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Jan 8, 2014

ZTE Brings Its ECO-MOBIUS Modular Phone to CES 2014

Chinese mobile phone maker ZTE has had some appealing devices to showcase at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, including the ECO-MOBIUS modular handset.

The device, however, is nothing more than a concept for the time being, albeit a great-looking one, that’s for sure. What this smartphone is all about is quite simple. It packs various modules for different hardware components, allowing users to easily change them in the event that they want to upgrade the device. The parts slide together on rails, offering fast access to components such as memory, GPU, CPU, RAM, and main camera. On top of that, the handset sports a nice-looking, optional wooden rear, as the photos published by cnbeta unveil.

Other handset vendors out there, including Oppo and Motorola, have also been rumored to plan the launch of modular smartphones, though none of them has provided official details on the matter as of now.

Images credits to cnbeta

Meizu MX3S to Feature Snapdragon 800 CPU, Meizu MX3 Spotted with Ubuntu

Chinese mobile phone maker Meizu is reportedly getting ready for the launch of a new smartphone in its popular MX series, though this one might be nothing more than a version of the already available MX3.

Supposedly called Meizu MX3S, the smartphone is said to pack a Snapdragon 800 processor inside, moving away from the Exynos 5 Octa CPU inside the Meizu MX3. Furthermore, the handset should land on the market with a 5.1-inch Sharp touchscreen display capable of delivering an 1800 x 1080 pixels resolution at a 415ppi pixel density. The best part of the deal is the fact that the new handset will also offer support for 4G LTE networks out there, something that its predecessor did not do. Meizu MX3S is also said to feature 2GB of RAM inside, as well as the Flyme 3.0 platform, which is based on the Android operating system. According to a recent report from GSMInsider, we might see the new handset put on shelves before the end of this quarter, though an official confirmation on the matter has yet to be provided.

All in all, the upcoming MX3S will feature upgraded hardware specs when compared to the Meizu MX3, which should allow the handset vendor to price it in line with other flagship devices out there. Until some more info on the matter emerges, you might want to have a look at the leaked images with the original Meizu MX3 attached to this article (available courtesy of GizChina), which show it running under Ubuntu.

We have already learned rumors on the handset vendor’s possible plans to launch devices running under this platform in the not too distant future, and the aforementioned photos appear to confirm this. However, it still remains to be seen whether the vendor will indeed make the move, since it hasn’t announced specifics on the matter, so stay tuned for updates on this.

Meizu MX3 with Ubuntu
Images credits to GizChina

Xiaomi Kicks Off 2014 with 200,000 Hongmi Units Sold in Just 4 Minutes

Chinese mobile phone maker Xiaomi is determined to double sales of its handsets this year, and it seems that it has already made the first step towards achieving the goal.

The company has kicked off sales of its smartphones earlier this week, and it has managed to sell no less than 200,000 Hongmi smartphones in 4 minutes (3 minutes and 57 seconds, to be more precise). The info comes from miui, but it has been confirmed by the handset vendor, which retweeted the story via its official account.

Hongmi has already proved a highly appealing device to many users out there, with similar record sales registered before, and it seems that it continues to remain popular. The fact that it has recently seen a price cut in China also helped, that’s for sure.

Xiaomi sells 200,000 Hongmi units in less than 4 minutes

Meizu MX3 Ubuntu Touch Phone Is "Ubuntu Certified"

The rumour that the Meizu hardware maker will be releasing an Ubuntu Phone has been confirmed, but it's even more interesting to see that it comes with an official certification logo.

Canonical has yet to announce the hardware partner that Mark Shuttleworth hinted at a few weeks ago, but the new Meizu MX3 powered by Ubuntu Touch, which has been show at CES 2014, does come with an Ubuntu Certified logo. This doesn't mean that Canonical has formed an official partnership with the phone maker, but it's good to see that things have started to move on the hardware front.

Moreover, Canonical also just released the most stable version of Ubuntu Touch and the developers will implement a great deal more features by the time Ubuntu 14.04 LTS will be released in April.

Meizu MX3 with Ubuntu Touch
Image credits to GizChina

Nokia Normandy Android UI Screenshots Leak in Press Render

Judging by the flow of leaks surrounding the alleged Nokia Normandy powered by Android platform, the smartphone is a certainty and we should expect the Finnish company to make an announcement any time now.

Although we still have to wait at least until Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2014, which is set to kick off next month in Barcelona, Spain, lots of information regarding the smartphone continues to leak online. The first live screenshots showing the “forked” Android UI that Nokia Normandy is supposed to run popped up online last week and now new images of the said user interface have been leaked. A set of three pictures showing Nokia Normandy’s Android UI have just been published by @evleaks. One of them has the popular Skype application running, which somewhat confirms that Nokia has already approached some major developers in order to bring their application on its upcoming application store.

For those unfamiliar with the subject, Nokia Normandy is not supposed to offer access to Google Play Store by default, which is not quite alright for most Android users. This is why the Finnish company plans to launch its own applications store, but in order to have at least a small chunk of the most important Android applications compatible with the Normandy, Nokia has to approach developers quite early. Even though Nokia Normandy is said to run the Android operating system, not all applications in the Google Play will be fully compatible with the smartphone.

The good news is that a major developer that wished to remain anonymous has confirmed that his application was 80% compatible with Nokia Normandy’s “forked” version of Android. Obviously, some may be fully supported, but overall, developers won’t have to work too hard on bringing their Android apps to Nokia’s app store. Aside from its unique Android UI, the Normandy will also come packed with HERE apps and services and Bing search engine by default. There won’t be any Google service included by default, but users will be able to set up their Gmail accounts nevertheless.

Nokia Normandy Android UI (screenshots)
Image credits to evleaks

Nokia Normandy Allegedly Spotted in AnTuTu with Android 4.4.1 KitKat

Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia has been long rumored to be working on a handset running under Google’s Android operating system, and confirmation on the matter has allegedly emerged in China.

A user on Weibo has posted a series of screenshots that appear to be showing the hardware specs of the mobile phone, and which purportedly confirm that it is running under the Android 4.4.1 operating system. The handset can be seen in what should be a screenshot from AnTuTu with the model number Nokia A110 attached to it, and with a screen capable of delivering an 854 x 480 pixel resolution, as NokiaPoweruser notes. The device is also said to feature a 5-megapixel camera on the back, though no specific info on its capabilities have been provided as of now. Previously, the smartphone was also said to arrive with dual-SIM and dual-standby capabilities, and to feature a 4-inch touchscreen display.

The most interesting details that can be extracted from the newly leaked screenshots, however, include the fact that Nokia Normandy runs under the latest Android KitKat version out there, and that it is powered by a Snapdragon processor. Considering the fact that Nokia has already adopted Qualcomm’s chips for its Windows Phone devices, it does not come too much as a surprise that it might make a similar move when it comes to the Android prototype. For the time being, however, we’ll take the info above with a big grain of salt, especially considering the fact that these benchmarks can be easily forged.

There’s no telling on whether Nokia will indeed launch an Android smartphone or not, given the fact that it is heavily focused on Windows Phone devices and that Microsoft is buying its handset division, yet strange things did happen before, and anything is possible. Hopefully, the company will come forward and announce specifics on the matter in the not too distant future, so keep an eye on this space to learn the news.

Nokia Normandy allegedly spotted in AnTuTu

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