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Nokia Lumia 720 comes for a visit, thinks it’s better than its older siblings

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The Nokia Lumia 720 came back for some more face time after our brief encounter at the MWC. The phone is similar to the Lumia 820 and it actually offers better specs in a few categories. For one, its screen can detect your fingers even through gloves. The curved Gorilla Glass 2 and ClearBlack tech make the 4.3” WVGA screen very good if not quite as nice as the 820’s AMOLED display.

There’s more too – the Lumia 720 is 9mm thick, the thinnest Lumia yet but it has a 2,000mAh battery, larger than the one in the the thicker and heavier 820. Also, the F/1.9 aperture on the camera is the brightest we’ve seen on a mobile phone yet. Read more »

Facebook Home APKs leak, can be installed on some phones prior to official release

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Facebook announced its SNS-centric Home launcher and related software (like a new Messenger that also handles SMS) last week and will be releasing them to the Play Store on April 12. The most impatient Facebook addicts don’t have to wait that long though, as they can have a go at the new software today using leaked APKs that were ripped from an HTC First ROM.

For that you’ll need a phone that fits several requirements – a screen with no more than 1280 x 768 pixel resolution and no Facebook app installed. If Facebook is installed as part of your ROM, you’ll need to get rid of it for the APKs to work. Read more »

Video stabilization test pits Nokia Lumia 920 against Samsung Galaxy S4

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The Nokia Lumia 920 was the first phone to feature Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and has gone through some pretty extreme tests (including being strapped to the front of a four by four and driven through a desert). Now, a post on WP7Forum.ru shows another test of the OIS, pitting the Nokia flagship against the brand new Samsung Galaxy S4.

Samsung’s flagship droid only has digital image stabilization to rely on so it’s at a disadvantage. Read more »

Qualcomm fastest growing semiconductor company, Intel still on top says Gartner

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Qualcomm, designers of the highly popular Snapdragon series of chipsets plus a wide variety of wireless tech, is the fastest-growing semiconductor company according to Gartner. The two companies at the top, Intel and Samsung, were both affected by stagnation in the market in 2012.

Intel’s revenue slipped 3.1% year over year, but the company retained its leadership position for the 21st year in a row. Market share dropped a hair to 16.4% (down from 16.5%). Read more »

Mozilla Foundation turns 15, shares 15 interesting facts about itself

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One of the most influential companies when it comes to web browsers – the Mozilla Foundation – is celebrating its 15th birthday. The foundation is best known for its Firefox browser (which is going to turn 9 this November and just hit version 20), but has branched out into other areas.

It all started before Firefox was born – back then the Mozilla Project launched Netscape on March 31 1998. It was an open source version of the older Netscape browser and it served as basis for Firefox. Read more »

Sony’s MWC video wall of 196 Xperia ZL phones is officially a Guinness world record

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Sony had an interesting video wall at the MWC earlier this year – it was made out of 196 Sony Xperia ZL phones in a 14 x 14 grid and their 1080p screens were synchronized to display one 1.9m x 1m image (6 ft 2 in by 3 ft 4 in). The team behind it said that it’s a record-breaking wall and today the Guinness book of records concurred.

The previous record was held by a setup of only 72 phones, less than half of the Xperia ZL phones used in Sony’s wall. Read more »

A special screen protector can turn your phone’s (or tablet’s) screen into a 3D display

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3D phones fizzled out pretty quickly but some people won’t give up on the dream. Temasek Polytechnic and IMRE from Singapore offer a special type of screen protector that turns a regular mobile phone or tablet screen into a 3D display, regardless of its platform.

It’s based on the old lenticular glasses-free tech, but modernized with nanotechnology. The team behind the 3D screen protector is also developing tools for making 3D games and making 2D images 3D (your regular 2D camera won’t magically grow a third dimension). Read more »

Samsung introduces SMART Eco Trees air purifiers with Galaxy-style features

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Samsung is a big company that makes nearly everything, but now it’s expanding the list with Samsung SMART Eco Trees. The eco-friendly gadget is an air purifier that shares many of the advanced features with the Samsung Galaxy S4.

The basic feature of Eco Trees is to purify the air and pump out oxygen while scrubbing CO2. They also automatically keep air moisture at pleasant levels and cool the environment around them. FOTA (Fragrance Over The Air) will also make the air more pleasant. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy S III for Sprint officially gets exclusive Amethyst color version

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Samsung is continuing to churn out new color options for the Galaxy S III, the latest addition is Amethyst (purple for those with limited knowledge of color names). The new shade leaked about 10 days ago, but now is officially up on Samsung’s US site.

Right now the Amethyst Galaxy S III is available only for Sprint (in addition to the standard Pebble Blue and White versions). Read more »

OUYA consoles shipping to Kickstarter backers, will be in their mailbox soon

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The Android-powered OUYA console has started shipping to Kickstarter backers, as promised. This is the developer console with a transparent plastic casing, while the retail unit (scheduled to hit shelves on June 4) will have a metallic outer shell.

The OUYA team says consoles will be shipped out of the factory over the next few weeks so you might not get yours right away. You will receive an email when yours leaves the factory. Read more »

Video details Panasonic’s color splitter tech that promises big improvements to digital camera sensors

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A couple of months ago Panasonic unveiled its plan to improve digital cameras by replacing the ubiquitous Bayer filter. The company claims a Bayer filter blocks 50%-70% of the light entering the camera, while its new color splitter design uses all the available light. A new video goes into more detail on the tech.

According to Panasonic, the color splitters are a pop-in replacement for Bayer filters, so the same sensor tech can be used. Also, the splitters can be made by current manufacturing processes, the big problem was that getting the design right took a lot of computing power to run simulations. Read more »

Google Translate for Android update brings support for offline translations in 50 languages

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Google Translate is a great tool for bridging the gap between languages – the Android app was pretty awesome but it let you down when you needed it most, in a foreign country with no data connection. That’s no longer an issue, as the latest version of Translate for Android (requires 2.3 and above) can download offline language packs for 50 languages.

All the popular languages are available and even less common languages are included, like Haitian Creole, Maltese and Esperanto. Read more »

S Voice, wallpapers and ringtones ripped from Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One ringtones also go public

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SamMobile received a system dump of the Samsung Galaxy S4 firmware and ripped out some interesting bits –the APK of the new S Voice, the high-res wallpapers and the ringtones.

Meanwhile, a member of XDA-Developers has ripped the ringtones from the HTC One and shared them with the world. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy S4 battery life tests are done, here’s how it did

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The Samsung Galaxy S4 is about the same size and weight as the Galaxy S III, except that the new model is slightly thinner. Even so, the battery capacity has increased by 500mAh to a nicely sounding 2,600mAh total.

Still, that battery has to feed four Krait 300 cores and a bigger screen with over twice the number of pixels. Let’s see how the 2013 flagship from Samsung compares to the one from 2012. Before we continue, we should make it clear that we’re using the I9505 for this test, that’s the Snapdragon 600 chipset and not the Exynos 5 Octa. Read more »

Nokia Transit for full touch Asha phones goes into beta

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Nokia Transit is a great app for those relying on public transportation, but so far it was exclusive to Lumia phones. Well, not for long – a beta version of the app can be installed on the full touch Nokia Asha 3xx phones.

In case you’re unfamiliar with Transit, here’s what it does – it finds nearby stations (or you can search for stations by address), tells you about departure times and can plan a route to your destination, even across several lines and modes of transportation. There are detailed instructions for each route and favorite routes can be saved for offline usage. Read more »