Latest Galaxy Beams at MWC 2012

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Samsung refreshes the projector-phone combo at Mobile World Congress 2012 with the Galaxy Beam-- an Android 2.3 handset packing a built-in pico projector.

galaxy beamThe most interesting feature, of course, is the projector-- a TI DLP number offering images nHD resolution (640x360) with 15 lumens of brightness, with projected image width of up to 130cm (50-inches).

Inside the phone is a 1GHz dual-core processor, 8GB of built-in storage and 4" WVGA display. Powering all is a 2000mAh battery, which Samsung says should provide up to 3 hours of continuous projector use on a single charge. It is also not too thick, at just 12.5mm.

Samsung also promises docks (stabilising the phone and boosting sound) should be available "in select markets" sometime in Q2 2012-- once the Galaxy Beam hits the market.

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Nokia Crams 41MP in Smartphone Camera

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Nokia promises a mobile photography "revolution" with the Nokia 808 PureView-- a smartphone carrying an impressive 41MP sensor (via PureView pixel oversampling technology) together with Carl Zeiss optics.

Nokia 808PureView technology uses "oversampling"-- taking image data from 7 neighbouring pixels and combining it into one pixel to generate a single 2/3, 5 or 8MP image (technically not 41MP, but still impressive for a mobile device).

The chunky camera module measures nearly 1cm (in width, height and depth), offering "superior" low-light performance and 1080p video recording. Nokia also insists the optics (a co-development between Nokia and Carl Zeiss) are some of the best in the smartphone arena.

As for the device itself... the 4" display handles nHD (640x360) resolutions, while inside are a 1.3GHz single-core processor and 512MB of RAM. The choice of OS baffles, being the latest Symbian iteration (Belle) rather than Windows Phone.

Nokia says it would be "reasonable to expect" PureView technology to appear on other phones. Meanwhile the photography enthusiasts among your customers will be able to pick up the 808 PureView soon enough.

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Android Smartphone as Universal Remote

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Lumigon reveals the T2 at Mobile World Congress 2012-- a stylish-looking Android smartphone with an integrated IR remote control and built-in learn functions, making it a universal remote replacement.

Lumigon T2Programming the T2's remote control function is apparently as simple as pointing an IR remote at the top of the phone and pressing a button. Lumigon says it even allows gesture-based controls.

The phone carries a 1.4GHz processor, 8MP camera and Bang & Olufsen ICEpower sound. Above the 3.8" display is an "activity button," which Lumigon says users can program to handle shortcuts (such as turning a TV on/off, control the LED flashlight or speed-dial) without unlocking the phone. Android 4.0 powers the device.

The Lumigon T2 should hit select European markets sometime during H2 2012.

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Sony-Branded Smartphones at MWC 2012

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Sony has its first "solo" Mobile World Conference appearance this year, with new Sony branded smartphones-- the Xperia NXT series S, P and U.

Sony XperiaPreviously seen at CES 2012, the Xperia S is the higher end model. It has a 4.3" 720p display using "WhiteMagic" technology (supposedly making the display more power efficient and readable in sunlight), together with a 1.5GHz dual-core processor. It runs on Sony-themed Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), and has a sleek form factor reminiscent of the Bravia TV line.

The Xperia P is the "middle" model, packing a 4" WhiteMagic display inside an aluminium unibody. It also has an 8MP camera and a dual-core processor, and runs on the same Sony-themed Android version as the Xperia S.

On the other hand the Xperia U appears ideal for media use, with xLoud and Sony 3D surround sound and DLNA-powered wireless music streaming.

All 3 models integrate with Sony Entertainment Network and carry NFC and HDMI connectivity. A separate SmartDock accessory allows display mirroring on HDTVs, as well as the connection of either mouse or keyboard.

The Xperia S ships now, while the P and U should be available by Q2 2012.

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Smartphones Turn into Desktops via Linux

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Canonical plans to provide Android smartphones with a desktop-style OS with Ubuntu for Android-- a hardware dock and software combination aiming at first-PC customers and enterprise use.

Ubuntu for AndroidThe idea is similar to the Motorola Atrix, which used the Motorla Webtop OS and the hardware Lapdock. However Canonical pushes the concept even further by having the phone switch to a different OS (ARM Linux) when docked via HDMI and USB ports.

Canonical says it will take advantage of current smartphones (with multi-core processors and fast 4G connections). The Ubuntu OS will share kernel with Android, meaning it will run the same apps and access the same data (such as contact lists) inside the phone.

The dock also connects to a monitor, keyboard and mouse-- but no details are yet available on who is manufacturing compatible docks, or eventual costs.

The project is still in its infancy, as Canonical says phone manufacturers need to pre-load Ubuntu for Android in their phones-- devices Canonical says will be available by late 2012 (with no mention of models or manufacturers either). Still the idea has a lot of potential, especially with companies like Citrix, VMWare and Adobe already supporting Ubuntu.

Go Ubuntu for Android