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1 year ago

Sony announces Xperia Z, a 5" flagship with 1080p reality display

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New Sony flagship features 1080p screen, 13MP camera, and reality display

It's been leaked and rumored over the past several weeks, but today the Sony Xperia Z is official. At its CES 2013 press conference this afternoon, the company announced a new flagship smartphone with large, high-resolution display. The Xperia Z packs a 5-inch 1080p Full HD Reality display, and runs Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU with 2GB of RAM.

Design highlights for this device include a high-level of dust and water resistance, and a an all-glass back, similar to recent efforts from LG. The Xperia Z will launch globally in Q1 2013

We're live at the Sony booth at CES 2013, and we'll be bringing you hands-on coverage of the Xperia Z very soon, so stay tuned. Go past the break for the press release and a bevy of hands-on pictures.

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1 year ago

Huawei makes Ascend Mate and Ascend D2 official

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At the Huawei press event in Vegas today, the Ascend Mate and Ascend D2 have been made official. We've seen and heard enough rumors to know they were coming, but our first real look at the phones leaves us pretty impressed. 

The Mate, billed as the Largest Screen Smartphone (at 6.1-inches nobody can argue that) is being touted as the ultimate all in one device, with a big screen that is still portable, and will replace a laptop, phone, and camera with one convergent device.

The Ascend D2 (no Quad on this one) is the Most Powerful Smartphone, and has a 5-inch 443 ppi display. A 13MP camera and giant 3000mAh battery that gives two day battery life round it out as a real super phone for 2013.  We're on site and will certainly have a closer look at these. Both press releases are after the break. Stay tuned!

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1 year ago

Intel announces new 'Lexington' platform aimed at emerging markets

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The Intel CES 2013 press conference is in full swing, and they came out of the box swinging by jumping straight into their new smartphone news. Intel debuted the Medfield platform at last year's CES, along with a reference device, and this year is no different. There's a new platform, and a new reference device, but a different aim. 

The new Atom Z2420, codenamed Lexington, is aimed at the emerging markets such as India with a view to hitting the value markets. Intel says that Lexington is a no-compromise platform, and runs an optimized version of Android in just the same way as the 2012 Medfield devices. The reference device certainly reflects the "value" proposition, containing a 3.5 inch HVGA 430x320 display, but still contains a HSPA+ 21mbps modem. 

In line with desirable features in the targeted markets, Intel has included support for FM radio and dual-SIM devices. MicroSD card support is included, as is wireless display. It supports 1.3MP and 5MP front and rear cameras respectively, and like the Medfield platform, this includes a fast shot "burst mode." Video recording at 1080p and 30fps will be supported by the rear camera. 

Initial partners for the Lexington platform include Lava, SafariCom and Acer, with details coming on the devices from each later on in Q1. 

Value wasn't all she wrote though. While Lexington is the main focus, Intel did drop a hint at what's on the horizon for their more high end offerings. Following from last year's Medfield will be the new Clover Trail+ for smartphones. The Clover Trail+ will be Intel's first dual-core processor for Android devices, based on the Atom Z2580. Intel's performance and battery life on a single-core chip is impressive, so we're looking forward to seeing how the platform advances in 2013. 

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1 year ago

Live from Huawei's CES 2013 press conference

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We're live at CES 2013 in Las Vegas, and next on today's Android-packed schedule is the Huawei press conference. The Chinese manufacturer is expected to announce new Android and Windows Phone devices, including a successor to the Ascend D1 Quad, the Ascend D2, and a ridiculous 6.1-inch phone, the Ascend Mate. On the Windows side, we're expecting Huawei's first Windows Phone 8 device, the Ascend W1.

The presentation kicks off at 1pm PT (4pm ET), and we'll be covering the event live. Check past the break for our liveblog of Huawei at CES!

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1 year ago

Hands-on with the Pantech Discover on AT&T

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There's a good chance if you're reading this that the Pantech Discover is not for you. And that's cool. It's for your mom. Or your granddad. It's a first-timer device, with a first-timer price of $49 on contract with AT&T. And you know what? Pantech's done a pretty good job with it. 

Think of this as a large smartphone for someone who doesn't want, well, a Galaxy S3 or HTC One X on AT&T. But that doesn't mean it's not stylish. Start with a large, 4.8-inch 720p display. Nothing wrong with that. And Pantech blissfully diverges from the typical black-slap design, bringing some graceful curves to the textured back of the phone, with speakers tucked on either side. Haven't seen Samsung do that, have ya? (And those speakers sound pretty good, even in a crowded room.)

But the more interesting part of the Pantech Discover is the work that's gone into the custom user interface. It's built on Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, and there actually are two UIs. Samsung's done this already, of course, but Pantech takes simple to a whole new level. Multiple home screens are pared down to one. The main home screen is nearly idiot-proof. Gone is the app drawer. Even the settings menu is hidden from where you'd normally expect it. And it's still pretty full of features, all things considered. It's got NFC, and AT&T's improved DriveMode is built-in, to help cut down on texting and driving. 

This one's worth a quick look in the store if you've got a first-timer looking for a phone and who doesn't want to spend a lot of dough doing it. 

We've got more pics and video of the Pantech Discover after the break.

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1 year ago

Nuance and ZTE make multi-year deal to bring voice services to devices

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Voice app provider Nuance has signed a multi-year deal with handset manufacturer ZTE to integrate its services into upcoming devices in 2013. Announced at CES 2013, the well-known voice service provider will partner with ZTE to bring better voice control to its "Car Mode" app. The app can be operated completely with voice, not even requiring any viewing of the screen.

You can wake up Car Mode with a wake-up word, and manage everything via voice (input and output) from there. After waking, users can dial contacts and numbers, launch navigation apps, get the local weather and play music on the device. While enabled, the app will also audibly announce incoming caller names as well as read aloud incoming text messages.

This is all necessary technology to help people be as safe as possible when driving with their phones. The new Nuance-enabled Car Mode app will be pre-loaded on ZTE's entire 2013 line of phones, and will offer voice control and feedback in 25 languages.

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1 year ago

LG announces new 'Panorama Note' feature coming to Optimus Vu: II

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LG is set to show off a new "Panorama Note" feature for its stylus-toting Optimus Vu: II at CES 2013. The feature takes features of LG's current note apps that take advantage of the large 4:3 screen on the Vu, and combine it with some of the fundamentals of a panoramic photo. Basically you'll get a 3:1 scrolling note that you can move and edit, meaning you'll have more effective real estate for note taking. Like using a big pad of paper, and working on just one area at a time.

When using the app you'll be able to zoom all the way in -- up to 5.8x -- to view specific content, then back out again to see the entire scope of the note. LG will surely be showing off this feature at its CES booth here in Las Vegas, and we'll be hoping to get a hands-on look at it in the coming days.

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1 year ago

Pantech Discover unveiled for AT&T, arrives Jan. 11 for $49.99

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The AT&T developer summit at CES is going down today in Las Vegas, but we've already seen the first new smartphone heading for the carrier. The Pantech Discover -- which strikes a passing resemblance to the old Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc -- is a 4G LTE device that will be released on Jan. 11 for $49.99 on a new 2-year contract. 

On the face of things the Discover looks like a pretty decent device for the price. It packs a 4.8 inch 1280x720 display,a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 4G LTE, a 12.1 MP rear camera with 1080p video recording, NFC is also built in, along with "3D surround sound" speakers. Storage is reasonable at 16GB and the whole thing is powered by a 2100mAh battery. The full press release and press pictures can be found after the break.

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1 year ago

Live from LG's CES 2013 press conference

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We're up bright and early in Las Vegas for LG's CES 2013 press conference. In amongst all manner of consumer electronics -- from refrigerators, to televisions, to cleaning robots -- LG's teased some new Android-powered goodies. An recent video has teased what looks like an Optimus G-class device, so we're likely in for some new Android-powered phones this morning.

Naturally, we're covering the whole event live. You can catch our liveblog after the break. The action kicks off at 8am PST (11am EST).

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1 year ago

Alcatel hits CES with three new One Touch Android smartphones

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Alcatel perhaps isn't the first brand you think of when choosing a new Android device, but as the CES madness kicks into gear, they have announced three new devices out in Las Vegas. Say hello to the Idol, the Idol Ultra, and the 5 inch Scribe HD.

The Idol comes right out of the gate swinging, claiming to be the lightest smartphone in its category at just 110 grams. Spec wise we're looking at a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a 4.7 inch IPS display, an 8MP rear camera coupled to a 2MP front shooter and running Jelly Bean. No specification on whether or not it's 4.1 or 4.2, but the important thing is that it's Jelly Bean. And if the press shot here is anything to go by, it looks pretty stock.

Moving on to the Idol Ultra, and we're greeted with another bold statement -- the Idol Ultra is the thinnest smartphone in the world. It's crazy thin at just 6.45mm, and like the Idol packs a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, an 8MP rear camera with a 2MP front facer, Jelly Bean and a 4.7 inch display. The display on the Idol Ultra however is a HD AMOLED display instead of the IPS found on the Idol. 

And then we get to the Scribe HD. The Scribe HD is a 5 inch smartphone, and is the first to pack the MediaTek MT6589 quad-core chipset. There's no mention of it being a 1080p device, just "HD," but it's still pretty big. Again, like the other two devices, the Scribe HD runs Jelly Bean, and has an 8MP rear camera, with a 720p capable front facing camera. We're also told that the Scribe HD supports "4G speeds" but doesn't make any specific mention of LTE. 

There's a whole lot more to come from CES, and we're only just getting started. Stick around for everything Las Vegas has to throw at us. 

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