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Dec 30, 2013

China Telecom’s Xiaomi Hongmi Leaks

Chinese mobile phone carrier China Telecom is reportedly getting ready for the launch of a new Xiaomi smartphone on its network, none other than the Xiaomi Hongmi that landed on shelves several months ago.

The affordable device has already been launched in the country on the networks of China Mobile and China Unicom (with TD-SCDMA and WCDMA connectivity, respectively), and it seems that CDMA users will also enjoy it soon. Furthermore, leaked info on the matter, available courtesy of cnbeta, suggests that China Telecom will release an updated version of Hongmi (Red Rice).

The mobile phone should sport a 13-megapixel camera on the back, paired with an 8MP one on the front. It will also arrive on shelves with a 4.7-inch HD 720p display, as well as with a 1.5GHz quad-core MT6589T processor, paired with 1GB of RAM. Xiaomi Hongmi will be powered by a 2000mAh battery.

China Telecom’s Xiaomi Hongmi
Image credits to GizChina

LG Odin Octa-Core Chipset Spotted in AnTuTu Benchmark

LG’s in-house octa-core chipset has just popped up in AnTuTu benchmark, which suggests that the system-on-chip solution is close to being officially unveiled.

As Phonearena points out, LG’s Odin chipset might not be a real octa-core chipset like MediaTek’s MT6592 processor. Instead, the South Korean company’s proprietary chipset will have a set of 4 core handling the heavy resource apps and games, while the other 4 cores will only be used for apps and features requiring low resources. This can be seen in the AnTuTu benchmark as well. The LG Odin seems to have been clocked at low speeds (100 MHz – 1GHz), but still scored pretty high.

It is also worth mentioning that LG’s Odin chipset will feature the new Power VR Series 6 graphics processing unit and 2GB of RAM. This particular prototype unit was packed with only 4GB of internal memory and ran Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, but the final version of the rumored G3 is likely to arrive with completely different specs.

LG Odin benchmark results
Image credits to AnTuTu Bechmark

Galaxy S5 to Pack a 64-Bit CPU, 4GB of RAM, Quad-HD Screen

Today, Samsung officially announced a new mobile RAM module, one that would have future high-end smartphones arriving on shelves with 4GB of RAM inside, and rumor has it that Galaxy S5 might be the first to include it.

Apparently, Samsung is set to kick off the production of the new memory in early 2014, and it would have enough stock to launch its next flagship smartphone with the feature packed inside. This will make the upcoming phone a very powerful device, though it seems that it might not be the only great feature that Samsung is planning for it. According to IT Today, the company will also include a 64-bit processor inside the handset, further enhancing its performance capabilities.

Moreover, as BGR reports, Galaxy S5 has been rumored to feature a Quad HD screen (2560 x 1440-pixels, aka 2k), thus becoming an even more appealing smartphone. Unfortunately, none of these rumors has been confirmed as of now, so we’ll take it with a grain of salt.

Samsung to pack Galaxy S5 with 64-bit CPU, 4GB of RAM
Image credits to Samsung

Xiaomi Mi3 WCDMA to Be Released Tomorrow

Chinese mobile phone maker Xiaomi has made its Xiaomi Mi3 flagship device official a few months ago in different flavors, including one that sports WCDMA connectivity inside, yet it hasn’t made the device available for purchase as of now.

According to the latest reports on the matter, however, this should change as soon as tomorrow, when the new Mi3 model is released. The mobile phone will offer support for China Unicom’s 3G network and will feature a Snapdragon 800 processor inside, as GizChina reports. The phone will be put up for sale in two different versions, one featuring 16GB of internal memory and another one with 64GB of storage, priced at 1,999 Yuan ($330/€240) and 2,499 Yuan ($412/€300), respectively.

The smartphone also features 2GB of RAM, 330 Adreno GPU, and the MIUI V5 platform loaded on top (based on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean).

Xiaomi Mi3 WCDMA to arrive on shelves tomorrow
Image credits to PCOnline via GizChina

Dec 29, 2013

Android 4.4 KitKat Update Arriving on Micromax Canvas Series

We reported in late September Indian OEM Micromax plans to offer an Android 4.3 Jelly Bean upgrade to some of its high-end smartphones, including the Canvas Doodle 2, Canvas 4 and Canvas HD.

However, a few weeks later Micromax reportedly stopped working on bringing this major update to its Android smartphones. No details on the reasons behind Micromax's decision leaked online, but those who owned one of the said devices were left with an unpleasant feeling the Indian company doesn't care too much about software updates. Well, it appears that Micromax had indeed dropped work on Android 4.3, but the reasons will sure please fans of the Indian brand. MMXNewscaster reports Micromax is currently readying Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade for lots of its smartphones in both mid- and high-end range.

According to a leaked internal document, the following Micromax smartphones are eligible for an Android 4.4 KitKat update next year: A250, A240, A210, A200, A117, A116, A116i, A115, A114, A113, A111, A110Q, A110, A101 and A100. As one can see in the picture attached to this article, some of the smartphones mentioned earlier will receive the latest Android 4.4.2 update, while the rest will get Android 4.4 KitKat. For the time being, only the Canvas series of smartphones has been confirmed to receive Android 4.4 KitKat, so Bolt series users may want to switch to one of these devices if they want to take advantage of the latest version of Google's mobile platform.

Unfortunately, the leaked document does not mention any release dates for the update, but we suspect more details will surface in the coming weeks. Hopefully, Micromax will not change its plans for the KitKat update like it did with the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean upgrade. Stay tuned for more info on the upcoming Android 4.4 updates for the Canvas series.

Micromax Android 4.4 KitKat update scheduler
Image credits to MMXNewscaster

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro Coming to AT&T with Codename SM-P907A

There have been many leaks regarding Samsung's next lineup of tablets, which are supposed to be unveiled next year at Consumers Electronics Show (CES) and Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade fairs.

The Galaxy Note Pro seems to be the top of the line Samsung tablet and rumor has it the slate will go official in February, probably at MWC 2014. There's no word on price tag and availability yet, but we know for sure it will be picked by many carriers around the world.

Android fans in the United States will be pleased to know Samsung Galaxy Note Pro will arrive in their country via AT&T with model number SM-P907A. The information recently emerged via @evleaks, so we expect it to be somewhat accurate. Stay tuned for more updates on Samsung Galaxy Note Pro's availability.

Samsung Galaxy Note tablet
Image credits to evleaks

Sony WALKMAN App Update Adds Enhanced Offline Download Speed

Sony's proprietary multimedia application WALKMAN has just received another update meant to improve overall user experience. The latest build promises to bring better download speeds, easier access to some functions, and new features.

XperiaBlog reports that Sony WALKMAN build number 8.1.A.0.3 is now available for download on every compatible Xperia device. According to the official changelog, the latest update adds improved download speed for offline Music Unlimited content and easier access to options for each song, album, artist and playlist.

Last but not least, Sony WALKMAN users will now be able to transfer Music Unlimited content using the one-touch function. Obviously, some performance enhancements and bug fixes have been included as well. The latest update has been confirmed for availability on Sony Xperia Z series via Update Center, so make sure you check it out.

Sony WALKMAN app (screenshot)
Image credits to XperiaBlog

Android 4.4.2 KitKat-Based AOKP ROMs Now Available for Download

CyanogenMod might have been the first to release custom ROMs based on the Android 4.4 KitKat platform, but others weren’t too far behind either.

The first nightly builds of the Android Open Kang Project (AOKP) software to be based on the Android 4.4.2 OS version are now available for download, although only for a small number of devices. Among these, we can count the Nexus 5, Nexus 4, and Galaxy Nexus smartphones, as well as the Galaxy S 3 (Verizon, ATT, T-Mo, USC), Galaxy S 4 (Verizon, Sprint, T-Mo, USC), and Galaxy Note 2 (ATT, T-Mo, LTE-Intl.).

Moreover, owners of the HTC One (ATT, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mo, Intl.) can also download it, along with Xperia Z, ZL, Xperia T and Xperia V users. Those who would like to download and install these ROMs should head over to the AOKP website for that. They should also keep in mind that a device wipe will be necessary.

Android 4.4 KitKat
Image credits to Google

Dec 27, 2013

Meizu Preparing Two Meizu MX4 Models

Chinese mobile phone maker Meizu is reportedly getting ready for the release of a new device in its popular MX series, namely the Meizu MX4.

The new mobile phone is now said to arrive on shelves in two different models, one of which should pack a 5.5-inch 2560 x 1536 pixels touchscreen display, and which is also expected to land on shelves with 4G LTE connectivity packed inside. Apparently, this will be the high-end flavor of the smartphone, which should be accompanied by a cheaper model, one that will sport a 5-inch 1080p Full HD screen.

This phone variant is also said to arrive with an octa-core MediaTek MT6592 processor inside, and also with 4G LTE connectivity. Meizu MX4 is expected to be officially announced sometime next year, and it might be one of the first devices from Meizu to be released outside China, as UnwiredView notes.

Meizu MX4 might arrive in two different versions
Image credits to UnwiredView

Sony Xperia Z1 f Already Outselling the iPhone in Japan

Last week, Xperia Z1 f, the latest Android-based smartphone that Sony has launched on the market in Japan, managed to top selling charts in the country, leaving Apple’s iPhone 5s behind.

The device, launched as the smaller version of the Xperia Z1, packs powerful hardware inside, similar to that of its larger brother, but it is available only in Japan for the time being. In fact, Sony hasn’t confirmed any plans on launching the smartphone in other markets around the world, despite the fact that there have been quite a lot of rumors on the matter already. The one thing that is certain at the moment is the fact that the market performance of the handset in Japan could determine Sony to launch it in other countries out there. The phone could be released internationally as the Xperia Z1 mini, just as previous reports on the matter have suggested.

In Japan, the device landed on shelves with a 4.3-inch IPS touchscreen display capable of delivering a 720p HD resolution, as well as with a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor inside. Furthermore, Xperia Z1 f features 2GB of RAM inside, as well as a 2300mAh battery, which can easily deliver longer usage times than Xperia Z1’s 3000mAh battery does, as PhoneArena notes. On the back, the smartphone packs a 20-megapixel camera, the same as Xperia Z1 does, which means that it can offer the same imaging experience as Sony’s current flagship.

The smaller device is priced only a bit lower than the Xperia Z1, but that does not appear to be an issue for enthusiasts. Given the handset’s hardware specifications, we can clearly see why. What remains to be seen is whether the phone’s momentum in Japan will continue, so stay tuned for more on the matter. Hopefully, CES 2014 will bring along an announcement regarding its international availability.

Sony Xperia Z1 f next to iPhone 5s
Image credits to SonyViet via PhoneArena

Tizen OS-Powered Samsung SC-03F Coming Soon to NTT DoCoMo

Samsung and Intel have already announced a joint press event for February, where there first devices powered by Tizen operating system will be announced.

The information has been confirmed earlier this month, but no additional details on the number of devices and their specs sheets have been leaked yet. However, the folks over at SamMobile report that the Indonesian blog site tizenindonesia has just uncovered one of the first Tizen-based smartphones to receive clearance at FCC (Federal Communications Commission).

The unannounced Samsung SC-03F seems to be en route to Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo, though there are no details on when exactly it will hit shelves next year. The smartphone is said to feature a similar design as the Galaxy S4 and FCC documents mention that the SC-03F measures 136.1 x 69.1mm. No other details on the phone’s specs are available for the moment, but we expect additional details to leak as we’re getting closer to MWC 2014.

Samsung SC-03F diagram
Image credits to FCC

Chinese iFive Mini 3 Tablet Gets Updated to Android 4.4 KitKat

More and more Chinese manufacturers seem to be jumping on the Android 4.4 KitKat bandwagon, which is pretty amazing to say the least, especially if you consider brand vendors are quite slow when it comes to performing software updates on their models.

One of those white-box markers is iFive, which has just pushed out an official ROM update for its iFive Mini 3 tablet, thus bringing the device up-to-date into KitKat land. And, according to Tablet Republic, the new build brings numerous improvements compared to the previous Android 4.2 firmware, like optimized RAM usage, and a smoother performance which definitely constitutes a plus for owners of this rudimentary device.

After the update, the device has managed to score 4,594 points on AnTuTu benchmarks, placing the slate directly below the HTC One X, while the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 lags in way behind. The iFive Mini 3features a 7.9-inch IPS screen with a capacitive touch screen with a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels and draws power from a quad-core RK3188 processor backed up by Mali 400 MP4 GPU. It might not be much, but with Android 4.4 onboard, the tablet might be worth a second glance.

iFive Mini 3 tablet updated with Android 4.4
Images credits to Tablet Republic

Jolla Sailfish OS Platform Update Released

Finnish startup Jolla has made available for download an updated version of its Sailfish OS, namely version

The new platform release comes to devices with some appealing enhancements packed inside, including some camera improvements when it comes to exposure time and low light focus and to the switching between the front and back cameras. A series of bug fixes and other system improvements were also included in the new release, MyNokiaBlog reports. The release notes for the update include:

  • Google calendar sync to your Jolla (one way)
  • Camera support in Android apps
  • Updating/uninstalling apps from Yandex store
  • Camera now supports all 4 orientations
  • Advanced recovery mode [details]
  • Ability to accept any server certificates during Exchange ActiveSync account setup

Those who would like to learn more on the updated Sailfish OS should head over to this page on JollaSuomi for the full changelog.

Jolla's Sailfish OS smartphone
Image credits to Jolla

Oppo Find 7 Will Sport a 5.5-Inch 2K Screen

Chinese mobile phone maker Oppo has been teasing its upcoming Find 7 flagship smartphone for quite some time now, and it has recently confirmed some more of the device’s hardware specs.

The mobile phone will hit the market with a 5.5-inch touchscreen display and will be able to provide users with a 2k resolution, the handset vendor has confirmed in a recent tweet. Previously, Oppo did note that this smartphone would hit shelves with a screen capable of delivering a 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution, but it did not mention its actual size until now.

Oppo Find 7 will feature a pixel density of 538PPI and will also arrive on the market with a very small bezel, which will make it feel like a 5-inch smartphone, as Pocketnow notes. No specific info on when the smartphone will become official has been provided as of now, but it might not be too long before that happens, so stay tuned.

Oppo Find 7 will pack a 5.5-inch 2k screen
Image credits to Oppo on Twitter

Dec 26, 2013

Nokia Normandy Android-Powered Smartphone Leaks Again in More Colors

We reported earlier this month Nokia's first Android-powered smartphone, codename Normandy, may be released next year regardless of the company's takeover by Microsoft.

The first press shot of the Nokia Normandy leaked along with the information the smartphone is no doubt a certainty and that the Finnish company is close to completing the project. Unfortunately, a few weeks later new details emerged pointing to a possible canceling of the project due to Nokia / Microsoft deal.

Anyway, the smartphone appeared once again online via @evleaks, this time in multiple colors: black, cyan, yellow, white and green. We will probably know more on Nokia Normandy next year, when the Finnish company is rumored to announce its next lineup of smartphones and feature phones. Stay tuned for more details on this one.

Nokia Normandy
Image credits to @evleaks

Sony Xperia D200X, D210X, D230X and SGP521 Models Show Up Online

Sony fans rejoice, as their favorite brand has lots of new products to reveal in the next couple of months. We reported last week on a set of four unannounced Xperia models which we expect to be unveiled at CES and MWC 2014 and now details on more Xperia handsets emerged online.

The folks over at XperiaBlog have just uncovered three new model numbers, which have popped up at Postel, the Indonesian Regulatory website. The new devices from Postel are codenamed D2005, D2105 and SGP521, while the D2303 appeared recently AnTuTu benchmark. Unfortunately, details on the smartphones' specs are unavailable for the moment, but as we're getting closer to Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the first important telecommunications trade fair of 2014, we suspect more info will leak.

Some of these new Xperia models might be officially unveiled only in February at Mobile World Congress 2014, so stay tuned for more on this one.

Unannounced Sony Xperia models
Image credits to Postel Indonesia

Oppo R1 Arrives in China with 5-Inch Display and Quad-Core CPU

Chinese handset maker Oppo has just released the previously rumored R1 mid-range Android smartphone. That should be good news for Android enthusiasts in China, but fans of Google's mobile platform will probably be disappointed that Oppo R1 is exclusive to the Mainland for now.

Oppo did not mention anything about the R1's availability outside China, but given the company's recent debut on the European market, we expect the smartphone will soon go on sale in other countries as well. According to Phonearena, customers in China can purchase the Oppo R1 for only 2,500 yuan outright, which is about $410 or €300. Keep in mind the Oppo R1 ships with Color OS, which is Oppo's take on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system. Aside from that the Oppo R1 doesn't bring anything out of the ordinary, but it's still a solid choice for Android fans. Hardware-wise, the R1 comes equipped with a 1.3 GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6582 processor, 1GB of RAM and only 16GB of RAM.

The 16GB of RAM would be quite enough if the phone would be packing a microSD card slot for memory expansion, but, sadly, it lacks the functionality. In terms of design, the Oppo R1 is quite the looker. The smartphone measures 142.7 x 70.4 x 7.1mm and weighs 140g (battery included). It draws energy from a high-capacity 2,410 mAh Li-Ion battery, which has yet to be rated by the manufacturer. We have yet to receive confirmation that the battery included in the R1 is non-removable. On the back, Oppo R1 sports an enhanced 8-megapixel photo snapper with autofocus, LED flash and a wide F/2.0 aperture. Another strong point of the device is the 5-inch HD (720p) IPS capacitive touchscreen display that supports 294ppi (pixel density). Potential customers who wish to grab the R1 can order one from Oppo's official Chinese webstore beginning today.

Oppo R1
Image credits to Oppo

Nokia Moneypenny First Screenshot Shows Dual-SIM Windows Phone Features

Nokia Moneypenny leaked several weeks ago, along with the Finnish company's upcoming lineup of smartphones and feature phones. However, unlike its unannounced siblings the Moneypenny is really a special device.

According to @evleaks, Nokia Moneypenny will be the company's first Windows Phone handset to offer dual-SIM functionality, probably featuring full active (DSFA) support. Full active support or DSFA is a special dual-SIM feature that allows both SIM cards inside the smartphone to be active at the same time. This means users will be able to switch between calls when they need it. Moreover, these phones pack two built-in transceivers, which means one of the SIM cards will support both 2G and 3G, while the other one will only be compatible with 2G connectivity.

The first screenshot of the alleged Nokia Moneypenny has just popped up online, courtesy to @evleaks, and show the smartphone may indeed feature full active dual-SIM support. Another interesting fact the screesnhot from the Moneypenny proves is the smartphone's display features FWVGA resolution (854 x 480 pixels), which is not officially supported in Windows Phone 8, but word is this will particular resolution will be featured in Windows Phone 8.1. The extra 0.54 pixels in length might be exactly what's needed for the on-screen buttons the Nokia Moneypenny is rumored to feature.

Aside from the fact that Nokia Moneypenny will come with dual-SIM functionality featuring full active support, the smartphone will also integrate two separate phone and SMS apps, as shown in the picture leaked. Little is known about Moneypenny's hardware specs for the moment, but we suspect the smartphone will be announce in Q 2014 at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) or Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade fairs. The latest hearsay also point to the fact the Moneypenny will be launched on the market as Nokia Lumia 630 or 635, depending on region. Stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

Nokia Moneypenny screenshot
Image credits to @evleaks

Nokia 808 PureView Gets Unofficial Belle Feature Pack 3 (CFW) Update

Nokia 808 PureView is world’s first smartphone to boast a 41-megapixel photo snapper featuring Nokia’s innovative imaging technology. The handset was officially introduced back in February 2012 at Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade fair, and went on sale several months later.

The 808 PureView is powered by Nokia Belle OS, which has been improved soon after the smartphone hit shelves with a few updates that increased its functionality. Well, it looks like those who currently own the 808 PureView expect even more feature to come their way, which is why developer Marcus Nägelle compiled lots of new features into a brand new firmware that’s called “Belle Feature Pack 3.” According to AllAboutSymbian, the custom ROM is available for Nokia 808 PureView in both English and German, but we do not recommend flashing it if you don’t know how to do it. Check out below some of the main features included in this ROM:

  • Editable Equalizer (long click on the sound profile to edit);
  • Edit ID3 tags possible;
  • Possibility to create own subfolders;
  • Symbian Anna notification Widget;
  • Possibility to install unsigned programs;
  • Theme effects can be disabled or install custom theme effects;
  • PopUps can be turned off;
  • Browser agent (it can be located via the Nokia browser “pretend to be using an Google Chrome, iP4 or a Firefox browser on the Internet” to get optimized or the desktop version);
  • Voice recorder mod: 720min recording @256 kbps, stereo;
  • Build in all new FW updates;
  • Symbian Anna email Widget;
  • Camera menu: maximum possible resolutions 41MP (full resolution) & increased 12MP (PureView), compression quality from 85 to 95% in all resolutions;
  • Medium white menu button lights up red during the charging process, flashing when battery full;
  • N8 Photo editor built in;
  • FM transmitter sends per RDS “Nokia808;”
  • Additional widget “Watch with profile display/selection” (much like in Symbian Anna);
  • Transparent profiles, weather & radio Widget;
  • Additional small Music Player Widget (3 sizes);
  • Script and writing languages: German, English (+ Russian keyboard).

For the full list of new features and improvements included in Belle Feature Pack 3 CFW for Nokia 808 PureView, head over to the original thread.

Nokia 808 Pureview
Image Credits to GSMArena

Dec 23, 2013

Sony D6503, D5303, D2105, and D2005 Emerge in AnTuTu Benchmark

Sony Mobile has been recently rumored to plan the launch of quite a nice range of devices in 2014, and what appear to be AnTuTu benchmarking scores for some of them are now available for your viewing pleasure.

Last week, Sony devices featuring model numbers D6503 and D5303 were spotted online, both said to arrive on shelves as top smartphones, and the allegedly leaked AnTuTu scores appear to confirm that. Sony D5303, for example, managed to score 30145 points (it is said to be powered by a 1.7GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6592 processor), while Sony D6503 topped 29745 points, XperiaGuide reports.

Two other handsets, Sony D2005 and D2105, both of which were spotted at Postel today, scored much lower, suggesting that they would be entry-level handsets, with 12790 points and 13001 points, respectively. However, considering the fact that these benchmark results can be forged, take the info above with a grain of salt.

SONY D6503
Image credits to XperiaGuide

SONY D5303
Image credits to XperiaGuide

SONY D2105
Image credits to XperiaGuide

SONY D2005
Image credits to XperiaGuide

iOS 6.1.3 + 6.1.5 Untethered Jailbreak Released

Hacker iH8sn0w has announced the release of an untethered jailbreak for A4 device owners (iPhone 4, iPod touch fourth-generation, early iPads etc.).

Active on Twitter while also maintaining a blog for announcements such as these, iH8sn0w writes, “With the unexpected release of the evasi0n7 jailbreak, we are finally able to release the 3GS/A4 6.1.3 + 6.1.5 untether Cydia package.” To jailbreak, users must already have a “tethered” jailbreak via redsn0w or sn0wbreeze, open Cydia on their iDevice, click the “Changes” tab at the bottom, hit “Refresh” and “Reloading Data,” then search for “p0sixspwn.” Hitting install should untether the jailbreak.

iH8sn0w says he plans to update sn0wbreeze as well (to incorporate the untether). Afterwards, all work will be focused on untethering A5+ jailbreaks for iOS 6.1.3 and iOS 6.1.4. To learn more about the just-released iOS 7 jailbreak, see the related links below.

iH8sn0w tweet
Image credits to iH8sn0w on Twitter

MSI Radeon R9 290 and 290X 4G Gaming Graphics Cards Released

Not long ago, MSI released a 4 GB Radeon R9 270X graphics card, but now the company is unveiling Gaming versions of the Radeon R9 290 and 290X adapters as well.

They both have 4 GB of GDDR5 VRAM, but the more important part is the dual-mode support. By using the MSI Gaming App, gamers can switch between three pre-sets. One of them runs the card as silently as possible, one focuses on energy efficiency and one is the OC mode, which runs the cards at full blast.

Both the MSI R9 290 GAMING 4G and R9 290X GAMING 4G use a dual-fan cooler with copper base, heatpipes that come into contact with a large part of the heatsink, and two fans. MSI's black and red colored boards have not been given prices, alas.

MSI Radeon R9 290/290X Gaming 4G
Image credits to MSI

Dec 22, 2013

How to Jailbreak iOS 7.0.x with Evasi0n 7

The evad3rs have surprised the jailbreak community by releasing an all new version of evasi0n, the team’s official hacking tool for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch.

Capable of jailbreaking all iDevice models and all iOS firmwares, evasi0n7 is finally available for download on Mac OS X and Windows computers. Mac users will need OS X version 10.6 (Snow Leopard), or newer. PC users will need Windows XP (or later). No Linux version is available at the time of this writing. Windows users will further require iTunes (if they don’t have it installed). All users will need to use the USB cable supplied by Apple to connect the device to the computer.

How to Jailbreak iOS 7.0.x on iPhone / iPad / iPod touch
  1. Connect your iDevice to your Mac or PC and launch iTunes. It’s preferred that you use the newest version of iTunes available.
  2. Backup your device using iTunes (or iCloud).
  3. Disable the passcode lock on your iDevice (Settings -> General ->Passcode Lock -> Turn Passcode Lock Off).
  4. Download evasi0n7 from http://evasi0n.com/ and run the program on your Mac or Windows PC.
  5. Make sure to close all other programs on your computer. In the evasi0n interface, hit the Jailbreak button. Wait for the process to complete and your device to reboot.

Congratulations! You should now be jailbroken.

A final note from the evad3rs: “If the process gets stuck somewhere, it's safe to restart the program, reboot the device (if necessary by holding down Power and Home until it shuts down), and rerun the process.” The team also says that OS X users may get an error saying that evasi0n can't be opened. If so, simply control-click (right-click) the program and choose Open.

Evasi0n7 interface
Image credits to Evasi0n

iOS 7 Jailbreak Officially Available for Download

The evad3rs have released evasi0n 7, the official jailbreak tool for iOS 7 (including iOS 7.0.1, 7.0.2, 7.0.3 and 7.0.4) for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

“Merry Christmas! The iOS 7 jailbreak has been released at http://evasi0n.com!” That’s the latest message posted on the evad3rs’ official Twitter stream. In usual manner, the hacking team surprised the iOS community on a Sunday, without any previous announcement whatsoever. Evasi0n 7, the new version of the team’s jailbreak tool, is capable of hacking all iOS firmwares to date, including iOS 7.0.4 (the latest release from Cupertino). Evasi0n 7 can jailbreak all iDevices, including the newest iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c models, iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display, as well as all iPod touch players. The requirements remain unchanged:

  • 5 minutes of your time!
  • A computer, running Windows (XP minimum) or Mac OS X (10.6 minimum)
  • iTunes installed if you're running Windows
  • An iPhone, iPad or iPod running iOS 7.0 through 7.0.4 (you may check in Settings / General / About => Version)
  • A USB cable to connect the device to the computer

Jailbreakers are urged to back up their device using iTunes or iCloud before running evasi0n to perform the hack. The official jailbreak steps are outlined below, stripped down to the basic plot (without some comments on behalf of the hacking team).

  1. Back up your device using iTunes (or iCloud) before using evasi0n.
  2. Disable the lock passcode of your iOS device before using evasi0n.
  3. Avoid all iOS and iTunes related tasks until evasi0n is complete.
  4. If the process gets stuck somewhere, it's safe to restart the program, reboot the device (if necessary by holding down Power and Home until it shuts down), and rerun the process.
  5. If you get an error on OS X 10.8 saying that evasi0n can't be opened, control-click (or right-click) the app and on the revealed context menu, choose 'Open.' On the ensuing dialogue box, choose 'Open' as well.

To download evasi0n 7 for Mac or Windows, visit the evad3rs’ web site at evasi0n.com. A Linux version is currently unavailable.

Evasi0n jailbreak
Image credits to Evasi0n

Dec 20, 2013

Acer Liquid S2 Launched Officially in Hong Kong

Today, Acer has made its Acer Liquid S2 official on the market in Hong Kong, with a price tag of HK$4,799 ($619 / €454) attached to it.

For those out of the loop, we should note that the mobile phone was launched with a Snapdragon 800 processor packed inside, as well as with support for 4K video recording. The mobile phone comes to the market with a 6-inch touchscreen display, capable of delivering a full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) resolution, as well as with the aforementioned quad-core MSM8974 CPU, which has its cores clocked in at 2.2GHz. The smartphone also features Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection for the touchscreen, along with a Zero Air Gap feature, as GSMInsider notes. The Acer Liquid S2 also sports 2GB of RAM inside, along with 16GB of internal memory, complemented by a microSD memory card slot for expansion purposes.

Moreover, it should be noted that Liquid S2 was announced with Dolby Sound Technology, being the first smartphone in the world to include the capability. On the back, the new mobile phone has a 13-megapixel camera with four LED flash and the aforementioned support for 4k video capture. The handset also features a 2MP camera on the front, so that users could make video calls while on the go. Acer also included the usual set of connectivity functionality inside the smartphone, such as support for 4G LTE networks, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities, and built-in GPS receiver. Furthermore, the smartphone comes with the usual range of sensors in the package. The device measures 166 x 86 x 9 mm and weighs 231 grams. It runs under Google’s Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system and is powered by a 3300mAh battery.

No specific info on the availability of the smartphone in other markets around the world has been provided as of now, but Acer might unveil such details shortly, so stay tuned.

Acer Liquid S2
Image credits to Acer

Gluglug X60 is The First Laptop Certified with Free Software and Zero Backdoors by FSF

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has just awarded its coveted  Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification to a laptop, Gluglug X60, making it the first to receive this distinction.

The Free Software Foundation has launched the requirements for the “Respects Your Freedom” (RYF) certification back in 2005, but no one managed to get it. According to FSF, the RYF certification mark means that the product meets the FSF's standards about users' freedom, control over the product, and privacy. This is the first hardware product to receive the distinction. "Finally there is a free software laptop that respects your freedom as it comes from the store," stated Richard M. Stallman, founder and president of the FSF. “The boot programs (such as a BIOS) run when a computer is turned on and their primary purpose is to initialize the hardware before loading the operating system. Computer makers not only install nonfree boot programs, but they also have made it notoriously difficult for free software developers to have access to the necessary hardware specifications and information needed to produce free software replacements,” reads the official announcement.

The Respects Your Freedom certification mark assures the buyer that the hardware they have just purchased comes with a free OS and free boot software. It is also free of any spyware, backdoors, and any means of intruding on the privacy of the users. "This announcement comes at a time when people have a heightened concern over controlling their data and securing their communication. Proprietary software is by nature fundamentally insecure, because it uses both force of law and technological measures to prohibit a user from controlling and securing her own computer,” said FSF Executive Director John Sullivan. The Gluglug X60 laptop can be purchased straight from the official website and it comes win a large variety of hardware configurations.

Gluglug X60
Image credits to Free Software Foundation

BlackBerry and Foxconn to Launch New BB10 Smartphone in March / April 2014

While announcing deepened loss for the third quarter of its financial year 2014, BlackBerry also confirmed plans to launch a new smartphone in collaboration with Foxconn.

The smartphone will arrive on the market with the BlackBerry 10 operating system loaded on top, and it is currently known under the codename of Jakarta. John Chen, executive chair and CEO of BlackBerry, confirmed today that the device would be launched sometime in March or April next year, and that it would land in Indonesia first, as n4bb reports. However, BlackBery also plans on bringing the device to six or seven more markets soon after the initial launch, though no details on them have been provided as of now. No specific info on the handset itself has been provided, but Chen did confirm that BlackBerry would focus on the development of the software for it, while Foxconn will be in charge of manufacturing the hardware.

“This partnership demonstrates BlackBerry’s commitment to the device market for the long-term and our determination to remain the innovation leader in secure end-to-end mobile solutions,” Chen said. “Partnering with Foxconn allows BlackBerry to focus on what we do best – iconic design, world-class security, software development and enterprise mobility management – while simultaneously addressing fast-growing markets leveraging Foxconn’s scale and efficiency that will allow us to compete more effectively.” As part of the agreement, Foxconn will be making products for BlackBerry at its locations in Indonesia and Mexico. However, the Canadian company will own all of its intellectual property and perform product assurance on devices.

Moving forth, BlackBerry will continue to focus on driving innovation in secure hardware, software, and services, and it will also work on expanding the reach of its multi-platform BBM (BlackBerry Messenger). “BlackBerry is an iconic brand with great technology and a loyal international fan base,” said Terry Gou, Founder and Chairman, Foxconn. “We are pleased to be working with BlackBerry as it positions itself for future growth and we look forward to a successful strategic partnership in which Foxconn will jointly develop and manufacture new BlackBerry devices in both Indonesia and Mexico for new and existing markets.”

New BlackBerry 10 smartphone coming in March / April
Image credits to BlackBerry

BlackBerry Posts $4.4 Billion (€3.2 Billion) Loss for Q3

Today, Canadian mobile phone maker BlackBerry has announced its financial results for the third quarter of its financial year 2014, and posted a total loss of $4.4 (€3.22) billion for the timeframe.

The company announced that its revenue for the timeframe was in the $1.2 (€0.88) billion range, down from $1.6 (€1.17) billion in the previous quarter, and that it had managed to sell around 1.9 million smartphones during the three-month period (down from 3.7 million). BlackBerry also announced that it “takes primarily non-cash, pre-tax charges of $4.6 (€3.37) billion associated with long-lived assets, inventory and supply commitments, and previously announced restructuring and strategic review process.” At the same time, it unveiled that “GAAP loss from continuing operations of $4.4 billion, or $8.37 (€6.13) per share diluted, compared with a GAAP loss from continuing operations of $965 (€707) million, or $1.84 (€1.35) per share diluted, in the prior quarter.” Moreover, adjusted loss from continuing operations for the third quarter was of $354 (€259.5) million, or $0.67 (€0.49) per share diluted, marking a sharp downgrade from the second quarter of the fiscal year.

However, BlackBerry registered some gains as well, including the addition of over 40 million new BBM users due to the launch of the service on iOS and Android devices, and agreements with OEMs out there for the pre-loading of the messenger on their hardware. There have been over 250,000 BBM Channels created since the launch of the feature on BlackBerry, including some coming from large brands out there, such as Coke Indonesia and USA Today. In addition to unveiling these details on its financial performance, the company announced a five-year strategic partnership with Foxconn for the manufacturing of new BlackBerry devices.

Furthermore, Foxconn will engage into the development process, while also being in charge with the management of inventory associated with those devices. Initially, the partnership will focus on a smartphone for Indonesia and other fast-growing markets. The new device should be launched in early 2014.

BlackBerry's loss deepens in Q3 FY2014
Image credits to BlackBerry

Dec 19, 2013

Oppo R1 New Hands-on Photos Emerges

Soon, Chinese mobile phone maker Oppo should make official a new handset in its R-Series of devices, one that has leaked in a new series of hands-on photos.

These are the clearest images with the smartphone available as of now, and, as GSMInsider notes, they offer a better look at what will be coming to the market in the not too distant future. The mobile phone reportedly packs model number R829T and sports a glass design similar to the one that Sony packed its Xperia Z1 smartphone with.

Oppo R1 is said to feature a 5-inch 720p screen, while being powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6582 processor, paired with 1GB of RAM. The handset will also feature 16GB of internal memory, while packing an 8-megapixel camera on the back, and a 5MP camera on the front. The smartphone will run under Google’s Android operating system, though specific info on the actual version has yet to be unveiled.

Oppo R1
Images credits to Weibo via GSMInsider

Official CyanogenMod Cases for Nexus 5 Launched

Owners of Nexus 5 devices who are also CyanogenMod fans can now grab official CM cases for their smartphones.

The new accessories come from Cruzerlite and the CM team and are presented as the Official CyanogenMod cases for the latest Google phone out there. There are four different color options available for them, namely Black, Clear, Smoke, and Teal, so that users can personalize their experience with the Nexus 5 even more than before.

“Available in your choice of four colors, this design comes from community member Asher Simonds – who also made the Nexus Experience pattern wallpapers seen in CyanogenMod,” the CM team announced in a recent post on Google+. Those who order these cases now should receive them by the end of the week, the aforementioned post also announced. Buy links for each of the aforementioned color options are available in said post as well.

Official CyanogenMod cases for Nexus 5
on Google+

Sony to Launch D650X (D6503) and D53XX (D5322 /D5303) Handsets in 2014

Next year, Sony Mobile is expected to bring to the market some appealing new devices running under Google’s Android operating system, and info on two models has emerged over on the Indonesian Postel website.

Apparently, there will be a new flagship smartphone from the company, one that will sport model number D650X (D6503), complemented by a mid-range device, which should feature model number D53XX (D5322 and D5303). As XperiaBlog notes, the D650X should be in line with the Xperia ZL in terms of specs and features, while the D530X would be launched in the same range as the Xperia SP.

What remains to be seen is when exactly these new devices will arrive on the market, and whether Sony will launch the aforementioned flagship in two flavors, as it did this year with the Xperia Z (C660X) and Xperia ZL (C650X).

Sony models numbers for 2014 emerge online
Image credits to Postel Indonesia

Jolla’s Sailfish OS Smartphone Now Available Across Europe

Today, Finnish startup Jolla announced the availability of its Sailfish OS-based phone in more countries around the world, as the device went available through its online store for customers in Europe, starting with Switzerland and Norway.

The company has a new batch of Jolla smartphones up for grabs, claiming that those who order it now will receive their units in two to four weeks. The handset features a price tag of €399 ($546), contract-free, with VAT included, and runs under a beta version of the Sailfish OS. The company appears very happy with sales of the device so far, especially since it has had it available for pre-order twice and sold out all units both times. “Sales of Jolla smartphones are off to a great start and it is time to move on to the next phase by offering a new batch of Jolla smartphones to new customers across Europe,” says Tomi Pienimäki, CEO of Jolla.

Jolla has also confirmed that users who pre-ordered the handset before its official release will be receiving their units before Christmas. Newly placed orders will start shipping only in early January 2014. “After solving some technical logistics issues all the shipments to pre-order customers in the EU will be shipped by Christmas. We want to thank all of our valued customers for their great support and patience to make this happen,” Pienimäki also said. In addition to announcing the expanded availability of the smartphone, Jolla unveiled plans to allow users to get involved in the development process. Thus, the company has launched a new portal at together.jolla.com, so that customers could discuss and vote features that should be added to the company’s platform. There, they can also report issues and submit ideas.

“We launched Jolla with Sailfish OS Beta to put the product in the hands of real customers as soon as possible. We have received a lot of valuable feedback, for example, regarding power management and most wanted features, and we are reacting quickly,” Pienimäki also said. “We have already released two updates for the OS and are expecting to rapidly improve the capabilities with frequent over the air updates.” Those who would like to purchase the Jolla phone should head over to shop.jolla.com for that. Additional details on the smartphone and the mobile operating system are available there as well.

Jolla's phone now available in more markets
Image credits to Jolla

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