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

Bluboo X550 Smartphone Features 5300 mAh Battery

If you were looking for a decent Android Lollipop phone that boasts a big battery to last your through the day, you might consider waiting another week. Why? A new Android-powered smartphone with a massive 5300 mAh battery is set to launch and it looks impressive!

Meet Bluboo X550, a mid-range Android Lollipop-powered phone that aims at keeping you online throughout the day. The phone is made by a small Chinese company and set to launch next week, on May 19th. The best part about it? It is available worldwide.

Bluboo X550 is said to run the latest 5.1 Lollipop version and in terms of spec, it comes with a 720p 5.5-inch screen, a MediaTek MTK6735 CPU, 2 GB Ram, 16 GB storage and an option between a 13-megapixel or 8-megapixel rear camera. For those of you who want to switch to a 4G ready phone, it is worth mentioning that the Bluboo X550 also comes with LTE support.

If you want to get the Bluboo X550 as cheap as you can, then you have to hurry. The company said that it will sell the X550 for just $149.99 between May 19th and June 4th. After that, the phone’s price will go up to $159.99 from June 5th ’till July 4th and settle at a price tag of $169.99 after the latter date.

Thank you Phonearena for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Phonearena

Helio X20 Shows More Gaming Performance and Power Improvements

MediaTek has just revealed what the Helio X10 successor, Helio X20, packs under the hood and it is just amazing. The major highlights of its improvements are reflected in 40% more gaming and multimedia power and up to 40% power improvement compared to the X10.

First of all, the Helio X20 is based on the 20nm architecture and comes with 10 cores. They are made out of four Cortex-A53 running at 2.0 GHz, another four running at 1.4 GHz and two more Cortex-A72 cores running at 2.5 GHz. Now the first four Cortex-A53 cores are made for low to medium application processing needs, including UHD video playback.

However, The extra two Cortex-A72 cores aim to help out with the more intensive applications such as games, which do not need more than two cores to run on a mobile device. Even so, the 2.5 GHz clock speed deals with everything on the market so far.

In addition, the 10-core architecture is based on what MediaTek calls the ‘Tri-Cluster’ architecture that aims to cut power consumption by 30%. Also, Mali-T880 graphics processor offers an extra 10% power improvement compared to the previous generation that adds up to having 40% power improvement in total. A perfect illustration of what the new architecture brings is shown in MediaTek’s pic below:

The X20 also comes with support for a 32-megapixel single camera or 13-megapixel dual cameras with 3D depth engine and 4K recording, 10-bit colour depth and support for HECV and VP9 hardware decoding, as well as LTE Cat-6 technology, C2K with SRLTE and 70% improved modem power compared to the Helio X10. More information about the X20 can be found on its web page here.

Images courtesy of MediaTek News

ARM Sheds New Light on High-End Cortex-A72 CPU

At yesterday’s annual Tech Day event, ARM shared more details about their upcoming Cortex-A72 architecture. Set to replace the current A57 performance chips, this new replacement is set to be faster, more efficient, and doing it all with a smaller die. While the A72 is the high-performance successor, it’s still largely based on the previous A57 design.

Starting off, ARM is making big claims against the previous generation A15 cores. For the same workload in a smartphone, ARM is expecting to reduce power consumption by 75% or keep the same power levels and increase performance by 3.5 times. Of course, part of the gains are due to process improvements but about 66% of those gains come from the architecture. Of course, the A72 is also a 64bit design. Most of the changes are deep down in the chip, ARM having gone through and optimized everything. Branch prediction is improved by about 20% over the A57 and pretty every compute unit got latency reductions in the 25 to 50% range. Combined, these changes should yield about a 16 to 30% IPC increase at the same power as the A57. This lead is set to grow since the reduced die size also helps the A72 achieve higher clock speeds than before.

While beating the previous generation ARM processors is expected, the bigger question is how these improvements will fare against Intel’s Broadwell and Cherry Trial chips. Pitting a 2Ghz Core-M5Y10C against a 2.5Ghz Cortex A72, the ARM chip manages to hold it’s own. Once power is limited though, the A72 manages to pull ahead as Core-M starts throttling. Of course, we don’t know the specifics of the test, but its good food for thought nonetheless. If ARM is able to keep up their pace, Intel will soon be seriously challenged, and not just in the mobile space.

For now though, consumers will have to wait for the A72. It will be up to ARM partners like MediaTek, Qualcomm and Samsung to implement their own A72 designs. While ARM has done much to improve over the A57, it remains up to their partners to make sure it all works out, an issue highlighted by the Snapdragon 810. Earliest chips are set to ship later this year, pointing to release in mobile devices for 2016. Who knows, maybe the A72 might make it in time for the next Nexus phone?

Thank you Anandtech for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Arstechnica

MediaTek’s Latest Helio SoC Will Let You Record 4K Videos at 120 FPS

The Taiwanese mobile chip maker, MediaTek, is reportedly working on a high-end SoC lineup named Helio, which the company states will compete with its rivals, Qualcomm and Samsung.

The company has revealed its latest SoC at a recent conference in Beijing, where the company’s executive explained how MediaTek is going to grasp the high-end SoC market with its new Helio lineup, which is comprised of the Helio X and Helio P versions.

While the Helio X is stated to be used in high-end smartphones, the Helio P will help the company grasp the budget smartphone market as well. The first Helio lineup is stated to be made up of the MediaTek MT6795, featuring an octa-core package, and the second will come with the ARM Cortex-A53 CPU clocked at 2.2 GHz.

Mediated is said to be creating more chipsets in the future, which will feature ARM’s Cortex-A72 processor that will allow users to record 4K videos at 120 FPS.

Thank you Etagnet for providing us with this information

Acer Rolls Out New Iconia Tab 10 Tablet

Acer has announced its new Iconia Tab 10 tablet recently, a device that comes with top performance at an acceptable price tag as it seems from the specs and recommended price set by the company.

Two versions of the Iconia Tab 10 have apparently surfaced on the market, one with a 10.1-inch WUXGA display, 2GB of RAM, 32 GB flash storage, the MediaTek MT8217 SoC and a 1.5 GHz Quad-Core Cortex-A7. The latter device is the more pricier version, coming with a price tag of $249.

The cheaper version is set at $199 and comes with a 1280 x 800 screen, 1 GB of RAM, 16GB flash storage, a 1.7 GHz SoC compared to the latter and a smaller battery, namely 5700 mAh, compared to the 5910 mAh from the first version.

Both models are said to support only Wi-Fi connectivity, so users wanting to see a 3G/4G version of the tablet would be extremely disappointed. Also, in terms of colour options, the tablets come in black and white choices.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information

AMD Graphics to Be Licensed by MediaTek

MediaTek is said to have partnered up with AMD on mobile SoC graphics, as announced at the Mobile World Congress. This looks like a big change for both companies, having AMD to return to the ultra-low power graphics market and MediaTek finally getting faster graphics and more demand in the high-end segment.

ARM Mali or Imaginations Technologies GPUs are currently out there for anyone to use, while Qualcomm comes with its own proprietary Adreno graphics and NVIDIA with its ultra-low power Maxwell GPUs. However, a partnership between AMD and MediaTek will add some pressure on NVIDIA, having to compete with both Qualcomm and MediaTek in the future.

Both AMD and MediaTek have declined to comment on the upcoming partnership, but sources say that the companies are already working on future chips which will be announced later on. AMD has sold its Imageon graphics back in 2009 to Qualcomm, which stands as the basis of where the Adreno surfaced.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information

MediaTek Wants to Get under the Hood of Chromebooks

MediaTek wants to take Intel’s place in Chromebooks and expand its reach beyond Android-powered smartphones and tablets. Up until now, MediaTek has been the leading chip manufacturer for Android devices.

Kevin Jou, vice president and chief technology officer at MediaTek, stated that MediaTek’s new high-performance chip, the Helio X10, already has support for Chromebook OS. Google’s low-cost alternative to Windows PCs seems to be growing a lot in popularity and since the Chromebooks require Internet connectivity for most of its applications, it would make sense for MediaTek to grab a piece of the pie.

At the moment, Chromebook applications do not require a lot of processing power to run its cloud-based applications. However, together with MediaTek’s eight-core Helio X10 solution, we could see a lot of potential in Chromebooks, including support for 4K videos and 64-bit architecture support for apps.

The Helio X10 comes with four Cortex-A57 cores set to handle a lot of demanding tasks in applications and four Cortex-A53 for the less demanding operations, such as audio playback. In terms of benchmarking, the Helio X10 is currently competing with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810, considered to be one of the fastest mobile chips on the market.

Thank you PC World for providing us with this information

Omate X Smart Watches Spotted

Late last year Omate launched TrueSmart smart watches and now it looks like they are back. This time with the Omate X Smart Watch. It connects via Bluetooth 4.0 to Apple iOS or Android devices. The user can then make and receive calls, social media and reminder notifications among others at a glance on the wrist. The watch can also control your music playback.

The Omate X has a 1.5 inch touch screen built into an aluminium housing. The watch itself is 11mm thick and can be used with any standard watch-strap. It is built on the MediaTek SoC and ARM processor and is equipped with a 400mAh battery. Omate states that the watch has a standby time of up to one week.

The watch should hit the markets coming September for pre-orders and then be delivered coming October. The price is at $129, that actually isn’t so bad. Smart watches are considered the next wave of popular consumer products and wearable technology.

Thank you CNbeta for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of CNbeta.

MediaTek To Enter Chromebook Market, Others Could Follow

Chromebooks have currently hit a pricing “brick wall” of around $200, you’ll be hard pushed to find anything cheaper than that based on current hardware solutions: but that could all be about to change. Enter MediaTek, the ARM giant famed for producing affordable, quad, hex and octa core CPUs for smartphones and tablets. According to Google’s Francois Beaufort MediaTek have submitted code for an experimental board with an ARM Cortex A7 processor to the open source Chromium OS project. What does this mean? Well it means that other ARM players are looking to get involved in producing the hardware for Chromebooks. If MediaTek get involved we could see the likes of Rockchip, Allwinner and many more follow in their footsteps. In fact, Rockchip have already demonstrated an ARM prototype Chromebook using its RK3288 processor and we’ve seen ARM solutions from Samsung based on their Exynos processor. However, Samsung’s Exynos processor is a fairly expensive chip so this hasn’t actually brought the cost of Chromebooks down. On the other hand MediaTek and Rockchip literally make dirt cheap ARM processors and if they can break into the Chromebook market then prices could start to tumble south of $200.

The main question now is whether such budget ARM processor from Rockchip and MediaTek are up to the job. We’ve already seen that most Intel Bay Trail and Haswell Celeron Chromebooks are faster than Samsung’s ARM Chromebook. Yet Samsung’s Exynos ARM Cortex A15 based Chromebook is also likely to be faster than any of the cheap ARM Cortex A7 based Chromebooks MediaTek and Rockchip would create. Is that sluggish performance going to be a viable option? Are consumers going to be willing to make that kind of performance trade-off to bring the price down to $125-150? We’ll have to wait and see on that one but certainly more competition and options can only be good for consumers.

Source: Liliputing

Image courtesy of Liliputing

 

MediaTek Continues Explosive Growth, 75% H1 YoY Increases

MediaTek have been going from strength to strength in the smartphone market largely thanks to their ability to offer dual, quad and now octa core mobile CPUs at an irresistibly low price to smartphone makers. That competitive advantage has shown in MediaTek’s latest financial figures. For June their net sales are up a staggering 60.71% compared to the same period last year, for the first half of this year their sales are up by a whopping 74.91%. Despite that huge growth MediaTek are still disappointed with June’s figures. They claim shipments of their 8 core chips are down compared to where they want to be and they are hoping this will pick up in July where they predict market demand will rebound.

MediaTek’s latest MTK6595 chip features 8 cores in a big.LITTLE configuration, 4 Cortex A15 for stressful tasks and 4 Cortex A7 for lighter tasks as well as up to 4GB of LPDDR2/3 RAM. MTK6595 will also support USB 3.0, eMMC 5.0, MHL 2.0 and 4G technologies.

Source: Expreview

Images courtesy of MediaTek

Demand For Fingerprint Sensors To Soar This Year

Global demand for fingerprint sensors is expected to soar in the second half of this year as the Android platform has begun to mainstream support for fingerprint sensors and related applications. According to Digitimes several companies are already gearing up commercial production of fingerprint sensors and sensor modules. The expansion of fingerprint sensors could even expand among more mainstream Android phones in the budget price ranges as MediaTek holds a stake in one of the large fingerprint sensor companies Goodix. MediaTek may even push to integrate fingerprint sensor support into some of their affordable mobile chipsets.

It will certainly be interesting to see if fingerprint scanners continue to grow unimpeded by privacy concerns. I find it astonishing how people are becoming ever more paranoid and concerned with their privacy yet are willing to start using various new technologies that have significant potential to compromise privacy. Certainly mainstream fingerprint scanners will open up new opportunities, but also risks, for smartphone users.

Source: Digitimes

Image courtesy of PC-Tablet.com

MediaTek Announces Its Quad-Core Cortex-A7 MT8127 Soc Featuring the Mali-450 MP4 GPU

MediaTek has just announced its newest addition to its SoC empire, the MT8127, which is said to offer full hardware support for the new HEVC or H.265 video playback standard, allowing videos to play with an average of up to 50% less video bandwidth consumption compared to the previous H.264 standard.

The MediaTek MT8127 is said to feature connectivity solutions such as Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, FM reciever and GPS, having the SoC target the super-mid market given its advanced multimedia features, great performance, low power consumption and affordable price. The company also states that the MT8127 allows manufacturers to shorten the time and costs of delivering the product on the market.

In terms of performance, the MT8127 is said to feature a Cortex-A6 Quad-Core processor having it clocked at 1.5 GHz as well as the Quad-Core ARM Mali-450 MP4 GPU. Other features offered by the MT8127 SoC includes low-power consumption, Full HD 1080p video playback and recording and 13 MP camera support. In addition to the latter, the MT8127 also comes with MediaTek’s MiraVision for excellent image quality and Miracast as well as NFC, providing easy content sharing between devices.

Mediatek announced that the MT8127 will be featured in Alcatel’s Onetouch Pixi 8 tablet which will be launched later this year.

Thank you MediaTek for providing us with this information

MediaTek 64-bit LTE-enabled Quad-Core MT6732 Announced

MediaTek has revealed one of two 64-bit LET chipsets at MWC for smartphones, it being the Quad-Core MT6732, Qualcomm’s 64-bit Snapdragon 410 competition on the mid-ranged market.

The CPU features four 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 CPU cores, a highly advanced 16-core Mali-T760 GPU, a multi-mode 4G LTE modem, and an imaging chip, having test showing performance results higher than a A9 core while cutting down on power cost.

Looking at the T-760 GPU, it is claimed to have a 400% energy efficiency increase than previous Mali-T604 chips, in addition to having OpenGL ES 3.0, OpenCL 1.2, and being Direct3D 11.1-compliant. The power saving technologies consist of ARM Frame Buffer Compression and Smart Composition, both optimized for data transfer, cutting power costs by up to 50% each in the process.

When talking about the 4G LTE connectivity, we can say that it has Category 4 speeds with 150 MB/s downstream and 50 MB/s upstream, while 3G/DC-HSPA+ networks have their seed set at 42 MB/s downstream and 11 MB/s upstream. There is also TD-SCDMA working as legacy 2G/3G networks, having the Dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as the ‘cherry on top’ in terms of connectivity.

The MediaTek MT6732 is said to support low-power 1080p, 30fps video playback for media encoded with H.265 and legacy H.264 codecs, while offering 1080p, 30fps H.264 video playback and recording. it also features an integrated 13MP camera image processor with support for “picture-in-picture”, “video-in-video”, and, *gulp*, Video Face Beautifier, packed together with the company’s proprietary ClearMotion and MiraVision algorithms for jitter reduction, smooth playback, and “DTV-grade” picture quality.

While everything sounds fine and dandy, MediaTek will not start producing the chipset anytime soon, having it planned to start at the end of this year. Besides, no information about the second 64-bit Octa-Core MT6752 has been released just yet as well.

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

MediaTek Preparing New Octa-Core Processor To Take On Snapdragon 800/805

With the recent announcement of ARM’s new Cortex A17 series MediaTek have wasted no time in sampling new processors based on the Cortex A17 design. Engadget reports that MediaTek already have new octa-core processors ready that consist of four 2.2-2.5GHz Cortex A17 cores and four 1.7GHz Cortex A7 cores in a big.LITTLE configuration. These new SoCs will come with a PowerVR Series6 GPU which should provide more than enough GPU horsepower for most people’s needs.

While the Cortex A17 series was designed to revitalise the mid range market MediaTek are preparing to take on the high-end market with their new Cortex A17 based SoCs which will be known as the MT6595. The MT6595 will be taking on the likes of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 and 805 as well as older Exynos designs. The MT6595 is going to take advantage of heterogeneous multi-processing meaning the SoC will use all eight cores for the most intensive applications and will use just one or two of the low power A7 “LITTLE” cores for basic activities. The end results is unsurprisingly a faster and more power efficient product compared to older MediaTek SoCs.

MediaTek are also claiming to be the first octa-core LTE SoC with a H.265 Ultra HD codec built into the platform. This offers impressive 4K2K video recording and playback capabilities. Sampling of the MT6595 SoCs begins in the first half of this year and products with them in should start arriving in the second half.

Image courtesy of Engadget

Leaked Pictures Reveal The Upcoming Oppo R1 Handset

There has been word that the Chinese manufacturer Oppo is planning to release a new Android-based handset under the name of “Oppo R1”. It appears that some new leaked images of the upcoming device have leaked online.

The Chinese market is expected to see the mid-ranged flashgrip, that is expected to provide a premium feel, in the near future. The Oppo R1, being the next in line from the Oppo R-series, is said to bring an improved camera, and rumors are that it will arrive in stores with a 8-megapixels on the back side with an f2.0 aperture. GizChina reports that the camera should be similar to the Meizo MX3 flashgrip recently released on the market.

At the same time, the upcoming Oppo R1 should arrive on shelves with an all-glass construction, as well as with an anti-fingerprint coating, which should keep its body clean even when heavily used. The same as other R-series smartphones from Oppo, the forthcoming handset is expected to be powered by a Mediatek processor. It will sport a quad-core MT6589 CPU, it seems. The specifications list of the new mobile phone also includes support for two SIM cards at the same time, along with micro SD memory card slot for expansion purposes.

The handset hasn’t been officially confirmed as of now, but rumor has it that it will be launched before the end of this year. Furthermore, it is expected to cost around ¥2,000 or around $329 / €239 / £ 201 when made available. The same as other Oppo smartphones, the new device will be powered by Google’s Android operating system, but no specific info on the actual version of the platform has been provided as of now. Keep an eye on this space for additional details on the matter.

Thank you Softpedia for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of Softpedia

MediaTek To Shift Its Focus To Tablet SoC and LTE Enabled Chips In 2014

MediaTek is planning to shift its target to the tablet SoCs and LTE enabled chipsets for smartphones next year. According to TelecomTiger(via Fudzilla), MediaTek general manager of international sales and marketing Finbarr Moynihan said the company wants to “democratize” smartphones and bring them to new markets. He noted that five to six billion people in India, China, Asia and Africa are moving into the middle class and generating demand for smart devices on a budget.

It is somewhat surprising that MediaTek is also targeting the high-end segment, whereas the company has already announced its first A15 big.LITTLE processor, it seems we are also going to see more high-end products next year.

MediaTek is going to release up to eight new tablet parts, along with mid-range phone chips. Taking a leap to the high-end chip market means rivaling with Qualcomm and NVIDIA, but MediaTek might have its own secrets which will maintain its chips at the high-end competition line.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information

Octa-Core Cortex A7 Officially Released By MediaTek

MediaTek officially released the world’s first Octa-Core Cortex A7 application processor, the MT6592, . It can easily reach speeds up to 2GHz, however 2GHz devices are not likely to be seen in devices pretty soon. This is because the core limit for it to work in a stable environment is set at 1.5GHz and 1.7GHz. It features a Quad-Core Mali-450MP4 GPU, but although this is a relatively weak graphics processor, MediaTek insists its chip can handle H.264 content.

Although MediaTek is trying to talk up performance, this is a mid-range part with an emphasis on price/performance and efficiency. The Cortex A7 is ARM’s most efficient core, so it has potential. A 28nm A7 Octa-Core should end up smaller than a Quad-Core A9, yet it might outperform it in certain apps that require a multi-core SoCs usage.

The company stated we should expect the Octa-Core Cortex A7 to be available in devices running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean by the end of 2013 and Android 4.4 Kit-Kat based devices which are expected in early 2014.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of gogi.in

Lenovo Vibe Z Announced With Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU, Dual-Sim And Flip Cover

Lenovo announced a new model of their Vibe X smartphone series, the Vibe Z. It is powered by a Qualcomm processor and a larger display, replacing the former MediaTek MT6589T chip with the Quad-Core Snapdragon 800 clocked at 2.2GHz with Adreno 330 graphics and 2GB of RAM.

The Vibe Z comes with a 5.5-inch IPS 1080p LCD screen having 400 ppi and a dual-SIM card tray, giving the user an option to have two mobile operators at the same time. A Sony IMX135 camera can be seen on the back with the Exmor-RS sensor that shoots 13-megapixel photos using a fast f/1.8 lens.

The combination of wide aperture, backside illuminated sensor and proprietary image processing algorithms helps provide excellent low-light performance. The phablet also comes with a dual-LED flash system and a respectable front-facing 5-megapixel camera for Instagram and Vine lovers or basic video calling.

Lenovo states the device has a standby time of up to 278.5 hours on the WCDMA + GSM model and there are also rumors of a CDMA2000 + GSM model for China Telecom users and a LTE + GSM variant for the overseas market.

Lastly, a flip cover, which looks strikingly similar to the S View Cover that Samsung recently made popular, has been revealed along with the handset. Despite the similarities, Lenovo’s version has a special area that you can slide to answer or decline an incoming call. News of an international launch are unknown at this point, whereas Lenovo is preparing to make pre-orders available in China very soon.

Thank you Tech Spot for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Tech Spot

Facebook Joins GSMA To Become An Active Member Of Wireless Trade Group

Facebook has joined the GSMA, which for short is a group composed of mobile operators and other interested technology partners who work in standardizing and promoting the GSM cellular system.

GSMA spokeswoman Claire Cranton told FierceWireless that “Facebook is obviously a significant player in the mobile ecosystem, so a relationship with Facebook is important as the GSMA strives to deliver programs on behalf of our mobile operator members.” She said the organization has had “an ongoing relationship with Facebook for several years and we are pleased that Facebook has taken the decision to join the GSMA.” She also said the group “will look to engage with Facebook in programs that are mutually beneficial.”

In August Facebook forged a partnership with industry heavyweights like Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia , Opera Software, Qualcomm and Samsung Electronics to launch Internet.org, a coalition dedicated to expanding online access via mobile. Facebook does not own any wireless spectrum or cell towers, but Cranton stated that if it were to acquire spectrum and “is allocated frequencies to operate a GSM network for the purpose of providing publicly available commercial services it would become eligible for full membership. At present Facebook has joined the GSMA as an associate member” but are also “look forward to playing an active role as a member.”

Facebook’s plans are getting clearer when looking at the leap towards the GSM area and the continuous expansion of Internet.org, however its influence in the association is likely to be felt when looking at the current 1000+ members.

Thank you The Verge and Fierce Wireless for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of BBC UK

White Box Tablet Vendors See Strong 40.4% YoY Growth In Q3 2013

Digitimes reports that Chinese white-box tablet vendors have seen very strong growth in 2013. Compared to the same Q3 period of 2012, shipments for Q3 of 2013 are up 40.4%. Compared to the last quarter, Q2 of 2013, shipments are up a staggering 56.3%. The majority of these shipments from Chinese white-box vendors travel overseas with approximately 80% of them leaving China for overseas destinations.

Unsurprisingly 7 inch form factor white-box tablets dominated sales, the AMPE A78 pictured above is just one of thousands of different 7 inch white-box Chinese made tablets available for global purchase from sites like FocalPrice and DealeXtreme. 8 inch (and larger) form factor tablets saw disappointing results mainly due to the poor and comparatively expensive supply of larger displays.

In the white-box market profit margins on tablets have apparently reached a rock-bottom point. Prices can only go one way from now, which is up, and many firms have already been eliminated from the white-box market because the competition has been so strong.

In terms of component choices MediaTek CPUs still dominate the majority of tablets accounting for 70% of all white-box tablets. MediaTek CPUs replace the previously favoured Chinese AllWinner and Rockchip CPUs which have started to decline in response to vendors choosing cheaper MediaTek parts.

Image courtesy of AMPE (FocalPrice)

Goophone Inc. To Release A New Addition To Their Gadgets, The Goophone Smartwatch 3G

Chinese phone maker Goophone released a new gadget, but not a smartphone apparently. They released a Smartwatch, entitled Goophone Smartwatch 3G.

It comes with an interface similar to the Windows Phone UI and running on Android 4,0 Ice Crean Sandwitch it also grants you access to the Play Store.

The 1.54-inch 240 x 240 pixels capacitive touch-screen display is not much, but it is a smartwatch after all. Powered by a 1.2 GHz Dual-Core MediaTek chipset, it packs a 512 MB ram and 4 GB of internal storage. And quite astonishingly it even has a 2 MP camera. It also comes with a Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n network connectivity and weighs only 72g.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VZN_X1Rp88[/youtube]

There is a reason why the “3G” is included in the gadget’s name. The Goophone Smartwatch comes with 3G capabilities that support global GSM and WCDAM bands, having a microSIM slot, and comes with a standby tolerance of 48 hours.

No fancy brand name is attached to this nifty gadget and it does not have a high-performance ration given the above specs, but all in all, the $299 / €232 /£187 Goophone Smartwatch 3G is an attractive device.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information

ARM To Announce Mali-T760 and Mali-T720 GPUs


Next-generation mobile GPUs for smartphones and tablets have been announced by ARM. The Mali-T760 and Mali-T720 have been classified for the performance and mainstream market segments, respectively. The two OpenGL ES 3.0 compatible GPUs are stated to be efficient and scalable by its designers.

“ARM Mali GPUs unit shipments have increased by more than 10x over the past two years and it is the unquestioned leader in Android devices today,” said Pete Hutton, executive vice president and general manager, Media Processing Division, ARM. “The Mali-T700 Series family builds on our industry leadership in balancing power, area and functionality while incorporating new energy-saving features at the high-end and matching the time-to-market dynamics of the low-end. This combination gives our SoC partners a competitive edge, without compromising on performance and energy-efficiency.”

The Mali-T760 is designed for high-performance, and sometimes even scalar SoCs that cover not just high-performance handhelds, but also high-density HPC environments that require a lot of parallel processing. An SoC with the Mali-T760 is scalable up to 16 cores, compared to its predecessor’s 8-core scalability, the Mali-T678. The chip also claims a 400 percent energy efficiency increase over the Mali-T604, which is the first performance GPU based on the “Midgard” micro-architecture.

The Mali-T720 is the company’s first mid-range GPU design to feature OpenGL ES 3.0 support, and is heavily optimized for Android, which received support for the API since Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. MediaTek, Rockchip, and Samsung each expressed interest in ARM’s new GPU IP.

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

Sony To Launch An Octa-Core 6-inch Phablet Codenamed “Tianchi”

Sony had a really busy year, and will not stop here it seems. After several high-end smartphones, tablets and phablets, it appears that the company also wants to offer users an alternative to the already growing mobile market, in which ASUS Fonepad Note 6 and Nokia Lumia 1520 lurk.

The Sone Xperia Tianchi is the phablet to compete with the above mentioned competitors, and is quite like a big brother Z Ultra. The flashgrip is equipped with a 6-inch display, but it seems will not packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC. The Japanese phone maker has been working very closely with MediaTek on their upcoming “true octa-core” chipset. So the Tianchi will most likely come with the MediaTek MT6592 SoC, combining eight Cortex A7 cores in one chip.

If the rumors turn out to be true, Sony will be announcing their 6-inch phablet codenamed Tianchi at the Shanghai event in China on the 12th of November. Rumors also indicate that the pricing will be around €400 ( £341 ).

Thank you MobileGeeks for providing us with this information.

BLU Products Reveal 5.5 Inch Smartphone With Modest $179 SIM Free Price

BLU Products have introduced a brand new “phablet” style handset designed for people on a budget who still want a large phone. The device strikes up a strong balance between price, screen size and specifications to offer consumers a pretty good value for money solution. The display is obviously the main selling point though it probably won’t impress many in terms of its resolution. The 5.5 inch display has an 854 x 480 resolution running on Android 4.2. The internals include a MediaTek quad core CPU processor running at 1.2GHz, 4G HSPA+ 42Mbs connectivity, a 5MP rear camera with autofocus and LED flash, 1GB of RAM, 1080p recording capabilities and an expandable microSD card slot. Updates to the product’s software are delivered over the air by BLU’s wireless update system.

The BLU Studio 5.5 will be available in five colours, pictured above, at an SMRP of $179. The handset will be made available in 30 countries including Latin America.

“Network: 2.5G (GSM/GPRS/EDGE) 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, 3G (HSPA+ 42Mbps) 850/1900, 850/2100
Display: TFT Capacitive Touchscreen, with 5.5 inch 480 x 854 pixel LCD
Processor: MediaTek MT6589 Quad-Core 1.2GHz Cortex-A7 with PowerVR SGX544 GPU
OS: Android v4.2 Jelly Bean
Camera: Rear – 5.0 megapixel, autofocus with LED Flash, Front – VGA, Video Record 1080p @ 30fps, Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, panorama, HDR, image stabilization
Connectivity: WiFi b/g/n, GPS, Bluetooth v4.0, Hotspot, micro-USB, FM Radio
Sensor: Accelerometer, Proximity, Gyro
Memory: 4GB internal memory + microSD slot expandable up to 32GB, 1GB RAM
Dimensions: 157 x 79.5 x 9.5, 184 grams
Battery: Li-Ion 2250mAh
Colors: Slate-Grey, Cyan-Blue, Neon-Yellow, Fashion-Fuchsia, Ceramic-White”

Image courtesy of BLUE Products

Lenovo Reveal A1000, A3000 And S6000 Budget Tablets – $164, $229 And $329

Lenovo has just announced the availability of three budget Android powered tablets – the A1000, A3000 and S6000. The main focus of the new three tablets is to offer consumers solid value for money and the pricing of $164/£109.99, $229/£149.99 and $329/£199.99 reflects that.

First is the Lenovo A1000, pictured above, this packs a MediaTek 8317 dual core 1.2GHz Cortex A9 ARM processor. The OS of choice is Android 4.2 and the display runs at a resolution of 1024 x 600 across a 7 inch LED display. 1GB of memory, 16GB of storage, b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0 and a 1 year warranty top off the rest of the specifications. The A1000 is available in black or white. You can check the Lenovo A1000 out at the Lenovo store here.

Next is the Lenovo A3000 which is similar to the A1000 but with stronger hardware. At its core is a MediaTek 8125 quad core 1.2GHz Cortex A7 processor paired with 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. The display is the same 7 inch size with the same 1024 x 600 resolution but uses an improved IPS panel. Bluetooth 4.0, b/g/n WiFi and a 1 year warranty finish off the specifications. The Lenovo A3000 is also available with 3G, and in black or white. You can check that out at the Lenovo store here.

Finally Lenovo released the S6000 tablet. This 10.1 inch LCD IPS tablet uses a MediaTek 8125 Quad Core processor based on an ARM Cortex A7 design and this runs at 1.2GHz. The OS is Android 4.2 and the display sports a 1280 x 800 resolution. 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and a one year warranty top off the specifications. This tablet is available in black only with 3G and non-3G versions. The Lenovo S6000 is available from the Lenovo web store.

Images courtesy of Lenovo

Qualcomm Says It’s Not About Cores – Its Quad Is Better Than Rival Octa

Qualcomm has been losing a bit of ground to some cheaper ARM processors on the market and the company has produced a video to show why they are a smart choice if you’re looking for a high performance phone according to Android Authority. Qualcomm says its mainly about how efficient and fast the cores are than how many you actually have. Qualcomm claim their quad core solutions are faster than rival quad and eight core solutions. Qualcomm also notes the importance of their dual core platforms stating that 85% of the top 20 apps only use two CPU cores.

“Having a processor with better, faster cores is especially important for apps. When we looked at the top 20 apps in China, 85% of them only used two CPU cores. The 15% percent that used more than two CPU cores barely used the 3rd or 4th at all…More cores won’t make your apps move faster. Faster cores will make your apps move faster…With each new generation of Qualcomm Snapdragon Processors, we aim to add new user experiences and boost over performance. We’re able to achieve these significant performance boosts not by adding more cores, but by building better cores which work faster and use less power.”

Qualcomms advertising campaign appears to be targeted at convincing consumers to go for Qualcomm dual and quad core powered phones instead of competitor quad and octa core smartphones. Their video seems to be targeting Qualcomm’s biggest rival – MediaTek, and other “cheap and cheerful” ARM processor manufacturers who care about more cores rather than the quality and performance of those individual cores. The use of the word’s “our competitor” in the same font and styling as MediaTek’s logo is a clear indication of the jab at MediaTek.

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

Image courtesy of Qualcomm