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Feb 27, 2013

China Mobile Intros Huawei Ascend D2, HTC One TD-LTE Phones

Chinese wireless carrier China Mobile, the largest in the country, has just announced plans to add some new, highly appealing devices to its 4G lineup, including the Huawei Ascend D2, the LG Optimus Vu II Plus, HTC One and the ZTE U9810.

With these devices, the carrier will provide its users with the option to enjoy not only fast data transfer speeds while on the go, but also a great viewing experience. The Ascend D2 (D2-TL) and U9810 feature 1080p 5-inch screens, LG’s handset comes with a 5’’ XGA display, while HTC One packs a 4.7-inch full HD one.

According to Engadget, a TD-LTE flavor of Samsung Galaxy S III is also expected to land on shelves at the wireless carrier. These smartphones are expected to be launched before the end of this year, when the 4G service becomes available in China.

TD-LTE Ascend D2 for China Mobile
Image credits to Engadget

Firefox OS Experimental Releases for Sony Xperia E

Earlier this week, Japanese mobile phone maker Sony Mobile announced plans to bring to the market Firefox OS-based devices starting with the next year, and it has just made a new step towards the official launch, making available experimental Firefox OS software for Xperia E.

According to Sony, the release is meant to provide developers with a look at the new mobile operating system from Mozilla, so that the vendor would receive feedback on the matter. Built entirely upon open web standards, Firefox OS promises a new approach to the smartphone market, through the building of an open ecosystem. Sony has partnered with Telefonica for the launch of its Firefox OS, and is set to bring the power of the web to mobile through this partnership. “At Sony Mobile, we continue to evaluate innovative technologies that can help deliver the premium user experiences that Sony’s consumers expect,” Bob Ishida, deputy chief executive officer and head of Products Business Group at Sony Mobile Communications, says.

“Our engineers are now working with Firefox OS Mobile and HTML5, evolving technologies which show great potential.” You can see how the platform runs on Xperia E in the video embedded below. Sony is also set to offer support for those who would like to start developing applications for the new Firefox OS, and the release of the experimental Firefox OS ROM for the Xperia E is meant to prove that. “This software is not intended for daily use, and several important limitations apply,” Sony Mobile notes on a post on its developer blog.

Those who would like to download and install the Firefox OS build on their Xperia E devices should know that they will need to unlock the smartphone, which will void warranty. “This software can be flashed on an Xperia E that has similar hardware specifications as the initial scope of the first version of Firefox OS and is therefore a natural candidate,” Sony also notes. For specific info on how to unlock the smartphone and flash Firefox OS on it, head over said article on Sony’s developer portal.

Firefox OS running on Xperia E
Image credits to Youtube

Firefox OS running on Xperia E. At Sony, we're evaluating Firefox OS and this video shows an experimental software that you can flash on your unlocked Xperia E. Read more on Developer World. http://developer.sonymobile.com/?p=17659
Video credits to SonyXperiaDev

Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 “Easily” Better than NVIDIA Tegra 4

One would think that the waves made by NVIDIA's Tegra 4 SoC on the mobile market would put Qualcomm on guard, but this is not the case.

Qualcomm is essentially the greatest maker of mobile processors, or one of them. Its Snapdragon chips are found in many phones and tablets. The Snapdragon 800 was launched back in January, during CES 2013 (Consumer Electronics Show). Apparently, Qualcomm believes it has absolutely nothing to fear from NVIDIA's Tegra 4 platform.

Despite NVIDIA saying its chip is the fastest mobile processor in the world, Qualcomm Senior VP of Product Management, Raj Talluri, has told The Verge that he still believes Snapdragon 800 "easily" beats it, as it is "so much more integrated" and can both encode and decode 4K content, among other things. The disagreement will probably last until serious benchmarks are run, and maybe even afterwards.

Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU
Image credits to Qualcomm

Nexus 4 Wireless Charging Orb Quick Look

Nexus 4, the latest Google phone out there and the first in the world to be manufactured by South Korean mobile phone maker LG Electronics, arrived on shelves last year with one highly appealing feature inside, namely support for wireless charging.

Users interested in taking advantage of the feature had the possibility to purchase a wireless charger for the device, although it was not available in all markets and Google’s Play Store ran out of stock fast in others.  The device does exist, however, and was even brought to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, where we’ve had the chance to snap a few photos of it.

Providing support for the Qi standard, the wireless charging orb was designed with a non-slip rubber pad that was positioned in such manner so as to have the phone sitting at a 33.5-degree angle while charging. This means that one can also watch videos or listen to music while the device is charging.


Nexus 4 wireless charging orb
Image credits to LG

Samsung Galaxy S IV to Pack Both Snapdragon 600 and Exynos 5 Octa Processors

South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung has already confirmed plans to unveil a new Galaxy device on March 14 in New York, with the long rumored Galaxy S IV expected to be officially introduced there, but no specific details on the phone itself have been announced as of now.

However, info on the smartphone did emerge via unofficial channels, and the latest bits suggest that it will pack both a Snapdragon 600 processor and an Exynos 5 Octa chip inside. Depending on the market in which it is released, the handset will sport one of these, with users in the United States said to be able to enjoy only the former, a JPMorgan analyst suggests, according to taipeitimes.

With nothing made official on the matter for the time being, it remains to be seen whether Samsung will indeed choose to go this road with the next flagship device.

Samsung Galaxy S IV to pack both Snapdragon and Exynos CPUs
Image credits to Samsung Tomorrow

Canonical and XDA Developers Looking for Official Partnership

After releasing Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview, Canonical is now doing what every other company should be doing, and that's getting in touch with the community.

The relationships between companies and the communities that spawn around the products have always been a little thin, with very few exceptions. Canonical has understood very quickly that if they want to succeed, they will have to court the XDA developers community and get their help. “I asked David Planella and Daniel Holbach on my team to kick off a regular engagement with XDA Developers to help us grow a great relationship together. The first call was today and we are kicking some ideas around of how to work more closely together,” stated Jono Bacon in a blog entry.

The XDA forums are now filled with people who want to port the new operating system to other devices, beside the one officially supported. An open partnership between Canonical and XDA would be beneficial to both parties.

XDA wallpaper
Image credits to xda-developers.com

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