Posts Tagged ‘phone’

Canonical Refocuses Ubuntu Development Efforts on Cloud and IoT, Drops Convergence and Mobile

April 6th, 2017 15 comments

Mark Shuttleworth has published a new blog post in Ubuntu Insights, and this is not all good news, as the title “Growing Ubuntu for Cloud and IoT, rather than Phone and convergence” implies. Canonical has decided to drop Unity8, and replace it with Gnome in Ubuntu 18.04, and by extension stop any investment in Ubuntu phone and convergence.

The main reasons given for the drop were that few commercial partners were interested in the project, preferring to stick with the most popular mobile operating systems like Android, and the community did not see the work as innovation, but instead fragmentation, probably referring to the Mir vs Wayland saga.

On the better news, Canonical is still committed to work on Ubuntu desktop, and will focus on the Cloud and IoT applications such as automotive, robotics, networking, and machine learning, for which the company has gone well so far with multiple commercial partners.

The video below shows the work done so far on Unity8. Sadly it will never be used in a meaningful way.

Qualcomm 205 SoC is Designed for Entry-level 4G LTE Feature Phones Running Linux

March 20th, 2017 9 comments

Qualcomm has just introduced Qualcomm 205 “Mobile Platform” designed to bring 4G LTE connectivity and services to entry-level feature phones to emerging regions, such as India, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. The SoC features a dual core ARM CPU, an Adreno 304 GPU, and an LTE Cat 4 modem.

Qualcomm 205 SoC specifications

  • CPU – Dual Core ARM Cortex A7 processor at 1.1 GHz
  • GPU – Qualcomm Adreno 304 GPU supporting OpenGL ES 3.0
  • Memory I/F – LPDDR2 & LPDDR3 up to 384 MHz
  • Storage I/F –  eMMC 4.5 flash
  • Display – MIPI DSI up to 480p60
  • Cellular Connectivity
    • X5 LTE modem supporting LTE Cat 4 with up to 150 Mbps download, 50 Mbps upload;
    • Dual SIM card
    • 2G, 3G and 4G support
    • VoLTE support
  • Connectivity – Support for 802.11 b/g/n & VoWIFI, Bluetooth 4.1, ANT+, FM radio,  GPS/GLONASS/Beidou
  • Camera – Dual 3MP camera support (rear + front) up to 480p60
  • Video Codecs –  H.264 (AVC),  MP4, VP8 decoding up to 720p
  • Security –  Qualcomm SecureMSM hardware and software;  Qualcomm Snapdragon StudioAccess content protection
  • Process – 28nm

The processor is pin-to-pin compatible with Qualcomm Snapdragon 210/212, and Qualcomm provides support for a Linux based OS.

Qualcomm 205 SoC is already in mass production, and retail devices are expected in Q2 2017. You’ll find a few more details on the product page.

LONG-CZ J8 Could Be The World’s Smallest Phone

March 31st, 2016 6 comments

Smartphone displays are getting bigger each year, but at the other end of the spectrum, LONG-CZ J8 phone could the world’s smallest at just 68 x 23 x 11 mm, and 18 grams. It takes micro SIM card to make calls, but also doubles (triples?) as a Bluetooth headset and FM Radio.

World_Smallest_PhoneLONG-CZ J2 specifications:

  • Processor – Mediatek
  • Display – 0.6″‘ OLED display
  • Cellular Connectivity – GSM 850/900/1800/1900 via micro SIM card slot
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 3.0
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for charging
  • Battery – Capacity TBD; Up to 5 hours talk time, 96 hours standby time.
  • Dimensions –  68 x 23 x 11mm
  • Weight 18g

The phones ships with a data cable, a user’s manual in English and Chinese, a strap, one ear loop, and two ear caps. Nine languages are supported: English, French, Italian, Russian, Hindi, Russian, Thai, Portuguese, and Spanish. The phone is not quite new, as it has launched in 2014 with a few videos showing the device in action.

I could find LONG-CZ J8 on Aliexpress for $23.99 shipped (and a bit less with Aliexpress app), as well as Amazon US and Amazon UK. It’s allegedly popular with inmates as it can easily be sneaked into prisons, and there seems to be a few other models with the same name but a different case. Do you know an even smaller phone (watch phones excluded!)?

Via MajorDroid

Categories: Hardware, Video Tags: bluetooth, phone

Camera Not Working on Your Smartphone? No problem, Massage It!

October 9th, 2014 3 comments

I bought ThL W200 last year as my main (and only) phone, and my review was rather positive, because after testing the phone for a week or so I did not encounter some of the issues. After a short while I found GPS was not working very reliably, so I had to find instructions to fix GPS on Mediatek phones, then the first battery died after about 8 months, maybe that’s normal for my usage, but I was expecting it to last longer. Finally, after a while both front and rear cameras started to have issues such as green screen, color lines, or simply refusing to work with the message: “can’t connect to camera”.

In all of this the good news (for me) was I was not alone, and I saw some instructions saying, you had to terminate the camera app, clear all data, and restart the phones. It seemed to somewhat work, but not reliably, and sometimes I rebooted the phone several times without success. Finally, people figured out it was most certainly and hardware issue with the camera connectors becoming a bit loose resulting in bad contacts, and it’s fixable (more or less permanently) by disassembling the phone and adding some paper/cardboard to apply pressure on the camera connector in order to ensure good contacts. But since I did not feel like doing this procedure, I’ve come up with my own little technique…

Panasonic Unveils KX-PRX120 Android 4.0 DECT Phone

July 31st, 2013 1 comment

Panasonic has just introduced KW-PRX120 a cordless phone (DECT) running Android 4.0 on a 3.5″ display. It just looks like your smartphone, but you can only use it within your home.


KW-PRX120 specifications and features:

  • Display – 3.5 inch TFT colour LCD (HVGA) with capacitive multi touch screen
  • Connectivity – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS
  • Camera – 0.3M pixel Front Camera
  • Battery – 1450mAh Li-ion Battery
  • Storage – microSD / microSDHC Card Slot on Handset
  • USB – micro USB Charging Port
  • Phone features:
    • Incoming/Outgoing Call Barring to help minimise unwanted or nuisance calls
    • Caller ID, Caller ID memory
    • Answering Machine (40min)
    • Key Finder accessory (Optional)
    • Up to 6 handsets (Optional handset or GAP supported DECT handset) can be registered

The company did not mention details about the processor, RAM, or storage in the device, but it comes with Google Play, so you’ll be able to install (most of) the apps you’re alreading using on your smartphone.

I’ve actually wanted smartphones that can also connect to a DECT base, and switch between DECT and GSM modes, depending on the location of the person I call, but it does not seem to exist just yet. You can already do something similar with Skype via Wi-Fi, but it tends to discharge the battery relatively quickly.

Via Liliputing

Categories: Android, Hardware Tags: Android, dect, ics, Panasonic, phone

Rockchip Unveils RK3168 Dual Core Processor, Showcases $10 Miracast Adapter

April 14th, 2013 7 comments

Rockchip is currently at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair showing off their RK3188 quad core processor, and corresponding products such as tablets, gamepads, HDMI TV dongles, etc… Business seems good as they already received orders for 800k pieces in about a month, and they expect to sell 10 to 15 millions over the course of the year.

The company had also a few RK3066 devices on display, but more interestingly they announced RK3168, which also a dual core Cortex A9 processor, but with lower power consumption thanks to 28nm HKMG process, instead of the 40nm process used for Rockchip RK3066. They have a tablet prototype without battery connected to a power supply to show the power consumption, and the tablet under test consumes 280mA @ 3.8V (About 1 Watt) when decoding 1080p videos with the display brightness set to about 50%.


Chen Feng, Vice President at Rockchip, explains that with a 3,100 mAh battery, you can play full HD videos for 10 hours. I don’t have further details about RK3168, but I would assume it’s just a low power version of RK3066 and everything else is basically the same (TBC). He also quickly mentioned RK3028, a dual core processor pin-to-pin compatible with RK2928 single core Cortex A9.

The company also had a few demo to show some new features for Android such as multiple windows support,  hand writing recognition, and Miracast with Android 4.2.2 with about 80ms lag. Chen Feng, Vice President at Rockchip, explains that 720p is working fine but 1080p may be more challenging for both the Miracast source and display.

Linux based Miracast Adapter Powered by RK2928

Linux based Miracast Adapter Powered by RK2928

Speaking about Miracast, they also have an ultra-low cost Miracast dongle built around RK2928 running Linux with 16MB RAM and a small NOR flash that can be produced for as low as $10 US. This is obviously the manufacturing price or possibly just BoM cost, but it still means we should be able to buy Miracast adapters for $20 to $25 in a few months.

You can watch Charbax video interviews (about 22 minutes) below to see more products and demos based on Rockchip devices.

Near the end of the video, they talk about Linux and the open source community, Chen explains they already have Ubuntu and Chromium OS running internally, and although they focus on Android, they let engineers have some free time to play around, and that’s how they ported Chromium OS to RK3066 within 3 weeks. He also admitted that Rockchip was not so open until now, but this will change. However, when asked when this would be available, he just answered everything is already available out there in the public domain…

Via ARMDevices.

Nakamichi Android VoIP Phone at Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2012

April 16th, 2012 No comments

M3 Electronics (HK) showcased an Android VoIP phone they designed for Nakamichi at HKTDC Electronics Fair on April 13-16, 2012.

Android VoIP Phone Rockchip RK2818

Nakamichi Android VoIP Phone

The current model based on Rockchip RK2818 (Cortex A8) features a 7″ resistive touchscreen and a camera for video conferencing and runs a customized version of Android. This VoIP phone is especially targeted at home use as it offers multimedia functions such as Internet Radio, music playback and YouTube, as well as Calendar and Contact applications.  You can make calls via PSTN or Internet (e.g. Skype or some SIP clients). Nakamichi VoIP phone currently sells in Europe and the US for 259 USD, and should be sold in China via China Telecom this year.

A new model of the phone powered by Freescale i.MX535 is currently designed with a capacitive touchscreen and a 5 MPixel camera, USB host port for external storage and HDMI output. This VoIP phone can also come with an external Bluetooth handset. It will sell for about 299 USD later this year.

You can watch the below shot by Charbax at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2012.