The Sony Xperia Z Ultra is a 6.4″ Beast of a Phone – and Google Play is Selling it Unlocked

The Sony Xperia Z Ultra is a 6.4″ Beast of a Phone – and Google Play is Selling it Unlocked

Dec 11, 2013

Sony Z Ultra 4

It’s a phone! It’s a tablet! It’s a 6.4” beast with tablet capabilities, and a Quad Core with 2.2 Ghz of power, that’s beating other smartphones in most categories. And the jokes of Sony releasing an HD brick are quite in place, since Xperia Z Ultra is made of “tempered glass, supported by a tough skeleton frame of glass fibre polyamide”, designed to withstand a long beating. The phone is also region and contract-unlocked, so it could be a great gadget for travelling. Additional details can be found here: Sony Z Ultra Google Play Edition on Google Play.

Google Announces Nexus 4 Phone, Nexus 10 Tablet, and Updated Nexus 7 Models

Google Announces Nexus 4 Phone, Nexus 10 Tablet, and Updated Nexus 7 Models

Oct 29, 2012

With Hurricane Sandy attacking the east coast, the New York event Google had scheduled was delayed, but not the revelation of their new product line. The Nexus 4 and 10 are realities along with a refreshed Nexus 7 line, and are releasing to the world on November 13th.

First, the Nexus 4. This is a 4.7″ phone created by LG, that is the direct successor to the Galaxy Nexus. It boasts a 1280×768 screen (320ppi) with curved glass edges, and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 2. The processor is a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, and there’s 2 GB of RAM to power this thing. NFC and Google Wallet are supported. The rear camera takes photos at 8 megapixels, records video at 1080p anad allows for still shots to be snapped while recording. There’s also a “Photo Sphere camera” which purportedly allows for 360 degree picture taking, likely in conjunction with the front-facing camera.

What may be the most intriguing part about this phone is that it’s going to be priced at $299 for 8 GB, and $349 for 16 GB unlocked for HSPA+ (meaning AT&T and T-Mobile in the US), and will be sold through Google Play. This is Google bringing the “sell at cost” model of Android tablets to phones, and considering that it’s barely a higher cost than phones like the iPhone on a 2-year contract, it could have an impact on the market. However, its lack of LTE is already being pointed out, and it may hold adoption back.

The Nexus 10 is a 10″ tablet created by Samsung, and its big feature is its screen. It’s a 2560×1600 screen (300 ppi) that is higher-res and more pixel-dense than the iPad Retina Display. It has an A15 processor, 2 GB of RAM, micro-HDMI output built-in, MIMO wi-fi support, is only 8.9mm thick, and weighs just 603 grams. $399 will be the cost for the 16 GB wi-fi version, and $499 for the 32 GB.

Software-wise, it along with the Nexus 4 boasts Android 4.2, which is still codenamed Jelly Bean, as it is just a minor update. For all devices, a new trace keyboard is available, finally competing with Swype at their own game. 10″ tablets receive the biggest change: the notification bar appears to now be split like on the Nexus 7, with the standard Back/Home/Multitasking buttons at the bottom and notifications dropping down from the top, instead of it all being available on the bottom. Expect custom roms to restore this functionality as it could be a controversial change. Not controversial is the addition of individual users, which allow for diffrent users to have different homescreens and apps for themselves.

Finally, the Nexus 7 sees its 8/16 GB models for $199/$249 respectively get bumped up to 16/32 GB. Also, an HSDPA+ unlocked model with 32 GB is available for $299. The specs are the same, but it will come with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

With the delay of the event, there’s the possibility that Google may still announce these at some point, or they may just let their website do the talking, along with top-tier features at low-tier price points. All the devices will be sold on Google Play, and will be available starting November 13th.

Google Now Selling the Unlocked GSM Galaxy Nexus Through Google Play

Google Now Selling the Unlocked GSM Galaxy Nexus Through Google Play

Apr 25, 2012

The Nexus line of phones began with Google selling the Nexus One online. Now Google is taking another stab at selling a phone directly to consumers, by selling an unlocked GSM version of the Galaxy Nexus on Google Play. While the phone is available on contract from Verizon and Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile in the US have not carried it. However, this phone will work with those carriers, and while it will not support LTE, it does support what is marketed as 4G, HSPA+. As well, the phone is available at a relative bargain price, $399 plus tax and shipping. This is only $100 or $200 more than similar Galaxy models on contract.

While this is a win for consumers, what this really means is that Google is setting up an architecture to potentially sell their much-rumored-but-never-seen Nexus Tablet on the web. Rumors of this plan been floating around the web. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and this definitely smells like smoke.