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Update on new Android smartphones

The Samsung S4 Zoom is official, HTC One gets a Mini brother and Nexus 7 by August.

Samsung’s S4 Zoom reported by iTWire on 8 June has become a reality. The company that bought us the term ‘phablet’ is now touting the phomera or Camalaxy (no not really). Samsung use the tag line ‘Talk and Zoom’.

It has a 10X optical zoom (24-240mm, F/3.1 to 6.3), 16MP BSI CMOS sensor, Optical Image stabilisation, Xenon flash, Zoom ring, in-call photo share and a host of other controls. It has been described as having ‘high end optics’.

Camera features include: SMART Mode(25): Smart mode suggest, Beauty face, Best photo, Continuous shot, Best face, Kids shot, Landscape, Dawn, Snow, Macro, Food, Party/Indoor, Action freeze, Rich tone (HDR), Panorama, Waterfall, Animated photo, Drama, Eraser, Sound & Shot, Silhouette, Sunset, Night, Fireworks and Light trace.

Phone wise it runs S4 User Interface and has a 1.5GHz dual core processor, 4.3” sAMOLED qHD 960x540 screen (necessary for daylight use as a camera view finder) and 8GB ram as well as a microSD slot (we can’t see if this is externally accessible but it must be). It has both LTE and 3G models and housed in a 208g case. There is mention of the standard battery being 2330 mAh – does this mean there may be an extended battery?

HTC One has been called the Android phone to beat, strange challenge but we suspect it refers to the svelte aluminium case and HTC’s proprietary Android 4.2.2 Jellybean interface. All we know is tha thte Mini (M4) will have a 4.3” 720p screen (4.7” 1080p One) and a less powerful Qualcomm 1.4GHz Snapdragon 400 processor (the aim is to achieve better battery life and lower cost).

Comments have been less than favourable due to the ‘leaked’ unit looking much the same size as the One with a bigger bezel to accommodate the smaller screen. If this is so then it won’t be the runaway seller that the One is. Note the photo is a mock-up so does not show the larger bezel. 


The Nexus 7 is a Google Branded device running vanilla Android.

It can be made by any one of the main stream manufacturers and the current one is made by ASUS but its 12 months ‘old tech’ and needs updating.

FTC approval was recently gained for a new Nexus 7 using a Qualcomm Snapdragon S600 chip (also used by Samsung S4, HTC One and LG Optimus G Pro) and support for LTE as well. We don’t have much more to go on but the S600 has the ability to use up to a 1080p screen but if cost is an issue it may be 1280 x 800 - it may come in two versions, the Nexus 7+ and the Nexus 7 HD. Meanwhile retailers are dumping the very competent Nexus 7 at as low as $189 online.


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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!