6-inch convergence devices are nothing new anymore, just today Huawei announced the Ascend Mate2 4G, but we’re finally starting to see some differentiation in the category. Where Huawei is focused on keeping the Ascend Mate2 4G affordable, the Lenovo K920 is an absolute spec monster.
Even if the rumored specs for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and HTC One M8 Prime come true, the Lenovo K920 will stand up with the best of them. The full spec sheet for the K920 looks like this:
6-inch QHD display
16 megapixel rear camera
5 megapixel front-facing camera
3GB of RAM
32GB internal storage
Dual SIM card slots
Android 4.4 KitKat
With a metal body and practically no bezels, the only thing we can find that’s bad about the Lenovo K920 is its availability. We don’t know if it will be coming to the US or not. After its purchase of Motorola, it seems like it’s only a matter of time until Lenovo makes a big splash in the US. The K920 would be the perfect device to get things started.
Now that the Samsung Galaxy S5 is on store shelves, many Android fans have turned their attention to the next Galaxy Note smartphone. Samsung hasn’t said much about the device quite yet, but today the rumor mill claims to have revealed a number of details about the upcoming phablet.
A new report out of SamMobile claims that the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will feature the model number “N910” and that the device will be released on a number of carriers around the globe, including the big five in the US. In North America, Korea, China and Japan, the Note 4 is expected to sport a Snapdragon 805 processor.
Moving to the front of the Note 4, it’s said that the device will sport a Quad HD (2560×1440) AMOLED display of an unknown size and a 2-megapixel camera. The backside of the next Note will purportedly pack a 16-megapixel shooter with a Sony-made sensor and optical image stabilization.
The Galaxy Note smartphones are part of Samsung’s flagship smartphone lineup, so these high-end specs don’t sound too far-fetched. That’s especially the case when you consider that Samsung is going to need to compete with other bleeding edge smartphone hardware, like the LG G3 and its 5.5-inch Quad HD display.
So when will you be able to wrap both your hands around the Note 4? That much is still a mystery for now, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it debuted at IFA in Berlin, which is taking place in early September.
What features will the Galaxy Note 4 need to have to make it a must-buy for you?
That "W" in its name doesn't stand for an expletive, but it might very well be your first reaction. The Samsung Galaxy W, not to be confused with a much older smartphone, might look like a somewhat decent 7-inch tablet, but it is actually a fully functional smartphone as well.
Just a bit of history. This isn't the first time Samsung launched a 7-inch phone. It's very first tablet, the Galaxy Tab SGT-P1000, was actually both a phone and a tablet. Back then it was the first, if not one of the first, Android tablets in the market, at a time when Google actually refused to officially sanction Android tablets. Back then, Samsung probably didn't know any better. It's latter tablets that did sport SIM card slots only used those for 3G, or LTE, and barred making or taking voice calls. For some unknown reason, the manufacturer seems to be making a throwback to that bygone era.
The new Galaxy W is a phablet, if you can still call it as such, that sports mid-range specs but strangely not a mid-range price tag. The 7-inch screen sports a resolution of 720p and the tablet is powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, with 1.5 GB of RAM to keep things running smoothly. Storage is at 16 GB and rear and front cameras at 8 and 2 megapixels respectively. There is LTE-Advanced support, perfect for its target market, as well as the staples of Samsung's tablet line, like MultiWindow. In keeping with its more recent high-end devices, the Galaxy W sports a faux leather rear cover similar to the latest generation of Note and Tab devices.
If you have an aversion to this giant of a phone, you might want to take a sigh of relief. The Samsung Galaxy W seems to be destined only for Korea, where there seems to be a penchant for ever-growing smartphone sizes, via SK Telecom. The price isn't exactly cheap, marked at 499,400 won, or roughly $488 when converted.
Alright, we get it. Not everyone is that big on a stock Android experience. Some people prefer to have a skin to give a little more personality. So rather than buying the Sony Z Ultra Google Play Edition, that just received a price cut, there is another option to get Sony’s massive phablet.
Through Sony’s official store, you can now purchase the Xperia Z Ultra LTE for $449. That is the same price running in the Play Store, but this one keeps Sony’s UI. This device will come unlocked directly from Sony. This is for the LTE model and interestingly enough, the HSPA+ model still costs a whopping $629.
What are you waiting for? Hit the source link below to order yours.
Xiaomi is looking to take the Asian market by storm with its gorgeous new RedMi Note phablet. It hasn’t been released yet, but according to company officials, the phone has received over 15 million ‘signups’ on its website. These ‘signups’ are not pre-orders — they are simply requests for more information on the device via email — still a nice number.
It’s the company’s first phablet, and will feature a 5.5-inch display, a 13MP camera, and a large battery. The phone also only costs $130, an extremely cheap price for a solid device.
Here is a device that will make just about everyone scratch their head. A Samsung device with the model number SM-T2558 has received certification from TENAA in China, but it features a rather odd design. No, it is not a smartphone as the image above would suggest. The device your are looking at is a 7-inch tablet that looks very much like a smartphone. It does have TD-LTE and TD-SCDMA connectivity, so it actually could act as a smartphone, right?
Other specifications include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with 1.5GB of RAM. In true Samsung fashion, there is a microSD card slot to expand upon the 8GB of internal storage. On the back is an 8MP camera and the front camera has 2MP. And the weight of this device is light at just 245 grams. Right out of the box, it runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and not 4.4 KitKat.
BLU Products might not be there at the very top of the smartphone makers list, but it has made a name for itself by outing affordable alternatives for your mobile needs. And here it is again with yet another entry, the BLU Studio 6.0 HD, this time for the giant phablet category.
The BLU Studio 6.0 HD might be big in size and name, but don't expect big features that you'd find in similar-sized models from other brands. But first, let's try to look at its good sides. The 6-inch screen might be a bit debatable but it is large enough to hit things with even the biggest finger. And at least is has a resolution of 1280x720, just enough for those HD videos. You have a rather decent amount of RAM at 1 GB, which is the usual size you'd find in mid-tier smartphones. On the back you have an 8 megapixel shooter, with a 2 megapixel camera on the front. The 3000 mAh battery will most likely keep the device running for a good while before rushing for a power outlet.
There are definitely areas where BLU cut some corners. The 1.3 GHz quad-core MediaTek processor was probably chosen to keep costs down, which might not sit well with Qualcomm believers. Internal data storage is capped at a very low 4 GB, something you probably don't expect in a huge smartphone like this. It also runs an older Android 4.2.2 which adds to Android fragmentation. And finally, it has no support for 4G LTE, but can at least work on the fastest 3G network technologies.
Balancing out all these pros and cons, however, is the price tag, which comes at only $250. It will definitely be a bargain if you're in the market for a large, cheap, unlocked device and wouldn't mind putting a large slab near your ear when making or taking a phone call. The BLU Studio 6.0 HD is slated too arrive on Amazon's catalog next month.
The HTC One max is mostly made of metal, though there is some plastic. There is a plastic ring that runs around the phone and also plastic strips where the removable back over sits. The mostly metal construction does have one perk in that it makes the phone feel solid. But on the flip side, that metal construction also adds to the weight. The One max weighs in at 7.65 ounces (216.9 grams). In comparison, we recently reviewed the much smaller, but still heavy in the hand, Moto G and that weighs in at 143 grams. Simply put, there is no mistaken the One max being in your hand, or in your pocket or bag.
Aside from the weight, the phone does have a premium feel. Granted, it is not quite as nice as the feel of the regular sized HTC One, but it is a step above some of the plastic construction we are seeing these days. On the front you have a 2.1 megapixel front-facing camera and a pair of speakers which sit above and below the display. Those also mean that HTC BoomSound is present.
Flipping over to the back and we find the camera lens, fingerprint sensor and a set of pogo pins. The camera has an LED flash and is the UltraPixel we saw announced with the HTC One. The pogo pins are used for accessories, such as the Power Flip Case which packs an additional 1150 mAh battery and is available from HTC. Otherwise, the bottom is where you will find the microUSB for charging, the top has the IR sensor and headphone jack, the right side has the power button and volume rocker and the left side has a toggle that unlocks the back cover.
The Verizon One max has 32GB of internal storage as well as a microSD slot with support for cards up to 64GB in size. The memory card slot is tucked away under the removable back panel, though, unlike the panel itself, the battery is not removable. In this case the battery is 3300 mAh. HTC and Verizon suggest this means up to 25.5 hours of run time and in our experience — we had no trouble with the battery. In fact, we easily made it through a full work day with juice to spare.
Other hardware includes a quad-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 processor with 2GB of RAM. Needless to say, the One max was a solid performer in our day to day use. And in some instances, above average. One example is video watching, not only are you getting a large 5.9-inch 1080p display but you also have those front-facing speakers.
The handset also has dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, NFC and as we have seen Verizon rolling out, the One max is Isis Mobile Wallet capable. Lastly, while HTC did include the BoomSound, they dropped the Beats Audio in the One max.
We mentioned the weight of the phone earlier in the post, but still needed to touch on the overall size. The box the handset ships in is rather small, or at least average sized compared to other smartphone packaging. But when you open the box — the phone sort of jumps out given the size. There is no denying this is a big phone. With a 5.9-inch display, this is almost more tablet than smartphone.
We included a side by side shot of the Galaxy Note 3 and One max to give some reference here. The One max is a good bit larger than the Note 3. The Note 3 weighs in at 5.92 ounces (168 grams) and interestingly, as compared to the One max, only has a display that is 0.2 inches smaller. The One max display is 5.9-inches and the Note 3 display is 5.7-inches.
Bottom line here, those considering a One max purchase should prepare themselves for the size. While this may be a turn off for some, there is some positive points here. As a tablet fan, this actually made for a nice device. It had me leaving the Nexus 7 behind as it was good for reading and video watching. But on the other side, this is a phone that people are going to notice. Holding this up to your head, or even setting it on a table will have people talking.
That brings another point, given the size, this is not really easy to fit in your pocket. It does fit in a front or back jeans pocket, but it is bulky, noticeable and often sticks out the top.
A hot topic is carrier branding on the outside of the phone. Unlike some of the terrible decisions we have seen from Verizon (home button branding) in the past, the HTC One max is relatively clean. The backside has the 4G LTE logo sitting centered towards the bottom. There is also the HTC logo on the back. Flipping over to the front and you’ll find a Verizon logo sitting centered between the capacitive back and home buttons. There is also the Verizon Wireless mention on the lock screen. That one sits up towards the top, but goes away with an unlock. These examples are shown in the gallery sitting below.
The software experience is the same as when we originally reviewed the phone a few months earlier. That is to say Verizon has launched the HTC One max with Android 4.3 and Sense 5.5. So far we haven’t seen any timeline of an update from Verizon. As far as Android skins goes, HTC does a rather nice job with Sense.
You have the perks such as BlinkFeed and HTC Zoe as well as the IR blaster which works with the HTC TV app. The Jelly Bean and Sense experience was solid and largely the same as what we experienced in our original review. But alas, as with any carrier branded smartphone — there are the pre-installed apps to contend with.
The image sitting above offers a look at the homescreen just out of the box. The gallery sitting below takes you through the pre-installed apps. The setup is fairly clean looking, but that is due to the use of folders. There are just a few rows of apps, however there are five folders with even more. Verizon has these broken down into Amazon, Google, Media and Tools. As well, there is the Verizon folder which includes nearly a dozen additional apps.
In the end, there isn’t much we can do about pre-installed apps at this point. For better or worse, the carriers are going to load them up and Verizon is no exception to the rule. Thankfully, they take up little space in terms of storage and can also be tucked away in a folder to sort of hide them.
We did cover the fingerprint aspect in detail back when we originally reviewed the One max, but given we weren’t fully pleased or convinced, we gave it a solid second look. Needless to say, there are still issues. Overall, the setup process is simple and easy. HTC takes you through the process step-by-step and there really isn’t any reason this could not be setup even by the most novice of users.
The issues come after the setup has been done. You see, the setup process has you carefully scanning your fingerprint making sure to run it straight over the sensor. That worked well enough, however in real world use our finger was scanning at an angle and therefor not reading properly. Basically, if you are picking up a One max and planning to use the fingerprint sensor — try to make sure you scan your finger the way you plan to in real world use.
Some other points here include being able to set this to work with up to three different fingerprints for different functions. And yes, you can have it unlock the phone and also launch an app with a single finger swipe. Aside from the camera, you can set these to go to the home screen, launch the Voice Assistant or choose something from your list of installed apps. And as a fail safe, HTC also has you setup a password as a backup.
As for us, we setup and tested the fingerprint sensor, but beyond that we turned it off and went to a more traditional way of securing the phone. Other methods available include Face Unlock, Pattern, PIN and Password.
The HTC One max has support for the Verizon LTE network and while the speeds are going to vary from market-to-market, we haven’t seen much to complain about. We ran 6 tests over 4 days and with one exception we saw speeds above 30Mbps. The one slow day had speeds at 14.63 down and 6.68 down. Slower than normal for Verizon LTE in the local area, however still more than acceptable for mobile. On the flip side, in two different tests we topped out with 39.03 down and 19.64 up.
If your handset purchase is coming down to carrier and network speeds, we would suggest finding a friend or loved one and convincing them to allow you to borrow their phone for a few moments. You wouldn’t need it long, but you will need to download and install the Speedtest app. The app is free and the test takes just about a minute to complete. Because in the end, regardless of how nice a phone appears to be, if the connectivity is lacking, the overall experience will be poor.
What can we say here, the HTC One max is a big phone. In our use we found we treated it more like a connected tablet as opposed to a smartphone. All of our voice calls were made using a headset, either wired or wireless. As a regular tablet user this meant for a good overall experience. The One max has a solid display and is a solid performer. It excels at tasks such as video watching, reading and gaming. But on the flip side, it isn’t quite as easy to put in your pocket or otherwise carry around. Our advice here, consider your usage and maybe even take a trip to a local Verizon store to check this one out in person.
Verizon Wireless currently has the HTC One max priced at $299.99 on a two-year agreement. Alternatively, the handset is $25.22 per month using Verizon Edge or $599.99 to purchase flat out. All that having been said, there are some additional images sitting in the gallery below.
Since the introduction of the Samsung Galaxy Note, the XL phone segment has really taken off. Proponents of the sub-genre have even coined a new term: phablet, a hybrid mesh between phones and tablets. (Hint: they’re actually giant phones). With the amount of them that are sold, it’s easy to see that people like them. The question is, why do people like phablets? What drives them to choose a phablet over any other phone?
Obviously, the size is going to play a big part in this. Many who use phablets say that they simply enjoy the massive screens. But you have to go a bit deeper to figure out why they like that big screen to begin with. For some, it comes down to the fact that they watch a lot of video on their phones. In this case, it makes perfect sense as to why they’d choose a phone that can quite literally fit smaller phones inside of its screen. If you’re going to watch a lot of video on your phone, then a phablet is a perfect choice.
Others enjoy the extra screen real estate for different reasons. One of those is the added keyboard space. Physical keyboards on phones are practically extinct in this day and age. For someone wanting a virtual keyboard that’s roomy and easy to type on with two hands, a phablet fits the bill. Plenty of people simply enjoy the extra space to spread out across. For those who love to fill up their homescreens with widgets and folders, phablets provide extra room for just that.
There’s another aspect of phablets that isn’t always considered when looking at reasons to use them. Due to the fact that phablets are flippin’ giant, manufacturers often have a bit more room to work with when choosing internal specs. Phablets are often (not always) equipped with the most powerful processors, large amounts of RAM, quality camera components, larger storage sizes and possibly the most important feature: bigger batteries. And believe us, with the giant screens on phablets, you’re going to be glad of that mondo battery.
Certain phablets also have their own special perks and benefits. For example, the phones in the Galaxy Note line all feature Samsung’s stylus on steroids, the S Pen. But the S Pen isn’t just a new and improved stylus that doesn’t do much; it comes with a whole suite of software designed to take full advantage of its capabilities. For quick digital artwork on the go, the S Pen could be your best friend.
Continuing on that tangent of unique software, some phablets are designed with that exact purpose in mind. We hate to keep bringing up the example of the Galaxy Note series, but it proves this perfectly. Samsung has designed all sorts of applications that take advantage of the large screens phablets offer. These enhancements are designed to help you be more productive and make the most of the extra screen real estate. These same software enhancements help to bring people to phablets.
Now that we’ve talked about this for a little while, we’re bringing the question to you. Why do you use a phablet? We know that plenty of you do. And if you don’t use a phablet, why don’t you? What could be changed with them to make you use one? Hit up those comments, yo.
Huawei‘s CEO might have called it quits in the US market, but the Chinese company isn’t slowing down just yet. In fact, it has just applied for a trademark at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a rather funny-sounding PhoPad name.
Last week, Huawei’s top honcho publicly expressed his frustration at being caught in the middle of the squabble between the US and China. Several US officials have pointed out how Huawei could be easily used as a tool for spying by the Chinese government and have encouraged others to shun the company. While CEO Ren Zhengfei did say it wasn’t worth being involved in the issue, the company has yet to reveal a timeline for their departure. In the meantime, it seems that Huawei will continue to try to fill the US market with its mobile devices.
What the PhoPad truly is remains a mystery. There is speculation that it stands for a phone the size of a pad or tablet. In other words, a phablet. Huawei would hardly be the only one trying to push another name for the growing device form factor. Samsung has also been reported to be vying for an even sillier “fonblet” moniker. And Huawei is definitely no stranger to the device class. Both its current Ascend Mate and the Ascend Mate 2 clock at 6.1 inches. It is still unknown whether the PhoPad will simply be another bigger smartphone or if it will be taking on ASUS‘ budget FonePad line or even the curious PadFone phone/tablet hybrid.
Whatever the Huawei PhoPad really is, it’s likely we’ll get a peek early 2014. Huawei is slotted to still make an appearance at CES next month where we’ll probably get to see this PhoPad alongside other rumored smartphones such as the Ascend Mate 2 and the octa-core Glory/Honor 4 or G750.