By this point we all know that Google’s (GOOG) Nexus 4 smartphone is difficult to come by, and now we’re just trying to figure out where to place the blame for its perpetual supply shortages. AndroidCentral points us to an interview in French publication Challenges with LG (066570) Mobile France director Cathy Robin, who denies that her company is the primary culprit behind the case of the missing Nexus 4 supplies and who asserts that “the supply problems are not solely related to LG.” Robin’s statement comes after an anonymous LG executive last week told Korean publication Chosun Ilbo that LG’s Nexus 4 production has gone exactly according to plan while denying that the company has faced difficulties manufacturing the device. Both of these statements contradict a recent statement from Google UK & Ireland Managing Director Dan Cobley, who blamed LG for the Nexus 4′s “scarce and erratic” supply over the holiday season.
The term “entry-level” immediately reduces the appeal of smartphones in markets like the U.S. these days, as flagship phones are typically far more exciting and innovative. Still, it’s notable when a manufacturer goes to some length to differentiate an entry-level line of smartphones, and LG has done just that with its new L series. The L3, L5 and L7 are a new family of devices targeted at budget-conscious consumers that still want a solid Android experience. The L3 has a tiny 3.2-inch screen, an 800MHz processor and Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The L5 is slightly more impressive, with a 4-inch screen and Ice Cream Sandwich, and the L7 tops out the line with a 4.3-inch display, a 1Ghz processor and Android 4.0. Check out our hands-on photos of these three new wallet-friendly smartphones in the gallery linked below.
You would think that, given the impressive specs of its new CloudMobile smartphone, Acer would want to place this thing front and center at Mobile World Congress. Think again. For some reason, the company decided to hide its new flagship model within the Google booth. Location aside, the handset’s specs are nothing to scoff at. A 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon chip powers this monster, which sports a 4.3-inch 1,280 x 800-pixel HD screen with a truly incredible range viewing angles, and a really well-engineered tooled metal exterior. The CloudMobile software itself is heavily guarded at the moment, and Acer wouldn’t give us so much as a peek at any screens related to its upcoming cloud service, but company reps assured us that we would be “impressed” when launch time comes around. Let’s hope the software lives up to the promise of the hardware. In the meantime, be sure to check out our hands-on photos, which are linked below.
These three new devices announced by Samsung at Mobile World Congress are each intended to occupy different spaces in the mobile market. The Galaxy Mini 2 is a diminutive little smartphone with pretty unimpressive specs, but it is aimed at the entry-level crowd where it may fare well. The 3.27-inch small handset sports a single-core 800mhz processor, Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread with TouchWiz, a 3.2 megapixel camera and a positively terrible HVGA display. It feels odd to use the word “terrible” when describing a Samsung display, but Samsung cut some corners to keep this phone’s cost down and the display was definitely one of them. Performance in use was lackluster as well, but then again, if you’re in the market for a phone like the Mini 2 you’re probably not very concerned with the latest and greatest. Hit the jump for more.
Samsung has a number of new devices on hand at this year’s Mobile World Congress, and one of them was the Galaxy S Blaze 4G set to launch on T-Mobile later this year. We got a chance to check out the Blaze 4G, and we left relatively unimpressed. To be fair, the Blaze is a lightning-fast smartphone on par with a number of recent additions to Samsung’s Galaxy line, but it’s hard to get excited over a phone that is only a modest upgrade compared to T-Mobile’s current Galaxy S II. The Blaze 4G features a 1.5Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon chip, a 4-inch Super AMOLED screen, a 5-megapixel camera and Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread. It’s certainly a solid phone but with HTC’s One S heading to T-Mobile in April and Samsung’s full-HD Galaxy S III on the way as well, T-Mobile subscribers looking for the latest and greatest may want to sit tight and wait another month or so. The Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G launches in March for $149.99 on contract, and our hands-on photos of the handset follow below.
To say that the past 12 months have been a bit rocky for RIM and the Blackberry eco-system in general would be grossly understating the obvious. The once great manufacturer has seen record capitol losses and watched its market share slide at an increasing rate. One of several reasons for the slip has been a lack of developers attention for the BlackBerry platform, especially relative to competitors such as iOS and Android. The Blackberry Playbook, RIM’s attempt at entering the tablet world, has floundered for just this reason. Ignoring the myriad other concerns about the company’s current state for the current moment, the lack of apps available for the PlayBook rendered it more or less DOA. Read on for more. More →
Huawei is making quite a splash at this year’s Mobile World Congress. The company announced one quad-core handset — the Ascend D quad, which is built on the company’s proprietary in-house processor platform — in addition to a dual-core TI OMAP-based device, the Ascend D1. We got a chance to play with both models and, especially in the case of the D quad, we left quite impressed. These things move fast. Really fast. What’s more, these handsets mark Huawei’s entry into the chip making game, and place the company in direct competition with other smartphone vendors that moonlight as chip makers, like Samsung and Apple. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the coming year. That said, the handsets themselves will be the stars of Huawei’s lineup for at least the first half of 2012. The D quad sports 8GB of on-board storage, 1 GB of RAM, Android 4.0, Huawei’s 1.2Ghz quad-core chip, a 4.5-inch display and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The Ascend D1 is externally identical to the D quad, but it will hit a much lower price point thanks largely to its 1.2Ghz dual-core chip, which replaces the D quad’s quad-core processor. Check out our hands-on shots in the gallery below.
ViewSonic is doing its best to make splash here at Mobile World Congress with a number of tablet-related announcements. In addition to specific hardware launches, the company has also made some significant inroads with running Windows 7 Pro on its slates, mainly as proof of concept in anticipation of the upcoming Windows 8 launch. We liked a lot of what we saw but the P100, running both Android 2.3 and Windows 7 (theoretically upgradeable to both Ice Cream Sandwich and Windows 8) was the undisputed star of the show for ViewSonic. This dual-booting beast separates the two operating systems by way of a disc partition, and it seems to run both platforms at lightening speed. Check out our gallery below for hands-on images of the entire ViewSonic tablet line including the P100, the E10 Pro, the E70, the E100 and the G70, and stay tuned to see what ViewSonic brings to the table once Windows 8 launches later this year.
ZTE doesn’t have a strong presence here in the U.S., but the vendor revealed several smartphones at this year’s Mobile World Congress trade show that will be big sellers in a number of markets. The Era, Orbit and PF112 are among the new ZTE phones that will launch this year, and we spent some time with each of them on Monday. The Era and the PF112 both run Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, while the Orbit is a Windows Phone. The Era is a quad-core Tegra 3-powered beast with a 4.3-inch screen and high-end specs that rival any device launched here at the show. The PF112 sports an even larger 4.5-inch screen, tri-band HSPA+ and an 8-megapixel shooter. The Orbit is the company’s low-end Windows Phone model, with a 4-inch display, a 1GHz processor and 4GB of on-board storage. In use, the Windows Phone-powered Orbit was definitely impressive for an entry-level smartphone, exhibiting the smooth user experience we’ve come to expect from handsets powered by Microsoft’s mobile platform. The Android phones weren’t operational, so we can’t comment on their performance. We can definitely still admire their sleek designs though, so check out our hands-on gallery for photos of each of these new ZTE phones.
We were only able to spend a few minutes with Sony’s new Xperia P smartphone as we rushed from Sony’s press conference to HTC’s press conference on Sunday, and we didn’t get any time at all with the Xperia U. Thanks to a slightly lighter event scheduled on Monday, we were able to make it over to Sony’s booth and spend some quality time with its new smartphones. These are the first smartphones that will be launched by the new Sony Mobile Communications unit that picks up where Sony Ericsson left off, and to be frank, we’re a bit concerned. This pair of Android phones is well-made and we like what Sony has done to its UI atop Android 4.0, but we’re still seeing some things that concern us. Check out our hands-on photos in the gallery linked below, and then hit the break for our initial impressions of the Xperia P and Xperia U smartphones.
Somehow making the original Galaxy Note look positively diminutive in size, the newly announced Galaxy Note 10.1 is a proper 10.1-inch tablet from Samsung. Sporting a 1.4Ghz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, HSPA+, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.1, the only thing you won’t be able to do with this slate is place an actual call. Then again, given how ridiculous the original Note looks held up to the side of a human head, we’re not so sure this is a bad thing. In use, the Note 10.1 is snappy and responsive, and the S-pen implementation is well executed. Does the world need another 10-inch tablet? We can’t answer that one way or the other, but Samsung certainly has a competent device on its hands. Check out the gallery below for some hands-on pics!
A projector phone? From Samsung? Sure, why not? We got a chance to spend some time with Sammy’s newly announced “Beam” addition to its ever-expanding Galaxy line, and we left with mixed emotions. On the one hand, this is a solid and well executed smartphone, but it sports a 1Ghz dual-core chip, Android 2.3, a 4-inch WVGA screen, 8GB of built-in storage, and 768MB of RAM, so the specs aren’t exactly on par with other modern handsets. On the projector end of things, we’ve got a powerful 15 lumens unit capable of displaying a 50-inch wide image on any flat surface. This is pretty cool, but we’re still not sure this is a space that needs filling. That said, if you’re in the market for a projector-equipped smartphone, this is pretty much the best game in town. Our hands-on photo gallery follows below.
While the Pureview 808 sort of stole the show, the Lumia 610 marks a significant release as well, and something that is worth paying attention to. The decidedly downmarket Windows Phone device aims to provide the Windows Phone experience to a much wider array of folks, and we think Nokia might have a hit on their hands. The new suite of Nokia software includes a Library app, and a completely revamped Maps application. We had a chance to spend some time with the little guy, and we left generally pleased, though not overwhelmed. But, then again, we suppose that’s the goal with a 189 Euro smartphone, now isn’t it? Specs include 256 mb of RAM, a 3.7″ WVGA screen, a 5mp camera, and 8GB of onboard storage. Hit the gallery link below for some hands-on shots!