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Sep 24, 2013

Dual-SIM Spice Stellar Virtuoso Pro+ Mi-492 Goes on Sale in India

Spice Mobiles has just released a new budget-friendly Android smartphone in India, the Stellar Virtuoso Pro+ Mi-492. The handset is available for purchase via major retailers across the country for only Rs 7,499 ($120/€90).

As fonearena points out, it comes with dual-SIM support that features Dual Standby technology. Furthermore, it ships with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system out of the box and packs a 1.3 GHz dual-core processor inside. On the back, Spice Stellar Virtuoso Pro+ Mi-492 features a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash, while in the front, there’s a secondary 1.3-megapixel camera for video calls.

It is also worth mentioning that the smartphone sports a large 4.5-inch capacitive touchscreen display that supports 854 x 480 pixels resolution, and features 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal memory and microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 32GB).

Spice Stellar Virtuoso Pro+ (Mi-492)
Image credits to fonearena

HTC Plans HTC One Sequel with 8-Core CPU and 3GB of RAM

Taiwanese mobile phone maker HTC Corporation is reportedly preparing the launch of a successor for its high-end HTC One smartphone, and is determined to pack it with greatly improved hardware.

Apparently, the company is considering the inclusion of an 8-core processor inside the upcoming device, at least this is what info that emerged over at Tech Community shows. A leaked screenshot that allegedly shows the About screen of the upcoming mobile phone unveils the aforementioned octa-core processor, as well as other details on the yet unannounced handset. HTC is also expected to include 3GB of RAM inside the phone, along with “Clear Audio” capabilities, though it’s yet uncertain what that would involve. Provided that the info pans out, this would become the first smartphone in HTC’s lineup to include 3GB of RAM.

What remains to be seen at the moment is what processor the smartphone will feature, given that there are not that many octa-core chips available to choose from. As UnwiredView notes, the processor could come from MediaTek, given that the company has already announced plans to release an 8-core solution in the not too distant future. One thing that appears to be certain, however, is the fact that it won’t be a Samsung CPU, nor one coming from Qualcomm. The upcoming mobile phone, which might land on shelves under the name of One+, is also expected to feature Gorilla Glass 3 protection for the screen.

No other info on this improved version of HTC One has emerged until now, and it remains to be seen when exactly HTC plans on making it official. Chances are that it will arrive later this year along with the long rumored large HTC One max, though this has yet to be officially confirmed, so keep an eye on this space for more info on the matter.

HTC One sequel to sport octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM
Image credits to Tech Community

Samsung Plans Premium F Smartphone Series

South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung Electronics is reportedly planning an expansion of its lineup of high-end smartphones with a new premium family of devices, the F Series.

According to a recent article on ETNews, the F lineup will include handsets with powerful hardware inside and with metallic bodies. There are still a lot of details on these devices that are not available as of now, but some info on what Samsung might include in these devices did slip out. Apparently, the company is set to release devices with touchscreens between 4.5 inches to 5.5 inches in this series, and might even pack some of them with flexible panels. The Samsung Exynos Octa processor is also expected to be part of the lineup, though this remains to be confirmed, it seems. According to PhoneArena, Samsung is determined to pack the upcoming mobile phones with cameras of up to 16 megapixels, while also adding Optical Image Stabilization technology into the mix.

The F series devices are also expected to feature premium price tags. Thus, Samsung will manage to tap into a new segment of the market, it seems. Recently, Samsung was said to be planning on adopting metallic cases for the upcoming Galaxy S5 flagship device, though it seems that it might actually use them in other smartphones. What remains to be seen is what outer design Samsung will adopt for these premium devices, since details on this are still unavailable. Apparently, the company might be set to unveil specific details on these new products as soon as March next year, though some more info on this might leak before that happens.

Samsung has been long criticized for the use of a plastic design for its flagship Galaxy S series, but it seems that things might change completely starting with the next year. Keep an eye on this space to learn more on the matter.

Samsung to launch new series of premium smartphones next year
Image credits to Samsung

Microsoft’s First WP8 Devices to Be Lumia 1820

Microsoft has announced its intention to purchase Nokia’s handset business, yet no details on the company’s plans following the acquisition have been provided as of now.

According to the latest reports on the matter, however, the Redmond-based company might launch its first smartphone running under Windows Phone 8 as soon as next year, and could call it Lumia 1820. The info comes from Twitter user @Nawzil8, the same person who let it slip not long ago that Nokia would bring its Nokia Camera app to all Windows Phone 8 devices out there.

Nokia Lumia 1820 should be on shelves next year, yet nothing is known on the device for the time being. We’ll take the info on this first smartphone coming out from Microsoft after the Nokia deal is closed with a grain of salt for the time being. However, we’ll keep an eye out for more on the matter, so stay tuned.

Microsoft to launch Lumia 1820 as its first Windows Phone 8 smartphone
Image credits to @qxerro on twitter

Windows Phone 8.1 Screenshots Leaked with Battery Percentage Meter

Nokia’s press event is less than a month away and we’re still not sure how many devices the Finnish company plans to introduce. The latest hearsay points to an official announcement with at least two new Windows-based devices, Lumia 1520 smartphone and Lumia 2520 tablet.

Until then, we’re left with the latest leaks that present some of the upcoming features of Windows Phone 8.1 operating system. WMPoweruser has just published two screenshots that have been taken from the alleged Windows Phone 8.1 platform. Both screenshots have been recently leaked via Twitter user @qxerro and show one of the most requested Windows Phone features, the battery meter percentage.

Aside from that, the images do no reveal anything new, but we expect that more details will surface in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for updates on the matter.

Windows Phone 8.1 screenshots
Image credits to @qxerro via WMPoweruser

Samsung to Launch Limited Edition Galaxy Note 3 with Flexible Display

Leading mobile phone maker Samsung is reportedly planning the release of a new flavor of its Galaxy Note 3 smartphone, one that would sport a flexible display.

Apparently, the company is set to make the handset official as soon as the next month, and will bring it to shelves in limited quantities. Samsung has been teasing flexible display technologies for quite some time now, and has also been rumored to launch the Galaxy Note 3 with such a screen, but that did not happen.

However, it seems that enthusiasts will actually have the chance to enjoy the feature in the aforementioned Limited Edition Galaxy Note 3 model. Apparently, a Samsung official has already confirmed this, Sohu IT reports. As UnwiredView notes, Samsung has already been rumored to launch devices with flexible displays in Q4 2013. I presume that the company will continue unveiling such devices in the next year, so stay tuned.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Image credits to Samsung

BBM for Android and iOS Officially Delayed, Not Coming This Week

Finally, after announcing that it had accepted a buyout offer from Canadian consortium Fairfax Financial, BlackBerry issued an official statement regarding the botched BlackBerry Messenger launch from last weekend.

For those unfamiliar with the subject, BlackBerry announced a week ago that it would launch its popular BBM application on both Android and iOS platforms during the weekend, but due to unforeseen problems, the Canadian company had to completely remove the iOS version from the App Store and shut down its servers. Unfortunately, BlackBerry did not offer any explanations on why it stopped the rollout of BBM for iOS or why it did not release the Android version in Google Play Store until today, 48 hours after the incident occurred. Well, as suspected, it appears that the unreleased Android version of BBM is the main cause of the issue, as lots of Android users downloaded this never released app that leaked a few days before the official launch and stressed BlackBerry's servers in abnormal ways.

Here is what Andrew Bocking, head of BBM at BlackBerry, has to say about the release of BlackBerry Messenger for iOS and Android. “Last week, an unreleased, older version of the BBM for Android app was posted on numerous file sharing sites. We were aware of an issue with this unreleased version of the BBM for Android app. This older version resulted in volumes of data traffic orders of magnitude higher than normal for each active user and impacted the system in abnormal ways. The version we were planning to release on Saturday addressed these issues, however we could not block users of the unreleased version if we went ahead with the launch.

We attempted to address the problems caused by the unreleased version throughout the day on Saturday, but as active users of the unreleased app neared a million – and accelerated – it became clear that the only way to address the issue was to pause the rollout for both Android and iPhone. The team is now focused on adjusting the system to completely block this unreleased version of the Android app when we go live with the official BBM for Android app. We are also making sure that the system is reinforced to handle this kind of scenario in the future. While this may sound like a simple task – it’s not. This will take some time and I do not anticipate launching this week.”

Blackberry logo
Image credits to Blackberry

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