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Lumigon T2 HD boasts stainless steel body and front-facing flash

Posted by wicked March - 31 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

Copenhagen-based Lumigon has once again outed a smartphone that exhibits the company’s idea of Scandanavian minimalist design. Whlie the Lumigon T2 HD does boast of a few interesting features, the hardware specs and price tag might disappoint.

Lumigon entered our radars way back in late 2010 when word got out that its T1 smartphone would sport an audio system built by acclaimed sound masters Bang & Olufsen. Following that line, the T2 HD also promises superior sound quality, both from the device’s stereo speakers as well as the in-ear Hi-Fi headset that comes with the package. But this isn’t the only feature worth boasting. On the outside, the T2 HD looks simple yet elegant, sporting a stainless steel frame. At the same time, the smartphone is made to be tough, marked with an IP65 rating. Based on our brief overview of these numbers, this practically means complete protection against dust but only slight protection against jets of water for at most 15 minutes.

Inside, however, the T2 HD might not sound that much. The 4.3-inch display makes it easy to operate with one hand, but the resolution is capped at 720×1280 pixels. It does have an ample 2 GB of RAM, but strangely Lumigon only went for a 1.7 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, probably an S4. That said, there are specs that still make this device interesting, like the 128 GB internal storage option. The rear has a 13 megapixel shooter, but users might be more interested in the 2.4 megapixel front-facing camera, which actually has its own FrontFlash, perfect for taking selfies in the dark.

If this odd combination of premium design and mediocre hardware makes it sound like one of those luxury smartphones, then you aren’t mistaken. The Lumigon T2 HD has a suggested retail price of 730 EUR, which is just a bit above $1,000 when directly converted. It will come in white and a 24-carat cold limited edition, with options for 32 GB, 64 GB, and 128 GB internal storage. The company is planning to launch the smartphone by the second quarter this year, but it will be available initially in Denmark via Lumigon’s online shop and selected stores with no word on international retail.

T2HD-front
T2HD-back
T2-HD-side_01
T2HD-dock
T2-HD-lanyard_01
T2-HD-remote_01
T2-HD_water_01

SOURCE: Lumigon

CyanogenMod gives Motorola smartphones the unified build treatment

Posted by wicked February - 20 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Hot on the heels of news of unified builds for a number of HTC and Samsung devices, CyanogenMod is announcing that some Motorola devices will now be joining in on the fun. But even more than that, it also has some good news for present and future owners of Motorola’s latest budget smartphone.

The Moto G, Motorola’s more affordable but equally powerful option, just recently joined the ranks of CyanogenMod’s officially supported devices, starting with a nightly build carrying CyanogenMod 11. Almost immediately, the Moto G’s variants have all been swept up into a single unified build. These means that builds for those models previously identified as xt1032 and xt1034 will now be replaced by a single “falcon” build. Unfortunately, the dual-sim xt1033 variant is currently still out of the picture.

Other Motorola phones are also falling under the unification process. Builds for the Moto X as well as the Droid Maxx Dev Edition, but not the standard edition, will now both be found under the moto_msm8960dt. On the other hand, the RAZR HD, Photon Q, Atrix HD, and others like it will be lumped together under the moto_msm8960 heading. According to CyanogenMod, these devices share a common architecture, indicated by the “msm8960″ code for Qualcomm‘s Snapdragon S4, and are therefore able to share the same build.

As previously mentioned, the source code for the older distinct builds are still available but CyanogenMod will be using the unified ones moving forward. Users utilizing CM Updater on their devices will automatically be migrated to the unified build when they start rolling out.

SOURCE: CyanogenMod

Motorola XT1032 Falcon seen in GFXBench with fingerprint sensor support

Posted by wicked November - 11 - 2013 - Monday Comments Off

Ever since Apple debuted its newest iPhone generation, fingerprint scanners have become one of the latest fad in smartphones, with HTC already jumping in with its HTC One Max and Samsung rumored to be slapping it on its next flagship. It seems that Motorola will not be left behind and will sport a similar hardware feature in its coming Motorola XT1032 smartphone, codenamed “Falcon”.

motorola-xt1032-falcon

This is the first time we’ve heard of the Motorola Falcon and already it has made its way to GFXBench with some interesting pieces of information. The Android build used in this test is marked with “FINGERPRINT” which could imply support for fingerprint scanners. Of course, it doesn’t necessarily mean that this device will indeed have the hardware, but why else would the feature be there, considering mobile OS are, more often than not, optimized for the particular hardware they will be running on.

Other parts of the hardware are also worth noting. While the screen size is not indicated, it is at least confirmed to support a resolution of 1196×720, just enough for HD playback. But more interesting is the CPU, which labeled as the Qualcomm MSM8226, more popularly known as a quad-core Snapdragon S4, running at 1.2 GHz. Not exactly your top of the line processor, but it should be remembered that the Moto X wasn’t sporting the more recent Snapdragon 800 either and yet still ran smooth as butter.

While the hardware may sound like something meant for mid-range devices, considering Motorola’s success with the Moto X, we won’t be surprised if the Google-owned company has a few tricks up its sleeves this time as well. The Motorola Falcon is also set to run Android 4.4, which, depending on when it is announced, could make it the second smartphone to ship with the latest Android version by default after the Nexus 5.

SOURCE: GFXBench
VIA: GSMinsider, CTechCN

HTC One Max rumored to sport older Snapdragon S4 only

Posted by wicked September - 20 - 2013 - Friday Comments Off

HTC was curiously silent at IFA in Berlin early this month where it was expected to announce its HTC One Max phablet, with rumors now pointing to an October unveiling. It seems, however, that as early as now the device is already being steeped in controversy, with word that the anticipated giant won’t be running on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 after all.

htc-one-max-with-gn3

First, let’s take a recap of what the HTC One Max is supposed to have. It is expected to come with a 5.9-inch 1080p Full HD display, 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage, Beats audio, an UltraPixel rear camera, a 3000 mAh battery, Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, and even a fingerprint sensor. And, of course, all of these will be driven by a quad-core 2.3 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor. Quite a normal configuration for a topnotch flagship these days, we’d say.

Unfortunately, things aren’t going well over at HTC, it seems. Sources are now saying that the HTC One Max will instead be running on a slightly lower quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 with clock speeds of 1.7 GHz. Camps are split on why this would be the case. Some hold that HTC was forced to resort to a lower chip due supply shortage from Qualcomm, considering how the Snapdragon 800 is in high demand lately. The other side, however, claims that Qualcomm has already increased production in anticipation of the popularity of the chips, and HTC is merely trying to cut costs, which would not do well for the image of the already embattled company.

Although it would not be the only recent flagship to not sport a Snapdragon 800, after all, the highly popular and powerful Motorola Moto X doesn’t, it would indeed be strange if the HTC One Max didn’t have some gimmick to offset the lower CPU. We’ll just have to wait until next month to see if the giant phablet will live up to the hype or sink into ignominy.

VIA: DigiTimes

According to Pacific Crest analyst Michael McConnell, the next version of the Nexus 7 will feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro (APQ8064) processor instead of NVIDIA’s next-gen Tegra 4. Because of Qualcomm’s tighter integration with modem technology, McConnell figures that a Snapdragon chip will simplify the supply and essentially lower costs.  As you all know, [...]



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Google Nexus 7 tablet in the works with Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core

Posted by wicked February - 7 - 2013 - Thursday Comments Off

Many are speculating that Google and ASUS will be unveiling and announcing a new Nexus 7 tablet at this years Google I/O event in May. Last year they debuted the exciting $199 Nexus 7 with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and this year we’re hearing a next-gen Nexus 7 is coming with an upgraded 1080p HD display, and along with it will be a Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core processor.

n7-qual

Back in January reports and rumors started floating around that Google and ASUS look to continue their partnership on a 7-inch portable and budget-friendly tablet, and this seems to back that up. The initial report suggested a thinner bezel, more industrial design, the HD display and more as mentioned above. And now we’re hearing a few more reports that are getting us excited.

Some reports and analysis were dug up from the folks at UnwiredView stating Google will jump ship from NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 (or possibly the Tegra 4) and opt for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro for multiple reasons. One being excellent battery life as Qualcomm’s continued to improve, and then the other main factor being 3G/4G LTE radios under the hood. Having the entire Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC powering the device would be a good move to help keep costs down.

“Supply chain conversations indicate two reasons for Google’s selection of the Snapdragon APQ8064 over Tegra 4: competitive pricing, and a decision to single-source the application processor and 3G/4G modem to simplify logistics and create a fully pin-compatible platform interface.” – Analyst Michael McConnell

Hopefully this Nexus 7 supports 4G LTE. As a reminder Google I/O is set to take place this year on May 15-17th and Google should have plenty of exciting things to show off. Those include Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie, the rumored Motorola X-Phone being developed in partner with Google, as well as this Nexus 7 tablet. Either way this year should offer another amazing and exciting Google I/O event.

[via UnwiredView]

Pantech Discover Review [video]

Posted by wicked January - 24 - 2013 - Thursday Comments Off

pantech-discover-review-1

Not all that long ago, “budget” Android phones were, more often than not, synonymous with junk. Rapid growth in Android’s efficiency as an operating system and decreasing costs for higher-spec’d hardware have conspired to make this notion a relic of the past.

That isn’t to say that the Pantech Discover is a “budget” phone. At $49.99 with a two-year contract from AT&T, it’s not going to break the bank, but it has many of the features found on current high-end phones. In our review, we’re going to take a look at how the midrange Pantech Discover holds up not only to phones in a similar price range, but higher-end phones as well.

In a hurry? Either check out our video review of the Pantech Discover, or jump to the conclusion at the end of this article.

Specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM 8960 1.5 GHz dual-core processor
  • 4.8-inch 720p display (1280 x 720)
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 16 GB Internal Storage
  • 2,100 mAh battery
  • 12.6-megapixel rear facing camera, 1080p video recording
  • NFC
  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

First Impressions

As you may recall, we first got a look at the Pantech Discover at CES a little while back. While it wasn’t quite the showstopper that some of the other devices we saw on the show floor were, it was instantly clear that the Discover isn’t the result of a company shoveling out a midrange phone with little thought to design or usability.

pantech-discover-review-4

The flowing design of the Pantech Discover is eye-catching. Even though the device isn’t boasting the newest software or latest hardware, the style and care put into the design help it overcome those minor setbacks.

Build Quality & Design

It seems that Pantech has put a lot of thought into making the Discover easy to hold and use. The back of the device is textured very similarly to the LG Spectrum 2 we reviewed last month, and I am quickly becoming a fan of this type of texture. The slight bump on the back of the device actually helps as well, making holding the phone during calls much more comfortable than the numerous all-flat designs we keep seeing.

pantech-discover-review-3

While it would be reasonable to assume that the bump on the back of the Discover is there for the camera lens, this isn’t the case; this actually makes room for the stereo speakers. Pantech makes a point of talking about this feature whenever possible, and its for good reason. While the size of a phone is never going to allow for big, booming bass, the Discover can pump out a good amount of volume without the breakup that occurs with a lot of other devices.

The only hardware buttons you will find on the Pantech Discover are the power button and the volume rocker. Everything else is handled by on-screen buttons. Personally, I like a few capacitive buttons at the bottom, but judging from recent conversations I’ve had, I may be in the minority here.

Display

The screen on the Pantech Discover is a 4.8-inch, 720p TFT display with a resolution of 1280 x 720. While this may not seem particularly impressive when compared to the upcoming influx of 1080p phones, you have to remember that we’re looking at a phone that sells for a far lower pricepoint than those phones are likely to meet.

pantech-discover-review-9

We’ve seen better 720p displays, sure, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with the display on the Pantech Discover. Photos taken with the camera (see below) looked as rich on the Discover as they did on other screens, and there was no noticeable blowout on the edges of the screen, as will sometimes happen on lower-priced devices.

Performance

Performance was pretty much exactly as expected. With so many devices running the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus chipset, it’s fairly easy to guess how well a certain device will perform just by looking at the model numbers and specs. So no, it isn’t going to outperform the current crop of high-end devices, but for the most part, it’s going to handle any apps and system-related tasks you throw at it quite easily.

pantech-discover-review-7

Gaming performance takes a small hit, as does any app that hits the GPU harder than the CPU, but it isn’t exactly likely that anyone who is super enthusiastic about Android gaming is going to be buying a midrange phone in the first place. In daily use, you’ll likely never find yourself cursing the Pantech Discover for running slowly.

Software

The Pantech Discover runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Fortunately, Pantech has said that an update to Jelly Bean is on the way. Somewhat less fortunately, we don’t know whether it will be 4.1 or 4.2.

On the plus side, the Pantech Discover has some useful software built right in, including a personal favorite of mine, SwiftKey. If you do a lot of typing on your phone, chances are fairly good that you’re already familiar with SwiftKey, but it’s nice to have it built in right out of the gate.

pantech-discover-review-6

Unlike a lot of phones we see, the Discover isn’t absolutely loaded with bloatware. There are a few apps included by Pantech and AT&T, but not nearly as many as we’ve seen on some other devices recently.

While many of us aren’t fans of skins, it’s worth noting that Pantech’s skin can be customized fairly heavily, ranging from the homescreen to the lock screen.

Camera

It may not offer the crazy filters and effects that are finding their way into the stock camera apps on more and more Android devices lately, but the Pantech Discover’s camera was definitely usable. In addition to standard functionality, it offers HDR and panoramic modes.

pantech-discover-image-from-camera

Low light performance was generally good, producing clear images with minimal grain. This is a place where smartphones rarely excel though, so take the previous statement with a grain of salt. I found the flash to be overly bright, but this is an issue that isn’t even limited to phones, and when you need it, it’s nice to have a flash available.

Video was surprisingly decent, as this is generally a weak point on even high-end devices. The framerate is solid, colors are reproduced faithfully, and despite the Discover’s light weight, there was minimal shakiness.

Battery

While the battery is only 2,200 mAh, the Pantech Discover’s fairly modest specs allow it to get a reasonable amount of juice. I have noticed that Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets have a knack for providing a decent balance of battery life and processing power, and that seems to be the case here.

pantech-discover-review-2

One feature that is going to make a lot of people happy is the removable battery. Many phones seem to be phasing this out, much to the chagrin of their users. Whether that trend will continue remains to be seen, but it’s always nice to see a new device released that allows you to pop out the battery.

Video Review


Conclusion


As I mentioned at the top of the review, we’ve come a long way in a very short amount of time. A few years ago, the thought of getting a phone like the Pantech Discover at the price it is selling for was unheard of. That said, if you’re looking for a top of the line device, this isn’t it, but it’s doubtful that anyone reading this review would think that was a case.

If you want to keep your spending on a new device low, but don’t want to sacrifice points for style, the Pantech Discover is certainly worth keeping your eye on. There may be other phones aimed at capturing the same portion of the market, but right now it seems that with the Discover, Pantech is the one to beat.

It’s been available for coming up on two weeks now, so you may already have gotten your hands on a Pantech Discover. If so, what do you think of it? Let us know in the comments below.

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Mysterious Acer V350 smartphone leaks with dual-core S4 CPU and Android 4.1

Posted by wicked December - 21 - 2012 - Friday Comments Off

Acer

Given Acer’s rather lackluster smartphone line, we were just about to say the leaked V360 looks decent enough to be called the company’s next flagship device. Fortunately, we’re now finding out that the V360 might have a handsomer brother, going by the V350 model number.

Though we don’t have any pics with this V350 yet, we’re referring to inner beauty when we say it might be “handsome”, given it’ll most likely be powered by the very popular dual-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 CPU.

Sure, that’s still one or two steps behind the processors expected to make Samsung, HTC or Sony’s upcoming flagships to purr. Then again, the SoC can at least make the V350 fit in the gap between mid-range and high-end, and that’s more than we can say about other Acer smartphones.

Acer-V350

Besides that decent chip, the V350 will have another couple of features recommending it for an upper mid-ranger status in the Android world of tomorrow – a 1,280 x 720 pix res display and Android 4.1.2. Sadly, that’s about all the insight the GLBenchmark listing could provide on this puppy’s spec sheet, so we’re left with a ton of questions.

What size will this bad boy be, first off? Will it come with 1 or 2 gigs of RAM (though we’re guessing one)? Will it have a microSD slot? A decent enough battery? An 8 MP rear-facing snapper? And most importantly, where and when is Acer planning to release it? We’re guessing the V360 is to be a China-bound device, but does that mean the V350 will hit the international stage?

There’s no way to fully answer those questions yet, but fret not, because we have a hunch we won’t have to wait but for CES or MWC to be put at ease.

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YotaPhone Brings One LCD Screen, One E-Ink Screen On One Device

Posted by wicked December - 12 - 2012 - Wednesday Comments Off

 

Is a smartphone that utilizes both a regular LCD screen and an e-ink screen possible? Russian wireless carrier Yota Devices wants to remind you that yes, yes it is possible with its new YotaPhone concept. Under the hood, the smartphone has a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, 2GB of RAM, an LTE chip and a 12-megapixel rear camera. However— the real kicker of the device is its two displays— one on the front, one on the back. The front display holds a 4.3-inch 1,280 x 720 (720P) display, while the rear one can display a full e-ink content. It appears the rear display will be best suited for displaying key information tied to a user’s everyday life like appointments, playlists or other things of that nature.

While the concept is indeed interesting, prospective customers will need to go through quite a wait before the device can get in the palms of their hands. The YotaPhone is expected to go on sale in Q3 2013 in Russia, while other markets internationally will see the device sometime after that. More details can be found in the presser once you hit the break.

 

 

Yota Devices

Yota Devices is an independent, private company that produces hardware and software
innovation-focused technology including LTE routers, dongles and modems. The company is
based in Moscow, Russia. The company is now developing a new dual screen smartphone with an electronic paper display on the second screen. The phone will be available for sale in Russia in Q3 2013 and the rest of the world by Q4 2013.

Yota Devices was established in December 2011 as a spin-off from the Yota Group, an
investment group that was focused in the IT and telecom sector. The Yota name has been kept to reflect the excellent brand recognition of the Yota Group and to emphasize that Yota Devices is a consumer-friendly, hardware and software innovator.

Yota Devices believes in a business philosophy strongly focused on innovation around the user experience. Yota Devices has a proven record in enhancing and modifying existing products to optimize customer interaction with their devices.

The company has produced more than 3 million connectivity devices, including modems,
routers and dongles. The company has 6% of the global LTE devices market.

YotaPhone

The idea for our new dual screen smartphone emerged in 2010 from the desire to change the
way users interact with their smartphones. The topic turned to the smartphone industry and
why it is obsessed with specs – bigger screens, more megapixels, lighter weight – rather than improving the user experience.

In September 2010, the initial concept of a smartphone featuring electronic paper display
technology on the second screen was presented to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. The
company immediately began working on a prototype and, in 2011, presented the functional
YotaPhone prototype and business case to investors, who quickly realized that the company
was on the path to creating not just a highly competitive and innovative product – the next
generation smartphone – but a new industry trend. They also believed that this totally
product could be the engine for growing a sustainable business that continuously reinvests into new innovations and puts technology to work for users.

YotaPhone was unveiled to the public in December 2012 and production is underway. The
phone will be available for sale in Russia in Q3 2013 and internationally soon after that.

Connectivity Devices

Yota Devices is an experienced developer and provider of fast, reliable and elegantly designed modems, routers and dongles. The first 4G WiMAX products were introduced to the market in 2008. Since then, more than 10 devices have been developed. The latest is Amber and Ruby, the latest generation of multimode (GSM/UMTS/LTE) dongle and portable router and advanced LTE-only multiband dongle.

Key Yota products include:

LTE-only FDD multiband dongle. It was commercially launched on December 2011 in Novosibirsk, Russia, after successful trials earlier that year in Kazan. Today, more than 1 million units have been sold primarily in Russia and Belarus. When introduced, it was the smallest, fastest time to Internet (only 5 seconds after plug in) LTE dongle on the market. It has more than 5 patented features.

LTE/UMTS/GSM dongle simultaneously supporting FDD Bands 1/3/7/20 and TDD 38 unique
9.9mm thickness, seamless over-the-air software update and driver-less operation.

LTE/UMTS/GSM portable router simultaneously supporting FDD Bands 1/3/7/20 and TDD 38.
Featuring electronic paper display, absolutely unique battery lifetime (up to 60 hours active) and patented USB hinge design.

The newest generation of premium multimode dongle and portable router with unique
combination of materials: steel, natural leather and glass. Featuring embedded/cloud sync
memory storage, seamless updates and e-ink display. It is based on the latest MDM9225 by
Qualcomm.

Qualcomm announces two new processors in Snapdragon S4 line

Posted by wicked December - 5 - 2012 - Wednesday Comments Off

Qualcomm‘s Snapdragon S4 line of processors has proven to be incredibly popular, so it isn’t much of a surprise that the company has added two new CPUs to the Snapdragon S4 family. Announced today, the MSM8226 and the MSM8626 are bound for China, and offer a number of features that we have a feeling manufacturers will pay attention to. Those manufacturers will have a little bit of a wait ahead of them, though, as these new processors aren’t scheduled to launch until Q2 2013.


The 28nm silicon quad-core chips can boast support for 1080p recording and playback along with support for up to 13-megapixel cameras thanks to the Adreno 305 GPU. Both of them come with multi-SIM support, which includes dual SIM, dual standby and dual SIM, dual active and each can support China’s TD-SCDMA, CDMA, and HSPA+ networks. According to Qualcomm, the WTR2605 radio that makes these chips compatible with those networks is 40% more efficient and an impressive 60% smaller than its predecessors.

At the same time these chips launch, the company will also be delivering Qualcomm Reference Design versions of each. With these chips, developers receive handset development resources, which includes access to hardware and software that has been tested for compatibility with QRD devices. According to Qualcomm, its QRD customers will be “offered everything they need to rapidly deliver differentiated smartphones to the mass market.”

So, Qualcomm continues to push forward, meaning that we’ll expect demand for its Snapdragon S4 line to stay high. There isn’t any specific release information available yet, but with as fast as the technology industry moves, Q2 2013 should be here before we know. Keep it tuned here to Android Community, as we should have more details about these chips soon.