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The YotaPhone 2 gives you two working touchscreens, front and back

Posted by wicked December - 3 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

If we had written this piece say in 2013, you could be forgiven for thinking that the makers of the YotaPhone had just complete lost all sanity. That is, of course, until the advent of Samsung’s Galaxy Note Edge, which had manufacturers thinking out-of-the-box on what they can do with another touchscreen surface. Granted, what the YotaPhone has is completely unexpected and unorthodox – but you can’t say it isn’t worth a look in these modern times.

Modern smartphone design conventions will say the screen goes on the front, the camera on the back. But what if you utilize both front AND back spaces as active touchscreens? There definitely would be more real estate now to do more – but do what? The YotaPhone, being manufactured by Yota Devices who are mostly based in Moscow, is a smartphone that has a secondary (or another primary, however you want to view it) screen on the back of the device where the camera is. That screen is a monochrome e-ink screen that functions pretty much like a normal touchscreen does, sans the color.


The YotaPhone 2, which has turned quite a few heads at in the Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona early this year, is scheduled to finally launch this month, so we’re quietly anticipating that. The specs are pretty decent – it sports a 5-inch 1080p AMOLED screen as the main display. The back display is called the “Always On” display and it is a 4.7-inch 960×540 E-ink grayscale screen with full capacitive touch functions.


Under the hood, there’s a 2.2Ghz Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor backstopped by 2GB RAM and Adreno 330 graphics. The internal storage maxes out at 32GB and theres an 8MP/2.1MP camera combo with LED flash. Will this interest you? Tell us what you think in the comments section.

SIGN-UP: YotaPhone
VIA: [email protected]

Sharp’s new 4.1-inch IGZO display has 736ppi

Posted by wicked November - 12 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Sharp is one of the bigger makers of displays for smartphones and other devices on the market today. The company has announced that it has adopted IGZO technology and that adoption has resulted in a new display that is 4.1-inches in size and has a very high pixel density of 736ppi.

For comparison, the pixel density of the Galaxy Note Edge is 525ppi. Sharp is aiming to have 4K IGZO panels for smartphones on the market around 2016 using this same high pixel density technology. 4.1-inches is small for a smartphone screen these days, typical screen size hovers around the 4.7-inch mark.


Sharp is working to scale the size of the screen up and keep the high pixel density right now. The goal is to produce a 6-inch screen with 4K resolution and 736ppi in the future. That would be a very nice smartphone screen indeed.

Sharp plans to build a second factory for the production of 4K IGZO panels for smartphones and tablets in Kameyama. Exactly when that second factory will be ready to roll is unknown.

SOURCE: Impress

Sharp to debut 7-inch tablet with MEMS-IGZO screen in 2015

Posted by wicked October - 6 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

Sharp is teasing a new tablet well ahead of its launch. The big feature of the new tablet is new display tech for the tablet market. This 7-inch tablet will use Qualcomm MEMS and Sharp IGZO technology, the result is a MEMS-IGZO display that should be very impressive.

The tablet has no name at this time. The technology used in the display will be able to provide a high-speed color display while having a mode that has nearly the same power saving technology of e-ink when in grayscale.

The Sharp IGZO screen is made from materials that differ from normal LCDs, this alternative material construction allows for thinner panels that can push pixels faster. Thinner LCDs mean thinner tablets; these screens have been used in some TVs and with same smartphones already.

Qualcomm’s MEMS tech is still very new and hasn’t been widely adopted at this time, about the only place the MEMS tech has been used is in the Qualcomm Toq smartwatch. Combined these technologies will allow for high color reproduction with less power consumption than screens in use today provide. Other than a fancy screen, the tablet is tipped to get a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, Android 4.4, and to be waterproof. LTE and WiFi models will be offered, pricing and availability are unannounced.

SOURCE: SlashGear

Pin-sharp: Sharp is developing a 7-inch tablet with a MEMS-IGZO display

Posted by Tom October - 6 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

Sharp wants to wow you with colour reproduction – the company is working on a 7-inch tablet that combines Qualcomm’s MEMS tech with IGZO to produce a brilliant display that’s easy on battery life.

Coming early 2015, the tablet will have a WXGA display panel with a 1,280x 800 pixel resolution. It’ll run on a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, have Android KitKat 4.4.4 OS and LTE/3G connectivity.

Via tablet-news

LG Display in mass production with plastic circular OLED display for wearables

Posted by wicked September - 4 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

LG Display has announced that it is in mass production with the world’s first circular plastic OLED screen. This little screen measures 1.3-inches in diameter and is the circular screen from the LG G Watch R that debuted late last month. This thin display will eventually turn up as the screen for other wearables on the smartwatch market.

While the round screen certainly looks good and makes smartwatches using it look more like a traditional watch, the main reason for the round screen is to get more viewable space in the same footprint. The round screen has a 57% larger viewing area than a square screen of the same size.

Resolution for the 1.3-inch circular screen is 320 x 320 and it has 100% color gamut, 300-nit peak luminance, and unlimited contrast ratio. One of the best features of the display for wearables is that it has the ability to use Power Save Mode so the screen can stay on at full resolution without power from the integrated circuit.

That means that wearables using the display will have longer battery life than others with screens lacking power save mode technology. LG Display is using new techniques to mass produce this circular screen with new processes to improve deposition efficiency and a highly precise laser cutting and processing technology is employed.

Is sapphire glass all it’s cracked up to be?

Posted by wicked September - 1 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

With IFA 2014 set to start in a few days in Berlin, one of the buzzwords being bandied about is sapphire glass, particularly because it is rumored to be one of the features of the anticipated iPhone 6. Another OEM has beaten Apple to the punch as Kyocera recently announced the availability of its Brigadier with Sapphire Display through carrier Verizon. But as a supposedly scratch and drop resistant material, is sapphire glass all it’s, well, cracked up to be?

uBreakiFix, a tech repair company, released a video showing the results on tests that they conducted on sapphire glass, as compared to the Gorilla Glass, which is used by several devices from Motorola, ASUS, Samsung and Amazon. They did three “torture” tests to compare the two: a scratch resistance test using a tungsten drill bit, an impact test, and a four-point bend stress test. When it comes to being scratch resistant, sapphire glass more than impresses as it is indeed a good material to keep your device scratch free, since after all, it is ranked in the mohs hardness spectrum.

But while it is indeed harder than most of the smartphone glass materials used by OEMs, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will result in an unbreakable device. As the result of the other two tests showed, sapphire glass is brittle and so it is unable to bend and absorb the impact when dropped or stressed. Its failure strength is 25% higher than gorilla glass, but that’s not what will make it effective and may present a problem for engineers. How sapphire can make a gadget better is “clever engineering and protective features”, which may be something Apple has managed to overcome.

Kyocera, which has made a name for itself for smartphones that can survive rough terrain, released two videos showing off how the sapphire glass has made the Brigadier tougher than any of their previous products. Discovery Channel superstar Bear Grylls starred in one of the videos, putting the phone through various real-life tests while the other video put the phone through the ringer and it emerged virtually unscathed.

Sharp unveils “edge-to-edge display” of Aquos Crystal

Posted by wicked August - 19 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

When Sharp announced that their upcoming Aquos Crystal phone would have “edge-to-edge display”, people’s expectations of what it would look like were heightened. As they have now unveiled the actual phones, it would seem to have met those expectations, as the front panel of the smartphone has super-thin bezels, giving justice to the original description.

The Aquos Crystal is a 5-inch, 1280×720 pixel HD phone with that will be running on Android 4.4 KitKat. But what has really caught the attention of people is the almost bezel-less front display of the smartphone. In the photos and videos from Buzzup in Japan, the phone is being shown off in all its edge to edge display glory.The previously released Droid Razr M from Motorola was the closest that we came to that kind of display, but compared to this one from Sharp, the borders now seem too big.

But aside from the beautiful display, the Aquos Crystal also has some relatively good specs to offer. It will run on a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.2HGz processor with 1.5GB RAM and 8GB of internal memory. It will have an 8 megapixel main camera and a 1.2MP one for the front-facing camera. It will come out in white, black, pink and blue colors. There is a more powerful version of the Aquos Crystal called the Aquos Crystal X, with a 1920×1080 display running on Snapdragon 801 and having 2GB RAM and 16GB of internal memory. However this version will only be released for now in Japan and will have red, white and black colors.

Softbank will be releasing the Aquos Crystal in the US by the end of this month while the Crystal X will come out in Japan by end of this year. There is still no announced standard retail price for the smartphone, but here’s hoping we don’t have to break a bank to own this one.

Screenshot 2014-08-19 11.03.26
Screenshot 2014-08-19 10.57.18

VIA: SlashGear
SOURCE: SoftBank (1, 2)

Apple iPad Air 2 pic leaks and specs – includes glare-free display

Posted by Tom August - 12 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

The iPad Air 2 has had a pictorial outing and will also be suitable for the great outdoors thanks to its glare-free screen.

An anti-reflection coating is slated to make it easier to read, combating the tablet use issues that we come up against in sunshine.

The iPad Air 2 is reportedly a 9.7-inch tablet and will be out at the end of this quarter.

According to the new leaked pictures, it will also have a Touch ID fingerprint sensor and will sport a single row of speakers along the bottom of the device.

Via gizmodo and tablet-news

Samsung reportedly trying out three-sided AMOLED displays

Posted by wicked August - 8 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Curved OLEDs are nothing new for Samsung – they have a track record of this in smartphone devices and wearables. But the three-sided AMOLED displays, with three functional sides simultaneously putting out different information is going to be a new thing, if not really groundbreaking technology. If Samsung’s suppliers are to be believed, the South Korean electronics giant has just started manufacturing in small scale three-sided display prototypes.

Samsung is supposedly looking at displays that could wrap around – are at least cover the general area – of three sides of a device. It looks like they’re studying displays that wrap around the left and right sides, and ones that wrap around the top and bottom sides as well.


There have been early prototypes – maybe you’ve seen one or two of those – but it looks like Samsung is a bit more serious these days in trying to bring out something new to break away from the growing pack of Android device manufacturers that have slowly started catching up to their hegemony.


Rumors were that there was a challenge on mass manufacturing materials, and that the current raw materials available would make any device with such features very pricey and premium – much like the Galaxy Round, a premium device with a curved display. If you also remember the rumors, the Galaxy Note 4 was expected to have at least a 2-sided display, but these manufacturing challenges may make it impossible for the technology to be launched this year. In the next generation of Samsung devices – probably next year – these features may come into play.

VIA: GforGames

Kyocera Brigadier videos show how crazy tough it is

Posted by wicked August - 6 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

The cat is out of the bag and Kyocera indeed has in its repository the world’s first non-luxury wallet-friendly sapphire glass toting smartphone. And just to show what it means when it says “tough”, Kyocera has pushed two new YouTube videos that summarize the Brigadier’s key rugged features as well as demonstrate the excruciatingly painful things you can do to this smartphone.

Who better to know what tough really means than tough man Bear Grylls himself. This British adventurer is best known for his Discovery Channel series “Man vs. Wild” and, according to him, the Brigadier is crazy tough. After all, it meets IP65/68 dust and waterproof ratings as well as the US military’s MIL-STD 810G standard. But the Kyocera Brigadier has one special trait not found in its Kyocera brethren: a Sapphire Shield display that is tough enough to withstand anything less than a diamond.

But if Grylls’ word isn’t enough to convince you, then maybe the battle scars, or lack of it, on the Brigadier will. The video below puts two Brigadiers, one with impact-resistant glass only and another with Sapphire Shield, to the ultimate torture test. Scratch or drop, the sapphire-clad Brigadier survives unscathed. This is practically the same torture video leaked before that hinted at Kyocera’s next rugged smartphone, this time without the secrecy and with a clear Verizon branding.

In all other aspects, the Kyocera Brigadier is a decent mid-range smartphone, carrying specs that match the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini or the HTC One mini 2. These include a 1.4 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage, a 4.5-inch 720p display, 4G LTE support, and Android 4.4. Of course, with all its rugged features and especially Sapphire Shield, the Brigadier pretty much surpasses those. And only at $99.99 a month, $399.99 in full, available exclusively from Verizon.

SOURCE: Kyocera (YouTube channel)

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