We'll start with the Exynos 5422, an octa-core chipset that, like previous Samsung octa-core processors, is really more like two quad core processors combined. The Exynos 5422 includes four powerful ARM Cortex-A15 cores that can be clocked up to a blazing 2.1GHz, and four ARM Cortex-A7 cores running at up to 1.5GHz for lighter loads. Samsung claims the Exynos 5422 can "deliver up to 34 percent higher performance than in previous Exynos Octa models." All this power means the processor can handle 4K displays with aplomb, though it's not likely we're going to see those any time soon, so that extra oomph can instead be directed at other tasks. The 28-nanometer process used to fabricate the Exynos 5422 is said to result in a 10% reduction in power consumption.
The Exynos 5260, on the other hand, is a hexa-core processor with two big 1.7GHz ARM Cortex-A15 cores paired with four 1.3GHz ARM Cortex-A7 cores. The 6-core model isn't quite as powerful as its 8-core brother, having both a lower clock speed and fewer cores, but Samsung still projects it to be able to handle displays all the way up to WQXGA (2560x1600). The Exynos 5260 is currently in production, while the Exynos 5422 is scheduled to start mass production in the first quarter of the year, so be looking for both in future Samsung products.
A year on from its last tablet effort, Sony presents another compelling large form factor slate
Sony has so far resisted the move to smaller, cheaper tablets, instead focusing its efforts on 10.1-inch slates like the Xperia Tablet Z, and before that the Tablet S. Sony's offering tablet for 2013 was a solid 10.1-inch Android slate — a thin, light, waterproof device packing plenty of performance — but it never really saw mainstream success. This year the company presents a similar looking large form factor Android tablet, in the form of the Xperia Z2 Tablet. Same screen size, same resolution, only with upgraded internals, a refreshed design and an even slimmer chassis. It's an insanely thin Android 4.4 KitKat tablet with a multimedia focus and a boatload of bundled Sony content.
Check out our first look video and photos after the break.
Dramatically improved screen and a spec bump sum up this mild refresh
Building on the success of its initial Yoga line of tablets, Lenovo has refreshed its Android offering with the announcement of the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+. Just like its predecessor, the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ offers three modes of operation for different uses — Hold, Tilt and Stand — depending on how you swivel it around. The new model offers some update specs, however.
You'll be greeted by a 10.1-inch 1920 x 1200 "20/20 Vision" display, a dramatic increase over the original. The display, while being extremely clear, also adjusts images and test on-screen to best fit the current lighting for an optimal viewing experience. The tablet also makes a bump to a quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, adds USB OTG (On The Go) and optional keyboard accessory support. As for a camera, the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ moves to an 8MP rear-facing shooter.
On the software side the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ runs Android 4.3, sporting Lenovo's latest DOit suite of apps. SHAREit enables easy sharing of pictures, videos, music, documents and more with nearby devices even without an iternet connection. Security-focused SECUREit protects your data from viruses, spam and malware, as well as enables theft protection. Finally, SYNCit makes it simple to back up contacts, messages and other data to the cloud.
The Yoga 10 HD+ will go on sale in April from a variety of retailers and from its on website, with models starting at just $349.
Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z2, LG G Pro 2 and new wearable devices
One of the largest mobile shows of the year is about to kick off on Spain’s Mediterranean coast. This weekend — and for much of next week — we’re at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where we’ll be covering some of the biggest mobile announcements of the year. Highlights are expected to include Samsung’s Galaxy S5, new Xperia devices from Sony, and Nokia’s first Android handset. And possibly new fare from HTC as well.
For the second year running the show itself is taking place at the futuristic Fira Gran Via, a new venue in Central Barcelona, and attending companies will also be holding press conferences all over the city. We’ll have six Mobile Nations editors on the ground — myself, Phil Nickinson, Andrew Martonik, Richard Devine, Kevin Michaluk and Daniel Rubino — so you’ll want to keep track of all our MWC coverage across Android Central, Windows Phone Central, CrackBerry, iMore and Smartwatch Fans.
MWC runs from Monday, Feb. 24, until Thursday, Feb. 27, with most of the big news happening on the 24th and 25th during the morning U.S. time. We'll have constant coverage through our massive Mobile World Congress hub page, which is where you'll find our latest news, articles, videos and behind-the-scenes stuff.
We’re in for a busy week at this year’s MWC, so let’s break down what we’re expecting from the major Android players ...
Both Tegra Note 7 models updated to Android 4.4 with Gamepad Mapper functionality
Those looking for a portable 7-inch tablet with mobile data access now have another option — the Tegra Note 7 LTE. While it may not be the hottest-selling tablet out there, the Tegra Note 7 offers a pretty solid set of specs — Tegra 4 processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and a quality stylus setup all for $199. This new version with HSPA+ and LTE capabilities will set you back just $299, and as an added bonus it's shipping with Android 4.4.2 — which brings new Gamepad Mapper functionality — as well.
Providing the connectivity is a new NVIDIA i500 LTE modem, which is just 40 percent the size of the average modem but is four times as powerful as its predecessor. That pairs up with the Tegra 4 perfectly, of course, to provide speed and efficiency when connecting to mobile networks.
The Tegra Note 7 LTE will be available in a variety of regions in the second quarter of 2014: North America, U.K., Western Europe, Ukraine, Japan, Korea, India, Brazil and China. The original Wifi-only Tegra Note 7 is also expanding to Western Europe, Brazil and Ukraine to match the new model's availability.
There will be three different models, depending on where you purchase the Tegra Note 7 LTE, with the following radio bands:
Thanks to its bizarre MWC teaser trailer, we know Huawei wants to make a splash at Mobile World Congress next week. And now we have a good idea what two of its new products will look like, as the Huawei MediaPad X1 and Ascend G6 have leaked out online ahead of their expected arrival in Barcelona. The MediaPad X1 is Huawei's latest 7-inch Android tablet, with previous leaks suggesting a the presence of a 1.6GHz quad-core CPU, a 1920x1200 display resolution, 6,000mAh battery, optional LTE connectivity and a price tag around $200. Images leaked today on Weibo show a white chassis with relatively trim bezels and an S View-like cover for the device.
Meanwhile Twitter leaker @evleaks has gotten hold of renders of the Huawei Ascend G6 — pictured after the break — the company's latest mid-range smartphone, which sports an Ascend P6-like look. Specs for the slim, multicolored handset are said to include a quad-core 1.3GHz CPU from Mediatek, 1GB of RAM, an 8MP rear camera and 5-megapixel front-facer.
We're still waiting for a good look at Huawei's new high-end handset, the Ascend P7, said in the company's teaser video to include all-day battery life, a high-quality front-facing camera, and support for next-gen LTE networks. No doubt we'll learn more at the Huawei MWC press conference this Sunday.
Free 32GB microSD card with pre-orders from Samsung's online store
Samsung launched its monstrous Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 tablet in the U.K. a couple of weeks back, and now it's time for the Tab Pro series to arrive in the country. Samsung's online store is now taking pre-orders for the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 and 10.1, priced at £349 and £449 respectively for the Wifi-only versions. And to sweeten the deal the manufacturer is throwing in a free 32GB microSD card for everyone who pre-orders.
With the addition of the tablet-centric Magazine Home, TouchWiz takes one step closer to a total revamp
With the introduction of its Galaxy PRO line of tablets , Samsung has quietly taken a small step in overhauling its TouchWiz UI with the addition of Magazine Home, a vibrant and engaging user interface designed to aggregate content onto your homescreen. It's the first time that TouchWiz feels comfortable on a larger display, and it's a first look at the direction in which Samsung is taking its custom UI — away from bulky features and closer toward clean and accessible user-friendly content.
We spent the weekend exploring the strengths and weaknesses of this new interface approach, and while there's still a lot more to dive into, here's a few initial impressions.
Samsung has something of a mixed track record when it comes to commercials — ranging from the cool and nostalgic to the surreal and just kinda creepy — but the company shows strong form with its latest TV spots for the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1. Poking fun at arch-rival Apple's iPhone and iPad, Samsung actually does a decent job of showcasing both devices' strengths over the iOS-based competition — "two things on screen at once, versus up to one thing on screen at once."
Check out the Tab Pro spot above — a riff on this iPad "pencil" ad, by the way — and head past the break for the second ad, featuring LeBron James on a Galaxy Note 3.
Rumored specs include Snapdragon 800, 10.1-inch 1920x1200 display, waterproof design
A full year after the last one, we could soon see the launch of a new Android-powered Sony tablet. Serial leaker @evleaks says the device will pack a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, 3GB of RAM and a 10.1-inch 1920x1200 "Triluminos" display. Other notables are said to include 16GB of storage, expandable via microSD, 8MP and 2MP cameras, and a 6,000mAh battery. Like its predecessor, the Xperia Tablet Z, the new slate will apparently be super-thin, measuring just 6.6mm (down from the original's 6.9mm) and boast waterproof credentials; on the software side Android 4.4 KitKat is reported.
That's mostly standard high-end Android tablet fare, but the decision to remain at 1920x1200 resolution may raise eyebrows when rivals like Samsung are pushing to the dizzying heights of 2560x1600.
The latest entries into the Galaxy tablet lineup deserve the PRO moniker
When the Galaxy TabPRO and Galaxy NotePRO line of tablets was first introduced in Las Vegas last month, it was met with a subdued reception: Samsung, after all, seems to announce tablets in brand new sizes and spec configurations on an increasingly-regular basis, leading critics and consumers alike to dismiss yet another set of Galaxy tablets with an incremental bump in specs. But a closer look at the new PRO line revealed something exciting — this wasn’t just one of Samsung’s run-of-the-mill refreshes, but rather an exciting overhaul of both its Tab and Note lineups. With a fresh new UI, the best spec sheet in the business, and a few new sizes added for good measure, the PRO line just might include some of Samsung’s best tablets to date.
Our Galaxy TabPRO 8.4 and Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 arrived on Saturday, and we spent the snowy weekend curled up getting to know what it takes to be a PRO. We’ll be spending much more quality time with the tablets in the coming weeks, but ahead of our full in-depth review, here are a few of our initial takeaways.
£15 off list price and a free travel cover at Expansys
If you're a Brit looking to pick up a 32GB WiFi Nexus 7 (2013) at the moment, it's worth pointing your browsers at Expansys. Right now you can snag yourself a £15 discount on the tablet as well as collect a free ASUS Travel Cover in one of five different colors.
You need to enter a voucher code to take the price down to £219.99, but you'll find it handily posted on the product page. Google is still selling the same variant of the Nexus 7 for £239 and with the added bonus of a free case, you'll be getting a decent deal. Hit up the source link below for more.
Voucher code takes another £20 off already great price
This one's a quick heads up for any Brits that might have their eye on the LG G Pad 8.3 on a great deal currently in play. Asda might not be the first place you head to pick up your Android devices, but in this case you really should since the G Pad is just £179.99.
Asda already offers a great list price of £199.99 on the tablet, but right now if you use a certain voucher code – available in the item listing on the website – then you can snag the extra £20 discount. And that makes it a pretty fantastic option. No telling how long the special offer will be around, so if you want one hit up the link below. You can even have it delivered to a store to collect when you do your weekly grocery shop.
No price or availability just yet, but it's only a matter of time at this point
Evidence is mounting that Verizon customers will have a chance to pick up an LTE-enabled LG G Pad 8.3 in the near future. Following up on the device making its way through the FCC with Verizon-compatible LTE support, we now have renders of the tablet looking spiffy with a big Verizon logo on the front, another on the back and 4G LTE logos on the back and in the status bar.
Together with the announcement that it is now carrying a fully-certified Nexus 7 in its own stores, adding the G Pad 8.3 to Verizon's tablet lineup will go a long way to making the large-screen options a bit more enticing on the carrier. No pricing or release date on this one, but when these sorts of leaks come out there official announcement usually isn't far behind.
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