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Jun 13, 2014

Upgraded Galaxy S5 Model (SM-G906) Gets Support Page Placeholders

South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung Electronics has been long rumored to plan the release of an upgraded flavor of the Galaxy S5 flagship device, and it seems that it might not be too long before the phone goes official.

The smartphone has been spotted online with model number SM-G906 attached to it and has been said to be the premium variant of Galaxy S5, though it might land on shelves only as an upgraded version of the phone. Samsung has already come up with support page placeholders for two iterations of the phone, namely the SM-G906L for LG U+ and SM-G906K for KT, which suggests that both devices might land on shelves sooner rather than later. SK Telecom should also receive it.

For those out of the loop, we should note that the mobile device is expected to be released with a Snapdragon 805 processor inside, 3GB of RAM, and Adreno 420 graphics, though it should sport the same full HD touchscreen as the original Galaxy S5 did. As SammyToday notes, the Samsung SM-G906 has already received approvals from various certification agencies out there. However, an official confirmation on it has yet to be provided.

However, considering the fact that Samsung has already released upgraded variants of its flagship devices in South Korea (exclusive to this country), it’s clear that the Galaxy S5 will suffer a similar fate. Stay tuned for more on the matter.

Samsung SM-G906 (the updated Galaxy S5) spotted on support page placeholder
Image credits to SammyToday

Octa-Core Archos 50c Oxygen and Archos 50b Oxygen Now Available in the UK

Android enthusiasts in the UK will be happy to know that two new affordable smartphones have just made their debut in the country, Archos 50c Oxygen and Archos 50b Oxygen.

Both handsets come packed with more than decent specs and can be purchased for extremely affordable outright prices. For example, the Archos 50c Oxygen can be had for only £179 (€225 / $305) outright, while the Archos 50b Oxygen is now available for just £129 (€160 / $220) off contract. Given the amount for which they can be bought, the Archos 50c Oxygen is the better featured of the two, so if you're in need of a more powerful handset, then this is the device you would want to buy. Archos 50c Oxygen is equipped with a powerful 1.7GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6592 processor, which is complemented by a Mali-450MP4 graphics processing unit and 1GB of RAM. The smartphone sports a 5-inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen display that supports HD (720p) resolution. It also comes packed with only 8GB of storage, but users can further expand internal memory up to 32GB via microSD card slot.

On the back, Archos 50c Oxygen has been fit with an enhanced 8-megapixel photo snapper that features autofocus, LED flash and full HD (1080p) resolution, while in the front, there's a secondary 2-megapixel camera for video calls. While the smartphone does not offer LTE support, it provides users with plenty of other connectivity options, including HSDPA (21Mbps), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, microUSB and GPS with A-GPS support. The only downside is the fact that Archos 50c Oxygen ships with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system out of the box, which is kind of old for such a powerful device. On the positive side, the smartphone offers dual-SIM capability.

Moving on to Archos 50b Oxygen, this is a slightly downgraded version of the Archos 50c Oxygen. For example, it comes with a quad-core processor instead of the octa-core CPU powering the latter. The camera on the back has only 5 megapixels, but it comes with the same 8GB of internal memory. Archos also offers a 4GB version of the smartphone, which doesn't really matter, considering that the 50b Oxygen features microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 32GB). Furthermore, the handset sports the same 5-inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen display that supports HD (720p) resolution, as well as 1GB of RAM. Just like its more powerful brother, Archos 50b Oxygen runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system out of the box and drains energy from a 2000 mAh battery.

Archos 50c Oxygen

Archos 50b Oxygen
Images credits to Archos

LG Plans Snapdragon 805 Version of LG G3

South Korean mobile phone maker LG Electronics might be set to make official a new flavor of its flagship LG G3 handset, the latest reports on the matter suggest.

Apparently, the company is considering the release of a Snapdragon 805 version of the device and could make it official as soon as the next month. No official confirmation on the matter has been provided as of now, but rumor has it that LG is planning the launch of this handset so as to counter the premium Galaxy S5 phone iteration that Samsung has been long rumored to be working on. For those out of the loop, we should note that Samsung was initially said to release the aforementioned premium handset in the form of Galaxy S5 Prime, but that it is now said to have changed its mind. Instead, the company will kick off a new series of premium smartphones, called Galaxy F, and the very first device in the lineup might become official as soon as the next month. The phone is said to arrive on the market with a Quad HD Super AMOLED touchscreen display, a Snapdragon 805 processor, and 3GB of RAM.

However, it seems that LG is already getting ready to counter the device, and the aforementioned Snapdragon 805-enabled LG G3 will help it do that. The handset should include the same specs as the currently available variant, except for the faster processor, of course. LG G3 went official last month with a 5.5-ich Quad HD touchscreen, a 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 chipset inside, and 2GB of RAM with 16GB of internal memory, or 3GB of RAM with 32GB of storage. Moreover, the high-end mobile phone features a microSD memory card slot, as well as a 13-megapixel camera on the back, with support for 4K video recording, and a front camera for video calling. LG G3 runs under the Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system, with LG’s own set of customizations and exclusive applications loaded on top.

The existence of a Snapdragon 805-based LG G3 is only a rumor for the time being, but chances are that LG will indeed release it, as it does need to ensure that it can keep sales high. However, with info coming from Naver also suggesting that the new G3 model will be capable of providing users with download speeds of up to 225Mbps, chances are that LG will release it only in South Korea, at least in the beginning, as PhoneArena notes. Hopefully, more details on this smartphone variant will emerge in the near future, so keep an eye on this space for updates on the matter.

Image credits to LG

Gigabyte Z97X-SOC FORCE LN2 Motherboard Made for Extreme Overclocking

Computex 2014 may be over and done with, but some products previewed there are only now getting released and/or detailed. The Gigabyte Z97X-SOC FORCE LN2 motherboard is an example.

As the name suggests, the mainboard is intended for the overclocking test benches of people who know how to administer liquid nitrogen (LN2) to their processors. It has only two memory DIMMs, located close to the CPU so that they may benefit from the LN2 cooling if needed, like during memory OC benchmarks. Also, there are no mounting holes for fans. Clearly, Gigabyte didn't want there to be any chance for a misunderstanding here: this is a specialized piece of hardware for anyone who wants to overclock the stuffing out of an Intel Haswell or future Broadwell CPU. Or for people who want to use one such CPU and the 9 Series chipset to test the limits of DDR3 memory.

GIGABYTE OC specialists HiCookie, Sofos1990 and Dino22 have already done the latter, pushing Kingston HyperX Predator memory from 2,933 MHz to 4.5 GHz. Gigabyte later scored 4.56 GHz, breaking their record. Alas, Gigabyte didn't bother saying what price the Z97X-SOC FORCE LN2 bears. Maybe it's betting on the high odds of enthusiast overclockers being the sort of people who don't have financial constraints to worry about.

Gigabyte Z97X-SOC FORCE LN2
Image credits to Gigabyte

Xiaomi’s MiPad Tablet Gets Teardown Treatment, Shows Sturdy Quality

Xiaomi released one of the most viable iPad mini clones, entitled the MiPad tablet last month and the device is stirring up quite an interest among Xiaomi enthusiasts and not only.

Anyway, the curious folks over at iGeek (via GizmoChina) have put the tablet through a teardown treatment, in order to reveal its insides to the naked eye. The pictures they posted showcase that the MiPad takes advantage of a very compact motherboard with lots and lots of chips attached to it. It also appears that one would need about 10 screws or so in order to disassemble the device. The people performing the operating also report that the tablet is made of sturdy materials. In order to stabilize and enhance the cooling functions, several upgrades were added. The tablet is obviously pretty OK, quality-wise. In fact, we could say the MiPad is the best designed and assembled tablet coming from a Chinese brand vendor, so there are big chances the tablet will sell like hot cakes. We’re not provided with any repairability score, but it would be safe to assume they would be pretty high.

For those of you who missed our earlier coverage of the tablet, the Xiaomi’s MiPad is China’s answer to the super popular Apple iPad mini with Retina display. The device arrives with a 7.9-inch display and boasts 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution. Under the hood, Xiaomi throws in a big surprise, coming in the form of NVIDIA’s latest and advanced Tegra K1 SoC processor, clocked at 2.2GHz, fitted with 2GB of RAM and backed up by 16GB of internal storage. The Xiaomi MiPad is a very light, portable and easy-to-carry tablet, with a weight or just 360 g / 0.79 lbs. Under the bonnet keeping things alive is a 6700 mAh battery, which is also visible in the teardown pictures and looks smaller than expected.

Xiaomi’s entry level model with 16GB of internal storage will sell for $240 / €176, a price that will certainly make the tablet very popular in no time. However, for the time being Xiaomi doesn’t feel ready to peruse the US market, which it still views as very competitive. Is Xiaomi afraid of entering Apple’s homeland? After all, the company blatantly borrowed a lot of design cues from some of Cupertino’s iconic products. For example, the colorful plastic-y back of the tablet is very reminiscent of Apple’s low-cost iPhone 5c. Images gallery below, click for larger image.

Xiaomi’s MiPad tablet's insides get exposed
Images credits to GizmoChina

Lenovo K920 Now Official with 6’’ Quad HD Screen, Snapdragon 801

Today, Chinese mobile phone maker Lenovo officially announced the upcoming availability of a new high-end smartphone in its lineup, in the form of Lenovo K920.

The mobile phone was formally introduced at the Mobile Asia Expo 2014 in Shanghai with some killer specs, capable of making it one of the most appealing smartphones of this year. The new Lenovo K920 was revealed with a 6-inch touchscreen display capable of delivering a Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution, which will certainly prove to be its main selling point. Only a handful of smartphones with Quad HD (or 2K) touchscreen displays are already available for purchase, and the release of new devices in this category is always a reason of joy for users. What’s interesting to note about the new Lenovo K920, however, is the fact that the other specs it was made official with are as appealing as its screen. Furthermore, it got the looks too, courtesy of a matte finish on the back cover, which doesn’t hold fingerprints. On top of that, the phone sports a unibody design, which has already proved successful with other devices out there.

Featuring a 7.7mm thin body, a narrow bezel, the phone will certainly be capable of taking on LG G3 and Vivo Xplay 3S, which also sport 2K screens, as well as on other handsets that will be released with similar capabilities. However, it’s not all about the exterior when Lenovo K920 is involved. In fact, the mobile phone should be capable of offering high-end performance capabilities to all of its users. The handset was made official with a 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 8974AC processor, complemented by Adreno 330 graphics and 3GB of RAM. Furthermore, the smartphone includes 32GB of internal memory, yet no mention of a microSD memory card slot was made. On the back, the new device features a 16-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization and dual LED flash, paired with a 5MP front camera for making video calls while on the go.

At the same time, Lenovo announced the new mobile phone with dual-SIM with dual-standby capabilities, as well as with 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC connectivity. The handset also sports a built-in GPS receiver. Lenovo K920 runs under Google’s Android 4.4 KitKat operating system, though it appears that Lenovo did load its own set of customizations and exclusive applications on top of it. The one thing that hasn’t been revealed as of now is when exactly the new smartphone will arrive on the market, and whether it will enjoy an international rollout. Hopefully, such details will be provided sooner rather than later, to stay tuned.

Lenovo K920
Images credits to Lenovo

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