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Nov 21, 2013 - 12:14 PM - by dgstorm
If you were looking to pick up one of the best values in an Android tablet this holiday season, then you probably want to check out this offer on Newegg. The EVGA Tegra Note 7 is the first (and currently only) Tegra 4 powered Android tablet available. At a price of just $199.99, the power and features of this little tablet might shock you.
Here's a recap:
- NVIDIA's Tegra 4 SoC, (This is the same ultra-fast processor and GPU combo found in the NVIDIA Shield)
- 7-Inch 720p Display
- 1GB RAM
- 16GB of storage
- MicroSD card slot
- 5MP rear camera
- 1.3MP front-facing cam
- Android 4.2.2 at launch
- An integrated stylus
- Dual front-facing speakers
- MicroHDMI port
While the amount of RAM is a bit low, and the display isn't true HD like many of the newer tabs, the graphics prowess of the Tegra 4 could rival some desktop PCs. This tab is obviously built with gamers in mind, but at this price point it should attract more than just gamers.
Here's a link to check out this offer: Newegg.com - EVGA TEGRA NOTE 7 Tablet ? 16GB Flash, 1GB RAM Quad Core Nvidia Tegra 4
Nov 21, 2013 - 11:35 AM - by dgstorm
It certainly looks like the Android 4.4 KitKat will be on most versions of the Moto X very soon. AT&T just had a KitKat soak test start for their version of the Moto X. It's ironic that Verizon actually beat AT&T to the punch on getting a soak test going for the Android 4.4 update on their version of the Moto X. More than likely, this bodes well for a rapid launch of Android 4.4 KitKat for all versions of the Moto X.
What's even more ironic is that there are a ton of folks out there with Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets who still haven't received their Android 4.4 KitKat updates. If they don't speed up the rollout, we could actually see a non-Nexus device get its official rollout of the newest version of Android before some Nexus devices!
Well it was fun while it lasted. It looks like the flagship G2, Flex and the Nexus 5 will be the last we see of LG in the smartphone arena. For a while anyway. What does this mean for the Nexus line??? Back to Samsung??? Or maybe we will finally see a Motorola Nexus. A 5" version of the Motorola X in Nexus form would be a sweet phone for sure.
Here is the bad news.:
A preemptive move to reduce risks
Struggling in the smartphone business, LG Electronics is shifting its focus to TV. As the financial circles began to put pressure on the chaebol conglomerates using funds as their weapon, LG Electronics is believed to have started to make adjustments to send a positive signal to the market. With the year-end reshuffling just in the offing, a massive shake-up of the MC Division (smartphone) and the HE Division (TV) is forecast.
According to the industry on November 19, LG Electronics recently began to make advance adjustments for the manpower restructuring of the MC Division. Currently, the management is known to be trying to choose between a shock treatment focused on reduction in labor force and gradual downsizing. During the year-end season of personnel realignment, it will be possible to sense the general direction of the restructuring of LG Electronics. Transfer of personnel between the MC Division and the HE Division at the top and middle level of managers is likely to be brisker.
LG Electronics is more likely than not to maintain the current level in the R&D sector of the MC Division, but greatly reduce the support organization. Some forecast that LGE would reduce 10% of the entire manpower of the MC Division. LG Electronics has been restructuring the manpower intermittently over the years, e.g. receiving job-change applications from some of the employees of the MC Division. The focus of the restructuring was placed on some support departments like marketing and purchasing. However, it seems that not only the MC Division, but also the entire company will undergo large-scale personnel realignment.
“Recently vice-chairman Koo Bon-joon is often mentioning the smartphone business risk,” a core insider of LG. “In the long run the smartphone business is important, but he is trying to concentrate on the TV business, something that LGE can do well in.”
Although LG Electronics recently released its strategic smartphone G2, its global smartphone market share fell to No. 5 in Q3. LGE was overtaken by Chinese companies Huawei and Lenovo as they rapidly increased smartphone shipments. Its market share fell from 5%-ish to 4.7%.
The pressure from the financial circles, e.g. the main creditor banks, seems to have played a big role. Recently financial institutions seem to be paying much attention to managing the risks of chaebol groups in the wake of the STX and Tongyang crises. The Dongbu Group succumbed to the pressure from financial institutions, and gave up the semiconductor business. It is believed that LG Electronics cannot ignore the concerns in the financial circles over the smartphone business. LGE will reinforce its competency in the smartphone business in the long run, but concentrate its resources on TV to overcome the crisis it faces.
“With the premium market slowing down and Chinese companies charging forward in the sluggish mid-to low-priced... [Read More]
Nov 20, 2013 - 4:51 PM - by dgstorm
Owners of the previous Nexus flagship phone from Google and LG, the Nexus 4, will be pleased to hear this. Despite the Moto X actually getting the Android 4.4 KitKat rollout before the Nexus 4, it was only by a matter of hours. The rollout for the Nexus 4 has already started and will be pushing out in waves. The update is build KRT16S and clocks in at 238.9 MB. This is the exact same build which is rolling out in chunks to the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets.
The rate at which several different devices are moving toward Android 4.4 KitKat is far faster than any Android update we have seen before. Perhaps there were not enough changes between Android 4.3 and 4.4 such that a great deal of testing was required. We'll keep you apprised as we find out more. Sound off in the thread if you start to get your 4.4 KitKat update!
Nov 20, 2013 - 4:38 PM - by dgstorm
As fast as the current crop of smartphones is, the inevitable march of technological evolution must carry on. Qualcomm is doing their part at advancing the agenda of our silicon overlords by creating a new chipset for next year. This morning they just officially announced their newest advanced Snapdragon chipset. It's called the Snapdragon 805 and its CPU comes with a quad-core Krait 450 CPU clocking in at a whopping 2.5GHz. Additionally, along with this bleeding edge new CPU comes a more powerful GPU as well: the Adreno 420.
Both of these advanced chips coupled together will boast support for 4K resolution displays, inciting Qualcomm to assert they will have “the first end-to-end Ultra HD solution.” Here's a quote with more of the details,
Supposedly, Qualcomm has already started shipping samples of this product to OEMs for testing and integration.
Blazing fast apps and web browsing and outstanding performance: Krait 450 quad-core CPU, the first mobile CPU to run at speeds of up to 2.5 GHz per core, plus superior memory bandwidth support of up to 25.6 GB/second that is designed to provide unprecedented multimedia and web browsing performance.
- Smooth, sharp user interface and games support Ultra HD resolution: The mobile industry’s first end-to-end Ultra HD solution with on-device display concurrent with output to HDTV; features Qualcomm Technologies’ new Adreno 420 GPU, which introduces support for hardware tessellation and geometry shaders, for advanced 4K rendering, with even more realistic scenes and objects, visually stunning user interface, graphics and mobile gaming experiences at lower power.
- Fast, seamless connected mobile experiences: Custom, efficient integration with either the Qualcomm® Gobi™ MDM9x25 or the Gobi MDM9x35 modem, powering superior seamless connected mobile experiences. The Gobi MDM9x25 chipset announced in February 2013 has seen significant adoption as the first embedded, mobile computing solution to support LTE carrier aggregation and LTE Category 4 with superior peak data rates of up to 150Mbps. Additionally, Qualcomm’s most advanced Wi-Fi for mobile, 2-stream dual-band Qualcomm® VIVE™ 802.11ac, enables wireless 4K video streaming and other media-intensive applications. With a low-power PCIe interface to the QCA6174, tablets and high-end smartphones can take advantage of faster mobile Wi-Fi performance (over 600 Mbps), extended operating range and concurrent Bluetooth connections, with minimal impact on battery life.
- Ability to stream more video content at higher quality using less power: Support for Hollywood Quality Video (HQV) for video post processing, first to introduce hardware 4K HEVC (H.265) decode for mobile for extremely low-power HD video playback.
- Sharper, higher resolution photos in low light and advanced post-processing features: First Gpixel/s throughput camera support in a mobile processor designed for a significant increase in camera speed and imaging quality. Sensor processing with gyro integration enables image stabilization for sharper, crisper photos. Qualcomm Technologies is the first to announce a mobile processor with advanced, low-power, integrated sensor processing, enabled by its custom DSP, designed to deliver a wide range of sensor-enabled mobile experiences.
Source: ... [Read More]
Nov 20, 2013 - 12:00 PM - by dgstorm
It certainly seems like the OEMs for Android smartphones are working faster than ever to get the newest version of Android ready for their smartphones (or at least their flagship devices). HTC just announced that Android 4.4 KitKat will be ready for their HTC One by the end of January. Not only that, but it looks like the Droid DNA will be getting it not too long after that... sometime in Q1 2014. Just recently, HTC announced they sent the Android 4.4 KitKat code for the Google Play Edition version of the HTC One to Google. It has yet to start filtering onto that device, but we should expect it shortly.
Ironically, for owners of the Verizon version of the HTC One, the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update has been delayed, but HTC still claims they are on track for a December launch of 4.4/KitKat for that same device. Of course, it's entirely possible that Verizon will delay that update and Big Red customers won't see KitKat on their HTC One until sometime next year. We will keep you apprised as things shake out.
Source: HTC USA
Nov 19, 2013 - 11:49 AM - by dgstorm
If you are looking to jump ship to AT&T, now might be a good time. The carrier is offering a 50% off deal on several amazing phones for a limited time. Here's a quick breakdown:
- LG G2 for only $49.99
- Samsung Galaxy S4 is only $99.99 for the 16GB model (and the tougher Galaxy S4 Active is the same price)
- HTC One is $74.99 for the 32GB model
- The Moto X is just $49.99
- Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is just $99.99
- Samsung Galaxy Mega for $74.99
- Samsung Galaxy Note II for $99.99
There are no specifics given on the timeframe for this promotion, so it might run out quickly. Shipping for these devices is free. It also looks like these are web only exclusives and require a new contract with AT&T. Here's a link below to check out this offer.
Nov 19, 2013 - 11:25 AM - by dgstorm
Just yesterday we shared that a nearly complete build of Android 4.3 had leaked for the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. It turns out that version (N7100XXUEMK4) actually is the final build. It is now rolling out in waves to the device, and is starting in India. The initial units to get it will be the unlocked and SIM-free versions. Carrier based versions might have to wait a bit longer for theirs. Here's a quick breakdown of what is fixed/updated/added:
- Galaxy Gear smartwatch support
- Preloaded Samsung Wallet
- Better RAM management
- Updated UI elements
- A new Samsung keyboard
- New GPU drivers
- New lockscreen
- New screen modes (Adapt Display and Professional Photo)
- Driving mode
- New Settings UI (with tabs)
- Voice controls
- New Samsung apps such as Calculator, Clock, Contacts, Gallery, and Music
- Full screen Samsung apps
- New S-Voice
We will keep you apprised as more update info arrises. Sound off when you get yours.
Nov 18, 2013 - 1:00 PM - by dgstorm
It looks like Google will be finally working on improving their most neglected feature in Android, the camera software. First, a developer named Josh Brown noticed in some Android code that Google is working on a new Android camera API. This new API would allow the camera to store RAW (uncompressed) images along with the JPEG ones. This would provide users with a massive amount of correction and manipulation capabilities after the image is captured. It looks like the new API might also get some stock support for modular and external cameras, which would be rather unusual.
That's not all. Here's a quote with more of the details,
Finally, there are also hints in the code that Google is working on improving the image quality and "fine-grain control" in the camera capabilities on Android. Supposedly this new API work was started in December of 2012, so it's possible we might see it show up in a later version of KitKat. It's exciting to see Google finally paying attention to one of the most important aspects of a smartphone.
The new API also supports face detection. This includes bounding boxes around faces and center coordinates for the eyes and mouth. In addition to the face-focus capabilities, the system can assign unique IDs to each face (provided they stay on screen) so developers could do things like assign silly hats to multiple faces in a video feed. While you may have seen face detection on some Android devices, those were all solutions built by Android OEMs.
There's support for burst mode, too—another feature that you would swear was already included in Android, but isn't. On Nexus devices, the only "burst mode" involves the user pressing the shutter button really fast.
Nov 18, 2013 - 12:16 PM - by dgstorm
It looks like a nearly whole build of Android 4.3 recently leaked for the GT-N7100 Samsung Galaxy Note 2. The new build is version N7100XXUEMK4, and includes several new features like Samsung's KNOX security and compatibility with Samsung Galaxy Gear. It is remarkably stable so it should be one of the "final" builds of the device. Here's a quote with a breakdown of how to try it out below. (Of course, be cautious and follow the directions perfectly. We don't want you "bricking" your device.)
Version: Android 4.3
Build date: Sun, 10 Nov 2013 14:55:01 +0000
Product Code: INU
- This test firmware will NOT increase your binary counter NOR void your warranty.
- This test firmware is a pre-release firmware and not official from Samsung.
- Extract (unzip) the firmware file
- Download Odin3 v3.09 (From here
- Extract Odin .ZIP file
- Open Odin3 v3.09
- Restart phone in download mode (Press and hold Home + Power + Volume down buttons)
- Connect phone and wait until you get a blue sign in Odin
- Add AP_N7100XXUEMK4_2099172_REV04_user_low_ship.tar.md 5 to AP
- Add BL_N7100XXUEMK4_2099172_REV04_user_low_ship.tar.md 5 to BL
- Add CP_N7100DDEMJ9_REV08_CL1423182.tar.md5 to CP
- Add CSC_ODD_N7100ODDEMK1_2099172_REV04_user_low_ship.t ar.md5 to CSC
- Make sure re-partition is NOT ticked
- Click start button, sit back and wait a few minutes.
- If you encounter any issues with the firmware (Any FC, Bootloop etc)
- Boot into recovery mode (Home+power+vol up)
- Choose to wipe/factory reset. (THIS WILL ERASE ALL OF YOUR DATA INCLUDING YOUR INTERNAL SD CARD!)
- Then choose reboot and you should be good to go!
Nov 18, 2013 - 11:26 AM - by dgstorm
We have some reversal news which might bring sadness to Samsung Galaxy S4 owners on AT&T. Just last week we reported that the Android 4.3 update was pushing out to these devices, and that was true as some folks already got the update. However, it turns out there have been some issues crop up and they have had to put the update on hold.
There's no official word confirming what the issues are, nor how long the update will be put on hold. From doing some digging it seems like the issues might be related to Wi-Fi and/or cellular data connection issues. Additionally, there are reports of some other random bugs and glitches. Interestingly, this isn't the first time the Android 4.3 update was put on hold for a Samsung device. It just happened on Friday to the Korean and UK versions of the Samsung Galaxy S3. Of course we will keep you updated when the update starts rolling out again.
In the mean-time, if you have already received the initial rollout before it was put on hold, sound off in the thread and let us know if you are experiencing any unusual issues with this Android 4.3 update.
Nov 15, 2013 - 1:00 PM - by dgstorm
Speaking of the FCC, it looks like they are really doing great things to protect consumer rights lately. Not only are they currently working to make sure phones can be carrier unlocked by consumers, they also just released a cool app which allows consumers to test the data speeds of their smartphone. It is designed to help keep your carrier honest so they can't claim overly inflated download speeds for their network. Not only that, but this app also collects data from everyone who uses the app. This database will eventually cull enough data to show which carriers offer the fastest speeds and most consistent service throughout the country.
This is a similar app to the one they offered in 2011 for fixed broadband services. That one is meant to compare the advertised speeds of ISPs and compare them to what they actually deliver. You can download this new mobile based version from the Google Play Store at the source link below.
Source: Google Play Store - FCC Speed Test App
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