Mobile Devices

LG Intros G Pad II 10.1

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LG previews a tablet offering set to make an IFA 2015 appearance-- the G Pad II 10.1, a 10-.1-inch Android tablet featuring a 1920x1200 resolution display and a 2.26GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU.

LG G PaDFurther specifications include 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage (expandable via microSD slot), 5MP rear-/2MP front-facing cameras and a 7400mAH battery, all inside "soft metallic finish" casing. Connectivity comes through wifi and LTE.

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Ex-HTC, Apple Staff Get into Hardware

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Nextbit, a small mobile software startup founded by ex-HTC, Apple, Google and Amazon employees, plans to move into the mobile hardware business with a "provocative design" setting apart from the competition, Re/code reports.

Nextbit Baton“We want to set this off as something different,” former HTC design chief Scott Croyle tells Re/code. “We don’t have to be for everybody.”

Currently Nextbit is working on a transfer service called Baton-- a Handoff-style service allowing users to save and move work on apps running on different devices. The service requires preinstallation by device makers (rather than downloading by users), and so far has a partnership with CyanogenMod.

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Samsung Intros Galaxy Tab S2

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Samsung announces the Galaxy Tab S2-- a tablet in either 9.7- or 8-inch sizes featuring what the company describes as "the thinnest and lightest metal frame of its size on the market."

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2For the record, the tablet is 5.6mm thick and weighs 389g in its 9.7-inch form and 265g in 8-inch. Both variants are otherwise identical, having 2048x1536 resolution Super AMOLED displays and an octacore application processor combining quad 1.9GHz + quad 1.3GHz processors.

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Samsung Patents Fat-Measuring Phone

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Will health-related functionality be the killer app in the next generation of mobile devices? Samsung certainly hopes that will be the case as it patents a means of measuring body fat through smartphone sensors.

Samsung fat sensorThe patent, named "Method and Apparatus for Measuring Body Fat Using Mobile Device," describes a number of different sensors the company can integrate in devices. One is similar to the heart rate sensors already found in a number of Samsung smartphones (one simply holds a finger over the sensor to get a reading), while another involves gripping the device with both hands and moving one's arms up and down.

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Mobile Processors Reach 10 Cores

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MediaTek announces an industry first with the Helio X20, a system-on-a-chip (SoC) for smartphone and tablet use packing 10 cores on a single die, all connected with the so-called MediaTek Coherent System Interconnect (MCSI).

Helio X20The 10 cores are arranged in 3 clusters-- two Cortex-A725 cores clocked at 2.5GHz, four Cortex-A53s clocked at 2GHz and four Cortex-A53s clocked at 1.4GHz. The arrangement is compared to a car with 3 gears allowing for fuel efficiency across different terrains, since the low-power cores can handle non-demanding tasks while the 2.5GHz cluster takes care of bigger jobs.

The company also says the grouping allows for power savings of up to 30% off a standard ARM "big.little" implementation.

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