Posts Tagged ‘smartphone’

The First 4G Tizen Smartphone, Samsung Z2, To Launch in India for $68

August 24th, 2016 No comments

After Samsung Z1, and Samsung Z3, Samsung defied “mathematical incrementation wisdom”, and launched Samsung Z2 Tizen smartphone, which happens to be the very first Tizen phone supporting 4G networks.


Tizen Z3 is definitely an entry level smartphone as the specification show:

  • SoC – Quad core processor @ 1.5 GHz
  • System Memory – 1GB RAM
  • Storage – 8GB flash + micro SD slot up to 128GB
  • Display – 4″ WVGA TFT display
  • Cellular Connectivity – 4G LTE Cat.4
  • Camera – 5MP rear camera with LED flash, 0.3MP front camera
  • Battery – 1,500 mAh battery

The device caters to the Indian market with Samsung’s ‘Make for India’ features such as the “Ultra Data Saving mode, S bike mode and the new My Money Transfer”. The phone also includes a preview version of Jio services to access music and videos on demand.

Samsung Z3 will be sold for 4,590 INR (~$68) in India starting on August 29th. More details may be found on Samsung Z2 product page.

Via Tizen Experts

Android 7.0 Released, LG V20 Android Nougat Smartphone Coming Soon

August 23rd, 2016 4 comments

Since Google has changed their way of releasing new version of Android, as they are now taking input from developers using preview releases, we’ve known the main changes in Android 7.0 for a while including multi-window support, improved security, virtual reality support, Vulkan API, a new JIT/AOT compiler, and so on. The company has now made it official, and released Android 7.0 earlier today.


Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C, and Android One smartphones will receive an OTA update with the new firmware, and some other phones enrolled in Android Beta program will also get Android 7.0, but older Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 devices won’t.

LG_V20_Android-7.0_SmartphoneGoogle and LG also unveiled the upcoming LG V20, the first smartphone to ship with Android 7.0. Few details have been provided so far

The LG V20 builds upon the premium and rich multimedia smartphone experience of last year’s LG V10. It will be tuned to take advantage of many of the best features of Nougat, including Vulkan-supported graphics for more immersive gaming while also delivering better battery performance with Doze. Consumers will also enjoy new productivity features such as Direct Reply, which lets users respond quickly to text messages or update tasks using the notification interface.

LG V10 is a 5.7″ QHD smartphone powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core application processor, so we should expect something similar or better, but really find more details once the phone is formally launched on September 6th, 2016.

More details about Android Nougat and firmware releases can be found on Android 7.0 page.

Magic Device Tool Helps You Switch Between Android and Ubuntu on Supported Phones

August 19th, 2016 5 comments

There have only been a few phones released with or supporting Ubuntu so far, and those phones will normally be able to run Android too since Ubuntu Touch relies on Android drivers, and you may decide that Ubuntu is not for you and switch back to Android, or the contrary, if you’ve purchased an Android phone, you may want to install Ubuntu instead. In order to simplify the task of installing operating systems, Marius Quabeck has developed “Magic Device Tool“.

Magic_Device_ToolAs you can see from the screenshot above, 13 phones and tablets are currently supported. You’ll need a computer with Ubuntu 15.04 or greater to install the tool, and I’ve done so on Ubuntu 16.04:

The script will also install phablet-tools if it is not already installed,  so if you are not root, you’ll need your account to be member of sudoers. Once the initial setup is done, you’ll get to choose your phone as shown in the first screenshot. I don’t own any in that list, but I selected LG Nexus 5 to give it a try.

Nexus_5_Android_UbuntuYou’ll be asked whether you want to install Ubuntu, OpenStore alternative app store for hacks, developer tools and app previews, Cyanogenmod 13, the Android factory Image, TWRP recovery, or instead lock or unlock the bootloader. I selected [1] Install Ubuntu -> [1] Choose a channel to flash (Will remove existing apps/data) -> [1] stable, and the flash procedure was about to go ahead:

You’d need your Nexus 5 phone connected to your PC via a USB cable to complete the procedure, but I canceled since I don’t own the hardware required (yet).

The utility can also install PhoenixOS on some phones, and it will soon be improved to include an Android backup/restore option, so you can reflash Android will all your settings and apps.

Via and Ubuntu Australia on G+

Mediatek Helio X30 Deca-core SoC Features ARM Cortex-A73, Cortex A53, and Cortex A35 Processor Cores

August 9th, 2016 12 comments

Mediatek introduced Helio X20 last year with a tri-cluster architecture comprised of 2 powerful ARM Cortex A72 cores, 4 Cortex A53 cores, and 4 extra Cortex A53 cores operating at a lower frequency, and optimized for power consumption. But now that ARM has introduced ultra-low power Cortex A35 cores, and more powerful Cortex A73 cores,  the Taiwanese company has been able to improve its tri-cluster implementation for the upcoming Helio X30 deca-core processor with 2 Cortex A73 cores @ up to 2.8 GHz, 4 Cortex A53 cores @ up to 2.2 GHz, and 4 Cortex A35 cores @ up to 2.0 GHz.

Helio_X30According to various sources on Weibo, the mobile processor also includes an Imagination PowerVR 7XT GPU, supports up to 8GB LPDDR4 RAM @ 1600 MHz (PoP – Package in Package), UFS 2.1 flash storage, up to 40MP camera sensors,  and its cellular modem will support LTE Cat.10 to Cat.12.

Medaitek Helio X30 processor will be mass-produced using a 10nm manufacturing process in Q1 2017 and beyond, with Helio X30 smartphones likely launched at about the same time or in Q2 2017.

FTLAB FSG-001 is a $30 Geiger Counter / Radiation Detector for Android & iOS Smartphones

July 29th, 2016 8 comments

I’ve just read an article on about Samsung and Intersoft Eurasia collaboration about a “personal radiation monitoring device DO-RA” sending data over Bluetooth 4.0 LE. But a visit to their website showed other models such as DO-RA-Q using a 3.5mm audio jack, and compatible with smartphone, and Windows & Linux computer. I could not find any of their devices for sale, so I searched for some alternatives, and I found FTLAB FSG-001 radiation counter on Aliexpress, Amazon and eBay selling between $30 and $40.


FTLAB FSG-001 Geiger counter specifications:

  • Radiation measurement of: gamma, X-rays
  • Measurement range – 0.1 to 200 μSv/h
  • Measurement error –  <30% within a given deviation between
  • Dimensions – Φ10 x 30 mm (total length: 47mm with 3.5mm audio jack)
  • Weight – 6 grams
  • Operating temperature – 10 to 40 ℃

You’ll need to plug the dongle into your smartphone audio jack, and download FTLAB “SmartGeiger” app for Android or iOS.

Nuclear_Radiation_SmartphoneIf you want to check nuclear radiation you’ll then need to point to the object (e.g. food item like fish or vegetables)  for at least 3 minutes, and they recommend 10 minutes for more accurate results. It’s supposed to work with any smartphone, but the company warn that measurements may vary slightly depending on the smartphone model.

Smart_Lab_Geiger_Counter_vs_Professional_Radiation_CounterAccuracy is unclear, but the eBay page shows a picture pitting a professional radiation counter against FTLAB FSG-01 and results are similar. A YouTube video also shows a quick demo of the system using an old compass with a radium infused dial.

Categories: Android, Hardware, Video Tags: Android, ios, sensor, smartphone

Jiayu S3 and S3 Plus Smartphones Get Android 6.0 Firmware Releases with Source Code

July 27th, 2016 1 comment

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.

Jiayu_S3I’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
  • Camera
    • 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.

Superbook turns your Android smartphone in to a laptop for $99 (Crowdfunding)

July 22nd, 2016 16 comments

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.

SuperbookSuperbook specifications:

  • 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.

$16 Bluetooth 4.0 LE Bracelet Monitors Babies’ Temperature

July 18th, 2016 2 comments

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.

Bluetooth_Temperature_BraceletTechnical specifications:

  • 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.