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Meizu has changed the name of its unreleased but already notorious iPhone imitation to the miniOne and narrowed down its release date, explorers of the company's forum have discovered. Once known as the M8, the Chinese phone is extremely close in style and features to Apple's device but shows clear differences in a new set of photos revealed at the same time as the name change. Where the iPhone has polished metal only around the front border and uses scratch-proof aluminum for the back, the Meizu clone opts for the chrome-effect surface across all but the very front.
Significantly, the phone is now being prepared for a launch in the fourth quarter of this year, arriving just a few months before its inspiration. Click through the break for the newest photo set. [via Meizu Me]
Garmin has quietly slipped out word of the zumo 400. The GPS unit is targeted at motorcyclists who need a basic mapping unit toughened against the shocks and splashes more prevalent in open-air riding. The 3.5-inch touchscreen is deliberately treated for visibility in direct sunlight and has interface touches that help riders keep an eye on the road, such as a virtual fuel gauge that can remind a driver to refuel during an especially long trip. Akin to other GPS units in the class, the zumo 400 relies on SD cards both for maps and as a drag-and-drop media player for JPEG photos and MP3 tracks. A replaceable lithium-ion battery lets the receiver operate free of motorcycle power for three hours.
Bluetooth headsets let people drive without always holding a cellphone, but this can become problematic when needing to show caller ID, or dial a new number; Nokia is filling the gap with the CK-15W, a display that mounts to car's dashboard. The screen is 2.2 inches, and lets users browse and select calls and contacts using a separate input device. Buttons are also present for adjusting volume, or accepting and declining incoming conversations. Users can personalize the display with their own colors and themes, and it should be compatible with a variety of Nokia phones. The CK-15W should ship to Europe in the first quarter for €180 ($233).
Shuttle on Tuesday launched the P2 3700W, a PC it boasts as the world's first-ever quad-core small form factor workstation. The breadbox-sized case is the first of its kind to use Intel's newer Xeon processor, revolving around a 2.13GHz Xeon X3210 instead of the 3700 series' more conventional Core 2 Duo processors. Its graphics and storage are also matched to 3D modeling and other professional jobs, Shuttle says. Up to a maximum of 2.2TB of hard disk space can be installed spread across three drives, and up to 8GB of ECC memory can be installed for those who choose the 64-bit edition of Windows Vista Business. Workstation-level graphics in the form of ATI's FireGL or NVIDIA's Quadro cards are also part of the base model.
The P2 3700W launches immediately with a basic version set at $1,649 using Windows Vista Business; a stripped-down version known as the n-P2 3700W is also on sale without any operating system but the same level of performance.
Shipping this year is the T5300 series of wireless headsets by Jabra. Unlike most headsets, the 5300s are not meant to be used with cellphones: the T5330 is built for office landlines, while the T5320 pairs with VoIP phones. Both use Bluetooth 1.2, providing a standard range of 33 feet, and can be charged with an included cradle for up to four hours of talk time and 60 hours of standby. Speech is processed through an onboard DSP processor, and further enhanced by acoustic shock protection that prevents loud, potentially harmful noise bursts. Plugging a headset into a cradle will automatically switch control back to the handset. The 5330 is available today for $149, with the 5320 coming in the second quarter at the same cost.
General Electrics today revealed its General Imaging brand, representing the company's very first entry into digital cameras. Co-founded by Takeyoshi Kawano, who helped design Sony's iconic VAIO and Walkman lines, GI hopes to focus primarily on higher-quality designer cameras: every model will ship with high ISO ratings, image stabilization, and a stitch mode for creating panoramas, the company says.
Early specifications and photos are available after the jump.
Having previously limited itself to music-only players, Britain's Ministry of Sound today introduced the MOSMP100X10, its first video-capable player. The handheld is overtly built for videos and is scarcely larger than its 3.5-inch QVGA screen at 3.3 inches long and 0.6 inches thick. In spite of its size, however, the Ministry's device still contains a live recording feature: line-in jacks for audio and video will capture the input to SD cards. A 1GB card is included and will hold either six hours of audio or four hours of video at full quality. Pre-recorded MP3 music or MP4 videos are supported alongside their Windows Media equivalents.
As has been the case for its past players, the music label has preloaded the MP100X10 with its own content: a 15th-anniversary video as well as ten songs are already included with the shipping model. It should be available now for £150 ($292). [via Tech Digest]
AT&T has officially confirmed the launch details of its latest BlackBerry device. The just-announced BlackBerry 8800 is now due to ship to the provider under the Cingular name on February 21st, just over a week its formal introduction. The new 8800 will be functionally close to the reference model but will ship with a special navy blue shell and a custom-colored interface to reflect the American carrier's color scheme.
AT&T expects to ship the phone for $300 when combined with a two-year service plan and a rebate. A custom GPS navigation tool from TeleNav will also be an option for an extra $6 per month, the company said. A Canadian launch with Rogers has yet to be revealed.
Previously announced at the Consumer Electronics Show, iRiver has officially launched the Clix 2 in Korea, where it retains the original Clix name. The primary feature of the player remains the energy-saving AMOLED screen, but it also appears supports Flash games, and the unreleased top-end model will hold 8GB rather than just six. Video playback is said to have been improved to 30fps. The 2GB player is on sale for 159,000 won ($170), while the 4GB model is going for 199,000 ($212).
The upcoming iPhone poses no immediate threat to Symbian's dominance of the cellphone world, the company's CEO said at a press conference during the 3GSM expo today in Barcelona. Speaking to journalists gathered at the event, Symbian chief Nigel Clifford was optimistic about the Apple device as a potential catalyst for the company's already booming sales, potentially reversing North American stereotypes of smartphones as having only specific uses.
"This could educate the American consumer that there is more that you can do with a phone than treat it as an email device," Clifford hoped.
ASUS is using 3GSM to announce its first smartphones with Windows Mobile 6 -- click through for a gallery. While little is known about the Aries, the P526 appears to be based on the P525, and some data has been released for the business-oriented P735. The phone is a tri-band GSM model with 2,100MHz UMTS broadband, and Bluetooth 2.0 wireless, which can be used to remotely control Powerpoint presentations while browsing footnotes. Business cards can be scanned with a two-megapixel camera. Music playback supports MP3, WMA and AAC/AAC+ files, which can be stored locally or streamed online. No prices or release dates have been discussed. [via Gear Diary]
Following up on its earlier claims, the Canadian firm D-Wave announced today that it has successfully demonstrated the world's first commercially available quantum computer. The company used the still unnamed chip to match patterns in a database, proving that the already controversial development was truly functional. The breakthrough was reportedly accomplished by merging the principles of quantum mechanics with a more conventional semiconductor design that jumps the hurdles associated with the exotic approach to physics.
While one hacker was able to break the DRM on select Blu-Ray and HD DVD discs, another hacker now claims to have defeated HD movie encryption entirely. Writing in the Doom9 forums, "arnezami" says he has uncovered the processing key behind AACS, the protection scheme used in both Blu-Ray and HD DVD. As a result any HD movie should be unlockable without first having to locate the volume key for a particular title. The news could prove enormously disappointing for the movie and electronics industries, which together spent millions of dollars attempting to prevent the piracy currently rampant with standard DVDs.
T-Mobile has announced it is carrying the Samsung SGH-t329, also known as the Stripe for its two-tone color scheme and its long, white-on-black external display. It's a tri-band GSM model, and generally aimed at a low-cost demographic: there is no broadband or web browsing on the phone, and the internal display runs at 128x160 in 65,000 colors. The phone does however support SMS, EMS and MMS messaging, as well as instant messaging through AIM, ICQ or Yahoo. Bluetooth and a VGA camera are also present. The Stripe is currently available for $150 without a contract, or as little as $50 with a monthly T-Mobile plan.
HTC has used its presence at Barcelona's 3GSM to officially launch two of its most hotly-anticipated phones. The S710 (pictured), also known as the Vox, is the company's first true stealth phone. Operable as a traditional keypad-only phone while closed, the handset slides open to reveal a full keyboard for typing in a landscape mode on its 2.4-inch LCD. Bluetooth 2.0, EDGE, and Wi-Fi will be standard, HTC says. An official launch of the Windows Mobile 6 phone is planned for Europe in the first half of this year, but should be accompanied by a wider US launch during the year courtesy of quad-band GSM.
Photos and details of the Advantage can be found after the break.
In an unusual strategy, i-mate's new Ultimate line (the 5150, 6150, 7150, 8150 and 9150) offers the same specifications across the board, but in different form factors with different levels of control: the 5150 is a slider phone, for instance, while the 7150 has a widescreen display and a full QWERTY keyboard. Click below to see all five models. Inside each unit is a 520MHz Intel processor with 128MB of RAM, running Microsoft's new Windows Mobile 6; connections are plentiful meanwhile, supporting quad-band GSM/EDGE, tri-band UMTS/HSDPA, and wireless in the shape of Bluetooth 2.0 and 802.11b/g/e/i. Storage includes 256MB of ROM and a microSD card slot. Other highlights are touchscreens, FM tuners, and two-megapixel cameras. The Ultimate line should roll out gradually starting in the middle of the year. [via the unwired]
A company founded by some of the pioneers of digital music players hopes to shake up the industry with a new device, Wired has learned. Former heads of Rio PMP 300 creator Diamond Multimedia, music software firm Musicmatch, and iRiver have together established a new startup company named Broadband Instruments with the intent of producing a next-generation music device. While the company is officially in "secret mode" and has chosen to reveal little about the player, wireless functions are expected to be central to the device and will let it tap into social networks, online radio, and music sharing. The key is said to be the disassociation of music players from host computers, which are normally essential for loading music.
"Traditional USB connections will (only) play a minor role in getting content to your device," the company said.
i-mate has contributed to the raft of 3GSM announcements by updating its own line. Leading its updates is the JAQ4. A quick follow-up to the JAQ3 already enroute to the US, the fourth edition of the phone adopts a more conservative shape but in doing so gains a larger and more comfortable keyboard. The update is more than ergonomic, i-mate notes. The 2-megapixel camera is now more intelligent, supporting both auto-focus and a rare macro mode for closer shots. Battery life has also been extended by a full hour to a total of five. The JAQ4 will also be the company's first Windows Mobile 6 device and should take advantage of the improved browsing speed with the EDGE and Wi-Fi carried over from the previous phone.
An official release date and price are still pending. Nevertheless, the presence of a quad-band GSM radio and its predecessor's recent introduction to the US should ensure an American release later this year. Click through for profile photos.
Microsoft at 3GSM surprised many by introducing PlayReady, the company's third copy protection format after Windows Media and the Zune's proprietary standard. The scheme is intended for cellphones as well as other handhelds and extends playback options past earlier formats: in addition to permanent copies and subscriptions, files can be set as rental, pay-per-view, or cleared for "super-distribution," according to Microsoft.
Crucially, however, the company revealed that PlayReady is its first DRM implementation to be independent of its own file types. While Windows Media music and video are still guarded, the same protection can apply to multiple AAC formats, H.264 video, and even rarely protected mobile content such as wallpapers or games. Every PlayReady device will still support Windows Media 10 protection for other stores.
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