Wow, what a week it's been, Google I/O has pretty much come and gone like a tsunami! Although, it left behind more positives, with more tools being handed over to developers and of course, Hangouts. But, what's been going on around the rest of the world? Well, I'm glad you're here because that's just what I am going to address here in another edition of Droid Worldwide Weekly, where we bring you the biggest Android News from around the globe. News that might be more relevant to your little corner of the globe. Read on to see what's been happening in the World of Android this past week!
French Proposal Would Tax Smartphones and Tablets at 1%; Pile the Money into Art and Culture Funding
A proposal has been handed to the French President recently that details a tax on "Internet-capable" devices like smartphones and tablets of 1%. The money would then be piled back into funding that goes towards art and culture projects. It doesn't matter where you are in the world these days, money is tight and yet Apple, Google and Amazon are all making a whole lot of money off of these devices. 1% is hardly a pill to swallow and would net roughly â‚¬86 Million a year, do you think this is a good idea?
XOLO Announce Q700 Quad-Core Smartphone
It's been a little while since we heard anything from Indian company XOLO but, now they're back with the Q700. This quad-core smartphone comes with some impressive specs and a number of special features, like the ability to set profiles for widgets etc. Let's take a look at the specs:
- 4.5-inch (960 x 540 pixels) 16M color capacitive touch screen IPS display at 245 ppi
- 1.2 GHz quad-core MediaTek 6589W-M processor with 238 MHz PowerVR SGX544 GPU
- Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)
- Dual SIM (GSM + GSM)
- 5MP rear camera with LED Flash, BSI sensor and 720p HD video recording
- 0.3 (MP) VGA front-facing camera
- 10.2 mm thick and weighs 151.3 grams
- 3.5mm audio jack
- 1GB RAM, 4GB internal memory, 32GB expandable memory with MicroSD
- 3G (HSDPA: 21 Mbps, HSUPA: 11 Mbps), WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS
- 2400 mAh battery
Sony Xperia A Announced for Japan's NTT DoCoMo
It's that time of year again in Japan and one of the bigger announcements was the Xperia A for NTT DoCoMo, following in the footsteps of the Xperia Z and ZL, this is a device that's a little smaller and a little less on the high-end side of things but, it's still a solid performer and will serve you well. Here are the specs:
- 4.6-inch OptiContrast OLED at 1280 x 720
- 1.5 Ghz Quad-Core Snapdragon S4 Pro
- 2GB of RAM
- 13MP rear-facing camera with dedicated camera key and 15 fps burst rate with 0.3 MP front-facing
- NFC and LTE Support
- 2,300 mAh battery
- Android 4.1
Aquos Zeta SH-06E Packs 1080p IGZO Display
Here's another device for NTT DoCoMo, this time from Sharp, packing a 4.8-inch 1080p IGZO panel, a 1.7Ghz Snapdragon 600, 2GB of RAM, a 13 MP camera.It'll be available in blue, red and white from May 24th. Lucky Japan!
Aquos Pad SH-08E Comes With Full HD 7-inch Panel
Here's something that will really make us Westerners jealous. Sharp are bringing a tablet to NTT DoCoMo alongside their new smartphone and it's packing a 7-inch 1920 x 1200 display, a 1.7 Ghz Snapdragon 600 and a sizable 4,200 mAh battery inside. It's also waterproof and dust proof. As with their new smartphone, Sharp's IGZO panel tech will make that battery last that little bit longer. It'll be available in Japan from July or so.
NTT DoCoMo to Roll Out 150 Mbps LTE This Year
NTT DoCoMo will begin rolling out their new Xi base stations that provide 150 Mbps speeds in Osaka, Tokyo and Nagoya. While frequencies are not settled on just yet, the company wants to double its existing 24,400 stations to 50,000 by the end of 2013. Japanese readers can get more info from Impress Watch.
LG Announce Optimus It for Japan
The South Korean's smartphones have been big features in Japan for some time now and the Optimus It is no different. This is perhaps more on the mid-range side of things but, it still has a lot going for it. Just like a lot of NTT DoCoMo's other launches, this will run on the Xi service and has TV support as well. Here are the specs:
- 4.5-inch (1280 x 720 pixels) True HD IPS display
- 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8064T processor
- Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)
- 13.2MP auto focus camera with LED flash and BSI sensor
- 1.4-megapixel front-facing camera withBSI sensor
- LTE / 3G, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, GPS and NFC
- expandable memory up to 64GB with microSD a
- 2100 mAh battery
Xiaomi To launch "Red Rice" Smartphone; Cheapest Yet
Xiaomi are known for their affordable smartphones but, there's word of them pushing things even further with the rumored "Red Rice" device that could well cost as little as $130! That's lower than the company has even gone and would be great for teenagers and first-time smartphone buyers. The rumored specs aren't much but, they won't be for that much:
- Dual-core processor running at 1.2 GHz, claimed to be a Leadercore LC1810
- 4.7 inch 720p display (1280—720 pixels)
- 1GB RAM
- 8GB internal storage (no word whether it will support microSD)
- 8 megapixel main camera
- 2 megapixel front camera
- 2,000 mAh battery
- MIUI v5
Micromax Readying Full HD 5.5-inch Device?
Our Indian readers will know of Micromax for their quality but affordable devices, now it looks like they might be ready to hit the high-end. A new phablet is apparently on the way from the company, with a 5.5-inch Full HD display, a quad-core MediaTek CPU and 2GB of RAM. The device would cost somewhere in the region of 20,000 INR and could surface as early as next month.
Updated Fonepad Goes on Sale in Taiwan
The Fonepad has hardly been on sale very long and yet ASUS are already upping the specs! The tablet now comes with a slightly fast 1.6 Ghz Intel Atom Z2460, and 32GB of Storage for NT$10,900. Not too bad, right?
China's MeituKiss Smartphone Has Two 8MP Cameras, A Phone For the Ladies
Have you wondered what it be like to have a quality shooter at the front of your smartphone, as well as the rear? Well, with the MeituKiss you can finally find out! Coming to China soon, this feminine handset comes with two 8 MegaPixel cameras, one at the rear and one at the back, both with a respectable f/2.2 aperture. As well as this there's a Android 4.2.2, a quad-core MediaTek MT6589, a 4.5-inch 720p display and a 1,800 mAh battery.
Sony Xperia UL Heading to Japan's KDDI Soon?
If you thought that the Xperia A was enough for Sony, then you'd be wrong, because the Xperia UL has just broken cover. It's said this is to become a KDDI exclusive – at least in Japan – and could be the first Sony smartphone to use the Snapdragon 600 over the aging S4 Pro. It's codenamed "Gaga" and apparently comes with 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and it is, of course, waterproof and dustproof. Perhaps Sony is gearing up for a bigger summer than we thought?
ZTE Announce Grand Z2 In, Coming to Europe Soon
It's not everyday that we hear of ZTE bringing their more higher-end devices to Europe to to hear that the Grand X2 In is coming is good news. It's an Intel-powered smartphone with a 720p display and while that doesn't sound anything to special, it should be more than enough to keep up with the rest of the pack. Read more here.
Lenovo's K900 Launches in China at Long Last
Easily one of the best handsets to hit the Chinese market in a long time now, the Lenovo K900 is finally available to buy in China! Pricing is going to depend on which carrier you buy it through etc etc but, this is not your average Lenovo phone, so don't expect a cheap price. This is a quality piece of hardware, encased in aluminum and packing some serious horsepower. Take a look at the specs below, and let us know if you're picking one up in the comments below:
- 5.5-inch 1080p IPS display
- 2 GHz dual-core Intel Atom chip
- 13-megapixel rear camera with dual flash/ 2-megapixel front-facing camera
- 2GB of RAM
- 16GB of storage
- Weight: 5.7 ounces
- Thickness: 6.9mm