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Latest Technology, Misc. Mobile Phones

Windows Phones smartphones achieved record sales in Q4

Microsoft has announced that they've seen record sales of Windows Phone handsets during the holiday season. The tech super-giant had this to say:

"We’ve seen record sales of Windows Phone this holiday worldwide, nearly doubling phone sales during Christmas week (YOY). In the third quarter this year, according to IDC, Windows Phone reinforced its position as a top three smartphone operating system and was the fastest-growing platform among the leading operating systems with 156% year-over-year gain. Windows Phone is the #2 smartphone operating system in 14 markets, and shipped more units than iPhone in 24 markets in Q3. Our portfolio continues to expand: from award-winning flagship devices like the Nokia Lumia 928/1020/1520, to affordable new innovations like the Lumia 520/625/1320 and Huawei W1/W2."

Obviously this is a bit of PR from Microsoft in the form of them patting themselves on the back, but the lack of concrete numbers takes away some of the fun. It should be noted that Microsoft speaks of a record for sales in the holiday season, and not for sales in general, but we guess both are true.

Microsoft also released some comparative data that translates to real Windows Phone usage. They've provided a list of markets where their handsets ou shipped the iPhone, and a list of where Windows Phone is the number two OS of choice.

In case you are wondering what the difference between the two is - the first is for shipments during the Holiday season and the second one is total market penetration. We don't know where Microsoft got its data, but if it's correct, the achievement is certainly impressive

Where Windows Phones shipped more than iPhone:

  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Czech Republic
  • Egypt
  • Ecuador
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Italy
  • Kenya
  • Kuwait
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Africa
  • Thailand
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Vietnam

Where Windows Phone is #2 Mobile OS:

  • India
  • Mexico
  • Italy
  • Chile
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • Malaysia
  • Poland
  • South Africa
  • Ukraine
  • Hungary
  • Finland
  • Czech Republic
  • Greece

Source | Via

Latest Technology, Misc. Mobile Phones

Asus Zenfone 6 hands-on

Asus Zenfone 6 is the last and biggest of the newly announced Zenfones. It comes with a 6″ IPS 720p display and runs on the same Intel Atom Z2580 chipset as the Zenfone 5.

As we mentioned before, all Zenfones are dual-SIM devices, and the Zenfone 6 phablet makes no exception. The rest of the specs include a 13MP rear camera, 8 or 16GB expandable storage, and a massive 3,200 mAh battery.

In case you’ve missed our Zenfone 5 hands-on, the Intel Atom Z2580 chipset offers two Atom cores ticking at 2GHz and capable of hyper-threading, PowerVR SGX544 MP2 GPU and 2GB of RAM.


Asus Zenfone 6

The Zenfone 6 is basically an enlarged Zenfone 5 and the only differences are the bigger screen estate (though at the same 720p resolution), and the higher-resolution 13MP camera sensor. The design is exactly the same, so is the controls placement.

Naturally, the Android controls are below the screen, while the front-facing 2MP camera and the earpiece are above the IPS display.


A peek above and below the screen

The 13MP Panasonic SmartFSI sensor and its LED flash are at the back plus the loudspeaker grille at the far bottom.

Just like the Zenfone 5, the Zenfone 6′s left side is completely bare. The Power/Lock key and the volume rocker are on the right.


The left and right sides of the Zenfone 6

Our tour ends with the top and bottom sides of the Zenfone 6, where we find the 3.5mm audio port and the microUSB port.


Zenfone 6′s top and bottom sides

Asus Zenfone 6 will hit the shelves soon and will start at $199. It will be available in Black, White, Red, and Gold flavors.

Latest Technology, Misc. Mobile Phones

Intel’s dual OS platform runs both Android and Windows OS

Intel’s keynote at the on-going Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas saw the announcement of a new technology, which the company calls ‘dual OS platform’. The newest innovation from the semi-conductor company allows you to run two of the most popular operating systems, Android and Windows, on a single device.

With Intel’s newest technology on board, you can switch from Android to Windows OS almost instantly by just pushing a button. We already saw Intel’s announcement in action as ASUS showed it up on its latest Transformer Book Duet.

Meanwhile, AMD’s Bluestacks also has a similar functionality, where the chipset allows you to run Android applications on a Windows machine. So, with both major chip vendors looking in that direction, we are almost guaranteed to see more manufacturers coming up with Android-Windows dual-boothing devices in the near future.

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Latest Technology, Misc. Mobile Phones

Lenovo Vibe Z, S930, S650 and A859 hands-on

As we were making our trip around the CES 2014 grounds we stopped at the Lenovo booth to check out the latest offerings by the Chinese company.

The Vibe Z was the real star there, featuring a robust 5.5-inch display and bringing Lenovo into the LTE phablet game. Powered by a Snapdragon 800 chipset, the handset is a real powerhouse too. Also present were three new competitively priced midrangers, ranging from 4.7 to 6 inches.

Lenovo Vibe Z hands-on

Lenovo has outed its first LTE smartphone with the new Vibe Z. It operates on LTE bands up to 2100, and is powered by a Snapdragon 800 chipset, which has its quad-core Krait processor clocked at 2.2GHz. It features a 5.5-inch FullHD IPS display that results in a pixel density of almost exactly 400ppi. The Vibe Z features an impressively elegant design that’s only 7.9mm thick, while weighing just 147 grams. Inside, there’s 2 GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and a 3,000 mAh battery. Android 4.3 Jelly Bean is the OS version of choice.

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The 13 MP primary shooter has an f1.8 aperture, and it’s accompanied by a 5 MP front-facer. It sits in a square-ish window on the back of the device alongside the LED flash and the secondary microphone.

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The Vibe Z is fairly wide in order to incorporate the 5.5-inch screen, but features a textured back panel that helps handling quite a lot. It’s available in both Silver and (darker) Titanium color options, with the glossy metal band on the bottom being more visible on the Silver units.

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Lenovo S930 and S650 hands-on

Also introduced were a pair of midrangers in the Lenovo S930 and Lenovo S650. The S930 is the larger-screen’d of the two, with a 6-inch 720p display, and features a heftier 3000 mAh battery and slightly better 1.6MP front-facing camera. The S650 has a 4.7-inch qHD display, a 0.3MP front-facer, and 2,000 mAh battery.

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On the inside, both devices are identical with quad-core 1.3GHz CPUs on MediaTek chipsets, 8MP primary cameras, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. Both are powered by Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. The S930 has the added benefit of having dual front-facing speakers powered by Dolby Digital Plus DS1, while the S650 comes with dual-SIM support.

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Both new S models follow the design scheme introduced by the Vibe Z, including the “laser-etched fabric-feel” rear cover and silver band along the bottom and are available only in Silver.

Lenovo A859 hands-on

Finally, Lenovo has added to its A series of smartphones with the new A859. It features the same quad-core 1.3GHz CPU on MediaTek 6582 SoC as the two new S devices, and also runs on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

The A859 smartphone sports a 5-inch 720p display, and has 1GB of RAM and 8GB of expandable storage. Like the S650, it also has dual-SIM support, but comes with the 1.6MP front-facing shooter of the S930. Under the hood is a 2250 mAh battery.

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The A859 doesn’t have the new textured back panel and metal band design of the other new Lenovo devices, instead features a rather disappointing slick glossy polycarbonate back that’s rather prone to fingerprints. At 9.2mm it’s also not the thinnest 5-incher around, but if priced right it could make a name for itself in the budget market segment.

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Speaking of pricing, the Lenovo A859 comes in at $219, and goes on sale today in all markets where Lenovo smartphones are sold. The same applies to the S930 and S650, which will be priced at $319 and $229, respectively. The new Vibe Z flagship will be priced at $549, and will see a limited initial release in parts of Southeast Asia and the Middle East, although it should go global eventually.

Latest Technology, Misc. Mobile Phones

Philips to launch Android-powered Smart TVs this year

Philips has officially announced that it will be coming up with Android-powered Smart TVs later this year. The company has also confirmed that its new television sets, which will be named Ambilight TVs, will have full access to Google Play Store as well as the firm’s own Smart TV apps.

The upcoming TVs from Philips are said to be powered by a quad-core chips that can handle intensive HD games without any hassle.

Philips is hoping to make the most out of its potential plans of merging the Google Play with its own apps and gain an upper hand over the current Smart TVs. Philips is expected to showcase its first edition of Android powered Smart TVs by June.

Source

Latest Technology, Misc. Mobile Phones

Motorola Moto G gets the Android 4.4.2 KitKat treatment

The Motorola Moto G is quickly becoming the little smartphone that could. After the very positive reviews earlier, Moto G owners have something else to boast about. They are now the proud owners of an Android Kit-Kat smartphonesphone.

Motorola just announced that all Moto G handsets are ready to be upgraded to Android 4.4.2. So users will now enjoy a faster and more secure phone, full screen mode, the new and improved Hangouts app, and gallery photo editing.

All of this for £135 ($180), and the Moto G is beginning to look like a better and better deal. If you didn't receive an update notification on your Moto G handset, then you can do a manual check. Just head to the settings menu, go to "About Phone", then click on "System Updates" and you will be asked if you want to update your Moto G. Click the source link below if you're having trouble and let us know how your Moto G performs after the Kit-Kat update!

Source | Via

Latest Technology, Misc. Mobile Phones

Asus Zenfone 5 hands-on

Asus Zenfone 5 is the second smartphone from the company’s latest Zenfone trio. As the name suggests, the handset comes with a 5″ screen, which is a 720p unit of the IPS+ variety. The smartphone runs on the fastest available Intel chipset – the Atom Z2580, which gives you a dual-core 2.0GHz Atom processor with hyper-threading, PowerVR SGX 544MP2 graphics and 1GB of RAM.

Zenfone 5, just like the other two Zenfones, is a dual-SIM device. The rest of its specs highlights include 4, 8 or 16 GB expandable storage, 8MP Sony BSI rear camera and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with a KitKat update being in the works already.

The design is of the Asus Zenfone 5 is pretty much the same as the smaller Zenfone 4, it’s just a bit taller and wider and slightly thinner. Its rear is covered with a ceramic coating which is very pleasant to touch and handle.

Zenfone 5′s front is the usual affair – a 2MP front snapper, an earpiece and a couple of sensor above the 5″ display, plus the capacitive Android deck below the screen.


Zenfone 5′s front

The 8MP camera and its LED flash companion are at the back. The huge loudspeaker grille is also around.


The back of Zenfone 5

There is nothing on the left of the device, while the Power/Lock key and the volume rocker are on the right.


A peek at the left and right sides of the Zenfone 5

Finally, the 3.5mm audio jack is on top, while the microphone pinhole and the microUSB port are at the bottom of the Zenfone 5.


The 3.5mm audio jack is on top • the microUSB port at the bottom

Asus Zenfone 5 will launch in Black, White, Blue, Red and Gold in the next couple of months starting at $149.

Latest Technology, Misc. Mobile Phones

Sony car head unit turns your phone into an infotainment system

Android in cars has suddenly become a hot topic with the foundation of the Open Automotive Alliance by Google, but who know how long it will be until the first Android-enabled car hits the showrooms. Sony has a simpler solution – a double-DIN smartphone dock.

If you’re unfamiliar with the terminology, double-DIN is basically the standard for car head units.

The Sony XSP-N1BT connects to the phone via Bluetooth or USB, with NFC to help with pairing. Some Sony Xperia’s have convenient magnetic charging pins, which will be used to provide power to the phone. Attaching the phone to the dock will turn it into the cars touchscreen infotainment system.

Sony’s App Remote will be used to provide a simplified interface suitable for a car.

The N1BT features its own AM/FM radio receiver, a CD audio player and a USB player. There will apparently be an IR remote too for controlling those functions when the phone isn’t attached.

Speaking of phones, the dock is configurable to fit phones of different sizes. The double-DIN standard prescribes dimensions of 180×100 mm, so presumably even the Xperia Z Ultra phablet will fit (it measures 179.4 x 92.2 mm).

Source | Via

Latest Technology, Misc. Mobile Phones

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 hands-on

Samsung did well to refresh the Android-powered Galaxy Camera, yet despite the “Galaxy Camera 2″ moniker, the changes are minor. The most obvious thing is the finish – gone is the glossy plastic, replaced by Samsung’s cool faux leather.

This, combined with the brushed metal accents (also plastic), actually makes the camera look classy.

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The Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 comes in black and white, both with the faux leather texture

The camera is a tad larger than the original, but lighter. The change in size isn’t that noticeable (it’s a huge device, no matter how you slice it), but shaving off a few grams had a positive effect (a small one).

The core of the camera hasn’t changed – it uses a 1/2.3″ BSI sensor with 16.3MP effective resolution and a 21x optical zoom lens with optical stabilization. The pop-up xenon flash is of course on board too.

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The long zoom lens on the Galaxy Camera 2

The chipset has been updated too, the quad-core processor is now clocked at 1.6GHz, though it’s unclear whether Samsung used a newer core design (the original used Cortex-A9). The RAM has been doubled to 2GB and the storage grew twofold too. Don’t ask us how, but Samsung managed to leave only 2.8GB accessible to the user out of the 8GB total. You’ll want a microSD card in ASAP to do any serious shooting.

Despite the slight increase in processing power, the video recording skills remain the same – the Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 will do 1080p @ 30fps, 720p @ 60fps and there’s a 120fps mode at 512p.

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The camera interface is the same

Samsung did spruce up the camera with a newer OS – Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The Remote Viewfinder app that allows you to control the camera from an Android smartphone has been updated too. The camera also features NFC connectivity, which enables the Tag & go feature. This should enable sharing photos snapped with the Galaxy Camera 2.

More importantly, the battery capacity has been bumped up to 2,000mAh (up from 1,650mAh).

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The Galaxy Camera 2 packs a bigger battery, but drops the SIM card slot

The screen is the same – a 4.8″ Super Clear LCD of 720p resolution (306ppi). It’s great for a point-and-shoot camera and average for an Android smartphone.

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A look at the TouchWizzed Android 4.3 and the Galaxy Camera 2′s screen

A smartphone this is not though, the Galaxy Camera 2 we saw at CES is missing a SIM card and doesn’t have 3G/LTE connectivity. Samsung may as well release a 3G/4G later on though.

Latest Technology, Misc. Mobile Phones

The Alcatel Home V102 is a Google Chromecast competitor

Alured by Google’s success with the Chromecast, Alcatel has decided to make its own plug-n-stream device for TV sets. It’s called the Alcatel Home V102, which isn’t really as snappy a name as the Chromecast.

Nevertheless, it can play 1080p videos at 30fps and supports 5.1 channel surround sound audio. Similarly to the Chromecast, the Home V102 connects to the TV via HDMI and gets its power from a power outlet. In order to stream anything from your phone or tablet, you’ll need to be running at least Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and the device has to support the Miracast streaming protocol.

After you plug in the Home V102, it’ll guide you through a simple set up process where you give it access to your home Wi-Fi and you’re good to go. Alcatel is yet to announce further details how the actual streaming will be done and if there will be a dedicated Android app.

The Alcatel Home 102 will roll out some time in Q2 2014 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It costs €49, which is similar to the European pricing of the Google Chromecast. Availability information for other regions isn’t out yet.

Via

Latest Technology, Misc. Mobile Phones

CES 2014: Asus overview

GSMArena team, 7 January 2014. Introduction Asus unveiled a plethora of new devices at its CES 2014 press conference, making it one of the most action packed events this year in Las Vegas. Three new Android-based smartphones premiered as part of the br...
Latest Technology, Misc. Mobile Phones

Sony Sirius to debut at MWC, not CES, new rumor says

Rumors hinted at a new Sony flagship at CES but the event came and went, with the only new phone (expectedly) being the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact. New rumors move the unveiling date of the Sony Sirius to the Mobile World Congress (held at the end of February).

The Sirius reportedly packs a Snapdragon 800 – the MSM8974AB variety, in which the GPU and memory are clocked higher than the base version. The earlier rumor said Snapdragon 805 instead.

Anyway, the 2014 flagship will reportedly have a 5.2" display, possibly of the 2,560 x 1,440 pixel resolution. Other specs get thrown around too – the 20.7MP Sony G Lens camera from the Z1 pair, 3GB RAM, 3,500mAh battery.

Verizon is indicated as the US carrier to offer the Sony Sirius, but the flagship will certainly have a worldwide version too. As usual, take the rumors with a grain of salt, especially ones that can't agree on the details.

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