Enjoy our round-up of ten mobile phone related news stories you may have missed including a video of the must-be-seen Galaxy S4 launch event, the addition of SwiftKey to the Galaxy S4 and LG’s unsubtle attempts to hijack its big day.
1. Watch the Unbelievable Galaxy S4 Event Here
Samsung’s New York unveiling of the Galaxy S4 made it awkwardly late for those of us in the UK, so if you didn’t stay up to watch the festivities, you can do so with the official video posted below, at a much more sensible time. Be warned, it’s astonishingly bad, filled with cringe-making skits where the S4′s many new features are demonstrated. In a way, that alone makes it worth watching.
2. SwiftKey Keyboard Powers Galaxy S4
This is great news for anyone who has struggled with the Galaxy S III’s awful standard keyboard, then experienced the joy of SwiftKey’s version available through Google Play. Samsung has struck a deal with the developers, and has added the keyboard as standard to the phone.
3. Motorola Announces the Razr D1 and Razr D3
Although it has been quiet for a while, Motorola has revealed a pair of new, mid-range Android 4.1 Jelly Bean phones. The Razr D3 has a 4-inch touchscreen, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 4GB of internal memory and an 8 megapixel camera. The Razr D1 has a smaller 3.5-inch screen, a single-core 1GHz chip and a 5 megapixel camera. Both are going to be released in Brazil this month, but could see a wider release later in the year.
4. LG Doesn’t Want to be Forgotten
Although the Samsung Galaxy S4 was the phone which stole most of the limelight in New York yesterday, LG also got in on the action with a cheeky billboard. Placed directly above Samsung’s teaser posters, it read, “The LG Optimus G is here 4 you now!” The use of the number 4 was a direct reference to Samsung’s use of the figure in its promotional material.
5. Google’s Andy Rubin Leaves Android
The current leader of the Android team at Google, Andy Rubin, will move onto a new and as yet undefined role at the company. Google CEO Larry Page broke the news this week on the company’s blog, and confirmed the VP of Chrome and Apps, Sundar Pichai, would be taking over his role at Android.
6. Xolo X1000 Released in India
The Xolo X900 was the first smartphone to be released with an Intel processor, and it has now been succeeded by the X1000, released in India this week. The phone has a 4.7-inch screen with a 720p resolution, an 8 megapixel camera, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and of course, an Intel chip. This time it’s the 2GHz Atom Z2480, previously used in the Motorola Razr i.
7. Verizon Announces the BlackBerry Z10
Verizon has become the second U.S. network to officially announce its release date for the BlackBerry Z10. It’ll arrive on 28 March, but will be available as a pre-order two weeks beforehand, plus buyers have the extra incentive of being able to grab the exclusive white version of the phone.
8. Huawei Ascend Mate Given Release Date in China
Announced at CES 2013, the Ascend Mate is Huawei’s massive tablet/smartphone hybrid, which has been given its release date in China. It’s coming on 21 March and will cost the equivalent of £330. Huawei promised the device would be released internationally after China, so we may see it out here before the summer. In case you need reminding, the Ascend Mate has a huge 6.1-inch screen.
9. Nokia Lumia 928 Rumoured for Verizon in the U.S
A variant of the Nokia Lumia 920, named the Lumia 928, has been rumoured for the U.S. network Verizon. Rather than being a straight copy, the Lumia 928 may swap the Lumia 920′s polycarbonate shell for an aluminium one, and add a xenon flash to the camera. Speculation puts its launch date around April. Sadly, as Verizon is a CDMA network, the Lumia 928 wouldn’t work in the UK.
10. LinkedIn Buys Pulse Newsreader
Pulse is one of our favourite news reader apps for the iPhone and iPad, and the latest business talk suggests its developers, Alphonso Labs, has been purchased by LinkedIn for between $50m and $100m. It’s said the social network beat offers from Microsoft and Yahoo. Neither company has confirmed the rumour at the time of writing.