Welcome back to our weekly column where we round up all the Android-related rumors and discuss the validity of each one. Everyone seems to love our original rumor reports, but we thought it would be fun to examine the rumors from around the web and share our thoughts on the possibility of them coming true. Read on for this week’s latest Android rumors.
Motorola RAZR HD coming to Verizon and AT&T?
Rumor: The Motorola RAZR HD (Vanquish/Fighter/MB886/qinara/Atrix3?) is coming to Verizon and AT&T.
Our thoughts: Last week a trusted source was telling me they played with the Motorola Vanquish (aka Droid Fighter) and said it featured Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 processor. We already knew from previous rumor reports that the Vanquish/Fighter was an upgraded version of the RAZR MAXX, with a 720p display.
This week a new benchmark result appeared for a Motorola device with the model number MB886 and product name Qinara. This device also features a Snapdragon S4 processor and 720p display. AT&T released the Motorola Atrix (MB860) and Atrix 2 (MB865), so this leads us to believe that the MB886 is also headed to AT&T, possibly as the RAZR HD or Atrix 3.
You could say I’m stretching the facts, but it looks pretty likely that the “RAZR HD” will make an appearance on both AT&T and Verizon this summer. Specs for the devices should include a 4.6 inch 720p HD display, 13 megapixel camera, dual-core 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, and massive 3,300 mAh battery.
Galaxy S III is a minor update?
Rumor: Andrew Royal of CNET UK reports the Galaxy S III will be a minor update compared to the Galaxy S II and says an unnamed source told him, “It’ll be like the iPhone 4S was to the 4.”
Our thoughts: This is just dumb. The next Galaxy is going to be Samsung’s flagship device, and they will do everything in their power to make sure it tops the upcoming iPhone 5. It’s looking more likely that the next Galaxy will feature the first processor with ARM Cortex-A15 CPU cores, which would easily make it the most powerful phone to date.
Samsung execs have also been talking up all day battery life, so we think the next Galaxy will have a few surprises. CNET UK also mentions that the device will feature eye tracking technology that can detect when a user looks away from the display. This could be used to turn off the display when not used, which would help extend the battery life.
Finally, to compare the next Galaxy to the iPhone 4S upgrade is just silly. The iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S featured identical design on the outside, and all signs point to Samsung doing something different. Rumors suggest the next Galaxy will have a ceramic case and wireless charging, two unique features not found in the Galaxy S II.
Samsung stopped production of the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1?
Rumor: Sascha Pallenberg of Netbooknews reports that Samsung stopped the production of the GT-P 5100 aka Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 so they could upgrade the tablet to a quad-core CPU.
Our thoughts: Multiple rumors have been suggesting that the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 had been delayed, and Samsung has a history of changing product specs after they announce them. Last year Samsung revealed the original Galaxy Tab 10.1 at Mobile World Congress, then redesigned it one month later to make it thinner than the iPad 2.
When the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 was first announced at this year’s Mobile World Congress, many questioned if this product even earned the “2″. It featured the same old dual-core 1.0 GHz processor, and the rest of the specs were underwhelming.
Samsung said they would release the Tab 2 10.1 for $399 in early May, but other products like the quad-core Transformer Pad 300 have already outclassed it at the same price point.
We know Samsung has their quad-core Exynos 4412 ready to use, since Meizu is shipping it in a phone in June. Samsung could use that same processor in the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, or they could also use the even newer Exynos 5250.
Sascha has been in this business a lot longer than me and I trust his sources, so look for the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 to be delayed.
Tegra 4 has 4 CPU cores
Rumor: Technology news site VR-Zone reports that Tegra 4 will feature a quad-core Cortex-A15 design.
Our thoughts: When NVIDIA first showed us their Tegra roadmap, they said Wayne (aka Tegra 4) would be coming at the tail end of 2012. Given the history of delays with the Tegra 2 and Tegra 3 launches, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Tegra 4 launch was moved to early 2013.
NVIDIA has yet to share any official details about Wayne, which puts them behind their schedule this time last year. We first learned of Tegra 3 in February of 2011, and the first devices began shipping last December. We are now in April, and I don’t think NVIDIA is in any rush to talk about Tegra 4.
The leaked roadmap posted by VR-Zone shows that NVIDIA will go with a 4-PLUS-1 configuration, using ARM Cortex-A15 CPU cores. NVIDIA already hinted they would use A15 in the next Tegra and they seem pretty committed to the 4-PLUS-1 architecture, so this doesn’t come as a surprise.
We also see a new part SP3X, which might be the chip called Grey spotted in previous roadmaps. This should be NVIDIA’s first chip to integrate their Icera modem, which will bring LTE connectivity to mainstream phones. An earlier leaked roadmap placed this part at Q1 2013, but it now appears to have slipped to Q3 2013.
Overall we don’t see a lot of new information to report with this latest leaked roadmap. Tegra 4 will likely feature quad-core A15s, an improved GPU, and arrive in devices by early 2013.