For the biggest of the big manufacturers, loaning out the name of your flagship model to smaller and cheaper phones is a no-brainer. You get potential customers who want the look and at least some of the features of the newest, coolest device, and you also get to reap the rewards of your brand marketing. So it is with Samsung and HTC's various "Mini" models, and now, LG's G3 Beat. Hey, at least they're not trying to call a 5-inch phone "mini."
The G3 Beat downgrades the best-in-class spec sheet of the full-sized G3 with a 5-inch, 720p LCD screen, a 1.2Ghz Snapdragon 400 processor, a mere 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage with a MicroSD card slot.
The words "no compromise" and "mid-range" would seem to be mutually exclusive, but Motorola would like you to think otherwise. The company announced the Moto G in a live event, promoting a cheaper and slightly lower-spec version of the flagship Moto X. This phone is Motorola's wide-ranging model, the first that's been introduced since the X, and it's intended to be cheap enough to be purchased without a contract.
We could tell you all the specs and technical details, but the most important factor in the Moto G is the price.
HTC hasn't abandoned the market for small phones, as shown by their One Mini at a (relatively) tiny 4.3 inches. But that's still on the premium side, and those who want both a small size and a small price need some love too. Enter the Desire 500, a 4.3" phone with a mixture of features from this generation of HTC hardware and the last one. It's currently slated for release in the UK sometime in August, but HTC has been mum on a price and wider release details so far.
There's a place in every carrier's line up for a mid-range phone, and that's what the Sprint Vital is. We got the early details on this device back in March when it was known as the ZTE Quantum, and the official announcement jives with the leak pretty well. This phone has a few notable features, but the hardware is a bit lackluster.
Don't let your eyes deceive you. That is not a Galaxy S III (or IV) you're seeing. No, that is a new phone from Samsung. Yes, it has a name. You know what else it has? A 4.7" 800x480 display powered by a 1.2GHz quad core processor. What's that? You want to know the name? No, you don't. You want to hear about the 5MP camera, or the 8 whole GB of internal storage!
Well, that didn't take long. Just a week after Samsung announced its newest flagship phone, we get rumors of the Mini version of the same. As before, it's not just a smaller version of the phone, but a lower-specced version as well. In fact, in terms of the display, the rumored specs are much lower. 960x540 to the tune of 256ppi. In other words, exactly half the resolution (the GS4 packs 1920x1080) and a little more than half the ppi (441ppi).
Today, Sony announced two new handsets to add to its existing smartphone lineups, led by the new SP. This handset has a 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 Plus, 4.6" 'HD Reality Display' and Android 4.1. It's not the most awe-inspiring spec list we've seen, but certainly good enough to stand next to other highish-end handsets.
Here are the full specs for the Xperia SP:
1.7 GHz Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ S4 Plus dual core processor
Adreno 320 GPU
1 GB RAM
4.6” 1280x720 display
Android™ 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
8MP camera with HDR
In addition to the SP, Sony also announced the Xperia L, which is closer to a mid-range handset.
While LG has started to make its way back into the hearts and minds of the average consumer with the impressive Optimus G Pro, and its sexier cousin the Nexus 4, the company still has other market segments to worry about. This is where things like the F-series comes in handy. Today the Optimus F5 and Optimus F7 were announced and, like their keyboard-dwelling namesakes, will probably be something we're aware of, but rarely pay too much attention to, despite their usefulness.
While the Nexus 4 may be the LG handset getting everyone's attention, the company does have other market segments to think about. The L SeriesII (so that's what happened to the other letter from the Optimus G) fills that need with a trio of handsets that will debut with the Optimus L7II in Russia next week. The phone comes with a 4.3" 800x480 IPS display, dual-core Qualcomm processor and Jelly Bean 4.1.