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May 14, 2012

Dual-SIM Samsung Evan Feature-Phone Leaks

It appears that the Samsung Galaxy Proclaim that emerged a few days ago is not the only handset to be introduced by the South Korean handset maker in the following weeks.

Samsung Evan (GT-C3782) is another handset that will probably be quietly launched on some emerging markets. Even though this is a basic feature-phone, Samsung expects to sell quite a few Evan units given its support for dual-SIM capability.

In addition, the candybar phone is said to sport a 2.4-inch QVGA display, Bluetooth 2.1, FM radio, 3.5mm headset jack, as well as a 3-megapixel rear photo snapper. Obviously, the Evan also comes pre-loaded with Samsung’s ChatON services. No word on the phone’s connectivity features other than the fact that Samsung Evan won’t come with 3G support. Stay tuned for more updates on the phone’s availability and price tag. via UnWiredView

Nokia 808 PureView Gets Priced in India, Coming Soon for 560 USD (435 EUR)

Although Nokia 808 PureView was officially launched in India two weeks ago, the Finnish company did not unveil the smartphone’s exact release date and price tag.

However, it appears that the folks over at NDTVGadgets heave learned that the Nokia India store website source code contains the PureView 808 price tag. Nokia 808 PureView will be available for purchase in India for a suggested retail price of Rs 29,999 (560 USD or 435 EUR), which is in line with the company’s official statement.

For the time being, we have no official confirmation for the price, but the handset is expected to go live within the next few weeks, so the mystery will be solved soon. Made official three months ago at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Nokia 808 PureView is a Symbian-based smartphone with an impressive camera. Even though its hardware configuration is far from being impressive, the PureView 808 will surely be popular among those who are looking for a top-tier camera phone.

The smartphone boasts a 41-megapixel (38-megapixel effective) rear camera with Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus, Xenon flash and full HD (1080p) video recording. Aside from the enhanced main photo snapper, there’s nothing that would make the Nokia 808 PureView stand out. The smartphone sports a 4.0-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen (non-PenTile) display that supports 360 x 480 pixels resolution, and features Corning Gorilla Glass coating.

It is powered by Nokia Belle operating system with FP1 and packs 16GB of internal memory that can be further expanded up to 32GB via microSD card. On the inside, the PureView 808 is equipped with a 1.3 GHz ARM11 single-core processor, complemented by 1GB of ROM and 512MB of RAM.  Last but not least, the smartphone embeds a 1400 mAh Li-Ion battery that should provide up to 465 hours of standby time (540 hours in 3G mode) or up to 11 hours of talk time (7 hours in 3G mode).

Lenovo Launches ThinkStation E31 Budget Workstations

Lenovo's workstation line is always growing, even though it is already quite large, and now we get to lay our eyes on the ThinkStation E31 series.

The ThinkStation E31 series has just two members, which are really the same hardware configuration with different clothing and luggage. The big one is a full tower with up to three hard disk drive units, which means that the top storage space is 9 TB. 

The small one has only two drive bays, meaning that 6 TB is the top capacity. It is, of course, possible to choose solid-state drives instead of magnetic platter spinners, for better speed but less space. The only other area where the workstations differ is that of add-in graphics: the former gets an NVIDIA Quadro Q4000, while the latter can possess a Quadro Q600. And now we arrive at the specifications that the ThinkStation E31 share. First off, there's the CPU (central processing unit), an Intel Zeon E2-1200 or an Ivy Bridge model.

Regardless of the unit, up to 32 GB of RAM (random access memory) are present, as is Universal Serial Bus (four USB 3.0 ports and five USB 2.0 ports). "The ThinkStation E31 an ideal choice for small-to-medium businesses or professionals that need more power and performance than they are getting out of their desktop computer," said Robert Herman, director of product and vertical solutions, workstation business unit, Lenovo.  "We have worked closely with customers to figure out how to deliver compact design, reliable hardware components and comprehensive support for the latest ISV applications to meet their needs. The ThinkStation E31 offers businesses a powerful way to get more from their business applications without breaking the bank."

The tower ThinkStatioN E31 has a starting price of $629 (488 Euro) and will appear on June 5. The SFF (small form factor) configuration is set for a June 13 release and has the same tag.

AMD’s Processor Hondo Ready for Windows 8 Launch

Texas-based CPU designer Advanced Micro Devices, also known as AMD, is currently preparing and gathering stocks for the Q4 launch of the company’s first tablet targeted processor called Hondo.

The chip is reportedly made at TSMC in the same 40 nm manufacturing process as Brazos 2.0. AMD’s long awaited Trinity architecture will arrive this month as we’ve revealed here, while the desktop Piledriver versions will have to wait until August. The Hondo CPU will be an Ultra-Low Power product for AMD and the expected TDP is around the 4.5 watts mark.

With such a low power consumption, AMD’s Hondo will likely come in contact with Intel’s Clover Field later next year and a plethora of ARM based CPUs. We honestly don’t know what to believe when comparing AMD’s iGPU with the one Intel has licensed from Imagination Technologies for its Clover Field tablet processor. It may be that, because of the fact that most applications in a Winodws 8 environment will be DirectX optimized, AMD’s iGPU might come out on top.

On the other hand, a 40 nm CPU from AMD can hardly compete in battery life with a 32 nm or 22 nm processor from Intel. Brazos and Llano have been a pair of great successes for AMD, but now the ARM players are much more powerful than they were back in the Cortex A8 days. Windows 8, along with its ARM version will likely level the benchmarking field somehow, as we will be able to directly compare Qualcomm Adreno and Imagination technologies GPUs with iGPUs from AMD and Intel.

Street View's Latest Curated Collection Helps You Find a Great Vacation Spot

Google Street View is surprisingly controversial for such a seemingly mild product. After all, at its core, Street View is just an online photo gallery with a cool, though somewhat gimmicky, 360-degree view and phone-camera quality shots.

Yet controversial it is, people are worried that their neighbors as well as anyone halfway around the world will be able to see what they have in their backyard and that any would-be thief will be able to scout a location from the safety of his laptop. Governments are worried that super-secret locations that thousands of people walk by every day are suddenly going to be exposed to terrorists, or worse. And the list continues.

But Google is making an effort to highlight that most of the stuff on Street View is pretty tame, not only that, it's also rather useful. With summer just around the corner, or already here depending on where you live and how much global warming has affected the weather around your location, Google thought it was a good idea to highlight some of the interesting and close-by (if you're in the US at least) vacation spots. Google regularly creates curated lists of interesting locations to be explored in Street View. Recently, it was places in Japan where cherry blossoms were the most spectacular. Now it's popular family vacation spots in the US.

You can check out the new gallery here and you'll be able to discover other collections as well, stretching from the Amazon to the Swiss Alps. "Summertime means summer travel. Whether you're planning the next family trip or group outing, Google Maps can help," Google wrote.  "Street View’s immersive views lets you preview your adventure by transporting you to famous landmarks and tourist destinations around the world. Over the years, our Partner Program has allowed us to showcase a growing number of notable amusement parks, zoos and other points of interest, with our 360-degree panoramic imagery," it added.

Samsung WB850F Smart Camera

Samsung is updating its whole product line apparently, having revealed a new point-and-shoot camera around the same time that it started shipping the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 in the US.   

The camera we are going to look at here is called WB850F and uses a 16.2 megapixel resolution CMOS sensor. That is not its most advanced asset though. While 16.2 MP is nothing to easily dismiss, it is not precisely uncommon either. That said, the one area where the camera does go all the way is the optical zoom: 21X, the highest among Samsung point-and-shoot cameras.   

The sensor has backside illumination, for good low-light shots, and dual optical image stabilization, to make up for shaky hands. What's more, pictures can be edited with Art Brush, 3D Photo, Split Shot, etc. And now we reach the role that cameras have only now started to take upon themselves: social networking access gadgets. What we mean by this is that it's possible to share pictures on Facebook, Twitter, etc., thanks to the built-in Wi-Fi functionality.   

Other specs include Remote ViewFinder, auto backup, MobileLink, a 3-inch AMOLED display, Schneider-KREUZNACH 21x Zoom Lens, TTL Auto Focus, Red-eye reduction, Smart Movie, Smart Filter and USB 2.0 support. Go to the product page for all the information so far published on the Samsung WB850F. As for buying it, South Korean prospective customers will have to part with 459.000 won, whenever the device appears in stores.

That's $400 / 310 Euro, give or take, according to exchange rates, but Currys and other British retailers have it for £299.99, while the US price is $374 and the European tag is 345 Euro. As always, exchange rates don't seem to matter all that much. Oh well, at least the US price is actually lower than expected, even though people from our old continent still get the short end of the stick.

Nvidia Acquires Approximately 500 Wireless Patents

While everybody is waiting for Nvidia’s much anticipated LTE enabled Tegra chipsets, the company is  strengthening its communications IP portfolio by  jointly acquiring approximately 500 granted and pending patents in the wireless communications area, that were developed and owned by IPWireless.

Nvidia’s partner in this acquisition is Intellectual Ventures, a mainly IP company. The deal was signed on 30th of April 2012 and no financial terms were made public.

The ownership of the patents was split between the two investors, but Nvidia is licensing the patents it did not acquire, while Intellectual Ventures acquired the rest. The wireless developer IPWirelss is retaining perpetual, royalty-free access to all the patents related to the deal in question.

It’s good to see Nvidia working for better integration of its mobile and low power processors.

Inno3D Presents the iChill Herculez GTX 670 Video Card

Affordable video card manufacturer Inno3D has been working lately on quite a few high-end video card designs. 

The company’s new GeForce GTX 670 iChill HerculeZ graphics card is reportedly based on a reference GTX 680 PCB with the GTX 670 GPU stuck on it. The cards working frequencies are closer to GTX 680 video cards, rather than the usual GTX 670 adapters.

The PCB has a 5 plus 2 phase VRM and the extra power is needed to clock the GPU at a base frequency of 1020 MHz, rather than the reference default of 915 MHz. The Boost option is also upped at 1098 MHz, over 10% higher than the reference default of 980 MHz Boost. The memory frequency is unfortunately left unchanged. The expected price is around 500 USD. That would be around 390 EUR for the European gamers.

Sony Xperia ST27i/ST27a (Lotus) Spotted in UAProf Listings

Sony is preparing the unveiling of new smartphones in the highly popular Xperia lineup, there’s no doubt about that. 

One of these could be the ST27i/ST27a smartphone, which was just spotted in UAProf listings, and which is said to feature the codename of Lotus. The ST27i version is supposedly set to hit shelves as the international flavor of the mobile phone, while the ST27a variant might be destined for the United States alone. The two versions of the device are listed with Google’s Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system on board, though they might arrive on shelves with Ice Cream Sandwich right from the start. 

Moreover, the user agent profiles for these two models unveil that Sony will pack them with a touchscreen display capable of a 480 x 854 pixels resolution (FWVGA). The Sony Xperia Lotus is also said to pack a ST-Ericsson NovaThor U8500 application processor inside, a dual-core chip that has been clocked at 1GHz. The UAProf listings also show that, while the ST27i will pack support for GSM 1900/1800/900/850 MHz (I) / 900 (VIII) MHz and WCDMA 2100 bands, the ST27a will arrive with support for GSM 1900/1800/900/850 MHz 1900 (II) / 850 (V) MHz and WCDMA 2100 (I) frequencies. 

Rumor has it that the new Sony smartphone will come on shelves with similar touchscreen capabilities as other new Xperia devices from the handset vendor, but that it would sport a more compact form factor.  Those who would like to learn some more info on these versions of Sony’s codename Lotus smartphone should access this UAProf for the ST27i, or this page for ST27a. 

Lately, Sony has been rumored to launch other new Xperia smartphones as well, but the company hasn’t confirmed anything officially as of yet. Most probably, details on its upcoming handsets will arrive soon, so stay tuned to learn more on them.

QNAP Launches Two 16-Drive Turbo NAS Devices

For people seeking to set up a SMB server or a data center, QNAP has made a pair of Turbo NAS (network-attached storage) devices called TS-EC1679U-RP and TS-1679U-RP

The former is a 16-drive 3U rackmount unit run by a quad-core Intel Xeon E3-1225 processor (3.1 GHz clock speed). DDR3 ECC RAM backs up the chip and a hot-swappable 600W redundant power supply brings the needed energy. Four Gigabit LAN ports exist, but there are expansion options for Gigabit + 10GbE networking and even a pair of storage expansion slots. 

The TS-1679U-RP is a 2U rackmount unit with a dual-core Intel Core i3-2120 CPU (3.3 GHz), DDR3 RAM and the same sort of PSU and expansion. QNAP made it so that both systems use cable-less drive backplanes and achieve transfer speeds of 2,000 MB/s and 200,000 IOPS (all units have 6 Gbps SATA interfaces).

GALAXY S III GT-I9300 Receives GCF Approvals

Samsung’s Galaxy S III smartphone is nearing its official debut on shelves at the end of this month, and it is currently undergoing testing from various certified agencies around the world. 

The Global Certification Forum is the latest of these to approve the new mobile phone for use around the world. The smartphone’s certification appeared on GCF’s website on May 11th, listing model number GT-I9300 and support for GSM 1900/1800/900/850 MHz (I) / 1900 (II) / 900 (VIII) / 850 (V) MHz, and WCDMA 2100 frequencies. 

The Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich-powered handset features a quad-core Samsung Exynos CPU, a 4.8 inch HD display, an 8MP camera on the back, and a front camera for video calling. It also sports 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of internal memory.  The smartphone is expected to hit shelves in Europe in late May, and should reach more markets soon after, including LTE ones.

Leaked Component Indicates the iPhone 5 Will Be Very Different from the 4S

A leaked component reportedly stemming from iPhone 5 prototype units has given birth to intense speculation regarding the phone’s design.

Sold under the name “Earphone Jack/ Ear Speaker/ WIFI Cable For iPhone 5,” the component shows clear differences when compared to the same hardware inside the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S. This piece in particular combines the iPhone’s headphone jack, earpiece, and Wi-Fi cable, whereas in the one found in previous-generation iPhones the headphone jack is bundled with the volume controls and the mute hardware switch. Radical internal changes spell major changes on the outside as well.

Not that it wasn’t already obvious Apple was going to change the design of its iPhone this year. After all, how many more iPhone 4-looking handsets can the California company sell? Last year, the media was indulgent enough when the iPhone 4S came out looking exactly like its predecessor. This time around, the press will be out for the kill if Apple doesn’t innovate.

Asus Padfone 2 with 4G Support Leaks in Official Slide

Asus is still struggling to release the 3-in-one Padfone device and now we have new information that points to another Padfone model, which is expected to arrive on the market in the following months.

Although Asus confirmed it would launch a 4G version of Padfone late this year, we did not expect the company to keep its promise after the recent Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 shortage. The leaked slide mentions the unannounced Asus Padfone 2, which is listed as an “innovative 3-in-1 4G device.” Furthermore, the handset is expected to be “the key player” on the smartphone market.

No other details on the Padfone 2 specs are available for the moment, but rumor has it that Asus plans to introduce this 3-in-1 device sometime this fall. Stay tuned for more updates on the matter. via AndroidTabletBlog

Complete Details of Gigabyte GeForce GTX 680 WindForce 5X

Well-known motherboard manufacturer, Taiwanese company Gigabyte was reportedly scoured by nosy enthusiasts who managed to unveil the complete details about the company’s most powerful GTX 680 card.

The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 680 WindForce 5X video card comes with a very special custom PCB (printed circuit board) that will help Nvidia’s Kepler-based GPU to reach record high overclocks. It has an 8 Phase VRM that uses NEC Tokin 0E907 Proadlizer capacitors and Proselytizer film to enhance the card’s power filtering. Like all high-end Gigabyte video cards and mainboards, the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 680 WindForce 5X video card comes with Gigabyte’s well-known Dual BIOS technology.

The power is supplied through the use of a 8-pin power connector and a 6-pin one. Now let’s get to the interesting part. The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 680 WindForce 5X video card’s GPU is running at a very high 1137 MHz right from the factory. This is a significant 13% base overclock, and when the Turbo option kicks into action, the frequency will rise to 1202 MHz. That’s a 13.6% frequency increase.

The four Proadilizer chips will supply a maximum of 240 watts to the GPU and memory chips. We’ve already described in detail the very efficient cooling system here. Unfortunately, the five 40 millimeter fans are not evacuating the heat outside the case like it would be desirable, but even so, the load temperatures are well kept in check at a low 60 degrees Celsius. This is a very good result considering that Anand’s great review tested the card at a medium 78 degrees Celsius load temperature using the default cooler.

Therefore, we can see that the reference cooler lets the card be around 30% hotter when compared with Gigabyte’s GeForce GTX 680 WindForce 5X cooling solution. The launch should probably come in the June / July time frame and the initial price estimations are around 870 USD. That would be around 670 EUR for the European enthusiasts if the prices stay put for the following weeks.

Sapphire's Radeon HD 7950 Dual-X OC 3GB Graphics Cards

Sapphire decided this was a good time for one of Advanced Micro Devices' high-end graphics cards to get new cooling, so it put the Dual-X to work.

Dual-X is a video board cooler that, as its name implies, boasts a couple of fans. It isn't the most advanced of coolers, but it works just fine as a means to differentiate a board from the flock. That said, there are two versions of the Radeon HD 7950 Dual-X: the regular one and the OC version.

The former has a GPU frequency of 810 MHz and a clock speed of 5 GHz for the 3 GB of GDDR5 VRAM.  The latter works at 950 MHz and 5.00 GHz, respectively. It also has a black PCB instead of the normal blue.

Alas, there are no prices for us to impart, and we aren't sure when sales will start either.

Samsung Exynos 5250 Cortex-A15 CPU Spotted in Android Source Code

Samsung Galaxy S III has been confirmed for May 30 with an Exynos chipset on board, though the North American variant is expected to be shipped with a different all-in-one chipset solution.

There are speculations that indicate the Galaxy S III will be released in the United States with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 processor clocked at 1.5 GHz. However, according to a recent Google ad, Canadian carrier Rogers will launch its branded Galaxy S III with LTE support and Samsung’s new Exynos processor.  
It is a common fact that Samsung Galaxy S III’s Exynos 4212 Quad chipset does not feature LTE support, which is why the South Korean company needs to replace it with another chipset that will offer users LTE capability. Well, it looks like Android dev Adam Green found some reference to an upcoming Samsung device that will be equipped with an Exynos 5250 Cortex-A15 processor. 

The information was uncovered from Google’s Git repository, which makes it pretty much legit. Obviously, there’s no telling exactly when this unannounced device goes official, but at least we know Samsung is working on new Android devices with its own Exynos SoC. There’s more to it as the Android source code also contains information on the next-generation ARM Mali T-604 graphics processing unit, which is said to be 5 times more powerful than the current Mali-400 GPU.

The new GPU is referred to as “vithar” and is said to power the next Samsung device (tablet or smartphone), along with the Exynos 5250 Cortex-A15 processor. The device will support 1280 x 800 pixels resolution, s5k4e5 camera, s5k6a3 camera, wm8994 sound soc and aS6E8AB0 display. According to the latest hearsay, Samsung Exynos 5250 chipset will be clocked at around 1.8 – 2 GHz, and is expected to go into mass production in Q3 2012. Stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

Amazing Capabilities Details of Asus Padfone Demo Video

It’s been more than a year since Asus made the Padfone official, though the company is still struggling to introduce it on the market.

To sweeten the wait, Asus added various capabilities and new accessories to the package. So far, there are at least three additional accessories that can be attached to the Padfone smartphone. Since it was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Padfone got itself a dock station, a stylus headset and a smart sleeve, which features SIM card slot, cleaning cloth and holder for the stylus.

The device even got awarded the Best Innovations prize at CES 2012. Unfortunately, rumor has it that the Padfone will be delayed, again. Although the device was slated for a late April launch, it appears that Asus was forced to delay the Padfone due to some Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 shortage, which will surely affect other handset manufacturers. Hopefully, Asus will only delay the release of the device only in several countries, but for the time being things are looking grim. Asus Padfone will be shipped with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on board and will pack a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor clocked at 1.5 GHz, which is complemented by an Adreno 225 GPU and 1 GB of RAM.

On the inside, the smartphone embeds 16GB (or 32GB) of internal memory, which can be further expanded up to 32GB via microSD card. The phone is powered by a 1520 mAh Li-Ion battery, which is rated by the manufacturer for up to 373 hours of standby time (440 hours in 3G mode) or 11 hours of talk time (8.5 hours in 3G mode). According to Asus, the phone’s autonomy can be expanded up to 63 hours when it’s inserted into the pad or up 102 hours when it’s used along with the dock station.

Acer E330 (Liquid Glow) Spotted at the FCC

Acer is apparently preparing the launch of a new handset on the US market, none other than the Liquid Glow, a new listing at the FCC shows

The US agency has approved the smartphone for use in the country with model number E330 attached to it, but let slip no other details on its specs. The Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone might suffer minor changes if set to arrive on the US market, but it remains to be seen what these might be. 

We should also mention that the phone’s appearance at the FCC does not guarantee a launch in the country. Specific info on the supposed US version of Liquid Glow will emerge either from Acer itself, or from the FCC, as soon as the 180-day confidentiality period on it expires.

More Leaked Images of Nokia 311 Emerge

Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia is preparing the launch of some new S40 handsets for the coming months, to complement the availability of high-end Windows Phone devices such as the Lumia 900. 

One of these is the Nokia 311, which was spotted in leaked images only several days ago, and which has made another appearance online. This time, the phone is accompanied by a leaked manual, which appears to be quite different from what we’ve already seen coming out from Nokia’s labs. Additionally, there are larger versions of the previously leaked images with the Nokia 311 and Nokia 305 and 306 S40 devices. 

Being entry-level handsets, all these phones will arrive on shelves with low hardware specifications, and some of the info that emerged on them confirms that. For example, the Nokia 311 will pack a 3.2-megapixel photo snapper on the back, and it will also offer support for WCDMA and WiFi connectivity. It is also expected to arrive on shelves with support for swipe gestures to perform various tasks, including answering a call or moving between screens. Pinch-and-zoom will also be included in the package, along with pull-down notifications, widgets, maps, and check lists. 

All these were extracted from the manual for Nokia 311, and resemble a lot with capabilities packed inside MeeGo, the OS running on Nokia’s N9 smartphone. Details on Nokia 305 and 306 are also available, but only few of them. The former is said to be a dual-SIM device with a 2MP camera on the back, while the latter is a single-SIM handset with a similar photo snapper. Nokia has been long touting plans to “connect the next billion,” and these phones should help it make new steps in this direction. More info on the matter might emerge as soon as tomorrow, during an event held in Pakistan, so stay tuned to learn the news.

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