Twitter for BlackBerry updated to version 4.0

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Dec 182012
 

TwitterAnother piece fell into place today ahead of January 30th‘s BlackBerry 10 launch. Twitter today released a new version of its native BlackBerry app, bringing with it a number of features seen for a while on its website and other devices.

Among the new features are the “Connect” and “Discover” tabs first introduced by Twitter about a year ago. Connect shows you who retweeted, favorited and followed you, and gathers all your mentions in one place. Discover will show you Trends, “Who to follow” suggestions, and make it easier to browse categories.

Twitter for BlackBerry v4.0

Other enhancements include an updated user interface and navigation bar.

Twitter for BlackBerry v4.0 is free download from BlackBerry App World. If you don’t see it immediately, check back regularly as it should be available shortly.

Read more: Inside BlackBerry Blog

Samsung unveils Samsung Galaxy Grand

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Dec 182012
 

Samsung Galaxy GrandSamsung today announced the Samsung Galaxy Grand, a mid-range device with a 5-inch WVGA display. It is billed as “an ideal smartphone for users with fast-paced mobile lifestyles who demand more from their phone.” Sitting between the 4.8-inch Galaxy S III and the 5.5-inch Galaxy Note II (both sporting higher resolution displays though), Samsung appears to be trying to push the large-display smartphone form factor into a more affordable price bracket.

Samsung Galaxy Grand specifications:

  • Processor: 1.2GHz dual-core
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
  • Cellular connectivity: HSPA+ 21Mpbs/EDGE/GPRS
  • Other connectivity: A-GPS/Glonass, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (dual-channel), Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA
  • Display: 5-inch WVGA (800×480)
  • Input: Touchscreen
  • Memory: 1GB RAM
  • Storage: 8GB onboard and microSD cards up to 64GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 8MP with BSI and 1080p video capture
  • Front-facing camera: 2MP
  • Battery: 2,100mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 143.5 x 76.9 x 9.6 millimeters / 162 grams

The Samsung Galaxy Grand will come with a number of Samsung Apps including Smart Alert, Popup Video, S Voice and Direct Call. It will also come in single SIM (GT-I9080) and dual-SIM (GT-I9082) configurations.

Samsung did not announce availability and pricing details for the Galaxy Grand.

Read more: Samsung Tomorrow

RIM to unveil BlackBerry 10 devices at Toronto and New York January 30th events

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Dec 172012
 

Details around RIM’s January 30th BlackBerry 10 unveiling are taking shape. Media invitations began to go out today promising that “The BlackBerry Experience” will be “Re-Designed. Re-engineered. Re-invented.”

RIM BlackBerry 10 unveiling announcement

Events will take place in both Toronto in Canada and New York in the U.S. (as well as other parts of the world presumably). RIM will unveil its first two BlackBerry 10 devices, an all-touch one as well as one with a QWERTY keyboard.

Anyone else excited?

Nokia unveils Nokia Lumia 505 with Windows Phone 7.8

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Dec 152012
 

Nokia Lumia 505Nokia this week unveiled a new entry-level Windows Phone smartphone, the Nokia Lumia 505. It is Nokia’s second device in its new 500 line after the Nokia Lumia 510 launched in October.

Nokia Lumia 505 specifications:

  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows Phone 7.8
  • Cellular connectivity: WCDMA/HSPA/EDGE/GPRS
  • Other connectivity: GPS/A-GPS, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • Display: 3.7-inch WVGA (800×480) AMOLED
  • Input: Multi-touch capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 256MB RAM
  • Storage: 4GB onboard
  • Rear-facing camera: 8MP with f2.8 aperture and VGA video capture
  • Front-facing camera: None
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack, micro-USB 2.0
  • Battery: 1,300mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 118.1 x 61.2 x 11.3 millimeters / 131 grams
  • Colours: Black, white, red

Nokia has not revealed what processor will power the Lumia 510 but it is expected to be a single-core one.

Nokia will launch the Nokia Lumia 505 in Mexico with TelCel in the next few weeks. It remains to be seen if it will make its way North of Mexico later.

Read more: Nokia Mexico (in Spanish) [Google translation] (Source: WPCentral)

ZTE to unveil 5-inch Grand S smartphone at CES 2013

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Dec 132012
 

ZTEWhile most manufacturers will only tease their CES announcements, ZTE appears to have taken a slightly different route. According to none other than the CES Press Event Schedule page, ZTE will unveil its latest flagship smartphone, the ZTE Grand S, on January 8th:

Be the first to see the brand new Grand S, ZTE’s flagship handset in its high-end Grand Series of products. ZTE’s first FHD smartphone is also the world’s thinnest for 5 inch FHD smartphones. Made of ceramic and featuring traditional Chinese style, the Grand S is the perfect phone for the fashionable set.

Not only will it sport a 5-inch Full HD (1920×1080) display but it also promises to be the world’s thinnest such device. A company representative allegedly also confirmed to CNET that it will sport a quad-core processor.

It will soon be easier to name those manufacturers who do not offer or plan to offer a 5-inch Full HD smartphone than those that do.

Read more: CES Press Event Schedule (Source: CNET)

Google Maps now available for iPhone and iPod touch

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Dec 132012
 

As expected, Google has launched much-anticipated Google Maps for the iPhone and iPod Touch (4th gen). Former users of the app will find it familiar but the interface has been refreshed in much the same way that Google has recently updated other iOS apps such as Gmail and YouTube.

Navigate your world with Google Maps, now available for iPhone. Get comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-use maps with built-in Google local search, voice guided turn-by-turn navigation, public transit directions, Street View and more. Use Google Maps to discover great places to eat, drink, shop and play, with ratings and reviews from people you trust. Sign in to save your favorite places and quickly access all your past searches and directions from your computer, right on your phone.

Google also took the time to remind its users that it makes “tens of thousands of daily updates” to keep Google Maps accurate and asks users to shake their phones to send them feedback if something is not right.

Google has also released the Google Maps SDK for iOS so that developers can integrate Google Maps in their own apps.

The Google Maps app is available as a free download for the iPhone and iPod Touch (4th gen) iOS 5.1 and higher. An iPad version of the app is not available at this time.

Read more: Google Official Blog

Oppo launches quad-core Oppo Find 5 smartphone with 1080p display

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Dec 122012
 

Oppo Find 5Oppo today joined the so-far-very-limited club of smartphone manufacturer to offer a smartphone with a 5-inch 1080p display. Joining HTC and Sharp, it unveiled the Oppo 5.

Oppo Find 5 specifications:

  • Processor: 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.1.2
  • Cellular connectivity: UMTS/HSPA+/HSPA+42/HSDPA/HSUPA/GSM/EDGE
  • Other connectivity: GPS, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi (dual-band), Bluetooth, NFC, DLNA
  • Display: 5.0-inch Full HD (1920×1080) IPS
  • Input: Multi-touch capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Storage: 16GB onboard
  • Rear-facing camera: 13MP AF with f/2.2 aperture and LED flash
  • Front-facing camera: 1.9MP
  • Battery: 2,510mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 141.8 x 68.8 x 8.86 millimeters / 165 grams
  • Colours: White
  • Other: Dirac HD sound

The Oppo Find 5 is the first smartphone to come with hardware support for HDR for both photos and video.

Oppo expects to launch the Oppo Find 5 in select markets including China in early 2013. It is also expected to be sold unlocked in the U.S. (with compatibility for AT&T and T-Mobile’s 3G networks) for US$499. There is no word on whether it will make its way to Canada as well.

Read more: Oppo (in Chinese) [Google translation] and Oppo USA (Source: Engadget)

HTC announces HTC Butterfly, international version of DROID DNA

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Dec 072012
 

HTC ButterflyHTC today quietly introduced the HTC Butterfly, the international version of the HTC J Butterfly [product information] and Verizon DROID DNA [product information]. There was no announcement but it can now be found on HTC’s global website. As expected, it is very similar both in appearance and specifications to its DROID sibling.

HTC Butterfly specifications:

  • Processor: 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro
  • Operating system: Google Android Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean with HTC Sense 4+
  • Cellular connectivity: HSPA/WCDMA and GSM/GPRS/EDGE
  • Other connectivity: A-GPS + GLONASS, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4 & 5GHz), Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, DLNA
  • Display: 5-inch HD (1080×1920) Super LCD3 with Corning Gorilla Glass 2
  • Input: Touchscreen
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Storage: 16GB onboard and microSD cards up to 32GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 8MP AF with LED flash, 1080p video capture and f/2.0 aperture
  • Front-facing camera: 2.1MP with 1080p video capture and f/2.0 aperture
  • Connectors: 3.5mm stereo audio jack, microUSB port
  • Battery: 2,020mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 143 x 70.5 x 9.08 millimeters / 140 grams
  • Colours: Black

Rumours had referred to the HTC Butterfly as the HTC Deluxe or DLX.

While HTC has yet to reveal availability and pricing details, the fact that the HTC Butterfly lacks LTE and comes with dual-band (850/2100MHz) HSPA connectivity makes it unlikely that we will see it in Canada unless a model with different band support is announced later.

Read more: HTC

Qualcomm adds MSM8226 and MSM8626 chipsets to Snapdragon S4 line

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Dec 062012
 

QualcommQualcomm this week introduced two new chipsets in its Snapdragon S4 family of mobile processors. The MSM8226 and MSM8626 chipsets both come with quad-core 28nm processors, Adreno 305 GPUs, 1080p capture and playback, support for cameras up to 13MP. They promise “exceptionally long battery life to high-volume smartphones” but Qualcomm provides no numbers to support the claim.

“The expansion of our Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 family extends our leadership in performance and low power for the high-volume smartphones,” said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president and co-president of mobile and computing products, Qualcomm Technologies. “This expanded roadmap provides our customers with a differentiated feature set upon which to build compelling smartphones for budget-conscious consumers.”

Qualcomm expects both the MSM8226 and MSM8626 with support for UMTS, CDMA and TD-SCDMA, will be ready for customer sampling sometime in the first half of 2013. Oddly, neither new chipset will support LTE, suggesting they may be intended for entry or mid-tier devices or developing markets.

Read more: Qualcomm

Sony announces Sony Xperia E and Xperia E dual

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Dec 062012
 

Sony Xperia ESony Mobile Communications yesterday announced the Sony Xperia E. Billed as an “affordable addition to its Xperia smartphone range,” it will be offered in both single and dual-SIM variants.

“Consumers looking to take their first steps into the world of Xperia smartphones would be well advised to look at Xperia E or Xperia E dual. They are perfect for those seeking affordable access to the quality and functionality more traditionally associated with high-end Android smartphones,” said Calum MacDougall, Director Xperia Marketing at Sony Mobile Communications.

Sony Xperia E specifications:

  • Model (Xperia E): C1505/1504
  • Model (Xperia E dual): C1605/1604
  • Processor: 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 MSM7227A
  • Operating system (Xperia E): Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • Operating system (Xperia E dual): Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Cellular connectivity: HSPA/EDGE/GPRS/GSM
  • Other connectivity: GPS/A-GPS, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, DLNA
  • Display: 3.5-inch HVGA (320×480)
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 512MB RAM
  • Storage: 4GB onboard and microSD cards up to 32GB
  • Rear-facing camera (Xperia E): 3.2MP AF with FWVGA video capture
  • Rear-facing camera (Xperia E dual): 3.2MP AF with VGA video capture
  • Front-facing camera: None
  • Connectors: 3.5 mm audio jack, micro-USB 2.0
  • Battery: 1,500mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 113.5 x 61.8 x 11.0 millimeters / 115.7 grams
  • Colours (Xperia E): Black, White, Pink
  • Colours (Xperia E dual): Black, Gold

The Xperia E will launch with Android 4.0 but will be upgraded to 4.1 Jelly Bean at some future point.

Both the Sony Xperia E and Xperia E dual will be available sometime in Q1 2013. More specific availability details and pricing have not been announced yet.

Read more: Sony Mobile Communications

Nokia announces Nokia Lumia 620

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Dec 052012
 

Nokia Lumia 620Nokia today announced the Nokia Lumia 620, its third and “most affordable” Windows Phone 8 smartphone. Like its more powerful siblings, it will come with Nokia’s software suite which includes Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive, Nokia Transport and the exclusive Nokia City Lens.

“We continue to execute on our strategy to reach new audiences and new markets,” said Jo Harlow, executive vice president, Nokia Smart Devices. “With its innovative design, the latest Windows Phone 8 software and signature experiences from Nokia, like Nokia lenses, Nokia Maps and Nokia Music, the Nokia Lumia 620 is a highly competitive smartphone at this price point.”

Nokia Lumia 620 specifications:

  • Processor: Dual-core 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4
  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows Phone 8
  • Cellular connectivity: HSPA+/EDGE/GPRS/WCDMA/GSM
  • Other connectivity: 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC
  • Display: 3.8-inch WVGA (800×480) ClearBlack LCD
  • Input: Capacitive multipoint-touch touchscreen
  • Memory: 512MB RAM
  • Storage: 8GB onboard and microSD cards up to 64GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 5MP with 720p video capture and LED flash
  • Front-facing camera: VGA
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack, micro-USB 2.0
  • Battery: 1,300mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 115.4 × 61.1 × 11 millimeters / 127 grams
  • Colours: Lime green, orange, magenta, yellow, cyan, white and black
  • Other: Exchangeable gloss and matte finish shells

The Nokia Lumia will be available starting in January 2103 in Asia. Launches in Europe and the Middle East will follow “closely” after. Further markets will follow later. It will sell for USD$249 (about CA$245).

Read more: Nokia

Mugen offers 6400mAh Extended Battery for Samsung Galaxy Note II

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Dec 022012
 

Mugen 6,400mAh battery for Samsung Galaxy Note IIThe Samsung Galaxy Note II comes with a sizeable 3,100mAh battery but should that prove not be enough for you, there is a new accessory you’ll be interested in. The Mugen HLI-N7100XL battery comes with 6,400mAh of capacity, over twice that of the original.

The Mugen HLI-N7100XL comes with a redesigned battery door to accommodate the new battery’s larger size. Best of all, the new door retains the device’s NFC capabilities and includes a kickstand. There is no information on exactly how much thicker it will make the Galaxy Note II though.

The Mugen is available now for pre-order for US$98.25. Orders taken now are expected to start shipping on December 28th, sadly not in time to make it under the Christmas tree. It will be available in black or white.

Read more: Mugen Power

RIM announces BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha C with QWERTY keyboard

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Nov 292012
 

Research In MotionResearch In Motion today announced that it will offer a third BlackBerry 10 developer smartphone model. Unlike the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha A and Alpha B, the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha C will come with a physical QWERTY keyboard.

As you know, there are BlackBerry 10 smartphones coming in Q1 2013 – an all-touch model similar to the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha, and a BlackBerry 10 smartphone with our industry-defining BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard.

Today we announced the next phase of the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha program – the BlackBerry Dev Alpha C. It is a testing device for developers so that you can adjust, debug, and test your BlackBerry 10 applications to get ready for the launch of the BlackBerry 10 QWERTY device next year.

Only a limited number of BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha C devices will be produced. Developers wishing to get their hands on one will need to apply for it with RIM prioritizing access based on a point system:

  • Two or more applications submitted
  • 50 points for ported Android™ applications
  • 250 points for all other applications (Native, BlackBerry® WebWorks™, Adobe® AIR®)
  • 1500 points for Built For BlackBerry certified application
  • BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha A/B recipients start with 200 points
  • BlackBerry Elite Members start with 200 points

The BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha C offer will run from December 1, 2012 through February 5, 2013.

RIM will launch BlackBerry 10 on January 30th with two new BlackBerry 10 smartphones.

Read more: Research In Motion

Samsung unveils dual-screen W2013 flip phone

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Nov 262012
 

Samsung W2013You have to give Samsung credit for trying different things. It has had great success in the ‘phablet’ space and may now be looking to repeat this with another form factor now. It is bringing back the classic flip phone form factor with the W2013 smartphone. Needless to say, it has been somewhat updated for the 21st century. For example, it sports some nice specifications and dual 3.7-inch displays.

Samsung W2013 specifications:

  • Processor: 1.4GHz quad-core
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.0 with Samsung TouchWiz UI
  • Cellular connectivity: CDMA2000 & GSM
  • Other connectivity: 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Display: Dual 3.7-inch WVGA (800×480) Super AMOLED
  • Input: Numeric keypad and touchscreen
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Storage: 16GB onboard and microSD cards up to 64GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 8MP
  • Front-facing camera: 2MP
  • Dimensions / weight: 117.8 x 60 x 16.83 / 195 grams

The Samsung W2013 is currently available only in China. It remains to be seen if Samsung will launch it in other markets.

Read more: Samsung China (in Chinese) [Google translation] (Source: Phandroid)

Verizon announces DROID DNA by HTC

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Nov 132012
 

Verizon DROID DNA by HTCAs expected, Verizon and HTC today unveiled the DROID DNA by HTC. Often the topic of leaks, there were few surprises today as it was announced.

“It’s no secret that people depend on their smartphones more and more every day which rightfully raises expectations for performance, speed, and design. The DROID DNA by HTC embodies a smartphone that pushes the envelope in all of these areas with the first true 1080p HD display, latest quad-core processor, and Verizon’s 4G LTE network, all wrapped in a beautifully crafted design,” said Jason Mackenzie, president, HTC Corporation. “The DROID DNA by HTC is sure to top wish lists this holiday season.”

Verizon DROID DNA specifications:

  • Processor: 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro
  • Operating system: Google Android Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean with HTC Sense 4+
  • Cellular connectivity: LTE / CDMA1x/EV-DO Rev A / UMTS / GSM
  • Other connectivity: GPS/GLONASS, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4 & 5GHz), Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
  • Display: 5-inch HD (1080×1920) SLCD 3 (440 PPI)
  • Input: Touchscreen
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Storage: 16GB onboard
  • Rear-facing camera: 8MP with LED flash, 1080p video capture and f/2.0 aperture
  • Front-facing camera: 2.1MP with f/2.0 aperture
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack
  • Battery: 2,020mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 70.61 x 140.97 x 9.7 millimeters / 140.05 grams
  • Colours: Black
  • Other: Wireless charging

The Verizon DROID DNA by HTC will go on sale on November 21st for US$199.99 with a two-year contract or US$599.99 with month-to-month service. Pre-orders start today at www.verizonwireless.com/droiddna.