When it comes to fresh ideas for the future smart phones, we’ve seen manufacturers putting dual-cameras, dual-speakers and dual-displays. Some are merely a innovation gimmick and there are those that offer real life benefits to users. Yota Devices, a Russian manufacturer has introduced its YotaPhone concept that comes with unique twin display. Their first generation YotaPhone which is available in Europe for 499 Euros (about RM2,257), comes with a main 4.3″ HD 720p display while the back offers a E-Paper display of the same size but it isn’t touch enabled.
At Mobile World Congress, Yota has announced its new next generation YotaPhone aka YotaPhone 2 with updated specs and a larger screen. In terms of design, it ditches the boxy outlook of its first generation and it is more curvy like a Nexus 4. The front comes with a larger Full HD 5″ AMOLED display and it runs on more current Android 4.4 KitKat with a Quad-Core Snapdragon 800 processor underneath. There’s even NFC and 4G LTE connectivity also comes as standard.
Over at the back, the E-ink display is bigger at 4.7″ and this time it is touch enabled. In our hands-on, the E-ink display is rather clear and comfortable to read but the refresh rate is rather slow like any other e-paper based display. The biggest advantage of the E-ink display is power consumption as the first version claims to push 50 hours of usage on the E-ink alone. There’s no usage figures on the 2nd generation YotaPhone but we reckon it could be pushing similar or more usage hours.
In terms of apps, the YotaPhone 2 is rather limited with the basic notifications, dialer, contacts, maps, picture viewer, RSS and E-book readers. Apps supporting its E-ink display is expected to increase as Yota Devices have just released the SDK allowing developers to create custom apps and functions to make full use of a secondary display.
At time of writing, there isn’t a dedicated monochrome browser for the E-ink display, so if you plan to read web contents later, you would need to screen capture them and view it through the picture viewer. Yota says that a native browswer will be introduced later. Some of the apps demoed to us include a photography app which automatically previews the picture on the secondary screen. Since it is a protoype device, the 2nd generation YotaPhone has some stability issues and the back E-ink touch panel isn’t as responsive as we hoped.
The concept is an interesting one and we liked the idea of having a secondary display that uses minimal power. This makes it perfect for taking a peek at notifications or to use it as a web browser or to check on your social feed. After all, we consume mostly text content on our smart phones. In terms of availability, Yota says that their second generation is slated for end of this year and they have plans to make it internationally available outside of Europe.
Watch our hands-on video after the break.
Lenovo has announced its new Lenovo YOGA Tablet 10 HD+ which can be converted into 3 modes – Hold Mode, Stand Mode and Tilt Mode with its versatile rotatable metal stand design. The display pushes a Full HD resolution of 1920×1200 and it runs on a 1.6GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of on-board storage that’s expandable with microSD Card. You’ll also get a 1.6MP front camera and a main 8MP shooter.
The build quality of the Lenovo YOGA Tablet 10 HD+ is solid thanks to its metallic design which gives it a sturdy feel. The only downside is the processor where lag is noticeable in our hands-on experience. Usally the Snapdragon 400 processor is found on low to mid-tier smart phones like the HTC One mini, Lumia 1320 and LG G2 mini. When paired with a rather huge 9,000mAh battery, the YOGA Tablet 10 HD+ appears to be a frugal tablet with a claimed 18 hours of continuous use.
Watch the hands-on after the break.
While the world waits for the new HTC One to be announced on 25th of March, a leaked hands-on video has surfaced revealing its overall hardware design and a peek of its latest Sense UI. The video reveals a microSD expansion slot on the right and the headphone jack is now moved to the bottom. The volume rocker buttons now protrudes a little which gives it a better feel compared to the current HTC One.
Design wise, it looks like the earlier leaked photos and its aluminium body appears to have a brushed aluminium look. It is still a mystery how some random kid could have gotten the new HTC One. If only he had demonstrated the key features of new new HTC One dual-camera set up.
Watch the 12 minute video after the break.
Samsung’s mid-tier Galaxy Grand 2 smart phone is now on sale, offering a large 5.25″ display with Dual-SIM capabilities. Priced at RM1,199, it comes with a HD 720p resolution display, a faster 1.2GHz Quad-Core Snapdragon 400 processor, 1.5GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, which is animprovement from last year’s Galaxy Grand. In terms of design, it features the signature removable faux leather back like the Galaxy Note 3.
The removable battery has a generous 2,600mAh capacity and there’s also a microSD card if you need more storage. You’ll also get a 8MP rear facing and a 1.9MP front facing camera and it runs on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Feature wise, the Galaxy Grand 2 also comes with Multi-Window, Sound & Shot and Group Play like ones found on higher end Galaxy smart phones.
For more information, head over to Samsung’s Galaxy Grand 2 product page.
[ SOURCE ]
After releasing its first teaser, HTC continues to drop hints of its upcoming HTC M8 flagship which is expected to be named as All new HTC One. The current HTC One with its aluminium body is already a well built device and the new One is said to be even better.
The new HTC One for 2014 will be launched on 25th of March in a separate New York and London event. Since Samsung will only be making its Galaxy S5 available internationally on 11th of April, new smart phone buyers will have about 2 weeks to decide if the HTC One is the one worth waiting for.
Watch the second teaser after the break.
Hands-on: Samsung Galaxy S5
Samsung Galaxy S5: How does the finger print scanner works
Samsung Galaxy S5: Ultra Power Saving Mode Explained
Samsung Galaxy S5: Heart Rate Sensor Demo
Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy Note 3
Samsung Galaxy S5 officially announced, coming to Malaysia 11th April
Check out another official Infographic of Galaxy S, Galaxy S II, Galaxy S III, Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S5 comparison after the break.
The Acer Liquid E3 which was announced right before Mobile World Congress, is a mid-tier smart phone designed for the Selfie generation. The front facing camera comes with assisted LED flash while the back comes with a AcerRapid Key which lets you launch the camera and take the shot with a single hand.
Spec-wise, it runs on a modest 1.2GHz Quad-Core processor with 1GB of RAM, while the front comes with a rather modest 4.7″ 720p HD screen. For photography, the back comes with a 13MP camera with assisted flash. Out of the box, it runs on Android 4.2.2 and Acer says that it will be upgraded to the latest Android 4.4 KitKat soon.
Watch our hands-on with the Acer Liquid E3 after the break.
On the Xperia Z1, Sony introduced Timeshift which takes 61 pictures in 2 secconds. Now on the Xperia Z2, they have introduced a new Timeshift Video which shoots video at a faster 120 frames per second. While this sounds like a typical slow-mo, the feature does more than that as it gives you flexibility to choose which point of the video to slow down. The coolest part is you can apply multiple “slow-mo” effect in the video so you can make your own Bullet Time spots rather easily.
Just like the normal Timeshift, you can still re-edit the video since it retains the original 120 fps video file. The video is saved in HD 720p resolution and the maximum length depends on your available free storage on-board.
Another neat feature is Background defocus where it takes 2 pictures and after that you can apply various blur effects to the background. It isn’t as advanced as Samsung’s Selective Focus, but it is still a nice addition on the Xperia Z2.
Watch the hands-on demo of Background defocus and Timeshift Video after the break.
The sequel of Samsung’s first Android powered camera, the Galaxy Camera 2 is finally here in Malaysia. Priced at RM1,699, the new model is cheaper than its predecessor and that’s mainly because it is a WiFi only device and lacks any form of 3G and 4G connectivity.
As you would expect with a sequel, the Galaxy Camera 2 gets updated hardware with a faster 1.6GHz Quad-Core processor, 2GB of RAM, larger 2,000mAh capacity battery and now includes NFC functionality. On-board you get 8GB of storage, of which 2.8GB is usable but you can expand more with microSD cards.
The rest of the specs remains unchanged with a similar 4.8″ Super Clear LCD that does 1280×720 pixels resolution and same 1/2.3″ BSI Sensor capable of shooting 16MP pictures that’s paired to a 21X Optical Zoom and Xenon Flash light. The new Galaxy Camera is lighter than the previous model at 283 grams but it is slightly wider, taller and thicker due to its new rugged appearance.
More images of the Galaxy Camera 2 after the break.
The Sony Xperia Z2 may look the same as its previous model but it now comes with a pair of front facing stereo speakers. Last year, HTC had introduced a similar offering called BoomSound, which offers front facing stereo speakers on the HTC One. This soon followed with the rest of its line up of Butterfly S and Desires.
So which one produces better audio experience? We compared both devices with a simple hands-on which can you can watch after the break.