Huawei Nexus 6P and Watch got new designs

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Huawei is one of the first to introduce their new products at CES 2016. First, some new designs.

Huawei built Nexus 6P was rumored to have a gold color option and now it’s true. The gold option will be available soon in the US for the same price as the other colors, $449 for 32GB and $499 for 64GB.

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Huawei also updated the Huawei Watch that now has a ladies option. The new version is called the Watch Elegant. It has a narrower watch band, gold plated body and textured bezels. The second new option is called the Watch Jewel and it adds 68 Swarovski crystals to the bezels for extra bling. There’s no information about pricing yet.

Source: CES coverage around the internet

ZTE’s Axon Max is a 6″ phablet

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ZTE Axon Max brings a 6″ Super AMOLED display and a huge battery in mid-range price. 

ZTE has launched a 6″ phablet that resembles the Huawei Mate 8. The 6″ Super AMOLED display has a Full HD resolution and it’s protected by 2.5D glass. The body is made out of aluminum-titanium alloy and the back features plastic antenna insulators on top and bottom, 16MP camera, fingerprint scanner and a single speaker. The front facing camera has 13 megapixels.

The inside specs are also quite impressive. The Snapdragon 617 SoC is supported by 3GB of RAM and a giant 4140mAh battery which is charged via a USB Type C connector. The MiFavor 3.5 UI runs on top of Android 5.1.1.

The first Axon Max devices ship at the end of the year in China for 2799 Chinese yuan (~$430). Availability in other markets is unknown but other Axon devices are sold in America and Europe.

The Axon Max impresses with its battery capacity and the Super AMOLED display. Lately we have seen new manufactures using AMOLED panels and its good to see. A Full HD Super AMOLED in this price range is a rare and welcome sight.

Source: BusinessWire

HTC One A9 is an iPhone with Android

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HTC has released the One A9, a new flagship smartphone. With the A9, HTC renews their smartphone strategy.

You can’t hide it, so let’s say it first, the One A9 looks exactly like an iPhone. It’s only thicker, camera is placed on the middle, the fingerprint scanner is not circular and the Apple logo is an HTC logo. HTC of course doesn’t admit that the design is inspired by Apple.

The A9 packs a 5″ Full HD AMOLED display, 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 617 SoC, 2 or 3GB of RAM, 16 or 32GB of storage and a tiny 2150mAh battery. The physical size is almost the same as the One M9 at 145.75 x 70.8mm but the thickness has come down by more than 2mm to 7.26mm. The HTC signature Boom Sound speakers have made way to a fingerprint scanner and the single speaker is now located at the bottom. The cameras are 13 and 4MP. The rear camera has OIS and the front facer uses the Ultrapixel technology.

HTC claims is that the One A9 will get all the Android updates within 15 days of Nexus devices. Now that’s the way all the Android manufacturers should go. The A9 ships with Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

It’s good to see more and more manufacturers to use AMOLED displays. It’s the technology of the future. HTC probably chose it not only because of it’s better image but also because of the lower power consumption and thinner physical size. The Snapdragon 617 was an obvious choice because of its Quick Charge 3.0 capabilities and lower power consumption compared to 808 or 810.

The pricing is very interesting. HTC has decided to sell the A9 for $399 in the US but in UK it costs £429 which is $660. It looks like a strategy to get the reputation back in the States by selling it cheap. Hopefully the Europe pricing comes down quickly because the device has some potential. The A9 will be available in November in five colors: Carbon Gray, Opal Silver, Topaz Gold and Deep Garnet.

Source: HTC Blog, One A9 product page, HTC in Twitter

BlackBerry Priv goes official with Android and qwerty keyboard

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BlackBerry has released the anticipated Priv smarphone that runs Android and has a physical qwerty keyboard. An official video shows the keyboard in action.

BlackBerry Priv has been rumored a lot. An Android smartphone with a physical keyboard and up-to-date specs was an interesting fantasy, and now it’s true. The Priv has a curved 5.4″ QHD AMOLED display, Snapdragon 808, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, microSD card slot and a huge 3410mAh battery. All this has been packed to a body that measures at 147 x 77.2 x 9.4mm in size and 192 grams in weight.

The official video shows the keyboard in action. The keyboard slides out in portrait mode and is tightly packed to the width of the display. The typing experience is mostly similar to the previous BlackBerry devices. It has the same touchpad functionality that the Passport has and can be used as a touchpad to scroll or select predicted words.

The BlackBerry Priv is available for preorders in UK for £579 ($894) and shipping starts on 6 November. The Priv is a very important device to BlackBerry. If it succeeds, BlackBerry is back in the business, if it fails, BlackBerry might be gone. From the user’s perspective the Priv is maybe a bit too late. The virtual keyboards are getting better and faster to type on and the true need of a physical keyboard is mostly gone. Hopefully the Priv will launch world wide soon, so that we can see how it does.

Source: BlackBerry

Pixel C brings Android to Pixel lineup

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At the Nexus event, Google also unveiled an Android-based tablet called Pixel C. The premium tablet competes with Surface and iPad Pro. 

So there’s no Nexus tablet this year. Instead we get the Pixel C, a Google designed and built premium tablet running Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It has a 10.2″ 2560x1800p LCD display, NVIDIA Tegra X1 SoC, 3GB of RAM and a USB Type-C charging port. The industrial design is inspired by previous Pixel products with boxy angles and understated details. The bezels are relatively large and the back has the light bar previously seen in Chromebook Pixel. The bar shows battery charge when double tapped.

The keyboard is a paid accessory but a major selling point. It connects with strong magnets and can be adjusted to an angle between 100° and 130° without a kickstand. The keyboard charges wirelessly when folded against the tablet and doesn’t need to be charged via cable.

The Pixel C starts at $499 and the keyboard costs $149. Both will be available for holidays.

Source: Google

Nokia C1 Live Photos

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Last week we had some fan made renders of the upcoming Nokia C1 but now we have live photos confirming the design. 

The photos are posted to a Chinese website called CNMO. The photos confirm the design and the fact that Nokia is going to add a light skin on top of Android. The settings menu does not look completely stock Android design. The phone runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

The original post also suggests that the phone is not going to pack the 720p display but a 1080p Full HD one. The display size stays the same at 5.5″.

Nokia sold their phone and smartphone brand to Microsoft in 2013. They can return to smartphone markets in the second half of 2016. The phones will be manufactured in China by Foxconn.

Source: CNMO (Chinese)

Android 6.0 Marshmallow confirmed

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Google has just announced more information about the next Android version. New version is, little surprisingly, Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Google has revealed the name of Android M. The name was released when the new Android sculpture was revealed at the Google headquarters. At the same time Twitter started flooding pictures about the sculpture and Android Developers released a post in their blog. The post releases the official Android 6.0 SDK and the final Android M preview.

Android 6.0 is going to launch with the upcoming Nexus phones that are rumored to be announced at the end of September or early October. Android 6.0 features for example native fingerprint scanning and USB Type-C support, user manageable app permissions and better all-around performance.