The week in gadgets: Sony’s lens cameras, Tesco’s tablets and quad-HD display from LG

26 Aug 2013

A look at gadget happenings, as new devices are rumoured from Samsung, Nokia and even Tesco; LG Display takes HD to another level; HTC is thought to be jumping on the fingerprint-scanning bandwagon; and Sony followers are expecting to see lenses that are actually cameras to attach to your phone this September.

Lens cameras expected from Sony in September

SonyAlphaRumours believes that Sony is preparing to reveal two lens cameras (no, not camera lenses) at a New York City press event on 4 September. These lenses have camera sensors and image processing engines built-in, as well as an SD card slot and Wi-Fi and NFC capabilities.

They are said to attach to both Android and iOS smartphones with magnets (presumably not strong ones) and then communicate with the device via Wi-Fi or NFC to control shooting.

Future Human

Two lenses are expected at the upcoming event: the DSC-QX100 with an RX10MII sensor and Carl Zeiss lens and the DSC-QX10 with an 18MP CMOS sensor and f3.3-5.9 lens.

LG’s new quad-HD display

LG Display caused quite a stir this week with its Quad HD AH-IPS LCD smartphone panel, a world’s first with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 and 538ppi. That’s four times as many pixels as standard HD (1,280 x 720) and LG says the screen can reproduce Blu-ray equivalent video.

LG Display Quad HD AH-IPS LCD panel

The 5.5-inch panel, LG claims, gives a glimpse of what’s to come from full-HD smartphones which are trending towards larger and larger display sizes. “LG Display, which pioneered the high resolution mobile market with introduction of the world’s first full-HD smartphone panel in 2012, again opens new possibilities with the successful application of QHD technology,” said Dr Byeong-koo Kim, vice-president and head of LG Display’s IT and mobile development group. “With this breakthrough, LG Display will continue to raise new standards for mobile resolution and lead the mobile display market.”

Rumours of tablets and phablets to come

The rumour mill at The Korea Economic Daily tells us Samsung has a 12-inch tablet in mind for an October launch. The supposed Galaxy Tab 12.2 is expected to have a better-than-HD display in the region of 2,560 x 1,600, running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with an Intel Atom processor. It’s also rumoured to come with a stylus, dual cameras and 4G compatibility.

Tesco is also said to be planning an entrant to the tablet market in time for Christmas, so claims The Sunday Times. This Tesco tablet will come pre-loaded with books, film and music, as well as Tesco apps, including Blinkbox, the supermarket chain’s online film and music service, the newspaper reports.

We’ve already had rumours of a Windows RT tablet in the works at Nokia, but now we hear that the Finnish phone maker has all sorts of new sizes in mind, with a 6-inch phablet code named ‘Bandit’ currently in testing.

Sources at The Verge say the device will be released later this year, running the latest Windows Phone OS and featuring a polycarbonate body, 1080p display, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and a 20MP rear camera.

According to Reuters, the Bandit will be revealed at a press event planned for September in New York

HTC One Max to have a fingerprint scanner?

It looks like we’ll be waiting until 10 September to see if the next iPhone will really have a biometric fingerprint scanner, but more leaks this week suggest that HTC has been inspired to create a smartphone of its own with this technology.

An image from the site ePrice shows the HTC One Max pictured next to the HTC One Mini and just-right HTC One, and also reveals what could be a fingerprint scanner located underneath the Max model’s rear camera.

HTC One, Max and Mini - ePrice.HK

The HTC One Mini is set for global release in September, which is also when the near-6-inch Max is expected to be unveiled. However, it is now believed that the larger device won’t actually hit shelves until October, due to the addition of this new feature.

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Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic