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AllWinner reveals new chipsets with dual and quad-core Cortex-A7 processors

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Android sticks and ultra-cheap tablets are often powered by an AllWinner chipset, typically one using an old Cortex-A8 CPU design. The Chinese chipmaker has now updated its lineup with three new chipsets based on the new and power-efficient Cortex-A7.

One chip of particular interest, the AllWinner A20, packs a dual-core A7 CPU, which is up to 5 times more power efficient and offers 50% better performance than the A8. It’s fully certified to run Android 4.2.2 as well. Read more »

List of ARM big.LITTLE licensees grows, will we see Cortex-A15 in affordable chipsets?

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New companies have joined ARM’s initiative to build powerful but efficient chipsets using the big.LITTLE architecture. A total of 17 companies have licenses to build chipsets that combine the powerful Cortex-A15 with the efficient Cortex-A7.

ARM didn’t provide a list of the newcomers, but among the companies with a big.LITTLE license are names like MediaTek and HiSilicon. MediaTek are best known for the chipsets in mid-range smartphones from smaller companies and HiSilicon is behind Huawei’s custom chips. Read more »

Google updates mobile search with direct sub-links, Quick view for near-instant page previews

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One of the best things about Google search is that it tries to cut down the distance between you and the data you need as much as possible. Two newly introduced features for the mobile search aim to help that. The first one is the expandable list of links to important pages on a site – e.g. if you search for “rotten tomatoes” you’ll get a link that leads straight to the In Theaters page of the site.

The other is more experimental and works for the English portion of Wikipedia only – it’s called Quick view and it previews the content of a page, which is much faster than opening the page itself. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 shows up in GLBenchmark database, runs Android 4.2 on Broadcom chipset

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The Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 is rumored to hit in late May or early June and while there’s not much known about the mid-range droid, data from GLBenchmark gives us some info on the screen, OS and chipset.

The Galaxy Ace 3 is expected to have a 4” screen and GLBenchmark reports WVGA resolution. That would put it on par with the Galaxy S III mini with 233ppi pixel density. Read more »

Sony Xperia Z teardown video makes it look easy

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The Sony Xperia Z is a tough device – water and dust resistant – so how tough can it be to take apart if you need to repair it? Well, Rounded.com, a spare parts supplier, has a video walking you through the process.

You’ll need a scraping tool, a Phillips 1.5×45 screwdriver, a pincet, a hair drier and a suction cup. Read more »

Ouya team speeds up production, last dev units should ship by late May

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The developer version of the Ouya game console has been shipping to Kickstarter backers for a couple of weeks now but some eager devs are still questioning the Ouya team about when they’ll get theirs. The team responded with an update saying they’ve already optimized things by changing one of their partners, a change that will shorten the wait by a few days.

The number of consoles shipped per day is on the rise and the plan is to keep increasing the pace. The chart above shows Ouya’s predictions of how many deliveries will be made by the end of the month. Read more »

Patched APKs let you install Facebook Home on any droid in any country

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You may have tried downloading the new Facebook Home only to be disappointed to find out your phone or country isn’t supported. Good thing Android is easy to tweak – MoDaCo has a workaround so you too can see what all the fuss is about.

MoDaCo released the Home and updated Facebook apps a few days ago before they officially hit the Play Store. Now, founder Paul O’Brien has released a new Home APK that goes around the country and device checks. Read more »

Spy shot of Samsung NX2000 mirrorless camera shows Home button, suggests Android involvement

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Samsung already dipped its toe in the connected camera waters with the Galaxy Camera, but the company may be looking to expand to higher-end shooters. An alleged photo of the Samsung NX2000 shows a curious Home button, leading to speculations that the NX1000 replacement is running Android (or possibly Tizen).

The camera packs a 20.3MP APS-C CMOS sensor and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity as indicated by the labels on the camera. Read more »

Nokia Lumia 720 battery testing is complete, here are the results

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The Nokia Lumia 720 is the thinnest Lumia yet at 9mm, but it’s tied with the Lumia 920 for biggest battery in the lineup at 2,000mAh. The Qualcomm MSM8227 chipset is very efficient though as we already saw with the Lumia 620, which only had a 1,300mAh battery.

Will that make the Nokia Lumia 720 is the WP8 battery endurance champ? Read more »

Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 comes in our office, makes the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note II feel small

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Samsung is at the forefront of Android phablets and its latest gadget is for people who want a bigger, more affordable Galaxy Note. The Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 just went official and we had a chance to handle one for a couple of minutes.

Unlike the Note, the Galaxy Mega does not have an S Pen but it does have the S4’s Air View so you can still perform some of the same things as you can with the S Pen. That’s not the only thing the Mega has borrowed from the S4 either. Read more »

Samsung describes what each of the nine sensors on the Galaxy S4 does

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The Samsung Galaxy S4 is one of the most feature-rich smartphones around, and it duly packs a wide array of sensors. Samsung published an image that explains what each sensor does and what feature uses it.

There are the standard sensors that have been around since smartphones first appeared, like an accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer and proximity sensor. But then there are unusual sensors like a humidity sensor (used by S Health to calculate “comfort level”), and others. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy S4 teaser ad gives you the rundown in a minute

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Samsung is launching a new wave of teaser ads for the Samsung Galaxy S4 in the UK. The first one tells the S4 story in 60 seconds, running though the major features and qualities of the new flagship. All this is accompanied by orchestral music to spice things up.

If 60 seconds is too short for you, you can check out the earlier ad that runs over 4 minutes and goes into more detail. Read more »

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 »