dual-core processor.

Online reports suggest that Ascend W2 will be the thinnest Windows Phone 8 in the market with just 7.7mm thickness, unless some other company comes with even thinner WP device at the event.

The leaked specifications include a 4.5-inch 720p HD ultra-sensitive touchscreen, 8 MP rear camera, dual-core processor, 1 GB RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, and a 2,800 mAh battery. The specs seems in line with other high-end WP devices from manufacturers like Nokia, HTC and Samsung.

Sources claims that Huawei Ascend W2 will be priced around 3,200 yuan ($515 or €386), however there is no confirmation right now.

Huawei’s Richard Yu has revealed on a social network that his company will be unveiling two smartphones at the MWC, one of which is expected to be W2, other is likely run on Android.

Here is the machine translated version of his post:

“The CES show, we released most of three global smartphone products, are: maximum screen Mate, the most powerful D2 and the best value the WP8 mobile phone W1 2 month Barcelona MWC Mobile World Congress will also release two most of the world’s smartphone products. Nobody can remember, can only remember the first one, we want the consumer to see, most of the world first from Huawei! Keep making progress, beyond!”

Galaxy Note

Samsung finally rolls out Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean for Galaxy Note (Update)

Galaxy Note

Samsung is one of the most popular smartphone manufacturers in the current market. Samsung’s golden run at the top started with the company’s popular phablet, the Galaxy Note. Sadly, the consumers of the original Note had to wait a bit longer than usual to have their hands on the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS.

The good news for all the folks eagerly waiting to get their devices on Jelly Bean is that, the company has finally started to roll out the much awaited Premium Suite update with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean to its first generation phablet.

Furthermore, the latest Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean upgrade is said to bring some of the major features from the company’s second generation phablet, the Galaxy Note II. The update also brings some of the applications specially optimized for the S-Pen as well as few add on features for the TouchWiz.

The Premium suite brings in the all new multi-view feature to the original Note, allowing its users to simultaneously run two applications on the same screen.

As expected, the Android 4.1.2 upgrade will be rolled out region-wise and has already started in Poland. Sadly, we do not have any confirmations on the schedule. The updates will be available through OTA and Kies and one can check for the update by going to Settings>>About>>Software update

So, are you waiting for the official Jelly Bean upgrade, or have you jumped the gun and installed any custom ROM? Let us know in the comments section below.

Update: Turns out, there is no update, false alarm folks.

Samsung-Logo

Samsung Godiva SCH-I425 spotted in benchmarks; packs 720p display, Jelly Bean

A Verizon-bound upcoming Samsung Android smartphone has been spotted online at GL Benchmark. The smartphone, which carries the codename “Godiva,” features Android 4.1.2 and will be released under the model number SCH-I425.

As per the benchmark listing, the smartphone will also come with a 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 processor, Adreno 305 GPU, LTE connectivity, and 720p display of unknown size.samsung-godiva-sch-i425-benchmark

There is no word on other specifications, but the smartphone is said to be a successor of Samsung Stratosphere 2, which carried the model number SCH-I415; (original Stratosphere had SCH-I405). There is however no real proof to validate that hypothesis.

If this is indeed Stratosphere 2 successor, it might take some time to reach markets as the Stratosphere 2 itself was released only in November 2012.

Samsung was quite silent in terms of Android launches at the recently concluded Consumer Electronics Show and we would expect it to announce some devices at Mobile World Congress.

Samsung_Rugby_Pro-_front

AT&T Samsung Galaxy Rugby Pro getting Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update

galaxy-rugby-pro-jelly-bean-updateSamsung has started rolling out Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update for Galaxy Rugby Pro i547 smartphone on AT&T network. The smartphone, which was originally released in September with Android 4.0, can now be updated to 4.1 over-the-air as well as via Kies on PC.

383MB in size, the update brings the usual set of Jelly Bean features; however you can also check the full change-log below.

Update details:

Android version: 4.1.1, Baseband version: I547UCBLL1, Build number: JRO03L.I547UCBLL1

Change-log:

Camera enhancements: New live camera and camcorder filters offer a range of camera effects, pause and resume while recording a video

Pop up Play update: Easily resize or pause the Pop Up Play picture-in-picture video window.

Easy mode: A simplified user experience option for first time smartphone users.

Blocking mode: Disable incoming calls, notifications, alarms, and LED indicators for a designated period of time.

Improved usability: Multiple keyboard options with the addition of the Swype keyboard.

To remind you, Samsung Galaxy Rugby Pro is a mid-range rugged Android smartphone. It features a 4-inch Super AMOLED display with WVGA resolution, 5MP rear camera, LTE connectivity and support for Enhanced Push-to-Talk functionality.

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LG Optimus G getting Jelly Bean update in South Korea

lg-optimus-g-jellybeanLG’s Optimus G, which was launched last year with Ice Cream Sandwich on-board, is now getting Android 4.1 update in South Korea. LG had earlier said that the Optimus G update will be arriving in December 2012 looks like it got delayed a bit.

The update is available via LG Mobile Support Tool V4.1 and will take your Optimus G from Android 4.0 to Android 4.1. It seems to be available for all three Optimus G variants being sold in the country – LG-F180S (for SK Telecom), LG-F180K (for KT), and LG-F180L (for KG U+).

There is no word on the change-log, but the update should bring improved notifications, Google Now, Project Butter improvements, enhanced widgets and more.

With the release in South Korea, it is expected that LG will now focus on other countries including US. To remind you, LG Optimus G, which is a cousin of Nexus 4, comes with 4.7 inch IPS+ display with 1280x768p resolution, 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor, 2GB RAM, and a 13MP rear camera.

iPhone Icons

Cheaper iPhone might feature a “see-through” chassis

iPhone IconsThe follow-up rumours of the recent WSJ reveal “cheaper iPhone” have started appearing.  According to a report in Digitimes, Apple might replace the metal chassis with a plastic one to cut costs in the cheaper iPhone.  In addition, it also states that a US-based electronic manufacturing service (EMS) provider is likely to provide this plastic chassis for the cheaper iPhone.

Even the WSJ report, which recently revealed Apple’s inexpensive iPhone plans, had claimed that cheaper phone could resemble the standard iPhone, with a different, less-expensive body. It also added that one possibility is polycarbonate plastic; however it could get it confirmed from any source.

Apart from the plastic body, Digitimes has some interesting rumours, it suggests that entry-level iPhone will adopt a chassis mixed with plastic and metal, with the internal metal parts being able to be seen from outside through special design. Apple Insider however thinks that it is unlikely that Apple is go for this so-called “see-through” design, as the company had worked hard to fight light leakage with the white iPhone 4 that negatively affected the unit’s camera and same might happen with the cheaper iPhone.

Coming back to the Digitimes, it also notes that upstream components for the entry-level iPhone are currently going through validation and the actual product may show up in the market in the second half of 2013. Means, we might see it around October, the usual iPhone launch schedule, but considering the iPhone 5s is rumoured to release in June, cheaper iPhone debut in October makes sense.

While, there has been no real evidence of this cheaper iPhone, but considering how Apple went with iPad Mini, we wouldn’t be surprised to actually see the cheaper iPhone.

Image Credit: Bloomberg