Earlier we told you what the specs are going to be for the updated Nexus 7 according to KGI securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Ironically, Kuo has a very good track record when it comes to predicting Apple products. Other than revealing the Nexus 7 specs he said that Google will be coming out with an Androidbook laptop, and “over-the-top” TV box, and a smartwatch, but unfortunately we won’t see them next week at Google I/O since they are only in the planning stages.
We have already heard rumors about an Androidbook and a smartwatch so this isn’t surprising, but it’s further confirmation. As far as a TV box, this is something I, and a lot of our readers, have been hoping for. Google TV has been a huge disappointment, and I am still trying to figure out why they bothered with the Nexus Q. A TV box is desperately needed, and I can only wish that it would debut next week at Google I/O, but it appears that won’t be the case.
We know that Huawei certainly has something up its sleeves to show the masses, but it appears that the wait is finally over for us to see its next flagship device. The Chinese manufacturing giant recently sent out Save The Date invites for a June 18th event which clearly highlights its new “Beauty” theme. While nothing is concrete, it is widely expected that this event will give us the formal launch of what should be the Ascend P2 smartphone. Or we could end up seeing something else completely, but you can bet the world will be eagerly awaiting to see how “beautiful” Huawei can be.
Earlier in the week the Samsung Galaxy S 4 Zoom was revealed to be a smartphone that will be all about the camera. The specs of the device will be more like the S 4 Mini, but the camera will be better than the Galaxy S 4 based on the fact that it will be 16-megapixels. What about optical zoom? That’s something we have all been dying for in a smartphone. Turns out the Galaxy S 4 Zoom will sport a 10x optical zoom according to Russian analyst Dmitry Ryabinin. It’s not up there with the 21x zoom that was in the Galaxy Camera, but this one is going to be an actual smartphone.
The S4 Zoom is rumored to be released in mid-June and further evidence supporting that is the fact that it appeared at Bluetooth SIG already. We could see an announcement in the next couple of weeks.
sources: Highfirstname.lastname@example.org / Bluetooth.org
Perhaps we shouldn’t think that the mysterious “X” phone by Motorola we’ve been hearing more and more about lately is just limited to one model after all. If you recall, we casually mentioned the possibility of Google introducing the “X” phone as potentially a new line of smartphones— not just one smartphone. Well, it appears that particular rumor may hold up more weight than we thought before. According to an anonymous tipster, at least two versions of the Motorola X are being developed behind closed doors: a main “X” phone and an “M” model— similar to the DROID RAZR M variant from the DROID RAZR line of smartphones. Specs-wise, the main phone will feature a 4.8-inch HD display, 2 GB of RAM and feature Android 4.2.2 (as of now).
MediaTek jumped into the quad-core game a couple of months ago with the announcement of the MT6589. MediaTek has always been known to be in lesser known brands in China, but the likes of Sony are realizing the potential that MediaTek offers. For instance, the turbo version of the MT6589 (MT6589T) was just benchmarked with some very positive results. Now you guys know I am not a fan of benchmarks because they don’t translate to everyday use, but they do give you a good idea for comparing one chip to another.
The latest AnTuTu result was 14,525, which isn’t Snapdragon 600 levels, but then again this is isn’t for high-end phones. It’s right on par with the Snapdragon S4 Pro, which makes this chip a worthy contender in the budget game.
We are expecting to see an updated Nexus 7 next week at Google I/O, and although we already had a pretty good idea of the specs, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo revealed everything but the kitchen sink. Now before you start wondering if Ming-Chi Kuo is worthy, he ironically has a darn good track record when it comes to predicting Apple products. On the other hand, it’s not like he is revealing anything earth shattering.
As expected, the display is going to be 7-inches and have a resolution of 1900 x 1200, which is a very nice upgrade. We already knew that Qualcomm was the chosen one for the CPU, but which one? Sadly it looks like the Snapdragon S4 Pro instead of the Snapdragon 600. This is a little disappointing to me, but this is a price tablet and the S4 Pro is more than enough for the average consumer. Another interesting spec is that it will sport a 5MP rear-facing camera which was absent in the original Nexus 7. Lastly the battery is 4,000mAh, which is actually smaller than the original Nexus 7 (4,325mAh). I was never all that thrilled with the battery life on the Nexus 7, so this is a little concerning. Nothing was mentioned on a 3G or 4G version, but with the Snapdragon in place, I am hopeful they will offer an LTE version at some point.
Everyone knew Samsung was offering different variants of the Galaxy S 4 based on region, but according to an IHS iSupply teardown, that difference goes a little deeper than just the CPU.
According to the teardown, the US variant of the phone uses a separate Fujitsu image processor to handle functions such as the eye tracking and scrolling features that Samsung has heavily promoted. The reason behind this is that the Snapdragon S600 apparently couldn’t handle the processor intensive tasks alone, so Samsung improvised. The Exynos version of the phone doesn’t have the extra processor. Overall, it’s not really a huge deal, as most users probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference anyway. And, honestly, that’s a pretty smart move by Samsung to make both versions of the device perform roughly the same.
The teardown also revealed that the US version uses different hardware for WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, etc., although I’m sure that had more to do with cost and availability than performance.
Carmageddon was a game made in the late 90’s that saw it’s share of banning and censorship around the globe, and in case you were interested, it’s now available on your Android device thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign. This is the game’s first major release since an early 2000’s console port to the Nintendo 64, and for the first day, it’s going to be free. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t allow free apps to turn into paid apps in the Play Store, so after the 24 hours are up, the promo version will be pulled from the store and therefore won’t receive any updates. You can still opt for the paid version or use the demo version afterwards if you want to get updates to the app.
So if you want to test drive the game before you make a full purchase, hit the links after the break to check it out. Don’t wait too long, though.
Google I/O is always a place for innovation and next week’s event will be no different. Those lucky enough to attend will get treated to some of the greatest breakthroughs in technology at Google’s annual event, including a lifelike skydiving simulator based on Google Maps. Using data gathered over the years by Google’s Maps and Earth teams, Instrument has created an extremely advanced skydiving simulator game.
Unfortunately it appears that I/O is the only place Map Diving can be experienced for now, but Instruments has hinted at a possible slimmed down take-home version in the near future. Video demos after the break.
AT&T just joined the likes of T-Mobile and Straight Talk by launching AIO Wireless, a new bring-your-own-pre-paid phone service. Customers can purchase any compatible GSM phone and AIO Wireless will provide a SIM card upon purchase of one of their three plans. AIO offers two options for smartphone users priced at $40 and $70 and a tablet plan for $15. All plans include unlimited data, throttled slightly around 4 megabits. The $40 plan data is throttled even more after 250 MB, while the $70 plan allows a comfortable 7 GB before slowing down the connection. For just $10 more customers can purchase an extra 1 GB of high speed data.
AIO also provides a few phones for purchase directly from their website including the Samsung Galaxy Express for $250, the Samsung Galaxy Amp for $100 and the ZTE Prelude for $50. While nothing special, these are excellent prices for decent smartphones.
Two British retailers (Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U) have mysteriously stopped selling the Nexus 4 just a week before the big Google I/O convention. While you can still purchase the handset directly from Google, the timing has caused some extreme speculation. While many believe we may see the hotly anticipated “Nexus 5” with Key Lime Pie at I/O, it is far more likely that LG will roll out an updated Nexus 4 with 32 GB of storage and an LTE-capable radio.
Whatever is happening next week is exciting with Google only presenting one keynote. We will be there so check out the schedule and check back constantly for up to date news.
Source: Tech Radar
Sources in a WSJ article indicate Amazon has several hardware projects in the works that are collectively referred to as the Alphabet Projects. Perhaps most intriguing among them is a smartphone that reportedly will have a screen that can produce 3D images without the use of special glasses. Combined with complex eye-tracking software, the phone’s screen will produce the 3D images at almost any angle, producing a holographic image effect with items seeming to float above the screen. Another benefit of the technology will be the ability for users to navigate content on their phone using just their eyes. The high-end phone is just one of several devices that may signal a new strategy for Amazon in getting content into the hands of consumers.
One annoyance of Google TV has always been the lack of video streaming apps for the platform. PlayOn has arrived for Google TV to help, allowing users to stream Hulu, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, and more than 50 other channels to the set-top box.
For a long time PlayOn has offered a way to stream content from your computer to devices that didn’t support it, including Netflix before it was officially available for Android. PlayOn streams video content though a home network, so a server application needs to be installed on your PC in addition to the PlayOn app on the device being streamed to.
Normally, PlayOn costs $25 per year or $50 for a lifetime license, but for a limited time, PlayOn is free for Google TV, so go and get it now. More information on PlayOn and the official press release can be found after the break.
ITV has refreshed their Android app, but for now, only Samsung device users in the UK can enjoy. The UK television network announced that until August 31, their updated ITV Player app will be available exclusively to Samsung users “for an initial period while we endeavor to optimize and improve the experience before releasing to other device manufacturers.”
The updated app features landscape navigation support, improved playback, 3G/4G streaming, and support for older devices. Right now the app is dominated with 1-star reviews in the Play Store, so hopefully for ITV users this update is a big improvement.
The download link and press release can be found after the break.