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Open WebOS has been given a name change, now known as LuneOS, and has been designed as an open source alternative to Google Android and other mobile operating systems.
LuneOS currently only supports the Google Nexus 4 and HP TouchPad, but designers hope to create a stable offering for these devices - and slowly expand to other smartphones. Instead of trying to directly compete with Android or Apple's iOS, LuneOS wants to bring back a bit of nostalgia for users that enjoyed webOS back in the day.
Lenovo has just announced its new Tab S8 tablet, a new slate that is powered by an Intel Atom processor and runs Android 4.4. This is Lenovo's first Intel-powered, Android-based tablet, with a 1.3GHz processor inside that will take care of the processing side of things, and if things get heavy, it'll go into burst mode to 1.86GHz.
The new Tab S8 features an 8-inch 1920x1200 display, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal flash storage, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera backed up by a 1.6-megapixel front-facing shooter. The Intel processor found inside is an Atom Z3745 processor, which features Intel's Burst Performance Technology. The Tab S8 weighs 294g (or 0.65lbs), with it being just 0.78cm (or 0.31 inches) thick.
We also have optional 4G capabilities, and Wi-Fi for the communication side of things. Lenovo has also provided Bluetooth 4.0, and Dolby-enhanced dual front speakers to handle the audio side of things. Best of all, we will see the Lenovo Tab S8 priced at just $199, with the 4G model being more expensive, but the company hasn't unveiled the pricing or availability of the 4G-powered Tab S8 just yet.
After quite a few rumors and reports, Sony's new Xperia Z3 is totally official. The Xperia Z3 arrives with a 5.2-inch 1080p display, a quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, and a 20-megapixel rear-facing camera that is now able to reach 12,800 ISO sensitivity.
The lens on the Z3 now includes a 25mm-equivalent field of view, where it can capture more of the scene you're shooting. There's also improved image stabilization abilities for video, which should keep your video nice and still - 4K video recording included. The Z2 already feels like an amazingly well-built smartphone, but according to The Verge, the Z3 is a "little bit thinner, lighter, and easier to handle." The company has also cut down around 1mm of thickness from the Z3, without taking away any of the 3100mAh battery.
Sony says that the Z3 smartphone will last two days on a full charge, compared to the 1.4 days on the Z2 and 1.2 days on the Z1. The Z3 smartphone will launch later this year.
Samsung unveiled two new Galaxy Note smartphones at IFA 2014, with the Galaxy Note 4, but the surprise here was the Galaxy Note Edge. The Galaxy Note Edge features a sloping, curved OLED display.
The display itself is a QHD Super AMOLED display, the same panel that is found in the Galaxy Note 4, except that it is a 5.6-inch panel compared to the 5.7-inch panel found on the Note 4. Samsung uses specific software to join the two parts of the 5.6-inch display, which allow them to be simultaneously independent and connected.
What does the sloping screen on the Galaxy Note Edge offer? The default status has it sitting there as a kind of quick launcher, where it is home to your most-used apps. Samsung provides a bunch of widgets, and much more. The edge can also act as a toolbar, where it will provide quick access to various menus and camera modes, or in-app settings. For example, at night time, it can be used as an alarm clock, with the time being displayed on the edge of the panel.
Samsung has made its Galaxy Note 4 official at IFA 2014, something that we've known was coming for quite a while now. We don't know much about this smartphone, but we're going to fill you in on that very shortly.
The Galaxy Note 4 features a premium metal frame with a slight curve to its 2.5D glass, which is now stronger and more durable. The star of the Galaxy Note 4 show is the 5.7-inch QHD Super AMOLED display, meaning we have 2560x1440 panel here with 3.7 million pixels compared to the 2 million pixels of the Full HD display on the Galaxy Note 3.
Samsung will be offering two different models of the Galaxy Note 4: one model with a 1.9GHz octo-core processor, and another with a 2.7GHz quad-core processor. We have 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal flash storage and a microSD card slot for up to 64GB of expandable storage. Samsung cranks up the 4G speed with LTE Category 6, capable of 300/50Mbps. LTE Cat 4 is also here, as well as the usual 2.5G and 3G connectivity options. We have Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1, USB 2.0, MHL 3.0, and more.
Lenovo is expected to unveil its new flagship handset at IFA 2014 this week, with the company using an interesting form of marketing. The image below shows that we should expect the Vibe X2 on September 4, but it also has Lenovo saying "We can't say anything either."
It's a nice play on Apple's "Wish we could say more" marketing on its 9/9 unveiling of the new iPhone, but Lenovo has an exciting phone to unveil, too. The Lenovo Vibe X2 should arrive with a 5-inch 1920x1080 display, an 8-core processor running at 2.2GHz, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal flash storage.
The second part of the tease on the Vibe X2 from Lenovo is that we can see that there's a lollipop there - Lollipop has been the rumored codename for Android 5.0, or Android "L", with the "L" being Lollipop, or Lemon Meringue Pie. IFA is going to be filled with huge smartphone releases this year, with the Galaxy Note 4 from Samsung, Xperia Z3 from Sony, new handsets from HTC, smartwatches from pretty much everyone, and then days later Apple will unveil its new iPhone in Cupertino, California.
The tablet market is maturing and in established markets, two consecutive quarters indicate the tablet market is slowing down - as demand in mature markets leveling off. The IDC research group dropped its tablet forecast for 2014 down to 233.1 million units - still 6.5 percent year-over-year growth rate, but significantly less than the estimated 12.1 percent growth rate.
"When we look at the global picture, it would be easy to say that the tablet market is slowing down," said Jean Philippe Bouchard, IDC Research Director for Tablets. "But, when we start digging into the regional dynamics, we realize that there is still a good appetite for this product category. While mature markets like North America and Western Europe will combine for flat unit growth in 2014, the remaining regional markets will generate 12% unit growth over the same period."
Some journalists and tech enthusiasts said they don't necessarily have demand for a new tablet, as they can use evolving smartphones - and older tablets - to browse the Internet, check email, and play games.
Smartphone maker BlackBerry plans to host a media event on September 24 to launch Passport, its latest device the company hopes will compete with the Apple iPhone and Google Android smartphones. Events will be held in London, Toronto and Dubai - and consumers have known about the smartphone's launch for several months now.
The Passport features a 4.5-inch LCD square screen providing 1440 x 1440 resolution, and features a QWERTY keyboard. The phone uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core 2.2GHz processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, and an Adreno 330 GPU.
"In September, we will host an event to showcase our device portfolio for the [fiscal year 2015]," said John Chen, BlackBerry CEO, during a June earnings call. "We're launching a brand-new device called Passport in September in London. Most of the information has been leaked to websites, so you guys should go ahead and check that out. This will follow by the Classic coming out in November."
A Purdue University professor of electrical and computer engineering has spearheaded research of a new app, Estar, able to reveal how quickly smartphone apps will drain a smartphone's battery. The app also provides more energy-efficient apps for users to choose from.
"While users are frustrated by the limited battery life, they often do not know which apps drain batteries the quickest, and as a result don't know what to do about it," said Y Charlie Hu, Estar app creator, in an interview with the media. "We created the free Estar app specifically to empower smartphone users to extend their smartphone battery life by exposing energy footprints of all the popular apps in the app market."
The Estar app is available to download via Google Play for free, and utilizes a five-star energy rating for apps, based on how fast a smartphone's battery will be drained.
Ahead of its press event later this month, Apple reportedly has agreed to partnerships with American Express, Visa and MasterCard, in an attempt to turn the upcoming iPhone 6 into a mobile wallet. Not surprisingly, consumers will have to wait until the official Apple event for confirmation of the deal - but it could help usher in mobile payments to casual users.
Using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology coupled with a Touch ID fingerprint scanner, the mobile payment system would be more secure. If implemented properly, customers would be able to make purchases at select retailers just with their fingerprint.
"Love it or hate, Apple drives a lot of standards in the industry," said Ben Majarin, Creative Strategies analyst. "They are the mover in these markets. When they do something, the industry seems to follow."