Today’s no doubt a big day for ASUS: while chairman Jonney Shih is gearing up to introduce the PadFone 2 in Milan later today, we just saw CEO Jerry Shen wowing the crowd with the same phone-in-tablet combo back in Taipei. Just as the recent leaks have shown, ASUS’ surprisingly quick follow-up to the original PadFone is simply bigger and better in many ways, notably with a screen upgrade to 4.7-inch 720p Super IPS+ panel (with up to 550nits brightness thanks to Sharp’s IGZO technology), Qualcomm’s awesome quad-core APQ8064 SoC instead of its dual-core sibling, 13-megapixel f/2.4 BSI sensor from Sony, 1.2-megapixel front camera, and a much slimmer PadFone Station slate — partly because it no longer features a docking bay cover! New owners will be greeted by Android Ice Cream Sandwich, but ASUS promises a Jelly Bean upgrade soon. There’s much more than meets the eyes so read on to find out more.
Considering the recent glut of smartphone announcements, news of yet another Galaxy S III variant shouldn’t have you tittering with glee. But for those of you tied to MetroPCS and hankering for a beastly mobile option, that 4.8-inch handset is almost ready to ship. Shown off at the carrier’s booth here at Pepcom, the designed by nature device is virtually unchanged, save for branding on the back that nods to the 4G network it runs on. Otherwise, it’s the same TouchWizzed Android ICS experience we’ve come to know and love. There’s no official word on pricing or a concrete release date — outside of a very vague end of Q4 bow. But still, if you want to take a sneak peek at this off-contract option, check out the video after the break.
LG launches Optimus G flagship smartphone: quad-core S4 Pro, LTE, 2GB RAM, ICS, 13MP camera (updated)
It’s official! Today in Seoul LG is announcing its latest flagship smartphone, the Optimus G. The 8.45mm (0.33-inch) thin handset — which has been rumored for weeks — packs Qualcomm’s Fusion 3 chipset which pairs a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC (APQ8064) with a 2G / 3G / LTE radio (MDM9615). It features 2GB of DDR RAM and a 4.7-inch 1280×768 (320ppi) True HD IPS PLUS display with Zerogap Touch (in-cell touch) technology. A sealed 2100mAh Li-polymer battery rated for 800 charge cycles powers this Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) device. The rear camera sports a 13-megapixel backside-illuminated sensor with 1.1µm pixels, an f/2.4 autofocus lens and a single LED flash — along with a more pedestrian 1.3MP shooter in front. There’s 32GB of built-in flash storage, but no microSD card slot. Other specs include WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS, NFC and MHL.
Aesthetically, the Optimus G marries LG’s Chocolate and Prada design-languages into a sleek 145g (5.11oz) unibody smartphone. The front is all glass with three capacitive buttons while the back indroduces the company’s Crystal Reflection process which gives the handset “the ability to display different patterns depending on the viewing angle and lighting”. LG’s placing a lot of emphasis on how the user experience benefits from the Optimus G’s quad-core Krait CPU and Adreno 320 GPU — something it calls “cross-tasking”. This includes capabilties like QSlide Function, Live Zooming, Dual Screen Dual Play, QuickMemo, Screen Zooming, Application Link and Icon Personalizer, plus camera funtionality such as Time Catch Shot, Cheese Shutter, Smart Shutter and Low Light Shot Noise Reduction.
When Huawei revealed its new MediaPad 7 Lite slate, it wasn’t generous with the details, but now we’ve got a few more to share with you. The final specifications are out, so we now know for sure that the ICS tab will arrive packing a 7-inch IPS display (1,024 x 600) supporting 1080p, a 1.2GHz Cortex A8 processor, 1GB RAM and 8 gigs of storage, expandable via microSD (up to the usual 32). To keep you connected, you’ve got Bluetooth 3.0, WiFi of the a/b/n varieties, or the option of sticking a SIM in it for HSPDA 3G speeds on the move. The cameras are nothing to shout about, but 3.2 megapixels on the back and 0.3 on the front will probably do for the odd Skype call or emergency picture. We can’t see how much later into August you can get, but the PR states shipping will begin then, to South Africa, China, Russia, the Philippines and Taiwan, and to Indonesia and Malaysia in September. Seven inches just not enough? Then how about its keyboard-endowed bigger brother?
Sony officially launched its new tablet here at IFA — and it’s keeping that folded-over profile. Happily, it’s running Android ICS. We’ve just spent some time with the Xperia Tablet S here in Berlin and it’s looking like Sony wants this to be the center of your media-consuming world. The new tablet pals up with the company’s range of phones, bearing that familiar Xperia branding on a freshly hewn metal slab. Yes, the new tablet sidesteps the plastic build of Sony’s last two tablets going for a solid metal build. Fortunately, it feels just as light in the hand, while that folded design also remains well-balanced. We’re particularly pleased with the tactile finish on the folded-over surface of the tablet — it’s very grippable. Internally, we’re dealing with a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, while a 10-inch 1,280 x 800 IPS display will be showing off all that media and gaming content. Browse our gallery of images below and check out our hands-on video and first impressions after the break.
The Xperia T, formerly codenamed Mint, rumor and leak victim since January, has officially broken cover. Revealing its 4.55-inch face to the crowds in Berlin, the Reality Display packs a 1,280 x 720 resolution and offers what Sony is calling the “best HD experience on a phone to date.” The company claims you can view vids in full 1080p HD quality, though we’re still waiting to receive additional clarification on this statement. (Update: Sony clarified that it was merely referring to the 1080p video recording capabilities of the phone.) The Xperia T runs on Ice Cream Sandwich, but we’re told it will be upgraded to Jelly Bean shortly after launch. It also features a 13MP fast capture camera and boasts a feature Sony is calling Sleep to Snap, which means you can go from a black screen to taking photos in an instant. What else does this new flagship offer? A one-touch function with NFC which you can use to tap to connect to other Sony devices, a 60-day premium trial of Music Unlimited and a new tier called Access which will be available in Europe for 0.99 Euros per month and will deliver full access of the service to PCs and the PS3.
The T — which will be known as the TX in select markets, and should be launching globally over the next few weeks — also sports a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8260A Snapdragon S4 CPU, pentaband UMTS / HSPA+ radios, a front-facing cam with 720p video capture, MHL connectivity, FM radio, 16GB onboard storage and an 1,850mAh battery. Dimension-wise, the T will weigh 4.9 ounces (139g) and come in at 9.35mm thick. Lastly, the new Xperia flagship will be available in black, silver and white hues (while the TX appears to come in pink as well). Pricing is still an unknown, but as we’ve seen before, it may largely depend on the market anyway. We’ll keep you posted as more details come in.
Sony Xperia Tablet S official: slimmed-down design, Tegra 3, IR remote and Android 4.0, starts at $400
Looks like those leaked slides showing Sony’s Xperia-branded tablet were right about pretty much everything. (Well, everything except the price, anyway). The company just formally announced the Xperia Tablet S and, as rumored, it features a Tegra 3 chip, Android 4.0 and up to 64GB of built-in storage. Like last year’s Tablet S, it has that distinctive folded-over magazine shape, except this go-round it’s made of metal, and measures between .35 and .47 inches thick (the weight, too, has dropped to 1.26 pounds, down from 1.31). Sony also kept the Tablet S’ IR emitter, which allows the tablet to double as a universal remote, and this time you can program shortcuts to do things like watch sports. Rounding out the spec sheet, there’s a full-size SD slot, a 9.4-inch (1,280 x 800) IPS screen and a 6,000mAh battery promising 10 hours of runtime.
As we mentioned, the tablet will ship with Ice Cream Sandwich, but Sony is promising an upgrade to Jelly Bean as soon as it can optimize all its custom apps. And indeed, there are quite a few specialized applications here. For starters, there’s a new Watch Now app that allows for live TV-viewing (cable subscription required), with the option to “check into” shows and share comments on Facebook and Twitter. Meanwhile, Sony added a Guest Mode that lets you create custom user profiles, forbidding the use of certain apps — a handy parental control tool, we say. Naturally, Sony also threw in Music and Video Unlimited, where you can buy content from Sony’s vast movie and song catalogs. Finally, the tablet comes with 5GB of space in PlayMemories, Sony’s new cloud storage service.
The tablet will be available September 7th, though Sony is accepting pre-orders starting today. It will start at $400 for the 16GB model, with the 32GB going for $500 and the 64GB for $600. And yes, as those leaked slides indicated, there will most certainly be accessories. For starters, there’s that optional Surface-like keyboard we heard about, priced at $100. There’s also a three-position stand, with HDMI output and a USB adapter for a charging. That, too, costs $100. Sony is also selling a charging cradle ($40), a plain-Jane stand ($25), a dock speaker ($130) and a carrying case, priced at either $51 or $80, depending on whether or not you get it in leather. We very much expect to get some hands-on time at IFA, so stay tuned for first-hand impressions.
There will soon be a new Optimus L-Series smartphone on the prowl, as LG has just announced the Optimus L9 as a followup to its Optimus L3, L5 and L7 handsets. This series is viewed by LG as a budget lineup that places an emphasis on style, and the L9 will undoubtedly be the leader of the pack, as it boasts both a dual-core 1GHz CPU and a large, 4.7-inch IPS display. The phone will be outfitted with Android 4.0, 1GB of RAM, a 5-megapixel rear camera and a beefy 2,150mAh battery.
New software is also set to ship with the Optimus L9, which includes both a redesigned keyboard and a language translation app. The new keyboard is dubbed the My Style Keypad, which allows users to adjust the key placement for easier one-handed typing — like we’ve seen in Android 4.0 for the Galaxy Note — along with a separated layout for landscape view (that you can peek in the gallery below). Meanwhile, the language translation service is dubbed QTranslator, which leverages OCR to translate sentences and phrases from 44 different languages into 64 native languages. There’s no word yet on pricing or availability, though we’ll be sure to let you know the moment those final tidbits become known.
LG has been teasing its upcoming Optimus G smartphone for weeks after promising LTE phones that would be “second to none” and now we finally have the full specs of what appears to have been renamed the Optimus G Lightning. When it arrives in Korea next month it will be the first with LTE mounted to a quad-core CPU, thanks to the 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 at its center. The display is also groundbreaking, featuring LG’s fully integrated touch technology — sounds like its new in-cell touch to us –for a thinner screen and bezel. It’s a True HD (1280 x 768) IPS LCD, and LG claims when it’s turned off the 3mm bezel and body of the phone match the screen when it’s turned off. Just the leaks indicated, it also has 2GB of RAM, a 13MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera and 2,100mAh battery, all while measuring only 8mm thick.
The only bad news so far? It will arrive in Korea next month (and on NTT Docomo in October or November as the L-01E in black and red, seen after the break) with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, not Jelly Bean. The software will be as we’ve seen on other high-powered LG units like the Optimus Vu, with the addition of a “live zoom” feature on video and Dual Screen Dual Play mirroring for external displays. The real triumph for LG however, is its ability to vertically integrate technology from its various units to create the device. LG Chem provided a battery that is the first to offer a lifespan of 800 cycles, while LG Display created the screen and partnered with LG Innotek on the G2 Touch Hybrid Display unibody tech that eliminates the gap between the glass and the LCD panel. A worldwide launch is promised later in the year, although we’d expect to hear more soon at IFA 2012.
Archos has had its hand in the slate game since the early days of “internet media tablets,” and while its products don’t have quite the same brand recognition as, say, Samsung’s, we’ve found the French company’s devices to be some of the best-value tablets available. Budget-minded prices and innovation don’t usually go hand in hand, but in the case of its new 101 XS Android 4.0 tablet, Archos has a few tricks up its sleeve. The slate boasts a keyboard cover and kickstand, along with a magnetic hinge allowing the lid to attach to the display. Arriving in November for $400, the Archos 101 XS is a productivity-minded take on slates, complete with a full set of keys and a bundled copy of OfficeSuite Pro. Do the hardware and software add up to a killer combo? Read on to find out.
Acer’s itchy trigger-finger has caused it to launch two new Ice Cream Sandwich-powered smartphones before IFA kicks off next week. The Liquid Gallant comes in single (Solo) and dual-sim (Duo) variants, packing a 1GHz MT6575, 1GB RAM, a 4.3-inch qHD capacitive display, 5-megapixel camera and a 1,500mAh battery. It’ll include 4GB on-board storage, which can be bolstered with microSD up to 32GB, there’s 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 3.0 + EDR. The budget-nature of the specs gives us hope that it’ll be moderately priced when the Duo arrives in September, rapidly followed by its single-sim kid brother — with both available in “Gentle Black” and “Ceramic White.”
As mentioned earlier, we’ve just gotten our hands on Qualcomm’s latest development platform to see how its first quad core chipset fares. And boy, that APQ8064 really doesn’t disappoint, but it should be no surprise — we’ve already seen how the top dual core S4 chipsets already beat their quad core competitors in certain aspects, so it’s only natural for the quad core S4 Pro to annihilate them. As you can see in our chart after the break, the APQ8064-based MDP easily beat the Tegra 3-based One X and Nexus 7, as well as the Exynos 4412-based Galaxy S III. And partly thanks to the Adreno 320 graphics core, the MDP even scored an astonishing 132fps in our GLBenchmark test, while the quad core Galaxy S III with Mali-400 graphics came second with 99fps, with the remaining devices lingering around 60fps only.
Obviously, the question remains how big of a trade-off there is on battery life in exchange for those two extra cores and the more powerful graphics chip. That said, we have a feeling that Snapdragon’s Krait architecture and asynchronously clocked cores will again prove that Tegra 3′s 4-PLUS-1 design isn’t the best solution for battery efficiency — as many of you might already know. We shall see when APQ8064-based products become available later this year. For now, take a gander at our numbers and photos.
Finalmente arrivano notizie ufficiali dalla divisione Italiana Samsung relative all’aggiornamento Ice Cream Sandwich del Galaxy Note nel nostro paese. Tramite Twitter il produttore aggiorna gli utenti sull’avanzamento dei lavori che, per ragioni al momento non chiare, si sono protratti molto più a lungo rispetto ad altri mercati.
Siamo attualmente al lavoro per ottimizzare ICS su Galaxy Note, manca ormai poco per il suo rilascio: non appena disponibile lo segnaleremo.
Dunque sembra mancare davvero poco e probabilmente l’update è stato sottoposto alla certificazione e non appena sarà dato l’ok verrà distribuito. Non resta che attendere ancora pochi giorni/settimane per avere, finalmente, ICS ufficiale Italiano su Galaxy Note.
As Google I/O 2012 rolls along, the YouTube team is updating its Android app to v4.0 with a load of new features, but you’ll need Android 4.0+ to take advantage of them (at least for now, see below). Available in 47 countries, the new app brings a brand new UI with support for channels that reflects the redesign rolled out on the website last year (not the circle-centric look that it is testing with a select few), and it can precache videos from your favorite channels for viewing later. All you have to do is select “preload” in the setting menu and it will pull down videos from your subscriptions and Watch Later queue when plugged in and on WiFi. To actually view them later you will still need to be online, but they’ll load instantly from the device’s storage instead of streaming.
Another new feature is integrated remote functionality to control playback on connected TVs and other devices. This apparently extends to more than just Google TV, as we’re told to “expect more updates later” on how this feature will become broadly available. If you’re not rocking the latest Android software don’t freak out yet, as the team indicates these features will come to more devices later. Developers should be excited too as there’s a slew of new YouTube APIs available, hit the source links below to check them out or download the app yourself.
T-Mob’s variant of the Galaxy S III made its in-store debut on this very day, and we just had a chance to go hands-on with the flagship smartphone. The carrier brought the handset down to the Metropolitan Pavilion for Pepcom’s baseball-themed shindig and we just had to get our greasy paws all over its shiny Pebble Blue shell — and it is a serious fingerprint magnet. Aside from that, though, it’s hard to take issue with such a slim and marvelously engineered device. The plasticky build quality does leave something to be desired, but it’s something we’ve become accustomed with Samsung devices. We’ve also got to give it to Sammy for getting carriers, including T-Mobile, to leave well enough alone. Other than the innocuous logo on the back there are no physical differences between this version of the S III and its 4.8-inch cousins on other networks. There’s no keyboard, redesigned corners or rejiggered buttons. Truth is, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between Big Magenta’s variant and the international version.
The Xperia miro’s moved up its coming-out party a whole nine days thanks to Sony Mobile’s Facebook campaign. Loaded with ICS, the phone is outfitted with a 3.5-inch display, 5-megapixel camera, a front-facing “chat cam” and comes in shades of black, gold, pink and silver. Integrated Facebook features and customizable illuminations are also promised, but the lid hasn’t been lifted on more detailed specs. As of now, the social-minded phone is only slated for release in Europe, but look out below for some additional glamour shots or head past the break for the video unveiling.
It wouldn’t be Computex without some KIRF Apple products. And what we have today isn’t quite a MacBook Air. But it’s amazingly close. The N2-A, as it’s known in the OEM underground, is one of the most impressive MacBook Air lookalikes we’ve seen — and one of the cheapest. $74,500 will net you 500 of these lovely 13.3-inch bundles of almost-Mac goodness, which comes out to just $149 apiece. The THD (Thread Technology Co.)-made clamshell comes complete with an LED-backlit 1366 x 768 LCD, 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor, 1 gig of DDR3 RAM and 8 gigs of SSD storage. There’s also built-in 802.11b/g/n WiFi (we’re a bit devastated about the lack of 802.11ac), and the option to add a 3G dongle or Ethernet adapter via the pair of USB 2.0 ports. As you may have gathered from the image, there’s a full-size QWERTY keyboard and a familiar, yet incredibly mediocre trackpad, along with a 2-cell 4200 mAh battery (rated to 8 hours), an SD card slot, a not-so-MagSafe 110-240-volt AC adapter, a headphone out, mic in and an HDMI port.
The idea of creating a full-fledged laptop companion to a smartphone isn’t new — just ask the former Palm team — but rarely has it come across as so pretty. Clamcase’s upcoming Clambook, while it has more than a slight hint of MacBook Air about it, is really meant as a large canvas of sight and sound for an Android phone or iPhone. Although the Clambook can at least be used as a big, 16:9 ratio display for an iPhone, the emphasis is clearly on more Google-inclined users that can use an MHL port: the one cable provides audio, video, power, an Android 4.0-native keyboard and a multi-touch trackpad. More recent Motorola phone owners might get the most out of it, since Webtop’s full-size Firefox browser and windowed interface will kick in without needing one of Motorola’s proprietary docks. We’re still waiting on many basic details, like exact device support and the all-important matter of pricing, but the Clamcase should be ready for supersized Real Racing sessions by the holidays.