Image courtesy of Aptina
The new Motorola DROIDs feature a Clear Pixel camera that promises faster processing and better low light performance. How does it work? A traditional camera sensor needs a filter on top of the pixel array to register the actual color. Typically you will find a Bayer RGBG filter, which means each 4X4 pixel area of the sensor is covered with red, green (2), and blue light filters. The new DROIDs use a RGBC filter, which is similar, but the “C” stands for clear. This means that one of the four pixels recieves a full unfiltered amount of light while sacrificing one green pixel. This equates to 50% more light. Obviously this will help in low light conditions, but it will also make the camera a lot faster.
My chief complaint with Motorola over the years has been the camera. I am totally excited to see what the Clear Pixel can do.
If there was on thing we were surprised about with today’s Motorola DROID announcement, it was that the phones are powered by Motorola’s own ARM-based processor. It’s called the X8 Mobile Computing System. What exactly is it? The “8” is for the amount of cores, but it’s not an octa-core. It’s just the total amount of cores dedicated for certain functions. It includes a 1.7GHz dual-core processor for your apps, a 400MHz quad-core graphics processor, a single-core contextual processor, and a single-core natural language processor.
The new DROIDs are always “listening” to your commands or feeding you information via the Active Display notifications. One would expect that an “always on” feature like this would take its toll on the battery, but the contextual processor and the natural language processor prevent that from happening.
We finally got our hands on the new DROID line from Motorola and Verizon. The “RAZR” name is officially gone so they are simply called the DROID Mini, DROID Ultra, and DROID MAXX. It looks like these phones are going to be very similar to the Moto X in that it’s all about the features and ease of use rather than the specs. As to specs, we are looking at a display of 4.3-inches for the Mini at 720p (1280 x 720) and 5.0-inches for both the Ultra and MAXX, also at 720p (1280 x 720). All models feature the Motorola x8 mobile computing system that features 8 cores, but it’s not an octa-core. It has 2 app cores, 4 graphics cores, 1 contextual core, and 1 natural language core. Basically it’s a 1.7GHz dual-core processor. All models include 2GB of RAM and the Mini and Ultra get 16GB of storage, while the MAXX gets 32GB. You won’t find a microSD slot on any of the models. All three models will also feature a 10MP front camera and a 2MP front camera. The camera features clear pixel technology for faster processing and better low light performance. As to battery, the Mini has 2,000mAh, the Ultra has 2,130mAh, and the MAXX has 3,500mAh. You can expect 24 hours from both the Mini and the Ultra, while the MAXX will give you 48 hours.
We are expecting the Moto X to be available on all four major U.S. carriers, but there seems to be a hiccup with T-Mobile. For whatever reason they haven’t inked a deal with Motorola to carry the device. It could be because they carry the Nexus 4, but I am not sure why that would really be an issue. Right now the rumored unsubsidized price is $299, just like the Nexus 4. To be honest, I expect the actual price to be lower.
The Moto X should be at Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and Sprint sometime in August. There is still time for T-Mobile, but it remains to be seen.
I wonder if there will be anything to learn about the Moto X when it’s officially unveiled on August 1st. Motorola’s interface has been the closest to stock Android when comparing to other manufacturers. However they have been adding their own tweaks. I wondered if they would just go all in with stock Android now that Google owns them, but it looks like they will continue the trend of subtle changes. Depending on how you look at it, it’s either better or worse.
The latest leak shows the Moto X’s camera interface, which differs from both Android 4.2 and 4.3. You can see a control wheel to the left that is activated by a swipe. If you swipe from the right, you will go to the Gallery app, which will start with the last photo or video taken with the camera.
LG already announced that moving forward, they will drop “Optimus” from their premium smartphone lineup. The plan is to utilize “G”, and from what we can see, it will be used across the board. They recently filed for several trademarks in South Korea with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), which included G Watch, G Glass, G Hub, GPAD, G Link, and G Band. We already heard that LG was working on a smartwatch, a glassware product, and a new tablet, but it appears they could be readying a bracelet and a media center as well.
Now there are tons of trademarks that go unused, so don’t be surprised if some of these names are never mentioned again. However, it does give us a clue as to what LG might have up their sleeve.
We all thought the SIM card was un-hackable, but think again. German cryptographer Karsten Nohl is going to present some interesting findings at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas on July 31. He found encryption and software flaws that could affect millions of SIM cards. His team tested approximately 1,000 SIM cards for vulnerabilities and found that hackers can remotely infect a SIM with a virus that sends premium text messages. That’s not all, they can redirect or record calls and possibly commit payment system fraud. “Give me any phone number and there is some chance I will, a few minutes later, be able to remotely control this SIM card and even make a copy of it,” Nohl says.
Now it doesn’t look like this affects all SIM cards. It all comes down to the encryption standards chosen by different countries. Noel said, “Different shipments of SIM cards either have [the bug] or not, it’s very random.” Noel did find about 25% of the cards he tested to be hackable, but figures about an eighth of the world’s SIM cards to be vulnerable. That’s about a half a billion mobile devices.
We had a chance to see some leaked images of the Galaxy Note III late last week. It was with Mr. Blurrycam, which means they weren’t so hot. Today, we have a couple of more for you, but don’t get too excited. Not only are these with Mr. Blurrycam again, it’s safe to say that it’s just a prototype, not the final build. There is no sense saying much more about them other than if blurry photos are your thing, enjoy!!
It looks like the folks at CyanogenMod are up to something. Well, they are always up to something, but they are in the teasing mood right now. They released a very short teaser video for something they are working on. What is it? We have no idea so let the speculation begin. It’s start out by saying, “Nothing can be perfect, Things can be better.” Ain’t that the truth. There is a few more tidbits that you can check out for yourself, and then it closes with “A new challenger appears,” and “A new Nemesis appears.” I have a funny feeling they have a few more teases lined up. Any ideas as to what they might be up to? Hit the break for the video.