Samsung debuts Galaxy Tab 3

Galaxy Tab 3Samsung has announced the new eight-inch GALAXY Tab 3 that sports a slim bezel that makes it easier to read and have a more engaging multimedia experience. The physical keys on the bezel at the bottom give users a comfortable smartphone-like experience in navigation.

Travellers will enjoy features such as S Translator provides instant translation through voice recognition and via text on applications including email, text message, and ChatON. Additionally, Trip Advisor provides real-time local information along with the user’s travel paths. Users can get useful travel information and make reservations at tourist spots and hotels, among others.

The Galaxy Tab 3 will be available in white from August 3 at S$668 for the LTE version without contract and S$468 for the WiFi version at telecommunication operators, major consumer electronics and IT stores, and Samsung Experience Stores.

 

NVIDIA acquires PGI

NVIDIANVIDIA has made further inroads into high performance computing (HPC) with the acquisition of The Portland Group (PGI), a leading independent supplier of compilers and tools.

Founded in 1989, PGI has a long history of innovation in HPC compiler technology for Intel, IBM, Linux, OpenMP, GPGPU, and ARM. Following the acquisition, it will continue to operate under the PGI name and develop OpenACC, CUDA Fortran and CUDA x86 for multicore x86, and GPGPUs. PGI will also continue to serve its customers, including chip makers, research labs and HPC computing centres.

 

Rhythm & Hues Studios creates award-winning visual effects with NVIDIA GPUs

Rhythmn and HuesBy Edward Lim, Managing Consultant, CIZA Concept

Founded in 1987, Rhythm & Hues Studios is a visual effects company with corporate headquarters in El Segundo, California and production facilities in India, Malaysia, Canada, and Taiwan.

The studio has won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects for Babe (1995), The Golden Compass (2008) and Life of Pi (2013), on top of four Scientific and Technical Academy Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

Computing power and unified platform needed
Lots of computing power are needed to create computer graphics imagery (CGI) in films. Besides this requirement, Rhythm & Hues also needed to standardize on a platform that can be used in its studios around the world. This unified platform is critical as work is shared and done concurrently in different parts of the world.

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Global printing dips but APeJ bucks trend

IDCWorldwide page volume from digital hardcopy devices has dipped to 2.98 trillion in 2012 from 3.03 trillion in 2011, a decline of 1.5 percent year over year, according to IDC.

However, in spite of the decline, the world continues to print at a good clip. Developed countries continued their negative page growth trend, driven by digital workflows, adoption of managed print services (MPS) and anemic economies. The silver lining for print volume in developed economies appears to be net new incremental pages from mobile devices.

While it may seem counter intuitive, smartphone and tablet users are generating more print volume compared to non-tablet/smartphone users.

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ZTE introduces MF253 LTE wireless router with customised versions for different markets

ZTE MF253ZTE has launched the MF253 LTE wireless router that enables 4G mobile data access for homes, retail stores and offices.

With a sleek upright design, the MF253 supports data downlink speeds of 100Mbps, and 50Mbps for uplink, delivering high-speed mobile Internet access for up to 32 users simultaneously. It comes with a streamlined white chassis and blue indicator lights.

Customised versions for markets in the Americas, Europe and China ensure comprehensive support for a broad range of LTE spectrum used in different markets globally. Support for an external antenna will allow the MF253 to be deployed in areas of poor mobile signals.

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Global mobile phone market up 6% in Q2

IDCDemand for mobile phones continue to grow. In Q2, the worldwide mobile phone market grew six percent year over year, according to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

Vendors shipped a total of 432.1 million mobile phones in Q2 compared to 407.7 million units in the corresponding quarter of 2012. The Q2 total was also slightly higher than the 428.8 million units shipped in Q1.

The growth in the mobile phone market was partly driven by vendors from outside the Top 5 who experienced torrid shipment growth that outpaced the overall market. Several vendors, including Alcatel and Huawei, had high double- and triple-digit growth rates in Q2 for their Android-based offerings shipped to high-growth countries such as China and India. These vendors from outside the Top 5 accounted for 44.8 percent of the overall shipment volume, up from 42.2 percent in the same quarter one year ago.

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Sensors and gesture recognition are major smartphone differentiators

abi researchAccelerometers, vision-based gesture recognition, gyroscopes, and NFC are predicted to be the feature set big winners in smartphones in 2013, according to ABI Research.

“Gesture recognition is soon going to become a key differentiator in high-end flagship smartphones. Samsung’s latest Galaxy S4 has already incorporated the technology within its handset and has received significant plaudits for its new innovative user experience. Today’s consumers are becoming much savvier with their smartphones and they’re looking for new interesting ways to communicate with each other and their devices,” said Joshua Flood, Senior Analyst of ABI Research.

In 2013, almost 12 percent of smartphones shipped will have vision-based gesture recognition capabilities. It is unsure if Apple will include the technology in its next generation iPhone but the company is expected to include a full array of MEMS sensors and NFC.

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Twistcode leverages GPU power for big data

By Edward Lim, Managing Consultant, CIZA Concept

FTwistcodeounded in 2006, Twistcode does research and development in high performance computing technology, especially massive-parallel computing and applications using central processing units (CPUs) and graphics processing units (GPUs). It thrives in accelerating any repetitive algorithm and/or process in most environments.

With its focus on high performance computing, the young and dynamic company hopes to let its clients – enterprises and government organisations – concentrate on what’s important to them. It provides services such as rendering and modelling, and tweaks technologies and twist codes to adapt to customers’ needs.

Frustration over cell architecture
It was frustration over Sony’s cell architecture that prompted Twistcode to consider other options for its work.

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NVIDIA unveils Quadro K6000 GPU

Monsters University is the first Pixar film to implement Global Illumination, a new lighting technology that allows for ultra-complex lighting set-ups where light bounces in a physically realistic way.
Monsters University is the first Pixar film to implement Global Illumination, a new lighting technology that allows for ultra-complex lighting set-ups where light bounces in a physically realistic way.

NVIDIA has unveiled the NVIDIA Quadro K6000 GPU and a new line of professional graphics GPUs for mobile workstations.

The Quadro K6000 GPU delivers five times higher compute performance and nearly double the graphics capability of its predecessor, the NVIDIA Quadro 6000 GPU, and features the world’s largest and fastest graphics memory.

Combining breakthrough performance and advanced capabilities in a power-efficient design, it enables leading organisations such as Pixar, Nissan, Apache Corporation, and the Weather Channel’s WSI division to tackle visualisation and analysis workloads of unprecedented size and scope.

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NVIDIA Shield to ship on July 31

NVIDIAIt’s official! NVIDIA has informed those who pre-ordered the NVIDIA Shield gaming portable that the product would be shipped to US and Canada customers on July 31. This is more than a month off its original targeted shipping date.

The delay was attributed to mechanical issues from a third party component. There is no news of its availability elsewhere in the world.

China pulls down APAC PC market in Q2

IDCThe PC market slowdown continued in Q2 with Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) dropping one percent last quarter and 11 percent year-on-year in Q2 to reach 26.7 million units, according to IDC’s preliminary results.

Weak sell-in amid ongoing consumer distractions, such as phones and tablets, as well as a slowing economy affected the PC market performance in China, which pulled the entire region down. While consumer sentiment in the rest of region was also tepid, a higher-than-expected shipment for a large education notebook project in India helped to offset some of this decline.

“The second half of this year still faces a number of challenges such as economic and channel conditions in China as well as uncertainty around an education project in India,” said Handoko Andi, Research Manager at IDC Asia/Pacific. “It’s possible for the market to bottom out and recover by 2014 as technology evolves, but IDC confidence is low at the moment given all of the forces tugging at each other right now.”

Allen Ma is new CEO of HKSTPC

Allen MaHong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTPC) has appointed Allen Ma as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), succeeding E Anthony Tan, who has held the position since April 2008.

Joining as CEO-designate on July 22 and taking office on August 1 , Ma believes technology plays a key role in fuelling Hong Kong’s economic transformation and will draw on his 30 years of industrial and business experience to increase the competitiveness of the city as a regional hub for science and technology innovation while building ever stronger collaboration with the Mainland.  

His key focus will be to advance HKSTPC’s mission to provide world-class infrastructure and services and promote Hong Kong as a regional hub of innovation and technology.

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Cellebrite introduces PC-based wireless retail solution

Cellebrite DeskTopCellebrite has introduced Cellebrite DeskTop, a PC-based version of its suite of applications that increase revenue, boost margins and improve customer satisfaction in the store and beyond.

Cellebrite DeskTop includes fast phone-to-phone content transfer, back-up, and restore, a fully automated phone trade-in programme, application content and delivery, and robust diagnostics to “detect and correct” phone problems, in an integrated solution running in a Microsoft Windows environment.

It reduces total cost of ownership (TCO) by offering retailers the flexibility of running on a general-purpose PC, eliminating the added cost associated with dedicated hardware. Users will also benefit from unprecedented system performance, including fast content transfer.

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Worldwide IT outsourcing market to grow to US$288b in 2013

GartnerThe worldwide IT outsourcing (ITO) market is predicted to reach US$288 billion in 2013, a 2.8 percent increase from 2012, according to Gartner. Compared with Gartner’s previous forecast, nearly all ITO segments are now forecasted to grow more slowly this year.

Gartner’s forecast includes slight upward revisions for both custom application outsourcing and infrastructure utility services (IUS) for 2014 through 2017. Although software as a service (SaaS) impacts the ITO market, it is forecasted as part of the software market, rather than as part of the ITO market.

“We continue to see overall market growth being constrained by near-term market factors, such as evolving ITO delivery models, economic, political and labor conditions, and service provider financial performance,” said Bryan Britz, Research Vice President at Gartner. “Mature Asia/Pacific and Western Europe are the regions where the outlook is most tempered, partly due to currency but also reflective of our view that 2013 is likely to be similar to 2012 in these regions.”

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NVIDIA launches world’s first GPU-accelerated platform for geospatial intelligence analysts

NVIDIANVIDIA has launched the NVIDIA GeoInt  Accelerator, the world’s first GPU-accelerated geospatial intelligence platform to enable security analysts to find actionable insights quicker and more accurately than ever before from vast quantities of raw data, images and video.

The platform provides defence and homeland security analysts with tools that enable faster processing of high-resolution satellite imagery, facial recognition in surveillance video, combat mission planning using geographic information system (GIS) data, and object recognition in video collected by drones.

It offers a complete solution consisting of an NVIDIA Tesla GPU accelerated system, software applications for geospatial intelligence analysis, and advanced application development libraries

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Cyber security for critical infrastructure to reach US$46b

abi researchCyber security spending for critical infrastructure will hit US$46 billion by the end of 2013, according to ABI Research. Increased spending over the next five years will be driven by a growing number of policies and procedures in education, training, research and development, awareness programmes, standardisation work, and cooperative frameworks among other projects.

The cyber protection of critical infrastructure has become the most immediate primary concern for nation states. The public revelation of wide-spread state-sponsored cyber-espionage presages an era of information and cyber warfare on a global scale between countries, political groups, hacktivists, organized crime syndicates, and civilian society – in short, to anyone with access to an Internet-connected device. 

The focus on cyber security is becoming imperative. While some industries have had highly advanced cyber-defense and security mechanisms in place for some time (such as the financial sector), others are severely lacking and only just starting to implement measures (such as energy and healthcare). The drivers for the market in related products and services are numerous, but in large part, many will be propelled by national cyber security strategies and policies.

 

Huawei MediaPad 7 Youth tablet targets connected generation

Huawei MediaPad 7 YouthHuawei is banking on the popularity of tablets among the younger generation with the launch of the Huawei MediaPad 7 Youth. Compact, sturdy and stylish with its aluminum metal unibody measuring just 9.9mm and weighing 350g, it is small enough to fit into a backpack or tote bag.

A seven-inch capacitive 10-point touchscreen lets users enjoy 1080p full HD video playback. The tablet’s high-speed 28nm dual-core 1.6GHz processor and powerful GPU offers the ultimate gaming and smooth operating experience, while the 4100mAh Li-Polymer battery provides almost two weeks of power on standby to keep you entertained for longer.

The MediaPad 7 Youth will be available in the Asia Pacific in Q3.

 

Smart watches poised to take off in 2014

CanalysFancy a new accessory? How about a smart watch? It looks like smart watches are going to be the next “must have” item. According to Canalys, the worldwide smart watch market will exceed five million units in 2014.

Canalys estimates that over 330,000 smart watches were shipped in 2012, led by Sony and Motorola. Kickstarter-backed Pebble Technology has joined Sony as a market leader in 2013. More than half a million units will be shipped this year. Smart watches are then set to explode by the end of 2014, growing tenfold as a new generation of devices from Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung, and others are launched.

Unlike earlier products, these smart watches will provide more sophisticated software and more elegant hardware. Glanceable information, integration across sensors and hooks into web services will be key features. These companion devices will not replace smart phones, but rather complement them as ‘appcessories’.

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ASOS leverages hybris for China e-commerce business

hybrisUK online fashion and beauty store ASOS has selected the hybris Commerce Suite to launch its new e-commerce business in China. Providing an omni-channel experience for those 420 million potential customers, the site will include a fully-integrated, feature-rich mobile version.

With six million active customers, ASOS stocks more than 60,000 branded and own-label products through each of its websites: UK, USA, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Australia, and Russia. It ships to 241 countries and territories from its 1.1 million square foot global distribution centre in the UK.

According to a report from eMarketer released in February 2013, this year’s B2C e-commerce sales are expected to grow 18.3 percent to US$1.298 trillion worldwide as Asia-Pacific (APAC) surpasses North America to become the world’s No. 1 market for B2C e-commerce.

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Australia big on cloud computing

IDCAustralian enterprises are taking to cloud computing. According to IDC’s 2013 Australia End-User Cloud Survey, 86 percent of Australian enterprises were currently using cloud computing, up from 71 percent in 2012.

IDC observed that line-of-business (LOB) managers in leading-edge enterprises had begun to add to CIO’s cloud spending by direct acquisition of cloud services as a delivery mechanism for new competitive offerings within their own industries and marketplaces. This was validated by the survey results where the business unit (69.6 percent) was ranked higher than the IT department (59.8 percent) by the respondents when it came to the responsibility for selection of the service providers in their most recent cloud computing projects.

“Until 2012, cloud was primarily an IT label for IT infrastructure services delivered as a service. Now, cloud is no longer just an IT infrastructure play. Cloud-based business services being acquired by LOB managers will now drive growth in the use of externally sourced services. Cloud in 2013 is now business as usual for CIOs, IT managers, and LOB managers. By 2015, cloud will be just another delivery model for a range of “as-a-service” offerings that are based on infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS),” said Raj Mudaliar, Senior Analyst, Cloud Services Research at IDC Australia.

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RMI counts on GPU computing for credit risk analysis

RMIBy Edward Lim, Managing Consultant, CIZA Concept

Established in 2006 as a research institute at the National University of Singapore (NUS), the NUS Risk Management Institute (RMI) is dedicated to financial risk management. Its establishment was supported by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) under its program on Risk Management and Financial Innovation.

In 2009, RMI embarked on a non-profit Credit Research Initiative (CRI) in response to the financial crisis, with the intent to spur research and development in the critical area of credit rating. Besides being just a typical research project, it wanted to demonstrate the operational feasibility of its research and become a trusted source of credit information.

CRI currently covers more than 35,000 companies in 106 economies in Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.

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Nokia redefines zoom with Lumia 1020

Nokia Lumia 1020In an effort to make an impact in the smartphone market, Nokia seems to be banging the camera feature. Boasting a second generation 41 megapixel sensor, the new Nokia Lumia 1020 reinvents zoom, delivering more details than the eye can see so people can take photos first and frame later.

With Nokia’s innovative PureView technology and a new application called Nokia Pro Camera, it claims to be able to produce some of the sharpest images possible by any digital camera. Nokia Pro Camera makes it easy to capture, edit and share photos and videos.

The Nokia Lumia 1020’s 41 megapixel sensor features ZEISS optics with six physical lenses, plus optical image stabilisation. It also captures blur free videos with stereo sound even at the loudest concerts thanks to Nokia Rich Recording, which handles sound pressure levels six times louder than conventional smartphone microphones.

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Lenovo nudges HP off global PC perch

IDCLenovo became the number one PC vendor in Q2 as HP slid to second with Dell coming in third.

According to IDC‘s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, Lenovo continued its streak of gains following channel expansion and solid product development. In Q2, it made impressive gains outside of Asia Pacific except Japan (APeJ). However, the headwinds in China continued to affect its home turf significantly. Lenovo ended the quarter with a double-digit decline in APeJ. Overall growth has slowed from prior quarters, and slipped into negative territory this quarter, but still outpaced the market and top competitors.

HP slipped to second place, but growth improved from recent quarters. It was boosted by shipments to India as part of large education projects. Despite ongoing uncertainty surrounding its restructuring, Dell performed above market with a decline of 4.5 percent. As with HP, this was a significant improvement from the past year that was aided by improving growth in the US. It managed to perform above market in all key regions except APeJ.

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Samsung Galaxy S4 Active with LTE available for S$898 from July 13

samsung galaxy s4 active with lteYet another iteration of the Samsung Galaxy S4 will be making its debut in Singapore on Saturday. The Galaxy S4 Active with LTE is designed for active users who want to stay connected while exploring environments from the most rugged mountain trails to the roughest rivers.

Priced at S$898 without contract, the phone has qualified protection from dust and water (IP67),  keeping dust particles out and protecting against water damage for up to 30 minutes of submergence at a depth of one metre. Equipped with a water-resistant earphone jack, the GALAXY S4 ACTIVE With LTE frees you to use earphones above water when the phone is wet or in water. 

“The Galaxy S4 Active with LTE is a new addition to the Galaxy series and is purposefully designed for active users who love the outdoors,” said Irene Ng, Vice President, Marketing, Samsung Asia Pte Ltd. “Samsung has taken the innovative features of the Galaxy S4 and added breakthrough protective design elements to create a device that thrives in an active environment and is built for a lifestyle of travel and exploration.”

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LTE to deliver US$74b in service revenue in 2013

abi researchOut of 470 LTE commitments tracked by ABI Research, 193 have gone commercial. Over the next two years, another 123 network commitments are expected to do likewise. Additionally, ABI Research is currently tracking 69 LTE-TDD commitments.

“By 2018, LTE deployments should deliver population coverage of 57 percent (4.2 billion) and 31 percent (2.3 billion) in legacy WCDMA and CDMA2000 markets respectively. Significantly, LTE-TDD coverage should achieve 49 percent population coverage by the end of the five year period,” said Jake Saunders, Vice President – Core Forecasting at ABI Research.

These coverage targets will be driven by macrocells and small cells. By 2018, the number of LTE macrocell base stations will reach 2.43m to achieve the population coverage targets. Small cells are an integral part of the LTE operator’s network strategy. As a result, ABI Research estimates that 18,000 LTE outdoor small cells will ship in 2013, and will expand to 986,000 by 2018.

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Richmanclub Studios relies on NVIDIA GPUs to produce upcoming film

The Boy and his Robot
The Boy and his Robot

By Edward Lim, Managing Consultant, CIZA Concept

Founded by Rich Ho in Singapore in 2004, Richmanclub Studios is a motion picture production company. Its first official production was the short film, “The Alien Invasion” in 2004, which has been shown around the world. The film was the first Singaporean short film to be nominated for the “Chinese Oscar”, The Golden Horse Awards 2004 for Best International Digital Short Film.

The studio has also won the Special Technical Achievement Award (Hive Film Festival), Audience Favorite (Substation First Take) and the Asia-Pacific wide Gold Award-Digital Art (ACMSIGGRAPH ComGraph).

In 2011, Richmanclub Studios launched two additional departments – Richopus Music to offer music production services and IVI VFX to provide post-production services.

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Smartphones account for half of mobile device shipments in Japan in Q1

Smartphone shipments in Japan grew 4.0 percent year over year in Q1 to 6.8 million units to account for half of the overall mobile device market in Q1, according to IDC’s Japan Quarterly Mobile Device Tracker.

Total shipments in the Japan mobile device market for Q1 came to 13.6 million units, an increase of 9.7  percent on a year-over-year basis.

While the PC market declined by 4.6 percent in the quarter, the rapidly growing tablet market enjoyed year-over-year growth of 187.2 percent to slightly more than 2 million units. The tablet growth was largely driven by the availability of inexpensive new tablets and huge sales incentives from mobile operators to boost the shipping volumes of LTE (4G) tablets. 

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ZTE snags most new contracts in China Telecom CDMA procurement programme

ZTEZTE Corporation has been awarded the most new contracts in phase 1 of China Telecom Group’s 2013 CDMA network procurement programme.

With the 2013 network procurement programme, China Telecom is strongly-positioned to grasp the new opportunities in CDMA services and meet the increasingly sophisticated needs of subscribers.

“We are fully committed to offering China Telecom the most advanced products and solutions,” said Fan Xiaobing, vice president of ZTE. “ZTE always strives to deliver the best technology, and the most customised services.”

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Gartner adjusts worldwide IT spending projection downwards to 2% growth this year

GartnerGartner has adjusted its worldwide IT spending forecast for 2013 downwards to US$3.7 trillion in 2013. Last quarter, the research firm predicted a 4,1 percent increase compared to 2012 but that projection has been sliced by half to 2 percent. This reduction takes into account the impact of recent fluctuations in US dollar exchange rates. 

The Gartner Worldwide IT Spending Forecast is the a leading indicator of major technology trends across the hardware, software, IT services and telecom markets. For more than a decade, global IT and business executives have been using these highly anticipated quarterly reports to recognise market opportunities and challenges, and base their critical business decisions on proven methodologies rather than guesswork.

“Exchange rate movements, and a reduction in our 2013 forecast for devices, account for the bulk of the downward revision of the 2013 growth,” said Richard Gordon, Managing Vice President at Gartner.

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Samsung launches Galaxy S4 mini with LTE in Singapore

Galaxy S4 miniLike the Samsung Galaxy S4 but prefer a smaller form factor? The good news is that Samsung has launched the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini with LTE, a compact version of its flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone.

Priced at S$698 without contract, the phone will be available in two colours — white frost and black mist — from July 6.

With a 4.3-inch qHD SUPER AMOLED display, 107g lightweight and compact design, it is easy to carry and operate with one hand. Though compact, the Galaxy S4 mini with LTE boasts a 1.7GHz dual core processor that allows users to quickly and easily perform data intensive tasks.

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