Oh man, if you thought quad-core phones were crazy, your brain should prepare itself for at least twice as much explosion. Samsung just announced at CES its new Exynos 5 Octa processors. These chips, on a 28nm architecture (which means they're small and use less power) have eight dang cores. The company says that this will result in up to 70% battery savings (compared to what is unclear...we would assume the previous Exynos processor).
If the rather binary choices of blue and white for the current model of the T-Mobile's variant of the Samsung Galaxy S III don't appeal, there's another option available. A Titanium Grey color has popped up on Best Buy's website, at the same subsidized price as the other T-Mobile models, currently $179.99 with a two-year contract and a whopping $700 outright. Just be aware that if you actually buy a T-Mobile Galaxy S III at any time in the next month, your future self may come back Biff Tannen-style and smack you for being so shortsighted.
Fancy a new 5" superphone? ZTE may have something to pique your interest - if you live in China. The company's latest high-end device, the Grand S, was unveiled yesterday prior to CES, and we got some hands-on time earlier today. It hits all the right points: 5" 1080p display, 13MP rear camera, 1.7GHz quad-core processor, Android 4.1, LTE connectivity, and is a fairly stunning 6.9mm in profile.
But, ZTE wasn't shy about discussing market availability: China.
T-Mobile is the smallest national US carrier, and it was also the last to announce a cogent strategy for the deployment of 4G LTE. Yes, after years of insisting to no end that HSPA+ is 4G, the magenta carrier is rolling out LTE. As part of that move, new phones are going to be needed. The first device designed for T-Mobile's LTE is a revamped version of the popular Samsung Galaxy S III.
As you probably already know, Sony made the Xperia Z and ZL official yesterday at CES. David got to spend some hands-on time with both handsets, and shared his initial thoughts on the duo right here. If that wasn't good enough for you, though, then perhaps the metric ton of videos Sony just uploaded will get the job done.
Without further ado, I present to you: slews and slews and slews of videos about the Xperia Z and ZL.
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.
If you fired up the web version of the Play Store today and everything felt a little off, don't panic. Google just decided to apply its Roboto font to all text on the site. Stock Android users will already be familiar with the typeface as the default setting for all written words on their Nexus devices. Outside of that family, though, it may be relatively unknown. Which is a shame, because it's beautiful.
Do you think phones should be even bigger? Good news: so does Huawei. You've probably already heard about the Mate, but we got a little hands-on time before the show floor opened last night at CES Digital Experience, and, well, it's big. Really big. And yes, we put it next to a Note II to show you just how mind-bogglingly large it is.
Note: there's some artifacting near the end of the video.
Drop this one in the "noteworthy, but not notable" bucket, but we had some time last night to check out AT&T's Pantech Discover, a phone with a pretty impressive specification sheet given its price point - just $50 on contract.
The Discover has a 4.8" 720p display, 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 16GB of internal storage, 12.6MP rear camera, LTE, and runs Android 4.0 (OK, that's a bit of a miss). While we wouldn't call this a groundbreaking device in and of itself, the price AT&T will be peddling this particular piece of hardware at is going to make it a very attractive option for the brick-and-mortar crowd (eg, your parents).
Hey Rogers guys – did you think HTC forgot about you? Turns out they didn't, as the Android 4.1 update is making its way to your variant of the One X as I type this. Exciting, no?
The update – which should clock in at around 635MB – brings all sorts of goodies to the flagship device, including Sense 4+, Google Now, Project Butter, and... some more stuff. Unfortunately, there's nary a changelog in sight so we can't tell you exactly what else to expect.