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Sep 26, 2013 - 10:42 AM - by dgstorm
For anyone fascinated by the new HTC One Max phablet, your ears may perk up a bit today. First up, the device just passed through the Chinese equivalent of an FCC. Above we have a couple of shots from that certification process. As you can see, the pic shows the previously leaked fingerprint sensor on the back. Along with this cert testing, we have good intle that the HTC One Max will be coming with a 6-inch display. Will bigger make the device better?
Interestingly, there is a second bit of news to go along with this. Supposedly, the source of this intel also shared the device is scheduled to be unveiled on October 15th. We will keep an eye out for an secondary corroboration of this info.
Sep 25, 2013 - 4:55 PM - by dgstorm
If this recent rumor is accurate, the Galaxy S series isn't "premium" enough for Samsung. Apparently, Samsung got sick of the barbs thrown at them suggesting they make "cheap plastic" devices (not our perspective). Regardless of the validity of this judgement, some new intel indicates Sammy wants to take things to a whole new level of high-end. According to the leaked intel, Samsung plans to announce a new "premium" line of metal encased Galaxy F products sometime next year. Industry speculation suggests these devices might also include the new plastic-based flex display technology, making for a double-whammy of premium hardware.
If you think about it, it's a bit ironic really, or at least a bit twisted. Samsung will turn their case from plastic to metal and their display from glass to plastic, all in a bid to make their device feel more premium. Isn't the idea of premium a bit subjective anyway? What do you guys think?
Sep 25, 2013 - 12:52 PM - by dgstorm
The rumored flexible-display tech smartdevice coming next month from Samsung turned out to be dead on. At the official launch of the new Samsung Galaxy Note 3 event in South Korea today, Samsung’s mobile business head of strategic marketing D.J. Lee shared the company plans to introduce the first curved screen flexible display smartdevice. He said, "We plan to introduce a smartphone with a curved display in South Korea in October." It doesn't get much clearer than that, but Samsung still went a step further.
His statements were later clarified by Park Sang-jin, president of Samsung SDI, which is the conglomerate’s battery making division. Sang-jin indicated the device will be rigid and will have a unique design. Here's a quote,
Although this part was not confirmed, the newest rumors suggest this new curved, flex-display smart device will actually be a "limited edition" version of the Galaxy Note 3. Supposedly, it is still tough for Samsung to mass produce the new technology, so they are only planning to offer one limited edition curved GNote3 for every ten regular versions.
As plastic liquid crystal displays are strong enough to neither shatter even when dropped on the ground nor need frames, it is possible to produce devices with unique designs.
Hmmm... this could turn into quite the useful marketing gimmick for Samsung. Offering a limited edition rare version of the device could build even more buzz for the GNote series. What do you guys think?
Sep 25, 2013 - 12:33 PM - by dgstorm
Ever since Apple announced their shiny new champagne/gold-colored iPhone 5S it looks like everyone has been jumping on the bandwagon. Recently, a rumored gold-colored HTC One started popping up online. Now, Samsung sent out an official Tweet and Facebook announcement that they will be bringing out a gold-colored Galaxy S4 device.
There will actually be two different versions, a Gold Pink or Gold Brown. Samsung is showing them off first in its United Arab Emirates social media outlets. It is possible that neither of these will actually reach wide distribution and may be intended for only specific markets. Of course, we will keep you updated with any new info as it arrises. Share in the thread if you would be interested in one of these?
(Scaramanga can't catch a break... everyone wants to be "The Man with the Golden Gun/Phone.")
Sep 25, 2013 - 12:00 PM - by dgstorm
Today's the big day Galaxy Note fans! The newest Galaxy Note phablet flagship from Samsung, the GNote3, just hit the streets worldwide. It has officially launched in 140 countries across the globe. You should start seeing them show up online and in some retail channels internationally. This launch includes the Galaxy Gear smartwatch too.
U.S. users will have to wait a few more days to actually see them as the carriers gear up for their launches:
Sound off if you are planning to grab one!
Here's the full press release from Samsung at the source link below.
Sep 25, 2013 - 11:43 AM - by dgstorm
One of the cool things about Android is just how versatile and customizable it is. If it weren't for this, then our amazing modders, devs and tinkerers in the forums wouldn't be able to create the plethora of amazing ROMS and alterations we see everyday. Of course, because Android is so modifiable this also means that sometimes a manufacturer might just go off on a wide tangent by "forking" the base-line Android until it is practically unrecognizable. Sometimes that works out badly, but sometimes it works out well too.
As far as Amazon is concerned, they want Android on their Kindle Fire products to cater to their marketplace, so of course they have the most altered version of Android you can find on a device. They have taken this "skinned" version of Android to a whole new level with their new lineup of Kindle Fire HD and HDX products. They even have an internal codename for their OS which is, "Mojito." Here's a full run-down of everything that has changed or not changed in their newest 3.0 version of this OS.
... [Read More]
- Still no built-in official Google Play access - which is unsurprising
- UI is mostly the same but now also includes the more familiar grid-style layout that you can access with an upward swipe
- Swipe from the right, and you'll see Quick Switch, which lets you switch between different recently used pieces of content
- Mayday (on the HDX) - this is basically an on-line help module with a one-way video conference with a live support technician (you can see them, but they can't see you) - they can basically explain the features and functions of your device to you live in real-time
- Second Screen - allows you to "fling" content to your TV through a PlayStation 3 / 4 or Samsung smart TV. It doesn't actually stream from the tablet, but pulls it from the cloud - is fully integrated with their X-Ray functionality
- X-Ray is now for Movies, TV and Music, 3.0 now features lyrics licensed so you can see them whether online or not
- Reading Mode - turns off unnecessary processes while you are reading a book and can give you up to 17 hours of life on the HDX devices
- Support for wireless printing for documents, email with threaded messaging and support for enterprise services like VPN and Kerberos authentication
- Quiet Time will mute the device during certain times or activities, such as reading.
- Quick Switch gestures allow you to switch not only between different apps, but also between different pieces of content within the same app (such as books inside the reading app).
- Carousel and Grid — users can choose the layout of their home area, wth easy switching between the familiar carousel and a new grid mode.
- Cloud Collections — organize your applications, books, magazines and newspapers in the cloud. Amazon Whispersync synchronizes your catalog across any number of Kindle devices.
- 1-Tap Archive — free up space intelligently. The Fire OS can identify the things you haven't used recently and store them in your cloud with one tap to free up space.
- System-level social integration — Twitter and Facebook sharing done directly within the OS, including importation of your Facebook calendar and contacts.
- GameCircle and Whispersync for Games — developers can
Sep 25, 2013 - 11:09 AM - by dgstorm
For months we have seen rumor upon rumor and leak after leak regarding the next-generation Kindle-Fire HD products. Now Amazon decided to quell all of the speculation and innuendo with a full, official reveal. One of the most surprising new additions to the lineup is that they have revamped their "skinned" version of Android and now have their own name for the customized OS. They call it, Fire OS 3.0 “Mojito.” We will do a separate article with more details on this new development.
In the mean-time, here's the full skinny on their new tablet products.
First up we have their base model and most affordable product in the lineup, the Kindle Fire HD. This is the replacement for the previous generation Kindle Fire HD. With the launch of this new product we also have a statement from Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. He said, “Two years ago, we revolutionized the tablet industry with the breakthrough $199 price point for tablets—now we’re doing it again with the $139 price point.”
The pricing actually varies a bit for all of the models. Amazon will be offering a version in each storage category which will display ad supported special offers and specific screensavers on the lock screen. This will be the discounted model, while a model without the "special offers" will be a bit more. Here's a price breakdown for the two models of the Kindle Fire HD: The 8GB model with special offers is $139, but without special offers is $154. The 16GB model with special offers is $169, but without special offers it is $184.
Here's the spec and feature breakdown:
- 7-inch 1280×800 display
- Dual-core 1.5GHz processor (60% faster than the original)
- 8GB or 16GB of internal storage
- Dual stereo speakers
- Dual-band WiFi
- 10 hours of battery life (mixed use)
- Fire OS 3.0 “Mojito” (based on Android)
The next products we have in their lineup are the new higher-end fare. Amazon announced the Kindle Fire HDX series. They have the same specs except for differing screen sizes (with corresponding resolutions), different battery life and different cameras. Here's the scoop,
- The 7-inch model has 1920 x 1200 resolution
- The 8.9-inch model has 2560 x 1600 resolution
- Quad-Core 2.2 GHz processor
- Dual Stereo Speakers
- Dual-band, dual antenna MIMO WiFi
- Optional 4G LTE with AT&T or Verizon
- 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage
- 7-inch model has only a front camera, but the 8.9-inch has an 8MP rear camera too
- The 7-inch model promises 11 hours of mixed use on battery and the 8.9-inch gets 12 hours of mixed use
Here's the full price breakdown of the new HDX lineup, including the differences with and without the "special offers":
7-inch HDX WiFi-only
- With offers – 16GB for $229, 32GB for $269, 64GB for $309
- Without offers – 16GB for $244, 32GB for $284, 64GB for $324
7-inch HDX WiFi + 4G
- With offers – 16GB for $329, 32GB for $369, 64GB for $409
- Without offers – 16GB for $344, 32GB for 384, 64GB for $424
8.9-inch HDX WiFi-only
Sep 24, 2013 - 12:26 PM - by dgstorm
Left is before the update. Right is after the update.
The T-Mobile version of the new Moto X just received its first big update last night. This update, version 139.12.57, brings a host of new fixes, features and functionality. The most significant of these is a large improvement to its picture taking capabilities. The primary difference is that pictures in backlit and low-light settings are much improved.
*Just FYI... T-Mobile currently doesn't offer the Moto X on one of their payout pricing plans. The only way to use the phone on their network is to purchase it outright for $600.
Here's the full changelog:
- Camera – Improved Photo Quality: Improved capture of natural light (auto-white balance) and color accuracy for more precise exposure in outdoor and backlit scenes
- Camera – Improved Focus: Faster touch to focus time and reduced unnecessary refocusing in low light conditions and scenes with continuous motion
- Camera – Faster Switching: Shortened the time it takes to switch between rear and front-facing cameras, as well as transition between the viewfinder and the Gallery app
- Enhanced Touchless Control: Increased accuracy and responsiveness when using Touchless Control, and added easier training of the “OK Google Now” trigger
- Improved Motorola Migrate Experience: Improved transfer of content from an old Android phone to a new Motorola phone
- Google Drive – 50GB Promotion: Added a promotion expiration date - customers have 30 days from phone activation or installation of this update to redeem the 50GB offer
- Calling – Improved Voice Quality: Fixed an issue that could sometimes result in choppy audio being heard by the person you’re talking with on your Moto X
- Moto Care – Lost Device Finder: Fixed an issue that could sometimes prevent a lost phone from reporting its location to the Moto Care Lost Device Finder service
- Motorola Assist – Driving Detection: Fixed an issue that could sometimes cause the phone to read out text messages and announce calls when not in Drive mode
Sep 24, 2013 - 12:09 PM - by dgstorm
A new report from a Greek tech site brings an intriguing rumor. Supposedly HTC is already working on a refreshed version of their flagship the HTC One and the new specs will be very impressive. There are several big upgrades which the improved version of the HTC One will have so here's a quick breakdown of the change-ups:
- New octa-core processor of unspecified origins
- 3GB RAM
- "Clear Audio" feature for clearer calls
- Multiple radios for nearly all global carriers across America, Asia and Europe
- Gorilla Glass 3 (vs. Gorilla Glass 2)
As you can see above, this "leak" even comes with a screenshot indicating that HTC already has the device humming along somewhere in the development process. Of course, this could simply be a fake too. It's hard to fathom where HTC would get an octa-core processor. On the other hand, we wouldn't put it past HTC to do this. They are notorious for bringing out refreshed versions of their devices. The HTC One X+ comes to mind as the most recent example. What do you guys think? Real or fake?
Sep 24, 2013 - 11:32 AM - by dgstorm
We have confirmation straight from HTC that their Developer Edition HTC One and their Canadian HTC One will be both be getting the Android 4.3 soon. Specifically the Developer Edition HTC One will get its update this week, while the Canadian vanilla HTC One will get it later this month. Jason Mackenzie, President of HTC USA confirmed this info via Twitter. He later also Tweeted that HTC is optimistic that the U.S. version of Android 4.3 for the HTC One will be certified soon, but didn't give any specific details.
Finally, as a quick side-story, Mr. Mackenzie also confirmed that Android 4.2.2 with Sense 5 would be coming to the Droid DNA by the end of the year. This was meant as a correction to erroneous info previously suggesting that the Droid DNA would be getting Android 4.3 later this year.
This appears to be happy news for HTC One owners and sad news for Droid DNA owners.
Sep 24, 2013 - 11:18 AM - by dgstorm
We have what is supposedly a confirmation of interesting news out of Samsung. We are calling it a rumor for now until it can be corroborated. First, last night a rumor popped up that a new version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will be coming out next month which will include Samsung's YOUM flexible display technology. We were planning on sharing this intel with you this morning, but we can go one step further now. This report has supposedly been confirmed by a Samsung representative, and they will indeed be bringing out a new GNote3 with a plastic display in October. The screen will not initially be truly flexible, but will be made of the flex-tech for added durability and power efficiency.
There could also be one other side benefit which would also give Samsung a more compelling reason to offer a new GNote3 a month after the first one. The YOUM tech could make it easier to facilitate a more water-resistant body for the GNote3. Because of this there is some industry speculation that this next GNote3 will actually be an "Active" version, just like the SGS4 has its own water-proof "Active" alternative.
The second bit of news also comes from this same internal Samsung source. They supposedly confirmed the next generation Galaxy S5 will be coming with a metal casing as the rumors have been suggesting. Again, for now we are still calling this a rumor, but the intel seems very solid.
The final juicy tidbit is not a rumor. Samsung officially announced the development of “new advanced pixel technology" for their cameras. They call it ISOCELL. Here's a quote with the details on this new tech,
The primary result for the end user will be better low-light sensitivity, more accurate colors, and thinner camera modules. Samsung is already producing their first 8 megapixel cameras with ISOCELL tech. They plan to start mass production in Q4.
"ISOCELL technology forms a physical barrier between neighboring pixels – isolating the pixel. This isolation enables more photons to be collected from the micro-lens and absorbed into the correct pixel’s photodiode minimizing undesired electrical crosstalk between pixels and allowing expanded full well capacity (FWC). Compared to conventional BSI pixels, the ISOCELL pixels decrease the crosstalk by approximately 30 percent… increase the full well capacity (FWC) by 30 percent… and can feature a 20 percent wider chief ray angle (CRA), reducing the height of the camera module."
Sep 24, 2013 - 10:52 AM - by dgstorm
Verizon may have a new Droid tablet coming soon if the signs in this video above are correctly interpreted. Verizon recently Tweeted the above video on their DROIDlanding Twitter account. They also included the caption,
As you can see, the Tweet also indicates that this is a contest in which you can win a trip to their next photo shoot. It's obviously a crafty marketing gimmick to get us hooked on what this mysterious device might be. Call us a fish then!
Of course, the obvious guess is that it will be a Droid tablet, but it could be something else entirely. Maybe it's the customizable Moto X tablet we heard previous rumors about. Share your most creative conjecture.
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