Commodore Is Back and Targeting the Smartphone Market With New Android Phone

For those of you too young to know who Commodore is, you should know that it was a big tech company back in the ’80s who went into the Guinness record for selling thousands of Commodore 64 desktop units daily. The craze for the Commodore 64 was so big that it was named ‘the single biggest-selling computer ever’, selling around 17 millions worldwide.

But enough about what the company did in the past, let us focus on the present and the future. If you thought Commodore’s days are over, think again! There have been a bit of confusion when Commodore Amiga, a potential Apple Mac Mini rival, was announced back in 2012, but we haven’t heard anything about it since then and it also seems the Commodore USA website which delivered the latter information went offline.

However, the latest news from Commodore is that the company seems to shift its focus on the smartphone market. Besides the Commodore 64, their first desktop computer was named Commodore PET (Personal Electronic Transactor). Well, their first ever smartphone bears the same name, so say hello to Commodore’s new PET smartphone!

The new, improved and ‘miniaturized’ version of the PET seems to be running on Android 5.0 and features a 5.5-inch IPS 1920 x 1080 resolution display. In terms of performance, it comes with a Mediatek 64-bit Octa-Core CPU clocked at 1.7 GHz and features the ARM Mali T760 GPU. Even the battery seems promising, coming with a huge 3,000 mAh pack.

Other features consist of a 13-megapixel back camera made by Sony, with a f/2.0 aperture, being able to snap pictures at a resolution of up to 4096×2304 pixels and record 1080p HD videos. There is also a 8-megapixel front camera with an 80° wide-angle, which can also be triggered by the side shutter button. You won’t be disappointed in terms of connectivity either, having the handset come with dual-sim support, 4G LTE compatibility.

To bring forth the nostalgia of old times, Commodore said to have built in a VICE C64 emulator and the Uae4All2-SDL Amiga emulator and is working with some software developers to port its old ’80 Commodore games to the latest PET handset. So now that some, if not all of you are excited about the information, let’s move on to the most important bit… when will we see it on the market? You’ll be more hyped by that information.

The Commodore PET is said to launch later this week in two versions. The ‘light’ version is said to feature 2GB of RAM, 16 GB storage and be priced at around $300, while a higher-end version will be featuring 3GB of RAM, 32GB storage and a price tag of $365. In terms of storage space, you should know that the handset is said to already be fitted with a 32GB microSD card, but information states it can support microSD cards of up to 64GB. So, this means you can get your very one portable Commodore PET with a total of either 80 or 96 GB, depending on what model you fancy.

The initial launch will be in Europe with the first countries to see the handset named to be Italy, France, Germany, and Poland, but more are bound to be added to the list in the near future. Given the old Commodore fans are still out there, demands for the new PET smartphone is likely to build up really quick. Will you order one? Let us know!

Thank you Wired for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of linuxzone.es

Qualcomm Snapdragon 610 and 615 Announced for Q3 2014, 801 Expected This Quarter

Qualcomm has revealed three new SoCs during MWC, the new Snapdragon 610 and Snapdragon 615, both featuring the ARMv8 64-bit 28nm processing technology and the third generation LTE modem for 4G connectivity and dual-SIM support. The last, but not least, Snapdragon revealed is the high-end Snapdragon 801 having several enhancements compared to its Snapdragon 800 predecessor.

“One thing that’s going to be a hallmark of our Snapdragon story is that we’re going to be providing Snapdragon solutions that essentially maximise our user experience at every tier so smartphone can prevail,” said Qualcomm EVP Murthy Renduchintala at MWC in Barcelona today.

The main difference between the Snapdragon 610 and Snapdragon 615 is the number of cores, having the 610 coming in with dual-core technology and 615 providing quad-core technology. Besides that, both Snapdragon SoCs feature the same Andreno 405 GPU found on the Snapdragon 800, having support for DirectX 11.2 and Open GL ES 3.0, with added support for hardware accelerated geometry shading and hardware tessellation, which Qualcomm said will provide more detailed, realistic mobile games and user interfaces.

The Snapdragon 801 features higher quality imaging with support for larger, faster camera sensors and improved image post-processing, as well as higher speed SD card memory support and dedicated dual SIM hardware support. As the Snapdragon 800, the Snapdragon 801 includes 4G LTE and 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity , in addition to a quad-core Krait 400 processor for advanced performance and an Adreno 330 GPU for premium graphics.

“The Snapdragon 801 is a key platform for us, key drivers are to improve user experiences, [include support for] h265 video, supporting more sophisticated camera solutions and dual SIM configurations,” said Renduchintala. “The camera performance is, from a sensor point of view, 45 percent faster, the graphics solutions have been improved by over 28 percent, [with a] 14 percent CPU capability improvement as well as 14 faster memory solutions.” he added.

While the Snapdragon 610 and 615 processors are expected to be released in the third quarter of 2014, the Snapdragon 801 is expected to be available in consumer handsets starting this quarter.

Thank you The Inquirer for providing us with this information

Verizon To Finally Offer Nexus 7 (2013) But Is It Too Little Too Late?

Verizon are well known for taking a painfully long time to bring certain devices onto their network, the Google Nexus devices suffering particularly badly. The Nexus 7 2013 edition was released on July 26th 2013 and according to Engadget Verizon users will finally see a Verizon LTE version from February 13th. The 32GB 4G LTE model will cost $350 or will be available on a two-year contract for $250.

Verizon users who already own a LTE-ready Nexus 7 2013 edition will be able to access the Verizon LTE network once you’ve downloaded the latest Android system update. Verizon users will be able to add the Nexus 7 2013 edition tablet to their Share Everything plan for an extra $10 a month.

Why such a long delay? Well Verizon still claims the lengthy certification process is to blame, but we’re hardly buying that one. No way on earth does it take nearly 8 months to certify a Nexus tablet for LTE use when other vendors have had them available pretty much since launch. Clearly Verizon need to get their act together with future product releases or they risk driving customers away.

Image courtesy of Droid-Life

Nokia Introduces Lumia 2520

Nokia took its first step into the world of premium tablets, with the Lumia 2520. With a 10.1-inch tablet running Windows 8.1 RT, the Lumia 2520 features a high-end feature-set, and is designed to go up against the very best in the segment, including the iPad, the Galaxy Tab, and even Microsoft’s very own Surface 2.

The Lumia 2520 is build using the same design ideology of the rest of the Lumia family, you find a colorful plastic body framing a piano black display bezel. The tablet will be available in four color options, including the red, azure-blue, white, and black. Measuring 267 x 168 x 8.9 mm (WxDxH), it weighs about 615 g. Connectivity includes 802.11 ac WLAN, 4G LTE, HSPA+, Bluetooth 4.0, and NFC.

Imaging department isn’t a strong point of the Lumia 2520, it features a 6.7-megapixel primary camera, and a 1.9-megapixel front-facer. The two are still tied to the new Nokia Camera app. Under the hood, are innards not too different from those of the Lumia 1520, featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC, 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of expandable storage, and an 8,000 mAh battery.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFXRYrZFxsg[/youtube]

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Image and video courtesy of NextPowerUp.

Verizon Boosting LTE In Key American Markets, Up To 80 Mbps Download

Engadget report that Verizon have finished with a roll-out of mobile speed boosts across some parts of the USA. Verizon has upgraded many of its key 4G LTE areas to AWS Band 4 frequencies allowing the LTE network to not only offer faster speeds but also improved reliability and increased subscription to LTE networks.

GigaOM reader Milan Milanovic managed to get a staggering 80.82 Mbps download and 15.35 Mbps upload with a 35ms ping while out and about in Midtown Manhattan. According to other network testers Verizon have also activated these same AWS Band 4 frequencies in Chicago and Los Angeles so people there should also be able to access those speeds with a compatible handset.

Of course that is the catch – only handsets with the appropriate radios compatible with AWS can surf that AWS band and access those high speeds. Verizon says an update for its customers using compatible phones (such as the Samsung Galaxy S4) will be delivered in the near future. It is also worth noting that as the number of users on the network increases the speed will drop substantially but it should still be blazing fast by mobile standards.

Image courtesy of Milan Milanovic

Nokia Lumia 1520 Full Specifications And Pricing Revealed

Some fresh reports from NokiaPowerUser have revealed the specifications and pricing for the upcoming Nokia Lumia 1520 handset, pictured above. The key specifications can be seen below:

  • Display: 6 inch AMOLED PureMotion HD+ display at 1920 x 1080 which is 367~ PPI
  • CPU: 2GHz MSM8974 Snapdragon 800 quad core processor
  • GPU: Adreno 330 graphics
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Operating System: Windows Phone 8
  • Internal storage: 32GB or 64GB
  • Cameras: 20.7 megapixel rear with Zeiss Optics (panorama compatible)
  • Connectivity: MicroSD and Nano-SIM
  • Network support: 4G (LTE), 3G (HSDPA) and 2G (GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 all versions)
  • Dimensions:  152 x 81 x 8.7mm
  • Weight: 176/185 grams (AT&T/Global versions)
  • Battery:  3400 mAh with inbuilt wireless charging for the global variant
  • Colours: Black, White, Yellow and Red

The handset is expected to launch on October 22nd and will be made available first on AT&T on November 2nd. On contract the device will cost $299 while SIM-free and off-contract it costs $699. Global availability is expected for December.

See more details on the Nokia Lumia 1520 here.

Image courtesy of EVLeaks

Samsung Make Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition Official

Samsung have just revealed a new video showing off its latest tablet – the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition. Compared to the original Galaxy Note 10.1 that was released in 2012 the new 2014 edition features numerous adjustments and alterations according to IBTimes. Samsung have opted for a faux-leather style backing cover with simulated stitching around the edges which is different to the plastic back on the 2012 version. The bezel has also been upgraded, this time from plastic to metal, while some buttons (menu, home, back) have been added to the bezel which has been slimmed down, along with the overall thickness of the tablet.

The display has been upgraded from a 149 PPI 1280 x 800 display to a 299 PPI 2560 x 1600 display. There’s also a panel upgrade from PLS TFT to LCD. Internal storage is the same with 16/32/64GB options and with up to 64GB additional storage via microSD. RAM has been upgraded from 2GB on the 2012 model to 3GB on this new model. The camera has been upgraded too, from 5/1.9 megapixels for the back/front facing cameras to 8/2 megapixels.

The Internals have been boosted to the Snapdragon 800 chipset though the specifications of the 2014 Edition vary between LTE and 3G variants. The LTE variant has a 2.3GHz quad core Krait 400 CPU with Adreno 330 graphics while the 3G variant has a 1.9GHz quad core Cortex A15 CPU and 1.3GHz Cortex A7 CPU with an unknown GPU. For reference the 2012 edition had a quad core 1.4GHz Cortex-based Samsung Exynos 4412 processor. The implementation of Android also gets a refresh has been updated to 4.3 from 4.1.

Finally the battery is improved from a 7000mAh Li-Ion battery on the 2012 edition to a 8220mAh Li-Po battery on the 2014 edition. Both are non-removable. Pricing from the 2014 edition is expected to start at around $550, the 2012 edition currently costs around $500.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9d3IIDFdVA[/youtube]

Image courtesy of Samsung

Second-Gen Surface Tablets Have No 4G LTE Support – WiFi Only

ZDNet reports that Microsoft’s second generation series of Surface tablets will not have 4G LTE support. In fact the second generation Surface tablets will apparently have no cellular connectivity at all – they will be WiFi only. Clearly Microsoft hasn’t learnt its lessons from the failure of the previous generation of Surface tablets. At best consumers will look to Microsoft partners like ASUS, Acer, Lenovo and so on to provide Windows 8.1/RT tablets with cellular connectivity, at worst they will simply use Android or iOS instead as cellular connectivity is a vitally important buying consideration for most consumers in the market for a tablet.

Connectivity aside, the second generation Surface RT is expected to have an Nvidia Tegra 4 at its heart with 8 hours of battery life and a ClearType 1920 x 1080 display. The second generation Surface Pro will be powered by an Intel Haswell Core i5 processor and will have a larger battery to provide around 7 hours of battery life. The second generation Surface Pro also has a full HD 1920 x 1080 display. More details on all the second generation Microsoft Surface tablets will be revealed on September 23rd at Microsoft’s official press conference.

Image courtesy of Microsoft

BlackBerry Z30 Pictured

The BlackBerry Z30 smartphone is yet to go official but already the smartphone has been pictured again this time courtesy of CrackBerry. The BlackBerry Z30, pictured above on the left, was put side by side with the Sony Xperia Z1. The BlackBerry Z30 is expected to debut later this month or in early October and the smartphone is confirmed to be arriving on Canadian network carrier Bell.

BlackBerry’s Z30 is expected to run the BlackBerry 10.2 operating system with a 5 inch capacitive touchscreen display, the resolution isn’t known but will probably be either 720p or 1080p depending on what price point BlackBerry target. The internals are expected to comprise of a dual core processor, 2GB of RAM and full LTE support.

More details to follow soon as we come closer to the official launch.

Image courtesy of CrackBerry

Second-Gen Nexus 7 4G LTE Version Now Available On Google Play For $350

Google has just recently made available the second generation Nexus 7 with 4G LTE over at the Google Play Store. If you reside outside the U.S then you actually won’t be able to pick up the Nexus 7 32GB 4G LTE tablet, in South Korea you can grab the 4G LTE version of the 16GB version whilst the rest of the world has to keep waiting for a 4G LTE second generation Nexus 7.

The price you have to pay for the 32GB 4G LTE Nexus 7 is $349 and all orders ship in 1-2 days with free shipping. The tablet uses a T-Mobile SIM in the sale package with up to 2GB of 4G data for the first month with no obligations. After that month you’d obviously have to arrange your own 4G LTE mobile SIM.

For those who unaware of the basic specifications of the second generation Nexus 7 well here is a quick recap:

  • Quad core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor
  • Adreno 320 Graphics
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16 or 32GB of internal storage
  • 1920 x 1200 display with Corning Gorilla Glass
  • Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS

Image courtesy of Google

Sony Announce Mammoth 6.4 Inch Xperia Z Ultra Smartphone

Sony’s Xperia Z smartphone has been hugely popular in the android smartphone market thanks to its fancy 1080p screen, high performance hardware and waterproof design. Today Sony have taken the Xperia Z to the next level by unveiling the Xperia Z Ultra which boasts a 6.4 inch touch screen display with the same 1920 by 1080 full HD resolution of the Xperia Z. At 6.4 inches it really does fall in between that Tablet/Smartphone divide and the Xperia Z Ultra is designed to compete with Samsung’s Galaxy Mega that has as 6.3 inch display.

Under the hood of the Xperia Z Ultra is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.2GHz quad core processor along with 16GB of internal storage, a microSD expansion slot, 3000 mAh battery, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean OS, IP55 and IP58 certifications and all this is just 6.5mm thick. The Xperia Z Ultra has support for 4G LTE and Pentaband HSPA.

Sony have also packed in other Sony-specific features such as ClearAudio+, Xloud loudness enhancement and STAMINA Mode for improved battery life.  Sony has stated that this brand new handset will arrive in Q3 of this year in white black or purple. Specific network carrier availability and pricing details will be released nearer the time on a market-by-market basis.

Images courtesy of Sony

Rumour: Nokia Developing 6 Inch “Phablet” To Rival Samsung Galaxy Mega

Samsung launched two rather large phablets (phone + tablet) a month ago, the Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 and 6.3. Samsung are one of very few companies to offer up such large phablet devices to consumers and it is a product segment that Nokia has never really tackled before. However, if rumours are to be believed then apparently Nokia is venturing into the phablet market looking to product a six inch device.

The rumour states that this new six inch phablet will be dubbed the “Lumia X” by Nokia. On the face of it it boasts incredibly impressive specifications. At the heart of the Lumia X is a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 1.6GHz quad core ARM processor supported by 2GB of RAM. The GPU is unspecified but given the 5 inch 1080P AMOLED full RGB ClearBlack screen we can probably expect to see the Adreno 320 GPU to give it enough graphical power.

On the camera side Nokia is opting for a 12 megapixel PureView rear facing camera and 2 megapixel front facing camera. This is all surround by a bezel-less frame and uses a stylus with a WACOM digitizer. The Lumia X will have 4G LTE support and a 3000 mAH battery with wireless recharging capabilities. The operating system will be Windows Phone 9.

Prices have even been detailed too. If you choose to grab the handset on its own without a contract it will cost you $299 for 32GB, $399 for 64GB and $499 for 128GB – certainly decent prices compared to the competition.

What are your thoughts on these rumours? Would a device like this be popular considering it is running the not-so-popular Windows Phone OS?

Source, Via

FCC To Give Small Carriers A Chance

The Anti-trust division justice Departments tells FCC that that they need to make sure that smaller wireless carrier companies, Sprint and T- Mobile, need to get access to low-frequency spectrum during the auction to ensure that the competition is maintained.

Currently, FCC is drafting the rules for spectrum auctions of the spectrum that TV broadcasters are giving up, making way for wireless broadband companies to take it instead. This is particular for spectrum below 1 GHz. usually at 600 MHz. This has a higher value as it the wireless carrier can travel long distances and even penetrate through buildings. Justice Department however requests that FCC should include a rule to address this issue by providing a cap. Large wireless carriers like AT&T and Verizon already have a substantial amount of 700MHz frequency spectrum which allowed them to build their 4G LTE networks.

The Department said in a filling to the FCC,”The Department concludes that rules that ensure the smaller nationwide networks, which currently lack substantial low-frequency spectrum, have an opportunity to acquire such spectrum could improve the competitive dynamic among nationwide carriers and benefit consumers. The more concentrated a wireless market is, the more likely a carrier will find it profitable to acquire spectrum with the aim of raising competitors’ costs. This could take the shape, for example, of pursuing spectrum in order to prevent its use by a competitor, independent of how efficiently the carrier uses the spectrum.”

Larry Krevor, Vice President for Government Affairs, Spring said,”The Justice Department is absolutely right. Ensuring that all carriers, large and small, have access to the low-band spectrum would improve competition and benefit consumers. We are hopeful that the FCC will adopt policies which recognize the importance of low-band spectrum to wireless competition and the American economy as a whole.”
AT&T and Verizon on the other hand argued that any limitation during the auction will limit their participation.

Source: CNET