Following up on its flagship G4 announcement for 2015, LG is now supplementing its lineup as it does every year with more midrange options that can appeal to and target different audiences: a larger phablet with a stylus for a Note-like approach and a smaller less powerful variant of its star player.
Let's start with the G4 Stylus. It comes with a larger 5.7" display than the G4, albeit with a lower 720p resolution that results in a rather average 258ppi. It has drawn the short end of the stick on other specs as well, coming with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, but there will be two variants: a 3G one and an LTE one. Read More
We've been waiting a long time to see smartphones with screens made from synthetic sapphire, an expensive material that justifies its cost by being nearly impervious to scratches from all but the hardest materials. So far we've seen it on a single Kyocera "tough" phone and not much else, but Chinese manufacturer OPPO is hoping to bring it to a more mainstream device. Say hello to the R1C, a phone that hangs out on the higher portion of the midrange, and is scheduled to hit China later this month.
The specs in the R1C are good, if not fantastic: it uses a Snapdragon 615 64-bit processor, 2GB of RAM, the infuriatingly typical 16GB of storage plus a MicroSD card slot, a 13MP rear camera, and a 5MP front-facing cam. Read More
Time waits for no man, and Samsung is similarly inclined - it's not letting a little thing like the biggest technology conference in the world stop it from announcing phones for markets on the other side of the planet. Thus we have the Galaxy E5 and Galaxy E7, a mid-range, photo-focused take on Samsung's formula and its plus-sized and slightly higher-end brother, respectively. Both of them should be coming to India sometime in the near future.
The Galaxy E5 is a pretty standard take on Samsung hardware. While it isn't exactly high-end, users will appreciate a few extra touches, notably the 5-inch Super AMOLED screen (resolution unspecified) and a front-facing 5MP "selfie cam" with a 120-degree wide-angle lens. Read More
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. At least they didn't call it "mini."
The G3 Vigor uses a 1280x720 screen, an efficient Snapdragon 1.2Ghz quad-core processor, just 1GB of RAM, and a removable 2540mAh battery. Read More
The All New HTC One+ 2 isn't expected to make an appearance at Mobile World Congress, but that doesn't mean HTC doesn't have things to share. The company just held a press event where it unveiled a new midrange device, the Desire 816.
This handset comes with a 1.6GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, a 5.5-inch display, 1.5 GB of RAM, 2600mAh battery, 8GB of storage, and a microSD card slot. The phone has a 5MP camera on the front and a 13MP shooter on the back. It will launch in China next month and head out to other countries starting in April. Read More
Following up on the announcement of the MT6595 (which will implement ARM's Cortex A17 announced earlier this month), MediaTek has announced the upcoming MT6732 SOC, targeted at what MediaTek is calling a new "super-mid market," aimed at providing a combination of cost efficiency and performance. The SOC consists of a 64-bit, quad-core, 1.5GHz ARM Cortex A53 cluster and a "next-generation" Mali T760 GPU. MediaTek boasts that the arrangement supports low-power 1080p playback with the fledgling H.265 codec, Category 4 LTE, and plenty more. Here's the full breakdown (from MediaTek):
Next-Generation 64-bit Mobile Computing System
- Quad-core, 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A53 processor system, delivering the performance boost and 64-bit CPUs that will become mainstream in mobile devices
- Next-generation Mali-T760 GPU with support for the Open GL ES 3.0 and Open CL 1.2 APIs and premium graphics for gaming and UI effects
Advanced Multimedia Features
- Supports low-power, 1080p, 30fps video playback supporting the emerging video codec standard H.265 and legacy H.264 and 1080p, 30fps H.264 video recording
- Integrated 13MP camera image signal processor with support for unique features like PIP (Picture-in-Picture), VIV (Video in Video) and Video Face Beautifier
- MediaTek ClearMotion™ technology eliminates motion jitter and ensures smooth video playback at 60fps on mobile devices
- MediaTek MiraVision™ technology for DTV-grade picture quality
Integrated Multi-mode 4G LTE Modem
The L series has made up the middle and bottom of LG's lineup for a few years now, and the company is unsurprisingly refreshing the line at next week's Mobile World Congress. The new L90, L70, and L40 phones stretch from the mid-range to the low end of the current hardware spectrum, so they probably won't be getting the same amount of marketing attention from LG or its carrier partners. On the plus side, all three phones run a skinned version of Android 4.4.
The L90 is th biggest of the new phones with a 4.7-inch display. But with a 960x540 resolution, 1.2Ghz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, and an 8 megapixel rear camera, it's already a step or two behind a lot of phones in the same size range. Read More
It was just a couple of days ago that HTC started talking up its plans to hit the midrange hard this year, and lo and behold, there's at least some evidence that the company is ready to make good on that commitment. Chinese site MyDrivers.com posted what looks like a press render of a new HTC device, which Engadget later corroborated with their own render. The Chinese site calls it the Desire 8.
According to the source, what you're looking at is a 5.5-inch phone with a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front shooter, which matches the admittedly vague specs floating around for the HTC One successor. Read More
The last two years have not been kind to HTC. Despite garnering critical acclaim from the One series and consistently improving both hardware and software, the Taiwanese company is getting battered on high-end phones by Samsung and Apple, and battered on low-end phones by Samsung and just about every Chinese company out there. According to a report from Reuters, HTC will try to shift its strategy in 2014 to give more attention to mid-range devices, which it has been ignoring somewhat for the last few product cycles.
HTC's co-founder Cher Wang admitted that the company's laser focus on the high-end, premium smartphone market may not have been in its best interests. Read More