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Jan 9, 2013

Samsung Shows Exynos 5 Octa CPU and Flexible Display for Handsets and Tablets

South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung Electronics appears ready to make the next step in the evolution of smartphones, and came to the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas with new technology in its pocket, set to show that this is indeed possible.

During the company’s keynote at the event, Samsung’s Dr. Stephen Woo took to the stage to announce the Exynos 5 Octa processor for mobile devices, which packs no less than 8 cores. This next-generation processor for mobiles sports four Cortex-A7 cores and four Cortex-A15 cores, while being based on ARM’s big.LITTLE technology, thus using the Cortex-A15 for high-performance needs, and the Cortex-A7 for lighter tasks.

According to Samsung, the SoC can deliver twice the performance of quad-core Exynos CPUs, while using 70 percent less power. More on the new chip can be found in the video above, starting with the 12:34 mark.

Samsung introduced its Exynos 5 Octa, Green Memory Solution, Flexible OLED and Green LCD at CES 2013. This is the keynote speech of CES 2013 with the theme of 'Mobilizing Possibility' presented by Dr Stephen Woo, President of Device Solutions Business for Samsung Electronics. He talks on how Samsung's innovative components technology has been bringing future into present at CES 2013.

우남성 삼성전자 시스템LSI사업부 사장이 1월 9일(현지시각) 美 라스베가스에서 열린 CES 2013 기조연설에서 「가능성의 실현(Mobilizing Possibility)」이라는 비전을 공개하고 새로운 모바일기기의 출현을 이끄는 원동력으로서 반도체 부품과 솔루션의 역할이 더욱 중요해질 것이라고 설명했다. 이 날 우남식 사장은 이러한 혁신이 시작될 수 있는 구체적인 분야로 △ 데이터 프로세싱 △ 저전력 메모리 △ 디스플레이 기술을 제시하며 'Exynos 5 Octa' 등 각 분야의 신제품을 소개했다.
Video credits to SamsungTomorrow

Windows RT Jailbreak Should Be Made a Feature

A few days ago, a security researcher discovered a way to bypass Microsoft’s restrictions in order to run unsigned applications on the tablet-oriented operating system Windows RT.

Even though it involves quite a complex procedure, the hack is very likely to spawn easier to use applications that would allow all Windows RT users to jailbreak their devices with minimum effort. TechNewsWorld has talked to C.L. Roker, the security researcher who found the flaw and who said that this hack didn’t create any security risk for users’ systems. “It cannot at this point be exploited without the user actually wanting it, so it's not dangerous,” researcher C.L. Roker told TechNewsWorld. In addition, Roker notes that users are continuously looking into ways to run Win32 software on Windows RT, so this jailbreak should be made a feature of the tablet operating system. “Windows RT needs the Win32 ecosystem to strengthen its position as a productivity tool,” he said.

Microsoft has already confirmed the exploit, but it confirmed that it didn’t represent a security threat for Windows RT users. What’s more, the company applauded the security researchers behind the project, but hinted that a patch to block their exploit may be released in the future. “The scenario outlined is not a security vulnerability and does not pose a threat to Windows RT users. The mechanism described is not something the average user could, or reasonably would, leverage, as it requires local access to a system, local administration rights and a debugger in order to work,” a Microsoft spokesperson told us in a mailed statement.

“We applaud the ingenuity of the folks who worked this out and the hard work they did to document it. We’ll not guarantee these approaches will be there in future releases.” Of course, the jailbreak community has already started work on several projects based on this exploit, so multiple applications have been ported to run on Windows RT.

The Surface RT is one of the devices running Windows RT
Image credits to Microsoft

Windows Phone 7.8 Coming “in a Few Days”, Confirmed by Nokia Italy

Here is a little update for Windows Phone 7.8 release which is expected to happen this month. After Nokia Spain tweeted the upgrade will be available in January, Nokia Italy took it further and confirmed Windows Phone 7.8 is only a few days away.

Italian blog Plaffo reports the Finnish company replied to a Lumia 900 owner asking about Windows Phone 7.8’s availability by saying it will be released “in a few days.” Nokia already pulled Windows Phone 7.8 from its firmware repository, also known as NaviFirm, so those who wish to upgrade via this method will not be able to do so anymore.

The reasons behind Nokia’s decision are unclear for the moment, but given the fact the update will be live in just a few days it doesn’t matter anymore. Stay tuned for more info on the subject.

Nokia Lumia 900
Image credits to Nokia

Nokia Lumia 620 Now Available in Hong Kong for $295/€227

The budget-friendly Nokia Lumia 620 is expected to arrive in Europe this month, but the smartphone has already been launched in some Asian countries.

We reported a few days ago the Lumia 620 is available for purchase in China for $320/€240, and now it appears that that the device has been released in Hong Kong as well. However, GSM Insider reports Nokia Lumia 620 is slightly cheaper in Hong Kong, as the phone has been priced at HKD $2300 outright, which is about $295 or €227. The smartphone comes equipped with a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor clocked 1 GHz, 512MB of RAM, 8GB of internal memory, as well as microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 64GB).

The Lumia 620 also sports a 3.8-inch ClearBlack display with 480 x 800 pixels resolution and a 5-megapixel rear camera with autofocus, LED flash and HD (720p) video recording.

Nokia Lumia 620
Image credits to Nokia

BlackBerry 10 Devices Released at All Price Points, RIM CMO Says

Research In Motion’s BlackBerry 10 smartphones, set to become official starting with January 30 this year, should cover all price points, the company’s CMO Frank Boulben confirmed.

For the time being, the company hasn’t provided specific info on the handsets running under the new operating system, but Boulben said that there would be six of them set to hit shelves before the end of this year. On January 30, RIM is expected to unveil full-touch BlackBerry 10 smartphones, while set to announce QWERTY-enabled smartphones soon after.

Boulben also said that over 150 wireless carriers all around the world are already testing the new BlackBerry 10 smartphones, but did not provide further details on the matter. RIM’s upcoming BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry X10 smartphones have already emerged online in leaked photos, but the company has yet to officially confirm details on them.

Leaked photo of RIM BlackBerry 10 devices
Image credits to 4chan via CrackBerry

Samsung Galaxy S III Mini Now Official in Black, Brown, Grey and Red Color Options

Samsung silently released four new color options for the Galaxy S III mini. These new color schemes have been tipped for quite some time now, so they’re not a surprise at all.

Android enthusiasts who wish to purchase the Samsung Galaxy S III mini will be able to choose from no less than six colors, Pebble Blue, Ceramic White, Titan Gray, Amber Brown, Garnet Red and Onyx Black. Keep in mind that the last four colors have been recently introduced and should be available in most markets where the Galaxy S III mini is launched.

For those unfamiliar with the smartphone, the Galaxy S III mini packs a 1 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal memory. It also sports a 4-inch Super AMOLED display and runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean platform.

Black, brown, grey and red Galaxy S III mini
Image credits to Samsung

TP-Link TL-WA3164EA/N600 Universal Wireless Dual Band Entertainment Adapter

While TP-Link's Pocket Router is ready to tackle the needs of people on-the-go, the company has launched a different device for the homes of the well-off.

We are referring to a dual-band wireless router called N600 Universal Wireless Dual Band Entertainment Adapter. With the codename TL-WA3164EA, it has four ports, 300 Mbps data transfers over the 2.4 GHz band, and an extra 300 Mbps over 5 GHz. Not exactly as fast as top-tier models, which work at 450 Mbps over 5 GHz (and, thus, have a total of 750 Mbps), but still quite a lot.

In fact, the router should be enough for all Wi-Fi-enabled devices in a home, be they PCs, phones, tablets or TVs. The four Gigabit LAN ports will make sure there is enough bandwidth for everything. TP-Link will start selling the N600 in the second quarter of 2013, for an unknown price.

TP-Link TL-WA3164EA/N600 Universal Wireless Dual Band Entertainment Adapter
Image credits to TP-Link

MSI X79A-GD45 Motherboard Series

Since EVGA and ASUS have both released E-ATX motherboards with LGA 2011 sockets, Micro-Star International has done so as well.

The LGA 2011 socket is the one reserved for Intel's mightiest CPUs, the Ivy Bridge-E (which won't be out for months) and the Sandy Bridge-E (which are already out). MSI's motherboard is called X79A-GD45 Gaming and has 8 DDR3 memory slots, six PCI Express slots (one mini, five full) and all the overclocking features people can think of. MSI also decided on a black and gray color scheme, with die-case MOSFET covers and heatsinks for the chipset.

Sadly, Micro-Star International did not give an ETA (estimated time of arrival) or a price. Then again, the mainboard is almost identical to the X79A-GD45 (8D), which suggests the sum of around $200-201 / 200-210 Euro.

MSI X79 motherboard
Image credits to TechPowerUp

Nano Tru SIM for iPhone 5 Supports Multiple Numbers, Worldwide Coverage

The folks at Truphone today announced the availability of their Nano Tru SIM for iPhone 5 and iPad minis with cellular capabilities. The hardware enables iDevice owners to roam free with multiple numbers and uninterrupted cellphone coverage worldwide.

 Now available in nano SIM format, the Nano Tru SIM enables millions of iPhone 5 and iPad mini users to “connect and communicate in and between more than 200 countries - without the pain of paying extraordinary high roaming fees while traveling abroad,” according to the people at Truphone. The company is currently demonstrating its new product at the CES 2013 convention in Las Vegas hoping to attract as many customers as possible. For owners of an older-generation iPhone or iPad, there are micro SIM and standard SIM sizes available. The developers are trying to capitalize on the increasing penetration of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies within enterprise environments. The Tru SIM supports multiple subscriber identities, which means customers gain the cool ability to use multiple international phone numbers on a single iPhone.

The company says subscribers have one voice and text mailbox, over-the-air updates, access to customer service 24/7, and will receive a single bill. Marc LeMaitre, US vice president of Technical Sales, says, “Smartphones and tablets are getting smaller, lighter and more powerful.” “Manufacturers are focusing on the device aesthetics and user interface and we’re focusing on keeping those device owners connected - wherever they are,” says LeMaitre. “To add more power and functionality, smartphone and tablet manufacturers need to conserve space by making the internal components smaller,” according to the Truphone sales guy.

“The nano SIM does this without sacrificing any of the storage and functionality. While not too many people understand what a SIM card is, it is the heart and soul of any GSM mobile device and why it was important to Truphone to get ahead of this upcoming trend,” he explains.

Truphone promo
Image credits to Truphone

BlackBerry Z10 Video Demo Feels Intuitive and Impressive

With just three weeks left until BlackBerry 10’s official launch, Research In Motion is testing its first devices with more than 150 carriers around the globe.

Some of them have already confirmed they will carry one or both BlackBerry 10 smartphones that will be announced on January 30, while others are still testing these handsets to see if they prove to be tempting enough for their customers. During Consumer Electronics Show 2013 (CES), in Las Vegas, Jeff Gadway, senior manager of BlackBerry Product Marketing, took the wrap off some of the best features of BlackBerry 10 operating system.

In a 5-minute demo for Forbes, Gadway highlights the main advantages of the BlackBerry Hub, Peek and Flow technology and virtual keyboard. In fact, RIM claims BlackBerry 10 provides the best keyboard on glass experience thanks to the technology integrated. Check out the video above and stay tuned for more of these demos (hopefully).

At CES 2013, RIM's Jeff Gadway shows off the new features of a phone that could decide BlackBerry's fortunes in the cutthroat smartphone wars.
Video credits to forbes

TP-LINK TL-WR810N Pocket Router

Routers are box-like devices, with varying aesthetic value, that use antennas to provide web connectivity by exploiting the principles of electromagnetism.

They are, sadly, also a bit complicated to install, and they aren't always easy to take along on a trip. TP-LINK decided to make a router specially designed for travelers: the 300 Mbps TL-WR810N. Basically, it is a small device that gets plugged into a power socket and voila, instant Wi-Fi for everyone. It can even work in AP mode (access point) and has two 100 Mbps Ethernet ports.

A USB port is included as well, for device recharging. TP-Link will ship the TL-WR810N from the second quarter onward (Q2 2013) at an unspecified price. Security is ensured by pre-encryption (users from outside the network will always be denied access).

TP-LINK TL-WR810N router
Image credits to TP-Link

BlackBerry Z10 for Verizon Wireless Pictured

Research In Motion (RIM) bet big on its upcoming BlackBerry 10 smartphones, the Z10 and X10. Also known as L-Series and N-Series, both devices will be unveiled at the end of the month, along with the new BlackBerry 10 operating system.

Several Canadian carriers have already opened up pre-registrations for BlackBerry 10 devices, which are expected to go on sale a few days after their official launch. Verizon and AT&T will both carry BlackBerry 10 smartphones and this has been confirmed recently by some leaked pictures of operator-branded devices.

The folks over at NerdBerry have just published a few more pics showing the BlackBerry Z10 smartphone for Verizon Wireless. Although this is a dummy unit, at least it’s proof that the Big Red will offer the Z10 soon after it goes official. Stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

BlackBerry Z10 for Verizon Wireless
Images credits to NerdBerry

ASUS Ares II Dual-GPU HD 7990 Graphics Card

Advanced Micro Devices never actually released a Radeon HD 7990 video card, but that hasn't stopped its OEMs from launching dual-GPU boards independently. ASUS has just released the latest such card.

ASUS appears undaunted by the fact that the Sea Islands series have essentially been formally introduced by Advanced Micro Devices and, thus, the Radeon HD 8000 graphics card series is almost upon us. The company went ahead and introduced the Ares II video board, equipped with two Pitcairn graphics processing units. Since AMD never introduced a Radeon HD 7990, even though it did launch a Radeon HD 6990 a while ago, the HD 7990 doesn't actually exist as a brand. As such, ASUS has named the Ares II a dual-HD 7970 (HD 7970 is the most powerful single-GPU adapter in AMD's lineup at this time). Ares II has 6 GB of GDDR5 VRAM memory, a 20-phase VRM, a dual-slot water cooler (120 mm radiator, two fans in a push-pull configuration).

The model on display at CES 2013 (Consumer Electronics Show), in Las Vegas, Nevada reveals four full-size DisplayPort as well, plus two DVI-D connectors. In other words, it is possible to set up a complete six-monitor Eyefinity multi-display gaming and film theater with this board alone. As for clock speeds, the GPUs run at 1,100 MHz and the memory at 1650 MHz (6.6 GHz effective). ASUS intends to start selling the Ares II dual-HD 7970 video adapter soon, but the price won't be doing it any favors: $1,500 / 1,147-1,500 Euro, three times as much as a single HD 7970 board.

The company is well aware of this, which is why it will only do a limited run (1000 units will be made, each with a serial number). We can only wonder what six special screens, like Samsung's new curved OLED TVs, would look like in Eyefinity 6 mode.

ASUS Ares II Dual-GPU HD 7990 Graphics Card
Image credits to SlashGear

ASUS Ares II Dual-GPU HD 7990 Graphics Card
Image credits to ASUS

Lenovo IdeaPhone K900 5.5’’

Chinese mobile phone maker Lenovo has made official at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas a new handset powered by an Intel processor, namely the IdeaPhone K900.

The new device sports the new Clover Trail+ processor from Intel, which features two cores clocked in at 2GHz each. Furthermore, it will arrive on shelves with a 5.5-inch touchscreen display that can deliver a 1080p full HD resolution, making it one of the largest smartphones in the world. Lenovo also packed the new handset with a 13-megapixel photo snapper on the back, with dual flash and full HD video recording capabilities, as well as with a front camera that sports an 88-degree super wide viewing angle. The new IdeaPhone K900 comes with 2GB of RAM inside, as well as with 16GB of internal memory, which is complemented by a microSD memory card slot for storage expansion purposes. With Gorilla Glass 2 coating on top of the screen, the new mobile phone is only 6.9 mm thin and sports an outer case made of stainless steel alloy and polycarbonate. IdeaPhone K900 runs under Google’s Android Jelly Bean.

“With the K900, our team has broken down the key functions of the smartphone and redesigned them from the ground up,” said Liu Jun, president, Mobile Internet Digital Home, and senior vice president, Lenovo. “Rather than focus on specifications that look good on a datasheet, we’ve zeroed in on what consumers want and proved that for smartphone users, top performance doesn’t require a thick profile. The K900 is a game-changer that looks as good as it performs.” Lenovo plans on selling the new handset in multiple color versions, including Copper, Silver, and Grey, and will bring it to shelves in China in April, with other markets to receive it soon after. Info on its pricing will be unveiled at a later date.

Lenovo IdeaPhone K900
Images credits to Lenovo

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