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Sep 11, 2013

Meizu MX3 to Receive 8-Core Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP) Upgrade

Last week, Chinese mobile phone maker Meizu announced the availability of a new flagship Android-based device, namely the Meizu MX3, which will be able to offer true 8-core capabilities to its users.

The handset was announced with an 8-core Samsung Exynos 5 Octa processor inside, and will soon receive an update to enjoy said feature, Meizu said. For those out of the loop, we should note that Samsung announced a Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP) solution for its chip, which will come to MX3 as well.

The update will enhance the ARM big.LITTLE technology inside Exynos 5 Octa, which will allow the chip to use all of its 8 cores at the same time. Apparently, the feature will be enabled via a software update, though it remains to be seen how this will affect the phone’s actual performance and battery life.

Meizu MX3
Image credits to Meizu

Root Your Sony Xperia Z1

Sony’s Xperia Z1 smartphone has been unveiled only a week ago and has yet to arrive on the market, but some enthusiasts have already managed to root it.

A post on the XDA-Developers forum claims that some users in China managed to achieve root on the device through using the 360rot tool, which, unfortunately, is available only in Chinese. However, it appears that the Xperia Z1 (L39h) can also be rooted with VRoot, and that the process is fairly simple.

Basically, all that users will need to do is to connect the device to a PC with USB-Debugging turned on, launch the 360rot application, and hit the green “Root” button. As soon as the process is completed, users will receive the “Congratulations, rooting was successful” message on the screen. Clicking on the same Root button once again will offer Root permissions.

Sony Xperia Z1
Image credits to Sony

Apple iPhone 5c: Colors, Pricing, Storage, Availability

For those of you asking Google to return details regarding the available color options of the iPhone 5c, or the pricing, or when the dang thing hits the shelves, you’ve come to the right place.

Although it’s cheaper and less powerful than its golden sibling, the iPhone 5c is kind of like the flagship iPhone this year. That’s mainly because Apple likes to sell things on looks, and the iPhone 5c is quite a sight. Apple makes these babies in blue, green, pink, yellow, and white, and if you add the cases into the mix (which come with an additional black option), you get a really fun iPhone.

Pricing-wise, you pay $99 / €99 for the 16GB model and $199 / €199 for the 32GB model. No 64GB version. Finally, the phone will be available on September 20 in the US, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, and the UK. You can pre-order an iPhone 5c beginning Friday, September 13.

iPhone 5c promo
Image credits to Apple

Dell-Alienware Aurora Gaming Desktop PC

Anyone with $1,399 / €1,399 to spare might want to take a look at the latest product release from Alienware.

For anyone that doesn't recognize the name, Alienware is a subsidiary, of sorts, of Dell, and specializes in high-quality gaming systems. The newest such system is a mini desktop called Aurora and based on a combination of strong Intel CPUs (up to Intel Core i7-4820K Ivy Bridge-E) and NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 760 1.5 GB GDDR5 graphics card. With four cores at up to 4.3 GHz on Turbo Boost setting, you can't really go wrong here.

Not counting the amount of cash you'll have to pay anyway. Sure, $1,399 / €1,399 is the starting price, but the really good hardware will need a lot more than that. Alienware Aurora should be up for sale already, with 1-2 TB storage and quad-channel DDR3 memory.

Alienware Aurora
Image credits to Alienware

KFA2 GeForce GTX 780 HOF Edition

Normally, the GeForce GTX 780 graphics card from NVIDIA is a black-colored board with a mostly black, single-fan cooler with green highlights.

KFA2 likes white though, so it made both in that color. Or non-color, as artists would say. It also took the liberty of playing with the clocks enough that the board became 20% faster than the original. Thus, the factory boost clock is of 1058 MHz, versus 900 MHz. On that note, the base clock is of 1006 MHz, not 863 MHz. The 3 GB of memory were left alone though, so they still work at 6 GHz (6008 MHz).

That leaves the cooler, a dual-fan contraption with Hybrid Vapor Chamber Heat Pipe (HVCP) technology (heat transfer efficiency roughly 30X higher than copper). It copes with the heat from the GPU, memory chips, and the 8 + 2 phase VRM (90% efficiency) which can deliver 480 amps of power to the GPU. Pricing wasn't mentioned, unfortunately.

KFA2 GeForce GTX 780 HOF Edition
Image credits to KFA2

G.Skill Releases Fifteen New RipJawZ Memory Kits

You'd think that a famed memory maker would steadily unveil its new products, but G.Skill figured it would make a big impact instead of a precision strike this time around.

Long story short, the company has released fifteen DDR3 memory kits, all of them with quad-channel configuration support. They are compatible with X79 motherboards and the overpowered Ivy Bridge-E Core i7 CPUs that Intel has just released. The major point? 3 GHz stable clock speed, up to 64 GB total capacity (eight 8 GB modules).

I'm pretty sure the memory would work well with Xeon Ivy Bridge-EP chips too. They're not the type though, especially with those blue heatsinks. G.Skill might release something for servers and data centers, but it hasn't happened yet. Sadly, I don't have any info on the price points of the new Ripjawz. With 15 different offers though, they're bound to vary, even if they all end up on the largely unapproachable high end. Images gallery below, click for larger images.

G.Skill introducing New RipJawZ memory Kits
Image credits to G.Skill

How the New iPhone 5S Fingerprint Reader Works [Video]

A reporter who got a hands-on with the iPhone 5S at yesterday’s Apple event put Touch ID to the test, filmed the action, and uploaded a 6-second clip to Vine.

Tim Bradshaw’s video shows how the iPhone 5S requires the user to lift and rest their finger on the Home button repeatedly until the sensor learns all the particularities of their finger. This is necessary so that the next time you place your finger on the button, the sensor knows exactly who you are, upon the first touch.

Apple also reveals on its web site that Touch ID is capable of 360-degree readability, which means you don’t need to bother your head with orientation and stuff like that: “your iPhone reads your fingerprint and knows who you are,” Apple says. Fingerprint authentication in the iPhone 5S can approve purchases from iTunes Store, the App Store, and the iBooks Store, and users can enroll multiple fingerprints: “it knows the people you trust, too,” says Apple.

A still from Tim Bradshaw's Vine video
Image credits to Tim Bradshaw of Financial Times

Apple new iPhone 5s Fingerprint Reader/TouchID
Video credits to Tim Bradshaw

Samsung Exynos 5 Octa to Use All 8 Cores via Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP) [Video]

Samsung's Exynos 5 Octa 8-core processor was formally launched back in March and is now getting a major upgrade.

Said upgrade is Heterogeneous Multi-Processing support, which can give 8-core and quad-core chips with two groups of different CPU cores the ability to use them all. For those unfamiliar with the idea, some SoCs and ARM CPus have two different sets of cores. It's like a type dual-CPU technology on a single die. You get four low-power cores, like Cortex A7, for when nothing strenuous is being achieved, and four, say, Cortex A-15 cores for more demanding workloads. Sadly, the side effect is that only four cores are ever active at a time. Normally, I'd say this makes sense, since most programs don't use more than that for computing, even on PCs. ARM's big.LITTLE technology is commonly used to implement this.

Samsung doesn't like the limitation though, so it will implement HMP on Octa by the end of the year. No doubt it was spurred on by the fact that MediaTek already has a “True Octa Core” chip out. Essentially, all eight cores will be usable at the same time if needed. The chip will be upgraded by the fourth quarter of 2013, meaning that products like Galaxy Note III and Galaxy Note 10.1 could get it right off the bat. It might even overtake MediaTek, whose solution hasn't shipped in products yet, and won't for a while. “It’s usually assumed that the big CPU will do all the performance-critical work, however, power-efficient little cores can handle many significant workloads all on their own, so the workload is balanced within the system,” said Taehoon Kim, vice president of system LSI marketing, Samsung Electronics.

For those that want a short rundown of what Exynos 5 Octa can already do, it features the 8-core setup described above, plus e-MMC (embedded multimedia card) 5.0 and USB 3.0 interfaces, full HD 60fps video hardware codec engine, a 13 MP 30fps image signal processor interface, and 12.8GB/s memory bandwidth (Full HD streaming over Wi-Fi). It can even render things in 2560 x 1600 pixels resolution.

Samsung Exynos 5 Octa
Image credits to Samsung

Video credits to Samsung

Gigabyte BRIX Mini PCs with Overpowered Intel Core i5 and i7 CPUs

Gigabyte seems to be all about gaming and other powerful hardware products at this year's IDF 2013 show.

Currently being held in San Francisco, California, the Intel Developer Forum has become the home of some quite impressive new pieces of technology, and Gigabyte has just unveiled the latest one. And I'm not talking about the certainly impressive Rampage IV Black Edition motherboard, but about the BRIX mini PC. Truthfully, BRIX, as a product line, already existed. What was not available for the mini PCs was the Core i7-4770R CPU. The same goes for the Core i5-4570R processor. Clearly, Gigabyte is aiming high.

The chips have the Intel's Iris Pro 5200 integrated graphics, with LL4 eDRAm cache and 40 execution units, making it twice as good as the iGP in the Core i7-4770 CPU. A single 2.5-inch SSD/HDD can fit inside the case as well, along with a pair of mini PCIe 2.0 cards (one included provides Wi-Fi and Bluetooth). Sadly, the BRIX had to get a bit larger than before to fit everything, and their price isn't exactly low: $500 / €377.

Gigabyte BRIX Mini PC
Image credits to Gigabyte

300Mbps LTE Advanced Service Demoed in Hong Kong by CSL

Next year will provide users in Hong Kong with the possibility to enjoy LTE Advanced 300 (LTE-A300) connectivity, and the technology has already been demoed in the country today.

The demonstration was performed by 1O1O and one2free, which promise theoretical peak download speeds of up to 300 Mbps starting with early 2014, Engadget reports. LTE-A300 marks a great advancement in the evolution of LTE, and is said to be crucial for addressing the increase in mobile data usage in the future. With no other carrier having launched LTE Advanced with 300 Mbps capability as of now, 1O1O and one2free are amongst the first to drive advancement in the industry. “1O1O and one2free aggregated its existing licensed 20 MHz LTE carrier at 2600 MHz with another licensed 20 MHz LTE carrier at 1800 MHz, to achieve a maximum theoretical speed of 300 Mbps,” the two companies announced. “1O1O and one2free are the only operators in Hong Kong today with sufficient FD-LTE spectrum to achieve these optimal speeds with LTE-A300.”

CSL Limited, the parent company of 1O1O and one2free, explains that 300Mbps and 150Mbps are theoretical peak speeds that can be reached in optimum conditions. The actual speeds in the field will be much lower, as there are a variety of factors influencing the performance of the network, including the number of users, Internet conditions, server speeds, network conditions, coverage, and more. The company also notes that FD-LTE refers to Frequency Division LTE, which is commonly used in Hong Kong. TD-LTE, the other version of LTE, refers to Time Division LTE. "We have invested huge amounts in ensuring that we are leading the way to greater speeds and stability for our customers by building out the network capacity and leading-edge 4G LTE capabilities,” Phil Mottram, Chief Executive Officer of CSL Limited, said. “We are creating a future ready network for Hong Kong, a network that will support the growing data needs of business and consumers in this highly mobile city.”

CSL demoes 300Mbps LTE Advanced service in Hong Kong
Image credits to Engadget

Dual-SIM Galaxy Note 3 Receives Certification in China

Last week, South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung made the Galaxy Note 3 official at IFA in Berlin, and it seems that it won’t be long before it launches it in China.

In fact, cnbeta reports that the handset has already received network certification in the country, with four models spotted at China’s Communications ministry. We’re still unsure whether all four models will be launched in the territory, but we do know that two of these versions come with dual-SIM capabilities packed inside.

According to GizChina, both China Unicom and China Telecom will launch the handset, and each should offer both single and dual-SIM options to its users. Samsung has yet to officially announce plans for the launch of this smartphone in China. Chances are that it will announce the dual-SIM variants of the device in other markets as well.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Image credits to Samsung

Apple iPhone 5S: Design, Tech Specs, Price, and Availability

Apple’s flagship product, the iPhone, just got a remarkable upgrade today, featuring new color options as well as breakthrough hardware and software.

During today’s special event in Cupertino, California, Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, said, “iPhone 5s is the most forward-thinking smartphone in the world, delivering desktop class architecture in the palm of your hand.” “iPhone 5s sets a new standard for smartphones, packed into its beautiful and refined design are breakthrough features that really matter to people, like Touch ID, a simple and secure way to unlock your phone with just a touch of your finger,” added Schiller. Without further ado, here are the technical specifications of the new iPhone, complete with other details, such as price and availability.

Color options

Apple’s flagship product now comes in three different colors, including Space Gray, Gold, and Silver.

Weight and Dimensions

The iPhone 5S is 4.87 inches (123.8 mm) high and 2.31 inches (58.6 mm) wide, with a depth (thickness) of just 0.30 inch (7.6 mm). The weight is 3.95 ounces (112 grams).


Housed inside the metal chassis are two powerful new chips, including the A7 with its desktop-class 64-bit architecture, and the M7 motion coprocessor.

Touch ID

Apple’s new phone sports a brand new security feature which also doubles as a faster payment system for application purchases. It’s called Touch ID and reads your fingerprint for authentication. Touch ID is the flagship feature of the iPhone 5S.


Apple upgraded the iPhone 5S’ rear-facing camera with the following specs: 8 megapixels with 1.5µ pixels; ƒ/2.2 aperture; sapphire crystal lens cover; True Tone flash; backside illumination sensor; five-element lens; hybrid IR filter. The camera does autofocus, tap-to-focus, face detection, panorama, Burst Mode (new), and photo geotagging. Video-wise, users get 1080p HD recording at 30 frames per second (FPS), slo-mo video (with an 120 FPS feature), and improved video stabilization. The front-facing FaceTime cam offers 1.2MP photos (1280 by 960) with 720p HD video recording and sports a backside illumination sensor.


The iPhone 5S features a built-in (non-user-replaceable) rechargeable lithium-ion battery which charges via USB to a computer system or power adapter, and offers up to 10 hours talk time on 3G and up to 250 hours of standby time. Internet use: Up to 8 hours on 3G, up to 10 hours on LTE, up to 10 hours on Wi-Fi, Video playback: Up to 10 hours, Audio playback: Up to 40 hours


The new iPhone sports a three-axis gyro, an accelerometer, a proximity sensor, an ambient light sensor and, of course, the all-new fingerprint identity sensor.


The phone ships with Apple’s relatively new EarPods with Remote and Mic, which come in a handy storage and travel case.

SIM card

Apple continues to design its iPhones to be used with the nano-SIM standard, and clarifies that “iPhone 5s is not compatible with existing micro-SIM cards.”

System Requirements

To activate and use the iPhone 5S, you’ll need an Apple ID (for some features), Internet access, Mac OS X v10.6.8 or later / Windows 8; Windows 7; Windows Vista; or Windows XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 3 or later; iTunes 11.1 or later.

Pricing and Availability

The iPhone 5S will be available on September 20 in the US, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, and the UK. Pricing and storage capacities go as follows: 16GB - $199 (€150); 32GB - $299 (€225); 64GB - $399 (€300), with a two-year contract.

Apple iPhone 5S
Image credits to Apple

Xiaomi Mi3 Receives Certification in China

Xiaomi Mi3, the latest flagship smartphone from the Chinese mobile phone maker and which was made official only last week, has already received network approvals in China.

The handset has been spotted on the TENAA website in a yellow flavor, and should become available for purchase in the not too distant future. The Xiaomi Mi3 was announced with a Tegra 4 / Snapdragon 800 processor inside, which makes it one of the most powerful smartphones out there. In fact, Xiaomi claims that it is the fastest handset announced as of now.

Mi3 is set to become available for purchase in China through Xiaomi’s own website, with two different internal memory options. The 16GB flavor of the device will cost 1999 Yuan ($326 / €246), while the 64GB variant will be priced at 2499 Yuan ($408 / €308).

Xiaomi Mi3
Image credits to TENAA via GizChina

Apple Launches iPhone 5S with M7, A7 Chips, and Fingerprint Sensor

At its special event in Cupertino, Apple today launched the next-generation iPhone 5S, which features an innovative fingerprint-sensing Home button, A7 and M7 chips, an enhanced camera, and new colors.

Apple’s new iPhone 5S will be available in gold, silver, and graphite-grey. “The iPhone 5S is a huge leap forward in mobile computing performance,” Apple has said. The A7 presents a modern instruction set with 2x general purpose registers, 2x floating point registers, over 1 billion transistors, the works. It has twice as many transistors for about the same size as the A6 chip. The processor is 64-bit and iOS 7 has also been updated to support this. The phone uses an M7 “health sensor” chip and GPS to keep track of your physical activities. Battery life is capped at 10 hours 3G talk time; 250 hours standby; 10 hours LTE browsing; and 40 hours music playback. The iPhone 5S sports a brand new camera with a 5-element lens with f/2.2 aperture and 15 percent larger active sensor area. The LED flash is also new, called True Tone. The phone now bursts shots and slow-motion video at 120 fps.

The fingerprint sensor is confirmed as Touch ID. Built right into the home button, “It reads your fingerprint at an entirely new level,” according to Apple. The sensor is 170 microns thin, has 500 ppi resolution, and scans sub-epidermal skin layers with 360-degree readability. Around the Home button there is a stainless steel detection ring which senses that your finger is actually on the button, so you don't have to actually press it. “Since it's built in, you can make iTunes purchases by using your finger to authenticate,” Apple says. Best of all, your print is never stored on Apple servers or backed up to iCloud.

Commenting on Apple’s breakthroughs with the iPhone 5S, Jony Ive says, “We believe technology is at its best and most empowering when it simply disappears.” The device is priced identically as the iPhone 5 (starting at $199/€199 with a two-year contract).

iPhone 5S announcement
Image credits to Engadget

iPhone 5C Announced Priced $99 / €75 for 16GB

Apple has just announced its much-hyped iPhone 5C, confirming rumors that the phone would be priced more aggressively.

The iPhone 5C comes in multiple colors, features iPhone 5 hardware encased in polycarbonate plastic, and sells for $99 (€74.69) with 16GB, and $199 (€150.13) for the 32GB option with a two-year contract. In other words, the “budget” iPhone is really not that cheap. Jony Ive says, “It's simpler, more essential, more capable and more colorful. We believe the iPhone is an experience.”

iOS 7 is designed to complement the iPhone 5C perfectly, according to Apple. Apple praises the unibody plastic case, says it feels wonderful to hold. “iPhone 5C is beautifully, unapologetically plastic,” according to the Cupertino giant. "We took the same care with how the 5C feels in your hand.” The new phone will be available on September 20, according to Apple.

iPhone 5C announcement
Image credits to Engadget

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