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Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

Unannounced Barnes & Noble BNTV800 Nook Tablet Spotted at GFX Bench with Nvidia Tegra 4 SoC

It’s no secret Barnes & Noble is in a similar financial pickle to BlackBerry when it comes to its hardware manufacturing division, as the Nook line of e-readers and tablets seems but a paltry rival for Amazon’s Kindles at the box-office.

nookshd

B&N has struggled greatly to clear Nook HD and Nook HD+ inventory in recent months, appealing to numerous promotions, discounts and so-called special offers in a desperate attempt to become relevant in an ever-competitive tablet landscape.

Only nothing’s worked so far, which is why the news of the book retailer looking to outsource upcoming Nook gizmos caught essentially no one off guard. But then B&N had a sudden and quite inexplicable change of heart, the brand new Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight e-reader saw daylight and now a full-fledged fresh Nook tab is pretty much confirmed as well.

No idea how this thing is to be called, but its ties with previous Nook generations are made crystal clear by the BNTV800 model number. Mind you, last year’s Nook HD is internally known as BNTV400, whereas the Nook HD+ is numbered BNTV600. Hence, monikers such as Nook HDX (a la Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX), Nook HD Ultra or Nook HD Plus Plus (I’m going a little overboard, I know) are likely in the cards.

BNTV800

The question of “when” (as in when will it start selling) should be on everyone’s lips, not “if”, as the BNTV800 is surely real and coming soon, since someone bothered to take it for a quick benchmarking spin through GFX Bench.

As usual, the test’s database is generous with inside information, revealing the no doubt skinned version of Android running on the fourth-gen Nook tab will be based on 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. Even more importantly, there seems to be a quad-core 1.8 GHz Nvidia Tegra 4 CPU beneath the hood, increasing the thing’s raw speed over 2012 Nooks by leaps and bounds.

Remember, the 7-inch Nook HD came packing a modest and now no longer in production dual-core 1.3 GHz TI OMAP 4470 SoC, and the 9-inch HD+ touted the same mediocre chip, only running at a slightly higher 1.5 GHz clock speed.

BNTV800-2

As for the still somewhat nichey Tegra 4 platform, try to keep in mind that, while it’s a little hard on battery life, it’s pretty much as chipper as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 CPU, found inside the latest Kindle Fire, not to mention light years ahead of the S4 Pro powering the Nexus 7 2013.

Then again, it’s not fair to pit the BNTV800 against the N7 2013 yet, as Barnes & Noble’s size preferences remain a mystery. There’s a good shot the 7-inch Nook will get a direct heir, but I wouldn’t rule out the new tab being a 9-incher either. Or maybe there are two versions in the works again.

In any case, GFX Bench’s screen resolution listing can’t really clear the air, being an odd 1,620 x 1,008 pixels. Could that be UXGA (1,600 x 1,200) with on-screen buttons? Possibly, but be sure to take it with a pinch of salt.

Via [GFX Bench]

Blu launches the Studio 5.5 smartphone for $179

blu-products-studio-5-5

Blu Products announced a new mobile in the Studio series, called the Studio 5.5. The device will be offered at retail locations like Amazon and Best Buy for $179 off-contract.

Miami-based handset manufacturer Blu is well known for making affordable handsets that run on Android. The Studio 5.5 is their latest such offering, and features decent hardware. The mobile comes with a 5.5-inch FWVGA screen with a resolution of 854 x 480, which comes out to a pixel density of 178 ppi. Under the hood, the device features MediaTek’s MT6589 SoC that comes with a quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex A7 CU along with Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR SGX544 GPU.

The Studio 5.5 has 1 GB RAM, 4 GB internal memory along with a micro-SD card slot that boosts memory to 32 GB, and 4G HSPA+ connectivity. The 5 megapixel camera at the back comes with autofocus and LED flash, and can record full-HD videos at @ 30fps. The camera also comes with features like touch focus, face detection, panorama, HDR and image stabilization. The Studio 5.5 comes with dual-SIM functionality, a 2,250 mAh Li-Ion battery and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Blu is known for rolling out latest versions of Android onto their devices, and the Studio 5.5 will be able to receive these software updates OTA. The device comes in a total of five color variations.

Blu has mentioned that the Studio 5.5 will be available at major retailers like Amazon and Best Buy, as well as other stores across the country. The device will be available for $179 off-contract. In addition, the device will be making its way to over 30 countries in Latin America that include Brazil and Mexico by the end of the year.

Source: Blu Products

HP Unveils Android-Powered SlateBook x2 and Windows 8-Based Split x2 Tablet/Laptop Hybrids

Say, do you remember that mystery HP SlateBook 10 X2 that leaked out courtesy of a fairly suspicious benchmark a little while ago? Well, as it turns out, the thing is real and coming our way very soon, only it’s not going to be alone.

Instead, there will also be a gizmo called Split x2, with the duo targeting both Android and Windows enthusiasts. But what exactly are these crazy little things? At first glance, you might be fooled in calling them run-of-the-mill laptops.

HP_Slatebook_x2

Only their screens are detachable (or the keyboard docks, depending on how you look at them), meaning you can either use the SlateBook x2 and Split x2 as notebooks or as tablets. The concept is not exactly groundbreaking, as the word “hybrid” has entered our tech vocabulary a while ago, but what HP seems to have up its sleeve is a never before seen quality-price ratio.

At least as far as the SlateBook is concerned, we’re very much wondering if HP isn’t manufacturing the tab/laptop at a loss. Then again, with the company’s first attempt at garnering attention in the Android décor, the Slate 7, failing with flying colors, a gamble was to be expected.

Set to go on sale sometime in August, the SlateBook x2 will cost a mere $479.99 with the keyboard dock included. That’s about as much as a high-end-ish slate used to go for a year or so ago without any kind of transforming accessories to go, but the even more amazing thing about the SlateBook is it’s not high-end-ish.

It’s actually ready to capture the crown for the most technically impressive Android slate, as it’s going to be powered by Nvidia’s spanking new Tegra 4 platform. The explosive quad-core processor has only flexed its muscles in a few benchmarks so far, but that’s been enough to put Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600 CPU to shame.

There will also be 2 gigs of RAM to go nicely with the Tegra 4 inside HP’s hybrid, plus Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and a pretty impressive 10.2-inch IPS panel with 1,920 x 1,200 pixels resolution. The 16 GB of on-board storage might not sound all that great, but you will be able to expand that via the tab’s microSD slot or through the dock’s full-sized SD slot.

The docking station will also come with an HDMI port and a much needed battery boost, as the actual tab will apparently only be able to run for a modest four hours on a single charge.

HP_Split_x2

Moving on to Windows aficionados, these will likely be a little disappointed with the Split x2. Not only is the thing a tad pricey, at $799.99 with the keyboard dock, but it’s also fairly low-end by certain standards, sporting a meager 13.3-inch display with 1,366 x 768 pix res and packing an Intel Core i3 processor.

Still, there’s a whopping 500 GB of storage, on-board Windows 8, 4 GB of RAM and a far more impressive battery than on the SlateBook, so all in all the Split x2 might be the better machine of the duo, at least when used as a notebook. I think now would be the right time to say HP still has it, right?

Via [The Verge]

Vivo XPlay Is A Monster 5.7-Inch Android Smartphone With Full HD Panel, Snapdragon 600 and $480 Price Tag

Although we’ve seen a great deal of super-phones with incredibly low price points getting unveiled in China lately, most of these can’t hold a candle to the Vivo XPlay unveiled mere hours ago.

vivo-xplay

This humongous guy has been the star of numerous rumors and alleged “leaks” in the past couple of months, but somehow it looks in reality much better than it did on paper in terms of its bang for the buck factor. The XPlay will be made available in a matter of weeks for… wait for it… 2,998 Yuan, which is roughly $480.

Sure, that’s not exactly dirt-cheap by Chinese standards, but you needn’t take more than a quick look at the below spec sheet to realize the Vivo XPlay is a one of a kind device:

  • 5.7-inch 1,920 x 1,080 pixels resolution display with Corning Gorilla Glass
  • 1.7 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor
  • Adreno 320 GPU
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • 16 or 32 GB of internal storage space
  • Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean
  • 13 MP rear-facing camera with Sony Exmor sensor
  • 5 MP secondary cam
  • 3,400 mAh battery
  • Hi-Fi audio, Bose headphones
  • Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
  • 153.8 x 79.68 x 7.99 mm dimensions
  • 187 grams weight

Is that a dreamy spec sheet or what? And I mean dreamy for a $700 smartphone, let alone for one that’s going to be sold (clearly at a loss) for the equivalent of 480 bucks.

The list of features is basically flawless, maybe save for the storage part, given there’s no microSD support. Other than that though, the Vivo XPlay is a top-notch device in terms of its display crispness, audio performance, cameras, software and processing speed.

And don’t even get me started on that stunning design, because I honestly don’t know how Vivo was able to pack the thing with a more than decently sized battery and at the same time keep the phone’s profile at an unbelievably thin 7.99 mm.

Also, while the XPlay sports in theory a larger display by 0.2 inches than Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2, the differences in size and weight are unnoticeable. The 5.7-incher is just 4 grams heavier and 2.7 mm longer than the 5.5-incher, while actually being 0.8 mm narrower (!!!).

How is that possible? Well, BBK, the company that owns the Vivo brand, made this fellow’s bezels crazy thin, giving its overall design an even more distinguished and classy feel.

And yes, I know it’s (usually) a little uncomfortable to handle a bigger than 5-inch smartphone, but Vivo seems to have thought about every little detail. A so-called “Free Touch” single-hand mode is one of the neat and original pre-loaded features on the XPlay, mirroring your screen in a small window for easier one-hand interaction.

I’m sure the only thing on your minds right now is “where can I get this thing and how soon?”, but the truth is there’s only an outside chance the Vivo XPlay will ever make its way outside China. And even if it does, it’ll probably be sold in limited quantities in countries like Russia or Ukraine, because BBK simply doesn’t have the resources to do more. Oh, well, there’s always importing, right?

By the way, if anyone’s planning a trip to China for the near future, be sure to sign me up for a dozen of Xplays. That’s how in love I am with this thing!

Via [Gizchina]

NVIDIA Project Shield Benchmark Reveals 1.9 GHz CPU, Shows What Tegra 4 Is Really Capable Of

NVIDIA made massive waves during January 2013’s CES, when both the Tegra 4 platform and the uber-cool Project Shield gaming console were introduced to the world, but unfortunately ever since then the SoC and GPU maker has struggled to get back in the spotlight.

There’s still no word on when could the Shield get a commercial debut, while the Tegra 4 processors have been seen powering a few intriguing devices of late, but neither of those is confirmed to be real and headed our way this year.

Shield-Antutu

The even worse news for NVIDIA is people have started forgetting about Shield and Tegra 4, what with all the rumble about Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600 and 800 platforms, plus the impressive smartphones recently launched or soon to be revealed by Samsung, LG, HTC or Google, all of which can basically act as gaming consoles if needed.

But I’m here to remind you Project Shield exists and is still worth keeping an eye on. Not convinced? Well, what if I told you the thing has been benchmarked in AnTuTu, with the final score smoking all the competition?

Oh, now I have your attention? If so, let’s all take a moment and let the following number really sink in – 32,150. That’s Shield’s alleged AnTuTu score and is so impressive that it makes Samsung’s Galaxy S4 or HTC’s One look like entry-level phones.

Okay, I might be exaggerating a bit, but there is a really big gap between the 32,000 points scored by Shield and GS4’s 23 or 25k, isn’t it? And chances are the gaming gear tested was not a finished, commercial product, but instead a pre-release prototype, so there’s more than an outside shot we’re going to be seeing the Shield go over the 35,000 mark once it’s out and about.

Which isn’t all that surprising given NVIDIA did “warn” us a while back its Tegra 4 CPUs were going to be capable of scores in the 36,000 points ballpark. Then again, the first three alleged Tegra 4-powered devices that leaked in the last few weeks, the mystery Toshiba tab, plus the HP Slate 21 AIO and Slatebook 10 X2, all choked before hitting 28,000, so we started thinking NVIDIA’s claims were bull.

Besides the impressive score that confirms Tegra 4 might be more than a worthy adversary for Snapdragon 600 and 800, the AnTutu test also reveals one little spec NVIDIA left out when announcing Project Shield – the quad-core processor’s 1.9 GHz clock speed.

There’s also Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean on board, which is no big surprise, while the rest of the features are not mentioned in the benchmark, but should be pretty well-known to the public by now – a flip-up 5-inch 720p display, 2 GB of RAM, microSD support, Wi-Fi, mini HDMI.

With the risk of being called a party pooper though, I have to remind you how easily faked benchmarks are, so before getting all giddy and excited about Project Shield’s impressive score, keep in mind that it could all be a hoax.

Via [RbMen]

Lenovo K900 Goes on Sale in China, P780 with Massive Battery to Follow Soon

Well, look who’s getting serious about leaving a mark in the global smartphone world! It’s Lenovo, one of the world’s leading PC vendors, a company that until recently seemed like it couldn’t care less about mobile phones.

Lenovo K900

By far Lenovo’s most exciting handheld for some time to come is going to be the IdeaPhone K900, first unveiled back in January and finally up for grabs in China starting today. The K900 is not just an extremely sexy slab of silicon, with a stunning metal chassis and uber-thin profile, but it’s also the zippiest Intel-powered phone to date, so there’s been a lot of media attention focused on it.

Available in “The Middle Kingdom” for 3,299 Yuan ($530), the K900 is expected to roll out on a wider scale beginning next week. Rumor has it the 5.5-incher will look to take the whole Asian continent by storm, but unfortunately there’s no official word on a Western launch yet.

Why unfortunately? Simple, because Lenovo’s crown jewel has everything it takes to be a serious Galaxy S4, HTC One or LG Optimus G Pro contender. Besides the awesome design and the incredible 6.9 mm thickness, the K900 comes with a Full HD IPS screen, an explosive dual-core 2 GHz Atom CPU, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, a 13 MP camera and 2 GB of RAM.

The 16 GB of on-board storage might not sound too hot, but there’s microSD support, so this thing still allows you more wiggle room than, say, the HTC One. And what can we say about that (Chinese) price other than it makes for an extremely lucrative all-around deal?

But besides the K900, Lenovo has a few other aces up its sleeve. Like the P780. Aggressively promoted in China with the help of NBA star Kobe Bryant, this is almost certainly going to be an Asian-exclusive device.

Which is a terrible shame, even though the P780 is no powerhouse. Still officially undetailed, the phone looks like a mid-ranger on paper from every single point of view, save for the battery size. Several “insiders” claim the P780 will come equipped with a giant 4,000 mAh ticker, so its prospective buyers can forget about charging it for days on a row.

And the autonomy is going to likely be boosted even more by the power-saving quad-core Mediatek chip beneath the hood. From the design standpoint, the thing doesn’t look as “premium” as the K900, but somehow manages to not be chubby (9.9 mm thick). Is Lenovo on a roll or what?

Via [Gizchina] and [GSM Insider]

Motorola Obake (AKA Ghost) Spotted Online – Google X Phone or Something Else Entirely?

There’s been a lot of online rumble lately concerning the mythical Motorola X Phone, which may or may not be revealed during Google’s I/O conference next week. But with contradicting rumors coming from right and left, there’s only one thing set in stone – nothing is set in stone.

We’ve seen the thing benchmarked a couple of times under different codenames and with slightly different specs, a dubious set of pics then emerged, as well as a report talking about a Motorola “XFon” for AT&T.

Motorola Obake

Now there’s a new piece of the puzzle ready to be put in place, though where should we put it is beyond me. A credible AnTuTu benchmark of something called “obake_verizon” has been spotted online, partially confirming a codename we first heard of back in March.

“Obake” is Japanese for Ghost, which, according to more than one source, is how a mystery Motorola phone is known internally. The thing is I’m not quite sure this Obake, or Ghost, is the X. Instead, it could simply be a new Moto handheld for the company’s favorite US carrier, Verizon.

If that’s the case, it’s likely not going to be introduced during I/O and will have its biggest selling point in a budget-conscious price point. Chances are it’s going to be the newest member of the Razr family, but that’s just speculation.

The closest things we have to facts regarding the “Obake” are a processor clocked at 1.7 GHz and Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, the two specs revealed by the leaked AnTuTu benchmark. The CPU is said to be a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro unit, though a 600 is not completely out of the question either.

Of course, if the phone is to pack a Snapdragon 600, its placement in the budget-friendly, mid-range niche is less likely. Hmm, so do we root for something with a great quality-price ratio, or do we want another Samsung Galaxy S4 “killer”?

Naturally, I don’t want to rule out the possibility of this being the X Phone either (or a variation made especially for Verizon), mostly because the benchmark’s score is very close to the ones of the XT1055 and suspicious Android 5.0-based “Google X”. Oh, how you like to torment us, Motorola Google!

Via [Ameblo]

Acer Iconia Tab A1 Previewed Ahead of Release, Looks Like A Very Strong iPad Mini Challenger

Acer’s first 2013 stab at challenging the likes of Google’s Nexus 7 and Apple’s iPad Mini might have been a little underwhelming, but the Taiwan-based company is anything but a one-trick pony. The Iconia Tab A1 has looked much better on paper than the B1 ever since it first starred in a “leak”, and now, courtesy of Bulgarian website Tablet.bg, we have the chance to see it in the flesh as well.

Acer Iconia Tab A1

And although it’s still at least one month away from its commercial release, I have to say I’m already pretty impressed by the thing and excited to see it on store shelves. Sure, it has its flaws, but if rumors about a $170 starting price point turn out to be true, it’s going to be very hard to say no to the A1.

Before getting down to the tab’s Bulgarian preview, let’s take one more look at its spec sheet, as revealed by Tablet.bg:

  • 7.9-inch IPS panel with 1,024 x 768 pixels resolution
  • Quad-core 1.2 GHz MediaTek MT8125 CPU
  • PowerVR SGX GPU
  • 1 GB of RAM
  • 8/16 GB of internal storage space
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • 5 MP rear-facing camera with auto focus
  • VGA front webcam
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
  • GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, microSD card slot, micro USB 2.0
  • 3,250 mAh battery
  • 11 mm thickness
  • 460 grams weight

Not too shabby, eh? Again, if and only if the Iconia Tab A1 will cost below $200. Otherwise, I for one am definitely going to find fault with the measly battery (the 7-inch Nexus 7 has a 4,325 mAh ticker), the not so great 1,024 x 768 pix res panel, or the inexplicably bulky figure (the iPad Mini weighs a full 150 grams less than this thing and measures just 7.2 mm in thickness).

But let’s see what the guy at Tablet.bg handling the gadget has had to say about the experience, shall we? First off, the design is essentially praised for being “clean and simple”, unlike the cheap-looking Iconia B1.

The new 7.9-incher is said to be easy to hold, ergonomic and fairly elegant, though I’m still a little fazed about its chunkiness.

Moving on to the display, this is also praised, especially for using the high-quality IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology. The pixel density is the same 162 ppi as on the iPad Mini, but considerably behind the 216 of the Nexus 7, whereas the viewing angles are simply described as “impressive”.

Unfortunately, the tab’s previewers have been unable to benchmark the A1 and test its processor’s speed or battery life, but at least on the former we expect the thing to perform decently, albeit obviously not exactly on-par with the iPad Mini and N7.

Finally, from a software standpoint the A1 looks surprisingly “high-class”, thanks to the latest and greatest version of Android – 4.2 Jelly Bean – and a few special tweaks like the adding of something called Acer Life Image and Touch WakeApp.

Bottom line, look forward for mid-June or early July, when “sources” claim the Acer Iconia Tab A1 will be launched and be prepared to welcome one of the strongest Android-based iPad Mini contenders to date. And a short message for Apple – be afraid, be very, very afraid!

Via [Tablet.bg]

HTC M4 Press Shot (Ev)Leaked, Aluminum Unibody and One Design Language “Confirmed”

Although some, including yours truly, still don’t think HTC’s One is better than Samsung’s Galaxy S4, it’s at the worst a close second in the high-end smartphone ranks and likely a future sales hit. But in order to become one of the greats (again), HTC needs more than One hit.

Fortunately (for them), it looks like a second winning device is in the works and ready to hit the ground running come June or, at the latest, July. This new baby is not a flagship phone, but it will probably look like pure gold for those of you that dislike super-sized handhelds.

HTC-M4

Meet the M4, a fellow that’s been furiously making the rumor rounds since before the One was official and that now is being pictured for the first time. As suspected, the thing looks basically like a shrunken down HTC One, which is why it’s everybody’s guess it will be branded as the One Mini.

If we’d be in a kidding mood, we could say an HTC 0.5 name is also in the cards, but let’s just focus on the facts for now and leave the bad puns aside, agreed?

Right, so what do we know about the M4? Well, for sure, not much. But, since this alleged press pic has been leaked by trustworthy Twitter user @evleaks, we’ll be taking it for granted. And judging by the image, it’s obvious the phone will rock a unibody design, with the casing most likely made out of strong and sleek aluminum.

The display’s size is probably around the 4.3 inches mark, “confirming” already existent rumors, while the spec sheet will apparently include things like a 720p display, an undetailed dual-core chip clocked at 1.2 GHz, 2 gigs of RAM (!!!), a non-removable 1,700 mAh battery, 4G LTE speeds, an UltraPixel camera and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

That’s definitely not the greatest list of features ever and it’s in many ways inferior to Samsung or Sony’s upper mid-range contenders, but if HTC manages to hit the pricing sweet spot, the “One Mini” should not disgrace its bigger brother’s name.

Now the question is what exactly is that sweet spot? $450? $400? $350? You tell us.

Via [Phone Arena]

Motorola XT1055 AnTuTu Benchmark Leaks, Is This Google’s X Phone?

With only two weeks left until Google’s I/O conference, trying to guess what’s going to be on display in San Francisco on May 15 is equally as difficult as it was six months ago. A Nexus 5, upgraded N4 with LTE, second-gen Nexus 7, Samsung-manufactured octa-core N11, Android 5.0 and Android 4.3 are in the cards, but we could see them all introduced or just one or two.

Motorola XT1055

Still, out of the possible hardware products, two seem much more likely than all the others to get official intros – the updated Nexus 7 and the Google, or Motorola X Phone.

The latter has been allegedly benchmarked last week under the very simple Google X moniker and now it has apparently made its second visit at AnTuTu going by the Motorola XT1055 codename. As usual, the test’s legitimacy is impossible to verify, so take everything you’re going to hear with the customary grain of salt.

That said, let’s kick off the latest episode of the X rumor-fest by noting the XT1055 is bizarrely running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean in this new benchmark. Why bizarrely? Because the previous test showed the handheld having on-board Android 5.0.1, and, even if Key Lime Pie has been delayed as some sources claim, we’d expect the thing to run at least Android 4.3.

The other new leaked details are themselves a little off, with the CPU’s clock speed now set at 1.7 GHz and the AnTuTu score reaching a still unimpressive, but much better 18,252 points. Chances are the 1.7 GHz processor is a quad-core Snapdragon 600 unit, but the mystery remains as to why we’re seeing different hardware configurations for what’s likely the same device.

Only the key to cracking the enigma is not so hard to find. In fact, there could be two keys. Either one of the two benchmarks is fake (the first is more likely), or this is a confirmation of one of the earlier rumors that said the X Phone will be coming with customizable hardware.

That would really be something, especially if there are also a couple more impressive versions of the thing in store.

Before wrapping the story up, let’s dissect that mysterious codename as well. First off, let’s just say it sounds credible. Also, it’s likely to be signaling a Motorola flagship, given the XT912 is the Droid Razr and the XT925 the Razr HD. Finally, chances are this device will be a US-exclusive, so either the X will only come to America, or there will be other models available for other regions.

However the whole thing will play out, my advice to you is to keep in touch with The Droid Guy to make sure you’re going to be the first to find out about the X Phone once it becomes official.

Via [Rbmen]

Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 Benchmark Emerges, Specs To Include Android 4.2 and Broadcom CPU

With Galaxy S4’s global launch just around the corner, you might think all of Samsung’s resources would be focused on making the “next big thing” at least as successful as its predecessor, the GS3. But Sammy just doesn’t swing that way, always paying attention to both its financially comfortable and slightly underprivileged customers.

Samsung Galaxy Ace 2

If you’re part of that latter category, or you just don’t make it a point in buying super-fancy, ultra-expensive phones, you should rejoice right about now. That’s because the long rumored Galaxy Ace 3 is just about confirmed, most likely coming your way in late May or early June.

And while the Ace 3 will definitely not be a powerhouse, it seems to have what it takes to step things up a couple of notches compared with its forefather. Based on a GLBenchmark listing that we have every reason to trust, the phone also known as the GT-S7272 will come with on-board Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.

That’s not exactly run-of-the-mill for the entry-level niche, being actually one level higher than even Galaxy S3’s current on-board software (Android 4.1.2). But will JB 4.2 run smoothly on the low-end Ace 3? Without a question.

Samsung Galaxy Ace 3

Just look at the thing’s benchmark results and how they compare to last year’s Ace 2. Breath of fresh air, eh? Well, apparently that’s because the third-gen Ace will replace its predecessor’s NovaThor U8500 CPU with a processor from Broadcom.

This new chip should be a dual-core, clocked at 1 GHz, while the accompanying GPU will be a VideoCore IV HW unit previously used on the Galaxy S2 Plus.

The rest of Ace 3’s specs are a little harder to decipher, although the 800 x 480 pix res display seems a certainty. If I were a betting man (and I am), I’d predict the handheld will be a 4-incher, the rear cam a 5 MP unit, while the battery will pack 1,600 or even 1,700 mAh. Chances are there will be 1 gig of RAM beneath the hood, 4 GB of internal memory, microSD support, NFC and optional dual-SIM.

Based on earlier rumors, the starting price point should be set at around €300 in Europe, while a US release seems out of the question for now. Expect an official announcement in the following couple of weeks and be sure to pay us another visit soon to check the Galaxy Ace 3 out in flesh.

Via [GLBenchmark]

Samsung Galaxy Mini CyanogenMod 10.1 Android 4.2 Jelly Bean ROM released [Tutorial]

Among the devices that got special treatment from CyanogenMod team is Galaxy Mini. The CyanogenMod 10.1 Android 4.2 Jelly Bean custom ROM for the Mini has recently been released and it brings features of the stock v4.2 firmware as well as hundreds of customizations and performance boosters.

samsung-galaxy-mini

Developers behind Galaxy Mini CM 10.1 ROM said this is already a stable build but there are very few issues owners may encounter. Among the things that have issues are Wi-Fi, USB Tethering and graphics. The good news is they already know what to fix so for the update, these issues will definitely be fixed.

If you are a Galaxy Mini owner who wants to take a risk just to make things better in your device, then continue reading below as we will guide you through flashing of CM 10.1 Android 4.2 Jelly Bean ROM.

Pre-requisites

  1. Backup all your data to make sure they’re safe just in case things don’t go as expected.
  2. Verify that you have unlocked the bootloader and have rooted your device.
  3. You should already have installed ClockworkMod Recovery as this is the recovery console you would be using this installation.
  4. Check if your device has 60% battery life left better yet fully-charge it to make it won’t go of power during the process.
  5. Enable USB Debugging. Go to Settings => Applications => Development and check USB Debugging.

Files to Download

Download these packages and save it in your computer. You will have to copy them into your device’s internal memory later. Make sure you put them in a directory you can easily access and find.

  1. Galaxy Mini CyanogenMod 10.1 Android 4.2 Jelly Bean ROM. [Link Here]
  2. Google Apps. [Link Here]

Step-by-step Guide

Step 1: Connect your smartphone to your computer using the USB data cable. Make sure your computer properly detects it so you can save files in its memory.

Step 2: Copy the packages you just downloaded a while back into the device’s internal memory and disconnect your device from your computer after that.

Step 3: Boot your device into recovery mode by pressing and holding Volume Down and Home buttons together. Use volume buttons to navigate while using the Home button to choose options.

Step 4: Backup your current by running a Nandroid backup in recovery mode. Just in case things go bad during the installation, you can always restore a ROM that works.

Step 5: Perform a full data wipe and make a Dalvik cache to prevent memory issues.

Step 6: Now choose Select Zip from SD Card and browse through your device’s root directory and choose CM 10.1 JB ROM you saved a while back and flash it.

Step 7: Repeat step 6 but choose Google Apps package this time around.

Step 8: When installation is complete, reboot your device and wait until it becomes fully active before you use it.

Congratulations! Your Samsung Galaxy Mini is now running CyanogenMod 10.1 Android 4.2 Jelly Bean ROM. Credits go to CyanogenMod team for developing this ROM and for all developers behind the existence of mods (ClockworkMod Recovery and Google Apps) used in this tutorial

[source: XDA Developers]

How to Install Official CyanogenMod 10.1 AOSP 4.2.1 JellyBean on Nexus 7 3G

google-nexus-7

The official CyanogenMod 10.1 AOSP 4.2.1 Jelly Bean custom ROM for Nexus 7 has finally been released after weeks and weeks of development. We have seen all efforts done by developers to release a much stable version so, all credits go to them. Of course, together with the release of this ROM is a rough guide that Android enthusiasts can follow to install it successfully into their devices. However, the developer disclosed there are still some things that don’t work after the installation of the ROM including the following:

  • Bluetooth (& bt-tethering)
  • Wifi tethering (use an external app, e.g. WiFi
  • Tether for Root Users)
  • USB-tethering (use an external app)
  • FM radio

Rest assured the development continues and a more stable build may be released a few days from now. If you think you live without the abovementioned functionality and wishes to try what CM10.1 has in store for Nexus 7 3G, here’s a guide to walk you through the installation process.

Pre-requisites

  1. Your device must be rooted. Here’s our guide on how to rood Android devices.
  2. Make a backup of all your important data including your SMS, contacts and files. [Guide]
  3. Download CM10.1 AOSP JB package from here. [Link]
  4. Download Google Apps from here. [Link]
  5. Make sure you have sufficient battery left; at least, 50% is advisable.

Disclaimer: You cannot blame The Droid Guy or XDA Developers if something goes wrong with your device after the process. It is advised only owners who have vast knowledge on how to flash custom ROMs to their devices should continue with this process. At the end of the day, the decision is yours whether to flash this ROM or not.

Important Note: Make sure you install Tilapia Recovery first to avoid “Status 7” errors. XDA Developers have a better way to do this. Just follow this link.

Quick Step-by-step Tutorial

Assuming you have installed necessary drivers for Nexus 7 on your computer, it is just a quick process. Otherwise, take a little time installing them before you do the first step.

Step 1: Connect your Nexus 7 to your computer using the USB data cable and wait until it is fully detected. Copy the packages into your internal memory.

Step 2: Boot your Nexus 7 into recovery mode by pressing and holding Power, Volume Up and Volume Down buttons until you can see Android robot lying on its back. Once in recovery mode, use volume keys to navigate and Power button to select.

Step 3: Now flash the CM10.1 JellyBean package by navigating to the directory inside your device’s internal memory and choosing the zip package.

Step 4: Do step 3 once again but this time choose Google Apps package.

Step 5: Reboot your device and wait until it becomes fully active before using it.

Now, enjoy the new custom ROM. The development is still ongoing and updates will be posted here as soon as developers release new updates.

[credits to: XDA Developers]

How to Install Unofficial CyanogenMod 10.1 on LG Optimus Me P350

440x330-lg-optimus-me

XDA Developers recently released the unofficial CyanogenMod 10.1 Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean custom ROM for LG Optimus Me P350. While this could put owners to excitement, they should know that this is still a very early build and it has been released for testing purposes.

PecanCM, a senior member of XDA Developers forums, said in his thread that this is an Alpha release (3rd alpha release, actually), thus, there may still be a lot of features that don’t work. But the thing is, we know that someone is working on CM 10.1 Jelly Bean for Optimus Me P350. Perhaps, a week or two from now, the official build will be released.

Owners who wish flash this CM 10.1 mod into their devices should do it at their own risks; every tool and mod needed for this process is now available for download. But just so you know before you take the first step, there are a few things not working even after a successful flashing and Bluetooth is one of them. If that does not stop you, then continue with the step-by-step guide below.

Requirements 

  1. Fully charge your device if possible but if you have at least 75% battery, you can continue with the process.
  2. Make a backup of all your data just in case things go wrong during the update process.
  3. Enable USB Debugging.
  4. Disable antivirus and other security suites because sometimes they intervene with the process.
  5. Make sure your device is rooted and that you have installed either ClockworkMod 5 or ClockworkMod 6.
  6. Download this package as you will definitely be needing this: cm-10.1-20121221-UNOFFICIAL-p350.zip
  7. You also need to download Google Apps.

Step-by-Step Guide 

Step 1: Connect your device to your computer via USB cable and copy the unofficial CM 10.1 Jelly Bean package into your phone’s internal memory. But make sure you save it in the root directory because that’s what CWM Recovery can detect.

Step 2: You may now disconnect your device from your computer and boot it into ClockworkMod Recovery mode. You can do so by pressing and holding Power, Volume Down and Call buttons together. If your phone boots normally, try doing this step all over again.

Step 3: Perform a full data wipe and choose “flash zip from SD card.” Remember to confirm your every action.

Step 4: Now select “choose zip from sdcard” and browse through the directory in your device’s internal memory where you saved the package a while back and confirm your action. You also need to do this step for Google Apps only that you have to choose a different package.

Step 5: The final step would be to reboot your device and wait until the home screen shows and that’s it!

For this build, you may be able to encounter bugs every now and then. But know that the people behind this mod is doing all they can to make things better.

Credits go to XDA Developers and CyanogenMod team for releasing and making this build public.

[source: XDA]