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Archive for the ‘Coming Soon’ Category

Sony Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact and Z3 Tablet Compact: cases and rumour roundup

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Sony is one of many manufacturers planning to announce phones in early September. Their last flagship phone was the Xperia Z2, so it seems natural to expect an Xperia Z3 at their IFA press event on September 3rd. We’ll also likely see a few variations on that theme, including a smaller phone called the Z3 Compact and a small tablet called the Z3 Tablet Compact. Let’s take a closer look at what’s expected.

Sony Xperia Z3

The Xperia Z3 will be the proper flagship of the group, and looks like it’ll be quite similar to its predecessor, with the same 5.2-inch display and similar dimensions. The internals are also mostly the same, including 3GB RAM and 16GB internal storage plus microSD. What’s changed is a faster Snapdragon 801 processor (to replace the slower and less efficient Snapdragon 800) and Android 4.4.4 on board. The design of the phone has changed too, with leaked pictures showing a simplified body that still adheres to Sony’s distinctive design language.

Official accessories for the Xperia Z3 are already being added to our site. One of these is the Z3 Style Cover Stand Case, which should be available in four colours (silver green, copper, white and black). The case’s big feature is a protective flip cover that can also turn into a folding stand.

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

The Z3 Compact likewise is a straight upgrade over its predecessor, with a faster and more battery-efficient Snapdragon 801 processor replacing the Snapdragon 800 and 3GB RAM instead of 2GB. The screen gets bigger once again as well, to 4.6 inches across the diagonal, but smaller bezels ensure a minimally larger footprint.

Details on Xperia Z3 Compact cases have also been made available. Once again, we’re looking at a Style Cover Stand Case, which should come in four colours (sunset orange, aqua green, black and white).

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact

The Z3 Tablet Compact is the least well leaked device, but we do know it exists thanks to a mention in a Sony support document. Specifications aren’t confirmed, but a Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB RAM and 7 or 8-inch display all would seem logical inclusions. A high-end rear-facing camera should be included as well, but it’s unlikely that we’ll see the full 20.7-megapixel units used on the Z3 and Z3 Compact.

No accessories have yet been leaked or announced for the tablet, but we’ll add them to the site as soon as information about them appears.

Conclusion

So there you have it – three new Sony tablets, all likely to be announced at Sony’s IFA press conference on September 3rd. Let us know what you think of the devices in the comments below, and remember to hold off on any smartphone purchases until after the glut of early September! Thanks for checking out the article and have a good one.

Pro Tip: Don’t buy a phone or smartwatch until September

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

The beginning of September is looking like a massively busy period, as the IFA trade show kicks off and almost every major mobile company has an event planned. Scores of smartphones and smartwatches will be announced here, and most will start shipping later in the month.

For this reason, right now is the worst possible time to buy a phone or smartwatch–wait until these releases are out of the way, and then reap the benefits of lower prices or newer devices on the market in late September and October.

Don’t believe me? Just have a look at what’s coming in September:

Smartphones*

Samsung are releasing the Galaxy Alpha and the Galaxy Note 4. Motorola are releasing the Moto X+1 and Moto G2. Sony are releasing the Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact and Z3 Tablet Compact. Nokia are releasing the Nokia Lumia 530, 730 and 830. HTC are releasing the One M8 with Windows and the J Butterfly. Chinese companies Meizu and Huawei are releasing the MX4 and Ascend Mate 7, respectively. Sharp are releasing the Aquous Crystal. Most importantly of all, Apple are releasing at least one new iPhone, the iPhone 6.

Smartwatches

September looks equally busy for smartwatches. Motorola are the biggest confirmed players here, with the eagerly anticipated Moto 360 set to launch. ASUS and LG have also teased new smartwatches for IFA, while Sony are rumoured to also be showing a watch at the event. Apple are the wildcard here–it’s not known if they’ll announce the iWatch at their September 9th event, but if they do then it’ll be massive.

Press Events

Here’s a breakdown of all announced or heavily rumoured events:

September 2nd

Meizu (MX4)

September 3rd

Samsung (Galaxy Note 4)
Sony (Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact, Z3 Tablet Compact, SmartWatch 3)
ASUS (smartwatch)

September 4th

Motorola (Moto X+1, G2, 360)
Nokia (Lumia 730, 830)
Huawei (Ascend Mate 7)

September 9th

Apple (iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Air)

Signing off

September is going to be an awesome time for mobile fans, and there’s only one way to ruin it: by purchasing a smartphone or smartwatch just before its successor is announced. Wait if you can, and you’ll find cheaper smartphones or newer models in a matter of weeks. My recommendation? iPhone 6 or Galaxy Note 4. But don’t decide now – there will be a lot of excellent choices in the weeks to come!

*Not all of these phones will see European releases – the One M8 with Windows and Aquous Crystal have been announced for US markets. The J Butterfly and Aquous Crystal are launching in Japan. The MX4 and Ascend Mate 7 will launch in China. Still, it’s possible to import these phones.

SIM-free Samsung Galaxy Alpha coming soon to Mobile Fun

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

The Galaxy Alpha is the latest Samsung handset, and the very first to use their new metal design language. We’ll have the handset in stock, sim-free and unlocked, very soon. In the meantime, let’s take a closer look at the next big thing from Samsung.

Design

SIM Free Samsung Galaxy Alpha 32GB - Black    SIM Free Samsung Galaxy Alpha 32GB - White

The Galaxy Alpha sports an interesting look, with a chamfered metal frame with Samsung’s typical plastic front and back. The back cover feels similar to the Galaxy S5, with that dimpled look. The overall look is somewhere between the Galaxy S5 and the iPhone 5S, and it’s a huge improvement over the purely plastic designs we’ve seen from Samsung in the past.

The phone is incredibly skinny too, measuring just 6.7mm – about a millimetre thinner than the iPhone 5S – and weighs about the same, despite a much larger 4.7-inch 720p display.

The phone comes in four colour variations: dazzling white, charcoal black, sleek silver and frosted gold and scuba blue. Knowing Samsung, we’ll see additional colours if the phone proves a success.

Hardware

SIM Free Samsung Galaxy Alpha 32GB - Gold    SIM Free Samsung Galaxy Alpha 32GB - Blue

The Samsung Galaxy Alpha with a nice hardware specification; not quite at the top of the pile like the Galaxy S5, but still perfectly respectable for a mid to high-end device.

The heart of the phone is its Exynos 5430 octa-core processor, which is the first mobile SoC built on a 20nm process. The CPU uses around 25% less power than before, while also including a new audio co-processor. The new CPU is powerful too, scoring higher marks than the Galaxy S5 or HTC One M8 in the AnTuTu benchmark.

The CPU is backed with 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage, although there’s no microSD card slot to add more. A 12-megapixel rear camera and 2.1-megapixel front-facer are also included. Everything runs off a 1860mAh battery, thanks to the more efficient CPU.

Software

The Galaxy Alpha will come with the latest version of Android to be fully released, which is 4.4 KitKat. An upgrade to Android 4.5 L seems a given, judging by Samsung’s past record in upgrading their mid-range and high-end handsets.

The phone will run the same TouchWiz UI as the Galaxy S5, with a number of nifty features added on top of the stock Android experience. You’ll get the ability to run two apps side-by-side, a comprehensive camera app loaded with modes and more Samsung apps than you can shake a stick at. The built-in fingerprint sensor is another nice feature, allowing you to sign into your phone with a (careful) touch of your finger.

It’s a strong selection, and while some might prefer a cleaner experience, if you’re looking for features then you can’t do much better than Samsung’s latest.

Summary

The Galaxy Alpha looks to be a surprisingly capable phone, and one of the best looking handsets that Samsung have ever released.

Links

Signing off

Thanks for checking out the article and the phone! Be sure to let us know if you’re going to pick up the Galaxy Alpha, or tell us why not! You can reach us in the comments below, or on Twitter @mobilefun.

The Nexus returns: Nexus 6 “Shamu” rumour roundup

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

After nearly a year of radio silence, it now seems likely that Google will release a new Nexus smartphone in the coming months. That smartphone will be called the Google Nexus 6, and it may be the last of its kind.

Before we get into the rumour roundup proper, let’s take a step back and see why the Nexus program was started in the first place – and how it’s evolved since its inception.

A potted history of the Nexus program

The Nexus program began in 2010, with the Nexus One smartphone. It was designed to allow Google to present an pure example of their Android operating system, unmarred by modifications by third-party manufacturers, allowing these partners to better make the next generation of Android devices.

With the release of the Nexus 4 in 2012, Google offered another benefit: leading-edge hardware at a near-cost price. That made the Nexus 4 a firm favourite with Android enthusiasts, who recommended the handset to their friends and family as a good way to get into Android. The Nexus 7 tablet and Nexus 5 smartphone continued this trend, offering an excellent hardware package at a very reasonable price. Both devices sold well, even while supplies remained tight and advertising minimal.

The success of Google’s Nexus program paved the way for two things: low cost smartphones running pure un-skinned Android, like the Motorola Moto G, and Google Play Edition devices, which were conversions of existing flagship phones to run Google’s stock OS.

While these new additions were appreciated by enthusiasts (and their audience of more mainstream users), no new Nexus devices were released after the Nexus 5 in 2013. Rumours began to appear about a new program, Android Silver, in which Google would run considerable ad campaigns in exchange for greater control of Android running on their partners’ flagship devices. It sounded like the days of good value Nexus devices was at an end, to be replaced only by high-end examples.

For the first half of 2014, this was our reality – it didn’t look like any new Nexus devices were coming. But as July has turned into August, a new series of leaks and clues has emerged, suggesting the release of at least one more Nexus device is on the horizon.

Nexus 6 rumour roundup

Here’s what we know so far. The next Nexus will be made by Motorola, and is known under the Shamu codename – an aquatic theme reflected by the entire Nexus series (e.g. Grouper, Hammerhead, Mako).

If the information leaked so far is accurate, the phone is set to be the largest Nexus device yet made, with a 5.2-inch screen at a industry-leading 2560 x 1440 resolution. The phone looks impressive internally as well, with a next-generation Snapdragon 805 quad-processor at its heart backed with an Adreno 420 GPU and 3 GB of RAM. A 13-megapixel camera sits on the rear of the device, while a 2.1-megapixel front-facer completes the imaging arrangements.

Of course, a Nexus phone wouldn’t be complete without a new, pure version of Android, and that’s exactly what we find here. The phone has been recorded as running Android L, which is currently available as a developer preview for the latest released Nexus phone, the Nexus 5.

The Nexus 6 is likely to be released this autumn alongside Android L. September seems the earliest potential date, but a release in October or even November is also possible. The Nexus 5 was released in November 2013, so releasing before a year has elapsed would seem an obvious target… not to mention a release in time for the Christmas rush.

The Nexus 6 looks like an exciting return for the Nexus program, particularly if Google are able to keep the price down to their usual Nexus levels. If the Nexus program is dying, best that it goes out with a bang.

Signing off

We’ll continue to bring you more Nexus 6 news as it becomes available, and of course we’ll have a full range of cases and accessories for the phone once it is announced or leaked more fully.

Thanks for checking out the article, and be sure to let us know if you’re planning to pick up the Nexus 6.

Spigen announce iPhone 6 cases ahead of official launch

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

The iPhone 6 is coming soon, and Spigen are wasting no time in getting cases ready for the hotly anticipated handset. The Korean company has already produced a range of iPhone 6 cases, and they look fantastic. Let’s see what they’ve announced so far!

Spigen have prepared four cases for the iPhone 6 in multiple colours, making for 18 unique combinations. These are:

Each case looks to fit the new 4.7-inch iPhone 6 perfectly, with all of the features of the phone looking exactly as rumoured. The cases include cutouts wherever necessary to keep all elements of the phone easily accessible. That includes a lock button on the right hand side (moved from the top) and a headphone jack on the bottom of the phone (moved from the top). There’s even a window for the Apple logo on the back of the phone, so you’re able to wield your newly enlarged model iPhone with as much style as the original.

The cases are a perfect style match as well, with some gorgeous metallic colour options on the table. The dark gunmetal gray is definitely my taste, but the other options – silver, gold, blues, greens and blacks – are also fine choices that’ll allow your iPhone 6 to stand out from the crowd without losing the industrial elegance that Apple bake into each of their phones.

No matter your budget, there should be a Spigen iPhone 6 case that’ll suit ya. The Thin Fit and Thin Fit A are two lower cost options, with a thin, lightweight build that emphasises convenience over protection – although you’ll still find good scratch resistance and light impact resistance here. The standard Fit comes in metallic colours and has a window for the Apple logo, while the Fit A comes in more colourful shades and doesn’t include the window.

The next step up is the Ultra Hybrid, which is available as a simply transparent case that allows the industrial design of the iPhone inside to shine through. The case adds protection without changing the look of the phone, and this makes it one of our most highly recommended covers for the iPhone 6. There are other opaque colours following the same design, too.

The top end of the lineup is the Spigen Tough Armour, which provides unparalleled protection for the as-of-yet unannounced iPhone 6. Air cushion corners are able to absorb even the mightiest of impacts, while a 1.5mm lip around the periphery of the screen ensures that no harm can come to the screen from knocks and bumps. Despite this protection, the Tough Armour remains one of the lightest cases on the market – not a bad combination at all.

All of these Spigen cases and more will be coming soon for the iPhone 6. For more information, please visit the product pages linked below once again:

Thanks for checking out the article and be sure to let us know what you think of the cases in the comments below! You can also reach us on Twitter @mobilefun or on Facebook at Love Your Mobile.

Index of Coming Soon