Monday, April 15, 2013

LG Optimus G Pro Spotted at FCC

The LG Optimus G Pro Spotted at FCC LG Optimus G Pro will be coming to U.S. carrier AT&T on May 10th of this year. This device was officially unveiled right before MWC in February and has made stops so far in Korea and Japan. LG has made some strides in this device. It packs a 5.5 inch screen with 1080p and around 400 ppi. This makes it great for HD gaming and movie watching. Layered with LG's custom UI that takes cues from TouchWiz, it is snappy with its 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor. It has expandable memory via microSD and Android Jelly Bean 4.1. This device was made to stand up to the Galaxy Note lineup from Samsung and it does well. It is slightly easier in the hand since it is slightly thinner and it does have a better screen. It is still not clear if AT&T will be the only U.S. carrier to offer the LG Optimus G Pro but before this summer it should all be relatively clear.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Samsung and Tizen

Samsung's setting out on its own against Apple and Google.
With its Android market share near maxing out, Samsung has a plan in mind to stay on top. In the first quarter of 2012, Samsung became the highest sellling smartphone vendor. Google has realized that Samsung's growth has overshadowed Google itself and has bought out Motorola for the purpose of competing with Samsung on a wider front. So, it would be in Samsung's best interest to high-tail it within the next few years. Samsung has announced quite recently in fact, that in the upcoming months they will debut a smartphone that will be running the still premature, open-source OS known as Tizen.
The TIzen Project is run by Samsung and Intel. It is completely and strictly an open-source system for smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices since September 2011. And Samsung’s newest phone as yet unnamed would be the first ever to use Tizen. Samsung's prototype of this new OS was first seen at MWC this past February. It was reminiscient of the Galaxy SII and its OS looked very much like a stock version of Android. Though it is young, it has a chance with Samsung's huge fan base and marketing team.

Galaxy S4

Galaxy S4

 The brand-new flagship smartphone, which runs the latest Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, improves upon its predecessor. And by super-sizing the screen and packing in so much specialized software, the GS4 sets itself even farther apart from the iPhone. The Galaxy S4 has the same design as the S3, but the screen is now 5 inches, the resolution upped to 1080p, a much higher battery capacity 2,600mAh, with a faster processor, and a higher mega pixel rear-facing camera. But it's the software that Samsung has been pushing. There are a few features that you would be hard-pressed not to want. The IR blaster is one of these (the HTC One has this, too), speech-to-text and text-to-speech translator, and eye-tracking and gesture technology that let you pause a video automatically when you look away and let you hover your finger over an item to preview it.
 Samsung also showed off a new feature during the S4 release known as S Voice Drive. This feature will let drivers make calls, send messages, and check the weather.
The S4 has the same edges and physical home button as the Galaxy S3, but it's lighter and thinner, at 7.9mm thick and 130g. The GS4 is part polycarbonate (making it a higher build quality than the S3) but it isn't as classy as the all-metal HTC One or the iPhone 5. Samsung refuses to give up plastic for a few reasons, including durability and price.
Updated Notification Tray
The Galaxy S4 has a 5-inch HD Super AMOLED display. It packs a now standard 1920x1,080 pixel resolution with 441 ppi. The Galaxy S4 uses a special sensitive screen that lets you use it even when you're wearing gloves. Located above the screen are the new Atmel Sensors along with the other usual sensors and the 2-megapixel front-facing camera. Below the screen is the physical home button, with the usual capacitive menu and back buttons. The new IR blaster is located on the top of the device, near the 3.5 mm headphone jack.

The Galaxy S4 runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with Samsung's Touch Wiz overlay. Samsung uses TouchWiz to add a whole new host of software enhancements, like gestures, and a larger notifications tray that offers more settings toggling than stock Android does. Samsung also introduces the S Translator tool with TouchWiz 2.0. It is integrated with e-mail and ChatOn. ChatOn now includes three-way video calling, screen-sharing, and video calls that make use of both cameras.
Another noteworthy feature is Group Play. It lets you connect to other Galaxy S4 devices to share music, photos, documents, and even play multiplayer games. Gun Bros 2 and Asphalt 7 have been adapted for the new Group Play feature.
Also included with the Galaxy S4 is S Health, a calorie-counter/pedometer that uses phone sensors like the accelerometer and barometer combined with a Samsung-branded fitness wrist band.
Eye-tracking gestures
Smart Pause and Smart Scroll are two features that build off the Galaxy S3's optional Smart Stay feature, which kept the screen from dimming when you looked at it. In the GS4, tilting the screen up or down while looking at it scrolls you up or down. The new Smart Pause feature pauses and resumes video depending on whether or not you're looking at the screen.

Air View and gestures

Hover your finger to preview a video clip or image from the photo gallery, glance at browser tab thumbnails, find your place on a video timeline, and check out an e-mail. You'll also be able to magnify calendar events and get a closer look in speed dial. Flipboard has built a customized app to work with Air View, which lets you hover over a tile to see which articles lie beneath.
You can also wave or wipe your whole hand in front of the screen to pick up a phone call or switch songs in a playlist. Sliding your hand back and forth can go through photos in a gallery, or browser tabs. You can also scroll up and down in a list. and video
Samsung is hoping that its refreshed interface and enhanced features will impress. Perhaps the most out-there is the dual-shot mode, which takes photos and video from both the front- and rear-facing cameras, and combines them into one (LG's Optimus G Pro does this, too.)Even more new modes include Sound & Shot, which takes a picture and captures up to 9 seconds of audio (similar to HTC's Zoe), and Drama Shot, which combines all the actions from a burst shot into a single frame. If someone is jumping you see all stages of the leap in one shot (The HTC One also has this) 

The Galaxy S4 will either come from a 1.9GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 series processor, or from a 1.6GHz eight-core chipset, Samsung's Exynos 5 Octa core processor depending on your location. The Galaxy S4 will also support LTE. The phone has a large, 2,600mAh battery. In terms of storage and memory, the Galaxy S4 has 2GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, and another 64GB available through the microSD card slot. 

This phone will be sure to make waves and disrupt other company's phone share. This may also be the phone that will finally unseat Apple. Many of its features are slightly gimmicky, but they function. If Samsung can refine its new features it may change the way we look at mobile phones.

HTC Sense 5.0

HTC Sense 5.0

HTC's newest overlay's new Sense 5.0 overlay has been surrounded by mixed feelings since its unveiling earlier this year. HTC has taken steps to ensure that its brand will stand out of the crowd. This includes their new overlay. Sense has taken strides since its introduction. Sense 5 has taken dramatic changes from Sense 4. All throughout its life it has been either loved or hated. This version features a more minimalistic design, and new scrolling news source known as "BlinkFeed", which is reminiscent of Flipboard and Windows Phone live tiles, displays a series of news headlines and social network content. Sense 5 only uses two home screen pages: one with a traditional grid for apps and widgets, and Blinkfeed with a redesigned clock, although more pages can still be added and you don't have to use Blinkfeed. Sense 5.0 will not be available to the HTC One; on February 28, 2013, HTC announced that it would provide updates for the DNA/Butterfly, One S and the One X/X+ to Sense 5.0 in the coming months. Other changes include the use of the Roboto font and a vertical scrolling app drawer instead of the widely used horizontally scrolling one. All of the lockscreens also feature the new HTC clock and weather widget, which is located at the top of the app drawer. It's a simplified version from the original HTC clock. It's cleaner, easier to read, and blends in better with Android Jelly Bean.
HTC's updated camera app is extremely easy to use. Its very sparse and clean, allowing you to see more of what you're shooting. Toggling flash on/off, recording video, and applying fun filters are easy to access. From the settings, you have full control over everything from resolution, white balance, contrast, exposure, and ISO. It's also where you'll find settings for self-timer, HDR, and panoramic options. There's also zero-shutter lag due to the monster processor and the fact that HTC has near perfected its camera app.

HTC's new version of Sense has been refined and cleaned thoroughly though many think that the new Blinkfeed feature causes bloat. HTC's new version of Sense along with the HTC One is critical to the company's success and HTC' CEO has threatened to step down if it isn't successful.

Galaxy S4 Mini

Galaxy S4 Mini leaks? These May be Legit.
SamMobile released some pictures on its site that reveal a design similar to the Samsung Galaxy S4. The photos confirm that the S4 mini will even feature the new polycarbonate back cover of its bigger brother. The Galaxy S4 mini won't pack an amazing CPU, but instead a 1.6GHz dual-core processor and a 4.3" Super AMOLED 256ppi display with a resolution of 960x540 pixels. It's slightly bigger than the Galaxy S III mini, which features a 4" WVGA display. The S4 mini's processor type isn't known at this point, but its known from the photos that the smartphone will run Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. According to the source the Galaxy S4 mini is expected to make its debut in June or July this year.

This could be the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini.