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Some say the number is 100 off the best internet-joke ever, the Nokia 520 has been listed for a tiny price of $29 from the Microsoft Store as spotted earlier this month, but it gets even better than that - Amazon are now offering it up for a tiny price of $19.99.
Originally released for the pocket-money price of $39.99 in the last summer, this Nokia phone wasn't expected to budge much in price but now it's 50% off. Running a 1GHz dual-core processor coupled with 512MB of RAM isn't anything amazing - but for a spare phone can you really complain with a $19.99 price tag and no lock-in contract?
Comparing this entry-level Microsoft offering to Android sees it come up quite short, alongside it having only 8GB of internal storage (MicroSD expandable however), it has a 800x480 resolution screen, a 5MP rear facing camera and a 1430 mAh battery. However these specifications should be suspected given it's under half the price of most second hand phones you can find on the market.
On the 18th of December 2014, Samsung held their Samsung Gear S Spy Camp. This promotion was designed as a vehicle to show off their new Samsung Gear S smartwatch among other new releases to media in a hands-on environment.
The attendees were given a 'mission' designed to utilize Samsung's Galaxy Alpha smartphone, the Gear S smartwatch and the Gear Circle headset in unison - this was alongside product training and other hands-on experiences with all of Samsung's new devices.
Held in Lexis, Port Dickson, this 'camp' was designed as an alternative type of product training, seeing all involved be brandished as 'spies' - receiving their own personal Gear S and other devices. We've also seen a report that one Techarp writer was able to pair an Apple iPhone 6 to the Gear S device, something that Samsung has claimed is impossible.
After the NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun teamed up with his wife Lori to donate $1 million to non-profit charity City Year recently, the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation pushed $500,000 towards CARE in India and Napster's founder gave $24 million to Stanford for an allergy research facility - Microsoft once again put their name on this list, giving $2 million in software to NBC-supported charities.
Alongside this, the tech giant has given 200 HP Stream Windows tablets to these charities, enabling them to run Office 365 and Windows 8.1 quickly and efficiently on a 7-inch screen. Although not as impressive as $24 million in cold-hard cash, it's good to see more big-name companies get on board with charity work even if it's in the form of enabling their customers to donate through a company portal that's been established - anything is better than nothing.
If you're one of the apparent few Fire Phone owners, Amazon have just pushed out a large update - adding lots of standard features to the phone that have been claimed as 'necessities on launch' that were, for some reason not included.
If a Fire Phone has been on your to-buy list, you may be waiting out for a 'fire sale' like most of us have, otherwise now might be a good time to pick one up for yourself. This update includes things such as VPN connectivity support, different keyboard language supports, phone number blocking, toggling for SMS character counts, custom ringtones, continuous scrolling for Kindle and a 'best shot' feature for the camera.
BlackBerry's mission, if they choose to accept it, is apparently to develop an ultra-secure mobile for aerospace giant, Boeing.
Apparently somewhat due to the NSA's spying behavior, there has been a massive push recently into cyber and tech security for many big-name companies around the world. Just a quick look into the Sony debacle proves that not all have taken up arms against this threat, but it seems Boeing is going the extra mile.
What's the Boeing solution? Get BlackBerry on board to develop the most secure device possible, a massive move for BlackBerry who have seen a massive downturn in their business over the past few years.
NVIDIA and Marvell have been confirmed by Google to be working on modules for its upcoming modular smartphone, known as Project Ara. Both companies are working on application processors (APs) which will feature the first generation Toshiba UniPro bridge ASICs for Project Ara Spiral 2 prototype handsets.
These modules will feature the Marvell Armada PXA1928 (four ARM Cortex-A53 cores, Vivante GC5000 graphics, 2G/3G/4G communications) and NVIDIA Tegra K1 (four ARM Cortex-A15/two NVIDIA Denver cores, GeForce graphics based on Kepler architecture with 72 stream processors, no baseband capabilities). We don't know what else they will include, but we can be sure there'll be more that we don't know about.
The modules being discussed now are only the first generation units, with the Spiral 3 prototype launching sometime in Spring 2015. These new prototypes will make use of Toshiba's second-generation UniPro switch and bridge ASICs, something that will sport contactless M-PHY data transfer capabilities. Google should start selling the first Project Ara smartphones next year, but we don't know if they'll be using the Spiral 2 or Spiral 3 chassis or not.
Intel may have been late to the smartphone game, but is quickly picking up allies to promote its mobile hardware. The company is working with Lenovo, a top-five ranked smartphone manufacturer, and the companies will have two new devices announced by the end of February 2015.
Intel will reportedly offer its 64-bit Atom CPU and LTE-Advanced modem chips for the devices, with one phone aimed for China - and the other mobile device will be available in emerging markets.
Even if these devices aren't going to be high-priced models available in the US, it's an important step forward for Intel. The company still isn't in the same neighborhood as Qualcomm when it comes to smartphones and tablets, but shows Intel is ready to fight for everything it can gain in 2015. The 4G system-on-a-chip platform from Intel, being promoted as SoFIA, indicates Intel's seriousness in providng a processor and modem together.
BlackBerry has publicly launched its Classic smartphone, the company's latest effort to appeal to consumers that have been lost to Google Android-powered smartphones and the Apple iPhone. Classic should be somewhat nostalgic for consumers, as its physical design resembles something close to the Bold and Curve smartphones.
The device is powered by BlackBerry 10, utilizes a physical QWERTY keyboard, dual-core Qualcomm processor, 16GB storage, 8-megapixel rear-camera and 2-megapixel front camera, and 3.5-inch display. AT&T and Verizon Wireless plan to offer Classic in the United States - an unlocked version of the phone is available for $449.
"The conversation about BlackBerry has changed in the last year," said John Chen, BlackBerry CEO, during a launch event at Cipriani restaurant in Manhattan. "We are here to stay, there is no question about that. Now we have to engineer our growth."
The Delhi High Court has given Xiaomi a bit of a reprieve, allowing the Chinese mobile manufacturer the chance to sell its Qualcomm-based devices until Jan. 8. Xiaomi will have to turn over $1.60 for all devices sold, but will be able to allow consumers to purchase products until the deadline in three weeks. Qualcomm received patent licenses from Ericsson to use its patented technologies, an argument Xiaomi plans for 2015.
Earlier, a single judge passed an order that stopped Xiaomi from importing and selling its smartphones to India - its biggest target market outside of China - and a legal fight seemed imminent.
Ericsson wants Xiaomi to hold a license to have their smartphones imported to India, and the issues will be put on the table during the next legal hearing on Feb. 5. However, Xiaomi says it has a licensing agreement with Qualcomm to utilize its chipsets for the Xiaomi Mi3, Xiaomi Redmi1S and Redmi Note 4G for sale in India.
Samsung is ready to throw down with Apple in another market, planning to utilize its own mobile payment system to compete against Apple Pay. The company will reportedly work with LoopPay, and a working prototype of a mobile service has already been created, according to reports.
LoopPay wirelessly transmits information to a store's point-of-sale (POS) checkout terminal, and the customers won't need to swipe a debit or credit card. The company also has a fob so select devices can be tapped at the checkout terminal.
Apple Pay - which is expected to accelerate the mobile payment system - is only available on Apple iPhones, which leaves a significant amount of smartphone owners out of the loop. However, there is concern that another major competitor will only fragment the budding market further, and cause consumers to be more hesitant.