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Jun 30, 2014

iPhone 6 to Feature Glass Radio Windows, New Apple Logo Implementation

The currently discussed iPhone 6 design is not final, according to sources in Japan. The mockups flying around today have a few features out of place, including the radio windows on the back and the display. The Apple logo has a new story too.

New iPhone 6 cases are emerging in the Far East, with Japan’s Nikkei reporting that the design being discussed in the media is not final. In fact, it’s not accurate at all. The glass covering the display (likely made from sapphire) will be curved, tapered at the edges, while the Apple logo on the back will not be carved, but drilled outright. Apple perhaps wants a new sensor behind the logo, while the logo itself could act as a window for this new part. Speaking of windows, the radios inside the phone will be placed identically as in the current-generation iPhone. In that respect, expect two glass stripes at the top and bottom of the rear shell, the source reports. The LED flash, which is round in the current mockups, may end up pill-shaped just like in the iPhone 5s. There have been a lot of questions as to why Apple would backpedal on this particular design feature, and it seems they are not changing it after all.

The report goes to describe the look and feel of the case, noting that Apple is putting a big emphasis on how the user is expected to hold the phone in their hand. Perhaps most intriguing is the fact about the display being tapered. So far all of Apple’s iPhones have all featured completely flat glass. This would give the iPhone 6 a truly redesigned facade. According to various rumors, the company is pressing for an early September launch of the handset, with some claiming that the phone will physically ship on September 19. The date remains to be verified. A second version of the iPhone 6, whose screen reportedly measures 5.5 inches on the diagonal, is also said to be in the works. Mockups based on that claim have shown that the phone is ridiculously big, even taller than existing phablets from the likes of Samsung and LG.

Apple is expected to adopt a new design with this big version of the phone, perhaps one that does away with the big screen bezel. In any case, it seems that the design of the phone has yet to be confirmed. Back to the rumor mill folks.

iPhone 6 curved glass mockup (right)
Image credits to Martin Hajek

Samsung Galaxy Mega 2 Leaked with 5.9-Inch HD Display, 64-Bit Processor Snapdragon 410

There are lots of rumors surrounding Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Mega phablet, but most of the details we got are probably referring to some of the prototypes that are now being tested in the wild.

The latest info on the alleged Samsung Galaxy Mega 2 comes via Dutch website Techtastic, which spotted the smartphone on GFXBench database where most of its specs are revealed. According to the benchmarking website, the Galaxy Mega 2 should boast a huge 5.9-inch HD (720p) capacitive touchscreen display, but this is not the only major feature that will be part of the phablet. It appears that the Galaxy Mega 2 will be equipped with a Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 410 chipset, which features a 64-bit capable quad-core processor clocked at 1.4GHz, and an Adreno 306 graphics processing unit.

The smartphone is also listed with 2GB of RAM and 8GB of internal memory. The Galaxy Mega 2 is also supposed to pack an impressive 13-megapixel rear-facing camera with full HD video recording, as well as a no less impressive 5-megapixel front-facing photo snapper for that perfect selfie. Samsung Galaxy Mega 2 is powered by Android 4.4.3 KitKat operating system out of the box, but it might get released with a newer version. What do you think about Samsung’s new phablet in the Galaxy Mega family?

Samsung Galaxy Mega 2 info
Images credits to GFXBench

Motorola Moto G Google Play Edition Now Receiving Android 4.4.4 KitKat Update

Motorola has promised that its Moto X, Moto G and Moto E smartphones will eventually receive the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update and most of those who own these particular devices have already got their updates.

However, it looks like soon after the US-based company made the Android 4.4.3 update available to its customers, Google released another version of the platform. Given the fact that Motorola already has some Google Play Editions released on the market, it makes sense that these should receive the newest Android 4.4.4 KitKat update soon after the Nexus devices. Well, it appears that the Moto G Google Play Edition is now eligible for the said update, AndroidPolice reports. The update is pushed OTA (over the air) in stages, so Moto G owners will be notified when it’s available for them.

Keep in mind that Android 4.4.4 KitKat update is about 160MB in size and it will take between 10 and 15 minutes to download and install it, depending on your network connection. According to the official changelog, Android 4.4.4 KitKat should bring improved performance, as well as various enhancements to security and stability. There are no new features in this update, but Google has included lots of bug fixes.

Android 4.4.4 KitKat update for Moto G (screenshot)
Image credits to AndroidPolice

Nokia Looking to Bring Its Camera Technology to Android, Other Platforms Too

It looks like Nokia, or what’s left of the Finnish company, has serious plans regarding Android and its camera technologies. We’re not yet sure what this is all about, but since the company has launched the test version of Z Launcher for Android devices, it appears that it is working to bring software solution to users rather than hardware.

Well, that could be a slightly wrong assumption, as Nokia is now looking for a senior engineer who would be able to design and implement drivers for different camera solutions on a variety of platforms. The job posting has recently been spotted by NokiaPowerUser on LinkedIn, but this is not the only hint that we got in the last couple of weeks that makes us believe that Nokia is working on something related to camera technology and Android. Furthermore, the new job post also shows that Nokia is taking into consideration bringing this stuff it’s now working on to more platforms, other than Android, as well. Here is what the job description posted on LinkedIn says: “We are looking for passionate camera driver engineer with an eye for quality and understanding of camera software from low level drivers towards the end user applications.

The person we are looking for will take responsibility of designing and implementation of camera drivers for different camera solutions on variety of platforms.” But this is not all, as Nokia wants a senior engineer who has solid experience on Linux kernel driver development and knowledge of flash drivers. There’s also a list of desired skills for the job, which clearly hints at something Android-related:
  • Android development experience;
  • Experience on driver development for MIPI raw camera sensors;
  • Knowledge of autofocus, optical image stabilization and other peripheral drivers is a plus; 
  • Understanding of driver level enablers for imaging algorithms and tunings; 
  • Experience on Camera production testing and sensor calibration; 
  • Theoretical background on imaging.

In light of the new details, we suspect that Nokia is now working to bring a new set of utilities in the camera technology, which will be offered to users on all mobile platforms. However, we can safely assume that this hardware / software solution will be released initially on Android, as Nokia seems to be pushing the development for its product on this platform in particular. Unfortunately, there’s no telling when exactly Nokia will go official with its plans regarding the camera technology, but we should expect an announcement in the next couple of months.

Nokia 808 PureView
Image credits to Nokia

Jun 29, 2014

Microsoft Looking to License Nokia Brand for Phones, Surface Brand to Be Replaced by Lumia

It's only been a few weeks since various documents leaked online confirmed Microsoft's plan of dropping Nokia brand and replace it with another of its own.

The information was leaked earlier this month by @evleaks, so most of us assumed it's accurate enough especially that the information provided in these documents were in line with Stephen Elop's previous statement in which he confirms Microsoft plans to replace the Nokia name for its Windows Phone handsets. Well, not so fast. Fast forward a few weeks after the said leak and we now have new details on Microsoft's plans regarding its lineup of Windows smartphones and tablets. According to the same @evleaks, Microsoft is now in the final stages of licensing the Nokia brand, which will be used for its Windows Phone handsets. The Redmond-based company will be calling its smartphones “Nokia by Microsoft” and is likely to remove the Lumia name from its handsets.

The removal of the Lumia brand from all the upcoming Windows Phone handset is not without reason. The same @evleaks claims Microsoft will be replacing the Surface brand with Lumia, which means it will be launching Lumia tablets in the not so distant future. Even though Microsoft invested so much in the Surface brand, it looks like the company is willing to replace it with another brand, Lumia, which according to the Internet, is more searched by users. Obviously, we suggest our readers to take this information with a grain of salt, given the fact that no other sources confirmed that Microsoft plans to make radical changes to its branding policy. For those out of the loop, Microsoft confirmed a few months ago it has purchased the right to use the Nokia brand for its Lumia smartphones for 18 months since the moment acquired the Finnish company's mobile division.

The Redmond also stated it will retain the use of Nokia brand for feature phones for a much longer time (probably 10 years), while Asha lineup will have lose its Nokia name by the end of 2015. We have already reached out to Microsoft for an official statement on these rumors, but the only answer we expect to get is “no comment.” There are lots of variations in the matter so it's hard to assume anything at this moment, but if the rumors are true some of the details of the licensing deals should emerge online more or less official. We can only hope that this will happen sooner rather than later. What do you thinks about these unconfirmed rumors? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section.

Nokia Lumia smartphones
Image credits to Microsoft

Lenovo A805e an 5.5-Inch 64-Bit Prepared by Lenovo

Chinese mobile phone maker Lenovo is getting ready for the release of a new large smartphone, one that has already emerged online in the form of Lenovo A805e, and which was reportedly mentioned at the 2014 Tianyi Fair, sponsored by China Telecom.

Apparently, Lenovo is planning on making the new handset official sometime in mid-July, and will release it with a price tag of less than $200 (€147) attached to it. However, despite its affordable cost, the new mobile phone will still have a nice range of features and hardware capabilities to offer to its users, at least this is what VR-Zone reports. That would include the aforementioned 5.5-inch screen that can deliver a 540 x 960 pixels resolution, along with a 64-bit 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor, which is complemented by 1GB of RAM. Moreover, the handset should arrive on shelves with 8GB of internal memory, as well as with an 8-megapixel camera on the back. The upcoming Lenovo A805e should also include 4G LTE connectivity, along with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC. At the same time, it is said to sport a 2500mAh battery inside.

Apparently, Lenovo will release the new smartphone in three color flavors, including black, white or champagne gold. One thing that is certain on this phone is that it will prove highly appealing at launch, provided, of course, that all the info above is accurate.

Lenovo A805e
Images credits to VR-Zone

OnePlus One 64GB Now Up for Pre-Order in Australia for $530

One of the hottest Android smartphones these days, the OnePlus One is still a hard to come buy device although it was theoretically released on the market earlier this month.

Mostly given to customers via invitations, the OnePlus One will soon be available for purchase in Australia. In fact, the smartphone is already available for pre-purchase at major retailer Mobicity for only $530 (€365) off contract. The good news is the smartphone can be ordered by customers who don't necessarily live in Australia, but you will have to pay for shipping. Customers in Australia will not be charged for shipping at all. Moreover, Mobicity is selling the 64GB version of the OnePlus One, not the 16GB model. Given the fact that the smartphone lacks microSD card slot for memory expansion, the 64GB OnePlus One seems the right choice. Another strong point would be the fact that it's armed with a powerful 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, an Adreno 330 graphics processing unit and 3GB of RAM.

As expected, the OnePlus One will ship with Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system out of the box (CyanogenMod 11S), which might appease fans even more than other bloated version of the OS. Suddenly the $530 (€365) outright price doesn't seem too high for such a powerful handset. This is probably one of the reasons the OnePlus One is so hard to find on the market. Connectivity-wise, the smartphone supports LTE 700 / 1700 / 1800 / 2100 / 2300 / 2600 networks and HSUPA (5.8Mbps). The OnePlus One also features Bluetooth 4.1 with A2DP, Wi-Fi, NFC (Near Field Communication) and GPS with A-GPS support. But the good things don't stop here. OnePlus One boasts an incredible 5.5-inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen display that supports full HD (1080p) resolution and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 coating.

On the back, the high-end smartphone packs an impressive 13-megapixel photo snapper with autofocus, dual-LED flash and 4K video recording, while in the front there's a no less impressive 5-megapixel camera that can capture full HD (1080p) video and would be perfect for selfies. It's also worth mentioning the OnePlus One is powered by a high-capacity 3100 mAh, which has yet to be rated by the manufacturer. If you live in one of the countries where OnePlus One has been launched but you don't have an invitation, which is required for purchasing the phone, you can place your order at Mobicity Australia.

OnePlus One
Image credits to Mobicity

Jun 27, 2014

Lenovo’s Windows Phones Emerge in AdDuplex

One of the mobile phone makers to have already confirmed plans to release Windows Phone handsets before the end of this year is Lenovo, and the first such devices from the company have already started to appear online.

According to a recent tweet coming from AdDuplex’s Alan Mendelevich, Windows Phone mobiles from Lenovo were spotted on their platform alongside smartphones from Longcheer, JSR, Micromax, K-Touch, Prestigio, BLU, Nokia, and others. No further info on these handsets has been provided as of now, but it seems that more mobile phone makers have started to test their Windows Phones, and that new launches could be announced very soon. Lenovo and the rest of the aforementioned handset vendors should release smartphones running under the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system, just as Microsoft officially announced earlier this year. Unfortunately, specific details on what Lenovo’s upcoming phone might have to offer are not available as of now, and it might take a while before such info is released.

Even so, we expect that the company will unveil an affordable Windows Phone device, the same as other vendors will, something that will certainly help the platform gain some more market share. For the time being, however, we suspect that the handset will be released only in China in the beginning.

Windows Phone 8.1
Image credits to Microsoft

Android L Applications and Wallpapers Now Available for Download

Android L, the latest flavor of Google’s mobile operating system, was made official earlier this week with a nice rage of enhancements packed inside, including updated applications and a new look, but users will have to wait a bit longer before the platform arrives on their devices officially.

However, courtesy of an XDA-Developers Forum member, users can now download no less than 61 applications extracted from the new OS version. Moreover, wallpapers from the platform were also released online, along with the new Android boot animation, so that more people can enjoy them. At the moment, only those who own a Nexus 5 or a Nexus 7 2013 can get a taste of the new Android L platform release officially, while others will have to wait at least for several months to grab it. For those who don’t want to wait that long, apps such as Chrome, Calendar, Drive and others are now available for download online, unofficially, of course. The updated Keyboard in the new Android release was also extracted and put up for download, along with the Google Play Store “Velvet” client.

Before proceeding with the download, keep in mind that these apps do not come from an official source, and that some of these apps feature the same build number as those already available. However, the wallpapers will certainly appeal a lot for many users out there, as they will give their devices an Android L look without much of a hassle. Moreover, as Phandroid notes, the full Android L system dump is also available online, and those interested in having a closer look at it can now do so.

Android L wallpaper
Image credits to Phandroid

Microsoft Creates GPS System That Works Indoors

Microsoft Research is very close to completing development of another groundbreaking technology that would help people around the world get around shopping malls, large halls or parking spaces a lot easier than ever before.

The company's division responsible for creating new and innovative ideas designed a GPS system that works indoors, eliminating the need for satellite signal that's absolutely mandatory for any traditional GPS device. The new project was based on a combination of GPS and Wi-Fi-based solutions, which helped the device determine the location of any subject with an accuracy of 10 meters. Cloud connectivity is at the core of everything, the researchers explained, while the devices will feature a steerable, high-gain, directional antenna to the front of a GPS receiver. “Currently, the main approach for providing indoor location services is to profile an indoor space to get a set of Wi-Fi maps and use them to infer user location based on the device-provided Wi-Fi signatures. Profiling is a time-consuming and expensive process, because there is no ground truth to ‘nail down’ the Wi-Fi maps. Profiling is also a continuous process, because the number and the locations of the Wi-Fi access points change over time,” Jie Liu, principal researcher and a research manager at Microsoft Research, said.

Researchers have already tested the device in a total of 31 indoor locations and it proved effective in 20 of them, with a median error of fewer than 10 meters, which Microsoft says is perfectly normal for absolutely all GPS receivers. While it might sound a little bit weird at first, such a technology could have quite a lot of purposes if integrated into other devices, such as smartphones and smart watches. Microsoft is already working hard to step into the wearables market, so developing such a system would clearly offer it a fair advantage in front of the competition. “The best use case of the technology in the short term is probably profiling machines for indoor environments. Not all indoor places can receive GPS signals, but if we have enough ground truth and combine them with inertial navigations using accelerometers and gyroscopes, we can make the indoor-profiling process much cheaper and quicker,” Liu added.

At this point, the GPS system working indoors in still in the development stage, so it might take a few years to say the least until it gets the green light for production, not only as a stand-alone device, but also as an integrated module of other gadgets.

GPS units might soon work indoors too
Image credits to Mashable

HTC One (M8) in a Black Color Flavor Leaks

Before the end of this year, mobile phone maker HTC Corporation should make official a new flavor of its HTC One (M8) smartphone, one that arrives on shelves all dressed up in Black, and a leaked press photo with the handset is now available for your viewing pleasure.

The image made it online courtesy of evleaks.at and shows the back of the handset, but it does not offer further details on the smartphone itself. Thus, we have no idea when it might become available for purchase, and info on the markets that are set to receive it is missing as well. However, considering the fact that the mobile phone does not sport on its back another logo besides that of HTC, we can assume that it will enjoy global availability, the same as other color flavors did. For those out of the loop, we should note that HTC One (M8), the latest flagship Android-based device from the Taiwanese company, was released internationally in Silver, Grey, and Gold. Additionally, HTC has unveiled a Red variant of the device, which was announced as an exclusive to Verizon in the US, and is expected to announce other color flavors as well.

Although HTC One (M8) Black will sport a differently colored cover when compared to the original variants of the phone, the hardware specs of the new model are expected to remain unchanged. This means that the smartphone will arrive on the market with a 5-inch touchscreen display capable of delivering a full HD (1080 x 1920 pixels) resolution, as well as with an Aluminum body. HTC One (M8) also arrives on shelves with a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor (this is a 2.5GHz processor in Asia), complemented by Adreno 330 graphics and 2GB of RAM. The mobile phone was released in 16GB /32GB variants and sports a microSD memory card slot with support for up to 128GB of additional storage space (last year’s flagship handset did not feature storage expansion capabilities).

On the back, the handset sports a dual 4MP UltraPixel camera setup, with dual-LED flash and full HD video recording. Moreover, it was made official with a 5-megapixel front camera for making video calls and taking selfies. Connectivity-wise, HTC One (M8) can deliver support for 4G LTE networks, 3G (HSDPA, 42 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps), Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, infrared port, and built-in GPS receiver. The smartphone runs under the Android 4.4.2 KitKat platform with the Sense 6.0 UI loaded on top. However, HTC has already confirmed that it will be upgraded to Android 5.0 L before the end of the summer.

HTC One (M8) in Black
Image credits to evleaks

Real iPhone 6 Unibody Chassis Leaked [Video]

iPhone 6 mockups are a dime a dozen these days, but original cases are scarce. In the video embedded below, we catch our first glimpse at the real iPhone 6 chassis, which appears to be made from anodized aluminum, as before.

The one-minute clip stems from Japan, but the actual case was probably leaked somewhere in China, where Apple’s case manufacturers are found. It shows all the design particularities that have been rumored in the media and looks as genuine as genuine gets. The case even includes a cutout for where the Apple logo will sit on the back, and its construction is extremely precise. The color of the case appears to be white-silver and differs a bit from the existing silver coloring of the iPhone 5s. The camera cutouts indicate that Apple is indeed changing the oval-shaped LED flash (from the 5s) to a round one, and rumor has it that the actual camera will stick out of the chassis a bit (like with the fifth-generation iPod touch).

The Cupertino giant is carrying over some design elements, such as the two stripes visible on the back of the phone. These are responsible for both form and function, as Apple usually puts the phone’s antennas behind them. The person manipulating the part in the video insists to compare it to two separate mockups, one tailored to the size of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, the other meant to resemble the bigger, 5.5-inch version. The mockups are visibly less detailed, lacking various elements that make an Apple product shine (including the iconic logo on the back which, in the case of the mockups, is missing). The fakes are also crafted poorly, further lending credence to the new aluminum part being flashed in the video.

We are now starting to see real iPhone 6 parts leaking out of the Far East, which means production is well underway at Foxconn and / or Pegatron and perhaps other suppliers. According to a recent report from Taiwan, Apple has rejected cases such as the one shown in the video because of manufacturing defects. Catcher Technology, the company that was responsible with creating the cases, reportedly lost three months’ worth of orders because of the faulty cases. iPhone 6 is expected to drop sometime between September and October, with some reports claiming that the actual launch date will be September 19, which falls on a Friday (historically the day Apple physically ships the new iPhone every year).

Genuine iPhone 6 case
Images credits to Macotakara
AliExpress.comで販売されている「iPhone 6 Mockup」と「iPhone 6 Body」をチェック
Video credits to Mac Otakara

Google Confirms Nexus 6 Arrives This Fall, Along with Android L

Contrary to what the latest rumors claimed, Google will continue to launch Nexus devices and the confirmation came recently directly from one of company’s officials.

For those who don’t remember, here is a quick recap on what the latest hearsay regarding Google’s Nexus lineup is. Less than two months ago, rumors that Google might cut out the Nexus family of smartphones entirely and replace them with something else called Android Silver hit the Internet. Now, one month and a half after the first rumors claiming the removal of the Nexus handset from Google’s roadmap started to emerge, Head of Android Engineering and Google’s Nexus program, Dave Burke was kind enough to clarify the confusion. In an interview during Google I/O event, Burke told ReadWrite that the Nexus program would continue and that it was not going anywhere. Google will launch a Nexus smartphone this fall, along with the new Android L operating system. The next Nexus smartphone will be officially unveiled at the same time the final version of Android L is released for all Nexus and Google Play Edition devices.

Here is Burke’s full statement: “When we are working, there are sort of two outputs. We’re building a Nexus device and we’re building the open source code. There is no way you can build the open source code without the phone or tablet or whatever you are building. You have to live and breathe the code you are developing. You can’t build a platform in the abstract, you have to build a device (or devices). So, I don’t think can can or will ever go away. And then, I think Nexus is also interesting in that it is a way of us explaining how we think Android should run. It is a statement, almost a statement of purity in some respects. I don’t see why we would ever turn away from that, it wouldn’t make sense.” Obviously, there’s a change that the next Google phone will not be named Nexus 6. Perhaps the search giant will want to refresh its lineup by giving it another name, though Dave Burke is pretty clear when he refers to Google’s project as Nexus.

There are still several months until the official unveil of the Nexus 6 smartphone, or whatever its name is, so it might be a bit too early to talk about specs. However, we expect lots of leaks to pop up during the wait, so stay tuned for all the details.

Nexus logo
Image credits to Google

Possible Sony Xperia Z3 Model Numbers Emerge

One of the smartphones that Japanese mobile phone maker Sony Mobile has been long rumored to make official before the end of this year is the Xperia Z3, and some more info on the device’s model number appears to have emerged online.

To be more precise, a listing on TUV Rheinland shows that Sony is preparing a new device for release, with model numbers PM-0800-BV (D6603), PM-0804-BV (D6643), PM-0801-BV (D6616), PM-0806-BV (D6653), PM-0802-BV, PM-0803-BV, and PM-0807-BV attached to it. This is not the first time that some of these device variants emerge online, despite the fact that no specific details on what the handset will have to offer have been provided as of now. However, with model numbers such as D6603 and D6653 already associated with a possible Xperia Z2 successor, chances are that the rest of them will arrive on shelves as variants of the same smartphone. Sony, the same as other mobile phone makers out there, is already known to launch one smartphone in multiple flavors, depending on the market, carrier and some hardware changes, and the same should happen with the upcoming phone too.

Moreover, the guys over at BlogofMobile suggest that this would actually be the Sony Xperia Z3 smartphone that the Japanese vendor is expected to make official this fall during the IFA 2014 trade fair in Berlin. According to the news site, the D6603 could be the international flavor of the phone, with the rest of the models expected to land on shelves as carrier- and market-specific variants. Should this be the Sony Xperia Z3 smartphone, we might see it arriving on shelves with a larger touchscreen display when compared to its predecessor, as well as with a faster processor inside. To be more precise, the phone is said to include a 5.3-inch screen capable of delivering a Quad HD resolution, while being powered by a Snapdragon 805 processor.

Moreover, the upcoming mobile phone should pack no less than 3GB of RAM, along with 16GB or 32GB of internal memory, a microSD memory card slot, and a 20.7-megapixel or higher camera. Earlier this year, Sony confirmed that it would launch new flagship phones every half a year, and Xperia Z3’s launch at IFA would arrive right on schedule, that’s for sure. However, we still have no official confirmation on this available as of now, and it remains to be seen how much of the info presented above will pan out in the end. Keep an eye on this space for additional details.

Possible Sony Xperia Z3 model numbers
Image credits to TUV Rheinland

Jun 24, 2014

Tizen-Based Samsung ZeQ Leaks in New Photos, Might Never Arrive

One of the handsets that has been rumored several months ago to arrive on the market this year was a Samsung smartphone running under Tizen and featuring model number SC-03F, which has emerged in newly leaked photos, but might never be officially released.

The smartphone passed through the FCC certification process about six months ago, and photos of it have emerged from the feds now, as the confidentiality period for the filing has expired. As SammyToday notes, the handset was expected to become available for purchase in Japan on the network of NTT DoCoMo sometime in January, yet it has been delayed indefinitely. Some suggested that it could never materialize into a commercially available product. The handset is allegedly called Samsung ZeQ and, as the leaked images show, it sports a design highly similar to that of the Samsung Galaxy S4. In fact, the hardware specs announced for it suggested that it was nothing more than a Tizen-based flavor of last year’s flagship.

For those out of the loop, we should note that the mobile phone was expected to arrive on the market with a 4.8-inch touchscreen display capable of delivering a 720p resolution, as well as with a Snapdragon 800 processor inside. Moreover, the mobile phone was said to include a rear camera with LED flash and to be powered by a 2600mAh battery. As you can see from these specs, the unannounced Tizen smartphone was indeed poised to land on shelves as a new flavor of the Galaxy S4, featuring only a small set of design changes, along with a brand new OS loaded on top.

Samsung ZeQ
Images credits to FCC via SammyToday

Huawei Honor 6 Now Official with 5’’ Screen, 6.5Mm Thin Body

Chinese mobile phone maker Huawei has been long rumored to plan the release of a new flagship handset in the popular Honor series, and the company has finally made the move today.

The handset, spotted online a few times before under the codename of Mulan, has gone official today as Huawei Honor 6, packing all of the features and capabilities the flagship is expected to include. The smartphone has been made official with a 5-inch touchscreen display capable of delivering a full HD (1080p) resolution, as well as with a very thin aluminum body, which is only 6.5mm thick (it is 139.8mm tall and 68.8mm wide). Considering the fact that some of the latest flagship handsets out there have been announced with Quad HD displays, the new Honor 6 might seem handicapped right from the start, but things are actually not that way, especially since its maker will manage to bring it to shelves at an affordable cost. Just as previously rumored, the new Huawei Honor 6 is powered by an octa-core Kirin 920 processor, which includes a quad-core Cortex-A15 CPU and a quad-core Cortex-A7 one, while being complemented by Mali-T628 graphics.

At the same time, the chipset features an integrated LTE modem, which should be able to provide data transfer rates of up to 300 Mbps, as GforGames notes. Overall, the new Kirin 920 processor, which is developed in-house by Huawei, should be able to provide users with about the same performance levels that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 CPU has to offer. The specifications list of the new Huawei Honor 6 also includes 3GB of RAM, along with 16/32 GB of internal memory, which is complemented by a microSD memory card slot for expansion purposes. On the back, the new device sports a 13-megapixel camera with support for full HD video recording, which is complemented by a 5MP front camera for making great video calls while on the go.

The usual set of connectivity capabilities and sensors will also be present on the new device when it arrives on the market later this year. Apparently, the Chinese vendor still hasn’t offered specifics on the handset’s availability and pricing, though it might not be too long before it reveals such details. The one thing that it has unveiled, however, is the fact that Huawei Honor 6 will run under the Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system right out of the box. The company’s own Emotion UI 2.3 software will be also loaded on top of it, just as previously rumored.

Huawei Honor 6
Image credits to Huawei

Microsoft Talks Nokia X2 Design and New Features

Today, Microsoft Mobile (aka Nokia’s former devices division) has made official a new handset running under Android, in the form of Nokia X2, the successor of the already highly popular Nokia X smartphone that made a debut at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February this year.

The new device arrives on the market with a nice rage of enhancements over the predecessor, including a larger, 4.3-inch screen, a faster processor, a better camera and the like, but also with an enhanced design and with a series of new software features. Jussi Nevanlinna, vice president, product marketing, Mobile Phones at Microsoft, explains that the company built the Nokia X2 based on what Nokia X had to offer, while also adding exciting new features and services to it, so as to appeal to even more users. The outer design of the handset was improved with a secondary layering effect, though it kept the basics of the first-generation Nokia X phones, so as to offer continuity.

“In design alone, we’ve built on the beautiful first generation devices, and have injected something a little different and new, as you can see by the second layering effect. It just glows,” Jussi Nevanlinna says, a recent post on Nokia Conversations explains. However, this was not the only thing that got a bit redesigned in the new handset, as the Nokia X platform also received its own share of improvements and new functionality, especially with the addition of a home button to it. “The home screen experience has really evolved with extra room for additional tiles. There’s also the new home button; you can long-press the back button for easier multitasking; the new apps list view; and Fastlane has gotten richer too, with more app detail exposed,” Jussi explains.

Nokia X2 has been announced as immediately available for purchase on certain markets around the world, the same as it happened with the Nokia X handset before it. The phone will be priced at less than €100. The same as previous phones in the series, the new Nokia X2 lacks Google services, yet it replaces them with Microsoft’s own products, including Outlook, OneDrive, Skype, and OneNote, along with the Nokia Store, for access to a great deal of other applications. In fact, Microsoft notes that it is focused on ensuring that the app portal can deliver a great experience to its users, and that apps are moderated and tested to deliver high quality. Developers have great opportunities when it comes to Nokia X devices as well, as they can tap into one of the largest operator billing networks in the world, while also taking advantage of developer programs such as DVLUP, which is available in over 190 countries.

“Developers are hugely important and we’re out there working side by side, holding developer events, challenges and competitions to create great apps,” Jussi says. At the same time, he notes that the Lumia series of devices remains the company’s primary smartphone strategy.

Nokia X2
Images credits to Nokia

Jussi Nevanlinna holding Nokia X2
Image credits to Nokia Conversations

How to Jailbreak iOS 7.1.1 Untethered on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

We’ve tried out Pangu from the Chinese hacking group we mentioned earlier today and it seems it really does the trick, as in it can jailbreak iOS 7.1.1 on the newest of Apple devices, including iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and iPod touch fifth-generation. So here’s how to do it.

Normally, jailbreaking using unproven solutions is ill-advised, but in the case of Pangu it seems it’s right on the border. The software doesn’t contain any malware, but it does come in at a hefty 70MB and it does promote piracy. But we’ll show you how to do a clean and nice jailbreak. Without further ado, these are the actual steps you’ll be taking on your Windows PC and iOS device to perform the hack. A Mac version of the tool will be supplied in the future, and if the steps are any different, we might post another guide for Mac heads as well.

How to Jailbreak iOS 7.1.1 using a Windows Computer

Step 1
Back up your device using iTunes. In case anything goes wrong, you’ll always be able to restore your device to that backup file with no harm done.

Step 2
Visit pangu.io on a Windows computer (or in a virtual machine) and download the Pangu jailbreak tool.

Step 3
Launch Pangu on your computer and allow the software to recognize your device.

Pangu User Interface

Step 4
Uncheck the box in the middle and over to the left-hand side of Pangu’s interface, as shown in the screenshot above. This ensures that no third-party software is installed on your iPhone during the jailbreak process.

Step 5
Click on the black button over to the right-hand side

Step 6
At this point you’ll be prompted to go to the Settings panel on your iDevice and change the time and date. Go to Settings > General > Date & Time, turn off Set Automatically, and then set your phone to June 2, 2014.

Changing the date and time on the iDevice

The jailbreak process should begin automatically. If it doesn’t, just relaunch the app on your computer and start over.

Step 7
When the process gets half way through, it will appear as stuck but in reality it will have already installed Pangu on your iDevice, which is essentially the jailbreak waiting to blossom.

Step 8
Grab your device, find the Pangu icon on the Home screen and tap it. Then tap Continue, if you want to proceed with the jailbreak, of course. If not, tap Quit.

Step 9
Pangu will prompt you to keep the device connected and refrain from closing the app. At this point, the halfway process on your computer will automatically pick up where it left off and finish jailbreaking your handset.

Pangu picks up where it left off to finish the job

Your device will reboot twice, and then your jailbreak will be installed along with Cydia.

That’s it!

Disclaimer:Jailbreaking is not a practice condoned by Apple, so proceed at your own risk, especially considering that Pangu is not a proven solution just yet. If you’re itching to get a jailbreak, Pangu is currently the only solution available, so if you’re going to use it, at least use it properly. 

Jun 22, 2014

HTC Nexus 8 with Tegra K1 Processor Leaks Out with Specs, Image and Price

By now you are probably aware Google’s I/O conference is scheduled to begin this week. And one of the hottest products we’re expecting to see appearing into the world is the Nexus 8 tablet.

Rumors proclaiming the existence of the slate have been intensifying in the past few weeks, but we still didn’t know the exact coordinates related to the tablet. The Nexus 8 is quite eagerly expected especially since LG’s Ken Hong announced the company won’t be making the next Nexus phone. So it appears the future of the Nexus line lies with the 8-incher that’s supposedly going to be unveiled in a few days. In anticipation of the big event, Android Police managed to get a hold of hot info detailing specs and pricing of the device. On top of that we get to see a picture of the tablet that has been nicknamed HTC Volantis (Flounder). Ok. So you’re probably extremely curious of the specifications, because the rumors couldn’t agree so far on what the Nexus 8 will come equipped with.

Well it appears the slate will offer a superior 2048 x 1440 (281 ppi) resolution and draw life from – listen to this – NVIDIA’s Logan 64-bit processor (Tegra K1). This is contrary to what earlier reports claimed. First off, word on the street had it Google’s new slate will take advantage of the Moorefield 64-bit platform, but then another story surfaced claiming the chip inside will be Qualcomm’s. Incidentally, this weekend we argued in a story that the NVIDIA Tegra K1 chip might see success if implemented in tablets not smartphones. For the time being, Xiaomi’s MiPad is the only tablet taking advantage of the chip architecture, but Google’s Project Tango Dev Kits are also equipped with this particular platform. And with Google and HTC adopting the Tegra K1, NVIDIA might be headed on the right path. The device will be fitted with 2GB of RAM and either 16GB/32GB of internal storage. Two cameras will complete the picture, in the form of 8MP OIS main camera and 3MP front facing camera.

The slate’s stereo speakers will live in front and the tablet will take advantage of the aluminum zero-gap construction. As for proportions, the Nexus 8 will be 8.91x5.98x0.31 inches / 22.63x15.9x0.79cm. The tablet will weigh 418 g / 14.74 ounces or 427 g / 15.1 ounces if we’re talking about the LTE version. By comparison the Nexus 7 (2013) weights 290 g / 10.1 ounces and 299 g / 10.5 ounces for the LTE model. Anyway, things get a little bit complicated when we take a look at the photo where some incongruities can be spotted. For starters, the front-facing speakers are nowhere in sight and the casing doesn’t really bring about aluminum zero-gap construction vibes. We’re either looking at an earlier model or the information might as well be fake. There’s also info about the pricing of the device. Apparently the tablet will sell for $399 / €293 when it comes to the 16GB version and $499 / €367 for the 32GB version. The LTE model will certainly be the more expensive one, taking you back with $600 / €441. So would you pay this amount of money for HTC Volantis?

Image showing the purporting Nexus 8
Image credits to AndroidPolice

This is why NVIDIA’s Tegra K1 Chips Have a Chance To Succeed in Tablets, Not Smartphones

NVIDIA has been in the industry of performance processors and graphic cards for some time now, carving a place for itself in the ecosystem.

But NVIDIA wants to go beyond what has been considered traditionally their territory. The company is currently focusing a lot of its efforts into its mobile division. Granted, things might have started slowly for the chip-maker, at first because some of its earlier products ended up in unknown devices such as the Microsoft Zune but slowly the company picked itself up and started catering to tablets and Android gaming consoles. The company also pushed out a tablet of its own and based on the time we spend with it, we can say the Tegra Note 7 is quite a great product, coming at a super affordable price-tag. However, NVIDIA chips haven’t seen much success in the smartphone department. Some of you might be familiar with the Tegra 4i program which was the company’s attempt to infiltrate the ecosystem, but sadly the project attracted quite a few partners and only a few truly interesting products were launched under the banner, like the LG G2 Mini.

But even if at one point, NVIDIA was said to be abandoning the smartphone race in order to keep focusing on what it was getting pretty good at, meaning tablets, a new rumor recently surfaced claiming otherwise. Apparently, NVIDIA is not ready to call it quits and will be trying to penetrate the smartphone world with high-end performance focused models with 4G LTE. But will this be a success story? A big reason why we don’t see NVIDIA chips in smartphones too often is due to their pretty high cost. NVIDIA’s current Tegra K1 chip (both 32-bit and 64-bit) comes equipped with an ICERA modem, which significantly bumps up the price of the processor. On the other hand, the competition like Qualcomm integrates modems within their chips.

And NVIDIA hasn’t much to brag about when it comes to its smartphone portfolio, so companies like the one mentioned above might have the upper hand just because they are a more common presence on the market. However, all is not lost for the company’s mobile ambitions. The Tegra K1 might still be put to good use, but in tablets. Strangely enough, even as the chip architecture has been made available for a while now and proven to provide excellent performance, not a lot of device makers have readily jumped at the opportunity equip their products with the new Tegra. Most recently, Chinese smartphone manufacturer, Xiaomi introduced what could be called the first tablet running the platform. The device looks like a plastic colorful copy of the iPad mini with Retina display and offers great specs for a bargain price ($275 / €201).

But this tablet isn’t currently being sold in the US just yet. Nevertheless, Google seems to have adopted the chip platform for its Project Tango Tablet Developer Kit. The effort, which aims to bring 3D mapping capabilities to tablets might bring about huge benefits for NVIDIA, if Tango manages to carve its way to the mainstream. Also, word on the street has it, NVIDIA might be making its way to the heart of Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets, which are the retail giant’s most popular products to date. Another huge push forward for NVIDIA if that were to happen. Last but not least, NVIDIA will most likely soon launch the next-gen Tegra Note 7 which will certainly take advantage of the new chip. We have seen the tablet appear in benchmarks before and if all the above things add, we might see NVIDIA become quite a player in the tablet chip ecosystem.

NVIDIA Tegra K1 chips might become popular in tablets
Image credits to Teechbapp

Xiaomi's MiPad is one of the few tablets running a Tegra K1
Image credits to Xiaomi

Google is also giving Tegra K1 a go
Image credits to Liliputing

Nexus 6 Might Sport a 5.5-Inch Screen

Later this year, Google might unveil to the world a new handset in the Nexus series of smartphones, supposedly called Nexus 6 and expected to be the last device in the lineup, and some more info on it is now available.

According to a recent article on Ausdroid, Nexus 6 is indeed in the works and should make an official appearance on shelves sometime in October or November, which would be one year after the release of Nexus 5. Moreover, the news site claims that the upcoming device will sport a large, 5.5-inch touchscreen, similar to that available on LG G3 today. The one thing that hasn’t been confirmed as of now is whether the phone will boast the same Quad HD resolution that LG’s flagship phone offers. Furthermore, it also remains to be seen whether the handset will be based on LG G3 (as the comparison above suggests), or will be coming from a completely different vendor.

Earlier this week, an LG official said that the company won’t be building the Nexus 6, which means that, despite having a 5.5-inch screen, the upcoming phone will have nothing in common with LG G3. At the same time, it remains to be seen whether the upcoming handset will be the last in the Nexus series, as previously reported. Apparently, Google will launch a follow-up program next year, in the form of Android Silver, and will include only top-of-the-line devices in it.

LG Nexus 5
Image credits to Google

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Model Number List Leaks

Later this year, South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung Electronics is expected to make official a new device in the popular Galaxy Note series of phones, and the full list of model numbers that this smartphone will sport appears to have leaked online.

Supposedly called Samsung Galaxy Note 4, the device has been rumored a few times before to arrive on the market in multiple iterations, with different internal storage options and more than one screen variant. The aforementioned model number list, available courtesy of @evleaks, confirms that the smartphone will be released in the United States on the networks of major carriers, including AT&T, Verizon, Sprint (SPR), and T-Mobile (TMB). Moreover, it shows that users in the country might receive only the 32GB variant of the mobile phone, as Samsung won’t launch the 16GB model here as well. As mentioned above, Galaxy Note 4 emerged online a few times before, and some of those reports on it have already confirmed the fact that it would feature model number SM-N910x. The newly-leaked list not only confirms that, but it also shows that previous speculation on various iterations of the device destined for specific carriers will pan out. Overall, 22 different Galaxy Note 4 models are expected to arrive on the market.

For example, we can see the SM-N910A model for AT&T in the US, along with SM-N910F, which might be the international variant of the handset, and other flavors of the phone, destined for different carriers in various markets out there. Moreover, the SM-N910C and SM-N910S versions of the handset that were spotted yesterday in leaked benchmarks are also included in the list, supposedly confirming that they are real. One thing that should be noted here, however, is the fact that there’s no official confirmation on the existence of Galaxy Note 4 as of now, and that we should take the info above with a grain of salt. In the meantime, however, we should note that the handset is expected launch with a 5.7-inch touchscreen display capable of delivering a Quad HD resolution, and that both Exynos and Snapdragon 805 flavors of the phone are expected to arrive on the market.

Moreover, rumor has it that the smartphone will include 3GB of RAM when launched, along with the aforementioned 16GB/32GB internal memory options, and a microSD card slot for storage expansion. The phone should feature a 16-megapixel camera on the back, capable of recording videos in 4K resolution, along with an upgraded front camera for making video calls. The latest version of Android should also be included on the handset.

Galaxy Note 4 model number list
Image credits to evleaks

Huawei G621-TL00 Spotted Online with 64-Bit CPU

As it turns out, Samsung might not be the only mobile phone maker out there set to launch a 64-bit smartphone in the near future, as Chinese phone maker Huawei is also preparing such a device.

Featuring model number Huawei G621-TL00, the smartphone has been spotted in AnTuTu with a Snapdragon 410 processor (a quad-core Cortex-A53) and Adreno 306 graphics inside. Should the info that said benchmark has unveiled on this smartphone pan out, we’ll see it released with 1GB of RAM inside, as well as with 8GB of internal memory, a recent post on hk-android.info reads. Moreover, the handset is said to be destined for the Chinese market, featuring 4G TD-LTE connectivity and the Android 4.4 KitKat operating system loaded on top.

At the same time, Huawei G621-TL00 is expected to arrive on shelves with a 5-inch touchscreen display capable of delivering a 720p resolution, as well as with a 5-megapixel camera on the back. A 2MP front camera should also be included. No official confirmation on the smartphone has been provided as of now, yet the hardware specs rumored for it don’t seem far-fetched, and chances are that it will make an official appearance with all of the capabilities mentioned above in the not-too-distant future. Stay tuned for more on this.

Huawei G621-TL00
Image credits to AnTuTu via hk-android.info

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