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Samsung unveils Exynos 5422 octa-core and Exynos 5260 hexa-core chipsets

Another addition to the Samsung’s Exynos family is the Exynos 5 Hexa or the Exynos 5260, is seen in the Galaxy Note 3 Neo, which features six CPU cores: two 1.7GHz ARM Cortex A15 cores and four 1.3GHz ARM Cortex A7 cores. More »

Wammy Passion X with Android 4.2, octa-core processor launched at Rs. 22,500

Wickedleak has expanded its Passion smartphone series and introduced the Wammy Passion X for the Indian market at Rs. 22,500. The company is touting the Wammy Passion X as ‘water-resistant’, and claims that the AquaProtect technology used in the smartphone makes it ‘super hydrophobic’, offering protection for components, if the phone is exposed up to 30 minutes in water and any water-based liquid. Note that this is not the same as IP57-certified waterproof smartphones from Sony and Samsung, which offer greater protection from water-related damage. More »

Nokia announces 3 Android smartphones

Nokia has introduced three Android smartphones under the Nokia X series at the ongoing Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, Spain. The smartphones Nokia X, X+ and XL run on the Nokia X software platform that is based on Android. The Nokia X, X+, and XL are priced at € 89 (Rs 7,500 approx), € 99 (Rs 8,500), and € 109 (Rs 9,300), respectively. More »

iPhone 5S review: Same look, small screen, big potential

The iPhone 5S delivers an improved camera, a nifty fingerprint sensor, and a next-gen CPU and motion-tracking chip. Apple throws in the iWork app suite for free. iOS 7 adds some nice step-ups, too, including AirDrop file transfers and the Android-like Control Center. More »

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Samsung Galaxy S4

The good: The Samsung Galaxy S4 has Android 4.2.2, a fantastic camera, a powerful quad-core processor, and software solutions for just about every scenario — including working as a TV/DVR remote. It’s also comfortable in hand and has NFC, a user-replaceable battery, and a microSD storage slot. More »

How to set up Chrome Remote Desktop for Android

How to set up Chrome Remote Desktop for Android

Google released its remote desktop solution for Android devices this week, making it possible to control a PC or Mac from anywhere.chromeremotedesktop.jpg

On Wednesday, Google published its Chrome Remote Desktop app in the Chrome Web Store, along with the Android app in the Play store. The two apps work in tandem, allowing users to control a PC orMac from anywhere, using an Android device.

The setup process is simple, taking roughly 5 minutes and little technical knowledge. With the goal of controlling a computer, let’s start by installing the Chrome Web app. Using Chrome, visit and install the Remote Chrome Desktop app on your computer. You can find it on the Chrome Web Store site.

After installing the Chrome app you’ll be guided through a series of dialogues and prompts. Follow the instructions, granting permission where required. Be sure to install the additional piece of software that makes the magic happen. Last, you’ll be asked if you want to grant remote assistance or access your own computers. The former option is useful when trying to troubleshoot a relative’s computer; the latter is for your personal use. Selecting your computers (instead of remote assistance) will ask you to enter a PIN. The PIN is required each time you attempt to connect to the computer from your Android device.

Now that you’ve granted permissions, installed software, and set up a PIN — the hard part is over. The final piece of the puzzle involves downloading the Android app (from the Google Play store). Assuming you’re signed into the same account in both Chrome and on your Android device, the app will automatically display your controllable computers. Select the computer you want to control and enter your PIN to connect. Pretty simple.

Apple driving move to 64-bit mobile processors, TSMC says

Apple driving move to 64-bit mobile processors, TSMC says

After Apple announced its A7 processor last year, the industry has been moving to 64-bit, says a TSMC co-CEO.apple-a7-on-board-small.jpgApple has moved the mobile device industry to 64-bit, an executive from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. said at an earnings conference.”If you observe the mobile device industry, in the past six months we do see the…conversion to 64-bit [in processors] after the Apple [64-bit A7 processor] announcement,” Mark Liu, co-CEO of TSMC, said at a conference on Thursday after TSMC announced its first-quarter results.Apple announced the 64-bit A7 processor in September of last year. The announcement surprised Qualcomm, galvanizing it to announce a slew of 64-bit processors in the following months. MediaTek — another large mobile processor supplier — has chimed in too with 64-bit announcements.Because of that “we see increased demand on 28- and 20-nanometer, this year as well as next year,” Liu said, referring to the current 28-nanometer manufacturing process and the more advanced 20-nanometer process, which the company has been ramping up.

TSMC just started production in January of 20-nanometer system-on-a-chip products (which the company calls 20SoC). It is the “fastest ramp in TSMC history,” said C.C. Wei, co-CEO.

TSMC is the largest contract chip manufacturer in the world and has been rumored to be one of the suppliers of Apple’s next-generation processor, sometimes referred to as the A8.

Maybe related to this, TSMC said that big changes are under way at the company.

“This is one of the largest mobilizations in semiconductor history. In one year we have fielded [a team] of 4,600 engineers and 2,000 operators in two fabs (manufacturing facilities),” according to Wei.

Executives said that demand for chips in the second quarter is “unseasonably strong.”

Analysts seemed to be hinting at Apple as a potential customer during the Q&A session of the conference.

“In the not-too-distant-future, TSMC’s top two customers may have 25-30 percent of total revenues, both in the mobile segment,” one analyst commented.

TSMC is also working on an even more advanced 16-nanometer process for future delivery to customers.

Finally, it should be noted that Samsung is also expected to participate in the production of Apple’s next-gen processors. To date, Samsung has been the exclusive processor supplier to Apple.

Spice Stellar Glide Mi–438 dual-SIM 3G smartphone launched

Spice Stellar Glide Mi–438 dual-SIM 3G smartphone launched for Rs 5,199

Indian mobile company, Spice has launched its latest budget dual-SIM smartphone dubbed the Stellar Glide Mi–438. The smartphone has a price tag of Rs 5,199 and comes with Google Mobile Services (GMS) certification, which means it will have Play Store and Google’s Play Services suite.

Spice-Stellar-Glide-Mi-438-online

The Glide Mi–438 is powered by a 1.3 GHz dual-core processor coupled with 512 MB of RAM. Its display is a 4-inch OGS screen. The Mi-438 runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean OS out of the box. The phone has a 2 megapixel camera along with LED Flash at the rear. There is another camera at the front which has a 1.3 megapixel resolution.

There is also a microSD card slot which will allow the user to expand storage space up to 32GB. The company has provided a 1350 mAh battery with the phone which will deliver a talktime of more than 4.5 hours with a standby time of 170 hours. Connectivity features include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi tethering, 3G, 3G video calling and G-sensor.

Spice is also providing the buyers with 2GB of cloud storage space on its cloud service Spice Cloud. Besides, the company has equipped the phone with anti-theft and security features. It is also giving away a flip cover (worth Rs 500) free with the phone.

Samsung Galaxy S5 review: less about the gimmicks

Samsung Galaxy S5 review: less about the gimmicks

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Cutting down: Samsung has removed a lot of superfluous features from its latest Galaxy smartphone, the S5.Cutting down: Samsung has removed a lot of superfluous features from its latest Galaxy smartphone, the S5.

There’s a lot to like about Samsung’s new Galaxy S5 smartphone – among them, its relative lack of features.

Don’t get me wrong. The company’s new flagship smartphone has plenty of innovations, including water resistance, a heart rate sensor and a fingerprint reader to bypass security passcodes. The screen measures 5.1 inches diagonally, which is slightly larger than its predecessor’s 5 inches and much bigger than the iPhone’s 4 inches. The S5′s camera is capable of taking 16 megapixel images, an improvement from 13 megapixels in last year’s Galaxy S4.

Samsung's Galaxy S5 smartphone.Samsung’s Galaxy S5 smartphone.

What’s most notable, though, is Samsung’s decision to focus on features people might actually want.

Some of the S4′s features – such as automatic scrolling of content when you tilt your phone or head – came across as clutter or gimmicks that often didn’t work as advertised.

Samsung also simplified the phone’s interface.

Like other Android phones, the S5 is still more complex to use than Apple’s iPhone, but the flip side is you get many more ways to customise it, including the ability to unlock a phone by drawing a pattern on the screen rather than using a passcode. In the S5, Samsung plays down or removes many of the S4′s less useful features, while rearranging the settings and layouts to make things easier to find.

The phone went on sale on Friday around the world, though a few carriers in Korea have released it early. It is available on plans and can also be purchased outright for $929.

Samsung is emphasising fitness activities in its latest phone.

The heart rate sensor, located on the back just below the camera lens, doesn’t measure your pulse continuously. Rather, you have to hold your finger on the sensor for about five seconds before and after your activity. The information gets stored in Samsung’s S Health app. Other app developers can make use of the sensor, too.

If you need continuous tracking, Samsung has three fitness-focused wrist devices. They sync with the S5 and other Samsung phones to give you a broader snapshot of your activities. I’ll be reviewing those features separately after I’ve had a chance to use the phone for more than an afternoon.

One area where Samsung phones still fall short is in their construction. Although the removable plastic back makes it possible to replace the battery, it comes across as cheap next to the iPhone’s glass back and the HTC One’s metal body.

And Samsung hasn’t completely removed all the clutter. There are still two separate apps to listen to music, watch video and buy apps. The S5 comes with the standard Google apps for Android, but Samsung loads its own, too.

These aren’t huge shortcomings. There’s more to like than not.

The S5 isn’t the only good smartphone out there, but there’s enough in it to give Samsung another hit.

BlackBerry tries to cut device dependence

BlackBerry tries to cut device dependence

BlackBerry has been losing smartphone marketshare to Apple and Samsung for years. The company is now shifting its emphasis to supplying software and services. Photo / Thinkstock

BlackBerry has been losing smartphone marketshare to Apple and Samsung for years. The company is now shifting its emphasis to supplying software and services. Photo / Thinkstock

BlackBerry’s John Chen is giving himself two years to overhaul the smartphone maker and offset declining handset demand with sales of software that connects computers with all manner of machines, from cars to heart monitors.

Chen, who took over as chief executive officer in November, is stepping up BlackBerry’s reliance on business customers instead of the smartphones that made the company famous. In the worst-case scenario in which he misses his goal of generating cash flow by this fiscal year, Chen said he’ll have six to eight quarters to replace declining hardware sales with higher-margin software revenue.

The shift is the key to Chen’s goal of returning the money-losing company to profit by the fiscal year that ends in March 2016. Chen is in a race against time with device sales continuing to slide – 77 per cent last quarter alone from a year earlier. His plan to create fresh revenue streams from its QNX software and BBM instant-messaging services has been welcomed by investors who’ve driven the stock up 23 per cent since he took the helm after a failed sale process.

BlackBerry bought QNX in 2010 for $200 million from Harman International Industries and set about building a new smartphone operating system, BlackBerry 10, on the software. It’s already widely used in cars and industrial settings like coal mines and hospitals. Now Chen wants to make it more prevalent anywhere machines need to communicate with other machines.

Samsung Galaxy S5 goes on sale worldwide

Samsung Galaxy S5 goes on sale worldwide

 

 

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The latest version of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy smartphone series went on sale worldwide Friday, days after the electronics giant announced it was facing a second consecutive quarter of profit decline.

The Galaxy S5 has a lot riding on it to steer the South Korean firm’s profit-making machine back on track as growth in smartphone sales slows, with mature markets like North America and Europe near saturation.

Reviews of the S5 have mostly concluded that it is one of the best high-end smartphones on the market, but there is also a general consensus that it lacks the “wow” factor to differentiate it from its predecessors and competitors.

“It can swim, but it won’t make any waves,” was the verdict of the Wall Street Journal, referring to one innovation in the S5′s waterproof covering.

Samsung’s mobile unit has been the driving force behind the record profits of recent years, and it needs the S5 to perform well as a retort to the doom-mongers who say the company lacks a clear strategy to flourish in an increasingly competitive, saturated market.

Samsung made more than 30 percent of all smartphones sold in the world last year, nearly twice the share of its arch-rival Apple.

But on Tuesday, the company estimated its first quarter operating profit at 8.4 trillion won ($7.96 billion), marking a second straight year-on-year decline.

In a sign of the challenge the company faces, the S5 was priced lower at its commercial launch Friday than the previous S4 model.

Research firm IDC estimated the average selling price of smartphones will fall to $265 globally by 2017 from $337 in 2013 and $387 in 2012.

Samsung is believed to have reduced its marketing spend on the S5 and is also under pressure to set aside more cash for legal bills as years-long patent battles against Apple continue.

The two have locked horns in patent suits in several nations involving design and technologies on their smartphones and tablet computers.

A fresh patent trial opened in the United States last week, with Apple vowing to prove that Samsung flagrantly copied iPhone features and should pay more than $2 billion in damages.