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Jan 3, 2014

Xperia Z1 Mini Confirmed to Arrive in China in Mid-January

One of the smartphones that Sony Mobile hasn’t made official as of now, but which might be announced in the not too distant future, is the Xperia Z1 Mini, long rumored to arrive on shelves as the smaller version of the company’s latest flagship device.

The smartphone hasn’t been confirmed as of now, but rumor has it that it could be launched in China in mid-January, and that an international roll-out will follow soon after. As PhoneArena notes, Sony has added a new teaser to its Chinese website, hinting at the possible near launch of the phone. To be more precise, the website shows the four colors options that Xperia Z1 Mini has been launched with in Japan (where it is known as Xperia Z1f), allegedly confirming that this is indeed the phone we should be looking for. Moreover, the website suggests that the phone will become official on January 14, which falls in line with the expected release date for the yet-unofficial device.

For those out of the loop, we should note that Xperia Z1 Mini is expected to hit shelves as a compact flavor of the powerful Xperia Z1, but with the same hardware capabilities packed inside. This means that the smartphone could sport a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor when launched, along with 2GB of RAM. The mobile phone is expected to include a 2300mAh, which should be enough for its 4.3-inch screen. 

Moreover, it should feature a 20.7-megapixel camera on the back, with full HD video recording capabilities, complemented by a front camera for making video calls, the same as its larger counterpart. Xperia Z1 Mini might arrive on the market with the Android 4.4 KitKat platform version loaded on top right from the start, given that Sony is getting closer to the release of this update to the Xperia Z1 as well.

Sony allegedly teasing Xperia Z1 mini for China
Image credits to Sony China

Xperia E1 and Xperia E1 Dual Receive FCC Approval

Two budget-friendly Sony smartphones have been recently spotted at FCC (Federal Communications Commission), the Xperia E1 and Xperia E1 dual.

XperiaBlog reports that both were leaked several days ago as Sony D200X and D210X, though we’re not yet completely sure that these are the Xperia E1 and Xperia E1 dual. No details on the smartphones’ specs sheet have been unveiled in the FCC documents, but we expect that a third Xperia E1 variant will be launched with model number D2114. The latter seems to pack DTV, which derives from Digital-TV, a feature that is only available in certain regions (US included).

Sony is expected to officially unveil several Xperia models at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) trade fair, which is set to kick off on January 7. The company may announce more devices in late February at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2014 as well.

Sony Xperia E1 and Xperia E1 dual approval
Image credits to XperiaBlog

Xiaomi Mi4’s Metal Frame Allegedly Leaks

Mi4 has been long rumored to be the next flagship smartphone in Xiaomi’s lineup, and leaked photos with its metal frame appear set to suggest that it might not be too long before the handset goes official.

Said images allegedly show not only that Xiaomi Mi4 exists, but also that it has entered production stage at an undisclosed factory in Shenzhen, and that it will arrive on the market with a metal frame. On top of that, as GizChina notes, the smartphone is expected to hit shelves with a large, 5.5 or 5.6-inch touchscreen display, as well as with a microSIM card slot inside.

Xiaomi Mi4 might also pack a higher resolution camera when launched, along with a more powerful processor, yet no official confirmation on the matter has been provided as of now. Keep an eye on this space for updates.

Allegedly leaked photo of Xiaomi Mi4’s metal frame
Images credits to GizChina

iPhone 6 “Biometric” to Brings Iris Scanner and Huge 5.7-Inch Screen

A new report from China claims that Apple is preparing to unleash a new iPhone duo this year sporting larger displays and iris scanners, in what would undoubtedly mark the most exciting iPhone revision yet.

A Foxconn executive is telling C Technology (via Google Translate) that “Apple will release a one-time exception iPhone in two sizes this year,” one boasting a 4.7-inch display, the other a 5.7-inch screen. If the huge numbers aren’t enough to baffle you, then hear this. Then same Foxconn staffer reportedly said that “the whole system comes standard with biometric.” In addition to Touch ID, the phones could be equipped with iris scanners, according to the report.

I for one will take a science-fiction rumor any day of the week over one that sounds plausible but boring, but that doesn’t mean we have to believe everything that flies. In other words, don’t hold your breath for that James Bond functionality just yet. Wait for a hardware leak, or something.

Iris scan
Image credits to SiliconAngle

BBM for Android Now Available for Download via Beta Zone

It looks like the next major update for BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) for Android is closer than we initially thought.

Even though the Canadian company has promised that it will bring lots of new features on Android and iOS platforms this year, only a few days have passed from 2014 and BlackBerry has already released a new version of BBM for Android. BerryReview reports that a new beta version of BBM for Android is now available for download via Beta Zone, which brings some popular features that are only available in the BlackBerry application.

It appears that BlackBerry has started the rollout of BBM for Android, which reportedly adds both BBM Channels and BBM Voice features to the Android platform. In addition, the update is said to include more than 100 new emoticons, along with increased BBM Group limits. There’s no timeframe for the release of this new version of BBM for Android to the general public, but we suspect that it might arrive within the next few days.

BBM for Android (screenshots)
Image credits to BlackBerry

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