LG G2 mini Officially Announced By LG Ahead of MWC 2014

LG has revealed the earlier rumored LG G2 mini smartphone ahead of Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona on 24th of February, powered by a Snapdragon 400 or Nvidia Tegra 4i and boasting a 4.7-inch screen.

Both the Snapdragon and Nvidia chipset version have the Quad-Core CPU clocked at 1.2 GHz, sporting 1 GB of Ram, along with the 4.7-inch qHD having a 960 x 540 pixels resolution and running Android 4.4 KitKat alongside LG’s Optimus UI. LG also claims to release dual-SIM and non-LTE versions as well.

The handsets will also be powered by a 2,440 mAh battery, 8 GB of storage space which can be expanded with the help of microSD card support and the design also reflects its bigger brother, the LG G2, having the back positioning buttons placed below the 8 MP rear camera.

The handset color range spans between white, black, gold and red, having LG planning to release the handset in March in Russia. The rest of the world is said to see the handset rolling out on their market starting this April.

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Archos’ First LTE Smartphones To Debut At CES 2014

Archos has revealed some 4G LTE smartphones that the company is thinking of showing at the upcoming CES 2014. Namely, the Archos 45 Helium 4G and 50 Helium 4G are Archos’ first LTE smartphones which will be released on the market. Both devices will have Android 4.3 pre-installed, with a future upgrade to Android 4.4 undergoing development. The smartphones also boast a 1.4GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm processor, an Adreno 305 GPU, 1080p HD video capture, and 1GB RAM.

The Archos 50 Helium is going to be a higher-end handset, having a larger 5-inch 720p HD LCD display, 8-megapixel camera, and 2-megapixel front-facing camera. It also has a 2,000 mAh battery and a higher price tag of $250 off-contract to go with it. The Archos 45 Helium 4G is said to be an entry-level handset, having a smaller 4.5-inch display with a 854×480 FWVGA resolution, a 5-megapixel main camera, a VGA front-facing camera, and a smaller 1,700 mAh battery. The more budget Helium is reported to have a price tag of $200.

If you haven’t associated Archos with smartphones, you’re not alone. The company is better known for audio and video equipment, with its newer tablet and smartphone efforts more active in European markets than in the US. While these two rise to the top of Archos’ portfolio, they’re positioned to bob around the midrange in terms of their features and specs.

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Leaked Pictures Reveal The Upcoming Oppo R1 Handset

There has been word that the Chinese manufacturer Oppo is planning to release a new Android-based handset under the name of “Oppo R1”. It appears that some new leaked images of the upcoming device have leaked online.

The Chinese market is expected to see the mid-ranged flashgrip, that is expected to provide a premium feel, in the near future. The Oppo R1, being the next in line from the Oppo R-series, is said to bring an improved camera, and rumors are that it will arrive in stores with a 8-megapixels on the back side with an f2.0 aperture. GizChina reports that the camera should be similar to the Meizo MX3 flashgrip recently released on the market.

At the same time, the upcoming Oppo R1 should arrive on shelves with an all-glass construction, as well as with an anti-fingerprint coating, which should keep its body clean even when heavily used. The same as other R-series smartphones from Oppo, the forthcoming handset is expected to be powered by a Mediatek processor. It will sport a quad-core MT6589 CPU, it seems. The specifications list of the new mobile phone also includes support for two SIM cards at the same time, along with micro SD memory card slot for expansion purposes.

The handset hasn’t been officially confirmed as of now, but rumor has it that it will be launched before the end of this year. Furthermore, it is expected to cost around ¥2,000 or around $329 / €239 / £ 201 when made available. The same as other Oppo smartphones, the new device will be powered by Google’s Android operating system, but no specific info on the actual version of the platform has been provided as of now. Keep an eye on this space for additional details on the matter.

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Jolla Unveils Its Very First Sailfish OS Powered Smartphone

A few Nokia employees that left the company to continue their own work, named Jolla, have been working behind the scenes for some time now and they did not take long to come out with something. They have been working on a smartphone powered by the Sailfish OS, their very own operating system, and now it’s time for them to make it official. The Jolla phone was announced in Finland and the first 450 units are available to those who pre-ordered them.

The Jolla team partnered with Finnish carrier DNA for a low profile launch as had earlier been indicated and is starting small with plans to partner with a major UK carrier in coming days said to be in advanced stages and the team has also announced that the device will still be available in other markets. The device’s pre-orders were made in 136 countries world-wide.

Jolla smartphones have a 4.5-inch IPS qHD display with Gorilla Glass 2, a 1.4 GHz Dual-Core Snapdragon CPU, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal memory expandable via a microSD slot, an 8-megapixel camera with LED Flash on the back and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. In terms of connectivity, the handset covers the GSM, 3G and 4G internet connectivity. The phone measures a 131 x 68 x 9.9 mm casing and comes with a 2,100 mAh battery.

Running on Sailfish OS, the Jolla phone enjoys the new platform’s Meego-based open source nature that makes it easy to port Android apps. Jolla had previously announced that its Sailfish-based smartphones will ship with Yandex.Store as the default app store. Yandex is a Russian Android app store that boasts of over 85,000 apps with all popular apps available. Jolla also licensed Nokia’s HERE Maps to be the default maps and navigation application across all Sailfish-based devices.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfAixpkzcBQ[/youtube]

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Image and video courtesy of Tech Weez

Samsung Launches The Galaxy Grand 2

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Grand 2 mid-range device and it looks like it offers most smartphone features as the Galaxy Note 3. The original Galaxy Grand, which predated the Galaxy S4, is credited with kicking off the budget 5-inch class device category, drawing crowds away from even the more expensive Galaxy Note series.

The 146.8 x 75.3 x 8.9 mm handset weighs about 163 g and features the same faux-leather pattern on its back-panel as the Galaxy Note 3, but lacks an S-Pen. It has a 5.25-inch screen and boasts a display resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, and aesthetically speaking it looks bigger and slightly sharper than its predecessor. It also comes with a 8-megapixel back camera with auto-focus and LED flash, and a 1.3-megapixel front-face camera.

In terms of specs, the Galaxy Grand 2 has a Quad-Core CPU @ 1.20 GHz, 1.5 GB of RAM, and 8 GB of internal memory that’s expandable by up to 64 GB using micro-SDXC. The device is powered by a 2,600 mAh battery and does not support 4G LTE, having only HSPA+ at 21.1 Mbps.

The Galaxy Grand 2 ships with Android 4.3 “Jelly Bean,” which comes with most of the same Samsung apps that the Galaxy S4 comes with, including Story Album, S Translator, S Travel, Sound & Shot (camera mode), Samsung Hub, Group Play (audio only), and Samsung Link (Chromecast-like).

No pricing available for the device just yet, but it should as soon as it hits the shelves.

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Mid-Range HTC Desire 500 Launched In The UK

HTC has launched today its mid-range Desire 500 handset and is available at the Carphone Warehouse website. It appears that Carphone Warehouse has exclusivity over the white version, and will also sell the Desire 500 in the standard black.

The Desire 500 comes with a quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 CPU, 1GB of RAM and an 8-megapixel rear camera with HTC’s ImageChip tech. Looking on the front side we can see a 4.3-inch display having a 800 x 480-resolution and a 217 ppi. The handset comes with 4GB of internal stroage, expandable via microSD by up to 64GB. It runs on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and as you might expect, the Desire 500 runs HTC’s Sense UI, with the same BlinkFeed home screen reader found on high-end HTC phones.

Carphone Warehouse online store is selling the HTC Desire 500 at on-contract prices starting from £15 per month, and a very reasonable SIM-free price of £199.99. Anyone interested should head on over here for more details on prices and availability.

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