Top Android news of the past week, July 21, 2013
This week we were treated to yet another barrage of Moto X news, but luckily it wasn’t all that hit the airwaves (though it’s easy to feel like it did). We also learned that Samsung has a few new upcoming tricks up its sleeve and the Nexus 7 is looking like it’s ready to come out of the shadows.
And yet more about the Moto X!
Every week leading up to what looks like the August launch of the Moto X brings more hype than before. The beginning of the week saw an interesting new feature being introduced in the Moto X – the Open Mic. No, it has nothing to do with stand-up comedy or slam poetry; instead, it allows the Moto X the ability to work with Google Now and receive voice commands even from the lockscreen.
And Motorola continued taunting us with some Twitter pics and a sarcastic comment regarding today’s smartphone cameras:
— Motorola Mobility (@Motorola) July 13, 2013
Nothing was more eye-catching than when the device itself was actually leaked onto the internet. A Redditor posted his own experience with an alleged AT&T branded Moto X and posted some benchmarks. The scores suggest that the processing package found in the X should be high end, but it was listed as a dual-core Snapdragon. So, we’re either looking at the S4 Pro or the S4 Plus – or if it is going to pack current processors (which is unlikely) then we’re looking at the Snapdragon 800 or the 400.
The leaks continued when an official promo was somehow released by Rogers showcasing the upcoming smartphone. It basically goes through all of the features in some depth and is clearly a video introduction to further entice all of us who have been clamoring for our Moto.
It seems our Moto X hype and leak train will continue chugging along, at least until the phone finally gets properly unveiled. If you need a good roundup of all the rumors and leaks that have happened thus far, you can check it out here.
Samsung: 4.3 > 4.2.2
While only a rumor at the moment, news sites are reporting from their sources that Samsung is already getting Android 4.3 ready for their Note 2 and Galaxy S3 devices. With the official release of the new iteration of Android impending, perhaps it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. What is perhaps more important to mention is that Samsung is reportedly looking to make current and last generation devices (Note 2/3, Galaxy S3/S4) able to upgrade to the next Android version after that. We’re all pretty sure they mean Key Lime Pie 5.0 but it was a little vague.
Ready for the return of the flip phone?
First of all, it’s flip phone! Yes, the technical term is the clamshell but the phone design we all reminiscently call the ‘flip phone’ just might be making a return. It kind of did already last year with the SCH-W2013, a phone with a screen on both sides of the flip. It was a pretty insanely priced device and thus it only made sense for at least one person to definitely have it – Jackie Chan.
But apparently Samsung is looking to try again, with a phone currently called the Samsung Galaxy Folder. As a release for the South Korean market, the phone will sport low-to-midrange specs. Even if it is a niche market now, perhaps enough buzz will help bring back the flip phones we nostalgically remember.
The Galaxy Note 3 teasers
We got a little better idea of what the Note 3 might be offering us in a sketch and AnTuTu Benchmark test. A Dutch website posted pictures from what looks like the manual for the new, large device. If they’re true, the Galaxy Note 3 will be in line with all of the new smartphones coming out, spec-wise.
After that, a pic of the supposed AnTuTu Benchmark test for the Note 3 was also revealed. It scored about 33000, which does put it among the top phones out today.
The next Nexus 7 (say that five times)
The leak train started rolling for the new Nexus 7, which might be unveiled along with Android 4.3 at a special breakfast event with Sundar Pichai. Not only were pictures of the device in the flesh leaked, we learned this updated tablet might be coming sooner than we thought with shipments supposedly arriving at retailers as early as this upcoming week – or, at least, July 31st at Staples. We also got a glimpse into what could be its pricing: $229 for the 16GB model and $269 for the 32GB model – prices that certainly aren’t too far off the path of last year’s very affordable original Nexus tablet.
Specifications on the new tablet are still up in the air, but a sticker pic gives us our best clue. If correct, the new Nexus 7 will sport the Snapdragon S4 Pro, a screen capable of 1920×1200 resolution, and a 5 megapixel rear facing camera. It’s looking like a nice little tablet, indeed.
What’s your take?
In your opinion, what were the most important news bits this week, and why?