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Jan 3, 2013

Samsung Sells 1 Million Galaxy Note II Units in South Korea

Major handset maker Samsung has recently announced that Galaxy Note II sales have exceeded 1 million units in South Korea only.

MK Business News reports that Samsung Galaxy Note II surpassed the one million units sold milestone a few days ago, which shows that the company does not suffer any setback from iPhone 5’s launch. The Galaxy Note II made its debut in South Korea three months ago and is said to have surpassed 5 million units sold worldwide.

That’s a pretty impressive number, especially given the fact that the previous Galaxy Note model reached the 10 million units sold milestone 10 months after its official release. In this regard, the Samsung Galaxy Note II is expected to top 10 million units sold worldwide in the next few months. Stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

Samsung Galaxy Note II
Image credits to Samsung

Samsung SHV-E300S Emerges in AnTuTu Benchmark Brings 1.8GHz Quad-Core CPU

South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung Electronics is expected to launch a new quad-core smartphone this year, one that has been spotted online as SHV-E300S.

The new mobile phone emerged on the AnTuTu Benchmark website with a quad-core CPU clocked in at 1.8GHz and with Google’s Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean loaded on it, as Ameblo.jp reports. The smartphone is also said to feature LTE / W-CDMA / GSM connectivity capabilities, and is expected to be released in South Korea via wireless carrier SK Telecom.

Furthermore, other versions of the device will be launched in the country as well through wireless carrier LG U+, with model number SHV-E300L in tow. Unfortunately, no other details on the hardware specs of this device have emerged so far, or on its official availability.

Samsung SHV-E300S spotted in AnTuTu Benchmark
Image credits to ameblo.jp

ZTE Preparing P945, Galaxy Note II Competitor with 5.7-Inch Display

Chinese handset maker ZTE recently announced its new Android flagship smartphone, the Nubia Z5. The smartphone boasts a stunning 5.0-inch capacitive touchscreen display that supports full HD (1080p) resolution.

Today, the folks over at evleaks have just published an image of an unannounced ZTE P945 smartphone that is said to pack an even larger 5.7-inch display. However, the P945's huge display “only” supports 720p resolution, unlike Nubia Z5's full HD (1080p) display.

Futhermore, the P945 will be powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor and will pack an 8-megapixel rear photo snapper, as well as a secondary 1-megapixel front facing camera for video calls. ZTE P945 will ship with a version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or above, and a high-capacity 3000 mAh Li-Ion battery. It will come on China Mobile on Q1/Q2 2013.

ZTE P945
Image credits to evleaks

AOKP with Android 4.2-Based Arrive on Nexus Devices

Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, the latest flavor of Google’s mobile operating system, has a lot of great features to offer, though many users are looking for personalization capabilities as well.

For them, custom ROMs are the solution, and some that are based on the new platform release are already available for download. The latest of them come from the Android Open Kang Project, better known as AOKP, and are available for the GSM Galaxy Nexus, Verizon’s flavor of the device, and for the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 WiFi.

Available as part of the MR1 release, these builds come with most of the customizations that AOKP is known for, though it seems that the new multi-user function in the platform is not fully supported as of now. While the next release might bring further enhancements in the next couple of weeks, the MR1 builds are up for grabs now.

Android 4.2-based AOKP builds arrive on Nexus phones
Image credits to Android Police

GameStick Official Specs Include Amlogic Processor, 1 GB of RAM

GameStick is a new gaming console project that’s seeking funding via Kickstarter and will give all those who own an HDTV a chance to play all the titles that use the Android Operating System.

The development team has also delivered the official specifications for the new console, which will include: an Amlogic 8726-MX processor, 1 GB of DDR3 RAM memory and 8 GB of Flash storage, a Wi-Fi chip that enables 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth. The controller, which is custom designed by the GameStick team, and gamers will also be able to connect a mouse and a keyboard to the new console.

The Jelly Bean version of Android will be supported at launch. The GameStick development team is close to the three quarter mark for their Kickstarter and has another 29 days to raise more money.

Stick capabilities
Image credits to GameStick

Nokia Codenamed Catwalk for Lumia 920 Successor with Aluminum Unibody

The Lumia 920 was launched on the market just a few months ago and Nokia is already planning to replace it with another flagship smartphone.

The folks at The Verge claim that sources close to Nokia revealed the Finnish company will launch a new Windows Phone 8 device that with replace Lumia 920's polycarbonate body with an aluminum construction. The new devices is codenamed Catwalk and will be launched on the market later this year, though more details on the release date are likely to emerge after Mobile World Congress 2013 trade fair, at the end of February.

Aside from the fact that it will be lighter and thinner than the Lumia 920, no other info on the Nokia Catwalk leaked, but we will keep an eye out for this one so stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

Nokia Lumia 920
Image credits to Nokia

BlackBerry 10 Handset (RFH121LW) Spotted at the FCC

January 30 will be a big day for Canadian mobile phone maker Research In Motion, as well as for all BlackBerry enthusiasts out there, since the company will make its new BlackBerry 10 operating system flavor official on that day.

The new OS will be accompanied by new handsets as well, some of which have already emerged online in a variety of leaks and rumors, and which have started to receive the necessary approvals for use around the world. One new BlackBerry 10 device was spotted a few days ago at the FCC with model number RFH121LW attached to it, but with no specific info on its hardware specifications and capabilities.

The device might be among those set to be unveiled at the end of January, though it remains to be seen whether it will be a full-touch or a QWERTY-enabled smartphone.

New BlackBerry 10 device at the FCC
Image credits to FCC via Engadget

Rumor: Nokia to Supposedly Sell Its Mobile Devices Division in 2013

Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia might soon cease to be one of the leading vendors on the market, should the latest predictions regarding its future pan out.

According to Forbes’ Tristan Louis, the company might be en route to sell its mobile devices division entirely. Undoubtedly, the company has had some rough quarters, but it has shown signs of growth lately, fueled by its recently launched Windows Phone 8 devices. The new smartphones were expected to turn the tide in Nokia’s favor, and allow it once again become the leader in mobile technology that it once was. However, Forbes’ Tristan Louis believes otherwise, suggesting that the company will actually depart completely from the mobile phone business before the end of this year. He suggests that the company will sell the mobile operation and infrastructure divisions to Chinese maker Huawei, and that the smartphone group will go to Microsoft in the end.

“The biggest shocker (and what I suspect will be my most controversial prediction), though, will be the departure of Nokia from the phone business as the company sells its mobile operation and infrastructure divisions to Huawei in order to focus on software and services,” Tristan Louis notes. “With the company’s bet on Windows 8 having failed in the marketplace, it will see Microsoft and Huawei competing for the mobile device division and will eventually sell its smartphone group to Microsoft and the rest of its telecom interests to Huawei.” Apparently, Nokia is facing fierce competition in all market segments, with companies such as Huawei and ZTE leaving it behind at the low end, and with Samsung and Apple leading the high-end smartphone market.

Thus, the company might have a harder-than-believed time regaining the lost ground, something that will eventually determine it to leave the mobile phone business altogether. However, this is only a supposition for the time being, and it remains to be seen whether it will indeed pan out or not.

Nokia Lumia 920
Image credits to Nokia

BlackBerry L-Series (Z10) [Verizon] Caught on Camera

The all-touch BlackBerry L-Series smartphone expected to be formerly announced on January 30 has just leaked with Verizon’s branding.

Live pictures showing RIM’s BlackBerry L-Series device, also known as BlackBerry Z10, emerged a few days ago, but this is the first photo of a carrier-bound version. According to BusinessInsider, the build quality of the Verizon BlackBerry Z10 is really nice and the back cover has been rubberized to offer a better grip on the phone.

The source of the leak included an iPhone 4S in the picture so we can have a better idea of what the Z10 will look like. BlackBerry Z10 and its QWERTY sibling, the X10, will be officially introduced at the end of the month with sales commencing a few days after. Stay tuned for more info on the subject.

BlackBerry Z10 Next to iPhone 4S
Image credits to BusinessInsider

BBM 7 with BBM Voice Now Arrives on BlackBerry OS 4.5 and OS 5 Devices

Last month, Research In Motion made available for download a new flavor of its BlackBerry Messenger, bringing a brand new feature to its BlackBerry 7 devices, namely BBM Voice.

The company has since updated the BBM 7 app to provide support for more devices, making it available for its BlackBerry OS 4.5 and OS 5 smartphones as well. The application comes with some other enhancements as well, including 16 New Emoticons and BlackBerry ID Integration, but the most appealing addition to the Messenger remains the BBM Voice feature.

The new flavor of the application is available for download through the official BlackBerry App World portal. Those of you who would like to learn more on how they can take advantage of voice chats in BBM 7 should have a look at our guide post on the matter.

BBM 7 with BBM Voice
Image credits to RIM

Nokia 10.1-Inch Windows RT Tablet Debuts This Quarter

As some may have heard before, Nokia has decided to be part of the new wave of Windows RT tablets. We now know for certain that such a device will be released at some point between now and the end of March 2013.

According to recent publications, such as the International Business Times, Nokia will launch a 10.1-inch Windows RT tablet this quarter. Details haven't been forthcoming, but it is clear enough that, at the very least, the device will have HDMI and USB support.

Given other recent slates, there is also a high enough chance that the native resolution of the display will be better than Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels). Nokia may or may not sell the slate through AT&T and other carriers. If nothing else, selling it with a data plan will allow it to set the price lower than usual.

Nokia logo
Image credits to Nokia

Nokia 808 PureView Receiving Maintenance Update, No Major Changes Included

Arguably one of the best camera phones available on the market, Nokia 808 PureView is now receiving a new software update.

According to PureviewClub, this is no small update at 420MB. Unfortunately, Nokia has yet to offer an official changelog that would highlight any new features and/or improvements included in the update. At first glance, nothing major has been added, reports from Nokia 808 PureView owners claim. It appears that the maintenance update brings only minor improvements and tweaks meant to enhance user’s overall experience.

It is also worth mentioning the update is pushed OTA in some countries, while in other regions is available via Nokia Suite only. Keep in mind that Nokia is rolling out this update for PureView 808 in stages, so it might not be available in all countries at the same time.

Nokia 808 PureView update
Image credits to PureviewClub

Intel Haswell Launch Set for Computex

With all the leaks and reports about Intel's next-generation central processing units, some people were nursing hopes that they would see at least a few of the chips in stores this quarter (Q1 2013). Newer information suggests such hopes are unfounded.

Truth be told, Intel never actually said it would release Haswell processors so early. The ETA (estimated time of arrival) was March-May. Now, though, a report from VR-Zone says that the release has been delayed. Either that, or all the rumors about a March launch were incorrect. Intel is now on a path that will conclude with the release of Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs between May 27 and June 7. This year's edition of Computex, taking place in Taipei, Taiwan, will be the stage. Retailers have been told to delay advertising the launch until June 2. On the mobile processor market, there will be three chipsets: Intel QM87, HM87 and HM86. Compatible with them are the Core i7-4930MX, i7-4900MQ, i7-4800MQ, i7-4702HQ, i7-4702MQ, i7-4700HQ, and i7-4700MQ, among others.

The list of desktop processors and chipsets is even longer. The Intel Z87 is the strongest motherboard platform (OC-ready), followed by H87, Q87, Q85, and B85. The Core i5 series is composed of the i5-4670K, i5-4670, i5-4670S, i5-4670T, i5-4570, i5-4570S, i5-4570T, i5-4430, and i5-4430S. The Core i7 CPU line includes Core i7-4770K flagship product, i7-4770, i7-4770S and i7-4770T. All desktop components rely on the LGA 1150 socket, just like Ivy Bridge (third-generation, 22nm) used LGA 1155. Between now and March, motherboard manufacturers are the only ones that might still leak information. Sources from the supply chain may provide some information as well. Until then, people interested in the CPU collection can go here and read everything published about them so far, and what unofficial sources let slip over the past few months.

Intel Haswell leaked information
Image credits to VR-Zone

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