Archive for September 4th, 2014

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Lenovo gets their vibe on at IFA

IMG_2110Today we were fortunate enough to be guests at Lenovo’s IFA 2014 keynote. Lenovo are probably best known in the UK for their laptops, but they do have a tablet range that is growing in stature here and a large phone range outside the UK.

 
The press conference was hosted and kicked off Aymar De Lencquesaing, President of Lenovo EMEA and SVP in the Lenovo group.
 
It has been a year of milestones for Lenovo. In the PC business they have been overall number 1 for 12 months running (number 1 in 15 individual countries), and the gap to second place is growing, as Lenovo has nearly 20% market share. Rumours of the death of the PC have been greatly exaggerated and there is still perceived growth in the $200bn market opportunity. But as we said, Lenovo isn’t just about the PC market, they actually now ship more tablets and smartphones than PCs. Lenovo is number 3 in the worldwide tablet market and number 4 in the smartphone market, although they will get a bump to 3rd place when the Motorola acquisition completes.
 
Lenovo’s phone strategy within EMEA has specifically targeted emerging markets. They are the fastest growing mobile brand, in China they were #2 for 8 consecutive quarters, hitting number 1 in Q2 2014. 
 
As a company, Lenovo have very solid financials, with record profits and revenue in the last quarter. In EMEA revenues have increased 50% in the last quarter year on year, but as mentioned, Lenovo is changing. They are acquiring IBM System X as well as Motorola, moves that are set to close by the end of the calendar year. Of course, we are all excited about the acquisition possibilities but Lenovo can’t discuss anything with regards to strategy until it completes. With that said, the stated aim is to be number 1 in all the business in which they operate.
 
Lenovo announced 2 Smartphone devices at the IFA event, both in the existing VIBE range.
 
Jeff Meredith, head of marketing in the mobile business group, introduced the Vibe X2 and Vibe Z2, which will take their place in the range alongside the previously  announced Z2 Pro.
 
With a European RRP of €399, the Z2 was introduced first. It’s a phablet, on trend with the moves to a 5.5” screen, running Android 4.4 KitKat on top of Qualcomm quad core snapdragon (410 perhaps?) silicon. With a 13 Megapixel camera with OIS and an 8 Megapixel front camera, it should be particularly strong in the imaging department. At 158g and 7.8mm thin, it’s a pretty appealing device visually, is good to hold and feels well constructed.
 
The real event fanfare was saved for the X2 however, priced at €429 and touted as the ‘world’s first layered smartphone’. It is constructed with 3 coloured original layers and will be available in 5 colours – charcoal, gold, white, red, bamboo, with endless colour possibilities and new ‘X2 originals’ designs planned going forward.
 
The X2 packs a Mediatek True8Core LTE MTK6595, which Lenovo claim is the world’s first true Octa-Core processor. It too runs Kitkat but with a full HD 5″ screen. It weights 120g and is 7.27mm thin, with 13 Megapixel primary and 5 Megapixel secondary cameras. LTE is onboard, a must for the target market for the device.
 
As well as the ‘3 layers’ in the device already, ‘Vibe Extensions’ are additional accessories in the same style. A battery extensions adds 75% more power and a speaker layer developed with JBL also includes a useful kickstand.
 
On top of Android 4.4 sits Lenovo’s Vibe 2.0 software layer, with emphasis on user friendliness and software enhancements such as the ubiquitous selfie and beauty shot modes. Obviously.
 
Mobile done, Dilip Bhatia, VP of Marketing and Design, PC group, came on stage to introduce some new PC hardware.
 
“Lenovo has a fundamental belief that technology should adapt to the user. We observed how families behaved at home to help shape their products.” he told us, before introducing the Lenovo Horizon 2S, a 19.5” two in one tabletop PC. It can function in an all in one mode as well as a lay-flat mode. A 27″ model will also be available.
 
The device comes with 60 games and apps installed which does raise concerns of bloatware, but there do appear to be some genuinely useful additions too. The ‘Aura UI’, specifically designed for the horizontal touchscreen has a ‘spinner’ look for accessing features. A nice addition – that failed completely in the demo – allows you to take picture on a Lenovo phone, shake the phone and have it appears on the Horizon desktop, to be manipulated with multi-touch gestures.
 
Next up came one of my favourites, the Thinkpad, specifically the refreshed Helix convertible laptop for business users.
 
Lenovo pitch is as the best business class 2 in 1 in the market. It does do everything – LTE, digitiser support, tablet mode, laptop mode, desktop mode… it’s designed to meet all the requirements of not just individuals but also the IT dept.
 
A clever quick shot cover is included for use in tablet mode – simply fold down the corner of the cover, and the camera comes on ready to take a picture.
 
To finish? A quick mention of their celebrity endorsement – “Ashton Kutcher has been with us for a year now, and has a genuine stake in our new products. You’ll see the output of this soon!”
 
Posted in: Laptops, News
By September 4, 2014 Read More →

HTC annouces the Octa-core HTC Desire 820

HTC-Desire-820_Santorini-WhiteHTC have announced another big-screen device, this time with a new Octa-core Snapdragon CPU;  the HTC Desire 820.

This new device packs in quite a spec for what is deemd to be mid-range and even includes a whopping 8MP front-facing selfie cam…

HTC, a global leader in mobile innovation and design, has announced the HTC Desire 820, the successor to the popular HTC Desire 816. Powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon 615 processor, with integrated 4G LTE Cat 4 connectivity and 64-bit, multi-core CPU, this new addition to the HTC Desire family delivers content on-the-go at exceptional speeds and with stunning clarity on its 5.5” high definition screen. Sporting a premium imaging experience and powerful HTC BoomSound, the colourful, stylish HTC Desire 820 sets a new benchmark for mid-range smartphones.

“Our new HTC Desire model gives entertainment lovers exactly what they are looking for; a powerful, fast, stylish smartphone that delivers their favourite content on a big screen at a competitive price” said Peter Chou, HTC Corporation. “With the HTC Desire 820, we’ve combined the most advanced technology with the best possible entertainment experience and bold, distinctive design, to deliver a handset that is both desirable and affordable”.

 

Premium camera for stunning photos and selfies

For high quality selfies, the HTC Desire 820 features an 8MP front-facing camera, delivering impressive solo poses and effortless group shots. Enhancing the imaging experience, it also offers software that allows you to merge your features with those of a friend or celebrity for a completely original look, real time Live Makeup, which allows you to preview the image and set the desired level of skin smoothing before the image is captured and Photo Booth, where you can capture several moments in a single image.

 

Offering high-performance imaging, the phone’s rear camera, with f/2.2 aperture and a 13MP BSI sensor, captures incredible quality images in both daylight and low light, so your photos will be bursting with detail even as the sun goes down. If photography isn’t your strength, press and hold the shutter for rapid-fire and continuous shooting – ideal for capturing fast moving objects or for selecting your best image at a later date.

 

Advanced technology for ultimate performance

With the Snapdragon 615 processor, the HTC Desire 820 offers lightning-fast Cat 4 4G connectivity at speeds of up to 150mbps1. With an integrated LTE modem and the latest high performance multi-core, 64-bit processing power, entertainment lovers can revel in the ability to stream music, download films and juggle multiple social feeds or apps both smoothly and effortlessly.

Thanks to Qualcomm Technologies’ processing capabilities, with separate performance and low power clusters within the processor for managing intensive and lighter workloads, the HTC Desire 820 also operates at maximum power efficiency, ensuring you get more from your phone for longer.

Lose yourself in content

Whatever your surroundings, the HTC Desire 820 is perfect for immersing yourself in your favourite content. Whether gaming, watching TV or creating momentous video and photo sequences with Zoe™ Highlights, you’ll lose yourself in the rich, clear sound offered by the front-facing stereo speakers and two powerful, dedicated amplifiers of HTC BoomSound™. The vivid, 5.5” high definition display also puts big-screen entertainment in your pocket for the ultimate no-compromise experience.

Bold, distinctive style

In true HTC style, quality doesn’t stop at performance. Bold, bright and sleek, the newest addition to the HTC Desire range features HTC’s double shot colour technology, which allows us to create a two-tone colour unibody, that is not only perfect for reflecting both personality and style, but that also improves device quality, strength and tolerance. With distinctive colour trims around the camera, buttons and flash, the two colours merge seamlessly into one another creating a slick look that really stands out from the crowd.

Available in an array of colours2 and featuring HTC’s iconic unibody design, the robust polycarbonate device is not only stylish but also boasts the excellent build quality that has become synonymous with HTC.

Cool and convenient, the HTC Desire 820 also supports HTC’s Dot View™ case, providing instant access to your phone without opening the cover. With a range of functions from answering calls and receiving and dismissing notifications with a simple swipe, this retro style case can be customised to suit any situation, with the ability to create your own wallpaper by selecting images from your gallery or from 18 different themes.

Availability

The HTC Desire will be available in selected territories worldwide. Regional availability will be announced locally

 

HTC Desire 820 specification:

  • Screen size:     5.5 inches, 1280×720 (720p),   267 ppi
  • CPU:  Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 Octa-core 1.5 GHz & 1.0 GHz
  • RAM:     2GB
  • Storage:     16GB
  • Expansion:     MicroSD
  • Primary Camera:     13MP
  • Secondary front-facing camera:     8MP
  • Battery:     2600 mAh
  • OS:     Android 4.4 with HTC Sense 6
  • Nano SIM (dual nano SIM in some markets)
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • WiFi:     802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 + 5GHz)
  • NFC
  • Sensors:     Ambient light sensor / proximity sensor / accelerometer
  • Size:     157.7×78.74×7.74mm
  • Weight:   155 grams

 

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