08
Jan
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A 6.8" phone? Madness, you say? Not according to Hisense - the company has unveiled one of the largest smartphones to date at CES in Las Vegas this week, dubbed the X1. It's 6.8" full HD LCD panel is certainly something to behold, and may manage to put the phone outside of the "pocketable" category phones like the Xperia Z Ultra just barely manage to eek into. Of course, it's no FonePad, so it may also be the perfect size for a few niche buyers out there, though I can't really see much mainstream appeal here, at least in western markets.

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And that's probably a good thing for Hisense, as the X1 has been announced only for China Mobile at this time, sporting LTE support, dual SIMs, and a beefy Snapdragon 800 processor with 2GB of RAM. The phone's UI is nothing particularly exciting, nor is its design - while Hisense has done a significant amount of skinning in the OS, it doesn't seem like they've added much in the way of features or functionality, and the X1 feels like a fairly normal Android phone.

It was definitely very responsive and quick, a trait we've come to expect of Qualcomm's top-tier processor, and while the size was substantial (and the sight of my colleague Cameron holding it up to his ear comical), I doubt Xperia Z Ultra or FonePad owners would be shocked by the X1. Build quality felt decent, though it's hard to judge that sort of thing when the display unit is attached to a rather large security apparatus.

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Pricing wasn't announced, nor was availability, though that probably doesn't matter, as it seems pretty unlikely the X1 will make it outside of China, at least for the time being. Really, the X1 is more tech spectacle than genuine innovation - big phones are coming out left and right, and adding another relatively unremarkable (if even larger than most) product into the fray probably isn't going to be the ticket to runaway smartphone success.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Godspoken

    As the owner of an original 7" Kindle Fire tablet (given to me a gift, also the beginning of my foray into the Android world) and a phablet, I'd have to say this definitely crosses the line (although, I can fit my Fire into my huge jean pocket if I reallly try...but it kinda sticks out).

    • Matthew Merrick

      Bezels are HUGE on the V1 kindle. This thing is way slimmer. Easily held in one hand.

      • Godspoken

        Really? Interesting. I'll keep an eye out on this.

  • Mike Gonzalez

    wow, at first glance i thought they had stretched out a BB Z10

    • Daniel McKenzie J.

      It's design is almost identical to the BB Z10!

      • James Zhang

        Yes, i also think it's design is almost identical the BB Z10. But no matter what it is. Since yesterday i saw a smartphone on Dhgate: http://www.dhgate.com/store/product/2014-original-orange-mysaga-x1-and-xyz-ram1g/177583248.html ; I think other smartphones are just so so !

      • Matthew Merrick

        Actually the design is closer to the HTC One than a blackberry

        • Karen Mitchell

          my&nbspfriend's&nbspstep-mother&nbspΜ­­­­­­а­­­­­­K­­­­­­е­­­­­­ѕ&nbsp$­­­­­­­­­69&nbspan&nbspհ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ս­­­­­­r&nbspon&nbspthe&nbspс­­­­­­ο­­­­­­Μ­­­­­­ρ­­­­­­ս­­­­­­τ­­­­­­е­­­­­­r.&nbspShe&nbsphas&nbspbeen&nbspout&nbspof&nbspa&nbspј­­­­­ο­­­­­ƅ&nbspfor&nbsp10&nbspΜ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ­­­­­­ѕ&nbspbut&nbsplast&nbspΜ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ&nbspher&nbspρ­­­­­­а­­­­У&nbspcheck&nbspwas&nbsp$­­­­­­­­­17650&nbspjust&nbspW­­­­­­ο­­­­­­r­­­­­­King&nbspon&nbspthe&nbspс­­­­­­ο­­­­­­Μ­­­­­­ρ­­­­­­ս­­­­­­τ­­­­­­е­­­­­­r&nbspfor&nbspa&nbspϜ­­­­­­е­­­­­­W&nbspհ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ս­­­­­­rs.&nbspread&nbspthis&nbsparticle,...&nbspWW&#x57&#46Googleproject2014activitybusinessgetnowactivitybusiness&#46&#113&#x72&#46&#x6E&#101&#x74&#x2F&#109&#x4Bl&#106/

          ✦✦✦ ✦✦✦✦✦ ✦ﴪ✦✦ ✦✦✦✦ ✦𐄱✦✦where is it now? ...you know, for comparison purposes.

        • WeActOnImpulse

          Yeah I thought "Hey it's a HTC One MAX" and then I was like "Oh, wait, what is taht? Hisense?" --INTEREST PEAKED--

  • TSON1

    Is this a cheap Chinese HTC One?

    • Matthew Merrick

      Considering it's better than the HTC One Max, uh, no.

  • http://androidandme.com/ Taylor Wimberly

    Hisense sells a lot of TVs at Walmart (I purchased one and it was a great deal for the price). Maybe they will bring over some mobile devices to the US.

    • Matthew Merrick

      The Hisense Sero tablets are sold in the US, and are one of the better budget tablet lines - the Sero 7 Pro (which I bought for my father) is basically a V1 nexus 7 with a camera, led flah, SD card, and hdmi for under $150

      Also, this phone will be coming to the US

  • jonathan3579

    I'm noticing more and more of these Chinese manufacturers using white notification bar icons.

    • yesmyname

      Android 4.4 has white notification bar icons.

      • jonathan3579

        Yes but the CES model is reportedly running 4.3 much like most of the other Chinese handsets.

        • Matthew Merrick

          The Chinese version will get Kitkat one month after launch. The American version will launch with Kitkat

          • jonathan3579

            You more or less just restated exactly what I said but okay...

  • tqwe

    NONsense X1 suits better.

  • WestSiide

    I'll take two

  • Jon

    So you mentioned a picture of Cameron holding it to his ear...where is it now? ...you know, for comparison purposes.

  • Matthew Merrick

    Got some hands on time with this guy yesterday (and went back again today) and I have to say, it's gorgeous. If you love phablets, you'll love this. It's reminiscent of an HTC, with its metal body and stereo front speakers. It actually feels (may or may not actually be) smaller and more ergonomic than the Z Ultra even though the screen is bigger. The rear camera was pretty good, even on the showroom floor, and the 5 MP front camera impressed. The software is themeable, much like a modern LG, and the display is gorgeous.
    Hisense WILL be bringing it to the US, but doesn't expect it to arrive till Q4 2014. The Chinese version will be released in Q2, with a Kitkat update a month after launch. The US version will launch with Kitkat. Pricing in China is expected to be in the "3-400" range, off contract, and the Chinese version will, according to the reps I spoke to.

  • Matthew Merrick

    Also, according to the rep I spoke to, it isn't dual sim - that second slot that looks like a sim tray is actually a MicroSD slot

  • CasperTFG

    Please come to the U.S., with CDMA capability.

  • runfromfire

    Look, I love my big-ass Galaxy Note 3 but this is taking the phablet thing a bit far...

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    Sooo it's a 7 inch tablet

  • Brandon

    That's what she said.

  • Roi Katz

    Why!? what does this thing good for... it's unusable as a phone....

  • Truth Detector

    "...though I can't really see much mainstream appeal here, at least in western markets...And that's probably a good thing for Hisense, as the X1 has been announced only for China Mobile"

    You're an idiot. Take a look at the comments. There is obviously a market in the US for this device.

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