Firefox OS on ZTE’s newcomers Open C and Open II

ZTE, one of the first five smartphone manufacturers, have just added to their ZTE Open range two smartphones on Firefox OS – the Open C and the Open II. Complying with the specification of their Spanish partner Telefonica, the Open C is heralded as a smartphone with good value for money and which will be sold in Latin America first – Venezuela and Uruguay as soon as Q2 this year. As for the Open II, it is the successor of the ZTE Open (on Firefox OS too) released last year in six countries (once again in partnership with Telefonica) and sold on eBay in the United States and Great Britain. This Open II will be the real successor to the ZTE Open for an affordable price and its performances, according to ZTE, will be very interesting. Mr. Kan Yulun, head of ZTE’s mobile devices division for EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa) and Latin America, as well as ZTE Corporation’s vice-chairman, is very pleased about the partnership between ZTE and Mozilla. The Open C and the Open II will be the first smartphones fitted with Firefox’s latest version. Firefox and its user-friendly, simplified interface allows users to access a wide range of functionalities , applications and games powered by HTML 5.

More info on the Open C and the open II

‘The ZTE Open, our first smartphone on Firefox OS, is a huge success. We’re now very anxious to see how users will welcome our new Firefox OS products, starting with the Open C and the Open II. The Firefox OS platform has got everything to please a wide audience. We should be able to sell over a million telephones on Firefox OS in 2014’, Mr. Kan Yulun concludes. The Open C will embed a 1.2GHz, dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a 1,400mAh battery array which, according to ZTE, will give this smartphone between six and eight hours of autonomy thanks to Firefox’s ‘lightness’, even in case of prolonged video and audio use. The ZTE Open C looks like an entry-level smartphone and is sold in six colors – dark blue, light blue, turquoise blue, red, white and orange. ZTE is betting a lot on Firefox in order to attract consumers usually tempted by high-performance entry-level devices.

ZTE-Open-Firefox-08-631x633

Operating system : Firefox OS

Networks : GPRS/WCDMA/HSPA+

3Mp camera

4in, 800 x 480p multi-touch WVGA display

1.2GHz, dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor

512Mo RAM + 4Go ROM

1,400mAh battery array

Dimensions : 126 x 64.7 x 10.8mm

ZTE Open II characteristics

OPEN-II-final

Operating system : Firefox OS

Networks : GPRS/WCDMA/HSPA+

2Mp camera

3.5in, 480 x 320p multi-touch HVGA display

1.2GHz, dual-core MSM8210 processor

256Mo RAM + 2Go ROM

1,150mAh battery array

Dimensions : 118 x 61 x 10.5mm

Something interesting about ZTE :

ZTE have signed partnerships with over 230 prominent operators and retailers in over 160 countries and geographical zones. They have also signed strategic partnerships with 47 out of the 50 greatest international operators. In 2012, ZTE filed more patent applications than any other company in the world.

Huawei’s Talkband B1, the connected wristband with a Bluetooth earpiece

Huawei showcased the Talkband B1 at the MWC 2014. This Talkband is both a connected watch and a Bluetooth earpiece.

TalkBandB1-HandsOn

Aware that having people accept connected watches is no easy thing, Huawei proposes a middle path, a compromise with an earpiece that will probably be less of a shock to users well acquainted with this kind of connected product.

TalkBandB1

With a 1.4in OLED display, the Talkband B1 gives all the news on your communications and sports programs.

Certified IP57, the Talkband is presented as a dustproof and waterproof accessory. High sea divers or even swimming pool users shouldn’t rely too much on it, though, as it won’t probably sustain that kind of punishment.

According to Huawei, the battery has a six-day autonomy and is recharged via micro USB in less than two hours.

The Talkband B1 should go on sale in May for 99€ and will be available in six colors.

Lenovo present at the MWC with three new devices – S660, S850, S860

The MWC’s first day in Barcelona is just over and we’re already discovering Chinese manufacturers who already stole the show. The new Samsung S5 hasn’t yet been showcased but Lenovo’s three latest models are already on display. They’re all equipped with Low Cost MT6582 processors and each one of these devices ought to satisfy a specific demand. Well, at least, that’s what we think…

Lenov-S660

The first model is the Lenovo S660, a 4.7in, entry-level smartphone at an affordable price. It has a qHD 960x540p resolution and features a 1.3GHz, quad-core Mediatek MT6582 processor, therefore a small configuration for users with a small budget but who nevertheless don’t wish to sacrifice quality. On this Lenovo we’ll also find a 1Go RAM and a 16Go ROM that will enable you to store data and apps. Now for its strong points, starting with its price – approximately 175€, then its sleek design ; its shell will have that brushed aluminium look we often see on the make’s laptops (e.g. ideapad G780).

Lenovo-S850

The second device is the Lenovo S850, certainly the most surprising of the three, with its glass, or mirror-like shell, and its thinness (8.2mm only). This one will no doubt please fashion victims. Geeks won’t feel as concerned about the issue. The S850 smartphone will have a 5.0in HD 720p display with a quad-core MT6582 processor, a 1Go RAM and a 16Go ROM. It should cost about 200€, which I’m sure will make teeth grind. Yes indeed, fashion comes with a price… 😉

Lenovo-S860

Last but not least, the Lenovo S860 is probably the most interesting of the three as it’s autonomy-oriented with its huge 4,000mAh battery array (10.3mm thick), which should satisfy the most energy-hungry users. Besides, this device will have yet many more interesting specifications, such as a fine 5.3in, 1,280x720p HD display. Sure enough, the MT6582 processor won’t leave us starry-eyed, still the S860 won’t come empty-handed with its 2Go RAM (current norm) and 16Go ROM. The S860, like the other two devices, will be fitted with Dual SIM, WiFi, Bluetooth and OTG, will allow you an uninterrupted 43 hours of 2G communication and over one month in sleep mode (43 days in 2G only). Its price should be about 280€.

That’s right, Lenovo sets the ball rolling with their smallest models. No octa-core processors nor 4G here but we can be sure this manufacturer has a little surprise in store for us – wait and see till this MWC’s third and final day. 😉

Neken N6 Pro MT6592 video test by GLG

Neken N6 Pro MT6592 video test by GLG

 Video presentation, hosted by GLG, of the octa-core Neken N Pro smartphone.

√ 8×1.7GHz, octa-core MTK MT6592 processor

√ Android 4.2.2

√ 2Gb RAM + 16Gb ROM + Micro SD up to 64Gb

√ 5.0in FHD touchscreen

√ 13.0Mp camera

√ Dual SIM, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G, etc.

Available (189€) on CCP

Photos taken with the Neken N6 Pro

IMG_20140220_111449 IMG_20140220_105731 IMG_20140220_105652

Octa Core and 5.0in Display on the Newman K18

Newman is back in town this month and is Shanzhai’s new make in the CheapChinesePhone.com discount store, which should delight aficionados of ever more affordable, ever smarter Chinese smartphones. After the recent arrival of 2013’s flagship, the Newman K2 upgraded to octa-core by the manufacturer, Newman at last has decided to release a new device (heralded last November) which should appeal to many of you.

The K18 will occupy the somewhat forsaken segment of 5in devices. Indeed, some of the manufacturers have laid their money on larger, even much larger devices for this new year 2014. The K18 will feature a 1,920×1,080p, 5in Full HD display with a 441ppi resolution, which is quite impressive for a device this size. It almost seems trivial to add that the 8×1.7GHz, octa-core Mediatek MT6592 will run the K18.

Newman_K18_pub

Newman’s choice will be a strange enough one, though, as they have planned to sell this K18 in two distinct versions.

The first will be a small configuration with a 1Go RAM and a 4Go ROM only. This is meant for a specific market – China Mobile and their GSM/3G networks in TD-SCDMA, so don’t expect to see this version in the Destock Boutik group… That will be a pity, though, since its price will be its main argument – 999 little yuans, i.e. approximately 125€.

The second model is more interesting, in our opinion, as it targets China Unicorn and the world market with a 3G WCDMA the frequencies of which haven’t been revealed yet, though they should be established between 850 and 2,100MHz. That should bother a lot of you, quite understandably. This ‘ultimate’ version should go on sale with a 2Go RAM and a 16Go ROM expandable via a microSD card, exactly like its counterpart. Its price shouldn’t leave you indifferent – 1299 yuans (ex-works price), that is about 165€.

newman_k18_5

These two devices will be fitted with the Dual SIM standby and a dual camera (13Mpx F/2.2 rear and 5Mpx front). Its thinness (6.17mm) and its price are not really good omens as regards its battery array – not really much more than 2,000mAh, but this particular point is still awaiting confirmation, as well as its release date which should come quite soon.

So, dear Chin’Addicts, are you interested in this Newman K18? 😉

Newman K2S Octa-core smartphone test by GLG

Already available at the Cheap Chine Phone boutique (205€) here >>> Newman K2S, here’s GLG’s video test of this 8×1.7GHz octa-core smartphone.

Technical features of the Newman K2S

√ 8×1.7GHz, octa-core MTK MT6592 processor

√ Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

√ 2Gb RAM + 32Gb ROM + Micro SD

√ 5.5in FHD touchscreen

√ 13.0Mp camera

√ WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G, etc.

Photos taken with the Newman K2S

IMG_20140219_115234 IMG_20140219_105949 IMG_20140219_105456

Android in China, or Google’s Last Crusade… Before The Next One

As wise Chin’Addicts, you already know that Google has not been particulary present in China since January 2010’s ‘Operation Aurora’. You also know, if you listened to our Gotofaq on 02 16, that China is giving overwhelming support to Android via Korean makes (among others) which are sort of force-fed, as our galactic GLG explains between two gulps of his favorite Starb – no, no ads.

Let’s stay focused and finish setting the scene for the paradoxical drama of Android and Google’s love affair…

2013 saw the green droid assert itself on the throne of the international market of network connections with 78% of the one billion devices sold whatever their OSs. Still, Google is ‘afraid’ of losing the Chinese market, the last economically hostile fortress in the crusade for the conquest and total control of Android.

As a result, Google already has numerous trading partners all around the world, the most important and prominent being Samsung, LG, HTC and also, on the Chinese side, Huawei, ZTE and now Lenovo which recently acquired Motorola Mobility from Mountain View, for next to nothing (three billions, i.e. a mere $10 billion loss). We find this economic and strategic move particularly interesting.

I hear you say ‘They’re good and they’re everywhere. Everything is for the best in the best of all possible worlds.’

Actually, even if Google has got the upper hand since the purchase of Android in 2005, things are not as rose-colored as they seem. The paradox we mentioned a few lines above comes into play and its origin is a four-letter word – AOSP, or Android Open Source Project.

jeu-android

Indeed, even if the aforementioned partners are in charge of the sprawling expansion, via their terminals, of Google’s trademarks, applications and sometimes patents too, AOSPs, by definition, will not bend to this hegemonic principle as they do not provide Google services by default ! Remember that Chineses manufacturers prefer AOSPs for the development of their Android system because Google services, due to the war between the State and the firm, are not available. There are also Indian manufacturers and a lot of emerging countries who are entering the fray via more malleable AOSPs. If you think all this is but a storm in a teacup, you’re right, yet here are a few figures that will help you have a deeper understanding of what is at stake.

AOSP terminals amounted to 71 million units for a total of 222 million Androids sold between October and December 2013, which represents nearly one third (32%) of the shares ! The Android Open Source 22% during the third term has been increasing by more than 130% since early 2013 when Android Google had an annual growth of ‘only’ 29%. Taking every OS into consideration (Apple, Android, Windows Phone, Symbian, etc), AOSPs represented one fourth of the world market !

All these figures mean so much non-vivibility and loss of income to Google’s economic system. Still on bad terms with the Chinese government, the political-diplomatic option that might enhance this visibility is not currently on the agenda. And it’s definitely on the stock-market level Google will protect their Android from internal and external attacks. Indeed, the strategic choices Larry Page and his councillors made when Motora Mobility was transferred to Lenovo prove it. Since Lenovo has become the world’s leading computer manufacturer (ahead of HP) and is getting more and more interested in the European and American markets of terminal server connections, this transaction is a win-win situation for both parties. Lenovo ensures they will have a high profile on these markets via a well-known and appreciated make across the Atlantic. Meanwhile, Google will try to retain the potential third-ranking smartphone and tablet manufacturer in the Android family, but most of all Android as seen by Google ! This move should gradually contain the AOSP expansion and allow for a diversification of Android Google Friendly terminals which, up to now, has been thwarted by Samsung.

Google-map

The ins and outs of the future development of Android via Google and AOSPs are complex and interwoven if we consider for instance the CyanogenMod project which, as you know, is not to the taste of Mountain View either. Losing money in the short term in exchange for a growing commercial space, together with Lenovo, is just a beginning. Other strategic moves will follow, probably resulting one day in a planetary, googled Android system !
As a Chin’Addict and Google fan, I’m still wary of an Android monopoly. In the long run, there might be a risk of isolation and stagnation whereas AOSP projects will still have an unquestionable creative potential. This is why a few questions should be asked.

Is it desirable that Google should grab the whole Android system ? What will be Google’s strategy for inserting this Android Open Source in their business model ? What’s the exact recipe for their stir-fry noodles ? (they’re so f… good)

If you read this article down to the final question and had a good laugh, thank you.