Android 4.1, Jelly Bean!

 

Google has started pushing out Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to Galaxy Nexus smartphones globally and we expect more devices running on the latest version of Android in the coming couple of quarters or so. Along with the roll-out, Google has also published the complete change-log of what’s new in Jelly Bean in detail. Hit the break below to find out.

 

Accessibility

  • With Jelly Bean, blind users can use ‘Gesture Mode’ to reliably navigate the UI using touch and swipe gestures in combination with speech output.
  • With the new accessibility focus feature, you can move a cursor between controls to maintain a target for the next action or a source for the next navigation event. You can double tap anywhere to launch the current item with accessibility focus.
  • Text traversal in accessibility now gives you more control – choose to move between pages, paragraphs, lines, words or characters.
  • Talk-back, a screen-reader for Android, now supports gestures to trigger actions, to navigate applications, and traverse text.
  • Get full support for braille accessibility services (download BrailleBack on Google Play).

Android Beam

  • With Android Beam, you can now easily share your photos and videos.
  • Instantly pair your phone or tablet to Bluetooth® devices like headsets or speakers that support the Simple Secure Pairing standard by just tapping them together.

Audio Accessories

  • Support for USB audio docks, shipping later this year.

Browser and Web View

  • Browser has improved performance, CPU and memory efficiency. With better performance for animations and HTML5 canvases and an updated JavaScript Engine (V8), pages load faster and feel smoother.
  • Browser now has better HTML5 video support, and has a new user experience. Just touch the video to play and pause, and smoothly transition into and out of full-screen mode.
  • Browser now supports the updated HTML5 Media Capture specification on input elements.
  • Web View now supports vertical text, including Ruby Text and other vertical text glyphs.

Calendar

  • Calendar is more buttery. Content fades in, animations are sprinkled throughout, and swiping/paging between days is smoother.
  • Calendar will now display event colors if you’ve given your event a color on your PC.
  • The ‘Today’ button on the action bar now shows the current day. When viewing an event’s details, you can now email all the guests with a single tap.
  • Notifications for upcoming events now display more of the event description to let you quickly see relevant details without having to open the app.
  • Notifications for upcoming events now let you email all the guests without opening the app, and you can choose a quick response such as “Be there in 10 minutes” or type your own.
  • A new option in Calendar settings lets you create your own default quick responses for emailing guests.
  • You can now snooze an upcoming event reminder right from the notification.
  • Calendar has a new 7″ tablet layout that is optimized for the form factor.
  • When viewing Calendar in portrait orientation on tablets, you can hide or expand controls to give you complete control over how you view your Calendar space.
  • Calendar will now remember whether you’ve chosen to hide or expand controls so you have a consistent experience viewing Calendar whenever you open it.

Camera and Gallery

  • You can now swipe from the camera viewfinder to quickly review photos you’ve taken without having to leave the camera app. You can swipe back to the camera viewfinder to start snapping photos again.
  • When viewing photos in Gallery, you can pinch to zoom out to enter “filmstrip mode” and rapidly review photos. When viewing photos in filmstrip mode, you can swipe up or down to delete an individual photo. You can also undo the delete with a single tap.
  • When taking a photo, a new animation sweeps your photo off the screen. There is now a new paging animation when swiping between photos
  • Camera features a new animation for switching between the front-facing and back cameras.
  • When focusing on an object in Camera, a new animation gives you visual feedback on your focus state.
  • Gallery features a new animation when selecting a photo from within the album view and back.

Data Usage

  • You can now dismiss a data usage warning without changing the data threshold set for warning notifications.
  • Disable background data usage on certain Wi-Fi SSIDs by designating them as mobile hotspots.
  • Android now automatically detects when one Jelly Bean device is tethered to another’s WiFi hotspot, and intelligently enables or disables background data usage on the SSID.

Face Unlock

  • Face Unlock is now faster and more accurate, and start-up is smoother with a new animation.
  • You can improve face matching accuracy by calibrating your face in different conditions and with different accessories (e.g. hat, glasses).
  • Face Unlock can now optionally require a ‘blink’ to verify that a live person is unlocking the device rather than a photo.

Internationalization

  • Jelly Bean adds support for bidirectional text and more input languages to make the platform accessible to more people around the world.
  • There is improved support for Arabic and Hebrew, including a new Arabic font, in the platform.
  • You can now enter text in one of 18 new input languages, including Persian, Hindi and Thai. Additional Indic languages Kannada, Telugu, and Malayalam are now supported by the platform.
  • Emoji from Unicode 6.0 will now render when received or viewed.
  • If the system language is set to Japanese, Japanese specific versions of glyphs will now be properly rendered.

Keyboard

  • The platform’s dictionaries are now more accurate and more relevant.
  • The language model in Jelly Bean adapts over time, and the keyboard features bigram prediction and correction.
  • You can now switch languages quickly with the dedicated language selector key on keyboard.
  • You can use custom keyboard input styles for more than 20 languages, with keymaps for QWERTY, QWERTZ, AZERTY, Dvorak, Colemak, and PC styles.
  • You can choose the input styles that you want to use for each keyboard, and use a hotkey to switch between them while typing

Messaging and Talk

  • New notifications display the full text of incoming SMS messages. When receiving an MMS, you can view the full photo in a notification.
  • When entering recipients for an SMS or MMS, a new UI collects recipients as chips, making it easier to compose messages.
  • Talk features a new notification style.

Notifications

  • You can now take action on notifications directly from the redesigned notifications shade.
  • Notifications from the same application are grouped together, and the first item is automatically expanded. You can also pinch notifications to expand or collapse them.
  • You now get an image preview in notifications after taking a screenshot. You can quickly share the screenshot directly from the notification.
  • You can lock automatic display rotation from the notifications shade on 7″ tablets.
  • For Wi-Fi only devices, quickly see the SSID of the access point you’re connected to from the notifications shade.
  • You can now touch-hold a notification to identify the application that created it and turn off notifications from that application if needed, as well as uninstall the application.

Networking

  • Wi-Fi protected setup is now supported with WPS push button and PIN support.
  • A new setting lets you stay on mobile data and avoid nearby Wi-Fi networks with poor connections.

News and Weather

  • News and Weather is updated to improve freshness and power consumption.

People

  • The People app is more buttery with smoother animations and improved search performance.
  • The People app now retrieves high res photos automatically for Google contacts with public Google+ profiles and displays higher res photos (720×720) on certain devices.
  • High res photos set on Google accounts will be backed up and synced across devices.
  • The People app has a new 7″ tablet layout that is optimized for the form factor.
  • You can now quickly add your favorite contacts to a home screen, directly from the contact’s details page.
  • The People app helps you organize your contacts and reduces duplicates with an Improved auto-joining algorithm.
  • You can now clear the frequently contacted list from the favorites tab in the People app.

Phone

  • When you miss a call, a new notification lets you return the call or reply by SMS with a single touch.
  • Incoming visual voicemails are displayed in a new notification that lets you play the message with a single touch.
  • When a call is ongoing, a new notification lets you hang up the call with one touch.
  • As part of Project Butter, the dial pad is more responsive. Call log scrolling is buttery smooth, and swiping between tabs in Phone is quick and fluid.
  • You can now clear your frequently contacted list in the favorite tab of Phone.
  • You can now add phone numbers from the call log to existing, read-only contacts.

Settings

  • Accounts are now displayed in the primary Settings view so you can easily see all the accounts you’re signed into on your device.
  • You can now easily access all Google Privacy Settings in one place by selecting your Google account from Settings.

System

  • Device encryption is now more reliable, and periodically reminds you to decrypt your device. Now, SMS messages and calls are declined when waiting for decryption.
  • You can long press the ‘Power Off’ option in the power menu to boot your device to safe mode.
  • A new ‘Reset app preferences’ button lets you quickly reset default applications for specific activities, background data restrictions, notifications suppressions, and more.
  • A redesigned dialog with larger icons lets you intuitively choose your preferred application for specific activities.
  • Google Apps Device Policy on your device may now override the ‘keep screen awake’ option from developer settings.

Text-to-speech

  • Jelly Bean introduces a new conversational text-to-speech voice in US English, available as both a network engine and an embedded engine via the TTS API.

Voice Typing

  • A new embedded speech recognizer lets you use Voice Typing even when you don’t have an Internet connection.

Widgets

  • Jelly Bean makes it easier to personalize your home screen. As you place widgets on the screen, everything else automatically moves to make room.
  • When they’re too big, widgets resize on their own. If you choose to resize a widget, apps and widgets will now also move out of the way.
  • You can now quickly remove apps or widgets from any home screen by picking them up and flinging them to the edge of the screen.
  • Launching apps and returning back home are now faster and smoother.
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Top 10 Cheapest Computers In The World

During the PC era in the 1980s, you had to spend $3,000 or more for a computer. Today, you can buy a notebook that’s hundreds of times more powerful than the original IBM PC for well under $400, but many people around the world cannot afford it. A new generation of low-cost tablets, USB-sized computers and miniature motherboards can put an entire world of computing power in the palm of your hand for as little as $25. This is a major step towards equipping students with computers and creating a whole new generation of programmers in developing countries.

Raspberry Pi ($25)

Raspberry Pi flaunts high-performance video and graphics on a single-board computer. It can even run popular video game Quake III and play back full HD video using HDMI. Raspberry Pi is a single-board computer developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention of stimulating the teaching of basic computer science in schools. The Foundation offers two versions, priced at 25 and 35US$.

Aakash 2 ($40)

The Aakash 2 tablet, the improved version of the original Aakash slate, will be updated with the latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system within six to eight weeks after the device is shipped .Aakash 2 is a more ramped up version with a 7-inch capacitive touch screen, a 700 MHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor and a 3200 mAh battery — notably, specs that are almost twice as good as the original project blueprint. It gives users access to the Android Market apps ecosystem. Connection methods include WiFi and GPRS. Picking up this slate will cost you either $40 or $60

VIA APC 8750 ($49)

VIA APC 8750 is the answer to the Raspberry Pi: an ARM-based neo-ITX system running Google’s Android operating system. This tiny, bare-bones PC measures 17 x 8.5 cm and can be plugged directly into a TV or monitor, or stuffed into the undersized chassis of your choice (a standard Mini-ITX or microATX, for instance).

The device runs Google Android 2.3 (for mouse and keyboard input), and is powered by an 800MHz clock processor with 512MB of RAM and 2GB of NAND Flash graphics. You also get VGA and HDMI display ports, HDTV support, four USB 2.0 ports and a microSD slot for expandable storage on the undersized device.

DataWind Ubislate 7 ($60)

Late last year,Indiaannounced a noble project to the world: The country would create the “world’s cheapest tablet computer,” intended for students and offered at the lowered price of $35, and later on in stores for $60. Available as of October 2011, the Aakash — eventually called the Datawind Ubislate 7 on retail availability — features a 366 MHz Connexant CPU, 256 MB of RAM and 2GB of storage (expandable via microSD).

Instead of a capacitive touch screen, however, the tablet has a 7-inch resistive LCD display, runs on the Android 2.2 operating system and has access to the Getjar market instead of the traditional Android Market. Though it notches a rather short battery life of three hours — and even shorter when you’re playing HD video — the endeavor is still an altogether laudable one for a population where most commercial tablets have simply been out of reach.

Mele A1000 ($70)

The Raspberry Pi folks have been getting a lot of attention for their $35 PC with an ARM-based processor and support for some open source software. But as the cost of computer components continues to drop, the Raspberry Pi is hardly the only inexpensive PC capable of running Linux.

The Mele A1000 is a system that sells for $70 and up and which features a number of components that the Raspberry Pi lacks — including a SATA port, a case, and a faster processor. It is an ARM PC that runs Android 2.3 originally, but can be tweaked to run Ubuntu Linux as well. It’s powered by the ARM-based Allwinner A10 chip and a 1.2 GHz Cortex A8 ARM core processor. Graphics-wise, a MALI400MP OpenGL ES 2.0 GPU is onboard, and if you ever get the itch to run apps on a TV, the Mele A1000 can handle this task with aplomb. The device also features an SD card slot and USB ports for additional attachments, along with an external SATA port and Ethernet. Computer tweakers, start using your imagination.

MK802 ($74)

The MK802 is an inexpensive device with an Allwinner A10 processor, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of storage. It looks like a USB flash drive, but it’s basically got all the workings of a tiny computer designed to run Google Android — including a USB port which you can use for a keyboard or mouse and an HDMI port for a TV. The MK802 supports 802.11b/g/n WiFi and has an ARM Cortex-A8 single core processor with support for HD video playback in a variety of formats including MP4, H.264, and WMV.

Intel NUC (>$100)

A diminutive new computer platform has been unveiled by Intel, they call it the “Next Unit of Computing” (NUC). Whether it’s a mini Mac Mini or a big Raspberry Pi depends on your own perspective but it does seem to slot somewhere between those systems in size and pricing. The NUC will feature Thunderbolt connectivity, 2 x mini PCIe headers, 2 x SODIMM slots, HDMI and USB 3.0. Initially, the engine of the NUC will be a SandyBridgei3 or i5 combined with Intel HD 3000 graphics. Without looking at any benchmarks you can see that the NUC will be very powerful compared to the significantly smaller 700MHz Raspberry Pi. The bare board also looks a lot more complicated. When buying a NUC box you will have to pay multiples of the RasPi’s price, a bare NUC is estimated to retail in the region of $100. The first NUC computers are expected in the second half of this year, said to be aimed at kiosks and under TV applications.

Aionol Novo 7 ($120)

Aionol Novo 7 is a $120 Android tablet. The slate features a 1024×600 IPS display, 8GB of Flash memory (expandable up to 16GB via microSD) and 802.11 b/g/n WiFi. Even better, it’s run by a 1.2-GHz ARM Cortex processor and comes dripping in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, so you should be able to watch movies, play popular casual games and surf the Internet with ease — up to its rated battery life of 8 hours, to boot.

CuBox ($135)

With 1080p video playback and infrared remote-control compatibility, the tiny CuBox is crying out for a place in the living room. Unsurprisingly, the typical use for the $135 box is as a media centre or set-top box. But the CuBox, which supports various Linux distributions including Ubuntu and Debian, has more tricks up its sleeve – able to function as a thin-client device, software development platform or as part of network-attached storage setup. The CuBox is no bigger than two inches in any direction and draws no more than three watts of power from its 5V power supply.

BeagleBoard-xM ($149)

Striking a nice balance between price and power, the $149 Beagleboard-xM is the platform of choice for many home-brew electronics and robotics projects. Powered by USB, the BeagleBoard-xM is open-source hardware designed to offer laptop-grade performance and expandability packed into a device just over three inches across.

The board – which supports a range of operating systems including Linux, Risc OS and Windows CE – is suited for use as a low-cost PC or a development platform, with 512MB allowing for software multitasking and compilation of large bundles of code. BeagleBoard can support equipment ranging from sensors to electric motors, making it well suited to controlling electronics and robotics. The devices are being used as a processing unit in projects to develop an autonomous ground vehicle, unmanned aerial vehicles and even a robot postman.

OTHER OPTIONS

There are many other amazing computers which can give a stiff competition specification wise to those in the top 10 but I have not included them in the top 10 since they are priced a little higher than those in the top 10 list. Now let us have a close look at some of these options.

PandaBoard ES ($180)

Like the Pi but with a bit more grunt under the hood and a higher price tag, the $180 PandaBoard ES is suited to both PC user and developer. The diminutive board is based on an open-source hardware design, and can run several flavours of Linux, such as Ubuntu and the Android OS. Support for a range of add-on boards allows the device to drive motors, run sensors and power LEDs, or anything else an electronics or robotics enthusiast might want to do. Among other things, PandaBoards have been used as media centres streaming 1080p, as control units for robots, as a wearable computer, to run a gesture-control interface, and as a general-purpose Android dev tool. Hobbyists and new users will benefit from the active online community collaborating on PandaBoard projects and sharing tips on its use through wikis, mailings, videos and chat channels.

Cotton Candy ($199)

If you thought the Raspberry Pi was tiny, then check out the Cotton Candy, a computer that fits onto a USB stick. Billed as the smallest computer in the world, the Cotton Candy is designed to be a computer you can carry in your pocket. The $199 Linux-powered machine is simple and only needs a USB port for power and a HDMI-compatible display to operate. It can be plugged into any computer or device with a USB port, hooked to a display and paired with a mouse and keyboard and it’s ready to go. Cotton Candy’s manufacturers describe it as providing a secure way for people to access cloud services and apps on the move.

Gumstix Overo ($115 – $229)

The Overo boards are the chameleons of computing – just as happy controlling a smartphone-sized touchscreen as they are tracking locations via GPS. The Overo are boards that provide the guts of a computer – such as the CPU and memory – and are then mounted on different expansion boards to change their abilities, allowing them to connect to and control different hardware. However, don’t expect them to do everything a computer can out of the box, as they need to be mounted on expansion boards to add abilities such as hooking up to a display or connecting to Ethernet.

The small size and customizable nature of the hardware has led to Gumstix’s use in a wide range of applications – such as helping control mini-satellites and humanoid robots, as well as being clustered into a supercomputer to track botnets online. Ongoing projects are using Gumstixs to develop real-time computer-vision processing in a wearable system and an e-reader with a flexible display. A community provides wikis and how-tos to bring new users up to speed. Gumstix Overo boards range in feature and price – from the $115 Overo Sand to the $229 Overo FE COM – with expansion boards ranging from $27 to $129.

What Will Be the Best Android Phone of 2012?

 

The year 2011 was all about “dual core”, becoming the standard for high-end smartphones. And we have all witnessed what superphones like the Samsung Galaxy S II, DROID RAZR MAXX, and others are capable of. These phones are five times more powerful than anything released last year, and for this upcoming generation of devices, even more.

So, what next? This year, chip-makers have come forth with quad core processors supporting mobile multitasking comparable to the performance of a desktop computer of a few years ago, powered by Tegra 3 SoC’s and TI’s OMAP equivalent. More cores equal more power and a faster smartphone; certainly they are likely to offer increased power savings and a performance increase in the range of 300-500%. And, they actually have power saving features embedded in them too.

NVIDIA Tegra Product Roadmap

And the players include HTC, Motorola, Sony, Samsung, LG, and Meizu. We will look at the devices they are bringing to market one by one.

HTC

HTC might be launching the first quad-core smartphone in the market among the smartphone manufacturers. Dubbed HTC One X, it will run on NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 having four cores (and a fifth, companion core for less demanding tasks) clocked at 1.5GHz allowing the processor to simultaneously run multiple sets of program instructions. Along with this, the battery life will increase two fold. With 1GB of RAM will be at your disposal, along with 32GB of built-in memory, this mammoth device will offer a 4.7″ screen with 720p HD resolution; big-screen junkies should be happy.

HTC One X Specs

  • 8MP camera unit with 28mm, f/2.2 lens
  • 4.7″ screen with 1280×720 HD LCD Display
  • NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 quad core clocked @ 1.5 Ghz
  • 32GB of built-in memory
  • 1GB of RAM
  • Android 4.0 ICS

Other specs include an 8MP camera unit with 28mm, dual shutter f/2.2 lens, capable of capturing 1080p videos will be present as well. Bluetooth 4.0 is expected on board, along with the rest of the usual connectivity. The HTC One X will, reportedly, be only capable of 21Mbps HSDPA network speeds. In the software department, we can be all but certain to see Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box. The Edge will also most likely come with Beats by Dr. Dre as well, for bass-fanatics, too. A number of new HTC content services are also expected like HTC Listen Music, HTC Read, HTC Watch and HTC Play. The HTC One X is expected to hit the market between March and April this year, and is likely to be one of the first quad core smartphones on the market.

MOTOROLA

Now, for Moto, if we are to believe the rumors, is gearing up with its Tegra 3 based devices lined up for the launch in the Q2 2012 and might be unveiled during MWC 2012. After the Motorola DROID RAZR and the Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX, the phones have been codenamed as Motorola Bullet and Motorola Jet. Supposedly the Bullet will be a straight-up slate, while the Jet will be a QWERTY slider. Aside from the absolutely unstoppable and drool-worthy 3300mAh Quad core powered Motorola Atrix 3, very little in the way of rumors have surfaced over the past few months, Motorola seems like they are quite content with their current line-up, but this is likely to change quickly. You know how it goes, things change rather quickly in these here parts.

Motorola Bullet

The Bullet is a candy bar style 4.3″ qHD (960×540) phone, packing a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, and most likely 1.5GB of DDR2 RAM. It will also feature 16GB of on-board storage, an NFC chip, and a redesigned image sensor to capture amazing photos and HD video on its 12MP camera. It’s also alleged to be launching before its keyboard brethren, the Motorola Jet.

Motorola Jet

The Motorola Jet 4 will be adored by the Android QWERTY lovers and sports a smaller 4″ display, brandishing a qHD (960×540) display with an amazing QWERTY keyboard from its cousin Motorola Droid 3.  Thankfully, it will be sporting the same Herculean hardware as its keyboard-less cousin, the Bullet, and will feature a 4″ qHD 24-bit screen, Tegra 3, up to 1.5GB of DDR2 RAM, 16GB on-board storage, same newly designed 12MP camera as the Bullet, NFC chip, and a fully redesigned 5 row (perhaps) style sliding keyboard.

Some also reported that Motorola is getting quite serious about putting world class image sensors in their upcoming phones, giving consumers the power to capture fast, awesome HD photos and video in low light. So, with Motorola making this a major focus, it’s looking like the chance of us being able to put our dedicated digital camera away sooner than we thought. Plus, with the promised processing power of the quad core Tegra SoC, it’s theoretically possible that these devices will be able to capture 60fps + at 1080p. Judging by the image above it looks like both devices will be running on Verizon’s 4G LTE – since they aren’t releasing any more 3G only devices – and both phones have the “Verizon” logo, and on the back there is the “4G LTE” logo. Here’s to hoping they find a way to get great battery life on 4G LTE.

SONY

The Arc was one of Sony Ericsson’s (soon to be just Sony) best smartphones last year. While it lacked dual core goodness, it was slim, as it was supposed to be, since most of their competition had phones like that already, and it was stylish. Design is still one of Sony’s strong suit, but it doesn’t go well with thick phones, which is how most of their phones still are. But they will be pushing other slim phones in 2012.

Sony Xperia S

Sony Xperia S Specs

  • dual core 1.5 Ghz Snapdragon chip
  • 4.3″ 1280×720 HD display
  •  1 GB of RAM
  • 32 GB of storage
  • 1750 mAh battery
  • 12 MP rear camera

Sony will be debuting the Xperia Ion this year, which is packing a dual core 1.5 Ghz Snapdragon chip, a 4.3″ 1280×720 HD display, 1 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage, and a 1750 mAh battery. Also, it packs a 12 MP camera with full HD recording and HDMI port.

The Ion is not only proof of that, but it’s also a bit of proof that Sony Ericsson finally understands that they need to be on the edge with hardware specs, too. From what we’ve seen, it appears that Sony is taking the smartphone market very seriously, and is positioning themselves in 2012 to become a lot more competitive.

SAMSUNG

The giant Korean company, maker of the Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy S2, is poised to be a leader in this particular superphone death-match. Samsung’s phones and tablets have used ARM, Snapdragon and Tegra chipsets, but the manufacturer’s semiconductor division is working hard on the next generation of its own Exynos line of systems-on-a-chip. They are testing possible processors like the Exynos 5250, which isn’t quad-core, but rather a dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 processor. Samsung seems to be confident that the Exynos 5250 can produce benchmarks and performance competitive with a quad-core processor. Or it may even go with the 32 nm quad core Exynos 4412 (based on Cortex A9) having the same clock speed of 1.5 GHz.

One of the latest renderings of the Galaxy S3

Samsung Galaxy S3 Specs

  • 1GB/2GB of RAM
  • 4.6 inch 1280×720 AMOLED display
  • under 9mm thin
  • 12MP rear camera, with W750 BSI CMOS sensor
  • 1.5Ghz quad core (potentially dual core, but unlikely)
  • Multiple variants to be released to support different carriers
Samsung has some tough choices to make. According to our very own Lucian Armasu:
“The “safest” rumor about the Galaxy S3 has been that it has a quad core 1.5 Ghz processor, most likely based on Cortex A9. While that will certainly be competitive this spring, I don’t think the competitive edge will be that big for the Galaxy S3 to maintain the lead in performance for too long.”

If we take into consideration the specs of the device, the talks which are in the air reveal that the Galaxy S III’s design will be different from the current design of the Galaxy S series, and will thinner in size than its ancestor, the Galaxy S2. Samsung might be including 3D (glassless) functionality into the Galaxy S3 line of Android phones. Predictions indicate that it will feature a 4.6” Super AMOLED Plus HD screen, 2GB of RAM, LTE connectivity, running on Android’s latest ICS firmware with Touchwiz – Samsung’s own overlay. Also like its competitors, it might incorporate a 12 MP primary camera (with W750 BSI CMOS sensor) and NFC support.

If Samsung does unveil the Galaxy S3 at Mobile World Congress in 2012, we will see Galaxy S III earlier this May or even in April. If not, then look for it closer to the summer.

MEIZU

Meizu MX with Quad Core Launching in May 2012

Meizu MX with Quad Core Launching in May 2012

Meizu MX Specs

  • Tegra 3 Quad Core @ 1.5 Ghz
  • 1/2GB of RAM
  • 16 GB ROM
  • 8MP Camera
  • 1600 mAh
  • 4 inch LED backlit display

Recently, Meizu CEO J Wong has confirmed that after first gen Meizu MX launched recently, its quad core version will be hitting the market soon installed with the Android Ice Cream Sandwich while it arrives in May 2012. He also confirmed in the official company forum that the second version of the Meizu MX will come with the Exynos processor. There is not so detailed information about the features it will showcase, but it will perhaps have a processor clocked at 1.5 GHz, 1/2 GB RAM, 16 Gb inbuilt memory, 8 MP or higher camera, full HD recording, HDMI port, 4+” LED display and a 1600 mAh battery.

Meizu have gained reputation in China, and their quality and powerful devices are starting to be acknowledged by the West, too, which means that it might not be long until they start selling them to Europe and US, as well struggling against the iPhone.

LG

LG’s new quad core speed demon – the Optimus 4X HD

LG 4X HD Specs: 

  • NVIDIA Tegra 3 Quad-core CPU
  • A whopping 4.7 inches HD Screen (1280×720)
  • 8MP Rear Camera and 1.3MP Front
  • 16GB on a microSD card.
  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box
  • 21Mbps HSPA or LTE depending on region and carrier
  • 2000mAh battery
  • NFC

LG has received a lot of flack for slow updates, and for software that doesn’t perform at its best, all the time. That being said, they still are considered one of the top five, in terms of market share, at least. So it should come as no surprise that LG does not want to stand idly by. Rumors have it that they will be debuting a very powerful quad core device at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. In terms of specs, it seems to match a lot of these other top tier phones that we are looking at, and includes the extremely powerful chipset, Tegra 3, and will feature a high resolution, 4.7 inch display with a resolution of 1280 × 720. We’ve also had its dimensions confirmed by reliable sources that have told us it will be very thin – most likely under 9 mm.

Said to come with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, it will feature a 1.3 megapixel, and an 8 megapixel rear. Other specs include the usual suspects, including Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, 3G/4G/LTE connectivity, depending on the region, and a fairly substantial 2000mAh battery.

These companies are not alone in the game.  Panasonic, ZTE, Huawei and even Fujitsu are also planning to roll out their quad core phones soon, too. So, what are there plans? Let’s check them out!

PANASONIC

When we had the chance to meet with Panasonic at CES, they expressed that they want to internationalize their smartphone business. Panasonic is a borderline legendary company, with some of the greatest experience in the world at making technology. That being said, this is purely a business move. You see, every single Japanese OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) has lost tons of money making TV’s and displays in general (big part of their business before), so it’s only natural that Sharp, Panasonic, Fujitsu and others would want to bring their “A game” and sell their mobile technology on the international stage. Either way, what we are looking at above is the Panasonic Eluga, which is destined for Japan – for now. It’s likely though, and somewhat unfortunately, that Panasonic doesn’t quite ‘get it’, and will likely unveil their premier Android smartphone with only a dual core processor, which is, in a word, insufficient. Either way, they are bringing their expertise to the production of said device, and it will likely be a dust-proof and waterproof device. The last reports we heard indicate that the device has been named the Panasonic Eluga. Still, we simply can’t help but admire at how beautiful its renderings are.

Specs

  • 4.3″ qHD display
  • NFC
  • 8GB of onboard memory
  • 8MP camera
  • Dual-core 1Ghz processor
  • Android 2.3 upgradeable to Android 4.0 ICS

HUAWEI

I’ve said it before, and i’ll say it again. Huawei is the one to watch in 2012. They’ve had quite a bit of success domestically in China, and elsewhere in Europe, and they’re hungry for more. Out of the hundreds of pieces of technology I had the privilege of experiencing, the Huawei Ascend P1 and P1S were the ones that really stood out. Remarkably thin, and built of an extremely strong composite plastic, they both featured an eye popping qHD AMOLED display, and made me want to put my Galaxy S2 back in my pocket.  Dubbed the Huawei Ascend D Quad XL, it’s alleged to be packing a quad core Tegra 3, and all in a super tight, svelte package. What’s not to love? Perhaps the battery life. Time will tell, as with all good things, but from judging the reception the DROID RAZR MAXX has enjoyed with its industry leading 3300mAh battery, major manufacturers better wake up and notice that consumers want long battery life, and, in most cases, are willing to forgo thinness in the pursuit of more road-warrior attuned qualities.

Specs

  • 4.5″ qHD display
  • NFC
  • 16GB of onboard memory
  • 8MP camera
  • Quad-core 1.5Ghz processor
  • Android 4.0x+ Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 2200 mAh battery

Anyway, no matter the number of devices, what we are in the midst of is truly a mobile computing revolution. At the end of the day, we, the consumers, will all benefit. After all, we are going to experience a whole new world of smarter, faster and buttery smooth mobile devices. Any thoughts? Which manufacturer do you think will bring to market the first quad core device? Would you settle for a device with anything less than a quad-core processor?

 

courtesy : http://www.androidauthority.com/best-android-phone-2012-42303/