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General Hardware Scoops + Reviews

Droid Bionic launching on August 4th?

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Guys at AndroidCentral got the slide on Verizon’s next big Android launches and they give us a clearer picture of when we can expect those Droid handsets to make an impact. According to the slide, Droid 3 should launch in July 14th, which matches exactly with the general launch date rumored earlier. The previous leak also said that the device will be available on July 7th, a day after the end of unlimited data plans), for those upgrading, so we’ll see whether that sticks as well.

Also, as guys from AndroidCentral said earlier, LG Cosmos II and Samsung Convoy II should be available this August, although there’s no news on new Blackberrys on this slide.

But what is most interesting about the slide is that we finally got a clear date (which can be changed, given Motorola’s history of delaying this handset) on when the Droid Bionic, the handset with LTE and dual-core Tegra 2, a first for LTE phones, will launch. The handset will launch on the August 4th according to the slide, which means people who bought phones from Costco to lock in unlimited data plans can exchange their phones for Bionic, given the Costco’s generous 90-day return/exchange policy. While Tegra 2 falls short in some aspects, it’s head and shoulders above CPUs that the current crop of LTE phones have, which range from Hummingbird seen in last year’s Galaxy S phones to second-generation single-core Snapdragons. So it’s exciting to see the first dual-core, LTE phone hit the market, as dual-core handsets can take more advantage out of lightning fast speed of the LTE network. Now, hopefully the date sticks.







Written by Geek Park

July 4, 2011 at 6:52 PM

webOS slides leaked, phones launching in this fall?

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First of all, happy 4th of July! America’s 235th birthday! Now off to the news…

Guys at PreCentral got the confidential document from HP regarding webOS products, and it looks promising. According to the document, 64GB TouchPad will launch this August with a dual-core 1.5 Ghz processor from Qualcomm, used in Pantech’s Korean-only smartphone, Vega Racer. 64GB TouchPad will only be available in a “glossy white” version.

In a meanwhile, AT&T flavored TouchPad will be available in a black, 32GB version. Titled as “TouchPad 4G,” this TouchPad enables HSPA+ capability, which means the device can use AT&T’s faux-“4G” network. (Wonder what AT&T will call its LTE network? 4G+?)

In the Fall, we’ll see Pre3 and Opal, which is a 7-inch version of the TouchPad. Considering that Pre3 was slated to arrive this summer, a push back to the Fall is extremely disappointing both to consumers and the company as well. However, this has one positive effect of lengthening the lifespan of Pre 2.

The document also says that $ 499, 16GB version of TouchPad faces “extremely limited supply,” which is something we have heard from that other tablet as well,  and that retailers should push for the $ 599, 32GB version. However, given how people are reluctant to go over $ 500 for a tablet, it’s hard to see whether this can succeed. The document also says that all the accessories will only be advertised by HP until July 17th. Hopefully we’ll see some cool TouchStone ads… Not this one:






Written by Geek Park

July 4, 2011 at 9:57 AM

Daily Round Up – June 29th, 2011!

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I’ll have my 2 cents editorial coming tomorrow… Sorry, have been quite a busy day. But now, off to the round-up!

The Moment: This was posted on Engadget just minutes ago, but it definitely warrants a mention. IBM Develops “instantaneous” memory, memory that’s 100 times faster than flash memory such as RAM and is cheap enough to be used even in our smartphones. The memory will use a different kind of phase change memory, which has been in a development stage for more than five years and is based on alloys that change their states from crystalline to amorphous and vice versa when controlled by the electricity. Memory will also be durable as well, staying reliable for millions of read/write cycles instead of thousands. While single alloy cell can hold only one bit of data, new alloy cell used in the memory will hold four bits of data, which means more storage can be put into those memories and less latency. In fact, 100 times faster is the worst-case scenario for those memories, which means in normal usage we should be getting speed more than 100 times faster than how fast our RAM or hard drive performs. The memory, according to IBM at least, should also enable us to turn on our computer instantaneously and to not lose our data when computer crashed or turned off. The memory should be available for sale within the next five years.

My Cold, Hard, Bald Predictions: Since I’m not a scientist or engineers for that matter, it’s hard for me to weigh on in this. However, this may signal, coupled with Window 8’s Metro UI, laptops and desktops moving further toward smartphones and tablets, only with bigger screens and keyboards. I can also see the cloud computing becoming much more enterprise-friendly, although Google Docs have done a good job of introducing businesses to the cloud, as this will likely make storage for data center/servers more efficient.

Now, to the links…

Google + users now can send out invites! Hooray… I really could use a Googler friend now.

Microsoft signs the patent deal with Velocity Micro, allowing Microsoft to be paid for every Android handsets Velocity Micro sells. Considering Microsoft makes more money from HTC’s Android department than the entire Windows Phone 7 department, I’m not surprised that Microsoft is doing this.

Windows Phone 7.5, also known as “mango,” is available to developers now

Roku 2! It’s smaller and has a reset button… and that sounds about it for changes.

Two WebOS news (I’ll have a meat-review of TouchPad on Sunday): HP considers licensing WebOS to other manufacturers. Galaxy Tab hardware with WebOS would make a great combination. HP also gives out a $ 50 discount to 32GB $ 599 version of TouchPad to those with Pre, Pixi, or Pre/Pixi Plus. $ 50 discount still makes it barely $ 549, $ 50 more expensive than Asus Transformer for that matter.

Angry Birds on Windows Phone 7 for $ 2.99. With this, Microsoft shows Windows Phone 7 is not the phone to save you from all phones.

HTC Status for AT&T, also known as ChaCha or “Facebook phone,” is released with 800mhz CPU, 2.6 inch screen and 5 megapixel camera. Reminds me a lot of Flipout actually. (Although Status has double the pixel of Flipout)

Delkin releases World’s fastest SDXC card with 45 Mbps (that’s about 6 megabytes per second for you and me) write speed and 95 Mbps (about 12 megabytes per second) read speed. Of course, it costs $ 540. FYI, Sandisk sells 64GB SDXC card, albeit with 15 Mbps read speed, for $ 107.

Google Talk video chat available for T-Mobile 3G and 4G network, although Fring and Qik had this a long time ago.

Kaz Hirai will become Sony Computer Entertainment chairman, and Andrew House will be the new CEO. What’s the difference of chairman and the CEO again?

Nokia’s several handsets with new version of Symbian – known as Symbian Belle – are leaked. Too bad that Nokia already has the grand plan only involving Windows Phone 7. 

Samsung Conquer 4G, with Hummingbird processor and 3.5 inch display as well as a front-facing camera, is a pretty good budget 4G device from Sprint. Although carriers should really stop shoving 4G labels into every phones? What’s next, a 4G feature phone? Wait…

Apple releasing iPhone 3GS unlocked version in India for $ 444, which is still more expensive than original Galaxy S phones. Analyst says Apple will offer a free iPhone 3GS after the iPhone 4S/5 release. iPhone 3GS do beat the crap out of Optimus One line of phones.

PlayLater lets you DVR any websites in case the video expires or is taken down by the content provider. It costs $ 50 a year or $ 5 a month. Don’t know if it can compete with the Netflix’s $ 8 a month streaming movies and tv shows plan.

EA is apparently blown away by Wii U’s performance, since it’s estimated to be about 50% faster than XBox 360 or PS3, it’s no surprise really. Although when PS4 or XBOX 720 develops….

Taiwan touch panel makers are estimating that Amazon will place an order for about 1.5 million – 2 million tablets in the second half of this year. Amazon, launch cheap and you can be big.

EVO 3D may head to T-Mobile as FTC document shows EVO 3D with T-Mobile AWS bands. Considering that T-Mobile already has the Sensation, which is non 3D-version of EVO 3D, I doubt that we’ll see EVO 3D on T-Mobile.

Hackers’ next target? Al Qaeda! I wonder whether hackers are making deals with the government. Imagine something like “hack Al Qadea, and we won’t punish you for hacking Sony.”?

Co-founder of Twitter, Biz Stone, is also leaving the Twitter. Are they not seeing any hope in the company turning in profits?

T-Mobile will get rid of Even More Plus, a contract free plan, and replace with the “Vaule” Plan. Considering that 2GB data costs $ 10 a month on this plan (and 5GB for $ 25), this sounds very attractive to those with heavy data usage. Although with this plan, you do have to sign a contract AND pay a full price on the phone.

Couple MySpace news… Specific Media buys MySpace for $ 35 million and cuts staff by 50%. $ 35 million is about 10% of what MySpace was valued at when it was bought by Murdoch’s News Corp in 2005… and about 0.3% of its value at the peak on 2007. And on a lighter news, Justin Timberlake, who starred in the “Social Network” as an advisor for Facebook and the creator of Napster, becomes MySpace’s creative director, aiming to bring sexy back to MySpace apparently.

In brief: ThinkPad Tablet shown off… in Brazil? LTE Galaxy Tab 10.1 available for a pre-order from VerizonZTE Blade, a budget Android device, sells 2 million units, even exceeding iPhone’s sales for some time.Android app downloads now at 4.5 billion, which is about half the number achieved by Apple’s App Store ...Consumer Watchdog asks FTC to investigate Facebook credits, saying they violate the antitrust lawMore people spend time on the Internet updating Facebook/Twitter/etc than watching Porn nowRegular Macbook may get a refreshRevenue from mobile app stores expected to reach $ 14 billion in 2012, $ 40 billion in 2015Intel increases its lead in the CPU area, with 82.6% market share, AMD with 10.1%Acer is planning to launch a slider table this yearAsus will launch a Meego netbook for $ 200 after JulyAMD will phase out some Phenom/Athlon processors, including high-end six-core CPUs, to make a room for bulldozer/LianoAT&T partners with Zynga, Farmville soon causes you to drop calls…Droid HD appears...Samsung files an another useless ITC complaint, aiming to shut down iPhone and iPad sales

Now, off to the deals…

GTX460 for $ 140 after rebate! Thinkpad X220 without OS for $ 710! 600 Watt power supply AND DVD-burner for $ 45 after rebate! and more…

For the latest quad-core Liano laptop with Blu-ray and Radeon HD 6750M for $ 679 with $ 100 Gift card from Best Buy! 15-inch Sandy Bridge laptop for $ 400! AMD CPU + Motherboard combo starting at $ 100 from Microcenter! and more deals on computer hardwares…

Unlocked Pixi Plus for $ 50 ! LG Revolution (4G phone from Verizon) for a penny! Add 300 minutes to your Sprint Everything Data 450 plans! and more deals on cellphones…

Also, 99 cents deals on movies from DISH network during the Independence Day!

And I leave you off with this…:






Verizon road-map leaked, Galaxy S II nowhere to be found.

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Daily roundup coming soon…

According to Phil Nickinson from Android Central, Verizon seems to have an arsenal of Android devices releasing this summer. Droid 3, with the dual-core OMAP4 processor and 8 megapixel camera as well as with Gingerbread, should launch Mid July, which lines up well with rumored July 14th release. Droid Bionic, the beast of a phone with Tegra 2 and LTE capability, should launch in late July, more than six months after its announcement at the CES. (It almost makes me doubt whether Verizon delayed the release so they can lure people into tiered plans). Blackberry 9930 Bold, with BB OS 7 and 1.2 GHz processor and all, should be released late July. Blackberry Curve 9370, also known as the Sedona, is launching in August according to the rumor, and it will include BB OS 7 and 512MB of RAM. Samsung Plato is an unknown device, although Jerry Hildenbrand, another writer for Android Central, found it to be the name used for Samsung’s smart TV. We’ll see whether Samsung will partner with Verizon to release Google TV on Verizon (perhaps its FIOS tv integrated?) this august? LG Gelato is Optimus Slider for Verizon in August. Finally, LTE version of Galaxy Tab 10-inch, which is already up for a pre-order, is releasing late July.

Feature phone wise, we’ll see LG Revere this August, Cosmos 2 (with slideout keyboard) this August as well, as well as Samsung Convoy 2 (which is a MP3-oriented folder phone) and Pantech Breakout late August. We’ll also see Samsung Aegis, which is a business laptop, launching September.

Exciting news from Verizon, but where’s the Galaxy S II aka. Samsung Function?


Written by Geek Park

June 29, 2011 at 8:09 PM

SCOOP!: Samsung to release 2GHz LTE phone by November?

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Although 2GHz Galaxy S is something we have heard about before (2 GHz, 720p screen? That’s some futuristic spec right there), this time the rumor seems a “bit” more concrete. According to industry insiders in Korea, Samsung is apparently working with SK Telecom to release 4G-LTE Galaxy S II version to combat iPhone 5 and other LTE Android phones. Considering that LTE will go live in Korea next month, LTE-equipped Galaxy S II is something that’s clear, but what’s amazing is its spec. According to insiders, Samsung will have Galaxy S II Plus with 1.5 Ghz-1.7 GHhz processor and 4.5 inch screen ala. Infuse 4G this September. In November, assuming Qualcomm, who has exclusive right to supply manufacturers with CDMA/LTE chips, has enough chips, Samsung will release upgrade to the Galaxy S II line with 1.7 Ghz to 2 Ghz and with a 4.7 inch screen. This mostly likely is a Korean-exclusive, although there’s a high chance that Galaxy S II LTE version will be released both stateside and other LTE markets (Upgrade to Droid Charge?) with or without any spec bump. Insider didn’t mention what version of Android it will launch with, but considering Google is launching Ice Cream Sandwich in fourth quarter and allegedly allowing multiple manufacturers to manufacture a flagship device for the ICS, I won’t be surprised if this version of Galaxy S II launch with Ice Cream Sandwich. This is something that, again, we have heard before, all the way back in 2010 even, but maybe… just maybe… “second”/”third”/”fourth”/”eleventy billion” time is the charm.

Obviously, there seems to be a huge problem with the Galaxy S II phones overheating, so I expect this phone to probably have a battery life of 2 hours, followed by a big explosion. (I kid, I kid)

Source (Korean):

Written by Geek Park

June 29, 2011 at 6:45 PM

Posted in android, google, smartphones

Daily Round-Up: Evening Edition, June 28th, 2011.

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Let’s begin… with “THE MOMENT:”



Google just launched Google+ (as well as its Android app) today and it’s something that can definitely compete with Facebook. The primary selling point is its “Circle” feature, which is like Facebook’s group feature but done in a more user-friendly and less time-consuming way. Google also integrated RSS feed/Google Reader with the “Spark” feature, which allows sharing an easy task. One feature that’s not on Facebook is the “Hangout” feature, which is basically like a UStream integrated into Skype. It enables you to video chat with your followers while other users can watch the video chat and add their own comments on the chat area. Mobile web apps are available for iOS and Android, while native app is available for Android only for now. (For more, check Engadget’s hands-on)

It seems like the point of Google+ is to integrate Google’s many social features such as Google Reader, GMail, and Google Buzz as well as Google Talk into the one, unified, elegant system. UI, from the looks of it, looks elegant and easy to use which is unbelievable for Google’s products (Google did hire an original Mac designer) and despite its “beta” label, Google+ seems to work without a hitch.

“The Prediction”: The question remains, will anyone move away from Facebook? Despite that it’s losing some users in the U.S., Facebook has 750 million users, which makes Facebook third-biggest country in terms of population. You can argue that MySpace was unassailable as well but MySpace only had about 200 million users at its peak in 2008. Facebook has entered our pop culture lexicons (partly due to the excellent movie “Social Network”) and remains as a pop culture phenomenon even seven years after its launch. Do I think Google have what it takes? Absolutely. The UI is elegant and Google did everything that it really can (short of stealing everyone’s private data). But do I think people will move away from addicting Facebook? That’s really an impossible thing to do with all the Facebook games and apps that bites off our precious time  (I doubt we’ll see Farmville for Google +) not to mention that there’s more people on Facebook than on GMail (which has around 200 million users) .

Now for the evening round-up of links and news…:

Android landline phone launching in South Korea. Umm… finally?

Another analyst says 30 million iPads will be sold this year. With shortages of supplies, I don’t know whether that’s believable. BTW, that’s about double the number of all Macs that the analyst predicted will be sold in this year.

Apple becomes the biggest buyer of memory according to iSuppli. Second? HP.

Google Takeout, another service launched without much fanfare, ables you to grab data from various websites at once

iOS is more secure than Android according to Symantec. But hey, Android is more secure than the PC!

Half a million Android devices are activated daily, 66% increase over the span of 6 months.

Anonymous, who call themselves as “Legion,” hacks Universal Music and Viacom. Seriously though, people who suffered the most during PSN hack were you and me. Don’t we all want this to stop to prevent any more of OUR information from leaking? Where’s the government?

In Brief: Sony’s CEO Sir Howard takes a 16% pay cutGoogle hires prosecutor in the Microsoft antitrust case to defend against antitrust allegations‘Apollo’ will be the codename for WP7 release after the release of ‘Tango‘ (FWIW, my next guess for the Android codename after Ice Cream Sandwich is “jellybeans”)…Verizon rejecting all Gingerbread updates to Motorola devices because Motorola makes Awful, Awful updates?











Written by Geek Park

June 28, 2011 at 10:27 PM

Average teens watch 7 hours of mobile video a month, breezes through the 2GB cap

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A study on teen media usage was released by Nielsen this week, and offers some interesting facts on the media usage especially related to new data caps that will be implemented by Verizon on the July 7th. According to the study, an average mobile subscriber of age 12-17 watched 7 hours and 13 minutes of mobile video a month during the 4Q of 2010, although it was not shown how much were done on the Wi-Fi. 7 hours and 13 minutes is far above the average of 4 hours and 20 minutes spent by the general population.

GaGa Music video was the most popular video content, with 54% of teens watching at least one music video a month on mobile devices. Considering that watching 7 hours and 30 minutes of videos a month on the 3g network equals to about 1.5 GB a month, which leaves a very little room for anything else with the 2GB cap, this does signal a trouble for teens that will be put into a tiered plan. This is more so for 4G phones, which use more bandwidth to stream higher-quality videos. So, your solution? Sign for unlimited plans before they are gone for good on July 7th.

Also, according to the survey, average teens send out 3,364 texts a month, which doesn’t include IM’s or video chat (used by 26%) or Skype, meaning that plenty of LOL’s and OMG’s goes through wireless networks every month. Teens talk on the phone the least beside the seniors, however, with 515 minutes spent talking in a month. Seeing a trend here? Lots of datas, texts, but little minutes. Virgin Mobile’s $ 25 plan, which include unlimited texting, data, and 300 minutes, would fit very well with teenagers’ needs… Hopefully other carriers follow suit.

Source: Nielsen

Written by Geek Park

June 28, 2011 at 9:38 PM

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