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Mobile Phones

Samsung Boosts Mobile Storage

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Samsung Boosts Mobile Storage

Samsung announces a solution for low- and mid-market mobile devices wanting for more built-in storage-- a "high-performance mobile memory storage" based on 128B 3-bit Embedded MultiMediaCard (EMMC) 5.0 NAND flash.

Similar technology (based on either UFS 2.0 or eMMC 5.1) is already in use in flagship devices, but as Samsung puts it now mid-market devices can also get 128GB of built-in storage through its highest density eMMC 5.0 solution yet.

Performance-wise the technology delivers 260MB/s for sequential reading (the same as eMMC 5.1) and read/write speeds of up to 6000 and 5000 IOPS respectively, sufficient for HD video processing and multi-tasking features.

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A Neptune Suite for All Devices

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A Neptune Suite for All Devices

Neptune, the company behind the ungainly Neptune Pine smartwatch, has ambitions to centre users' computing lives on the wrist-- the Neptune Suite, 6 pieces of hardware revolving around a wrist-worn device.

The heart of the Neptune Suite is the Hub, a wrap-around water-resistant smartwatch the company describes as "the world's first true personal computer." It features a 2.4-inch capacitive touchscreen, 3G/LTE(via nano-SIM card), NFC, wifi and Bluetooth connectivity and a 1.8GHz quad-core processor, and uses short-range 802.11ad WiGig to connect with the other Suite devices at up to 7Gbps with "non-perceptible latency."

As such, the smartphone and tablet components of the Neptune Suite-- dubbed "Pocket Screen" and "Tab Screen"-- are essentially dumb devices providing  larger (either 5- or 10-inch) displays for the Hub. For further usability one can also attach the Tab Screen to a self-explanatory "Keys" wireless keyboard.

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A Mobile Phone in Pocketwatch Form

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A Mobile Phone in Pocketwatch Form

One of the more unusual mobile phones at Mobile World Congress 2015 looks nothing like a mobile phone-- the Runcible is a circular device modeled after the pocketwatch or compass of years ago.

"Runcible is designed to help you create a more civilized relationship with your digital life," creator Monohm claims, before describing it as nothing less than "the premier device for the post-smartphone era." It runs on Firefox OS and promises a "quieter" hybrid of smartphone and wearable, combining the connectivity demanded by modern life (including LTE, wifi, Bluetooth and NFC) with simple notifications, camera, a contact list limited to 12 individuals and, perhaps aptly, a virtual compass handling GPS duties.

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Samsung Goes Metal and Glass in Galaxy S6, S6 edge

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Samsung Goes Metal and Glass in Galaxy S6, S6 edge

Samsung shows off a more premium smartphone design approach at Mobile World Congress 2015 with the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, a pair of flagship devices replacing Samsung' usual plastic with metal and glass frames.

The pair are near-identical to each other, since both are 5.1-inch Android 5.0 handsets with 2560x1440 displays running on octa-core Exynos processors. What differentiates the S6 edge is suggested by the name-- the device has a dual-curved display curving ever-so-slightly from, well, the edges.

This means earlier rumours were right, even if the slight screen curves do not allow for the additional functionality seen in the Galaxy Note Edge.

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What Will Samsung's Next Flagship Look Like?

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What Will Samsung's Next Flagship Look Like?

Samsung has something unusual in store for Mobile World Congress 2015 Bloomberg reports-- the next Galaxy smartphone flagship will come in two models, one of which will feature "a display covering 3 sides."

How can a display cover 3 sides? Through an evolution of Samsung's own curved-edge OLED displays, of course. The Galaxy Note Edge has such a display, if one wrapping around a single side of the device.

The unnamed sources add the two handsets also feature "all-metal bodies," 5.1-inch displays and the "most advanced" processors Samsung can make (meaning next-generation Exynos), all in a bid to win back high-end mobile market share lost to the iPhone 6.

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Corning Swipes at Sapphire with Phire

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Corning Swipes at Sapphire with Phire

Corning announces a type of glass the company claims is tougher than the latest Gorilla Glass iteration while featuring scratch resistance that "approaches" sapphire-- the so-called "Project Phire."

“We have developed a new product that will provide sapphire-like scratch resistance while maintaining the legendary toughness and break resistance of Gorilla Glass,” Gorilla Glass Technologies James P. Clappin says at the company's annual investor meeting.

Sapphire was supposed to be the latest wonder material in mobile displays, yet it is not problem-free, being brittle and reportedly hard to work with. This explains why Corning's Gorilla Glass unit sticks with glass and related composites, even as investors demand the company starts using the new material.

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Nvidia Debuts Tegra X1 at CES

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Nvidia Debuts Tegra X1 at CES

Nvidia launches what it describes as a "mobile super chip" at CES 2015-- the Tegra X1, a successor to the K1 mobile device processor featuring 256 GPU cores and an 8-core 64-bit CPU built on Maxwell architecture.

The company claims the Tegra X1 is the first mobile chip to reach throughput of up to 1 teraflop, making it as fast as a supercomputer from 2000-- if within a smaller and far more energy efficient package. To show off the chip's capabilities Nvidia showed off a real-time Unreal Engine 4 demo, with complicated 3D rendering demanding all of 10W to power.

Furthermore the chipset handles 4K video at 60Hz and 1080p video at 120Hz.

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Dual-Screen Yotaphone Gets Upgrade

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Dual-Screen Yotaphone Gets Upgrade

Remember the Yotaphone, the Russian smartphone with an e-ink display on the back? Its makers launched got an upgrade in the shape of the Yotaphone 2, a handset featuring the same concept, if with upgraded specs.

The Yotaphone 2 features 2 displays-- a 5-inch 1920x1080 AMOLED display on the front for primary use, and an always-on 4.7-inch e-ink display on the back for checking of notifications and customisable widgets. Further uses for the e-ink display include "YotaMirror" (enables the use of any app on the second display), "YotaSnap" (saves anything from the primary screen on the secondary display), "YotaCover" (puts a custom image on the second display) and a reading app.

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BlackBerry Goes Classic

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BlackBerry Goes Classic

BlackBerry returns to its roots as it launches a literal smartphone throwback-- the BlackBerry Classic, a "no-nonsense" handset featuring a physical QWERTY keyboard and a design straight out of yesteryear.

It also features a touchscreen, specifically a 720x720 3.5-inch number allowing for one-handed use together with the keyboard, as well as a trackpad and physical navigation keys. Inside are a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor, 2GB RAM and 16GB storage (expandable to 128GB via microSD slot), as well as 8MP/2MP front- and rear-facing cameras.

“We listened closely to our customers’ feedback to ensure we are delivering the technologies to power them through their day-- and that feedback led directly to the development of BlackBerry Classic,” BlackBerry CEO John Chen says. “It’s the secure device that feels familiar in their hands, with the added performance and agility they need to be competitive in today’s busy world.”

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