Top Ten Mobile Phone News Stories of the Week

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Enjoy our round-up of ten mobile phone related news stories you may have missed including Sony’s Android 4.4 plans, the Huawei Ascend W2 announcement, and a smartphone controlled kettle.

1. Sony Talks Android 4.4 Updates

There’s good news for owners of the most recent Sony Xperia hardware, as the company has announced which devices it will be updating to Android 4.4. the phones in question are the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia Z Ultra and the Xperia Z1. Additionally, the Xperia Tablet Z will also get the most recent version of Google’s OS. Updates will start appearing from December.

2. Huawei Announces the Ascend W2

Huawei has announced a new Windows Phone device, but not one running the latest version of the software, like the Nokia Lumia 1520. Instead the Ascend W2 is aimed at the budget end of the market, and has a 4.3-inch screen with a 480 x 800 pixel resolution. The processor is a 1.4GHz dual-core Snapdragon, and the phone is available in several very bright colours. So far, Huawei has only confirmed its release in Russia and the Netherlands, but it’ll be coming to other countries in the future.

3. Pebble Announces iOS 7 Integration

The Pebble smartwatch, which launched earlier this year after one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns ever, will be getting an app update in the near future. The update will add complete iOS 7 compatibility, so all notifications which would normally appear in the Notification Center, will also show up on the watch. According to the Pebble team, the app update is with Apple, so should appear in the App Store soon. 

4. ZTE Launches the Grand S Flex

So far headed only to certain European countries, the ZTE Grand S Flex isn’t a flexible phone, as the name suggests, but another mid-to-high end big-screen device. The screen measures 5-inches and it has a 720p resolution, and powering the phone is a 1.2GHz processor. An 8-megapixel camera sits on the rear, and there’s 4G LTE connectivity and Android 4.1 inside.

5. Newcomer Kazam Debuts Phone Range.

Kazam is a new smartphone company started by former HTC UK executives, and it has now shown off its first range of phones. There are two models, the Trooper and the Thunder, the latter of which is the more technically capable phone. It has a 4.5-inch screen with a 854 x 480 pixel resolution, a quad-core MediaTek processor, and an 8-megapixel camera. As for the Trooper, there are five versions, each with varying screen sizes up to 5.5-inches, and all running a dual-core processor. All Kazam phones run stock Android 4.2.

6. Sony Offers Free Games and Movies with Selected Xperia Hardware

If you’re thinking of buying a Sony Xperia Z1, Xperia Z1 Ultra or the Xperia Tablet Z, then Sony’s offering an extra incentive in the form of a free media package. Buyers will find their booty inside the Xperia Privilege app, and it consists of ten games and five movies, including Spider-Man and Elysium.

7. Advent Vega Tegra Note 7 is a Mouthful of a New Tablet

Gadget names are almost always a problem, but the new Currys/PC World tablet is one of the worst in a while. It’s called the Advent Vega Tegra Note 7. Still, at least it’s accurate as inside is the Nvidia Tegra 4 processor, which Nvidia says is the fastest of its type available for mobile devices. The tablet also has a 7-inch display with a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution, a 5-megapixel camera, and Android 4.2. It’s priced at £180 and also comes with a stylus.

8. Stephen Elop On Microsoft’s CEO Shortlist

Stephen Elop stepped down as CEO of Nokia recently, and in a new report, it’s suggested he could return to Microsoft and take over from Steve Ballmer. Apparently, Elop is on a shortlist of candidates, which could consist of four other individuals, including three already working for Microsoft. Steve Ballmer intends to retire in the next 12 months, and has said he will have considerable input in the hiring of his replacement.

Stephen Elop

9. Still Some Android 4.4 Hope for Galaxy Nexus Owners

While Google has said it won’t be updating the Galaxy Nexus to Android 4.4, that hasn’t stopped keen developers trying to find a solution. The latest news involves the discovery of a new GPU software update, which could allow hackers to put together a working version of Android 4.4. It may take a while to come together, but at least there is some hope for the two-year old phone.

10. Smartphone Controlled, Wi-Fi Enabled Kettle Ready for Christmas Launch

There’s seemingly no limit to what can have a Wi-Fi connection added to it, and the latest piece of previously dumb hardware to become smart is the humble kettle. The iKettle has Wi-Fi and can be controlled using your smartphone. An Android or iPhone app will let you remotely boil the kettle, so it’s all ready for your morning cuppa, without the need to get out of bed until the last minute. It costs £100 and will be out late November.

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