Quad-core smart TVs? Move over, Samsung and Haier, because another company’s now joining the party. At a press event in Beijing yesterday, Chinese video content provider LeTV announced its first TV series dubbed “Super TV.” Despite the cheesy name, there are a handful of big names behind it: Kai-Fu Lee’s Innovation Works, Qualcomm, Foxconn and Sharp. The last two aren’t surprising considering Foxconn’s parent company, Hon Hai, is an investor of Sharp as well as LeTV. It’s also worth noting, though, that Hon Hai already has a deal with RadioShack to make and sell a 60-inch TV, the RS60-V1, in China since January.
The flagship X60 (pictured above) features an aluminum alloy body that encases Sharp’s 10th-generation 60-inch 1080p panel — as featured on the RadioShack TV — with 120Hz 3D, on top of a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Prime MPQ8064 (with 2GB of RAM and Adreno 320 graphics), dual-band WiFi and S/PDIF optical output. You can also add an optional 2.4GHz gyroscopic remote control and a PrimeSense motion sensor just for giggles. But most importantly, LeTV now streams over 2,000 TV apps as well as some 90,000 TV episodes and 5,000 movies for free (LeTV claims to own the rights to 95 percent of the video content). So, the ¥6,999 or $ 1,140 price tag seems a steal for the X60. There will also be a 39-inch 1080p (likely 2D only), dual-core S40 model priced at ¥1,999 or about $ 330, and both TVs will be available by the end of June.
Taiwan might have an HTC One and an HTC First, but starting today, Singapore has a Synrgic Uno to join the banter (get it?). The name Synrgic might not immediately ring a bell, but if you dig a little deeper, you’ll see a mention of its earlier phone plus three tablets from a while back. Alas, said phone was eventually canned as the quality didn’t meet expectations, so consider this Uno a new attempt by the same Singaporean startup. Announced in its home city just now, this device is positioned as a mid-tier Android phone with some modest specs, namely a 4.7-inch, 720p IPS display with Gorilla Glass and, more interestingly, a dual-core 1.5GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 SoC (with 1GB DDR2 RAM and SGX 544 graphics chip). With the upcoming TI OMAP 5 series shifting towards automotive systems, chances are the Uno will be one of the last OMAP-powered smartphones before TI waves goodbye to the mobile world. More after the break.
If you’re living on a tight budget but still need to keep in touch with loved ones who live abroad, you’ll be glad to know of a new calling plan from Ultra Mobile. The upstart MVNO offers discounted access to T-Mobile’s network, and for $ 19 per month, you’ll fetch unlimited text messages to 194 countries, 250 voice minutes (with $ 1.25 toward international calling), and 50MB of data usage. For comparison, Simple Mobile offers a $ 25 plan that includes unlimited international texting and domestic calling, but if you let your thumbs do most of the talking, Ultra Mobile brings a lot of value to the table. You can snag its $ 19 plan starting tomorrow, which might be the perfect match for whatever Nokia has up its sleeve.
If you’re the sort of person who likes to donate a little bit of money to worthy causes, Google has a new charity app you might want to check out. The app is called One Today and is designed to make it easy for you to donate a dollar to various causes each and every day. The point of the application is to provide all the details you need to decide if you want to support a cause in one place.
Each day, the app will highlight a different cause trying to raise money and you can donate a buck. As of now, the application isn’t broadly available and you can only get access via an invitation. You can request an invitation through Google.com/onetoday. Google routinely tests applications like this as invitation only offerings before rolling them out broadly.
There is no indication at this point when Google might rollout the application of more users. While the application is available on invite only basis, it is only for Android users. However, once the app rolls out to a broad range of users Google will offer it for multiple smartphone platforms including the iPhone, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry devices.
Google is also allowing nonprofit organizations to register to have their own project featured on the application. The maximum donation users can make via the app for each project is only a dollar. However, the application will allow those who donate a dollar to invite their friends to donate more so the organization can raise more money.
Still waiting for Miiverse to show its hide on Nintendo’s 3DS? Maybe the promise of more conventional social networking will tide you over. Thanks to a new web tool, Japanese 3DS owners can now share screenshots from Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Tomodachi Collection:New Life with their Twitter and Tumblr followers. The setup is pretty simple, giving users access to a basic upload interface through the 3DS’ built-in web browser. Just pick an image, add a caption and watch your retweets roll in. Unfortunately, the tool doesn’t work with just any image — attempting to upload a shot taken with the 3DS camera gave us an error, which told us (via a rough translation) that the picture came from “incompatible software.” The tool is written entirely in Japanese, but folks with a knack for Kanji can check it out at i.nintendo.net. Looking for a compatible game? We hear there’s a bundle for that.
There is no shortage of Chinese-made Android tablets on the market today. Some people purchase these off brand tablets because they’re cheap, despite the fact that quality control with some Chinese tablet makers is notoriously spotty. If you’re willing to take the risk, a new tablet has surfaced from a Chinese maker called Smart Devices.
The tablet is the SmartQ N10 and its fitted with an eight-inch screen and ships with an interesting case. That case flips open and props the tablet up allowing you to watch media at more comfortable angle. The tablet is powered by a 1 GHz TI OMAP 4430 dual-core processor. The tablet also features 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage.
The included case is also designed to protect the tablet during travel and promises to last for up to 100,000 openings. The case adds a reported 4.4 mm of bulk to the tablet. The tablet features an eight-inch screen with a resolution of 1024 x 768.
The rear camera on the tablet has five-megapixel resolution and the front has two-megapixel resolution. The camera also features integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a 7000 mAh battery. Pricing and availability for the tablet are unknown at this time.
The Atrix HD was one of my favorite phones last year. It was easy to hold and use, had a great screen, and handled everything I threw at it really well. It's now launching on the Nextel network in Mexico, with Jelly Bean and a new push to talk / direct connect service.
Motorola ATRIX HD combines cutting-edge smartradio technology with PRIP Nextel’s new radio service that offers instantaneous high-performance communication using a software based solution integrated with Nextel’s wireless network. Users can enjoy direct connect with anyone, anywhere across the globe by making direct communication calls via Nextel Evolution Network, Wi-Fi or roaming. In addition, the unique PRIP service keeps users connected through Nextel Evolution, the fastest voice and Internet network in the market.
This new PRIP service is also fully backwards compatible with previous IDEN PTT services from Nextel and Sprint. We don't yet have a date or price, but Nextel Mexico has an expansive information page about PRIP and it's features right here. Hit the break for the full press release.
Right after Intel’s somewhat mundane announcement of the Ultrabook Convertible and Ultrabook Detachable sub-brands at IDF in Beijing, SVP Kirk Skaugen surprised us by whipping out an unnamed laptop coming from Toshiba, so we jumped onto the stage to get a sniff of the only two units at the venue. Judging by the looks of it, we’re confident that this is actually the Portege Z10t that hit the FCC last month — the vents, camera and logo on the back match those in the drawing (embedded after the break) filed in the application.
As you can see, unlike Toshiba’s previous Windows 8 convertible laptop, this second attempt is a detachable and features an absurdly large hinge sleeve, with the small release mechanism positioned in the middle of the hinge. The keyboard looks pretty slim in most parts, yet it also packs a backlit keyboard plus both a trackpad and a pointing stick; and most importantly, overall the docked device doesn’t seem to be top-heavy. The 10-inch tablet itself also comes with a few handy ports, including a USB 3.0 port, a micro-HDMI socket and a full-size SD card slot, all located on the right-hand side along with the power socket, volume rocker, headphone jack and power button.
The reps from both Intel and Toshiba were rather tight-lipped about this elusive device (the latter even said his folks have yet to come up with a name), so all we know is that this is powered by an Ivy Bridge processor (with vPro embedded security options) and it’ll be available in Q2 this year. As always, stay tuned here for the eventual announcement.
When it comes to charging your smartphone, most of us prefer wireless charging rather than having to fiddle with wires. Popular smartphones on the market today don’t typically come from the factory with support for wireless charging baked in. That means that to shed those wires when it comes time to charge up your smartphone, you need some sort of accessory.
Owners of the Sony Xperia Z smartphone who want to add wireless charging capability to their device can now the case from a company called Ipan Ipan that supports Qi Wireless charging technology. The case is a flip style with a cover to help protect the screen when you’re on the go. The wireless charging receiver is hidden inside the flip case.
The manufacturer says that this was one of the more difficult wireless charging cases to design. The rugged and waterproof Xperia Z doesn’t have a removable back panel or battery. The manufacturer says that it was also unable to use the smartphones USB port.
In the end the company opted to use the two pin connectors on the bottom of the phone that are normally used when the docking station for the phone is attached. That will mean that you have to remove the phone from the case to use the docking attachment. The case is available alone for €39 and with the charging pad for €89.
Programs have a certain magic power over littluns, sending them into a trance-like state and then having them beg for merchandise afterwards. The perpetual tinkerers over at Adafruit don’t expect you to catch ‘em all, though, and have debuted their own show called Circuit Playground — an educational YouTube series teaching kids about electronics. In the first episode, we learn all about Amperes and are introduced to our hosts: a free-willed human and ADABOT, a charming puppet presenter (just don’t tell them that). Following the letters of the alphabet, expect 25 more installments and, if the intro sequence is any indication, a bunch of component-based characters to keep the sprogs interested. If you need 3 minutes and 50 seconds of peace and quiet, or just want to brush up on the basics yourself, head past the break for the first episode. Next time on Circuit Playground: “B is for Battery.”