Archive for the ‘Smartphones’ Category
Whenever Gresso’s not crafting expensive new threads for iDevices, the company makes its own featurephones from the finest materials mother nature has to offer. The new Grand Premiere is the latest from the company’s Avantgarde collection and carries on this incongruous tradition. Its frame and keys are made from more than five ounces of 18-carat gold, with numbers and letters laser-etched on its sapphire crystal skin. We don’t know the internals of the 12mm-thin candybar, but we do know it’s running Symbian S40 and is probably packing anemic hardware like other Gressos we’ve seen — you’re paying for exclusivity and the shiny stuff, not benchmarking abilities, after all. Only 30 Grand Premiere’s will be made at $50,000 pop, so all you conspicuous consumers with money to burn better move fast. Wouldn’t want to be the only luddite at the yacht club without luxury handset, would you?
SOURCE via CNET
Sub-$100 entry level smartphones will soon get a little extra skip in their step thanks to the ARM Cortex-A7 MPCore processor. Revealed on Wednesday, ARM claims the new chip is the most energy-efficient application class processor ARM has developed to date, delivering 5x the energy-efficiency and significantly greater performance while remaining one-fifth the size of the Cortex-A8 processor.
The company also revealed what it calls big.LITTLE processing which essentially controls two compatible but different processors installed within a single SoC. Power management software will select the appropriate processor for the task at hand, using the “LITTLE” lowest-power processor like the new Cortex-A7 for running the operating system and basic apps. Gaming and navigation would be handled by the faster Cortex-A15 processor, or both, depending on the app’s hardware demand.
“The time for this migration is in the order of 20 microseconds,” the company explained on Wednesday. “The efficient and seamless switching of workloads between the two processors is supported by advanced ARM system IP, such as AMBA 4 ACE Coherency Extensions. This ensures full cache, I/O and processor-to-processor coherency between the Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A7, and across the complete system. Software and applications can therefore continue to run unhindered, and unnoticed by the user, as the tasks are rebalanced to provide the optimum big.LITTLE user experience.”
As for the new processor, ARM claims that it will deliver sub-$100 entry level smartphones in the 2013-2014 timeframe with an equivalent level of processing performance to today’s $500 high-end smartphones. Manufactured using 28-nm process technology, it will occupy less than 0.5mm2 of space. ARM Partners already supporting both technologies include Broadcom, Compal, Freescale, HiSilicon, LG Electronics, Linaro, OK Labs, QNX, Redbend, Samsung, Sprint, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments.
“TI’s OMAP platform success relies on superior mobile computing at ultra-low power to deliver extraordinary experiences on smartphones, tablets and ultrathin laptops,” said Remi El-Ouazzane, vice president, OMAP platform business unit, Texas Instruments. “Our mobile processors’ smart multicore architectures have long been complementing main ARM processors with specialized engines and accelerators better suited to perform certain tasks at the lowest possible power. We are excited to see ARM’s introduction of Cortex-A7 with big.LITTLE processing. We see it as a natural continuation of our innovative approach to smart mobile computing as it presents new opportunities to advance the industry overall enabling even lower power general purpose CPU performance.”
For more information on the Cortex-A7, head here. Further details regarding big.LITTLE processing can be acquired here.
Sony is getting tired of sitting idly in sixth place in the battle for cellphone supremacy. Sure, there have been a few noteworthy devices from the company’s joint venture with Ericsson (i.e. the Arc), but for the most part it has struggled since its inception in 2001 to run with the alpha dogs. The Japanese manufacturer’s new strategy involves buying out Ericsson’s stake in the company and having its tablet, smartphone and handheld gaming units work closely together to develop future products.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a deal for the Stockholm company’s half of the venture is nearing completion. Some difficulties remain, such as properly valuing the company and settling on a price for Ericsson’s roughly $1.3 to $1.7 billion worth of mobile technology patents, but a deal is expected to be reached sooner rather than later. And maybe, just maybe, the new found flexibility will allow Sony handsets to keep pace with the Samsungs and Apples of the world.
SOURCE via Wall Street Journal
The NFC Forum just released the latest update to the growing close-range standard and it includes a nice little treat called SNEP, which stands for Simple NDEF Exchange Protocol. (Side note: the NDEF in SNEP, stands for NFC Data Exchange Format — it’s like a matryoshka doll of abbreviations.) What makes SNEP exciting is that it allows for sending and receiving of data between two devices. This could be used to exchange contact information between phones (similar to Bump, but without the need for an app) or collect links to trailers from movie posters which could be played back on your TV at home. It’s potentially exciting stuff, so long as manufacturers actually make use of it.
SOURCE via Electronista
The German edition of the Financial Times recently reported that Intel and Samsung may be merging the failed MeeGo OS with LiMo and create a new Linux-based operating system with strong HTML5 support to support their hardware platforms.
This report may have been confirmed by an announcement that the LiMo Foundation and the Linux Foundation will building a new open source platform called Tizen, which is scheduled for a Q1 2012 release. The OS will be targeting smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, netbooks and in-vehicle infotainment systems. There has been no official confirmation that Intel and Samsung are, in fact, the major industry forces behind this new platform.
Intel’s MeeGo hopes died with Nokia’s decision to dump all efforts and focus on Windows Phone. Previously, Intel promoted Moblin Linux with its first generation Atom processors with Silverthorne core in 2008. Moblin was based on Asianux, which included components of RedFlag Linux, Miracle Linux and HannSoft.
So far, Intel has not had much luck with its operating system ideas, but Tizen could be of a different caliber as it appears to be backed by Samsung as well. If that is the case, however, there may be new rumors what will happen to HP’s WebOS, as Samsung was rumored to be one of the bidders to acquire the software. Perhaps we should start thinking into the direction of other platform companies, including Qualcomm?
Samsung invited the world to adventure with its own smartphone OS, Bada almost two years ago and so far most of us have turned down the offer. Of course, that trip could look more appealing if a Wall Street Journal rumor is true and the company is planning to open source it for use by developers and other manufacturers alike next year.
Citing the usual “person familiar with the situation”, Samsung apparently isn’t interested in snagging any outside companies like, say, webOS, but wants to strengthen its independence from Android after Google announced it will purchase Motorola.
Right now, it feels like we’ve already seen this story play out for the still-kicking Symbian. On the other hand, maybe Samsung, with its massive manufacturing capabilities and current hit-making prowess, can strike the right balance of hardware, software and apps to make it worthwhile. If it tries and fails, well, maybe the folks in Redmond will be looking for another close friend.
SOURCE via Wall Street Journal
Researchers at the University of Michigan suggest that a reduction of the Wi-Fi clock during idle listening could give users more time with their phone.
Engineering professor Kang Shin and doctoral student Xinyu Zhang said that smartphones, including the iPhone, spend up to 80 percent of their power-saving mode in idle listening state, which checks the network for incoming data. However, they also found that this idle listening mode often consumes just as much power as when the phones are fully awake.
At the ACM International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking in Las Vegas, the scientists will present their idea for E-MiLi, which stands for Energy-Minimizing Idle Listening: The technology scales the Wi-Fi clock to only 1/16 of its usual clock to save power. To still be able to recognize incoming messages, they tweaked their smartphones to be focused to detect only message headers. As a result, they found that E-MiLi can reduce energy consumption by around 44 percent for 92 percent of mobile devices “in real-world wireless networks.”
The technology requires smartphones to be equipped with processor-slowing software, as well as new firmware for phones and computers that are sending messages. The University of Michigan said it is “pursuing patent protection for the intellectual property, and is seeking commercialization partners to help bring the technology to market.”
SOURCE via UOM
A funny thing just happened over at the Bluetooth SIG’s website: the group may have just outed Motorola’s first Facebook phone. As Unwired View rightfully points out, the EX225 is likely a feature phone that’s based on BREW, as Android’s navigation buttons are nowhere to be found.
The handset offers two variants, one that supports dual-SIMs and another that accommodates only one. Further, a nearly identical version, the EX226, is displayed in a separate listing that lacks the notorious “F” button.
Both models share a common 2.4-inch TFT-LCD display, a 3 megapixel camera and five row QWERTY keyboard — along with a sizable protrusion at the bottom rear of the device. That’s all we have for the moment, but it seems that the Status shouldn’t be too concerned about this Moto.
SOURCE via Unwired View
At present time, Baidu’s a desktop web browser / search engine based in China that’s meant to mimic Chrome (though it’s actually wrapped around IE code). The company, however, has its sights set on conquering the mobile front as well, introducing Baidu Yi OS at its annual get-together.
The new platform is essentially a forked version of Android, which will provide a lot of the same functionality and services we’re used to seeing from Google; Baidu, though, is adding a dash of flavor by throwing in its own bundle of apps — such as native maps, reader, music, web apps, and even a program similar to Google Places — as well as strong cloud integration for backups, storage and sharing.
The new OS will likely be up against intense competition from Nokia, Alibaba, Xiaomi and Windows Phone Tango (amongst others), so the Chinese mobile space may get rather interesting in the coming years.
SOURCE via Baidu
With all of the Google Android-based phones we see every day, it’s quite the change of pace when a company launches a smartphone running on its own OS, especially when that company is Samsung and has quite an impressive Android portfolio in the Galaxy line. The last time somebody tried to develop a smartphone with their own OS, they died almost instantly (looking at HP). Then again, this is Samsung, which contributes to about 20-percent of GDP for South Korea’s export, so the money’s there and that’s a different story.
Samsung just unveiled three new phones based on its Bada OS, the Wave 3, the Wave M and the Wave Y. The most notable of the three is definitely the Wave 3 (above). Boasting a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, a 1.4GHz processor, and a 5-megapixel camera capable of shooting video at 720p, the Wave 3′s spec-sheet is in line with some of the most powerful phones on sale today. The phone also comes with Samsung’s ChatOn, which is similar to BBM, and the Bada 2.0 OS supports NFC, Wi-Fi Direct and multitasking.
The other two phones, the Wave M and Wave Y (above, top and bottom, respectively), are also Bada 2.0 phones. The Wave M is geared towards the social crowd with Samsung pushing the ChatOn functionality of this 3.7-inch device along with streamlined messaging feeds, enhanced on-the-go web browsing, WiFi Direct and NFC. As far as specs are concerned, the Wave M boasts 832MHz processor, a 5-megapixel camera, a front-facing camera for video-calling, and Bluetooth 3.0. The Wave Y is designed as sort of a starter smartphone for those just leaving their dumbphones behind. It boasts a 3.2-inch display, an 832MHz processor, a 2-megapixel camera with flash, Bluetooth 3.0, ChatOn, a Social Hub, and a Music Hub.
SOURCE via Samsung