Updated: 1 day 11 hours ago
We got our hands on a few new Kyocera handsets today at CTIA 2013 in Las Vegas, one of them being the ruggedized and waterproof Kyocera Hydro Edge. It’s predecessor, the Kyocera Hydro was announced last year at CTIA 2012 in New Orleans. The Hydro Edge continues Kyocera’s ruggedized, waterproof mid-range smartphone model, and brings it up to 2013 with more powerful specs and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. The specs of the device are not super impressive by today’s standards, but are functional nonetheless. The Kyocera Hydro Edge packs a dual-core 1 GHz processor, a 5 MP rear facing camera, 4-inch WVGA display and tempered glass. The device also touts Kyocera’s Smart Sonic Receiver, which utilizes bone conduction technology to transmit sound in the noisiest of environments. Even with the mid-range spec sheet, the Hydro Edge was snappy and responsive, and it’s rubberized back was non-obtrusive and felt comfortable to hold in the hand. I wasn’t able to connect the device to Wi-Fi however, but scrolling through the homescreen and opening apps showed no signs of lag. It’s a snappy little device for sure, and will be great for those who are often in extreme conditions, or have little ones running around anxious to play Angry Birds. The Kyocera Hydro Edge will be launching on Boost Mobile and Sprint this summer. Pricing was not available, but will be aimed at the lower echelon for certain. If you’re looking for a rugged device at an affordable price point, this could be the smartphone for you. CTIA 2013: Hands-On With the Kyocera Hydro Edge originally appeared on IntoMobile.com on 2013-05-22T06:40:35Z. FV1gMYsz9b5j
Once again, Verizon has topped all other major U.S. carriers in the latest survey for customer service. According to the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index survey, Big Red was ranked highest in customer service quality by subscribers. The survey was conducted by using a 100 point system. Verizon scored 73 points, while Sprint came in second place scoring 71 points; AT&T came in third followed by T-Mobile taking the fourth spot. It’ll be interesting to see how things change next year, especially given how T-Mobile just recently changed its whole strategy becoming the “UNcarrier.” Are you satisfied with your wireless provider? [via bgr] Verizon snags top spot for customer service in latest survey originally appeared on IntoMobile.com on 2013-05-22T14:29:41Z. FV1gMYsz9b5j
Samsung has launched a global app competition to get new apps for its recently unveiled Galaxy S4 smartphone. Developers looking to win some cash and extra exposure should take advantage of the Samsung Chord SDK, which is used to create ad-hoc groups with multi-devices in real-time. Samsung has $800,000 to spare with winner taking home whopping $200,000. In addition, three second-placed apps will earn their makers $100,000, with $50,000 waiting for six developers that come in third. But that’s not all; winning apps will also be candidates for investments from Samsung Venture Investment and be promoted through the company’s online properties and press events. “With Samsung Smart App Challenge 2013, Samsung is going to boost mobile ecosystem,” said Won-Pyo Hong, President and Head of Samsung Electronics Media Solution Center. “The Samsung Smart App Challenge will greatly enhance application choices for Galaxy S4 so users can enjoy a valuable experience.” Samsung launches $800,000 app competition for Galaxy S4 originally appeared on IntoMobile.com on 2013-05-22T14:49:34Z. FV1gMYsz9b5j
China Mobile is getting ready to trial its 4G service next month in Shanghai. Starting from June 1st, the world’s largest mobile operator will be inviting around 5,000 users to start testing the TD-LTE based service. As part of its preparations, China Mobile has built 1,000 base stations, 700 outdoors and 300 indoors, to cover the Inner Ring region. The whole city will get the coverage by the end of this year. Initially, the carrier will be offering handsets and modems from Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell and Datang Mobile, with the likes of Samsung joining the party later in the year. China Mobile looks to have 200,000 base stations installed, covering 500 million people across 100 cities. As usual, we can’t but be impressed with China Mobile’s figures… China Mobile starting LTE trials next month originally appeared on IntoMobile.com on 2013-05-22T14:50:48Z. FV1gMYsz9b5j
Global smartphone shipments are set to surpass shipments of basic and feature phones this year. According to the latest Smartphone Quarterly from NPD DisplaySearch, smartphone shipments will reach 937 million units in 2013, compared to just 889 million units for basic phones and feature phones. Between 2011 and 2016, smartphone shipments will grow at a CAGR of 26%, to 1.45 billion units, accounting for two-thirds of the mobile phone market. As you would expect, emerging economies are driving most of the smartphone growth, due in large part to introduction of 3G and 4G networks. In these markets, entry-level smartphones priced below $200 are gaining momentum. In fact, this sector comprises 55% of shipments in China, the world’s largest smartphone market. At the high end of the market, LTE-enabled smartphones will reach 23% market share in 2013, prompting demand for large screen displays. In that sense, shipments of full HD AMOLED and LTPS LCD panels are forecast to increase significantly, from 1.7 million units in 2012 to 113 million units in 2013. Screen sizes are also changing with the market. In 2013, 57% of smartphone displays will range between 4-5 inches, while screens larger than 5 inches will grow to 16% of the market… This year global smartphone shipments will surpass shipments of feature phones originally appeared on IntoMobile.com on 2013-05-22T14:51:54Z. FV1gMYsz9b5j
If you’ve been following IntoMobile in the last few years, you may know that I was the one predicting demise of BlackBerry when it was at the top. I’ve found it pretty obvious that the company has stopped innovating and that the fact they lack patents prevents them from offering their devices at a more reasonable cost. Add what I call the “BIS tax” (BlackBerry service cost) to the mix and you get the idea. Things are now different at the Canadian company and I see a lot of new people bursting with enthusiasm when talking about the platform’s prospects. And while I agree they’re onto something, I do notice one thing’s missing – some of them have no clue what their competitors are doing. Some of the things I’ve heard: We have the fastest web browser out there – to which I reply: and you’re sure it will work better with Google’s web services than Chrome? You can connect your BlackBerry to a TV via HDMI cable and use your phone as remote. I said: Cool, I can do that with my Android phone without a single wire (Miracast or Wi-Di on some Intel-based Android devices). We have the best conversation (not just email) client in the Hub. It’s true that Hub is awesome, but it doesn’t give GMail users “proper” support. For instance, you can’t Archive an email. Some BlackBerry folks even wanted to convince me that I shouldn’t manage my email the way I was doing it for the last 5 (or so) years? Yeah, sure… You can easily share stuff with BlackBerry. Really? Can I manage multiple Facebook pages from the Z10? Can I add stuff to my Buffer queue? Please note that all these things are fixable and that I believe BlackBerry did great job with BlackBerry 10. There are some obstacles ahead, though: BYOD – with employees being able to use their own devices at work, BlackBerry sales will suffer. While Z10 and Q10 are selling well, their figures don’t come even close to those of iOS and Android devices. Enterprise competition is getting stronger – just recently United States has approved Samsung Knox and iOS devices (in addition to BlackBerry 10) as “safe enough” for the military. BlackBerry used to be the sole contender in this market. So what should BlackBerry be doing? The way I see it, they must hire new kind of people – Android users (willing to switch). This is the group of people where BlackBerry should look for, as previous BlackBerry users will likely upgrade (but is that enough?). While Android has many flaws, it also attracts more developers. The point I want to make is that BlackBerry shouldn’t make a feature-for-feature comparison with other platforms; cause it will lose it, big time. For instance, its camera software is only good (and still not on par with that of Samsung, HTC and Nokia) because they’ve licensed many elements from Scalado (now part of Nokia). Overall, I would say that BlackBerry isn’t too appealing to the younger audience since they can’t find their favorite apps for the platform. Think official apps for Pinterest, Fancy, Tumblr, Quora as well as a number of games (Rovio still doesn’t support BlackBerry 10). But this doesn’t mean the Z10 and Q10 are bad devices; quite the contrary, I find them well balanced, positioned in their own category. As soon as old-school BlackBerry folks start explaining their features and compare them with what’s else on the market, the hell unleashes and I keep waiting to hear something I don’t already have on my Android phone. And instead of me praising the platform (my original intention) I end up “attacking” it. Kinda weird… Finally, we would love to see that tablet shell I’ve talked about yesterday. Such a product could make a big difference, or so I think. What do you say? P.S. I’ll continue to rant about BlackBerry in the coming days and weeks. Next time I’ll be looking at the Z10′s design and how it can be improved. Stay tuned… BlackBerry needs is an Android guy/gal to reach more consumers originally appeared on IntoMobile.com on 2013-05-22T14:54:42Z. FV1gMYsz9b5j
In a move that puzzles many, Samsung has made a $50 million investment in a smaller rival Pantech, which also happen to be the third largest smartphone maker in Korea (after Samsung and LG). Pantech is known to make some fancy devices (Vega series) though most of them are not available outside of Korean peninsula. Perhaps Samsung could help Pantech reach new markets relying on its vast distribution network; perhaps it even ends up putting its own chips inside Pantech’s future gear. The latter is highly unlikely since the other large corporate shareholder in Pantech is Qualcomm (which would love its own chips being used, instead). Anyhow, we’re looking forward to see Pantech-made devices hitting the Western hemisphere, providing more options to the consumers. Hopefully, that’s what Samsung’s investment is all about. We’ll let you know when we hear something new on this… [Via: Engadget] Samsung acquires 10% of Pantech originally appeared on IntoMobile.com on 2013-05-22T14:55:46Z. FV1gMYsz9b5j
With the hot-new Samsung Galaxy S4 now available from Sprint, the carrier is pushing Sammy’s last year flagship to its wholly owned no contract subsidiaries, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile. It’s still unclear how much the Galaxy S III will cost sans any long-term commitments, with Sprint wowing to release pricing information at a later date. We do, however, know that interested users will be able to get it in June with Boost Mobile’s no-contract $55 Android Monthly Unlimited plan with Shrinking Payments; or Virgin’s Beyond Talk monthly no contract plans which offer unlimited data and messaging starting at $35 per month. Those who grab the Galaxy S III from either Virgin or Boost will be able to use it on 4G network in 88 markets to get the “real” (as in – fast) experience. Samsung Galaxy S III coming to Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile in June originally appeared on IntoMobile.com on 2013-05-22T14:56:45Z. FV1gMYsz9b5j
Sprint announced a trio of mobile broadband devices that will take advantage of three bands of 4G LTE wireless spectrum available on the Now Network. These devices will be available at some point in the summer, bringing customers improved network performance and stronger in-building coverage as LTE is deployed on each of these bands, including Sprint’s 1.9GHz and 800MHz, as well as Clearwire’s LTE network at 2.5GHz. Novatel Wireless MiFi 500 LTE – offers sleek and compact styling, and the ability to connect up to 10 devices with the same 3G or 4G LTE connection. It comes with a 1,800mAh battery with an average of up to 10 hours of use on a single charge; as well as GPS functionality over Wi-Fi, multiple security protocols and other advanced features required by many corporate customers. NETGEAR Zing Mobile Hotspot – Sprint’s first CDMA/LTE mobile hotspot to boast international roaming capabilities via GSM, and also the first LCD touchscreen hotspot in Sprint’s portfolio. It has a 2,500mAh battery (good for up to 10 hours of operation) and the ability to connect up to 10 users on Wi-Fi capable devices. NETGEAR 341U USB Modem – with a built-in LCD screen display to monitor connection status, signal strength and data usage with a quick glance. In addition, Sprint also said that smartphones from Samsung and LG with tri-band capability are expected to be available before the end of the year. [Image from Engadget] Sprint announces a trio of tri-band LTE mobile broadband devices originally appeared on IntoMobile.com on 2013-05-22T14:59:16Z. FV1gMYsz9b5j
Caterpillar has officially launched its extremely rugged Android smartphone called the Cat B15 in the U.S. This comes after the device hit the United Kingdom first last month for 300 GBP. The company’s durable handset comes with some decent features and specs that aren’t anything to sneeze at. Specs include the following: 4-inch WVGA display MediaTek MT6577 1GHz dual-core processor 1GB of RAM 4GB of internal storage 5 megapixel rear camera with 720p video recording VGA front camera GPS microSD card slot Runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean These specs are more than reasonable for someone who just wants a phone that can take a bit of a pounding. But wait, there’s more. The Cat B15 has IP67 specification, which means it’s dust-proof, shock proof, and waterproof for up to 30 minutes when submerged in up to 3.2 feet of water. The Cat B15 is priced aggressively for a decent unlocked smartphone, with its $350 tag. The company has lofty ambitions of becoming the number one manufacturer of rugged handsets in the world. Although this proclamation is bold, we’re positive Motorola will have something to say about that in the near future. However, with Motorola’s direction being changed by Google, Caterpillar may actually stand a good chance of accomplishing what they are setting out do. After all, there’s a wide open market for rugged handsets. That said, for any of you interested in buying Caterpillars Cat B15 handset you will only have one source to go through, Quality One Wireless. Hey, that isn’t so bad if you’re really in the market for a rugged phone like this. [via Phandroid] Caterpillar CAT B15 rugged Android phone makes US debut, priced at $350 originally appeared on IntoMobile.com on 2013-05-22T15:18:10Z. FV1gMYsz9b5j
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