Posts Tagged ‘mwc 2016’

Alcatel OneTouch / TCL Xess 17.3″ All-in-One PC Runs Phoenix OS, Supports Gesture Control

February 25th, 2016 1 comment

Xess (pronounced Excess) is an All-in-One PC with a 17.3″ touchscreen that runs Android based Phoenix OS on top of Mediatek MT8783 octa-core processor, with some cool added features like an adjustable stand, retractable ports, magnetic stylus, and gesture control.  It is sold under the TCL brand in China, and will be launched by Alcatel OneTouch in the US and Europe.

Alcatel_OneTouch_XessXess specifications:

  • SoC – Mediatek MT8783 octa-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.5GHz with Mali-T720MP3 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB RAM
  • Storage – 32GB storage + micro SD slot
  • Display – 17.3” IPS panel with wide visual angle; 1920×1080 (16:9) resolution; 10-point touch
  • Audio – Stereo speakers (JBL 2x 3W), 2x microphones, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Connectivity – WiFi and Bluetooth
  • Camera – 5MP front camera
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host port
  • Sensors – G-sensor, 2x P-sensor, 1x L-Sensor
  • Misc – 1x MagTouch Port, power and volume buttons
  • Battery – 10,000 mAh good for about 6 hours
  • Dimensions – 416.5 x 266.5 x 9.15mm (minimal thickness)
  • Weight – ~2.60Kg


The system is said to run Android 5.1, but it’s the Phoenix OS version which makes Android behaves a bit more like a desktop OS. The stand at the back of the tablet allows for 4 positions, and you won’t find expansion ports (USB, audio jack…), until your press the large “TCL button” on the back of the screen to reveal the ports. This helps keep the device as thin as possible for people who don’t need to use the ports. The capacitive touch stylus included with the AiO PC has its own slot, but since it’s magnetic, you can just stick it on the back of the screen. Quite good for people who tend to lose their stylus… It’s also designed to be used in the kitchen, and they have collaborated with some websites to get recipes, and since your hands might be dirty while cooking, you can control the tablet without touching the screen, and instead using gestures for example to pause the current video, or switch to the next one.  This is all shown in Charbax’s video of Alcaltel OneTouch Xess at Mobile World Congress 2016.

In case you wonder what a MagTouch port is… I don’t really know either, but TCL website shows a MagCover screen protector, digital clock and digital photo frame so it must be related…

TCL Xess has recently been launched in China via a crowdfunding campaign on for 3899 RMB (~$600) with accessories and carrying bag, if I understand correctly. Alcatel OneTouch Xess for the Western markets will start selling in Q2 2016 in the US, and Q3 2016 in Europe.



Intel Showcases Mobile & Desktop “Convergence” with Android and Debian Linux on an Atom x3 Smartphone

February 24th, 2016 2 comments

MaruOS is an operating system combining Android and Debian Linux that – until recently – was developed by a single developer for Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (ARM) based Nexus 5 smartphones, and use Android on the go, while switching to Debian when the phone is connected to a larger display and a keyboard and mouse. It turns out Intel had the same idea, and they worked on an Intel Atom x5 smartphone with 2GB RAM running both Android Lollipop in mobile mode, and Debian Linux as desktop mode when connected to a keyboard dock. Intel does not talk about convergence, but instead calls it “Big Screen Experience”.

Intel_x3_Debian_Android_SmartphoneBased on the picture above taken by at Mobile World Congress 2016, it appears you can also display both Debian and Android operating systems side-by-side if you wish to. They’ve also shot a video (in German) showing the smartphone run Android, and after switching to Debian, you’ll see VLC playing a video running at the same time as LibreOffice, Chrome and Firefox web browsers, all in they separate windows, and doing a relatively decent job at it considering the device’s low-end processor.

The phone itself is a prototype powered by an Intel Atom x3 processor coupled 2GB RAM and 16GB flash, and featuring a 5.5″ display (720p), and MHL support to connect the phone to an HDMI display. The solution would sell for about $100, and Intel might not have used higher end Intel smartphone platforms since those are also running Windows 10 Continuum… While the phone currently runs Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, it should soon support Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and together with Debian share the same Linux kernel and file system. The phone’s display currently turns off when the external display is attached, but a new version of Atom X3 will support dual displays.

While technically speaking the solution is ready, The Register reports that so far no manufacturer has committed to bring the solution to market, but this could change soon since Intel is talking to prospective customers a MWC 2016.

Via Liliputing

Mediatek Helio P20 Octa-core Cortex A53 SoC is Manufactured with 16nm Process, Supports LPDDR4X Memory

February 24th, 2016 2 comments

Mediatek has gotten used to releasing many different processors, often with one slight differences such as support for different screen resolutions, but the company’s latest Helio P20 octa-core Cortex-A53 processor, despite looking pretty similar to Helio P10 (MT6755) and X10 (MT6795), does confirm lower process nodes are now available in entry-level to mid range parts since it’s manufactured using a 16nm process, and the application processor also supports up to 6GB LPDDR4X memory which drops the voltage from 1.1V to 0.6V for even lower power consumption. LPDDR4X is said to provide 70% more bandwidth and 50% lower power consumption compared to LPDDR3.


MediaTek Helio P20 (LP4) specifications:

  • CPU – 8x ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 2.3GHz
  • GPU – Mali-T880MP2 @ 900MHz
  • Memory – Up to 2 x LPDDR4X 1600MHz (up to 6GB) + 1x LPDDR3 933Mhz (up to 4GB)
  • Storage – eMMC 5.1 flash
  • Display IF – 2x MIPI DSI up to 1920×1080 @ 60fps for dual display + MiraVision 2.0 technology
  • Camera – Up to 24MP at 24FPS w/ZSD, 12bit Dual ISP, 3A HW engine, Bayer & Mono sensor support
  • Video Decode – H.264 & H.265 up to 4Kx2K @ 30fps
  • Video Encode – H.264 up to 4Kx2K @ 30fps
  • Modem – LTE FDD/TDD/R.11 Cat.6 with 2×20 CA up to 300Mbps donwnlink and 50Mpbs uplink. C2K SRLTE. L+W DSDS support
  • Connectivity – WiFi 802.11 ac/a/b/g/n (with MT6630), and  GPS/Glonass/Beidou +Bluetooth + FM radio.
  • Audio – 110db SNR & -95db THD
  • Manufacturing Process – 16nm

Smartphones powered by Helio P20 are expected in H2 2016. A few more details may be available on Helio P20 product page.

Canonical Introduces SoDeRa Software Defined Radio Solution for Base Stations and IoT Gateways

February 23rd, 2016 9 comments

Canonical and Lime Micro have jointly announced SoDeRa low-cost software defined radio (SDR) which can be programmed to support any type of wireless standard including UMTS, LTE, LoRa, Bluetooth, Zigbee, RFID, Digital Broadcasting, and more, and aiming at helping operators reducing costs & complexity, while speeding up time to market and providing greater flexibility.

SoDeRaThe kit will include a board with the following specifications:

  • FPGA – Altera Cyclone IV EP4CE40F23 Altera FPGA (compatible with EP4CE30F23)
  • System Memory – 256 MB DDR2 SDRAM
  • RF
    • Lime Microsystems LMS7002M Transceiver with continuous Frequency range of 100 kHz – 3.8 GHz
    • 4 x TxOut and 6 x RxIn U.FL connectors for RF cables
    • Power Output (CW): up to 6.5 dBm
    • Wi-Fi, 2G, 3G, LTE, any other air interfaces
  • USB – 1x micro USB3 via CYUSB3014-BZXC Cypress Microcontroller  for control, data transfer and power
  • Misc – Status LEDs, RGB LEDs, 4x switches
  • Dimensions –  100 mm x 60 mm
SoDeRa Block Diagram

SoDeRa Block Diagram

Canonical (Ubuntu) will provide a framework for open source developers to develop apps supporting current and next generation wireless standards including 2G to 4G radio, TV broadcast, satellite communication, RFID, Bluetooth, WiFi, ZigBee, zwave, lorawan, ibeacon and radar. The Telecom operators will then have the flexibility to add additional standards to the base station or IoT gateway by simply uploading apps, removing the (over) reliance on Telecom hardware vendors.

SoDeRa is currently showcased at Mobile World Congress 2016 in Canonical and Lime Micro booth, and SoDeRa will soon be launched on Indiegogo. Interested telecom operators, or anybody who wants to received updated, are invited register their interest on website.

More Details about Rockchip RK3399 Cortex A72 SoC: 4K H.264/H.265/VP9, USB 3.0, PCIe, and DisplayPort

February 22nd, 2016 24 comments

We already knew Rockchip RK3399 was going to be a powerful processor with two Cortex A72 cores clocked at up to 2.0GHz, and four Cortex A53 cores teamed with a Mali-T860MP4 GPU. The processor was also said to support 4K H.265 video decoding up to 60 fps, HDMI 2.0 video output, and Gigabit Ethernet. But the company is now at Mobile World Congress 2016, and has disclosed more details.
RK3399_specificationsSome of the newly introduced features include:

  • Multi-media
    • 4K @ 60fps 10-bit H.265/H.264/VP9 video decoder
    • 1080p video encoding with H.264 or VP8
  • Display
    • HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 1.4/2.2
    • DisplayPort 1.2 and eDP 1.3 with PSR (Panel Self Refresh)
    • Dual channel MIPI-DSI
  • Camera – 8MP ISP, dual channel MIPI-CSI2
  • External Interfaces
    • 2x USB 3.0 ports with type-C support
    • PCIe 2.1, 4 lanes, 5Gbps per lane
    • 8 channels TX/RX audio for playback and record
  • Embedded low power MCU for other applications (power control?)

There’s no SATA interface, but thanks to USB 3.0 and PCIe interface this should not be an issue. Beside Android mini PCs, it’s highly likely Rockchip RK3399 will be found in the next generation of ARM based Chromebooks, once the SoC is launched in Q2 2016.


Samsung Unveils Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge Smartphones with Exynos 8890 or Snapdragon 820 Processor

February 22nd, 2016 1 comment

As Mobile World Congress 2016 is about to start,  Samsung has officially announced Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge smartphones powered by either Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 in the US, or the company’ own Exynos 8890 in the rest of the world. Let’s see if beside faster and more efficient processors, the company has brought some other innovation, or if it is just another boring smartphone release.

Samsung_GalaxyS7_EdgeBoth smartphones basically share the same specifications, and the main difference is that Galaxy S7 edge has a curved screen.

  • SoC
    • Samsung Exynos 8 Octa (Exynos 8890) octa core processor with four Exynos M1 core @ 2.3GHz + four Cortex A53 cores @ 1.6Ghz, and Mali-T880MP12 GPU, manufactured using 14nm process.
    • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad core Kryo processor with two cores @ up to 2.2GHz, and two cores @ up to 1.6GHz, an Adreno 530GPU, an Hexagon 680 DSP, and a 14-bit Spectra ISP.
  • System Memory – 4GB LPDDR4
  • Storage – 32/64GB UFS 2.0 flash + micro SD slot up to 200GB
  • Display
    • Galaxy S7 – 5.1’’ Super AMOLED Quad HD (2560×1440) 577ppi
    • Galaxy S7 Edge – 5.5’’ Super AMOLED Quad HD(2560×1440) 534ppi, dual edge.
  • Camera
    • 12MP rear “dual pixel” camera with smart OIS
    • 5MP front-facing camera
  • Video –  MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM
  • Cellular Connectivity – LTE Cat.9 (450/50Mbps). Hybrid SIM card for 2 SIM cards, or 1 SIM card + micro SD card
  • Connectivity
  • USB – 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG
  • Sensors – Accelerometer, RGB Light, Gyroscope, Proximity, Geo-magnetic, Barometer, Fingerprint, Hall, HRM
  • Misc – IR Remote
  • Battery – S7: 3,000mAh; S7 Edge: 3,600mAh.
  • Wireless Charging – WPC  & PMA
  • Dimensions  & Weight
    • Galaxy S7 – 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9mm | 152 grams
    • Galaxy S7 Edge – 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7mm | 157g
  • Ingress Protection Rating – IP68


Both phone will run Android 6.0 Marshmallow. I’ve highlighted the differences against Galaxy S6 models in bold, and there’s now more memory, the micro SD card is back!, Edge display is larger, LTE Cat.6 has been upgraded to Cat.9 for faster download speed, the battery got more capacity, and the smartphone has a pretty good water and dust proof rating with IP68. The only real new features are the dual pixel camera which should “deliver brighter and sharper images, even in low light”, support for MST for mobile payment, and an Always-on display feature – also found in LG G5 – showing time, missed calls and other notifications without requiring user interaction.

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will start selling in the middle of March 2016. Pricing has not been disclosed yet.


Cat S60 Rugged Android Smartphone Includes a Thermal Camera

February 20th, 2016 2 comments

Caterpillar is better for its construction machinery and equipment, but the company has also been making rugged smartphones, some of them strong enough to be run over by 4+ tons machines, for several years, and they’ve now unveiled Cat S60 smartphone powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 octa-core processor and including both a 13MP camera and a FLIR thermal camera on the back of the device.


Cat S60 preliminary specifications:

  • SoC – Snapdragon 617 octa-core processor
  • System Memory – 3GB RAM
  • Storage – 32GB flash
  • Display – 4.7” HD capacitive multi-touch with auto wet finger & glove support; 1280 x 720 resolution; Gorilla Glass 4
  • Connectivity – 4G LTE
  • Camera
    • 13MP main camera with dual flash
    • 5MP front-facing camera
    • FLIR thermal camera app with MSX technology capable of detecting temperature up to 15 to 30 meters
  • Battery – 3,800 mAh
  • IP Rating – N/A, but the phone can be used at up to 5m under water for one hour
  • Ruggedness – Drop proof to 1.8m, MIL Spec 810G; Strengthened Die Cast Frame

S60 will run Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Some use cases for the thermal camera include detecting heat loss around windows and doors, spotting moisture and missing insulation, identifying over-heating electrical appliances and circuitry, and seeing in the dark.

Cat S60 will be showcased at Mobile World Congress 2016 next week, and become available later this year for 649 Euros / $599 US. You can find some more details by reading the press release, and once it is updated, check out the product page.

Via Liliputing

Samsung Gear S2 Classic 3G Smartwatch Features an eSIM for Cellular Connectivity, Runs Tizen

February 19th, 2016 1 comment

Samsung has announced that Gear S2 classic 3G smartwatch would be first device in the market to be equipped with a GSMA compliant eSIM (Embedded SIM) The round watch is also powered by a dual core processor coupled with 512MB RAM and 4GB flash to run Tizen based wearable platform.

Samsung_Gear_S2_Classic_3GGalaxy Gear S2 Classic 3G specifications:

  • SoC – Dual core processor @ 1.0 GHz
  • System Memory – 512MB
  • Storage – 4GB RAM
  • Display – 1.2” circular super AMOLED display, 360×360 resolution, 302ppi
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n/e, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, 3G/4G (HSPA+ voice and data networks)
  • Audio Codec – MP3/AAC/AAC+/eAAC+
  • Audio Format – MP3, M4A, AAC, OGG
  • Sensors – Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Heart Rate, Ambient Light, Barometer
  • Dimension  – 44.0 x 46.9 x 13.4 (54g)
  • Battery – 300mAh Li-ion; Wireless Charging;  2~3days on a charge
  • IP Rating – IP68 Certified Dust and Water Resistant

The watch will run Tizen, and include a whole bunch of pre-installed apps including Contacts, Notifications, Messages, Email, Preset text, S Health, Nike+ Running
Maps & Navigation, Weather, Music Player, Gallery, and more others.


SIM Card Evolution – Edited from Understanding SIM Card Evolution (PDF)

This is all good, but what is an e-SIM? First it stands for embedded SIM, meaning it’s not simply the usual card that you can insert or remove from your phone, but it’s a chip soldered on the board. Does that mean you can’t change mobile operator? Actually you can because it supports remote provisioning. The concept was actually initiated for M2M / IoT application, as imagine you’ve got 100,000 “things” connected to cellular network, and for whatever reason you’d like to change mobile operator, you’d have to pay several people to replace all the SIM cards. With remote provisioning of eSIMs this can happen with one mouse click.

Back to the watch… Samsung Gear S2 classic 3G/4G will be available on March 11 onwards at a price that has yet to be disclosed.