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Jan 14, 2013

ZTE P897A10 is First Quad-Core Phone Powered by Qualcomm 800 MSM8974 CPU

Qualcomm announced last week at Consumer Electronics Show 2013 its next-generation chipset aimed at smartphones and tablets, the Snapdragon 800 MSM8974.

According to the company, this chipset will be embedded in upcoming devices that will be announced in the coming weeks. Related to this, the folks over at GizmoChina report that the ZTE P897A10 will be among the first smartphones powered by a Qualcomm 800 MSM8974 Snapdragon CPU. The new chipset is said to be 75% faster than Snapdragon S4 Pro and is said to be able to accommodate a quad-core CPU clocked at 2.3 GHz and an Adreno 330 graphics processing unit.

Showcased at CES 2013, ZTE P897A10 will be equipped with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory and LTE support. In addition, the phone will boast a hyper-vibrant 5.7-inch HD (720p) display and will be powered by Android 4.1 Jelly Bean platform.

ZTE P897A10
Image credits to GizmoChina

XiaoMi Phone 2 Coming to China Telecom Late January

XiaoMi Phone 2 is among the most popular Android smartphones available in China. Every time the manufacturer released a new batch of devices, it was sold out in a matter of minutes.

The last time XiaoMi Phone 2 was up for purchase, the Chinese company sold its entire stock of 150,000 units in about 2 minutes. It looks like XiaoMi’s success with this device has been noticed by major carriers in the Mainland. Thus, GSM Insider reports that XiaoMi Phone 2 is now slated for a late January release at China Telecom. Although there are no details on the phone’s pricing options, we know that the device will pack the same features as the unlocked version.

XiaoMi Phone 2 is equipped with a 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and 2GB of RAM. Furthermore, the smartphone boasts an impressive 8-megapixel rear camera and comes with support for GSM/CDMA2000/1X EV-DO bands.

XiaoMi Phone 2
Image credits to XiaoMi

Alleged Photos of XiaoMi Mi3

Xiaomi has been long rumored to plan the launch of a new device in its MI series, and what appear to be the first leaked photos of the device are now available online.

Dubbed Mi3, the handset will build on the success that XiaoMi Phone 2 has registered so far, but will push for more as it will pack top-of-the-line hardware inside. The smartphone is said to land on shelves with a 5-inch touchscreen display capable of full HD resolution, as well as with a quad-core processor inside (an Nvidia Tegra 4 chip). The phone is also said to include a 12-megapixel camera on the back, along with LTE connectivity inside.

For the time being, there’s no telling on whether the images attached to this post (available courtesy of talkphone.cn, via gizchina) are indeed the real deal or not, so we’ll take them with a grain of salt.

Alleged XiaoMi Mi3 photos
Image credits to talkphone.cn via gizchina

RIM Gives Away 30 BlackBerry 10 Devices via New Twitter Contest

Canadian mobile phone maker Research In Motion is gearing up for the launch of its BlackBerry 10 operating system, and it is trying to attract as many users as possible to it, right from the start.

For that, the company kicked off a new contest through its Twitter account, announcing users that they could win one of the 30 BlackBerry 10 devices it has to offer. BlackBerry 10 will be officially launched on January 30 during an event that will also take the wraps off the first smartphones that will run under the platform. These devices are now on pre-order in Canada, where they have already registered great demand through wireless carriers in the country, and where they might land before the end of February. However, it seems that RIM is trying to increase the buzz around its new platform, and the aforementioned contest over the micro-blogging website should help a lot.

“To enter, follow @BlackBerry on Twitter (http://twitter.com/blackberry). During the Contest Period, tweet @BlackBerry a ten (10) word story telling us what you are most excited about for BlackBerry 10, and include the hashtag #BlackBerry10TO (an ‘Entry’),” RIM explains on its website. RIM also says that users are limited to only 10 entries per account / person, and that the entries have to be tweeted by the users themselves to be eligible. A panel of qualified Sponsor-selected judges (“Judges”) will evaluate each entry and will decide which are the 30 entries eligible for receiving the prizes.

“There are thirty (30) prizes available to be won (each a ‘Prize’). Each Prize consists of one (1) BlackBerry 10 smartphone, one (1) smartphone case and an invitation for the winner and two (2) guests to the #BlackBerry10TO Fan Event which will take place in Toronto, Ontario Canada on or around January 30, 2013 (‘Event’),” RIM explains. “Actual date will be confirmed by Sponsor prior to the event. Approximate retail value of prize pack up to $1000 USD.”

RIM will inform all eligible entrants via Twitter direct messages between January 23, 2013 and January 28, 2013. All the necessary details on the contest can be found on the aforementioned page on the company’s website.

30 BlackBerry 10 smartphones up for grabs in new contest from RIM
Image credits to RIM

Nexus 4 Running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean [Video]

We reported last week that Google was shipping the Nexus 4 with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system out of the box, and now we have more details that confirm the information.

Nexus 4 was spotted in Brazil and Malaysia running Android 4.2.2, but the smartphones were reportedly purchased from other countries as Google has yet to offer the smartphone in some of the regions mentioned earlier. SmartmaniaCZ has just published a hands-on video that shows the Nexus 4 running Android 4.2.2. Unfortunately, there are no additional details on the changes it brings and there’s nothing shown in the video that might shed some light on this update.

However, we expect Google to go official with this version of Android in the coming weeks and provide more details on what’s under the hood. Stay tuned for more info on the matter.

LG/Google Nexus 4: Hardwarová prohlídka, první dojmy a představení. Jakmile budeme mít telefon k dispozici na delší domu, můžete se těšit na plnohodnotný videopohled a textovou recenzi.
Video credits to smartmaniaCZ

Learn Windows 8 OS with This Free App

Windows 8 has always been deemed too difficult to use for some people, but there are plenty of free resources out there to assist beginners in exploring the new operating system.

In case you’re already running Windows, here’s an app that does that at absolutely no cost. Called “Touch Here: Learn Windows 8,” the program presents you the key Windows 8 gestures with simple animations that showcase each of them. You can learn about app bars, the charms bar, tiles, the Start Screen and portrait views, all without leaving the Modern UI of your Windows 8 computer.

The app is partially designed by the Microsoft UK team and comes with no ads, even though it’s available completely for free. Click here to view the “Touch Here: Learn Windows 8” product page in your browser.

The app is partially created by the Microsoft UK team
Image credits to Windows Store

BlackBerry 10 Native Twitter and Google Talk Apps

With less than three weeks left until the official BlackBerry 10 announcement, Research In Motion (RIM) confirmed 15,000 apps for the new operating system have been submitted in less than two days.

At least two of these native apps for BlackBerry 10, Twitter and Google Talk have been recently caught on camera and will be available for download via BlackBerry World. The folks over at BB10Believe have just published a set of screenshots taken off Twitter and Google Talk native apps for BlackBerry 10. The applications have been slightly redesigned to offer a smoother user experience and improved performance.

Neither of these apps is browser-based so RIM fans who are anxiously waiting for the first BlackBerry 10 devices to come out are likely to enjoy these even more. For more screenshots, check out the original thread.

Twitter for BlackBerry 10
Image credits to BB10Believe

World's First Lumpy Tablet [Video]

We actually saw the idea of a screen capable of changing the texture of its surface many months ago, but CES 2013 was the site where the first practical application of the concept appeared.

It wasn't even owed to some high-profile company. Instead, an IT player from California, rather fittingly called Tactus, has revealed a tablet that gets “lumpy” when the on-screen keyboard is launched. The goal is to make the screen feel rather like a real keyboard. Tablets have been criticized for lack of tactile feedback, which is why most of them sell with keyboard cases and/or docks.

Tactus' technology is called “Tactus Morphing Tactile.” The company hopes Sony, Motorola, Samsung and other tablet makers will adopt it. Needless to say, the feature can be useful and convenient, but there are some questions that still need to be answered. The most important is how durable the Tactus screens are. Growing lumps every time the OSK is initialized can't be done without some wear. Sure enough, no one has gone into any details on this.

Tactus lumpy camera
Image credits to The Inquisitor
Video credits to Tactus Technology Inc.

Photo Allegedly Taken with Samsung Galaxy S IV Emerges

Galaxy S III, Samsung Electronics’ current flagship Android-based smartphone, has been long rumored to see a successor in the first half of the year, and the device appears to have been just confirmed.

A photo that recently made it to Picasa, and which was taken with a device featuring model number SGH-N045, is said to come from the aforementioned device itself. Dubbed Galaxy S IV, the smartphone is reportedly set to land on shelves with better hardware than the Galaxy S III, and said photo appears to confirm this as well. The image, reportedly shot with Galaxy S IV SC-04E for Japan’s NTT DoCoMo, shows that the upcoming smartphone could sport a 10-megapixel camera on the back, if not a higher resolution one. Said photo is around 9.6 million pixels (4128 x 2322) in size, but this might not be the top resolution at which the device can shoot. Furthermore, the EXIF data attached to the photo shows that the device is running firmware JOP40D, which is said to be Android 4.1 Jelly Bean-based.

According to a recent post on Ameblo, there is a great chance that the smartphone will indeed arrive on shelves at NTT DoCoMo as Samsung’s next flagship device, since the model number fits this wireless carrier’s usual numbering and naming scheme. For the time being, however, we should take this info with a grain of salt, especially since Galaxy S IV hasn’t made an appearance at any certification forums out there.  Some of the previous rumors on Galaxy S IV suggested that it might sport a 5-inch or larger full HD touchscreen display, along with a next-gen quad-core CPU (if not the recently unveiled Exynos 5 Octa), wireless charging and other high-end specs, thus proving a worthy successor for the Galaxy S III, which has already sold 40 million units (in only 7 months of availability).

Photo allegedly taken with Galaxy S IV
Image credits to Picasa

Facebook Phone Could Become Official Tomorrow

Leading social networking company Facebook has been long said to plan the launch of a Facebook phone, and rumor has it that it might make an official announcement on the matter as soon as tomorrow.

The company will hold a press event on January 15 at its corporate headquarters in Menlo Park, CA, where it will show to the world “what they are building.” There’s no confirmation on the possible launch of said phone, nor are there any details available on the handset’s specs, but it wouldn’t come too much as a surprise if the social networking company actually announced such as device.

After all, Facebook sees more and more users accessing it through their mobile phones, and there were also a series of devices brought to shelves with dedicated Facebook buttons to meet the demand for fast access to the site.

Facebook might announce a phone tomorrow
Image credits to The Verge

Ubuntu Phone Components Ported to Blackberry 10 [Video]

Ubuntu Phone has just been announced by Canonical and there isn't even a testable version out, but it seems that it does have some things in common with Blackberry 10.

As pointed out by the guys at kodira.de, Ubuntu Phone relies on QT and QML, but Blackberry 10 provides support for numerous languages and even has a QML component kit. Getting Ubuntu Phone components to run under a Blackberry 10 environment is not that difficult and all it requires is a little patience.

The implications for this demonstrations are interesting, to say the least. Having two different operating systems share the same software, with very little input from the programmers is quite an achievement.  Because Ubuntu Phone can only be seen in the hands of Mark Shuttleworth & company, the only way to build and test applications for it is by using a PC. With this gimmick, it's now possible to test your work on a real device.

Ubuntu Phone Components on a Blackberry 10 device.
Full article is here: http://kodira.de/2013/01/ubuntu-phone-components-on-blackberry-10
Video credits to KodiraUG

Asus Ares 2 Dual-HD Radeon 7970 Card PCB

High-end customers, hardcore gamers and overclockers seem to suffer from a quiet, and in some cases not so quiet, fascination with each PC component, which is why we often find systems and hardware components being thoroughly picked apart.

On this momentous occasion, the Ares II Dual-GPU HD 7990 graphics card has become the latest object of scrutiny on the part of websites like VideoCardz. VideoCardz has posted a full image gallery, made of official press photos, but it also scored a few extra points by getting a render of the PCB as well. The printed circuit board is everything anyone could expect from the slab of plastic and metal that supports a pair of the strongest GPUs on the market right now. In fact, it might even be the most complex single-PCB dual-chip adapter, complete with the strongest VRM in history. Electronics designers and engineers have really come a long way from when this technology started to pick up steam in the eighties.

As seen in the photo, the card has a black PCB with digital PWM circuitry, so that each GPU has an 8-phase vGPU and 2-phase vMem. Each zone has its own voltage controller as well, though the source of their energy is the same: a trio of 8-pin inputs. That's right, this behemoth has three 8-pin PCI Express power inputs, even though normal graphics cards run on a single 6-pin plug. As for performance, the ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) Ares 2 dual-HD 7970 graphics adapter works the two GPUs at 1050 / 1100 MHz (Base/boost). The 6 GB of GDDR5 VRAM is provided by 24 Hynix memory chips, 12 on each side of the card (no clock was specified, sadly).

Finally, ASUS' new board has DVI-D, DVI-I and four DisplayPorts, without which there wouldn't be any Eyefinity 6 support.

ASUS Ares 2 Dual-HD Radeon 7970 Card
Images credits to VideoCardz

Huawei Ascend W2, Might be Thinnest Windows Phone 8 Handset

Chinese handset maker Huawei has already introduced its first Windows Phone 8 handset at Consumer Electronics Show 2013 (CES), the Ascend W1.

However, the company has even bigger plans for the Mobile World Congress 2013 (MWC) trade fair, which is set to take place on February 25-28, in Barcelona. it appears that Huawei is planning a new Windows Phone 8 device, other than the already rumored 6.1-inch phablet, which will be launched on the market later this year. Dubbed Huawei Ascend W2, the smartphone is expected to be officially introduced in late February at MWC 2013 trade fair. The information has been recently confirmed by Huawei’s Chairman, Yu Chengdon via Weibo (translated):

“The CES show, we released most of three global smartphone products, are: maximum screen Mate, the most powerful D2 and the best value the WP8 mobile phone W1 2 month Barcelona MWC Mobile World Congress will also release two most of the world’s smartphone products. Nobody can remember, can only remember the first one, we want the consumer to see, most of the world first from Huawei! Keep making progress, beyond!”

According to Chinese blog CNBeta, the smartphone is meant to compete with Nokia’s Lumia 920 smartphone, which is why we expect the Ascend W2 to be packed with high-end features. The latest hearsay claim the Huawei Ascend W2 will be powered by a dual core processor, probably clocked at 1.5 GHz, which will be complemented by 1GB of RAM. The smartphone will pack 16GB of internal memory and a 2800 mAh Li-Ion battery.

Huawei Ascend W2 will be the thinnest Windows Phone 8 handset at 7.7mm/0.27-inch and will boast a stunning 4.5-inch HD capacitive touchscreen display. It is also worth mentioning the smartphone will be available for purchase for only 3200 yuan outright, which is about $515/€385.

Huawei Ascend W2
Image credits to GSM Insider

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