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Jan 10, 2013

ST-Ericsson NovaThor L8580 Quad-Core Mobile CPU Announced

ST-Ericsson is yet another chip maker who brought to the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas a new processor designed for mobile devices, namely the NovaThor L8580.

Unveiled as a quad-core CPU, the new NovaThor L8580 is said to be the fastest mobile processor with LTE connectivity packed inside, while featuring far less power needs than similar products. Featuring four Cortex-A9 cores, the new chipset is said to be on par with Samsung’s Exynos 4 Quad series. The new ST-Ericsson processor can be clocked all the way up to 2.5 GHz, while featuring 0.6 V power consumption.

The CPU also features built-in PowerVR SGX544 graphics from Imagination Technologies, along with support for LTE FDD/TDD, HSPA+, TD-SCDMA, and EDGE connectivity. It also provides support for 1080p Full HD video recording and playback. The chip is expected to arrive on shelves in devices before the end of this year.

ST-Ericsson logo
Image credits to ST-Ericsson

No Offline Navigation for Nokia Maps 3.06 with Latest Map Data

Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia has confirmed an issue with its Nokia Maps 3.06 app on Symbian devices that also have the latest map data installed.

Released in December last year, the newest map data from Nokia (namely would cause Navigation in Nokia Maps to not launch when in offline mode. Furthermore, Nokia confirms that users are provided with the following error message: “Car navigation cannot start at this location.”

The company says that it is currently looking into the matter, and proposes a temporary fix for the issue. “The workaround is to set Maps in online mode, navigation will then start properly,” the company notes. Undoubtedly, an official fix will be delivered soon, yet the company hasn’t provided specific info on when that might happen for the time being.

Nokia Maps
Image credits to Nokia

An 8-Core Galaxy S IV Is Closer to Reality Now

South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung has been long rumored to bring to the market a successor to its Galaxy S III flagship device that would sport next-gen hardware specifications, but that handset seems now closer to becoming reality.

Dubbed Galaxy S IV, the smartphone was rumored to arrive on shelves with an 8-core processor packed inside, as well as with a flexible touchscreen display, specs that now seem very likely to make it inside such a device. At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Samsung unveiled to the world the rumored 8-core mobile processor, the Exynos 5 Octa, which might indeed power the Galaxy S IV, although nothing has been officially confirmed on this as of now. Destined specifically for high-end smartphones, the new chip can deliver far better performance capabilities when compared to the company’s previous-generation mobile processors (which packed only 4 cores), while also said to significantly reduce power consumption.

For the time being, Samsung did not unveil specific info on when the new processor would arrive on the market, nor on devices that are bound to feature it, but it’s safe to assume that the company will pack it inside one of its next-generation Galaxy handsets. Whether that phone will indeed be the aforementioned Galaxy S IV or not, it remains to be seen. The good news, however, is that such a phone is coming. As for the possible presence of a flexible screen on Samsung’s next flagship model, things don’t seem so farfetched either.

Samsung’s YOUM Flexible OLED panel, demoed at CES 2013 as well, is expected to enable a new generation of devices to be brought to the market. Samsung themselves loaded it on a prototype, having the screen stretching over the phone’s edge, enabling new functionality for users. Previous reports on Galaxy S IV also suggested that Samsung might be set to pack it with 2GB of RAM inside, a 5-inch display and a 13-megapixel photo snapper on the back, specs that are in line with what some of the latest smartphones out there already feature. 

Running under Google’s Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system, Samsung’s flagship device should be unveiled to the world in the first half of this year. According to previous reports, Samsung might have it ready for launch in March, while being set to make it official in April or May this year. Hopefully, the company will bring it to shelves sooner rather than later, but stay tuned to learn the news.

Alleged Samsung Galaxy S IV leaked photo
Image credits to SamMobile

Acer Plans Better “Retina-Class” Displays for Certain Laptops

Acer has done its best to change from a quantity-focused laptop maker to a quality-focused one, and it hasn't had much to brag about yet, but maybe 2013 will be the time of rebound for it.

At the very least, the purported plans for the notebook market, where Acer draws most of its revenue from, seem solid. Of course, things may still go sour, but there are only so many tactics one can take for promoting laptops. Since everyone, consumers and IT companies alike, seems to be gushing over displays with resolutions beyond Full HD, Acer decided to do the same. This year (2013), there should be quite a few special laptops equipped with “retina-class” screens. That is to say, displays with a native resolution of 2880 x 1620 pixels. Not exactly the same resolution as on Apple's MacBook Pro laptops, but close enough. For those that need that remark elaborated upon, Apple was the one that actually caused “Retina displays” to become a marketing term.

The MacBook Pro 15-inch has a screen of 2880 x 1800 pixels, while the Pro 13.3-inch has a 2560 x 1600 screen. PC World website is where all this information comes from. Acer, sadly, has chosen to withhold the list of laptops that will feature high-end panels. The number may even be larger than some would expect, since the LCDs can simply be added to all notebooks as a high-end option. Granted, Acer doesn't have many high-end products, having focused on low-end and mid-range electronics devices over the past decade. Nevertheless, as we said, the company has been changing its aims and, thus, a different tactic will be attempted this year.

On a related note, Acer may decide on “retina” panels when making monitors and all-in-one PCs as well. The 23-inch and 27-inch sizes would do well with the resolution.

Select Acer laptops getting Retina displays
Image credits to Acer

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