Published on February 28 2013

At MWC 2013, Samsung Electronics expects to release its first smartphone running on the Tizen mobile operating system in July or August, CNET has learned.

Tizen operating system is jointly developed by Tizen foundation, Samsung and Intel.. Tizen is just one of many emerging mobile operating system to make a splash at MWC. Before that, Mozilla held its press conference, and smartphones running on its Firefox OS have begun popping up at the show.

Samsung will release its first Tizen smartphone in July 2013

The handsets that run on Tizen operating system will be able to run the apps designed for Samsung’s Bada operating system. Samsung will completely stop the selling of Bada OS smartphones after releasing the Tizen handsets.

Bada operating system devices cannot be upgraded to Tizen. But there is hope that since Tizen is an open source OS, it offers mobile carriers a chance to embrace an open operating system that it can customize to better directly serve its subscribers. But it will be interesting to see whether Tizen operating system can become as popular as Android operating system.

For Samsung, it offers a way to diversify its smartphone lineup, allowing it to maintain its multi-OS strategy. Alongside Android, Samsung is also a key partner to Microsoft with Windows Phone 8. But Samsung doesn't share the same interest in Mozilla's Firefox OS, according to a high-level Samsung executive.

Samsung may be releasing the Tizen OS phone in countries like India. Indian markets are dominated by Nokia mobile handsets. Recently Samsung released REX series of mobile handsets to compete with Nokia Asha series handsets. REX series uses open Java platform and this cannot substitute Android platform. Tizen operating system may be tried to tap lower end mobile markets of countries like India.

Smartphones running on Tizen, which is based on Linux and embraces HTML5, is supposed to launch commercially by the end of the year, an NTT Docomo executive told CNET in January.

It's also widely seen as a way for Samsung to distance itself a bit from its reliance on Google and its Android operating system. While Samsung is the No. 1 smartphone maker and Android partner, it still leans heavily on Google for software updates.

But Samsung and Google still maintain a good partnership, according to the Samsung executive.

"Everything is smooth," she said. "There's a lot of respect between the two companies."

Rerference: Samsung to Unveil Tizen OS Handsets in July 2013

Samsung to launch first Tizen smartphone as early as July

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Published on February 27 2013

As expected, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is bringing us a big batch of powerful and interesting new phones.

And below are the 5 best smartphone shown on MWC 2013

1. Asus PadFone Infinity

Announced less than 6 months after the Asus PadFone 2 launch, the PadFone Infinity is the next version of the Asus phone and tablet combo solution. While the concept remains mostly the same, it does have improvements over the older model.

For a start, the PadFone Infinity does away with the sloped edges of the older PadFones, opting for a flatter look instead. It packs a 5-inch full-HD display and comes with a quad-core 1.7GHz processor from Qualcomm.

Asus has also done away with the cheap plastic build, instead using a brushed metal finish that has a curve somewhat similar to the recently announced HTC One. We quite like how the phone feels in our hands--there are no sharp edges to dig into your palm.

If you're expecting a radical new design, look somewhere else. Asus has been refining the design elements of its PadFones since the first model and the Infinity is a testament to that. It builds on the PadFone 2 design to deliver a sleeker overall package.

Top 5 smartphones at MWC 2013

2. HTC One

Instead of just focusing on a higher megapixel count in your camera, HTC has gone for larger pixels on the CMOS sensor (about 4 square microns) instead of the 1.96 square micron pixels on the One X's 8-megapixel sensor). There's also optical image stabilization built-in, which should help with video taking.

Design-wise, the metal chassis is a nice return to the days of the HTC Sensation and the metal unibody builds of HTC's previous smartphones. We're fans of both the black and silver models and the handset feels nice in our hands. It also frames the 4.7-inch full-HD display nicely.

The new Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 1.7GHz quad-core processor should also help to keep things zipping along together with the smartphone's 2GB of RAM. It also has 32GB of onboard storage (though less after you factor in the space the Android OS takes up).

Top 5 smartphones at MWC 2013

3. Huawei Ascend P2

Like the Ascend P1, the P2 is quite the looker. Clad in a white plastic shell, Huawei has taken pains to make the handset look stylish, especially with the chrome edges. The handset also moves away from the Galaxy S II-like design aesthetic of the P1 and loses the "chin" found at the bottom half of the handset.

Hardware-wise, the smartphone packs a 1.5GHz quad-core processor and, as with most high-end devices running Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), we didn't feel any of the sluggishness that usually happens with Huawei's handsets. The 4.7-inch "infinity edge" display sports a 1,280 x 720-pixel resolution, and colors looked vibrant on the screen. There's also a large 2,420mAh battery that should keep the phone chugging along the entire day.

Top 5 smartphones at MWC 2013

4. LG Optimus G Pro

LG's Optimus G Pro seems targeted at a very specific market: Fans of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

Like its competitor handset, the G Pro comes packing a 5.5-inch 1080p display, but goes with an IPS screen instead of the AMOLED version found on the Galaxy Note 2. It also sports a higher resolution, but let's be honest here, our tests with the HTC Butterfly show that there's really no visible difference.

As a high-end device meant to compete with the Note 2, the LG phablet packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core 1.7GHz processor, which seems to deliver quite a snappy experience when we tried it out.

It also packs 32GB of onboard storage, and has a microSD card for more space should you run out.

Top 5 smartphones at MWC 2013

5. NEC Medias W N-05E

Announced for the Japanese market last month, NEC's Medias W N-05E is the odd phone out in our roundup. Instead of just one display, the Android 4.1-powered Medias W sports twin 4.3-inch qHD (960 x 540 pixels) displays. (We're reminded of the YotaPhone, which has one LCD screen and an e-ink display on the other side.) The handset folds outward in half, so that it keeps a compact form factor.

To save power, one display turns off when the other is in use. The panels work in either mirror or dual-display mode, depending on the app. For example, you can share videos with a friend by folding the phone into a tent (like the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga), or use one screen as a giant QWERTY keyboard when composing emails.

The NEC Medias W packs a dual-core 1.5GHz processor and 1GB of RAM, and also sports an 8.1-megapixel camera. It runs on a 2,100mAh battery, which may not be able to last through the day if you're connected to LTE and using both displays all the time.

Top 5 smartphones at MWC 2013

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Published on February 26 2013

There is good news that the long awaiting Sasmsung Galaxy S IV will be unveiled March 14 at a New York event said by Samsung on Februray 25.

"We introduced the Galaxy S III in London last year, and this time we changed the venue (to New York)... as we were bombarded with requests from U.S. mobile carriers to unveil the Galaxy S IV in the country," Reuters quoted Samsung Electronics' mobile division chief JK Shin as saying on the Edaily news website."

The Galaxy S4 release will be the first U.S. launch of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy smartphone in three years, the report has added.

Samsung confirms Galaxy S IV March 14 release

Equipped with Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2, the phone will reportedly offer an eight-core Exynos processor and a separate graphics processing chip. With a 4.99-inch SuperAmoled display, the S4 would reportedly come with 2GB of memory, a 13-megapixel rear camera with 1080p video capability, and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera.

Below is a full list of of expected features and specs of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S4:

- A 4.99-inch Full-HD SoLux Display

- Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean

- Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor (1.9 Ghz)

- 2 GB RAM

- Storage capacity of 16, 32 and 64 GB

- A 13 Megapixel camera with Orb camera technology (1080p video capability)

- A 2 megapixel front-facing camera

- Dimensions of 140.1 x 71.8 x 7.7mm

- 138 gram weight

- Home button with touch buttons

- Plastic back with aluminium sides

- Removable battery

- Black and White color options

Reference: Samsung Galaxy S4 March 14 Release Date Confirmed

Samsung invite confirms Galaxy S4 March 14 launch event

Samsung Galaxy S IV coming March 14

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Published on February 23 2013

Google's augmented reality specs are ahead of schedule. Are you ready to get yourself fitted for a set?

Google has reportedly confirmed that the Google Glass AR specs will be available for the public to buy sometime during 2013.

Regular people will be able to purchase Google Glass eyewear by the end of 2013 for less than $1,500, sources have confirmed to CNET.

Google originally targeted 2014 for a consumer release when it revealed Project Glass last year, but the time frame has seemingly sped up in recent months, what with developer hackathons in San Francisco and New York and this week's announcement that people looking to put Glass to creative use could go through an application process to preorder the augmented reality specs for $1,500.

Google Glass is confirmed to arrive in 2013 under $1500

The company also launched a new site promoting Glass that featured the below video of the new wearable tech in action.

The advancement of Google Glass also seems to coincide with recent rumors that the company is planning to open retail stores, presumably where consumers could get more familiar with products like Glass, and comfortable with the idea of wearing the funky rims on their face.

CNET has also been able to confirm that Glass will be able to connect via Bluetooth to both Android phones and the iPhone. Glass can pull down data from wifi or use the 3G or 4G feed from a connected phone, but it won't have its own cellular radio.

The Verge's Joshua Topolsky tried out Google Glass at the company's New York headquarters recently and reports that what is shown in the below promotional video is "nearly identical" to the actual user experience. In his review, he notes that the voice control on Glass isn't yet perfect and that slow data connections can quickly render the device useless.

Google says they plan to issue monthly updates to early users to refine the experience in the beginning.

Reference: Confirmed: Google Glass arrives in 2013, and under $1,500

Google Glass 'confirmed' for 2013 release, let the Christmas rush begin

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Published on February 22 2013

Google today unveiled its the very first Chrome OS laptop named Chromebook Pixel, a laptop that brings together the best in hardware, software, and design to inspire future innovation. It's unmistakably a premium product. It also just so happens to be aiming directly at Apple's MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

Google announces Chromebook Pixel

The 12.85-inch, 2,560x1,700-pixel display has a taller-than-usual 3:2 aspect ratio, which offers more vertical screen space than today's typical laptops. It's covered with a layer of Gorilla Glass for protection and has an unusually high 400-nit brightness.

The linear resolution of 239 pixels per inch means it edges past the 13-inch MacBook Pro's Retina Display at 227ppi, making fonts smooth and graphics sharp. As with Retina Display devices, though, a lot of software and Web pages must be updated before graphics will look their best, but text is a pleasure, and going back to ordinary-resolution displays is no fun.

While it's a hair thicker than the MacBook Air, it shares many of the design elements that Apple popularized there, too: invisible speakers that fire upwards through the keyboard, vents hidden in the hinge, and a very thin yet responsive LED-backlit rack of keys custom-made for the machine.

For the first time in a Chromebook, specs have been seriously improved: with a Core i5 processor — rather than an ARM or Intel Atom chip — as well as Intel HD 4000 graphics and 4GB of RAM, this Chromebook should have a similar amount of performance to existing Windows ultrabooks. Google says it can play multiple 1080p MP4 videos simultaneously. Therefore, you need to make sure the videos you want to play on Chromebook Pixel is in 1080P MP4 files, otherwise, you will need a Video Converter or Mac Video Converter to convert videos to 1080P MP4 for Chrome Pixel on Windows and Mac.

Unfortunately, that processing power and the high-res screen means lower battery life: the company quotes a five-hour runtime. Like other Chromebooks, the Pixel still has a fairly sparse array of ports, with two USB 2.0 jacks, a Mini DisplayPort, a combo 3.5mm headset jack, and an SD card slot. There's dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, and a 720p webcam flanked by dual microphones up top.

While it admittedly doesn't have the same software ecosystem as a Windows ultrabook, Google says developers are on board, showing a new UI for photography website 500px, and a version of Quickoffice that will let you open Word and Excel documents natively in a web browser. The company also demoed a new Google+ app that should arrive in a few weeks: it allows Chromebooks to take photos right off an SD card and upload them directly to Google Drive

Google will ship two versions of the Pixel, one with Wi-Fi only and one with an integrated Verizon LTE modem. You'll be able to purchase a unlimited day pass, or add the Pixel to a existing Verizon shared data plan for $10 a month.

The Wi-Fi model will come with 32GB of storage, and is on sale today for $1,299 in the United States and £1,049 in the UK. It will ship next week. The LTE model will have 64GB of storage for $1,449 in early April. Google's also including a full 1TB of Google Drive storage, per user, for three years, in the Chromebook Pixel's price.

Like we wrote in the beginning, the Chromebook Pixel is clearly a premium laptop, but that's also an incredibly steep price for a device that primarily runs just the web and web applications on a relatively new OS... particularly when it also has a screen with an unfamiliar resolution and aspect ratio that developers will need to target. When you can get a similarly premium laptop that does far more in the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display for $1,499, it could be a hard sell.

Chrome boss Sundar Pichai defended the laptop's unique screen as a bet on the future. "Everyone needs to accomodate to high-res screens and touch... we have an opinion on that and are putting it out there."

Why so expensive, though? "For a user who lives in the cloud, what is the best computing experience we can design?" That's the question Pichai says the Pixel team asked of itself. "We want to provide an option for those who demand premium hardware, those who are writing the next generation of applications," he said.

"I think people want to live in this world."

Reference: Google Introduces the Chromebook Pixel to Compete With the MacBook Air

Google announces Chromebook Pixel: a premium Chrome OS laptop shipping next week for $1,299

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