LG announces Red and Gold versions of the G2!

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The gold-painted LG G2 leaked a couple of days ago, but as it turns out it wasn’t the only new color the Korean manufacturer has been working on. The company officially announced two new limited edition colors for its flagship smartphone – Red and Gold.

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LG introduced the new paintjobs to celebrate the Lunar New Year holiday season. Both new versions sport a textured back cover, which is different from the original black and white variant. The new back is not fingerprint prone and said to offer better grip in your hand.

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The red and gold paintjobs of the LG G2 carry the same price tag as the standard models. In Korea, the smartphone costs about $496 for the 16GB model, while the 32GB version is priced at $562. LG’s new color additions will go on sale in Singapore, starting from January 18 and the device will be available from Starhub, SingTel and M1 for SGD898 (about $701).

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Nokia’s Lumia 925 ads take jabs at iPhone 3GS’s low-light performance?!

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Apple’s iPhone 5 is far superior to the iPhone 4S/4 in terms of the camera performance in low-light conditions. The industry hasn’t stood still either and has been inching forward since last September’s iPhone 5 debut. Specifically, Nokia’s high-end Lumia smartphones have emerged as the mobile imaging devices to beat.

Its culture rooted in mobile imaging, Nokia felt compelled to challenge Apple’s iPhone with a series of Lumia ads that criticize the Apple handset’s relatively poor low-light performance compared to the Lumia PureView range.

It started with a rather bizarre ice-breaker ‘Zombie’ ad which set the overall tone two months ago. Then came Nokia’s take on Apple’s ‘Photos Every Day’ ad and now two more commercials have arrived to proclaim the Lumias the king of low-light mobile imaging…

Both ads feature friends having a wild time partying and taking random snaps at night.

The following day dudes are having a hard time remembering the last night. No problemo, as one of them pulls out a phone that looks a lot like Apple’s device to check out the snaps. Predictably, they can’t discern a thing until the other guy checks out the party images on his Lumia.

This just came in today.

Another one from a week ago.

That generic handset looks like the iPhone 3GS, no?

I’m speechless.

Don’t get me wrong – I love tongue-in-cheek advertising as much as the next guy – but seriously, whoever did these spots should be fired. I can’t understand how on Earth these commercials are supposed to persuade an average viewer to get up from their couch and buy a brand spanking new Lumia 925.

Needless to say, Nokia is quick to highlight the Lumia 925′s Carl Zeiss Optics, the Optical Image Stabilization feature (wait, what?) and the overall camera performance allowing you to “capture your night like no other smartphone”.

Regardless of where your heart lies, Nokia’s claim isn’t far from the truth.

The Lumia 925 comes outfitted with an 8.7-megapixel PureView camera with a true 1.3-inch 16:9 sensor and f/2.0 aperture, auto focus, a dedicated two-stage capture key, 4x digital zoom, dual-LED flash and more.

As you know, Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 5S at a media event due September 10.

Gold iPhone

 

Featuring the iPhone 5′s two-tone design, the handset is said to bring advancements in the camera department, especially in terms of low-light performance improvements attributed to a tweaked camera design, the rumored inclusion of dual-LED flash, super slow-motion video capture at 120 frames per second and a larger aperture to let more light in.

The rumor-mill is still undecided as to whether Apple will give the iPhone 5S a twelve-megapixel camera or borrow the iPhone 5′s eight-megapixel sensor.

iPhone 5S and 5C said to be launching in Japan on September 20

To me, Nokia has always been about build quality, design and mobile imaging. If the new Lumia lineup is anything to go by, Nokia’s unique selling points have hardly changed.

As for these commercials, I’m very much puzzled that Nokia isn’t pitting its latest 41-megapixel Lumia 1020 against the iPhone.

LG G2 officially announced: 5.2-inch 1080p display, Snapdragon 800, new rear design

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After months of leaks and rumors, it’s finally time for us to take a look at the real LG G2. The successor to last year’s Optimus G was just officially announced and, as you have come to expect from the usual flagships, it’s loaded with plenty of specs and clever features, not to mention some interesting new smartphone design approaches. The new device, which runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, comes with a larger display than its predecessor, packing a 5.2-inch 1080p IPS panel. It also offers a 2.26GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 SoC.

Additionally, you can expect to find a 13-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization (as well as a 2.1MP front-facing cam), 24 bit/192kHz HiFi playback, a non-removable 3,000mAh battery, 2GB of RAM and your choice of 16GB or 32GB internal storage. It’ll come in white and black, and LG tells us that the G2 will be rolling out to markets around the world over the next eight weeks, and we have confirmation that all four major US carriers have committed to adding the device to their lineup.

What about those unique design traits? As you may have already seen in the leaked images (or if you happened to look at the press image above), the backside of the phone is much busier than on most other handsets. LG opted to put the volume rocker and power button just below the rear camera rather than the edge of the phone. The idea for this, we’re told, is to make the handheld experience a little less awkward on such a large phone. Since the device is wider than smartphones of olden times, LG wanted to put more controls in a place that your fingers naturally rest. LG is also boasting thinner bezels — 0.1-inch thick, to be precise — thanks to a new dual-routing method in which the touch sensor uses two connectors.

On the software side, LG has done more than just throw in a few ringtones from the Vienna Boys’ Choir. It offers features like AnswerMe, which answers incoming calls when you put the phone up to your ear, and Slide Aside, which lets you do a three-finger gesture to “slide” open apps off the screen for multitasking. Text Link is another interesting idea, where the phone takes relevant text and inserts embeddable links to them in other apps — of course, this is similar to what we’ve seen on iOS previously. There’s also Guest Mode, which allows another user to access the phone (LG refers to this as a type of Kid Mode) by drawing a different gesture on the lock screen.

Samsung officially unveils ATIV Q and ATIV Tab 3 Windows 8 tablets and announces ATIV Book 9 Plus, ATIV Book 9 Lite ultrabooks and Galaxy NX Camera

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Today Samsung has announced the next generation of their sleek Series 9 ultrabook. The two new ultrabooks are called ATIV Book 9 Plus and ATIV Book 9 Lite respectively and both run Windows 8, as you might have guessed.

Both feature aluminium unibodies and 13.3-inch screens with touch functionality. The one on the ATIV Book 9 Plus however packs the whopping 3200 X 1800 QHD+ resolution.

The ATIV Book 9 Plus uses Intel’s fourth gen Haswell CPUs – both Core i5 and i7 ULT are available – and provides up to 12h of battery life. It has 2xUSB 3.0 ports, it weighs only 1.39kg and comes in black.

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The ATIV Book 9 Lite takes it easier on the wallet with a screen, which has 1366 x 768px resolution and touch functionality only as an option.

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The ATIV Book 9 Lite is powered by a low-voltage quad-core CPU and weighs 1.44kg-1.58kg depending on the touchscreen option. It has one USB 3.0 port and another USB 2.0 port on board. It will be available in both black and white.

There is no info on pricing and availability just yet.

Samsung announces Galaxy NX, first Android-powered interchangeable lens camera with 20.3MP APS-C sensor

Samsung just unveiled the first interchangeable lens camera that is powered by Android, the Samsung Galaxy NX. The device is a more advanced version of the Galaxy Camera with a much larger sensor and you get a choice of NX mount lenses.

The Galaxy NX uses an APS-C sensor with an effective resolution of 20.3MP. Besides high resolution stills, the camera can also record 1080p video at 25fps. The camera features DRIMe IV Image Signal Processer and can do burst shots at 8.6fps with a maximum shutter speed of up to 1/6000 sec.

The big sensor isn’t the only advantage – with the Galaxy NX you can use any NX mount lens, pancake lenses, fish eye lenses, long primes and zoom lenses, even a 45mm 2D/3D lens. Some lenses feature Optical Image Stabilization too.

The camera packs a powerful xenon popup flash and you get an electronic viewfinder with SVGA resolution (800 x 600) if you are into that sort of thing.

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The Samsung Galaxy NX also packs a 4.8″ HD TFT LCD display on the back, which is a lot better than what cameras usually get (yes, even expensive DSLRs). It gets much better functionality too, thanks to Android 4.2.2 with TouchWiz 5, which is becoming standard issue for recent Galaxy devices.

The Samsung Galaxy NX is powered by a 1.6GHz quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of built-in storage. The storage can be expanded with a microSD card (up to 64GB). Connectivity is worthy of a smartphone too with LTE (market dependent), HSPA+ (42Mbps download), Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS plus GLONASS for accurate geo-tagging.

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The TouchWiz software means users get the same creative camera modes that we saw on the Galaxy S4 Zoom – more than 30 Smart modes including Animated photo (creates a GIF), Multi Exposure and Sound & shot.

The Galaxy NX will come bundled with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for advanced image processing, but the camera also comes with True 3D Creator for making 3D images and movies.

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The camera measures 136.5 x 101.2 x 25.7mm and weighs 495g with the battery. Speaking of which, it’s a 4,360mAh battery, which is close to four times the capacity of the Samsung NX2000 battery, but it’s needed for the bigger screen and powerful chipset.

There’s no info on the price and availability of the Samsung Galaxy NX just yet.

Samsung officially unveils ATIV Q and ATIV Tab 3 Windows 8 tablets

At today’s Premiere event in London Samsung officially announced two tablets – the convertible ATIV Q and ATIV Tab 3. Both devices run Windows 8, while the ATIV Q can dual boot Android as well.

Starting up with the Samsung ATIV Q, as it is the more interesting slate of the two. It’s built around a 13.3″ display with the jaw-dropping resolution of 3200 x 1800 pixels. This results in pixel density of 275ppi, more than some not-so-old smartphones out there.

Since its a slider tablet, it supports a few lock modes: typing, floating (the display is lifted from the base), stand and writing.

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It’s powered by a fourth-gen Intel Core i5 processor with Intel’s HD Graphics 4400 GPU, 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD storage. It runs Windows 8 and can run Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, as well. Connectivity options include one USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 port each, micro HDMI, Ethernet port (via a dongle), and an SD card slot. The front-facing camera is capable of shooting 720p HD video.

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The Samsung ATIV Q weighs 1.29kg (2.84 pounds) and measures 327.0 x 217.8 x 13.9mm, which is not too shabby for a tablet with these specifications. The battery is of unknown size, but Samsung claims it can power the ATIV Q for up to 9 hours.

Samsung ATIV Tab 3

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On to the Samsung ATIV Tab 3, which sports a 10.1″ display, packing a more modest 1366 x 768 pixels resolution. It runs Windows 8 again but is powered by he Intel ATOM Z2760 CPU and 2GB of RAM. The internal storage is 64GB, expandable via the on-board microSD card slot.

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The ATIV Tab 3 weighs 550 grams and is just 8.2mm thick, which Samsung claims is the world’s thinnest as far as Windows 8 tablets go. The company hasn’t provided details about the battery yet, but says it’ll be good for 10 hours of usage. There’s one microUSB and one microHDMI port as well.

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Sharing the design of the Galaxy Tab series, the ATIV Tab 3 also features an improved S Pen, which is fully compatible with the Microsoft Office suite, which is preloaded on it (Home & Student version).

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is official: 4.3-incher with 10x optical zoom, OIS and Xenon flash

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Samsung just outed the rumored Galaxy S4 Zoom cameraphone, and it is every bit as resemblant to the Galaxy Camera concept as on the leaked pictures before.

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The mian differences are that it is more compact, achieved by limiting the zoom level to 10x instead of the 21x on Samsung’s Android camera, and it has voice calling functions, not only data connectivity.
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At the front it resembles a Galaxy S4 Mini, with the same 4.3″ 540×960 pixels Super AMOLED display, but is powered by a 1.5 GHz dual-core Exynos 4212 processor, aided by 1.5 GB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage plus a microSD slot for expansion, and, of course, that sweet 16 MP camera with 10x optical zoom on the back and optical image stabilization. Android 4.2 is running the show, and the phone packs a 2330 mAh battery to power it all up.
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The body is officially 15.4mm thick, yet in the camera lens part, which has a zoom ring, that goes to 25mm, and the typical grip bulge is here as well, so it is more of a compact camera with phone functions than anything else. Still, it is the first phone with 10x optical zoom, Xenon flash and all the bells and whistles of manual control over your photos and videos, like aperture, exposure and white balance settings, as well as no less than 26 preset shooting modes, including exotics like Baby, Golf and Smart Suggest, where the camera app tells you which shooting modes are suitable for the current scene.
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