As we saw late last week, ASUS is looking to bring its unique Padfone concept to different form factors and price points. Enter the Padfone Mini, a new entry in the series that retains the dockable phone-tablet hybrid idea but shrinks it down to make it more affordable. The phone itself isn't much smaller at 4.3", but the tablet dock now has a 7-inch screen instead of 10, not to mention a vertical orientation.
The new Nexus 7 is pretty awesome in all respects, and it should be right at the top of your list if you're looking for a 7-inch tablet. But if your budget won't stretch up to $230, ASUS has a more low-end model that's perfectly respectable. The Memo Pad HD7 (ME173X) is an upgrade to last year's budget tablet, and it's up for pre-order at no less than four, count 'em, four US online stores.
You have to hand it to Sony – they keep trying. The newly announced Xperia M is a budget-oriented phone that can be obtained in a variety of neat colors. It has a small-ish 4-inch screen, and it comes in black, white, purple, and yellow (depending on model). It's not gigantic, which is a rarity these days.
MetroPCS, the not-yet-T-Mobile-company, just announced its newest 4G LTE handset this morning, the Huawei Premia 4G. Sounds fancy, no? Don't worry – it's just OK. But for $150, you can't expect it to be a GS4.
And a GS4 it isn't. What is it, though, is a decent mid-ranger with some specs that should live up to its buck-fiddy price tag:
- 4-inch 480x800 display with Gorilla Glass
- 1.5GHz dual-core processor
- 1GB RAM
- 5MP rear shooter, 1.3MP front camera
- Android 4.0
Nothing super special about this one, but if you're looking for a decent mid-ranger and LTE without a contract, this may be a good way to go.
After revealing the "world's thinnest" smartphone earlier today with the One Touch Idol Ultra (at a svelte 6.45mm), Alcatel has let fly news about the rest of their planned CES 2013 lineup.
Alcatel's got more devices in line than you've got pockets, from a pair of 7" tablets (in standard and HD variants) to a bevy of "Pop" smartphones, all of them apparently aiming squarely for the budget market. Grab a snack, because we're going to take a peek at the full array.
When we think of "budget" phones, a $500 Galaxy S III may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, MetroPCS' usual strategy of having customers buy phones off contract and save money on the service is in full swing here. The device comes with a hefty price tag up front, but pick up the carrier's $50/month plan for unlimited talk, text, and 2.5GB of data, and you're looking at around $1700 over the course of 2 years.
When it comes to the newest generation of phones, "budget" is closer to "flagship" than ever before. Two months ago, I reviewed the free-on-contract Pantech Marauder and came away highly impressed. Ron, too, reviewed the $100 Motorola Razr M and said "This is what budget phones are like now? Where do I sign up?" The old budget formula of taking last-gen hardware and slapping it in a cheap chassis has given way to current-gen hardware in a better chassis - not to mention that the optimizations and polish of Android 4.0 make the experience better than ever on virtually any level of hardware.
You may recognize this little guy from previous leaks of the so-called HTC Proto. The device looked very similar to the Desire V and, indeed, HTC's latest announcement is dubbed the Desire X. While it's no One X, the device does pack a dual-core Snapdragon S4. Unfortunately, it's not that one. This is the MSM8225 which still uses a 45nm architecture so it's not nearly as zippy as the S4 we all know and love from other, more high-end phones.
Sony's just dropped a batch of bombshells on us today during an IFA press conference. Among the headlining new devices, the Xperia J which is being billed as an affordable smartphone with a "standout screen size." That "standout" size is 4", by the way. We're not entirely sure who Sony thinks they're going to impress with four inches, but the rest of the specs actually seem like a pretty good deal if the price is right.