Loading recent posts...

Mar 2, 2015

Sony Finalizing Android 5.0 Lollipop Testing for Xperia Z Seriesa

Sony is a little bit behind with Android 5.0 Lollipop rollout for Xperia Z series, but this situation won't last for too long now. The Japanese company has finally shared some details on the Lollipop update status.

According to Sony, Android 5.0 Lollipop is now in the final stages of testing, which means development is now over and the update should be released in the coming weeks. The handset maker also stated that is still focused on deploying the update soon and that it's optimizing Android 5.0 Lollipop for entire Xperia Z Series. They also promised more information on the rollout of the update, though judging from the previous experience, Sony will just start seeding Lollipop and then announce it officially.

It appears that Sony wants to get it right from the first time, so instead of rushing it out with lots of bugs it prefers to work on Lollipop a little bit longer and deliver a bug-free update. Sony hasn't released Android 5.0 Lollipop for any of its Xperia Z smartphones, but some, like Xperia Z Ultra GPE got the upgrade via Google. We'll be keeping an eye out for any additional details on Lollipop for Xperia Z series, so stay tuned for more info on the matter.

Android 5.0 Lollipop
Image credits to Google

Cyanogen Partners Up with Qualcomm, Changes Logo in the Process

Custom ROM developer Cynoagen is pushing forward its strategy of becoming a more mainstream solution, no longer reserved for those with a taste for hacking.

Present at MWC 2015, the company has taken the wraps off a brand new branding which takes the Android mascot out of the picture, while opting for a cleaner cyan-ish look. No avatars involved. The new logo highlights the company’s new stance which involves breaching the main consumer gates by putting its software on products anyone could buy. On top of that, the company has announced a partnership with US chip maker Qualcomm in order to develop software for its Reference Design products coming out later this year. The partnership will enable Cyanogen to embed software feats and UI design elements into devices supported by Qualcomm Snapdragon 200, 400 and 600 processors (used in lower-to-mid-range handsets).

Reference Design models are meant to help device manufacturers deliver products faster, because they come with ready-made elements which the upcoming phones can be based on. Cyanogen is committed to providing an enhanced experience to these budget phones, which are aimed at customers who don’t want to pick up a high-end smartphone. With Qualcomm on board, the company hopes to get its OS onto lots and lots of new phones and give Android a run for its money.

New Cyanogen logo

A brief history of Cyanogen

Cyanogen wants to take on Android
Images credits to Cyngn.com

Sailfish OS 2.0 Wants to Become a Viable Android Alternative As Jolla Allows Licensing

Jolla is a Finish company that produces its own software called Sailfish, which so far comes pre-installed only on its own products (a smartphone and a tablet).

However, the company plans to branch out and evolve as a real alternative to Android and Windows Phone on mobile devices. Jolla is also present at Barcelona this week, where the device maker has announced the second-generation Sailfish OS 2.0, which is supposed to arrive this spring. On top of that, the company has issued a call to companies from Russia, India, China and Japan, inviting them to join its ranks and use Sailfish on their upcoming mobile devices.

Jolla wants more mobile devices to run Sailfish OS
It remains to be seen if Jolla manages to attract the attention of device makers in these markets (and around the world for that matter), but the first step has been taken. Particularly in Russia, Jolla has a big chance of succeeding. Not long ago, the Russian Minister of Communication Nikolai Nikiforov has publicly presented his view regarding Google’s monopoly of the mobile ecosystem. In a series of tweets, he claimed that the Russian government would be willing to pay developers to migrate apps from Android to real open-source alternatives like Sailfish, Tizen and Ubuntu. And as Jolla opens the licensing gates for Sailfish 2.0, this scenario comes one more step closer to becoming a reality.

Once local device manufacturers put the software on their machines, we might end up seeing phones running Sailfish as soon as the second quarter of the year. Going back to Sailfish OS 2.0, the company says the new software iteration will arrive with a revamped user interface and will offer support for Intel chips. The new version will bring enhanced notifications and event views, and a more intuitive way to access the main functions by virtue of swiping. Jolla also has in mind to focus on privacy-related features, promising more secure mobile devices.

Sailfish will go on to compete with Samsung’s Tizen OS in providing a viable alternative to Android. Hopefully, the software will end up living on devices with more advanced specs, as Samsung’s Z1 smartphone (the very first with Tizen) is a very low-range affair. Would you consider making a switch from Android to Jolla?

Sailfish OS 2.0 launches in Barcelona

Sailfish OS on a smartphone

Sailfish OS on a tablet

Sailfish OS 2.0 will be available this spring
Images credits to Jolla

Move Over Snapdragon 810, Qualcomm Unveils Snapdragon 820 with Kyro CPU

Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 810 chip has been getting quite a lot of bad press ever since rumors sprung online saying the chip overheated.

But even if phone producers like Samsung apparently took the whispers very seriously and chose to go with chips of their own making, companies like LG, Xiaomi and now HTC still decided to embed the Snapdragon 810 in their latest flagship products. Well, even as the Snapdragon 810 is barely out and about in the real world, as only the LG G Flex 2 is currently being made available to consumers, Qualcomm is taking the opportunity to talk about its next high-end chip at MWC 2015.

Qualcomm already talks about the next-gen Snapdragon 820
In a keynote, the US chip giant unveiled the Snapdragon 820, which previously leaked in the wild a few months ago. The new chip will probably end up powering future high-end Android and Windows Phone handsets which will make it to the market towards the second half of the year. The Snapdragon 820 is the first piece of silicone to take advantage of a 64-bit custom Qualcomm CPU core dubbed Kyro. The chip is said to be built on non-planar FinFET architecture, so it will probably end up being manufactured by TSMC, which will use a 16nm process, or by the Samsung on 14nm.

The Snapdragon 820 has an artificial intelligence side to it
The new mobile architecture is also part of the all-new “machine learning” platform called Zeroth, which once implemented into a device, will allow it to “learn” and adapt to the ways you use and interact with it. Zeroth is basically a neuronal network capable of changing its behavior. All the data Zeroth will pick up will be stored onto the device itself and none of it will be stored in the cloud. For the time being, Qualcomm is seeing Zeroth go into smartphones and tablets, but it isn't ruling out a scenario where the platform will aid in the evolution of the automotive sector. So what’s Zeroth’s deal basically? Qualcomm demoed how the platform might interact with the camera. Zeroth would enable the app to recognize the people in a photo, dishes or architectural landscapes. If enough details are presented, the platform might be able to tell you where the photo was snapped.

The Snapdragon 820 processor is expected to arrive in its sample form in the second half of 2015, so it’s probably going to be a while until the first phones bundling the platform make an entry in retail.

Press Release:BARCELONA, Spain, March 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI), will preview a series of next-generation mobile experiences at MWC 2015 through the power of the Qualcomm® Zeroth™ platform, Qualcomm Technologies' first cognitive computing platform designed to enhance on-device user experience. The Zeroth platform will be optimized for premium mobile devices based on Qualcomm Technologies' next-generation premium tier System-on a-Chip (SoC), the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820 processor. Designed on a leading edge FinFET process node, the Snapdragon 820 processor will also introduce Qualcomm Technologies' custom 64-bit CPU architecture designed for premium mobile devices, the Qualcomm® Kryo™ CPU. The Snapdragon 820 processor is expected to begin sampling in the second half of 2015.
"The premium mobile experiences of the future will extend beyond traditional features and functionality and be defined by devices that have the ability to learn and adapt to the needs of the user, through fully harnessing the growing levels of compute, multimedia and connectivity in our mobile devices," said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., and co-president, QCT. "At MWC 2015 we'll take the first steps towards realizing this vision with the Zeroth platform, and set the stage for a new level of intelligence and personalization for mobile devices. Zeroth intelligence will scale across a wide range of implementations from automobiles, wearables, smartphones and client computing and have a learned personalization that has the ability to transfer across devices and as a consumer upgrade to the next generation."
Qualcomm Zeroth Platform: Cognitive computing goes mobile
The Zeroth platform is composed of new hardware and software innovations that benefit from Qualcomm Technologies' heterogeneous processing and leading edge connectivity within a highly integrated SoC. The Zeroth platform provides the foundation for more intuitive experiences and natural interactions through the addition of on-device intelligence designed for a range of key mobile experiences and cognitive capabilities including:
Visual Perception - Devices that can take higher quality photos and videos and make searching your content easier, enabled by computer vision, on-device deep learning and smart cameras that can recognize scenes, objects, and read text and handwriting.
Intelligent Connectivity – Devices that can provide the fastest connectivity through autonomous optimization and seamless service across the latest and most advanced LTE, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies.
Intuitive Security –Devices that can be more secure by using advanced behavioral analysis to detect and protect against new malware and provide more advanced user authentication.
Always-on awareness – Devices that can anticipate user needs by always being aware of their surroundings through an integrated always-on sensor engine, sensor fusion and machine learning and classification algorithms.
Immersive multimedia – More immersive audio and visual user experiences, such as dynamic audio that can adapt surround sound based on head movement and facial recognition.
Speech and audio recognition – Devices that can learn and take instant actions by recognizing environmental sounds, music and speech through always-on listening, sound localization, sound identification and natural language processing.
Natural device interactions – Devices that can personalize and adapt interactions by recognizing gestures, expressions, and faces.
QTI will demonstrate breakthrough Zeroth-powered mobile experiences on their booth at MWC, located at the Fira Gran Via, Main Booth: Hall 3, Booth 3E10.
About Qualcomm Incorporated
Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) is a world leader in 3G, 4G and next-generation wireless technologies. Qualcomm Incorporated includes Qualcomm's licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of its patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of Qualcomm's engineering, research and development functions, and substantially all of its products and services businesses, including its semiconductor business, QCT. For more than 25 years, Qualcomm ideas and inventions have driven the evolution of digital communications, linking people everywhere more closely to information, entertainment and each other. For more information, visit Qualcomm's website, OnQ blog, Twitter and Facebook pages.
Qualcomm and Snapdragon are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries. Zeroth and Kryo are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated. Snapdragon, Zeroth and Kryo are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc

Qualcomm teases Snapdragon 820 at MWC 2015
Image credits to Slash Gear

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua: Snapdragon 615, 2-Day Battery Life

As we just told you, Sony showed off its brand new Xperia Z4 Tablet at MWC 2015, launched as a capable iPad Air 2 competitor.

Well, the Japanese company also introduced a smartphone with mid-range capabilities that is equipped with pretty nifty features for a lower-end model such as itself. The Sony Xperia M4 Aqua is the successor of the M2 Aqua, although you have to admit it’s pretty odd that Sony skipped a beat like that.

Sony paves the way for the new class of mid-rangers
The phone is waterproof (can survive being immersed in 5ft / 1.5 m of liquid for up to 30 minutes) and takes advantage of Sony’s OmniBalance language design. Like the Lenovo Vibe Shot, which we just detailed for you, the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua draws life from a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core chip. However, it takes advantage of a 5-inch display with 720p resolution instead (the Lenovo device offers 1080p). Details about RAM storage and internal memory are not provided, but we assume we’re dealing with the 2GB/16GB combo here. The handset runs Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box, so you’ll be off the hook when it comes to updates, for the time being at least.

Sony brings its own twist to Google’s latest and greatest OS and has revamped the Xperia Lounge Silver to group up apps, software updates, entertainment, bespoke offers and tips. The M4 Aqua bundles a respectable main camera of the 13MP variety with Superior Auto Mode (meaning that you won’t have to fiddle with manual controls). It has a fast, f/2.0 lens working in concert with ISO that maxes out at 3200. Up in front, we find a 5MP frontal camera for snapping self-portraits. We should also mention that the M4 Aqua is pretty sleek, coming in at 4.8oz / 136g, and bundles LTE capabilities.

You won't need to charge the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua everyday
Most importantly, this mid-range handset promises an impressive battery life, which is supposed to last up to 2 days. It’s the same we've been hearing about the low-priced Xperia E4. The Xperia M4 Aqua will be available in White, Black, Coral and Silver and will launch in spring 2015. The phone will be offered in up to 80 countries for €299 / $334.

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua frontal view

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua comes in three colors

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua in black

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua in landscape mode

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua is waterproof

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua in coral

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua is a great phone for outdoor activities
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua packs a great camera

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua is a worthy mid-ranger

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua can be used in the rain
Images credits to Sony Mobile

Lenovo A7000 Is World's First Smartphone with Dolby Atmos

Between three new tablets and one high-end Android phone, Lenovo also introduced an affordable smartphone that, while cheap, it offers quite decent specs.

But first of all, let's explain what's with the pompous headline. Well, according to Lenovo, the A7000 features audio technology from Dolby. In fact, it's the first in the world to come with Dolby Atmos audio technology, which promises more vivid sounds coming from all directions when using headphones, including overhead. Moreover, Lenovo claims voices and noises have a broader range from highs and lows. Also, the audio technology makes playback volume more consistent across all types of content. But Lenovo A7000 is not all about audio technology. The smartphone has been confirmed to ship with Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system out of the box, which is great considering the phone's price.

Octa-core CPU, Lollipop and 5.5-inch display at an affordable price
Speaking of which, Lenovo announced the A7000 will be available from March for only $169 (€151) off contract. It will be available in Onyx Black and Pearl White in the countries where Lenovo sells its smartphones. Now let's see what's inside the Lenovo A7000. First of all, the smartphone is equipped with a 1.5GHz True9Core MediaTek MT6752m processor, 2GB of RAM and only 8GB of internal memory. The good news is the smarpthone packs microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 64GB). On the back, Lenovo A7000 features an 8-megapixel photo snapper with autofocus, LED flash and video recording, while in the front there's a secondary 5-megapixel camera with fixed-focus.

The phone's 5.5-inch IPS LCD display supports HD (720p) resolution, while the 2,900 mAh battery should provide up to 39 hours of talk time (16 hours in 3G mode) or up to 11 days of standby time. It's also worth mentioning the A7000 offers a decent range of connectivity options, including 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS with AGPS and dual-SIM.

Lenovo A7000
Image credits to Lenovo

Lenovo Vibe Shot Goes Live with 16MP OIS Camera, Tricolor Flash, Is Surprisingly Affordable

Before MWC 2015, word surfaced that Lenovo would come with a bag full of goodies to Barcelona. Well, since the event kicked off, the company has already unveiled some of the new devices we have seen leak in the past few weeks.

We’re now talking about the photo-centric Android 5.0 Lollipop phone which impressed us with its looks (and not only) - the Vibe Shot. The handset is making a debut into the wild with a 5-inch display with 1080p resolution and an impressive 400+ ppi. Under the hood lives a 64-bit Snapdragon 615 chipset which is not Qualcomm’s latest and greatest (the Snapdragon 810 is) but is still a top notch piece of silicone, nevertheless. Lenovo is also throwing in 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD card). It should also be noted that the phone takes advantage of dual SIM slots, LTE connectivity and a 2900 mAh battery (which is the same as you’ll find under the hood of the 5-inch HTC One M9).

The Vibe Shot’s main selling point is its photo-centric capabilities
Now, let’s take look at the photography department, which makes this handset truly special. It’s impressive how Lenovo managed to squeeze a 16MP BSI sensor with optical stabilization, tricolor LED flash plus six-element lens with sapphire coating inside a sleek 7.3mm / 0.28 inches chassis made of aluminum. Gorilla Glass 3 is present both on the front and the rear surface on the phone. The frontal camera’s sensor is built in such a way as to be capable of shooting in low-lighting scenarios. The company makes use of the world’s first tricolor LED flash in order to allow photo luminosity to be adjusted automatically in accordance to the ambient light conditions.

The infrared focusing system used by the Chinese device maker is said to be twice as fast as the average AF system, and the shooting speed is boosted even more thanks to the physical shutter key located on the side. If you find the handset interesting, and we can’t blame you if you do, you should know that Lenovo plans to make the Vibe Shot available globally starting this June. What’s more exciting is that the company is ready to charge only $349 / €312 for this great phone. Hopefully the price won’t change in a few months. The Vibe Shot will be offered in grey, white and red.

Lenovo Vibe Shot will be available in multiple colors

Lenovo Vibe Shot is a photo-centric phone

Lenovo Vibe Shot bundles tricolor LED flash

Lenovo Vibe Shot runs on a Snapdragon 615

Lenovo Vibe Shot will be available this summer
Images credits to Lenovo

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet Arrives with Snapdragon 810, Is as Thin as iPad Air 2

MWC 2015 is currently unfolding in Barcelona and most top manufacturers are present on the grounds at the event showcasing their latest products and hoping to wow consumers with them.

It’s the case of Sony, which albeit not announcing its next-gen flagship, the Xperia Z4, at the event, is still debuting some products including a smartphone and a tablet. The Xperia M4 Aqua is a mid-range handset that won’t be knocking your shoes off.

Sony launches another ridiculously thin tablet
As for the tablet, it’s a bit more interesting and we’re going to take some time to detail it in what follows. Sony’s latest addition to the slate world is called the Xperia Z4 Tablet and the company claims it’s the thinnest and lightest slate in the world. Well, Sony always says that when it rolls out a new tablet. The slate is 6.1mm / 0.24 inches thin, putting it on par with the iPad Air. However, the true bearer of the thinnest tablet on the globe title is still the Dell Venue 8 7000 Series which measures only 6 mm / 0.24 inches. Moving on, the Sony tablet leaked a few days ago, so we pretty much knew what to expect in terms of internal specifications.

The Xperia Z4 Tablet is a tad larger than the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact, which the company introduced back at IFA 2014. It bundles a 10.1-inch display with 2K resolution (300 ppi), and despite the high value, the device still manages to maintain an impressive battery life. The display benefits from Sony’s own Triluminos technology and X-Reality Mobile engine for a vivid depiction of colors. The Xperia Z4 Tablet is actually the first slate to be announced running the Snapdragon 810 platform out of the box, fitted with Adreno 430 GPU, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD). In the photography department, you should expect to find a rear 8MP Sony ExmorRS camera and a 5MP wide-angle front selfie capturer. As you can see, Sony hasn't taken the chance to upgrade things camera-wise, so customers will get the same standard as with the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact.

Sony continues the PS4 compatibility saga with the Xperia Z4 Tablet
Like the 8-inch tablet before it, the Z4 is PS4-friendly and gamers can connect a DUALSHOCK 4 controller to their slate, so when the TV is missing, one can use the tablet to play all the console games they want. The new tablet is not rugged, although it’s IP68-rated, meaning it can survive being dropped in water or in the sand. Last but not least, the Xperia Z4 is sustained alive by a powerful 6,000 mAh battery which the company says is good for keeping the tablet up and running for 17 hours straight. Sony’s embedded STAMINA mode helps to make the most of every single bit of remaining battery juice.

Sony will be offering the slate in LTE and Wi-Fi models and you can expect it to start selling worldwide as late as June. The company will be offering a bunch of accessories for the device including the BKB50 Bluetooth Keyboard and SRC32 tablet cover. 

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet is a waterproof device

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet in black

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet, display view

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet, in white

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet, back view

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet is a very thin tablet

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet with case accessory
Images credits to Sony Mobile

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | coupon codes