HTC Titan II LTE Windows Phone announced

I guess that this one came out of nowhere… HTC has just unveiled the HTC Titan II which is the first LTE Windows Phone to be officially announced today. Steve Ballmer and Stephen Elop have also hinted a more LTE device announcement coming shortly (mainly the Lumia 900). So what is exactly the HTC Titan II and how does it compare to the regular Titan ? Well not much has changed besides the MDM9200 LTE multi-modem which sit next to the same APQ8055 clocked at 1.5Ghz. The 8MPix F2.2 camera has also been swapped with a 16Mpix F2.6. sensor (greatly exceeding the 12Mpix limitation of the MSM8255 so HTC alongside Qualcomm must have done so driver changes there. But it’s a downgrade in terms or Apreture) and a non-removable 1730Mha battery. The HTC Titan 2 is only headed to AT&T in the coming months. Check out the full press release after the break

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Traces of LTE Nokia Lumia 800 found in diagnostic tools

Rumors of an AT&T bound LTE version of the Nokia Lumia 800 have been making the rounds lately even though the latest FCC filling was only for the “regular” US 3G version of the device (RM-819). Hidden menus found in the Nokia Diagnostic Tools finally confirm that Nokia and AT&T may be currently testing an LTE version of the handset. As you can see in the screenshot below LTE Bands 4 and 17 are supported and those are the ones owned by AT&T in the US.

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AT&T getting ready to sell a Nokia Windows Phone early next year

According to Glenn Lurie, head of Dallas-based AT&T’s tablets unit, the company is close to finalize a deal with Nokia to start selling a Windows Phone handset from the Finnish manufacturer next year.

We look at every promotional period separately and decide what we’re going to spend our dollars on and what we’re going to put our efforts in,[...]“But nothing to announce there on that yet.

This piece of information can also be taken as a confirmation of the recently rumored LTE version of the Nokia Lumia 800 that we heard of earlier this week.

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Nokia Lumia 800 LTE coming to AT&T next year and Nokia Champagne

You simply can’t stop the rumors and today’s headliner is about an LTE version of the Nokia Lumia 800 that AT&T is supposedly going to offer next year. Besides that nothing else is know at all. It is speculated that it will be running Windows Phone 7 Tango because the current OS version, according to “highly educated bloggers”, doesn’t support LTE even tough baseband support has for the most part nothing to do with the OS and is primarily a Radio/Driver thing (also remember that the OS base band support was fully described on the company’s own site for a few hours more than a year ago before it was taken down, LTE was apparently already in there).

Anyway it is highly probable that all Windows Phone handset launching in early 202 will be running Tango which is, from what we currently know, a relatively small update adding universal search to the OS and language support to some countries. A Nokia Champagne handset running 7.10.8711 has been spotted by the I’m a WP7 app last month. No info on what this device may be though. Back to the rumored LTE Nokia Lumia 800: the only way for it to be LTE compatible is by adding a MDM9600 multi-modem radio in addition to the MSM8655 SoC powering the device (just like the HTC Thunderbolt). Now where’s my salt ?

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Microsoft confirms Dual-Core and LTE Windows Phones coming in the future

I think that we all knew that this would be the case but just in case you doubted it Microsoft’s Andy Lees has recently confirmed that future Windows Phones’ probably running Apollo Windows Phone 8) will support Dual-Core SoCs and LTE networks. As of right now Windows Phone 7 only supports single core SoC and frankly isn’t in need of anything more powerful given that the current crop of devices (the new MSM8255 based one and older QSD8250 phones) are smoother and more responsive than any Dual-core Android handset currently on the market.

“They’re all single core, but I suspect that they will be faster in usage than any dual-core phone that you put against it, and that’s the point,” But, he insisted, Microsoft isn’t opposed to dual-core chips, but wanted to wait until the software was more ready to take advantage of multiple cores.

As far I know, and I could be wrong here, the current CE Kernel used in Windows Phone doesn’t support Dual CPU configurations so we aren’t missing much anyway. That’s why I’m thinking that we may have to wait until Windows Phone 8. Lees also added that LTE handsets are also planned:

“The first LTE phones were big and big (users) of the battery, and I think it’s possible to do it in a way that is far more efficient, and that’s what we will be doing,”

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Qualcomm roadmap detailed: Quad Core CPU and GPU chipsets coming later this year

I just came across a internal Qualcomm presentation (dated March 2011 from an Android event in Korean) detailing the company’s current SoC roadmap and comparing its Scorpion CPU architecture against its Cortex-A9 competitors. keep in mind that this document is obviously biased towards Qualcomm’s own products so take all the claims presented with a grain of salt but there are quite a few interesting pieces of information in there.

First lest start with the roadmap pictured above. As you can see the first chips based on the new Krait micro-architecture (MSM8930, MSM8960, APQ8064 and the unknown MSM8270) are only expected to appear/sample (?) at the end of this year. The initial press release sated that the first MSM8960 samples were expected in Q2 2011 but I4m guessing that things may a been delayed a bit (or the “availability” mentioned in today’s document is actually OEM availability). The MSM8X55 which was first launched in the HTC Desire HD is now been touted as having 1.4Ghz CPU (up from the 1Ghz clock currently used by most OEMs) and also now apparently supports Stereoscopic 3D play/rec (this is the first time I see this features mentioned on thee 8X55 so it may be only possible on the 1.4Ghz version). This 1.4Ghz clocked MSM8X55 will first appear in the Samsung Galaxy S Plus in Europe.

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First Adreno 220 benchmarks show that it is a beast

Qualcomm’s Adreno GPU’s have always been seen as being a sub-par graphics compared to competing offerings from Imagination (PowerVR) and others like NVIDIA’s Tegra. This was essentially true with the Adreno 200 on Windows Mobile and Android mainly because of poor driver quality. Things are a bit different on Windows Phone 7 where the Adreno 200 is the only currently supported GPU, thanks to the tight integration with the OS and relatively good support provided by Microsoft. You can check out my recent Fable Coin Golf video to see that some pretty nice things can be done with it.

The Adreno 205 which is part of the MSM8X55 SoC package is a step forward in terms of performance and can be comparable in some case with the current top dog, the PowerVR SGX540 as seen in my benchmarks here. Qualcomm has also recently released new drivers for the 205 which slightly improves its performance compared to what you see in my benches (they are the ones used by Sony Ericsson in the Xperia Play).

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HTC Thunderbolt finally launching on March 17th

Verizon’s first LTE handset may finally be launching on March 17th according to online retailers and internal documents. Originally scheduled to hit retail last month, the HTC Thunderbolt, which is essentially an HTC Desire HD with an added Qualcomm MDM9600 LTE radio, was apparently suffering from bad battery life because of when used in LTE mode and awaited a new software fix (radio rom I guess) from Qualcomm before being unleashed to the world.

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Qualcomm MSM8660 and Adreno 220 GPU demo

Here’s a nice video I shot yesterday at Qualcomm’s booth showing the Adreno 220 GPU in action running an OpenGL ES 2.0 demo developed by Southend interactive (on Android). The development device that you see hooked up to the HDTV via the mini-HDMI port packs Qualcomm’s MSM8660 dual-core CPU and Adreno 220 GPU that is going to be found in HP Palm’s TouchPad (under the APQ8060 name) and apparently the HTC Pyramid aka Sensation / (note that the output displayed on the TV is WVGA content upscaled to 1080P). I had a small chat with a couple of Qualcomm guys about their future SoCs and also the Windows Phone 7. I was once again told that they were working really closely with Microsoft right now on current Adreno 200 support (HLSL/ Programmable Shader support in XNA should by coming this year) and future Chassis which are being discussed and finalized right now (that’s what I got from the hints I was given). MS apparently is also wants to support higher resolution screens so newer SoCs are going to be certified. Because the of the Adreno’s close architectural similarities with the Xbox360 Xenos GPU the company can squeeze more out of it compared on Windows Phone 7 compared to Google on Android (there’s also the fact the Microsoft has total control over the API which is Direct3D Mobile).

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Qualcomm announces new Quad-Core chipset clocked at 2.5Ghz with Quad-Core Adreno 320 GPU

Qualcomm has just announced its new family of Snapdragon products which aren’t expected to see the light of the day before the end of 2012. This new family will be composed of the single-core MSM8930, the dual-core MSM8960 and the quad-core APQ8064. All three will be using the latest 0.28nm process and features the newest Adreno 320 GPU with the APQ8064 having a quad-core version of it. It also goes without saying that these will also natively be able to render stereoscopic 3D content, LTE and have build-in NFC support. Qualcomm president Raj Talluri was also happy to point out that the recent Nokia and Microsoft partnership was a big win for the company given that they are the only certified chipset maker for Windows Phone 7 (his comment makes it seem like it will still be the case..). Make sure to check out my hands on preview of the MSM8660 and Adreno 220 GPU here and follow me on Twitter. Check out the full press release after the break:

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HTC Thunderbolt to have simultaneous voice and data over 3G

As previously rumored, the HTC Thunderbolt will apparently support simultaneous voice and data over 3G thanks to it’s MDM9600 multi-modem radio. Nothing is 100% official yet but according to the picture above the feature is going to be fully supported or advertised by Verizon and is more of a proof of concept for now.

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HTC Thunderbolt launching on February 24th ?

Verizon’s first LTE smartphone, the HTC Thunderbolt, is now rumored to launch on February 24th for $249 on a 2-year contract, $329 on 1-year contract and $599 unlocked. The HTC Thunderbolt will be in direct competition with the iPhone 4 launching 14 days earlier but will apparently boast one single feature that is sure to make all Apple fans envious: simultaneous Data and Voice thanks to the LTE radio. In terms of hardware specifications the Thunderbolt is basically an HTC Deisre HD with a front facing camera and LTE modem.

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HTC Thunderbolt ROM available for download

Well, that didn’t take long. The Verizon HTC Thunderbolt ROM has already been leaked only a few hours after the device’s official unveiling at CES. If you have time to west or you would just like to dig deep into it to see what’s new just head over here and download it your hard drive.

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HTC Thunderbolt specifications

HTC has finally announced the HTC Thunderbolt LTE Android handset on Verizon and just like I told you earlier this week the device packs an MSM8655 coupled with an MDM9600 LTE radio (and not an MSM8960 like the stupid rumor claimed…). Anyway, the device is basically just an HTC Desire HD with a front facing camera and the added LTE modem. Now regarding the HTC Inspire 4G launching on AT&T the hardware is just totally identical to the HTC Desire HD with exactly the same design, no front facing camera and same SoC (specs here). Contrary to what I’m seeing reported the 4.3 inch screen of both devices is the same TFT LCD used since the HTC HD2 and not an SLCD panel. Amway check out the HTC Thunderbolt hardware specifications after the break:

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AT&T HTC Inspire 4G shows up in print ad. Looks nearly identical to the Verizon HTC Thunderbolt

HTC is really on a 4G roll this year with the imminent launch of the HTC Thunderbolt LTE handset on Verizon and what appears like a new 4G handset  headed to AT&T: the HTC Inspire 4G. As we can see in the picture above the Inspire 4G looks like an HTC Thunderbolt but without the front facing camera (it actually looks identical to the HTC Desire HD) and will most probably only be an HSPA+ device like the T-Mobile G2 / Desire Z given that AT&T doesn’t have LTE yet (MSM8255 inside I bet). I”m guessing that both device will be officially unveiled tomorrow in Las Vegas.

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The HTC Thunderbolt won’t have a Dual core MSM8960 Chipset

Some funky HTC Thunderbolt specifications have just pooed up on a German HTC fansite claiming tat the device will pack the newly announced MSM8960 dual-core chipset from Qualcomm. This is practically impossible given that according to Qualcomm this new 28nm chipset, which is a brand new architecture with an Adreno 220 GPU (or Adreno 300 if we are lucky), is only scheduled to start sampling in early 2011 which means that it won’t available in devices before the end of 2011 at the earliest. The device will most probably feature an MSM8x55 coupled with MDM9600 LTE multimode modem..well unless Verizon isn’t planning to ship it until next fall…

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Verizon HTC Thunderbolt live pictures

The HTC Thunderbolt is back again today and this time it’s the real thing thing. We finally have some pictures of the full device which definitely looks like mix-match between the HTC EVO 4G and HTC Desire HD. I’m not really fond of HTC’s designs lately but I guess that this doesn’t matter much if the hardware and software is up to the task. Anyway, check out Verizon’s first LTE Android device after the break:

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HTC Thunderbolt teased again on HTC’s website

HTC is once again teasing us with the upcoming HTC Thunderbolt LTE Android smartphone that is going to be announced on Verizon on January 6th during CES. The page’s url also confirms that the devices name is Thunderbolt (well unless it’s the official codename..) and you can sign-up to be notified with information about the 4G device as soon as the announcement takes places next week.

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HTC launching HTC Thunderbolt LTE Android phone on January 6

According to HTC’s mobile website (see the screenshot above) the company is scheduled to launch the first LTE / 4G device at CES on January 6. Rumor are pointing to the Android powered  HTC Thunderbolt coming to Verizon which was the “victim” of what looked like a controlled leak orchestrated by HTC yesterday.Check out some pictures of the device after the break.

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