By Alexander Wong | 23 Comments
Earlier this year, we saw Sony’s NXT Series which features a unique transparent belt and this time they are bringing back the familiar arc design which was first featured on the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc. In the earlier models such as Xperia S, Xperia P and Xperia U, the absence of expansion micro SD memory slot was frown upon and it is good they have it included with the new series. All 4 are running on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Jelly Bean update is expected to roll out eventually.
Apart from the return of the arc design with Sony branding, they have finally have given more hardware boost in terms of processor. Unlike its rivals that are pushing quad-core, Sony is still pushing dual-core processor smart phones but with better performance in a form of Qualcomm S4 Krait processors. Early benchmark result shows that the new dual-core S4 processors on the Xperia T, Xperia TX and Xperia V is much more superior than today’s quad-core smart phone rivals.
Sony Malaysia has shared that Malaysia will getting the Xperia J and Xperia TX but no pricing and availability dates have been provided at the moment.
A closer look at each device after the break.
HTC has revealed a new mid-range Android handset. The Desire X offers stylish design and decent performance at a pocket friendly price range. HTC says the Desire X is designed to “bring the technology from the One Series to a more affordable price point.”
It features a 4-inch WVGA (480 x 800 pixels, 233 ppi) Super LCD display that uses similar optical lamination technology as HTC’s top of the line One X that promises more vibrant images. In the imaging department, the Desire X is equipped with a 5MP rear shooter with a rather staid 2fps burst mode compared to the 4fps that the One X manages.
Sporting a design language that is balanced combination of One X and One S, the Desire X runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with HTC’s Sense UI on top, and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 ‘Play’ 1Ghz dual-core processor which is paired to 768MB of RAM.
There’s a paltry 4GB of on board storage and thankfully the Desire X sports a microSD expansion slot along with 25GB of DropBox cloud storage gratis courtesy of HTC. Power is provided by a 1,650mAh removable battery.
There are two colour options for the Desire X (black or white). At the moment there’s no word on whether the device will come to Malaysia but HTC plans to make the device available in Europe and Asia starting mid-September. Expect the Desire X to retail for just slightly above RM1k.
Now, whatever happened to HTC’s plans of having a reduced, more focused line-up of devices for this year?
In conjunction with the official launch of the Ascend P1, Huawei Device Malaysia will be offering its flagship dual-core smartphone at a special introductory price of RM999, some RM300 off the recommended retail price of RM1299, as a special introductory offer.
The Ascend P1 will go on sale starting September 6 and you can get the specially-priced units on the day itself at Level 6, Sentral Ballroom A, KL Hilton from 10.00am to 12.00pm.
In addition, five lucky purchasers of the Ascend P1 stand the chance to buy a second unit for just RM99 or the Huawei E560 Mobile WiFi at only RM9.90.
The Huawei Ascend P1 features a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED 960×540 resolution (256ppi) display with Gorilla Glass. Huawei says the Ascend P1 “provides the fastest multi-tasking, video replay and gaming experience in its class” with a dual-core 1.5GHz TI OMAP 4460 Cortext-A9 processor with 1GB of RAM, micro SD support and a 1670mAh battery.
In the imaging department, you get a back-lit 8MP rear camera with 1080p video and a front facing 1.3MP unit. Other features include Dolby Mobile 3.0 + 5.1 surround sound technology.
The Huawei Ascend P1 will be available in metallic black and ceramic white.
Full details on the introductory offer here.
With the launch of the Galaxy Note 10.1 looming, Celcom is wasting no time to let you know that it will be offering the device together with a selection of plans, however pricing details are not yet available.
Se to be unveiled to the Malaysian media on September 5, the Galaxy Note 10.1 brings Samsung’s unique S-Pen input to a 10-inch tablet form factor. It features a 1.4GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos processor first seen in the Galaxy S III and 2GB of RAM. Running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the Note 10.1 also comes with an array of S-Pen enhanced apps such as S-Note, S-Planner and multi-screen support making it an interesting device in the tablet market. Our pricing estimates put the device to cost around the mid-RM2k range outright for the 3G version.
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Sony has finally revealed the its first Xperia branded tablet, the Xperia Tablet S at IFA. This is the replacement of its current Sony Tablet S and it maintains the unique sloping design.
The Xperia Tablet S runs on a 1.4GHz Quad Core Tegra 3 processor and has a 9.4″ IPS display with anti-finger print and anti-friction coating. The back of the Xperia Tablet S is made of aluminium for a durable feel. In addition, the tablet is now splash proof which allows it to be used in more damp situations such as in the kitchen with up to 10 litres/minute for 5 minutes.
In terms of expansion, the Xperia Tablet S supports a full size SD card which is accessible on the sides. Over at the front, there’s a HD capable 1MP camera and there’s a 8MP camera at the rear. Both cameras are back-illuminated CMOS sensors that should provide decent shots in low light conditions. The tablet is 8.8mm thick on the thinnest point to 11.85mm at the thickest point. It comes with a 6,000 mAh battery and weighs 570g for WiFi and 585g for 3G version.
Out of the box, it runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. In the software department, Sony has added a couple of features including Small apps which lets you run selected apps as an overlay over existing screen. There’s also multi-user mode where you can have separate profile/modes for each user and there’s even a guest mode as well.
The Xperia Tablet S will be commercially available September onwards and it also comes with a wide variety of accessories such as speaker docks, covers and stands. Visit Sony’s Xperia Tablet S product page for the full details.
Videos and product shots of the Xperia Tablet S after the break.
UPDATE: Samsung Malaysia teased Galaxy Note II is coming soon.
UPDATE 2: Samsung Galaxy Note II media launch event on 11th October. Read more.
UPDATE 3: Samsung Galaxy Note II priced at RM2,299 and will be available on 19th October.
UPDATE 4: Telco plans for Galaxy Note II compared.
After the unveiling of the Galaxy Note II, you must be wondering when the device will be available in Malaysia, how much is it going to cost and which local operators will be offering the device. While we don’t have definitive answers for these questions, we know enough to be able to give you a rough estimation.
First up is availability. Samsung has indicated that the Galaxy Note II will be released in major European, Asian and Middle East markets in October. And the last time we checked, Malaysia is still a major market for Samsung so it is reasonable to expect the Note II to be available in October at the very least.
In terms of pricing, we’re expecting the Galaxy Note II to cost as much as the original did when it was first launched last year, so expect to pay around RM2,200 for the Note II. At the same time, expect Samsung Malaysia to revise the pricing of the Galaxy S III to make room for the Note II as the new flagship in the market.
As for local operators, it’s a safe bet that Celcom, DiGi, Maxis and maybe even U Mobile will be organizing simultaneous launches for the Note II. Contract pricing for the phone should be around RM1,600 on a 24-months plan.
These are all of course predictions and things could change from now till October but we’ll keep looking out for the latest info and provide updates as soon as they become available. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts on the Note II. Are you planning to get one?
To recap on the official specs, the Galaxy Note II runs on a faster 1.6GHz Quad-Core Exynos processor, 2GB of RAM with a 5.5″ 1280×720 HD Super AMOLED display. As expected, it runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. With a bigger screen than the older Galaxy Note, it is taller at 151.1mm however it has a shorter width of 80.5mm (Galaxy Note: 82.95mm) thanks to a thinner bezel design. Despite having a larger 3,100mAh battery, the Note II is thinner at 9.4mm (Galaxy Note: 9.65mm) and slightly heavier at 180g (Galaxy Note: 178g).
Head after the break for more official images
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Samsung has announced that the Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note and Galaxy Note 10.1 will get Android 4.1 Jelly Bean but the company offered little information on when exactly this will happen, and if past experiences are anything to go by, those who are using Samsung Android devices will understand that that it would be weeks or even months for an update to be available after it is announced.
In any case, it’s still good to know that an update is available for you device. It’s just that the waiting in uncertainty is tremendously annoying. Let’s hope Jelly Bean will come sooner rather than later.
Update: More details on the Galaxy Camera — The lens is wide-angle 21x optical zoom lens. The 16-megapixel sensor is a BSI CMOS unit that is larger than most camera phones but run of the mill for point and shooters. The 4.8-inch display is a HD SLCD unit. Processing is via a 1.4GHz quad-core chip that’s likely a Samsung-made Exynos. You get 8GB of on-board storage and microSD expansion. A rather small 1,650mAh battery provides juice. The device runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
After much rumours and a lot of uncertainty, we’ve finally gotten confirmation that the Samsung’s Android-powered camera is indeed real.
Just like the Nikon Coolpix S800c, the Galaxy Camera ushers in a new stage in the evolution of Android devices – full-fledged cameras powered by the most used mobile operating system in the world at the moment.
Initial details reveal that the Galaxy Camera features a 4.8-inch touchscreen display and what looks to be Android 4.0 running on it. Just like any Android powered device, you can download apps right from the Google Play market and use it like you would on any other Android device. In terms of imaging, you get a 16MP sensor but we can’t tell at the moment what size sensor that is. Though considering the Galaxy Camera is actually a camera and not a phone with a camera bolted onto it, we expect the device to have a larger sensor than typically seen in smartphone.
In terms of camera functionality, you get virtually identical features as you do on the Galaxy S III like face recognition and Easy Share. Text and MMS messaging is also possible but it doesn’t look like you can make calls with the device or use it like you would a normal smartphone.
We’re expecting Samsung to reveal full details of the Galaxy Camera a little later, so stay with us for updates. As it is, we’re liking what we see, these Android powered cameras looks interesting. What do you think?
Details of the soon to be launched Samsung Galaxy Note II have been leaked out and it confirms much of what we already expect. The device will have a slightly larger 5.5-inch HD Super AMOLED display (vs. 5.3-inch in the Note) but with a reduced 1280×720 resolution compared to the original Galaxy Note which has a display with 1280×800 pixels. This gives the Note II has a slightly lower pixel density (around 267ppi vs 285ppi in the old Note).
Device operations will be handled by an unnamed 1.6GHz quad-core processor that is almost certainly an Exynos that Samsung manufactures. The processor is paired with 2GB of RAM promising speedy performance and great multi-tasking capabilities. You get HSPA+ 21mbps connectivity as well.
In terms of cameras, the Note II is fitted with an 8MP sensor at the rear and a 1.9MP camera on the front. The device boasts a large 3,100mAh battery (vs 2,500mAh in the original Note) so you can expect some improvements in the running time of the device as well.
Despite having a larger battery, the Note II will be slightly thinner than the original at 9.4mm vs 9.65mm, but it’ll be heavier by 2 grams. 16, 32, and 64 GB variants will be available and you get microSD expansion as well. Oh, and it will run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean right out of the box. Interestingly, there is no mention of NFC support.
Beyond the hardware, the Note II brings enhancements to S-Pen interface with a longer, thicker stylus which features an improved design making it more ergonomic. There is a new feature called Air View that “allows users to hover with the S-Pen over an email, image gallery, or video to preview the content without having to open it.” And, just like Popup Play which lets you watch a video while doing another task, Popup Note lets you keep a note on the screen while using another application. There’s also a new feature called Quick Command that is accessed with an upward swipe with the S-Pen; doing so will reveal a menu of quick commands to send someone an email, make a call, or do a search. Another new feature is called Screen Recorder which allows the user to record screen gestures or a drawing sequence into video.
In terms of availability, the Note II ships to Europe in October and will be available in Marble White or Titanium Gray. No word on pricing or Malaysian availability but expect the device to be available around the same time or by December at the latest. In terms of pricing, expect to pay about the same price for the Note II as the original Note when it was launched here in November last year.
So, what do you think? Well worth the wait?
See the Galaxy Note II in white after the jump.
The guys from Tek Syndicate bring up some very interesting points.