|The Galaxy Note 8.0|
Courtesy of Samsung
The world’s top phone-makers gathered last week in Barcelona, at Mobile World Congress 2013, to show off their latest hardware. Well, most of the world’s top phone-makers, anyway. The iFalutin’ folks from Apple Inc didn’t deign to mix with the riff-raff, but pretty much everyone else turned up, if only to let attendees gawk at the size of their units.
MWC 2013 was a tawdry, size-obsessed affair event, you see. Everyone was gushing about five-inch this, eight-inch that. Indeed, we overheard things like: “Deary me, isn’t that an enormous piece of hardware!”, “Whoa, it dwarfs my face!” and “It’s, like, so girthy!”
Big, in other words, was the biggest trend at the show this year.
Samsung, for whom “Make the Gadget Bigger” has become a design mantra, took the wraps off its Galaxy Note 8.0. This is either a mid-sized tablet or a big-honkin’ smartphone, depending on how you look at it.
As its name suggests, the Galaxy Note 8.0 is kin to the 5.5-inch Galaxy Note II. Both devices run Android OS and come equipped with a stylus for extra-precise pointing and jabbing, a feature the sausage-fingered will appreciate. The Note 8.0 boasts a 1,280 x 800 TFT display, a 1.6GHz A9 quad-core CPU, 2GB of RAM and a five-megapixel rear camera. Samsung is also touting “efficient multitasking,” via a dual-view feature.
Techeye isn’t convinced by the Galaxy Note 8.0 – it’s hard to look anything but dumb with a tablet pressed against your face. But Samsung likes ‘em big and clearly isn’t worried about its bottom line these days. Indeed, the firm plans to reveal a fourth iteration of its cash-minting Galaxy S smartphone on March 14.
|The PadFone Infinity|
Courtesy of Asus
The latter is described as a seven-inch, competitively priced “handheld” that combines smartphone and tablet features. We beg to differ. Sorry, Asus, but seven inches is more of a “hands-held” (unless your target demographic suffers from overactive pituitary glands).
The PadFone Infinity is more interesting, or at least our inner eight-year-old thinks so. This is a hybrid device: a five-inch smartphone that becomes a 10.1-inch tablet when docked in its frame. It has a Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor, runs Android 4.2 and has 64GB of storage. The phone unit has a 13-MP camera.
On the upside, the dual aspect of the PadFone Infinity is a clever way to reduce gadget clutter. It also avoids awkward data-syncing between devices; the docking station can charge the phone unit if needed. Downsides include the ?999 price tag and the worry of dock malfunction.
Courtesy of ZTE
The Open is a humble, mid-market piece of kit. It has a 3.5-inch screen, a Cortex A5 Qualcomm processor, 512MB of storage (expandable) and a 3.2-MP camera. Nuthin’ fancy, in other words. Expect the as-yet-unannounced price point to be equally unpretentious.
As for Firefox OS, Mozilla is selling the open-source operating system as a “fully-adaptable, unconstrained mobile platform” with native support for HTML5. This will give developers flexibility and cost control, but also a woefully unpopulated app market.
That’s a major handicap, to be honest. Because when it comes to an app ecosystem, size matters.
Ever hefted new hardware and marveled at its girth? Let us know: email@example.com
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