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Sony Xperia Z may be using Dragontrail glass on the front, Gorilla Glass on the back

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Sony is traditionally very tight-lipped about what kind of tough glass it uses on its smartphones, but during a press conference in Hong Kong the proverbial beans might have been spilled, at least as far as the Sony Xperia Z goes.

And the answer seems pretty weird – Sony uses two different materials from two suppliers for the front and the back glass of the device. Read more »

Canonical announces Ubuntu for Tablets OS, preview coming tomorrow to Nexus 7 and 10

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The Ubuntu team has been busy working on a phone OS, but it decided to take an intermediate step and create a tablet OS. The timing of the launch coincided exactly with the HTC event (leading us to question if the two are related, turns out it wasn’t) and while the new HTC One got all of the attention yesterday, it’s time to meet Ubuntu for Tablets.

Ubuntu’s interface started off as a desktop UI, but Canonical – the company behind Ubuntu – has a vision similar to that of Microsoft. They want one interface to conquer all screen sizes, from a pocketable phone to the 60” TV on your wall. Read more »

Kernel source code for the Jelly Bean update of the Samsung Galaxy S II released

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Samsung recently started rolling out the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update for the Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II to give it the same Nature UX experience as its successor. Now, the Koreans have open sourced the kernel used for the update, which will help developers of custom ROMs.

Samsung has steadily been releasing source codes for the kernels used on its phones (the Galaxy S II ICS kernel was released in March), trying to play nice with the developer community. Read more »

Google Now update brings widget, two new cards

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Google Now is pretty handy, but you need to check either the notification area or the app itself to see the cards. Not very good for at-a-glance info, is it? This is why the fourth update of Now brings the handy service in widget form.

A couple of new cards are tagging along too, they’ll make going to the movies and house hunting easier. Read more »

Microsoft Surface Pro torn down, found nearly impossible to repair

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Microsoft split its Windows OS into two – Windows RT on ARM and Windows 8 on x86 processors – and with that there are two sibling tablets, the Surface and Surface Pro. The RT-powered Surface was already taken apart by iFixit to judge how hard it is to repair, now it’s the Pro’s turn.

Here are some of the more interesting components found inside the Surface Pro: Read more »

Sony Xperia Z gets xperimented on, given a bath in slow-motion

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The Sony Xperia Z is an Android-powered daredevil and three videos show it participating in so-called Xperimentations – all in slow motion, of course, everyone knows action scenes need to be shot that way.

Check out the videos after the break, they are just 38 seconds each. And don’t forget your umbrella. Read more »

Oppo Find 5 battery tests are done, results inside

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The Oppo Find 5 has ambitions of playing in the big leagues – it certainly did well enough during our review to be allowed entry. But high-end phones with their powerful chipsets and big screens can munch through a battery in record time.

Good thing it has a 2,500mAh battery – Motorola’s MAXX phones aside, most 5” or less phones have far less juice. The battery’s non-removable, too so it’d better be good. Read more »

BlackBerry Z10 arrives at our office, gives a presentation on the platform’s future

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The BlackBerry Z10 represents a major step forward for the company (formerly RIM, now just BlackBerry). We put it in front of our camera almost as soon as we pried it out of its box. We couldn’t help it but share with you the first glimpse of how well a touch-only BlackBerry of the new generation will handle, considering the unflattering response that the Storm and the Torch got.

One thing is immediately clear – the BlackBerry Z10 is far removed from the Storm, both in terms of hardware and in software. Read more »

Panasonic promises better camera performance with their new Micro color splitters for digital image sensors

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New camera sensors are all the rage recently – first rumors of HTC’s new sensor design (new for phones anyway), and now Panasonic’s plans for a completely new sensor architecture based on the wave properties of light.

Panasonic’s design drops the standard Bayer filter for micro color splitters – instead of filtering light by colors, these splitters use diffraction to sort out colors, which reduces losses (a Bayer filter would block 50%-70% of the light before it hits the sensor). Read more »

Samsung’s Super Bowl ad looks for the Next Big Thing with Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd and LeBron James

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The full Samsung Super Bowl ad is now out and stars Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd (and several Samsung Galaxy gadgets, of course). The two comedy actors are trying to figure out an ad for the “Next Big Thing” – and there’s a surprice cameo from LeBron James too.

While the teaser poked fun at all the copyright-related goings-on, the full ad takes after cliched Super Bolw videos instead. Check out the ad after the break. Read more »

Asus ME301T MemoPad 10 press images leak

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Only a few days into this year several Asus tablets leaked – a couple of 7” models and a 10” one. The 7-inchers are already official, but their larger sibling is not. Its press images come ahead of the official announcement though, so here’s the Asus ME301T MemoPad 10.

Currently available info points to a 10.1” screen of 1,280 x 800 pixel resolution and a Tegra 3 chipset (quad-core Cortex-A9 with a fifth power-saving core, GeForce graphics, 1GB of RAM). The tablet will sport 16GB of built-in storage and probably a microSD card too. Read more »

UA profiles for next-gen Samsung Galaxy tablets leak, we may see a Galaxy Note with the Nexus 10 screen

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User Agent profiles are a long time favorite of the rumor mill and they deliver again – three new model designations of Samsung tablets were discovered, presumably the Tab 3 series. The profiles give nothing but model number and screen resolution, but with a bit mode digging, we found out a bit more.

The top-end model is the GT-P8200, which packs a 2,560 x 1,600 pixel screen, the same as the Google Nexus 10 (manufactured by Samsung). AnTuTu scores for the P8200 list the OS as 4.2.1 Jelly Bean and the CPU clock speed as 1.7GHz. Read more »

Oppo Find 5 arrives at the office, we gawk at its 1080p screen

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It’s pretty clear that 2013 is the year of the 5” 1080p phones and the Oppo Find 5, which just arrived at our office, is part of the zodiac. 2012 was the year of quad-core processors, especially the Snapdragon S4 Pro chips towards its end, and the Find 5 has that too.

It’s not a matter of choice – with nearly 2 million pixels on the screen, the chipset will have to offer a lot in terms of both CPU and GPU power to make for a smooth experience. The Project Butter-enabled Android 4.1 Jelly Bean also helps. Read more »

Samsung GC110 found in Bluetooth SIG docs, may be a Wi-Fi only Galaxy Camera for Europe

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The Samsung Galaxy Camera GC100 managed the impossible – it’s an Android-powered camera that actually went on sale, rather than remain in perpetual “announced” limbo. However, it might have company soon as a filing for Bluetooth certification revealed the GC110 model number.

Unfortunately, info is very scarce – the filing came from Samsung (with Geographic availability listed as “Europe”) and it’s about Bluetooth 4.0 capability (which is what the GC100 has). Read more »

Canon updates PowerShot line with three cameras, one can upload photos to your phone over Wi-Fi

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Canon announced three new point-and-shoot cameras for its PowerShot ELPH / Ixus line, which range from a simple shooter to a high-end model with wireless connectivity and accompanying Android/iOS apps. The announcement comes ahead of the start of this year’s CP+ Camera & Photo Imaging Show in Japan.

The Canon PowerShot ELPH 330 HS (Ixus 255 HS in Europe) packs a 12.1MP CMOS sensor and DIGIC5 processor, 10x zoom lens (24mm to 240mm in 35mm equiv.) and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. Read more »