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Huawei relents, Ascend Mate2 will get Lollipop next year

Posted by wicked November - 22 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

Smartphone users who invested in Huawei‘s first big product in the US can now breath a sigh of relief. After receiving no small amount of flak from their users, the Chinese OEM has “reassessed” their update strategy and have now announced that the gigantic Ascend Mate2 will indeed be updated to Android 5.0 after all. The only minor catch is that the update won’t take place until sometime within the first half of 2015.

Huawei dropped a bombshell last month when it announced that the Ascend Mate2 will not be receiving the latest Android version. Now, it’s certainly not unheard of for OEM’s to drop support for some of their devices along the way, but this smartphone hardly deserves that treatment. For one, it was just launched early this year, touted even to be Huawei’s great entry into the US, so it is hardly an aging device. For another, the phone launched with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and never even got an Android 4.4 KitKat update yet.

We can only presume that Huawei thought it had very valid reasons to block the update. They should, at least, be commended for being upfront about it instead of leaving their users hanging. But whatever reasons they might have had, the backlash they got made them reconsider their position and fortunately give in to their users’ admittedly very reasonable demands. So it’s official, the Ascend Mate2 will jump straight from Jelly Bean to Android 5.0 Lollipop, skipping KitKat in the process, in the first half of next year, which could very well mean until late June. Hopefully it will come earlier.

That said, Huawei might want to put the past behind it quickly. The Ascend Mate2 isn’t exactly dated, it isn’t exactly high end either. Especially compared to the new Ascend Mate7, which skipped a few version numbers before it went public last September. That one is pretty much the manufacturer’s flagship and is probably where the company wants to focus its resources on.

SOURCE: Huawei

OnePlus One to go on sale in India in December: exclusive to Amazon

Posted by wicked November - 22 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

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If there is One phone that takes the cake for the most unusual string of strategy this side of the Twilight Zone, it would have to be the OnePlus One. Well received by all those who have One, its saga is already epic: first released with Cyanogenmod pre-installed, then later with the Oppo’s Color OS, the only way to get One has been by invitation. This already created a major demand downer, as given the affordable price and excellent specs, it was certainly a coveted creation. Then you throw in an aggressive marketing campaign that bordered on misogyny and the cancellation of the much-heralded bamboo back cover, chances are the reasons you’ve probably heard of this device are all the wrong Ones.

Still, never One to lose sight of its goal, OnePlus began to show an interest in plans to launch the device in India this December. Then word came of an online retailer stepping in for distribution, along with nation-specific invites.

Well, the proverbial cat is finally out of the bag, as it now appears Amazon will be the exclusive retailer for the One in India. The device is estimated to sell for around Rs. 25,000 (about $400) for the 64GB variant. How the invite system will play in remains unknown (as does the official Amazon announcement, given the “mystery” device in the lead picture), though some still question the reasons OnePlus makes the One available through an invite system.

For all those who want to brush up on the One, make sure to check out our portal to all the coverage we’ve done over the past year!

Gorilla Glass 4 now has better drop resistance and protection

Posted by wicked November - 21 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

How many seconds off of your life has dropping your smartphone on the pavement caused you? Someone should do a study about that, as this is probably one of the causes of cellphone anxiety. Corning, the makers of the Gorilla Glass which most likely is the one your smartphone uses to cover its pixels, has just announced the arrival of Gorilla Glass 4. The newer version of their screen will apparently now have better drop protection and will help your heart not to race so much when you hear the thud of a dropped phone.

The scientists over at Corning found out during their research that the pavement was the number one culprit in broken displays of smartphones (apparently, units hurled by angry lovers were a distant second). So with Gorilla Glass 4, they decided to strengthen its core and let clumsy people breathe a sigh of relief everytime they would drop their phones. It is now “up to” two times more durable when dropped from a height of 1 meter, as compared to the current Gorilla Glass 3 and survived 80% of the time.

In terms of optical clarity, it has the same as its predecessor and improving the drop protection for the Gorilla Glass 4 did not mean changing how your display will look. However, what we’re not sure of yet if it can still maintain the thinness that we’re used to seeing with our current flagship devices, which more or less probably uses Corning’s. But at least for now, we can be assured of the drop protection from the tests they’ve done and the ads they produced with, what else, gorillas.

Expect the next glut of smartphones to be produced next year to have the Gorilla Glass on their displays. And given how much people on the go damage their phones while mobile, that is indeed a relief to have both scratch resistance (something Corning is proud of) and drop protection on your display.

VIA: SlashGear

Sony Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact, Z3 Tablet Compact owners get 3 free movies

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

If you have purchased a new Sony Xperia Z3 device recently, you may have three free full-length films waiting for you to download. Buyers who recently bought the Xperia Z3, Xperia Z3 Compact, or Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact need to check the Xperia lounge app. Sony is offering three popular films at no cost to buyers of these devices including The Amazing Spider-Man 2 among others.

The other two films that recent buyers can pick up are Captain Phillips and Ghostbusters. Unfortunately, the offer isn’t good in all regions where the devices were available to purchase. It is live now in the UK, France, Spain, and the US. In the US, the deal is for buyers of the devices on T-Mobile and Verizon.

If the offer is valid in your area, it will appear in the Xperia Lounge app. If live, you will receive a download code that can be redeemed via the Sony Entertainment Network. The offer expires on January 31, 2015.

That means that you have only a couple months to download the films. Those are three good movies, and this is the 30th anniversary year for Ghostbusters.

SOURCE: Xperiablog

Meizu MX4 Pro tries to cram everything inside a metal shell

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

Meizu has tried to do justice to the “Pro” part of the MX4 Pro’s name by including all the high-end features and hitting all the right buzzwords you’d expect in a smartphone that is trying to play in the big leagues. With everything that’s going on inside the device, you might be willing to forgive that, at least from the front and the edges, it looks pretty much like an iPhone 6 Plus, even in size. Some of the features and even the interface might not help dispel that impression either.

With all the features that this smartphone contains, the spec sheet might be the boring part, so lets get to it right away. The display extends just a bit beyond the usual 2K resolution with 2560×1536 pixels, crammed inside a 5.5-inch panel (hence the iPhone 6 Plus association) made by JDI. It is driven by an octa-core Samsung Exynos 5430, the first mobile chip made with a 20nm process, but not to be confused with the 64-bit 5433 running inside the Galaxy Note 4. There’s 3 GB of RAM and storage configurations of 16, 32, and 64 GB. The battery is a rather large 3,550 mAh one, though, given the hardware, that could probably be easily drained in no time at all.

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Now for the features. You shouldn’t be surprised by now to find out that the MX4 Pro sports its own fingerprint scanner, here called the mTouch. This feature is pretty much becoming standard fare for high-end smartphones and we should expect to see more of them soon. That said, Meizu isn’t simply going with its own solution completely and has instead employed the security features provided by ARM’ TrustZone architecture. In a nutshell, all critical hardware and software are stored in their own safe zone and, even when rooted or granted access to secure features, apps and users still won’t be able to access the stored fingerprint code inside. As for third-party apps, they first need to get Meizu’s approval before they are granted access to APIs.

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Meizu is also flaunting what it calls is “Retina Sound”, a bit of a misnomer considering what “retina” originally means. In this case, it practically means employing high-end audio hardware to a deliver topnotch audio experience. For example, the MX4 Pro utilizes the ES9018 DAC audio processor, considered to be the best of its breed. It also has a new passive filter made of two film capacitors and several resistors to reduce background noise, There’s also the OPA1612 professional amplifiers that deliver 120dB of audio at 80 KHz. But more so than display, the audio promise is something that really needs to be experienced first hand before it can be judged, so it will be quite some time before the MX4 Pro’s audio prowess can really be verified.

A 20.7 megapixel Sony IMX220 rear camera, a 5 megapixel F/2.2 wide angle OmniVision front camera, always-on “voiceprint identification”, a new alloy metal case with a matte finished back cover, a 9.0 mm thick body, and a super narrow 2.8 mm bezel. These pretty much round up everything that the Meizu MX4 Pro has to offer, which is quite a lot considering the stigma of a Chinese-made handset. That said, this is all still on paper as availability and pricing of Meizu’s newest flagship are yet to be confirmed.

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Huawei Ascend P8 with ceramic and metal body in the works?

Posted by wicked November - 18 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

A new Huawei Ascend phone is said to be in the works right now and is currently being tested internally according to MyDrivers, a Chinese website. Rumor has it that this smartphone will be a follow up to the Huawei Ascend P7 which was released earlier this year.

The Huawei Ascend P8 is expected to be unveiled at the CES 2015 this coming January so this should be interesting. No confirmation has been made yet but MyDrivers said that the Android smartphone will feature a 5.2-inch display, a 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution, and might be powered by a 16 nm FinFET octa-core Kirin 930. It’s also believed that the smartphone will have tapered edges similar to the iPhone 6.

What’s more interesting about this rumor is that the phone will include ceramics and metal into the build. Phone could have a ceramic back and a metal body and could be priced at 2,999 CNY which is about $489.

We’re not quite sure about the use of octa-core Kirin 930 because we know that TSMC will ship the advanced silicon later in 2015. An early 2015 arrival of the Ascend P8 running the processor just doesn’t make sense. It’s either a different chip will be used or TSMC is set to deliver the product earlier as planned. We’ll see.

VIA: Phone Arena

YotaPhone 2 brings its dual screen to London December 3

Posted by wicked November - 18 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

If you’re tired of boring, mainstream smartphones and want to have a twist on your mobile device, then the new YotaPhone 2 might be right up your alley. The first YotaPhone captured the curiosity and imagination of the mobile world last year by slapping a power-saving always-on e-ink display on the back of the smartphone. Now this two-faced mobile device is back, this time with a sleeker physique and with a bit of touch sensitivity on the back side as well.

The proposition sounds almost too good to be true. On one side you have your regular colorful, full res, power-hungry AMOLED screen for your usual smartphone needs. On the back, you have a slightly more static display for things you want to always be visible at a glance, without consuming your battery like there’s no tomorrow. Maybe you can even use it for some light reading on the go. That is exactly what YotaPhone is offering, and YotaPhone 2 takes that idea one step further.

The 4.7-inch EPD display on the YotaPhone provides full touch controls, meaning it can be used just as you would a regular touchscreen screen, but perhaps with less sensitivity and less accuracy. But that doesn’t matter much for the use cases that Yota Devices is proposing, like receiving calls, checking email, or even replying to messages. All those require very minimal interactivity but they are the most common uses of a smartphone these days. For everything else, there is the 5.0-inch AMOLED display on the reverse side. Hit the YouTube below for the promo video that Yota Devices released last February.

The YotaPhone 2 also better designed than its predecessor, opting for more curved top and bottom edges than the straight hard edges of the first iteration. Website [email protected] was able to grab a few shots of the smartphone in action. Other than those, details of the YotaPhone 2′s hardware are quite scant. The company plans to unveil the device at a private event in London on December 3, so if you are interested in this smartphone wonder, that would be the date to mark on your calendar.

SOURCE: YotaPhone
VIA: [email protected]

AT&T adds more data for Mobile Share Value customers

Posted by wicked November - 18 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Starting today, November 18, AT&T will be adding more data to current Mobile Share Value customers. Instead of 10GB for the $100 plan, subscribers will be 15GB data cap without any excess charges.

This is a limited promo that brings more than 30 hours of video and 160 hours of music streaming and 300 hours of web surfing. With the data plan, you can also send and receive up to 10,000 emails, download 10 mobile apps, as well as, post on social media 1,000 times. This means you can do a lot with the 15GB because really, that’s a lot.

New and existing AT&T customers can avail of the promo that can help save as much as $25. This also includes unlimited talk and text plus access to the 4G LTE network4. To avail of the promo, simply go to att.com and select the new plan on your account via the myAT&T app on you smartphone.

The Mobile Share Value plan also includes unlimited international messaging of text, photo, and video. International messaging includes those coming from the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the US to more than 190 countries. Photo and video messaging is limited to 120 countries but more will be added to the list of countries supported. If you’re eligible, you can also get a new phone with an AT&T NextSM installment agreement. No need to pay downpayment and no annual service contract. You can also choose to buy a new phone at full retail price or on a 2-year contract. If you want a tablet too, add $10 monthly to your plan.

Looks like this is an early Christmas for loyal AT&T subscribers. The new promo of 15GB Mobile Value Share Plan will require a $15/month smartphone access charge on AT&T Next service or if phone was purchased with no term commitment. Those with a 2-year agreement, smartphone access charge is $40/monthly per line.

SOURCE: AT&T

ASUS launches mid-tier ZenFone 5 Lite

Posted by wicked November - 18 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

ASUS just launched a dual SIM KitKat smartphone that is set to lodge squarely on the mid-tier market – the ASUS ZenFone 5 Lite (A502CG). ASUS seems to be targeting the market for affordable KitKat smartphones in developing economies, and this phone is “exhibit A” for that intent.

The ZenFone 5 Lite carries with it the same design language as the original ZenFone 5 phones (A500CG, A501CG), but downgraded on some points – including the lower 1.2GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2520 processor with Hyper-Threading (four threads) supported with 1GB of RAM. The original ZenFone 5 had a 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Atom processor and 2GB of RAM.

The screen is also downgraded to a qHD (540×960) display rather than the 720p HD display of the original ZenFone 5. On the upside though, the ZenFone 5 Lite packs a larger capacity battery at 2500mAh. ASUS is featuring 64-bit memory on this phone, which might mean it’s a bit faster than other 1GB RAM phones out there. There’s also a 8MP/3MP camera combo with LED flash. And as mentioned earlier, it has dual SIM capability, but only 3G data (no LTE).

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ASUS launched this new smartphone in the Philippine market at a price point of around USD$125. The intent is clearly to compete in emerging markets, but it is unclear as of now whether ASUS will launch the model in other markets as well. The ZenFone 5 Lite is available in three color schemes – red, black and white.

VIA: Blog of Mobile

Rumor: Huawei’s 2015 line-up leaked? Some impressive devices within

Posted by wicked November - 18 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

huawei ascend mate 7 unboxing initial setup aa (5 of 20)

Huawei is quickly becoming China’s Samsung, at least as far as specs, size, and scope goes. Then again, for a company that spent $10 billion over the past decade on R&D, perhaps this success is not without warrant, if not an outright mandate. Assuming this leaked line-up for the following year is true, it looks like there is some serious competition about to come into the marketplace.

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Just yesterday we reported on a lead that the Ascend P8 would have “a 5.2-inch 1080p display with a ppi of 424 [and] the display will apparently feature a “2.5D tapered edge.” Now we have another “leak” supporting this info, and giving us a peek at Huawei’s entire smartphone lineup for next year.

In the above screen capture, the future Mate 8 can clearly be seen with a display resolution listed at 2K, and a predictable release date of September 2015. The $650 device also looks to be sporting the Kirin 930 SOC, which is supposed to enter testing around now with production next year.

However, the first device to be powered by Huawei’s in-house Kirin 930 processor may be the aforementioned Ascend P8, listed here at around $490.

Perhaps even more interesting than the Mate 8, is the other 2K screen listed on the leak. Referred to as the “D8″ the device is apparently going to ship in May, and have not only a 2K screen, but 4GB of RAM and 64GB of on-board storage. At 5.5 inches, it will have a PPI ratio on-par with the LG G3, unless by some odd chance Huawei tries to shape things differently. But what’s that about the CPU? It’s listed as 950, which would pit it as even newer than the Kirin 930! The price is apparently going to be set at 4999CNY ($815).

The other 5 handsets on Huawei’s purported product plan for 2015 indicate more tame hardware, though it looks like the P8 with its 1080p screen will be launched at CES in January.

Huawei Ascend P8 rumor

Alleged metal frame of the Ascend P8

What this means: Huawei has seriously stepped up its game. While QHD screens aren’t anything shocking these days given the growing stable of devices carting them around, 4GB of RAM and next generation CPU are definitely going to keep Samsung on its toes next year. While it’s probably safe to say the Galaxy brand won’t be dethroned in 2015, if Huawei and other Chinese OEMs can produce hardware of this nature, it’s quite possible that at this time next year we will be seeing some major changes to the Android market share breakdown.

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