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Jan 16, 2013

Oppo Finder 3 Price Cut Ahead of Find 5 Launch

Chinese mobile phone maker Oppo is getting ready for the launch of its 5-inch Oppo Find 5 smartphone, and appears set to clear up inventories of older devices to make room for the new handset.

To be more precise, the company is said to have cut the price tag of its Oppo Finder 3, which was launched in mid-2012 as the thinnest smartphone in the world at the time. The mobile phone is now priced at only 2,261 Yuan ($363 / €273), and remains one of the most appealing Android handsets available for purchase in China at the moment.

The smartphone was launched with a 4.3-inch touchscreen display, a dual-core Qualcomm MSM8260 processor inside, 1GB of RAM, and an 8-megapixel photo snapper on the back, capable of full HD video recording.

Oppo Finder 3
Image credits to Oppo

ZTE Nubia Z5 Now Official in China, Priced at $555/€420

Chinese handset maker ZTE officially unveiled its Nubia Z5 flagship smartphone back in December and promised that the handset would go on sale this month.

GizmoChina reports that the ZTE Nubia Z5 has just hit shelves in China for 3456 yuan outright, which is about $555 or €420. Those who want something a bit more special and have the wallet for it, may want to take into consideration the titanium version, which is priced at 7890 yuan ($1270/€955). ZTE Nubia Z5 is aimed at the Chinese market, so don’t expect this one outside Mainland. The smartphone ships with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean operating system out of the box and packs a 1.5 GHz quad-core processor.

Furthermore, the device boasts an incredible 5-inch full HD (1080p) capacitive touchscreen display, as well as 2GB of RAM, 32GB of ROM and 13-megapixel rear camera.

ZTE Nubia Z5
Image credits to ZTE

Facebook Free Voice Calls for iPhones Users in the US

Facebook didn't have any mobile feature to announced at the big event yesterday, certainly not a phone, but it is working on voice calls and now it's making them available to all iPhone users in the US via its Messenger app. Facebook was already testing VoIP calls with some users, so this isn't much of a surprise.

But it is a rather big move, one that could prove powerful if Facebook manages to double down on this. Messenger is quickly becoming a capable app with a focus on communication, keeping it separate from the main Facebook app makes it possible to retain that focus while also piling on features. The voice feature only works inside the Messenger app and it's free. You do need a data connection to use it of course. While the iPhone app is the first to get it, you can expect Facebook to roll out voice calls, in the US at least, more widely soon enough.

Whether it will be able to take on the more established services, Skype and co., or not remains to be seen. On the one hand, one company can't do it all and do it well, on the other you've probably already got the biggest list of contacts on Facebook. With voice calls already underway, you can expect video calls to be coming too, to compete with Google+ Hangouts.

Facebook Messenger is getting more features
Image credits to Facebook

Windows 8 Non-Touch Guide, Download for Free from Microsoft

People are still calling Windows 8 a confusing operating system, even if the amount of helping resources available online is pretty overwhelming.

The Windows 8 Non-Touch Guide, for example, is an application available in the Store with a freeware license that presents users with the most important features of the new operating system. It’s a large collection of tutorials with screenshots and step-by-step instructions on how to make the most of the new tools implemented into Windows 8.

The app comprises a total of 14 topics, including the Start Screen, shortcuts, Charms and managing apps, as well as several videos to showcase some of these features at work. While the interface is fairly simple, it still needs to be improved a little bit to fully take advantage of the Modern UI. Click here to view the Windows 8 Non-Touch Guide product page in your browser.

The app is available in the Store for free
Image credits to Windows Store

Nokia UK Releases “Lumia in Action” Promo Videos

Mobile phone users interested in the purchase of a new smartphone should give Lumia handsets a try, Nokia UK suggests in a new series of promo videos published for its products.

The new clips provide users with a glimpse at some of the main features of the latest Lumia devices, while also showing how these smartphones can perform in real word. Featuring the tagline “in action,” these videos will bring to the spotlight the camera capabilities of Nokia’s Windows Phone 8-based Lumia handsets, as well as the music capabilities of these devices, or the features that Nokia City Lens has to offer.

Furthermore, users can learn more on how they can take full advantage of the live tiles that Windows Phone 8 sports, or of the business capabilities of these handsets. Additional info on Nokia Lumia 620, Lumia 820 and Lumia 920 can be found on Nokia’s website.

Videos credits to NokiaUK

HTC M7 Press Photo Leaks

Rumor has it that Taiwanese handset maker HTC plans to launch a new Android flagship smartphone, the M7.

The device is likely to be launched globally for around $600 / €450 outright, but we will know more about it in a month. Although the phone’s specs sheet leaked several weeks ago, no pictures of the device have been available until today. The guys over at evleaks have just published via UnwiredView the first press photo of the HTC M7. HTC M7 is expected to ship with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean onboard and a powerful 1.7 GHz quad-core processor inside.

Furthermore, the flagship handset is said to boast a hyper-vibrant 4.7-inch capacitive touchscreen display with full HD (1080p) resolution. It will also pack an impressive 13-megapixel rear camera, a 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera, 16GB/32GB/64GB of internal memory and 2300 mAh Li-Ion battery.

Image credits to evleaks

BlackBerry Theme Studio 7.1 Beta Leaks

In addition to working on the launch of its new BlackBerry 10 platform, Research In Motion is also pushing forth with the development of software for the older OS releases, although not at the same pace as it did before.

BlackBerry Theme Studio is an example in this regard, as the company has been working on the release of version 7.1 beta for quite some time now, but hasn’t made it available for download just yet. However, it seems that the BlackBerry Theme Studio 7.1 Beta has leaked online recently, and that people might be able to grab it, BlackBerryOS notes.

BlackBerry Theme creators will certainly want to give the new app flavor a try, though they should keep in mind that this is only a beta release (not to mention that it is a leaked one) and that it packs various bugs that could affect their experience.

BlackBerry Theme Studio 7.1 Beta
Images credits to BlackBerryOS

Full Specs of RIM BlackBerry 10 Touch Phones

Research In Motion’s first BlackBerry 10 devices are set to be officially unveiled on January 30, while expected to land on shelves soon after, but it seems that some of them might disappoint in terms of capabilities.

TechRadar reports that they managed to grab hold of documentation detailing the full specs of these devices, and note that the long-rumored BlackBerry 10 London smartphone will be released on shelves without 4G connectivity packed inside. The rest of RIM’s touch-enabled BlackBerry 10 devices, including the BlackBerry Laguna, BlackBerry Lisbon and BlackBerry Liverpool, will feature the connectivity.  Furthermore, the news site notes that the leaked documents they’ve seen unveiled that RIM’s BlackBerry L-Series was designed with a 4.2-inch 1280x768 HD display, as well as with 2GB of RAM inside, which falls in line with previous leaks on the matter. The handset vendor is also said to have packed 16GB of internal memory inside the L-series device (expected to arrive on shelves under the name of BlackBerry Z10), along with a 1,800mAh battery.

At the same time, the smartphone should feature an 8-megapixel photo snapper on the back, with LED flash, auto-focus and full HD video recording capabilities, as well as with a 2MP camera on the front, which should enable users to make video calls while on the go. The specs list of the device would also include the usual set of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and NFC connectivity, as well as 4G capabilities, though only on said models. The non-4G BlackBerry 10 model is said to land on shelves with 21Mbps HSPA+ connectivity packed inside. Apparently, these specs might not be those of the final hardware that RIM is set to unveil to the world on January 30, so we should take them with a grain of salt for the time being. However, they should draw a general idea regarding what to expect from the upcoming hardware.

BlackBerry 10 Specs
Images credits to TechRadar

Microsoft Free Poker Game for Windows 8

Microsoft has just announced that a new poker game would be released on Windows 8 platforms and would offer Xbox Live support to play with real competitors online.

World Series of Poker: Full House Pro will be distributed via the integrated Windows Store and will be available at no cost for all users, with a free stack of chips to be offered to each user every day. Thanks to Microsoft Play integration, the poker game will offer support for both Xbox 360 and Windows 8 platforms, so you can pause and resume the game on a different device at any time.

Single player games will also be available for those who wish to improve their skills before going online, with multiple gameplay modes at your disposal. The game will be released this spring, according to CVG, and is very likely to be released on Windows RT devices as well.

World Series of Poker: Full House Pro takes the Xbox LIVE Arcade hit Full House Poker
to a whole new level. Poker players can build their bankrolls as they compete against
opponents from around the world while personalizing their experience with flashy 
avatar accessories, amazing chip tricks, and real-world casinos.
Be sure to check out more about WSOP: FHP:
Video Credits to wwwPlayXBLAcom

NVIDIA: Tegra 4 Will Be Faster Than Apple iPad's A6X

We weren't the only ones surprised to learn about those strange benchmarks in which NVIDIA'a Tegra 4 got trounced by the processor inside the Apple iPad.

Needless to say, NVIDIA wasn't about to let that stand. The company was quick to speak up on the matter and promise that the Wayne SoC (system-on-chip) would easily overcome the A6X in Apple's device.  Sadly, no details have been provided concerning when the proof will be given, or how much better Tegra 4 will be.

AnandTech did some math though, and figured that the GPU, at least, would have 74.8 GFLOPS (billion FLoating-point Operations Per Second) top performance, which is more than the 71.6 GFLOPS of the A6X's PowerVR SGX 554MP4. The advantage should apply to both 3D games and GLBenchmark. Still, we have to wait for more details.

NVIDIA Tegra 4
Image credits to AnandTech

BlackBerry 10 Details Leaked in Training Materials

BlackBerry 10, Research In Motion’s next-generation mobile operating system, is one of the most expected platform releases of this quarter, as it could represent the company’s chance to regain its foothold on the smartphone market.

The company has already announced plans to make it official on January 30, the same day when the first smartphones running under it will be announced, but we can already have a closer look at some of its main features, courtesy of a leaked training presentation. Available courtesy of CrackBerry, the training material provides info not only on the mobile operating system itself, but also on the smartphones that will land on shelves with it on top. Thus, we can expect RIM to pack these phones with Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processors inside, while also launching at least one of them with a 1,800 mAh battery inside. Furthermore, the leaked document unveils that one of the upcoming BlackBerry 10 smartphones will feature a 4.2-inch touchscreen display capable of delivering a 720p resolution and a 356ppi pixel density.

Just as RIM has touted before, the new BlackBerry 10 platform will arrive with a redesigned user interface, as well as with various performance enhancements packed inside. A new browser will be included in the OS, with HTML5 compatibility, as well as a new keyboard, capable of learning based on users’ typing habits.  Furthermore, the platform will include a new BlackBerry Messenger app, one that also sports BBM Video capabilities, in addition to the features already available in BBM 7 for existing devices. Additionally, the BlackBerry 10 platform will come with a re-branded BlackBerry World software portal, one that should include no less than 70,000 QNX apps at launch, RIM says.

As Engadget notes, there is a chance that the leaked document might be counterfeited, though the presentation appears to be in line with RIM’s previous claims regarding the platform.

BlackBerry 10 training presentation
Image credits to Crackberry

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