The Samsung Galaxy S III is almost upon us (just a week to go until the big announcement), but not everyone can afford the top of the line smartphones. Samsung has today announced that its midrange model, the Galaxy S Advance, will be shipping in a few days time on April 30th in the UK. It might not quite be all singing and dancing, but it’s a pretty respectable offering.
The Galaxy S Advance has a 4-inch Super AMOLED display with a 800×480 resolution, which we’re assuming is the same PenTile matrix used on the original Galaxy S. Specs otherwise include a 1Ghz dual-core processor, 768MB of RAM, 8/16GB of storage, five megapixel camera with LED flash and 720p video recording, and a 1,500mAh battery. There’s also a microSD slot for cards up to 32GB, HSPA connectivity will jack you in at up to 14.4Mbit/s, and it all comes in a relatively slim package at 9.69mm thick.
Unfortunately, the Galaxy S Advance is running Gingerbread, and Samsung hasn’t indicated whether or not the phone will be seeing an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich. It’s certainly not lacking in the power department, and we have to wonder why it simply didn’t come with ICS out of the box.
Samsung say that Phones4u and Vodafone will both be offering the handset, and Clove has the handset in stock right now for £322.80 (~$522.75).
Nintendo has reported its first ever annual loss, with full-year financial results to the end of March 31 2012 showing a loss of 37.3bn yen ($459.54m), though the company predicts a flip to profit in 2013. Selling the Nintendo 3DS at below cost price was blamed for much of the Japanese company’s woes, the price cut being “in order to get it back on track to its original sales pace” but biting into Nintendo’s profit margin. In the end, Nintendo managed to sell 13.53m 3DS units and 36m games.
Overall sales were 648bn yen ($7.98bn) [pdf link], a 36.2-percent drop on the previous year (which had itself been a 29.3-percent drop on 2010, you may recall), while new income was a loss of 43.2bn yen ($532m). Nintendo burnt through 265.8bn yen ($3.27bn) of its assets in the twelve month period, predominantly from spending cash and deposits.
As for the Nintendo Wii, 9.4m of the consoles were sold worldwide, along with 102.37m games. However, Nintendo had also been forced to cut the price of the Wii overseas, which contributed to the overall loss.
Looking forward, Nintendo is counting on new games, new pricing and, eventually, new hardware to turn its 2012 around. For the 3DS, the much-anticipated New Super Mario Bros. 2 is in the pipeline for August, a 2D side-scroller bringing back the iconic Mario character, while a new Animal Crossing will drop in Japan in August. The 3DS will no longer be sold below cost price, either, from the middle of 2012.
Meanwhile, the Wii U is on track for a release near the end of the calendar year, in the US, Europe and Japan. That will bring a new touchscreen controller and a higher sticker price to the market, hopefully refreshing the company’s image to gamers and boosting income once more.
Samsung has officially announced the Exynos 4 Quad, the 1.4GHz quad-core chipset that the company says will be at the core of the Galaxy S3. Based on four ARM Cortex A9 cores and promising double the performance of its Exynos 4 Dual predecessor while using 20-percent less power, the Samsung Exynos 4 Quad uses High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) low-power tech and a custom power-management companion chip that automatically controls the cores so as to balance grunt and efficiency.
So, when you’re checking your email or doing other low-performance tasks, the Exynos 4 Quad is throttled back so as to minimize its impact on your battery life. When you decide to do some 3D gaming or play HD video, however, it can ramp up to deliver a “PC-like experience” instead.
Integrated into the new SoC is a a Full HD 30fps video hardware codec engine for high resolution 1080p video play and record, together with an embedded image signal processor interface for crunching shots from a high-resolution camera sensor, and an HDMI 1.4 interface for pumping content out onto a big screen or through a projector..
The Exynos 4 Quad is also pin-to-pin compatible with the 32nm Exynos 4 Dual, reducing the headaches in upgrading to the faster, more energy-efficient chip. That’s not just going to help Samsung but other firms, since the company is already sampling the quadcore to third-parties for their own future products, and the SoC itself is already in production.
What we’re most interested in right now, though, is the next Galaxy, and Samsung is upfront about the fact that the Exynos 4 Quad will be the heart of what we’re expecting to be the Samsung Galaxy S3 launching next week. Console-like gaming and superlative multimedia are both promised.
We’ll find out exactly what the Galaxy S3 can do for certain next week, when we join Samsung in London on May 3 for the new flagship’s full reveal.
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Yesterday, we told you guys about Acer Iconia Tab A100 tablets receiving their Android 4.0 update a little early, and now, it looks like the 10-inch version is joining in on the fun as well. Acer Iconia Tab A500 users have been reporting that Ice Cream Sandwich has come early for their devices.
Officially, Android 4.0.3 wasn’t scheduled to begin rolling out for the tab until the 27th, but it looks like Acer has decided to go ahead and roll out the update early for some (not all) users. As always, a simple jump into your Settings > About, will allow you to manually check for the update. Anyone receive it yet?
As it so often goes when it comes to Android updates, you can either wait for your carrier to push them out to your device or — you can take matters into your own hands, updating your rooted device on your own. And for those on Sprint with a Samsung Epic 4G Touch Galaxy S II, the “official,” near final Android 4.0 release build has been leaked onto XDA, where it’s been opened up, rooted, and is ready for the flashing.
Build number FD24 can be applied via a One Click install method for rooted devices, or through a flashable zip file for users currently on EL29. Still no word on exactly when Sprint plans on pushing out Ice Cream Sandwich for the E4GT, but we do know it is coming. Hopefully sooner, rather than later. As always, users assume all risks involved when tinkering with their device.