It seems like every time I fire up the computer there is another new smartphone or mobile device announcement. This week it is the Koreans and the Chinese. The Samsung Galaxy Note series has been very popular all over the world, but especially in Hong Kong. The latest version has a good-size screen and a battery that lasts long enough for most people. So what do you add to such a device? Samsung has decided that 4K video recording will be the way to go. The plan is that buyers will then rush out and buy a Samsung 4K TV to play the images on. By the time you read this Samsung will have announced more details, but one prediction is 24-bit audio support. The problem here is that the camera lens will still be a tiny thing so I doubt the resulting video will be anything close to a real 4K recorder in quality like those Canon has just released across their new range.
New from the Chinese is the Ascend P6 smartphone from Huawei. Until now their offerings have ranged from very inexpensive to at best the middle of the range. The P6 is very thin, and less expensive than the market leaders such as the Galaxy S4, HTC One or the iPhone 5. It's just 6.2mm thick and comes with a 4.7-inch screen, a 1.5GHz quad core processor and 2GB of RAM. That's a very decent spec for the price. Unlike the iPhone or the LG Nexus 4 it supports a Micro SD slot. The screen is 1280 x 720 giving it a decent pixel density with good contrast and nice colours. It has a metal and glass case that is not as sexy as the S4 or the iPhone 5, but it still looks quite nice. It does have a headphone socket in a strange place, but all in all it is knocking at the door of the better brands and who knows what they will come out with next year.
Today in Berlin, Samsung is expected to demonstrate their Galaxy Gear smartwatch. According to the patent filing it is a "wearable digital electronic device" but for the first model at least the unit will have a rigid screen instead of a flexible one. The real question is whether or not a bunch of other manufacturers will have any of their wearable devices ready. I'm not sure about such a device, because the battery life will likely be poor, the screen will be small and developers will be wondering how to get a complex, attractive application into such a package.
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