Archive for June, 2010
Apple’s new iPhone 4 isn’t even on sale yet, but it’s already been put through a series of drop tests. iPhone repair site iFixyouri managed to get an iPhone 4 (minus the motherboard inside) and dropped it from pocket height (3.5 feet). The good news? It survived two drops. The bad news? On the third fall, a loud popping sound was heard, and the phone’s glass front was smashed to bits.
iFixyouri comments that the new phone’s construction – essentially two pieces of glass with aluminum sandwiched in between – made it particularly vulnerable compared to earlier iPhones, which had a slightly recessed glass screen surrounded by a chrome bezel.
T-Mobile’s taken some flak recently (particularly from AT&T) after it claimed that its newly upgraded 3G service (HSPA+) offers “fourth generation speeds.” The carrier’s now been vindicated by a series of tests conducted by Phone Scoop, which surprisingly found that T-Mobile souped-up 3G matched and sometimes noticeably outpaced Sprint/Clearwire’s WiMax-based 4G service.
T-Mobile delivered particularly strong upload speeds and low latencies, and more importantly, T-Mobile’s service already works on nine different phones, including the HTC HD2, Touch Pro 2, myTouch series, G1, and others, while Sprint’s only works on the HTC EVO 4G. See Phone Scoop’s full report for more details. T-Mobile says it hopes to have its upgraded HSPA+ service up and running in 100 major metro markets by the end of 2010.
Apple’s new iPhone 4: A4 CPU, HD video, high-res screen, video chat, 3-axis gyro for $199/299, June 24
Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the iPhone 4 at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) yesterday. The phone sports a high-resolution screen, thin new (though repeatedly leaked) design, front-facing camera for video chat, the iPad’s A4 processor, HD video capture and playback, a three-axis gyroscope, and the newly-renamed iOS 4.
The iPhone 4 will be available starting June 24 for $199 (16GB) / $299 (32GB) in either black or white, on a 2-year contract– and yes, it’s still tied to AT&T in the U.S.
Read on for our full coverage of Apple’s fourth-generation iPhone.
Auto Express managed to obtain a leaked photo of the 2011 Volkswagen Passat. The new car sports a squarer, slightly more aggressive design, with flared fenders, lower air intakes, and a chrome grille and new headlights matching the rest of VW’s new models.
Engine options haven’t been confirmed yet, but we’re likely looking at a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder producing around 200 HP in the U.S. Europe will probably get the same 1.4 and 1.8L TSI gas engines and 1.6 and 2.0L TDI diesels as the current Passat, along with a 2.0L turbo R model delivering 270 HP.
VW will officially unveil the 2011 Passat at the Paris Motor Show in October, and the car should hit showrooms by early next year.
Source: Auto Express
Earlier today, spy photographers caught an in-testing 2011 Dodge Charger R/T whose cover blew off. While we had seen photos of the car’s interior earlier, these are the first clear shots of the Charger’s exterior.
The 2011 model is an evolutionary step over the current sedan, with a larger, forward-canted grille and more aggressively chiseled hood coming together for an even angrier look than the first-generation Charger. The new bumper has revised fog lights and a larger air intake to match the grille.
The 2011 Charger is based on Chrysler’s LY platform (shared with the Chrysler 300C and Dodge Challenger) and is essentially a major refresh of the current model, rather than an all-new car. Interestingly, while Chrysler spun Dodge’s truck lineup into a separate Ram brand, the new sedan still sports the horned ram logo, suggesting Dodge might stick with the old badge for the moment (or might switch the badge later).
Full gallery after the break. More >
HTC might have a big mess coming its way in just a day or two. The company’s all set to launch its new Android superphone, the EVO 4G, on Sprint tomorrow, but initial reports from users who were given EVO 4Gs at Google’s I/O conference suggest the phone might have a serious data corruption bug.
The phone’s included 8GB SanDisk MicroSD card reportedly stops working until the phone is rebooted. Normally that might just be a minor annoyance, but it turns out the problem keeps popping up in different forms, corrupting data (like photos, videos, and program files), causing programs relying on SD storage to go haywire, giving file permission errors, and more. A thread at AndroidForums has over 200 posts, with no working solution in sight.
The problem doesn’t seem to be limited to the included MicroSD card. Some suspect the issue could be related to the EVO 4G’s unusual seating mechanism for the MicroSD card (pictured after the break), which might cause the card to at times lose contact with the phone’s main board. Given that it does seem to be fixed (at least temporarily) by a reset, we’re inclined to think it might be a software glitch, in which case HTC, Google, or Sprint will hopefully be able to push out an update soon enough.
Update: Whew, that was fast- looks like HTC’s already pushed out an over-the-air update to fix the issue.
Photo of the EVO 4G’s unusual MicroSD slot after the break. More >
Qualcomm just shipped the first dual-core smartphone processor, a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon chip. The new third-generation QSD8260 and 8660 chips are based on a die-shrunk 45nm version of the 1 GHz QSD8250 chip found in phones like the HTC HD2, EVO 4G, and Google’s Nexus One and should use less power while packing a lot more computing horsepower.
The third-generation Snapdragon CPUs offer a next-generation Adreno (ATI Imageon) GPU with support for Open GL ES 2.0 and Open VG 1.1, hardware acceleration for 1080p HD video encode/decode, and video output resolution up to WXGA (1280×800) with 24-bit color. They also pack a dedicated low power audio engine (to allow the rest of the CPU to go to sleep when you’re just playing music) and low power GPS electronics (to reduce power consumption in navigation apps).
The 8260 model packs an HSPA+ radio (GSM), while the 8660 supports both HSPA+ (GSM) and EV-DO Rev. B (CDMA). Qualcomm will also offer the QSD 8672, a 1.5 GHz version for tablets and larger devices that began sampling several months ago.
The CPUs are based on the same Scorpion core design as current Snapdragon chips, implementing the ARMv7 instruction set but offering slightly better performance clock-for-clock than ARM’s reference design, Cortex A8. For more information, check out our Smartphone Processor Guide.
No info on when the new chips will hit production smartphones, but we’re probably looking at early 2011 at the earliest.
Full press release after the break.
VIA just demoed a prototype dual-core version of its much-acclaimed but hard-to-find Nano CPU at Computex in Taipei. The Nano DC is a 1.6 GHz dual-core processor, but VIA reps says it’s only meant for low-cost desktops, not netbooks. We did some digging and found that the prototype CPU basically consists of two of company’s single-core Nano 3000 dies put together in one package. The Nano 3000 is a 65nm chip, and putting two of them together probably pushes power and heat levels way too high for netbook usage.
Nonetheless, a 65nm dual-core Nano might still offer a decent low-cost CPU option for desktops. VIA’s demo motherboard paired the Nano DC with a VN1000 Digital Media Chipset and dual-channel DDR3 memory. VN1000 includes an S3 Chrome 520 GPU, which was demoing a 720p video loop and supports 1080p HD playback, DirectX 10.1, and HDMI and DisplayPort outputs.
VIA’s true (single-die) dual-core Nano chip for netbooks should be out by early next year. The company was experimenting with 45nm manufacturing processes but wasn’t able to lock down the details in time to launch the CPU this month, as originally planned.