New Upcoming Devices Worth Waiting For!

Let me start with an apology for little or no updates in the past few days. It has been quite a mess here in the Blue Bugle planet. It took me a while to get myself updated on what is happening in our industry. Today, I have been looking through my news resources, and one of the upcoming devices that is expected to make an impact is Samsung’s Galaxy Note III—the third installment of the very popular Note series.

Samsung Galaxy Note III

Exactly how popular the Note family has been, one might wonder. Initial update on Samsung website pointed us in this direction: Galaxy Note, the original, did sell about a million units each month to reach a target of five million in March last year. Later on, Korean news source, MK News did report this success continued in the exact fashion—ten million in ten months. The core of that article talks about how Note II, the successor to Note, reached a million sales in South Korea.

Although not close enough to compete with the success of iPhone or Galaxy S family, Note has been and continues to be the most successful of all phablets. Probably this is the reason why Samsung wants to develop Note as a family of products (we had Note 8.0 and real 10 inch tablets in Note family). They are also interested in building phablets larger than Note, for instance. Remember our short look at Galaxy Mega a few days back?

Hence, Note III is well worth waiting for. Although we were not quite impressed with Note II, in which some things could have been better, we are quite confident about Note III, which will probably feature anti-shake camera technology (aka optical image stabilization) as in HTC One or Nokia Lumia 920. ETNews’s article also suggests the camera will probably feature 3x optical zoom.

Although we don’t have an idea of the technical specs of this phablet, over the last few days the Web got all kinds of pictures supposedly of the device. It seems Note is no different from other major Galaxy devices. Check out a few pictures.

Galaxy Note leaked image 1


Galaxy Note leaked image 2


Galaxy Note leaked image 3


Galaxy Note leaked image 4


Galaxy Note III with other smartphones


Galaxy Note III leaked image

Note III’s screen is another aspect. It could in fact be bigger than that of Note II with 5.5 inch Super AMOLED panel. Supposedly, the new Note will include Android 4.3, which is rumored to be under testing. Check out this image, the device codenamed N7200 is recognized to be Note III.

Galaxy Note III benchmark

This makes Note III an awesome smartphone worth waiting for.

Motorola X-Phone (Moto X)

Over the last few days, there have been plenty of rumors regarding this smartphone. Motorola X-Phone is one device that Motorola is depending on this year. Since Motorola is under Google now, the X-Phone will be running the latest of Android, and it is supposed to get all the software updates earlier.

There have been quite a bit of speculation regarding this device and its capabilities. A number of rumors, leaked pictures, and FCC filing sketches have cropped up recently. It is not yet clear to us what the device looks like. Evleaks’s image here may give you some idea:

Motorola XPhone leaked

Also, this filing sketch, submitted to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) gives a bit of an idea of how the device may look like:

Motorola X Phone

As you can see, the serial number given to the device is XT1058. Also, there are a few beautiful designs from artists speculating how X-Phone will look.


Motorola has released an official PR stating the status of the X Phone, which will be named actually, ‘MOTO X’. It will be the first smartphone to be assembled in the United States. Motorola also created this tweet with an image of the map of the location, where Moto X will be assembled. It is in Fort Worth, Texas. Check it out:

Whether or not the devices manufactured in the US will cost you extra money needs to be seen. We know about the Google Glass, made in USA, costing 1500 dollars.


Apple iPhone 5S

The ubiquitous iPhone will probably get an update by the last quarter of this year. We don’t know how it will be named yet, but we have an idea: iPhone 3GS followed by iPhone 3G; 4S followed by 4; and now probably 5S followed by 5. What is this ‘S’? Well, Apple says it is for ‘Speed’. With that ideology, 3GS was a slightly improved version of 3G; 4S, slightly improved from 4; and we should probably expect a slightly improved 5, right? Probably!

Also, with this ideology, one should either look for the more advanced ‘S’ family of iPhones or the regular updated iPhones. One need not buy iPhone 4S if one already owns iPhone 4.

If 5S is only a slight improvement over 5, I, as many people, will be disappointed. iPhone 5 did not include the hardware that could compete with the other phones in the Android market. iPhone 5S cannot be a simple upgrade that includes a few new features. With the leadership change in Cupertino after the last year’s Apple Maps fiasco, design chief Jony Ive now also supervises software design. A significant revamp is expected in iOS 7 that will ship with iPhone 5S. This update is very important for Apple’s strategy this year.

There was one rumor in the last couple of days from that talks about iPhone 5S’s resolution. They believe they got some information stating the iPhone will have double the resolution of iPhone 5. Now, if you read our article here, without a significant screen size increase, this resolution will only have a ridiculous overkill effect. For this reason, we believe either this is a false news or iPhone 5S will include a much larger screen, probably closer to 5 inches.

People have designed their own iPhone 5S, but I will not bore you with these inspiring fake designs. But if the iPhone comes with certain key enhancements, such as NFC, a more powerful processor, more RAM, and a radical improvement to the iOS operating system, then it will be the first iPhone in years to be able to stand out well. Sir Ive’s tactics on hardware design have been enormously successful for Apple. If the new iOS under his aegis also turns out to be mind-blowing, the new iPhone will awe us.

To Be Concluded

Most of the devices that we have been awaiting have reached the market—HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4, Sony Xperia Z, among others. One other improvement that we will get to see is Nokia Lumia 928, the slightly improved Verizon phone. We will publish detailed reviews once these devices come to the market. In the meanwhile, we can only speculate.

Top 5 Most Durable High-end Smartphones You Can Buy

There are a number of factors affecting the purchase of a smartphone, such as the display, operating system, processor power, and price. Among them, I believe durability is also pretty important. There are protective cases for all types of smartphones, although they more or less make the phone look weird. I have never used protective case on my smartphones, although some of them have really needed them.

A few days ago, I picked up one of the most popular smartphones in the industry—Samsung Galaxy S3. I was impressed by the amazing hardware features it offered. However, when I picked it up, I could immediately feel the cheap plastic build of the phone that turned me off a bit. Many of Samsung’s phones lack in build quality, and that is the reason why none of the Samsung smartphones is there in this list. In the low end, probably the only Samsung device that can withstand any wear and tear is X-Cover Xtreme.

The same is the case with Sony. Xperia line of smartphones contains devices mostly of plastic build, save for Xperia P that has an aluminum unibody design.

Compare Samsung devices with those of some other manufacturers in the industry, and you will immediately feel the difference.

There are a number of water-resistant smartphones out there, including the upcoming Sony Xperia Z. However, water-resistance is definitely not the only attribute of durability. How more often do you swim with your smartphone than drop it?

In the following count-down, we have five high-end smartphones, and we will be discussing body-specific features.

6. LG Optimus G & Google Nexus 4

LG Optimus G

Optimus G is LG’s most advanced smartphone to date, and it is built with superb quality. The back of the device is made of tough DuPont Kevlar fiber and it is reinforced with a thin film of Corning Gorilla Glass. You may have heard of Kevlar; it is the same material used for building bulletproof vests.

Google Nexus 4

The smartphone’s display is protected by Gorilla Glass 2. Google Nexus 4 is also manufactured by LG and has similar hardware specifications and build quality. The Gorilla Glass at the back may be susceptible to somewhat rough use. But overall, both of these smartphones are really durable.

Buy Optimus G from Amazon or Best Buy.

5. HTC Windows Phone 8X


The smartest thing about this phone is that it is pretty thin and light-weight. Coupled with its unibody design makes Windows Phone 8X one of the most durable. On the front, you have Corning Gorilla Glass 2, and the back is made of tough polycarbonate, making it suitable for rough usage.

You can get the phone at Amazon or Best Buy.

4. Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD

Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD

In terms of build quality, Motorola keeps a very high standard. Razr Maxx HD is a smartphone with a huge 4.7 inch screen and amazing hardware features. It is also slightly heavier than its competitors. It uses the first edition of Corning Gorilla Glass (the version 2 and now 3 have come out) to protect the display. This makes the glass less scratch-resistant than some other devices out there.

What really separates Razr Maxx HD is its back, which is not plastic or metal. It is made of DuPont Kevlar synthetic fiber as in Optimus G. This doesn’t make the device essentially bulletproof though! It however survives extreme levels of rough usage.

The only disadvantage is that it uses Gorilla Glass 1, and the glass could break on a six-foot drop.

Get Verizon Droid Razr Maxx HD at Verizon Wireless or Best Buy.

3. HTC One

HTC One smartphone

This is an update. HTC One is one of the most awesome Android smartphones to hit the market. It has experienced a drop test too. In an XDA Developers Forum thread, a user accidentally dropped the phone and posted about it. The phone did have a few chips on its aluminum sides. One thing that places HTC One right below iPhone 5 is the fact that it has a regular aluminum body, rather than an anodized aluminum in case of iPhone 5. The front of the phone is well protected with Gorilla Glass and that will not scratch on your occasional drops.

HTC has done a great job with the design of the phone as well. It is one of the most gorgeous Android phones in the market, and could rival the iPhone in terms of aesthetics.

The phone is available at Amazon

2. Apple iPhone 5

Apple iPhone 5

Apple iPhone 5, just as all of the previous iPhone versions, comes with pretty amazing build quality. It is very thin and probably the lightest of all high-end smartphones. Its unibody design is made using anodized aluminum, and it is slightly different from iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, which had their back covered by tough scratch-resistant glass.

We don’t have any indication that Apple is using Corning Gorilla Glass for screen protection. But on multiple drop tests, the iPhone screen didn’t show any sign of wear and tear. However, there have been complaints about scuffs on the edge of iPhone 5 after a few days of rough use. This has been identified by many users. The black ceramic finish of the phone slowly fades away to reveal the underlying silvery aluminum.

Still, we recognize iPhone 5 at the top, because you can drop it from a very tall level and you will still not break the display or the internal hardware. Another important thing is that Apple does have a patent on protecting the device, which does include an orientation device that changes the orientation of the iPhone during a free fall to make sure the phone’s most impact-resistant side hits the ground first.

Buy from Apple or Best Buy (several carrier options).

1. Nokia Lumia 920

Nokia Lumia 920

Nokia Lumia 920 is the toughest of all smartphones out there today. Being the heaviest smartphone could have made Lumia 920 fall behind in terms of wear resistance. However, the thickness of the Gorilla Glass 2 on top of the screen protects Lumia 920 from even tall drops. It has a unibody design with the back made of polycarbonate. Read our review of Lumia 920 which offers scratch and drop tests for the device.

Lumia 920 is available from AT&T (through Best Buy) or Amazon.


Durability is one of the important factors that you should look for on a smartphone. With Optimus G, LG has also proved its presence among the most durable smartphone manufacturers. Apple, HTC, Motorola, and Nokia have always excelled at building phones with high-quality materials. On the other hand, Samsung and Sony have given us somewhat substandard build quality.

[Image: PhoneArena]

What Is So Special About Motorola Razr i?

Motorola Razr i

Motorola does its market research pretty well. That is probably why they released Motorola Razr i to the European market and similar Razr M to the American market. In here, we will see what is so special about Razr i that distinguishes it from other smartphones.

Tech Specs

Here, we are going to compare Razr i with a very similar model, Droid Razr M.

Feature Razr i Droid Razr M
Display Super AMOLED Advanced; 960×540 pixels (qHD); 4.3 inches (256ppi) Super AMOLED Advanced; 960×540 pixels (qHD); 4.3 inches (256ppi)
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass Corning Gorilla Glass
Processor Intel Atom Z2460 2 GHz (single core) Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 1.5 GHz (MSM8960) dual core
OS Android ICS available upgrade to Jelly Bean (4.1) Android ICS (upgradable)
Storage 8 GB (MicroSD up to 32 GB) 8 GB (MicroSD up to 32 GB)
Memory 1 GB 1 GB RAM
Connectivity HSPA 21.1 Mbps LTE available at 21.1 Mbps
Battery 2000 mAh (20 hrs talktime) 2000 mAh (20 hrs talktime)
Camera 8 MP 8 MP
Other features Kevlar body Kevlar body

From the tech specs, you can see one thing is pretty evident. The models differ by only one, albeit important, aspect, and that is the processor. Razr i supports an Intel processor, a rarity among smartphones and tablets. Android smartphones supporting an Intel processor are too few. Earlier last year, Lenovo K800 smartphone came to market with Intel processor; it didn’t quite become a success though.

Intel processors follow a particular architecture known as x86, which is supported only on desktop computers and laptops running Windows, Mac OS, etc. On the other hand, smartphones and most of the tablets are based on ARM Cortex architecture or the slightly different Qualcomm Krait. Processors following these architectures include NVidia Tegra, TI OMAP, Qualcomm Snapdragon, etc.

With Razr i, Motorola is doing an innovation by incorporating an Intel processor on an Android smartphone. This particular innovation has been attempted on other levels as well. You should be able to install Android OS on your Windows desktop PC. Android-x86  has tools and downloads necessary for installing Android on desktop.

Intel Atom Z2460 processor on the phone is clocked at 2 GHz, and it is a single-core processor. However, due to the presence of Intel’s Hyper-Threading technology, the processor has a secondary virtual core (known as a thread). Hence, multi-tasking will be fast in this phone. Also, Intel has developed a firmware for the processor that gives phenomenal battery savings and security.

Motorola Razr i is primarily made for the European market, and is acclaimed to be one of the best smartphones out there. In Europe, 4G LTE is not yet pervasive.

LTE in Europe

This is one reason why the Razr i model without LTE capability can be safely released and promoted successfully in Europe. While on the other hand, you are getting the same kind of model (Droid Razr M), with LTE capability, in the US market with the Snapdragon S4 SoC, which is LTE capable. Qualcomm has been the major provider of LTE baseband in the US, which makes sense to Motorola’s decision.

There is no fundamental difference in processing power between the Intel processor and the Snapdragon processor. The Snapdragon has two physical cores and at clock speed of 1.5 GHz, it can run demanding applications without any performance drop. There is however difference in the graphics cards available. Razr i uses PowerVR which is slightly less powerful as compared to Adreno 225 on Razr M. However, the Intel CPU has hardware built-in that supports HD playback. The major attraction of Razr i is that Motorola can advertise a 2 GHz processor on a smartphone. There is no currently available ARM Cortex processor that has 2 GHz clock speed. Also, with association to Intel brand name, Motorola could promote the smartphone very well in the European market.

Razr i is a very sturdy device. It is protected at the back by a rubberized Kevlar 2 fiber, which makes it durable and strong. Also, with Gorilla Glass protection at the front, the display is very much scratch resistant. Also, the phone is very thin and light. The only thing to mention is the storage available. It is only 8 GB with around 5 GB available to use. However, the MicroSD slot counteracts this.

Kevlar back on Razr i

The price starting at almost 320 pounds is a very good price for Razr i. Looking at the features, Razr i is a very good purchase.