Samsung holds the lion’s share of rumors this week with chatter now surfacing for the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, Galaxy Note 3, and Galaxy Ace 3.
This column gathers the top rumors in the Android space. It was originally published December 14, 2012, and is updated weekly.
On the rumor front, Samsung once again became the most talked-about handset maker. And after spending the last few years toiling with lower-priced Android tablets, Archos officially tossed its hat into the smartphone ring.
Archos smartphone trio (April 18, 2013)
Archos this week announced a trio of affordable Android-powered smartphones bound for Europe by the end of May. The handsets run stock versions of Android, offer dual-SIM capability, and have display sizes that range from 3.5 inches to 5.3 inches. As of now there is no indication that the Archos Carbon and Platinum smartphones will come to the United States.
Pantech Vega Iron (April 18, 2013)
The “bezel-less” Pantech smartphone became a reality this week with the introduction (translate) of the Pantech Vega Iron. Featuring a quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, a 5-inch 720p HD display, and 1GB RAM, the handset runs the 4.1.2 Jelly Bean version of Android. As for that bezel, well, it’s still there, it just measures only 2.4mm on each edge. Pantech’s Vega brand looms largest in Korea, but it’s unclear if Japan or the U.S. will also receive the Pantech Vega Iron.
April 13 – April 19, 2013
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini (April 19, 2013)
Samsung looks to have delayed the release of the Galaxy S4 Mini by eight weeks, reportsSamMobile. Rumored to come in two colors (Black Mist and White Frost), Samsung may offer the handset in both single-SIM and dual-SIM flavors.
Dovetailing with previous rumors, the Galaxy S4 Mini could feature a 4.3-inch qHD display, an 8-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, AGPS, and provide 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB storage options. Presumed to run Android 4.2 Jelly Bean with Samsung’s own Touch Wiz Nature UX, the single-SIM model is rumored to have a quad-core processor, with the dual-SIM edition getting a dual-core processor.
LG Optimus G2 (April 18, 2013)
The LG Optimus G2 could prove to be too thin for a conventional form factor, or so says tech site MyDrivers (translate). Word on the street is that the volume and power buttons will be moved to the rear, as they do not fit properly on the sides. First discovered by its model number, the LG D801 has been found to score considerably high on benchmark tests; all sources indicate LG may be readying one of the most powerful devices to date.
Rumored as the LG Optimus G2, details include Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, a 1.7 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, a 13-megapixel rear camera, 2GB RAM, and an Adreno 330 GPU. Expected to offer a full-HD 1,920×1,080-pixel display, it’s possible that the D801 will boast a screen size of 5 inches or larger.
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 (April 18, 2013)
The first details for what is expected to be the Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 have arrived, suggesting that another midrange experience is on the horizon. Preliminary specifications are reported to include a dual-core 1GHz Broadcom processor, a display resolution of 480×800 pixels, 4GB internal storage, and a 5-megapixel camera. As often has been the case with European models of this kind, the Galaxy Ace 3 is rumored to come in a variety of colors and single-SIM and dual-SIM editions.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (April 17, 2013)
Samsung may take a page out of the HTC playbook with the upcoming Galaxy Note 3,SamMobile suggests. Reportedly “worried” about the design of the next big thing, Samsung could change things up for the massive handset and forgo the familiar plastic materials.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is rumored to feature a 6.3-inch display, according to details found on Samsung’s Galaxy S4 microsite. A Samsung Game Pad accessory lists support for 4-inch to 6.3-inch screen sizes, leading many to believe this will be size of the next phablet experience. Lining up with a previous Korean Times report, Samsung could give its next Note an eight-core processor.
April 6 – April 12, 2013
Huawei Edge (April 11, 2013)
Huawei may dial up the Edge as the handset maker’s flagship device for summer 2013. Recently leaked (translate) details suggest the smartphone will run Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and feature a quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, a 4.9-inch 1080p HD display, and 2,600mAh battery. Reportedly, the Huawei Edge will come in 16GB and 32GB models and could come in a svelte 6.3mm chassis.
Oppo R809T (April 11, 2013)
Oppo may reclaim the title for world’s thinnest smartphone later this month if an Anqu(translate) report proves true. Measuring in at a mere 6.13mm thick, the device is rumored with a quad-core Mediatek processor, 1GB RAM, and a 4.5-inch 720p display. Presumably running Android Jelly Bean, the phone is listed with an April 26 arrival date and affordable price tag. It is unclear which markets will offer the Oppo R809T, but China seems the most obvious.
March 3 – April 5, 2013
Android-powered notebooks (April 2, 2013)
Fresh rumors out of Digitimes suggest that Google is building an Android-powered notebook PC that could arrive as soon as the third quarter. Reportedly, the “Androidbook” is one of Sundar Pichai’s projects and could help accelerate Google’s foray into the PC market.
Nexus 7 refresh (April 3, 2013)
The next generation of Nexus 7 could arrive in July, according to Reuters. Reportedly, Google will again employ Asus for the devices however Qualcomm may have replaced NVIDIA as the chipmaker of choice. It remains unclear what will happen with the current series of Nexus 7 models; rumors suggest Google could be pushing for a lower price for the 7-inch lineup.
Previous rumors suggest that the new Nexus 7 could feature an HD display. Along those lines, DisplaySearch analyst Paul Semenza recently told CNET that the next model may reach 323 pixels per inch. Potentially, we could see up to 1,900 x 1,200 pixel resolution.
Casio C881 Gz’One Commando (April 1, 2013)
A Casio C881 Gz’One Commando has been recently spotted in FCC documents, tipping Verizon’s hand for an upcoming military-spec device. Presumably a successor to last year’sC771 Gz’One Commando, the details look to include CDMA and LTE support, as well as NFC, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.
March 23-29, 2013
Motorola X-Phone (March 28, 2013)
The level of customization in the Motorola X-Phone may prove to be lower than originally reported, according to a recent AndroidAndMe post. Sources indicate that users will be able to choose from an “endless choice of color combinations” and the material (plastic, metal, and carbon fiber) for the outer casing. Previous rumors suggested that the X-Phone is actually part of a larger brand and an approach that could feature user-defined configurations for memory and processor options as well as carrier selection.
Hugh Bradlow, chief technology officer for Australia’s Telstra recently told senior mobile staff at the carrier that the upcoming handset is a “real breakthrough, a game-changer that will put pressure on Samsung and Apple.” Details are still light, however it is alleged to feature software and capabilities not found on Samsung’s Galaxy line. What’s more, it reportedly pulls together Google services unlike anything we have seen to date.
It likely won’t be called the X-Phone when the project hits prime time, but the project is at least very much real. A job posting on Linked In advertised for an “X-Phone” product manager.
Other rumors suggest that the X-Phone series could offer up to 128GB of internal storage, and include a 3,000mAh or larger battery. Expected as the first Android 5.0 Key Lime Piedevice, the X-Phone could also boast Sony Exmor camera sensor. It’s worth noting that specs line up with speculation of an unbreakable case, extended life battery, and wireless charging.
Amazon Kindle Phone (March 27, 2013)
Amazon may have scrapped plans for 4.3-inch screen on the rumored Kindle phone in favor of a larger 4.7-inch display, reports DigiTimes. Said to be arriving as soon as the second quarter, Amazon’s Android handset will presumably run a forked version of the platform, similar to the one that runs the Kindle Fire tablets. Allegedly, Amazon has tasked Foxconn with building the Kindle Phone, Taiwan Economic News reports.
Sony Togari, Dogo, and Gaga (March 27, 2013)
Sony may introduce the largest smartphone experience to date, if the rumored “Togari” proves to be real. A photo of the alleged full HD panel surfaced back in January, showing a massive 6.44-inch display size.
Larger than the Huawei Ascend Mate, it is also expected to be faster and more powerful in nearly every aspect. Components are reported to include 3GB RAM, a 2.3GHZ Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU, Adreno 330 GPU, 32GB of internal storage, and 13-megapixel Exmor RS camera. Powered by a 3,500mAh battery, the Togari should also feature a stylus, NFC, LTE, and an IR blaster.
A Sony “Dogo” may debut in the near term with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 CPU, a 4.6-inch HD display, 2GB RAM, and 32GB internal storage. Rumored to come to market as the Xperia A, the device should also be water and dust resistant. Additional hardware is tipped to include a 2,300mAh battery, an IR blaster, and NFC support.
A similarly designed Sony “Gaga” is also on the horizon and should pick up a more formal Xperia UL moniker when it arrives. Specifications are nearly identical to those of the Dogo/Xperia A, except that it is tied to a 5-inch Full HD display.
HTC Droid DNA/Butterfly successor (March 27, 2013)
A follow-up to HTC’s Droid DNA phone is being planned, says HTC Chief Marketing Officer Ben Ho. Talking with reporters earlier in the week, Ho said that HTC would soon launch a second-generation Butterfly aimed at those looking for the large-screen experience.
March 16-22, 2013
Google’s Android smartwatch (March 21, 2013)
Google looks to be joining Apple in the development of a rumored smartwatch, according to a recent Financial Times report. Details are light, however, the watch is said to be designed by the “Android unit” at Google. An unnamed source said that the watch will “act as an extension to the smartphones using that operating system.” According to a 2011 patent application, the watch will have dual-screened display and a interactive user interface.
Samsung smartwatch (March 18, 2013)
Samsung has confirmed plans to release a smartwatch, but details like pricing and availability are unknown. “We’ve been preparing the watch product for so long,” Lee Young Hee, executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile business, recently said during an interview with Bloomberg. “We are working very hard to get ready for it. We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them.”
LG smartwatch (March 22, 2013)
LG could be cooking up both a smartwatch and a wearable computing device along the lines of Google Glass, reports the Korea Times. It remains unclear whether the LG watch will run Android or Firefox; both are likely candidates for the hardware maker.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Plus (March 21, 2013)
Samsung could introduce a Galaxy Tab 3 Plus later this year, according to a SamMobile insider. Reportedly, the high-end Samsung tablet will feature a Super AMOLED FULL HD Display and may come in either a 10.1-inch or 11.6-inch display size.
This is not the first time we have heard of a Galaxy Tab 3 Plus out of Samsung, howeverprevious rumors pegged the device with a much higher 2,560×1,600 pixel resolution. Additional details being thrown in the mix include a quad-core Exynos processor and at least 2GB RAM. With the annual IFA taking place in early September, we may see another Samsung Unpacked for Berlin.
Other rumors we’re tracking
Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie
Leaked slides from a Qualcomm presentation give credence to rumors and expectations of a spring release for Android’s 5.0 Key Lime Pie mobile OS. The name and time frame are not exactly new, though Qualcomm’s insistence that the slides be removed is telling. Perhaps the chipmaker’s Octa 8-core processor is included in the first handset or tablet?
HTC M4 (February 6, 2013)
Photos of the rumored HTC M4 surfaced earlier in the week, giving us a look at what may be in store for the midrange experience. As noted by HTC Source, the handset closely resembles an early mockup of the HTC M7, which we now know is the HTC One.
One key difference would be the camera, which is listed at 5-megapixels. Early rumors tied the phone to a 13-megapixel camera, though a 5-megapixel shooter seems more likely for a midranger.
Other hardware for the M4 may include a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, a 4.3-inch 720p display, 16GB internal storage, and 2GB RAM. Powered by Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, the M4 is expected to feature a lighter Sense 5.0 interface.
White Nexus 4 (January 29, 2013)
Images of a white Nexus 4 handset surfaced this week, promptly sending Android geeks into a tizzy. A PhoneArena tipster suggests the Nexus handset will soon see a second color option, though exactly when remains unclear.
Sony Xperia L (March 6, 2013)
A Sony Xperia L could soon be introduced as a midtier Android device, reports Xperia Blog. Details for the handset are reported to include a 4.3-inch, 854×480-pixel display, 1GHz dual-core processor, 8GB internal storage, microSD slot, and an 8-megapixel camera. Said to run Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, the Xperia L is also known by its C210X model number.
T-Mobile Prism II (March 3, 2013)
T-Mobile may offer the Huawei U8686 as the T-Mobile Prism, indicates oft-reliable @evleaks. Specifications are reported to include Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean, a 1GHz single-core processor, and a display with 320×240-pixel resolution. Typically, a QVGA display falls at around 3.5 inches.
HTC G2 (February 1, 2013)
Not to be confused with the another HTC smartphone of the same name, a low-end Android model is also rumored for a spring 2013 release date. Details obtained by Unwired View include a 1GHz processor, a 2.5-inch HVGA display, 512MB RAM, 4GB of internal storage, and 5-megapixel camera. Presumably aimed at first-time smartphone users, the G2 could run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
Pantech Perception (February 22, 2013)
The Pantech Perception recently passed through the FCC, hinting at a basic touch smartphone with an 8-megapixel rear camera. Details confirmed in the filing include NFC, 4G LTE, as well as CDMA and GSM roaming. Chances are good that this is merely Verizon’s take on thePantech Discover announced at CES. Should that prove true, we could also anticipate a dual-core processor and 4.8-inch display.
Samsung Godiva (February 25, 2013)
The Samsung Godiva took one step closer to announcement this week as FCC documents confirmed the model number. As noticed by Engadget, the smartphone features CDMA and LTE bands, as well as support for future AWS networks. Rounding things out, the Godiva should offer GSM roaming and NFC support.
From all indications, the Godiva appears to be a member of the Stratosphere family. An SCH-I425 “Godiva” making the rounds recently points to a 1,280×720-pixel display, a 1.4GHz Snapdragon S4 processor with Adreno 305 graphics, and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.
While the model number indicates a direct successor to the Stratosphere is in order, a photo obtained by Engadget suggests otherwise; note the lack of a physical keyboard. My instincts tell me that Verizon may quietly introduce this entry-level experience in the next few weeks.
Samsung Galaxy Pocket Plus (January 15, 2013)
Perhaps in an effort to prove it can still make smaller devices, Samsung will debut a pint-size Galaxy Pocket Plus in the coming weeks. Specifications picked up by SamMobile tell of an Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich phone with a 2.8-inch QVGA TFT display. Additional features include 4GB internal storage, a 2-megapixel camera, and an 1,200mAh battery. Due in the first half of 2013, the GT-S5301 will be offered in Latin America and other markets.
Asus ME371MG tablet (February 7, 2013)
Asus will reportedly debut an “ultra-budget” 7-inch Android tablet in the second quarter, reports Bulgarian tech site Tablet.bg (translate).
The tablet could have an Intel Atom Z2420 dual-core processor, a microSD expansion slot, 1GB RAM, and a 3-megapixel rear camera. Powered by Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the ME371MG is listed with a 7-inch 1,280×800-pixel IPS screen, 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera, and 4,270 mAh battery. Sales for the Asus tablet could begin in the second quarter.
LG VS870 (January 23, 2013)
Verizon may soon introduce a version of the LG Escape, if FCC documents are any indicator. Spotted by Engadget, the VS870 may one-up its AT&T counterpart with wireless charging capability. Hardware details are unknown but are likely to include the same 4.3-inch display, 1GB RAM, and 5-megapixel camera.
Amazon Kindle Phone (December 17, 2012)
Allegedly, Amazon has tasked Foxconn with building the Kindle Phone, Taiwan Economic Newsreports. Allegedly expected in mid-2013, Amazon is said to have already ordered 5 million of the smartphones, which are said to run $100 to $200 each. If this is the case, we could anticipate a skinned Android experience which resembles that found on the Kindle Fire.
Come back next week for more rumors and possible resolutions!