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Nov 13, 2013

Xiaomi Hongmi 2 (Red Rice 2) with Octa-Core CPU to Arrive This Year

Chinese mobile phone maker Xiaomi might bring to the market a successor for its Xiaomi Hongmi (Red Rice) smartphone before the end of this year, the latest reports on the matter suggest.

According to a recent report on gizchina, the upcoming device might hit shelves with an 8-core MT6592 processor packed inside, which would certainly make it highly appealing to a lot of users out there. The sequel is also said to feature a 5.5-inch touchscreen, while also sporting various other enhancements.

Considering the success of Xiaomi Hongmi, it would make sense for the handset vendor to plan the release of a successor, though it remains to be seen whether it will do so before the end of this year, as currently rumored. Stay tuned for additional details on the matter.

Xiaomi Red Rice
Image credits to GizChina

Sony Xperia Z1s Leaked Photos

The mini flavor of Xperia Z1 appears to be nearing its official unveiling, and more leaked photos with the device are now available for your viewing pleasure.

The smartphone hasn’t been officially confirmed as of now, although a variant has been launched in Japan a while ago as Xperia Z1f. Internationally, the Xperia Z1 mini is said to feature the name of Xperia Z1s, though this hasn’t been officially confirmed either. For those out of the loop, we should note that the mobile phone is expected to arrive on shelves as a smaller variant of the flagship Z1, though retailing the same hardware specs inside. To be more precise, the yet unannounced phone should hit the market with a 4.3-inch 720p touchscreen, while being powered by a Snapdragon 800 processor. As XperiaBlog notes, the handset is also said to feature 2GB of RAM.

Furthermore, the device should arrive with a 20.7-megapixel camera on the back, capable of recording videos in full HD resolution, as well as with a front camera for making video calls. Xperia Z1s is also expected to feature one of the latest flavors of Android when made official (most probably Android 4.3 Jelly Bean), while also sporting appealing apps and capabilities coming from Sony themselves. Overall, the yet unofficial handset should prove a great option for all users out there, especially given its smaller size and powerful specs. Not to mention that it seems even more appealing when compared to the mini variants of flagship smartphones coming from other leading handset vendors, such as HTC and Samsung.

Until more details on the matter are made available, you can admire the Xperia Z1s in the photos available below, courtesy of mobiltelefon.ru. One of them shows the handset’s about screen, where model number D5503 is visible, as well as firmware version 14.2.A.0.205, Images gallery below, click for larger images.

Sony Xperia Z1s
Images credits to mobiltelefon.ru via XperiaBlog

Sony A7/A7R Launches in Korea

The first batch of Sony A7 and A7R full frame mirrorless cameras has already hit store shelves and the first worldwide store to sell these new camera models has opened its doors yesterday in Korea.

Although we're accustomed to see large crowds forming endless lines each time a new Apple product is out on the market, this time it happened to Sony at their A7/A7R full frame mirrorless camera launch in Korea. The video below shows how many people waited in line to get their hands on the new Sony camera models on launch day. The new Sony A7 and A7R cameras will be available in Europe next week, November 20 and in the US on December 1.

The cameras will hit European stores at a price of €2,099 / £1,699 / $2,729, significantly more expensive comparing with the prices most US stores are displaying – $2,299.99 / €1,700.

Video credits to Sony Korea

New Buffalo Bluetooth Mouse Has No Adapter

Most wireless peripherals still connect via universal serial bus, through a receiver that maintains the cableless connection. The newest peripheral from Buffalo, however, the BSMBB16 mouse, is different.

Equipped with Bluetooth 3.0 technology, it connects directly to your PC, tablet or whatever else, leaving your USB port free. That means that your motherboard actually needs integrated Bluetooth support, and the same goes for your laptop or slate. Fortunately, that's pretty common nowadays, which is likely why Buffalo went ahead and took the chance here.

The newcomer has a 1,000 dpi Blue Focus LED sensor. Four buttons, a scroll wheel, rubber side grip, one AA battery and a price of 3,465 yen / $35 / €26. All in all, the product measures 106 x 40 x 76 mm / €4.17 x 1.57 x 2.99 inches.

Buffalo adapter-less Bluetooth mouse
Images credits to Buffalo

Microsoft Branded Smartphone in the Works, Despite with Nokia Deal

It looks like Microsoft had been working on its own smartphone long before it decided to acquire Nokia. In fact, the company plans to launch the device even before the Nokia deal completes.

WMPoweruser reports that the DNAIndia publication claims that an anonymous Microsoft exec has confirmed that the company he works for will be releasing its own branded Windows Phone very soon. “We are waiting for regulatory clearances on the Nokia deal to merge the devices and hardware business, with Microsoft’s software business. “The Microsoft-branded phone is under review, but in the meanwhile we continue to work with our partners like Huawei, Samsung and HTC for Windows OS handsets,” said Microsoft Director Vineet Durani of the Windows Phone Business Group. Even though we have no idea what it will look like and what the hardware configuration under its hood is, there's a high chance that it will be named after the Surface tablet or something similar.

According to the latest hearsay, Nokia and Microsoft are not allowed to work together until the deal is done, which suggests that the “Surface phone” is a solo project developed by Microsoft. “While it is difficult to comment on how Microsoft would perform with its own branded handset, considering that we haven’t seen much from them as a hardware player. “By taking over Nokia, they will gain the device assets and manufacturing capabilities of an experienced global player, that puts them on par with other global players, and therefore in a better place than they were earlier,” concluded Anshul Gupta, principle research analyst at Gartner.

If these allegations prove accurate, Microsoft should be able to launch the “Surface phone” before it completes the acquisition of Nokia's handset and services division, which is set for Q1 2014. No other details are available for the moment, but stay tuned for more info on the matter.

Surface Phone 2 concept
Image credits to facebook.com/PhoneDesigner

CyanogenMod Installer Android and PC Clients Now Graduated to Stable Release

Starting today, Android users interested in loading CyanogenMod ROMs on their devices can take advantage of the final version of special installers that simplify the entire process for them.

CyanogenMod has announced the availability of stable flavors of both mobile and PC clients of the CyanogenMod Installer, which allows users to have the custom software up and running on their smartphones with only a few clicks. The CyanogenMod Installer has been available in a beta variant for some time now, and the testing period appears to have been successful, so the team decided to make the app available for all users out there. “The reception and demand we’ve received for the installer shows the value in breaking down the barrier to entry that we sought to address,” the team notes in a blog post. “We will continue to work on supporting additional devices beyond the initial set, but we are proud to say that we are supporting the majority of flagship models currently on the market. For a list of currently supported models, please see our Installer wiki page.”

Below, you will find the download link for both the CyanogenMod Installer, a PC application, and for the companion Android application that features the same name. Users who install both of them will be provided with the latest versions of CyanogenMod software compatible with their devices. However, only a small number of smartphones and tablet PCs are supported at the moment, though more of them will be added to the list shortly. To take advantage of the installer, users will need a device running under a stock ROM, regardless of whether it is rooted or not. The software will also unlock the bootloader, provided that it is locked. Before starting the process of loading a custom ROM, however, users should make sure that they back up all of their data, so as to ensure that no important files are lost during the installation of CyanogenMod. They should also fully charge the battery of the device.

CyanogenMod Installer now in a stable flavor
Image credits to CyanogenMod

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