One of the surprise smartphone hits of 2014 has been the ZenFone range (ZenFone 4, ZenFone 5, and ZenFone 6) by Asus. The Taiwanese company launched the affordable but quality handsets at CES at the start of the year and since then they have sold 8 million units worldwide. Asus will launch the sequels at the 2015 CES event in two weeks' time and plans to sell 15 million units in 2015. The company has issued the first glimpse of the new ZenFone with this teaser.
The Sony Pictures hack has caused earthquakes throughout the movie industry, shaking the business and probably having ramifications that will be felt for months. However, Sony's other businesses have largely been untouched, although that has changed this past weekend as an internal email leaked online revealed details about the upcoming Xperia Z4 flagship, a new wearable, and how much Sony will pay James Bond to use its gear.
Wait a minute, hasn't Android Lollipop only just been released, as in one month ago? You know how the mobile world moves, always moving and always looking to the next thing, which is why there is little surprise that we are already getting our first rumor regarding Android M (Android M&M anyone?). It may seem silly, but thinking about it logically, Android 4.4 KitKat launched in November 2013 and six months later at its I/O event Google announced Lollipop.
Sony has always had a considerable presence at CES, the yearly Las Vegas based trade show that in 2015 will be taking place between January 6 and January 9. However, CES is more of a consumer electronics show and smartphones have not featured in Sony's launches in the past, at least not flagships. However, the company is reportedly set to launch the Xperia Z4 as the event in two weeks' time, perhaps leaving the PC game and slowing down its TV output has given Sony space to fill at the event.
Samsung's new strategy does not seem to include releasing fewer smartphones as the Korean company has another handset in the works. We've had the Galaxy A series (launched), the Galaxy E (coming), and the Galaxy U (cancelled), so how does the Galaxy J sound? Well, we are going to find out soon enough as the Korean company is prepping such a device that is showing up at the moment with the model number SM-J100.
The Amazon Fire Phone is already a legendary device, but its status in the mobile world is for all the wrong reasons. Amazon, a company used to huge success with retail and even with hardware (Kindle Fire tablets) was well poised to join the smartphone bandwagon. However, the company got a lot wrong in delivering a solid device, but one that did not have flagship specs, was loaded with gimmicks and gateways to Amazon's sales pages, had a flagship price tag and was a carrier exclusive.
Sony has a shed a little light on when it will be updating its high end devices to Android 5.0 Lollipop, with the Xperia team sending a tweet on Wednesday. The company said it is going to start the updating process for both the Sony Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z2 series of products early next year.
Motorola has started a pre-Christmas sale that will run until December 23rd and offers a $50 saving on all orders over $350 or more through its official website store. If you are a big spender and splash more than $500, Motorola will give you a $100 discount.
There are a number of dazzling Chinese smartphones on the market at the moment, but for the most part they are only available in the country, or Southeast Asia. I thought that would almost be the same deal with Meizu's new and exceptional MX4 Pro, a dazzling flagship with amazing specs. However, I was wrong as the device is now available and it is shipping to anywhere in the world.
Motorola has launched a number of fine smartphones over the last couple of years, the Moto X and Moto G spring to mind, as does the budget oriented Moto E. However, the company has not released a device in China for some time, ignoring one of the biggest and most important markets with its Moto smartphones. However, Motorola is now ready to re-enter the Chinese market and will be bringing some "exciting devices".