Jiayu S3 and S3 Plus are your typical Android smartphones powered by Mediatek MT6752/MT6753 octa core Cortex A53 processor with 3GB RAM, 16GB flash, and a 5.5″ touch screen display. The news here is that Jiayu Germany (a reseller, not the manufacturer), and Team M.A.D (Mediatek Android Developers) comprised of XDA members, have releasing three custom ROMs based on Android 6.0.1 for the smartphone: Cyanogenmod13, Paranoid Android (AOSPA) and AICP (Android Ice Cold Project), which contrast with my Iocean MT6752 smartphone still stuck on Android 4.4.4.
I’ll reproduce the technical specifications of Jiayu S3+ phone for reference:
- SoC- Mediatek MT6753 Octa-core 64-bit ARM Cortex A53 processor @ 1.3 GHz, with ARM Mali-T720 GPU
- System Memory – 3GB RAM
- Storage – 16 GB eMMC + micro SD slot up to 64GB
- Display – 5.5” IPS capacitive touchscreen display; 1920×1080 resolution
- Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi , Bluetooth 4.0, GPS / A-GPS, FM Radio
- Cellular Network
- 2G – 850/900/1800/1900MHz
- 3G – UMTS/WCDMA 900/1900/2100 MHz; TD-SCDMA 1900/2000 MHz
- 4G – FDD LTE B3/B7/B20; TDD LTE B39/B40/B41
- Dual micro SIM cards
- Audio – Speaker and microphone, 3.5 mm audio jack for headphones
- USB – 1x micro USB OTG port
- 13.0MP rear-facing with flash light and auto-focus
- 5.0MP front-facing camera
- Sensors – Gravity sensor
- Battery – 3,000 mAh Lithium battery.
- Dimensions – 152 x 75.5 x 8.9 mm
- Weight – 158 grams
The phone normally runs Android 5.1, and ships with the battery, a USB cable, a charger, and a user’s manual.
Beside the firmware release, you’ll also find the source code for Linux 3.10.65 and “Device” source tree for both phones, as well as proprietary vendor files on MediatekAndroidDeveloper’s Github account. Sadly there’s no Wiki or documentation at all, but it should be possible to build it from source if you are familiar with CyanogenMod.
Jiayu S3 does not appear to be for sale anymore, but Jiayu S3+ is still sold for $155.99 on Banggood, and Aliexpress.
Categories: Android, Hardware, Linux, Mediatek MT65XX
Android, cyanogenmod, jiayu, Linux, marshmallow, open source, smartphone, source code
Using a laptop shell with a smartphone is not a new concept, but products like Motorola Lapdock were eventually phased out. But some people think there’s a market here, that Lapdock may just have been ahead of it time, and with smartphone faster than ever, it now makes more sense to use them as laptop too. That’s probably why the Superbook, allowing you to connect your smartphone to a larger screen and keyboard via a USB OTG cable, has just launched on Kickstarter.
- Display – 11.6″ LCD display; 1366×768 resolution
- Keyboard – QWERTY keyboard with multi-touch trackpad
- USB – USB type-C port (smartphone with micro B USB are also supported via an adapter)
- Misc – Android-specific navigation keys (Home, Back, Menu, Recent)
- Custom Charging Port w/ Standard US charger
- Battery – Good for 8 hours or more
- Dimensions – 19.3 x 28.7 x 1.8cm
Superbook also charges your smartphone. You’ll need a phone with Android 5.0 or greater, a dual core processor, at least 1.5GB RAM, a type-C or micro B connector, and 25MB free storage (100MB recommended). Why does it have minimum requirements? Because you’ll need to install Andromium OS app which provides a desktop-like interface to Android when connected to Superbook.
If you are an Android app developer, Andromium will also release an SDK to optimize your app for the platform.
The project has already raised closed to $300,000 after about half-day since the launch. You can pledge $99 to get the Superbook with a custom USB OTG cable, and a charging adapter. Shipping is not included though, and add $20 to the US, $40 to the rest of the world. Delivery is scheduled for February 2017.
With electronics getting cheaper and smaller everyday, I’m expecting medical diagnostic / monitoring tools with become more convenient and affordable, and products from the more advanced Scanadu, to much simpler Bluetooth blood pressure monitors will help people better monitor their health themselves. I’ll also getting frequent request about the availability of soon-to-be FDA approved Omron Project Zero blood pressure smartwatch. Today I’ve come across a simple $16.51 Bluetooth Smart bracelet that could be useful to monitor the temperature of sick babies or very young children.
- Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.0 LE with up 18 meters range
- Sensor – Temperature between 32 and 43 degree Celsius with -/+ 0.1 deg. accuracy
- Smartphone compatibility – Android 4.3+ or IOS 7.0+
- Functions – Thermometer; Temperature Alarm; Medical Records; Health Management, Cloud Backup.
- Power Supply – CR2032 battery
- Wristband Length – 14~19cm
- Weight – 19 g
The band must be worn in such as way that the temperature probe is placed under the armpit. I could not find links to the app yet. That type of product is actually pretty common, and some – such as Vipose i-Fever – also include an LCD display.
Qualcomm has just introduced an upgrade to its Snapdragon 820 processor, with Snapdragon 821 (MSM8996 Pro) with basically the same features, but the CPU frequency boosted from 2.2 GHz to 2.4 GHz for the performance cores, and from 1.6 to around 2.0 GHz for the low power cores, as well as a likely boost to the GPU clock, resulting to about 10% improvement in performance.
The new SoC with feature the same Snapdragon X12 LTE modem delivering up to 600 Mbps. It’s unclear at this point which smartphone models will feature Snapdragon 821 processor.
VLC / VideoLAN is a popular desktop video player for Linux and Windows, and it’s the program I go to when I want to watch a local video on my computer. VLC also has an Android version, but last time I checked VLC in an Android TV box, I was disappointed due to the lack of SAMBA support, and video decoding support was pretty poor on Rockchip RK3368 processor at the time.
The good news is that the developers have now released VLC for Android 2.0, which brings several improvements including:
- Support for network browsing including DLNA/UPnP, Windows Shares (SAMBA), FTP(S), SFTP, and NFS
- Multi-windows/pop-up video with support for Samsung MultiWindow and LG Dual Window extensions
- New asynchronous hardware decoder, and codecs and formats support updates.
- Subtitle downloads via OpenSubtitles from VLC interface without having to go to the website inside a web browser
- Right-To-Left and Complex Text Layout subtitles
- Video playlists support
- History has been added back (but can be disabled)
- Less permissions required, and support for Android N
Although it’s likely to work better in Android smartphone and tablets with Samsung, Qualcomm or Mediatek processors, it might be worth giving it a try in Android TV boxes too. You can do so by installing VLC for Android from Google Play.
Most smartphone manufacturers will drag their feet to release GPL source code, unless you go with Google Nexus or Android One smartphones. OnePlus is another exception as they have just launched OnePlus 3 smartphone, and released the source code the very same day as the hardware launch.
OnePlus 3 specifications:
- SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad core ARMv8 processor with two “Gold” cores up to 2.2 GHz, two “Silver” cores up to 1.6 GHz, Adreno 530 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0, and Vulkan, and Hexagon 680 DSP @ up to 825 MHz
- System Memory – 6GB LPDDR4
- Storage – 64GB UFS 2.0 flash
- Display – 5.5″ 1920 x 1080 optic AMOLED touchscreen display; Corning Gorilla Glass 4
- Audio – 3.5mm audio jack; bottom facing speaker; dual microphone with noise cancellation; Dirac HD sound technology
- Cellular Networks
- GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
- North America model: WCDMA: Bands 1/2/4/5/8; FDD-LTE: Bands 1/2/4/5/7/8/12/17; CDMA EVDO: BC0
- Europe / Asia model: WCDMA: Bands 1/2/5/8; FDD-LTE: Bands 1/3/5/7/8/20; TDD-LTE: Bands 38/40/41
- China model: WCDMA: Bands 1/2/5/8; FDD-LTE : Bands 1/3/7; TDD-LTE: Bands 38/39/40/41; TD-SCDMA : Bands 34/39; CDMA EVDO: BC0
- 4G LTE Cat.6
- Dual nano SIM slot
- Connectivity – 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, GPS, GLONASS and BeiDou
- Rear camera – 16MP with EIS (Electronic image stabilization) OIS (optical image stabilization), auto focus, up to 4K @ 30 fps or 720p @ 120 fps (slow motion); Sony IMX 298 sensor
- Front-facing camera – 8 MP with EIS, fixed focus up to 1080p30 fps; Sony IMX179 sensor
- USB – USB Type-C @ USB 2.0 speed
- Sensors – Fingerprint 3.0 scanner, Hall sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor and electronic Compass
- Misc – Hardware keys, vibration motor, RGB LED notification light
- Battery – 3,000 mAh non-removable capacity with support for Dash charge (5V/4A)
- Dimensions – 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35 mm (Anodized aluminum body)
- Weight – 158 grams
The phone ships with a pre-applied screen protector, a Dash charge Type-C cable and charge adapter, a SIM tray ejector, and a quick start guide. OnePlus3 runs OxygenOS based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
This brings me to the software release. I understand that while OxygenOS itself is not open source, you can still retrieve the open source part and some extra binaries from the phone to build and possibly modify the image yourself, as explained on OnePlusOSS github repo:
- Retrieve the open source code:
repo init -u git://github.com/OnePlusOSS/android.git -b oneplus3/6.0.1
- Retrieve some close source libraries from the phone after rooting it:
This will create a “vendor” directory that you need to copy to the build directory
- You can then build the firmware:
- and flash it with fastboot:
adb reboot bootloader
fastboot flash boot boot.img
fastboot flash system system.img
OnePlus 3 sells for 399 Euros. More details can be found on the product page, and if you are interested in hacking the device (rooting won’t void the warranty btw), you may want to check the dedicated forum on XDA developer.
Project Tango uses computer vision to enable mobile devices to detect their position relative to the world using 3D maps of the world created in real-time using 3D depth cameras. Google and Lenovo had already announced a Tango phone would be launched later this year during CES 2016, and the companies have now officially introduced Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, the world’s first Tango-enabled smartphone, scheduled to start selling worldwide in September for $499 and up.
Lenovo Phab Pro 2 specifications:
- SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 Tango Edition processor with 4x ARM Cortex A72 cores @ up to 1.8 GHz, 4x ARM Cortex A53 cores, and Adreno 510 GPU
- System Memory – 4GB RAM
- Storage – 64GB flash
- Display – 6.4″ display with 2560×1440 (QHD) resolution
- Audio – Dolby Atmos / 5.1 audio capture via 3 microphones with 360 voice noise-cancelling (Note: How can you record 5.1 audio with only 3 microphones?)
- 16MP rear camera with fast auto-focus (< 0.3 s)
- 8 MP front-facing camera
- Depth camera
- Motion tracking camera
- Misc – Fingerprint scanner
- Battery – 4,050 mAh with 2.4x turbo charging
- Dimensions – 8.9 mm thick
The phone will obviously run Android, and several Tango apps can already be found – or soon will be – in the Google Play Store such as Lowe’s Home Improvement app capable of showing items for sale in your own living before actually buying them, or take measurements, as well as Phantogeist, Raise or Woorld augmented reality games mixing virtual with reality.
Check out Lenovo’s Tango/Phab 2 Pro product page for more details.
Google announced Daydream virtual reality platform at Google I/O 2016 a few days ago, and now ZTE has announced the first phone compatible with Daydream, namely Axon 7 powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor with 4 to 6 GB RAM, and 64 to 128 GB flash.
Their will be three versions of the phone: basic, standard and premium editions with the following key features and hardware specifications:
- SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad core ARMv8 processor with two “Gold” cores up to 2.15 GHz, two “Silver” cores up to 1.6 GHz, Adreno 530 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0, and Vulkan, and Hexagon 680 DSP @ up to 825 MHz
- System Memory and Storage
- 4GB RAM, 64GB flash, and micro SD slot up to 128GB OR
- 6GB RAM, 128GB flash, and micro SD slot up to 128GB
- Display – 5.5″ 2560 x 1440, WQHD AMOLED, 2.5D; Premium: force touch support
- Audio – Dual Hi-Fi chipset: AK4961+AK4490, dual speakers, Dolby Atmos Surround Sound, 3.5mm audio jack
- Cellular Networks – 7 modes 22 bands, dual SIM, China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom, international roaming to USA, Europe, Asia and other regions (China Version SKU only):
- TDD-LTE: B38/39/40/41; FDD-LTE: B1/2/3/5/7/8;
- TD-SCDMA: B34/39；WCDMA: B1/2/5/8;
- CDMA 1X/EVDO: BC0; GSM: B2/3/5/8
- Connectivity – 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, and NFC
- Rear camera – 20MP, PDAF + closed-loop instant autofocus, OIS (optical image stabilization), F1.8 aperture
- Front-facing camera – 8 MP, FF Aperture F2.2, smart facial beautification
- USB – USB Type-C
- Misc – Fingerprint 3.0 scanner,
- Battery – 3,250 mAh capacity, support for Quick Charge 3.0
- Dimensions – 151.7 x 75 x 7.9mm
The phone currently runs MiFavor4.0 based on Android 6.0, but ZTE will have to update this to Android N if they want to support Daydream VR.
The company has also introduced ZTE VR headset for the phones:
- Lens – Aspherical lens; field of vision: 96 degrees; PMMA material; diameter: 38 mm;
- Viewing adjustments – 8mm lens effect distance; 0 to 600 degrees vision; auto adaptive pupil distance
- Sensors – 9-axis gyro sensor
- Dimensions – 185.3 x 85.3 x 76.7mm
- Weight – 255 grams (Only headset)
ZTE Axon 7 has launched in China on JD.com on May 26 for 2,899 RMB ($422) for the Basic edition, 3,299 RMB ($500) for the Standard edition, and 4,099 RMB ($625)Premium edition, while ZTE VR headset is priced at 518 RMB ($94). International launches in the United States, Europe, and other regions will come a little later.