About a possible union of Nokia and Meizu, strange statements by OnePlus, immodest hints Motorola and a warm tube smartphone for music lovers …
How much of this sound …
They say that whatever you call the boat, so it will float. Probably, once this rule really worked, but now things are different. The companies are too accustomed to cover up the shortcomings of the device with a sonorous name, too often they tried to press on nostalgia. Beautiful and sonorous names have lost their former strength and are now perceived more as an attribute of a budget device, as an empty attempt to brighten up the imperfection of the model with a simple marketing technique.
At some point, the idea of beautiful names was severely discredited, and most manufacturers again returned to the index system. With the names remaining from the old times, everyone did it differently. Someone left it to gather dust in a dark corner or carefully put it under glass, someone decided to exploit it to the end, squeezing the last juices out of the once popular brand.
It is believed that once every knight, in addition to the main weapon, had an ancient family sword, which was inherited from father to son. Often, his blade was adorned with the inscription 'do not show it in taverns'. Life is complicated, and medieval knights are not fairy princes on white horses. Their weapons were used for a variety of cases, in which there was often no scent of nobility. Nevertheless, there was always a special approach to the family weapon; it was considered unworthy to use it for dirty deeds. It was not only a useful item, but also a symbol. A symbol of the feats of ancestors, the antiquity of the clan, family honor.
The same symbol is the names of now forgotten series and once famous devices. This is not just a set of letters – it is the history of the company, the memory of its past achievements and merits. Whether it is worth using the family sword as a carving knife, and the flag with the family coat of arms as the upholstery of the sofa, everyone decides for himself, but in any case, this is a very revealing moment.
HTC. (No) Desire
Last week the company HTC introduced four new smartphones from the Desire line. All smartphones are based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor, have 2000mAh batteries and support 4G. The main difference between the models lies in the display diagonal, which will range from 4.5 to 5 inches. You can find a complete list of the characteristics of smartphones in the text of the main news at the link below. At the moment, all four smartphones will be sold by US telecom operators, it is not known what and when will enter the markets of other countries (however, we sell HTC Desire 526G).
At one time HTC Desire was the flagship of the company, and it was he who began the meteoric rise HTC. The name of the smartphone can be translated into Russian as 'desired', and it fully corresponded to the state of affairs. It was quite an expensive and somewhat controversial smartphone, but at the same time it was bright and unusual, and many dreamed of it. Maybe now the proprietary shells of the manufacturers are perceived as an excess, but in those years 'pure' Android and Android with the shell HTC Sense was simply not comparable.
But in recent years, the HTC Desire series has been a scattering of unremarkable devices of the lower and middle price range, they look no more like their famous progenitor than a chicken looks like a dinosaur. I don't know how much the name helps their sales, but looking at them and remembering the first smartphones of the same line, I just want to sigh: 'Yes, the company is not the same …'. It is clear that in fact the old name was simply used for another class of devices, but still, many old fans of the brand perceive this as degradation and hardly adds points HTC. But keeping the love of old fans of the company is already very difficult.
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Nokia. Connecting People?
Nokia is another resounding brand that may well begin to 'mold' on devices that frankly do not deserve it. Maybe not even the most unfortunate ones, but they are clearly not worth such a big name. And if now, hearing the word Nokia, I recall the original devices of the old days, then very soon only mediocre and unremarkable Android smartphones can begin to be associated with it.
However, there is no clarity about Nokia smartphones yet. Last week, representatives of the company once again hinted at the possibility of licensing the brand and said that without a reliable partner they had no chance of returning to this market. We have heard all this more than once, all these statements do not represent anything particularly interesting. Much more interesting is what followed.
As soon as Nokia representative Robert Morlino announced at a press conference that Nokia had been a symbol of innovation and the largest mobile phone manufacturer for 14 years, the company Meizu published a very interesting teaser picture. The image looks exactly like a monochrome display of old Nokia, and the caption under it reads 'the long era of intelligent machines 1110'. Sounds like a clear nod to the Nokia 1110.
And a little later Meizu congratulated Nokia on returning to the market, which seems clearly premature … unless, of course, Meizu does not know something that we do not know.
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But even this Meizu did not want to stop and soon sent invitations to journalists to announce her new smartphone Meizu M2 Mini. Needless to say, the invitation box contained the same push-button Nokia 1110?
When it comes to a possible partner Nokia, it is understood that it is about Foxconn. A large company with considerable experience in the production of mobile equipment, but does not have a well-known brand among buyers. And obviously for several years already thinking that it is time to stop working exclusively for 'someone else's uncle' and become an independent player. Moreover, it already has experience of such a partnership with Nokia. But what if it's not that simple? And besides Foxconn, does Nokia have other options?
After all these events and coincidences, the question involuntarily arises, can Meizu be the very partner that should return Nokia to its former glory? If not as a manufacturer of smartphones, then at least as a manufacturer of excellent push-button phones, with which everything is really very, very sad now?
|Gatherings on Tuesdays # 44. Let's talk about simple phones|
The imagination is already drawing the revival of now forgotten form factors, a scattering of interesting sliders and push-button monoblocks, amazing Android smartphones that combine the charm of old Nokia and the simplicity and quality of modern products Meizu … but alas, most likely, this is nothing more than empty fantasies. Time cannot be turned back, no matter how much someone wants it. It is quite possible that 1-2 push-button telephones Meizu will actually come out. It may well be that Nokia will formally participate in their creation. But things are unlikely to go beyond that. Although no one prevents us from hoping for a miracle.
Meizu generally does not shy away from joint projects with a variety of companies. But they do not make any special bet on this, it is rather a careful attempt to find new ways of development, to set up an unusual experiment. Even if this experiment most likely will not bring any practical benefit, it will not do any harm either. In such a case, after all, as in science, a negative result is also a result. The main thing is not to bet all your money on zero.
One of these experiments, called Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition, just went on sale in Europe. The estimated cost of the device is € 299. True, to whom and for what purpose it may be necessary is a mystery to me.
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Motorola. Civil marriage
Motorola is another familiar brand that has had a difficult life in recent years. During this time, they managed to buy the company several times, first by Google, then Lenovo. However, we are still talking about Motorola as a company, not as a name for a line of smartphones or a brand that doesn't make any special sense.
I would like to believe that after the announcement, scheduled for July 28, the situation will not change. Although the invitation has a very interesting inscription stating that friendships can eventually move to a different stage. However, most likely, we are not talking about relations with Lenovo, but about the operator's version of some new smartphone. For example, Moto XGX, if I correctly parsed the inscription in the lower left corner of the card. Or, even more likely, an updated version of the smartphone Motorola Moto G and a couple of new devices from the Moto X line.
Although, who knows, perhaps this is such a Freudian slip of the tongue? And Lenovo decided that after everything he had done with Moto, he simply had to marry her?
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Most smartphones are now assembled on more or less similar hardware. Actually, this has always been the case, users just did not think about it. After all, they buy a finished device, not a set of components in a plastic case. What the smartphone has inside, before, very few people were interested in it, they looked at the appearance, usability, software, unusual functions. Design and style mattered primarily, not the chipset model or camera module index.
In the era Android, everything changed a little, mobile ecosystems gave users a bunch of new opportunities, but for some of them the power of the old hardware was clearly not enough. Users inevitably had to think about buying not only a beautiful and convenient, but also a powerful smartphone. Otherwise, even about the smooth scrolling of web pages in the browser, one could forget, let alone new 3D games or OS updates.
Now, when there is no longer any practical need for the hardware race, and something really revolutionary cannot be assembled from the components available on the market, many manufacturers are again trying to return to the old scheme. Thinking about design, style, corporate 'chips'. Many, but not all. Some people still believe that their smartphones will be bought for the processor or the amount of RAM, regardless of everything else. And if something goes wrong with one of the iron components and the smartphone gets fewer “parrots” in tests than planned, such manufacturers have a real hysteria.
OnePlus. And instead of a heart – a fiery motor
OnePlus is a great example. Its smartphones were initially positioned as 'flagship killers' – the same stuffing, but for less money. At first, the approach was completely justified, the new and unknown company immediately attracted the attention of the press, the names of its smartphones were on the floor.
|OnePlus One is 'flagship killer'|
|Smartphone Review OnePlus One|
The problem is that positioning as a 'killer of something there' is good only for the first time, then you need to look for your own face. Work on style, suggest some new ideas and develop further, and not just be content with the fact that the hardware of smartphones is not inferior to other flagships. This is too little to become a real player.
OnePlus did not want to change the disc and continued to work in the old way. OnePlus 2 again received hardware no worse than the products of eminent companies, and this is exactly what the main emphasis was made on. In particular, the smartphone decided to use the powerful Snapdragon 810 processor, which was Qualcomm's leading solution.
Alas, this is where the main problem lay – the Snapdragon 810 has innate problems with overheating, which is why manufacturers usually have to lower its frequency. Although Qualcomm stubbornly does not admit the problem, many companies have already faced this, in particular, such a picture was first observed in HTC One M9.
For OnePlus, it turned out to be a blow below the belt – the 'flagship killer' on the problematic processor did not fit into the picture of the world of the company's management. Apparently, the situation was recognized as so dire that PR managers were given the go-ahead for any action. What they did not fail to take advantage of, publicly stating that only the old versions of SoC, on which all previously released smartphones worked, had problems with overheating, but the OnePlus 2 uses a unique processor version 2.1. Everything there is just fine and there are no problems and not close.
We must think that such statements made Qualcomm's engineers very surprised, because Snapdragon 810 v.2.1 is now supplied to all manufacturers, without exception. However, it is possible that the first batches of some smartphones actually managed to come out on Snapdragon 810 v.2.0, there is no clarity here yet. But, for example, engineering samples of the same Sony Xperia Z3 +, which were written about at the beginning of last month, were already working on the new version of the processor. And, which is typical, the problem with overheating remained there.
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Engineers HTC were even more puzzled by such attacks, and, unlike Qualcomm representatives, they did not become silent.
In my opinion, among ordinary buyers, only a few are interested in the problems of certain processors, most do not even know what processor is in their smartphone. The maximum will be called the number of cores, and even that is not a fact. The problem could well be solved in working mode and without loud statements, because OnePlus 2 has not even gone on sale yet. For example, by slightly lowering the processor frequency, as other companies have done. But for some reason, OnePlus themselves drew attention to the problems of the processor of their smartphone, at the same time they also got caught in a child's attempt to cheat. Which clearly hints to us that it was not possible to solve the problem painlessly, otherwise there would be no point in such frankly strange omissions.
Perhaps, it would be difficult to come up with more unsuccessful advertising with all the desire. Even an elephant in a china shop would have behaved more delicately. And all this is practically out of the blue.
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The specs of the OnePlus 2 smartphone are as follows: 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, Snadragon 810 chipset, USB Type-C connector and 3300mAh battery. The expected cost in the world market is no more than $ 450. All the details will be available soon – the official announcement is scheduled for July 27.
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Marshall London. My warm and lamp beast
The opposite example is the Marshall London smartphone from a world-renowned professional audio equipment manufacturer. From a technical point of view, the device of stars from the sky is not enough, the title of 'flagship killer' will never shine for him, under any circumstances. But this does not prevent him from being bright and interesting. It is no coincidence that the news of the release of Marshall London is being discussed on the network surprisingly actively, although Marshall is a green newcomer to the smartphone market, and the company name itself is not particularly known among ordinary buyers. And in theory, his announcement should have gone unnoticed at all.
Why is this smartphone so interesting? First of all, the fact that this is a solution from connoisseurs of sound for connoisseurs of sound. And in general, for everyone who is not indifferent to good music. Iron here is not an end in itself, but only a way to bring an idea to life.
The smartphone has 2 front-facing ACC-stereo speakers with a proprietary 'enhanced volume & bass' function, two microphones with active noise cancellation and two 3.5 mm jacks. The Wolfson WM8281 chip is responsible for the sound quality. I honestly admit that I myself am not strong in audio issues, but judging by the discussions on the network, music lovers were satisfied with the choice of the chip. The sound is controlled not with a standard volume rocker, but with a special wheel familiar from most audio devices. In addition, on the top of the smartphone there is a separate button to launch the music player and, apparently, to control playback.
Finally, unlike most of the faceless apple clones, it has its own face, its own style, which is also expressed in the choice of materials. The smartphone is somewhat reminiscent of a guitar amp – the characteristic texture of the back cover, gold-plated connectors, a volume control wheel, the use of vinyl. I don’t know how a smartphone has a 'warm tube sound', but a 'warm tube design' is clearly already provided to us.
The characteristics of the smartphone are as follows:
- 4.7-inch IPS display with 720p resolution;
- Snapdragon 410 processor;
- 2 GB of RAM;
- 16 GB of internal memory, microSD slot;
- Main camera 8 MP;
- OS Android Lollipop.
The cost of the smartphone will be $ 600.
Yes, this device is clearly a niche one, no huge sales can be expected. But the very fact of its appearance is pleasant, I like this approach much more than the OnePlus strategy.
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