Google not only escaped criminal prosecution in Germany after its Street View cars were found to be capturing private wifi traffic, but it has now pretty much walked away scott-free as the Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information fined it just €145,000 ($190,000).
The image above comes courtesy of Engadget and shows what appears to be some official promo material for the LG’s next Optimus G device, the LG Optimus G Pro. While we don’t get a lot of specs from the image itself, the report passed along rumored specs from BlogofMobile. It claimed the device will sport a 5-inch, 1,920-by-1,080 display, a 3,000-mAh battery, LTE, 32GB of memory, 2GB of RAM, and a 1.7Ghz Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064. Other specs mentioned in the report include a 13-megapixel main camera, 2.4-megapixel front-facing camera, and dimensions of 139-by-70-by-10.1mm. It’s a possibility we’ll hear more about the device at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month.
In related news, Korean news agency Yonhap reported today (via TNW) that the LG Optimus G sold over 1 million units since its launch in September. We’re guessing that doesn’t include the estimated 375,000 units it sold of the Nexus 4, which is essentially the same device. Read more
The new Chromebook is a great computer at any price, but it’s an incredible computer at $249. It’s one of the lightest laptops on the market. You can easily carry it around all day—it’s 2.5 pounds, a mere 0.8 inches thick, with more than 6 hours of battery life for the typical user. And with 100 GB of free storage on Google Drive*, you can get to all of your stuff anytime, anywhere.
Even with its compact design, it’s packed with performance—it boots up in less than 10 seconds and resumes instantly. High-resolution videos (in 1080p) are beautiful to watch and when using the touchpad, you’ll notice smooth scrolling due to a hardware-accelerated user interface. And as you‘d expect from a Chromebook, it’s easy to share with others. Everyone—mom, dad, grandparents, tech lovers, tech haters—can have separate accounts where all of their stuff is kept safe. Finally, if you’re an active Google user of products like Gmail, Drive, Search, Maps, YouTube, Play or Google+ Hangouts, everything just works seamlessly.
The new Chromebook weighs a little less than 2.5 pounds, but it boasts the same 6.5-hour battery life. The screen, however, is 0.5-inches smaller with a 1,366-by-768-pixel resolution. The most notable difference in Google’s thinner Chromebook is the Samsung Exynos 5250 dual-core processor inside, and it features a Cortex-A15 chip that reportedly runs 1080p video and ChromeOS pretty well. GigaOm’s Kevin C. Tofel even noted the overall performance is “comparable to the Intel-powered Chromebook I have, but perhaps a half-step behind; at least in my few hours of using the device.”
This is finally a compelling offer at $249—as long as the hardware is fast. It looks like a base-line MacBook Air (and will surely draw criticism for that) for a quarter of the price. Again, so long as it performs, I don’t think Google will have a problem selling them to its intended audience: grandparents, kids, and as second or third computers for those who are heavy Google service users, and companies that need cheap mobile workstations.
Update: More reviews are starting to come in and unfortunately many are complaining about slowness. Not surprising for a $249 machine but clearly not for power users.
A gallery is below.
There were rumors earlier this month that Samsung had a mini, 4-inch version of its flagship Galaxy S III device in the works when the press received invitations to an event including the words “something small will be really big.” According to a report from Engadget, citing a translated Korean news story, Samsung’s Mobile chief JK Shin has confirmed a 4-inch S III is to be unveiled tomorrow in Frankfurt, Germany. Engadget later confirmed with Samsung PR, and the image above comes from MobileGeeks.de (which also provided the specs below). According to Samsung PR, it sounds like the device will indeed have the “Mini” branding:
“we’ll unveil the 4 inch Galaxy S III Mini in Germany on October 11th.” Read more
Another day, another patent filing. Better yet—another watch patent.
Between the Pebble, Sony, Nike, and even Apple’s spin on the wearable Nano, there are plenty of smart watches going around these days. Google—however—wants to kick it up a notch. A new patent surfaced recently that depicts a Mountain View-branded wristwatch with Google Glass-like capabilities.
The timepiece, according to design filings with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, features a transparent display that doubles as a second screen when flipped up from the base. The displays give access to Google apps, such as Gmail and Maps, and they provide real-time data for directions, notifications, products, etc.
Yes, this also means Google would have another platform for serving up ads. Enter the Google Glass similarities. The patent filing indicated the smart watch could track users’ surroundings, and it would then offer related products, points of interest, information, or practically anything else aggregated and related to the watch’s GPS coordinates.
We heard rumors in March that the HTC One V, which unveiled at MWC in Barcelona, would land in the United States on Virgin Mobile in “late spring” for $200. As noted by Engadget, the company has since announced plans to bring the device to a number of carriers this summer. The One V was spotted today on Virgin Mobile for $199, contract-free. We did not get word of an announcement from Virgin, so we are nor sure exactly when the device went up for sale, but it is definitely an enticing option at $200 for Android 4.0 device packing Beats Audio, a 5-megapixel camera, and a 3.7-inch WVGA display.