Chinese smartphone manufacturer ZTE still hasn't made a dent in the US market in any significant way, but it did turn heads with the ZMAX for T-Mobile, combining a big 5.7-inch screen and a spacious battery with a low price tag. The new Grand X Max, coming to budget carrier Cricket on October 10th, is even bigger and cheaper. This massive 6-inch phone will pack a beefy 3200mAh battery, all for just $199.99 without a contract.
There are a lot of good deals to be had in the world of Android tablets, and on first glance, the shiny new HP 10 Plus would seem to be among them. HP introduced its latest Android-powered device with no pomp and circumstance yesterday, highlighting its 1920x1200 10-inch display, 2GB of RAM, and KitKat 4.4.2 operating system. All that in a package for $279.99, now shipping from both HP's own store and Amazon in the US.
Just like the original Moto X, AT&T customers were the first ones to get a taste of the new model on the customization site Moto Maker. But it looks like that carrier exclusivity isn't going to last anywhere near as long this time around: the official Verizon Wireless Twitter account said that Big Red versions would be available starting tomorrow. Just like the AT&T version, the on-contract model will cost $99.99 with a two-year commitment.
Along with a handful of new tablets, Amazon has officially announced Fire OS 4 (codenamed Sangria), which it says adds hundreds of new features to the "content-forward" operating system.
First and foremost, Amazon says the user interface in Fire OS has gotten a facelift. Amazon hasn't gone into detail in describing its UI changes, but visual tweaks are certainly welcome to an interface that can at times seem scattered.
Besides that, Amazon is touting new features like ASAP, Smart Suspend, and the addition of individual user profiles to make for easier sharing among families.
It looks like Republic Wireless is going for the Motorola hat trick: in addition to last year's flagship Moto X and mid-range Moto G, the American hybrid MVNO is now planning on selling the low-end Moto E to its customers. According to this post on the official Republic blog, the carrier's customized version of the Moto E will go on sale next month for $99, $30 cheaper than the retail GSM model.
If you like LG's style but aren't ready to pay for a top-of-the-line smartphone, AT&T and Sprint would like a word. Both of them have announced carrier-customized models of the LG G3 Vigor, which was launched this summer in international markets as the G3 Beat. The 5-inch phone is decidedly mid-range (stretching to low end for some specs), but it's got the same look and layout as the full-sized G3, complete with rear-mounted buttons.
The dawn of Google's Android One program is fast approaching, with an official announcement for the Indian market expected tomorrow. We've already seen the Android One phone from manufacturer Spice make a brief appearance, and the Twitter account for Amazon.in (the retailer's Indian branch) has teased an upcoming Micromax model. You can see the tweet below:
Log on to Amazon.in at 3:30 pm on the 15th. Spread the word. pic.twitter.com/7BvjM8XLgy
— Amazon.in (@amazonIN) September 14, 2014
Presumably the 3:30 PM timeframe refers to India Standard Time, which would be 6 AM Eastern in the United States.
Here at IFA 2014 in Berlin, Sony is announcing new entries to its Xperia smartphone line at all levels. The flagship Z series, last updated only six months ago at Mobile World Congress, has been bolstered with the Xperia Z3. This device is the tip top of Sony's line, though in terms of sheer hardware it's an evolution rather than a revolution. The 5.2-inch 1080p screen, Snapdragon 801 processor (bumped up to 2.5Ghz), and 20.7MP rear camera are similar to the last iteration, but the body is much thinner at 7.3mm.
Some companies like to make a show of their appearances at big tech conferences like IFA. Some of them just like to announce everything all at once, and Lenovo is squarely in the latter category. The company's only Android addition in Berlin is the Tab S8, but thanks to an interesting collection of specs and price tag, it's worth your attention. The 8-inch tablet is a decent mid-range device on paper, but the interesting part is that Lenovo has set the suggested retail price at $199.
We've heard rumor after rumor of Samsung's virtual reality headset in recent weeks, and according to the Verge the manufacturer is (as previous rumors suggested) set to unveil the device (codenamed Project Moonlight) at its upcoming Unpacked event in Berlin and New York, where Samsung is also expected to announce the Galaxy Note 4. What's more, the Verge has what appears to be a photo of the headset, next to a Samsung phone and Bluetooth controller.