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Jun 18, 2015

Nokia Confirms Return to Smartphone Business in 2016

Nokia fans rejoice, as the Finnish company has finally admitted that it is now ready to return to the smartphone business as early as 2016.

Previously one of the largest handset maker in the work, Nokia sold its devices and services division to Microsoft. Under agreement, the company can't launch another smartphone until late 2016. But that didn't stopped Nokia to launch its tablet computer, the Android-powered N1. The first Nokia tablet commercially available has been selling like crazy in China and now in Taiwan, but it's expected to be similarly popular in other countries too when the company decided to launch it. There were numerous rumors coming from different sources with knowledge of Nokia's future plans that claimed the Finnish company will definitely return to the mobile phone market, but they were denied by officials.

However, it looks like Nokia's CEO Rajeev Suri has decided to go all out in an interview with German publication Manager Magazin. He admitted that Nokia is already looking for partners that will help the company brings its smartphones to the market one way or another.

"We would simply design them and then make the brand name available to license"

According to Suri, Nokia will design new smartphone and then make the brand name available to license: “We will look for suitable partners. Microsoft makes mobile phones. We would simply design them and then make the brand name available to license.” It looks like Nokia has decided to continue to design mobile phones, but this time the Finnish company may approach the smartphone business slightly different. Instead of making use of its resources to launch new products on the market, advertise them and run marketing campaigns, Nokia will simply design them and let other companies interested in its brand do the rest.

Obviously, we should not rule out a 100% Nokia smartphone in the coming years, but for the time being the Finnish company won't risk a possible fail.

Nokia smartphones
Image credits to Nokia

Acer Liquid Z630 with 5.5-Inch HD Display, 2GB RAM Leaks in Benchmark

Acer recently confirmed that it has no intention to merge its smartphone/tablet business with other major companies in the industry.

The handset maker said it's committed to launching new products in the coming months, which, hopefully, will prove to be popular among customers. The next addition to Acer's Android platform is the Liquid Z630 and judging by the specs that have just been spotted by Winfuture.de in GFXBench database, this is a mid-range device. This is the first time we hear about the Liquid Z630 and since Acer has yet to make it official, we're not sure that this is also the phone's market name. Nevertheless, the specs seem more important at this time than the phone's market name, so let's see what the Acer Liquid Z630 has to offer.

First of all, the smartphone is powered by Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system, which is good thing for a mid-range device. The rest of the phone's specs are those of a pure mid-ranger, so we expect the Liquid Z630 to be priced accordingly.

4G LTE support and 8-megapixel selfie snapper
Acer Liquid Z630 sports a 5.5-inch capacitive touchscreen display that supports HD (720p) resolution. There's no mention of Corning Gorilla Glass coating, but for a mid-ranger it's highly doubtful. On the inside, the smartphone is equipped with a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6735 processor, a Mali-T720 graphics processing unit and 2GB of RAM. The handset packs 16GB of internal memory, which can be further expanded up to 64GB via microSD card slot. There's also a 8-megapixel camera on the back, which features autofocus, LED flash and video recording, as well as another no less impressive 8-megapixel camera in the front for state-of-the-art selfies.

Acer Liquid Z630 comes with 4G LTE support, as well as other connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, microUSB 2.0 and GPS with AGPS. Not word on availability and pricing options, but we expect the smartphone to be unveiled in the coming months, so stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

Acer Liquid Z630 specs
Image credits to GFXBenchmark

BlackBerry Passport Running Android 5.1 Lollipop Spotted in Live Photo

Since the first reports about BlackBerry possibly launching an Android smartphone later this year popped up, we've been intoxicated with many rumors on the matter.

The latest rumor comes from a BlackBerry developer who claims the BlackBerry Passport in his possession is powered by Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system, PhoneArena reports. It’s a picture showing the “About phone” window of what appears to be a BlackBerry Passport smartphone. In fact, we're pretty sure that this is BlackBerry's square-sized device, which has an easily recognizable form factor. Unfortunately, aside from the picture published on Twitter, the owner of the BlackBerry Passport allegedly powered by Android 5.1 Lollipop platform doesn't reveal anything else.

BlackBerry OS can already emulate Android apps on most of the devices it's running on, even though the experience is not always smooth.

It would be nice to be able to choose between BlackBerry and Android

A Passport running Android is a possibility, but we don't know if BlackBerry really plans to launch a different version of the smartphone. We reported earlier today that BlackBerry plans to launch a high-end slider smartphone, which is called Venice. This smartphone might or might not be powered by Android, but word is BlackBerry will allow customers to choose between two operating systems. The same could be the case for the BlackBerry Passport, which could ship with either BlackBerry 10 OS or Android 5.1 Lollipop right out of the box.

That way the Canadian company will be able to make both BlackBerry and Android fans happy at the same time. So, instead of asking BlackBerry fans if they would like to purchase a BlackBerry smartphone powered by Android, why not offering them the option to choose between two OSes? Given the fact that we can't tell whether or not the photo showing the BlackBerry Passport powered by Android 5.1 Lollipop is legit, we recommend out readers to take the information with a grain of salt.

BlackBerry Passport running Android 5.1
Image credits to Nicola D'Amico

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