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Jan 31, 2014

Samsung Unveils Galaxy Fame Lite, Trend and Core LaFleur Editions

South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung has been long rumored to plan the launch of LaFleur editions of many of its smartphones, and it appears that the company has decided to officially unveil these handsets in Russia.

Starting today, users in this country can head over to the company’s website to have a closer look at LaFleur editions of Galaxy Fame Lite, Galaxy Trend and Galaxy Core smartphones, it seems. Previously, the company was confirmed to release similar versions of the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S4 mini (both single- and dual-SIM variants) handsets, and they are listed online in Russia as well.

All smartphones feature the same specs as their original models, but feature a redesigned outer case. Unfortunately, as SamMobile notes, no specific info on whether these phones will be released in more markets out there has been provided until now. here are images gallery, click for larger image.

Samsung Galaxy Trend LaFleur Edition
Images credits to Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Core LaFleur Edition
Images credits to Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Fame Lite LaFleur Edition
Images credits to Samsung

Samsung releases LaFleur versions of various devices
Image credits to Samsung

Jolla Releases Software Update for Its Sailfish OS Smartphone

Today, Jolla has announced a new software release for the owners of its Sailfish OS-based devices, namely version

Users should receive a notification on their devices as soon as the new OS version is available, but they will need a working Jolla account for that. However, those who have already purchased Jolla’s phone can also manually check on the availability of the new software version, by going to Settings > System Settings > About Product, pull down the pulley menu and select “Check for update.” The new release brings along a nice range of enhancements, including support for landscape mode for Browser, gestures and notifications, as well as pinch-to-zoom support in Camera viewfinder.

The release notes for the new update also include:
  • SMS support in Android runtime environment
  • Clearly distinguish Android apps from native apps in Store
  • Settings to disable/enable Quick call support in Phone app (from Settings->Apps->Phone)
  • 'Clear clipboard' functionality
  • Delete all contacts in one go ( via pulley menu option in People app settings)
  • Improved recovery mode functionality introducing new features such as bootloader unlocking, shell and filesystem recovery options
  • Exchange ActiveSync policies introduced ('DevicePasswordEnabled' only)
  • Event location support to calendar events

According to Jolla, Sailfish OS users will see that Android applications will start with a certain delay, all depending on the number of such apps that have been installed. “Wait for a bit before you attempt to launch them. If the environment has not been fully loaded, you will experience apps closing on startup,” the company notes on its support website. Following the update, users will also see a variety of other improvements loaded on their devices, Jolla claims. Those who would like to learn more on what the new software release will bring along should head over to the aforementioned page on the company’s website for a full list of changes.

Jolla pushes out new Sailfish OS update
Image credits to Jolla

Lenovo Won’t Change Motorola’s 2014 / 2015 Device Roadmap

Soon, Motorola will cease to be a Google company, and will become part of Lenovo, the Chinese vendor that confirmed earlier this week plans to purchase the handset maker.

One of the main questions that emerged after the announcement was what would happen to the handsets that Motorola might have already had under development. Apparently, Lenovo won’t change the current device roadmap that Motorola has established for this year and the next, though things should be different starting with 2016 onwards.

Little is known on what Motorola might have in store for its users in the coming months, but the good news is that Lenovo will allow it to launch the handsets it wants to. Hopefully, upgraded versions of Moto X and Moto G will hit shelves in the not too distant future. For the next year, the vendor is rumored to plan the launch of a 6-inch smartphone, one that TalkAndroid suggests might be called Xplay.

Lenovo won't change Motorola's current device roadmap
Image credits to Motorola

BBM for Gingerbread Leaked Available Ahead of Official Launch

BlackBerry has already confirmed plans to bring the BlackBerry Messenger to Android devices out there running under the Gingerbread version of the platform, and it seems that users can now get a taste of the application before its official release.

The app will be officially pushed to the owners of Gingerbread phones and tablets starting with the next month, but a leaked build of the software is now up for grabs online, courtesy of N4BB. The BBM for Android beta APK aimed at said devices comes with a series of interface changes, with the top bar now being black (it is grey in the BBM for Android app already available for download). Moreover, the software features a “Find Friends on BBM” option, which has already been included in the BBM for Android 2.0 beta variant. However, N4BB notes that the leaked application build does not come with BBM Channels inside. The feature was recently said to arrive on Android and iOS devices in February, alongside BBM Voice.

Moreover, it appears that BlackBerry IDs are not whitelisted in this app version, which means that anyone will be able to log in without issues. BBM for Gingerbread seems to be running fairly smoothly on Android smartphones, showing that BlackBerry has been focused on ensuring great performance with it. However, it appears that users won’t be able to install the leaked app on a PlayBook device, and that converting it to a BAR resulted in force closes. At the moment, Gingerbread powers around 21 percent of all Android-based devices out there, which means that there are millions of users who will be able to download and install BBM soon.

Those who would like to try it before the official software is made available next month should head over to N4BB for a download link. Just keep in mind that it is a leaked build, and that it is also a beta version.

BBM logo
Image credits to BlackBerry

Jan 29, 2014

Lenovo Acquires Google's Motorola for $2.91 Billion (€2.13 Billion)

It looks like what started as a rumor earlier today proved to be 100% accurate, as Lenovo and Google have just announced they have reached an agreement for the acquisition of Motorola Mobility smartphone business.

Google purchased Motorola Mobility back in 2011 for $12.5 billion (€9.15 billion) and the agreement it has reached today with Chinese company Lenovo mentions it will only get $2.91 billion (€2.13 billion) for the company. That means Google has decided to sell Motorola at a huge loss. Even though the Motorola Mobility's smartphone business shrank over the years due to layoffs and closing of operations in almost all countries except the United States and Canada, the selling price is still far from what Google originally paid for it. The good news for Google is that the search giant will keep most of Motorola's patents, including current patent applications and invention disclosures, like Project Ara for example. Lenovo will still receive a license to Motorola's portfolio of patents and other intellectual property, along with over 2,000 patent assets, as well as the Motorola Mobility brand and trademark portfolio.

Aside from the current smartphones Motorola is already successfully selling in various countries (Moto X and Moto G), Lenovo has also confirmed it will take ownership of the future Motorola Mobility's roadmap. Under agreement, Lenovo will pay $1.41 billion (€1.03 billion) at close, comprised of $660 million (€483 million) in cash and $750 million (€549 million) in Lenovo ordinary shares (subject to a sharecap/floor). Furthermore, the remaining $1.5 billion (€1.1 billion) will be paid in the form of a three-year promissory note.

“The acquisition of such an iconic brand, innovative product portfolio and incredibly talented global team will immediately make Lenovo a strong global competitor in smartphones. We will immediately have the opportunity to become a strong global player in the fast-growing mobile space,” said Yang Yuanqing, chairman and CEO of Lenovo. “Lenovo has the expertise and track record to scale Motorola Mobility into a major player within the Android ecosystem. This move will enable Google to devote our energy to driving innovation across the Android ecosystem, for the benefit of smartphone users everywhere,” said Larry Page, CEO, Google. “As part of Lenovo, Motorola Mobility will have a rapid path to achieving our goal of reaching the next 100 million people with the mobile Internet. With the recent launches of Moto X and Moto G, we have tremendous momentum right now and Lenovo’s hardware expertise and global reach will only help to accelerate this,” said Dennis Woodside, CEO, Motorola Mobility.

Lenovo logo
Image credits to Lenovo

Samsung SM-G900L (Galaxy S5) Emerges in Korea with 5.1’’ 1080p Screen

Galaxy S5, the upcoming flagship smartphone from South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung, has been rumored to arrive on shelves in a variety of versions, and one of them seems to have just made an appearance in the company’s homeland country.

Featuring model number SM-G900L, which falls in line with the various Galaxy S5 versions, the new handset was spotted over at South Korean wireless carrier LG U+. The phone appeared there with a 5.1-inch display capable of delivering a 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution, as well as with the Android 4.4 KitKat operating system loaded on top. Previous reports on Galaxy S5 suggested that Samsung would plan on launching it in two different versions, Prime and Standard, with the latter featuring a full HD screen, and the former capable of delivering a 2k resolution. However, the phone was expected to sport a 5.2-inch screen in both variants, and the fact that this device is listed with a 5.1-inch panel comes as a surprise.

With the SM-G900 models supposedly confirmed to be part of the Galaxy S5 lineup, all that remains to be seen is an official announcement from Samsung on this handset and its actual capabilities. For the time being, however, we’ll take the possible info on its screen size and resolution with a grain of salt, as things might turn out differently in the end. As PhoneArena notes, there’s also the possibility that the flagship device will not feature the aforementioned SM-G900 model number, and that this will be a completely different handset from the leading vendor. Specifics on this might not become available until March, as the mobile phone is expected to be announced sometime in the middle of that month, during an event supposedly set to take place in London. Keep an eye on this space for more on the matter.

Samsung SM-G900L (Galaxy S5) at LG U+
Image credits to LG U+

Jan 28, 2014

BlackBerry Confirms BBM for Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread Coming in February

It's no secret BlackBerry is trying to bring one of the most popular services is still providing, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), to as many customers as possible.

We reported about two weeks ago the Canadian company plans to launch a BBM client for devices powered by Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The first details on the upcoming release of BBM for Gingerbread devices leaked in mid-January, but BlackBerry had been mum on the subject until recently. Today, Jeff Gadway, head product and brand marketing for BBM, announced his company will be launching BBM for Android 2.3.3+ Gingerbread devices very soon. “We’ve got some exciting BBM news for Android Gingerbread users – you’ve been asking and we’ve heard you loud and clear. We’re now pleased to announce that BBM will soon also be available on Android Devices running Gingerbread (v2.3.3+).”

It looks like BlackBerry wishes to tap into the Android Gingerbread market, which according to the latest Android Developer Dashboard, represents no less than 21% of the total Android platform. Bringing so many new users under its wing will hugely increase BBM's market share in comparison with other instant messaging services. The upcoming launch of BBM Voice and BBM Video services for Android and iOS platforms is another aspect that could contribute to another success on the instant messaging market. According to Gadway, BlackBerry will launch a open beta BBM application for Gingerbread devices sometime in February.

“The team at BBM has been busy in the kitchen over the last few months cooking up this special release of BBM for Android smartphones running Gingerbread and are now moving into an external beta ahead of the launch in February. We couldn’t be more excited, too! Supporting Gingerbread will allow millions more Android users to download the popular BBM instant messaging app,” added Jeff Gadway.

BBM for Android
Image credits to BlackBerry

Samsung’s Tizen-Based SM-Z9005 to Arrive as ZEQ 9000

Samsung hasn’t announced a smartphone running under Tizen as of now, but rumor has it that it could make the move as soon as the next month, at the MWC show in Barcelona, and that the first such handset from the company might be called ZEQ 9000.

The mobile phone has made it online before, and even leaked in a hands-on photo via @evleaks, but no specific info on Samsung’s plans for it has emerged until now. However, the device was spotted recently on the Korean site MovePlayer, where the the ZEQ 9000 branding is visible once again. The SM-Z9005 is also said to be the dual-SIM version of the smartphone, with the single-SIM variant expected to arrive on shelves with model number SM-Z9000 attached. The available image with the device also shows a design similar to that of Galaxy S4, while the UI appears to resemble the Tizen 2.1 interface that leaked online a few months back, as SamMobile notes. ZEQ 9000, provided that this will indeed be the phone’s name, should land on shelves with a 4.8-inch capable of delivering a 720p resolution.

Moreover, the handset is expected to be powered by a 2.3 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, which suggests that Samsung might aim it at the mid- to high-end of the market. On the other hand, we should note that a certain Samsung SM-Z9005 smartphone has emerged on eBay with a price tag of only $250 attached, as can be seen on this page. The phone is said to be running under Tizen, and chances are that it is the ZEQ 9000 mentioned above. According to the eBay description, the smartphone sports a 4.7-inch touchscreen and 16GB of internal memory, while featuring support for GSM networks. Should previous reports on Samsung’s plans for the MWC 2014 show pan out, we might see this device being at least showcased at the event, so keep an eye on this space for additional info on the matter.

Samsung SM-Z9005 (ZEQ 9000)
Image credits to evleaks

Samsung SM-Z9005 (ZEQ 9000)
Image credits to eBay

Samsung SM-Z9005 (ZEQ 9000)
Image credits to MovePlayer

Samsung Confirms 2K AMOLED Smartphone Panels, Points at 4K Too

South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung Electronics has officially confirmed that it has a 2k smartphone screen in the works.

According to daum, Samsung unveiled that it was working on an AMOLED QHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) screen during the Semiconductor and Display Technology Roadmap Seminar, but did not provide specific info on what devices might feature it. However, it appears that the company also said there that a smartphone packing an AMOLED UHD (3480 x 2160 pixels) display could also be launched in the not-too-distant future.

One thing that is certain is that a 4k resolution on a 5-inch device could be a little over the top. After all, 2k smartphones have yet to arrive on shelves and prove themselves worthy of spending money on. For the time being, no official confirmation on whether Galaxy S5 will pack a 2k screen or not has been provided, so stay tuned for more on the matter.

Samsung confirms 2k smartphone screen
Image credits to Samsung

Leaked iPhone 6 Logic Board with A8 Processor [Video]

The next-generation A8 System on a Chip (SoC) is allegedly shown in a new YouTube video uploaded by MrVoolp. This is the third such leak from this user in under a week.

Apparently, someone at Foxconn has access to a lot of iPhone 6 parts, as both the chassis and (now) the logic board have been videotaped and posted online for everyone to glance at. We can’t confirm the accuracy of MrVoolp’s claims, but the hardware does seem to pertain to an Apple handset, albeit a much larger one than what we’ve become accustomed to.

There are no clear markings on any of the chips shown in the video, but the source says we’re looking at the all-new A8 processor that will power the iPhone 6. Hit the play button and see for yourselves.

iPhone 6 Parts New Processor A8 Exclusive
Video credits to MrVoolp

BlackBerry OS 10.2.1 Officially Announced, Changelog Available

Earlier today, BlackBerry 10 users around the world started to see the BlackBerry OS 10.2.1 update emerging on their devices, and the full changelog for the release is now available.

The Canadian mobile phone maker has confirmed the rollout, announcing that users will benefit from hundreds of enhancements as part of it, and that they will be able to do more after installing it, while also being more productive than before. The company has also noted that the new platform release is available starting today in the US, Europe, Canada, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. The new operating system flavor is still subject to carrier approvals, but it should not be too long before all owners of BlackBerry 10 devices, including the Porsche Design P’9982, receive it.

The release notes for the new update include the option to customize Pinch Gesture to Filter BlackBerry Hub, a simplified Phone Experience, SMS and Email Groups, Actionable Lock Screen Notifications, and more. Following the installation of OS 10.2.1, users will be able to filter the message list in the BlackBerry Hub. They can set it to show only Unread Messages, Flagged Messages, Draft Messages, Meeting Invites, Sent Messages, or Level 1 Alerts, BlackBerry announced. Moreover, the OS brings along a new incoming call screen, which allows users to swipe to the left to answer, or to the right to ignore a call. “New intuitive icons allow you to instantly silence the call, or send a Reply Now response through BBM, SMS or email that you can’t answer the phone right away. You can choose from a list of standard automated responses or respond with a personalized note,” BlackBerry announced.

For efficient communication, OS 10.2.1 will enable the creation of SMS and email groups, while also allowing users to tap to open a message that appears on the lockscreen. Faster unlocking is also possible through using a combination of a picture and a number (0-9). At the same time, the Quick Settings Menu is customizable in the new OS version, so that owners of BB10 devices can set what appears on the Settings menu, with options such as quickly changing the Brightness, toggling various network connections, and more.

Other enhancements in BlackBerry OS 10.2.1 include:
  • Offline Browser Reading Mode – You can now save the current web page you’re on for later viewing, even if you are offline or without an Internet connection.
  • Preferred Contact Sync – You can now choose the sync source for your Contacts ensuring you always have the most up-to-date contact details. When adding a new contact you can designate which sources you want the contact info to sync with, such as the corporate address book, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.
  • Device and Battery Monitor – A new and improved device monitor provides you with essential details on battery usage, the impact of installed apps on battery life and memory usage and storage, as well as CPU stats.
  • FM Radio – If you have a BlackBerry Z30, BlackBerry Q10 or BlackBerry Q5 smartphone, the new software update unlocks the built-in FM radio in those handsets. You can listen to local FM stations, which does not require any network connection.
  • Automatic Software Updates – OS updates can be set to happen automatically over a Wi-Fi connection to help ensure you’re always benefiting from the latest and best possible customer experience.
  • Enterprise Features – When combined with BES10 version 10.2, enterprise customers will gain additional security features and IT policies for when more granular controls are required, such as for regulated industries and for organizations that work with sensitive data. 

Additional info on the new update can be found on BlackBerry's website.

BlackBerry OS 10.2.1 officially confirmed for global roll out
Images credits to BlackBerry

Jan 26, 2014

HTC M8 Leaked Wallpaper Confirms 1080p Display

HTC M8 or One+ (Plus), or whatever its name will be, was rumored to pack a stunning 2K display, but according to the latest hearsay that will not be the case with this smartphone.

We reported several days ago some benchmark results pointed to an 1080p display instead of the rumored 2K screen, and now we have more proof that HTC M8 will indeed feature the former. Courtesy to @evleaks, we now have access to the official wallpaper of the unannounced HTC M8. The wallpaper has 2160 x 1920 pixels, which suggests the smarpthone will sport a large display that will support 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution. You can find the full sized original wallpaper here.

No other details have been confirmed either than the 1080p resolution of the display, but rumors hint to a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM, Android 4.4 KitKat and HTC Sense 6.0.

HTC M8 original wallpaper
Image credits to evleaks

BBM Voice and BBM Channels for Android to Arrive in February

Canadian mobile phone maker BlackBerry is getting ready for the release of voice calling features for BlackBerry Messenger for Android devices, and appears set to make it available as soon as the next month.

The feature is called BBM Voice, and will provide users with the possibility to enjoy free calling to other BBM users out there. iOS users will also receive the new functionality. At the same time, the company is aiming at allowing Android users to browse and create BBM Channels from their devices, an option that has long been confirmed to arrive on other platforms beside BlackBerry 10. According to The Times of India, Krishnadeep Baruah, senior director, channel marketing in Asia Pacific for Blackberry was the one to confirm this, stating that both options will be delivered as part of an update set to arrive in the next few weeks. Moreover, he confirmed that BBM Video was also considered for release on Android and iOS devices, but did not provide a specific release window for it.

The feature will make it on more mobile operating systems in the not too distant future, but it’s unclear whether it will be part of the next app update or not. When asked about the availability of BBM for Windows Phone devices, Krishnadeep Baruah did not deny the possible release of such an app. "We're constantly evaluating and hopefully at the right time we will be able to launch on newer platforms," Baruah said, without offering further info on the matter.

Previously, BBM Voice and BM Channels were confirmed to arrive on other devices beside BlackBerry 10 smartphones before the end of this year, but no specific timeframe for the roll out has been provided. Hopefully, the Canadian vendor will deliver specifics on its plans for BBM for Android sooner rather than later, so keep an eye on this space to learn the news.

BBM Voice and BBM Channels for Android expected next month
Image credits to BlackBerry

Samsung Galaxy TabPRO Line and Galaxy NotePRO Set to Arrive in the US February 14

Yesterday I brought you news saying one of Samsung’s latest Galaxy NotePRO tablet might be arriving in Europe, February 7.

But apparently an unnamed Samsung source speaking to RootzWiki claimed customers in the US can expect to see the Samsung’s Galaxy TabPRO series and the Galaxy NotePRO go on sale on Valentine’s Day (February 14). The insider also mentioned that Samsung employees would not going to be allowed time off between the dates of 2/14 and 2/16, so indicating the tech giant expects to sell a lot of tablets in the first few days. Nothing was mentioned of pricing, but European rates were leaked a while ago in the press and they go as follows:

  • Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 8.4, Wi-Fi: €389 ($389?)
  • Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 8.4, LTE: €519 ($519?)
  • Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 10.1, Wi-Fi: €479 ($479?)
  • Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 10.1 LTE: €609 ($609?)
  • Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 12.2, Wi-Fi: €649 ($649?)
  • Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 12.2, LTE: €749 ($749?)
  • Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2, Wi-Fi: €749 ($749?)
  • Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2, LTE: €849 ($849?)

Yesterday’s news also indicated the Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 (Wi-Fi model) will be selling for €749 / $1,024 in Europe, so it appears we're not far from the truth. So is it possible Europeans will be getting the chance to grab the slates a week earlier?

Samsung's new tablets might arrive on Valentine's Day
Image credits to GeekyGadgets

Tango PC, a Fanless, Pocketable and Upgradeable Computer System

There are mini PCs, there are micro PCs, and then there are things like the Tango PC, which look more like portable HDDs than anything else. Nonetheless, they are full-fledged systems, albeit not overly powerful ones.

Then again, when the package measures 4.9 x 3.15 x 0.5 inches / 125 x 80 x 13.5 mm, there's hardly any room to complain. Especially when, despite the small package, you can still upgrade the storage and memory and still be able to carry it in a pocket, like you would a wallet. Obviously, the performance won't match that of laptops or desktops. The size demanded sacrifices after all, not the least of which was the CPU. Since it's a fanless computer, the chip needed to make do with a low TDP and, thus, a low performance as well. Nonetheless, the AMD A6-5200 is still quite capable, a quad-core APU (accelerated processing unit) with a core frequency of 2 GHz and integrated GCN-based graphics, the HD 8400. 2-8 GB Ram back it, data is stored on an mSATA SSD (SATA III 6.0 Gbps).

High-end PC games won't run on it, but Call of Duty 4 (a shooter from 2007) should run fine, and Battlefield 4 might manage 20 FPS. Not that it'll be playable. But you could play the ever so enduring Counter Strike, or pretty much any title from up to five years ago. Just mind the gameplay and video settings. That said, video will run just fine of course, so if you happen to carry a projector with you, as well as a foldable white sheet of some sort, you can even project movies when camping on some peak or another, or in a forest clearing. It should scare animals away quite nicely, if nothing else.

Keep in mind, though, that the reason the Tango PC (that's the name of the device) is so small is because it has a separate docking system, which provides USB, HDMI, Ethernet, AV and power powers. You'll need to plug the PC in the dock for anything to work. So, I suppose this is, in the end, a PC cartridge. Fortunately, it can be used with multiple docks, and it's not like the dock itself is all that big: 5.3 x 5.3 x 1.06 inches / 135 x 135 x 27 mm.

Tango PC pocket system
Image credits to TangoPC
Tango PC joined us onsite at CES to demo their shirt pocket or purse PC. This super small and powerful PC features an AMD A6-5200 APU and can run any laptop PC compatible OS. Learn more about it by checking out their indiegogo page. 

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Video credits to AMD

CyanongenMod 11 Android 4.4 KitKat Nightlies for Nook Tablet Available

Owners of the original Nook tablet interested in trying out the new Android 4.4. KitKat build, should know than the official Cyanogenmod 11.0 (Android 4.4) nightlies has been released for their device.

The ROM is compatible with Nook Tablet 512M/8GB and 1GB/16GB. The device code name is “acclaim”. Before trying out this new ROM, you should have a CWM recovery. If you’re installing CWM coming from a stock device, you will need a special SD card. Updating to Android 4.4 KitKat will offer increased performance and reliability over stock Android for your Nook, but note you might stumble upon a few issues too. For example from time to time boot hangs/crashed and users will be forced to reboot. This is an ongoing problem and a fix is currently in the works.

After downloading the new ROM for your specific device, you can find detailed instructions on how to install the new release on the xda-developers forum. Be warned that installing the Cyanogenmod 11.0 (Android 4.4) nightlies on your Nook tablet will void your device warranty.

CyanongenMod 11 Android 4.4 KitKat Nightlies for Nook available
Image credits to IamFanof

HTC’s Unannounced Octa-Core Smartphone Leaks Online

Taiwanese mobile phone maker HTC Corporation is reportedly gearing up for the launch of an octa-core smartphone, and allegedly leaked images with it are now available for your viewing pleasure.

According to info coming from ePrice, which also brought said images online, the smartphone will be launched as part of the company’s HTC Desire lineup, which means that it will be only a mid-range phone. Furthermore, the news site brought some of the hardware specs for the device to the light, suggesting that it will hit shelves with a 5-inch touchscreen display, capable of delivering a 720p resolution.

On the back, the phone should sport an 8-megapixel camera, supposedly capable of full HD video recording. It is also said to pack 1.5GB of RAM inside, and to be running under Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, with the HTC Sense 5.5 UI loaded on top. HTC is reportedly planning on making the smartphone official next month at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and might release it in multiple color versions. Stay tuned to learn more on it.

HTC's octa-core Desire smartphone
Image credits to ePrice

Jan 23, 2014

Samsung Galaxy S III Neo+ Goes Official in China

A new Samsung smartphone went official in China this week, in the form of Galaxy S III Neo+, which is now listed on the company’s website in the country with model number GT-I9300I attached to it.

The smartphone comes with about the same specs and features as the original handset, but packs support for dual-SIM connectivity (3G + GSM), a 4.8-inch HD (720p) Super AMOLED display, and a 1.4GHz quad-core processor packed inside, as SammyHub notes. Moreover, the device comes with an 8-megapixel camera on the back, as well as with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, a 2100mAh battery, and a microSD memory card slot for expansion purposes.

Moreover, the new Samsung Galaxy S III Neo+ arrives on shelves with the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean operating system loaded on top right from the beginning.

Samsung Galaxy S III Neo+
Image credits to SammyHub

Galaxy S5 to Pack Better One-Handed Operation Capabilities

South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung Electronics is reportedly planning on including better support for one-handed operations inside its Galaxy S5 smartphone, after being granted new patents for the functionality.

The guys over at GalaxyClub.nl have discovered info on said patents on the Korean patent information website KIPRIS, which might be hinting at the user interface that Samsung plans on loading on top of Galaxy S5. The device might provide users with the possibility to select a corner of the screen they want to use for the function, with apps and notifications put at their fingertips there. The feature should prove great on a large screen, such as the 5.2-inch one expected on Galaxy S5.

Additionally, Samsung has received a patent for a new music interface with deep social media integration, one that might land on the flagship phone as Friends Music, as SamMobile notes. However, no confirmation on this has been provided.

Samsung could pack better one-handed operation capabilities inside Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5 to sport a new music app
Images credits to GalaxyClub

Carpad T68 MAX "Mini" Tablet Arrives with 6.95-Inch Screen and Octa-Core Processor

Chinese device makers are seemingly on a roller-coaster of unleashing octa-core devices that blur the line between smartphones and tablets.

This is the case of the Carpad T69 MX, the flagship device of this unknown Chinese brand (via GSMInsider). This product has a wide 6.95-inch LTPS + OGS display with an impressive 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, so it can be thought of a mini-tablet of sorts. Most 7-inchers coming out of China and India today sport calling capabilities, so it’s getting increasingly difficult to understand where the line between tablets and smartphones is drawn.

The T59 MAX draws power from a MediaTek MT6592 octa-core processor clocked at 1.7GHz complete with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. I also have to note the main camera’s (8MP) lens glass is made of sapphire. On top of that, there’s USB OTG, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, dual SIM (compatible with both GSM and WCDMA networks) and a decent 4,200 mAh battery. The device will be made available for purchase in seven different colors with a price tag of $278 / €204.

Carpad launches octa-core mini tablet
Image credits to GSMInsider

VTX3D Radeon R9 290X/ R9 290 X-Edition Debut

There never seems to be a surplus of factory-overclocked cards, so VTX3D has decided this would be as good a time as any to release a pair of new Radeon R9 series boards.

So here they are, the VTX3D R9 290X/ R9 290 X-Edition, with 4 GB of GDDr5 VRAM (each), dual-fan coolers (black and red) and clocks GPU clocks 30 MHz above those of the reference adapters. Which is to say, the VTX3D R9 290X X-Edition operates at 1030 MHz and the memory at 1250 MHz, while the R9 290 X-Edition can manage 975 MHz GPU and 1250 MHz memory.

The newcomers have Ferrite Core Choke and SVI2 power management, plus digital PWM and a Multi Phase Design. Sadly, the prices of the VTX3D Radeon R9 290X/ R9 290 X-Edition were not mentioned in the announcement.

VTX3D Radeon R9 290X X-Edition

VTX3D Radeon R9 290 X-Edition

VTX3D Radeon R9 290X X-Edition
Image credits to VTX3D

MSI Launches New FM2+ Gaming Motherboards for AMD APUs

For Micro-Star International, the word “gaming” isn't just a label it describes products under, it is an actual brand that has been strapped to the two newest motherboards to leave its laboratories.

Said two motherboards are called A88X-G45 Gaming and A88X Gaming. The former is a Full-ATX model, while the latter is a micro-ATX motherboard. Since they possess the FM2+ socket, that means they're ready to welcome AMD's Kaveri APUs. Both newcomers have MSI Audio Boost technology, MSO USB Audio Power technology, MSI Real USB Power, Killer LAN networking and Military Class 4 Components (Hi-c Cap, Super Ferrite Choke and Solid CAPs). OC Genie 4 and Click BIOS 4 are included as well.

That said, both mainboards have 4 DDR3 DIMM memory slots and several PCI Express 3.0, 2.0 x16/x8/x4/x1 slots, plus a bunch of ports on the rear panels, and via headers. Prices are unknown though. Assassin's Creed Liberation HD ships for free with A88X-G45 Gaming.

MSI A88X-G45 Gaming
Image credits to MSI

MSI A88X Gaming
Image credits to MSI

Video Shows Sailfish OS on Google Nexus 4

Google phones have always proved to be great modding devices among enthusiasts, to load not only various custom Android versions on them, but other operating systems as well.

A newly posted video, embedded below for your viewing pleasure, proves exactly that, as it shows a Nexus 4 smartphone running under Sailfish OS. The video shows the work of Lithuanian developer Simonas Leleiva, who managed to successfully port the new mobile operating system to the 2012 smartphone. What you’ll be seeing in the video below is the Recovery menu of the Nexus 4 being used to boot up into a clean install of Sailfish OS, as esphoneblog notes. The entire installation, boot up and setup process takes only a few minutes. The move was possible mainly due to the openness of the Sailfish OS, but also courtesy of the various tweaking capabilities that Nexus devices arrive on the market with. For those out of the loop, we should note that the Sailfish OS is a new mobile operating system coming from Jolla, a Finnish startup.

Built on a Linux core, the platform is developed in cooperation with the Mer project, while also enjoying support from the Sailfish Alliance. The operating system comes with multi-tasking capabilities, while also promising a complete openness, aimed at offering advantages over OSes such as Android and iOS. The Sailfish OS comes with support for Android applications, providing users with access to tens of thousands of them right from the start (the first phone to run under it was launched back in November).

Furthermore, the operating system was also said to be coming to all Android smartphones out there, at least this is what Jolla CEO Tomi Pienimäki suggested in an interview at the end of November. The video below proves that it is possible to have Sailfish loaded on Android smartphones, though it remains to be seen when official releases start to come in.

Sailfish OS loaded on Nexus 4
Image credits to Youtube
Sailfish OS ported to Nexus 4
Video credits to sledges

Sony Xperia KitKat Boot Animation Now Available for Download

Yesterday, we had the chance to have a look at a video showing the leaked boot animation of Sony’s KitKat-powered Xperia devices, and the feature is now available for download.

Users with rooted devices interested in taking it for a spin can now grab it from the Xperia.cz forum and install it, either via System > Media, or via Recovery. The downloadable file will simply replace the boot animation file in system > media, though it would also require for users to set the right permissions to enjoy it.

As XperiaBlog notes, some users might consider the new animation as lacking the dynamic that the Jelly Bean one has to offer. As mentioned yesterday, users can also download and put on their smartphones wallpapers extracted from the Sony’s upcoming Xperia Sirius smartphone, for some additional personalization options.

nek - http://xperia.cz/ostatni/1161-xperiacz-exkluzivne-bootovaci-animace-z-androidu-442-kitkat-od-sony-mobile
Diskuze & download - http://forum.xperia.cz/viewtopic.php?f=54&t=9248
Video credits to JozaCmar

Jan 21, 2014

Wi-Fi Only Sony Xperia Z Ultra “Tablet Edition” Real Photos and Manual Leak

Earlier today I brought you news about Sony’s official website seemingly confirming the existence of the Xperia Z Ultra Wi-Fi only model.

Previously, the device has been spotted in the AnTuTu benchmark database, scoring a massive 35,073 points and most of its specs have been leaked too. The Xperia Z Ultra so-called “tablet edition” is expected to sport a Snapdragon 800 MSM8074 SoC processor, Adreno 330 GPU, a 6.4-inch screen, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage and an 8MP camera on the back.

Now the device gets confirmed for real, as FCC has uploaded all the internal and external test photos for Xperia Z Ultra SPG412 Wi-Fi. On top of that, they have added a complete user manual for the new model. Popping for a visit at the FCC usually means a device will soon be ready to hit the market, so we probably won’t have to wait long until the mini-tablet appears.

Wi-Fi only Sony Xperia Z Ultra real pictures leak
Images credits to FCC

Jan 20, 2014

Huawei Honor 3C 2GB to Arrive in China on January 24

Chinese mobile phone maker Huawei is expected to start selling the 2GB version of the Honor 3C smartphone in its homeland market starting with January 24, the latest reports on the matter suggest.

According to GizChina, while the Honor 3C with 1GB of RAM has already managed to prove successful, the new version should attract even more users on its side. Starting with Friday, users in China will be able to buy the new model, which includes the same 1.3GHz MT6582 quad-core processor as the already available variant. The mobile phone will also sport a 13-megapixel camera on the back, along with a 5-inch display. It is powered by a 2300mAh battery, the same as the current model.

Huawei Honor 3C 2GB is expected to become available in the country with a price tag of 998 Yuan ($165/€122) attached to it, unlocked. It will offer dual-SIM capabilities and WCDMA support.

Huawei Honor 3C
Image credits to Huawei via GizChina

Octa-Core Phablet iBerry Auxus Nuclea N2 Up for Pre-Order in India for Rs 19,990

We reported about a week ago that Indian OEM iBerry planned to introduce its first octa-core smartphone in India at some point this month. Well, it looks like the company has just kicked off pre-order for the Auxus Nuclea N2, which is set to go on sale on January 23.

For the time being, the high-end smartphone is available for only Rs 19,990 ($325 / €240) off contract, but once the pre-order period ends, customers will be offered the Auxus Nuclea N2 for no less than Rs 23,990 ($390 / €285). The sequel to the iBerr Auxus Nuclea N1 comes with a powerful 1.7 GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6592 processor, which is complemented by a Mali 450-MP4 graphics processing unit and 2GB of DDR3 RAM. In addition, the high-end smartphone packs 16GB of internal memory, which can be further expanded up to 64GB via microSD memory card. Aside from the powerful processor, iBerry Auxus Nuclea N2 boasts a large 5.7-inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen display that supports full HD (1080p) resolution. This is another selling point of iBerry’s phablet.

According to fonearena, iBerry Auxus Nuclea N2 ships with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system out of the box, but it’s upgradeable to newer versions OTA (over the air). This means that a KitKat update is not out of the question. Furthermore, the Auxus Nuclea N2 packs an impressive 13-megapixel photo snapper on the back, which features LED flash, BSI sensor, autofocus and full HD (1080p) video recording, while in the front there’s a secondary no less impressive 8-megapixel camera. The phone is powered by a high-capacity 3500 mAh battery that features wireless charging. Other highlights of the phablet include HSPA+ and HSUPA, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS (with aGPS support) connectivity, as well as FM Radio, 3.5 mm audio jack and microUSB port.

iBerry Auxus Nuclea N2
Image credits to iBerry

Xiaomi to Launch Hongmi 1S, Octa-Core Hongmi 2 Soon

Chinese mobile phone maker Xiaomi is reportedly getting ready for the launch of a nice range of new mobile phones in the not too distant future, including two successors of the popular Hongmi devices.

Apparently, the company might soon release a Hongmi M1S handset with the same physical design as the original device, but with a 1.7GHz MT6592 octa-core chip inside. Info coming from mydrivers also suggests that it would be priced at 799 Yuan ($132/€97.5). Furthermore, a Hongmi 2 smartphone is also expected to arrive on shelves this year, with the same processor packed inside, but with a larger, 5.5-inch 720p touchscreen display, priced at 999 Yuan ($165/€122).

On top of that, Xiaomi is said to be planning the release of a 4G LTE version of Xiaomi Mi3. Supposedly dubbed Xiaomi Mi3S, the handset would be powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974AC) processor. However, it should keep the rest of the specifications unchanged from the original Mi3.

Last year's Xiaomi Hongmi
Image credits to Xiaomi

Xiaomi Mi3 for China Telecom Arrives in February

Chinese mobile phone maker Xiaomi has confirmed the upcoming availability of two versions of its Xiaomi Mi3 flagship device, one set to hit shelves tomorrow, while the other is expected to be released by mid-February.

In a recent tweet, the company has confirmed that the Rose Red Xiaomi Mi3 will be launched on January 21 at 12:00 P.M., Beijing Time. Another post on twitter confirms that the Mi3 version destined for wireless carrier China Telecom will become available before the middle of the next month. “The Xiaomi MI3 China Telecom version will be available in China by mid-February,” the company said.

For those out of the loop, we should note that the smartphone was launched with a 5-inch IPS touchscreen display, a 2.3 GHz quad-core processor inside, 2GB of RAM, and a 13-megapixel camera on the back with full HD video recording capabilities.

Xiaomi Mi3
Image credits to Xiaomi

Sony Sirius (D6503) Appears in Live Pictures Side-by-Side Against Xperia Z1

The next Sony flagship smartphone codename Sirius has been recently spotted in various pictures that show its users interface and some of its features.

Details about the Sony Sirius (D6503) leaked as well, so we basically know a lot about the smartphone. Unless the Japanese company doesn't make any major changes we shouldn't have any surprises when the phone gets announced next month at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2014. Until then, here is another live pictures of the Sony Sirius (D6503) side by side against the Xperia Z1, coming directly from XperiaBlog.

It appears that Sirius is slightly longer than the Xperia Z1, but that's understandable given the former packs a larger 5.2-inch display. On the other hand, the Sirius is thinner than the Xperia Z1. Bottom line is Sirius maintains the same design line of the Xperia high-end lineup of smartphones, which is not bad at all.

Sony Xperia Z1 (right) and Sony Sirius (left)

Sony Xperia Z1 (left) and Sony Sirius (right)
Images credits to XperiaBlog

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