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Android rumor roundup May, 2013

Android rumor roundup


This column gathers the top rumors in the Android space. It was originally published December 14, 2012, and is updated weekly.

Remember when HTC CEO Peter Chou was caught on video screaming about the HTC M7? Well, it’s sibling, the M4, is back. And so are rumors of Google’s Nexus 5, and the much whispered-about Motorola X Phone.

April 27 – May 3, 2013

The HTC “M4” looks to be a lower-powered and smaller take on the HTC One.

HTC M4 (May 1, 2013)
HTC will reportedly debut a smaller version of the flagship HTC One smartphone, according to Phone Arena. Operating under the codename of “M4,” the handset is rumored to feature a 4.3-inch 720p display, an “UltraPixel” camera, a dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and LTE connectivity. These reports confirm early chatter of a lesser-powered M7 (HTC One) would soon be announced. Presumably, the M4 will also run the latest version of HTC’s custom Sense UI.

Motorola X Phone (May 2, 2013)
A trio of new images appear to suggest Ma Bell is in line to carry the so-called, and still unconfirmed, Motorola X Phone. The three photos, which come from oft-reliable Twitter source @evleaks, show a smartphone (or smartphones) that somewhat resembles previously leaked photos. Bearing the name “Blackboxed Motorola for AT&T,” it appears to be the same handset found in a batch of images that have since been removed from a Vietnamese site.

New benchmarks surfacing this week show a potential X Phone running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. These new numbers conflict with scores from last week that tipped tipped Android 5.0.1. The scores, which can be easily rigged, showed a “Google X” with a 1.5GHz processor and a score of 15,479.

Could we be looking at one (or three) of AT&T’s future X Phones?

Sources indicate that users might be able to customize multiple facets of the rumored device, including the outer materials and colors. Internally, reports suggest that the X-Phone is actually part of a larger brand and an approach that could feature user-defined configurations for memory and processor options as well as carrier selection.

It likely won’t be called the X-Phone when the project hits prime time, but the project is at least very much real. A job posting on LinkedIn advertised for an “X-Phone” product manager.

Plenty of other rumors swirl around the suspected device, including one that the X-Phone may offer hardware choices that resemble the Droid Razr Maxx HD, according to one PhoneArena source.

Nexus 5 (May 1, 2013)
Google may again tap LG as the handset maker of choice for the next generation of Nexus smartphones, according to the Korea Times. No hardware details or time frames were given; however, we might anticipate something in the fall. Given the trend as of late is to release the Nexus experience in the fall so we might expect specs and rumors to come in short order.

Toshiba’s next Android tablet could feature a keyboard dock.

Toshiba AT10LE-A (May 2, 2013)
Toshiba is rumored to be testing a new high-end Android tablet capable of connecting to an external keyboard, reports Techblog. Hardware specifications are said to include Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 4 1.8GHz processor, 10.1-inch display, microSD, Mini-HDMI output, and stereo speakers. There are no indications yet as to which markets may carry the Toshiba AT10LE-A, nor are pricing details clear.

The Toshiba AT10LE-A seems to run the Android 4.2.1 version, and according to benchmarks that appeared recently Tegra 4 processor, will be clocked at 1.8GHz.

Might the NEC Terrain be a rugged take on the “business” form factor?

NEC Terrain (April 29, 2013)
AT&T looks to be readying another portrait QWERTY Android, this time in the form of an NEC. Known as the NEC Terrain, the phone should run Android 4.1+ and feature a display in the realm of 2.8-inches to 3.0-inches. No additional details are known however the rubber coating and moniker lead us to believe a rugged experience could be in order.

April 20 – April 26, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active (April 26, 2013)
According to a Wall Street Journal report, Samsung expects to release a waterproof and dust-proof version of the Samsung Galaxy S4. Known for now as the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, the smartphone is rumored to touch down in July.

Samsung Galaxy Core (April 26, 2013)
Samsung could also be readying yet another member of the Galaxy family as word of a Samsung Galaxy Core trickles online (translate). Details for the smartphone point to a trimmed-down experience with specs such as a 4.3-inch (800×480) display, a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, 768MB RAM, 8GB internal storage (with microSD expansion), a 5-megapixel rear camera, and a 1,800mAh battery. Resembling pretty much every other Samsung handset as of late, the Galaxy Core figures to run Android 4.1 with TouchWiz UI.

The so-called Samsung Galaxy Core offers entry-level hardware specifications.

Sony Xperia ZR (April 26, 2013)
Sony may introduce a 4.6-inch variation of the Xperia Z in the near term, reports Xperiablog. Previously rumored under the moniker “Dogo”, the C550X looks to feature a 720p HD display, 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, 8GB internal storage, a 13-megapixel (Exmor RS) rear camera, and 2,300mAH battery. While the processor is listed as a Qualcomm design, it is unclear whether it will be a Snapdragon S4 Pro or Snapdragon 600 series. Like the Xperia Z, the so-called Xperia ZR is also rumored to be water-resistant.

Previous rumors for the handset line up closely with the Xperia ZR specs; however it’s not an exact match. Details uncovered in March suggested the Dogo would feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 CPU, though it was listed with 32GB internal storage. For what it’s worth, this handset was also tied to the name “Xperia A” and was said to feature an IR blaster and NFC support.

April 13 – April 19, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini (April 19, 2013)
Samsung looks to have delayed the release of the Galaxy S4 Mini by eight weeks, reports SamMobile. Rumored to come in two colors (Black Mist and White Frost), Samsung may offer the handset in both single-SIM and dual-SIM flavors.

Dovetailing with previous rumors, the Galaxy S4 Mini could feature a 4.3-inch qHD display, an 8-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, AGPS, and provide 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB storage options.

LG Optimus G2 (April 18, 2013)
The LG Optimus G2 could prove to be too thin for a conventional form factor, or so says tech site MyDrivers (translate). Word on the street is that the volume and power buttons will be moved to the rear, as they do not fit properly on the sides. First discovered by its model number, the LG D801 has been found to score considerably high on benchmark tests; all sources indicate LG may be readying one of the most powerful devices to date.

Rumored as the LG Optimus G2, details include Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, a 1.7 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, a 13-megapixel rear camera, 2GB RAM, and an Adreno 330 GPU. Expected to offer a full-HD 1,920×1,080-pixel display, it’s possible that the D801 will boast a screen size of 5 inches or larger.

Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 (April 18, 2013)
The first details for what is expected to be the Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 have arrived, suggesting that another midrange experience is on the horizon. Preliminary specifications are reported to include a dual-core 1GHz Broadcom processor, a display resolution of 480×800 pixels, 4GB internal storage, and a 5-megapixel camera. As often has been the case with European models of this kind, the Galaxy Ace 3 is rumored to come in a variety of colors and single-SIM and dual-SIM editions.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (April 17, 2013)
Samsung may take a page out of the HTC playbook with the upcoming Galaxy Note 3, SamMobile suggests. Reportedly “worried” about the design of the next big thing, Samsung could change things up for the massive handset and forgo the familiar plastic materials.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is rumored to feature a 6.3-inch display, according to details found on Samsung’s Galaxy S4 microsite. A Samsung Game Pad accessory lists support for 4-inch to 6.3-inch screen sizes, leading many to believe this will be size of the next phablet experience. Lining up with a previous Korean Times report, Samsung could give its next Note an eight-core processor.

Huawei Edge (April 11, 2013)
Huawei may dial up the Edge as the handset maker’s flagship device for summer 2013. Recently leaked (translate) details suggest the smartphone will run Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and feature a quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, a 4.9-inch 1080p HD display, and 2,600mAh battery. Reportedly, the Huawei Edge will come in 16GB and 32GB models and could come in a svelte 6.3mm chassis.

April 3 – April 12, 2013

Android-powered notebooks (April 2, 2013)
Rumors out of Digitimes suggest that Google is building an Android-powered notebook PC that could arrive as soon as the third quarter. Reportedly, the “Androidbook” is one of Sundar Pichai’s projects and could help accelerate Google’s foray into the PC market.

Nexus 7 refresh (April 3, 2013)
The next generation of Nexus 7 could arrive in July, according to Reuters. Reportedly, Google will again employ Asus for the devices however Qualcomm may have replaced NVIDIA as the chipmaker of choice. It remains unclear what will happen with the current series of Nexus 7 models; rumors suggest Google could be pushing for a lower price for the 7-inch lineup.

Previous rumors suggest that the new Nexus 7 could feature an HD display. DisplaySearch analyst Paul Semenza recently told CNET that the next model may reach 323 pixels per inch, which could mean up to 1,900 x 1,200 pixel resolution.

Casio C881 Gz’One Commando (April 1, 2013)
A Casio C881 Gz’One Commando has been recently spotted in FCC documents, tipping Verizon’s hand for an upcoming military-spec device. Presumably a successor to last year’s C771 Gz’One Commando, the details look to include CDMA and LTE support, as well as NFC, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.

Other rumors we’re tracking

Amazon Kindle Phone (March 27, 2013)
Amazon may have scrapped plans for 4.3-inch screen on the rumored Kindle phone in favor of a larger 4.7-inch display, reports DigiTimes. Said to be arriving as soon as the second quarter, Amazon’s Android handset will presumably run a forked version of the platform, similar to the one that runs the Kindle Fire tablets. Allegedly, Amazon has tasked Foxconn with building the Kindle Phone, Taiwan Economic News reports.

Sony Togari (March 27, 2013)
Sony may introduce the largest smartphone experience to date, if the rumored “Togari” proves to be real. A photo of the alleged full HD panel surfaced back in January, showing a massive 6.44-inch display size.

Larger than the Huawei Ascend Mate, it is also expected to be faster and more powerful in nearly every aspect. Components are reported to include 3GB RAM, a 2.3GHZ Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU, Adreno 330 GPU, 32GB of internal storage, and 13-megapixel Exmor RS camera. Powered by a 3,500mAh battery, the Togari should also feature a stylus, NFC, LTE, and an IR blaster.

HTC Droid DNA/Butterfly successor (March 27, 2013)
A follow-up to HTC’s Droid DNA phone is being planned, says HTC Chief Marketing Officer Ben Ho. Talking with reporters earlier in the week, Ho said that HTC would soon launch a second-generation Butterfly aimed at those looking for the large-screen experience.

Google’s Android smartwatch (March 21, 2013)
Google looks to be joining Apple in the development of a rumored smartwatch, according to a recent Financial Times report. Details are light, however, the watch is said to be designed by the “Android unit” at Google. An unnamed source said that the watch will “act as an extension to the smartphones using that operating system.” According to a 2011 patent application, the watch will have dual-screened display and a interactive user interface.

Samsung smartwatch (March 18, 2013)
Samsung has confirmed plans to release a smartwatch, but details like pricing and availability are unknown. “We’ve been preparing the watch product for so long,” Lee Young Hee, executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile business, recently said during an interview with Bloomberg. “We are working very hard to get ready for it. We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them.”

LG smartwatch (March 22, 2013)
LG could be cooking up both a smartwatch and a wearable computing device along the lines of Google Glass, reports the Korea Times. It remains unclear whether the LG watch will run Android or Firefox; both are likely candidates for the hardware maker.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Plus (March 21, 2013)
Samsung could introduce a Galaxy Tab 3 Plus later this year, according to a SamMobile insider. Reportedly, the high-end Samsung tablet will feature a Super AMOLED FULL HD Display and may come in either a 10.1-inch or 11.6-inch display size. Early rumors pegged pegged the device with a 2,560×1,600 pixel resolution and possibly a quad-core Exynos processor and at least 2GB RAM.

ZTE Quantum (March 19, 2013)
Sprint is rumored to be testing a 4G LTE smartphone from ZTE, reports AndroidPolice. Carrying an N8910 model number, the Quantum is said to run Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and feature a 5-inch 720p display, a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 1GB RAM, and 4GB internal storage. Flanked by a 13.0-megapixel rear camera and front-facing 0.9-megapixel camera, the Quantum could be another lower-cost alternative for Sprint customers.

Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie
Leaked slides from a Qualcomm presentation give credence to rumors and expectations of a spring release for Android’s 5.0 Key Lime Pie mobile OS. The name and time frame are not exactly new, though Qualcomm’s insistence that the slides be removed is telling. Perhaps the chipmaker’s Octa 8-core processor is included in the first handset or tablet? It is worth noting, however, that the “K” release of Android could ultimately end up as v4.3 or something similar.

Sony Xperia L (March 6, 2013)
A Sony Xperia L could soon be introduced as a mid-tier Android device, reports Xperia Blog. Details for the handset are reported to include a 4.3-inch, 854×480-pixel display, 1GHz dual-core processor, 8GB internal storage, microSD slot, and an 8-megapixel camera. Said to run Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, the Xperia L is also known by its C210X model number.

T-Mobile Prism II (March 3, 2013)
T-Mobile may offer the Huawei U8686 as the T-Mobile Prism, indicates oft-reliable @evleaks. Specifications are reported to include Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean, a 1GHz single-core processor, and a display with 320×240-pixel resolution. Typically, a QVGA display falls at around 3.5 inches.

HTC G2 (February 1, 2013)
Not to be confused with the another HTC smartphone of the same name, a low-end Android model is also rumored for a spring 2013 release date. Details obtained by Unwired View include a 1GHz processor, a 2.5-inch HVGA display, 512MB RAM, 4GB of internal storage, and 5-megapixel camera. Presumably aimed at first-time smartphone users, the G2 could run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Pantech Perception (February 22, 2013)
The Pantech Perception recently passed through the FCC, hinting at a basic touch smartphone with an 8-megapixel rear camera. Details confirmed in the filing include NFC, 4G LTE, as well as CDMA and GSM roaming. Chances are good that this is merely Verizon’s take on the Pantech Discover announced at CES. Should that prove true, we could also anticipate a dual-core processor and 4.8-inch display.

Samsung Godiva (February 25, 2013)
The Samsung Godiva, spied indicates Verizon may offer another member in the Stratosphere family. Details are rumored to include CDMA and LTE bands, GSM roaming, NFC, and support for future AWS networks. While the model number indicates a direct successor to the Stratosphere is in order, a photo obtained by Engadget suggests otherwise; note the lack of a physical keyboard.

Asus ME371MG tablet (February 7, 2013)
Asus will allegedly debut an “ultra-budget” 7-inch Android tablet in the second quarter, reports Bulgarian tech site (translate). The tablet could have an Intel Atom Z2420 dual-core processor, a microSD expansion slot, 1GB RAM, and a 3-megapixel rear camera. Powered by Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the ME371MG is listed with a 7-inch 1,280×800-pixel IPS screen, 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera, and 4,270 mAh battery.

LG VS870 (January 23, 2013)
Verizon may introduce a version of the LG Escape, according to FCC documents. Hardware details are unknown but are likely to include the same 4.3-inch display, 1GB RAM, and 5-megapixel camera.