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Dec 13, 2012

Panasonic P-02E with Full HD Display Coming to NTT Docomo in H1 2013

HTC is one of the first handset makers to launch a smartphone that packs a full HD (1080 x 1920 pixels) display, but other companies announced plans to release similar devices in the next few months.

Juggly.cn reports Japanese company Panasonic is already working hard to launch its first smartphone to feature a full HD capacitive touchscreen display. Dubbed Panasonic P-02E, the smartphone is expected to arrive at NTT Docomo in the first half of 2013. Aside from its 5-inch full HD display, the device is said to come equipped with a quad-core processor clocked at 1.5 GHz.

For the time being, the Panasonic P-02E is said to be powered by Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, but that can be changed if Google decides to release a new version of its mobile platform.

Panasonic P02-E
Image credits to juggly.cn

Windows Phone 7.8 Update for Lumia Devices List of Changes via NaviFirm

Today, Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.8 operating system upgrade has emerged for Nokia’s Lumia smartphones and the full list of enhancements packed inside it is now available for your reading pleasure.

For starters, we should note that the platform upgrade was spotted for all of Nokia’s Windows Phone 7.5 Lumia smartphones, including Lumia 510, Lumia 610, Lumia 710, Lumia 800 and Lumia 900. No official changelog for the update was made available, yet some of those who have already updated their devices have published some details on what they’ve observed to have been changed. The already promised new homescreen from the Windows Phone 8 operating system was included in the update, with support for three Tiles dimensions. The update also provides users with the possibility to set the Bing picture of the day as the background on their lockscreen. Furthermore, it seems that Nokia has packed a new set of themes inside the update, and that users will also enjoy new wallpapers for the lockscreen.

The Games Tile was also updated, and there is also a series of enhancements for the Office application. The bootscreen was changed as well, in line with that of Windows Phone 8. Another interesting change is the option to set Google as the search engine for the browser. At the same time, the update should include the features and enhancements that Nokia has already promised for the Lumia devices, such as camera lenses, an updated contacts transfer application, the Ringtone Maker, and cinemagraph. As mentioned above, these improvements haven’t been officially confirmed yet, but plaffo claims that they are sure to be included in the release notes when Nokia formally announces them.

Those who would like to learn more on the Windows Phone 7.8 OS flavor first hand will be able to do so by following the steps in this guide. Just keep in mind that it might harm your device, and that it would be safer to wait for the official update to arrive.

Nokia Lumia 800
Image credits to Nokia

Nokia Drive+ Beta Updated to

A new flavor of the Nokia Drive+ beta application is now available for download for the owners of Nokia Lumia devices, namely version

According to WPCentral, those who had the chance to take the app for a spin, the new app release arrives on devices with a series of UI improvements, as well as with various bug fixes. Furthermore, the application now features a battery saver mode, which turns off the GPS when the software is no longer in the foreground. However, this does not apply to times when it is in guidance mode. Another addition to the application is the presence of back to my position and distance measurements.

Users interested in trying the application should head over to the Nokia Collection in the Windows Phone Store for that. It can also be accessed through this link, but only from Lumia phones.

Nokia Drive+ beta
Image credits to Nokia

This is How to Install Windows Phone 7.8 on Lumia Devices from NaviFirm

Today, the Windows Phone 7.8 platform has been spotted in NaviFirm for Nokia’s devices powered by Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.5 OS, suggesting that it should not be too long before users receive it officially.

However, those who would like to update their smartphones before that happens can already do so, by following a series of rather simple, though risky steps. The update has emerged for Lumia 900, Lumia 800, Lumia 710 and Lumia 610 devices, as well as for the cheaper Lumia 510 smartphone. The update process is recommended only for users with advanced knowledge of NaviFirm and with previous experience on updating the device using unofficial methods. For starters, we should note that users will need to have two apps installed on their Windows computers, namely Nokia Care Suite and NaviFirm Plus (download links available below).

Following the installation of these apps, users will need to make sure that they also have the necessary drivers installed on the computers, so as to make sure that the machine will recognize the smartphone when it is connected. The Windows Phone 7.8 ROM can be downloaded through the NaviFirm Plus. Simply select the device from the list, and then choose to download the latest firmware available for it (it should be the last item in the list in the middle, labeled 1750.823.8858.12460 for Lumia 800, for example). Then, select the appropriate file for your device version from the third window and hit the download button. As soon as the download is completed, you can install it on the device through the Nokia Care Suite. For that, you will need to go to C: \ ProgramData \ Nokia \ Packages, and create a new folder labeled “Products.” Make a new folder inside it, name it as the specific model number of your device (e.g.: RM-801 for Lumia 800, RM-808 or RM-823 for Lumia 900, RM-803 or RM-809 for Lumia 710, etc).

Inside this folder, place the Windows Phone 7.8 ROM that you have previously downloaded through the NaviFirm Plus application. According to plaffo, it should be in this folder: “\ NaviFirm + 1.7 \ Fw \<product code>”. Then, connect the smartphone to the computer, fire up Nokia Care Suite, go to Product Support Tool, and select “Programming > Refurbish.” It should automatically detect the new update and prompt you to install it. Just keep in mind that flashing the update will completely wipe the data on your device. Perform a backup before proceeding, to make sure that no important files are lost. Although installing Windows Phone 7.8 might sound very appealing, users are advised to wait for the official update to be delivered to them. They will be the only ones held responsible, should anything go wrong during the installation process.

Download NaviFirm Plus

Installing Windows Phone 7.8 on Lumia devices
Images credits to plaffo

Nokia Lumia 620 Coming Soon to the UK

Nokia Lumia 620, the third and most affordable smartphone that Finnish handset vendor Nokia unveiled to the world with Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 operating system loaded on it, will arrive on shelves in the UK in the near future.

No specific info on its landing has been provided as of now, but the device is already listed as coming soon at UK retailer The Carphone Warehouse. The smartphone was made official a few weeks ago as Nokia’s latest Windows Phone 8 handset, and should arrive on shelves with an affordable price tag attached to it, at least when compared to Lumia 920 and Lumia 820. “The Nokia Lumia 620 is a cool, colourful and features packed smartphone that's perfect for music, maps and social networking. Light and portable, with Microsoft Office built in it's handy as a portable office too,” the Carphone Warehouse notes on its website. The mobile phone arrives on shelves with a 3.8-inch touchscreen display, while being powered by a 1GHz processor, complemented by 512MB of RAM.

The handset also features 8GB of internal memory, a 5-megapixel photo snapper on the back, Wi-Fi, NFC, microSD card slot to expand the available memory, and a front-facing camera for making video calls while on the go. Based on Windows Phone 8, the handset also arrives on shelves with support for the applications available in the Windows phone Store, as well as with a series of exclusive software from Nokia themselves, such as Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive, Nokia City Lens, and more.

Mobile phone users in the UK interested in the purchase of this device should head over to this page on The Carphone Warehouse’s website to learn more on it. They will also be able to register their names and email address for updates on when the Nokia Lumia 620 will become available for purchase through the retailer.

Nokia Lumia 620
Image credits to The Carphone Warehouse

Drobo 5N NAS, New and Sophisticated NAS of up to 20TB

Drobo's network-attached storage devices are used extensively around the world, but the latest might just set a whole new standard for the product line, due to its design, capacity and performance.

In its announcement, Drobo describes the Drobo 5N NAS as a sophisticated, "ultra-modern, high-performance storage system." The company also says the newcomer is superior to its predecessors in essentially every way: performance, capacity, data protection and ease of use. As far as capacity goes, it is easy enough to understand why Drobo would say that. After all, not only does the NAS have five drive 3.5-inch bays (for HDDs or SSDs), but is also possesses an mSATA SSD in the Drobo Accelerator Bay, which boosts performance. The BeyondRAID technology is another asset, providing instant expansion, thin provisioning, mixed drive size flexibility, dual-disk redundancy, drive reordering and automatic protection levels. Then there is the Data-Aware Tiering technology, which automatically configures and uses both HDDs and SSDs. Basically, the Drobo 5N is a network-attached storage device (one Gigabit Ethernet is present) capable of holding up to 20 TB, 16 in protected RAID setup.

"Drobo is the future of storage," stated Robin Harris, chief analyst at StorageMojo.com. "I've said it a number of times in public forums -- the new Drobo products are automated, fast, affordable, and artfully meld both hard drive and SSD technology to deliver a great capacity/performance value proposition. Drobo has once again advanced the state-of-the-art in storage." Drobo 5N supports not just Microsoft's Windows 7 and 8 operating systems (32-bit and 64-bit), but also Apple's Mac OS X 10.7.x Lion, Mac OS X 10.8.x Mountain Lion. The company wants a surprisingly low amount of money for the Drobo 5N, namely $599 / 599 Euro. Then again, the HDDs and mSATA SSD will add a lot to the cost, so this is only a small mercy.

Drobo 5N NAS device
Image credits to Drobo

Samsung Galaxy Note III to Come in 2013 with 6.3-Inch Display

It looks like previous rumors suggesting Samsung plans to introduce a sequel to Galaxy Note II next year, which will feature a much larger display, were pretty accurate.

Korea Times reports Samsung is currently developing the Galaxy Note III and plans to include a stunning 6.3-inch OLED display. The information was recently confirmed by several officials from parts suppliers in South Korea. No other details on the phone’s specs sheet have been unveiled for the moment, but we expect more details to emerge next year, so stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

On a side note, the handset maker is also expected to announce the next Samsung Galaxy S IV smartphone in February, at Mobile World Congress 2013 trade fair, which is set to take place in Barcelona, Spain.

Samsung Galaxy Note II
Image credits to Samsung

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