Summary:

Perhaps in fear of Samsung forking Android for its own use, Google is reportedly working with its Motorola resources on an “X Phone” with unique features. Flipboard finally debuts on Android tablets while Samsung continues to leverage large phone screens with its Galaxy Grand.

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Results of Google’s Motorola purchase haven’t yet appeared in any new products, possibly to avoid issues with other Android hardware partners. That may be changing in 2013. A Wall Street Journal report indicates that Google and Motorola resources are designing an Android handset to better compete against Apple and Samsung.

The X Phone, as it’s currently dubbed, could have some unique features to make it stand out from the crowded smartphone market. Reports suggest a possible bendable display, ceramics for the casing and some type of gesture recognition. After the release of such a phone, Google is expected to offer an X Tablet. If the news is accurate, I’d expect these “X” products to be introduced at Google’s next annual I/O developer conference, scheduled for May 15 to 17 next year.

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While waiting for an X Tablet, current Android slates haven’t had a version of Flipboard to call their own until now. This week, a tablet-optimized version of the popular news reading application appeared in the Google Play store. It’s surprising that it took so long for this app to appear on tablets, mainly because the reading experience of the magazine-style is well suited for larger screens. Indeed, the app debuted in 2010 on Apple’s iPad and later found its way to smaller screens.

Samsung Galaxy GrandBigger screens are the current trend, however, and not just for tablets. Samsung is leveraging its Galaxy brand for a new low-cost phone with 5-inch display. The Galaxy Grand only has an 800 x 480 screen resolution, but does include a dual-core processor, 8 GB of internal storage, full gigabyte of memory and support for 21 Mbps 3G networks. Support for two SIM cards indicate that Samsung is looking to bring the large screen experience to Asia and Africa at a relatively low price point; something that can help the manufacturer stay at or near the top of Android sales in those regions.

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