Enjoy our round-up of ten mobile phone related news stories you may have missed including the announcement of two new Acer smartphones, news on the Huawei Ascend W1′s release and NVIDIA’s Tegra 4i processor.
1. Acer Liquid E1 and Liquid Z2 Announced
Acer will show off a pair of new smartphones at Mobile World Congress. The Liquid Z2 is an entry-level phone with a 3.5-inch screen and a dual-core 1GHz processor, a chip also shared by the Liquid E1. The E1 ups the screen size with a 4.5-inch display, plus they both run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Prices will range between £85 and £200 when they go on sale in the UK later this year.
2. Ubuntu for Mobile Test Version Out Now
Ubuntu for Mobile is one of the new smartphone operating systems expected to be released later this year, but if you’re a developer or a keen amateur fan of the Linux OS, you can download and install the Touch Developer Preview from Canonical. You’ll need to own a Galaxy Nexus or a Nexus 4 for it to work, and obviously it’ll be at your own risk as it’s still a very early build.
3. Sony Xperia Z to Get Android Update Soon After Launch
The Sony Xperia Z is all set to go on sale with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean installed, but a rumour suggests Sony has an update to Android 4.2 all ready to go, and that it could arrive just a short time after launch. Sony has been notoriously lax concerning Android updates in the past, so this would be a welcome change. The company has yet to provide any official notification though.
4. Archos to Bring Smartphone Range Out Soon
Archos, a company better known for tablets and music players, is rumoured to be releasing a series of Android smartphones. Three have been leaked, the Archos 35 Carbon, the Archos 48 Platinum and the Archos 52 Platinum. Of the three, the 52 Platinum is the biggest with a 5.2-inch screen, while the 48 Platinum is a Galaxy S III-alike with a quad-core chip and a 4.8-inch touchscreen. The 35 Carbon is the basic model with a single-core 1GHz chip and a 3.5-inch screen.
5. Fujitsu Releases First Android Phone for Sale Outside Japan
Fujitsu has teamed up with Orange France to release its first phone outside of Japan, but instead of it being a top-of-the-range model, it’s the Stylistic S01 - an Android phone aimed at older users. The Android OS has been modified to make it easier to use, the icons have been made larger, and clever features such as an auto-leveling volume have been added. The phone has a 4-inch screen, an 8 megapixel camera and a 1.4GHz processor. It’ll be on display at Mobile World Congress and goes on sale in June.
6. O2 to Launch Huawei Ascend W1
O2 has announced it will be stocking the Huawei Ascend W1 smartphone, which runs Windows Phone 8, later on this year. It’ll be available in pink and blue, but the network has yet to provide a final release date – although late March is a possibility – or any idea of price. It’s unlikely to be expensive though, as it has a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM and a 5 megapixel camera.
7. Asus Memo Pad Smart 10 Demoed in Promo Video
Asus has released a video showing the Memo Pad Smart 10 tablet, which has recently been announced at an event in Thailand. The screen measures 10.1-inches and it’s powered by 1.2GHz Tegra 3 chip, 1GB of RAM, plus it has 16GB of memory. The price is expected to be $299 in the US, which converts over to £195, making it very competitively priced for a quad-core Android Jelly Bean tablet.
8. NVIDIA Outs the Tegra 4i Processor
The Tegra 4 was released at CES 2013 and now, NVIDIA has announced a second version of the chip named the Tegra 4i. It’s still a quad-core processor, but instead of using ARM Cortex A15 architecture, it uses the ARM Cortex A9 R4, but it integrates the i500 4G LTE modem. It’s designed for smartphones only, while the Tegra 4 is for tablets as well as phones. Expect hardware using the chip until the end of the year.
9. Samsung Galaxy Star Coming Soon?
A new Galaxy smartphone under the name of the Star is being rumoured, but it’s a long way from the Galaxy S III. Like Samsung’s Star series of old, the Galaxy Star is an entry-level phone with a 3-inch screen, a 2 megapixel camera, 4GB of storage and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
10. Nokia Releases the DT-910 Wireless Charging Platform
Both the Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 can be wirelessly charged, which is a convenient feature on its own, but the new DL-910 wireless charging stand also includes NFC to further enhance the experience. Once connected and provided your phone has a special app installed, your Lumia shows a home screen with a clock, calendar and weather information, plus any upcoming appointments.