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Android 4.2

Nexus 7 or the Nexus 10: Which Tablet Should You Get This Holiday Season?

nexus7-nexus10

With the Nexus 7 and the Nexus 10 both being announced within a span of a few months, one would obviously be confused as to which one to get. The obvious first choice will be the Nexus 7 simply because it arrived first in the market. The Nexus 10 has just arrived in the market though, and is certainly one of the best Android tablets ever made. However, the price is in favor of the Nexus 7. So we can understand your confusion, and also realize that most of you are waiting to get the fancy new Nexus tablet this holiday season for yourself or your loved ones. So which one should you get? Read on to make your decision process easier. Bear in mind that some of the features I mention below are highly subjective.

The Nexus 7 is a very handy and portable device as you already know. It also features a more than decent Tegra 3 quad core chipset by NVIDIA, which promises great performance and incredible graphics performance.  However, if there was one gripe I had with the device, it was the lack of a working data connection other than Wi-Fi. Google has now fulfilled that wish too with the updated 3G version of the tablet. The tablet does have a few more shortcomings though. Firstly, it’s one of those devices which isn’t the best looking out there. This is clearly understandable as Google and ASUS had to cut production costs so as to make it available at such an attractive price. This is where the Nexus 10 will be more appealing to tablet lovers. While substantially bigger than the Nexus 7, the Nexus 10 also has a neat body construction with its rubbery back covering (prone to tons of finger prints), and a rounded edge surrounding the bezel area. Hardware wise the Nexus 10 is miles apart from the Nexus 7 too as it features a bigger 10.055-inch display with a resounding resolution of 2560×1600 giving it a pixel density of 300ppi. And yes, this is a tablet we’re talking about here and not a smartphone. With that resolution, the display blows everything out of water.

Now let’s make sure you have your priorities set. If you’re looking for a tablet to just casually read through eBooks and do some web browsing, then the Nexus 7 should fit your needs perfectly. However, if you’re a power user willing to watch a lot of videos and like to play games and surf the web at most times, the Nexus 10 is what you should be looking at. But alas, the Nexus 10 isn’t without its flaws. Google is offering the device for $399 (16GB) and $499 (32GB). While the storage variants aren’t too bad for a tablet, it is the lack of data connectivity (3G or 4G) which comes as a huge disappointment. We see that Google was looking to target a particular price point, but with cellular connectivity on a tablet like the Nexus 10, we personally couldn’t look anywhere else. This is where the Nexus 7 scores over the bigger Nexus, as the 32GB Nexus 7 comes with a 3G variant.

Price too is a major factor to consider. The Nexus 7 starts from $199 for the entry level version, while the top end 32GB 3G variant costs $299. The Nexus 10 has only two variants as we mentioned above. But considering the price to features ratio, we have to go in favor of the Nexus 10. Simply because a bigger screen real estate means there’s so much more one can do with the device. A 7-inch tablet feels a bit crampy, especially if you’re used to iPads or other big sized tablets. On the other hand, you do have the luxury of carrying it around wherever you go due to its form factor, which is something you can’t do with the Nexus 10. So if you’re seeking an ultra portable media device, the Nexus 7 (with 3G) is the perfect gadget for you. And for this reason, we would recommend you go for the Nexus 7 first and then perhaps invest in a Nexus 10. Although both the devices don’t function completely different from each other, there are some tweaks made to Nexus 10 which sets it apart from the Nexus 7. Nexus 10 is as close a tablet can get to a PC, so it comes highly recommended if you plan on typing a lot of documents. The Nexus 7 is for your leisure time reading eBooks and other media with some moderate gaming or social networking on the side.

So let us know what you’ll be getting this holiday season. I’m sure existing Nexus 7 owners are already contemplating getting a Nexus 10. Are you one of them?

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RCA Internet Music System Is Powered By Android 4.2, Costs $178

The Android operating system is usually being used in mobile devices and rarely in home appliances. RCA however decided that a stereo system would have better features with Android on-board which is why we now have the RCA Internet Music System. It looks like any ordinary home audio system with 20 watt Bluetooth speakers which can be used by other devices, a CD player, and an FM radio. What’s unique about this stereo is that it uses a 7-inch Android tablet   as its touchscreen controller.

RCA Internet Music System

The RCA Internet Music System is currently available at Walmart and is selling for $178. The 7-inch Android tablet that’s built-in the audio system is where all the action occurs. Consumers will be able to stream music from Google Play Music, Pandora, or any other online music provider. Videos coming from YouTube, Netflix, and Google Play Movies can also be viewed from the touchscreen display.

Technical Specifications

  • 1.2GHz Dual Core processor
  • 1GB of system memory
  • 7″ touchscreen, 800 x 480 resolution, virtual keyboard
  • Built-in 802.11b/g/n WiFi
  • Front 0.3MP webcam
  • 4GB on-board storage memory, additional memory via SD card slot
  • 2 speakers
  • Up to 4 hours of run time on a full charge
  • Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)
  • Android browser and Google Play (for applications)
  • Android Music Player

The 7-inch tablet can also be detached from the stereo itself and used as a stand-alone device. Compared to other similar tablets in the market today the one used by RCA isn’t that great at all having a resolution of only 800 x 480 pixels. It does have one important feature that most tablets don’t and that is it can be used as a controller for a home stereo system.

Navigating the menus of the Internet Music System is easy since consumers will only need to touch the display.  It even has access to the Google Play Store which allows for the downloading of apps. For those who don’t want to constantly go to the audio system to change the FM station or skip to the next CD track then the tablet can be detached and used as a remote control using Bluetooth connection. You can also use the included 27 button IR remote control but then it isn’t able to control some Android specific activities.

For those who love to watch movies on a larger screen there’s an HDMI port which can be used to hook-up a larger TV.

In terms of sound quality the stereo system provides a relatively loud sound from its 20 watt speakers. Since the speakers have a Bluetooth feature a smartphone, tablet, or laptop can connect to it and use it as an output device.

Overall, the RCA Internet Music System is interesting equipment that aims to bring Android functionality to stereo systems. It may not be the best Android device or the best stereo system available n the market but by combining both it is able to provide a unique experience to consumers.

via wallmart

Android distribution chart from April shows continued growth

April Marketshare

April Marketshare

It’s that time of the month again when Google publishes its Android marketshare figures to give users and developers a better idea of how Android versions are faring. Expectedly, the chart from April reveals that Android 4.4 KitKat grew from 5.3% in March to 8.5% in April. This is a strong pace of growth for Android and an indicator of things to come. Thanks to Google making KitKat slightly less straining on devices by lowering the hardware requirements, we’re seeing an increasing number of smartphones, both midrange and high-end, getting the latest update.

Android 4.1-4.3 is now down to 60.8% from 61.4% the last time these figures were recorded, so it is clear that most devices are making the switch from Jelly Bean as well. The good news for Google is that relatively older versions of Android like Android 2.2 and 2.3 now have only 17.2% marketshare between them, with the number rapidly shrinking. All that being said, there’s still a long way to go before the ghosts of fragmentation are eliminated completely. But it’s good to see the platform making steady progress.

Source: Android Developers

Via: Phone Dog

Top five dirt-cheap China-made Android smartphones worth your while

No way to escape from it, no reason to want to in the first place and no way to deny it. The age of the uber-cheap smartphones is upon us and, before you know it, the ruthless spec wars will be replaced by price and bang for buck wars.

android-in-china

And we owe it all to a group of ambitious, up-and-coming mobile phone manufacturers based in China. A few of them in Taiwan. But mostly in China. Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE, Oppo, Meizu, Coolpad, Xiaomi, they’re all looking to make it in the Wild West, and the only winning card they have against heavyweights such as Samsung, Apple, Sony, LG or HTC is affordability.

Even better, affordability sans too many corners being cut. True, gadgets conceived by the above are still few and far between on most West European or American store shelves. Which is why we’ve compiled a little guide featuring five of their best low-cost handhelds available in the US of A.

Lenovo Huawei ZTE

And by available, we mean up for grabs via a legit, trustworthy retailer or third-party Amazon seller. Unfortunately, our list is light on sub-$200 smash hits like the recently unveiled Xiaomi Hongmi, Huawei Honor 3X or ZTE Redbull. But surely you’ll find $240 or $260 is not a lot to ask for these budget-conscious powerhouses:

5. Huawei Honor 3C – $255

Damn import taxes! Were the Honor 3C to land stateside at a price point comparable to its retail value in China, the 5 incher would have no doubt topped our list. With ease. I mean, $255 is pretty decent, but $130 is outright unbelievable.

Granted, design ain’t 3C’s strongest suit, with an odd, much too squarish chassis making it look, well, repugnant. However, the spec sheet is impressive, and I’m sure many of you care about hardware more than aesthetics.

HUAWEI-HONOR-3C

There’s a quad-core 1.3 GHz MediaTek chip inside the hood, 1 GB RAM, spacious 2,300 mAh battery (considering the razor-thin profile), plus the display boasts 1,280 x 720 pixels (aka HD) resolution. Oh, and the cameras are beauts, packing 8 and, get this, 5 MP sensors. With LED flash on the rear. Not bad, huh?

4. ZTE V987 – $217

Stuck on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and unlikely to ever get promoted to KitKat, the 5-inch handheld also known as the Grand X Quad is in many ways similar to the Honor 3C. Nearly identical. But it’s cheaper, so it was this close to making the podium.

ZTE-v987

The juicer is larger too, at 2,500 mAh, which is no easy feat since V987’s profile is skinnier. On the not so bright side, the MediaTek CPU is clocked a little lower (i.e. 1.2 GHz), and the front snapper isn’t exactly ideal for selfies, thanks to a mediocre 1.3 megapixel count.

3. Huawei Honor 2 – $188

Clearly older than the 3C, the second-gen Honor (aka Glory 2) trumps its spin-off as it’s bizarrely both cheaper and punchier. Too bad it’s so old, having seen daylight in October 2012, and barely upgraded to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, with no KitKat in sight.

Huawei-Honor-2

But boy oh boy, is the hardware config a whopper given Honor 2’s price range. 2 GB RAM?!? I actually double and triple-checked that tidbit, as I didn’t believe it was possible. Yet it is. Also, Huawei’s homebrewed K3V2 processor may well outperform MediaTek’s low-cost SoCs.

And yes, I realize the smaller footprint (4.5-inch panel here, not 5 incher) could be deemed an inconvenience by many. In my book though, a compact form factor is an upside, and so is superior pixel density – 326 ppi.

Huawei-Honor 2

Ending things on a low note, let’s mention Huawei’s Honor 2 measures 10.5 mm thick and tips the scales at 145 grams, which doesn’t quite spell sophistication.

2. Lenovo S930 – $244

I won’t lie to you, one of the reasons I saved two Lenovo devices for the top spots here is I trust them probably more than Huawei, ZTE, Xiaomi and Meizu combined. They really mean business, taking over for Google as Motorola’s management, and I reckon they’re the biggest Chinese threat for Samsung and Apple’s shared world domination.

Of course, brand reliability and awareness isn’t everything in this business, so good thing the S930 is a well-balanced gizmo spec-wise too. Personally, I’m no fan of gargantuan 6-inch phablets. But I get why people love them.

lenovo-s930

Now, the S930 is big, has a massive 3,000 mAh battery keeping the lights on, a quad-core 1.3 GHz MediaTek chip, 8 MP rear-facing camera, 8 GB built-in storage, microSD card slot, dual SIM support, Dolby Digital Plus sound enhancement system (neato), and pre-loaded Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, with a 4.4 KitKat bump imminent. That’s what I call bang for buck.

1. Lenovo P780 – $235

It doesn’t take an in-depth knowledge of the mobile tech world to tell what P780’s main selling point is: mind-blowing autonomy. Courtesy of a 4,000 mAh battery (sic), the 5 incher can supposedly last a record-breaking 25 hours in continuous 3G talk time and 840 hours (!!!) in stand-by on a single charge.

Lenovo P780

All-day battery life? How about all-week battery? The 1 GB RAM and 8 MP primary shooter definitely help P780’s cause, proving it’s not just a stellar slab endurance-wise, albeit the VGA front cam and 4 GB on-board storage are disappointing.

So is Android 4.2 Jelly Bean… at the moment, though I bet KitKat is close by. Now what say you come up with a sequel priced around the same mark and easier to find outside of Asia, Lenovo? It doesn’t even have to be branded as a Motorola to pique or interest. Would you or would you not go nuts about something like that?

ViewSonic ViewPad 10i Is A Tablet That Dual Boots Windows And Android

Can’t decide on whether to get a Windows or an Android tablet? Why not get a device that runs both? Meet the ViewSonic ViewPad 10i, a 10 inch tablet that can runs on Microsoft Windows 8 and Google Android 4.2. It’s got a price tag of $530 and is now available in several online stores.

ViewSonic ViewPad 10i

ViewSonic ViewPad 10i Technical Specifications

  • Screen size: 10.1 inches capacitive touch screen, multi-touch screen
  • Operating system: Android 4.2 + Windows 8 dual system
  • Processor :  Intel Celeron N2910 Bay Trail Quad-Core
  • System Memory: 2GB
  • Storage capacity: 64GB SSD Solid State Drive
  • Screen resolution: 1280×800
  • Network mode: does not support 3G network
  • Camera: dual cameras (front: 2MP, rear: 2MP)
  • Weight: 650 g
  • Battery: 7000mAh about 6 hours
  • WiFi features: 802.11b/g/n wireless protocol
  • Availability: November 2013
  • Data interface: 1 × USB2.0 Micro
  • Storage media: SSD Solid State Drive
  • Screen Description: capacitive touch screen, multi-touch screen
  • Sound Technology: Built-in speaker
  • Product Positioning: Business Tablet PC

This isn’t the first dual booting tablet released by ViewSonic as the company released the ViewPad 10Pro last 2011 which was able to run Windows 7 and Android 2.3. The difference between both devices is that this newer model has more powerful hardware specifications, updated software, and comes at a lower price.

As far as specifications goes the ViewSonic ViewPad 10i is more than capable of handling anything thrown at it. The quad core Intel Celeron N2910 processor has a rated speed of 1.6GHz and when combined with 2GB of RAM should be able to provide a smooth end user experience on the Android system. On Windows 8 this should also be able to provide a relatively smooth operating experience.

Who should get this device? This is the best solution for consumers who need specific apps on both platforms. In Windows for example one of the important software is Microsoft Office while in Android there’s the Google Play store to get tons of different apps.

The price of this device might be on the high side however there aren’t a lot of devices in the market today that sports a Celeron N2910 and dual boots between Windows 8 and Android 4.2.

via androidpc

How to Connect the Wiimote to Galaxy S3

wiimote to galaxy s3

wiimote to galaxy s3

A question was recently sent to us via The Droid Guy Mailbag which reads:

“I am a fan of Android games. I found your articles about connecting the controllers of various game consoles into Samsung Galaxy devices quite interesting especially the guide about connecting the Xbox 360 to the Samsung Galaxy S4 for gaming.

Okay, here’s my question, I have a Wii which I am no longer using so I’m just wondering if there’s a way to use it with my Galaxy S3?

Your answer would be very much appreciated.

Thanks.”

Connecting the Wiimote to Galaxy S3

Using the WiiMote with your Samsung Galaxy S3 is very easy. All you have to do is download and install the Wiimote Controller app. You can find this in the Google Play store. The good thing about this app is that it does not require a rooted device. This makes it easy and safe to use according to the feedbacks of people who used the app.

The only downside of this app is that it only has limited support with Android phones. Based on the description of its developer in Play store, it does not support newer Samsung Galaxy S devices. Some users of Galaxy S2 and S3 phones confirmed in feedbacks and comments of various forums though that the app worked for them.

In addition, it is not compatible with phones running Android 4.2 and higher versions due to the changes in their Bluetooth components said its developer.

Now going back to the connecting the Wiimote to Galaxy S3, once you have installed the app, just open its icon in your apps menu. Ensure that your Bluetooth is activated during this point. Then, press option number which says “Init and Connect” and press any button on your Wiimote to initiate the pairing. Test the buttons of your Wii controller to check if it has been connected successfully. After that, download any game emulator compatible with your Wii remote from the Play store.

That’s it, you can now play your favorite retro games like Super Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog, Megaman and other supported games.

Email Us

For more questions about Android devices, email us at [email protected].

AT&T HTC One X+ getting Android 4.2.2 update later this week

One X+Users of the HTC One X+ received bad news recently when it was announced that the smartphone will not get software support beyond Android 4.2. This was largely due to the chipset used in the smartphone (NVIDIA Tegra 3) and not a lot to do with HTC, but it was obvious that people were blaming HTC for the whole issue. HTC is now reporting that the last of the updates will arrive later this week on the AT&T variant of the One X+.

According to a tweet sent out by an HTC executive, the update has received technical acceptance from AT&T and that it should start making its way to devices later this week. This update will also bring Sense 5 to the mix which should be a nice change from the stock Sense 4 UI on the Android 4.1 running HTC One X+. This is probably the last major Android update the smartphone is going to see, so if you still own the One X+, make sure you check for an update later this week. HTC will only start seeding the update later this week, so don’t be surprised if you don’t see a notification pop up immediately.

Source: @moversi – Twitter

Via: Android Community

HTC Netherlands Confirms One X+ Is Not Due for Android 4.4 KitKat (Updated with More Bad News)

They say no news is good news, but plenty of otherwise verifiable proverbs and axioms are overturned in the mobile tech décor, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise silence is more often than not ominous in terms of Android updates.

HTC-One-X+

Take HTC’s One X+, the confusingly named big brother of the One X. Or the underwhelming little brother of the HTC One. Since it was never immensely popular and its makers are known for providing shoddy (and we’re being kind) software support, an Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade always seemed like a long shot.

Still, as the 4.7-incher celebrated its one-year birthday a measly two months back, the phone’s unfortunate owners couldn’t help but hope. And wait. HTC kept its 4.4 update timetable on the hush-hush though, with no moles or tipsters coming forward with any shred of positive speculation.

Ultimately, a gloomy confirmation on HTC’s part looked unavoidable, and alas, it’s here. In response to an eager HTC user seeking high hope validation, the company’s Dutch branch issued a short statement on Twitter a few days ago, which goes a little something like this: “We can confirm the HTC One X+ will remain on the current software version, Android 4.2.2 and Sense 5.”

In other words, no 4.3 bump for you, no 4.4, not even Sense 5.5. By extension, this most definitely means the older One X and One S are not getting any love beyond 4.2 Jelly Bean either. Bummer? You can say that again, albeit you’d think surviving HTC fans would know what to expect by now.

android-kitkat

Intriguingly, an HTC official suggested just last week 4.3 is headed for the AT&T-branded One X and One X+ in the near future. So which is it after all? Maybe both. Maybe only US versions of the pair are due for leaps to the next Android build. In which case Ma Bell users have a (one in a million) shot of also scoring KitKat.

Or maybe HTC Netherlands’ Twitter handler messed up. It’s also possible, albeit not probable, we’re reading too much into a no doubt deliberately vague statement. In the end, I wouldn’t suggest you hold your breath for a chocolaty treat. Unless of course you’re comfortable flashing unofficial ports and whatnot.

Meanwhile, let’s try to keep in mind at least the One, One mini and One max have guaranteed 4.4 support, with OTAs likely to roll out starting later this month. Also, rumor has it the trio will nab an upgrade to 4.4’s sequel, regardless of it being codenamed 4.5 or 5.0. Too little to take HTC seriously going forward? I for one think so, but feel free to disagree in the comments section below.

Later edit: UK hopes have been officially quashed, also via Twitter, for both the One X and One X+. HTC’s British branch initially supplied the bad news in response to a user’s question, issuing a full statement soon after:

“We can confirm that the HTC One X and One X+ will not receive further Android OS updates beyond Android 4.2.2 with Sense 5. We realize this news will be met with disappointment by some, but our customers should feel confident that we have designed both devices to be optimized with our amazing camera and audio experiences.”

There you have it, official and set in stone. No KitKat heading your way on either the One X or One X+, probably regardless of where you live. There’s still an outside chance select markets are due for an Android 4.3 Jelly Bean bump, but aside from the AT&T versions in the US, I wouldn’t get my hopes up. Also, let’s be honest, who cares about 4.3 at this point? HTC let down its fans again, and we are no longer sorry their financial health is spinning out of control.

Via [HTC Netherlands Twitter], [Android World], [The Verge], [HTC UK Twitter]

Unannounced Barnes & Noble BNTV800 Nook Tablet Spotted at GFX Bench with Nvidia Tegra 4 SoC

It’s no secret Barnes & Noble is in a similar financial pickle to BlackBerry when it comes to its hardware manufacturing division, as the Nook line of e-readers and tablets seems but a paltry rival for Amazon’s Kindles at the box-office.

nookshd

B&N has struggled greatly to clear Nook HD and Nook HD+ inventory in recent months, appealing to numerous promotions, discounts and so-called special offers in a desperate attempt to become relevant in an ever-competitive tablet landscape.

Only nothing’s worked so far, which is why the news of the book retailer looking to outsource upcoming Nook gizmos caught essentially no one off guard. But then B&N had a sudden and quite inexplicable change of heart, the brand new Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight e-reader saw daylight and now a full-fledged fresh Nook tab is pretty much confirmed as well.

No idea how this thing is to be called, but its ties with previous Nook generations are made crystal clear by the BNTV800 model number. Mind you, last year’s Nook HD is internally known as BNTV400, whereas the Nook HD+ is numbered BNTV600. Hence, monikers such as Nook HDX (a la Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX), Nook HD Ultra or Nook HD Plus Plus (I’m going a little overboard, I know) are likely in the cards.

BNTV800

The question of “when” (as in when will it start selling) should be on everyone’s lips, not “if”, as the BNTV800 is surely real and coming soon, since someone bothered to take it for a quick benchmarking spin through GFX Bench.

As usual, the test’s database is generous with inside information, revealing the no doubt skinned version of Android running on the fourth-gen Nook tab will be based on 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. Even more importantly, there seems to be a quad-core 1.8 GHz Nvidia Tegra 4 CPU beneath the hood, increasing the thing’s raw speed over 2012 Nooks by leaps and bounds.

Remember, the 7-inch Nook HD came packing a modest and now no longer in production dual-core 1.3 GHz TI OMAP 4470 SoC, and the 9-inch HD+ touted the same mediocre chip, only running at a slightly higher 1.5 GHz clock speed.

BNTV800-2

As for the still somewhat nichey Tegra 4 platform, try to keep in mind that, while it’s a little hard on battery life, it’s pretty much as chipper as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 CPU, found inside the latest Kindle Fire, not to mention light years ahead of the S4 Pro powering the Nexus 7 2013.

Then again, it’s not fair to pit the BNTV800 against the N7 2013 yet, as Barnes & Noble’s size preferences remain a mystery. There’s a good shot the 7-inch Nook will get a direct heir, but I wouldn’t rule out the new tab being a 9-incher either. Or maybe there are two versions in the works again.

In any case, GFX Bench’s screen resolution listing can’t really clear the air, being an odd 1,620 x 1,008 pixels. Could that be UXGA (1,600 x 1,200) with on-screen buttons? Possibly, but be sure to take it with a pinch of salt.

Via [GFX Bench]

T-Mobile releases Android 4.2 update for the Sony Xperia Z

T-Mobile Xperia Z

T-Mobile Xperia Z

T-Mobile has finally started rolling out the Android 4.2 update for the Sony Xperia Z smartphone. The handset broke cover earlier this year at the CES event, but only made its way to T-Mobile a few months ago. The Xperia Z is one of the many water resistant smartphones launched by Sony this year, and it’s good to know that the smartphone finally has the update, although quite later than expected. The update is more than an year old now as it launched with the Nexus 4 in late 2012, and we’ve already had two major updates available since then (Android 4.3 and Android 4.4), so it’s not particularly a major update by any stretch of the imagination.

There’s an aura of uncertainty over the future of the Xperia Z on T-Mobile although Sony has promised full software support for the entirety of its 2013 flagships. As this is a gradual rollout by T-Mobile, it will stretch until the 18th of December, so users are advised to remain patient. Check for an update manually over at the settings if you haven’t received an update notification yet.

Source: T-Mobile

Via: Cult of Android

Low-Cost Galaxy S4 Active (GT-I8580) Surfaces Online, Likely Launching Soon with Android 4.2

You know there’s a rumor going around that Samsung is working on an improved Galaxy S4 Active with Snapdragon 800 power? Well, as it turns out, the S4 Active has become quite the (sleeper) hit, since Sammy is apparently ironing out the kinks of yet another variation of the device as we speak.

Galaxy S4 Active mini

Only this one, model numbered GT-I8580, will essentially be for the original S4 Active what the S4 mini is for the Galaxy S4. Namely, a watered down version, with inferior hardware, a smaller screen, but the same exact design language.

Yet it’s going to be real hard to call the I8580 the GS4 Active mini, what with it sporting a 4.65-inch display that was not long ago considered gargantuan. Meanwhile, as far as the “inferior hardware” part goes, this fellow is as diminutive as it gets, packing an unnamed dual-core 1.2 GHz SoC (with Adreno 305 GPU, so maybe a low-clocked Snapdragon 400) and 1 gig of RAM.

And don’t even get me started on the panel, which will be quite cringe worthy, at an 800 x 480 pixels resolution and 200 ppi pixel density. The cameras are the icing on the cake (or, you know, the complete opposite), featuring 5 and 0.3 MP sensors, whereas the software department is one of very few strong suits here, as Android 4.2 Jelly Bean runs the show.

Given Tenaa, China’s FCC equivalent, reveals the GT-I8580 will share the physical key arrangement and layout of the S4 Active, chances are the upcoming mid-ranger will have a couple of ruggedized features, specifically (mild) protection to water and dust.

GT-I8580

It should also be fairly elegant and skinny, measuring 9 mm in thickness and tipping the scales at 135 grams. Plus, even if we haven’t seen it get FCC’s stamp of approval, an international launch, especially a European one, is definitely in the cards.

When might that happen? We can’t know for sure, albeit with Tenaa and Bluetooth SIG giving the green light and GFX Bench taking it for a short benchmarking spin already, it can’t be long.

The two remaining questions are how the phone will be named (GS4 Active mini sounds like a joke given the dimensions here), and whether or not people will be interested. Will you? And how much should Samsung charge to help seal the deal? $300? $250? Hit us back with a comment.

Via [Tenaa], [Bluetooth SIG], [GFX Bench]

Best Sub-$100 Android Tablets From Companies You’ve Actually Heard Of (Or Should Have)

The whole world revolves around money. But money can’t buy happiness. What we have there is two universally accepted old sayings that contradict each other without leaving much room in the middle. So which one’s true after all?

piggy-bank

How about neither? If you’re a geek like me (and you won’t be here otherwise), I’m sure you can find pleasure in things that don’t require to pay an arm and a leg and therefore make you, pardon my French, money’s little bitch.

At the same time though, the tablets I’m going to tell you about, which can make you happy beyond your wildest dreams, can’t be scored without a little bit of dough. Namely, a Benjamin, give or take.

Without further adieu, I thus give you the top five Android tablets up for grabs for 100 bucks or less. Top five tabs that are manufactured by companies you’ve actually heard of or should be hearing of starting now.

100-dollar-bill

And I don’t mean obscure China-based clone makers that are trying to start over and build a new reputation, but instead genuine businesses legitimately on the rise or already among the industry’s top dogs.

5. Hisense Sero 7 Lite

I know, the name Hisense probably doesn’t ring many bells or inspire a lot of trust, especially upon hearing the company works out of China. But so do Lenovo, Huawei or ZTE and I don’t see you giving them such a hard time.

Besides, Hisense has never had any sort of involvement in Shanzhai, aka the booming pirated brands and goods Asian business, and its $13 billion 2012 revenue proves the company is here to stay. Plus, they have quite the reputation in Europe when it comes to white goods and they’re a state-owned enterprise.

Hisense_Sero_7_Lite

Now, about one of their first meaningful Western tablet efforts. This is called the Sero 7 Lite and its one fatal flaw is it’s only available via Walmart stateside. Other than that, I dare, nay double dare you to find anything wrong with this 7-inch beauty.

Up for grabs for a measly 89 bucks, the Sero offers everything you could hope for in that budget: a dual-core CPU (clocked at 1.6 GHz), 1 gig of RAM, microSD support, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, full Google Play access, Wi-Fi and mini HDMI connectivity.

4. Ematic EM63

Only launched roughly 24 hours ago, the EM63 looks a lot like the Sero 7 from a technical standpoint, but it’s both cheaper, at $85, and easier to score, through Amazon and soon enough a number of other retailers.

ematic-em63

Plus, if you’re still not comfortable with buying a slate from a relatively low-profile Chinese manufacturer, you’ll be ecstatic to hear Ematic is based in California and has an expertise in the tech world of close to two decades.

Bottom line, this is another name you probably haven’t heard of yet, but should remember it for time to come. As for the EM63, it’s equipped with a run-of-the-mill 7-inch 1,024 x 600 pix res screen, runs Android 4.1 out the box and packs dual-core speed and 1 GB RAM.

3. Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet

It may be older than its two contenders so far, having seen daylight two full years ago, but it definitely has the edge when it comes to brand recognition and awareness, coming from a suffering yet respected name in the tech game.

NOOK-Tablet

In terms of hardware, the Nook Tab is lacking in a number of departments, like connectivity, where HDMI is missing, but in others it completely blows the Hisense and Ematic out of the water. For instance, it comes with 16 GB of on-board storage in a version that only costs $99.95 nowadays.

Remember though, the Nook doesn’t technically run Android, but a fork of Google’s OS, which is a little clunky and dusty, as it’s based on 2.3 Gingerbread.

2. Lenovo IdeaTab A1000

Now don’t tell me you’ve never heard of Lenovo. And while the IdeaTab A1000 is pretty obviously light years behind what they call powerhouses, it at least comes with the company’s guaranteed solid build and fairly premium looks.

On the not so bright side, it’s only been a few months since Lenovo rolled this bad boy out, so it’s a little difficult to find it for under $100. Amazon, for instance, currently sells it for $99.99, but my guess is that’s part of a limited-time deal only and it will all go back up to $120 in no time.

lenovo-tablet-ideatab-a1000

What’s clear is that if you’re in the market for a dirt-cheap 7-incher and happen to find this thing around the $100 mark, you should go for it. Granted, it only packs 8 GB of on-board storage and the dual-core 1.2 GHz CPU is not that hot. Yet the looks, pre-loaded Android 4.1 (upgradeable to 4.2), 3,500 mAh battery and 1 GB RAM make it a great overall buy.

1. Asus MeMo Pad ME172V

And the award for best sub-$100 Android tablet goes to the first-gen MeMo Pad, cooked up in the same laboratories as Google’s Nexus 7. Included on our list of best all-around small slates, the ME172V probably needs no introduction, with the sole catch blocking a possible purchase being the cheapest model, available for $90, is… pink.

Asus ME172V

Meanwhile, the white and grey versions go for $105, which is not all that expensive when you think about it. More specifically, when you pit the Asus slate against the IdeaTab A1000 and see the former has an extra 8 gigs of storage, much bigger battery and even better looks, with a skinnier profile and obvious N7 design nods. Bottom line, you can’t do much better than this at such a low price.

Did we forget anything? Include something on the list that wasn’t worth the recognition? What’s your personal top five? Or top three? Let us know down below.

Surprise, Surprise: Dell Has an 8-Inch Venue Tablet with Android 4.2 In The Works

You’ll never guess who we’ve spotted ironing out the kinks of a new Android device, which just happens to be the company’s first such gadget in a pretty long time. No, seriously, you’ll never guess. Unless you cheat and take a peek at our headline, of course.

Dell Venue

Which I know you already did, so without further ado I give you the Android-based Dell Venue 8 tablet. Well, not exactly “give” you, since the gizmo hasn’t been caught on camera just yet. But it’s real, that much is certain, based on a fresh Wi-Fi certification dated September 30, 2013.

What else do we know about this new member of the revived Venue family? Not much. Wi-Fi b/g/n connectivity is a given, naturally, as is the running of Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. The display size is not spelled out, but it should revolve around the “8” figure. Maybe 8 inches, 8.1, 8.5 tops.

Now, if I were to make a guess (an educated one, but still only a guess), I’d say this Venue 8 (model number T02D001) will be powered by an Intel Bay Trail processor. Specifically, either the 1.33 GHz Atom Z3740, or the 1.5 GHz Z3770. No prizes for guessing which of the two I’m currently rooting for.

Interestingly enough, Dell appears to have another Venue slate in the pipeline, namely one built on Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 platform. No idea how the company plans to differentiate the two as far as branding goes, especially with the Windows Venue also running on one of Intel’s Bay Trail chips.

Dell-Venue-2

There are also no words on when that particular 8-incher will go up for grabs, but what’s certain is its panel boasts a fairly run-of-the-mill 1,280 x 800 pixels resolution and is bound to cost $200, $250 max in its basic, “entry-level” configuration.

On that note, we should probably not be all too shocked if Dell tries to Xerox pretty much the same specs and price range of the Windows Venue on the Android flavor. Nor should we look too disappointed, since coming across a solid sub $200 slate in the Google-powered landscape is still quite the impossible quest.

Before wrapping up and telling you, as usual, to visit us again for updates on a very intriguing story, let me put y’all at ease by saying “no, you’re not going crazy”. And no, you’re not imagining things either. A Dell Venue, nay two Dell Venues, one with on-board Android and the other running Windows Mobile, have been out and about back in 2010.

Only they were smartphones, not tablets. And terrible ones at that. Which is why Dell’s wish to resurrect the forgotten brand is puzzling. But hey, maybe second third (and fourth) time’s the charm. Could it be, what do you guys think?

Via [Wi-Fi Certifications]

Samsung rolling out multi-user update to two Galaxy Tab 3 tablets

Galaxy Tab 3 multi user

Galaxy Tab 3 multi userSamsung will apparently roll out the Android 4.2 Multi User update to the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 and the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1. Although these tablets run Android 4.2 out of the box, they don’t feature this stock Android feature which Google introduced for tablets with the Nexus 10 last year. It is not known yet if this update will bump the Android version to Android 4.3.

It’s great to see the multi user update making its way to the two tablets as such devices are usually shared between family members or friends. The revelation comes from Sam Mobile which has accessed a couple of screenshots revealing the new addition. Surprisingly, Samsung seems to have left out the 7 inch Galaxy Tab 3 tablet from this update.

The Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 comes with a 8 inch 1280×800 resolution display, a dual core Exynos 4212 chip with a clock speed of 1.5 GHz, a 5MP camera, a 1.3MP front camera, 1.5GB of RAM and a 4,450 mAh battery. The bigger Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 also comes with a resolution of 1280×800, a dual core 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Z2560 chip on board along with 1GB of RAM, a 3.15MP camera on the back and a bigger 6,800 mAh battery. Several retail outlets in the U.S. sell the Galaxy Tab 3 series of tablets with prices starting from $199 for the 7 inch variant. LTE variants of the tablet cost substantially more.

Source: Sam Mobile

Via: Android Community