It’s been a bit week for Samsung, with the European launch of its Galaxy S4 handset getting underway in full force. Meanwhile, the HTC One got its first over-the-air update, fixing bugs and tweaking the phone’s “Ultrapixel” camera. And on the subject of cameras, we heard the first news of what might be Sony’s mid-year refresh, with new Cyber-shot imaging tech on-board.
Get caught up on the week’s international Android news after the break.
Samsung Galaxy S4 launch
After a limited launch late last week, the Samsung Galaxy S4 finally saw widespread availability in recent days. All the major UK network operators are now stocking the phone, as are independent retailers like Phones4U and the Carphone Warehouse. Other SIM-free outlets are still waiting on stock, but for the most part the GS4 is well and truly launched. As such, Samsung has begun a huge marketing push for the device, targeting TV, banners, movies and social media in the UK.
But the UK wasn’t the only place the Galaxy S4 was launching this week. India’s also getting the phone, and Samsung saw fit to subject audiences to a cringeworthy ‘Gangnam Style’ remix at the launch event in Mumbai. You’ll find the video over here – don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Here on the site, we’re continuing to dive into the Galaxy S4 with feature guides and videos, so check out some of the ones we’ve published this week –
HTC One gets first over-the-air update
European versions of HTC’s flagship device got their first over-the-air update this week, bringing the device in line with the software on the American models. The new OTA adds tweaks to the location service, HTC Zoe, camera “parameter tuning” and Beats Audio, alongside the standard bug fixes. We’ve already seen improved results in HDR mode in the HTC One, and we’ll be pitting it (and this new firmware) against the Galaxy S4 in a future article.
We also got our first glimpse of what might be HTC’s mid-range offering for 2013, codenamed “M4.” According to an image from @evleaks and PhoneArena, the “M4″ will look almost exactly like its big brother, but with more budget-friendly internals and a 4.3-inch 720p display.
There was more bad financial news for HTC this week, though, as the company confirmed dismal Q1 results that reduced its operating margin to just 0.1 percent. The company expects things to turn around during the second quarter, fuelled by sales of the HTC One.
Sony Honami rumors
Sony traditionally refreshes its high-end Android smartphone in the fall, and it looks like this year’s could be a doozy. The latest reports from VR-Zone point to the Sony “Honami” shipping with a new, larger image sensor, improved optics and software based on its Cyber-shot cameras (including a Sony G lens) and a possible output resolution of 20 megapixels. Other possible specs include a Snapdragon 800 CPU and a new kind of 5-inch, 1080p display with Sony’s “WhiteMagic” tech (an extra white pixel alongside red, green and blue) for improved visibility.
We’re still a long way out from the release of this device, if it’s to come later this year. Look for a possible unveiling at IFA 2013 this September in Berlin, Germany.