Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 are now shipping

Nokia announced that the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 duo of Windows Phone 8 smartphones is now shipping. The devices will be available in stores and carrier retail locations as early as this week.
France and the UK will be the first countries to receive the two Nokia handsets. Russia, Germany, and other select markets will follow throughout November.
AT&T will also launch the Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 in November. Verizon and T-Mobile on the other hand will begin offering Nokia Lumia 822 and Lumia 810 respectively during the same period.

Verizon to get WP8 Samsung Ativ Odyssey in December

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 press conferences is already over and among all new things announced there was the Samsung Ativ Odyssey for Verizon. The only bits of info we got were the name and the launch month – December.
The name Odyssey was the rumored codename for the Ativ S, though the latter turned out to be with a 4.8-inch display opposed to rumors for a 4.65-inch screen. So it is highly possible the Odyssey is in fact a different device headed to Verizon.
If so, then expect the Odyssey to have the same SuperAMOLED HD screen as the Ativ S but with a 4.65-inch diagonal, a dual-core Snapdragon S4 chipset, an 8MP rear and 2MP front cameras, 16GB internal storage and microSD slot. LTE and NFC connectivity will be there for sure.
The Ativ Odyssey is coming to Verizon in December.

Google officially unveils the Samsung Nexus 10 tablet

The cat's out of the bag and the Google Nexus 10 manufactured by Samsung is now official.
Undoubtedly, the most prominent feature of the slate is its 10.1" display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. This makes for a pixel density of 300ppi, beating (at least on paper) Apple iPad 3's 9.7 inch display with 1536 x 2048 resolution and 264 ppi pixel density.
Under the hood the Nexus 10 packs Samsung's Exynos 5 chipset with a two Cortex-A15 cores running at 1.7GHz, a quad-core Mali T-604 GPU and 2GB of RAM. We already found out that the Exynos 5 is a beast of a chip in benchmarks, so we have no doubt it'll absolutely fly with the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, which the slate is running.
According to Google the battery is capable of delivering 9 hours of continuous video playback. Unfortunately, Google hasn't yet disclosed the battery's capacity.
The Nexus 10 will be available on November 13 on the Google Play store in the US, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Canada and Japan. The 16GB version will retail for $399, while the 32GB edition will go for $499.
Check out the promo video Google released for its refreshed Nexus lineup.

Google unveils HSPA+ Nexus 7 version, 32GB version in tow

Alongside the brand new Nexus 4 smartphone and Nexus 10 tablet, Google also announced an HSPA+ enabled Nexus 7 slate. The 3G radio sporting device will be compatible with over 200 GSM carriers worldwide, including AT&T in the United States.
There is no difference in the specifications of the HSPA+ enabled Google Nexus 7 save for the GSM radio on board. You can check out our review of its Wi-Fi sibling over here.
The 32GB HSPA+-enabled Google Nexus 7 will retail for the nicely sounding $299. Google has also sweetened the deal on the Wi-Fi only versions of the slate - the price of the 16GB one has been slashed to $199, while a newly introduced 32GB version will retail for $249. Gone is the 8GB Nexus 7.

Watch the Windows Phone 8 event here [Update: it's over]

Microsoft's event in San Francisco will see the official launch of their new mobile phone OS, Windows Phone 8, and you can be a part of it, even if you're not in town (or didn’t get an invite).
Here's the live stream where you can watch the event as it unfolds and you can also head over to the Windows Phone Facebook page to join the conversation and vote for your favorite feature. You can also watch the live stream on Microsoft's web site.
Update: It's over, here's the recording. The action starts at 3 hours 6 minutes (note that the player uses Silverlight).
We'll be covering the event, so make sure to check back with us to find out what's new.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Nokia Lumia 822 for Verizon goes official

Nokia's flagship Windows Phone 8 handset may be exclusive to AT&T for the first half year, but its Lumia 820 sibling is not - Nokia just announced the Lumia 822, Verizon's version of the device.
The phone comes fully loaded - it has the Nokia Drive+ offline navigation with US maps pre-installed, the City Lens and Transit apps and several camera apps (Smart Shoot, Cinemagraph, Panorama and Creative Studio).

The free, no-ads, no-log-in Nokia Music streaming service will be available on the phone too, to make use of that fast 4G LTE connectivity.
CDMA and LTE with Verizon bands aside, the Nokia Lumia 822 features the same specs as its GSM twin, including an 8MP camera with Carl Zeiss lens, 4.3" WVGA ClearBlack AMOLED display and dual-core Krait processor.
Different shells can be put on the back of the Lumia 822 to enhance its looks and functionality, including a shell that enables wireless charging.

Jelly Bean update for HTC One X boosts performance

Tags: HTCAndroidTouch UI
The Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update for the HTC One X recently started rolling out and it brings a good performance boost with it. One of our readers (thanks, Safal) sent in screenshots of some benchmarks he ran on a JB-running One X.
SunSpider • Quadrant * AnTuTu
The web browser saw the biggest boost and it’s the area where the HTC One X most needed one. The old results just weren't fit of its quad-core flagship status. A slight boost in AnTuTu and Quadrant point to an overall performance increase too.
Here's how the updated phone stacks up against its ICS-running self and other high-enders.


Higher is better

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Google cancels October 29 event due to hurricane

Tags: GoogleAndroidTouch UI
Google's October 29 event has reportedly been cancelled after a state of emergency has been issued in the US due to the imminent arrival of Hurricane Sandy, which will be passing through New York City, Google's venue for the event.

Although Google did not announce the specific purpose of the event, other than calling it an 'Android event', it was generally assumed that the company was going to announce the LG manufactured Nexus 4 smartphone and a 10-inch Samsung manufactured Nexus 10 tablet.
The event has likely been postponed to a later date although we are yet to hear when exactly it will be taking place. Meanwhile, Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 event in San Francisco is still on track, so we still have something to look forward to.

Jelly Bean update start seeding to the US Galaxy S III

Sprint is releasing the Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean update to its Galaxy S III as we speak. The update is carried out over the air to consumers and each device that receives it will download it automatically.

Users will get Project Butter for a buttery-smooth UI, Google Now, expandable and actionable notifications in the Notification Area, the improved widget placing on any icon-ridden homescreen and lots of improvement and tweaks.
Galaxy S III owners in Europe have already received their Jelly Bean updates and now it's time for those in US to get the same treatment. Updates for the other carriers should come in the following weeks, or dare we say, days.
We've got a dedicated review of Jelly Bean on the Galaxy S III, which you should totally check out.
Source | Via

Apple Q3 report: iPhone sales down, but profit still strong

Tags: Apple
Apple has just posted its report for the third quarter of the year and things are looking healthy for the Cupertino-based company. The revenue was $36 billion and the net profit stood at $8.2 billion, both of those comparing very favorably to the numbers from the same period of last year ($28.3 billion and $6.6 billion).
Somewhat surprisingly Apple didn’t manage to better its achievement from the second quarter of this year, when the company made $8.8 billion in profit from just $35 billion revenue, despite the launch of the iPhone 5. The supply shortages are probably a part of the explanation as Apple is still struggling to cope with the demand for its new smartphone.
The iPhone sales were somewhat disappointing at 26.9 million units, compared to 35.1 million in Q2. The iPad shipments stood at 14 million units, compared to 17 million in the previous quarter, while Mac sales grew from 4 million to 4.9 million. Despite the refresh of the lineup, the iPod sales slid to 5.3 million units from 6.8 million in Q2.

The lowered profits, despite the higher revenue can also be explained with the fact that the iPhone accounted for a smaller percentage of the Apple revenue this quarter (the smartphone is the Apple product with the highest profit margin).
The financial markets didn’t respond very well to the posted results and the Apple Inc. shares slid to 1.43% in after hours trading (they were 1% up before the results were posted) and are close to falling below $600 after reaching . Still, the drop is pretty minor and a strong holiday quarter, fuelled by the launch of the iPad mini, the 4th generation iPad and the extended availability of the iPhone 5 will probably bring the company back to the right track.
Update: The stock has bounced back and to levels close to the ones from market close. We'll see how things pan out tomorrow when trading restarts.
You can find the complete Apple report by following the source link below.

Samsung Q3 report: Operating profits reach $7.4 billion

Tags: Samsung
Samsung has released their quarterly earning figures and once again has come up with some impressive numbers. Their total revenue last quarter was 52.18 trillion won ($47.5 billion), a 26 percent increase over last year, and the operating profits were 8.12 trillion won ($7.4 billion), a 91 percent increase over last year.

Samsung's mobile communication department has seen some strong growth, contributing to 26.25 trillion won ($23.9 billion) to the overall revenue of the company. The display department also did well this time, with revenue of 8.46 trillion won ($7.7 billion) and operating profits of 1.09 trillion won ($1 billion), a 19 percent increase over last year.

Samsung I9260 Galaxy Premier images leak

We have seen some images of the Samsung I9260 Galaxy Premier in the past but they have mostly showed the front of the device. But these latest pictures show us some of the other sides of the device, including the back.

The Galaxy Premier looks very similar to the Galaxy S III from the front, but has a prominent chrome strip around the bezel. The sides use glossy plastic and the back looks like it is matte, just like on the Galaxy Nexus.

From the previous leaks we know that the Galaxy Premier has a 4.65-inch, 1280 x 720 resolution display, 8 megapixel camera, dual-core 1.5GHz processor (we're guessing the TI OMAP4470), 1GB RAM, 8 megapixel camera, 16GB internal memory and microSD card slot.
One would assume why Samsung would be releasing a phone with specs so close to the Galaxy S III, but they could just be trying to fill the hole that would be left in their line-up once the Galaxy Nexus gets replaced by the LG Nexus 4 next week.

HTC reports weak Q3 results as revenue and profits fall

Tags: HTC
HTC was once on its way to the top of the smartphone world, but it's in a bit of a slump lately. The results from the preliminary reportwere confirmed in the new report and the outlook for the final quarter of this year isn't looking too good either.
The company saw a revenue of $2.4 billion in Q3 of this year, down from $4.54 billion in the same quarter last year. Net profits (predictably) are down too - $133 million, down from $625 million. The gross margin was 25% and operating margin was 7%.
HTC continued to do well in China and introduced the HTC J Butterfly in Japan, an Android smartphone with a 5" 1080p screen. HTC is also waiting on the launch of its Windows Phone 8 handsets (the OS launches next Monday).
Even so, the company is expecting revenues in Q4 to fall to $2 billion with both gross profit margin and operating margin falling, to 23% and 1% respectively. And that's the holiday quarter.
Source (PDF)

HTC One X gets Android 4.1.2 In Asia today, One S to follow soon

Tags: HTCAndroidTouch UI
The General manager of HTC North Asia, Jack Tong announced at a press event that the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update will start rolling out for the One X today. He also said that the One S will also be graced with the firmware update, but didn't specify a time frame.
The new firmware update will not only bring the One X to the latest Android release (not counting Monday's Google announcement, of course), as well as the latest Sense UI version.
Jack Tong also mentioned the One X+ and One S SE updated edition, which will hit shelves in Asia on October 30. No other markets were mentioned, but we recon they shouldn't be too far behind the schedule.
Thanks for the tip, Daniel!

Google Nexus 10 previewed before announcement, loved

Google's upcoming Nexus 10 slate has leaked out in live photos, confirming previous rumors for the Samsung made tablet. Set to be officially unveiled on Monday, the device packs impressive specifications, headed by a stunning 10.1" display with a iPad beating resolution of 2560x1600 pixels and a pixel density of 298.9ppi.
The Google Nexus 10 will feature a brand new dual-core Samsung Exynos 5250 chipset, whose Cortex-A15 cores run at 1.7GHz. The new silicon is reportedly faring better in benchmark scores than the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro and Apple's custom A6, but we got no actual scores confirming that.
The Mali -T604 GPU is also brand new - it should be able to handle the massive amount of pixels with ease. Two gigs of RAM, 16GB of non-expandable built-in memory (other options will likely be available), 5MP camera (you can check out its samples here) with front-facing companion, and full connectivity suite are also on board.
The back of the slate appears to be made of metal, while the dual-speakers at its front remind us of its Samsung roots. The tablet is said to be remarkably thin for its size.
The Google Nexus 10 will launch with Android 4.2, which will still go by the name Jelly Bean, but will bring a number of improvements to the OS. The more notable ones include improved camera UI, and connectivity toggles in the notification area.
The Google Nexus 10 will break cover at a Google event in New York City on Monday, October 29. We will be there live, so be sure to stick around for the full scoop on everything Android.

The LG Nexus 4 was lost in a bar a month ago

Tags: LGAndroidMisc
Well, we had to look at a calendar to make sure it’s not April 1. The upcoming LG Nexus 4 was lost in a bar, just like the Apple iPhone 4 was. And this wasn’t a recent event (now that the Nexus successor was reviewed and put on pre-order), no this happened back in late September, when details of the device were much more scarce.
The phone was found in a San Francisco bar and the bartender that found it didn’t know what to make of it first. He showed it to a tech-savvy bar patron who instantly recognized the device.
The LG Optimus 4 that was lost in a San Franciso bar
Unlike the iPhone story, the two decided to talk straight to Google to return the lost phone. Even so, they didn’t avoid the unpleasantness of dealing with a big company trying to protect its secrets.
You can read the whole story over at Wired who talked to the bartender. The story pretty quickly turns into something that could make a decent movie with an unrelated incident causing a riot an attack at a local police station as the Google security guy and a lawyer representing the bartender were inside.
As you know, there's a Google event this Monday and we'll be there. The LG Nexus 4 smartphone is expected to be officially announced, but also a 10" Nexus tablet by Samsung and updated Nexus 7 with 32GB storage and 3G.

LG E960 Nexus 4 manual leaks, leaves nothing to imagination

Tags: LGAndroidTouch UI
The upcoming LG E960 Nexus 4 has shaped up to be one of the worst kept secrets in the industry. After being fully reviewed and lost in a bar, it was time for the handset's user manual to make the rounds.
The manual which has subsequently been removed from LG's website reveals yet again the Nexus 4's close relationship with the LG Optimus G. Built-in 8 and 16GB memory options are all but confirmed, as well as the presence of induction coil for wireless charging.
The LG Nexus 4 will be unveiled at a Google event in New York City on Monday alongside the also leaked, Samsung made Google Nexus 10. We will be live from the spot, so expect the full scoop on both devices on Monday.
Source | Via

Thursday, 18 October 2012

ASUS unviels the Padfone 2 in Taiwan ahead of official launch

Although the official launch of the Padfone 2 will take place later today in Milan, ASUS has already gone ahead and showcased the device(s) in Taiwan.

The new Padfone 2 has a 4.7-inch, 720p Super IPS+ display, Qualcomm APQ8064 quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, 13 megapixel camera with f/2.4 BSI sensor and 1080p30 or 720p60 video recording, NFC and a fixed 2,140mAh battery. The device runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich but a Jelly Bean update is promised in the near future.
On the tablet side, you get a 10.1-inch IPS HD display with a built-in internal battery that has gone down in size from 6,600mAh on the previous model to 5,000mAh on the new model. Because of this, the Padfone 2 weighs 649g with the phone docked in, compared to the 854g of the previous model.
The Padfone 2 will go on sale next week in Taiwan, with prices starting from NT$17,990 for the 16GB model to NT$21,901 for the 64GB model, which includes just the phone. The tablet bundle will cost you back NT$6,000 extra over each model's price. We will have more details once the device gets a proper launch.

Pricing and availability of the ASUS Padfone 2 detailed

Now that the ASUS Padfone 2 is finally official, it's time to get a detailed idea of the device's pricing and availability. As we already told you, the smartphone is initially going to be available in 32GB and 64GB variations, with a 16GB coming out later (we assume by Christmas).

ASUS will launch the Padfone 2 and its tablet station first in Europe (Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and Sweden) and Asia (Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and U.A.E). The smartphone/tablet should be available there in the beginning of December.
The US hasn't been mentioned in the official press release, but we got a word from an ASUS manager at the event, saying the Padfone 2 will debut in the US by the end of the year as well.
As for pricing, the 32GB Padfone 2 (including a the 10.1" tablet station) will retail in Europe for €799, while the 64GB model will be €899. We guess once the 16GB version comes arounds, it'll cost around the €699 mark.
In Asia, the Padfone 2 tablet station will be sold separately for NT$8,990 ($310). There, the unsubsidized Padfone 2 smartphone will retail for NT$17,990 ($620) and NT$21,901 ($750) for the 16GB and 32GB models, respectively. However, should customers purchase the Padfone 2 together with the tablet station, the latter will be sold at NT$6,000 (around $210).
Information on subsizided US versions isn't yet available, and we are yet to see which US carriers will pick the device up. We are also yet to see how the Padfone 2 will compete with the upcoming LG Optimus G in Europe too.
The Padfone 2 is powered by a beefy 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro (APQ8064) chipset with Adreno 320 GPU and 2GB of RAM. This awe-inspiring chip helps the Padfone 2 run Ice Cream Sandwich with absolute ease. Naturally, an update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is planned, too.
For more information and first impressions, check out our full ASUS Padfone 2 hands-on.

HTC One S Special Edition pops up in Taiwan dressed in white

Tags: HTC, Android, Touch UI
An HTC One S Special Edition has appeared on the company's Taiwanese website. Dressed in an eye-catching white color scheme with red accents, the smartphone packs a cool 64GB of built-in memory. The rest of its specifications are no different than what the regular One S has to offer.

When we reviewed the elegant HTC One S, one of our biggest grievances with the handset was the fairly limited, non-expandable memory it offered. It looks like the Taiwanese manufacturer has addressed the issue in a seriously appropriate fashion with the special edition of the 7.8mm thin smartphone.
Currently, there is no information on retail availability of the HTC One S Special Edition outside of its home market. We surely hope this will change in the future.

HTC J butterfly announced in Japan with 5-inch, 1080p display

Tags: HTC, Android, Touch UI
We have been hearing rumors of an HTC phone with a large 1080p display for a while now and it has finally come true. HTC has unveiled the HTC J butterfly in Japan and it is the first production smartphone to have a 1080p display.

The display in question is a 5.0-inch, Super LCD3 with a resolution of 1920 x 1080, which gives it a pixel density of the astonishing 440 ppi. The display is quite big but at 143 x 71 x 9.1 mm, the J butterfly is only slightly bigger than the One X (134.4 x 69.9 x 8.9 mm) and at 140g weighs just 10g more.
Inside, the HTC J butterfly runs on a quad-core Qualcomm APQ8064 Snapdragon S4 processor clocked at 1.5GHz with 2GB of RAM. It has 16GB internal memory along with a microSD card slot.
On the back is an 8 megapixel camera with 1080p video recording and on the front is a 2 megapixel camera. The phone supports LTE and NFC and is dust and waterproof (IPX5). Strangely, for a phone with such specs, the battery is only 2,020mAh. Lastly, the J butterfly will ship with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box.
The HTC J butterfly is set to release in Japan on AU/KDDI in December. The phone will be sold in three colors: red, black and white. Unfortunately, this particular model will be exclusive to Japan but we are sure to see that glorious display on HTC's future models soon.

Samsung Galaxy Y receives a minor software update

The compact but highly popular member of the Samsung Android lineup, Galaxy Y has received a minor software update. Available over-the-air, the update doesn't bring many substantial changes to the device, but rather improves the system stability.

Additionally, according to our tipster, who has received the update, the screen responsiveness is also improved. The update changes the baseband version to S536ODDLF1 and the firmware version to S536ODDLF1.
So, Galaxy Y users, go to the Settings menu and check for a Software update. Unfortunately, there's no official word from Samsung on which regions should expect the update and when.
Thanks for the tip, Akash

Sony Xperia VL is Xperia V for Japanese carrier KDDI

The Sony Xperia AX was announced at the beginning of this month as a version of the Xperia V for Japan. Now there's the Xperia VL, also for Japan. The difference here is that the AX is going to NTT DoCoMo and the VL is for KDDI.
Other than that, the Sony Xperia VL packs the same features as the Xperia V - a super sharp 720p 4.3" display, 13MP camera, dual-core Krait processor and LTE connectivity. And it's dust and water-proof too.

One feature not on the international version is the 1seg mobile TV support. Also not part of the international package is the bundled desk stand.
Anyway, the Sony Xperia VL will launch by the end of the year with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and Sony's Walkman and multimedia apps. For colors, you can choose between Pink, White, Black and blue.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Unannounced Samsung Star Deluxe Duos S5292 leaks out

Tags: SamsungTouch UIRumors
Images of a yet to be announced, budget oriented Samsung handset with dual-SIM functionality have emerged. Dubbed Star Deluxe Duos S5292, the device is reportedly scheduled to launch in December in emerging markets.
The rumored specifications of the Samsung Star Deluxe Duos S5292 will hardly blow you away. They include a 312MHz CPU, 128MB of RAM, 3.5" HVGA display, 512MB of built-in memory, and microSD card slot. A 3.2MP camera, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 3.0 complete the list of rumored specs.
There is no information on the OS which the handset will boot. Given its low-end specs however, it is unlikely that the device will be a full-blown smartphone.
Source | Via