Tesco has confirmed that it is working on its very own smartphone, which will launch alongside a new version of its budget Android tablet, the Hudl 2, later this year. Here, we bring you all of the release date, price and spec rumours about the Tesco smartphone, so you'll know what to expect when it arrives. Updated on 9/9/14. See also: Budget smartphone reviews
Tesco smartphone release date: When is the Tesco Hudl phone coming out?
Tesco's chief executive Philip Clarke told the BBC in May that the company is working on two new devices, following on from the success of its Hudl tablet that was launched in September last year. The first will be the Hudl 2, and the second will be Tesco's first entry in to the smartphone market, with a smartphone that's been dubbed the Hudl phone by many.
There's been no official confirmation of a release date for the Hudl phone yet, but Clarke has said that it will arrive in time for Christmas, so we're looking at a launch date in September, October or November of this year. See also: The best phones you can buy in 2014
Update: Tesco has now announced, in early September, that it has decided to put its own-brand smartphone on hold - possibly permanently - due to tough competition and a fast changing market.
"Earlier this year we also announced plans to develop a smartphone under the hudl brand. We were confident that we could offer customers something we saw was lacking in the mobile market: an affordable, quality 4g smartphone handset. As we developed the idea in the first few months of the year, we could see a gap we could fill for our customers. The technology sector is fast changing and constantly evolving and since then, the mobile market has become even more competitive. So in early July, I took the decision that we would put the phone on hold and concentrate on the hudl 2 tablet," said Robin Terrell, group multi-channel director at Tesco.
Tesco Hudl smartphone rumours: features and specs
Details like specifications are thin on the ground but the Tesco smartphone is tipped to run Android like the Hudl tablet does. Clarke has revealed that the smartphone will come pre-installed with some of Tesco's own software features, on top of the usual Android features.
Tesco has said that it plans to launch a smartphone-based banking service at some point, so it's likely that the Tesco smartphone will feature this new service.
He says that the Tesco smartphone will be designed to compete with "the best smartphones available," so don't expect a shoddy product.
Tesco may decide to launch the Hudl smartphone in several colours, just like it did with the Hudl tablet. Colourful smartphones seem to be a trend at the moment, after all. Just look at the iPhone 5C and Samsung's new Galaxy S5, for example.
Above: Illustration by Recombu.
Tesco Hudl phone price rumours: How much will the Hudl phone cost?
Tesco's Hudl was introduced at £119, and can be purchased for half that amount with Clubcard Vouchers, the Tesco smartphone will target the high end of the market with 'aggressive pricing'. See also: 8 cheapest 4G smartphones in the UK
It sounds like Tesco could be mirroring the way Google offers top-end hardware for a lower price with its Nexus devices. The Nexus 5 has a 5in Full HD screen, 8Mp camera and Android 4.4 KitKat but sells for just £299. The question is, can Tesco match or better this with its own smartphone.
The Tesco smartphone will be the newest addition to the string of own-brand smartphones coming from various companies, including Amazon with its Fire Phone, Firefox's $25 smartphone and EE with the EE Kestrel.