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Aug 20, 2014

ZTE Nubia 5S mini LTE Launched in the US, on Sale from August 27 for $280 - Photos

Android fans will be pleased to know ZTE is trying to get a foothold in the US smartphone market with some of its affordable products by launching the Nubia 5S mini LTE.

The handset is now available for purchase exclusively via Amazon for only $280 (€210), which makes it a great deal considering what it has to offer on paper. Keep in mind that while you can now pre-order the ZTE Nubia 5S mini LTE, the smartphone won't be shipped until August 27 the earliest. Potential customers may want to know what they are likely to get for the outright price mentioned earlier, so here it is. First of all, the smartphone ships with Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system out of the box. On the inside, Nubia 5S mini LTE is armed with a decent 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, an Adreno 305 graphics processing unit and no less than 2GB of RAM. Moreover, the handset has been confirmed to pack 16GB of internal memory, but users will be able to further expand storage up to 32GB via microSD memory card. As the name suggests, ZTE's mid-range smartphone offers LTE support for GSM carriers in the US (AT&T and T-Mobile), as well as the majority in the world.

Another strong point of the device would be the 4.7-inch Sharp IGZO capacitive touchscreen display that support HD (720p) resolution. According to ZTE, this is the first smartphone launched in the US that comes equipped with a Sharp IGZO display. For those unaware, IGZO is a display made by Sharp that uses artificially produced transparent crystalline oxide semiconductor, which can only be successfully mass produced by the Japanese company for the moment. IGZO is comprised of a set of crystal elements that were thought to be very hard to crystalize. It offers incredibly high resolution images and amazing, natural colors thanks to the technology behind.

But this is not all. ZTE Nubia 5S mini LTE boasts an enhanced 13-megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus, LED flash and full HD (1080p) video recording, as well as a no less impressive 5-megapixel front-facing camera for video calls and selfies. ZTE also claims the 2000 mAh battery that powers the phone should provide users with up to 30 hours of talk time, but no details on the standby time have been shared yet. “Selling the Nubia 5S mini LTE unlocked, direct to consumers shows ZTE has faith in its products and is capable of delivering LTE devices and consumer-focused innovation in the U.S. Offering an unlocked Android phone via Amazon addresses consumer demand for alternative devices that deliver more personal value than mainstream brands and don’t tie them to one mobile eco-system,” said Lixin Cheng, chairman and CEO of ZTE USA.

ZTE Nubia 5S mini LTE
Images credits to ZTE

Samsung Galaxy S5 4G+ with Snapdragon 805 CPU Officially Unveiled in Singapore

The 4G+ version of Samsung Galaxy S5 leaked several days ago, but no details on its actual release date of specs were available at that time.

Today, Singaporean carrier SingTel and Samsung announced the upcoming availability of the previously rumored Galaxy S5 4G+, which will be available for purchase beginning August 23. According to SingTel, Samsung Galaxy Alpha 4G+ will also go on sale through the carrier's official retail channels beginning September. The Galaxy S5 4G+ will only be available in markets where LTE-A networks are available. The enhanced version of the Galaxy S5 will be able to achieve 300Mbps download speeds over LTE-Advanced network in Singapore. But there are a few more differences between the standard version of Galaxy S5 and the 4G+ version. For example, the latter will be equipped with a slightly more powerful 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor inside.

SingTel announced Samsung Galaxy S5 4G+ will be available for purchase with a mobile plan starting at SGD $0 and up to SGD $688 ($550 / €415). Keep in mind that Samsung already launched a Galaxy S5 LTE-A version in South Korea, but that variant has even better specs, such as Snapdragon 805 CPU, 3GB of RAM and a stunning WQHD capacitive touchscreen display that supports WQHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution. It's also worth mentioning that all three versions of Galaxy S5 have the same design and they're all IP67 certified (water and dust proof).

Samsung Galaxy S5 4G+
Image credits to Samsung Mobile

Nexus 7 Tablet Spotted in In-Car Connected Toyota System

Connected cars are hot and everybody would like to have a taste of goodness. But there’s one problem, the technology sustaining everything onboard will become obsolete long before you are ready to purchase another car.

This isn't likely to happen if you have an upgradable system, which is exactly what ASUS and Toyota are trying to pull off with their Toyota Intelligent System or TIS (as seen at EPrice). The system actually uses a Nexus 7 tablet, which is equipped with everything one might need to smoothly navigate through Taiwan. The slate has an on-board satellite navigation system that connects through 4G. Car owners can request information through voice commands, like asking for traffic reports, emergency services, checking their calendar and more. The tablet UI also allows drivers to select places of interest and specific services without much effort being involved. You can even choose a certain location, set it up as the destination and you will be guided there. ASUS and Toyota partnered up before for the Toyota IQ EV program, which helped guide tourists around the Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan. IQ EV provided assistance in finding charging stations, highlights, landmarks, hotels, parking lots and so on.

The system currently uses a Nexus 7 tablet, but in the future ASUS’ subsidiary could be making a tablet of the same type with upgradable hardware specs. Another cool aspect is that when you dock the Nexus 7, the car will wirelessly charge it. Other devices can be offered the same treatment too if the space is not filled by the slate. The TIS also comes equipped with NFC to allow users to pair devices with the audio system or the tablet with the satellite navigation. The Intelligent System comes with three main usages. The first one will allow drivers to play music, make phone calls or send a message. The second one has to be kept up to speed with the status of the car, like being informed of the vehicle’s maintenance status, position on the road and so on.

Last but not least, the third mode of usage will allow drivers to access their personal calendar and app shortcuts, so exiting the System mode will not be necessary. Without the docked tablet, the system is still operational but you’ll be offered only a basic set of functions which aren't all that impressive. For the time being, Toyota hasn’t said just yet which models will be receiving this upgradable tablet system. We’ll have to wait and see.

Nexus 7 shows up connected Toyota system
Image credits to ePrice

iOS 8 Shows Proof of Another Larger iPhone 6 Resolution

As expected, Apple is always testing new resolutions for their devices. The final, native one is set by iOS and it cannot be changed. Some new files that are part of iOS 8 Beta show the evidence: the next iPhone may have a new resolution.

According to 9to5mac, the files were discovered inside the latest Xcode 6 Software Development Kit (SDK) beta that was seeded to developers. The cited source explains how the files can be found in the iOS 8's Springboard application. The Springboard is the app responsible for showing the home screens. The mentioned file appears only in the two last versions of Xcode 6 beta and it is optimized for a resolution of 414 by 736 pixels. Hence, the actual retina resolution, which usually doubles the size of the pixels will result in a screen that will have a 828x1472 pixels resolution. The new resolution is also 16:9, just like the one Apple used for iPhone 5, 5s and 5c. This matches the shape of the leaked screens that we have seen coming from Chinese manufacturers and Apple's supply chain in Asia.

Such a screen becomes retina at 8 inches (20 centimeters) away from your eyes and it should have a density of 422.22 PPI. This matches Apple's self-imposed retina standards. If Apple will use this resolution, they can fit two additional rows and one additional column. Apple is expected to announce a new iPhone on September 9. The device may come in two different sizes – a 4.7-inch diagonal display and another one with a 5.5-inch screen. The iPhone 6 should be released along with iOS 8. The new operating system for iPhone will not bring major design changes, but will greatly improve the inner workings of iOS 7. Apple also plans to release OS X Yosemite about the same time. The Mac software and the iPhone one will work together thanks to new features like continuity and handoff. The iPhone user will be able to start an email or browse a page on his iOS device and then, when he moves to his Mac, he can jump exactly in the same document or app, at the point where he left off.

iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite will also work for receiving text messages and taking phone calls on the Mac. All you need is a compatible Mac and a Bluetooth connection. The same applies to an iPad running iOS 8.

iOS 8 Springboard files
Image credits to 9to5mac

Nikon D750 Leaks Out in First Image

In recent days, there has been a lot of talk about Nikon’s upcoming DSLR camera. Yesterday we even managed to find out what its name is going to be – the D750.

Another day, another tiny development in the unfolding D750 story. The first real life picture of what seems to be Nikon D750 (well, its back) has apparently emerged on the web (as seen at the Mirrorless Rumors). Of course, the image could be a big, fat fake but until I’m told otherwise, I’m going to treat it like it’s the real deal. Notice the only visible difference compared to the D610 is the tilting screen. I wonder what the front would reveal, but this curiosity is probably reserved for tomorrow. The preliminary specs for the camera have been revealed indicating that the D750 will arrive with a 24.3MP full frame sensor accompanied by an EXPEED 4 image processor.

We also know that the company will market the camera for about $2,500 / €1,836, meaning the D750 will sit somewhere above the D610 but below other models from the “D” bunch. Info about the D750 will probably intensify in the upcoming weeks, as we advance towards Photokina 2014 which is scheduled for next month, so keep your eyes opened.

First pic of Nikon D750 leaks out
Image credits to Mirrorless Rumors

Sony KW1 Lady-Friendly Selfie Camera Will Have a Curved Sensor

A few hours ago I brought you the story of the upcoming oddly shaped Sony selfie camera which looks like a perfume bottle.

As we have advanced throughout the day, a few extra details have been revealed. For starters, remember that yesterday word surfaced about an unidentified Sony KW1 compact camera which was said to be arriving soon. Well, I can now tell you that these two cameras are one and the same. So I’m going to be calling the perfume bottle KW1 from now on. The shape of the camera is not the only interesting aspect about the selfie-centric device. It appears the snapper will come equipped with a 1/ 2.3-inch curved sensor (it will be the first ever) of the Exmor RS variety, as reported by Sony Alpha Rumors.

Other specifications of the KW1 also leaked online, so we know that the device will be made available with two conversion lenses of 1-3.5x and 3-10x zoom, optical image stabilization, ND filter built-in, a 3-inch LCD, Wi-Fi and NFC. The small device will have a shutter speed of -1/8000 second 2 seconds and be compatible with microSD, SDHC and SDXC. So the lady-friendly selfie camera has turned out to be quite an interesting device in the end albeit our initial tendency to poke some fun at it.

The initial information had us believe that the camera would arrive towards the end of this week, but we might have to wait a little while longer until September 3 to behold this odd but interesting piece of tech. Now the only question that remains to be answered is, when will we see a Sony male oriented camera disguised as a flask bottle?

Sony KW1 camera will have a curved sensor
Image credits to Sony Alpha Rumors

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