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Jan 15, 2013

Oppo Find 5 Pre-Order Starts Today in China, to Arrives on January 29

Starting January 15, mobile phone users in China have the possibility to place pre-orders for the Oppo Find 5 smartphone, while expecting to receive their devices two weeks later, on January 29.

 The mobile phone is up for reservations with 16GB of internal memory and with a price tag of 2,998 Yuan ($482 / €361) attached to it. The handset will be launched in a 32GB flavor as well, though Oppo hasn’t provided specific info on its pricing for the time being. For those out of the loop, we should note that Oppo Find 5 was launched with a 5-inch 1080p touchscreen display and with a quad-core processor packed inside.

Although only users in China can now make plans for this phone’s purchase, people in North America, Europe and other markets should expect the same for the not too distant future.

Oppo Find 5
Image credits to Oppo

DoCoMo N-04E at Bluetooth SIG (NEC Casio KMP7R4H1-4A) Receives Bluetooth Certification

A new Android-based smartphone has been spotted at the Bluetooth SIG recently, supposedly en route to Japanese wireless carrier NTT DoCoMo, namely the NEC CASIO KMP7R4H1-4A.

The device is expected to land in Japan with model number N-04E attached to it, while running under Android 4.1 Jelly Bean in a clamshell form factor. Furthermore, the handset is said to pack a quad-core Qualcomm APQ8064 Snapdragon processor inside, clocked in at 1.5GHz, while featuring a screen capable of a 720p resolution.

The new device is also said to arrive on the market with LTE connectivity inside, while featuring Bluetooth 4.0 capabilities. No official info on the new smartphone has been provided so far, but it might be part of NTT DoCoMo’s spring lineup, Ameblo notes.

docomo N-04E at Bluetooth SIG
Image credits to Bluetooth SIG

Lenovo IdeaPhone K900 Promo Video

At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Lenovo and Intel unveiled to the world the first smartphone to feature a Clover Trail+ processor inside, the IdeaPhone K900, which can be admired in the video promo embedded above.

The handset was announced with a 5.5-inch touchscreen display capable of delivering a full HD resolution, as well as with a 13-megapixel photo snapper on the back. The new processor is paired with 2GB of RAM, which should ensure increased performance capabilities, as well as with 16GB of internal memory.

The device is impressive in many respects, since it comes with a 6.9 mm thin body, Gorilla Glass 2 coating, front camera for video calling, and Google’s Android Jelly Bean OS loaded on top. Lenovo announced that the new device would land on shelves in China in April, dressed up in Copper, Silver, and Grey.

Gorgeous 13MP camera, stunning 5.5" full HD display, next-generation Intel Atom processor in a slim 6.9mm profile. Our IdeaPhone K900 lets you connect, explore, do. Learn more: http://www.lenovo.com
Video credits to LenovoVision

Microsoft Fresh Paint for Windows 8 Updated, Available to Download for Free

A new version of the popular Fresh Paint application for Windows 8 is now available for download, bringing a number of bug fixes that are supposed to contribute to a smoother overall experience.

According to the official release notes, the upgraded version of Fresh Paint includes undisclosed bug fixes and localization updates. The app continues to work flawlessly on all Windows versions, including x86, x64 and ARM builds, but the best results are obviously provided on touchscreen devices.

“Fresh Paint will help you unleash your inner creativity. We believe that brilliant, creative ideas can come from anyone, anytime. It’s time to set your creativity free,” Microsoft says in the official description of the application published in the Windows Store. Click here to view the official product page of Fresh Paint in your browser.

Microsoft Fresh Paint is available with a freeware license
Image credits to Windows Store

BlackBerry 10 Native Clock Screenshots

Research In Motion’s upcoming BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system is set to be officially unveiled to the world on January 30, the same day when the first devices powered by it will be announced.

Before that, however, we can learn more on what the new OS will have to offer in terms of user interface, courtesy of a series of leaked screenshots with the platform. The latest of these enable us to have a closer look at the native clock that RIM will pack inside BlackBerry 10, and which will include world clocks, stopwatch, timer and alarm.

The screenshots arrive courtesy of bb10believe, showing that it will be very easy for users to set the alarm, switch between functions, enter the Bedside Mode and do more with the new native app.

BlackBerry 10 Native Clock
Images credits to bb10believe

Windows 8 Secure Boot Makes Acronis True Image Useless

Another day, another Windows 8 issue. This time, it appears that Microsoft’s latest operating system is blocking Linux-based recovery environments, including Acronis’ very popular True Image software.

Consumers who try to boot from a recovery image are blocked by Microsoft’s anti-rootkit option and provided with an error that says, “Selected boot image did not authenticate. Press ‘Enter’ to continue.”  According to PCPro, Acronis has already submitted an answer to one of the affected users, saying that it’s all because of Windows’s Secure Boot and disabling this option is the only way to make True Image work.

But another problem is that Acronis True Image is marked as Windows 8-compatible on the official website of the company, with customers allowed to spend as much as $49.99 (€37.2) for a software that doesn’t work very well on Microsoft’s new operating system. “True Image 2013 is compatible with Windows 8. Just like with all the other versions down to XP,” the website reads. Official comments from either Microsoft or Acronis are yet to be released at the time of writing this article.

Acronis says its software is Windows 8-compatible
Image credits to Acronis

Facebook Search Engine, Wants to Make Google Obsolete

Facebook has made its big announcement and no, it's not a phone, but it is something that's been rumored almost as much, a Facebook search engine. Unlike the phone, Facebook did actually say that search is on the horizon.

It's not a true Google competitor, at least that's what Facebook's saying, but it is a big move nonetheless. The Graph Search is in beta and it's incomplete. But what is there is enough to give you an idea of what Facebook is going for. Unlike web search, i.e. Google, Graph Search scours data available to Facebook, likes, activity, posts, apps that use the open graph and so on.

Not all of this data is available now, but that's the goal. You also don't use Graph Search like a web search engine, rather you ask it questions in natural language and Facebook will provide answers, not links. The search engine is in private beta, you can join the waiting list but who knows how long it's going to take to get in.

Facebook Graph Search
Image credits to Facebook

Microsoft Invites Users to Test Office 2010 Service Pack 2

The Redmond-based technology firm Microsoft is making the final adjustments to the second service pack for Office 2010, so the company is now inviting a number of testers to give the update a shot.

Beta testers will be able to try both the Office 2010 Service Pack 2 and the SharePoint 2010 Service Pack 2 as Microsoft will most likely release the updates in the upcoming months. “Microsoft Connect enables you to connect directly with Microsoft developers, product managers, and other team members to help us make our products the best they can be and meet your needs,” the invitation reads according to WinBeta.org.

While details regarding the changes implemented in SP2 are yet to be disclosed, the new service pack comes approximately a year and half after the first major update was officially released. More information is very likely to be revealed as beta testers are added to the program, so we’ll keep you posted on this.

The second service pack could be released in the upcoming months
Image credits to Microsoft

DROID DNA Now Supported in Flash Image GUI

Verizon’s DROID DNA by HTC is a highly appealing smartphone, courtesy of its 5-inch full HD screen and the powerful processor inside, but it seems that it can prove even more appealing.

The handset has just received support in Flash Image GUI, an application that provides users with the possibility to easily flash kernels and recoveries on their devices, all without having to reboot to recovery.  The application can easily prove a great option for all those who like to install new ROMs on their devices often, although the risks involved in the process are not eliminated.

Those who would like to learn more on the app should head over to this thread on XDA-Developers. They should also keep in mind that backing up data on the phone before flashing new software could prove handy in case things go the wrong way.

Image credits to HTC

BlackBerry 10 Maps Screenshots

Research In Motion has confirmed that it will go official with the BlackBerry 10 operating system in late January. The Canadian company is also expected to launch at least one device powered by the upcoming platform, the Z10.

BlackBerry 10 OS has been recently demoed at Consumer Electronics Show 2013 (CES), in Las Vegas, though there are still a lot of things we don’t know about the new platform. Luckily, the folks over at CrackBerry have just published the first screenshots taken off BlackBerry 10’s built-in maps application.

These screenshots shed some light on some of BlackBerry 10’s localization features and raise the hype around the next-gen OS coming from RIM. As CrackBerry notes, the built-in maps application for BlackBerry 10 is likely to be complemented by another service that will offer turn-by-turn navigation, such as BlackBerry Navigator or Traffic.

BlackBerry 10 maps screenshots
Image credits to CrackBerry

nVIDIA Tegra 4 Embarrassed in Test Against Apple iPad

Little can cut the wind from the sales of a highly anticipated product like NVIDIA Tegra 4 system-on-a-chip, but someone from GLBenchmark managed it, just by pitting it against an Apple iPad.

The identity of the tester, or testers, was not disclosed, but the tests themselves did get published, so there must be some weight behind them. As such, as reluctant as some may be to believe the results, they may actually be valid: iPad's A6X SoC did better in Android 4.2.1 benchmarks. The Dalmore slate, one of only twp Tegra 4 evaluation boards (which only select developers have been able to get so far), was the one used in the session. Android 4.2.1 was run at 1920 x 1128 pixels at the maximum Tegra 4 clock of 1.8 GHz. The fourth-generation iPad and its A6X still beat it though, managing 49.6 fps on Egypt HD Offscreen running at 1080p, versus 32.6 fps. Obviously, Apple fans will be smug for a while, and no one can really say they don't have a reason for it.

Still, there are enough reasons for which this early comparison should not be taken into account too seriously. For one, the Dalmore is bound to be less than perfect. Tegra 4 is young and its performance, like that of any SoC, depends on the rest of the hardware in whatever device it lands. There is also the matter of drivers: NVIDIA cannot have finished the software for the chip, so Tegra 4 likely hasn't been optimized yet.  Once a test is made on a tablet or smartphone that is set to actually sell, meaningful comparative benchmark runs will be worth attempting.

On that note, someone must have expressed disapproval because GLBenchmark no longer has the results up, although they can still be found on Google cache, which we have linked to in the first paragraph.

NVIDIA Tegra 4 beaten by Apple A6X
Image credits to Chip Hell

BlackBerry Z10 Hardware and Software Video Demo

Although we've already had our share of BlackBerry Z10 leaks, one more will not hurt anyone. This time we have a comprehensive hardware and software demo that shows Z10’s capabilities.

The smartphone was demoed in Austria and the latest demo comes via Telekom Presse. The 7-minute video offers an in-depth overview of the most important features of the BlackBerry 10 OS, but also some interesting tidbits on the Z10’s hardware. However, given the fact that this is not the final version of the operating system, we can expect Research In Motion (RIM) to include other neat features that are not covered in this demo.

Even though RIM confirmed that it would take the wraps off its BlackBerry 10 OS on January 30, the Canadian company did not mention when exactly the first devices powered by the upcoming platform would go on sale.

Video credits to TelekomPresse

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