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Sep 2, 2013

Android 4.2 Cheapest Dual-SIM Phone, Karbonn A8

Karbonn, one of the handset makers that own a major smartphone market share in India, has just announced the immediate availability of one of the cheapest devices powered by Android 4.2 Jelly Bean platform, the A8.

As fonearena points out, Karbonn A8 is now available for purchase via major retailers across India for only Rs 6,189 (€70/$95) outright. For the time being, customers can choose from two color options (black and white), but additional versions may be launched in the future, depending on sales. The smartphone does not bring anything new in terms of hardware or software, instead it offers customers one of the most affordable smartphone alternatives. Dual-SIM (GSM + GSM) support is included as well, but only Dual standby. On the inside, Karbonn A8 sports a decent 1GHz dual-core processor, which is complemented by 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal memory (2GB user available).

The good news is that owners will be able to further expand storage up to 32GB via microSD memory card. Even though the phone is positioned on a lower tier, Karbonn A8 sports a more than decent 5-megapixel rear photo snapper with LED flash. No word on additional features of the main camera, but Karbonn has confirmed that its cheap smartphone also comes with a secondary VGA front-facing camera for video calls. There’s more to it as Karbonn A8 fully supports 3G networks, which will allow users faster data speeds while browsing the Internet. The A8 also sports a big enough 4-inch capacitive touchscreen display that supports 480 x 800 pixels resolution, as well as an 1500 mAh Li-Ion battery that has yet to be rated by the manufacturer.

Other highlights of the smartphone include Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS with A-GPS support, Bluetooth, 3.5mm audio jack port and FM Radio. The Indian market is flooded with very cheap Android smartphones, which makes it hard to tell whether or not the A8 is the cheapest handset powered by Android 4.2 OS, but it’s definitely among the most affordable.

Karbonn A8 (white)
Image credits to Karbonn

Oppo Representatives Confirms Oppo N1 for This Year, Find 7 for the Next

Chinese mobile phone maker Oppo is getting ready for the launch of a new camera-centric smartphone before the end of this year, and a company’s representative has already confirmed this.

The handset, called Oppo N1, should land on the market in 2013, said official confirmed, though no specific info on when that might happen has been provided as of now. However, a recent article on Android Police notes that Oppo might unveil the phone at the IFA 2013 show in Berlin later this week.

In addition to this device, Oppo is also gearing up for the launch of Oppo Find 7, a smartphone that will not be unveiled to the world before late 2014, it seems. For the time being, no official confirmation on the actual existence of Find 7 has emerged, though next year could bring more details on it.

Oppo logo
Image credits to oppo

Xiaomi Mi3 New Leaked Photos

A new leaked photo of the yet unannounced Xiaomi Mi3 smartphone is available for your viewing pleasure, showing the device being used in the field.

The handset can be seen in the hands of a user in this leaked photo, one that could be a Xiaomi employee, as GizChina reports. The photo, available courtesy of NowhereElse, confirms that the handset is almost ready to make an official appearance, yet it does not offer specific info on what it might have to offer in terms of features and capabilities.

Rumor has it that the new device will be officially unveiled on September 5 in Beijing with a full HD touchscreen display, as well as with a Snapdragon 800 processor packed inside, and 2GB of RAM. Furthermore, it should sport a 13-megapixel photo snapper on the back, capable of full HD video recording, as well as a 3000mAh battery.

Xiaomi Mi3
Images credits to NoWhereElse.fr

Meizu MX3 Promo Video

Today, Chinese mobile phone maker Meizu has officially announced another high-end smartphone in its popular MX series, namely the Meizu MX3.

The company has already made available a video promo for the smartphone, as can be seen above. The clip, however, comes from Gizchina, and was not accompanied by specific details on the hardware capabilities of the mobile phone. Even so, users can still have a closer look at the design features of the new device, and will certainly observe the fact that it is one of the thinnest smartphones that the handset vendor has made official to date.

For those who would like to learn more on the phone’s designing and manufacturing process, another video is available, embedded below. The second clip also offers a glimpse of the development of this phone’s user interface.

Another video from the launch of the Meizu MX3. As you can see from this video, Meizu have made the new flaghip phone not only larger in the screen department but have also made this the thinnest Meizu smartphone to date!
Video credits to GizChina

A short video from the launch of the Meizu MX3 which shows the design and manufacture process of the new flagship phone, along with a few quick first sneak peeks of the phone and its rather slender profile ahead of launch!
Video credits to GizChina

Oppo N1 Confirmed to Pack Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 Chipset

Chinese handset maker Oppo has recently entered the European market with some of the most powerful, yet affordable Android smartphones available.

The next flagship handset, Oppo N1 is expected to go official on September 23, but news about the phone’s hardware and software configuration has already started to leak. We already know that the N1 is likely to boast a 5.5-inch full HD capacitive touchscreen display and an impressive 16-megapixel rear camera. Today, new info on the phone’s chipset has emerged via one of Oppo’s marketing execs’ Sina Weibo account, Engadget reports.

It appears that Oppo N1 will be packed with Qualcomm’s powerful Snapdragon 800 chipset, which also features microSD card slot for memory expansion and HSPA+ support. No other info has been given on the phone’s stats, but we expect more details to be unveiled in the coming weeks.

Oppo N1 chipset
Image credits to Engadget

Sony Xperia Z1 Honami Press Photos Leak

As expected, the first press photos of the upcoming Sony Xperia Z1 Honami have been leaked ahead of the official reveal, which is expected to take place in just a few days at IFA 2013 trade fair.

The first images showing Sony’s next flagship smartphone have just been published by the folks over at XperiaBlog and seem to be legit. Although no official details on the phone’s specs sheet have been unveiled, the latest hearsay claims that Xperia Z1 will boast a stunning 5-inch full HD capacitive touchscreen display and a powerful quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor.

In addition, the phone is said to pack 2GB of RAM and an impressive 20.7-megapixel rear-facing camera with G Lens technology. The phone is expected to go official on September 4, so stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

Sony Xperia Z1 Honami
Image credits to XperiaBlog

New iPhone 5C Close-up Photos Show the Phone in Detail

The iPhone 5C is real alright! If the images from earlier today didn’t convince you, maybe this new batch will.

In what seems to be the most convincing iPhone 5C leak yet, several new images have made it on the web showing the phone (apparently) fully assembled and packaged in its retail box, ready for shipping. As the previous leaks suggested, the phones come with à la iPod touch stickers on their screens with wallpapers that mimic the color of the phones themselves. The packaging of the iPhone 5C bears a striking overall resemblance to the iPod touch shipping box.

These photos come from iApps.im and C Technology, and all of them look pretty legitimate from where I’m standing. These babies are reportedly scheduled for unveiling on September 10, alongside the more expensive and higher-specced iPhone 5S.

Packaged iPhone 5C
Image credits to iapps.in

Packaged iPhone 5C
Image credits to C Technology

Meizu MX3 Now Official with 5.1-Inch Full HD Screen

Today, Chinese mobile phone maker Meizu has officially announced the next flagship handset in its lineup, the Meizu MX3, a large Android device that can deliver appealing performance capabilities.

The mobile phone has been rumored for quite some time now to arrive before the end of this year, but Meizu provided specific info on it only today. The new flagship handset will arrive on shelves with a 5.1-inch touchscreen display capable of providing a 1080p full HD resolution. It delivers a 415PPI pixel density, and an aspect ratio of 15:9. Furthermore, it will pack an Exynos 5 Octa (Exynos 5410) chipset inside, which should translate into great performance capabilities. The specifications list of the new handset also includes an 8-megapixel photo snapper on the back, with F2.0 aperture, capable of shooting photos 21% faster than before and featuring full HD video recording capabilities, as well as a 2MP front camera for making video calls.

The mobile phone will also include 2GB of RAM, along with 16GB / 32GB / 64GB / 128GB options of internal memory. The new device measures 66.1 x 110.2 x 9.1mm and weighs 143 grams. Meizu announced the MX3 with support for China Mobile’s TD-SCDAMA network in all of the aforementioned flavors, and announced that China Unicom would also launch it, though this carrier’s users won’t get the 128GB model. China Mobile’s version of the device will be priced starting at $408 (€309) and going all the way up to $653 (€494), while China Unicom’s flavor will cost between $441 (€334) and $539 (€408).

Meizu MX3 also arrives on the market with band Wi-Fi connectivity packed inside, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, and NFC capabilities. The handset’s battery should be able to provide users with 14 hours of talk time on 3G, or 12 hours on 2G. Meizu also notes that the battery can offer up to 9 hours of 3G web browsing, or 10 hours of Wi-Fi web browsing, or 7 hours of 1080 video. Furthermore, it will be launched with the popular Flyme software loaded on top, version 3.0. According to gizchina, the new iteration of the platform comes with Smartbar 2.0, sliding menus, and other enhancements.

Meizu MX3
Image credits to GizChina

Meizu MX3 Might Arrive with 128 GB Internal Memory Options

Chinese mobile phone maker Meizu has been long rumored to plan the release of a new flagship Android-based smartphone in September, namely the Meizu MX3, and some more info on the device is now available.

Apparently, the company might launch a 128GB flavor of the device, in addition to the previously rumored 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB variants. No official info on the matter has been provided as of now, yet a leaked document that emerged over at Meizumi allegedly shows the aforementioned model. As UnwiredView notes, users interested in grabbing the large capacity handset version might have to play 3,999 Yuan for it, which would amount to around $650 / €490. The 16GB iteration of Meizu MX3 is expected to cost only 1,999 Yuan ($325 / €245).

Meizu is expected to make the new mobile phone official as soon as next week, so stay tuned for more on the matter.

Meizu MX3 to arrive in 128GB version too
Image credits to MeizuMi via UnwiredView

Intel Bay Trail Tablet SoC Performance Finally Exposed

Intel is always working on something, especially now that it is fighting on more fronts than usual, with the inclusion of tablets in its plans. The company has completed the development of Bay Trail system-on-chip devices.

Called Atom Z3000 and based on the Silvermont architecture, the platforms may just take away some of the market share of ARM SoCs. Silvermont is a 22nm architecture also used in Avoton, Rangely, Merrifield and one other, unannounced platform. The Atom Z3700 will include the quad-core variants of the SoCs, while the Z3600 will be the dual-core SoCs. Thanks to Wccftech, we know precisely what all of them can do. There are six SoCs in total, four of them quad-core and two of them dual-core. We'll get the latter pair out of the way first. The Atom Z3680 has 1 MB cache memory, a frequency of 2 GHz, a LPDDR3-1067 memory controller, 1 GB memory capacity, 8.5 GB/s memory bandwidth, and top display resolution of 1200 x 800 pixels.

Atom Z3680D is better, with DDR3L-1333 memory, 10.6 GB/s bandwidth, and 1900 x 1200 resolution. Everything else is the same. Now for the quad-cores. They all have 2 MB cache but differ in every other way. Atom Z3770 is a 2.4 GHz SoC with 4GB LPDDR3-1067 DC memory, 17.1 GB/s bandwidth and 2560 x 1600 pixels resolution. Atom Z3770D is similar, but has 2GB DDR3L-1333 memory, 10.6 GB/s bandwidth, and 1900 x 1200 resolution. Atom Z3640 is a 1.8 GHz model with 4GB LPDDR3-1067 memory and 2560 x 1600 resolution, plus 17.1 GB/s bandwidth. Finally, Atom Z3740D uses 2 GB of DDR3L-1333 memory, 1.8 GHz clock, 10.6 GB/s bandwidth, and 1900 x 1200 resolution. All in all, there will be plenty of options for whoever intends to test the waters with an Android or Windows 8 / Windows 8.1 tablet. IFA 2013 should have a whole bunch of them on display, even if Intel is holding off most until IDF. We'll look for them next week in Berlin, Germany.

Intel Bay Trail SoCs ready
Image credits to Intel

Qualcomm Touts Its Quad-Core CPUs Against Rival 8-Core Solutions

Mobile chip maker Qualcomm is claiming the top spot on the mobile processors market, courtesy of the wide use of its chipsets inside smartphones and tablet PCs available on shelves today, and also appears keen on showing that its products are better than those of rivals.

Having lost some ground in front of cheaper solutions from other companies, which have already launched octa-core processors, Qualcomm decided to publish a video to show to the world the benefits of its processors. As can be seen in the clip embedded below, the company claims that efficient quad-core processors can actually deliver better performance capabilities when compared to 8-core chips, mainly due to the fact that applications cannot scale on so many cores. “Having a processor with better, faster cores is especially important for apps. When we looked at the top 20 apps in China, 85% of them only used two CPU cores. The 15% percent that used more than two CPU cores barely used the 3rd or 4th at all,” the company notes in the video’s description.

According to the Qualcomm, more cores won’t make mobile applications run faster on handsets, but cores that have been clocked higher could do so. “More cores won't make your apps move faster. Faster cores will make your apps move faster,” the mobile chip maker claims. “With each new generation of Qualcomm Snapdragon Processors, we aim to add new user experiences and boost over performance. We're able to achieve these significant performance boosts not by adding more cores, but by building better cores which work faster and use less power.” Those who would like to learn more on the company’s vision on what mobile performance is all about should have a look at the aforementioned video. The clip appears targeted at MediaTek, which offers cheaper silicon and which has already gained a lot of market share in the segment. Although not mentioned directly in the video, the color and font of the “Our Competitor” title are perfect matches with the styling of the Chinese maker, as AndroidAuthority notes.

Qualcomm Snapdragon
Image credits to Youtube

More cores won't make your apps move faster.  Faster cores will make your apps move faster.  
With each new generation of Qualcomm Snapdragon Processors, we aim to add new user experiences and boost over performance.  We're able to achieve these significant performance boosts not by adding more cores, but by building better cores which work faster and use less power.   
Having a processor with better, faster cores is especially important for apps.  When we looked at the top 20 apps in China, 85% of them only used two CPU cores.  The 15% percent that used more than two CPU cores barely used the 3rd or 4th at all.  So again, more cores won't make these apps move faster.  Faster cores will make these apps move faster.  
We made the following video to explain these concepts.
Video credits to Qualcomm

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