We've heard about a refresh of the LG Optimus L-style phones coming, and LG just made things official. There aren't many surprises here, as all three of the phones look to be mid-range devices, and based on dual-SIM specification, we assume they are destined for central and eastern Europe.
First out of the gate will be the Optimus L7II, which debuts in Russia this week. It's a 4.3-inch (WVGA; IPS) Jelly Bean powered phone, with 768MB of RAM and an 8MP camera. The dual-SIM specification already mentioned is on board, and it's all powered by a healthy 2460mAh battery. On the software side, the L series II devices include LG's unique features like QSlide and QuickTranslator.
Releasing at a later date, the Optimus L5II will be a 4.0-inch version with a 1700mAh battery, and the Optimus L3II will feature a 3.2-inch display and a 1540mAh battery. You can find LG's full press release after the break.
Much of the HTC-related buzz in North America and Europe may be centered on the rumored "M7" handset, but let's not forget that China is a hugely important mobile market. That's where HTC will be hoping its latest smartphone, carrying the model number 603e, will make an impact. A mid-range device with a 4.3-inch WVGA display, a 1.15GHz dual-core CPU and 1GB of RAM, the 603e has just shown up in the Chinese telecom equipment certification database, where it's been spotted by local outslet TENAA.
Other key specs for the phone include a 5MP front camera, a 2MP rear shooter, a thickness of 9.8mm and weight of 130 grams — nothing too outstanding by any means.
From a Western perspective, what's interesting about this device is its appearance. It seems to channel a few of the design cues we've seen from alleged leaks of HTC's high-end "M7" device. Note the large earpiece and prominent front-facing camera, as seen in an in-software render weeks ago. And the angled curve of the back is reminiscent of the device that HTC CEO Peter Chou flashed on stage at a recent company party. So even if we never see the 603e outside of China, this design might show in broad strokes what to expect from HTC in the future.
There's no word on release dates, branding or pricing for the HTC 603e, as it's yet to be officially announced. As an educated guess, we'd speculate that we might see more at or around this year's Mobile World Congress.
Source: TENAA; via: Engadget
HTC has just quietly rolled out a spec page for a new device, the mid-range Desire U, targeted at the Taiwan market. Falling in line design-wise with the rest of the recent "One" and "Desire" devices, the Desire U has a smooth plastic body and rounded edges with a classy looking circle design that accents the back plate. On the inside, this device is clearly lower end, with a 1GHz processor, 4GB of (expandable) storage, 512MB of RAM and a 480×800 (WVGA) display. The U has a 1650mAh battery, which should give a good bit of life for a device with these specs.
The device is a Taiwanese listing, so the frequencies on this device are set up for that market – 900 and 2100MHz HSPA along with 900, 1800 and 1900MHz GPRS/EDGE. No one is likely to import this, but with a striking design and acceptable specs, this low-ranger may do well in specific markets. We're finding unlocked pricing of about $275, which is quite competitive.
Source: HTC (translated)
Pantech, much like other smartphone manufacturers, is trying to make the tricky transition from carrier-branded spec devices to its own flagships. But making a name for yourself when few know your brand — or worse, know it only alongside low-end phones — is a tough proposition. Pantech is hoping to step up its game for the start of 2013 with this device, the mid-range Discover on AT&T, currently available for $50 on contract.
Cheap on-contract phones in the U.S. have always been in an awkward position. Their only chance at being purchased is one of confusion, to be honest. When comparing to higher end devices that are also on contract, the difference in up-front pricing is miniscule compared to the cost of service for the 2-year contract period. Saving $50 or $100 over the life of a $2,500 contract is nothing, yet eager-to-buy and less-informed consumers make the choice every day. This being said, does the Pantech Discover have what it takes to make you choose it when there are formidable competitors at about the same price? Read on and find out.
Are you folks ready for another Samsung Galaxy tablet? According to a recent rumor, there is a strong chance that Samsung will introduce a newer version of the Galaxy Note tablet at MWC 2013, but it will come with an 8 inch display. There is currently the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet in the market, which just received Android 4.1. The Galaxy Note 8.0 will launch with Android 4.2 on-board, which is certainly nice of Samsung.
The Galaxy Tab 8.0 is known as the Samsung GT-N5100 and it will launch in a WiFi only model and a 3G model. Specs and features include an 8 inch display with a resolution of 1280 x 800, 4600 mAh battery, 2GB of RAM, 5MP rear facing camera, 1.3MP front facing camera, 16GB/32GB of onboard storage, microSD memory expansion, and I imagine the processor will be of the quad-core Exynos variety. Since it is branded under Galaxy Note, it will presumably include S-Pen integration.
As you can tell, the Galaxy Note 8.0 is certainly a capable tablet, but there is no real “wow” factor associated with it. If Samsung is able to sell the device for an inexpensive price, then perhaps it will do well as a solid mid-range option. Once again, the tablet is still in rumor stage, so we will have to wait until MWC 2013 for further confirmation.
Within the next several weeks or so, Verizon Wireless is expected to announce a new mid-range device that builds upon the Samsung Stratosphere brand. Whereas the previous Stratosphere devices offered slider QWERTY keyboards, a leaked image of the Stratosphere II successor (the Samsung Godiva) is depicted without a keyboard.
It is no secret that smartphones (especially Android smartphones) are doing away with QWERTY keyboards. The leaked images of the Samsung Godiva confirm Android 4.1.2 out of the box as well as the lack of a keyboard. The reason it is believed to succeed the Stratosphere II is because its model number is SCH-i425. The model number is the next logical progression from the previous two model numbers. The Stratosphere II has a model number of SCH-i415 and the original Stratosphere has a model nubmer of SCH-405.
Other specs and features pertaining to Godiva are a 720p HD resolution display, Snapdragon S4 processor, NFC, and 4G LTE connectivity. Of course, there are few other aspects of the Godiva that are currently unknown, but it is shaping up to be a solid mid-range Jelly Bean smartphone on Verizon Wireless.
In case you don’t exactly want the Galaxy S III, but find the Galaxy S II too outdated for your liking, then you may be happy to learn that Samsung is going to launch a Galaxy S II Plus. For many, this new phone will be largely irrelevant, but for others looking to save on a mid-range device, the GS2 Plus could be a great smartphone, depending on what price Samsung decides.
Specs of the GS2 Plus include a 4.3 inch WVGA touch screen display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 8MP rear facing camera, 2MP front facing camera, 1GB of RAM, optional NFC, and 8GB of onboard memory. One of the more attractive aspects of the new Galaxy smartphone is the fact that it launches with Android 4.1.2 out of the box. It is nice to see Samsung install Jelly Bean on a mid-range, non-flagship device.
At this point in time, we do not have official word on a target price point or availability. I imagine it will go to smaller markets where the desire for mid-range devices is strong.
Verizon Wireless may be adding to its mid-range lineup of smartphones in the near future should a recent rumor pan out. According to a recently leaked image, Pantech may be preparing a smartphone, known as the Perception, for Verizon Wireless. Early reports indicate it is similar in hardware and style to the Pantech Discover, which was recently launched on AT&T.
The Perception by Pantech is rumored to offer a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 720p resolution display, at least Android 4.0, and 4G LTE connectivity. There is no word on the screen size of the Perception, but the Discover on AT&T offers a 4.8 inch display. As of now, there is no information regarding a possible launch or price point for the rumored Pantech Perception, but the Discover is only $50 on contract.
The Motorola DROID RAZR M is a solid mid-range smartphone option on Verizon Wireless.
Behold, the HTC One VX on AT&T. More than a One V, less than a One X, and dancing right around the noble One S without giving it as much as a mention in its already convoluted name. We've gone hands-on with the One VX a couple times since it was announced in early October, and it's now available for purchase, having missed its original launch date by a few weeks.
So what, exactly, is the One VX? In a single sentence, it borrows bits and pieces from the entire HTC One line for a mid-range smartphone that as of now is exclusive to AT&T.
Physically speaking, it's a tad smaller than the One X, but less of a curvy box and more of a sleek and sexy One S. The back is done in the same white polycarbonate shell as AT&T's original One X. (Remember that the One X+ moved to a soft-touch coating.) And the One S is more svelte than the One VX, about 2 mm slimmer, with different curves, and it's a tad shorter and narrower, too. The One VX its between the One S and One X in screen size, too, at 4.5 inches. And while it only has a 540×960 qHD resolution, the move to Super LCD 2 from AMOLED makes a noticeable difference.
Our full review is on the way. For now, hit the break for our HTC One VX unboxing and video walkthrough.