Posts Tagged ‘Smartphone’

Microsoft Corp is conceiving the idea to allow Android apps on Windows given that the Android has become such a success in a short span of time. The company is split in taking the step, though. One segment of Microsoft anticipates that the company should allow Android apps to run inside its platforms to fill the app deficit. The other segment thinks that it will not be a wise choice for the company and will lead to the end of Windows.

As per reports from The Verge, running Android apps on Windows means that Microsoft will allow Android apps on Windows and Windows Phone platforms. The negotiations are still on over the topic and are said to be in their early stages at Microsoft Corp. The Windows maker’s new CEO Satya Nadella is likely to take a call over the matter soon.

If Microsoft heads with this idea, the company may use a virtualisation layer like Bluestacks’ solution to run Android applications on Windows and will provide the apps through its own customised store. Apps like Temple Run in Android version run on Windows 8 using BlueStacks.

No details are available as of now, since Microsoft is yet to make a choice. Microsoft is reportedly keeping a close eye on the performance of Nokia’s new Android smartphone that may be launched at the Mobile World Congress, this month. The performance of the new smartphone is likely to be a deciding factor for Microsoft to take this call.

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Smartphone maker HTC has launched its most expensive handset for Indian market, HTC One Max, for maximum retail price of Rs 61,490.

“HTC One Max has largest display from HTC’s stable. This is phone comes with stylus, insurance for theft, liquid damage and option to be purchased in monthly instalments,” HTC India country head Faisal Siddiqui told reporters.

The phone will be available at market offered price of Rs 56,490.

HTC has jumped to 5.9-inch display screen with One Max, from 4.7-inch screen size phone model.

Siddiqui said that the company is providing six month installment schemes.

“The customer will have to not bear processing and interest charges. We will take care of it,” he said.

In this new phone, the company has introduced a scanner below rear camera which save finger print of user and allows secured access of phone to its owner only.

HTC One Max comes with 16GB or 32GB onboard memory that can be expanded using a microSD card slot. It also has a 50GB of additional storage option for free on Google Drive.

The phone has 3,300mAh embedded battery. A normal 4-inch screen size smartphone generally comes with 1,800-2,000mAH battery size.

Apple used to be the clear smartphone leader with its iconic iPhone series thanks to a combination of outstanding hardware and software to match. Now, Android-based phones are arguably as good, if not better, with the likes of the HTC One, Sony Xperia Z and Samsung Galaxy S4, not necessarily in that order, giving the once-unmatchable Apple a run for its money.

Apple, needless to say, is not sitting back on its haunches, and promises a rivetting fightback with products that promise the moon.

The current position in the fight revolves around the smashing hit that Samsung Galaxy S4 has become and everyone is waiting for what Apple will do to its next in line smartphone – the so-called iPhone 6. Here is a peak at the dates and the direction Apple may well have taken to beat rivals.

While the new model is being referred to as iPhone 6, it had briefly surfaced some time ago as the iPhone Math – the screen is reportedly 4.8 inches. Also, with HTC One having come up with an outstanding camera, iPhone too is playing catch up and is reportedly targetting trotting out a special one of its own.

Release Date

The glimpse into the working of Apple Inc was given by Citi Research analyst Glen Yeung who revealed that a ‘big-screen iPhone 6’ is likely to be launched in first quarter of 2014.

But on the other hand history repeats itself people, so guess what? That’s exactly where we are going to look for a first clue as the when we might see the iPhone 6.

iPhone 1st gen   June, 2007
iPhone 3G     July, 2008
iPhone 3GS     June, 2009
iPhone 4      June, 2010
iPhone 4s      October, 2011
iPhone 5      September, 2012
iPhone 5s/5c    September, 2013

While the history books suggest that there will be an new iPhone 6 release date around September/October 2014, we have a gut feeling that Apple might – just might – shake things up a little bit and launch an iPhone 6 earlier than expected, just like it did with the iPad 4, which was launched just eight months after the iPad 3 (previous iPads were release 11-12 months apart). But for the record, the smart money goes on an iPhone 6 release date of September/October 2014.

A mockup of a prospective Apple iWatch

An Apple iWatch may not be a huge revenue booster but it could still capture as many as 10 million customers.

Based on a Piper Jaffray survey of 799 US consumers, analyst Gene Munster believes Apple could sell between 5 million and 10 million smartwatches during the initial launch year. The recent poll asked people whether they would buy a $350 iWatch that can connect to an iPhone.

At first glance, the survey results don’t seem to bode well. Among iPhone owners polled, only 12 percent said they’d be interested in buying an Apple iWatch, leaving 88 percent on the sidelines. On a global basis, that percentage is likely to be even lower. Still, that means anywhere from 2 percent to 4 percent of iPhone users around the world may actually buy the watch during the first year.

How would that impact Apple’s bottom line? Very little, Munster indicated in an investors note released Monday. Assuming a midpoint estimate of 7.5 million iWatch sales, Apple’s revenue and gross profits would each rise by just 1 percent. But the analyst sees other benefits from an Apple smartwatch.

“While we do not view the watch as a likely needle-mover for Apple in terms of revenue in 2014, we put it in a similar category as the television in that it could demonstrate Apple’s ability to innovate (good for the multiple) and potentially lead to a more meaningful new product category in wearable tech,” Munster said.

The analyst believes there’s a 60 percent chance Apple will unveil an iWatch in 2014.

Curved screen smartphones seem to be the next big thing in the technology world. Close on the heels of Samsung announcing its curved smartphone, comes the news that its south Korean rival LG too plans to launch a curved screen smartphone in November.

According to media reports, LG is working on a 6-inch curved smartphone being dubbed as the G Flex, which the company plans to bring launch next month. The phone is speculated to have an OLED display and use LG’s new Plastic OLED (POLED) technology.

For users, a curved display does not mean that that they will be able to bend these smartphones. Curved display means screens which will be slightly curved but not bendable.

Recently, Samsung Electronics said it will introduce a smartphone with a curved display in October. Apple’s much-rumored smartwatch too is expected to sport a flexible display.Curved display is already commercially available in large-screen televisions. Samsung and its home rival LG Electronics had started selling curved OLED TV sets this year priced at about $9,000

LG launched its G2 smartphone in India today, bringing yet another powerful handset to the already burgeoning Indian smartphone market. This device is a powerful competitor to the Samsung Galaxy S4, Sony Xperia Z1, HTC One and Nokia Lumia 925.

It has all the makings of a champion, from a powerful chipset, gorgeous screen, unique software, and a great camera. No doubt, LG G2 has us intrigued, especially when it comes to design. The company has done away with hardware keys altogether, placing the power and volume keys at the back instead of left or right side as it happens in conventional design.

We were not sure if this new positioning for the keys will make smartphone usage easier, or if it will make it much too difficult to hold the phone, let alone operate it with one hand. We played with the device for some time at the launch event to see what the LG G2 is all about. Here is what we experienced ..

LG G2 looks much too similar to the Samsung Galaxy S4 despite a minor difference between screen size (5.2-inch for G2 vs 5-inch for S4). However, a closer look reveals that the new LG phone bears some differences compared to the now six-months-old S4, such as on-screen keys, no hardware buttons on the sides and overall a bigger device.

The screen of LG G2 is as good as it gets, with beautiful and vibrant colours and crisp text and videos. Around the screen are very thin bezels, helping the phone keep dimensions to a minimum.

Coming to the buttons on the back. Below the camera you will find here keys – Volume Up, Power/Lock and Volume Down, in that order. After using the phone for about 15 minutes straight, it stopped feeling outlandish as we could get a hang of the keys and using them to do common tasks. More on what these keys do below.

Overall, we like the design and look of the G2. The only grouse? Plastic does not feel fantastic, especially after having used the glass-bodied Optimus G earlier.

While you can press the power key on the back to turn on the phone, another option is to tap on the touchscreen twice quickly. This is same as the functionality we have seen in some of the newer Nokia and Samsung phones.

Inside, the software is similar to the Optimus UI we have seen in previous LG phones. However, this time it looks a little less childish, which is the only issue we had with the Android skin.

The phone seems extremely fast, a result of the combination of the light Optimus UI and powerful Snapdragon 800 chipset. All tasks we performed in quick succession went off without a hitch, showing exactly how powerful the chipset is.

We checked out some of the software features of LG G2. Many we had seen in previous phones (placing phone next to the ear to answer calls without pressing any keys in Samsung Galaxy S3 and supersensitive touchscreen in Nokia Lumia 920).

One feature that caught our eye was Slide Aside, where you can use a three-finger swipe from right to left to push a running app to the sidelines. This feature allows users to move or retrieve a maximum of three running apps from the sides. Though not as good as Samsung’s multi app view, it is still worth checking out.

Using G2 for a little more time gave us an idea of how to use its rear-positioned keys for doing more. While the volume and power/lock functions were quite expected, we also used it to access QuickMemo app and turn on the camera when the phone’s screen was turned off. However, you cannot take screenshots with the handset without using both your hands, something we can easily do with a single hand in other Android phones. During our short time with the G2, we found it to be a very capable smartphone that can stand neck-and-neck with any top-end smartphone in the market. Its unconventional design is quite good and does not hinder functionality, even though it does not add much value to the usage.

It sure seems like Samsung is clearly annoyed by the fact that rival Apple is getting all the credit for rolling out a gold smartphone.

The electronics company took to its blog to argue that it was first with a gold phone and that it wasn’t following Apple’s move. Since Apple rolled out the gold version of the iPhone 5s Sept. 10, it has been hugely popular and sold out at many stores as soon as it was released.

Samsung said it launched the gold version of its flagship smartphone in the United Arab Emirates back on Aug. 27. It started selling the devices in stores on Sept. 8 and later took the device to Kuwait and Qatar too.

“On 8th September 2013, the first Samsung #GalaxyS4 Gold Edition was already available in stores. The 8th comes before the 10th,” Samsung said on a caption for a picture posted on Facebook on Sept. 26, referencing the iPhone 5s announcement date.

To further drive the point that Samsung is not an Apple copycat, the company lists eight other gold cell phones it has released since 2004.

“See below to check out some of the phones we’ve released in gold in the past (just off the top of my head),” Samsung said on its blog.It’s doubtful Apple will get in on this who-was-first fight, but we’ve reached out to the Cupertino, Calif., tech company just in case.

HTC’s next Butterfly smartphone might have leaked to the Web before its time.
Images purportedly of the HTC Butterfly 2 cropped up on the Web over the weekend, showing what appears to be three color options — blue, white, and black. The images also show what appears to be a tall, large display, matching rumors that the handset could come with a 5.2-inch screen. There’s also talk of the device featuring the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor.

HTC’s Butterfly isn’t necessarily a household name in the US, but has proven successful in Asia and other parts of the world. HTC launched an upgrade to its original Butterfly earlier this year, and called the update the Butterfly S. It’s believed that the next handset will be known as the Butterfly 2.

For its part, HTC has remained tight-lipped on any plans it might have for a future Butterfly handset. It’s believed, however, that the device could be unveiled soon.

The Z1 handset with the QX100 lens attached weighs 349g (12.3oz)

Sony has confirmed plans to sell two stand-alone lenses that connect to smartphones by wi-fi, allowing them to take higher-quality photos.

The devices are compatible with Android and iOS handsets and mark the creation of a new product category.

The Japanese company announced the products alongside a new smartphone which features a 20.7 megapixel camera and a larger-than-normal image sensor.

The launches should help the firm challenge Nokia’s top-end handset.

The Finnish company – which is in the process of being taken over by Microsoft – unveiled the Lumia 1020 in July. Reviews have suggested that it has the best smartphone camera on the market, but were critical of its price,

Sony told the BBC it would target its Z1 handset at a wider audience than what it called the Lumia 1020’s “super-premium category”.

It confirmed details of the devices at the Ifa consumer tech show in Berlin – much of the information had already leaked via tech news sites.

One analyst suggested the lenses in particular would struggle to find buyers.

“The concept is interesting, but when you think about using it, will users want to carry them around?” asked Francisco Jeronimo, mobile devices research manager at tech consultancy IDC.

“The problem is that for those wanting top-quality photographs, the experience of having a DSLR [digital single lens reflex] offers a better experience than a phone with an add-on camera.

“Meanwhile having the lens attached to a phone makes it feel quite bulky compared to a compact camera or stand-alone handset.

“If the lenses were priced under £100, then I could see photography geeks buying it, or operators bundling it with the phone, but these lenses will be quite expensive.”

Sony itself acknowledged that it did not know how strong demand would be.

“Always we’re discussing: ‘How many pieces should we prepare,'” Yosuke Aoki, a digital imaging spokesman for the firm, told the BBC.

“We’re waiting for after the Ifa announcement to see what the feedback will be to the models.”

Making a statement

Sony is bundling movies and games with the Z1 to help it compete

The QX10 lens offers a 10x optical zoom and 18.2MP resolution which Sony says makes it ideal for taking shots of distant landmarks or close-ups of people. It will cost about £170,

The QX100 features a smaller 3.6x zoom but a bigger sensor with a resolution of 20.2MP. Its aperture goes as wide as f1.8 – allowing more light in – meaning it should be more adept at taking photos in low light or with a very shallow focus. It also offers manual focus as an option which is not possible on the other lens. It will cost about £380.

Once fitted with a battery and memory stick, the QX10 weighs 105g (3.7oz) and the QX100 179g (6.3oz).

Both devices:

  • include technology that compensates for shaky hands
  • activate a link-up to a phone or tablet if it has an NFC (near field communication) chip
  • can attach to different-sized handsets via an extendable clip, or – in the case of the Z1 – using a special case
  • can be operated while a short distance away from the smart device

Neither:

  • has a built-in screen.

Sony Mobile’s head of sales and marketing said they were intended to send a message to consumers, including those who would never buy them.

“It’s a statement as one piece of many things that are starting to come together under the umbrella of Sony,” said Dennis van Schie.

“The PlayStation 4 is coming out. In 4K [ultra-high resolution] TVs, we’re the leader – from the formats to the cameras to recording capabilities [that will appear] quite soon in mobile.

“Now we’re the first ones to dare to create a lens-type camera with a new kind of user interface. It contributes to what Sony is standing for.”

Sony posted a 3.5bn yen ($35m, £23m) profit in the April-to-June quarter, reversing a 24.6bn yen loss the previous year.

Stronger sales of smartphones helped achieve the turnaround.

However, IDC says the firm still only had a 4.1% share of global smartphone shipments over the three months, putting it behind Samsung, Apple, LG, Lenovo, Huawei and ZTE.

Additional value

Nokia has boasted that its Lumia 1020 with a 41MP sensor is the best smartphone camera on the market

Sony is hoping the new water-resistant Z1 handset will help it boost that figure.

It says the device features an exclusive sensor which is the same size as that found in its Cybershot cameras.

It also features new software including the ability to provide live video streams to Facebook, and Info-eye – an app that provides information about books, wine and landmarks among other objects the phone is pointed at.

The company is also taking advantage of its other assets to help the device stand out from the Android crowd. UK shoppers are promised five Sony movie downloads and a selection of free PlayStation mobile games.

“They’ve done quite a good job of differentiating the phone,” said Mr Jeronimo.

“That’s what operators want – to be able to provide additional value from what Sony offers.”That’s why they are looking at Sony as a better prospect for the future than other vendors like Blackberry and HTC.”