If you’re looking for a quality yet wallet-friendly smartphone, you may want to take a peek at the HTC One V. This entry-level Android phone belongs to the HTC One series, and runs the Android 4.0 platform, or commonly known as the Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. Beats Audio, Dropbox, and Video-Pic are just some of the highlights of this unit. To learn more about its features, you may want to continue to read on.467 2
LG recently introduced the latest addition to its popular range of Optimus smartphones, called the Optimus Vu – a big and bright Android-powered smartphone with tablet-like viewing experience. We had a brief hands-on with the GALAXY Note competitor.
The Optimus Vu is a top-of-the-line smartphone running Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich (upgradeable to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean when available), and powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 1.5Ghz quad-core processor and 1GB RAM. It comes with a generous 32GB of internal memory and 2,080 mAh battery to match.
The brilliantly crisp and bright IPS display brings true HD to the user – all 5 inches of it, in 4:3 ratio (768 x 1024 pixels @ 256PPI). It is slightly strange that LG has gone with the ratio as the trend has pointed to 16:9 on current smartphones. However, with LG’s renowned IPS technology, we expected superior colour clarity and picture quality, and it did not disappoint.
The Optimus Vu’s profile is ultra slim at only 8.5mm and at 159g, very light indeed for a phone its size.
LG’s phablet comes built-in with an 8MP shooter on the rear, and a HD-capable 1.3MP shooter in the front. Nothing groundbreaking here, but keeps up with the competition.
Not to be outdone by the pioneers of the ‘phablet’ space, Samsung, with their highly successful GALAXY Note family, LG has custom-built its own memo app called QuickMemo. The Optimus Vu comes with a dedicated QuickMemo hotkey to enable users to easily jot down notes or messages. Getting into the stylus game, the Optimus Vu comes with a dedicated Rubberdium pen (yes, that’s what it’s called).
Our quick take
The Optimus Vu doesn’t quite bring anything new to the plate, especially in the phablet category where the GALAXY Note and Note II is king. However, based on hardware specs alone, LG’s phablet effort can be a viable alternative, especially at such an attractive price point. Consumer choice is a good thing 🙂
Pricing and Availability
The Optimus Vu: is available in black and white at all LG authorised dealers, at the recommended retail price of RM1,899.
Key specifications at a glance:
o Chipset: 1.5GHz Quad-Core Processor
o Display: 5-inch (1024×768) IPS Display
o Memory: 32GB eMMC and 1GB DDR2
o Camera: 8MP with AF LED Flash (rear) and 1.3MP (front)
o OS: Android OS, v4.0.4 (ICS)
o Battery: 2,080mAh
o Dimension (L x W x D): 139.6 x 90.4 x 8.5mm
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The Android Software Upgrade or Update is divided into Region/Model divisions where you can see clearly when the updates are available. The most notable update is the Jelly Bean Upgrade (Android 4.1.1) for the Motorola Xoom, for both WiFi-only and WiFi+3G/LTE models. This will be pushed to users in Q4 2012 for the US region only.
Sadly, the Asia-Pacific models will only get Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) update (Android 4.04), the only consolation is that it’s available now. There should be a Jelly Bean update for Asia Pacific in the coming months (at least we hope).
US users have an option to trade-up some of their phones which did not get updates e.g. ATRIX 4G and PHOTON 4G with newer models via the Motorola Trade-up program at motorola.com/tradeup.
Well, let’s look on the bright side. Maybe it is really time to get that spanking new Motorola RAZR MAXX HD that was announced recently, or you could try updating your devices using other alternatives and see where it goes?
For more info on your updates, visit their site here: MOTOROLA
Check out Asia Pacific update list:
|MT917 (China)||ICS Upgrade (Android 4.0.4) rollout began in June 2012.|
|XT928 (China)||ICS Upgrade (Android 4.0.4) rollout began in June 2012.|
|MOTOROLA RAZR XT910/XT910S/XT910K||ICS Upgrade (Android 4.0.4) rollouts began in July 2012.|
|MOTOROLA XOOM 3G (Korea)||ICS Upgrade (Android 4.0.4) rollout began in July 2012.|
|MOTOROLA XOOM WiFi Only MZ604||ICS Upgrade (Android 4.0.4) rollouts began in May 2012.|
|MOTOROLA XOOM WiFi Only MZ606 (China)||ICS Upgrade (Android 4.0.4) rollouts began in July 2012.|
|ATRIX 2||ICS Upgrade (Android 4.0.4) rollout scheduled to begin in Q4 2012.|
|MOTOROLA XOOM 2||ICS Upgrade (Android 4.0.4) rollout began in Sept. 2012.|
|ATRIX MB860/MB861/ME860||Will remain on Gingerbread (Android 2.3)|
|PHOTON 4G (Japan)||Will remain on Gingerbread (Android 2.3)|
|MOTOROLA XOOM WiFi + 3G MZ601||ICS Upgrade (Android 4.0.4) rollouts began in July 2012 for select countries and carriers.|
|DEFY+ (MB526)||Will remain on Gingerbread (Android 2.3)|
|ME863 (China)||Will remain on Gingerbread (Android 2.3)|
|MILESTONE 2 ME722 (China)||Will remain on Gingerbread (Android 2.3)|
|MILESTONE 3 XT883 (China)||Will remain on Gingerbread (Android 2.3).|
|MOTOLUXE / XT615 / XT685||Will remain on Gingerbread (Android 2.3)|
|MT870 (China)||Will remain on Gingerbread (Android 2.3)|
|MOTOROLA PRO+||Will remain on Gingerbread (Android 2.3)|
|XT861 (China)||Will remain on Gingerbread (Android 2.3)|
|XT882 (China)||Will remain on Gingerbread (Android 2.3)|
Taiwanese technology giant ASUS revealed the new PadFone 2, successor to the original PadFone, a combination of an Android smartphone and dockable tablet known as the PadFone Station. The new PadFone 2 is completely redesigned – thinner, lighter, much more powerful and LTE-ready.
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A Better PadFone
In a surprising move, ASUS has debuted a better, much improved version of the PadFone so quickly, the intriguing hybrid device which first wowed audiences at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona early in the year.
The PadFone 2 is a real-deal 4.7″ smartphone, running Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich, featuring a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM. The new 4.7” 1280 x 720 HD Super IPS+ display uses scratch-resistant Corning Fit Glass and delivers accurate colors, ultra-wide viewing angles and 550 nits brightness for stunning outdoor visibility.
A stunning 13MP high-performance camera gives you amazing detail images with no shutter lag and also comes with Burst mode that can capture up to 100 shots at a blisteringly quick six shots per second, while simultaneously recording 1080p HD video at 30fps, or 720p HD video at 60fps. Excellent.
Low-light performance is also enhanced by the wide f/2.4 aperture and a dedicated image signal processor.
Both PadFone 2 and PadFone 2 Station feature superlative sound quality with ASUS SonicMaster technology and audio tuning by Waves built-in, recipient of a Technical GRAMMY Award.
Lean, Mean Machine
What’s most apparent with the PadFone 2 against its predecessor though, is the design and weight. ASUS’ renowned ‘Design Thinking’ philosophy has resulted in a significantly slimmer, trimmer PadFone 2 Station. At 649g, the combined weight of the PadFone 2 and PadFone 2 Station is 200g lighter than previous. That’s significant!
The PadFone itself has been refined to house the bigger screen size of 4.7″ yet reducing its thickness and weight to just 9mm at its thickest point and 135g, respectively. Really good stuff.
The Big Plus, the Big Battery
The big concern of smart devices nowadays is battery life. ASUS has upped the ante again, bundling a high capacity 2,140mAh battery that provides up to 16 hours 3G talk-time and 13 hours Wi-Fi web browsing. ASUS has shaved 1,600mAh off the PadFone 2 Station’s battery to 5,000mAh though, perhaps to save weight. The previous PadFone Station came with a whopping 6,600mAh battery.
For connectivity, the PadFone 2 comes with 42Mbps HSPA+ / 4G LTE and NFC.
Availability & Pricing
PadFone 2 will be launched before the end of December in Europe (Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and Sweden) and Asia (Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and U.A.E). Availability in other countries will be announced at a later date. Expect local prices to be around RM2,399 (SRP) based on current price valuations.
What We Think
Looks like ASUS has been working hard on the hybrid concept they pursued with the original PadFone. Though no longer with the attached keyboard, the newer PadFone 2 is certainly a big improvement in terms of design and refinement. Power has been bumped up and should put it in the forefront of Android smartphones and tablets.
It does remain to be seen if the hybrid concept can garner interest at a mass level. As with the original, slightly clunky PadFone and PadFone Station, it will be a niche product. Nonetheless, as we said in our recent review of the PadFone, the hybrid device is a great idea and concept that begs to be explored and improved further.
As of now, ASUS has improved on the PadFone concept and we can’t wait to get our hands on one for a review.
[spoiler title=”Read official press release”]
Quad-core smartphone with incredible battery life and a thinner, lighter PadFone 2 Station deliver the ultimate mobile flexibility.
ASUS, a global leader in the new digital era, today announces PadFone™ 2. Building upon the successful PadFone combination of an Android smartphone and dockable tablet for incredible mobile flexibility, PadFone 2 consists of a higher specification quad-core, LTE-equipped smartphone and a completely redesigned tablet.
ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih unveiled PadFone 2 in front of the world’s media at a press conference in Milan, Italy. “Our relentless drive to innovate through our ‘Design Thinking’ philosophy has empowered us to create PadFone 2. It’s beautiful, it’s fast and, best of all, it’s intuitive,” said Mr. Shih.
PadFone 2 is a fully featured 4.7” Android™ smartphone with industry-leading specifications that docks with the unique PadFone 2 Station to become a lightweight, but fully featured, 10.1” tablet. Apps are seamlessly optimized on-the-fly to support both tablet and phone modes, with an instant transition between smartphone and tablet screen sizes.
Enlarge and charge
ASUS’ world-renowned ‘Design Thinking’ philosophy has significantly reduced PadFone 2 Station’s thickness and weight. At just 649g, the combined weight of both PadFone 2 and PadFone 2 Station is now lighter than most tablets on the market, and the dock mechanism has been redesigned to require just one swift step to use. PadFone 2 has also been subtly refined to increase its screen size to 4.7”, while reducing its thickness and weight to just 9mm at its thickest point and 135g, respectively.
Battery life is astounding, too. The higher-capacity PadFone 2 2140mAh battery provides up to 16 hours 3G talk-time and 13 hours Wi-Fi web browsing, while PadFone 2 Station’s 5000mAh battery gives up to 36 hours 3G talk-time. PadFone 2 Station’s internal battery also has enough capacity to recharge the docked PadFone 2 three times over.
Super phone, super performance
A 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM ensures incredible PadFone 2 performance in both smartphone and tablet modes. The new 4.7” 1280 x 720 HD Super IPS+ display uses scratch-resistant Corning® Fit Glass and delivers sharp, detailed images with accurate colors, ultra-wide viewing angles and 550 nits brightness for stunning outdoor visibility.
A new 13-megapixel high-performance camera captures incredibly detailed images with no shutter lag. Burst mode can capture up to 100 shots at a blisteringly quick six shots per second, while simultaneously recording 1080p HD video at 30fps, or 720p HD video at 60fps. Low-light performance is also enhanced by the wide f/2.4 aperture and a dedicated image signal processor. Both PadFone 2 and PadFone 2 Station feature superlative sound quality too, thanks to ASUS SonicMaster technology and audio tuning by Waves, recipient of a Technical GRAMMY Award®.
Easy to share, easy to save
With capacities up to 64GB and 50GB of ASUS WebStorage provided free for two years, PadFone 2 offers endless possibilities for storing data. Data syncing between devices is also a thing of the past, since PadFone 2 storage is used by PadFone 2 Station when the two are connected, while NFC allows users to share webpages, Contacts and user recommendations from Play Store with others. Shared mobile data connectivity between smartphone and tablet also means just one data plan is needed for both devices, while support for up to 42Mbit/s DC-HSPA+ and 100Mbit/s LTE delivers super-fast web browsing and downloads.
PadFone 2 also features a new version of the SuperNote app that instantly converts handwritten notes made in multiple languages into editable text. Its Instant Translation tool also translates any word, phrase or sentence in an email, web page or app at a touch, without the need for a third-party translation tool.
PadFone 2 will be launched before the end of December in Europe (Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and Sweden) and Asia (Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and U.A.E). Availability in other countries will be announced at a later date.