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China plans to grow vegetation on Mars and the Moon

China takes its ambitious space exploration program to a brand new level after it announced its goal of cultivating fresh vegetables to provide their astronauts with sufficient food on Mars and the Moon.

China said it has already completed its initial test in Beijing this week and it so far yields positive result. According to Chinese media, four kinds of vegetables were grown in a 300 cubic meter ecological support system, which enables astronauts to produce their own supply of air, water and food during long space missions.

The ecological support system will depend on plants and different kinds of oxygen-producing algae. These vegetation will be used in China’s extraterrestrial bases likely on the Moon and perhaps on the Red Planet.

Beijing’s Chinese Astronaut Research and Training Centre research Deng Yibing said the vegetables inside the cabin are guaranteed fresh and healthy, participants could event harvest vegetables for their meals.

“Chinese astronauts may get fresh vegetables and oxygen supplies by gardening in extra-terrestrial bases in the future,” the report said, adding that the experiment was the first of its kind in China.

China has already scheduled an exploratory mission to the Moon next year, leading up to launching its first manned vehicle to the moon. The Asian powerhouse has been making key steps in attaining superiority in space exploration, which has symbolically been relinquished by the United States after the retirement of its shuttle mission and the tightening of budget for NASA.

According to reports, China is aiming to become the first nation since the United States in 1972 to land a man on the moon. Moreover, the Chinese mission is also planning to expand its political influence in the space by establishing a branch of its ruling Communist Party on the moon.

“If we establish a party branch in space, it would also be the ‘highest’ of its kind in the world,” Xinhua quoted Mr Yang as saying.

Nokia hammers deal with China Mobile; Lumia 620 to feature brighter colors

In an attempt to regain its old place in the world’s largest mobile market, Nokia is reportedly planning to make a joint business venture with the mobile operator giant China Mobile, a reliable insider reported Wednesday.

China Mobile will start selling Nokia’s flagship phone Lumia 920 to its over 700 million subscribers. Apple, who plans to bring in the iPhone 5 weeks from now, has surprisingly no contract with China Mobile – the world biggest carrier.

The landmark deal with China Mobile immediately paid off for Nokia, whose shares jumped by 8.7 percent at 2.75 Euros on the Helsinki stock market.

“It is not a surprise, but it still means a giant opportunity for Nokia, maybe one of the best opportunities for its smartphones right now. This market has a lot of piled-up demand for high-end smartphones,” Nordea Markets analyst Sami Sarkamies said.

Nokia seems to start turn things around after losing its grip to Apple in several key mobile markets in the world. In fact, the company will be releasing a much cheaper phone next year to cover all possible markets.

Nokia provided some key insights about its much anticipated a budget-friendly Windows 8-powered phone to be released in early 2013.

The Nokia Lumia 620 will reportedly feature smooth rounded corners and bright colors, hoping these exterior designs will help draw more customers when the lower-end phone is launched in January 2013.

The Initial pricing of Lumia 620 is pegged at only $249, though the 3G model phone offers a wide variety of great features, including 3.8-inch screen, back camera capable of shooting 720p video, IGHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, a 5-megapixel front camera with video chat, loudspeakers, and near-field communications (NFC) technology.

“With the 620, we wanted to introduce some bold blends,” Ahtisaari said. “We use a technique called dual-shot application of color, with an opaque layer underneath then a translucent layer above.” A yellow base becomes lime green with a cyan cover and orange with a red cover, for example.

The Lumia 620 is scheduled to be shipped first in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa before it hits the North American market.

Dual-camera toting Xiaomi Mi Note 2 leaks out

Xiaomi Mi Note 2

Xiaomi Mi Note 2

#Xiaomi is a company that is involved with a handful of innovative products in the market. The company’s latest innovation will come in the form of a dual-camera toting handset, dubbed the #MiNote2. While details are scarce on the device, we now have a rendering to go with, which tells us what to expect on the design front.

Although we only have a glimpse of the rear panel, there’s very little doubt that this will be a premium device. The dual-cameras are aligned vertically, which is a unique placement as compared to conventional dual-camera phones. Further, we can see that the device has curved edges on the back, much like the Mi 5 flagship that was released a few months ago.

Needless to say, the device will bear an all-metal design, which makes for an exciting combination considering what it packs internally. Well, there’s still a lot that we don’t know about the device, but it’s safe to assume that the phone will be a showstopper when it is officially launched by the company. Given Xiaomi’s ambitions to arrive Stateside, U.S. fans have a reason to look at the device closely.

Source: Weibo

Via: Android Headlines

Samsung’s latest Android-powered flip phone is now official in China

Galaxy Folder 2

Galaxy Folder 2

Samsung’s rumored flip-phone with #Android is finally official. Known as the Galaxy Folder 2, the smartphone has now been announced in China. Just as expected, the handset seems to be an exclusive to the region, at least for the time being. The handset comes with a fairly attractive design. The company has been quiet with regards to pricing and availability of the device, although more information is expected to follow over the coming days.

Galaxy Folder 2 -1

The Galaxy Golder 2 comes with a 3.8-inch 480 x 800 display, 16GB of storage (expandable), 2GB of RAM, a 1.4 GHz quad-core processor, an 8-megapixel rear camera, a 5-megapixel front camera, Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, and a 1,950 mAh battery underneath.

Since there’s no word on the pricing, it’s hard to tell if Samsung has gotten it right this time. Samsung’s previous flip-phones with Android have been disappointing, to say the least. So it is hoped that things will be different this time around.

Galaxy Folder 2 -2

What do you make of the Galaxy Folder 2?

Source: Samsung China

Via: Sam Mobile

Samsung officially confirms 6GB RAM + 128GB storage variant of the Galaxy Note 7, but there’s a caveat

Galaxy Note 7

Galaxy Note 7

#Samsung has confirmed the rumor we heard last week by officially announcing a 6GB RAM variant of the Galaxy Note 7. This model also comes with 128GB of internal storage, up from 64GB as seen on the variant that will be sold in other markets. However, this model will only be released in China, so fans from outside the region won’t be able to get their hands on the product, unless they import it to their region.

Just as expected, this move had something to do with Chinese smartphone manufacturers packing their devices with hefty amounts of storage and RAM. Samsung claims that this move will help them be on level terms with such manufacturers. However, pricing will play a major part in appealing to the customers, especially considering how competitive offerings are priced there. An $800 or $900 flagship would barely make an impact in a market like China.

Hopefully, this exclusivity is not permanent and Samsung brings this particular variant to the rest of the world markets in a few months from now.

Source: The Korea Herald

Via: Phone Arena

Samsung could launch a China exclusive Galaxy Note 7 with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage

Galaxy Note 7

Galaxy Note 7

#Samsung might have skipped the 6GB RAM party with the #GalaxyNote7, but it seems like the company was keeping this variant for the Chinese markets. According to a new benchmark listing emerging out of China, the company will have a China-exclusive 6GB RAM model of the Galaxy Note 7 with 128GB of storage on board. This makes sense as the Chinese market is currently flooded with 6GB RAM phones, so a 4GB RAM handset would seem “underpowered” for the lack of a better word.

We don’t think that this would damage the credibility of Samsung in any way, as the company is merely playing according to the terms set by the rivals. The rest of the hardware specs shouldn’t be any different compared to other models of the Galaxy Note 7. Since China will most likely get the dual-SIM variant, we expect the handset to be packing the octa-core Exynos 8890 SoC. This chipset was also found on some Asian variants of the Galaxy S7 and the S7 edge, so customers won’t particularly be surprised.

Do you feel letdown that Samsung probably won’t have a 6GB RAM model of the Galaxy Note 7 in the U.S.?

Source: GeekBench

Via: Sam Mobile

Huawei unveils powerful Honor 8 with dual rear cameras

Huawei Honor 8

#Huawei has just unleashed the #Honor8 sporting a premium design and a dual rear camera setup, something which has been tried by OEMs before. As you would expect, the Honor 8 comes with an attractive looking exterior which is coupled with a high-end specs sheet, not limiting its hardware credentials to just the camera. You can check out the specs in its entirety below:

  • 5.2-inch 1080p display
  • Octa-core Kirin 950 (2.3 GHz + 1.8 GHz) SoC
  • Dual 12-megapixel rear cameras
  • 8-megapixel front camera
  • 32/64GB storage (expandable)
  • 4GB RAM
  • 3,000 mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow with EMUI 4.1

As you can see, the handset is power packed and could find a home in the American markets. However, the Honor 8 is limited to China for the time being. The handset is available in three variants, all with the same internal hardware but with differing RAM and storage options. The entry level 32GB storage + 3GB RAM model will cost 1,999 CNY ($299) while the 32GB + 4GB RAM variant has been priced at 2,299 CNY ($343). The top of the line model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage comes with a price tag of 2,499 CNY ($374).

Does this strike your fancy?

Huawei Honor 8 Blue

Via: GSM Arena

Certification site reveals upgraded version of the OnePlus X with Snapdragon 810

OnePlus X Upgrade - TENAA

OnePlus X Upgrade - TENAA

The #OnePlusX is a pretty decent device given its pricing of $249. However, it lacks that edge which is found on most midrange smartphones today. One can argue that this is due to the aging Snapdragon 801 chipset running on the device. It seems like the company is mindful of that as an upgraded version of the handset has been spotted on TENAA, which is the Chinese equivalent of the FCC.

The smartphone listed here looks exactly like the OnePlus X, but is said to be packing the octa core Snapdragon 810 chipset underneath, which should make it a pretty powerful device as far as the hardware is concerned.

The device is also shown to be packing a 13-megapixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front camera, 3GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot underneath. So basically, there are no other hardware changes listed here apart from the chipset.

The SoC was seen as the only weakness of the OnePlus X, so this new revamped model could make quite an impact on the mobile industry when made available. We hope that this revamped model of the handset comes with support for a wider range of American LTE bands as well, which was the primary complaint among the customers of the OnePlus X in the U.S.

Source: TENAA

Via: Android Central

Xiaomi sells out of the Mi Pad 2 tablet in just a minute

Xiaomi Mi Pad 2

Xiaomi Mi Pad 2

The #Xiaomi #MiPad2 tablet is the company’s latest iPad mini rival and even looks pretty similar (same display size and resolution as well). The tablet naturally has been pretty popular in the company’s home region of China, thanks largely to the pricing model.

The device was only sold in a solitary 16GB model so far. And earlier this week, the company released the 64GB model as well and the demand was quite apparent as it was sold out in just under a minute after going live.

This is barely a surprise given what we’ve come to expect from the company and its devices so far. The Mi Pad 2 took us all by surprise as it was released in a Windows 10 model along with a standard Android Lollipop version. The Windows 10 variant however is only available in a 64GB storage variant, while the Android model is sold in a solitary 16GB version.

As is the case with every Xiaomi device we’ve known so far, there’s no word on when the device will make its way to the global markets.

Via: Gizmo China

The UMi Zero 2 smartphone offers a 10-core CPU and a Quad HD display for just $299

UMi Zero 2

UMi Zero 2

Chinese manufacturers usually bundle insane amount of hardware in their devices to appeal to a wide range of audiences. The #UMi Zero 2 could be the latest to follow suit according to a new report. It is said that the smartphone will bundle in hardware specs that could even put the high end offerings to shame. What’s better is that the company will reportedly sell it for a miserly $299.

Well, the smartphone will supposedly pack a 5.2 inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, a 10-core (deca core) MediaTek Helio X20 SoC and bottom facing speakers right next to the charging port. It seems like the device will pack a USB Type-C port as well, although it’s hard to tell from the images if that will indeed be the case here.

UMi Zero 2 -1

As for the camera of the smartphone, reports have pegged the UMi Zero 2 to be packing a dual camera arrangement on the back, with no word on what features it will bring to the table. Overall, the Zero 2 comes as an exciting package and will certainly appeal to a wide range of customers.

The smartphone should go official in the Chinese markets soon, so expect to learn more about the device over the coming days. As is the case with devices from Chinese OEMs, we can’t promise a U.S. release at this point.

Source: UMi

Via: Phone Arena

Benchmark topper LeTV Le Max Pro could be released in the U.S. soon

LeTV LeMax Pro Launch

LeTV LeMax Pro Launch

#LeTV has been teasing a U.S. arrival for quite some time now, but we haven’t quite seen this coming to fruition yet. But that might be changing soon with the company now sending out invitations for an American smartphone launch on the 5th of January in Las Vegas, which is also where the CES 2016 will be taking place.

So what will be on the agenda for this event? Well, speculation is rife that the company will unveil the Le Max Pro smartphone during the course of the event, which is touted to be the highest scoring smartphone on AnTuTu benchmarks thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC running underneath.

We still don’t know if this device will be revealed by the company as the event invite doesn’t give away much details. However, it seems like there will be a new device from LeTV launching in the U.S. either way, which is pretty exciting news in itself. Only time will tell if the company will release a budget oriented device or a high end offering like the one mentioned above.

Source: myDrivers – Translated

Via: GizChina

Chinese manufacturer Meizu reportedly sold 20 million smartphones in 2015

Meizu MX5

It’s common knowledge by now that Chinese manufacturers are very successful in their home region, thanks to the ultra low pricing and the features that they pack in their device.

One such manufacturer is #Meizu, which has now reported sales of 20 million smartphones in 2015 alone. This is quite a big figure for a company that operates from within Asia, with practically no presence in the U.S. or other major markets of the world. Meizu’s most recent device the PRO 5 was launched a couple of months ago and is already a hit in the Chinese markets.

This goes to show how competitive the Asian markets are today with the likes of Xiaomi, Lenovo, Huawei etc also among the successful companies in the region. With 2016 promising more phones, the competition will no doubt increase and the companies will have to step up their game in order to remain successful in the regions.

Source: Meizu – Translated

Via: Phone Arena

ZTE Axon Max smartphone now official with a beefy specs sheet

ZTE Axon Max

ZTE Axon Max

#ZTE has just unveiled the #AxonMax smartphone in its home region of China, carrying a specs sheet that could rival most new flagships currently selling in the market. With features like a USB Type-C port and a fingerprint scanner, the Chinese manufacturer has ensured that no stone is left unturned in making the device an attractive proposition for the buyers.

In terms of raw hardware, the Axon Max comes with a large 6 inch 1080p AMOLED display, a 16-megapixel rear camera, a 13-megapixel front camera for those wide angle selfies, the new octa core Snapdragon 617 SoC, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage (expandable), Android 5.1 Lollipop with Mifavor 3.5 and a 4,140 mAh battery.

The Snapdragon 617 chipset underneath the device also supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 standard, letting you charge the massive 4,140 mAh battery in super quick time. This is an upgrade over the Quick Charge 2.0 standard that is supported by a large portion of the current crop of flagships.

The company has priced the device at 2,799 CNY ($432), which is quite reasonable considering what it brings to the table. The company hasn’t yet mentioned if the device will make its way to the U.S., but knowing how other devices in the Axon series have been launched in the region, we don’t see why the Axon Max will be left out.

Source: ZTE

Via: Android and Me

Wait for the Xiaomi Mi 5 continues as reports talk of a February 2016 release

Xiaomi Mi 4

Xiaomi Mi 5

The #Xiaomi CEO recently mentioned that the #Mi5 smartphone will be “worth the wait”. And it seems like the wait will be even longer for interested buyers as the smartphone will not be unveiled until at least February 2016 according to a new report.

The company has never really made it clear as to when the device will be announced, so there’s no reason to not believe in this new report. Xiaomi’s last known flagship was released in August 2014, so the next major flagship is long overdue from the Chinese juggernaut. Lack of a flagship portfolio has also led to Xiaomi slipping to second place with Huawei now at the helm in China.

Taking these factors into account, it’s imperative that Xiaomi acts and adapts quickly before the fans run out of patience. Bear in mind that this revelation is coming from an analyst and Xiaomi hasn’t confirmed it yet, so let’s take it with a grain of salt for now.

Source: Gizmo China

Via: VR Zone