Posts Tagged ‘Confirms’
Samsung has officially confirmed the Galaxy S4 Mini, following a brief leak earlier this month. The new handset takes the name of its current flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4, but couples it with more mid-range specs to extend the reach of the flagship brand to a larger pool of consumers. It’s a strategy Samsung also deployed with its prior flagship, the Galaxy S3, taking the wraps off a Galaxy S3 Mini last year.
Indeed, Samsung’s overall smartphone strategy is about producing scores of iterations at various price points and screen sizes in order to saturate the market with as much of its hardware as possible. A strategy that, coupled with its massive marketing budget, continues to be extremely successful for the Korean electronics giant, making it far harder for other Android OEMs such as HTC to compete with their far more modest device portfolios.
As with the majority of Samsung’s devices, design wise you’d be hard pressed to distinguish the Galaxy S4 Mini from any other recent Samsung device. Its smaller size being the most distinguishing feature vs the flagship S4. The Mini has a 4.3″ qHD Super AMOLED display vs the 5″ pane on the flagship S4. At 4.3″ the Mini is not actually that small, certainly not compared to some of Samsung’s budget devices, but the target here is users who might not be comfortable with the phablet-sized screen of Samsung’s current flagship but still want something flashy enough to look like a flagship.
Under the hood, the S4 Mini has a 1.7 GHz dual-core chip, rather than the quad-/octa-core of its big brother. There’s 8GB of internal memory and 1.5GB of RAM. The rear camera is 8MP and the front-facing lens is 1.9MP. Samsung says it will be offering a 4G version of the device, as well as a 3G and dual-SIM version — based on what makes sense for each market.
Features wise, Samsung says the S4 Mini supports “many” of the same features as found on the flagship S4 — including Sound&Shot, Panorama Shot and Story Album, on the camera software side. Other confirmed apps include Group Play, ChatON, S Translator and WatchON. The Mini clearly lacks the full gamut of software services poured onto Samsung’s flagship but most smartphone buyers aren’t going to be fussed about a few lacking apps, especially as the Mini’s price-tag should also be a bit more modest.
There’s no official word on pricing or a full list of confirmed market availability — but expect the S4 Mini to land wherever the S4 has, and certainly to head to the U.S. and the U.K.
Given the success of the original Galaxy Note and its sequel, there’s little doubt a third installment of the super-sized handset line is on Samsung’s to-launch list. Korean site ETNews claims to have heard the first legitimate confirmation of the Note III’s existence, however, citing a Samsung official as its source. The insider apparently had much to say on plans for the camera, too. It’s expected to be a 13-megapixel affair and could see other upgrades over its predecessor, including optical image stabilization and 3x optical zoom. According to the official, no final decisions on the camera have been made yet, but with less than four months to go until IFA (where the previous Notes have debuted), it’s probably time to start nailing those specs down.
The Xbox One was just unveiled at Microsoft’s Redmond campus and, true to multiple reports that circulated before the official reveal, the new console will indeed come with a Kinect.
And what a Kinect it is! The rumors of a vastly improved Kinect sensor array were right on the money — this next-generation model is capable of tracking motions as minute as wrist rotations, and Microsoft’s Marc Whitten said the new Kinect would even be able to read users’ heartbeats when they’re exercising or when players shift their weight. The new Kinect’s main camera is capable of recording 1080P RGB video at 30 frames per second (for a bit of perspective, the original model could only capture VGA video). Perhaps most importantly, the Xbox One will be capable of chewing on all the data the newfangled Kinect (no one has dropped an official name for the thing yet) captures at a rate of about 2GB of per second, which is probably partially why the onstage demos looked so brisk.
We got a brief glimpse of the new Kinect in action when Microsoft SVP Yusuf Mehdi called out commands and used minute hand gestures to manipulate content on the Xbox One — commands like “Xbox on” and “go to video” allow for near-instantaneous switching between running applications, and the Kinect is apparently also able to differentiate between users based on their voices.
In short, it’s a massive, massive upgrade compared to the venerable original model, which often exhibited issues with basic limb and motion tracking. Granted, demos we saw today were carefully staged, but the Kinect reacted to Mehdi’s commands and inputs without a hint of technical hesitation — if the new Kinect works in the living room as well as it did onstage, Microsoft may really have something here. And frankly, that’s saying something considering Microsoft managed to move 10 million of the original camera/sensor arrays between November 2010 and March 2011.
Info about the Iconia W3 Windows 8 tablet has already slipped out a few times, and now this 8.1-incher is live on Acer’s Finnish website. While there’s no mention of price or availability, the specifications list matches what’s already been leaked. You’re looking at Windows 8 Pro running atop an Intel Atom Z2760 CPU, aided by 2GB of RAM. Other features include a 1,280 x 768 touchscreen, an eight-hour battery, up to 64GB of storage, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. Port lovers will be pleased to find micro-HDMI and micro-USB hookups onboard, as well as a microSD slot. Microsoft Word comes pre-installed, but there’s no concrete info about the optional full-size keyboard dock — other than that it exists, anyway. It’ll likely be closer to June when we’ll be staring at it in the flesh, so you’ll have to settle for the info at the source link for now.
Speaking at JP Morgan’s Media & Telecom Conference today, Windows CFO Tami Reller revealed that Windows 8.1 will be the official name for Windows Blue. The confirmation is not surprising given its presence in recently leaked builds, and it follows Microsoft’s previous promise that developers will be able to install a Public Preview version of Windows 8.1 in late June.
Microsoft will offer Windows 8.1 as a free update to existing Windows 8 users through the Windows Store. The software giant is expected to detail the full improvements to Windows 8.1 at its Build developer conference in June. Early builds of Windows 8.1 have shown that Microsoft is aiming to improve its Start Screen interface and bring changes to accomodate additional…
Nokia Confirms The Flagship Lumia 925 For T-Mobile U.S: 4.5″ AMOLED Screen, Metal Edges, Extra Lens & New Camera Software
Fresh from last week’s Verizon Lumia device launch, Nokia has taken the wraps off a new smartphone in its Windows Phone-based Lumia range at an event in London today. The Lumia 925 is its first flagship for T-Mobile in the U.S. This means that following the Lumia 928 launch on Verizon, and factoring in Nokia’s initial launch of the Lumia 920 on AT&T last year, Nokia now has a flagship Windows Phone ranged on all three major U.S. carriers. Globally the Lumia 925 will be ranged with Vodafone in Europe, coming to markets including Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K. (priced at €469), and in China with China Mobile and China Unicom. The device will ship in June in Europe, with a U.S. launch slated for soon after.
The Windows Phone 8-based 4G Lumia 925 continues Nokia’s strategy of emphasising the camera smarts of its flagships Windows Phones, including PureView branding, Carl Zeiss optics and an 8.7MP lens with image stabilisation tech inside. But the camera hardware in the 925 is a little different to the 928 and 920, with one extra lens. This sixth lens improves photo performance in bright sunlight, according to Nokia, as well as sharing the low light performance abilities of its fellow flagships. In addition to that new camera hardware, the phone includes new software, called Smart Camera, that’s aimed at extending the photography experience by giving users new ways to capture and share photographs.
The camera software on the device includes a burst mode which allows up to 10 shots to be captured at a time. The software also has three new capture modes that take advantage of this burst feature, namely: Best Shot, for composing a composite shot from the best elements of several images; Action Shot for snapping a series of stills of action shots, such as sports, that can then be edited and shared as a sequence; and Motion Focus, a Lytro-style mode that allows the snapper to pick different elements to be in or out of focus after the shot has been taken. Nokia confirmed to TechCrunch that the latter featured is the first bit of software to make use of technology Nokia acquired when it bought imaging company Scalado last July.
“Whatever you do you can go back and edit again and again,” said Jo Harlow, head of Nokia’s smart devices unit — pictured above left, with SVP of product design chief Stefan Pannenbecker at the London launch. “The Nokia smart camera is our latest uniqie experience for our Nokia Lumia portfolio.”
The Smart Camera software is exclusive to the Lumia 925 initially but will be pushed out as an over-the-air update called Amber to Windows Phone 8-based Lumias in Q3, the company said. Nokia looks to be trying to bolster its efforts against Samsung here, which included a raft of new camera features on its flagship Galaxy S4 device, such as Dual-Shot and Drama Shot. The lack of Instagram for Windows Phone continues to hamper Nokia’s photo-focused efforts however, but also today it announced a partnership with Oggl, Hipstamatic’s new photo community app — noting that since Oggl has a relationship with Instagram, users will be able to access the latter service via that app.
Design wise, the Lumia 925 is the first Lumia device to include metallic trim. A silver aluminium band runs around its four edges, and doubles as the phone’s antenna — taking its cues from the iPhone’s design (but with “rigorous testing” to ensure no repeat of antennagate, according to Nokia). The mobile maker’s trademark polycarbonate clads the back of the device, so there’s a two-tone look and feel.
Nokia says the plastic back is designed to make it feel nicer and grippier in the hand. It may also be about keeping the weight down (to 139g), since heavy handsets is something Nokia has been criticised for. It certainly felt lightweight and slender during a brief hands on. Handset colour options are muted rather than the usual bold Lumia offerings, with black, white and grey options for the plastic back. Wireless charging shells, sold separately, can reintroduce the usual Lumia splashes of yellow, cyan and red.
Under the hood there’s a 1.5GHz Dual-Core Snapdragon chip, and 1GB of RAM. On board memory is 16GB (Vodafone will also get a 32GB variant) plus 7MB free cloud storage on Microsoft’s SkyDrive. The 4.5 inch AMOLED display has a resolution of 1280 x 768. Dimensions are 129 x 70.6 x 8.5mm. The 2000mAh battery is good for up to 12.8 hours of talk time on 3G, or up to 6.6 hours video playback, according to Nokia.
A ‘true PureView’ Windows Phone device — codenamed EOS — has been rumoured for several months, and the Lumia 925 looks to be that device. However it certainly does not include the 41MP sensor and pixel oversampling techniques featured in the Symbian-based 808 PureView. It seems unlikely that bona fide PureView technology will ever make it to Windows Phone, not least because it’s something of a camera pro curiosity, rather than a consumer-friendly mainstream feature. Rather Nokia is extending the PureView branding — to associate it with a range of camera-centric features, not just that original huge sensor.
Harlow closed the presentation by hinting at further new device launches from Nokia “later this summer”. “I can’t wait to see you later this summer when we will continue to bring new innovation and new experiences to our Lumia portfolio,” she said.
During video game conglomerate EA’s most recent earnings call, the company’s CFO confirmed that it has laid off the roughly 900 workers whose jobs were rumored to be on the chopping block last month. “Our cost reduction plans will reduce our overall headcount by approximately 10 percent,” said Blake Jorgensen, who also serves as vice president, before explaining that the restructuring plan and resignation of CEO John Riccitello cost the company an extra $ 15 million more than what it estimated in its most recent guidance.
So the rumor is true: the world’s first Jolla Sailfish device will be launching this month. In fact, Marc Dillon, the ex-CEO and now Head of Software Development at Jolla, was kind enough to flash the back of the product at the GMIC Beijing conference earlier today — mainly to emphasize his love for the Chinese market. It was very brief — no more than two seconds — but the orange device appeared to be no smaller than five inches in screen size. Dillon only added that the official launch is “coming in a couple of weeks,” so we’ll be keeping an eye out for an invitation in our mailbox.
GameStop confirms June 1 end to PlayStation 2 trade-ins, will continue selling used stock ‘for several months’
GameStop is shuttering its PlayStation 2 trade-in business as of June 1st, a company spokesperson confirmed to Engadget. “We can confirm that as of June 1st we will no longer be accepting the PS2 console or its related product for trades,” the statement reads. Several of GameStop’s retail locations confirmed to our sister site Joystiq that the June 1st date was accurate after a Reddit posting showed what appeared to be an in-store sign saying as much, and the statement today offers a bit more detail.
For instance, GameStop won’t end sales of used PlayStation 2 hardware, software and accessories — both in store and online — until “several months” after the June 1 cutoff. Those sales, of course, depend on “remaining stock from trades.” Additionally, GameStop reminded us that it’s totally pumped for the upcoming PlayStation 4. “We are very excited about the upcoming PS4 and are making room in our stores for it and other new platforms expected this fall,” the statement says. And hey, with all the extra space available in GameStop stores by “holiday 2013″ (when the PS4 is expected to land at retail), it looks like GameStop will be ready for business. For GameStop’s full statement, head below.