Following precisely one year after the launch of the original Grand Memo, ZTE has made the Grand Memo II LTE official here at MWC 2014 in Barcelona. Although ZTE confirmed its existence and naming prior to the show, we now have all of the details on its new huge handset. The Grand Memo II LTE is sporting a 6-inch IPS HD (we're thinking 720 x 1280) display, 13MP and 5MP cameras, Snapdragon 400 processor (initially there was confusion it was an 800), 2GB of RAM and 3200mAh battery paired with proprietary power saving software.
The hardware comes in at a staggeringly-thin 7.2mm chassis that's angular and mostly made up of screen on the front. The back shows off a subtle carbon fiber pattern in either black or white. The screen takes up a full 80 percent of the front face of the device. That screen has Gorilla Glass 3, naturally, and offers a 178-degree viewing angle and is hyper-sensitive so that it can be used with gloves if you need.
On the software front ZTE has redesigned the interface, which it calls MiFavor 2.3, to give the experience a new look and make it easier to navigate. The interface has deep integration with ZTE's pre-loaded apps, includes a new camera app that offers several shooting modes and has the latest "split screen" functionality that lets you run two apps at once.
Dual-core and quad-core 64-bit devices coming in 2014
We're here at Mobile World Congress with Intel where the chip maker has officially announced its new 64-bit processors suitable for Android devices. The two different chips – named Merrifield and Moorefield – will be landing in 2014. Merrifield will be here in the first half, Moorefield will follow in the second half.
Both are 64-bit, with the Merrifield being dual-core and the Moorefield a quad-core. Both support LTE, and both were shown off on stage at the press event in reference devices by Hermann Eul, VP of Mobile and Communications at Intel. Both come with a set of pretty bold, yet not completely unrealistic claims based on previous Intel efforts in mobile.
Nokia wasn't content with announcing just two Android-powered phones today at Mobile World Congress — CEO Stephen Elop rolled out the oversized Nokia XL as well!
Nokia XL is sporting a 5-inch IPS display. It'll be available early Q2 for 109 Euros in "growth markets."
Nokia's Windows Phone-powered Lumia line is still its flagship product, Elop said here in Barcelona. "The X family serves the fast-growing, affordable smartphone segment," Elop said. It'll continue to be priced beneath its Lumia line.
Again, Nokia XL is running an AOSP build of Android (Elop didn't say what version it's based off), but it's all about getting folks into Microsoft's cloud.
'Nokia X takes people to Microsoft's cloud, not Google's.'
Today at its press conference in Barcelona for MWC 2014, Stephen Elop of Nokia introduced the Nokia X and X+, two new low-end devices running Android. Both phones have a 4-inch display and iconic Nokia design, with the Nokia X+ having better internal specs and an SDcard slot.
The devices are built on AOSP, but do not use any of Google's services. As Elop said at the press conference, "Nokia X takes people to Microsoft's cloud, not Google's." It leverages Nokia's HERE Maps, Outlook.com, Microsoft OneDrive and Skype among other apps to fill in the gaps left by removing Google's cloud services.
Of course because it runs Android, Nokia is making it simple for Android developers to move over their apps to the Nokia store for download on the Nokia X and X+. The process is said to be very simple, according to Elop, and if users want to take things into their own hands the phones will also support sideloading of apps from the internal storage or SDcard.
Updated specs and a few interesting features highlight quick refreshes of three devices
Sony, as it often does, is iterating quickly on its leading devices with the release of the Xperia Z2, Xperia Z2 Tablet and Xperia M2. These three devices take the same basic design from their previous-generation counterparts and upgrade a few of the key specs to keep things fresh in 2014 — and while the result isn't revolutionary, all of the upgrades move these devices in the right direction.
The Xperia Z2 is a solid improvement over its predecessor, kicking things up a notch in multiple areas. The first big change is power — the Z2 is using the brand new Snapdragon 801 processor at 2.3GHz, paired with 3GB of RAM and a slightly larger 3200mAh battery powering it all. That's all fitting underneath a larger 5.2-inch display, up from 5-inches, with the same 1080 x 1920 resolution and Triluminos display technology but also adding a new "Live Color LED" technology. The Z2 sticks with the same strong 20.7MP camera, but moves up to offering both 4K video and 120fps video for slow motion — paired with five new photo and video modes in the new camera app.
On the tablet front, the new Xperia Z2 Tablet replaces the old Tablet Z, moving in the same direction with updated specs and similar design. The Z2 Tablet also jumps to a Snapdragon 801 — a larger jump considering it previously had a Snapdragon S4 Pro — and 3GB of RAM. The refresh shaves down the thickness to just 6.4mm from 6.9mm and the weight to 426g (439g for LTE) from 495g. It also adds digital noise cancelation when paired with the right headset, as well as support for a range of new accessories including a keyboard cover.
For the lower end of the spectrum, the Xperia M2 follows up after the Xperia M that was released back in September. While it still isn't a barn burner, the Xperia M2 bumps up to a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, a 4.8-inch 540 x 960 (qHD) display, 8MP Exmor RS camera (supporting HDR) and a 2300mAh battery. The original went on sale for $249 unlocked so it'll be interesting to see if the price jumps at all with these more modern specs.
Nokia is set to potentially unveil its first Android device, and we're here to see it live
It may be the small hours in the U.S., but we're up and at 'em in Barcelona, Spain, for Nokia's Mobile World Congress press event, and it's livebloggin' time!
We're expecting to get a look at Nokia's first Android device — the Nokia X, aka "Normandy." That X stuff may be a code name, or it may not. We'll see. And we also need to set our expectations here — we're not likely to see a mainstream Android device here. Instead, expect something low-cost for emerging markets, devoid of Google Play and the customary Google services.
Still, seeing the likes of Nokia make at least one Android device is a cause for excitement. So join us for the liveblog Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. CET — that's 2:30 a.m. in New York, 11:30 p.m. Sunday evening on the West Cost of the U.S.
HP was on hand at Mobile World Congress today in Barcelona to show off its new Android smartphones, the Slate Voicetabs. We got a look at both the 6-inch and 7-inch versions that are most definitely part tablet, part smartphone. Both have earpieces, large displays and make phone calls.
Neither are particularly groundbreaking. The Slate 7 has a 1200x800 resolution display while the Slate 6 has a slightly better 720p panel. Both contain 1.2GHz quad-core CPU's, 1GB of RAM, 5MP rear camera and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. HP says KitKat will be pushed out to both, but didn't say how soon.
New range of devices targeted at price-conscious users in select markets
Building on its popular lineup of S-series smartphones, Lenovo today announced the S860, 850 and 660 at MWC 2014 in Barcelona. These latest iterations in the S-series focus on longer battery life, quad-core performance and key productivity features including the newly-announced DOit suite of apps.
Naturally as the flagship, the Lenovo S860 offers all-day battery life, including 24 hours of talk time and the ability to charge other devices off of the phone. That's paired with a quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM for increased performance.
Taking one step down the line, the new S850 is focused on style with a thin and lightweight glass construction and a 5-inch display. You'll again be getting a quad-core processor, and also a 13MP rear and 5MP front camera for the photo buffs out there.
Rounding out the group is the S660, a solid mid-range device with a brushed metal construction, solid battery life and again a 5-inch display. Lenovo is focusing on a value-level price and comfortable design for a device that slots in well below the S860 and 850.
Now about the pricing — the S860 will cost just $349 unlocked, with the S850 at $269 and S660 at $229. Availability is set for select markets and will be available from Lenovo's online store.
Design that set you back $450 last year makes it to a lower-end device
Alongside the MediaPad X1 and TalkBand B1, a less-flashy device, the Ascend G6, was announced to round out Huawei's mid-range effort. If you're familiar with the Ascend P6 from last year you'll know the design here — but the G6 trades specs in some places and in return adds a much-wanted LTE radio. You're getting the same plastic front and metal back with some nice accents and visual features like a 7.85mm thickness, as well as interesting color choices (our white balance isn't bad, that phone is actually pink).
The Ascend G6 steps down the screen most notably, going to a 4.5-inch 540 x 960 (qHD) display from 720 x 1280 in the P6. It keeps the same camera setup and 2000mAh battery though, but that could be considered a downgrade considering the Ascend G6 is being released several months later. The Ascend G6 benefits from the same software tweaks and improvements that we see on the MediaPad X1 — including a few UI tweaks and new camera software features.
Hit the break for a photo gallery and a few more thoughts on the Ascend G6.
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