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Samsung launches colorful covers for GS3 and Note 2

Samsung Galaxy Note II and Samsung Galaxy S III, both are astounding devices. It has been several months since Galaxy S3 was launched, but the device is still hot and selling in good numbers. Galaxy Note II is relatively a new offering and has been doing better than its predecessor.

Since both the devices are widely sold, there are a lot of protective accessories ranging from colorful covers to screen guards available in the market, but how about something from the company itself? Samsung is offering new accessories and Samsung Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III owners looking for a colorful way to protect their device are in luck. Samsung is offering flip covers for the two devices in range of colors. The new flip covers look similar to the white ones which are already available from Samsung, except that users get to choose from a bunch of colors and choose the one which goes along with their style statement.

The protective cover which was available previously wanted you to replace the back cover and they protected only the front side of the device, but the new colorful covers protect the front as well as the back, so no more back plate scratching. I’m sure females out there who carry Galaxy S3 in their handbags would love these covers because they can match their phone with their wardrobe. Samsung is offering colors including titanium gray, marble white, light blue, pink, mint, lime green, and orange. That’s seven different colors to match whatever you are wearing.

The cover offers a folding design and is tailor made for Galaxy S3 and Note 2. The front cover should protect the screen in case of drops and the back will help you keep the phone free from scratches. The covers will also help to keep the phone free of fingerprints and dirt.
Coming to the pricing section, Samsung is selling these covers for $39.99 each, and as said before, you can choose from 7 different colors. If you want to buy multiple colors, you can choose to buy a bundle of four different colors which will cost you $99.99. If four covers are too many for you, Samsung is offering you a bundle of two for just $49.99, which is a better deal than buying a single piece because you’ll be getting two covers for just $10 extra. The price is same for both, the S III and Note II.

If you ask my opinion, the covers are overpriced and we have had better ones from Spigen before, and they have better construction too. If you do a bit of research, you should be able to buy it off the internet for relatively cheaper price as there are tons of third party accessory manufacturers for these popular devices. Also, I don’t understand the concept behind this product because they leave the sides exposed. What are your thought on these covers? Do you think they are value for money? Let us know using the comment form below.

source: Samsung

HTC HD2 boots Windows Phone 8!

The HTC HD2 is a great smartphone and was launched around 3 years ago running Windows Mobile 6.5. Of course Windows Mobile 6.5 devices weren’t upgraded to Windows Phone 7 which indeed changed the game for Microsoft and gave rise to an all new mobile operating system. HTC HD2 has been subject to various hacks and developers have managed to flash several version or flavors of Windows Phone 7 on it. The device comes with a 4.3” screen and is a great device as far as hacking into is concerned.

When Windows Phone 8 was announced, Microsoft also made it clear that the existing Windows Phone 7.5 devices won’t be upgraded to Windows Phone 8. That is of course a very disturbing news for owners of devices such as Lumia 900 because it’s not a good feeling to have a device that is less than a year old and yet is already obsolete. According to Microsoft, the reason for Window Phone 8 not being able to make it to existing Windows Phone 7.5 devices is that they lack the hardware capability to do so, but seems like developers have proved them wrong.

The developers at Dark Force Team have got Windows Phone 8 running on the HTC HD2. Though the functionality in its current trim is limited to a certain extent, but the point is made and it is that HTC HD2 can indeed run Windows Phone 8. The developer team posted few photos on Twitter as proof for the same and has been attached in this post above. The hack demonstrates that even relatively old hardware may be capable of handling Windows Phone 8. Just in case you need a refresher, the HTC HD2 has a 1GHz single-core Snapdragon S1 chip with Adreno 200 graphics and only 448MB of RAM.

It was previously understood that Windows Phone 8 comes with a built in security settings which is supposed to only enable WP8 devices run the software, but the case here is something different and we have a smartphone dating back to 2009 running the new OS, which is fantastic. Though limited in functionality, it also means that there is a possibility to have the existing wonderful Windows Phone 7.5 devices such as Lumia 900 booting Windows Phone 8 goodness unofficially.

For those who are extremely bored with Windows Phone 7.5, Microsoft will be releasing an official update and most of the existing devices will be upgraded to Windows Phone 7.8. The features included in Windows Phone 7.8 have already been leaked online and we have written several articles on the topic as well.

Previously, developers at XDA had managed to create a ROM for the HD2 and had it running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, though the initial release was far from perfect. Since the DFT team has noted that their WP8 on HD2 hack was just a “proof-of-concept”, don’t expect a fully-working Windows Phone 8 ROM to be released for the HTC HD2 in the near future. What are your thoughts on this news?

via WPCentral

ZTE Grand Memo hardware confusion cleared

zte-grand-memo

Mobile World Congress is the most exciting event for mobile phone enthusiasts. Several manufacturers launched impressive smartphones, and one smartphone which intrigued me was the Grand Memo. The Grand Memo is coming from ZTE, a popular Chinese smartphone manufacturer.

ZTE is known for producing range of high quality smartphones and ZTE Grand Memo is a handset that will blow the competition out of water. ZTE Grand Memo comes with a massive 5.7 inch display. Below is the spec sheet of ZTE Grand Memo that was released at the press conference:

ZTE Grand Memo Technical Specifications
• Android 4.1 Jelly bean
• 5.7inch, HD,TFT, 16M color, 1280×720 pixels multi-touch capacitive screen
• Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with quad-core Krait CPUs
• 2GB RAM
• 16GB Rom
• 3200mAh super-long standby battery
• Mifavour UI user interface
• WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, gyro
• LTE 100/50Mbps
• 13MP Intelligent AF Camera with face recognition and panorama,1MP front-facing camera, 1080p HD video playback

If you fancied Grand Memo, you would have probably search for the specs, but this particular device’s specs seem to be a mystery and very confusing. At the time of announcement, the company said that the device will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with quad-core Krait CPUs, but it should be noted that even flagship devices from well-known manufacturers such as LG Optimus G Pro and the HTC One aren’t using Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 as their powerhouses and have settled down for Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 under the hood. The U.S. version of Samsung’s upcoming flagship, Samsung Galaxy S IV, is also anticipated to be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, though it is clocked at 1.9 GHz as opposed to clock speed of 1.7GHz on the HTC One and LG Optimus G Pro.

Qualcomm later said that ZTE’s device is not powered by Snapdragon 800 and it was Snapdragon 600 that was powering the phone. ZTE also claimed that the device would be carrying 2GB of RAM whereas the spec sheet mentioned only 1GB of RAM. Apparently, the root of confusion is the fact that ZTE will be offering Grand Memo in variety of hardware configuration depending on the country it is being sold. The device that was showcased at the MWC 2013 was apparently powered by Snapdragon S4 Pro (8064) and several different versions of Grand Memo will be made available at the time of launch, including Snapdragon 800-powered model. ZTE’s stall also had an NVIDIA Tegra 3-based Grand Memo, though it was unstable.

Now that the confusion regarding the hardware is solved, the device is anticipated to be launched in second quarter of this year. From the looks of it, the device seems to have good potential to go offensive against some of the well-known flagship devices, but the main attraction however would be the price tag itself, and ZTE is known to price their devices fairly.

What are your thoughts on ZTE’s Grand Memo? Does the Snapdragon 800 tempt you? Let us know in the comment section below.

source: AndroidCentral

Nokia Catwalk coming to T-Mobile

gsmarena_001 (4)

Nokia didn’t do quite well last year, but after the launch of Windows Phone 8 devices, Nokia has been doing fairly well when compared to the recent past. At Mobile World Congress 2013 which happened this week in Barcelona, Nokia was rumored to launch a new Lumia device with 41 megapixels camera, the same one that is featured on Nokia 808 Pureview. Though such a device is indeed planned and is in pipeline, Nokia instead launched two new entry level Lumia devices – Lumia 720 and Lumia 520.

Excluding variants, the Finland based company currently has 12 Lumia devices in its lineup. With the launch of new low cost devices, it’s clear that the company is aiming to offer devices across various price points, and by giving Lumia 520 (which happens to be the cheapest Lumia until now) a 4 inch screen, we can see that Nokia isn’t compromising features in order to offer the device at that price point.

The best Lumia phone in the company’s current lineup has got to be the Lumia 920 flagship. Thanks to wide popularity of Lumia 920, Nokia managed to sell 4.4 million units of Lumia devices in the most recent quarter. It should be noted that Lumia 920 is an AT&T exclusive device in the U.S., so other carriers cannot offer the perhaps best Windows Phone 8 device, but the word is that the company will be launching two new Lumia devices which will be placed higher than the current flagship Lumia 920.

The rumored successor of Lumia 920 is said to be the Lumia Catwalk. With the catwalk, Nokia will supposedly do away with the polycarbonate body for an aluminum one. The final product will be lighter, stronger and thinner.

According to recent reports, Lumia Catwalk will be coming to T-Mobile. The internal hardware of the Catwalk will be similar to the one featured on Nokia Lumia 920, but that doesn’t mean Nokia is going backwards. T-Mobile customers will get a chance to buy a Windows Phone 8 device with specs that will pass for high end specs in the WP8 world.

Verizon customers will also be getting their own variant of Lumia 920, but it will be called Lumia 928 instead and is codenamed as Nokia Laser. When it comes to Nokia devices, AT&T seems to be well ahead of all the carriers. As said before, Lumia 920 is an AT&T exclusive device, and while other carriers are busy catching up by offering Lumia 920 variants, AT&T is expected to offer the Lumia device with 41 MP camera, codenamed as EOS. Again, Nokia EOS will be an AT&T exclusive.

This year, smartphones will be facing a lot of completion, thanks to high end devices from plethora of manufacturers. One turn-off about Windows Phone 8 OS is that it lacks developer support. If the launch of new low-end and high-end Windows Phone 8 devices allows WP8 to gain a market share of at least 10%, app developers will automatically focus on Microsoft’s OS. What are your thoughts on this?

Source: TheVerge

$200 E Ink Android phone!

eink-3
Smartphones are getting bigger day by day. Recently, 5 inch 1080p displays have become a standard and almost all smartphone manufacturers are launching a device with this kind of display. In order to run big displays with high amount of resolution, you’ll also need bigger battery. Sadly, the battery technology hasn’t advanced enough in the recent past, and even if it has, it will take some time for it to get into the mass market.

In the meantime, a new device was showcased at the Mobile World Congress 2013 that is taking place in Barcelona this week. The smartphone device runs Android, but what sets it apart from the crowd of Android phones is that it has an e-ink display.
What’s eink display? Well, it’s basically a paper like display and has been used in devices such as Kindle ebook reader, and hence it is a fairly popular technology. How does it function?

“E Ink technology works by using tiny microcapsules that are suspended in liquid placed within a film-like layer. The microcapsules, which are about the same width as human hair, contain both positively charged white particles and negatively charged black particles. Applying a negative electrical field causes the white particles to come to the surface. Conversely, applying a positive electrical field causes the black particles to come to the surface. By applying different fields at various parts of a screen, E Ink can produce a text display.” – About.com

The advantage of using eink display on a portable device has got to be the extremely low power consumption values. The device shown at MWC 2013, it costs EUR 150 (~$197), so if you don’t care about having FHD or HD screen on your Android smartphone, this could be the device you are looking for. This device is essentially a proof-of-concept device, and the company has manufactured only a handful of them, so the device isn’t named and runs on a golden oldie Android gingerbread. What’s impressive about this device is that it offers a week of battery life. Android powered smartphones are always criticized for having low battery life because the OS isn’t the best when it comes to power management. This device is a good answer for such criticism, though the screen can reproduce content only in gray scale.

When you are outdoors, the screen is as visible as a sheet of paper. Also, the phone is feather light. Consumers today use their smartphone for media extensive applications, so e-ink may not survive such competition. On the other hand, many a times we just switch on the screen of the smartphone in order to glance at information such as time. Such kind of tasks drain battery and eink displays could be used as secondary displays on back of the phone.

According to Nicholas Charbonnier, the proprietor of ARMdevices.net, “E Ink is working with hardware partners not only to bring full-fledged E Ink smartphones to market, but also to develop E Ink back panels for popular phones with removable backs. The end products, which could cost as little as $50, would be replace users’ existing battery covers with ones that had E Ink screens.”

What are your thoughts on E Ink displays? Let us know.
source: LaptopMag

LG Optimus G Pro vs Samsung Galaxy Note 2

lg-optimus-g-pro-1358828027

LG showed off a few devices at the Mobile World Congress 2013 that is taking place in Barcelona this week. All the devices are great, but the most exciting however is the LG Optimus G Pro. It is the company’s flagship device and is a 5.5 inch phablet that is all set to compete with Samsung’s Galaxy Note II.

Samsung has been ruling the Android sphere for quite a long time now. As far as Galaxy Note 2 goes, no device has seriously threatened its popularity and LG’s Optimus G Pro is designed to do exactly that. If everything goes well, the Optimus G Pro should knock Samsung off its phablet throne.

So what has LG Optimus G Pro got which makes us think that it will make a serious mark in 2013? Well, LG Optimus G Pro is without doubt an impressive device. It’s of the same size as Galaxy Note 2, but it’s faster and it’s lighter. Also, it has a better looking 1080p display, which could be a major selling point for LG Optimus G Pro. The Korean company has been experimenting with several features that will let it take advantage of this particular form factor. One attractive feature is the dual-recording mode which enables the device to shoot video from both, the front as well as rear camera. The feature should be popular among video bloggers.

Apart from the 1080p display advantage, LG’s flagship is powered by the 1.7 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 with LTE radio (and that’s the same chip that is anticipated to power the U.S. Galaxy S IV!) and 2GB of RAM. The LG Optimus G Pro includes a 13MP camera on the rear whereas 2 MP makes its way on the front. LG has included a big 3,140mAh battery pack that should be sufficient to power the hardware and 1080p display. The device comes with 32 GB of internal storage, and there is microSD card slot should you need more storage.

In the LG Optimus G Pro vs Samsung Galaxy Note 2 battle, the pricing and availability factor plays a major role. If the Optimus G Pro carries a price tag similar to Note 2, a lot of carriers may show interest in the device. Below is a specs comparison of LG Optimus G Pro vs Galaxy Note 2.

 
Size150.2 x 76.1 x 9.4 (mm)151.1 x 80.5 x 9.4 (mm)
Weight160g183g
Screen5.5-inch, Super IPS LCD5.5-inch Super AMOLED
Resolution1920×1080 pixels1280×720 pixels
OSAndroid 4.1.2 with Optimus UIAndroid 4.1 with TouchWiz UI
Storage32GB16/32/64GB
SD Card SlotYesYes
Processor1.7GHz, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 6001.6GHz, quad-core Exynos
RAM2GB2GB
ConnectivityWi-Fi, 4G LTE, HSPA+Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, HSPA+
CameraFront 2.1MP, Rear 13MPFront 1.9MP, Rear 8MP
BluetoothYes, version 4.0Yes, version 4.0
Battery3140mAh3100mAh
ChargerMicro USBMicro USB
MarketplaceGoogle Play StoreGoogle Play Store
PriceTBA$299
AvailabilityTBAAT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon

What are your thoughts on LG Optimus G Pro? Do you think it will be a strong contender for Galaxy Note 2? Let us know using the comment form below.

Nokia Lumia 720 and 520 set to release on April 1st

NokiaLumia520_Color_Span_vendor_610x399

Nokia is great as far as Windows Phone 8 devices are concerned. At the Mobile World Congress 2013 which is happening in Barcelona this week, the Finns announced two new low cost Lumia devices that will be powered by Windows Phone 8.

The devices announced are Lumia 520 and Lumia 720. Both the devices are expected to be fairly priced, which is a great move by Nokia because they are aiming for market share. If quantity of devices sold is what you’re aiming for, one cannot go wrong with cheap devices. There are always buyers for cheap devices, and in this case, I predict Lumia 520 and 720 will do extremely well in the Windows Phone space.

The two very well priced devices will launch on April 1st, at least according to UK retailer Clove. Talking of the price, the Lumia 720 will retail for 250 euro (around $325) off contract. Lumia 520 on the other hand will be the cheapest WP8 device at 140 euro (around $180) off contract.

As far as the devices go, inclusion of these two devices will allow Windows Phone 8 devices to be offered across a wider range of price points. Lumia 520 is the cheapest among all the WP8 devices in the Lumia family. Even though it’s the cheapest, Nokia has really upped the bar by giving it a 4-inch WVGA display and a 5-megapixel rear camera. It’ll be available in range of colors. The Nokia Lumia 720 on the other hand is the refined version among the two.

The Lumia 720 comes with a sleek 9mm body with interchangeable covers. It supports wireless charging, but for that you’ll have to add a cover which will be sold separately. The camera unit has a wide f/1.9 aperture that should deliver great low light performance. The Lumia 720 perhaps has the widest aperture in the Lumia family. It is a mid-ranger, but it hardly compromises in terms of features. It has got a 4.3-inch ClearBlack display and both a rear and front facing camera.

Now that we have so many phones in the Lumia family, you’ll obviously be confused which one to buy. Below is a comparison between various Lumia phones available in the market.

Model

Nokia Lumia 520

Nokia Lumia 620

Nokia Lumia 720

Nokia Lumia 820

Nokia Lumia 920

Display Type

IPS LCD Capacitive

TFT Capacitive

TFT Capacitive

AMOLED Capacitive

IPS LCD Capacitive

Display Size

4-inch

3.8-inch

4.3-inch

4.3-inch

4.5-inch

Display Resolution

480×800

480×800

480×800

480×800

1280×768

Built-in storage

8GB

8GB

8GB

8GB

32GB

Expandable storage

microSD up to 64GB

microSD up to 64GB

microSD up to 64GB

microSD up to 64GB

No

Bluetooth

3

3

3

3.1

3.1

Rear Camera

5MP

5MP

6.7MP

8MP

8MP

Front Camera

No

VGA

1.3MP

VGA

1.3MP

CPU

Dual-core 1GHz

Dual-core 1 GHz Krait

Dual-core 1GHz

Dual-core 1.5GHz Krait

Dual-core 1.5GHz Krait

GPU

NA

Adreno 305

Adreno 305

Adreno 225

Adreno 225

RAM

512MB

512MB

512MB

1GB

1GB

Battery

1430mAh

1300mAh

2000mAh

1650mAh

2000mAh

What are your thoughts on Lumia 520 and 720? Let us know!

Source: Clove

iPad vs Nexus 10 vs Xperia Tablet Z : Specs

xperia1

The Sony Xperia Tablet Z is without doubt one of the best devices that were launched at the Mobile World Congress 2013 that is taking place in Barcelona this week. It’s an extremely good product from the Japanese manufacturer. The device is well built, and apparently is the thinnest and lightest tablet, at least in the 10” category. The Xperia Tablet Z weighs just over pound (1.09 pounds to be precise) and at .27 inches, it is a little over a quarter of an inch thick. To put this into perspective, the 9.7-inch iPad measures .37 inches thick and weighs 1.44 pounds. The device of course feels super light and the design has a simple and minimalistic approach which gives the device a premium feeling. Also, the design is in line with designs of Xperia Z and ZL smartphones which were recently announced.

Another interesting fact about this tablet is that it offers the same level of dust and water resistance as the Sony Xperia Z – IP 57. Last time around, Sony had launched Xperia Tablet S which was marketed as a splash proof device, only to be recalled later because the device had gap between screen and the hardware which made it not so waterproof. With the Xperia Z, Sony seems to have learnt their mistakes, and have of course fixed it so that you can read an ebook or watch a movie in the bathtub without worrying about dropping it into the tub.

Xperia Tablet Z will be a direct competitor to Apple’s 9.7 inch iPad. The Tablet Z has a much more elongated form with a 16:10 aspect ratio, unlike the 4:3 ratio of the iPad. In the Android space, the device will be competing with Google’s latest Nexus 10 device. It should be noted that Sony is marketing this device in the premium segment, so it won’t be cheap, and perhaps is the costliest of all the devices.

Xperia Tablet Z will face a tough competition when it enters the US market. Nevertheless, below is a specs comparison of iPad (4th Gen.), Nexus 10 and Xperia Tablet Z:

Size241.2 x 185.7 x 9.4 (mm)263.9 x 177.6 x 8.9 (mm)266 x 172 x 6.9 (mm)
Weight662g603g495g
Screen9.7-inch LCD10.1-inch LCD10.1-inch LCD
Resolution2048 x 1536 pixels2560 x 1600 pixels1920 x 1200 pixels
OSiOS 6Android 4.2 Jelly BeanAndroid 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
Storage16/32/64GB16/32GB16/32GB
SD Card SlotNoNoYes
ProcessorDual-core A6XDual-core A15Quad-core Snapdragon S4
RAM1GB2GB2GB
ConnectivityWi-Fi, 4G LTE, HSPA+Wi-FiWi-Fi, 4G LTE, HSPA+
CameraFront 1.2MP, Rear 5MPFront 1.9MP, Rear 5MPFront 2MP, Rear 8MP
BluetoothYes, version 4.0Yes, version 3.0Yes, version 3.0
Battery11,560mAh9,000mAh6,000mAh
ChargerLightning connectorMicro USBMicro USB
MarketplaceApple App StoreGoogle Play StoreGoogle Play Store
Price$400+$400$500

What are your thoughts on Sony’s Xperia Tablet Z? Do you think it will be able to capture any market despite its high price tag. Let us know if you are planning to buy this product in the comment section below.

 

Kinetis KL02 is world’s smallest ARM chip

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The future is all about computers conquering the world. Well, not exactly, but computers will be present in all walks of our life. We are already so much dependent on computers, and not to mention smartphones because they are computers as well. Computers are getting smaller day by day, and mobile computing has just got tinier. Freescale has made the world’s smallest ARM-based chip.

Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. is a well-known company and is popular for producing and designing embedded hardware. According to reports, over 17 billion semiconductor chips manufactured by freescale are in use around the world. The company has over 6,100 patents to its name, and their latest product will just blow your mind off. It’s the Kinetis KL02 and as said before, it is the world’s smallest computer processor chip. The chip measures just 1.9mm by 2.2mm, which is very tiny.

It should be noted that Kinetis KL02 is a full microcontroller unit, which basically means that it is a processor with RAM, ROM clock and I/O control units, making it a full-fledged computer. With a 48MHz 32-bit processor, 4KB of RAM and 32KB of internal storage, it may not be the most powerful computer you’ve come across, but it sure is the tiniest, and the market it is aiming for, the specs are very sufficient. This super tiny chip is supposed to be swallowed and be inside your body!

“We are working with our customers and partners on providing technology for their products that can be swallowed but we can’t really comment on unannounced products,” says Steve Tateosian, global product marketing manager for Freescale.
“We come across hundreds of [microcontrollers] embedded in the devices we use throughout the day,” says Tateosian. “For example, you may come across them when your alarm wakes you up, you brush your teeth, make your coffee, unlock your car door, open your garage, put down the car window, pay the parking meter, tell the time on your watch, measure your heart rate, distance, and pace. While running you may listen to your music player with several controllers inside, including in the ear buds themselves.”

The ways in which we can use this chip is endless. The chip also has 12-bit analog to digital converter and a low-power UART built in, so the manufacturers using this chip can shrink their designs resulting in smaller boards and tiny devices. Freescale products are already used in several health equipments. The Fitbit and OmniPod insulin pump use Freescale chips. This chip could probably end up inside our digestive tracts in the near future.

The chip will surely be implemented in several applications, and what’s interesting is that it costs only 75 cents apiece, making it a very cheap solution. Soon there will be a new generation of devices designed to monitor your internal health or release drugs and medicine from within your body. Also, such devices could possibly find use in pipes that will detect where the leakage is. The opportunities are infinite for this chip.

What are your thoughts?

Source: Wired

Sony Xperia Tablet Z pricing and availability

xperia-tablet-z-black-1240x840-psm-f25ca63681207ad2d021f4934b81464c

Sony’s Xperia Z Tablet is a great Android based tablet. We’ve seen benchmarks and tons of pics, and the only missing pieces of the puzzle were the pricing and availability information, and now we have that information too. It should be noted that Sony is branding this tablet as a premium product, so don’t expect it to go light on your wallet.

According to Sony, the device will be made available in Q2 of 2013, and so far we know the pricing for US models only. In the US, the device will be available in both white and black, and customers can choose between two storage flavors – 16GB and 32GB. The WiFi-only model will carry a price tag of $500 for the 16GB and $600 for the 32GB, which is on the costlier side even when considering the 1920×1200 display, 8MP rear camera, Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, and its waterproof nature. Sony is also said to be working on a LTE model, but it’s designed for Europe and no pricing info is available for that at this moment.

As far as the device itself goes, it happens to be the thinnest and lightest on the market, at least among the 10 inch class. The Xperia Tablet Z weighs just over pound (1.09 pounds to be precise) and at .27 inches, it is a little over a quarter of an inch thick. To put this into perspective, the 9.7-inch iPad measures .37 inches thick and weighs 1.44 pounds. The device of course feels super light and the design has a simple and minimalistic approach which gives the device a premium feeling. Also, the design is in line with designs of Xperia Z and ZL smartphones which were recently announced.

The Xperia Tablet Z boots Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box and will be upgraded to 4.2 after launch. Running the show is a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core 1.5GHz processor with 2 GB RAM. A microSD card slot allows up to 64GB of expandable memory. The tablet device is equipped with two cameras. The 8-megapixel camera on the rear is capable of doing 1080p HD video recording and makes use of Sony’s proprietary camera technology – an Exmor R for Mobile image sensor with Burst mode and Sweep panorama capabilities. The front-facing camera is a 2.2-megapixels unit.

The Xperia Tablet Z is of course a great device, but the pricing is a bit costly. This device effectively replaces Sony’s Xperia Tablet S which was recalled by the company last year citing the gap between the screen and hardware as the issue. The gap apparently allowed water to seep in and destroy the hardware, though the device was marketed as “splash-proof.” This year, the executives immersed the tablet in a small fish tank in order to demonstrate the device’s water proof capability and prove that they have fixed the issue they were facing last time around. What are your thoughts on Xperia Tablet Z? Would you consider buying this device? Let us know using the comment form below.

source: Sony

Caterpillar to launch rugged Cat B15 smartphone

cat

We did have a scarcity of rugged smartphones in the market before, but many companies have recently come up with rugged models and now we have several options if you want to buy such smartphones. Talking of rigidity, Caterpillar (CAT) is known for making rugged construction and mining equipment. Their vehicles are designed to work regardless of weather and terrain, and it would be a great business plan for them to launch a rugged smartphone, and apparently they are indeed launching such a smartphone.
The upcoming device from Caterpillar will be called as Cat B15. To start with, it’s an Android smartphone and the body comes with a rugged IP67 certification. The device stays protected by its casing which will be made of silver anodized aluminum and shock absorbent rubber, which means it can survive a drop from over 1.8 meters of height.

It should be noted that it isn’t a high end device and the specs are rather mediocre, but the point is that it can take a beating. The Cat B15 is equipped with a 4 inch WVGA display which is protected by Gorilla Glass. Running the show is a dual-core MediaTek MT6577 processor that is clocked at 1 GHz which runs in conjunction with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of on board storage. There’s a microSD card slot too should you need more storage. The device will run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box. Its dimensions are 125×69.5×14.95 mm and it weighs 170 grams.

When it comes to IP ratings, lot many buyers are confused about what it really means. In case of Cat B15, it has IP67 rating and it is certified as follows:

First Number

0– No protection (Sometimes X)
1– Protected against solid objects up to 50mm³
2– Protected against solid objects up to 12mm³
3– Protected against solid objects up to 2.5mm³
4– Protected against solid objects up to 1mm³
5– Protected against dust, limited ingress (no harmful deposit)
6– Totally protected against dust

 

Second Number

 

0– No protection (Sometimes X)
1– Protection against vertically falling drops of water (e.g. condensation)
2– Protection against direct sprays of water up to 15 degrees from vertical
3– Protection against direct sprays of water up to 60 degrees from vertical
4– Protection against water sprayed from all directions – limited ingress permitted
5– Protected against low pressure jets of water from all directions – limited ingress permitted
6– Protected against low pressure jets of water, limited ingress permitted (e.g. ship deck)
7– Protected against the effect of immersion between 15cm and 1m
8– Protected against long periods of immersion under pressure

Regardless of the specs, the Cat B15 will be a good buy if you value ruggedness. Priced at 329 EUR ($434.71 USD) SIM free, the device will be ready next month. If your phone faces destruction on a daily basis, this is the phone you should be choosing.

source: GSMArena

Asus announces Intel Atom powered Fonepad for $249

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We knew ASUS was planning to launch a product called FonePad, a 7-inch tablet with built-in phone functionality (just like the Galaxy Note 8.0 from Samsung). Mobile World Congress 2013 is taking place in Barcelona, and ASUS has finally taken the veil off Fonepad.
Fonepad is a relatively affordable 7″ Android Jelly Bean tablet that is capable of dealing with 3G voice and mobile data. The highlight however is that this particular device isn’t powered by an ARM processor, but instead makes use on an Intel Atom Z2420. Even though it’s using an Intel processor, the device offers full Android compatibility and good balance of performance and energy efficiency. Asus claims that the battery pack in the Fonepad will have enough juice to power up the device for nine hours while it is doing hardware-accelerated 1080p Full HD video decoding.

As per Jonney Shih, ASUS Chairman, and Hermann Eul, Intel vice president and co-general manager of the Mobile and Communications Group:

It is ideal to have a larger screen with entertainment, social media and other online activities now playing an increasingly important part in our mobile lifestyles. The incorporation of 3G mobile data with full telephony support makes the Fonepad™ a perfect combination of tablet and phone in one single device…

Extending our long history of collaboration, including most recently on the Ultrabook and Intel-based tablets, we are very excited to be partnering with ASUS again. Intel’s new Atom Z2420 processor delivers the power, performance and flexibility required to accommodate a range of devices and market needs. We think the ASUS Fonepad is a very innovative device in an emerging category of 3G tablets with telephony features.

Talking of the hardware, as said before, it is powered by Intel Atom Z2420 that is clocked at 1.2 GHz and is accompanied by 1GB of RAM, a PowerVR SGX540 GPU. The device runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box and has an HSPA+ radio too. Powering the FonePad is a 4,270mAH which will supposedly give 9 hours of battery life, something that has to be verified hands on.

In terms of appearance, this ASUS product comes with a smooth metal back which is available in tints including gray and gold. The device has appearance similar to Nexus 7, which isn’t surprising as Nexus 7 was manufactured by ASUS. On the rear hides the antenna and underneath that lies the micro-SIM slot and the microSD reader. The device comes with 16 gig of storage on board, but the microSD card slot supports up to 32 gig cards should you require additional storage. FonePad a 7 inch IPS display which has a resolution of 1,280 x 800. Above the screen lies the 1.2-megapixel front camera.

The ASUS Fonepad will hit the shelves in UK in late Q2 at £179 (inc VAT) for the 16 GB version. In the US, this price turns converts to $249, available in March. What are your thoughts on ASUS FonePad? Would you consider buying this low-cost intel powered device? Let us know!

via PhoneArena

T-Mobile to offer Nokia Lumia 521

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Nokia officially announced two new Lumia devices, the Lumia 720 and 520. While Lumia 720 is a mid range smartphone, Lumia 520 is the cheapest Windows Phone 8 powered device launched by Nokia. The Nokia Lumia 520 is sure to come to T-Mobile, but it won’t be called by that name. T-Mobile has acknowledged that they will be carrying the handset and will be calling it as Lumia 521. We’re not sure about the motive behind renaming the smartphone, apart from the fact that Lumia 520 doesn’t support 4G whereas the 521 will work on T-Mobile’s 4G network.

T-Mobile, the nation’s fourth largest carrier, said that “a range of high-end features at an affordable price.” Whatever that affordable price is, we will have to wait as the carrier hasn’t released the pricing and availability info.

“T-Mobile will partner with Nokia to bring customers the Lumia 521 – an exclusive to T-Mobile. Powered by Windows Phone 8, the Lumia 521, which will run on T-Mobile’s fast nationwide 4G network, is a perfect, everyday smartphone that will embody a range of high-end features at an affordable price. Additional details, including device availability and specifics on pricing, will be shared at a later date.”-T-Mobile

The phone may sure have some high end features, but as they say, you get what you pay for, and same holds good for the Lumia 521. The Lumia 521 is equipped with rather mediocre specs. The device comes with 4 inch ClearBlack, SuperSensitive Touch display which has a resolution of 480 x 800. Doing some math, the screen has a pixel density of 235ppi, which is substantially less than today’s 320ppi-468ppi range, but then this isn’t a high end model either. A dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor clocked at 1 GHz works in conjunction with 512MB of RAM under the hood. The device comes with 8 gig of onboard storage and also has a microSD slot should you need more space. A 5MP shooter on rear can capture video at 720p @ 30 fps. Since it’s an entry level WP8 smartphone, it won’t have flash or a camera on the front. Power department is taken care of by a 1430mAh battery.

Below is the spec sheet of Lumia 521:
• Operating System: Windows Phone 8
• Memory: 512 MB RAM, 8 GB mass memory, support for microSD cards up to 64GB, 7GB free SkyDrive storage
• Display: 4” IPS LCD WVGA (800 x 480 pixels) 16M colors,
2D hardened glass, super sensitive touch for fingernail and glove use
• Processor: 1 GHz Dual Core Snapdragon™
• Camera: 5Mpix autofocus, video recording HD 720p 30fps
• Size: 119.9 x 64 x 9.9 mm* (*volume thickness)
• Weight: 124g
• Connectivity: WLAN IEEE802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, Integrated A-GPS, 3.5 mm audio connector, Micro USB with charging, USB 2.0 High Speed
• Battery: 1430mAh
• Audio: single digital microphone, 3.5mm AV connector, MP3 player

T-Mobile hasn’t priced the device, but I’m hoping they will give the 521 for free along with a 2 year contract. What are your thoughts on Lumia 521? Let us know.

source: T-Mobile

Asus unveils Padfone Infinity

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ASUS is pretty much of a household name now. They have made several powerful devices and are known for making quality devices of which the most notable being Google’s Nexus 7. Mobile World Congress 2013 is taking place in Barcelona this week and we have a lot of interesting news to cover from variety of manufacturers. Even ASUS has something exciting for us, and it is the Padfone Infinity. The company lifted the veil off Padfone Infinity, and it is a very interesting device.

To start with, ASUS Padfone Infinity is not just a smartphone. It’s a smartphone which is accompanied by a dock and are sold together. The device comes in two parts, a 5-inch 1080p 4G LTE phone that docks into a 10.1-inch tablet display.

Talking of the 5-inch Padfone Infinity smartphone, it has an aluminum alloy body with brushed metal finish. The show is run by a quad-core Quadlcomm Snapdragon 600 processor that is clocked at 1.7 GHz and is accompanied by Adreno 320 graphics and 2GB of RAM which should deliver ultra-smooth high end performance. The device features a 13-megapixel shooter on the rear and is powered by a Sony BSI sensor and f/2.0 aperture which is wide enough to provide outstanding low-light performance. The camera unit is made out of 5-elements and makes use of LED flash for extra lighting needs. A 2-megapixel camera does its job on the front.

Coming to the design, the device is 8.9mm thin at its thickest point whereas it’s just 6.3mm thick at its slimmest point. Hiding inside the shell is a 2,400mAh battery pack which happens to be of non-removable variety. Padfone Infinity boots Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box, so that’s a good news.

“PadFone™ Infinity is the latest evolution of our PadFone™ line,” said Jonney Shih, ASUS Chairman. “It combines incredible design with an uncompromised user experience derived from our Design Thinking philosophy.”

As far the Padfone Infinity Station goes, it is housing a 10-inch screen which has a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200-pixel. It also packs in a 5,000mAh battery. It should be noted that it doesn’t have a processor of its own, so it’s basically useless without the 5 inch phone it comes along with. The station is functional only when the smartphone is docked into it. The station features a 1-megapixel front camera which can be used for video calling purposes. Also, it conceals GSM, WCDMA, and 100Mbps-capable LTE antennas inside it. The station is 10.7mm thick and weighs 530g, and according to Asus, the dock can fuel up to 40 hours of 3G talk time when the PadFone is docked.

The Padfone Infinity will be available in 32 gig or 64 gig flavors and will support nano-SIM card. The exact release date hasn’t been given off, but at £799 ($1,200) in the UK, this gadget won’t be cheap. What are your thoughts on Padfone Infinity? Are you considering to make this your next buy? Let us know in the comment section below.

Source: Official Press Release