Last Monday we got out first look at the HTC Ville, an upcoming handset that we're expecting to see unveiled at Mobile World Congress in a few weeks. Today four new photos of the phone have appeared over on Chinese forum ePrice, giving us a closer, clearer look at the currently unannounced device.
Judging by the icon placement, location, date, time and background, it looks like these images come from the same original source as last week's leaked video. However, unlike the video, these are of (reasonably) decent quality, showing off the chassis of the phone and HTC Sense 4.0's redesigned, geometric stylings.
Today's photos seem to confirm that version 4.0 will give HTC Sense it's biggest visual overhaul yet. The classic Sense dock is gone, replaced with ICS-style icons. And the iconic clock widget had undergone a few changes too, with more clean lines and less translucency. The lockscreen, however, seems to be more or less unchanged from Sense 3.x -- you've still got the familiar metal ring and four shortcuts. And in terms of industrial design, it's clear we're looking at a pretty thin device, with what seems to be slightly raised areas at the top and bottom of the back panel.
As with any unofficial leak, things can, and likely will change as the unveiling and eventual release approaches. We've got our fingers crossed for more HTC Ville goodness at MWC later this month. You'll find two more photos after the jump.
According to these sources, the phone includes such previously-rumored specs as Android 4.0, a quad-core CPU and LTE support -- none of which is particularly unsurprising for a Samsung flagship product in 2012. However, the most interesting rumor concerns the device's dimensions -- it's said to measure just 7mm thick, thanks to the introduction of thinner internal components. At 7mm, the Galaxy S III would still be a hair thicker than Huawei's P1S, but considering its souped-up internals, it's still incredibly impressive. That figure would see Samsung shave almost a millimeter and a half off the girth of the Galaxy S II, which measured 8.49mm.
Other rumored specs for the Galaxy S III include a 2MP front-facing camera and 8MP rear-facing shooter, which apparently protrudes slightly from the back of the device.
Looking further ahead, ETNews suggests that Samsung, apparently undeterred by lukewarm uptake of other 3D phones, may be planning to launch its own 3D smartphone later in the year.
Today's rumors indicate a possible May 2012 launch for the Galaxy S III, which certainly wouldn't surprise us, and would fit within the Samsung's previously-announced timeframe. In any case, we're expecting to hear more about the Galaxy S III sometime after Mobile World Congress.
HTC has published its final Q4 2011 financial results, confirming the 2.49% year-on-year slip in earnings revealed in last month's unaudited numbers. In the fourth quarter of last year, HTC brought in NT$101.42 billion, down from NT$104 during the same period in 2010. There was also a gloomy outlook for the first quarter of 2012, with projected revenues of NT$65-70 billion (down from NT$104.16 billion in Q1 2011), and a much lower operating margin of around 7.5%.
The manufacturer said the Q4 slump, and expected weakness in Q1 2012, were a "temporary phenomenon" due to its current "product cycle transition", as it looks to unveil new handsets at Mobile World Congress later this month.
HTC faced strong competition in late 2011, with a resurgent Apple launching the iPhone 4S, as well as growing dominance of the Android space by Korean rival Samsung. The company has recently indicated its plans to do more with fewer models in 2012, focusing on stronger "hero" devices.
Following reports from some online retailers early last month, we now have official confirmation from Samsung that the white Galaxy Nexus is the real deal, and will be going on sale next week in the UK. Sammy promises that the white (GSM) Galaxy Nexus will be making its way to "a range of stores across the country" from next Monday, Feb. 13.
Like last year's white Nexus S, the white Galaxy Nexus switches up the color of the chassis, rather than the bezel surrounding the screen. That means you'll get a classy white finish on the back and sides of the device, while the front is furnished in the same black glass as the original. Internally, it's the same Galaxy Nexus we all know and love.
So far we've heard nothing about any possible North American release for the white Galaxy Nexus, however our fingers are crossed for the launch of the Sprint LTE version later in the year.
We've got Samsung's press release after the break.
The Pantech Burst is one of AT&T's latest LTE-enabled handsets, and it's clearly aimed at the first-time or budget-minded smartphone buyer. That's a huge market, and this is the first time we've seen 4G LTE directed at it. But two years is a long time, and you're wise to do a little homework before you sign that commitment, no matter how low the up-front cost is. Hit the break and see what we think of the Pantech Burst.
The Super AMOLED screen is great. Pantech has done very nice things to Android, while keeping an overall stock feel to things. The $399 off-contract price is quite a bargain.
The poor battery life while on an LTE network is still a sticking point. The benefits of a low upfront cost pale when considering the price of the contract.
The Burst is really a nice little phone. But the other AT&T LTE handsets offer a little more in the way of customizations and features. If you're going to sign-on for two years, you should get the best product available. If you're looking for a solid and inexpensive LTE phone for AT&T, and buying outright, that's where the Burst shines.
AT&T will begin to take pre-orders today for the Samsung Galaxy Note, the 5.3-inch phablet will be sold in carbon blue or ceramic white, and check in at $299 with a new agreement. Orders are set to be delivered by Feb. 17, just a bit too late for Valentine's Day. Also scheduled to be in AT&T stores are a few accessories, notably a desktop docking station, a spare battery charger, and a flip cover case and pen holder. Speaking of the flip cover, if you head into Best Buy and pre-order your Samsung Galaxy Note they will hook you up with one for free. Everyone loves free.
The Note is big, bad, and just what a lot of folks are looking for. It's huge as a phone, but has enough size to it that it could function as a tablet for many. The lure of carrying one device to cover both use cases is bound to attract quite a few folks, and the fact that LTE data is built into the unit is certainly a big plus. The rest of the specs are certainly no slouch either. That 5.3-inch Super AMOLED screen has a 1280x800 HD resolution, there's a 1.5GHZ dual-core processor (word is it's the same Qualcomm as in the Skyrocket), a 2500mAh battery, 1GB of RAM, and Samsung's excellent 8MP camera all running Android 2.3.5.
If you're going to do the deed and sign up to buy one of these big beauties, be sure to head into the forums and join the discussion. It won't make the wait any shorter, but it might help make it feel that way.
We noted Best Buy in the U.S. was taking pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy Note and now their Canadian stores have started as well. Although the Canadian release doesn't include any free goodies to go along with it, the price points for the device do vary across carrier with Bell coming out on top in terms of pricing.
Bell - $200
TELUS - $250
Rogers - $300
Those price points are all on new, three-year contracts but that's a given for the Canadian mobile landscape. The Samsung Galaxy Note will be available on Feb. 14th so if you're looking to get your hands on one, head on over to Best Buy and get your pre-orders in.
Android Central member seanmacanally got an OTA notification on his rooted Verizon Galaxy Nexus, and with a little help from the great crew in the forums got the package pulled and uploaded for everyone to play with. A few caveats:
This is only for the Verizon version of the Galaxy Nexus
It's Android 4.0.4 IMM30B
You will need to be completely stock with stock recovery to install it as-is
This doesn't seem to be an OTA that's going out in full force, so it very well could be some sort of internal testing version. Keep that in mind if you flash it -- things may not be working as well as you would hope.
In contrast to the letter-based naming scheme that it's using internationally, it seems Sony may be sticking with something a bit more unique for one future device. Following the unveiling of the Xperia Ion at CES, it's emerged today that Sony has filed to trademark the name "Xperia Sola" at the U.S. Trademark and Patents Office, as well as its European counterpart the OHIM.
What such a product might eventually be is anyone's guess. A few possibilities could lie in the recently-leaked international roadmap.
However, the registration of a trademark doesn't guarantee that any product with that name will appear -- we've seen manufacturers snap up trademarks without using them in the past. But we have to admit that the "Xpreia Sola" name would certainly fit in with Sony's established nomenclature.
Any wild guesses about what, if anything, the "Xperia Sola" might turn out to be? Shout out in the comments!
It seems like there's a new Android phone coming out every week. As with all things electronic, the new stuff looks better than the old stuff. It's enough to drive anyone, especially an Android blogger, insane. But it's darn near impossible to justify buying a new phone, off contract and at full price, every couple of months. And let's face it -- sometimes we just love what we have. A lot of people stuck with the first Droid, or the Nexus One because nothing else has caught their eye just yet. There's a lot of variables, and there could be a lot of answers. So the logical thing is to just ask. Let us know in tonight's poll.
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