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Dec 4, 2012

Huawei Honor 2 (U9508) Emerges in AnTuTu Benchmarks, More Specs Unveiled

Chinese mobile phone maker Huawei has a new great smartphone running under Google’s Android operating system available for purchase in China, none other than the device previously rumored to hit shelves under the name of Huawei Honor 2.

Apparently, this is the first device coming from the handset vendor to pack inside a quad-core processor that has been developed in the country, and can also deliver appealing features and performance capabilities to its users. The phone’s CPU has been clocked at 1.4GHz, which is complemented by 1GB of RAM, both working together to provide users with a better, more unified and integrated experience. The smartphone also features 8GB of internal memory, as well as an 8-megapixel photo snapper on the back, paired with a 1.3MP camera on the front, to provide users with video calling capabilities. The smartphone features a 4.5-inch touchscreen display that can deliver a 1280 x 720 pixel resolution, and which is also capable of 1080p video playback, as GizChina notes in a recent article.

Basically, the device can provide users with all the imaging, video recording and viewing features that they would like to have around them while on the go. At the moment, the smartphone runs under Google’s Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, though Huawei might plan the release of an OS upgrade for it in the not too distant future. The smartphone has been put up for sale in China with a price tag of $379.89 (€290) attached to it, which makes it one of the most affordable quad-core devices in the country.

The performance capabilities of this device have already been put to the test. In AnTuTu, for example, the Huawei Honor 2 smartphone managed to score 15,059, which is highly impressive, one should agree. It can already be seen listed over at Uredeal, it seems.

Huawei Honor 2
Image credits to GizChina

Huawei Honor 2 benchmarks result
Image credits to GizChina

RIM Announces BBM Money Service in Indonesia, Enables BlackBerry Users to Transfer Money

With the upcoming BlackBerry 10 OS, Research In Motion (RIM) hopes to turn the tides in its favor and stop its decline in the smartphone market.

However, with a new mobile platform come new adjacent services which are meant to add to the productivity of the operating system and improve users’ overall experience. Several weeks ago, RIM announced that its popular BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) service would receive a new important feature called BBM Voice. With BBM Voice, users would be able to make free calls to other BBM contacts over Wi-Fi. Moreover, a BBM Video Chat will also be added as soon as BlackBerry 10 OS goes official. Still, RIM will simply not stop here as the Canadian company plans to enter the e-commerce market with new services. Given the fact that RIM is known for the tight security of its services, customers may be lured to choose them over others that are well-established on the e-commerce market.

In this regard, BBC News reports that the Canadian company has just announced the availability of a new peer-to-peer money transfer service in Indonesia. The new service is called BBM Money and enables BlackBerry users to transfer money among them quickly and more secure. Although the new money transaction service is only available in Indonesia, RIM is expected to expand the availability of BBM Money to additional countries in the following weeks. “Indonesia is very important for RIM… It’s a huge market for us – and it is a market that has grown significantly over the last few years… So we are offering a new innovation – BBM Money which will be launched in Indonesia – first in the world – shortly. It is a peer-to-peer transfer service that anyone with a BlackBerry phone can use to transfer funds to someone else with a BlackBerry phone,” said Hastings Singh, RIM’s managing director of South Asia operations.

BBM Money in Indonesia with PermataBank Support
Image credits to RIM

Get Meizu MX2 in Hong Kong for HK$2,999

Meizu MX2, the 4.4-inch Android-based smartphone that Meizu made official only a few weeks ago, is set to arrive on shelves in Hong Kong by mid-December.

The phone was initially announced for China, but it seems that it will be released in Hong Kong and Russia as well. Furthermore, info on the price tag it will feature when made available was also unveiled, and users in Hong Kong should expect it to arrive at HK$2,999 ($387 / €296) for the 16GB model, HK$3,299 ($425 / €325) for 32GB, and HK$4,099 ($529 / €405) for the 64GB variant.

The info comes from Engadget China and shows that the handset will actually be cheaper in this country than it will be in Meizu’s homeland market, where pricing will start at RMB $2,499 ($400 / €310) for the 16GB version.

Meizu MX2
Image credits to Meizu

Nokia Lumia 920 Wireless Chargers Emerge at Red Espresso Coffee Shops in Russia

When announcing its new Lumia 920 smartphone with wireless charging capabilities, Nokia unveiled plans to partner with various restaurants and coffee shops around the world to provide users with the possibility to enjoy the feature when out for a drink.

Today, the company unveiled a partnership with Red Espresso aimed at enabling Lumia 920 owners in Russia to take advantage of the feature. This is the first deal of the kind that Nokia signs in Russia, and will include the availability of wireless chargers for its new Windows Phone 8 devices across Red Espresso coffee shops in the country. The wireless chargers offer support for both Nokia Lumia 920 and Nokia Lumia 820, and those who will choose to drink their coffee in the company’s locations will also have the chance to charge their handsets. According to Nokia, such wireless charging devices have been installed at Red Espresso coffee shops in Moscow: Myasnitskaya st, 24/7, 8; Bolshaya Dorogomilovskaya St., 12A; Kuznetsk Bridge Street, 21/5; and Cannon Street, 7/5.

“You do not need to look for an outlet next to your desk or carry a charger. You can just go to the Red Espresso and put your new Nokia Lumia 920 on a special area with a built-in wireless device - and the charging process has begun,” Nokia Russia notes on its website. While Red Espresso is the first Nokia partner to install wireless charging at its locations, other companies might follow suit soon. In fact, Nokia already announced that it would focus on bringing the feature to as many restaurants, coffee shops and other similar locations as possible, so that its Lumia users would enjoy a great experience from their devices regardless of where they are.

With wireless charging becoming increasingly popular among mobile phone makers, more users will be able to take advantage of the feature, especially if said chargers feature support for them.

Wireless chargers for Lumia devices emerge at Red Espresso Coffee Shops in Russia
Image credits to Nokia Russia

This is How to Add Shutdown and Restart Options to Windows 8’s Right Click Context Menu

We’ve already shown you a very simple way to add some shutdown and reboot tiles on the Windows 8 Start Screen, but here’s another quick way to bring these popular power controls at one-click distance.

The idea is pretty much the same. Because of the lack of a Start button, some of the users actually don’t know how to access the Windows 8 power controls, although the “Alt + F4” keyboard combination still does the job from the desktop. On the other hand, there are some users who instead choose to log out from the Start Screen and then use the available power controls to shut down or reboot the OS. Well, this new trick actually brings the most popular power options right on your right-click menu, so whenever you wish to lock, restart, sleep or shut down the computer, simply right click on your desktop and you’re good to go. Once again, the configuration process shouldn’t take more than a few seconds because you’re only required to copy the following code in a text document and change its format to .reg. Double-click this .reg file to add the changes to the Windows Registry and that’s it.

Although it won’t do any harm to your OS, make sure you create a registry backup before applying the changes, just to be on the safe side. The new options appear on the desktop exclusively, so it shouldn’t affect your overall experience with Windows 8. So here’s the code you need to copy to a new text document (but don’t forget that you have to rename it before launching it in order to make the registry modifications):

CODEWindows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Lock Computer]
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Sleep Computer]
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Restart Computer]
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Shutdown Computer]
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Lock Computer\command]
@="Rundll32 User32.dll,LockWorkStation"
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Sleep Computer\command]
@="rundll32.exe powrprof.dll,SetSuspendState 0,1,0"
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Restart Computer\command]
@="shutdown.exe -r -t 00 -f"
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Shutdown Computer\command]
@="shutdown.exe -s -t 00 -f"
Credits go to xda-developers.com user SkyKOG.

This is how your right-click menu should look like
Image credits to SkyKOG

Nokia to Focus on Entry- and Mid-Range Handsets in 2013

Nokia’s Windows Phone 8-based Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 smartphones have proven highly popular among mobile phone users, yet it seems that the company will actually focus on the entry- and mid-level market for the next year.

According to a recent article on DigiTimes, the company will continue placing orders for Windows Phone 7.5 devices to Taiwan-based ODM makers next year. These phones can be pushed to shelves at lower prices, it seems, while those running under Windows Phone 8 cannot, due to higher hardware requirements, the news site suggests. Nokia has already launched cheap smartphones running under Windows Phone 7.5, and might continue to do so next year as well, it seems.

Apparently, the company has registered great success in the entry-level market segment, and could even adopt another mobile OS to help it continue release affordable devices.

Nokia Lumia 610
Image credits to Nokia

Windows RT Can’t Get Infected with Windows 8 Viruses (at least for Now)

An article written by Geoffrey James of Inc.com describes a “horror” scenario in which a fully-patched Windows 7 computer gets infected with a virus even though a comprehensive security solution was also running.

This is, according to James, one of the main reasons why consumers should stay away from the Surface. “Because the Surface is based upon Windows, it is, and will remain, inherently unstable and insecure. That's because Windows itself is a security and stability nightmare,” he said. We’ve seen plenty of people actually asking on Microsoft’s support forums if Windows RT can indeed get infected with Windows 7 and Windows 8 malware and if yes, what’s the best app to protect these devices. Well, no, Windows RT platforms aren’t vulnerable to typical Windows infections and won’t be for the time being. It can’t even run legacy Windows apps, as the Windows RT software is specifically optimized for ARM platforms.

Here’s how Microsoft describes the new Windows RT installed on several tablet devices, including its very own Surface RT. “With Windows RT, you can install apps directly from the Windows Store, but you can't install desktop programs that you used with previous versions of Windows. You can only install printers, mice, keyboards, and other devices that are certified for Windows RT.” This doesn’t necessarily mean that malware creators won’t try to attack Windows RT tablets at some point. This will probably happen sooner than anyone’s expecting, but in case a Windows RT virus gets released out there, you can be 100 percent sure that Microsoft and the other security companies on the market will react as quick as possible.

So no, you can’t get infected. The Surface RT may come with a long list of drawbacks, but malware is yet to be one of them. The upcoming Surface with Windows 8 Pro, on the other hand, will indeed be vulnerable to typical Windows infections.

Windows RT can't run legacy Windows apps
Image credits to Microsoft

Now You Can Use Facebook Messenger Without a Facebook Account

Facebook is making a big move with its Messenger app, it is now enabling people to use it without signing up for Facebook or logging in. The app will have limited functionality if you're not logged in, but Facebook just wants people to start using it in the hope that they'll get used to it and register or sign in eventually.

Facebook is starting with the Android app and with only a few countries, India, Indonesia, Venezuela, Australia and South Africa, but will expand to more places and include the iOS app eventually. New features take a long time to reach everyone on Facebook, understandable with one billion users. Once the app is updated, people will be able to start using it only by providing a name and phone number. They'll only be able to use it to send messages to their phone contacts. Facebook Messages and the Messenger apps were created with the express mission of replacing email, IM, SMS' and everything else and be the one and only tool for communication online.

Facebook's not quite there yet, but making it possible to use Messenger without an account is a step in the right direction. It is possible to use Messenger as an SMS app already, in some places, and you can expect this feature to be rolled out wider after the update. Facebook has two main reasons to open up Messenger to more people. For one, it could serve as a way to entice the few people that haven't yet signed up for Facebook to register. On the other, it's positioning Messenger as a competitor to the number of other popular group messaging apps out there, particularly WhatsApp. There were rumors that Facebook was interested in acquiring WhatsApp, but it seems that Facebook decided to go at it alone.

The new Facebook Messenger for Android
Image credits to Facebook

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