Nokia Launches The Lumia 920 and 820 In India; Lumia 620 Coming Soon!

Today, at an event in New Delhi, Nokia unveiled its new range of Lumia smartphones running on Windows Phone 8. Sitting at the top of their WP8 Lumia range is the Lumia 920. The handset that was unveiled nearly 3 months ago is finally hitting the Indian shores.

The Lumia 920 sports a 4.5-inch ClearBlack Display with 768p+ resolution Puremotion HD+ display. Internally, the handset is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon Krait processor, Adreno 225 GPU, 1GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. The highlight of the Lumia 920 is, however, its 8.7MP PureView camera at the back. It is the first smartphone to feature Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and a floating lens technology, which helps in reducing the visible shake while taking videos. It also immensely helps in low-light photography by allowing a long shutter time, thus allowing more light to be captured.

Other features of Lumia 920 include wireless charging, NFC, GPS with A-GPS, Nokia Drive with free turn-by-turn navigation, and the usual bunch of sensors and connectivity options.

The Lumia 920 is accompanied by its smaller brother – the Lumia 820. The 820 sports a 4.3-inch WVGA AMOLED display with ClearBlack Display technology, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot and the same 1.5GHz dual-core Krait and Adreno 225 GPU as found inside the 920. The 820 does not sport a PureView branded camera, but instead comes with an 8MP Carl Zeiss lens aided by dual-LED flash.

Completing Nokia’s WP8 portfolio in India is the Lumia 620 – a budget oriented Windows Phone 8 handset. The handset sports a 3.8-inch TFT ClearBlack Display with WVGA resolution, 1GHz dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM, 8GB of free storage space, a microSD card slot, a 5MP camera at its back and the usual sensors and connectivity options.

The Lumia 920 will be available in a bunch of bold colors including yellow and white for Rs 38,199 beginning from January 11th. The Lumia 820, that also comes with interchangeable back covers, will officially set its buyers back by Rs. 27,599.

Sadly, Nokia did not announce the pricing of the Lumia 620, but it did say that the handset will be priced between the Lumia 510 and Lumia 710, which makes it a fairly tempting device. The handset is expected to be launched in India in the 1st week of February.

Lenovo K900 Running Android Sports A Dual-Core 2GHz Clover Trail+ Processor

Huawei and ZTE are not the only companies releasing Android based smartphones at CES in Las Vegas. Joining them is Lenovo, which released its flagship smartphone earlier today at CES, the Lenovo K900.

The K900 sports a massive 5.5-inch IPS screen with 1080p Full HD resolution protected by Gorilla Glass 2, 2GGB of RAM, 16GB of on-board storage, microSD card slot, a 13MP F/1.8 camera at its back accompanied by dual-LED flash, and a front-facing 1.9MP camera with 88-degree viewing angle.

The handset is made of stainless steel alloy plus polycarbonate body inside an impressively thin 6.9mm body. Perhaps, the most interesting part of the Lenovo K900 is the processor ticking inside it. Last year, Lenovo was among the first companies at CES to announce an Intel Medfield based phone, the K800. This year, they continue that tradition with the K900, which sports Intel’s latest mobile SoC – Clover Trail+, a dual-core chip that is clocked at an insanely high 2GHz.

At the moment it is unknown how Clover Trail+ performs compared to other mobile SoC solutions like the Tegra 4, Apple’s A6X and Samsung’s Exynos series. The company did not mention anything about the pricing or release date of the K900, or which version of Android it will run out of the box.

First Look At Tegra 4’s Development Board Performance In GLBenchmark

If you follow the mobile industry closely, you will be pretty much aware of the fact that whatever GPU Apple uses in its iOS devices is usually the fastest, which is then followed by Samsung’s Exynos/ARM GPU. While Qualcomm GPU’s never really were top-performers, the release of Adreno 320 GPU with the S4 Pro SoC changed all that. The Adreno 320 gives tough competiton to the ARM GPU in Samsung’s Exynos SoC and even manages to beat Apple’s A6 SoC in some benchmarks.

Yesterday, when Nvidia unveiled the “world’s fastest mobile” SoC, Tegra 4, with quad-core Cortex-A15 CPU and 72 GPU cores, it boasted of the fact that its mobile SoC is faster than even Apple’s A6X SoC found inside the iPad 4. Given Nvidia’s past, I was skeptical about their marketing and I might just be right.

Thanks to some terrific investigation by an XDA member, Turbotab, we may have got our first look on how the Tegra 4 performs in real-world benchmarks or at least GLBenchmark. In an offscreen Egypt HD benchmark at 1080p resolution, Nvidia’s Tegra 4 based developer board managed around 32.6FPS, while the iPad 4 managed a whopping 49.6FPS.

Now, even if we consider that development boards are around 10-20% slower than the ‘retail’ units, the Tegra 4 will still end up playing catch up with the A6X inside the iPad 4.

It was earlier rumored that Nvidia will unveil the Tegra 4 with its new unified Kepler based GPU core, which is similar to its desktop GPUs. However, AnandTech has confirmed that Nvidia has not used Kepler GPU inside the Tegra 4.

Head over to this XDA thread to read about the stunning investigative work done by Turbotab. 

P.S. – All the above information may just turn out to be complete BS, but taking into consideration Nvidia’s past, I am highly doubtful about that. In Nvidia’s slides, the company presumably compared the quad-core Cortex-A15 CPU of Tegra 4 to Apple’s custom Swift cores, and may have intentionally left out the GPU part.

Qualcomm Unveils The Snapdragon 600 And Snapdragon 800 Mobile SoC; Redefines Performance Once Again

Nvidia is not the only one unveiling ultra-fast SoCs at CES. Qualcomm joined in on the SoC fun with the announcement of its new mobile SoCs. The company once again ditched its naming convention. This means its time to forget about the Qualcomm S3, S4 and S4 Pro SoCs. Instead, the company has renamed its upcoming mobile SoCs to a much simpler – Snapdragon 600 and Snapdragon 800.

The Snapdragon 600 picks up where the Qualcomm S4 Pro, found inside the likes of the DROID DNA and the Nexus 4, left. The Snapdragon 600 will feature a quad-core Krait 300 CPU with speeds of up to 1.9GHz per core, an Adreno 320 GPU, and LPDDR3 RAM. The press release from Qualcomm states that the Snapdragon 600 will be up to 40% percent faster than S4 Pro SoCs. The best part is that Snapdragon 600 SoC based devices will start showing up by Summer of this year.

If the Snapdragon 600 is fast, its bigger brother – Snapdragon 800 – takes things to a completely new level. The Snapdragon 800 will sport a quad-core Krait 400 CPU, with each core capable of clocking up to 2.3GHz. It will also sport a faster Adreno 330 GPU, UltraHD (4096*2304) resolution support, dual-channel LPDDR3 RAM support, dual ISPs for  support for up to 55MP sensors, and finally, support for DTS-HD, Dolby Digital Plus and 7.1 surround sound. Qualcomm states that Snapdragon 800 will be up to 75% faster compared to S4 Pro. Devices using Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 should hit the shelves sometime in the second half of 2013.

It will be really interesting to see how the newer Qualcomm’s Snapdragon SoCs stack up against the quad-core Cortex-A15 based SoCs like Tegra 4 and Samsung’s Exynos 5.

 

 

HTC Posts Its Lowest Profit Since 2004; Tough Time Continues!

Today, HTC released its unaudited Q4, 2012 financial results and things are still looking bleak for the company. HTC was expected to make a comeback in the Q4 of last year thanks to the strong sales of the DROID DNA and the HTC Butterfly in Japan.

Instead, the company posted its lowest profit ever since 2004 indicating its inability to come up with impressive and “hero” devices since the last two years. For the fourth quarter, HTC’s net  income was NT$1 billion, its lowest since 2004. Revenues also dropped to a mere NT$60 billion, again its lowest in the last 11 quarters.

Loyal HTC users and analysts expect HTC to bounce back in 2013 with the launch of some terrific hero devices including the M7, which is going to be based on the DROID DNA/J Butterfly. The HTC J Butterfly also posted some strong sales figure towards the end of December in Japan, which should help its Q1, 2013 financial figures.

Via – HTC

Vizio Unveil A 7-inch And 10-Inch Tablets Running Stock Android 4.2

Vizio, known for making cheap TVs that offer a great bang-for-the-buck is stepping into the highly competitive tablet market with the launch of two tablets running Android.

The 10-inch tablet from Vizio packs in a whopping 2560*1600 resolution and is the first tablet to be powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 4 SoC – currently the world’s fastest mobile SoC. Other specs of the tablet include 32GB of storage, 2GB of RAM, a micro-HDMI port and the usual bunch of connectivity features and sensors. Surprisingly and stupidly, the 10-inch tablet uses a Mini USB port and not a microUSB port.

The 7-inch tablet from Vizio aims to compete directly with the Nexus 7 and packs a 12800*800 IPS display, Nvidia’s Tegra 3 SoC, 16GB of storage space, and a 1.2MP front-facing camera.

Like its PC line-up, Vizio has decided to go stock and bare, which means the tablets run on stock Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. However, hands-on pictures of the 7-inch tablet clearly show it running Jelly Bean with the older Ice Cream Sandwich like tablet UI. It will be interesting to see if Vizio decides to ship the retail units of 7-inch tablet with the same old ICS like tablet UI.

The company did not mention anything about the pricing of the tablets, but given the company’s nature, they should be priced very aggressively. The tablets should hit the market sometime in the first half of this year.

Via – The Verge

Acer Unveils A $150 7-Inch Jelly Bean Tablet; Once Again Proves The Nexus 7 Is A Steal At $199

ASUS and Google are not the only one releasing ultra-cheap Android tablets. Today, Acer is also taking its shot at the ultra-cheap Android tablet market with its new Iconia tablet – the B1-A71 (Seriously, Acer? You could not come up with a better name?).

The Iconia B1 sports a 7-inch display with 1024 x 600 display, and is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core Mediatek processor along with 8GB of internal memory and only 512MB of RAM. The 0.3MP camera in the front should be barely sufficient for video chatting. While the Mediatek processor is not really impressive, Jelly Bean should help in at least providing lag-free experience to users.  The killer feature of this 7-inch tablet, however, is its extremely cheap price of $150.

Acer is looking to hurt the sales of the ultra-cheap Android tablets from various Chinese OEMs with its new $150 tablet. However, if you can, spend the extra $50 and get the Nexus 7 from Google. For just $50 extra, the overall usability and experience jump from this Iconia B1 tablet to the Nexus 7 will be worth it.

Swype Update Brings Living Language And Smart Editor

Remember Swype? The first keyboard that brought ‘swiping’ to the Android devices. Today, its developer – Nuance Mobile – released a new update for Swype beta that brings “Living language” and “Smart Editor” to the keyboard.

 

“Living language” is a crowd sourced dictionary that adds some of the most commonly used word to Swype’s dictionary like Dropbox, LOL, YOLO and more. This feature will be only available to users who decide to opt-in to the service since your predictions will also be sent back to Swype’s server. The company even promises to deliver “trending words and phrases in real-time”, which if true can come in handy.

“Smart Editor” examines your writing style over a period of time and will automatically suggest words when the user ends a sentence with punctuation. Swype will also automatically underline words which it thinks are incorrect in a sentence.

Last, but not the least, Nuance Mobile has finally got rid of all the registration headache to install the Swype beta keyboard on an Android device. Users can now simply download the Swype Installer APK from Swype’s beta website.

Nvidia Unveils Project Shield Handheld Gaming Console Powered By Tegra 4 With Steam Support

Tegra 4 was not the only thing that Nvidia unveiled at its event in CES 2013. The company also announced a new handheld gaming console — Project Shield — based on its Tegra 4 SoC with which the company aims to compete with the PS Vita, Nintento Wii and other gaming consoles.

Project Shield packs in a 5-inch 720p Retinal display with multi-touch display, Nvidia’s own Tegra 4 which consists of a quad-core Cortex-A15 and 72 GPU cores, along with a microSD card slot. The 5-inch display of Project Shield is integrated on the controller itself, which somewhat resembles Microsoft’s Xbox controller and features a calm-shell design.

On the battery front, Project Shield can provide gamers with up to 5 to 10 hours of battery life for gaming, and up to 24 hours for HD video playback.

The handheld gaming console runs on stock, pure, unadulterated version of Android along with the usual bunch of Google Apps including GMail and Play Store.

The killer feature of Shield is that users can stream their games from their PC to the console over Wi-Fi or Ethernet. They can then even stream the game to their HDTV and play it using the Shield as a controller. It will also provide Project Shield users access to the world’s largest PC gaming platform – Steam.

Even though the company had some live demo units on stage, it did not mention anything about its availability or pricing.

UPDATE: Nvidia says that Project Shield will be coming to the U.S and Canada sometime in Q2 of this year.

Nvidia Unveils The Fastest Mobile SoC – Tegra 4; Quad-Core Cortex-A15 And 72 GPU Cores

Today, Nvidia unveiled its next generation SoC at the CES 2013 in Las Vegas. The company released its successor to the quad-core Cortex-A9 based Tegra 3, the Tegra 4 codenamed Wayne. The Tegra 4 is Nvidia’s aim at offering an SoC that competes with the Exynos and other high-end SoCs directly.

The Tegra 4 packs in a quad-core Cortex-A15 which is accompanied by the company’s patented 5th core to save battery. The SoC is also based on the 28nm fabrication process that should greatly help in improving battery life compared to Tegra 3. On the GPU side, the Tegra 4 packs in a 72-core GPU which should provide at least 10x boost in gaming performance compared to its predecessor.

Nvidia has also worked on improving the imaging capabilities of its SoC, which the company calls “Nvidia Computational photography engine”. The new ISP allows Tegra 4 based devices to take HDR photos in realtime along with live HDR video recording.

The Tegra 4 will also be accompanied by a new i500 Icera modem from Nvidia. The only downside here is that there is no integrated LTE modem on the Tegra 4. This will lead to a higher manufacturing cost for the OEMs, and also higher power consumption. The company aims to release a Tegra 4 variant with integrated LTE modem sometime in the second half of this year.

Nvidia’s CEO also showed some live demo prototypes of Tegra 4 powered tablets, but did not comment as to when Tegra 4 equipped devices will hit the shelves.