In search of a Smartphone USP

Boring

Smartphones have become so samey that manufacturers have been searching for a USP to differentiate themselves, Android especially is suffering from this and the heavy weights are sparring as we speak.

Let’s look at some of them, starting with the King of Android Samsung, they have packed so much tech into their devices they positively bulge, there is more hardware and software innovation in a Samsung device than you can shake a stick at but, with that said they often get accused of being plastic and pretty cheap feeling from a physical perspective.

Queue, HTC and the new “One” this is milled from a single piece of aluminum and is without doubt beautiful, could this be HTC looking for their niche? Trying to be the Apple of the Android world and looking for a way to compete with Samsung.

Then we have Sony, in the past they were top of the beautiful products showcase in everything they did, Apple knocked them off that perch and so recently they went with Waterproof in their Xperia model. A useful feature for that unfortunate accident everyone dreads but a reason to choose them over another? You Decide!

Moving onto Nokia, they already have a USP or a Unique reason to NOT buy if you include operating system, for some it will put them off. Windows 8 Phone sets them apart but in an attempt to appeal they have focused on imaging, Carl Zeiss everywhere and the new 41Mp camera is evidence of that, of course Nokia have a reputation of building great devices so that helps.

How about LG, now this is a not so obvious but IMHO they have gone with cheap as their appealing factor, pack lots of hardware in a keep the price rock bottom.

How about Blackberry, they continue to hope that the legendary Blackberry experience will bring them the appeal, time will tell but perhaps they need another USP in the back pocket just in case?

Lastly we have to mention Apple, love them or hate them, you pay the money and in return they provide objects of desire that are well made and provide a slick experience, the benchmark perhaps?

In HQ’s all around the world clever people desperately try to come up with new and appealing ways to make rectangular, thin, touch screen devices more appealing over the oppositions next thin, rectangular touch screen device!

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Bargain of the Century, well year maybe?

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Google have launched their new Nexus phone and it’s bursting with tech and at a great price point it has the power to change the entire segment.

We have seen tablets start at a high price and quite quickly come down and phone form factors have not followed suit remaining expensive. The Nexus 7, Kindle Fire and the new Samsungs have redefined value for money and it was about time someone came along and messed up the phone segment for a change. Initial bets were on the likes of Firefox or Ubuntu but with early version 1 devices they wouldn’t appeal to mainstream. Meanwhile back on planet Android LG have helped create this master price for £239 (8Gb) £279 (16Gb)

Presenting the LG Nexus 4, that should do well to scare off all those 2 year contracts, this has the power to redefine how we buy, which in recent years has changed from annual to bi-annual thanks to more expensive devices moving from 12 – 18 then to 24 month contracts.

Take an iPhone, yesterday on O2 you could walk away with the 16Gb newest version in white for £32 a month for 2 years, but you would also need to stump up £159.99 up front, ouch!

The equivalent LG Nexus would cost you £279 in total, no contract and the freedom to negotiate unlimited internet for example, rather then the stingy 750Mb data.

With a quad core Snap Dragon CPU, 8MP rear facing and 1.2MP front facing camera, 4.7′ screen, all the usual sensors, and communications options this is a great device. Nexus also means you get the latest Android releases as they arrive and this one is no different, shipping now with Jelly Bean 4.2 and updates arriving on your device as quick as they get released, no waiting for your manufacturer to integrate them, this is a potential game changer for how we procure our hardware and wireless services.

Bravo Google, let’s hope this is the first of many aggressively priced handsets.

Check out the detail here http://www.google.co.uk/nexus/4/

Mobile Device News

20130204-010028.jpgIt’s busy busy at the gadget end of the mobile world and although it’s not all about the bling its still our most favourite part.

So here’s a round up of the latest action,

  • Blackberry (formally RIM) release Z10 and Q10, they look great, let’s hope it all works out for them. I have to say I’m looking forward to playing with one.
  • Blackberry have also said they will release BB10 for Playbook, that lovely little bargain of a tablet, could spark a revival for the pint sized beauty, more apps would also help!
  • Samsung to launch the XCover2 S7710 builders phone, waterproof to 1m for up to an hour and pretty rugged, great if you need tough.
  • Samsung have been busy, soon we also get the Ativ Odyssey I930 Windows Phone, running Redmond’s latest release 8, can it give the Lumia’s a run for their money?
  • LG announce their Spirit 4G with all mod cons and a staggering $199 price tag. With 4.5′ screen, dual core CPU 5MP camera and running the latest in Jelly Bean, this is a bargain, I couldn’t however find any info on this device in the UK.
  • February 19th should see the launch simultaneously in New York and London of HTC’s flagship M7, this beast gets 1.7Ghz snapdragon CPU, 13MP camera and pixel density that’s off the scale at 469ppi (iPhone5 has 326ppi) can’t want to play with this one, looks great to.
  • Nokia are having better times at the moment with the Lumia’s doing well, the rumour is a 38MP Windows Phone will release this year, sounds mad but I bet the pictures will be good.
  • Ahead of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this is the most important news I could find, lots more to come over the following weeks.

    Having hoped to be at MWC this year I got a ticket, then tried to book a fight, everything is booked solid and priced through the roof, I need to be more organised for 2014 MWC!

    I’m test driving a Nokia Lumia 820 so will write up experiences over the next few weeks, what is cool is that Nokia have released the 3D information to allow you to print your own backs, well assuming you have a 3d printer that is.

    Picture: Nokia 2650 2004 Nokia sold 35 millions of these storm trooper phones.

    LG readies its Optimus G flagship device for an Apple style unveiling

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    LG has sent out invitations to an exclusive unveiling of it’s new Optimus G handset in the U.S on the 19th September.

    Information about the device is already freely available so they still need to master the art of secrecy, but with that said it does look mightily impressive.

    4.7′ HD display, Qualcomm’s S4 1.5Ghz Snapdragon Quad-core CPU, LTE, 2Gb DDR2 RAM, sounds more like a PC spec. Plus it sports a 13 Mega-pixel camera, yes 13!

    With Android being at the heart of this, the Samsung Galaxy SIII and HTC OneX, finding the killer differentiator may be a struggle, so let’s assume it will be price point that makes the final call.

    Could this be the one that knocks Samsung off its perch and puts LG in the premium segment?

    For now it seems the shindig style unveiling events bandwagon rolls on.

    Check out this YouTube video on the Optimus G