This column gathers the top rumors in the Android space. It was originally published December 14, 2012, and is updated weekly.
Google I/O may have passed without any new hardware announcements or big Android releases, but we still heard chatter around the elusive white Nexus 4. This week also brought additional details about previously rumored devices.
May 11-17, 2013
White Nexus 4 (May 16, 2013)
Google will reportedly announce the white version of the LG Nexus 4 on June 10, according to Android And Me. After being tossed around the rumor mill for months, the handset is said to be the first to run a to-be-announced Android 4.3 Jelly Bean build.
LG Optimus GJ (May 15, 2013)
LG is rumored to announce a waterproof version of the Optimus G on May 22, according to ePrice.
The specifications should be nearly identical to the current model, but with IPX7 waterproof rating. Indeed, the so-called LG Optimus GJ could withstand being submerged in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes.
Galaxy Note 3 (April 17, 2013)
Samsung may opt to stick with the same familiar plastic build and not the "higher quality" aluminum materials of the HTC One, according to SamMobile. While it does conflict with the blog's earlier reports, Samsung has long stuck by plastic, so this amended rumor doesn't come as a surprise.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is rumored to feature either a 5.99-inch or a 6.3-inch display. Additional specifications for the device are reported to include an eight-core processor, a 13-megapixel rear camera, a 2-megapixel front camera, and 3GB RAM. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will presumably arrive in the fall, perhaps around October, which is in keeping with Samsung's release cycle.
Verizon HTC One (May 15, 2013)
An HTC smartphone that recently received Wi-Fi certification could be Verizon's take on the HTC One. As spied by Blog of Mobile (translate), the PN073XX features dual-band WI-Fi and LTE connectivity. Verizon has a press event slated for May 22 at CTIA in Las Vegas, so it makes sense to assume this is the big reveal; the Droid DNA also happens to be free (with contract) through May 21.
May 3-10, 2013
Nexus 7 (May 10, 2013)
A more powerful Nexus 7 tablet may not have arrived at Google I/O but that doesn't mean it's not coming. According to KGI Securities analyst Mingchi Kuo, the rumored tablet will carry the same affordable $199 price tag, the 7-inch tablet may feature a 5-megapixel rear camera, faster Qualcomm processor, higher resolution display, and support for wireless charging. DisplaySearch analyst Paul Semenza told CNET in March that the next model may reach 323 pixels per inch, which could mean up to 1,900 x 1,200 pixel resolution.
Amazon 3D phone (May 9, 2013)
Amazon is reportedly working on a pair of new smartphones, including one capable of creating 3D capabilities and hologram-like images. Details are light, but the phone is said to employ eye-tracking technology that makes images appear to be floating "like a hologram and appear three-dimensional at all angles."
Previous Amazon smartphone rumors indicate that the retail giant has scrapped plans for 4.3-inch screen in favor of a larger 4.7-inch display. Early reports had the phone arriving as soon as the second quarter, though it appears Amazon will now miss that mark. Presumably, both Amazon phones will employ a forked version of Android, similar to the Kindle Fire tablets. Allegedly, Amazon has tasked Foxconn with building the Kindle Phone.
Sony i1 (May 1, 2013)
Early details for a Sony "Homani" i1 suggest we could be in for an incredibly powerful and gorgeous experience later this summer. Leaked hardware specifications are purported to include a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 32GB internal storage, 2GB RAM, and a camera up to 20-megapixels. Other features may include a form factor with glass, metal, and traces of carbon fiber.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom (May 10, 2013)
A Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is may arrive as soon as June, reports Russian tech site Hi-tech.ru (translate). Features are alleged to include a 4.3-inch qHD AMOLED display and a 16-megapixel camera with 10X optical zoom. Documents found on a Bluetooth special interest group Web site list the device as model number SM-C101.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 (May 10, 2013)
Leaked benchmarks for a Samsung SM-T311 are linked to an upcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0. Specifications could include Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean OS with Samsung's TouchWiz interface, an 8-inch WXVGA (1280 x 800 pixel resolution) display, a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 2GB RAM, and a 4,500mAh battery.
April 27 - May 3, 2013
HTC M4 (May 1, 2013)
HTC will reportedly debut a smaller version of the flagship HTC One smartphone, according to Phone Arena. Operating under the codename of "M4," the handset is rumored to feature a 4.3-inch 720p display, an "UltraPixel" camera, a dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and LTE connectivity. These reports confirm early chatter of a lesser-powered M7 (HTC One) would soon be announced. Presumably, the M4 will also run the latest version of HTC's custom Sense UI.
Motorola X Phone (May 2, 2013)
A trio of new images appear to suggest Ma Bell is in line to carry the so-called, and still unconfirmed, Motorola X Phone. The three photos, which come from oft-reliable Twitter source @evleaks, show a smartphone (or smartphones) that somewhat resembles previously leaked photos. Bearing the name "Blackboxed Motorola for AT&T," it appears to be the same handset found in a batch of images that have since been removed from a Vietnamese site.
New benchmarks surfacing this week show a potential X Phone running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. These new numbers conflict with scores from last week that tipped tipped Android 5.0.1. The scores, which can be easily rigged, showed a "Google X" with a 1.5GHz processor and a score of 15,479.
Sources indicate that users might be able to customize multiple facets of the rumored device, including the outer materials and colors. Internally, reports suggest that the X Phone is actually part of a larger brand and an approach that could feature user-defined configurations for memory and processor options as well as carrier selection.
It likely won't be called the X Phone when the project hits prime time, but the project is at least very much real. A job posting on LinkedIn advertised for an "X Phone" product manager.
Nexus 5 (May 1, 2013)
Google may again tap LG as the handset maker of choice for the next generation of Nexus smartphones, according to the Korea Times. No hardware details or time frames were given; however, we might anticipate something in the fall. Given that the trend as of late is to release the Nexus experience in the fall, we might expect specs and rumors to come in short order.
Toshiba AT10LE-A (May 2, 2013)
Toshiba is rumored to be testing a new high-end Android tablet capable of connecting to an external keyboard, reports Techblog. Hardware specifications are said to include Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 4 1.8GHz processor, 10.1-inch display, microSD, Mini-HDMI output, and stereo speakers. There are no indications yet as to which markets may carry the Toshiba AT10LE-A, nor are pricing details clear.
The Toshiba AT10LE-A seems to run the Android 4.2.1 version, and according to benchmarks that appeared recently Tegra 4 processor, will be clocked at 1.8GHz.
NEC Terrain (April 29, 2013)
AT&T looks to be readying another portrait QWERTY Android, this time in the form of an NEC. Known as the NEC Terrain, the phone should run Android 4.1+ and feature a display in the realm of 2.8-inches to 3.0-inches. No additional details are known however the rubber coating and moniker lead us to believe a rugged experience could be in order.
April 20 - April 26, 2013
Samsung Galaxy S4 Active (April 26, 2013)
According to a Wall Street Journal report, Samsung expects to release a waterproof and dust-proof version of the Samsung Galaxy S4. Known for now as the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, the smartphone is rumored to touch down in July.
Samsung Galaxy Core (April 26, 2013)
Samsung could also be readying yet another member of the Galaxy family as word of a Samsung Galaxy Core trickles online (translate). Details for the smartphone point to a trimmed-down experience with specs such as a 4.3-inch (800x480) display, a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, 768MB RAM, 8GB internal storage (with microSD expansion), a 5-megapixel rear camera, and a 1,800mAh battery. Resembling pretty much every other Samsung handset as of late, the Galaxy Core figures to run Android 4.1 with TouchWiz UI.
Sony Xperia ZR (April 26, 2013)
Sony may introduce a 4.6-inch variation of the Xperia Z in the near term, reports Xperiablog. Previously rumored under the moniker "Dogo", the C550X looks to feature a 720p HD display, 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, 8GB internal storage, a 13-megapixel (Exmor RS) rear camera, and 2,300mAH battery. While the processor is listed as a Qualcomm design, it is unclear whether it will be a Snapdragon S4 Pro or Snapdragon 600 series. Like the Xperia Z, the so-called Xperia ZR is also rumored to be water-resistant.
Previous rumors for the handset line up closely with the Xperia ZR specs; however it's not an exact match. Details uncovered in March suggested the Dogo would feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 CPU, though it was listed with 32GB internal storage. For what it's worth, this handset was also tied to the name "Xperia A" and was said to feature an IR blaster and NFC support.
Other rumors we're tracking
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini (April 19, 2013)
Samsung looks to have delayed the release of the Galaxy S4 Mini by eight weeks, reports SamMobile. Rumored to come in two colors (Black Mist and White Frost), Samsung may offer the handset in both single-SIM and dual-SIM flavors.
Dovetailing with previous rumors, the Galaxy S4 Mini could feature a 4.3-inch qHD display, an 8-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, AGPS, and provide 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB storage options.
LG Optimus G2 (April 18, 2013)
The LG Optimus G2 could prove to be too thin for a conventional form factor, or so says tech site MyDrivers (translate). Word on the street is that the volume and power buttons will be moved to the rear, as they do not fit properly on the sides. First discovered by its model number, the LG D801 has been found to score considerably high on benchmark tests; all sources indicate LG may be readying one of the most powerful devices to date.
Rumored as the LG Optimus G2, details include Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, a 1.7 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, a 13-megapixel rear camera, 2GB RAM, and an Adreno 330 GPU. Expected to offer a full-HD 1,920x1,080-pixel display, it's possible that the D801 will boast a screen size of 5 inches or larger.
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 (April 18, 2013)
The first details for what is expected to be the Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 have arrived, suggesting that another midrange experience is on the horizon. Preliminary specifications are reported to include a dual-core 1GHz Broadcom processor, a display resolution of 480x800 pixels, 4GB internal storage, and a 5-megapixel camera. As often has been the case with European models of this kind, the Galaxy Ace 3 is rumored to come in a variety of colors and single-SIM and dual-SIM editions.
Huawei Edge (April 11, 2013)
Huawei may dial up the Edge as the handset maker's flagship device for summer 2013. Recently leaked (translate) details suggest the smartphone will run Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and feature a quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, a 4.9-inch 1080p HD display, and 2,600mAh battery. Reportedly, the Huawei Edge will come in 16GB and 32GB models and could come in a svelte 6.3mm chassis.
Come back next week for more rumors and possible resolutions!