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Though Sony has made moves in recent years to move more of its hardware production in-house, its CEO Kazuo Hirai has confirmed smartphone processors will not be a part of that shift. Rumors had been floating about recently, which Hirai quashed in an interview with Japanese publication PCOnline.
Sony's focus right now, he says, is on 4K video, current product line optimization (including potential interface enhancements for the Z line), and being a leader in the television space.
Apple has just launched its new premium 12.9-inch iPad Pro out into the wild, and the Apple forums are already bustling with user complaints and performance issues.
According to a sizable forum post, many users have noticed that the $799 iPad Pro freezes up and becomes totally unusable while it's charging. Although users can hard reset the device to restore functionality, just about everyone is pretty upset about a huge oversight affecting such an expensive tablet. After all, Apple seriously touted the iPad Pro by saying the tablet is capable of "PC-grade performance", among other surprising claims.
Apple has yet to issue an official statement on the problem, and there doesn't appear to be an actual fix just yet. Users who contacted Apple Support were advised to send the device in for repairs or exchange it for a new device, however one iPad Pro owner says the same thing happened to their new device. Whether or not the glitch is a hardware or firmware fault remains undetermined.
With users taking to the Apple support site and public forums to express their concerns, information has come to light about a major issue with the new iPad Pro - seeing reports claim that devices won't wake up after the charging cable has been plugged in.
Only a forced restart of the iPad means it is workable again, with users stating that charging times as little as one hour will see a system crash completely. One user claimed that they fixed the issue, stating: "[I] erased all content and settings last night, this morning I have no issue. Sucks that this is happening, but at least it seems fixable."
Apple has not officially commented on this issue just yet, with other users claiming that a system restore or complete OS re-install may fix the issue for others.
Samsung has just unveiled its new 'BRITECELL' camera at its investor conference in South Korea, a new camera that has impressive low light capabilities.
The way Samsung achieves this is by reaching brighter, sharper results by removing the traditional Bayer filter layout that is used in most smartphone cameras. The Bayer filter turns pixels green, blocking light from reaching the sensor, but the new BRITECELL camera from Samsung trades the green pixels for white ones, which allows for additional light to reach the lens.
Samsung's new BRITECELL camera is also 17% thinner than others on the market, so we could see the protruding cameras from the back of smartphones come to an end.
NVIDIA launched the Shield Tablet quite a while ago now, with a price of $299, but now in time for the holidays the company has relaunched Shield Tablet, dropping the price to just $199.
The NVIDIA Shield Tablet is powered by the company's Tegra K1 processor, with the slate featuring an 8-inch 1920x1200 display, 16GB of flash storage, 2GB of RAM and a microSD card slot. NVIDIA has removed the stylus and its holder, with the speaker grilles being made from soft-touch polycarbonate versus the hard plastic on the original model.
The Shield Tablet ships with Android 5.1 onboard, with NVIDIA promising an Android 6.0 Marshmallow update in the near future. The accessories for the Shield Tablet will be sold separately, so if you want to grab the controller you'll have to shell out $60.
It looks like LG is ready to better compete against the likes of Samsung, Apple and HTC in 2016 with rumors that its G5 smartphone will rock a metal unibody design.
We saw Samsung dive into a full metal unibody design this year, but we also saw the company take away the replaceable battery and microSD card slot. These two omissions are something LG were able to use against Samsung, as their G4 smartphone had a replaceable battery and microSD card slot. The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, did not.
With the release of the V10 smartphone recently, LG has been stepping closer and closer to a truly premium smartphone, but I think that the G5 could really deliver with an awesome design, and keep its customers if it can retain the microSD card slot and removeable battery.
Often-right Japanese blog Mac Otakara, citing reliable sources, reports Apple has developed a 4-inch iPhone based on the iPhone 5s and the sixth-gen iPod Touch.
Specifications include an A8 chip, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, and a better FaceTime HD camera with f/2.2 aperture. It's said 3D Touch will not be present, so as to further differentiate the 6s and the 6s Plus from this phone.
The TracFone LG Prepaid Lucky LG16 Smartphone (aka LG Lucky) is now selling at Walmart for a meager $9.82.
Naturally, it comes with some caveats: it runs on Android 4.4 (KitKat), and the specs are quite outdated (although a lot better than you'd expect for the price). See for yourself:
- 3.8" touchscreen display
- Android 4.4 (KitKat) OS
- 1.2GHz dual-core processor
- 3 megapixel camera/video recorder
- 3G/Wi-Fi capable
- 4GB microSD card (included in phone)
- Bluetooth v4.0 wireless technology
- Access to over 1,000,000 apps and more on Google Play
- Supports microSD memory card up to 32GB (not included)
- MP3 player
- Proximity sensor
- Talk Time: up to 7.3 h
- Standby Time: up to 9.9 days
- Includes activation card, services guide, charger and Quick User Guide
Certainly not top of the line, but if you want a cheap, bare-bones smartphone, you could do worse than this.
As time goes by, technology becomes infinitely more innovative and complex, leading to some amazing possibilities. In the realm of lithium-ion batteries, which power our digital lives, key researchers are using an interesting substance to pave the way for nanoscale energy storage: common fool's gold.
Researchers at Vanderbilt University are currently experimenting with iron pyrite--commonly known as "fool's gold"--to significantly optimize lithium-ion batteries. After injecting "ultrasmall quantum dots" made up of 4.5nm pyrite nanocrystals into small lithium ion batteries, the University found that the iron pyrite substantially improved the battery's cycling and rate performance.
According to the researchers, the iron pyrite was able to boost performance due to its unique transformation into an iron and lithium-sulfur compound that's perfect for energy storage. "This is a different mechanism from how commercial lithium-ion batteries store charge, where lithium inserts into a material during charging and is extracted while discharging - all the while leaving the material that stores the lithium mostly unchanged," said Vanderbilt grad student Anna Douglas.
Now that Apple's new iPad Pro is beginning to arrive into the hands of consumers, iFixit has provided their usual teardown of Apple's latest 12.9-inch slate.
Inside, they found that Apple has used a USB 3.0-capable Lightning port, something that was backed by Ars Technica. Apple doesn't talk about USB 3.0 in its marketing for the iPad Pro, but the connectivity provides up to 5Gbps bandwidth, for around 625MB/sec transfer rates. While the Thunderbolt-powered Lightning connection is faster than USB 3.0 with up to 10Gbps bandwidth, the backwards compatibility that USB provides outweighs those benefits.
Now the question remains: will the next-gen iPhone have a USB 3.0-capable Lightning port?