Posts Tagged ‘Android’

Compulab Utilite2 Android / Ubuntu mini PC is Now Up for Sale for $192 and Up

March 6th, 2015 5 comments

Compulab Utilite2 is a new family of mini PCs powered vt Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad core Krait 300 processor, with 2GB RAM, 4GB eMMC and optional mSATA storage that runs Android 4.4 or Ubuntu Linaro, with CM-QS600 SoM found in the device being officially supported by Linaro. Utilite2 Standard 4G and Standard 4G + 32SSD (or just SSD for short) are now listed on UK based TinyGreenPC for respectively £158.00 ($241) and £181.00 ($276), but the two models can also be bought direct on Compulab website for $192 and $229 with a 4 weeks lead time.

Compulab_Utilite2_DescriptionUtilite2 specifications:

  • SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 APQ8064 quad-core Krait 300 @ 1.7GHz with Adreno 320 GPU compliant with OpenGL ES 1.1 / 2.0 / 3.0 and OpenCL
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3-1066
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC, mSATA socket (mini-PCie form-factor, populated with 32 GB SSD on SSD model), and micro-SD slot up to 128 GB
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4a max resolution 1920 x 1080
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, stereo line-out, stereo line-in, WC09311 audio codec.
  • Video Codecs – H.264, MPEG2/4, DivX and VC-1 HW decoding up to 1080p
  • Connectivity
    • 1000 BaseT Ethernet port,
    • Dual-antenna WiFi 802.11b/g/n,
    • Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.0 (Low Energy)
    • Cellular Expansion socket (mini-PCIe form-factor) and on-board uSIM socket for USB cellular modem
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports (max 1A per port), 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Debugging – Serial debug console (muxed with USB OTG)
  • Misc – RTC
  • Power Supply – Unregulated 10 to 16 volt input (12V adapter provided)
  • Power Consumption – 3W – 8W (depending on system load)
  • Dimensions – 85mm x 85mm x 27mm (die-cast aluminum enclosure)
  • Temperature Range – Commercial: 0C – 45C; Extended: -20C – 60C

The box is sold with a 12V/1.5A power supply (EU, UK or US standard) and power cord, two Wi-Fi antennas, and a user’s guide. The computer is pre-loaded with Linux (Ubuntu Linaro?), and you may want to read user and developer information about hardware and software on Utilite2 Wiki for complete details. I could not find much information for Android 4.4.3, maybe it will be published a little later.

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iConsole Micro Intel Atom TV Stick To Run Android 5.0 based Console OS

March 5th, 2015 3 comments

Console Inc., previously Mobile Media Ventures, Inc.,  is the company developing Console OS operating system based on Android 4.4 / 5.0 for Intel platforms that includes customizations for a better desktop experience, and you can already try the preview version of Console OS Standard for free on some Intel hardware, with another paid version to become available at the time of the stable release. The company has now announced iConsole Micro a Console OS HDMI TV Stick based on a quad core Intel Atom processor that looks very much like MeegoPad T01, but it’s said to be based on Intel Compute Stick technology.

iConsole_MicroiConsole Micro specifications have not been fully released, but here’s what we know so far:

  • SoC – Unnamed Intel Atom 64-bit quad core processor
  • System Memory – 2 GB RAM
  • Storage – 32 GB eMMC + micro SD slot up to 128GB (160GB in total)
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 port, 1x micro USB port for power
  • Misc – Power button
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port.
  • Dimensions and Weight – N/A

The device will have an unlocked 64-bit UEFI bootloader, so it should be easier to boot other operating systems, and it won’t require the workaround needed for most Intel Atom Z37xx based products with a 32-bit UEFI bootloader.

iConsole Micro is expected to hit the shelves this summer for $129. More information should eventually be provided on

Via Liliputing.

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Mixtile LOFT-Q Allwinner A31 Board with SATA Can Now be Purchased for $90

March 4th, 2015 8 comments

Mixtile LOFT-Q and LOFT Kit were unveiled nearly a year ago, the first being a development board based on Allwinner A31 processor with 2GB RAM, 16GB RAM,  SATA connector, Gigabit Ethernet, etc.., while the second is a kit with an enclosure and power supply. The kit does not appear to be available yet, but the board has recently been listed on SeeedStudio for $90.


Mixtile LOFT-Q specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner A31 quad core ARM Cortex-A7 processor with PowerVR SGX544 MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC, SATA III connector for 2.5″ drives, and SD card Slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4 up to 1080p60
  • Video Decoding – H.264 4Kx2K video decoding, multi-format FHD video decoding, including Mpeg1/2, Mpeg4 SP/ASP GMC, H.263, H.264,etc
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, 1 S/PDIF, high definition microphone
  • Camera I/F
    • Integrated Parallel & MIPI I/F sensor
    • Integrated powerful ISP, supporting Raw Data CMOS sensor
    • Supports 5M/8M/12M CMOS sensor
    • Supports 8/10/12-bit YUV/Bayer sensor
  • Connectivity – 10/100/1000M Ethernet, dual band WiFi 802.11 a/g/n + Bluetooth 4.0 (AP6234), and Zigbee (NXP JNS168)
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host post
  • Debugging – UART debug connector, JTAG connector
  • Expansion header – 180-pin header with access to I2C, SPI, LCD, MIPI DSI, RGB/LVDS, CSI, MIPI CSI, ADC, CTP, RTP, SPDIF-OUT, SPDIF-IN, GPIO, etc…
  • Sensor – Acceleration sensor, IR receiver
  • Misc- Battery slot for RTC
  • Power – 12V/4A (48W)
  • Dimensions – N/A

SATA Connector and Wireless Dongles? are on the Back of Mixtile Board

You won’t find many details on Mixtile Hardare page, but there’s some recently updated documentation and software on Mixtile github account, with various repositories for documentation with a getting started guide, linux and u-boot source code, development tools, and BSPs for Android 4.4.2, Ubuntu Touch, and OpenWRT. What I failed to find however is a clear graphical description of the board and connectors.

Thanks to Embedded_Geek for the tip.
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Kodi 15 Alpha 1 Adds Support for H.265 on Android, Drops Some Older OS Versions and Hardware

March 4th, 2015 3 comments

Kodi 15 Isengard got its first public Alpha release, with 400 pull-request for code merges, 1322 commits and thousands of code lines changed compared to Kodi 14 release with modifications of all operating systems ports, and changes to newer OS versions.

Kodi_15_IsengardMajor changes for Kodi 15.0 Alpha 1 include:

  • Added adaptive seeking through audio and video playback, also know as “skip steps”
  • Android HEVC H.265 HW decode support for some chipsets
  • Improved webserver caching control
  • External subtitles over UPnP
  • Allow scanning of new sources and marking as watched during other library operations such as “update library”
  • Allow different sort orders for different sort methods
  • Start of integration binary add-ons and changing the build system around it
  • Improved CC (Closed Captions) support for Live TV
  • ffmpeg 2.5.4 update
  • Remove remaining SDL code
  • New OS Requirements:
    • Minimal Mac OSX 10.7 Lion requirements (Only OSX 64-bit builds provided, no more 32bit builds)
    • Minimal iOS 5.1 required
    • iOS 8.1 SDK & MacOSX 10.10 SDK
    • Minimum Android 4.2 Jelly Bean MR1 required (OT: Not a good day for older Android versions, as the Chrome browser won’t be updated for Android ICS anymore). You’ll get the message “there was a problem parsing the package” if your version if not compatible.
    • Android API 17 as minimum with SDK 14 and NDK 10e
  • ATV2 support dropped
  • Android TV platform should now be fully supported (side-loading still required)
  • Removed the need for root/SU on Android
  • Android PIL packaging fixed
  • Changed code to  C++11
  • Variety of memleaks, segfaults, crashes and minors fixed
  • General improvements regarding code stability and performance in all areas
  • General code clean-up in all areas to simplify adding future features

You can download Kodi 15.0 Alpha 1 or nightly builds here, while Kodi 15.0 images for the Raspberry Pi board should be somewhere on forums.

Thanks to Harley for the tip.

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With Ulefone Be X, You can now Buy an Octa-core Android Smartphone for $90

March 3rd, 2015 3 comments

$100 quad core Android phones, all Mediatek based, could be found back in 2013, and included 1GB RAM, 4GB flash, and a 4.5″ display with 854×480 resolution. Technology gets cheaper overtime, and in early 2015, you can now purchase an Octa-core smartphone for $90 with 1GB RAM, 8GB flash, the same 4.5″ display size, but a slightly higher resolution of 960×540 pixels thanks to products like Ulefone Be X.


Ulefone Be X specifications:

  • SoC – Mediatek MT6592M Octa Core Cortex A7 up to 1.4GHz with ARM MALI-450MP4 GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB RAM
  • Storage – 8GB flash + micro SD card slot (up to 64GB)
  • Display – 4.5″ IPS OGS display with capacitive touchscreen. Resolution: 960×540 (qHD)
  • Audio – 3.5mm audio jack, built-in microphone, and speaker.
  • Network – 2G: GSM850/900/1800/1900MHz 3G: WCDMA 850/1900/2100MHz. One SIM card slot + one micro SIM slot. Dual SIM, Dual Standby support.
  • Connectivity – WiFi 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth, built-in GPS, FM radio
  • Camera – 2.0MP front-facing camera, 8.0MP rear camera with flash light and auto focus
  • Sensor – Gravity Sensor, light sensor, and direction sensor.
  • USB – 1x Micro USB
  • Battery – 1900mAh Lithium battery, good for 2 to 3 days standby time.
  • Dimensions – 133x66x9.7mm
  • Weight – 130g

The phone ships with a battery, a USB cable, a power adapter for your country, and a user’s manual. It currently runs Android 4.4, but an Android 5.0 Lollipop firmware update is in the works. The Antutu score is said to be around 28,000 points. Ulefone also made a comparison table between their Be X and Moto G (second generation).

Ulefone_Be_X_vs_Moto_GYou’re probably unlikely to notice much difference between a quad core and octa core processor, especially with only 1GB RAM, and Moto G build quality is likely to be significantly better. The price difference is probably bigger, since Be X actually costs $89.99 including shipping, while Moto G (2nd Gen) price is now closer to $180 shipped.

You can find Ulefone Be X smartphone for $89.99 and up on GearBest, GeekBuying, DealExtreme, and some other resellers. You may also want to check out the manufacturer page for further details.

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Intel Provides Details for Atom x3, x5 and x7 Processors

March 3rd, 2015 3 comments

Intel had already announced their plan to change Intel Atom branding to use x3/x5/x7 nomenclature in order to make it easier for consumers to navigate their product offerings, but the company has now provided much more details during their press conference at Mobile World Congress 2015.

Intel_x3_5_x7_Markets_PricingIntel Atom x3 (previously known as SoFIA) will be entry and ultra-low cost processor up with 3G or LTE connectivity found in products up to around $150, while Atom x5 and x7 (previously known as Cherry Trail) will be found in tablets between about $200 to $400, with the top performing devices going with Intel Core M processors.

Intel_x3Intel Atom x3 are very interesting because they mix Intel 64-bit cores with ARM GPUs (to keep the cost down), and parts with RK suffix are made by Rockchip. Three x3 processors are currently available:

  • Intel Atom x3-C3130 – Dual-core processor up to 1.0 GHz with ARM Mali-400MP2 GPU and 2G/3G modem.
  • Intel Atom x3-C3230RK – Quad-core processor up to 1.2GHz with ARM Mali-450MP4 GPU, and 2G/3G modem. Designed/Manufactured by Rockchip.
  • Intel Atom x3-C3440 – Quad-core processor up to 1.4GHz with ARM Mali-T720 GPU, and a 5-mode LTE modem


Atom x3 3G SoCs can be coupled with A-Gold 620 chipsets combining 2G/3G RF, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, FM radio, GPS/GLONASS and Audio/PMU, while Atom x3 LTE SoC would interface with four chips for 4G RF (Smarti RF TRX), PMIC + Audio, 802.11ac/BT 4.1 (Intel Wireless-AC WCS8270), and GPS (Intel Wireless-GNSS WCS 2100 & WCS 2000). All three processors are manufactured with a 28nm process, again to keep costs low.

Atom x5 and x7 will however be 14-nm processor, bringing lower power consumption, but a least initially, a higher cost. These processors will feature Intel Gen8 graphics, and support next-gen LTE Cat-6 thanks to Intel XMM-726x modem, and be found in 7″ to 10″ Windows and Android tablets and 2-in-1 hybrid laptops priced between $120 to $500.

Atom_x5_x7At first it seemed like the company did not provide that much information for Atom x5 and x7 processors just yet, and that it just expected products by Acer, Asus, Lenovo, Dell, Toshiba, and HP should be shipping in H1 2015. They did however provide a block diagram for Atom x5 / x7 processors which reveals more details to what can be expected including HDMI 1.4b up to 4K30,2K internal display (DSI / eDP), PCIe, USB 3.0, eMMC 4.51, but no integrated Ethernet MAC or SATA IP blocks, although these could be added via the PCIe interfaces.


Atom x5/x7 Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

Furthermore, Techreport mentioned two Atom x5 processors will be available first with x5-8300 @ 1.84 GHz (up to 1080p) and Atom x5-8500 @ 2.24 GHz (up to 4K2K), as well as one Atom x7 processors: x7-8700 running at 2.4 GHz, as well as specifications:

  • CPU
    • x5-8300 – Quad core 64-bit Atom x5 up to 1.84 GHz
    • x5-8500 – Quad core 64-bit Atom x5 up to 2.24 GHz
    • x7-8700 – Quad core 64-bit Atom x7 up to 2.40 GHz
  • Graphics
    • Atom x5 – Gen8 12 EU, up to 500/600 MHz supporting  DX11.1, OpenGL ES 3.1, OpenCL 1.2, OpenGL 4.3, RS Compute
    • Atom x7 – Gen8 16 EU, up to 600 MHz supporting DX11.1, OpenGL ES 3.1, OpenCL 1.2, OpenGL 4.3, RS Compute
  • Media (encode/decode) – HEVC (decode), H.264, VP8
  • Memory
    • x5-8300 – 1×32, 1×64 DDR3L-RS 1600, 1-2GB
    • x5-8500 / x7-8700 – 2×64 LPDDR3 1600, 2-8GB
  • Storage – eMMC 4.51
  • Display resolution
    • x5-8300
      • Internal – 1920×1200 (MIPI-DSI or LVDS)
      • External: 1920×1080 (HDMI)
    • x5-8500 & x7-8700
      • Internal – 2500 x 1600 (MIPI-DSI or eDP)
      • External: 4K2K @ 30 Hz (HDMI)
  • Modem – Intel XMM 7260/62 LTE Cat-6 (up to 300Mbps DL). M.2 only for x5-8300
  • Connectivity – Intel WLAN, Intel WWAN, Intel NFC; Atom x7 also adds Intel WiGig.
  • I/O
    • x5-8300 – 6xI2C, 2xHSUART, 1xSDIO, 3xI2S, SPI, PCIe 2.0 x1, 1xI2C(ISH), 1xI2C (NFC)
    • x5-8500 & x7-8700 – 7xI2C, 2xHSUART, 1xSDIO, 3xI2S, 1xLPC, 1xSPI, PCIe 2.0 x2, 1x I2C(ISH), 1xI2C (NFC)
  • USB – 1xUSB3 OTG, 2xHSIC, 3xUSB2. x5-8500 & x7- only: 2x SSIC
  • ISP/camera (Rear & front)
    • x5-8300 – Up to 8MP with Intel RealSense Snapshot
    • x5-8500 & x7-8700 – Up to 13MP with Intel RealSense 3D camera

I could not find any TDP figures, but thermal dissipation should be around 2 to 5W since Atom x3, x5 and x7 target tablets and smartphones.

Via Anandtech

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$35 Bluetooth Blood Pressure Monitor Works with Android and iOS

March 2nd, 2015 3 comments

People with hypertension or other heart conditions may want to monitor their blood pressure daily, and since I was asked recently, I studied blood pressure monitors available on the market from Chinese websites. The simplest ones that simply display the results on an LCD are quite inexpensive since they cost about $15 shipped, unless you buy brands like Omron. You’d then need to enter the data in a spreadsheet or on paper after each measurements, so you’d rather have the process more streamlined, you could consider a Bluetooth version that will automatically keep measurements stored in your Android or iOS smartphone, such as the model below that sells for around $35 on Aliexpress and Ebay.

Blood_pressure_monitor_bluetoothKey features for this unnamed digital blood pressure monitor

  • Display – 70 x 55mm; 3x 3 Digits lines for systolic and diastolic pressures, and heart rate; Memory/Heartbeat/Low battery indication
  • Measurements:
    • Oscillometric method
    • Pressure Range- 0 to 299mmHg ( 039.9kPa); ±3mmHg (±0.4kPa) accuracy
    • Pulse – 40199 pulses/min; ±5% accuracy
    • Blood pressure classification (WHO) indicator;
    • Irregular heartbeat (IHB) indicator;
    • 2×90 groups memory function;
    • Life time – 10,000 times under normal use
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 3.0 & 4.0
  • Misc – Start/Stop, Set, New buttons
  • Power – 4x AA batteries or AC adapter (not included) – Automatic power-off in 3 minutes; Around 300 measurements on AA batteries.
  • Certifications  – Medical CE approval, RoHs, REACH, PAHs, Phthalates compliance.
  • Dimensions – 139mm x 95mm x 45mm
  • Weight – 254 grams

The blood pressure monitor comes with a cuff (22-32 cm) to put around the upper arm, and a user’s manual in English.

You’ll need to download “Bluetooth BP monitor” app for Android or iOS, and pair the monitor with your mobile device over a Bluetooth connection using 00000 pin key. The reviews are not so positive for the Android app due to a lack of timezone support.

Bluetooth BP Monitor App (Click to Enlarge)

Bluetooth BP Monitor App (Click to Enlarge)

The app will also let you get the historical results in text format to send by email. The unknown with this type of inexpensive device is the accuracy, but it could be easily tested during your next doctor visit.

If you don’t feel like buying a brandless medical device, but don’t want to spend $100+ on an Omron  blood pressure monitor, Xiaomi has also launched iHealth Bluetooth blood pressure monitor going for $50, but it has no display, and only supports Android for now.

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Categories: Android, Hardware Tags: Android, ios, medical

Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge Octa-core Smartphones Support Two Wireless Charging Protocols and UFS 2.0 Flash

March 2nd, 2015 No comments

Samsung Electronics announced Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge smartphones at Mobile World Congress 2015 during their “Unpacked” event. Both features Exynos 7420 octa-core SoC with 64-bit ARM cores, and 5.1″ display, bit the Galaxy S6 Edge display is curved on both sides.


Samsung Galaxy S6 (Left) and Galaxy S6 Edge (Right)

Galaxy S6 &  S6 Edge specifications:

  • SoC – Samsung Exynos 7 Octa (Exynos 7420) octa core processor with four Cortex A57 core @ 2.1GHz + four Cortex A53 cores @ 1.5Ghz, and Mali-T760 MP8 GPU, manufactured using 14nm process.
  • System Memory – 3GB LPDDR4
  • Storage – 32, 64 or 128GB UFS 2.0 flash.
  • Display
    • Galaxy S6 – 5.1’’ Quad HD(2560×1440) 577ppi, Super AMOLED. Gorilla Glass 4.
    • Galaxy S6 Edge – 5.1’’ Quad HD(2560×1440) 577ppi, Super AMOLED, Dual edge. Gorilla Glass 4.
  • Camera
    • 16MP OIS(rear), 5MP (front).
    • Features: Quick Launch (0.7s by pressing the home button twice), Tracking AF, Auto Real-time HDR(Front & Rear) , F1.9, Low Light Video(Front & Rear), High Clear Zoom, IR Detect White Balance, Virtual Shot, Slow Motion, Fast Motion, Pro Mode, Selective Focus
  • Video –  MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM, VP9 (up to 1440p)
  • Audio
    • Codec – MP3, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, Vorbis, FLAC, OPUS
  • Network – LTE Cat.6 (300/50Mbps)
  • Connectivity
    • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), HT80 MIMO(2×2) 620Mbps, Dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, Mobile hotspot
    • Bluetooth v4.1, A2DP, LE, apt-X, ANT+
    • NFC
  • USB – 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG
  • Sensor – Accelerometer, Light, Gyroscope, Proximity, Compass, Barometer, Fingerprint, Hall, HRM
  • Misc – IR Remote
  • Battery – S6: 2,550mAh; S6 Edge: 2,600mAh. Faster wired charging: 1.5 times faster than the Galaxy S5, providing about 4 hours of usage after only 10 minutes of charging.
  • Wireless Charging – WPC 1.1 (4.6W Output – Qi) & PMA 1.0 (4.2W) compatible
  • Dimensions  & Weight
    • Galaxy S6 – 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8mm | 138 grams
    • Galaxy S6 Edge – 142.1 x 70.1 x 7.0mm | 132g

The phones run Android 5.0 Lollipop, and include usual Samsung features like Ultra Power Saving Mode,  Download Booster,  S Health 4.0,S Finder, S Voice, as well as Microsoft Apps (OneDrive 115GB for 2 years, OneNote), and support for the new Samsung Pay. Google Mobiles Services are also enabled, and the PlayStore, Chrome, YouTube, Google+ are all pre-installed.

Key innovation for the phones are support for two wireless charging standards (Qi and PMA), the first 14-nm 64-bit ARM processor, Samsung Pay, UFS 2.0 storage providing up to 3 times better performance from a user’s perspective than previous generation eMMC flash. Exynos 7420 is also one of the few processor with a video processing unit supporting VP9 codec (up to 1440p). Galaxy S6 (SM-G925W8) has already been benchmarked in Antutu 5, and it achieved 60978 points.

Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge smartphones will be available globally starting from April 10, 2015 with 32/64/128GB storage options. Several tech blogs already checkout of the devices such as The Verge, Arstechnica, Gizmodo among others.

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