For comparison, Samsung claims you can get four hours worth of battery life in 10 minutes with its fast-charging technology, built into the Galaxy S6; Droid-Life’s testing showed only a 9% increase (from 5% to 14%) in five minutes.
The day has come. Meizu has finally announced its latest flagship smartphone, MX3, and just as we’ve told you, it will be available in an array of options with built-in storage ranging from 16 to 128 GB. In addition, it also sports a 5.1-inch screen with rather impressive 180×1080 pixels resolution, Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa chip, 2GB of RAM and an array of connectivity options. There’s also Meizu’s own Flyme UI 3.0 that runs on top of unspecified version of Android (we guess it’s 4.2.2). Price wise, the 16GB model will sell for an equivalent of $410 while the 128GB version will get $650 out of your hard-earned money.
Gone are the days of bizarre phones with some special practical use, but not all hope is lost. Earlier today, this author stumbled upon a shanzhai Android 4.0.1 phone with a built-in power plug! It’s a bit awkward, though, as you have to take off the back cover to flip up the Type A plug — we’re assuming it has a world-friendly voltage rating, but we’ll double check. Should you wish to juice the phone up the old-fashioned way, the micro-USB port is still there.
Externally, this Daxian N100i seems to be very much “inspired” by the Xiaomi Phone 2 or 2S. Given the HK$599 (about US$80) price point (or about US$40 each in bulk), don’t expect too many goodies from this outlandish candy bar: there’s a dual-core 1GHz MT6517 chipset, a 4.3-inch 800 x 480 TN display, 4GB of storage, a microSD slot, an 1,800mAh cell (plus a spare in the box) and dual-SIM slots — but for GSM 900/1800 only. The front and back cameras both have a resolution of just 3.1 megapixels, and it was hard to judge the picture quality on that horrible screen.
Arguably the most interesting thing about this phone is its powerful battery with capacity of 3,300mAh, which according to Philips, can deliver 35 days of standby, a whopping 18 hours of talk time over 3G, and 14-hour web browsing time over Wi-Fi. What’s more, thanks to the fast charging technology you can get 20 hours of standby or 2 hours of calling time after just 10 minutes of charging. Or 57 hours of standby /6 hours of calling time after a 30-minute charge. Pretty powerful stuff… in every sense of the world.
In addition to that powerful battery, the W8510′s also comes with a 4.7-inch 720p HD touchscreen and quad-core processor, which is most likely made by MediaTek.
Sony unveiled the brand new Smartwatch 2 this morning, an updated and enhanced version over the previous Smartwatch that came out last year. Smartwatch 2 features a few things not found in last year’s model, such as NFC technology for pairing with devices, a multi-functional message notification system, as well as a more finely-tuned interface.
Knowing which tasks the Smartwatch 2 is capable of performing might make this wearable device a bit more intriguing. Out of the long list, we can list just a few that should help you get a sense for what this watch can do – answer phone calls, take remote photos, control presentations at your next board meeting with one of Sony’s proprietary applications, read emails and so on and so forth. It sounds impressive and here’s hoping Google comes out with something like this sooner or later down the road.
YotaPhone named its first phone after itself (for the time being) and this innovative piece of gadgetry really made my head spin. While our AndroidPIT team was live on location during the MWC in Barcelona, they were able to get first hand look at the new YotaPhone right at the Russian company’s booth. We’ve created a hands-on video, explaining all the various functions and perks of this interesting new gadget.
Alcatel has unleashed a slew of new phones onto the market here on the first day of Mobile World Congress, but the most interesting two lie at diametric opposite positions on the smartphone spectrum. We first got to spend a few minutes with the new One Touch Idol X, an ultra-high-end phone with a 5-inch, 1080p display. On one hand, these displays are increasingly commoditized as every company on the planet incorporates them, but on the other the Idol X is a very impressive sight to behold. It’s only 7.1mm thin, the same as the original Droid RAZR; the bezel around its display is also just 2.4mm. Together, they make the Idol X feel much smaller than a phone with such a large display should. The phone’s other specs are impressive, though they vary around the world: it will have either an 8- or 13-megapixel camera, depending on the market, and either one or two SIM cards slots. The phone runs Android 4.2.1, and in our time with it felt snappy and responsive — Alcatel has skinned the operating system, but it didn’t seem to be much more than just a re-designing of the system’s icons. The Idol X is coming out in the second half of this year, and appears at first blush to be a solid option.
On the complete other end of the market lies the Alcatel One Touch Fire, an ultra-low-end phone running Mozilla’s new Firefox OS. This device is small – its 3.5-inch screen feels positively miniature now – but it’s thick, clearly underpowered, and only capable of executing the most basic tasks. But it’s a completely different device, with a completely different intended customer: Alcatel says it will be sold almost exclusively in developing markets when the Fire goes on sale this summer.
ZTE may have had a head start in the Firefox OS race ahead of MWC, but Alcatel’s also got something similar to ride on the waves of some “500 million Mozilla users.” Suitably dubbed the One Touch Fire, this entry-level phone is basically a rehash of the budget One Touch T’Pop announced back at CES, packing a 3.5-inch HVGA TN display, a 1GHz processor, 256MB RAM, 512MB storage and a 3.2-megapixel camera. There are also the usual bunch of radios: WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS, FM radio and UMTS 900/2100 and 850/1900/2100 (up to 7.2Mbps for download and 5.76Mbps for upload). Underneath the removable 1,400mAh battery you’ll find a microSD slot that’ll take anything up to 32GB (a 2GB card is included), as well as a slot for an old-school Mini-SIM card.
Qualcomm today introduced a pair of new mobile processors aimed at mid-range and entry-level smartphone experiences. As the numbers might lead you to believe, the Snapdragon 200 is focused on delivering a balance of value and performance as well as better battery life. The Snapdragon 400 seeks to power “high-volume” smartphones and tablets with a user’s expected performance, connectivity and battery life.
The Snapdragon 400 has two configurations: dual-core Krait CPUs running at up to 1.7GHz per core, and quad-core ARM Cortex A7 CPUs running at up to 1.4GHz per core. Additional details include an Adreno 305 GPU and high-speed LPDDR2 or LPDDR3 RAM, as well as support for most modern cellular radios, 1080p HD video playback and capture technologies. Also able to support dual SIM cards, and 13.5-megapixel cameras, the Snapdragon 400 includes Miracast functionality.
The Snapdragon 200 features a quad-core ARM Cortex A5 processor at up to 1.4GHz per core, an Adreno 203 GPU, LPDDR2 RAM, HD video playback, support for dual SIM cards, and up to 8 megapixel cameras.
Qualcomm expects the new Snapdragon 400 and 200 to be available later this year.
Fujitsu is known for many things outside its native Japan, but not for its smartphones. To a small degree, this is now about to change – in June, the company will launch an Android device for senior citizens, the Stylistic S01, on the Orange network in France. The device fits into a longstanding range that, in Japan, is named Raku-Raku.
The S01 runs Android “Ice Cream Sandwich” 4.0 in a near-unrecognizable form, featuring a simplified layout with very large onscreen buttons. But it also has other features tailored to its target audience, such as what Orange describes as “a unique screen technology” that essentially forces users to press icons harder in order to make them work – the idea here is to help those who aren’t used to touchscreens to avoid accidentally launching things they don’t intend to launch.
The handset also adjusts the frequency range of its audio depending on the user’s age, and even slows down the speech of fast-talking callers. A personal security alarm is also included.
“As Fujitsu’s first extensive entry into the smartphone market outside Japan, we are delighted that Orange — a company that holds a strong position in the European market — will be offering our phone, which features Fujitsu-exclusive human-centric technologies,” Fujitsu corporate SVP Nobuo Otani said in a statement. “We are committed to the success of this partnership as we strive to expand our smartphone business overseas, while advancing the promotion of Japanese technology worldwide.”
This shouldn’t be so unusual
It’s worth noting that Fujitsu is not the only mobile phone maker to target senior citizens: Sweden’s Doro has built an entire business around that market, although its handsets are much simpler. Doro also has an application pack for making Android tablets more senior-friendly, and a similar approach has been taken in the smartphone realm by carriers such as Sprint.
In some ways, the application pack idea could serve as a transitional solution for senior citizens who find the standard smartphone interface a bit difficult to handle. If Microsoft’s Windows Phone styling becomes an influencer and UI designs become more generally big-button, there will be less of a need for such things in the future.
But more fundamental technological solutions, such as those Fujitsu is displaying in the Raku-Raku/Stylistic range, will always find an audience. And let’s face it, with an ageing population in much of the developed world, there’s a growing market to address here. Looking at things that way, it’s actually quite surprising how few players are focusing on the accessibility angle today.