Remember back in the days of "dumb" phones when everyone wanted them to be as tiny as possible? Then the original RAZR hit, and it was all about thinness, even to the point of absurdity? That second trend is still going strong, but a contender for the next one is phones (and laptops and TVs and what have you) with the least amount of screen bezel possible. Behold, a new Oppo phone that gives the oddball Sharp Aquos Crystal a run for its money, at least on the left and right sides.
Smartphone manufacturers have been striving to make their phones thinner for years, and despite how slim phones have become, they're still pushing forward full steam ahead. Today Samsung announced its two thinnest phones yet, the Galaxy A5 and A3. To set these phones apart even further, both handsets have full metal unibody designs.
The larger A5 is just 6.7mm thick. The A3 is only slightly thicker at 6.9mm. For comparison, the Galaxy S5 is 8.1mm thick, and the Note 4 comes in at 8.5mm.
Chinese manufacturer Oppo has been making a name for itself thanks to some unconventional designs on top solid hardware (on paper, at least). The latest round of upgrades for the company's product lines are novel, to be certain: the new Oppo R5 is the latest phone to steal the coveted "world's thinnest" title, and the N3 uses a new rotating camera that's positively unique. But do these features actually make the phones desirable, or are they mere gimmicks?
The mid-range market continues to expand into larger and larger handsets, and Sony doesn't want to be left behind. To that end, they've announced the Xperia T3, a 5.3-inch Android phone with an awesome industrial design, but internals that will leave hardware buffs wanting more. The star of the show is an all-steel body that's admirably thin at just 7mm. It will be available globally in late July.
Move past the admittedly pretty body (available in white, black, or purple), and you'll see hardware that's shooting for the bottom of the mid-range.
A couple of weeks ago, we were very excited to find a new, revised version of the Roboto family hiding in a leaked Android 4.3 build. Since then, I've been keeping an eye out for any more Roboto goings on.
With the new Play Store web portal having launched today, I thought I'd check in and see if it was using the new version of Roboto we reported on before. As it turns out, it isn't.
Yesterday, we reported on an alleged Android 4.3 Jelly Bean ROM originally posted by SamMobile. Since then, we have – in usual style – been digging away, looking for goodies. In the midst of that search, Ron noticed something – the Roboto files in the ROM were up to 30% bigger than the versions found in 4.2.2.
My first guess as to what would cause a file size difference was the presence of additional glyphs.
If you can remember who made the last "world's thinnest" smartphone, congratulations: you're a bigger newshound than I. Low-key manufacturer Alcatel is the latest to claim the title, however short-lived, with its One Touch Idol Ultra model. The 4.7-inch phone measures just 6.45 millimeters on its side. The company also introduced the more chunky One Touch Idol and the 5-inch quad-core One Touch Scribe HD.
The Idol Ultra is pretty similar in features to other high-end Android phones, with an HD (presumably 720p) AMOLED screen, a 1.2Ghz dual-core processor of indiscriminate origin, 1GB of RAM, and an 8MP rear camera.
I'm not much of a case person. I was never very clumsy with my gadgets and didn't think the added bulk was a worthy trade-off for the added protection, especially in the day and age of ultra-durable plastics and Gorilla Glass screens. But on both fronts, that's changing; it's a lot harder to guarantee the safety of my gadgets when I've got kids (we're both likely to drop things) and there are some very sleek cases on the market.
Adding to the heap of pre-MWC goodies we've seen lately, NEC decided to show off three of their new Android-powered phones today in Japan, and if nothing else, the devices look interesting.
The first thing that jumps out is the strange gizmo on the far left – it appears to have 2 displays back to back (when folded), and is labeled as the "best cloud device," hinting at easier cloud connectivity.