New Mobile Devices Add Performance, Versatility

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NEW YORK — More versatility and stepped-up performance are the hallmarks of new tablets and smartphones reaching stores in recent days.

Samsung, for instance, launched four new tablets, three with octa-core processors to expand its octa-core selection. Two of the tablets are said to be the world’s first 12.2-inch tablets with 2,560 by 1,600 WQXGA display. They’re also the world’s first 12.2-inch tablets with 16:10 aspect ratio, Samsung claimed.

Other tablet developments include the first Verizon-network Nexus-brand tablet.

In smartphones, Sprint made a push-totalk (PTT) service available on many more LTE-equipped phones with the launch of a free PTT app for six Android smartphones.

Here are the details:

Verizon Wireless will offer its first Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8 smartphone with quad-core CPU, and the carrier will offer it on an exclusive basis.

The global-ready Lumia Icon with 2.2GHz quad-core processor will be available starting Feb. 20 in Verizon stores, Verizon’s online store, and indirect channels for $199 with new two-year contract. In Verizon stores, it’s also eligible for the Verizon Edge upgrade program.

The Icon is available for preorder at Microsoft retail stores and will hit store shelves and the Microsoft online store Feb. 20.

Samsung’s four new tablets, all with Android 4.4, include a pair of 12.2-inch tablets billed as the world’s first 12.2-inch tablets with widescreen 16:10 aspect ratio. They’re also said to be the first 12.2-inch tablets with 2,560 by 1,600 WQXGA display.

Both 12.2 models also feature octa-core CPUs, joining the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 – 2014 Edition shipping in the U.S. since October.

The new tablets include the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 and Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4. These Wi-Fi-equipped tablets became available in stores Feb. 13 at retails of $749 for the 32GB version of the Note Pro 12.2, $849 for the 64GB version of the Note Pro 12.2, $499 for the 16GB Tab Pro 10.1, and $399 for the 16GB Tab Pro 8.4. Prices are UPP (unilateral pricing policy).

Verizon Wireless will be the first carrier to offer a 4Gequipped Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 sometime in the first quarter.

Samsung’s fourth new tablet, which features a 12.2-inch display, is the Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 with 32GB storage. It will be available in March at $649 with Wi-Fi.

All models come in black or white with high-definition 2,560 by 1,600 WQXGA display. All are designed for personal and enterprise use.

The 12.2-inch tablets feature Samsung Exynos 5octa-core CPU (1.9GHz quad-core plus 1.3GHz quad-core), also appearing in the currently available Note 10.1-2014 Edition. The 12.2-inch tablets also feature 3GB RAM, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, Wi-Fi Direct, HDMI output, MicroUSB enabled with Mobile High-definition Link (MHL), and a 9,500 mAh battery delivering up to 13 hours of Wi-Fi Internet use.

Both 12.2 tablets also have a Multi Window feature to view up to four applications simultaneously for improved multitasking. The feature enables drag and drop for cutting and pasting between apps.

Like other Samsung Note tablets, the Note Pro 12.2 comes with Samsung’s S Pen stylus and other Note features, such as handwriting-to-text conversion.

Like the 12.2-inch tablets, the 16GB Tab Pro 10.1 has a Exynos 5 octa-core CPU and 2,560 by 1,600 WQXGA display but drops RAM to 2GB. It 8,220 mAh battery delivers 10 hours of Wi-Fi Internet use. Other hardware specs are the same as those of the 12.2 models.

For its part, the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 is said to offer the most pixel-dense display of any tablet on the market, with 359 ppi. It features 2GB RAM and Qualcomm Snapdragon 2.3GHz quadcore processor. Other hardware specs are the same as those of the other tablets with the exception of HDMI, which is unavailable on the 8.4, and a smaller 4,800 mAh battery. The battery, however, delivers 10 hours of Wi-Fi Internet use like the Tab Pro 10.1.

Sprint made push-to-talk (PTT) service available on many more LTE-equipped phones with the launch of a free PTT app for six Android smartphones.

Four more Android LTE phones will soon be compatible with the app, the carrier said.

The Sprint Direct Connect Now app is available for downloading from Google Play to the Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, LG G2, LG G Flex, LG Optimus F3 and Kyocera Hydro Edge. The app will be compatible “soon” with the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, Samsung Galaxy Mega and the Samsung Galaxy S4 with Sprint Spark enhanced-LTE service.

They join three currently available smartphones with embedded PTT: the LTE-equipped Kyocera Torque smartphone and two ruggedized 3G phones. The latter two are the Motorola Admiral Android smartphone and the Kyocera Dura Max.

In late 2012, Sprint launched a PTT app for select Androidbased 3G smartphones.

Verizon began offering its first Google Nexus tablet, the Nexus 7 with LTE. It will also be available through indirect channels. T-Mobile also offers the Nexus 7, and Google makes unlocked versions available for use on the LTE networks of T-Mobile and AT&T.

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