Enjoy our round-up of ten mobile phone related news stories you may have missed including the Huawei Ascend D2 Mini, the LG Optimus L4 II and a SIM-only 4G LTE plan from EE.
1. Huawei Ascend D2 Spotted in China
A possible companion device to the new Huawei Ascend D2 has been seen in China. Called the Ascend D2 Mini the phone is IP67 rated, so it’s water and dust proof, and it has a 4.3-inch, 720p touchscreen. The processor is a quad-core chip of Huawei’s own design, plus it has a 13 megapixel camera and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It could join the Ascend P6 on stage at Huawei’s 18 June event in London.
2. No Nexus 5 for LG
In an interview with a Dutch website, LG’s vice president for Mobile in Europe has said that although the Nexus 4 has been a big success for the firm, it’s in no rush to repeat it, and therefore won’t be making the Nexus 5. He also stated LG wouldn’t be making a “Google Edition” of the Optimus G Pro, saying such a device wouldn’t add any value to the brand.
3. Blue and Red HTC One Coming Soon
HTC may be adding another set of colours to its HTC One range, with blue and red being likely to join the existing black and silver versions already on sale. Both have been spotted through online retailers, but no release date has been given, and HTC has yet to make either official. To see the HTC One in action check out our review below.
4. EE Adds SIM-only 4G Plans
In an effort to increase its 4G subscriber base while it still has exclusivity in the UK, EE has added another option for those still considering adopting the high-speed data network. This time it’s a SIM-only plan with a 30-day rolling contract, so there’s no need to commit to a greater length of time just to enjoy 4G speeds. Prices start at £23 per month for 500MB, all the way up to £63 for 20GB.
5. LG Optimus L4 II Leaked
LG is rumoured to have another, even more basic, L Series model up its sleeve, the Optimus L4 II. According to the latest leak, the phone has a 3.8-inch touchscreen with a 320 x 480 pixel resolution, while the processor could be a 1GHz, single-core MediaTek chip. We can also expect a 3 megapixel camera and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The phone is said to be launching in June.
6. Massive Firefly V65 Tablet/Smartphone Hybrid Announced
Although a UK release is extremely unlikely, the new Firefly V65 is an interesting device. It has a gigantic 6.45-inch touchscreen, which integrates the touch panel and the glass into one, improving the brightness and reducing the thickness. It also has a 1080p resolution. The V65 is powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, and it has a 13 megapixel camera.
7. Samsung Topples Nokia in Finland
Nokia has always had a strong following in its homeland of Finland, but research performed by research firm IDC indicates that time could be at an end, as Samsung is estimated to have a 36% share of the Finnish market, while Nokia has dropped to 33%. The research also shows Nokia selling an equal amount of smartphones and Asha devices, while 80% of Samsung’s sales are smartphones. Samsung’s latest flagship, the Galaxy S4, performed brilliantly when we tested it, take a look at our review below.
8. Lenovo Targets American Smartphone Market
Lenovo, which has recently become a major player in China, plans to take its smartphones to America, with its CEO saying it would like to start selling its Android phones there within a year’s time. Lenovo has some interesting phones, such as the Intel-powered K900, but has never made much of an effort to promote itself as anything other than a PC manufacturer, so it’s likely to have a tough time breaking into the U.S.
9. LG to Release a New Android Tablet
LG’s vice president of Mobile in Europe has said the company is still very interested in the tablet market, and continues to invest in it. This will result in a new tablet being released by LG in the future, but he didn’t share any firm details, so it’s not clear whether it’ll run Android or Windows 8. LG has dabbled in tablets before, releasing the Optimus Pad back in 2011.
10. ZTE Becomes the Number Three Manufacturer in America
According to the latest research, Chinese manufacturer ZTE has become the third biggest smartphone manufacturer in America, seeing it beat everyone from HTC and LG, to BlackBerry and arch-rival Huawei. It has managed to do this without any high-end hardware too, preferring to sell cheaper Android smartphones on Pay As You Go networks.