Noteworthy Smartphones at CES 2013
Tablets and Smartphones are now neck-and-neck in the consumer electronics market and the situation was no different at CES 2013, Las Vegas where an interesting line up of mobile phones was showcased. A sneak preview at the specs :
1. Yota Phone
If increasing the dimensions of the gadget is a way to create extra screen space, Yota, a Russian mobile broadband service provider and new entrant into the smartphone market seems to differ. With their first product, Yota brings a dual screen handset to the table. Yes, you read that right. The device has a traditional HD LCD screen on one side while the rear (if you could call it that) sports an e-ink display using EPD technology. Also, the phone uses swipe gestures to navigate between screens and go back and forth in applications. E-ink displays are very battery-economic and can further reduce power usage. The display stays active even when the phone is locked or powered off, meaning you need not unlock the screen whenever you want to check the time. The e-ink screen constantly updates itself to display the time, weather, appointment reminders, notifications etc.
The 4.3″ LCD screen has a pixel density of 340ppi at 1280X720 pixels resolution. The screen size remains the same for the rear screen too. The phone is powered by a 1.5 GHz dual core Krait processor and houses a 2100 mAh battery. Apart from a 12 MP primary camera, there is also an HD camera whose capabilities are not yet known. The internal memory will be 32/64 GB and the platform will be Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Apart from regular connectivity features, this device comes with world wide LTE support. Another interesting feature of this phone is that the SIM card slot doubles as the power button. The model debuted at the CES is only a prototype and the name ‘Yota Phone’ is not final too. A few more specifications might get tweaked before the phone’s launch in the later half of 2013. More about this device is expected to be revealed at the Mobile World Congress in February.
2. Sony Xperia Z and Sony Xperia ZL
The Sony Xperia Z has been one of the much talked about smartphones this year at the CES. While the Z and ZL versions do not have that many differences, the Z does have one big trump card – water and dust resistance. Smartphones are known to be extremely sensitive as they are smart. A drop of water or a speck of dust in the wrong crevice could totally brick the device. The Xperia Z comes as a breath of relief for the casually careless with its IP57 certification for water and dust resistance. Those favoring the Xperia ZL can find solace in the scratch resistant and shatter-proof glass that the phone is swathed in. Both the Z and ZL have big 5″ screen with a 441 ppi pixel density and the former supports 10-finger multitouch.
Some common features that the Xperia Z and Xperia ZL share :
- Bluetooth v4.0
- Internal memory – 16 GB, microSD card slot upto 32GB, 2GB RAM
- Runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box, planned upgrade to 4.2 Jelly Bean
- CPU : Quad Core 1.5 GHz Krait
- Adreno 320 GPU
- Chipset : Qualcomm MDM 9215M
The Xperia Z has NFC connectivity apart from Bluetooth. Coming to the camera, the Z has a 13.1 MP shooter as opposed to Xperia ZL’s 13 MP, both having Autofocus and LED flash capabilities. While on the Xperia Z, you can shoot quality videos with 1080p@30fps and its younger cousin has a slightly reduced 720p. The cameras have 2.2 MP and 2 MP secondary cameras respectively. Both handsets have non removable batteries with the Xperia Z having 2330mAh and ZL having 2370 mAh. Pricing details have not yet been announced while the release is being slated within the first quarter of this year.
3. Samsung ATIV Odyssey
Samsung, which predominantly makes phones based on Android, has brought out the Odyssey on the new Windows Phone 8 platform which is catching up pretty quick. The handset that comes with an exclusive Verizon LTE contract does not have a price listing yet. Some of the features are :
- Display : 4″ Super AMOLED, 480X800 pixels resolution, 233 ppi
- Capacitive touch with Multitouch capabilities
- Battery : 2100 mAh
- Processor : Qualcomm Snapdragon S4
- CPU : Dual core 1500 MHz Krait
- GPU : Adreno 225
- Memory : 8GB Internal, 1024 MB RAM
- Exclusive features : Samsung’s Mini Diary app, Samsung Now, Shutterbugs (photo editing software)
Although the specifications are nothing to write home about, we will not know what we have in hand until the device is unleashed in the consumer electronics market.
4. LG Optimus Vu II
Released already in some parts of the world, the LG Optimus Vu II made an appearance at the CES 2013 with some upgrades to its previous iteration. The USP of this device would be the interesting geometry it sports – a 5″ display that looks more square than rectangular. Some more features :
- Display : 5″ IPS LCD
- 2GB RAM (upgraded from 1GB)
- Internal memory : 64 GB (bumped up from 32GB), microSD support up to 32 GB
- New software : Panorama Note (create notes that span across more than one screen by swiping sideways, giving a ‘panoramic view)
- Vu Talk : real time integration between 2 Vu devices, connected over WiFi/Network.
- Connectivity : Bluetooth v4.0, NFC, IR
- Camera : 8MP (primary), Autofocus, LED flash, video 1080p@30fps, LED video light
- Under the hood : Qualcomm MSM8960 Snapdragon chipset, Dual core 1.5 GHz Krait CPU, Adreno 225 GPU
- Battery : 2150 mAh
The phone comes in 3 colour variants : Black/White/Pink
5. Alcatel One Touch Scribe X
The One Touch Scribe X is also an upgrade to its previous version – the Scribe HD. Touted to be the smartphone maker’s flagship, the phone packs a pretty decent punch :
- Display : 5-inch, 1080p HD display (1920X1080 pixels resolution)
- Processor : 1.4 GHz MediaTek Quad-core
- Camera : 12MP primary snapper, 720p HD secondary camera
- Platform : Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and the noteworthy fact is that Alcatel has not made any heavy changes to the UI, so it is unadulterated Jelly Bean
- Battery : 2500 mAh
- Stylus included
Nikhila is a gadget lover and passionate writer. She likes to keep up with social media and Internet culture in particular while staying updated about all latest gizmos. Nikhila is a mechanical engineer-turning-into-technical-writer. Bibliophile, Grammar Nazi, dog lover, foodie, casual artist.
11 January, 2013