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Mobile Phones

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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PuzzlePhone Enters Modular Phone Arena

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PuzzlePhone Enters Modular Phone Arena

Finland-based Circular Devices is the next company to take on Google's Project Ara and the mysterious Vsenn in modular smartphones with the PuzzlePhone, a charmingly named upgradeable device.

The PuzzlePhone breaks down the smartphone into 3 modules-- the Spine (display, speakers and basic structure), Heart (battery and secondary electronics) and Brain (processor and camera). Modules are built on an open source hardware standard, allowing OEMs to freely build modules according to customer demand.

The OS of choice is a forked Android version, but the makers are looking into supporting alternative operating software.

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The First Microsoft-Branded Lumia

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The First Microsoft-Branded Lumia

Following the dropping of the Nokia name Microsoft reveals the first own-brand Lumia smartphone-- the Lumia 535, an entry-level device featuring a 5-inch display and a 5MP front-facing camera.

It carries a 960 x 540 resolution display, 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 8GB storage (expandable via microSD slot) and 1GB RAM inside plastic casing complete with colourful removable back cover. The OS of choice is, obviously, Windows Phone 8.1, and Microsoft includes features such as the Action Center, Word Flow, Cortana, Skype and One Note.

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LG's Thinnest Smartphone Bezel yet

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LG's Thinnest Smartphone Bezel yet

LG Display presents what it claims is a 5.3-inch 1920 x 1080 resolution smartphone LCD panel with the narrowest bezel in the world-- 0.7mm, narrower than the 0.8mm thickness of a credit card.

It features what the company calls "Neo Edge" technology, which uses an adhesive (instead of double-sided tape) to attach and seal the area and edges of the panel's circuit board and backlight unit. LG says this allows for a narrower bezel, blocks light leakage, water- and dust-proofs the display, prevents the corrosion sometimes caused by double-sided tape and even "dramatically" improves panel durability.

Another LG Display technology inside the panel is "Advanced In-Cell Touch (AIT), a means of embedding the touch panel inside the LCD module.

The good news for customers is the display is not simply an advanced company prototype-- mass-production is set to start from November 2014, probably (certainly) for use in the next LG flagship device.

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Microsoft: Nokia Branding No More

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Microsoft: Nokia Branding No More

Microsoft starts dropping the Nokia branding from Lumia smartphones-- Nokia France is the first country to adopt the "Microsoft Lumia" monicker, as announced on the company's Facebook page.

The Facebook post says Nokia France will change its name to Microsoft Lumia "in the coming days."

Microsoft confirms to The Verge other countries will soon follow the rebranding, which involves the renaming of social media accounts as well as websites and, eventually, products. This should come to no surprise, as Nokia Windows Phone apps have already been rebranded to Lumia.

Holiday season ads for the Microsoft smartphones should also push the Microsoft Lumia name.

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iPhone Day: Apple reveals iPhone 6, 6 Plus, Apple Pay

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iPhone Day: Apple reveals iPhone 6, 6 Plus, Apple Pay

Apple has what CEO Tim Cook describes as "a very key day" at the Flint Centre-- one where the company launches the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus together with Pay, the company's take on mobile payments.

As rumours suggested the iPhone 6 comes in two sizes, namely 4.7- and 5.5-inch. Both feature next-generation displays the company calls Retina Display HD, with the regular iPhone 6 display handles 1334x750 resolution and the 6 Plus featuring 1920x1080 resolution.

To take advantage of the larger display size the iPhone 6 Plus features a new landscape view, one providing extra functionality from a bigger keyboard. A desktop-class scaler allows apps to take advantage of the different sizes, while Apple's Phil Schiller promises legacy apps will "just work."

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Broadcom Intros "Most Powerful" 5G Wifi Chip

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Broadcom Intros

Broadcom claims to double the wifi performance in upcoming smartphones and tablets with the BCM4358, a 5G 802.11ac wifi 2x2 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) combo chip.

MIMO technology uses multiple antennas for both transmitter and receiver. It is already found in the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display.

"The combination of 5G WiFi and 2x2 MIMO unlocks the full potential of today's smartphones and tablets. These technologies are becoming de facto requirements for connectivity in high-end mobile devices," the company says. "With the BCM4358 we are addressing critical multi-radio interference challenges while setting a new bar for performance that reflects Broadcom's continued commitment to be first to deliver the most powerful solutions in the market."

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