The rumors of Qualcomm planning a huge reorganization were true -- and unfortunately, that means a lot of people are about to lose their jobs. The mobile chip maker has announced a "strategic realignment" plan that will see the company slash 15 percent of its full-time jobs (the company has about 30,000 total employees) as part of a bid to cut $1.4 billion in costs. It's also considering the possibility of splitting into separate businesses. That may well happen, since a hedge fund calling for the split just got spots for two of its nominees on Qualcomm's board of directors. You'll hear about the company's direction by the end of the year.
Microsoft promised that there would be a version of its entry-level Surface 3 tablet with LTE data, and it's finally here... well, almost. AT&T has announced that the cellular-equipped Windows slate will launch on July 24th for $30 per month on a 20-month Next plan ($600 total), or $400 if you buy one alongside a Lumia smartphone. This is the basic version of the Surface 3 with 64GB of storage, but that always-available internet connection will help a lot if you're just looking to check email or stream music before you get to the coffee shop. Just be prepared to perform a lengthy software upgrade after you get it -- although the Surface 3 LTE arrives mere days before the Windows 10 launch, it's still shipping with Windows 8.1.
Don't look now, but Samsung's widescreen Android tablets might be going the way of the Dodo. Tabletmonkeysclaims to have leaked images of the Galaxy Tab S2, and the high-end slate appears to be adopting the same wide, iPad-like aspect ratio as the Galaxy Tab A. In fact, it might lose size and resolution compared to the original Tab S lineup -- instead of 8.4- and 10.5-inch 2,560 x 1,600 displays, you'd be looking at 8- and 9.7-inch 2,048 x 1,536 panels. That wouldn't be so hot for your widescreen videos, but it'd be better for web browsing and anything else that benefits from portrait mode viewing.
Jolla's mobile efforts have barely begun, but it's already shaking things up by splitting into two companies. From now on, Jolla Ltd. is focused solely on developing and licensing Sailfish OS, its custom mobile platform. It's forming a new, as yet unnamed firm this summer for its hardware business, which sees demand from the pro-privacy crowd. As newly appointed CEO Antti Saarnio puts it, the division is all about establishing a "clear focus" -- Jolla believes that it'll require total concentration on software to take advantage of "large opportunities" for licensing its mobile platform.
Another year has gone by and another Sony Tablet has arrived on our desk at Coolsmartphone towers. Today I have the real pleasure of unboxing the new Xperia Z4 Tablet.
We first saw this stunning device at MWC, which we covered live. It was here that we were kinda knocked off our feet by what it was and what it could offer. I can say that it has been a very long time coming to get this device into my hands for review and I have been eager to get into it so, without further ado, lets delve in …
It is s pretty sweet looking device don’t you think?
It is a little bit smaller than the Xpeia Z2 Tablet due to the slight decrease in bezel sizes, but that is by no means a bad thing in my book. The device is lightweight and it does not feel too unwieldy. I can envisage this being a joy to use for ebook reading etc on the train. The biggest thing for me here is that keyboard. I am very surprised to say that is doesn’t totally suck, which is a nice thing to be able to say about a Bluetooth keyboard. It is a shame that it’s not back lit but then again this is very rare thing indeed.
The keys are quite small but, with a little bit of adjustment I can reach a good-ish typing speed with a slightly higher typo rate. I am actually writing this piece on the Z4 Tablet. It is no worse than a netbook..
Display Diagonal 10.1? – Scratch-resistant glass + Anti fingerprint coating
Processor/Soc Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 64-bits 8-core CPU with Adreno 430 GPU
RAM 3 GB
Internal storage 32 GB
MicroSD up to 128 GB
OS Android 5.0 Lollipop
Front Camera 5.1 MP
Rear camera 8.1 MP
Battery Capacity 6000mAh
Water resistant and dust tight (IP65 and IP68 – 1.5 m submersion)
Not a bad specs list there to be fair. There is one potential area of concern though, and that is the use of the Snapdragon 810. I have been reliably informed that the tablet is not liable to the overheating issues we’ve heard about – mainly due to the greater surface-area. Only time will tell on this one guys, and I will be keeping an eye on it.
The tablet is nice in the hand I have been able to hold it for a reasonable time without any discomfort and it sits well on the lap without taking up too much space unlike the Surface Pro 3.
I have high hopes for this machine and it may even become my replacement for my Macbook Air. That is if I can find a decent video editing and stitching app that will work on Android. We’ll have to see if I am able to achieve this, but I am looking forward to finding out.
Please come along and join me in my journey of discovery over the next few weeks.
To keep you going between now and then here are a few more pics of the tablet including some against a competitior – the Remix Ultra Tablet.
Let’s face it, this isn’t going to be the greatest thing in the world. Quad-core it may be, but in all honesty it’s going to be about as terrible as most of the 7″ Android tablets you see on eBay direct from China. It’s called the “Q8″, even though it’s got a 7″ screen. I don’t know. Perhaps “Q8″ is the manufacturer. If it is, they’ve not even bothered to give it a model name.
Coming complete with a probably terrible 800×480 pixel screen and 1GB RAM, it has 4GB storage and WiFi. It doesn’t look to have Bluetooth, GPS or a microSD card slot, which is naff. I was going to grab this to use as an internet radio, but if I can’t hook it up to a Bluetooth speaker I’ll need to plug a speaker into the 3.5mm audio port, which it actually does have.
If you want a VERY cheap and probably NOT VERY good tablet, it could be worth a punt maybe. Stick it on the wall and use it as a control panel for something, I don’t know. Whatever floats your boat. For this price I could stick it on the wall and just have it showing images constantly from my Dropbox account, albeit at 800×480.
Oh, there’s a couple of VGA cameras on-board too, but believe me, you won’t be using them. They’re terrible.
Before long, you won't have to choose between charging your phone quickly and plunking it on a convenient wireless charger. The Wireless Power Consortium has rolled out a new version of the Qi standard that supports 15W fast wireless charging, much like the sort we saw late last year. The organization isn't making any performance claims at the moment, and it'll be a while before phone makers have compatible devices on store shelves. However, it's safe to say that this will save you some agonizing wait times -- you could return home from work, drop your phone on a pad and expect to have a meaningful amount of energy when you head out for the evening.
Not a fan of the iPhone 6's less-than-flattering antenna lines? Neither is Apple, apparently. The company has filed for a patent on a composite material that looks like anodized metal, but still allows wireless signals to get through. You'd get a cleaner-looking phone (or computer, or tablet) without watching your reception take a nosedive. It could be used to blend other surfaces into a device, too, such as the trackpad on a laptop.
I have now had this tablet for a few weeks now and I was holding back on the review until a few software updates had been delivered. Since I did the unboxing video back in April it has been a very busy time for the Remix as it has now shipped to all the Kickstarter backers including the Infamous KS 155 (the group that broke Kickstarter). Jide Technology (the makers of the tablet) have also been busy pushing out tweaks for the OS including a couple of keyboard fixes. There has also been the announcement that Lollipop will be coming to the device in late June. So they have been busy and I have been busy testing the tablet out as my daily driver.
I am not going to spend too much time covering this as I have already covered it in the unboxing and first impressions piece. Here is a quick montage of some hardware pics for you to check out.
Here is a gallery showing off the tablet’s hardware
I have been very impressed with the hardware and I have not experienced a huge amount of issues unlike some of the other Kickstarter backers. The biggest issue’s I have had with the hardware have been with the keyboard and these were rectified in the first round of software updates that came out at the same time as the backers tablets started shipping.
I am still not hugely impressed with the kickstand as it feels like it will break away from the tablet. I don’t actually think that it will break off but it is just an niggling thought that sits at the back of my head. What I have found when I compared it in size with my other machines is that although the screen is 11.6”, the device actually takes up the same footprint as a Surface Pro 3. This is due to the relatively large bezels, whilst these allow you to hold the device fairly well I think they are too big. I can only hope that they are reduced slightly on the next version which I am sure is being worked on.
I do find that 11.6” is a bit too big for me and if I was going to be buying a new tablet device the biggest screen I would be going for is 10.1” as this is really the sweet spot for me. I like to be able to use my tablet for reading as well as video and I feel that the 11.6” screen is too unwieldy in portrait as the centre of gravity is just in the wrong place.
This is the real point of the device these days as it offers the user a very different experience from that of a normal Android tablet. The Remix OS kinda feels like someone put a drunk Chromebook and an Android KitKat tablet in a room and let nature take its place!
Let me explain what I mean, imagine using a launcher that doesn’t allow you to have widgets on the display and that has no app drawer and you are halfway there. Then you need to bring the Taskbar from Chrome OS and the fact that you can pin the most used apps to the task bar. The next little item on top of that is that the multitasking is done in the same way as Chromebooks.
So you have all your active apps in the task bar and then you click on them as and when you need them or even Alt-Tab to change them as you do on Windows. The next unique thing that can be done here is that you can run apps in either phone mode or fullscreen mode. When running in the phone mode you are able to have up to 3 apps side by side(four is possible with overlaps).
This makes for a much neater and better multitasking system which sounds great. However in practice it is slightly jarring, I find myself wishing for the split screen functionality that you see on Windows 8.1 instead of the phone mode. I think it is because for me I just prefer working in the full screen version of apps instead of windowed phone representations. This is of course a personal preference and some of you may love the idea, but it does take some getting used to. A nice touch is that you can copy and paste between the phone mode apps without any issue which does work wonders for editing content and collaborating between two apps. You are also allowed to have an app in a phone mode in front of an app in fullscreen mode but it does not “stick” which I think is a missed opportunity as that would be immensely useful. Imagine having Hangouts open with Word underneath in fullscreen mode but that being the active window which you are working in. To be fair to Remix OS this is something that cannot be done on either Windows or OS X.
Remix OS does come with some custom preinstalled apps which are designed for the tablets screen size and to best make use of the modes concept. If I am honest I have barely given them much notice as I am heavily invested into the Android OS as it is and I have my apps working the way I want them to. On my device I also had the Chinese App store and Chinese feedback App, this is purely because I was using a prototype device and I have had it confirmed by other Kickstarter backers that this is not the case for them.
The notifications area is a bit different from what you will have seen on any other Android device, in that when you drag down from the top of the device you will see your missed notifications grouped on a per app basis. Until you tap on the apps name you will not see the information within. This seems illogical to me as to why it is a good thing as it requires an extra unnecessary step to access your information.
Alongside this you have the option for your settings which are laid out in a screen those accustomed to the Windows 8.1 tiles will find familiar it allows you to get to all the main things quickly and easily enough. To be honest I will normally just use the settings icon on the desktop.
Once you get into settings the layout is familiar to any Android 4.4.4 device, although some things are not present but that is because they are not really needed. One thing I would have liked to see is the option to invert the scrolling direction on the trackpad but alas no it is not there I am not sure if this is android specific thing or not.
That brings me onto the software keyboard, which you will hardly ever see if I’m honest it is pretty good as it is using the the AOSP layout but for those wanting swipe input you will need to download the Google keyboard which I have done.
Like on any other tablet the soft keyboard will take up half of the vertical display which make sit largely useless for any real work. But with the hardware keyboard you shouldn’t really need to use it. One thing to note is that if the hardware keyboard is connected the soft one will not appear unless it is folded flat against the back of the tablet. In this position it will most likely come off anyway due to the magnets not being able to hold it in place properly so you might as well just remove it for that scenario.
Overall I like what Jide are doing with the software I just think that there is a large amount of work to be done to polish it up and I am pleased to say that this is being done as we are currently getting updates more or less every week all of which are in response to customers feedback. This is really what the Remix Ultra tablet s about in its current form, a testbed to develop the OS for future endeavours, but more on that later.
For those of you wanting an all singing all dancing powerhouse PC replacement then this is not going to be for you in fact it is not even close. However if you are looking for a fluid and functional machine to work on then this might be a worthwhile investment. The device is running on a Nvidia Tegra 4 chipset with a 4+1 configuration allowing the machine to dial back to one core when it is needed i.e. in sleep state. That being said I have used slower tablets that have cost more so I am still impressed. I have run some benchmarks on the Remix and I am going to be using the Xperia Z Tablet as my comparison. The reason I have chosen them is I have owned it and it is similar in specs albeit with different processor manufacturers. Here goes;-
Xperia Z Tablet Antutu 20216 Quadrant 7215 Sunspider 1.0.2. 1629
So we can see that the Remix is performing much better than that of the Xperia Z Tablet however this is not surprising considering the different generation processors involved.
I also played Asphalt 8 on the Remix to test for lag and frame dropping here is a quick video showing this off.
It performed pretty well and I didn’t have much issue with frame dropping and lag but there was some in there. However for any one considering using this for games get a gamepad as otherwise it is very awkward as 11.6” plus bezels is a lot to wield as a gamer.
Battery Life and Power
This is one of the area that the Remix is a letdown as it should have a great battery life as it has a whopping 8000 mah battery but it just doesn’t last.
I am uncertain as to the cause of this issue but the guys at Jide a very busy trying to fix it and optimise it for longer life. I have been slightly spoiled by battery life due to my Xperia device over the years but that rate of decline is just not normal. Another handy feature is that if you connect a phone to the Remix it will actually allow it to be charged albeit very slowly. This can be done via the included Micro USB to USB break out adaptor take note Apple and others it was included for free!
The tablet can be charged wither via the proprietary connector or via a high ampage Micro USB charger. The charging times are not that different. What this does mean is that you can have a peripheral connected to the Remix whilst you charge it. Nice touch as this is something that is missing from most tablets other than the Surface range.
Other things of note
As I have mentioned a few times this tablet is very much a development tool to allow Jide to test things fro the next platform. It is very much like the a Nexus product in that respect, albeit one that is running CyanogenMod on it with the nightly updates being weekly. Jide recently attended CES Shanghai which was run in the last week or two and during that time they were there they showed off Remix OS on a variety of different form factors ranging from Tablets to All In One style devices. They are very keen to experiment and play with what can be done with the Remix OS and have made it open or OEMs to use it as the OS they ship tablets with.
Those who backed the Kickstarter Campaign after the tablets all sold out may have put a pledge of a few pound. This means that you will be getting sent a copy of Remix 1.5 when it is made final for free. Jide are looking to have this in place by the end of the year. What is Remix 1.5? Well in short it is Jide’s interpretation of Lollipop. This is great to see from such a young tech company and is doing it better than some of the bigger names out there.
UPDATE I have been invited to test the Remix 1.5 beta and I have got it running on the Remix as I type. I will add an article in the next few days once I have done some testing. It is a big improvement so far. More to come soon…..
How about a tablet with a 10″ IPS screen, Qualcomm quad-core 1.2GHz CPU and 4G connectivity for just £22.50 on a pay monthly deal with a £22.99 up-front cost?
O2 will soon be selling the new Huawei T1 10″ tablet in white. It’s powered by Android 4.4 KitKat, and has a slim (8.3mm) metallic unibody build with a 4800mAh battery for lengthy browsing, streaming and gaming. The tablet, which also has all the GPS and WiFi goodness, should be good for a full 12 hours of HD video playback or 6 and a half hours of WiFi use.
Around back, there’s a 5 megapixel shooter for snapping shots and a 2 megapixel selfie cam up front.
Sales Director at Huawei Technologies, Rhys Saunders, tells us ..
We are really excited to be launching the Huawei T1 10” which is an outstanding tablet designed for those who want to enjoy unparalleled entertainment. Its superior 10-inch IPS screen, 4G LTE connectivity and exceptional camera makes it the perfect tablet for those on the go this summer.
We can’t find it on the O2 website just yet, but it should be there soon enough,
HUAWEI launches the Huawei T1 10” tablet, helping you exceed the limits of entertainment
Stay connected on the go with the Huawei T1 10” and discover a life without boundaries
Huawei, the third biggest global smartphone provider in the world, has launched the stunning Huawei T1 10”. Delivering outstanding audio and visual entertainment with state of the art technology, the Huawei T1 10” boasts a slimmer frame making it easier to use anywhere, anytime.
Whether it’s watching HD movies or listening to your favourite tracks, the Huawei T1 comes equipped with a Qualcomm 1.2GHz Quad-Core processor coupled with Android 4.4 KitKat to give the T1 a faster and smoother performance. With a 10-inch IPS LCD screen and state of the art speakers, the Huawei T1 delivers enhanced sound quality and stunning visual experience.
An all-round stylish device, the Huawei T1 10” is ultra-slim at just ~8.3mmwith a sleek metallic unibody design that fits seamlessly into your hand for ultimate ease of use. The large 4800mAh battery makes streaming videos and checking social networks easy, guaranteeing 12 hours playback for HD video, 6.5 hours on WiFi of non-stop entertainment as well as a staggering 570 hours on standby. With its multi-window screen and 2MP front facing camera, the Huawei T1 10” offers a superb visual experience, anywhere; while its 5MP rear camera means you can easily take and share pictures of your favourite moments this summer in an instant.
Rhys Saunders, Sales Director at Huawei Technologies UK said: “We are really excited to be launching the Huawei T1 10” which is an outstanding tablet designed for those who want to enjoy unparalleled entertainment. Its superior 10-inch IPS screen, 4G LTE connectivity and exceptional camera makes it the perfect tablet for those on the go this summer.”
HUAWEI T1 10” is available from May in White from O2 on a £22.50 pay monthly plan with a £22.99 upfront cost.