Moto G: Unboxing, Overview, and Hands-on With Motorola’s New Prepaid Phone

A tasty little Black Friday treat arrived on our doorstep today, so even though we’re sitting in the middle of a long holiday weekend, we couldn’t hold back and decided to unbox it. Yessir, here is our first look at the Moto G by Motorola, an incredibly inexpensive phone targeted at emerging and prepaid markets.

For those not familiar with the Moto G, you are talking about a phone that is either $179 (8GB) or $199 (16GB) off-contract, works on all sorts of HSPA+ networks across this globe (CDMA variant on the way too), and still has decent enough specs to give everyone a solid smartphone experience without the typically high price. The GSM version is currently available now in the U.S. through Motorola’s store with the CDMA variant arriving in a month or two. Amazon has it up for pre-order.

In terms of specs, the Moto G has a 4.5-inch HD (720p) display, 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (quad-core) processor, 5MP rear camera, 2070mAh battery, and runs Android 4.3 (with a guaranteed upgrade to Android 4.4 on the horizon). It may not have LTE, but at those prices, I’m not sure even data speed freaks can complain.

So what do we think about it? After only a few minutes with it, it’s obvious that this is the little brother to the Moto X. In fact, it feels (and is according to measurements) almost identical in hand, outside of a little extra thickness towards the bottom. The craftsmanship is there, plus the camera, dimple, ports, and buttons are all in the exact same places. It’s certainly plastic, but by no means does it feel cheap.

Performance doesn’t seem to be an issue yet, as the device is responsive enough for its price and set of specs. It isn’t necessarily as buttery smooth as the Moto X, Nexus 5, or LG G2, but it shouldn’t be. If I only had $200 to spend on a phone, I think I’d understand that it isn’t going to be the best of the best. No matter what, this phone seems so far to be able to hold its own.

If there is one downside, it’s that the phone doesn’t have Touchless Control or Active Display, two of the most popular features of the Moto X. I guess I’m not sure I was fully expecting them to be there, but since the phone size and style-wise is so similar to the Moto X, it was a bit of a disappointment. Then again, Motorola is trying to keep the price as low as possible, so their X8 Computing System and variety of chips had no chance of making the cut.

Overall, I’d being lying if I didn’t say that I was impressed. For what you get at $179, everyone should be.

 

 

Source: Droid Life

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Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Shortage To Delay ASUS Padfone?

The ASUS Padfone, that weird phone/tablet hybrid device, was supposed to launch in Taiwan at the end of April, and in Italy sometime in May. But now, according to a tweet by ASUS Indonesia, it seems that the launch may be delayed due to a shortage of Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processors. An ASUS spokesperson told The Verge “I believe [the shortage is] affecting all of Qualcomm’s customers.”

That’s not a direct admission of a delay from ASUS, but it’s as close as it can come. Basically, ASUS is saying that the Padfone uses the S4, and the S4 is running low on supply. Make your own conclusions. Let’s hope Qualcomm can get production ramped up soon!

Source: @ASUS_Indonesia
via: the verge

Samsung Galaxy S III likely to come in Dual-core and Quad-core flavours

It’s less than 24 hours since Samsung broke the news that the next Galaxy would launch with the Quad0core Exynos processor and already reports are coming in that there is a high probability of a Dual-core version too. It’s no secret that the Nvidia Tegra 3 Quad-core processor doesn’t play nicely with LTE networks hence HTC’s decision to opt for a Dual-core Snapdragon S4 chip for the US model of the One X. Could it be that Samsung’s latest and greatest chip will also present similar problems? The Korea Times certainly seems to think so as it recently got a tip-off from an unnamed Samsung exec that whilst the new Exynos chip will be on board internationally, the US model may feature the Snapdragon S4. The mystery exec was quoted as saying “Samsung plans to release its Galaxy S3 smartphone according to different specification and different markets. For European consumers, it will use 3G and the company’s own quad-core mobile APs, while its own solution that combines LTE, 3G and quad-core mobile APs will be used in the Korean version. But only in the United States, will Samsung use Qualcomm chips.”

I wouldn’t be too hasty about stewing over the lack of Exynos chip in the Galaxy S III (if the rumours are true of course) The Snapdragon S4 has proven on a number of occasions that it’s more than capable of standing toe-to-toe with the Quad-core giants. Will the choice of chip influence your decision on whether or not you’ll be picking up Samsung’s next uber-phone? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source : Korea Times

Tegra 3 powered HTC One X takes on its Snapdragon S4 cousin in a benchmark showdown

There’s a lot of debate in the Android community about which processor is currently the reigning champion inside the new HTC One X. Many One X users in Europe will enjoy the quad-core Tegra 3 processor while others, like us North Americans, will get the Snapdragon S4 dual-core flavor. Below is a video of the two titans going for the gold on the AnTuTu benchmark test. As you can see, the Tegra 3 variant (on the left) seems to leave the S4 in the dust. Now keep in mind that this is just one benchmark test and that there are numerous reports of both processors coming out as the victor over the other. No matter which benchmark you use, it’s safe to say that both these processors are extremely powerful and will get the job done, no matter where you are located. Let us know what you think of the video in the comments below.

High Demand Causes Snapdragon S4 Chip Shortage

In Qualcomm’s earnings call today, the company said that they “cannot secure enough supply” of 28nm Snapdragon S4 chips as the demand continues to increase. We’ve seen manufacturers like Motorola switching to the S4 for its LTE compatibility. To combat the short supply, Qualcomm is looking at alternative chipsets, including their Fusion 2 series which can apparently sometimes be used as a substitute. Outsourcing to other manufacturers is also on the table, but Qualcomm admits that some non-Qualcomm chipsets will probably be used while it ramps up their own production by the end of the year. Higher-end handsets will get priority, while mid-range devices will be the first to get replacement chips. We have yet to know exactly how this will affect performance, but the replacement chips are supposedly similar enough that users won’t necessarily notice a difference.

Source: seeking alpha
via: the verge

Is Motorola Switching to Snapdragon S4 Processors Because of LTE?

In a benchmark test posted on GLBenchmark.com, a Motorola device listed as MB886 and codenamed qinara is shown using a Qualcomm MSM8960 chipset, better known as the dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Krait. To our knowledge, this is Motorola’s first foray into Qualcomm territory, having previously used TI’s OMAP series or NVIDIA’s Tegra chipsets.

More and more devices are moving to the S4 because of its compatibility with 4G LTE technology. NVIDIA’s Tegra series has had reported incompatibilities with LTE, which is why HTC’s One X series in the U.S. dropped the quad-core Tegra 3 in favor of the S4. Though the S4 is only dual-core, not quad-core like the Tegra 3, it has shown great promise in benchmarks.

This Motorola device is running Android 4.0.3 at an HD resolution of 1196×720, and will be launching on AT&T. Could qinara be the DROID RAZR HD? Or the Atrix 3? Or something completely different? View the benchmark results after the break.

Source: glbenchmark
via: droid-life