Archive for the ‘MWC’ Category

Apple Wins GMSA’s “Phone Of The Year”. #mwc

HTC, Motorola, Nokia, Sony, and many others had plenty of exciting announcements and new devices to show off at this year’s MWC. And looking back over 2010, the same companies had equally impressive portfolios spanning many different price points, form factors, etc. And yet, Apple’s iPhone 4 is the recipient of the GSMA’s coveted “Phone of the Year” award for 2010. At first, it seems slightly odd given that Apple never attends shared events let alone announce/release new hardware alongside dozens of other manufacturers vying for the spotlight. But the GSMA has an open, impartial mind it seems.

For those who are slightly aggravated still, the GMSA did award “Manufacturer of the Year” to HTC, and Rovio Mobile whose game, “Angry Birds”, won two awards — “Best App Overall” and “Best iOS App”.

If you feel Apple unfairly took home the crown, offer up your own choice for “Phone of the Year” in the comments after the break…
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Nvidia Boasts SoC “Stark” For 2014. Offers 100x The Performance Of Tegra 2.

Let the title sink in for a moment — “100x the power of Tegra 2“. What could you or would you do with that kind of power? Probably give up desktop (and possibly even traditional laptops) altogether. We may be drooling of late 2011/early 2012 “Kal-El/Tegra 3 SoCs, but the graph above shown off by Nvidia at the 2011 MWC shows us what we should really be looking forward to.

We of course have to reign in our emotions just a tad. The “100x” figure is your typical marketing jargon used to introduce hype and false excitement into a given market. But this market is already stuffed full of excitement, so it’s not necessarily in need of more. Nonetheless, we expect a massive improvement in 2014 by the time the Stark architecture drops. 100x the performance of Tegra 2 or not, it is going to be wicked fast.

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Next Version Of Android To Align Gingerbread And Honeycomb. #mwc

Thank you Eric Schmidt! While the former Google CEO gave a rather boring MWC keynote, he did manage to slip in a few juicy details about future plans for Android. Specifically, the next version the open source OS will align/combine Gingerbread (phones) and Honeycomb (Tablets), start with an “I”, and be named after a desert — the “Ice Cream/Ice Cream Sandwich update we’ve been hearing about. None of this is surprising really. We’ve heard all of the aforementioned claims in rumors over the last few weeks. But to hear it “officially” adds a new level of excitement and realism to it we think.

Don’t go getting too excited yet for Ice Cream. Android Honeycomb hasn’t even hit public devices yet, so the next version of Android has at least a few months left curing in the freezer. From everything we’ve seen showcased in Android Honeycomb so far, we’re excited x10 for the same features and UI to trickle down to phones.

Nvidia Unveils Quad-Core “Kal-El” (Tegra 3) SoC Complete With 12-Core GPU. 1440p Video Playback Has Arrived! #mwc

Think the Nvidia Tegra 2-powered mobile devices are the cat’s meow? Your definition of such a thing will certainly change later this year when devices with Nvidia’s new “Kal-El” (believed to be the upcoming Tegra 3) mobile processor + gpu start hitting store shelves. What is the Kal-El? A quad-core CPU + 12-core GPU strapped together for one hell of a ride. During the MWC event, the little chip you see above was able to convert a 2,560 x 1440 video stream to the host tablet’s native 1,366 x 768 resolution while also outputting the same video stream to a separate external monitor running at 2,560 x 1600 — and doing all of this without a single stutter or dropped frame rate.

Naturally, with all of this power on tap, fears of outlet babysitting creep into our minds. But Nvidia made it clear that the Kal-El/Tegra 3 would be much more efficient than the current Tegra 2, citing up to 12 hours of HD video playback “under the right conditions”. Exactly what those conditions are isn’t yet clear. But we’ve got at least a few months to ponder as Nvidia begins shipping these out to hardware vendors and manufacturers. If you’re feeling a little blue about witholding from the Tegra 2 smartphone craze currently going around, cheer up. Tegra 3 will be exponentially better.

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Sprint To Evaluate WiMax Adoption Later This Year. Possible Switch To LTE In The Cards. #mwc

Could your future Evo 4G 5 run off of LTE instead of WiMAX? That’s a very real possibility according to statements made by Sprint’s Senior Vice President of Networks, Bob Azzi. According to Azzi, Sprint will be evaluating WiMAX adoption and customer movement from 3G to 4G over the next 4-6 months. After this “study time”, Sprint will apparently make an important decision as to whether they should continue along pushing WiMAX or jump ship to LTE.

For the record, Sprint has begun deploying a healthy amount of multi-mode equipment, meaning such a switch wouldn’t be as bad as originally thought. A simple swap of a baseband card and software upgrade is all that’s needed to make complete the deal. Sounds rather exciting to us. Though, early adopters of WiMAX equipment surely can’t be feeling as intrigued as we are.

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#mwc HTC Desire S Receives Minor Update: More Speed + Sleek Aluminum Body.

The HTC Desire S which was announced today at MWC, brings a nice increase in performance to a largely unchanged package. A new all aluminum body, second-gen 1GHz Snapdragon processor (8255), front-facing VGA camera and rear-facing 5-megapixel camera, 3.7″ WVGA display and 1.1GB of user accessible storage. The final cherry on top: Android 2.4 (Gingerbread pt. 2) will ship at launch. Look for the Desire S to launch in Europe and Asia in Q2 of 2011.

Teaser video after the jump…
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HTC Flyer Breaks Cover! 7″ Android Tablet Packs 1.5GHz Snapdragon Processor.

While the HTC Incredible S is a nice smartphone, some people want a little more in the form of a tablet. This quickly exploding market is growing more saturated by the day, with countless manufacturers spinning out their own idea of what a tablet should be. With that said, HTC’s latest attempts center around the Flyer — a 7″ tablet powered by Android 2.4 (upgrade to Honeycomb coming at a later date) and a powerful 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor. Other notable hardware features include 32GB of storage for media, a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, an additional 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, and HSPA+ support.

Oddly enough, even though stylus input has pretty much been relegated to corporate/rugged tablet use and abolished from the consumer market, HTC has felt the need to optimize the Flyer’s version of Android and Sense UI for stylus input. As such, the company has included a stylus in the box. Again, odd considering fingers are the way to go, especially on these 5″+ tablets. We’re also curious as to why HTC chose to hold off on releasing a new flagship tablet with a non-tablet version of Android.

Either way, the HTC Flyer looks like a very capable tablet, and one that should go quite a ways in giving the iPad a run for its money. Consumers can expect the Flyer to hit store shelves in the second quarter of this year.

HTC Incredible S Announced. Coming Q2 2011 With Second Generation Snapdragon And GSM Support. #mwc

Following in the wake of many other smartphone manufacturers, HTC took the wraps off of their latest Android devices, with one of them being the new, revamped Incredible S. A second-gen Snapdragon (8255) processor clocked at 1GHz, 768MB of RAM, 4″ WVGA Super LCD display, 8-megapixel rear/1.3-megapixel front facing cameras w/ LED flash and 720p HD video capability round out a rather stout phone. The Incredible S is going to ship with Android 2.2 (Froyo) initially, but HTC has stressed that they will quickly update to Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) in the very near future.

But above all the hardware specs listed above, one rings out as most important to us — GSM support. That’s right! Where the original Incredible was a CDMA device exclusive on Verizon, the new Incredible S makes the move to the SIM card-toting crowd with HSPA support. From what we’ve been hearing so far, the Incredible S has T-Mobile bands from the get go. Excited yet, T-Mo fans?

Look for the Incredible S to drop sometime in Q2 of 2011.

HTC Announces Salsa And ChaCha Facebook Phones. #mwc

Those leaked images reportedly showcasing upcoming Facebook phones were…true. Todays events at MWC had HTC unveiling two new Facebook phones — the Salsa and the ChaCha. Both phones are actually rather mid to low-range affair. But hardware specs aren’t the big draw here. Facebook integration is — and it runs deep.

The most physical change to these “Facebook Phones” is the context aware Facebook button which pulses with light when something is able to be shared. Status updates, photo uploads, phone book integration, and more are all synced to and fro betwen Facebook and each phone. Speaking of which, the HTC Salsa runs Android 2.3.3 and features a 3.4″ 320 x 480 display, 512MB of RAM 600MHz processor, 5-megapixel rear-facing camera/0.2-megapixel front-facing camera, WiFi/GPS/Bluetooth, and HTC’s Sense UI. The ChaCha also runs Android 2.3.3, though features a smaller 2.6″ display in order to make room for the full qwerty keyboard underneath. Cameras weigh in as the same 5-megapixel front/0.2-megapixel rear shooters as seen on the Salsa. Ditto for wireless support too.

The Salsa and ChaCha are slated for release in Q2. Though unfortunately, no plans for a U.S. released were mentioned at the time of writing. However, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg did stress that we would be seeing “many more” Facebook-enabled devices. It appears that the Salsa and ChaCha are just the beginning.

Anyone out there interested in this idea of special “Facebook Phones”, or is your typical smartphone with Facebook app/web browser enough? Hop inside for a quick video showing the HTC Salsa Facebook phone in more detail…
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