Andy Rubin, you coy devil. I suppose we could ignore those rumors about Google retail stores if you ask nicely and bat your eyes at us. That's what the head of Android would like us to do, anyway, as he spoke at Mobile World Congress stating that "Google has no plans [for a retail store] and we have nothing to announce."
Why not, though? This sure sounds like a good idea to a lot of us in the Android fan world.
Yesterday, we attended a press conference at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona where we were treated not only to the unveiling of ASUS' new Padfone Infinity and aptly-named Fonepad 7" tablet phone (with which we later got some hands-on time), but also to the dazzling (ly awkward and hilarious) antics of a "tech illusionist," and plenty of other awkwardmoments.
We were able to share a pretty detailed account of the event, along with a short video, but those who want to see the full unveiling from start to finish can now do so, thanks to ASUS' own YouTube channel.
Late yesterday, we headed over to the ZTE booth to check out the company's latest smartphone - the Grand Memo. The selling point? It's big and powerful - sporting a 5.7" display with a Snapdragon 800600processor of some kind.
Of course, that big display is only 720p. And that processor is paired with only 1GB of RAM. And it's using ZTE's Android acid trip of a UI overlay.
After having a chance to play with the ZTE Grand Memo yesterday, I was a bit perplexed. It was kind of slow. Actually, it was really slow - I haven't seen UI lag like that on a top-tier smartphone in over a year. It was terrible switching between tasks, and while ZTE's hilariously overwrought UI is likely slowing it down a fair bit, something just didn't feel right for a phone allegedly running on the very latest Snapdragon chip.
While I was a bit too preoccupied at ASUS's press conference to really pay attention to the details of its products (you can find said details here), later in the day, I headed over to the ASUS booth on the MWC show floor to check out the Padfone Infinity and the Fonepad.
The Padfone Infinity was first on my list. After a few minutes with the phone portion, I wasn't particularly impressed, but I wasn't appalled, either.
Say hello to the newest entrant into the bigger-than-a-phone-but-not-quite-a-tablet arena: ZTE's Grand Memo. It's a massive 5.7" device with a resolution of 1280x720, Qualcomm's quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB built-in storage, and a 13MP camera, running Android 4.1. While a 1080p display would've been a nice addition, there's no denying that the Grand Memo is quite a powerful device.
The push for BYOD (bring your own device) policies in workplaces has been on the rise for the last couple of years, but many corporations have frowned upon Android devices due to "security issues" within the OS. Samsung is looking to change that mindset with its newly-announced KNOX solution.
We're here at ASUS's press conference in Barcelona, where the company has just unveiled two new Android products: the Padfone Infinity and Fonepad.
The Padfone Infinity is the follow-up to the Padfone 2, released late in 2012, which was the successor to the original Padfone that debuted at MWC last year. The Fonepad is a tablet that also works as a phone. Right (if you actually want to know more about those things, see this post).
At an afternoon press conference across the street from MWC 2013's enormous venue, ASUS has just wrapped a (hilarious) press conference that saw the introduction of two new devices (or three?) – the Padfone Infinity and the Fonepad. Before we dive in for hands-on, let's take a quick look at the specs and pricing for the devices.
Jonney Shih with the Padfone Infinity
The Padfone Infinity is the tablet/phone combination we were expecting from ASUS today.
Sony's latest tablet, the Xperia Tablet Z, isn't exactly new. While it was announced for Japan last month, Sony fans have been waiting with bated breath for news on worldwide availability and pricing. Today, we have some more information on that front: the Tablet Z is slated to be released across the globe starting in Q2. Furthermore, the US version of the device (which is Wi-Fi only), will cost $499 for the 16GB version, and $599 for the 32GB.