Author Archives: Emmanuel Buttigieg

Samsung’s Legal Team Confirm The Nexus Prime

When it comes to manufacturer’s faux pas it doesn’t get any bigger than this.  Samsung’s legal department sent a Cease and Desist letter to a person claiming to be in possession of leaked Nexus Prime firmware.  Sammy, quite rightly of course, wants its property back as it is indeed Samsung’s unique property and hasn’t yet been released to the public.

So there you have it.  The Nexus Prime is indeed being made by Samsung, dashing dreams of a newborn Nexus One everywhere.  At least, judging by the Nexus S’ success, it’ll sell well this time round.  You can find details of the initial rumours here with more evidence to support the purported 4.5″ HD screen here.  You can also take a look at the letter right here, down below.

 

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HTC Omega To Be Windows Phone Mango’s Launch Device?

The folks over at PocketNow have managed to grab a hold of some pretty official looking press shots of an upcoming HTC Windows Phone device code named “Omega”.  The phone’s pegged as a Windows Phone Mango (or 7.5, if numerals are what you’re after) and has quite a nice spec sheet.  First off is a Qualcomm processor rumoured to run at the 1.5GHz mark.  Now this is a little odd as the chipset in question, the Snapdragon MSM8255 can only be clocked to 1.4GHz, but can run at 1.5GHz out of the box if it’s dual core.  The specs also list 512MB of RAM, a 3.8″ display and an 8MP snapper.

The design itself seems reminiscent of the HTC Flyer with the same plastic finish and form round the back, with what seems to be an aluminium rim around the screen that splits the lower bezel in two creating a kind of double chin.  Seems rather nice, even in white, but doesn’t seem to scream high end.  HTC have an event planned for the 1st of September that also falls in with Windows Phone Mango’s Q3 release.  It’s only 5 days away, but the next couple of months are going to be interesting to say the least.

HP Shall Discontinue Operations For webOS Devices

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Today HP officially announced, together with their plans to spinoff its Personal Systems group (essentially PCs, mobile devices etc), that they shall be ditching the platform that they bought from Palm round about a year ago.

“In addition, HP reported that it plans to announce that it will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones.  HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward.

We probably should have seen this coming.  A few days ago HP slashed the price of the TouchPad by over $100 to $399 for the 16GB WiFi model, while Best Buy apparently had ‘mountains’ of unsold stock, as did HP themselves.  Their first webOS phone outside of the Palm mould, the Veer, wasn’t very successful either, and its take on small devices failed to catch on.

So, in essence, what this means is that we should all go and buy ourselves a TouchPad.  It won’t be opened, but it will be framed, and we shall tell our children stories of the great OS that never was. “Back in the day…”

HTC-Vigor

HTC Vigor To Be HTC’s First Beats Device?

A few days ago HTC made a staggering announcement that they had just “invested” $300 million in one of the most innovative audio and sound companies in the world, Beats by Dr Dre.  What does this mean for us?  For one, better audio on our HTC smartphones.  Another area could be new audio oriented accessories, maybe better headphones (both optional and packaged) as well as some new speakers or sound docks, iPhone style. Now, just a day ago, sharp eyed tipsters spotted what could be HTC’s first Beats device, the HTC Vigor. Continue reading

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Google Have Bought Motorola Mobility

Google have just finalised the purchase of Motorola’s newly founded Mobility unit, the division in charge of creating the highly successful Droid line up for Verizon and for bringing into existence the Xoom, Honeycomb’s launch device.

Now, what we’ve got to see is that Motorola was one of the very Android OEM’s that stuck to the platform and did not participate in Microsoft’s Windows Phone reboot. Ultimately their loyalty seems to have worked out as Google purchased the company for $12.5 billion thus giving them a solid hardware platform for their own dedicated devices, so far the Nexus range.

The news has been welcomed by Google’s partners who see this as an opportunity to revitalise the eco-system and bring about a fresh perspective to Android hardware.  What does this mean for us?  Google will now be designing and manufacturing their own devices, not just one a year we assume, thus resulting in quicker updates for current Motorola owners and the Android ecosystem in general.  All in all good news.

UPDATE: Google’s acquired over 17,000 patents from this purchase.  These patent wars are going to get hotter!

Introducing Our Latest Apple Correspondent

Here we are introducing the newest addition to our team.  Matthew Camilleri is currently studying for his A levels in Commerce with a fondness for Intermediate Computing.  He’s 17 years with a great passion for anything tech.  His hobbies include video editing, cinematography and film making,field hockey,sailing, reading and watching movies and TV series.  Matthew is also an avid Youtuber and does a but of gaming here and there.

You can drop him a line at mcmcamilleri@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter: @Chivesgamerev

EVO 3D Vodafone AVAILABLE

HTC Evo 3D Available At Vodafone MT

Yes, that’s right, HTC’s Evo 3D is now available from Vodafone!  From what we can tell Malta is also amongst the first in Europe to get this incredible device. The price is 649 euro off contract or starting from 49 euro on the Smartphone 95 plan.

Read on past the break for the specs. Continue reading

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First Glimpse Of Ice Cream Sandwich

And here they are! Round about two months ahead of launch we have our first glimpse of Ice Cream Sandwich. These leaked images come from a T-Mobile Samsung Nexus S. From what we can see Ice Cream (short for Ice Cream Sandwich from now on) ditches Gingerbread’s black for a dark and rather AMOLED-unfriendly blue. It also seems o be an evolution of Honeycomb in this aspect, with the holographic design cues more having a more mature, modern and coherent form. Much of the images is blacked out, but the source did give some extra info about what Ice Cream Sandwich shall entail.  Read on past the break for more info.

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Apple Blocks Sales Of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab in EU

As you techies out there may have heard, there is a war being fought RIGHT NOW.  Right beneath our feet.  It’s a dirty war, with men and women loyal to opposing causes flinging themselves against each other in this bloody battle.  Some, myself included, agree that Samsung is “infringing” on Apple’s designs.  Yes, I have been talking about the Samsung vs Apple patent suit.  Others see the case differently, arguing that there are only so many ways to design a tablet.  It seems the designers of the Motorola Xoom didn’t get the memo.  Neither did the designers of Asus’ Transformer. But I digress.

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Sony Ericsson, Where’s Our X10 Update?

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On the 1st of August Sony Ericsson announced that the international roll out of the Gingerbread update for its 2010 flagship, the Xperia X10. Yet, so far, progress seems to be painfully slow. Indeed the evidence suggests that the roll out has stopped altogether. Sony Ericsson’s Facebook page is nothing short of chaos with people posting all kinds of wild rumours and crazy assurances. We just don’t know who to trust and Sony’s, quite suspiciously is keeping mum on the subject.

Our own Zach Galea has been eagerly awaiting the update since the early months of 2011, but now all he feels is anger and frustration. 2011 has most definitely not been Sony’s best year. First came the update fiasco with the above mentioned X10 and the entire 2010 line up, whereby Sony announced that no device will go beyond Eclair and even having the guts to say that their version of Clair was “as good as if not better than 2.2 [Froyo]”. Next came the PSN hacking, though that doesn’t really tie in with their smartphones. Their current flagship, the Arc, svelte as it is, has fallen behind its dual core brethren and many loyal users are doubting their faith. 2012 promises to be better, with the Vita supposedly shipping to the US and European markets as well as two new and quite unique Honeycomb tablets, the S1 and the S2.

Unfortunately only time will tell if their update schedule improves or not.

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HTC’s Evo 3D Heading To Vodafone Soon

Vodafone’s summer just keeps getting hotter.  After bringing greats like the Sensation and the Flyer to Malta Vodafone has just put up the HTC Evo 3D for preorder.  No word on pricing and no date for release, but judging by the Sensation it shouldn’t be above the 700 euro mark.

Just to remind you, the Evo 3D is a dual core, 4.3″ smartphone with a stereoscopic glasses free 3D display.  Sense 3.0 runs on top of Gingerbread (v 2.3) with some custom 3D apps from HTC.  Unfortunately none of the homescreen elements make use of the 3D display, then again it’s best to keep 3D an add on rather than the main feature – at least till the technology improves.

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Xperia X10 Update Closer Than We Thought?

The Xperia X10’s path to adulthood and Gingerbread goodness has been a long and arduous one, frought with pain and suffering for those patient owners.  One that is nearing it’s end sooner than you may think.  The X10 launched with 1.6 and it took months to get to 2.1 (Ecliar).  After that people thought that an update to Froyo was imminent.  But it was not meant to be.  Sony Ericsson took to the interwebs to officially declaire that their entire 2010 line up will not go beyond Eclair and even had the guts to say, rather wrongly, that their customizations to Eclair made it as good as, if not better than, Froyo.  Our own Zach Galea felt the pain, his X10 on 2.1 and my Nexus One on 2.3.  I tried to tempt him to root, but he decided to stand by Sony Ericsson.

The news caused an uproar, with many selling their shiny Xperia X10s on ebay for less than $100.  Sony went back online to say that they shall indeed be bringing a major update to the X10, but they will skip Froyo and jump straight to Gingerbread, aka Android 2.3.  People cheared, and many bought those same X10s whose owners had forsaken them from ebay.  $100 for a 1GHz, 4″ flagship device with striking looks and an excellent 8MP camera?  Deal of a lifetime!

Continue reading