Enjoy our round-up of ten mobile phone related news stories you may have missed including two new phones from Archos, rumours of the Galaxy Grand Neo, and the launch of the Lenovo Vibe X smartphone.
1. Archos Announces 50 Helium and 45 Helium Smartphones
Two new smartphones have been announced by Archos, ahead of their public debut at CES next week. The two phones run Android 4.3, support 4G connections, and use 1.4GHz quad-core Qualcomm processors. The screen sizes separate the two devices. The 45 Helium has a 4.5-inch, 854 x 480 pixel screen, while the 50 Helium has a 5-inch, 720p display. They’re priced at £190 and £230 respectively.
2. Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo Rumoured
Samsung may be preparing to launch another Galaxy Grand spin-off named the Grand Neo. According to a leak, the phone will be powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core chip, and have a large 5-inch display. The resolution may not be very high though, with 480 x 800 pixels being rumoured. Android 4.3 is likely to be its operating system, and we’d say Mobile World Congress is a potential launchpad.
3. HTC One Two Could Feature Switchable Camera Lenses
Here’s an interesting rumour. The sequel to the HTC One, so far known as the HTC One Two, may have a switchable camera lens setup. One lens would be suitable for normal usage, while the other could improve low-light pictures. The rumour also states it’ll be another of HTC’s UltraPixel cameras, but this time with 10-megapixels. We’re expecting the HTC One Two to be announced around the same time as MWC in late February. In the meantime check out our review of the HTC One below:
4. BB7 Will Be Around Until 2015
BlackBerry India’s managing director has stated the firm will continue to support its aging BlackBerry OS 7 until the end of 2015. He’s quoted as saying we should expect the OS to survive for another two years, so users of the older platform can breathe easily, for now at least.
5. Moto G Gets Even Cheaper in America
The Motorola Moto G is a bargain in the UK, but customers wanting a Moto G in America will be able to pick it up for even less. The Verizon network has confirmed it’ll be available for $100, or about £75, when it’s released as a prepaid smartphone on January 9.
6. LG to Add Double Tap Knock Feature to L Series II Phone
LG’s Knock feature is standard on the G2 smartphone, and turns on the device with a double tap of the screen. Handy, as the power button is on the rear of the phone. Now, LG will add Knock to its L Series II phones through an update, and install it on all its future phones too.
7. Lenovo’s Vibe Z Officially Announced
Lenovo has announced the Vibe Z, a Galaxy Note 3-style phablet with a 5.5-inch 1080p screen. It’s powered by a Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM, has Android 4.3 onboard, and a 13-megapixel rear camera. The phone is slated for release in Indonesia, Thailand, UAE and Saudi Arabia, but sadly, not the UK. You can see Lenovo’s Vibe Z in the promo video below, to get an idea of what you’re missing.
8. Samsung’s Galaxy Camera 2 Runs Android 4.3
Samsung’s second Galaxy Camera device has been announced, blurring the line between camera and phone. Although it can’t make calls, it does run Android 4.3, and can connect to Wi-Fi or use NFC to share content. It has a 16-megapixel sensor, a 1.6GHz quad-core processor and a big 4.8-inch screen on the rear.
9. Sony Sirius and Canopus Leaked
Sony could be planning to launch a pair of new smartphones in the next few months, and the basic specs have been leaked. The first, codename Sirius, may have a 5.2-inch screen and a Snapdragon 800 processor. The second is codename Canopus, and may feature the new Snapdragon 805 processor, but a smaller 5-inch display. They could make their debut at either CES or MWC.
10. Nokia Closes the Ovi Store
A tweet from the Symbian Signed Team has marked the end of an era. It says, “That as it, we are officially closed,” confirming the Ovi Store is no longer accepting new apps, and no further support will be provided to MeeGo and Symbian developers. It has been a long time coming, as Nokia abandoned Symbian as its primary smartphone OS after signing with Microsoft to exclusively build for Windows Phone. This doesn’t affect those using the store though, as all existing content is still available for download.