The week in gadgets: dissecting Glass and rumoured releases from Sony, Nokia and Samsung

17 Jun 2013

Image via Catwig

A look at gadget happenings, as two curious tech fiends delve inside Google Glass, Sony claims it has a big surprise coming, Nokia’s EOS appears on the horizon, the new Xbox One accessories arrive, images of a new Samsung Galaxy camera are leaked online and the brand’s mobile range grows even wider.

Inside Google Glass

This week we got to see the inner workings of wearable computer Google Glass, thanks to Scott Torborg and Star Simpson of Catwig. The pair’s teardown not only gives us a dissected view of Glass, but also a glimpse into the world of the elite Glass Explorers chosen as early adopters.

Their account and photo essay even documents ‘the receiving ceremony’; that is, the appointment to pick up the headset at Google’s offices in Los Angeles or New York, choose the colour you want and go through 45 minutes of UI training.

We already know what comes in the box, thanks to photo uploads from another designated explorer, but Simpson and Torborg’s account looks deeper into the smart specs.


Catwig Google Glass teardown

Image via Catwig

They compare the build quality to that of a high-end laptop and though they spent quite some time tearing Glass apart, they were still able to reassemble a working headset, albeit with some superficial damage.

They also attached the hub to a pair of prescription glasses, just to see how it would look.

Catwig Google Glass Teardown

Image via Catwig

Inside, they found a proximity sensor, a (likely) ambient light sensor, a Synaptics touchpad and controller, a 16GB SanDisk flash, an irreplaceable single-cell Lithium Polymer battery of about 570mAh, a bone conduction speaker and, among other things, a teeny-tiny 640 x 360 resolution display with pixels about one-eighth the physical width of those on the iPhone 5’s retina display.

Catwig Google Glass Teardown

Image via Catwig

Will we see a phablet from Sony on 4 July?

A Sony Mobile press invite to journalists in France says the company has a “big” surprise, and the Xperia Blog thinks it could be a 6.5-inch phablet to rival Samsung’s Note range.

The invite hints at a mobile device following the Xperia Z design language and also contains handwriting-style text and the suggestion of a stylus.

Sony Xperia event invite

The Xperia Blog speculates the event on 4 July will unveil an Xperia Z Ultra, a phablet with a 6.5-inch 1080p Triluminos display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, 8MP rear camera, 2.2MP front-facing camera and Android 4.2.

The device in the image also appears to have sealed ports, indicating it may be water-resistant, like the rest of the Xperia Z range. Xperia Blog also expects it to be super slim at 6.5mm, which again fits the range boasting the world’s slimmest tablet, the Xperia Tablet Z.

Nokia EOS rumoured for 11 July launch

Also in mobile device launch rumours this week, we have press invites from Nokia for an event in New York entitled ‘Zoom: Reinvented’ sparking speculation that the new EOS will be unveiled on 11 July.

Nokia press event invite

We featured alleged leaked images of the Nokia EOS in last week’s round-up. The rumoured smartphone is expected to feature a powerful camera with Nokia PureView technology.

Other rumoured specs include Windows Phone 8 as an operating system, wireless charging and a non-removable battery.

Accessories refresh for Xbox One

You can’t have a next-generation games console without some next-generation gaming accessories, and with all the hoopla around the Xbox One launch, its focus on TV, the sort-of-creepy potential of the Kinect sensor, licensing gripes and games announcements, we almost didn’t get a chance to tell you about them.

Xbox One Controller

The Xbox One Wireless Controller claims to have more than 40 technical and design innovations over its predecessor, including an updated directional pad, thumb sticks and contours for greater precision and control. Designed to work with new Kinect, the new controller pairs automatically with the sensor for seamless player syncing.

Xbox One Play & Charge Kit

An Xbox One Play & Charge Kit can be bundled with the new controller or purchased separately. This lithium ion rechargeable battery pack fits inside the controller and comes with a charging cable that connects to the console.

Microsoft claims the new battery charges twice as fast as the Xbox 360 model, reaching full capacity in less than four hours. It can also charge during gameplay or when the system is in standby mode.

Xbox One Chat Headset

Finally, the Xbox One Chat Headset is wired to the controller, meaning users don’t have to take their hands off the proverbial wheel to control volume or mute. The mono headset also features a lightweight and comfortable new design with wideband digital audio and a unidirectional microphone.

Samsung Galaxy NX camera image leaks

This week, images purporting to be press shots of a mirrorless Samsung Galaxy NX camera appeared on a Vietnamese website, prompting rumours that the South Korean gadget-maker may have more than just new mobile devices to show us on 20 June.

Samsung Galaxy NX Camera - leaked images

Image via Tinh tế

The Android-powered camera is pictured along with a selection of lenses from Samsung’s NX range. The device is also shown to have a large rear touchscreen, and rumoured specs include a 20.3MP APS-C sensor and 1080p video capture.

Samsung 10mm f3.5 Fisheye Lens

Meanwhile, the brand has announced the slimmest and smallest AF fish-eye lens on the market, the super-wide 10mm f3.5 Fisheye Lens for the NX range. About half the size and weight of its rivals at 72g, the lens comes with iScene options and is fitted with a circular aperture diaphragm.

The new fish-eye lens is available in either white or black and will be released in Ireland later this year.

Samsung Galaxy Ace 3

We also have mobile news from Samsung as its ever-expanding mobile range gets yet another new addition in the form of the Galaxy Ace 3.

The new device features a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, Android Jelly Bean 4.2, front-facing VGA camera and a 5MP rear camera with Sound & Shot, Best Photo and Buddy Photo Share.

Samsung Galaxy Ace 3

Sporting a 4-inch WVGA TFT LCD display, the interface can be switched to Easy Mode for a simplified look – very handy for users new to smartphones.

There will be both 3G and LTE versions available and, while the LTE version is promised for the UK, we’ll have to wait and see if it comes to Ireland.

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Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic