Oppo A51 said to launch this month for $270

The Oppo A51 – which received a certification from TENAA last month – will carry a $270 price tag, and will go on sale within a couple of weeks, according to a new report.

Oppo-A51

Specs-wise, the device is powered by a Snapdragon 410 SoC with quad-core 1.2GHz CPU and Adreno 306 GPU, and sports a 5-inch 720p screen, which uses an IPS panel. It comes with 2GB RAM and 16GB expandable internal memory, and packs in a 2,420mAh battery.

The Oppo A51 features an 8MP rear unit and a 5MP front shooter. It runs Android 5.1 with Color OS 2.1 on top. Connectivity options include 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, microUSB, as well as dual SIM support.


Sony Xperia Z5 tipped to launch in September

Just over a week after the Sony Xperia Z3+ – which is the international version of the Xperia Z4 available in Japan – started rolling out globally, rumours are doing rounds that the company’s next flagship, the Xperia Z5, will be unveiled in Japan in September this year.

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Specs-wise, the device is said to be powered by the yet-to-be-released Snapdragon 820 SoC. It is expected to come with 4GB RAM, pack in a 4,500mAh battery, and feature a fingerprint recognition system. In terms of camera, the handset is rumoured to sport a 21MP Sony Exmor RS IMX230 CMOS sensor, with 4K video recording support and HDR capabilities.

Along with the Xperia Z5, Sony is also said to be planning to launch the Xperia Z5 Compact and the Xperia Z5 Ultra. Needless to say, none of this has been officially confirmed by the company. So, take it with a pinch of salt.

Apple Pay to Launch in Canada

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook pronounced this as the “year of Apple Pay,” and it’s clear his ambitions for Apple’s mobile payment service extend beyond the U.S.

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The company is planning to launch Apple Pay in Canada later this year and is in talks with several major Canadian banks to introduce the payment service on iPhones and the Apple Watch, according to people familiar with the matter. The Wall Street Journal first reported on the plan.

Apple Pay is off to a fast start in the U.S., with about 750 banks and credit unions signing on since the service launched in October, Cook said during the company’s January earnings call. The service, which allows customers to make purchases by holding their iPhones near a properly equipped retail terminal, accounts for $2 out of every $3 spent on such “contactless” credit and debit card payments in the U.S.

Retailers like Panera Bread say Apple Pay represents nearly 80 percent of their mobile payment transactions.

Apple is reportedly in discussions with six Canadian banks, including the Royal Bank of Canada and National Bank of Canada, which together account for about 90 percent of retail bank accounts. The Cupertino technology giant is looking to capitalize on its one-third share of the smartphone market.

Neither Canadian bank returned calls seeking comment. An Apple spokesperson declined to comment.

Apple is also attempting to bring Apple Pay to China, through a partnership announced last fall with China UnionPay — though the service has not yet been introduced in the market as negotiations drag on.

BlackBerry Announces Worldwide Launch Of Midrange Leap Smartphone

Currently working its way out of its downward spiral, Canada’s BlackBerry has announced the worldwide launch of its Leap full-touch BB10 smartphone meant for customers that want a less expensive BlackBerry device, but still want the full BB10 experience.

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The Leap follows in the footsteps of the Z10 and Z30 with a 5-inch, 720p HD display and the same Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor clocked at 1.5GHz as the Classic and Q10. Other features include 4G LTE support, an 8-megapixel main camera with flash, 2-megapixel front camera, memory card slot, and a 2,800mAh sealed battery. The device runs BlackBerry 10.3.1 with full support for the Amazon Appstore for Android apps.

The phone will launch first in select markets through a combination of local carriers and direct from BlackBerry in Germany, France, United States, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and India over the next few weeks. The phone is expected to cost ~$275 direct from BlackBerry and before any carrier subsidies.

Xiaomi to launch a new budget model will cost more than $65

Xiaomi made a name for itself by offering capable smartphones at affordable prices. The company’s current entry-level offering, the Redmi 2, retails for the equivalent of around $110, but Xiaomi is reportedly aiming to beat that.

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The prominent Chinese manufacturer is working on a new model, and we may have been treated to a live photo of said device. The lone image reveals the back of the smartphone, and one might say that it’s identical to the existing Redmi 2.

The rumored specs are also quite similar and feature a 4.7-inch 720p display, single gig of RAM and 8GB of built-in storage. An 8MP/2MP camera combo will be in charge of capturing memories, and the phone will boot Android 4.4.4 KitKat.

One notable difference is the chipset, where an LC1860C is being used instead of the Snapdragon 410 in the Redmi 2. The said piece of silicon is a product of Leadcore Technology which is a major Chinese manufacturer of application processors.

Xiaomi were allegedly targeting a CNY399 price, which translates to the rather extreme $65. At some point along the way however, that was deemed impossible and the smartphone will command a higher price, so expect a number between $65 and the Redmi 2’s $110.

Samsung Galaxy S6 to launch in the U.S. on April

One of our loyal PhoneArena readers has just sent us some information that we know you’ve been waiting for. According to our tipster, who says that he works for one of the four major U.S. carriers (to protect his identity, we are not telling you which one), he has been told by a Samsung sales rep for the Greater Midwest area that the Samsung Galaxy S6 will be launched on Saturday, April 11th.

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To make it clear, the April 11th launch date for Sammy’s new flagship is the same for all four major U.S. carriers. Our source tells us that Samsung reps are currently on the road, visiting retail locations with demos of the Galaxy S6.

Samsung reportedly has rung up 20 million pre-orders for both the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 edge. The former has the lion’s share of these reservations, accounting for 15 million of them. In the U.S., Verizon is expected to begin accepting pre-orders for the two handsets on April 1st.

As for the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge launch, our tipster informs us that the Samsung rep revealed that the premium model would be released in a “limited capacity” similar to the way that the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge was launched.

VAIO ready to launch its first smartphone on March 2015

VAIO, a manufacturing partner of Sony laptop announces to launch their first smartphone into the Android market and it will runs 1.2GHz quad-core 64-bit SoC Qualcomm snapdragon 410 processor with Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system. This VAIO smartphone isn’t a Sony product but the design seems like Sony Xperia Z series which is officially took from Sony company.

VAIO
It comes with 5.0-inch HD display touch screen and configured with 2GB RAM and 16GB ROM internal memory. The smartphone has 13-mp rear camera with LED flash and 5-mp front facing camera though. It supports 3G network and not yet to reveal if it supports 4G LTE and dual SIM slots and it will be priced with mid-range smartphone category.

The handset name, complete specifications and more details of these phone will be expected to see on 12th March 2015.
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Samsung Galaxy launch new flagship phones on March

amsung Electronics has scheduled one of its most important smartphone launches for March 1, where the Galaxy S6 and an Edge version of the device are expected to see the light of day.

The company’s Unpacked event will take place in Barcelona ahead of Mobile World Congress. The invitation the company sent out on Monday includes an image that with a curve hints the company will introduce the Galaxy S6 Edge along with a standard model.

The launch is important because of the struggles Samsung had last year. While the overall smartphone market grew, Samsung’s unit sales dropped. The company needs to prove that it can build a flagship smartphone that looks good, performs well and has a cleaner user interface. The Galaxy Note 4 was a step in the right direction that Samsung should build on.

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A steady stream of rumors of what improvements the Galaxy S6 (a name that hasn’t been confirmed) will feature have been published during the last couple of months. They include plans to launch at least two models, one with a flat screen and an Edge version with a screen that wraps around one or both sides of the device.

The screen is expected to have a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels and to be close to the Galaxy S 5’s 5.1-inch screen in size. In general, this year’s batch of Android high-end smartphones are expected keep the screen size of their predecessors. Other anticipated specifications include a 20-megapixel camera on the back and a 5-megapixel camera on the front.

One of the more talked about changes is the processor. The company is expected to go with an Exynos octa-core processor developed in-house, following heating issues with the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810. Last week, Qualcomm lowered revenue expectations for its chip division for the second half of the year, in part because the 810 “will not be in the upcoming design cycle of a large customer’s flagship device.” Even though it didn’t mention Samsung by name, the mentioned flagship is likely the Galaxy S6.

Most other high-end Android smartphones are still expected to use the Snapdragon 810. LG has said it hasn’t suffered any heating issues on the recently launched G Flex2.

Samsung will have some heavy competition at Mobile World Congress, where the likes of HTC, Sony and Huawei Technologies are also expected to show new flagship models.

iOS 8.2 Rumored to launch sometime in March

When the Apple Watch launches in April, as previously confirmed by Tim Cook himself, it will do so with iOS 8.2 installed on iPhones for better compatibility.

It’s been believed for quite some time that iOS 8.2 will shepherd in the launch of the Watch, just as iOS 8.1 heralded the launch of Apple Pay before it. And, as aforementioned, Tim Cook confirmed that the Watch is currently on schedule to begin shipping in April, which would lead many to suggest that iOS 8.2 will launch sometime in the same timeframe.

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However, a report published recently by BGR indicates that Apple may be aiming to launch the new software for its iPhones a little bit ahead of the incoming wearable. The report stipulates that Apple will actually launch iOS 8.2 sometime in March, which means it could come as early as a whole month before the Watch officially goes up for sale.

A launch of iOS 8.2 in March actually makes quite a bit of sense, considering how many iPhones are out there in the wild right now. As Apple has seen first-hand in the past, not every software upgrade goes without a hitch, and for the software that’s going to pair the iPhone with the Watch, iOS 8.2 is some of the most important software that Apple has launched to date. Staggering the launch of the software and the hardware means that if there are issues, Apple can address them accordingly.

Apple iPad Pro rumored to launch alongside Stylus tool

With rumors continuing that Apple will release a 12.9-inch “iPad Pro” sometime before the end of 2015, the latest report speculates that the company will also debut its own stylus tool to accompany and enhance the extra-large tablet. This information comes from Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst often considered a well-regarded and reliable source, who backs up his theory by pointing to a number stylus patents previously filed by Apple, as well as his own research into the company’s future plans.

While there are already a handful of iPad-compatible styluses available on the market, Kuo believes that one from Apple would “improve the user experience of 12.9-inch iPad,” due to the tool being more precise than the tip of a user’s finger, not to mention more useful than a keyboard and/or mouse in certain situations. The analyst clarifies that the stylus wouldn’t be directly included with the iPad Pro, but rather sold as an optional accessory, as most users probably wouldn’t need one, and it would only add to the new tablet’s price.

Apple-iPad-Pro-rumored-alongside-Stylus-tool

This would make sense, as Apple has been very careful in its marketing of the iPad product line, conveying to users that nothing more is needed than their fingers and the tablet’s multi-touch screen. Packaging the iPad Pro with a stylus, or making a big deal out of using one, would be a sharp U-turn in saying that to best use this new large device, users must interact with it in a completely different manner.

What’s also interesting about Kuo’s report is that he says Apple’s stylus will gain functionality, or at least see an upgraded model, after the first year or so. The initial stylus would be a bare-bones piece of hardware, while further down the line we would see advanced features such built-in gyroscopes or accelerometers. Looking at Apple’s related patents for clues, this could enable 3D handwriting technology allowing users to not just write on the screen, but on any other hard surface or possibly even in the air.

Such uses would surely advance the idea of styluses actually adding functionality to tablet devices, as opposed to just being alternatives for fingertips, or at best more accurate tips for drawing purposes. But Kuo repeats that such handwriting features wouldn’t be available until sometime after 2015, as he doesn’t see Apple’s hardware or software quite ready before then.