mobiles

BlackBerry Z3 and BlackBerry Q20 announced at MWC 2014

Posted on Updated on

Image

BlackBerry will release a low-cost phone in Indonesia in April and plans a broader release of a phone that restores a beloved row of control keys with a track pad.

The Indonesia phone, the Z3, will sell for less than $200 without subsidies, the company said Tuesday. It will later expand to other markets in southeast Asia. BlackBerry Ltd. CEO John Chen said a version with faster, 4G connectivity is planned for the rest of the world “sometime in the future before I die.”

It’s the first phone made under a new five-year partnership with Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that assembles products in vast factories in China.

Meanwhile, Chen said it will restore the keys in a new phone he termed “Classic.” He said the new Q20 is a response to lackluster sales of last year’s Q10, which has a physical keyboard but lacks the track pad or keys for functions such as going back. He said the company got many complaints about that.

BlackBerry also announced plans to expand its services for businesses needing secure communications, particularly in regulated industries such as health care and financial services. There are plans, for instance, to go beyond securing just email and messaging.

It’s part of the company’s plan to focus on its strengths in business services. BlackBerry Ltd. strayed from that as it tried to lure consumers with new devices.

The BlackBerry was the dominant smartphone for on-the-go business people and other consumers before Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007, showing that phones could handle much more than email and calls. BlackBerry was slow in modernizing its operating system, and once it did, the much-hyped system flopped.

Chen was brought in as CEO late last year after talks to sell the company collapsed. Although he has been credited with turning around Sybase, a data company that was sold to SAP in 2010, Chen has acknowledged that reviving BlackBerry will be his most “complicated” challenge.

In the latest quarter, ending Nov. 30, BlackBerry Ltd. reported a $4.4 billion loss and a 56 percent drop in revenue. But the company said it had plenty of cash to engineer a turnaround.

The new partnership with Foxconn will help reduce much of BlackBerry’s manufacturing costs. Foxconn, known for its manufacturing contract work on Apple’s iPhones and iPads, will jointly design and manufacture most BlackBerry devices and manage inventory of the devices.

Chen said BlackBerry will now target the heavily regulated industries that require greater security. It will simplify its pricing and let people upgrade to the latest systems for free this year. It will also offer free services this year for companies that had left BlackBerry for rivals.

Android, Galaxy S5, Gear Fit, Mobile World Congress, mobiles, MWC, MWC 2014, Samsung, Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung Galaxy S5 launch, Samsung Galaxy S5 price, Samsung Galaxy S5 specifications

Posted on Updated on

Image

The Samsung Galaxy S5 has finally been revealed, after weeks, if not months, of anticipation. While the company has detailed the numerous hardware and features of the flagship smartphone, it has chosen not to mention price. The Korean manufacturer however did say the Galaxy S5 would launch in 150 countries, starting from 11 April 2014.

The biggest new features being touted on the Galaxy S5 by Samsung include a fingerprint scanner on the home button, a heart rate sensor placed near the 16-megapixel camera, and the IP67 certification that makes it dust and water-resistant. The smartphone also features a new design in terms of the back panel now being perforated, and available with four colours at launch, and optional designer back panels.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 will ship with Android 4.4.2 KitKat. It features a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with a 1080×1920 pixel full-HD resolution. It is powered by an unnamed 2.5GHz quad-core processor coupled with 2GB of RAM. The Galaxy S5 will be available in 16GB and 32GB variants, with microSD card expandability up to 64GB.

The Galaxy S5 bears a 16-megapixel rear camera with HDR (for video as well), and a 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera. The rear camera can record UHD video @30 fps along with HDR and video stabilization functionality.

Connectivity options include 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with MIMO functionality, ANT+, Bluetooth 4.0, USB3.0, NFC, and Infrared remote functionality. A Download Booster is also being touted, which combines LTE and Wi-Fi for faster download. It features a 2800mAh battery, rated to deliver 21 hours of talktime, and 390 hours of standby time.

The smartphone weighs in at 145 grams (slightly heavier than the Galaxy S4), and has dimensions of 142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm (slightly thicker than the S4’s 7.9mm). 

Additionally, it has been noted that the Galaxy S5 would arrive in four colour variants – Charcoal Black, Shimmery White, Electric Blue and Copper Gold. Furthermore, the handset will be compatible with Samsung Gear Fit, which is the firm’s first curved, Super AMOLED health-focused wristband.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 will also arrive with the latest and updated Samsung KNOX security software to keep the user’s data safe. Some of the pre-loaded Google service available in the handset are Chrome, Drive, Photos, Gmail, Google, Google+, Google Settings, Hangouts, Maps, Play Books, Play Games, Play Newsstand, Play Movie & TV, Play Music, Play Store, Voice Search and YouTube.

Samsung Galaxy S5 with fingerprint scanner, heart rate sensor launched

Posted on Updated on

Image

Samsung sought Monday to frame its new Galaxy S5 smartphone as a lifestyle product, as it emphasized a built-in heart-rate sensor and improved camera features over its slightly larger size.

One of the main appeals of Samsung phones has been their size. The screen has steadily increased since the 4-inches (10.2 cm) on the original S from 2010, while the iPhone made that jump to 4-inches only in 2012 and has stayed that way since.

But the S5 pushes the screen to only 5.1-inches (13 cm), measured diagonally, from 5-inches (12.7 cm) in last year’s model. Instead of size, Samsung touted the new phone’s ability to adapt its screen to changing external conditions and to dim it to avoid disturbing others nearby.

The phone has a 16-megapixel camera, sharper than the 13-megapixel in its predecessor. It promises faster auto focus and the ability to blur the foreground or background of an image to emphasize a subject.

Samsung Electronics Co. made the latest announcement during the Mobile World Congress wireless show in Barcelona, Spain.

The new phone will go on sale worldwide on April 11. The company didn’t announce a price; its predecessor sold for about $600 without phone subsidies or a contract.

The S5 has a fingerprint sensor to use in place of a passcode to unlock the phone or make payments through PayPal. It’s a feature still rare in phones, though Apple introduced it in last fall’s iPhone 5s.

Samsung’s Galaxy S series has emerged as one of the strongest challengers to Apple’s iPhones and has helped the Korean company surpass Apple as the world’s largest smartphone maker. According to Gartner, Samsung’s smartphones had a worldwide market share of 31 percent last year, compared with 16 percent for Apple’s iPhones.

A chief complaint about Samsung phones has been the company’s tendency to pack them with a slew of features, some of which don’t work well with each other or at all. Recent phones have sported an Easy Mode, with larger icons and fewer customization choices. It’s as though Samsung acknowledges that its devices have become too complex for many people to use.

Samsung showed restraint this time.

“Samsung is betting big on wellness, fingerprint reading and camera autofocus, while keeping a very similar look and feel for its hardware and software,” said Nick Dillon, a senior analyst at the research firm Ovum. “The updates are so minor that on first glance most consumers would be hard pressed to notice that it has changed from the previous version.”

But he said that is to be expected “given the maturity of the smartphone market and the pressure on the Samsung not to mess with its winning formula.”

The heart-rate sensor on the S5 can be used before and after exercise to measure fitness activities. It’s not meant for continuous tracking. Samsung also unveiled a fitness band, Gear Fit, to complement two new computerized watches announced Sunday. Those will be available April 11 as well.

“These devices are Samsung’s commitment and vision to great experiences that matter the most to us all,” Samsung European executive Jean-Daniel Ayme said.

Parents, meanwhile, will enjoy the ability to hand the phone to a kid without worry. Just place it in a kid’s mode, and only approved apps can be accessed. Your kid can’t send your boss an email or post an embarrassing picture on Facebook when all you intended was to have your kid play “Candy Crush Saga.”

The phone is also water resistant.

“Our consumers do not want eye-popping technology or the most complex technology,” said J.K. Shin, Samsung’s head of information technology and the mobile communications division. “Our consumers want durable design and performance. Our consumers want a simple, yet powerful camera.”

HTC Desire 816 with 5.5-inch display launched at MWC 2014

Posted on Updated on

Image

HTC has announced the launch of Desire 816 mid-range handset at the Mobile World Congress 2014in Barcelona. HTC also confirmed that it will launch the successor to the HTC One on 25 March.

While HTC Desire 816’s price and availability are still being kept as a secret, we do know that the smartphone will sport a 5.5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels resolution) display and be powered by a 1.6GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 SoC processor paired with 1.5GB of RAM. It will come with 8GB of internal storage with support for microSD cards up to 128GB, which may just be the highest expandable memory capacity handled by a smartphone. There’s no word on the Android version on the smartphone, though HTC did confirm the presence of a brand new HTC Sense 5.5 UI on top.

HTC Desire 816 sports a 13-megapixel f2.2 rear and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The handset ditches the firm’s Ultrapixel camera technology, seen earlier in the HTC One and the HTC One Max. The smartphone is backed-up by a 2600mAh battery, is just 7.99mm thick and weighs 165g. HTC Desire 816 will offer LTE and HSPA+ (up to 42Mbps) connectivity options.

Interestingly, the handset is the first HTC device to incorporate a Nano-SIM instead of a Micro-SIM card. The Desire 816 is said to launch in China by next month around 18 March and will be followed by a launch in April.

The HTC Desire 816 will arrive in white, black, red, yellow and purple colour variants, as seen in the previous leaks via the firm’s Sina Weibo account. HTC Desire 8 would also be sporting the firm’s native BoomSound functionality.

Next-generation YotaPhone with 4.7-inch E-ink display, Snapdragon 800 unveiled

Posted on Updated on

Image

Yota Devices has on Monday unveiled the next-generation of the YotaPhone at Barcelona, MWC 2014, with the new smartphone’s biggest highlight is the full-touch control for its always-on E-ink display, something missing in its predecessor. The new YotaPhone will launch Europe in late 2014, and thereafter in 2015 make its way globally. For now, no pricing details have been given.

The Russian networking giant also announced the new YotaPhone will be more ‘intuitive and interactive’, with new hardware and software features. It is also much faster, featuring a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor. The E-ink display is larger as well, apart from supporting touch, at 4.7-inches (compared to the first generation YotaPhone’s 4.3-inch).

The smartphone is Android-based, and as for version, Yota Devices is only saying ‘latest’ for now. The front display, a 5-inch AMOLED offering, bears a resolution of 1080×1920 pixels, with a pixel density of 442 ppi. The next-generation YotaPhone is powered by a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 MSM8974 processor with an Adreno 330 GPU, coupled with 2GB of RAM.

The YotaPhone (2014) features 32GB of built-in storage (no details about microSD card slot). It sports an 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. 8.9mm thin, it weighs in at 140 grams. It is a nano-SIM device, and features 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, USB 3.0, Bluetooth v4.0, GPS with A-GPS and GLONASS, and NFC connectivity.

Yota Devices has given the new YotaPhone wireless charging, though not much has been detailed about this feature yet. It features a 2550mAh battery, with no talktime and standby time ratings. The new YotaPhone will be available in Black and White variants at launch.

“The future of smartphones is always-on displays allowing users to stay connected without turning off the real world and disrupting the people around you. The next generation YotaPhone takes this totally innovative concept in smartphones and makes it even better. Now, with two full-touch displays, the next generation YotaPhone is twice as smart, twice as useful and twice as beautiful,” said Yota Devices CEO Vlad Martynov.

Huawei believes it is finally ready to crack the US smartphone market

Posted on Updated on

Image

China’s Huawei Technologies believes it can take advantage of recent changes in how operators in the United States sell phones to get a foothold in the all-important market, an executive with its consumer division said on Sunday.

Huawei, best known as a maker of telecom network gear, became the world’s third-biggest smartphonemanufacturer last year, through the sale of mid-priced handsets within its fast-growing domestic market and an increasing appeal to price-conscious consumers in western Europe.

But the group, which lags market leader Samsung and Apple , has yet to gain a foothold in the high-end segment of developed markets such as the United States, where it is viewed with suspicion after lawmakers flagged Chinese telecommunications equipment as potential security risks. It has also suffered from its difficult-to-pronounce brand name, its executives have acknowledged.

After launching five new devices at the Mobile World Congress trade fair in Barcelona, Huawei’s Colin Giles said the group was taking early steps in the United States to build better relationships with mobile operators and directly with consumers via online shops.

“We recognise that the U.S. is a very competitive and very tough market for us,” Giles, the executive vice president of Huawei’s consumer business group, told Reuters.

“Recently there has been quite some change in the U.S. in terms of the whole subsidy landscape, and so that provides a new opportunity for players like us to come with a slightly different distribution strategy than what we used to have.”

In the third quarter of last year, Huawei accounted for 3 percent of all phones sold in the United States, respectively, trailing Apple’s 36.2 percent and Samsung’s 32.5 percent, according to IDC.

Traditionally, mobile operators buy phones in bulk from manufacturers like Apple and then offer them for free or a low upfront cost to customers when they sign a new one- or two-year contract.

T-Mobile USA dropped this model last year in a move to cut costs and woo customers frustrated with restrictions on upgrades in longer-term contracts.

Giles said Huawei was increasing its spending on marketing every year to raise consumer awareness of its brand, though he did not give specific details. In Europe, the company has sponsorship deals with a string of soccer clubs. In New Zealand, Huawei sponsors rugby, and in the United States, it is sponsoring movies.

On Sunday, Huawei launched a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, a new smartphone aimed at 18- to 30-year-old consumers, and two sleek tablets to compete with Apple’s mini iPad.

The company also unveiled its first wearable device, a fitness tracker called the TalkBand, in a bid to take a piece of the burgeoning category. The bracelet, which comes in yellow and blue among other colours and costs 99 euros, can count calories burned and steps taken. It can also be used to make calls.

Samsung launched a new smartwatch on Sunday to succeed its original Galaxy Gear wristwatch, which has failed to gain much of a following with consumers to date.

Samsung Galaxy S5 pictured before launch; specs, fingerprint scanner ‘confirmed’

Posted on Updated on

Image

Samsung’s much anticipated Galaxy S5 flagship, which is all set to see the light of day at MWC 2014in Barcelona on Monday, might have been leaked in its full glory ahead of its official unveiling.

A Hardware Zone forum member named OKCATYEON has allegedly clicked a bunch of live images of the Galaxy S5. The purported leaked images show the Samsung Galaxy S5 in its full glory, and indicate the device will feature a ridged silver-coloured lining around the device. If the leaked images turn out to be real, we assume that Galaxy S5 will not be a major departure from company’s Galaxy S family design. The alleged leaked image also suggests the Galaxy S5 will include a physical button on the front panel. Notably, the forum member notes the new TouchWiz is not a major overhaul from the company’s previous version.

Image

 

The member has also detailed some of the expected features such as fingerprint scanner. The forum member claims that the alleged fingerprint scanner feature will require the user to swipe eight times on the home button scanner to register it, and that the Galaxy S5 can register up to three different fingerprints at a time.

Further, the forum member has claimed that the scanner on the Galaxy S5 can be used with PayPal for authorisation payments for products within the browser. Other features said to arrive on the Galaxy S5 include a new heart rate sensor that is now said to be included in the device’s S Health app.

Image

About the camera on the Galaxy S5, the forum member notes that the device houses a 16-megapixel rear camera, which is very much in-line with earlier leaks. The device is also said to come with IP67 dust and water resistance, which should make the Galaxy S5 quite waterproof, like the recently unveiled Xperia Z2.

Previously rumoured specifications of the Galaxy S5 include a 5.24-inch AMOLED screen with a QHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution; two storage variants- 32GB/64GB; two processor variants – Exynos 6 and Snapdragon 805, and a 3200mAh battery. The optics rumoured for the Galaxy S5 included a 3.2-megapixel front-facing shooter.