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Phablets

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Phablet is a smartphone form factor describing devices with a screen between 5 to 9 inches. Smartphone screens keep getting bigger and at this point, we would avoid anything smaller than 5.3 inches. Devices like the 4-inch iPhone 5 are really suffering from small real estate.

Device can be used in combination with Smartwatches. For example Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is one such phone with specialized watches for it. Sony smartwatch is compatible with most Android phone models and at $199 much cheaper then Samsung offering.

Phablets typically provide both 2G and 3G capabilities and usually have two SIM slots. Ideally for AT&T you need a phablet with 1900/850mhz GSM and UMTS/HSPA 3G and for T-Mobile 1900/850mhz GSM and the 1700mhz band for 3G.  See 3G frequency bands

Samsung's Galaxy Note (5.3-inch) is largely credited with pioneering the worldwide phablet market.

"When we first introduced the Note in 2011, a lot of people made a mockery of it and some even said it was doomed to fail," Lee Young-hee, executive vice president of mobile marketing at Samsung, recently told reporters.

"But we noticed that people were carrying more than three devices on average such as phones, music players and gaming machines, and we thought people may want just one device that can do it all."

It was launched in 2011 (Wikipedia)

The Samsung Galaxy Note[19] used a 5.3 in (130 mm) screen. While some media outlets questioned the viability of the device,[20][21] the Note received positive reception for its stylus functionality, the speed of its 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, and the advantages of its high resolution display. The Galaxy Note was a commercial success; Samsung announced in December 2011 that the Galaxy Note had sold 1 million units in two months. In February 2012, Samsung debuted a Note version with 4G LTE support, and by May 2012 the Note received an update from Android 2.3 to Android 4.0.[22] By August 2012, the Note had sold 10 million units worldwide.[23]

The 2012 Samsung Galaxy Note II employed a 1.6 GHz quad-core processor, a 5.55 in (141 mm) screen and the ability to run two applications at once via a split-screen view.[24] Sales of the Galaxy Note II reached 5 million units internationally in two months.[25] The 2012 LG Optimus Vu used a 5 inch (130 mm) display with a 4:3 aspect ratio—which was considered an unusual ratio for a smartphone screen.[5][16] Joining the Galaxy Note II on many carriers' websites in 2013 was the nearly-identically-sized LG Optimus G Pro, released in April.[26] The two 2013 Samsung Galaxy Mega phablets, with 5.8 or 6.3 in (150 or 160 mm) screens -- neither with an integral stylus -- were released in May and June, respectively.[27]

Larger phablets such as Lenovo A3000 phablet and Asus FonePad (7 inch) are now common. Sony recently introduced a very expensive Xperia Z Ultra (6.44 inch).

In 2013 phablets became the most dynamic part of smartphones market:

In January 2013, IHS reported that 25.6 million phablet devices were sold in 2012 and estimated that these figures would grow to 60.4 million in 2013, and 146 million by 2016.

Barclays projected sales of phablets rising from 27 million in 2012 to 230 million in 2015.[9] In September 2013 International Data Corporation (IDC) reported that its research indicated that phablet size smartphones "overtook shipments of both laptops and tablets in Asia in the second quarter of 2013."

The most recent (and very expensive) entries into this market are Huawei's Ascend Mate 6.1-inch screen, and Sony's Xperia Z Ultra boasts a 6.4-inch screen, making it only less than an inch smaller than Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet. Samsung's Galaxy Mega has a 6.3-inch screen and costs less then $400 (high end smartphones usually cost around $200 to produce)

In a 2013 analysis, Engadget identified dropping screen prices, increasing screen power efficiency, increasing battery life and the evolving importance of multimedia viewing as critical factors in the popularity of the phablet.[11] In 2012, Forbes Magazine noted that men's clothing could adapt to accommodate phablets.

Doug Conklyn, vice president of global design for Dockers told Fox News said the company reworked the size of its pants pockets "to accommodate the growing size of smartphones."[13]

Reuters called 2013 the "Year of the Phablet."[14]

The Huawei Ascend Mate employs a 6.1 in (150 mm) display[7] and Huawei CEO Richard Yu has called the phablet to be the future of smartphones due to their "all-in-one" nature.[28]

The Asus FonePad (micro SIM card) with its 7 inch (180 mm) screen,[29] is remarkable for its having broken through the 6.9 inch diagonal screen size barrier which has traditionally separated phablets from true tablets.[citation needed]

The Sony Xperia Z Ultra, released in August 2013, has a 6.44 in (164 mm) touchscreen that allows users to take notes with either stylus, regular pencils or pens even from a locked screen and during calls.[30] Like the Xperia Z, the phablet is dust-proof and water-resistant (IP55 and IP58), as well as shatter-proof and scratch-resistant.[31][32] Paired with the phone is a bluetooth handset accessory (SBH52) for call handling.[33]

 


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Google Aims At Next Billion Smartphone Users With New Android, First On New Nexus 5 Phone

Did Google wiped out market for $350+ smartphones in one stoke ?

Forbes

Google is making the two models latest Nexus phone, which will sell starting today for $349 without a contract for the 16 GB model and $399 for the 32 GB model, available in more countries (10) and retailers and carriers (T-Mobile, Best Buy BBY +0.3%, Amazon, Sprint, and Radio Shack) than previous models. It won’t be available on Verizon, which uses different cellular frequencies than other carriers, but will work with AT&T.

However, Google’s intention is less to gain market share than to provide a reference model that will push the rest of the industry forward faster, Pichai said. Google’s flat shares in today’s trading may reflect that reality.

Perhaps most important for Google, KitKat was designed to require less memory to run, only 512 megabytes of RAM, which is common to many low-end smartphones. Google did that by reducing memory consumption needed by the software, by taking apps like maps and mail and making them use less memory, and exiting out of apps or processes automatically if they’re not being used. In addition, the software will give app developers way to recognize that a particular phone has only a small amount of memory, so they can do a different user interface to make it fit better.

“It’s a cutting-edge OS meant to operate on cutting-edge phones, but it can work all the way back on less sophisticated phones, in one version of the OS,” Pichai said. “That makes a big difference. We want to reach the next 1 billion people on one version of Android.”

[Nov 02, 2013]  Google touts new Nexus 5 phone, unwraps KitKat Android 4.4

At $349 it puts serious down pressure on upper segments of the market. Especially on Samsung models. But "No SSD card" might mean no sales. Those of us who travel outside the metropolitan areas know that mobile Cloud access is not viable and you need to have your staff on the card that you carry.
The Register

KitKat, aka Android 4.4, has faster multitasking and full voice control, according to Google, and a smarter caller ID system so that if the number dialing in isn't on your contacts list then Android will take a guess at who it is using businesses listed on Google Maps.

KitKat devices can now send documents to printers directly using Google Cloud Print or HP's ePrint system, and Quickoffice has been redesigned to make finding files easier and editing documents and spreadsheets more simple. The email application has also had a facelift, as has the download function.

The Chocolate Factory promises that KitKat will be able to run on a wider variety of hardware than other versions because it doesn’t require the latest and greatest hardware to run. By shutting down background services and trimming memory requirements, Google reckons KitKat will need just 512MB of RAM to run smoothly.

That said, in the near future it's only going to be available for high-end hardware such as the Nexus 4, 7 and 10; the Samsung Galaxy S4; and the HTC One Google Play edition. As for the Nexus 5, of the major US carriers only Verizon isn't carrying the handset, and it is also available unlocked in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan and South Korea.

Google has stuck with LG as its hardware maker for the Nexus 5, rather than switching to Motorola as some rumors had suggested. The mobe comes with a five-inch 1920-by-1080-pixel display (that's 445 pixel per inch) and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor running at 2.3GHz with 2GB of RAM.

LTE and dual-aerial Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac) is built in and the handset has two cameras – a bog-standard 1.3Mp front facer for videoconferencing and an 8Mp rear camera. For auteurs, there's also a new HDR+ mode that takes multiple shots quickly and combines them into a single photo that takes the best features from each image.

The new Nexus – one of the most gossiped-about smartphones in a while – is the slimmest one yet at 69.17 x 137.84 x 8.59mm and weighs in at 130g. Google claims the 2,300mAh battery is good for 17 hours talk time, 300 hours of standby and 8.5 hours of use with Wi-Fi, or seven hours on LTE. Wireless charging and NFC is also built in.

The Nexus 5 will cost $349 for the 16GB version and $399 for 32GB of storage, but there's no slot to fit any removable media, presumably since we're all supposed to be cloudy these days. Google has also eschewed Apple and Motorola Mobility's fruity color schemes – the Nexus 5 is available in black and white only.

[Oct 16, 2013] Android 4.4 KitKat tweets hint at Oct. 28 launch Mobile by Don Reisinger

That means big Black Friday discounts.
October 16, 2013 | CNET News

Rumors have been swirling around KitKat for months. Some details have leaked onto the Web, but Google has so far said only that the platform will "make an amazing Android experience available for everybody." The operating system is expected to launch in conjunction with the Nexus 5. The latest rumors suggest the platform and device will be available at the end of the month.

Late October appears to be the go-to for Google. Last year, the company announced the Nexus 4 on October 29.

[Oct 16, 2013] The Google Android fork Google Play services, Android 4.4, and the Nexus Experience

Launch of Android 4.4 means autometic discounting all cellphones with stock version 4.0 and 4.1,

A reader recently pointed out that there isn't much difference between Android 4.1 and Android 4.3 except for a few minor updates, and to an extent that is true (which is also why all three updates have been incremental version number bumps and all three are kept under the Jelly Bean name.) In general, Google has been shifting away from putting all of the major updates into the Android OS itself and has instead been pushing updates through Google Play services and Google Apps. As you can see in the chart to the right, there really isn't much left in the Android system core.

Most features and apps that we tend to think of as part of the "pure Android experience" are Google add-ons that have been decoupled from the main system. Just look at the major features of Android 4.1+, it includes mostly performance fixes (Project Butter), and one major feature (Google Now) which was actually just an update to the Google Search app. The reason for doing it this way is that with Google Play services, the updates get pushed to almost the entire ecosystem without more than a couple weeks delay. For example, according to the latest numbers Jelly Bean is on 49% of Android devices, and the newest version of Android 4.3 is on just 1.5% of devices (which right now means Nexus devices and the two Google Edition devices).

But, a far more important update was Google's Verify Apps security system, which checks apps that are being installed for malware. Verify Apps was pushed out through Google Play services, which means every Google Android device running Android 2.2 and higher received that update within a couple weeks of the rollout beginning. The Verify Apps software was then used to track actual malware installs, data which Google will be sharing with security firms, so there shouldn't be any more exaggerated malware claims that can't be verified or denied. With Verify Apps, we can see exactly what kind of damage has been done (in the Google Android ecosystem).

Google Play services controls the Google Maps API, Google Account syncing, the new Device Manager software and remote wipe options, push notifications, Google Play Games services and much much more. The latest update to Play Services brought low-power location APIs, geofencing, and power saving improvements. These updates were pushed out to over 98% of all Android devices without manufacturer modification or carrier interference, and they add immense value to Google Android, because these updates don't show up in other forks like Amazon's FireOS. And, any app that hooks into Google Play services will not work correctly on those other forks, and may not be accepted into alternative app stores either (which puts into question Eric Schmidt's recent comments about apps working everywhere on Android.)

2014 Phablets to Get Retina Display Resolution

While full HD 1080p may be the rage in 2013 with phones and phablets, new phablets with 6-inch displays that will be released in 2014 will be pushing the resolution even higher than the Retina Display found on today’s third and fourth generation iPad models. The 6-inch phablets released next year will debut with a resolution of 1600 X 2560, according to ET News, outclassing the 2048 X 1536 resolution on today’s high-end iPad. This would mean that the Android phablets would have a highly pixel-dense display with a 500 ppi resolution for incredibly sharp photos and text, bringing higher dynamic range to color rendering.

The 1600 X 2560 display is classified as a WQXGA resolution and this means that a 6-inch handheld device would have the same effective resolution as the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display or even the 1700 X 2560 resolution on the Google Chromebook Pixel, two of the sharpest displays on the notebook market today.

[Oct 09, 2013]  In Smartphone Crazy India, Phablets Are The New Rage

Forbes

Smartphone shipments rose to 9.2 million units compared with 2.8 million units in the same period last year.

“The category is only a year old in India but the entry-level, 5-inch, sub-$200 phablets are an instant hit with customers,” said Tarun Pathak, an analyst at CMR’s telecom practice.

Samsung led smartphone sales with 31% marketshare, closely followed by local phonemaker Micromax which cornered 23%. The competition between the two is stiff and the gap has been closing. CMR said local vendors’ brands accounted for over half the total smartphone market in the quarter, leaving some bigname global phonemakers in the dust.

About 50% of Micromax’s 2Q 2013 sales came from phablets, Pathak said. It’s lowest priced Canvas Viva A72 costs about $100. Micromax has seven phablets in a total smartphone portfolio of 12 while competitor Samsung has five phablets in its portfolio, illustrating the popularity of this format. Local Indian vendors like Lava and Lemon and two dozen others have all rushed to capture the phablet trend, launching many models.

 

Samsung GT-N5120 - TECH SPECS SUPPORT SAMSUNG

FDD-LTE (800/900/1800/2600MHz) +
WCDMA (850/900/2100MHz) +
GSM (850/900/1800/1900MHz)

Questions and Answers Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 N5100 (Factory Unlocked) Gt-n5100 , Quad Core , 2gb Ram 

See also Samsung N5100 - TECH SPECS SAMSUNG

The international version of note 8, GT-N5100, can be uses as phone.  AT&T version Note 8, SGH i467 can't

Is it for international version with factory unlocked and 3G as cell phone? Jun 25, 2013 Yes it can be used as a 3G cell phone. As long as you have the GT-N5100 (white) or GT-N5110 (black).

 

Will this phone support GSM 1800 band frequency ? 18 hours ago Yes Hi Can you pls tell me whether this phone works in India ? 18 hours ago Yes, it works with any GSM carrier in the world. can I make calls with this tab? 7 days ago Yes you can make calls just like a regular phone.

 

 

The 'entry-level' Android smartphone is no slouch Android Atlas

This initiated by Apple rat race for higher number of pixels is just stupid... Only an idiot would want 1024 x 800 on 5.3" screen.  This number of pixels used to be OK for 17" display ;-)

CNET Reviews

commentary Take a look at the recent Android smartphone announcements from the middle of 2012 and you'll see quite a few devices at $99 or below. Does this mean that consumers are being subjected to a barrage of shoddy hardware with poor specifications? Hardly.

Funny how fast things move
These days, a dual-core smartphone with a 960x540-pixel display counts as entry level, but it wasn't all that long ago that this screen resolution merited a high-end device. Remember the Droid Bionic? That thing cost $299 when it arrived just one year ago, and only offered consumers a 1GHz dual-core processor, 512MB RAM, and a 960x540-pixel qHD display. Widely considered one of the smartphone options for its time, the hardware pales in comparison to today's low-priced alternatives.

Defining today's 'entry-level' Android
While the typical low-end Android phone commonly features a single-core processor, we're increasingly finding dual-core 1GHz CPUs, or faster, in the bargain bins. On the memory front we see that the days of 384MB RAM are behind us, as many of today's Android phones come with 512MB and 1GB RAM. Internal storage has crept up a bit, often starting at 4GB, and is often complemented by microSD expansion.

As screen technologies continue to improve, most of today's Android handsets come with 800x480-pixel or 960x540-pixel display resolutions on much larger screens. Display sizes have slowly inched up from 3.2 inches and 3.5 inches, and now the norm seems to be around 4 inches. It isn't uncommon to see an announcement for a $50 device that includes a 960x540 qHD display. Today's Pantech Flex is a testament to that very statement.

I'm calling for the end of the "4G" suffix on smartphones, since almost all new releases come with support for 4G LTE or HSPA+. Save for the occasional ZTE Fury or Huawei-made T-Mobile Prism, nearly all Android smartphones are equipped to handle the faster network speeds. I'm looking right at you, Motorola Droid Razr M 4G LTE.

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