Weekly mobile news wrap: New Year’s Resolution edition

weekly mobile news wrap happy new year edition htc

With a whole new year upon us, filled with promise and free of any oppressive habits built up over the previous twelve months, it is customary for people to set resolutions with the intention of bettering one’s self. In layman’s terms, it’s a plan to suck less as a person. Lose weight, quit smoking, get finances in order; These are all common choices for people. For me, I want to write more. Partially for creative reasons and partially because that’s how I make money. Whatever you may choose as your plan for self-improvement, I look forward to joining you in giving up on the resolution before January is even over. Let’s look at what some of the biggest names in mobile has resolved to do in 2013 as we look back at the news from December 31-January 4, 2013. 

HTC: Be more productive 

Perhaps no Android phone maker had a tougher time in 2012 than HTC. Despite some great phones from the Taiwanese manufacturer, the market was overwhelmed with other options and HTC was lost beneath the waves of the competition. Treading water is not on the agenda in 2013 as the company gears up to rebound with increased productivity and better sales figures. A leak of HTC project code names earlier this week is a sign the company is planning to make good on its word. The list seems to confirm the rumored M7 phone that appears to be the company’s next flagship handset and also lends more credibility to the ever-growing legend of the Facebook phone. 

weekly mobile news wrap happy new year edition microsoft surface pro with pen 552x272

Microsoft: Get organized

One would think of all companies, Microsoft has to be one of the more organized. I mean, it even redesigned its logo to fit together better. But the operating system that was supposed to tie everything together, Windows 8, hasn’t exactly been doing its job, so far. The operating system seems to be loved on phones, hit or miss on tablets, and a total miss on PC. What better time to get your stuff in order than at the start of a brand new year? Microsoft appears ready to follow through on this strategy, as Windows 8 Pro for tablets will make its debut in January. Despite a high price point, Microsoft swears this is the version that’ll win people over. If that doesn’t work, it can always just sell more phones. There are plenty more of those in the works.

 weekly mobile news wrap happy new year edition samsung galaxy

Samsung: Get more creative

It’s hard to argue that Samsung wasn’t the most successful name in mobile last year. So where do you go when you’ve already hit your highest note? Well, you start branching out and getting creative. The Galaxy Camera is a pretty good example of what the company may be capable of but, as a great philosopher once said, “[that’s] so 2000 and late.” Samsung is all about 3008, but it has to ease into it a bit. It’s starting by just giving the Galaxy Note II a couple new colors. After that, though, Samsung has a new plan: Tizen smartphones. This platform would give Samsung the chance to continue owning the Android market while creating an entirely new one all its own. It makes my plan to read a few more books this year seem far less ambitious.  

weekly mobile news wrap happy new year edition sprint

Sprint: Meet new people

Sprint spent some time trying to make more friends in 2012, but it just couldn’t quite figure out how. Then it got a penpal from Japan who is planning to come visit. 2013 will be all about getting out and meeting people for Sprint, and it’s starting by offering a pay-as-you-go, contract free phones. It’s a good way to go – low commitment and if all goes well, maybe some of those new friends will want to hang out more. 

 weekly mobile news wrap happy new year edition the singularity 500x235

Devices: Try something new

It’s easy for routines to become stale, and adding a little spice to your life is never a bad thing. For the devices of 2013, variety is the way to go. Too much same-old-same-old made the market flooded with similar looking, similar behaving portable options. And there’s a ton of them out there. We’ll see next week exactly how much uniqueness the year will bring, but lineup for CES 2013 looks like it won’t disappoint. Sure, there will probably be some outlandish things there that never hit mass production, but it’s about trying new things. What these devices will be running might be the most interesting question, with Firefox OS on the way, the aforementioned Tizen-powered smartphones, and Linux based portables planned as well. 2012 was the year of the clones. Let’s get weird in 2013.

Mobile

Exclusive: Take a look at what a next-generation 5G phone will look like

With 5G phones debuting at MWC in mere days, there is discussion about whether they will be clunky bricks that die after a few hours? A reference design from Qualcomm offerrs a glimpse of the future: This is what 5G phones will look like.
Mobile

Love music? For audiophiles, the LG G8 ThinQ may be the best phone ever made

LG is expected to release a successor to the LG G7 ThinQ, possibly called the LG G8 ThinQ, this year and rumors about it are already spreading. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Product Review

Get crafty as you scavenge your way through Far Cry New Dawn's wasteland

Far Cry New Dawn is more of an extension of Far Cry 5 than a full blown sequel. Its focus on crafting and building up the world makes it a great open world shooter and an overall rewarding experience.
Home Theater

8K TV: Everything you need to know about the future of television

4K TVs may seem relatively new, but there's another even higher-resolution display technology already here: 8K TV. Should you upgrade? We've got the answers to that question and more.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ ‘Us,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's trailers for Avengers: Endgame, Us, Pet Sematary, and more upcoming films.
Mobile

New Apple patent hints clamshell-style foldable phone may be in the works

Apple has filed a patent for a foldable phone that suggests the company could be following in the footsteps of the likes of Samsung and Huawei. The patent describes a clamshell-style foldable phone with two separate sections.
Mobile

Xiaomi Mi 9 will be one of the first phones with monster Snapdragon 855 chip

Xiaomi's next major smartphone release will be the Mi 9, and the company hasn't held back in giving us a good look at the phone, revealing the design, the camera, and a stunning color.
Wearables

Galaxy Watch Active isn't official yet, but you can see it in Samsung's own app

Samsung may be about to resurrect its Sport line of smartwatches under a new name: The Galaxy Watch Sport Active. Leaks and rumors are building our picture of the device at the moment.
Mobile

Stop buying old tablets, says Samsung, buy the new Galaxy Tab S5e instead

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Tab S5e -- the E is for Essential -- a reasonably priced tablet that includes many of the features we like from the Tab A 10.5, and the Tab S4. Here's what you need to know.
Mobile

Bag yourself a bargain with the best budget tablets under $200

The battle for your budget tablet affections is really ramping up. Which tablet, costing less than $200, should be commanding your attention? We take a look at some different options for the budget-conscious.
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Home Theater

Samsung accidentally leaks its new Galaxy Buds ahead of launch

It's been all but certain that Samsung would launch a successor to its Gear IconX wireless earbuds soon, but a newly leaked photo and recent FCC certification document seems to indicate that the debut is very close.
Wearables

Focals succeed where Google Glass fumbled (but do we really need smartglasses?)

It’s been seven years since Google took the wraps off Google Glass. Now, we’re finally getting a modern-day equivalent we want to wear. North’s Focals combine subtle style with an intuitive interface to craft smartglasses you’ll…
Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.