LG P350 Optimus Me, 2.8″ Android Phone

Posted by – February 28, 2011

To be released now for around $179/179€ unlocked (out of contract), has a 2.8″ capacitive touch screen, camera, using the Qualcomm ARM11 MSM7227 600Mhz processor. It’s one of these affordable new Android phones from LG.

Look forward to my CeBIT 2011 video coverage this week

Posted by – February 27, 2011

A crowded exhibition hall during CeBIT 2000.

Image via Wikipedia

Starting tomorrow, I will be posting here upwards 50 videos of the best ARM powered devices to be shown at this CeBIT Hannover Germany, one of the worlds biggest consumer electronics trade shows. This is my 8th consecutive CeBIT doing video-blogging. Yup, I started video-blogging from consumer electronics trade shows at CeBIT 2004 (you can see my CeBIT video archive for 2004-2009 at techvideoblog.com). If you have any tips you can write them here in the comments, click on Submit News at any time, or send them to my email charbax@gmail.com

Here are some of the topics that I expect to find at this show:

1. Chrome OS devices, does Google find it appropriate to let the laptop and desktop makers start to display ARM Powered Chrome OS laptops and similar devices? Recently it has been leaked that the ARM cortex-A8 i.MX51/53 Powered Acer DXH241 monitor will come with built-in Chrome OS, letting all monitor makers add Chrome OS for below $50 in ARM Powered component costs. Though it is also likely that Google may want to delay Chrome OS devices release a few more months and do some kind of big Chrome OS device unveiling at some other event.

2. Is it time for the International ARM Powered Google TV unveiling yet? Samsung usually has gigantic booths at CeBIT, will they show their Exynos ARM Cortex-A9 Powered Google TV there already? Because of the international media rights issues, and Google’s issues with getting TV rights within the US market even, it may be Google waits for Google I/O in May or so to unveil more on that.

3. Anyone to launch Honeycomb, Chrome OS and Ubuntu compliant ARM Powered laptops, as nice or nicer even as the Toshiba AC100 (which recently got the Froyo upgrade)? Tegra2 is getting very popular, and other Cortex-A9 platforms are ramping up traction, as all major laptop makers have big booths at CeBIT, I will be looking for them showing off ARM Powered laptops.

4. More and better Android tablets. I will be bringing you videos on all the best new Android tablets, including filming the news from the Archos booth where I think that they will show more than the Arnova 10 and Arnova 8 that I just recently filmed.

5. I’m hopeful Panasonic will unveil a new compact HD camcorder to be the equivalent to a Sanyo HD3000 with better optics, better compression, WiFi/Bluetooth features and more, because I’d like to upgrade my camcorder to something like that. Panasonic recently unveiled camcorder designs similar to the Sanyo Xacti.

And much much more. Subscribe to my RSS feed, add my RSS feed to your Google Reader, subscribe to my YouTube channel, follow my Twitter.

Arnova 10, $199 10.1” Android Tablet

Posted by – February 25, 2011

Here is a world exclusive video unveiling of the new Arnova 10 entry-level 10.1” Android tablet:

This may become the world’s cheapest ARM Cortex-A8 1Ghz RK2918, 10.1” capacitive Android tablet on the market (I filmed an early pre-production prototype of it with capacitive/rk29 combo at CES here). Until about April, Arnova 10 is released now as a 10.1” resistive ARM9 600Mhz RK2818 tablet. The price remains $199 in the USA, 199€ in Europe (consider all European prices always include ~20% VAT). Look for a slightly different model number once the capacitive/rk29 version starts shipping. They will shift to it as soon as 10.1” capacitive and rk29 components are ready/stable and mass manufactured, the Chinese suppliers are working as fast as they can, this should be in a couple months.

Archos is the second largest tablet maker in France according to GfK sales numbers, having 22% market share, far in front of Samsung with 4%, 67% for iPad. Arnova is a new brand from Archos based in Hong Kong, that uses the design, manufacturing and distribution strengths of Archos but will remain a separate brand for the cheaper $100-$200 Rockchip based devices (see the press release here). The idea here is to get these excellent valued Rockchip based designs to more people in Europe and the USA. But Arnova is also more extensively going to be promoted for developing countries as people there enjoy cheaper stuff. But people enjoy cheaper stuff everywhere.

Rockchip is doing excellent work optimizing cost in their entry level SoC designs, and are doing stable hardware optimizations with the latest versions of Android that can be adapted for the given ARM architectures that they use. Archos has probably been the top selling Rockchip maker thus far with the Archos 7 Home Tablet massively sold in every major electronics store in the USA and Europe these past 12 months (go check your local Staples, Best Buy, etc.. it’s probably there), and they plan to further extend that kind of reach with their new Arnova branding.

As it stands right now with Rockchip, Eclair is the furthest they can go for ARM9 RK2818 based devices (Donut for their older ARM9 RK2808 without graphics acceleration), and Gingerbread is the furthest they can go with ARM Cortex-A8 RK2918 based devices. But who knows, Google may announce tomorrow Honeycomb support for every popular ARM architecture used in any previously certified or not certified Android tablets out there, even including the cheapest Rockchip designs. I asked some Google people at MWC, including in my interview with Honeycomb designer Matias Duarte, they told me Honeycomb has no minimum hardware requirements, which hopefully also means other than opening Honeycomb source code for all to use, that Google will also allow for Google Marketplace on all devices without requiring stuff like compass/gps/3g, and hopefully Google also plans to dedicate resources to help all SoC platform makers and device maker with getting great and fully hardware optimized new firmwares with Honeycomb and Marketplaces onto all these cheaper devices as well (evt with Holographic UI effects disabled on low hardware specs).

$800 for a Honeycomb tablet is a lot of money for some people. Sure enough, the Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 Tegra2 Honeycomb experience is awesome, but a lot of people prefer paying 4x less if they can get a decent ARM Cortex-A8 Honeycomb experience, if Google and companies like Arnova just allow consumers to have that choice.

Specs:
Price: $199 in USA, 199€ in Europe (consider all European prices always include ~20% VAT)
Capacity: 4GB (or 8GB) with MicroSD slot
OS: Android 2.1 Eclair (on RK2818), Gingerbread (on RK2918 version available ~April), Honeycomb? (depends on Google/Rockchip)
Display: 10.1″ 1024×600 touch screen (resistive now, capacitive version available ~April) , 16 million colors
Video playback (on current RK2818 model): H264 up to 720p 30fps 5mbitps, Mpeg4 30fps 2.5mbitps, RMVB up to 720p 30fps 2.5mbitps, in these extensions: .avi, .mp4, .mkv, .mov, .flv (RK2918 version available ~April may add 1080p and higher bitrates support)
Audio playback: mp3, wav, ape, ogg, flac
Photo: jpeg, bmp, gif, png
Interfaces: USB 2.0 Slave MSC, USB 2.0 Host MSC, MicroSD slot
Wireless: WiFi b/g
Other: built-in speaker, microphone, G-sensor, front-facing VGA camera
Battery runtime: TBC music, up to 6h video
Size: 272×152.3×13.5mm (10.7″x6″x0.5″)
Weight: 570gr (20.1oz)

Arnova 8, $149 8″ Android Tablet

Posted by – February 25, 2011

As with the Arnova 10, this one also starts resistive/rk2818 for now, and becomes capacitive/rk2918 during the next couple of months, staying at $149 MSRP.

Read much more on the rk2818/resistive platform of this device (released now) and the rk2918/capacitive version (to be releasing around April) in my Arnova 10 post.

Specs:
Price: $149 in USA, 149€ in Europe (consider all European prices always include ~20% VAT)
Capacity: 4GB with MicroSD slot
OS: Android 2.1 Eclair (on RK2818), Gingerbread (on RK2918 version available ~April), Honeycomb? (depends on Google/Rockchip)
Display: 8″ 800×600 touch screen (resistive now, capacitive version available ~April) , 16 million colors
Video playback (on current RK2818 model): H264 up to 720p 30fps 5mbitps, Mpeg4 30fps 2.5mbitps, RMVB up to 720p 30fps 2.5mbitps, in these extensions: .avi, .mp4, .mkv, .mov, .flv (RK2918 version available ~April may add 1080p and higher bitrates support)
Audio playback: mp3, wav, ape, ogg, flac
Photo: jpeg, bmp, gif
Interfaces: USB 2.0 Slave MSC, USB 2.0 Host MSC, MicroSD slot
Wireless: WiFi b/g
Other: 2 built-in speakers, microphone, G-sensor
Battery runtime: 22.5h music, 6h video
Size: 205x153x12mm (8″x4.2″x0.5″)
Weight: 500gr (17.6oz)

ARM Powered Google TV by Samsung rumored by Bloomberg

Posted by – February 25, 2011

Here’s more backing up what I heard, that the ARM Powered Google TV is coming soon:

Samsung Electronics Co., the largest television maker, may use Google TV software in home- entertainment devices based on its own chips, rather than those from Intel Corp., a person with knowledge of the plans said.

Source: businessweek.com

MWC 2011 Highlights: My best MWC11 videos and the most important topics!

Posted by – February 22, 2011

I filmed and posted 75 videos from this years Mobile World Congress, I hope you enjoy watching some of those! Here are the highlights, the best topics of this show, making this possibly the most awesome trade show ever for ARM devices!

1. The Cheap Android Smartphone revolution
- Yuhua Teltech sub-$200 4.3″ Touchstone
- ZTE Sub-$200 4.3″ Skate, ZTE showed all the way down to $99 for 3.5″ ZTE Blade
- Huawei showed Sub-$150 Android
- Samsung showed sub-$200 phones such as the Sub-$200 3.5″ HVGA Galaxy Ace, Sub-$175 3.31″ QVGA Galaxy Fit and Sub-$150 3.14″ QVGA Galaxy Mini.
- MediaTek powers Sub-$80 Android Smartphones, that price is boxed in store! (excluding reseller margins): For example the Sub-$80 3.2″ QVGA 2G AnyData ASP320-Q
- ST-Ericsson showed their ARM Cortex-A9 Single Core U4500 platform to power Sub-$100 Smartphones within a year from now! The goal is Nexus One performance, longer battery runtime for Sub-$100 within a year from now!
- ST-Ericsson showed their current Sub-$100 U6715 ARM9 468Mhz range of phones, such as K-Touch W606, Acer beTouch E130, Coolpad W711 and the GHT Maestro, these are selling downwards $100 unsubsidized right now on the worldwide market.
- Alcatel One Touch

These are some of the cheap unsubsidized prices (boxed in store, no contracts needed, excluding reseller margins) for the cheapest Android Smartphone ARM SoC platforms that were shown last week at this Mobile World Congress:
Taiwan based:
- MediaTek at less than $100
- Infomax Communication at $80-90
China based:
- Leadcore Technology at $80-105
- Fuzhou Rockchip Electronics at $90-105 (I filmed Rockchip at CES)
US based:
- Qualcomm MSM7227 ARM11 ships in the largest amount of cheap 3G Android phones that are about to sell for as low as $100-120
- Broadcom is planning such solutions also to be priced at $100-120

The Cheap Android Smartphone revolution is a HUGE deal, it means a Billion more people might afford to get Internet access and mobile personal Internet features in the next couple of years or so. And this means a potential HUGE disruption of the carrier/manufacturer Smartphone industry, as more and more European and US consumers are going to choose Sub-$100 Android phones without the need for 2-year contracts anymore, those phones can be used on pre-paid and even using unlimited free VOIP over 3G or LTE data-only services pretty soon.

2. Honeycomb, the first real Tablet OS
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
- Motorola Xoom (Xoom at CES)
- LG Optimus Pad
- Malata’s upgraded Tegra2 tablets (designs used by ViewSonic, Interpad, Hannspree etc..)
- My Interview with Honeycomb Chief Designer Matias Duarte: He confirms Honeycomb has no minimum hardware requirements, this means, ALL ANDROID TABLETS, even ARM Cortex-A8, even all existing Archos, Samsung, Dell tablets, even 256MB RAM, even the cheaper Rockchip 2808 and 2818, even Telechips, all may be getting Honeycomb firmware upgrades. It’s certainly an important detail to find out how much Google engineers are planning to be involved reaching out to each of these lower cost ARM SoC platform providers in porting the Honeycomb to all these cheaper and already released Android tablets platforms once the Tegra2 devices are out, the source code and the UPGRADED CDD (Android 3.0 Compatibility Definition Document) is instantly released. Honeycomb Holographic UI elements might be disabled on cheaper hardware that have less processor, memory and graphics acceleration. This should happen and get fully explained by Google Engineers within a few days! Honeycomb is not only for $800 tablets.

Froyo for current Android tablets is just as good as iOS on iPad. Since Donut SDK are Android apps supporting medium density screens (= tablets). Honeycomb is simply the first time a high-end ARM Powered tablet OS has really been designed and optimized for tablet use. Playbook and WebOS may look nice and similar, but they have no ecosystem (nobody can compete with open and free), I expect HP and RIM will be forced to simply use and build on Android within months.

3. New ARM Cortex-A9 processors shown for the first time
- Texas Instruments OMAP4430 in LG Optimus 3D, 3D Parallax Barrier is actually awesome for video games! Look for Nintendo 3DS turning this into a big deal in the coming weeks and months
- OMAP4430 in the Blackberry Playbook, watch my video interview with RIM about Android Dalvik Engine support on the Blackberry Playbook
- Samsung Exynos with Mali-400 in Samsung Galaxy S2, it may get all the Atrix 4G features through the Mobile High-Definition Link connector, watch my interview on that
- Qualcomm MSM8660 in HP Touch Pad, watch my video showing 1080p 3D capture and playback on MSM8660
- ST-Ericsson launches A9500 ARM Cortex-A9 Dual-core with Mali-400 development board for $200
- ST-Ericsson launches U4500 ARM Cortex-A9 Single-core with Mali-400 for Sub-$100 Android Super Phones

4. First talk on Quad-core, Cortex-A15, next gen processors, arriving fast!
- Texas Instruments OMAP Product Manager Brian Carlson talks OMAP5
- Qualcomm announced Quad-core 2.5Ghz,
- Freescale talks i.MX6 Dual-core and Quad-core
- Nvidia talks Quad-core, in products in August
- ST-Ericsson talks ARM Cortex-A15 and NovaThor
- Broadcom announced ARM Cortex-A15 project

5. HSPA+ and LTE platforms launched
- ST-Ericsson launched Thor HSPA+ and Thor LTE platforms
- Verizon showcased LTE, many of the new phones about to support this.
- Novatel Wireless launched LTE Mifi

Google Android pins collectors, slides and a flash mob at Mobile World Congress 2011

Posted by – February 22, 2011

Google’s booth at Mobile World Congress was the most action packed, they generated a craze in people collecting Android pins that were spread all over the trade show, many people tried to get as many of the Android pins as possible, on the last day of the show, many people were going crazy exchanging them.

Android Native Code SDK for advanced Game Development

Posted by – February 22, 2011

HyperDevBox is a development company based in Tokyo Japan, developing games exclusively for Android. They are presenting Spectral Souls for Android, the first tactical RPG game for Android and explaining how the Android Native SDK is being used to run native C or C++ code, there is no Java code at all in the game.

Mobile Multi Display system by UMIC-RWTH of Aachen University

Posted by – February 22, 2011

Combine many tablets and smartphones into one big touchscreen. In this demo, 3 iPhones and 2 iPads are combined into one big touch screen. Any other Android smartphone or tablet can also be used. You can find more informations here: graphics.rwth-aachen.de

Metrogroup shows app for retail orders, NFC for supermarkets

Posted by – February 22, 2011

Basically, if you have a store, restaurant, hotel, you can use this smartphone app to order more stuff automatically.