Chinese manufacturer Oppo has been teasing its N1 flagship for some time, and the phone finally became official this morning. At 5.9 inches it sits squarely in the "phablet" category, though there are certainly enough other hardware highlights to turn a few heads. The most interesting is probably the 13MP camera, which sits on a case-mounted hinge and rotates to serve as both the rear and front cameras. It's a design seen before in some laptops and earlier camera phones, but this is the first time we've seen it on a modern smartphone.
LG's Vu series is a bit of an oddball thanks to its 4:3 aspect ratio, an idea that even Apple has abandoned on its phones. But the company seems intent on making it work for at least one more device, and so we get the LG Vu 3, shorn of Optimus branding like the flagship G2. And that's not the only thing that the Vu 3 has in common with the G2.
Gameloft's Asphalt 8: Airbone hasn't even cooled down from its launch marketing blitz, but the developer has already moved on to its next racing game. That would be GT Racing 2, a sequel to the original GT Racing from 2011 and a more simulation-style affair, very much in line with EA's Real Racing and games like Gran Turismo. GT Racing 2 has no firm release date and few details, but Gameloft says it will come out this fall.
Those of you looking for a cheap, small phone running Android will have one more option on AT&T starting later this month. The company issued a press release this morning finally announcing the release date for the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini. That's Samsung's cheaper, smaller version of the GSIII which actually has very little in common with the GSIII in terms of hardware. It will launch on AT&T on September 27th for $.99 on a two-year contract.
In a post to its blog today, Sony gave a brief look at a new device to be announced this Sunday, the 15th of September.
What the company calls the BRAVIA Smart Stick looks like a waffle or small wafer cookie, and "plugs into the MHL connection on the back of 2013 Sony BRAVIA televisions, with another short cable plugged into the USB port for power." Right now it's unclear if the device will be compatible with other TV models.
IFA is well under way in Berlin, and Sony is the first manufacturer to let loose with a volley of hardware clamoring for your bleeding edge dollars. The Xperia Z1 (nee "Honami"), the sequel to last year's flagship Xperia Z, was just revealed in Sony's press conference. It's a modest bump to most hardware with a massive, massive focus on the camera. As leaked in multiple reports, the Z1 sports a 20.7 megapixel rear camera, soundly smashing current-generation Android competitors.
As expected, Google [finally] took the wraps off Android 4.3 At today's "Breakfast with Sundar Pichai" event. On the surface, 4.3 is all too familiar, as it essentially looks identical to 4.2 in that there isn't a single distinctive thing to tell the two apart from a UI perspective. However, that doesn't mean there isn't anything new – it's all under the hood, baby.
Let's take a look at what's new:
- Multi-user with restricted profiles – content control on the user level
- Bluetooth Low Energy support
- OpenGL ES 3.0
- New DRM APIs – Netflix is the first to support it, full 1080p streaming
- ...a lot more new APIs
Android 4.3 will be available on the new Nexus 7 at launch, and will also be rolling out to the Nexus 4, current Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and the Galaxy Nexus beginning today.
Motorola has just sent out invites for the Moto X announcement. It's going down in New York on August 1st. Months of rumors and leaks have led to this. Are you excited?
We revealed the full details of the HTC One Mini yesterday, but now the Taiwanese company has made the smaller phone's official debut. The One Mini is a 4.3-inch counterpart to the larger One, alike in design if not specifications: the general look and shape of the flagship is preserved, along with all the software features, plus the Ultrapixel rear camera and "BoomSound" front-facing stereo speakers. HTC plans a worldwide rollout of the One Mini starting in August and continuing into September, with no prices available yet.
Sony is getting into the plus-sized phone game in a big way. Today they've officially announced the Xperia Z Ultra, a super-sized handset that follows the design principles of the original Xperia Z. Nearly all the specifications (with the exception of the camera) have been boosted over the current Sony flagship, starting with a downright massive 6.44-inch 1080p screen. Other highlights include a Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor clocked at 2.2Ghz, (labeled as "the world's fastest") a super-slim 6.5mm body, and a water- and dust-resistant design.