Month: October 2013

Samsung Galaxy S5 rumored to arrive with 4 GB of RAM, made possible by the 64-bit Exynos

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South Korean IT publication once again reiterates that Samsung’s 64-bit Exynos processor is in final stages of preparation before it enters the production line. This time a new nugget of info is added, though, namely that the new Exynos might be known as the 6-series, to differentiate from the Exynos 5 Octa chipset we have now that is a 5-series representative, and at the same time hint at the 64-bit nature of the upcoming mobile silicon.

There is one other claim in the article, and it’s a pretty significant one – the 64-bit architecture will allow addressing much larger RAM quantities, and that’s exactly what Samsung is planning to take advantage of. The source mentions that not only is the next edition Galaxy S5 going to be blessed with the 64-bit Exynos in question, but it will also sport 4 GB of RAM, marking a new record for a smartphone. This will undoubtedly set it apart from the competition for the foreseeable future, if it pans out, be it just for bragging rights.

We are just curious whether Samsung will continue with the tradition to launch its flagship with different processors, depending on the market, as the gap from an eventual Exynos 6-series and 4 GB of RAM in the Galaxy S5 to any other chipset configuration for the handset seems pretty wide for potential customers to stomach.

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International Samsung Galaxy Note 3 gets another bug killing update

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The International version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, known as the SM-N9005 in the geeky side of town, has just received another OTA update taking the unit to firmware version UDMJ6. The update weighs in at 116MB and includes a fix to the reactivation lock. This lock requires you to sign into the phone with your Samsung account after a factory reset, and the phablet came out of the box with the default switch “on” for the feature.

While the reactivation lock could help lock out thieves like it is intended to do, coming to market with the default on might make it difficult for a legitimate owner to sign back in if he or she doesn’t remember the particulars of the Samsung account associated with the phablet. As a result, this update will turn the default position to “off”. If you are a new Galaxy Note 3 owner and you want the reactivation lock on, you need to do it yourself by going to Settings > General > Security.

After being repaired thanks to the update, Galaxy Note 3 users will now be able to reactivate the direct pen input and the one-handed windowed mode after setting up their device to work with the Pebble smartwatch. Lastly, the update brings some changes to the virtual QWERTY keyboard.

LG near deal to supply flexible OLED displays to Apple for its smartwatch

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While it might not be the sole source or even the main source of the OLED displays for the device, LG is said to be close to a deal that would have the Korean OEM supply flexible displays to Apple for the rumored iWatch. Published reports have named RiTDisplay out of Taiwan as the main supplier of the glass being used for the smartwatch.

Speculation has Apple testing out three different sized prototypes,1.4 inches, 1.5 inches and 1.6 inches. Besides LG and RiTDisplay, Samsung was another company allegedly approached by Apple to produce the display for the Apple iWatch. But Samsung apparently wanted to keep its production in-house to be used for its own smartwatch, the Samsung Galaxy Gear.

“Instead of relying on one supplier for its iWatch, which will be unveiled next year, Apple will have two vendors to be safe. The key provider will be RiTDisplay and LG Display will be the second. Japan Display might also be a candidate, but so far its capacity seems lacking.”-Kim Young-woo, analyst, HMC Investment Securities

While some believe that the Apple iWatch could be launched before the end of the year, rumors of an issue with overheating are making some analysts push back their estimate as to when the device will launch to sometime in 2014. And with some owners of the new Apple iPhone models complaining that their handsets get too hot, that is a problem that cannot be tolerated on a watch that touches the skin. In other words, Apple will have to resolve this issue before iWatch is launched.

 

Google smartwatch to launch soon: Report

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Google’s rumoured smartwatch will soon be a reality, if a new report is to be believed.

The Mountain View based Internet giant is currently in talks with Asian suppliers to start mass production of its new smartwatch, which is in the late stages of development, according to the Wall Street Journal. It adds that the device could be ready for mass production within months. The report elaborates that Google’s new wearable smart device, will run Android and feature Google Now integration, citing a person familiar with the development. Google Now is Google’s voice driven personal assistant and search tool that comes with Android powered phone and tablets (Android 4.1 onwards). It added that Google was working on optimising power consumption so that users don’t need to recharge the device frequently.

The report goes on to say that Google’s smartwatch would be able to communicate with devices such as a smartphone, and feature the ability to scan and pull information like travel schedules from users’ email through Google Now. It won’t be surprising if Google integrates its voice driven smart technology in its smartwatch as its smart eyewear, Google Glass and even Motorola’s latest Moto X smartphone feature active voice commands and personal assistant.

A few days back, it was reported that Google was giving finishing touches to its rumoured smartwatch, named Gem and that it will come with Google Now integration.

It had also mentioned that some notifications that usually appear on the phone would show up on the connected Google Gem smartwatch, including calendar alarms, email, and SMS among others.

Earlier this month, a report claimed that Google could announce the Gem smartwatch together with Android 4.4 KitKat, at an event where it’s also expected to launch the successor of the Nexus 4 smartphone. However, the report clarified that the expected date was leaked about a month back so there could be some changes in the Google’s plans.

Device makers like Samsung and Sony have already launched their new smartwatches globally, the Galaxy Gear and Smartwatch 2, respectively.

BBM for Android and iOS will remain free for ‘foreseeable’ future

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A new report has confirmed that BBM or BlackBerry Messenger for Android and iOS will remain free for the ‘foreseeable’ future.

Andrew Bocking, executive vice-president of BBM for BlackBerry, has revealed in an interview with CBC News of Canada that the BBM will remain a free service and the company has other ideas to monetize it.

The report further suggested that the Canadian firm will be soon introducing a new social networking feature called BBM Channels, which is currently in beta. As per the report, the BBM Channel feature would enable BBM users to share content with others and in addition would allow the company to alter and target ads towards targeted audience.

Bocking also revealed in the interview that BlackBerry will be launching voice and video chat features to BBM for Android and iOS in coming months.

Earlier this month, BlackBerry resumed the BBM rollout to Android and iOS users after more than a month’s delay. The app was reportedly downloaded over 10 million times by Android and iPhone users, one of the best single-day openings for a mobile app to date.

The BBM app allows users to exchange texts, voice notes and pictures with friends and others. It also offers group chat. Users need to sign-in with a BlackBerry ID following which a PIN is allocated to them, in a manner similar to BlackBerry Messenger on BlackBerry. Users can then add friends by sharing their PIN with friends via SMS, email and social networks in addition to QR codes.

LG G Pro Lite with 5.5-inch display, dual-SIM launched in India

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LG G Pro Lite, a low-cost, dual-SIM variant of the company’s Optimus G Pro smartphone, has been launched for the Indian market at Rs. 22,990.

The LG G Pro Lite was first unveiled earlier this month, with announced availability for Latin America, followed by markets in Asia, Russia, China, India and the Middle East. The G Pro Lite was recently also listed in India at Snapdeal at a discounted price of Rs. 18,300, which has now been revised to Rs. 19,990.

The newly launched LG G Pro Lite comes with dual-SIM support with dedicated hot key and also comes bundled with stylus pen. It features with 5.5-inch IPS display with a qHD resolution of 540×960 pixels. The G Pro Lite is powered by a dual-core 1GHz MediaTek 6577 processor along with 1GB of RAM.

The new LG phablet runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and packs a 3,140mAh removable battery. It sports an 8-megapixel rear camera with BSI and also houses a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera. The G Pro Lite includes 8GB of inbuilt storage with microSD card support. It is 9.4mm thick, and weighs 161 grams.

LG G Pro Lite comes with some preloaded apps that have been seen on devices like LG Optimus G Pro and the flagship, the G2. Some of the popular preloaded features included in the new phablet are KnockON, Pause and Resume Recording, QSlide, QuickMemo and QTranslator.

Commenting on the launch, Soon Kwon, M.D, LG India said, “The LG G Pro Lite is a feature and experience rich smartphone specifically designed to provide communication flexibility to our growing customer base. We are strengthening our mobile portfolio by continuously adding-in feature and experience rich devices so as to provide our customers with competitive devices. The market for smartphones with displays over five inches will continue to grow and LG is in a great position to capture these new customers when they’re ready to move up from their current phones”.

Asus Fonepad 7 voice-calling tablet launched

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Asus has launched the new version of its Fonepad 7 tablet in India for Rs. 17,499. The tablet, which also comes with voice calling support, will be available starting November. The new Fonepad 7 was initially announced in September at IFA 2013, Berlin.

The new Asus Fonepad 7 is powered by a dual-core 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z2560 processor alongside 1GB of RAM but retains the same 7-inch 1280×800 display. It comes with dual-front speakers with Asus SonicMaster audio technology.

The new Fonepad 7 is 10.5mm thick and weighs 340g. It packs in a 1.2-megapixel front facing camera, and a 5-megapixel autofocus rear camera with a 100 continuous-shot ‘burst’ mode and 1080p full-HD video recording, which is a big improvement over its predecessor with the same name.

The new Asus voice-calling tablet comes with a 3950mAh battery that is rated at up to 28 hours of 3G talk time, 35 days of standby time and up to 10 hours of video playback.

Asus Fonepad 7 will be available in 16GB onboard storage options and a microSDHC card slot for expansion. The tablet comes with 5GB of Asus WebStorage free for lifetime as well the Asus WebStorage Office suite of apps.

Connectivity options include Wi-Fi and built-in 3G with HSPA+ mobile data with download speeds up to 42Mbps and uploads of 5.76Mbps. Fonepad 7 can also be used for voice calls using the built-in noise-cancelling digital microphone or an optional Bluetooth headset.

Asus Fonepad 7 runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and comes with some custom apps like SuperNote app for drafting notes and the Floating App that helps users multi-task by giving them the option to open up to six apps simultaneously onscreen.

At its price, the Asus Fonepad 7 competes directly with the Micromax Canvas Tab P650 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 211.