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Dec 27, 2011

Meizu MX with Quad-Core CPU Launching in May 2012

Chinese handset maker Meizu has already confirmed that its Meizu MX Android-based super-phone will be available in China beginning January 2012 for only $470 (350 EUR).

Aside the fact that the new price is about $310 (235 EUR) lower than the initial price announced earlier this year, Meizu’s CEO Jack Wong also confirmed plans to release a quad-core variant of the MX.

Mr. Wong did not make any predictions on the upcoming availability of the smartphone, so there is no telling exactly when the quad-core version is out on the market.

In the same news, Chinese site Techorz speculates that the upgraded version of the Meizu MX might be released around May 2012 with an Exynos 4412 quad-core processor on board.

Techorz’s information is based on Wong’s post on the phone’s official forum, which confirms this timeframe for the phone’s release.

Xperia arc Receives Android 4.0 via CM9.0 Alpha

Sony Ericsson’s Xperia arc smartphone is the latest Android device out there to get a better taste of Google’s latest OS release, Ice Cream Sandwich. 

The new Android 4.0.3 ICS platform landed on Xperia arc courtesy of a CyanogenMod ROM, which is currently available only in an alpha flavor. 

Since it is only in its early stages of development, the build is not fully functional. Those users who would like to download and install it should be aware that this is unofficial software, and that they will have to alter their handsets to install it. 

This is the first Alpha release of CyanogenMod 9.0 for the Xperia arc, and should be followed by subsequent versions, until a stable flavor is made available. 

The ROM arrives as a result of the collaboration between the CyanogenMod team and the people behind FreeXperia. Sony Ericsson also offered support for the release of this custom ROM. 

The handset vendor already made available its own Ice Cream Sandwich update for some Xperia users, but the new software is a bit different, being capable of offering an experience closer to the stock Android flavor. 

For the time being, however, the photo snapper, USB Mass Storage and MTP are not working in Android 4.0.3 for Xperia arc. 

On the other hand, the GSM connectivity is working, Bluetooth, GPS, and Wi-Fi as well, along with the handset’s touchscreen display, partial 3D graphics, and the wireless tethering features. Audio is working, as well, and video recording is also said to be working. 

Users interested in giving the software a try should head over to this thread on the xda-developers forum. The CM9.0 Alpha ROM for the Xperia arc is available for download via github.

Before giving the new software a try, users should keep in mind that this is an unofficial release and that they will have to root their handsets to install it. This means voiding the phone’s warranty in the process. Users who will install the software will be the only ones to be held responsible if anything goes wrong.

BlackBerry App World Now Available, Brings Localization Features

A new flavor of the popular BlackBerry App World app is now available for the owners of smartphones from Canadian mobile phone maker Research In Motion. 

The new version of the App World is and has been released soon after App World 3.1 landed on devices. 

Apparently, the main reason for which RIM decided to deliver the new mobile client to users was to bring into the mix a series of localization features.

Based on the country you’re in, the application will deliver access to specific software. Basically, all apps are available for all users, but those who are locally relevant are now easier to find. 

At the same time, the new app release was meant to bring along a variety of bug fixes, though RIM hasn’t offered a full change log for it as of yet. 

Users who did not install the BlackBerry App World 3.1 but would go for the new version, would benefit from all the enhancements that were included there as well. 

Some of those would be the ‘Request Gift’ feature, or the addition of new payment methods (PayPal, credit card, or carrier billing are available now for users).

Moreover, the application brings along an industry standard content rating system, which was meant to enable users set filters for the content that appears in search results. 

Four content classifications are now available for users, namely Adult, Mature, Teen and General (the rating level will be shown on the application detail page). 

One other feature that users will certainly appreciate when it comes to the new BlackBerry App World storefront is the option to browse, purchase, and download applications via Wi-Fi networks. 

“There are areas where you won’t get a cellular signal or you may be in places where you’re not allowed to turn on your cellular antenna , but you may be able to hop on a Wi-Fi network. And where there’s Wi-Fi, you can now stay connected to BlackBerry App World and grab new apps and updates any time,” RIM said. 

The new BlackBerry App World should be delivered to all users over the air, but can be found on the BlackBerry App World website as well.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 Gets Unofficial Ice Cream Sandwich Port

Since Google already released the Android 4.0 source code last month, a wide range of Android-based smartphones and tablets received unofficial Ice Cream Sandwich ports.

It was just a matter of time until the folks over at XDA-Developers ported the latest version of Google’s mobile platform to the Galaxy Tab 8.9.

Courtesy to XDA forum user nycbjr, Galaxy Tab 8.9 owners who know their way with these unofficial ROMs can flash this alpha release of Ice Cream Sandwich.

However, the developers mention that the alpha release was only tested on the Wi-Fi version of Galaxy Tab 8.9, so there’s no 3G support available for the moment.

While the Wi-Fi connection is fully functional, the camera does not work and there are some video limitations, such as YouTube HD videos not working and some stuttering that occasionally occurs. More details on the alpha build can be found here.

Ice Cream Sandwich Successfully Ported to LG GT540 Optimus

The old LG GT540 Optimus will never get an official Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade, especially given its hardware configuration. The phone was initially launched in June 2010 with Android 1.6 Donut on board and was slated for an Android 2.1 Éclair update.

However, it appears that the phone attracted quite a lot of dedicated Android fans who would not let the phone die. XDA forum user Mike Gapinski successfully ported Ice Cream Sandwich to LG GT540 Optimus.

The custom ROM is based on CyanogenMod 9 source with the brand new kernel 2.6.35. The developer already released the beat 2 version of the ROM, which is now available for download.

The things that are not working for the moment are the camera and the WUB/Wi-Fi tethering, which is only via alternative apps. In addition, the HW/3D acceleration has little issues but it works.

For more details on the custom ICS ROM for LG GT540 Optimus check out Mike Gapinski’s dedicated site.

Redsn0w 0.9.10b1 May Break iFile App

It has been revealed that some people are experiencing issues with a third party application after applying the iOS 5.0.1 untethered jailbreak with the latest version of Redsn02w.

Updated to version 0.9.10b1 earlier today, Redsn0w finally provides the much anticipated untethered jailbreak for iOS 5 customers. It supports A4-based devices and below, but not hardware based on the A5 CPU.

One of my Twitter followers says that a lot of his contacts are “collectively reporting that iFile has stopped working after they jailbroke their iPhone using redsn0w 0.9.10b1.”

I’ve searched the web for any similar symptoms experienced by others, but no cigar. I’m posting this as a preemptive warning just in case some of you folks rely on iFile.

Has anyone here encountered this? How about other apps? Everything OK after using the latest Redsn0w jailbreak?

Nokia Lumia 900 to Be AT&T Exclusive

Next year, Nokia is expected to bring its Windows Phones to the US market, and should pack them with appealing capabilities, including support for LTE networks. 

The company was already rumored to plan the release of a high-end Windows Phone with 4G capabilities in the US, namely the Lumia 900, and some more info on the matter emerged. 

Allegedly, Nokia will have its smartphone available on shelves only at AT&T, and will not push it to Verizon as well, although it was initially expected to do so. 

The Nokia Lumia 900, also known as the Nokia Ace, is expected to make an official appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, and should land at AT&T soon after. 

Apparently, it will be exclusively available at this carrier, and no CDMA flavor will emerge, though nothing has been confirmed on the matter for the time being.

Asus Teases Lamborghini VX6S Cedar Trail Netbook in New Presentation Video

Asus has been showcasing the Lamborghini VX6S at various trade shows and event in the industry for almost six months now, but this Intel Cedar Trail powered netbook has yet to make its arrival until now.

However it now seems like we aren’t that far away from its launch, as in order to increase the hype surrounding its product Asus has now put together a new presentation video for the VX6S, which was spotted by Notebook Italia.

The video, which we enclosed right bellow this article for your viewing pleasure, focuses on showing the similarities between the VX6S and the Lamborghini LP700-4 Aventador supercar, its design is based upon.

Those of you familiar with the original VX6 won’t find that many differences between the two, since most of the changes brought to the Lamborghini VX6S concentrated more on the inside of the netbook.

One of these modifications is the inclusion of a new Atom Cedarview processor that is supposed to make the notebook more responsive and somewhat more powerful.

Just as with its previous model, Asus decided on using an Atom CPU that was designed for nettop use and settled with the D2700 that includes two processing cores with Hyper-Threading support running at a 2.13GHz clock speed.

Changes were also brought to the graphics used inside the system as Asus has decided to swap the ION GPU used before for an AMD Radeon HD 6470M, which includes 160 unfied shaders clocked at 700MHz.

The rest of the Lamborghini VX6S hardware specs include, 2GB of DDR3 memory (upgradeable to 4GB), a 500GB hard drive, Bluetooth and Wireless N connectivity, a card reader, and a built-in webcam.

The battery uses a 6-cell design (58Wh) and the 12.1-inch LED backlit screen sports a native resolution of 1366x768.

When it designed the Lamborghini VX6S, Asus also included a Bang & Olufsen ICEpower sound system, which should deliver high-quality audio.

Sadly, no information regarding pricing or availability was disclosed by the Taiwanese company, but we’ll keep you up to date with how things evolve from now on.

Gigabyte Motherboards Go Down in Smoke, Get Recalled

In a surprising, and somewhat disheartening, turn of events, Gigabyte has discovered that quite a few of its newest motherboards have a tendency to blow up.

Granted, 'blow up' may be a harsh term, since the issue is that a MOSFET or some other component can fry, and this applies to quite a few boards still in customers' possession.

The original sighting of what seems to be an engineering flaw happened when a Taiwanese overclocker did a mild overclocking experiment on the Gigabyte X79 UD3 motherboard.

"Bad luck" is what most people thought when they learned of the occurrence but, after that, Gigabyte received some more complaints which said that even moderate voltage-assisted CPU overclocking could fry the VRM.

The notices led to investigations and the company eventually found that the issue was more far-reaching than anyone believed.

Gigabyte also discovered that there was more than one problem at work.

The PWM circuitry used some bad quality components, something that bad firmware definitely didn't alleviate.

Gigabyte did provide a fast solution, a new BIOS in fact, but while it does more or less prevent this sort of burnout, it does so by eliminating the overclocking abilities of the motherboards altogether.

The boards in question are the GA-X79-UD3, GA-X79-UD5, and G1.Assassin 2, which enthusiasts bought largely because they could overclock things.

Once the new BIOS is installed, the CPU will be throttled when extreme stress is detected, so as to save the VRM.

Fortunately for enthusiasts, Gigabyte is also accepting faulty products back and offering replacements for free.

No new and fixed platforms are available now, though, but the GA-X79-UD3, GA-X79-UD5, and G1.Assassin 2 have been taken off store from shelves as well, so whenever they start selling again is when replacements will be shipped to affected customers.

Samsung Reconsidering Android 4.0 Upgrades for Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab

A few days ago, Samsung had no plans for delivering the new Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system to the owners of a Galaxy S or Galaxy Tab device, but things might have changed recently. 

New reports on the matter suggest that the company is currently reconsidering its position towards these updates. 

Soon after having announced that it would not provide users of Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab devices with the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS due to a series of hardware limitations, the company started to receive a lot of negative feedback from users. 

As one can easily imagine, people were irritated by the announcement, since Samsung was actually expected to provide them with the update without a fuss. 

The South Korean handset vendor claims that these devices do not sport enough internal memory to accommodate the latest Android release from Google, but users beg to differ. 

As a result, the vendor decided to take a closer look into the matter, so as to determine whether there is a way in which Ice Cream Sandwich could work on Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab. 

After all, some unofficial ROMs for Galaxy S were already spotted into the wild, offering users the possibility to upgrade their devices. 

Chances are that Samsung will deliver the Android 4.0 upgrade to users, but that it will remove some elements from its TouchWiz interface, which is most probably the reason why said devices lack the necessary memory amount required for the upgrade. 

Nothing has been officially unveiled on the matter as of yet but, if things are indeed so, it should not be too long before the handset vendor makes a formal announcement. 

After all, the Galaxy S was the first successful handset in the series, with millions of units sold in a rather short period of time, and Samsung should rewards its users by delivering the Ice Cream Sandwich platform to their devices as well.

Face Unlock Available for Nexus S via Custom Android 4.0 ROM

A few weeks ago, Google started to deliver the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system to Nexus S devices out there, though some of the features that made it to Galaxy Nexus were not available for the older handset, such as Face Unlock. 

The said software update created a lot of problems, and even bricked some Nexus S handsets out there, which even determined Google to put an end to its roll-out. 

Issues such as connectivity problems, battery drain, reboots, inability to access various functions of the device and the like have been reported by those who installed the new update, yet there are also some who managed to install the software successfully and issues free. 

While most of the phone’s capabilities are put to good use in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, there are also those who are left aside. Such is the face unlock feature in ICS, which takes advantage of the handset’s front camera. 

A custom ROM is now available for them, based on the Android 4.0.3 OS, and meant to bring the said capability to both Nexus S 4G at Sprint, as well as to GSM Nexus S smartphones out there. 

The downside, however, is that users will have to root their devices to install the ROM. They will also have to wipe the handset clean, it appears. 

The said ROM emerged over at the Android Forums as AOSP 4.0.3 and brings along a series of other tweaks as well, it seems. Those interested in learning more about it should head to this thread on the said forums if they own a GSM Nexus S, or to this post if they own a Nexus S 4G on Sprint’s CDMA network. 

Just keep in mind that this is an unofficial ROM, and that you will have to tinker with your handset to install it. Hopefully, an official update to add the face unlock functionality to Nexus S will also be delivered soon, so stay tuned.

Nokia 801T Lands in China with Symbian, TD-SCDMA Connectivity

Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia plans on increasing its presence on the market in China, and the company has just announced a new Symbian smartphone for this market, namely the Nokia 801T. 

The new device is running under the Symbian operating system, and is set to land on shelves in China with support for the local TD-SCDMA networks. 

Apparently, Nokia designed it with the Symbian^3 operating system inside, as well as with a series of features and capabilities tailored for the Chinese market. 

The new mobile phone arrives on shelves with a large 4-inch touchscreen panel, which should offer a great experience when it comes to displaying messages, information, and photo content. 

Additionally, it comes with a built-in telescopic TV antenna, which is meant to provide users with instant access to mobile TV (CMMB) regardless of the place they are in.

Not to mention that the new Nokia smartphone offers users the possibility to connect to the fast TD-SCDMA networks in the country. 

It also packs NFC functionality for delivering increased convenience and functionality through simply touching NFC-enabled mobile phones and accessories to match.

The handset features an all-metal unibody, but little is known at the moment about the rest of its hardware specifications. 

What we know is that the new device will be launched on shelves at China Mobile, and should offer support for a variety of applications, Nokia explains. 

Users can download and install applications on this device to benefit from a better experience, while also enjoying its web browsing capabilities, as well as a variety of services that have been made available for it. 

Unfortunately, it’s still not clear exactly when the smartphone will be launched at the wireless carrier. However, since it has already made the phone official, Nokia might be set to make it available in the not too distant future, so stay tuned for more on this.

Nokia 801T

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