Samsung have been-there-done-that with the Galaxy Note, but now it's LG's turn to try and capture the hearts, minds, souls and most importantly, wallets of the U.S. market, and across the world.
Previous leaks have pegged the device as having a 5-inch screen, which is correct. On top of this, now wait for it, it has a weird aspect ratio, which is 4:3. Yes, 4:3. It sports a 1024x768-pixel screen, with a color-rich IPS display which is said to improve text reading, LG claim.
The design shares similarities with Samsung's aforementioned Galaxy Note, but this Optimus Vu slides in at just 8.5mm (0.33-inch) thick. Inside, we'll have a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera backed up by a 1.3-megapixel front-facer, Android 2.3 skinned LG-style, which brings it closer to the Optimus LTE.
All versions will feature 32GB of built-in storage, as well as a 2,080mAh battery. DLNA media sharing, HDMI video, and Wi-Fi Direct will all be there, but only South Korea will get T-DMB over-the-air TV tuning.
LG were quick to the mark announcing Optimus Vu will begin shipping to Korea by early-March, with no details on it hopping the pond, yet.
Mobile World Congress 2012 is just over a week away, and Qualcomm are out of the gate with a tease of their Snapdragon S4 SoC which is the world's first mobile processor built on the 28nm process, as well as the first to integrate 4G LTE which is made possible as Qualcomm's chips are custom-designed from the ground up using an ARM instruction set.
Some details on the smaller things found in the S4 have now been revealed by the company, such as the S4's camera, more specifically, the Image Signal Processor (ISP). The ISP sports advanced features that will allow any smartphone or tablet powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 to double as a high-end digital camera.
With the S4 chip, any device can shoot up to 20-megapixel stills, or 1080p @ 30fps video capture. Up to three cameras could be placed on the device, with the third capable of taking 3D shots. The S4's ISP also includes Qualcomm's proprietary 3A camera technology (Autofocus, Auto Exposure and Auto White Balance), which enables practical camera applications such as blink detection, smile degree, and gaze estimation.
Gesture control is popular these days, with popular tech like Xbox Kinect boasting gesture-based controls. S4 can take advantage of this, too. By gesturing toward the device, waving your hand, moving your body or nodding your head, you can control a game or app from an S4-powered device.
It is currently being rumored that Amazon will launch the next-generation Kindle Fire 2, which should be another 10-inch tablet. It's being reported from supply chains are shipping sample parts next month, with mass production to start in May or June.
If this is true, we could expect a launch shortly after, and it would be good timing considering the iPad 3 should be here by then. In a bid to reduce manufacturing costs, Amazon are said to be hand-selecting and approving components for the Kindle Fire 2.
For the first Kindle Fire, it was said that Quanta did this decision making, but now it seems Amazon will make these decisions, which leads most to believe Amazon could want to select better pricing through negotiation, supplier price fixing, or finding equally-made components, but at a better pricing. They could also use their selling history of the original, and successful, Kindle Fire to help negotiate said deals.
Acer seem to be the up-and-comer when it comes to their Android-powered tablets, personally, a year-plus ago, I wouldn't not have thought they'd be here. I thought this would be somewhere HTC, Samsung and co would be dominating, but it's refreshing to see them concentrating on an ever-expanding market.
To add to this, Acer US have just confirmed with a tweet that will be providing Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich updates to not only their Iconia Tab A500, but their A100, too. The updates are set to drop in April. The tweet read:
To all Acer Iconia Tab A500 and A100 users, please expect an Ice Cream Sandwich update in mid-April! Thank you for your patience.
April will be quite eventful for Acer, with their ICS-packing, Tegra 3-powered Iconia Tab A510 arriving. This year will be quite enormous for Google and their tablets. Especially with news of Android 5.0 "Jelly Bean" being able to run alongside Windows 8. Let's see some announcements about that, huh, Acer?
Samsung have avoided more lawsuits when it comes to their Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus N, where it has now launched in Germany on Tuesday, albeit, quietly. The changes in the new tablet are the telltale top and bottom borders that German courts have allowed for release, as they aren't "copying" Apple's "technology".
The new Tab 7.0 Plus N 16GB Wi-Fi version is quite expensive, rolling in at 499 euros ($656) with tax, as well as it's 3G brother at 569 euros ($748) with HSPA+ inside. The new 7-inch Galaxy Tab's are the first Samsung 7-inch tablets to arrive in Germany since the original Galaxy Tab launched nearly 18 months ago now. Samsung did unveil the Galaxy Tab 7.7 in Germany, but were forced to rip it away from the IFA floor because Apple objected to the similarity before it had even had time to hit retail shelves.
Samsung's designs sold everywhere else, bar Germany, until final verdicts in relevant trials. Apple successfully argued that the all-black, all-flat front design was too close to design rights for the iPad, and needed to change.
That last part I find ridiculous, how many all-black, all-flat tablets are there on the market? It's like Apple only see Samsung tablets and nothing else on the market.
Groupon has the new Skytex Skypad Alpha 2 Android tablet for $125 plus $5 shipping until 2/21/12. It features a 7" capacitive multitouch 800 x 480 TFT, 1.2Ghz ARM Cortex A8 processor, Mali 400MP dedicated GPU, 512MB DDR2 SDRAM, 4GB storage, 802.11b/g/n wireless, 0.3MP front webcam, mini HDMI 1.4 output, mini USB 2.0, MicroSD slot, 3.5mm earphone jack, and Android 2.3.4 (with free upgrade to Android 4.0 "coming soon").
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Mobile World Congress is but a fortnight away, and we're already seeing leaks about LG's new flagship smartphone. It is not a slouch in the performance department, sporting NVIDIA's Tegra 3 system-on-a-chip (SoC), as well as a nice 4.7-inch 1280x720-pixel screen.
Filling out the specs, we should expect the aforementioned NVIDIA Tegra 3 SoC with LG pegging speeds at 1.5GHz for single-core, and 1.4GHz when on 2-4 cores, as well as the SMP core for low-power tasks, a 2000mAh battery, 16GB internal memory backed up by a microSD card slot, an 8-megapixel front-shooter, 1.3-megapixel rear-shooter, all splashed together with Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich.
Let's talk benchmarks, MoDaCo has some leaks and wowee do they look impressive. When pegged against Samsung's flagship Galaxy Nexus, it simply kicks its arse. Easily. This would be thanks to the NVIDIA Tegra 3, but just check out those benchmarks. This should definitely be one of the phones to look out for when MWC rolls around at the end of February!
We reported nearly a week ago now that the iPad 3 would launch in the first week of March, but there are some more details leaking out now, that we could expect much, much more from Apple. It seems that the new iPad 3 will sport the high-res 2048x1536 Retina Display, which exceeds the 1080p resolution that high-def content comes in.
Right now, Apple's iTunes Store has a limit of 720p for their video content, and 720p is also the maximum resolution that the current-generation Apple TV supports. Apple have reportedly been asking movie studios to start submitting 1080p content to the iTunes Store, and with the new iPad 3 sporting a higher-than-1080p display, we could finally see a move into years-old technology from Apple.
This means we could, or could not see, 1080p content on the iTunes Store, as well as a 1080p-capable Apple TV. Whatever it is, you can bet your bottom dollar that 1080p from Apple will be pushed as the Second Coming of Jesus Christ himself, and that they'll make the normal users feel like they simply can't get 1080p anywhere else. I'll just be happy that Apple are finally entering into the 1080p era.
Details on Acer's forthcoming tablet have arrived, and boy are they surprisingly impressive. Acer will intro the Iconia Tab A510, which was teased at CES just recently, in March, in Europe at least. The biggest point of this tablet is that it sports a huge 9800 mAh battery, which has a super-impressive 18 hours of use off of a single charge.
This is an impressive feature, and something it will surely let Acer brag about when comparing it to the competition. Even with that battery life, it's not like Acer chopped down specs, it is still powered by NVIDIA's Tegra 3, so we're looking at a 1.3GHz quad-core chip here. On top of that, it sports the usual 10-inch 1280x800 pixel display.
Price-wise, we would expect something expensive, but it has been priced well, too. We should be looking at 399 Euro, or $527. Filling out the Iconia Tab A510 in specs is 1GB of RAM, 32GB storage, a microSD card slot, the usual Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, a 5-megapixel front-facing cam and weighs in at just 675g. Of course, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is the gem in regards to software on this bad boy.
We've reported a few times now that the upcoming next-generation Apple iPad 3 would launch in "Q1 2012", or "early-March" or "the first week of March". It now seems that we could expect an announcement of the iPad 3 on March 7th, 2012, to be specific. It was also reported that it would sport a quad-core chip, and LTE support.
This new information comes from iMore, where they've reported that Apple will hold their iPad 3 announcement on March 7th. iMore also reports that the iPad 3 will feature the 2048x1536 Retina Display, as well as the quad-core A6 processor and possibly, 4G LTE support. They cite sources "who have been reliable in the past".
It seems as though Samsung have just announced their first line-up of tablets for 2012, by announcing the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0). Samsung have said that this is the perfect "personal on-the-go device" and will be made in both 3G and Wi-Fi variants. The Galaxy Tab 2 will launch in the U.K. and then globally in March.
JK Shin, President of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics has said:
Two years ago, Samsung GALAXY Tab began to offer customers more possibilities on the go. Since then, Samsung has actively enhanced our tablet line-up with several tablets in different sizes. The new GALAXY Tab 2 (7.0) will provide people with delighted multimedia experience and allow efficient communication.
Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 sports a 1GHz dual-core processor, 7-inch WSVGA PLS TFT display with a resolution of 1024x600, a 3-megapixel rear-facing cam, and VGA front-facer for video calls, HSPA+ connectivity, the usual Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and USB2.0 host is also included. It will come in sizes of 8, 16 and 32GB, with microSD to expand this storage, too. It also sports 1GB of RAM, and a standard Li-on 4,000mAh battery.
This will be Samsung's first Android 4.0-powered tablet, so we should see some good things from it.
Someone mistakenly (and I use that word lightly) uploaded pictures of the unannounced LG Fantasy E740 on a Romanian online trading site. Shortly after, the pictures were removed, but not before a few people got some pictures of the device.
The pictures shown point to it being a prototype, with a big "Not for sale" label on it, but the device was a working unit. The LG Fantasy E740 had the ScanSearch and SmartShare (previously known as PlayTo) apps that used to be exclusive to LG's Optimus 7 back when it launched.
Spec-wise, it sports a 4-inch WVGA NOVA display, 1GHz Scorpion CPU, 5-megapixel rear-facing cam, and VGA front-facer. It will actually feature NFC, but these specs could change, as they could be specs for another device. The LG Fantasy E740 is expected to be announced in Q1 and with MWC rolling in closer with each day passing, we should expect an announcement then.
Acer's unannounced CloudMobile Ice Cream Sandwich-based smartphone wins iF design award, will be at MWC
Acer's previously unannounced "CloudMobile" smartphone has just received its first award, all without hitting retail shelves. Acer CloudMobile received the iF design award 2012, in recognition of its outstanding achievement in design.
The phone hasn't been heard of until now, and is set to become Acer's flagship smartphone, and officially unveiled at the end of this month in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress, with availability in Q3, 2012. There aren't any specs on the device itself, but Pocket-lint are hearing that it rocks Android 4.0, includes a 4.3-inch HD display, Dolby sound, and is less than 10mm thick.
According to Acer, this is the first smartphone to offer AcerCloud technology, which "enhances mobile productivity by providing seamless document management". That's everything there is to know about the phone right now, more should float up from the depths of the Internet soon, I'm sure.
Here we go, again. Apple don't even let the dust settle on previous lawsuits against not only Samsung, but others, and today is no different. Apple are bringing a motion for preliminary injunction against Samsung's Ice Cream Sandwich-powered Galaxy Nexus smartphone in the U.S.
The latest motion is based on a handful of very powerful patents, which FOSS Patents have dubbed "the patent equivalent of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse". Quite the title considering it's 2012 and all. FOSS' breakdown:
- the "data tapping" patent based on which the ITC ordered an import ban against HTC
- a patent related to Siri and unified search, which must be of huge concern to Google with a view to its core business
- a new slide-to-unlock patent that even had the head of the Taiwanese government profoundly worried
- a word completion patent that provides major speed improvements for touchscreen text entry
Really, Apple? Are you that scared of the Galaxy Nexus and Samsung's future, most likely, quad-core phones? That scared that all you can do is patent slap the competition instead of releasing actual ground-breaking new devices instead of "S" variants of 18-month-old smartphones? Release something magical, revolutionary, and I hope with all the power in the universe that the people you've pissed off with patents come back to haunt you.
Samsung have been dominating the mobile industry with their super amazing Galaxy S II handset, and now look to be wanting to get the domination going in the low-end range, too. Enter codename 'Jena', aka Samsung Galaxy mini 2 S6500.
If the leaked picture with specs are correct, spec-wise, it should sit between two popular Samsung handsets: Galaxy Y and the Galaxy Ace. Specs have improved since its predecessor, the Galaxy mini S5570. We should be looking at a 3.3-inch screen with a higher resolution (HVGA), an 800MHz single-core processor, and 3GB of built-in storage.
Samsung's mini 2 S6500 should be cranking along with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, sports 3-megapixel camera, and 7.2Mbps HSDPA connectivity, which the original had. Design-wise, the mini 2 S6500 has rounded corners that the first mini sported, but looks like a smaller, rounded Galaxy S handset. The promo image leak points to the handset hitting in "February 2012", which should have it landing right in the time frame of the Mobile World Congress.
Now the latest news coming from AllThingsD is that Apple are planning to hold an event in March, to launch their next-generation iPad.
We all knew it was coming, but HTC have just posted an update on their Facebook page, where they have definitely been quietly brilliant (geddit?). They've just announced they've been working hard on getting their Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich updates ready, and they've just announced the first round of ICS-based updates will filter out by the end of March.
The first handsets to receive the delicious Ice Cream Sandwich will be the HTC Sensation, HTC Sensation 4G and HTC Sensation XE, followed soon there after by the HTC Sensation XL. On top of this, HTC have confirmed ICS updates will be coming later this year for other handsets: HTC Rezound, HTC Vivid, HTC Amaze 4G, HTC EVO 3D, HTC EVO Design 4G, HTC Incredible S, HTC Desire S and HTC Desire HD.
HTC have also said to stay tuned for more updates on the ICS releases in the coming weeks, and as it happens, you'll be happy to know we'll keep you informed.
Also HTC, next time don't post such a delicious looking picture of an Ice Cream Sandwich - never had one myself before, and now I'm really hungry.
Everyone is going to want to combat the upcoming slaughterhouse that will be the iPad 3, but Amazon has enjoyed great success with their Kindle Fire tablet. Pacific Crest analyst Char Bartley said this week that:
We are raising our 2012 sales forecasts to 14.9 million from 12.7 million, but we believe there is an upward bias, particularly from the new 7- and 9-inch models, which we expect to launch in mid-2012.
Amazon have already said they're making more Kindle Fire's to meet demand, as well as reports of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich rocking on the Fire. It seems that the fire the Kindle has burning, just can't be put out.
Hasbro announces NERF Lazer Tag, uses iPhone or iPod Touch and sports augmented reality lazer tag gameplay
The first two words of hearing this news to me in my mind were, 'do want!' NERF have just announced the revolutionary new Lazer Tag system, which "combining the power, precision and excitement of live-action blaster battles with the high-action, strategic, augmented reality gameplay of traditional video games."
Players can download the free Lazer Tag app from the App Store onto their iPhone or iPod touch device, connect it to their Lazer Tag blaster, and immerse themselves in a world where "video games and real life connect". You can play in both single and multi-player, where players can engage in a Lazer Tag match featuring friends (or foes?) or virtual opponents.
Each Lazer Tag blaster has a virtual firing range of over 250 feet, and contains a Heads Up Display (HUD), which lets players keep track of their gear and remaining power, as well as providing a view of the augmented reality targets and enemies in the area. On top of this, a virtual leaderboard also keeps tabs on each player's profile, with every successful mission, players gain access to in-game upgradeable attacks, missions and gear.
Hasbro will release the Lazer Tag 2 Blaster set, which includes two Lazer Tag blasters for just $69.99, as well as the single Lazer Tag Blaster for just $39.99, with both being made available on August 1, 2012. Each blaster requires 6 x AA batteries, and will be available at most major toy retailers nationwide, and alternatively, on HasbroToyShop.com
I've only had my Samsung Galaxy S II for a few months now, but I now know what true love is. According to South Korea's Electronic Times News, the next-generation Galaxy S will be one of the thinnest smartphones ever released, and will arrive in May.
Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S III is said to be just 7mm thick, which is roughly 1.5mm thinner than the already super-thin Galaxy S II, 2.3mm thinner than the Apple iPhone 4S and just a hair thinner than Motorola's Droid Razr. The way Samsung were able to achieve this 7mm profile? They reportedly used components that are 10- to 20-percent thinner than standard parts, including the printed circuit board, connectors and miscellaneous chips.
The Galaxy S III is said to sport a quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, 2-megapixel front-facing camera, LTE-powered, HD Super AMOLED Plus screen, and runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Separate rumors of the Galaxy S III say it will feature a 12-megapixel camera and 64GB storage.
It pains me to have a title like that, and before I started typing up this piece, I thought to myself "can they really take 90-percent of the profits?" But if you look at their history in 2011, it can only be a huge possibility that Samsung and Apple take a chunk of the market, as they are the most dominant.
UBS analyst, Maynard Um has taken a look at the numbers and found that smartphones are now accounting for 30-percent of the cell phone market, but with these numbers even more impressive: smartphones make up "over 75-percent of industry revenues."
Um also says that we need to take a look at just Apple and Samsung, as the two giants "now account for over 55-percent of industry revenues and over 90-percent of total [profits before tax]." Is it hard to imagine? We should expect the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S III this year, which are set to become to two next-gen pillars for each company. Bring it on!