4 years ago

Head to head: NVIDIA's Tegra 4 and Tegra 4i


Chipmaker shows its 2013 wares at Mobile World Congress

For NVIDIA in 2013 (so far at least), the conversation revolves around Tegra 4 and Tegra 4i. The gist is that Tegra 4 is more powerful of the two, with more GPU cores than Tegra 4i (72 versus 60) and boasting the ARM 15 processor as part of NVIDIA's 4+1 quad-core package. It's a little bigger and more expensive than Tegra 4i, which dispenses with a dozen GPU cores and integrates the i500 LTE modem onto the die. Tegra 4i also uses an ARM9-r4, which while not quite as bad-ass as the ARM15 can very much still hold its own thanks to the optimization from ARM and NVIDIA. 

We got an up-close look at the new systems today, on the eve of Mobile World Congress, in a series of relatively controlled scenarios on test hardare, including NVIDIA's own "Phoenix" reference phone. And it's tough not to let NVIDIA's enthusiasm for its new line rub off on you. On paper, anyway, and comparing to the best of what's currently available -- which means Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 and its own Tegra 3 -- the next generation of Tegra devices looks damned promising.

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4 years ago

Alcatel announces the 1080p One Touch Idol X


Alcatel kicks of their presence at Mobile World Congress 2013 with an unexpectedly high-end offering, the 1080p One Touch Idol X. Don't let the Nokia style colored cases fool you, this one is all Android and a refreshing step up from what we've seen from Alcatel in the past.

Running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean on a 5-inch LCD, the Idol X has a beautiful edge-to-edge design. Powered by a quad-core MediaTek 6589 CPU with 16GB of internal storage, a 13MP camera (subject to change based on location) and a 2000mAh battery, the One Touch Idol X looks like something we'll want to take a second look at.

No word of pricing or availability dates were supplied. 

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4 years ago

Kyocera Torque hands-on


We're on the ground at Pepcom's MobileFocus Global, where we've just had the chance to get some hands-on time with Sprint and Kycera's latest smartphone, the Torque. Announced in late January and coming to market on Mar. 8, the Torque is the Japanese company's first ruggedized Android phone.

It runs a 1GHz CPU, a WVGA screen and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, pretty run of the mill stuff for a low-priced smartphone. But what's unique about the Torque, aside from its water resistance and toughened shell, is the system it's employing for audio playback.

Instead of using a traditional speaker, the Torque is fitted with skin a ceramic-based solution that vibrates the shell of the handset. That means it can be heard through skin and bone conduction, as well as through hardcore construction ear-protection gear. The effect works pretty well, and it's easy to see how this kind of feature could be useful to anyone working in a noisy environment.

Check out our hands-on video and gallery after the break. The Sprint Kyocera Torque launches on Mar. 8 for $99 on-contract.

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the HP Slate 7


How can a tablet that feels so good be so ... not good

What do you do if you've long since past being a laughingstock in the mobile business? You failed at Windows Mobile. You bought Palm and put webOS out to pasture. And now, if you're HP, your first real foray into Android is a tablet that's nice from afar, but far from nice.

Such is the HP Slate 7.

Let's be perfectly clear about one thing: Pick up the Slate 7, and you're holding a tablet that feels like it could easily go toe to toe with the Nexus 7 or any of Samsung's 7-inch-ish tablets. It's nicely built. It's less than half a millimeter thicker than the Nexus 7. Priced at $169, it could sell. Hell, it probably will sell. Stick it in every brick-and-mortar store next to a Nexus 7, and chances are most normal consumers won't notice a difference, save for the price tag.

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4 years ago

Lenovo outs new Android tablet lineup, new 7 and 10-inch offerings


Lenovo has outed their latest lineup of Android tablets over in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress. None have particularly inspiring names, but launched today are the 7-inch A1000 and A3000, and the 10-inch S6000.  

The A1000 is the entry level offering of the bunch. Packing a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 16GB of on-board storage which is expandable to 32GB by way of microSD card, and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It's 7-inch sibling, the A3000 is carrying a little more in the spec department by way of a 1.2GHz quad-core MTK processor and upto 64GB total storage including microSD cards. The A3000 too runs Jelly Bean, although the display is a slightly disappointing 1024x600 resolution IPS panel, but there will be a HSPA+ version of the A3000. 

The 10-inch S6000 completes the Jelly Bean toting lineup, and is also powered by a quad-core 1.2GHz MTK processor. Like the A3000 there will be a cellular, HSPA+ variant, and carries a 1280x800 resolution IPS display which promises a 178 degree viewing angle. 

One interesting addition though is the included Lenovo Mobile Access. On the cellular enabled tablets, Lenovo will be indicated as the service provider upon first powering up the tablet allowing new users to start browsing the web immediately. Once this runs out, you then have to go back to a regular data plan. No word on how much is included, but it's a nice touch nevertheless

No word at this stage on price or availability of any of these three new tablets beyond worldwide release in Q2 of this year. You can find the full press release after the break. 

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4 years ago

Huawei Ascend P2 hands-on


Huawei has just unveiled its latest Android handset, the Ascend P2, at an event held in Barcelona, Spain, and we've had the chance to get our hands on the device.

Succeeding last year's Ascend P1, the P2 brings some substantial changes in both hardware and software. Internally, the P2 now packs a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, and other specs have received customary upgrades too. The phone includes a 4.7-inch, 720p LCD on its front, and a 13-megapixel BSI camera around the back.

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4 years ago

HP announces $169 Slate 7



HP has announced a super-affordable tablet called the Slate 7 at Mobile World Congress today. It's 7 inches, runs Android 4.1, and will cost a scant $169 when it hits shelves in the U.S. in April. Here's a link to their landing page, where you can sign up for availability notifications. 

The display clocks in at 1024 x 600, a 1.6 GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 processor 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage plus a microSD slot. There's a 3 megapixel camera on the back, VGA camera on the front, Beats Audio, and weighs a scant 13 oz. Hit the jump for the full press release!

What do you guys think? Anyone remotely surprised to see HP getting out of the webOS game? Does this baby stand a chance of swinging with the Nexus 7 in the world of affordable Android tablets? Leave a comment to pay your consolations to our beloved Derek Kessler

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4 years ago

Live from Mobile World Congress with Huawei


We're live from Barcelona, Spain with Huawei, which is holding its big press conference today ahead of MWC. Possible Android developments include the Ascend P2, a quad-core successor to last year's Ascend P1. The action starts at 3pm Barcelona time (9am ET), so stick around for all the day's announcements!

You'll find our liveblog after the break.

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4 years ago

Report suggests LG to use own chips in Optimus G2, launch headed for IFA


A report emerging this weekend from the Korea Times, suggests that LG is to develop their first in-house mobile processor for use in the Optimus G2. It's perhaps not all that surprising that LG is considering heading down this path, and taking the fight on another front to fellow Korean OEM, Samsung. 

The information comes from an un-named LG official during a telephone conversation with Korea Times, along with an alleged schedule for the launch of the Optimus G2: 

LG Electronics is going to mass-produce the Odin processors by using finer 28-nanometer level processing, applying high-k metal gate (HKMG) technology. The processors will be used in LG’s next flagship Optimus smartphone ― the Optimus GII ― which will probably be unveiled in this fall’s IFA trade fair

IFA doesn't take place until September in Berlin, and by that time will be about a full year since the Optimus G was first announced. LG was noticably quiet during the IFA 2012 show, instead opting for their own event in Korea to showcase the device. But, given the timeline, it stands a decent chance of being credible information.

LG's processors meanwhile are allegedly following a similar octa-core design to Samsung's recently announced Exynos 5 Octa. Known as 'Odin,' four A15 cores will kick in should the power be required, such as high intensity gaming, where four A7 cores will better serve for lighter intensity work. Like the Exynos 5 then, LG's efforts will be based on ARM's big.LITTLE processing.

Source: Korea Times

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Welcome to Barcelona


We're back, once again, for Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. This is my fourth year here. And like previous years, this one appears poised to present its own challenges as well as opportunities to showcase new tech.

On one had it's easy to look at the schedule, what we know is coming -- and what we think we know is coming -- and shrug it off. HTC, usually the highlight (or at least one of them) at MWC, has already announced its flagship for 2013 in the HTC One. Samsung's not expected to do the Galaxy S4 for a few more weeks, though it did already drop the Galaxy Note 8.0 on us. (And it did so on a day usually reserved for travel and/or accidentally leaking devices on the sides of buildings.)

So what's left to look forward to? LG's going to roll out a slew of new devices. ASUS always brings something interesting. And I'm curious to see where things stand with Mozilla and its Firefox OS, which we've played with before. Ubuntu may get the nerd credit, but it's Mozilla that's set to have the first dedicated hardware. It's not Android, specifically, but it's set to take on Android in emerging markets. So my interest is piqued.

Plus, Mobile World Congress moved to a new venue this year. I'll sorely miss the view of the Fira de Barcelona, with the towers at the entrance and the castle looking down from the hill. But the Gran Fira (just a train change and another stop down the road) promises better logistics, we're told, and is a much newer, more modern venue. So we'll see if that makes up for whatever majesty is lost.

And the food. Oh, the food and wine in Barcelona. If you can ever get the chance to come here and gorge on tapas for a few nights, I highly recommend it.

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4 years ago

Samsung announces Android-powered HomeSync with 1TB HDTV box


Up to 8 devices can sync to Jelly Bean-enabled set

The Galaxy Note 8.0 isn't the only new fare Samsung's dropping at Mobile World Congress. Samsung today also unleashed its HomeSync media box. It's a 1-terabyte drive that allows up to eight devices to sync files for playback over an HDTV. It's encrypted and sports user-specific IDs and passwords, so Mom and Dad can keep their mom-and-dad stuff separate from Timmy and Jenny's.

And as this is a full-on Jelly Bean device (powered by a dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM), you'll get a bit of a traditional Android experience with it as well, including games and apps, Samsung says.

HomeSync will be available in April in select countries, with a global rollout to follow.

Full presser is after the break.

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4 years ago

Liquipel announces new licensees, will offer their water resistant coating worldwide


Liquipel kicks off their presence at Mobile World Congress 2013 with the announcement that they have expanded things, and with new licensees they will be able to offer their water-resistance services around the world. New license holders in Japan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Namibia and South Africa will expand the use of the Liquipel in 2013.

Liquipel is one of those cool things that just hasn't caught on in a big way yet. It's a hydrophobic nano-coating that is applied to your phone or tablet that makes water less cohesive. As you see in the video, this means your stuff can stand a bit of liquid thrown at it, or possibly even a bit of a dunk. It's billed as water resistant, and comes in several tiers. The basic protection would cost about $60 US for a Galaxy Nexus, and that protects against splashes and accidental spills. You box up your phone, send it to Liquipel, and they return it coated with the technology. 

As you can tell, that's why it is important to have as many licensees as possible to perform the coating. If you're interested in what Liquipel has to offer, visit their website at www.liquipel.com for more information. The full press release is after the break.

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4 years ago

Mobile Nations podcasting update: What's new for 2013!


Hey everyone! It's time for a mighty Mobile Nations podcast network update, and a peak at some really cool stuff we have planned for 2013! First of all, we have all-new album art for the shows. The original concept was created by superstar designer Marc Edwards of Bjango to be crisp, clean, and modern. It's tough to make a whole catalog of shows consistent yet retain all their individual personalities. With Marc's help, I think we've nailed it. And by popular demand, we've even added a small TV logo to the bottom of all the video podcast album art so you can distinguish them from their audio counterparts at a glance. We absolutely love them, and we hope you do too. (And yes, we'll be making all of them available as HiDPI/Retina wallpaper for your phones and tablets later this week!)

If you haven't recently, please make sure you leave a review and rating for your favorite Mobile Nations shows, where ever and when ever you can. It encourages services (like iTunes) to feature us, that helps us get more great listeners and viewers like you, and we appreciate it a lot!

Now on with the shows!

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 hands-on


It's day minus-one of Mobile World Congress 2013, and we already have the first major device announcement from Samsung. Variously leaked and rumored over the past couple of months, the Galaxy Note 8.0 is official today, and we've had the chance to go hands-on with the mid-sized, stylus-toting tablet in Barcelona.

At first glance, the Note 8.0 is a surreal device to behold, looking a lot like a supersized Galaxy Note 2. The basic Samsung design language holds over from the company's 2012 smartphones, meaning we're dealing with a curvy, shiny, plasticky device. A first for a Samsung tablet, the Note 8.0 includes physical buttons as opposed to the more common on-screen kind, and from a branding perspective. Samsung clearly wants consumers to identify the Note 8.0 as a companion device to the S3 and Note 2. So you should know what to expect if you've handled either of those products -- the Note 8.0 is unashamedly light and shiny, and something of a fingerprint magnet. That said, it's not at all creaky, nor does it feel fragile.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 specs


Samsung, on the eve of Mobile World Congress, has announced the Galaxy Note 8.0. It's a mid-size phone/tablet hybrid. The international (read: Non-U.S.) version will be able to make phone calls. (Though Samsung -- and we as well -- recommend doing so with a headset and not by holding it up to your head.)

The Galaxy Note 8.0 specs are nothing to sneeze at. It's powered by a quad-core Exynos processor running at 1.6 GHz, has a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 1.3MP shooter out front.  It's running Samsung's TouchWiz customizations on top of Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.

Also: See our Galaxy Note 8.0 hands-on

Most important, however, is the inclusion of (and improvements to) the S Pen stylus, which brings about a world of functionality not found in any other tablets at this point.

Also new is the inclusion of an "IR blaster," which is a sexy name for an infrared port on the side of the Note 8.0 that, thanks to the Peel application, lets you control your TV and other IR-enabled devices from the comfort and safety of your couch.

We've got the full Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 specs after the break.

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