Nokia Lumia 525 becomes official

Update: According to one of Nokia’s localized Facebook pages, the Lumia 525 should ”be available on 14 December at the suggested retail price of SGD249 at Nokia Stores and Nokia Solution Partners”. That translates from Singapore Dollars to roughly $199.

The first time we heard about the Nokia Lumia 525 was at the end of October when a certain contest announcement revealed its existence. Since then, we’ve seen the device leaked in press renders showing off future possible color options, and today, the Nokia Lumia 525 becomes official.

We’re expecting the press release to be published soon with details on pricing and availability. Until then, there’s the official product page which mentions the specs: four-inch WVGA display, the same dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor clocked at 1GHz and found on many other models, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD), five-megapixel main camera (sans flash), and a 1,430mAh battery.

As far as color options are concerned, the Nokia Lumia 525 will be able to accept “glossy, changeable covers in dazzling orange, radiant yellow and luminous white”. More details can be found at the source link below, and in the embedded video.

Nokia Lumia 525 becomes official

Source: Nokia (YouTube, Facebook, Pocketnow)
Thanks everyone for the tip on pricing and availability!
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Video Preview Top 5 Smartphones For Spring 2013

With so many questions day by day about viewers still considering a Galaxy S 4 or an HTC One, we know the ropes are complicated this spring if you’re close to being eligible for a phone-swap. 2013 has shown just how great technology can evolve in mobile, and there’s a lot to chose from.
Watch today’s Top 5 as we talk about our top picks for your next smartphone during Spring 2013. It’s been a very innovative year for some companies, but a very slow one for others. This list was crafted as a consensus between all of our Pocketnow Staff, so hopefully you’ll get a perspective as to what device we’re all getting this Spring along with you. All devices on the list have their pros and cons, so make sure you share your thoughts and comments down bellow.
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Facebook Event On Android

We all remember HTC’s 2011 efforts with the F-button on the Salsa and the ChaCha but those phones, while mid-range Android devices back in the day, were mostly disappointing in what they tried to achieve. According to recent rumors HTC and Facebook are at it again, teaming up once more, this time for a “real” Facebook phone.

“Come see our new home on Android” says the press invite above and we’re pretty certain it will be more than the two aforementioned devices. The event happens next week on April 4 in California and we’re pretty excited, not because the world needs another mid-range Android device, but because it is said that there will be many interesting and exclusive features and modifications to the experience. We’ll keep you posted and up-to date with everything happening the way you’ve gotten used to our coverage by now.

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Are the Galaxy S 4′s Software Features a Gimmick?

Software, for the time being, is the biggest differentiation between theGalaxy S III and Galaxy S 4 by Samsung.
Sure, as it’s been explained countless times now, the specifications aredifferent. The S4 has a larger, much more dense display, a faster processor (on both models) with more cores, the battery has 500 more milliamp-hours and the camera is a 13-megapixel sensor, versus 8-megapixels in the older model.
But as I explained earlier today, the real world performance advantages between the Galaxy III and Galaxy S 4 will ultimately be negligible. The only truly significant upgrade is in its display, as the million extra pixels should counteract the graininess of the PenTile subpixel arrangement on the less dense display.
As all these specification bumps become less important (or less significant), software and design differentiation are key. And while Samsung may not have put a lot of effort in a totally new design, is has software engineers innovating new and unique features left and right.
Samsung unveiled just shy of two dozen new software features in the Galaxy S 4 yesterday evening. All were software features that aim to drastically change the way you interact with your smartphone, to simplify your life and make your phone a “life companion”. Air Gesture, for example, allows users to control their device without ever touching it. A swipe with your hand can scroll through content on the device or even answer a call. AirVIew works just as it does on the Galaxy Note II with the S Pen – hover the S Pen over the display to preview content. But on the S4, which is not compatible with the S Pen, Air View works by hovering a finger over the display.
Smart Scroll and Smart Pause work similarly to Smart Stay and Smart Rotate in that they track eye movement to operate differently. With Smart Stay, the screen stays on as long as you’re looking at it and reading; Smart Rotate keeps the device orientation consistent with your face; Smart Scroll scrolls content based on your eye movement; and Smart Pause pauses video when you look away from the device.
S Health turns your phone into a fitness-aware device what uses various sensors to track your exercises and sync up with other fitness peripherals.
There were several camera features introduced, as well. Dual Camera allows the front and rear shooters to work simultaneously, in videos and in stills, allowing the camera holder to be included in the activities. Sounds & Shot allows you to annotate pictures and videos with short audio clips. Drama Shot is basically Burst Mode on steroids, allowing the camera to take over 100 stills in four seconds, and the end product can display multiple shots in a single frame. And Eraser lets you delete moving objects from the background of an image.
S Translator, similar to Google Translate, offers speech-to-text and text-to-speech translation.
And these are only the most notable features. Samsung Knox, Group Play, Adapt Display, Story Album and more have also been added to the mix.
So what do we make of all this? Samsung’s big gambit is clearly adding a large helping of software features in lieu of any jaw-dropping specifications or a major design refresh. And, honestly, we’re fine with that. Some of us aren’t terribly thrilled with the rehashed design. But software differentiation is great … so long as the features are noteworthy, useful and original.
Many of the features introduced by Samsung last night weren’t entirely new. Dual camera functionality was announced on the LG Optimus G Pro just days ago. Eraser is a feature coined from the Scalado (now part of NokiaRemove technology, as debuted in several BlackBerry 10 previews last year. (For the record, it could simply be licensed.) And Samsung Knox is not unlike BlackBerry Balance.
That aside, how many of the features introduced last night are actually useful? How many times will anyone actually use these features?
Looking back on my time with the Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III, I can honestly say I have only ever used the features a time or two. Outside of general testing and showing off to friends and family, I have never enabled them and used them. Smart Stay fixes a problem I’ve never really had – I learned a long time ago to bump my screen timeout to a few minutes and just hit the power button when I’m done.
The only features I have used consistently are Popup Browser and Multi-Window. But I have yet to see a compelling feature from the Galaxy S 4 and new version of TouchWiz that I can see myself using more than once.
It’s hard to deny that eye-tracking features aren’t cool. Smart Scroll and Smart Pause, Smart Stay and Smart Rotate are all innovative. But how hard is it to scroll with your finger? And how accurate is it? What will keep it from scrolling when I just want to look at the bottom of the display? And I’ve never thought, “Man, I wish this video would pause itself when I look away.” Not once, and I still don’t see the appeal.
Air View was kind of nice on the Note II, though I rarely used it. It makes sense with the S Pen. But hovering your finger seems a bit strange. What does that accomplish that a long-press or gesture couldn’t? Dual Camera is probably the only feature I can see any true appeal in, yet I can’t figure out when or why I, personally, would ever want to use it.
Point being, Samsung loaded its phone down with a bevy of new software features, features that will eventually trickle down to other devices. I hate to be such a naysayer, but not a single one of the newly introduced features is anything that remotely moves me. They’re all a bit gimmicky – features that might raise a brow, but also features that few will ever use in normal usage.
What say you, folks? Are any of the features introduced yesterday evening of interest to you? Or do they all seem to solve problems you have never had? Does it seem as if Samsung is grasping at straws to innovate software?

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First BlackBerry 10 Software Update Going Out OTA

If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere where the BlackBerry Z10 is already available, you’re going to want to check your handset for update notifications today, upon BlackBerry announcing that the very first BB10 update is now available and going out OTA.
While there’s no one big feature or bugfix that highlights this release, there sure are a number of smaller tweaks and fixes. BlackBerry says that it’s made 60-some tweaks to help increase device battery life, and performance should see a boost with third-party apps.
The camera app should now offer better image quality in low-light situations, and in-browser video playback gets a few improvements of its own. The BlackBerry Hub gets new call logging options, Gmail calendar support has been fixed, and contact importing should now run smoother.
If you haven’t received an update notification yet, you can manually check for the 150MB update in system settings.
Source: BlackBerry

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