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Feb 28, 2013

Windows Blue: Public Preview out in June, Full Version in August

Microsoft is reportedly working on Windows Blue, the first Windows 8 major upgrade that’s expected to hit the market sometime this year.

Citing Chinese media, InformationWeek claims that the first public preview of Windows Blue is very likely to see daylight in June when it's also likely to hit RTM, while the full version of the upgrade is expected to be released two months later, in August. Microsoft obviously remains completely tight-lipped on this subject, but according to previous reports, Windows Blue may deliver the first version of Internet Explorer 11, an upgrade to the browser currently integrated into Windows 8.

In addition, it appears that the Redmond-based technology giant might offer Blue as a free upgrade for Windows 8 users, which pretty much makes sense given the fact that it’s not a stand-alone operating system, but more like a service pack.

The first version of Blue is expected in June
Image credits to wallsonline.net

LG Optimus LTE III (LG-F260S) for South Korea Emerges

South Korean mobile phone maker LG Electronics is reportedly gearing up for the launch of new LTE-capable devices in the popular Optimus series, and one of them has already been spotted online.

Dubbed LG Optimus LTE III, the new device is expected to make an appearance on shelves in the company’s homeland market in the not too distant future, although no official announcement on the matter has been made as of now. Featuring model number LG F260S, the handset is expected to be released on wireless carrier SK Telecom’s network, with Google’s Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean operating system loaded on top.

The smartphone is also said to feature an HD (1280 x 720) screen, along with a dual-core snapdragon processor and a 2540 mAh battery. The handset might arrive in other markets around the world as well, yet a formal announcement on this has yet to be made.

LG Optimus LTE III (LG-F260S)
Image credits to Seeko via Ameblo.jp

BlackBerry 10 Tablet Planned This Year, OS Upgrade for PlayBook Too

Canadian mobile phone maker BlackBerry is gearing up for the launch of new devices running under the newly introduced BlackBerry 10 platform for this year, including a new tablet PC, it seems.

Speaking to KYMI, Sarim Aziz, head of developer relations for Asia Pacific at BlackBerry, confirmed the upcoming launch, UnwiredView notes, though no additional details have been provided. However, he did confirm that the new mobile operating system will be pushed to the BlackBerry PlayBook, something that was already expected to happen.

Unfortunately, no specific release date for the update is available for the time being, and owners of the PlayBook will have to wait a bit longer until specific details are made available. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before that happens, so stay tuned.

BlackBerry PlayBook
Image credits to RIM

Sanwa TAP-TST13, Show How Much Power Your Appliances and Gadgets Need

Power bills can be a real drag, and while some PCs make it easy to calculate how much power is being used, especially when the PSU is highly efficient, there can still be surprises.

Some people might appreciate the chance to see just how much power their appliances and computers use. To allow for such measurements, the Sanwa Supply has invented the "TAP-TST13" Smart Plug, according to Tech-On! The small gadget only needs to be placed between the power outlet and a device whose power consumption is measured. A smartphone, provided it has the accompanying mobile app installed, can then be used to supervise the energy consumption.

And since people might want to do something else in the meantime, the app even has "schedule management" function that automatically turns off the phone when a preset time has elapsed. The price of the gadget is ¥24,800 (approx US$269 / 204 Euro).

Sanwa TAP-TST13
Image credits to Tech-On!

Google Preparing Linux 3.8 Kernel for Next Android Release

Mountain View-based Internet giant Google is reportedly getting ready for the release of a new major version of its Android operating system, one that might arrive on the market with Linux 3.8 kernel inside, rumor has it.

A new Linux 3.8 kernel repository was recently uploaded by Google, with “Samsung Exynos DRM advancements, open-source NVIDIA Tegra driver inclusion and lowered RAM usage” features, phoneArena reports. With Android 4.1 currently featuring Linux 3.0 kernel, and Android 4.2.2 based on 3.3 and 3.4 versions, it’s clear that a new Android release is in the pipeline.

What remains to be seen is whether it will be the Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie that has been long rumored to make an appearance this year at Google I/O, or another flavor of the mobile platform, so stay tuned for more.

Google preps new Linux kernel for next Android release
Image credits to Google

Samsung Invites Users in Times Square on March 14 for Galaxy S IV Launch

Following all the hype regarding the launch of Galaxy S IV, South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung appears set to create some more buzz by inviting everyone in Times Square in New York on March 14 for the unveiling of the device.

The company has already sent out press invitations to a Samsung Unpacked 2013 event on that day, and appears set to stream it live for all users interested in joining the party at Times Square, at least this is what the invitation published on the company’s Twitter account shows. The press event will be held at Radio City Music hall, providing attendees with the possibility to experience the new device first-hand.

Those who won’t be present in New York at any of the two events will most probably have the chance to watch the unveiling live over the Internet.

Samsung Galaxy S IV Times Sqaure party invitation
Image credits to Samsung/Twitter

Feb 27, 2013

China Mobile Intros Huawei Ascend D2, HTC One TD-LTE Phones

Chinese wireless carrier China Mobile, the largest in the country, has just announced plans to add some new, highly appealing devices to its 4G lineup, including the Huawei Ascend D2, the LG Optimus Vu II Plus, HTC One and the ZTE U9810.

With these devices, the carrier will provide its users with the option to enjoy not only fast data transfer speeds while on the go, but also a great viewing experience. The Ascend D2 (D2-TL) and U9810 feature 1080p 5-inch screens, LG’s handset comes with a 5’’ XGA display, while HTC One packs a 4.7-inch full HD one.

According to Engadget, a TD-LTE flavor of Samsung Galaxy S III is also expected to land on shelves at the wireless carrier. These smartphones are expected to be launched before the end of this year, when the 4G service becomes available in China.

TD-LTE Ascend D2 for China Mobile
Image credits to Engadget

Firefox OS Experimental Releases for Sony Xperia E

Earlier this week, Japanese mobile phone maker Sony Mobile announced plans to bring to the market Firefox OS-based devices starting with the next year, and it has just made a new step towards the official launch, making available experimental Firefox OS software for Xperia E.

According to Sony, the release is meant to provide developers with a look at the new mobile operating system from Mozilla, so that the vendor would receive feedback on the matter. Built entirely upon open web standards, Firefox OS promises a new approach to the smartphone market, through the building of an open ecosystem. Sony has partnered with Telefonica for the launch of its Firefox OS, and is set to bring the power of the web to mobile through this partnership. “At Sony Mobile, we continue to evaluate innovative technologies that can help deliver the premium user experiences that Sony’s consumers expect,” Bob Ishida, deputy chief executive officer and head of Products Business Group at Sony Mobile Communications, says.

“Our engineers are now working with Firefox OS Mobile and HTML5, evolving technologies which show great potential.” You can see how the platform runs on Xperia E in the video embedded below. Sony is also set to offer support for those who would like to start developing applications for the new Firefox OS, and the release of the experimental Firefox OS ROM for the Xperia E is meant to prove that. “This software is not intended for daily use, and several important limitations apply,” Sony Mobile notes on a post on its developer blog.

Those who would like to download and install the Firefox OS build on their Xperia E devices should know that they will need to unlock the smartphone, which will void warranty. “This software can be flashed on an Xperia E that has similar hardware specifications as the initial scope of the first version of Firefox OS and is therefore a natural candidate,” Sony also notes. For specific info on how to unlock the smartphone and flash Firefox OS on it, head over said article on Sony’s developer portal.

Firefox OS running on Xperia E
Image credits to Youtube

Firefox OS running on Xperia E. At Sony, we're evaluating Firefox OS and this video shows an experimental software that you can flash on your unlocked Xperia E. Read more on Developer World. http://developer.sonymobile.com/?p=17659
Video credits to SonyXperiaDev

Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 “Easily” Better than NVIDIA Tegra 4

One would think that the waves made by NVIDIA's Tegra 4 SoC on the mobile market would put Qualcomm on guard, but this is not the case.

Qualcomm is essentially the greatest maker of mobile processors, or one of them. Its Snapdragon chips are found in many phones and tablets. The Snapdragon 800 was launched back in January, during CES 2013 (Consumer Electronics Show). Apparently, Qualcomm believes it has absolutely nothing to fear from NVIDIA's Tegra 4 platform.

Despite NVIDIA saying its chip is the fastest mobile processor in the world, Qualcomm Senior VP of Product Management, Raj Talluri, has told The Verge that he still believes Snapdragon 800 "easily" beats it, as it is "so much more integrated" and can both encode and decode 4K content, among other things. The disagreement will probably last until serious benchmarks are run, and maybe even afterwards.

Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU
Image credits to Qualcomm

Nexus 4 Wireless Charging Orb Quick Look

Nexus 4, the latest Google phone out there and the first in the world to be manufactured by South Korean mobile phone maker LG Electronics, arrived on shelves last year with one highly appealing feature inside, namely support for wireless charging.

Users interested in taking advantage of the feature had the possibility to purchase a wireless charger for the device, although it was not available in all markets and Google’s Play Store ran out of stock fast in others.  The device does exist, however, and was even brought to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, where we’ve had the chance to snap a few photos of it.

Providing support for the Qi standard, the wireless charging orb was designed with a non-slip rubber pad that was positioned in such manner so as to have the phone sitting at a 33.5-degree angle while charging. This means that one can also watch videos or listen to music while the device is charging.


Nexus 4 wireless charging orb
Image credits to LG

Samsung Galaxy S IV to Pack Both Snapdragon 600 and Exynos 5 Octa Processors

South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung has already confirmed plans to unveil a new Galaxy device on March 14 in New York, with the long rumored Galaxy S IV expected to be officially introduced there, but no specific details on the phone itself have been announced as of now.

However, info on the smartphone did emerge via unofficial channels, and the latest bits suggest that it will pack both a Snapdragon 600 processor and an Exynos 5 Octa chip inside. Depending on the market in which it is released, the handset will sport one of these, with users in the United States said to be able to enjoy only the former, a JPMorgan analyst suggests, according to taipeitimes.

With nothing made official on the matter for the time being, it remains to be seen whether Samsung will indeed choose to go this road with the next flagship device.

Samsung Galaxy S IV to pack both Snapdragon and Exynos CPUs
Image credits to Samsung Tomorrow

Canonical and XDA Developers Looking for Official Partnership

After releasing Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview, Canonical is now doing what every other company should be doing, and that's getting in touch with the community.

The relationships between companies and the communities that spawn around the products have always been a little thin, with very few exceptions. Canonical has understood very quickly that if they want to succeed, they will have to court the XDA developers community and get their help. “I asked David Planella and Daniel Holbach on my team to kick off a regular engagement with XDA Developers to help us grow a great relationship together. The first call was today and we are kicking some ideas around of how to work more closely together,” stated Jono Bacon in a blog entry.

The XDA forums are now filled with people who want to port the new operating system to other devices, beside the one officially supported. An open partnership between Canonical and XDA would be beneficial to both parties.

XDA wallpaper
Image credits to xda-developers.com

Feb 26, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Grand DUOS

Samsung has yet to launch a 5-inch high-end smartphone – in the form of Galaxy S IV – yet the already existing Galaxy Grand DUOS phablet could easily fulfill that role from a certain perspective, that's for sure.

Made official with a 5-inch WVGA touchscreen display and a 1.2GHz dual-core processor inside, paired with 1GB of RAM, the handset can easily make some believe that they are, in fact enjoying the benefits of a larger Galaxy S III. Both sport the same design, an 8-megapixel photo snapper on the back, with full HD video recording capabilities, a 2MP front camera for video calling, and Google’s Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean platform on top, although the Galaxy S III is a bit smaller, as can be seen in the second photo below.

However, Galaxy Grand DUOS does feel nicely in hand, and can look very appealing to many, especially with that 2,100 mAh battery inside and with its support for two SIM cards.

Samsung Galaxy Grand DUOS
Image credits to Samsung
Samsung Galaxy Grand DUOS Next to S III
Image credits to Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Grand DUOS Spces
Image credits to Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Express

Mobile phone users interested in the purchase of a LTE-capable device with pretty decent features inside but with an affordable price tag can always have a look at the Samsung Galaxy Express to see whether it appeals to them or not.

We caught a glimpse of it at MWC 2013, and we have had the chance to snap some shots of its 4.5-inch WVGA touchscreen display, as well as of the 5-megapixel photo snapper it sports on the back. In addition to offering support for 4G LTE connectivity, the handset can also deliver increased performance levels courtesy of its dual-core 1.2GHz processor, paired with 1GB of RAM.

If that is not enough, you should also know that it comes with a front camera for video calling, a 2,000 mAh battery inside, 8GB of internal memory, microSD card slot and Google’s Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean operating system.

Samsung Galaxy Express
Image credits to Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Express Next to S III
Image credits to Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Express Specs
Image credits to Samsung

Nokia Lumia 520 Video Promo

At MWC 2013 in Barcelona, Nokia officially introduced its most affordable Windows Phone 8 device to date, none other than the Lumia 520.

Packing a 4” IPS LCD WVGA (800 x 480 pixels) and a 1 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor inside, paired with 512 MB of RAM, the new mobile phone should be capable of providing appealing performance capabilities at a very low price tag, starting with this quarter. Furthermore, Nokia packed it with features that make it stand among devices in the same segment, including a 5MP camera with HD video recording, 8 GB of internal memory, microSD card slot, and a 1430mAh battery inside.

“Have more fun with Nokia's exclusive digital lenses, free music, free maps, and a touchscreen so sensitive it even works with long fingernails and gloves. Get all this and more with the Nokia Lumia 520,” Nokia notes.

Discover the new Nokia Lumia 520 http://nokia.com/lumia520
Have more fun with Nokia's exclusive digital lenses,free music, free maps, and a touchscreen so sensitive it even works with long fingernails and gloves. 
Get all this and more with the Nokia Lumia 520
Video credits to Nokia

Feb 25, 2013

ZTE Open Goes Official with Firefox OS

Mozilla is pushing hard on the deployment of its Firefox OS on handsets, and has showcased at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today a ZTE smartphone running under the platform, none other than the ZTE Open.

Only an entry-level device, the smartphone will arrive on the market with a 3.5-inch (480×320 pixels) touchscreen display, as well as with a 1GHz single-core Qualcomm processor and 256MB of RAM. The phone’s specs list also includes 512MB of internal memory (with a microSD card slot for expansion purposes), along with a 3.2-megapixel photo snapper on the back, and a 1,200 mAh battery.

Furthermore, ZTE packed the Firefox OS device with Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, HSDPA, and GPS with AGPS. Apparently, the company is aiming at launching the smartphone sometime in the second quarter of the year, in orange and blue color flavors.

ZTE Open
Image credits to UnwiredView

Firefox OS Mascot, a Fox That's on Fire

Firefox, the animal from which the browser gets its name, isn't actually a fox. It's not really on fire either, though you probably guessed as much. In fact, the red panda, also known as the firefox, is more related to raccoons and bears than to foxes. And, no, it's not a panda either.

But such intricacies are of little importance to Mozilla or fans of Firefox the browser. Mozilla has used a stylized fox as a mascot or, at the very least, the Firefox mascot and logo looks more like a fox than like a red panda. For Firefox OS, which is getting a big push at the Mobile World Conference, Mozilla decided to drop all pretense and use a fox which is on fire as the logo and mascot, a literal fire fox. To make things even less confusing, the mascot's name is Fox, with a capital F.

"The Fox, like Firefox OS, is fun and friendly, supportive and protective, and fast and powerful. Blazingly fast, the Fox doesn’t play by the rules," Mozilla explained. "It is everywhere you need it to be—a force for good that powers your mobile world, ignites your imagination, protects you and your identity, and supercharges your life. Lively, swift, and agile, the Fox puts freedom in your hands," it added.

The Firefox OS logo
Images credits to Mozilla

The Firefox OS booth at MWC 2013
Images credits to Mozilla

Nokia’s Mapping and Navigation Services Will Be Known as HERE

Today, Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona two new smartphones running under Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 operating system, namely the Lumia 520 and Lumia 720, and also announced some changes to its mapping and navigation services for smartphones.

Starting today, these will be known as HERE, following the rebranding that the company first announced last year. Through HERE, Nokia shows its commitment to delivering on maps and cartography, and is slowly moving towards renaming all the location experiences on smartphones, computers and cars to it. “The HERE experience is built on the world’s most complete and accurate map data based on 25 years of mapping technology leadership. We offer today the only true offline maps experience, the largest indoor map inventory, and the largest public transport coverage of any location service to date,” Nokia says. Thus, the new Lumia smartphones come to the market with HERE for Windows Phone 8, including HERE Maps, HERE Drive (with regional navigation), HERE Drive+ (with global navigation), HERE Transit and HERE City Lens.

Furthermore, the company notes that the entire HERE experience has been enhanced, and that all services and applications are now connected, being designed to work together, so that users could easily find their way around regardless of whether they’re walking or using public transportation. “In particular, from HERE Maps you can launch HERE Drive(+) or HERE Transit if needed. In HERE Transit you now get a map overview of nearby stations and stops, and when you need walk navigation to get to the stop or to the final destination, you can start HERE Maps from there,” Nokia continues. Nokia’s HERE City Lens, which is using the LiveSight technology, is now complemented by the Nokia Place Tag lenses app, so that users could easily have Points of Interest (POIs) that are visible in the viewfinder recorded when taking a photo.

“All your places are also saved in the HERE cloud so that you can access them from here.com, HERE Drive(+), HERE Maps, HERE Transit and HERE City Lens,” Nokia says. The company also announced that the HERE services are now available for all owners of Windows Phone 8 devices in specific markets, including US, Canada, Mexico, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Nokia renames location services to HERE
Image credits to Nokia

Read more: http://nokia.ly/XAii7m
The new HERE experiences are connected and work seamlessly together, making it easy to transition from walking to driving to public transport as you move along your day.
All your places are also saved in the HERE cloud so that you can access them from here.com, HERE Drive(+), HERE Maps and HERE Transit.
Video credits to heremaps

Windows Blue Hit RTM in June

Microsoft is reportedly working on Windows Blue, the first major makeover for Windows 8 that’s expected to hit the market in just a few months.

According to reports coming from Win8China, Blue is expected to reach the RTM development stage in June, so the August release date rumored a few days ago pretty much makes sense. As for the public beta that could see daylight before general availability, expect it to surface in May, just a few weeks before Windows Blue goes RTM.

It appears that Windows Blue will be offered at absolutely no cost to Windows 8 users, as it’ll pack plenty of improvements for Microsoft’s latest operating system. As usual, Microsoft doesn’t comment on Windows Blue, but with so many insiders talking about the project, it’s only a matter of time before the company officially confirms it.

Windows Blue will be released this summer
Image credits to hdwallpapers.in

Pwnie Express PwnPad, an Android-Based Penetration Testing Tablet

Cybersecurity solutions provider Pwnie Express has unveiled the Pwn Pad, an Android tablet based on Google Nexus 7 that’s designed to allow penetration testers to easily analyze both wireless and wired networks.

Pwnie Express representatives have told Wired that they’ve added the TP-Link wireless adapter to Pwn Pad in order to enable packet injection on Android. The adapter also enhances the range of the wireless packet injection. The long list of toolkits installed on the tablet includes Aircrack-ng, Reaver, MDK3, btscanner, Nikto, Nmap, Tcpdump, Ettercap-ng and John the Ripper.

The company will start shipping Pwn Pad in the first week of April, but pre-orders can already be made. The price of the tablet is $795 (600 EUR). Pwnie Express has also promised to release Pwn Pad’s source code to enable penetration testers to run it on other mobile devices as well.

Pwn Pad
Image credits to Pwnium Express

Nokia 301 Arrives with 3.5G, HD Voice, 39 Days on Standby

The new Nokia Lumia 720 and Lumia 520 were only two of the new devices that the Finnish mobile phone maker made official today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

The Nokia 301 was also among them, featuring a classic Nokia design from all angles, and set to arrive on the market in the second quarter of the year with a price tag of only €65 ($86) attached to it. The new phone will be launched in single and dual-SIM flavors, with a 2.4-inch QVGA TFT color display, 256MB of internal memory, up to 32GB of external storage via microSD, 64MB of RAM, Bluetooth 3.0, 3.5 mm AV Connector, and 2.0 mm Charger Connector. Nokia 301 measures 114 x 50 x 12.5 mm and weighs 102 grams, while also packing support for 3.5G connectivity and HD Voice capabilities. On the back, the new device features a 3.2-megapixel photo snapper, with panorama shot capabilities, as well as with a self-portrait feature with voice prompts that inform users on whether they are properly positioned in the frame.

“It can take panoramic photographs, as well – the first time we’ve offered this on a feature phone, as well as sequential shot, which takes 3-5 frames and lets you choose the perfect picture,” Nokia Conversations explains. “Both of these last two were inspired by the digital camera lenses on our Lumia smartphones – nice to see the high-end innovation reaching our mobile phones.” The Nokia Xpress Browser was also included on this handset, along with a Vuclip app, so that users could easily stream videos from YouTube or download them and watch them in portrait or landscape mode.

“Facebook, eBuddy, WhatsApp and Twitter are all preloaded to the home screen and the email app supports a lite version of Mail for Exchange for syncing your calendar, contacts and emails,” Nokia Conversations continues. The new mobile phone will be launched in yellow, cyan, magenta, white and black, and will be able to provide users with up to 39 days of standby on 3G networks with a single SIM card packed inside, or 34 days with two SIM cards.

Nokia 301
Images credits to Nokia

Samsung Hands Out Invites for Galaxy S IV’s March 14 Event

Earlier today, rumors on Samsung’s plans to introduce the upcoming Galaxy S IV smartphone on March 14 have been officially confirmed, and it seems that the company has already started to hand out press invites for the launch event.

The South Korean mobile phone maker handed out paper invitations to the New York City events at its booth at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona, thus offering further confirmation on the upcoming release. At the same time, the press invite (available courtesy of SamMobile) not only confirms the March 14 event, but also appears to provide confirmation on the handset’s name, which should be Galaxy S IV in the end.

Unfortunately, the same as before, specific info on the smartphone’s hardware specifications are still shrouded in mystery, so we’ll have to rely on rumors for these details for the time being.

Samsung starts handing out invites for Galaxy S IV's launch on March 14
Image credits to SAMMobile

Sony Quad-Core Xperia Tablet Z Released

This week will be a week of tablets, as the Mobile World Congress, 2013 Edition, has finally started (February 25-28). Sony, as one might guess, is present at the show, launching things like the Xperia Tablet Z.

Some may be quick to note that it is incorrect to say Sony is releasing the tablet. After all, the device was released in Japan last month. On the other hand, the tablet has only been available in the Country of the Rising Sun so far. This is why the presence of the slate at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, is such a big deal. It also exposes some information that was previously unknown, like the MHL (mobile high-definition link technology), top storage capacity expansion via microSD card (64 GB instead of 32) and DLNA (protected video content can be played and streamed). For those who want the full rundown of the specifications, Sony's Xperia Tablet Z relies on a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU (central processing unit), with a clock speed of 1.5 GHz.

2 GB of RAM back it up (random access memory) while 16 GB or 32 GB of integrated NAND Flash storage holds the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean operating system and whatever else users copy and/or install on it. It bears pointing out that there will even be a 64 GB option, for the Wi-Fi-only tablet, in the United States.  When the microSD card slot comes into play, that leads to a potential top capacity of 128 GB, which is no small feat. Moving on, the Xperia Z has two cameras: one of 2 megapixels on the front (video calls and such) and one of 8.1 megapixels at the back (photo and video capture).

As for the display, it is a 10.1-inch LCD with a native resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 pixels and, of course, multi-touch support. Other specs of the Sony Xperia Z include NFC, PlayStation Certification, four speakers, and a black or white case. Sales will begin in May, for the price of $499 / 499 Euro (16 GB), $599 / 599 Euro (32 GB). The 64 GB slate ETA and price were not disclosed.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z
Image credits to Sony

Intel Confirms ASUS Fonepad Impending Announcement

A couple of days back, ASUS published a very unusual “trailer” video, of sorts, for a tablet called Fonepad, which had voice call capabilities not unlike smartphones. Now we are told that the slate will be launched sooner rather than later.

Intel has mentioned that a tablet will be released later today (February 25, 2013). While we were not given a name for the device itself, ASUS was specified as the developer, so it is all but certain that the Fonepad is the one. The tablet will rely on the Atom Processor Z2420, codenamed Lexington, which has up to 1.2 GHz frequency and all the video playback and I/O capabilities that SoCs (system-on-chip devices) are expected to possess.

Fonepad will have a metallic silver finish, 1 GB of RAM, a 3-megapixel camera at the back, a 1.2 MP camera at the front, a microSD card slot and a 7-inch display. A 4270 mAh battery will keep everything running for hours at a time (exact number not available yet).

Intel Fonepad with Atom SoC
Image credits to AndroidOS.in

Intel Talks LTE-Enabled Atom Clover Trail+ Processors on MWC 2013

Today at the MWC 2013 trade show in Barcelona, chip maker Intel announced a new dual-core Atom SoC (“Clover Trail+”) platform designed for use inside smartphones and tablet PCs running under Google’s Android operating system, with support for LTE connectivity packed inside.

The new Atom processor platform (“Clover Trail+”) and smartphone reference design is meant to provide low power and long battery life, as well as increased performance capabilities to Android devices, the company says. Furthermore, Intel claims that the new SoC will offer support for smooth Web browsing, viewing of full HD movies while on the go, as well as a great Android applications experience. Three 32nm dual-core Intel Atom processors were announced in the lineup, namely the Z2580, Z2560 and Z2520, with clock speeds of 2.0 GHz, 1.6 GHz and 1.2GHz, respectively. All three chips come to the market with support for the Intel Hyper-Threading Technology, which translates into up to four simultaneous application threads, thus delivering increased efficiency.

The platform also comes with an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator engine capable of delivering great graphics performance for rich 3-D visuals, mobile gaming and full 1080p hardware-accelerated video encode and decode at 30fps. “Today’s announcements build on Intel’s growing device portfolio across a range of mobile market segments,” said Hermann Eul, Intel vice president and co-general manager of the Mobile and Communications Group. “Our second-generation product delivers double the compute performance and up to three times the graphics capabilities, all while maintaining competitive low power.”

The platform comes with support for screens of up to 1900x1200 pixels in resolution, as well as for the new Android 4.2 Jelly Bean platform, and for Intel Wireless Display Technology, HSPA+ at 42Mbps with the Intel XMM 6360 slim modem solution. The new Clover Trail+ processors will arrive on shelves inside smartphones and tablet PCs coming from ASUS, Lenovo, and ZTE. Some of these have already been announced at CES last month, including the Lenovo IdeaPhone K900, the first to land on shelves with the Intel Atom Z2580 CPU inside.

Intel intros Atom Clover Trail+ CPUs at MWC 2013
Image credits to Intel

Mozilla Firefox OS Previews at MWC 2013

Mozilla’s Firefox OS is moving closer to making an official appearance on the market, and the platform has been previewed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona over the weekend (a video demo can be seen at the bottom of this article).

The platform is set to become available on devices in Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela in the beginning, with more markets set to arrive soon. 17 wireless carriers around the world have committed to Firefox OS devices, Mozilla also announced: America Movil, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Three Group, KDDI, KT, MegaFon, Qtel, SingTel, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia Group, Telefonica, Telenor, TMN and VimpelCom. The handsets will be manufactured by Alcatel (TCL), LG and ZTE, with Huawei also expected to join the party before the end of this year.  All smartphones running under the Firefox OS will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile processors, Mozilla also announced.

“Firefox OS brings the freedom and unbounded innovation of the open Web to mobile users everywhere,” said Gary Kovacs, CEO, Mozilla. “With the support of our vibrant community and dedicated partners, our goal is to level the playing field and usher in an explosion of content and services that will meet the diverse needs of the next two billion people online.” For those out of the loop, we should note that the Firefox OS was built using open Web standards, with features developed for it as HTML5 applications. These apps will be provided with access to every underlying capability of the device, which should translate into great performance capabilities.

Furthermore, the platform will provide carriers with increased flexibility to come up with their own interfaces and to deliver localized services for their users. A range of services will also become available for the platform, Mozilla announced. “Consumers will get a dynamic, rich and open smartphone experience that provides easy access to everything they love on the Web, including Facebook and Twitter integration, with a simple, fast interface and built-in cost controls,” the company said.

Firefox OS gets previewed at MWC
Image credits to Youtube

Find out more at www.mozilla.org/firefoxos
Video credits to firefoxchannel

Galaxy S IV Announced on March 14, Confirmed by Samsung

South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung has been long said to plan the launch of its 2013 flagship Android-based smartphone on March 14 in New York, and confirmation on the matter has already emerged.

No details on the smartphone itself have been provided, but a recent article on AllThingsD notes that a Samsung spokesperson has confirmed that the smartphone will be made official on that day. Last year, the company announced the Galaxy S III in London, but it will unveil the new device in Apple’s homeland market, in an attempt to hurt sales of the iPhone even more.

Galaxy S IV is expected to be capable of delivering superior performance when compared to last year’s flagship device, courtesy of a Snapdragon processor. It is also expected to pack a 5-inch full HD screen.

Samsung logo
Image credits to Samsung

Feb 24, 2013

Huawei Ascend P2 Goes Official with 1.5GHz Quad-Core CPU

As expected, Chinese company Huawei announced the upcoming availability of it next Android flagship smartphone, the Ascend P2.

According to Huawei, the Ascend P2 is “world's fastest smartphone” when it comes to connectivity as the phone supports LTE Cat 4, providing an ultrafast web experience with download speeds of up to 150 Mbps. In comparison, Samsung Galaxy S III LTE offers download speeds of up to 100 Mbps. Furthermore, the smartphone comes equipped with a powerful 1.5 GHz quad-core Huawei K3V2 processor, which is complemented by 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory. Although the smartphone is “only” 8.4mm thin, Huawei’s CEO Richard Yu claims the company made it a slim as it can be in order to fit all the components inside. Another selling point of the Huawei Ascend P2 would be the “infinity edge” 4.7-inch IPS HD in-cell touchscreen display that supports 1280 x 720 pixels resolution, and features second-generation Corning Gorilla Glass coating.

Software-wise, the Ascend P2 will ship with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean operating system out of the box, integrated with Emotion UI. There are quite a lot of innovative apps and services pre-loaded on Huawei Ascend P2, such as Phone Manager, UniHome, Cloud+ and Smart Reading. On the back, Ascend P2 boasts an incredible 13-megapixel photo snapper with BSI and HDR, while in the front there’s a secondary 1.3-megpixel camera to support self-portrait and video shooting. The phone is powered by a high-capacity 2420 mAh battery, which has yet to be rated by the manufacturer. However, Huawei claims the battery integrates a new technology that reduces power consumption up to 30% in comparison with Galaxy S III’s 2100 mAh battery. Huawei Ascend P2 will be available in black and white for only 400 EUR / 525 USD outright. The phone is said to go on sale in Europe in Q2 2013, but Orange France will get it first at some point in June.

Huawei Ascend P2
Image credits to Huawei

Windows Blue Public Beta Coming

Even though it was initially rumored that Microsoft won’t release a testing version of the upcoming Windows Blue, sources familiar with the matter now hint that a public beta is very likely to see daylight in the coming months.

According to reports published by Win8China, Microsoft is working on a preview build of the Blue update that would be offered to all users as a free download. Since the first major Windows 8 makeover is expected to hit the shelves this summer, the preview version is very likely to be unveiled in just a couple of months, as Microsoft needs time to collect and analyze the feedback it receives.

Windows Blue won’t come as a standalone operating system, but only as a major update for Windows 8, with many people calling it “the first service pack” for Microsoft’s new Windows contraption.

The Blue update is expected this summer
Image credits to hdwallpapers.in

Nokia Tablet PC Emerges as Nokia RX-108

Only several days ago, yet unannounced Nokia Lumia smartphones were spotted in AdDuplex’s database, and it seems that more devices from the company have appeared there.

According to a recent tweet from Alan Mendelevich from AdDuplex, a certain Nokia RX-108 has emerged in the company’s logs, with Microsoft’s Windows 8 platform loaded on top. While there’s no specific info available on the device, chances are that it would prove to be nothing else than the long-rumored Nokia tablet PC. “As for Windows 8, I see something called Nokia RX-108. Don't know what that is,” Alan Mendelevich said in a tweet.

As WMPowerUser notes, in addition to this device, the yet unannounced Nokia RM-892 (for India, it seems), RM-860 (with a 1280 x 768 pixel resolution), and RM-885 (Lumia 720 – WVGA resolution) have also been spotted.

Nokia Lumia Tablet concept
Image credits to PocketNow

Canonical Ubuntu for Phones Porting Guide

The initial Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview was released for Nexus devices, but Canonical has now  provided a comprehensive porting tutorial.

Canonical needs its operating system to run on a variety of devices, but they can only concentrate on so many. This is where the community steps in and so far, they’ve done an amazing job, even if the operating system was launched only a couple of days ago. The new Ubuntu for Phones is running nicely on selected Nexus devices, but users have taken upon themselves to port the OS to new phones: Motorola XOOM, Galaxy Nexus (toro), Galaxy Nexus (toroplus), SGS I9000, HTC One XL, HTC One X+, Sony Xperia T, SGS III, Huawei Ascend G300, VZ SGSIII, ATT SGSIII, SGS GT-I9000, Samsung Galaxy Note II, and SGS II.

As you can see, very soon the Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview will be working on a sleuth of new devices. If you are interested in porting the OS to a device that’s not in this list or if you want to contribute, just check the official Touch Developer Preview Porting Guide.

Ubuntu for Phones running on a LG Nexus 4
Image credits to Canocical

More Samsung Galaxy S IV Details: Full-HD LCD3 SoLux Display, Bootscreen Photo

Previously said to arrive on the market with a 4.99 full HD AMOLED screen, the Galaxy S IV flagship device is now rumored to be packed with an LCD3 SoLux Display.

No official confirmation has emerged on the matter for the time being, but SamMobile claims that the change might have been determined by various issues that Samsung is experiencing at its AMOLED factory for the production of full HD screens for the device. The handset, expected to be unveiled on March 14 as the company’s next flagship Android-based smartphone, is also said to sport a quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor inside, clocked in at 1.9 GHz. According to a recent analyst report, the South Korean mobile phone maker might experience a series of issues with the power management capabilities of its 8-core Exynos Octa processor, which has determined it to adopt another chip for the device.

Galaxy S IV is also rumored to sport 2GB of RAM, along with 16GB, 31GB and 64GB options when it comes to its internal memory. A microSD memory card slot might also be included in the package. An official confirmation on the matter has yet to emerge, but the new rumor falls in line with previous leaked details for the device, and it might just pan out. When launched, Galaxy S IV is expected to measure 140.1 x 71.8 x 7.7mm and to weigh 138 grams. According to some reports, it will sport touch buttons on the front, complemented by a hardware home button, the hallmark of the entire Galaxy S lineup. Recently leaked photo samples from Galaxy S IV have confirmed that it might sport a 13-megapixel photo snapper on the back, while images with cases for it have shown a squared design, quite different from that of last year’s Galaxy S III smartphone.

The phone is also rumored to sport aluminum on the sides, while featuring a plastic back. Its battery will be removable, the latest hearsay suggests. The phone’s name appears to have been confirmed as well, at least this is what the alleged bootscreen shot attached to this article suggests. Samsung will make the Galaxy S IV available for purchase in Black and White flavors, though it remains to be seen when exactly it will kick off sales for it (April was previously said to be the best candidate for that).

Galaxy S IV bootscreen
Image credits to SAMMobile

New Windows Blue Screenshot

While Microsoft remains completely tight-lipped on a potential Windows Blue upgrade for Windows 8, sources familiar with the matter confirm that such a project is currently under development.

Now a new screenshot posted by Win8China.com seems to confirm that Windows Blue is in the works, very likely with an important kernel update to version 6.3. Once again, it appears that Windows Blue won’t come as a stand-alone Windows operating system, but only as a major upgrade for the existing Windows 8, so it’s very likely to pack a big number of improvements.

If we are to trust all previous reports, Windows Blue is scheduled to hit the market this summer, with Microsoft planning to offer it either as a freeware update for Windows 8 or with a very low price tag.

Windows Blue is likely to be based on kernel 6.3
Image credits to Win8China.com

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