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Jul 31, 2013

Xiaomi Red Rice Goes Official in China

Today, Chinese mobile phone maker Xiaomi officially announced the availability of a new Android-based smartphone on its homeland market, namely the Xiaomi Red Rice, a mid-range handset priced at only 799 Yuan ($130 / €98).

The smartphone will arrive on shelves in the country on August 12, featuring a 4.7-inch HD IPS display and a 1.5GHz MediaTek MT6589T quad-core processor inside, paired with 1GB RAM. Furthermore, the new Xiaomi Red Rice sports 4GB of internal memory, dual-SIM capabilities, an 8-megapixel photo snapper on the back, and a 1.3MP front camera for making video calls. The specifications list of the device also includes WiFi, WiFi Direct and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, Gyro, Gravity and Proximity sensors, a 2000mAh removable battery, and Google’s Android 4.2 Jelly Bean platform, with MIUI V5 loaded on top.

Xiaomi Red Rice measures 137 x 69 x 9.9mm and weighs 158 grams. It will be launched in three color flavors, namely metallic gray, ivory and red, with a replaceable back cover, techkiddy reports.

Xiaomi Red Rice
Image credits to TechKiddy

Microsoft Office Mobile for Android Now Available for Download

Today, Microsoft made available for download a new application for the owners of Android-based smartphones who also have a qualifying Office 365 subscription, namely Office Mobile for Office 365.

Already up for download for Android 4.0 and newer handsets, the app comes as the Office companion, while also packing a series of optimizations for these devices. One thing that users should keep in mind from the beginning is the fact that this is Office Mobile for Android, and not the full Office suite, and that it will provide a mobile experience, different from what Office on a Windows-based PC can deliver. “You can access, view and edit your Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint documents from virtually anywhere,” Microsoft notes in the application’s description. “Documents look like the originals, thanks to support for charts, animations, SmartArt graphics and shapes. When you make quick edits or add comments to a document, the formatting and content remain intact.”

The software comes with support for accessing Office documents stored on SkyDrive, SkyDrive Pro, or SharePoint, while also being cloud-connected, which means that documents recently viewed on a computer will also show on the phone in the recent documents panel. The features list of the app includes:

  • Great-Looking Documents - Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents look great on your phone, thanks to support for charts, animations, SmartArt Graphics, and shapes.
  • Optimized for phone - Word, Excel and PowerPoint have been optimized for the small screen of your phone.
  • Resume Reading - When opening a Word document from SkyDrive or SkyDrive Pro on your phone, it automatically resumes at the place where you left off reading, even if you last viewed the document on your PC or tablet.
  • Presentation Views - The Slide Navigator view in PowerPoint lets you browse slides faster, while speaker notes help you practice your presentation.

At the same time, the app offers support for viewing and editing Office documents attached to email messages, offline editing, the option to review comments made to docs, and the possibility to easily share files via email, or to save them to SkyDrive or SharePoint, straight from the smartphone. “A qualifying Office 365 subscription is required to use this app. Qualifying plans include: Office 365 Home Premium, Office 365 Small Business Premium, Office 365 Midsize Business, Office 365 Enterprise E3 and E4 (Enterprise and Government), Office 365 Education A3 and A4, Office 365 ProPlus, Office 365 University, and Office 365 trial subscriptions,” Microsoft notes. 

Office Mobile for Office 365 arrives on Android
Images credits to Google Play Store

Samsung Found to Tweak Galaxy S4 Benchmark Scores

Galaxy S4, Samsung’s latest Android-based flagship has managed to deliver impressive benchmarking results even before it became officially available for purchase, but it seems that things might not be as great as believed.

In fact, a recent article on AnandTech claims that Samsung is performing some simple tricks on the device, all meant to boost the phone’s performance when a benchmarking application is launched, thus improving the overall score. To be more precise, the handset has been found to contain code that would boost its frequency for testing purposes, showing increased CPU and GPU performance levels. The news site claims to have been testing an Exynos 5 Octa-based model when finding this out.

Said code specifically mentioned benchmarks such as AnTuTu, Quadrant, linpack, Benchmark Pi, and more, with a certain boost_mode file on the smartphone being activated as soon as any of them is launched.

Samsung Galaxy S4
Image credits to Samsung

MSI 990FXA-GD80 Motherboard Now Support The AMD FX-9590 5 GHz CPU

Not long ago, I wrote about MSI's Z87-G43, which happens to be the first motherboard certified for Windows 8.1 (Windows 8 Enterprise edition).

Now, the same company has revealed a motherboard ready to run the strongest AMD central processing unit at its best. And by strongest CPU, I mean the 5 GHz 8-core FX-9590, of course. The motherboard that just got certified for use with the processor is called MSI 990FXA-GD80 and is equipped with four memory slots, five PCI Express slots (four PCI Expess x16 apparently) and a whole bunch of USB ports at the back, plus Gigabit Ethernet of course.

Military Class components keep the platform stable and provide a long lifespan. Just be sure to go here if you have doubts about how to use the BIOS to fully exploit the powerful chip.

MSI 990FXA-GD80 Motherboard
Image credits to MSI

New OPPO Find 5 Official Firmware Brings Huge Number of Changes (X909EN.13.130719)

OPPO’s Find 5 SmartPhone enjoys the benefits of its newly released firmware version X909EN.13.130719 that includes a huge number of fixed issues, improvements and new features due to users’ reports and suggestions.

To be clearer, the package reverts “Clear apps” feature functions, and adds landscape mode for Messages application, Suspension lockscreen style, an “Add contact” shortcut on the homescreen, and an “All day event” option in the Calendar. Moreover, the Find 5 now has a “Cell broadcasts” setting for Messages, a new path for picture in File Manager, a “By Folder” option to add music files to a playlist, and an HDR feature for video recording when on a 720p resolution.

Furthermore, issues with the playability of .acc files, the WhatsApp that sometimes didn’t receive messages, the good functioning of the Hangouts application, and the ability of Google Calendar to retain settings are now history thanks to this package. However, in order to see the complete list of changes made through this firmware release, and to download and update the Find 5 to the latest version, please follow the link below.

OPPO Find 5 SmartPhone
Image credits to OPPO

Nokia’s Windows RT Tablet (RX-114) Allegedly Spotted on GFX Bench

Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia has been long rumored to plan the release of its own tablet PCs, supposedly set to run under Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system, and some more proof on the matter appears to have emerged online.

A certain Nokia RX-114 device has made it to the website of GFX Bench, featuring a 1371 x 771 pixels screen, close to the 1366 x 768 pixels display of Surface RT, which suggests that it could indeed be a tablet PC running under Windows RT. The slate comes with a Qualcomm ARM processor paired with an Adreno 330 GPU, which suggests that it could sport the Snapdragon 800 CPU inside, WMPoweruser notes.

This is not the first time that Nokia is said to be working on such a device, and there is a chance that the company will make it official in the not too distant future, yet no confirmation on the matter has been provided as of now.

Nokia's Windows RT tablet emerges in benchmarks
Image credits to GFXBench

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