Enjoy our round-up of ten mobile phone related news stories you may have missed this week including news on Samsung’s exclusive Olympic phone, offline navigation for HTC Windows Phones and the chance of Feature Pack 2 for Nokia Belle.
1. Samsung GT-i9300 May Not be the Galaxy S III
It has always been assumed the Galaxy S III’s model number would be the GT-i9300, given that it’s in vague succession to the S and S II’s model numbers. However, there’s a chance the i9300 could be Samsung’s exclusive Olympic phone, and that it’ll be known as the Galaxy M. The rumour is it could be announced in May, and we believe it’ll be unveiled alongside the Galaxy S III.
2. Sony Demos Xperia S Connectivity
Sony’s excellent new Xperia S smartphone has some great connectivity features, and in case you haven’t seen them yet, take a look at the demo video from Sony themselves. It shows-off the impressive way the device transfers its UI over to an HDTV, allowing you to access all the media and control them using the TV’s remote control.
3. Verizon Launches the LG Lucid
Verizon in the USA has launched a new phone from LG. Named the LG Lucid, it’s a mid-range phone with a 1.2GHz dual-core chip, 1GB of RAM, a 5 megapixel camera and a 4-inch IPS touchscreen. It makes use of Verizon’s high-speed 4G LTE network and is keenly priced at $129, but has a $50 rebate offer to take it down to just $79. A UK release under this name is unlikely, given its CDMA radio and 4G capability.
4. HTC Gives Windows Phones Offline Navigation
In a response to Nokia’s excellent Drive, HTC has upgraded its own navigation software for its Windows Phone devices, adding offline access to maps. If you update your HTC Locations app now, you’ll find downloadable maps plus turn-by-turn voice guidance included too.
5. Path Set to Hit Windows Phone Soon
In the same week that Instagram announced its Android app is getting closer to making its debut, we also hear that unusual social network Path is headed to Windows Phone. Path is a deliberately restrictive social network, where you can choose 50 of your closest friends to interact with through it. It has attracted more than 2 million users on the iPhone and Android.
6. Coby Announces a Range of New Tablets
Portable electronics manufacturer Coby has announced a new range of tablets, most notably two running Google Android 4.0. The MID7042 and MID9742 have 7-inch and 9.7-inch screens respectively, and use a 1GHz ARM Cortex processor with 1GB of RAM. Other features include 4GB or 8GB of internal memory, Wi-Fi and a camera. At the moment the ICS tablets have only been announced for sale in the USA, but Coby does sell products here in the UK, so there’s a good chance they’ll hit shelves here too. Pricing in the USA has been set at $179 for the 7-inch model and $279 for the 9.7-inch model.
7. Nokia Belle to Get a Second Feature Pack
With Feature Pack 1 already announced for Nokia Belle, Feature Pack 2 has been found hiding in some official Nokia documentation, indicating it could be coming soon. Listed under some browser tests, Nokia Belle FP2 was spotted running on a Nokia 701, but there has so far been no official announcement of its release.
8. Japanese Robot Dogs Controlled by iPhones
Japan is well-known not only for weird gadgets, but for a strange obsession with virtual pets too. The Smartpet is the latest mechanised wonder to continue the long line of tech curio emanating from the country. The canine ‘bots use an iPhone for a face, and gestures seem to influence its movement, plus various other actions, all via a special app. As we don’t speak Japanese, everything else demonstrated in the video below is a mystery.
9. Sony Reorganizes its Business
Now it has complete control over its mobile business, Sony has decided everything else needs a bit of a shake-up, to help drive innovation and make quick decisions. The initiative is known as One Sony, and will concentrate on games, mobile and digital imaging.
10. Project Detroit is a Windows Phone-Controlled Mustang
Working in conjunction with West Coast Customs in California, Microsoft has created a hi-tech car named Project Detroit. The 1967 Mustang body actually covers a 2012 Mustang drive-train, and inside, Windows Phone has been built-in to control the lighting, rear-window message display and even remotely start the vehicle.