Hugo Barra was the face of Android for the last several years. If Google needed someone out front for a demo, it was going to be Barra. He was personable and effective on stage, but he announced a few weeks ago that he was leaving Mountain View for Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi where he will serve as VP of global. It seemed abrupt, but Barra has revealed in an interview with All Things D that the move was in the works for some time.
Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi has been getting a lot of ink as of late, but not for their hardware: former Googler Hugo Barra is now their Vice President of Global. The first phone to launch after Barra joined the company is the new flagship MI3, and it is a doozie. The device crams some of the best hardware available into a phone, but it's probably not leaving China any time soon.
The Chinese mobile market is an interesting thing. There are a lot of low-end phones, but there are a number of premium handsets always in the pipe that really couldn't work anywhere else – they usually look like iPhones and have somewhat unusual features. Such is the case with the new Meizu MX3.
This device has a 5.1-inch 1800x1080 screen, which is 15:9 instead of 16:9. Around back is an 8MP camera and a smooth rounded casing.
There was a time not long ago that Chinese OEMs were unlikely to make a splash outside of the Asian market. However, Oppo attracted some international attention with the Find 5, and the internet has been increasingly anxious to see the company's next effort, the N1. You need not wait until next month to get a glimpse of the N1 – some legit-looking images have popped up on Weibo and via @evleaks.
Flip phones are still pretty huge in the Asian market. And I don't mean the standard freebies you can get on contract elsewhere, I'm talking big-screen, full-OS, powerful flip phones that still use the old T9 dialpad layout. Samsung is hoping to get a piece of that pie with the Android-powered Hennessy (SCH-W789), a flip phone with dual 3.3" screens and Android 4.1. It's currently set for a Chinese release, though an exact price or date isn't available.
Maybe you've been itching to drop $349 on the LTE-equipped Nexus 7, but Google just won't take your filthy money. A Nexus buyer in China seems to have gotten one without even trying. A user of the online community Baidu Tieba who goes by "crazyfreely" recently posted that he spent 2,030 yuan (about $331) expecting to get the new WiFi-only Nexus 7. What he actually received appears to be the LTE version of the device.
It was only a matter of time until HTC stepped up to Samsung and offered a "phablet" of its own, and it looks like that time is drawing close. Chinese site ePrice, source of numerous reliable leaks in the past, has posted a photo of a 5.9-inch HTC device set to take on the Galaxy Note series, Xperia Z Ultra, and the like. According to the post, it's called the HTC One Max, codenamed the T6.
The Galaxy S IV should be unveiled in roughly 2.5 days, and, as we expected, the leaks just keep on coming. Of course, the problem with Samsung's flagship Galaxy device launches is it's pretty much impossible to figure out whether what we're seeing is the real design or not due to multiple prototypes and a veil of secrecy that I daresay tops even Apple's.
Today, we have a video of the very same alleged Chinese dual-SIM variant of the SGS IV GT-i9502 that we saw yesterday when it posed for a surprisingly high-quality photoshoot (I guess the blurrycam was broken).
HTC this morning officially unveiled its new flagship for 2013: the HTC One. So far, we've posted the full specs, our hands-on, and the list of carriers in the U.S. and Canada, but if you live outside those territories, you might be wondering exactly which carriers and major retailers to visit to pick up the One when it becomes available in March.
We've got the current list, courtesy of HTC, right below.
It seems like every month we get a new world's thinnest smartphone, but Chinese manufacturer ZTE knows that's a mug's game. They've decided to go for broke with the Grand S, which sports a 5-inch 1080p screen (like all the cool kids do) and still manages to fit into a case that's just 6.9mm thin at the thickest point. For what it's worth, that makes the Grand S the thinnest 5-inch, 1080p phone out there.