In the week that we reviewed the new HTC One, there was quite the gathering of stories from other major manufacturers. Samsung dropped a Snapdragon 600-shaped bomb on chipset-conscious UK fans. Sony finally took the wraps off its interesting new mid-ranger, the Xperia SP. And the LG Nexus 4 showed its face once again in the UK and Germany.
Check out some of the bigger international Android stories of the week after the break.
Sony announces Xperia SP and Xperia L
The Sony Xperia SP and Xperia L didn’t appear publicly at Mobile World Congress as expected, but a couple of weeks after the show the new Sony mid-range and low-end devices have finally made themselves known.
The Xperia SP is the most interesting of the two, incorporating some of the best parts of Sony’s 2012 design language. There’s an aluminum trim around the outside of the device, and a customizable transparent element down below. Other highlights include a 1.7GHz dual-core CPU, Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and an 8MP rear camera featuring Sony’s new Exmor RS sensor tech. It’s also the first mid-range phone from Sony to sport 4G LTE support.
The Xperia L is less of a trailblazer, but it’s always nice to see mid-range phones launching with a relatively up-to-date version of the OS. What’s more, the L packs the same 8MP Exmor RS image sensor found in its big brother, which should stand out among other entry-level phones.
UK prices for the Xperia L start at £234. The Xperia SP will set you back a little more, as pre-order prices stand at £314 and up.
We review the HTC One, HTC confirms delay for some countries
Having gotten to know the HTC One over the previous week, we published our full review of the handset this Tuesday. There’s plenty to get stuck into, including in-depths sections on the hardware, software and that fancy new “UltraPixel” camera.
Here’s an excerpt to get you started off --
"The HTC One is an exquisite piece of design and engineering. From the hardware to the software, HTC’s new handset incorporates some of the very best design work in the industry. If there’s something to be disappointed about, it might be the much-vaunted “UltraPixel” camera. Which is not to say it’s bad per se -- in fact, it’s pretty good. But it’s a long way off being the silver bullet to cure all your mobile photography woes, and though its low-light performance is fantastic, it still lags behind the competition in some other areas."
Head on over to our exhaustive full review for more. There’re also plenty of pretty pictures and video for all you visual learners.
In other HTC One news, HTC confirmed that the phone will launch in the UK, Germany and Taiwan next week, and that Europe, North America and "most of Asia-Pacific" will get it by the end of April. That delay for many markets will come as a blow to HTC, which will need every advantage it can muster against Samsung's looming Galaxy S4.
Speaking of which...
UK to get a quad-core Samsung Galaxy S4
The UK was originally expected to to be getting a Galaxy S4 model powered by Samsung’s own Exynos 5 Octa chipset, however this week we learned that won’t be the case. The manufacturer’s confirmed that instead the UK S4 model will run Qualcomm’s quad-core Snapdragon 600 CPU.
While this seems like a big deal, we suspect the impact on the overall user experience won’t be huge. Last year some markets got a Snapdragon S4-based Galaxy S3, which by all accounts performed just as well as its Exynos 4 Quad-based international cousin. (That’s aside from the fact that Exynos 5 Octa uses ARM’s big.LITTLE processing technique, meaning you’ve got two banks of four cores that are switched between dynamically -- so effectively it’s still just a quad-core CPU.)
In any case, the question of which of these chips will be powering your Galaxy S4 probably isn’t one worth losing any sleep over.
Nexus 4 back in stock in the UK and Germany
After another brief absence from their local Google Play Stores, Brits and Germans were once again able to buy the Nexus 4 direct from Google this week.
Competition has hotted up since the first LG-made Nexus launched in November, but it’s still hard to beat this phone on sheer value for money. In Germany the 8GB model sells for 299, while 16GB will set you back 349. In the UK you’ll pay £239 and £279 respectively. Get ‘em at the links below --
That’s it for this week’s international roundup. Stay tuned to AC in the week ahead for more global Android news. And if you’ve got news, be sure to tip us at the usual address.
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