In an age of widespread government surveillance, a device that promises some semblance of the privacy we all once had sounds really appealing. Enter Blackphone, a security-oriented smartphone running a customized version of Android that its makers believe is secure enough to circumvent NSA monitoring.
A joint venture between cryptographer Phil Zimmermann’s Silent Circle company and device manufacturer Geeksphone, Blackphone is powered by PrivatOS, a fork of Android with a wide range of security enhancements designed to mask your digital footprint. The companies claim the carrier- and vendor- independent smartphone will be capable of making phone calls, texting, transferring files, and video chatting without compromising user privacy. Exactly how is another matter, but the company plans to provide additional details at Mobile World Congress in February. (more…)
After announcing the new Padfone Infinity, Asus had one more trick up their sleeves before calling it a day at Mobile World Congress. They unveiled the Fonepad (yes, that’s like the opposite of Padfone), a 7″ tablet with full voice and data capabilities. There are no docking tricks here, this is strictly a tablet, but one that can make calls and crush data on the go over HSPA+ networks.
Inside, you’ll find a Intel Atom Z2420 processor, Android 4.1, a 1280×800 HD display, HSPA+ radios, 8/16GB storage options, microSD cart slot, 1.2MP front camera, and a 3MP rear camera. Asus also tossed in some exclusive apps Floating App, SuperNote lite, and WebStorage Office Online.
The tablet is ultimately being sold as a device for viewing and consuming content on a larger screen, but that still has the ability to do the basics, like make phone calls.
Availability starts in March. The 8GB model will run €219. (more…)
Asus is at it again with their phone-inside-of-a-tablet line of products called the Padfone. Announced this morning at Mobile World Congress, we have the brand new Padfone Infinity, a phone with a 5″ 1080p display, 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 processor, 64GB storage, 13MP camera, LTE, and Android 4.2. But most importantly, it also docks into a tablet shell, just like its brothers and sisters did, to turn your phone into a 10.1″ tablet as an all-in-one type of device. (more…)
Mobile World Congress 2013 has officially started with Samsung announcing the Galaxy Note 8.0, a device that is expected to “re-ignite the mid-size tablet category.” It sports a 1.6GHz quad-core processor, 8″ (1280×800) display, 5MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera, 2GB RAM, 16/32GB storage, 4600mAh battery, HSPA+ radios, and runs Android 4.1.2. It also supports S Pen and all of the multi-tasking software that you have come and love to know on all of the Note products. An IR sensor rounds out the specs, taking advantage of Samsung’s TV remote capabilities.
As you can see from the pictures, Samsung kept to the design language of the Note 2 and Galaxy S3 by sticking with a physical home button, and soft touch back and menu buttons. In what may be the greatest feature of all, though, Samsung has finally allowed the S Pen to interact with the soft menu and back buttons. That’s right, you can now tap on the soft keys with the S Pen and make magic, something you cannot do on any other device including the Note 2.
The international version can technically make phone calls, so yes, you can hold an 8″ tablet up to your ear and look that silly if you so choose to. We don’t know if that functionality will carry over to the U.S. version.
Pricing and availability has not been announced for the U.S., but the device is expected to be available across the rest of the globe in Q2 of this year. (more…)
LG finally fully unveiled the Optimus G Pro yesterday. The device will be on display at Mobile World Congress next week before it makes its way to the U.S. in Q2 of this year. The official specs, which we mostly knew, are now confirmed as a 5.5″ FHD (1080p) display (400ppi), 2GB RAM, 32GB internal storage (expandable SD slot to 32GB), 13MP rear camera 2.1MP front camera, 3140mAh battery, is only 9.4mm thick, runs Android 4.1.2, and is powered by the brand new Snapdragon 600 processor clocked at 1.7GHz.
Beyond specs, the Optimus G Pro will feature “advanced UX features” that were developed specifically for this device. Two of them are Dual Recording mode and Virtual Reality Panorama. Dual Recording allows users to capture video with both the front and rear cameras at the same time in a picture-in-picture experience. VR Panorama sounds a lot like Google’s Photo Sphere, in that you can pan horizontally and vertically to grab full 360-degree shots.
The device sounds incredibly impressive on paper, especially with the new Snapdragon processor and 1080p 5.5″ display. We don’t know pricing or carrier partners at this time. (more…)
Yesterday, LG took to Facebook to tease their next mobile product in the most vague and generic of ways. In fact, all the teaser image said was “New series will be unveiled,” only they forgot to mention a where, when, or what. Well, they finished off the teaser today by posting up a new video to YouTube that confirms it will be a product unveiling at MWC later this month. (more…)
Earlier today, reports flew in from overseas that Samsung’s head of mobile, JK Shin, has confirmed that his company plans to unveil the Galaxy Note 8.0 at this year’s MWC. Other than that information, specs are still rather speculation, but it is reported the tablet will feature a screen with a resolution of just 1280 x 800, be powered by a quad-core Exynos processor (definitely not the Octa), and will naturally come packed with Samsung’s proprietary software. (more…)
So, we didn’t get the new Optimus G2 at CES as had been rumored a number of times. But that may be because the device will actually be called the Optimus G Pro and may arrive a bit later at MWC for all to drool over. According to a leaked slide, the device above is that device, one that will sport a 5″ 1080p display (the standard these days), a beefed up 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro, 32GB of internal storage, LTE, and a massive 3000mAh battery. The phone will be just 10mm thick, have a 13MP rear camera, and a 2.4MP front shooter. (more…)