With Mobile World Congress already on the horizon, it’s hardly a shock to see a new batch of smartphone leaks and rumors starting to make the rounds. HTC never fares well when it comes to keeping their new devices a secret, and today may be no different — the ever-listening Evleaks seems to have come through with new details on HTC’s forthcoming flagship, the Jelly Bean-powered M7.
Contrary to an earlier report from HTC Source, the M7 could sport a smaller 4.7-inch “SoLux” display instead of the 5-inch Super LCD2 panel that debuted on the J Butterfly and its U.S. cousin the Droid DNA. HTC doesn’t seem to be shying away from full HD though — the M7’s screen is still said to run at 1080p, which makes for an astonishing pixel density of 468ppi (the iPhone 5’s display comes in at 326ppi, while the Droid DNA’s 440ppi screen slips to second place).
Of course, pixel density isn’t all that goes into making a truly great display — the DNA had a mostly wonderful screen, but it sadly fell short when it came to overall brightness. Thankfully, Evleaks also notes that the so-called M7’s SoLux display also bolsters “viewing angles, outdoor visibility, and color accuracy,” which could go a long way in making the M7 the Android phone to own (for a while, at least). Meanwhile, a 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm chipset is said to be running the show, along with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage — there’s no word on expandable memory yet, though I’ve got my fingers crossed that carriers won’t step in and make any questionable decisions.
Speaking of carriers, the juiciest new tidbit is also the most curious. Evleaks notes that the M7 will eventually find its way onto Verizon and Sprint’s store shelves after its international release (said to take place in Q1, remember?), and alludes to the possibility that the handset will be the first HTC device to be offered by each of the Big 4 U.S. wireless carriers in a long time. That may well be the case (I certainly hope it is), but some of these carriers tend to impose more dramatic changes of design than others, and the end result could be a device that falls short of the standard set by the international model and its all its inevitable variants.
BMW is out with a new type of steering wheel called M Performance Sport Steering Wheel. This wheel is a High-Grip Alcantara wheel, which has a small OLED Display embedded at 12o”clock and two LED meters on the either side. Which offers whole bunch of data while keeping your focus on the road. Read More: t.coRelated Posts:
Extra information when driving can be useful, but also distracting. Enter BMW‘s new M Performance sport steering wheel — which offers a whole bunch of data and information while letting you keep your eyes (mostly) on the road. Essentially it’s a high-grip Alcantara wheel, with a small OLED display at 12 o’clock, and two LED meters on either side. There are three readout modes: EfficientDynamics, Sport and Race. The former will tell you average fuel consumption, speed as well as oil and water temperature. Sport mode will tell you lateral g-force data (that cleverly remains on the display until you bring the wheel back to its neutral position) while the LED strips provide cues for gear shifts. Like to take things out on the track? Lap times, with section splits, and even a drag-style Christmas tree mode will help you get those times down. How much for this king of steering wheels? A racy $ 1,700. Speed past the break for a video of the goods in action.
Filed under: Transportation
I don’t know too many people who would look at the Galaxy Note and its 5.3 inch display and say “y’know, it would be great if this thing was just a little bigger,” and I now I know why. As it turns out, those people live in Korea, work for Samsung, and may have decided just that.
According to their usual unnamed sources, Korea’s MK Business News reports that Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 will sport an even larger 5.5-inch display when its unveiled at Germany’s IFA 2012 trade show in August.
Naturally, the display isn’t all they’re said to be upgrading here. The next-gen Galaxy Note is also rumored to pack an unspecified quad-core processor (most likely an Exynos 4 Quad), and a 12 or 13 megapixel camera around the back instead of the 8 megapixel shooter as seen in the original. To top it all off, it’s said to run on Google’s newly-revealed Jelly Bean version of Android, though it’s unclear at this point how the company will be tweaking their UI to account for Jelly Bean’s new features.
So how much of a handful is thing going to be? Well, while the display has been stretched out a bit, the device itself isn’t expected to be significantly larger than the current Galaxy Note. Frankly, this seems like both a blessing and a curse — users who can comfortably wrap their mitts around the original model should do just fine, but that slightly larger display may make one-handed operation even less feasible than before.
Now I’m all for pushing limits and whatnot, but this just begs an obvious question: how big is too big? Most tablet manufacturers are loath to dip below the 7-inch barrier, and if this report holds true then Samsung is eagerly chipping away at the other side of that limit. Samsung’s success with the Galaxy Note has also prompted companies like LG to take up the super-sized phone challenge, so it’s very possible that phone screen sizes haven’t topped out just yet.Related Posts:
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Living in Seattle, you tend to find yourself in the company of tech people all the time. With Microsoft, Amazon, Adobe, Google, and a dozen other major companies established in the area, it’s never a surprise when you find out the guy next to you at the bar is working on Windows Phone 8 or Half-Life 3. This week, I was lucky enough to get a chance to see what Amazon has cooking for its next generation of e-readers. Their new offices and the mysterious Lab 126 are just down the street, after all, so I’m actually surprised it hasn’t happened before now.
Back in November, I speculated that the new Kindles and Nooks and what have yous might have glowing screens, the likes of which we’ve seen occasionally but were never fully implemented. It turns out Amazon was thinking the same thing, and actually bought a company that was, I am told, the world leader in light-guide technology. They’ve finally gotten it to the point where it’s ready to be released, and a new generation of glowing Kindles will be coming our way sometime this year.
Incidentally, that acquisition doesn’t appear to have ever been reported, so although it happened in late 2010, this is the first anyone has heard of it. The company, Oy Modilis, was founded in 1991 in Helsinki, and has a number of patents relating to this sort of thing. This one, for instance, seems to cover the type of lighting technology used in the new Kindle.
The device I saw was crudely camouflaged in a sort of cardboard enclosure, but the screen was clearly visible. With a tap, a slider popped up on the screen, and as it was dragged to the right, the screen lit up evenly with a rather cool light. In the dark, it was plainly noticeable as a glow, and in uneven light — say, shade or a shuttered room — the slight illumination made the screen much more readable. At full blast it was definitely projecting some light (technically speaking it was reflecting it), but it was still a soft glow and not the harsh flashlight of a backlit LCD.
I commented on the temperature of the light — it was that blue-white glow found in uncorrected white LEDs, not the warm light on off-white that most people associate with books by lamplight. But, of course, the e-ink screen is in fact grey and dark grey, not black on off-white, as paper is, so a cooler light may actually work better. At any rate, they are apparently sensitive to these issues and looking into it. I thought that the text looked better as well, but it’s possible that this was the result of improved font rendering and aliasing reduction, or perhaps something to do with the light. At any rate, it wasn’t any of the crazy new bistable displays we’ve been seeing at trade shows (alas).
As for the shape of the device, it was impossible to tell, wrapped as it was in its little cardboard box. But the size appears the same, and the whole point of purchasing the light-guide company was to get the team and their patents, which essentially laminate the light diffusion layer right onto the screen without adding much in the way of depth or interfering with the touch system. I was told the industrial design isn’t finished yet, but I ruled out things like ruggedness, waterproofing, or a flush-front screen — all things, by the way, I suggested they look into. It shouldn’t be any thicker, though it will have to accommodate the LED circuitry and presumably a larger battery.
The current crop of e-readers is, as I recently lamented, both troublingly homogenous and still not good enough for paper-lovers like myself. The new Kindle doesn’t look like it’s going to address all of my issues with this kind of device, but the improved display will definitely set it apart from its rivals. We’ll know for sure when it comes out later this year.
[note: the top image is a concept image from Flex Lighting, not a real device]
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