Sprint's first Windows Phone 8 smartphone with international roaming
If you head over to Sprint and check out the Windows Phone 8 selection, you'll only find a single device. It's the HTC 8XT with a 4.3-inch display and 800x480. Jonesing for something bigger with a higher res? Samsung's Ativ S Neo will be available on Friday, August 16, for $150 with a new line or eligible upgrade, two-year service agreement, and $50 mail-in-rebate (via reward card).
Google can translate, but tact will still be on you
Do you run to your smartphone to translate phrases when faced with a language you don't speak? Is Google Translate part of your usual app arsenal? You might want to keep your ear to the ground then, as Google seems to be preparing a real-time translation device.
This is shaping up to be interesting year for smartphones, and if you're an Android user, you'll have more options than ever to choose from. One of those options is the HTC One Mini, a handset that's sure to give One S owners a bit of smartphone envy. A German website posted a handful of photos of the One Mini, along with a list of specs that include a 4.3-inch 720p display.
Let's be clear about something right off the bat. Highfalutin digital SLR cameras are very much relevant and will be for a long, long time to come. DSLRs have nothing to worry about from smartphones, not now, not tomorrow, and maybe not ever. But compact cameras and consumer point-n-shoots in general? Well, they're already feeling the squeeze from increasingly capable smartphones, and if Nokia's Lumia 1020 lives up to the hype, it could be the beginning of the end for budget digicams.
Smartphone sector isn't appealing to AMD right now
You can hardly go a week without there being a new smartphone announcement, some bigger than others. Thanks to a combination of lower prices (especially subsidized pricing) and advancements in mobile technology, smartphones are more popular than ever, but that doesn't mean AMD is anxious to jump in and start competing with ARM, its licensing partners (like Nvidia and Qualcomm), and Intel.
The thing about smartphones is that even though they're offered at a large discount when signing up for a two-year service agreement, if you don't opt for an accidental damage warranty, you could be looking at a costly replacement if something goes wrong. What happens if you're sitting by the pool and your Galaxy S4 decides to squirt out of your hand and go for a swim? The outcome isn't likely a good one (try sticking it in a bag or bowl of uncooked rice for a day or two). However, Samsung's Galaxy S4 Active isn't quite as fragile.
Thinking about picking up Samsung's Galaxy S4 smartphone? Before you do, Microsoft wants you to consider the price. Off contract, a Galaxy S4 will set you back "a cool $750," compared to Nokia's Lumia 521, a Windows Phone 8 device that costs $150 off-contract. Oh yes, Microsoft went there, and then shot a YouTube video showing all the things you could purchase at a Microsoft Store with the money you saved.
Handset makers and wireless carriers love to load up Google's Android platform with custom overlays, user interface tweaks, and third-party programs that don't ship natively with the open source operating system. That's great for them, but most power users would prefer a clean version of Android to work with, which is why the third-party ROM community is popular. Well, following in the footsteps of Samsung and it's custom S4 that was announced at Google I/O, HTC is reportedly kicking around the idea of offering a Google Edition of its One smartphone.
Cries of "boycott!" emanate from the BlackBerry 10 camp.
Netflix has been known to rile up its subscribers on occasion. The biggest example of this is when Netflix tried to sever its DVD-by-mail division into a spinoff called "Qwikster" so that it could focus all its efforts on streaming. That didn't sit very well with consumers, but it wouldn't be the last time the company would make an unpopular decision. Just a few days ago, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings hinted that his company currently has no plans of developing a BlackBerry 10 app.
The cold, hard truth for companies like Nokia and HTC is that one of their biggest competitors, Samsung, is red hot right now. Apple faces the same concern, though the Cupertino company isn't fighting for scraps like the other guys, it's leaving them behind alongside Samsung, the latter of which just announced it has surpassed 10 million Galaxy S4 sales in less than a month after its commercial debut.