Update: @ganaeshd tells us via Twitter that the Nokia Lumia 800 is already on display for you to play with at the Nokia Store in the Gardens Mid Valley. We can assume that a number of other Nokia Stores will have the device and possibly the Lumia 710 on display as well. Thanks for the update Ganaesh!

This is it folks, the Nokia Lumia Windows Phones will be officially launched next Friday, 10 February. The event is happening at Pavilion KL around 6.30PM.

The Nokia Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 duo are the first batch of Nokia branded Windows Phone 7 devices to hit the market. The only last clue to the puzzle is the pricing which we expected the Lumia 800 to be priced around RM1700-1900 range while the Lumia 710 below the RM1000 mark. According to sources familiar to the matter, Nokia is planning something special as this is one of the most important launch for them this year.

It's a common human trait that, when faced with a series of calamities, the brain will retreat into a fantasy world in which everything is the exact opposite of reality. Could this be the inspiration for RIM's four new cartoon characters, which the company hopes will spread its "Be Bold" marketing message? The pattern certainly seems to fit. From left to right: there's GoGo Girl, who "saves the day with a brilliant strategy" (translation: we don't have a strategy). Then comes Justin Steele, who's "always ready to stick up for his friends" (translation: we don't have friends). Trudy Foreal "isn't afraid to call it as she sees it" (translation: our shareholders are complaining). Finally, the adventurous Max Stone is "able to jump out of a plane" (translation: we're going to crash).

Back in October last year, Sony Computer Entertainment Hong Kong (SCEH) - who is responsible for all things PlayStation in this region - has announced that the Final Fantasy XIII-2 will be available in Malaysia on 31st January 2012. Well, the day has finally arrived and as promised, the game is now available in the market with plenty of versions that gamers are able to choose from.

First and foremost is the standard Chinese + English version which retains the game’s original Japanese audio but with Chinese and English texts as well as menu. There is also a stand-alone English version whereby all the menus as well as the voice are in full English. Both versions are priced at RM 179 and come with two time-limited downloadable contents.

For those who are looking into acquiring a PlayStation 3 to play the game, there is also Final Fantasy XIII-2 console bundle as well. Apart from the specially designed FFXII-2 themed 320GB console and the Chinese + English version of the game, the bundle comes together with a mini clear poster and the game’s original soundtrack. This particular bundle is priced at RM 1,378.

Last but not least, SCEH has also released a set of eight FFXIII-2 postcards exclusive for pre-order customers. So, head on to your favourite reputable game retailers for further information and to get your hands on the new Final Fantasy XIII-2 right away.


As the smartphone world continues exploding, many users still fear the extra fees that data connected devices can bring. We mentioned last December that a great solution for this would be family data plans, and Big Red even mentioned the possibilities of seeing them in 2012. If the image below is correct, it seems Verizon is very close to having these ready for us.

Engadget recently received a leaked image from a secret tipster. This is an image taken from the training material to an updated account management application. Said screenshot includes a new option, which is labeled as “account level data plans.”

According to the tipster, it seems we will be able to share our data, similar to how we currently share our voice minutes. There will be a charge for the main data plan and a $10 fee for every device to be added to said family data plan.

We often hear people say that they would love to have a smartphone, but data plans add up fast and sometimes come close to doubling monthly charges. Family data plans would be a great solution not only for smartphone newcomers, but for many other subscribers, as well.

This solution would make it easy to have other internet connected devices, such as tablets, netbooks, laptops and WiFi hotspot devices. Currently, a bill with a smartphone, a tablet and a WiFi hotspot would add up to at least $90 just in data charges. If we were able to start with a $30 data plan, this fee would go down to about $50. (This is simply an estimated demonstration, and does not reflect what the prices will actually be like).

There is no doubt consumers would be much more likely to get more smartphones (as well as other devices) if this option were available. If you think about it, and as I said last December, we’ve already moved to tiered data plans and are paying for our exact amount of gigabytes. It’s only fair that we’re able to use that data as we please.

We certainly hope we see these changes come soon. Until we hear more details about this, let’s stay tuned and be patient. What do you guys say? Will this move make it better for smartphone new-comers? Will you be more likely to purchase other devices like tablets, netbooks and WiFi hotspots?

Unveiled at the recent Consumer Electronics Show 2012, the Huawei Ascend P1 and its twin, the P1 S, were touted as the world’s slimmest phone. With a thickness of 7.69 mm and 6.68 mm respectively, it is hard to believe that claim until we hold it ourselves at Huawei’s booth in CES.

Within a ridiculously thin and lightweight shell that felt a little bit plasticky but not to the extent of filmsy, both devices come with similar set of hardware such as 4.3-inch Super AMOLED touch display with a resolution of 960 x 540 and Corning Gorilla Glass. In addition to that, they are also equipped with a dual-core 1.5GHz TI OMAP 4460 Cortex-A9 processor with integrated PowerVR SGX540 GPU as well as 1GB RAM and 4GB ROM with microSD card slot that supports up to 64GB.

Huawei has also included 8-megapixels autofocus camera with dual LED flash as the main camera for both devices together with 1.3-megapixels front-facing camera. Both cameras are able to capture video at 1080p and 720p resolution respectively. Not to forget, both P1 and P1 S will come together with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich once they are released into market this coming April.

More picture, check out lowyat.net

Alright so maybe we won’t have any news regarding the Samsung Galaxy S III until the company finally decide to reveal it but if you’re looking for a new Samsung phone, here’s one you might like. The Galaxy S Advance is finally official as the Korean manufacturer just announced this new addition to their Galaxy line-up of devices. With a 4” Super AMOLED display and 1GHz Dual Core processor, the Galaxy S Advance will run on Android Gingerbread with no words mentioned whether it’ll be given the Ice Cream Sandwich update.

“The Galaxy S Advance adds to the successful track record of the Galaxy smartphone range with a phone that combines power and style with all the versatility of Samsung’s Hub services.” – JK Shin, President of IT & Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics.

The phone will be making its official appearance in Russia starting next month and will gradually be rolled in CIS, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Southeast and Southwest Asia, Latin America and China though unfortunately, no price has been mentioned either.

Other specifications include HSPA connectivity, 5MP rear camera, and a ful suite of Samsung’s apps such as its various Hubs, ChatON, Find My Mobile, and many more.

We've heard rumblings about the Huawei Honor before, but now its officially available in Malaysia! the Honor runs Android 2.3.5 and is also pretty much ready to run Android 4.0 when it comes out in Q2 of 2012. Packing a 1.4GHz processor, 4.0Inch 16:9 capacitive touch screen, 512 RAM 8MP camera and a whopping 1,930mAh battery all in a 10.9mm thin frame, the Honor does sound like quite a good alternative to what is already in the market today.

“Huawei Honor encapsulates the Huawei brand – it features simple-to-use, advanced technology that allows people to share and connect easily. Honor provides a package of features that elevates the smartphone user experience, including an ultra-long battery life, so critical to the performance of smartphones but yet is often downplayed,” said Victor Xu, chief marketing officer of Huawei Device. “Consumers now have a high-performing smartphone that lets them communicate, connect, entertain and share content for an extended period of time without compromising on looks, technology or style.”

The Huawei Honor is available in Malaysia and will retail for a cool RM1,099 at over 110 dealer outlets.

Samsung this morning announced that the big, beautiful Galaxy Note arrives at AT&T on February 19th with a $299.99 price tag. Pre-orders begin this coming Sunday, Feb. 5 with delivery expected by Feb. 17th. Yep - that means if you buy yours ahead of time then you'll have possession for a full two days over all the others. Of course that $299.99 sticker means you'll have to agree to a two-year service agreement with a requisite data plan*. Look for two color options - ceramic white and carbon blue.

Accessories for the Galaxy Note include the following:

Desktop Dock to get the most out of your Galaxy Note at home
Spare Battery Charging System that allows for a convenient backup charging solution
Protective Flip Cover Case, available in multiple colors including tan, black, pink, red, white, blue.
Galaxy Note S Pen Holder Kit which offers a solution for users in need of a more traditional writing instrument. With a spare S Pen included, the S Pen Holder secures the navigation tool inside and offers a comfortable grip and allows for more detailed use.
Looks like you actually have something to do on Sunday how eh? Oh wait, there is that one football game too.

*Samsung Galaxy Note requires a new 2-yr wireless agreement with voice (min $39.99/mo) and min monthly data plan ($20/mo). Subject to Wireless Customer Agrmt. Credit approval req’d. Activ fee $36/line

Samsung today announced another member for their Android-based Galaxy series of handsets in the form of the Galaxy S Advance. Expected to arrive in February, the smartphone runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread and features a dual-core 1GHz processor, 768MB RAM, and up to 16GB internal storage. Additional specifications include a 5-megapixel camera, 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, support for 14MBps HSPA, and all the other Android requisite connectivity.

Don't look for the Galaxy S Advance to come to the United States anytime soon as it's not listed in the press release. That's not to say that we'll never get one of these stateside, rather it's got a handful of other places to stop first. On the horizon are Russia, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Southeast and Southwest Asia, China, and Latin America. Whew!

January 30, 2012

Latest addition to Android-powered GALAXY portfolio delivers sleek curved design with Dual Core performance

SEOUL, Korea – January 30, 2012 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies, today announced the launch of the Samsung GALAXY S Advance. Designed for those who define themselves by the phone they carry, the GALAXY S Advance strikes a balance of style, power and performance. It will be available in Russia starting from February, and then be gradually rolled out in CIS, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Southeast and Southwest Asia, Latin America and China.

"The GALAXY S Advance adds to the successful track record of the GALAXY smartphone range with a phone that combines power and style with all the versatility of Samsung's Hub services," said JK Shin, President of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics.

Dual Core performance, curved design and Super AMOLED display

Powered by a dual core 1.0 GHz processor and HSPA 14.4 Mbps connectivity, the GALAXY S Advance has been built with power and connectivity in mind, delivering great versatility and a highly responsive user interface for easy multitasking. Application start-ups are faster with virtually no lag time, and the user experience is boosted with smoother screen transitions, faster image processing, and enhanced Web download and browsing performance.

The GALAXY S Advance's curved glass design enhances handling of the phone and fits the user's facial form easily and naturally. Its 4.0" Super AMOLED display provides the stunning visuals users have come to expect of Samsung GALAXY smartphones, offering unparalleled color reproduction and ensuring that photos and videos captured with the device's 5MP camera can be enjoyed with vivid clarity.

The Samsung user experience

Running on Android Gingerbread and featuring Samsung's TouchWiz user interface, the GALAXY S Advance enables users to stay connected through the Samsung Hubs and ChatON services. Music Hub offers a full music store experience with access to over 11 million tracks and the ability to fully personalize users' own music catalogues. Readers Hub offers access to over 2.3 million e-books, 3,500 magazine and 200 newspaper titles; while the hugely popular Game Hub offers access to thousands of catalogued games supplemented by gamer news feeds and news.

Samsung's cross platform communication service, ChatON connects all phone users into a single community using phone numbers instead of usernames and passwords, provides aneasy instant messaging, group chatting and sharing of content in multiple formats-images, video, voice, contacts, calendar-to make messaging simpler and more intuitive than ever.

The GALAXY S Advance also features Find My Mobile, a unique lost-phone management system that ensures secure phone data encryption in case of phone loss, and that enables users to trace their lost phone directly via the Web or even delete the device's data remotely.

The Sony Xperia S boasts a Fast Capture, a feature where you go from screen switched off stand-by mode to successfully taking a picture in just 1.5 seconds. While that’s certainly fast, many want to know how the shutter performance of the Xperia S fairs in comparison to the Zero Shutter Lag feature seen on the Galaxy Nexus.

This video gives you an idea of what kind of shutter speeds you can expect from the Xperia S. It’s pretty snappy considering the pixel count (12MP on the Xperia S) but it’s not really as fast as the Galaxy Nexus’ Zero Shutter Lag.

Why is a fast shutter important? The faster the shutter, the less likely of you taking blurry pictures, It’s certainly something we can appreciate. In this respect, the Xperia S does a commendable job but again we’ll save our final word on this device when we get a review unit to test thoroughly. Also, we’re not sure if the unit seen in this video is a final production unit. As you are aware, different production versions have marked differences in performance.

Another thing worth pointing out, the Xperia S will be getting Ice Cream Sandwich, with that it’s also possible that the device will be getting the Zero Shutter Lag feature as well. While some will argue that Zero Shutter Lag is hardware dependent and a feature that exclusive to the Galaxy Nexus, we’re inclined to think that it is possible for other ICS devices to have the feature as well.

Zero Shutter Lag is officially listed as one of the features of Ice Cream Sandwich, so we’re expecting ICS devices other than the Galaxy Nexus to have fast shutters at the very least if not Zero Shutter Lag.

Don't be fooled, your desktop is not the only device which can be hit by Malware in this day and age. In a blogpost, Symantec identified several titles on the Android Marketplace that are being used to distribute a certain strain of malware which can steal information on command. For these said malicious apps, the offending code is grafted on the main application with a package clad apperhand. Another sign of infection would be a Search icon above on the home screen.

Check out the list below for the apps that have been identified as carriers for this rotten bit of malware and do take appropriate measures to rid yourself of them as quickly as possible. Symantec will be investigating further and will post more information when they get it.

While which chip ends up in a particular device will significantly affect its performance and access to future upgrades, it's not often that we get to peek behind the curtain and find out why those decisions were made. A post on Notion Ink's new Adam II development blog adds some transparency to the process, discussing the switch from an NVIDIA Tegra chip in its first Adam slate to a TI OMAP solution in the just announced tablet. According to the blog, while theoretical performance marks are nice, the company decided its expertise and that of available programmers would let it squeeze the most out of a Texas Instruments chip, as opposed to its first effort that didn't "fully utilize" the power of Tegra. Hit the source link for more details and a breakdown of some of the tech packed into the OMAP4 CPU, and keep an eye on the blog for more details in the run up to the Adam II's release.

Nokia already came clean about the Lumia 800 battery bug, but evidently that just wasn't enough to appease the masses. A community manager in the outfit's own forums has just responded to pages upon pages of comments regarding the most recent update, partly to (re)set the record straight regarding the battery, and partly to address more fixes that are just around the bend. The latest update (1600.2483.8106.11500) was meant to "enhance standby time as well as to bring an improvement to the issue reported by some customers in December," and according to Nokia, said update does indeed address those problems. However, folks that still have concerns regarding audio and camera settings aren't being ignored; those quirks will be worked out in "a series of future updates." Eager to learn more? The full reply is embedded just after the break.

We have today received this information from the Lumia 800 team regarding this discussion:

"We've seen your comments on the latest update for the Lumia 800 and wanted to take the opportunity to quickly address some points.

First of all, the primary target of the latest Lumia 800 update (1600.2483.8106.11500) was to enhance standby time as well as to bring an improvement to the issue reported by some customers in December, that their phone wasn't able to access the full battery charge capacity correctly. We can confirm that we have successfully tested that those improvements are working. Additionally, we've noted your concerns regarding audio and camera settings and are going to address those in a series of future updates, ie. these will not be included in this specific update. It is also important to understand that only the Nokia Update for Lumia 1600.2483.8106.11500 will introduce the mentioned improvements. If you want to see what update you have installed or what software version you currently have on your Lumia 800, please check Settings>System>About and then tap the box for "More information". The "Firmware revision number" shows 1600.2483.8106.11500 if you have installed the latest Nokia update for Lumia successfully. To make sure that your Lumia 800 is up to date and always gets the latest features, go to Settings > Phone Update and select "Notify me when updates are found". Then, as soon as a new update is available for your Lumia 800, your phone will automatically display a notification.

Also always use the original Nokia Fast USB Charger AC-16 or the Nokia Charging and Data Cable CA-185CD that came with your Lumia 800, as they are specifically designed to charge the Lumia 800 as efficiently as possible. Only a charger with an output of 1000mA will fully charge your Lumia 800 battery. If you have several Nokia chargers at home, just check the respective labels or plastic parts as the product name is mentioned there.

Last but not least, the Diagnostic App was designed for internal testing purposes. In general, your battery is fine as long as the full charge capacity is more than 1000mAh. For the future, if you are checking your battery life, more useful information on the Battery status can be found by focusing on Settings>System>Battery saver. It will tell you both your remaining battery life in percent as well as the estimated time remaining, plus the time since you last charged your phone (as soon as you have disconnected your phone from your charger). If you have concerns about your battery capacity, please contact Nokia Care (phone numbers and locations can be found via www.nokia.com/support)."

Who knew a "p" packed so much punch? Just weeks after Lenovo cut loose with a boatload of new machines, the outfit has quietly slipped out an even newer model tailored for gamers. The 14-inch IdeaPad Y470p looks just about like the existing Y470, but swaps out the middling NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M for a far more potent Radeon HD 7690M. (For those wondering -- yep, that's the same chip in HP's new Envy 15.) There's also a 2.2GHz quad-core Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, an optional 1TB HDD, JBL speakers and a native 1,366 x 768 screen resolution. The unit tips the scales at 4.85 pounds with a six-cell battery, which is supposedly good for up to four hours of usage (in presumably ideal conditions). Other specs include a Blu-ray Disc drive, a two-megapixel webcam, HDMI out and USB 3.0. For now, at least, it looks as if eager beavers can get one headed their way for as low as $799, but the more specced-out models are reaching well over $1,200.

For everyone that has been complaining about Motorola locking their bootloaders I’m sure this is going to… well let’s be honest this is probably just going to tick you off too.

Motorola has announced via their blog that a new version of the Motorola RAZR will be coming first to Europe and then to the U.S. “in the coming months.” This is a spin on the original RAZR, not the recently released RAZR MAXX, and will be known as the RAZR Developer Edition. The big headling feature of this newest rendition of the RAZR is an unlockable bootloader. While there has been something of a hue and cry from the Android population over Motorola’s steadfast locking of their bootloaders it seems unlikely that anyone’s ideal solution was yet another SKU in the RAZR family.

The full text of their post can be found below as they have subsequently pulled it from their blog. The date on their post was January 30th so someone probably just pulled the trigger on it a bit early.

Motorola is quick to attribute the need for locked bootloaders on their phones to “carrier and regulatory obligations” which is a bit puzzling considering other manufacturers don’t appear to be similarly hampered.

The Sony Xperia S body comes with a nice matte finish that doesn’t leave any fingerprint smudges all over. In addition, the Xperia S also comes with a special dirt repellent coating to keep its surface clean. So what happens if you scribble a pen on that nice white Xperia S back cover? Watch the video to find out.

Amazon Wireless has just dropped the price of both the black and white versions of the Samsung Epic 4G Touch Galaxy S II on Sprint. Arguably the best handset on the carrier, the black Epic 4G Touch is actually being offered for slightly less than its pale sibling, coming in at only $80 for new customers. If you’re looking to add a line the device goes up to $100 and for customers looking to upgrade, the device can be had for $150. Pretty much the same goes for the white version except that whether you’re a new customer or looking to add a line, the device will still run you $100.
All-in-all, this is the lowest we’ve seen the device listed where it’s still being sold for $200 online at Sprint.com, and in Sprint stores. I recently gave in and traded up my HTC Evo 3D in for this device and I can honestly say — without a doubt — that I’ve never been a happier little Phandroid. Links provided below.

There’s no denying that the Sony Xperia S was one of our favorite Android phones at CES. The handset’s unique design certainly makes the phone stand out, but apparently Sony wasn’t ready to reveal all the handset’s secrets at this month’s trade show. According to a recent post on the company’s Facebook page, the Xperia S features an “anti-stain shell,” something we’ve already seen on the recently released Droid RAZR from Motorola. If that wasn’t enough, a rumor is floating around that suggests the Xperia S will have a fast charging feature which will allow users to get one hour of handset use with only 10 minutes of charging.

We’ve known that the Sony Xperia Ion would be headed to AT&T this spring, but it looks like the Xperia S may soon make an appearance in North America as well. The handset recently showed up at the FCC with support for AT&T’s 3G radio bands, Bluetooth 2.0, NFC, WiFi b/g/n, GPS and ANT+. While we’re excited to see support for AT&T’s 3G radio bands, we have a feeling our neighbors to the north will be seeing the Xperia S on Rogers long before the handset is spotted in an AT&T store.

Are any of you AT&T customers thinking about paying full price to import the Sony Xperia S, or will you simply wait to see what Sony and other manufacturers unveil at Mobile World Congress and CTIA this spring?

Folks looking to get their hands on the Wi-Fi Motorola Xyboard 8.2″ and 10.1″ tablets, the wait is over. Though the device has been up for preorder for a few weeks now, the follow up to the Xoom tablet is now shipping from Motorola’s website.

Starting today, customers who order the Xyboard will be treated to free two-day shipping on their orders. The pricing for the Wi-Fi models range from $399.99 for the 16 GB 8.2″ model to $599.99 for the 32GB 10.1″ model.

Highlights of the Motorola Xyboard include:

Android 3.2 Honeycomb at launch
8.2- or 10.1-inch IPS display with Gorilla Glass
1.2 GHz dual-core OMAP4 processor
5 MP rear camera
1.3 MP front facing camera
16 GB or 32 GB internal storage
Frankly, unless you’re a big fan of the form factor of the Xyboard, we can’t see much of a justification for plopping down $400 to $600 on a tablet, especially when you’re putting these devices on shelves next to the Transformer Prime ($500 and $600, same as Xyboard) and upcoming 7″ Tegra 3 MeMO 370T at $250.

Sony has revealed more details of its Tablet S Android tablet with pre-order package details. The pre-ordering info on their website is still quite sketchy at this point but the Tablet S models and pricing are revealed as follows:

Sony Tablet S (16GB WiFi) – RM1,499
Sony Tablet S (32GB WiFi) – RM1,799
For those that pre-order, they will get an exclusive ST Slip Case worth RM139. At the bottom, it is stated that estimated shipping time for Sony Tablet S pre-order package will begin tomorrow 28th January 2012 but no ideas what does that mean right now.

According to a tip from Fizie, My Sony & Sony Store members are being notified that they can get a Tablet S at Sony Store KLCC and at The Curve on 12-13 February 2012 with their exclusive booking numbers. That’s just couple of days before Valentine’s Day which falls on the 14th February.

Just a little recap on the Tablet S, the 9.4″ tablet runs on dual-core 1GHz Tegra 2 processor, comes with 1GB of RAM and weighs 598g. In terms of thickness, it is between 10.1mm at the thinnest point to 20.6mm at the thickest. When announced, it was running on Android 3.1 but it is upgradable to Android 3.2. For imaging, it comes with a 5MP camera at the back and a 0.3MP VGA camera in the front.

For more information, head over to the Sony Tablet S page.

Truth to be told, the Consumer Electronics Show is not really HTC’s turf. So, it is not surprising that the company was rather quiet at the event but its presence still matters though as HTC brought along a new device to the show that boosted Microsoft’s Windows Phone campaign at CES'12 in its own way.

Essentially, the HTC Titan II is almost similar to the original HTC Titan that was launched last year with its single-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm processor, 512MB RAM, 16GB internal storage and 4.7-inch display. However, the new Windows Phone device is equipped with a 16-megapixels camera which is double of what the original Titan has. In addition to that, the Titan II also is equipped with a higher capacity battery at 1730mAh as well as the support for LTE network.

Being a LTE device, don’t expect to see HTC Titan II in Malaysia anytime soon. Then again, HTC might have something to show off at the upcoming Mobile World Congress next month. So who knows…there might be a new HTC Windows Phone for non-LTE market very soon.


The Woz says his favourite Android phone at the moment is not the Galaxy Nexus but the Motorola DROID RAZR. That was probably what inspired Motorola to do this video comparing Siri with Google Voice Actions.

Biased, maybe, but sill worth a look.

What’s also worth a look is this article from The Daily Beast about what Steve (Wozniak) thinks about Android. Here’s an excerpt about what he thinks about Siri.

Then there’s Siri, Apple’s new voice-recognition software. Woz says he’s been using Siri for a long time and used to love it when it was an independent application created for the iPhone.

But ever since Apple bought Siri and built the software into the iPhone 4S, it doesn’t work as well as it used to.

“I used to ask Siri, ‘What are the five biggest lakes in California?’ and it would come back with the answer. Now it just misses. It gives me real estate listings. I used to ask, ‘What are the prime numbers greater than 87?’ and it would answer. Now instead of getting prime numbers, I get listings for prime rib, or prime real estate,” Woz says.

Worse, a lot of the time Siri says it can’t make a connection to the back-end servers that power the system. “With the iPhone 4 I could press a button and call my wife. Now on the 4S I can only do that when Siri can connect over the Internet. But many times it can’t connect. I’ve never had Android come back and say, ‘I can’t connect over the Internet.’”

The Android system also delivers better results, he says. “I have a lower success rate with Siri than I do with the voice built into the Android, and that bothers me,” Woz says. “I’ll be saying, over and over again in my car, ‘Call the Lark Creek Steak House,’ and I can’t get it done. Then I pick up my Android, say the same thing, and it’s done. Plus I get navigation. Android is way ahead on that.”

Full article here.

RIM may have had a shakeup at the helm, but thats not stopping them from having a grand ol' plan for 2012. BGR has gotten their hands on what looks like the RIM roadmap for Blackberry as well as a bunch of slides that has some details for the upcoming products. Of note, it looks like there will be a HSPA+ enabled PlayBook in the work with both NFC and a 1.5GHz CPU as well as a bunch of Curves for the entry level segment. Making its way onto the handsets is a dedicated BBM button which is welcome for all heavy users of the service. Also, it looks like the first BB10 device will be delayed and won't land until at least Q3 of the year.

Amazon’s posted another great deal for another great Android phone. The all-day battery having DROID RAZR MAXX is normally $300 in Verizon stores but Verizon’s willing to let it go for just $200 if you’re a new customer signing a new two-year contract. Existing customers will naturally have to pay more, but even your discount is quite desirable compared to the MSRP.
You’ll be able to get it for just $230. The device boasts all of the same features from the original – dual-core processor, 4G, 1GB of RAM, 4.3 inch qHD display and more – but has a 3300 mAh battery that Verizon claims will get users 21 hours of talk time.

If Samsung doesn’t make any drastic changes to their model numbering conventions, the Samsung Galaxy S III may very well have just appeared on the company’s official support site. Listed among Samsung’s various smartphones is the GT-i9300, a model number that sequentially follows the GT-i9xx series (Galaxy S), GT-i91xx (Galaxy S II), and GT-i92xx ( Galaxy Nexus and Note). There is always the possibility that this turns out to be some other upcoming handset or a variation on a current design, as clicking on the device model doesn’t reveal any further information. We may not have an answer as soon as we’d like, as Samsung is rumored to be shelving the announcement of the GS3 until sometime after Mobile World Congress. The annual trade show for the mobile industry was expected to serve as a coming out party for the new flagship handset.

While some are wondering what’s going on with a quad-core Exynos processor of some sort, most of us know that Samsung still has yet to push the boundaries of dual-core. Their Exynos chipset series is one of the most efficient, fast and capable chipsets around and the Exynos 5250 will take things a step further.
It’s an ARM Cortex-A15 chipset that will boast a 2GHz clock speed, all the while sucking even less power than some of their earlier chipsets. The chip has begun sampling, according to Samsung, and will hit mass production sometime in Q2’12.

This gives them a good timeline to put the chip into an early device and showcase it at a recent event. Taylor Wimberly from Android & Me says that recent device could be a new Galaxy Tab and that the show could be Mobile World Congress in a new rumor.
The device they’re looking to bring out is reportedly bigger than 10 inches. Yes, I know – it’s hard to imagine anything bigger than 10 inches to be considered wieldy enough for practical use. “Well what if the device is just 10.1 inches,” I asked myself. That’d be plausible if not for the belief that it will come with a WXQGA display (2560×1600), something that the Exynos 5250 will indeed support.
Wimberly reportedly saw a prototype device of the same cloth but was unable to take photos of it. We’re not sure if his rumor stems from that device alone but we can’t say excitement will drape all over us if it did.
Prototypes and development devices are usually specced well beyond what is usually necessary for consumer use. We do hope to see a device of some sort with the Exynos 5250 at MWC, though.
I can confirm that Samsung System LSI was indeed on-hand at CES showing off top secret prototypical Exynos devices, however I was not ultimately granted permission to take a look myself.
In my meeting with them they sounded like they had a product ready to show off in the very near future. We’re hoping this rumor holds true and we’ll be at Mobile World Congress to see whatever they’re willing to show.

It wasn't long ago that we first crossed paths with the ZTE V66 tablet, though at the time we were unfortunate to only meet its dull black-and-white renders. Those of you unfamiliar with the tab won't have your jaws dropped by its innards, which are expected to be missing out on the Ice Cream Sandwich treatment. Aside from the OS letdown (still, it's not as bad as shipping with Gingerbread), the V66 is pretty standard fare for a modern tablet. It'll be running on Verizon's speedy LTE network, sporting a 7-inch (1,280 x 800) display, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and a 4,000mAh battery will help keep it chugging along. We've yet to hear an official word from the Big Red about price and availability, so we'll let you know how deep into your wallet you'll have to dig as soon as we find out.

The Samsung Galaxy S III truly is the next big thing in Android land right now, even though the device has not been officially announced. Many of us expected Samsung to unpack their next flagship phone during Mobile World Congress in late February, but the latest rumors suggest it will not make an appearance at that show.

This week during Samsung’s earnings call, a company executive named Mrs. Younghee Lee actually acknowledged the existence of the Galaxy S III. In response to an analyst question about the Galaxy S III launch date, Mrs. Lee responded, “We are still reviewing several options when to launch. We will let you know when it’s decided.”

Also discovered this morning on a Samsung support site was an upcoming model number GT-I9300. This is one of the highest model numbers we have seen yet (Galaxy Nexus was i9250), which leads some to believe this could be the model number of the Galaxy S III.

While most companies have already announced their MWC press events, Samsung has yet to send out an invitation to theirs. With every passing day, it looks more likely that Samsung will not be announcing their Galaxy S III next month.

Other recent rumors suggest there are multiple versions of the Galaxy S III in testing, so Samsung could still be debating which model to go with. It is widely believed that Samsung will use their own quad-core 1.5 GHz Exynos 4412 processor, but there’s also a small chance they could go with the next-generation dual-core 2.0 GHz Exynos 5250.

We already saw the Exynos 5250 in action at CES and Samsung revealed during their earnings call that mass production would begin in Q2. The chip is likely to appear in a tablet first, but it should also power smartphones later this year.

Personally, I’m rooting for Samsung to push back the release date of the Galaxy S III and go with the Exynos 5250. The chances of this are slim based on the availability of the chip, but Samsung could boast the first smartphone based on ARM’s Cortex-A15 CPU core.

Mobile World Congress is exactly one month away and I’ll be making the long trip to check it out, so hopefully we can uncover the true story soon.

The fashionable stylings of the PRADA phone by LG 3.0 (most convoluted handset name ever?) will grace UK shores starting tomorrow courtesy of retailer Phones 4u. The handset features a greyscale custom interface and “Saffiano leather feel back” to match a feature set that includes a dual-core processor, 8MP camera, and ultra-bright NOVA display. The perfect accessory for any runway show, the latest Prada handset is headed for Vodafone and O2 and will be free when purchased on a two-year contract with a £31 tariff. It should land on T-Mobile UK in February.

London, 26.01.12 - Phones 4u is proud to announce that it will be the first retailer in the UK to stock the new PRADA phone by LG 3.0. The first batch of designer PRADA phones will go on sale for the first time in the UK tomorrow, on Friday 27th January.
With its sleek black design, unique PRADA customised black, grey and white user interface, and PRADA’s signature Saffiano leather feel back, the PRADA phone by LG 3.0 is every gadget-smitten fashionista’s dream. But what it exudes in style it also oozes in substance.
Currently one of the slimmest phones on the smartphone market at 8.5mm, the PRADA phone by LG has a high brightness 800-nit NOVA display to view all those crystal clear photos taken on the 8MP camera. With 1.0GHz Dual-Core/Dual-Channel processor and dual-band Wi-Fi for high-speed performance and internet browsing, it also comes with an internal memory up to 8GB, all wrapped up in a deluxe PRADA branded box with PRADA branded stereo headset included.
Scott Hooton, Phones 4u Chief Commercial Officer commented: “Our customers value their mobile phones highly, and so seek not only a powerhouse of technology, but aspirational design also. The PRADA phone by LG 3.0 delivers on both fronts, and we’re excited to be putting it into the hands of our customers before anyone else.”
If you take out a contract on the PRADA phone by LG 3.0 at Phones 4u before the end of February, you’ll also get 12 months free unlimited* 4u Wi-Fi. The new 4u Wi-Fi offering from Phones 4u allows you access to Wi-Fi from your mobile phone whenever you’re in one of The Cloud’s 6000+ hotspots across the UK. What makes 4u Wi-Fi even better is that you only have to register for Wi-Fi access ONCE. Each time you then enter one of The Cloud’s Wi-Fi hotspots, you will be automatically connected to wireless internet.
The PRADA phone by LG 3.0 will be available from Phones 4u stores and online FREE from £31 a month on a choice of networks from Friday 27th January. You can watch a hands-on review of the glossy new PRADA phone by LG 3.0 on the Phones 4u website now, and order yours from tomorrow.

The last time we heard about the inexpensive and student-friendly ThinkPad X130e, it was being snatched up by the eager school districts. That move ultimately pushed back the rig's planned ship date, but fortunately Lenovo seems to have caught up with the demand for its rugged miniature. In case you need a mind refresh, the X130e is sporting an 11.6-inch HD LED display, 250GB for all your storage needs, four gigs of RAM and your choice of an AMD Fusion or i3 processor at its Core (see what we did there?), just to mention a few goodies. Those of you who've been counting the days to get your hands on the $429 entry-level ThinkPad can finally do so at the source link.

There comes a time when you must clear out the old and make way for the new, and that's exactly what Nikon has in store for its D300s and D700 shooters. According to Electronista, the Japanese camera giant added both of its aforementioned DSLRs to the "old products" section on its motherland site. Given how often we see products get refreshed, it shouldn't come as a huge surprise -- especially when we've seen the D700's expected successor hanging out in the wild many times before. Keep in mind that Nikon recently took the wraps off its D4, so perhaps it's just a good ol' sign the new more-compact flavors are looming just around the corner. Needless to say, we'll let you know as soon as it happens.

Underwhelmed by the ZTE tablet spotted yesterday? Perhaps the promise of a Honeycomb-decked seven-incher from Sprint will win your tablet hungry dollars. Advertising materials leaked over at Android Police, revealing that the previously unseen slab will arrive next month both on contract ($100) and off ($349). The 1.2GHz dual-core Optik wields a 5 megapixel camera on the back, paired with a front-facing 2 megapixel shooter, while there's a respectable chunk of storage (16GB), expandable by microSD. Although there may be more eye-opening propositions when it comes Android tabs, those on the hunt for one that won't claim a heavy chunk of your paycheck and still pack some respectable technical specs may have found an interesting new contender.

Wanna grab the hottest new Android experience but without burning a hole in your pocket? Head to Amazon and pick up the Samsung Galaxy Nexus for $100 with a two-year service agreement. The promo price is only good with any new Verizon Wireless contract, family or individual. We're not sure how long this deal will last so don't waste time wondering if the price will get better. It hasn't yet and we don't suspect it will anytime soon.

As a reminder, the Samsung Galaxy has the following specifications:

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED Contour Display
Dual-core 1.2 GHz processor
1 GB of RAM
5-MP camera; full HD 1080p camcorder
Front-facing video chat camera
Bluetooth stereo music
32 GB memory
4G LTE-enabled

If you've got an iOS device and are halfway proficient in all things tech, chances are you've either jailbroken your device or have stumbled across it somewhere or another. In the early days, Jailbreaking was considered a terrible act, second only to kitten punching and unicorn farming,but in July 2010, the US government deemed jail breaking and unlocking as legal as long as they are not violating copyright law. While it was never technically Illegal, Apple had some strict policies that prevented third party apps from being installed on their devices.

It turns out, the exemption that Jailbreaking and Rooting of phones has enjoyed from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is coming up for a review and if it does run out, it means that jail breaking your iOS device or rooting your Android phone will once again be Illegal. Currently the exemption doesn't cover tablets, so technically jail breaking the iPad is a big nono.

What can you do to have your voice heard, and pitchforks felt? Head over to the EFF page to show your support on the petition and to learn more about the situation.

Could you imagine being throw in jail or fined thousands of dollars just for rooting or jailbreaking your own device? If the US Copyright Office doesn’t renew rooting and jailbreaking’s status as exempt from the laws of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), it could happen.

Back in 2010, the US Copyright Office ruled that jailbreaking phones doesn’t violate the DMCA, letting the user take full control of their device without violating any copyright laws. Unfortunately, that ruling is about to expire. The EFF is looking to extend jailbreaking’s exemption from copyright laws and add coverage to tablets and video game consoles along with phones. But they need your help.

The EFF is reaching out to anyone who jailbreaks or roots their devices to utilize independent software and is asking them to submit a comment to the Copyright Office that addresses the following questions.

Which jailbreaking exemption are you supporting—smartphones/tablets, video game consoles, or both?
What’s your background (i.e., are you a developer, hobbyist, academic, independent researcher, user, etc.)?
What device do you want to ensure you have the legal authority to jailbreak?
Please explain why you want to jailbreak this device. What limitations do you face if you aren’t able to jailbreak it? Is there software you couldn’t run, computing capabilities you wouldn’t have, cool things you couldn’t do, etc.?
If you’re a developer, did an online application store or console manufacturer reject your app or game? If so, what reasons did they give?
Is there anything else you want to tell the Copyright Office?
The EFF is also suggesting that anyone interested in keeping jailbreaking legal sign the petition found here.

It’s been awhile since I’ve rooted and installed custom software myself, but I can’t imagine it being made illegal. I’m sure there’s plenty of you out there who read Android and Me and feel exactly the same way. Now’s your chance to make your voice on the subject heard.

For more information on the EFF’s fight for your digital rights, along with how to submit your comments to the US Copyright Office, visit EFF.org.

Earlier this month Qualcomm launched their GameCommand application into the Android Market to showcase all the titles that are optimized for their Snapdragon devices. The app couldn’t be installed on non-Snapdragon devices and the design of the layout was rather uninspiring, but Qualcomm is investing a lot of resources to make sure that GameCommand is a success.

Recently we had the opportunity to sit down with Dave Durnil, Director of Advanced Content and Gaming at Qualcomm, who provided a quick walk-through of the app and talked about the future of the program. He told us that the next version of GameCommand is already in development and it should launch next month around the time of Mobile World Congress. New features include the ability to add custom RSS feeds to the news reader, a landscape layout for tablets, and new filters to sort games by category, publisher, and more.

Dave also told us that Qualcomm now has an in-house studio dedicated to making Android games for Snapdragon devices. We don’t know the exact size of the team, but we were told their goal is to release one flagship title per year. Their first game will be a full blown sequel to the mini-game Desert Winds.

GameCommand already boast over 100 titles, which is more than NVIDIA’s Tegra Zone. Not every game is a blockbuster, but Qualcomm has already made deals with Gameloft and EA Mobile to release exclusive titles. Both Gameloft and EA Mobile were originally listed as partners for Tegra Zone, but we never saw any games come from that.

Qualcomm actually shipped more mobile GPUs than anyone else last year (thanks to the integrated Adreno GPU found in Snapdragon), so developers have a lot of reasons to target Snapdragon devices. GameCommand has yet to crack 5k installs, but if Qualcomm refines the app and pumps out some exclusive titles they might be able to catch up with NVIDIA’s Tegra Zone (currently 1 million+ installs) this year.

Fujitsu's K supercomputer was on our radar before it was even completed, and naturally, we let you know when it smoked the competition and became the supercomputing speed king. So, when we had the opportunity to see a piece of K at Fujitsu's North America Technology Forum today, we couldn't pass it up. In case you forgot, K is a massive machine powered by 864 racks with 24 boards per rack housing SPARC64 CPUs. We got to see one of those boards, and Yuichiro Ajima -- who designed the inter-connection chips (ICC) on them -- was gracious enough to give us some more info on this most super of supercomputers.

Each board has extensive plumbing to keep the SPARC silicon running at a manageable 32 - 35 degrees Celsius (90 - 95 Fahrenheit) under load. Underneath that copper cooling system lies four processors interspersed between 32 memory modules (with 2GB per module) and four ICCs lined up next to the board's rack interconnect ports. Currently, the system takes 30 megawatts to do its thing, though Ajima informed us that K's theoretical max electricity consumption is about double that -- for perspective, that means K could consume the entire output of some nuclear power plants. When asked if there were plans to add more racks should Fujitsu's supercomputer lose its crown, Ajima-san said that while possible, there are no plans to do so -- we'll see if that changes should a worthy opponent present itself.


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