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Posts Tagged ‘smartphone’

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

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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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_S6_Edge

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
    • Format – MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA
  • 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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Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition Octa-core Smartphone to be Unveiled at MWC 2015

February 28th, 2015 5 comments

BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition may have been the first phones launched with Ubuntu operating systems, but the device is rather an entry-level smrtphone with Mediatek MT6582 quad core Cortex A7 processor and 1GB RAM. If you’d like a much faster and powerful Ubuntu phone, Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition will be announced at Mobile World Congress 2015.

Meizu_MX4_Ubuntu_EditionThe specs has not been disclosed yet, but it’s highly likely the hardware will be the same as the Android version of Meizu MX4:

  • SoC – MediaTek MT6595 octa core processor with 4 Cortex A17 @ 2.2GHz, and 4 Cortex A7 @ 1.7GHz  in big.LITTLE configuration with a PowerVR G6200 GPU.
  • System Memory – 2GB dual-channel LPDDR3 RAM, 933MHz
  • Storage – 16, 32, or 64GB eMMC
  • Display – 5.36″ IPS touchscreen; 1920×1152 resolution; Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Camera – 20.7MP rear camera with dual tone LED flash, 2MP front-facing camera
  • Audio – 3.5mm headphone jack, loudspakers
  • Cellular Connectivity – TD-LTE / FDD-LTE up to 150 Mbps / TD-SCDMA / WCDMA / GSM
  • Connectivity – Dual band 802.11 ac/b/g/n/a Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 BLE, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
  • USB – 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG port with MHL support (but not working for now)
  • Sensors – Ambient Sensor, Gravity sensor, Hall Effect sensor, Infrared proximity sensor, Gyroscope, Ambient light sensor, Touch sensitive, Digital compass
  • Misc – Power and Volume +/- buttons
  • Battery – 3100 mAh battery (non-removable)
  • Dimensions – 144.0 mm x 75.2 mm x 8.9 mm
  • Weight – 147 g

Ubuntu would then replace Android 4.4 based Flyme OS 4.0 in the handset. There’s no word about convergence, and desktop use, which could be feasible thanks to the MHL function of the smartphone, but we’ll need to wait until MWC 2015 starting on March 2, to find out.

Availability and pricing have not been disclosed, but it will hopefully sell for the same price as the Android version, starting at around $325 shipped for the 16GB version.

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Qualcomm Unveils Snapdragon 618 and 620 ARM Cortex A72 / A53 Processors

February 20th, 2015 4 comments

Qualcomm has announced four new processors including Snapdragon 415 and 425 octa-core Cortex A53 processor, as well a Snapdragon 618 and 620 big.LITTLE processor with the latest Cortex A72 cores coupled with four Cortex A53 little cores.

Qualcomm_ARM_Cortex_A72Snapdragon 618 is the hexa-core version with 2 Cortex A72 cores, while Snapdragon 620 comes with eight cores including 4 Cortex A72, but apart from the difference in number of cores, both share the same technical specifications:

  • CPU
    • Snapdragon 618 – 64-bit dual-core ARM Cortex A72 @ 1.8GHz  and quad-core Cortex A53 @ 1.2GHz
    • Snapdragon 620 – 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex A72 @ 1.8GHz  and quad-core Cortex A53 @ 1.2GHz
  • GPU – Next generation Qualcomm Adreno GPU with support for the latest graphics APIs, hardware tessellation and geometry shading
  • DSP – Qualcomm Hexagon V56 DSP
  • Memory – Dual channel LPDDR3 (933MHz)
  • Modem
    • Integrated X8 LTE, with Global Mode supporting LTE FDD, LTE TDD, WCDMA (DC-HSPA+, DC-HSUPA), CDMA1x, EV-DO, TD-SCDMA and GSM/EDGE
    • Cat 7 speeds of up to 300 Mbps down/100 Mbps up via 2×20 MHz carrier aggregation in the downlink and uplink on LTE FDD and LTE TDD
    • Support for LTE Broadcast, LTE multimode dual SIM and VoLTE with HD Voice and SRVCC
    • RF – Qualcomm RF360 front end solution
  • Connectivity
    • USB – USB 2.0
    • Bluetooth – Bluetooth Smart 4.1
    • WiFi – Qualcomm VIVE 1-stream 802.11ac
    • GPS – Qualcomm IZat Gen8C
  • Video
    • 4K@30fps capture, 1080p@120fps capture
    • Hardware HEVC (H.265) encode and decode
  • Audio
    • Qualcomm Immersive Audio
    • Hi-Fi 192kHz/24bit music playback
    • Support for low power Snapdragon Voice Activation
  • Camera – Dual ISPs can support up to 21MP and 930MP/sec throughput
  • Display
    • Primary Quad HD 2560×1600
    • Miracast support for up to 1080p wireless display
  • Fast Charging – Quick Charge 2.0
  • Security
    • Snapdragon StudioAccess Content Protection
    • Qualcomm SafeSwitch Technology
    • Qualcomm SecureMSM hardware and software foundation

Qualcomm will soon release Qualcomm Reference Design (QRD) versions of the Snapdragon 620, 618, 425 and 415 processors to OEM partners, with retail devices expected in H2 2015. You may find more details on Snapdragon 618 product page, and Snapdragon 620 product brief (PDF).

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ZTE Blade S6 Smartphone Runs Android 5.0 Lollipop on Snapdragon 615 Processor

February 11th, 2015 3 comments

Android 5.0 (Lollipop) was released on last October, together with Motorola Nexus 6 phone running the latest version of the operating system. Since then some other global brands like Samsung, HTC, or Sony have ported Android 5.0 to some of their devices, but it’s currently pretty hard to find a Lollipop smartphone on Aliexpress made by low cost Chinese manufacturers. ZTE Blade S6 is one of the first “Chinese” smartphone boasting Android 5.0, so let’s have look.

ZTE_Blade_S6_LollipopZTE Blade S6 smartphone:

  • SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939) Octa-core processor with 4x Cortex A53 @ 1.5 GHz, 4x Cortex A53 @ 1.0 GHz, Adreno 405 GPU, Hexagon V50 DSP, and a 4K HEVC capable video decoder.
  • System Memory  2GB RAM
  • Storage – 16 GB eMMC – No micro SD slot
  • Display – 5.0” capacitive touch screen IPS display (16M colors). 1280×720 resolution
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi , Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, FM Radio
  • Cellular Network:
    • 2G GSM – 850/900/1800/1900MHz
    • 3G – UMTS/WCDMA 900/2100 MHz
    • 4G LTE – 1800/2600/900/700MHz
    • Two nano SIM slots; Dual SIM, dual standby (DSDS) support.
  • Audio – Speaker and microphone, 3.5 mm audio jack for headphones
  • USB – 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG port
  • Camera
    • 13MP rear-facing with flash light and auto-focus
    • 5MP front-facing camera
  • Sensors – Gravity sensor, Light sensor, Proximity sensor
  • Battery – 2,400 mAh Lithium battery. Standby time: 2 to 3 days.
  • Dimensions – 144 x 70.7 x 7.7 mm
  • Weight – 129 grams

The phone ships with the battery (nice…), a USB cable, a user’s manual, and a power adapter.

Some reviewers in the US got the phone, including Liliputing (hands-on for now), and Android Authority (full review). The latter gave it a positive review and score (8.5/10), with the only downsides being the “uninspiring design and questionable build quality”. The phone gets about 28,000 points (unverified) in Antutu 5.6.

In the press release, ZTE mentions “The retail price for the ZTE Blade S6 is $249.99 US. ZTE Blade S6 will be available online globally on AliExpress, and with Amazon and eBay in selected markets”. It’s also available on GeekBuying and GearBest for the same price. GeekBuying told me it’s already in stock.

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Sia Lab Has Designed a $34 Medical Lab Dongle for Smartphones

February 10th, 2015 No comments

Technology makes live easier, and often helps bringing down the cost of services. Medical care is one of these things that can be cumbersome, for example if you need to regularly perform some medical tests at your local hospital, and that can also be expensive. That’s why I believe we’ll see more and more affordable devices, at least for diagnostic purpose such as Scanadu Scout tricorder, and there are also some open source solutions for Prostheticselectrocardiographs, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) equipment used to copy DNA sequences. Eventually, I even expect robots to replace most tasks currently performed by doctors. Sia Lab, a lab focusing on tissue engineering and point-of-care diagnostics, has recently published a paper entitled “A smartphone dongle for diagnosis of infectious diseases at the point of care” describing how a low cost dongle can diagnose disease like HIV or Syphilis, and targeting health professionals in developing countries.

Smartphone_Dongle_Medical_LabThat’s the abstract of the paper:

This work demonstrates that a full laboratory-quality immunoassay can be run on a smartphone accessory. This low-cost dongle replicates all mechanical, optical, and electronic functions of a laboratory-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) without requiring any stored energy; all necessary power is drawn from a smartphone. Rwandan health care workers used the dongle to test whole blood obtained via fingerprick from 96 patients enrolling into care at prevention of mother-to-child transmission clinics or voluntary counseling and testing centers. The dongle performed a triplexed immunoassay not currently available in a single test format: HIV antibody, treponemal-specific antibody for syphilis, and nontreponemal antibody for active syphilis infection. In a blinded experiment, health care workers obtained diagnostic results in 15 min from our triplex test that rivaled the gold standard of laboratory-based HIV ELISA and rapid plasma reagin (a screening test for syphilis), with sensitivity of 92 to 100% and specificity of 79 to 100%, consistent with needs of current clinical algorithms. Patient preference for the dongle was 97% compared to laboratory-based tests, with most pointing to the convenience of obtaining quick results with a single fingerprick. This work suggests that coupling microfluidics with recent advances in consumer electronics can make certain laboratory-based diagnostics accessible to almost any population with access to smartphones.

That’s the procedure to use the dongle

  1. Disinfect your finger with alcohol
  2. Use a finger prick me to get blood from your finger
  3. Insert blood in a plastic collector(microfluid cassette)
  4. Open the app, input the patient ID, and follow instructions in the app:
  5. Insert the collector into the dongle
  6. Press bulb on dongle to initiate flow, and press the start button in the app
  7. You should get the results within 15 minutes

HIV_Android_appYou can watch the video below to see how easy it seems.

Sia predicts the dongle will cost about $34 to manufacture, compared to the $18,000 that ELISA equipment costs. This is all perform via the audio port of the phone. This is not quite a complete medical lab, but that’s certainly an interesting development, and in the future more disease may be diagnosable with such low cost equipment. Although the company is now working on bringing the product to developing countries, they are also “exploring how this technology can benefit patients and consumers back home” (The lab is based in the US).

Via Microbiology world.

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Categories: Android, Hardware Tags: Android, medical, smartphone

BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition is the First Official Ubuntu Smartphone

February 7th, 2015 7 comments

Canonical announced its plans for Ubuntu for Phone over 2 years ago, and all that work may finally pay off, as BQ Readers will soon launch Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition, the first Ubuntu smartphone that’s based on the company’s Aquaris E4.5 smartphone running Android 4.4.

BQ_Aquarius_4.5_Ubuntu_Edition

BQ Aquaris E4.5 (Ubuntu Edition) specifications:

  • SoC – Mediatek MT6582 quad core Cortex A7 @ 1.3 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU up to 500 MHz
  • System memory – 1 GB
  • Storage – 8 GB eMMC, microSD card (up to 32 GB)
  • Display – 4.5″ IPS multi-touch screen (5-point); qHD (540 x 960) resolution
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, FM Radio, GPS and A-GPS
  • Cellular Connectivity –  2G GSM (850/900/1800/1900),  3G HSPA+ (900/2100). Dual micro SIM.
  • Audio – 3.5 mm headphone jack, microphone, Ambient noise cancellation, Dolby sound technology
  • Camera – 5MP front-facing camera, 8MP rear camera with autofocus and flash
  • USB – micro USB OTG port
  • Sensors – Brightness sensor, proximity sensor, accelerometer, eCompass, gyroscope
  • Misc – Notification LED
  • Battery – 2150 mAh LiPo battery
  • Dimensions – 137 x 67 x 9 mm
  • Weight – 123 grans

The Android version of the phone sells with a micro USB to USB cable, a power adapter and some documentation, and the company also provides documentation, firmware, and drivers & utilities on Aquaris E4.5 product page. Some source code is also available on github.

With that type of hardware, you can’t expect to get the phone / desktop convergence promised by Canonical, when they announced Ubuntu on phones and tablets. so I assume this will come a little later, maybe next year, with beefier hardware, and more work on the software front.

BQ and Canonical will also go with a limited launch at first, with flash sales in several countries in Europe, somewhat following the steps of OnePlus One without the invite system. Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition will cost 169.90 Euros, the same price as the Android version, and the exact time of the launch will be announced on Ubuntu and bqreaders Twitter accounts, as well as Ubuntu G+ and Ubuntu Facebook within the next week.

Via Liliputing

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ARM Unveils Cortex A72 Processor and Mali-T880 GPU

February 4th, 2015 4 comments

ARM has just announced their new Cortex A72 ARMv8 core with 3.5 times the performance of Cortex A15 ARMv7 cores, together with Mali-T880 GPU delivering 1.8 times the performance of  Mali-T760, and CoreLink CCI-500 Cache Coherent Interconnect to link the new CPU, GPU and I/Os together.

ARM Cortex A72

Cortex-A72Some of the key features of the new core include:

  • Architecture – ARMv8-A
  • Multicore – 1-4x SMP within a single processor cluster, and multiple coherent SMP processor clusters through AMBA 5 CHI or AMBA 4 ACE technology
  • ISA Support
    • AArch32 for full backward compatibility with ARMv7
    • AArch64 for 64-bit support and new architectural features
    • TrustZone security technology
    • NEON Advanced SIMD
    • DSP & SIMD extensions
    • VFPv4 Floating point
    • Hardware virtualization support
  • Cache – 48KB I-cache, 32KB D-cache, and 512 KB to 2MB L2 cache with ECC
  • Debug & Trace – CoreSight DK-A57
  • Process – 16nm FinFET

A cluster can support up to 4 Cortex A72 cores clocked up to 2.5 GHz in mobile devices and higher frequencies for larger form factor devices such as servers. Cortex A72 cores may also be combined with low power Cortex A53 cores in big.LITTLE configuration for power efficient SoCs.

Cortex_A72_Performance

Relative Performance – Cortex A15 vs Cortex A57 vs Cortex A72

ARM also claims 75% power usage reduction in typical mobile workloads thanks to the new 16nm FinFET manufacturing processor. Expected applications include premium smartphones, larger screen mobile devices, enterprise networking, servers, wireless infrastructure, digital TV, and automotive ADAS/IVAI.

ARM Mali-T880 GPU

Mali-T880_GPUTechnical specifications for Mali-T880 GPU:

  • Anti-Aliasing – 4x MSAA, 8x MSAA, 16x MSAA
  • API Support
    • OpenGL ES 1.1, 1.2, 2.0, 3.0, 3.1
    • OpenCL 1.1, 1.2
    • DirectX 11 FL11_2
    • RenderScript
  • Bus Interface – AMBA4, ACE-LITE
  • L2 Cache – 256 to 2048KB (256 to 512KB for every 4 shader cores
  • Memory System – Virtual Memory with built-in Memory Management Unit (MMU)
  • Multi-Core Scaling – 1 to 16 cores
  • Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression (ATSC) – Low dynamic range (LDR) and high dynamic range (HDR) for 2D and 3D images
  • ARM Frame Buffer Compression (AFBC) – 4×4 pixel block size (lossless image compression format)
  • Transaction Elimination – 16×16 pixel block size (Only performs a partial update to the frame buffer with the changed pixel blocks)
  • Smart Composition – 16×16 pixel block size (Identical pixel blocks of input surfaces are not read, not processed for composition and not written to final frame buffer)

The GPU is also manufactured with 16nm FinFET process. Mali-T880MP16 can be clocked up to 850 MHz, and outputs up to 1700 million triangles per second, and 13.6 gigapixels per second. That’s 1.8 times better performance than Mali-T760, and ARM also claims 40% more energy efficiency.

ARM Cortex A75 processor, Mali-T880 GPU, CoreLink-C500 cache coherent interconnect, Mali-DP550 display processor unit, and  Mali-V550 video processor can be combined to create SoCs support 4K video output, and decoding up to 120 fps.

Ten partners have already become licensees including Rockchip, Mediatek, and HiSilicon, and products are expected in (early) 2016. Further details may be found on ARM’s Cortex A72 and Mali-T880 product pages.

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