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CES 2011. Day 1 – Android attacks. Beginning

Funny people work in companies. Consumer Electronic Show officially opened on January 5, but the first announcements began a day before. The key here is to be the first and attract the lion's share of attention at any price. A typical example is a leak of information about Sony Ericsson Arc. The model has not been unveiled yet, but during the first 10 hours of CES it was the main hit according to Twitter. Why does it get so much attention? Everybody is in Las Vegas waiting impatiently for new gadgets and Arc is an important one. I'll put it differently. SE Arc is noticeable at this exhibition, but it will not be a key product for the market.

We have already described Anzu/X12 before, which received a commercial name Arc. Not many things changed prior to the announcement. In fact, everything stayed the same. Official pictures for press show Arc to advantage. The device is excellent in terms of design. You want to hold it in your hands and the main attraction is its thinness. It cannot surprise that much nowadays. Samsung Infuse 4G for AT&T is also thin, but apart from that you need to be impressed by the overall feeling from the handset. And here Arc is better. Tastes differ, though. What do you think?

We have mentioned the parameters and general impressions from Arc (Anzu). The main issue is that the model will cost as other flagship models, when it hits the shelves in March, but in terms of characteristics it still belongs to 2010. Unfortunately, a 1 GHz processor and a traditional screen (inferior to both SuperAMOLED versions) are hardly surprising for anybody now. The company once again makes a mistake similar to that of Sony Ericsson X10 and ignores the techies by targeting the mass market segment instead. Here Arc runs into iPhone and you can forget about good sales figures for a SE product. It's a pity, but this model will still be a niche offering for March and April of 2011 despite its looks and Twitter campaign.

Первый взгляд на Sony Ericsson Anzu - X12

Going back to Samsung Infusion 4G I don't want to mention its detailed characteristics. Remember only that it belongs to the previous generation (one core processor of 1.2 GHz). I wonder why Samsung decided to boost quantitative characteristics. The processor speed was increased a bit, which was possible before and can be explained. But a 4.5″ screen is slightly too much. A mobile device should be easy to carry. Bigger dimensions serve as its disadvantage. By the way, a bigger screen made it possible to make the model thinner by spreading its components accordingly. SuperAMOLED screen was upgraded by increasing the number of sub pixels. This is the second generation SuperAMOLED. The handset is really for geeks and suits those who view ergonomics as the continuation of quantitative details – GHz, inches and so on.

2011 will be characterized by the market divergence. On one hand we receive dual core solutions, for example Tegra 2 from Nvidia and standard processors. More words about Nvidia to follow.

Nvidia revolution – Tegra 2

During the press conference of Nvidia the room was packed. Not everybody could get in. Its CEO compared the current event with COMDEX 1995, when Microsoft unveiled Windows 95. Things happening now are as important as those historical developments. On one slide he showed the evolution of sales for desktop systems and respective figures for iOS and Android. The world has changed and became more mobile.

Nvidia began the development of Tegra 2 5 years ago. The task was to create an energy efficient chip to support many tasks vital for a smartphone – games, browser and camera. Nvidia managed to come up with the first commercial sample of a dual core chip. Capitalizing on its expertise in graphic processors the company added GeForce GPU here. It means that games for this solution will start to be released soon. Nvidia believes that similar products should be present not only in the top segment, but they target the mass market as well. Surely, you will see flagship models first, but already this year the number of models on offer will be impressive and the price will start falling. Mass market is the key to success and Nvidia is fully aware of it. The same applies to its partners.

The company thinks that its chip must feature not only in phones, but also in car navigation systems (which offer many other options too). At CES Nvidia mentioned its cooperation with Tesla. Look at pictures of a system based on Tegra 2. It definitely belongs to the future. How easily this screen will be soiled is another issue though.

Nvidia labels smartphones as Super Phones. It is a meaningful move to disassociate itself from smartphones and highlight a new category and make a difference. It is not surprising that the first Tegra 2 powered product to be unveiled was LG Optimus 2x. At a relatively accessible price of $700 it has clear advantages. I even do not mention HDMI 1080p support, which will be standard for many Tegra 2 solutions. New chip allows fast handling of graphic operations. For example, opening of pictures from an 8 MP camera or HD video takes no more than 2 seconds. Everything works fast and offers good quality. I am amazed by the speed of operation in Tegra 2.

LG developed a new screen technology named NOVA. There are still no substantial details available. We only know that it reduces the power consumption by 50% in comparison with SuperAMOLED screens, while brightness and other characteristics remain the same. I think we have AMOLED here similar to SuperAMOLED Plus from Samsung. It is wonderful that competition makes companies provide new products at such speed.

Another important issue is that the weight of devices has not increased much, while the batteries offer bigger capacity. A standard Android flagship now has 1800-2000 mAh instead of 1500 mAh before. Tegra 2 is not connected with that as it consumes less power. We have already discussed the question in Spillikins.

Another matter is associated with the development of Android devices. They now come equipped with frontal cameras traditionally used for video calls. Video quality is naturally dependent on mobile carriers, but Apple moved the whole industry forward by using WiFi to transfer the picture. LG Optimus x2 has a 1.3 MP frontal camera, while Motorola Atrix 4G offers 2 MP if I am not mistaken. At the moment it is not important, but everything will be changed when Android receives its first analogue of FaceMe.

P.S. This is my first article of many… I don't know how many of them we will have. There are more meetings at CES and a lot of things to do there. Follow our news desk, because information appears first there and then you can read a longer article. Ask questions on our forum while we continue our work.

Do you want to talk about this? Please, go to our Forum and let your opinion to be known to the author and everybody else.

Eldar Murtazin (eldar@mobile-review.com)
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Translated by Maxim Antonenko (maxantonenko@ukr.net)

Published — 07 January 2011

Have something to add?! Write us... eldar@mobile-review.com



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