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Jun 7, 2013

HTC One Mini Confirmed by Bluetooth SIG Listing

Soon, HTC should make official a new smartphone powered by Google’s Android operating system, supposedly the mini flavor of the HTC One, which was spotted online before as the HTC M4, and which is said to have already received the necessary certification from Bluetooth SIG.

The smartphone, said to arrive on shelves as HTC One mini with a 4.3-inch touchscreen on the front and with a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor paired with 2GB of RAM, was spotted on Bluetooth SIG’s website with model number PO58XXX attached, techtastic reports. The mobile phone is expected to land on shelves with an UltraPixel photo snapper on the back, the same as HTC One before it, as well as with Google’s Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system, with the Sense 5.0 UI loaded on top.

I’ll take the info on HTC One mini with a grain of salt for the time being, but stay tuned for more on the matter.

HTC One mini Bluetooth certification
Image credits to Bluetooth SIG

Sony Confirmed to Plan Xperia Z “Google Edition”

Sony Mobile is yet another mobile phone maker set to bring to the market a “Google Edition” flavor of its latest flagship Android-based smartphone out there, and confirmation on the matter has already emerged, it seems.

Although no official announcement on the new device has been made as of now, Android Central claims that sources familiar with Sony’s plans on the matter have provided confirmation on the upcoming availability of the smartphone. The Xperia Z Google Edition should land on shelves later this year, and will be sold through the Google Play Store, with users in the United States expected to be the first to receive it.

However, chances are that the stock Android-based smartphone will be launched in other markets as well, most probably soon after the initial release, though specific details on the matter are not available as of now.

Sony Xperia Z
Image credits to Sony

HTC One Developer Edition 1.29.1540.16 RUU Available for Download

A few weeks ago, Taiwanese mobile phone maker HTC Corporation made available for download a new firmware update for the owners of the HTC One Developer Edition, and the company has now released the RUU for the update.

The update brought the HTC One up to software version 1.29.1540.16, and HTC has published the correspondent RUU for it on its HTC Dev website, it seems. Not all owners of the HTC One Developer Edition will have much to gain from the release of the RUU, but developers and ROM cookers will be able to come up with custom software for the device, HTCSource notes.

At the moment, the flagship mobile phone is running under Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, though HTC should deliver the Android 4.2 update to it soon, with some users already claiming that they received the updated OS flavor.

HTC One Silver
Image credits to HTC

HTC One Max Blueprints Emerge

The smartphone market will soon see some new large Android-based smartphones made available for purchase, one of which will arrive from HTC Corporation, supposedly under the name of HTC One Max.

Rumored a few times before, the device is said to sport the codename of T6, and should become official sometime in the third quarter of the year, although no official confirmation on the matter has emerged until now. Before that happens, however, we can make a better idea of the device courtesy of supposedly leaked blueprints that made it online over at mobileaks.nl. According to the sketches, the HTC One Max will arrive on shelves with a 5.9-inch touchscreen display, supposedly capable of delivering a 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution, as well as with a small bezel and with two speakers on the front, and with Boom Sound technology inside. Furthermore, the new device is expected to land on the market with a Snapdragon 800 processor inside, a quad-core CPU clocked at 2.3GHz, an UltraPixel photo snapper on the back, and a 3300 mAh battery inside.

Apparently, HTC might have the new device released with Google’s Android 4.3 Jelly Bean platform on top right from the start, or with the rumored 5.0 Key Lime Pie OS flavor (should Google accept to have it launched on a device that is not a Nexus smartphone). According to mobileaks.nl, the upcoming mobile phone will land on the market with a body that measures 9.4 millimeters thick, and which is 140.4 mm long.  The HTC One Max is expected to prove a worthy competitor for supposedly upcoming smartphones from Samsung and Sony. The former has been long said to plan the launch of a 5.9-inch Galaxy Note III smartphone in fall, while the latter is expected to announce the 6.4-inch Xperia Togari in Q3.

With no official info on the matter available for the time being, we should take the details above with a grain of salt. However, stay tuned to learn more on this.

HTC One Max Blueprints
Image credits to mobileaks.nl

Intel Haswell U, Two Low-Power Ultrabook Processors

In addition to the Haswell processors that Intel has launched at Computex 2013, the company has also revealed some information about the ones that will come out during the third quarter of the year.

Sure, there was some information about the mobile lineup, but details were conspicuous in their scarcity, for a time. Now, though, we at least know about two mobile processors that the Santa Clara, California-based company has prepared: the Core i5 4350U and Core i5 4200U. The U-Series, as they are called, are made for ultrabooks and, consequently, have very low TDPs (thermal design powers). The Core i5 4350U, for example, runs on just 15W of power. It is a dual-core model with a clock speed of 1.4 GHz, or 2.9 GHz when Turbo Boost enters the picture. Meanwhile, the HD 5000 integrated graphics processor (iGP) operated at 200 MHz normally, but can jump to 1,100 MHz in a pinch.

Between that, the 22nm manufacturing process, the Hyper-Threading technology (turns 2 cores into 4 threads/ logical cores) and the 3 MB cache, the CPU should work well in any instance. Sadly, the price of $342 / €258 – 342 will make sure that whatever system it lands in will have a higher than usual price. The second CPU, Core i5-4200U, is similar to the other one in that it has two cores and four threads. Its performance is lower though: 1.6 GHz base and 2.6 GHz Turbo. The graphics chip is weaker too. Called HD 4400, it runs at 200 MHz/ 1,000 MHz.

The price reflects the performance difference. Core i5-4200U will account for $287 / €216 – 287 of whatever laptop it is used in. At least the TDP of 15W will offset, somewhat, the price premium that ultrabooks will suffer. Then again, one has to wonder what became of that vaunted dream where such ultrathin laptops sold for $750 / €565 or less.

Intel Haswell U will be followed by Y
Image credits to WCCFTech

Nokia EOS Leaked Video Shows Mechanical Shutter

Nokia EOS, reportedly the Windows Phone 8-based Lumia smartphone that would bring a 41-megapixel PureView camera to the market, has made it online in a wide range of photos yesterday, and can now be seen in what allegedly represents the first video with it.

The clip, embedded above, doesn’t show much of the device, but does provide enthusiasts with the possibility to have a closer look at the phone’s mechanical shutter. According to Vizileaks, which brought the video to the web, the upcoming mobile phone will include a feature that Nokia included for the first time inside Nokia Lumia 920, namely Optical Image Stabilization (OIS).

However, as WMPoweruser notes, the feature was previously believed to be impossible to attach to such a large camera sensor. The news site also points out that the clip does not confirm whether camera has a variable aperture or not.

Un-announced Nokia LUMIA EOS PureView with 40 Mega Pixel Camera, you can see the shutter action with optical stabilization and focus, more to come...
Video credits to vizi leaks

Meizu MX3 Leaked Photo and Specs Emerge

Chinese mobile phone maker Meizu is reportedly gearing up for the launch of a new smartphone in its popular MX series, namely the MX3, which is said to sport the codename of M055.

Expected to arrive on shelves as a high-end smartphone, the yet unannounced device can now be seen in a leaked photo that emerged on a Chinese website, supposedly featuring the company’s Flyme 3.0 OS loaded on top. As techkiddy notes in a recent article, the upcoming mobile phone appears to be very thin, while featuring a large 5.5-inch or larger touchscreen, capable of delivering a full HD resolution, as well as a thin bezel.

Furthermore, the handset is rumored to pack a Samsung Exynos 5410 8-core processor inside, along with a 13-megapixel photo snapper on the back, and to be officially announced on July 9, running under Google’s Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean operating system.

Meizu MX3
Image credits to techkiddy

Intel NUC Mini PC (Haswell-Based) Set for Q3 Release

The NUC, short for Next Unit of Computing, was first invented as a means for Intel to infiltrate the small form factor PC industry. It's basically the only actual PC that Intel sells under its own brand.

Sales haven't exactly been spectacular, but they must have been at least acceptable if Intel continues to talk about them every other week. Case in point, now that the Haswell series of central processing units has appeared, Intel has taken it upon itself to upgrade the NUC a bit too. The PC has dual mPCIe/SATA slots and SODIMM DDR3 slots, like before, but uses a 15W Ultrabook Haswell SoC instead of an Ivy Bridge CPU. That means that HD 5000 graphics are available.

Other new additions are the SATA connectors (for regular HDD support when larger, custom cases are used). Intel has the small motherboard on display at Computex, along with plastic and aluminum-clad NUCs.

Intel NUC
Images credits to VR-Zone

Intel Roadmap Says Broadwell is Delayed to 2015

Intel may have finally released the fourth generation of Core-series central processing units, widely known as Haswell, but that doesn't mean its plans for the successor architecture haven't changed.

According to a new roadmap slide, leaked through VR-Zone, Broadwell has either been delayed to 2015, or was never supposed to be launched earlier in the first place. Right now, people are still assuming that Intel's focus is the desktop industry. In such a climate, bringing Broadwell out quickly would make sense.  This may be the problem though. Intel hasn't been making as much money from investments in desktop products and technologies.

Case in point, back in May when it held its major briefings about Haswell, Intel talked about 6-8 year replacement cycles for desktops. That may happen eventually. Right now, Intel is moving towards two-year replacement cycles, hence the delay to, or initial decision to place Broadwell in, 2015. Broadwell will be designed on the 14nm process technology.

Intel Broadwell CPU delayed to 2015
Image credits to VR-Zone

Thunderbolt Flash Drive Prototype from Intel Puts All Others to Shame

As good as some storage devices are, there is always one better out there, or on the way to the market. Intel has just proven this on the flash drive segment, by introducing the Thunderbolt 2.

Long story short, it is a flash drive with a capacity of 128 GB and the Thunderbolt connectivity interface.  Thunderbolt operates at 10 Gbps, for those who don't know, and will, in the future, grow well past that limit.  10 Gbps is twice what USB 3.0 can accomplish, making the newcomer especially useful for copying and transferring large files, like HD/Full HD/4K films (3D or otherwise), graphics design projects, archives, etc.

So far, Intel has only shown a prototype at Computex 2013, in Taipei, Taiwan. It is a small thing, with the front quite a bit thinner than the rear. It looks crude, as it should. By all accounts, it was thrown together fast, so it was to be expected. via PCWorld.

Intel Thunderbolt flash drive
Image credits to PC World

Windows 8.1’s Boot Directly to Desktop/Skip Metro Option Leaked

Windows 8.1 will come not only with a Start button, but also with a dedicated option that would allow users to skip the Start screen and boot directly to desktop.

A new screenshot that reached the web today reveals a new set of Start screen customization settings, including an entry that reads “Go to desktop instead of Start when I sign in.” While Microsoft hasn’t commented on this particular feature, the company actually confirmed that it wants Windows 8.1 to be more user-friendly, so such an option would pretty much make sense.

In addition, the aforementioned configuration panel includes settings to show the desktop background on the Start screen, always show Start on the main display when the Windows logo key is pressed, show the Apps view automatically when the Start screen is clicked, and list desktop apps first in the Apps view.

The new Start screen will come with plenty of customization options
Image credits to Windows4Live via Twitter

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