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Smartphone Champions League completes – meet the champion

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Time to break out the champagne and celebrate the first winner of the Smartphone Champions League, the Nokia Lumia 1520. The first Lumia phablet had a lot to overcome some high-profile challengers, including its Lumia 1020 sibling at the end.

We’d like to thank the dedicated fans that swayed the results and several times gave us some surprising turnarounds. Read more »

Qualcomm demos Adreno 420 3D graphics, camera and video prowess

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We’ve been hearing “console-quality graphics” used to describe GPUs in mobile chipsets since the Tegra 2 but that was wishful thinking. Qualcomm is making a similar claim for its latest generation Adreno 420 GPU only this time it created cool demos to back that up.

The GPU found inside the new Snapdragon 805 uses its power for more than just rendering 3D graphics in games – Qualcomm also worked on video playback (3D and UHD) and even assisting with camera image processing. Read more »

Windows 8 breaks 10% market share milestone in December

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The free Windows 8.1 update was released on October 18 and since then adoption has been growing steadily. Yet the number people who went through with the update is still less than half of Windows 8 users. Windows 7 continued to grow too and, surprisingly, so do Vista numbers.

The info comes from Net Applications and points to a combined Windows 8.x market share of 10.49% in December, breaking the 10% mark for the first time since the new generation OS was introduced. Read more »

Samsung shares drop 4.6% on estimates of lower operating profit

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Samsung’s shares bob up and down based on analysts’ predictions of the company’s earnings. The latest change was a hit to share price because of estimates that the company will posts a lower quarter to quarter operating profit. The stock closed at 4.6% down.

The official numbers are expected to come out next Tuesday, but analysts have already reported in their expectations. Read more »

Samsung unveils Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 Game Edition bundle

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Samsung is trying to gently enter the Android-powered console market using the Game Pad. The company was showing off the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 Game Edition, which comes bundled with the Game Pad accessory and an HDMI adapter.

That’s right, while the Game Pad can hold phone ranging from 4″ to 6.3″, it cannot hold tablets, not even 7″ ones. Read more »

Huawei Honor 3C sees 1.5 million reservations in 36 hours

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Huawei announced the Honor 3C just three days ago and it went up for pre-order the following day. The phone is highly affordable (the base model costs CNY 800, which works out to just $130), but offers a 5″ 720p screen, quad-core MediaTek chipset, Android 4.2, a Sony 8MP camera and dual-SIM connectivity.

That seems to be the recipe for success as 1.5 million units were reserved in the first 36 hours. Reservations will continue until December 25. Read more »

Sony QX lens-style cameras updated with 1080p video recording

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This year at IFA Sony unveiled the unique QX line of lens-style cameras and they’re getting their first update. As you may remember they had some issues – for one they could shoot video at 1,440 x 1,080 but not widescreen. The firmware update fixes that and adds proper 1,920 x 1,080p video recording mode.

The update also adds more manual controls and boosts the ISO range. Read more »

Smartphone Champions League, Matchday 1

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The first eight contenders in the first edition of our Smartphone Champions League are ready to go head to head. You can read the rules for the tournament here, where you’ll also find the full tournament bracket and more information on the competition.

Round 1 of the tournament sees the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs. Nokia Lumia 1020, Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. Apple iPhone 5, Google Nexus 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 and Sony Xperia Z1 vs. Nokia Lumia 625. Read more »

Announcing the GSMArena Smartphone Champions League

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GSMArena.com has a current rankings page that sorts phones by the daily interest in them from our readers. We use that to keep our finger on the pulse of what’s popular, but it can be useful to our readers too. But the daily rankings shift quickly as a new popular phone is launched and at the same time slowly as old popular phones take quite a while to go down the ladder.

This is why we decided to launch the Smartphone Champions League – a knockout tournament to determine which phone you, our beloved readers, like the best. Read more »

Windows Phone Store reaches 200,000 apps

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The continued efforts from Microsoft is paying off as the Windows Phone Store hit 200,000 apps just a few days ago. From modest beginnings in 2010, to 100,000 apps in June last year to double that just in time for the holidays this year.

Microsoft will be releasing $100 million worth of gift cards to 100 retailers across 41 markets to make it easier for users to buy apps (i.e. receive a gift card for the holidays). Read more »

Nokia Camera app comes to low-end and mid-range Lumias in beta form

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The Nokia Camera app unified the creative features of Smart Camera and the manual controls of Pro Camera. It was made available for high-end Nokia Lumia phones a couple of months ago, but now the app is available in Beta for the low- and mid-range Lumias too.

This means support for the following phones: Lumia 520, Lumia 521, Lumia 620, Lumia 625, Lumia 720, Lumia 810, Lumia 820, and Lumia 822. Note that you need at least Nokia Amber installed, preferably Nokia Black. Read more »

Xolo Play Tegra Note 7″ tablet goes on pre-order in India

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The Xolo Play Tegra Note built on NVIDIA’s platform is now available for pre-order in India. The tablet is based on the Tegra 4 chipset and is priced at INR 18,000 ($290). If you pre-order now, Flipkart and Xolo will throw in a Smart Cover, which otherwise costs INR 2,499 ($40).

The Xolo Play Tegra Note is a 7″ tablet running Android 4.2, with software updates coming straight from NVIDIA rather than Xolo. Read more »

LG G Flex battery life test

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The LG G Flex is an unusual device that brings a lot of innovation in one package. The battery is one – it’s a curved, flexible battery that allows the whole device to be flexed. To make this happen, LG also had to develop a flexible screen – an OLED built on a plastic substrate.

Despite working with such new technology, LG still managed to squeeze a whopping 3,500mAh battery in the G Flex. But with a huge 6″ OLED screen to feed, will it be enough? Read more »

Sony releases Android 4.4.1 KitKat AOSP source for Xperia L

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Sony maintains AOSP releases – that’s clean, unmodified Android – for a number of its devices. The latest addition is the Xperia L, a mid-range phone, which is getting Android 4.4.1 KitKat.

Interestingly, the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, which recently gained a spot among the Google Play Edition devices, is not included yet. Read more »

Vivo releases an augmented reality invite for Xplay 3S unveiling

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Vivo’s initial invitation for the upcoming Xplay 3S was pretty standard – a tagline, time, and date. The new one is decidedly cooler – it’s a card with a built-in NFC chip that triggers an augmented reality presentation.

You’ll need to download the dedicated app but it’s worth it – an impressive presentation for an impressive device. Read more »