Sony Xperia Z Ultra

Sony just dropped a real bomb on the phablet market - a 6.4" monster that threatens to flatten the competition. The Sony Xperia Z Ultra the first officially announced device to be powered by Snapdragon 800 and it's also the thinnest device with a 1080p screen.

The list of tricks the Sony Xperia Z Ultra knows is almost too long to fit on even its sizable screen. Seriously, this thing is both massive and packed to the rafters with cool features. It slots between the Xperia Z and Xperia Tablet Z, using the same sleek OmbiBalance design and philosophy - "glass is good, thin is even better".

The Sony Xperia Z Ultra profile measures just 6.5mm, the slimmest 1080p device and close to slimmest overall. We were quite impressed with the Tablet Z and this undercuts it by a fraction. Unlike the Xperia Tablet Z, however, this uses the latest chipset and Android available - Snapdragon 800 and Android 4.2 respectively.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra at a glance

  • General: Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, penta-band UMTS/HSPA, 100 Mbps LTE
  • Form factor: Ultra-thin water-resistant touchscreen phablet
  • Dimensions: 179.4 x 92.2 x 6.5, 212 g
  • Display: 6.4" 16M-color 1080p (1080 x 1920 pixels) capacitive touchscreen TFT Triluminous display with X-Reality and OptiContrast
  • CPU: Quad-core 2.2 GHz Krait 400
  • GPU: Adreno 330
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
  • RAM: 2GB
  • OS: Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • Memory: 16GB storage, microSD card slot
  • Camera: 8 megapixel auto-focus camera with face detection; Full HD (1080p) video recording at 30fps with HDR, 2MP front-facing camera with FullHD video capture
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, standard microUSB port with MHL and USB host, GPS receiver with A-GPS, 3.5mm audio jack, NFC
  • Misc: IP58 certified - dust-sealed and water resistant beyond 1 meter; Shatter proof and scratch-resistant glass for the front and the back panel, metal frame on the sides
This is a no-mercy pre-emptive strike against the Samsung Galaxy Note III and all other high-end phablets that might crop up. So far we've only heard that this or that device will use a Snapdragon 800 chipset, but this one is the first to really go for it. And the attractive design and thin body are bound to win many proponents - they did for the Xperia Z and Tablet Z.
Same goes for the water resistant certification - IP58 means it can go deeper than 1m of water, unlike the sissy Xperia Z and Samsung Galaxy S4 Active.

Samsung Galaxy S Duos S7562

The Samsung Duos line has been slowly working up the ranks to finally cross paths with the Galaxy S line. It's obviously not the kind of collision to create a big bang but we're still pretty excited about the exchange of DNA.
Honestly, if it takes nothing less than a Samsung Galaxy S III to light your candle, there's little to see here. Dual-SIM phones are in a niche of their own and usually keep a safe distance from flagships, old and new. And no, the Galaxy S Duos hasn't crossed any lines but dares to do things a little differently.
The Galaxy S Duos could easily pass for a Galaxy S III mini. It too runs the revamped version of TouchWiz dubbed Nature UX. It has two fully-functioning SIM slots, a 1GHz single-core processor and 768 MB of RAM. For a, hopefully, reasonable price you will also get a decent 4"WVGA screen and a 5MP still camera. Here's what else the Galaxy S Duos offers.

Samsung Galaxy S Duos S7560 at a glance

    • General:Dual-SIM (Dual Stand-by) GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, UMTS 900/2100 MHz, HSDPA 7.2 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76
    • Form factor: Touchscreen bar
    • Dimensions: 121.5 x 63.1 x 10.5 mm, 120 g
    • Display: 4.0" 16M-color WVGA (480 x 800 pixels, ~233 ppi) TFT capacitive touchscreen
    • Chipset: 1 GHz single-core Cortex-A5 processor, Adreno 200 GPU, 768MB RAM
    • OS: Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
    • Memory: 4 GB of inbuilt storage, microSD card slot (up to 32 GB)
    • Camera: 5 megapixel camera with geotagging; VGA video recording at 30fps
    • Connectivity: Wi-Fi b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot, stereo Bluetooth 3.0, standard microUSB port, GPS receiver with A-GPS, 3.5mm audio jack, stereo FM radio with RDS
    • Misc:Nature UX version of TouchWiz, built-in accelerometer, multi-touch input, proximity sensor, Swype text input, 1500mAh battery
Good looks and Ice-cream Sandwich are major points in favor of the Galaxy S Duos. It is clearly better than the Ace Duos in every way possible and will certainly cost a lot more. It would be a huge surprise for a dual-SIM smartphone to outsell a typical midrange droid and the Galaxy S Duos won't even be trying. But it's might be able to change the users' perception of dual-SIM phones and probably spur new demand.
Frequent travelers and people looking to get the best out of multiple carrier plans are not after the ultimate in processing power or eye-popping screen resolution and the Galaxy S Duos is OK with that. It's offering reasonable equipment and good looks, on top of being able to handle two SIM cards.
That's not a bad start for a phone that wants to do well in the midrange but we always like to have a closer look. Next stop is hardware and you're more than welcome to join us.

Install Android 4.3 on your Galaxy S4 right now

Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition was unleashed just two days ago, but some lucky guy have somehow managed to get his hands on an Android 4.3 Jelly Bean-running test unit of the device. The Android build however doesn't have all of the features that will premiere within the official Android 4.3 though.
The Google's edition of Samsung's flagship is based on the I9505 modelpowered by the Snapdragon 600 chipset and normally runs on a stock Android 4.2 Jelly Bean ROM.
However if you already got one or even if you own a regular I9505 Galaxy S4 and wonder what is to have the new Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, now you can experience it. You can now install the leaked Google Play Edition's test Android 4.3 ROM on your device. We already tried it and found it to be fully functional, with only a minor glitch here and there.
Now there's a chance that some creative developer with too much free time simply altered a few lines in the about screen of the existing 4.2.2 Android release and bundled it with the newly leaked camera and gallery apps. Still, even if it is a prank, the smartphone works as expected, so you can try it.
There are a few things you need to know before you continue. You need to root your smartphone and install a custom recovery and then flash the leaked ROM through it. Even the locked bootloader of our Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4 unit didn't turn to be an issue.
More importantly, this ROM can't be installed via Odin and will void your warranty after the installation.

Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3

Bigger than the Note but not as bright. Not saying anything. We wouldn't want to get this guy upset. So, careful with the F-word. And no, not phablet, obviously. Though at 8mm, the Samsung Galaxy Mega technically isn't fat.

There has been no such thing as size limit for Samsung but is the Galaxy Mega 6.3 already pushing it too far? The massive 6.3" screen puts the bigger one of the Mega brothers well into the upper range of phablets and almost into tablet territory.
The Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 - as in a 6.3" screen - is the bigger and better half of the Mega pair, making an interesting alternative to the Galaxy Note line of phablets. It's bigger than the first two (most likely bigger than even the Note III as well) but actually more affordable.
There were of course some inevitable cuts, mainly in the display and chipset area, but the Mega 6.3 still boasts LTE connectivity, Android 4.2.2 with exclusive TouchWiz features like Multi-window and Air View among other goodies the Galaxy S4 has, including the IR remote control functionality.

Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 at a glance:

  • General: Quad-band 2G/quad-band 3G/Optional LTE connectivity
  • Form factor: Touchscreen bar phone
  • Dimensions: 167.6 x 88 x 8mm, 199 g
  • Display: 6.3" 16M-color TFT capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels (233ppi)
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, 1.7GHz Krait CPU, Adreno 305 GPU, 1.5GB RAM
  • OS: Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)
  • Memory: 8/16GB storage, microSD card slot
  • Still camera: 8 megapixel auto-focus camera, face detection, touch focus and image stabilization; 1.9MP front facing camera, video-calls
  • Video camera: Full HD (1080p) video recording at 30fps
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, standard microUSB port with MHL features (TV Out, USB host), GPS receiver with A-GPS and GLONASS, 3.5mm audio jack, NFC, Infrared port
  • Battery: 3,200 mAh
  • Misc: TouchWiz UI, Air View, Impressively rich video/audio codec support, built-in accelerometer, Smart stay and Smart rotation eye-tracking, S Health
While the screen is less than stellar, 233ppi is better than what the Galaxy Grand got and on par with the Galaxy S III mini. It's the chipset we're more worried about - it's a better version of the one Nokia uses in the Lumia 520. Sure, the CPU runs at a much higher clockspeed (70% higher) and there's three times the amount of RAM, but the Galaxy Mega 6.3 will have to really bring its A game to get anyone impressed.
On the other hand, the proprietary Multi-window feature really comes into its own here - the split screen gives each app nearly the same surface area (though not aspect ratio) as the display of a Galaxy S II.
And you get premium goodies like the latest Android version available, Air View (detects your finger hovering above the screen and offers functionality similar to that of the S Pen), an IR remote control, LTE, Group Play and more.
Recent smartphone history has seen plenty of too-big-to-use devices that were quick to prove doubters wrong. The Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 will raise a few eyebrows, but it has the potential to bring the phablet form factor to the masses, seeing how the Note II might be out of reach for some (which didn't stop it from selling by the millions).
So how big is "big" anyway? The Mega 6.3 is ample for sure, but its dimensions aren't that scary - jump to the next page to find out how it feels in the hand and whether the screen is worth the extra bulk

Sony Xperia ZL Get Update to Android 4.2.2 JB for Now

Sony has promised to release Android 4.2.2 updates for the Sony Xperia Z and Sony Xperia ZL soon after their launch. And even though the Xperia ZL hit the shelves a few weeks later than the Xperia Z, it is the first one to taste the latest 4.2.2 version of Jelly Bean.

Currently the Android 4.2.2 update is available for the Sony Xperia ZL C6503 (LTE) model across Europe. You can have it both through Sony PC Companion and over-the-air. We expect the other Xperia ZL flavors and more countries to join the roll out in the next couple of weeks.

Since Sony Xperia ZL and Xperia Z are practically identical, save for the different shells, we guess the update for the water-proof Xperia Z should be just around the corner.


On Amazon, Nokia Lumia 928 price now to $29.99

Nokia Lumia 928 is an exclusive version of the popular Lumia 920 for Verizon that upgrades the camera department with an additional xenon flash.

The Nokia Lumia 928 was launched in May when it was priced at $99 with a new two-year contract. Now, that the Nokia EOS premiere is getting closer, the Nokia Lumia 928 has just got its first price cut.

Amazon is now offering Nokia Lumia 928 for just $29.99 with a two-year Verizon contract. The contract-free price is still $499.99, though. There is no information on whether this is a limited time offer or a permanent price decrease.


Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Pre Order

The Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom has been put up for pre-order by German online retailer for €499. This will most likely translate to roughly the same amount in USD for the US market, as typically mobile products heading overseas will enjoy a lower relative pricetag.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom takes an unorthodox approach to cameraphones, by adding a proper digicam to the back of a smartphone. The device offers a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor with 8GB of internal storage, 1.5 GB of RAM and a 4.3-inch display of 540 x 960 pixels, all running on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.

The headliner is, of course, the 16 MP camera with 10x optical zoom, OIS, and F/3.1-F/6.3 lens. At this price, the combination of dedicated camera and smartphone will likely find support in a niche market of users looking to save on both price and the number of devices they'll be carrying around.