Samsung Launches The Galaxy Grand 2

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Grand 2 mid-range device and it looks like it offers most smartphone features as the Galaxy Note 3. The original Galaxy Grand, which predated the Galaxy S4, is credited with kicking off the budget 5-inch class device category, drawing crowds away from even the more expensive Galaxy Note series.

The 146.8 x 75.3 x 8.9 mm handset weighs about 163 g and features the same faux-leather pattern on its back-panel as the Galaxy Note 3, but lacks an S-Pen. It has a 5.25-inch screen and boasts a display resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, and aesthetically speaking it looks bigger and slightly sharper than its predecessor. It also comes with a 8-megapixel back camera with auto-focus and LED flash, and a 1.3-megapixel front-face camera.

In terms of specs, the Galaxy Grand 2 has a Quad-Core CPU @ 1.20 GHz, 1.5 GB of RAM, and 8 GB of internal memory that’s expandable by up to 64 GB using micro-SDXC. The device is powered by a 2,600 mAh battery and does not support 4G LTE, having only HSPA+ at 21.1 Mbps.

The Galaxy Grand 2 ships with Android 4.3 “Jelly Bean,” which comes with most of the same Samsung apps that the Galaxy S4 comes with, including Story Album, S Translator, S Travel, Sound & Shot (camera mode), Samsung Hub, Group Play (audio only), and Samsung Link (Chromecast-like).

No pricing available for the device just yet, but it should as soon as it hits the shelves.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of NextPowerUp

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.

ZTE Rolls Out Grand S In The US

 

ZTE has announced US availability of its thin Grand S Smartphone. The 5-inch class device has a lot in common with the Nubia 5, but sacrifices a little on the battery capacity, to keep its 0.27-inch thickness, lowest in its class, in the US market.

Alike the Nubia 5, Grand S lacks LTE support, but supports the HSPA+ technology at speeds of up to 21.1 Mbps. Unlike some of its APAC variants, it features a single SIM card slot. Its 5-inch screen features a full-HD screen with  1920 x 1080 pixels resolution, and a scratch-free oleophobic surface.

Looking into the camera tech area, you get a combination of 13-megapixel primary back camera and 2-megapixel front-facing camera, but there’s none of the sapphire-glass lens or Konica-Minolta auto-focus features present. In terms of performance, the Grand S runs the same Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.50 GHz quad-core chip as the Nubia 5, having the same 2 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of storage, running on Android 4.1.

The Grand S skimps on the battery in a desperate effort to score its only USP, its thickness. It is powered by a 1,750 mAh battery, compared to the 2,300 mAh battery under the hood of Nubia 5, which we feel looks a tight squeeze for a 5-inch class device, despite its energy-efficient 28 nm SoC that isn’t as loaded as the Snapdragon 600 or Snapdragon 800.

The Grand S, much alike the Nubia 5, will be sold directly, and can be found on amazon at a price of $399.99 ( £247 ) through Amazon.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Images  courtesy of ZTE Corporation.

Raspberry Pi Sim Card Add-On Provides Mobile Connectivity

The Raspberry Pi has been one of the most versatile and popular little mini computers of recent times. The Raspberry Pi has spawned a whole generator of small form factor ARM System boards, many of which are actually better than the Raspberry Pi itself. That said the reputation of Raspberry Pi is so strong that people continue to develop new innovations for it, the latest is a Sim Card add-on module.

The draft KickStarter project is aiming to create the “SparqEE CELLL v1.0” add on which allows for Cellular connectivity. The goal is to develop a Cellular add-on board for the Rasperry Pi and Arduino system boards. The kit will provide a cellular module, USB power cable and all the cables needed to get going. It will allow you to connect to a mobile network providing you have a valid SIM with data access.

The project aims to raise $70,000 to get going. The price for a development kit will be $69 for the first 100 plus $10 shipping outside the USA. After those have sold the price will then become $79 plus the same $10 shipping outside the USA. Considering the Raspberry Pi is cheaper than that it could have a tough time swaying some people. Would you spend $70 to get your Raspberry Pi mobile internet connectivity?

Image courtesy of SparqEE (Kickstarter)T

Second Generation Nexus 7 Shows Multiple LTE Band Support

Google’s Nexus 7 was an incredibly popular tablet but if anyone had complaints it was that the device lacked LTE and network support, being a WiFi only device – although it was possible to get mobile WiFi for it. According to fresh reports from Droid-Life the second generation Google Nexus 7 will pack LTE support.

The new Nexus 7 was spotted recently as the ASUS K009 undergoing FCC certification and it has also made an appearance in Bluetooth SIG certifications too.  Now with LTE band support it should be able to host Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile LTE connectivity. The second gen ASUS Google tablet will have LTE bands 2,4,5,13 and 17 support. Furthermore it will also support GSM bands 850 and 1900MHz making it compatible with AT&T GSM bands and potentially T-Mobile HSPA+ bands when/if they make a full transition to 1900MHz bands.

I think this is pretty big and exciting news because the Google ASUS Nexus 7 will be a much more versatile device after getting native mobile network support.

What are your thoughts on the next generation Nexus 7 getting LTE support?

Image courtesy of Droid-Life

Nvidia Tegra 4i Smartphone Emerges

Nvidia’s Tegra 4 SoC is still pretty new but according to a phone detailed by AnandTech Tegra 4i chipset based phones will be making a commercial appearance pretty soon. The prototype phone uses the Tegra 4i SoC, which is a variant of Tegra 4 designed for smartphones, and is featured inside a “yet to be branded” smartphone.

This smartphone runs a 4.8″ 720p display whith a 13 megapixel rear camera. Furthermore it is capable of running Android 4.2.1 and has LTE and HSPA+ connectivity. It measures in at just 7.9mm thick and has 1GB of LPDDR2 RAM. It will be available in 8, 16 and 32GB variants with pricing between $300 and $400 which is quite reasonable given the expected performance of Tegra 4. It will also be reportedly available for as low as $200 when subsidized by a network carrier.

According to AnandTech other Tegra 4 devices are being developed and these will have even lower prices, but probably with fewer features than this phone. These should be expected in the Q1 of 2014 time frame  with a few carriers opting to release models before than in Q4 of 2013.

Have you got an Nvidia Tegra powered phone? What are your thoughts on a Tegra 4i smartphone?

Image courtesy of AnandTech