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Oct 11, 2012

Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini Launched

Samsung has launched Galaxy S3 Mini, a 4 inch display, Android smartphone at an event in Frankfurt,Germany. Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini is expected to hit the market during Christmas and it is expected to be priced between USD 350 to USD 430 however still there’s no confirmation about the prices or the availability by the Korean giant.

Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini is sporting a smaller 4 inch display similar to the iPhone 5 launched earlier this year by Apple. The device which is a mini version of the companies flagship device Samsung Galaxy S3 , is seen as Samsung’s answer to Apples iPhone 5.However the device is nowhere close to its flagship device Samsung Galaxy S3 as it lacks a quad core and the 5 MP camera present is also said to be mediocre. The presence of a dual core processor and absence of a quad core makes it a less power packed performer when compared to other Flagship products. Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini comes with the latest version of Android 4.1 JellyBean , 1GHz dual-core processor, 5MP rear camera and 800x480p display.The device is not a very powerful device when compared to it brother Galaxy S3 but is rather targeted at  emerging markets. The device is juiced up by a 1500mAh battery. It comes packed-up with 8GB of RAM and is available in 8 and 16 GB variants along with a microSD card slot that supports cards upto 32 GB.

Connectivity Options include WiFi a/n/b/g , WiFi HT40, GPS/GLONASS  , Bluetooth 4.0. Along with this it also has NFC chip. However it’s missing 4G LTE capabilities.The device is having a size of 121.55 X 63 X .85 mm, 111.5 g. There has been a good number of handsets with smaller screens being launched by companies to target the consumers who prefer rather smaller yet a very practical device that they can easily hold in their hands next to their ears.

Samsung Galaxy SIII and SIII Mini
Image credits to Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Mini
Image credits to Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Mini Specs
Image credits to Samsung

NTT DoCoMo Sharp Aquos Phone Zeta SH-02E Features IGZO Display

One of the smartphones that Japanese wireless carrier NTT DoCoMo made official today was the Sharp Aquos Phone Zeta SH-02E, expected to become available for purchase on its network sometime this winter.

The most interesting aspect of this device is the fact that it comes with an IGZO display, which is said to provide impressive battery savings when compared to other displays currently available on smartphones. Apparently, the indium gallium zinc oxide technology used for the screen offers increased levels of translucency when compared to what usual LCDs have to offer, thus reducing the demand for backlighting, which affects the battery performance, Engadget notes. The screen technology has been already showcased to the world, and is now powering the large 4.9-inch display on Sharp Aquos Phone Zeta SH-02E, which is capable of delivering a 1,280 x 720 pixel resolution. The specifications list of this device also includes a quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor clocked in a 1.5GHz, and complemented by Adreno 320 graphics, also capable of connecting to NTT DoCoMo’s 4G LTE network.

Additionally, the new mobile phone arrives on shelves with a massive 16-megapixel photo snapper on the back, capable of providing users with full HD video recording capabilities, as well as with a 1.2MP camera on the front, great for making video calls while on the go. The wireless carrier also notes that the new device is both waterproof and dustproof, that it comes with support for NFC connectivity, and that it also sports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities (Wi-Fi hotspot as well). Unfortunately, the new Sharp Aquos Phone Zeta SH-02E will be released with Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system right from the start, though users could expect an upgrade to Android 4.1 soon after.

No specific info on when the new mobile phone will arrive on shelves has been provided, but it should not be too long before NTT DoCoMo announces these details as well.

NTT DoCoMo Sharp Aquos Phone Zeta SH-02E
Image credits to NTT DoCoMo

Make the Most of the FM Radio App on Apple iPod nano 7G

A key feature of the seventh-generation iPod nano is the Radio application which allows you to tune in to your favorite radio station on the go and even skip back as much as 15 minutes. Here’s how to use it.

The player uses the headphone cord as the antenna, which means you are required to connect your shiny new EarPods every time you want to receive a radio signal. In other words, you can’t use wireless headphones with the Radio app. In fact, Apple says, “For better reception, make sure the cord isn’t tangled or coiled.” Listening to the radio on your new nano is dead-easy. Simply connect the EarPods or some regular headphones, then tap Radio on the Home screen, and tap the Play icon. Apple says “If you don’t see the Radio icon, swipe left.” Some radio stations support Radio Data System, or RDS, which displays the song title, artist name, and station information. If this type of info doesn’t appear on screen, the radio station you’re listening to doesn’t support RDS.

Here’s where it gets interesting. iPod nano supports Live Pause, which enables you to pause a radio broadcast and resume playback from the same point some 15 minutes later. No more, though. That’s the limit, according to Apple. “When Live Pause is turned on in Settings (it’s on by default), you can pause a live broadcast for up to 15 minutes. When the 15 minute limit is reached, the earlier recording is cleared as the recording continues,” the company explains in a support document. The Cupertino mammoth offers a lowdown of the circumstances in which Paused radio is cleared automatically (below).

  • You change stations.
  • You turn off iPod nano.
  • You play other media content or record a voice memo.
  • The battery is very low and needs to be charged.
  • You pause the radio for 15 minutes without resuming play.

You’ll find more options for listening to paused radio behind the Live Pause controls, according to Apple. The company also outlines a few ways to control playback of paused radio, for example skipping back in 30-second increments by tapping the 30 second skip back icon.

iPod nano radio promo
Image credits to Apple

Nokia Concludes Trial of City Lens for Symbian and MeeGo

Today, the Nokia Beta Labs team announced that the beta trial for the Nokia City Lens for Symbian and MeeGo devices has been concluded.

Moving forth, the focus will remain on the development of the augmented reality (AR) application for devices running under Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system. This move was somehow expected, given the fact that Nokia did say several weeks back that it would no longer update City Lens for Symbian and MeeGo, and that support for the Belle refresh smartphones would not be added to the application. “Nokia Beta Labs followers will know that City Lens has been one of our most well received new applications,” the Nokia City Lens team at Nokia Beta Labs noted. “People all over the world have recognized it as an exciting way to view what’s available to see and do in their immediate surroundings and reviewers have praised its ease of use.”

Moreover, the team notes that the feedback received from users has proved great both for bringing enhancements to the Symbian and N9 versions of the app, and for the development of the Windows Phone flavor. “This feedback also proved to be very helpful to us when we started working on Windows Phone, the platform on which we are dedicated to creating a third ecosystem in smartphones and the one we intend to provide the best-in class location-based experiences on,” the team notes. The application is expected to prove highly popular on devices running under Windows Phone, this being the main reason for which the focus switches to bringing enhancements to this app release.

Those who have already downloaded and installed Nokia City Lens on their Symbian and MeeGo devices will be able to continue using the app, the team of developers also said. However, as mentioned above, there will be no support for the Belle refresh. “We continue to forge ahead on City Lens for Windows Phone and we believe that AR will be a critical component of the mobile future as a technology that helps users get the most out of their geographical location,” the team concluded.

Nokia City Lens
Image credits to Nokia Beta Labs

Raspberry Pi Burned by Counterfeit Apple Chargers

Raspberry Pi is a great tool for Linux developers, but it also suffers a little bit because of users’ ignorance.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation, the developers of this amazing mini PC, has seen a rising trend of broken Raspberry PIs because of counterfeit power supply units. “Returned units used in the UK has noted a problem out there with some power supplies, all of which appear to be counterfeit Apple chargers. Some of you are using chargers you’ve bought in good faith which are not the real thing, and which don’t behave like a safety-tested, properly engineered piece of hardware,” said Liz Upton, a representative of The Raspberry Pi Foundation.

If you have a Raspberry Pi, don't use a look-alike Apple charger for it. You might ruin it. Raspberry Pi relies on an ARM processor with a clock speed of 700 MHz, 256 MB of RAM, an SD card slot and a 5V Micro USB connector that supplies the power. It also features RCA and HDMI ports.

Raspberry Pi
Image credits to Raspberry Pi Foundation

AOSP Jelly Bean 4.1.2 ROM for Galaxy Nexus

Google has started the deployment of a new platform flavor on Nexus devices recently, with Nexus 7 and Galaxy Nexus being the first to receive it, and it seems that custom ROMs based on it are already available for download.

We’re referring here to the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean OS version and to what is said to be a pure AOSP Jelly Bean 4.1.2 ROM destined for Galaxy Nexus i9250 GSM/HSPA+ (maguro). The ROM comes from XDA-Developers forum member kalo86, and features build JZO54K.

Those who want to give this ROM a try should head over to this thread over at XDA-Developers for the download links and to learn some more info on what installing it involves. The ROM is said to have been already rooted, which means one less trouble for those who want to tweak their devices.

Android Jelly Bean logo
Image credits to Google

SoftBank to Acquire Sprint

United States carrier Sprint might soon be sold to Japanese operator SoftBank, the latest reports on the matter suggest.

Only a few details on the deal have been made available so far, courtesy of Nikkei, such as the fact that SoftBank might have to pay 1.5 trillion yen, or $19.22 billion for the US carrier. As BGR notes, the Japanese company purchased earlier this month rival carrier eAccess. Moreover, it seems that the operator is also considering other similar deals.

Sprint, which was rumored before to plan acquiring MetroPCS, has lost interest in that transaction lately, thus allowing T-Mobile to take advantage of the opening. Apparently, Sprint’s decision was based on a switch of focus, provided that the newly rumored deal is indeed real. Hopefully, additional info on the matter will emerge soon, so stay tuned for more on this.

Sprint logo
Image credits to Sprint

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